I posted earlier here about Witch Hunt and Battle Lines; as it goes I had the pleasure of seeing them, the former supporting the latter, in York's Fiddlers on Saturday night. Must say that I had a wonderful time; both bands performing very well and suprising me with how well written, technically interesting and original their music was. Both have excellent singers, and both came across a fair bit harder hitting than any of their youtube or soundcloud submissions would have you expect.. Witch Hunt have an interesting setup; they maintain a lot of flexibility in performance using relatively simple looping on their drum machine and both play guitar on maybe 60% of their songs. Louisa has a fantastic, strong voice which is a pleasure to behold, in fact both are inpressive on their vocals and guitarwork, and the synergy between them really is unique. Battle Lines stole it for me though by just a little bit though. Carly has the makings of a great frontwoman, she's really comparable to Emily Haines of Metric and it's a joy watching her give herself up wholeheartedly to the music; speaking of which whilst a definate graduation from their poppy and relatively lighthearted roots into headier, deeper territories maintains a catchiness which is almost hard to understand; they have a fantastic way with noise and effects that left me somewhat hypnotised as well as very impressed. All in all I think both bands stood head and shoulders above their peers and both posess the creativity, musicianship and professionalism to really go somewhere.
Just got back from seeing Chelsea Light Moving play a truly incredible set at the Brudenell Social Club. They do such good things with sound, I mean I was expecting to be very impressed but honestly my jaw was on the floor with what they can do with guitars at various points. Also among the true eclectica was some of the heaviest music I've ever heard. Whilst it's obviously not the most accessible music, I can't help but say they're an act more than worth seeing.
Also in contrast I'm loving Juanita's blog; she's still churning out a seemingly endless amount of music I enjoy.
I finally had the joy of catching a performance from Dark Horses at Nation of Shopkeepers in Leeds last night! They really were all I'd ever hoped they would be and so much more. It was an almost dream-like experience; a surprisingly sparse crowd even in such a small venue, the band shrouded in red light broken only by the occasional use of a strobe being hand-held by a man with a cowboy shirt and hat kneeling just to the left of me..
From videos & etc I had great expectations of Lisa Elle's performance style, but she went well beyond exceeding these; really she's something to see to be believed, moving with epic style and striking a real balance between introversion and empowerment, as lost in her own world as she was quite directly and obviously connecting with everyone in the room. As they opened with and continued to play their way through many of my favourites from their debut, Black Music, I finally found myself a 'home' for their music, in the warmth of a summer night; despite my more recently neglected yet ever deep affinity for it having grown on morning rail commutes in the cold and dark of early January. When I think back this to me is the music that not only defined the start of my time traveling to and working in the city, but really helped me through the challenges which the change of career and pace posed.
They play very well but with great ease. Their relatively suspensive and minimalistic songs are interpreted with a calm liveliness which will not allow a moment to be lost amongst their excessive use of effects, re-verb and more re-verb. They do some epic things with sound. I walk away with a renewed outlook and positivity. I'll close providing you with an example of their music; my favourite song of theirs...
On a different note, well worth a mention are local band Witch Hunt who supported at this free gig, and drew a notably larger crowd than Dark Horses themselves. I thoroughly enjoyed my second time seeing them, which gave true affirmation that they really are as good as I thought them to be. The whole duetting vocals & guitars against drum loops and effects works beautifully, and I'm very glad to hear they're already getting some much deserved recognition and are currently being featured as Huw Stephens' BBC Introducing Tip Of The Week.. They play a real range from punchy and upbeat to delicate and haunting, I wish there was more out there to share but, whilst I don't feel it begins to give an idea of how entrancing they are, their soundcloud page is about as good of an example as is available at the moment. Check out my haunting favourite Crawl, and also Chairman the riff from which has been my 'earworm' of the year, to date.
Lately I've been listening to a whole bunch of stuff:
Peace - In Love *Savages - Silence Yourself *Django Django - Django Django Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt & American Weekend *Wolf People - Steeple
Also a bit of: Pearl Jam - Backspacer You Am I - Deliverance Toy - Toy
However.. Nine Inch Nails!! - a band whose music until now I've hardly known a note of, have very much stolen the show of late. They recently put a vast portion of their discography up on soundcloud and I've just been lost in it. Whilst their music lives up to the image; it really is just soo well written..
Next purchases will be 2010's Tidings and 2013's Fein by Wolf People, and *Drenge's debut which just came out. * - bands whose sets I caught on Sunday at Beacons (sorry - pretentious of me I know). Particularly seminal for my was seeing both Savages and Django Django play for the first time, both are band's I've been very into and neither dissapointed. Whilst Wolf People's set was good, the album Steeple which I picked up on an off-chance this week has turned out to be an absolute jem!
I'm currently going through my back catalogue of The Church .
I was introduced to them in 1990 by Julianne Regan of All About Eve (but not personally, unfortunately), who said they were her favourite band. All About Eve were my favourite band at the time so if they were good enough for the delectable Julianne, they were good enough for me!
I only learned later that The Church are Australian (which is a big thumbs up!), and their guitarist Marty Willson-Piper later joined All About Eve on loan (in football parlance), which made AAE even better. Pity the record-buying public didn't think the same!
The Church started out in 1981 or so, and after various haituses (hiataii??) are still going today, though I don't have anything of theirs beyond 1994.
In their early days they were the jangliest guitar group in the world, so if you like jangly guitars, listen to their early 1980s stuff, like this:
Well I was out Friday, Saturday and Sunday, respectively to support some local faves in the form of Battle Lines and Black Moth but the highlight was Sunday when I finally got to see Let's Buy Happiness at fave venue The Brudenell Social Club. As I've likely alluded to before, I've been keen on them for quite of the few of the four years they've spent 'finding the sound they're happy with' I could rave for time about them, they really are good as is exemplified in their latest vid for 'Run'