Coming from Boston, home of the Lemonheads and the Pixies, and based on the evidence of their two recent singles, PVRIS have melody in their pedigree, but, like the Google friendly stylings of their name, this is a version for the digital age. As is the modern way, they've gone from inception to hype in the blink of an eye; from an opening slot on last year's Warped tour to the high praise of the blogosphere in the time it takes most people to decide on a summer holiday destination. Hailed in some quarters as saviours of quality crossover pop; signed to Rise Records and with Blake Harnage of VersaEmerge at the production helm, it seemed unlikely but worth a shot.
It's a striking image
isn't it, the Northern Monk Brewing Co logo? One I was immediately
drawn to when I first laid eyes on it earlier this year, and one that
you will be seeing a lot more of from now on. The team behind
Northern Monk Brewing Co have a spanking new home in the heart of
Leeds from which they will not only brew their range of delicious
beers, but have a refectory along with a bottle shop, tap room,
events space and a kitchen. Located in Holbeck, this grade II listed
building is the only publicly accessible mill in Leeds. As you enjoy
their wares, sipping down one of their beautifully brewed beverages
from twenty available taps, you can see partial elements of the
brewing process through huge glass windows. Your beer literally being
brewed before your very eyes! The refectory has been stripped right
back to bare brickwork and stone floors giving it a real traditonal
With a queue snaking
out of the car park and a palpable excitement in the night air, the
build up to tonight's show had an almost magical quality. The
Brudenell consistently delivers us special moments; its gig history
plotting a course mirroring our own musical adventures. Now with,
deservedly, a national, if not international, reputation for bringing
us the best new bands before anyone else, it was no surprise that
this was the stage for Canadians Alvvays' debut Leeds performance.
Wow, where do I start with this guy? Now well into his 60s, Daniel Lanois was once the most important record producer on the planet as his CV will bare testament. We’re talking U2’s holy trinity of Unforgettable Fire, Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby, Peter Gabriel’s So and U, not forgetting Robbie Robertson’s gloriously eponymous debut to name but few. Not surprising then that he has a hat-trick of best album Grammy Awards to his name.
What people may not know is that Mr Lanois has forged a career as a solo artist with over a dozen albums in the bag, several of his songs covered by major artists, creating material invariably erring towards the ambient, perfectly illustrated by numerous collaborations with the daddy himself, Brian Eno.
I first stumbled across the fag end of a belting Eliza and The Bear set earlier this year during Live @ Leeds, the first floor room at Belgrave Music Hall absolutely packed to the rafters producing a quite electric atmosphere. I therefore resolved to give the London based quintet another look given the opportunity so this visit to the Wardrobe is to make sure the earlier performance was no fluke.
Antipodean singer songwriter Sean O’Neill swapped the warm open spaces of his native Australia for the cold damp hurly burly of the big smoke a couple of years ago and ‘Visions’, the follow-up release to his ‘Moving in Time’ EP, released down under in 2012, has been inspired by his spell residing in the capital.
Simon Bristoll has been matching high quality musings to music for nearly a handful of albums now, most notably, the rather excellent ‘Ghost Written Confessions’. Three long years have passed since then, including the heady heights if the odd session on BBC Radio. Nevertheless, you wonder whether the creative fires have dimmed, but not a bit of it judging by this fine quartet of tracks on this extended play.
On ‘Nobody Wants To Be Here And Nobody Wants to Leave’ The Twilight Sad serve up the sonic equivalent of a Scandinavian thriller – bleak and unforgiving yet also utterly captivating. The Scottish band are no strangers to inhabiting the darker hues of the musical spectrum, and on their fourth full-length release their experience shows as they run the gloom-ridden gamut with the poise and elegance their unwavering fan base have come to expect.
Bad days – we all have them, they’re a fact of life. And the chances are, since you’re reading an EP review on a music blog, that more often than not music is your refuge when the world is against you. Some look to the skullcrushing breakbeats of the Dillinger Escape Plan to batter their bad day into submission, while others let the Chris Martins of this world help them ride it out with a dose of melancholia. But wouldn’t you rather have a sonic embrace take hold of you and tell you that everything is going to be okay? That’s where Dee Sada comes in and, for the record, this is probably the last time you will see her name mentioned anywhere near the Dillinger Escape Plan ever again.
The haunting chords of blues rock band She Keeps Bees’ seventh album Eight Houses are alone beautiful, but combined with the sultry vocals of lead singer Jessica Larrabee, the sound is exquisite. Formed in 2006, the Brooklyn-based outfit is made up of Larrabee and her fellow bandmate and drummer, Andy LaPlant.
With more and more bands forced to take to the road in order to make a living, the bottom having fallen out of the recorded music sales industry for most, the upside is that for those fans of the live music experience, they’re spoiled for choice. The Jim Jones Revue, alas soon to be no more, will never sell out the O2 arena, and if they did it would probably be shite. These guys were born to ply their trade in the more intimate venue where they can strip the paint off the walls with their theatrical garage rock, one part New York Dolls, one part Boomtown Rats, straight out of the Hope and Anchor circa 1975. The crowd at Brudenell tonight are only too aware of these facts, and it’s standing room only from door to stage for one of the quintet’s farewell shows.
Andrew Hozier-Byrne is the man of the moment; with the recent release of his debut EP From Eden taking the world by storm, the Irishman from County Wicklow otherwise known as Hozier is the one to watch. The 24-year-old raised eyebrows with his first hit Take Me to Church, which scorns “the shrine of your lies” and the “poison” of each Sunday Church service; the track is a passionate disavowal of the Catholic Church, yet its potential for controversy has hindered none of Hozier’s success. Carried by his unfaltering vocals, the record has a depth and honesty that is rare in today’s pop culture.
With his debut album
‘All These Nights In Bars Will Somehow Save My Soul’,
Lincolnshire-born punk rock troubadour Rob Lynch has taken a leap of
faith and scored a perfect ten. Marrying the often disparate
disciplines of infectious musicality and genuinely meaningful lyrics
with absolute finesse, this acoustic-led record sees Lynch slap his
heart down on the table and get his audience singing their lungs out
in one fell swoop.
This heavy rocking Yorkshire outfit has made some good friends in fairly high places during their relatively short life. Not only have Black Moth managed to secure the studio services of Bad Seed Jim Sclavunos for the second long player in a row, the artwork for Condemned to Hope has been created by none other than Roger Dean, a celebrated artist famous for a string of album covers for the progressive rock dinosaurs Yes, and their assorted band related spin offs.