Neon Indian - Village Underground, Shoreditch. 6/6/12
Does Philip Green spell the death for Electro?
As I reflect on the Neon Indian gig I’m left with one persistent question.Has the man that gave the world two t shirts for a tenner finally moved into the world of music? Neon Indian certainly shop in his stores and the lead singer clearly thinks he’s a teenage girl in the way he holds the Mic as if its his hairbrush.
Neon Indian played some tracks from Era Extrana which is definitely worth listening to but they aren’t a band that can back it up live. The fact that Village Underground was full when the fantastic support act Chromatics were on compared to when Neon Indian played their encore the room was empty. This spoke volumes for their ability to perform live.
For me personally it came down to the lead singer Alan Palomo being a weak front man who’s far too narcissistic. His annoying habit of flicking his head with a bizarre near metronomic regularity along with his over the top Mic holding style. A style which was not very well connected to the mood of the song. It would be like dancing trance to the Dirty Dancing sound track; it just didn’t fit.
Aside from the overall ‘showmanship’ the sound was laboured and save for the odd moment there was little really to get excited about across their entire mid week set. It seemed the only real connection between group and audience was located in small pockets of drunken teenage Saturday girls dressed almost exclusively in Green’s finest apparel.
The high point and real bonus of the evening was the delicious sensory overload that are Chromatics. Despite their billing as ‘support’ the crowd were treated to a group brimming with confidence and a sack full of great tunes that undoubtedly sees them set on a solid upward trajectory.
Instantly mesmeric, Chromatics, from the very first beat took those of us lucky enough to have chanced upon them on a sonic journey through a trancing electro landscape littered with epic cannons, vast parries and teasing sound scapes.. A journey that was a truly great live experience.
Sticky Carpets rates Chromatic a very solid seven and a half pints out of ten. Killer sound!
Sadly with Neon Indian the team at Sticky Carpets thought little point in telling anything other then the truth which saw them peek at a generous three pints of shandy out of ten.
On exiting the gig leaving early an enthusiastic camera man / reviewer asked for my opinion of the gig. I said it how it was: really shit. Bands have to learn how to set up their sound for the venue they’re playing in and The Horrors let themselves down massively.
A relatively large crowd started to disappear in a steady stream of disappointment. There was little reason in hanging around. We left. I’ll have to be satisfied with listening to Skying not knowing which tracks they actually played last night.
As A Simpson said “I go to a lot of gigs and you want to like them all but you know if you think a gig is shit its because it probably is” and that gig was.
Anyway it turns out the enthusiastic reviewer was a mate of the band and when A Simpson wanted to give his opinion the reviewer refused to take it!
Stickycarpets rates this gig 0 pints out of 10 - it was as exciting as mineral water
Sticky Carpets is pleased to welcome back football blogger extraordinaire, The Ball is Round with a review of the recent Snow Patrol gig at London’s 02. Over to you Stu:
I remember the date as if it was only yesterday. It was Tuesday 14 June 2005. The venue was Manchester’s City of Manchester Stadium. I was here to see U2 on their acclaimed Vertigo Tour. I normally give support acts a wide berth but on this tour the supporting cast was impressive. The Killers, Feeder, Athlete and Idlewild were pencilled in for various European dates but for this night we had a new one on new, Snow Patrol. My trusted sidekick, the Current Mrs Fuller was more knowledgeable than me, having bought their Final Straw CD for the car. Their thirty minute set included Chocolate, Spitting Games and the haunting Run that singer Gary Lightbody sang solo. I was hooked.
Seven years later and I was returning to see them for the sixth time as they closed their tour with the final night of three at the O2 Arena in London. Our last interaction with the band had been at a special set of gigs at the Royal Albert Hall a couple of years ago when they lined up with a full orchestra. But last night they were back to their roots with heavy guitars, pounding drums and a light show that would put most groups efforts to shame.
They opened with I’ll Never Let Go, before launching into Take Back The City, one of the first of many that had the crowd on their feet. Hands Open went down well after that before the lights went down and the familiar chords of Run started up. The last time Snow Patrol played in the O2 prior to this tour Lightbody played this song solo but tonight it was notched up a gear and played with passion and emotion.
