Shirley was one of thousands of Shazamers across the UK that entered the free Golden Tag promo. She tagged The Flood 450 times and will be off with best friend Lorraine (they met whilst queuing overnight for Robbie tickets) to see Take That perform!
Shirley and Lorraine are life-long Take That fans and together the pair have been to every concert. They’ve spent hours recreating costumes from Take That’s tours and videos (check out the piccie below) and while they’ve racked up as many tour miles as Take That themselves – this is their first chance to meet Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, Jason Orange, Mark Owen and Robbie Williams – together again after 15 years.
In Shirley’s words “ When I told Lorraine we had tickets to meet the band she screamed so hard I had to take the phone away from my ear. To think, finally, after seeing them live for the first time in 1993, the two of us will be face-to-face with all five of them … now that’s just Shazamtastic!”
Last week we attended one of the most hyped gigs in the capital, US blog friendly trio Salem played the suitably gothic location of Shoreditch Church. Mirroring the cover from their debut, self titled album Jack Donoghue, John Holland and Heather Marlatt took to the stage with a smoke shadowed crucifix behind them. Their mix of whispered vocals and unsettling synths has provided one of the year’s most intriguing albums. However, tonight’s performance showed they still have ground to improve.
This wasn’t entirely the band’s fault. While the eerie choice of venue juxtaposed beautifully with the harsh white noise, it simply wasn’t loud enough. Also, the band seemed to be playing largely from a backing track. Jack Donoghue’s rapping, questionable at times, combined with simple guitars and keyboards seemed to be the only thing that wasn’t pre-recorded.
On their productions alone Salem remain a compelling prospect, but they will need to up their game live to justify the hype they’re currently receiving.
Despite achingly low levels of musical productivity, Daft Punk remain the most influential electronic act on the planet. They’ve set the tone for two generations of dance music, helped Kanye West rule the world of hip hop and created some of the most spellbinding live shows the world has ever seen. They’ve defied convention at every stage of their career – whether it’s creating enigmatic Robot alter-egos for themselves or making self indulgent feature films whenever they get the chance. And that’s without even mentioning the fact they’ve created some of the most endearing music of the last two decades.
Now on the eve of the release of the soundtrack to Tron Legacy, Daft Punk’s first original output in five years, we give you the low down behind the masked men in Shazam’s 5 Minute Guide to Daft Punk.
Daft Punk are Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter, son of French musician David Bangalter who wrote such timely disco ditties as Otowan’s ‘D.I.S.C.O.‘. The pair met in 1987 and formed a band, Darlin’, along with Laurent Brancowitz; who later found fame with the band Phoenix. Darlin’s early output was described as a load of ‘daft punk’ by UK magazine Melody Maker. Although the band eventually disbanded, the name stuck.
One of a number of American bands that for some reason seem to be more appreciated overseas than at home (see also: The Killers, MGMT), Kings Of Leon have gradually worked their way up from being considered a somewhat journeyman rock band to attaining arena filling status. While their first three albums were received well in the UK, they were more or less ignored in the US, with only their last album ‘Only The Night’ managing to catch their compatriot’s attention. That went platinum Stateside (5 x platinum in the UK) and set them up for the next release; 2010′s ‘Come Around Sundown’ which kicked off with the UK top ten single, ‘Radioactive’. ‘Pyro’ is the follow up single, keeping to the same basic template but slowing things down a little. It’s a very well produced track that highlights Caleb Followill’s distinctive voice accompanied by a spacious and melodic backing supplied by the other band members.
The above performance was taken from Saturday Night Live and shows KOL at their incendiary best.
What with his clothing lines, restaurant chain, vodka marketing and constant name changes you’d wonder whether Diddy has any time left over to make music; but on the strength of ‘Coming Home’ it looks like he is managing just fine. With US singer/songwriter Skylar Grey on vocal hook duty, the track features some crunchy drum programming and pulsing strings which provide a suitably gritty backing track for Diddy to proclaim how hard it is being Diddy. While it’s hard to sympathise too much with his plight there’s no doubt the single has a certain nervous tension which makes for an enjoyable listen. Diddy’s experiment in working with the group Dirty Money seems to have come up with the goods, in this case aided by the seemingly ubiquitous Jay Z and London producer Alex Da Kid. Confusingly an identical track by J. Cole was leaked just before this version but it seems the Cole track was in fact a demo for this single.
