Saturday, 31 August 2013

This weekend at The Musician: Green Date (Sat.), Flying Kangaroo Alliance (Sun.)

Saturday 31st August

Xander Promotions presents...

Green Date (Green Day Tribute)
plus The Lost Future
The formation of Green Date pre-dates the world shaking arrival of the album “American Idiot” and the never-to-be-forgotten “Bullet In A Bible” tour. Based in Nottinghamshire, Green Date are one of the finest tribute bands, displaying their talents to fans across the four corners of the British Isles and further afield into mainland Europe. Now well established in the nation’s punk circle the members of Green Date are all gifted musicians in their own right. However, the passion and creative edge that comes across in their live shows derives from their collective love of the band they so closely emulate, Green Day.

Sunday 1st September

Magic Teapot Presents

Flying Kangaroo Alliance (Single Vinyl Launch)
plus The Dedbeats, Siobhan Mazzei, Kevin Hewick
and The Bobcats
Like a bag of party poppers in a tumble dryer, Flying Kangaroo Alliance are probably the best new alt-rock/grunge band you've never heard. Formed in 2011, their influences range from the grunge of the early 90s through to Muse and Paramore.

Tonight heralds a special vinyl single launch for the band, in association with Punk Fox Records.

“Finally a bit of attitude; Meri Everitt and her band F.K.A. perform an excellent set of 90s’esque alt/grunge/rock… Meri’s voice is aggressive and captivating as she spills cleverly written anti-mainstream, f-you lyrics. Under which the band play exceptional music; very clever discordant figures and contesting parts between the two guitars and the bass give a very interesting textures for the listener’s ear." - Arts in Leicester

Remember; always check with the venue before travelling:

Friday, 30 August 2013

The Wedding Present announce Autumn dates

The Wedding Present will be re-releasing eight of their best known LPs later this year, and to celebrate, will be playing a set of ten dates in late October / early November – inc. Leicester.

22 Oct: Wolverhampton, Slade Rooms 

23 Oct: Cardiff, The Glee Club 

24 Oct: Leeds, Academy 

25 Oct: Glasgow, ABC 

27 Oct: Aberdeen, The Lemon Tree 

28 Oct: Newcastle, Warehouse 34 

29 Oct: Liverpool, Academy 2 

30 Oct: Leicester, Academy 

31 Oct: Northampton, Roadmender 

1 Nov: London, Shepherd's Bush Empire

Review: Mel Stark – Broken Line

Mel Stark – Broken Line (Stark Audio Productions)
A native of Eugene, Oregon, Mel Stark has been writing songs since she picked up her first ukulele in 2006 and joined her local monthly song group - where ideas are shared and members support and encourage each other’s efforts. And over the years she learned her craft, progressed to guitar and wrote more songs, and now, after an intense two-year writing / recording period, her debut album “Broken Line” has been released.

I imagine she must be very proud. It’s a fine collection, lyrically strong, and with tunes and hooks aplenty. Her voice will remind some of kd lang – though the rough edges have been left very much intact, and the production is never too refined. That’s no bad thing as it lends the collection an authenticity; a realness that’s extremely attractive to those seeking a genuine voice, and should appeal to a variety of folk, singer-songwriter and Americana fans.

She begins the album with one of her strongest tracks: “Love the Way”. It’s pacey, rhythmically robust, and the song is catchy and instantly likeable. “Baby Come Home” is just as pleasing - there’s no doubting Stark’s way with a pop hook, and the atmospheric electric guitar adds another dimension. “Old House” is perhaps the best of her story songs, where she skillfully places the listener into the narrative and the imagery she weaves is subtle and clever.
Phil S.

Twenty One Pilots announce February UK dates

Fueled By Ramen's Twenty One Pilots announce February UK dates:
17 Feb: Brighton, The Haunt

18 Feb: Oxford, Academy 2

19 Feb: Birmingham, Library

21 Feb: Manchester, Academy 3

22 Feb: Leeds, Cockpit

23 Feb: Glasgow, King Tut's

25 Feb: Bristol, Thekla

26 Feb: Portsmouth, Wedgewood Rooms

27 Feb: London, Heaven

Frankie Rose confirms UK dates in December with White Lies

Frankie Rose confirms UK dates in December with White Lies

Frankie Rose live (all dates supporting White Lies)
3 December - 02 Academy - Newcastle
4 December - 02 ABC - Glasgow
6 December - Academy - Manchester
7 December - Rock City - Nottingham
8 December - 02 Academy - Bristol
10 December - Roundhouse - London
14 December - UEA - Norwich
15 December - The Institute - Birmingham

Review: Lani Stanistreet – Unconditional

Lani Stanistreet – Unconditional (Independent)
From Melbourne, Australia, Lani Stanistreet had been playing guitar and singing for a number of years before the inspiration came to write her own material and take her music seriously. That came in 2010 with the acquisition of her first ”real grown-up guitar” - a Martin OMC Aura - and suddenly the desire to write songs and make music a major part of her life to come was overwhelming. “Unconditional” is her debut release.

