Sunday, September 12, 2010


The pile-up of new album releases is, thanks to some judicious moving around mostly of import release dates, not as gargantuan as it once looked, which means the way is clear to delve deeper into Grinderman 2. Supposedly Cave, Ellis, Casey and Sclavunos go into the studio without any preconceived ideas of what they're going to do, which while understandable with the not entirely subtly layered music suggests Nick may be bottling quite a lot up at home. The second collection of feral malevolence with electric bouzouki is a coruscating wig-out of mid-life sexual catharsis, as well as the overdue return of Warren Ellis to violin for a bit. The thud and muster of Grinderman is tempered a bit by psychedelic funk and soul, the overall feel being more stuck somewhere between the dissolution of the Birthday Party and those first couple of strung out Bad Seeds records. Can't imagine what the reaction will be come full band reintegration.

Rockfeedback as a TV concept never quite worked, especially that one where they put on a gig in someone's front room with, if memory serves, Future Of The Left and Jeremy Warmsley and tried to package arranging the gig, talking to people at the gig, showing people at the gig, showing off around the gig and showing the actual fucking gig into less than fifteen minutes with the latter coming off worst. Still, Toby L's plaything from before he went and co-founded Transgressive is a good honest server in these troubled online times, and it celebrates ten years of existence on Friday at somewhere called XOYO, London EC2A. British Sea Power, whose new album is out early next year with an EP in early October, headline over the newly four-pieced Future Of The Left, Anna Calvi, Three Trapped Tigers and special guests, plus a roster of DJs including Geoff Travis, the Rough Trade shops crew, one of the Maccabees, White Heat, Young & Lost, Eat Your Own Ears, all those. In a more northerly direction, Postcards From Manchester at The Deaf Institute brings together Allo Darlin', Internet Forever, Vera November (Verity off Electrelane), Here We Go Magic, Trailer Trash Tracys, Mazes and so forth.

In existence only for seven months and already with a Yeasayer London Roundhouse support in the bag, The Voyeurist purvey the sort of dirty electronica that could have stepped straight out of the Wasp synthesizers and amusing hair of Sheffield 1978-79, early Human League and Cabaret Voltaire via Martin Hannett's production depths, led by the sort of icy but haughty Siousxieish female vocal you didn't really think anyone dredged any more. Not that the world's been desperately crying out for another synth-led band invoking that era, but they're doing it so differently it's barely recognisable in that context.

What with the weather having turned we're at the scrag end of proper festival season with stuff like Loopallu (Paolo Nutini headlines, but also Idlewild and Aberfeldy) in Ullapool. So we're increasingly looking at things like Campfire Trails, Wednesday to Friday at Troxy, E1. The Felice Brothers headline day one ahead of Adam Green, White Rabbits and Mountain Man; Wild Beasts play Thursday with Fanfarlo and Here We Go Magic; Old Crow Medicine Show bring it all back down to earth. For our money, though, Southsea Fest looks faintly unbeatable. Taking over Albert Road in the town, and raising some funds for Ellen MacArthur Trust, it's £15 advance, £18 on the day for a lineup including Pulled Apart By Horses (James will more than likely end up at the other end of the road), Islet (Mark will more than likely start at the other end of the road), Talons, Shoes And Socks Off, The Megaphonic Thrift, The Strange Death Of Liberal England, Screaming Maldini, SixNationState, The Miserable Rich, Stars & Sons, Let's Buy Happiness, &U&I (75% of Blakfish's new band), The Agitator, Cats In Paris, Stagecoach, Revere, Hold Your Horse Is, Crazy Arm, King Charles, Pure Reason Revolution and loads, loads more.

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