Tag Archives: newmusic

On our radar – West Princes

Actually, West Princes have been on our radar for the best part of 2016 thanks to a handful of great live performances in both Glasgow and Edinburgh throughout the year alongside gigs at festivals such as Electric Fields and Stag and Dagger to boot.

 

The Glasgow fourpiece – named after the Woodlands street flat they lived in while at the Art School – launched their debut single ‘Wet Bark Is A Slug’ on the Voidoid Archive label (brainchild of artist Jim Lambie) last week, celebrating the release with a short 2 date UK tour of both their native city and London, the first of which was a stellar performance at a packed out The Poetry Club in Finnieston alongside party starters Pleasure Bent.

 

With a distinct 70s folky vibe full of breezy, playful guitar lines and luscious harmonies, the ‘Wet Bark Is A Slug’ video features the song against the work of Estonian animator Priit Parn’s 1984 film Time Out, resulting in a delightfully charming and captivating marriage of imagery and sound.

 

The Paul Simon/Vampire Weekend’s ‘Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa’ vibe is one that will be broadcast to audiences Scotland wide thanks to it being chosen as ‘Single Of The Week’ on BBC Scotland’s The Janice Forsyth Show, and we hope it serves as a platform for greater things in 2017 for the West Princes guys.
Check out the video here.

 

 

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Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool

A sense of sweet deja-vu inhibits ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’, Radiohead’s ninth studio album and first since 2011’s ‘A King Of Limbs’, both in the form of a welcome end to the musical poverty of their near five year hiatus, alongside the inclusion of re-contextualised songs from their live repertoire.

In what is without doubt their most fragile and tender album to date, nuanced orchestral arrangements break with the arithmetic electronica approach that defined Radiohead’s previous two releases, ‘A King of Limbs’ and ‘In Rainbows’.

The influence of Johnny Greenwood’s soundtrack work takes precedence throughout, with his richly pastured compositions providing for the perfect landscape for Thom Yorke’s anxious falsetto to waltz and wander, provoking an impression that the two have reached their collaborative zenith musically.

It’s an album that – rather than challenge the sharp, abrasive deviations in energy, respires and glides gently, with occasional, heavier Krautrock flourishes. And although not a watershed albumin the same breath as 1997’s ‘OK Computer’ of 2000’s ‘Kid A’, it retains a distinct, homogeneous quality that immerses the listener fully into Radiohead’s unique universe of beauty and wonder.

A universe played out in the form of lush introspection, heart and intergalactic imagery, with a sonic gravitational pull fitting of the album’s title, replete with simple yet magnificently vivid structures that recall Pink Floyd at their peak.

With seven of the album’s 11 tracks having been heard in some shape or form previously, the album works to tie up these previous incarnations with added flesh and bone, none more so than with the majestic finale of live favourite ‘True Love Waits’.

‘Burn the Witch’ opens proceedings with Yorke’s vocal floating over arresting, staccato strings which, rather fortuitously give off an ever so slight James Bond theme vibe – a piece of spectral beauty in an album notable for the absence of Spectre – the song they recorded for the last 007 film.

‘Daydream’ is just that, a hypnotic lament of textured melodies and lush pianos, while ‘Decks Dark’ and its soaring, obscure chorus rolls wonderfully into the acoustic beauty of ‘Desert Island Disk’.

Abundant operatic flourishes are evident in the haunting ‘Glass Eyes’ while ‘The Numbers’ bursts with ideas and inventions in a kaleidoscopicstramash of acoustic guitar, strings and piano, before ‘Present Tense’ adds a surprising touch of Latin flair, before the slow burning electro feel of penultimate track ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor Rich Man Poor Man Beggar Man Thief’ leads us into the measured resplendence of ‘True Love Wait’.

‘A Moon Shaped Pool’ more than measures up to the yardstick Radiohead themselves have set over the years as one of the most influential and creative bands in rock history. An honest, orchestral expression of substance and splendour that shimmers with emotion from a band that – more relevant than ever – continuously place themselves a step of the head of the game.

Tenement TV continues to blaze a trail.

Saturday seems a long time ago but my ears are still ringing from a quite incredible day and night’s worth of music thanks to the guys at Tenement TV.

Their annual shindig, Tenement Trail, took over 6 different city centre venues while hosting more than 40 bands from all over the UK. With a line up that boasted the likes of Neon Waltz, Be Charlotte and Laura St Jude, alongside ‘the new Franz Ferdinand’ in White, the movers and shakers of Glasgow were certainly spoiled for choice.

Early sets by the bluesy, Deep South influenced ‘The Bar Dogs’ and the rapid fire Jake Bugg-esque Declan Walsh set the early tone, with both gigs pulling in a healthy, vocal crowd.

London’s The Amazons, making their Glasgow debut in Sleazy’s, didn’t disappoint, as their jangly, intense sound and tales of junk food and misplaced affection brought with it comparisons with The Vaccines.

As the day rolled on the Art School became witness to some, if not all, of the best concerts of the day. The likes of Pronto Mama pulled in a huge crowd with their calypso themed trumpet driven melodies, whilst Holy Esque showed everyone just how far they have come in recent months with a set that eschewed ambition, drive and creativity.

Headliners White, taking to the stage at 9pm, more than lived up to the hype their recent gigs at Wickerman and Glastonbury have established within UK music circles. Leo Conde embodies the spirit of a young Bryan Ferry as their self-styled ‘pink noise’ turned the Art School into something akin to an 80’s high school reunion.

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Headliners White at the Art School

However, it was electronic outfit Crash Club who stole the show, Their midnight slot had Flat 0/1 bursting at the seams as they brought the festival to a thundering close. Flying beer, strobe lights and heavy riffs were aplenty as the band ripped through a blistering set high on emotion and confidence. It’s a matter of time before they themselves will be the name on everyone’s lips.

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Crash Club bringing the house down at Flat 0/1

A fantastic event which, like no other, highlights the health of the current UK music scene, placing the fan at its heart and providing the setting for some memorable gigs to leave even the most avid gig-goer waiting for next year.