Tag Archives: villagers

Pick of the best upcoming gigs in Southampton and Winchester

Things are starting to settle down after the end of year rush, and I’ve noticed that a number of really good bands are out and about on tour at the moment. So I’m using this post as a heads up for those people who would like to see some good music coming up, but don’t want to find out about it the day after tickets sold out, or have to go round venues picking up leaflets. Also these are gigs I will actually be trying to go to, so if anyone wants to go, I’ll probably be there too.

Public Service Broadcasting

14th Feb – Swim Deep @ The Joiners, Southampton

Let’s kick things off with a show on TONIGHT! Don’t worry, though, it’s sold out online (sorry, they might have some on the door), but I thought it would be nice to begin with something immediate. Swim Deep have been gaining traction recently thanks to a group of fairly decent singles, and videos that could put them up as breakthroughs in the slacker rock department, hot on the heels of Peace and Palma Violets. With support from strong locals New Desert Blues, this should be a great gig. Here’s the song of theirs that most caught my ears thanks to the line ‘Fuck your romance, I wanna pretend that Jenny Lee Lindberg is my girlfriend’. And you can’t argue with that.

18th Feb – Villagers @ Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth

Villagers’ new album {Awayland} got them wide respect and a larger fan base, and my vague support thanks to the Sparklehorse-y ‘Nothing Arrived’. Fans of folk-rock can’t afford to miss this, even if it is in a rival town, Wedgewood Roooms is a good venue and support is coming from Stealing Sheep, fresh from their own support slot on the recent Alt-J tour, and whose debut album is a fantastic under-the-radar gem.

21st Feb – Public Service Broadcasting @ The Railway, Winchester

Now for this one I AM GOING, I’VE EVEN BOUGHT A TICKET, so you should all join me. Public Service Broadcasting are a duo that merge WWII era public information films, be it about the blitz, spitfires or technology, with Amnesiac-era Radiohead-esque instrumentals. They make a tasty, tasty sound and a live show that combines video footage with great rock is something I don’t want to miss. Also one of the support bands is local group Pivotal who are probably my favourite local live band after seeing them support Slow Club last year.

23rd Feb – Wilko Johnson @ Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth

For those who don’t know, Wilko Johnson is a guitarist who was in iconic proto-punk band Dr. Feelgood. His guitar sound has been one of the most iconic ones around, and he is also one of the most thoroughly likeable musicians around. So when news came that he had terminal cancer the music world waws pretty depressed. But what was more stunning was Wilko’s reaction, declining Chemo and choosing to go on a ‘farewell tour’ to say goodbye to his fans. He also gave an incredible interview to BBC about how great he felt having received the news which is pretty damn awe-inspiring. This last chance to see him is pretty damn unmissable: “Every little thing you see, every cold breeze against your face, every brick in the road, you think ‘I’m alive, I’m alive’ – I hope I can hang onto that.”

28th Feb – Burglars of the Heart (and CIRCUS) @ The Joiners, Southampton

Now I know very little about the headliners on this day except that they’re an indie-folk outfit who have an album on bandcamp. But I hear that support band The Circus are some sort of amazing new rock band that blow everybody’s minds or something, and that in no  way are a band that I play in that I’m shamelessly plugging, but seriously do come it will be fucking amazing. Here’s the facebook event.

7th Mar – Stiff Little Fingers @ The Brook, Southampton

Legendary Northern Irish punk band, currently having a film made about their earl scene. They re-united and have come on tour. Punk fans should not miss this chance to see such an iconic group.

11th Mar – Tom Odell @ The Brook, Southampton

SOLD OUT but man would I looove a ticket. The winner of the Brit’s Choice award (not an award I’m a fan of tbh), but he’s got some style. A potential british piano Jeff Buckley, he gets all the hype at the moment. Steal and scrounge your ticket if you can.

11th Apr – King Krule @ The Joiners, Southampton

King Krule has to be the single coolest young musician out there. A scrawny ginger with a ragged bass voice, he’s got the most incredible musical talent around. Recent single Octopus showed that this is a kid who has been listening to the right kinds of music for years, the strong dub influence coming through magnificently. Catch him now before he gets turned into some sort of cool version of the Jake Bugg working-class-hero bollocks.

21st May – Lucy Rose @ The Brook, Southampton

Another gig I already have my ticket for, Lucy Rose had an epic 2012 and powers through 2013 with another tour. This time not the tiny Joiners but the more expansive The Brook, well worth getting tickets for the woman who has now outshone her early backers Bombay Bicycle Club. She’s a great live host too with charm in abundance and the tunes to match it.

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Who Will Make The Album Of 2013

So having just finished my end of year list way too late to have anyone care, I thought I’d get ahead of the game for once, and have a go at guessing which artist will make what would be the album of 2013. It’s clearly ridiculous, but it’s just a bit of fun, and also a way for me to bag some proper ‘I told you so’ rights in the coming year.

The Indie Rock Debut Contenders

Here we have the bands, championed by the NME and the odd critic out there for Indie Rock crown. The best of the bunch seem to be the following: Peace, Palma Violets, Savages and Haim. The latter just won the BBC’s Sound of 2013 poll/list/whatnot, which should make them major players, but they don’t do anything for me. The songs are good and fun (their rendition of The Chanukah Song was a highlight of 6music’s Christmas playlist), but they sound too much like what my head thinks the 80s sound like. They are undoubtedly good, but not fresh enough to make an album that would stun. Palma Violets on the other hand are exactly that. Their lead single ‘Best of Friends’ was the NME’s song of 2012, they deftly signed to Rough Trade after never releasing any songs and having seen them live, the phrase ‘Fucking Amazing’ does spring to mind. But my main worry, is that they haven’t got enough songs of ‘Best of Friends’ caliber. ’14‘ and ‘Tom the Drum’ are songs that I do think rock, but don’t quite have the catchy power of BoF. Ultimately though, their secretism about releasing tracks will work in their favour, as it makes guessing this much harder, they could still come out and stun us.

