William Control w/ Obscure Pleasures – Electrowerkz, Islington 05/05/2013

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For those of you who haven’t heard of it, Islington’s Electrowerkz is a reasonably small, industrial focused venue not far from Angel tube station. It keeps up the industrial theme inside, where the actual venue feels like the background of a Victorian warehouse. Oh, and the toilets are unisex..

It’s actually the perfect venue for the night, as the mix of industrial, electro and ‘goth’ (I always use the term loosely) bands lined up for to perform will attest.

Due to some house-moving issues (read: I moved house on Sunday), I only arrived in time to see the last support acts take the stage. I found out later that the wonderful Fearless Vampire Killers were special guests, which makes it even more disappointing that I missed the other supports.

The support, whose name I couldn’t find anywhere (Obscure Pleasures have pulled out of tonight’s show) are obvious fans of Joy Division, based on their musical content. They’re also definite ones for theatrics, having a male (or female, I couldn’t tell) dressed as a mannequin for nothing more than stage decoration. The band made a good show of feigning paralysis during segments of their songs, even crawling to the floor for their finale.

By the time William Control takes the stage, the audience is still slim pickings. It doesn’t deter him though, as he launches into the crowd, hugging members of his support acts at random. The crowd sing along religiously, with the first three rows turning into some kind of goth club night, bodies jumping up and down to the dark beats.

There’s still a remnant of his days at the frontman of Aiden, as he twirls the mike leads across the stage, or spits out water into the audience’s faces. With his slick-back hair and suit though, there’s something much more debonair about him than his younger incarnation. The boundless energy is still there, and its what’s always been key in William Control / Wil Francis‘ performances. It’s what grabs the crowds attention and holds it. Its why every band on this bill clearly look to him as a role model.

It’s a shame there’s such a thin crowd, but that may be more due to the over 18 limit on the venue, than the actual draw of the act. Because this is really something not to be missed.

RC xx

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Yeah Yeah Yeahs New Video ‘Sacrilege’

I’ve really missed the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. They probably haven’t even been away that long, but it always feels like forever. I guess they’re not always the most public of bands and, for me at least, their best work was by far ‘Maps’ which sums up just about every crush I’ve ever had. Not to mention their fan-made video for ‘Cheating Hearts’, which features my hometown in it (briefly).

‘Sacrilege’, the band’s new single continues their indie dance party leanings and pushes it into a more electro sphere (basically, it adds a disco ball). The eerie video features  model / actress Lily Cole, looking very disturbed, but actually says a lot about women in society, if you dig deep enough. As a hint, I’m pretty sure the timeline is backwards.

If you, like me, have yet to see the band live, I suggest you check them out on their upcoming US / UK / Europe tour this Spring. As per usual, dates are available on their Facebook page here. Tell you what, if you go, I’ll go? Is that fair?

Anyway, ‘Sacrilege’ is the first single from the band’s upcoming album ‘Mosquito’, out on April 15. Let’s hope the rest of the songs are this good!

RC xx

New Music Monday – Attention Thieves

Fact: Bands from South East England are seriously overlooked. I would know. I’m a Home Counties kid myself, growing up with the likes of Hundred Reasons and Reuben. I’ve seen many a good band disappear, never getting the recognition they deserve.

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One band that look set to break the trend is Reading natives Attention Thieves. The four piece formed in 2008 and have already had praise from the big rock magazines – Kerrang, Rock Sound and Big Cheese. They’ve even bagged themselves a play on Radio 1 after an impressive set on the BBC Introducing Stage at Reading and Leeds last year. Oh, and they’ve won a Best Grunge/Hard Rock Group award from a  radio station in Washington, DC.

Their sound is straight up British rock, with a post hardcore streak down the middle and a few punchy, punky choruses thrown in for good measure.

The band are releasing their new single ‘Can’t See The Light’ (think a slightly metal Hell Is For Heroes) on March 11. Track is below for your listening pleasure..

Clearly not ones to take a break, they’ve also got  a much-hyped UK tour coming up this February / March with pop punks Neck Deep. For a full list of dates, check their facebook (London show is free entry!).

 

RC xx

Lower Than Atlantis – Go On Strike (PARENTAL ADVISORY)

Its still snowing here (booo) so I’ve been stuck indoors again. Today consisted of trying to remove the rust from a Wii remote. It did not work. Luckily, after an hour or so of trying, I found another controller.

Anyway, here’s a bit of feel-good fun to cheer everyone up. Herts punk-rockers Lower Than Atlantis have released their new video for ‘Go On Strike’, taken from their third album ‘Changing Tune’ out now. Its the perfect soundtrack for anyone who thinks Christmas finished too early last year..

You can catch the band on tour in the UK this April. Dates on their facebook here.

