FOALS. Royal Albert Hall. 28th March 2013. Matinée Show.

28 03 2013


I’ve loved Foals from the very start. I’ve wanted to see them live from the first day I ever heard of them. No one I knew ever liked them enough to go with me to see them. Fortunately, I have a brilliant girlfriend who understands my love for them. So after waiting what seemed an eternity, this afternoon I finally got to see them. I didn’t think I could deal with the excitement after seeing Beach House on Tuesday because since then everything has been a blur, and I think it still is. I think this is the only way to solider on through life in general. Stay in a daze.

They came on stage. One by one. First Jimmy, then lastly Yannis. It was kind of hard to see Yannis as he’s only a few inches taller than me. I’m not exactly tall, but you learn to embrace being short. I suppose.

The set list is incredible. Who cares that Afterglow or Cassius or Balloons wasn’t played. They ended on Two Steps, Twice. Nothing can beat that. NOTHING. Oh maybe except for Yannis going into the crowd a few times. No big deal (it really was.) Mid-set he had sailed through the seating area with his guitar then into the standing. Greeted by roaring cheers. Fans anxious to touch and take a photo of their modern-day hero.

I want to talk about the venue briefly before I go on about how incredible this afternoon was. I’ve never been to the Royal Albert Hall, but I’ve always wanted to see something special. Even from the outside, you know you are about to walk into something truly spectacular. When I walked in, I was in awe of how many people were there. Everything from the stage set-up to the general architecture of the building was truly breath-taking. Then Foals came on and just blew my mind. The way they play is just so bloody tight, and with so much love. Jimmy jangles about the stage; his towering frame is difficult to tear your eyes away from. Jack’s drumming is just out of this world. Walter is the smoothest bassist around. Edwin is in another world on the keys. Yannis is probably one of the best frontmen around. He doesn’t need to engage in pointless talk to keep you hooked. The way he sings every single word- especially off their latest record, Holy Fire seems like some kind of much needed release.

I never thought, for some reason they would play Bad Habit live. But they did, and I really don’t think I can fully explain how badly I wanted to hear it.  Holy Fire is a beautiful record, and lets face it; it is the best record of 2013 so far. On record it is just so stunning. How can it sound equally as beautiful live? Quite easily. When they played Moon it was honestly one of the best moments I have ever EVER seen at a gig. You don’t need me to tell you how gorgeous Spanish Sahara was too. You know that euphoric point in the song? Just after the intense build-up? If you’ve never witnessed it live, then you may not have experienced perfection.

I thought I couldn’t take anymore strobe lighting after Beach House on Tuesday, turns out everyone loves a strobe! The lighting at the Royal Albert Hall was just phenomenal. A lot of time and effort, and so much thought and care has evidently gone into playing their two shows today at the Royal Albert Hall. I’m not really sure if anyone else could pull off something so brilliant. The crowd was jumping up and grabbing the lights and just generally having the best time. For that hour and a half, nothing in the world seemed to matter. Nothing does matter when you’re in the company of one of your favourite bands really. How could you possibly have a care in the world when stood in front of one of the best bands this country has?! What was also lovely about the crowd was the diversity. There wasn’t a generic kind of person there. Foals fans love music, you can tell just by watching how they react to seeing them live.

What I really loved was looking around this gorgeous venue and just seeing everyone going a bit mental to certain songs. Songs such as My Number and Total Life Forever. Looking around and see everyone glow in the midst of everything was just gorgeous. I don’t have a strong memory, but this afternoon’s gig is something that is going to be permanently cemented in my brain for a very long time. You try your best to cling onto certain moments in life to get you through, I think this will be one of them.

From Jack stepping out from the drums to get the crowd to clap to Yannis’ vocals on Late Night, everything about this afternoon was excellent. More bands should do matinée shows because when you leave you feel you are in a dream world. Maybe you are. It’s hard to believe a band like Foals are real. I always knew they put on a brilliant live show from reviews I’ve read and clips I have seen, but to finally see it for myself is something else. Something that just makes you want to keep on seeing it. It may be the first time I’ve seen them, but I know it sure as hell will not be the last.

Like with Beach House earlier in the week, this show just proved that waiting is not really an issue, especially if it is for something as special and as magnificent as this. Not only did Foals reinforce my love for them this afternoon, but also for my love for music in general. It’s easy to just like a band or music out of habit, but this was out of this world. The way the lighting looked like ripples in water during Spanish Sahara to the ending of Inhaler, this show was just made up of special moments that I will always hold very dear to me.

FOALS-Holy Fire.

11 02 2013

“It is perfect. It is beautiful and still.”


My opinion on Foals is biased. Biased because I adore them and because everything I want in a band; they are exactly it. I also think Yannis is probably the best frontman around. That’s a different matter though (but I’ve watched enough interviews he’s done to come to the conclusion that he’s just brilliant, intelligent and really really bloody funny.) Anyway, what’s changed since Total Life Forever? In short, everything.

