Timothy van Sas
Timothy van Sas

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Support Local Music #2 - By Kevin Lawson

The next couple of months will see a lot of releases from act's from or associated with the Reading area and they all NEED YOUR SUPPORT. So I demand that you all go out and buy one or two copies of the following releases:
Pete and the Pirates (Stolen recordings)

Reading's favourite son's are heading backing into your musical lives this May with both a single and album for you to give your generous backing to.

United (Single) - Released on the 16th of May Pre-Order it from the Bands Website - £1.58 and get 3 extra songs thrown in for free!

One Thousand Pictures (album) - Released on the 23rd of May Pre-Order it from iTunes - £9.99
United by Pete And The Pirates
Does it Offend You, Yeah? - Don't Say We Didn't Warn You (Cooking Vinyl)

It's the sophmore record from our local Dance-Punk, Elctro genre bending geniuses. It's been 3 year in the making and it's worth every second of that wait.

Physical Copy - Amazon - £8.93
Digital Copy - 7Digital - £7.99
Does It Offend You, Yeah? - Wrestler by editradio
Ben Marwood - Outside There's A Curse (Xtra Mile Recordings) - Available Now

Another bit of tub thumping for the excellent Mister Ben Marwood, to remind those of you new to [edit] radio to get out there are and buy this today.

Physical Copy - Buy From Amazon £6.99
Digital Copy - Buy From 7Digital £6.99

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Confessions of a former Headbanger... by Scott Painter

Now I used to be pretty into my Metal - long hair, scraggly beard (I am pleased to say that I have now rectified this) and the outfit to match. However as time passed the thrill of the pit began to wear off and I found myself wondering what else was out there to hear. So without a clue I stumbled into the musical abyss armed with Spotfiy and Wikipedia and have gradually unearthed myself a whole heap of amazing records. Luckily I was blessed with a willful disregard for my traitorous behaviour and the advice of a whole array of super smart geeky music types and I hope to pass this information onto you.

In the following column I will lay out a number of songs to help you take those shaky first steps
that will have some comforting sense of the metal you're used to whilst giving your ears some tasty new aural delights. So without further ado...

David Bowie – Andy Warhol (Hunky Dory)

With a riff that wouldn't sound out of place on any 80's thrash album, this number comes to you
straight from your parents’ record collection. If you love all that is spandex, check this out - it
showed signs of Bowie’s genre defining Ziggy Stardust era that inspired the Crue and all that

The Pixies – Gouge Away (Doolittle)

Closing out the album this song opens with a suffocating bass line and the hoarse semi-whispered sounds of Frank Black’s voice, before erupting into an abrasive power chord hook-laden chorus. The influence this band have had on all that have followed in their path is too great to ever totally comprehend, with even a certain Seattle-based outfit admitting ripping off their riffs for Nevermind.

The Mars Volta - Wax Simulacra (The Bedlam in Goliath)

Wax Simulacra by the Mars Volta is a manic 2 minutes 38 seconds of drum heroics filled prog
insanity. Featuring a number of former members of 'At the Drive in', this band have continually
pushed the envelope to create some of the most interesting and intense music you may ever hear.

So there you go: 3 tracks to start you off. Have a listen then do some exploring of your own and I'll come back soon with some albums that might float your boat.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

You could never kiss a Tory boy without wanting to cut off your tongue again!

Los Campesinos! 02/02/2011 – London, Shepherd’s Bush Empire – by Kevin Lawson

I arrived at the venue a good hour and a half later than planned, meaning I had missed most of the support act’s set and wasn’t in the best of moods. The delay was the result of a meeting which had overrun, a taxi strike in Coventry and a cancelled train. I could spew reams of vitriol about each of those things but this is neither the time nor the place. The fact is I did manage to reach the venue in time to watch a performance by Los Campesinos! that left me and everyone else in the audience quaking in a raw throated stupor.

