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Archive for the ‘electric loves’ Category

First published in Clash Magazine

Tonight’s gig at Shepherds Bush is The Boxer Rebellion’s biggest headline show to date. Known for their appearance in chick flick ‘Going The Distance’, there’s always been more to the band than meets the eye.

Starting with the atmospheric ‘No Harm’, Tennessee-born Nathan Nicholson’s voice is stunning as he builds up tension before the band go straight into more energetic ‘Step Out Of The Car’.

The band has possibly the most excited look on their faces as the crowd jump along and wave their arms with serious enthusiasm. Lead guitarist Todd jumps around as if his life depends on it, leaping over to play on the barrier every now and then.

And then there’s the point where it’s about time they played that infamous song. “We’re getting tired of this one,” says Nathan, as the starts to strum the intro to ‘If You Run’. It’s beautiful, as always, but you suddenly realise that the band have so many better songs, and it’s pleasing to see that it gets less of a good reception than the likes of ‘Locked In The Basement’.

The Boxer Rebellion return for an encore and surprise the crowd with a stunning acoustic cover of Depeche Mode’s ‘Enjoy The Silence’, which shows off Nathan’s unique and beautiful voice.

They finish with ‘The Gospel of Goro Adachi’ and then it’s time to leave the stage. It’s pretty clear that they don’t want to, but they can leave knowing that tonight’s show was possibly the best gig they have ever played. With a new album in the pipeline, there are still greater things to come.

 

 

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This was first published on Clash Magazine’s website. 

When you think of Brighton, you think of bright sunshine, deckchairs, candy floss and walks along the pier. Tonight, however, Brighton is bracing itself with blustering winds and howling rain. It’s up to Tall Ships and We Are Scientists to use their powerful synths and comedic charm to turn this evening around.

Tall Ships are playing to a home audience, and they certainly feel at ease playing at the Concorde 2. Throughout the whole tour they’ve been getting a good reception, and tonight is no exception as the crowd applaud appreciatively and offer cries of “We love you!” between songs.

With an authentic sound of their own, Tall Ships use synths and guitars to create songs that wouldn’t be out of place in an arena capacity. The melody of ‘Books’ is so catchy that all you can see are lines of people nodding their heads along to the music throughout the room. Set highlight of the evening has to be their rendition of ‘Snow’, which sees band members exchanging instruments to create a wonderfully atmospheric composition.

As the lights dim and that well-known Dirty Dancing soundtrack ‘Time Of My Life’ starts to play, those cheeky New Yorkers We Are Scientists enter the stage dancing along. From the start it’s clear that this is going to be an entertaining show, with the band beginning their set with ‘Nice Guys’ followed by old favourite ‘Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt’. As soon as the first few notes are played, the whole venue starts jumping up and down. Chris Cain’s bass lines and Keith’s guitar riffs are infectious.

It wouldn’t be a We Are Scientists show without the typical banter that they are well known for. Tonight, Chris sports a hilarious t-shirt with the phrase “Murray Up and Get Drunk” with Keith’s head embossed in the middle. Andy seems to enjoy sitting back and watching them roll out the laughs – even he can’t help chuckling to himself.

WAS play a mixture of songs from ‘With Love and Squalor’, ‘Brain Thrust Mastery’ and ‘Barbara’. Songs such as ‘This Scene is Dead’ and ‘Inaction’ get a brilliant response, as do newer songs such as ‘Jack & Ginger’ with its upbeat tempo and sing-a-long chorus.

Finishing their set with ‘After Hours’, the lyrics “Say won’t you stay” ring throughout the Concorde. With what they offer in entertainment value, the only problem is that there are not enough hours in the day for We Are Scientists shows. The only resolve is that there will be plenty more to come in the future, I’m sure.

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After what can only be described as a triumphant set at Glastonbury, U2 were ready to rejoin their final leg of the US tour. While the band were headlining the pyramid stage, people had begun to queue in Nashville for a concert that was going to happen days later.

U2 had only played Nashville once before on the Joshua Tree, when they were starting to turn into the massive band that they are now. There was a lot of anticipation for this gig, people had waited for over 20 years for the band to return and now it was actually happening. the venue was vanderbuilt University stadium, the same venue they had played on their debut performance in Nashville. According to a local, they had wanted to play a bigger venue that belonged to the Tennesee Titans however the Titans declined as they didn’t want their pitch ruined. Honestly I am thankful, it was the smallest venue I had seen the band play in for years, it seems fitting that their most intimate gig would be in Nashville.

