Archive for the 'youtube' Category

10 Old School Indie Bands You Should Listen To Instead of the Stone Roses

In light of today’s (annual) storm in a teacup about a possible Stone Roses reunion, we’d like to present a list of 10 bands you may have forgotten about (or never heard of) or who we just think are great that we’d rather see than The Stone Roses. We think you should bin your Madchester records and go by something truly underrated and beautiful, like a record by one of these artists: [Read On…] »

Posted by JustHipper on 7th April 2011 at 1:24 pm | comments (288)
File under video,youtube.

Gig Review: In the City, Manchester, Tuesday 7th October 2008

We were looking forward to an In the City hat-trick and yet again were befuddled by the range of choice so we had always planned on making Tuesday the day where we saw a few acts with whom we’re pretty familiar.

In The City 2008 - Unidentified band @ The AtticWe started off at The Attic where a last minute opener had replaced a cancellation by one of the scheduled acts. I have no idea what these guys were called as they never said, but honestly, if I played in a band that derivative I wouldn’t tell anyone what we were called either. They had long hair, beards, wore baggy shorts and sounded like they liked everything bland and monotonous about Seattle c. 1995. The most memorable thing about them was the rather unpleasant ending to their set where the lead singer braced his guitar against a monitor and simulated sex with it. I’m still trying to erase the image from my brain as it was really rather vile. I guess he thought it made him more “rock n roll.” Mostly it made him look like a bit of a tit.

Second on was The Star Fighter Pilot, a one-man electronic act whose lo-fi, keyboard and computer-driven set falls somewhere in between early OMD and what Nine Inch Nails would sound like if they tried to make lighthearted electro-pop. The live set involves live singing combined programmed elements from a laptop and sound effects and a bit of keyboard. Lyrically the tracks cover somewhat unusual themes (although the prevalence of numbers about stalkers and perverts last night was a bit worrying) and full of humour. The highlight, naturally, was the live debut of “The Invisible Invasion,” which we’re pretty sure made internet history as the first song commissioned via Twitter when I made a cheeky tweet about it back in early September. Needless to say, we very much enjoyed the set.

With proceedings at The Attic running late we knew we’d already missed The Bangs and didn’t want the same thing to occur with Light Syndicate so we rushed across to Retro Bar where the band were just taking the stage as we paid for drinks at the bar. We first saw Light Syndicate back when they were still called Nephew at an In the City showcase way back in 2005. At the time I commented that they reminded me of Toad the Wet Sprocket because there was a folky element to the sound. These days with the band down to 4 musicians they are tighter than ever and louder than ever. Light Syndicate in 2008 have really hit their stride with a sound influenced by late-era Radiohead and post rock but with enough rousing melody and sympathetic lyricism to make the songs sound vast and anthemic while managing to maintain the intimacy of delivering them in a tiny room – plus they still do the whole quiet/loud thing to great effect. They told the crowd last night that their debut album, which they must have completed a year ago, will finally be out next month. It’s great and well worth buying.

By the time Light Syndicate finished we were exhausted from four days in a row of gigs and decided to head home, very impressed with the broad range of new musical talent on offer at ITC in 2008. Hopefully we’ll hear more from (most of) these bands over the coming year.

Posted by JustHipper on 8th October 2008 at 6:44 pm | comments (5)
File under Gig Reviews,in the city,manchester gigs,youtube.

The Manchester Gig Guide: 15th-21st September 2008

I was gutted when Bon Iver pulled out of his support slot with Iron And Wine at the Ritz back in May to play Jools Holland. His For Emma, Forever Ago album is one of my favourites of the year so far and he finally makes it to Manchester on Monday night when he plays the Academy 2. Also on Monday the excellent Jeffrey Lewis plays the Club Academy with support from the much-touted Wave Pictures, while Californian indie popsters The Little Ones are at the Night & Day.

There are more goodies on Tuesday with Shearwater at The Roadhouse supported by local hopefuls Air Cav. Though I’ve quite enjoyed the last couple of Shearwater albums, for some reason their songs just don’t seem to stick and those albums are now gathering dust on the Indie Cred shelves. I’m hoping for some sort of epiphany at The Roadhouse. Canadians Born Ruffians play the Night & Day on the same night and I’m pretty sure that they’ll be very good.

