Out of the gigs I have been to this year, Glass Animals were by far the band that I was most looking forward to. I have missed them twice now, once in the smallest tent Latitude has to offer and a couple years later in Cambridge. So simply this is not a gig I wanted to miss. The Oxford outfit definitely brought their tropical vibes to the junction, throwing pineapples at the crowd’s heads and investing in a rather stunning disco ball pineapple that glared down onto those descending into a moshing madness.
First was Roosevelt who proved to be a good warm up to Glass Animals, providing us with some synthesised electro pop that got the crowd grooving. Playing the likes of ‘Montreal’ and ‘Hold On’, they filled the venue with colour and a spectacular light display, bringing the disco feels to Cambridge.
Crammed by already sweating bodies, my mates and I stood with the anticipation of Dave from Glass Animals running on stage and playing the first riff of ‘Life Itself’. 10 minutes later this is exactly what happened. The screeches from the audience were deafening and right from the start a carnival atmosphere flurried right through the venue. Its amazing how the 4 piece manage to replicate the music they record in a live setting, with the exotic samples and powerful basslines, seeming complex. However this is exactly what they did and with crowd favourites ‘Hazey’ and ‘Youth’ slaying the venue’s speaker system and instigating even more sweat dripping from the crowd’s body, the atmosphere was something special.
The encore of ‘Pools’ and new single ‘Pork Soda’ was unbelievably strong, with everyone responding positively to 2 of the danciest tracks the band has ever produced. ‘Pools’ was particularly special; I got the feeling that it was the song that got a lot of people into one of the most unique bands in the world. No one sounds a thing like Glass Animals and that is what is so great about them, they transfer the originality in their songs into their live set brilliantly. If you ever have a chance to catch the band on a tour or at a festival, don’t hesitate to see them.
Rating: 8/10 (If Dave brought out his track with Flume or his collab with Joey Bada$$ then it would have been a perfect show).
Titled ‘Hallelujah Love’, Damon Albarn and Co have released a brand new single featuring former Mercury Award winner Benjamin Clementine. The music video is gloriously anti-Trump and is as visually intriguing as you would expect from the band.
With Clementine’s howling, punchy vocals and the synthy instrumentals we all expect from one of the most acclaimed British bands in modern music, it is hard to fault the track and the band’s long awaited return.
Give it a listen for yourself and look out for even more new releases in the coming months, before their album drops later this year.
Ben Coyle-Larner’s latest release, if you are going by his real name, is an infectious tribute to classic hip hop and features fellow British MC/Producer Rebel Kleff. Distorted guitar hooks, classic hip hop beats and the London based rapper’s distinctive flow are the elements of the track that make this song so undeniably catchy; you can imagine this tune being laid down at any festival and the crowd going absolutely nuts.
Hip hop is on the rise in the UK again and Carner and Kleff show, on this track, that they are rightfully one of our biggest hopes for a mainstream revival of the genre. Mentioning artists such as Jay Z and Roots Manuva, the lyrics are hugely relatable for any record collector; hiding a CD behind a shelf and preying nobody buys it before you have the money is just one scenario that the artist touches upon.
There is a pretty damn good music video too. Directed by Alessandra Kurr, the video is shot in one take and really suits the creative impulses of Carner and Kleff. This song is an undisputed summer banger and one that needs to be heard by everyone.
Loyle Carner plays Leeds festival on the 28th of August and you can catch him on his UK tour this Autumn.
He also recently set up a cooking school/workshop for teenagers with ADHD, for the South London rapper it was music and cooking that helped him to relax and he believes it will work for others in a similar situation to him. Click here for more information.
It was revealed yesterday that Coldplay, the kings of gold standard average music, are set to headline the Sunday slot at Worthy Farm. I think this is a lazy and predictable decision for the following reasons.
1) Coldplay have headlined the festival 3 times already.
For a start the band have headlined the festival on an average of every 4-5 years since 2002. Of course this isn’t Coldplay’s fault as the Eavis family are the ones booking the band but this surely shows a lack of imagination and thought going into arguably the World’s biggest festival, at this moment in time. Glastonbury is meant to showcase a variety of musical talent and by resorting to Coldplay as the first announced headliners they have truly contradicted the image of their festival. Who actually sat down and said that it would be a great idea to have Coldplay coming to Glastonbury for a seventh time and the fourth time as a headliner?
2) Coldplay are playing 4 Wembley Stadium dates this summer.
Coldplay have a massive summer ahead of them. With a huge tour that covers three major continents, their true fans from the U.K could catch them at one of their seven major stadium dates. So why did Emily and Michael Evis feel the need to book them when they will be performing to 532,000 fans this summer in England and Scotland alone? It will just be the same set over and over again and yes they may have a couple of guest appearances but who from? Beyonce and Rihanna? Haven’t we seen enough of this celebrity culture forced upon us music fans?