And so on a hot Summer’s evening, the familiar Space Odyssey starts to play and the lights dim. the crowd are about to be treated to one of the biggest shows on earth. Starting with Even Better Than The Real Thing, the crowd are captivated as the claw comes to life and those mega Irish rockers go straight into the hits, following on with The Fly and Mysterious Ways. It is almost the same set as Glastonbury, but in this case, the crowd had already been won over.

There can’t really be a gig in Nashville without paying tribute to Johnny Cash and tonight, Bono pays a fitting tribute by performing The Wanderer, a song the band have never performed live before. It is beautiful and the crowd are loving it. there have been a couple of gigs that I have been to where Bono’s voice hasn’t been the best but tonight it is ultimate perfection. there’s a big cheer as he finishes the song and talks about the time he spent with Johnny and June.

Surprise songs included Miss Sarajevo which was highly impressive, everyone whooping and cheering as Bono hits those high notes and of course the oh so beautiful Stay which almost acts as a nice intermission between all of the energetic, well known hits.

They return to the stage and start with a snippet of Amazing Grace. as a visitor in  this part of the world it felt amazing to be stood in a stadium with 40,000 Americans singing their heart out. In my mind, there was no where else I would rather be.

The band then hit us with ‘with or without you’. when they play that song you know the gig is coming to a close. It always gets me when you heard everyone singing along to the ohs at the end. Bono and co feel this too as they all look like they don’t want to leave.

Just as you think it’s over, you see Bono point at someone in the crowd and ask “what do you want to play?” and yes for all those u2 haters it sounds hillarious but Bono gets a blind man up onstage. Apparently he wants to sing a song for his wife Andrea. the rest of the band have already gone offstage but come back looking somewhat bemused. The man is given bono’s guitar to play and so he starts to strum. Bono gets him to keep going and so he begins to sing along, Larry gets back on the drums and Adam puts his bass back on and the audience are treated to all I want is you by u2 and their special guest with his face beaming. The song finishes and bono shocks everyone by saying to him “you can keep the guitar.”

And so the night ends with that really, what an amazing band, what an amazing crowd and what an amazing town. The band give one final wave and promise they won’t leave it long until they are back again. And this time, no one seems to doubt them.

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You’ve all probably seen it, that annoying Facebook challenge where every day you have to pick a song matching up to that statement? Well I did think about doing it, but i’m really bad with anything that requires dedication especially remembering to do something every day for 30 days. But I looked at the first one. Your favourite song ever. It made me think. What is my favourite song?

Here it is:

It hasn’t always been my favourite song but over the past couple of months where i’ve been travelling and thinking about life generally, this seems to have some kind of deep meaning. It’s such a raw and beautiful song and then of course it goes straight into rebellion which on the album is one of my favourite parts – the transition between the two is so perfect, it actually makes me smile with glee. No jokes.

So yes. Favourite song. If anyone wants to comment on their favourite song then that would be awesome 🙂

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Hey you! Yeah you! Haters! Stop hating! Why? I’m about to tell you why!

You all probably groaned when you heard that U2 would be headlining Glastonbury. I guess it wasn’t really a surprise that U2 would be headlining the well known festival and let’s face it U2 and Coldplay are hardly controversial headliners.

People always complain about U2 mainly because of Bono. Yeah he’s a bit of a wally and he can go on a bit from time to time but you’ve got to remember he donates loads of money to charity and helped set up the aids charity RED. Which if you think about is pretty good. When Hurricane Katrina came along, U2 and Green Day made that massive record which helped generate a lot of money for the area. So they’re pretty much all round good guys.

Enough about them. They also make pretty amazing songs too. There’s something anthemic about their songs especially their older songs from The Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby. Just imagine over 100,000 people singing along to With or Without You. Doesn’t it make you want to squeal with excitement just a little bit?

Also, they’ve got so many songs to choose from. Okay, they’re going to have to do some of their new stuff but bearing in mind they’re performing to some people who have never seen them before, it’s pretty much going to be a greatest hits set. But even then, there’s still a lot to choose from so their set is really unpredictable!

