The Monkees’ singer Davy Jones has passed away at his home in Florida at the age of 66.

The British Invasion caused an enormous headache for the American music industry. The Beatles & Co. had seemingly outflanked their Stateside cousins, breaking chart records on a weekly basis.

The solution – or so they thought – came in the form of The Monkees. One of the first manufactured pop acts, the four piece notched up a number of classic hits but the momentum could not be sustained.

One of the youngest members of the group, Davy Jones was actually born in Manchester. Lending an English appeal to The Monkees, his boy-ish charm turned him into an international teen idol.

Remaining in the music industry for over forty years, Davy Jones re-joined The Monkees last year. ClashMusic caught up with the band, and found the English born singer to be the perfect gentleman.

“We had a TV show, we were acting, and we were friends” he told us. “It was just one good fun time. We had money in our pockets, we were driving our new cars, and it wasn’t about dollars and cents at the end of the day.”

Read the full interview HERE.

Sadly, we are now forced to tell you that Davy Jones has died. The BBC broke the news, with the singer’s publicist confirming that the one time teen idol has passed away during his sleep after suffering a heartache.

Here’s a few classic Monkees tracks.

The Monkees – I’m A Believer

The Monkees – Last Train To Clarksville

The Monkees – Valleri

This has been yet another exciting month in Northern Ireland… let’s kick things off with some brand spanking new emerging talent. First off the bat is the offering from former Front Woman of No Mean City, Jilly St John.

Jilly returns to her rawking roots with her new venture the aptly named Wyldling. Hot off the press Wyldling is much in its early stages but St John and “Friends” which the act consist of have already offered the online world a taste of some pretty promising tunes. The initial stand out track for me is ‘Waiting on Water’ which holds one hell of a catchy chorus. The track which holds an unmistakable guitar solo slotted in between the echoing raw vocals of St John, shows just how far the front woman has come from her No Mean City days.

It is hard to define which genre exactly Wyldling fits into, but one thing’s for certain NI will be hearing a lot about them for the rest of 2012.

The scene has been buzzing lately with one EP, Barbara from the very talented Best Boy Grip. The hype surrounding Best Boy Grip is not unjustified, as the first thing that springs to mind when listening to this EP is to put it simply, that it is pure listening pleasure for the ears. Barbara is just pure melodic genius and personally it’s been a long time since I have heard such an inviting EP, from any artist. The EP is filled with beautiful lyrics “My heart stops beating when I hear you speak”, which can be somewhat comical at times “you’re the one that feeds me honey from the hive” are just infectious from start to finish. Stand out track for myself on this EP has to be the title track Barbara, with its beautiful upbeat and pure fun vibe. This is one artist that I see going from strength to strength.

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=youtube+best+boy+grip&qpvt=youtube+best+boy+grip&mid=BDCF524004A9754C91EFBDCF524004A9754C91EF&FORM=LKVR2#

Next up on the scene we have A Plastic Rose who will be releasing their much anticipated new single on March 19th, under the Di Di Mau label. The band kicked off 2012 with one hell of a start by supporting the legendary NI act, Snow Patrol in London’s O2 arena and Belfast’s Odyssey arena, both of which were sold out shows. Gary Lightbody who sought out the band himself in a local venue, in Belfast was impressed enough to add them to the Snow Patrol tour support. The first single from the album which is rumoured to being released in September 2012, is none other than ‘Build From The Ground Up’. The track starts with an orchestral feel before going fast into A Plastic Roses own take on alternative rock, which takes me vastly back to the nineties. A band hotly tipped not to be missed, I would recommend keeping an eye out for the rest of these guys singles in the run up to their already much talked about new album.

One band that I cannot fail to mention that has been buzzing all over Northern Ireland recently is the crazily upbeat, Wonder Villains. The band who hail from Derry-Londonderry are in one word pure POP. In a scene filled with rock and indie, the Wonder Villains could be described as none other than a refreshing change. Popular track is the highly cheerful ‘Zola’ with its zesty and infectious catchy fun filled pop feel. A band who are as bubbly in their music as they are on stage, if you like that sort of thing and fancy a change they would get my vote as a band to go check out.

That is it in the way of bands and EP’s for now but when it comes to NI, it is most definitely a scene that never sleeps. If your around in the next month are so these are my tips for gigs to go check out.

