Tomorrow I shall turn 17 and I have to say 16 has been pretty flippin’ good. Yeah I’ve made my fair share of mistakes don’t we all but the positives way outweigh the negatives. So many fun moments but let’s not dwell on the past the future looks even better. School ends for six weeks of summer tomorrow and it really couldn’t have come soon enough. Had enough of that place and the people there it’s really gonna be nice to just get away from it all and wait in paranoia for results day at the end of August. One or possibly two more festivals to go which is always nice to look forward to as well as a holiday to South Wales.

Nothing much has really been happening since I’ve come back from Glasto about just over two weeks ago. It was nice to see family etc. Both parents have been in hospital over the last month (my dad today). There both fine, everything always turns out fine in the end. Autumn gig schedule is coming together booked tickets to see Beach House in a Cathedral can’t wait for that. Just waiting for Arcade Fire to announce a tour really there new stuff isn’t sounding bad but not really on the same level as ‘Funeral’ or ‘Neon Bible’.

The World Cup was rather disappointing to be honest wasn’t really one game I watched where I could have said it was brilliant. Think this was probably down to how good the tactics from the various coaches involved were brilliant. Think Spain were pretty worthy winners managed to stay solid throughout the tournament even if their opening game was a bit of a shambles. Don’t think the Dutch had any right to complain about the refereeing of Howard Webb, they had it coming to be honest. For South Africa it couldn’t have really gone much better they did a fine job of hosting the tournament. Hoping for some better football in 2014 though. Not long til the start of the domestic season now, can’t wait for that.

Don’t think I’ve really got much else to say, bye

James x

Feels like ages ago it’s just finding the time to right up all this…

SUNDAY

The final day of the festival started off early again due to once your awake there’s no way you can get back to sleep in the tent. Went to look at merchandise and tried on a Blood Red Shoes t-shirt the woman at the stall didn’t look very happy when I decided not to buy it. Oh, well. First band of the day were The Joy Formidable a band who I’ve been wanting to see for ages and ages and ages. A great start to the day as was expected bringing their epic guitar noise to a bleary eyed other stage. Just one of a number of bands other the weekend who looked like they were having the time of their lives. Especially in set closer the eight minute long ‘Whirring’. Next up was my last trip over to The Park to see Irish folk outfit Villagers. Very impressed by their heartaching tales of love and loss perfect for just lying down and chilling in the midday sun. Back over to the other side of the festival next for These New Puritans. Personally I thought they were great but obviously not for everyone’s taste. So like the majority of other English football fans I decided to go over and watch the game only to notice on the way that Laura Marling was performing on BBC Intoducing stage later in the afternoon. Hmmm Marling or England, I know I made to right choice. Laura performed two acoustic songs from new album ‘I Speak Because I Can’ for Radio 1 which was very nice indeed.

The later part of the afternoon was spent for the majority at The Other Stage where I first enjoyed Grizzly Bear who were good but no way near as good as they are on the record. Shame they had to play to a smaller crowd due obvious reasons. Next up We Are Scientists were nothing other than brilliant. O.K. some of the newer songs aren’t so great but that can’t take away how fucking awesome the likes of ‘Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt’ and ‘The Great Escape’ are. The banter from the guys were top-notch as was expected and performed through a blistering set of new and old. Fun was had by all. MGMT followed and were boring as expected, the new songs aren’t as bad as some people make them out to be but don’t translate too well live. The Brooklyn two still managed to bring the hits out and ‘Time to Pretend’ still sounds as fresh as it did back in ‘o8. LCD Soundsystem impeccable as always. How can James Murphy call time on the band when they’ve got those kind of tune. An hour was no way near long enough need to dance myself clean. The only reason it wasn’t as good as their show in Manchester back in May was because of the length. Still enough time to back in the likes of ‘Drunk Girls’ and ‘Daft Punk is Playing at My House’ before removing their ‘LA douche’ sunglasses to perform a truly epic ‘Yeah’.

