Beth Jeans Houghton relaxes upstairs in the Slaughtered Lamb with her band, the Hooves of Destiny, donning layers and layers of black eyeliner and covering her short pixie cut with a massive backcombed blond wig. She’s not quite a star yet, even though this, her first headlining show in the capital, is sold out.
Her popularity, helped by the ‘Golden’ single she released a few months back, millions of live performances and the variety of skimpy outfits she wears on stage, doesn’t seem to phase her. The 19-year-old is full of chat, wit and observation. The costume and joking could quite easily be a front for her nerves, but there’s no need – she has her audience captivated and they listen, quiet as mice, to every song.
The sound isn’t the best in the Lamb’s basement and it’s difficult to hear to lone violin and trumpet over Beth’s soothing, breathy vocals and guitar, especially when the reverb is layered on. “We’ve just discovered reverb,” she tells the crowd, asking for more, more, more. But luckily, she keeps it simple and light enough to let her intricate and old-fashioned melodies shine through.
‘Lily Putt’, the last song on her new ‘Hot Toast’ E.P., launched at the gig, is the first tonight. It starts sweet and soft, like some 60’s French pop song before galloping into its upbeat verses and its hugely catchy chorus.
The catchiness continues with an old song, ‘Harlequin’, not available on this new E.P. or her ‘Golden’ single. It’s a great song though, full of rich harmonies. It really brings the band together and shows that Beth isn’t scared of showcasing her past triumphs to a new audience. A violin solo in the form of the Antiques Roadshow theme is a sweet addition, although a little tricky to hear. Better mics next time please.
From old to new…incredibly new! ‘Dodecahedron’, written just two days before, is beautiful. Although it obviously needs work, it shows Beth’s grasp on complex harmonies, making a simple, repetitive song full of life.
Swapping guitar for keyboard she performs ‘Night Swimmer’, looping her vocals to bring the audience the layered harmonies they’ve been missing until now and, after a bit of ‘Ding Dang Dong’, she sings her best-known song to date, ‘Golden’, through gritted teeth. “I really don’t want to play it”, she says, and her smile-less face shows her revolt, but it’s still lovely, with looped three-part harmonies working beautifully together. Let’s hope she doesn’t turn her back on it just yet.
E.P. producer Mike Lindsay from Tuung joins the Hooves for ‘I Will Return, I Promise’, while Beth dons banjo. It’s raucous and fun, coming across better than the recorded version, and ends Beth’s headline debut on the perfect note. Try and see her soon because she’ll be selling out bigger venues before too long.
Words by Gemma Hampson
The return of The Twilight Sad is one of the many things that we should be genuinely excited about in British music this year. The Kilsyth quartet caused a quiet storm with their astonishing debut ‘Fourteen Autumns And Fifteen Winters’, an unsettling collection of modern folk tales, delivered with spittle and mudslides of Mogwai-esque noise. This cacophonous poetry sounded like many things, but the sum of the parts burned with a rare fervour.
Now, the foundations are in place for the band to further bolster their reputation with ‘Forget The Night Ahead’. Whether or not it will be a career-defining album, however, is less of a sure thing. James Graham’s snarling twang is as gloriously grating as it always was, but the music has moved on, and not always to the same intriguing places.
Much of the warmth that could be found on ‘Fourteen Winters…’ has been shed in the pursuit of a harder, more direct sound. While it works to thrilling effect on tracks like ‘I Became A Prostitute’ or ‘Birthday Present’ – all divebombing guitars and wall-splattering drums – it leaves ‘Reflection Of The TV’ and ‘Interrupted’ sounding rather like a Scottish Interpol. Acceptable? Yes, but The Twilight Sad needn’t – and shouldn’t – walk in anyone’s shadow.
The group have made clear their intentions of pushing their aesthetic, and that’s laudable. However, it feels as though they’ve moved further towards their peers rather than maintaining the regal distance they had afforded themselves previously. ‘Forget The Night Ahead’ is not the album that will see The Twilight Sad fulfil their artistic potential, though, vitally, it provides enough to suggest that record cannot be far away.
Words by Neil Condron
9:00am – 10:00am Diesel U Mix – E*Rock
This electronic whizz hails from Oregon and is also a talented artist and animator. Tune in tomorrow for an early morning wake up call.
10:00am – 12:00pm A Mountain of One (repeat)
Listen to a live set from the psyche rockers and hear them play a selection of their favourite tunes.
12:00pm – 2:00pm George Demure (repeat)
George will be interviewing singer Dot Allison, the formidable force who has previously collaborated with Paul Weller and Pete Doherty. He will also be chatting to Fred Deacon of Lemon Jelly fame.
