AlunaGeorge and Alpines took to the stage at New Slang for the Kingston club night’s first show back at McClusky’s.
The Temper Trap play the first of two sold-out shows in the capital, showcasing a handful of classic tracks and showcasing their new self-titled album. (Am-azing.)
Review of King Charles’ headline show at The Boileroom, Guildford.
Review of London’s S.C.U.M at Bush Hall last week, headlining their contribution to the vast array of NME Awards shows.
Anja McCloskey’s decision to go solo was probably the best decision she has ever made. The former ‘Irrepressibles’ member releases her new single, ‘A Kiss’ next week on Sotones Records and it’s a folky whirlwind of goodness. Anja shows off her elegant vocal and impressive vocal scale, a fitting demonstration of how she is far too talented to be hiding amongst an orchestra of ten people, gaining no real exposure. Her past and vocals aside, the backing in ‘A Kiss’ is a decent run of swishy chamber pop, with McClosky’s accordion playing being her USP. It also features Thomas Tantrum’s David Miatt, who provides an manly contrast to Anja’s sweet sound. B-side ‘Black Coffee’ has a similar understated feel with her dramatic voice and sincere words, ‘You’re so far from the truth,’ 2012 is going to be a good year for folk with influence Sharon Van Etten releasing her third album and Anja already being featured as ‘Track of the Day’ by Q Magazine. It’ll be exciting to see what is in store for Miss McCloskey.
Review of Spector and Theme park’s London show at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club over on ‘Never Enough Notes.’
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from tonight’s show is how much Elliot Gleave AKA the mighty chart topping Example and his Electropop support Fenech Soler love a blinding light sequence, yes it adds to the ever-intense atmosphere. But, sometimes less is more and let’s just hope no one is epileptic.
Lighting aside, Brixton is rammed tonight in prep for Example. But everyone has to witness the electro goodness of Northampton’s Fenech-Soler, who many are surprised by. They do the job well, their frantic beats and good lyrics gets the crowd excited. Fenech-Soler have had a tough year, after vocalist Ben Duffy’s cancer battle but he’s beaten the killer and Fenech-Soler are rearing to go, with big prospects. The foursome include, ‘Lies’, ‘Golden Sun’ and ‘Demons.’ All getting a fantastic reception from the critical Brixton crowd.
‘We Came. We Saw. We Killed The Crowd’ are words repeated by Example from, ‘Hooligans’ during his pumping performance. And boy, are they true. The crowd bow to their singer/rapper hero as he destroys the room. Everyone is full of beans tonight, revelling in his orders of jumping as high as you can and getting ‘nasty’ with some mosh pits in the remarkably dark ‘Playing In The Shadows.’ Everyone here tonight are the ‘real’ Example fans, this show sold out long before the rest leapt on the chart bandwagon and brought tickets for his 02 show next year. He’s appreciates the crowd coming out tonight and fulfilling his dream of headlining this place, the London boy done good. He doesn’t forget his roots; he plays a few numbers from last years, ‘Won’t Go Quietly.’ ‘Watch The Sun Come Up’ reminds everyone of their beautiful Summers on this chilly December night, after getting everyone to scream ‘Hey Good morning.’ ‘Kickstarts’ ignites some serious sing-along’s and ‘See The Sea’ sees some serious arm waving (not expected at this gig) to the inspirational lines, ‘Freedom fighter, new horizons.’
The band star in this Example show. They bring the beats and bass, riffs and polished sequences to life. Example thanks them all, lets face it without them this show would be nothing. ‘Midnight Run’ and ‘Under The Influence’ gets the fingers up in the air, but nothing like how the flagging room responded to, ‘Changed The Way You Kissed Me.’ This tune put Example on the world map and it’s pretty amazing. I’ve never seen people jump so high as they relish in the moment and rap along with their man Example. Tonight has shown why Example has the fans, dedicated or new they all believe in him and loose their woes in the music. One thing would have made it even better though, if Ed Sheeran had joined him for a bit of ‘Nandos Skank’…
Minneapolis four-piece, Howler played a brilliant show last week at The Garage. Their first ever UK show before they head off to support The Vaccines on their nationwide tour this month.
Check out my review over on, ‘Never Enough Notes.’
