Tracks Monkeys With Lasers

And So I Watch You From Afar @ Borderline – 08/04
May 10, 2010, 9:08 pm
Filed under: gigs, music | Tags: , ,

This was a gig I’d almost forgotten I’d gone to actually as I’ve seen these guys so many times. As I can’t find a setlist to jog my memory, it may well be a brief review but it’s still something!

As I have already said, this is one of many ASIWYFA gigs I’ve been to over the last 18 months or so but was at another venue that I had never visited in the Borderline. Having been a busy boy that day at uni, I arrived a little bit later but turned up just in time for the set from LaFaro.

I caught LaFaro live before when they supported ASIWYFA on a previous tour at the Bull & Gate. I enjoyed their set back then and they were a band I meant to keep an eye on. I did no such thing in the end and their set at the Borderline reminded me why I held them in high regard at the time. With their debut album finally imminent, they played a great set. Playing a high energy, punk rock sound, they get the whole crowd going with some strong songs and they looked even more confident and comfortable on stage now. Definitely a band to catch if you can!

After that, it was time for And So I Watch You From Afar to take to the stage. As always, their set was made up of pure energy, volume and brilliance. Despite the number of shows I’ve seen, they always seem to impress me.

This tour was alongside the release of the Letters EP so most of the tracks from this got a live outing, with ‘D Is For Django The Bastard’ sounding great with it’s huge drum fills. The standard live tracks were all there, such as ‘If It Ain’t Broke, Break It’ and the unstoppable ‘Set Guitars To Kill’ got the crowd whipped up into a frenzy during the encore while the longer, more melodic tracks including ‘TheseRIOTSareJUSTtheBEGINNING’ and the album closer ‘Eat The City, Eat It Whole’ also sounded as good as ever.

The one thing that sets these guys apart from most bands I have seen is their on stage presence and this gig was no exception. The normal moves of jumping around stage, duelling guitars and runs into the crowd were all there again. The one that sticks out the most though was when Tony went into the crowd and gave his guitar to a stunned member of the audience to play which was a very cool touch.

This may not have been the best show I’ve seen from these boys; that title still goes to the show with Maybeshewill at the Good Ship. However, it’s always great to see them live and they always offer something a little different each time.

I’m just glad I finally remembered to take my earplugs this time..

And So I Watch You From Afar – D Is For Django The Bastard (live)

Top 20 Albums of 2009

Here we are; the not-at-all prestigious list of the best albums of the year as decided by me.

It’s been a good year for music in my opinion and I’ve listened to well over 50 albums of varying quality this year so trimming it down to 20 was no easy feat and plenty of bands only just missed the cut (sorry Cymbals Eat Guitars, Crocodiles, The Strange Boys, We Were Promised Jetpacks etc) but 20 is more than enough for y’all.

I do find these things quite hard to do though asI find it hard to compare an album I’ve been listening to for 6 months to one I only heard for the first time a couple of weeks ago. As such, this top 20 is how I felt on the day of compiling the list (it has in fact changed a fair few times since it was first put together) and there are probably some albums that should be in there that I haven’t heard at all.

As it’s the season of giving and all that (“it’s better to give than to receive” as my university so eloquently puts it) I’ve even put together a couple of podcasts featuring some of my favourite tracks off the albums listed here plus a few extra songs for good measure. Add to that my nervous ramblings and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t give it a listen. I’ve put these at the top of the post so you can download and listen to them without giving away the list if you’re that way inclined. Just click on the links below and download them from megaupload.

Best of 2009 Podcast Part 1: Albums 20-11

Download here

Best of 2009 Podcast Part 2: Albums 10-1

Download here

Apologies for the second one being a fair bit bigger and having some terrible editing at the end but the podcasting software crashed during the final songs so I had to hash the files together. It’s worth downloading though, honest!

And so on to the list!

20 – The Anomalies: Free Soup Social

Podcast track: Oldskool

A fun little album that never seems to take itself too seriously, MC Goldseal, Mouthmaster Murf, Lo and DJ Mayhem have made a cracking little indie hip-hop album.