My youngest daughter’s first song she learned to sing was Chasing Cars, undoubtedly the group’s finest moment. Trivia fact for you - the song was the last one ever performed on Top of the Pops when it finally ended in July 2006. The song was also the most played in the first decade of the century according to the Phonographic Performance organisation.
It was hard to follow such a high but they did with the vastly under-rated Chocolate from their Final Straw album. The show ended with the subdued Fallen Empires which featured support act Everything Everything and You’re All I Have. But with two big tracks still to come it was obvious that the encore would follow irrespective of the clamouring of the crowd.
They returned with the new song Lifening before crashing into the anthem-like Open Your Eyes and finally rounding off the evening with Just Say Yes.
Previously at the O2 they had finished the show with the experimental symphony The Lightening Strike - all 17 minutes in it’s finest. But tonight was different show. Not my favourite one they have ever done - I am still trying to warm to Fallen Empires but still enough to remember why I sat up and took notice all those years ago.
I’ll Never Let Go Take Back The City Hands Open This Isn’t Everything You Are Run Crack the Shutters In the End Set the Fire to the Third Bar Make This Go On Forever Shut Your Eyes Chasing Cars The Garden Rules Chocolate Called Out in the Dark Fallen Empires (with Everything Everything) You’re All I Have
Saw Friendly Fires at Brixton on 24th Nov. It’s not a symbollic date though I suspect the two mates I took will remind me about how shit this band are live.
I listen to Friendly Fires a lot in nt Electro Pop playlist. I enjoy them. Because of them I’m listening to Miami Horror and others. I wanted to see them. In fact I was looking forward to seeing them. I’d heard that they were great; a must see live. What a crock of shit. Anyway here go:
Watching this band I just had a sneer across my face the whole time. I had my arms crossed in bewilderment. I only sang along to one tune. As Dave put it ‘what have you brought me to? A Smash Hits tour!’ That is about the level this band sits in. How any indie higher power let them play in the mecca of indie venues is mystifying.
Anyway back to my face I sneered so long I got cramp in my face. Especially at the lead singer who danced like a little boy trying not to have a pee in case his mummy tells him off. His audience engagement was like he’d studied Pepsi cola adverts on how to be a rock star. Everything about him was cringeworthy.
We didn’t hang around for an encore. With campness and student women I realised I was not the demographic for this band.
Stickycarpets rates this gig 3 halves out of 10 pints.
'Spectacular eclectic Spectacular' Aliens, tutunkamun, safari men, nomads, Greek sea maids, Venetian masks; all these beings crawled out of the woodwork of the auditorium screeching an odd modern jazz with saxophones, flutes, guitars, violins, percussion, like a pilgrim trail of costumed ants slow marching on stage. So this is what Jerry Dammers Spatial AKA is all about: fantastically creative.
Jerry Dammer was a key member and song writer of the aka band The Specials. The Specials are back together on the gravy train getting fans to pay towards their pension fund. However they are not doing it with their creator and founder Jerry Dammer. He’s busy creating this amazing ska, funk, reggae and modern jazz orchestra.
Everyone has to experience this performance. What a show! Paricularly the ska, funk and reggae. I wasn’t a fan of the modern jazz or the singers that did a few numbers. He can do without those. The rest was cracking and had loads of people up on their feet dancing.
Little Roy 'The Battle for Seattle' - La Scala 17 Nov 2011
London Guest writer Lucie A
I had been excited about Little Roy for weeks. Although I had actually never heard of him what could be better than combining reggae with nirvana.
Little Roy is an established elder on the reggae circuit but it is The Battle for Seattle album that has given him greater exposure to a wider audience.
The man himself has great stage presence, a huge permanent smile and dance moves to rival my own [editors note: Lucie has two dances; one is a bouncy side to side number and other is all arms as if a scarecrow was waving crows away]. He interspersed classic Nirvana songs with some of his older material. The latter I hadn’t heard before but was in line with his upbeat hip shaking style.
