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Who The Hell Are… Seize The Chair?

You have to question the motives behind a band who put a picture of two gurning band members on the front cover of their debut 7", or when asking the record company for a promo photo being offered 'the one where they're all dressed up in drag', or 'the one where they're chewing grass' (we passed on both). Sheffield's Seize The Chair have the air of a band who clearly and delightfully just don't give a fuck. In fact they probably just want to make music and have a laugh. Which, if you've seen that record sleeve, you'll be laughing too.

By | 2018-06-18T04:13:54+00:00 August 24th, 2011|Categories: Features, Who the Hell Are|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Who The Hell Are… Fennel Seeds?

Never in the history of doing these 'Who The Hell Are... ?' spotlights has a band come along and answered each question so thoroughly and excitedly that to praise them any further would make it seem like we're actually in this band or take bribes (we do. email for details). From the same stable of acts (and household one would presume) that brought you the percussive pop concussions of We//Are//Animal and the not-very-French-at-all Masters In France, come spicy indie rock quartet Fennel Seeds. Further proof that North Wales these days is a happening place or one that naught much else happens.

By | 2018-06-18T04:14:00+00:00 August 12th, 2011|Categories: Features, Who the Hell Are|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Noah and the Whale – London – 16 May 2011

It’s a little known piece of Webcuts folklore that Noah And The Whale once played in my living room. Gladly, it was before my time, otherwise a compulsion to head downstairs and have words would‘ve been hard to resist. A sell-out show at the Camden Roundhouse is not to be sneered at, but if commercial success or the ability to fill a room is the barometer in which all great music is measured, we’re on (and have been for decades) very shaky ground, and when superlative-inducing American folk-rock act Okkervil River are playing across town, clearly in the wrong place.

By | 2015-08-10T05:08:14+00:00 June 18th, 2011|Categories: Live Reviews|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Wendy James – London – 9 June 2011

Why hello, Wendy James. It’s been a while. Almost 20 years since I saw Transvision Vamp play at the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney. A mostly unremarkable show except for the amount of intimidating drunks in attendance and the fact they played their current ‘hit‘ twice. Australia loved Transvision Vamp, almost in the same way it loved Blondie, decades before. Stick a blonde wig on a mop, put it in front of a bunch of guys in leather jackets and you're set. Transvision Vamp at that time were in their career descent with Little Magnets Versus The Bubble of Babble (my head still shudders at the idiocy of this title) and this was their last roll of the dice.

By | 2015-08-10T05:08:20+00:00 June 15th, 2011|Categories: Live Reviews|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Ramona – London – 17 April 2011

It's easy to love Ramona, even though everything about them is so flawless and en pointe, unheard for a scruffy bunch of Brighton by-way-of-New-York rockers. Picks in hand, they transform a handful of chords into polished punk perfection, fronted by the coquettish bleach-blonde tomboy Karen Anne, a second generation Edie and Debbie who knows how to hang from a mic stand like she was hanging from your shoulder. Absent from the stage this year so far, they cycle through their set in a brisk half hour, including encore, and you're crying out for a flubbed note, an unrehearsed run through a song they just wrote in the van, or general indifference to whether anybody is listening.

By | 2015-08-10T05:08:33+00:00 April 28th, 2011|Categories: Live Reviews|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Who The Hell Are… Villa Cola?

Having lived through the 80's, witnessed the birth of Wham!, the ascension of Kylie from Neighbours mechanic to pop princess and the rise and fall of the Stock, Aitken and Waterman (s)hit factory, intelligent, well-crafted synth-pop has had a tough (but not impossible) road to climb to redeem itself. It's easier done now for those with little memory of the 80's, who can mine the decade of its untapped wealth and pull influences from The Human League or Gary Numan or even further back without being mocked, all the while creating something new and exciting. Having a rough guess at their ages, London's Villa Cola could surely fill these shoes.

By | 2018-06-18T04:14:20+00:00 April 13th, 2011|Categories: Features, Who the Hell Are|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Who The Hell Are… Sisterland?

The best way to make a record company uncomfortable? -- choose a highly litiguous band name and then sit back and watch them sweat. Once upon a time there was a Leicester-based three-piece called Dysneyland who existed for a few months and released one independent single "Walking Wounded" before seeing the error of their short-sighted ways, or perhaps the pointed finger of 'The Man' who said "no change-y, no release-y" and thus Sisterland was born. With their debut single "Tomorrow" released this week as part of the Too Pure Singles Club, we play the getting-to-know-you game with Sisterland.

