Friday, 1 April 2011

Gig Review: Bombay Bicycle Club, FOUND, The Seventeenth Century

Miller Filtered Music: Bombay Bicycle Club, FOUND, The Seventeenth Century.
Oran Mor, Glasgow.
30th March 2011

Due to public transport being rubbish, then getting stuck outside in a queue, we join The Seventeenth Century already in progress. Entering a room to the familiar swell of the band and Mark Farmer's distinctive vocals is no bad thing at all really, and thankfully I haven't missed much. Having seen The Seventeenth Century umpteen times before, and having hosted them at one of my own gigs, I know what to expect from them by now, but that doesn't make it any less thrilling. Their on stage energy is infections, and when everything, the almost military drumbeats, violin played as if Mark's life depends on it, blasts of brass, tender guitars and the soaring, sweeping vocals and harmonies - oh especially those harmonies - combine, most notably tonight on set closer, err, Notes a tingle runs down the spine and hair stands on end. This is a band that still gives me goosebumps when I hear them. A recent jaunt to Holland seems to have kept them sharp too, as they remain an incredibly tight band live.

Next up are FOUND, just a few weeks after the last time I saw them (also the first time I'd seen them) launching new album Factorycraft to a packed Captain's Rest. Over a short six song set we get edited highlights of that album, something that just flags out how good the album is. More straightforward than some of their previous material the songs from Factorycraft the "new" (FOUND have been playing these songs for so long that the tag doesn't really apply) material goes for smart, catchy indie-rock. FOUND are never a band short on ideas though, so just because the songs are more straightforward doesn't mean they are even close to dumbed down. Ziggy Campbell's voice has a homely, charming rough edge to it, which when wrapped round some of the cheeky, mischievous lyrics (a choice example being I'll Wake With A Seismic Head No More's "I only ever wanted to put my tongue in your dimples") can't fail to put a smile on my face. Coupled with guitar, bass, and all sorts of percussive and glitchy noises coming from Kev Sim's toys, FOUND make music that practically commands at least an involuntary bobbing of the head, it not a full on excursion into dancing like a loon. Nothing ever outstays it's welcome in the set, where some other bands would milk a song for all it is worth FOUND have a fun habit of coming to a stop on this material, keeping you on your toes. The Phil Spector-esque drums of recent single Machine Age Dancing make a play for being highlight of the night, but that honour falls to You're No Vincent Gallo, a song I've had stuck in my head for roughly 24 hours now without minding a bit. It took me long enough to catch FOUND live, now I find myself wondering how I'll cope without seeing them every few weeks.

They say that familiarity breeds contempt, but on this night the opposite is more appropriate.
Headliners Bombay Bicycle Club aren't well known to me, and unfortunately nothing they do makes me want to delve into their back catalogue to become better acquainted. Opening song Magnet, from debut album I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose, was bouncy and fun enough, but to my ears the rest of their set could have been the same song played repeatedly. Capable musicians, but it all got to feel a bit one dimensional and samey, very quickly.
The young and sizable audience seemed to be having a swell time of it, but this grumpy old man left not offended - Bombay Bicycle Club weren't awful - but unimpressed.

Photos by Claire Thomson

Monday, 28 March 2011

News & Bits - March 28th

Time for me to delve through an inbox full of press releases, trawl Bandcamp, and generally recycle information to pad out my blog posts, hooray. I've been updating this all night, so if you read it when it was first posted there's some new stuff in here now.

New Releases:
New music released this week.
Admiral Fallow's excellent debut album Boots Met My Face gets a full UK wide reissue today. The album is available from all the usual places including eMusic and iTunes digitally and Amazon, HMV and straight from the band's store on CD and of course from all good record shops.
Robin Adams isn't happy releasing just the one album, he has two out today. Be Gone is a stripped back, intimate affair, while Robin Adams' Train Crash Choir is an altogether noisier album. Both are released today.
Errors have a new single out. Magna Encarta is available as a limited 7" and as a download from eMusic, iTunes and Amazon.
GoGoBot release their second single, First Class Fool. Buy it from iTunes or HMV and watch the video here.
Let's Talk About Trees join the Eli and Oz family with the release of their Lumberjack's Lament single. You can get the single from Bandcamp and iTunes.
Profisee becomes the fourth release on the Phuturelabs label with the Logan's Run EP. The EP is available here, or from Bandcamp where you can also pick up previous Phuturelabs releases, all for free.
The Ramisco Maki Maki Rocking Horse has a new EP available on all the good download sites, but you can pick it up for only £1, cheaper than anywhere else, at Bandcamp. Check this week's gig guide for details on a special event The Ramisco Maki Maki Rocking Horse is taking part in on Saturday too.
Weather Barn's latest single The Boat Ride also gets a release today. It too is available from eMusic, iTunes and Amazon, and there's a video here.
How Garbo Died have been busy recording, yet again. I swear if you turn your back on that pair for a minute they record another mini album worth of stuff. The latest collection of recordings, Batch 4: Kai Su Teknom, is available from Bandcamp for free now.
The Darien Venture's new EP, Indications, will be available to pre-order from here on Tuesday morning. Pre-orders will be limited to 30 copies, with a whole host of extras.