Finally it was the one and the only Stevie Wonder and god do I wish I’d got a good position or not be so tired that I can barely stand up. From what I saw on the screens his performances looks like it could go down as being one of the all time great Glasto headliners. Got so much respect for that guy. But the circumstances meant that I had to turn in half way through only to be unable to get to the sleep due to the constant noise of the Dance Village and Orbital.

MONDAY

Woke up feeling a lot less tired, some random Scottish guy gave us a shed load of beer so me and my friends sat around just drinking and chilling playing toilet roll cricket and human buckaroo. Put the tent away successfully before heading to they drop-off point again at five. Felt so sad to walk out of the gate knowing that it would be a long time before I would head back to Worthy Farm again.

Glastonbury really was the most perfect weekend and as I look back two weeks on I have to say it was probably one of the best experiences of my life. No matter what you decide to do at the festival you know you’re gonna experience something really special. And I suppose that’s what makes Glastonbury the king of all festivals. Like where else would you get the likes of Rolf Harris, Snoop Dogg and Vampire Weekend play on the same stage on the same day. And there is no way you can explore everything that the festival has to offer in the four proper days that are on offer. Everything is just perfect and I could go on about how great it is forever so if you get the chance go because you know you’re gonna have the time of you’re life.

James

SATURDAY

The searing heat meant an early start every morning as the tent felt more like the Sahara that Somerset. The day started off with another drip up to the Park Stage and a hunt for somewhere that sold male shorts since I got mud down my good pair. Sadly I failed at finding some. Perched myself up on the hill for first act of the day I Blame Coco, really wish I hadn’t bothered watching them half an hour of my life I’m never gonna get back. First band of the day I really wanted to see were Frankie & the Heartstrings. They certainly didn’t fail to impress and justify the hype that they have been gathering. Front man Frankie Francis possessed the stage the band were performing on all clearly reeling in the opportunity of playing the festival. One to watch for future months for sure. Next on The Strange Boys who brought their bluesy garage rock to the Park Stage. Weren’t bad and did justice to a version of ‘Son of a Preacher Man’ by the legendary Dusty Springfield. After a superb set at Dot to Dot Festival at the end of May it was time for Beach House to bring some darkness to the Park on what must have been one of the hottest days of the year so far. The heat of the sun mixed with some sort of drug fuelled haze which the band were apparently in didn’t lead to a great performance. But all the same the quality of third album ‘Teen Dream’ shone through but not in the same way for example if they were playing in a Cathedral (which I’m seeing them play in later in the year). Stand out tracks being the likes of ‘Norway’ and ‘Heart of Chambers’.

After got knows how long I’d spent in The Park is was time to move over to the other side of the sight to see Marina & the Diamonds for a third time. This was the best time I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Marina and it lead me think how you look at all these current female singer-songwriter types have nothing to say. Then you listen to Marinas lyrics and seems like maybe she does well either that or the heat was getting to me. With society being the way it is at the moment think it’s certainly not a bad thing to have someone like Marina out there saying what she does. However her brand of operatic bubble gum pop isn’t for everyones taste and for at times not mine but once again she put on a good show; even at one point ditching the band to play one song by herself on piano. Major contrast next as the math-rock of Foals livened things up with a sadly heavily ‘Antidotes’ based set which meant that such brilliant songs as ‘2 Trees’ and ‘After Glow’ didn’t get aired. Foals were highly energetic and so were the audience which meant I couldn’t really enjoy their set cos’ I kept worrying about my ankle (typical). Best bit of the set was seeing Yannis climb the scaffolding of the John Peel tent and jump from into the crowd bellow (see photos). Next up were easily biggest surprise of the best band of the day The XX. The atmosphere in the tent was just about perfect for them to perform the dark and hauntingly beautiful tracks from their debut album. The three members came out and went straight into ‘Intro’ with rapturous applause before moving on into personal favourite ‘Islands’. The chemistry being just as apparent between Jamie and Romy onstage as it is off. The band blitzed through ‘XX’ playing the majority of their spellbinding record before ending on their version of Florence’s version of ‘You’ve Got the Love’. Featuring a very special guest… wonder if you can guess who it was.

