Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Stars Truck: part I

In which we gamely attempt to preview every single band on the big list at the official Truck Festival site. Needless to say, we see from the provisional timeslots on the official forum that a few extra names have appeared, but as the first one we spotted is The On/Offs we suspect few will be essential viewing. A to M, or more accurately : to M, then... (and yes, we have added H onwards from earlier)

:(: That's 'colon open bracket' to you. Much touted electro-emo from Aberdeen on GLC/Darkness starter Must Destroy records, sounding like Get Up Kids duetting with a Commodore 128.
6 Nation State: Southampton mod-skiffle-post-punk madness apparently known for chaotic live shows. The heat'll get to them, you watch. First single Keep Dancing, like the Zutons illegally crossing the Tex-Mex border, was a favourite around here.
65daysofstatic: Bloody chaotic migraine-friendly glitchy post-rock, capable of progressing from pastoral Philip Glass-indebted piano to Slint noiseathons within the blink of an eye. Tinnitus may result.
A Scholar & A Physician: First cab off the Truck Records rank and it's a curveball, an 8-bit sequencer-aided retro-futurist duo who've recently worked with Chicks On Speed. Like Delia Derbyshire locked in a Mega Drive.
A Silent Film: Sound a bit like Radiohead. Luckily, also sound a bit like the average late 90s Bjork backing, and may be what Snow Patrol should sound like had they got it at all right.
Abingdon Touring Theatre Company: It's a theatre company. That tours. Based in Abingdon. Probably not playing The Barn That Cannot Be Named. Says here they're rehearsing for a tour of the Canterbury Tales, which would be an experience if they go for the public rehearsal option.
Agent Blue: Weren't this lot mildly hyped a couple of years back? Seems they toured with The Others at one stage and were on a Universal offshoot wielding a post-Libertines before the Libertines were post-anything sound. That was a dislikeable time for music, really. Now they appear to have gone mildly baggy.
Alva: 14th century folk songs by a vocal/fiddle duo. Don't mock, it might be just what you need at whatever time they're performing.
Amberstate: Local lot aim to make the album that Lamb never quite managed to get out of their system, albeit with half an ear on Jeff Buckley's arrangements and the drama of PJ Harvey's Four Track Demos or a less sequenced Garbage. Keep an eye out.
Anat Ben David: Israeli "pop video performance artist" (oh lord) who sounds much like Peaches and Chicks On Speed, not unreasonably as they're both affiliated, thinking they're writing like Kurt Weill.
Ape Has Killed Ape!: It's a great name, for starters. They're playing the theatre tent, which suggests something grander than their Young Marble Giants/England Made Me Black Box Recorder blackly poetic minimalism.
Aphasia: Wimbledon DJ/beatmaker of ambient psychedelic trance Blue Room-esque variety.
Battles: How the fuck do you sum these up in a couple of snappy sentences, then? Warp Records avant-hardcore that sounds like an IDM-jazz-mathrock outfit covering Four Tet's live show.
Baba Luck: "Gangsta folk", he calls himself. Can't confirm or deny this as his Myspace player was down when we looked in, but he used to be in rubbish ska-punks King Prawn and the suggestion from various sources is he now does angry acoustic reggae much like Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros.
Belarus: These got mentioned right at the start of the year as ones to watch by some, largely, we suspect, because they sound like a Feeder power ballad covers band.
Bethan Elfyn: The non-Huw half of the Session In Wales plus a box of records.
Bliss Divine Yoga: A yoga class. Don't you just love how the organisers stick anyone who's turning up into the bill?
Brakes: Just been recording their second album in Nashville, so expect dollops of new nonsense country-punk along with the old stuff, culminating in a version of Comma Comma Comma Full Stop where the tuning up is six times longer than the song.
Brigade: Him from Fightstar's brother's band throw Funeral For A Friend-style emo shapes. First to call them the McFly of British rock can see me after class.
Brother Francisco: See, this is what we used to call emo - trio, buzzing bass, major chord riffs, quiet/loud dynamics, sparse but precise drumming, shouted response vocals. To a tee.
Buck 65: Cult Canadian hip-hopper supposedly doing a cabaret spoken word set as well as his full business, which has of late moved away from turntablism into electronica, avant-jazz and hardcore rock. God knows how it'll translate.
Captive State: The sound 3D of Massive Attack dreams out, a ten-strong collective play beats one up from trip-hop with politicised lyrics, like King Biscuit Time had Steve Mason got it right.
Carlos Santan: Well, the linked Carlos Santan here is a classic southern soul singer who's opened for the Isley Brothers and Patti Labelle. Given this one is doing an overnight Lounge set, we doubt it's the same one.
Chicks On Speed: Well, this is something of a booking. What on earth they'll actually be like in a small festival setting is another matter entirely, with their multimedia set-up and, shall we say, confrontational style.
