Category Archives: Reviews

NEW MUSIC: CARLOS DANGER takes us on a trip back to the 80s with Neon Daydreams EP

CARLOS DANGER is the latest project by Sam Butcher who takes us on a journey back to the 80s in an attempt to go all in on the sound of 80s pop.

Setting off with his debut release, Carlos’ Neon Daydreams EP has a combination of upbeat tracks as well as other more mellow ones. With this guise being part of a group project named The Taurus; Neon Daydreams aims to be a prologue for this next project.

Bouncy Balls sets the EP off and belongs back in the realms of the Mario Kart 64 soundtrack. Made up of groovy beats and retro sound effects the track gives off a (literally) bouncy and vibrant feel. Track 3, Puppy Love is just as upbeat and similarly belongs on the tracklist of an 80s computer game.

Demarco-esque Blue comes second on the EP and is just over 3 minutes of shoe-gaze psychedelia giving listeners a ride back to the late 80s.

Palm Tree Passion has a funky sound to it with a slightly western edge in parts. As  Butcher’s personal favourite on the EP, he told us:

“I was trying to emulate an 80s cop show/movie theme tune like Miama Vice or Beverly Hills Cop”

Redbone is the final track on the EP which is a cover of the Childish Gambino tune by the same name, a different take on the track, which Butcher described to us as “almost vaporwavey”.

You can stream the EP on Soundcloud:

Sam Butcher has also been involved in other projects including playing lead guitar for indie-rock band Mirror Gorillas & releasing a solo EP back in 2016, find him on social media below:

Twitter

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

Track of the week: Lie Low – Fox Chapel

Dark noise quartet Fox Chapel have made their first release of 2017 with brand new track Lie Low.

A mixture of psychedelic hooks and dark lyrics, Lie Low portrays a dystopian, post-punk vibe from the start. The track is a 3 minute slice of mysterious, electric instrumental combined with husky, ethereal vocals which – much like their previous track Ice Cream – hint toward influence from 80s and 90s punk.

Lie Low is an A-class tune and it is clear Fox Chapel have a firmly developed sound which will see them go far; I can’t wait to hear what’s next to come.

Check out the music video which was written and directed by Benn Veasey:

Make your way down to the single launch on July 18th at The Lock Tavern in London.

The lads told us they’ve been demoing loads over the last few months and are hoping to make another release around October.

Keep an eye on their Twitter for updates on new music and gigs:

Feature image courtesy of: Sam Farmer

TRACK OF THE WEEK: You Wanna Know – YVES

This week’s track of the week comes from noise-pop Swindon trio YVES with their latest track You Wanna Know.

You Wanna Know is a punchy and dynamic tune. It combines indie-rock with punk-pop giving off similar vibes to the likes of Catfish and the Bottlemen, Circa Waves and Drowners. As a band who have clearly got their sound developed down to a tee, YVES’ material puts me in mind of festivals, romance and lush weather, and You Wanna Know is no exception.

The track racked up over 13,000 plays in just 24 hours, you can give it a listen below.

 YVES are playing three UK dates (18+ entry) this month:

  • July 6th – Sebright Arms, London (Free Entry)
  • July 7th – Green Store Door, Brighton
  • July 8th  The Victoria, Swindon

 

Find YVES on social media:

Twitter

Facebook

This is what it looked like when Royal Blood rocked Cambridge!

Back in April, Brighton rockers Royal Blood announced an intimate four-date UK tour during May. The band look set to smash this year with the upcoming release of their second album How Did We Get So Dark? and a massive UK arena tour lined up later this year.

I headed down to the Cambridge Corn Exhange to join in with the hype

Personally, I find Royal Blood nothing short of remarkable, the band consists of only bassist, Mike Kerr and drummer, Ben Thatcher. However, despite only being a duo the band are able to create some seriously killer sounds which set Cambridge alight with the flames of pure and gritty hard rock.

This was reflected in the audience; a mix of the young, possibly attending their first concert and the old(er), proving that Royal Blood have managed to rack up a massive fan base in the mere 4 years they’ve been together. The atmosphere at the concert was wild with people relentlessly moshing and singing along to every lyric.

Royal Blood have succeeded in igniting immense anticipation in as to where the band will go next. I cannot wait to see what new heights the upcoming arena tours will bring to them!

Words and photos by Lucy Kingsford

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

 

 

 

 

GIG REVIEW: Maxïmo Park // De La Warr Pavillion, Bexhill-On-Sea

Another excellent live band, another gig in an obscure seaside town for me. I don’t know how I end up in these far flung parts of the country, but there I was. The venue itself was actually not too bad, although I’m never sitting down at a gig again (note to self, buy the tickets before all the standing sells out).

Although I arrived halfway through the support act, PINS, I was really impressed. I would recommend checking out these Manchester gals if you haven’t already. Everything from their gritty sound to their onstage look was a massive plus in my eyes.

With a band as energetic and lively as Maxïmo Park, it’s a real sense of pit envy when you watch everyone downstairs dancing along with Paul ‘Snakehips’ Smith to Our Velocity and Apply Some Pressure. However, the band themselves were big enough and loud enough to reach even us on the balcony. Old bangers, primarily from the first two albums, still gained the biggest reaction from the audience, especially The Coast Is Always Changing, but the new singles What Did We Do To You To Deserve This? and Risk To Exist, the first two songs of the set, still exploded onstage.

Rumour has it that Paul Smith, the lead singer, wears reinforced trousers onstage to stop them from splitting when he leaps up into the air. Whilst I have seen him do this before, this gig was leap-free, but no less exciting. As a frontman, it’s clear that he’s passionate about his music and his performance, as well as humble. Cracking jokes with the audience, dancing like there isn’t a hall full of people with their eyes only on him, and graciously thanking us for our support, Smith is a consistently brilliant frontman, a very key part of what makes Maxïmo Park a consistently brilliant live band.

Touring their new album, Risk To Exist, it’s clear that the band have gone in a much more political direction with their music, singing about the refugee crisis, inequality and the increasingly apparent right-wing agenda in global politics today. Although I wasn’t as familiar with the new album as I was with the first 4, hearing these new songs live really made me warm to them. I think the truest test of this came at the end of the encore, when the band finished with another new single Get High (No, I Don’t), a seemingly anti-drugs song. A square subject matter for a rock band? Perhaps. But whether you actually did get high before/after the gig or you’re teetotal, the whole audience lapped up this punchy track and continued their chants of “Maxïmo, Maxïmo” until well after the last chord.