Archive for the 'salford' Category

Manchester’s MP3 Bloggers Takeover Futuresonic

Well, it looks like Manchester’s bloggerati are throwing their own event at Futuresonic on Sunday, 4th May at the Contact Theatre on Oxford Road, lovingly titled Bloggerpalooza. We’ll be down there, for a while anyway, in between watching sets at Sounds from the Other City. So, log in or come down, either way it looks set to be great!

Cheers to Black Country Grammar and his contacts at Futuresonic for sorting it out.

Posted by JustHipper on 28th April 2008 at 8:39 pm | comments (4)
File under mp3,News,salford.

Gig Review: Light Syndicate @ Sacred Trinity Church, Salford, 8th February 2008

Light Syndicate @ Sacred Trinity Church, SalfordA couple of years ago we blogged a bit about a local band called Nephew. We saw them live a few times and they were great, and they also released an EP called Our Cold War which was very good indeed. It all went a bit quiet on the Nephew front last year but they have now re-emerged as the much more Google-friendly Light Syndicate and last week played in the ornate but cosy surroundings of Salford’s Sacred Trinity Church.

First to take the stage on the night was local singer-songwriter Simon Connor who did a decent job and managed to keep most of the assembled throng interested in his folksy pop. It was above-average singer-songwriter fare and his guitar playing was excellent throughout. He even busted out the ubiquitous looping pedal on his final song, building up layer upon layer of guitar to quite brilliant effect.

The Bangs @ Sacred Trinity Church, SalfordThe Bangs were a pleasant surprise, not least because their rather unimaginative name conjured up the image of a bunch of ladrock dullards. Things could not have been further from the truth as The Bangs are a three piece with a bloke on drums and a couple of very cool and slightly nervous looking young girls in their indie best sharing guitar, bass and vocal duties. And they were great, mixing up indie pop with grungey rock and taking me back to the early 90s and the likes of The Breeders and Throwing Muses, as well as some of those Riot Grrrl bands. Despite these influences, they were clearly intent on doing their own thing and were obviously enjoying themselves. What really impressed me was the way they used their guitars, picking out melodies on both guitar and bass that dovetailed together quite beautifully. We’ll definitely be watching out for The Bangs in the future; they could go on to break a thousand indie boy hearts.

Light Syndicate @ Sacred Trinity Church, SalfordLight Syndicate have lost their violinist since last we saw them and so are down to a mean, lean four piece. This is a shame because he brought a lot to their sound, especially to the post-rock aspect of it, although without him they sound more compact and more focused. They have finished recording their long-awaited (by us, anyway) debut album and almost all of the night’s set was taken up by tracks from it. The church, with its high ceilings, chandeliers and huge stained-glass windows, was a great setting for their atmospheric rock. New songs like “Friday Night On Peter St.” and “87654” might betray an obvious Radiohead influence but they sounded excellent nonetheless. Old favourite “High Rise Buildings” from their EP (and re-recorded for the new album) sounded as good as ever with the missing violinist’s parts remaining intact thanks to the wonders of modern technology. The album’s title track, “Last In Line”, was the highlight of a fine set with its blissful instrumental coda, complete with melodica solo, filling every corner of the room.

They ended with a new song, “Super Tuesday”, which had a rather funky bassline and another lengthy instrumental coda that took the song well past the 10 minute mark. It is during these long instrumental sections that the band’s excellent rhythm section come into their own, laying down a solid groove and allowing guitar and keyboards the freedom to soar into the sonic heavens. This was an impressive return to action and Light Syndicate have got a few more gigs lined up in the near future; check out their MySpace page for further details.

Light Syndicate – High Rise Buildings (album version)

Nephew – Secret Army (from the Our Cold War EP)

Posted by The Ledge on 20th February 2008 at 9:57 pm | comments (34)
File under Gig Reviews,light syndicate,mp3,nephew,sacred trinity church,salford,simon connor,the bangs.

Gig Review: Jens Lekman @ Sacred Trinity Church, Salford, 27th November 2007

About a month ago I stuck Jens Lekman’s new album, the magnificent Night Falls Over Kortedala, into the swanky new CD player we have in our bathroom. It seems that hearing the first four tracks on this album for five days straight had quite an adverse effect on JustHipper – who had previously been fairly receptive to this Swedish pop genius – and on the fifth day she burst into the lounge and screamed something along the lines of “if you don’t get that pile of moany shite out of the CD player ASAP then I will kill you and Jens Lekman, what with him all whining on about his first kiss and his lesbian friends and referencing himself in every fucking song. Aargh!” I swear that if we ever split up it will be because of “musical differences”.

