Archive for June, 2012
It seems to us as if there’s a lot of decent new bands around at the moment, as recent postings on this blog might testify. What happened? Did the final few high street music retail shops drop Is This It and Marquee Moon into their respective bargain bins, or have we simply reached a moment in time when there’s just more great stuff in the past for young people to seek inspiration from?
With their debut online track, the Paul Savage (Franz Ferdinand, Flaming Lips, Mogwai) produced “Slow Train”, South London’s Low Moon Low are giving credence to the latter theory.
Here, they’ve created a moody, wistful and beautiful three and a bit minutes that instantly transports us back to Doves’ 2000 debut album Lost Souls – its haunting and atmospheric nature sounds like “The Man Who Told Everything” or “The Cedar Room” revised for twenty twelve, with a new emphasis and agenda. Couple that with a vocal that reminds us of Bombay Bicycle Club’s Jack Steadman, or Alt-J’s Joe Newman, and we have quite a heady brew.
Low Moon Low haven’t been around for very long at all (in this guise, at least), but already there appears to be a bit of a ground swell occurring, no doubt propagated by the strength of this one track and the promise it brings. Their inaugural gig at The Last Refuge in Peckham earlier this month seems to have been very well attended, and should pave the way for a slew of shows in the coming months. From what we’ve heard so far, these should be in everyone’s diary.
Regular readers of this blog and attendees of our live events are probably aware of our affinity towards London band Escapists. The big sounding indie rock quartet have been championed by LFC for a little while now, and currently in the midst of a busy and exciting 2012, what with the lead track of their latest EP, “Burial”, doing the rounds on XFM and Radio 1 and the band recently appearing at high profile festivals such as Live At Leeds and The Great Escape.
To our ears, their live show has gone from strength to strength over last year or so. Recent gigs at The Borderline in London and at the aforementioned Great Escape were really indicative of a band very much on the rise, and with a point to prove. “Burial”, for one, is sounding nothing short of monumental towards the end of their set, and is proving to be quite the head-turner.
We last caught up with their lead singer and guitarist Simon Glancy on the eve of our fourth birthday show at The Macbeth in January 2011, when Escapists appeared with Channel Cairo, The Collectable Few and Let’s Buy Happiness at what was our busiest ever live event. We thought we’d grab a minute with him to see what the band have been up to in the eighteen months since then.
What have you been up to since we last spoke in Jan 2011?
S: We’ve been pretty busy, we released a single in October (“Post Gospel Blues”) and we’ve just released an EP (“Burial”). In general we’ve just been trying to play as many shows as possible and make the live show something special.
How’s the EP doing?
S: Really well, the title track got onto the XFM evening playlist and got some Radio 1 airplay. The reviews have been good too.
What’s “Burial” about?
S: Like most of our songs, it’s a pretty rousing track paired with a fairly bleak, introspective lyric. It’s really about the uncertainty of what comes after death.
What was the inspiration behind the video?
S: I found a video of a scientific experiment about decomposition online and thought it was harrowingly beautiful and would suit the music well.
What does the remainder of 2012 hold for Escapists?
S: We’re playing a show for Huw Stephens on 10 July at The Social and a few festivals (Lounge On The Farm, BT Live as part of the Olympics), and we’re going to make videos for all the tracks on the EP. We’ll probably put some more music out before the end of the year too.
The “Burial” EP by Escapists is out now via Euphonios.
