Showing posts in Reviews

The London List Abroad: Gig Review: Wild Nothing At Nouveau Casino, ParisThe London List

By Sam Bathe on 4 Apr 2013

Regarded as one of the coolest venues in Paris right now, it felt pretty apt Wild Nothing should grace the stage of Nouveau Casino. Show the rest of this post…

Still riding a buzz off the release of the wonderful Nocturne late last summer, Jack Tatum’s band are just as impressive live. Mixing tracks from their sophomore LP plus the equally excellent Gemini, Tatum might not have been able to talk to the French crowd much between songs but he didn’t let that hold them back.

Drawing a particular cheer for classics Chinatown and Summer Holiday, the rousing Only Heather proved to be a real standout, with the crowd more than happy to applaud the band back for an extended encore. Hopefully Tatum keeps up his record of putting out a new album every two years and we have the next LP to look forward to in 2014, because on this form, he’s building quite a name for himself.

The London List Abroad: Gig Review: Beach House At La Cigale, ParisThe London List

By Sam Bathe on 3 Apr 2013

Sometimes you’ll start to fall in love with a band, but it doesn’t really hit home until you see them live, after their show at the glorious La Cigale in Paris, I think it’s fair to say I’m now entirely wooed by Beach House. Show the rest of this post…

Largely mixing tracks from their breakthrough third album, Teen Dream, and last year’s Bloom, the dream pop duo were simply mesmerising with every kick of drum and call of Victoria Legrand’s ranging vocals hitting hard.

Enticing the crowd with perfect French in between tracks, Beach House filled the big La Cigale space with ease, with all of the balcony on their feet and the stalls jumping up and down before you knew if. The biggest reactions were reserved for tracks Zebra, Norway and Myth, the latter being particularly booming, and when the band at last ran out of time on stage there was a wave of disappointment across the crowd that it was over. I bought a t-shirt too, it was that good.

Gig Review: Kitty The Lion At Bar Bloc, Glasgow

Posted in Music, Reviews
By Eva Alex Liu on 6 Sep 2012

Friday August 31st at Glasgow’s Bar Bloc, Kitty The Lion graced the stage with a bold and beautiful indie set. Show the rest of this post…

It was packed with energetic guitars, strong vocal harmonies and a twist of unconventional lyrics; both lighthearted and sincere. The cogs that put the Glasgwegian indie folk 5-piece in motion were Anna Meldrum (vocals), Alan Langdon (bass), Callum Wiseman (guitar), Nick Roan (drums) and Midnight Lion’s Stuart Brock (keyboards). The venue provided an intimate cosy space which allowed the vibrant spirit of the songs to pulsate through the audience.

Anna’s Scottish accent stood out in the lead vocals helping to bring a distinctive yet mellifluous presence to the songs without overpowering the rest of the instrumentation. The songs’ poppy and charming energy was well coupled with the gritty folk characteristic of the band (not to mention a pleasant harmonica cameo). Highlights of the set were ‘Lion In The Bed’ and ‘Bird Flu’.

Kitty The Lion advocate a fresh optimistic dynamic within the folk pop genre. They embody an authenticity combining many great elements akin to their peers within Glasgow’s music scene.

Album Review: Drive OST

Posted in Music, Reviews
By Dave Callais Krummel on 26 Sep 2011

The perfect mix of smooth, ’80s-influenced electro and a subtle yet overpowering score by Cliff Martinez, the Drive Official Motion Picture Sountrack is one of the best OST releases of the year, with College’s A Real Hero, featuring Electric Youth, and Kavinsky’s Nightcall, featuring Lovefoxxx, particular highlights, though even the more scene-sculpted tracks hold their own. A must buy if you’re a fan of the film, and if you’re not, get it anyway.


Gig Review: The Head And The Heart At Brixton Academy, 07/07/11

Posted in Music, Reviews
By Sam Bathe on 12 Jul 2011

Supporting Death Cab For Cutie is a great honour and a wonderful opportunity, but with such a masterclass set to follow, warming the crowd to their own beats was always going to be quite the challenge for The Head And The Heart, but they pulled it off. Show the rest of this post…

Sounding somewhat like a folk-version of Arcade Fire, or quite similar to the UK’s Mumford And Sons, The Head And The Heart instantly kicked into gear, racing through much of their Heavenly Recordings-released self-titled debut album. After catching them in a tiny venue in Austin earlier this year’s SXSW, I was eager to see how they would fair in the might hall of Brixton Academy, but they filled the space with ease.

