THE LIVING EYES- Living Large.



I’ve had my copy of Living Large for a while, but sometimes I’m stupidly lazy. Then it all comes in spurts.

Living Eyes are a brilliant Garage Rock kind of band. They are pleasantly loud and foolishly underrated. They’ve got hints of Ty Segall and Wavves flowing through their music, but their record Living Large sort of feels like something by The Vagrants mixed with the Beach Boys. Kick a can hopelessly on the beach until everything becomes clear. That’s what you get from this record.

Boredom. It hits us all. Saying we’re bored because we’re not bored, we just don’t know. It’s a state of mind and it’s an unflattering way of life. But the thing is, The Living Eyes make this sloppy way of living feel alright. They make you want to waste your days away doing nothing. If this is the soundtrack to it, then please sign me up now. The Living Eyes are one of the most exciting bands to come from Australia in a while, but don’t let that make you think that they don’t have a decent music scene there, because they do. There’s a lot of great bands there who will hopefully soon get the exposure that they deserve.

Living Large is not just a Garage Rock record. They’re not just a Garage Rock band. There is something else there, something that’s dying to come out and of course it will. Living Large lures you in, and once it has its grip on you, you won’t want these 4 guys to let you go. They’ll put you in a sweaty choke-hold and you’ll want more. Living Large may end up being quiet, but come the summer months it will get played constantly. It’s exactly what it was made for. Living Large wasn’t made for the pissing rain. It was made for the blistering heat and the desire for shade to protect you from the rays.

Some bands you fall in love with instantly when you hear them, and if you’ve never listened to The Living Eyes before, this record will make you sway, swoon and fall in love. If you’ve felt hopeless, bored and lifeless then this is the record for you. It was designed to make you feel a little better. Buy it, stick it on, learn the words, wear it out and make The Living Eyes your favourite band.

Living Large is gloriously frantic, chaotic drumming, beastly guitar riffs and all in between. This is what you need if you’re in need of a kick up the arse or a punch to the eyes. The Living Eyes are unapologetically loud and brutal. Their song, Bad Example justifies fully why this band demand your attention and you know you better give them it.

I’ve never seen them live, but I’m fairly sure it’ll be a lively sweat-fest and massively brutal. Just how it should be. They say perfection doesn’t really exist, but they’ve never listened to these guys have they.

I’ve kept this brief as my piece on them a few months ago explains why I love them, and I won’t shut up otherwise. Just go buy the record. It’s out now, go to your local record store and treat yourself.





When two bands you are a fan of or when two musicians you like make music together, it’s always a good thing (I’m sure there are shit ones, but it’s important to be nice.) You can hear both sides. You can hear each band’s influences and you can pin point signature sounds in some of them.

There’s a chap from Derry called Christian. He has a band called Autumns. I’ve written about him loads because he’s bloody good. He’s better than good. He’s an Irish version of Dirty Beaches. One guy making a load of noise in the best way possible. He’s made a 3 track cassette with Phil from equally brilliant Girls Names. If you’re a fan of both bands, you’ll love this. Or if you ever wondered what would happen if Kraftwerk stayed awake for 24 hours straight and dropped acid, this is what they would sound like.

Gross Net are an ideal “super band.” This is from a selfish point of view, obviously, because I like them. The three track tape isn’t enough, but for now it’s all we have. That’s why the repeat/back button was invented. For bands like this who simply make you want to play their music on a loop.

The EP was recorded in a dark and damp space in just a day. The EP touches on subjects such as  idiots in the arts who think they are better than everyone else (shut up you elitist twit) to surviving the recession. Listen super carefully and you’ll pick up on it. Wrong Place Wrong Time is a euphoric gem with less tension than the others, but the EP is just simply wonderful anyway.

At the moment they’re making noise and causing riots (possibly a lie) all over Northern Ireland and Dublin. If anyone can bring these guys to the UK, then please do.

Their self-titled EP will be released via  Art For Blind as a limited edition tape and you can listen to it here:

This EP crept out late last year and should not be ignored. The tracks just capture how they are live (check out the YouTube clips of their separate bands and of Gross Net.) Loud, brutally dark and unlike anything else. If you think Ireland doesn’t have a solid music scene, then you thought wrong.


Are we over the “New year, new me” bullshit yet? Are we all aware that you can change whenever you want, you don’t need to wait for midnight on the 1st January to do so? And the gym is open beyond January… Alright, I’ll go back to the past 12 months.

Everybody likes to inflict their “ALBUMS OF *insert year*” upon anyone towards the end of the year. Some mention records that nobody probably listened to just to seem “cool” or they slag off good ones just because they did well. It’s all a bit daft, and the only person’s view of a record that really does matter is probably the fans who love the band. I could be wrong, I most likely am but I’m not someone who aims to ever be right. I don’t care enough, so with that..I decided to put together my list of lyrics of the past year. Lyrics that I listen to intensely and cause me to play the same song about 20 times in a short amount of time and not wanting to listen to anything else for a while. They could be lyrics that someone else thinks is shit, but what does that matter? It’s obvious who I’m going to write about because it is those who have put out records last year that I will probably still play all the time. I judge a year by the music not what happens in my life, I’ve again, probably got it all wrong but it’s things like that,that sort of stop me from getting on a plane and fucking off without saying a word. Oh and I’ve not got much ££££ to do so anyway. Maybe one day I’ll grow a backbone. Until then….

