While we can all pretend we’re looking forward to the headliners at this year’s festival, realistically there’s one band we’re truly giddy about. Weezer may have failed to produce a good album in five years but their performance makes up for all the nastiness in Weezer world.
From the moment Rivers Cuomo appears we know we’re in for a treat. Rushing around like a duck on ecstasy he grabs at audience members, dances manically from billboards and even brings a trampoline on the stage. Dream setlists of ‘The Sweater Song’, ‘Say It Aint So’ and ‘Buddy Holly’ become a reality along with Lady Gaga, MGMT and Wheatus covers as we’re left reeling at the band’s psychotic show.
Sure, they may have changed since 1995, and we are left tolerating new material but as Cuomo climbs up another billboard and jumps off, causing a crowd stampede we’re left thinking there simply isn’t enough Weezer in the world.
Words by Ruth Offord
See more of Clash’s coverage from the Reading/Leeds festival 2010 HERE.
For a whole generation The Libertines were the band who kick started a life of music listening. Up The Bracket marked a new world of riotous guitar scraps after squeaky clean pop.
But over the years, with the fights, the jail sentences and the drugs, the message of the Libertines has been left tarnished and murky. On the main stage the band attract a bigger audience than any of the headliners but it’s hard to find the fans among The Sun readers.
In truth Pete and Carl are no headliners and as they face their crowd the pair look anxiously shy. Hardly a word is spoken as songs from Up The Bracket are rushed through and come to a rather abrupt end.
Carl leads each track, nodding to Pete for back up, yet there’s nothing truly inspiring to see. Slowly the pair unravel as ‘Don’t Look Back Into The Sun’ wins over the crowd. But as Pete and Carl are left affectionately hugging but there’s no collective sense of joy from the thousands watching. Instead we’re left singing ‘Time For Heroes’ and still wishing to revisit 2002.
Words by Ruth Offord
See more of Clash’s coverage from the Reading/Leeds festival 2010 HERE.
Photos by David Rutherford
Scottish producer Alex Smoke is working on a new film score, combining his acclaimed electronica with classical influences.
Alex Smoke is a cult hero, operating in the background of Glasgow’s techno scene. Mixing dancefloor influences with a questing passion for innovation, his releases has brought him huge critical acclaim.
Closely associated with Soma Records, the producer also runs his own Hum And Haw imprint. Deeply independent, Alex Smoke is now planning to record a new score for F.W. Murnau’s classic film version of ‘Faust’.
Speaking to Italian dance blog Soundwall the producer explained that the new project comes after a hectic spell. “I’ve had one of the busiest years so far in terms of music this year: I’ve just finished a sample CD called ‘Dexter Sinister’ which is all loops and sound design.”
“I’ve also been working on new tracks for the label, of which there are millions as the last album was delayed so long. And the next really big project is a semi-classical, semi electronic score for F.W.Murnau’s film of ‘Faust’; the main score is virtually finished and much of the sound design. Now I just need to get it recorded with the Scottish Ensemble in time to premiere it at the Glasgow Film Festival in February. The music will also be released on its own.”
Initially released in 1926, ‘Faust’ is a silent treatment of Goethe’s famous poetic work. A visually stunning film, it will now be matched to no doubt thought provoking music from the Caledonian beatsmith.
Continuing, the producer explained that film scores have long been an ambition of his. “My major aim still hasn’t changed, and that is to make music regardless of genre and to try and combine the disparate elements and techniques that excite me, from classical to experimental.”
“I’d still love to work on film music too, although not in the “hollywood taiko drums, big strings” kind of way. I want to make more purely classical music and more overtly experimental music and eventually combine the two.”
Alex Smoke is set to debut his new film score in February.
British dance giants The Chemical Brothers have looked back on their early hype in the United States.
Dance music has never really penetrated the mainstream of American culture. Despite originating in the United States electronic music has enjoyed a far higher cultural profile and Europe, and especially the UK.
But the Chemical Brothers were supposed to change this. The duo seemed to spark something in the Stateside conscious, with early tracks such as ‘Block Rockin Beats’ winning plenty of airtime.
However the expected breakthrough never happened, leaving The Chemical Brothers to conquer the UK. The duo returned recently with their seventh studio album ‘Further’, a stunning blast of energy.
Their finest release in a decade, ‘Further’ will no doubt fail to make an enormous impression on the Billboard charts. Speaking to Time Out, Ed Simons revealed that he never really expected the group’s music to conquer America.
“The idea that electronic music was going to be some really mainstream thing, and you would never hear anything else, was kind of a ridiculous idea in the first place” the producer explained.
“What was really odd for us back then, when we were doing interviews for Time and Newsweek, was having to explain that the music that ignited the spark for us in the U.K. came from America in the first place. We’d have to explain to the U.S. press who Derrick May and Larry Heard are. Actually, though, we feel really appreciated in America. And here we are again.”
Continuing, the producer reflected on ‘Further’. The Chemical Brothers seemed to re-connect with their club heritage on the new album, stripping away the high profile guest appearances they are known for.