Chris McMath: A highlight last year by all accounts, although as you can tell beyond him being pretty much acoustic there's not a lot more we can add to that. Buy a programme.
Chris T-T: One of our great undervalued observational songwriters - new album in October, it says here - fulfils his annual obligation to make a whole tent think, laugh, inwardly digest and enjoy.
Co-Pilgrim: Mike Gale, formerly of Truck/local heroes Black Neilson, goes all Smog/Gram Parsons, which if it's warm will slip down a treat.
Cobra: God knows.
D_rradio: Awkwardly named instrumental post-rock, Boards Of Canada scoring David Lynch style. Might suffer in comparison to 65DOS, but that should intrigue enough.
Danny George Wilson: Insert own Mary's Prayer jibe here. Wilson used to be the singer in Brit-Americana Byrdsian stalwarts Grand Drive and solo hasn't changed that much.
Darren Hayman: One of this land's most underrated lyricists of the last ten years, the former Hefner frontman goes solo to tell of caravan holidays and provincial letdowns in a more countrified style. He does do the old stuff, though, and if he does The Hymn For The Alcohol we may cry.
Dave Fish Theatre Co.: "Their objective is to above all entertain and yet push the boundaries of the audience’s conceptions of theatre." Oh good lord, they've got some room to make up to impress us if they're boldly putting it that way.
DJ D: So now we're briefly into overnight DJ mode with a soul-funk D'n'B spinner...
DJ Fu vs Jungle Drummer: ...and a hip hop drum'n'bass/jungle-influenced drumming soundclash.
Doktor CococolaMcdonalds: Ooh, a comedy laptop/Casio/guitar-based loon who counts Jimmy Carr as a fan. Some may wish to run a mile. Let's not all be hasty.
Drug Squad: Nobody has to call a band that, you know. A local septet who describe themselves as country-influenced skapunk. It's about having fun, which we'd concur with if their Myspace songs started working any time soon.
Deguello: Stoner rock was one genre that never really demanded bringing back, and sounding like the Melvins in a tumble drier will require some getting used to. The heat haze, should it last, might help a great deal.
Easy Tiger: A band who don't appear to know or give away a great deal about themselves, wise if they have no more to offer than what sounds like U2 covering Natalie Imbruglia's Shiver.
Emmy The Great: Resident in our Myspace Weekender list for months now, expect thoughtful largely acoustic singer-songwriter business, what they used to call anti-folk but now we're going to glibly say is our own Martha Wainwright. And, STN EXCLUSIVE OF SORTS: Jeremy Warmsley's going to be in her band.
Fabulous Hands: Another set of DJs. Great name for some.
Family Machine: More acoustic goodness but with room for manoevure, staying just the right side of acoustic ennui. Those interested in Danny George Wilson will find plenty of interest here.
Fell City Girl: Supposed to be something of a buzz around these, sharing a label with Liam Frost and getting XFM play, and a small but loyal fanbase could easily form around their widescreen dramatics. Anyone remember Superstar?
First Contact: Nope.
Foals: More locals tipped for something significant, although the mainstream audience for interlocking guitars, disco drums, the odd cheap keyboard rhythm and excitable vocals could be difficult to find. Must be quite something to see, though.
¡Forward, Russia!: Fast moving fingers on fretboard, mike cord around neck. Last year they headlined the Barn, this time they're on nearly everyone's main stage without letting up any. Next album will have proper song titles, apparently.
Gaptooth: Another one of A Scholar And A Physician's mates on the bill, this one may be worth watching generally, a solo female bedroom laptop type with a guitar, an 'adaptable' voice and a contract with Truck Records itself.
Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly: Sam Duckworth and his floppy hair opened the main stage last year, since when he's got a full band together, attracted proper label attention and made some proper growers of irked laptop acoustica. Let's hope he's not too smug.
Goldrush: The big daddies of Truck, without whom neither label nor festival would exist. Musically they still sound like the sunniest of alt-indie-country as they did when they nearly made a proper impact.
Goodbooks: See you down the front for these, possibly brandishing the Walk With Me limited edition cassette that Transgressive put out before they recently inked a Columbia deal. Never less than spectacular on record to date, we're counting on 'em.
Good Shoes: You know there's some bands you know you should by rights 'get' but don't? We like our fractured danceable art-rock as much as the next man but have never quite got into Good Shoes. Maybe this will change our minds.
Hammer and Tongue: Almost a great name, except that there's not a great deal of literal hammer in it, being a collective for slam poetry, which was supposed to be the next big thing a couple of years ago. Does nobody remember Attila The Stockbroker?
