EMA And Zola Jesus Live

EMA Live UK Tour Liverpool Picture By Andy Von Pip

Some artists make much more sense in the live setting, take for example Erika M. Anderson’s ( EMA to you and I) album  “Past Life Martyred Saints.”  Whilst showcasing her many talents as a songwriter it’s only when you see her perform the album live you realise how it singularly failed to covey this girls charisma and the visceral nature of the music.  Her set at Liverpool’s Kazimier was nothing short of epic, throwing herself so completely into each song she almost became a woman possessed. Suddenly the album took on a whole new dimension, mixing subtlety with raw power to devastating effect. Many of EMA’s tunes begin slowly but steadily grow in intensity before reaching an ear shredding crescendo of crashing power cords, which tonight  EMA decided to play off stage and she hurled herself into  audience on a number of occasions.  At times you feared she might take somebody’s head off wielding her guitar like a sonic machine gun, totally lost in the moment.   A mesmeric performance.


EMA Live Liverpool Pic By Andy Von Pip

sus Live At The Kazimier Pic By Andy Von Pip

Under normal circumstances EMA would have been a tough act to follow, but Zola Jesus is no ordinary performer and she wowed the crowd in Liverpool putting on a performance that befitted the 8th Birthday celebrations of Liverpool promoter Revo’s Club Evol.  Playing a selection of highlights from her latest album “Conatus” and her break through album “Stridulum II “you marvelled at her seemingly limitless energy and wondered how such a petite frame could play host to such a huge, powerful voice. When she wasn’t leaping off stage to dance with the audience she was clambering about the multi levelled stage or tying herself up with her mic lead, resembling some sort of sacrificial Norse high priestess.  Backed by her leather clad all male band who rocked the gothic biker gang look,  ZJ’s voice, like the moon glinting off a lake of black honey, seemed to illuminate the whole venue with  it’s cool dark beauty.  A fabulous performance that engaged an enthusisiatic Liverpool crowd from start to finish. EMA and Zola Jesus may not have quite been a religious experience but as a double bill they were certainly a match made in Heaven.

Zola Jesus At Kazimier Liverpool, Pic By Andy Von Pip


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The Sound Of 2012 – Long List The Bloggers Alternative!

Last year my good self  ( Andy Von Pip)  Robin from “Breaking More Waves” and Simon from “Sweeping The Nation” were discussing the merits of the BBC’s annual “Sound Of” taste-maker predictions.  It was forensically dissected and we expressed pleasure yet also horror at some of the artists long listed – but the question that kept coming back was thus – did they really reflect the zeitgeist? Did they represent the best that new music has to offer? ” I mean seriously, is Jessie J the sound of anything other than a badger going through a mincer or piss-in-my-ears?
We mooted the idea of conducting a poll of the UK’s music blogs and asking them who they thought would be the “Sound Of 2012.” We hoped by having an ‘alternative’ it may throw up some interesting results which we could  contrast and compare  to the Beebs ‘official’ one.  It was felt that an alternative music “Bloggers Sound of …” list could highlight what’s really been going on musically, down at the coalface so to speak.  However despite my own disquiet about Ms J winning  it is not actually the intention to use this as a platform to criticise the BEEBS own poll, more to contrast and to get people talking about new music.
Therefore we give you The Blog Sound Of 2012- the long-list.  In the new year to coincide with the Beebs we will announce the top five and overall winner. How exciting, I mean how will you all sleep at night ?

The Long List  ( in no particular order)

Houdini Dax.

French Wives.

The Good Natured.

Lianne La Havas.

Theme Park.

Alt J.

The Jezabels.

Lucy Rose.


Beth Jeans Houghton.






The Blog “Panel” consisted of

A Tidal Wave Of Indifference ,  Breaking More Waves, My Band Is Better Than Your Band,God Is In the TV,  Sweeping The Nation, The Von Pip Musical Express, The Recommender, Faded Glamour, Drunken Werewolf, Flying With Anna, Not Many Experts, Under-classed Idle Ideas, Sonic Masala, Mudkiss, The Ring Master, Both Bars On, Music From A Green Window, Dots And Dashes, The Daily Growl, And Everyone’s A DJ,  Kowalskiy! Just Music I Like, Cruel RhythmsThe Blue Walrus, Music Fans Mic, 17 Seconds, Eaten By Monsters, Seven Sevens, Unpeeled, NuRave Brain Wave, Peenko, Music Liberation, Song, By Toad.

Top Five coming in the New Year.

Update– Here’s the BBC’s List

Nice to contrast I think


Express Reviews – Emmy The Great/ Tim Wheeler “This is Christmas.” Kate Bush “50 Words For Snow.”

Next year we hope to upgrade the blog and include some new features, one will be “Express Reviews” ie/ in a word ” shorter,” basically as a response to the huge amount of music we get sent…  So we thought we’d post one ahead of the traditional album of the year awards and our list of musicians we hope will gain a wider audience in 2012.

So here goes…..


Emmy The Great And Tim Wheeler – This is Christmas.

 Emmy The Great  TIm Wheeler "This Is Christmas" review.

Love them or loathe them there’s no escaping the much maligned festive album at this time of year.  It can be an incredibly lucrative market but alas, it also produces its fair share of bloated, fetid turkeys too. This year however alongside your Justin Beibers, your Michale Bubles  and your  Jersey Boys  perhaps the brightest, shiniest bauble on the musical Christmas Tree arrives courtesy of  Emmy The Great and Tim (him from Ash) Wheeler. Their  seasonal album “This is Christmas” written when they were both snowed in during the festive season last year, demonstrates that it is possible to produce a credible Christmas album and have great fun doing so.  Replete with shimmering melodies, sleigh bells, strings and reindeers called Jesus they perfectly capture the spirit of the season mixing surreal wit with traditional Christmas schmaltz.

Although it is indeed the season to be jolly there are also nods to the “Blue Christmas” style take on the genre. “Mrs Christmas” for example re-imagines Santa’s spouse planning to leave him, tired of being left alone every Christmas Eve while her husband  makes other people’s dreams come true “you promised me paradise, but here I am alone in the snow and ice”  whilst “Christmas Moon” is a song one could envisage Ronnie Spector performing. Throw in a dash of Ramones meet  the Beach Boys on “Christmas Day ( I Wish I Was Surfing,”)  a zombie plague on Christmas Eve ( “Zombie Christmas“) and a messianic reindeer and you really do have the makings of a perennial classic. On this evidence let’s hope they get snowed in every year.


Christmas Day ( I Wish I Was Surfing”)By Emmy The Great And Tim Wheeler.


Kate Bush – 50 Words For  Snow.

Kate-Bush-50-Words-For-Snow Review

Not so much a Christmas album more a seasonal soundscape which heralds the return of one of the UK’s most enduring and infuriatingly enigmatic artists, Kate Bush.  “50 Words For Snow” is her tenth studio album and it may not immediately smack you between the eyeballs, instead it rewards perseverance revealing its subtle beauty on repeated listens. “Misty”  the albums stand out track is bizarre in excelcis  relating the tale of a woman who takes a snowman to her boudoir only to awake the following morning in soaking bed sheets to  find only “Dead leaves, bits of twisted branches and frozen garden, crushed and stolen grasses from slumbering lawn” ( no jokes about his snowballs please.)  Perruquier’s friend Sir  Elton John, a performer who so often sings in the style of a man on the verge of giving himself a hernia pops up on “Snowed In At Wheeler Street” and just about manages to restrain himself, whilst Stephen Fry, sounding as  rich and fruity as a Plumb Duff joins Kate on the peculiar title track in which  he regales us with 50 ludicrous word for snow ( such as “Mountain Sob,” “Faloop’njoompoola” and of course “Zhivagodamarbletash”) . It’s incredibly daft and at times sounds more Mighty Boosh then The Mighty Bush, yet conversely it becomes strangely bewitching as Kate breathily urges Fry on to scale new heights of verbose absurdity.

Kate herself may never again reach the artistic peak  of her opus “The Hounds Of Love”, it was , as Kate is now of it’s time, but in a world populated by anodyne fifteen minutes of fame seekers  one cannot feel anything other than joy and gratitude that such a unique and intriguing artist is still able to produce textured, atmospheric works of subtle, shimmering beauty.