The Cure vs. Ride

Robert Smith - the cure

It’s now 25 years since Ride released their debut album, Nowhere. To these ears, the shoegazing legends were at their finest on their debut album, and their first four EPs.

November 6 will see the album re-issued, and Robert Smith of The Cure has remixed the album’s closing track ‘Vapour Trail.’ Although it’s not on the forthcoming re-issue, it can be downloaded as a two-track single via iTunes. There are two versions – a longer version that comes in at nearly seven and a half minutes…

…and a shorter one at five minutes.

Robert Smith and The Cure have been busy of late. Whilst rumours of a sequel to 4:13 Dream continue to circulate, the band have announced they will tour the US in 2016 (see their website for details). Support comes from 17 Seconds favourites The Twilight Sad, who earlier this year featured Robert Smith’s cover of their song ‘There’s A Girl In The Corner’ as the b-side to their single ‘It Never Was The Same.’ You can hear that here.

And if anyone doubted The Cure’s legacy, it’s telling that in recent months, both Natalie Imbruglia (on her album Male) and Yo La Tengo (on their album Stuff Like That There) have covered ‘Friday I’m In Love.’ You can hear them by clicking on the links. Maybe I should do a post dedicated to cover versions of The Cure…

* note: the original release of the album on cassette and LP had ‘Vapour Trail’ as the closing track. The CD added three tracks from the Fall EP, the lead track on the EP being ‘Dreams Burn Down’ which was on the album. Just to add to the confusion, some versions of the album on CD also add all four tracks of the subsequent Today Forever EP. However, as far as I am concerned, the original album is eight tracks long, and closes with ‘Vapour Trail.’

Forthcoming from The Twilight Sad

Twilght Sad

Long-time 17 Seconds faves The Twilight Sad have announced the release of a new album Òran Mór Session, which as the name might suggest, documents a stripped back performance at Glasgow’s Òran Mór. It’s released on long-term label Fat Cat on October 16.

This is a gorgeous version of ‘It Never Was The Same.’

The album tracklisting is as follows:

1. Nobody Wants To Be Here And Nobody Wants To Leave
2. Last January
3. It Never Was The Same
4. Pills I Swallow
5. I Could Give You All That You Don’t Want
6. Drown So I Can Watch
7. The Airport
8. Leave The House
9. I Couldn’t Say It To Your Face

The Cure vs. Twilight Sad

Robert Smith - the cure

Given that this blog takes its’ name from The Cure’s second album, it should come as no surprise that the opportunity to post Cure-related news is something I seize with delight. And when it involves another act that I have long championed on here, so much the better!

Last year, the Twilight Sad released their fourth album Nobody Wants To Be Here, And Nobody Wants To Leave. Now, for their next single from the album, ‘It Never Was The Same’ The Cure’s Robert Smith has recorded his version of the album’s ‘There’s A Girl In The Corner’ track to be the b-side. It’s utterly fabulous. and it’s out on June 15.

…and just in case you haven’t heard the original version, here it is:

You can pre-order the 7″ single here

Album Review – Twilight Sad

Twilight Sad -‘Nobody Wants To Be Here And Nobody Wants To Leave.’ (Fat Cat)

Why oh why have the Twilight Sad still not yet broken through to the mainstream success that they so clearly deserve? You wonder if it galls them that former labelmates and tourmates Frightened Rabbit have signed to a major and have enjoyed a top ten album this year or that former bandmate Martin Docherty is now one-third of the hugely popular Chvrches.

Let us be clear about two things: this is not due in any way to their music or, indeed, reviews. There are many people out there who love the Twilight Sad just the way they are – and I am one of them.

The album opens with the impressive double-whammy of ‘There’s A Girl In The Corner’ and ‘Last January’; the two tracks that have been doing the rounds ahead of the album’s release for a few weeks now. And then, as the anthemic, bass-driven ‘I Could Give You All that You Don’t Want’ kicks in, it all becomes clear: this is an album that doesn’t let up, and holds it’s own to the final notes of the heartbreaking album closer ‘Sometimes I Wished I Could Fall Asleep.’

The band have talked of this album combining elements of their three previous studio albums, and I would agree. It may well be the most Twilight Sad any of their records have sounded without ever feeling that it’s going over old ground. Hopefully this will be the record that catapults them into the big time. And if it isn’t, that’s the fault of the listening public and not the band.

****

Nobody Wants To Be Here And Nobody Wants To Leave is released by Fat Cat on October 27.

