Saturday, 22 February 2014

The Satellite Tour review - The Ballroom, Canterbury - 5th February 2014


Canterbury’s ballroom is a terrible venue for live music on paper. With obstructing furniture, a low stage relative to it’s obscenely high roof, one would expect the acoustics to get lost among the ornate decoration and encumbering architecture; yet the impressive PA readily compensates for tonights’ performances three: Sons & Lovers, Fred Page and headline act Eliza and the Bear. 

First contenders and Exeter residing four-piece Sons and Lovers take the stage and the few dozen people who worked up the nerve to scuttle across the dance floor for the eight o’clock kick off shift their attention front-ways. Opening with recent single Ghosts the crowd react amicably but not over-enthusiastically to the crunching guitar lines and chugging bass. The lack of prior knowledge of this relatively fresh pop-punk quartet makes for a stellar set but the lack of stage to crowd communication and familiarity blind-sides the audiences’ attention deflating attempts to woo them like the ambitious but contrived a cappella performance of Set My Heart which raised more eyebrows than arms. 

Now, following that, I have no doubt that Fred Page is a talented wordsmith and a competent puppeteer of the heartstrings lest he be enlisted into the Satellite tour; however, due to a number of factors, mainly his position on the running order, he does not entirely succeed in a submersive and captivating performance. The slow pace and introspective nature of his music makes for a pleasant accompaniment for those playing Flappy Bird under the cover of darkness while their mates go get drinks from the bar. At a medial interval and well aware of the situation at hand our gentle giant unravels to his towering 6’3 stature projecting a more domineering presence, well, as domineering as floppy hair and melancholic poetry can be. Dwarfed by Sons and Daughters’ quaking performance an unfair tone was set for Mr.Page, and had he the former act’s position on the roster maybe he would have been appreciated to a more appropriate extent. Although, the Page induced sedation in the atmosphere took the audience off guard for the explosive headline act that was to reveal itself shortly.

A slow ascension to the stage among the now fifty strong crowd relishing in the malaise of their complimentary J├Ągerbomb, Eliza and the Bear waste little time bursting into their first track, Upon the North, with incendiary impetus. Rattling through their set they rarely interlude or mute, bar the occasional ‘You out there Canterbury?’, retorted by roars and squeals by the now elevated crowd. Equipped with an arsenal of colossal choruses and a purging stage presence, tracks like Friends and fan favourite It Gets Cold are lapped up by the Canterbury locals. For a city with little exposure to live music The Satellite Tour was a much needed and compelling night whipping up intrigue, repose and occasionally ecstasy.


Sunday, 1 December 2013

Skull Rattlers: November

I have four layers on because I live in an ice palace. Though that might sound cool (holds for applause) it's no fun. Having neither the funds nor cowardice to put the heating on my method of heating will be enlightening you to my most cherished music discoveries of the last month, enjoy!

Monday, 25 November 2013

"You have to be *this tall* to write"

An age old discussion of the age old discussion. A collection of thoughts that I have failed to put down to paper since watching Sir Macca gasp and wheeze through a trifled Hey Jude at the 2012 London Olympics with such exasperation indicating the possibility of incoming respiratory acidosis. Unfortunately, (got a problem? sue me.) the Mac-attack came out the other end and went on to release an album he had the audacity the title New. Reference to a second wind or a premium set of organs he recently acquired from a brain-dead orphan? We may never know.
Orphans aside it’s worth considering the reality that age holds no weight within the music industry. Those who have been lurking since the 70s are still operating with immovable strife. With the recent passing of Lou Reed mortality is a current taboo which makes me want to turn to the other side of the bed and query whether there such thing as being ‘too young’ to be making music?

Embedded image permalinkAt the age of thirteen Universal Records snapped up the now unavoidably popular Lorde from her New Zealand home. Although sounding frighteningly similar to a kidnapping or grooming (we’ve had enough of those recently), Universal made a smart move in recruiting this upcoming talent so early. I’m not aware or well versed in the ramifications and technicalities of her contract but I can imagine the document’s terms would not allow Universal to release music on behalf of her under the pseudonym of Lorde until she was ‘of age’ as it were. That said, by waiting a few years it gave time for Lorde to develop as an artist and get herself mentally and physically prepared for the arguably the most exciting four years of her life. However, by signing her soul away to the beelzebub of the industry (The independent uprising is coming, trust me!) she’s not allowed herself the chance to live as a unsullied adolescent. Pure Heroin was a great and comprehensive pop release and Lorde should be overwhelmed with what she’s achieved. I won’t indulge myself so far as to write a full review but I’ll just mention that the lyrical content was occasionally discursive and narrow which entertains the possibility that she could maybe have matured as a songwriter if not for having the fat-cat suits breathing down her neck for the last three years.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Ghost B.C - If You Have A Ghost EP (Guest Writer Jon Birondo)

For Ghost B.C, standing out isn't a hard feat to accomplish. The mysterious, anonymous six piece Swedish, satanic doom metal band turn heads everywhere with their Anti-Papal attire and lyricism and Blue Oyster Cult-esque melodies. Donned in skeletal makeup and black robes, Papa Emeritus II and his nameless ghouls return with a small EP, produced by Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters) with five tracks, COVERS to be more exact. 

Monday, 28 October 2013

I hated the alternative before it was cool.

Bastille are a true thorn in my side. After the scrutiny I received for writing what apparently was a ‘scathing’ review of their disappointing debut they have cropped up once again to spite me. At a scheduled playlist meeting for the radio station to which I contribute (CSRfm 97.4, tune in!) Bastille’s cover Of the Night was a topic of fierce debate. CSR is a strictly alternative station if they are to adhere to the OFCOM regulation. One head of this dialoging hydra held the sentiment that just because they have gained popularity they still constitute as that of an ‘alternative band’ whereas the other side would say that they’ve veered into the realm of pop. I would take the stance that they have been circling within the parameters of commercialism since day one as is the case with countless other bands breaching the scene. But this isn't a small-scale band issue, this is cultural progression.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Radkey - Devil Fruit EP

In the depths of Missouri where the crops are plentiful and the people are theist were born three brothers. Dee, Isaiah and Solomon. They learnt instruments, went to school and were diligent model gentlemen with no desire to rebel, right. WRONG. Relatively new to the scene the brothers Radke blew our eardrums and inner inhibitions to shit when their Cat & Mouse EP dropped a few months back. It demonstrated that the three piece rock’n’roll demographic is alive and ravenous. Now they’ve clambered to release a further four tracks while simultaneous navigating the motions of a prolific touring spree; they’ve got guts, as has this EP.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Skull Rattlers: October

Lists and compilation posts are a cop out. We're talking a composition of 70% links and paragraph spacing. It's an easy way to fill a blog that any appendage equipped idiot can master.
Exactly why this idiot is going to follow through with it.
I (Captain Cop-out) present accordingly my favourite music discoveries of the last month.