Friday, 31 October 2008

More Acts for Mencap Little Noise Sessions

Duke Special, Damien Rice, Ladyhawke, Noah & The Whale, Dan Black and Skint & Demoralised have been added to the line-up for this year's Mencap Little Noise Sessions.

This is the third year the event has been held. Acts such as Kasabian, Razorlight, Stereophonics, Glasvegas, Keane, James Morrison and The Fratellis are already on the bill for the charity gigs which take place from 8th – 18th November.

Duke Special will play on the 10th November along with Stereophonics and Seasick Steve. On the 11th November Damien Rice will join Adele's intimate gig with Angus & Julia Stone playing the same night.

Skint and Demoralized will appear on the Razorlight night on the 9th of November and Dan Black joins James Morrison and Katy Perry on the 13th.

Noah & the Whale and Ladyhawke celebrate the end of this year's Little Noise Sessions on the 18th along with The Fratellis and Sergeant.

Over the past few years Amy Winehouse, U2, Snow Patrol, Noel Gallagher, Duffy and Lily Allen have performed at the event.

A number of surprise guests will also be performing this year. As with previous sessions which saw impromptu appearances from U2 and Coldplay.

Tickets are available from Mencap's official site.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Songwriter to Sue The Hives, Over Allegations of Plagiarism

A Los Angeles songwriter has accussed The Hives, of ripping off one of his songs.

Jason Shapiro claims that the Swedish Rockers 2007 single, ‘Tick Tick Boom’, uses a vocal melody and riff from his song, ‘Why You?’ Which was recorded by American bands The Roofies in 1997 then again by Three Way in 2002.

Speaking to LA Weekly, Shapiro said friends had alerted him to the similarities after hearing The Hives' 'Tick Tick Boom' in a trailer for the film, Get Smart.

To get a second opinion, Shapiro consulted a musicologist before deciding to sue.

Shapiro said "He [the musicologist] said the part in question - the main riff and vocal melody - was very similar and its uniqueness led him to believe it wasn't just a coincidence."Shapiro added: "I absolutely love The Hives and don't feel great about suing a band I love. But I also feel credit is due where it is due if you borrow a riff."

The Scandinavian Rockers have yet to respond to the allegation.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Keane's Surprise for Electric Proms

Keane had a few tricks to entertain the crowd at London's Koko last night that included strings, saxophonists and a choir.

The band showcased several songs from their new album as well as reworking some of their biggest hits from Hopes and Fears and Under The Iron Sea.

The crowd showed their appreciation with loud cheers and sing-a-longs to many of the hits from their debut album including Everybody's Changing and Somewhere Only We Know, but most fans pointed to special collaborations on their newest tracks as the high point.

Talking to BBC 6 Music afterwards, Tom said "There are a lot of things on the new record you can't replicate with just the four of you," adding "So it was a great way of being able to indulge ourselves and have that for one night."

Pianist and keyboard player Tim Rice-Oxley told 6 Music after the gig, "You have an idea and you think of getting a few violins, and the next thing you know you've got thirty people running around on stage," adding "It's nice when things snowball like that."

New single Spiralling was buffeted by two saxophonists while the string quartet was used to give extra body and clarity to Love Is The End, which singer Tom Chaplin said he felt summed up the theme of their newest work - love.

The set alternated between old and new tracks, with the musical arrangement changing frequently - Tom played guitar on most of the newer tracks with Jesse on bass, while older numbers gave Tom the chance to play piano while Jesse played backing synths. But the band waited until the three song encore to unveil the choir - which sang on Perfect Symmetry.

The quartet stuck with the habit of finishing the set with Bedshaped, which closed to rapturous applause. Keane's next one-off gig is the Little Noise Sessions at London's Union Chapel on 15th November, which the band played at last year.

Glasvegas for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Celebrations

Scots rockers Glasvegas have been lined up to play the Waverley Stage, on Waverly Bridge at this years Edinburgh Hogmanay celebrations.

