THE VOIDZ: O2 Ritz, Manchester. 7th November 2018.

8 11 2018

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If you’re ever wanting to see some of the world’s most talented musicians put on a show, then for your own sanity- go see The Voidz. Everything about the show last night was just utterly mind-blowing. It’s 7:40am and I’m going to try explain why this was one of the most inspiring and earth-shattering shows I’ve ever seen.

Let’s get it out the way first; The Voidz are fronted by the coolest person in the world, Julian Casablancas. However, if you are thinking it’s all about him then you’re dead wrong. The band is unreal, and left you wishing you could be as cool as them. So there you have it; it isn’t about Jules- it’s about the whole damn band. Oh and please stop assuming they are going to play a bunch of songs from The Strokes. Ain’t happening, kiddo. The Voidz have records that are eccentric and mind-blowing. They’ll fuck with your head, and that’s why you love them so.

They open the set with Leave It In My Dreams, and to be honest that just sets the tone for the whole set. It is full of this raw emotion that Jules conveys so well in his voice. His voice is so distinctive, and you just know it is him when you hear it. The way he can project it so it fills up the whole room is pretty damn spectacular. They blitz through the show with M.utually A.ssured D.estruction and Permanent High School most certainly being my favourite. But there’s something that needs touching on- Amir and Beardo.

If you’re ever looking for two guitarists to be left in awe of, then open your mind up to Amir and Beardo. The way they sound together is just nothing short of guitar heaven. I swear Beardo is the happiest person I have ever seen on stage. His smile and stage presence is a thing of beauty. He totally hams it up on stage, and you cannot help but grin like a total buffoon back at him. He’s absolutely mesmirising. Amir too, has the same quality. They both bounce off each other, and as Jules steps back from the stage- you truly notice what this band are about. They are loud, the songs are important and the way they sound together is just stunning. If I could think of my dream line-up, I’m pretty sure these guys would be it. The Voidz are the body of Punk, the soul of Punk and the heart of Punk. But they’re not a Punk band- they’re out there, and they aren’t afraid to truly push themselves.

There’s an improvised song early in the show when Jules spots a young kid in the audience. His concern for if the kid is old enough to be there, and if they have headphones on causes him to suggest that the kid shouldn’t be so close to the speakers. Anyway, if it was the first show that the kid had been to then they are pretty damn lucky.

For some of the shows they’ve mixed up the set which is pretty great, and the show last night was just a perfect set. The show ended on Human Sadness. But we were also treated to Black Hole and Dare I Care. Songs like Wink were greeted with such rapture. In fact, every song was.

There is something really remarkable about The Voidz and it truly comes to life at their shows. Alex is such a ferocious drummer, and you have Jeff and Jacob who add a calmness to the set. But don’t let that fool you. The Voidz, like I said, are made up of exceptional musicians. Musicians who know exactly how they want to sound and aren’t afraid to experiment and push themselves, and for me that’s what makes a band great. On record they are obviously perfect, by my god their live shows are out of this world.

The Voidz are loud, passionate and brutal. They aren’t coming for your blood, but just your undivided attention- which is pretty easy to give.

 





THE VOIDZ: Virtue.

12 10 2018

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“Everything I say is everything you wanna hear
My heart is broken through my dreams

I don’t wanna be a puppet that the ghost of my young self still controls
Jackets are the eyes to the soul.”

 

If you’re looking for a group of musicians who have come together to create something weird and mind-bending, then obviously you need to listen to Virtue by The Voidz. Fronted by my constant obsession, Julian Casablancas- The Voidz are nothing like The Strokes so don’t even bother carrying that assumption round. The Voidz are from outer space via New York City/LA.

Virtue has been floating around since March, so with me being stupidly late to the party. Here is my take on one of the most exciting records of the year.

Something I really love and respect about the band is that they are so care-free with their sound. I love how you can truly hear how daring they are, and on this record they go beyond what they gave us with Tyranny. This incredible futuristic sound on Virtue is like nothing else I’ve heard. For me, its songs like Pyramids of Bones that really push every single boundary possible. It’s like the Misfits head butted a kraut rock band, then created a soundtrack to a video game-  resulting in this masterpiece. The lyrics are great, and Julian’s voice has honestly never sounded so good. I love how you can tell they all push each other to go further with their sound. Being so fearless pays off, and you can’t help but wish you could have been in the studio with them when they made this insane record.

I love how at times, this record feels like Julian is delivering a sermon and the band are echoing his truths with some of the most amazing sounds you’ll ever hear. I know some have regarded The Voidz as being too much or too strange, but fuck that! These songs are unlike anything and everything you’ve heard. Also, Jeramy Gritter is one of the best guitarists we’ll see in our lifetime. The Voidz aren’t a band; they’re a gang. A gang of buddies, musicians who are here to blow your mind with their genius ways.

