CROCODILES: Live.

26 05 2014

 

 

Initially I was going to write about Crocodiles two live shows this weekends in separate posts (London and Bedford) but after seeing them live three times this month (they supported Dum Dum Girls) the only thing for me to do is to write about their live shows. I’m writing this after throwing up this morning (I’ve had too much fun this weekend) and from being woken up by my dickhead neighbour playing The 1975 so loud. There’s no need to play them that loud, or really, at all.

Crocodiles are probably the most exciting bands to see live. If you want to go to a show where you leave covered in your sweat, more than likely someone elses and the urge to start a band afterwards; then they are the band you need to see. I’ve been a fan since 2009. I wasn’t aware of them or their previous bands, but I picked up Summer Of Hate because I loved the front cover. It looked a bit strange, so I bought the only copy in the shop, went home and played it. I played it almost religiously. On the same day I bought Cold Cave’s Love Comes Close. Both records came into my life at a time where I needed something I was missing, I’m not sure what but I’ve always found the answer in music. Summer Of Hate had a beautiful raucous feel it, the kind of sound that you can really let go to.

BW and his maracas.

BW and his maracas.

What I’ve notice each time I see Crocodiles live is that everybody in audience just loses it. From swaying their bodies in a weird fashion (myself included) to going completely nuts during I Wanna Kill; their fans at their shows are awesome. Of course their London shows tend to be slightly more wild when the beloved Omar turns up, and you can usually find him near the front of the stage making fun of his pals on stage. He just seems like a really cool guy. Last night’s show in Bedford was probably the best show I’ve seen of theirs. When I spoke to Brandon after their show, he said they were more used to playing venues like this. Esquires is a broken-in venue that holds a lot of history. Apparently it used to be a church, and now it is a sanctuary for live music. Last night’s crowd seemed a little more tame compared to a typical London crowd and a lot of the women last night were dressed up wearing shoes that aren’t made for dancing. The crowd at Bedford cannot be faulted at all. There aren’t really any dickheads that attend a Crocodiles show, which is good because there’s usually one person who likes to ruin it for everyone else.

Their set list currently has Billy Speed, Hollow Hollow Eyes and Jet Boy Jet Girl; finally seeing these songs live is brilliant but I will never grow tired of watching Robert go absolutely crazy on Refuse Angels or watching them all seem to fall into their own world during Me And My Machine Gun. One thing Brandon and Charlie have managed to do is shut up critics/idiots who labelled them as rip-offs of The Jesus And Mary Chain, but as someone who obviously loves both bands, I really cannot hear the comparisons at all. It’s just lazy journalism really, and as you listen to their records you cannot find a band to compare them to- which is one of the many reasons as to why I love their music.

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Crocodiles are a band made for sweaty and intimate venues; venues where you can really soak up the atmosphere and feel like your part of something. I’ve said it many times before, but Crocodiles are easily one of the few bands I would happily watch for the rest of time. They’re just everything I love about music, and their live shows is everything a live show should be.  They are a band that need to be seen live even if it is just for the energy they have. You know something special is about to happen when Brandon gets his maracas out! It doesn’t matter where you see Crocs, just know you’ll be in for a mind-blowing time.

The first time I saw them live was in 2012 at Rough Trade; a half hour set was evidently not enough for me so my tally is now up to six times seeing them. Each show is better than the last, but don’t just take my word for it. Each of them are mesmerising to watch; the way Charlie flings his guitar about and plays with such fury is enthralling to watch. If I was a teenager in the prime of my youth seeing them live, I’d leave with a strong desire to start a band. Instead I’m just a 27-year-old who really loves this bloody band. They make you really care about music. They make you want to spend hours in your local record store just looking for that next thing that moves you. They make you want to spend the rest of your life just writing about music and being totally immersed in it.

Off stage they are the most genuine and lovely people I’ve had the privilege of meeting. After last night’s show I didn’t feel I was hanging out with a band I love, but with friends instead. There’s no ego, and that’s what make them fucking awesome. So this is for Crocodiles and their music and to their kindness this weekend. Until next time! (Oh and please always have Virals support because they’re one of the strongest bands in this country right now.)

Last night after the show.

Last night after the show.

And of course this happened:

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Crocodiles-Endless Flowers.

4 06 2012

“..and they have fallen in love with you.”

You don’t understand how much I have been wanting this record. You just don’t. If you did, I’d probably want us to be best friends so we can bond over this. Seriously, I feel like the wait for this record has gone on for what seems FOREVER. Although, forever doesn’t exist. It is just an illusion we present to others in order to give them hope or comfort. Truth be told, we are going to be left behind and we will all do the leaving at some point too. Cheerful mood tonight! (I’m not really in a shit mood, but I would like to go to  sleep right about now.)

Crocodiles are one of my favourite bands. You know it, they know it. I seriously cannot put into words how much I smiled (and most likely swore) when I saw Brandon had read what I wrote a few weeks ago. His kind words mean so much to me, and I carry them with me. When you can tell a band how much you love them, and they are so kind to you- that’s when you fully know your love for them goes beyond. I discovered Crocodiles in a heartbreaking haze and my desperate days were dragging. I listened to them, and all hope came back. No desperation, no longing for all that was metaphorically dead and gone. I found romanticism in the shit feelings I was carrying around. How I immediately felt towards Crocodiles is how I imagine many felt when they first heard The Jesus And Mary Chain. All the reverb and distortion that was soothing my ears and healing my heart made me kick my frustrations and love based hurt to the curb and move on. Always thank the ones who metaphorically break you- because you turn into a better person.

