Wednesday, 22 July 2015

The Drums @ KoKo London

Regardless of only two of the original members of The Drums being left in the band, the New York indie rockers performed with class and style to the sold out Koko crowd.

In run up to the only UK performance, Jonny Pierce (lead singer) kept his fans with a constant updates of his whereabouts around London on his personal Snapchat account. One Snapchat story included a photo of him with a relaxed pose backstage. It’s safe to say the fans queuing outside the historic Koko London venue were the complete opposite. Fans manage to fill every corner of the venue, from the stage floor up to the 4th balcony and waited in anticipation to catch a glimpse of the modern art that is Jonny Pierce and his infamous dancing.

After watching the support, the venue suddenly came alive, with the distant smell of expensive beer filling the room. Members of the crowd discussed the songs they were most looking forward to, one saying “I last saw them in Milan right at the front but this time I’m going to be sitting back and swaying to the music. I can’t wait to hear Down by the Water, it’s the one song that when I hear it I can’t stop thinking about how much I love The Drums”. Another member of the audience takes a look down from the 2nd tier balcony and claims “it’s horribly packed”. This won’t be a change for The Drums, having the majority of the previous UK Fall tour sold out within days.

9.10pm. The lights dim and an eerie tuning of a guitar begins. Being easily mistaken for Ultravox’s Vienna, the sound builds up a spooky atmosphere making the crowd even more excited. A spotlight hits Jonny Pierce as he walks on stage donning a gold studded black jacket in combination with his trademark bleach blonde hair. Pierce embraces his inner Mick Jagger as he swaggers on stage as the crowd screams. One word. Mesmerising. Pierce announces “London, we are The Drums from New York City” as though they even needed an introduction. As I Can’t Pretend kicks in the crowd sway to the soft vocals. Pierce sings “remember when you first held my hand” into one of the photographers cameras, regardless of the attention he is getting from the audience he makes that one photographer feel that it is just him and the music in that large sweaty room.

Further into the set Pierce shouts “London, you make us feel so special” as the band lead onto I Need a Doctor. Pierce caresses the mic and dances around it during the chorus before ending the song with a roaring crowd. “Thank You London” no thank you. For one moment you could have mistaken Pierce as an Ian Curtis impersonator dressed in glitter as the band begin to play one of their biggest hits Best Friend and Pierce simply loses his mind and begins his infamous dancing. You simply cannot hear The Drums sound as its overpowered by the deafening audience. Kicking into Money, Pierce mockingly pats his pockets as he croons “I haven’t got any money”.

By the end of the set, the crowd are cheering and shouting “Jonny Jonny!” his reaction…a humble smile to the people backstage. The Drums have done New York City proud. Coming back on stage for part of the encore (Forever and Ever Amen, Let’s Go Surfing and Down by the Water) Pierce takes off his glittery jacket, leaving only his trademark hair colour as the only source of light on the dark, gloomy stage. During Let’s Go Surfing, one of The Drums earliest and most famous tracks, the crowd spreads out to form one of the happiest mosh pits ever scene. Every member of the crowd, from the floor to the 4th tier are simply in their element. Ending with Down by the Water, Pierce leaves the crowd to do the singing as he teases them with the microphone. “You sound so beautiful” he shouts as one member of the audience shouts “No Jonny, you do”.The set list ranging from songs from their first EP to their newest album showcased the many talents of The Drums and the magnificent living art that is Jonny Pierce.

The Drums

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Tame Impala: Currents Album Review

Long after the wave of psychedelic bands from the 60's and the revival of pysecdelica in the 90's, a band like no other came onto the scene. Tame Impala.

After the success of 'Lonerism' and 'Innerspeaker' their newest release 'Currents' is nothing but a masterpiece. But what did you expect from Tame Impala?

The album opens with Let It Happen one of the singles previously released before the album. It's repetitive lyrics simply withdraws the listener from the normal plain life they are in and into a magical, colourful journey lead by singer Kevin Parker, inticing you to simply "let it happen". Further into the album, the upbeat tune Disciples shows a different side to Tame Impala. Mixing their traditional psych sound with a more funky, faster paced beat, Disciples gives us a sampling of the new Tame Impala as they develop their sound and take aspects from different music genres. Followed by Cause I'm A Man, Tame Impala's choice of tracks show a range of sounds. Does Cause I'm A Man show the acceptence of transgender, the gender equality issues within society or just Kevin Parker leaving the listener to guess? We will never know. Ending with New Person, Same Old Mistakes. The song is infused with techno/psych sounds with a dark twist. Parker's heavenly vocals give an edge to the dark deep sound.

A faultless album showing the many efforts Tame Imapla have to revive the psych sounds with a modern day twist.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Return of The Libs

Take a step back to two years ago. The year was 2013, Arctic Monkeys had announced a new album, The Rolling Stones played at Glastonbury and everything was as it should be. Nobody would have imagined that in two years time, The Libertines would be back together announcing a new album and playing at some of the biggest festivals in the World.

On Thursday 2nd July 2015, many fans of the band tuned into Radio 1 to grab the first listen of the new song 'Gunga Din'. The song was an instant hit with fans old and new, showing that The Libertines will never die.

With a headline slot at T in The Park this week, The Libertines will be able to perform in front of thousands with a set list jam packed with songs old and (we hope) new. We wish The Libertines the best of luck with their new album and performances this summer!

