Friday, 30 December 2011

looking forward: 2012

the last big hurrah/biggest let down (delete as applicable) of the year is almost upon us, and once the clock has struck midnight on 31st December 2011, we shall all of a sudden find ourselves engulfed in 2012 for a whole twelve months.

traditionally, most blogs and websites will be telling you what were the best things to have been listening to in the year just gone, and also informing you of who you will undoubtedly be listening to in the new year fast approaching.

i'll only touch on the latter briefly, with more pressing concern on sharing good music with you, no matter what current trends on social practice may dictate.

and there are a couple of collaborations that are helping to wave off the soon departing MMXI AD in a rather twee fashion before we get too far ahead of ourselves

there must be thousands of these type of videos sprawled all over youtube, you know the ones, bedroom, webcam, guitar, but not many of them feature the delightful pairing of Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt melting hearts with their hipster pleasing duet




and another team-up in the form of Frank Turner, who has gone from strength to strength this year, hooking up with country singer and past collaborator, Jon Snodgrass, for a little ditty that was knocked out together in about half an hour, and was shared by Turner via his soundcloud

 download: Frank Turner and Jon Snodgrass - Happy New Year

now we look towards the future

a lot of anticipation is building to see what The xx will deliver when they release their second album after creating a slow building buzz with their emergence and praised debut which carried with it a new wave of electronic-shoegaze in it's wake.  early clues from the band hint at a more upbeat direction, yet this teaser demo, for two and a half minutes at least, suggests otherwise

 download: The xx - Open Eyes (Demo)

also making a return in 2012 will be Scissor Sisters, who provided a sleazy assault on the senses when they burst onto the music scene, but have since seemed to have lost their way a little.  perhaps in an attempt to induce some shock tactics, they have teamed up with Azealia Banks for the single 'Shady Love' that will debut on January 2nd 2012.

The name Azealia Banks should not be new to anyone by now, being one of the most hype-inducing artists of previous months and featuring highly in many websites tips for 2012, including the highly debated BBC sound of 2012 poll.

She will no doubt continue splitting opinion throughout the new year if she continues in the same way she started.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas from Desperately Seeking Susan Boyle

it's the most wonderful time of the year (or so the song goes) and although i hate the fact that the first smattering can be heard as early as late October some years, i genuinely love Christmas songs

there have been occasions where i have been driven to the brink of losing my sanity as the same songs repeat over and over and over by the 24th of December, but with enough ducking and diving through the festive period, it is possible to get through it mentally unscathed.

i'm still filled with joy when i hear the likes of The Waitresses, Wizzard and Wham (and other festive favourites that have not been brought to us by the letter W) but my coping mechanism over the past few years has been to invest in a couple of alternative Christmas albums (i would suggest James Brown's Funky Christmas for a rather chilled one, or the rather rare xfm cool cool Christmas compilation), compile my own seasonal playlists and to have a good hunt around for any other jolly holiday records that are unlikely to see as much airplay as Mariah Carey and Slade.




i've even had a stab at recording my own Christmas single in 2008, taking a rather cynical stab at all the things that seem to make up our modern vision of what Christmas is to so many people in our current culture.

but this year, i do decree that i have found two absolute crackers (please forgive me for the awful pun, it just comes so naturally this time of year) that stand up to the kind of repeated plays that as all the old standards that get trotted out each year, just don't expect Radio 2 and office parties to pick up on these at all, we're keeping it pretty niche.



first up is an artist that i make no secret of being a fan of, Akira The Don, who joins the likes of Michael Buble this year by releasing his own Christmas album which could be dropping down your digital chimney before Santa is doing his rounds tonight.

yes, it is true that i get a shout out over the outro of the release, but there is no bias when i recommend the tongue in cheek auto-tuned romp of Sexmas featuring Envy, which turns up the heat while it is cold outside, stuffed with some rather ludicrous innuendo yet utterly irresistible with it.

 stream: Sexmas ft Envy by Akira The Don
from the album, Saturnalia Superman




and pushing the limits of what is acceptable in a Christmas song even further is a free download from L.A duo, The Connects, who take the absurd and crank it up to 11 with an anthem that should by all rights be heard all the world over, but under no circumstances is it a suitable stocking filler for young children or easily offended grandparents.

 download: Christmas in the Club by The Connects
from the free EP, How The Connects Stole Christmas

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Worst Case Scenario

in a band?

broke?

don't worry about it.

shunning expensive studio time, Worst Case Scenario show local bands how it should be done, self recording and self releasing their debut EP.



'Lost In The Element', available through iTunes, is a clear indication of a D.I.Y ethos prevailing and proving how a clear talent and determination can shine through and give hope to other bedroom musicians.

Formed in 2005, Worst Case Scenario have garnered six years of experience performing live and becoming a well respected act amongst Enfield's musical community, and it is these years, along with a recent roll-call shake-up that has lead to the long overdue recording of 6 tracks, that were released in late October.

A laptop with Cubase was set up, a microphone was borrowed, £10 was invested in a pop-shield, a mic-stand was improvised by taping the microphone to the side of a door, and some friends and family were roped in to provide shouted vocal takes that were recorded onto a phone before being added to the final mix

and yet, aside from the EP's interesting and inspiring creation, the music speaks clearly for itself.

Mostly a mid-tempo affair with a number of crowning flourishes, the tracks featuring on 'Lost in the Element' connects the dots between a number of disparate influences, touching on the sounds of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Paramore and KT Tunstall amongst others.

As the EP plays through the opening 'Intro' and into 'Point of No Return' the band lay down their wares as a serious band with considerable talent, showcasing a tooled-up acoustic sound that permeates throughout the release.

with 'Save Myself' and 'This Is Your Truth' the strength of these mature songs, belying the youthfulness of the band, holds strong, whilst the musical direction simmers down until it reaches the stripped back, yet overwhelming, stand-out track, 'Whole Again'.

The EP seems to hinge on 'Whole Again', taking in the listener as the the pace has eased through four tracks out of six, only to be hit by a breathtakingly beautiful track that is all the more fragile through the sliding contrasts that have lead to that very point.

leaving us with only the closing salvo of 'Throw It Away' to once again kick things up a notch and round out an accomplished EP that signposts a promising future for Worst Case Scenario.

