SIT DOWN.

20 03 2020

 

SITDOWN

 

Well, for the foreseeable we have no gigs to look forward to but that doesn’t mean we can’t get hyped up over new (and old) bands. It just means when everything is back to whatever “normal” will be, we will enjoy the shows much more. Music is so important. It keeps a lot of us going. It is the lifeline for so many of us, and those who make the music- well, it’s their lifeline too. Before I go into writing about Sit Down, I’d just like to mention as I’m sure you know, Bandcamp are waiving their revenue fees today so all the money will go directly to the band/singer. If you can afford to buy a song or two, please help out your favourites. But please, only if you can afford it.

 Right then.

 Sit Down are a duo from Brighton. You know how I feel about duos; from The Kills to JOHN; I just love them. I love how noisy they are, and how it’s just two people that are making killer noise. You can add Sit Down to the list of killer duos. They have this beautiful and intense sound; it goes beyond anything I’ve ever really heard before. You don’t know what to expect, but every song feels like a Glaswegian kiss- perfect!

 

 

Katie has the effortlessly cool task of drumming and singing. Anyone who can sing and drum at the same time, especially like this is like a superhero to me. It takes something that is beyond human to do it, and I think anyone who can do it is just exceptional. Katie is brutal and takes no prisoners. She’s got the same ferociousness to her sound like Fay from Savages (hands down one of the best drummers EVER!) and give it time, and people will be saying Katie is one of the best drummers of all time. Trust me on that. Then you have Greg who is an absolute monster on the guitar- if you’re into bands like Table Scraps, then you’re going to fawn over Sit Down. The heaviness they both have is just intoxicating, and it’s what we need right now and all the damn time.

 Sit Down have been going a few years now, and over the past 2 years they have truly built something that is getting stronger and bigger.  Their debut EP from 2018, Cheap Luxe is such a dirty and gritty Garage Rock record, and it makes you think there’s more than 2 of them making this noise. It’s nothing short of brilliant and is such a great way to make their sound known. It oozes power from start to finish, but what else would you expect from the self-confessed Hell’s House Band.

 At the moment, I’m really stuck on Take A Seat. It’s got this Trip-Hop feel to it mixed with some spooky shit. It sounds like it was made for a Horror film, a real gory Horror film at that! I love how they can create certain moods and atmospheres with their sound, and how they really take the listener off into a fantasy world. It’s like they are possessing you with their sound, and you cannot help but feel like you’re in a trance when you listen to them. I really get that feel when I listen to Take A Seat, and when it kicks in- that’s when you fall deeper into their world.

 They’ve also JUST released an aptly titled song, Quarantine which pretty much sums up how we are all feeling now. Katie sings and screams her heart out on this one, and it’s like she is unleashing the world’s furies on this. It perfectly captures how vulnerable and unsure we are all feeling right now. One of the only good things to come out of this is bands like Sit Down giving us these hard-hitting anthems that one day soon, hopefully, we can sing right back at them.

 

 

 

Sit Down have that excellent Trashy Rock ‘n’ Roll sound going on, and it’s apparent on songs like Teeth and Honeysucker. Both songs are perfect if you’re just getting into the band. That decadent sound is throughout both songs, and the louder you play them the better they sound. Look, if we have to self-isolate then we might as well introduce our neighbours to some new music too, right? Play Teeth super loud, have a party through the walls. Enjoy!





GURU.

23 02 2018

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Last night, I braved the bitter cold and went to the Lock Tavern in Camden to see a band I had wanted to see for ages- Dr Chan. However, my review of their set will come later on. Right now I just need to write about the absolutely fantastic GURU who are from Brighton. They are loud and nothing short of exciting.

What I loved about their set and their music in general is that it isn’t what you expect. When they took to the stage, I kind of expected them to have a relaxed sound. What hit us all was this gorgeous loudness that reminded me of Sleep but the vocals were something else. I’m not one of these people who say “Oh it is hard to impress me” when it comes to music. I know what I like, and I tend to like stuff that’s a bit dark and tormented and loud. GURU are of course, my ideal band. I’m useless with names, but my god the singer is brilliant. His vocals on the song Roses are exceptional. It is such a great song. To first be aware of them by seeing their live show is awesome. I’ve listened to some of their songs on bandcamp/soundcloud, and it seems much tamer. I love a band that really let rip in their live shows.

The bassist from GURU is massively impressive. I stood pretty close to him (the stage is tiny at the Lock Tavern) and for fear of being smacked in the head by the bass, I moved back a bit. I think I spent most of their set just gawping in awe at him. I loved how he threw himself to his knees during most of their set. I loved how during the last song, the singer walked off and the remaining three just went even wilder on stage. There is no other band around that are like this. They are truly something else, and I am so happy to have seen them.

I’m finally leaving London next month, and I really do hope that GURU find their way up north because they have a fan for life right here. I love the proper aggression in their sound and how every song is played (on record and live) with this urgency that just makes you cling on to every single word. It makes you believe in every single word. They are easily one of the best bands you’ll ever see live. They are just so fascinating and incredible. I honestly feel like whatever I write about them just doesn’t do them justice. GURU are one of those bands that just blow you away. I love that they just fucked over my expectations of them with how I thought they would sound.