Following this it was time for cider and time to reflect up by The Park once again while sitting and listening to end of Laura Marling’s set and the start of Midlake’s. I stayed in The Park into the early hours to watch what I was expecting to be Freebass. It wasn’t’. Instead me and everyone else in The Rabbit Hole were treated to a DJ set from the one and the only Jarvis Cocker. Does it really get much better than that.

James x

Where to begin…

WEDNESDAY

7 o’clock and were on our way out of Sandbach down onto M6 and the mammoth drive that awaits. My dad managed to keep his cool for the most part in the relentless heat. Managed to avoid a lot of queueing which was good but still ended up crawling at a snails pace through Shepton Mallet. After about seven hours spent on the road we arrived at the drop-off point where the eight of us boarded a short coach journey to the festival. Arriving was probably easily the worst part, having to carry all you bags in the mid-afternoon heat to look for somewhere to camp is no way to start the festival. But after severe amounts of moaning we found a nice little spot next to the toilets which were next to the dance village. Most of Wednesday for me at least involved exploring the sight and just sitting and chilling up by the top of the Park area. Most of this is irrlevent

THURSDAY

Suppose this is the day Glasto actually begins. After little sleep (because of those bloody Welsh guys in the tent behind us) a few of use went of down to watch Where The Wild Things Are. It was cancelled. So we went back to the tent and came back for Ponyo at the Cinema tent. Ponyo not Miyazaki’s finest work but a fun film non the less. Would have been better if I hadn’t of needed the loo all the way through it. Music then began later in the day at the Queens Head stage. Two Door Cinema Club were the first band we saw. Well heard, the place was packed but managed to get down the front from then after. Watched worst band of the festival Chapel Club. Could music possibly sound anymore boring and contrived. Micachu was very good, so good that her drummer proposed towards the end of the set. Local Natives ended the night a band who have really grown since seeing them for the first time on a cold Sunday night in Stoke.

FRIDAY

Started off a little slow not that Rolf Harris wasn’t brilliant/hilarious and all but there just seemed little on elsewhere. Tune-Yards weren’t bad and neither were The Stranglers. However earlier in the day I received a text saying that Thom Yorke will be playing a secret set up at The Park. This had to be investigated so off I went to the Info booth up there and asked. Apparently he was. Risks must be taken I thought to myself so after watching a rather good Phoenix i wandered up to The Park to see Local Natives once again who sadly said exactly the same things inbetween songs as they had the previous night. The came The Big Pink who were too loud for my liking, thank god no one I know saw me singing along to ‘Dominoes’. But the came possibly one of the greatest moments of my life, as soon as the various pieces of equipment and instruments came out I knew what was coming next. After a short wait Michael Eavis arrives on stage announcing the pair who were about to grace the stage as two superstars yet still refusing to say who was about to arrive.

“Hello I’m Thomas Yorke” he says before taking a seat next to his piano to whack out a few tunes from solo LP ‘The Eraser’ starting with the aforementioned track. Don’t think I’d heard Glastonbury this quite all weekend, everyone around hooked by his every word as if they were a group of school children listening to their teacher reading some sort of marvellous story. He continued to play through tracks from ‘The Eraser’ even messing up ‘Black Swan’ in which he called himself a ‘fucking amateur’. The magic however really began when Radiohead band mate Johnny Greenwood arrived on stage. Every song played felt special and intimate from then on in, ‘Weird Fishes’ even more magical than on ‘In Rainbows’. Then the hits just continued flowing from ‘Pyramid Song’ through to ‘Street Spirit’ everyone around totally engrossed and captivated by what was being played out before them. Personal highlights for me were ‘Idioteque’ in which Thom took to the piano and played it on that, just sweet. But you can’t beat ‘Karma Police’ really can you. Don’t think I’ve ever heard a sing-a-long that loud before, so loud that Thom decided to carry on playing when the crowd wanted more of it. The band closed on ‘Street Spirit’ to a rapturous applause and as people left the park area the mass sing-a-long continued. So good to know that we could possibly have another Radiohead album out by the end of the year. They’ve been away for far too long.

