Archive for Music

Move Over, Main Stage : 10 Must-See “Wee” Stars

Festival are all about the headliners, right? And this weekend’s T In The Park will be no exception, right? Wrong!

Since its humble beginnings at Strathclyde Park in 1994, DF Concerts have prided themselves on an eclectic mix of both emerging and established talent at T In The Park every summer. 2014 is no different.

Pull yourself away from the Main Stage for a while this weekend and savour the best of what T In The Park REALLY has to offer!

Nina Nesbitt

Edinburgh-born, Nina turns 20 today and is set to celebrate in style when she plays at T In The Park tomorrow! The singer/songwriter has enjoyed an incredible year; her debut album “Peroxide” went to number 1 in Scotland in March and her take on Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop” featured in a John Lewis advert last Christmas.

The Rifles 

The band released their fourth studio album, “None The Wiser” in January 2014. The band formed in London in 2004 and draw inspiration from Oasis.

Vigo Thieves

“Believe” is the motto of Vigo Thieves and it has certainly done them no harm; the Wishaw-born band formed in 2010 and have cultivated a strong Scottish following since then. A favourite of XFM DJ, Jim Gellatly, the band are currently embarking on their biggest year so far.

The Jezabels

Australian four-piece The Jezabels wills hopefully bring a spot of sunshine to Balado with them this weekend when they play T In The Park. Formed in 2007, the band have released two studio albums to date and have produced a trilogy of extended plays.

Hudson Taylor

Irish folk pop duo, Hudson Taylor formed in 2011 and are signed to Polydor Records. The band have released 3 EPs to date; debut, “Battles” went to number 1 on the iTunes Ireland Chart in August 2012 and was followed by “Lifestyle” in November 2012 and “Osea” in October 2013. The duo from Dublin are scheduled to release their debut album in September.

Neon Waltz

Having just formed last year, Neon Waltz are still a “baby band” in comparison to others on the T bill this weekend, but that hasn’t stopped them; the Caithness-natives have already played King Tut’s in Glasgow and won the approval of Scottish Sun Editor, Gordon Smart and last month they headlined The Wicker Warm Up competition final in Glasgow, sponsored by The Sunday Herald.

Foxes

Louisa Rose Allen or Foxes as she is better known plays T In The Park’s Radio 1 Stage this weekend. Her debut album, “Glorious” was released earlier this year to positive reviews. 

The LaFontaines

The LaFontaines were dubbed the best live band in Scotland by Sunday Mail and deservedly so; the Motherwell born band have proven a fan favourite in and around Glasgow, particularly thanks to their unique take on guitar-infused hip hop. The band signed to Manchester’s LAB Records last year and their debut single, “All She Knows” gain notable Radio 1 airplay.

Neon Jungle

Destined to give Little Mix a run for their money, British girl group, Neon Jungle formed in London last year. The band are best known for their breakthrough single, “Braveheart” which peaked at number 4 in the UK. Their debut album, “Welcome To The Jungle” is scheduled for release on 28th July 2014.

The Minutes

Irish trio, The Minutes hail from Dublin and released their debut offering, “Marcata” in 2011. The band have toured extensively since forming in 2006 and have supported Albert Hammond Jr, Flogging Molly, The Von Bondies and Supergrass.

Pet Shop Boy Turns 60

Pet Shop Boy, Neil Tennant turns 60 today! As one half of the most successful pop duo of all time, Tennant has released twelve studio albums, the latest being “Electric” released last July, and sold over 50 million albums worldwide since forming in 1981.

We commemorate 60 years of Neil Tennant with 6 of Pet Shop Boys greatest hits . . . Happy Birthday, Neil!

“Suburbia” peaked at number 8 in the UK when it was released in 1986. The song was inspired by the 1984 film of the same name; the movie deals with the squalor and violence of Los Angeles. It was the fourth single from their debut album, “Please”.

