Alpines-Empire (video.)

16 05 2012

If Kate Bush had a musical baby with Siouxsie Sioux, and got a bit of Depeche Mode in on it too- they would create Alpines. A few months ago I finally got to see them live. I stood still for their set. I didn’t move. I was in some kind of trance. Thing is, when I listen to them normally, I have the same reaction. You know when you hear something and it just stops you in your tracks? Everything just stuns you. You cannot wrap your head around it all because it, and I loathe the word so much, but it has this epic feel to it. Thing is, I don’t mean it in that annoying way that people use that word. They’re use the ones that use “LOL” or “FTW” when they TALK to you, and all you can do is picture several ways to leave them with a bloody lip. I’m using the word epic in its truest form.

Alpines create music that has this very grand but dark feel to it. Most of their songs have this intense build-up. You think you know when it is coming, when the final throe occurs. But they catch you off guard. Alpines are EASILY one of the best duos around. You can put them right next to Beach House with regard to creating euphoric music that hits you in the SOUL. It goes deeper than hitting you in the pit of your gut and the depths of your heart. Your soul is captured by these sounds.

The video to Empire is wonderfully dramatic, much like the song. Dark ,eerie, big and takes over every single part of you.

Florence + The Machine, The Horrors and the death of my soul..last night.

11 03 2012

I’m not going to review this amazing night in your typical fashion. If you’re going to any of the dates, you will be having the time of your life. If you have been already, you know how amazing it was. Jesus…”amazing” isn’t even the word. There are no words.

Alpines need a mention. They were STUNNING. I’ve always had a thing for duos that make a shitload of noise, and have an amazing stage presence. Also, Romy from The xx was stood in front of us watching them. Pretty damn cool.

I’ll get to the point- seeing The Horrors last night has completed a part of me that really needed it. You see, for the past 6 years I have been a HUGE fan of The Horrors. When I first heard Sheena Is A Parasite, I think it was like having some kind of strange experience that hasn’t happened before. This happened with every single record. Strange House, Primary Colours and more recently, Skying have all played a huge part in my life. As much as I love Florence, most of my excitement was firmly directed towards seeing Tom, Faris, Rhys, Joe and Josh. How a kid feels at Christmas was exactly how I felt last night. This intense and euphoric build-up was happening inside of me. They walked onto the stage and opened with Mirror’s Image. That song means far too much to me, it is on a par with She Is The New Thing- reminding me foolishly of anyone I may like at that specific time. However, thankfully I wasn’t reminded of anyone tonight. I didn’t think of anything but those 5 amazing musicians on stage that were singing the songs that mean so much to me. The stage presence they all have is just astounding. Josh kills the guitar. I do not trust anyone who cannot see how he is one of the best guitarists around. Tom plays the synths in such an eloquent manner- he indeed is a “frail gentleman.” Joe is one underrated drummer. The way he just plays makes me wish I could play the drums. Rhys sways like he is in some magical trance. As I was watching them, I could see myself starting to move like Rhys and singing every word as if they were written for me. Faris has a presence that causes you to be unable to tear your away from him. He grabs the mic stand and pulls at it in a fury that makes you want to do the same to the person in front of you. Does that make any sense? No? It’s okay, just go see them then you will understand. Oh, and Flo joined them on stage for Still Life. I cannot put it into words. I just can’t because when I think about it I get a bit emotional.

So, I should mention FATM now.

When I first saw her live, it was in a tiny room. About 200 people and she danced next to us during the support act. Now she is selling out arenas in a matter of minutes. One thing I’ve learnt from watching her become this amazing superstar is that, if you want something- you work your fucking arse off to get it. You just do not stop. Every single time I have seen her live, it has always felt like some kind of religious experience. When you see her once, you have to keep on seeing her. Once just isn’t enough. I hate writing gig reviews because I have no idea how to do it, all I can do is just sum up how the gig made me feel. The last 4 times I have seen her, it has always been close to something shit happening or me feeling a bit like poop. This time, not the case. Well, aside from having the worst cold ever and a now sexy cough to match- that’s all. Of course certain songs just caused me to have a bit of a cry. That note in No Light, No Light. The keyboard solo in Rabbit Heart. The bit where it really kicks in during What The Water Gave Me. The sheer beauty of Never Let Me Go. All of this and more just makes it feel like you are being cleansed. Your body, mind and soul is being rid of all the bad feelings you have and that horrific feeling of self-doubt just slips away from you as you watch FATM. You feel part of something, you feel as if she is singing the songs to save you. Heartlines keeps you going when nothing or no one else can. It is like a crutch. It is a crutch.

I could write so much more about this, but what good does it do? None at all. I’m just some rambling fool that saw three amazing bands last night and is probably in some kind of weird trance still.

I’ve re-read all I have written about this, and I feel I have so much more I  could say. I want to tell you how horrific it is to you find your way to and from Ally Pally. I want to explain to you how at a FATM gig you get people from all walks of life there. There is no certain type of person there. We are all there for one reason, and one reason only- we love the music. However, I did get annoyed at the drunken idiot stood behind me who only knew the words to Shake It Out but still managed to balls it up! I didn’t care that the drinks were over-priced, what do you expect anyway?! When we walked into the venue it looked like a mini festival. A guy was playing drums on a bike, food stalls, a photobooth in the style of a black cab- yes, we used it. Best £5 I’ve ever spent!

It was so much more than just a gig. It was some kind of community thing going on. Truly beautiful. Like I said earlier, when I go see FATM it is always ALWAYS like some kind of religious experience. I feel like I am feeling the best feeling in the world. Some of it is still a blur. I just cannot believe after waiting 6 years, I have finally seen The Horrors live.


10 11 2011

If Burial had a musical baby with The XX with the slight (and I do mean slight) soul of say James Blake you’d come up with a lovely duo called Alpines.

Boy/girl duos have pretty much been amazing this year from Wye Oak to The Kills to Big Deal.

See, sometimes a band can sound far too over-produced. That too much thought has gone into what they are doing, and because they have done this- they lose sight of who they really are. Thankfully Alpines are not like this. Their sound is so naturally euphoric and just overwhelms you with a sense of utter bliss. The vocals are like a warm blanket to cover you on these dark and dull days.

This is the perfect music to listen to whilst wandering around your town or city with just the flickering of the street lights to guide you. Stay on the pavement though. The music provides the soundtrack to getting lost. There is no problem with getting lost, it just makes you appreciate everything a little bit more. Alpines should be massive. Will they be? That’s up to the general public. If there was any justice, they would be. But we live in a country where utter bollocks dominates the airwaves. Well, at least bands like Alpines exist to soften the blow that greets us every time we put the radio on. I’m not going to give them a genre to fall into, that’s not my place. I doubt you could actually pin-point their sound. That’s probably why I love them so much.