Archive for October, 2010

Introducing: Alpines

South London based Alpines are the new-ish project of former solo artist Catherine Pockson, and Bob Matthews, previously of indie bands such as Right Turn Left and Blue Screen Life (RIP). As far as we can see, the duo started making dark and mysterious electro-pop some time earlier this year, and judging by the demos currently available online, the results are nothing less than impressive.

Intentional or not, their sound is remarkably ‘current’, and should have no problem sitting in the Hype Machine charts or being pigeon-holed alongside the likes of Mercury Prize victors The xx, Zola Jesus and La Roux. Musically, the tracks are spacious and are based around Pockson’s arresting vocals, which are as head turning as the first time we hear Florence & The Machine’s ‘Kiss With A Fist’ or La Roux’s ‘Quicksand’. Most importantly, the songs have hooks sturdy enough to be timeless, and should keep punters interested after the spotlight moves elsewhere and it’s decided by the taste-makers that we should all be listening to something else completely.

It’s perhaps unsurprising then that Alpines have very recently signed a major deal with Polydor, which should mean we’ll be seeing plenty more of them in 2011. Indeed, we don’t imagine it’ll be long before they’re adorning billboards on your local A road, as well as life size posters at busy Tube stations. Before all that though, you can get ahead of the game and download ‘Survival’ for free from their Bandcamp page.

LFC002: The Collectable Few – ‘Headstrong’

We are delighted to announce the signing of The Collectable Few to Laissez Faire Club Records. They’ll join Ice Black Birds on our roster, something we hope to expand considerably in the new year.

Their debut single, ‘Headstrong’, will be released through LFC on Monday 24 January. It’ll be available on limited edition 7″ vinyl (300 copies) from all the usual stockists, and you’ll also be able to download it from iTunes and other reputable digital outlets. Produced and recorded in London and mixed in NYC by Andrew Maury (Ra Ra Riot, Kisses, The Static Jacks), it’ll be backed by an RAC Maury remix of the same track.

We’ve worked with the band on several occasions in the past, and always felt their modern, catchy take on the best post punk / new wave bands of the 1980s deserved a much wider audience. We’re convinced this single, which is a follow up to their self-released debut EP Half The Night and contains quite possibly their biggest chorus to date, will open the door to much bigger things in 2011.

Whilst we’re busy getting everything in place for the release, have a listen to ‘Promises’ from the debut EP:

The Collectable Few – Promises by Laissez Faire Club

Free Body Language EP!

We’ve been in love with Body Language for a while now, and have kept a beady eye on their progress since they played a Laissez Faire Club / RethinkPopMusic showcase at New York’s Studio @ Webster Hall just over a year ago (with The Vanguard and Ambassadors).

The Brooklyn based quartet play gorgeous, groovy and hip-shaking electro / disco pop, replete with soulful vocals from lead singer Angelica Bess. It’s not always rave o’clock, however, there are your blissed out, comedown songs, which show the versatility you’d associate with great, essential pop band.

If we’re going to pigeon hole, they can be filed next to the likes of Cut Copy, Metronomy, Primary 1 and Friendly Fires. That’s the league they’re in, certainly on the strength of their material we’ve heard (as well as their their party-starting live shows), and it’s a tad baffling to us they’re still relatively under the radar. Their 2009 EP, Speaks, contained some of our favourite and most listened to tracks of last year (Huffy Ten Speed, Sandwiches, Work This City), and have featured regularly in our DJ sets around London town.

They’ve just released a new 4-track EP entitled Social Studies, which is available to download for free via Bandcamp (see below). The new tracks pick up where the old ones left off, and if anything they’re more confident, sassy and exuberant. Falling Out, with it’s bouncy synths and rather monstrous hook, is currently ‘on repeat’ over here and seems tailor-made for dancefloors across the globe. At the very least they’re likely to be lighting up the blogosphere before too long, and weaving their way into the consciousness of many a muso. If you reside in New York, they’re playing a series of shows in Manhattan and Brooklyn before the year’s up.

