Archive for September, 2007

Monthly Mixtapes: Sep 2007

My Mixtape

Mixtape#8 - September 07

1, Motion City Soundtrack – Fell In Love Without You … Fantastic track leading off the new album! Cant wait to see them Live! WOO!
2, Okkervil River – Unless It Kicks … Riff driven Indie pop with a soft centre.
3, Young Knives – Weekends and Bleak Days (Hot Summer) … The Young Knives finest moment!
4, Architecture in Helsinki – Like It Or Not … Its cheesy, poppy, childish and even steals the riff from Test Match Special theme tune, genius!
5, Simian Mobile Disco – I Believe … Dance-Mania and funky beats drive this electro goodness
6, Tegan & Sarah – Relief Next to Me … TEGAN! SARAH! Great pop track taken from super new album
7, John Mayer – Love Song For No One … Really wanted to hear this live, have to settle for the album version though
8, Joe Bonamassa – Bridge To Better Days … Joe Satch meets Stevie Ray Vaughn from this blues guitar virtuoso
9, Hot Hot Heat – Let Me In … One of only a few great tracks from their latest album Happiness ltd.
10, Ross Copperman – All She Wrote … US mainline pop rock number, catchy and bound to plague the airwaves If he ever makes it big.
11, The Bravery – Time Won’t Let Me Go … Electro mellow goodness from the returning Bravery
12, Newton Faulkner – All I Got … Superb young acoustic talent, displayed to the full on this track
13, Maps – Elouise … Eclectic sythn driven oddity from the Mercury Prize nominated artist
14, Strung Out – Calling … Western tilted thunderous punk number!
15, Zolof The Rock And Roll Destroyer – Moment … Pop Punker of the Month from a Female Fronted equivalent of MCS!

Reading 2007: Day 3

The Final day arrived and here is how things went down…

16th August September – Day 3

Opening the final day were the Gym Class Heroes and their Punk credible hip-hop poppiness. As hip-hop goes, this is rather good! Not trying to be gangsters or anything remotely hardman-esque gives them a greater appeal here and with great mainstream hits such as Clothes Off, their chilled set was pretty good. Made all the better by their Rap/Ska re-working of the beach boys classic Good Vibrations. Top Track: Good Vibrations

Less recognizable emo-popsters Hellogoodbye were easily forgettable. Some cool hooks but ultimately just a bit pansyish, easy listening while still recovering from the night before i found.

Not shifting far from the Punk ethic of the main stage today, Billy Talent employed most of pop-punks successful cornerstones. Big Riffs, Energy, Catchy Lyrics and a unique vocalist. All 4 factors were melded successfully here as they raced through a high octane set of bouncable tunes. A break from the mellow and a wake up call for myself went down great, unlike the guitarists outrageously vertical Elvis quiff which wouldn’t budge in a hurricane. Top Track: Red Flag

The Sunshine Underground were ringing out to the lunchtime crowd over at the NME stage and doing a pretty good job too. Their dance ethos is clearly evident and here in the live arena they come to life. A harsher and rough around the edge sound was a good break from their albums superbly sheened album production. Crowd was timid though, a bit full from lunch I expect! Top Track: Commercial Breakdown

Cancer Bats
filled a gap of nothingness. To be honest, I heard more interesting and original sounds in the festival toilet facilities.

Funeral For a Friend kicked off their set in usual frenetic style blasting out their superb new single Into Oblivion. They continued the dual guitar onslaught as they raced through the highlights from their first 2 albums. This welsh five piece have always been good live, today was no exception. Loud, a fist full of angst and as melodic as you like! Escape Artists Never Die Provided their final swan song which so superbly tip toes the line between anger and beauty. The absence of a blistering solo is the only drawback, but then that wouldn’t be the FFAF way would it. Top Track: Escape Artists Never Die