3) WE NEED NEW HEADLINERS
Coldplay headlining Glastonbury annoys me as there are so many spectacular bands that would equally step up and perform a spine tingling, hair raising and headline worthy performance. Look at Massive Attack for example, a long with Portishead, they were the pioneers of the Bristol Trip-Hop scene and have just released a stunning ep featuring the likes of Tricky, Young Fathers and Roots Manuva. With many other great albums under their belt it is about time that Glasto were brave enough to give bands like Massive Attack the chance to make a name for themselves on the highest of international platforms. How is modern music going to evolve if festivals don’t give a variety of bands the chance to headline? Franz Ferdinand are another great example of an outfit that could create a brilliant performance, especially as they are just as big as the likes of Kasabian and would undoubtedly give a better performance than Chris Martin and co.
4) Coldplay are nothing but mediocre
If I could compare the booking of Coldplay to anything then it would be like going to a service station with your family wanting a McDonalds but getting a cold sandwich from WH Smiths. Or alternatively going to get some biscuits from the cupboard and seeing digestives instead of custard creams, it’s nothing but a disappointment. Coldplay’s target audience are 30-40 year olds who want to stay current and act like they have musical interests when really they have none at all. People say that your music taste represents your personality and this is worrying considering how many people seem to say they like Coldplay. They will perform a set that critics will say they love but have seen time and time again over the past 14 years, they’ll be nothing special but offer a near satisfactory set that viewers will fall asleep to after 15 minutes and wake up for ‘Paradise’ as an encore.
It’s a shame that Coldplay are the first booking for this year’s Glastonbury but it seems to have satisfied some festival goers; we are just going to have to hope for a better Friday and Saturday night booking. Maybe the Eavis family need to go back to their roots and think about why they started this festival in the first place?
Today has been an eventful day for music but something that has been overshadowed is RAT BOY’s release of ‘Tracks’- a B side to his single ‘Move’. Casso Clay is the featuring artist on the tune, a rapper from London who was born in 1904 (according to his twitter). Clay has been making a name for himself this past year with several drops on soundcloud, many have been well received and rightfully so as all of them are catchy bangers. His feature starts off the song and sets the track up brilliantly, with the help of a funky, repetitive baseline that runs throughout the whole song. What makes Casso Clay so great is his lyrics all seem so relevant and relatable, similar to Cardy, and this is why the song works so well.
When RAT BOY kicks in over his hip hop instrumentals, he manages to emphasise the quality of this track and his rhymes are equally as clever and socially relevant as Clay’s. The voices of Cardy and Clay complement each other brilliantly and it’s nice to see RAT BOY throwing in some more samples of politicians in the song, a similar voice to the man at the end of ‘Knock Knock’ on the ‘Neighbourhood Watch’ mixtape. In my opinion, the b side is better than ‘Wasteman’, on his ‘Fake ID’ ep, but not as good as ‘Left For Dead’, on his ‘Sign On’ single, but then again I think Left For Dead is his best song to date.
As good as the song is, the only part that I didn’t like was the trumpet samples that digress in and out of the song, but that was only because they reminded me of the spy missions on Club Penguin. Overall this song is a well produced b side to “Move” and one that is definitely well worth a listen.
If you haven’t heard of Catfish and the Bottlemen by now, then you have probably passed out for the last year and a half and suddenly woken up again. Their debut album was a huge success, going gold in the UK and reaching the top ten of the album charts. Today they released the lead single from their second album, due to drop later this year; the song is entitled ‘Soundcheck’ and doesn’t express a huge change from their earlier tracks. I used to be a big fan of the band, seeing them 3 times in one year but recently I have gone off ‘Balcony’ and this song failed to excite me at all.
The song starts off with Van McCann’s signature muted down guitar and soothing vocals that howl about how he “doesn’t act the way he used to” because he “doesn’t feel the same” about whoever he is mourning about. Unfortunately, for me, these lyrics and guitar riffs are too similar to their debut album and they really are not quite the stadium fillers that the band want to produce.
Something that I do really like about this song is the fuzzy, almost Black Keys like, guitar riff that builds up to the chorus, which is fairly dull by the second time round. However the bridge is very powerful and arguably, musically, the best aspect of any Catfish and the Bottlemen single that has been released. It’s a shame because this part, on its own, is not only compelling but musically interesting too; the rest of the song just seems annoyingly weak and rushed. It’s a fact that this record will still sell and die hard Bottlemen fans will be pleased with the outcome but, when looking at the single with an open mind, it really wasn’t worth the build up of a year and a half. Van and Co quoted “I feel like the last album was the support band, or even the soundcheck and this one’s the headliner,” but I have to disagree, songs like ‘Pacifier’ and ‘Rango’ blow this out of the water and seem like the headliner with ‘Soundcheck’ being the 1:30 slot on the Festival Republic stage at Reading and Leeds.
Although this was not the best of songs, it is good to see Catfish headlining some festivals this year- including Liverpool’s sound city and Truck Festival, both events expressing an amazing line up. They are also set to play the likes of Kendall Calling and Y Not? which equally have impressive bills, featuring Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and Madness.
Truck Festival (July 15)
Kendall Calling (July 28)
Y Not Festival (July 29) Rating: 4/10 (Sorry Catfish fans).