With tracks like Rivers And Roads in their back pocket, the eclectic and all-encompassing The Head And The Heart will have earned a lot of new fans from their 35-minute stint in South London. Packing a wide range on instruments on stage, their music feels individual and different, with two singers to add extra variation. Hopefully they’ll be back soon for a headline show of their own.

Oh, and Death Cab were incredible, but then you probably knew that without me telling you.

Album Review: ‘Nothing Is Wrong’ By Dawes

Posted in Music, Reviews
By Sam Bathe on 7 Jun 2011

A triumphant return, though certainly not after taking any time off, LA four-piece Dawes’ sophomore LP is another sumptuous mix of down-tempo and alluring energetic Americana-folk. Starting with a bang on Time Spent In Los Angeles, the faster songs take most of the plaudits – If I Wanted Someone and How Far We’ve Come especially – but really the whole thing is a very rounded and impressive collection.


Gig Review: Durrr/Bugged Out! At XOYO, London, 4/12/10

Posted in Music, Reviews
By Sam Bathe on 7 Dec 2010

Until their weekly Monday club night was ended by the closure of the end early 2009, Durrr was the coolest thing on the block. Show the rest of this post…

Dragging scenesters out of Shoreditch at the start of every week, DJs The Lovely Jonjo and Rory Philips pummeled the dance floor with all the hard electro they could take. Since then, they’ve only done one-offs, but teaming up with Bugged Out!, their December party was one not to be missed.

Tanlines kicked things off; a band that should be far bigger than they are right now. Playing their jungle-dance music, they’re something tropical about their style, mixing airy synth chords with floating vocals and high-energy percussion. Bees and Bejan to get the crowd going, they burst into rapturous dance, singing back to lyrics for single Real Life towards the end. With a ticket price of £14, the dancefloor wasn’t quite packed by the time they neared the end of their set at 11.30am, but the hoards still through the door saw them off stage with a hefty volume of applause.

With Durrr and Bugged Out!’s great DJs filling time between bands, it seemed near instantly that Holy Ghost! put in the second live performance of the night. A mixture of Chromeo’s sensuality and Delphic’s effortless beat, there’s something truly captivating about the New York band. Seemingly playing a little faster than they come out recorded, from Static On The Wire to I Will Come Back and the Daft Punk-esque I Know, I Hear, there’s little doubt Holy Ghost! are going to rocket in 2011, especially with live performances that are so easy to get into.

Of the line-up that mattered, Aeroplane effectively finished up the night, and in what style. You might remember our review of the recent Kitsuné Maison club night in London where The Twelves proved their mettle from behind the DJ decks. Well Aeroplane perhaps did even better. Likewise playing a couple of their own remixes, including Friendly Fire’s Paris featuring Au Revoir Simone, their mixing and track selection is the epitome of perfect electro and has you moving before you know it.

How I wish Durrr was still going weekly, the one-offs aren’t bad in the mean time though.

Gig Review: Kitsuné Maison Party At Village Underground, London, 19/11/10

Posted in Music, Reviews
By Sam Bathe on 27 Nov 2010

Photography by Lilou.

When Kitsuné’s Maison compilations drop throughout the year, if it wasn’t enough just to pop them in your CD player, the French electro label also throw amazing launch parties, and their club night to launch volume 10 was one of the best of the year. Show the rest of this post…

Kicking off with a DJ set from the highly touted Teeth, things really got going when Is Tropical took to the stage. Appearing with their trademark bandannas across their faces, the packed crowd where quick to take notice. Kitsuné’s big hope for 2011, Is Tropical, they’re a lot rougher around the edges than the label’s artists’ usually shiny exterior, the experimental, reverbed electro has echoes of the near indescribable jungle genre, with recent single South Pacific drawing the biggest cheer. Racing through a half-hour set, the London three-piece might not appear it at first but their roughed-up sound is powerful and inductive and closed up to rapturous applause.

