Music News we/3/04/2009

News – Kids Love Lies, Manic Street Preachers, Kasabian, La Roux , We Were Promised Jetpacks, Levelload, Sound Of Guns and The Trouble with James Allan

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The ‘Power-Pop’ quintet play  @ The Lexington in light of their new single ‘Count In My Head’ released 13th April on Cherryade records. Frontwoman Ellen writhes around on stage with the same gusto as Karen O whilst Leigh Harrison, Claudia Mansaray, Matty Saywell and Raf Singer play  frenetic post punk.

‘Count In My Head’ refers to the Brit post punk scene and is a short, catchy jagged pop song that sounds like the Noisettes covering Sleater Kinney with Jemima Be Your Own Pet on vocals. Ellen melodically yips about a broken relationship and being tired of the constant fight “Only said what you want me to say, only did what you want me to do”. Other songs featured on the single are the girly angst ridden “Fight Face” and an acoustic mix of ‘Perfection’ which is a tirade against social climbers and name droppers!
Check out their amazing video (made up of 3,500photostills )

Kids Love Lies – Count In My Head


Manic Street Preachers

Official Site

Album ‘Journal For Plague Lovers’

18th May 2009

Columbia Records

Manic Street Preachers return this year with their ninth studio album, ‘Journal For Plague Lovers’ released on May 18th on Columbia Records.

Produced by Steve Albini and recorded live at Rockfield Studios in Wales during the Winter of 2008, the album features lyrics left behind by former guitarist Richey Edwards across all 13 new tracks. An original piece of Jenny Saville’s art is the cover of ‘Journal for Plague Lovers’, whose painting graced the cover of 1994’s ‘The Holy Bible’.

Nicky Wire said of the decision to use Richey’s words after all this time, “The brilliance and intelligence of the lyrics dictated that we had to finally use them.  The use of language is stunning and topics include The Grande Odalisque by Ingres, Marlon Brando, Giant Haystacks, celebrity, consumerism and dysmorphia, all reiterating the genius and intellect of Richard James Edwards”.

Musically the band draw on their classic Holy Bible sound with elements of Nirvana’s ‘In Utero’, as well as a delicate, acoustic side.

Track-listing for Journal For Plague Lovers:

‘Peeled Apples’

‘Jackie Collins Existential Question Time’

‘Me & Stephen Hawking’

‘This Joke Sport Severed’

‘Journal For Plague Lovers’

‘She Bathed Herself In A Bath Of Bleach’

‘Facing Page: Top Left’

‘Marlon J.D.’

‘Doors Closing Slowly’

‘All Is Vanity’


‘Virginia State Epileptic Colony’

‘William’s Last Words’

A UK tour will be announced shortly.



On Tuesday 31st March, Kasabian will release their new track Vlad The Impaler as a free download from It’ll be available until midnight on 3rd April.

The single is taken from their forthcoming album West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum, out 8th June.



Spotify Session live at YOYO

The red haired one has teamed up with the digital service of the moment to release the La Roux – Spotify Session live at YOYO. In a first for the service, three tracks recorded during La Roux’s oversubscribed four-week residency at YOYO are available exclusively to Spotify premium users . The session features tracks from La Roux’s forthcoming debut album, due out in the summer, including both singles released so far, Quicksand and In For Kill, alongside live favourite Tigerlily. The session will be made available to all Spotify users from 3 April.

Free download bundle

Meanwhile, the original studio version of Quicksand is available to download free from for a limited time. The track is being paired with the demo version of Fascination as an exclusive digital bundle available only from the official site.

NME Radar Tour + US dates

La Roux has been announced as the headline act on the NME Radar tour with support from Heartbreak, Magistrates and The Chapman Family. The tour which has famously given a leg up to the likes of Crystal Castles, White Lies and Friendly Fires, will kick off in Nottingham on 29 April ending with a grand finale at London’s Koko on 19 May. Before then, they will play a handful of dates in the US . Head to for the tour dates in full.