19 – Fuck Buttons: Tarot Sport

Podcast track: Surf Solar

The first of the ‘electronica’ type bands to make the list, this album gets off to a flyer with the sublime Surf Solar, which is well up there for one of the best tracks of the year. Sadly, I feel the rest of the album doesn’t match this level which is a great shame and which is why I can only put it at 19. A few more listens, and a bit more time, and I will undoubtedly believe it should be higher.

18 – Animal Collective: Brother Sport

Podcast track: Brother Sport

An album that was a real slow burner for me with regards to liking it, I’ve finally come round to the album having originally dismissed it. This is partly after listening to it a lot more after seeing them live and also finding that I much prefered it through speakers to earphones for some reason. This is the only album of theirs I own and the sort of ‘wall of sound’ approach of the album has grown on me massively.

17 – Noah & The Whale: The First Days of Spring

Podcast track: Blue Skies

I never listened to their first album so came into this one fresh. A rather melancholy album, not surprising seeing as it’s almost entirely about the singer’s breakup with his (then) girlfriend Laura Marling, but this doesn’t stop it being a beautiful album. The highlight is easily the track ‘Blue Skies but the track ‘Love of an Orchestra’ sandwiched between two instrumental tracks is brilliantly grandiose and pompous.

16 – Maybeshewill – Sing The Word Hope In Four-Part Harmony

Podcast track: Co-Conspirators

Following on from the immense ‘Not For Want Of Trying’ last year, MSW return with more of the same big post rock tracks with film audio clips interspersed over the top. Sadly it doesn’t quite hit the same heights as the last album and feels a little short at only 9 tracks (2 of which had been previously released as well) but it’s still well worth a punt.

15 – worriedaboutsatan – arrivals

Podcast track: you’re in my thoughts

A band that seemingly hates capital letters, they have produced a neat little ambient electronica album that has really grown on me over the last few months. Annoyingly, they’ve played in London twice recently but have been on dates I couldn’t make. They are, however, on tour in March with Her Name Is Calla and I will almost definitely be in attendance for that show.

14 – Passion Pit – Manners

Podcast track: Sleepyhead

A band that I only got into recently (a bit slow, I know) after a friend’s recommendation. A pretty solid and enjoyable album of which the highlight is obviously ‘Moths Wings’. Up until then, the album isn’t bad but that track takes it up a fair few notches. Only a couple of tracks come close to that song, with ‘Sleepyhead’ being one of my other favourites.

13 – The Joy Formidable – A Balloon Called Moaning

Podcast track: Austere

A good debut album by this band from the valleys, their indie pop sound reminded me of Metric quite a lot. The album is quite short at only 9 tracks but there’s enough variety in there to maintain interest with uptempo songs like ‘Austere’ and the acoustic track ‘9669’ being a couple of the highlights for me.

12 – NOFX – Coaster

Podcast track: We Called It America

Despite all the other stuff in this list, I’m still a little punk rocker at heart and NOFX were on of the bands of my teens. Coaster is possibly my favourite album of theirs since ‘Pump Up The Valuum’ and it seems that they’re well in their comfort zone now (in a good way) with some great tracks here. The normal NOFX humour and drug/booze chat remains but some more serious songwriting is also present in tracks like ‘My Orphan Year’.

11 – Tubelord – Our First American Friends

Podcast track: Propeller

FINALLY Tubelord got round to making a full record and it was worth the wait. The album contains a load of their material which is found in bits and pieces across EPs and singles, such as ‘I Am Azerrad’ and ‘Night Of The Pencils’ but also contains plenty of new material with a different sound, such as the synthy ‘Stacey’s Left Arm’ and the acoustic ‘Cows To The East, Cities To The West’, to give the album another layer that previous releases may have lacked.

10 – Metric – Fantasies

Podcast track: Help I’m Alive

I’d not heard a lot of these guys’ back catalogue before this album but I much prefer this album to some of their previous ones; the songwriting seems much better as is the production (but without being ‘overproduced’). There are some fantastic tracks with my highlights being the album opener, which is on the podcast, and ‘Gimme Sympathy’ which also sounded great live too.

