Strictly’s indie insider Simone F is off sunning herself desperately running from the Sun on some broiling Mediterranean island, so for one week at least, you’re stuck with me (David Hayter). I’ll be doing my best to convey all the new indie gossip and hot new singles.
Simone normally starts the story about her personal life, unfortunately no one has flashed my sister, there are no awkward stains on my door frame, and I haven’t had any bizarre confrontations with fan girls backstage at a Pete Doherty gig.
So let me think, I did go to the Guardian’s New Band of the day event and get completely legless, so when one of my favourite writers asked me what I thought of the evening I simply replied “I’m too fucked to understand a thing you’re saying, next time maybe”.
I’ll work on living a more chaotic life, just incase I ever have to fill in again. Let’s hit up some News:
Radiohead Stage Collapse Kills One
Drum technician Scott Johnson was killed last Saturday when the stage for a forthcoming Radiohead concert collapsed one hour before show time. Canadian officials have since launched an enquiry that will scrutinize four companies involved in the collapse, including one run by the members of Radiohead themselves.
A spokesman for the Canadian Ministry of Labour has confirmed that the stage blueprints had been submitted and approved before adding:
“We’re still trying to figure out who owns what, who’s responsible for what. You’ve got lighting technicians, sound technicians, the band’s people — we’re trying to figure out who worked for whom.”
Thankfully fans were still queuing outside the event and fans were safely evacuated pre-show.
Like Lazarus Viva Brother Rise From The Dead
Gritpop is out, synth pop is in: Yes the widely maligned Viva Brother are back, and they appear to have swapped 90s influence for 80s sounds, as they reconvene under the name Lovelife.
Post-dub and soaring synth influences are obvious as the band posted three brand spanking new tracks on line. In my eyes it’s a massive improvement, but I won’t be trading in my Kwes and SBTRKT records anytime soon.
DZ Deathrays Debut
One of Simone’s favourite hopes for 2012, DZ Reathrays, released their debut album this week, and all the early reports sound positive. The album isn’t exactly revolutionary but if you want to wildly hurl yourself against the wall for half and hour and work up a healthy sweat Bloodstreams is the record for you.
This type of raw and urgent LP that exists on the border between indie and post-hardcore recalls energy of the The Datsuns’ rough psychedelia. It didn’t work out for that New Zealand outfit, but these Aussies may be kick starting another wave of earnest revivalism. God knows indie could use a bolt of energy and masculinity, the genre is stuck between limp mild mannered landfill and a cutesy reverence for the past. It’s all rather unassuming, and that’s something the Deathrays can never be accused of being.
They kick out the jams, and they kick them fucking hard. Check ‘em out on the FR Stage at this year’s festival.
New Band Of The Day Live! Kyla La Grange and Hall of Mirrors
The Guardian takes over the Camden Barfly once every couple of months for a laid back showcase of up and coming stars. Sadly, tonight’s event is ailing. The crowd are enthusiastic, but the brilliant Ms Mr, the subject of huge hype for their single “Hurricane”, have pulled a sicky.
It’s a disappointment but it doesn’t derail a night, that’s highlighted by the haunting Victorian whimsy of Hall Of Mirrors. The spectral folk outfit allure and unnerve in equal measure, as their charm carries a unsettling tint of despair and a delicious British awkwardness. The melodies are sharp even if the guitars are a little to loud, and early triumph.
We Are Evergreen and Bobby Tank fair less well. The latter plays well but feels out of place, maximalist dance following cutesy indie leaves some portions of the audience baffled. We Are Evergreen on the other hand can’t disguise the thinness of their sound, but are certainly affable and well received.
Kyla La Grange, the night’s headliner, is oddly shy and humble. She has no reason to be as she rips into an engaging pop-goth-rock hybrid set that’s highlighted by wonderfully intimate reading of “Vampire Sound”. Whether she has the strength of songwriting to survive in the world’s most oversubscribed genre (moody gothic rock chicks) remains to be seen, but she has genuine charm, established live chops, and distinctive look.
Cat Power – “Ruin”
O…M…G I am totally in love with this tune. If you want to talk charm and charisma, Cat Power has it in spades. Her deliver is so lazily assured her lyrics practically drift from here tongue like seductive smoke rings. “Ruin” sounds so natural and effortless it could have been improvised on the spot, and in its best moments it flows like a silky stream of consciousness. Welcome back Cat!
Other Tracks Worth Checking Out:
Slow Club – “Beginners”
As a homage to our regular host we present a new video from Slow Club, and boy is it dreamy. “Beginners” melts and softly pops from the word go. The vocals are stately and grander than Slow Club’s usual fare, drama and immediacy come to the fore as the track swells. Daniel Radcliff of Harry Potter fan, does a hilarious job of interpreting these emotions as a desperate alcoholic thrashing around an empty pub in the brilliant video.
Sky Ferriera – “Red Lips”
If the last video was funny this one’s just plain creepy. Sky Ferriera has traded electro-pop for Shirley Manson penned alternative-pop. Sadly, Sky is still treated like a model rather than a musician as she placidly rolls around in her underwear in the video. I can’t say I like the track, but her rock conversion is getting people excited.