New Noise events will be bringing all of Northern Irelands hottest acts to two venues in Derry-Londonderry, Masons bar and the Nerve Centre. Next up is More than Conquers, Dutch Shultz and Droids on the 30th March, a club night where all the cool kids will be for sure. One gig I am truly excited about though is Radar Presents on Thursday 1st March in the Speakeasy bar, Belfast, with In case of Fire, Before Machines and firm favourites, Like Statues.

If like me you can’t wait until next time for your guide to what to listen to in Northern Ireland, local Belfast Radio station Blast 106 promote what’s new in local music every Wednesday on Through the Wall 7pm to 9pm.

Listen here: http://blast106.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6&Itemid=1

That’s all from me for now but I shall be back soon with lots more in the exciting world of the NI music scene.

Words by: Dorothy Lawrence

The Jarman brothers are back. Hang on though, where’s Johnny Marr? That’s right, they’re minus the honorary fourth brother, who was with them for their fourth album ‘Ignore The Ignorant’ and accompanying tour.

The Cribs have made a steady ascent over their four albums and could be playing in venues much bigger than tonight. From the self titled lo-fi punk debut through to album number three, ‘Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever’, The Cribs have managed to hone their sound to one which is polished enough to sneak onto daytime radio playlists, but still retain that true Cribs sound. A sound which encapsulates the cut lips, broken guitar strings and raucous live shows they’re known for. Not many bands would turn down the chance of having ex-Smith Marr in the band, and the fourth full length definitely packed a few punches, but they seemed to have lost some of that roughness and youthful energy they once had. Well anyway, they’re back sans Marr and the seven hundred-odd heads in ULU tonight are here to see how they fare on their first proper gig on home soil in well over a year.

Launching into new song ‘Chi-Town’, in a similar vein to second album ‘New Fellas’, this three minute thrash through is like walking into CBGB’s in 1974, a no nonsense straight up punk song, and sounds like a return to form. No messing about here and ‘Cheat On Me’ with its Marr stamp creates a mass sing-along from the devoted audience. You wouldn’t know it’s a Tuesday night in here ‘I’m A Realist’, one of those songs that gets everyone singing the guitar riff, sends pints flying everywhere, we are in a student union though, don’t forget.

There is an abundance of new material throughout, ranging from a Stooges-esque number through to big delays and echo on a potential song for the arenas. Having two frontmen in the band shows the versatility of The Cribs, with the shouty thrashier numbers sung by Ryan and twin Gary taking the lead on proper singing duties. It’s not all new though, ‘Hey Scenesters’ being quite apt given the number of them in here, and we’re even treated to first album favourite ‘Another Number’, amongst a nice picking from all four albums.

After declaring they’re going to win the Brit Award for “most misanthropic band” they storm through ‘Our Bovine Public’, a definite highlight to the night and a song which sums up the pure energy and punk ethic of The Cribs.

It’s clear that the Jarman brothers are making a return to their original character with forthcoming album ‘In The Belly Of The Brazen Bull’, with Steve Albini at the helm. This is a band that is having fun again, Dad’s out of the band so turn it up and thrash it out. The change in line up definitely seems to have bought them back to their carefree early days and there will be a sigh of relief from devoted Cribs fans all round. Now to go home and wring the beer out of this t shirt!

Words by Paul Melbourne
Photo by Nabeel Khan

Click here for a photo gallery of the gig.

Dance festival Beat-Herder is set to return this summer with appearances from Orbital, Death In Vegas and more.

Run almost entirely on an ad hoc, DIY basis Beat-Herder has emerged as one of the country’s most promising new festivals. Now into its seventh year, word of mouth has pushed the Lancashire beat bash into larger, more ambitious territory.

Returning once again this summer, Beat-Herder runs between June 29th – July 1st in the Ribble Valley. The first names on the line up have been confirmed, with rave legends Orbital set to return.

The Hartnoll brothers recently completed their first album in nigh on a decade, a bass heavy traipse through fetid fields of electronics. A vital live act, Orbital remain a defining experience for dance fans around the globe.

Set to headline Beat-Herder, Orbital will be joined by dance-punk warlords Death In Vegas, drum ‘n’ bass legend Goldie and more.

Beat-Herder always has a strong reggae flavour and this year is no exception with dub icon Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry due to perform. A continually innovative artist, Perry has a stunning back catalogue to draw on.

Always looking to push on, the dub icon will appear at Beat-Herder alongside 2-Tone icons The Beat.

Mash up kindpin Mr Scruff will appear at the Lancashire festival, while Border Community duo Nathan Fake and James Holden have both confirmed slots at the event.

