Friday, 28 November 2008

Unsigned Bands Offered Chance to Win Festival Slot

Unsigned bands are being given the chance to win and secure a slot to perform at one of next year’s festivals.

The Red Stripe Music Awards are giving unsigned acts the chance to play at one of the country’s best loved live music venues from January until April next year, in a series of regional gigs.

The successful four bands will perform at the final showdown in May. Playing for the chance to become Red Stripe Music Award Winner 2009 and secure a slot at three of next summer’s favourite festivals.

The gig series is open to all bands playing any manner of music, completely and utterly unbiased to trend or leaning.

Applicants must be over 18 and play original songs to be eligible.

For more information and details on how to enter go to:

ALBUM REVIEW: Glasvegas, A Snowflake Fell (And It Felt Like A Kiss) - UK release date: 1st December 2008

Label bosses thought James Allan was winding them up when just months after their phenomenally successful debut album had hit the shelves he announced that Glasvegas were to spend the end of the summer in a church in Transylvania, recording a Christmas album complete with Romanian choir. He wasn’t and the band flew to Transylvania in September.

A Snowflake Fell (And It Felt Like A Kiss) is a six-track Christmas album which comes as a bonus CD with the reissued self-titled debut album, Glasvegas. The album includes an English and Romanian version of ‘Silent Night’, sung by The Concentus Choir, recorded at St Nicholas Church in Brasov.

The opening track, Careful What You Wish For, is a short, fragile song that starts with Allan singing “Christmas time is here again,” accompanied by big organs, bell chimes and the angelic tones of the Concentus choir throughout.

The venomously frank, F**k You; It’s Over, is about a relationship that was cruelly ended at Christmas time and then there’s the epic piano ballad that is Cruel Moon.

A Snowflake Fell, the albums title track is a beautiful piano-led spine tingler which builds into a mass of choral harmonies and dreamy bell chimes and may just also be an attempt at a Christmas number one.

It finishes off with the hauntingly, gentle ‘Silent Night (Noapte De Vis)’ sung by the Concentus Choir, this will make the hairs on your neck stand up.

Glasvegas have made a real Christmas album that echoes its surroundings perfectly, confirming they are still one of the most exciting British bands right now.

1. Careful What You Wish For2. Fuck You, It's Over3. Cruel Moon
4. Please Come Back Home5. A Snowflake Fell (And It Felt Like A Kiss)
6. Silent Night/Noapte De Vis

MGMT – Barrowlands, Glasgow – 9th November 2008

I know I’m a little late in writing up this one but I just couldn’t make up my mind about this gig.

Back in July I managed to see 10 minutes of MGMT’s set in the Pet Sound Arena at T in the Park and thought they looked and sounded great and I absolutely love their fantastic debut album, Oracular Spectacular.

The young psychedelic-pop outfit from Brooklyn’ took to the stage looking like a proper indie-rock band rather than the war-painted kids playing dress up that we’re used to, I was a little disappointed.

To start off with their performance was a bit uninspiring and tame; I kept waiting for them to put their all into it, even faced with an excitable young audience it felt like they were still holding back.

They have a habit of turning their back on the crowd and doing their own thing whether it’s an impromptu keyboard jam or twiddling knobs it felt a bit like I was in the rehearsal room instead of the actual gig.

However, when they unleashed the fantastic, Time to Pretend, and gave the instruction "now let's have some fun" it felt as though they had finally made that gear change and the Glasgow crowd exploded, the whole place was jumping, with a little help from the Ballrooms sprung floor.

They managed to keep up the momentum for the infectious track that is pure pop-gold, Electric Feel. They played a couple of their new tracks before doing a great performance of The Handshake.

The band went off before delivering a magnificent performance of new single, Kids, which stirred the enthusiastic crowd once more.

The gig definitely had its peaks and troughs, more peaks than troughs, thankfully. However it was really frustrating because when these guys are good their on fire but when their bad their fiddling and annoying.