We Were Promised Jetpacks

‘Quiet Little Voices’ – 7″/DL out May 4th

‘These Four Walls’   – CD/DL out June 15th




15 Apr – Scala, London (supporting Frightened Rabbit – SOLD OUT)

30 Apr – Hinterland Festival, Glasgow

1  May – Hinterland Festival, Glasgow

14 May – Water Margin, Brighton (FatCat Showcase – Great Escape Festival)

15 May – DrownedinSound Stage, Brighton (Great Escape Festival)

09 Jun –  Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh

10 Jun –  Doghouse, Dundee

15 Jun –  King Tuts, Glasgow

16 Jun –  Night & Day, Manchester

17 Jun –  Bodega, Nottingham

18 Jun –  The Lexington, London

19 Jun –  The Cockpit, Leeds

20 Jun –  The End, Newcastle

We Were Promised Jetpacks’ ‘Quiet Little Voices’ represents the lead-up to a debut album that is already highly touted, several months before release. The band’s youthful energy (their average age is 21) explodes thunderously as ‘Quiet Little Voices’ reaches its indescribably huge chorus. Every space is filled, the tension bristles achingly in Thompson’s vocal delivery as the rest of the band crashes around him with a perfect balance of force and harmony, but the romanticism and accessibility of a pure pop sensibility is never hidden too deep. B-side ‘Let’s Call This A Map.’ is no different: an energetic, Interpol-esque introduction gives way to the kind of intertwining, effortlessly stirring chorus that has inspired such confidence in and excitement around this band.

Assembled in Edinburgh as high school friends in 2003, “We Were Promised Jetpacks'” first ever gig saw them winning their school’s battle of the bands competition. Proceeding shows were after-school performances around the city of Edinburgh which were well attended and fuelled the band with a hunger and ambition. The 4-piece came to FatCat’s attention when listening to some of the friends on the Frightened Rabbit Myspace page. Before even releasing a single, WWPJ have laid claim to some recent successes which suggest the heralding of a major talent bursting to emerge. A well recorded three-track demo was circulated and managed to pick up a KEXP track of the day over the pond, and plays on national stations in the UK were popping up on XFM, BBC and Q radio.

A tour through September 2008 as main support for Frightened Rabbit garnered great reviews for WWPJ.  This being their first jaunt into England, healthy crowds arrived early on each evening due to the huge buzz in Scotland now filtering down south of the border.   Already WWPJ have been reviewed by NME, The Fly, WIRED, Vanity Fair and Clash, have been featured as Q’s Track of the Day and played on Zane Lowe to great acclaim.  A demo version of ‘Quiet Little Voices’ recently won Zane Lowe’s ‘Fresh Meat’ as well.

Fresh off the heels of a successful SXSW jaunt (performing alongside Glasvegas and Primal Scream) and with an album scheduled for 15 June 2009 titled These Four Walls, the forthcoming year of releases and touring is set to be a busy one for We Were Promised Jetpacks.



‘I’ve Been Thinking’

Released on 25th May 2009 (Flightpath Records)

A snarling testament to obsession, mistakes, stalking and demented cruelty, ‘I’ve Been Thinking’ is simply a song about all the things that makes love painful and addictive.  Bringing together gleeful messiness and proper pop sensibilities with the duo’s trademark combo of electronics pushed to the point of meltdown, thrashing guitars and Karen-O-in-a-bitch-fight vocals, ‘I’ve Been Thinking’ harks back to the glory days of Devo and adds a pinch of Late of the Pier.

Mariko Doi and Tony Wade collided one night under Tokyo’s neon sky, bonding over a mutual love of Blondie, Gang of Four, Link Wray, and the colour yellow.  After the first song they wrote – ‘Palookaville’ – was instantly played by the venerable John Peel they realised that maybe they were on to something. Their quickly released follow up single ‘HND in RNR’ proved them right, setting the press and industry abuzz and even getting featured on ‘Dirty Sanchez the Movie‘.  Since then they’ve toured Japan, faced down blizzards whilst touring Germany, and shared stages with the likes of Metronomy, The Hives, XX Teens and Cornelius.

No other band around today could make the music they are making, smashing Japanese and British influences to create punchy, visceral, new wave punk, all in the laudable search for “the perfect pop song”.

With “I’ve Been Thinking”, they may well have just found it…


And in Local News …….

Liverpool indie band The Sound Of Guns found themselves at the centre of a firearms scare in Wakefield on Saturday (March 28) after a misunderstanding.

The group were preparing to play the Escobar venue with Detroit Social Club, when around 30 police officers sealed off the road. They were ordered out of their van by armed officers and told to put their hands where they could be seen.