D’Angelo- The Charade. Towards the end of the year, the King of Soul FINALLY, after 14 years, put a record out. Black Messiah was not just one of the best records of the year but it was the most important. The whole message behind it stood for something bigger than those who were patiently waiting for a new D’Angelo record could imagine. Everywhere went nuts when it came out, and it is was beautiful. There are so many wonderful lyrics on Black Messiah, but this one from The Charade is one that really hit me. It sums up the brutality that was happening (and still is) in America. “Degradation so loud that you can’t hear the sound of our cries.” If anything can sum up the events and injustice, it is probably that one. You can tell from any D’Angelo song that he’s someone who watches and takes note of human behavior in all its ways. Black Messiah was full of hope and pain. It brought a sense of unity and a bit of peace that was much needed. Again proving that Music is one of the most powerful tools there is.

Morrissey- Earth Is The Loneliest Place. I probably would have gone for Kick The Bride Down The Aisle or Staircase At The University, but there is something about Earth Is The Loneliest Place that I couldn’t ignore. For those that hate Morrissey, there’s a load more of us that love him. Love conquers all, right? Morrissey’s lyrics are a huge part of my life and a load of others. The way he writes is something else, he gets to the very core of you and you feel as if he’s writing the songs about you. Is he saving your life or is he just able to put it all across better than you could? Personally, I think it is both. For me it is the line, “And humans are not really very humane. And earth is the loneliest planet of all.” Some lyrics just speak for themselves really. We have all seen how cruel humans can be, and we have all felt lonely. You can feel lonely anywhere, and our planet earth is a prime example of that. But if you are feeling lonely, go to a record store. Just like Penny Lane says in Almost Famous.

Band Practice-Magic! Last year one of the finest duos around and New York’s finest, Band Practice released their debut record. Make Nice is full of songs that make you feel like you’re part Tina Belcher/part Patti Smith. All music should aspire to that, the world would be a better place for sure. My favourite song off the record is Band Practice Theme Song, but this lyric from Magic! is my favourite : “When I walk inside my door , the world seems safe and it offers more.” We all know daily life can be a drag, a real pain in the behind and sometimes as soon as you step outside, you wish you hadn’t. If you’ve never experienced that, then you’ve never taken three tubes to work and had several items and body parts shoved in your face. It’s not even 8am and you’ve had enough. Songs like this a real comfort and stop you from punching yourself in the face out of sheer despair, or you know..punching someone else because all they are doing is glaring at their phone gormlessley and not watching where they are going.

BANKS- Fuck ‘Em Only We Know. Goddess was one of the best debut records to come out last year, and Banks I feel, is the only R&B singer that comes close to Aaliyah. When Aaliyah died, she left a huge void and she’s irreplaceable. Most are, and we dispose of singers so easily, but Aaliyah was so rare. Bans has that gentle feel to her music that Aaliyah created. Fuck ’em reminds me of a song that would have sounded amazing on Aaliyah’s last record, there’s something about this song. Something really special. Banks, like all great songwriters is someone you can tell watches others. Whether it be strangers or people she knows, she takes their story and turns it into a work of art. I adore this lyric: “Even addicted to your grumpy face. I know exactly just how many kisses fit between your eyes.”
It’s such an observant and adoring lyric. If you’ve felt like that, then you’ve experienced real love.

Julian Casablancas & The Voidz- Human Sadness.  I love the way Julian sings in that tired, fed-up and frustrated way. He makes you really feel what he is saying. Sure on the Tyranny record it’s hard to make out what he’s singing, but when you read the lyrics, you see another person who is massively observant and is paying close attention to how people behave. Human Sadness is an intense song, and many would say that this is one of the best songs Julian has ever done, and they’re not wrong and is evident in the lyric: “Understanding is more important than love. If not money will always trump justice.” If you’ve seen how corrupt the world can be, you’ll have seen that those with money will always outweigh most things, Julian’s picks up on how unfair it is yet it is something that may possibly never change.

Warpaint-Disco//Very. Warpaint are an easy band to write about. I don’t know what it is about them, but they are one of the few bands that when I listen to them, I just want to write down every thought and feeling that they bring to life. When music is this magical, you really cannot let it go. Disco//Very is unlike most of their songs. You know that drop during Undertow? Well, all of Disco//Very is that moment for about 3 minutes. It’s bloody euphoric, and I adore this lyric : “Only in the sound of the voices I scream.” That line is a kick to the soul, it smacks you and you just sickeningly clichéd as it sounds, it just makes you feel alive. If you’ve seen them perform this live, you will see that nobody stands still. It’s got that wonderful mystical Warpaint feel surrounding it, and you can’t help but play it over and over. It’s delightfully infectious.