2:00pm – 4:00pm Paul Thomson Red Tape (repeat)
Franz Ferdinand’s very own Paul Thomson recorded this D:U:M show in his hometown of Glasgow. Hear what he’s listening to right now.
4:00pm – 6:00pm Cosmodelica with Cage and Aviary (repeat)
Cosmodelica is a no-holds barred DJ who likes to embrace any musical genre or style. He will be joined by two of DFA’s finest DJs, Cage and Aviary, .
6:00pm –11:00pm Diesel:U:Music Tour London: Live from P3
If you’re not lucky enough to get down to P3 tomorrow night then you can hear the Diesel:U:Music world tour live in the comfort of your own home. Tour winners Hearts Revolution and The terror Dance Revolt! will be joined by the shoegazers The Big Pink and indie-rockers Young Fathers. There will also be DJ sets from Joker & MC Nomad, Crazy Cousinz and Nadia Ksaiba.
11:00pm – 9:00am Shows repeat through the night
Listen to Diesel:U:Music radio HERE
Find out more HERE
Words by April Welsh
New York indie icon Julian Casablancas has unveiled further details of his forthcoming solo album.
Julian Casablancas is one of the main songwriting talents in The Strokes. His doe eyed stance made him a powerful frontman but it was his expressive command of lyrics that elevated the New Yorkers above their peers.
When the band went on a break in 2006 it was widely presumed that Casablancas would start a solo career. However when his fellow Strokes began releasing new material the singer was strangely quiet.
A collaboration with Pharrell Williams and Santigold followed, before Julian Casablancas struck out on his own.
Recruiting several friends the singer retired to the recording studio where he began crafting new material. Details have been scarce on the ground, with Julian Casablancas so far only confirming the name of the project – ‘Phrazes For The Young’.
Julian Casablancas recently previewed one track from the album. Titled ’11th Dimension’ the singer streamed the song online, delighting fans with their first taste of the forthcoming solo album.
The final running order for ‘Phrazes For The Young’ has still to be decided, with the album running to eight tracks. Song titles include the forbidding ‘Chords Of The Apocalypse’ and ‘Left And Right In The Dark’.
Julian Casablancas is set to release his new album ‘Phrazes For The Young’ on October 26th. Tracks are as follows:
‘Out Of The Blue’
‘River Of Brake Lights’
‘Chords Of The Apocalypse’
‘Left And Right In The Dark’
The estate of late pop icon Michael Jackson is to take legal action after a charity wrongly implied he supported their work.
One of the richest entertainers on the planet, Michael Jackson also gave huge amounts away to charity. In fact, his later money problems could well have been eased if the King Of Pop had curbed his gifts to countless charities.
The singer even earned a place in the Guinness Book Of Records for his philanthropy, giving away colossal amounts to charitable causes.
However in an odd twist the singer’s estate has found itself at odds with a charity which claims to have the support of Michael Jackson. Named Heal The World Foundation after one of the singer’s tracks, lawyers for the Jackson estate are at loggerheads with the charity.
A new legal action, filed in the US Federal Court, says Jackson’s own Heal The World charity is no longer active.
Lawyers for the Michael Jackson estate claim that the charity uses websites and documents which claim patronage from the singer. As a result, they are suing the charity for unfair competition and other violations.
The singer’s estate is demanding the Heal The World Foundation stops using words and phrases associated with the late star, including ‘King of Pop’ and ‘Thriller’.
Legal papers filed by Michael Jackson’s estate also claimed that the charity have registered a number of Jackson-related trademarks, applied for a further 41 and sold merchandise using them.
The Heal The World Foundation bills themselves as a “universal charity organization designed to improve the conditions of all mankind”.
A new ruling has been made on the judge in The Pirate Bay case with Fredrik Niemela being accused of having a conflict of interest.
The Pirate Bay was founded as a space where fans could exchange interesting download links. However it very quickly became a hub for illegal downloading as fans began listing torrents, or sites where music could be claimed.
Brought into court on charges of breaching copyright the founders of Pirate Bay were found guilty after a lengthy trial process. The first judge in the case was sent from the bench after he was found to have a conflict of interest – a ruling which has now affected his replacement.
A decree from the Svea Court of Appeal has found that Fredrik Niemelä, the judge in the case of alleged copyright infringement, has a conflict of interest.
A statement from the court reads: “These facts are according to the court of appeal such that they together constitute grounds for questioning his impartiality in the mentioned case. Therefore, a conflict of interest exists.”
The judge was discovered to be a stockholder in Spotify, the massive online music library. The firm is now part-owned by companies involved in bank rolling the prosecution’s case against the Pirate Bay, with Niemela being a a product developer for Spotify.
One of the four Pirate Bay founders Peter Sunde said that despite initially questioning the appointment it was felt that a “Spotify employee might be informed on the issues involved, unlike a member of the legal profession.”