Permanent High School reels off the strain and frustration of high school, and how it can easily find its way into adulthood. Certain aspects just don’t go. When you hear Jules sing about it all, you find the stress of it all easing off. ALieNNatioN is such a hypnotic song, it’s the perfect song to listen to if you’re looking to zone out, or feel like you’ve taken something you probably shouldn’t have. It eases you in, and you slip into such a calming state. You won’t nod off though. The musicianship on the record is nothing short of brilliant, and ALieNNatioN is truly one of those songs that make you really see how incredible a band is.

I love hearing bands like this, and seeing how fearless they are. The Voidz are a band that don’t fall into any genre at all. They just make you feel good, and also leave you in awe of how exceedingly great they are. I’ve always loved Jules’ way with words, and on this record he really is showing us some of his best work.

The record consists of 15 songs and lasts a little under an hour. For me, I could listen to double this. On repeat. Constantly. Like I mentioned earlier, it does feel like someone is giving us all life lessons with mind-blowing and mind-bending sounds echoing it all.

Is it a record to play loud? You know, I’m not sure. I think with this one and it’s probably because Jules is someone I have looked up to since Is This It, but for me this is a sacred listening kind of record. The songs are gentle but also wonderfully rebellious with hints of Punk throughout. The attitude and essence of Punk is so obvious here, and it’s probably one of the reasons why I love this record. I loved Tyranny, but there is something about Virtue that towers above it slightly.

Next month, The Voidz are coming back to the UK for some shows. I guess this means birthday month for me this year is going to be pretty great again!

If you’re looking for a record that messes with all genres but at the same time, sticks a middle finger up at all and what society and the world expects of us/you- then Virtue is the record for you.





LYRICS OF 2014.

11 01 2015

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 feel..as 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….





“Forgive them, even if they are not sorry.”

1 02 2013

Yesterday I saw something that made me yet again realise that strangers are sometimes a lot more friendlier and much more kind than those we know. Sometimes we find it easier to tell someone we do not know that they aren’t alone or are more inclined to make them feel less alone compared to someone we know, or are close to. I’ve tried to work this out, and I have no answer. I have no answer to anything, just my own views. Which may or may not be right; but it should NEVER be about being right because when that becomes the only thing in life that you strive for, or that gives you satisfaction then maybe you need to reevaluate your way of living. Hard to say you’re living if you do that, you’re just existing. It’s a chore, not a pleasure.

This act of kindness I witnessed was something that I wish I took a photo of. It was a beautiful thing to see, mainly because it showed that strangers have a bigger heart than those we know at times. I was walking into Tesco (other supermarkets available, so please use them..got for Sainsburys, that’s a good one. Orange plastic bags and a good vegetarian section.) Outside the shop were two homeless men. I immediately wanted to buy them something to eat and drink. I always give money or food to the homeless. You just have to, you cannot ignore them. You should always help in any way you can. Last year at Pride (London..outside the same Tesco) it was late in the evening, so I went in and bought something to eat. It was the only vegetarian thing they had. Some excuse for pasta, no idea. I was looking around and I saw this man in the doorway, it was raining too. I left my friends for a few seconds and walked up to him and gave him the food I bought. I didn’t touch what I ate, I just gave him it. He tried to refuse, but I told him he had to take it because it was raining. I saw many people ignore him and I wanted him to know that someone was thinking of him. I think of this a lot, mainly because I hope he’s okay and safe.

The two men I saw yesterday were sat outside, and as I got nearer I saw they were both huddled under a leopard print blanket someone must have given them and they were also sharing a pizza that someone had bought for them. Strangers can offer more than we know. We are always told “don’t speak to strangers.” But why? Sometimes those that are the closest to us are the ones that do the most damage, and those who know nothing about us are the ones that can sometimes give us what we need; kindness and hope. I can contradict myself here with two things. I once helped someone who was (and still is) my best friend. We’ve known each other since we were 4 and have fallen out once. Anyway, I was at someone’s house and she was a horrible creature. She bullied everyone, and eventually picked on me because she was a fool. Anyway, she lived right near my best friend and she was being beyond horrible to her. She was riding round on her bike, and I had enough of her being horrible to my friend so (she was wearing a helmet and landed on a lot of grass) I pushed her off her bike when she came back around. My best friend and I ran to her house. I hid, and she told her mum what I did. She was fine with it and we ate pizza. I stuck up for my best friend because that’s what you do. Once, a stranger punched me in the face and nearly ripped my nose ring out. So I guess there are always exceptions. I didn’t retaliate. My hitting someone in a fight would be a comedy moment. I’d lose my balance and just punch myself in the face.

