Who to watch at Tramlines 2019

Tramlines 2019 is just over a week away, and a wide variety of acts are going to be hitting Hillsborough Park in Sheffield on 19th-21st July! Here are my Top 5 picks for each day of the weekend.

Friday

Manic Street Preachers – 6:30pm, Main Stage

The Iconic Welsh band will bring their anthemic indie classics to the Main Stage on Friday Evening. Not to be missed.

Two Door Cinema Club – 8:15pm, Main Stage

The Northern Irish Indie icons will be headlining the Friday night of Tramlines, bringing tracks from their latest album ‘False Alarm’ alongside their biggest hits to Hillsborough Park.

The Seamonsters – 4:15pm, Leadmill Stage

The Seamonsters are one of the fastest rising bands in Sheffield at the moment, and will surely rise up the Tramlines line-up in years to come, so catch them here while you can.

Circa Waves – 5:15pm, Main Stage

Circa Waves will being their summery brand of indie rock to the Tramlines Main Stage on Friday evening.

The Futureheads – 8pm, Leadmill Stage

Sunderland legends The Futureheads are back! Catch them closing the Leadmill Stage on Friday with their punky, riff-filled set.

Saturday

Miles Kane – 4:30pm, Main Stage

One half of The Last Shadow Puppets and an Indie icon in his own right, Miles will be hitting the Main Stage on Saturday afternoon.

Reverend and the Makers – 5:45pm, Main Stage

Reverend and The Makers are Sheffield legends at this point. Their Tramlines set last year was pure madness and drew an enormous crowd, expect more of the same this year.

Johnny Marr – 7pm, Main Stage

It’s Johnny Fuckin Marr.

Anteros – 2:30pm, T’Other Stage

Upcoming indie-pop four piece Anteros recently released their debut album ‘When we Land’ and will be bringing it’s anthemic indie bops to T’other Stage on Saturday Afternoon/

The Japanese House – 7:15pm, Library Stage

A set filled with smooth, groovy indie pop is what to expect from The Japanese House, closing the Library Stage on Saturday night.

Sunday

Happy Mondays – 1:30pm, Main Stage

90s Icons Happy Mondays will be taking to the Main stage as special guests on Sunday afternoon.

Lewis Capaldi – 4:45pm, Main Stage

One of the biggest names in Pop right now, Lewis will be bringing his ballads and bops to the Main Stage on Sunday afternoon.

Doves – 7:45pm, T’Other Stage

Another indie reunion comes from Doves, who will be headlining T’Other stage on Sunday night.

Guest Singer – 2:45pm, Library Stage

Jake Cope aka Guest Singer is a real rising name in indie pop, and will bring his polished tunes to the Library stage on Sunday afternoon.

Nile Rodgers & Chic – 7:45pm, Main Stage

Nile Rodgers has potentially played on more hit songs than anybody else in history so this is not a set to be missed, with Nile and Chic bringing the weekend to a close in style.

 

 

 

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New Release Roundup: 17th May 2019

S.L.P. ft. Little Simz- Favourites: This is the first song to come out of this new project from Kasabian’s Serge and it sounds like a mix of ‘Empire’ era Kasabian and early Gorillaz; with an infectious groove throughout and the raw energy that Serge usually provides giving this track a massive sound. As usual, Little Simz shines on her verse and she matches the vibe of the track perfectly. 92% 

Biffy Clyro – Balance Not Symmetry: The Biff are back and sound the most energetic they have in a long time. ‘Balance Not Symmetry’ is a perfect mix of old, heavy Biffy and their newer stuff. This is apparently a song from an upcoming soundtrack to a film of the same name. It’s going to have a belter of a soundtrack then. 95%

Charli XCX and Lizzo – Blame It On Your Love: Charli proves again that she is one of the most consistent voices in pop on ‘Blame It On Your Love’. A rework of ‘Track 10’ from her Pop 2 Mixtape but with added Lizzo (who, of course, smashes it), this is a straight up pop banger. I expected a bit more from the two of them but can’t really complain. 85%

Kim Petras- Sweet Spot: ‘Sweet Spot’ sounds like if Daft Punk and Kylie collabed in about 2006; this is pure dance-pop at its best. This continues the run of great singles that Kim has had over the past few weeks, and if they carry on like this then her album is going to be rather good. 90%

