Tag Archive | "Fever Dream"

Tigercats, Fever Dream and Seadog live in Brighton 27/03/15

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Tigercats, Fever Dream and Seadog live in Brighton 27/03/15

Posted on 12 February 2015 by Dorian

Neon Filler is delighted to present Tigercats and Fever Dream on the Brighton leg of their forthcoming tour. Support comes from the excellent Brighton band Seadog.

The gig is at The Joker in Brighton (view map) and is on Friday 27th March (Doors 8pm).

Tickets are £6 (plus outlet booking fee) and are available from Wegottickets, Gigantic and Brighton Source online.

If you are in Brighton why not get a nice paper ticket from Resident records? Whilst you are in there you can pick up a copy of the excellent new Tigercats album Mysteries.

If you are going to come along to the gig then why not make yourself known on the Facebook event page?

Tigercats

Having carved out a coveted space in the scuzzier realm of kinetic indiepop, London five-piece Tigercats have now delivered second album Mysteries, an assuredly contagious record bristling with melody and noise, and mapped out on a lyrical landscape populated by gated longings, bleached-out city skies, and skewed entanglements of the heart.

Tigercats

Tigercats make music that stems from the weird collision point between Half Japanese, Hefner, Daniel Johnston, Prince, and Orange Juice, shuttling through this heady constellation armed with a pop sensibility marked out by its eloquence and ferocity. Duncan Barrett and Laura Kovic articulate sweet laments and aspersions over swathes of magnetic agit-glam-punk noise which prowls an alternately feral and refined musical terrain.

Find out more at www.tigercatsband.com and check out the video to the song Junior Champion.

Fever Dream

Feted for the urgency and unrest of their live presence, London three-piece Fever Dream have now committed their dark and brittle post-punk-shoegaze noise to tape in the form of debut album, Moyamoya.

Fever Dream

Comprised of guitarist/vocalist Adey Fleet, bassist Sarah Lippett, and drummer Cat Loye, Fever Dream make music which stalks the unsettled territory between MBV and PiL; suffused with melody and discordance, unhinged and brutally stapled-down. Via the twitching fragility and freneticism of Fleet’s guitar and vocals, Lippett’s stormy bass, and the propulsive dark heart that is Loye’s drumming,Fever Dream pitch disorientating swathes of noise against irresistible pop hooks and gentle febrile tonality, arriving at a sound which sharply articulates a disorientating world of panic attacks, tender allegiances, and sweet perversions.

Find out more at www.feverdream.co.uk and check out the video to the song Flux.

Seadog

Seadog is the project of Brighton-based musician and song writer Mark Nathan Benton. Seadog began with Benton at the nucleus of an ever-changing cast of musical friends where each performer would bring their own piece of imagination to the music.

Seadog

Now established as a band with a regular cast, Seadog combine their musical ideas, fusing delicate acoustic lullabies with anthemic electric and acoustic textures.

Seadog have a strong presence amongst the Brighton music scene and have supported a number of acts over the years; including Erland and The Carnival, Blue Roses, Pink Mountain Tops and David Bazan (Pedro The Lion). They recently toured in the UK with Norwegian Songsmith Kenneth Ishak (from Beezwax) by playing as his backing band as the main support on the bill each night.

Find out more at http://seadogmusic.tumblr.com/ and listen to (and buy) the new Transmitter EP here.


 

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The Proper Ornaments – Wooden Head

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The Proper Ornaments – Wooden Head

Posted on 08 July 2014 by Joe

When he’s not playing guitar and singing for indie band Veronica Falls, James Hoare hangs out with his friend the Argentinian song writer Max Claps to make 1960s influenced music under the name The Proper Ornaments.

Wooden-Head

This first album by the pair is indeed full of 1960s influences but definitely via the 1990s. As a result it is less Syd Barratt and The Byrds and more like Ride, Teenage Fanclub and even The Stone Roses. The Teenage Fanclub sound is perhaps clearest on openers Gone and Sun.

