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20 Years Old, from Doncaster but live in Leeds. Music listener, creator, player, blogger

Thursday, 6 June 2013

New Music: 19/05/13 - Ska/Punk/Dub Special!

Got some new music that I'd like to share! This post is gonna be dedicated to three great bands who take a lot of influence from Ska, Dub and Punk.

The Beaus
The Beaus are a band I've talked about before. I saw them supporting The Skints at Doncaster Leopard in August last year and they were pretty good. They've got some new music out now!

Everything is Nothing


First is 'Everything is Nothing'. It's the first in a series of songs - theyre planning on releasing one every month till November.  I love this song, its taken over 'In the Red Corner' as my favourite song by them. I love the guitar sound that is ever present in their music - the heavy reverb adds a real eerie feel to the music. Its a proper atmospheric tune, and i've listened to it plenty of times over the past few weeks. They've released another single this month, called 'Laughter and Bang.'

Laughter and Bang


This is a well catchy song - it isn't my favourite, but the repeated chorus line of 'I can't find that place without you' sticks in your head. The organ sound is good too, paired with the relentless hip-hop inspired drums and The Beaus signature reverberated guitar sound, this song is one that you will definitely listen to over and over again. I'm looking forward to the next single in this series because so far, they've been brilliant. They are without a doubt my favourite band from my hometown of Doncaster!

LINKS:
Facebook
Website
Soundcloud
Twitter
Spotify

UPCOMING GIGS:
15th July - The Cockpit, Leeds (Tickets available here.)

Outl4w
I first came across Outl4w only a couple of weeks ago. The Skints played 2 shows in leeds - one at Slam Dunk festival, then a late show on the outskirts of leeds in a clup called Musiquarium (you can find my review for this show here.) Outl4w were one of the many bands that supported them, and were probably my favourite band of the night. They've been going for about 10 years which is mental seen as they're only a year or so older than me. Started gigging in 2004 when they were about 10. Their early stuff is a bit different to their most recent EP - sounding similar to bands like Green Day and The Ramones.

I Don't Wanna Grow Up


That's one of their earlier tracks, as you can tell by the video + the sound of the singers voice. If you scour youtube there's plenty of other songs from when they were younger. Since then they've changed style quite a bit - they took a break for a couple of years, the guitarist learnt trumpet and they've obviously been listening to a lot more ska punk as their style is much more alike to this.

Blackpool to Leeds


That's their most recent single, and you can tell how their sound has developed when you compare those 2 tracks. I much prefer their more recent stuff - the horn lines are well catchy.The section in this song at around 2:50 is awesome too - like a lot of ska-punk its great to have a bit of a dance to. It's much more akin to bands such as Rancid and Operation Ivy. I've just bought their Flipside EP and that has 4 great tracks on, plus you can get a free download from their website.

LINKS:
Facebook
Website

UPCOMING GIGS:
No upcoming gigs.

Counting Coins
I only came across this band this past week, and i've only heard 2 songs at the moment, but I'm loving em so far. Another band I follow on facebook which play similar music (Breadchasers) posted a link to this band. I'd never heard of them but thought that itd be my kinda thing so i gave it a listen, and i wasn't disappointed. They describe themselves as 'Ska-Punk-Gypsy-HipHop From Hull'. Listen to this if you wanna find out what that sounds like..

Blue on Blue


This is their most recent single, and the song that I heard first. The music is brilliant - catchy, lively, bouncy, energetic, with some great instrumental solos, like all good ska-punk. I also love the vocals - the verses are half-rapped, half sung, one verse later on is impressively rapped at twice the speed of the other verse. The chorus is infectious aswell. Counting Coins are a great band, and I can't wait for their upcoming EP so i can hear more music from them. Here's an older song of theirs.

What gives you the Right


LINKS:
Facebook

UPCOMING GIGS:
8th June - London Summer Sizzler - @ - Cargo
27th June - Lancaster - @ - Lancaster University
28th June - Leeds - @ Santiagos
29th June - London - @ - The Worlds End (Finsbury Park)
19th July - Sheffield - @ - Tramline Festival (@ The Bowery)
3rd August - Hull - @ - Humber Street Sesh
8th August - Blackpool- @ - Rebellion Punk Music Festival
9th August - Boomtown Fair - @ - Chinatown Stage
10th August - Boomtown Fair @ Chai Wallah Stage
14th August - Hull - @ -The New Adelphi Club -with The Dead Pets
16th August - Sunk Island - @ - SunkFest
18th August - Withernsea - @ Summertime Special
23-25th August (TBC) - York -@ - Galtres Festival
12th October - Norwich - @ Venue tbc

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

LIVE: The Skints + Support, Leeds Musiquarium, 25/05/13

After months of anticipation, I finally got to saw The Skints live again. This was the fourth time i've seen them, and it's probably my favourite. It's not my favourite set of theirs, or my favourite gig performance-wise (not that they weren't amazing) but the atmosphere at this gig was like no other. I've got a few videos of the night but you can barely see anything - im mainly posting them so you can hear! It was at a venue in Leeds called Musiquarium - it was quite a way out of the city centre, but it was a really cool place. You stepped through a little doorway and there was an outside area, with some wall art, fairy lights all over the ceiling, and a few sofas. When we arrived we chilled here with a pint, it was really relaxed and their was a few people from the support bands hanging around.








After we'd chilled out there for a bit, we went inside ready for the first bands. It was really warm which I thought was pretty normal for a gig but it got a lot worse. There was a bit of a delay - a lot of the gear had stopped working because it was so hot. We met the singer from Outl4w in the crowd aswell. He was a nice lad, we chatted to him for a few minutes.




The first band were Midnight Landing - a ska band who were a lot better than i expected. I'd only gone to the gig to see The Skints and Outl4w - I hadn't really listened to any of the other support bands. But these guys were really good, and we met them afterwards and talked to them for ages, they were really sound guys.

video


I'm pretty sure there was another band just after these, although I have no pics/videos of them, and can't remember what they were called - oooops. Outl4w played next, and they were sick. (I've written a bit of a post about them but I haven't actually posted it to the blog yet - I will in the next few days, it's got a few of their tunes on). Had a good old jump around to them, was screaming like a madman (I was a bit drunk at this point). They only played a short set, but they did all my favourites - Blackpool to Leeds, Thank Fuck for Randall and Ball and Chain.


video





After Outl4w, a band called Extra Curricular played. Again, a band i'd never heard of, but wow. Very, very good band. They sounded absolutely amazing, with live horns, and a great singer who really knew how to work the crowd. They weren't really the same as any other band there, but they were still very well recieved. They were Funk/Soul Jazz Blues? I have no idea haha. They had an AMAZING song that everyone there was singing called Last Day, which is ridiculously catchy and since the gig I've listened to it about 20 times. The dudes voice is just unreal. I didn't manage to get it in video, but I do have another video to post.

video






The crowd really started to build up by now. And it was getting really, really hot. The walls were all padded, which i guess was for soundproofing reasons, but it acted as an insulator too so it was like an oven in there - it got hotter and hotter all night. You can tell in those last pictures - Extra Curricular's singer was drenched in sweat! It only got worse through the night aswell. You can see in this picture that I was sweating buckets.


The Skints were almost an hour late on stage, through no fault of their own - the gear was breaking in the heat! But they took to the stage around 2:15am and they were incredible. As always. They've always sounded amazing every time i've seen them, and this time they didn't disappoint. They played a slightly shorter set than normal (and they didn't play the new single which I was gutted about) but it was still great. I even managed to snatch a setlist at the end which Josh signed.

 'Rise Up'
'Ratatat/No No No' 


'Culture Vulture'

Again, you can see how warm it was. I think they planned on playing for longer but they literally couldnt carry on with the heat. Afterwards I chugged lots of free ice cold water that the bar were leaving out, cos i was actually struggling to breathe. My lungs were killing, it was awful. We went outside afterwards and were lucky enough to have a chat with Josh for a bit! Then later on when they were loading their stuff into the van we got to talk to Jamie and Marci.




So thats about it. Great gig by one of my favourite bands, and I can't wait to see them again soon! Could be a year or so now :( But it'll be worth the wait!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

New Music: The Skints

It's been a while since the skints released any new studio recordings! They've given us a few acoustic sessions which always sound amazing (Kiss from a Rose and Passin' Me By have been on repeat none stop recently) but it's been a long time since there's been a proper song released.



Their new song is called 'Out My Mind' and quite frankly, it's brilliant. It has big summery vibes - i'm certainly gonna be blasting this one out loud while i sit in the sun with a beer this summer! It's mainly sung by the guitarist Josh, and it's a similar sound to the song 'Lay You Down' from their album Part and Parcel. The video's great too - I had a massive smile on my face at the end when Marci, Jamie and John show up clapping and singing the 'ba-da Ba Ba' hook! It's a real feel good song and I know any fans of The Skints will love it, and I doubt even people who haven't heard The Skints will be able to stop singing and skanking to this one. You can buy it on iTunes on the 27th May, but you can pre-order it now! I have done, it's only 99p for an amazing feel-good song that you wont stop playing this summer! They'll be sure to be playing it on their UK tour too, so get tickets to that, they're always outstanding live! I give you, The Skints - Out My Mind!



Facebook
Twitter
Pre-order on iTunes!


LCM Year One is Over!

The past month or so has been hectic! So much coursework to do - I've not had time to update here but it wasn't just laziness! My bad.

So my first year at Uni is over. Mental. I feel like i've only been here a few months. Time's gone too quick, its crazy to think im a third of the way through Uni already. It's dawned on me that I've wasted a lot of time this year, and I could have used the time a lot better and got a lot more done. I mean, i've still done quite a bit of music, but not nearly as much as i could have. I live in a city with an amazing music scene but i've still not started any bands or got any gigs or anything, which is what i really wanted to do! I now have close to 4 months with not a lot to do, so im going to make sure i get a decent bit of music made. A quick recap of what I've recorded or helped with recording this year..


Revenge


This was the first bit of coursework I did! I took an old piece that i'd done months ago, and took all the MIDI files and put them into logic, and did a lot of work on it. I extended it, added new parts, used better samples, mixed it all better. It sounds a hell of a lot better than the original.


Lots and Lots of Bedroom Recordings


Lots of bored nights in with my flatmate resulted in these. 5 songs recorded for Tom, 1 recorded with Tom and his mate for his LCM Audition (which he passed), and then 3 songs with me on guitar and Tom singing. Probably a lot more of these to come.


Crimestoppers Dub


I recorded this for the Crimestoppers assignment at LCM - this is the first of 2 pieces. This is one of my favourite pieces i've produced this year - It sounds great and I'm really wanting to make some reggae/dub kinda music soon. Its one of the projects that im hoping to start over the next 4 months.


Mugging


This was the second piece i produced for the Crimestoppers assignment. This came from an idea I had when listening to a song The Prodigy did with Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello. I had this little guitar riff in Logic on a distorted guitar with a wah pedal, and some drums, and that developed into this.

Safari


This is a more recent one that I haven't shared on this blog yet! I had to create a 4 minute piece of music and write a 2000 word essay about it (and transcribe it!) This is what I made. I wanted to do music for a certain purpose so I had more i could write about in the essay. My dad suggested doing music for a David Attenborough programme which gave me the idea to use African instruments, however this is what came. It isnt actually for a nature programme, it just kinda.. tells a kind of story. There's a theme representing a herd of gazelle at the beginning which is repeated in a minor key later to show that something has happened to the herd, theres another theme to represent a predator.. it's all explained much better in the essay!


Babies


One of my studio assignments was to record a cover of a song as a group, and it had to fit into a certain category. Then we all had to do an individual remix. It had to:
Only use the original vocal track.
Use Found Sound Drums (the version i've posted doesnt use these).
Use a synth that we have made from scratch.
Write and Record 2 original instrumental parts.

I did another reggae style remix which I think turned out pretty well! It was pretty hard to do cos the acapella tempo fluctuates from 150 bpm to 160bpm. It sounds pretty good though, I think. I never recorded 2 instrumental parts, which I could lose marks on. But there is different instrumental lines on this so they could count, i'm not sure. For the Found Sound Drums, which I didn't use on this version as it sounds better with the proper kit, I used quite a few weird things around my room. The Hi-Hat was just me ripping up a takeaway menu, then I added a bit of noise, and a lot of reverb. The Snare was me hitting the bottom of a metal bucket, layered up with me hitting a bottle of salt. I added lots of reverb and delay onto to bucket sound so as to create the typical dub sound. The kick was me slamming a cardboard box over my knee, layered up with me punching myself in the stomach. I EQ'd these and raised the low ends so it was thumpier. One thing I didn't do which i didnt think of till after, was pitch shifting the sounds so they were lower. Still, it sounded ok.



