Posts Tagged ‘Music’

Current Top Four

July 22, 2017

I did a Top 10 local bands a while back. I have an updated top 4, best-of-the-rest better follow.

Three of them are playing tomorrow (not all together).

Guildford and surrounds we have, in alphabetical order –

Moper – didn’t much like them when I first heard them but they’re just getting better and better with each release. Depressing, simple, noise rock, often not that heavy, but it just works, probably because they have some amazing songs and a vocalist / lyricist (and guitarist) who sorta of reminds me of Andrew Falcous.

Pensevor – dirty, droning, did I say dirty, raw, filthy, doom. Surprisingly delicate, interesting, fantastic drumming, steady bass that just does the job, one of the most imposing and vulnerably aggressive front men you will ever see… and the icing on the cake, some of the filtiest and heaviest guitars you will ever hear with tone to die for. Damn near perfect.

Tuskar – sludge, doom, stoner heavy-as guitar-drums two piece. Tyler is an animal on drums whilst covering vocals. Riffs applenty, verges on metal in places. In a good way.

Who Saw The Light – heavy, nuts. Not many bands can claim doom as the main vocal style whilst having music that encompasses prog, shoegaze (occasionally), metal, hardcore punk, math, pretty much everything. First ep out tomorrow.


Sponsorship, tie-ins and all that jazz

June 7, 2017

This post will not be overly nuanced.

I understand that it is very hard for bands to get publicity, get their music out there, let alone make money, let alone a living, let alone a half-decent living or even a good living.

I have no problem with an artist or band who decides to do what they can to keep making music – that is their choice.  But please don’t expect me to be interested.  Please don’t expect me not to tell you to fuck right off.

If you promote brands, accept sponsorship then it tells me that you are willing to compromise, willing to make adjustments to your look, attitude or sound in order to gain and keep sponsorship.  I do not accept that.

Alternatively – and even worse – it suggests that you are the sorts of boring arseholes musically and individually who brands think they can make money out of aligning themselves with.  Nothing interesting ever has helped sell product, fact, and even if it had the second it got linked to the brand the magic dust would have been blown away in the wind.  The wind of a fat corporate executives arse expelling the by-produce of his last 18-course meal of babies and nice fluffy things.

Obviously there are exceptions, not least bands who accept sponsorship deals with string manufacturers or amp-makers, or who want their own signature guitar or pedal.  That’s (normally) a bit different.

So yeah, go ahead and accept sponsorship, go ahead and tell the world about xxxxxx clothing brand on your facebook page.  I might even still hear your records or see you live and quite like you.  But ultimately you’ve lost me, I’m no longer interested, you cannot, by definition, be anything special.  If you were the corporate world would hate and fear you.

We can’t all be Fugazi, but we can aspire or we are nothing.

Remi Nicole

July 26, 2009

I’m not entirely sure how I missed Remi Nicole‘s first album.  Probably because I don’t religiously keep myself up to date with pop and corporate indie (for want of a better expression).

The first time I saw her was on the telly a month or so back playing ‘Standing Tears Apart‘.  Just her and a semi-acoustic.  I really did think she was superb.  Sweet-as-a-nut voice, beautiful to look at, she played a really nice song with a bit of a Libertine’s vibe.  Maybe that last bit’s just me, but I stand by it.  The Libertine’s were a great band.  At her best Remi Nicole has something similar.  Clearly less laddish, less masculine, but a similar vibe nevertheless.

She is sweet whilst not being kookie.  Her lyrics are to the point, without being stupid.  I like artists who write simple songs that tell it like it is.  She might not be revealing universal truths that have previously evaded mankind, but then again how many musicians really do?  I’m a firm believer that most of us appreciate the established themes, and most of us can do with reminding ourselves that (for example the old song “Fed Up”) people generally don’t change and if they are idiots who take the piss then you should dump them.  There are plenty of people out there who fail to remember things like that when it comes to making their own life decisions.

In fact that is one of the most fantastic things about pop and rock now I come to think about it.  With writing there is nothing but the words.  Any subtlety, any mystery has to come through the words (not my style, sorry).  With Rock n Roll the je ne sais quoi can come from the music as a whole or any part of it.  Which leaves the writer able to cut to the chase and give it to you straight when it comes to the lyrics.  That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate clever word play, or the odd lyric which confuses you.  But I want to hear a truth and think about it, I do not want to sit there thinking “what the fuck is this song about?”  Unless I am listening to the unbelievably good Future of the Left of course, but I’ll leave them for another day.

Anyway, I suspect her label still hope they have the next Lily Allen on their hands, though the relative lack of success for her last effort doesn’t bode well. She might yet become a damn fine pop artist like Allen has.  But at the moment I see someone who can write a song (the odd gem, a few pretty fine efforts – hopefully ‘Standing Tears Apart’ is a sign of her improving as a songwriter), possesses a very listenable voice, and has possibly the greatest gift in pop – an ability to get up on stage by herself, with an guitar and a mic, and play one of her own songs and sound fucking great.

I fear that in trying to fit a band around her, trying to produce her, the end result is a Lily-Lite, who is bound to fail to be as good at being Lily Allen as Lily Allen.  She is not new, she’s not fresh, she’ll not win over the indie crowd, but neither will she succeed like Lily as a pop artist.

Maybe the new album will be better.  If not then if she’s really lucky she’ll know that when she’s dropped it is an opportunity to go back to basics, with a percussionist and another guitarist at most, and make music for herself.  Raw and passionate.  And I hope she has some cash in the bank when it happens.  I really do ‘cos – and call me an old softy if you like, I don’t care – she does deserve it.