The above performance was taken from the recent American Music Awards and sees Diddy rapping to his son who’s sitting in the audience: displaying a lesser seen hip hop trait of homely family values.
The guys at ATP are heading for a packed 2011. To their excellent, holiday resort based All Tomorrow’s Parties – a festival that has branches in New York, Australia, a stage in Barcelona’s Primavera Sound and different locations in the UK, where Animal Collective have been announced as the curators for its spring edition – they are now adding a new series of city based events which, carrying on the Velvet Underground themed names, is called ‘I’ll Be Your Mirror’.
The first date for this new venture was confirmed a few weeks ago when the organization announced Tokyo would be its first destination and favourite doom mongers Godspeed You Black Emperor! As curators, headlining a bill for which Boredoms, Dirty Three and Boris have already been confirmed. More details can be found here.
The second ‘I’ll Be Your Mirror’ will take place in London’s iconic Victorian location Alexandra Palace and Portishead have constructed a program including music, film and art activities with at least fifteen artists performing per day over the weekend of the 23rd and 24th of July. Bristol’s finest will headline both nights, which will be their only live shows during the year.
Grinderman, Liars, Beach House, Doom, The Books and a reunited Company Flow are the first acts confirmed in what looks like one of next summer’s most exciting line-ups. Tickets are available now, for booking details and more info head to I’ll Be Your Mirror’s official page.
We were lucky enough to have the fantastic band MEN, featuring Le Tigre member JD Samson, in the Studio.
MEN describe themselves as an art and live performance collective and are as controversial and confrontational in their lyrics as you would expect from one of feminist electro-clash’s biggest legends.
Performing two tracks for us, here is the first one, ‘Off Our Backs’ – a song about love and money according to JD. The video is a one off exclusive performance and features some of the best dancing our studio has ever seen!
As well as sharing their musical genius with us, the band were kind enough to bring some copies of the the single ‘Off Our Backs’ on 7″ vinyl and a few signed T-shirts to give away. For a chance to win one of these fantastic prizes please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the answer to the following question.
This week one half of The Last Shadow Puppets, Miles Kane made his live London debut in a cramped back room of a pub. The packed crowd was made up of fans and various music industry types, keen to hear Kane’s latest material after disbanding his previous band The Rascals. Also keeping a watchful eye on proceedings were Arctic Monkeys Matt Helders and Alex Turner – Kane’s Last Shadow Puppet colleague – as well as actor/director Richard Ayoade who directed the videos for the ‘Puppets ‘Standing Next To Me’ and ‘My Mistakes Were Made For You’.
Proving that he’s more than comfortable leading proceedings, Miles and his band confidently tore through a punchy ten song set that included debut single ‘Inhaler’ – which cheekily borrows the riff of a little known 60’s pysch lost classic ‘Mother Nature Father Earth’ by Bonniwell Music Machine. The gig proved a great showcase for his forthcoming solo album, which also features a contribution from Noel Gallagher – who lends his distinctive vocals to ‘My Fantasy’. Sadly the former Oasis guitarist didn’t make a live cameo.
Love them or loath them, there’s no denying the huge selling power of The Black Eyed Peas. Their standard setting mix of R&B and electro house club beats has seen them conquer the world’s charts: not to mention set the tone for almost every other urban act the world over. While Jay-Z riled against them on the track ‘Death Of Auto-Tune’; Usher, Rihanna, Ne-Yo and Kelly Rowland have seen some of the biggest successes of their career by following B.E.P.’s lead.
Their next album, ‘The Beginning’, looks set to be one of the biggest selling albums of 2010. The first single ‘The Time’ – which mashes together the hook from Dirty Dancing’s ‘Time Of My Life’ with a buzzing club beat – is already the most tagged track in the USA and likely to be a future Billboard number one. It’s even been supported by none other than Oprah Winfrey, who recently included the album as one of her ‘Favourite Things’ for the holiday season.
According to band leader will.i.am, the album symbolises “growth new beginnings and starts a fresh new perspective”. Yet Black Eyed Peas fans aren’t going to be concerned with anything ‘The Beginning’ stands for – they’re likely to be focusing on the radio friendly club beats and poppy hooks which the album delivers in spades.
You can listen to ‘The Beginning’ one week before release by following this link. You can also check out the new video for ‘The Time’, which sees B.E.P. pixilated and dropped into a predictably bangin’ club scenario.