Fall Out Boy sit proudly atop of the emo tree casting shadows on all peers, and for good reason too! This set was a fun, highly enjoyable and packed with recognizable radio friendly rhythms. I do have to say though the lead singer has the charisma of a small gerbil, it’s bassist Pete Wentz who adds the crowd pleasing banter and has enough front man qualities to make the band work. Most cheesy covers of the weekend award goes to these guys too, they played 2 classic 80’s hits. Jackson’s Beat It (let me stress that they missed out the Eddie Van Halen Solo, shoddy work!) and Huey Lewis & The News’ The Power Of Love, Classic! more amusing than this was the look of bemusement on the faces of the predominantly teenage crowd who were looking on with blank stares, while the older of us there were screaming “Thats The Power Of Love…” hehe. Not one bottle was thrown at them either, are they gaining more respect in rock circles? Time will tell, but for today they were rather good. Top Track: The Power Of Love

Time for some more Welsh metal, this time from Lost Prophets. To say this was an amazing set would be a huge understatement! These guys had everyone singing, screaming, shouting, moshing, fighting, bouncing and even a comedic touch which buoyed the spirits of all! Their hard edged pop rock sounds fantastic as they whistle through huge chorus after the next. Of course their classic tracks were the big draw and with Last Train Home, Last Summer, Burn Burn to choose from they didn’t disappoint the enthused crowd. Somehow what made this little shindig so great was the between song banter, as the front man ordered

“The biggest F*&king Circle pits ever and I wanna see every one of ewe bouncing from the front to the back”.

All of which he duly got even though the hiccups of the circle pit being rather “oblong”. I don’t think I’ve seen quite so many people jumping at one point in my life, was incredible to be a part of! They finally brought the show to a hectic climax with their early metal classic Shinobi Vs Dragon Ninja yet again greeted with absolutely manic crowd behavior. Everything about this performance was spot on and has few peers this weekend, just plainly awesome!! Top Track: Last Train Home

CSS quickly turned the Sunday rockfest on its head as the Art Dance/Rockers were groovin’ over in the NME Tent. The element of having fun and letting loose is what this band really are about for me. The multi coloured stage balloons, fantastic light show and the rompous dance rhythms project the air of a band doing what they love. Their dancey sounds seemed to prove a hit with the fairly sizable crowd which had gathered and with hits such as Alala and Lets Make Love (And Listen To Death From Above), a full scale rave was now in full flow. Endless funky beats and bleeping electro samples were good, but it was the energy of the band and crowd which really light up this show. Who’d have though this was the final night? Top Track: Let’s Make Love (And Listen To Death From Above)

Following straight after on their own electro train was LCD Soundsystem band of uber producer James Murphy. It was like the rave never stopped, even the DJ’s selections between this and the CSS set was greeted with mass singalongs and bopping likes it’s 1984. The crowd energy which started high was only a mere fraction of the heights it reached during this set, this unrelentless electronic rave-ups were driven by some manical drumming and heaving bass guitars, leaving no time for breath! With reworked uptempo versions of tracks such as Daftpunk Is Playing At My House and North American Scum added a air of urgency and ferocity to their demeanour. With the crowd this fired up, you couldn’t help but just let it all out and go slightly crazy, which is what we all duly did. After what seemed like a 20 minute extended version of All of My Friends LCD faded into memory as a fantastic dance show which had the place rockin’ Top Track: North American Scum

Ok, so decisions were abound as the final band of the weekends were kicking off. Started off thinking i was seeing Klaxons, but the type of people attracted into the tent at this point were to be honest, a bunch of immature idiotic twats! So I left for the comfort of the Carling tent and The Hold Steady.

Now I’ve seen The Hold Steady twice already this year, here and here. Both were fantastic by the way, but somehow tonight they just didn’t work. The tent was pretty much empty and only the handful of faithful fans were singing along down the front. Yet again i can chalk another name onto the list of shows scuppered by the Carling Stage sound system. Nevertheless when you could actually hear lead singer Craig Finn it was superb! Early set highlights were Stuck Between Stations, Chips Ahoy, Hot Soft Light and Massive Nights, each as big a party starter than the next. But the sound got too annoying to bear and so i left towards the end of the set, only to return after realizing Klaxons were actually pretty pants too. So catching the finale, The Hold Steady closed the action on the Carling Stage for 2007, lets hope they get the damned sound system sorted for 2008. Top Track: Massive Nights