Thursday, 27 November 2008

Five Arrested for Online Ticket Scam

Five people have been arrested by police in London for allegedly taking part in online ticket scams by Xclusive Tickets Ltd and Xclusive Leisure and Hospitality Ltd.
It is alleged that they took payment from people who were led to believe they had purchased tickets from their website for events such as UK music festivals and the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games but failed to supply any tickets.

According to the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) over 4,000 fans were allegedly scammed.
On Tuesday night (November 25) the Metropolitan Police and the Serious Fraud Office raided three homes and a business, arresting four men and a woman in relation to the alleged crimes.

The five people arrested, all between the ages of 41 and 54 were released on bail after questioning, reports BBC 6music.

The SFO claim that an unauthorised website was set up in July, called, by a company called Xclusive Leisure and Hospitality Ltd, but was later closed down by the Olympic authorities. In August the company was placed into liquidation and according to the SFO, linked companies received payment for more than 4,000 tickets that never reached those paying customers. An investigation was started after members of the public in more than 60 countries complained that they had purchased tickets, but in return, received no tickets or refunds.

The Serious Fraud Office is appealing to those affected to get in touch.

This includes people that purchased tickets for the Beijing Olympics, who were most affected, as well as music fans who bought tickets for Reading and Leeds from Xclusive Tickets Ltd, but subsequently did not receive them.

If you have been affected contact the SFO at

Friday, 21 November 2008

Kraftwerk Copyright Case Overturned

German electronic pioneers, Kraftwerk have been dealt a blow by Germany's highest civil court, in a lawsuit to determine whether artists should have the right to sample other bands' music without infringing on copyright.

The ruling, issued yesterday (20th November), overturns an earlier decision made by Hamburg state court that ruled in Kraftwerk’s favour and said that reusing even the shortest bit of a song infringed on copyright.

Nevertheless the high court sees sampling still as some form of copyright infringement if the newly created piece of music isn’t a completely new musical work bearing no resemblance to the original.

In light of the ruling, Hamburg state court will now have to take up the case again.

Kraftwerk had sued German rap producer Moses Pelham for using a two-second sample from their 1977 track "Metal on Metal" in the rhythm sequence in the song "Nur Mir" by Sabrina Setlur that appeared in 1997.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Ministry of Sound Backs Plan for Ringtone Creation in Schools

Young entrepreneurs are to be encouraged to develop premium-rate content by the industry regulator.

A company called Phonepayplus came up with the idea of creating a new programme called Phonebrain, intended to help kids develop better business acumen around premium-rate numbers as well as educating them about how to use such services.

Ministry of Sound is to assist the Phonebrain programme by giving free lesson plans and downloads to schools with an aim of making ringtone creation part of the national curriculum.

The Assistant Head of Sixth Form at Business Academy in Bexley, Dominic Evans, explained: "The kids are really engaged and love using the technology to create their own personal ringtones.”

He added “We have to drag them away when the bell rings!"

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Bands Revealed for NME Awards Tour

It’s been announced that Scottish rockers, Glasvegas, will headline the 2009 Shockwaves NME Awards Tour, which showcases new music. Celebrating what has been a hugely successful 2008 for the band, Glasvegas will top the bill on next year’s tour.

Other acts joining the Glaswegians on the national tour are Friendly Fires, White Lies and Florence and the Machine. The tour will see Friendly Fires and White Lies reunited, having already joined forces earlier this year on the NME New Music Tour.

Currently enjoying success with their new single, Paris, St Albans disco-pop trio, Friendly Fires, will support.

White Lies will release their eagerly awaited debut album Lose My Life just before the tour begins on 12th January.

Meanwhile the infamous 'opening slot' - having previously played host to the likes of The Ting Tings, Franz Ferdinand and Coldplay - will be filled by London songstress Florence Welch, aka, Florence and the Machine.

Bands that have previously featured on the tour include Coldplay, Franz Ferdinand, The Killers, Kaiser Chiefs, Bloc Party and Arctic Monkeys.

The first NME Tour took place in 1995 and featured Veruca Salt, Marion, Skunk Anansie and 60 Ft Dolls. Since then the tour has been credited with launching the careers of Stereophonics, The Coral, Interpol and The View.