Third track Ruby introduces a more acoustic folk feel that showcases the best and worst of this release. In terms of atmosphere Ruby  is wonderful, reminiscent of the 1960s the pair are plundering with a lovely lose-yourself quality. But it also shows a lack of focus on melody, something that any worthy plunderer of the 1960s needs as well. It was a time of awesome pop after all but Ruby feels like the build up to a catchy chorus that never materialises.

This frustration continues on Now I Understand, which has a nice riff but never reaches the punch of a good chorus. Don’t You Want To Know (What You’re Going To Be) sounds a little too much like an early Stone Roses song, discarded on the studio floor by their producer John Leckie for not being good enough for the Manchester band’s stunning debut.

And so the album progresses with Step into the Cold and You Shouldn’t Have Gone sounding a bit like Ride and What Am I To Do sounding a little like Dear Prudence, but without the trippy chorus.

I want to love this album, it sounds like so much of my favourite music. The pair are clearly reverential of their musical influences too, which is great to hear. But the problem is there are many others doing this kind of retro musical mining far better. Gare Du Nord band Papernut Cambridge’s melodic 1960s indie sound is more accomplished. Fever Dream perform psychedelic garage rock with more emotion and Temples and Tame Impala plunder the 1960s with far more commercial appeal.

6/10

by Joe Lepper

Wooden Head is released on Slumberland and Fortuna Pop!

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Indietracks Festival 2013

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Indietracks Festival 2013

Posted on 08 August 2013 by Dorian

Has Indietracks grown up? It’s a worry, and this nagging concern has been, well, nagging us. A couple of years back the campsite was bursting at the guy ropes. People were camped right up to the indie disco marquee entrance, it was that packed.

This year, while not exactly an unbroken sea of green pasture, there was enough spare capacity for several games of French cricket. Would Indietracks itself be similarly roomy?

It turned out that we Indie-campers were the minority. These days the done thing is to bed down in the plushest of Butterley hotels and train it in. Indie kids are better off than we thought.

Or is it that they are not indie kids? What they are, is indie dads. It’s an oxymoron. It’s a mutually exclusive concept. You can’t mix happy making indie where anything goes and a dad’s panicky concern over his little ones. It’s bipolar.

Indie-dad leans out at you, holding his loved ones by the hair, when you are driving a little lost at two miles an hour making a turn and says in an incredulous tone “indicators mate”. Indie-dad is shocked that they let so many people into the shed to watch Camera Obscura, making it unsafe for little Jakob and Elvira. Indie-dad is up at 7.30am playing French fucking cricket whacking tennis balls at your tent.

We even suspect that indie-dad had a quiet word with the bearded chap that walks about in a full length dress every year before 2013, so that children are not exposed to such rampant transvestitism.

The most outre indie-wear this year was a tie-dye t-shirt and a couple of tutus. What’s happened to all the beautiful youths that used to pour out of their tents like coloured smarties out of a tube? That’s not the only thing that’s changed for 2013, making Indietracks almost unrecognisable. This year they had live owls on the Friday, as well as Saturday and Sunday. And, the model railway had been moved.

The only thing that remained constant was the fantastic atmosphere, and a line up of truly great artists. But then you kind of expect that anyway from this particular festival.

Friday

Big Wave

Big Wave

Glorious weather and a promising three act bill for the Friday night proved to be a great start to the weekend, a decent crowd of early arrivers sitting on the grass in anticipation. First up was Big Wave from Torquay, and the fresh faced act proved to be the perfect start. Slightly cracked vocals and a C86 influenced pop sound that was fun and just on the right side of noisy. Only a few hours after arriving at the site I had a new name on my “bands to check out after” list.

Up next was The Tuts, a band that had already impressed me with their songs online, and had a bit of a reputation following their invitation to tour with Kate Nash. Live they were even better, bursting with energy and putting on a really confident show. Musically they reminded me of Go sailor, only a bit punkier and with a very British sound. Dressed in matching outfits and offering a lot of irreverent stage chat, this was a first rate set.