It may not have the professional sheen that these songs are clearly deserving of, but this is only the cherry on the top of a very pleasing cake that is missing,  it is still a powerful set of songs recorded and released in a manner that is a testament to one young band's capabilities and conviction.

 stream: Worst Case - Whole Again

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

The Stone Roses



so, y'all heard the news right?

after 15 years, and many repeated denials that it could or would ever happen, the Stone Roses have finally reformed.

and to be honest, i couldn't really care less.

now i realise that this is a music blog and perhaps i should be praising the higher powers that be that such a revered indie band are returning, but this is my music blog, which means you shall be afflicted with my opinion.

I'm certainly aware of Stone Roses standing within the history of modern music, and that is simply what they are to me, just a part of a rich history, and they were before my time.

When i was at an age when music became a revelation to me England was in the thralls of the heady wave of Brit-Pop that was dominating the charts and the pages of Smash Hits.

and even though the shadow of the Stone Roses and Madchester looms large across the likes of Oasis and their contemporaries, the fact remains that the release of Second Coming in 1994 (along with Oasis' own Definitely Maybe) was not at all on my radar, and wasn't until my musical awakening with (What's The Story) Morning Glory? that bands and albums even began to matter to me, by which time the Stone Roses had been firmly usurped and their split in 1996 went completely unnoticed by me.

This is not to take anything away from the band, their fans and their legacy, but aside from singing along from a handful of singles that still get spun on Xfm from time to time, i just can't claim to hold them very dear to my own heart.


 Download: Stone Roses - Fools Gold (SmoochGroove Stoned Fool Re-Edit) by Victor Berghmeister

Monday, 10 October 2011

Steve Jobs



although he will be sorely missed by technophiles, Steve Jobs rich legacy made a massive impact on the lives of music fans too.

when he departed this plain of existence on October 5 2011, he left behind a history-changing array of accomplishments.

and while your day may be spent editing your photos on fatbooth and playing angry birds on your smartphone, it is worth remembering just how apple has pushed technology to evolve in recent years.

i certainly remember my stack of 90 minute tapes that i'd made, and how i'd have to choose which ones to carry with me to listen to on my walkman, it seems bewildering that i now nonchalently carry 720 hours worths of music on my iPod, that is nearly enough music to play continuously for a whole month straight.

i remember the aftermath of Napster, and how music changed from being about CDs and were suddenly considered as files that could be shared and downloaded, and how the iTunes store blazed a trail as peoples attitudes towards downloading (and paying for) mp3s changed.

Apple's own Garageband programme should not be forgotten either, for it created a unique recording environment that has encouraged creativity with its intuitive interface, providing a plethora of loops, instruments and effects.



i have witnessed lo-fi electronic artist George Pringle performing live, with her own self-produced Garageband backing tracks being relayed from her iPod plugged straight into a PA system.

  Stream: George Pringle - Physical Education (Part 1)

the freedom and simplicity of trying out new ideas isn't just reserved for bedroom producers either.

Damon Albarn used his iPad and a number of available music apps in order to record Gorillaz latest album over 32 days whilst on tour in North America.

Although it may not be as star-studded an affair as Plastic Beach was, The Fall is quite an astonishing collection of 12 low-key tracks that lean towards experimentation whilst still retaining a a high standard considering it could quite have easily been a handful of haphazard demos.



It only stands to prove that, being more than just an evolution of the laptop for you to check your facebook on, the iPad, with it's unique touchscreen functions, can prove to be a powerful music production tool.

through his part in the creation of the iPod, the iTunes music store, the iPhone and the iPad, Steve Jobs was not only creating new products, but sometimes creating entirely new markets that were kick-started by his products.

quite simply, the world as we know it right now wouldn't exist if it wasn't for Steve Jobs.

 Download: Gorillaz - Revolving Doors (Henry's Mashup)

Sunday, 2 October 2011

glasswerk review roundup: september

sadly, it has been a rather slow month for my own glasswerk activities.

and i think most of it can be attributed to the recent departure of an editor that during has tenure had managed to keep on top of mailing out promos and weeding out the type of music that was distinctly appealling to my eclectic tastes.

since his leaving, there have been no more care packages of dizzyingly bizarre CDs dropping through my letterbox, there have been no more opportunities for live reviews, and even my recounting of Crystal Fighters outstanding performance at Shepherds Bush Empire, which i arranged myself, never did make it onto the glasswerk website, so i took the liberty of posting it up earlier in september for my own readers.

meaning there are just two reviews to point you in the direction of.

first up was Gazelle Twin's surreal set-piece at an old metal works building in Islington.  The album launched at the show is a magnificent long-player displaying otherwordly qualities, how would this rich and vastly textured music translate live?

find out what i thought in my review.

Gazelle Twin live review here.




and the second review is a different take on my review of The Others live return, that has already been discussed on the pages of Seeking Susan Boyle.  You may notice a couple of similarities between the articles, but i do strive to give a different and slightly more impartial stance for my glasswerk piece.

The Others live review here.

and that is it i'm afraid, and unless things take a sudden and drastic change for the better, i wouldn't hold out too much hope for a review roundup at all covering october.

Monday, 26 September 2011

The Others: Live @ The Lexington


It had been something like seven years since I had first seen The Others.

It has been six years since the release of their eponymous debut album in January 2005, five years since their second, and last album to date, followed just 18 months later and it has been four years since I last saw them live at Camden's Proud Galleries, whilst a little known Liverpudlian band called The Wombats were supporting.

The Others crashed onto a music scene in an age still basking in the reflected glow of The Libertines swiftly peaking upwards trajectory.

When Alan McGee would have swooped on any band that had ever had the fortune to share a pint with Pete Doherty, when 7" singles enjoyed a renaissance, and if the vinyl didn't appeal, then you could still pick it up on CD from your local HMV.
It was during these glory years that I spent my 21st birthday in Hyde Park with my friends, vodka, The Others and a bunch of assorted fans, groupies and hangers-on.

They had just played one of their much celebrated 'guerilla gigs', ramshackle affairs planned and spread via online forums, in the foyer of a BBC radio station in Great Portland Street, before decamping to the central London park for a second ad-hoc performance that saw the bassist playing whilst up a tree.

In a few short years I developed a taste for dodgy east-end venues, crowd surfing and stage diving, and gig-going was an at least weekly occurrence.

My, how times change.

Now, aged 28 my disposable income has been greatly reduced by household bills and a mortgage, my ears are damaged by tinnitus and the gigs attended are a lot more selective.

But I just couldn't resist The Other's recent live return.

Taking to the stage at The Lexington in Islington with a wealth of old favourites that soon saw me in thick of things, moshing with the best of them, alongside fans pogo-ing to songs that still bring back memories and still manage to unite people, despite all the years that have passed and the band's own falling out of favour with a fickle music press.

