All posts by hmcaiger

Live Review: 2000 Trees Festival 2017

Independent music festival, 2000 Trees, was set in the rolling hills of the Cotswolds between the 6th and 9th July 2017. 

The weekend was an eventful one to say the least. Sun, cider and good music filled both the days and the nights, accompanied by the campsite antics only a festival can offer. Aside from the fantastic bands, the chants of ‘oh Jerermy Corbyn’ could be heard repeatedly as festival goers enjoyed one of the best up and coming festivals around.

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Thursday allowed the chance to hear headliners Mallory Knox. The quintet from Cambridgeshire certainly packed the Cave stage, as the audience well as truly embraced the ‘shout at the moon’ attitude. As I arrived late into the evening, I missed most of the other acts, however I did manage to catch a glimpse of Young Guns as they disappeared off stage.

Friday delivered more sunshine, sweat and most importantly, quality music. Deaf Havana have been one of my favourite bands for a while now, and their set-list certainly did not disappoint. Having left the song choices down to a Facebook poll, many older ‘classics’ were performed, particularly from their album ‘Fools and Worthless Liars’. One of the best moments for me, as I am sure it was for a lot of other people, was when frontman James Veck-Gilodi broke into the legendary ‘Cigarettes and Alcohol’ by Oasis, after their song ‘Nicotine and Alcohol’ was incorrectly named on the poll.

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The Wonder Years – the band I was most excited to see at 2000 Trees – played next. The crowd was raring to go and instantly pits opened up for the pop-punk tunes. They delivered, in my opinion, a fantastic set-list, with songs spanning across all their albums.

Due to the incredible heat on Friday, I spent much of the day in the acoustic forest sessions. Here, James Veck-Gilodi performed prior to Deaf Havana’s main slot. Frank Carter also played a great acoustic performance, ending on ‘I Hate You’ – undoubtedly my favourite song by the infamous Rattlesnakes.

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Another notable mention from Friday is Ducking Punches who had the privilege of opening the main stage. Despite a heavy Thursday night, a large crowd arrived to support the 5-piece. A special mention goes out to Dan Allen for delivering a particularly moving speech concerning mental health before playing ‘Six Years’.

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Saturday delivered yet more sunshine, cider and more unusually, a wedding (that I had been invited to at some point on the Thursday evening)!

Saturday’s array of bands topped off the weekend. Gnarwolves, Lower Than Atlantis and Slaves were my highlights of the day, but others such as Fizzy Blood and Get Inuit certainly added to that final day buzz. Slaves ended the main-stage music in such a manner that involved the whole crowd moshing and moving to every song, previously knowing them or not.

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What deserves a special shout out is the seriously good Silent Disco that went on between 11.30pm and 3.00am on Friday and Saturday night, across two stages. The Main Stage delivered a pop soundtrack to dance along to, or so I am informed, as I spent my 7 hours at The Cave. Here the headphones blared out a mixture of metal, pop-punk and rock; anything from Slipknot to Panic! At The Disco, to Limp Bizkit and New Found Glory!

There was no denying that the sauna-like tents or ridiculous sunburn hurt, but honestly, the sun provided a much needed change from the normal damp and dreary weather found at British festivals.

2000 Trees delivered a spectacular variety of talent; both new and old. The friendly staff, safe environment and unrivalled line-up has well as truly convinced me, a first time 2000 Trees attendee, to return in 2018 (I have already got my ticket!).

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2018 tickets can be brought here.

 

Written by Harriet / @yellowdaffodilx

NEW MUSIC: PLAY ME – BABY STRANGE

Glasgow trio ‘Baby Strange’ released their debut album ‘Want It Need It’ last year, and now they’ve just provided us with another taste of what’s to come with the release of their latest single, ‘Play Me’.

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‘Play Me’, the second single to be taken from the EP, has followed in the successful footsteps of ‘Motormind’, providing 2 minutes and 28 seconds of intense rock ‘n’ roll. The band seems to be looking to step things up, with new music due in July and some new shows on the cards.

