Archive for September, 2008

Robert Forster @ RNCM, Manchester, 21st September 2008

Robert Forster @ Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester
Robert Forster was in fine form when we saw him last Sunday night at the Royal Northern College of Music in what was his first time back in Manchester since the tragic and untimely death of close friend and songwriting partner Grant McLennan put an end to The Go-Betweens as a going concern and robbed the world of one of its finest songwriting talents. Grant was never far from our or, I suspect, most of the audience’s minds for much of the evening, his absence heightened by the familiarity of Forster’s backing band – Adele Pickvance and Glenn Thompson were both Go-Betweens in the band’s noughties revival. I was expecting some kind of tribute from Forster but he didn’t mention Grant at all; what was left unspoken came pouring out in a spine-tingling, beautiful reading of “Quiet Heart”, one of Grant’s finest songs and the only one of his played on the night.

The evening began with Forster alone with acoustic guitar, strumming his way through “Something For Myself” from Bright Yellow, Bright Orange. Tall, besuited and with an impressive mop of silvery hair he looked every bit the elegant elder statesman of pop that he now is. Band members were introduced one by one with Adele Pickvance appearing first for “If It Rains” followed a couple of songs later by Glenn Thompson, who was on guitar and keyboard duties, rather than drums, this time around, and then 21-year-old Matthew Harrison on drums. This first section of the gig really set the tone for the evening: plenty from his new solo effort, The Evangelist, and from The Go-Betweens’ post-reformation albums with a couple of golden oldies thrown in for good measure. Surprisingly, for me, it was the songs from the first of those latter day Go-Betweens albums, The Friends Of Rachel Worth, that made the greatest impression. “Spirit” and “When She Sang About Angels” – which was preceded by a rather long-winded anecdote about gatecrashing a Patti Smith gig at the Serpentine Gallery that was about twice as long as the song itself – really shone and had me rummaging through the CD racks at home this week for a quick re-evaluation of what was previously my least favourite Go-B’s long player. Forster obviously likes it, though, and played all five of his compositions from it on the night.

The gorgeous “I’m Alright” brought us up to the 15 minute interval (are these unnecessary interruptions a contractual obligation in theatre venues or just a ploy to sell more beer?) with Thompson perfectly replicating Grant McLennan’s fluid, melodic guitar parts, as he did brilliantly throughout the evening. The second part of the set was like a beefed-up, lengthier version of the first with Forster switching from acoustic to electric, but what it lacked in real surprises it made up for in sheer quality. We got fantastic versions of Go-Betweens classics “Head Full Of Steam” and “Spring Rain” that had me wishing that we were all jumping up and down and singing along at the Night & Day rather than sitting passively in a theatre. However the venue’s excellent acoustics really brought out the lush, rich textures of the likes of “Clouds”, “Dive For Your Memory” and “Darlinghurst Nights”.

A thunderous “Here Comes A City” brought an end to the main set and the encore saw an outing for a couple of his solo tracks from albums other than The Evangelist. I was really hoping for a few songs off his first, and best, solo effort, Danger In The Past, but all we got was “Heart Out To Tender”, which isn’t exactly my favourite. Oh, what I’d have given to hear “Justice”. Similarly, “I Can Do” was the sole representative from Warm Nights and there was nothing at all from Calling From A Country Phone. The classic “People Say”, from way back in 1978, brought events to a rapturous close and from the vibrant quality of the performance and Forster’s obvious enjoyment of proceedings, I’d say that there is still plenty more to come.

The Go-Betweens – Quiet Heart

The Go-Betweens – Head Full Of Steam

The Go-Betweens – Spirit

Robert Forster – Demon Days

Posted by The Ledge on 30th September 2008 at 10:05 pm | comments (4)
File under Gig Reviews,mp3,Reviews.

The Hold Steady UK Tour – CANCELLED

Craig Finn of The Hold Steady live in Manchester UKIn case you haven’t heard, The Hold Steady have cancelled their entire UK tour to have started tonight, 29th September. Apparently all dates will be rescheduled. The email from Ticketline regarding the cancellation states:

Ref: The Hold Steady at Manchester Academy 29th September
> ’08
>
>
>
> Unfortunately this gig has been postponed due to one of the
> band members
> being ill. If you wish to attend a new date when it is
> announced, please
> keep hold of the tickets you have received. We will advise
> you of a new
> date when it becomes available however we also advise you
> to keep an eye
> on the website for further information. Alternatively
> please return your
> tickets by secure mail to the address below for a face
> value refund.
>
>
>
> On behalf of the promoters of the event and the band, we
> apologise for
> any inconvenience caused.
>

Pity, as we’ve been looking forward to this for months!

