Sunday, October 17, 2010


At last, a Superman Revenge Squad record that you don't have to pay for via PayPal direct from Ben, Dead Crow Blues also the first album of new songs to feature cellist Martin Webb. First track Fairweather Friends is available for free here, an intriguing choice for preview/first song given it features a suggestion he's about to give up (he isn't). In album terms, while it unfortunately seems to have ventured under most people's radar a good few of the reviews for The Phantom Band's The Wants compare it to Wild Beasts' Two Dancers in terms of progressing and finding further in their own peculiar sphere. With three tracks breaking six minutes the adventuring had better be worth it.

UK tours by The Chap are so scarce that by comparison hen's teeth are recommended in the window at Gregg's, so any chance to see their peculiar, occasionally choreography and bow-destroying featuring sets is recommended. Just the four dates, mind, starting Friday at Edinburgh Voodoo Rooms before crossing to Glasgow Captain's Rest on Saturday, followed by Hull Adelphi on Sunday 24th and Winchester Railway two days later. Clinic's tour, which is just some people in surgical masks and whatever shirt design they're going with this album, is a comparatively back-breaking eight dates, and the first of those is at Swn, which we'll come back to. Thursday sees them at Manchester Deaf Institute, Friday Liverpool Static Gallery, Saturday Stockton On Tees Georgian Theatre, and then next week onto Glasgow, Nottingham, London (Village Underground, whatever that is) and Leeds. The more convincing live than on record Spectrals support. Last but by no means least, sad news this week that hyper Leeds new wave darlings The Kiara Elles are splitting. Go and download the album Slide Over if you haven't, it's ace, and if you're in the locale of Leeds' Elbow Rooms on Friday go and wish them luck as you wave them goodbye.

South London's Breton have been making waves for a couple of months now - the link is to a Soundcloud of their Sharing Notes EP, released in July - as the kind of multimedia collective that sends certain writers into paroxysms of excitement without ever thinking to sell the music as its own venture, especially so if the band decide to join in and fog the notion that they ever made music that might stand up on its own without a cloak of blog-friendly pettifogging. Luckily, Breton are not WU LYF. Theirs is an open house in which math-pop rhythms and dubstep-suggestive lo-frequency electronic basslines are thrown together with rotted electronica (think Holy Fuck filled in with cement) and eerie cinematic soundscapes, leaping from style to style while still maintaining the aura of a whole cohesive work. It starts a bit like Gorillaz, ends a bit like Foals and heads across the shop in the middle.

Swn's the big one this week, Huw Stephens and John Rostron ramraiding the nightspots of Cardiff between Friday and Sunday to put on the best new talent and often most wayward too. Big recommended artist list! Clinic, Swans, Islet, Standard Fare, Calories, Talons, Perfume Genius, The Victorian English Gentlemens Club, Mitchell Museum, The School, Dog Is Dead, Fair Ohs, Still Corners, Sweet Baboo, the reformed Melys, Peggy Sue, Let's Wrestle, Spectrals, Dutch Uncles, Munch Munch, Veronica Falls, Stagecoach, Race Horses, Chad Valley, Paul Heaton, Threatmantics, Cate Le Bon, The Keys, Young Legionnaire, T3ETH, Egyptian Hip Hop, Tall Ships, Colorama, The Vaccines, Y Niwl, Magic Kids, Attack + Defend and local legend Meic Stevens. In the other set of the Celts, Edinburgh Popfest is over the same three days, one of a growing number of indiepop weekender hangouts for the unerring. Friday at The Wee Red Bar stars ballboy and Withered Hand, Sunday at The Lot brings Darren Hayman, Gordon McIntyre, the Bobby Mcgees and Eagleowl, but the standout is at The GRV on Saturday, where Suburban Kids With Biblical Names headline over Bearsuit (who are opening), Internet Forever, The Second Hand Marching Band, the Just Joans, Red Shoe Diaries, Pocketbooks, Be Like Pablo and Kid Canaveral, not in that order because we're like that.

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