Dazzling. Surreal. Vaguely Sensual. Closure in Moscow storm North London.

Closure in Moscow

The Garage, Highbury – 10th November 2015

Exploding ferociously on to one of the smallest stages in the capital come a band as exciting and off the wall as they are well honed and engaging. Barely large enough to contain their five members, let alone when they start pumping and gyrating with a visceral intensity, the modestly proportioned performance area positively throbs as effortlessly charismatic frontman Christopher de Cinque and his bandmates tear through a blistering, ear melting set. Continue reading

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Alt-Rock Duo launch celestial Space Race chronicle

Public Service Broadcasting

The Race For Space

Think that an album charting the history of the 1960s Cold War Space Race between the USA and the Soviet Union isn’t for you? Think again. London-based musical pioneers/diligent public service archivists Wrigglesworth and J. Willgoose Esq return in 2015 with an album that expertly splices snippets of archived radio propaganda footage with a multitude of musical styles from art rock and disco-punk through to krautrock and electronica. Veering away from the temptation to produce a bleak, sparse backdrop of minimalist post-rock to accompany these grainy, crackling outtakes from the Huston and Moscow space centres, Public Service Broadcasting will propel you on a sonic voyage through the annals of musical history.

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South London feels the fever.

Fever Family

Leander Road Street Party, Brixton – 4th July 2015

Forget Glastonbury. Forget Isle of Wight. Forget Reading. This year it’s an unassuming street party in South London that steals the hearts and minds of some music loving, slightly inebriated bystanders. It may not have the decades of history or extravagant sound systems – a barking dog does briefly threaten to derail the set at one stage – but down in Brixton there is one street that partiers harder than all the rest. Kicking off proceedings are Leander Road’s very own Fever Family, a seven piece funk-soul outfit who have spent the last year whipping up delirious adulation in venues around the capital with a combination of bombastic tunes and wildly unrestrained dance routines.  Continue reading

Former Fleet Foxes drummer cuts loose with uninhibited second album.

Father John Misty

I Love You, Honeybear

Witty, intelligent, charming, casually self-deprecating, sharply dressed and only reluctantly sincere, Josh Tillman is undoubtedly a man who lets his music speak for itself. Having parted ways with extravagantly hirsute folk-rock icons Fleet Foxes back in 2012, the band’s former drummer returns with one of the most lyrically absorbing albums you can hope to get your hands on this year. Still boasting a beard of almost tropical luxuriance, Tillman shows an intuitive grasp of writing psychedelic folk tunes with lyrics wickedly cynical yet searingly honest and at times piercingly heartfelt.“Love is just an institution based on human frailty” he bellows on one of the album’s more perplexingly uplifting moments; his most striking attribute as a songwriter is to make such seemingly bleak and bitter sentiments feel profoundly cathartic. Continue reading

Rousing return for rejuvenated post-grunge survivors.

Incubus

Hammersmith Apollo, London – 16th June 2015

In a dusty, forgotten attic somewhere there must a hang a portrait of Brandon Boyd that looks shockingly decayed, for the Incubus front man seems supernaturally impervious to the slow ravages of time. Ahead of the band launching into up-tempo stomper Sick Sad Little World, the seemingly ageless Boyd peels off his shirt and as if on cue a wave of camera phones promptly emerge above the sea of flailing limbs. Even at the age of 39,the former nu-metal pin up boy still cuts a dashing figure and this is a time honoured tradition that never fails to push the temperature of an already steamy crowd noticeably higher, with girls swooning and straining for a better view. However, behind the sculpted, sun-kissed singer there has always been a group tirelessly pumping out restlessly diverse post-grunge anthems that have never quite settled on a specific genre. Asked recently if his band was still “culturally relevant”, Boyd replied simply “I don’t know, but let’s try anyway”, and that’s certainly the impression you get tonight as they throw themselves around with the same reckless abandon as the carefree group of teenagers who first graced a stage together some 24 years ago. Continue reading

Columbian “Soul-Wop” pioneer embraces the Californian summer.

Kali Uchis

Por Vida

Boasting the effortlessly cool charisma of Gwen Stefani, similarly distinctive looks to those of Lady Gaga, and the smoky, soulful voice of Amy Winehouse, in many ways Kali Uchis already appears the complete package. Mentored by one of the rising stars of the hip hop production world, Odd Future founder Tyler, The Creator, and with a new EP co-produced by no fewer than eight collaborators (including Tyler himself along with Diplo, leader of Jamaican dancehall syndicate Major Lazer), Por Vida certainly looks like a recipe for success. Bringing with it an understated but self-assured swagger and light, breezy pop tunes that you can wager will be widely described as “sun-kissed” by the deluge of reviews to follow, the timing of the release to coincide with the onset of the American summer is unlikely to be an accident. Continue reading

Ageless L.A. rockers rediscover their groove.

Incubus

Trust Fall – Side A

Following a three year hiatus which has spawned an array of solo projects and ever increasing speculation on their future as a band, Incubus have returned to doing what they do best; laying down bombastic riffs while lead singer Brandon Boyd provides esoteric lyrics and soaring vocals that give the recordings their signature flavour. Shunning the allure of an eighth studio album, the perennially youthful west coast outfit return instead with a brief but dextrously complex EP that sees them effortlessly roll back the years. Continue reading