Archive for February, 2013

Introducing: In Their Thousands

Back in the summer of 2010, we hosted a record release show for Ice Black Birds at the now defunct Flowerpot venue in Kentish Town to mark the first ever single on LFC Records. Supporting them that night was a plucky singer-songwriter with a big voice and bags of potential called Declan McClafferty, who since then, we’ve recently learned, has relocated to Donegal in his native Ireland, and formed a rock band called In Their Thousands.

The results are no less than impressive, and indeed, since their inception in mid-2011, ITT seem to have caused quite a stir in that part of the world, picking up plaudits from Hot Press and RTE 2fm (essentially their equivalents of NME and Radio 1) – something that culminated in them winning a Guinness sponsored competition back in November declaring them as the best unsigned band in Ireland, after a showdown at Dublin’s well-known Whelan’s venue.

They’ve also recently recorded a 4-track EP (“Cellars”) with Villagers and Cathy Davey producer Tommy McLaughlin, which acts as a great introduction to their big sounding, rich “alternative folk rock”.

McClafferty’s well honed, gritty vocals are a highlight, and when flanked by some rousing harmonies and a big chorus, it’s a powerful alchemy. “War Of Our Worlds”, in particular, is an exercise in clinical, FM-friendly indie rock, and is one of those songs with the potential to open doors to bigger and better things. “0400”, on the other hand, is a more subtle affair, but packs a similar emotional punch – indicative of a band with more than one trick up their sleeve. More where this came from, please.

London gigs diary: 18 February – 24 February

Hampshire teenagers Blaenavon headline Islington’s Buffalo Bar on Thursday night.

Things this week get going straight away, with six notable shows on Monday evening – a free Bear Cavalry show and a Bebe Black EP launch amongst them. Cymbals supported by Fun Adults at White Heat is sure to be a hot ticket, with both bands making waves of late, and that same night you’re able to catch The History Of Apple Pie and YADI both for free. The Mispers play their second ever show at Old Queens Head on Wednesday evening, following on from their bustling Queen Of Hoxton date a few months back – get down to that one early. Thursday sees the ever-on-it paradYse Records (LULS, Marika Hackman) launch another single, this time from Hampshire’s Blaenavon, with a free entry, 16+ show at Buffalo Bar. Leeds’ Heart-Ships at Old Blue Last and Glasgow’s PAWS at The Dalston Victoria also come recommended that evening. Eight weighty bands are in action at a double header of big NME Awards shows on Friday and Saturday – firstly, The Cribs top a bill at Shepherd’s Bush Empire, which includes Deap Vally and new Infectious Records signings Drenge, and the next day Django Django play Brixton Academy with support from two of ’13’s big indie hopefuls: Palma Violets and Peace.

Monday 18 February

Bear Cavalry @ Old Blue Last FREE
Sam Smith @ Blacks (Society Of The Golden Slippers)
The 1975 @ The Borderline
Bebe Black @ The Social
Al Lewis @ St Pancras Old Church
Electric Guest (US) @ Rough Trade East

Tuesday 19 February

Cymbals + Fun Adults @ Madame JoJo’s (White Heat)
The History Of Apple Pie + Ides + Bare Pale @ Old Blue Last FREE
AlunaGeorge @ XOYO
The Rubens (AU) + China Rats @ Sebright Arms
Shields + Good Dangers @ The Shacklewell Arms
YADi @ The Social FREE
Doldrums (CA) + Koreless + Glass Animals @ Birthdays (NME Awards)
Exclamation Pony (Ryan Jarman) @ Hoxton Bar & Kitchen (NME Awards)

Wednesday 20 February

The Mispers @ Old Queens Head (Akira)
Justin Timberlake (US) @ HMV Forum
Night Engine @ The Borderline
The Lumineers (US) @ O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire

Thursday 21 February

Blaenavon @ Buffalo Bar FREE
Savages @ Electric Ballroom
Heart-Ships @ Old Blue Last FREE
Nzca/lines @ The Garage
Tim Burgess @ Birthdays
PAWS @ The Dalston Victoria
Moulettes @ Dingwalls (Music Week Breakout)
LCMDF (FI) @ Notting Hill Arts Club

Friday 22 February

The Cribs + And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead (US) + Deap Vally (US) + Drenge @ O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Palace @ Islington Metal Works
Houndmouth (US) + Crybaby + Bat And Ball @ The Lexington

Saturday 23 February

Dems @ Queen Of Hoxton (Cat Lovers)
Django Django + Miles Kane + Palma Violets + Peace @ O2 Academy Brixton (NME Awards)
Kanye West (US) @ Hammersmith Apollo

Sunday 24 February

Kanye West (US) @ Hammersmith Apollo (2nd night)

London gigs diary: 11 February – 17 February

Duologue launch their debut LP, “Song And Dance”, at Hoxton Bar on Wednesday night.

Band of the moment (if there ever was one) Wolf Alice are in action on Monday night at Stoke Newington’s Waiting Room, when they launch their debut single “Fluffy” via Chess Club. Tuesday’s highlights include Phoria’s EP launch at Hoxton Bar & Kitchen (for Akira Records), with support from Debian Blak and Halflight, and also Oxford’s MMX, who play their own sold out date at Sebright Arms. Two notable purveyors of exciting electronic indie, Duologue and Everything Everything, both play headline shows on Wednesday, each to promote their respective debut and second album releases. Valentine’s Day sees a blockbuster list of shows all over town – amongst them On An On, Local Natives, Pure Love, Kodaline and Bear’s Den, with all of them offering up interesting supporting bills. As the weekend approaches, Scoundrels play their second studio party at The Arch in Tottenham Hale, and the fantastic Vestals launch their debut single at The Social on Saturday night.

Monday 11 February

Wolf Alice @ The Waiting Room Sold Out
Fear Of Men @ Sebright Arms
Desparecidos (US) @ Electric Ballroom
Heartless Bastards (US) + Elle King (US) @ The Lexington

Tuesday 12 February

MMX @ Sebright Arms Sold Out
Phoria + Debian Blak + Halflight @ Hoxton Bar & Kitchen (Akira)
CLOUT! + The Wytches + Dogfeet @ Birthdays
Goldheart Assembly + Elle King (US) @ The Shacklewell Arms (Bamboozeld Too)
Sons & Lovers + As Elephants Are + Annie Eve @ Notting Hill Arts Club (No Quarter)
Man Without Country + Age Of Consent + Yoyo Eskimo @ Madame Jojo’s (White Heat)
Gulp + The Strypes + Francobollo @ The Social (Huw Stephens Presents) FREE
Darwin Deez (US) + Electric Guest (US) @ Heaven
Toy @ Scala (NME Awards)

Wednesday 13 February

Duologue + Grass House @ Hoxton Bar & Kitchen
Everything Everything @ Heaven Sold Out
Kenworthy + Fred Page @ Sevilla Mia (Pull The Plug) FREE
Frightened Rabbit + Wintersleep (CA) + Washington Irving @ HMV Forum Sold Out
Washington Irving @ Bull & Gate (10pm)
Jay Brown + Crushed Beaks @ St Moritz (KIDS)
Teleman + Casual Sex @ The Waiting Room FREE

Thursday 14 February

ON AN ON (US) + Elephant + Palace @ Birthdays
Local Natives (US) + Balthazar (BE) @ Scala Sold Out
Pure Love + Turbogeist + The Vestals @ XOYO
Bear’s Den + Joe Banfi @ The Slaughtered Lamb Sold Out
Stubborn Heart + Courts + The Switch @ Notting Hill Arts Club
Kodaline (IE) + Luke Sital-Singh @ Dingwalls Sold Out
Dutch Uncles @ Hoxton Bar & Kitchen Sold Out
Three Trapped Tigers + The Physics House Band @ McClusky’s, Kingston (New Slang)

Friday 15 February

Valentina + Superfood @ Birthdays FREE before 00:00
LULS + THUMPERS + Nadine Shah @ Tooting Tram & Social FREE
Malpas + Modern Folks + The Recusants @ Old Blue Last FREE
Scoundrels + The Dirty Gentlemen @ The Arch, N15 4QL
Tyrannosaurus Dead @ The Macbeth FREE

Saturday 16 February

The Vestals + Paper Boats + Honey @ The Social
Jetta + Death At Sea + The Lake Poets + Eliza And The Bear @ Roundhouse (Generator / Roundhouse Rising)
Black Manila + Tripwires @ Birthdays

Sunday 17 February


London gigs diary: 4 February – 10 February

Brooklyn’s Young Unknowns play their first ever London shows this week, starting Tuesday.

American touring bands seem to be a prevalent theme this week – New York’s Young Unknowns, Portland’s Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Los Angeles’ Lord Huron, Astoria’s Foxygen are all in town playing shows, as are Dinosaur Jr. and Darwin Deez. Liverpool’s quirky electro pop purveyors Wave Machines headline Scala on Wednesday night to promote their second LP, and that same night the very promising Palace head up a bill at Bethnal Green’s Sebright Arms. Those who are yet to catch KHUSHI at either of their first two shows have another chance this week when they play Old Queens Head on Thursday. That same night WALL plays a sold out gig at Hoxton Hall, and Isle Of Wight supergroup-of-sorts (and recent PIAS signings) Champs play support to Lord Huron at Old Blue Last. The annual NME Awards gigs kick off properly this week, with Foals at XOYO on Thursday being an obvious highlight, and a first chance for many to see them play tracks off their new album “Holy Fire” in a live setting.

Monday 4 February

Dinosaur Jr. (US) + Cheatahs + Death At Sea @ Electric Ballroom (NME Awards)
Foxygen (US) @ The Lexington
Glitches + Landshapes @ Sebright Arms

Tuesday 5 February

Young Unknowns (US) @ Buffalo Bar
The Divers @ Barfly
Unknown Mortal Orchestra (US) @ Cargo
Velvet Stream + Lauren Aquilina + Jay Brown @ Queen Of Hoxton (ASCAP)
Ruen Brothers + Noah + James Bay @ Notting Hill Arts Club (No Quarter)
China Rats @ Old Blue Last FREE
Gabriel Bruce @ Hoxton Bar & Kitchen (NME Awards)
Delphic @ XOYO (NME Awards)

Wednesday 6 February

Palace @ Sebright Arms FREE
Young Unknowns (US) @ Cornershop FREE
Wave Machines + Golden Fable @ Scala
Veronica Falls @ Rough Trade East
Black Black Hills @ Notting Hill Arts Club (Death2Disco) FREE before 23:00
All We Are @ The Windmill

Thursday 7 February

KHUSHI @ Old Queens Head (Wagon) FREE
Foals @ XOYO (NME Awards)
Lord Huron (US) + Champs @ Old Blue Last
WALL @ Hoxton Hall
Jade Hopcroft @ Bar Music Hall (Smashing Blouse) FREE
Maria Minerva @ The Shacklewell Arms
The 1975 + Findlay @ McClusky’s, Kingston (New Slang)

Friday 8 February

Amateur Best @ Rough Trade East (18:30)
Young Unknowns (US) @ Old Blue Last FREE
Lord Huron (US) @ The Lexington
Two Door Cinema Club + Bastille + Swim Deep @ O2 Academy Brixton
Troumaca + Babeshadow @ Koko (Club NME)

Saturday 9 February

Lord Huron (US) @ Rough Trade West (14:30) FREE
Lola Colt + The Wytches + Joyland + Goldsoul @ The Dalston Victoria
JP Cooper @ Sebright Arms (Communion)

Sunday 10 February

Father Sculptor + All We Are @ Hoxton Bar & Kitchen
Darwin Deez (US) @ Rough Trade East

Interview: Milo Greene

Los Angeles’ Milo Greene are one of the most exciting new bands from the US we’ve stumbled across in the last twelve months or so (check out our “Introducing” piece here). Their easy-on-the-ear, harmony filled, almost MOR sound has drawn comparisons to the likes of Local Natives and Fleet Foxes, and in “1957”, they may well have their very own “Sun Hands” or “White Winter Hymnal” in the locker as they prepare for a busy 2013 – a year which will see them spend a lot of time on the road, both in the US and abroad, promoting their debut self titled LP, which was released in the UK via Fierce Panda last week (it came out in the US last July).

