2:54. Union Chapel- 8th September 2014.

 

 

Last night I went to two gigs in one night, remind me to NEVER do that when I have to be up at half 6 the next morning for work, but obviously it was worth it. It usually is. My ability to be alert today slipped away at around 1.30pm when I spilt my lunch down my white Velvet Underground t-shirt.

The first gig that I went to last night was the Bella Union showcase down the road from me at Union Chapel. I know I’m a fan of dark, dingy places to see bands but the Union Chapel is marvelous. Go see something there, it doesn’t matter what or who it is- just go. I’m choosing to only write about 2:54 because they pretty much were my reason for going. Anyone who knows me (sorry about that) knows how much I adore that band. There is something about their sound that makes me want to always write about music and on the flip side of this, makes me loathe the fact that I cannot play an instrument. I’ve got a cowbell somewhere but I don’t think cowbell players are in demand are they?

If you’ve been lucky enough to see 2:54 live, you’ve probably left in awe of Alex’s drumming skills. I left the gig wishing I could beat the shit of the drums like he does. He’s got this incredible way of making every cymbal crash sound like a wave coming over you and you just drift away peacefully into this eerie world that 2:54 create in their music. I know I say it with a few bands I’ve written about, and I’ve probably said it before about 2:54 but the atmosphere in their music reminds of one of the best records ever made- Seventeen Seconds by The Cure. If I get that feeling from a band, then I’m pretty much sold. The kind of music that makes you feel as if you’re lost in the woods with mist descending down on you, and you feel lost. Part of you wants to escape, the other part of you just wants to keep on walking. Hannah, is one ferocious guitar player, and I sincerely hope she is inspiring people to pick up the guitar and make their own noise. Their bassist? Watch him. He’s insanely excellent.

2:54 treat us all to some new songs from their record which is out 10th November (2 days before my 28th birthday!) and it all sounds bloody glorious. Their dark and beautifully moody sound is back to warm our hearts and souls once more. Although, I must admit I still play their debut record every day to and from work. There is something about their debut record that I’ve not found in much else, so I keep playing it. I think it is also because I’m partially in love/awe with Colette’s voice.

As it was my first time seeing 2:54, I can’t think of a better place to have seen them other than at the Union Chapel. The sound in the chapel is perfect, I’m pretty sure me singing Mariah Carey tunes would sound wonderful in there (going too far? Probably….) Some venues are made for certain bands, and the Union Chapel was definitely made for 2:54.

I enjoy sitting down as much as anyone else, but it felt really weird watching them put their all into their set and we were all sat down staring at them. I wanted to be at the front singing Scarlet back at them or air-drumming along to Sugar. When they went into Sugar I just wanted to stand up and move in a questionable fashion, but I’ve got a lot of self-control so I stayed seated. Their mini jam at the end of Scarlet was bloody brilliant too.

I don’t know the names of their new songs, but they did play In The Mirror and they ended with Orion. Colette put her guitar down for Orion, and her stage presence really shone through on that song. She’s got this dominating glow about her on stage that lures you in. One of the songs they did, I think it may have been the third one (possibly) was brilliant, and seeing Orion live made me really excited about the new record, The Other I. They’re the kind of band you’d want to sit down, and just talk about music with. Whether it be their own, or what influences them (can someone sort this for me?!)

After seeing them last night, I’m pretty happy to say that 2:54 are one of the best bands around and are one of the best bands I’ve seen live. Their shows in November cannot come round quick enough!

2:54-In The Mirror.

 

 

There are two reasons as to why today didn’t suck. Number 1- Morrissey announced a London show and number 2- there’s a new 2:54 song.

A few weeks or so ago, the wonderful Colette and Hannah brought the single Orion into the world and got us all hooked. Or maybe just me. I play it a hell of a lot every day. It gets me through work, and their debut record is still getting played daily. There is something about 2:54 that is perfect for grey days like today. As London was battered by rain today and the Summer quickly faded to be taken over by heavy, thick grey clouds- there is only one band you should be listening to (it’s 2:54.)

