Saturday, 20 August 2016

Video of the Day: 'Let's Pray' by Blaenavon

As the moment for indie-pop stardom for Blaenavon gets ever closer, they've deferred their University places and focussed on completing their debut album for Transgressive records. From it comes this slice of jangly guitar angst, with its plaintive cry 'Let's pray for death' and accompanying revenge-flick video.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Video of the Day: 'Gosh' by Jamie xx

When a new video emerges for a track that's already been around for over a year it had better be good. Otherwise, you think, what's the point? Then you find out that it's directed by Romain Gavras and you know you're gonna be in for something special...and so it is. Filmed in China (yes, there is a part of China that has a replica of the Eiffel Tower and parts of of the Palace of Versailles) this hypnotising,, mesmerising video was apparently made without any CGI, so everything here is as real as life can be.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Glastonbury 2016 - The Ones To Watch - T-1 Day: LCD Soundsystem

The last one to watch couldn't really be anyone else could it? Headlining the Other Stage on Sunday night, and closing their set with one of my all time favourite songs 'All My Friends, the recently reformed LCD Soundsystem will make you dance, sing, and maybe even bring a tear to your eye as they close out the festival.

Sure, they may have split up and reformed in a shorter space of time than many bands take between making albums, but that shouldn't detract from the fact that a) they've made some great tunes and b) they're brilliant live - just wait until it all kicks off in 'Movement' and see the crowd go wild.

At Coachella this year they played both Bowie and Prince covers so we should expect something special by way of tributes. But even if they don't their set will be a great way to finish the festival. I'll be there, and even if it means I miss Beyonce and Jay-z coming on with Coldplay then I'll have no regrets. Like it says in 'All My Friends': "I wouldn't trade one stupid decision, for another 5 years of life".

Monday, 20 June 2016

Glastonbury 2016 - The Ones To Watch - T-2 Days: Saint Etienne

Nestling nicely on the bill between E.L.O. and Beck (if you don't mind a sprint up to the Park stage and back), Saint Etienne will provide some blissful 90s beats for your Sunday afternoon. If you're not familiar with their particular blend of indie-pop then here are a few pointers. Let's start with what is possibly the best Neil Young cover version in history, their version of 'Only Love Can Break Your Heart', which was their first single.

I always loved the bit in 'You're In A Bad Way' where they lift the melody from 'Telstar'.

How about the Italian-house inspired 'She's On The Phone'?

Or the conga beats of the filmic 'Sylvie'?

As you can see there's plenty of great songs to choose from, so make sure you try to catch some of their set.


Sunday, 19 June 2016

Glastonbury 2016 - The Ones To Watch - T-3 Days: Jeremy Corbyn / Left Field stage

As you should know by know, it's not just about music at Glastonbury. The Left Field stage has been there for 10 years, and sprang out of the festival's tradition of campaigning, first for CND and then for the striking miners.

The stage is now curated by Billy Bragg and features a mixture of debates, music and comedy. And with the small matter of the EU Referendum to be decided while we're at the festival, is there a better time to listen to the thoughts of the Leader of the Opposition? I honestly expect this to be one of the most packed tents of the whole weekend so if you're going make sure you get there early.

If you don't make it for Jezza then there are panel debates on Feminism, Immigration, the junior doctors strike and more that might take your fancy. There's always a great feel in the tent and it can be a good place to escape the sun / rain / general hecticness of Glastonbury, so do stop by and see something there while you're on site.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Glastonbury 2016 - The Ones To Watch - T-4 Days: Eska

ESKA cover art

Born in Zimbabwe, raised in Lewisham, Eska is a great talent who weaves together a range of genres from folk to soul to r'n'b to dance in a style that's all her own.

With support from the likes of Gilles Peterson her debut album soon came to prominence, and was shortlisted for the 2015 Mercury Prize.

There are a couple of chances to catch Eska at Glastonbury this year - midnight at The Rum Shack on Saturday or midday on the West Holts Stage on Sunday. I might well see you there.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Glastonbury 2016 - The Ones To Watch - T-5 Days: St. Paul & The Broken Bones

A man with the voice of an angel (but the body of an overweight Alan Carr), backed by a stunningly-good band, Paul Janeway has come from heaven via Birmingham, Alabama to prove that proper soul music is alive and well.

If you passed him on the street you'd never imagine that he'd sound as beautiful as this, which for me is one of the attractions of this band - the unexpected strength and soulfulness will draw you right in.

If you watch the 2 live performances on here then I really don't need to say anything else, other than I'll see you at the Other Stage early on Saturday afternoon.