People always say, when you tell them what’s wrong, that someone else always has it worse. I think that does more harm than good. It just makes the person who feels bad, feel more shit than they already do. We need to be more compassionate and less judgemental. Not every homeless person is a junkie. Not every junkie is a bad person. Bad people are everywhere, as are good. It’s just we are exposed to negativity because sad-cases thrive off it. It’s a terrible way to be. Maybe I need to stop seeing the good in everyone, but we all deserve a chance. That’s basically what the point of this is, maybe you took something else from it. I have no idea. Just next time you see someone sleeping rough on the street, it wouldn’t hurt you to buy them a drink or give them some change. The kindness in strangers is needed; kindness in general is. If it was you, you’d want someone to help you in some way right?





“I’ll give you anything, but I’ll give you problems.”

22 08 2012

Maybe all of our actions come from the reaction to what has been done to us before. Other people sometimes do not tread gently when they face us, sometimes you meet rare ones who know what to do. Everything becomes tough at some point. There’s no right or wrong way to deal with anything. Everyone has expectations of others, which is why we are always carrying some disappointment on our backs. The disappointment in ourselves, the disappointment others give us. So why do we get close? A lot of good can come from it, a lot of bad can come from it. Letting go is an art form that is a pain to master. I know, I know all too well. I managed to let something go the other day. The realisation hit me whilst on the rowing machine the other morning at the gym. All my thoughts for about half an hour were on this, and I eventually let go. No resentment, no hatred, no love, no longing, no wanting. No nothing. You feel so much lighter, and everything seems clearer. Just because certain things happen doesn’t mean you have to follow the pattern. It is easy to go back in on yourself. I know that all too well. I’ve currently fallen into that. It’s not a crippling shyness. More like an excruciating dose of “I cannot go further than…” Change the place, change your state of mind. Anyway.

You look up for answers. Maybe the answers are inside of you. Maybe you get a brief moment of clarity when you finish a book, or a line from a song or poem just make you wake up, come alive. Something. I’m waiting. I’m always waiting. Looking. Taking it all in. I give out more than I have. I’m far too patience. But maybe it is a strength rather than a weakness. My stubborn ways are good and bad. I know when to turn it off, I know when to use it. I think most of us do you know? Or maybe we don’t. If you’re always cautious, you may miss out. Please don’t be a coward.

Some will aways use certain traits you have against you. You can rise above it. Be miserable, cry, laugh, fall over, take your time getting back up. Rock bottom happens to us all. You’ll crawl out from under there when you are ready. Take your time. Always. Go slow.





“Crash and burn, all the stars explode tonight. How’d you get so desperate? How’d you stay alive?”

31 07 2012

“Get well soon, please don’t go any higher
How are you so burnt when you’re  barely on fire?”

They say you’ve got to hit rock bottom in order to be a better person. What if you weren’t shit to start with? What if you thought you were okay, but fucks spat down judgment on you..leading you to believe you are actually a really shit person? What do you do? What about when you hide everything in order to keep a sense of normality, so you don’t fully lose it? What if you cannot get the words out, and all you can do is tell anyone who shows a hint of caring that you’re totally okay. What happens when they place you are currently “living” in has killed all the good in you? What if…what if…Fucks sake. It’s all so bloody stupid isn’t it. When you think about it, you’re just some stupid fool with no direction. Because all the directions you took have led you nowhere. Nowhere can be your bedroom at 4am hating your own skin. Nowhere can be sat on a bench waiting for something slightly interesting to happen. Nowhere can be in the eyes of the one you love. Nowhere and nothing go hand in hand. There’s a song for everything, for everyone. Those thoughts you have; well, someone else had the same ones and probably wrote a song about it all. You’ll return to your “normal” self eventually, you just have to work out what that is. I should take my own advice. But my own advice is for anyone and everyone but me. I have no problem writing like this because I know nobody will read it. Once it leaves my brain and ends up on the screen, it is no longer mine. Nothing is mine, no one is mine. I own nothing. Even my Docs are coming apart. My favourite band shirt has a hole in it. As you sink further and further, what song will you play as you fall? What song will pull you back up? I’ll never read this again, which is why none of this will make sense. I rarely re-read what I write here. Mainly because I know it doesn’t make sense. I don’t like organisation. I don’t like things making sense. I don’t like knowing some things. Uncertainty for me, is a good thing. Self-doubt for me, is a good thing.

But every fucking word I’ve written, every word I have ever said has been said by someone else. And they did it better. I can only say I’m sorry, but I’ll keep doing it. And for that, I am also sorry.





Julian On Letterman.

7 01 2010

LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAST NIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT (sorry, had to) Julian Casablancas was on Letterman and performed a beautiful version of Out Of The Blue.

E.N.J.O.Y!

Julian Casablancas-Out Of The Blue (Letterman).