Starsailor @ The Luminaire, London, 11.02.09
Live

Able-bodied Northerners, Starsailor trim the mainsail and unfurl the spinnakers ahead of new album release, ‘All The Plans’ with low-key gig in London. Sh*tloads of photos and tour dates included Don’t ever go claiming that middle of the road, moisturised Coldplayers like Starsailor don’t suffer for their art. James Walsh literally took a shot up the arse tonight, he informs us, in order to play this low-key club comeback ahead of fourth album ‘All the Plans’ – OK, it was Continue Reading

Snowflake Midnight ~ Mercury Rev
Reviews

Few would argue that Mercury Rev weren’t ripe for renovation. Their creative centrepiece – the peak-scaling, out-of-body psychedelic wonder of the late 90s, ‘Deserter’s Songs’ – is what continues even ten years on to steal breath from fans. And though follow ups ‘All Is Dream’ and ‘The Secret Migration’ refined the cinematographic elation of that template, ignoring the more freeform experimentalism of their earlier output, scoring genuine successes and ensuring their dramatic live shows remained essential draws, they became immediately Continue Reading

Elbow @ Brixton Academy, London, 15.04.08
Live

Crud’s own seldom seen kid takes a seldom taken look at this year’s most seldom seen band. James Berry attends yet another Elbow gig. And who can blame him. New single, ‘One Day Like This’ out 02.06.08 It’s one of the great modern pop curiosities. Could we start the rumour now that Chris Martin has accumulated a kidnapped mass of Elbow fans, possibly in a cavernous bunker deep under his snazzy Belsize Park pad where they’re starved of daylight and Continue Reading

The Raveonettes @ KCLSU, London, November 2007
Live

Similar sounding retro rock standard after retro rock standard. Riding on the back of a rampant feedback serpent, The Raveonettes prove that pleasure really can be that straight-forward. It really doesn’t matter what The Raveonettes played tonight. Every song they did play was as painted-on tight, pitch and metronome perfect, bulbous, hip-shaking and as don’t-stare-straight-at-it-put-your-sunglasses-on-god-damn-it gleaming as the next. And indeed the last, and the one before that. And so on. And their back catalogue in itself (four albums old Continue Reading

Live

T-shirts, jeans, unfashionable haircut, modest, alt-rock strained and stretched – and that’s just Crud’s James Berry. Yo La Tengo – all present and correct. When rock histories are written in future decades (and indeed centuries) you get the feeling that, as now, Yo La Tengo will be sidelined somewhat, if not altogether. Their nearest peer, in terms of creativity, longevity and style, continue to be Sonic Youth – the revered, celebrated, deified Sonic Youth – who a matter of days Continue Reading

Reviews

You thought you had Interpol pegged, didn’t you. Yeah, us too. They probably weren’t far off the mark either, the way they’d nailed themselves up on the post-punk crucifix (still well-dressed, mind – always well dressed), wherein they thrashed through the motions of toil and regret for all to see. They sat behind the blacked-out windows of a cruising juggernaut of emotional turmoil and introverted tension, every bold manoeuvre or sudden swerve so very clear to see, especially when we’re Continue Reading

Reviews

Art Brut; a funny little band. Literally. That’s a compliment. Their debut album, the audacious and acclaimed ‘Bang Bang Rock N Roll’ celebrated, lambasted and accosted issues of young love lost and gained, forming a band, impotency and the disposability of pop culture with the kind of ambivalent impudence that was previously the exclusive preserve of say Mark E Smith and Jarvis Cocker, if you can picture that genetic hybrid. They weren’t subtle, they were obvious, and a bit damaged, Continue Reading

The National / Annuals @ Astoria, London, 22.05.2007
Live

Manfully bridging the divide between the uncomfortably withdrawn and absorbingly eccentric, James Berry recoils at the loaded springs of Annuals frontman Adam Baker and the momentous slow-burn of Arcade frontman, Mat Beringer Love Broken Social Scene but haven’t got the concentration to keep up with the every movement of such a twitchy many-limbed creature? Perhaps we could interest sir in a more manageable animal? Annuals, numbering six, are certainly a more tax-return-friendly size, but their productivity trails sparks and they Continue Reading

Reviews

It’s not as if they’ve got magician’s fingers, the five members of pathos weavers The National, they just tend to work in your blind-spot. It’s kind of like they’ve been round to your house daily, sneaking a shiny pound coin from your wallet while you weren’t looking, until one day they arrive on your doorstep with a high yield savings account you never knew you had, a return on the half-inched deposits and the monetary means to fulfil your life’s Continue Reading

Cake Or Death ~ Lee Hazlewood
Reviews

Last year we lost our own Dad to cancer. Born in 1928 he was roughly the same age as Mr Hazelwood but sadly never achieved the same cult status. Jarvis Cocker never cited my Dad as an influence and artists like Primal Scream, Nick Cave, Lambchop and Lydia Lunch never covered any of his songs. When he did die, it wasn’t after some prolonged, heroic struggle lasting years; it was because we pulled the plug on his life-support machine after Continue Reading