Nadine Shah-Stealing Cars. If her voice doesn’t move you, then go see someone about that. Her voice is bold and gloriously powerful. I remember hearing Runaway and just being in awe of this stunning voice, Nadine is something else. What I love about Nadine is the strength in her voice, the only other singer who is as strong as her has to be Anna Calvi. Both singers can break your heart and terrify you in the next breath. That’s what makes them powerful and bloody brilliant. “Check your pulse when I speak.” Take that line how you want, but when you listen and I mean really listen to Nadine sing it, you feel as if she’s talking right to you. Nadine is such a brilliant songwriter and I firmly believe her new record is going to be one of the best ones to come out this year.

Dum Dum Girls- Too True To Be Good. Dee Dee is an underrated songwriter. She’s as powerful as Patti, and she sings in such a clear way and with such purpose. Much like Patti. Too True was in my Top 3 records of 2014, and again is one I’ve not grown tired of. You never grow tired of your favourite bands do you. Too True To Be Good is lyrically my favourite off the record, and I love Dee Dee’s voice throughout the song. When I first heard it, I became hooked on the lyric: “It’s hard to outrun a devil from behind.” Dee Dee’s lyrics are outbursts of truths and sources of comfort, you can hear it in all its glory in songs like Coming Down. She just knows how to phrase something in a way that hits you in the gut. There’s nobody else like her.

2:54- South. When 2:54 FINALLY released The Other I, it felt like my birthday and Christmas had come at once. The Other I was released 2 days before my birthday so I wasn’t far off. I immediately fell in love with the record and I was so proud of the sound they had created on the record. It was still eerie like their debut, but it had something else. Something I’m still trying to find the words to describe, but I’m yet to get there. My favourite song off The Other I changes by the day. I seem to flirt between South and Pyro. Pyro’s got this brilliant attitude to it, but South has this lyric : “Got nowhere to, nowhere to put misshapen love.” It’s obvious how much I adore this band (I’m using my work holiday to go see them on tour) and this lyric just made me adore them even more. You know how sometimes a band you really love, and you don’t think they can amaze you anymore? Turns out they always can….

2:54-Blindfold. The drumming on this just proves why Alex Robins is one of the best around, and the video to this is beautifully shot. It captures London in all its beauty. I saw them play this at Union Chapel and they made a powerful anthem sound like a haunting chant. It was just beautiful. None of this has really been written in order, but my favourite lyric of 2014 has to be “Everybody says I’ve got to say what’s on my mind. But how do I say, that am I really losing my way. Every day.” If you pick apart 2:54’s lyrics, they read like chilling poetry that would cause Poe to freak out slightly. Colette is a brilliant songwriter absolutely brilliant and the way in which Hannah writes the music just goes so well with Colette’s words. It’s got to be a sister thing because nobody else comes close. There are so many reasons as to why I regard 2:54 so highly. Partly because they are genuine and lovely people, partly because their music takes you some place else and partly because they’re unlike anyone else. Their music is spooky but euphoric. It’s not too late to get a ticket for their tour next month….

D’ANGELO- Black Messiah.



14 years ago I walked into HMV and purchased Voodoo by D’Angelo. I bought Brown Sugar at the same time, mainly because I didn’t have the funds in 1995 but a weekend job allowed me to buy both Voodoo and Brown Sugar. I couldn’t ever choose which I love the most, it’s impossible. D’Angelo has been a huge love of mine for so long, and to wake up knowing a new record was out today was great news. There have been so many brilliant moments in music this year, for me. And I could have happily listed them off until this morning- pre D’Angelo release. So now, I can pretty much say that Black Messiah is THE most important and best thing to happen to music this year.

I’m not sure how to write about Black Messiah. I could pick apart every song and go on about why they are so good, I could go on about why it is so important for someone like D’Angelo to release this record or maybe combine them both and ramble on. I don’t know. I really don’t. I guess if you want a standard review, you’ve got the likes of *insert name.*

So, is Black Messiah a masterpiece? Was it worth the wait? Yep and yes some more. What you need to understand is that D’Angelo is the best R&B singer around. The guy just oozes  real soul. He’s not some auto-tune buffoon relaying on producers to make him relevant. Even when he wasn’t making music, he was relevant. Always. This is the guy you listen to when you want to escape the modern world and go way back in time. He’s got nostalgia (I hate that word, sorry) flowing through his music. Marvin never really died. The thing about Black Messiah is it has been released at a time where something like this is truly truly needed. Sure he is known for his romantic wordplay, but Black Messiah is graciously political in all the right places.

This record is a touch of Al Green and Sly Stone, comparing D’Angelo to anyone current would be offensive to his music because if it wasn’t for him… But anyway, Black Messiah is the most important record of the year. That’s all we really need to know.

