Thursday, 27 July 2017


Beach Riot – Slackers 
Beach Riot - Slackers

Release Date: Out Now

Hey. You. Yeah, you. Have you checked out Beach Riot yet? No? Well get a jog on, time’s a-wasting. New single ‘Slackers’ is a great place to hop aboard this seemingly unstoppable freight train that takes less than three minutes to reach its destination. A pounding bass line comes on like one of those instant hangovers – disorientating, aggressive and painful – which, accompanied by the drums leaves you staring in to the near distance and slightly panicked with a sweaty head. By the time guitars hit their stride and the vocals kick in, you are left in no doubt that this is the lost or undiscovered bastard child of Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’ and Reuben’s ‘Racecar is Racecar Backwards’ (in my head, albums are adults and singles are their offspring).  The wonky and intense guitar solo keeps the hangover survival theme at front and centre as the grunge-slacker-indie-pop ride reaches a beautiful climax. One to bounce off the walls to, for sure, but watch out for the morning after.

Live Dates:

4th August – Deadbeat Disco @ The Globe, Brighton
7th August – New Moons @ Old Blue Last, London
12th August – Leefest
2nd September – Sticky Mikes, Brighton w/Bootleg Rascal + Clever Thing

3rd September – O2 Academy, Islington w/Bootleg Rascal + Clever Thing


Little Hurricane – Isn’t It Great? (Mascot Records/Mascot Label Group) 
Little Hurricane - Isn't It Great?

Release Date: Out Now

Blues-rock power couple Little Hurricane are back with a new single and boy am I grateful? ‘Isn’t It Great?’, as tunes go, is a jerky, sophisticated and brooding slice indie-rock with a poppy infusion that sits somewhere between the White Stripes and early Maroon 5 and isn’t as dirty as some of the duo’s other material. However, as Murphy’s law would have it, this probably has a better chance of being a crossover hit than some of their other releases which is not a bad thing. Weirdly, the video also manages to turn a shit date in to an ensemble dance routine and, just in time, that trade mark guitar scuzz comes back in and normal service is beautifully resumed.

Live Dates:

5th August – Wientrum Open Air, Bad Windsheim
8th August – Brussels Summer Fest, Brussles
9th August – Privatclub, Berlin
10th August – Haldern Pop, Haldern
12th August – Grape Festival, Piestany
15th August – FREQUENCY Festival, St Polten
16th August – Milla, Munich
18th August – Open Air Gampel, Gampel Bratsch
19th August – Zomerparkfeest, Venlo
15th September – KAABOO Del Mar, Del Mar

Watch the video: 


Reverend & The Makers – Juliet Knows (Cooking Vinyl) 
Reverend & The Makers - Juliet Knows

Release Date: Out Now

I am increasingly beginning to think that Reverend & The Makers are one of the vastly underrated bands of our times and new single ‘Juliet Knows’ only serves to further that suspicion. A sparse acoustic number, this single sees vocal duties handed over to band member (and Milburn member) Joe Carnall and a soft sway that suggests a soft sub-equatorial afternoon fuelled by a few cool beers and a humidity that saps the energy from you. Carnall’s voice is warm and full of regret and love which makes this an engaging listen, even before the melodic whistling kicks in and someone opens another beer before handing it over to you with a wedge of lime in the neck. Bliss.

Live Dates:

28th July – Camp Bestival, Lulworth Camp
29th July – Kendal Calling, Kendal
29th September – Looe Music Festival, Looe
14th October – The Garage, Glasgow
25th October – Electric Ballroom, London
27th October – O2 Academy, Sheffield

4th November – Academy, Manchester

Wednesday, 26 July 2017


Indigo Girls + Lucy Wainwright Roche – Live at the Bierkeller, Bristol, 25/07/2017

It might only be July but I think I can confidently say that this was the hottest gig of the year. I’m not necessarily commenting on the quality of the entertainment (more on that later) but for some inexplicable reason, the Bierkeller decided to keep their air-con system and strategically placed giant fans just for looking at which made for an incredibly hot, sweaty and, frankly, unenjoyable atmosphere. Never fear, though, opening act Lucy Wainwright Roche is a cool cucumber of a customer and soon has the swelling crowd eating out of the palm of her hand – musically and on a personal level. Singing her own material as well as a macabre nursery rhyme written with half-sister Martha Wainwright, it was easy to see LWR’s musical heritage shining through from both the Wainwright and Roche musical dynasties. Aside from the music, there was some gentle but well observed banter around the seeming indifference of the English public to the constantly changing currency as well as some hints to the cabin fever that builds up when touring as a solo artist.