If you’re reading this lads, get well soon, and please don’t reschedule on a really awkward night…..

For those of you who are gutted at having to wait, here’s a teaser:

Posted by JustHipper on 29th September 2008 at 5:57 pm | comments (4)
File under CD Reviews,hold steady,manchester gigs,News,Rant.

The Manchester Gig Guide: 29th September – 5th October 2008

Another exciting week is on the cards with the annual In The City festival kicking off next weekend. There’s so much going on in ITC that I think I’ll leave all that for another post later in the week.

On Monday, indie rock ‘n’ rollers The Duke Spirit play the Club Academy while Tall Firs are at the Dulcimer in Chorlton. Gig of the week, maybe even the year, will be at the Academy on Tuesday when The Hold Steady, who are pretty much our favourite band of the past few years, arrive back in Mancehster for the fourth time in little over 18 months. There are still tickets left and you’d be a fool to miss them. See you down the front. Ok, so maybe The Hold Steady aren’t your thing, maybe you want to see some guy in a splangly one-piece daredevil uniform singing into a telephone strapped to his daredevil helmet while he bashes out distorted blues on his guitar; a sort of Seasick Steve meets Evil Knievel kind of thing. If you do then Bob Log III could be right up your street and, as luck would have it, he’s playing The Ruby Lounge on the same night.

There’s plenty going on on Thursday with The Ting Tings playing the first of a two night homecoming stint at the Academy while hotly-tipped Friendly Fires are at the Ruby Lounge. The Automatic are on at the Academy 2 but if you’re lucky they’ll be drowned out by US hardcore legends The Melvins upstairs in the Academy 3. If you want something a bit quieter then acoustic singer-songwriter Kaki King plays the Night & Day. From what I’ve heard on her MySpace page this could be very good indeed.

Friday sees Cajun Dance Party at the Academy 3, Pete Doherty at the Ritz and Stevie Wonder at the MEN Arena. On Saturday we’ll be at the Bridgewater Hall to see the Tindersticks for the first time in ages. They’re promoting their excellent new album, The Hungry Saw, and will have an orchestra in tow so it should be an excellent night.

In The City gets properly underway on Sunday but the pick of the non-ITC gigs on the night are the intriguing Maps & Atlases at the Star & Garter and The Streets at the Academy.

Posted by The Ledge on 28th September 2008 at 11:13 pm | comments (1)
File under gig guide,manchester gigs,the hold steady.

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.

Gig Review: Shearwater @ The Roadhouse, Manchester, 16th September 2008

I’ve been trying to get into Shearwater of late but it’s been a bit of a struggle. While I find their last couple of albums, Palo Santo and Rook, to be eminently listenable and quite enjoyable affairs, there just seems to be something missing, something that’s stopping me from declaring myself a fully-fledged fan. The main problem I have is that the songs don’t seem to stay with me too long after I’ve listened to them; there’s only a faint glimmer of recognition when I next put on an album. As for the songs’ titles: forget it.

I was hoping that the Roadhouse gig last Tuesday would fill in the missing pieces, that something would click and I’d finally be able to fully embrace the Shearwater enigma. Unfortunately this didn’t happen. Watching the gig was very similar to listening to the albums: it was largely enjoyable, I recognised almost everything they played, but a day later I couldn’t tell you what they’d played – even listening back to those albums. There were a couple of exceptions to this: “Rooks” is a gorgeous track, their best as far as I’m concerned, and the band certainly did it justice on the night while “Seventy-Four, Seventy-Five” is not one of my favourites but is one of the few Shearwater tracks that wears its title on its sleeve.

The band can certainly cut it live, though it’s a shame that so few people turned up to witness it. There were a huge number of different instruments on the stage – more, perhaps, than people in the crowd – and the band members swapped roles with great ease. Drummer Thor Harris – a guy who looks exactly like his name might suggest – certainly deserves much praise in this respect, although his drumming and snare sound were a little overbearing at times and I certainly hadn’t forgotten his performance the last time I saw him drumming for Bill Callahan. As well as drums he handled clarinet, glockenspiel and dulcimer with great aplomb and has certainly risen in my estimation. If only his bandmates had just an iota of his personality. There was barely any attempt to communicate with the audience and singer Jonathan Meiburg has the aura of a grown-up choirboy, which, I believe, he actually is. Compared to Okkervil River – lead by former Shearwater member, the charismatic, swaggering Will Sheff – they are shrinking violets. Maybe it’s this lack of personality and the inherent lack of character in many of the songs that has stopped them from becoming a band that I love rather than one that I merely like.