The new album 'Anthems For Doomed Youth' is available to pre order at and is due to be released 4th September 2015.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

5 Songs For Your Summer Playlist

It seems strange having almost a full week of sunshine in the UK. This means a fresh playlist, goodbye sad songs for winter and hello upbeat summer songs that will make you feel like your sat on a beach in Spain (and not perhaps Piccadilly Gardens getting attacked by pigeons). 

1) She Bangs The Drums // The Stone Roses

If you are looking for one band that will make you feel more summer like than the sun itself than look no further than The Stone Roses. 'She Bangs The Drums' filled with both brilliant bass playing and happy fun filled lyrics, the song is a must for any playlist this summer!

2) Sign On // RAT BOY

If you haven't heard of RAT BOY must have been living in a hole (or just not a user of Twitter). 'Sign On' is filled with Jamie T sounds, lyrically and beat wise. This is a song you defo want to blast from your car speakers, with it's catchy chorus and a small sprinkling of techno. For an artist who isn't even in his 20's yet you should expect big things from RAT BOY.

3) Feel // Bombay Bicycle Club

With its Bollywood sound mixed with the typical Bombay Bicycle Club sound we know and love, 'Feel' is a must on your playlist. Although it's around a year old now, this song is very different to anything out now. Worth a listen if you love Bombay Bicycle Club or anything different to what's out now!

4) T Shirt Weather // Circa Waves

Yes the clue is in the name. 'T Shirt Weather' by Circa Waves is one of the most fun filled and uplifting songs that has been released this year. As lead singer sings "I remember T Shirt Weather" in the chorus, it's the song of the summer and if you don't have this on your playlist you are missing out!

5) Arcylic // Courteeners 

This upbeat tune from Courteeners is full of catchy lyrics and creates a brilliant atmosphere when it's played live. The song is almost pushed aside by the more popular hits from Courteeners yet it shows the talent Liam Fray has as a frontman and the talents of the band all together! This song will make you feel like you're back at heaton park listening to it played acoustically in the rare Manchester sunshine.

Monday, 25 May 2015

The Bands That R&L Forgot...

With a completed lineup revelled only a few weeks back many people were disappointed. No Oasis reunion, no Alex Turner p2 and not even a reincarnation of John Lennon.
We made a list (for a change) of bands/artists that SHOULD have been announced for Reading and Leeds festival.

1) Mac Demarco
As much as we all love bands such as Royal Blood, Metallica and FIDLAR who all get the crowd moving, it would have been nice to have the chilled presence of Mac Demarco at R&L festival. With such a large following on Twitter and 3 albums under his dungarees and striped top sleeves, he would have been a strong crowd pleaser. 

2) Foals
It has been two years since Foals last played at R&L festival and after that short gap a return to the main stage would have been a treat. The band have definitely gathered a larger fan base after the commercial success of 'Holy Fire' which was only released a short while before their slot at R&L 2013. And with rumours of another album surely a festival performance would be a great place to sample new tracks and tease the crowd? Just a thought.

3) The Vaccines
Yes The Vaccines. The Vaccines who recently just performed at Radio 1's Big Weekend. The Vaccines whose 3rd album 'English Graffiti' has just been released. After their first performance at R&L in 2011, wouldn't it be nice if they came and played for us again. A headline slot in NME Stage would be perfect, a large yet protected tent incase that typical English weather came. Also relatively small in comparison to the main stage so that you can move and dance more I.e mosh pit and just have a good time.

4) Alex Turner Acoustic Set
Imagine the setting. You are stood watching the sunset into the fields, standing with the people you love most and listening to the acoustic version of Piledriver Waltz. Wouldn't that be perfect. An acoustic set from Alex Turner would make many hearts beat faster than ever before. You could go as far to say that a joint performance from Miles Kane would be a treat as well. A perfect set that would calm down a few people before they went and watched the more louder acts on stage. 

5) Johnny Marr
Johnny Fuckin Marr. The guitar God. With two albums under his sleeve and not to mention The Smiths discography, Johnny Marr could play any song he wanted to and the majority of festival attenders would watch him. Simply because he is the coolest man alive. 

6) FKA Twigs
Some says she sounds weird. Those few some would be incredibly wrong. FKA Twigs, the lyrical enchantress has done little in terms of performances at R&L and R&L have done little in having an artist who is similar to her. FKA Twigs is definitely different than any act at R&L this year, they are missing out on something magical here.

7) Jagwar Ma
The Australian groovy performers should have defiantly been booked for this festival. After the success of their debut album 'Howlin' in 2013, this band would have been a crowd pleaser and a strong contender for best band to listen to in the sun.

8) Lana Del Rey
Ahh the Queen of Rock and Roll. After her performance at Glastonbury last year, the whole audience was in awe of her work. With two albums and a third one on its way, Lana could have easily gotten a slot on the main stage. Her smooth, sexual voice will sadly be missed from this years festival, which is a shame because Lana evidently similar to FKA Twigs is very different to any acts who are on this years lineup.

9) MGMT 
You can't forget the cool MGMT who always remind you of your youth when you listen to 'Kids'. They are simply magical and to hear these perform live would act as a spiritual and emotional source of happiness. Just imagine how amazing 'Electric Feel' is live.

10) Superfood 
After their debut album being released last year, many of us were shocked to hear that they wouldn't be playing this years festival. Songs like 'You Can Believe' and 'Mood Bomb' would have. Even perfect in the sunshine. Where are you hiding Superfood?

The full lineup which includes The Libertines, Jamie T, Catfish and The Bottlemen and many more can be seen here or where you can purchase your ticket!