The Slow Readers Club

This Indie/Electro quartet, fresh out of the Manchester music scene, could be confused with a mix of The Doves, Editors and The Pigeon detectives. Their punchy single Feet on Fire will surely be a crowd favourite, its rhythm and lyrics will fill any venue and give a crowd the chance to get moving.

Already growing a huge following, and with a cheeky inclusion on Sky sports ‘Soccer AM’ under their belt, these guys are definitely ones to watch. The band are no strangers to success and include three former members of Omerta who released three critically acclaimed and collectable singles and whose XFM live session earned them a top five place in the sessions of the year.

Their debut album goes on sale on the 21st of May and is available from ITunes, Amazon, Spotify and Grooveshark. It can also be downloaded straight from the bands website

Tracks to look out for are Feet on Fire and Block out the sun. MetMusic are sure you will be seeing more of this band in the not too distant future.

Live Dates:

Sunday May 20th – Manchester Rugby 7s festival

Thursday May 24th –   SOFARSOUNDS PRESENTS THE SLOW READERS CLUB (ACOUSTIC) –  Albany Road, Chorlton

Friday 10th August- Mutineers + The Slow Readers Club + Amida – Manchester Academy 3


Liverpool Sound City


Where better to hold a live music event than Liverpool? A city that has given us the Wombats, Miles Kane, The La’s and that band your mum likes… The Beatles!

The city hosts its 4th annual Sound city Concert from the 17th-19th may and each year the concert gets bigger and better. Last year saw The kooks and Calvin Harris showcase their sounds whilst this year Lower than Atlantis, Kids in Glass houses and Temper trap headline the festival.

Organisers of the event say that they “take the best in 21st century pop/tech culture and present it alongside the newest, most forward thinking ways of doing business, creating a forum for people to talk, think, learn and grow all in one of the greatest cities in the world.”

A huge crowd is expected, however tickets are still available from the Sound City Kiosk – walk-up rate is £60 per person for a three-day wristband, £25 for a one-day wristband, or £50 for a Friday/Saturday two-day wristband.

The northwest is the place to be this weekend, what are you waiting for?

What festival?

With a vast array of festivals spread across the UK and Europe this summer, the question for many music lovers is which one do I go to?

MetMusic want to help, and over the next few weeks we are going to review lots of festivals and live music events to make it easier for you to choose.  From Croatia to Scotland and everywhere in between we have scoured the festival scene to provide you with the best information about who to see, where to sleep, what to drink and what to avoid.  Starting with Liverpool Sound City and ending in a blur at some point in September this festival season promises some great undiscovered bands and some monster hangovers.

Let’s go…

Festivals we recommend

Liverpool Sound City – 19th May  @Soundcity

Download Festival – 8-10th June  @DownloadFest

Rockness – 8-10th June  @RocknessFest

Parklife – 9-10th June @ParklifeFest

Beach Break – 14-18th June @BeachBreakLive

Isle of White festival -22– 24th June

Rock Werchter – 28June – 1st July @RockWerchter

Hide out Festival – 28june – 1st July @HideoutFestival

T in the park – 5 – 8th July @Tinthepark

Secret Garden Party – 19– 22nd July @SecretGardenHQ

Boom Town Fair 9-12th August @BoomTownFair

Green Man Festival – 17 – 19th August @GreenManFest

V Festival – 17 – 19th August @Vfestival

Reading and Leeds 24 – 27th August @OfficialRandL

Bestival 6 – 9th September @Bestival

Follow MetMusic on twitter @metmusictweet

Live at Leeds 2012

100 Bands, 11 venues, 1 city

May day bank holiday 2012 saw Leeds host its 4th annual Live At Leeds festival and thousands of music enthusiasts engulfed the city in anticipation of unearthing a hidden gem. With the likes of The Enemy, Reverend and the makers, Ladyhawk and Example headlining the event was a huge success.

The event began in some of the smaller more intimate venues around Leeds, Nation of shop keepers in the heart of the city had a great crowd all day and an incredible sound for such a small venue. Their courtyard was alive which added to the atmosphere inside and when bands like The Likely Lads and Broken hearts began to rock, the excitable crowd hung on their every chord.

Fast forward to 6pm and it was the turn of the big boys, Spector were on stage in the 02 arena and drew the biggest crowd of the night. With their catchy sing along lyrics and bright Hawaiian shirts songs like Chevy Thunder and Celestine sent the crowd wild. The Enemy had a huge task following such a class act, and they knew they had to deliver on all fronts, and that they did. With a huge opening and 5 songs without pausing for a breath they announced their arrival and proved why they were the biggest name on the bill. Aggro, Away from here, Technodanceaphobic and It’s not ok grabbed the crowd by the scruff and stirred them into rock n’ roll frenzy.

Before the Enemy could leave the stage, fans were rushing for the exit to get a place in the Faversham, a small venue nestled behind the University of Leeds in order to see Reverend and the Makers who have a huge following throughout Yorkshire. The venue was packed and many people were forced to listen from outside whilst John McClure, in trademark fashion entertained the baying crowd, saying in between songs that he was sorry it was so rammed and that he would come back and play a gig for those who could not get in. True to his word The Reverend played an acoustic set on the steps of the Faversham which has surely won him new admirers and reassured fans why they love him so much.


The Rifles live at the Cockpit, Leeds


The Rifles played the Cockpit Leeds in early December 2011 as part of their nationwide tour. With old classics like local boy, The General and an acoustic version of Spend a lifetime complimented by new numbers including Tangled up in love, Dreamer and Long walk back, the crowd seemed to hang on every chord that left the bands finely tuned guitars… Their new album Freedom Run makes for a great listen and MetMusic look forward to seeing them up north soon.

Bloc party to release new album in 2012…

Kele Okereke has confirmed that the follow up to ‘Intimacy’ will be out in 2012. Okereke has confirmed that Bloc Party will release a new album later this year.

Speaking to Zane Lowe on Radio 1, the frontman said that a follow up to their third album, 2008’s ‘Intimacy’, will be out at some point in 2012. The band have been working on their fourth album in New York.

Last year Kele courted controversy by claiming that while he was busy with his solo career, the remaining members of Bloc Party would be auditioning new singers to allow them to continue playing together. Bloc Party soon backtracked on the admission, which had been made to NME.