Holy Fire is out of this world. I guess some would be dubious about whether or not they could make something as great as their previous two records; but when you love a band with everything you have you believe that they can do no wrong. You believe in them and when presented with their new record, you feel at home again. You fall in love with the band all over again because all the reasons that caused you to fall in love with them the first time around just hits you all over again. This is happening right now as I listen to Holy Fire.

As soon as the CD came in the post today (I ordered it from my favourite record shop, Resident Records in Brighton. I fully recommend you buy something from them. Excellent customer service both in the shop and online) I opened it up and just looked at the artwork. Flicked through the booklet and knew immediately I was holding something beautiful in my hands. From the front cover to the band shot in the centre of the booklet to Tinhead’s handwritten lyrics; everything about it just made me believe I was about to listen to something astounding.

Holy Fire starts with the face-smashing Prelude which then goes right into the brain-melter that is Inhaler. When I heard Inhaler last year, it felt like some kind of epiphany or even a release. The way Yannis yells “SPACE” gets me, every single time. Just thinking about it is enough to give me goosebumps. When you just think about a song and this happens, you know you have found sheer perfection.

If I go on about the production on Holy Fire, I will never shut up. I could quite happily go on and on about how on point and brilliant it is, but if you’ve heard the record you will know exactly what I mean. Please go buy Holy Fire. Please. Yannis has a voice that even when his voice crackles slightly (Late Night is a prime example of this) he just sounds so wonderfully vulnerable which makes you really really feel every single word he sings. Edwin, Walter, Jimmy and Jack just make you wish you could play an instrument and be in a band as tight as Foals. Yannis makes you wish you could sing. Hand on heart, this is their best record. I thought I’d have a bit of an issue saying this because I really cannot put into words how much I love Antidotes and Total Life Forever. So yes, Holy Fire is not only the best record they have done but let’s be honest here, it’s evidently going to be the best record of the year isn’t it (if Warpaint release their second record this year, then I will have two favourites of the year but for now, it is Foals.)

I usually find it so easy to pick a favourite track off any record. It happens mainly with first or second listen. This hasn’t happened with Holy Fire. I wish I could pick one song to just obsess over and over. It just won’t happen. I love the sentiment and passion in every single song. I love how every single song is like a dream and that songs like Milk & Black Spiders just oozes such devotion and love. It’s an annoying thing to say, but everything about Holy Fire is so pure. It honestly feels like the gentlest dream you could possibly imagine having. I’m 100% sure that when I fly to Liverpool this afternoon and get on a train for 2 hours this evening to my girlfriend’s that this is the only thing I will be playing. I’ll gaze out of the window and certain parts of certain songs (3.53 in Milk & Black Spiders onwards is on one of them) will just make me want to grab the person sitting next to me and just make them listen to it. Then probably have some in-depth discussion about it all. This is why I write.

I could have easily summed this all up by saying; “HOLY FIRE IS THE BEST THING YOU’LL HEAR ALL YEAR. NOTHING ELSE MATTERS.” But it’s a record that just made me want to pour all this love out. I was already stupidly excited about seeing them at the Royal Albert Hall (matinée show, I feel upper class! Not sure how….) This was shown on Friday night after I had a little bit of Red Stripe and wine, and got really excited about a poster for the gig at a tube station. I’m sure my girlfriend told me to shut up, quite rightly so. I took a photo of the poster because I’m a bit ridiculous it seems. Or, I just have a lot of love for Foals. Let’s go for the latter.

So there you have it, from the last 30 seconds of Providence to fragility in songs like Bad Habit; Holy Fire is a truly gorgeous record. Not only will fellow Foals obsessives fall completely and utterly in love with it, but those who aren’t too familiar with them will probably also fall for them too. I could play Holy Fire to my mum and I know it’d cause her to develop an obsession. Maybe my gran too, who knows. I may give that a try. She likes The Jesus And Mary Chain, so it is worth a try. It’s a record that you just do not want to end at all.

Holy Fire doesn’t just show how the band have developed since they started, but it also shows how close they are. When you know a band love each other and how much they enjoy making music together, it just makes you love them even more. It also makes you connect with them even more. Very rarely do I feel I can relate to every song on a record, but with Holy Fire it comes easily. It is honestly a perfect record from start to finish. Buy it for yourself, buy it for others as a gift or just because you think they need it; because let’s face it, they do need it.

“A confession’s not a cure. There’s always darkenss to endure, on the path to be redeemed.”

