Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Jamie T at Southampton Guildhall (2/2/2010)

A young girl with homemade Jamie T T-shirt (complete with lyrical quotes) was strategically placed at the front- crushing in to the barrier. From this sight, it was expected to be a manic night.

Jamie T’s careless swagger on stage reflected the free spiritedness in which he performs- with energy and conviction. Politically charged lyrics of ‘British Intelligence’ were reflected in the spasmodic break out of ‘we hate the government’ speeches- which served to further hype the audience.

Manic energy was juxtaposed against the subtle but crass beauty of ‘Back in the Game’, played solo by Jamie and his bass guitar. Clich├ęd performance moves were fortunately not present, taken place with Jamie’s signature down to earth style- found in both set design and strong bond shared with the audience.

To top off, an encore of latest single, ‘Stick and Stones’ was played at an alarmingly fast pace, after Jamie asks the audience to show their appreciation and ‘throw anything you have in your hands at me’-but this boy’s not silly- warning that ‘you gotta be prepared to take it back’.

A hair full of beer later, the stage is carpeted with bottles, bras and shoes… and audience is pleasingly drenched in sweat. ‘Will u have us back next year?’ he shouts. I don’t think we could stop you from coming.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Some recent reviews..

Below are some recent reviews I have written for the website Glasswerk.co.uk. Have a look at the website if you want to see anymore..or to hear any of the bands- all should be available on myspace.

Flood of Red, 'Home Run'
Track, 'Home Run' is fresh from the mouths of Scotland's emo-punk band Flood of Red, and offers up a commercially satisfying sample of their work. Opening with guitars that could almost be heard on a Franz Ferdinand debut track, 'Home Run' slowly morphs, with the help of fast-pace drumming in to an epic pop-punk anthem the likes of Lostprophets or Kids in Glass Houses would be happy to accept as their own. Don't be fooled though, this is no ordinary offering from the pop punk world, the vocal is drenched in a thick Scottish accent and thus brought down to earth and dragged from the usual connotations of cheese. Singer Jordan Spiers stretches his vocal to newer and more haunting heights, portraying a gentler side to the band and through sheer musicality their music can be lifted from the grasp of the usual stereotypes.

However 'Home Run' for the sake of commercial success, does play to certain stereotypes with its all encompassing whiney lyrics that could be taken to lack originality, but then in this genre of music, what are we to expect? Within their limits, Flood of Red manage to draw on the popular aspects of the musical genre they are bound to be pigeon holed in to. Despite this though, they are capable of maintaining a shred of individuality without puncturing their chances of success.

If you've been searching for a band to tantalize your pop-rock tastebuds... then look no further.

Everything Everything, 'My Keys Your Boyfriend'

Manchester's undoubtedly in for a shock when their genre-hopping born and bred band, Everything Everything creep out of the woodwork in what you may expect to be a sparkly space suit. Imagine a band that is able to flirt with as many musical influences as you've had hot dinners, and it may sound a little something like 'My Keys Your Boyfriend'.

Once you've become accustomed to the chop and change of true 80's synth, not so far from the likes of Duran Duran, to the vocals that at one minute sound like Futureheads lead singer- Barry Hyde- to the operatic class of Freddie Mercury, 'My Keys Your Boyfriend' becomes infectiously catchy. There are several layers that you have to brave through though to get to this, but once you've found it there's no going back... you're hooked.

On paper, melody, lyrics and even rhythm should be laughed off as a crazy person's jib, but it works nonetheless. Playing to the part of the mind that holds your guilty pleasures, 'My Keys Your Boyfriend' certainly satisfies. However, when trying to make head or tail of the track, the musical complexities of the song may overpower any attempts of analysis.

Second track, 'NASA Is On Your Side' follows suit in that it holds a similar amount of genre fusion but perhaps at a slightly calmer level. Instead of being overcome with the desire to be an astronaut as you may expect from the title, coupled with assumptions drawn from the nature of the first track, 'NASA Is On Your Side' offers a toned-down Everything Everything. This is not to say however, that it resembles anything remotely mainstream of course, but it may be easier to swallow.

Dangers in these tracks lie in Everything Everything's ability to perform the songs live. Although if they are able to create this musical compostion in the first place, something tells me they might just have a way of creating the same delight live.

The tracks are fun and above all, make you smile at something different. As the band name suggests... they really do have Everything Everything.