Savages are in a tight bind. While probably my personal favourite of all four (how can you not love a post-punk band of Siouxsie meets Joy Division), they have one stonking track in ‘Husbands’ and a great sound. But I can’t help feeling they’ve rushed into the making of their album, especially as they have remained independent, on their own ‘Pop Noire’ label. They need to take the time, tour even more than they already have so that when they have a full album out, it will be packed with tight and infectious intense songs like ‘Husbands’, a poor record here could kill them early on.

So, my pick for the Indie Rock album of 2013 folks is Peace. Why, because unlike Palma Violets I know their other songs are awesome, I saw them live and know that they rule, and genuinly, every single track this band have put out, (all 8), is golden and that’s more songs than on a Springsteen album. All it takes is one more cheeky single that does something different around when release day for the album hits and they will have nailed it. Peace 4 2013. Rumours of a Rock Revolution are abounding, and are as stupid as they were the first time some hack journalist propagated them… Indie won’t be the place the music revolution will happen, it will be in POP…

The Pop Debut Contenders

Music is changing, and it’s not the way you think it will be. Rather than Indie wiping out stupid boring pop music for big men with guitars who sing about girls and drugs and leather jackets, it’s the Pop that will go Indie. Over the last couple years it’s become increasingly more acceptable for the #cool #indie #types to admit to being fans of pop music, or even hideously uncool pop acts, but 2012 is the first year where artists are properly combining Indie nous with Pop Power, giving a crossover power that will destroy all in their wake. The two new bands leading the charge are both British, one from Glasgow, and one from London. I talk of course, of two nominated for BBC’s poll as well, AlunaGeorge and Chvrches.

AlunaGeorge I’ve been aware of since early on in 2012, when they made me break my unwritten rule of not buying singles when I bought ‘You Know You Like It’ after hearing it on the radio. Something about its awesome production and catchy as hell chorus made me have to grab it. In other words, it worked exactly like pop singles are supposed to, except on twee indie types like myself. The follow-up single ‘You Know You Like It’ was even better, and again, I bought it. The band have nailed making interesting, arty music that can get the pop factor essentials absolutely right, and it’s why they really should have won Sound of 2013. Now with these 2 perfect singles, and a teaser clip for a new song that sounds great, and a sneaky chilled out one that sounds supercool, their album should be a shoe-in for a record that combines pop sales with Indie coolness.

I can’t really split between them and Chvrches for who is better. While AlunaGeorge are more slinky, more post-dubstep, Chvrches are full on synth-pop. The heavy, heavy tones of the synths allow vocalist Lauren Mayberry to plant sugary sweet melodies in your brain with a fantastic scottish accent that makes them especially shine out. Singles ‘The Mother We Share’ and ‘Lies’ are both impossible to forget, but also rewarding on repeated listens. Their album should devastate if they can even put out one more song as good as the previous two, and from interviews they all seem to have cool heads on their shoulders so it should be no problem. These two bands are just as likely as Peace to make the record of 2013, but so far all I’ve looked at is new bands…

Established Band Contenders

Leading the pack of bands that have already put out albums in Foals. The main single ‘Inhaler’ sounds like someone took their ambient selves from previous album Total Life Forever and trapped them in a room with 1993 era Soundgarden until they were prepared to RAWK. Mighty riffs and screaming vocals make it a breath of fresh air in dainty indie land. Being still the darlings of the press, they have enough about them to make an album that can surprise and twist even if other single ‘My Number’ is just a bit ok.

They will probably be trumped though, if current biggest Alt band in the world besides Radiohead, Arcade Fire, manage to beat the turn of the new year with their as yet unconfirmed but being worked on fourth album. It’s estimated for late 2013, or early 2014, and considering they have put out 3 records of era defining quality, it should seem an easy game for them to take album of the year, especially with James Murphy at the helm of production. But Yorke and pals could have revenge with Atoms for Peace‘s debut album Amok. Only single ‘Default’ was pretty awesome and live footage keeps emerging that finally makes sense of how someone as physical as Flea fits into a sound as odd as the one Yorke creates. Arguably this could even sound better than Radiohead’s last LP which left a lot of people very cold with its Caribou stylings.

A group of assorted older bands will be making ventures into 2013, among them Mudhoney, Eels, Pearl Jam, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, but most asonishingly My Bloody Valentine, who have claimed the new album is actually finally mastered, only 22 years after their last was released! Some of Indie’s less hype-intensive small groups are also due to be making 2013 inroads, Everything Everything hope to follow fantastic single ‘Cough Cough’ with a quality album, Local Natives have been gathering a cult following throughout 2012, and thi smight be their breakthrough year, while band-that-I-just-heard-on-the-radio Villagers have a very nice single out in leiu of their album due out in 4 days. Good for them.

But in all honesty, if I know myself, if won’t be Peace, AlunaGeorge, Atoms for Peace or Chvrches that turn out album of the year. It will be some weird act that I’d never heard of until mid-July who emerge from nowhere with a completely different sound. And that’s not a bad thing, the internet and the disfigured shape of the music industry mean that any odd record can wind its way into your hands, and it means that taste doesn’t have to be so tribal, we can like what we like. That said, I’m still humming ‘Lies’ by Chvrches, so you can probably count them as favourites.

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