11 10 2012

Last night I went through all my stuff that I finally got out of storage. It had been in there for the past 11 months. It had been left in a place that I wouldn’t wish my worst enemy to go to (it must be added that I personally don’t have one, but I’m sure there are enough that hate me.) It was a place that’ll drain your soul and probably catapult your self-hate to a whole new level. I mean sure where I am living now does just the same, but I can hide from it easily. Places that ruin you cause you to go in on yourself. They also cause you to loath the skin you are in; but what can you do about it? Whilst I was going through all my stuff; I found some books that I’ve put to one side that I just need to re-read again. I’ve got a few books that I can read over and over again, and every time I do I find something else to love about the author and the book. Anyway, amongst all my stuff was an old mobile phone. I charged the phone for a bit, and I switched it on. My gut was saying “Why are you doing this?!” Turns out my head did the same too. So, I went through old messages. That wasn’t a smart move. But something clicked. Maybe all the texts from certain people were a lie; but things are different now. Maybe I had more than than I do now. Or maybe what I have now is a billion times better than it was. Truth is- I have nothing. I really don’t. I don’t mean this in a “woe is me” kind of way. Far from it, I’m not that kind of person. Self-pity is one of the worst things in the world. I mean, I don’t really hold onto things. So I went through some messages and turned the phone off. Sure it made me sad for a few minutes but then I saw some messages on the phone I have now. You compare the two and what I have now is more believable. I don’t know what it is, I may never know- but it’s working. It’s fine. I may have nothing going for me in a “job” sense but I’ve got other things that you cannot put a price on.

I know I am far too sentimental and sensitive for my own good. I know I need to toughen up; but if I did, that’d mean I was going against all I am and all I stand for. I don’t stand for much. Just the basic rule of being gentle and kind. That’s all I’ve got, that’s all I am. I feel like a boomerang and I need a home. I need something permanent. I’m nearly 26; I just want to settle anywhere but here. The year is nearly done, and I’ve done nothing of worth. Maybe I can change that next year. I tried to change it this year, but I didn’t get very far. Some of us are meant to succeed, some of us just waste our time trying. I need to figure out what I’m doing, but I feel sometimes that it’s too late. Should I have gone to uni? Should I ever have started writing? Should I start again? I have no idea. The only thing you can do is carry on in the hopes a solid answer just smacks you in the face. The things I want to do are constantly being shunned and told “oh you’ll never do it, you can’t do that.” In my head I think, “Fuck you.” But I just lower my head and carry on. What else can you do? I was told recently by a stranger, “The bands you love, they all started out with nothing and now they’re something. Use that.” A total stranger believes in me. Strangers are kind; they’re not all bad. She also said I had “lost eyes” but I’m not sure what she meant by that.

So anyway, my point is- leave the past in the past. It is okay to have self-doubt. It is okay to not be your biggest fan. It is okay to have shit days; but don’t forget the good ones. It’s okay to walk away and leave things/people behind because they probably didn’t realise you had gone anyway. To hell with what anyone tells you; do what makes YOU happy and for shits sake- put YOURSELF first because no one else will. Let them say you’re selfish if they must, but they’ve got it wrong. Try a different point of you, and be kind.

“I’m the fury in your head, I’m the fury in your bed. I’m the ghost in the back of your head.”

18 09 2012

I was walking home from my morning ritual of slowly killing myself at the gym (it needs to pay off one day) and it began to rain. I already looked a mess, so what harm would a bit of rain do?

Everything in that moment seemed alright. Maybe it was the songs I listened to. Or maybe I knew I was going home, and I was going to nap. Sure it was a really shit nap, but I was going to be asleep. I like being asleep because I’m no trouble to anyone. I’ve gone back 10 years, I feel 15 again. It’ll pass. It must do.

Everything positive has something negative. Everything negative has something positive. Everything seems to be balanced, but you always find yourself leaning towards one side. Or maybe you are being pulled towards a side you cannot stand. Yet you must go there. Rock bottom is a lesson for us all. Does it exist? Is it just an idle threat to make us feel worse than we already do? You always think you’ve hit your lowest point, you think you cannot get any lower. Like things cannot get worse, but can they? They get better. They also can get worse. See, it is all balanced out.

So you close your eyes around 2am hoping sleep comes. It comes eventually. When you sleep, do you dream? Do you doubt yourself in dreams too? You don’t always get what you want- dreaming or awake. I hate that I function better when I am tired. When I am tired, certain things make more sense. When I’m awake, I think I usually want to sleep and watch Disney films.

Sometimes we make ourselves out to be awful. Maybe it is from past abandonment, maybe we’re not sure of ourselves, maybe we’re not truly awful. We’ve all got our faults, we shouldn’t let them rule us.

As I’m not one for ever listening to myself, have some songs that made dragging myself home in the rain a lot less awful.

“The World’s a beast of a burden….”

4 01 2012

Everyone has a song or two (or if you’re like me, about 50) that when they listen to it, there’s always a specific part in the song that just hits them. It wraps itself around your soul, makes your heart beat double and you just lose your mind. This part of the song is the reason why you’re glad to be alive. This part of the song makes you feel alive and untouchable. You play this song, and nothing can get to you. No negative vibes stick to you. You feel like a Superhero or something. This song makes you feel like you can take on the world. That specific breakdown, that one lyric- it hits you right in the gut. I’ve narrowed mine down to 10 songs that, at the moment make me feel like this. However, as soon as I’ve posted this, I will probably want to change my mind. I’ll try stick to it this time, and I’m not sorry for how much I’ll rant. You don’t have to read this. As you were….

Florence + The Machine- What The Water Gave Me. With this song, I’ve got more than one part that sends me into some kind of frenzy. An outer body experience. You know how religous people go on about having some kind of religious experience? That’s what I get from Florence. Especially with the second record. Ceremonials feels like some kind of ritualistic cleansing of the soul. After you listen to it, you feel pure and free again. It just enlightens you in so many ways. If you’ve ever felt trapped and frustrated-play this record. It will blow all of those taunting feelings away from you. At around 2.14 in this song, that’s when it first hits me in the gut. I cannot put it into words, but the build up from there on just sets my soul on fire and throws me into an outer body experience. The chorus at just 3 minutes when it is pretty much acapella and the music kicks in again at around 3.28, when Rob’s guitar just throttles you and makes you want to shake every limb, and move in ways that look like you are having a fit- THAT is the best part of the song. This overwhelming sense of euphoria Florence creates is SO good. It’s a rare thing to find, so when you find it- hold onto it with all you have. I could quite happily write thousands and thousands of words about this song, but just listen to it and let yourself feel free- and be overcome with a wonderful euphoric feeling. I know most of Florence’s songs make you feel this way, but What The Water Gave Me is on a different level completely.

Patti Smith-Frederick. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not really a fan of lovesongs. However, I do believe that this is the greatest ode to love, devotion and admiration I have ever heard. And will ever hear. The way she sings, “Frederick, name of care” at around 26 seconds in, you can just sense how much she loves him. I can safely say that this is my favourite Patti song. Don’t get me wrong, I adore her politically charged songs; but this one is everything a lovesong should be. It just oozes dedication and pure love. It takes time to find a love like this, Patti was one of the lucky ones to experience this feeling. That feeling that makes you feel this way. The feeling that is blanket of care and a beacon of hope. That’s what love should be, yet most of us take it for granted. Or most of us just haven’t felt it yet. You’ll know when you feel it though, because you will feel exactly how Patti feels in this song. It’s a feeling that cannot be rushed, but to feel it like this-well it is utterly sacred. Cherish it my loves, because some may try to take it from you. But don’t worry if you haven’t found it yet. Don’t let society force you to fall for just anyone. You’ll meet your very own Frederick or Patti one day, for sure.

Foals-Spanish Sahara. This was probably one of my favourite songs from 2010. The stunning build up in this song just made you feel like you were stood right in front of Yannis as he poured his heart out into this song. You felt each fragment of fury and every haunting aspect of the horrors that can consume you- when you are least expecting it. You felt comforted by this song, because you felt like you could leave your horrors and nightmares behind and just carry on. I’ve never seen Foals live, but to see this song live, I’d imagine it’d be one of those life changing moments that cause something in your brain to click. It just makes you think, “Fuck it. I can do this.” A song like this is one that most spend their career trying to write. Driving themselves insane just to touch on something even slightly as moving as this. This song, I’ve used many times to just make sense of everything. You know what it’s like. You have a shit day and feel like there is really no point. Music is my only constant. It’s the first thing I go to when it all gets too much, and Spanish Sahara is one of the songs that gives me, strength I suppose. Their song, After Glow also does the same.

Dum Dum Girls-Coming Down. I remember falling in love with Dum Dum Girls a long time ago. Their first album had this sound that I adore. A surfer pop/lo-fi feel mixed with a Wall Of Sound vibe. A lot of bands I listen to have this sound. I personally thing it is stunning. Mixing a garage rock sound with what Phil Spector created just shows how timeless certain genres immediatley became decades and decades ago. I didn’t think I could love their second record as much as I loved their first. So, I sat down and listened to it. I listened to it with no distractions. I was in awe of everything I was hearing. Dee Dee Penny is evidently one of the best front-women around right now. There’s a part in Coming Down that anyone who’s listened to it, will know EXACTLY which part I am going to mention. The song is quite sad and my lord, it really tugs at your heartstrings. The song lasts 6 and a half minutes, and is 6 and a half minutes of utter beauty and brilliance. However, at 3 and a half minutes- Dee Dee hits this note that just makes you freeze. You shut your eyes and nod in agreement. She’s letting it all out for you. You cannot let it out yourself, she is doing it for you on this song. Everything you feel that’s been building up for so long just comes out in this song. That note she clings onto and lets out- you cling onto it with her. It’s like your safety net. I’m not ashamed to admit that this song is my safety net, my crutch. When I listen to it, every sense is heightend and things do not seem that bad anymore. I’ve cried to this song, and I’ve been wonderfully joyful whilst listening to this song. It’s just everything to me, and honestly- it made 2011 a lot easier to drag myself through.