Bis

Bis

Watching Bis start their set I was initially confused, how come they weren’t the same fresh-faced teenagers from two decades previous? It is always strange to see a  band make a come-back when you have seen so little of them in the intervening years. I also didn’t know what to expect from them, would they have anything to offer live and do they have enough good songs for a headline set? The answer to both these questions was an emphatic “yes” and this would prove to be one of the best sets of the who, weekend. Songs like ‘Eurodisco’, ”This Is fake DIY’ and even the theme tune from the Powerpuff Girls Movie are fun and skillfully played. I was left with the impression that this was a band that history hadn’t been kind enough to and a desire to check out their back catalogue.

The evening ended shortly after for us, after a biref trip to the train shed disco. The only place you’ll here Hefner songs following a chip-tunes version of the Smith’s ‘This Charming Man’.

Saturday

Finnmark!

Finnmark!

As the sun panned across the firmament, no self respecting shoe-gazer would be anywhere else but deep inside the train shed. And that’s exactly where our day began with Finnmark! whose billing belies their ability.

They are way too good to be an opening act and although they probably don’t yet have enough great songs in their canon, they are well on their way. Stark gnarling guitars, nerdishly simple keys, and the sort of drummer everyone wants in their band combined to propel their singer’s baritone vocals marching through the set like a Roman legion. Closer and new single Everyone’s Dying was a highlight but I’m Considering a Move to Sweden is that bit more special.

Our next highlight appeared in the church, in the form of David Leach – so slight that if you chopped him in half and found just foam, you wouldn’t be surprised.

Having slipped in at the nave to a packed venue, we arrived halfway through a number about maternal sexual fantasies. Bending over to empty the dishwasher, quiet nights cuddling on the sofa, it was already awkwardly steamy just from the sheer heat of being stuck in a tin church without that kind of oedipal prurience. So it was quite some relief to work out he was singing about his mate’s mum.

Leach is indeed a true wit and in the most fearless sense. His charm is not just wry songs about the perversity of our prosaic existence, it’s his delivery. If he could sit on everyone’s lap and sing them a song one by one, he’d do it, and he’d be there all weekend with a queue out the door. He’s just that engaging.

The Magic Theatre

The Magic Theatre

Then via a brief sojourn to catch the wild scratchings of the fantastic Tunabunny on the outdoor stage we took a ride on the Butterley Express for Owl and Mouse. Turned out we weren’t the only ones with that idea.

Owl and Mouse, fronted by Australian Hannah Botting, proved the perfect act for a crowded, sweaty guard’s carriage aboard the event’s steam train venue. Botting’s voice on tracks such as Don and Anna, a bittersweet tale of Don Draper’s plutonic relationship with the widow of the man whose identity he stole, and their 2013 single Canvas Bags, proved even more beautiful and tender live.  We named them one of our Top Ten Bands To Watch Out For in 2013 for good reason.

In the hot-box church venue The Magic Theatre presented another change of pace. Stories about Victorian seamstresses set to sampled strings,  time travelling lovers are sung about in a song that sounds like late XTC, albeit with soft female vocals. A brief technical failure even brings an unplanned Russian folk song – these aren’t just any run-of-the-mill indie band. The corer of the band were almost famous in a previous life as Ooberman  and a mid-set run of their songs was very popular with the crowd.

Why have I never seen the Wave Pictures before? And why don’t I own any of their records? Their connections with other artists like Darren Hayman and, on the evidence of this set, a brilliant batch of songs makes them right up my street. The sound is great, and brilliant played with African guitar noodlings, showy drumming and steady bass supporting David Tattersall’s witty intelligent songs. This is three piece pop at its best and I’m already planning on picking up their albums before they finish their final song.

At this point our coverage enters something of a climatic hiatus. With clouds pouring over the horizon it was pretty clear a mad dash was needed to secure the tents and grab a coat. Damn indie-dad and his luxury hotel room.

Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura

Just get back for Camera Obscura. That’s all that mattered.

We needn’t have rushed. Having been relocated from the outdoor stage to the train shed there was a significant wait for the main event.

It meant the venue was indeed packed to the steel girders, making for a fantastic sound. By the time they came on the audience was visibly rabid with enthusiasm.