As management officially denied there was anything going on, the band distanced themselves from the claims. It was then suggested that the four members had been in cahoots to whip up publicity for the band and ‘get one over’ on the media.

The band who have released anthems such as helicopter, The prayer and Flux to name but a few will hope that the new album brings as much success as they have achieved before.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you… Kurtis Reid

Remember the name, because MetMusic are sure that you’ll be seeing it on a billboard in the not too distant future. The 21 year old singer songwriter, a music student at Leeds Metropolitan University, has big ambitions for a career in the music industry. He states his role models as Adele, Stevie wonder and James Morrison which is no surprise as his powerful vocals could be likened to those of his peers.

Reid recently launched his first album, ‘returning to base’  at the Well in Leeds city centre and can often be found at open mic nights around the city. Never far from his supporting band, he has surrounded himself with exciting young musicians who are masters of their chosen instruments. Josh Appleby, 21 plays lead guitar and compliments the lead singers powerful vocals with electrifying solos , whilst Simon Benfer, 22 keeps a rhythm that brings the whole set together. Adam Greenhead and Ben Bowers are the heartbeat of the band on the base and drums respectively.

Although there are no plans for any upcoming gigs over the summer, we hope to be seeing them back on the stage again at some point during 2011. With ‘returning to base’   released on 23/05/2011 their return will be eagerly anticipated by what is sure to be a growing fan base. Metmusic are certainly huge fans and cant wit to hear more from Kurtis and the band.

You heard the name here first!!

You can download the album ‘returning to base’ for a small fee from

Pro. Green & Mystery Jets added to Kent festival…

Mystery Jets and Professor Green have been added to the bill of the new ‘First days of Freedom’ festival in Kent.
The event will take place from 15-17 July following the end of exams from schools, universities and colleges in the UK. The lineup was chosen by 364 students who were sourced from the festivals facebook page.
A host of unsigned acts will also be joining the bill, which includes established acts Los Campesinos!, Ms Dynamite and The King Blues. The festival will take place in Port Lympne in Hythe.
For more information visit

Enter Shikari talk new album…

Enter Shikari are set to record their new album in Thailand next month. It is a follow up to their 2009 release ‘Common Dreads’.
Rou Reynolds said the band have narrowed the 30 demos they’ve written down to 15 and are relocating to the Thai beach resort of Bang Saray for three weeks in record their third LP.
Reynolds also said the band’s new material will be less straightforwardly political, saying: “I won’t be writing about specific events. There’re all sorts of topics to be addressed, like the causes as to why everything isn’t going well in society as a whole.”
The band will tour North America as part of the Vans Warped Tour throughout the summer, before returning to the UK to play the Reading and Leeds Festivals in August.

The Wombats proudly present … The Modern Glitch

The Wombats second studio album is not one to be missed. With nostalgic tales of their teenage days, The Modern Glitch allows people to relate to the album in the same way as they could to the first album A Guide to Love, Loss and Desperation .The bands main selling point remains the same, every song is designed to get the crowd moving by focusing on danceable rhythms that build to energetic, powerful choruses .This being no more evident than in the first single released from the album, Tokyo (vampires and wolves) that is sure to have crowds moving from the moment they hear the first chord.

However the album has come in for some criticism with some critics saying ‘the pressure’s on to produce a worthy follow-up to A Guide To Love, Loss And Desperation. As a reply, This Modern Glitch doesn’t misfire, but nor does it sparkle’. There are some really good tunes on this album and my opinion is that it’s not one to be missed.

The Wombats latest video Techno Fan…

Motorhead’s Lemmy to release new album…

Motorhead singer Lemmy has announced a new album release with side project The Head Cat.
The album ‘Walk The Walk, Talk The Talk’, is out on July 5.
It contains a series of covers including Chuck Berry’s ‘Let It Rock’ and Eddie Cochran’s ‘Something Else’, along with their own new stuff, such as ‘shaking all over’.
The side project, a three piece, includes The Stray Cat’s drummer Slim Jim Phantom and Lonesome Spur guitarist Danny B Harvey.
Lemmy has previously announced a UK tour with his more familiar motorhead, containing 11 dates, along with confirming their place at Sonisphere festival in July.

Hives added to Wireless line up…

The Hives are the latest band to be added to London’s Wireless festival as acts continue to be added to an exciting line up at Hyde Park.
They have been joined by Yuck, Alex Metric and Mike Posner to a line up that already includes the likes of Black Eye Peas, Pulp, Chemical Brothers and the Streets.
The event will take place on the first three days of July. The Hives are set to play on the final day with Pulp headlining, along with the Foals and Grace Jones.
See for more information on tickets and the full line up which makes for good viewing

The Drums become 5…

New York band The Drums have announced they are to become a 5 piece, with the addition of two new members along with some line-up manoeuvres.
Drummer Connor Hanwick has put down the drumsticks to become the bands new lead guitarist, with Chris Stein taking his place.
They have also announced Myles Matheny, formerly of the Violens as a new guitarist, replacing Adam Kessler who recently quit. Jacob graham will now focus on synths.
The news has been announced before their upcoming live 2011 shows. Singer Jonathan Pierce said: “The spirit of the band is the same, but the line-up has changed.”

Dave Grohl loves celebrity sex tapes…

Dave Grohl has declared that he ‘loves’ celebrity sex tapes in the Sun newspaper.
Foo Fighters front man and former Nirvana drummer Grohl, spoke of his favourite: “Check it out, in the name of rock ‘n’ roll, go find the Chuck Berry sex tape,” he said. “It’s old so it has a very nice VHS quality to it. None of that night-vision. That one’s pretty good.”
“Tommy Lee’s goes down as probably the greatest sex tape of all time,” he added. “Pamela Anderson was acting shy! She’s acting like, ‘No way! Don’t film me!’ It was hilarious. Paris Hilton is a close second.”

Flava Flav arrested…

Flavor Flav was arrested this week in Las Vegas. Cops noticed four outstanding warrants on his license after a routine pull over.
Real name William Jonathan Drayton Jr, Flav never settled up with the court in 4 separate automobile-related matters — including driving without proof of insurance, a parking violation and two cases of driving without a license, according to law enforcement.
Flav was taken to a nearby jail to pose for a new mugshot before eventually being released.