By | 2018-06-18T04:14:26+00:00 March 22nd, 2011|Categories: Features, Who the Hell Are|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Exlovers – London – 28 February 2011

There really is something enthralling about watching a band not just perform music but energetically project themselves into it. It's akin to standing against a gale who's presence is to overpower you and anything in its way. That would in part, sum up the appeal of Exlovers -- they cut a forceful, harmony-fuelled rug. The other part is they're the most attractive bunch of tattooed scruffs that you'll ever encounter. Put all this in the context of their latest single "Blowing Kisses", a song that transcends simple indie guitar music and that gale hits like a perfumed fist that still makes you want to stand up and take more.

By | 2015-08-10T05:08:55+00:00 March 7th, 2011|Categories: Live Reviews|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

The Cult – London – 21 January 2011

When you add up the years, you realise Ian Astbury and Billy Dully have been making music as The Cult for a long-ass time. Sitting in the rafters of the Hammersmith Apollo ("Hammersmith Odeon", Astbury demurs, referring to the venue's previous appellation), the debt paid to the excesses of rock n’ roll have more-or-less treated both kindly. Astbury, the once flower-child/wolf-child looks a little rough round the edges, but when you style yourself on Jim Morrisson and then suddenly become him, what can you expect. Duffy on the other hand, is ageless, looking more like David Beckham‘s older brother than a well-tooled guitar god.

By | 2018-07-09T11:15:02+00:00 February 18th, 2011|Categories: Live Reviews|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

Who The Hell Are… Pris?

Uh-oh, here comes trouble. Pris are a four piece from London featuring Cat on vocals, Agatha on guitar, Mary on bass and Sam on drums. Imagine Blondie with an attitude problem, Manics before the middle life spread and Kenickie without the big bones. They show their claws on the stuttering "All That Glitters is Not Pearl Lowe", while "Icon on a motorbike" mixes C86 guitar and girl-group "do do, lah lah"'s to great effect. "Thesaurus" is maybe the best distillation of Pris so far, punkish chords and a speak-sung verse combine with a killer melody in the chorus. Their skimpily dressed singer Cat Gordon answered our questions just like you'd expect, rapid fire in all caps.

By | 2015-08-08T02:32:29+00:00 February 15th, 2011|Categories: Features|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Who The Hell Are… We//Are//Animal?

The arrival of their four digit debut single "1268" caused seismic speaker-blowing waves in the Webcuts offices in 2010. It truly was, and still is, a "What the fuck was that?" moment. It was in essence, Gang of Four meets LCD Soundsystem in an abandoned factory in North Wales. An electro pulse and surging beat, sheet metal guitars, inimitable Welsh vocals, it had 'post-punk dancefloor smash' writ large all over it, and had We//Are//Animal been from London instead of Wales, everybody would've been knocking down their door, kneeling to kiss their cossetted behinds (cough The Vaccines).

By | 2018-06-18T04:14:49+00:00 February 4th, 2011|Categories: Features, Who the Hell Are|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Luke Haines – London – 19 January 2011

This was to be the debut and sole performance of Outsider Music, Luke Haines' most successful solo album to date. An album of some notoriety in that it was individually recorded 50 times and released last September for £75 a throw. An artistic experiment and a gamble of sorts, it was an undeniable success for Haines, the old adage about fools and their money standing true -- all 50 volumes of Outsider Music disappearing quicker than anticipated. With each volume a unique item on its own, buyers have been reticent on sharing and as of yet, no copies have surfaced. So Haines - 1, Rich Fans - 1, Poor Fans - go eat a shit sandwich.

By | 2015-08-10T05:10:19+00:00 February 2nd, 2011|Categories: Live Reviews|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

The Primitives – London – 13 December 2010

These are confusing times we live in. The past and the present have merged into one. Bands come back from the dead, sounding better than ever (The Primitives), artists who are clearly dead keep on making dreadful albums from beyond the grave (do we need name names?), and bands will play their best album in full and it becomes ‘an event’ (The Wedding Present). There are few albums in the history of music that deserve to be played in full (though tell that to Echo & The Bunnymen...), there's always at least one track (or more) of filler, or one completely misjudged stinker, but nostalgia has a price and it pays handsomely, so hey, on with the show!

