Read the review Fred co-wrote with E Thompson for the girls are
ReviewsMoon Duo: 16.11.12, w/ Emma Thompson
Zulu Winter: 8.05.12
Blood Red Shoes: 1.05.12
The War on Drugs: 01.03.12
St Vincent: 11.11.11
Connan Mockasin: 17.05.11
Frankie and the Heartstrings: 27.04.11
Dan Sartain: 26.04.11
British Sea Power: 2011
There’s a middle-aged Australian uber-geek wanted by police in London. He’s not so much ‘in hiding’ as he is hanging out. Even though everyone knows where he is, he can’t be get at. Yesterday he appeared at a balcony and made a paltry case for himself. Some people listened, others walked by. Upon returning to his quarters, the hacker put on his iTunes (his preferred music hub). This is his playlist, which is set to become the score for the forthcoming musical, ‘Assange: A Life After Binary’; or ‘0000-1-111-000-1-1-00-01-00’.
Freedom - Jimi Henrix
I Want to Break Free - Queen
Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen
Help! - Beatles
Trains to Brazil (or Ecuador) - Guillemots
I Fought the Law - Clash
We’ve got a File on You - Blur
Rape Me - Nirvana
(Don’t Wanna Live Like A) Refugee - Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
Computer Love - Kraftwerk
You Can’t Go Home Again - DJ Shadow
Inflammatory Wit - Joanna Newsom
From Safety to Where - Joy Division
Immigrant Song - Led Zeppelin
Bulletproof (I Wish I Was) - Radiohead
Endless Vacation - Ramones
David Byrne and St Vincent: Who
It genuinely sent Fred’s heart racing when he heard about this collaboration. Byrne is one of Fred’s long-time muso crushes, while Annie Clark is perhaps his favourite musician of all time. Or vice versa.
Whatever, it’s a delicious combination and the album, which comes out later this year, promises to be an absolute treat. Here’s a little taster of what’s to come. Fans of both will be pleased to hear that the sound is as experimental as it is catchy, moving as it does through smokey sax, choppy time changes and typically Clark-esque squeals, screeches and clatterings of serrated guitar. Bliss.
It’s been four years since Brighton duo Blood Red Shoes emerged from a pool of samey, angular guitar bands and grabbed the attention of the music press with their Pixies-come-Kills-inspired indie rock debut Box of Secrets. Since then, plenty of their contemporaries have come and gone, and although being around for four years is no great achievement in itself, it nevertheless suggests that the two piece are still producing stuff that’s either worth hearing or, at the very least, remains marketable.
Within minutes of taking to the stage, it’s clear that the former applies; opener It’s Getting Boring By The Sea retains all its poppy charm and freshness, the lovely Laura-Mary Carter’s swooping vocal leaving sections of the crowd swooning as her dulcet East Sussex inflections drop from scudding guitar lines like blood from a sword. From there the night takes a steadily upward trajectory with a set list that finds a successful balance between the old and new: the instantly memorable guitar notes of Light It Up build triumphantly to its bilious, shout-along chorus, while latest single Cold brings a grander, more stately aura to the night, with Carter’s seductive vocal rising and falling amidst crunchy though spacious interplay between guitar and drum.
Yet the performance is as impressive visually as it is sonically – stark strobe lighting shifts with every beat, throwing brilliant focus to the chiselled cheekbones of the nautically-clad songstress, whose red nail-varnished fingers two-step their way up and down the fretboard with graceful ease. It’s moments like this that bring a sense of awe to this ecclesiastical venue.
What is perhaps most endearing about the boy-girl twosome, however, is the way they’ve remained true to their aesthetic and stuck to what they’re good at. There are no affectations or unnecessary accoutrements, no fawning over elaborate pedal combinations or sample tracks to pad out the sound. Instead, just refreshing hooks that ring out over a well-woven fabric of teasing distortion and infectious rhythms. Four years on and three albums in, the sanguine duo still have their fans cheering, heads rolling and feet scuffling. Long may it last.
As published in Crack magazine: http://crackmagazine.net//article/683/blood-red-shoes/
Battles - Rolls Bayce (Hudson Mohawke remix). Pt 4/4 of the Dross Glop series
You might have thought that being dropped by your label was a cue to take your denim jacket back to the charity shop, get a proper job and stop going to the provincial club night which plays all your own hits of days yore.
The Futureheads are to release an a cappella album later this year. Just as I thought I couldn’t hear of anything worse, one of the songs from said album came on the radio.
The band have stopped playing niggly, uninspiring, two-note riffs on their Fenders and instead saved time and electricity by just opening their collectively putrid mackem mouths. The sooner this group crosses paths with a firing squad, the better.
Your time is up; you’re irrelevant and that’s just how things are. And oh - as far as change of directions go, at what point did you think an a cappella album would be a good idea?