9 – The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart -s/t

Podcast track: Young Adult Friction

Another shameless indie pop album in the top 20 of mine, I first heard the album early on in the year and it was constantly getting plays on my ipod. That’s tailed off a little bit but I still never tire of hearing this album because of its dreamy, upbeat nature. Even songs with lyrics like “you’re my sister, this love is fucking right” seem to be happy, bouncy tracks. A little disappointing when I saw them live but this album has been featuring in many an end of year list for good reason.

8 – Slow Club – Yeah So

Podcast track: Giving Up On Love

A band I really do want to catch live, Slow Club’s debut album is an interesting mix of indie tunes, such as the one on the podcast, and acoustic tracks which, themselves, range from upbeat to slow and melodic. The contrast between the vocals from both of the band members gives their songs an extra feel. The album does lose its way a little bit in the second half when the tempo drops a little too much but this is all redeemed with the excellent album closer ‘Our Most Brilliant Friends’.

7 – There Will Be Fireworks – s/t

Podcast track: Says Aye

One of the most complete albums of the year for me, There Will Be Fireworks’ debut contains a number of great individual tracks such as ‘We Sleep Through The Bombs’ and ‘We Were A Roman Candle’. What gives this indie/post rock Scottish band’s album the edge though is how effortlessly the tracks roll into one another with the triplet of ‘Guising’, ‘Off With Their Hands’  and ‘I Like The Lights’ going together seamlessly and complementing each other brilliantly.

6 – Dananananaykroyd – Hey Everyone

Podcast track: Black Wax

Seemingly making up their own genre with what the dub ‘fight pop’, Danana take the sound of bands like Los Campesinos and then give it their own ‘edgier’ sound and this ends up producing a great sound. The band maintain a sense of fun about their music while not ending up too poppy. Another band I need to see live as tracks like ‘Black Wax’, ‘Infinity Milk’ and ‘Hey James’ would probably sound nothing less than amazing.

5 – The Xcerts – In The Cold Wind We Smile

Podcast track: Cool Ethan

An odd album this one; it doesn’t seem to do anything amazing or anything amazingly different but what it does do is great. I first got wind of these guys live at Lexapalooza earlier in the year after they were given one of the top spots. Another Scottish band on the list, these guys released their first album earlier this year through Xtra Mile and it’s full of great tracks that cover a number of bases with acoustic tracks, big anthems and fast paced indie tracks. Definitely an album to check out and I really hope these guys do well.

4 – Dan Deacon – Bromst

Podcast track: Get Older

Not necessarily the type of music I would listen to, I got hold of a copy of Bromst after hearing a number of people go on about it and how, even 6 months ago or more, that this was a contender for album of the year. After listening to it, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it and it’s difficult to describe the sound with element of electronica with synths and everything thrown in there but then vocals, pianos, keyboards, strings and brass layers on various tracks produce this weird album. But it all works together splendidly to give one of my favourite albums of 2009.

3 – Frank Turner – Poetry Of The Deed

Podcast track: Sons Of Liberty

The third album from Frank sees a bigger shift in sound than he had made between his previous albums as the full band sound takes prominence over the solo acoustic one. Initially I was unsure as to whether I’d like this and for the first few listens the step he’d taken may have been too big for me. Now, however, the album is close to surpassing ‘Love, Ire & Song’ as my favourite album of his. The full band tracks like ‘Like Fast, Die Old’ and ‘Poetry Of The Deed’ sound great with the normal singalong and ‘angst’ of normal FT tracks present. Some of the acoustic numbers drag a little bit and it’s not until the end of the album with ‘Our Lasy Of The Campfire’ and ‘Journey Of The Magi’ that the best tracks come into play.