Overrunning slightly was Billy Corgan and Smashing Pumpkins. Once you get over the incredibly nasal tones or he just stops singing it actually sounded pretty good. Showing off his quite spectacular guitar flair with extended solos and riffage Corgan won me over for these last 30 mins of Reading 07. Not knowing any tracks didn’t help, but i can see why they are headlining, plus their light show wasn’t half impressive either. After finally being dragged off 20 mins after curfew the Smashing Pumpkins provided the Backdrop to the end as we all tramped off back to our tents wishing it was Friday again and we didn’t have to go back to work soon!

A sad farewell to Reading Festival 2007 was played over the final bonfire of the weekend as me and the Amigo’s mulled over the weekend talking points. They were vaguely as follows:

  • That god damned idiotic Cobra Starship frontman
  • How we managed not to lose our Sombrero’s
  • Chili’s pretentious set of prog funks
  • The amazing CSS and LCD Dance Party
  • The Perils of Long Dropping
  • Brakes and their Pineapples
  • Kings of Leon’s Majestic Performance
  • The Pipettes and their Coordinated Dance Moves
  • Trekking the campsite singing “Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole… Feeling Mexico”
  • Hot Hot Heat’s triumphant return
  • WHAT A GREAT WEEKEND THIS WAS!!
  • Goodbye Reading Till Next Year!!

    Top Bands:
    Kings Of Leon, Lost Prophets, Hot Hot Heat, CSS, Ash

    Festival Anthems: Last Summer – Lost Prophets, Fa-Fa-Fa – Datarock, Not A Crime – Gogol Bordello, Lets Make Love (And Listen To Death from Above) – CSS, Girl From Mars – Ash

    Reading 2007: Day 2

    After a top notch day 1 the Saturday lineup had a lot to live up to.

    25th August 2007 – Day 2

    First out of the traps was Brakes. This was one of the most entertaining whistle stop performance of the weekend. Comedy Lyrics and cracking riffs to back them up put a smile on even the most dull individual. The 9 second track Cheney got 2 airings and Pineapples were thrown to the crowd during Porcupine or Pineapple (OOuuch!! Spikey Spikey!!) The large early crowd shows their support and I loved this! Top Track: Porcupine or Pineapple

    Meanwhile over on the Main stage The Dead 60’s were whacking out some throwback ska tunes that were rather Specials’esque. As good as it was I’m not a big Specials fan, oh well!

    Eagles of Death Metal were next to grace the stage and didn’t really impress. Through the first half of the set the didn’t play any recognizable tracks from their latest album which is strange. They looked and sounded like fish out of water with only Josh Homme on providing some quality with his outstanding sticksmanship. Disappointing!

    Mute Math provided a much needed get out clause from EoDM. In the Carling tent they played their noise electro creating some great soundscapes. These were the most experimental band thus far this weekend and i enjoyed them, Some of their progressive interludes dragged slightly, but with a lack of recognizable singles to choose from i suppose this was to be expected. They said goodbye as they went all out attack on the drum kit and the guitarist was effectively playing his effects pedals, pretty nifty. Different? yea, but a promising start from a new band. Top Track: Typical

    Grunge was back on the menu in the NME stage as Nine Black Alps, climbed onto stage. I always saw the nirvana influence in their music, but the Cobain lookalike frontman does nothing to distance them from this label. Despite this they are really good, catchy tunes with a rock and roll spirit. Vocals took a back seat as the twin guitars crunched out riff after riff. The poppier tracks were met with great appreciation from the crowd sparking waves of crowd surfers. New tracks are sounding good and cant wait for a new album. Top Track: Cosmopolitan

    The Shins were doing what they do best when I caught the end of their set. Shimmering feelgood indie pop tunes in the hot summer sun. Relaxing and melancholic, nothing special though (Supposedly they didn’t even play New Slang… Criminal! ). Top Track: Australia