Two Door Cinema Club – Satellite:  The beginning of this new track from TDCC sounds like the lads doing an impression of The Human League, but it soon expands into a shimmery discoy chorus. It’s standard Two Door stuff but with more of a new-wave twist than usual, and I think it works. 80%

Lana Del Rey – Doin’ Time: A nice, chill cover of the Sublime song isn’t what I expected from Lana, and I’m not sure we really need it, but it’s actually really well produced and the melody really suits her voice so, fair enough. 75%

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Black Star Dancing: A slow, groovy number from Noel and the lads. It’s a bit of a grower, but it continues Noel’s experimental phase and his run of releasing some goood tunes. 75%

Snowblood – Into Your Heart: A really catchy song from Dani here; the lyrics are a bit repetitive but the instrumental has a really funky synth line. Simple but effective is the name of the game on ‘Into Your Heart’. 80%

The Black Keys – Go:  It’s certainly The Black Keys! It’s good, but its exactly what you would imagine it to sound like. Very advert friendly and toe-tappy. 60%

 

 

Pokémon: Detective Pikachu Movie Review

The vast majority, if not all video game movies, are awful. Luckily, all it took was a little detective work to fix that.

Detective Pikachu centres around Tim Goodman, a miserable young lad (which is fair enough because his dad has just died in a horrific accident) who discovers a talking Pikachu in his late father’s apartment. It quickly becomes apparent that not all is as it seems, and Tim and Pikachu team up with local reporter Lucy to crack the case.

The majority of the movie takes place in and around Ryme City, a city where humans and Pokémon live in harmony. The way that director Rob Letterman has built this world is really convincing, with the ways that the Pokémon interact with their humans and engage in society is really charming and adds to the immersion, making you really feel like this could be the real world, or at least a version of it that you’d probably want to live in.

The movie is visually stunning, from all the little details and Easter eggs that will please long-time fans of the games in Ryme City to the beautiful outdoor scenery, this is a video game movie that not only has a good plot, but also looks great. The realistic Pokémon may have looked jarring in the trailers when they were first revealed, but in this world they really do work, with the designs of Psyduck and Bulbasaur looking exceptionally good.

Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019)

Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019)

The casting of Ryan Reynolds as Detective Pikachu turned a few heads when it was first announced, but his brand of humour is perfect for this movie, and the chemistry between him and Justice Smith who plays Tim feels genuine and charming, even though he is talking to a Pikachu at the end of the day. Kathryn Newton does a great job as Lucy, and Bill Nighy as Howard Clifford, the visionary mind who created Ryme City, is another great choice.

Kathryn Newton in Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019)

Ryan Reynolds, Kathryn Newton, and Justice Smith in Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019)

Detective Pikachu should catch (haha) the attention of all fans of Pokémon, and should be a fun movie for anyone who even has a very passing knowledge of the franchise. Very easily the best game to movie adaptation ever made, and I’d welcome a whole series of films set in this world.

85%

Little Simz – Grey Area Review

Leading off with the brilliant, urgent single ‘Offence’ is a brilliant way to start off Little Simz’ latest album, with it’s pure confidence and witty lyrics perfectly setting the tone for the rest of the project. This confidence is completely matched by her skill, making for one of the freshest rap albums in a long time.

‘Venom’ shows Simz at her fiercest on the album and it’s really impressive to see her attack a track at that speed, but the album isn’t all fast paced and hard-hitting, with tracks such as ‘Therapy’ and ‘Sherbert Sunset’ seeing her really open up with introspective lyrics.

‘Selfish’ features a really smooth, catchy hook provided by Cleo Sol and a really funky percussion beat and light piano backing that just sounds really luscious and full; the whole album sounds like it could be being played live.

Simz has picked her featured artists on ‘Grey Area’ very well, with Little Dragon and Michael Kiwanuka providing well-placed guest spots that provide softer, more soulful vocals that pair really with Simz’ harder hitting verses.

This album proves all of the hype that is surrounding Little Simz at the moment, showing an artist at the top of her game with a brilliant, bright album.

97%

 

Venue Talk: Orla Gartland on Vicar Street, Dublin

I spoke to Orla Gartland about her fave live music venue, and she chose Vicar Street in Dublin. Check out her latest single ‘Why Am I Like This?’ below, and then keep reading to find out about Vicar Street.