Last year when The Edge appeared with Muse it was one of the most talked about performances of the weekend. The moment that familiar riff started and the rather small man with a hat on walked onto the stage and the crowd started to cheer one of the biggest cheers I have ever heard. AMAZING. Just think, that was for one band member, imagine what it would be like for all four!

It seems the band are really looking forward to it especially after having to cancel their appearance last year. It’s the band’s first ever festival headlining slot and could be their only. The crowd will get to see their show cut back to the traditional four guys on a stage instead of a giant claw and it will be interesting to see how that comes across live. You know what i’m looking forward to? I Still haven’t found what i’m looking for. I bet you a tenner the crowds will be singing it all the way back to their tents.

 

 

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So I have moved to Hong Kong for almost 6 months as part of a university exchange. Needless to say i’m having the time of my life making new friends, seeing new things and er singing in Karaoke bars.

But if someone asked me if there was anything I missed about home apart from my family it would be the British music scene. Now when we’re there we complain about R&B music taking over the charts and the rise of Simon Cowell. But does it really matter when we have such an incredible music scene? A place where Arcade Fire can win two Brits, Muse can play on podiums above crowds and Kasabian can tell Kings of Leon to ‘eff off.

Yes i’m being nostalgic, some gigs can be full of complete twats who manage to irritate everyone else in the crowd, some bands are terrible, but when you go to a place that doesn’t really seem to care about music and the cost of a ticket to see MGMT is £48 you begin to realise how privaleged we really are. Bands seem to skip Hong Kong and head for Japan or strangely….Manilla. The last people to come here were Gorillaz and that was in December, there aren’t any UK acts coming to Hong Kong until at least May. Can you imagine not being able to see live music for months? The idea of that shocks me and i’m getting some serious withdrawal symptoms. HELP ME?

I didn’t get to see the Brit awards or the Grammys because they weren’t televised on here. And it seems that not many people watched the Brit awards in the UK – ITVs worst ranking of the awards ever with 4.8m people tuning into watch Adele burst into tears and Mumford wow the crowd with their acoustic performance. It makes you wonder if we really do take our music scene for granted or do we really care?

Honestly, as a music fan, blogger and kind of journalist I think we should take a look at all of the new talents emerging from Britain such as James Blake and the ever so powerful Adele and realise that we should be proud of our music scene –  place where you can see bands for free and you can see amazing bands for as little as a fiver. Next time your favourite band comes to your town and you think it’s a little expensive? Think of Hong Kong – a place where fireworks and lasers rule and music is lost.

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That’s right. The Kills NOT the Killers. Don’t mix those two up!

The Kills are made up of Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince. They formed after Alison heard him playing guitar from her hotel room below Jamie’s. They jammed for a while and decided that they liked the stuff they played. The only trouble was, Jamie lived in England and Alison lived in the US. For months they sent demo tapes to each other with ideas for songs until eventually Alison had enough and was ready to make the move to the UK.

The best Kills album has to be Midnight Boom. At the time it was a breath of fresh air and really established The Kills as a duo not to be reckoned with. Highlights on the album are Last day of Magic, Sour Cherry and Cheap and Cheerful. The Kills are very simplistic, a drum track, guitars and Alison’s voice. There’s something about its minor imperfections that make the album slightly addictive. After the first play you’ll want to play it all over again.

Now you’ve probably heard of them before and are wondering why I’m talking about them as if they’re new. Well they haven’t released anything since 2007 as they both went off to do other things. One of those other things was Alison’s involvement in The Dead Weather with White Stripes (RIP) cool dude Jack White.  They were pretty awesome and managed to make and release two albums in the space of a year.

But now the Kills are ready to come back with their fourth studio album entitled Blood Pressures. The album is released worldwide on April 4th and in the United States April 5th. They’ve just put out their video for their new single Satellites on Youtube. The video was directed by Sophie Muller and follows Alison and Jamie on a road trip along the English coast in a vintage Rolls Royce.

Take a look here:

Again the Kills really don’t disappoint. And luckily you can see them on tour. Take a look at their website to see if they’re visiting you on their tour. Also you should check out their website because their photos are beautiful.

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