Kid Rock Accepts Detroit NAACP Award…

Kid Rock accepted the Detroit NAACP’s Great Expectations Award on Sunday despite protests from the association’s own members.
There are some members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People who object to his use of Confederate flag imagery onstage. One member claimed it was “a slap in the face of anyone who fought for civil rights in this country.”
The rocker hit back, however, claiming his use of the flag was part of a tradition inspired by Lynard Skynard, saying: “I love America, I love Detroit and I love black people” as he collected his awarded, given to him for his ongoing support to the city.

Justice “Civilization” review…

Another thumper of a track from Justice, filled with their trademark layers of heavy synth and funky riffs, although this time the vocal gives the track that extra element which will no doubt help to keep it in your head, especially the chorus.
It’s one of those dance tracks that sounds good when you hear it at home or on the radio, but completely outdoes itself on a club sound system, sounding as crisp and full as pretty much any of their other releases.
The track has already been doing the rounds online and has faired pretty well, currently residing at number 5 on the Beatport ‘Indie dance/Nu Disco’ chart.

Mr Scruff single review…

Mr Scruff is back with another interesting creation in ‘Wobble Control’.

Sure to be a favourite at indie dance nights across the country, the track is appropriately titled considering the wobbling basslines and synths the whole way through.
It’s certainly one thing that Mr Scruff can be relied on, and that’s always producing something to fill a dance floor, or at least keep it filled.
The self-made track is up to this usual high standard, and although it might be forgotten in slightly more of a hurry than all time classic ‘get a move on’, it’s still well worth a listen.

Arctic Monkeys album update…

Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders has claimed their new album ‘Suck it and See’ is “more mellow” than their last release ‘Humbug’.

Helders also said he hoped the band’s new track ‘The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala’would work well at festivals. “It has got quite a big chorus. Singalong stuff and simple choruses seem to work with a big crowd.”

Helders explained in an interview with The Fly magazine the approach the band took to recording the new album: “we knew what songs were going to be on the record before we even did it. We just recorded the twelve that are on there.”

There has already been debate over the cover of the album, being described as generally either brilliant or lazy by fans. It consists of a plain white background simply with the words ‘Suck it and See’ on the front, in similar fashion to The Beatles famous ‘White Album’.

The album, produced in California, is due out on June 6th.

Beastie Boys album review…

Fair play to the Beastie Boys, their new album ‘Hot Sauce Committee Part Two’, shows literally no regard for trying to fit in with the contemporary hip hop sound. And it’s all the better for it!

The album could easily be something they put together in the late 80s/ early 90s and forgot about. The old school hip hop beat behind them, rapped over in familiar word by word rhythm, with all of them joining in the last few words of certain rhymes.

Bursting to life with ‘Make some noise’, the beats and nostalgic sound of record scratching are vintage Beastie Boys. And that’s exactly what the album is; the Beastie Boys doing exactly what they do best.

The decision to do things their tried and tested way is paradoxically quite refreshing, and they even have Nas getting in on the act on ‘too many rappers’, along with a collaboration with ‘Santigold’ on ‘Don’t play no game that I can’t win’.

Throughout listening there is certainly the desire to throw on the sneakers and rock out some break dancing, and for that the Beastie Boys get big thumbs up.

Cage the Elephant album review…

Three years on from their debut, Cage the Elephant have returned with a new sound, swapping the UK indie influences for a more US influenced punk/grunge sound.
The tracks on the album have been compared to a whole bunch of past bands including the Pixies, Crucifucks, Black Flag, Dead Kennedys and even the Beatles on some websites. But the most regular name drawn for comparison is the Pixies, which is particularly evident in the loud-quiet dynamic on both Aberdeen and Around My Head.
But aside all the endless comparisons, it’s a great album with a lot of punky energy from start to finish, complete with a mellow lullaby in ‘Rubber Ball’, and a very catchy little number in ‘Shake Me Down’ filled with pop melody that will no doubt at least get your foot tapping.

Scissor Sisters prepare a musical…

Jake Shears of the Scissor Sisters has agreed to get involved in a musical adaptation of Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City novels.
He told Rolling Stone magazine: “I got an email from [librettist Jeff Whitty] wondering if I’d be interested in a musical that took place in the Seventies and had kinda fun themes that involved gays, copious drug use and trannies,” he says. “I said, ‘Of course – what is it?'”
Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City, a production featuring all-new music written by Shears and John Garden, also of Scissor Sisters, is set to run at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco between May 18th and July 10th.
Shears, however, has no plans to join the production of Tales of the City as a performer, joking: “I couldn’t act my way out of a wet paper bag.”
As of yet there have been no plans made to run the show outside San Francisco, though Shears is hopeful to see it elsewhere in the future: “For the moment, we’ve just got our blinders on and we just want it to be the best show it can be for the city that it takes place in.”

Leeds’ latest club night…

Belfast born DJ Jordan McCuaig continues his venture into the party throwing business with club night ‘Clique’, which has already welcomed prominent names from around the world in 2010, such as Gary Beck from Minus Label, and Ryan Elliot from world renowned night club Berghain, in Berlin. And the party continues into 2011 with a range of events around Leeds.
“It’s good having DJs that I would love to watch, being able to bring them to our events, and play with them”, Jordan told me. “By throwing my own nights I’m able to host the sort of events that I would enjoy attending and the reward is seeing other people come to the event and ultimately share your enthusiasm. It’s also a good way to get my own name out there.”
With up and coming events such as an afterhours party in The Musiquarium, the emphasis seems to be on keeping the brand name out there. “Hosting events in the hours after other events in places like the O2 Academy is good fun as the momentum gathers from early in the night. We’re hoping to do a lot more events in the future.”
Clique DJ’s, Jordan McCuaig, Jamie Adams & Michael Townsend will be on decks. The event is free to enter with all drinks at £3.

Kasabian new album news…

It has been announced by a spokesman from their record label that Kasabian will release their new album in October.
Guitarist Serge believes the album is even better than their last, entitled ‘’West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum’. He said: “It’s big songs that make you feel like anything’s possible. It’s a really positive record. I suppose it’s a combination of all three records but we’ve just taken it a bit further.”
Serge has previously revealed he wants the album to emulate the success of Radiohead’s ‘OK Computer’: “It’s a record that just makes you go, ‘Wow’. I want to aim for something that’s as incredible as that, just the feeling of being blown away that you get from that.”