On Wednesday folk goth pioneer – and daughter of Maddy Prior – Rose Kemp plays the Night & Day. The Glasvegas gig at the Academy 3 on the same night sold out long ago but don’t worry, they’ve since added a date at the Academy 2 on December 8th. Derry’s hotly-tipped indie rockers Fighting With Wire play the Roadhouse, also on Wednesday, in what is a 14+ show.

On Thursday My Brightest Diamond are on at the Sacred Trinity Church in Salford while on Saturday The Telescopes are on at the KroBar on Oxford Road. This is, apparently, the same band I remember from the halcyon days of Rocking In The UK/Transmission – the weekly hour of indie music TV broadcast on some, but not all, of the ITV regions at 3 in the morning that I, and presumably many other like-minded music lovers, set their videos for every Wednesday night (or was it Tuesday?) back in the late-80s/early-90s so they could watch cheap videos stuffed full of “psychedelic” visual effects by droning, noisy shoegazers like the aforementioned Telescopes, or watch said bands being interviewed by shy indie girls called Rachael; or a very young and nervous Steve Lamacq. I’ve recently been converting a lot of my old videos to DVD and watching old episodes of Transmission (certainly not to be confused with the shitty C4 show) and Snub TV has brought many a lump to my throat. Anyway, after all of that I can’t say I much enjoyed The Telescopes way back when. Sorry.

The week will be rounded off in style when ex-Go Between and songwriting genius Robert Forster plays the Royal Northern College of Music on Sunday on his first tour of this country since the tragic early death of Grant McLennan in 2006. It will, I’m sure, be emotional.

Video: The Go-Betweens: Here Comes A City

Posted by The Ledge on 14th September 2008 at 10:22 pm | comments (3)
File under gig guide,manchester gigs,video,youtube.

Gig Review: A Day At The Races Festival, Moho Live & The Night & Day Café, Manchester, 2nd August 2008

Things didn’t start too well for the inaugural A Day At The Races festival the Saturday before last. After the band that prompted us to buy the tickets in the first place, Frightened Rabbit, pulled out a couple of weeks before in order to play The Big Chill, Elf Power became the band we were really looking forward to seeing. On arriving at Moho Live just after 4pm we found out that they too had pulled out. At least we get to see Suburban Kids With Biblical Names, I thought (the two bands clashed on the schedules), but no, they too had disappeared from the line-up. Schedules were re-arranged and Calvin Johnson’s festival opening set was put back an hour to 5:30pm, giving us an hour’s wait in the bar.

Calvin Johnson @ A Day At The RacesCalvin Johnson, formerly of Beat Happening, played solo acoustic and unamplified to a decent sized crowd of early birds, not taking the stage but playing on the floor of the venue in front of the stage as the crowd formed an intimate semi-circle around him. He was clearly unphased by this set up and regaled us with the occasional amusing anecdote and found time for a few songs, none of which I recognised – I only own one Beat Happening album – but all of which were pretty good and in a folksy singer-songwritery vein, with his rather wonderful deep croon often overpowering his scratchy guitar work.

David Thomas Broughton @ A Day At The RacesThe non-appearance of SKWBN gave us the chance to see David Thomas Broughton for the first time after he had been drafted in as a replacement, presumably at short notice. So, we headed off to the Night & Day only to find that they weren’t letting people in, even though it was 6pm and Broughton was on at 6:30, and there were a few people already inside. About 40 people waited for half an hour to get in, during which time there was a brief, but heavy, downpour. Once inside, the unassuming Broughton treated us to a highly entertaining half hour of oddball folkiness, building up improvised atonal loops and offering pleasingly nasal old school English folk vocals, when he wasn’t banging his head against the microphone or wandering into the crowd and scaring the locals.