After all, with a new album Desire Lines to promote and an enthusiastic home crowd, this was going to be a shoe in for the highlight of the entire festival.

So why the long faces? A set bristling with favourites: “Lloyd, I’m ready to be heartbroken”, “Tears for Affairs”, “French Navy”. What a band, what songs, what a voice.

And yet there’s this disconnect between this joyous stuff going in the ear and sight of these dour-faced static people on stage. They surely can’t be one and the same.

A great gig frustrated – even the set ended with the last song as the encore. No extra treats.

Did they have to get home early? Are they in fact indie mums and dads?

Even so, Camera Obscura loomed large over everything on Saturday – theirs is such a complete sound you can’t fail but be drawn in. Like Father Christmas finding out his missus is having an affair – you feel mildly concerned he lacks his ruddy cheer, but at least you’re still getting the presents.

Sunday

Enderby's Room

Enderby’s Room

After the downpours it was good to wake-up to relatively clear skies and the possibility of an unbroken day of music ahead. A more relaxed plan was also a relief as so few of the people playing were familiar to me and a day of discovery is always a pleasure.

Seabirds provided a pleasant, if unexceptional, start to proceedings with a set of upbeat poppy songs. The band played them well and it was an encouraging start from a band who had only played a handful of live sets previously.

Back on the train Enderby’s Room showed their level of experience (members of Darren Hayman’s band and Owl and Mouse on show) with a short but accomplished batch of songs. The instrumentation, vocal harmonies and melody was the perfect accompaniment to a gentle train ride and their soft folky sound was as good as anything else I’d hear all weekend.

The cavernous train shed space is far less intimate, but still a pretty unique venue and Alpaca Sports, the Swedish act backed by a collection of British musicians they have assembled from other bands, fill it with an insanely chirpy set of songs.

Kid Canaveral

Kid Canaveral

The Soulboy Collective, viewed from the church pews, are a little more distinctive. The male members in matching Fred Perry jumpers and a (slightly samey) Northern Soul drum beat on every track sets the scene. The band sound like a more Euro version (the band hail from Germany) of St.Ettienne but miss the polish of that band by some distance. They sound like a studio act and struggle to get the timings right throughout the set. It isn’t until the final song that it all comes together, and at that point they sound pretty wonderful – the whole church clapping along. One to watch, but by no means the finished article.

Out in the open again the pace switched back to rock guitars with the power-pop sounds of Scottish act Kid Canaveral. The songs and style was likeable and had plenty of energy, a great soundtrack to a sunny afternoon. To top it off was an amusing anaecdoete about strong cider and vomit, what could be more festival appropriate than that?

The winner of the “most band t-shirts worn” competition must have been won by Martha, a punky four-piece who themselves were wearing a uniform of matching black and white t-shirts. Shouted vocals sound pretty good sometimes and it was easy to see why they are developing such a following. A decent version of Billy Joel’s ‘We Didn’t Start The Fire’ is a lot of fun and the final song stage invasion (including the ever present Tuts) is one of the highlights of the weekend.

Still Corners

Still Corners

Helen Love’s performance is one of the most puzzling shows in my many years of gig going. I do get what it is all about, I understand the Ramones references and the deadpan (borderline bored) delivery. I like the plain faced cultural reference points and repetitive lyrics. I also think the show presentation (complete with glitter confetti canons) was a nice change from the straight-up kids with guitars at most of the festival shows. What I don’t get is the music, which is (I’m struggling to find a polite way to say this) terrible. It is like music I’d expect to hear on CBbeebies, how I imagine the Wiggles live on stage would sound. But the crowd love it, easily the best audience response of the weekend, so who really cares what I think?

Due to a delay to the running times on the indoor stage, difficult to avoid at a festival, it is a relatively small audience that greets Still Corners for their headline outdoor set. The band are a big noise new on Sub Pop and it is a pretty impressive show. The sounds is very atmospheric, the projections and lights effective and the voice and instrumentation sound like nothing else I’ve heard over the weekend. It is a little downbeat for a headline act, but no less pretty for it and it is a shame that more of the festival wasn’t there to finish their weekend on this particular musical high.