2- And So I Watch You From Afar – s/t

Podcast track: TheseRIOTSareJUSTtheBEGINNING

One of the earliest releases of the year to make the list, ASIWYFA have produced an absolutely stunning post rock album which encapsulates their live sound brilliantly. The album opener ‘Set Guitars To Kill’ acts to simply blow you away with its real in-your-face loudness. The sound isn’t all about volume though with the guys all being great musicians and the fact that slower, more melodic tunes like ‘The Voiceless’ holding their own against the big tracks like ‘If It Ain’t Broke, Break It’. I said in the 2008 top albums, where their EP ranked highly, that their album was one to look forward to and I wasn’t wrong.

1 – The Antlers – Hospice

Podcast tracks: Kettering, Sylvia

Not an album that I listen to as widely as others in this list perhaps but this album more than deserves top spot out of all of this year’s releases. An album about a man working in a hospital who falls in love with a patient suffering from bone cancer and slowly losing her may not sound like the foundations for a great piece of music but the album follows this story beautifully. The lyrics themselves read like a mini novel if you read the album sleeve and are quite haunting as they are but when sung with Silberman’s falsetto vocals over the top, along with the wonderful guitars and keyboards, it makes for what can only be described as a beautiful album.

Gigs of the Year 2009

As we approach the end of the year it’s time, as any blog should, to look back on the year as a whole. With the main purpose of this blog being about live music, it seems apt to kick things off with my top 10 gigs from the year.

First things first, I’ve excluded the all day events I’ve been to this year, in Lexapalooza and Lexapalooza Lite, as they would have run away with the titles due to the overall awesomeness of both events. So in order to give the other shows a chance, they’ve been cut. And so, bring on the list!

10. We Were Promised Jetpacks @ The Lexington – 18/06

I’d been listening to this three pieces debut album, These Four Walls, for a few months before I got chance to see them at this great little venue. They had a couple of good support bands playing with them but their own set was short but sweet. ‘Keeping Warm’ was a great set opener with it’s uber long intro and kicked the night of well. Other songs off the album, such as ‘It’s Thunder And It’s Lightning’ and ‘Conductor’ sounded fantastic too but the highlight was most definitely ‘Quiet Little Voices’ which is one of my favourite songs this year (a list I won’t be compiling).

They seemed to have a great time on stage and I definitely had one off it.

Original review

9. Animal Collective @ Brixton Academy – 20/08

I went along to this gig a bit indifferent to this band but since then have got more into them thanks to this show. The sound levels and the sound quality may not have been as good as they could have been, the one buzzing monitor being a particular nuisance, but this didn’t stop it from being a damn good show. It was a shame I didn’t know more of their material as a number of the songs I didn’t know at the time sounded great live, especially ‘Fireworks’, and both ‘Guys Eyes’ and ‘Brother Sport’ of the new album sounded fantastic too.

It was a shame the crowd were a bit flat but this gig was an amazing experience as much as anything.

Original review

8. TV On The Radio @ Brixton Academy – 13/07

After thoroughly enoying last year’s album ‘Dear Science’, I had really been looking forward to this show. The set they played was heavily weighted in favour of this album and the big tracks off the album, such as ‘Halfway Home’ and ‘Dancing Choose’ coming across brilliantly but it was some of the more understated tracks on the album, particularly ‘Love Dog’ which really blew me away. The older material also sounded fantastic and the double act of the percussion heavy ‘Method’ and the sublime ‘Staring At The Sun’ rounded the night off for the encore.

Very glad I managed to catch such a top band on the only date they played in the UK.

Original review

7. The Antlers @ Pure Groove Record Store – 04/09

One of Pure Groove’s in store sessions (that I really should go along to more often) this was on at the slightly bizarre time of 1.30 in the afternoon on a Friday but I am very glad I managed to make the trip across London for their set. With just a handful of people present, they played a large majority of their album ‘Hopsice’ with most songs having a slightly different twist live to on the record. The reworked version of ‘Sylvia’ was especially good but others such as the beautiful ‘Kettering’ and ‘Two’ came across just as well.

A wonderful intimate little gig and I even managed to have a chat with the band and get my copy of the album signed.