Since their inception in early 2010, things have moved apace for Milo Greene – a major label deal with Chop Shop / Atlantic the following year ensued, leading to performances on Late Night With David Letterman, Conan O’Brien and at Chicago’s Lollapalooza – as well as their own, well-received headline tours. Their first ever UK jaunt is about to conclude tonight at Camden’s Barfly, where they’re set to play a Music Week Breakout event, and I’m sat in the dimly lit downstairs bar with Graham Fink and Andrew Heringer – two of the band’s four singers and multi instrumentalists.

“We were all in other bands, and got together to write some music – and to be creative, and have fun again”, says Andrew, about how it all began. “There was stuff happening (with the other bands), but a couple of us felt like it had got into a certain rut”.

Hellbent on making the new project a surefire hit, Graham informs they spent over a year honing their craft before playing live: “We wanted from the first show to come out of the gate the best we possibly could be”, carrying onto say it wasn’t until March 2011 that this happened, in LA. Says Andrew: “We wanted to get rid of the barnacles from our past, and start from the beginning making sure everything was a certain quality”, giving the whole project a very cathartic, cleansing feel – visible in the uplifting nature of their songs. The band signed their record deal not long after, perhaps justifying their measured and calculated approach.

There’s been a bit of confusion in some quarters about the band name – with people who haven’t heard the music, perhaps naturally, assuming MG is a solo artist. “In college, we created the Milo Greene name as a booking agent. For years we would Email venues as Milo Greene, and he would get us gigs”, Andrew reveals, clearing this up for us. Graham chimes in: “It’s funny – it ranges from confusion to frustration to upright anger, that we’re misleading people”.

On the subject of the debut album, I asked if there were any particular themes running through it. “There’s a nostalgia that carries over a lot of it. I think because there’s so many of us that are writers, the lyrics come from a lot of different places”, Graham informs. As far as musical inspiration is concerned, I suggest Local Natives and Fleet Foxes, as well as Wilco and Sufjan Stevens (who they are currently both covering in their live set – “Chicago” and “Shot In The Arm”), which they both agree on. Andrew adds: “I think a lot of our influences go back to what our parents were listening to – Crosby, Stills & Nash, Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones. I think there’s a whole generation of music that’s coming back right now.”

Whatever this musical formula entails precisely, it’s certainly been a popular one to date. Was there a particular tipping point perhaps, when the band got the feeling they might be in the game for the long haul? “Really early on we got picked up to tour with The Civil Wars”, Andrew suggests. “We’d been a band for two or three months, and somehow they caught wind of our music. I think that opportunity to go and play for 2000 people in all these North American markets, as a launching point, you can’t really beat”. “That tour built a real foundation”, Graham adds.

On the response to their maiden tour of the British Isles, Graham informs me this too has been a trip to remember: “The shows have been incredible. The fact that some of them have been sold out is pretty crazy to us”, with Andrew adding Glasgow was particularly memorable, for the crowd’s silence, during the quieter moments, if nothing else. And it’s not only the shows that have been great – “The truck stops are certainly better – you get some really nice vegetables from Marks & Spencer”, Graham declares, suggesting such variety is not so commonplace back in the States. “There’s not quite so many healthy options!”.

Aside from “lots of touring”, as you’d very much expect from a buzz band with a great album on general release, more specifically the guys tell me they plan to be back in the UK before too long, perhaps in May. Later on that evening, Milo Greene play a unsurprisingly accomplished set to a room full of Thursday night revellers upstairs at the Camden institution that has seen many a US household name pass through their over the decades, with the grand finale of “1957” being a real head-turning, “I was there” moment. And at this point in time, given what’s gone so far, it would take a very brave man to bet against this originally fictitious booking agent adding themselves to any such illustrious list.

Milo Greene’s debut self-titled album is out now. Order from Amazon or iTunes.

Past LFC performance