Gig Review – Twilight Sad/Hidden Orchestra

Twilight Sad/Hidden Orchestra

Edinburgh Pleasance, October 9

On paper (or screen, for that matter) the pairing of these two acts might seem utterly bizarre and misguided. Yet the two sets we got this evening actually complemeneted each other extremely well.

Hidden Orchestra are a five-piece, instrumental act. Their atmospheric smokey grooves at times evoke Bernard Herrmann’s soundtrack to Taxi Driver. Through in a mix of samples, jazzy trumpet and bass, and it feels like a soundtrack to a film that has yet to be made. Described by wiki as an electronic jazz collective, the muso, beardstroking nightmare that that throws up shouldn’t put you off checking out these guys (and gal).

Tonight’s gig is sold out (thank God for free tickets for humble reviewers!), and there’s an understandable sense of anticipation in the air. Twilight Sad are shortly to release their fourth album Nobody Wants To Be Here And Nobody Wants To Leave and those in the know are getting extremely excited. The set is a more stripped-back set as a three-piece (not an acoustic set), and even for those of us more used to seeing them at ear-melting level, the set they turn in is pretty special.

Because the album is yet to hit the shops, we get a mixture of new songs and what might be turned a greatest hits set from the boys. So as well as the likes of the title track of their latest and ‘It Was Never The Same’ we also get the likes of ‘I Became A Prostitute,’ ‘That Summer, At Home I Had Become The Invisible Boy’ (the first song they ever wrote for the band), and now classics like ‘Sick’ and ‘the Wrong Car.’

Self-effacing banter included, the intimacy of this show is something to savour. Having been privileged to hear the new album, it combines all the best bits of their previous three albums, much like tonight’s show and points us, excitingly, to what promises to be an even brighter future.

The return of the Twilight Sad

Perennial 17 Seconds favourites The Twilight Sad are due to return with their fourth album next month.

Entitled Nobody Wants To Be Here And Nobody Wants To Leave, the first two tracks to do the rounds suggest this is classic Twilight Sad. And as a longtime supporter of the band, I’m hopeful that this will be the one that takes them to the success now enjoyed by the likes of former labelmates Frightened Rabbit.

The album is released on October 27 on FatCat. The tracklisting for the album is as follows:

1. There’s A Girl In The Corner (stream at the top of the page)
2. Last January (stream at the bottom of the page)
3. I Could Give You All That You Don’t Want
4. It Never Was The Same
5. Drown So I Can Watch
6. In Nowheres
7. Nobody Wants To Be Here And Nobody Wants To Leave
8. Pills I Swallow
9. Leave The House
10. Sometimes I Wished I Could Fall Asleep

Album Review – The Twilight Sad

twilight-sad-no-one-can-ever-know

Twilight Sad -‘No One Can Ever Know.’ (Fat Cat)

The first person who tipped me off about the Twilight Sad was none other than Emma Pollock, when I interviewed her several years ago for this blog. At the time the band were receiving rave notices for their debut album Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters. A few months later I caught them on a bill that also featured Broken Records and was headlined by Idlewild and it was clear that here were an excllent band, drenched in feedback and very powerful indeed.

I’m pleased but not surprised to report -having caught them again in November – that the Twilight Sad have come of age on this, their third album. They still sound like The Twilight Sad – but they have also grown in confidence and power. Now it’s not just about the scottish aesthetic that made them welcome bedfellows with the likes of Mogwai and Frightened Rabbit; it’s also about the post-punk influences that have fed through onto this record.

This is not to say that this sounds like yet another indie band regurgitating Entertainment! once more; rather that the likes of Magazine, the Banshees and The Cure circa Pornography have fed through. Additionally, the greated use of electronics recall Depeche Mode circa Violator and Songs Of Faith And Devotion and the work of Autechre.

The first track to be circulated ‘Kill It In The Morning’ and single ‘Sick’ let us know something big was coming. Listening to this album as one incredible whole is a staggeringly intense but utterly rewarding and wonderful experience. If this does not take them into mainstream success then the joke is on the listening public.

****1/2

No One Can Ever Know is released on Fat Cat on February 6.

