• The Smashing Pumpkins @ Shepherds Bush Empire

    Jan 22 2009, 22h42 por TheCloneRanger

    The Smashing Pumpkins
    Shepherds Bush Empire
    19th June 2007
    Reviewed by TheCloneRanger

    7 years disbanded, a new line up and 2000 devotees to what once was, now make for an unnerving air of apprehension, and the band feel it too. This is zero hour for the Smashing Pumpkins and it's make or break.

    To thunderous applause the band take to the stage. Billy extends a reserved greeting not unlike a shy child facing a crowd for the very first time, this awkward behemoth of a man breaks a crooked smile and it's
    in this instance it all becomes clear how much this means to him, and quite clearly to all of us here tonight.

    Set opener United States puts the listener square into the band's current headspace, from the get go they make it clear they've ostracised themselves from their homeland's present political state and want no part. Such is the album's theme, the image of lady liberty knee high in floodwater. The song paints this picture beautifully, making the audience feel literally drowned in sound, drawing on typical pumpkins guitar noisemakery to simulate the sound of bending metal mid song. The chorus rings out for "Revolution!... Revolution!, what will the do to me?". Then with anthemic quality, they send the song home singing, "Fight, I wanna Fight, I wanna Fight, Revolution Tonight"...and after a performance like that, so do we all.

    The Smashing Pumpkins are not so much back but rather here for the first time again. New bassist Ginger Reyes grinds her guitar with such sex appeal you could almost forgive D' Arcy and James Iha for refusing to regroup. The band touch base early in the set with fan favourites "Today" and "Hummer" amongst countless others. "Tonight Tonight" catapults us through the stratosphere and into the stars riding high on marching drum rolls like none other than the immortal Jimmy Chamberlain can. Heavier set now he visually fills the role he plays audibly.

    Billy Corgan, with a recently renewed life optimism, uncharacteristically finds the time to make a gag about football. This adds a certain charm and variation to proceedings. As does a mini solo acoustic set before
    returning with an earth shattering performance of "Zero". Certainly a highlight of the evening for most.

    Just about 3 hours into this sensory assault and the encore culminates in arguably 2 of the biggest sing-a-longs in the Pumpkins catalogue. "Cherub Rock", where it all began for the majority of the fans, and closing off with a personal favourite "Muzzle". Shepherds Bush Empire singing in unison, "I fear that I am ordinary just like everyone" with the likes of The Killers (with whom I shared an immediate audience) air drumming with each other as I've always done through adolescence with my friends, leaves me feeling like a kid again.

    Always under your SPell indeed!
  • Infadels @ The Roadhouse, Manchester. Nov 5th 2008. 4/5 Stars

    Dez 3 2008, 19h24 por ianah

    I have to say first off that I hadn’t heard much of Infadels prior to the gig, so it was with a largely open mind that I arrived at Manchester’s Roundhouse. I have to say secondly that this was my first time at the venue. Now, here’s a venue that really took me back. I won’t say how long, but I have fond memories of a local venue where I saw the likes of Vinegar Joe, Thin Lizzy and The Heavy Metal Kids. I dare say that ages me! Anyway, it is an ideal venue to see up-coming bands who have a small but dedicated following. It’s a cellar venue that would hold I’d say about a couple of hundred, but it was about half full for Infadels.

    I had a scout around for Infadels tracks on last.fm, and there was a range of tags – dance, electro, indie, rock, alternative – I clearly had to be prepared for anything and most of these ‘genres’ emerged during the course of the show.

    On arrival punters were told that the quirkily named vocalist Bnnan had lost his voice and that vocal duties were handed on to Richie Vernon the keyboard player. Well we needn’t have worried. Never have I seen anyone grab the frontman spot with such relish, nor it must be said, pogoing!

    They kicked off with Circus of the mad, and I wasn’t sure if the face paint was just for Bonfire night or was their usual garb, but mad they looked. And up for it. With Matt Gooderson ably supporting Richie in the ‘lets get the crowd going stakes’ the band ran through most of their tunes with aplomb. Some of the song bore interesting titles, such as ‘Jagger 67’, ‘Code 1’ and Universe in reverse’. There was also a cover of the Eurythmics ‘Sweet Dreams’ a brave choice and they carried it off.

