Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Alright, its got quiet again, regretably. But i've been horribly busy, up and down to London, travelling across the county for party after gig after party. So, armed with a new bag, big enough for my laptop, and some incredible music twisting around my head, I'm back with energy.

Firstly, I'd love to share a track I discovered the other night when the new album from ex-Concretes front woman Victoria Bergsman finally landed in my CD player. Its a slow beating romance of a song, gently luring you in to a hazy and warm world, with Victoria's trademark lush vocals drapping over the track like a comfortingly soft woolen blanket. Truly incredible stuff, which the rest of the album doesn't fail to live up to. A gorgeous break from the hussle and bustle of the last few weeks. "We rarely speak, but I think of you a lot".

Taken By Trees - Julia

Secondly, I have a very short song by Jeremy Warmsley, taken from a compilation album of songs, all under a minute long. Its called The Boy Who Cried Love, and its lovely. A short description for a short song!

Jeremy Warmsley - The Boy Who Cried Love

Lastly, I have a fantastic song by a guy called Loyal Trooper. This is a demo version of a single which is being released through This Is Fake DIY later in the summer. Its a spoken word song, in the style of Jamie T I guess. All full of punchy beats and cherrfully strummed guitars. Energetic enjoyable stuff for a (hopefully) sunny summer day.

Loyal Trooper - Nothing To Say

And there we have it, a few nice songs to enjoy. Its getting dark, so I'm going to walk home and listen to Belle & Sebastian. Ah, its a good life...

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Few bands have inspired in as widespread a manner as Joy Division. From musical influences, to image and style, Joy Division's affect on modern music is undeniable. Komakino have one of the more obvious influence traits, they are named after a Joy Division song... But unsurprisingly, they are perfect capable of holding their own ground. As I travelled to see them in Spilsby last weekend at new night, White Hart Indie, I imagined an Editors-esque barrage of mournful yet energetic vocals, mechanical bass lines, sparse affected guitar. But before Komakino took to the stage I was treated to two support bands, and subjected to one more.

Aurora Stripe took to the stage first, diving into their trademark infectious brand of indie-pop. Fronted by energetic front woman Anna, they play a lo-fi selection of lovable indie gems, as if Hot Puppies stopped reflecting so hard, and began dancing like no one was watching. Barefoot and breathless, its Anna that really carries Aurora Stripe in a live setting, prancing around the stage backed by a dedicated group of backing dancers, giving every piece of energy to the songs that she sings. Impressive stuff to start the evening with.

As the cider began to sink in, so did the rot. Dazed Dakotas took to the stage, and immediately took away any finesse or charm that Aurora Stripe had brought to the proceedings. Swaggering around in an uncharismatic blur of ill-fitting clothes, faux-indie attitudes, beer swilling "charm". What could possibly be seen as a return to "rock and roll" or the more basic values of playing live, came across as a desperate attempt to inject some kind of attitude or feeling, however fake, into songs that were otherwise, lifeless.

Things soon picked up though, as Dark Sparks took to the stage in a burst of feedback and distortion. Slowly, from this mass of noise emerged the crisp sound of well crafted song after song. Lurching forward at a mechanical pace, held together by skillful guitar work and captivating vocal lines, they immediately swept away the hangover left by Dazed Dakotas. As forthcoming single Into The Dark burst forth from the stage, it felt like a special moment was dawning over the night. Suddenly people were dancing, reaching out over the monitors to the twitching singer and equally electrifying guitarist and bassist. Dancing with vigour and energy to the relentless pulse of forward thinking yet palatable music. Its as if Interpol stopped growing moustaches and started writing songs that made your feet move for dancing's sake, not for movements sake. As if Franz Ferdinand had grown up slower, and at some point merged with Tiny Dancers. A video is below of Into The Dark, while at the bottom of the post are links to more videos. 2 Dark Sparks songs are available to download on their myspace.

Eventually Komakino took to the stage, immediately dancing into the crowd, jerking and stomping amongst the youthful faces in the front few rows. Both the guitarist and singer spent the rest of the first few songs constantly ebbing and flowing across the stage in a relentless barrage of energy and rhythm. Sounding like Ian Curtis if he'd lived through the torture of "new-rave", lead singer Ryan led each song with punch after punch of angst and anger, driven forward in his task by pounding drums, framed by angular guitar and basslines. Unfortunately, I had to leave mid-way through the set, but I'm told it turned into even more of a blinder, with a stage invasion completing the spectacle that was that dark Friday night in the depths of the county.

[YOUTUBE] Dark Sparks - Live @ Spilsby
[MP3] Komakino - Say Something Else
[MP3] Komakino - Sick To Death Disco