And so this year’s glorious weekend of wall-to-wall steam-powered Indie drew to a close.

The only negative for Indietracks 2013 is that we think indie-dad quite enjoyed it and might come back.

Will we be going next year? Doubtless. It’s such an inspired concept and comes with a guarantee of great music and moments at every turn.

But maybe we’ve grown out of camping after trying to find the toilet in a roaring downpour at 2am. Maybe next year we’ll get a hotel. Maybe, maybe next year we’ll bring the kids.

Words: Matt Whipp, Dorian Rogers and Joe Lepper | Pictures: Dorian Rogers

This review was written by two indie-dads and an indie-uncle. No offence intended to any indie-dads, indie-mums, indie-aunts, indie-uncles, indie-grandparents, indie-kids or indie-toddlers

Our full Indietracks 2013 gallery on Flickr

 

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Indietracks 2013

Posted on 30 July 2013 by Joe

Here’s a short film Neonfiller.com’s Joe Lepper made of his time at Indietracks 2013. No words, thought it best to use the excellent track Tut Tut Tut by The Tuts, one of the highlights of the event. Thanks so much to The Tuts for letting us use their track.

Set at the Midlands Steam Railway Centre, Derbyshire, the event spans four stages: an outdoor stage, a train shed, a steam train and the station chapel. The clip below features a host of bands including The Magic Theatre, Bis, Camera Obscura, Owl and Mouse, Enderby’s Room, Fever Dream and of course The Tuts.

 

 

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Shrag, Pocket Books, Fever Dream @ The Lexington, London, Nov 15

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Shrag, Pocket Books, Fever Dream @ The Lexington, London, Nov 15

Posted on 18 November 2011 by Joe

The world of indie-pop is often more fractious than an ever splitting dance genre. For the countless derivatives of house there’s are twee antitheses, just as funky house has its handbag, post-punk has its riot grrl, similar but never the twain shall meet. For Shrag, however, this niche malarkey is nonsense, they’re just a band doing what bands do, and that’s, being in a band.

You see, Shrag are the kind of group who you feel you know, like a pile of scatter cushions in the sitting room corner, they’re always there, not always used, but it’s nice to have them just in case:  An essential mainstay of the indie scene.

Shrag

Over the past five years of touring toilets, playing the railway stations and swanking off to New York, they’ve attained the status of indie-pop royalty through being a band unfazed by the tastemakers and evolving into the girl boy duet fuelled post-punk to make the twee-erati melt.

They are the obvious headliners for a Scared to Dance event, a one off for the club night which is London’s home to all things indie, but appears to be hit by the recent Neon Filler curse of being shamefully quiet with The Lexington only half full (see our recent live reviews for The Miserable Rich and Singing Adams).

Sadly this show will be forever marked by the untimely death of Peter Sykes, guitarist with This Many Boyfriends who were originally due to play tonight, but rather than being a maudlin night of cod reflectiveness each of tonight’s bands are geared towards major sets.

Indeed Pocketbooks are taking tonight very seriously by bringing along a string section from The Little Orchestra in what plays as a gambit for larger venues in 2012. However, their epic scope falls flat and it seems a bit, well, Beautiful Southy. It’s not quite twee and hand clap laden for pure indie pop nor are the harmonies memorable. The tracks with Emma Hall singing alone lift the set, especially the wonderful Sound Of The Carnival, but it’s all rather sedate.

In fairness, any group following London trio, Fever Dream, are going to struggle. Clean cut melodic office pop has nothing on visceral agit-noise-gaze which grafts Kevin Shields into the Public Image line up, then forcing him to cover Deerhunter with only a lo-fi four-track and one effects pedal. Truly mesmerising.

Tonight though is all about Shrag who without a new record to plug have the chance to maraud through new songs while maintaining an air of welcoming familiarity. Watching Shrag feels like seeing your mate’s band play, such is the openness of their between song banter, be that discussing vocalist Helen King’s descending gusset or the mystical Replicant growl emanating from  Steph Goodman’s keyboards, yet never detracting from delivering noisy post-punk.