Manager Paul Finney told theWakefield Express: “The only conclusion we can draw is that there was a gang of Scousers talking about The Sound Of Guns, and it got overheard.”

A police spokesperson said: “Police were called at 6.25pm on Saturday by a man who reported seeing a man with what was believed to be a handgun in the city centre. Police attended and a full search was carried out, which included speaking to a group of men in the area who were not involved. It proved to be a false alarm – with good intent. We have now apprehended the real villains ( pictured below)  and we deny that there was any stereotyping whatsoever …..”


And Finally

The Trouble with James Allan

” I drink Bollinger instead of Buckfast,” says Glasvegas frontman James Allan

This article also contains the following gems which sees James embrace, snog and enter  “luvviedom” with gusto.  Check out these gems

“” I hate to say that but my palate has become refined”

Or  “I have found it difficult carrying the burden of those songs”

Burden ? He wants to get a grip pronto , the countries in recession and singing songs are a burden ? A BURDEN!

“Every day, I am bombarded with thoughts” Wow ! Really ? Like the rest of us arent ? Ah, but ours arent sent by the muse are they ?

And the classic up my arse statement

I feel that my focus isn’t clouded by anything. A lot of the poems I have been writing have come to me because of my clarity of that focus . I need to make sure I get them down or I forget them. Certain words are coming into my head time and again and certain moods that will sum up the next record.  As an artist, the state of mind is what makes an album and my state of mind has changed

Dear God!  I think he should read this article ………here from last weekends Guardian by the always excellent Marina Hyde. Reality Check!

Time was when entertainers knew their place. Today they run riot, adopting orphans by the pramload, extolling oddball religions and even brokering peace deals. What’s going on?”

One Bono’s enough for any civilisation surely ?

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Glasvegas-Liverpool University 29/01/2009


After reading Mr Mc Gee’s  usual tedious  hyperbole with regard to Glasvegas and their  gig in Glasgow, (here) I feel,  maybe some balance is needed . His depressingly familiar “Scotland’s  best export  since malt whiskey and Sean Connery ” is becoming  oh, so predictable that it surely hardly constitutes being termed “newsworthy?” Who knows maybe, the Glasgow gig did moisten the great mans trousers; however that was not my experience in Liverpool.  ……

Glasvegas have had their critics, in the past, over hyped , dreary, Mary Chain wanna-bes etc, etc,  but having  previously defended  them this performance left me with no small amount of egg on my face , I was actually looking forward to seeing them headlining their  biggest  ever  tour …But oh dear ,oh dear ,  tonight  at Liverpool Uni, maybe, just maybe,  I too,  caught  a glimpse of the emperors’ new clothes,  and I must confess,  I have  started to re-evaluate my feldgeling relationship with the band. For example, have we all thrust greatness upon Glasvegas  at far too early a stage in their career? Is it fair to do so ?   Do the band  believe the  hype already ? Have I been conned ?  Is James Allan Jim Kerr in waiting, or worse …?? Sadly, the  Liverpool show  was an extremely unpleasant experience from start to finish, from the badly organised venue,(as per  usual for  Liverpool Uni, which really  is one  the WORST venues in the area, Manchesters Uni is far more agreeable) to the aggressive drunken , under age White Lies fans, all pouts, shouts and stylised misery.  And all crushingly, dreary little turds to boot.

Upon entering the venue, there was a palpable sense of expectation and a tension in the air which later, sadly erupted into pockets of violence on a number of occasions. Kick offs and fist fights were developing left, right and centre, which certainly soured the occasion somewhat. Of course being threatened by a group of White Lies fans is about as intimidating as being reprimanded by John Inman armed with a feather duster, but was still, I must confess,  an irritant.