‘Play Me’ brings all the essential elements together to make it a promising contender to be a brilliant live track. The electric riffs and underlying rumbling bass, combined with the punk-style vocals, creates a dynamic demonstration of everything this band has to offer.

‘Baby Strange’ possess an unmatchable ability to finish their tracks on such a sudden end that it simply leaves you wanting more. Previously observed on material such as ‘Want It Need It’ and ‘Distance Yourself’, ‘Play Me’ continues this trend.

Their fierce, punk attitude and raw talent, as well as their electric live performance, sets them up to be one of Scotland’s most exciting talents.

Catch them on their upcoming tour:

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Written by Harriet / @yellowdaffodilx

NEW MUSIC: YOUR LOVE – THE MAGIC GANG

Brighton four-piece, ‘The Magic Gang’, have recently released their latest single ‘Your Love’, premiered on BBC Radio 1.

The band only released one single in 2015 – ‘No Fun’ with its flip-side ‘Alright’ – but by nabbing a spot supporting the reputable ‘Wolf Alice’ and ‘Swim Deep’, they were helped in securing a place on the lists of ‘2016 ones to watch’.

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Since then, ‘The Magic Gang’ have embarked on their own headline tour, as well as supporting the incredible ‘Circa Waves’, arguably enlarging their ever growing fan-base even further.

Live, ‘The Magic Gang’ are phenomenal; capturing the attention of any audience as they put on a fun, upbeat performance.

‘Your Love’ was premiered on Mistajam’s BBC Radio 1 show on Tuesday night and since then has gained considerable support. The catchy chorus and somewhat relatable lyrics, combined with that little something that only the ‘The Magic Gang’ can bring, makes for an incredible track.

“Got a lot of things to do, like talk to you.”

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Their infectious feel-good alt-rock, reminiscent of bands such as ‘Blossoms’, is perfect music to kick back and relax to in the sunshine.

‘The Magic Gang’ are heading all over the place this summer, with festival appearances all over the place, and even one headline show. Catch them in the UK in:

July

  • 1st – Barn On The Farm
  • 12th – Tunbridge Wells, Forum (headline show)
  • 16th – Latitude
  • 22nd – Truck Festival
  • 23rd – Tramlines Festival
  • 28th – Y Not Festival

August

  • 23rd – Guildford, Boileroom (headline show)
  • 25th – Reading Festival (NME / BBC Radio 1 Stage)
  • 26th – Leeds Festival (NME / BBC Radio 1 Stage)

September

  • 10th – Bestival

Written by Harriet / @yellowdaffodilx

NEW MUSIC: LET ME LOVE YOU – COASTS

Five-piece ‘Coasts’ from Bristol have just released their latest single ‘Let Me Love You’, another taste of new music after their debut album.

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Previously, ‘Coasts’ have been said to have several huge feel-good hits, such as ‘Oceans’, which was released in 2014. The single received support from Greg James and Huw Stephens on BBC Radio 1, earning them a place on the line up for Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Glasgow. The band followed this up with a sold out show at Dingwalls in Camden, and were then named as iTunes ‘Ones to Watch’ in July 2014.

In 2015, they headlined London’s Scala and KOKO. They performed at Californian music festival Coachella in April, and played the Reading and Leeds Festivals in the UK in August.

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Their debut album, ‘Coasts’, was released in January 2016 and received mixed reviews. Their music provided many a daytime radio banger, but on the other hand, it seemed everything unique about the band had been squeezed out and replaced with one-dimensional hits, sounding just too similar to one another.

Upon the release of ‘Let Me Love You’, similar thoughts have been echoed; critics unsure on whether the catchy lyrics and upbeat rhythms outweigh the ‘just another pop-rock song’ feeling.

Whatever your opinion on the quality of the music itself, it is undeniably a summer sing-a-long hit, perfect for those lazy days in the sun.