Legendary British singer, Dusty Springfield joined Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe on this 1987 single. The duo later wrote and produced tracks for Springfield’s 1990 album, “Reputation”. In 2009, The Brit Awards honoured Pet Shop Boys for “Outstanding Contribution To Music” and they performed the song with help from pop diva, Lady GaGa.

It’s hard to believe but this 1988 single was the last number one for Pet Shop Boys (to date!) Taken from “Actually”, their 1987 album, the pair almost gave the track to Queen Of Pop, Madonna before opting to keep it for themselves. The video for the song features Sir Ian McKellan and is based on the 1922 film, “Nosferatu”.

Taken from their second offering, “Actually”, “It’s A Sin” scored Pet Shop Boys their second number one single in the UK back in 1987; it remained at the top of the charts for three weeks. At the time of release, the duo were accused of plagiarising Cat Steven’s 1971 hit, “Wild World” by British DJ Jonathan King; Pet Shop Boys sued King and won damages which they donated to charity. The duo performed “It’s A Sin” at The Brit Awards 2009 with The Killers frontman, Brandon Flowers who has cited Pet Shop Boys as a massive influence on him.

Any band will tell you how vital it is to get your debut single right, but Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe raised the bar with this 1985 single, their debut effort. Described as “hypnotic” and “a classic pop single”, the song won “Best Single” at The Brit Awards in 1985 and in 2005 was awarded “Song Of The Decade” (between 1985 and 1994) by The British Academy Of Composers And Songwriters.

Made famous by Elvis Presley, this song has been recorded by many artists including Brenda Lee, B.B King, Michael Buble and Willie Nelson. Pet Shop Boys released it a single in 1987 after performing it live on “Love Me Tender”, a TV special commemorating 10 years since Presley’s passing. Their version was Christmas number one in 1987 and the video featured British actor, Joss Ackland. The Daily Telegraph named it the second best cover version of all time in 2004 and its the duo’s best selling single in the UK to date.


American Anthems : Happy 4th Of July!

As our US neighbours celebrate Independence Day 2014 with fireworks aplenty, our Gutter Girls pick their favourite anthems from American artists, past and present, to soundtrack 4th Of July . . .

No American Anthems list would be complete without The Boss; Bruce Springsteen is the epitome of working class, blue collar America. Taken from the album of the same name, “Born In The USA” was released in 1984 (the album celebrates its 30th Birthday this year) and is often confused as a nationalist anthem but, in actual fact, deals with the negative aftermath of The Vietnam War on Americans. Nevertheless, it unites people (American or not) in its all-powerful chorus like no other song, “Born In The USA!!! I Was Born In The USA!!!”

Abbey Fleming

“Hotel California” is a song very much representative of the high life in LA; a description given by the band themselves. As a rock band from CaliforniaEagles have symbolised what life in their home state is really like. Lyrics including “warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air” paired with the chilled out rhythm of the verse allows listeners to envision themselves standing on that ‘dark desert highway’ that the band sing of. The  catchy chorus combined with Don Felder and Joe Walsh’s instantly recognisable guitar solo helped score the song a top 50 spot on Rolling Stone’s ’500 Greatest Songs of All Time’  as well as winning the band a Grammy and going platinum;showing that Eagles‘ idea of California is one that has been appreciated worldwide.

No-one says “All-American band” better than The Beach Boys; renowned for their outstanding vocal harmonies, the band, from Southern California, encapsulate the sun and surf of The USA better than anyone else, before or since. Taken from their signature 1966 album, “Pet Sounds”, “God Only Knows” may come second to hits, “California Girls” and “Good Vibrations”, but there is no denying its lasting legacy.

“baby band” in comparison to some of the American heavyweights mentioned previously, The Killers have gone from playing local gay bars in their native Las Vegas to playing to thousands of fans across the globe; including a sold-out slot at Wembley Stadium last summer. By no means is this an anthem that deals with their homeland, but it IS an anthem just the same; it never fails to unite a crowd, big or small, together in a war-cry chorus of “I Got Soul, But I’m Not A Soldier” cementing its place as a worthy modern-day US Anthem. This video was directed by Dutch photographerAnton Corbijn and feature a half-naked Brandon Flowers in the shower . . . ’nuff said.

