Palladium have been featuring a series of short films covering topics centred on Urbex and the forgotten spaces of yore. They’ve got an excellent mini-doc that looks back at the birth of – and subsequent current state of – pirate radio stations in London. My personal highlight is the old age ex-pirate who regales the host with stories of arming himself with hand-grenades and shotguns, and tales of looking after semi-clad groupies who’d wash up at the base of their ocean based station.
I’m crap at remembering band names. I recoil to think how many bands have slipped into the ether owing to my inability in remembering their long-ass name. From The Kites of San Quentin is one such name. However, Friday’s performance at Manchester’s Ruby Lounge had me dashing to find a pen.
FTKOSQ blend deep, menacing dubstep basslines and trip-hop beats among a heady ruckus of glitchy synth. I’ve heard critics fire disdain at the masculine overtones dubstep encapsulates, not here. Singer Alison Carney cuts a sharp feminine line through a dark melee of noise. A voice more powerful tonight than on record, she rocks gently and smiles like a cheshire cat. Their songs are a moody broth that unfold into euphoric gorgeousness. It’s a mix of just enough disparate musical elements that make FTKOSQ quite awesome. Masterfully effecting, and engaging the audience far more than first support and the night’s headliners.
More about The Kites Of San Quentin can be seen on their Myspace.
I’d all but given up on track of the day as I think it’s too easy to fill the pages when I can’t be bothered to write anything longer than a sentance. I’ve had to make an exception for this. It’s so good it’s unreal. Those thrusting synth lines, that sexy vocal, and brass! Take me now! Such is my desire to fill a cold-wave gap in my life I’ve ordered Cold Wave and Minimal Electronics Vol.1 and pray it’s granted a hasty delivery. Enjoy.
We now know this: Summer Camp are not reclusive Swedes from the 80s, but in fact Jeremy Warmsley and Platform Editor Elizabeth Sankey.
We also now know there’s this single which is really really good, and painfully few songs on their MySpace that hint at a band who are versed in creating the kind of hazy music that you can quite happily get lost amongst this summer. ‘Ghost Train’ is such a song.
As with Summer Camp’s other tracks ‘Ghost Train’ begins with a line from another ’80s movie classic. This time Cameron Crowe’s, Say Anything…. “I’m sorry, it’s just you’re a really nice guy, and we don’t wanna see you get hurt” before the response, “I wanna get hurt!”. While ‘Ghost Train’ isn’t homage to the film, it does share themes of interactions and potentially putting distance between them.
It has that traversing landscapes aura about it. Coupled with overtones of adolescent long distance relationships, struggling to exist via poor connections and cross-country trains amid changing seasons. It’s a sweet and airy chug along with an O Superman-esque “Dear, dear, dear, dear, dear/I, I, I, I, I/You, you, you, you, you” over an awkward, infectious and darling synth line. The vocals are subtle and light yet bloom on the chorus.
(Originally published on Muso’s Guide)
It’s testament to my pedantry with facts that for the past week I’ve been telling people how I’m seeing Sydney based art-rockers, Vampires in Tokyo. Alas, it’s TEENAGERSINTOKYO I’m seeing, not Vampires.
Tonight at the Flowerpot support is Othello Woolf. Hair slick and dressed in black, he’s a lot less Dickensian-dandy than I was hoping. Nonetheless, his wonky-pop based swooning is intriguing and delightfully unalike. Despite the oft-warped nature of songs such as ‘Stand’ and ‘Deep Water’, band and Woolf play the grooves with honed ability and genuine relish.
Soon after lights dim to ominous hues of red, and TEENAGERSINTOKYO (I’m avoiding acronyms) grace the stage. Here to promote début single, ‘Peter Pan’ from their forthcoming album, Sacrifice, they launch into a slew of pulsing bass-laden gothic pop. Samantha Lim’s vocals are powerfully built and reverb laden, cutting through the haze of 80s synth, lightly abrasive guitar and racing drums.
The Teenagers playing is matched by their clothing, sharp and dark. Their threads lending an air of professionalism and inky glamour made the more present via their soaring shadowy-pop tones. The final song finds the band hitting toms and all sundry of beaters and bottles to praise by the audience.
They’re clearly here to do a job in convincing people of their ability, something that can get overlooked on recording, but tonight shines. Look out for Sacrifice, released through Backyard Recordings, 1st June 2010. Hear more here.
(Originally published in Disorder Magazine)