I paced it back to the Other Stage following this with a grin from ear to ear to try and catch the end of Hot Chip and from what I saw they looked brilliant. Of the three songs played it looked like they’d taken another step towards to big time with songs like ‘I Feel Better’ sounding epic as the sunset over the festival. Next up the band I was most looking forward to seeing of the whole festival. If anyone knows how to kick start a party then it’s The Flaming Lips, consistently one of the best live bands on the planet and a brilliant alternative to the averageness that is Gorrilaz headlining the Pyramid. So the madness began with Wayne Coyne running around the crowd in a giant hamster ball, whats not to love? Confetti and balloons showered the audience from above with Wayne screaming gibberish down a megaphone. After a few songs from recent double LP ‘Embryonic’ the awesome tunes that the band are famous for begin to kick in. Starting with ‘She Don’t Use Jelly’ featuring dancing Caterpillars and Frogs of course.  The ever enthusiastic Coyne continued leading the crowd through a set of old and new. Favourite for me being the supremely awesome ‘Do You Realise?’ a song that could be considered even more poignant at somewhere like Glastonbury. By this point and the end of what was an unbelievable day let alone performance from The Flaming Lips I decided to head back to the tent where me and my friends sat and discussed what a brilliant day we all had. And by 2.oo (ish) we were all in bed dreaming of what would lye ahead for the rest of the weekend.

James

So I am back from what was the biggest party in the whole world. I’ll write a proper wordier review later in the week but for the moment you can have this, a fine selection of pictures of places, people and bands I saw over the weekend.

And on one final note (I’ll delete this if you want to)

James

Last night I was in A&E yay! See the problem with playing football with someone who quite clearly doesn’t know how to play football is that they are unwilling to jump over my sometimes over the top challenges and would rather plow their foot straight into my ankle. Most normal players would probably have stepped out but there isn’t much I can do now and I don’t want to blame on to anyone cos’ it was an accident but just saying. So after a good long three hour (at least the F1 was on otherwise it would have been hell) wait in the hospital I found out I’d only torn some tissue and ligament. They’ve done up Leighton pretty good since the last time I was there (another footballing injury), really don’t get why there were these ten chavy guys in there only two of them needed seeing to. All of them had that same stupid gormless retard facial expression on them, made me a laugh a little. The doctors and nurses were all very good as always can’t fault them really. I now have nine days til recover for Glastonbury. Things are looking good so far getting for confident walking on it just hoping some small child doesn’t kick me around school tomorrow in the corridors. Making sure I’m resting loads just spent the whole afternoon watching the two boring games of Holland vs Denmark and Japan vs Cameroon.

Back to school today and was typically questioned by numerous teachers but dear god was the organisation of these meetings poor. Spent an hour and half waiting for a meeting that lasted five minutes, surely individual time slots would have been better. But oh well, I am English and we are the best at waiting in the whole world.

Didn’t have to wait long though to watch England mess up the start to their World Cup campaign. Could have happened to any keeper but either way it was a shocking howler from Rob Green. Just hoping he picks himself up from that and starts the next game at least to prove that he’s got what it takes to lead us to at least some minor world cup success. Felt it was a generally disappointing performance all round, especially with Rooney marked out of the game. Who else is going to get the goals cos’ it certainly ain’t gonna be Heskey that’s for sure. Although Heskey didn’t do to bad. Thought Johnson, Gerrard and Terry also had good games. However the likes of Wright-Phillips didn’t look like they’ve got the ability to take us far in this competition and I think ultimately you have to questions Capello’s decision not to bring Joe Cole on for Milner. However we must not dwell on this defeat and I we must move on and destroy Algeria and Slovenia to make sure we finish top of the group. Thinking that Capello will have to change his attacking options to guarantee goals.

In other news I have now finished all of my exams Sociology went well, English Lit didn’t but we’ll see what happens come August. The band is getting better, I think we’ve written a better song that the one we wrote during our first practice which I really don’t like. And this random guy who my dad works with who I’ve never met before gave me a new amp. It makes aeroplane noises but it smells of smoke. Hey, free amp, can’t complain with that. Don’t think much else has happened just gotta concentrate on getting fit again.

