Long Division 2018 headline act Billy Bragg is clearly making up for lost time. The Bard of Barking, author and socialist agitator recently turned sixty, confessing to the packed Saturday night Cathedral crowd that it’s the first time he’s ever performed in Wakefield, somewhat surprising for someone with about a million gigs under his belt.
Saturday, 9 June 2018
Thursday, 17 May 2018
We know time has not been particularly kind to the Britpop era but the shoegaze scene immediately preceding the Cool Britannia nonsense is enjoying something of a renaissance. Tonight, Oxford based Swervedriver, once shoehorned into this ‘Scene that Celebrates Itself’ genre, kicked-off a new European tour following a sizeable North American trek last autumn, the quartet returning with a handful of spring UK dates celebrating the 25th anniversary of their seminal release ’Mescal Head’. Indeed, the album is to be played in full tonight, preceded by every track from their debut long player ‘Raise’ in what is basically a set of two halves.
Sunday, 13 May 2018
Brooklyn rabble-rousers Big Ups return with their storming third album Two Parts Together – a fitting title given that the record is one part crystal clear waters, one part tsunami-scale tidal wave.
Tuesday, 8 May 2018
The first thing you notice about the 2018 live incarnation of Gomez is that lead singer Ben Ottewell finally boasts an appearance catching up with his oak aged Mississippi delta growl; seemingly so out of place two decades ago on the then fresh faced 21-year-old, who sang like he’d been brought up in a New Orleans brothel drinking moonshine instead of breast milk.
Wednesday, 25 April 2018
Can it really be 20 years since the chaotic swamp fuzz of the Gomez debut album ‘Bring It On’ took the UK by storm, songs including ‘78 Stone Wobble’, ‘Whippin’ Piccadilly’ and ‘Get Myself Arrested’ helping garner its creators a Mercury Prize for their troubles?
Monday, 16 April 2018
Saturday, 14 April 2018
Electronic garage Londoners Big & The Fat half swagger and half shuffle onto We Can Do It Records with the mesmerisingly tense new double A-side ‘Fruit’/’Crack Crack’.
There is something bizarre, even gratifyingly uncomfortable, about both tracks, which stomp ever onwards with the steady regularity of a pendulum while ramping up a certain sense of uneasiness which never really resolves itself. The tracks are the musical equivalent of eating four grapefruits in one sitting with no sugar, bitter as anything but also delicious, nourishing and distinctly moreish.
Friday, 6 April 2018
The well-worn adage that a country’s political situation is inversely proportional to its musical output still appears to ring true, in this case, the bewitching release by veteran North American punk turned troubadour Laura Veirs.
Monday, 2 April 2018
Emerging from the swirling mists and forbidding fogs in the DMZ between shoegaze and grunge, Chilean outfit Maff reach for their bricks and mortar to build another stunning wall of sound on new ep 'Melaniña'. Inspired by frontman Ricardo Gomez’s first child Augusta, the ep title combines the word ‘melanin’ with ‘niña’ – Spanish for little girl – to pay tribute to the fact that Augusta is slightly albino.
Friday, 30 March 2018
The story behind this album is arguably redolent of the ‘Searching for Sugar Man’ tale. Canadian cult garage band Simply Saucer had emerged from the Rust Belt punk scene of the early 1970s, following in the wake of Stooges, MC5 and Alice Cooper, whilst also absorbing influences from such varied sources as b-movie sci-fi shtick, early krautrock and British psychedelia.