Their conviction is never questionable and as King prowls the stage before dropping to her knees for the poetic bile of The Habit Creep there’s a tense passion which propels Shrag beyond art-pop into narcissistic terror-twee.

Screechy yelps and call and responses are Shrag’s bread and butter, so with Tendons in the Night and Devastating Bones they’re in safe territory, while Rabbit Kids shoots a classically catch sing along chorus over a gnarly jangle.

Whether it’s shouty or harmonious, Shrag have to golden rules of indie-pop in their DNA. There’s the thundering drums, Casiotone punches, 1-2-3-4’s and, of course, interaction which borders on the brilliantly farcical.

There are plenty of things going wrong, guitarist Bob (I shall call him Bobbie) Brown uses the wrong pedals and doesn’t know which songs are next, Goodman’s Keyboard has a mind of his own and drummer Andy Pyne was nearly incapacitated by a bad back, but none of this stops King spinning like a demonic dynamo in what is a fantastically coherent show.

There are obvious comparisons with Prolapse or even The Fall, but tonight they’re better than any contemporaries because they’re fun and carefree, just how indie-pop should be.

Shrag have been recording with Andy Miller who’s worked with Mogwai and the Pipettes, a perfect choice for a band who tonight blended relentless art noise and melodic pop to charming perfection.

8/10

by David Newbury

 

 

 

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Various – Vostok 5

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Various – Vostok 5

Posted on 05 September 2011 by Joe

In the same year that Nasa officially abandons its space shuttle programme it is fitting that five  musicians and artists in the UK have decided to create a project to pay tribute to those hardy heroes of a space race that is seemingly no more.

Under the name Vostok 5, the five artists who include Darren Hayman and Paul Rains from Allo Darlin’, have created a range of artwork, an exhibition as well as this fine nine track CD, looking at the often heartbreaking tales of the animals and human heroes of the space race.

For Robert Rotifer the setting of his two tracks is Star City, the strange elite cosmonaut city on the outskirts of Moscow, through the eyes of Austrian Clemens Lothaller, a substitute cosmonaut who stayed behind in the 1990s while his friend Franz Viehbock jetted into space and became a hero.

Opener ‘Star City’ focuses on Lothaller stuck in the surburban safety of Star City, dreaming of what could have been. There is a happy ending though, as Lothaller is now a bass playing neurosurgeon (yes, seriously).

On his second track ‘The Cosmonaut Who Never Flew’ Rotifer looks at Lothaller’s imagined darker days; bitter, drunk and very much earth bound in the vodka bars of Star City.

The Cosmonaut Who Never Flew by Robert Rotifer

Both Rotifer’s tracks bring space travel right down to earth through the far more terrestrial themes of friendship and ambition and are all the better for it. There’s also a deliberate hint of Ziggy Stardust era David Bowie on his vocals, giving the tracks a nice cosmic touch.

The beautifully sad names of the dogs that were catapulted into space, strapped to wires and surrounded by darkness, provide Hayman with his inspiration.

Both his tracks use different styles to give the listener a genuine sense of the fear and confusion these dogs must have felt.

On ‘A Breeze and a Little Piece of Coal’ (the English translation for space dogs Veterok and Ugolyok who hold the dog record for space endurance at 22 days) Hayman has raided his vintage keyboard collection to surround these canine cosmonauts with the bleeps and electro belchs that became their master’s voice for so long.

While effective, it is his second track ‘A Little Arrow and a Little Squirrel’ where Hayman really nails the emotion of dogs tumbling through space. Combining the same country twang from his 2010 album Essex Arms with painfully sad lyrics we learn of the two space dogs of the title (whose Russian names are Belka and Strelka) who became the first to return to earth alive.

Lines such as “In a cage made of metal and glass, two beating hearts, beating too fast,” are among the best of Hayman’s career.

Belka and Strelka (aka A Little Arrow and A Little Squirrel)

For Rains and Fever Dream, whose bassist Sarah Lippett is another of the Vostok 5, the focus is firmly on heroism.

