Nosferatu D2 – We're Gonna Walk Around This City With Our Headphones On To Block Out The Noise

Nosferatu D2 split up in 2007 and yet here we are witnessing the release of their album, only a couple of years late and not the result of the band but of someone called Jamie Halliday who claims to specialise in commercial suicide. On this basis, who could argue? Clearly he’s a big fan of the band, though one hopes he doesn’t have them tattooed on his stomach and only owns the one mug…

I first saw Nosferatu D2 when they had a bassist and were called Tempertwig and I liked them enough to buy a 7″ I couldn’t play and then promptly forgot all about them (to my eternal shame). Then I kept reading about this band Nosferatu D2 but failing to see them until my own band played a gig with them; in fact I didn’t even get the joke of the name until someone said it to me. At that gig I thought to myself, “This band is really like Tempertwig,” and the realities of the situation were then explained to me. Clearly, like the release of this record, I’m somewhat slow.

Nosferatu D2’s sound is a massively pleasing mix of ideas, melodic but far from simplistic, melancholic but wryly humorous. Unlike most other two-piece rock acts they don’t go for a fuzzy garage rock sound and nor do they employ guitar effects to fill in the sound. The guitar is barely distorted often sparsely played while the drums frantically beat through driving rhythms with double hits more common with much heavier music. Bens vocals are more often barked than sung, although I suppose ‘spoken loudly’ might be more accurate since ‘barking’ implies something Sergeant-Majorish about the proceedings.

There’s probably no way for me to describe the lyrics that doesn’t make them sound either very dull, incredibly self-absorbed or both, so let’s just say they’re really good and not at all like that…Even though they are often about dull things with a strong hint of ’emo’ about them. But Ben never fails to give us a knowing sense to these lyrics giving their honesty a blackly ironic touch, and even if they are about normal things in a boring life, the chances are you know exactly what he’s talking about. Who needs escapist lyrics in any case? There might be the veneer of melancholy about them but mostly you’ll find yourself smiling at the vicarious memories.

[url=http://www.audioantihero.com]Audio Antihero[/url] have spent a lot of money putting out a great album by a fantastic band that aren’t around any more and that’s amazing. I think you should buy it. There’s a link here:
http://www.audioantihero.com

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Dead by 30 @ The Macbeth, Hoxton 19th March 2009 feat. 4 or 5 Magicians plus, Gilbert, The Baron & The General, DJ Dean Thatcher

What must surely be the coolest set of gig’s this year ‘Dead by 30’’s first series of live dates takes The Macbeth in Hoxton by storm. On 19. March 2009 the mad -cap musical melodies of Gilbert is fused with the high energy tones of 4 of 5 Magicians in an event blended together by DJ and Producer Dean Thatcher (Cowboy Records, Set the tone 67) and the world famous troubadour ‘Woody’s Traditional One Man Band’.

4 or 5 Magicians – Brighton five-piece 4 or 5 Magicians are more exciting than the prospect of Paul Daniels actually fulfilling his long-running promise to leave the country under a Labour regime. With lyrics so slick they make Alex Turner sound like a spluttering old colonel struggling with a cream bun and equal parts lo-fi bedroom fuzz and glorious art-pop melody (think Supergrass meets Shellac). They’re going to be the new Manic Street Preachers, but with less tights and guy-liner. Honoured and coveted by both the London and UK music scenes leading movers and shakers inc. Huw Stephens, Steve Lamacq and NME, 4 or 5 Magicians will be 2009 and 2009 will be 4 or 5 Magicians. http://www.myspace.com/4or5magicians

Gilbert – Composer, musician, and game bird enthusiast Gilbert Linley showcases his gloriously triumphant, gently surreal euphoric tunes and pastoral soundscapes that are peppered with eccentricity and a sharp musical wit. Exquisitely crafted, beautifully melodic and sonically dazzling, it represents a truly all-encompassing band of enormous breadth and depth. Once again tipped for out of this world success in 2009 Gilbert the band take time out from their up and coming album launch to visit number 70 Hoxton Street and perform their unique blend of delirious, frantic, unrestrained, excitable melodics. http://www.myspace.com/gilbertlinley

With following monthly dates confirmed by The Krak, The Baron & the General, The Tamborines, Angry Vs The Bear, Tom Argent, The Kubrics and independent record labels galore, ‘Dead by 30’ @ the Macbeth, Hoxton will be London’s Live Music party of the year so quite simply, be there!