The tour begins in Liverpool on 29th January and concludes at London Brixton Academy on the 21st February.

The Tour Will Visit:

29th - Liverpool University
30th - Glasgow Academy

1st - Newcastle Academy
3rd - Sheffield Academy
4th - Birmingham Academy
8th - Leeds Academy
10th - Lincoln Engine Shed
11th - Nottingham Rock City
12th - Norwich UEA
14th - Cardiff University
15th - Bristol Academy
16th - Brighton Dome
17th - Oxford Academy
19th - Portsmouth Pyramid
20th - Cambridge Corn Exchange
21st - London Brixton Academy

For ticket info, go to: Shockwaves NME Awards Tour 2009 tickets

Monday, 3 November 2008

The Last Shadow Puppets – Carling Academy, Glasgow – 22nd October 2008

The Last Shadow Puppets is a side project of Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys & Miles Kane of The Rascals. Following the huge success of their number one album ‘The Age of the Understatement’, I had great expectations for tonight’s gig. I have seen both the Arctic Monkeys and The Rascals live and both are great so I was hoping that tonight would be too.

As the lights started to fade, the conductor strikes up the 16-piece orchestra supporting the lads, violins are playing a little intro as Alex Turner and Miles Kane take to the stage and start blasting out, In My Room, with frantic strings lavishly adding to the excitement.

After a moment pause the lads launch into their first single and the title track from their album, The Age of the Understatement, which sounds fantastic with the orchestra’s backing. This was the highlight for me and I wasn’t alone in this as the crowd showed their appreciation with one of the loudest cheers of the night.

The support of the orchestra added drama and new dynamics to each song, from the sumptuous sounds of Calm Like You to the tenderness of their current single, My Mistakes Were Made For You.

The talented duo also done covers of Nancy Sinatra’s, Paris Summer, and David Bowies, In The Heat of The Morning, which they recorded earlier this year on their 'The Age Of The Understatement EP'. Kane took an effective lead on a cover of The Beatles', I Want You (She's So Heavy), and he also done a great rendition of Leonard Cohen's, Memories.

Although The Last Shadow Puppets was only ever a side project, these talented lads have loads of chemistry on stage it would be a shame if they end the project forever.


ALBUM REVIEW: Nitin Sawhney, London Undersound

Nitin Sawhney has himself described this album as an album of collaboration that sets out to explore how "London's heartbeat has changed" since 9/11 and the London bombings of July 2005.

The vivid and descriptive opening track, Days of Fire, was co-written and performed by London singer Natty. The track was inspired by Natty's experience of witnessing the London Bus Bombing. I was very surprised as it is a very easy listen, pleasant, upbeat track although there is a slight grittiness to it.

Hard hitting, Bring It Home, includes vocals from Imogen Heap. The track’s up-beat tempo coupled with Heap’s delicate tones helps illustrate what life might be like in the busy city. While the Paul McCartney collaboration, My Soul is a very moving and poignant piece which is given an Asian edge with backing vocals from Reena Bhardwaj.

The sensual tones and spoken Spanish of Interlude II flow effortlessly into the next track, Distant Dreams. Interlude III brings some classic funky Indian music and vocals.

The tracks seem to flow perfectly from the relaxing piano piece with the most beautiful female vocals, Ek Jaan through Transmission, Last Train to Midnight and the simple, understated instrumental of Firmament.

This is a truly remarkable piece of work which evokes a whole range of emotions as it deals with the change in attitudes on the city of London so perfectly.

Track listing

1. Days of Fire2. October Daze
3. Bring it Home4. Interlude 1 - Ghost Image
5. My Soul6. Interlude 2 – Soledad
7. Distant Dreams8. Interlude 3 - Street Sounds9. Shadowland
10. Daybreak11. Interlude 4 – Identity
12. Ek Jaan13. Transmission
14. Interlude 5 - Tension15. Last Train to Midnight
16. Interlude 6 - Ronald Gray17. Firmament
18. Charu Keshi Rain