Archive | October, 2017

The Android Angel – The Hissing and the Hum

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The Android Angel – The Hissing and the Hum

Posted on 31 October 2017 by Joe

Since he sent us the debut EP from his band Free Swim back in 2010 Paul Coltofeanu has never let us down. Time and again across Free Swim’s funny and perfectly executed pop he has impressed.

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But there’s more from him as well, via his other, little more serious, guise – The Android Angel. Here Paul’s humour level is turned down a notch, but there is still no shortage of perfect pop, anthemic rock and fine production.

This latest release as The Android Angel is no exception.

Instrumental Cloudless Sky opens proceedings, blending club sounds with Explosions in the Sky style soundtrack rock, before the whimsical pop of The Mirror and Figurine comes in.

In the main the tracks start softly with layers building up into euphoric synth and guitar rock. This is particularly the case on Pictures, Goodnight Starlight and Seasons Made of Stone.

Sometimes the euphoria kicks in from the off, especially on West Wind and Stationary State, which both have some great guitar arrangements at the start.

Is this his best yet?

In terms of musical arrangement and melody definitely, with Love Someone Like This emerging as the track that still rattles around my head long after listening.

To churn out consistently good releases in two different styles for eight years is no mean feat and on present evidence there’s no reason that fine run will stop anytime soon.

The Android Angel – The Hissing and the Hum is released on Sex Farm Records on November 3. For more information visit The Android Angel Facebook page.

By Joe Lepper

9/10

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Public Service Broadcasting – Nottingham Rock City (October 21, 2017)

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Public Service Broadcasting – Nottingham Rock City (October 21, 2017)

Posted on 23 October 2017 by John Haylock

The popularity of Public Service Broadcasting grows exponentially, rather like one of the graphs on the visual projection screens behind them on stage.

From very humble cash strapped beginnings in 2009, they now command a small South American country’s bank balance to bring you an EVENT, rather than the budget constrained show of yore.

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The cardboard televisions and the cheaply constructed sets are now a thing of the past.  They now embrace a George Lucas approach to live performances.

Once merely a duo they have now mutated into the population of a small town in Bedfordshire.

Lasers, strobes, dancing white space suited astronauts, a brass ensemble, special guests and non-stop films all bringing their music to life.

It is difficult to comprehend the journey the two heroes of Public Service Broadcasting,  the sensibly named J Willgoose esq and drummer Wigglesworth, embarked upon all those years ago.

They have gone from small crowds of bewildered onlookers via a mindblowing set at Glastonbury in 2013 to this – a sold out tour in 2018. They deserve it. Their music is tremendously effective, cleverly interweaving movie and documentary dialogue with tasty instrumental tunes.

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They also now have a considerable back catalogue to draw upon. But they start with selections from the new album Every Valley. This is a concept piece based upon the trials, tribulations and plight of Welsh coal mining communities back in the day.

The subject matter, despite being very moving, worthy and historically interesting doesn’t lend itself well to a rock show, After all, there is only so much black and white footage of Welsh coal miners struggling to survive economic desperation that you can take.

But never mind there’s always the Spacerace to freak out to, with footage of rockets and explosions and dynamic guitar riffs, married to Kraftwerkian keyboard funkiness.

The set then veers sharp left into the oncoming path of Sir John Betjeman with a fantastic rendition of Night Mail.

Then into what most consider their most rocking song Spitfire. In in an ideal world this would be our new national anthem.

The addition of a three-man brass army to Public Service Broadcasting on stage is most welcome. At times it’s not unlike James Brown’s backing band playing with New Order.

One regret was the absence of the Margaret Thatcher footage they played back in the summer to accompany one of the tracks from the new album.  It had the entire crowd booing and swearing at her image.

Three members of Haiku Salut join the band for a lovely version of They Gave Me A Lamp.

In addition, Go! was total overload great – a real techno frenzy of lights, action and men in dickie bows.

