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The Big Pink – London – 13 May 2010

An hour in the company of The Big Pink is a sensory distorting experiment, and one that also questions your sexuality. It’s not a glam/gay thing, but there is a certain amount of homoeroticism about The Big Pink. The obvious sexual nature of the band name notwithstanding, and their record sleeves are all chicks and tits, but I think that’s to throw off the thinly veiled man-love shared between guitarist/vocalist Robbie Furze and bassist Milo Cordell.

By |2021-01-23T07:38:31+00:00June 18th, 2010|Categories: Live Reviews|Tags: , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

Primavera Festival – Barcelona – 27-29 May 2010

Ah, Barcelona, your beaches are beautiful, your women are smoking jewels (literally), and this festival by the beach (really an explosion of concrete by the seaside) is clearly the diamond in the rough for the travelling roadshow of bands that litter the skies with one thing in mind - a paid holiday. With a selection of acts that suited this weary hack like a good pair of tight jeans and a band tee, Primavera was a stage to stage delight. The current crop of new band like The Drums, Surfer Blood and Dum Dum Girls rose up to meet the challenge of the '90s alternative old guard of Pixies, Pavement and Superchunk.

The Fall – London – 7 May 2010

I’m a band purist at heart. You can cut off all your fingers, but you’ve still got a hand. If you cut off all your band members and keep cutting and cutting and cutting, you can't expect your audience to comply with your decision or to even recognise the music you make. What was it John Peel said about The Fall? "always different, always the same". Well, yes, but... no. Mark E. Smith is The Fall, but The Fall isn't just Mark E. Smith.

By |2021-02-01T00:38:02+00:00May 22nd, 2010|Categories: Live Reviews|Tags: , , , , , |1 Comment

The Primitives – London – 29 April 2010

What a wonderful world we live in where The Primitives are able to tread the boards once more. A delightful, decorous blend of '60s op-shop pop fronted by the delectable Tracy Tracy. One certified chart smash with “Crash” and some near misses along the way, The Primitives were one of those bands that were championed and loved (the old chestnut about Morrissey being a big fan is worth repeating) but never fully met with pop's good graces.

By |2021-01-11T00:31:47+00:00May 12th, 2010|Categories: Live Reviews|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Chris Thile – Los Angeles – 26 April 2010

"You must be the most attentive audience, ever" joked Chris Thile, during his performance at LA's gem Largo at the Coronet, "It's not often that you can hear the performer's water bottle snap back into place." And it was true -- in this intimate setting of about 75 people (including fan Minnie Driver), Mr. Thile was the center of everyone's attention. There was no heckling or chatter between songs, just enthusiastic, almost rapturous applause for this mandolin virtuoso.

By |2021-01-31T00:35:33+00:00May 1st, 2010|Categories: Live Reviews|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Mumford & Sons – Copenhagen – 11 April 2010

A great band once sang “I’m beginning to like country music. They say that’s the first sign of age” and during the last few years I have seen more and more friends go over to the side of banjos, boots and beards. Maybe age is catching up with us but it could also be that country has sneaked its way into the indie scene more and more, being mixed with folk, rock and pop.

By |2021-02-01T00:39:42+00:00April 15th, 2010|Categories: Live Reviews|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Bad Lieutenant – London – 18 March 2010

As a teenage music fan, one of my prized possessions was a bootleg LP of Joy Division recorded on the same stage Bad Lieutenant are playing tonight, 30 years later. You think Bernard Sumner, guitarist in both bands, would mention the significance, or perhaps the memory has left him, like his own introduction to an Electronic song later in the set "This is called "Tighten Up", I've no fucking clue what it's about".

By |2021-01-20T00:48:27+00:00March 23rd, 2010|Categories: Live Reviews|Tags: , , , , , , , |1 Comment

Stephen Malkmus – London – 9 December 2009

Stephen Malkmus has been ‘jicking’ for as long now as he was leading the charge in Pavement, releasing as many albums, yet never reaching the same heights. His solo career seemed to be in constant war of expectation over delivery. It's not Pavement. It's not a bunch of twenty-year-olds fighting their generation. But the louche stage prescence, that hazy cynical drawl, the greying hair framing the eyes in a semi-slacker curl, little has changed over the years.

By |2021-01-20T09:29:33+00:00March 13th, 2010|Categories: Live Reviews|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Jay Reatard – London – 13 November 2009

Musicians die. Sometimes quite unexpectedly, most before their time, but not often enough for your brain to idle between song, between string changes or tunings to wonder “will this be the last time?”. You don’t, because you’re too busy enjoying the moment. Having witnessed Jay Reatard play what would be his last ever show in London, he was anything but the vision of a man kicking out the last of his jams.

By |2021-01-11T00:55:35+00:00February 15th, 2010|Categories: Live Reviews|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Continuum Books 33 1/3 – Elliot Smith – XO, Big Star – Radio City

A look into Continuum's must-read 33 1/3 series of books that investigate the history and stories behind some of the greatest albums ever made, including reviews of the most recent releases in the series -- Big Star's Radio City and Elliott Smith's XO.

By |2018-07-26T11:24:37+01:00January 24th, 2010|Categories: Book Reviews, Reviews|Tags: , , , , , , , |1 Comment