For those of you unfamiliar with their music, they are an eight piece indie pop band formed in Cardiff who write colossal sounding yet intimately articulate songs that brim with youthful energy. There is a knowing self parody in their recordings but they never sound anything less than genuine. Lyrically the band are ultra confessional, each song sounds like it was crafted from the entries of a bleak diary or from a Peep show style inner monologue that you wouldn’t dare utter aloud.

Tonight’s crowd is young enough to make me feel old (I’m 30, does that make me old?) and they all seem to have a dewy eyed loyalty to the band. This connection is more like watching friends play on stage than gawping upon them with star struck reverence. As the band takes the stage the auditorium comes alive. Choruses are roared back at the band with increasing passion, from light hearted party songs like ‘You! Me! Dancing!’ to depression filled break up anthems like ‘We are beautiful, we are doomed’. Circle pits begin to emerge that nearly reach the sound desk and lead singer Gareth is both feeding and feeding off this energy. Eventually diving into the heart of the mob, microphone in hand, before coming back unscathed. With each song being so personal you can see that the performance takes an emotional toll on him, so much so that when he reached set highlight 'The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future’ he was visibly upset and overcome, something that was later confirmed on the bands Twitter feed:

“1,000 people shouting "you could never kiss a Tory Boy without wanting to cut off your tongue again" back at me. Brought to tears onstage.

It was an amazing moment of catharsis that was a rubber stamp of authenticity, confirming that the bands songs are not contrived notepad fables but are true tales of life, love, loss and misery. As songwriters, they could hold back on the details of their lives and deal in generalisations. But it’s their willingness to share so many intimate details and be vulnerable to the potential opinions of their audience that creates a bond that runs deeper than most bands are able to achieve. Another album is due to be released later this year and I can’t wait to hear the next installment of their lives.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Fleet Foxes Robin Pecknold Gives away new music

Great Big Bushy Beard!!
Last October Kanye West's G.O.O.D friday Twitter posts saw the artist giving away free music. At the time it caused a lot of buzz and inspired other musicians to follow suit. This time it's the turn of Fleet Foxes lead singer Robin Pecknold to use the social networking platform to give us some free goodies. Yesterday via his Twitter feed he gave away three brand new songs stating "These aren't Fleet Foxes songs, but I didn't know where else to disseminate it."

All the songs are stripped-back acoustic solo numbers that aren't really Fleet Foxes tracks, but they are hauntingly beautiful nevertheless. The songs were recorded recently in Los Angeles and Pecknold as added that "One is a duet with my friend Ed Droste from the amazing band Grizzly Bear, one is just a new solo jam, and one is a cover."

It's certainly more than enough to tide over any Fleet Foxes fan until the release of their new album Helplessness Blues which will be in music stores on 3/05/11. Happy Pancake day everyone!


I'm Losing Myself (Feat. Ed Droste)
Derwentwater Stones
Where Is My Wild Rose

Thursday, 3 March 2011


Saturdays... to some they're a bunch of ladies who gamely cover Depeche Mode numbers for charity
(I'll stick my head over the parapet here and admit that I admire their pluck - I look forward to them
tackling "Blasphemous Rumours" or "Flies on the Windscreen"* at some point). It's also the day
when the nation's Dads drag their kids around Homebase and B&Q. It's also the day when many
nervous football managers are preparing for the worst and consider updating their CV.

In my case it's normally means sacrificing my lie-in in order to get to the washing machine before
everyone else, and while I wait a while for the washing to be done, it means listening to the wireless
for a bit.

Funnily enough, they were discussing small venues. A lot of people texted and tweeted about seeing
bands before they were famous in small clubs, pubs etc before they were famous. There was the
inevitable stories about someone's band supporting The Jam or The Police or The Smiths and the
bovine excrement especially the guy who claimed to have seen Oasis play in Portsmouth in 1992 (For
the record Pete in Southsea, if you're reading this, Noel was still a roadie for Inspiral Carpets at that
point! And they didn't play south of the M6 till 1994)

Anyhow, it got on to a discussion of the problems facing small venues at the moment. A lot of
familiar stories about places struggling to keep going. Being involved with the Rising Sun it's
something I know pretty well.