Dead by 30 @ the Macbeth, 70 Hoxton Street, Hoxton N1 6LP. Eight till Late, 19. March 2009. For further info http://www.myspace.com/dead by30 or email deadby30@musician.org

Map:
http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?x=533243&y=183140&z=110&sv=hoxton+street&st=6&tl=Map+of+Hoxton+Street,+London,+N_1&searchp=ids.srf&mapp=map.srf

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7th Feb 2009: iShotTheDeputy presents an Afternoon at RoTa

We’ve got four bands for you playing between 4pm and 8pm and it’s FREE to get in. Between the bands music will be provided by iShotTheDeputy and Boy Howdy from Hired Geeks and Oroku Saki.

Headlining are the amazing Action Beat who have anything from 6-9 members and hail from Milton Keynes. According to their MySpace they sound like, “Raping de-tuned guitars. Abusing old drum kits. Molesting golden Basses. Dean Gaffney,” or maybe Dean Gaffney once descrbed them as sounding like, “Raping de-tuned guitars. Abusing old drum kits. Molesting golden Basses.” There’s definitely some of that and there are also some great tunes that Sonic Youth would be proud to own. They’ll be fantastic in any case.
http://www.myspace.com/actionbeat

Before them will be the rock antithesis in terms of instrumentation, the two-pice that is Jack Mountain. Jack Mountain’s music varies from Smog-like, fuzzed up folky numbers, to Hot Snakes style garage rock noise. He’ll have Bow Howdy on drums so we’re expecting a set that leans towards the latter. All Jack Mountain’s music is free and there are four albums to download if you’ve the time. Alternatively you can see what he’s got to give away at the gig because the CDs are professional stuff.
http://www.jackmountainsound.co.uk

Pocus Whiteface are a loud 3-piece in the style of Shellac, mclusky and Jesus Lizard maybe, with a touch of stuff like Tortoise and Sonic Youth. Lyrics cover topics like real-life superheros, statistical analysis of the music industry, giant isopods and the dangers to mental health posed by time machines.
http://www.pocuswhiteface.com

Stairs to Korea is a new one-man outfit from the singer in Horsebox which means he has ‘pedigree’ and, like with dogs, pedigree counts for a lot in music. The performance apparently utilises, “a guitar-synth, harmoniser and backing track”. There was only one track to listen to on MySpace and that sounded pleasingly like Super Furry Animals.
http://www.myspace.com/stairstokorea

Did we mention it was FREE already? Yeah, probably…

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Manda Rin & Futuristic Retro Champions @ The Fly 08 September 08

‘Miranda formerly of The Bis’ the poster outside read. Ouch. Luckily, someone had the sense to grab a marker pen and rectify this. It’s a) Manda and b) just Bis, none of that ‘the’ nonsense.

Only that now it’s not Bis. For Bis have split quite some time ago and it’s about time people recognise young Amanda as a popstress in her own right.

First on were Futuristic Retro Champions (http://www.myspace.com/retrochamps ). Who were amazing! No really, I’m telling you, AMAZING! Like, REALLY, really good! Think 80s inspired synths (and lots of them) and a bunch of girls singing/shouting along. I dare say it sounded like Betty Boo armed with a children’s Casio in places, and that is a GOOD thing.

Tonight’s gig marked the release of Manda’s first solo album (My DNA). She cheerfully informed us she had brought her very own Ronettes for backup. These ‘Ronettes’ (EDIT: they are in fact RINettes rather than ROnettes!) turned out to be three rather adorable Scottish chaps in matching black shirts, sporting excellent haircuts. They were particularly entertaining when they launched into some robotic dance move guitarplaying for a couple of the songs. Bless.

Although I really don’t want to say this, Manda’ solo stuff does sound a lot like Bis (cross between the first and the second album, so technically not a Bis style that exists already. Not in a combined form, anyway!), but it’s certainly not a straightforward recycling exercise, for the lady stocked up on more 80s sounds, more vigorous singing and the whole thing sounds more electronicky. And if Bis had never existed and no reference could ever be made, this would still be a selection of rather pleasant tunes. I almost wish I’d gone in there with a more open mind and without accidentally drawing Bis comparisons all the time. But, as a near experiment, I dragged along an individual who had no idea who Bis were, just to see what he would make of it and … whoohooo! He enjoyed the gig a lot, he said. Brilliant!

Overall, a great night! But I still don’t understand why Owen from the Crocketts (okay, the Crimea by now) was manning Manda’s merch stall!

www.planetmanda.com

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Applicants – Life in the Bus Lane (Tigertrap)

What could be a better start to an album than a hearty cry of COFFEE!