Shearwater – Rooks

Shearwater – White Waves

Posted by The Ledge on 23rd September 2008 at 7:48 pm | comments (5)
File under Gig Reviews,mp3,Reviews,roadhouse.

The Manchester Gig Guide: 21st – 27th September 2008

Brett Anderson of Suede drooling over Bernard Butler

Well, a day late and from the wrong member of the Indie Cred household, here’s the weekly gig guide.

It seems that last night we missed Beggars at the Night & Day, System of a Down side-project Scars on Broadway at the Manchester Academy and hardcore band Strike Anywhere at the Music Box. Oh well.

As for tonight, if I manage to get this posted in the next 10 minutes or so, you might manage to get down to the Manchester Academy to see experimental rock-rap-funk outfit Flobots, down to the Roadhouse for Infadels or to the Night & Day for White Lies, although that last one, it seems, has been sold out at least since Friday’s Manchester Evening News went to press.

Now, on to the gigs that aren’t already nearly history. Tuesday, September 23rd looks to be a quiet night with not much more than Liz Green, Ben Wetherill and Essie Jain, a trio of singer-songwriters, on at Matt & Phreds. Elsewhere, Mancunian band Ideas as Opiates are on at a showcase at the Night & Day which also features Frank is Dead and Sycamore.

On Wednesday the 24th things start to pick up a bit more when quirky Canadian indie-pop outfit Islands take over the Night & Day. Last time I saw Islands playing to a half-full crowd in the Roadhouse they were utterly charming so I’d recommend joining The Ledge to check out their latest offerings. Elsewhere experimental folkster Adem plays at the Ruby Lounge, supported by charming jangly instrumentalists Tim and Sam’s Tim and The Sam Band with Tim and Sam while gloom-rockers 1913 play the Hilton Hotel, of all places. On a completely different note, grime rapper Sway is on at Jabez Clegg, which could be interesting if only to see such a hotly-tipped hip hopper in such a tiny setting. If small, intimate gigs by good bands aren’t your thing, however, or you’ve a zimmer frame and want to hark back to your childhood in a more overpriced, seated setting, you can always head down to the Apollo for The Moody Blues. If you remember them from their first go round, however, you’re either really old, you weren’t really there, or both.

Thursday sees the welcome return of Scottish indie-folk-rockers Broken Records to the Night & Day. We enjoyed them the last time around and we may head down ourselves, although we’re likely to skip opener Troubadour as we’ve had little luck with bands of similar names. However, we’re also sorely tempted by the idea of Neil Halstead of Slowdive and Mojave 3 performing on his own at Sacred Trinity Church. It may come down to a coin toss for that one. If you fancy a bit of hypnotically loud post-rock, then Amusement Parks on Fire are on at Retro Bar along with the very amusingly-named Apes Fight Back. For the more electronica-minded amongst us, try heading down to catch Fujiya & Miyagi at The Deaf Institute. If neither of those take your fancy, there’s always psychedelic rockabilly courtesy of Jon Spencer’s newest band Heavy Trash. Enjoyable local rockers The Maple State are on at The Music Box while Spear of Destiny trigger some memories of the 1980’s over at Club Academy.

Friday, Suede fans of the world will get the opportunity to lob rotten tomatoes, rocks and pints of piss at me as I head down to see Brett Anderson attempt to interest us in his latest solo offering at the Royal Northern College of Music. My companion for the gig and I will be hoping he gets the solo stuff out of the way early so we can see whether “Trash” and “Animal Nitrate” sound as bad on the cello as we expect they will. On a slightly similar note, Wigan’s finest, Starsailor, will be performing at Moho Live in front of the 6 people who still care. For those not interested in mainstream indie whinging, get your dancing shoes out for disco diva Sam Sparro at Manchester Academy or dust off your leather trousers and head down to watch Dragonforce at Club Academy. If none of that takes your fancy, you could always check out some famous folk offspring in the form of Teddy Thompson at the Ruby Lounge. Of course Corrie and a bottle of wine sound pretty good on a Friday night too.