The collection is completely self-penned, and Stanistreet touches on a number of sensitive subjects, from soured friendships to cancer, loneliness and suicide, but does so in a way that’s never maudlin or over-sentimental. She’s a skilled wordsmith with a crystal clear voice and keen ear for melody. Instrumentally, there’s also plenty going on; though her acoustic guitar affords a warm, central foundation for her sound, she’s joined by another half dozen musicians and vocalists, providing nuance, emphasis and lots of depth.

She’s extremely adept at conjuring up mood; “The Undertow” is haunting and poignant, and its theme of cautionary love is beautifully framed in classic folk-rock tones. “You Wear a Golden Ring” is equally evocative, and the title track features an outstanding vocal – maybe the finest on the collection – and you’ll find the little hairs that live on the back of things will invariably spring to attention.
Phil S.

Tonight at The Musician: Voodoo Room (Hendrix/Cream Tribute)

Xander Promotions presents...

Voodoo Room (Hendrix/Cream Tribute)
Friday 30th August
£8adv £10door
Voodoo Room are a stunning new power trio featuring some of the UK's finest musicians. Their individual credits include the likes of Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Duran Duran, Fish, Thunder and Chris Difford.

Paying tribute to both Hendrix & Cream, they perform an incredible, high energy show, delivered in the true spirit of these two legends from the world of classic blues/rock.

"Really excellent show, great touch, tone feel and grooves - Cream & Hendrix refortified!" - Pete Feenstra - The Boom Boom Club, London

Remember; always check with the venue before travelling:

Leonardo da Vinci famous drawings on show in Venice

Fifty two drawings by Leonardo da Vinci - including his famous study of the body - have gone on show in Venice.

Leonardo da Vinci: The Universal Man includes the original image of his The Vitruvian Man, which has not been seen in public in 30 years.

The exhibition at the Galleria dell'Academia is a collection of the Renaissance painter's artistic and scientific research.

It also features preparatory drawings for some of da Vinci's famous works.

Curator Annalisa Perissa Torriani said she hoped the show would provide visitors with an insight into the inner workings of the artist's mind.

She said it shows da Vinci "reasoning and translating from his brain to his hand but always retracing his steps to add corrections and additions".

Da Vinci, who was born in 1452, was a polymath whose talents covered painting, sculpting, architecture, mathematics and botany among many others.

The Vitruvian Man was based on the writings of the ancient Roman architect Vitruvius, who correlated the measurements and design of the human body into architecture.

Despite it being among Da Vinci's most famous works, the fact that it is drawn on paper means that it is rarely put on public display over fears of lasting damage.

The exhibition has been made possible with works from the Venice museum's own archives as well as from the collections of the British Royal Family, Oxford's Ashmolean Museum, the British Museum in London and the Louvre in Paris.

The show runs until 1 December.

Source: BBC

Artist John Bellany dies at 71

The artist John Bellany has died at the age of 71.

One of Scotland's best-known artists, he was born in the fishing community of Port Seton in East Lothian.

He trained at the Edinburgh College of Art and then in London. His works were exhibited and collected around the world.

He moved to Italy after a period of ill health. His family said he died on Wednesday evening, in his studio, with a paint brush in his hand.

A statement on his official website said: "It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of a true Scottish giant.

"At seventeen minutes past seven on the evening of Wednesday August 28 John passed away, in his studio, surrounded by his family.

"He was clutching a paint brush in his hand as he took his final breath.

"His passion was life and he painted as if each day was his last."

Bellany was born into a family of fishermen and boat builders at Port Seton in 1942 and much of his work is said to draw inspiration from his coastal roots.

He studied painting at Edinburgh College of Art in the 1960s before moving to London to study at the Royal College of Art.

Bellany successfully underwent a liver transplant in the 1980s and was made a CBE in 1994.

He had suffered three heart attacks, including one outside his own exhibition in Glasgow, but even that informed his work.

His paintings feature in the collections of galleries including the National Galleries of Scotland, Tate Britain in London and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Sir John Leighton, director general of the National Galleries of Scotland, said Bellany would be celebrated as one of the greatest Scottish artists of the modern era.

'Abiding spirit'

He added: "From his early, heroic depictions of fisherfolk on the Scottish coast to the vibrant, passionate images of his later years he gave visual form to the big themes and narratives of human life.