Original review

6. Metric @ The Electric Ballroom – 19/05

For such a big band, I was amazed that this gig was so cheap so booked tickets in a shot when they came out and I’m very glad I did. Fantasies was the only album of theirs I had prior to getting the ticket so was most familair with the material off that. Luckily, for me at least, the set was pretty much dominated by these songs which I much prefer to their older albums. Emily Haines is a fantastic singer and focal point for the band and she was simply brilliant on the night. The lighting and sound were spot on so tracks like ‘Gimme Sympathy’ and ‘Help I’m Alive’ came across as well as they could have. The acoustic rendition of ‘Live It Out’ was a perfect ending to the night.

A fantastic live band and a great show.

Original review

5. 65daysofstatic @ Dingwalls – 26/04

A band that I love and had never caught live before. Fantastic support on the night from Tubelord (and some not so fantastic support from Amusement Parks On Fire) as well. These guys’ records just don’t them justice as they are so so much better live than on any album of theirs. Their performance on this night was simply mind blowing and the whole venue went absolutely mental for them. I only wish we’d been down in amongst the madness rather than where we were. And a rather fitting end to the night with a complete power cut during a brand new song cutting their set short.

Absolutely cracking show and can’t wait to see them again.

Original review

4. Graham Coxon @ The Lexington – 13/05

A gig I heard about through a friend, I was lucky to grab one of only a few tickets for this fairly intimate gig at The Lexington. The gig was to showcase his new album ‘The Spinning Top’ which he played through in it’s enitrety. I’m not a huge fan of the album but it was absolutely fascinating to watch such an accomplished guitarist playing such technically amazing songs. The change between the pure acoustic songs and the distorted ones were welcome and it was interesting to see a gig that just consisted of one album in order.

A great gig and very fortunate to be so close to such an accomplished musician.

Original review

3. Frank Turner @ Shepherds Bush Empire -29/10

He had to make an appearance at some point didn’t he? I may have seen Frank play a handful of gigs this year but this was easily the pick of them. The whole night was great as he had some excellent support from Beans On Toast and Fake Problems and his own set was one of the best I’ve seen at any of his shows. As I’ve said numerous times in reviews of his gigs, it’s a whole different experience seeing him with the band than solo and it was the energy of the performance from this show with the band and the sheer scale of the gig and crowd that made this such a great show. The stalwarts of his live shows, such as ‘Photosynthesis’ and ‘Prufrock’ were as good as ever but the inclusion of older material like ‘Nashville Tennessee’ and the fantastic cover of ‘Smiling At Strangers’ were epic.

All this on top of the new material sounding just as good made for a special night.

Original review

2. And So I Watch You From Afar/Maybeshewill @ The Good Ship – 20/05

ASIWYFA are only second to Frank Turner in the artist I’ve seen most live and this was their finest moment this year. This was very much helped by the fact that on the same bill was another of  my favourite post rock bands in Maybeshewill. The rest of the crowd may not have known them as well as I did, having seen them play the same venue previously, but that didn’t bother me and they were as good as the last time I saw them. But if I thought they were good, ASIWYFA were on another level completely. The setup of the Good Ship set it up for a mind blowing show as the 50 or so of us in the ‘pit’ were pretty much on the stage with the band.

The energy from both the band and the crowd made this one hell of a gig and left me feeling shell shocked afterwards.

Original review

1. The Tallest Man On Earth @ Barden’s Boudoir – 09/09

And so the number one spot goes to the marvellous Tallest Man On Earth and his show at the bizarre little venue of Barden’s Boudoir back in September. The venue was an odd little place but in hindsight maybe the perfect sort of stage for Kristian to play on as it allowed the fans to surround the stage and this allowed him to sing to each and every person in the crowd. As I wrote in the original review, he had a slightly unnerving style of playing live as he would pick out people in the crowd and sing almost just to them and when it was you he ‘picked’ on, it seemed like an eternity that he was singing for you. Up until this gig, I’d enjoyed his album but this has nothing on how he was live and it was almost an honour to see him play such amazing songs and sing in his unique style.

The only word I can use to describe this show is mesmerising and I’ve already got my ticket booked for the next time he’s back in London.

The Gardener – live at Barden’s Boudoir

Original review

Agree/disagree with what I’ve got down? What was your favourite gig of the year? Leave a comment and let me know!