Possibly one of the shortest gigs I have been too but Scala was a good venue to see the man, his band and syncronised dancers up close. There was a cheer from the crowd as Roy shook out his impressive dreadlocked hair. The highlights were of course ‘Come as you are’ and ‘Lithium’. Oh, and me spilling my pint down the back of a happy fan and not getting a punch in the face!
The Good, The Bad and The Queen - The Coronet 10 Nov 2011
Very Good, No Bad and a couple of Queen’s stood in front of me having a good snog through out the gig. Actually they were a couple of female queen’s if that makes sense. Anyway it was music for them to romance to.
For me though it was simply quality entertainment from Albarn, Simonon and crew. Loved the feel of them just coming together for this Greenpeace gig practising for a few hours before and stepping up and playing in front of a few hundred fans for the first time in 3 years. The small dingy atmosphere of the Coronet made it feel suitably dirty and gig-like; I like the way is felt almost working man’s social club and apart from the odd steam-punker dressed fan everyone else looked washed even the romantic girls in front of me.
they have all been there and done that - and how. This time it’s all about the album, the perfomance and the songs.
This for me was proven at this gig. Albarn stage presence is honest and undoubted. Simonon cool as a chicago gangster in prohibition smoothed around his part of the stage. Long hid out of sight in the same way he did in the Verve. Allen smiled and jigged his way through. They didn’t care they were playing for themselves as much as us and that’s why this gig was sooo good.
Bombay Bicycle Club, Brixton Academy, 19th October
London Guest writer Ross
Prior to attending the gig all I knew of Bombay Bicycle Club was that they were named after an up market curry house chain originally founded in Balham. I used to be a regular attendee of said restaurant but then it became frankly rubbish whilst maintaining a premium price point. None of this is relevant to the band who I do not believe were responsible for the decline in culinary quality.
So I spotified (is this the correct verb?) BBC and listened to the best songs as rated by the Spotifiers (again is this right?). My overall impression was that it was nice music. Nice like a dressing gown but not particularly inspiring or rock and roll and as such I was a little unenthused by the prospect of the gig.
But I was wrong. Maybe the Spotifists (I think I prefer this to Spotifiers) like their music mellow. Or maybe the band had decided to add a little spice to the mix. Either way they were a completely different proposition live and had an energy that I had not anticipated. They still had their fair share of ‘lighters in the air’ numbers but the crowd really got involved when they got a bit more chaotic and let loose. If they could find a way to transfer this energy to their future recordings then I could see them moving onto greater commercial success.
Sticky Carpets rates this gig an all in all unexpectedly good and a solid 7 out of 10 pints.
In true Ross style I had listened to a random smorgasbord of Rapture songs in the 48 hours prior to the gig to get a feel for them. They seemed alright and are apparently pioneers of the post-punk revival genre. Which is commendable for a movement featuring The Strokes and White Stripes, even though I am not 100% certain that this is a real musical movement/genre and not some trendy muso made up nonsense.
So The Rapture. In short they were quite a mixed bag and seemed a little uncertain as to what direction they wanted to go in. A few moderately chilled Becks later and at one point I was sure one of their songs had stolen the drumbeat from ‘Theme from Shaft’ whilst at another they started to sound very Duran Duran. You could not doubt the musical ability but there seemed to be some spark lacking in the performance. The much more informed/cool/asymmetrical haired crowd seemed to like them though so they must be doing something right.
I give it 4 pints out of 10 probably because I am a harsher critic than Sticky Carpets usual writers; Luge and Mark.
The First Noel - Gallagher, Snr. live NY debut - Beacon Theatre
Sticky Carpets is proud to feature the first guest gig review from renowned football blog royalty, The Ball is Round. Take it away Stuart:
This was to be a first for me. Out of the hundred or so gigs I had seen in my life I had never seen one outside of the UK. I have always had a romantically strange thought of seeing someone from England playing abroad - almost as if I should get special treatment because we have a kinship. I expect that part way through the concert the artist will stop and give a shout out to “my mate Stuart from back home” just because I have made the effort to see them on different shores. Of course that is never going to happen, and as I took my place in the Beacon Theatre tonight I was simply another face in the crowd waiting to see Noel Gallagher’s attempt to break North America.
