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Monthly Archives: July 2015

Let’s face it July has been an amazing month for music!

 

 

The Parrots released their debut EP. I’ve been playing this constantly all month and am showing no signs of being bored of it.

N.Lannon showed that the singer songwriter genre isn’t dead with his achingy brilliant album.

Gnarwhal proved that Math can be combined with any genre and it still sounds great.

Outblinker’s debut 10” has barley left my spindle, or psyche all month.

Ninja Tune offshoot Girls Music is slowly piling up the stake with each release. Stay tuned for their next instalment on the 03/08…

London based Zooz announced their new single on Superfan 99. Sadly they’ve all sold out, so better check ebay and Discogs for a copy.

Gene Serene released her debut album that shows Space Pop is an actual genre. More of the same please!

Nap Eyes gave me faith in guys getting drunk and jamming. Who said scientists don’t have soul?

Instrumental music is live and well thanks to Nashville’s Steelism.

In 2012 Offshore passed away, but finally his second album is being released thanks to his family and his labels Big Dad and Ninja Tune.

Hyde and Beast channel 1970’s groove rock on new EP. Cheers guys, but this is so addictive.

London indiekids Telegram returned with another slab of glam infused indie pop.
NY’s Sunflower Bean show that it’s not just British bands spearheading the Neo-Psychedelic scene.

 

 

 

 

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As the 30th Ealing Jazz Festival rolls on, all eyes are on the South Stage to provide its usual blend of quirky, dance oriented jazz for Saturday afternoon and evening. This year they’ve surpassed themselves as there are some hidden gems, if you need an antidote to the main stage.

 

 

Lydian Collective

 

 

Kicking Saturday afternoon off in fine fashion are the Lydian Collective. Their brand of instrumental fusion should have enough groove and intricacy for jazz connoisseurs as well as people enjoying listening to music in the sun. Be at the South Stage from 14:30 or miss out on something remarkable!

 

 

 

 

Paul Carmichael’s Flight

 

 

On the Main Stage from 15:45 Paul Carmichael’s Flight are adding some funky grooves to the proceedings. It’s jazz with a soul pop twist thanks for guest vocalist Vanessa Haynes. They’ll be doing numbers from their album Wax is Melting as well as some well-known and lesser known covers. This has lazy Saturday afternoon written all over it!

 

 

 

 

Smitty’s Big Four

 

 

Smitty’s Big Four bring the good times with their Dixieland flavours. What’s most striking about the Big Four is their age. The whole band are virtuosos in their respective disciplines but they’re hungry for success and that all important round of applause at the end of every song. They’ll be on stage on the South Stage from 16:00. It’s perfect music for a late lunch, or a mid-afternoon bop.

 

 

 

 

Immigrant Swing

 

 

Following on the heels of Smitty’s Big Four its Immigrant Swing. This Bristol based Riot Swing outfit somehow incorporate Gypsy Jazz, Blues, Mediterranean Folk and Hip Hop to every song without it ever sounding cluttered or forced. MCspokeMao’s version of beat poetry is something that needs to be seen live! Oh you better bring your dancing shoes that this one might get jiggy…

 

 

 

 

Nomad Collective

 

 

Just when you thought that the South Stage couldn’t get any more diverse and eclectic Nomad Collective come along. Slowing things down a bit after Immigrant Swing, their brand of laidback global jazz is the perfect thing to sit and rest your tired feet. With over a dozen members from various countries around the World all making London their home, Nomad Collective isn’t just a name, it’s a way of life. Come, sit and chill to their world music vibes.

 

 

 

 

The Fontanas

 

The Fontanas bring the South Stage to a close the only way they know how, with a Latin street party. What the Fontanas do best isn’t just reserved to jazz circles, oh no, what they do best is bring collectives of people together and get them to dance and have a good time. Their unique brand of upbeat Latin infused Ska is the perfect way to end a great day of live music.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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New York Neo-Psychedelic trio come up with the good on new single, as if they wouldn’t…

 

 

Something has to be said for keeping it simple. Intro, verses, choruses and outro. That’s exactly what Sunflower Bean deliver on new single ‘I Heart Voices’. On paper this might not sound that exciting, but listening to it is another thing. Opening with a steady thumpy bass riff until the guitar and drums join in, things look to be going on a Sabbath vein until a minute in they change gear and Sunflower Bean let rip. Before they were poodling around keeping to the speed limit, then they’re speeding around the M25 with the top down.