Coming soon(ish): my top 20 albums of 2009 with accompanying podcasts.

And So I Watch You From Afar @ Camden Barfly – 21/09
October 4, 2009, 5:48 pm
Filed under: gigs | Tags: , , , ,

A most belated review but here we go..

As with many of the gigs I’ve reviewed on here, the Barfly was a venue I’d never been to before. Having forgotten to buy a ticket beforehand, I was a wee bit worried about not getting in so got there for the doors opening. I needn’t have worried and got in no problem.

It turned out, however, that the doors opened later than I thought they were going to so I caught both support bands and even have a drink! The venue part of the Barfly was a lot smaller than I had been expecting but was a good, simple layout with a good sized room and stage which was a relief after the Tallest Man On Earth gig earlier that month!

After my first pint, Scholars, the first support band, took to the stage, fairy lights and all! The first thing I can say about these guys is that they were bloody loud. But with that, they weren’t just full on noise but melodic with it and were more of an indie-esque band than their decibel level would have led you to believe. They mixed rapid guitar riffs with vocals that flirted on the edge of shouting but just about remaining in the ‘singing’ spectrum (maybe a vague similarity to Tubelord could be used here). This was mixed in with some solid backing on bass and drums and occasionally keyboards too.

I was quite surprised with Scholars as they were pretty solid for an opening act. They interacted well with the crowd (which admittedly wasn’t huge) and it was quite amusing seeing the lead singer jump down off the stage and sing in the face of someone who had no idea who they were. Worth keeping an eye out for.

Scholars at Camden Barfly

Check out some of their stuff on their page.

The second support slot of the night was filled by the newly reformed Jairus. I think it’s safe to say I wasn’t a fan. Every now and again they would have a moment where the song would be building with some well worked guitar riffs and drumming but often it would just kick in to noise with some average shouting vocals over the top of it. A couple of tracks I did enjoy but on the whole I wasn’t overly keen on the band and on a couple of occasions I felt myself drifting off and not really paying attention to what they were playing which is clearly not a good sign.

As I say, a was left feeling a little overwhelmed after their performance and, in my opinion, they should have opened the night. The few songs I did like got a bit samey quite quickly.

If you feel so inclined, here is their page.

There was no need to feel down though as I knew the insuppressible And So I Watch You From Afar would be up next! I was slightly worried though as at the end of Jairus’ set I turned around to see that I was pretty much stood on my own in the middle of the venue with a few lurkers hanging around the edge. But without 10 or 15 minutes to go, a swell of people appeared and the gig was on!

ASIWYFA finally took to the stage and kicked off with “S Is For Salamander” which was a real surprise. In fact this wasn’t the only ‘new’ (I’ve heard it plenty of times) song they played; the first few tracks of the evening were all new ones. This was a bit of a brave move I thought but they pulled it off well with a couple of the new songs being absolute blinders and it was great not knowing what to expect or when they were going to explode on stage. One of them, that I’m sure I’d heard before, was centred around the drums more than anything and this gave Chris a chance to show just how good a drummer he is.

There is little point reviewing the rest of the gig as I’ve seen them so many times before and they never fail to disappoint. They rattled through all of the big tracks off the album and the EP with “If It Ain’t Broke”, “Start A Band” and all the usual suspects being played. The traditional set opener, “Set Guitars To Kill” was one of the final songs they played but they closed the night off with the fantastic “Eat The City, Eat It Whole”.

The energy of the guys on stage was second to none as always and is why I enjoy seeing them live so much with the usual repertoire of jumps, leaning against amps, runs into the crowd and ‘face offs’ all taking place. The energy of the crowd was good as well which always makes these gigs great as well and it was the first of their shows I’ve seen where the crowd actually managed to get them to play a one song encore.

As always, I was blown away by the show. The new tracks kept the setlist fresh and they easily hold their own against the older tracks so the future releases are definitely ones to look forward to. It may have been a while since the show but I think I’ve only just about regained full hearing in one of my ears; remember to wear protection kids!