New tracks that the reunited band have been working on slotted right alongside the old standards, reminding us that they have away with a chorus that is distinctly recognisable as their own.

And even after all this time, I still couldn't resist the traditional stage invasion that accompanies the last song of the set, when the band become lost onstage amongst revellers and soon enough the drum-kit is fighting for space, and it felt like just like the old days again as The Others brought proceedings to a chaotically-joyfull, sweat-drenched close.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Crystal Fighters: Live @ Shepherds Bush Empire



Crystal Fighters' debut album 'Star Of Love' has pretty much been on constant rotation in my girlfriend's car for everything from the supermarket run to trips down motorways on course for weddings and back again.

The vastly layered and intriguingly experimental long player has now been deeply embedded in both our minds and trepidation and excitement of seeing how this translates live has brought us into the heart of the Shepherds Bush Empire.

I was genuinely surprised, and possibly a little downheartened as opener Solar System was played by something resembling a rather standard band set-up, with a pounding drum-kit and ferocious guitar sound wrapping itself around what on record is a bass-driven stomper of a dance-influenced beast.

But this was merely a tease, as three songs in and the familiar, assimilated dub-step drop of Swallow remains wholly intact for the live rendition, prompting me further into the throng of bodies tossed around with abandon before the stage as I throw my own shapes with joy.

It is within the crush of the crowd that you truly experience Crystal Fighters and all of their energy, delivered by the movement of people, and yet it is still possible to find yourself, with your hands in the air and with your own personal space to dance and be free, whilst the sweat drips down your back and spilt beer squelches and slips underfoot.

The band follow the twists and turns of the album live, proving themselves evermore eclectic and fascinating with each song, whether it be the manic pneumatic drumlines and harsh dance vibes of I Love London that is tailor-made for a Shoreditch scenester's rave, or the blissed out summer calypso sound of Plage that transports you to far-away beaches with dreams of dancing without end.  Every track is delivered effortlessly to a crowd that truly believe in this band, and by closing track At Home, with the lights up, the entire venue, from the lower stalls, to the ascending balconies, are in thrall, and singing back the chorus' simple refrain with unbelievable passion.

A crowd this dedicated are not fooled though, and no sooner have the band exited the stage do the cries for Xtatic Truth begin.  And sure enough they return, taking a brief detour via a cover of a 'Golpes Bajos' number before arriving at the called for crowd pleaser.  This is it, the end of the night, and the nearing of the end of the journey that Crystal Fighters have taken in support of their spectacular debut album.

Xtatic Truth pulls no punches, it is what everyone wanted and everyone gets exactly what they expected.  One last chance to jump around, dance around and sing, a dizzying euphoria flows in waves as the heaving, sweaty mass move together as one, jubilation spread by a powerful and hypnotic performance before being evicted from this fantasy and back onto the streets of Shepherds Bush and the ever nearing signs of Autumn.

At Home by Crystal Fighters

Saturday, 10 September 2011

9Blind: Live @ Camden Underworld


'We're 9Blind'

Those unacquainted with the North London rock band were served the briefest of introductions before the four-piece lunged headlong into their opening salvo of all new tracks, played in celebration of the 'Union EP' that had been uploaded to stream earlier in the week, ahead of its forthcoming official release.



Those that have followed 9Blind and contributed to their ongoing success had already familiarised themselves with the likes of Sincere Regards and Deleted Scenes, avoiding potentially embarrassing scenes of eager crowds shuffling awkwardly to dreaded 'new songs'.

The tracks played from the EP held no real surprises, and I doubt their fans would have it any other way, a change of direction would have been unwelcome, soaring guitars, drums being pounded into submission and vocals that flit from a screamo tendency to heartfelt and rousing singing are all part of the 9Blind signature sound that stands firm and these new songs bolster an already impressive arsenal of metal standards.

The wrapping up of new tracks laid out for those gathered was quickly followed by a diversionary blast through The Killers' Mr Brightside, given a testosterone injection and cranked up to 11 so that all the indie sheen falls away, leaving a chugging, metal monstrosity of a cover version.  And the singalongs continued with a brief clutch of familiar tracks plucked from last year's Negative Response To Change rounded out the night, headed up by my personal favourite, My Heart Bleeds.



One lowly drunk's careless and selfish moshing sadly halted the band whilst he was quickly ejected by the close-knit North London Bromance Core that follow 9Blind, this hold-up, combined with over-running supports and an impending clubnight in the same venue vastly truncated the headline set.

Having time for just two more songs before having to leave the stage, the evening was a joyful exhibition of a band's creations, though also troubled by minor inconveniences along the way, the most inconvenient of all being that physical copies of the EP that was due to be launched this very night, was sadly unavailable due to unforeseen circumstances.

Watching a band that hail from the same suburb as I do, facing such adversity when given an opportunity to shine is frustrating, but it is rewarding to watch 9Blind admirably battle on regardless.

credit where it's due:
photos courtesy of Chris Lawrence (DotCLP)

Monday, 5 September 2011

Getaway

Through my many years as a musical connoisseur and journeys of discovery I have acquired a taste for more eclectic stylings and more obscure artists.

But occasionally the timeless combination of guitar, bass and drums will rescue me from the possibility of disappearing up my own arse.

And the latest addition to my generic mp3 player, sends thoughts of electronic noodlings scurrying with its rollicking rock'n'roll sound.

The Essex and London based three-piece, Getaway released their 6 track mini-album, IC, earlier in the summer, following on from their debut EP last december.



It unabashedly ploughs its influences from a fertile field of rock history repeating itself, delivered with a no-nonsense policy.

Recorded and mixed entirely in a garage in Waltham Abbey, it is a very true representation of a down-to-earth band that i have keenly watched flourish since their very first gig last March.

As the mini-album kicks off with The Stomp, Getaway assert themselves with a pounding drumline twinned with a toe-tapping guitar riff that builds as the track courses and swells with a playfull bounce.

The slightly more brooding 7A follows with a harder edge to the bluesy sound set out in the opener before Walk The Line lyrically gives a more whimsical and upbeat stance atop their take on the deep south-via-essex that carries the release to its halfway point.

It quickly becomes possible to pinpoint a number of musical touchstones referenced by Getaway's sound, the recycled garage rock sound that saw The Vines and The Datsuns hailed at the start of the decade and the grunge-hangover of Queens Of The Stone Age.