The DF Concerts Charity Cup has been put together to raise money for the Save The Children Japan Emergency Appeal. You can find more details and donate here.
Mentioned this in the gig guide yesterday, but just a wee reminder that at the Endor, Randolph's Leap, Amber Wilson and Esperi gig at The Captain's Rest on Thursday, there will be some more fundraising action. I'll have more details shortly, but I hear rumours of face painting, home baking and a special little one off album. You can get tickets for the gig here.
At Blacklands Bowling Club in Kilwinning this Saturday there's a fundraising gig for Yorkhill Hospital. It all kicks off at 1pm and carries on till Midnight, costing a fiver. Playing are The Girobabies, The Paraffins, Annie Stevenson and loads more, full details here.

Dave Hughes, fast becoming a regular at getting things plugged round here, has been giving his website a rejig. Have a visit, and pick up some free music while you are there.
The always excellent Miaoux Miaoux is nearing completion of his second album. As a celebration he is very kindly giving away the first Miaoux Miaoux album, Rainbow Bubbles, as a free download this week. You can get that here.
Another giveaway comes from Shambles Miller. Recorded at his recent appearance at Words Per Minute you can download a little medley, Alice's 99 Problems, here.
Would you like a free sampler of recent and upcoming releases from the Song, By Toad Records label? If you answered no you are an idiot, if you said yes, fill yer boots. That's 16 tracks from the likes of King Post Kitsch (who incidentally I met at the weekend, ruining his enigma reputation), Jesus H. Foxx, The Savings & Loan, Lil Daggers, Meursault and lots more, all for free.
Laeto have popped up again to offer up their first album, Make Us Mild, for free. Get that, and their third album released at the end of last year, here. More offerings from the archives are promised too, so keep an eye out in future.
Rounding off the free stuff for now is a new single from Pose Victorious. Get Cold Hands/Warm Heart here.
Literary Death Match is coming to Glasgow. Working in conjunction with Cargo Publishing, this will be their first ever visit to Glasgow. Award-winning novelist Helen Fitzgerald, performance poet Tim Turnbull, the multi-talented Alan Bissett and promoter and writer Kirstin Innes will be doing battle for literary supremacy under the watchful eye of Scots Makar Liz Lochhead and two other judges at The Arches on April 14th. Advance tickets are £5, available from The Arches, or £8 on the door on the night. More info here.
United Fruit have announced details of their debut album. Titled Fault Lines, the album will be released on May 30th. The band head off on a UK tour on May 12th, ending with an album launch gig at Bloc in Glasgow on May 28th. Here Go Away, Don't Leave Me Alone from the album here.
Matthew Healy (We, The Plural/Loch Awe/General Busy Man) has a new "solo" thing, the recording can be heard here.
The Social Services have a new identity! They are now Tall Tales, and they have a new video to go with the new name.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

This Week's Gigs: 28th March - 3rd April

How about that census/clock change/football match/controversial review huh?
Here's some gigs, in a list, like you usually get on a Sunday. A bit later than normal though, sorry.

Little Miss Higgins. Leith Folk Club.

Another Miller Filtered Music gig, limiting your choice of beer. Good bands though. Tickets are sold out, but there's various competitions running to win some, so look around.
Scott Hutchison (Frightened Rabbit), Haight-Ashbury, Jill O'Sullivan (Sparrow and the Workshop) & Jenny Reeve (Strike The Colours). Stereo. (Tickets)
Red Cross fundraiser gig. No tickets available on the door, so if you want to buy buy in advance.

Endor, Randolph's Leap, Amber Wilson, Esperi. The Captain's Rest. (Tickets)
I hear there will be some fundraising action at this gig too, so take some extra money with you.

Miss the Occupier. McChuills.
Beans On Toast, Dave Hughes. Tunnels 2, Aberdeen.

AcoustoBlaster Tour: Tragic O'Hara, The Ramisco Maki Maki Rocking Horse. Various Glasgow Venues.
For all the details on this, visit here.
Beans On Toast, Dave Hughes. Thompsons Bar, Dundee.
The Girobabies, The Paraffins, Annie Stevenson, more. Blacklands Bowling Club, Kilwinning.
Fundraising gig for Yorkhill Hospital. It all kicks off at 1pm and carries on till Midnight, costing a fiver. Playing are The Girobabies, The Paraffins, Annie Stevenson and loads more, full details here.