    Throughout the show the wonderfully named Wag on bass and Alex Bruford on drums kept up a solid rhythm as one might expect from the son of drumming legend. There were times when I thought I heard the sound of Mighty Joe Strummer in the songs of Infadels – they can’t be going far wrong if they follow the great man. The set was tight, much loved by the audience - including me – and certainly a band who know how to rock. I’d love to see them again.
  • Kanye West @ O2 Arena , London 11th November 2008

    Dez 3 2008, 9h44 por robert42

    After a long queue and a long journey I finally arrive inside the packed out 02 arena, I arrived at the beginning of Mr Hudson & The Libarys a band who I've never seen live before. They started off well but towards the end it all sounded the same. They didn't really get the crowd going.

    I then found out that Santogold didn't perform but Kid Cudi (who i missed) opened up. After a 40 minute wait Kanye West came out to a huge roar from the sold out arena, he went on to give the crowd track after track with very little pause inbetween each song.

    His rendition of Jesus Walks and Hey Mama (in which he sat on the edge of the stage to perform) was amazing. He kept doing his thing often lying down and rolling around on stage but never fully acknowledging the crowd, he kept the crowd entertained but it didn't feel personal enough in my opinion. Shortly before the end of the concert and just after a very poorly sung version of 'Love Lockdown' he went on to rant about the mixed reviews his new album 808 Hearbreak has received, saying that all "haters can f*ck off" the rant went on for at least 10 minutes and the crowd was getting restless. Just as I had given up all hope in the night he burst into 'STRONGER' and the crowd went crazy as he left the stage. Just as everyone thought the night had finished London's own Estelle came out and we finally saw Kanye smile as they sang "American Boy" before Kanye left the stage.

    All in all he sang all his hits and some other lesser known tracks, some of the tracks he did very well but at some times it would seem he would of rather have been somewhere else. The elaborate stage and light show was good at first but was boring after. The night on a whole was still
    pretty good but I just had hoped for more from the self proclaimed 'number one guy in hip hop'. As for the 02 arena it was my first visit there and whilst the arena itself is amazing I still prefer intimate small gigs.

    3/5
  • The Wombats @ Liverpool Echo arena, 22nd November '08

    Nov 23 2008, 19h30 por xxktbx

    Since the release of their debut album, ‘A guide to love, loss and desperation’ in 2007, The Wombats have been touring almost non-stop. They’ve already played all the major festivals and built a huge fan base across the world along the way. So, this being their homecoming gig in the capital of culture 2008 and the last of the current album, it was bound to be an epic one and they really did pull off an amazing show.

    As the arena filled up, support came form Team Waterpolo and Alphabeat who warmed the crowd up, building the anticipation for the return of the trio to the brand new Echo arena.

    Murph, Tord and Dan took to the stage to rapturous applause before opening with the acapella, ‘Girls, boys and marsupials’ which was shortly followed by, ‘Kill the Director’. Unlike many other bands, these are especially entertaining with their onstage banter, interaction with the crowd and their energetic performances. They also have the ability to write real anthemic, sing-along songs which makes each track on the album worthy of individual release. However, a new album is due for release next year and, judging by the two new songs, ‘How to pack your bags and leave’ and ‘My circuit board city’ it looks as if it’s going to be another sure hit.

    The show seemed to come to a close with the chart topping, ‘Lets dance to Joy Division’ resulting in the audience going crazy and screaming out the lyrics with the very relevant opening line, ‘I’m back in Liverpool…’ The Wombats definitely are back in Liverpool and they know it, they themselves seemed to be pretty overwhelmed by the whole thing and there was still more to come…

    As a giant inflatable wombat descended from the ceiling, the Liverpool crowd raised the roof as the encore began with, ‘My first wedding’ before storming their way through to the finale, ‘Backfire at the disco’ during which they were joined onstage by dancers on roller-skates. At that point every single person-even the older audience members-danced and sang their hearts out as confetti and balloons showered the crowd signalling the end to what was probably one of the best gigs of The Wombats’ career so far. They are one of the best bands to come out of Liverpool in a good few years and I think they’re gonna be around for a long while yet.