Finally this made me smile earlier in the week

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/world_cup_2010/8737300.stm

James x

So this year is one of those magical years, one where all the greatest players in the world come together and kick a ball around on some well trimmed grass in the hope of going back to their homelands as gods amongst men. THIS IS THE WORLD CUP!

ENGLAND’S CHANCES

This year is the best chance I feel we’ve got to win the world cup since the semi-final heartache of Italia ’90. Yet still I don’t feel with got the squad or talent to go all the way. There is no doubt about the Fabio Capello’s managerial ability he’s proven across his career that he’s capable of winning countless trophies and he’s showed of his International pedigree by taking us to the finals with an almost flawless qualifying campaign. We’ve got a few world beaters in our squad just not enough to take us all the way, for example look at a squad like Spain or Brazil they’ve got world class players in every position. Have we? No I don’t think so, could you really see England lifting the world cup with Emile Heskey in the first XI. I also feel there is lack of passion within the England squad but that could all change come Saturday it’s just the recent friendly victories all seemed a little lacklustre but I’m sure there are obvious reasons for that. Overall I just feel there isn’t the depth or quality there to take us all the way this time but this is are best chance for some years, who knows what could happen, it is the world cup after all… Finally let’s just hope we don’t see a repeat of this.

MY PREDICTION: Semi-Finals

THE MAIN CHALLENGERS

Brazil: My personal tip for world cup glory this time round and hey I did predict Italy would win it back in ’06. Had a solid if unspectacular run-up to the world cup and ran out a decent qualifying campaign to reach the finals topping the CONMEBOL group. Showing that form is on the side of Brazilians this time. Squad wise i’d certainly say they’ve got the best defence of any of the squads out there and are pretty much sorted elsewhere. Should find an easy route to the final is they get through what looks like tough group stage opposition emphasis on ‘looks like’.

Spain: Everything seems set up for Spain to win the World Cup I just think something is likely to make them slip up. Could argue that it’s too late now and if the World Cup was two years ago then they would have walked it. But you can’t take away the strength in their squad the best forward two in the world who create chances at every opportunity and a flawless 100% record in qualifying  scoring 28 goals and only conceding 5. Is this finally Spain’s chance…

Germany: You can’t under-estimate the power of the Germans there always there or there abouts. Another country with another brilliant qualifying campaign and cracking squad. Yet I feel the Germans are in a similar position to us, they’ve lost their captain (can’t make excuses about that) and have a quality squad. But is it good enough to take them all the way. Again i don’t think so.

Holland: Always the dark horses in the tournament but often lack the composure when it really matters to take them to the final. Maybe too many of their world class players are unfit to really make a serious challenge with star striker Robin van Persie being out for the most part and Arjen Robben looking doubtful. But the dutch being who they are could still cause a huge World Cup upset.

Argentina: Have they got the talent? Yes. Have they got the manager? No. End of

Italy: The maybe we reigning champions but I don’t think they have enough quality in their squad to regain the trophy for two consecutive World Cups. The squad is looking tad old now and doesn’t seem to have enough strength in certain areas. But the Italians have got bags of experience that some of the sides might not have and that’s always a big advantage at this level. Still could be up there come the end of the tournament.

(ON A LESS SERIOUS NOTE) MY FAVOURITE WORLD CUP MEMORIES

1994: I wasn’t even one, how am I supposed to remember that?

1998: My first memory of ever watching football sitting with my dad watching a game that involved Scotland not sure who they we’re playing though

2002: On holiday in the Dorset sitting in caravan and getting up at silly times to watch classic games like Argentina vs Nigeria. Remember the great moment when David Beckham slotted home that penalty to beat Argentina in the Group stage. My mum was annoyed cos’ she wanted to go out for a walk or something. Who could forget the defeat the Brazil though in the quarter finals. Ran all the way from home to school so I could watch the game on the big projector. Sad times. Watched the final at my nans

2006: Came close to tears following the Portugal penalty shoot-out defeat. It was an emotional day already considering it was the same day that my mum, my sister and me had moved back into the house in Haslington thus rendering my dad homeless (well he went and lived with my Gran for a while). So it was hard to time for everyone. Stupidly missed the first half of the final cos I thought it was kicking off later then when it actually did. Favourite World Cup moment of all time Zidane head butting Matterazzi. What was he thinking? One of the greatest players of all time doing that in his final game and possibly costing France the World Cup title.