And So I Watch You From Afar @ The Bull & Gate – 27/07
July 29, 2009, 10:42 pm
Filed under: gigs, music | Tags: , , ,

Going back to this blog’s roots, this was the band and venue featured in my first ever post. Since then, I’d seen the band again, at the Good Ship with Maybeshewill, but was back to see them again at the Bull & Gate in Kentish Town.

Thanks to a full days revision, and a late dinner, I got to the venue just after the first support band finished but with drink in hand, made my way in to see the band filling the second slot, the curiously name Djevara; a band I’d never heard of (as is often the case). It seemed that they had history with ASIWYFA having toured with them in the post so I believe ASIWYFA had got them the slot for the show that night. Anyway, for just three guys, they made one hell of a racket and I mean that in a good way. They played a sort of hardcore/punk rock sound that flitted easily between being quite melodic to all out thrashing it seemed. All three members were damn good technically and I quite enjoyed the set, even if the crowd size was a little disappointing at that stage of the evening. A good live band, they’re well worth checking out.

Download ‘Black Boy‘ and ‘Moths To The Flame‘ for free.

After their set came Nixa, a band I was sure I’d heard of but couldn’t figure out where from (I subsequently found out it was because I had a free CD of theirs which could thrust into my hand after the Good Ship gig). Even a bout of good old H1N1 wasn’t going to stop these guys performing on the night and they also impressed. With a radio friendly rock sound, think Biffy Clyro or the Foos maybe, they had a good sound and I was impressed with the vocal arrangements with three vocalists all taking turns and even singing together at times which worked really well. They didn’t quite have the raw energy of Djevara but were really tight and I enjoyed their set as well.

Download ‘33‘, ‘Everyone’s An Expert‘ and ‘This Is A Test‘ for free.

And so we got to ASIWYFA who have yet to disappoint me live. They’d come in to the gig after a busy weekend which included recording for their new release (out later this year!) and then their performance at Truck festival on the Sunday (which I sadly couldn’t make). You wouldn’t have been able to tell though from their energy on stage which is always amazing. As is customary now, they started with the epic ‘Set Guitars To Kill’ with Tony diving in from the top of the amps at the side of the stage; a fair drop if you’ve been to the B&G!

They played a number of tracks off the album and EP which I’d heard previously, such as ‘If It Ain’t Broke, Break It’ and the alleged new track ‘S Is For Salamander’ which I’ve heard three times now, but they also played a couple of tracks I’d not heard live including a brand new track and ‘TheseRIOTSareJUSTtheBEGINNING’ which is one of my favourite songs off the album. The band’s stage presence, and as already mentioned energy, was second to none again with the band launching themselves round the stage, off amps and even taking running jumps from the crowd back onto the stage and it’s all of this that makes the band one of the best live acts I’ve seen.

They finished the set with ‘Eat The City, Eat It Whole’ which I don’t think I’ve heard before either and it makes a perfect set closer. Despite calls for more from the crowd, that was the night done but I did manage to get Tony to give us an impromptu, if rather short, drum solo. Overall, it was another great night from the boys and I could easily see them again and again without getting bored of them. The energy from the crowd wasn’t quite as good as the Good Ship gig (which was mental to be fair) but that made little difference to me right at the front!

10/10 again. Easily.

If It Ain’t Broke, Break It (live)


Podcast #16 – Live And Unplugged

A belated 16th podcast featuring;

The Rural Alberta Advantage – Rush Apart
Frank Turner – Heartless Bastard Mother Fucker (live)
Graham Coxon – Sorrow’s Army (live)
Tim Fite – A Better Fence
Antlers – Bear
65daysofstatic – Retreat! Retreat! (live)
Maybeshewill – Co-Conspirators (live)
Justin Vernon – Ring Out
Klaxons – Golden Skans (Acoustic)
Metric – Help I’m Alive (Acoustic)
The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – Come Saturday (live)
Dave House – Born Steady
Bruce Peninsula – Crabapples
Slow Club – Our Most Brilliant Friends
And So I Watch You From Afar – The Voiceless (live)

Download from this link

Maybeshewill with And So I Watch You From Afar @ The Good Ship – 20/05
May 24, 2009, 10:23 pm
Filed under: gigs, music | Tags: , , ,

This was a gig I’d had down in my diary from the day I first heard about it as both of these bands I absolutely love and have both seen aready in London in the last 6 months and the Good Ship is a venue I really like as it’s such a small place and is quite unique in it’s setup with the stage in a pit at the far end of the bar.