Continually expanding, the Beat-Herder line up also boasts King Charles, R&S signing Pariah, Manchester producer D/R/U/G/S and Pilooski.

With plenty to see and do away from the musical entertainment – a working men’s club, anyone? – Beat-Herder is an unusual and increasingly vital alternative to some of the more mainstream electronic events out there.

Beat-Herder runs between June 29th – July 1st. Line up:

Barry Ashworth / The Beat / Black Lace / Captain Hotknives / CODA / Death In Vegas / Delorean Drivers / Discopolis / Dooks / D/R/U/G/S / Earthdoctor / Eddie Earthquake & The Tremors / Electric Swing Circus / Ellen & The Escapades / Ennio Maccaroni / Freestylers (DJ Set) / Frisky & Mannish / Goldie / Jake Bugg / James Holden / Johnny Powell / Kajamor Family / Kate Fear / Keep the Drummer Happy / King Charles / Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry / Mooqee (Bombstrikes) / Mrs Cakehead / Nathan Fake / Nubiyan Twist / Pariah / Phil Smith / Pilooski / Orbital / Red Tin Dave / Rumour Has It / Smerins Anti Social Club / Sunday Afternoon Toil Trees session with Mr Scruff & MC Kwasi / Toni Jarvis (Toolroom) / The Drop / The Orb Sound System / The Other Tribe / Undercover Hippy / United Vibrations / Utah Saints / Shepdog (NICE UP!)

Photos by Nabeel Khan

“After declaring they’re going to win the Brit Award for “most misanthropic band” they storm through ‘Our Bovine Public’, a definite highlight to the night and a song which sums up the pure energy and punk ethic of The Cribs.”

Click here to read a full review of the gig.

London psych outfit The See See are giving away a new remix courtesy of Eat Lights Become Lights.

The See See exist in their own universe. The band’s chiming guitars recall mid 60s Los Angeles, but there’s something deeply modern in there as well.

A fusion of West Coast sunshine, German Kosmische rhythms and more the band are focussed on a new single. The See See have joined forces with Great Pop Supplement, who will handle a new limited edition release.

‘Gold & Honey’ sits on the A-side, while the flip contains an inventive new remix. ‘Sunbleached’ has been handed over to Eat Lights Become Lights, who have delivered an epic Motorik driven jam which fuses the endless rhythms of Neu! with the feedback grace of Spiritualized.

Download the remix below.

– – –

The See See’s new single ‘Gold & Honey’ is out now. To support the release, the band are planning to play a one off show in support of Olivia Tremor Control – details below:

March
7 London Cargo

Click here to buy tickets for The See See!

Photos by Will Bunce

Omnivore Demon are as oxymoronic as their name suggests. They emerge in striped, peaked cowls and stone-age tunics then launch into what can only be described as free-form metal. Think a combination of Tool and Rammstein going really avant garde. Bemused hipsters start to question if they’ve wondered into the wrong gig when the noise imperceptibly merges into hip hop, then drum and bass, then indie rock… This all makes more sense when you know that three of the band’s members are from experimental outfit The Phantom Band, and that Demon is a freeform improvisation ensemble. There are moments of shining brilliance, particularly in the transitions between styles, and there’s no doubting the bands’ talent – it’s just a little like listening to an exercise in musical improv: challenging, impressive and thought provoking, but only sporadically enjoyable.

To a backdrop of their soon-to-be iconic smiley face, one of the most talked-about new bands of the year take to the stage in delightfully geeky matching shirts. They’re endearingly touched to be here, at one point declaring to the punters of this mid-sized venue: “Wow, there’s a lot of you!” Bless. As the sound of a rainforest being visited by spaceship from a galaxy far far away seeps into the packed room, anyone still not sure if they’re at the right gig can now be certain that this is Django Django, the only band currently melding prehistoric swamp sounds with futuristic blips and wips.

‘Hail Bop’ starts with its Kraftwerk-esque intro before that ridiculously catchy riff sets in and a dance hall atmosphere takes over the room. ‘Default’ defies anyone not to tap at least one foot, and inhibitions are soon lost to this indie-pop stomp with yet another killer riff shot through with cheeky, intelligent synths. One of the band’s strengths is surely the way that each musical component – from keyboards to the shared vocal duties to the coconuts on ‘Love’s Dart’ – are never gimmicky or superfluous, and that everything this band does has a pivotal role in each perfectly-crafted pop song.

