Sunday, 29 March 2015

The Leisure Society 'The Fine Art Of Hanging On' (ALBUM REVIEW)

It’s just over half a decade since Nick Hemming, Christian Hardy and their joint venture ‘The Leisure Society’, first garnered attention with their startlingly good debut ‘The Sleeper’, an opulent collection of laboriously crafted compositions yielding a brace of Ivor Novello nominations. Their next two albums ‘Into the Murky Water’ and ‘Alone Aboard the Ark’ both graced the charts and they’ve attracted numerous admiration from notable peers along the way including Brian Eno, Ray Davies (whose studios the band utilized for ‘Alone Aboard the Ark’) and Guy Garvey.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

'Triptick' (II). Three Studies Of Beers (Mad Hatter Brewing Co. Edition)

Mad Hatter Brewing have just turned Two, and only having had a few of their beers before, I took a trip to deepest Armley to pick up a selection from Raynville Superstore. An unassuming neighbourhood convenience shop from the outside, the owner's Son has been busy stocking the shelves with the best craft beer from the UK and beyond. Along with the three Mad Hatter picks I'm drinking tonight, I also restocked with more Thornbridge and Wild Beer bottles, at a very reasonable price.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Balthazar 'Thin Walls' (ALBUM REVIEW & INTERVIEW)

Having been a resident in the North for nearly two decades, it has been painfully apparent for most of that time that a small number of bands have cast a long shadow over any wannabe local musicians of an indie persuasion, seeking to evolve the sound from where Messrs Brown, Marr and Gallagher left off. Barring the odd exception, no like-minded UK outfit has really been able to set the world alight since those heady days a couple of decades or more ago. 

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Rozi Plain 'Friend' (ALBUM & LIVE REVIEW)

Winchester doesn’t really strike you as a destination that boasts a rich rock and roll history, in fact one has to visit a certain search engine to find out more of the city’s pop notables. Blazing the trail albeit via a stay in Bristol is free-spirited singer-songwriter Rozi Plain, back with a new release on Lost Map Records entitled ‘Friend’, a personification of unhurried quirky introspection with indietronic overtones. Rozi has made plenty of friends along the way to her third, and it has to be said pretty fab album, some of whom have contributed to the dreamy chilled-out vibe on the ten songs.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Lucy Rose (LIVE REVIEW) Leeds Brudenell Social Club - Sunday March 15th 2015

As I hurriedly arrive at The Brudenell Social Club for tonight’s gig, the venue front usually busy with punters getting in their last cigarettes before the show starts is empty, and the car park is bursting to capacity with cars in every nook and cranny. This can only mean one thing, Lucy Rose has started, oh and it’s clearly going to be very busy.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Brewing beer for a day with 'Learn To Brew UK' (Update - Beer complete)

I've become something of an obsessive (nerd?) over beer in the last six months or so. Not that a craft beer or a real ale is something that's particularly new to me, just that I've discovered there's so much more to 'a beer' than the local supermarket or pub may be offering. My palate has latched on to specific tastes, and the aromas of a beer are tantalising my thirsty taste buds. Discovering a fine new ale or learning of a brewery's rich history or new found glory has become akin to my other love – music, and there are mirrored patterns emerging in what has become a new passion in my life. So much so I decided I must have a go at putting together a brew from home myself. 

Inventions 'Maze Of Woods' (Album Review)

If a picture tells a thousand words then a song paints a thousand pictures, and on ‘Maze of Woods’ Inventions are streaming at 1080p. This is the second album from the collaboration between Eluvium’s Matthew Cooper and Mark T Smith of Explosions in the Sky, and as you would expect it is an exquisitely crafted and perfectly poised slice of escapism. 

Monday, 9 March 2015

'Triptick' (I). 3 studies of beers (Thornbridge & Buxton Edition)

Tonight, I'm cracking some big beers from either side of the Peak District. Thornbridge and Buxton are two of the leading lights of the UK beer scene, both well established but ceaselessly innovative and consistently producing quality beer. My three selections tonight are bold, strong and new to me...

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Cold War Kids 'Hold My Home' (ALBUM REVIEW)

Californian caterwaulers Cold War Kids return with long player number 5 and this time, former touring members Matt Schwartz and Joe Plummer have been formally included in the band, both receiving proper credits for the first time on this album.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

The War On Drugs - (LIVE REVIEW) Nottingham Rock City March 1st 2015

Photo - Graham Talbot

Perhaps within the mass-stream of consciousness, the arrival of The War on Drugs (TWOD) appears something of a recent phenomenon. However, as the Philadelphian outfit prove tonight at Nottingham’s Rock City, the extraordinary success of their most recent album is nothing but a moment of clarity in what has been a long search, both musically and personally, for fulfilment.

Kate Tempest - (LIVE REVIEW) Leeds Brudenell Social Club, 14th February 2015

Caught in a maelstrom of accusatory descriptions; award winning poet; glottal stopping rapper; Brit school graduate; nothing Kate Tempest does fits easily into a press releasable box. Rapping since she was old enough to talk, with a diversion into poetry and spoken word performance, debut album Everybody Down sought to combine the two. Managing it masterfully, it tells the tale of a triumvirate of characters as they make their way through the obstacle course that is 21st century London, pairing Tempest's observations with the sparse backdrop of producer Dan Carey's stylings.