LFC dj set at Communion: Sunday 7 November

We’re DJing at Communion at Notting Hill Arts Club on Sunday 7 November. Expect the usual Laissez-Faire mix of whatever sounds good, new and old – which usually means everything from Neil Young to The Police to LCD Soundsystem to Crystal Fighters. On the bill are our good pals Pushing Hands, who’ll be main support to hotly-tipped Aussies Cloud Control, who sound like a cross between Fleet Foxes and Local Natives, with added Antipodean quirkiness. They’re expected to blow up in 2011 after recently putting pen to paper with Infectious (home to The Temper Trap and Local Natives), so you might as well check them out now in a 200-capacity venue for the future bragging rights, if nothing else…

Check out “Gold Canary”, a Cloud Control single from early 2010:

…and Pushing Hands playing “Bully” at their 3rd ever show at Laissez Faire Club @ The Lock Tavern in August:

Pushing Hands – Bully from Scott Taylor on Vimeo.

Mumford And Sons: then and now

Laissez Faire Club checked out Mumford And Sons‘ second sold out date at Hammersmith Apollo last night (Saturday), which marked the end of their final UK tour in promotion of their million-selling debut album Sigh No More. It was also effectively a prelude to yet another sold out USA tour – thier final Stateside jaunt for this LP too – which kicks off in LA in just over a week’s time, and concludes with two dates at New York’s Terminal 5 in mid November.

At the risk of going all hyperbolic, it was a truly wonderful evening, which brought a real smile to the face, and a spring to the step. I’ve been to some great gigs in my almost-10-year gigging career – The Strokes at Brixton Academy ’02, Interpol at The ICA ’04, Arcade Fire at Birmingham Academy ’05, Arctic Monkeys at Reading Festival ’05 – and this ranks up there as one of the best. It was really that good.

Roll Away Your Stone @ Hammersmith Apollo, 9.10.10:

The tracks off the album received a mightily enthusiastic, impassioned airing, with all the band members seemingly having the time of their lives, and appearing to be truly humbled at the heady position they now find themselves in. The four singles – Roll Away Your Stone, Winter Winds, Little Lion Man and The Cave, alongside lesser known tracks like Awake My Soul and Dust Dowl Dance, sounded beefed up and familiar in the best way possible – like songs we’ve been listening to all our lives. Those hair-raising moments where songs are sung back to bands by adoring fans in a word perfect manner were ever present.

Of the four new ones, there are at least two veritable smashes-in-waiting (Lover Of The Light, Whispers In The Dark) – both of these see the band move into anthemic indie territory, whilst not forgetting their harmonious, folky roots, and you get the feeling recorded versions could see them make the step up to the very top come album number two.

Perhaps the most memorable moment of the evening, however, was the entirely acoustic version of early recording Sister, which saw the band move away from all ‘technology’ to the front of the stage for three or four totally organic minutes. Save for a couple of rowdy, over-excitable idiots in the crowd – inevitable, when you get to a certain level – it was spellbinding. And that’s not to mention a special guest appearance from Ray Davies (yes, Ray Davies) who was invited on-stage to perform a collaborative version of Days. The quality was relentless.

Roll Away Your Stone @ The Old Blue Last, 24.10.07:

I’ve been lucky enough to have closely charted the rise of this West London quartet, booking them for Laissez Faire Club’s first birthday party (Marcus Mumford and band) in late 2007, and also to have been in attendance at most of their gigs on the way up (Notting Hill Arts Club, The Borderline, Dingwalls, Scala included). Seeing a band who LFC has worked with, even in a tiny capacity, progress at such a rapid rate is pretty special, and I very much doubt it’ll stop here either.

I’ve trawled through the LFC archives, and have managed to dredge up my MySpace correspondence with Marcus Mumford from three years ago, where I floated the idea of him coming to play the first birthday gig, as an acoustic opening act. What you’ll see is a humble response from an aspiring singer-songwriter who’s truly grateful for a chance to play some live songs. You get the feeling not a great deal has changed. All cliches aside, it really couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of guys.

—————– Original Message —————–
From: Laissez Faire Club
Date: 15 Sep 2007, 15:43

Hi there,

My name is Jeremy Lloyd and I run a night in London called Laissez Faire – see page for all info.

Really like your stuff and was wondering if you’d be interested in playing at The Old Blue Last on Wednesday 24 October? It’s the first birthday of the night, so aiming to make it quite an event.

