Archive for the 'video' 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.

Trespassers William @ Sacred Trinity Church, Salford, 07-10-09

I’ve been wanting to see Trespassers William live for three years now, at least – since The Ledge first downloaded “Lie in the Sound” from their stunning Different Stars album. This gig at Sacred Trinity was the first opportunity and what a great venue for it too! With the high celings, ornate decor and stunning acoustics, the atmosphere would certainly be the perfect way to experience their soft, mournful, shoegazer folk.

First on was Operations – basically Kip from Napoleon Dynamite with a guitar and an effects pedal. He played a chord and then used his effects pedal to string it out forever, changing volume and adding weird, well, effects. They weren’t songs. They were chords and a guy monkeying around. The Ledge commented that it was the sort of thing he used to do in his bedroom when he got his first guitar to see what sounds the effects pedal would make. To call it boring doesn’t do it justice. The “songs” were so monotonous and uninteresting that they could make the dead rise from the grave to find somewhere else to entomb themselves.

Glissando came next and were far more agreeable, playing incredibly slow folky tunes which I enjoyed at first, but lost my interest after while. I’d probably have enjoyed them more if I weren’t anticipating the main act.

Trespassers William were everything I hoped they’d be – quiet, pensive, beautiful – and they left far too soon. With a 30 minute set which consisted of around 7 songs, they managed to sneak in my two favourites – “Different Stars” and “Lie in the Sound” as well as a breathtaking cover of “Videotape” by Radiohead with Glissando providing additional instrumentation and backing vocals and a couple of new songs which were lovely, but failed to surprise (not that this was a bad thing). Singer, Anna-Lynne explained that the band was soldiering on despite both her and guitarist Matt being rather unwell, which may explain the short set.

Overall, although I wish they’d played longer, I can’t complain too much as the gig was exactly what we wanted when we bought the tickets. Trespassers William came to Manchester and played their lovely music for us in a church.

Trespassers William – Different Stars

Video: Trespassers William, “Lie in the Sound” at Sacred Trinity Church, Salford

Video: Trespassers William, “Videotape” at Sacred Trinity Church, Salford

Posted by JustHipper on 11th October 2009 at 3:48 pm | comments (321)
File under female singers,Gig Reviews,sacred trinity church,video.

Gig Review: Brett Anderson, Manchester Royal Northern College of Music, 26th September 2008

Dear Brett Anderson,

Last night’s gig at the Royal Northern College of Music in support of your new album, Wilderness, was many things, but it was far from being a typical Brett Anderson gig. I know we’ve had our musical differences over the last couple of years but seeing you on stage really made me worry about you. You looked gaunt and a little ill – a thin man who is noticeably thinner, eyes sunk into his skull, brings out my mothering instinct. Please, let me send you a casserole, or some brownies. You need a good feed or twenty. It might cheer you up. I’m deadly serious, if you want me to feed you, let me know. I’ll send a care package. I promise not to send Pot Noodle. I also promise not to poison you. I’d hate to see the songwriter whose Dog Man Star and Coming Up albums got me through the two worst years of my life starve to death. I’d also hate for you not to receive the same comfort from somewhere that your records gave me.

The first twenty or so minutes of your performance, where you emerged to the piano without even acknowledging the audience were excruciating. Running one song into the next, the songs from Wilderness all have the same tone and pace, are even in the same key, and the cello arrangements are so monotonous that I didn’t notice when “A Different Place” turned into “The Emperess.” With you staring at your hands, tearing through these slow dirges, it was hard to engage with what was occuring on stage. Although I adore “Back To You” it felt soulless, the way you were jauntily hitting the keys with a plink-plink-plink, even though it was slow and quiet, it felt hurried, lacking in the necessary brooding and restraint.

I was so relieved when you finally moved to your stool and took up a guitar. “Love Is Dead” was a bit better, even though you still kept your eyes closed and for the first time ever I quite enjoyed “Song for My Father” – it was the first moment in the show where you actually seemed to be really singing something like you meant it. Now this is not to say that you landed a note out of place, but watching you perform with such obvious disengagement from the gig, like you were entirely in your own head, barely acknowledging the crowd or even your cellist, Amy, was so unlike you as a performer that it really detracted from the experience.

I kept expecting you to open your eyes, banter with the crowd, tell a dorky anecdote, but we got nothing – just closed eyes and song after relentless song.  “Funeral Mantra” connected a bit better than it had when I was listening to the album, “To the Winter” suffered the same fate as “Back to You.” I wanted to scream “WHY WON’T YOU LOOK AT US!” on a number of occasions but the pace between songs was such that I’d have had to interrupt your playing – and I’m not quite that rude (nearly, perhaps). I was terribly disappointed when you left after 45 minutes for the interval.