Having seen Glasvegas on a number of occasions during 2008, in smaller and better venues, I had thought there was potential  but this show just didn’t cut the mustard. It seemed to lack the sparkle and pizzazz of last year’s shows. The sound mix was as  weak as freshly strained  cabbage water and all the qualities normally associated with the band , the passion,  the heart, and the  excitement seemed strangely lacking in what  could be described as, at best,  a subdued performance. Maybe being the first night of a long tour,  the band hadn’t  quite  settled into the touring  groove, or maybe we spied the first signs that a Bono-complex  is starting to manifest itself within Mr Allan, (hopefully not, but only time will tell .) None of this mattered to the crowd, who seemed to treat Mr Allan’s mere presence on stage with the sort of reverence the Santalese reserve for their Sun God. It also appears that the “band of the people” tag that’s been thrust upon Glasvegas is now attracting the Oasis/football fan type of sub-Neanderthal, who perhaps might not quite appreciate some of the subtleties within Allan’s song writing.  It was noticeable that the line which seemed to resonate and echo around the capacious vacuum between the ears of  these drooling oak-headed oafs  was in fact,  ” liar liar liar liar liar, pants on fire.”  A line which they heartily embraced,  as if  they had discovered one  of the most insightful and deeply  meaningful lyrics  ever to be  set to popular music.

And oh dear, that cover version?  The sentiment I’m sure was entirely  genuine, a tribute to Ian McCulloch, who was apparently in the audience tonight, wearing James Allen style sunglasses no doubt, ( when they meet up it must be like an accident waiting to happen, like the time Ray Charles met Stevie Wonder ) although a cynic may think  it could also be interpreted as a  little bit of  a “indie luvvie-in”, but  if there has been a worse  cover of “The Killing Moon” I’ve yet to hear it ….  So where does it leave me and my relationship with Glasvegas?   I think it may well be  a case of “F**k You, it’s Over” as this sounded like somebody yodelling over the Mary Chains “Upside Down”, played backwards, down a well relayed via an ear trumpet. Horrid!

As for White Lies, I must confess, I did have a surreptitious love affair with the overblown  gloom-fest  that was  “Death” but  any band that cites the Killers as a massive influence should be treated with extreme caution, if not avoided altogether…Let us not forget that White Lies where not so long ago, a lighter, cuddlier, indie pop collective called Fear Of Flying a band who made a huge impression on ,erm  ….well, nobody really , and happily stated they were  influenced by  the likes of Paul Simon, The Talking Heads and (probably) Alan Sugar   …But how times have changed ….in what appears to be a cynical  cash in on the popularity of gloomy post punk angst they’ve changed their name,  started to dress in black, and produced studied, heavily stylised songs that veered towards the maudlin side of pop. You know the sort,  all about fear, dying, death, fear of dying, fear of dying a death .  Dying a death somehow seemed apt as their rather unconvincing performance left much to be desired , but hang on… whats going on??   The crowd reaction verged on  orgasmic, a  baffling response and one which can only be explained   by cheap cider, hormones a go-go  and fake ID’s. Regrettably the overall impression that just couldn’t  be dislodged , was that I had just been watching Scouting for Girls enjoying an Editors themed Karaoke night, or maybe  Keane, having a hissy fit  or if you prefer, a Matalan Joy Division for the X box generation. I suppose there are worse ways to spend a Thursday night –I just couldn’t think of any !

The whole evening left me confused, bruised and deeply disappointed.  I make no apologies for sounding negative as a night which promised so much, delivered so little.  But maybe the last word should go to my friend,  a veteran gig goer , who simply said “ Well that made  me yearn for a F*cking Phil Collins come back” He and Alan McGee may have some common ground after all ( Me ? I’ll wait for the non ironic Alan McGee revival thanks.

“Death” by White Lies Live . Does it look fun ?

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Viva Glasvegas-Glasvegas album and gig review

“Lonesome Swan” By Glasvegas

Alan McGee has described them as “the greatest Scottish band of the last 20 years,” Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand was recently quoted, reiterating,almost word for word McGee’s sentiments, a case of great minds think alike? Or fools seldom differ?  It’s is great debut of that there is no doubt, although album of the decade might just be cranking up the hyperbole a wee bit  too much, and place unnecessary pressure on the bands shoulders. The album itself discards the tired pseudo Beatles Oasis template used for so long by corporate Indie and harks back to a time before the mop-topped ones changed music forever. James Allan’s incisive, heartfelt lyrics address a wide range of issues which are very much of the here and the now, guilt, hope, regret, despair and provide a profoundly moving snap-shot of modern Britain today. “Daddy’s Gone” is a heart-wrenching indictment of the pain caused by failed relationships and absent fathers who seem to regard responsibility as tiresome,  told primarily from the kid’s perspective “All I wanted was a kick-a-bout in the park/For you to race me home when it was nearly getting dark/How I could’ve been yours, and you be mine/It could’ve been me and you until the end of time”