The remaining three tracks travel a similar path, with Benny's Carmen and Gemstone both owing a debt to the likes of The Black Keys and The Raconteuers.

Indeed, the influence of renaissance man, Jack White looms heavily through his incarnations in the White Stripes and The Dead Weather, with a new-take-on-an-old-sound guiding their sonic identity right through to closer Never Wanna See You Again, following a quiet-loud-quiet formula that yet again mixes up the various styles that have already served them well.

Getaway could hardly claim to be reinventing the wheel with their sound, but until we've finally mastered and mass-marketed hoverboards, what's wrong with the wheel exactly the way it is?


 download Getaway - Never Wanna See You Again
taken from the EP, IC

Thursday, 1 September 2011

glasswerk review roundup: august

as we bid adieu to the month of august i thought perhaps i should point you off in the directions of the various reviews that i have cultivated for glasswerk and have a quick recap of what they have had me listening to.

and to be honest, this month just gone i have mostly been listening to Crystal Fighters.  With a re-release for their album and standout single Plage both coming out early in August, and both of them arriving for me to review i must admit that i really can't get enough of their monumental dose of uplifting energy that takes its cues from so many disparate sources and filters both spanish folk music and bass-heavy dance music into perfect summertime listening.

Plage single review here.

Star Of Love album review here.

  stream Plage by Crystal Fighters

I was also lucky enough to get my name down to see the sold-out solo gig from Scroobius Pip as he worked his way through his debut album live infront of an audience for the very first time, some fans may have walked away disappointed that the setlist was entirely void of Dan le Sac collaborations, but the new material showcased held it's own without falling back on past glories and showed a much heavier side musically than was present on Angles and The Logic Of Chance.

Scroobius Pip live review here.



less impressive and hardly worth a mention was the album Veritas by Alex Skolnick Trio, which was practically a jazz-metal fusion album made for dinner parties.

by a strange twist of fate, my 9blind article also debuted on glasswerk before hitting this blog, and tonight I shall be attending the album launch of Gazelle Twin, whose album The Entire City, i reviewed for glasswerk in June.

  stream Gazelle Twin - The Entire City

Monday, 29 August 2011

9Blind

It is nigh impossible to be acquainted with Enfield's burgeoning music scene and not be aware of 9Blind.

Whilst other local bands have come and gone, 9Blind, despite their fresh faces, are something of stalwarts in the game.

In the days when Myspace was still a blossoming social network and the first stop for anything and everything music, 9Blind were one of the first local bands to make themselves known to me when I launched the Enfield Music profile in an attempt to gather together all our musical hopes and spread the word on gig news, this then resulted in their first featured article in The Enfield Advertiser by my predecessor, Deano Sharp, whilst they were still a small 3 piece band known for putting on backroom gigs at the Bush Hill Park Tavern.

Since then they've really devoted themselves to the cause, adding an extra member and making serious noise hitting up venues in and around London, forming a fervent following as they went that lead to the recording and release of 4 eargerly awaited tracks in 2009, known as the Immune EP.

And things have been on the up and up ever since, in early 2010 the fourpiece took to the studio to put together their debut, full length album, A Negative Response To Change, which was an instant fan favourite when shared amongst their fanbase last April.

The overwhelming response to the quality of songs on display has seen the boys signed and added to the roster of strikes 12 records, taking the album to a wider audience as it launched across major music download platforms.
As time marches on, so have 9Blind and their 'North London Bromance Core', taking 2011 by storm by maintaining their gigging ethic and holing themselves up in Milton Keynes to record the forthcoming Union EP.
Such is the devotion shown to the band, that I have seen followers all clad in 9blind tees, witnessed gigs where the crowd sing back every word, and even met a couple of fans that are so inspired by the band that they are now bearing 9Blind tatoos for the rest of their lives.

The launch of 'Union' shall be heralded with a headlining gig at The Underwold in Camden, with support from fellow Enfield boys Deeds Of The Dying this coming Saturday, September 3rd.


stream: 9BlinD - Promises

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

London Riots

Sunday 7th August.



I turn on my computer at around half six in the evening, intending to review the Crystal Fighters album that was re-released last Monday... but of course I log-in and check my facebook first.

And as the stream of most recent posts loads up i am greeted by photos of my local high street in the town that i live, that i work and that i have grown up in, with windows smashed, a police car with it's front window put through and degenerate youths running wild.

It was the first that I had seen or heard of any expected trouble in Enfield, following the devastating scenes of Tottenham that many woke up to on Sunday morning.

Any mind to do anything is soon forgotten as i quickly text friends and constantly refresh my twitter and facebook feeds, shocked by the few skirmishes that had broken out in broad daylight, but as darkness fell, and news networks finally began arriving, the trouble, and twitter rumours, only worsened, and i, like many other Enfield residents kept Sky News on repeat throughout the night.

In the cold light of day, it seemed that many problems had been overstated, none of Krispy Kremes, Cineworld or Nandos had gone up in flames the night prior and warnings of petrol bombs thrown on the A10 were pure chinese whispers that had quickly passed as fact.

Enfield Town itself was bewilderingly serene, as curiosity brought in those wanting to see the damage done, but as the afternoon drew on and grey clouds drew overhead, the atmosphere visibly changed, talk of offices recieving advice to evacuate prompted an ominous vibe that hung heavy in the air.

Thankfully we did not witness a repeat of the same scenes in Enfield Town.

Although sadly, the devastation continued across London and the UK.

Among the casualties of the widespread chaos was another Enfield location, and one significant to the country's music scene, as Sony's distribution centre, housing the entire back catalogues and stocks of many independent record labels was nothing more than a smouldering wreck by morning.

As opportunist thugs have channeled their energies into emptying the shelves of JJB sports, upstanding citizens have been co-ordinating marches and clean-up operations in response.

And I'm certain that more creative types will be using the current climate of social unease to inspire new music.

Whether it be joining together as a sign of unity at underground raves, or politically aware activists with a guitar strapped to their backs as they take to the streets. Genre, race and religion will be irrelevant.

Just like any other disaster of conflict faced, I'm sure we will get back on our feet again, soundtracked by musicians providing their very own social commentary.

My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone that is suffering and involved and caught up in this in anyway through no fault of their own.

  stream: I Love London by Crystal Fighters

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

The Legacy of Amy Winehouse

On Saturday 23rd July 2011, the newest member was inducted into the hallowed halls of the legendary 27 club.
 
As is the norm these days, most people found out via facebook, twitter or text, that Amy Winehouse had been found dead in her Camden flat.