Steve Tyler spends $20 on drugs over his career.

Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler has said that he has blown over $20 million on drugs during his career.
He said in his autobiography: “I blew 20 million. I snorted my Porsche, I snorted my plane, I snorted my house in that din of drugs and booze and being lost.”
His addictions were so bad that hide drugs and alcohol in a drum onstage so he could get through performances. “I kept my medicine cabinet on stage, in a fourteen-inch drum head, the bottom of which contained… one Dixie cup with a straw and blow in it and the other with Coca-Cola and Jack Daniels in it.”
“Left to my own devices I probably would have been dead several times over.”
After his eighth check in to rehab, he claims that it took a desperate plea from one of his children to make him really address his addictions: “When my son looked me in the eye, crying, and said, “Dad you were so high last night and I was afraid,” I needed that.”
Tyler is currently a judge on American Idol.

Meat Puppets Album Review

Their 13th studio album, Meat Puppets are back with ‘Lollipop’. You would imagine the Meat Puppets would be hoping for a slightly less turbulent decade after break ups in the 90s and the 00s. But you can tell by the sound of lead singer Curt Kirkwood that the bands hectic past exploits, riddled with drugs abuse and prison sentences, are behind them.
The vocals are surprisingly clean, which is particularly evident in the likes of ‘Incomplete’ in which they sound like a completely different band.
One thing that is noticeable about this album is that the years of partying to the limit has probably caught up with them a bit. But while ‘Lollipop’ shows a band that has mellowed thoroughly from their initial psychedelic punk days, tracks like ‘Shave It’ have a jovial energy that show they have still got a lot to offer.

Kings of Leon Album Review

Gone it seems are the days of cool raw releases by the Kings of Leon with the release of ‘Come around Sundown’. The band have fallen victim of ‘big band disease’, with the release of something designed purely for stadiums and the occasional play on the radio.

The trouble with that is, though, is that it is not meant to be that. It is supposed to be something for fans to revere and listen to over and over until the songs make them want to tear their own hair out, as happened with tracks like ‘Sex on Fire’, which makes at its peak became bloody tough to listen to.
Every song is a bit epic and triumphant, as if the band have decided that is all that is worthy of their time now. It is a fair shift from the early days of ‘Red Morning Light’ and ‘Charmer’, the type of songs that fill you with excitement when they come on at a bar or on the radio.
The tracks on this latest release won’t do that I’m afraid.
In fairness, the album is ok, but it is in no way, shape, or form anything more than that. ‘Back Down South’ is admittedly a great track and stands out a long with maybe ‘Pony Up’. Album by album the songs have become slower and slower, and certainly more into the pop category.
Lead singer Caleb Followill told Spin Magazine: “We definitely don’t sound as raw as we did early on. But that’s just because it’s hard to teach yourself to be a bad guitar player again. A lot of that raw energy came from — we were playing as good as we could, and now our good is a little better than that.”
So it is clear that the Kings of Leon have sadly moved on from their early sound, which is a shame, but they wouldn’t be a massive band if they didn’t have a crowd of cynics watching their every move

Elbow Single Review

Elbow – Neat Little Rows Single Review

The enormous success of their 2008 classic “Seldom Scene Kid” must have placed a vast amount of pressure on British rockers Elbow, and maybe that is the reason its taken over 2 years to hear anything else from them.

Their recent single “Neat Little Rows” however, shows they are back, and as raw as ever, with this track giving off “Lets get down and down and dirty vibe” similar to the lead 2008 single ‘Grounds for Divorce’.

Its obvious there’s something sinister happening in front-man Guy Garvey’s mind, and its trying to get out. One of the exceptional high points of the new track is the banging, ballsy piano seen throughout the single’s chorus, which is a complete, yet interesting contrast to the previously mentioned demented and dark lyrics exploding quite beautifully out of Garvey’s mouth.

Buy this on iTunes and it will be the best 99p you’ve spent in a long time.

Japanese Voyeurs are a band to look out for.

Japenese Voyeurs

Thrash Hits recently said “the grunge revival is alive and kicking” and believe me, Japanese Voyeurs are fronting the party.

Consisting of female vocalist Romily Alice, bassist Tom Lamb, guitarist Johnny Seymour, drummer Steve Wilson, and most unusual for a grunge band, keyboardist Rich Waldren, it is to believe they are not from Seattle, and that this isn’t the 90’s.

Luckily, they are not fromSeattle, they’re from theLondon, and this isn’t the 90’s, its 2011, and Japanese Voyeurs are new, exciting and fresh, not to mention thunderously powerful.

Shrieking vocals, dynamics flirting between the quiet and explosive, murky and deathly phonics raging against invisible forces and destructive inner demons create a sound like no other.

They are most certainly a band to watch out for in 2011.

Richard Parker EP Out Now!

Richard Parker

Leeds based, instrumental provocateurs Richard Parker are unknown to most, but I assure you, with the release of their debut EP “Richard Parker”, they are set for big things in 2011.

Following in the footsteps of alternative outfits Explosions in the Sky and Mogwai they need no vocals to create intelligent and elegant music, with guitarists Mike Miller and Ben Budd unveiling tantalisingly intellectual, and musically impressive riffs, working together in perfect unison.

Bass player Andy Bayley and drummer Dave Barnes bring the power to the outfit, with thick running bass lines, explosive beats and perfectly timed percussion, they fill the ears with a wall of sound, as the guitars simply flit in and out of the ears, intriguing the mind as they pass.

Debut EP “Richard Parker” including tracks “Mechanisms”, “Second Hand”, and “Tempus” is set for release soon, visit for details.

Funeral Party Album Review

Funeral Party – Golden Age of Knowhere

“It’s all been done before, and it’ll all be done again” claims Funeral Party  front man Chad Eliot, as he attempts to bat of comparisons to the Rapture, another dance punk band from the heart of New York, a band that have been around a lot longer that Funeral Party believe me.

There fast paced music, and “hit everything at once really fast and really hard” approach them has given them quite a reputation for sweating, swirling live shows, something which comes across excellently in the album.

It’s a great listen, with new, vibrant and exciting beats, but unfortunately it gets tiresome by the end; you can only dance as hard and fast as the guys in Funeral Party for so long.

