Thursday, June 28, 2007

Well, unfortunately its been getting a bit empty around here recently. Still, lots of stuff to catch up on... So lets dive right in yeah?

Kate Nash has emerged from London in a flurry of haircuts, accents, and downright good tunes. In my opinion at least... But Kate Nash seems to divide people like marmite, you either love her or hate her. You'll either love the way her voice twangs out slices of lyrics in a faux-London accent, or you'll hate it for being so fake and pretentious. You'll either love her lyrics for being honest and down to earth, or you'll completely resent her for talking about how many lemons she can eat, or how irritating it is when birds shit on your head. Divisive stuff! What can't be doubted is the energy that Nash has emerged from London with and the subsequent nationwide following that she has picked up. With her second single "Foundations" dropping this week and looking set to crash in to the Top 10, it seems that despite any pretence, Kate Nash is going to be around for the summer singalongs at least. I'm going to let you listen to the fabulous Metronomy remix of Nash's second single, "Foundations", as well as the b-side to her debut single, "Birds". Although normally Metronomy leaves vocals pretty much intact in his remixes, on this track he both adds his own vocals, and chops Nash's about a little bit. Layering the end result over some 100% palatable electric toast. Birds is a charming acoustic tale of love on a London Underground train, pretty damn gorgeous.

Secondly, I wanted to let you know about a few things happening over the next few days. Firstly, White Hart Indie has its launch night in Spilsby on Friday. 100 limited places with doors from 7:30, to see Komakino, Aurora Stripe, and Dazed Dakotas. Worth getting in on this one I think, as the following month they bring the Holloways-supporting Six Nation State to the sleepy roads of Spilsby. Also on Friday night, Starter are featured on Radio Lincolnshire playing some live tracks from 7 till 9pm. The Bivouac presents its usual mix of bands, with a slightly less enticing line-up than last weeks selection. This week £5 gets you in to see Joseph, Last Chance To Dance, and Tiger Warsaw. Also, Our Iron Lung favorite I Need To Discover plays at the Travellers Rest, replacing a previously scheduled slot from his old band, I My Bike. Saturday sees usual culprits RaW put on another healthy selection of bands in the heart of student land.

[MP3] Kate Nash - Foundations (Metronomy Edit) - Buy here.
[MP3] Kate Nash - Birds - Buy here.

Monday, June 18, 2007

So, I was down in Nottingham on Saturday night to see the much-hyped Hadouken. In fairness, I am rather fond of their debut single, 'That Boy That Girl', and in paticular its low budget video, shown below. As their second single, 'Liquid Lives', continues to grow on me, I had an open mind, expecting a full on barrage of "fluokids" and "nu-rave" alongside some relentlessly pounding basslines, synth injections, and vocal shouts. Ah, how wrong I was... After giving away 3 of the 4 free tickets I'd been sent to poor ticketless fans outside, and then pressing the damp stamp mark on my wrist against some other hands, to ensure free entry for even more people, I made my way in to the venue... Rescue Rooms is a pretty fab place, in all honesty. One of the best small venues I've been to. Narrow, yet inclusive, with a good cheap bar, etc... As I entered, Shut Your Eyes And You'll Burst In To Flames were just wrapping up their support slot, which, judging from the last couple of songs, was a pretty blinding mix of imaginative drumming, melodic yet angerful vocals, and the inevitable synths... Certainly music with more depth than what was about to asail me.

Hadouken took to the stage in a audio flury of shouts and whistles from the eager fans in the front row and burst straight into a vocal assault on my eardrums, backed up by some horribly out of sync synth and guitar. As I endured the first few songs (including upcoming single Liquid Lives) I struggled to understand the appeal behind a band so chaotic and uncharismatic, so lacking in instrumental skill, yet boasting widespread support from the musical press. Can it all really come down to the NME and its grip on "popular" music? As a pretty short set drew to a close, and I was buffeted by the hordes of bouncing teenagers pressed against the barriers, singing 'That Boy That Girl' back word for word at the baseball capped lead singer, I began to realise that maybe, I was missing the point. Maybe Hadouken aren't about instrumental flashes of genius, or any paticular lyrical observations. Maybe "the kids" like them because of the raw energy evident in their admitedly infectious live show which I had just witnessed. Whichever way my opinion falls on their live act, Hadouken are a band that can, on record, capture that energy of 200 teenagers jumping around in a room for no reason in paticular. They write words that are easy to shout at the top of your voice. And surely, these are all the things that you want in a good party song? To me, Hadouken are just fun, like some kind of in-joke that turned out to actually exist.

