CROCODILES. Soup Kitchen, Manchester 17th May 2019.

21 05 2019

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How do you write about a band that you have seen 11 times live without repeating yourself? Who cares! Friday night was my 11th time seeing my buddies, Crocodiles and they played my absolute favourite venue in Manchester- the Soup Kitchen. It’s a sweaty and dark basement venue; just how it should be.

End of April 2009, Crocodiles released their debut record. A record I bought by accident on the day it came out and since then, I’ve just fallen in love with everything they’ve done since. Every record has blown me away, and every show has done the same.

However, there is something truly special about their shows in Manchester that stand out. This was my 3rd time seeing them in Manchester, and I just love how you can see how much this beautiful city means to Brandon and Charlie. There was even a nod to local hero, Pete Shelley with their Buzzcocks cover which I’m sure he would have been proud of.

I stood directly in front of Charlie, and was in awe of his pedal set-up. It’s a piece of art, and he swings his guitar around like a machine gun whilst looking like a young Scott Walker. Brandon and Charlie have this way of just changing how you feel about their music when you see them live, and it is always a wonderful thing to witness. They are just of the most talented people I’ve ever met, and they just put their all into their shows.

 

You can’t help but shift your eyes across the stage to watch them all annihilate the stage. Brandon sings with this passion that is just astounding, and Charlie matches it with his effortlessly cool way of using his guitar as a weapon. As cliched as it is, they are just the coolest cats around, and it just shines through perfectly in their songs and their live shows.

The energy in the crowd is typical of a Manchester crowd, and just an absolute pleasure to be part of. The love that Crocodiles have for this city is just admirable, and something us fans here truly treasure. They feed off the crowd, and this crowd were reciprocating it. 10 years in, and they are still making music to lose your shit to. Songs like I Wanna Kill and Marquis De Sade, and new songs such as Exit My Head come more alive. I can’t ever get enough of hearing I Wanna Kill, and the crowd are the same. It’s one of those songs that just do something to you, and once you hear it. It’s an anthem.

Crocodiles are a band that you just don’t ever get tired of listening to, and watching. They have this way of just making you forget the real world for the time they are on stage. They make you want to start a band, they make you want to always be in the moment of being at a live show. As a fan, this is what I absolutely adore about music and how powerful it is. Also, Brandon and I had Bad Brains shirts on which anyone else would regard as a wardrobe clash. However for this, it’s just two people who love one of the best bands ever!

There’s a good balance of songs from all of their records, and sure I’d want them to play all of them but hey- that’s too much, I know! This was my first time seeing them on my own, and as someone who suffers with depression and anxiety I full on prepared myself to have some form of panic attack. I was wrong, I just felt totally safe at this show. Trivial I know, but small things like this help. Anyway, smushy stuff aside- it was just a brilliant show.

 

They are a band that just need to be seen live. Their live shows allow you to see even moreso just how fantastic they are. If I could, I’d see them on every tour at every date. But shows like Friday’s in Manchester are treasured dearly.

Crocodiles new record, Love Is Here is out now and they have 2 more UK dates left before a couple of shows in Paris this week.

 





CROCODILES: Love Is Here.

10 02 2019

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One thing I really enjoy is writing about my buddies, Crocodiles. With every record they just reinforce my love for them, and their ability to constantly evolve their sound and always take themselves out a safe zone when making music. I think April this year sees the 10 year anniversary of their debut record, and the 7 records they have put out in a decade have all been masterpieces in their own way. Now it is the turn of Love Is Here to be adored in all its glory.

I don’t want to write this in order of the songs, because I’ve a lot to say about one songs in particular- My Far Out Friend. On every record by Crocodiles, they always have this one song that hits you right in the gut and takes you away from where you are. They always have this one song that sends you off into a euphoric bliss that nothing else can touch. My Far Out Friend is easily now in my top 5 songs by them (it’s always changing, of course but this one is something else.) I absolutely adore Brandon’s vocals on this song. I love how his vocals on this are as dreamy as the music. It has this gorgeous psychedelic feel, and there are two moments in the song where there’s this little drum roll that goes into a beautiful instrumental. It makes you feel like you are floating, and Brandon’s vocals come back in like they are guiding you through the clouds. This is truly one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard, and it’s one I keep going back to. It’s such a gorgeous and ethereal piece of music. The second instrumental part is slightly heavier, and wraps up this work of art so beautifully. My Far Out Friend is THAT song that you close your eyes to, and just zone out.

Last year, I was sent a copy of the record and it just blew me away. Aside from My Far Out Friend, the other song that blew my mind was I Was A Fly. It reminded me of something The Cramps would do. I love the weirdness in the song and there are bits of the music that remind me of something else, and it’s driving me mad that I cannot remember it. It’ll come to me, probably in my sleep. Typical. It’s a real gritty song that you can imagine hearing in dimly lit basement bars.

The record opens with the face-smacking Nuclear Love, and goes right into the wonderfully decadent Exit My Head. Both of these songs are reasons as to why Crocodiles are clearly just the best, and sure I may be biased but that’s what 10 years of being a fan does. I love hearing how they have pushed themselves with each record, and these two songs definitely show this. The songs are heavier on this record compared to Dreamless- but there’s really no point in ever comparing any of their records to each other to be honest. Crocodiles are a band that make you excited about music, and always leave you wondering what they are going to do next. I hope they release Exit My Head as a single because there is something about this song that oozes smut and beauty. I adore this song a hell of lot. The lyrics are brilliant, and I think it’s one everyone can relate to or has related to at some point, In some ways, it reminds me of Henry Miller meets Lou Reed then goes for a drink with Hubert Selby, Jr. It’s just a great song!

Love Is Here (The End Is Near) is a real Punk sounding song. It’s got that pogo feel to it, and I really hope that when they play this life that the crowd go apeshit. They’ve got many songs that make their fans go batshit when they play them (for me, it’s always Refuse Angels) and Love Is Here has got to be one of them that just spur the crowd on to just go insane to this song.

Rats d’Amour and Voyeur Under Glass make you feel like you are roaming a city like Paris late at night with a feeling to cause some trouble (nothing sinister obviously) or just watch the world go by. Voyeur Under Glass has a slight Reggae feel to the guitar which I love so much, and I love the bass so much on this one. Something you really notice on this record is just how ahead Brandon and Charlie are with their sound. I’ve noticed it on their other records, but there is something about Love Is Here that, although you know it is them- there is something about this record that is ahead of its time. The production and the whole sound on this record is nothing short of perfect. You can truly hear the dedication and passion in this record, and it is honestly a flawless piece of art.

Basically, this is just a declaration of love not a review. I can’t write reviews anyway. In short, Love Is Here is the record we absolutely need. It’s most certainly the record I need. And yes, it is my record of the year- I think that’s pretty obvious.

Get yourself a copy from their bandcamp page, and play it loud!

VIVA CROCODILES!