Tag Archives: Kings

July Playlist: Music Reviews

Jonathan O’Shea returns with a new monthly column reviewing the best music releases of the month. For July he’s selected a quartet of “must hear” tracks for Kureen subscribers to get their lug holes around.

Bodyline – Peaches

Ripe as ever, the pornographic priestess Peaches is back. Typically lascivious and with trademark urgency, ‘Bodyline’ is – somewhat disappointingly – not about the 1932/33 Ashes tour (ask your great-granddad). Instead, it’s more about her familiar themes of submitting to animalistic impulses and seeking personal freedom.

Implicit references to willies are fewer than usual, as the returning electro queen corrals the guitar skills of Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Nick Zinner to augment her belligerent vocal style. Two-and-a-half minutes of insistent suggestiveness climaxes in wailing sirens on this interim single, released ahead of her forthcoming new album (released in September). As Peaches preaches: “Don’t knock it ‘til you try it”.

Go – The Chemical Brothers ft Q-Tip

Grand Old Dukes of electronica, The Chemical Brothers, are also back among the airwaves, re-uniting with rap royalty, Q-Tip (following up their impressive collaboration on 2008’s ‘Galvanize’). ‘Go’ begins amid frantic bongos and slashing light-sabres (honestly); and Q-Tip’s muscular rap provides the backbone for a familiar Daft Punk-style synth-a-thon.

This dancefloor-friendly slice is escorted by a characteristically oblique Michel Gondry video. Gondry, who has previously conjured magical moving images to accompany the sounds of (among others) the White Stripes, Metronomy and Paul McCartney, presents an alluring troupe of overgrown Oompa-Loompas practicing sailing drills/Morris dancing in a futuristic fortress. At least that’s my interpretation of it.

‘Cause I’m a Man – Tame Impala

Australia’s Tame Impala have received an avalanche of positive acclaim for their third album, ‘Currents’, which apparently expands their repertoire from psych-rock to electro, disco and new romanticism. This dreamy, 80s-flavoured Prince-esque letter of apology for being ‘typically male’ (i.e. acting before thinking) is a good indicator of the new direction.

The band’s musical mastermind, Kevin Parker, has stated his aim to hear their latest creations emanating from dancefloors – presumably rather than the bedroom windows of stoned students. This stylish slow groove could fulfil that wish in a last-song-of-the-night kind of way.

Dreams – Beck

Not another Fleetwood Mac cover, mercifully. But pop is constantly chewing on itself and, here, alt-veteran Beck serves up an MGMT-flecked melange: the song’s eclectic feel shamelessly recalls their ‘Electric Feel’. It works brilliantly; even threatening to infiltrate the ‘mainstream’ by featuring in TV ads and various musical montages of late.

Reminiscent of his upbeat ‘Guero’-era danceable demi-anthems, this track – devoted to the restorative power of dreams – is thickly layered with catchy aural confections. Never outstaying its welcome at five minutes, it’s surely the funksome highpoint of Beck’s meandering later career.

Also recommended this month

 

Kings Never Die – Eminem ft Gwen Stefani.

Comeback rant featuring boxing legend Riddick Bowe (in the lyrics, sadly not rapping.)

What Went Down – Foals.

Lung-bursting, stock-in-trade anthem by the ascendant kings of UK guitar music.

Them Changes – Thundercat.

Soul-stirring stuff from bass boss Stephen Bruner.

Tune in again next month to see which tracks J O’S selects as August’s top tunes. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

Written by Jonathan O'Shea

A keen student of sport, music and life. Can generally be found educating small people, bitterly damning Aston Villa's latest attempts at football, or writing nonsense about ephemera.

Isle of Wight Festival 2014. Part Two: Main Stagers

The 2014 Isle of Wight Festival’s improved ticket sales were largely contingent on the announcement of The Red Hot Chili Peppers, who headlined Saturday night on the main stage.

Sara_Lincoln_Photography-KOL[1]

It was unfortunate therefore, that the Los Angeles based funk-rockers hit the stage more than 20 minutes belatedly and produced a so-so set with little crowd interaction.

Lead singer Anthony Kiedis sporadically took his customary leave of absence from the stage, compelling his supporting cast to produce a scattered selection of instrumental solos that were hit and miss over the course of the one and a half hour set.

In spite of those frustrating elements, there was undeniably a main event feel about the band’s presence, an A-List aura that comes with decades of successful output.

ThePrettyRecklessMainstage-Callum-2[1]

The Kings of Leon managed to get everyone bobbing and weaving on Sunday night when they played “Sex on Fire” as part of their encore.

The three Followill brothers (and one Followill cousin) had their moments, although ultimately their gritty guitar shredding gradually wore down spectators and felt as if they were just going through the motions, like a karaoke album of Kings of Leon cover versions!

This is the second time in recent years that the quartet have been booked at the head of the Isle of Wight bill and the second time that they’ve been ok, never exhibiting the showmanship to pull up too many trees in their drawn out bouts of southern-rock stodge that rely too heavily on a few prominent single releases.