That point aside, it’s a seriously good debut attempt at bringingNew Yorkpunk over to the UK, kudos to Funeral Party.

Chapel Club Album Review

Chapel Club – Palace Album Review

“Palace” is the debut album fromLeedsandLondonbased indie boys, Chapel Club, and for those who love The Smiths, Interpol and My Bloody Valentine, this is the album for you, and to help get you past those January blues.

Front man Lewis Bowman continuously exceeds expectations in the vocal department and his deep and haunting vocals on tracks such as “The Shore” adds a new level of depth to the album, cutting through the electro wall of sound that comes from the majority of the other tracks on the album.

They have fully grasped the concept of the mainstream, popular indie music, giving out an aura of pretentiousness that is key for every 80’s indie influenced band trying to make it in 2011.

Don’t be fooled however, the pretentiousness flowing out of their music, is a pretentiousness that doesn’t come across through their personalities, they are the most down to earth guys on the brink of hitting the big time I have ever met, and they deserve all the praise they get.

Noah and the Whale Live

Noah and the Whale

Gig Review

Once again the Brudenell are hosting a band currently raging through the charts, with the ability to easily sell out a venue of this size, making this gig something special, as this could be the last time any one sees Noah & the Whale is such a intimate setting.

The place is packed to the rafters and full of energy. The excitement kicks in with the first notes of an orchestral version of the Queen classic “Bohemian Rhapsody”, leading to every man, woman and child singing their heart out, with an almost national pride, quite fitting for a Queen song.
Front man Charlie Fink an co. waltz on to the stage, all wearing 3 piece suits and big smiles across their faces, the young girls in the front row almost explode with excitement, and then proceed to swoon at the mere though of the set to come. Opening with “Blue Skies” and the “Tonight’s the Kind Of Night”, they immediately knock any critics off their feet, proving that these Twickenham boys are not just one hits wonders.
Frequently removing his suit coat and slowly rolling up his sleeves due to the intense heat caused by so many screaming fans in such a small building, the young ladies are delighted at the thought of such intimacy.

Backing vocalist and violinist Fred Abbott quietly rotates between instruments with ease, proving how incredibly musically talented the band are as a whole.

“Waiting for my Chance to Come” and “First Days of Spring” erupt before the set comes to a close.

Chants and screams fill the room, all for the chance just to hear one more song.

Secretly, every one knows they will come back to the stage, and every one knew exactly what songs they were going to play to bring this house down.

As expected, the southern quintet return to the stage and lead us through chart hits and sing along anthems “LIFEGOESON” and “5 Years Time” before they finally make their exit.

The doors bust open and the crowds flood out, teenage girls giggle to each other and discuss the bands outfits, everyone who was there despite the looks of the band themselves left impressed, and even I wasn’t expected their sound to be as fresh as it was.

Finally… Bon Iver!

Bon Iver has announced the release of a long awaited second album. The album which will be self titled, is Bon Ivers (Aka Justin Vernon) first release since his deut  For Emma that became a cult sensation in 2008. Bon Iver has worked with Kanye west on two tracks for his recent album My Dark Beautiful Twisted Fantasy and fans have been waiting with great anticipation for him to release some new material.

The album that will be released in the States on June the 21st and the name of each track on the album is name after or represents a place. Frontman Justin Vernon has said of album closer Beth/Rest  is his favourite on the LP “Its definatley the part where you pick up your joint and re-light it”

below is a video of Skinny love, one of Bon Ivers’ most well known tracks

Most expensive shots in the north…

Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders is counting the cost of his lack of knowledge of vintage booze, after he lost out on vintage bottle of rum that turned out to be worth nearly £40,000.

The drummer owns the Bowery Bar in Sheffield and workers there bought a bottle of rare, 215 year-old Henry Jefferson of Whitehaven rum for around £70 last week. They only decided to send it for further testing after they’d sampled a few shots,only then was the true value of the booze revealed to them, reported The Sun.

A source said: “Bar staff were mortified when they found out what they had done. Later on that night everyone was talking about it including Matt, Alex [Turner] and [ex-bandmate] Andy Nicholson. Everyone was shocked but found it pretty funny – except the manager who runs the pub for Matt.”

A message about the rum has also been posted on the bar‘s Facebook page, It reads: “So it’s now on YouTube and we’re doing a lot of research, all the industry experts seem to agree that we’ve opened a bottle of booze potentially worth about 40 grand…Fuck.”

Kylie Minogue, Tinie Tempah and Plan B have all been nominated for Ivor Novello awards

Plan B and Everything Everything lead the way with two nominations each, and will square go head-to-head in the songwriting awards’ Best Album category.

Plan B’s ‘She Said’ is also nominated for PRS for Music Most Performed Work, while Everything Everything’s ‘MY KX, UR BF’ is in the running for Best Song, Musically and Lyrically.

Tinie Tempah’s ‘Pass Out’ is up for Best Contemporary Song alongside The xx’s ‘Islands’ and Katy B’s ‘Katy On a Mission’, while Kylie Minogue’s ‘All The Lovers’ is in the running for Most Performed Work against ‘She Said’ and Scouting For Girls’ ‘This Ain’t a Lovesong’.

Also nominated for Best Song Musically and Lyrically are Foals’ ‘Spanish Sahara’ and Villagers’ ‘Becoming a Jackyl’.

Villagers’ singer and songwriter Conor O’Brien told BANG Showbiz: “It’s not your average pop song,so to be nominated for something that Lily Allen won last year is kind of interesting. I sort of feel like I’m on the sidelines watching this kind of mainstream thing happening.”

Lily Allen scooped three awards at last year’s ceremony, Songwriter of the Year, Best Song Musically and Lyrically and Most Performed Work for her track ‘The Fear’.

Other trophies which will be handed out at the awards – held on May 19 at London’s Grosvenor House hotel, include Best Original Film , Best Television Soundtrack and Best Original Video Game .

Foo fighters end Adeles’ record run with their new release ‘Wasting light’

After a record 11 weeks at the top of the album chart, Adele’s album ‘21’ was finally knocked off the top by hard hitting rockers The Foo Fighters and their new album ‘Wasting Light’. Adele now occupies second and third sport in the chart with her first album ‘19’ sitting behind ‘21’ in third place.

