All images are the property of Tim Phillips-White (2012/13)
What can compensate for a damp, dank and unseasonably warm November evening in Birmingham? Three brilliant bands for only fifteen pounds, that’s what. In terms of value alone, this could at the very least be described as the very best of Monday nights.
So, I was extremely excited about seeing Frightened Rabbit and then I discovered that one of my favourite bands from the last few years were supporting, namely the fantastic Lanterns on the Lake; quite possibly the best thing to come out of Newcastle since, well I don’t know when.
First up we had Paul Thomas Saunders – unfortunately due to pub related activities we only caught the second part of his set; however we were all very impressed – well worth having a listen to his latest EP ‘Descartes Highlands’.
Next the ever wonderful Lanterns on the Lake – two albums in and after a slight line up change, the North East’s finest just keep getting better and better. Bitter sweet and sometimes fraught lyrics delivered with a musical intensity that moves – all topped off with the spellbinding and beautiful vocals of Hazel Wilde. Exciting to end with my personal favourite, ‘ I Love You Sleepyhead’ – both their albums are essential purchases.
As for Frightened Rabbit – what can one say? They certainly didn’t disappoint – it makes a rare change to find a band that really connects with their audience – this was demonstrated to perfection. As for the music, well this was powerful and sublime. Scott Hutchison is a brilliant frontman; joking with the crowd before launching into a series of intense and sometimes heartbreaking songs. The moment that he turned of the amplification and sand acoustically at the front of the stage to complete silence and reverence from the crowd will stay with me for a long time indeed.
Some would say that I have fairly dubious tastes in music, however, and how can I put this, those people are completely fucking wrong. What you will hear below is what happens when you combine the genius of the late, and very much missed Alex Chilton, alongside the national treasures that are otherwise known as Teenage Fanclub.
Pure pop perfection, this song completely sums up those first feelings that come crashing in when you fall in love; and unless you’ve somehow mislaid your soul along the way, you’ll be singing the chorus to this song for bloody ages. This song was never recorded or released, so all we have is this live recording. It’s a belter….!
Alex Chilton and Teenage Fanclub – You’re So Fine
How best to describe the performance from Mogwai last Thursday night at the Institute? It was the first time I’d seen them play live, however, I already had high expectations, and they didn’t disappoint me.
This turned out to be one of the most intense and moving musical performances that I have had the privilege of watching during the twenty odd years that I’ve been watching live music.
I was prepared for loudness, the Institutes acoustics are perfect for this, however as the evening progressed this became more like a prolonged attack on my central nervous system, like having your stomach jumped upon repeatedly by a very large, unforgiving man. Despite the gut wrenching sound attack, you cant help but be taken in by the sheer depth and beauty of their sound. To those who know and love their music, Mogwai are not your average band; they very rarely use vocals, and yet this seems perfectly normal.
Highlight of the evening for me was an amazing performance of “How to be a werewolf”, (see below), however this was just one of many high points during what turned out to be an awesome night. Amazing sonic soundscapes, sometimes brutal, always beautiful.
This is a band not to be missed on any count. Hopefully their commercial success will soon match their critical reputation.
Their latest album, “Hardcore will never die, but you will” is out now.
Mogwai – “How to be a werewolf”
Mogwai – “Letters to the Metro”
As I’m one of those moods where I find myself thinking too much about things; here’s one of my favourite songs at the moment – the type of song where you relate to the lyrics perhaps too closely….
Excellent gig at the Glee Club, Birmingham last night; and even better value for money, ticket prices were only £6.00. Bloody good considering we got to see the wonderful Mumford and Sons as well as two support acts.
Throw in a great, up for it Birmingham crowd and a wonderful night was had by all – the band obviously really enjoyed it as well judging by the banter coming from the stage.
If you get the chance to see them in the near future, DO IT!! Failing that, their debut album is released next Monday, (5/10/09), by Island Records…..
While we’re at it, you should also take a look one of the support acts from last night, Sons of Noel and Adrian.
I first heard Mayer Hawthorne earlier this summer, and to be honest, I was totally blown away. I wasn’t sure if what I was listening to was a cover version, or even an old track from the early 1970’s. What I didn’t know at the time was that Mayer Hawthorne was in fact a multi-instrumentalist coming out of Detroit, and based very much in the here and now….
So, here is the video for ‘Maybe So, Maybe No’ – one of my tracks of 2009.
The song is taken from the album ‘A Strange Arrangement’ – out now on Stones Throw Records .
So, I was sat at home last contemplating making an effort to do some much needed housework and awaiting news on the abortion bill – as you can tell just another normal evening in my increasingly middle aged world!
It’s at times like this that you need something to stir you from your self inflicted lethargy – a shock to the system, and by God I got one whilst watching Jools Holland on BBC2.
Now, I love Mr Weller; I would consider him to be one of the greatest songwriters that this country has ever produced; I’ve even been buying his records for nearly twenty years now.
However, nothing prepared me for the shock of his latest coiffure. However hard I tried, I just couldn’t take me eyes of it. Paul was playing some songs from his excellent new album; I kept trying to listen, I really wanted to listen – but I couldn’t, the hair had me transfixed.
Never before has the sight of a mop of silver hair made me think that I really should go and mop the kitchen floor. The sense of horror and despair that I felt throughout the rest of the night cannot be put into words!!
Please Paul, I’m coming to see you play live later this year – please, for my sake and for your own dignity, cut your hair!!!