So, that's pretty much all the music i've made in my first year at Uni. Expect some more coming over the next few months as I have a lot of free time! I've just bought a melodica, so I'm hoping to use that for a couple of acoustic recordings. I'm also gonna go acoustic guitar hunting this week, so I can record some much better songs. I'm also finally gonna get my electric guitar fixed and get it restrung so I can record some reggae vibes with that! Hoping to do some kind of Skints covers!

Thanks for reading - I'll be posting more regular again from now!

Thursday, 14 March 2013

New Music: 3 New Covers..

Me and Tom had a couple of beers tonight and rather than do the usual sit on FIFA/COD all night routine, we set up the mic and recorded a few songs together!

Where is my Mind? - Pixies


This song randomly popped into my head in a dream last night, so this was the first song i suggested. It translates quite well to an acoustic performance I reckon. I do a couple of the backing vox, but its mainly just me playing guitar and Tom singing.


Marigold - Nirvana


This is one of my favourite Nirvana tracks - has that typical Nirvana sound. It was the only Nirvana track written and sung by Dave Grohl. I really like this one, my favourite one of the night.

Can't Stop - Red Hot Chilli Peppers


Ok, this one didn't go great. My fingers were killing from playing the acoustic all night and we were both knackered, so rather than do another take we just went with this one. there's a couple of mistakes and at the end we just completely messed up, but yeah. We wanted to do a Chilli's track, and we thought this one would sound pretty good if we came up with an acoustic version.



I'm glad I've finally got a bit of recording done - might do this a bit more regularly, I enjoyed doing it a lot!

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Blue Monday

30 years since the release of this classic song by New Order.



Thursday, 28 February 2013

New Music: 28/02/13

Lots of new tunes today. Got a lot of music I've wanted to share for a while but not really had time to!

Louis Berry
This guy has a sick voice. I love it, it's really gravelly.  Reminds me of someone else but I can't think who. He's like a scouse Jake Bugg - his music is quite folk influenced.





http://louisberrymusic.com/

Coat and a Hat
Another folk act here. 2 Lads from my college, they've only just formed but they've posted one song thats sounded really good! The harmonies are great. Definitely for fans on Mumford and Sons, and Simon and Garfunkel.



https://www.facebook.com/CoatAndAHat

Sloppy Joe
Joe is a mate of me and my flatmate, and he recently had an interview at LCM to do the same course as me, so I helped him produce a track in my flat last week. This is what we did..



He also has a couple of other tracks on his page. He's done a remix of The Prodigy's Funky Shit which is pretty good. It was a live remix he did on decks, it has a proper hip-hop feel to it.



Sloppy Joe's Soundcloud

Father Funk
I've posted some of his stuff on my blog before, but he has a new EP out so I'll post that on here :) great tracks as always. Funky Basslines, Groovy Drums, and some great guitar + vocal samples. Check out Juggernaut, that's my personal favourite on the EP.





That's it for now. Some great music to listen to though!

Friday, 15 February 2013

The Strokes release new song 'All The Time'

The Strokes are back! A new album, 'Comedown Machine', will be released in March, and they've released this new song as a teaser. I'm aware that this is actually the second song The Strokes have released recently, but quite frankly, i didn't think much of it so I didn't share it on here. However, i've barely stopped listening to this. It's awesome.


It sounds just like classic The Strokes. If I was told it was taken from 'Is This It?' I'd believe it. Some may say that sounding the same as an album released over 10 years ago is a bad thing.. but they have released very different music recently, so I'm happy to hear a return to the old sound. I'm sure the album  won't all be the same - the other song they released, 'One Way Trigger', sounds nothing like them! It sounds more like A-ha or something. I'll post it here for people who haven't heard it.



The more I listen to it, the more Strokes-y it sounds. But i really dislike that synth sound! it isn't.. rocky enough. However there was a few good songs on their last album, 'Angles', that strayed away from their traditional sound, 'Machu Pichu' being one of them. It's actually one of my favourites.

I know I haven't been blogging a lot recently but that should change soon, as my assignments are all handed in on monday. I have got a post coming up in the next couple of days with lots of new music to share though! Keep a look out :)

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Uni Assigments!

Just a short post today - I got some feedback from 2 of my Uni assignments!!

This first was a group project, where we had to get together and record a song in the studio. We had to produce it all, so we were doing all the mic techniques, the patching, the desk work. We did a cover of 'A Message to you Rudy' by The Specials. We got 62/100, which is a 2:1 - not bad!!

The other assignment is the Crimestoppers one that I've talked about a lot on here - where I had to produce 2 30 second long pieces of music in Logic to go along with these Crimestoppers adverts. I got 72/100 - thats a first!! I'm so proud!!

This week i'm concentrating on another assignment - I have a 2000 word essay to be in next monday, and also a Theory and Aural assignment - I've been given a piece of music and I have to transcribe it. Harder than it sounds, trust me!! It's a long and stressful week this week so I probably won't blog this week - and hopefully I'm going home next week which means ill be quite busy then too. So.. i don't know if i'll be blogging for a while!!

ALTHOUGH.. been working on a track with my flatmate. It's nowhere near finished yet, but it's a cover of the XX track 'Angels'. Hoping to get some massive psychadelic guitar solo in there. I'll update on that when its starting to come together a bit.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Biffy Clyro for Leeds Festival

So, tonight, another announcement was made regarding Leeds festival. I tuned into Zane Lowe's show to hear them announce it live, but it was pretty obvious as so many rumours have been flying about for the past few days.



Biffy Clyro are the second headliner, along with Eminem. Eminem is a massive, strong headliner, and as much as I respect Biffy as a band and think they are good.. to me they don't feel like headline material. Headliners tend to have a much wider appeal, and have at least a few songs that everyone there is gonna know and love. I don't know that many Biffy Clyro songs, and I don't think a lot of festival goers will either. I know 'Many of Horror', aka 'When We Collide' which the X-factor ruined. I know 'Mountains', and maybe one or two others. I think they'd be a great sub-headliner to a much bigger rock band - someone like Foo Fighters or Muse from previous years.

It's also got me thinking about the third headliner. Hopefully they're saving the best till last, although Eminem seems to be the big shock of the year, so i don't know. I'm praying they haven't blown their budget on Eminem, meaning they have to settle for 2 sub-par headliners. The strongly rumoured bands are Blur, Arctic Monkeys, Black Sabbath.. personally, I don't think Sabbath belong at this festival. As much as they are a classic band, they just don't fit in with the general feel of the festival, and most Leeds goers wouldn't really want to see them particularly. Blur would much better fit in, however I've recently come to the epiphany that they're slightly over-rated, and apart from a few songs, I'd be a bit bored through their set. I would love Arctic Monkeys to headline as I haven't seen them live since November 2011. They also are reportedly working on a new album, but I don't think it'll be finished by the time the festival comes round, so I'm not sure whether they would headline. They did headline it fairly recently as well.. 2009 I think. Mumford and Sons are also rumoured - a band who I really dislike and will be more than pissed off if they are announced. They are sub-headliner at best, and still one I probably wouldn't see. I think they'd better suit headlining a smaller stage. If I could pick any headliner, it would be Red Hot Chilli Peppers, however i don't think it'll happen - apart from the general buzz that goes round every year, there are no strong rumours.



There were 5 other artists announced today: Jake Bugg, Foals, System of a Down, Bring Me The Horizon and the newly reformed Fall Out Boy. All in all, a pretty good announcement i'd say. I was kinda disappointed when Biffy were announced, so for 'Chop Suey' to be playing 5 minutes later.. well, I was more than excited. System of a Down are a quality band, and I am extremely excited to be seeing them live. They're definitely the act I'm most excited for out of all that were announced today. I'm also quite excited for Fall Out Boy - a band I used to love when I was about 12, It'll be a real nostalgic set to watch. Songs like 'Dance, Dance' and 'Sugar, We're Going Down' were the soundtrack of my Emo days. If they don't clash with anyone, I might go and see BMTH, just because again they're a band I used to love. Jake Bugg'll be nice to see too, if he doesn't clash with anyone. I like a few of his songs but he's a great artist and I'd love to see him live, I think there'd be a great atmosphere. I've never listened to Foals really, but I wasn't impressed by what I heard on the radio.



Overall, I think today was a pretty good announcement. After the initial disappointment of Biffy Clyro headlining, announcing Fall Out Boy who have only just announced their reformation today, as well as Jake Bugg and System of a Down, well, it's really got me excited. Bring on Leeds Festival 2013.

Friday, 1 February 2013

The Who

Guess who got tickets to go see The Who in London?!?! They're playing the classic Quadrophenia album in its entirety, plus all the hits too. Its gonna be amazing!!





Monday, 28 January 2013

New Music: Alumni Records 'Freshers EP'

It's been nearly 2 weeks since my last post - i've not found a lot of time, sorry!

So yeah. Some folks at my college have started their own label, known as Alumni Records. It's all run by people from the College, and will promote artists also at the College. They've just released their first EP, called 'Freshers EP'. It consists of 5 tracks of varying genre, that they've all produced themselves.

Track 01 - Zeitgeist - 'Sacrificial T-shirt'

This is an 8 minute Jazz piece by a college band called Zeitgeist. I'm not a big fan of this kind of Jazz, but it's still a pretty good piece. I really like the bass solo that starts around the 5 minute mark.

https://soundcloud.com/zeitgeist-band
https://www.facebook.com/ZeitgeistUK

Track 02 - Patrick Craig - 'Listen to Me'

I saw Patrick Craig play about a month ago at this Bavarian pub in Leeds, at their 'Bierkellers Got Talent' competition they had, and he was really good. He definitely reminds me of Frank Turner, kinda folky stuff with that massive voice.

https://www.facebook.com/pcraiguk

Track 03 - Tom Harris - 'Ekomat'

Ekomat is a pretty atmospheric electronic piece, which is different to everything else on the EP so far. I'm not really sure what genre to call it - it's kind of Drum n Bass, Garage-y - but it's really relaxed, even with the uptempo drums. I really like this one, I wanna hear more from him.

https://soundcloud.com/tomharris - I really recommend listening to his song 'Tears' - I love that one too.

Track 04 - Emma Dockaray - 'One Woman Show'

This is another great acoustic song from the EP. She's got a great voice and I love the chord progression. She reminds me of another artist I've already heard before but I can't for the life of me remember. Either way, I still really like this.

https://soundcloud.com/emma-dockeray
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Emma-Dockeray/158703740881360

Track 05 - Dengar - 'New Beginnings'


Another electronic track from the EP, this one is much more up-beat. There's constant driving drums, completely different the Ekomat from earlier in the EP. Definitely more dance-able, this one.


So yeah, that's the Alumni Records Freshers EP. You can find Alumni on Facebook and Soundcloud. I'm looking forward to their next release, as there's some real talented people at LCM, and I can't wait to hear more of their stuff.

https://soundcloud.com/alumnirecords
https://www.facebook.com/alumnirecordsuk

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

New Music: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds



Another new song from the forthcoming album 'Push the Sky Away'. Love how this one builds up! The guitar sounds great too.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

LCM Crimestoppers Coursework

The past couple of weeks I have been working on as assignment for Uni. I've been given 2 crimestoppers videos, each about 30 seconds long, and have had to produce 2 seperate pieces of music to go with them. They had to be produced in Logic, and had to have at least 8 voices. I've done 2 very different tracks - one started out as a project from ages ago that was supposed to be some kind of Rage Against The Machine meets Dubstep track. Because I only had 30 seconds it didnt really have time to develop into this, but I'll post what I came up with.



The other piece is the one I prefer. I think it sounds a lot better. It started off as a rip off of the 'You wouldn't steal a handbag' film that plays before DVDs. Its ended up completely different, a reggae/dub style track.



I'll post the feedback I get when I get it - I have to hand it in tomorrow! Which means I'll probably get feedback in about a month from now. Any feedback on these tracks would be appreciated :)