Applicants are a slightly demented drum-machine assisted group from London. And I am a sucker for this kind of thing. If it goes BOOM!, has synths and a tune, you can’t go too far wrong. If you also have a song that’s only seconds long and literally consists of ‘Would you like to wear my party hat? FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF! NO!, you’re on to a surefire winner.

Oooh, where to start! This is a marvellous album indeed. So many samples! So much swearing! It sounds like (please don’t hit me !) early Beck (think ‘Beercan’!) in places and comes with interesting song titles like ‘History has been kind to Spike Milligan’ and ‘Hypochondriac #2’! And the line ‘Market clothes in Camden leather, dirt is the only thing holding me together’ quite possibly deserves some kind of medal.

I’ve seen Applicants live just the once, and it was like watching a car crash unfold. There was fake blood on faces, a jar of Bockwurst and a very hyper girl in some kind of spandex cat suit. In other words, well worth seeing!

Before I forget, one should also check out the bastardised interpretation of ‘Tie Me Cangaroo Down, Sport’ which is neatly stuck to the end of this fabulously shiny CD.

More info on www.tigertrap.co.uk

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Personal Services Required

Looks like Wifeswap spawned a whole new range of these household documentaries. Where we take a peek into Joe Blogg’s home and watch ‘people like us’, as opposed to the nutters on Big Brother. Or so I thought. Personal Services Required … just where do they find these people? Did they advertise in Nouveau Chav magazine? ‘Wanted: Essex couple with mansion. Must be New Money. Spraytans optional’.

I am absolutely gobsmacked. There really are people out there with nothing better to do than thinking about how twelve cushions should be arranged on the bed during the daytime. Now, bedmaking is a waste of time in the first place, but, surely, if, for some reason, you’re into this sort of thing, does it really require 20 minutes with a ten minute inspection following? I can’t even decide who I feel sorrier for, the poor sod applying for a live-in housekeeper position or those sad freaks who wish to employ a housekeeper. The first is well on her way to become some kind of modern day slave, the latter … well … they might as well take their hedgefund and jump off the nearest bridge. For there is nothing left of their lives. They have outsourced everything. Including the careful folding of toilet paper. Who would do such a thing?

Interestingly, they also offer a handsome salary to whoever is willing to move into their house and be at their every beck and call. It’s almost like buying a Grandmother, albeit a young, healthy one that isn’t your mother.

A friend of mine is a professional Nanny. She refuses to take on live-in positions. Because it’s only a job. As opposed to selling your entire body and soul the spraytanned lady of the manor. Mind you, not having to pay rent and bills sounds handy. But would you really want to be sharing a house with your boss, who may well inform you that there is a fly in his bedroom at 3am?

Having watched Personal Services Required twice now, I am absolutely horrified at some people’s need to wield power over servants. To even tell them what they should and should not be wearing. And to show them off to friends and family like novelty pets.

And I can’t make up my mind who was worst. The headhunting, orange couple who asked this guy to wear chauffeur’s livery to Tesco’s or the middle-aged, chavy but loaded single mother who spent the entire program drooling over the young, male Au Pair? The latter acted almost like she was a female sex tourist in her own home, for goodness sake! Mind you, the one who informed her budding new Au Pair that she was ‘going to mould her’ wasn’t that pleasant either. Mould her? Yeah, sorry, you are but a spotty nothing, but I am going to make you a star, my dear. You are but an empty shell and I will make sure that I brainwash you into total submission.

Where do people get these powertrips from? I suppose it is to do with money. Money can buy you pretty much everything. I am loaded, therefore I am. Now I will invest in some new friends, a big house, some kids. I will buy into being admired and liked. Because I am the one paying. What these people didn’t quite realise is that the one thing they don’t seem to be able to purchase is anyone’s respect. How do you respect someone with an unhealthy obsession with polished faux brass lighswitches?

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EYES + SKITANJA @ The Old Blue Last !!FREE SHOW!!

!!ONLY FREE LONDON SHOW!!

Tuesday 1st July, The Old Blue Last

EYES Cosmic sensory overload of electro/R&B/pop/outsider free jazz worship! Totally good, totally label mates of Xiu Xiu and totally from Chicago, USA. http://www.myspace.com/iieyes

SKITANJA Highly melodic psychedelic no-holds barred punk and noise on fuzz guitar, trumpet, manic keyboard and insane pre-recorded tracks from Bournemouth. http://www.myspace.com/skitanja

PFAFF The ultimate one man band. Pfaff plays guitar, drums, bass and sings. He does everything and now he’ll be doing it for you.

Eyes Skit @ Old Blue colour

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