Archive for November, 2011

Dananananaykroyd @ KCSU

4th November 2011

It was with mixed feelings the DiR crew squeezed themselves into the already packed lift, ascending to the fifth floor of Kings College Student Union. We knew what to expect. A performance that no doubt would widen smiles and spark widespread indiscriminate hapiness. Yet we also knew this would be the last time we would ever get the chance to see one of thebest  and most chaotic live bands to grace these pages.

Dananananaykroyd‘s decision to break-up was a huge hammer blow, but at least this farewell tour was a final opportunity to bid a fond Bon voyage.

Never a band to disappoint, they played tonight like any other, without a hint of sadness or regret. Their razor sharp guitar lines were tighter than ever as they wildly swung between super complex melodic post hardcore riffing to stonking great crashes of noise rock power. Their duelling lead singers ensured their self proclaimed genre tag ‘Fight Pop’ was alive and well as they traded lyrics, slam style, doubling up to add extra clout to the spiralling sock rocking walls of amp clatter.

Songs taken from New album there is a way sounded almost as good as their debut counterparts tonight. The jerking vocals of Time Capsule, esctatic instrumental Reboot, super pop melodied Muscle Memory and the sprightly jagged edges of Think & Feel. Old favourites were as exhilerating as ever with the likes of rock-a-holic Pink Sabbath, mixed up frantic fretmeister  The Greater Symbol & The Hash and the unforgetable jangle pop gem Black Wax

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Danana…(Yes…I have shortened it) are all for the  shared joyous gig experience. To such extent that after spotting some overly enthusiastic fans, clearly guilty of disruptive anti-social behaviour, they singled out the pair and instructed they go find a private room to go ‘do whatever you want to get out all your energy’. The  innuendo sparked giggles and a red faced duo to retreat, tail between legs. Of course their pot called the kettle black when they spontaneously launched into crowd surfs. At least they apologised for any limb flailing contact.

The night would not have been complete without their trademark instigation, a ‘Wall of Cuddles‘. The love spreading take on the wall of death. Finding yourself in the midst of a mad impromptu manly hug-a-thon with complete and total strangers, can only happen when Danana are in town.

Rounding the night off with a rousing performances of Pink Sabbath & Some Dresses, the lights went down on Danana for the last time, Leaving on a high as they soaked up their massively earned applause! They shall be sorely missed! Farewell Dananananaykroyd!

The Rapture @ KoKo

3rd November 2011

For a band of The Raptures influence, widespread appeal and substantial fan base it was with confusion that we arrive in Camden tonight. For we were not headed to The Roundhouse, neither The Electric Ballroom. Instead we’re greeted with the words ‘Sold Out’ plastered over the foyer of KoKo as we sought refuge from the harshly precipitous London Skies. This venue seems to get smaller with every visit and tonight was no different, stocked to the guilds with disco Derek’s and indie Irene’s. As it turns out the venue and the supply of reasonably priced (& chilled) beer were not the only things in short supply tonight.

The non publishing of their ‘Special Guests’ certainly got the crowds in early with the possibility of a one off unmissable performance. Not until you are over the threshold and beyond the ‘No Re-Entry’ signs is the secret revealed. The special name emblazoned on the lineup posters read…’Citizens’. Who? Clearly this was a shameless attempt by KoKo to get the punters in. As much as I like to bait the HMV Forum, at least they always display the set times outside. plus their beer is somehow cheaper and not poured haphazardly from lukewarm cans.

Citizens

After hearing Citizens soft high pitched vocalist from the bar I was surprised to find a bloke camouflaged as 80’s retro wallpaper. His homeogenous vocals fit their simple but uncannily catchy electro melodies and energised indie pop. Youthful and fresh, these guys music was mature way beyond their juvenile years. Combining uplifting melodies and repeatum clean guitar riffs they put in a solid performance.

The Rapture

From the get go, The Rapture‘s effortlessly cool vibes washed over the gently swaying crowds. Their sharpened clattering post punk guitar riffs combined with the kind of drumlines which tap subliminally into your feet, forcing them to dance dance dance!

New material was well received, it’s poppy angles and hook heavy vocal harmonies sending rolling waves of laid back coolness. The age old indie weapon, ‘the cow bell’ was particularly effective tonight at getting us all to strut our funky stuff.

It was the older classics which packed the most clout with The Gang if Four styled Echoes, party starter Whoo! Alright – Yeah…Uh Huh and the House of Jealous Lovers that gave birth to the cool indie dance-punk machine.

It was soon after these got their plays that The Rapture retired for a ‘well earned’ break. A 45 minute set…ok, that’s cool because that irritating poster said its a 2 hour performance. One song later and the sound of dismayed punters was clearly audible over the PA as the lights went up and we got booted out! Now I’ve been to quite a few of these shindigs before and I know 51 minutes for a headline set is pretty damn short! With a stunned feeling of injustice burning deep inside we headed for home.

