Archive for October, 2007

Monthly Mixtapes: Oct 07

My Mixtape

Mixtape#9 - October 07

1, Coheed & Cambria – Feathers – Sci-fi oddballs bring more of their classic rock influenced rock on this razor-edged riffed track.
2, Yeti – Keep Pushin On … Post Summer slice of jangly autumn pop rock which outstrips most of todays scenesters from the Ex-Libertine bassist’s new band
3, Minus The Bear – Kinghts … These indie rockers produce an upbeat masterpiece, masterful melodies and energy in perfect measure
4, Airbourne – Runnin’ Wild … Aussies pay tribute to their Ac/Dc heroes with this cracker, bludgeoned with riotus rock and roll spirit!
5, Bullets & Octane – The Perfect Bitch … A Hard Rocking tribute to the one night stand from this fantastic live band!
6, Future On The Left – adeadenemyalwayssmellsgood … The spirit of McLusky lives on with hard edged blues indieness
7, Bruce Springsteen – Radio Nowhere … The Boss is back with those all the USA rock cliche’s, i couldn’t resist!
8, Dead 60’s – Stand Up … Radio fodder, but no doubting its mega-appeal
9, Alter Bridge – Rise Today … Alter Bridge back to their Hard Rocking best
10, Ra Ra Riot – A Manner To Act … String section adds so much to the cheery melody from this new indie/pop act
11, Enon – Sabina … Quirky vocals, punk mastery and electo layers with a light dusting of wierdness make for a morish concoction.
12, Dogs – This Stone Is A Bullet … The Jam influenced spiky guitars laden with energy
13, Santana Ft. Chad Kroeger – Into The Night – Another fantastic collaboration between the Nickleback frontman & the legendary latino guitarist
14, The Hives – Tick Tick Boom … Comeback single from these Swedish garage rockers
15, Sum 41 – Under Class Hero … Pop Punk Anthem of the Month of October

All Dressed Up, With Some Medicine For Luck

Motion City Soundtrack @ Astoria, Soho, London
6th October 2007

After being delayed by nearly 3 months Motion City Soundtrack finally made the trek across the Atlantic to hit the London Stage. High demand also meant the venue was upgraded to London Astoria, from Astoria 2 (Mean Fiddler). Not being here before I really like the place, Upstairs is a more chilled out seating area of considerable size and downstairs is intimate enough for great views and still have plenty of space for carnage to erupt down in crowd central!

Support this evening it has to be said were weak. After missing the opening act due choosing the pub over standing in the outrageously long queue Straylight Run were doing their best to warm the crowd. A task which they failed spectacularly! Their pop had melody but no bite, lyrics were sugarcoated but not catchy, there’s more life in a clean room than on stage.

Good thing that Motion City Soundtrack were up next!! Kicking off with lead track from their new album Fell In Love Without You they sound as urgent and essential as ever with huge hooks, quirky vocals and idiosyncratic lyrics almost as impressive the ludicrous hairstyling of frontman Pierre. Racing through every highlight of their 3 album back catalogue with the nonsensical lyrics of Capital H, punk rock explosions of Attractive Today, the bittersweet balladry of Hold Me Down and electro-monster Time Turned Fragile.

MCS

With this band its hard not to love them, their attitude of fun and self ridicule is amazing for an American pop-punk band and their good nature also shone through. They even stopped midway through a track, because a kid had gone down in a frenzied heap of moshers in the middle of the crowd. This connection they have with the crowd is very unusual and their genuine concern for their fans is a breath of fresh air. But then they have always been more pop than punk!

Pierre

MCS’s new material was well received on the whole and crowd energy didn’t let up even if their vocals dried up. Where I Belong, This is For Real and the outstanding Point of Extinction drove the new album forwards with more well crafted hooks and vocals so catchy they should be quarantined.

MCS

The encore was short and swift but in a set already packed with so much goodness including a rare track from an early Ep and also answering requests from the crowd (they played Red Dress…woo!!) its hard to fault. Especially as they sign off the evening what is possibly their signature tune The Future Freaks Me Out .

MCS

This was one fantastic pop show and really this band deserve more attention from the British media, but I’m just happy to be able to see these guys in their element entertaining and producing a mammoth of a show!

Motion City Soundtrack’ed the perfect gig and it was awesome!

Going Airbourne

I feel obliged to put a shout out to this years most rock and roll spirited new young band!

Airbourne

Airbourne are a ‘new’ band from the land of Oz. They have an extremely laddish vocalist, ear shattering screams, are masterful exponents of the major power chords, have huge hair, include a fantastic dual guitar attack all the while singing about sex, drugs and rock and roll.

Hmm… is it just me or does this all sound extremely familiar, answers on a postcard please!

Aside from obvious styling’s, they cock-rock with the best of them and their latest album Runnin’ Wild is this years classic rock brute, which is sure to leave many a twee indie folker rocked to the core! They have been handed a long album deal so look forward to much much more from these stalwart’s bringing their down under, powered to 11, rock and roll muscle!

Airebourne
Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution You Know

Case of the John Mayer Blues

John Mayer, Newton Faulkner @ The Royal Albert Hall, South Kensington, London
17th September 07

After the sun and music soaked Reading weekend, it’s time return to normality and the safety from the elements that are the London gig venues. The Royal Albert Hall is about as far removed from a festival field by the river Thames as you could get. But it really is a spectacular location for live music. The acoustics are amazing and views were great even from the circle high above the stage below.

First to hit the royal stage (decked out with rugs and all), was Newton Faulkner. Not having heard much of him before i was very impressed by the performance. He was alone yet so assured and comfortable on in this grand arena engaging the crowd at every opportunity. His acoustic guitar was superb and lyrically raised many a smile. He was so refreshing in a land of singer songwriters who take themselves far too seriously. Only a character like this could possibly get away with playing a cover version of the Spongebob Squarepants theme tune on the Royal Albert Hall, ooh Raaa indeed! We all throughly enjoyed this and it really set the crowd in motion for the main attraction.

John Mayer, it has to be said … has awful dress sense. A Lairy Red Suit! come on Mr. Mayer, were not in the 70’s anymore! This turned out to be not the only bad decision he made this evening either. After opening with some top tracks from the new LP Continuum (Which I think is amazing) he spoke for first time.

“Thank you for letting me change as an artist and still supporting me in what I’m doing”

Which, when you cut through the mumbo jumbo means, I’m gonna concentrate on my new material with little regard for any older gems. Boy was this the case though, as much as I love the new album i couldn’t help but feel a little bit let down by the set choice.

John Mayer
John Mayer

What he did play on the whole was great, he was strutting and flairing on his guitar like a true elder blues statesman. Extended jams, incredible solos and a plenty of catchy rythmns made for compelling viewing. So few were the older tracks he played, I can name them all with minimal recollection, Bigger Than My Body from Heavier Things, half of No Such Thing and Why Georgia from Room For Squares.

This was a good gig in a grandeur venue, despite the distinct lack of a half decent set list… I’m not bitter about this…Honest!