‘Coasts’ are heading out on a UK tour soon if you want to check them out:

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Written by Harriet / @yellowdaffodilx

NEW MUSIC: BEAM ME UP – DARLIA

Blackpool four-piece Darlia have recently released their latest single ‘Beam Me Up’, following their last single ‘Ballad of Black & White’.

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The song was produced by Darlia’s vocalist and main songwriter Nathan Day and Frank Colucci. ‘Beam Me Up’ is about the catharsis of song writing. Nathan states, “I wrote this song because I can’t afford a therapist. I’m lucky that writing songs is a legitimate coping mechanism”.

It is clear that ‘Beam Me Up’ is a method of self-expression and unearthing emotions, as lyrics such as “I’m a broken doll” imply.

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Nathan said, “I think no one wants to talk about how they feel cos they’re scared people will judge them. Sadly, that’s part of the f**king problem. I’m scared too, but this is what that songs about – so f**k it”.

It seems like ‘Beam Me Up’ is a cry for change, for us to acknowledge people are hurting and that we need to do something about it.

Ahead of their headline tour in October, they’ll be supporting ‘Twin Atlantic’ on their UK tour in May, and will also be playing a number of festivals including:

  • The Great Escape
  • Community Festival
  • Tenement Trail

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Written by Harriet / @yellowdaffodilx

 

 

 

 

LIVE REVIEW: SUNDARA KARMA AT O2 SHEPHERD’S BUSH LONDON

Sundara Karma’s debut album ‘Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect’ emerged earlier this year; a confident and somewhat spectacular first album. Now their biggest gig to date faced them at the London venue, Shepherds Bush Empire, the stage beckoning them.

The night began with the psychedelic-rock four-piece, ‘Palm Honey’. A buzz was original created around this band after they supported YAK, yet they seem to be going from strength to strength, landing some of their own gigs later this year, as well as a confirmed festival appearance at Blissfields 2017.

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Following this, the wonderful ‘Will Joseph Cook’. His catchy, pop sound with some undoubtedly indie elements filled the room with a vibrant atmosphere, ultimately leading to a little boogie from many. His latest single ‘Beach (I Wanna Make You Mine)’ was released just days before his support to Sundara Karma, and was an instant hit amongst the crowd, with the slow build of sound at the beginning, acclimatising into an impressive hook that, although slightly repetitive in its usage of the title’s parentheses, is infectious.

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Then came the main event: Sundara Karma.

The hyped-up crowd didn’t have to wait long until Ozzy Lulu embarked onto the stage, alongside fellow band members, Haydn Ashley (drums), Ally Batty (guitar) and Dom Cordell (bass) before kick-starting their 15-track set.

Opening with ‘A Young Understanding’ hailed a great response from the crowd, as this well-loved track appeared originally in 2016, before its secondary release on their debut album.

‘Flame’ and ‘Watching From Great Heights’ were performed shortly after, two of my favourite tracks. The feeling as the crowd chanted back, “Hold my flame and set alight / Hold my fire screaming inside / Hold my flame and set alight / Hold my fire screaming inside out”, was honestly electric, and something I daresay I’ll never forget.

Although all their tracks were played with such energy and enthusiasm, and appreciated by all, I have to say their performance of ‘She Said’ was outstanding.

It was at this point that it became evident to me that their relatable lyrics, uplifting riffs and catchy choruses were essential in attracting the youthful, happy audience that they had. It becomes clear that many of the band’s songs are a perfect representation of lots of the audience members’ youth, allowing them to resonate and connect fully with their music.

The energy and enthusiasm inside the venue was like nothing I’ve ever seen before. This band, with their youthful optimism and their infectious music, bring plenty new to the table, and I am hopeful that they have more to share with us in the future.