In the hours and days since, many have commented that Amy Winehouse's death was 'sad news', certainly it was, we have lost a real talent at an unbelievably young age, yet no-one seems to have been shocked by it.
 
Her problems with drink and drugs were played out across tabloids, paparazzi were there to capture every intoxicated stumble, and increasingly worrying liveshows saw crowds bearing witness to mumbled lyrics, erratic behaviour and a performer in need of serious help.
 
And sadly it will be these memories and the everlasting lineage of youtube videos that will continue to define her for years to come, creating yet another rock'n'roll legend whose mythology will be as closely intertwined with drugs and tragedy as it is with their musical back catalogue.
 
It is a shame that with only two albums to here name, Amy Winehouse doesn't leave more music behind, yet it is easy to forget now that these two collections have helped to shape today's musical landscape dramatically.
 
As always, posthumous sales have rocketed and her past hits are played out as some mourn her passing and others celebrate her life.  
 
But I'm sure that behind the scenes, the pressure will now be on to polish any demos and unfinished recordings that were being lined up for album number 3.  I wouldn't be at all surprised to see a new Amy Winehouse album rush-released before Christmas, but it is questionable whether her personal demons will have served her well until the end or eventually tainted her natural talent.
 
If the loss of Micheal Jackson to my generation was comparable to Elvis, then it is possible that Amy Winehouse will now be immortalised as the 21st century's Kurt Cobain; leaving behind a small, yet significant musical body, complete with the the cautionary tale of the dangers of drug-addiction and the tragic trappings of fame.

Amy Winehouse - Stronger Than Me 

Friday, 22 July 2011

Busta Rhymes @ the Hard Rock Cafe, Las Vegas

4th of July weekend and i'm on The Strip with my girlfriend, as the whole of Las Vegas is buzzing with a party atmosphere, all the pretty people are out in force in a destination already renowned for it's hedonistic reputation.

And of course there was no shortage of place to be or be seen, the only problem was picking one popstar's party over another.

Rihanna was performing at Mandalay Bay before 'hosting' an after-party back at our hotel's exclusive club, also 'hosting' further down the strip was B.O.B and Wyclef Jean would be putting in an appearance at another of Vegas' many nightspots.

But i'd already been tempted by the name daubed large across the Hard Rock Cafe's neon guitar frontage, one whole floor of gift shop and musical-related merch, the next floor the ubiquitous rock themed restaurant, and tonight, Busta Rhymes would be hitting the stage of the restaurant's intimate top floor venue.



The steep $60 price tag for tickets seemed somewhat justified after making enquiries, sincere staff said that it would be 'a proper performance' as opposed to a money-grabbing club appearance, with a full support and 11.30pm headline slot promised we handed over our foreign currency and looked forward to the night ahead.

As expected, DJs threw down some crowd-shaking hip-hop bangers and a jubilant vibe was in the air by the time a local live-rap band took to the stage, whipping up a tangible excitement in the room and putting in a respectable performance to boot.

What followed should have been the highlight of an already amazing holiday, but as the filler DJ set drew out longer and longer, the mood in the room dramatically changed.


it was later still when another DJ took over and a compère's promises that Busta Rhymes was 'in the building' and that he would be onstage 'in around fifteen minutes' were swiftly proved as dishonest as time dragged on and the previous DJ switched back again.

As the time stretched on with no indication of a headliner forthcoming anytime soon, DJs and compère were both booed and scuffles in the crowd broke out as impatience and growing unease spread throughout the building, a number of people even walked out in disgust as DJs resorted to playing the very same tracks they had already played earlier in the evening, proving them to be fatally under-prepared for the job they were there to do.

When Busta Rhymes did eventually take to the stage infront of an agitated and diminished crowd, the performance was far too brief and wholly unsatisfactory to have warranted such a high price tag, rapping over a distorted backing track that hadn't even had the vocals removed for the opening salvo, before moving onto two of his own tracks.

His talent is genuinely not in question, a quick run through of a couple of old hits was hardly 'crowd-pleasing' but were proof of his exceptional skill and inimitable style.

Then we got two guest verses from other artist's tracks and then it was over.

it really was far too little, far too late.

For an artist of Busta Rhymes' calibre, with an impressive back catalogue spanning fifteen years, to simply saunter up and essentially grab the money and run is a disgusting example of hip-hop stars trading on their own success by putting in as little effort possible, whilst still receiving a handsome reward.

This practise should not be tolerated any longer, it is disrespectful to the very fans that have put them in such lofty positions and graced them with lavish lifestyles, but in this culture of celebrity worship i fear that worse is yet to come, and that paying good money is simply not enough to make us worthy of Busta Rhyme's precious time.

Busta Rhymes - Look At Me Now (BreakBomb dubstep mix)


Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Glastonbury 2011

today i should have been woken by a rather stupidly early alarm after holding down discussions as to when my best friend would be round to pick me up

it wouldn't have really mattered as the build up of excitement would have kept me awake and the momentum of the day would have kept me going until i finally retired to our tent in a field in Sommerset amidst the familiar smells of camp fires and bbqs



but not today

sadly, this is the first year that we have taken the decision not to go to Glastonbury



it wasn't a decision any of us took lightly, but after failing to actually get hold of tickets at the very first hurdle we were distraught, but slowly came to accept that perhaps 2011 just wasn't gonna be our year

it all seemed perhaps for the best, me and my girlfriend had bought a house and, useful as the deposit scheme is, it would all come at the wrong time, and as the ticket price has increased eash year, we would have struggled slightly with it leaving our now-joint account

and my best friend was planning on doing some travelling this year and would be paying out a lot for that

we then took into account that, since they had split up, a couple of friends that we usually camp with would not be going this year, neither would their friend, and another couple that have joined us the past few years didn't manage to get tickets either

last year's Glastonbury, bathed in glorious sunshine for the whole time was a perfect way to leave it, we'd witnessed floods in our times going and we have had one particular wet and miserable weekend that nearly drove us to the edge of sanity (and led me and my girlfriend to give Benicassim a go)

but it felt like those years that we had stuck with the festival had really paid off, as 2010 saw us camped with more friends than we ever have before, we didn't have to suffer a single drop of rain, and the intense sunshine changed the whole dynamic of the usually soggy Sommerset bash

the temperature was up, high spirits were soaring and every single person battled dehydration as we rejoiced, caught up in the giddy throes of a laid back, serotonin enriched festival that England so rarely witnesses

so we bowed out on a high!