In The Mirror pretty much justifies why Colette Thurlow has one of the most gorgeous, haunting and entirely gripping vocals I’ve heard in a long long time. She’s got an ethereal sway to her voice that makes those who cannot sing (like myself) wish they could. She sings with this delicate power that immediately has hold of you. She could sing me the Yellow Pages and I’d be utterly captivated.

With a lot of bands they can fall into a trap as they face the release of their new record, but with 2:54 they sound equally as exciting as they did a few years ago when they first came out. I’ve got this horrible feeling that 2:54 are overlooked and underappreciated by so many, I just don’t understand how. They’ve got something that makes them tower above so many. I’m not being lazy wth my word, but I really can’t begin to describe their sound. I think me not being able to describe their sound is really what makes me love their music so much. They are the kind of band that I want to write about always, and make me want to write about music constantly.

2:54 make music for you to wander around under the bulging grey skies that are fit to burst at any time; In The Mirror is another eerie gem by them and has made me even more excited about their new record.

254theotheri

2:54 will be releasing their second record on Bella Union (so proud!) and is titled The Other I. The record is out 10th November (2 days before my birthday.) Here is the track listing:

1. Orion
2. Blindfold
3. In The Mirror
4. No Better Prize
5. Sleepwalker
6. Tender Shoots
7. The Monaco
8. Crest
9. Pyro
10. South
11. Glory Days
12. Raptor

You can preorder it here:  http://store.bellaunion.com/product/2-54-the-other-i

The artwork is really beautiful.

As the sun seems to be slowly creeping out for the next half hour or so here in Hackney, I’ll welcome the nighttime by playing In The Mirror on repeat.

2:54-Orion.

Photo by Joseph Piper

 

 

I heard Orion by 2:54 this morning and all I’ve wanted to do was leave work and write about it.

So two things- 2:54 are back (PRAISE WHOEVER!!!!) and they are now signed to Bella Union.

Is Orion any good? Nah. It’s not good at all. It’s INCREDIBLE.

Their debut record is one I still play pretty much every day. Colette’s voice is bloody beautiful, I don’t want to imagine a world where it doesn’t exist. Her voice can make you tremble with how captivating and how haunting it is. Hannah is probably one of the best guitarists around. They make me wish I had a sister so I could form some kind of band like 2:54. Alas, I don’t have a sister. I’ve got a cool big brother who is the best goalkeeper on the Isle of Man. There’s a lot of proof surrounding this.

Orion has that eerie sound that made me fall right in love with 2:54 many moons ago (alright it wasn’t that long ago, it was about 3 years ago.) They have this beautiful moody feel to their music that is unlike anything else around. Sure they’ve had every Goth-like comparison under the sun thrown at them, but who cares?! They are a solid band who are just a joy to listen to. I’ve been waiting for them to come back for AGES. Comeback of the year for sure. Sorry Morrissey, you know I love you..but this is different.

2:54 are going on tour in November, and you can catch them here:

7th – Ramsgate, Ramsgate Music Hall
19th – London, St. Pancras Old Church
20th – Sheffield, The Harley
21st – Glasgow, The Broadcast
22nd – Manchester, Soup Kitchen
24th – Nottingham, The Corner
25th – Bristol, The Louisiana
26th – Brighton, The Hope

The London date clashes with me going to see The Jesus And Mary Chain (it’s alright I’m seeing them in Manchester and their other London date…if you want a ticket to their Troxy date….) Oh and 2:54 are also playing Union Chapel on 8th September (the day I start my new job) as part of the Bella Union, Labelled With Love showcase. Tickets for that and their Ramsgate show are already on sale, and the other dates go on sale this Wednesday.

Orion is exactly what I expected from 2:54, and by that I mean brilliant. You know when a band you love go away for a while, and they come back and all the reasons as to why you love them smacks you in the face when you hear new music from them? That’s pretty much what happened when I heard Orion this morning. Like a giddy toddler who has eaten some Skittles on the sly.

Their new record will be out later this year; perfect for the early dark evenings as you walk through the mist home.

2:54, don’t leave us for that long again!

2:54-Killer (cover.)

“Is there still a part of you that wants to live.”

I’m going to try not to rant a lot about my love for 2:54 because, most are probably tired of it. It is pure love and admiration. They make me wish I could play an instrument and make haunting music. Instead I just write lyrics/poems that no one will ever see. Mainly because I’m ashamed. It’s weird, and it pisses me off. I don’t need telling that I’m being stupid, I already know. I really do.

