Another year, another twelve months when hundreds of bands have been showcased on Live4ever via reviews, New Tunes Guides, interviews and Presents features.
Here, our editor Dave Smith has picked out 20 of the best for you to revisit or perhaps discover for the first time, be it the ‘naive enthusiasm’ of Wild Smiles, the ‘raucous, foot-to-the-floor, blink-and-you’ll-miss singles’ of Slaves, or the ‘sense of joy, of wonderment’ that underpins Trampolene‘s ‘I Don’t Know‘. Tomorrow, Trampolene will be talking us through ‘I Don’t Know’s origins and their plans for 2015.
Don’t forget, you can catch up with our Essential Listening 2014 series so far at this link. The final installment, The Albums, is coming next week.
Live4ever’s 2014 Essential Listening series continues today with The Videos, as selected by our Emmy award winning founder Paul Bachmann. Of particular note is the exceptional editing on The Kooks‘ ‘Down‘, the stunning visuals of Jack White‘s ‘Lazaretto‘, and the plain, spoken word simplicity of ‘Artwork Of Youth‘ by Trampolene, which clearly shows you don’t need a ton of money to produce a great music video. You can watch all the videos in full on Live4ever by clicking on each individual link.
Catch up with the first in this year’s look-back, The Gigs, right here and stay tuned next week as the Essential Listening series continues with 20 of our favourite tracks of 2014.
In the build-up to Christmas you’ll find videos selected by our award winning founder Paul Bachmann, tracks picked out by editor Dave Smith, and favourite albums personally selected by our staff as Live4ever’s Essential Listening 2014 series gets underway today. To start, our writers and photographers have put their collective heads together to help shape our Essential Gigs of the year, showcasing live reviews, galleries and interviews from a year of Live4ever featured shows in both the US and UK.
Amongst those making the cut is the ‘intimacy and skeletal delivery’ of Jake Bugg live in New York, The Jim Jones Revue saying farewell by ‘grabbing the lapels and screaming directly into the crowd’ at the Leeds Brudenell Social Club, and Embrace performing on an ‘emotionally-charged night’ upon their return to Manchester. You can discover the features in all their glorious entireties by clicking on each individual link.
As well as me we have Sonny Greaves on drums, Ali Hetherington on bass and piano, Tom Julian-Jones on harmonica and Chloee Christmas on backing vocals.
During the past twenty five years McNamee has dabbled in music, management, and most recently film with outstanding success. The Bronx native has been described as ‘the epitome of a NYC badass'; wherever he goes he brings a hardworking attitude and an effortlessly cool demeanor with him.
By way of introduction, if it’s needed, McNamee is perhaps best known as the director of operations at New York City’s world famous Webster Hall venue. He is also the owner and visionary behind East Village Social – a bar on St. Marks Place and, in addition to being a successful entrepreneur, he now also has a budding acting career and will feature as a co-star on an episode of USA Network’s ‘White Collar’.
It’s one of the most apocryphal gig stories of all time: the Sex Pistols‘ first visit to Manchester, on June 4th 1976, was played to an audience which included the likes of Howard Devoto, Peter Hook, Bernard Sumner, in fact, anyone who was to become anyone in the city’s incendiary new musical landscape.
From that full stop came a dominance of British music that was to span post-punk to acid house and everything in between, all delivered with an acidic Northern deadpan and a sneering distrust of all things metropolitan. It was a gig which unquestionably architected two decades of British music psyche.
Across the Pennines however, the impact of the Pistols’ dates in places like Leeds (one of the few gigs not cancelled on the Never Mind The Bollocks tour), Huddersfield, Keighley and Doncaster was less profound. True, both Gang Of Four and The Mekons were inspired indirectly by punk’s brief flurry of free-thinking, but for the most part of the decade that followed the invasion of John Lydon‘s ‘The Idiot-Savant’ brand of anarchism, the area remained a backwater in almost every sense of the word.
Throughout those barren years of being goaded from down the M62 with disparaging comments about Black Lace and The Grumbleweeds, The Wedding Present were pretty much the only thing worth living for. A four piece consisting of singer/guitarist David Gedge, Shaun Charman, Keith Gregory and Pete ‘Grapper’ Solowka, they were the first band on which Leeds especially could pin its hopes. An act with the hardcore ferocity of Husker Du but the pathos of Crossroads, they were also darlings of John Peel like The Undertones were, but still underground enough to be playing to 200 people in a pub back room whilst stoically releasing records on their own label. DIY but partially made so by a lack of options.
Jack Jones – Guitar and lead vocals.
Wayne Thomas – Bass and vocals.
Kyle Williams – Drums, vocals and piano (and violin after a few drinks).
Marcus (vocals, guitar), Liam (guitar), Nic (bass) and Nath (drums).
Tarek (drums and lead vocals)
Pete (rhythm guitar that chugs like a train and vocals)
Andy (surf guitar with all the whammy you can imagine)
James (bass and vocals)
Johnny: “I play the drums, Jordan is our bass player and lead vocalist. Dan and James on guitars.”
Jordan: “We’re all from Tallaght, south Dublin.”
James: “I’ve known Johnny all my life, Johnny went to school with Jordan, and Dan is a friend of a friend. We were all into the same stuff – same music, clothes – so it made sense.”
Dan: “We all wanted this for a long time. Two years ago we got together and decided to give it a proper go.”
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