    5/5
  • Lambchop, Union Chapel, Monday 3rd November

    Nov 14 2008, 19h50 por blue_shoes



    Kurt Wagner is an interesting looking character. He stoops over his guitar, his weathered face framed by a trucker hat and thick black specs. Behind him are the current members of the collective – five bashful men on guitars and drums, and another older guy on piano who drops in the odd cheeky quip about McCain (it is the eve of the election)

    They test out their new album, ‘OH (Ohio)’, in full, before giving us some older favourites. The slow, mellow songs seem to fit snugly in the glowing space of the Union chapel. Wagner’s voice could lull a room of howling children into a calm and happy stupor. It’s deep, growling and soft - a marvellous hybrid of music hall and country, with a dark, wry taste added into the mix. They play under pink lights and shadowy gothic arches, to an audience of rapt men in their thirties who are sat on rows of hard, bum-numbing pews. Lambchop have held onto their fans. The first album came out over two decades ago and little but the line-up has changed. The music takes the same reliable shape with each album, and yet it still manages to sound satisfyingly new.

    But whilst I enjoy every song played, I find, mid-gig, that the similarity makes me restless. Perhaps it’s the seats, but apart from one jazzy number - X-Press 2’s ‘Give it’ - where Wagner lunges at the microphone, pointing emphatically at the crowd and shouting himself hoarse, the songs are all set at that same gentle pace. They are too calm, too static to listen to en mass. It becomes repetitive. And yet I can’t help liking each one; Wagner’s soothing voice draws me in as I become ever sleepier.

    I’d seen him playing a solo gig a month earlier in a record shop. He’d been full of banter. Tonight, however, the chapel swallows up a lot of words, and I struggle to catch the lyrics. I can understand the general ambiguous gist of the songs, but I miss out on the in-between bits. At one point he gulps down some water, sniffles, and it echoes, booming round the chapel. He makes a joke of it, but the acoustics mean he seems less comfortable talking to the audience. And a fair slice of the banter we do get comes across as mumbles, which is a real shame as he’s a witty man

    They end with ‘Up for the people’ and I’ve had my full Lambchop dose. Wagner's voice is still magnificent. so are the songs. But I found myself wishing he'd add a little more variety to keep me awake and to help the gems he does sing to stand out
  • REVIEW OF VAMPIRE WEEKEND AT THE FORUM – 25.10.2008

    Nov 6 2008, 9h53 por doctor_doug

    Dr_Doug

    The Kentish Town Forum and the USA have getting along famously over the last couple of months. At the end of the summer KTF hosted those country boys My Morning Jacket, with their unique and somewhat hypnotizing blend of country, psychedelia and Southern Rock. 2 months and a another transatlantic flight later, Calexico filled the Forum with the sounds of the Southwest States; Mariachi Trumpets, Arizona rock and some good old fashioned country beats.

    Vampire Weekend were the next visitors from over the pond, stopping off at the Forum for 3 days midway through a European tour. You would be forgiven for thinking that this was a Group of Goths turning up one week too early for “All Hallows Eve”, but you would be very wrong indeed. Rather different from the previous 2 groups of American rockers, VW (or VMPRWKND for the myspace crowd) are Brooklyn boys, with postgraduate looks and a self-proclaimed ‘Upper West Side Soweto’ sound. This mix of clean cut African-inspired indie rock sounds fantastic on the iPod, but I was a little apprehensive about the live show. Their eponymous debut album has received a huge amounts of acclaim and includes the most scrobbled songs in my playlist. I was more than a little worried that the gig would not live up to the hype, thankfully though it was thoroughly fantastic.

    The show opened the same way as the album, with the bouncing keyboard notes of ‘Mansard Roof’. It is not often at a gig that the audience is immediately involved, but I looked around and saw that everyone was hooked from the off. We were straight into another high tempo number, all beats, chords and lyrics executed perfectly, each note delivered with herculean levels of energy.
    People were dancing all around, singing along to songs they did not know and generally having a tip-top-time. Even the boys standing behind me, who seemed to have got lost on their way home from the football terraces joined in the fun, with a chorus of “Vampire Weekend” to the tune of Colonel Bogey. I found myself dancing some sort of soca, not having a clue what I was doing and all around me people seemed to join suit.

    Later we hear the calypso-esque ‘Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa’, complete with the lyric “Peter Gabriel Too”. How the father of sledgehammer becomes implicated in a song about sex and youth I’ll never know. The high-octane excitement mellowed for a couple of tracks, with ‘I Stand Corrected’ and a slightly-cute B-side. The pace was soon ramped back up to the ceiling, with ‘Walcott’, ‘Campus’ and ‘A-Punk’ being stand out tracks. The end of the night ended included a well executed cover of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Everywhere’, executed with aplomb (and pretty impressive falsetto).

    The night was overall a highly impressive but more importantly an incredibly enjoyable display of pop music. I don’t remember seeing so many people genuinely enjoying themselves at a gig so much in a long time.

    No doubt that there are people who will hate VW just because they are a bunch of Ivy League educated New Yorkers. This is not the teenage rock fantasy, I am fairly sure these are not the sort of boys that mothers warn daughters about. Indeed only 1 of the band has facial hair. Some people may even take exception to some of the slightly too clever lyrics (Oxford Comma is after all a song about grammar), but this Nerd-Pop is just too musically rich to ignore. Go buy, go watch and enjoy.

    Dr_Doug
  • SPIRITUALIZED – LIVE AT THE ROUNDHOUSE

    Out 28 2008, 12h56 por Winstonroache

    Check out footage and a review from Spiritualizeds performance at Londons famous Roundhouse.
    ...Backed by a stellar light show and bolstered by the quality of Songs In A&E, an album containing arguably Pierce’s best work for over a decade, the entire set was moulded perfectly to fit the more soulful feel of the new material...
    Read the full review HERE

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    WINSTON'S ZEN
    Good music brings inner peace...
  • A great mix for the superstars!!!

    Out 28 2008, 11h43 por Axonee

    Dear everyone,

    New musical mix made by: Axone's...



    This is a great and nice mix, for a great and superstar musician performers!
    It was again a good idea of them. Large of today's musical world will greet it with enjoyment certainly. This is a good reference for the ,,climbing’’ superstars. Axone’s have already cared for about the propagation  The ,,Big Stars’’ will hopefully accept the new music variation it!



    We are wishing every success for Axone’s!!!!

    About the mix:

    Title: Axone & The Big Stars (Extended Mix 2008)
    Edited,mixed,remixed by: Yr.Robert Lalkovits - Axone

    New instruments in the mix !!!

    Synthesizer Sounds,Alto Sax,Pads &
    Bells,Soundtrack and other
    effects...!


    Original artist in the mix: Keyshia Cole, Mary J.

    Blige, Kardinal Offishall ft.

    Akon, Colby O'Donis ft Akon, The
    Game ft...!


    Genre: R&B, Easy
    Listening...

    !Copyrighted,administrated,supported
    by:Geffen & InterScope Records,
    Axone Productions... !


    Direct link to musical mix: !http://www.axone.tvn.hu!

    Keyshia Cole
    Keyshia
    Mary J. Blige
    Kardinal Offishial ft
    Akon
    Kardinal
    Offishiall ft
    Offishall
    Axone
    Colby O' Donis
    Colby
    The game ft
    Axone Productions

    Miami Topsecret
    Axone & The Big Stars (Extended Mix 2008)

    Geffen Records
    Interscope Records
    Universal Music Group
    Axone Productions


    R & B



    Axone Productions Official Website

    John Maverick (Giveness Support's)
  • CUT OFF YOUR HANDS – HAPPY AS CAN BE

    Out 27 2008, 15h48 por Winstonroache



    A review of Happy As Can Be by Cut Off Your Hands.....
    ...upbeat and instantly shoutable staccato bridge leading into a glorious hands-in-the-air chorus...
    Read the full review HERE

    --------------------------------
    WINSTON'S ZEN
    Good music brings inner peace...
  • TEAM WATERPOLO - SO CALLED SUMMER

    Out 22 2008, 17h04 por Winstonroache



    A review of Team Waterpolo's new single So Called Summer
    ...Team Waterpolo are a band that thrive on the juxtapositions of their varied stylistic influences and So Called Summer is an almost perfect example of that swirling maelstrom of sound...
    Read the full review HERE

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    WINSTON'S ZEN
    Good music brings inner peace...