Gig Review – The Twilight Sad/Adam Stafford

The Twilight Sad/Adam Stafford, Edinburgh Bongo Club, November 16

Formerly of Y’All Is Fantasy Island, Adam Stafford appears on stage solo. Armed with his Fender Jaguar, two mikes and (I assume, it’s out of sight) a guitar effect unit, he sets about his work. And work it most definitely does. He loops his voice and guitar and effects to produce a spectacular result. The early songs in the set he plays are new songs that he is just trying out but he does give a nod to his solo albums. He’s politely grateful to the crowd for being responsive to what he does – apparently Aberdonian audiences are much chattier than us Edinburghers. The crowd are respectful and responsive, giving him the space he needs – and deserves to work his magic. The second track he plays sees him starting off as a human beatbox, giving a DIY-style Hip-Hop approach to proceedings, but there is also a post-punk sensibility to what he does. Having been aware of the name, but not the work I will be investigating further (and you should start here.

By the time the Twilight Sad come on stage, the Bongo Club is heaving. Interviewing singer James Graham before the gig, I told him about the first time I saw the band, on a bill at the Queen’s Hall, sandwiched between headliners Idlewild and newcomers Broken Records. They impressed me that night, but even before they walk on stage, the sense of expectation in the air is high. The feeling is that their time has finally come. Their third album No One Will Ever Know is out in February. At the time of writing, only two songs have been heard by most of the public -album closer ‘Kill It In The Morning’ and current single ‘Sick.’

Having been privileged to hear it, it sees them move into a new area that is darker than they’ve ever been before. Think Closer. Think The Holy Bible. Think The Twilight Sad will be massive this time next year and if not there’s a serious injustice at work. Whilst there has been rumours about the wall of sound being gone, there was no evidence of that last night at the Bongo Club. It was as loud as anything, but still there is the delicious lingering of the folk melancholy as a wave of noise to lose yourself in. Yet there’s a sense creeping in of a band who are growing ever more in confidence, of James as a frontman who knows he has the power to move people, to inspire and move people. (And even if he doesn’t, that’s the effect).

Looking at my notes I can see that I wrote at one point I wrote ‘Band sound like Joy Division meets My Bloody Valentine. It becomes a place to lose and simultaneously find yourself in.’ They give us now classic songs like ‘Last Summer’ and ‘Mapped’ and these now form part of their history.

On the evidence of this gig, their story is just beginning…

The Twilight Summer -‘That Summer, I Had become The Invisible Boy.’ mp3

Twilight Sad – a competition!

twilight-sad

I’ve long supported Twilight Sad on this blog, and am hoping that 2012 will be the year that the band really break through after the hard work of the last few years.

They are about to go out on tour in England and Scotland, as seen below:

Nov 13th, Dundee, Doghouse
Nov 14th, Aberdeen, Tunnels
Nov 15th, Inverness, Ironworks
Nov 16th, Edinburgh, Bongo Club
Nov 19th, Preston, Mad Ferret
Nov 20th, York, Duchess
Nov 21stst, London, Borderline
Nov 22nd, Oxford, Jericho
Nov 23rd, Leicester, Firebug
Nov 24th, Hull, Adelphi
Nov 25th, Stirling, Tolbooth

This is a new(ish) track doing the rounds:

The Twilight Sad – Kill It In The Morning by Fat Cat Records

twilight-sad-sick-608x608
…and you can hear their new single ‘Sick’ (artwork above) by following this link.

Now the competition – I have been given a pair of tickets for the Edinburgh show on November 16. To be in with a chance of winning, simply email seventeensecondsblog@hotmail.co.uk and tell me what the name of the new Twilight Sad album, due out in February 2012 is called. Email by 0:01 on November 15.

…and the winner is…SCOTT! Well done, have a great gig 🙂

Frightened Rabbit…an almost weekly update…and Twilight Sad!

frightened-rabbit

I know, I know…it’s been at least, what, a week at least since I mentioned Frightened Rabbit on here?

However, with Fat Cat sending me both the Twilight Sad’s remix of an Errors’ track (the remix of the opening track from Errors’ forthcoming album out on February 15, Come Down With Me), and the video for the new Frightened Rabbit single both arriving in my inbox today…how could I not?

To these ears, the Twilight Sad remix evokes Fuck Buttons (which is interesting, sorta, as the Errors played with Fuck Buttons in Scotland when they were both supporting Mogwai, whose label, incidentally, Rock Action, the Errors are signed to!)

Errors -‘Bridge Or Cloud? (Twilight Sad remix).’ mp3

Meanwhile, this is the video for the new Frightened Rabbit single ‘Nothing Like You’ out on February 22. I am fervently hoping that there is not going to be a backlash against Frightened Rabbit now they are getting the attention they so richly deserve.


Frightened Rabbit on MUZU

(Sorry I confused Frightened Rabbit with Twilight Sad earlier – a depressingly early senior moment at the age of thirty three)