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Sundara Karma are booked for an impressive array of festivals this summer, making it hard to miss them! Check them out at:

  • Dot to Dot
  • Barn on the Farm
  • Blissfields
  • Truck Festival
  • Y Not Festival
  • Reading and Leads

Find out more at: http://www.sundara-karma.co.uk/

 

Written by Harriet / @yellowdaffodilx

NEW MUSIC – Declan McKenna – The Kids Don’t Wanna Come Home

The 11th January 2017 saw the release of yet another amazing single by Declan McKenna: ‘The Kids Don’t Wanna Come Home’. With all new material heard, it still shocks us as to how he can deal with such difficult discussion points – transgender issues, race, religion and politics – and turn them into a song that makes you want to get up and dance, whilst opening our eyes to some of the problems in today’s society.

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Declan McKenna is an English singer, songwriter, and musician best known for winning the Glastonbury Festival’s Emerging Talent Competition in 2015. NME called him “one of the most sought-after new acts” in the United Kingdom after this win, and he was offered record deals with 40 companies, eventually ending up with Columbia records.

In August 2015, McKenna self-released his first single, ‘Brazil’. The song criticised FIFA, the governing body of association football, for awarding the FIFA World Cup to Brazil in 2014 without addressing the extensive and deep poverty affecting the people in the country. McKenna later told DIY that he wrote the song because “it’s politics and what I see in the news, and it’s just general things I feel strongly about, things happening in my life”. Ironically, one of McKenna’s later singles, ‘Isombard’, actually features on the soundtrack to the FIFA 2017 football game.

BBC News called ‘Brazil’ an extraordinarily mature song for a 16-year-old songwriter. Matt Wilkinson at NME called it “one of the best songs” of 2015, and had high praise for McKenna’s second single, ‘Paracetamol’, as well.

His latest single, ‘The Kids Don’t Wanna Come Home’, is no exception to his political fuelled writing. It is in fact, arguably the most emotionally charged song he has released to date. Written just after the Paris terror attacks, it is his response to how the youth are often excluded from political discussions in the present day.

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Here is what McKenna had to say about his latest track: “The Kids Don’t Wanna Come Home is a song I wrote about being a young person in the modern world. It’s about wanting to challenge fears and be part of a movement of change, and looking for hope despite a lot of dark and horrible things happening around the world”.

Although McKenna has been criticised for being ‘yet another indie boy with a guitar’, the messages behind his music are what makes him stand out from the crowd. His exceptional ability to put such meaning into a song is truly incredible. His 2015 single, ‘Paracetamol’, deals with issues relating to transgender and suicide awareness. In an article for The Guardian, he explained it was inspired by Leelah Alcorn, a transgender teen who felt forced into suicide due to familial pressure to conform. It was a thrilling new development that a 16-year-old boy was choosing to write about “media’s representation of LGBT communities”.fwpr-bs2

McKenna is on tour later this month and into February. Find out more about him, his tour and his music here:

Twitter: @DeclanMcKenna

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/2D4FOOOtWycb3Aw9nY5n3c

Instagram: @thedeclanmckenna

 

Written by Harriet / @yellowdaffodilx

NEW MUSIC: Honeyblood – Babes Never Die

After their explosive self-titled debut album in 2014, expectations for album number two were certainly high, but Honeyblood have certainly not fallen short.

After drummer, Shona McVicar, left the Glaswegian duo, a question on many of our minds was simple; would a two-piece survive without half of its line-up?

A couple of years on, following the release of their latest album ‘Babes Never Die’, it is evident that they not only many to survive, but have flourished. With a new drummer, Cat Myer, joining singer/guitarist Stina Tweeddale, their new album refines the sound of their first album, delivering something new which surely is enough to make them stand out from the crowd.

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“For this album, we went into the studio and said: ‘Total punk! As rock as we can get it,’” says Tweeddale, who recorded the first Honeyblood EP in her bathroom. The music on their new album is certainly heavier; more riffs, more aggression.

The title, ‘Babes Never Die’, sets out this new sound, the title itself being a metaphor for strength and resilience. They use the term “babe”, to symbolise strength; “It has a power and independence associated with it now,” says Myers. Tweedale states that ‘Babes Never Die’ is not a statement, instead a reminder to “do whatever the fuck you want”.