"The retrospective show at the National Galleries last autumn demonstrated how he was able to use the drama and crises of his own life as a starting point for powerful explorations of man's struggle with fate and, as he entered his seventies, it seemed as if he was still at the top of the game.

"We are extremely sad to hear of his death but his art will remain an inspiration to artists long in to the future."

First Minister Alex Salmond paid tribute to the painter as "one of Scotland's finest artists" and an "outstanding" person.

"He led an extraordinary life which was both marked by personal illness and tragedy while also filled with joy and passion," Mr Salmond said.

"He always had an abiding spirit which made him such excellent company. He was also committed to great causes and he donated a wonderful painting, a feast of colour depicting Macduff Harbour, as the subject of the First Minister's Homecoming Christmas card in 2008.

"Following its auction, the proceeds were donated to four charities, including the RNLI as respect and support for seafaring communities was one of John's passions and an inspiration for his talent.

"His work was acclaimed both in Scotland and around the world and my condolences go to his friends and family."

Source: BBC

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Review: Michael Mattice – Comin’ Home

Michael Mattice – Comin’ Home (Independent)
Michael Mattice’s early musical interests were classical and jazz. He began his musical journey aged eight, studying flute and piano, before joining various youth orchestras and jazz bands - eventually graduating from Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. Outside of school and college he played in local bands, co-founding the progressive-metal band Yantra and finding plentiful work as a professional session guitarist.

“Comin’ Home” is Mattice’s debut collection, and it’s a beautifully evocative mix of ‘70s Americana and old blues with a contemporary alternative vibe, which embraces a post-grunge slacker groove and soul-baring, anti-folk lyricism. His musicianship is exemplary throughout; not showy or overcooked, but simply effective and appropriate to both his songs and the moods they set.

Highlights come thick and fast. Opener “Back to You” arrives on perfectly formed acoustic guitars with Mattice’s voice ringing out true and clear. “Windowpane” is the single and its gentle tone and heartfelt words deserve a little radio play. “The Price” taps into the Nick Drake / John Martyn tradition, and on “Train Hoppin'” he usurps a pack of Robert Johnson’s hellhounds, and compresses the mix in what sounds like pre-war shellac.

The upbeat “Lonesome Man” brings to mind the Pentangle guitarists Bert Jansch and John Renbourn, and on “Led to Gold” its different names like Lou Barlow and even Pavement that register. Throughout the album Mattice’s musical vision remains focused and intact. He’s a distinctive vocalist and a writer with plenty to say, and I hope we don’t have to wait to long to hear more.
Phil S.

Tonight at The Musician (29/8): Trembling Bells + Fangtrouser + Melanie Page & The Old Joy

Magic Teapot presents...

Trembling Bells
Thursday 29th August
plus Fangtrouser and Melanie Page & The Old Joy
Trembling Bells are 21st century troubadours who know their history, joyously attempting to synthesise traditional folk forms with the bathetic romanticism of country music, the deceptive complexity of medieval music and the swagger of classic Rock. Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen are the guiding lights in a music that embraces British folk-rock, American roots and electric psychedelia. They are on a quest to connect with the core tradition of song and live deep within its mysteries… a rhapsodic celebration of the power of song.

In Spring 2012 the Trembling Bells played, sang and duelled with Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, performing a new collection of songs written by the Trembling Bells some of which appear on the collaborative album ‘The Marble Downs’, out on Honest Jon’s..

"There’s folk, there’s rock, there’s psychedelia, there’s beauty, there’s noise, there’s sex, there’s gloom, there’s humour, there’s fun. It’s often over-the-top but sometimes perfectly restrained. It’s totally, gloriously, f***ing nuts" - Sounds XP

Remember; always check with the venue before travelling:

Midlake announce February UK / Irish dates

With their Islington Assembly Hall show in October selling out in less than 24 ours, MIDLAKE have today announced news of a UK tour in February 2014 to follow the release of their fourth album Antiphon in early November, finishing in London with a performance at Shepherd's Bush Empire. Upcoming UK/Irish dates below:

Wednesday 23 October – LONDON – Islington Assembly Hall **(SOLD-OUT!)**

Thursday 20 February – MANCHESTER – The Ritz Tickets
Friday 21 February – WOLVERHAMPTON – Wulfrun Hall Tickets
Saturday 22 February – GLASGOW – O2 ABC Tickets
Sunday 23 February – DUBLIN – Vicar Street Tickets
Tuesday 25 February – BRISTOL – Anson Rooms Tickets
Wednesday 26 February – LONDON – O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire Tickets