So far confirmed are The Scoundrels and Del Nil. A headliner will be announced soon. You’d be first on opening the night.

Let me know what you think!

Many thanks,

Jeremy

—————– Original Message —————–
From: Marcus Mumford
Date: Sep 17, 2007 5:20 AM

Hi Jeremy,

Thanks for the email mate, i’d love to play the 24th! Can i bring the band? Because i don’t have management or anything i’m afraid i have to ask the awkward questions myself, but what is the pay for that evening?

Let me know details and i’ll put it up on the myspace and get to work promoting it and that..

Looking forward to it!

Marcus.x

—————– Original Message —————–
From: Laissez Faire Club
Date: 17 Sep 2007, 08:27

Hey Marcus,

Thanks for getting back to me. Great news about the 24th, if you could bring the band that’d be great.

Payment wise, I can offer £40 – hope this is OK.

As for details, it’ll be 3-4 bands on the bill (dependent on whether the potential headliner gets back to me). The other confirmed acts are The Scoundrels and Del Nil, both in my top friends.

Your set will be for up to 30 mins.

Any more questions, just shout.

Looking forward to it…

Cheers,

Jeremy

—————– Original Message —————–
From: Marcus Mumford
Date: 18 Sep 2007, 15:51

That’s awesome, Jeremy

Thanks very much, i’ll get it all going and it’ll be laffs all round

Looking forward to it

Mx

Free Ice Black Birds autumn tour download

Our beloved Ice Black Birds are set to hit the road this autumn, visiting everywhere from Bath to Utrecht to Paris, and are quite possibly playing at your local watering hole along the way.

Highlights include an appearance at Manchester’s In The City Festival (last.fm stage) on 13 October, a sold out Dutch tour supporting local heroes Go Back To The Zoo from 21 to 23 October and an opening slot for We Are Scientists and The Boxer Rebellion at Paris’ Fleche d’Or on Sat 13 November. The tour will (hopefully) come to a glorious climax on Friday 26 November in London town, where they’re set to play Club NME at Koko. For a full list of dates, click here.

The band will be travelling armed with copies of their last 7″ single (‘As Birds We’d Be Fine’) put out by Laissez Faire Club Records, so if you haven’t got one yet, they’ll be – subject to availability – available to buy at these shows. Alternatively, head over to our label page, and pick one up now. The LFC shop offers signed copies, and RecordDrop.com offers free MP3s of the tracks, plus an additional bonus track (‘Problems In Hand’).

At the risk of spoiling you even further, to help prick up your ears and hopefully prise you away from the latest episode of The Inbetweeners and down to your local venue, the band are offering fans a free download of ‘Pretty Ways’, a demo they recorded in their bedrooms over the summer. Grab it below.

Pretty Ways by iceblackbirds

Scoundrels headline next LFC show at The Flowerpot

We’re really excited to announce that one of our favourite bands in London, Scoundrels, will be heading the bill at the next LFC event which is set to take place at Kentish Town’s best boozer The Flowerpot on Thursday 21 October. We blogged about this exciting blues-influenced quartet a while back, and can’t wait to welcome them back to the LFC stage for what will be a rare live outing in the run up to the release of their debut LP in 2011. Their live shows are always a dance inducing, sing-along friendly hoot, and we’re expecting this to be no different.

Support comes from Escapists, another great new band from the capital who look to North American alt rock bands such as Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene and The National, for inspiration. They played for us in April at The Lock Tavern under a different moniker (Heart On Fire), and what really struck us was their big, all-encompassing sound and sky-scraping hooks. They’re currently treading the boards at London’s best venues and club nights, playing a set full of new material alongside some of the choice older stuff. We’re licking our lips with anticipation. Opening the evening will be Brighton-based solo artist Freddy Furber.

Entry to the night is completely FREE! Doors open at around 7.30pm – arrive early to make sure you don’t miss any of the action. Please let us know if you’re coming by RSVP’ing to the Facebook event here. If you’d like to whet your appetite even further, Scoundrels are offering a free download of “Just Can’t See It Through”, a long time ‘live favourite’ and probable album track. Check it out below:

Scoundrels – Just Can’t See It Through by charmfactory

Past LFC performance

MUMFORD AND SONS // OLD BLUE LAST // 24 OCT 2007