The Foo Fighters, who recorded their new album in lead singers Dave Grohl’s garage where thrilled that their album went straight to number one. However, some may find it hard to believe but the front man confessed that the new album was influenced by 70s Swedish pop group ABBA.  He told NME…

“I like loads of crazy-ass, dissonant, distorted rock ‘n’ roll, But I also love, bands whose pop choruses get bigger and bigger. I love anthemic choruses, that overwhelming feeling of release that you can connect with. He added: “So whenever I thought I had a big enough chorus for a song, I would use that as the pre-chorus and then I would try and write something even bigger, like they did.”

Whatever he did it seems to have worked, with the album shooting straight to number one. Tracks like Rope and A matter of time will surely rock the stadiums that the Foo Fighters have come accustomed to. Fans can look forward to their upcoming tour and get ready to rock!!!

Beyonce heads to Somerset …

The Glastonbury festival 2011 line up was revealed earlier this week ending speculation about who and who wasn’t gracing the stage at one of the worlds best known festivals.

From its humble beginnings on 19th September 1970 where 1500 people attended the first festival and paid just £1 to enter, Glastonbury as grown by 170% with 170,000 people attending in 2007. 2011 promises to be one of the most memorable for years with Some of 
the worlds biggest names set to head to Somerset, including U2 who will headline the first night of the festival, a festival they haven’t attended for 27 years.

Coldplay will headline the pyramid stage on the Saturday night with beyonce wrapping up the festival on the Sunday. It is set to be a weekend to remember, with many up and coming acts gaining their first taste of the magic of Glastonbury.

With tickets for the festival selling out within 24 hours, thousands of fans will be hoping for sunshine come the 22nd of June but some will no doubt be rain dancing in hope of a famous ‘Glastonbury mud bath’ whatever the weather when the cider is flowing everyone’s sure for a good time.

The History of the White Stripes

On February 2, 2011, after 6 studio albums, 26 singles, 1 live album, and excessive touring, the biggest blues rock duo around announced that they would officially cease recording and performing music as The White Stripes.

The announcement specifically denied any artistic differences or health issues, simply saying they split for “a myriad of reasons … mostly to preserve what is beautiful and special about the band”.

It is truly a sad, sad day for modern rock music, as I know they influenced many of the great rock bands we see emerging today.

I take a detailed look at their past, their six studio albums, how they changed the face of modern blues rock music for ever, and how Jack and Meg White brought riff heavy, pounding rock back to the UK.

The White Stripes (1999) –

The White Stripes’ debut album “The White Stripes” was released in 1999 on the independent label Sympathy for the Record Industry.

Produced by a young Jack White, the self-titled debut was recorded and developed at Ghetto Recorders studio in Detroit and was the raw beginning for the now Grammy award winning duo.

The album was unofficially dedicated to well known Mississippi blues musician, Son House, an artist who Jack White has admitted to being one of his biggest musical influences and his influence is bursting out of every second of this exceptional take on hard blues.

One of my top 5 debut albums of all time.

De Stijl (2000) –

The White Stripes’ second album “De Stijl” which, when translated, is the Dutch for “The Style”, is exploding with just that. It’s intense, original, raw, crunchy, uncompromising stylish blues rock, and stays true to the sound of their debut.

Released on the same label as their debut, Sympathy for the Record Industry, in the summer of 2000, “De Stijl”, along with “The White Stripes” is now considered to be a cult classic among the modern day blues rock fan, which is an astounding feat considering the whole thing was self-recorded on Jack’s 8-track analog tape in his own living room.

Equally as good as their first, no question.

White Blood Cells (2001) –

“White Blood Cells” was the third album to be released by the blues rock duo and was originally released in the summer 2001, again on Sympathy for the Record Industry.

However, despite gathering plenty of underground acclaim, this was the first time the band enjoyed its first significant mainstream success and “White Blood Cells” was re-released on major label V2 Records the following year.

Jack and Meg White had again decided to stick to their roots by creating a rough, ragged and sharp around the edges piece of musical genius, something for which they gained huge praise, making The White Stripes one of the most critically acclaimed bands of recent years.

Their fame in the UK was instantaneous, British paper The Daily Mirror called them “the greatest band since The Sex Pistols” and in 2002 British magazine Q listed The White Stripes as one of “50 Bands to See before You Die”.

“White Blood Cells” then proceeded to grant us such classic singles such as “Hotel Yorba” and “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground” which became the backbone to The White Stripes forever growing, powerful live set list.

Elephant (2003) –

Marking the bands first major label release “Elephant” is often described as “the best White Stripes album of them all” and showed the world that they were only just getting started, and were still unwilling to compromise their raw, heavy blues style.

The album was their first UK chart-topper, as well as their first US Top 10 album, an enormous feat for any act.

The album then proceeded to reach double platinum in Britain, and platinum in the United States, showing The White Stripes had finally, and thankfully, hit the masses.

American magazine Rolling Stone gave the album a coveted 5 out of 5 star rating, and has since then they named Jack White as number 17 on their list of “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”.

In 2004 “Elephant” won a coveted Grammy Award for “Best Alternative Rock Album” and in late 2009, British indie magazine NME named “Elephant” as number 18 in the “100 Greatest Albums of the Decade”.

The album’s first single, “Seven Nation Army” has been the band’s most successful single yet and lead the White Stripes to another Grammy success in 2004, winning them “Best Rock Song”

Its success was then followed by a cover of Burt Bacharach’s “I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself” which is considered to be one of the best blues covers out there.

It was full steam ahead for The White Stripes at this point.

Get Behind Me Satan (2005) –

Again released on V2 Records, “Get Behind Me Satan” was recorded in Jack White’s then-Detroit home and shows The White Stipes taking a slightly more softer approach to their usually unforgiving and intense blues rock, with Jack White taking a more rhythmic approach to this album, replacing his electric guitar for an acoustic on the majority of the tracks, straying away from his normally riff heavy playing style.

Despite playing down their usual hard rock nature, they once again gained heavy critical acclaim with Rolling Stone ranking it as the third best album of the year, and again, winning them the Grammy for “Best Alternative Music Album” in 2006.

“Blue Orchid” and “My Doorbell” are seen as the two most recognizable singles taken from the album, both getting a large amount of radio air time and charting high both in the UK and US. They are also known as two of the best White Stripes singles behind the classic “Seven Nation Army”.