Thanks to the kind Our Iron Lung reader who gave a me a lift home... Here's the 'That Boy That Girl' video for everyones enjoyment...

[MP3] Hadouken - That Boy That Girl - Buy here.
[MP3] Bloc Party - The Prayer (Hadouken Remix)
[MOV] Hadouken - That Boy That Girl

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Well, I'm writing this little piece from my new "summer house" overlooking West Common. Pretty gorgeous it is too, although the room I managed to find is rather, well, small. Also lacking in Internet access at the moment too, so I think I'll be dashing down to the library fairly often. Got all my CD's stacked up along the back of my desk though, which is nice. Going across a row, I encounter "Air - Moon Safari", "Four Tet - Pause", "Leftfield - Rhythm and Stealth", "Sleeper - Smart", and finally "Various Artists - Is It Rolling Bob? A Reggae Tribute To Bob Dylan". Ah, good times... Moving away from me though, and on to the past weekend's fun and frolics. I'm going to talk about each gig I saw this weekend, which was a pretty wide range of stuff.

Thursday night saw the return to Lincoln, for only the second time, of the House Of Jealous Lovers night at So:Luxe. Its no secret that I'd been looking forward to seeing Bono Must Die, but I was also interested to see one of the first performances from I Need To Discover, the follow-on project from ex-I My Bike frontman Colin Barstow. Having spent most of the afternoon and evening running around handing out fliers in town, putting up posters, and generally lending a hand, it was with great expectation that I finally grabbed a drink and settled down to watch him perform. Happily, he failed to disappoint, playing very strongly and confidently to a pretty heaving room, blasting out tune after tune of guitar and synth dual audio attacks. Certainly talking to people afterwards they were incredibly impressed with his set, and in particular his energy, particularly in his voice. I've got a whole post on I Need To Discover which I'll put up later in the week. Bono Must Die took to the stage after a short changeover, and immediately urged everyone to move forward to the very front of the band and generally "get in to it". They played the crowd fantastically, baiting them, urging them on, and generally involving them fantastically. The music was, slightly rough around the edges at times, but I guess part of that is the style. Gritty. Lead singer Toby's constant adventures into the crowd and his relentless energy led the rest of the 4-piece in an at times ramshackle trip around the nightlife and associated quirks of 21st Century "Generation-X" London. A small scale stage invasion followed the typically synth-led cover of 'Sexyback' by Justin Timberlake, as the band launched into signature tune 'Trafalgar, a tale of a boy called Ping and his painfully "scene" band. In the words of the song, "idolising Peter, never got much sweeter", an illusion to the trend of London bands, and indeed national bands, to try and copy the style of the ex-Libertine Pete Doherty, normally with horrifically embarrassing results (The View). So, a pretty solid show from a band who leap from a mass of dirty synth to assault your senses, brashly and rudely. Congratulations to HOJL for pulling off such an interesting and fresh night, I eagerly await their continued contributions to what is rapidly becoming a far more varied Lincoln live scene.

Friday night and a trip down to Skegness to see Lincoln's Live Riot and Skegness' own Djune. Still recovering from the freshness and energy of Thursday night, the calm setting of Whisky A Go Go, slightly swarmed in eager 6th formers, was a nice change. Live Riot kicked things of with their vaguely Twang-like brand of swagger-indie. An impressive attempt to fuse the arrogance and swagger of Oasis and the pure grime of a small town "pub" band, resulting in something altogether more marketable and listenable. They put on a pretty energetic performance, adapting well to what seemed a pretty calm and "too cool to dance" crowd. Definitely something to watch out for in a slightly different venue or situation. Djune followed after about 30 minutes, launching into a set of guitar-driven indie-pop. If their sound was a sandwich, it would be Egg And Cress. Nice and tasty, and perfect for lunchtime or a sunny day. A balance between soft comfort, and a desperate attempt at some kind of crunch. Although they seem to have the energy in them somewhere, and have a fantastic management team behind them, they seem to be lacking that spark, even in the new songs that they debuted, to really take them as far forward as they could deserve to go.