The Horrors-Sea Within A Sea. I would’ve picked She Is The New Thing, but you really cannot deny that this song is a stroke of genius. A masterpiece- much like the whole album if I’m honest. I know exactly where I was when I first heard Sea Within A Sea. If memory serves me correctly, the video to this was launched on The Horrors website at 8pm one evening in 2009. I remember sitting in front of my computer hitting refresh on their site waiting for this to appear. There was a countdown to something. Most of us knew it would be something to do with new material. 8pm came, and the shadows of The Horrors was there. You knew what was about to happen. The song is just under 8 minutes long, and just reinforces my belief that songs that last over 5 minutes are the best. Easily. The euphoric part comes in just after 3.40. The synths really really kick in, and Faris’ voice captivates you more than it ever has done before. The build up as he sings, “So you may think the path we share, is one of danger and of fear….” is so amazing, it creates this wonderful tension between you and the song. You wonder what will happen next. Will there be another build up? Will it smack you in the face? YES. Yes to all of it. If you’re one of those who are only just getting into The Horrors (you’re late. You’ve really missed out, seriously. Go listen to Strange House. PLEASE) then hopefully you will see just how amazing The Horrors have always been. They’re a band that no one can predict their next sound. That is why I adore them, with all I have. The Horrors have captured every sound I love, and created their own- but changing on very record.

Warpaint-Lissie’s Heart Murmur. Every song by Warpaint makes me feel content and glad to be alive, so picking just one song was enough to cause a slight headache…and having to listen to Exquisite Corpse and The Fool a few times before I picked a song to stick with. Sure I could’ve chosen Stars, Billie Holiday or Warpaint. But, I had to go with Lissie’s Heart Murmur because let’s face it, it’s my favourite Warpaint song. For me, listening to Warpaint is a sacred experience. The intro to this song, the piano sounds like tears falling free from your face. At the end of crying, that feeling you get when you realise it’s all going to be okay- that’s what this song feels like to me. It feels like the aftermath of crying your heart out. I can’t pick out a set euphoric moment in this song, the whole song is just a beautiful experience. It is so perfect, to the very core. I could quite happily play this song, and never listen to anything else. Emily’s voice is so haunting and mesmirising on this song, more than on any other song. So many times I have just laid on my bed and played this song over and over through headphones. It’s one of those songs where you have to listen to, on your own- with no interruptions. I don’t think I’m doing this song any justice, so I’ll just link you to it. Hopefully you’ll understand why I love it so much.

The Cure- A Forest. Like my view on the song above, I can’t possibly pick a moment in this song that makes me feel so happy. I love The Cure, and Seventeen Seconds is my favourite album by the band. I remember hearing it and feeling like I was in some kind of trance. I felt like I was in a permenant dreaming state, I didn’t want to wake from it. I still feel like that when I listen to the album now. They created  a sound on that record that has evidently influenced so many, Warpaint being one of them. Personally, Jenny’s bass playing always reminds me of The Cure. That wonderful, floating feeling you get. You feel like you are drifting off into someone so pure and perfect. A Forest is probably my favourite song by The Cure. I love the slight distortion on Robert Smith’s voice in this song, you really have to listen hard to hear what he is saying as the music creeps in and takes over. It is a chilling and eerie song, much like the whole album really. Some say this song and album define The Cure. But let’s be honest not, you can’t ever define a band like The Cure. I feel that, no matter what I say about this song it really won’t show it in the light I want it to. But any genuine fan of The Cure (as in someone who doesn’t just like Friday I’m In Love) can see just how inspirational they ae. Not to mention ahead of their time with all their records. They were the blueprint of this sound. Utter perfection.

The Kills-Superstition. Attempting to pick one song by favourite duo EVER was a chore. I couldn’t do it. I left it for ages, wrote down some idead. Scribbled them out, wrote new ones. A mini riot occured inside trying to figure out which song I could use. I wanted to use The Last Goodbye, then Pots And Pans. Then I wanted No Wow. Then I wanted Cat Claw. I settled finally with Superstition. When Alison lets out that scream in Superstition, it is just so electrifying. You feel like she is right there, in your face letting out this gnarly growl that actually, sounds so heavenly. I could pick any song by The Kills. With all their b-sides and four records, it was difficult. I could’ve gone with their cover of Pale Blue Eyes; but that song is too precious for me to even touch on. Their version of it gets at your heart, well and truly gets at you. Superstition shows The Kills at their rawest and most brutal. Jamie absolutley slays the guitar here, and Alison’s voice..well, what can one say. They both have a chemistry that sucks you in, and once you’ve been captivated by it-nothing else seems relevant. You’ll base all relationships and friendships on their connection. If you don’t feel how they do about each other towards a person; then it isn’t meant to be. The Kills are rage, passion, angst, fury, frustration and raw. All brutal things done in such a beautiful way. They’re more than just a band to me, they’re life.

