Jimi Goodwin @ Sugarmill 04/04/14

First to grace the Sugarmill stage, on what was a remarkably mild Friday night; Moitessier. I’m not quite sure if its extraction is French. Not even sure if Moitessier is a genuine word in any language at all, at least that’s what a brief Google Translate search seems to suggest. However one thing I am unequivocally certain of; is their aptitude to stage a sincerely mesmeric performance. There’s a thriving multitude of country/folk rock influenced artists in the local scene; but none seize the authentic elements of the genre and inject them with a brutal sting of Rock’n’Roll like Moitessier. Baby, I Need Your Love was undoubtedly the most prominent example of this; and in all honesty, the initial 30 seconds of the song; with its humbling melodies and soft tones spawned reverberating screams of “Ballad Alert, Ballad Alert!” ricocheting frenziedly inside my head, only for my premature assumptions to be shattered by wrenching guitars and robust vocals which encapsulate the overall sound of Moitessier. First to grace the Sugarmill stage, on what was a remarkably mild Friday night; Moitessier. I’m not quite sure if its extraction is French. Not even sure if Moitessier is a genuine word in any language at all, at least that’s what a brief Google Translate search seems to suggest. However one thing I am unequivocally certain of; is their aptitude to stage a sincerely mesmeric performance. There’s a thriving multitude of country/folk rock influenced artists in the local scene; but none seize the authentic elements of the genre and inject them with a brutal sting of Rock’n’Roll like Moitessier. Baby, I Need Your Love was undoubtedly the most prominent example of this; and in all honesty, the initial 30 seconds of the song; with its humbling melodies and soft tones spawned reverberating screams of “Ballad Alert, Ballad Alert!” ricocheting frenziedly inside my head, only for my premature assumptions to be shattered by wrenching guitars and robust vocals which encapsulate the overall sound of Moitessier.

Next up, CAMP STAG. With a 2013 Glastonbury appearance and national air time on BBC 6 Music and XFM under their belt, it was nothing short of a privilege to see the local 5 piece prime the Sugarmill following who were eagerly awaiting headliner Jimi Goodwin. But back to CAMP STAG, their sound is just entirely unique; it’s tremendously unpractical to even embark on such an audacious quest, tampering with a ‘mish-mash’ of adjectives, attempting to describe it, but shall I have a go anyway? Thrillingly futuristic yet captivatingly contemporary, that truly captures the essence of CAMP STAG for me. And with songs like Sirens and latest single; Hide And Seek which both boast intricately crafted vocals that interlude into rampant spells of hectic instrumentals, it’s hard not to predict an even further flourishing future for these local talents.

Here it was, the moment that left me with literally no space to manoeuvre my legs at all, in other words; the Sugarmill was packed and Doves man Jimi Goodwin’s emergence to the stage was rapidly looming. Giving Jimi Goodwin’s debut solo album Odludek a pre-listen ahead of the gig was possibly the best decision I could have made; not only did I adore the album and felt wholly absorbed by the raw emotion instilled deeply into the roots of every track, it gifted me the complete appreciation of how unfailingly every song was replicated flawlessly. Don’t even dare try and coerce me into the futile endeavour of ‘picking a favourite!’ from the night – That’s virtually impossible! There’s Terracotta Warrior which instantaneously clutches you with pulsing brass-like synth that torments and teases in an everlasting build, Live Like A River that launches into a vicious and energetic electric riff which glides into rises and falls to complement the passion in Goodwin’s voice, or Oh! Whiskey; exchanging any electrical influence for a tranquil acoustic melody, a radical diversion in sound considering the previous two tracks, but all the more spellbinding. Touring with Elbow this month (and no wonder too!) Jimi Goodwin is absolute compulsive listening and totally unmissable!

 

FS

Pickering White @ Retro Bar Manchester 28/03/14

Another stepping stone for Pickering White took place at the Retro Bar in Manchester. After tantrums from Almost Easy, potential from Amplified Bandits and an amazing set from Kindest of Thieve, Pickering White left a postive foot print in Manchester.

With this being their 5th gig on their Bye Bye Baby tour, it was a performance to reminisce. The popular, former hype chart number one single is by far the most admired by the committed fans as well as their version of Folsom Prison Blues because of their quirky upbeat melodies. Pickering White has intelligence within their lyrics especially in songs such as; Bullet to the Sun and Take It Away. Meaningful lyrics with a soulful, gorgeous female vocal with added harmonies, is something that is missing from the music industry at the moment and these have it. The new tune, You Always Want, What You Can’t Have has a retro rock and roll 60’s twang; the bluesy vocal rhythm could, in the future be their crowd pleaser tune. Lady Blue Sky to end an energetic set saw a stage invasion of all their fans; these are definitely bringing back the retro sound.