James x

Today I have spent most of the day just sitting around playing Heartsink by Blood Red Shoes, so much fun to play. Anyway going off the title Eurovision was on Saturday and I decided in favour of going against going to watch it with my friends cos’ I wanted to watch with my dad and sister instead. I’d say personally that I felt that this years Eurovision was probably one of the best Eurovisions there has been for a number of years. Not a fan of Lena’s winning song to be honest although fair play I’m sure the rest of Europe enjoyed it (wouldn’t have won otherwise duh) but I just thought lyrically it was bit silly and the metaphors we’re just wank. Of course like every time I watch Eurovision with the family I made us a little score sheet on Excel and colour coded the cell with each country in in correspondence with their national colours. Has to be done to be honest… We voted for Romania this year based on overall scores. Eurovison gold glad it came at least third. But oh dear U.K. last place. How shit is that? Our song was that bad but come on Europe it wasn’t as bad as the Israeli guy going out of the tune and over-whelming boredom of Russia. But hey theres always next year, hopefully we’ll scrap the X Factor style talent contest and actually have some famous and or popular compete for us.

Been ages since I last blogged about my day to day life and it also seems ages since exams have started and for the most part it’s been pretty good considering how little revision I’ve done. Geography was a bit hit and miss but Sociology has been good so far and English Language went well. Four down two to go, got Literature and second Sociology paper to go. Definitely needed this week off.

And So far apart from dot to dot I haven’t really done much. Apart from Tuesday morning which involved myself and a friend wandering around Manchester at god knows what time in the morning. Manchester is rather beautiful at night it has a calming sort of quality to it, very atmospheric. After wandering around and avoiding drunken people we tried to go to sleep in Piccadilly Station, this failed. So I got back in at 6:15 after walking half an hour from Crewe station to my house and even then I only got just over three hours sleep. The train back was lovely just stared out of the window looking at the countryside, took a different route to the one you usually take going there and back to Manc.

Oh and also on Friday I went to the gym for the first time in about ten months. It wasn’t as fun as I remember it being but going to the gym is one of the few blokey things I do which felt good. And even better some woman came up to us saying that she called one of the machines downstairs Bill it was rather surreal.

That is all for the moment, maybe something exciting will happen soon… oh wait I’m going Glastonbury in three weeks

James x

P.S.

P.P.S

(skip to 2:19)

1:30 was the time the first act of the day appeared on stage, The Heartbreaks from what I’ve read of them are apparently local. Not bad, decent post-Futureheads indie rock with a Smithsy twist. Sadly the sound down in Club Academy was terrible for them and I can’t see myself ever wanting to see them ever again but I knew better was still to come. However they made a decent show of it considering how early in the day it was and generally an interesting and engaging band to watch, not anything to write home about.

And the same could be easily said for White Hinterland who we’re all kinds of meh. Like some kind of really, really poor mans Beach House. I don’t mind Hinterland on the record but this was just plain boring what can you really do live with just overly repetitive beats and a front woman who insists on going woah-oh ahhhhhhhh oh after every line. It’s just plain irritating and dull, really didn’t do anything for me.

Small Black we’re the next band on in Club Academy a band who I’d read a lot about but never actually listened to. Definitely the biggest surprise of the day with their pretty sweet mega-hipster chillwave vibes. The kind of think that tunes that I expect will soundtrack a lot of peoples summers. Potentiality capable of producing some real hits but we’ll see  when either the chillwave scene fizzes out into nothingness or when their debut record comes out.

Off to the larger surroundings of Academy 2 for The Answering Machine who we’re very nice. Nice being the key word here. They played through a mix of nice old songs and nice new songs that sat very nicely next to each other. Fairly average show and they didn’t play ‘that one of FIFA’ which was a bit disappointing. New songs suggest a possible more electronic sound but still sticking to the basic indie rock/pop formula that they’ve used for through early stuff. Nothing more than average.