Lit up, the one that includes snippets of Thomas Woodroofe’s infamous incoherent report of a passing naval flotilla from Portland in 1937 whilst completely pissed, was a hoot.

While for the encore they gave us the traditional closer, Everest, with its beautiful floating melody swirling around our buzzing heads.

Where to next for our intrepid explorers? The centre of the Earth or the centre of the galaxy?

Tune in next time for more thrilling adventures in sound and space!

Words by John Haylock, pictures by Arthur Hughes

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Blast Off Festival Preview

Blast Off Festival Preview

Posted on 13 October 2017 by John Haylock

Next month Nottingham will once again host the Blast Off Festival, a showcase of garage, surf, beat and rock and roll acts.

Taking place over four days (November 9-12) the line up includes home town band Thee Eviltones, 1960s legends The Pretty Things as well as Neonfiller favourites Kalidoscope, who will be bringing their own brand of mind melting psych sounds.

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There is also a rare appearance from 1980s garage rock legends The Fuzztones as well as a full supporting cast of dropouts, guitar abusers and hip-shaking hipsters.

Bands will be playing at Rough Trade and The I Club in the city and in addition the event will feature two all nighters, a vintage-retro market as well as a rock ‘n’ roll jumble sale.

For more information visit their website here.

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Hockley Hustle – Nottingham (October 8, 2017)

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Hockley Hustle – Nottingham (October 8, 2017)

Posted on 10 October 2017 by John Haylock

It seems as though every town in England is putting on showcase days to highlight the rich diversity of their eternally evolving artistic subculture. Similar events in Brighton, Manchester, Leeds and Glastonbury (the town that is) have all kicked off this year and anywhere with a few bars and galleries seem ripe for some locally sourced talent.

Hustle

Today it’s the turn of an area in Nottingham called Hockley, a small conclave of a regenerated, previously impoverished area of the city. An area, which has transformed itself remarkably over the years to become a vibrant hub of commerce and creativity.

From early afternoon the Hockley Hustle took off,  with the area becoming a busy, heaving but happy gathering of like-minded people, fueled by enormous amounts of alcohol (sorry, that’s just me), exotic foodstuffs and good-natured camaraderie. It’s like a party but with health and safety regulators.

First port of call was the Old Angel pub where at half past three I thought I was going to see Brian Blessed. Turns out it’s a band. Ha bleedin’ ha!

In the same venue we caught some hard driving rhythm and blues from a band called Louis – think Dr Feelgood (ish). Then a young lady called Holly Taylor-Gamble and her young band sang mightily with conviction and brimstone.

I recently flagged up duo You Want Fox – featuring Colette on drums and Natalie on bass, who kick off bigtime. They are a raucous good time duo with some great sing-a-long choruses and catchy tunes. A stage invasion is actively encouraged. Brilliant.

I Am Lono got off to a good start after some interminable sound-checking, but sadly after two numbers it all went technology tits up, and they came to a faltering halt.

But hey, greatest thing ever was the Hockley Hustle set from some guys called Future Shinjuku.

My God they were good. They have a lead vocalist/guitarist who looks like Rag n Bone Man, with a similar gravelly voice, loads of echo on the riffing and a bunch of electronics from a chap with a laptop with lots of buttons on it. Warning – don’t press one like I did, he didn’t like that.

Over to El Capo bar where Inkbomb played some dramatic thrash metal. But how we ever missed a sixty-piece choir in the contemporary art gallery I’ll never know.

We then shot over to the Bodega to see what was happening – lasted one minute as we realised drum ‘n’ bass ain’t our thing.

Fire eaters, girls singing acapella on street corners, jugglers and a chap dressed as half Ziggy Stardust half Adam Ant followed. Only in Nottingham.

Our Hockley Hustle tour also took in some jazz, a bit of poetry and finished the evening in the company of The Sonics, sorry Thee Eviltones – garage rock bravado and bollocks. Totally in your face next to a plant pot. Groovy-baby, groovy-baby.

Come to Nottingham, it’s not shit anymore.

Words by John Haylock

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