By | 2015-08-10T05:11:12+00:00 December 20th, 2010|Categories: Live Reviews|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

The Charlatans – Brisbane – 10 November 2010

It's been a long time time between drinks for The Charlatans and Australia. Fresh from playing their Some Friendly 20th Anniversary shows around the UK The Charlatans were down under recently with a more conventional touring schedule. It's certainly not the fan fest that they are used to back home but a rapturous welcome still greets the band. With a set drawn mostly from their very early material honed through recent tours, and the obligatory new songs that every band pulls out, it's a different set to what fans might expect but shows the depth of quality over their long career.

By | 2015-08-10T05:11:19+00:00 December 16th, 2010|Categories: Live Reviews|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Who The Hell Are… The Rifle Volunteer?

It's an audacious pronouncement to commit to releasing 12 singles in 12 months. The Wedding Present set the benchmark in the 90's. Ash tried the same thing recently, in a mixture of desperation and overkill in numbers too large to comprehend and tarnishing the very idea of a single. It's not just two songs on a slab of vinyl (or cd, or one of those less satisfying digital w/artwork jobs). It's a living, breathing statement. A trojan horse in disguise. A rallying cry to fall behind. A rallying cry... See, The Rifle Volunteer comprehend this. "I'll Sleep When That Damned Sun Is Dead", the first single in their year long campaign, is what we're talking about. Here is a band that means business.

By | 2018-06-18T04:15:15+00:00 December 9th, 2010|Categories: Features, Who the Hell Are|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Factory Floor – Dissonance & Experience (2010)

Part extreme noise terror, part euphoria, East London’s Factory Floor have made a name for themselves as being loud and uncompromising, or as they stress in the interview below "brutal". Having walked half-way in during their set supporting American synth act Cold Cave earlier this year, Factory Floor's performance was very much a "what the fuck?" moment, unsure as to either quickly vacate the room or take stock of the diffused electronic/industrial free-form concotions they were composing. We stayed, with reservations... Chris Berkley of Static caught up with Gabriel Gurnsey and Nik Colk from Factory Floor shortly after their appearance at the Offset Festival in London in September to find out more.

By | 2015-08-11T02:21:46+00:00 November 17th, 2010|Categories: Interviews|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

The Darling Buds – London – 22 September 2010

You’d be forgiven for having a sense of déjà vu here. Is it 1989? Did The Primitives and The Darling Buds really both play London within a week of each other? Having been absent from the live scene for most of the '90s and all of the past decade, for both bands to surface at the same time is unthinkable. Unthinkable, but pretty damn cool. It brings back memories of a time when the music magazines invented a scene called ‘Blonde’, where bands were lumped together purely based on the colour of the lead singers hair. Which by their way of thinking meant you were either a Blonde, a Goth or in Fairground Attraction.

By | 2015-08-10T05:14:46+00:00 September 24th, 2010|Categories: Live Reviews|Tags: , , , , , |1 Comment

Gemma Ray – We’ve Got a Crush on You Too (2010)

In the cockney rhyming slang lexicon there really should be an entry marked "Gemma Ray" that translates to "The Hard Way" for the sultry Essex singer's career is one filled with false starts, battles with illness and sheer bloody mindedness. Barely finished from touring her last album Ray has just released an album of covers It's a Shame About Ray which draws its song pool from the likes of Buddy Holly, Lee Hazelwood, Etta Fitzgerald, Sonic Youth, Mudhoney, Gallon Drunk and The Gun Club. Webcuts catches up with the brunette with the beehive during a tour in South Africa to talk knives, the new album, Rosemary's Baby, illness affecting songwriting and the recording of new material.

By | 2015-08-11T02:22:03+00:00 September 5th, 2010|Categories: Interviews|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

The Primitives – Back and In Full Bloom (2010)

When you get down to the nuts and bolts of rock and roll, it's not about how tight your jeans are or how good your stylist is, it's about the music. It's about the song. For some bands in particular, it's about the pop song. Two and half minutes of spun gold that held your attention long after the needle left the record. Few bands embodied the spirit of the sublime '60s pop song than The Primitives. Sitting backstage at The Scala in London, Webcuts catches up with Tracy and Paul to rewind the clock and to talk about the events that brought The Primitives into the 21st Century and what lies ahead for the band.

By | 2015-08-11T02:22:16+00:00 July 28th, 2010|Categories: Interviews|Tags: , , , , , |1 Comment

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 | 2015-08-10T05:02:52+00:00 June 18th, 2010|Categories: Live Reviews|Tags: , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

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 | 2015-08-10T05:02:58+00:00 May 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 | 2015-08-10T05:03:03+00:00 May 12th, 2010|Categories: Live Reviews|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

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 | 2015-08-10T05:03:31+00:00 March 13th, 2010|Categories: Live Reviews|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments