Tame Impala Live Review – Manchester Albert Hall 12/07/2014

 

As we all waited in the dank clammy heat of the Albert Hall, you could tell there was lots of anticipation for this gig. The sold out church setting was the perfect venue for Tame Impala and the atmosphere in the room was electric. Around me people were bopping with excitement and one girl squealed from a sudden rush of thrill. Also the variety of accents was really surprising. From Ireland to Somerset then way back up to Liverpool, it was evident that people had travelled from all over to get here tonight.

The support came from Australian solo artist D.D Dumbo. This was his second ever UK show and I can see why he was a big hit at SXSW. His short set was only preformed by himself and consisted of him using multiple instruments and a loop pedal. There is no doubt that his fusion of blues and folk will become really popular in the next couple of months and I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw some more UK dates cropping up in the near future.

After a sweaty 40 minute wait, Tame Impala walked on stage to a slow down version of Elton John’s ‘Can You Feel The Love Tonight’ with bubble guns that they fired into the crowd. From there Tame Impala preformed a spellbinding 17 song long set that included tracks from both of their albums and a track they introduced as a “new jam that we’ve been working on, it’s an instrumental so just dance”.

If I could summarise what the set was like in a phrase then it would be that it was like we entered Kevin Parker’s mind and he took us on a guided tour. From the extended jams and trippy patterns on the backdrop, Tame Impala captured the crowd completely and showed off how talented they all actually are as musicians.

It’s hard to pick any highlights from the gig as every moment was so faultless. It Is Not Meant To Be prompted a mass sing along as it swirled around the room whilst Elephant resulted in multiple crowdsurfers as everyone bounced around like irrational maniacs.

 

Half Full Glass Of Wine was Tame’s oldest track to appear on the set and, despite having a slightly different sound to the rest of the songs that they played, it fitted in perfectly. The 60s inspired riff reverberated throughout the venue and gave the gig a real blues-esque vibe to it.

 

Just before Tame Impala left the stage for the first time they played Apocalypse Dreams. The second half of the track was magical. The synths were euphoric and full of colour as they spiralled out of control. This went on for what seemed like a lifetime and it was perfection.

 

Tame then returned for a three song encore that consisted of Auto Prog III, Feels Like We Only Go Backwards and Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Could Control. These continued the brilliance that they had already displayed to us throughout the gig and finished off the night perfectly.

This wasn’t just a normal gig, it was a showcase of Kevin Parker’s enormous talent. He’s a true musician who takes so much pride in what he’s doing. If you ever get a chance to go and see Tame Impala play live then I totally recommend that you do because it’s such a surreal experience.

Setlist below

Be Above It, Solitude Is Bliss, Sestri Levante, Why Won’t You Make Up Your Mind?, It Is Not Meant to Be, Why Won’t They Talk to Me?, Elephant, Endors Toi, Oscilly, Mind Mischief, Half Full Glass of Wine, New Jam, Alter Ego, Apocalypse Dreams

Encore:

Auto-Prog III, Feels Like We Only Go Backwards, Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Could Control

Liam Egan

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Tripwires Interview

The other day I had the pleasure of talking to the UK Shoegaze band Tripwires and they were so kind to answer some questions about their upcoming second album. Enjoy!

Last time we spoke you said you were demoing and writing new tracks. Is this still the case? and how far along are you with writing album number 2?

We’ve now started recording the album, however a lot of the parts will be the original recordings from when they were very first written. That’s how this next album differs from Spacehopper; it will have been recorded piece by piece over a long period of time with some parts recorded in our bedrooms in London and others in Berlin. We never planned to do it this way but some things are just too hard to re-record… you’ll never love a second version of a song as much as the first.

In June you released a new track titled ‘Total Fascination Stuff’, how did that come about?

This was simply one of the first tracks we wrote after releasing Spacehopper and it turned out to be a good indication of what we wanted to do next. It’s very much tied into the video where we’ve included many of the people who were around us when it was written. This is why it will always stay very sentimental to us.

 

Being a Shoegaze band and with classic 90s Shoegaze bands such as Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine returning to the music scene, is there any Shoegaze bands in particular that you’d like to see return?