Laura Maxwell

Despite my ancestry not quite fitting the bill, no song can make me feel more empowered than “American Girl”. I stand a little taller, let my hair swing and, yes, maybe belt out a loud, “Oh yeah’”or “Alright”. Only problem is I’ve seen “Silence Of The Lambs”. When the song plays,  I always half-expect a man to trap me in a moving truck. *shudder*

Released in 1967, this track from The Doors still sounds as refreshing today as it did back then; the urgency in Morrison’s vocals still reasonate with young people today who are eager to “break on through to the other side”. A somewhat unconventional American Anthem, yes, but The Doors were the pulse of the “flower power” era and their legacy lives on today.

Victoria Adams

Red Hot Chili Peppers are one of the biggest American bands around and “By The Way” is a song I grew up listening to and one of the first tracks I remember hearing. When I was six years old, The Chili’s were the first band I went to see live and I remember watching the video for “By The Way” on repeat for days prior to attending the gig.  The song has an upbeat, catchy rhythm and an interesting video which sees lead singer Anthony Kiedis being kidnapped by a cab driver in LA before band mates Flea and John come to his rescue. Introducing me to rock music and influencing my current music taste, this tune never fails to lift my mood and bring back nostalgic memories; making it without a shadow if a doubt my number one American Anthem.

The unmistakeable sound of The Mamas And The Papas IS quintessential California; this track, released in 1965, deals with the singer’s longing for the warmth of California during a long, cold winter, something we can all relate to. Trust me, listening to this on a wet and windy Scottish day can transport you to a beach in sunny LA. For that reason alone, it makes our list!

Whether you love them or loathe them, this Bon Jovi anthem never fails to unite a (drunken) crowd! Released in 1986, the track is taken from the band’s third studio album, “Slippery When Wet” and tells the story of Tommy and Gina, a working class couple struggling to make ends meet. Cheesy definitely, but it perfectly captures the American spirit of not giving up or giving in despite the odds being stacked against you. And, if that wasn’t enough, the video features a live performance of the band with BIG 80s hair and leather trousers! How can you not love it?!

Don’t be confused by the potentially offensive title; Green Day released this now-anthem in 2004 as a means of defending the American people who, like the band, did not want to be seen as “an American Idiot” who agreed with then-President George W Bush. Frontman, Billie Joe Armstrong wrote the track as a reaction to the controversial Bush administration and certainly didn’t mince his words; “Don’t want to be an American idiot, one nation controlled by the media, information age of hysteria, It’s calling out to idiot America!” made Armstrong’s opinion of post-9/11 USA very clear!

Happy 4th Of July, Y’all!

Kasabian Announce UK Tour Plans

Fresh from their debut Glastonbury headline slot on Sunday, Kasabian have unveiled plans to tour the UK later this year.

The band will play a 16 date tour across November and December, including 5 nights at The 02 Brixton Academy. Led by frontman, Tom Meighan, the band will kick off their tour in Glasgow at The SSE Hydro on Wednesday 19th November, before playing dates in Leeds (21st), Birmingham (22nd), Cardiff (23rd), Bournemouth (25th), Brighton (26th) and Nottingham (28th).

December will see Kasabian play a 5-night stand in London at The 02 Brixton Academy between Monday 1st December and Saturday 6th December before winding down in Dublin (8th), Belfast (9th), Newcastle (11th) and concluding in Manchester (12th).

The band released fifth studio album, “48:13″ last month before playing to a 50, 000 strong crown at a homecoming gig in Leicester. Kasabian made their headlining debut at Glastonbury this weekend.

Tickets for Kasabian’s UK Arena Tour go on sale on Friday 4th July 2014 at 9.30am.

Live Review : The Libertines, The Barrowland, Glasgow (28/06/14)

It was edgy. It was raw. It was 2002, again . . .

With the exception of a stray grey hair and a little extra weight, you’d be forgiven for believing that you were watching The Libertines at The Barrowland on Saturday night in their heyday of enormous promise and potential, before the days of drugs and deterioration that were the death of them.

DJ set from Reverend & The Makers frontman, Jon McClure set the tone perfectly to rowdy and raucous, thanks to huge indie-anthems from Kasabian, Pulp, Supergrass and Muse, to name but a few; The Libertines kicked off with traditional opener, “Horrorshow” before a 24-song set mix of material from debut, “Up The Bracket” and self-titled follow-up, “The Libertines” shaping the nostalgic swagger down Albion Way.

The chemistry which Doherty and Barat were renowned for in the early days is still very much alive today; the duo frequently shared the microphone, playfully jostled for the spotlight and shared a bear hug or two during the zesty set, whipping fans into a frenzy over their much-missed bromance. Chat between tracks was limited but Doherty did stop to take a selfie on a fans phone and joke with the crowd that the last time the band has played The Barrowland “most of you probably weren’t even born”.

Fans greeted signature songs, “Time For Heroes”, “Don’t Look Back Into The Sun”, “What Katie Did” and “Can’t Stand Me Now” like an old friend and Doherty-penned, “Music When The Lights Go Out” brought fans together like no other track with an almost religious singalong from both the band and those who have longed to see them play together once more. Closer, “Tell The King” saw Barat and Doherty exchange smiles of “We Did It!” 

It was the kind of gig The Barrowland exists to host; sweaty, cramped and chaotic with flying pints and mass singalongs that continued down onto the street outside. It was the reunion that just a few short years ago, never seemed possible. It was a crowd where some hadn’t been introduced to the sound and style of The Libertines until after their demise.

It was 2002 again, and it had never been so good. 

 

 

Should Metallica Be Headlining Glastonbury?

Metallica have divided opinion like no other headliner before them (yeah, even Jay Z) and as Glastonbury kicks off, debate rages on whether or not the heavy metal band are the right headliner for the original “hippie” festival. 

Should Metallica be headlining Glastonbury?

“Hell, Yes!” By Abbey Fleming

A great deal of controversy has swamped heavy metal band, Metallica, following the announcement that they are to headline this year’s Glastonbury Festival. Most of the backlash comes from fans of the festival who do not feel that Metallica are the ‘right’ type of band to play on the illustrious Pyramid Stage, of what is known to be a predominantly ‘hippie’ festival. Glastonbury is one of the most renowned music festivals in the world. As such, organisers have prided themselves on showcasing a wide variety of music; previous headliners have highlighted the festival’s diversity, ranging from The Smiths to Beyoncé, organisers Michael and Emily Eavis have expressed their eagerness at maintaining their reputation of diverse line-ups. Country Queen, Dolly Parton will also perform at this year’s festival, as will dub-step DJ Skrillex and indie-folk singer, Jake Bugg, so why not Metallica? Diverse line-ups give festival-goers choice and means all tastes are catered for. To put it simply, those who are against Metallica headlining are not being forced into attending their performance; there will be plenty of other bands and artists playing at the same time as Metallica that might better suit the tastes of the anti-Metallica crowd. When scanning through previous Glastonbury headliners, it becomes apparent that, although they all perform different types of music, they have one thing in common: they are all top artists in their genre. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that Metallica deserve to headline as they are one of the most successful, popular and influential bands in heavy metal history. 