Icky Thump (2007) –

The White Stripes’ sixth album, Icky Thump, was released in 2007 on Warner Bros. Records, since V2 closed in 2006, and it was released on a one-album contract, something that neither The White Stripes themselves, or the record label knew, would be all they needed.

It entered the UK Albums Chart at number one and by late July had reached gold status in the United States, and led The White Stripes to do something no other rock band had done before. On February 10, 2008, almost two years to the day of their split, the album won them a Grammy for “Best Alternative Music Album”, the third year running for the rock duo.

Following the smoother, rhythmic feel to “Get Behind Me Satan”, “Icky Thump” showed the return to their punk rock and blues influences for which the band became known.

Recorded at Nashville’s Blackbird Studio it took a mere three weeks to record,  with most bands taking months to record an album.

Astonishingly however, this was the longest recording process of any White Stripes album to date, Jack and Meg refuse to sit around and do nothing.

Unfortunately however, it was all downhill for the previously married couple, and despite releasing such a sensational, crowd pleasing sixth studio album, they then unintentionally broke the hearts of thousands, as, in September 2007, they announced the cancellation of 18 tour dates due to Meg’s suffering from acute anxiety problems,

Following this, the duo cancelled the remainder of their 2007 tour dates including their scheduled tour of the UK, which would have been the last ever chance for any British fans to witness the magical live sound of The White Stripes.

And from then on, that was it, The White Stripes wouldn’t perform on British soil ever again, and their highly anticipated follow up to “Icky Thump” would never hit the shelves, leaving fans, musicians, and I’m sure The White Stripes moarning.

I’m still not sure that I’m over the death of this majestic blues rock duo, and my fingers will always be crossed, and I shall forever be hopeful, that one day, The White Stripes will once again play together.

Until then, The Dead Weather and The Raconteurs will have to do, but it will never be the same.

Morain- Animals Single Review

Okay, so I know it isn’t actually out yet, but this song needs a mention because it really is absolutely fantastic and, bonus; Morain are based in our very own Leeds.

‘Animals’ is to be the debut single from Morain released on Brightblack Records. It’s catchy from the off with excellently thought out, often cheeky at times, with exciting little guitar parts all over the shop.

Wil Frost provides powerfully gritty vocals laid-down with an addictive singing pattern. I can guarantee that after a single listen to the chorus, you will be singing along to it every time, and it’s going to be in your head all day.

The video for the song is also definitely worth a watch, it works so well alongside the track. Morain play in the area all the time so be sure to check them out. Google these boys now!

Mogwai – Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will Album Review

Scottish post-rockers Mogwai released their new album ‘Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will’ last week. True to form the title is as crazy as ever, but for me, it still hasn’t beaten previous album title ‘Kicking a Dead Pig’.

The general consensus among Mogwai fans tends to be ‘I love all their music, but Mr. Beast was the best work’. With this in mind, how does this new release shape up?

You are eased in with some beautifully melodic songs including a new personal favourite for me ‘Letters to the Metro’. Things then change with ‘George Square Thatcher Death Party’ everything gets a little more gritty, something that I for one am please about. Mogwai know how to keep it fresh. In the song, we hear some of the old familiar messed up vocals. I’d also like to say that I believe the song title to be the greatest of all time!

This album is definitely no let down. It has the same genius we have seen in all of Mogwai’s albums. The big question though. Is this album as good as Mr. Beast? It’s possible, but you will need to ask me when I have listened to it as much as that beastly masterpiece.

Listen to ‘How to be a Wearwolf’ – It has all the hallmarks of a Mogwai classic.

The Hold Steady @ Leeds Met Student Union

Brooklyn born rock underdogs The Hold Steady are here at Leeds Met’s The Stage on the tail end of the European section of their enormous world tour, promoting their latest album “Heaven Is Whenever”, and showing the UK how they do it on the other side of the pond.

Bursting straight into “Constructive Summer”, the faultless opening track from 2008’s “Stay Positive” album, immediately everyone in the audience could see The Hold Steady are one of the greatest live bands around.

Front man Craig Finn, who is 40 years old this year, is still as explosive as ever, and as full of energy as any other front man half his age.

Roaring through such hits as “Girls like Status”, “The Swish” and the opening track from their latest album, “The Sweet Part of the City” it was all systems go for The Hold Steady, continuing to amaze the crowd with their exceptional musical live talent.

Roughly 20 songs hand selected songs from their five studio albums later and around 90 minutes on stage it seemed like a bit of a whistle stop tour for the Brooklyn band, they were here and now they’re not, I don’t know whether its because “time flies while your having fun” but believe me it didn’t feel nearly long enough and whilst some of the younger fans may not have heard a lot of The Hold Steady’s older work tonight, it’s unlikely they’ll stay unheard for long after tonight’s performance.

Foals – Blue Blood Single Review

“Blue Blood” is the latest single from Oxford based alternative outfit Foals.

Taken from their Mercury Prize nominated, second album “Total Life Forever”, “Blue Blood” is set to storm the alternative charts.

A slow, mellow, and yet beautiful beginning captivates with its depth and sensuality, it then bursts into an energetic and complex mash up of  dancing bass lines, sketchy guitar riffs, tight drum beats and reverberating vocal melodies.

The chorus is equally as complex as the verse and the vocals if anything, become more haunting as the track continues, with front man Yannis Philippakis’ writing ability taking the track to a completely different intellectual level.

As a whole it is nothing short of spectacular, compiled of everything an alternative indie track needs, unusual and spontaneous, it towers above anything else  in the charts, which could be said about any song on the album from which it is taken, not to say that “Blue Blood” is not a highlight, more that every song on the album has a depth and integrity that is not seen in any other mainstream tracks at the moment.

“Blue Blood” and “Total Life Forever” are definitely both worthy investments.

Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobious Pip Interview

Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip are an award nominated hip-hop duo who combine electronic beats with sung, spoken, and rapped lyrics. The pair are Daniel Stephens (aka Dan le sac) and David Peter Meads (aka Scroobius Pip) and I went down and spoke to them before their recent gig in Leeds.

Fraser Knott: “So how do you feel the atmosphere in Leeds compares to other cities? Is it always a favorite of yours?”