And so she didn’t make it down to the gig, sparing both mine and Jens’ life in the process, and allowing a fortunate history student called Luke the opportunity to witness one of those rare gigs that in five years time he’ll be telling everyone “I was there.” Pews had been dragged to the wings and the “stage” set up at the business end of the church, though there wasn’t an actual stage which made viewing very difficult for most. First on was Neil Burrell who I’d seen at Islington Mill last year and who was even stranger here than he was back then. It is very difficult to define his sound as he sounds all over the place with vocals that veer unexpectedly into wildly out-of-tune falsetto and songs that seem to end abruptly just as they’re getting going. I swear that he was actually un-tuning his guitar between songs rather than tuning it up. With a complete absence of stage presence and the shortness and downright weirdness of the songs it was very difficult to get a handle on him and much of the audience seemed to lose interest pretty quicky. It was nothing if not intriguing, however, and the final song, a more linear folksy effort in which he put on a very strong, almost comic, Scottish accent, was pretty excellent.

Next up was Magic Arm who was quite impressive with his use of the looping pedal; building up backing tracks with great skill, using all manner of instruments. Folktronica is, I believe, what they call it these days and, yes, he was a veritable one man Beta Band. He played covers of Serge Gainsbourg’s “Ballade de Melody Nelson” (translated into English, no less) and LCD Soundsystem’s “Daft Punk Is Playing At My House” and they were both superb while his other stuff wasn’t too bad either.

Jens Lekman @ Sacred Trinity Church, SalfordThe congregation shuffled forward to the altar to greet Jens Lekman, the few sitting on the floor at the front remaining seated to literally worship at his feet. It was an odd atmosphere; the crowd very quiet and reverential, not just for Jens himself but for the venue. To describe it as intimate would be an understatement. Jens judged it perfectly, starting with “Into Eternity”, just him and an acoustic guitar, though he was quickly joined by a curiously dressed young lady on bongoes and backing vocals. He told stories as he strummed along during the segue into “Sipping On The Sweet Nectar” and everything was all mellow and relaxed until halfway through when a backing track suddenly kicked in, surprising everyone; even the two performers struggled to get into sync with the drums and blaring horns for a couple of bars. The storytelling continued through the sublime “A Postcard To Nina” as Jens added even more detail to the story of a nightmare dinner with his friend’s Catholic parents, pretending he was engaged to her to deflect the fact that she was going off to set up home with her girlfriend.

Though the backing tracks were used sparingly throughout the evening they were always welcome and superbly judged; during the marvellous “The Opposite Of Hallelujah” we got Chairman Of The Board’s “Give Me Just A Little More Time” bursting through the monitors fitting in perfectly with the song’s chord progression. He also used the increasingly ubiquitous looping pedal to build up vocal harmonies on a number of tracks before encouraging an initially reluctant audience to do the harmonies for him. It was difficult not to feel self-conscious in such an intimate setting and Jens struggled to get people to even clap along in the early stages. “A Sweet Summer’s Night On Hammer Hill” found moderate success in the sing-a-long chorus but it was “Pocketful Of Money” that won out with much of the male contingent, me included, singing the deep vocal refrain of “I’ll come running with a heart on fire” under their breath to produce a quite beautiful cumulative effect.

Jens Lekman @ Sacred Trinity Church, SalfordThere were so many other highlights and there wasn’t a single moment when the performance flagged. “The Cold Swedish Winter” was a quiet joy while “I’m Leaving You Because I Don’t Love You” and “Shirin” managed to be both uplifting and melancholy at the same time. He was generous with the encores and by the time we got to “Friday Night At The Drive-In Bingo” and “Black Cab” everyone was up on their feet, dancing and singing along. He ended with the gorgeous “Tram #7 To Heaven”, a fitting end to what was a quite extraordinary and unique gig-going experience.

Jens Lekman – A Postcard To Nina

Jens Lekman – Tram #7 To Heaven

Posted by The Ledge on 1st December 2007 at 12:19 pm | comments (7)
File under jens lekman,mp3,sacred trinity church,salford.