The Glasgow band are one of the country's most hyped bands of the year.

Fellow Scot, Paolo Nutini has already been announced for the Edinburgh event, he’ll be kicking off the street party at 9pm before racing across the country to also play Glasgow's event.

A statement by Glasvegas said: "It's the perfect way to toast the coming year, celebrating Scottish style."

The full line-up for Edinburgh's Hogmanay celebrations will be announced next month.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Chance for Unsigned Act to Open Hogmanay celebrations

In partnership with Winterfest Glasgow 2008, King Tuts Wah Wah Hut has announced ‘The Road to Hogmanay’ initiative.

The Road to Hogmanay is a fantastic opportunity for unsigned music in Scotland, giving a unique chance for Scottish bands and musicians to showcase their talents at The Big Stage on George Square and King Tuts Wah Wah Hut as part of Glasgow’s Festive and Hogmanay celebrations.

Three showcase slots have been booked for the Big Stage on George Square on Thursday 27th November, Thursday 4th and 11th December.
The public’s favourite from these showcases will be invited back to kick off Glasgow’s Hogmanay party on George square in front of a crowd of 15,000 revellers.

The public’s second favourite will be offered another ultimate gigging experience, playing the King Tuts Wah Wah Hut Hogmanay Celebrations!

The Road to Hogmanay is a chance for bands and musicians to share the stage with Paisley star Paolo Nutini in front of a huge George Square audience.
All submissions will be listened to by an expert panel of music and media industry delegates, who will decide which bands and artists will be showcased at the Big Stage! It will then be up to the public to decide which band kicks off the George Square Hogmanay party on December 31st 2008. Which ever band is the public’s second favourite, will headline King Tuts Wah Wah Hut’s Hogmanay celebrations! Geoff Ellis, of DF Concerts, said: "This is a tremendous opportunity for Scottish bands to gain amazing exposure in front of a world-renowned Scottish audience and to really kick off the New Year in style.

"As support for live music in Scotland continues to grow, this is a unique chance for Scottish music lovers to support the talents of local musicians.

Events Manager for Winterfest Glasgow, Colin Hartley said: "Over the years Glasgow's Hogmanay has showcased the very best in Scottish talent and I'm sure that we will discover the next big thing as this competition heats up.

"Sharing a stage with Paolo Nutini is a pretty good way to ring in the bells."

The deadline for band submissions is the Wednesday 5th November.

For more information go to

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Illegal Downloads On The Way Out According To survey

According to a survey published by Entertainment Media Research (EMR), music pirates can be deterred by warnings from their internet service provider (ISP). The survey found that 72% of consumers would stop downloading music illegally if contacted by their ISP.

The EMR survey also found that 51% (of 1,500 consumers) legally purchased downloads. It’s the first time in the five years the EMR survey has been produced this figure outweighed the number of those who download illegally.

The research revealed the effect of the campaign against persistent pirates conducted by the music industry. An agreement from ISPs to send out warning letters to those suspected of illegally downloading music has contributed.

Russell Hart, chief executive of Entertainment Media Research said in a statement "It is quite evident that an ISP-led strategy has bite, because illegal downloader’s are fairly convinced that ISPs are currently monitoring their activities and are more likely to act against them than the courts."

The research also found that younger net users, 13-17 year olds, were the most persistent pirates, 58% said they had downloaded illegally. It also found that 61% of those who admitted to being illegal downloader’s were convinced that their activities were being monitored by net firms.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Innovative Idea Helps Attic Lights Connect With Their Fans

Scots band Attic Lights have come up with an inventive way of connecting with their fans, they have released 54 different versions of their new single Wendy.

The song, taken from the band's forthcoming album Friday Night Lights, was reworked multiple times following a drinking session by the band in the Mixing Rooms studios in Glasgow.

The single versions have had different names inserted in the chorus. The girl’s names include Becky, Cheryl, Julie and Sarah, with names such as Adam, Danny, Richie and Simon for the guys.