 

 

What separates Sunflower Bean apart from their peers is in Julia Cumming and Nick Kivlen they have an upfront that rivals anyone else. Their call and response vocals are mesmerising and the complement each perfectly. Cumming’s higher range floats delicately above Kiveln’s more monotone delivery. They also have the musical chops to dish out massive slabs of riffage, and know when to reel it in and slow it down. I Hear Voice is a masterclass in this.

 

 

After hearing something that is nigh on perfect you start to worry. Not whether they are the real deal, they are, but where can they go from here? Hopefully from the toilet circuit to the main stage! In four minutes they’ve decimated their competition. As Beyoncé once sang “Baby, you doin’ something right, You just cancelled every other man here”, remove man and insert band and B’s got it right!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The 30th Ealing Blues Festival properly underway today. If last year’s festival is anything to go by the range and variety of musicians will cement the Ealing Jazz Festival even further with not only finding the best established acts in the world of jazz, but also the next generation of young and up and coming musicians.

 

 

Nick Mills and the Blue Note Project

 

 

Taking to the main stage at 17:45 on Thursday Nick Mills’ Blue Note Project will kick things off in a classic jazz vein taking influence from the legendrary Blue Note label’s 1960’s releases. Fans of Art Blakey, Joe Henderson and Horace Silver should check this set out!

 

 

 

 

Jeh

 

 

Jeh aren’t for everyone, but they need to be seen though. While they have a jazz background they pull in elements from electronica and noise rock to create something beautiful but changeling. They will be gracing the South Stage from 19:30 on Thursday.

 

 

Selectric

 

 

Everyone at thisyearinmusic is a big fan of Selectric. Fundamentally what Selectric do is use jazz time signatures, but add a horn and string section to, along with Math-Rock influences to create something infuriatingly catchy. If you can picture Jaga Jazzist covering Silver Mt. Zion and adding a pop twist, you’re on the right tracks. They close the South Stage from 21:00 on Thursday.

 

 

 

 

Ray Gelato Giants

 

 

After that noise and confusion of the South Stage, why not end Thursday with some high energy swing curtesy of the Ray Gelato Giants. Ray has been playing at festivals all over the world since 1988, so he knows how to put on a good show!

 

 

 

 

So there you have Thursday’s line up for the 30th Ealing Jazz Festival. I’ll see you by the South Stage for some jazz and delicious jerk chicken!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Telegram show they aren’t a flash in the pan with new single

 

 

After jumping into our collective consciousness earlier in the year with the wonderfully catch and filthy Inside Outside on Speedy Wunderground, Telegram are back with new single Aeons. Following on from Inside Outside, Aeons shows this wasn’t a one-time deal.

 

 

The Post-Punk has been turned up, but not at the expense of the song’s pop sensibility. Think Gang of Four covering Sweet. Massive chugging riffs do battle with Matt Saunders’ jittering vocals to create something that is as off settling as it is captivating, like the feeling you get when you watch a wildlife documentary and a predator is chasing its prey. You know deep down what’s going to happen, the orca is going to toy and then eat the seal, but you can’t not watch. The same is true for Aeons. From the opening slabs of guitars and vocals, you have to follow it through to the end, regardless of how much the intensity gets cranked.

 

 

Whether Telegram will be remembered for aeons will remain to be see, but three singles in, they’ve definitely started to separate themselves from the rest of the pack. The big test will be when they eventually release their debut long player. Will Telegram’s verve for glam inspired incendiary indie motorik goodness be overkill on an album? We’ll have to wait and see, but given the strength of these three singles, it should be worth hanging around for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Debut EP from West London riffsmiths showcases their indie blues skills to the Nth degree

 

 

The Chairs are progressive. Their live shows ooze it and debut EP rams it down your throat. While the riffs aren’t as psychotic as on previous releases, there is an overriding vibe that pervades their music. It’s the sound of four young men, who are passionate about music, extremely proficient at playing and don’t want to take the easy route. Their music is rooted in the blues, their time signatures aren’t. Jazz and prog influences pepper their sets. Coming from Ealing, the spiritual home of contemporary music, and being influenced by bands such as Radiohead and the Mars Volta isn’t a bad thing either.