It was at this point that JustHipper, who had been feeling pretty ill for the previous few days, decided to throw in the towel and make her way home to a warm sofa and last week’s “Gossip Girl”. This strangely coincided with the point at which I really started to enjoy the evening. Long-time John Peel favourites Bearsuit were great fun in their superhero costumes, their vibrant Welsh indiepop coming in somewhere between Gorkys Zygotic Mynci and Los Campesinos, but certainly much better than the latter who where so disappointing at T In The Park recently that I had absolutely no intention of catching their set at this event.

Jeffrey Lewis @ A Day At The RacesNext, Ólafur Arnalds‘ blend of chamber music and electronica was frankly a little boring so I set off early back at Moho Live to see Jeffrey Lewis, who put in perhaps the outstanding set of the day. It was the first time that I’d seen him but I kind of knew what to expect – repetitive hooks, dense, funny lyrics – and he certainly delivered the goods. New song “I Preferred Herman Dune With Two Brothers In The Band” set the standard – and sounded not unlike something Herman Dune themselves would write – while “Back When I Was 4” and his cover of Crass’ “Big A, Little A” were also great, though not as good as the excellent “Creepiing Brain” which had Lewis flicking through a huge comic book as the song went along, unravelling the story in graphic as well as musical form.

Múm @ A Day At The RacesI arrived back at the now sweltering Night & Day in time to catch Adem put in a stellar cover of Low’s “Laser Beam” and, though I’d never had any intention of catching any of his set, found myself a little disappointed that he’d clashed with Jeffrey Lewis.

Then it was off for a quick kebab before returning to see Icelandic popsters Múm end the day’s proceeding with a wonderfully feelgood set of summery electronica. If I say they fell somewhere between Sigur Rós and Stereolab then JustHipper won’t feel the slightest tinge of regret on missing most of the day, though I have a sneaking feeling that she’d have really liked them. Anyway, though things didn’t look too promising at the outset, A Day At The Races turned out to be a thoroughly good outing.

Video: Bearsuit – Foxy Boxer, from their set at the Night & Day

Posted by The Ledge on 12th August 2008 at 11:01 pm | comments (5)
File under Festival Reviews,Gig Reviews,john peel bands,night & day,Reviews,video,youtube.

Videos: Fleet Foxes, Land Of Talk live in Manchester

Here’s a couple of videos that we forgot to attach to recent gig reviews.

First, here’s the excellent Fleet Foxes playing “White Winter Hymnal” at the Roadhouse on 17th June with added witty banter concerning Home Improvement star Tim Allen.

Also in June at the Club Academy, Canada’s Land Of Talk played an excellent set to a handful of people in support of Tapes n’ Tapes, who were awful on the night. Here’s “Summer Special” from that set.

Posted by The Ledge on 7th August 2008 at 11:53 pm | comments (8)
File under manchester gigs,video,youtube.

Video: My Morning Jacket – Highly Suspicious, Live at Manchester Academy 2, 27th June 2008

We just got back from My Morning Jacket’s awesome performance at the Academy 2 tonight. Here’s a video of their performance of Highly Suspicious. A full review will be up in due course.

Posted by The Ledge on 28th June 2008 at 1:16 am | comments (1)
File under my morning jacket,video,youtube.

Video: Leonard Cohen Live at Manchester Opera House, 18th June 2008

We’ve just returned from watching Leonard Cohen put in a breathtaking live set. He can still sing and he’s utterly and completely charming and we were totally mesmerised. We’ll have a full live review up later in the week when we have some time to breathe, but in the meantime, here’s a video of him performing “Everybody Knows” taken from the balcony earlier tonight.

Posted by JustHipper on 18th June 2008 at 11:54 pm | comments (17)
File under Leonard Cohen,video,youtube.

Gig Review: The Hold Steady, Manchester Academy 2, 26th February 2008

The Hold Steady @ Manchester Academy 2, 26th Feb 2008Roughly a year ago the Hold Steady played their first ever Manchester gig at Club Academy. It was full of men in their thirties and forties. In fact, it’s entirely possible that Bricking Chick and I were the only two females in the place, not that I’d have noticed because I was too busy dancing. A week later and The Ledge was with me in Sheffield at a riotous gig that he refers to as “the greatest night of [his] life.”

