Archive | October, 2015

Darren Hayman – Florence

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Darren Hayman – Florence

Posted on 26 October 2015 by Joe

Time and place are key to this latest, comparatively low-key, release from Darren Hayman.

In recent years the former Hefner frontman has been embroiled in ambitious full-band projects, from putting William Morris’s political writings to music to a trilogy of albums about his native Essex.

Darren Hayman

His forthcoming project, an art and musical homage to those rare English villages where all their First World War soldiers returned alive, is set to be another large-scale piece of work.

But here he uses the more simple idea, of a short winter holiday in Florence staying at the apartment of his indiepop chums Elizabeth Morris and her husband Ola Innset, of Allo Darlin and Making Marks respectively, to write and record a melancholy collection of songs.

While a rare solo project it is far from being a lonely or sad album. Friendship is a key theme and there’s a cosy warmth to its winter setting too.

Opener Nuns Run the Apothecary is a great song about friendship. Here Hayman charts the directions and instructions from Morris and Innset to their apartment. ‘We’re sorry to miss you’ and ‘treat our home like your own’ are among the lovely phrases where Hayman draws out the sense of affection among friends.

There’s good music and melodies here too. From the Square to the Hill has the rhythm of a sightseer abroad, taking in the sky, buildings and people around him at that nothing time between Christmas and New Year.

In some ways this is my favourite Hayman album for some time. It’s got the song writing of the best of his Essex trilogy and the warmth of much of his January songs project, recorded at this same time of year and involving him writing, recording and releasing a song a day with help from his musical friends and social media community, including my own dog.

Although in a different city to his native London this most melancholy of times of year once again provides the perfect inspiration for his songwriting.

To buy Darren Hayman – Florence click here.

9/10

by Joe Lepper

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Jane Weaver-The Bodega, Nottingham (Oct 18)

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Jane Weaver-The Bodega, Nottingham (Oct 18)

Posted on 19 October 2015 by Joe

A reluctant admission to begin with, up until six months ago Jane Weaver wasn’t even on my radar. To my eternal shame I was not aware of her at all and it was only a chance remark by a friend that piqued my interest.

Then by good fortune I saw her turn in a lovely set at the Greenman Festival in August, which even a deluge of annoyingly persistent Welsh drizzle couldn’t ruin.

Weaver2

So tonight it is with great relief that she’s indoors, the roof’s not leaking and she’s playing in the small intimate confines of Nottingham’s Bodega, a fantastic venue where it’s hip to read a book at the bar, or if you’re brave enough you can have a natter with Jason Williamson from local heroes Sleaford Mods.

Virtually all of the tracks tonight were off her latest album The Silver globe, although she kicked off tonight with a track from 2011, The Fallen By Watch Bird, that proved irresistible with its relentless driving momentum.

Weaver’s band proceed to pulverize the senses with their ultra tight rhythmic onslaught, combined with her breathy high register vocals you can’t help be swept along on a wave of sexiness and choppy guitar, no sooner had that finished they carried on in the same vein with Argent, which sadly is not a tribute to Rod Argent but another gloriously uplifting tune nevertheless.

Weaver

At the forefront of the tiny stage is Weaver with a modest keyboard and microphone, conducting proceedings like an icy golden haired folk rock Boadicea. Behind her are four superb musicians dedicated to blowing your mind with some serious psychfolk to die for.

The hour goes by in a blur of difficult to categorise music with ‘Sandy Denny goes electronica’ possibly the closest to an accurate description that you’ll get. Live she creates a wall of mesmerising sound, with I need a connection and Your Time in This Life superb, as was new single Mission Desire and an encore of Stealing Gold.

*Support tonight came from four very young girls from Derby called Babe Punch, we don’t talk about Derby round Nottingham, but on this occasion I shall put my prejudices to one side. This bunch are ok actually, not exactly The Slits but they did have some good shouty choruses. They seemed to be having fun and no one lynched them, not to my knowledge anyway. Although their cover of The Cure’ s Just like heaven was almost a capital offence.

Words by John Haylock, pictures by Arthur Hughes

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Eyelids – Bound To Let You Down

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Eyelids – Bound To Let You Down

Posted on 14 October 2015 by Dorian

In this new video from Eyelids (Eyelids OR in the UK) the band show their more gruesome side as animated characters. The song is taken from their self-titled EP, produced by former REM guitarist Peter Buck.

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Eyelids OR – 854

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Eyelids OR – 854

Posted on 04 October 2015 by Dorian

Nearly a year ago we reviewed the debut album 854 by the Oregon band Eyelids, and it was one of our favourite releases of the year. The band have added the “OR” part to their name for this release to avoid confusion with another act and signed to Charlatan Tim Burgess’s Ogenesis label.

Eyelids OR 854

You can read the full review of the album which sounds even better 12 months later. If you buy 854 on a physical format you also get 6 bonus tracks to enjoy. Only one of these is a new Eyelids original, the other being covers plus an alternate take of ‘Psych #1’, but they are definitely worth a listen.

Fingers crossed that the long awaited UK release of the album will lead to a tour on these shores some time soon. Watch this space for Eyelids news as we get it.

By Dorian Rogers

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