“When we were still going to clubs, we used to get the most excited about the songs that were really odd and didn’t sound like anything else, and those tracks were our blueprint on Further. As far as vocals go, we’re really happy that we’ve worked with Noel Gallagher and Q-Tip and everyone—and we’re really proud of those songs—but it just felt we had a lot of vocals on the last two albums.”
“We have some voices on the new album, but it’s all Tom and our friend Stephanie Dosen. Not relying on vocalists forced us to think of a new set of ideas on how to make the songs work. There’s a lot less structure to the new songs and a lot more space.”
The Chemical Brothers new album ‘Further’ is out now.
Returning dance giants Leftfield have confirmed details of a ground shaking new British tour.
One of the best loved British dance acts of the 90s are set to rampage across the country once more, with Leftfield confirming an extensive British tour.
Releasing just two albums, Leftfield left an incredible impact on British music. Throwing together techno, dub and more the band helped to establish dance music as a credible album led genre.
A stunning live act, their notorious volume and exacting control over their sound became the stuff of legend. Returning earlier this summer, Leftfield were reduced to one with Neil Barnes taking control.
An amicable move, Leftfield were joined by a number of original vocalists for a series of festival shows. The band worked with Djum Djum, Earl 16 and Cheshire Cat on a number of special summer dates.
The dance giants headlined RockNess, playing a storming set in the Scottish Highlands. Also playing L.E.D. and Benicassim, the group honed a live show which faced the pressure of those decade old memories.
Now Leftfield have confirmed a series of headline shows across the UK. The band will kick off the tour in Liverpool on November 18th, and will play a number of gigs before a homecoming show in London on December 3rd.
Neil Barnes seemed thrilled at the prospect of getting back out on the road. “The reception we received over the summer at the festivals was amazing. Now we can’t wait to get out there again this autumn and bring the full Leftfield Live experience to the rest of the country. Let the bass roar.”
Tickets for the upcoming tour go on sale from 9am this Friday (September 3rd).
Leftfield are set to play the following shows:
18 Leeds O2 Academy
19 Manchester Apollo
20 Glasgow Barrowlands
25 Liverpool University
26 Bournemouth O2 Academy
27 Plymouth Pavilions
2 Bristol O2 Academy
3 London O2 Academy Brixton
Indie rock giants Dirty Projectors are set to expand their album ‘Bitte Orca’ ahead of two UK shows.
Released last year, ‘Bitte Orca’ already stands as something of a landmark. By far the most accomplished recording Dirty Projectors have put their name to, it merged indie rock with modern R&B.
Cerebral yet immediately enjoyable, the record flew to the top of critical charts. Those in the upper echelons of pop were paying attention, too, with Solange Knowles immediately praising the group.
Later appearing onstage with Dirty Projectors, the singer has decided to cover the band on her new album. Now Dirty Projectors are set to take a quick look back with a re-vamped version of their debut LP.
Expanded to two discs, the new version of ‘Bitte Orca’ comes complete with a bonus CD of unreleased live material and B-sides. Always productive, the band’s flipsides are well worth hearing both as an alternative to the singles and works in their own right.
Furthermore, the live recordings see the band expand on the album’s template. The success of ‘Bitte Orca’ has been followed by heavy touring, in which Dirty Projectors have twisted and pulled their material in different directions.
Due for release on September 27th, the expanded version of ‘Bitte Orca’ comes with a brand new cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘As I Went Out One Morning’.
Dirty Projectors are set to return to the UK later this year, arranging two new headline shows. The band have been added to the bill of ATP’s ‘Bowlie 2’ weekender, curated by Glasgow legends Belle & Sebastian.
Before this, however, the Brooklyn group will play a one off headline show at London’s KOKO venue.
Dirty Projectors are due to play the following shows:
7 London KOKO
10 Minehead Bowlie 2
Manchester band Hurts have been working with Joe Stretch on a new interactive novel.
Remember interactive novels? A brief 80s fad, they allowed fans to carry out the actions of the main characters. Switching between pages became a hassle, however, and the urge to skip ahead and find the solution proved to be overwhelming.
Replaced by the rise of video games, a new project from Hurts and Performance singer Joe Stretch could bring them back. Working on a series of new tracks, these will form the basis of an unusual novel.
Hosted by Spotify, the project allows fans to control a central character. Removing any stable tracklisting, the plot will unravel as the user sees fit allowing for any number of possible solutions.
A user led experience, the project is narrated by Anna Friel. Titled ‘Don’t Let Go’ the audio novel is a ground breaking experience, utilising the Spotify programming in an entirely unique way.
Each chapter of the novel has been published as a track on Spotify, and can be located by typing a unique code into the search field. After listening to a chapter online the user is offered a choice on what to do next.
The plot is a typically grandiose affair, given the track records of both Hurts and Performance. Your mission – should you choose to accept it – is to stop arch villain Guy Lockhart from distributing his heartbreak cocktail and condemning humankind forever to a loveless, empty existence.
The two groups are close friends, with Joe Stretch using his alternative career as a novelist for ‘Don’t Let Go’. Performance and Hurt are due to team up for a short quartet of British shows.