Scroobius Pip (vocals): “On previous tours it’s always been one of the best ones vibe wise, the two or three shows we’ve done at Cockpit have always been good ones, there’s always a really up for it crowd”

FK: And the tour continues into late November, and I can imagine it’s been quite relentless…”

SP: “Well we haven’t really had more than a week off since 2006; it’s been non stop since then”

Dan Le Sac (DJ/production): There’s been like a month or two off in total over the years, its weird going back to your house and having all your stuff”

FK: “Shepard’s Bush in London is quite an iconic venue, headlining there must be quite surreal?”

SP: “We’ve never played there before, and headlining it is an amazing feeling, I’ve been to so many gigs there, and it should be the biggest turn out of the tour, not necessarily the best crowd but definitely the biggest”

FK: “Your second album was released last March, how have things been since the release?”

SP: “Yeah it’s been awesome, hearing people get more and more familiar with the songs over the March tour and during the festival season is great, its real good fun”

FK: “And the recent single “Cauliflower” how do you feel it’s gone down?”

SP: “It’s great for us because it’s always been one of our favorite tracks off the album but we never got the chance to play it live because we could never do it with out Kid A [who features on the track] but since she’s been supporting us on this tour it’s been great to play, the crowd reception is amazing”

DLS: “And it’s not until you play a song live that you know what kind of a track it is, I really wasn’t expecting “Cauliflower” to be such a banging tune

FK: “You were nominated for the BT Digital Awards this year, was it nerve racking going up against acts such as Kylie, Muse and Gorillaz?”

SP: “It was really unexpected and great to be slung in there with all the other nominations”

DLS: “It got to me a little bit that Gorillaz [who won the category] used a video acceptance speech rather than turning up, especially after we waited around for so long”

SP: “Don’t forget the random Ne-Yo performance we had to sit through as well; he wasn’t even nominated for anything, just Ne-Yo doing a gig, it was just like “Alright Ne-Yo what are you doing here?””

DLS: “It was also quite funny that we we’re like the forth most famous act in the crowd, behind like JLS, McFly, and Professor Green”

SP: “And Muse weren’t there to wow us with there live show they always win awards for, they left that to Scouting for Girls of course”

Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip’s second album “Angles” is out now.

Alexisonfire @ Leeds Met Student Union

Local Leeds lad’s Chickenhawk play their hearts out to a completely sold out venue, something which seems to be a common occurrence throughout this tour, and you can tell they are no where near out of their depth. Front man Paul Astick manically runs through the crowd as if the place was his own, flawlessly energising them for what I can tell is going to be an amazing night. After a short break the atmosphere is raging and the packed out room is bursting with excitement, the majority of the crowd can hardly contain themselves and screams are flooding the air, Dallas, Wade, Chris and Jordan take to the stage and the volume of the screams doubles. An intriguing instrumental introduction silences the shrieks, almost as if the air was drawn out of the room, everyone watches in awe of their obvious musical talent. The silence is once again broken as they then break into one of their most successful recent singles “Young Cardinals”. Front man George Pettit then mans the stage, in nothing more than jeans and shoes, pair this with his manic look, piercing eyes and dribbling mouth, and the majority of the crowd is immediately thrown into a pit of fear for their own well-being, in a good way of course. Crowd favourites such as “Boiled Frogs”, “Drunks, Lovers, Sinners and Saints” and “This Could Be Anywhere in the World” get the audience swirling in a pit of sweaty limbs and relentless energy, and the continuous “mad man” look worn by George seems to spur them on if anything. New track of their upcoming EP “Dogs Blood” shows Alexisonfire have gone back to their old school roots and have taken things heavy once again, Dallas Green’s vocals however are still beautifully enchanting and no matter how heavy a song may be, with Dallas on its side, it will always be able to cut to the soul of even the toughest metal head. Going down as well as any of the seasoned hits, “Dogs Blood” is a clear hit, I can imagine downloads of the track after this gig are going to improve instantaneously, never a bad thing, even for a band who have reached god-like status amongst rockers across the world. Still, after this unbelievable set, a set filled with classics, new tracks, sweat and blood, no one in the audience was prepared for an ending like this. Debut album tracks “44. Calibre Love Letter” and “Pulmonary Archery” send the crowd into a haze of euphoria, an impressive feat for such a heavy act, smiles sweep the floor, the balcony, and the higher tier, everyone is ecstatic. It is then a beautiful rendition of “Happiness by the Kilowatt”, sung with ghostly intensity by both guitarists Dallas and Wade that ends the night on an all time high for the Leeds Met stage. Walking through the warm and sweating crowd, post gig, only praise can be heard for the hard working Canadians, and the general consensus is obvious, Alexisonfire know how to play one hell of a show, and the next time Dallas, George, Wade, Chris and Jordan grace the stages of Leeds, it will never be a disappointment.

Jack Penate @ Leeds Met Student Union

The Leeds Metropolitan Union’s lights are lowered, and a peaceful blue light illuminates the performance area.  The suspense that has been building up thought out the night is about to be broken and the crowd who have been waiting all day for this moment erupt.

Jack Penate coolly walks onto the stage, wearing his hood up and looking sharp, he gives a kind nod to the crowd as the band get ready.

Ecstatically, they burst into the second album smash Everything Is New, the man everyone has gathered here tonight to see dances around like a lunatic, leaving the crowd with a universal smile. The Londoner’s level of energy matches that of any member of this already buzzing audience, surprising most with his unusual, red-bull fuelled dance moves.

As the opening song draws to a close, everyone is impressed, Jack’s vocals are spot on and his relentless energy was obviously not expected.

He then informs the crowd that he is in fact, nursing a hangover; his extremely high levels of energy become even more impressive.

A stage hand strides on to the stage and thrusts a shot of alcohol into hand, a previous request or a practical joke, no-one is sure. Smirking, he turns to the crowd, raises his glass and sees it off in one; he obviously appreciates the age old hangover remedy “hair of the dog”.

The rockabilly king then proceeds to play one of the best sets the Leeds Metropolitan University Union stage has ever seen. Hits from the first and second album are fused together perfectly, proving that even though Jack’s new album took a different direction to his earlier work; both are perfect example of what he does best.

Indie-pop perfection such as Torn On The Platform and Spit At Stars are among the crowd favourites, leaving them begging for more when Jack and his band depart from the stage.