I dislike covers. Well, I dislike covers that are badly done. I hate “talent” shows because it is generic and dull. You basically stand there, sing and you are either told you aren’t good enough or “you’re going to be a star.” We don’t need that. Yet most seem to love watching it. I don’t understand. So basically, 2:54 have taken one of the best songs of the 90s and made it incredibly haunting.

If you have their debut record (if you don’t, please buy it. Record of the YEAR!) you will be familiar with their eerie and hypnotising tones. Colette’s voice is easily one of the most distinctive and powerful voices around. Some may assume that being able to hit a stupidly high note means you are a strong vocalist, I don’t believe that. The strongest singers are the ones that give you so many feelings. The strongest are the ones that sing in a way that captivates you and grips you- you never want them to let you go.

Their take on Adamski/Seal’s track, Killer is nothing short of perfection. For me, the only way to do a cover well is to just make it your own. This is why I love it when the likes of Cat Power and The Kills cover songs, because they make you think THEY wrote the song. 2:54 do exactly that with their take on Killer. You fall for 2:54 even more when you listen to this, and you truly believe in the words again. I was only 5 years old when the original came out, but I remember being utterly obsessed with it. Now I am obsessed with 2:54’s version of this timeless song.

You can listen to the stunning cover here : http://soundcloud.com/twofiftyfour/2-54-killer

They’re also touring in November. If anyone wants to get me some tickets for the London date as an early birthday present, that will be most welcomed 😉

2:54- Sugar (video.)

“Unfamiliar territory gets the best of me.”

I have to be super quick with this because my bus is in 10 minutes and I’m not a fast walker.

Right, you know how much I am in love with 2:54 right? You know their record is my favourite of the year? Since May I have had it on constant repeat. Every song moves me in ways no other band can do. They warm my bones and blow my mind. I love love LOVE them. I’ve been in love with them for the 2 years of so. Creeping, the original version felt like a wave of euphoria take me over. This happened multiple times as I played their debut record. I felt alive. I felt so much, and I still.

ANYWAY.

New single is my favourite track off the record, Sugar. I play the record when I’m at the gym and abusing the rowing machine. Sugar always makes me go faster and nearly break stuff. Including myself. I realised recently that Sugar would be an amazing lap-dancing song wouldn’t it? I have my pervy/weird moments, this song brings it out fully. Colette’s vocals on this track are perfect. It’s like she is seducing you and you can imagine her staring at you with prowling eyes..getting deep into your soul. Taking you over. It’s not just Colette that does that to you. Throughout the whole album Joel, Alex and Hannah take you over. This song is a prime example of it; and all the more reason for you to go buy the record.

2:54-2:54.

 

“It’s easy undercover. Hiding away.”

Sometimes a band does something to you that makes you feel like you have felt the most wonderful feeling ever in life. When you hear this band or a specific song, everything you feel is heightened. You cannot control what your limbs do and all that floats around your head. You fall out of yourself and you find something else to sink so deep into. It’s like being in love, but without the nagging. It is a sense of freedom and feeling utterly content with your surroundings. I first felt this way when I first heard A Forest by The Cure. How that song makes me feel, I compare to most bands/singers. If I don’t feel this way when I listen to something, I won’t be a fan. However, sometimes my affections are delayed. It all depends. How I feel about Warpaint, well, you know how I feel about them. Everything they make me feel is EXACTLY how I felt the first time I heard A Forest. Every single time I play Warpaint my whole frame of mind changes. It is almost like meditating in a way. I don’t know what the exact word is for how I feel; but it truly is like being in a euphoric state. Warpaint have had this reign over me since 2009, I know it won’t go away. Yet, could I ever feel this way about a band again? YES. In short, YES. Late 2010 I heard a song called Creeping. I didn’t pay much attention to it, but every so often I’d listen to it and just feel something I couldn’t put into words. Then I delved deeper into the band, and it became much like how I feel about Warpaint. By “much like” I mean EXACTLY the same.