Like Obtuse Demons although with more success, these art-geek rockers aren’t afraid to plumb genres and styles with abandon. ‘Firewater’ has a wonderful bluesy, ‘60s feel and ‘Waveforms’ begins with a hard house “wob wob wob wob wob”, while ‘Skies Over Cairo’ sets a faux-Egyptian scale set to tribal beats, all of which provokes a rapturous response both on and off stage. If a band can be distilled in to a single, undiluted emotion, then Django Django are pure joy. They love being there, we love being here – this is clearly the start of a beautiful relationship.

Words by Theresa Heath
Photo by Rachel Lipsitz

Click here for a photo gallery of the gig.

If you’ve got a reasonable amount of musical talent, it’s not a hard task to put on a decent live show these days. Some frenzied jumping, some cocky shouting, volume cranked loud enough to make sure the crowd will still be hearing it long after they’ve disappeared under a duvet – it’s been tried and tested by countless bands who’ve already come and gone. Indeed, if your audience already look pleased as hell to be there then you’ll be onto a success regardless. As it goes, a large chunk of the crowd in the Electric Ballroom look so young it wouldn’t be surprising if they can count the number of gigs they’ve been to on their fingers and toes. They seem to be excited just to be in a music venue at all.

Both bands playing tonight already have a sturdy reputation for their live performances – even if Devon five-piece The Computers only released their debut album last year. The band set the room alight when they supported The Bronx at The Peel in Kingston last year. Tonight, however, they didn’t have to compete with any LA swagger from Leeds-based Pulled Apart By Horses. Taking the stage in their snug-fitting white jeans and shirts – thankfully they’re all slim lads – they hurl us straight into the first album track ‘Where Do I Fit In?’ Throwing in other recognisable tunes such as ‘Group Identity’, they’re almost faultless live, bursting with grinding energy and whipping up a crowd that could easily never have heard of them.

As any casual listener of BBC Radio may know, Pulled Apart By Horses released a new album last month. The BBC kindly made it their record of the week, making sure that every DJ played their new single at least once during their show. Fortunately both song and album are stonkers so this was no chore. The band has been building a healthy fanbase since 2008 and their hard work has paid off.

They kick off with their usual opener – the excellently titled ‘I Punched A Lion In The Throat’ – whipping up the crowd with throaty yelps and guitar riffs that raise the heart rate. Out roll a mix of first and second album tracks, from the catchy latest single ‘VENOM’, to ‘High Five, Swan Dive, Nose Dive’ – the song whose lyrics comprise of an economic total of twenty three words. They jump, they scream, singer Tom Hudson climbs the furniture and ventures into the crowd. Not a moment of rest is allowed.

The band leave for the encore to a shower of confetti, returning with the might of ‘Tourette’s’ and ‘Den Horn’ – ensuring both them and the crowd will be going home hoarse.

Words by Cat Gee
Photo by James Perou

Click here for a photo gallery of the gig.

Frank Ocean has seemingly earned the wrath of Don Henley, if a recent Tumblr posting is anything to go by.

Odd Future can start an argument in an empty room. The rap collective are one of the most controversial groups on the planet, managing to annoy everyone from Tegan & Sara to Steve Albini.

Now Don Henley can be added to that list. Frank Ocean released a free download album named ‘Nostalgia. Ultra.’ last year, which featured the track ‘American Wedding’.

Essentially the instrumental backing from ‘Hotel California’ with some distorted R&B elements, the song quickly became one of Frank Ocean’s calling cards. Plus, if it’s distributed for free then The Eagles can’t sue, right?

Wrong. A new Tumblr posting (via Dummy) from Frank Ocean reads: “DON HENLEY IS APPARENTLY INTIMIDATED BY MY RENDITION OF HOTEL CALIFORNIA..”

“He threatened to sue if I perform it again. I think that’s fuckin awesome.”

So while The Eagles have no grounds for legal action over the release, it seems that they do believe they have a case against Frank Ocean’s live performances.

As FACT have already pointed out, ‘American Wedding’ was previously removed from YouTube after a claim from Warner Music Group.

Meanwhile, life continues to get busier for Frank Ocean. Odd Future are counting down to the release of their second mixtape, while a project with Kanye West is beginning to come to fruition.

Finally, the singer has the small matter of his own studio album to be getting on with. Since we obviously can’t link to ‘American Wedding’ here’s ‘Hotel California’…