Kagoule – Strange Entertainment Review

The Nottingham three piece’s second effort sees them grow in confidence and scale, with ‘Strange Entertainment’ being a confident, varied album. Every track on the album is different in pace and tone, but it still flows really well and feels like one coherent piece.

Opener and album highlight ‘Egg Hunt’ starts off with just vocals and bass before developing into a really groovy track with a great, catchy jangly riff that hasnt left my head in a few days.

‘It’s Not My Day’ is another fave off the album it being one of the heavier moments on Strange Entertainment, with very strong vocals from Lucy over a slow but punky backing, with brilliant creative drum patterns on this track.

Monsieur Automaton is another great track, and another change of pace with this being perhaps the fastest track on the album, and I love the harmonised vocals on the verses a lot here. Closer ‘Strange Was the Time’ is another growing, progressive track that shows off just how good the trio are musically.

With great production, variety and just banging songs throughout this is exactly the album Kagoule needed to make, and they pulled it off.

80%

Kagoule have some upcoming UK tour dates:

Oct 31st – Leeds – Wharf Chambers
Nov 01st – Manchester – The Eagle Inn
Nov 02nd – Liverpool – EBGB’s
Nov 03rd – Nottingham – Rescue Rooms
Nov 07th – Margate – Tom Thumb Theatre
Nov 08th – Brighton – Prince Albert
Nov 09th – Portsmouth – The Loft
Nov 10th – Southampton – Heartbreakers
Nov 11th – Bristol – Rough Trade
Nov 19th – London – Moth Club

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Kero Kero Bonito – Time ‘n’ Place Review

Time ‘n’ Place is the second studio album from experimental British 3 piece Kero Kero Bonito, who on their debut EP ‘Intro Bonito’ and subsequent first album proved themselves to be one of the most exciting, inventive new groups around. Drawing from a wide range of influences, ‘Bonito Generation’ was a bright, colourful record.

Based on the opening track ‘Outside’, it is clear that KKB have not just made a ‘Bonito Generation 2’, with it being more guitar based and instantly heavier than most things on their debut. Don’t worry, the band’s charm is still here in abundance on Time ‘n’ Place, with KKB developing their sound while not losing any of what made them great the first time around.

‘Time Today’ is an early album highlight, with Sarah happily singing about how she has a day to herself. The album continues very strongly into ‘Only Acting’ which details how Sarah feels while performing live over a nice pop-punky backing, that brilliantly self destructs towards the end.

The whole album is just as strong, most songs telling specific, on the nose stories over innovative beats and utilising Sarah’s unique vocal style perfectly, with ‘Dump’ being a nice little story about a rubbish dump, and ‘Dear Future Self’ being a letter to future self.

Closing track ‘Rest Stop’ begins sounding like the end credit music to an old Sega game like Nights or Alex Kidd before exploding into what is essentially a few minutes of noise music with Sarah faintly singing in the background before fading out to just Sarah. Odd, but it works. Good.

93%

You can buy Time ‘n’ Place here, or stream it below.

Ash live at Sheffield Leadmill Review

Ash played at the Sheffield Leadmill on Tuesday 16th October, with support from Death by Unga Bunga.

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Death by Unga Bunga

Death by Unga Bunga were one of the most entertaining opening acts I had seen in a while, with non-stop energy throughout their set, while still performing great musically. Check them out if you can.

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Northern Irish rock trio Ash performed a lengthy set, but at no point did they show any signs of drifting off, with even their new album tracks pleasing the crowd.

The earliest highlight for me came in the form of a blistering rendition of ‘Kung-Fu’, and the whole set was filled with hits, reminding me just how many they’ve had over the years, with the likes of ‘Oh Yeah’, ‘Goldfinger’ and ‘Angel Interceptor’ all coming thick and fast in the first half of the set.

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This tour is in support of their latest album, ‘Islands’, and while they did play a fair number of new tracks (6), they slotted in perfectly with their greatest hits and fan favourites, especially ‘Confessions In The Pool’ and ‘Did Your Love Burn Out’.