When the guitars gloriously crash into “Its My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry” it provides one of THE most thrilling moments in recent rock n’ roll history. The song itself is an epic tale of self loathing, guilt and infidelity which makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and quiver “…me on my knees and wondering why? /cross my heart, hope to die/its my own cheating heart that makes me cry” Allan doesn’t tackle, what you’d describe as straight forward subjects, writing a song about a social worker friend, “Geraldine,” and her relationship with her client (“when you say that I’m no good and you feel like walking/I need to make sure you know that’s just the prescription talking”) isn’t what you’d call an obvious subject for a pop song. The fact that it works beautifully, is a testament to the songwriting talent on show, a poignant reverb soaked drama that begs to be sung along to. But as stated, Allan doesn’t do the obvious, he tackles difficult, emotive issues with honesty and empathy, and whilst lyrically, he wears his heart on his sleeve, is never overtly sentimental or mawkish. His wish for a better society in “Ice-cream Van”, which has an atmosphere of Billy Braggs “Tank Park Salute” ….“ bring back the glory days/active citizenship and pure community/freedom of faith“ an ideal we should all relate to and crave.

Album opener “Flowers and Football Tops” demonstrates Allan’s rare gift of adroitly being able to deal with potentially difficult subject matter, which in less skilled hands could sound trite or clumsy. Based on a murder involving a stabbing near his own home it reflects what tabloids have labelled “ Britains knife culture.” (Allan:“I find it hard to get my head around how somebody else can harm another human”) . He also addresses within the song title, the compulsion people now seem to have to express grief publicly with vast floral tributes and football tops marking the scene of a tragedy. It’s really become a little voyeuristic, almost as if the depth of grief has to be expressed by the size of the bouquet. Private grief has almost become public property under the unblinking, puritanical eye of the media; it’s a rather disturbing trend. Look how disgracefully Kate McCann was treated by the media for not shedding tears on cue, how dare she! The GMTV viewers felt cheated, they demanded tears, real tears…she should feel their pain ! But Allan cuts through this sort of bullshit – “My baby is six feet under/just another number/my daughter without her brother/baby, they don’t need to show/its over, I know/baby, they don’t need to show flowers and football tops, I know/ my baby is gone” …. And that says it all, simply, yet beautifully.

Finally we have an album that shines like a beacon on the turbid sea of Indie -kack, one whose range, depth, scope and incandescent beauty should have the indie by numbers brigade hanging their heads in shame. This is music that matters and music that comes from the heart made by a band whose humanity shines through and who, as McGee says could well be the band who will “define a generation.”

The day after the album release I caught the band live in Liverpool, and they were on blistering form, just a pity about the venue (Yes I know Glasvegas are from Glasgow , but did the venue really have to provide a toilet that wouldn’t have looked out of place on the “Trainspotting” set? I half expected Ewan McGregor to suddenly pop up from the lavvy and say, as he wiped the shite from his eyes ,  “you got any skag, mon ?”) ….…. With a capacity of only 500, it wasn’t exactly the most comfortable of gigs, but from the moment the band struck the first chord, the less than salubrious surroundings were quickly forgotten as the audience were swept away in a swirling sonic rush of euphoria. Later, as I left the gig, I realized just how good this band are and reflected on the fact that it’s probably the last time I’d get to see them in a venue of this size… greatness beckons. On the evidence of the album and the live performances I’ve seen from them this year, it’ll be richly deserved . Viva Glasvegas !

Ps / The self titled debut album will not be the only release this year, as there is also a Christmas EP planned, which is, not surprisingly going to be released over the festive period. So far the only confirmed tracks are “Dream, Dream, Dreaming,” “Cruel Moon” and “F*** You It’s Over” (which Cliff Richard really should cover one year.) Allan explains “It’s not necessarily going to be “Merry Xmas Everyone” By Slade -It’ll be some of the moods of how I feel Christmas is for some people. There are people with different experiences at Christmas from a wide eyed kid to people for whom it is not so magical.”


“Geraldine” (live Jools Holland) By Glasvegas

“Go Square Go” By Glasvegas (liverpool 9/09/08)

-Bad sound due to me being right by the amp)


Official Site

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