Camp Basement may possibly be the hottest venue on earth tonight and it shows no signs to cooling down for the arrival of Zulu Winter. In fact it’s about to get a whole lot hotter. For a band who have only ever played a few shows before, supporting Clock Opera and Double Denim label buddies Outfit, judging from the dingy rammed room, tonight proves how the ‘hype’ messenger can spread like a rash,
And boy do the Londoners prove their worth at their first EVER headline show. Everyone here has the right idea. ‘Quick, we better go and see Zulu Winter before they get big and everyone starts referring to them as ‘their’ band.’ Great plan!
ZW are brilliant, bold and fearless, they play a future-defining set, soon causing The Basement to get caught up in their captivating blend of, well everything. This group don’t have a specific genre as such, it’s kind of an alternative-tribal-synthed-up funk fest, which is why they are stimulating people. They’ve only put two tracks online, which make up their debut single, launched this evening. ‘Never Leave’ and ‘Let’s Move Back to Front’, both get a play, along with a snippet of what’s to come including track, ‘Silver Tongue.’
The crammed stage is their own tonight (not just because it’s tiny) but because they perform as though they’re playing at a much bigger venue. Their warm, exotic projections decorate the stage and just add that final glaze to their sparkling set. Zulu Winter are making an entrance and are starting as they mean to go on; don’t think they’ll be leaving us very soon.
Mona have a spark that ignites the room, it also gets under everyone’s skin and stir them up to empower It’s just their whole persona and sheer gift that bewilders one. The Nashville rockers descend on Shepherd’s Bush tonight, which is the half way marker of their intimate 4-date UK tour.
‘FiN’ open the stage tonight, a South London outfit who are ones to watch, believe me. New release, ‘It Changes Everything’ is the highlight. Its twangy riffs and effortless strength in quiff-clad singer Luke Joyce’s voice make them stand out. I wonder if Nick Brown gave him any tips on that, or vice versa.
To follow that, ‘Transfer’ are up next. Mona’s fellow countrymen, based in Cali put on a decent set, they sure can perform but it just lacks charisma and just doesn’t do it for me. They do have a following though, some of whom are standing proud here tonight, so they must have some effect on people.
This show may not have sold out in advance, which is surprising but it certainly looks it by the time the four piece come on. As soon as Mona take to the stage and Nick Brown starts to sing in to his vintage mic, everyone is stunned. Yes, he has a powerful voice on record but to have this live too is just amazing. The women in the room swoon over his charm of 50’s heartthrobs James Dean and Johnny Cash (who Mona lovingly dedicate a song too.)
Due to their 50’s inspired sound, the demographic here tonight is very mixed. The older generation in the room have obviously had a hard week at work and now just want to go wild. ‘Teenager’ seems the appropriate song for them to jump around and loose themselves as if they were well, teenagers again. ‘Listen To Your Love’ is the same, though now they’ve all won’t let the ‘whoahs’ go and they are heard throughout the gig. It’s now an almost iconic mantra replacing the conventional ‘Mona’ chant.
Some aspects of their stage presence are nice and old-fashioned. Nick Brown introduces the rest of the band as the crowd applaud and remind them that it’s not just a one-man band. They’re also very grateful for where they are today, as he tells of how they walked past Shepherd’s Bush and said ‘One day.’ And here they are. They play favourites from their debut, ‘Lines In The Sand’, ‘Trouble On The Way’ and the slower ‘Pavement’, before Brown ditches the static mic an grabs the modern kind to begin his audience sweep for ‘Shooting The Moon.’ He makes his way across the barrier greeting his admiring fans before standing on the speaker to finish this stint as everyone shouts along in his gritty and aggressive way. The emotive and goosebump inflicting, ‘Say You Will’ follows to end with ‘Lean In To The Fall’, giving everyone their final offering of Mona’s beauty.
They certainly do not get enough credit for what they are about and their talent, people need to see sense and jump on the Mona bandwagon. Oh and for the record tonight has proved that they are NOT just a band trying to impersonate Kings of Leon, just because they’re from same state, it doesn’t mean they haven’t got their own stamp. Dare I say Mona have better one, fresh and modest. Yes. Mona deserve the big time.