Browsing articles from "December, 2012"
Dec 18, 2012

Introducing: Winterhours

If you’re influenced by people like Cold War Kids, Wintersleep, Band Of Horses and Arcade Fire, and have a violin in the mix, it’s not going to be complete tosh, is it? Well, it could be, but it’s easier to be sympathetic certainly. It’s a firm footing from which to introduce a new band. Winterhours, from Winchester, fit this above description and, very pleasingly, put their own South Coast spin on it all, performing some pretty affecting, powerful and most importantly, hook-filled music.

We’ve been fortunate enough to catch them live on a couple of occasions recently (at The Borderline and The Enterprise), both times on the same bill as our very own Divers, and can confirm they’re able to do it live as well. Research informs us they’ve shared stages with the lauded likes of Cloud Control, Wolf Gang and To Kill A King, and on current form, it shouldn’t be too long before they’re mentioned in the same sentences as this bunch.

The band are kicking off 2013 with the release of a new single, entitled “Ocean Heart”, and rather good it is too. Drawing the listener in from the outset and building up to a suitably rousing finale, it sets out their stall perfectly for what could be a fruitful year for the quartet. They’re back at The Borderline in London on Saturday 2 February, which could well be one for the diary.

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Dec 9, 2012

Patrick Watson, The Band Not The Man, at The Wexner Center

Last Tuesday Patrick Watson performed at The Wexner Center to a far from sold-out crowd, likely due to both Smashing Pumpkins AND King Khan and the BBQ Show competing for the relatively limited Columbus music market.

Nevertheless, those in attendance seemed to be in the same mindset of this writer, eagerly awaiting this rare talent for months in advance. However, before offering any sort of critical review or insight into the show itself whatsoever, watch the performance of “Adventures in Your Own Backyard” from the evening.

What surprised me most from the show was the elaborate and seemingly improvisational jazz elements that seemed to fill every empty space throughout the entire performance. It was as if the words from Watson’s mouth would make their way across the stage, ignored by everyone else, but inhaled by the drummer and transposed into his sticks manifesting into an intangible, voiceless, ad-hoc harmony.

These elements, in addition to an obvious familiarity with each individuals’ immense talents, led to a number intimate moments onstage…

Nevertheless, regardless of the exceptional talent that is Patrick Watson, one could not help but draw some comparisons to their much more famous Canadian experimental/indie counterparts. While Patrick Watson, the band not the man, accomplishes much more than should ever be expected from a quintet, their audience engagement tactics lack a bit of originality. Without warrant, it often appears that bands feel the need to do more than play great music, which Patrick Watson easily accomplishes. However, when these tactics are obviously planned it takes away from an otherwise flawless performance. If you’re still perplexed as to what this is referring to, check out the video below from the first of two encore performances of the night, but absolutely still go see them live!

Dec 6, 2012

Introducing: Palace

Now then. Anyone who became acquainted with our new music blog over the last year may well have realised it’s been on a small hiatus since the summer. Apologies to any regular readers – other projects took over for a bit. However, we’ve been wanting to resurrect it for a while, and after hearing new London band Palace, decided there is indeed no time like the present.

Palace’s first demos were posted online over the summer under the guise of their singer Leo Wyndham, and displayed a knack for a great tune and bags of promise. Now Leo has recruited a full band (Wilby, Matt and Rupert, says Facebook), performed some new recordings with said members, and the results are startlingly good.

It’s blissed out, dark and atmospheric folk driven blues, with nods to early Kings Of Leon (see “Trani” or Milk” especially), Jeff Buckley and Dan Auerbach. “I Want What You Got” in particular is refreshingly timeless in its disdain for current trends, carried by Wyndham’s slightly lackadaisical but always emotive vocal. The songs suggest a band who have been together for much longer than they have, and a maturity well beyond their years.

Their first gig proper happened on Tuesday night, where they opened for James Iha (of Smashing Pumpkins fame) at Bush Hall. We weren’t there, unfortunately, but have it on good authority it was something that people will be talking about some time from now. We’ll be damn sure to get down to one of the next ones – they tread the boards at The Wreck in Camberwell this Friday (tomorrow), and then at Power’s Bar in Kilburn on Wednesday 19 December.

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