Sunday, 11 December 2011

#11//Das Racist & Blood Orange//XOYO//London//Thursday 1st December


The latest guise of Dev Hynes, Blood Orange, for me, is his best to date. Test Icicles was not really my bag and although i saw many great Lightspeed Champion live shows, on record it was sometimes a little twee. Blood Orange is a whole new ball game, Dev is now a smooth R&B superstar with a penchant for guitar heroism! The geek chic look has gone, he's all leather, hip swinging swagger and soulful grooves. Dev writes for a lot of other artists, Florence and Solonge Knowles to name a couple but tonight the spotlight was firmly on him, brimming with confidence he didn't even have a backing band, it was just him, his laptop and his guitar, at one stage he slammed his mic stand onto the dancefloor and sang in the middle of the crowd. i hadn't realised what a ledge he is on the guitar, he was licking out some serious riffs and solos that Hendrix would of been proud of, i dont know who enjoyed it more, Dev or the crowd, even though he was down as support, this may aswell have been billed as a double header, the place was already rammed.

Album Coastal Grooves was more or less played in full:
1, Forget it
2, Sutphin boulevard
3, I'm sorry we lied
4, Can we go inside now
5, S'cooled
6, Complete failure
7, Instantly blank (the goodness)
8, The complete knock
9, Are you sure you're really busy?
10, Champagne toast
11, Dinner

Living across the pond now is clearly rubbing off, Check these bad boy videos:
I'm sorry we lied:
Sutphin boulevard:
My fave, Dinner:


Tonight's headliners Das Racist sometimes get dismissed as a bit of a comedy rap group but you only had to look around the packed out XOYO to see that there is an audience for them. They're a party band and this performance was a party from start to finish, full of energy and banter with the crowd and for the record, these boys can defo spit some serious lyrics. 'Michael Jackson' and 'you oughta know' were my personal faves but the whole place was bouncing throughout their set. Turns out Dev is kind of neighbours with the boys over in the U.S. and he joined his pals onstage for a version of 'rainbow in the dark' that brought the house down.


1, Brand new dance
2, Who's that? Brooooown!
3, Rapping 2 u
4, Amazing
5, Lakutis in the house
6, Hugo Chavez
7, Shut up man
8, You oughta know
9, Michael Jackson
10, Ek Shaneesh
11, Relax
12, Rainbow in the dark

Check these:
Rainbow in the dark:
You oughta know:

oh fancy bumping into you here....


Tom, i didn't have you down as a Das Racist fan?
Oh you know, i love these guys, and blood orange too, i'm in London for a while so i thought i'd come check out the show, it's been a great night, i really enjoyed it!


Venue: XOYO is decent, tiny and dark, just what you want, one annoying thing tonight though they only had two out of four bars open so it was a nightmare getting a drink.

Drinks: pub prices, what you expect.

Crowd: up for a party, very good, very friendly, got chatting to loads of randoms tonight.

What were they wearing???: Dev is cool, rocking the leather tonight including his cap, he gets away with it though, Das Racist? Well they have that American slacker thing going on, basket ball tops and beanies, i approve.


Gerard Lewer, singer/songwriter, bexley heath

Gelboy!!!!! What did you reckon?
Yeah good mate, i preferred Blood Orange, he reminded me a bit of Prince, good to see someone who clearly loves what he does.

Whats your next gig mate?
Stephen Fretwell at Bush Hall, will be great to see him in a tiny gaff like that

Who else you into at the moment?
Love The Rifles, also loving Dirty goods and Telegraphs at the minute

And finally, what was the first tune on your ipod today?
'Diamonds on the souls of his shoes' by Paul Simon.

Really?! Ledge, cheers dude.

Next up on the Blog another double whammy featuring Spector and Theme Park, should be a goodun.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

#10 La Shark//Electricity showrooms//Hoxton//London//Monday 28th November

At a recent Maccabees gig at Village Underground a couple of weeks back i happened to bump into an old friend of mine, Del, after telling him all about this blog he said i had to check out La Shark, a south London based band that he knew from his neck of the woods. Now Del boy knows his onions so when he said they were playing their last gig of the year to celebrate the launch of their latest single 'magazine cover' in Hoxton i knew i had to go along, a bit of Monday night mayhem? why not! it is the silly season after all!


1, Magazine cover
2, Sum it up
3, Mr modern man
4, Animals (death with popcorn)
5, Prison palace
6, Your hole my hole
7, I know what you did last summer
8, Don't be stiff
9, A weapon

Check out these ace videos:
I know what you did last summer:

What a great little venue, downstairs in the electricity shoowrooms, it's kind of a small club room, very low ceilings, very dark, the band played in the centre of the room on the dancefloor, a brilliant set of squares that lit up all different colours, very old school, the crowd surrounded the lads in a mass circle creating a really intimate affair. They burst into new single 'magazine cover' a gloriously infectious, stabbing, jerking, track that changes tempo at the chorus, this is defo gonna be a big single for them. The whole set was hyper, i was hearing these tunes live for the 1st time and i couldn't stop myself bouncing and jigging along, each member of the band were really pulling their weight, especially singer Sam, he was in the crowd, he was on the floor, he was all over the place, really interesting frontman (loving the la shark branded dungarees!) 'They ripped through great versions of  fans faves 'i know what you did last summer' and 'a weapon' but all tracks were very well received by the fans with the whole room buzzing off each other, it really felt like a big celebration, it was obvious most of the room were core fans that follow the boys closely and it was a very fitting end to the year for them.


Venue: downstairs where the band played was great, tiny, dark, sweaty, just what a venue should be, upstairs the pub is hit and miss, i've had great nights in electricity showrooms and jank nights.