Pure co-incidence saw me in New York City for the third date in Noel’s tour in the USA and I had to see this. As opposed to playing the big arenas in the UK such as the O2 in London or the NIA in Birmingham, the North American tour was being hosted in smaller, more intimate venues. Would it work? Only 90 minutes would tell.
Arriving at the venue it was clear the Ex-Pats were out in force. A sizeable number of fans wearing Man City merchandise and even one guy braving the potential wrath of Gallagher by sporting a Green and Gold scarf. Pint in hand I took my seat in the middle balcony with a perfect view of the stage. Bang on 9pm the stage went dark and the guitar riff of the Oasis cover ‘(It’s Good) to be Free’ was drowned out by the cheers from the crowd. Some perplexed Americans around me asked what song number two was (‘Mucky Fingers’) before bopping away in their seats as if they knew all along.
Gallagher took until the end of the third song to acknowledge the crowd, commenting on the unusually warm weather in the city with “Fucking Global warming eh" before a few numbers from the excellent new album. The highpoint for many in the audience came when he played ‘Wonderwall’ and ‘Supersonic’ as solo acoustic numbers, something he hadn’t done on the tour to date. To say they brought the house down would be an understatement, although fortunately strict US fire regulations saved us from the awful scene of thousands of people swaying holding lighters in the air.
With a waft of “tobacco” in the air Gallagher started to enjoy the banter with the crowd and spotting a Man City scarf being held up he made a comment about the New York football team that few got (The New York Jets had been stuffed the night before) before shouting “Fuck United”. The clueless guy in front of me shouted “Yeah! And fuck Delta too”…He dedicated the next song to being a Man City fan, ‘AKA What a Life’ which is now becoming synonymous in England for football thanks to the Vauxhall ad for the England team.
But here is a question. Whilst playing the anthem Half the World Away, made famous of course by The Royle Family, I pondered a question. By playing an Oasis song that he wrote, is it technically a cover version? Any track listing for the concert would suggest so, but if he wrote the song on his own then surely it is his and thus it cannot be a cover.
(Stranded On) The Wrong Beach closed the show, although of course we had theprescribed three encore numbers. It was obvious he would end with HIS song, ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’, which for the first time in the evening saw the whole audience rise, but what else? Cigarettes & Alcohol? ‘All Around the World’? Perhaps a rare version of ‘Whatever’? ‘Little by Little’ sated most fans and the a rendition of the classic from ‘Don’t Believe the Truth’, ‘The Importance of Being Idle’ completed the show.
The audience wanted more, but it was not to be - a ninety minute show with twenty songs, with nine Oasis numbers was a decent night out. This tour is certainly not to be missed in the small venues where the power of the cords can be felt although my only two minor grumbles were at times the keyboard mic was turned up too much and there was an over use of powerful spotlights which blinded the audience far too often. Having seen Oasis live on a number of occasions and all of the arrogant pomp that went with it this was so different. It was intimate and you got the feeling that this was a Noel Gallagher at his best, playing at the peak of his career. I may be wrong - he may up his game for the Arenas but for one night, even he said it, it was “too cool for school”.
Scottish band. No that’s not a bad thing. Like most Manc bands you can really here the accent come threwww…
Anyway nought much in this performance yet held together by some strong rock tunes and sung by Adam Thompson - a fat lad with strong stage presence; i don’t mean like Les Dawson but a bit like a large Carl Barat.
It was a fun night because they have a tight following packed into a decent venue for this type of band.
Virgin gig for me and it wasn’t a gentle coming of age. Their performance ramped up punk style despite Turner’s Doowop haircut. Sometimes reminded me of The Clash with loud guitar followed by softer rhythms.
As they’re touring the new album unsurprisingly the set was mainly songs from Suck it and See. When they did play old tracks from the first album they were hardly recogniseable till half way in and this is where they reminded me of The Clash in style. I liked these newer versions though I’m sure the rest of the crowd were more “eh? What’s this one? Oh its….” Certainly A Simpson next to me had a confused face in parts.
So all in all a very enjoyable gig by a great band.