“I don’t know if he’s good or bad,” he claimed, “but at least he’s technically very competent”.
American alt rock giants REM have re-united with former drummer Bill Berry at a charity in their hometown of Athens, Georgia.
While it may be hidden in the traditionally conservative South, Athens is a bastion of ground breaking music. A student town, the Georgia city has managed to spawn countless terrific bands, artists and designers over the years.
REM formed in the late 70s and quickly became the talk of Athens. Their debut single ‘Radio Free Europe’ went on to become an underground success, before IRS Records snapped the band up.
Through their hard work and pioneering songwriting REM became a global phenomenon. Capable of filling stadiums without losing their credibility as artists the band were rocked in 1997 when their drummer Bill Berry left.
An amicable split, Berry decided that he had simply had enough of rock music and wished to become a farmer. Fans have argued that since then REM’s output has declined, though it has to be said that their recent releases have re-captured some of their early fire.
Still friends, REM were re-joined by Bill Berry for a recent charity show. Running through an array of covers, the band played The Beatles’ ‘The Ballad Of John And Yoko’ and The McCoys’ ‘Hang On Sloopy’.
Taking place in Athens’ 40 Watt Club the band were joined by longtime REM cohort Scott McCaughey of The Young Fresh Fellows. Also performing were former Dream Syndicate frontman Steve Wynn, Linda Pitmon and more.
Texan outsider artist Daniel Johnston is to be the subject of a new application made for the iPhone.
Daniel Johnston is one of the more bizarre cult artists in the United States. Recording albums onto his personal stereo the singer passed out tapes to strangers during shifts at his local McDonalds.
Graduating to using recording studios his frail and tender voice filters through songs that present an idiosyncratic world view. Daniel Johnston’s ongoing battle with schizophrenia and bi-polar syndrome means that his behaviour, however, can be a little erratic.
As documented in ‘The Devil And Daniel Johnston’ the singer has spent some time in mental institutions and hospitals due to breakdowns. Now cared for by parents, the singer’s music and art feature in a new iPhone application.
Titled ‘Hi, How Are You?’ the new game is a 3D platform puzzle. Featuring material from throughout his career, in the forthcoming game users can play as Johnson created characters in a bizarre world.
Speaking to New York Times, Daniel Johnston said: “If they make it into a real video game, it might work out, I guess. I don’t even know what an iPhone is.”
Daniel Johnston’s art is also set to feature in another game this year. The controversial Kurt Cobain character in ‘Guitar Hero 5’ wears the iconic ‘Hi, How Are You?’ t-shirt crafted by the Texan singer.
ClashMusic recently spoke to Daniel Johnston about his forthcoming album ‘Is And Always Was’. Enthusiastic about his forthcoming visit to the UK, the new record is his first long player in six years.
Daniel Johnston is due to release ‘Is And Always Was’ on November 2nd in the UK.
Shane Meadows and actor Paddy Considine have long since jumped ship, but The Leisure Society don’t seem to have lost buoyancy.
Re-released with an Ivor Novello nomination and real record deal under their belts, this has all the hallmarks of a musical manifesto, like vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Nick Hemming has literally bled into the very make-up of the record. His delicate whimper falls short of cliché, resting just the right of twee; tender and sincere.
While not everyone is searching for ‘A Soundtrack To Haymaking’, the ramshackle nature of bonus eight-track EP ‘A Product Of The Ego Drain’ should charm the iciest of hearts.
Words by Anne Hollowday
Big Chill Festival 2010
Paisley singer Paolo Nutini has talked about his wish to work with some of Scotland’s top talent.
Paolo Nutini first came to fame after leaping onstage at an instore in his native Glasgow. The star never turned up, with the youthful Nutini entertaining the crowd with an eclectic series of covers.
Snapped up by a label the singer released his debut album to instant acclaim. Hits such as ‘New Shoes’ soared up the charts making Paolo Nutini a household name and bona fide festival headliner.
With his second album being released earlier this year it seems that Paolo Nutini isn’t content to sit on his laurels.
Speaking to British red top The Daily Star Paolo Nutini outlined his wish to work with some of his fellow Scots.
“I’d like to get together with people like James (Allen) from Glasvegas,” he told the newspaper. “I spoke to Franz Ferdinand in Canada and we’ve a studio (together) in Glasgow”.
The singer previously revealed that he had agreed to work with The View’s singer Kyle Falconer. The pair are close friends, having played together onstage many times.
“In the early hours one morning we agreed to do a mini-album together,” he said. “Kyle said he would produce one part of it and I would produce the other.”
“We have got all these ideas and I know that he is up for it.”
Paulo Nutini appeared on The View’s new album dueting with Kyle Falconer on ‘Covers’.