We thought we’d seen the last of Lucy Wainwright Roche when the need for fresh air meant that we missed the end of her set but, fortuitously, when Atlanta duo Indigo Girls took to the stage amidst rapturous applause, they were joined by Lucy Wainwright Roche on backing vocals and the talented Lyris on violin duties. There’s a special reaction that Amy Ray and Emily Saliers evoke in an audience that borders on hero-worship but is more in awe of the songs these talented women have created over the decades and what those songs mean to their devoted fanbase. Such adoration was repaid within minutes as fan favourites ‘Fill It Up Again’, ‘Power of Two’, ‘Gone Again’ and ‘Go’ get a sing-along going and produce a rousing sound for just four musicians with no percussion other than audience hand claps.

Bouncing around through their country, folk and blues flavoured back catalogue, Saliers and Ray played with warmth, passion and no short measure of talent on whichever stringed instrument they were handed by their hard-working roadie. ‘Woodsong’, ‘Olympia Inn’, ‘Get Out the Map’ and ‘Let It Be Me’ straddle an offering from Ray’s forthcoming solo offering, ‘Train Inside’. The evening climaxes with a joyous, almost biblical ‘Galileo’ which has every word sung passionately back at the stage by a beaming and satisfied (if sweaty) crowd. The standard short pause for chanting is followed by a collective version of ‘Hammond Song’, originally by the Roches, and then a guest is plucked seemingly from the crowd (via a Skype audition) and we are treated to a five-piece rendition of the anthemic ‘Closer to Fine’ featuring the talented Georgia Patterson on vocal duties. All in all, this was an effortless and consummate performance which touched all the high notes of euphoria and the lower notes of political commentary – a dichotomy that has worked so well for this pair for years. In a cooler, more aerated venue there may have even been a second encore but after that rousing final song we all needed to breathe. Don’t leave it so long next time, come back to the UK soon.

More information:

Lucy Wainwright Roche -

Thursday, 20 July 2017


Joe Boyd – Can You Believe It? 
Joe Boyd - Can You Believe It?

Release Date: Out Now

Londoner Joe Boyd is back with his 2nd single of 2017 and ‘Can You Believe It?’ has a real assured swagger about it. Simple strummed guitar and gentle beat are all that’s needed for Boyd’s soulful vocal to play out and seduce you in the small hours of the night. This is classy and sophisticated stuff with excellent production qualities and underplayed but well placed motifs that are just beautiful. As the strings swell towards the end, this tune takes on greater importance and you can feel the likes of Sam Smith and various boy-band drop outs looking nervously over their shoulders as this young and genuinely talented pretender is coming up on the outside. Keep an eye on Joe Boyd, I think he might just have something special going on here.


Balako – Hora De Balako (Greco-Roman Soundsystem) 
Balako - Hora De Balako

Release Date: Out Now

Diogo and Rodrigo are a pair of DJs and producers from Rio de Janeiro trading under the name of Balako and they have just produced one of the most infectious and influential tunes of the summer with an absolute beast of a bass line. ‘Hora De Balako’ pulses with tribal rhythms and is tense with Bond-esque strings but then that 70s disco bass line kicks in and suddenly the party starts with a real swing and plenty of glitz. There’s a movement in the middle that gives this a real feel of class and I would pay well over the odds to attend a party DJed by the kind of cats that could pull this off wich out breaking in to a sweat on their finely ironed shirts and tightly tied cravats. Hip doesn’t even come close.


Nine Inch Nails – Less Than (Columbia Records)
Nine Inch Nails - Less Than

Release Date: Out Now

I really wasn’t sure what to expect from this latest release from LA super-goths Nine Inch Nails but, pleasingly, they’re still relevant and still trying new things – Christ, they were the house band in Twin Peaks the other week. ‘Less Than’ works sonically, that’s a given, but with the intense and relentless arcade feel of the accompanying video you really get a sense of the helpless hurtling that this song is trying to capture. The electro pulses and clenched-teeth vocals show why bands like Muse and Queens of the Stone Age drew so much on the influence of Trent Reznor and his assembled hired hands. There’s a triumphant, mosh inducing chorus and the kind of call-to-arms that we all need in a pretty fucked up world that seems to be spinning off its axis right now.

Live Dates:

23rd July – FYF Fest, Los Angeles
30th July – Panorama Festival, Brooklyn
15th September – Riot Fest, Chicago
21st October – Aftershock Festival, Sacramento

Watch the Video: