By Plus One Magazine, 14-May-2013 14:59:00
A giant mocked up old fashioned television takes centre stage in the Brudenell tonight, flanked either side with numerous banks of portable TV devices of varying sizes from ‘them good ole days’ your Nan tells you about frequently. Age depending, the familiar (or not) sight on the screen in black and white before us is the BBCs old test card F, the one with the girl playing noughts and crosses in its centre. Rooftop like aerials poke out here and there and the band emerge to a very warm welcome from the folk inside this lovely Leeds venue. Public Service Broadcasting seem to have hit quite the niche with their eclectic musical styles played over and around old public information films, documentaries and clips. The band themselves play no part in vocals yet interact with the audience via humorous pre recorded electronic messages. Cleverly inserting that nights destinations town name in with the Thank you’s, That was great wasn’t it’s? and ‘It’s great to be here in…… LEEDS! We’ve always wanted to play in ………LEEDS!
The band themselves (as you might expect) aren’t your average men in rock either. Bespectacled, wearing ties or bowties, and classic geography teacher corduroy chic. It all fits in perfectly and it’s difficult not to warm to them and their back-in-the-day world immediately. To top it off here’s the roll call: J Willgoose esq – swapping banjo for guitar and keyboard in turn throughout. Wrigglesworth beside him, his faithful companion on drums. A third member sits behind a laptop and operates a disguised video camera sporadically, which beams jerky footage through the various TV sets. The songs that largely come from recent release ‘Inform, Educate, Entertain’ are either directly involved with the old footage on the screen, or play around the theme or messages displayed there.
Willgoose has clearly had a lot of fun exhausting the British Film Institutes archives and tinkering with grooves and beats to fit in with the recordings. Often these unique musical creations are finely crafted synth driven pop songs as with ‘The Now Generation’. Occasionally it goes up a notch or two in the likes of ‘Spitfire’ and most recently ‘Signal 30’. I think where it excels to another level tonight and on record are during ‘Theme From PSB’ as the banjo intertwines with the electonica bips and bleeps, likewise with the hypnotic ‘ROYGBIV’. Occasionally reminding me of The Orb amongst other possible influences. The electronic commands bid us good night but the band return to encore us with the mighty ‘Everest’, based around the 1953 film ‘The Conquest Of Everest’.
Impossibly lovable and the most unlikely of musical heroes, Public Service Broadcasting bring something uniquely different to the table. Live, it’s nothing short of an absolute pleasure good sirs! Not sure where (if anywhere) all this will lead, indeed a repeat on a follow up album may be a little too much like overkill. But with such imagination on offer and daring to be different, they might just surprise us all, again.
Words - Pete Jackson
By Plus One Magazine, 13-May-2013 17:05:00
Karen O’s arms are stretched high, mic in one hand and cable in the other, above her newly blond barnet. She spits and releases a grin as wide as the room she finds herself in. Holding each and every person gathered in the Academy trance like, with their eyes firmly fixed on the woman from New York City. A mid-set ‘Heads Will Roll careers into our ears and reminds us what we’ve been missing from the band in recent years.
By Plus One Magazine, 13-May-2013 16:17:00
In a recent track review for Drowned In Sound, Robert Leedham described ‘Ya Hey’, the third new cut from Modern Vampires of the City, as a ‘euphoric cocktail’ overflowing with ‘truly upsetting brilliance’ which touched that writer in a deeply personal way. Leedham’s experience with religious belief had been steadily unravelled over the years as his doubts became insurmountable, and he was eventually forced to give up his faith. But it wasn’t until ‘Ya Hey’ that those feelings had been encapsulated in a five-minute pop song. Definitely and directly, Ezra Koenig sings: ‘Through the fire and through the flames; You won’t even say your name; Only “I am that I am”’.
By Plus One Magazine, 04-May-2013 12:49:00
With just a three-track EP and a couple of unreleased singles dotted around the internet, the attention lavished on Scottish trio CHVRCHES over the last two or three months has been quite bewildering. Quirkily misspelt so as to avoid googling confusion, CHVRCHES gleefully channel seductive 80s electro-pop with a nod to contemporary indie rock grooves, a combination which has brought success for the likes of Hot Chip, Cut Copy and Friendly Fires in recent years. Yet CHVRCHES display all the signs of the tragic victim of the hype machine, to be chewed up and spat out by the meat grinder of conveyor belt indie.
By Plus One Magazine, 30-Apr-2013 17:12:00
There must be something in the water in Leeds. Hot on the heels of IKESTRA’s remarkable debut comes Destroy All Records stable mates Mahogany Hand Glider’s latest offering, a head-spinning cosmic epic, inspired by space exploration and colonisation. Stretching three tracks into 21 minutes of cosmic soundscapes and galactic cadences, ‘Bless The Fat’ is an organic maelstrom of off-the-wall musical vision and boundless creativity.
Neatly sidestepping the clichéd pretensions which pose such a threat to the concept album, this record oozes charisma and integrity – these are not songs loosely grouped under a half-baked unifying theme as an afterthought, this is the soundtrack to the bloom of nebulas and the enormity of space. Its real potency is in its effect on the listener – so strikingly evocative is the music, it is only after the last notes have faded away that you realise that its legacy is not a photographic snapshot of a scene, but a mental sensation, a consciousness of something more
By Plus One Magazine, 22-Apr-2013 17:18:00
Acrobatic Tenement is the debut album from At The Drive-In. The lo-fi production is a far cry from what would be their magnum opus Relationship Of Command but it serves as the blueprint for their jittery, pepped up emotionally charged post-hardcore for which they are so famous for. Following on from bands like Drive Like Jehu and Husker Du the Texan quintet roll with a continual flow of energy but here on their debut Omar’s guitars are restrained, you can’t hear those trademark melodies creeping through yet. Most of the songs are based heavily around a set of chord progressions and angular rhythms. The low production quality is maybe what stops these song from having the same resonance as the tracks on their third and final album.
By Plus One Magazine, 20-Apr-2013 14:55:00
You’ve got to feel sorry for PYYRAMIDS. All they ever wanted was to be a post-punk band in the 80s, or possibly a part of the 90s grunge movement (they’d take either), but instead they’ve been thrust into the 21st Century and forced to deal with it. But, undeterred, Tim Nordwind, of OK Go fame, and He Say She Say frontwoman Drea Smith teamed up, ignored anyone who may have raised an eyebrow, disregarded the musical legacy of their previous bands, and created PYYRAMIDS to keep the dream alive, at least until a viable time machine presents itself.
By Plus One Magazine, 15-Apr-2013 06:08:00
Kiss your genre boundaries goodbye, because madcap Leeds 7-piece IKESTRA are wielding a bucket-load of creativity, and they aren’t afraid to use it. A melting pot of influences drawing from jazz, funk, rock and ska (to name a few) collides head-on with the expansive sound and vision of producers like Bonobo and Flying Lotus. Then, imagine the ghost of Miles Davis administering a liberal sprinkling of international flavourings and you’re in the right ballpark.
By Plus One Magazine, 09-Apr-2013 19:20:00
The arresting artwork for Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ fourth record shows an animated purple mosquito with its tentacles wrapped around the foot of a horrified baby. Poised to sting, the creature hovers menacingly over the infant as a green gooey substance emanates from the desperate child’s lips. It’s a pretty shocking image and while I could probably spend the rest of this review deconstructing the meaning behind it, I’d prefer to talk about the music Yeah Yeah Yeahs make, not because it’s particularly good, but because it’s slightly less likely to make you vomit all over your screens.
By Plus One Magazine, 05-Apr-2013 06:54:00
At an hour and ten minutes, Wakin on a Pretty Daze is Philadelphia-born Kurt Vile’s most ambitious project to date, in terms of content as well as scope. This, his fifth full-length release, sees Vile at his most accomplished as a song-writer and as a story-teller.
Kurt Vile made a name for himself as part of indie rock outfit The War on Drugs, with whom he parted company in 2008 to focus on his work as a solo artist, which, contrary to popular belief, had already begun before his exit from the band. His initial releases as Kurt Vile came thick and fast, the minimalist element to his style enabling him to work at a quick-fire pace, but it wasn’t until his 2011 release Smoke Ring For My Halo that Vile achieved widespread critical appreciation.
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