Fever Dream’s track Poyekhali! (The Russian for ‘Let’s go!’ – the words uttered by Yuri Gagarin as he took off to become the first man in space) is bashed out like Joy Division’s Transmission as it tracks Gagarin’s flight. Fever Dream’s brand of rock provides an excellent contrast to the other more melancholy tracks. Not a bad thing. Space exploration is after all exciting.

Rains is a little more thoughtful in portraying herorism. For him it is Gagarin’s friend and fellow cosmonaut Alexei Leonov who is more of a hero.

When Gagarin died in 1968 when his plane crashed, Leonov had to identify his shattered remains, giving his second track on the album its tragic title ‘Remains in a bowl’.

Rains’ other track ‘Michelin Man’ looks at Leonov’s heroism when he almost died becoming the first man to float in space. As his space suit drastically inflated and he feared for his life his sheer bloody mindedness and bravery meant he survived. This is perhaps the most indie-pop sounding track on the album and one that has prompted me to seek out more Hexicon releases, a band I’d shamefully not heard until now. The French horn on this track is a particular joy.

Mike Collins (Allo' Darlin/Hexicon) and french horn player Thomas Allard who feature on Michelin Man

Tigercat’s Duncan Barrett’s two tracks look at Wernher Von Braun, the former Nazi scientist who built the deadly V2 rocket as well as the Saturn V rocket that took US astronauts to the moon. On ‘Sometimes I Hit London’ the unofficial subtitle of his biopic  ‘I Aim At the Stars’, Barrett looks back on his reluctant Nazi days .On ‘Maria’, his love life is the focus. Both effectively bring that human touch to his grand dreams although ‘Sometimes I Hit London’, which features the other Tigercats, is marginally the better of the two.

Across all nine tracks there’s a togetherness even though the five musicians’ have their distinct styles. This gives the CD  more of a whole band feel than other compilations. Above all its good to hear some good stories in song, especially when the heroes are such extraordinary space pioneers.

9/10

By Joe Lepper

There are just 500 copies of Vostok 5  available. For more information on how to get a copy click here.

We also visited the London exhibition by the Vostok 5 on Saturday 3 September when some of the artists performed these songs. Read our review here.

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Vostok 5 Exhibition

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Vostok 5 Exhibition

Posted on 04 September 2011 by Dorian

An art gallery isn’t the normal venue we cover here on Neon Filler, but when some of our favourite musicians have produced the artwork it seemed too good to miss. The opportunity to see a selection of the artists perform songs was an added incentive on the first weekend of the group show.

The show is called Vostok 5 and is a collection of images on the subject of people and animals in space. Darren Hayman, Robert Rotifer, Paul Rains, Sarah Lippet and Duncan Barrett have supplied a range of cartoons depicting space dogs, cosmonauts, the moon, space monkeys, Star City and other similarly themed pictures.

Duncan Barrett

Duncan Barrett

On the Saturday of the show three of the Vostok 5 treated the small packed gallery space to songs from the CD they have produced to accompany the show. Duncan Barrett opened proceedings with two delicate songs accompanied on an old organ. He was followed by Robert Rotifer who provided his tracks as well as offering up a song apiece by Paul Rains and  Sarah Lippett who were unable to perform on the day. Last up was Darren Hayman with his space themed songs, including a rendition of Hefner favourite ‘Alan Bean’, and one of the songs from his forthcoming album about the Essex witch trials.

Robert Rotifer

Robert Rotifer

The songs were accompanied by interesting stories, facts and information about the songs and the subjects of the exhibition. If you managed to get to the show over the next few days (and I highly recommend you do), and any of the artists are present, then ask them some questions about the pictures. There is a real profound sadness about many of the images as well as reflection of human endeavour and a desire to reach the stars.

It is an excellent and understated exhibition and you can also pick up some original artwork, the limited edition CD, or one of the prints and posters on sale.

Darren Hayman

Darren Hayman

The show is at the Outside World Gallery in Shoreditch until September the 7th and you can find out more information on the Vostock 5 website.

There is also an opportunity to see all 5 of the Vostok 5 bands play at London’s Willmington Arms on Wednesday 21st September.

By Dorian Rogers

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