Tickets for the shows are on sale now.
Hurts are due to play the following shows:
5 Manchester Ritz
7 Birmingham The Library
8 Bristol Trinity Church
9 London Shepherds Bush Empire
In 1975 Bruce Springsteen was standing on the precipice of his career. ‘Born To Run’ was his last hope, and, ultimately, his saving grace.
Springsteen was almost three years into his professional career. He had been signed to Columbia Records by its legendary talent scout John Hammond (the man responsible for ‘discovering’ Billie Holiday and Bob Dylan, amongst others), but had so far failed to live up to his promise. His debut album, ‘Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.’, named after the New Jersey native’s beach town, had been a hit with the critics (perhaps because of the Hammond connection) but not with the American public. ‘The Wild, The Innocent And The E Street Shuffle’ fared little better. Knowing his chances were on the line, Springsteen entered the studio in 1974 with sounds in his head and a vision in his heart. He couldn’t – and wouldn’t – emerge with anything less than a masterpiece.
Columbia had given Bruce a substantial budget in an effort to ensure a commercial product. This paid for what would be a fourteen-month production – six of those on the title track alone. Holed up in the studio, Springsteen had pursued his ideas, striving to recreate the lavish arrangements he was imagining, building up his own wall of sound to rival his hero, Phil Spector. Over a year later, ‘Born To Run’ was complete – eight panoramic songs about passion, escapism and desires, all hugely epic and utterly compelling. “‘Born To Run’ was the album where I left behind my adolescent definitions of love and freedom,” Springsteen said thirty years later. “It was the dividing line.”
As the album opener, ‘Thunder Road’ is a perfect introduction. It starts plaintively with just piano and harmonica, then Bruce comes in, singing sweetly about Mary dancing on her porch, the music building up to a climax when he sings: “What else can we do now / Except roll down the window and let the wind blow back your hair”. The song’s pace and determination is a glorious proclamation of deliverance – expertly encapsulated in its final line: “It’s a town full of losers / I’m pulling out of here to win”.
The title track deserved every minute that was laboured over it. It stands as the quintessential song of breaking free from a home town’s shackles, with ambitions as grand as its score.
Upon release, ‘Born To Run’ fulfilled all of Springsteen’s early promise and more. His attempts and appeals to escape New Jersey were finally realised when the album became a national – then international – success.
‘Born To Run’ established Bruce Springsteen as the voice of America’s working class, offering hope in its romantic hyperrealism. “It was a seminal record for me,” he later admitted. “It set out my aspirations. It was what I wanted to accomplish and what I wanted to be about, the kind of music I wanted to write and what I wanted my music to contain.”
The Boss, clearly, had arrived.
Words by Simon Harper
Bruce Springsteen – ‘Born To Run’
Released: 25th August 1975
Producer: Bruce Springsteen, Mike Appel, Jon Landau
Bruce Springsteen – vocals, guitar, harmonica
Max Weinberg / Ernest Carter – drums
Clarence Clemons – saxophone, backing vocals
Danny Federici – organ
Garry W. Tallent – bass
David Sancious / Roy Bittan – piano
Suki Lahav – violin
Steven Van Zandt – backing vocals
1. ‘Thunder Road’
2. ‘Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out’
5. ‘Born To Run’
6. ‘She’s The One’
7. ‘Meeting Across The River’
1975: In The News
– Charlie Chaplin is knighted.
-Muhammad Ali defeats Joe Frazier in the Thrilla In Manila.
– Badfinger’s Peter Ham commits suicide.
1975: The Albums
– Bob Dylan – ‘Blood On The Tracks
– Roxy Music – ‘Siren’
– Aerosmith – ‘Toys In The Attic’
Australian dreamy rockers Tame Impala have added three extra tour dates to their British trip.
Modular are best known as a dance label, releasing acclaimed material from the likes of Cut Copy, Midnight Juggernauts and more. However recently the imprint broke from this mould and captured Perth native Tame Impala.
Mixing dreamy psych rock and riff laden thrills, the band’s output has earned comparison with some vintage names. Tame Impala’s psych-pop exploits recalls greats such as Cream and Blue Cheer, as well as stoner rock giants Dungen.
The Australian group played Reading and Leeds at the weekend, marking their debut appearance at the British festival season. Following on from a handful of headline shows, the band have now confirmed three extra dates.
Opening in Birmingham on October 26th the dates are limited to England but at least some British fans will get to witness their live show. Tame Impala will also visit Manchester before ending the short run in London.
Due to play Heaven on October 28th, tickets for all three dates are due to go on sale from Friday (September 3rd) at 9am.
Meanwhile, Tame Impala’s new single ‘Lucidity’ is out now. A three minute blast of psych energy, it is taken from their debut album. A fuzz-rock gem, the track will come with a remix courtesy of by French producer Pilooski, best known for his re-edit of The Four Season’s Beggin.
Grab a free remix courtesy of our ‘Track Of The Day’ section HERE.
Tame Impala are due to play the following shows:
26 Birmingham O2 Academy 3
27 Manchester Ruby Lounge
28 London Heaven