Kevin Sherry, the bands singer revealed: "When we were recording the album at the end of last year we were having a laugh during the take of Wendy, I ended up singing the name of girlfriends of the members of the band, instead of Wendy. I added my family members. We thought it was a novel idea.”

“We went through all the names of people we knew and the record company thought it would be a great idea to release them” he said.

"Fifty-four versions must be some kind of record but we haven't got round to checking it out," he added.

The single versions have been personalised to cover the most popular names in the country. To see the full selection of names available click here

The original CD version of the single, Wendy, includes a remix by Jon Fratelli of The Fratellis and also Scots indie acts The Vaselines and Camera Obscura.

Kevin said: "We supported The Fratellis in London a few months ago and Jon was very complimentary about the band. He changed the chords and added his own vocal and guitars over it. We were blown away that Jon did it for us even though he is in a massive band. He had told us to keep in touch and said The Fratellis wanted to support Scottish bands as much as they could."

The bands brilliant debut album, Friday Night Lights is out on Monday 13th October.

Iceland’s Airwaves Festival Unaffected by Global Credit Crunch

Organisers of Iceland’s Airwaves festival have confirmed the event will still go ahead despite the current problems with country’s economy.

The festival, which celebrates its 10th Anniversary, will go ahead as planned.

The festival runs from the Wednesday 15th to Sunday 19th of October in Reykjavik and this year features sets from the likes of Simian Mobile Disco, Young Knives, Vampire Weekend, White Lies, CSS, Crystal Castles and Biffy Clyro.

Iceland became the latest victim of the current economic crisis when the Icelandic government took control of the Landsbanki bank and declaring it insolvent after it suffered severe losses.
In a statement, organisers said: “In spite of economical difficulties in Iceland at the moment the Iceland Airwaves festival will take place next week just like it has done for the past 10 years.”

They also said “The economical crisis does not affect the planning and promoting of the festival.”
“[We] are looking forward to lifting the spirits of the Icelandic people” they added.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Simian Mobile Disco produce exercise track for Nike

Simian Mobile Disco, have been signed up by sportswear giant, Nike, to create music for a new training scheme they’ve come up with.

The trainer manufacturer is launching a new training regime called Nike Plus, and the dance act has provided the soundtrack.

The band has written, Run, a 30 minute piece designed to complement exercise.
‘Run’ begins at a tempo suitable for warming up, before speeding up for a running workout before slowing down again to finish with a warm down.

The complete piece of music sets a pace which is designed to help maintain the optimum BPM for runners.LCD Soundsystem also produced a track for runners earlier this year called '45.33'. Tracks, '45.33' and 'Run' are available from itunes now.

Oxjam 2008 Competition for Bands to Play at Leeds Festival

Thousands of musicians will be taking part in Oxjam 2008, the biggest music festival in the UK, raising half a million for Oxfam with gigs, DJ sets, busks and all kinds of musical events throughout October.

The charity festival that raises money for Oxfam, is gearing up for this year with a competition for bands to win a place on the line-up at next year's Leeds Festival.
Organisers at this year’s festival are offering bands who take part in Oxjam events the chance to win a spot on the Oxjam Stage at 2009 Leeds Festival by uploading their songs to the Oxjam website.

A shortlist of the 20 best bands from across the UK will have their songs uploaded onto the Oxjam website for the public to vote on. The act with the most votes will perform at the Leeds Festival, get their hands on backstage passes to hang out with the stars, and be able to bring along some friends each too.
Over the last year, more than 15,000 musicians have taken part in over 1,200 events for Oxjam, raising in excess of £250,000 to fight poverty around the world. The festival aims to double that figure this year.

Artists including Klaxons, Jamelia, The Kooks, Hot Chip, Fatboy Slim and Jarvis Cocker have taken part in previous Oxjam events. The festival sees a variety of fundraising events taking place all over the country.
For information on events around the UK this October or how to get involved with Oxjam go to

ALBUM REVIEW: The Aliens, Luna

Following on from their overhyped debut album, 2007’s Astronomy for Dogs, The Aliens have come up trumps with their second album.

Luna definitely has a dreamy, hallucinatory quality. It demonstrates the bands musical impulse that they are still unable to control but that is no bad thing, well, not on this album.

Their main influences seem to be Syd Barrett, Brian Wilson, early Bowie and White Album Beatles, but as the album goes on it throws up half a dozen more. This is certainly an ambitious and challenging album. The Aliens remain timeless, simultaneously nostalgic and optimistic.

The ten minute opener ‘Bobby’s Song’ starts off with a harmonica intro that leads you into quivery psychedelic folk-pop that soon sweeps through an electronic and progressive rock section. A complete mix of 60s sounds and Eastern beats that felt overloaded with too many contrasting elements.

Third track, Theremin, features sunny West Coast, gentle Brian Wilson harmonies whereas Magic Man had more of an acid rock edge with its fusion of every style you can think of.

Title track Luna is not for the faint hearted, starting with gloomy pianos before turning into a full-on guitar fest.

Boats offers a credible guitar sprawl from Neil Young. Last track on the album is the truly delicate, psychedelic beauty, Blue Mantle.

This album is confirmation that The Aliens have well and truly landed, Luna is a psychedelic delight.

Track Listing

1. Bobby's Song
2. Amen
3. Theremin
4. Everyone
5. Magic Man
6. Billy Jack
7. Luna
8. Dove Returning
9. Sunlamp Show
10. Smoggy Bog
11. Daffodils
12. Boats
13. Blue Mantle

Thursday, 2 October 2008

ALBUM REVIEW: Seasick Steve, I Started Out With Nothing and I’ve Still Got Most of it Left

Former hobo, American bluesman Steve Wold aka Seasick Steve, won best breakthrough act at this year’s Mojo Magazine awards. He’s been a festival favourite for a few years now. Seasick Steve is the real deal. Having learnt about the hobo lifestyle early on in life (via many freight trains) he has developed a vivid & wholly authentic folk-blues style. He's been playing music professionally since the 70s & still has it today. Following the release of his long awaited debut solo album Dog House Music in 2006 he found a legion of new fans after appearing on Jools Holland's Hootenanny.

His recently released second solo album 'I Started Out With Nothing and I've Still Got Most Of It Left' sounds a little more polished than the first and it is, it was recorded in a Norfolk studio owned by former Darkness guitarist Dan Hawkins. This album doesn’t have the same charm and wholesome feel of its predecessor.

The album's title track sounds all a bit too smooth and clean cut with backing singers thrown into the mix. By the time it gets to the third track on the album, St Louis Slim it seems the real Seasick Steve is creeping back and things are getting funky. The delightful, Happy Man shows a softer tone to Steve’s voice. Nick Cave puts in a brilliant star guest performance on Just Like a King, which is equally brooding and a charming strum along with the two music men.

Meanwhile the thrillingly humorous track, Chiggers, refers to an insect and Steve offers some advice over what to do if you ever get attacked by a mass of evil sounding bugs. The track sees a welcome return of the old boys ferocious slide guitar playing.

Closing track, My Youth is a desolate mediation on ageing, which is somewhat poignant as Steve sings about the memories that he has. I can’t imagine anyone, well, anyone with a heart that is, not to be affected by this track.

Admittedly the album has got nothing on what you get from the experience of seeing the man himself perform live. However it would be a bit foolish to expect just that. Once you get over its rocky start this album is really good, or as the man himself would put it “It’s All Good!”

Track listing

1. Started Out With Nothing
2. Walking Man
3. St Louis Slim
4. Happy Man
5. Prospect Lane
6. Thunderbird
7. Fly By Night
8. Just Like A King
9. One True
10. Chiggers
11. My Youth