i know coverage shall be hard to avoid, and i've cringed everytime there is even so much of a mention of this year's glasto, completelly racked with jealousy and sentimentality for the good ol' days

i've tried to ignore the innevitable stage line-up reveals, and tried telling myself that Beyonce, Coldplay and U2 won't be much of a line-up anyway

but Glastonbury is so much more than just the headliners, and it is so much more than just the music.


my memories of times, good and the bad, at Glasto are innumerable, but i shall have to leave it to all of this years ticket holders to create their own unique take on Glastonbury 2011 as i sit at a desk typing out this blog, considering putting the tent up in our garden, instead of being sat in a car filled to bursting with all our kit, eagerly awaiting the sight of Stone Henge and the requisite stop-off at Countess Services

Coldplay - Trouble ((sin)language remix)

Monday, 13 June 2011

NME

i finally take my seat in the NME offices and relax at the desk.

sadly, this is not the first day of a new job plying my wares for the UK's premier weekly music magazine.

instead, i have been summoned to their HQ in Southwark as part of a focus group.

much less rock n roll than i'd anticipated, it seems obtuse that these sterile offices were home to a music juggernaut that makes and break careers and has been key in hyping and tastemaking bands and scenes.

but it was early evening and perhaps every hint of excitement and joyous musical rebellion had clocked off at half 5 - regardless, the small group i was joining soon settled in the bland surroundings and were further relaxed by the offer of beers and pizza.

i for one had it clear in my mind as son as i'd had the call-up that i was keen to let NME know where they had been going wrong.

i admitted to have given up on NME many years ago, around the time Arctic Monkey's debut album was released and the front cover heralded another feature on them for the third time in a month, the bands assualt on the mainstream was well and truly underway and the over-saturation left me jaded.

they had once been the most exciting and heralded new band around, but as the magazine churned out another article i wondered if there was possibly anything more that i needed to know about Arctic Monkeys, and thus i turned my back on the gospel according to NME

finally given the appropriate platform to make my feeling known i did not shy away from voicing my dissenting opinion on a frustratingly overwhelming reliance on lists

on the occasions that an interesting cover feature has lured me back over the years, i've often found that good quality articles have now made way for a ridiculous array of lists on almost every conceivable nuance and sub-category of music.

i fully expect end of year polls and speculative new year/ new bands runthroughs, yet is seems all too often that so-called journalists have taken an easy option of compiling a handful of brief opinions and assigning each banal blurb a numerological value.


even of the 3 issues sent to each of us for research purposes, we were subjected to 3 lists.


top ten buzz bands of the great escape.

top 25 band logos.

and 16 pages of NME's top 70 cult heroes.



apart from my moan about this brazen lazy journalism,Other topics breached included our feelings towards a number of regular features and a discussion on whether Lady Gaga and other 'pop' acts deserve to be on the cover of NME, or deserve to be featured at all (I believe they do), a general consensus that the 'funny' cartoon is possibly the most hated part of the magazine and a lively debate for and against Popjustice's 'Peter Robinson Vs' interviews (for which i was firmly and vocally for).

As well as existing features, we were given a sneak peak at possible contributions, of which the most offensive was a sloppily thrown together piece on how to achieve Alex Turner's 'look', shouted down and derided by everyone in the room for turning what should be a respected music magazine into the indie Heat.

as a newspaper columnist perhaps i should not draw attention to the plight of print media, but it is obvious to all that the sheer quantity and variety of information, opinions and recomendations available online has seen publishers suffering, and those conducting the session were equally interested in how we recieve and percieve new music and recommendations in this modern world where the internet is usurping a former great's all-powerful hold.

Even though I hadn't been called upon to shape the future of NME with my own journalistic talents, it was still a unique opportunity to witness the market research and pitches that everyone involved hopes will keep NME vital and interesting in the 21st century.

Having read the magazine religiously for around 5 or so years from the age of 17, and having NME itself shape me in some of my formative years, it felt right that I could try to return the favour.
Lady Gaga - Bad Romance (Dj Fuego Vs. Skrillex Remix)

Friday, 3 June 2011

meeting Eddy TM

perhaps it is slightly old fashioned to pass on a demo CD to someone.

i like to think of it as nostalgic instead.


and this is the story of how, with clammy palms, i handed over my CD to Eddy Temple Morris yesterday:




so perhaps my own self-promotion has been a little bit lax of late, perhaps my own musical work ethic has been a little lax of late, i have become accustomed to the truth of the mater that these things will happen when moving into a home, my own home, with the other half (well, half hers too actually)

the spare bedroom has one blue wall and one white wall that i have taken it upon myself to paint, the remaining wall is still that nasty possible-magnolia-really? colour that it has been since we moved in, i would have painted it except she has talked about stripping the textured wall paper from the walls and i don't want to have painted it all for nothing

and yes, the room does actually have four walls, but one is entirely taken up by fitted wardrobes, although i did once consider painting them

but this isn't a case of decoration, this is more a matter that i fully intend to move all my kit into that room and it become my little haven to hide in and create whilst she watches television downstairs, but for now the computer still sits around downstairs, leaving my creativity rather stunted when she turns the tv on

plus, once you consider all the time i actually end up watering the garden, cleaning this, washing that, cooking something, and a whole bunch of other household chores that i hadn't really anticipated yet feel duty bound to complete so i don't end up living in a complete shit hole, there just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day to fire up the machine and start manipulating sounds

and with all this repeatedly happening since last september, why should i waste an opportunity to burn a number of tracks i am proudest of and pass them along to one of my all-time musical heroes?!