After a short trip to Spar, fifth up we’re one of the bands I was most looking forward to seeing  during the day that being Blood Red Shoes. The crowd we’re gagging for it from the off with opener ‘It’s Getting Boring By The Sea’ carnage behind ensued with limbs flying all of the place. And it’s pretty safe to say straight from the off that BRS have nailed there two-piece indie rock to perfection. With Laura-Mary walking around the stage with a moody swagger and Steven going hell for leather on the drums. The intensity only increased as the band played a good mix of songs from their debut and latest album ‘Fire Like This’. Definitely the sweatiest show I’d been to all year and one of the noisiest, surprising how much noise they create for forty-five minutes just one massive huge assault on the ears. And wasn’t it brilliant…

SET LIST

  1. It’s Getting Boring By The Sea
  2. It Is Happening Again
  3. I Wish I Was Someone Better
  4. Light It Up
  5. Keeping it Close
  6. This Is Not For You
  7. Don’t Ask
  8. Heartsink
  9. Colours Fade

After going to the loo to wash my face from all the sweat, thought we’d go and try to catch a bit of Field Music of course Club Academy was packed and I could see a thing. So I was time to just sit and chill and the back and listen the lovely sound of Field Music from afar.

The Chapman Family are a band that I could almost certainly say I was guaranteed to enjoy. But alas I was still on a big come-down from Blood Red Shoes and decided to sit on the floor and watch the insanity of their live show commence. Even if you’re not a fan of The Chapman Family you can’t argue that there possibly one of the most passionate and raw live bands in the country. All four members will give it their all every show and once again they didn’t fail to disappoint from my spot on the floor. Playing a half an hour set of post-punk noise before front man Kingsley decided to rap the mic around his throat and smashing his guitar into the stage. Lovely stuff.

Another food break was now in order which meant missing Liars who we’re apparently brilliant. Eighth band of the day then we’re Wild Beasts who sadly I only got to see three songs of to ensure a good spot for Beach House. Still not sure if I really get Wild Beasts but they ultimately have one distinctive sounds in British guitar music at the moment. With haunting guitar melodies and even scarier falsetto vocals that really can’t be matched by anyone, as show by ‘All The Kings Men’ which I think is probably my favourite Wild Beasts song and thankfully I got to see it. For three songs they we’re rather gooooood.

Beach House just beautiful. Playing a set full of songs from my favourite album of the year so far ‘Teen Dream” bar ‘Gila’ from ‘Devotion’ they really we’re just perfect especially with the gorgeous stage props and lighting throughout to make the atmosphere that little extra special. I have never seen anyway play keyboard or synth like Victoria Legrand possessing her instrument and lashing her head around to sounds of some of the best dreamy pop songs written in years. Songs we’re played a lot higher intensity than on the record with the addition of live drumming as well as sequenced beats. Victoria’s voice as well even more outstanding than on the record filling up the room in all corners. Highlights for me included ‘Norway’ (obviously) and ’10 Mile Stereo’ which closed the set which was just epic with howling reverb screaming out of Alex Scally’s guitar. Nothing less than absolutely perfect

SET LIST:

  1. Walk in the Park
  2. Lover of Mine
  3. Gila
  4. Norway
  5. Silver Soul
  6. Used to Be
  7. Zebra
  8. Take Care
  9. 10 Mile Stereo

From one kind of brilliant live show to one that on a completely different level. LC! are always nothing less than quality every time and it’s only better when they come back to Manchester. The band we’re well and truly giving it their all tonight as it’s there last proper show for roughly a month. Gareth later explained that this was because five of them we’re expecting a call up from Fabio. The band raucously played through tracks from all three records with Gareth’s vocals throughout absolutely terrifying and had everyone at his finger tips, don’t think there were many people in the room screaming along with him. Didn’t think anything would have beaten the sweatiness of BRS  today but with the intensity of the crowd and the size of the venue anything was possible. Every song played was a hit due to it being a slightly smaller set than usual. The band finished on the big four as always with Gareth as per usual jumping into the crowd for ‘Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks’. Don’t think it will ever be possible for me to get tired of this. LC! 4 EVA