One band that did exceed most expectations were the spectacular Pretty Reckless, whose lead lady Taylor Momsen lived up to her post-grunge rocker billing with a series of f-bomb garnished observations between tracks, a welcome variation from the usual benign chit-chat bands feel obliged to spout and in stark contrast to the hesitance of the top-line acts here.

One of the most memorable main stage performances came courtesy of Matt Healy fronted quartet The 1975, who played everything from their self titled debut album, as well as a few less heralded compositions.

BOY_GEORGE.Sara_Lincoln_Photography-18[1]

Pumping out a divine concoction of passion and melancholy, the Cheshire based indie pop-rockers weren’t lacking in confidence or charisma.

A slimline Boy George fused reggae with old school pop to delight early revellers in the Big Top on Thursday evening, casting aside any doubts that the one time Culture Club icon still has the desire and calibre to dazzle when called upon.

Biffy Clyro were understandably the least heralded of the three main stage headliners and the least memorable to boot. Despite that fact, high-octane adaptations of “Black Chandelier” and “The Golden Rule” punctuated a breathless, well received set.

IOW Festival 2014 Dappy

Concluding the weekend’s top-line activity, Travis had the Big Top crammed for a superlative, affable gig that closed with the irksomely catchy “Why Does It Always Rain On Me?”

The folky Glaswegians have a reputation for bordering on vanilla, but gave a hell of a send-off to fans who poured out of the fields following a second enormous ovation at the denouement of their most distinctive release.

On a humorous note, the egotistical Dappy, formerly of N-Dubs, had his set curtailed in its relative infancy, officially for his increasingly colourful language, although in truth probably just because he’s Dappy and nobody wants to be subjected to more than a few minutes of his wannabe gangster antics… And ting.

Looking solely at the three acts with their names in the largest font on the poster, it would be easy to assume that this year’s Isle of Wight Festival was a flop.

It’s only when one scratches beneath the superficial that they realise the immense stature of that which lurked a little deeper.

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.

Isle of Wight Festival 2014 Highlights. Part One: Local Bands.

The Isle of Wight Festival kicked off the 2014 summer season of live music with a posturing, strutting cocktail which catered for everyone who entered Seaclose Park during the course of the four days. Dom Kureen and photographer Sophie Robinson were present to check it out.

Ellie Price of Signals

Following last year’s disappointing ticket sales and mixed feedback, Isle of Wight Festival promoter John Giddings knew that he had to flip a Royal Flush this time around in order to mend the reputation of a previously highly regarded event.

In 2014 Giddings and his fellow organisers got it right, providing a fully warranted spotlight for a burgeoning crop of local talent that is the most exciting in decades, whilst cramming the main stage headline slots and under card with an eclectic menu that surely had something to satiate even the airiest hipster.

Local Highlights

The “Platform One” and “Kashmir Cafe” stages in particular promoted the cream of Isle of Wight talent, allowing groups from the area pleasingly extensive exposure.

Fresh from their Bestival competition success, Ba.Dow hit the P1 stage three times over the course of the weekend, their catchy guitar riffs accompanied by Beth Ditto-esque vocal interpretations that resonated courtesy of lead singer/drummer Jodie Amos and ensured that they once again confirmed their status as one of the five most promising bands on the island.

Signals excelled in their final set of the weekend inside the Kashmir Cafe, despite front-woman Ellie Price suffering from a bout of laryngitis.

The four-piece, who have only recently returned from a successful UK tour, had the packed venue leaping around incessantly with a memorable rendition of the uber uplifting “Square Wheels” with bass guitarist Alex Vanblaere in his element within the crammed venue, upping his usual ferocity to compensate for Price’s enforced throaty reticence.

Ska practitioners The Ohmz engaged spectators with their customary high-tempo unpredictability and their place upon the “Life’s a Beach” stage was undoubtedly one of the booking masterstrokes of the entire festival.

Dan Duveaux
Dan Duveaux

Pleasurade disappointingly opted to call it a day, announcing they were set to go their separate ways following a conclusive gig at the festival.  It brought the curtain down on a four year stint that had gradually gained the talented quintet a decent following in local circles.

Their adieu wasn’t all sunshine and lounge chairs, with Adam Gaterell’s guitar refusing to play ball for the band’s send-off, fortunately he had a replacement in tow!

Others who stood out from the local acts were Duveaux who were booked to play a mammoth six times, yet still managed to attract hefty crowds until the end and Floella Grace, whose emotional recital left a lasting impression upon everyone who was there to enjoy it – she’s one to watch in the next couple of years.

On a broader level, Platform One and those who come from its conveyor belt have evolved massively during the past few years.

Where in the College’s infancy the output was diluted by a host of wannabe Nirvana tributes, there’s no doubt that the contemporary artists all have the potential and originality to thrive on grander stages.

This was the first Isle of Wight Festival that truly showcased the magnitude of local talent on offer, for that John Giddings and his motley crew should be commended.

Check back for part two, where Dom will be looking at the ‘big names’ who performed at the 2014 Isle of Wight Festival!

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.