We don’t listen to much Shoegaze these days but we’d have to say that a Ride reformation would be pretty cool. We were very happy to see Slowdive return too. We somehow missed their London show in May so hoping to see them next time.
What bands are you currently listening to?

A lot of Angel Olsen, Women, Viet Cong, Parquet Courts and Chad Vangaalen…

 

Thank you again to Tripwires for taking their time answer my questions. If you want to check them out then their debut Spacehopper is out now and i’ll put links to their social media accounts below.

https://www.facebook.com/tripwiresmusic?fref=ts

http://www.twitter.com/tripwires

http://www.soundcloud.com/tripwires

http://www.tinfoilskin.tumblr.com

 

Liam Egan

Glastonbury 2014 – Our Favourite Acts of the Weekend

 

So it’s been a over a week since Glastonbury finished and life has returned to normal. The weekend was full of stellar acts ranging from blues rock heavyweight The Black Keys to the dream filled vibes of Warpaint. Unfortunately I was one of the many unlucky ones who didn’t get to pitch their tent at Worthy Farm and hand to experience Glastonbury at home. I dedicated that whole weekend to watching Glastonbury and I thought I’d voice my opinion on which acts were the best of the weekend.  Obviously I couldn’t watch every act and there were some acts who weren’t streamed online e.g. Lucy Rose, TOY, Spector; so this is just consisting of the acts I’ve managed to watch. So here are my 6 favourite acts of the weekend.

Arcade Fire – Before Glastonbury even started I knew Arcade Fire would make the list. Over the years Arcade Fire have built a reputation for being one of the best live bands around and this was no different in their headline performance on Friday night. They brought the party to Glastonbury with a setlist that spanned across their four studio albums. You could tell Win Butler and co wanted to be there as they put everything into their performance. Highlights of the set include their masterpiece of a track Rebellion(Lies) and the mass crowd participation during set closer Wake Up. Arcade Fire continue to impress as a festival headliner and I hope I get to see them in the not so distant future, full UK tour anyone???  

Jungle – Every year there is numerous artists that various music publications claim to be the next big thing and are hyped up to a point where when the artist finally releases a record it’s a complete disappointment. This year is no different and the band that’s on majority of these lists is musical duo Jungle. We’re still waiting for their debut full length so we haven’t experienced the disappointment yet but from this Glastonbury performance I think they are actually living up to the hype. Already released tracks such as The Heat were received amazingly by the crowd and their track Busy Earnin’ was sublime. Everything about it was perfectly executed and, well just watch below and judge for yourself. “But Liam, what about their unreleased tracks that they preformed??”, well they guess what? they were awesome aswell.

Jagwar Ma – Personally Jagwar Ma are one of the best bands I’ve ever seen live. Back in May I saw them at Acadamy 2 in Manchester and it was absolutely fantastic. Everyone was dancing and it was like a 90s rave. However at Glastonbury they were playing at about the same time as Robert Plant and Courtney Barnett, who both attracted massive crowds. Luckily loads still came to see Jagwar Ma and had a good old dance it the pouring rain. Jagwar Ma played a set that was full moments where the crowd just absolutely lost it. The highlight was Come Save Me, which they played for a staggering 8 minutes. The drops were, no better way of putting it, orgasmic. Also Stella Mogzawa from Warpaint played on the drums for three of the tracks, which was a nice Glastonbury touch.

Kasabian – The second headliner to make the list are Kasabian. Personally, I think they smashed it. I’m glad they didn’t just focus on tracks from 48:13 and decided to play material from all their albums. Flares were going off every second and Kasabian certainly proved they are at headline status. Also during the track Vlad The Impaler, Noel Fielding came on stage dressed as Vlad. Who’d of thought it, Noel Fielding headlining Glastonbury…

Bombay Bicycle Club – Prior to watching their Glastonbury performance, I had never seen Bombay play live. I sort of had an idea what they’d be like live and they totally surpassed that. Playing a set that mostly consisted of tracks from their latest record, with a few classics thrown in, Bombay delivered a set that was covered in festival vibes. They also brought Lucy Rose and Rae Morris for a couple of songs and created this perfect atmosphere. Bombay themselves really went for it as well and you could tell how much this slot meant to them, I can honestly see them headlining a major festival one day.

The Horrors – The final band on the list are The Horrors. Disappointingly they didn’t play at night so the mood wasn’t just right but it didn’t stop them putting on an amazing performance. The set was dominated by tracks from Luminous and Primary Colours, with Still Life being the only track played from Skying. They also included their cover of the late Frankie Knuckles track Your Love. To top if all of we got to see the fabled Pyramid Synth in action.

 

So there we have it, my favourite acts of Glastonbury. If you think there are any artists that should be included on the list then comment below, I’d love to hear what people thought.

Liam Egan

‘alt-J (∆) – Left Hand Free’ Track Review

 

Last month I reviewed alt-J (∆)’s new track ‘Hunger Of The Pine’. A track which included Miley Cyrus and the heavy use of horns, which resulted in a song that this grand epic feel to it. Whack in a hip hop beat and you get an alt-J (∆) that has grown up and continues to impress. For a more in depth review check out my review of it here https://nothingleftunsaidblog.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/alt-j-%E2%88%86-hunger-of-the-pine-track-review/.

Now alt-J (∆) have released another track off their upcoming album ‘This Is All Yours’ in the form of ‘Left Hand Free’. ‘Left Hand Free’, much like ‘Hunger Of The Pine’, is a different sound to what we’ve come to expect from alt-J (∆). This worked well with ‘Hunger Of The Pine’ but I’m afraid to say it’s not worked as well for ‘Left Hand Free’. Since it’s release earlier today it has been compared to The Black Keys for numerous reasons. It has this 70’s blues vibe to it that has been associated with The Black Keys over the years. However there are elements that sound like tracks off Django Django’s debut, like ‘Hail Bop’ and ‘Default’.

But enough of comparisons, let’s talk about the track itself. According to the band, the track was written in 20 minutes to appease their American label because they believed that ‘Hunger Of The Pine’ wasn’t good enough. It begins with twanging guitars that seem peculiar to be part of alt-J (∆)’s music. The vocals from frontman Joe Newman sound like they are being played through an old record player. They have a crackly vintage sound to them, just like the tracks off Jake Bugg’s debut or the hidden track ‘Hand-Made’ off alt-J (∆)’s album ‘An Awesome Wave’. It’s like the track has been given an an Instagram filter placed on it to make it sound old. The guitars then turn into a sequence of chords that play throughout which give it’s Django Django feel. Then around the 1.35 mark we have a ‘keyboard solo’ (they’ve got to be ‘quirky’ somewhere, it’s alt-J (∆) for god’s sake). Then transformed into elongated synths which are accompanied by a smattering of drums. These lead into the final part of the track which mirrors what we heard earlier in the track and finishes with a rather abrupt ending.

Alt-J (∆)’s attempt at trying to please an American audience falls short in comparison to ‘Hunger of The Pine’. It’s a good song but it just lacks that alt-J (∆) vibe to it. ‘Hunger Of The Pine’, despite being different, still remained alt-J (∆) at it’s core. Left Hand Free’s lack of atmosphere is where I think it falls down. I think personally that alt-J (∆) should ignore their American label and just create music that they want to. Even though it’s not their best, it’s still a brilliant track.

These two different sounds that alt-J (∆) have shown us has got me even more excited for their album, as I can’t wait to see what other sounds they’ve experimented with. ‘This Is All Yours’ is out the 22nd of September and you can listen to ‘Left Hand Free’ below.

 

Liam Egan

 

Holograms Interview

 

The other day I had the pleasure of talking to the frontman of Swedish post-punk outfit Holograms Andreas Lagerström and he kindly answered some on my questions. Let’s crack on shall we?

In 2012 you released Holograms and in 2013 you released Forever, are we likely to see a third album this year or will we have to wait abit longer than usual?

We have already recorded an EP last Winter. These songs are quite different from the two albums, I don’t know when it’s going to be released. We’re working on artwork right now. I don’t think we are doing an album any time soon as we are a little tired creatively if you know what i mean.

Earlier this year you teamed up with Beach Fossils’ Dustin Payseur and Wild Nothing’s Jack Tatum to form the group The Snow for Record Store Day, how did that come about? was the recording process any different to the way you’d usually record tracks with Holograms?

I met Dustin in Paris in 2012 and really hit off. I love him a lot, he has great taste in music and is an all around great guy. He sent me some tracks that summer and asked if I wanted to record some vocals on them so I did it in my bedroom here in Stockholm. I had now no idea that Jack played Bass on the track then.

You’re signed to Captured Tracks, how does it feel to be signed to a label that’s roster consists of such great artist such as Mac DeMarco and DIIV?

We don’t really reflect on it too much and try to do our own thing. We met Mac in Stockolm once and he was great and cool.

Which song/songs do you like preforming live the most? and why?

Right now I like performing new songs that the audience hasn’t heard. I want to see their reaction, sometimes they love it and sometimes they hate it which is ok too.

You’ve grown quite substantial fanbases here in the UK and the US, what’s the reception been like in Sweden?

I still don’t know. In Sweden people are not really celebrated for “making it” so you don’t know if you’ve made it or if people like you. Sometimes people stare at me.

What artists are you currently listening to?

Robbie Basho, Lower, IBV(Video below), Jaqcueline Du Pré

 

Finally, can we see a Hologram tour coming to the UK anytime soon?

Probably, but I don’t know when!

 

 

Thanks again to Andreas for taking the time to answer the questions.

‘Grimes – Go feat. Blood Diamonds’ Track Review

 

It’s about time we heard some new music from Grimes right? After her amazing album Visions that she released back in 2012, we’ve been waiting desperately for more (well I have anyway). Well wait no more because she’s back with a new track called Go, which features musician Blood Diamonds.

Straight away you realise Grimes is taking a new approach. The vocals are clearer and it doesn’t sound like Grimes in all honesty. Grimes sings her way into a trap drop that with no doubt will be embraced by the mainstream. I’m not saying it’s a band thing because, as dance tracks go, this certainly is  good one. It’s incredibly polished and the production value is brilliant. Go will be insane live and I hope to see it one day but I just feel a tad disappointed by it.  If I had heard Go and not been told it was by Grimes then I wouldn’t have known it was one of her tracks. I know artists should develop their sound but Go at times sound like too much of a change from Visions and her previous work. Grimes shouldn’t have to rely on trap drops and such, she’s a good enough musician without them. I don’t know, this whole situation has got me confused but the more I listen to Go the more I like it. I’m sure the rest of her new album, scheduled for next year, will be amazing and by then I may love Go.

But hey this is just one man’s opinion and I’m sure lots of Grimes’ fans are happy. Listen to Go below, which also features a download link.

Liam Egan

 

 

 

 

‘Black Honey – Sleep Forever (Demo)’ Track Review

 

Black Honey were first brought to my attention only a couple of hours ago by Owen Riddle (fellow musical enthusiast who writes for the blog Don’t Look Down… at the URL http://musicandotherthingz.com, should check him out).

Sleep Forever is the debut track from English band Black Honey and , from early indications, I can’t wait for what else they have in store for us.  The track begins with a guitar twanging away in what feels like desolate surroundings which, with no doubt, will be compared to Lana Del Rey tracks such as Blue Jeans. Then the lead female vocals swoop in and are sung so naturally by the vocalist that it just oozes cool and everything sounds unbelievably tranquil.  They reverberate through the air and totally captivate you. At the 2:40 mark the instrumentation takes control and creates this musical interlude that has an ethereal quality to it and it’s truly wonderful. The simple melodies of the shimmering guitars and uncomplicated percussion grip you and it leaves you wanting more.

A lot of people are going to be comparing Black Honey to Lana Del Rey and I don’t think that’s really fair because Black Honey have, in my opinion, created a track that’s better than anything Lana Del Rey has ever produced. Also did I mention, it’s only a demo. Now that’s really exciting.

Liam Egan