Jack Garratt, Phase, Out Now

JG Photo

Reviewed by James Lavender

It is not unreasonable to say that even at this early stage of the year, the debut album from Buckinghamshire singer-songwriter Jack Garratt is one of the most eagerly anticipated albums in British pop music.

Continue reading

Basia Bulat – Good Advice

 

Reviewed by Andrew Scott

Singer songwriter Basia Bulat may be little known here in the UK but is an established star in her native Canada. Her previous two albums, 2010’s Heart of My Own and 2013’s ‘Tall Tall Shadow were both nominated for the Polaris Music Price, Canada’s equivalent of the Mercury Music Price. The latest release, Good Advice, sees her develop her sound and build on her previous successes.

Continue reading

Foals, Manchester MEN Arena, 13.02.16

Reviewed by James Lavender

As mentioned in a previous review, I spoke about two bands being at the forefront of British alternative music, Alt-J was one, and now we focus on Foals. Whereas Alt-J have the arty kids, these guys attract the edgy rock kids and they were out in force in Manchester on a Saturday night.

Continue reading

David Bowie, Blackstar, Out Now

Reviewed by James Lavender

When I first heard David Bowie’s Blackstar, released on his 69th birthday on Friday 8th January, I developed my own opinions of it and was going to write the review in due course. However, with his sad passing, I cannot write it as I was meant to. The fact is that this is Bowie’s final album; his farewell message to the world; his epitaph. This has meant that this review isn’t just judging the work on its own merits; it will have taken on a bigger significance about how this amazing man changed pop music forever.

Continue reading

Emilie & Ogden, 10 000, Out Now

Reviewed by James Lavender

‘Emilie’ is Emilie Kahn, a Canadian singer-songwriter, and ‘Ogden’ is her harp. Not since Echo and the Bunnymen has an artist or group included their musical instrument in their name. Using Ogden as her starting point, Emilie Kahn has crafted a relaxed, willowy album which is something to be savoured.

Continue reading

Alt-J, Capital FM Arena, Nottingham, 08.12.2015

Reviewed by James Lavender

In recent years, there have been two alternative rock bands that have managed to reach mainstream audiences and who look like they are going to be staying around. They are Foals and Alt-J. Whilst the former are known more for rocking out, the latter have come up with some of the most original, challenging and intricate indie pop music of the moment. Ever since winning the Mercury Music Prize in 2012 for their debut album An Awesome Wave, they have gone from strength to strength. After a successful summer touring the festival circuit, the highlight of which being a slot on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury, they have been doing an Autumn/Winter tour which has culminated in the final night at the Capital FM Arena in Nottingham.

Continue reading

Rare Monk – Rare Monk EP

Reviewed By Andrew Scott

 

Very rarely does a band come along whose sound perfectly complements their subject matter. Rare Monk, from Portland, Oregon have crafted an epic sounding blend of indie rock that perfectly captures the grandiose themes of their songs. Rare Monk are a band with a message. The tracks on the newly released EP deal with the effects of global warming, namely rising tides, forest fires and drought and the lack of apathy for the Earth’s future.

Continue reading

Lonely The Brave, Rescue Rooms, Nottingham, 19.11.2015

Reviewed by James Lavender

Readers, rather than giving you the usual review of a performance, I thought I would try something a bit different. Lonely The Brave had taken their latest tour to The Rescue Rooms, and supporting them were supported by heavy, rock riffers Black Peaks. Apart from the music, there was something which really struck me about the two bands, and that was the stage-presence of their lead singers. Continue reading

The Sunshine Underground, The Venue, Derby, 29.10.15

Reviewed by James Lavender

There are many indie bands out there who plug away and have a loyal fan-base to support them at every gig. These are the ones who are in it for the music and nothing more. The Sunshine Underground are one of them. Constantly touring, they have a new album coming out next year.

Continue reading