Drinks: pub prices and red stripe on tap, i was happy.

Crowd: good crowd of cool kids, not posey though, all got involved, no chin strokers.

Dan, all that matters is was the band cool???:  cool lads, art school chic i would say, lairy haircuts, loving the drummers slicked mohawk and the singers bleached kurt cobain bob and i.m LOVING the band t shirts, go on their website and buy one!

Bumped into a couple of famous faces in the crowd:

Felix and Sam Maccabees

You dig La Shark then boys?
Yeah we're good friends with them, they have toured with us and we're going to do a bit of djing tonight, top band starting to get the recognition they deserve.


Georgia Farey, Fashion Press Manager, Sidcup

So what did you think of tonight?
loved the venue, didn't know there was a downstairs! loved that light up dancefloor! i've seen them loads and i thought tonight was one of their best performances, a great way to end their year. i'm really loving drummer nick buxton, great musician, great hair and he's from norwich, whats not to love!

Whats your fave La Shark tune?
A weapon. always.

Who else are you into right now?
Love the maccabees, new single pelican is awesome and i can't wait for the album in january.

Whats your next gig? 
Also maccabees.

And finally, what was the first tune that popped up on your shuffle mix today?
'As she was' Talking heads

So that's it, great band and great gig, thanks for the tip Delboy. Next up Dan In The Front Row is attending the double whammy of Blood Orange and Das Racist, also got Spector coming up, stay tuned for the posts!

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

#9 Wild Beasts//Sheperd's Bush Empire//London//Thursday 24th November

Now lets be frank from the start, wild beasts last album was sex music. Full of tales of midnight trysts and debauched activity, lyrics such as 'my slipper in your bits' and 'trousers and blouses make excellent sheets down dimly lit streets' really set the tone for the album. The album is also great to actually have sex to, trust me, i've used it a lot, it works very well, lights out, curtains wide open to let the moon in and 'two dancers' on the stereo turned up loud. Boom. (Other great artists to get hot and sweaty to are the XX, Cat power and Salem, try them out, go on you saucy lot, i know you will).
I haven't managed to see the band since they released 3rd album 'smother' (great title) so i was very interested to see what the new songs sounded like live, i grabbed my assistant for the evening, the glamorous Erica Redgrave, and it was off to Shey Boo


1, The lion's share
2, Bed of nails
3, We still got the taste dancing on our tongues
4, Albatross
5, The devil's crayon
6, The funpowder plot
7, His grinning skull
8, Deeper
9, This is our lot
10, Loop the loop
11, Two dancers
12, Reach a bit further
13, Hooting and howling
14, Plaything
15, All the kings men
16, End come too soon

Check these:
Hooting and howling:
All the kings men:

This was the second of two nights at Shey Boo for the lads, this show having to be added because the first sold out instantly, They started with a couple of new songs off 'Smother'. 'The lion's share' and 'Bed of nails' enticing the crowd in with their seductive, theatrical tones. Most of the latest album was played tonight actually, a good sign from the boys that they are keen to keep moving forward, it's a little synthier than we're used to but still very much the wild beasts signature sound. Only two tracks from debut 'Limbo panto' got an airing. The biggest reaction tonight though was predictably for the epic tunes from 'Two dancers', 'Funpowder plot', 'Hooting and howling' and 'All the kings men' were massive, Hayden Thorpe and Tom Fleming swapping singing duties aswell as instruments and really showing off their talent. I'm a huge Beasts fan but i would warn you that you need to be familiar with all their stuff before seeing them live because to an unfamiliar ear it can seem a little samey.


Venue: i have said it before, great if u go on the upper levels, you don't have to sit down with the squares, you can stand in the spacious walk way at the back and get the best view with the easiest route to the bars, if your in the mosh on the ground floor you aint getting a drink, you aint going to the loo and your gonna get squashed, maybe i'm just getting old!!
Drinks: fair, pub prices, no complaints, turborg lager though, shit.
Crowd: on the whole a slightly more mature crowd, not olds like the wallies you get at glasto though, olds that you can tell are still in the know.
Dan i don't care about any of this, i just wanna know if they looked fucking cool????: Lead singer Hayden Thorpe is pretty cool, good hair, good garms, need to have a little word with the other three though, especially Tom Fleming, i'm not having the skin tight vest and beanie combo, Erica summed it up when she said he looked like a gay porn version of the edge from U2! haha this description was bang on!

Erica Redgrave, 
Buyer at Selfridges, from Leeds

So El, what did you think?
Really enjoyed it, never seen them live before, i love the second album so to hear those tunes was great, with the newer stuff i did think it was a little familiar but there was enough to make me want to buy the album. Mostly i was impressed with their musicianship and their singing! Amazing! They were projecting their voices perfectly, never strained, my sister is classically trained and i see signs of that in these boys.

Haven't you done a bit of singing?
errrr in the choir when i was younger

i was thinking more of you up onstage going for it in the birdcage down colombia road on a friday night?
oh no!!!! stop it Dan, STOP IT!  hahahaha

Finally, Miss Redgrave, what was the 1st tune that popped upon your shuffle on your commute to work this morning?
Chaka Khan, i feel for you!!

Really?!?! amazing!!
Yep put me in a good mood for the day!

Right guys, stay tuned, got some great gigs coming up, in the next couple of weeks i'm going to see La Shark, Blood Orange, Das Racist and Spector, i'll keep you posted!!! bye for now! x

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

#8 Fly Bermuda festival//Berlin//Saturday 5th November//Picture diary

Interesting people i met and interesting things i saw at Fly Bermuda festival, what a night, a huge techno party in an old disused airport in Berlin, can't recommend it highly enough, defo go next year!