Saturday, 28 February 2009

'Love will find you in the end'

Matt Ward and band were on fine form at the Borderline on wednesday night, playing much of the new album (particular shouts for 'Rave on' and 'Fisher of Men') and dipping into his now considerable back list (an opening duo of 'Lullaby & Exile' and 'Fuel for Fire', performed solo, were particularly lovely). His new single 'Never had Nobody Like You' seems to be getting some great airplay on 6Music, but it's long puzzled me why he's not bigger than he is. Oh well, some things are best kept at a level, and he seemed to be enjoying himself a great deal the other night (along with the multi-instrumentalist and fine whistler Mike Coykendall, sporting a cool old Richmond Fontaine t-shirt - respect).
Here's an interview by Laura Barton in yesterday's Guardian, M Ward - A few of my favourite things

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Fleet or Flat?

I saw the first of Fleet Foxes’ three nights at the Roundhouse on Sunday and was very pleasantly surprised. While I enjoyed their album, and EP, of last year, there was a suspicion that there was something a little too austere or clinical about them, particularly with the album. But on Sunday they lit up the venue, as the songs seemed to take on a new life. The five piece band were all exceptional and looked genuinely excited and proud to be starting a run of shows at the venue, and the singer, Robin Pecknold’s, warm and open interaction with the crowd put many more taciturn stars to shame. It was a genuinely lovely gig, with stand outs ranging from his totally unmiced cover of ‘Katie Cruel’ (and impromptu snatched verse/chorus of ‘It ain’t me babe’) to the band’s gleeful takes on ‘Mykonos’ and ‘Your Protector’. I went into this gig thinking they might be a bit of a let down, after all the hype of last year, but came away thoroughly won over. Here’s to M Ward on Wednesday, which will certainly be my last live gig for quite sometime…

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Sunday Soul

It's been a bit of a chaos weekend, so here's something lovely: from her approriately titled 2006 album, The Greatest, it's Cat Power and
'Lived in Bars'

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Hold Time

Having been on my sick-bed for the last couple of days, i haven't been able to pick up M Ward's new album, Hold Time, yet, but I can't wait. One of my favourite artists, by a country mile, this new album includes contributions from Lucinda Williams (hooray), Zooey Deschanel (She - hooray) and Jason Lyttle (Grandaddy - hooray) and promises many treasures, not least covers of Don Gibson's 'Oh Lonsome Me' and Buddy Holly's 'Rave On'. Anyone who may have heard his earlier covers, such as Bowie's 'Let's Dance' and Louis Armstrong's 'Sweethearts on Parade' will know that here's a man who knows how to take on a great song.
For a preview of the album and some cool videos (check out the very cool animation in 'Chinese Translation') see mwardmusic
And if you're going, see you at his Borderline show next week...

Monday, 9 February 2009

Amazing Grace

here's Willie, for my friends Paddy and Alice, who got married on Saturday...

Friday, 6 February 2009

On the turntable...

'What was there?' i asked Peter Murphy as he wrote and thought about his fine debut novel. Here's what he said:

'My top 10 Records Used as Inspirational Laxative During the Writing of John the Revelator'

The Soul of a Man - Blind Willie Johnson
Deserter's Songs - Mercury Rev
Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada EP - Godspeed You Black Emperor
Anthology of American Folk Music - Various Artists
'Tunic (Song for Karen)' - Sonic Youth
'Lake Of Fire' - Meat Puppets
'A Thing Called Love' - Johnny Cash
Funeral - Arcade Fire
Dead Man Soundtrack - Neil Young
Passio - Arvo Part

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

'Who's that a-writing?'

This is a cool promo/reading from Peter Murphy (the Hot Press journo's) debut novel, John the Revelator. Already acclaimed in the early Irish reviews as a modern day masterpiece, it's officially out tomorrow. All i'm saying is that the novel is every bit as great as the song...