Friday, December 08, 2017

Gig: Correspondents @ Electric Brixton

The Correspondents are an electro-swing act that I first saw a couple of years ago and remember fondly for the lead singer, Bruce's ability to throw himself around the stage more than Leeroy from The Prodigy. Earlier in the year they announced a 10th birthday bash with support coming from The Nextmen, Rob Da Bank, DJ Yoda and Krafy Kuts. I rarely miss a Yoda set and have yet to see Kuts so this was a must-do night.

The Nextmen opened with a reggae set, and that was continued by Rob who moved it into a swing set towards the end. The Correspondent's then came on with an excellent 90 minute set. I like their swing stuff but much prefer their jungle and drum and bass with some excellent toasting from the singer. 

They're a band that deserve to be more popular than they are but given the response of the crowd, they do have a great following (even if some of them don't know how to catch a diving singer). The night was great and Yoda followed it up with a classic hip hop set. By the time his set had finished I was shattered and didn't have the energy to stick around for Krafty Kuts. There will be another time.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Event: Bug 57

The final Bug of the year and probably for a few months as host Adam Buxton is taking some time off (can we get the guest presenters again please?)

A nicely composite piece by Arno Salters for General Elektrik's track "Different Blue" opened the show

I liked Gorillaz first album but I'm not feeling the new stuff. The video for "Garage Palace" was alright with a nice 16-bit look to it but the track sort of washed over me.

OK Go are a definite for Bug and their latest video for their track Obsession was chosen on this occasion. A clever piece using lots of printers (including a few that misbehaved) done to a time-lapse to create a clever animation. This got the youtube treatment with lots of debate around whether it was a waste of paper or not; the funniest comment not giving a stuff about the paper but criticising the use of toner instead.

A terrible track with a rapper described as sounding like a muppet however the video saved it. A technically simple trick that reminds me of riding Hex at Alton Towers. Is the camera moving or the room?

Flying Lotus was up next. His sounds are hit and miss but the videos are clearly put together by people under the influence of something. Apparently he's done a film that's full of this. One to watch with your friends no doubt. 

Then we had a rather slow, sleep inducing track by someone called Sevdaliza. I can't say I liked either the track or the video - sorry!

This interactive video was quite clever and features a huge array of clips joined together like a Fighting Fantasy books us nerds read as kids. It's a fun way to make the video stand out. If you go via this link there's apparently a prize.

If you're going to sing a song about breaking up with your girlfriend and it's going to be a tear jerker for most (not me) then make the video special too. That's what the guy behind Dirty Projectors did. I'll remember the video more than the music for sure.

This year's Blue Dot festival was going to have a Welsh mining theme to it with a number of colliery bands playing and the latest album from Public Service Broadcasting having a mining theme too. Sunday headliners Alt-J have a  track called Pleader which also fits. However the PSB couldn't show up so the theme wasn't advertised as heavily as expected. This is a short film to the Pleader track. I don't like alt-j and didn't see them on the Sunday. Not a fan of this one.

Last year Bug played "Virile" by French music outfit The Blaze, and it became a track I played a lot through the year. The video was memorable and this one for their track "Territory" is very similar, almost documentary like and focusing on the poorer class in Algeria. There's a great bit where the on-screen action matches the music perfectly which made it stick in my head. Virile is a much better track though.

My favourite video of the night was also the most simplest with the girls from Haim doing a lightly choreographed piece to their song "Want You Back". This video was supposed to feature a car but following at traffic accident they had to re-plan and this what they came up with. This is great though. The raising camera at the end reminded me of the video to "It's Oh So Quiet" by Bjork.

We ended the show with a clever use of a feedback loop to create a video by The Academic for their track "Bear Claws". When you stream to Facebook there's a delay and the band have made use of that to create this nicely layered looping version of their track. I'd seen this before the Bug but it was still good to see it on a big screen.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Graffiti: Barbican and Shoreditch

With time to kill before a gig I thought I'd go and check out the Banksy pieces that had appeared whilst I was on holiday, and then a quite night time walk around Shoreditch (so apologies for the yellow photos).

These are the Banksy pieces. I'm not sure what I think of them. He's done better but I guess we have to be thankful for the few pieces that do pop up. He's been very quiet of late.

This on the Village Underground wall is a plug for Beck's new album.

Gig: Confidence Man @ Xoyo

An act that is dividing opinion, Australian pop-band Confidence Man came to London as part of their global Ring-A-Ding tour. They were recommended as a band to like if you liked LCD Soundsystem but having heard their stuff whilst the music was well constructed and probably where the comparison came from, with the vacuous vocals over the top their sound is much more on the poppy end of the spectrum. They also had a small catalogue of tracks with just 3 singles released and a rumoured first album in the new year. So I was going into this with low expectations.

They're fronted by a man and woman who are not the best dancers (by their own admission) but they are very enthusiastic and with a little bit of choreography get away with it. The music comes from 2 unrecognisable chaps in black beekeeper masks; we'll it's cheaper than Daft Punk or Deadmau5's headpieces. 

We had a couple of breaks where the singers would go off and refresh or change costumes but the music was kept playing throughout, and the music was all very good although the best tracks were the ones they've released.

The set came in at just under an hour, with more music behind them they'll obviously be longer but their set worked well and I can see them doing very well on the festival circuit. Their music will get any crowd going.

One to keep an eye on for sure.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Gig: Orbital @ Hammersmith Apollo

A sold out tour saw the Hartnoll boys back in London for a night playing to an older fan base than at gigs I usually go to, but having been around on and off since the 90s this was never going to be in any doubt.

The set was great with a raised stage and plenty of screens, lights and lasers to keep us busy. The band wore their signature light goggles too and took us through a long set consisting of a couple of new tracks but mostly older tunes, which have all stood the test of time very well. 

the best track was their reworked version of Satan which sounded heavy and incredible, powerful enough to leave most of us drained; the sound was in point tonight and helped carry tracks like this.

We got the Dr Who track to finish, something that wasn't played in Manchester the night before, and we all left very happy.

I didn't see their set at Blue Dot in the Summer as I was off seeing other acts. I am pleased I got to see them here though.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Graffiti: Manchester

A quick walk around the North Quarter of Manchester city centre. A lot of the pieces I'd seen on previous visits but still worth hitting again. 

Gig: Correspondents @ Electric Brixton

The Correspondents are an electro-swing act that I first saw a couple of years ago and remember fondly for the lead singer, Bruce's a...