Sunday, October 24, 2010


Thoughts On An Album (In A Record Store, October 2010). The thing that let Broken Records' debut album down after a set of stellar demos and singles was overproduction, triumphant/heartbreaking songs flattened to an amorphous gloop by dumping everything on top of everything else. Word is Let Me Come Home scales down and brings an understatement to their strings-aided spiralling, finally maybe even replicating the bottled dynamism of their live set. On the other side of the sonic spectrum, Warpaint, a band who have mastered the art of starting minimal and eventually broaching into cinematic soundscapes without changing the instrumentation. Comparison will be made between The Fool and the xx, but while the latter made minimal patchwork almost a necessity Warpaint strain at its edges in an attractive slow burning way until eventually myriad layers emerge. Something to get lost in.

We really hope word of Meursault's greatness has continued to spread since their Glastonbury appearance and play by Fearne Cotton on Radio 1, even if they were played as a recommendation to a listener who wanted something that sounded like both Kele and All Time Low. We'd love to see the equation they used. The power trio touring version goes on a proper nationwide jaunt from tomorrow with an Edinburgh home town show at The Caves, followed by Newcastle Head of Steam Tuesday, Sheffield Harley Wednesday, Leeds Royal Park Cellars Thursday, London Luminaire Saturday, a free gig (so no excuses if you're in the area) at Norwich Playhouse Bar this night-time next week, then Manchester, York, Dundee, Aberdeen and Glasgow in November. Should you be in London tonight we recommend Marginalised: Songs of Love & Loss, a fundraiser for Union Chapel's Margins Project providing services and facilities for those in crisis and homelessness. A night dedicated to songs about love in all its guises, James from The Miserable Rich hosts sets from the ever cryptically reliable Robyn Hitchcock, Cathal Coughlan, Cate Le Bon, Alasdair Roberts, Dan Michaelson, Emily Barker and Jo Bartlett. In further touring news Foals are off around the nation from Friday with support from Toro Y Moi and Andrew Mears ex of Youthmovies' new Pet Moon identity for its first half and Crystal Fighters and Pulled Apart By Horses for its second. Leeds Academy Friday, Manchester and Edinburgh next weekend, then check press for details. Meanwhile Liverpool Music Week starts on Friday and finishes... that's right, 25th November. Paradoxism, thy name is Scouse. We'll keep an eye on this over the week month, but we can't imagine tickets for !!! next Sunday at Stanley Theatre won't be snapped up. And if they have, Field Music are simultaneously playing for free at Mojo.

Irish bloggers have been banging on about Dublin's The Cast Of Cheers (is that a good name or a terrible one? We can't work out which) for pretty much the whole of 2010, but we've had stuff to do. Now we've caught up with their album Glitter, available for not much via Bandcamp or freely available with the band's blessing from assorted download servers - this seems a working one - let us join in and lay the line down. It's not like the world is currently experiencing a shortage of bands based around skippish math-rock drumming, declamatory half-shouted statements for vocals and aereated effects-friendly guitar, but Chariot is a self-produced album that seems determined to take Silent Alarm on at its own game. Simultaneously, as befits the country that produced Adebisi Shank (whose recent album is spectacular, and we forgot to ever write about it on here) and And So I Watch You From Afar, something about how these songs are put together, while with modern post-Foals crossover potential, seems slippery in dynamic and strut, tappy guitar parts elbowing in between the polyrhythms. They're already recording a second album, at which watch them fly.

This weekend is Oxjam, 28 national all-dayers featuring a total of nearly 900 bands and DJs in over 160 venues. We promised we'd give it a mention, but in reality pretty much all of them are overfull of 'unsigned' locals taking a break from being second on the bill somewhere local every single week, and we can ignore those. Send a direct debit to Oxfam yourselves and instead go to Nottingham for the annual Hockley Hustle, also for charity but featuring booking invention across its 30 venues. The Bodega Social, for instance, is putting on a day of local bands playing at being their inspirations, including Nephu Huzzband as ...Trail Of Dead, Stop Eject as Nirvana, Slowcoaches as Pixies and Bronze Medals as Refused. Buttonpusher take on Bunkers Hill with Talons, Buenos Aires, Illness, Double Handsome Dragons and Sir Yes Sir; My First Tooth headline at Lee Rosy's; and Hello Thor take over Jam Cafe and bring Moscow Youth Cult, Over The Wall, Japanese Sleepers and Mexican Kids At Home. There's also a band somewhere about called Arse Full Of Chips. We dare not ask. Next weekend? Battersea Power Station hosts something called the Freeze Festival, which seems to be some bands playing to next to nobody next to some snowboarders. So there's your Roni Size, Hadouken! and a headline DJ set from Pendulum, but headliner Mark Ronson has sneaked Rose Elinor Dougall onto the bill, because surely what better soundtrack is there for wildcats and McTwists then Casiotone shoegaze? There must have been some misunderstanding on Relentless' own stage on Sunday night too, as between ragga metallers Skindred and straight up pop-punks Fenix TX come Dananananaykroyd, a band we personally haven't seen live for just too long now, and whose set will probably contain more high stakes agility than the entire big air competition.

Tomorrow, remember to Keep It Peel. And in view of such, Dandelion Radio has opened the voting for this year's Festive 50.

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