Some top music

Perhaps I’ve just not been paying attention to new music in recent times but it seems there’s been a sudden influx of fantastic albums lately. Starting with The Delays “You See Colours” a couple of months ago, which came out of nowhere for me as I’d never even heard of the band. Pure catchy electro pop with a dusting of guitars. Sweet. Very interesting, unusual sound/production.

Snow Patrol‘s fourth album “Eyes Open” hit bang on target, just as good as “Final Straw” if not an improvement. I wonder if Gary has had vocal coaching or maybe it’s just all that touring. In any case, his voice seems to have found new range and strength.

I only noticed The Feeling when I saw there album was number 2 in the charts so it’s fair to say I’ve probably missed everyone raving about them. Looking them up on Wikipedia I notice Chris Moyles has been championing them and since I now only get his podcast perhaps I’m actually missing out on some good music! Never-the-less, anyone who’s not heard “Twelve Stops And Home” go and get it now.

Gomez never dissapoint and it’s hard to believe that “How We Operate” is their sixth studio album. Seems like only a short while ago “Bring It On” was doing the rounds.

Keane have certainly worked on their sound for “Under the Iron Sea”. A lot more work has gone in to the production and it’s a great follow up album, even if the songs themselves perhaps aren’t quite as strong.

Finally, The Automatic – “Not Accepted Anywhere”. Worth checking out even though the backing singer doubling up the main vocal in a shouty stylee is a bit irritating for a whole album!

At some point I’ll do a post on some of my all time favourite albums but in the mean time, Mr Dashwood highly recommends Rage Against the Machine, Faith No More, Soulwax, Peeping Tom, Ben Folds and Antony and the Johnsons. That should keep your ears happy for now 🙂

Soulwax, where did the suits and humour go?

I did Music Tech at Uni and a lot all my class mates were really in to the very latest new music, raving about the latest bands I’d never even heard of. I kind of got that feeling of being an outsider if I didn’t have a band that no one else had heard of to champion over coffee and a dunked mars bar. Indeed, there’s probably just one band who I can lay claim to picking up on before everyone else jumped on the bandwagon and that band be Soulwax.

I caught the last 20 seconds or so of their song “Too Many DJ’s” when tuning in to Steve Lamacq’s show one evening in 1999, when they released the EP the first time round over here. I frantically typed the name of the band in to this revolutionary piece of software we had back in the day called Napster and absolutely loved what I heard. So I managed to track down the EP, followed by just about everything else that was released over here and whatever I could import. Eventually went to go see them support Muse and was not disappointed despite having their set cut down to just 20 minutes due to a delay letting people in. Saw them again at Nottingham’s Rock City when they had their own tour later in the year and again was blown away.They put on a real show with beige suits, flashing fluorescent tube mic stands, some clever ad-lib’ing when ear pieces didn’t work, bit of crowd interaction and old school Casio synth guitars. Friggin’ ace!

So then came the 2 Many DJ’s phenomenon, taking bootleg mash-ups to the mainstream with tremendous success. I was as much a fan of that stuff as Soulwax the band but if we’re talking about a live performance, two guys behind a set of decks just ain’t gonna get the same reaction from me.

Fast forward a year or so to the next album Soulwax album, Any Minute Now, and I went with some friends to see them in Manchester at the same venue as before. Perhaps expectations were too high but I was a little disappointed. The music was fantastic, the crowd was manic, but they’d dropped a lot of that crazy Belgium stuff which made the Much Against Everyone’s Advice gigs so great. No C-A-S-I-O in this set and very little in the way of crowd interaction. Caught them again at a much smaller venue in Nottingham the following year and they were much better but still there was no sign of ‘old Soulwax’ which I dearly missed. Then when me, Mark and Adi went to Rock Werchter I was hopeful that playing on home turf they might pull something out of the bag. Of course, they didn’t manage it, although I blame the crowd for being completely life less.

In any case it seems the suits, mic stands and comedy are gone for good. Which is why when I stumbled upon this over lunch I came over all nostalgic (hey, 6 years is a long time for me). Enjoy.