Ok, so I’ve got the tools but lets talk about the music..
Last time I finished off with a sound of the East Coast from the New York/Brooklyn area from 80s influenced Twin Shadow and this time I’m kicking off with a sound of the West Coast. Not only are Funeral Party not as dark as their name suggests, but they also intimate that ‘New York moves to the sound of LA’ (where they are from) on their soon to be re-released single of the same name. I got to chat to them first up back in October prior to the release of second single Just Because, where they told me a bit about their debut album ‘The Golden Age of Knowhere’, the title track is also their favourite off the album and they reckoned it would make my ears melt.. I can confirm my ears didn’t melt.. but what about yours??
It was great to finally get to see the guys tearing it up live at a gig full of young ‘uns in Academy 3. They played an action packed indie-punk set and the kids? well… they loved it!
The following weekend was one of those where I wish I could clone myself into three and capture the best live line ups in Manchester for the night, First up there was the Friends of Mine Festival taking place at Jabez Clegg, I managed to catch a few bands including the ska tones of the fantastic Janice Graham Band, and despite a replacement bass and some sound problems I loved dancing along to Beat The Radar’s latest single Animals. Unfortunately I had to make a sharp exit, as I had to head to Gullivers to meet up with Leeds finest Eagulls.
They were recently selected and undertook a session for Radio 1 for Huw Stephens and it’s fair to say that Eagulls have been thrust into the limelight and are a little ill-prepared for it. You can probably imagine that after a few months of interviews and press a band tend to fall into the groove of who are the good talkers, what kind of things they like talking about and generally how to sell themselves to the best effect. The raw, edgy and frankly a bit mad interview with the lads showed they were a bit inexperienced, talking over each other and generally being quite boisterous. I’m all for bands being a bit far out, Infact I find that quite interesting, but when i’m stood there thinking do I believe you or are you talking a load of broken biscuits interspersed with shed loads of swear words?? then you’ve probably pushed things a little too far..
If only I knew then what I know now…
I left the guys to it to go and catch up with an old friend over at Night and Day who was Tour Managing for the adorable Allo Darlin’. It’s fair to say I’m a bit of a Fortuna Pop fan.. Bearsuit, Shrag, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart and Allo Darlin’.. they really do spoil us. What I loved about this gig was the stark difference to an Allo Darlin’ gig I attended exactly a year ago when they played the Friends of Mine festival, they played a storming set upstairs in KRO bar to myself, Dan PYT, Holly IHP and another ten-ish people..
This Night and Day gig was sold out, it was packed to the rafters, it was elbows in the ribs times and yet I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face, its great to be humbled and proud of just how far a band has come in a year without the use of rock n roll behaviour, bad language or any other headline grabbing antics.. just pure quality indie-pop at its best..
But then the finale, what to say, THERE ARE NO WORDS. There are only two videos of Eagulls on youtube.. neither of them are live videos and I can understand why, anyone who sees them live must be as transfixed as I was… it was simply one of those gigs where you couldn’t tear your eyes away from the action incase you missed something, let alone get out your bloody camera! They were literally playing a gig in the middle of the crowd, running around on peoples shoulders from one side of Gullivers to the other. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many shocked faces in my life, but you know what? those shocked faces loved every second of it.. I kinda wished I’d scheduled the interview for after the live show as I would have understood them a bit more, but I guess this is what music and media is all about, expect the unexpected.. and Eagulls certainly delivered on that score. Latest single Council Flat Blues:
Onto the NME Awards Tour.. another night where you just HAD to be in two places at once, so I made an executive decision, The Vaccines, Everything Everything, The Chapman Family and The Joy Formidable. The odd NME reader of you will have noted that neither of the last two bands were on the NME Awards Tour, but in my view they were a better line up than Magnetic Man and Crystal Castles who I’ve seen previously. It was ace to see triple brown belt Freddie and Justin of The Vaccines again, some journalists have said its not innovative but does it really have to be? It’s quality tuneage and their live set here again proved that. But in all fairness Everything Everything in their co-ordinating boiler suits stepped things up into a different stratosphere with a blinding set of energetic pumping electro-indie showing how far they have come since the last NME tour they opened on last year. Man Alive Orchestra or no orchestra, these guys have it all..
The night certainly belonged to them and The Joy Formidable, with debut full length album ‘The Big Roar’ only just hitting the shelves the week of the gig, Ritzy and co were on fire! I managed to catch up with them to chat about exactly why its taken their debut album so long to come to fruition, imagery from the Amazon Basin and Ritzys love of teddy bears..she’s hard though YEAH?! she pulls their heads off and stuff them in TJF’s laptop.. haha.. Keep tuning in to my show to hear the interview in full.
I love a good roadtrip, it blows the cobwebs out and reminds me that there is so much more going on in our country than just Manchester and Salford. They also scare me senseless when I have to drive to Sheffield though, who designed the Snake Pass exactly? We made it to Sheffield in one piece entertained on the way by the latest Frankie and The Heartstrings podcast and I don’t think I’ve been that excited about a gig in ages. The reason for my excitement? The best line up from start to finish.. EVA!
Kicking off with Fixers, followed by Trophy Wife and culminating in Esben & The Witch. A blinding if not diverse line up, I was looking forward to seeing all of the bands, but in particular Trophy Wife who I’ve been dying to see live for a few months now and they literally got me in the car and over to Sheffield for an interview as I couldn’t bear the wait any longer to see them. Boy did I make the right decision..
Sounds speak louder than words..
Trophy Wife’s new single (Double A Side)
Esben & The Witch
This is truly the blog that keeps on giving (note to self: try not to write up 2 months of gigs in 1 blog post!) and for that reason there will be a part 3.. Expect Frankie & The Heartstrings, Crocodiles, Wolf People, Miles Kane, Trojan Horse, The Answering Machine and Blind Atlas and some of the tunes I cannot get enough of right now!!
.. A girls work is never done right?!