Gig Guide w/e 11th August 2013

“Describing a path of great live music through the aftermath of the short but marvellous London summer”

Thomas Dybdahl – St Pancras Old Church, Monday

Norwegian singer-songwriter who has drawn favourable comparisons to Tim Buckley.

Swim Deep – Rough Trade East instore, Tuesday

Plenty of buzz around this band who peddle a nice line in feelgood sixties-tinged indie.

If you order the superbly-titled new album “Where The Heaven Are We?”LP quick from Rough Trade you’ll get a free wristband for this instore which is sure to be packed, given that it’s the school holidays.

I love this band. They’re also doing Banquet Records in Kingston on Thursday.

Polyphonic Spree – Village Underground, Tuesday

Yes, It’s True! The band of a million members (maybe a few less than that) return to tour their new album. (you see what I did there?) If you can’t make it to the gig then you can watch the live stream here

An interesting move, which is becoming more common with bands at all levels of fame and experience.

Could be the way forward?

Josefin Winther – Rattlesnake Angel, Tuesday

Norwegian songwriter based in London. Haunting melodies with that Elsewhere quality, drawing comparisons to Patti Smith and PJ Harvey

Also playing an acoustic set at the Half Moon, Putney on Monday for the bargain price of £2.50. Car trouble is the only thing preventing me from attending that as as well. Damn you, Ford Focus. Damn you.

Tako Lako – Windmill, Thursday

Hailing from Denmark and Serbia, this seven-piece sound a bit like Gogol Bordello or Katzenjammer, but a bit less frenetic and perhaps more musical.

Stoneface Travellers – Boogaloo, Thursday

Classic Rock-styled three piece – and I’m talking about the swampy rock sounds of Free or Creedence rather than stadium, which is just fine by me. Sounds pretty authentic too (American drummer, duh!) . And the Boogaloo is a great venue. And you can park on the road nearby after 6pm.

This clip (shot at the Water Rats) gives you an idea (dodgy sound quality aside, which isn’t their fault)

Catfish And The Bottlemen – Koko, Friday

Biggest gig so far for Llandudno’s CATB, feted by Steve Lamacq and others, and rightly so. Last time I went to Koko I had to be restrained from lamping idiots taking selfies while Of Montreal were playing so be warned. Kids, eh?

Hannah White – Union Chapel, Friday

Excellent singer-songwriter in the Laura mould (more Viers than Marling to these ears).

This is “Flawless”. By which I mean, this is flawless.

Nice Peter – Bush Hall, Saturday

Comic / Guitar Heo / Youtube sensation. Best to watch this vid as it’s a bit hard to describe why he’s so great …

Azure Blue – Lexington, Sunday

Azure Blue, the third Scandinavian act featured this week, is the new solo project from Tobias Isaksson. His old bands Irene and Laurel Music attracted worldwide recognition, documented from The Allmusic Guide to the blogosphere, but this is a brand new start. With Azure Blue, Tobias has surpassed all his previous work. The whole process has been like watching a baby dolphin being born.

The name is a paraphrase of the title of Dennis Wilson’s timeless classic album “Pacific Ocean Blue”.

These ears hear lovely, understated old school indie sounds (circa Fac 39 or thereabouts)

I’m definitely going to be getting to a couple of these myself. See you down the front!

Talons – The Lexington, London

Friday 3rd November, 2011

What does this band sound like ? I never know how to answer that properly.

It was simpler back in the day. You had rock and pop, soul and reggae, country, classical, folk. That was about it and you knew where you were.

Nowadays – well, this is a desperately incomplete and in no way definitive list of the genres inhabiting today’s musical landscape. See if you can spot the ones that I’ve made up. Although of course that doesn’t mean they aren’t genuine genres even if only by coincidence.

Indie, Shoegaze, Techno, House, Funk, Jazz-Funk, Jazz.

Acid Jazz, Acid Folk, Acid House, Acid Drops.

Drum and Bass, Jungle, Grime.

Crunk, Donk, Emo, Screamo, Romo.

Punk, Nu-Punk, Ska-Punk, Skater-Punk, Jazz-Punk.

Country, Western, Country AND Western, Bluegrass,

Folk, Alt.folk, Antifolk

Prog rock, Classic Rock, Jazz-Rock, Post-rock, Math Rock.

Grunge, Clunge, Flange

Garage, UK Garage, Two-Car Garage.

Death Metal, Black Metal, Nu-metal

Pop, Chamber Pop, Wonky Pop, Swingbeat.

As soon as you define something musically, you pigeonhole it. And you put off some people who may have liked it, while other people think they’re going to like it and don’t.

If I describe Talons as post-rock that will put people off because they have heard one band that is a post-rock band (say Mogwai) and they didn’t like them.

If you have never heard of either of these bands, and there’s no particular reason why you should have, then how about this – would you say that just because you don’t like UB40, that means you won’t like Bob Marley ? They’re both reggae artists, after all.

So, Talons.

Talons are a bit mathy and a bit posty. And instrumental.

Six impossibly young looking lads from Hereford, apparently.

They have a unique line-up consisting of two guitars, bass and drums – and not one but two violins, played in the ferocious manner of Klaas Janzoons on early dEUS albums.

According to their website (link below but read the rest of this blog article first, its good!) Talons play neither post-rock nor math-rock but something in-between. So, a bit mathy and a bit posty. I’d also say a bit proggy and a tiny bit thrashy, but only when its called-for.

It reminded me a bit of Grammatics fused with Mogwai, but the band may well disagree.

They open with an astonishing seven or eight minute epic piece of melodic noise. As soon as the music starts they’re transformed from six diffident young lads into a transfixing noise unit, perfectly in synch, confident in their creation of a unique, brilliant sound.

These boys can really play. The drummer holds it all together brilliantly through the odd time signatures.

They have an album out called “Hidden Treasures”. Its superb, and you should buy it – but you should also go see them live, cos that’s where they take it to another level.