Headlining the night, Jamaica have made gigantic strikes in 2010. Their debut album No Problem is one of the albums of the year and more than translated to an amazing live show. Running through Short And Entertaining, I Think I Like U 2 and Gentlemen, their power-pop electro is so full of exuberance and life it’s hard not to be drawn in. Closing with When Do You Wanna Stop Working, whether onlookers had heard their music before, they were sure to check it out again after, as the hipster Shoreditch crowding started an usual wave of jumping not long into the set.

After the bands wrapped up, DJs quickly took over, and though Classixx were billed higher, and certainly got everyone in the mood, it was The Twelves that blew the Village Underground away. Playing non-stop electro, their epic set drew in a couple of their remixes and a heap of tracks you’ve probably never heard before with with faultless mixing and a non-stop pace throughout, the duo have truly announced themselves on the scene as live DJs, as well as wonder remixers. Taking things a little heavier, it was left to Rory Phillips to close out the night, and what a night it was.

Kitsuné has done themselves proud with Maison Vol. 10, but the launch party was even better. I’ll be back for the number 11 party without a doubt. And putting the bands and DJs on the bill at the top of my must see again list.

Album Review: ‘The Promise’ By Bruce Springsteen

Posted in Music, Reviews
By Martin Roberts on 18 Nov 2010

The Promise is a double album of previously unreleased material recorded by Springsteen during the period in which his album The Darkness on the Edge of Town was compiled and released. The background information surrounding that album – which was released in the aftermath of legal troubles and at a point when Springsteen was questioning his meteoric rise to fame – are well documented. Show the rest of this post…

What The Promise proves is that The Darkness was no fluke; not that anyone thought it was, mind, but the quality of the 22 tracks (one of which is hidden) on this delayed release are a testament to a prolific period in The Boss’ career. Springsteen had to choose what cuts would make it onto The Darkness, and on the evidence of this double disc collection he chose well; he made the album he wanted to make. The Promise is far more up and down than album that eventually emerged, and while it stands on its own feet, it isn’t as strong on the whole.

Two songs in particular represent the choices Springsteen had to make; namely, ‘Racing in the Street’ – which opens this album in a more rockier format than its namesake on The Darkness – and ‘Candy’s Boy’, and early version of ‘Candy’s Room’. Perhaps due to its length, this album has a few tracks that, compared to the high standards on display elsewhere, feel a little inconsequential (‘Outside Looking in’, ‘Rendevous’). The Darkness was able to avoid this by pruning what wasn’t as good out of the running order.

This is not a throwaway release. It’s a strong album in itself; not up to the standards of The Darkness, but then that is a harsh criticism for a collection of 22 enjoyable new tracks (some of which, like hidden track ‘The Way’ are excellent) that welcome us back to a great point in The Boss’ back-catalogue.


Gig Review: Tokyo Police Club At Heaven, London, 09/11/10

Posted in Music, Reviews
By Sam Bathe on 16 Nov 2010

Photography by Eleonora Collini for QRO Mag

At last making the sort of impact they deserve in the UK, Tokyo Police Club took to the stage for one of their biggest London shows in front of a packed crowd at Heaven. Show the rest of this post…

With their tracks now dispersed across TV and radio galore, Tokyo Police Club’s flooding of the public subconscious has been steady, but it’s now really starting to pick up pace.

After voicing their pleasure about returning to England’s capital and tearing into their set with a mixture of new tracks and oldies from their debut EP, when Graves and Tessellate soon hit, the crowd were more than getting into it. Newfound favourites End Of A Spark and Hands Reversed had onlookers shouting back every word before Favourite Food and Big Difference really got everyone moving.

It had been another sterling performance from the Canadian four-piece, playing every track like it was their last, and when it finally came to close out their set, Your English Is Good stood up to the mark. Hopefully the boys will be back again next year, and feature heavily on the festival circuit, because if it’s until album three comes around, there are going to be a lot of feverish fans, growing less patient by the day.

FAN THE FIRE is a digital magazine about lifestyle and creative culture. Launching back in 2005 as a digital publication about Sony’s PSP handheld games console, we’ve grown and evolved now covering the arts and lifestyle, architecture, design and travel.

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