Oh how things change and yet how they stay the same!

Tuesday night the Hold Steady played an NME gig in the Academy 2. The front row, instead of being packed full of middled-aged men (and me), was full of young lads, some escorted by their parents. The average age of the Hold Steady fan had dropped in the course of a year by about 10 years. Not bad really. Too bad my age won’t do the same. It was disturbing yet thrilling. I worried that the atmosphere would change and that the band’s live show, which works so well in a small venue where there is no distance between them and the audience, would suffer. I didn’t really have to worry (although I fear a leap up to the Academy 1 may be disastrous).

First, however, we had to suffer through The Haze. Now, I can’t work out how they ended up on the bill. I can only imagine that the promoter was walking along a quiet London street when he got hit in the head by, I don’t know, a large piece of debris from a Russian satellite as it crashed to Earth, and was so dazed when he got in to the office that he thought it was 1985 and getting The Cult to play was a good idea. I can’t imagine if he’d been in his right mind he’d have booked a band whose entire set consisted of variations on “She Sells Sanctuary,” a song I can almost tolerate when I’m too drunk to know better.

The Hold Steady @ Manchester Academy 2, 26th Feb 2008The Hold Steady were on great form from the start, all smiles, with Craig Finn saying that he wanted to top their last Manchester show, back in July, which he reckoned was an amazing night. I wouldn’t know, but it was great to get a different opening song, the snarling “Hornets! Hornets!” which we’d not seen live before and which led into a raucous “Stuck Between Stations.” At this point they were off, running through a set which was about half Boys & Girls in America, which the crowd sang back, and half Separation Sunday. Keyboard player Franz Nicolay, sporting a beard to go along with his handlebar moustache, was on good form, making eye contact and grinning at most of the front row, and Craig Finn kept exhorting the crowd to clap and dance more, although he seems to have stopped repeating every line he’s just sung away from the microphone for emphasis. I missed it.

The Hold Steady Setlist, Manchester, February 26, 2008Two new songs made the set: “Constructive Summer,” ostensibly about being home from university for the summer and trying to find something to do, and “Stay Positive” which is the title track from their upcoming album (and which we sneakily filmed for you viewing pleasure). While The Ledge reckons “Constructive Summer” sounds like Hüsker Dü, I thought that both songs were very much in the vein of Boys & Girls in America, that is to say, pop rock songs with great singalong choruses. I’m looking forward to hearing them when I can actually make out the lyrics.

Despite having seen the Hold Steady about a half dozen times over the last 13 months, I continue to be amazed at their ability to be playing a gig with the crowd rather than for us. A lot of bands (can you hear me, Pete Doherty) play lip service to breaking down the barrier between themselves and the audience, but most of those other bands want to be rock stars more than anything and they want to be around their fans so they can get fawned over and told how great they are. The Hold Steady, on the other hand, are no different from their audience (except of course for the fact that they’re genius songwriters) because they’re in the room for the same reason that we’re in the room – because a great gig is a thing of joy and because great music soundtracks all the important moments of our lives and getting to experience that music which is, ahem, scratched into our souls, in a live setting, with 1000 other people experiencing the same thing, can be the greatest feeling in the world.

The Hold Steady – Hornets! Hornets!

Video: “Stay Positive”

Posted by JustHipper on 28th February 2008 at 10:51 pm | comments (9)
File under Gig Reviews,manchester academy 2,manchester gigs,mp3,Reviews,stay positive,the hold steady,video,youtube.

Gig Review: Devastations @ Leeds Faversham, 24th November 2007

Devastations at Leeds FavershamLast night we were headed over to Leeds to take in Devastations opening for Scout Niblett, having grown to really love the new Devastations album, Yes, U. The only thing I knew about Scout Niblett before last night is that she once opened for Shellac, as we have her name on a Shellac gig poster. That is still all I know about Scout Niblett as apparently she fell ill the previous night and has cancelled her last two performances. We were sorry to hear that because being ill is not nice and we figured if somebody had opened for Shellac they might be worth hearing. However, as the Faversham website said that Devastations would be headlining, we weren’t that sad.