 

Ash put on a memorable performance, and the quality of the whole set is a real testament to just how good they still are. They seemed to be enjoying themselves on stage too, which is the most important thing.

90%

You can check out all of Ash’s upcoming tour dates here: http://www.ash-official.com/shows/

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Teleman – Family of Aliens Review

The third album from Teleman has  somehow managed to improve on their previous two releases; it being a more electronic, robotic and dance-able collection of songs while showing off more of their personalty than ever before.

When an album has a couple of very strong singles i’m always worried that the rest of the album will disappoint, and with ‘Cactus’ being an absolute banger and probably the best Teleman song to date I certainly had those fears.

They were quickly dismissed as soon as the opener, and title track ‘Family of Aliens’ began. The same brilliant Teleman as usual, but sounding even more energetic. ‘Between The Rain’ is a Paul McCartney-esque upbeat piano track, and ‘Always Dreaming’ is a slower, calm moment on the record. These two tracks show just how diverse Teleman can be while still maintaining a consistent sound.

Another album highlight for me is the very groovy ‘Twisted Heart’,with the opening synth riff sounding like a Pokemon battle theme gone wrong and it just generally being one of the catchiest tracks they’ve put out to date.

‘Somebody’s Island’ has another great melody throughout, with the song again being one of the best the band has ever put out, it being so well produced and full of emotion and personality. The album closer, ‘Starlight’, aptly sounds like a really dramatic end credits song for a movie, a fitting end to a great album.

This is Teleman’s best album to date, and one of the best albums of the year so far.

96%

Best Three: Cactus, Twisted Heart, Starlight

Nick J.D. Hodgson Interview

Nick J.D. Hodgson just released his debut solo single, Suitable. I asked him some quick questions about the single, songwriting and more.

How does it feel to have your first solo single out?
I forgot how good it is to release music. It’s a very exciting moment when it actually goes live and people start to react to it. You always spend so long in the studio listening to the same bars that you almost become immune to it so when it comes out it suddenly feels fresh. As for being solo, yeh I like it. Lots of work to do cos I’m the label and publisher too but I’ve had 5 years off sooooo.

You’ve written and produced for a lot of other artists; are there any new upcoming acts that you would like to work with?
I think Jorja Smith is really good. She has an amazing effortless voice. Would be cool to write with her.

How does it differ writing stuff that will eventually have your own name on it compared to writing for others or as part of a band?
It’s easier in a way because I only have to get inside my head. Also you don’t have to try and please anyone else. Although It does mean you’ve got nowhere to hide which can be scary. In the band I had a drum kit in front of me, it’s a good place to keep your head down if people aren’t digging it!

What is your favourite album of the year so far?
There’s two. The Cribs, 24-7 Rock Star Shit and Jay Z 4:44

Listen to ‘Suitable’ below:

Say Hello To: Marigolds

Marigolds are a 4 piece indie rock band from Norwich consisting of Joe Maguire (Guitar/Vocals), Davey Perkins (Guitar/Vocals), Tom Goulding (Bass) and Owen Fuller (Drums/Vocals) – watch the video for their latest single ‘Chamomile’ below:

I did a quick Q&A with Owen from the band:

What’s the story behind your band name?

There’s a local legend in Norwich about this guy who would stand about directing traffic with a pair of marigold gloves on. Sadly it’s not as interesting as that, just came out from a brain storm and fitted the vibe we were going from. It’s inspiration was from a Promise Ring song.

What is your favourite venue and why?

There’s a place in the city which is an old church, renovated to be a music venue. It’s such a great place to play, the high ceilings and big rooms are such a nice change of pace to the usual cramped walls. Also has some great lighting.

What is the best gig you have had so far?

We supported Spring King (the night after they were on Jools Holland, so we were pretty star struck) and Get Inuit once. It was an insane show and was really humbling to see these guys put on such a great show on the same stage as us, was a sold out venue as well so we’re pretty chuffed with that one.

If you had to describe your own sound what would you say?

It’s like someone shoved indie, surf, emo, and pop punk into a washing machine and let it mix on 40 degrees for 5 hours.

Listen to the band’s ‘Asleep In The Sun’ EP below and follow them on Twitter here.