Monday, February 06, 2006

What a weekend!

What a great weekend. Two amazing gigs, Scotland beat France at the rugby and my dissertation is finally beginning to take shape, all in all pretty good.

But its the gigs that we will of course concentrate on.

But first...

Roland Shanks have been a bit of an obsession of mine the last few days ever since I heard Steve Lamacq play their new single Cutting Teeth last week. It took me by surprise as I hadn't even read the name before let alone heard them before. Then I downloaded some of their stuff and everything I have so far is brilliant. Joy Division base, new wave vocals and some Bloc Party-esque drumming; simply brilliant. If you like Bloc Party, White Rose Movement or the Rakes then I definitly recommend this one, you will not be disappointed! This may very well be everyone's new favourite band.

Roland Shanks - August


My first gig was Jose Gonzalez at the liquid rooms on Saturday night. First was a support band who I cannot remember the name of but thats mostly because they were like a poor Mazzy Star and didn't really do much for me. Jose has been on my stereo ever since I heard Heartbeats at the beginning of last year; nobody could have guessed the success he would go on to have with that track. Its also funny that nobody on the radio or in the press here is mentioning that the song is a cover of The Knife. If you haven't heard the original I would recommend hearing it if only for the huge difference between the two, I would recommmend even more that you go to Said the Gramophone and download the version that they put up last week. Jose was as expected not absolutely breathtaking but he was consistently excellent throughout, a highlight being when someone thew some bouncy balls on stage during Heartbeats, very funny and he took in his stride and continued. All the album favourites were on there and he did his now famous covers of Massive Attack's Teardrop and the track I'm going to post, Kylie's Hand on Your Heart, which I'm sure you'll all have but is superb and certainly worth getting if you currently don't.

Jose Gonzalez - Hand on Your Heart

Then Sunday night was a real treat all round. Back again to the Liquid Rooms, same venue as the night before, but this time for Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. This gig was being put on in association with BBC 6 Music which is the excellent on line radio station from the BBC which plays excellent new and old music all day, its a real shame its not broadcast on proper radio or I would have it on all the time. As a result of this we had Steve Lamacq compering which was a nice surprise. i must say that whilst Clap Your Hands were excellent, as expected, as were support band Two Gallants, the biggest shock of the night came from The Very, an Edinburgh band who I somehow had never seen before but were absolutely incredible. I don't remember the last time I was that blown away by a band I had never heard before. There are only two of them, a guitarist who looks like your usual indie art-rocker boy and a drummer who was not your usual indie art-rocker guy but a stocky long haired ginger bloke who drummed mind-blowingly throughout. If I was to compare to any bands it would be somewhere inbetween The Futureheads and the White Stripes. They have a few tracks up on their website but to be honest the recordings don't do their live ability credit.

Please go to their website and have a listen to their stuff and show some love, Save Me from the City is particularly great and was even better live. So great live it was amazing.

Next up were Two Gallants. I have been listening to the few tracks of theirs I had for a while without feeling the need to investigate too much further. Shame though as everything was really good. All rocking country music, sometimes with an Irish folk vocal thing going on which wa cool. The drummer is absolutely mental though and looks like he's going to knock the whole kit over all the time, he looked a lot like Animal from the Muppets really, but didn't and played a solid set. Think I'll have a listen to the album soon as everything was really strong; strange lyrics at times which are worth checking out if you have a moment.

Two Gallants - Las Cruces Jail

And as for Clap Your Hands, well they were of course excellent. The chat was, as last time, kept to a minimum but it didn't really matter, the stage presence was aweseome. They did all the best from the album and my two favourite new ones, Satan Said Dance (see previous CYHSY post) and Cigarettes. Both excellent. The crowd really got into them and although some of the band were maybe going through the motions, frontman Alec Ounsworth was still doing his thing, sending vocals every which way and strutting round the stage rather chicken like. I still love them and still think are deserving of all the blog hype they got, just wish Wolf Parade would start getting the respect over here they deserve.

If you are burning through your CYHSY album, why not check out Alec's solo site where there are a handful of free mp3s.

Great couple of gigs though, sorry to leave the post so late



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