If you want your heart broken in a non romantic sense, then play and listen very carefully to The Charade. It captures everything that has been going on with yet again, police brutality and lack of a justice system. If  “All we wanted was a chance to talk, ‘stead we only got outlined in chalk. Feet have bled a million miles we’ve walked, revealing at the end of the day, the charade.” doesn’t move you, then maybe you side with the police. D’Angelo is a brilliant writer, a fascinating story-teller. Shit, Damn, Motherfucker will always be my favourite song by him because of how he puts you in that situation. There is something beautiful in the way he writes about pain, with a sort of child-like innocence to it all. He’s someone who watches and writes about it so effortlessly yet careful. He just knows what to say, and my god, I am happy the wait is over.


But let’s be honest now, any record that credits Q-Tip and Questlove is going to be nothing short of genius. Kids that were probably created to the sounds of Brown Sugar and Voodoo now have the opportunity to understand why D’Angelo is so so important. Black Messiah is a result of years of on and off, up and down. But it is here. It is finally here.

We’re living in a time where we have gone back, too far back. A time where we were supposed to have learnt from. Some have, others evidently haven’t. Black Messiah is THE record to zone out from the real world to. It’ll ease some hearts, unleash some tears and speaks so much truth. It is the most powerful record of the year. Hype isn’t always deserved, but when it comes to this- oh it is truly needed. The greatest singer around is responsible for the greatest release of the year, that’s all there is to it. Black Messiah is a real Soul/Funk record that will appeal to anybody and everybody, it’s just so bloody good. Music is powerful, trust no one who thinks otherwise. This record is an expression of desire for unity and freedom, if that doesn’t make you want to see a change in the world then I feel bad for you, I really do.

The record ends with Another Life, a six minute dreamy gem to drift you off some place else but keeps you in the moment enough to hit play all over again. Each song gives you something new and a different way of seeing things. Frustration and love trickle through the Black Messiah. 14 years is a crazy long time, but if this is what happens then maybe it’s alright. But, D’Angelo don’t leave us so long again.



“I don’t know how to make nice
I don’t know where I went wrong
I don’t know how to tell you
So I learned the words to all of your songs.”


I’m currently faced with one of the most difficult tasks in life- buying a new coat. I hate all of them and I think the best solution to not be cold is to just not leave the house during Winter. If I need anything, I can just buy it online. But then again, there’s the thing of having a job and having to leave the house to get there. It’s all so difficult. You know what else is difficult? Trying to break in my new Docs. I don’t want to part with my old ones. They’ve been through a lot. I clearly don’t adapt well to change do I.

Writing about a band that I love is usually easy. When it;s a band that I’m pals with, then it feels a bit weird. Then again, if I didn’t like it I wouldn’t write about it so there’s really nothing to worry about.

Yesterday, finally, Band Practice released their debut record Make Nice came out today. If I was going to make a list of brilliant records of 2014, I’d definitely put them in there. But I’m not doing that this year, I’ll do lyrics instead. Anyway. So the record came out today and it’s ridiculous.

Band Practice are Ben and Jeanette (she does The Miscreant magazine. I write for them, she’s awesome as is the magazine. She didn’t tell me to tell you that, I felt like it.) JW’s voice is beautiful.

The songs are everything you thought high school would be. For me, it was nothing like it. There were no crushing crushes, nothing of the sort. I was and always be an average bore. Band Practice have provided songs that will ease anyone out of their awkward stage, or in adulthood- make it easier to deal with.

The 9 track record starts with the awesome Band Practice Theme Song. JW pays a little homage to wonder kids Comfy in the line, “This is my big comfy scarf.” This is the perfect track to open Make Nice with. But I want to talk about my ultimate favourite off the record, Bartending At Silent Barn. It’s full of wonderful self-doubt and I’m pretty sure anyone who listens to it will relate to it a hell of a lot. I adore the line, “Nobody in my head likes me so sometimes I get lonely .” It’s such a sad line, and I’m fairly sure why I love it. I tend to go for lyrics that are quite self-loathing and the like. I love the way JW sings this song, and I feel a bit awkward talking about how she sings! I love how there’s a bit of a fed-up feel to her voice at the start, then a little giggle happens (I think it’s a giggle) and the song just smacks you beautifully in the face. The drums, always the drums isn’t it.

Band Practice have basically put a record out to fit every mood. If you want to sulk in your room, stay in your pjs and never see anybody again- this is the record for you. Ultimately,  you can also flail your limbs about to some of the tracks without a care in the world. Do a mix of all of them, but make sure you don’t overlook the lyrics. The lyrics are gorgeously crafted, and yet again, another band that make me wish I had even a small fraction of musical talent. Alas, I don’t. I just do this instead. Some of the songs will break your heart (Spare Parts) but really, what you’ll adore are the quick-witted lyrics sung by Jeanette and Ben. See, this is why duos are just the best.

Make Nice has been released by the great Chill Mega Chill, and you can buy the tape/download it here:

Embrace the cute corgis and play as loud as you like. Oh and if you’re fortunate to live in NYC, go their release show this Friday at 603 Upstairs :

2:54- Shacklewell Arms. 4th December 2014.