 

The Opening track on The Chairs EP Long Live the King is a pretty acoustic number, think Ry Cooder’s Paris Texas soundtrack and you’re close, which declares that “the blues is the most important music on the planet”. After this opening sojourn the EP gets going in earnest. Bluesy Song does what it says on the tin. Its infectious riff is everything we’ve come to expect from lead guitarist Russell Newman’s playing. In Martin Bonner The Chairs not only have a charismatic frontman, but the kind of voice that sounds like he’s spent his life gargling gravel, eating lit cigarettes an washing it all down with cheap whiskey. On Bluesy Song he not only shows us what he can do, but gives his voice a decent work out. Hands and Knees follows on in the same vein, but the guitars are crunchier and sound larger than life. Pendulum is an optimistic jaunt about the power of positive thinking. As Bonner sings “One of these days it’s gonna swing back my way” you generally believe him and want things to get better. However said blues is depressing needs to hear this. Black and White has an indie disco vibe to it. Krys Szymanski’s hypnotic drumming is the real star of the show. If Black and White was all about Szymanski, Pure Sleeze all about Michael McLoughlin’s pulsating bass work. On the first listen you don’t realise his importance in the back, but after a few successive playbacks you are drawn to it.

 

 

Ultimately The Chairs EP is a perfectly captures their incendiary live shows, but not at the expense of their deft interplay and musical vision. Lyrically The Chairs EP is all about life, love, the universe and everything. In a way you feel sorry for Bonner and co as relationship problems pepper each song, and you want them to be happy, but would they write as emotive songs though? One of the downsides is that you don’t really witness the power and range of Bonner’s voice or the virtuosity nature of Newman’s playing. Also the prog elements have been toned down for more standard composition and production. Debut single What’s the Sound? sounded like the Mars Volta covering the Rolling Stones classic Paint it Black, a couple of tracks like that wouldn’t have gone a miss. However The Chairs EP is everything that we’ve come to expect from West London’s best hidden secret. Let’s hope a follow up isn’t too long in the offing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Last August David Hyde & Neil Bassett, AKA Hyde and Beast released second album ‘Keep Moving’, a slice of 1960’s psychdelica, 1970’s Glam rock/Folk Country and charming pop sensibilities. It was unexpected, and like most unexpected things, totally refreshing. They have now returned with a new EP ‘Hard Times Good Times’. Does the title reference the slightly dour atmosphere that’s recently permeated Hyde and Bassett’s private lives (break up’s and bereavements) during the ‘Keep Moving‘ sessions? We can only speculate, but possibly.

 

Title track ‘Hard Times Good Times’ starts things with a catchy fuzzed out guitar riff and giddy blast of horns that demands to be played as loud as possible, and threatens to go on forever. “Hard Times, Hard times I’m just trying to make you hear me. Hard Times, Hard times when you look you don’t even see me”. However, after an exquisite slowed down instrumental section it’s juxtaposed by the refrain “Good Times, Good Times now you are walking by my side, Good Times, Good Times my feelings for you I don’t hide” are sung. So maybe things, like the weather, are picking up?

 

‘Everything You Want’ sounds like Chas and Dave after they’ve been reading a shed load of Albert Camus and decided to write a break up song. “I tidied up and I tidied out. I never thought about the things I didn’t think about. I chased you up and you chased me out. You never thought about the things you didn’t think about”, but, you know, not quite as Rockney. Never Get to Heaven has a Mungo Jerry-In the Summertime vibe to it. Catchy, but slightly melancholic. Bouncy jaunty guitars coupled with a flute solo makes Never to Heaven a content for song of the Summer. Get Up feels like a reworking of T-Rex’s Pewter Suitor but even more plinky guitars, if that is possible!

 

Despite the jaunty vibes, heartache isn’t ever too far away for this duo. This is the crux of their music, they pick you up with incredible melodies and harmonies whilst bringing you down with heart breaking lyrics, that someone how make you smile. If there is an EP that embodies the Summer this is it. It’s the musical equivalent of an unrequited Summer Holiday crush by the sea. You spend your time making your move, but ultimately the feelings are not returned. You feel sad but the next day you’re fine as the Sun is out, the sea is blue and see someone else who takes your fancy. Plus there are flamingos on the cover. What more could you want?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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