Scott McKenzie-San Francisco. For sentimental value, I’ve chosen to put this song here. It’s a pretty short song I guess, and the whole song just makes me close my eyes- thinking I’m wandering around San Francisco, taking everything in. Are the people still gentle there? Do they have flowers in their hair? Let’s hope they do. This song reminds me of my childhood, it just makes me happy. It makes me want to live in San Francisco. Then again, it doesn’t take much for me to want to leave where I currently live! This song makes me think of summer, even if it is like hurricane season outside. I know I could’ve picked other songs instead of this one. But, a song doesn’t have to have a grand build up in order for it to give you a sense of euphoria. That comes from within, what you take from the song is a bonus.

Morrissey-Speedway. My final choice is of course, Morrissey. Is this my favourite Moz song? Oh of course. It just defines my life and how certain people are. You know, the ones who are petty towards you and what you do- but they’re just projecting. It’s best to ignore such fuckbags isn’t it. Oh, and ignore I do. The lyrics are so beautiful. What I’ve always loved about Moz is that he has NEVER had to use grand words in order to make you connect with him. He doesn’t have to polish his words in order for you to relate to him. When he sings the word “Forever” at around 2.48, the song pauses, then a few seconds kater kicks back in. The build up is incredible. You will only appreciate this if Moz is your saviour. Seeing this live last year just completed me. It came at a time when it was much needed. You know the deal. Shit happens, people act like wankers, you don’t know what to do- you then find yourself in a song. This song has always played an important role in my life, but moreso last year. However, that is in the past. This is just Moz at his finest, I adore the line, “In my own strange way, I’ve always been true to you.” I guess we all know of a few who we can attach that lyric to. But, they don’t deserve to have such a song related to them now do they.


13 10 2011

I hate covers, but every so often I hear a cover and my hate fades away. Hate is a bit harsh isn’t it. I don’t hate many things. But I really don’t understand why you’d want to take another song and possibly ruin it. However, sometimes a cover is better than the original. In short, I have mixed feelings about cover versions. I get a bit upset when a song I love is covered and just destroyed. There’s no need for it. But, there are some covers that I have grown fond of. I am partial to making an exception sometimes. I’ve attempted to pick 5 covers that I adore a hell of a lot. I will probably want to change my mind as soon as I’ve posted this.

Lykke Li has easily put out one of the best albums this year, and I’d say it’s been highly underrated. Her voice always breaks your heart. However, when she goes acoustic you really really feel her words. They hit you right in the gut. Many have covered Unchained Melody, but none have captured the pain within as much as Lykke Li does. A cover should mean the artist puts their own personal touch on it, she really does. When she holds the note around 2 minutes in, it just covers your body in goose bumps and you tremble. It’s such a gorgeous cover but at the same time, causes you to ache.

Apart from The Smiths, The Walker Brothers are my favourite band of all time. With one listen of this cover, it’s pretty much easy to see why. Scott Walker is like a god to me. His music is pretty much everything to me. A stunning singer who should be regarded as the greats. Let’s be honest, he’s probably the greatest. The Walker Brothers are one of the many that have covered this song originally by Jerry Butler (written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David.) The Walker Brothers add huge drums to this giving it a Wall Of Sound feel to this cover. Of all the break-up songs in the world, this is probably my favourite. It’s just a beautiful that, although it may pain you to listen to it- it comforts you too.

Cat Power is a strong vocalist. Her music always moves my soul, it goes beyond the heart. Her music has got me through some times I hope I never ever have to go near again. Her music is a lifeline. Seeing her live was one of the best gigs that I have ever been to. I’d waited years to see her, and I was right at the front. It was just perfect. Cat Power has covered a lot of songs in her career. She’s even released a covers record. I could’ve picked the obvious such as Sea Of Love or I Found A Reason, but I had to go with one of her Bob Dylan covers. I fully understand Cat Power’s love for Bob Dylan, I feel exactly the same. I hate it when Bob Dylan’ssongs are covered, I firmly believe the only person who should sing a Bob Dylan song is Bob Dylan- that was until I heard Cat Power’s version of Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again. My mind was blown, my heart beat double time. I fell in love with her music and Bob Dylan all over again. It’s a truly wonderful cover, quite possibly her best cover she has done.

I love Wicked Game. I used to be obsessed with this song when Iwas younger, I had a bit of a fascination with Chris Isaak, I loved his music. What I love about this song is that it just oozes the need to fight how you feel. As someone who does that more times than they should (I’m starting to get a bit better) this song is just perfect. I’ve always loved the line, “This world is only going to break your heart.” It just sums up the whole feel of the song. Don’t bother, you’re just going to get your heart broken. However, getting your heart broken will always happen. There’s no point trying to avoid it. Shit happens, you’ll be fine-carry on. I love the way she sings, “I never dreamed that I’d meet someone like you.” We’ve all felt that way. You meet someone you thought you’d never in a million years meet. I don’t wish to make my take on this any more personal than I have, so I will now move onto my final cover…..