Saturday the 27th looks to be the night of the indie anthem as Puressence play Club Academy and Longview perform at the Roadhouse. Of course, if you’re feeling a bit less 1997, you could head down and see It Bites at Club Academy. We’d recommend, however,  that you rest up for the following weekend as In the City prepares to descend on us once again.

Mojave 3 – Mercy

Amusement Parks on Fire – Asphalt (Interlude)

Posted by JustHipper on 22nd September 2008 at 9:27 pm | comments (5)
File under brett anderson,gig guide,islands,manchester gigs,mp3,night & day.

Gig Review: Bon Iver @ Manchester Academy 2, 15th September 2008

Bon Iver @ Manchester Academy 2

I think I can safely say that last night’s sold out Bon Iver gig at the Academy 2 exceeded my expectations, and probably the expectations of almost everyone there. Having seen his appearance on Jools Holland back in May where he played alone armed with just an acoustic guitar, and given the quiet, desolate nature of the brilliant For Emma, Forever Ago album, I was expecting much quietness and gentle nodding and stroking of beards. But no! Bon Iver rock! Like bastards! Well they did for the first two songs: a blistering “Blindsided” and a version of “Creature Fear” in which the guitars completely swamped the chorus to the song’s detriment. I was beginning to wish that I’d taken my new earplugs.

The band is now a four-piece with main man Justin Vernon on guitar and keyboard duties augmented by a drummer, bassist and guitarist, all of whom know their way around a four-part harmony. Vernon’s voice is a thing of wonder but backed by his three cohorts the likes of “Skinny Love” and “Flume” reached new heights that the album versions can only hint at. The contributions of guitarist Mikey Noyce, a guy who looks like he’s barely passed puberty, were especially welcome. He took lead vocals on an excellent cover of Graham Nash’s “Simple Man” and his atmospheric use of slide and E-bow on the likes of “Flume” and “For Emma” added an extra dimension to the sound.

There was some great audience participation with the extremely affable Vernon getting everyone to join in the “what might have been lost” refrain on “Wolves (Acts I and II)”. As the song built up from its subdued beginnings the band shifted gear as the audience came in and eventually drowned us all in another huge racket of guitars.

The band were equally as compelling when they quietened down a bit. “Skinny Love” had Vernon on acoustic and the other three on drums and those delicious harmonies while “Re: Stacks”, probably my favourite track on the album, was the most faithful to the album version with Vernon left to his own devices to send shivers down spines, bring tears to the corners of eyes. After the gorgeous “Flume” the volume rose again with new song “Blood Bank”, a superb organ-led country rocker that reminded us that they’ve only really got 9 songs and could do with getting a few more like this under their belts before they come back, something which Vernon then promised to do, sooner rather than later. This was a truly outstanding gig, one of the best I’ve seen this year. When they do come back, make sure you go and see them.

The setlist, if I’m not mistaken, went like this:

Blindsided
Creature Fear
Wolves (Act I and II)
Skinny Love
Simple Man (Graham Nash cover)
Re: Stacks
Flume
Blood Bank

Lump Sum
For Emma

Bon Iver – Re: Stacks

Bon Iver – Blindsided

Posted by The Ledge on 16th September 2008 at 7:49 pm | comments (15)
File under Gig Reviews,manchester academy 2,mp3,Reviews,setlist.

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.

MP3 Exclusive! The Star Fighter Pilot – “The Invisible Invasion”

So a couple of weeks ago I made a cheeky remark on Twitter about wanting a song about robot pigs in flying cars for my birthday (which was last Tuesday, in case anyone’s interested). I’m not sure why that particular fixation, but I have noticed in recent months that a lot of the music we’re buying is falling into one particular folky, American, indie-rock niche originally initiated (as The Ledge rightfully pointed out) by Granddaddy.  This is not to take anything away from the likes of Port O’Brien, Fleet Foxes, Phosphorescent, Bon Iver or anyone else – but I really wanted to hear something a little different.

In any case, the mantle was duly taken up by Martin from Manchester’s very own rather delightful electro-pop outfit, The Star Fighter Pilot. He promised a bleepy, electronic song about robot pigs in flying cars, and, considering the ludicrous premise, I have to say I’m more than impressed with the result, in fact. If you like what you hear, he’s playing at an In The City showcase at The Attic on October 7.

Here’s the song:

The Star Fighter Pilot – The Invisible Invasion

Posted by JustHipper on 13th September 2008 at 11:38 am | comments (8)
File under Indie Cred exclusives,manchester bands,mp3.