Why is Vicar Street your favourite?

“It’s the perfect room – wide and not long, big enough to feel exciting, small enough to feel intimate.” “As well as music they host a lot of comedians & podcast events – it’s a really versatile space.”

Have you ever played there before?

“Not yet but I will next month!”                                                                                                    “I’ll be supporting my friend dodie there on Paddy’s day (!) and the day after, so 17th & 18th. I’m so excited to finally get up on that stage & also to bring the band ‘round my city after the show.”

Who else have you seen there?

“Wallis Bird, Villagers, Hudson Taylor, Glen Hansard, Lisa Hannigan. Also the live show for a podcast called ‘My Dad Wrote a Porno’ – which everyone needs to listen to.”

Vicar Street Facts

  • The Venue Opened in 1998
  • Acts such as Bob Dylan, Lana Del Rey, Bombay Bicycle Club, Ed Sheeran and First Aid Kit have all played at Vicar Street in the past.
  • Erasure and Neil Young have recorded live material from Vicar Street.
  • The venue has upcoming shows from dodie with Orla Gartland, Sharon Van Etten and Stereolab.

Go to Vicar Street’s website for all info on the venue, and check out Orla on Twitter and Instagram.

Info and tickets for all of Orla’s upcoming shows are here.

Say Hello To: PLYA

Alt-pop trio PLYA have just released their latest single, Dynamite. Check it out below, and read on to find out a bit more about them!

Where did your band name come from?

We wrote a lot of our music in LA and were lucky enough to stay with a friend of ours right on the beach whilst recording.  We thought PLYA (taken from the Spanish word “playa” for beach) fitted our sound perfectly.
Is there a favourite venue of yours in your hometown and why do you like it?
Our favourite venue in London is Omeara. The sound is great, it still feels intimate and it’s only 10 minutes form our studio.
What is your favourite gig you have played so far?
Our favourite gig so far has to be our debut headline show at Camden Assembly.  We sold the venue out and Kris even had a cheeky stage dive at the end of the set.
If you had to describe your own sound, how would you put it?

We sound like the ocean swallowing the chaos of the city.  Think; dreamy electronic textures, driving guitars and anthemic melodies.

Which act would you love to support?
We would love to support Banks. She’s amazing.

New Release Roundup 25th Feb 2019

Fil Bo Riva – L’impossible: This new track from Fil Bo Riva is a smooth ballad that uses autotuned vocals before bursting into an emotional crescendo and coming back down again. Very nice indeed. 82%

Teenage Fanclub – Everything is Falling Apart: The first single from veteran indie band Teenage Fanclub since Gerard left the band is very decent, but doesn’t really compare to their material from their last full album ‘Here’ in my opinion. 70%

Kero Kero Bonito – The Open Road this new cut from KKB is immediately more upbeat and positive, being a track literally about the open road on a trip. It sounds like a leftover from their recent ‘Time n Place’ album, but that project was so good that I really do not care. 90%

Weezer – High As A Kite: Another great track from Weezer’s upcoming ‘Black Album’, ‘High As A Kite’ being a Beatle-esque off-kilter rock ballad that goes through a few different phases. Rivers still manages to sound exactly the same as he did when Weezer first started out which deserves phrase in itself. 85%

Jay Som – Simple: A lovely new track from Jay Som here, released as part of the Adult Swi singles series. ‘Simple’ lives up to it’s name, but it’s still an effective track too, with Melina’s vocals being charming as ever. 78%

Foals – On The Luna: On the second track to come from their upcoming 2019 album (part 1 anyway) we see a very dance-able Foals; the lads sound a lot more upbeat compared to their previous single ‘Exits’. I can imagine this one really going off in a live situation but it’s nothing new really for Foals. Still good though. 75%

Zedd & Katy Perry – 365: This is instantly catchy and will more than likely become a massive hit, especially with Zedd’s great, clean dance-pop production and Katy’s now iconic voice. It’s nothing too new or inventive but it’s nice enough. 65%

Cardi B & Bruno Mars – Please Me: There’s only so far Bruno can ride this wave of 80’s/90’s inspired retro-funk before it gets boring, and Cardi’s verses here sound like someone doing a bad impression of her. Uninspired and bland. 25%