RC xx

The Nightmare After Christmas Tour, The Star Inn 8/1/13

The back room of Guildford’s Star Inn is starting to buzz. Tonight, The Nightmare After Christmas tour is bringing local heroes Orestea back to the arms of their loyal fans.
Geek rockers Critical Hit warm things up with a dose of pop-culture covers, from Pokemon to Team America, which has the room singing along (though some maybe only in their heads).
Next up is Bristol goth-punks Ashestoangels. Tearing through their set, vocalist Crilly decides there’s not enough room on the stage (he’s already crashed into two of his bandmates) and promptly jumps straight into the crowd. As he screams into the faces of the girls in the front row, it’s hard to tell if they’re terrified or enthral led, or both.
After a brief pause, Orestea take the stage. For reasons that go unexplained, four of the five band members have decided to paint their faces, Kiss-style. (I hear they tried the look out the night before and were escorted out of a local park).
New song ‘Miss Catastrophe’ goes down well in the suddenly-packed room, particularly with the girls in front, who seem to be emulating frontwoman Lisa’s striking turquoise locks.
Her perfectly clear voice soars through, not faltering even when she joins the crowd to lead the jumping along. (It works well).
Expect some good things from their second album, coming later this year.
RC xx

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On Tour This Month – January 2013

Stuck for things to do this month? Here’s my pick of the best tours for January 2013. Get your tickets now for some (almost) guaranteed great nights out..

Funeral For A Friend

South Wales Post-hardcores hit the UK and Ireland with melodic hardcore band Such Gold, I Divide and Major League. US punks Daytrader have pulled out of the tour. Dates are here.

The Nightmare After Christmas

Female fronted melodic metallers Orestea take on the UK with a bit of help from Bristol 5-piece Ashestoangels. Tickets and info here.

Asking Alexandria

Harcore / screamo quintet tour the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe this month. For a really good night, go to Brixton, Birmingham  or Manchester, where While She Sleeps and Motionless in White are supporting. Check out the dates here.

The Blackout

Welsh post-hardcore boys bring their partying ways to the UK this January, then mainland Europe for the Vans off the Wall music nights in February. More info here.

We Are The Ocean

The Essex four piece will be playing the hits from their latest album ‘Maybe Today, Maybe Tomorrow’. Catch them in the UK this month and next. Dates and tickets here.

RC xx

Friday Classic – We Are The Ocean – Nothing Good Has Happened Yet

This has to be one of my favourite songs of all time. Essex four piece We Are The Ocean have been blending melodic verses and screaming choruses since before it was cool. This piece of rocking goodness is from their self-titled debut album, which came out in 2008.

What are they up to now?

The band have just released their fourth album ‘Maybe Today, Maybe Tomorrow’  and are on tour in the UK from January. Check the dates on their facebook page.

RC xx

Enter Shikari, The Roundhouse 16/12/12

Walking up to Camden’s Roundhouse on a Sunday evening, you can’t help but notice the crowd. Snaking along the road, past the petrol station, masses of skinny jeans and hoodies.
Apparently security have implemented new rules about mobile phones, meaning that only ten gig goers are being let in at a time. The queue for the cloakroom is growing steadily.
Inside, Cancer Bats are giving it their best, despite a poor soundsytem and fairly minimal crowd (most are still outside).
A recorded message counts down the minutes to Enter Shikari, with thundering applause. The headliners blaze onto the stage and promptly destroy it, frantically clambering onto amps and diving into the crowd.
This outpouring of unbelievable energy lasts the entire performance, the audience meeting it with mosh pits appearing in every corner of the room. New tracks ‘Gandhi mate, Gandhi’ and ‘Warm Smiles Do Not Make You Welcome Here’ go down as well as old favourite ‘Return To Energiser’.
Before going offstage, the band apologise for the delay on entering, a touching moment that serves as a reminder of how close knit they are to their fans.
After a brief pause, they return for the encore, bringing out a member of their stage crew to propose to his girlfriend. She says yes (obviously) and the entire audience cheers as glitter explodes across the stage.
As the crowd filters out to the sound of classic dance hits, the floor is lost under a sea of cups, glitter and Santa hats. Job well done, guys.

RC x

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The Rasmus – Electric Theatre 14/12/12

Last night I went to see Finnish rockers The Rasmus at the Electric Theatre in Camden. I saw the band in their hometown, Helsinki earlier this year while I was travelling round Finland, so was pretty excited to see them back in the UK.

The show started off pretty slowly. There were more than a few problems with the soundsystem, frontman Lauri Ylonen’s vocals disappearing from time to time, and the song choices seem to miss out many of the band’s most well known (or current) material. However, about halfway into the show, ‘Living in a World Without You’ finally wakes up the crowd and the room echoes with voices singing back.

‘In The Shadows’ typically goes down well, as does the band’s new single ‘Mysteria’. “They’re playing all my favourite songs”, gushes the girl beside me, dancing away happily. I’m not so convinced.

It’s hard to compare with their previous performance, a hometown show will always be infinitely better than a night abroad, nearing the end of a five week tour. Its fairly likely that tiredness and a restrictive stage contributed to the slow start, but the crowd still seem happy. (On my way out, I note that the band’s tour DVD has already sold out. Always a good sign).

Anyway, I’ll leave you with their new video.

RC xx