SET LIST

  1. Heart Swells/100-01
  2. I Just Sighed. I Just Sighed, Just So You Know
  3. Death to Los Campesinos!
  4. Miserabilia
  5. A Heat Rash In The Shape of the Show Me State; or Letters From Me to Charlotte
  6. My Year In Lists
  7. Straight in at 101
  8. Romance is Boring
  9. You! Me! Dancing!
  10. We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed
  11. The Sea is a Good Place To Think Of The Future
  12. Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks

Overall a quality day out with a wide selection of quality bands (even if the line-up is of a slightly less quality than in previous years). Same again next year please

James

Personally I’m not familiar with the current state of music within Liverpool but if Signal Flare are anything to go by it shows that it must be pretty dire. It was one of those support acts where quite blatantly the only people who have come to see you are your friends. Simple enough pop by numbers music that could of been written by anyone, no heart or personality and managed to murder There She Goes by The La’s.

Summer Camp however certainly managed to raise the bar opening with debut single Ghost Train which was even more dreamy when played live. They contently continued to play a set of songs that obviously no one had heard, all of which were a pretty good a mix of  cheesy pop masked by lo-fi sensibility and  beautiful tales of heartache and woe delivered wonderfully by Jeremy Warmsely and Elizabeth Sankey throughout . I feel there’s a long way to go for Summer Camp yet as this being their first ever time out on tour and roughly about their tenth or eleventh gig. But I’m sure they’ll only get better as time progresses, a promising start though for a band who are just beginning to find their feet.

Slow Club entered in the crowd rather than ending in it for the second time I’ve seen the Sheffield two piece starting off with a lovely acoustic rendition of b-side ‘Wild Blue Milk’. Slow Club are at there best like this with Charles and Rebecca’s voices complementing each other beautifully and resonating throughout the venue. The band moved up on stage to start off a set which was almost 50/50 new songs and old songs. Second song was a new song and already the second album is looking like it’s got potential be just as good or if not better than the first. Heard it here first there is definitely a new sound on the way to go by how the new stuff is performed live.  For the first of the new songs Charles and Rebecca we’re joined by Jeremy Warmsley on bass and the drummer for Summer Camp later stating that this was the first time they’ve ever played with a live band. Surprisingly noisy and un-nervingly chaotic showing off a new abrasive side to them which I hadn’t seen before. This however does not mean the superb lyrics and pop melody’s have disappeared for good later shown by the only new song that was given a name ‘Gold Mountain’ which showed of a louder darker side to Slow Club. From debut album Yeah, So the band played a more of the quieter songs from it in favour of some of the singles from it. Both ‘Trophy Room’ and ‘It Doesn’t Have To Be Beautiful’ both criminally missed out. ‘Sorry About The Doom’ coming being one of my favourites of the night. Personal highlight for me though was my favourite track from the album ‘Our Most Brilliant Friends’ showing what a quality live act Slow Club are once again. Throughout the band managed to deal with stupid drunken man in England shirt (“Play that one that was on Canadian TV”) quite well in which one point Charles told him to fuck off. Banter between Charles and Rebecca was funny all night. The band finished with new single ‘Giving Up On Love’ with Jeremy Warmsley once again returning to the stage before final closing with traditional encore ‘Christmas TV’, and invited everyone to a mass sing-a-long.

SET LIST (can’t be sure though)

  1. Wild Blue Milk
  2. (new song)
  3. I Was Unconscious, It Was A Dream
  4. (new song)
  5. There’s No Good Way To Say I’m Leaving You
  6. Because We’re Dead
  7. (new song)
  8. Sorry About The Doom
  9. (new song)
  10. Our Most Brilliant Friends
  11. (new song)
  12. Giving Up On Love
  13. Christmas TV*

*encore

Slow Club are ultimately one of the best and also underrated song-writers in the U.K. and it’s good to see them stepping up to bigger venues like they thoroughly deserve. Can’t wait to see what the future holds for them, more of the same please.

James x