Saturday, 10 March 2012

are Radiohead tickets worth £65?

it is kind of a big deal that Radiohead have announced a bunch of arena tour dates.

it is a big deal when Radiohead announce anything whatsoever.

whether it is the aforementioned tour, a from the basement video-cast or cryptic clues pointing to a new album.

Radiohead occupy a unique space within the musical hemisphere, having gained enough popularity and respect so as to be as experimental as they desire and tackle the industry on their own terms, and still be praised every step of the way. They are the musical equivalent of an eccentric recluse and we still love them for it, which means that any public appearance is something to get excited about.

The Bends, OK Computer and Kid A form my own holy trinity of Radiohead releases that changed the way that i viewed music, discovering that there was more than just commercial radio and pop hooks in this world, the progression of Kid A in particular shaped my perception of music, leading me to develop eclectic new tastes and also proved inspirational when i eventually came to create music myself.

Although i believed most of the upcoming tours set-list would be drawing heavily upon King Of Limbs and In Rainbows, i gave myself enough time to consider how this band have impacted upon me so greatly in my life, and having been blown away by live videos of the band performing, i knew that i had to be there, i had to join the legion of clamouring fans that would be clogging the ticketing site come 9am on friday.

that was until i read of the pricing structure.

standing tickets would be £65.

with fees, the cost of a single ticket exceeds £70.

and full of disappointment, i decided that i was not going to be paying that.

there are a small number of acts that i would expect to charge phenomenal prices for tickets, and as such, on principle, i would not pay to see, included in these are Madonna and Paul McCartney, and before his death, Michael Jackson, as much as i may have wanted to see all of these acts live, i just can't reach that far into my pockets.

more recently i was shocked to see that tickets for Kanye West and Jay-Z's Watch The Throne jaunt at the O2 would be as much as £65 before fees for a standing ticket, but having witnessed the first leg of Kanye's Glow In The Dark tour some years back, presumed that the outlandish cost would be in order to cover the massive overheads involved with such an equally outlandish stage show.  regardless, i declined the chance to purchase tickets.

and now it seems Radiohead have hauled themselves into this pocket universe of exorbitant entrance fee commanders alongside Madge and Macca and the double-teaming rap power vehicle.

when In Rainbows was released on a 'pay-what-you-feel' manner to download, Radiohead were seen as forward thinking and innovative in their business model, whilst others moaned that only a band that had reached an enviable level success could even contemplate such a practise without hemorrhaging money, and in the years since we have seen Radiohead play an intimate free gig in Brick Lane, Thom Yorke personally hand out promotional newspapers on the streets of London and collaborate on DJ sets in support of the Occupy London movement and overseas alongside Flying Lotus, and Radiohead (either whole or in parts) have played surprise sets to well-informed crowds at Glastonbury.

yet now it seems that anyone wishing to see the band live in an arena environment on a proper tour are the people that are quite literally the ones that will be paying the price for Radiohead's recent flare for an unorthodox departure from the music business' grinding gears of commerce.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Gift Lions - Indian Summer EP

In those fleeting moments of much-heralded British sunshine, it is important to pick your listening pleasures wisely.

Thankfully, Connecticut born Jordan Blatchley, in his guise as Gift Lions, has got that covered for you, debuting 5 tracks of hazy, warm audio breeze, on the aptly titled Indian Summer EP.

Opener, Enough Said, glistens with its simplicity, capturing the catchy surf-pop sound of The Drums and stripping it of their overblown theatrics, showcasing Gift Lions musical approach of going back to basics and allowing for the focus to shift to a songs atmospheric tones, as on the down-tempo and Doves-esque All and Watersong.

The sprawling, near 8 and a half minutes of Brighton Beach give a refreshing take on the resurgence of singer-songwriters and Mumford style folk as the slightest twist of psychedelia chimes out before the calming lull of a tide slowly moving into shore eases us into the delightfully gentle Running that rounds out the release.

An ethereal glow washes across the EP, capturing a lo-fi dreaminess seen through rose-tinted glasses and creating a sound that is nostalgic, yet timeless, perfectly encapsulating the essence of the Instagram generation that use latest technology view the world through retrofitted filters.

And perhaps this trend for sentimentally is befitting for a collection of songs released on limited edition cassette by fledgling North London label Njord, although those that have long since abandoned their Walkman for an iPod can also find the EP as a more socially acceptable mp3 download.