The Rapture despite their shortened efforts formed a fantastic pocket of cool disco inflected indie in Camden tonight.

Ash @ The Forum

26th October 2011
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”…or so the story goes….
The Virginmarys

Tonight’s opeing gambit came courtesy of The Virginmarys. A bluesy vagabond trio plying stoked rock and roll wringing every drip of power and energy from their instrumental weapons of choice. Varying the pace between slow acoustic fables, mid tempo romper stompers and fiery riffed guitar free for all’s, this highly addictive set was nicely balanced. With only one guitar, frontman Ally Dickaty both enthralled with his flaming blues licks, overdriven  clattered chords and instantly lovable melodies. With attack, restraint and  raw blues pop power in equal measure, this trio gave their all in the name of rock and roll.
Top Drums

Futures, a much hyped pop-punk band felt somewhat stunted in their reply. Their polished pop rock was well crafted, shiny and skirted with Coldplay-esque stadium ambitions. Yet it all felt a little too pedestrian despite the three guitars on show. Their radio hawking melodies were mostly forgettable over which the vocals were barely audible.

Futures


This support battle was won and lost on the drummers stool! “A Tale of Two Drummers“, so to speak. One steam rolled through his set inflicting full blooded smashes, thrashing the skins to within an inch of their lives. The other sat calmly, looking cool, knockin out ‘rock band’ 1-2-1-2 beats without a whiff of passion. The Viginmarys triumph from this particular tale while Futures are left to face the guillotine of defeat.
Ash…incoming

As an Ash veteran, I was thrilled on the announcement of tonight’s Free All Angels show. It was a corking album which takes me back to younger summers, played in full no less + greatest hits (no a-z nonsence, phew!). To top that off we also are treated to a return to the Ash stage, of former axe slinging princess, Charlotte Hatherley!
Charlotte Hatherley

They wasted no time in small talk tonight. Straight on with the trio of knockout of tunes which lead off Free All Angels, feelgood punker Walking Barefoot, Sing your heart out Shining Light and the irrepressible Burn Baby Burn. “Not a bad start to an album hey…”, remarks flying v armed frontman, Tim Wheeler. Even If he says so himself.
Tim Wheeler

But then, I got that immediate wake up call, telling me that the highlights have been and gone after only 10 minutes.
Yet a top form’ ‘full fat’ dual guitared Ash threw themselves into every tune, even sparking mini crash pits with the furious punk combo of Shark and Pacific Palisades plus sparking mass soppyness with ballads Someday and There’s A Star. They managed to maintain the euphria from track 1 through 12 an impressive feat.
Wrapping up the album section they dived off, only to return with even more vigour and purpose. Their Greatest Hits set was even better than what came before. Tim was basking in the crowds reflective energy while fiery haired Charlotte looked like she was having a blast being back in front of the faithful. We can only hope for a permanent return, but On the strength of tonight’s show, there might be a chance…maybe?
Throwing in an extended run of classics including Girl From Mars. Oh Yeah, Orpheus, A Life Less Ordinary and a cool cover of  Teenage Kicks. They clearly overran curfew when returning for a second encore, not that there were any complaints  mind you. This ensure no classic was left unaired as Kung Fu rounded the night out… kicking and screaming in its pop rock magnificence. A masterful set from a live band who never, never, never, disappoint!

Album Review Shorts: The Trews – Hope & Ruin

Short & sweet album reviews that never miss the point…

The Trews – Hope & Ruin

RockOSaurus Says…

Canadian east coasters The Trews have not hit the UK shores as hard as they deserve with their pop rock and roll combination of precise guitars, tender ballads and all round good time tunes. Hope & Ruin is doing its damned best to change matters. This being their 4th LP, nothing too greatly has changed since last time out, but their knack for writing upllifting feel good rock songs underpinned by huge vocal bellows and infectious melodies remain strong. They have mixed up melancholy, mid-tempo and mega-sized thoughout making this a varied album with wider pop audience appeal. Though they have not distancing themselves too far from the rock crowd with thumping tunes such as opener Misery Loves Company and the powerful wah wah riffed People of the Deer. It can be a little too plodding towards the end, but with the majority of songs presented in such enjoyble pop packages it’s easy to overlook.

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Album Review Shorts: The Subways – Money & Celebrity

Short & sweet album reviews that never miss the point…

The Subways – Money & Celebrity

RockOSaurus Says…

Former garage rockers step out into the limelit world of celeb culture for their third spunky pop LP. Showbiz, money and fame all get a lyrical flow which fails to really grip the listener. In essence it is only those fickle glossy mag flickers who might! It’s a good job then that each tune is overflowing with melody and pop craft. Urgency and tempo rages on Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,  super catchy vocal harmonies line Like I Love You and rippin’ garage guitars are scattered throughout We Don’t Need Money To Have A Good Time . Like Celebrity itself, this album is easy to criticise for it’s superficial and attention grabbing outlook. But In this case, it plays as a major strength throughout this strong collection of uplifting pop rockers.

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