Eddy TM would be DJing as part of Akira The Don's album launch party, and Eddy TM is a DJ that i have huge love and huge respect for, and i am extremely proud that he has played one of my remixes on his long running Xfm show, aptly named The Remix

so i pondered the structure of the CD, settling on an equal mix of original material and remixes, including The Enemy remix that he had already aired, and a rejigged Akira The Don track, since it only seemed appropriate

now, i have been training myself to not act like a complete fanboy when meeting famous people, but those that i hold in the highest esteem still cause an outbreak of hysterics in me, and it was no different when Eddy walked past me, i wasn't even facing him, and yet i felt his prescence (or perhaps caught him in the corner of my eye) and my heart skipped a beat

the plan was to grab a little chat with him and try and retain a sense of composure, but the gig moved swiftly and i would have felt that i was disrespecting the performer and Eddy himself if i tried to catch his attention and hold a conversation during a gig

and so there was nothing left to do but approach him whilst he DJed, seriously, the guy is a consummate professional, graciously accepting the CD from me and even holding a slightly disjointed rhetoric as he cued up and mixed tracks whilst observing that i wasn't going anywhere just yet

i introduced myself, told him how much i thought of him, allowed him to do what he had to do, and then continued to tell him that he had played a track of mine before, at which point Eddy took a little more notice, looking over the almost unreadable tracklisting in the poor lighting and acknowledging that, yeah, he remembered it

he then remarked that he thought we had met before, blimey! either he is an extremely gracious person making a lucky guess, but i believe that i saw recognition in his eyes, i didn't expect for him to remember at all,  it must have been a good couple of years ago at least, but i'll quite happily live with the belief that Eddy TM not only is a great DJ, but also a great human being with superhuman skills of recollection

we briefly discussed the artwork of the promo, that he loved, and that i admitted to half-inching and not really being able to claim as my own, and then i said i would leave him to it, he had a job to do after all, and i left beaming...

i hope that he will give it a listen and i hope that he will enjoy it, i would be bloody ecstatic if he saw fit to air anything from it but that is regardless, the most important thing is that he is something of a hero of mine and that in the two brief moments that i have been able to converse with him, Eddy has been nothing less than a complete gentleman and an all-round nice guy

and i couldn't ask for anything more than that when meeting a personal hero

Akira The Don - Music of the Spheres ft. Mary Turner (Hunchbakk's dirty elbows mix)

Sunday, 29 May 2011

reviews on glasswerk

perhaps it is a slight cop-out to shuffle readers off in other directions when i haven't had proper time for proper music blogging

but i suppose it is more like providing a service

you may have missed out on recent reviews of mine surfacing on glasswerk, and this way i can also tie them up with embedded players, so that you get a fuller effect of what i've been listening to and what i've really been feeling


as i mentioned last time, i got to see MC Lars' gig in Wimbledon courtesy of glasswerk, where he was ably supported by Akira The Don and MC Chris



and it was MC Chris in particular that was an absolute revelation to me, an absolute comedy genius and a talented rapper that tackles such hard hitting subject matter as Neville Longbottom dealing weed, ninjas, more weed and obscure references to Star Wars bounty hunters that really endeared him to me

full review here


mc chris - IG-88 (killsaly remix)


I'm not much into slating bands that have obviously put their hearts into producing music, and try to live by the motto that if you haven't got anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all, but when you end up with a bunch of CDs sent out that need reviewing then i guess you're not gonna love them all

The Cymbals fall into this category, not a bad band exactly, but they failed to have much of a lasting impact, hence my creative criticism in this review and a lack of embedded mp3 for you to trial, check them out if you think that they'll appeal, but i've got more tracks to showcase here that are more interesting than a throwback to 2006


much more interesting in a rather chin-stroking manner is the Leicester based electronica experimentalist (with a rather un-Google friendly name) AFS, whose single, The Prince, was released to coincide with last months royal wedding, despite having nothing at all to do with it other than the tenuous title, but i could quite easily forgive that, as you'll find in my review

and after checking out a little more AFS online i also found this, his previous release entitled Mothers Day, that samples a message from a father to his sons that was found on a mystery cassette tape by a friend in Canada



and the last artist artist i want to feature is Barbara Panther

Barbara Panther's self titled debut album was released earlier this month, and in the time i have spent listening to it for the purpose of reviewing i have became quite a fan, recommending her to friends (and blog readers alike) and have continued to go back to the album, purely for the reason that it is a great listen



The easiest way to sell Barbara Panther would be as a mix of M.I.A and Bjork, then throw in a bunch of other strong female frontwomen and brave electronic production that still retains a pop sheen and you're probably thinking along the right lines.

The full review is here, but rather than take my word for it, i would urge anyone and everyone to give her a listen, the full album is streaming via City Slang's soundcloud, and i shall leave you with one of my favourites from the album

Moonlightpeople by BarbaraPanther

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Odd Future

it seems to be getting quite cramped here in this music industry with all this hype surrounding Odd Future taking up so much room.

things have been bubbling up for quite a while now, and it must have been the middle of last year as they were dropping their second mixtape that the words Odd Future first connected with me.

but in the past month or two everything seems to have come to a head for the hip-hop collective as talk of their name and of their members appears to be absolutely everywhere, everyone wants a piece of them, and in the last two weeks alone Odd Future seem to have cemented their current reputation with an NME cover piece and a riotously recieved showcasing slot at Camden Crawl.



and as a person in tune with current trends and eager to latch onto the newest and most exciting music before it is embraced by the wider world, it may surprise you to know (as it sure surprised me) that i have never even heard any music by Odd Future.

i'm pretty sure i should like them, purely the fact that the groups full given name is Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All and that among their members are the fascinating and ridiculous monikers Tyler the Creator, Hodgy Beats and Earl Sweatshirt is enough to light the blue touch paper for me.

Yes, i've read the reviews, they've been hard to avoid, and i'm even aware of the bizarre little news story that Earl Sweatshirt had gone missing from the line-up for months, only to be traced to a 'therepeutic centre' on a Samoan island.

i even decided to scroll through my generic mp3 player, and it turns out that i do have Odd Future's Radical mixtape downloaded from last year, as well as tracks from Tyler the Creator, Earl Sweatshirt and the whole mixtape 'Nostalgia, Ultra' by Frank Ocean that dropped in February this year, yet i have still never knowingly listened to any of these tracks.

but it isn't just the hype-mongering NME that are flying the flag for Odd Future, an innordinate amount of hipster blogs and even America's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon are more up on things than i am.

so, with the possible exception of my girlfriend, who listens to Geoff Lloyd on Absolute, am i really one of the last people on the planet to tune into Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All?

i think it's about time that i popped in my headphones to rectify this glaring oversight and see if i believe the hype.

Tyler The Creator (Odd Future) - Splatter

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

new reviews on glasswerk

in the hands of a new editor, it appears that glasswerk seems to be upping its game and has already hooked me up to review MC Lars when he hits London this month and provided me with a care package that arrived last week of CDs to be reviewed.

not wanting to waste too much time, i have had they have been on rotation in order to help form my opinions and two of my reviews have been posted already this week.

not wanting to deprive you of my valuable opinions, i thought i may aswell bring these to your attention, while also throwing a little light on the artists reviewed so far.



first up was Daniel Haaksman

a DJ and label boss of Man Recordings, Haaksman will be releasing his ethnically enriched debut album, Rambazamba, later this month, but you can read my account of it right now on glasswerk

and those that wan't to know what i'm talking about may want to give a little listen to the current teaser of the album available to stream, that picks the tracks to pieces and shuffles them together to provide a 17 minute long taster session

Daniel Haaksman - "Rambazamba" album teaser



and the second review online is of MidiMidis

presenting an intriguing blend of chiptune and forgotten indie, their double A-side single was released on monday, and after streaming the lead track The Despondent below, i would suggest that you glance over my review and make me aware of your own opinions of the band and their latest release.

MidiMidis - The Despondent

Thursday, 31 March 2011

why local news isn't just for local people

My local newspaper has often featured campaigns of local, and sometimes national interest.

Still raging on is the fight to save Chase Farm Hospital from closure by NHS bosses, as are controversial court cases against Enfield residents Andrew Symeou, accused of murder and held awaiting trial in Greece, and autistic computer hacker Gary McKinnon, who infiltrated the FBI and upset an awful lot of high powered Americans and is now facing extradition.

But one campaign that has been fought more recently has been within The Enfield Advertiser itself, as its own arts and entertainment section has seen its prescence within the paper drastically cut over the past couple of months.

Now, of course I have a vested interest in this, as well as writing for glasswerk and my own music blogs, I have also been a regular music contributor to The Enfield Advertiser since 2009.



I have always strived to be active within my local music scene, since back when me and a few friends put on our own club nights with ourselves DJing, as we wanted something to go to on our own doorsteps without venturing to Camden or beyond.

Since then, me and my close friends continued to DJ when a new promoter (and former Enfield Advertiser music columnist) breathed new life into the scene by putting on regular live music nights, becoming friends and fans of many local bands that graced the stage during these halcyon days of our local scene.

I have continued to follow those bands and how they have grown and splintered over the years, and when I began volunteering at a local council funded youth music project I was exposed to a whole new wave of exciting bands and artists, and met many more people, some of whom have remained good friends, along the way.

Being given the chance to write for my local paper and cover the bands I know and love was an ideal opportunity, not just for me to have my work published in a physical form but also to show support and spread awareness of a local scene, getting news of our plight, our hard work and our achievements into the homes of around 90,000 households across the borough of Enfield.



But now, just as is the case with music venues across the country, the entire entertainment section of The Enfield Advertiser is under threat, which may seem a stretch of an analogy, but I honestly believe that both have an impact on local music scenes and in turn the UK's future of music.

Sure, in this digital age we still have blogs, webzines and countless social networks, but as a medium it can become somewhat diluted and ultimately hit and miss in the grand scheme of things. And for those that still respond to a physical product, those that still read the liner notes of an album or cherish their collection of 7" singles, a printed article in a widely distributed periodical is something to be proud of, to clip out and keep, for their parents and grandparents, and even for when they themselves become parents or grandparents.

So it is a fight, not for myself, my role is purely voluntary (although jobs would be lost and strike action has been discussed), but for a local voice and for a local scene that I am extremely fond of and overwhelmingly proud of.



Mine may only be a small voice, from a small North London suburb, but I'm sure it is a voice that may be applicable and representative of small towns across the country, each with scenes that are just itching to be noticed by peers and a wider audience alike.

I was writing about music long before I become active within the Enfield Advertiser, and will continue to do so no matter what the outcome, but coming from a town that still has no real music venue despite it's ever-evolving vibrant scene and various campaigns and movements, to not lose an important aspect of our community seems to be something worth fighting for.

for more info, see previous article 'living for The Weekender' and the facebook event

Monday, 14 March 2011

Beady Eye

Beady Eye seem to be occupying a rather strange position within the music industry.

as times changed, Oasis it seems would stay the same, and the rise of Beady Eye is testament to this.

Oasis claimed an esteemed position as one of the UK's most exciting, most vital and most bankable bands during the britpop era, in a day and age when record sales hadn’t yet been severely rocked by the likes of Napster.

The love affair soured slightly when the unconceivably hyped third album, Be Here Now was released, facing a backlash from critics, and by the time Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants was released in 2000 the game had changed around them, as the whole album was leaked online ahead of its official release.

Despite these knocks, Oasis remained a well loved band right through to the very bitter end, garnering magazine covers and number 1 albums throughout their career, and accompanying tours would see them selling out stadiums across the summer.

But Oasis had become part of an old guard in the music industry, sternly sticking to the tried and tested path that had put them on the top of the heap, and so it is that the prescence of Beady Eye sees them as a band out of step with modern times.



Liam Gallagher must have been heavy-handedly coerced into allowing Bring The Light to be made available as a free download, having been expectedly outspoken on the subject in the past.

It was this first taste of the new band that reverberated around the internet and saw interest sparked as the track spread like wildfire and whether reactions were positive or negative were un-important , after gossip and speculation the second coming of Liam Gallagher had arrived, further tracks were teased out throughout the winter, with videos posted to youtube for Four Letter Word and The Roller, accompanied by a couple of low-key 7” releases.

Despite being this country's most scrutinised ‘new’ band, Beady Eye seem to have faced incredibly mixed reactions, they have still graced magazine covers and sold out shows, but radio hardly seem to have warmed to them, limiting exposure to newer audiences, and The Roller only scraped into the top 40 at number 31, yet only 2 weeks later the debut album crashed into the charts at a highly respectable number 3, placed only behind Adele and Jessie J.

Feedback on the album seems to have been overwhelmingly positive from most quarters, and those presuming the band would flounder without the songwriting and guidance of Noel Gallagher, had obviously been paying little attention to Oasis’ latter output, as Andy Bell and Gem Archers contributions had already been notable, and Liam’s growing talent has advanced in leaps and bounds since he penned the simple (and often mocked) Little James for Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants.

Time will tell if Beady Eye can lay claim to the kind of devotion that had Oasis heralded as rock royalty and saw summer stadium tours become massive events in their own rights, with a supporting cast of bands that resembled a mini-festival. Their talent, their passion and their commitment is not in question at all, but if they can jump straight back in where Oasis left off and be accepted as natural successors without falling back on Oasis’ rich back catalogue is yet to be seen.

The album is unlikely to convert any nay-sayers that had no interest in Oasis but with a legion of die-hard Liam acolytes still standing firm, I'm certain Beady Eye have hardly noticed.

Beady Eye - Bring The Light
from the album Different Gear, Still Speeding



read my album review for Beady Eye's 'Different Gear, Still Speeding' on glasswerk.co.uk