    A few Amigo’s and I decided to go see little known emo gang Cobra Starship, (label mates of Fall Out Boy Et al…) who are best known for their uber cheesy-single Snakes On A Plane (Bring It) (Yup, that crappy film had a Theme Tune!). The Carling tent for 30 mins was transformed into a heaving disco party as the ‘Cobra Starshippers’ (mostly female btw…) did their best to scream the entire duration of the set. This was mainly due to the larger than life front man (Ex Midtown vocalist) whose outrageously sized ego could only have been made in America. His crowd pleasing antics of mock kissing both male guitarist and female gui-boarder, as well some of the most shocking dance moves ever sent the teenage screamers into hysteria. Yet as much as you love to hate the dude (huh..Matt..Huh huh) he was a great frontman! They were ultimately the biggest guilty pleasure band EVER but with a seemingly endless stream of crowd sing-along sections, fist pumping and some decent guitar driven dance grooves they were great fun and totally brilliant. We embraced the cheese (just this once) and loved (almost) every minute of it!! Top Track: Snakes On A Plane (Bring It)

    Meanwhile another emo behemoth was busy dodging flying bottles hurled main stage-wards. Panic At The Disco didn’t get hit this year to the sadness of many a emo-hater. But yet again, they didn’t impress me. They are not a good live band! Lyrics are weak and hard to decipher (even if you know them), tracks are slower, guitars understated, no sparks here at all. Best bet for these guys is to stick to making LPs! Top Track: Camisado

    Dinosaur Jr. are not new by any stretch of the imagination, but on the strength of their latest album and the fact their classic 80’s lineup was back on tour, i decided to check them out. Most band so far this weekend had a couple of non-impressive backing sound equipment. Not Dino Jr, Lead guitar was backed by 3 huge Marshall Stacks each being tested to the limit by the crazy fretboard fingering of this silver haired rocker. Vocals are shared between guitarist and bassist and go hand in hand with their “no frills, lets rock!” ideology. My only gripe would be I missed some of this set for Panic! Grrr!! Guitars plus tonnes of spacey wah-wah were outstanding and really showed up all other new bands who think they can play. One look at this dude will have them shaking in their boots! Top Track: Almost Ready

    More emo up next and the spritely new disco funk slanted Shiny Toy Guns. They really suffered at the hands of the Carling stage sound system. Those deep bass lines, spiky electro keys and rattling guitars were a mere shadow of their album originals. With the proper equipment this would have been good, as it was sadly it wasn’t! Left after 15 minutes: Top Track: Le Disko

    After Stupidly, Stupidly, Stupidly losing my sunglasses and a failed attempt to find them, i settled on drowning my sorrows at the bar. A quickfire pint later I wandered into the dance tent to see Datarock. They only played one track i knew, but this sparked a mini rave in the tent with complimentary sing along. The track I’m referring to is Fa-Fa-Fa, this song solely turned my day around, put a smile back on my face and the world was somehow put back to right, cheers Datarock! Top Track: Fa-Fa-Fa

    The sun was beginning to fade as the Arcade Fire army marched onto stage. I didn’t know how they would work at a festival, especially on the main stage. Needless to say they were fantastic. Their Layered classical sound were a pleasure to behold. Their energy and desire was sky high as they played all their hits igniting massive hum-a-longs. Arcade Fire have never sounded better and totally ruled the main stage roost this evening. Top Track: Wake Up

    We Are Scientists were again on their most enigmatic and comedic form again tonight in the NME tent. Their between song banter is always guaranteed to raise a smile or two. These two front men are just instantly likable, jolly and American they played through all their hits from debut album With Love and Squalor, with The Great Escape being the top crowd pleaser. They gave an airing to some new tracks here to, as unfamiliar they were they were still stamped with the trademark WAS flair and fuzzed up guitars. Things are looking promising for album two, and with live show like this it’ll be a hit! Top Track: Cash Cow

    So deciding to shun the mainstream funk/rock of the Chili’s and the NME band of 3 months ago pop/rock of The View I headed into the tiny confines of the Carling Tent and to the Canadian piano/pop sounds of Hot Hot Heat. Turned out to be a masterstroke too given that reports from the chili’s were kind of, “Meh”.