 

LC

Logical Drama – Through My Eyes – Single Review 27/03/14

Despite only emerging into the local music scene last year; Logical Drama’s mounting catalogue of music is unquestionably attaining some popularity, and I can only see that expanding with the release of ‘Through My Eyes.’ As cliché as this sounds, Logical Drama’s new single IS dramatic, I have just a sneaky suspicion they must have pre-determined the unique style of their music when in the process of naming the band – but enough journalistic intuitive babble. From the initial pressing of play, ‘Through My Eyes’ is like being submerged within a sinister fairy tale; every time I take a look at a Logical Drama track, I question if they can continue to evolve as musicians but still retain that signature sound that makes them so identifiable? Well, through forbidding, powerful strings matched against melodic guitars, topped with a passionate and enflamed vocal display, it’s a resounding yes.

FS

Delamere Single Launch @ The Deaf Institute 08/03/14

The Deaf Institute in Manchester was the place to be on March 8th 2014. It was Delamere’s single launch night and it was one to be remembered. Three bands were on show, The Hymek Manoeuvre, Glass Tides and Headlining the night Delamere.
Kicking the night off in style was The Hymek Manoeuvre. A 6 piece band whose tunes were upbeat and catchy. There wasn’t a single song in the set that you wouldn’t dance to and the crowd made sure that they were just upbeat as the music they were listening too. Big vocals, tight harmonies and an energetic performance made sure that their set would be one to be remembered.
Up next were Glass Tides. They owned the stage from the minute they set foot on it. Slowing it down from the previous band they played a set full of anthemic tunes which were carried by big chorus’. The whole set was full of soul and one thing that set them apart from other bands was the use of the Violin. It complimented every song it was in and made the band stand out. Every sound coming from the stage was mesmerizing and always left you wanting more.
Headlining the whole night was Delamere and they made sure that the crowd knew it was their night. It was their single launch and they made sure the crowd had as much fun as they did on stage. Instead of playing to the crowd for a full 45 minutes they broke their set up with little entertaining things such as little drum intros to songs and occasionally joking with the crowd. They made sure that the night finished lively and upbeat and they really got the crowd going. Their whole set was fun and they created a great atmosphere from the second they started playing with every song being a sing a long. They are the first non Manchester band to sell out their single launch at The Deaf Institute and judging by the reaction of the crowd, Delamere are going to go on to big things and their single ‘Do you want me?’ will go far.

JR

Lawless @ Sugarmill 14/03/14

        

The first band is Already Gone, no they did actually turn up before that name throws you off. It was a very strange atmosphere coming from these guys as they have recently reformed with a new line up. A new vocalist was something that was talked about for a bit, and I never expected to see someone so giant yet good with his voice. He has a really good voice, even though the chemistry isn’t perfect for this band yet as they seem to be on different levels of performance, they still had a near solid performance when it came to sound.

 

The next band was called The Event. Each member came on to their own theme tune which was cool if you get the references. The lead singer came on with sunglasses which I thought was odd, only The Blues Brothers could pull off wearing sunglasses at anytime and anywhere.  Someone in the crowd asked “why are you wearing sunglasses?” whilst the singer replied “so I don’t see your face.” As humorous as that comeback was, the answer to that question is hard to find. Even though Summer Lovin’ wasn’t on the set list, it was a very good performance vocally and instrumentally.

Nice and simple, they played songs which were quite catchy and easy listening.

The vocal harmonies were the best out of the 3 bands, with the drummer and bassist supplying their backing vocals making the songs making them more energetic during their performance.

On to the headliners, and these guys I was really looking forward too.

With most of the audience double (even triple, perhaps) my age they were itching to see these live.

They came on the stage and started immediately.

 

One thing I like is how melodic yet heavy these guys are, something so light yet destructive, like skipping through a minefield.

Paul’s voice sounds melodic, even better live than he sounds on record.

The only issue I can fault is that the backing vocals during the first half of their set seemed too quiet, until halfway through where Tabbie’s vocals could be heard. Instrumentally they were the best, even though the guitarist seemed to be the main attraction due to the awesome riffs and the nice solos that got everyone’s attention.

 

It was heavy and melodic, even though some of the songs may have cheesy names it doesn’t bother me, they are well written and performed brilliantly.

Tonight consisted of easy listening rock music, with the age range of the audience it seems like there was enough for everybody.

 

MC

Sound Casino – Flashback 10/03/14

I saw Sound Casino live last year being under aware of what or who they are. To me they were like that Skittles Sours flavour, you never expect to like them, but once you’ve tried them it’s quite a surprise.