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In 2015, Honeyblood toured with bands such as the Foo Fighters and Wolf Alice, after which they returned to the studio to work on this album. They have also been compared with other bands such as JAWS, Hinds and Babystrange.

Personal highlights from the album for me include ‘Sea Hearts’, and the slower ‘Love Is A Disease’. The video for ‘Sea Hearts’ was released back in October, which follows a witch as she emerges from the sea and descends upon a spooky house party – some have even said it appears to have a touch of ‘Stranger Things’ to it. Embedded with energy and contagious melody, the sheer rush of the music is closely linked to one of their most thrilling lyrical works to date.

‘Love Is A Disease’ has echoes of the band ‘Wolf Alice’ running through it as it delivers a catchy chorus that is sure to stick in your mind; “I don’t need a cure, I just wanna be yours”.

So, what’s next for this duo?

Honeyblood are on tour at the end of November and start of December 2016, visiting cities including Oxford, London, Manchester, and ending with their home town; Glasgow.

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Check out their tour, listen and find out more here:

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/2zCxZQIcbO3Ev8AyTxxqmm

Website: http://honeyblood.co.uk/#

 

Written by Harriet / @yellowdaffodilx

Reading & Leeds 2016

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With just under a week until the infamous Reading and Leeds Festival takes over the festival scene, I have briefly stated my ‘unmissable’ acts, along with their appearance day, and some of their songs to check out! I highly recommend you see these guys if you get the chance!

Foals – Main Stage

The Oxford indie rock quintet have taken the world by storm, gradually gaining support as they release each of their studio albums. The band cite one of their main influences to be the Foo Fighters, and similarly to the Foo’s, their live performances have been said to be spectacular. Their headline set is not something to miss!

Recommendations:

– My Number

– What Went Down

– Spanish Sahara

Reading: Friday

Leeds: Saturday

Dinosaur Pile-Up – The Pit Stage

Alternative rock trio, Dinosaur Pile-Up, from Leeds, have heavily gained momentum, particularly after the release of their third studio album, Eleven Eleven. Similarly to Foals, the band state one of their biggest influences to be the Foo Fighters, as well as bands such as The Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana and Deftones.

Recommendations:

– 11:11

– My Rock and Roll

– Hey You

Reading: Friday

Leeds: Saturday

The Sherlocks – Festival Republic Stage

This band, consisting of two sets of brothers, makes up the indie rock quartet that is The Sherlocks. Releasing their first single ‘Live For The Moment’ in 2014, the boys bagged themselves a spot on the R&L 2015 line up, playing for a moderately sized crowd. However, this year, I am sure this up and coming band will be performing in front of many fans, as their release of ‘Heart Of Gold’ has secured.

Recommendations:

– Live For The Moment

– Heart Of Gold

– Escapade

Reading: Friday

Leeds: Sunday

Sundara Karma – Main Stage

Reading quartet, Sundara Karma, have a unique sound, as their indie-rock roots combine with classic pop, creating something beautiful. The band have shown amazing potential as their released tracks have helped them gain loyal fans. With a scattering of festival appearances and live shows, these youngsters have clearly showcased their talent, and I cannot wait to see what happens next!

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Recommendations:

– A Young Understanding

– Flame

– Loveblood

Reading: Saturday

Leeds: Sunday

Slaves – Main Stage

Laurie and Isaac, the duo from Kent, have taken the UK punk scene by storm since their formation in the early 21st century. Their single electric guitar and stripped down drum kit create a raw and genuine sound, which was clearly loved by fans, as their debut able ‘Are You Satisfied?’, reached number 8 on its first week in the UK albums chart. With the recent release of ‘Spit It Out’, the announcement of a new album, and their sold out gig at the 100 Club, I am sure the boys will deliver an amazing set.

Recommendations:

– The Hunter

– Where’s Your Car Debbie?

– Cheer Up London

Reading: Saturday

Leeds: Sunday

VANT – Festival Republic Stage

VANT are an indie rock quartet from London. They state to be influenced by The Clash, who use their music to voice their opinions on the state of the world, and political matters. Similarly, VANT use this as a basis for some of their tracks (Birth Certificate, as an example). ‘Parasite’, their debut single, was released in 2015, and since then, success seems to have followed this band as they have gained more support with every track released. They are noted to have punk influences, which is emphasised as lead singer Mattie says he writes lyrics out of “pure frustration”. Amazing live, these lads are sure to put on a lively, energetic performance, which is not something to be missed.

Recommendations:

– Parking Lot

– Parasite

– Birth Certificate

Reading: Saturday

Leeds: Sunday

The Vaccines – Main Stage

London based indie rock group, The Vaccines, formed in the late 2000’s. This quartet have never failed to deliver since the release of their first album ‘What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?’, which showcased the infamous tunes that are ‘If You Wanna’ and ‘Post Break-Up Sex’. Live, and I now speak from personal experience, they are truly exceptional, delivering track are track of so-called ‘bangers’, sung by the one and only Justin Young.

Recommendations:

– Post Break-Up Sex

– Teenage Icon

– Denial

Reading: Sunday

Leeds: Friday

The Wombats – NME Stage

British indie rock trio, The Wombats, are perhaps best known for their electronic-pop influenced sound. Their debut album ‘A Guide To Love, Loss and Depression’, in my opinion is unfaultable, as I enjoy every track on there, to such an extent I would rate it one of my favourite albums. Arguably their most well-known song, ‘Let’s Dance To Joy Division’ features on this album, and perhaps pin-points the start of a fantastic journey, as the band have grown from strength to strength, most recently releasing their third studio album, ‘Glitterbug’.

Recommendations:

– Kill The Director

– Techno Fan

– Give Me A Try

Reading: Sunday

Leeds: Friday

Clean Cut Kid – Festival Republic Stage

This quartet from Liverpool, yet again deliver an indie rock style, but with a twist; an electronic pop sound added in the mix. Having yet to release a studio album, this band certainly have left their future wide open, but for now, their numerous EP’s still leave us fully satisfied. ‘Vitamin C’ is my personal favourite, and seeing this live at Truck Festival earlier this summer surpassed all expectations. Their live performances are energetic, but also have an added sense of intimacy, as lead singer, Mike Halls, happily explains what each track is about and why it was written.

Recommendations:

– Vitamin C

– Runaway

– We Used To Be In Love

Reading: Sunday

Leeds: Friday

 

Written by Harriet / @yellowdaffodilx

New Music: The Courteeners


Manchester’s indie guitar rock quartet have been likened to bands such as Oasis and The Stone Roses, as well as more contemporary bands such as Kasabian and the Arctic Monkeys. The band was formed in 2006 as Liam Fray, lead singer, brought together three childhood friends, to form The Courteeners.

2008 beckoned the release of their first studio album, ‘St Jude’. Arguably the tracks that gained their now massive following came from this album: ‘Not Nineteen Forever’, ‘Are You In Love With A Notion?’ and ‘Bide Your Time’.

Following this, the albums ‘Falcon’ (2010), ‘Anna’ (2013), and ‘Concrete Love’ (2014) have all been released, and have also been the catalyst for multiple tours, and many festival appearances.

Due to the bands loyal following, the release of ‘The 17th’ on 12th August, and the news of yet another studio album, sparked a craze on social media, leading to a response from Liam Fray on twitter; “Absolutely gob smacked by that reaction. Love yers xxx”.

New album, ‘Mapping The Rendezvous’ is due out on the 21st October, of this year.


The track list for ‘Mapping The Rendezvous’ has been released also and can be seen below:

1. Lucifer’s Dreams

2. Kitchen

3. No One Will Ever Replace Us

4. De La Salle

5. Tip Toes

6. Not For Tomorrow

7. Finest Hour

8. The Dilettante

9. Modern Love

10. Most Important

11. The 17th

Listen to ‘The 17th’ here.

 

Written by Harriet / @yellowdaffodilx