Summer Of Hate and Sleep Forever are two fantastic records that I hold with such high regard. Not just for the emotional attachment I have, but for how bloody brilliant they are. Are Brandon and Charles geniuses?! I think so. I bloody well think so. So, with two phenomenal records to their name- what on earth can they achieve with Endless Flowers?

Endless Flowers is surprise surprise, PERFECT. I’d never write a bad review. I don’t have it in me to do so. If it is bad, I leave it alone and never acknowledge. I love writing about something that is so passionate, dark yet hopeful. I love music that makes you feel like you are not here. I love music that just makes you come alive. I love music that makes you connect with it in a way that makes you want to have some kind of outburst and tell everyone about it. My thoughts on this record aren’t as important as some hipster twats perspective…obviously. They probably dig Crocodiles because they want to seem cool. I love the band because they truly saved me from hitting lower than rock bottom. But hey- this kind of love is never taken on board. It’s all about the ratings and what it sounds like. I’m not like that. I won’t compare the record, nor will I give it marks out of ten. All I’m going to do is attempt to write how amazing Endless Flowers is.

The album should be held up as one of the finest records of the year. It is perfectly perfect from start to finish. We live in a world where we seem to be content with anything that is half-arsed and made to just kill time, fill some space. Music is heading that way too. It breaks my heart, but it is happening. I guess this is why I adore bands like Crocodiles because they make brutal music that just makes you come alive. It mixes everything I love about music. There’s the big drums (similar to 60s girl groups), you have the  fuzzy guitars that just make your head so fucked up you cannot help but flail your limbs about. Then you have Brandon’s vocals which, as awfully clichéd as it sounds- his vocals on this record sound so powerful and so much stronger. His vocals aren’t as gritty as they were, but he still posses that raw vibe that caused me to fall in love with Crocodiles back in the summer of 2009.

My Surfing Lucifer makes you feel RIGHT. I think if Lester Bangs was alive, he’d really love this song. I believe he’d love Crocodiles. The song is so strange, and utterly wonderful. Much like the whole record. I think personally, my favourite track so far has to be No Black Clouds For Dee Dee. It is so beautiful, romantic and passionate. Every word is so delicately sung. It is like Brandon caresses every single word he sings. I also have fallen deeply in love with Dark Alleys. These two are joint favourites.

What I love about Crocodiles is that, they have this brilliant way of making you feel as if you are watching them rehearse. They have such a personal feel to their sound, as if it was only meant for you. That you are there witnessing them craft these sounds. A true basement band vibe going on. As much as I adore Summer Of Hate and Sleep Forever, with Endless Flowers- it just sounds like a huge leap. It sounds NOTHING like the first two, which is what I love in a band. To keep making music that sounds nothing like what they have done before. It is why I love bands like The Horrors, The Kills, Beach House etc. Every record just sounds entirely different, but at the same time reminds you why you fell in love with them. You fall in love with them a bit more when you hear something new. It is almost like it reaffirms your love for them.

The dark feel is alive and well in this record, but if you listen carefully you will hear some of the most beautiful lyrics you’ll hear in a long time. It is as intense as ever and so fucking raw. The bold but vulnerable songs just make you connect so much. Maybe you’ve just had your heart torn out and Crocodiles are your new discovery. If that’s the case, then I understand. I can only hope they do to you, what they do to me. It is just a perfect record from start to finish, I honestly cannot praise it enough. Fight the fury, and immerse yourself in something truly stunning.





Crocodiles-Sunday (Psychic Conversation #9) -Video.

11 04 2012

My obsession for Crocodiles started in 2009. I fell in love with their distorted sound that made me feel like I did the first time my ears were subjected to The Jesus And Mary Chain. I felt this wave of love and wonder just take over. I couldn’t believe I was FINALLY experiencing something like this for real. Like I was going to be part of it, there from the very start. I rate Brandon so very highly as a frontman. I just love him a hell of a lot. His lyrics and his presence are just inspiring. Their debut record, Summer Of Hate made a really shite year worth getting through. Its lo-fi sound just elevated my soul and made everything okay. I think it was them and Cold Cave that dragged me through. 2010’s release, Sleep Forever was equally as important to me and I am 100% positive that this year’s release, Endless Flowers will mean just as much. Oh and also, Brandon is married to my favourite woman in music- Dee Dee Penny (Dum Dum Girls.) Best couple in music? You damn right they are.

So let me touch on their new video.

The video makes you feel like you’ve just dropped acid. I’ve never touched drugs, but this makes me feel like I have. The song is wonderfully calming and makes you want to seek out love, of sorts. You fall in love to this song so easily and the video gives you this lucid feel. It is the best kind of crazy possible.

You can check the video out here : http://www.nowness.com/ and also, Brandon gives you a list of his favourite psychedelic videos. Excellent choices, especially with Dum Dum Girls and The Horrors.

If they tour the UK this year, you’ll probably find me at the front losing my mind. I honestly cannot praise them enough and get all the love out. Just..amazing.