    HHH were back as if they had never been away, playing tracks taken from their first two albums like they were released yesterday. To his credit tonight they felt as fresh and as essential as ever, plus lead singer and piano maestro Steven Bays still looks like the missing member of the Hair Bear Bunch. In fact this was a joyous show with loads of fun and more infectious crowd vocals, especially on the sublime Bandages. New tracks were also premiered here taken from forthcoming album Happiness Ltd. They sounded good in this lively atmosphere, but a few listens might be needed to fully appreciate them. Nonetheless this was an ecstatic romp through some heady pop tunes which had the tent jumpin’ and screamin’ like theirs no tomorrow, Fantastic!! Top Track: Bandages

    Reading 2007: Day 1

    So the summers last big rock weekend is over and now its time to reflect on what was an amazing weekend of music.

    The Thursday morning journey down was smooth, parking was easy, boat to campsite was a result, empty dry field to camp in was even better! Tents pitched perfectly and the beer cracked out before 11am, Result!! On the whole it was a top notch day, even though i had to have a nap mid afternoon as we got up at 5am! Still onto the music…

    24th August 2007 – Day 1
    So day one lept off to great start being woken up by the early morning sun shining on the tent. With this in mind and a hopefully hot weekend in prospect we decided to invest in some appropriate headgear…Sombreros to be exact! These turned out to be the buy of the weekend, not only does it keep the sun off your head, win you many friends who want be your “amigo” but they acted as superb beacons for finding each other! Many a thought conversation i had with myself went as follows (it’s ok i regularly talk to myself):

    Where on earth??…(8 Sombreros go marching past)…Ahhh…. There they are!!

    With a buoyed mentality of not being at work on a Friday, feeling great considering the consumption levels of the day before plus the fact that weekend really starts here we all head into the arena early to catch The Pipettes.

    I don’t think there is a better way to start a festival that to see the Pipettes. They are fun, easy to groove on down to, easy listening with cheesy Co-ordinated dance moves … and did i mention easy on the eyes too. Their 60’s retro pop was highly enjoyable and perfect for the sunshine! Top Track: Dirty Mind

    “The 3×3 Amigos” (I know what you thinking, cool moniker huh! lol) fractured for the first (and not the last) time of the weekend. Off i trotted to the Radio 1/NME stage and to the sounds of The Sounds. This was also a great performance as this Swedish girl fronted electrock act played to a pretty packed tent. For good reason too, their funky bass lines and electro rhythms were great which just urged manic foot tapping brinking on full scale disco dancing. Top Track: Queen of Apology

    Back to the Main stage were The Long Blondes were plying their northern charm. They sounded ok, nothing great though, they didn’t really have any stage presence which is a shame as their songs are good. Top Track: Giddy Stratospheres

    Gogol Bordello on the other hand the epitome of character and relentless energy. Front man Eugene Hutz and his band flies about stage like a bunch of primates in heat. Right down to the random female dancers, accordion(ist?) and Violinist they project so much life into their audience! These Gypsy punks have to be seen live to be fully appreciated, their albums as good as they are no comparison to their live showmanship. They had the crowd bouncing relentlessly during the whole entirety of the set running through their hits Not A Crime, Immigrant Punk, American Wedding and Start Wearing Purple. Gogol really got the party in full swing with one of my highlights of the weekend! Top Track: Not a Crime

    Jimmy Eat World were next to hit the stage as they ran through a decent set of tracks from pop-punks book of lore. I was only there for the big 4 and they didnt disapoint, Sweetness, The Middle, ASHPHALT, Here You Me all getting an airing. I was suprised by the quality of their other material, full of melody and energy. Glad i stayed to see them. Top Track: The Middle

    Joining part way through the ex-million dead lead singer’s solo show in the carling tent, Frank Turner sure has a vast hardcore following. And for good reason too, his vocals were superbly delivered and his folky storytelling style brought a very personal touch to the songs. The fact he backed them up with solid acoustic guitars with some super catchy melodies made this more memorable! Top Track: Fathers Day