I love The Kills as much as I love the Velvet Underground which is probably close to an obsession. I don’t call it that, I just call it a passion for excellent music. Pale Blue Eyes is my favourite Velvet Underground song (closely followed by Run,Run,Run.) The Kills are influenced by Velvet Underground, and have covered a few other songs by them; but this is my ultimate favourite. It’s my favourite cover EVER. I love Jamie’s guitar on this, it’s just so emotional and powerful. Then you have Alison’s voice. Her voice ALWAYS sends me off some place else. Don’t ever try to have a conversation with me if The Kills are playing near us- my attention will be elsewhere. And I’ll probably start singing and be in some kind of trance for about an hour. Pale Blue Eyes has some of the most wonderful lyrics ever. The opening verse is so haunting, “Sometimes I feel so happy. Sometimes I feel so sad….baby you just make me mad.” We’ve all got someone we care about, but they just make us mad. You can’t say why, but they just do. I love this song so much, and there was a time when this song was too much to listen to due to it being so bloody apt. But, that’s been and gone now; and I can safely say this is my favourite cover of all time and I can listen to it being, and just be in awe of Alison and Jamie’s talent. I did want to choose their cover of I Put A Spell On You by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins but I’d just rant forever.

I know I’ve missed out some brilliant covers, and as I’m a decent person (depends who you ask I suppose!) I’ll link you to some others:

Siouxsie & The Banshees- This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us.

Warpaint-Ashes To Ashes.

Patti Smith- When Doves Cry.

The Horrors- The Best Thing I Never Had.

Foals-Everybody Wants To Rule The World.


My Singles Of 2010.

19 12 2010

Again, in no order aside from the last track.

Marina And The Diamonds- Shampain- I would have picked Oh No! due to my love for the lyrics. However, I have gone with Shampain as it reminds me of roadtrips to Manchester with my friends and singing a long very loudly, providing amusement for other drivers. Then again..Oh No! reminds me of dancing to it and reciting some of Marina’s moves in the video.

Zola Jesus-NightSo bloody eerie and mind blowing. The album is stunning. This song is just fucking out of this world. The intro just..I don’t know, the song leaves you paralysed- unable to move- in awe of what you’ve just heard.

New Young Pony Club- Lost A Girl- Sounds very 80s- but they do it in a good, credible way. It isn’t ripping anyone off nor are they copying any other 80s band.

Ou Est Le Swimming Pool- The Key- This band are mine and my best friend’s band. When we heard about Charlie we were inconsolable for ages. We went to Chazzstock in London and it was so moving. So sad. OELSP will always be one of my favourite bands, and luckily I saw them live. I have no idea what they’ll do’s just a shame.

The Vaccines- Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)- They also played at Chazzstock and were joined by Faris and Tom from The Horrors. Yes, I had a massive fit of excitement during that. This song is the shortest song performed on Jools Holland- FACT! It is also one of the best songs of this year. I hope they’re massive in 2011.

CocknBullKid- Hold Onto Your Misery- Everyone knows how much I adore Anita Blay. She’s amazing. Her album is FINALLY out in February. I’m aware it’ll be one of my favourites of 2011.

Florence & The Machine- Cosmic Love- I know Lungs came out last year, but this single was released this I can list it :p My love for Flo is massive and..yeah, you know. She’s THE ONE isn’t she. This is my favourite Flo song. Live is just tears me apart. I cannot describe it.

Ellie Goulding- Guns And Horses- I loved the demo of this, and I’m sure the video cured me of my phobia of horses slightly. I say it’s a phobia- I just really dislike horses. I could’ve listed Starry Eyed but I only like it when it’s done live. Under The Sheets was last year so…I’m going with Guns And Horses. She looks beautiful (as ever) in the video.

Warpaint- Undertow- This song lyrically blew my mind. Did you see them do this acoustic on BBC3 during Reading/Leeds Festival? That was something. Stella drumming on a box. How many would do that, and do iut well? This band were the best band of 2010. I love Jenny’s bass playing on this, it’s so relaxed. Theresa kills the guitar and Emily’s vocals are stunning. Stella is the best drummer around. Easily. And Undertow shows exactly why.


Foals- Spanish Sahara- The build up in this song is beautiful. Yannis’ voice on this song is gorgeous. The lyrics are stunning. It lasts just over 6 minutes, perfect to play on repeat when on a long train journey.

My Albums Of 2010.

19 12 2010

Attempting to put this down to 10 is going to be frustrating, and I will want to constantly change my mind. THIS IS IN NO ORDER. Apart from the last album I mention, that’s my favourite of the year.