The best things in life are free (thanks Luther and Janet) and also, sometimes the best things are kept a secret. Yesterday afternoon whilst tearing my eyes away from work for a split second (15 minutes) I saw Bella Union’s clue as to who was their secret headliner for their Christmas show at the Shacklewell Arms. The clue was, “an East London bus route.” SO EASY. It’s 2:54. Easily. How did I guess it? Because that’s the bus I spend most of my life on. My plan after work was to go to the gym (this fatty has lost some weight) and go to sleep. Two things I enjoy. I also love 2:54. I love them more than the gym and sleep, and if I didn’t go I’d probably be a bit annoyed. So off I went!

A band called Landshapes were on first., who were mighty impressive. Their singer sounds a bit like both Emily and Jenny from Warpaint mixed with Foals-esque sounds. What I did hear/see was pretty damn good.

At around half 10 Alex, Colette and Hannah took to the stage to perform an acoustic set. Colette told me afterwards that they couldn’t get their gear out of their lock-up and get it to Shacklewell Arms in time, as they finish work at 9pm. The fact that they have day jobs makes me respect them a bit more you know? Most bands I listen to do work as well as in a band, it’s hard. It’s really hard. I can’t pretend I can relate, I wish I could. But not being paid to write about Music but having a desk job during the day isn’t really the same. Being in a band requires more effort and dedication.

I don’t know if it is old age or sheer tiredness, but I cannot remember the setlist. I know they opened with Crest and closed with Sugar. The Monaco was also played. I wish I could remember the other 2/3 songs they did, but it is half 8 and I’ve had 5 hours sleep. I hope today is gentle with me.

Seeing a band like 2:54 do an acoustic set was truly special. I don’t know how everyone else in the crowd felt (there was about 30 people, they all buggered off after Landshapes for some stupid reason) but it was beautiful. If you’ve ever seen 2:54 live you’ll know that it’s quite intense and heavy. They are gentle version of one of my favourite (and ultimately one of the greatest) bands, Sleep. My Gran has got me a Sleep t-shirt for Christmas, she’s the best. 2:54’s sound captures everything I absolutely love about music. They’ve got this heightened sensation in their sound that has really come alive on their new record, The Other I. Everything about their music is dark, ethereal and really intense. I don’t know how many times I play them at work to get me through staring at a spreadsheet. It bloody helps. I probably annoy everyone drumming along on the desk.

Alex, as I’ve said so many times, is easily my favourite drummer around. He’s a pleasure to watch and he just makes you wish you could play the drums. In their set last night he really shone during The Monaco. I love the regimented drumming on it mixed with Colette’s delicate voice. Then we have Hannah. If you ever feel the need to make a list of the best guitarists (please exclude gender as gender shouldn’t be a ruling factor) then she needs to undoubtedly be number 1. I think I spent the evening admiring her gorgeous Fender acoustic and being in awe of how brilliant she is. I could never get tired of watching them live or acoustic. I love how Colette is on stage, her enforcing hand gestures are equally as dominant during an acoustic set as they are during their normal live set-up. I’ve said it before, she moves on stage as if she could bust out a verse by say, Wu Tang Clan word for word with no problem at all. If you’re one of those people who seek to define music by gender or are constantly looking for “the best front-woman” then just look at her. However, if you want a band that have everything and know that gender shouldn’t define a person’s profession, then 2:54 are that band. What I’m trying to say is, 2:54 are bloody great and I want you to love them.

When you see a band you really love in such an intimate setting, it makes you appreciate their music a lot more and you hear the pieces you may not always hear on record. Not only are they an excellent band, they are genuinely the loveliest people I’ve met. Also, I know nothing about fashion but Colette had on a beautiful coat. Just incase you were wondering.

2:54 are out on tour in February playing Manchester, Bristol and London. A drunken decision was made last Friday with my good friend to go see them in Manchester. If I had the funds, I’d do Bristol too. But hey, 2 out of 3 isn’t so bad.

Go to your local record store and pick up the finest band on Bella Union’s new record, The Other I by 2:54. It is full of mystical wonder and heavy sounds, mixed with haunting vocals.


“Check your pulse when I speak.”

Originally I was going to write about Nadine’s new song, Stealing Cars. I started it last night, felt sick and went to bed. A new day has dawned, I’m still ill (Hi Moz!) so I’ve started it again. Why focus on one song when I can just ramble on for a bit about why her voice is probably one of the best things around.

Last year I wrote about Runaway for another website I write for. I didn’t acknowledge how it made me cry instantly. I never mentioned that Nadine’s voice can reduce me to tears instantly. Now I have, I should probably attempt to say why. You can hear proper venom in her voice in Runaway that won me over. Then I started really listening to the lyrics. I love lyrics, probably because at times I’m underdeveloped emotionally but if I could function properly I wouldn’t have filled up so many notebooks nor would I be doing this. You can hear her voice beautifully quake as she sings the chorus, you cling onto it all. You want to yell “whore” with her. Nadine doesn’t yell it, but it’s a word that makes you want to yell. Only if it’s in a song though, don’t go round calling people it. That’s not too polite. The music feels like a train approaching, all you can do is let it pass you by. It builds up hauntingly during the chorus. A year on and the song still gives me goosebumps (I’ve also got the window open.)