I got there nice and early as I wanted to try and catch every band that were playing. First of the lot were the curiously named Flies Are Spies From Hell who I rather liked, being a post rock rock band with the USP of having a pianist in the band which added an extra layer to their sound which made their set quite memorable. They only had a short time on stage to impress but they certainly managed to make me take notice of them. Not that it was easy to ignore them at the volume they were playing at!

Go here and download a copy of the track People Not Here for free.

Afterwards came Wild Dogs In Winter who played a very understated, shoegaze set that didn’t really grab me. There was nothing wrong with their set but I found myself drifting off a fair bit while they were playing which is never a good sign. They had a few good songs in their brief set but a few that really didn’t inspire me as well.

Follow this link to download a free copy of  the song Good Ol’ Burnt Eyes.

After the stage had been setup again, it was the wonderful Maybeshewill’s turn to take to the stage and they played a set that I really enjoyed, opening with the opening track off their new album You Can’t Shake Hands With A Clenched fist which is a fantastic song that could easily provide the soundtrack to any apocalyptic scene in a film and it set the mark for the rest of the set.

I managed to get myself right down the front for their set which, if you’ve ever been to the Good Ship, means that I was practically on stage with the band as there’s really no such thing as a stage in the ‘pit’ where the band plays and pretty much all that seperates you are a few speakers on the floor in front of the band. The sound they gave out was simply astounding and old favourites like The Paris Hilton Sex Tape sounded brilliant. Their set also had a nice mix of new songs as well with Co-Conspirators, Accept And Embrace and This Time Last Year (technically not a ‘new’ song but still) all getting plays and all sounding brilliant.

To finish their set in, almost obligatory fashion, they played Not For Want Of Trying which is easily one of my favourite songs of theirs. Overall, they played a blinding set again and I loved it even if many of the crowd didn’t seem to know them; both guitarists get an a quality sound out of their kit, the drumming is fantastic and the bass playing really tight. The ony annoyances I have is that they never seem to get enough time to do a really good set and the laptop they use always seems to be a bit too quiet so some of the dialogue they use, such as Peter Finch’s “Mad As Hell” rant on Not For Want Of Trying, gets all too easily drowned out. I’m nitpicking but there you go.

Then after they had finished came the headline act, And So I Watch You From Afar and my god, these guys know how to put on a show! Opening with the rioutous Set Guitars To Kill, the crowd (and band) just went absolutely mental and it’s easy to see why when that tune is so epic. The energy from both band and crowd never let up through the rest of the set and it was simply brilliant thanks to that.

What little stage boundaries there were quickly dissipated with the band throwing themselves around it, juming into the crowd and, occasionally, vice versa; I was worried I was going to lose a tooth by the end of the set either from one of the guitarists smacking me in the face or from being thrown into a speaker by one of the crowd. The band launched their way through a set of tracks from their recently released, self titled album (some of which also appeared on their EP from last year) such as the massive Start A Band and If It Ain’t Broke Break It but also some of the slower, more melodic I Capture Castles and The Voicless, the latter two allowing the crowd and the band to recover between some of the moreheavy songs.

As I said, their set was truly spectacular both thanks to the band and the crowd and afterwards I just felt knackered from it all. There was absolutely nothing to fault from their set and it was perhaps even better than the last time I saw them at the Bull & Gate as the crowd were so much more involved (or at least they were in the pit where I was) and in the end I did manage to keep my full set of teeth even if my neck was a bit sore from all the headbanging.

All in all, a fantastic night of music with two of my favourite current bands playing great sets. Not bad for four quid really..

Maybeshewill – Co-Conspirators (live)

%d bloggers like this: