Friday 31 January 2014

Tonight at The Musician, Leicester (31/1): The DTs + The Della Grants

Xander Promotions presents

The DTs
Friday 31st January
£8adv £10door
plus The Della Grants
Following on from their hugely successful sell-out gig in January this year, the DTs return one year to the day.  They were one of the best loved local bands of the early 80’s, playing such classics as Hoochie Coochie Man, Big Train, Goin’ Up The Country and many more.  Featuring Steve Walwyn on guitar (now a mainstay of Dr. Feelgood), Simon 'Honeyboy' Hickling on vocals and harmonica, Craig Rhind on bass and 'Cheeky' Chas Chaplin on drums, the band backed Steve Marriott for 2 years, making an album with him and two albums as The DTs. For many people this is the ultimate rock/blues line up and is unlikely ever to be bettered.

If you were unlucky enough to be unable to get tickets last time, then make sure you buy well in advance as this will almost certainly be another sell-out.

Remember; always check with the venue before travelling, or grab a ticket direct from the site:

The Warlocks to tour the UK in March

"The Warlocks remain a superior alloy of Velvets cool and narcotic Spaceman 3/MBV tropes, as their first LP in five years able demonstrates."  Mojo ****

"The Warlocks return with an album that intensifies their drift into darker and experimental territory..."  Uncut

"The Warlocks have created a maelstrom of sound which uses space to great effect to give you sense of disillusionment. It's a cunning piece of work and one you will find yourself returning to."  Artrocker

"...Skull Worship is a welcome return, the musical landscape would be a much duller place without them."  DrownedinSound

"Skull Worship sees the LA noisemakers sleeker and more narcotically sublime than ever."  The Skinny

LA based, drone lords,
The Warlocks will be coming to our shores this March!  They recently returned with their first album in 5 years to rave reviews.  Skull Worship was a dense, more elaborate web of sound, layers of distortion and synth.

Watch the fan-made video for 'Endless Drops'  HERE

UK Tour Dates:
Tuesday 11th March -
London, Corsica Studios
Wednesday 12th March -
Glasgow, Broadcast
Thursday 13th March -
Liverpool, The Kazimier
Friday 14th March -
Leeds, The Wardrobe
Saturday 15th March -
Manchester, Antwerp Mansion

The Warlocks:
Bobby Hecksher: Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards & Bass
JC Rees: Guitar, Feedback, Percussion
Earl V. Miller: Guitar, Drone Machine
Chris DiPino: Bass
George Serrano: Drums

Fate of Germany's 'degenerate art' revealed

The inventory shows confiscated works acquired by Hildebrand Gurlitt,
which may be among the Munich hoard discovered last year

London's Victoria and Albert Museum is publishing online two volumes which record what the Nazi regime did with confiscated 'degenerate art'.

Hitler believed post-impressionist modern art, including Expressionists such as Kandinsky and Otto Dix, to be "evidence of a deranged mind".

He ordered more than 16,000 artworks, including works by Van Gogh and Man Ray, to be removed from German museums.

The ledgers reveal the fate of those artworks, many of which were destroyed.

The 'Entartete Kunst' inventory, compiled in 1941-2, was donated to the V&A by the widow of Heinrich Robert (Harry) Fischer in 1996. The term 'Entartete Kunst' translates as 'degenerate art'.

Since then it has been used by art researchers across the world as they attempt to identify the provenance of particular paintings that went missing during the Nazi era.

V&A curator Douglas Dodds, who is responsible for making the ledgers available to the the public, told the BBC that the volumes were "systematically organised".

"This was a major campaign managed from the top," he told the BBC's Arts Editor Will Gompertz.

"For me there are so many echoes of what happened later to people, as well as art works."

For each institution, confiscated works are listed alphabetically by artist and include information on what happened to each piece - using symbols such as 'T' (for exchanged) and 'V' (for sold). Those marked 'X' were destroyed.

Often the name of the work's buyer and a price are given, with names including Hermann Goring and Hildebrand Gurlitt frequently recurring.

Hitler, a failed artist, maintained that "anyone who sees and paints the sky green and fields blue ought to be sterilised", there was still some "uncertainty " among other Nazi leaders about what constituted "good art", prompting Goring to buy up some of the artworks for his own private collection.

Hildebrand Gurlitt is the father of Cornelius Gurlitt, in whose Munich apartment more than 1,400 artworks were found last year, many of which were alleged to have been looted by the Nazis.

It was in response the discovery of Gurlitt's trove of paintings - including works, long thought to have been lost or destroyed, by Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse - that the V&A decided to make the records public.

Many of the paintings withdrawn from Germany's museums had been loaned by private individuals and were never returned.

Much of the documentation held by the institutions from which the art was confiscated has never been made available to those seeking the restitution of lost art, so the V&A volumes will offer new hope.

Source: BBC

Thursday 30 January 2014

Review: Evan Chambers – Lightning Eyes

Evan Chambers – Lightning Eyes (Independent)
Virginia-based Evan Chambers earned his musical spurs drumming and singing in a number of groups before a stint working with acclaimed Nashville singer-songwriter Joseph Aaron, including the production of Aaron’s 2012 self-titled EP. All that experience has paid off in a variety of interesting ways. Chambers is an assured songwriter with a firm grasp of arrangements, and the production on his debut album release “Lightning Eyes” is beautifully sure-footed.

He’s also fearless when it comes to covering other people’s song - big songs, too. His take on Elvis’ “Burning Love” is a revelation. The song’s glammy rock and foot stomping pomp presentation is stripped back and then slowed to reveal a song steeped in soul and gospel - the elegiac piano adding weighty ambience. Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” is just as affecting. Again the pace is measured and deliberate, and Chambers inserts a resigned sadness into the proceedings, which is then augmented by various mournful strings.

While the covers provide instant reference points, and offer clues to Chambers’ influences, it’s his own songs that satisfy the most. “Wrestle the Reticence” straddles both indie pop immediacy and arena-filling grandeur, and the title track emphasizes his pop credentials with a song that should be blasting out of radios everywhere. Perhaps the best of the bunch is “Downtown Lights” (featuring Styles Lauren and Tyler Roberts). Its sophisticated, contemporary R&B is entwined with a ‘50s jazz vibe and brings to mind a grown-up “Birth of the Cool”.
Phil S.

Free NoiseTrade Sampler:

The Dunwells Light Up The Skies UK Tour 2014

Tonight at The Musician, Leicester (30/1): Neil McSweeney + Paul McClure

Greenbird Promotions presents

Neil McSweeney
Thursday 30th January
plus Paul McClure
You may not have heard Neil McSweeney's name but as well as being a member of Jon Boden's "Bright Phoebus sings Tom Waits" project he'll be appearing at The Musician fresh from supporting Bellowhead on their autumn tour where he went down a storm.  If you saw him at the DeMontfort Hall you’ll know what we mean! Sheffield based, his new album Cargo was released last September.  With guests including Sam Sweeney, Lucy Farrell, Matt Boulter (Lucky Strikes) and Brooks Williams, it's a lovely collection of original material ranging from the loud and rocky to the quiet and delicate.

With his new album, "Smiling From The Floor Up" set for release in January, 2014 is set to be a big year for Paul McClure.  His sets intersperse his trademark dry wit with superb stripped songs of love and loss.

Remember; always check with the venue before travelling, or grab a ticket direct from the site:

Wednesday 29 January 2014

Micah P. Hinson: album and dates

Micah P. Hinson
Who releases a new album ‘Micah P. Hinson And The Nothing’ on French label Talitres on March 10th, plays the following UK tour:

Tue 22: Norwich - Norwich Arts Centre
Wed 23: Brighton - Komedia
Thu 24: Leeds - Brudenell Social Club
Fri 25: Nottingham  - Bodega
Sat 26: Gateshead The Sage  
Sun 27: Glasgow - Broadcast 
Mon 28: Manchester - Ruby Lounge
Tue 29: London - Union Chapel
Wed 30: Bristol - Thekla 

Review: Various Artists – The Organisation Of Pop

Various Artists – The Organisation Of Pop (ZTT Records)
Zang Tuum Tumb was founded in 1983 by record producer (and ex-Buggle) Trevor Horn, his wife and manager Jill Sinclair, together with NME journalist Paul Morley. To mark and celebrate the label’s 30th anniversary, they’ve released “The Organisation Of Pop”, a double-CD anthology collection; the first disc successfully tracing the history of the label through a succession of hit singles, while the second disc showcases experiments, remixes, etc.

It’s an enjoyable and fascinating listen, and emphasizes just how important Trevor Horn’s production was to ‘80s pop - though I think we all new that anyway. All the big hits are present on disc 1: Frankie’s “Relax” (plus “The Power Of Love” and Two Tribes”), Grace Jones’ “Slave To The Rhythm”, Art Of Noise’s “Close (To The Edit)” and Propaganda’s “Duel”, to name just a few.

A couple of gems that somehow passed me by, Shane MacGowan & Sinead O’Connor’s “Haunted” and Kirsty MacColl’s “Angel” (Piano Version) both bring an earthy goodness to the project, and provide some contrast to the polished electronic pop in which Horn and his team specialized.

The second disc is sporadically brilliant, sometimes annoying, definitely frustrating and occasionally revelatory. However it’s rarely boring, and names I’ve previously been unfamiliar with (Das Psych-oh! Rangers, Hoodlum Priest, Public Demand, etc.) all contribute(d) to ZTT’s relentless drive to reinvent (or at least reorganise) pop music on a bi-monthly basis.
Phil S.

Review: Laura J Martin – Dazzle Days

Laura J Martin – Dazzle Days (Static Caravan)
“Dazzle Days”, Laura J Martin’s second LP, is a charming and playful work of fantasy. Recorded with Tunng's Mike Lindsay and synth historian Benge, the Asian and African tinged arrangements are full bodied and heavily percussive, inspired by golden age composers such as Francois de Roubaix and Sven Libaek.

To this rich tapestry Laura adds her signature flute, as well as mandolin, melodica and other instruments, and her songs are sung as if in child-like awe of their imaginary surroundings. Her high registered quirkiness recalls Kate Bush.

It would be fair to say that the stronger tunes have been sequenced purposefully early on - like “Red Flag” which takes pixie tiptoes through the rainforest, “Dream of Sin”, within which its carnival of percussion and fretless bass hosts an interlude of repetitions, a-la Phillip Glass, and “Sour Grapes”, with its playground rhyme wildly juxtaposed to a Bhangra beat. From thereon the scenery is painted and the tunes skip through each na├»ve and dreamy act to the goodnight prayer of “Closed Hands”.

“Dazzle days” is Impish, colourful and takes you away from this grey world for around 45 minutes… which is always nice. It also has to be said that Laura does a great job of recreating these tunes live (and solo) using pre-recorded and live loops.

Tonight at The Musician, Leicester (29/1): Alligatr + Steady State + Naomi Perera + Greg Poole

Wake Up Promotions presents

Alligatr + Steady State + Naomi Perera + Greg Poole
Wed 29

Wake Up Promotions presents a night of quality live music featuring a selection of Leicester's finest talent.

For up to date gig info on twitter, please follow @wakeuppromotion

Remember; always check with the venue before travelling, or grab a ticket direct from the site:

Nathan Filer wins Costa Book of the Year with debut novel

Nathan Filer has won the Costa Book of the Year with The Shock of the Fall, his debut novel about loss, guilt and mental illness.

The book follows the experience of Matthew Holmes, a 19-year-old who is haunted after witnessing his brother's death at a holiday park in Dorset.

Chairman of the judges author Rose Tremain said it was "astonishingly sure-footed" for a first novel.

"It is not just about schizophrenia - it is about grief," she said.

Filer, a former mental health nurse, looked shocked as he picked up his £30,000 prize at a ceremony in central London.

He said he hadn't prepared a speech as he had checked the betting odds earlier. He thanked the judges and his wife Emily, whom he married last week.

Filer beat best-selling novelist Kate Atkinson, whose Life After Life - a tale of perpetual resurrection - was the bookmakers' favourite to win the overall prize.

Also in the running were Lucy Hughes-Hallett for The Pike, an account of the life of Italian poet Gabriele D'Annunzio, and poet Michael Symmons Roberts for his sixth collection Drysalter.

The shortlist was completed by Chris Riddell, for his children's book Goth Girl And The Ghost Of A Mouse.

Tremain said there had been "no blood" during the final judging process but added that the decision was "not quite unanimous".

"This book stood out in a very good list. The voice in which the author has chosen to tell his story is perfectly aligned with the subject matter and very well sustained to the end.

"The book is exceptionally moving without being sentimental - we're very much hoping there will be more from this writer."

She added: "To have taken such a marvellously articulated thing from his professional life and to have brought it to life in the way that he has was a fantastic achievement."

The Shock of the Fall was snapped up by HarperCollins for a "substantial" six-figure sum.

Jo Brand - another former mental health nurse - has called the story, in which Matthew is "managed" by his local community health team, "one of the best books about mental illness".

The Shock of the Fall is the fifth first novel to take the overall prize. Kate Atkinson won for her debut novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, in 1995.

The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney was the last first novel to win the overall award in 2006.

Since the introduction of the Book of the Year award in 1985, it has been won eleven times by a novel, five times by a first novel, five times by a biography, five times by a collection of poetry and once by a children's book.

Tremain chaired a final judging panel that included actress Natascha McElhone, Texas singer songwriter Sharleen Spiteri, presenter Richard Osman, columnist and scriptwriter Emma Kennedy, writer John Burnside, and authors Anne de Courcy, Matt Cain and Gerard Woodward.

The Costa Book Awards, formerly known as the Whitbread, is open to authors resident in the UK and Ireland. All five shortlisted authors receive £5,000 with the overall winner getting a further £30,000.

Last year's top prize went to Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel. It was the first book to be named as Costa book of the year and win the Man Booker Prize in the same year.

Tuesday's ceremony also saw the announcement of the winner of the Costa Short Story Award. Writer and poet Angela Readman, from Newcastle, won the public vote to win £3,500 for her story, The Keeper of the Jackalopes.


Nathan Filer, 32, is a writer and lecturer in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University.

He is a qualified mental health nurse and for many years worked for the mental health service in Bristol, where he still lives.

The Shock of the Fall was subject to an 11-way auction and bought by HarperCollins for a substantial six figure sum.

It was selected for BBC Radio 2's Bookclub and a Specsavers National Book Award.

Filer's stand-up poetry has been a regular fixture at festivals and spoken-word events across the UK, including Latitude, Port Eliot, and Wilderness. It has been broadcast on BBC 3 and BBC Radio 4, 7 and 5 Live.

He has also appeared at the Cheltenham Literature Festival and Hay Festival.

His 2005 comedy short film Oedipus won the BBC Best New Filmmaker Award and numerous other prizes.

Source: BBC

Tuesday 28 January 2014

Review: Debbie Bond And The Trudats – That Thing Called Love

Debbie Bond And The Trudats – That Thing Called Love (Blues Root Productions)
Singer-songwriter-guitarist Debbie Bond has been playing her blues (and paying her dues) for nigh on three decades, both leading her own bands and supporting the cream of her local Alabama scene at home and around Europe. All that experience is utilized on her new record “That Thing Called Love” – recorded with her guys, The Trudats, it’s a collection that showcases Bond’s many talents as well as her myriad influences.

Her ability to combine classic country and soul grooves into her Southern blues template certainly lends the album a timelessness that’s instantly appealing. She’s also surrounded herself with players who understand the subtleties of the music, and play to its inherent strengths, stepping up when required, but always leaving space for the star attractions – Bond’s vocals and musicianship.

They begin with “You're the Kind of Trouble”, and the band find their feet immediately and build the kind of chugging rhythm the Velvet Underground would have pioneered had they called Birmingham, Ala. home and never ventured north of Memphis – its home-brewed, slightly lo-fi ambiance adding to the conceit. They follow with “Steady Rolling Man”, a pre-war blues-belter, which borrows equally from the New Orleans tradition and New York’s Cotton Club.

They’re particularly impressive on the ballads, where Bond get the chance to stretch her vocal chords. “Feed My Soul” sets the tone, and “Falling” is just as special, although it’s probably the title track that’s my favourite of the slower numbers. Its mix of keys and guitar is jazzy and sultry, and Bond’s vocal provides a plethora of shivery highs.
Phil S.

Shonen Knife UK and Ireland 2014 Tour (inc. Leicester)

- announce new (20th) album - Overdrive - out 14 April 2014
- and April / May UK Tour

All female Japanese legends Shonen knife hit the road again to tour the UK & Ireland this May with their 'Overdrive Tour' to coincide with their 20th album, 'Overdrive', to be released on Damnably on 14 April 2014.

Formed in Osaka 33 years ago, the trio rose from humble DIY beginnings to the heights of touring with Nirvana on their ‘Nevermind’ tour, trailblazing a path for women in music and inspiring legions of bands. Championed by Nirvana, Sonic Youth and hailed as favourites by the crem-de-la-crem of Alternative Rock, Shonen Knife remain one of the most influential and beloved of Japanese Rock experts. 

Following an extensive tour of Europe in 2013, the band return will for 15 dates across the UK and Ireland this May, to promote the release of their 20th album.  Live, they are a tight with machine-precision, punching out fast, highly exciting sets of Punk, Pop, Rock & Metal hits, all coated with their own distinctively quirky and life-affirming charm. 
As they fast approach their 1,000th gig, Shonen Knife's joy and invention shows no sign of fading. As Naoko says, “Let's Rock!”

Shonen Knife UK & Ireland 2014 Tour
April 30 Manchester - Ruby Lounge 
May 1 Leeds - Brudenell Social Club 
May 3 Leicester 'Handmade Festival ' 
May 6 Dublin - Whelans 
May 7 Limerick - Dolans 
May 8 Cork - Crane Lane 
May 10 Glasgow – CCA 
May 12 Newcastle - Cluny 
May 14 Bristol - The Fleece 
May 15 Cardiff- Clwb Ifor Bach 
May 16 Brighton- Sticky Mikes Frog Bar
May 17 Milton Keynes- The Craufurd Arms, 
May 18 London – Dingwalls 

"When I finally got to see them live, I was transformed into a hysterical nine-year-old girl at a Beatles concert." Kurt Cobain.

Uncut: "rocks like Motorhead designed by Hanna-Barbara"
BBC Music: "The Osaka Ramones, you must concede, still have it."
The Independent: 8/10 "There are two types of people: those who enjoy thrashy Japanese girl-punk, and those who have something wrong with them."
Music OMH: 8/10 "For an incredible 31 years Shonen Knife have been pumping out prototype riot grrrl, thrashing together early punk sounds with pop melodies."
The Sunday Times: ".irrepressible slice of bounce-along indie-pop. Beguiling." Stewart Lee
BBC 6Music (Steve Lamacq):"Shonen Knife - they know how to rock - Japanese punk pop at its best."

Shonen Knife 'Pop Tune' Video:
Shonen Knife Home site:
Shonen Knife Twitter: