Archive for May, 2010

You’re going to hang for what you’ve done

West London rock / soul / blues quartet Scoundrels, who you might have seen at a Laissez Faire Club event on a number of occasions in the past (under slightly different monikers and with slightly different personnel) recently went off to Louisiana for a couple of months at the start of the year to write and record their debut album, as well as play gigs in saloon bars and generally find themselves musically.

The trip was made possible after industry legend Seymour Stein (co-founder of Sire Records) picked up on some early recordings of theirs, and suggested that they work with swamp pop pioneer CC Adcock, a close friend of his down in Lafayette. It proved to be an inspired move – they’re now back in Blighty with an LP’s worth of shiny recordings under their belt, and we must say the results are nothing less than impressive.

Over the last couple of years, they’ve experimented with sounds, songs and entire sets, never quite settling on what they had, despite always hinting at something spectacular – particularly on their two self released EPs in 2008, which saw them pick up a BBC Radio 2 track of the week with lost classic ‘Montevetro’. Anyhow, they’re now playing confident, ballsy, no-nonsense blues-influenced rock ‘n’ roll in a manner they’ve always threatened to and sound more together than they’ve ever done. Amazing what an extended period in the swamps can do for a band.

Take for example their forthcoming debut single ‘Hangman’s Lament’ (recorded during sessions in Chicago with Steve Albini), a real kick in the teeth and a formidable introduction to a band we’re sure to be hearing more of in the coming months. First port of call is a tour with Indiana’s Johnny Cash revivalists Murder By Death, which kicks off in Leicester on Friday. Full dates on their MySpace.

Scoundrels – Hangman’s Lament by charmfactory

Introducing: Givers

It’s taken us a while to post this, but as the saying rightly goes, better late than never. At SXSW this year, amongst the plethora of exciting talent vying for our eardrums in Austin’s many watering holes, were a band from Lafayette in Louisiana who go by the name of Givers.

Laissez Faire Club managed to catch two shows of theirs (Emo’s Annex & Beauty Bar) after hearing mutterings about them as soon as we rolled into Austin, and we can safely say they were up there with the best gigs of the entire festival. They were performances with a palpable sense of anticipation and excitement in the air, as if every member of the audience knew they were onto something big.

Their feelgood, afro-beat inspired racket evokes images of outdoor festivals, walking around in flip flops and drinking cider in the park. What we commonly refer to as the good times. Take the energy and hooks of Vampire Weekend, the quirkiness of Dirty Projectors and the tropical explosions of El Guincho, and you’re in the ballpark Givers are playing in.

Of course, they’ve got their own southern-fried take on this increasingly borrowed template, and are already a formidable proposition live (helped in no small part by the on-stage chemistry between the band’s two singers, Teddy Lamson and Taylor Guarisco), which is why they’re very much on the up as we speak.

They’re currently on a huge US tour, playing songs off their 2009 self-titled EP as well as cuts off their forthcoming long player – out later this year we assume. Definitely ones to keep a hawk eye on, and if there’s any justice, the soundtrack to many a summer ahead.

MP3: Givers – Up Up Up

Together, we could be free

Sam and George from Ice Black Birds performed an acoustic version of their Laissez Faire Club Records single, As Birds We’d Be Fine, on BalconyTV London earlier this week. Check out the track stripped to its bare bones:

Past LFC performance