Needless to say, we turned up just shy of 10pm to be told it was free to get in and that Scout Niblett would not be appearing. Nevertheless, it wasn’t a bad turnout, with the room about 1/3 full when opener Paul Marshall appeared on stage with an acoustic guitar and the most amazing indie combover I’d ever seen. He played dark, sincere acoustic songs which sounded great for about the first 15 minutes and then started to drag a bit. I think perhaps he needed some other musicians backing him up to provide more texture. It’s possible he has that normally. He wasn’t half bad though, and was very enthusiastic. He even spent most of Devastations’ set stood next to me dancing gleefully (and he told his girlfriend not to stand in front of me because she was a good half a foot taller). So he gets my vote.

By the time Devastations appeared on stage, a full 15 minutes earlier than listed, the room was looking reasonably full. There were clearly some fans in the audience, as several tall 40-something men tried to push their way in front of me, and there were clearly some people who’d come down for Scout Niblett and figured they may as well stay. It would not be an exaggeration to say that 60 minutes later, if it even took that long, the entire room was a room of Devastations fans, because they were simply stunning. Whereas at ATP earlier in the year we had been mildly disappointed that they were not as intense and moody as they sounded like they would be from the description in the program, this time they were far more intense, moody, snarling and full-on than we expected.

Conrad Standish of Devastations live in LeedsOpening with “Oh Me Oh My” from the current album, we knew within notes that the new tracks would translate beautifully live, taking on an angrier hue. In fact everything sounded more noisy, more emotional and more growling as the band positively took over the small stage and the room with three instruments, a sequencer and some shared lead vocals. On record, particularly on previous long player, Coal, I often found the tracks tended to blend together and to sound rather disconcertingly too much like the Tindersticks. Live, all comparisons went away, as only Conrad Standish’s vocal phrasing remains reminiscent of Stuart Staples. They were more of a blindingly fervent mixture of Jack and The Drones with a bit of Roxy Music thrown in at times.

They tore through a set consisting mostly of new tracks including “Black Ice,” “Mistakes” and closer “Rosa” as well as a track or two from Coal and a track off their first album (which we don’t have) that they said was the first song they ever wrote and I think is called “Previous Crimes.” On the back of it, I may be on Amazon in a few minutes trying to order the first album. This was the track that made me recall The Drones with its meandering, gritty, low-key vocal and its dark and dirty blues rock chorus.

Needless to say, Devastations put in a stunning performance which was thankfully longer than the thirty minutes they had been scheduled to play. This only begs the questions of: when are they coming to Manchester and why haven’t more people heard this band yet?

Here’s a video of “Previous Crimes” that I took at the gig:

Devastations – “Oh Me Oh My”

Devastations – “Rosa”

Posted by JustHipper on 25th November 2007 at 2:47 pm | comments (5)
File under cancelled shows,devastations,Gig Reviews,leeds faversham,mp3,paul marshall,scout niblett,video,youtube.

Video: The National play “Green Gloves” at Manchester Academy 2, 4th November 2007

This was over a week ago so it’s a bit too late for a full review but here’s a video I shot of The National playing “Green Gloves” at the Academy 2 a week last Sunday, with support act St. Vincent on backing vocals.

The National @ Manchester Academy 2It was a great gig with St. Vincent going down very well and impressing with her brilliant (and quite unique) guitar playing, her excellent use of the looping pedal and her wonderful vocals. The National were on spellbinding form. After opening with “Start A War”, followed by “Mistaken For Strangers” and “Secret Meeting”, I simply lost track of events, so wrapped up was I in the proceedings. The Boxer material sounded especially good, with much of it escaping the confines of the dark and muted atmosphere of the album to blossom into dynamic rock masterpieces while still retaining that dark heart, thanks to Matt Beringer’s unholy croon. The National: great on record, even better live.

St. Vincent – Marry Me

The National – Wasp Nest

Posted by The Ledge on 16th November 2007 at 6:58 pm | comments (3)
File under manchester academy 2,st. vincent,the national,Uncategorized,video,youtube.