Love Your Dum And Mad was 2013’s most underrated record. I don’t care what you say, so many people bypassed such a beauty. Redeem yourself. As far as debut records go, this one is something else. The sheer darkness and Nadine’s way with words would make Nick Cave piss his pants. She’s instantly up there with him. Why? Because she puts you in the moment. I know she’s been compared to the likes of Nick Cave and to an extent it can be tiring. But my god she’s a majestic storyteller like him. She’s got power in her voice like Patti Smith, you can’t help but be in awe of her.

After playing Ville Morose most of today and last night, I am quite keen to start an online petition to get Nadine to sing a full record in French. Listen to it through headphones. No idea what she’s singing, mainly because my French goes as far as “Ou est la piscine” and my fondness for the French word for bin, “poubelle.” The latter probably annoyed my French teacher in school. “OU EST LA POUBELLE MISS!!” I got a C in my GCSE and I did it a year early. Très bon.

I’ve seen a few gigs recently in churches, and I can’t help but think that Nadine’s voice was made for the likes of St Pancras Old Church or the Union Chapel. Her voice is big at the right time in songs. She’s got the kind of voice I wish I had when I sing. It’s best if I don’t sing. Or speak in French. Much like Anna Calvi, she has this dominating deep voice that takes over you and sings with such clarity. She grips you with such a force, you almost don’t notice.

It has never happened before really, but her music reminds me of one of my favourite books, Bel-Ami by Guy de Maupassant and in places,  Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell. I don’t know what it is, maybe I go far too deep into things but her music and voice really gives such powerful imagery. Listen to Dreary Town, you’ll probably get what I mean. Her voice on that…if I had the words, I would use them. I don’t have any words to describe how powerful and beautiful it sounds. In some songs her accent comes through, like on Floating when she sings the word “Lover” it comes through. I love hearing accents in songs. Not London accents so much.

There’s a singer I’ve been writing about now for maybe nearly two years called The Long Wives (Brandy St. John) and her voice reminds me of Nadine’s. The way both really put you in the heart of the song with how they project certain words and aren’t afraid to be really open with their words. It’s a level of honesty that is missing in so many. I’m fairly sure if I went to one of Nadine’s shows I’d be the idiot at the back sobbing at every song. Sorry.

This is pretty much all over the place, mainly because I can’t really focus on one thing to write about at a time when it comes to her music. I listen to something, and I’m hit with something else. Sometimes that’s what you need. You don’t always want to feel or think of one thing when you listen to something. You want it all to hit you at once. I’m all for chaos as I loath routines and organisation.

I am fairly sure, and this is just me going by Stealing Cars, that Nadine’s new record which is out next year will be utterly special. A voice likes her’s is rare and divine. It is to be treasured yet played pretty much all the time. I adore the dark and creepy atmosphere in her music mixed with her captivating voice. She’s just sublime. J’adore!




Having not learnt my lesson from subjecting myself to really loud music on Monday evening, I’ve found a band who are brilliantly loud and sound like everything I want in a band. Oh how many times have a said that? How many times have I really meant it? I just love certain noises, and The Living Eyes are a certain noise. I write this as London looks like a grey abyss. There are certain bands you should listen to when the weather is like this. The Living Eyes are not this band, instead they take you to a warmer climate.

The Living Eyes will be releasing Living Large on 19th January. Put some Christmas money aside and treat yourself to what will evidently be one of 2015’s highlights. For those who adore the fuzzy tunes of Garage rock, The Living Eyes will certainly wet your whistle (calm down.) They remind me of a band that I never compare anyone to. One because no one sounds like them and two, I bloody hate comparisons. But I’m on my lunch break and this is as good as I’m going to get. They remind me of my beloved The Gruesomes. The Gruesomes were this raw and fearless band that shaped a lot of what I listen to. They are also the only band that I love that I’ve yet to own something on vinyl by. Finding any vinyl copies of their music is bloody expensive. I live in hope. I did find a copy of a Count Five record in a Parisian record shop last year. I’ve got a little hope, so I’ll cling.

The Living Eyes will make you feel as if you’ve donned your best Bermuda shorts and head for the nearest beach. But if you take one look outside, maybe just sit in your bedroom and flail your limbs about in a carefree fashion. I’m at work, I can’t do any of that. No fun.

The Living Eyes are a mighty band from Geelong (Australia.) Australia has an amazing Garage rock dare I say it, yes I shall “scene.” It’s on a par with most of the stuff from the States. They’re not afraid to be loud, and of course they capture the beach-vibe more than most. The Living Eyes are one of the most thrilling bands I’ve heard in a long time. I know bugger all about them. I don’t know how many records they have out, I don’t know how long they’ve been going for. I know nothing that would seem “vital.” All I know is that I bloody love them. That’s enough, right? In this case, love is enough.

Some will say these guys are Punk, some will beg to differ. Never beg, you’re not a dawwg. Anyway, the thing is the REAL essence of Punk is alive. It’s not in a shitty piss-pop “Punk” band like Paramore. Oh no. Not in the slightest. It’s in bands like The Living Eyes. These dudes are fearless and probably play recklessly. I’m talking playing until they bleed and fling their guitars around and nearly smacking each other. Blood, sweat and fear. They’re the kind of band that wake up that lazy part of you. The part that doesn’t come out too often. They are far too good to ignore and of course, to play quietly.

So yes, Punk is alive and well in bands like The Living Eyes who aren’t afraid to play with ferocity. I don’t know what their tour plans are, but go see them when and where you can. Maybe take a spare shirt with you if you have to get public transport home afterwards. Or just embrace all of the sweat and chaos. The latter is probably the best option.

Maybe you’ll dance to these guys, maybe you’ll break stuff due to uncontrollable movements. Whatever you do, make sure you play them loud and turn everyone you know onto these guys. It doesn’t get more exciting than this. Maybe they will save us all with their gloriously brutal sound.

Living Large will be released via Agitated Records. New song from the record right here:

2:54. St Pancras OId Church. 19th November 2014.


“Nobody here can make the feeling new.”

Second time seeing 2:54, second time seeing them in a church. It is fair to say that their eerie and ethereal sound is bloody glorious in a church, and I would fully back them playing these kinds of venues. Why? Because there is something quite beautiful about seeing a band like 2:54 in a church. I can’t actually put it into words what it feels like, but if you’ve listened to them you know what kind of environment they are perfect for.

Last week they released their second record, The Other I. As someone who is pretty much still obsessed with their debut record, I wasn’t sure if I was ready to let it go and move onto the next. Turns out I am, and I’m of course, obsessed with it. There is something about their music that makes me want to write about music constantly. Maybe it is because everything I adore about music is in their sound. Do I want it to sound a little creepy? Yes. Do I want lyrics that not only I can relate to, but are in awe of how they are placed together and sung? Yes. Do I want music to sound like I’m not where I currently am? Yes. Do 2:54 do all this and beyond? Of course.

The PA system blares out Tender Shoots. A delicate song to listen to through headphones, but through a PA in church, it’s haunting. I cannot remember the setlist, but I remember moments (made use of a happy hour in a bar beforehand, so go with me on this.)

I loved the little jam at the end of Scarlet which went straight into Sugar. Sugar for so long was a song that I played on repeat, then they made a video to it and it just went insane. It’s a song that’s got so much going on in it that my little head can’t get itself around. The drums on it. Oh man. More on the drumming in a bit. Some songs are met with a beautiful smirk from Colette who, on stage seems like this powerful being stalking the stage and commanding it with rapper-esque hand movements. Off stage, she seems the opposite. One of the most genuine souls I’ve ever met, but more on that later. The new songs are adored by the 120 or so of us in the room. I thought, how can they still be playing small venues like this? But the thing is, this is where they sound perfect. Last night’s show was the first of their tour, and anyone who has a ticket is in for a real treat.

The drumming. Alex is pretty much the best drummer I’ve seen live, and one of the best drummers I’ve heard on record. If you’re looking for a group of musicians to influence you to start a band, listen to 2:54 then go see them live. Church or no church, just please go see them. I hope a 14-year-old kid somewhere hears this band and starts something magical of their own. I’m however, 28 with no musical talent, it’s probably why I do this. Ha. Alex has this ability to make the songs sound more brutal live. 2:54’s sound is delicate but mixed with bold moments. Moments that just make you hit repeat all the time. He makes the drums sound like waves crashing around you, a prime example of this is during Creeping. I wish I had the money to do all of this tour just to see him drum. He’s nothing short of brilliant.

Hannah and Colette play No Better Prize together. Just Hannah on guitar and Colette’s blissful vocals. Her clarity when she sings is gorgeous, and you pick up on the lyrics much more. You pick out certain lines, and not only do you identify with them but you’re bloody grateful someone has said it. My favourite part of the gig was a cross between No Better Prize and South. I think I’m sold on South being my favourite off The Other I. It was Pyro but I’m sticking with South. I think the new bassist is called Rich? Sorry if I’m wrong. Anyway, he’s bloody brilliant. Bassists don’t get enough credit I don’t think. For 2:54, the bass really adds something haunting to their sound.

Their heavy sound mixed with gentle vocals is really what appeals to me. It’s like beauty and the beast (none of the band are beasts, I just mean mixing something ferocious with something tame.) There are a small number of bands I could quite happily watch for the rest of my time, 2:54 are evidently one of them.

At the end of the show, I hung around to buy myself a t-shirt (as always, I do my clothes shopping at gigs don’t I.) In complete shock to me, Colette recognises me. “You’re Olivia aren’t you?!” My ability to say something awkwardly daft thankfully past me by (thank you Happy Hour, thank you!) Her words about my writing meant a hell of a lot to me. Firstly, I never expect a band to read anything I write about them and secondly, if they do read it I wouldn’t expect them to remember! She said I write beautifully about the band. It’s easy to write about them because I just love them and I have done for ages! When you really believe in something, it is easy to put that across. I’m just someone who loves music in all its possible ways. Balls to the genre, I just want it to make me feel something. Her kind words are staying with me, and when I feel like stopping writing, I’ll replay them in my head.

I told her I sold my ticket for The Jesus And Mary Chain to be there last night. “I hope we were worth it” she said. You have no idea. Can February hurry up now please?!

2:54- The Other I.





There are a few bands that you can associate with dark and misty weather. A band that you trudge through muddy puddles just to purchase some grime supermarket sandwich on your lunch break or a band you will happily wander through the streets to get home in a torrential downpour, just because they fit the mood. You can go as far back as you like or you bring it up to date with a band that are just nothing short of excellent. I’m spending my lunch break wisely by listening to The Other I for the third time today and attempting to write something about it that hopefully puts across how great it is. Alternatively, you can skip this and just buy the record next Monday (it’s out 2 days before my 28th, November is an alright month.)

2:54 are a band I have spent a lot of time listening to and really appreciating everything about what they do. I think Alex is one of the best drummers around, Hannah makes me wish I could play guitar and Colette has this gorgeous voice that I part wish I had, and the other part of me wants to have her sing me eerie songs every night before I sleep so I have some wonderfully lucid dream. Everything about 2:54s music is what I love. They have this brilliantly dark tension to their sound which is what made me fall unapologetically in love with their music a few years ago. The demos/b-sides I heard before their first record came out made me realise instantly that they were going to be a band that I would have to always listen to. To this day, I play their first record almost constantly. It makes the journey to and from work a little easier, I push myself a little more at the gym when I listen to it, I walk home imagining their lyrics coming to life. Their words and music are like an old, sacred Gothic novel made for Autumn/Winter. The Other I really brings all I’ve mentioned to life in the most ethereal way imaginable.

I tried to wait until I got home to write about The Other I, so I could spend the rest of my afternoon at work listening to it whilst staring at a screen pretending to know what I’m doing. I obviously, like a child at Christmas, just couldn’t wait.

The first three tracks are ones we have already heard. I’ve written about them previously so you know how I feel about them. No Better Prize and Sleepwalker were made for you to have obscure dreams to. The best way to listen to music of any kind is through headphones whilst laying or sitting on your bed. Do it in the dark, set your mind free and go some place. However, listening to The Other I at work is equally as powerful. The images come through, and as hard as I am trying right now to not shut my eyes and go somewhere; their songs are strong enough for me to do it with my eyes open. Colette’s voice on Sleepwalker is beautifully haunting. Her voice has this perfect gentle tone to it but at the same time creeps you out- on Sleepwalker it really comes to life. The Other I sounds perfect against their debut record, one isn’t better than the other. Both are masterpieces, and I vow to stand by that.

Tender Shoots is a quiet and delicate gem, and before you know it you are hit with The Monaco. I’m pretty sure, if they do this live, the drums are going to sound insane live. It’s slightly more upbeat (tempo wise) than their others songs, but I don’t mean this is something to dance to. You just move your body differently to it than you would to others. On their first record, how you move to Sugar is different to how you move to revolving. Something takes over, and you just go with it. I know I go on about Colette’s voice, but there’s a little breakdown on The Monaco where it just echoes and it is standout moment, for me.

Everything gets heavier from Crest onwards, and you sort of feel like you’re listening to a band that got you through your teenage angst years. Instead, you’ve found the band that allow escapism for adulthood. I’ve been trying to figure out what song I love the most on The Other I. Part of me is besotted with Pyro, but then I listen to South straight after and I cannot choose. So I won’t choose. The Other I, if you’re looking for comparisons, heavier than their debut. There are some “smack you in the face” moments on their debut and there are plenty on The Other I.

I don’t know if I’ll make a list of my favourite records this year, but if I feel the need I think it is safe to say this is my number 1. I’m torn between Pyro and South right now, maybe if they play them live I’ll be able to make some kind of decision but life I guess, is too short to always have favourites. All I know is that The Other I is a perfect record to listen to on this dark, murky day. Just like their debut, I plan on listening to it constantly. Their London show on the 19th (November) has sold out but they’re playing Dingwalls in February.

2:54 are a quiet storm, a sacred listen. If you ignored them the first time, don’t make the same mistake again. They are a band that make you realise that not all new music sucks and not every band is copying what has been done before. The eerie atmosphere that flows throughout The Other I is one of the main reasons as to why I love the record. That, and the fact that a band I really bloody adore and believe in are back, that’s enough to make me happy right now. 2:54 are a band that I want everyone I know to listen to and to love, just because they have this indescribable quality to their music that just makes it feel like you’re listening to something truly precious. I hope some lost teenager hears their music and starts their own band; that’s just how much I really dig this band.

Alright, that’s enough. I’ll go to my work now.