‘If this is being young, it isn’t easy,’ sings Sarah Tenet-Jones on ‘Fortune Favours The Brave.’ She’s right, it’s not, and the sad thing even if you’re in your mid-thirties is that Come On Gang! are calling it a day, just as they release their debut album.
Shame. Because this is a debut album that feels fresh and plays like a manifesto, it’s just that knowing they will have split by the time it comes out feels bittersweet. What can I say about Edinburgh’s Come On Gang!? They wrote great pop ditties, which is a start. there were three of them, which is always cool. And their singer was also also a lass who sang from her drumkit. That’s cooler, and far more rare. Oh…and they’re leaving us with a debut packed with ace tunes like ‘Red thread’ ‘Wheels’ and ‘Coffee Shop.’ I think ‘Fortune Favours The Brave’ is always going to be my favourite, though.
It’s a pity that Come On gang! didn’t get more recognition in their time together, but then twenty years ago the same was true of the Vaselines.
…and we all know what happened next.
Strike a Match is released on February 14.
Come On Gang! play their final gig with support from Cancel The Astronauts, Hailey Beavis and Over The Wall at Pilrig St Paul’s Church on Leith Walk in Edinburgh on February 12. Scots bloggers Peenko and Aye Tunes supply the tunes.
Irish rock has been in the news with the tragic death of Gary Moore this week…but what about the new names coming through on the Irish music scene?
Pat Byrne’s one of the voices coming through. The Dublin-based singer’s song ‘One Of Those’ mixes 90s grunge rock with Irish heart and passion and has been shortlisted for a competition being run in Ireland to get a 10,000 euro video made for it. (Read all about it here and here) and you can read all about it in this week’s Hot Press.
Hot Press is Ireland’s answer to the NME, though it’s far firier and more political and we could do with something like it in Scotland…
Five years since their last album, the Strokes are set to return with their fourth album Angles on March 21 (22 if you live in the US).
As of yesterday, they have made one track ‘Under Cover Of Darkness’ available to download for free and you can do it from their website here. Having played this several times today, it does indeed seem to be classic strokes, in fact (and I mean this as a compliment) it might even be ‘Last Nite’ part 2. It will be released as a special 7″ in time for Record Store day in April.
Debate rages on about the merits of their previous albums…and indeed the merits of some of the solo releases in the last five years. Worry no more. On this evidence, the Strokes might well have discovered what made them good in the first place.
The tracklisting for Angles is as follows:
1. Machu Picchu
2. Under Cover of Darkness
3. Two Kinds of Happiness
4. You’re So Right
5. Taken For A Fool
7. Call Me Back
10. Life Is Simple In The Moonlight
The Damn Vandals quietly announced themselves in my inbox, and yet suddenly they had my attention drawn upon them.
Hailing from London, they are Jack Kansas (vocals, guitar), Frank Pick (Guitar), Adam Kilemore Gardens (Bass) and
Chris Christianson III (Drums). There’s a ‘surf guitar sound’ underlying there that marks them out from so many other bands; a suggestion that this band are not just another indie guitar band. Like a great singles, ‘This Amazing’ doesn’t mess about and has a great b-side, ‘Daddy Smokes A Cigarette.’ This is like the child of Suede’s ‘Daddy’s Speeding’ and Bowie’s ‘Rock’n’Roll Suicide.’ It may even be the better tune of the two.
This has been available as a download single since November-but they’re putting it out as a 7″ later this month. If you like it go and buy it!
The title track has evolved from the earlier performance last year when Polly Jean played it live on TV in front of none other than Gordon Brown (yes, you did read that right). the sample of ‘Istanbul (Not Constantinople)’ has gone and is replaced by the tune slightly lower in the mix than it was here
The single ‘The Words That Maketh Murder’ is out now – here’s the video:
…and you can read my review here. She’s also going to be preseneted with this year’s Outstanding Contribution to Music award at this year’s NME Awards.
Listen to the album and let me know what you think…
Yup, one of those posts where I blow not so much my own trumpet (ahem!) as those of the artists we are privileged to work with…and some of those artists that they’re playing with.
First up, if you’re thinking of heading to the Dylan Uncovered Night at the Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh, this Thursday (February 10) the very first act on will be our Chris Bradley, whose album At The Outpost was the first physical album release on 17 Seconds Records last year. The night will also feature Song, By Toad Records’ Yusuf Azak as well as Esperi, Norman Lamont, Hookers for Jesus, The Sundancer, Shock and Awe, Edinburgh School for the Deaf, Issac Brutal and the Trailer Trash Express, and Tribute to Venus Carmichael. Chris will be on at 7:50.
Fiction Faction released the first release of the year on the label last week with ‘Apparitions’ playing in Glasgow twice and London (their support act for the first Glasgow gig, who they then supported at their single launch the following week was Armellodie’s CD/EX (AKA Chris Devotion and the Expectations), whose debut single ‘I Need Your Touch’ is very good indeed. Fiction Faction are next playing live on March 29th at the Captain’s Rest, Glasgow when they support Scanners. Scanners are shortly to release their new single ‘Salvation.’
The Last Battle, meanwhile are extremely busy (as ever). Tomorrow they are playing at Bloc in Glasgow and it’s free. Nada. So go. They will also be supporting Kid Canaveral at EDinburgh Royal Collge of Art on February 26, and two more dates further afield in March: the Old Bridge Inn, Aviemore (March 19) and Musa Art & Music Cafe, Aberdeen (March 20).
They will also be playing with the rather excellent Letters at Henry’s Cellar Bar on February 16.
Letters are about to launch a free single of which this is the rather ace ‘Double A-side’:
The first thing i would recommend about listening to this album -and i do, by the way – is to make sure that you give it your proper attention whilst listening to it. Ideally you should be doing that with any music anyway, but with this album particularly, hearing it in the background you won’t be giving it a proper chance, as witnessed by the disparaging remarks of two very different people who only over heard it. This album is onion-like; not that it writes satirical articles but in that it has many, many layers. Thus; what can sound tuning and white noise (as on ‘Wildthings’) if simply playing away on the stereo in the corner of the room makes sense when heard within the context of the album.
Conquering Animal Sound are Anneke Kampman and James Scott, who formed in Edinburgh in 2009. Kampman’s vocals remind of of Bjork’s -and I mean that as a compliment; sounding both filled with childlike wonder as well as being sage-like at the same time. Musically it’s a mixture of folk drones, artfully employed static and electronica that make up gorgeously formed op songs. If you ever thought electronic music was cold, then listen to this, one of the warmest albums I have heard in ages (oh, and I think the original ‘Dr. Who’ theme proves you wrong, by the way!)
So yes, there’s an experimental aspect, but it’s used to craft songs. At the risk of alienating the blogging community, it’s like Bjork circa Debut or Post meeting the mighty Meursault; or Joanna Newsom fronting Matmos. To these ears, this is one of the most rewarding albums I have heard this year, consistently challenging and delighting. Even if I have to work to convince those around me of it…
Kammerspiel is released on Gizeh Records/Mini 50 on February 7.
It’s been quiet around here these last few days. The reason for this is that Ed has been ill – nothing serious, thankfully, but he’s been off work for four days, trying to get better. He’ll be back here soon!