If you are able to catch this band, please do. You won’t regret it. Allow yourself to be left deafened by their glorious sound, to have your face melted and your record collection improved immensely. They are easily one of the most exciting bands you’ll hear this year, probably. Brighton’s finest, for sure.

 

*photo credit: Sophie Benjafield





ANCIENT TIMES.

6 08 2013

 

 

I should probably start some kind of support group for my addiction to Soft Power Records. However they are the ones fuelling my addiction and I’m more than okay with it.

They’ve sent me a lot of music that is just exceptional. Especially the likes of Autumns and September Girls. They’re like a tailor-made music service. So when I checked my emails earlier and saw something from them, I knew I was about to listen to something that would be nothing short of brilliant.

Like Autumns, Ancient Times is one person making their own sound. They have each created something that maybe has been done before, but by no means are they a copy. As I listened to Ancient Times I immediately thought of one person who George Smale reminded me slightly of; Morrissey. I imagine those who dislike/don’t get Moz will automatically turn their noses up at this, but whatever. George has a vulnerable voice that flows so beautifully over wonderfully crafted crooked and creepy sounds.  You’d think hailing from the sunny delight that is Brighton he would make music that projects that; well, he doesn’t nor does he need to. His music makes me happy but he doesn’t need to go on about how beautiful everything looks in order to do this. Everyone experiences happiness in different ways, and beauty too.

His latest single, Nightschool/Hieroglyphic is a perfect introduction to the debut vinyl release of such a talent. With the likes of Dirty Beaches proving you do not need to have 5 people in a band to make glorious music; I think Ancient Times is going to be just fine with what he does. When one person puts their all into something, they become more believable and maybe accessible. There are no hidden meanings, just a wealth of passion in his music which is bloody infectious and of course, delightful.

Now I’m not fully aware of the music scene in Brighton. I can only hope Brighton is aware of George and treasures him as he makes his way into the corrupt world of the music industry. But I think he will be just fine. There’s strength in his vocals and poise in his lyrics. He’s going to go far, there’s no denying that.

The vinyl is released  via Soft Power Records on 16th September 2013, and you can listen to it here: http://softpowerrecords.bandcamp.com/releases

 





MISHKIN FITZGERALD-Present Company.

28 03 2013

 

Last year I wrote about an amazing band from Brighton called Birdeatsbaby. They had this brilliant cabaret feel to their music, something which I’d never really enjoyed before until then. More than likely because they had a dark vibe going on. It basically felt like Nick Cave at the circus, it was amazing. Now their lead singer has a solo record out, and it’s a lot darker and I think my ability to not be able to sleep means I’m going to ramble on more than usual. You take the good where you can.

Let’s just firstly appreciate that She Makes War feature on the song Raise The Bar. The guitar kicks in with haunting vocals and nothing else really seems to matter; it’s enough to melt your brain but you cannot help but listen to it intensely. It’s an intense song with a few dramatic build-ups and quiet moments that may spook you. It is bloody excellent.

The title track, Present Company is the perfect opener and just shows how strong her voice is. It also shows how deeply influenced by classical music Mishkin is. Her voice sounds so vulnerable over the piano, think Nick Cave singing Into My Arms. That kind of vulnerable. Then the drums kick in and she develops this attitude that is found in my idol, Patti Smith. A song that sounds so simple is made up of so much. I’ve had it on repeat, I should move onto the rest of the record. The drumming on this song is so furious, it is perfect.

My Body, A Bridge is incredibly chilling. It sounds so eerie and is just so beautifully sad. Some of the best songs ever written are sad. There are no other words to describe them, sad is the only word you can use. I’d probably cry if I wasn’t too tired (and I’m pretty sure I cried enough at Beach House on Tuesday to last a while!) Again, it is so simply composed but you know there is so so much more to it.

The constant vibe surrounding this record is dark. It is probably why I like it. I’m not really one for enjoying songs that are about sunshine and flowers. That isn’t for me. I want poetic words over haunting music. You pretty much get all that and more from Mishkin’s record. She sounds so fearless and in control of every element of this record. How many artists can you sense that from? Not many. She has that raw energy that is found in the likes of Shirley Manson and Courtney Love.

I love how cryptic most of the songs sound, especially on I Want This. Cryptic and slightly menacing, but you don’t really pay too much attention to that because of how strong yet delicate her voice sounds. And also, her piano playing skills are simply gorgeous. This is a person who truly believes in music, more importantly THEIR music, which is how it should be. It is nothing like Birdeatsbaby which is a good thing. Her solo record is a different side to her, but just as divine as the music she makes in Birdeatsbaby.

There can sometimes be beauty in heartache, Present Company demonstrates that in such a careful way with utter truth. Stitches is going to be the song that hits you right in the gut. It is phenomenal.

Present Company is out on the 1st May on Dead Round Eyes Records.