Monday 18 June
Haim @ Dingwalls
Alt J (∆) @ The Borderline
Niki & The Dove @ Barfly
Being There + My Sad Captains @ The Lexington
Tuesday 19 June
The Very Best @ The Shacklewell Arms FREE
Man Without Country @ Madame JoJo’s (White Heat)
Fear Of Men @ Old Blue Last FREE
Cold Specks @ Hoxton Hall
Wednesday 20 June
Bluebell @ Ballyhoo (formerly The Bowery)
Lucy Rose @ Heaven
Seye @ Hoxton Bar & Kitchen (Gold Dust)
Cold Specks @ Hoxton Hall (2nd night)
Best Coast @ Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Born Blonde @ Bull & Gate
Bear In Heaven @ Birthdays
Thursday 21 June
Bloc Party + Story Books @ Koko
Jack White @ O2 Academy Brixton
Channel Cairo @ Barfly
Cold Specks @ Hoxton Hall (3rd night)
Foxes @ Queen Of Hoxton
Melodica, Melody & Me @ Hoxton Bar & Kitchen
Bear Driver @ Old Queens Head FREE (Oh! Inverted World)
Friday 22 June
Jack White @ Hammersmith Apollo
Mt. Wolf @ The Waiting Room
The Ting Tings @ Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Two Wounded Birds @ The Shacklewell Arms
Flash Fiktion + Second Shepherds @ 93 Feet East FREE (Mr. Magpie)
Saturday 23 June
Housse De Racket @ XOYO (Kitsune Club Night)
Eugene McGuinness + Swanton Bombs + Coves @ The Macbeth (This Feeling)
Sunday 24 June
It seems as if the UK music industry, and the power players within it, are constantly on the search for the “next great British guitar band” – something very likely fueled by a desire to return to the days of fifteen pound albums, Our Price, champagne supernovas and a hell of a lot of disposable income.
Bands that capture a specific moment in time, and are widely proclaimed as the voice of the general public, are record company gold dust. Indeed, many a new signing has been heralded as such, only to be found wanting when the time comes for the music, rather than the press hyperbole, to do the talking. True success stories – Franz Ferdinand, Arctic Monkeys, Kasabian, et al – are, of course, much harder to come by.
Next in line to run this gauntlet are Liverpool’s Death At Sea, a group of currently unsigned twenty-somethings from the Mersey who are harking back to the golden age of guitars with their fuzzy and upbeat indie. We’re reminded of the great bands of the 90s from both sides of the Atlantic when listening to “Sea Foam Green” and “Drag”, their two impressive online demos – everyone from Weezer to The Smashing Pumpkins to Suede to Blur. More recent comparisons might point to The Vaccines, Yuck or Surfer Blood, making DAS a very exciting prospect for fans of the six string.
Perhaps crucially, these songs are well formed, hook heavy and easily imaginable on a large stage at a summer festival – and one gets the feeling more where this came from might give this lot a fighting chance to get there, and eventually become mentioned in the same breath as some of their influences. We’ll be sure to check on their progress in London on 28 June, when they play their debut show in the capital at The Lexington.
Monday 4 June
The View, Lianne La Havas, Chew Lips, Kyla La Grange, Dog Is Dead, Yadi, Draper @ Queen Of Hoxton (Festifeel all-dayer from 12:00)
Life In Film @ Barfly
The Chapman Family @ Hoxton Bar And Kitchen
Nathaniel Rateliff @ The Windmill
Tuesday 5 June
Tom Williams & The Boat @ The Lexington
Hooray For Earth + Swim Deep @ XOYO
The Hall Of Mirrors @ Old Blue Last FREE
Chromatics @ Madame JoJo’s (White Heat)
Josh Kumra @ The Social
Wednesday 6 June
Scoundrels + Leah Mason @ Monto Water Rats
Polica + Halls @ CAMP
Friends + Reptar @ Dingwalls
THEESatisfaction @ Birthdays
Peaking Lights @ XOYO
Wavves @ Hoxton Bar And Kitchen
Neon Indian + Chromatics + Philco Fiction @ Village Underground
Thursday 7 June
Jake Mattison + Israel Cannan + Jade Hopcroft @ The Enterprise (Laissez Faire Club)
Reptar @ Birthdays
Polica + Sunless 97 @ CAMP
O. Children + Savages + Carousels @ Hoxton Bar And Kitchen
Golden Fable @ The Lock Tavern FREE
Eugene McGuinness + The Shutes + Saul Ashby @ Old Queens Head FREE
Esser @ The Shacklewell Arms
Stealing Sheep + Simian Ghost @ The Lexington (The Line Of Best Fit Tour)
Friday 8 June
Bear Driver + Beat The Radar + Niteflights @ Old Blue Last FREE
Spector + Swim Deep @ Birthdays
Pale Seas + Fear Of Men + Real Fur + Breathe Out @ Power Lunches
Pearl And The Beard @ Barfly
Richard Hawley @ HMV Forum
Eugene McGuinness @ Koko (Club NME)
Keane @ O2 Academy Brixton
Saturday 9 June
Keane @ O2 Academy Brixton (2nd night)
Sunday 10 June