We really like this. Nigel ‘Radiohead’s production wizard’ Godrich decides there is a dearth of good quality, live audience-free, band-focused, old grey whistle test style music programming available to the world and has set up a wonderful new music show of his own, accordingly. In his own words ‘the whole emphasis of the show is about being artist friendly and making our bands feel as comfortable as possible so that they can give great performances without the usual agony of TV promo which everyone has to do but no-one seems to enjoy. TV world is a pretty hostile environment for your average musician to walk into and bare his soul on cue…’.
OK, so band friendly environment.. comfortable setting… tv promo bad… soul baring good. Well, the results are quite stunning. These recordings capture an intimacy uncommon elsewhere in the canon of music tv programming (‘Later’ aside, perhaps) that allows real artist soul baring, but also, crucially, that golden ‘put yourself in the studio/practice room with the artist’ effect. It’s as if the bands are performing just for you, and therein lies the magic.
The first series of shows went online a matter of weeks ago and include some really nice performances by our very own GNARLS BARKLEY, THE RACONTEURS and FLEET FOXES, among others (messrs Yorke, Greenwood, Selway and O’Brien included, of course). Check them out. It’ll be worth it.
Filed under: 1 | Tags: Bat For Lashes, Bon Iver, damon albarn, Fleet Foxes, roots manuva, The Horrors, the shortwave set, White Lies, Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Glastonbury, glastonbury, glastonbury… they say if you remember Glastonbury then you weren’t really there (man). Well I could tell you that I spent my weekend expanding my mind, strolling naked through the Shangri-La compound (yes, that was ME) smoking nettles and discussing the positioning of ley lines behind a king size beard.. BUT! that would all be far too untruthful, because there was more music than you could shake a druid’s staff at to check out. For those uninitiated in the ways of Glastonbury it must be said that the sheer enormity of the festival means that attempting to catch even half of what is going on is impossible. The result is a weekend of very well thought out compromises. Here were a few of mine (click on artist names to see video highlights):
The Horrors // Park Stage // Friday 9.25pm – Perhaps I am biased since I think that the bass line on mirror’s image is the greatest thing under the sun.. but! – the Horrors show did not fail to deliver. As desperate fans ran uphill to the stage, the Horrors tore through their set (drawn exclusively from ‘Primary Colours’). Epic, dark, melodic, squealing deliciousness. First memorable moment of the weekend.
White Lies // The Other Stage // Friday 5pm – Dancing in the dark!! Dancing in the dark!! It seems whatever WL turn their hands to they pull off with finesse. HUGE crowd gathered to watch them kick off their two glasto performances and they were great.
The Big Pink // John Peel Stage // Sat 1pm – The huge John Peel tent was near capacity as crowds gathered to see tastemaker Alex Petridis’s ‘hot tip’ for the festival. Turned up to 11, big choruses, brooding bad ass basslines, crowd hungover but lapping it up. Big screams for ‘Velvet’ and ‘Dominoes’. A very nice glasto debut.
Fleet Foxes // Pyramid Stage // Saturday 4.30pm – Robin Pecknold singing ‘Oliver James’ with the same poise you’d expect from a man facing a bedroom mirror, let alone a 50,000-strong crowd, was a bit of a moment. Sunshine, Fleet Foxes in welly boots, harmonies harmonies harmonies, ‘blue ridge mountains’. I may have shed a tear.
Bon Iver // Park Stage // Sat headline slot – The Park stage is up on the hillside across from the stone circle and looks down over the whole festival. On Saturday night Bon Iver took to the stage and gave a truly magical set. ‘What might have been lost’ echoed through the crowd on ‘Wolves’, as Chinese lanterns floated idly into the night sky. You get the picture. Wouldn’t have missed it for the Boss.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs // Other Stage // Sunday 5.30pm – Head dress. Leather Jacket. Microphone Swallowing. Need I say any more? ‘Heads Will Roll’ made me want to abandon all my morals.
Bat For Lashes // The Other Stage // Sunday 6.30pm – I never quite get over how stunning Natasha Khan’s live performances are. Her voice is breathtaking. The band sounded louder and clearer than everyone else on the other stage on Sunday. This was definitely one of my highlights of the weekend. Spine tingling stuff.
Blur // Pyramid Stage // Sunday Headline – Up there with Radiohead on the pyramid stage in 2003. Mind blowing. The Universal. The Universal. The Universal. Our very own Damon Albarn. Can’t wait to see them again on Friday.
Other scores of the weekend:
Crosby Stills and Nash (David Crosby’s moustache is amazing) // Dizzee Rascal// The Futureheads (secret gig on the cabaret stage. So good) // Falafel // Regina Spektor (‘someone next door is f**king to one of my songs’. yes.) // Shangri-La madness // hot cider // ‘Anvil’ in the cinema tent // SPINAL TAP! // Dead Weather secret gig on Park Stage // Neil Young’s seventeen verses // losing friends on Friday and no mobile then bumping into them by chance among 170,000 people. Bit lucky. // Roots Manuva on Sunday // The Shortwave Set at the Queens Head. //
I am showered, de-suncreamed and de-bearded. Ready to do it all again next year.
Well last night saw the passing of the 2009 Mojo Music Awards and over this morning’s croissants and freshly squeezed um bongo we cheered with delight to learn that FLEET FOXES, WHITE LIES and JOHNNY MARR all picked up gongs last night.
In the words of one maligned Alvy Singer: ‘All they do in this town is give awards. Best Fascist Dictator: Adolph Hitler’. Hmm..we have been watching Annie Hall too much, clearly, however in this case, the awarding of awards certainly went to very worthy recipients (and no fascists):
Fleet Foxes picked up the ‘Best Live Act’ award – Anyone privy to their Roundhouse shows in February (or elsewhere, for that matter) can attest to the fact that Fleet Foxes live is arguably better than christmas.
White Lies bagged the ‘Mojo Breakthrough Award’. Brilliant news.
Johnny Marr received the award for ‘Classic Songwriter’ from former Suede guitarist, Bernard Butler. Johnny said he was ‘very honoured’. No, Johnny, we with ears are honoured.
Well done to all. We’re thrilled.
Filed under: 1 | Tags: Fleet Foxes, Leonard Cohen, Patrick Wolf, The Horrors, White Lies
Links. They can be golf orientated, cuff related, and the word sounds like a type of wild cat (and deoderant for pre teens). Today’s links are related to none of these. Rather, these:
** The lovely people at Drowned in Sound meet The Horrors ** Fleet Foxes, Leonard Cohen and White Lies nominated for MOJO Honours 2009. Vote here! ** Exclusive photos of White Lies on tour in Berlin **
Wanted to post the excellent review of Patrick Wolf’s new LP, ‘The Bachelor’, from the CMU but couldn’t. Here’s a snippet: ‘A Solid and electric offering, and evidence that this man is truly more than just the Bowie of our generation – Patrick Wolf has honestly made one of the most courageous and heartbreaking albums of this year so far’. ** Click here to hear ‘Vulture’ from Patrick Wolf’s ‘The Bachelor’ **
Oh and you should definitely see this – New video from the Horrors for ‘Who Can Say’…
Tonight is the last night in the Fleet Foxes‘ residency at the Roundhouse. Anyone swift enough to pick up a ticket was a lucky witness, gathered within one enraptured body, to some extraordinary performances over the last two nights. Resisting the temptation to tell you what you will already have read a hundred times over the last few months – ‘Crosby, Stills’/ ‘Fairport’/’Neil Young’/ ‘choral majesty’/’Americana is back’/ ‘Harmonic wonder’ – let it be said instead that hearing Fleet Foxes live is bliss. Full bellied, glass half full, napalm in the morning, cancel Christmas, Scorsesian ‘Last Waltz’-esque, if terrorists attack 30 seconds after the encore I don’t mind dropping off the perch, bliss.
All Photos courtesy and copyright of the very kind Andy Sheppard @ Lowlight photo
Fleet Foxes‘ self titled debut has gone platinum in the UK, selling over 300,000 copies!
Not bad for an album recorded in a basement, funded on loans and multiple credit cards. Some of the money went on the goats.
Impeccable timing too as the band arrive in the UK this weekend to play three sold out shows at the Roundhouse:
Sunday 22 Feb – LONDON – Roundhouse **Sold Out**
Monday 23 Feb – LONDON – Roundhouse **Sold Out**
Tuesday 24 Feb – LONDON – Roundhouse **Sold Out**
We’ve just received a new animated video for ‘Mykonos’, directed by Sean Pecknold (brother of Fleet Foxes’ singer/songwriter Robin Pecknold) – what a talented family – and thought we’d share it (Because it’s very beautiful).
You should also take a look at a short but very sweet ‘making of’…
Fleet Foxes will soon be back in the UK, playing three SOLD OUT shows at the Roundhouse at the end of February.