Saturday night saw a return to Lincoln and its familiar RaW night at the Mezz Bar. This particular week, I had been invited to put a few tunes on between bands, which I duly obliged with, albeit with a slight amount of apprehension at the mass of switches and knobs in front of me. The night opened with a nice acoustic set from Days Before Television who ran through a collection of covers and original material, before making way for Winterlong. The Mansfield based four-piece managed to scream and sweat their way into some kind of Beechams aided hole, while mashing a pretty traditional lineup of guitar, bass, and drums into something that felt like it was trying to cover far too many bases at once. Maybe some focus next time to compliment the energy and songwriting potential? Lincoln's Park Bench Theory took to the stage next, launching into a pleasing mix of old and new material. The have a sound that bridges the gap between traditional indie-rock and a more blues/bass driven sound, perhaps reminiscent of The Strokes or The Vines. I can't help but feel that they found it hard to pull of a performance in a venue such as the Mezz Bar, being perhaps more suited to the sweaty foot-stomping atmosphere of venues such as the Bivouac. The night concluded with an impressive set from a pair of local chaps, TV Kicks. They engaged well with the crowd while creating an impressive array of hooks and rhythms with their guitar/drums setup. What could have been a very flat sound was boosted by the constant communication between drummer and guitarist, and the tightness of their show. So, a nice collection of bands, albeit all of a pretty traditional style and feel.

So a pretty busy weekend really! I'll leave you with some MP3's by a few of the bands mentioned, as well as a link to images from a couple of the nights. Lastly, thanks to everyone who's helping spread the word about Our Iron Lung, it's great to feel that people are behind supporting and encouraging a local music scene, and its connections nationally, by being eager about different ideas and ways of expressing that "scene". This is OUR Iron Lung, not MY Iron Lung. Drop me an email or a message. Tell me what you like. Tell me what gig I should be at. Tell me who I should be listening to. Etc.

[MP3] Bono Must Die - Trafalgar
[MP3] I Need To Discover - Wolves (Final Sexy Edit)
[PHOTOS] House Of Jealous Lovers @ So:Luxe, Lincoln - 7/6/07

Thursday, June 07, 2007

This weekend is a slightly quieter one than the last few we've had here in Lincoln, and seeing as I'm in a bit of a rush at the moment, this will be a rather swift rundown of the weekend's entertainment... There is a shorthand detailing of whats going on this weekend at the end of the post, as well as MySpace links for all the bands mentioned.

Firsty, for those who fancy an early start to the weekend, there are two wonderful gigs going on tonight, both really contrasting, both done in completely different ways. Refreshing to see... At 7 till 10, the Engine Shed plays host to Lincolnshire's own I Was A Cub Scout, with support from Rotary Ten. Its a 16+ gig, but as IWACS pointed out, thats pretty much "anyone gets in as long as you don't look 12". Its really great to see two "pet" bands of the city, as it were, playing together in a venue as daunting as the Engine Shed. Good luck to all involved! Also tonight, House Of Jealous Lovers returns to So:Luxe for only the second time, dragging another two bands up from London, and hoisting in support from Local lad Colin Barstow, or as he's better known, I Need To Discover. He'll be supporting the dirty, beat-ridden atmosphere of Bono Must Die, and the slightly more traditional tones of The Be Be See. Possibly the best two band names ever to be on the same bill? For £5, that all kicks of at 9, with bands playing from 10, interspersed with DJ sets from S!O!S! and Be Safe Be Scene. Here is the flier front and back.

Friday sees the Bivouac put on its usual splash of teenage enthusiasm. Kicking off at 8, High Society, Try My Shoes, and Kensal Rise all take to the stage. High Society come across from Birmingham, and seem the kind of band to appeal to fans of, say, The Horrors, The Libertines, The View, and The Vines. Fasionably tight yet ramshackle tunes blasted out with a typical indie-kid snarl. Worth making an effort to get to. There is also another smattering of bands playing at the Travellers Rest; Deaf Havana, Never So True, The Brownies and Rig Up Explosive. Unfortunately, I havn't had the time to listen to any of them so far. But feel free to have an explore yourself!

Saturday's lone regular provider of live music, RaW, comes back week in week out with rutheless energy, and this week is no exception. TV Kicks are headlining, with support from Lincoln-based Park Bench Theory. Park Bench Theory in paticular seem worth getting down to see. Promising, relaxed, lazy, bass-driven indie-rock with a strong vocalist. And there you have it, hope to see you around at some of those!

Thursday 7th - 7pm - Engine Shed, Lincoln - I Was A Cubscout w/ Rotary Ten - £7
Thursday 7th - 9pm - So:Luxe, Lincoln - Bono Must Die w/ The Be Be See - £5
Friday 8th - 8pm - Bivouac, Lincoln - High Society w/Try My Shoes - £5
Saturday 9th - 7:30pm - Mezz Bar, Pavillions Student Village, Lincoln - TV Kicks w/ Park Bench Theory - FREE

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Well, what a weekend that was! Musically and generally. Friday was pretty old school house party, while Saturday afternoon was spent sipping Pimms & Lemonade in the gorgeous sun, with the new Dizzee Rascal album playing out faintly in the background. Perfect. Well, maybe swap Dizzee for Belle And Sebastien...So, on to business.

So, Saturday night saw The Pioneer Club ft. Shnifty descend on Drill Hall, Lincoln, for the first Pioneer Club night on A) a Saturday, and b) organised by the guys at Shnifty. After a pretty chaotic start behind the scenes, the first band rolled out pretty much on time, Lincoln's very own Ice Cream Social, pictured above live on the night (for all the photos, click here or the link at the bottom of the post). They played a pretty solid set, hovering a nice line between the electro/bass gush of noise that was to be headliners The Whip, and the more toned down electro tones of say, Hot Chip or Crystal Castles. The band launched their debut EP on the night, a track from which is available for download at the end of this post. I strongly suggest you buy a copy yourself though, its a pretty solid 3-track debut that shows great potential, both locally and, perhaps, nationally. Contact the guys through their Myspace for a copy.

So, this energetic, imaginative, and well constructed start to the night was followed by the slightly less "nu-rave" Silicon Kid. A band that, to be honest, didn't really fit with the tone of the evening. They played a set full of riff driven indie. Very digestible, but compared to the leaps and bounds of Ice Cream Social, and sets that were about to hit us from Devil's Gun and The Whip, they seemed wrongly suited to the evening. All credit to the guys for putting on a good show though! Great stuff to soundtrack a drive in a nice car, just not so great for dancing. A shame really because, in the right situation, they could have made a much more positive impression. I really hope to see them back up here sometime soon in a slightly different situation (are you listening Steve Hawkins?).

Devil's Gun however managed to "whip" the crowd back up into a frenzy with their hard to pigeon hole "ethnic-indie-dance". I suggest you head over to their Myspace for a proper listen, and categorise for yourself. However, regardless of the sound, Devil's Gun strongest point on the night was their ability to get the crowd going. In a venue as restrictive to wild crowds as The Drill Hall, this is no mean feat. The Drill Hall's layout, its wide stage, its depth, its pure size, means that its very rarely that bands get the folks at the front jumping around, as well as people all over the rest of the room tapping their feet and doing a little bit of a jive... Which is exactly what Devils Gun managed to do! Some fantastic work from the two fronts people, both the female backing vocalist and the afro-totting frontman/rapper, made this a fantastically enjoyable performance! For maybe 30 minutes, it felt as if the whole of the Drill Hall had suddenly morphed into a ridiculously cool house party. I can compare the atmosphere closest to that of seeing CSS live in Nottingham back in February. Here's a video from the gig, only short, and not taken by me.

So, finally, running maybe half an hour late, and with next to no soundcheck, The Whip took to the stage. Missing a bassist, they launched into synth'n'drum driven tune after tune. The drummer took centre of the stage, flanked on either side by the guitarist/vocalist, and the synth player. Following the energy of Devil's Gun, at times The Whip felt slightly short of the mark. It took a few songs to adjust to the more subtle, more mechanical, more electronic style of The Whip's music. However, they did pack a serious punch, just, maybe in slightly the wrong environment. You couldn't help but feel that they were more suited to smaller, more club-like venues. Still, all in all a pretty good gig. Certainly a solid lineup, and good performances from all bands. Nice turnout too, so good work to all involved! I'll leave you with a video of Divebomb that I took from the barrier/stage, as well as a fantastic MP3 of the Crystal Castles remix of Divebomb. Don't forget to make it down to House Of Jealous Lovers @ So:Luxe tomorrow night for Bono Must Die, The Be Be See, and I Need To Discover (flier front and back).

[MP3] Ice Cream Social - Spectrum Analyser
[MP3] The Whip - Divebomb (Crystal Castles Remix) - Buy here and on Kitsune Maison Vol.4 here.
[PHOTOS] Pioneer Club @ Drill Hall, Lincoln - 2/6/07