Saturday, 30 July 2011

I've Been Listening To...

No Soap (In A Dirty War) - Reverend & the Makers

And sticking on the theme of music, I finally framed my Stornoway ticket (signed by Rob and Oli) and the EP made by Rob (see the video of the making of it here). I think it looks pretty damn cool aha :)

Yes, I know the photos are rubbish and they don't really do it justice, but I was in a rush. I promise it looks better in the flesh! My framed Stornoway poster is currently leaning against the radiator, waiting for my dad to put it up for me (I'm no good with a hammer...), and as soons as it's up I'll show you a pic.

Read my interview with Rob here.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Black Cab Sessions

Today's post is going to be more video-heavy than text-heavy as I think that the videos really just speak for themselves. I love Black Cab Sessions as it's some a simple idea, but the music that gets produced in the sessions is amazing - the bands/artists can't rely on electronic equipment, and so perform accoustic sessions, rather like Burberry Acoustic, and WatchListenTell. My only question though, is why haven't Stornoway done one yet?!

Band of Horses
Cloud Control
Dry The River
I Blame Coco

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Musical Roots: London

I've decided to do a new music feature on my blog, but I wanted each post to have a theme around it, so I decided on 'Musical Roots'. Each month I'll feature a new district/city/country and showcase some of my favourite bands from that place. For July, I decided to start off with the place I know best of all, being London!

Goldheart Assembly
 I only discovered this band recently, but already I love them. They're quite similar to Stornoway, in that they often use unusual instruments in their songs such as metal radiator guards and steam engines (well according to wikipedia anyway!).

Hope Hung High

Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit
Not to sure if they're actually from London (as Johnny Flynn himself is from Hampshire) but again Wikipedia says they are so I'm just gonna roll with that. They're a bit different to the music I usually listen to, as they're quite folky. If you're looking for a comparison, I guess they're quite similar to Mumford and Sons (who for the record I think are overrated). But Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit in my opinion, are really good, so I recommend that you give them a listen.

Tickle Me Pink

Noah and the Whale 
I'm guessing most of you will have heard Noah and the Whale before, or at least recognise some of their songs. Who can forget '5 Years Time', the insanely catchy song that was played on the radio and in shops constantly back in 2008?! Since then they've released two more albums, which are both very different to their debut album, 'Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down' which is always a good thing. My only criticism would be that often the songs from each album sound quite similar to others on that album.

5 Years Time

Golden Silvers
Discovered them via the great invention that is 'WatchListenTell' Originally it was the name that attracted me to them, perhaps because I like shiny things (!). But since listening to their music I love them. They've already played on Jools Holland, and have supported Blur at a concert in Hyde Park, so they're definitely going places!

Magic Touch

They provide the soundtrack to my childhood as their first album was released back in 2000 when I was just a wee youngster. Each song just has so many memories, cheesy as it sounds! Plus I love that they're one of the few bands out there that relies so heavily on the piano, which might irritate some people, but for me there's nothing more satisfying than a good old piano melody!

It was so difficult to choose a song by Coldplay to put on here, there are just an insane amount of amazing ones to choose from! In the end I went for the one that I think is the most recognisable, and that I definitely have the most amount of memories from.

Note: I'd love to hear your feedback, and if you have any more suggestions of good bands from London. Also if you know of a city/country/etc.. that has a particularly good music scene then please do share, comments are always appreciated!

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Stornoway at Somerset House

'I'm not the most relaxed I've ever been, not just because we're next to the Inland Revenue', Brian Briggs, lead singer, relates to the audience of 3000 packed into the courtyard of Somerset House. But there's no sign of his nervousness in his singing - his voice soars over the harmonies without missing a note, and in the case of 'The Bigger Picture' it cast enraptured silence over the crowd. However, there were also moments that got everybody singing along; cue 'Watching Birds' - a fast paced, uplifing tune that you can't help but belt your heart out to.
     We were also treated to some new songs amongst the old favourites. 'When You Touch Down From Outerspace' is a jaunty song about aliens landing in Oxfordshire. With its fun lyrics, and catchy hooks it was sure to be a crowd-pleaser, and judging from all the wooping at the end, the audience were fans.

'Farewell Appalachia!', by contrast offered a more mellow sound - Brian's haunting voice was so beautiful, and the setting of Somerset House illuminated in the darkness seemed a perfect atmosphere for the song.

Adam casually sawing away in the background

It was not Brian alone that made it such a magical night though. The band were joined on stage by the North Sea Radio Orchestra, who provided beautiful introductions for several of the songs along with Rahul on the violin. Jon's little jaunt on the banjo was cheerful, Oli's playing of the double bass was gentle but powerful (I once read somewhere that he played his bass 'like a melody instrument' and I completely agree with that); and Rob's steady drumming kept everything driving along. He even produced the infamous saw at one point in 'Beachcomber's Windowsill' and played it with a violin bow much to the delight of the audience. Even Adam took a break from the trumpet at one point to saw a plank of wood - a talking point, but perhaps not a particularly strong musical feature. Nonetheless, Stornoway's rich variety of instruments added depth and interest to each song, in particular 'On The Rocks' which although I have to say is one of my least favourite songs on the album, proved to be a lot more exciting live thanks to Rahul's catchy violin playing halfway through.
     After some quieter, more sensitive songs, and a couple of technical hitches, the evening ended on a high with a rendition of 'Zorbing'. It's extremely difficult not to sing along and feel happy, especially when the trumpet comes in. So overall a wonderful evening, and if you haven't yet checked out Stornoway I definitely recommend that you do.

 Read my interview with Rob Steadman (drummer) from Stornoway here, or visit their  website:

Rob caught mid-swish. Dare I say that he seems to be channeling a bit of Jedward?!

Saturday, 2 July 2011

I've Been Listening To...

Book of Stories - The Drums 

Currently preparing for my birthday party this evening, fingers crossed the rain stays off! 
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