Harlette: Is it really time enough for a Riot Grrrl revival? That's the spirit the all-girl locals are hoping for, at a guess, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs amalgamated with Melissa Auf Der Mar is close enough for these times.
Harry Angel: Having waded through average stuff for so long it's like the holy grail itself when you stumble across something with potential. Imagine EVOL-era Sonic Youth with the odd Radiohead dynamic filtered through Shellac.
Hundred Reasons: Are they still going? Yes, and having moved from Columbia to V2 they're proffering a harder sound, as is the way of the day. They'd better do Remmus and I'll Find You just in case.
Jakokoyak: Occasionally touted Welsh anti-folker who's on that Rob da Bank-collected folk compilation we mentioned in the last In Store Tomorrow coming on like Premiers Symptomes-era Air reworked by Steve Mason. Oh, and he sings in Welsh.
Jetplane Landing: Woo! It feels a lot longer than three years since Derry's hardest released the almighty Once Like A Spark album, since when their Smalltown America label have attempted to corner the market in odd power-pop. What have they been up to? We'll find out here.
Josephine Oniyama: Back to acoustica for a Mancunian with almighty potential. Not that we know much about her bar Fast Car but Tracy Chapman's name comes up in every interview, and there's something of the Britfolk intrigue about her too.
Jugglingspinster: Some sort of one-woman theatre show, we think. Beyond that, who knows.
Katchafire: Hardly going to be screamo with that name, so please welcome New Zealand's own double platinum - in New Zealand terms, that is - reggae outfit. If the weather holds out...
Keyboard Choir: All electronic sextet using synths, samplers and laptops to recreate The Art Of Landscape as if it were reshown by Channel 4 on Jupiter.
KTB: Truck number eight for Katy Bennett, younger sister of the brothers from Goldrush taking a more pastoral folk turn on their sharp gorgeous leanings along a Kathryn Williams/Eliza Carthy route.
Lefthand: When Pete Doherty was charged with extortioning Max 'Stalking Pete Doherty' Carlish, it was alongside Lefthand singer Alan Wass. His moving in those kinds of circles will tell you everything you need to know, apart from the trad rock riffs.
Les Cox (Sportifs): Much loved on the Newcastle scene for the sort of extreme scrappiness you thought had been eradicated from the live scene. Inevitably, they've been compared to the Fall.
Lightyear: Fixtures on the UK skapunk scene, who seem unbeknownst to their own label to have reformed. Let's hope they're better than [spunge].
Louie: Again, weren't this lot supposed to be huge by now? Two-singer 'classic punk' ensemble from all over the place, of the type that at one point seemed ten a penny. Hanoi Rocks were never any good. Remember this in future.
Luke Smith & The Feelings: Ooh, he must regret giving them that name now. Intimate almost eccentic singer-songwriter folkiness from Canterbury, and fitting well into that scene's leftfieldness.
Lunar: Alright, you try Googling that.
Mai Mayo Mai: More crossthreading hardcore jazzrock! We can only think there's a math rock revival on the way, like it's 1997 again or something and Don Caballero are about to become as important as the Pixies.
Makating: Oxfordshire dub reggae, a small genre but one that's produced these longtime stagers. On very early on Sunday, on the basis that if there's one thing guaranteed to get the wasted moving...
Manic Cough: The X-Ray Spex revival starts here! Without the sax, but we're sure they'll be working on that. Dressing up a speciality, as you'd expect from a band featuring a loanee Schla La La.
Matthew Rozeik: "Combining violins, guitars, percussion and electronic beats, his music is forever shifting and leaping around, sometimes wholesome, sometimes dissonant". Sounds promising, but his player wasn't working.
MC Lars: Opinion splitting Brooklyn punk-laptop-rapper, mates of Bowling for Soup, inventor of the 'iGeneration', no longer a local uni overseas student and therefore moving on from the Truck label, but still welcome back here year after year.
Mojave 3: Rachel Goswell is still ill by all accounts but otherwise this is quite a boom time for Neil Halstead's attempt to marry a proper pop sensibility to his country-rock heart.
Morrison Steam Fayre: Missing The Coral? Well, possibly a little unfair, but there's something in the fried psychedelic indie-country that reminds us of them, or possibly Larrikin Love with a Hammond organ.
Mr. Green: Myspace searches aren't much help either.
My Awesome Compilation: The new Headcleaner, presumably. Leicesterites hang on by the edge of their fingertips from the emo chasm. They're on Brand New's label, and it shows.
Mystery Jets: Sunday headliners, although by the looks of the timings only insomuch as they're last on on the main stage. You know about their indie-voodoo stew by now, although surely sticking Zootime in halfway through the set isn't right.


nomadjf said...


what do you mean "if snow patrol had gotten it right"?

the new video is awesome, check it out

i love this song!!!

Iain said... Probably not.

look said...

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