The intro of the song consists of guitar notes being played with a bit of delay on them, they seem mildly distorted that isn’t too perfect, but it works.
The bass sound comes in, and it’s a nice heavy sound lurking in the background. The song all kicks in with the strumming sounding more rapid.
The vocals come in, the reverb on the vocals added nicely to the deep droning sound coming from the bass.
The mood of the song quietly creeps up behind you until it hits the chorus, where all the music is played it comes together in a solid mix.
It’s a decent track, and after finally giving these guys a listen to their studio recordings it’s a nice insight to one of their songs which I think is a good tune.

MC

Moscow EP Pack Animals 08/03/14

Moscow’s ‘Pack Animals’ EP kicks off with Killing Hope, initially the song is a mist of reverberating guitars, repetitive drums and echoing vocals that tenderly build up and up until they accumulate into an eruption of flaring psychedelic melodies. The longer this track goes on the greater the overwhelming sense of anticipation which ultimately leads up to an impressively powerful and heavy finish, the song is so beautifully mysterious that when you’re listening you can never predict where it’s going next.

The next two songs on the EP Out of Time and Pack Animals are very similar in the way that I can vividly envisage the carnage that would ensue when they’re performed live. Both tracks sport such intricately crafted choruses and a formidable combination of gritty guitars and unmistakably passionate vocals; they both have the characteristics of a total rock anthem, as you listen you can feel the adrenaline propel vigor into your veins, the sound that Moscow produce is almost like the soundtrack to a rebellion.

The EP concludes with Truth Vibration, the crunching sound of the previous two songs molds to take on a more hypnotic form whilst still maintaining that signature raw, empowered sound layered deep in the background of the track to preserve the uniform intensity that gives Moscow a profoundly unique sound that compels me to hit replay over and over.

This EP was a delight to review and I’d be very surprised if we don’t see Out of Time being bellowed in a packed Arena in a couple of years’ time. Now if you excuse me, I’m off to listen to it again!

 

FS

Bison and Wolf @ The Exchange 05/03/14

An artist with unbelievable talent and emotion; Adam French delicately graced The Exchange stage with himself, his instruments and decorative backdrops. Whilst Adam is on his guitar its finger picking goodness, as well as a clever foot drum that echoes and adds a depth to French’s already deep lyrics. His rough yet subtle vocal sings; “in the car, on the way home, I’ll make you shiver” the audience were falling in love with Adam’s stunning success of Shiver. French has an EP coming out soon.

I finally got the chance to catch Mutineers live; amazing. Just like I imagine; engaging poetic lyrics and honest melodies, even being from Manchester the crowd loved the atmosphere created and sung the anthem chorus. Each member had an original personality that shone through their exciting performance. Mutineers are currently on a mini tour with their new single Loves A Killer; a feverish single with their hallmark harmonies, it got everyone singing along and dancing. With the set ending with Shadow Kisses and Hyde Road these tracks provoked an immense sing-a-long and it brought it too an unforgettable end.

With atmospheric music to see them on the stage; Cardinal made a heavy impact with their American rock influenced tunes. Named on Facebook as three piece male band but I’m sure I saw a female keyboardist; this added a dimension which twists the weighted riff hooks and oblivious chasing choruses into a grungy pop like manner. Cardinal are down the pathway of emotional hard-core; melody with sensibility and a stronger personal take on lyrics.  https://www.facebook.com/thisiscardinal

It was a single launch party for Bison and Wolf; they gathered a healthy, appreciative crowd, I personally didn’t quite realise how popular they were. Bison and Wolf have a strong alternative rock sound with jangly pop riffs and a hard/soft contrast in dynamics. All thanks to the fist pumping performance, the single While We Wait was played twice. The triumphant melancholic chorus clearly struck a chord with the crowd. Something about Bison and Wolf’s new single has started a new hype for alternative rock music.

 

LC

Pickering White Single Review ‘Bye Bye Baby’ 27/02/14

The super swinging rock’n’roll rhythm that is Pickering White’s new single ‘Bye Bye Baby’ is without doubt for me their best work to date – put it this way I don’t think my foot will ever recover from the incessant tapping it experienced whilst listening to this song.

‘Bye Bye Baby’ boasts country influenced guitar riffs contended by chilling vocal harmonies that exploit the full beauty and superiority in Jennifer Pickering’s voice. The track is a testament to Pickering White’s versatility as musicians, flaunting the fact they certainly don’t fear to tread into the realms of the unknown when experimenting with various components from other genres.

FS

Bison and Wolf Single Review – While We Wait 26/02/14

Weirder more varied crisp melody. Bison and Wolf are not disappointing. Their single; While We Wait, shimmers lines of attention throughout. You’re continually captivated with the buoyant guitar hooks and sweet harmonies. Bison and Wolf write lyrics you feel in your comfort zone listening to, not lyrics you cringe at; the story of While We Wait has a repetitive rhythm which ends as a pin through a balloon, sharp and with a bang.

LC