2:54 make me sway, shut my eyes and go some place where another could never take me. I’ve been waiting for their debut record for SO long. I think this proves just how patient I am. My love for my favourite musical siblings (best siblings in music) goes beyond. To even try put into words how much I love their debut record is going to mentally exhaust me. It’s cool because I’ve had hardly any sleep, and when that happens I have an outburst. I have no idea how I function most of the time. I’ll try to write this in a way that makes sense. It won’t though.

Their debut record sounds like something a band that have been going decades would create. The production is so bloody perfect. Everything. The bass, the drums, the guitar, the vocals. All of it. It is just like a chunk of Heave echoing in your ears, making your bones tremble and shake. You find yourself slipping into some strange trance as you listen to this album. Part of you wants to stay still, the other part of you seems to think jolting your body is the best way to go about this. Do what you want.

This record will make you happy. It’ll make you aroused. Your body will move, your will nod your head in a way that may cause a headache afterwards. You will feel every beat in every song. You just cannot sit still. There is something extremely special about this record. It has a haunting feel to it that just sounds so powerful and beautiful. For every nightmare you have, there is a dream waiting to come out from it. From every demon you have to chase away, something good will eventually happen after the fight, This record is like a symbol of this. It’s something so truly special, I really cannot express it enough. I’m going to call it as DEBUT record of the year. There’s no other way of putting it. It’s on a different level to everything out now, which is probably why it’ll be overlooked. Dear Sod’s Law, kindly piss off.

2:54 have this way of making you feel as if you are leaving your body as you listen to them. When the record ends, the only way to deal with the harsh reality is to keep playing the record. I spent most of today travelling from Birmingham back to my mum’s (Isle of Man, sadly.) I had the album on repeat. Everything just felt better. I’m trying my hardest to write this in a way that isn’t personal, but I can sense I am about to fuck up soon. Although I am trying to do this, I hold a lot of sentimental value to the album. Easy Undercover is lyrically my favourite, probably because it sums up how I feel right now. “If you go, you will never know.” I am terribly good at leaving something and never finding out. I just adore the album.

When you wait for so long, you sometimes become a bit dubious and wonder if it’ll be worth waiting for. The impression a debut record leaves will always be greater than any other. A false start can fuck it up forever. Obviously 2:54 have gone beyond all expectations. Every song has creepy riffs and haunting vocals that are enough to make you want to start your own band. (I really want to start a Garage rock tribute band of the Backstreet Boys and call ourselves Alleyway Whores..anyone?!)

They have a hold on you that you are fully okay with. To let go or to even turn a blind eye to 2:54 would be utterly foolish. They really do deserve to be bloody huge. I have a feeling it is going to be how I listen to Warpaint- an utterly sacred experience.

I could easily have summed all of this up by saying it is brilliant, but when you know a band have put their all into something- then you must do the same in return. This is an extremely atmospheric record that will cover you in goose-bumps, and for every part of you that you feel is lost- you will find it in this record. Their debut record has the darkness of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, the eerie feel that is found in Seventeen Seconds by The Cure and the power of sending you deep into another universe much like Warpaint. Put that all together and you have something truly remarkable and something you must treasure. Colette’s vocals remind me of Siouxsie Sioux. The way she lingers on every word, and sings with such passion really does place a firm hold around your heart.

If you buy this record, your collection will look a billion times sexier.

2:54-You’re Early (video.)

ANOTHER mind-blowing, eerie and euphoric track from my favourite duo right now, 2:54. I fell in love with them when I first heard Creeping back in 2010. I just think they’re one of the best bands around. They have that haunting feel that you will find in The Cure’s Seventeen Seconds. Like you are being chased through an abandoned forest, with no hope of getting out. Do you even want to?

You’re Early is bloody brilliant. 2:54 are on tour next week :

4/02 – Norwich, UK – Waterfront Studio
4/04 – Manchester, UK – The Deaf Institue
4/05 – Glasgow, UK – Captain’s Rest Glasgow
4/10 – Bristol, UK – Thekla
4/11 – Brighton, UK – The Green Door Store
4/12 Tumbridge Wells, UK – Forum
4/13 Liverpool, UK The Shipping Forecast
4/14 Leeds, UK – Cockpit
6/07 London, UK – Scala

Go see them. It’ll be like an outer body experience. Much like when you listen to them really.