    From one acoustic tradesman to the next, now to far more popular with the ‘nme’ crowd the geniously named Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly! With his make trade, lets save the world banner hanging behind him, this Southend lad is definitely not going to change the world and eradicate poverty, but what he does instead is play a highly entertaining set full with tent filling singalongs. His band adds another dimension to his acoustic based tracks, bigger, bolder and greatly more eclectic. However did mess up 3 times in succession because he couldn’t tune his guitar properly, fool. Top Track: War Of The World

    A good festival band has ‘usually’ at least 3 of the following festival factors: fun, loud, energetic, danceble, enigmatic, singable chorus’s. Which is what makes Interpol a band that really should not work on Reading’s Main stage. Fun (minimal), loud (not really), energetic (hardly), danceble (at times), enigmatic (possibly), singable chorus’s (nope). Their smooth, ice cold almost morbid vocals alongside resonating spooky guitars is hardly one to spark a crowd to life. Yet somehow in the fading light of this late summer eve it sounds perfect. All onlookers watch with either amazement or boredom, I’m glad to sad I was in the former category. Beautiful melodies and moody chants intertwined with funky disco beats and rapid-fire drumming were superb. Not the most cheerful bunch, but that didn’t stop them playing a broody, but super set! Top Track: Evil

    Kings Of Leon brightened the mood with some good old fashioned rock straight from the deep south and the weathered vocal chords of lead singer Caleb Followill. The Kings surely lived up to their name as they were amazing! From the pop rock rushes of Molly’s Chamber and Red Morning Light, to the brooding Milk they sound fantastic, suited perfectly to the festival stage. The best guitar work of the day was on show here and especially during Charmer, with its haunting harmonics lighting up the dark Berkshire skies. The set drew plenty of material from their latest album, mixing the rompous My Party with the dark Knocked Up, and the huge shriek-a-long of On Call. This was a superb show from a band who have rose to the very top of their craft! Band of the Weekend? It’s a close call! Top Track: Charmer

    I had my reservations about Ash returning to their original 3 members after dumping Charlotte Hatherley to wander into solo-ville. These were quickly diminished as they seem re-invigorated from the freedom of not having a woman around. Tonight they are brash, cocksure, boisterous and seem to be loving what their doing once more! More so than when i saw them here and here. Of course some of the pretty layers have been sanded over but that’s the beauty of them tonight, they don’t feel like the aging pop hit single makers, instead they are a fantastic rock band, doing what they do best!

    The crowd were with ash this evening too, Tim wheeler stoked up the crowd with “so you decided not to see Razorlight?”, which was met with roars of “Razor-shite! Razor-shite! Razor-shite!…”. The heaving tent was littered with the hardcore followers howling each word, none more so than during the classics Girl From Mars, Kung Fu and Oh Yeah! Finishing with where it began with their first single Jack Names The Planets, is a fitting tribute to their mentality this evening. Ash are a worthy headline act to round off the day 1 with a literally show stopping performance. Top Track: Girl From Mars

    Bright as you are, don’t get burned by your Lucky Star

    Goo Goo Dolls @ Hammersmith Apollo
    16th August 2007

    14 months on from their last visit to the capital, the Goo Goo Dolls head back to London to play a warm up show for their V festival appearances the following weekend. This show was at the Hammersmith Apollo, another converted cinema venue with a rather dated decor, think stripy wallpaper. Still this venue was one of the larger london spots around the same capacity as the Brixton Academy and had great acoustics.