Read any Metallica gig review and you learn that this is the kind of performance that they give. They have played to crowds of thousands and know how to keep a large audience entertained. Metallica’s headline slot is surely great news for their many fans, but it may also be an opportunity for the band to gain some new followers. Many of this year’s ticket holders who may never have thought of listening to or going to see the band could find themselves at the Pyramid Stage crowd this Saturday night. Whether they are accompanying a friend or simply want to give heavy metal music a chance, many are likely to be surprised at how much they enjoyed what is sure to be, judging by existing concert footage and reviews, an electric performance. The decision for Metallica to headline will likely prove to be beneficial for both the band and Glastonbury. By having a heavy metal band headline for the first time, Glastonbury have allowed themselves to compete with Download Festival, which is the most popular rock festival in the UK. Although Download takes places before Glastonbury, after the headline acts were announced for both festivals, rock fans may have been swayed in their ticket buying decision; Metallica are a far more esteemed and beloved band in the heavy metal world than those who headlined Download this year. The chance to be in the Metallica crowd may have proven more enticing than Linkin Park or Avenged Sevenfold (two of Download’s headliners) and could convince would-be Download attendees to buy a Glastonbury ticket instead. For Metallica, it gives them the opportunity to perform some of their new material for both established and new fans in order to promote their upcoming album. Metallica have been supported by many other bands including fellow Glastonbury headliners, Kasabian, and rightly so: having been active since 1981, named as one of the most influential bands in metal and with 9 Grammys to their name, Metallica really deserve their place on the Pyramid Stage.

“Fuck, No!” By Jaq Inglis

Metallica should not headline Glastonbury.

Festival headlining/booking is not an exact science, there are a myriad of factors for why an act is booked and when. For a festival widely held as one of, if not the single most prestigious of its kind in the world, the pressure is on to deliver acts of strong cultural relevance that will happily part punters with £200+ a pop to watch what has the potential to be a historical spectacle and performance milestone. As a qualifier I would not classify myself as a Metallica fan, which, although is important is also not one which disqualifies the views presented. While by no means am I a fan of Bruce Springsteen or The Rolling Stones, I can still recognise both as terrific headliners, but this unfortunately is not the case here. Let us review the Glastonbury headliners over the last 5 years as the timeline goes nearly halfway to when Metallica were last important to music. 2013 :Arctic Monkeys, The Rolling Stones and Mumford & Sons, 2011 :U2, Coldplay and Beyonce, 2010 : Gorillaz, Muse and Stevie Wonder, 2009 : Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen and Blur and 2008 : Kings of Leon, Jay-Z and The Verve. In broad terms, these can be categorised into two categories as either new acts rising to or even reaching their peak (Kings Of Leon, Mumford & Sons) or reformed/miraculously still going “classic” acts (Stevie Wonder, Blur). Embarrassingly, the easiest parallel to the ‘anti-headliner X argument’ comes in the form of a fairly idiotic Noel Gallagher quote, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. If you start to break it then people aren’t going to go. I’m sorry, but Jay-Z? No chance. Glastonbury has a tradition of guitar music and even when they throw the odd curve ball in on a Sunday night you go ‘Kylie Minogue?’ I don’t know about it. But I’m not having hip-hop at Glastonbury. It’s wrong.”

The distinction comes between this and the case for Metallica in that this comment was proven to be nonsense by the fact that Mr. Carter put in one of the most memorable headline performances of recent years. This blind guitars-only view was proven to be entirely wrong and the last and loudest laugh was had by Hova himself. Although, there is the potential for a defining moment to be had by the thrash metal overlords in typical Glastonbury fashion, it is unlikely. Jay-Z’s show was nothing if not unifying and genre crossing whereas this has the potential to be quite divisive and fall on unwanting ears. Perhaps it is similarly small minded to say, but those who would usually attend a Metallica show are a different beast from the Glastonbury-goer. Although, if James Hetfield comes out and fudges a cover of “Live Forever” before smashing “Enter Sandman” this may ease the crossover nicely. As a band renowned even within their own genre and scene for poor live performances the Glasto history books are likely safe, but who knows, a Gallagher brothers’ quote later and we may see a performance for the ages.

(Credit : Noel Gallagher quote taken from NME.com)

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