Marina And The Diamonds- The Family Jewels.- This album means the world to me. Especially the song, Guilty which I was lucky enough to tell her this on the 31st October. Marina is amazing live. How she is with her fans is just lovely. She spent about 45 minutes with us. Just a lovely person. I don’t think this album got the recognition it fully deserved.  I remember first hearing about her well over a year and a half ago and just being in awe of her. Favourite track : Guilty.

Ellie Goulding- Lights/Bright Lights- I’ve mentioned Lights and Bright Lights because the extra tracks on Bright Lights are brilliant. She has to release Animal. The drum breakdown is mental. I love the production on this. Her and Starsmith are incredible. Her live shows are insane. I saw her play Academy 3 then 2 then 1 in Manchester…watching her gorw- you can see the transformation in her when she performs. During Your Biggest Mistake she just goes crazy. Not to mention her drumming during Salt Skin and Starry Eyed. I was a massive fan of Ellie before she got signed, like with Florence and to see her go from being a girl with a guitar with no record deal to a household name just made me feel so proud. A lovely person who I was lucky to meet at the start of the year. She’s just amazing. Favourite album track : from Lights : Salt Skin. from Bright Lights: Believe Me.

New Young Pony Club- The Optimist- Highly underrated. This album was amazing. Much better than their debut. The lyrics, the production- everything just sounded bigger yet darker. I love how dark the album sounds. Perfect from start to finish. Favourite album track: Chaos.

The Drums-The Drums– I love how they captured the dark lyrics over lively music. I love everything about this band. The way Johnny moves on stage reminds you of Morrissey mixed with Ian Curtis. Favourite album track : Down By The Water.

Mystery Jets-Serotonin- This year after  waiting so long to see them live, I finally did. I can safely say watching Flakes live was one of my favourite things about 2010. Stunning.  Making Dens and Twenty One are remarkable albums. Serotonin is just as stunning. Mystery Jets are one of the best UK bands around. Easily. Favourite album track : Alice Springs.

Best Coast-Crazy For You- For me, this album was the sound of the summer. Boyfriend was constantly on BBC 6Music, hearing it just made the day better. Anyone who owns or heard this album knows how speciual it is. It’s just got that summer vibe through and through. Favourite album track : The End.

Zola Jesus-Stridulum II- Haunting, sad, dark, remarkable. I fell in love instantly with this album. Everything about it is evberything I love about music. The lyrics made you want to break down and cry- but you couldn’t cry because you were in awe of how stunning this album is. When I bought his album, I played it whilst cooking and as I was giving my attention to the album- I nearly burnt myself. That’s how good it is. It requires all your attention. If you don’t own it- please go out and buy it. Favourite album track – I Can’t Stand.

Lightspeed Champion- Life Is Sweet! Nice To Meet You- Massvie fan of Dev and all he does. Whether it is as Lightspeed Champion or Blood Orange. He’s a musical genius. This album, along with a few this year, just did not get the recognition they fully deserve. Favourite album track- Faculty Of Fears.

Foals- Total Life Forever- VERY nearly was my album of the year- but most lists have claimed it to be the best album. By a UK band, yes it is. It’s an amazing album. Like all the albums I have listed- it catapulted me into a different world. Total Life Forever is sheer brilliance. I loved playing this album whilst on the train to work every day. It’s an album that I know I will listen in 10 years time and feel the same way about it as I did the first time I heard it. Favourite album track – After Glow.


Warpaint-The Fool- When I first heard Undertow I knew that Warpaint would be putting out some of the best music of 2010. Their EP Exquisite Corpse (brilliantly titled) just left you wanting more. A year later and The Fool was released. I still want more. They were a pleasure to interview, probably my favourite band I’ve interviewed. They love what they do and they love each other. You can tell that music is their everything. They’re not in it to make money. They do it because music is that important to them. I remember listening to the album online (streaming not illegally downloaded) because as hard as I tried, I couldn’t wait a week to buy it knowing I could listen to it. The album broke my heart, made me happy, threw me into a different place. It did everything an album should do. I adore Warpaint, and have done for some time- so to see them become massive this year was amazing. Favourite album track – Majesty


6 09 2010

I suppose my friends would expect me to claim Marina or Ellie’s album my favourite of the year- NO. It’s actually Total Life Forever by Foals. Why? I cannot tell you why apart from it’s beautiful. Spanish Sahara is my favourite song of this year. Easily.

I don’t care for the Mercury Music Prize but I reckon if they or The xx don’t win tomorrow night then there is something seriously wrong. These “experts” know nothing. Speech DeBelle? NO. Just NO. Nobody paid attention to her after she won. Awards are pointless. They’re a pat on the back for those who do not deserve it. Why must they be awarded for what they do? It’s an ego boost.

Back to what’s important.

Foals. Total Life Forever is a stunning album. You have to lie down and close your eyes to listen to them…or go for a long walk. It’s just gorgeous. Everything about this is out of this world.