The problem I had, and I continue to have this morning is that just over a year ago I saw you perform songs from your eponymous debut, Brett Anderson, at the Manchester Academy. Despite promoting an album you described as personal and intimate you were strutting around like a rock god, waving your arms, shaking your arse and the gig lacked that intimacy – until you did an interlude of acoustic songs with just your guitar. That was an amazing 15 minutes because you stopped being a performer and just sang to the audience. You were engaged with us, you were open and you talked with us and for a few minutes the wall dropped and I felt like we were seeing a vulnerable, honest performance. You can see what I said in my original review. I’m also not the only reviewer to have expressed this sentiment.

Strangely, a few months later you went out on an acoustic tour and then recorded an acoustic album. Maybe you already had this plan in mind, but the cynic in me wonders if you read your reviews and thought that in order to achieve songwriter gravitas you had to pursue this direction – whether you wanted to or not. The worry is that something in your head told you that Brett Anderson at 40 cannot be a rock star, can’t explore and experiment with computers or electronics, plugged in instruments – that people wil say you lack dignity if you don’t go all singer-songwriter acoustic. The worry is that you feel that acoustic and slow is the same thing as honest, open and vulnerable – it is not. I have seen screaming punk rock performances, electronica acts who were raw and expressive and honest. It wasn’t the fact you were playing acoustically on your own – it was the fact that you weren’t delivering a performance, you were, quite simply, singing songs that mattered to you back to us.

Last night was a different story, however. Now, maybe I have it wrong and these songs are so emotional for you that you find it hard to perform them and you need to go inside your own head to get through the performance – but I just find that hard to believe. You produced some very raw performances of some very emotional songs with Suede and there was rarely a moment where you were disengaged from your audience – even when you were at your worst, while promoting Head Music. But mostly, this conclusion comes from the fact that the Suede part of the set consisted of much of the same disengagement.

Now don’t get me wrong, I was thrilled when you came back on stage and played “Europe is Our Playground”. “The Wild Ones” still has the ability to completely make the world stop for me and “Still Life” nearly brought a tear to my eye. On the other hand, one of my all-time Suede favourites, “Pantomime Horse” suffered a bit from the sudden need to express emotion which involved violent strumming and headbanging – open your eyes, stand up and express it as a singer, don’t just phone it in with a rock cliche! “The Living Dead” suffered from the same fate.

When you moved back to your piano and treated us to “Another No One”, “Down”, “He’s Gone”, “The 2 Of Us” and “Asphalt World”, I finally felt that you were coming out of your shell a little – you looked at us a couple of times, or maybe I just love those songs that much that your coldness didn’t matter.

The final two songs, however, were an absolute disgrace. I made a joke in our Manchester Gig Guide earlier in the week regarding hearing “Trash” and “Animal Nitrate” on acoustic guitar and cello. I did not expect to get this performance – albeit “So Young” instead of “Animal Nitrate”. For starters, even though you acknowledge that playing “So Young” is a bit ironic that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t retire it entirely. It sounded ridiculous. Ok, it was pretty, but the slow, acoustic delivery completely destroyed the anger and energy of the song. “Trash” sounded moronic when you played it in that format for Jonathan Ross on Radio 2 a few years ago, it sounded even more idiotic last night. Singing a bombastic song about mis-spent youth, clubbing and drugs in the same dirge-like manner as the rest of your recent offerings just emphasizes the fact that you were delivering what you think you should be doing now, rather than playing the songs in the way that you’re really feeling them.

I enjoyed parts of your performance, you sing beautifully and you always have, however Mr. Brett Anderson, your performance in Manchester last night felt hollow and at times I think you knew that – or you would have been able to make eye contact with us.

Please Brett, before releasing another monotone album where the bland music contrasts and spoils the melodrama in the lyrics, please think about what will work best for what you’re feeling and for what the songs need. Don’t just make an acoustic album so you sound “mature” and don’t just make a bombastic rock album because that’s what the legions of fans who have deserted you over the last two years will require in order to return to the fold. Think about what you need to write in order to be open, vulnerable and honest with us again and try to write that record.

Oh, and do eat something please.

All the best,

Justhipper

Posted by JustHipper on 27th September 2008 at 11:48 am | comments (13)
File under brett anderson,Gig Reviews,manchester gigs,video.

Brett Anderson Live in Manchester 26th September: Video of “Europe Is Our Playground”

Brett Anderson live at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester tonight was many things, good and bad. Here’s a video of him performing Suede classic, “Europe Is Our Playground”. There will be much more video and a full review to follow, possibly very late tonight, possibly tomorrow.

Posted by JustHipper on 27th September 2008 at 12:04 am | comments (1)
File under brett anderson,manchester gigs,video.

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.