    The only warm up act were Kids In Glass Houses, whom I’d briefly glimpsed at while at Give It A Name. Let me now revoke any comments i made then about them being any good. This was car crash gigging. Fun to watch as the carnage unfolded. Firstly the lead singer got really irritated by a “faulty” mic, which was clearly fine. Instead his vocals were just awful and his on stage antics were laughable for warm up a US radio friendly pop/punk band . Clearly no one cared at all and his growing frustrations at the lack of crowd motion were hilarious. Only the lead guitarists lumberjack impressions raised a bigger smile on my face. “Its Been a bad day” muttered the lead singer, no shit sherlock…we had to endure it for the last half hour. To the sheer glee of all they powered down and got the hell out of Hammersmith, tail, between legs! Thats what you get if you rise too fast, you fall harder!

    goo goo dolls
    Goo Goo Dolls

    After being subject to the calamity beforehand, The Goo Goo Dolls recieved a rapturous universal gratitude. Set starter was the great hard rockin Long Way Down, which set out the bands intention tonight to pull out some lost gems. With a cumbersome back catalogue to select from, the usual suspects crept up alongside hidden classics. Pop numbers Iris, Name, Slide were greeted with massive crowd singalongs.

    goo goo dolls

    Bassist Robbie Takac was on his best punk form once again throwing in some lesser known favorites such as Lucky Star and Slave Girl, with his trademark squeaky voice. Its this balance of energetic adultrock and youthful pop-punk that makes this band so special. After relentless barrage of pop monsters Johnny Rzeznik (Balladeer extraordinaire!) took the stage alone to strum out the superb Acoustic 3#. Rejoined by the rest of the band for the evenings final parting song, an extended jam of Dizzy up the girls Broadway.

    Goo Goo Dolls once again produced a fantastic performance. But they really need to do some research into decent support bands!

    Shy Children?

    Shy Child @ Koko, Camden
    6th July 2007

    After Ted Leo & The Pharmacists cancelled their london date, I wandered over and drank away the night in Camdens KoKo, where after quite a few drinks Shy Child appeared on stage. These guys seemed blurry, but that was probably my vision. This twosome play a mix of funky electro and thumping drums designed to make you wanna dance. With some catchy hooks they left a good impression on me, the rather pessimistic onlooker. Shy Child are your perfect late night party band, great dance music which rocks. They also get extra brownie points for playing the now somehow cool 80’s throwback, The Keytar.

    Metal Mayhem

    Metallica, Him, Machine Head, Mastodon @ Wembley Stadium, London
    8th July 2007

    After my first failed attempt at a concert at the new wembley stadium finally the place is open and what an impressive sight to behold, even if most of its inhabitants for this warm day were clad in then customary metal black uniform. Post the almight pretentious pop concert that was live earth, Metallica had he stage to themselves and some of their metalhead friends.

    Wembley Stadium
    Wembley Stadium

    Now while unknown to the indie crowd, Mr Flowers..huh…huh.. the support lineup was a mixed bag since the departure of Bullet for My Valentine. Mastodon the huge riffing prog metal beast were first out of the traps and thundered their way through a mesmerizing set of pure unadultered energy and noise! Just imagine I was a good 200 metres away from the stage and had to shout to talk.

    Mastodon
    Mastodon

    Last minute replacements Machinehead did performed a workman like performance which didnt really hit the button for me, too much fuzz not enough grunt or melody.

    HIM by some random strech of the imagination are the final warm up act. This was greeted with endless chants of, “your crap”, “f**k off!” and plenty of certain hand gestures I care not to mention here. They were very ordinary, no standout tracks, even though I was reliably informed that they played a cover of “wicked game” by who? Jinx?

    Now to what everyone was waiting for, Metallica took the stage. Hetfield was on fine song this evening, as was the 6 strings of Kirk Hammets guitar. Both guitarists were amazing as they played all the crowd favourites, rifftastic Master Of Puppets, the beautiful One, the power of Enter Sandman, Fuel and the strangely enchanting Unforgiven. Hetfield was in fine growl this evening and delivered with power and intensity alongside his chugging guitar riffs. Hammet as a Protege of god himself Joe Satch!!! was masterful on the guitar, amazing solos a true lead guitarist of magnitude.

    Metallica
    Metallica

    The crowd was lapping every ounch of this performance up and as the final track “Seek and Destroy” decended into silence the deafening roar from the wembley inmates was awe inspiring! Metallica truely are a special metal band capable of stadium sized songs with a mass appeal, hand crafted by the genius of 2 of metals finest. A great show from a band established rock folklore!

    Wembley Arch