With one foot caught up in the roots of rock n’ roll and the other buried firmly in the 21st century, Willy Moon sure has been shaking things up.
His ferocious clash of genre and dapper style has brought a lot of notoriety in the press and beyond. Short and bittersweet, his music bites and leaves you curious, delivering an impact worthy of the interests of Jack White. If nothing else, he is interesting. Live4ever got together at SXSW 2013 to discuss the album, the music and the man:
Over the years, the vibrant Glaswegian music scene has spawned a rich and eclectic range of talent; from Primal Scream, Orange Juice, Aztec Camera and The Alex Harvey Band through to Chvrches, Franz Ferdinand, Glasvegas and Belle & Sebastian, to name just a few.
Looking to join that impressive list are Kassidy; Glaswegian natives Lewis Andrews, Barrie James O’Neill, Chris Potter and Hamish Fingland who are beginning to make waves outside of their native Scotland.
He’s been in more bands than most of us have had hot dinners. He’s shared stages (and groupies) with everyone from Steve Marriott to Steve Van Zandt. He’s had 65 years on this Earth, and he doesn’t seem to have wasted a single day thus far.
From his days in Silverhead warming up for Deep Purple and Fleetwood Mac, through recording on Led Zeppelin’s Swan Song label, launching his ‘Rock Against Drugs’ campaign and fronting Power Station at Live Aid, Michael Des Barres is the name that fills the gaps in rock history.
Named after Sheffield suburb Crookes in order to affirm their allegiance to the Steel City, The Crookes (guitarists Daniel Hopewell and Tom Dakin, vocalist George Waite and drummer Russell Bates) are no strangers to SXSW, having been active on the festival circuit since 2008.
Shortly after the release of debut album ‘Chasing After Ghosts‘ in 2011, original guitarist Alex Saunders was replaced by Dakin, previously of Sheffield based band Silent Film Project. Work soon started on what was to become the follow-up record in 2012′s ‘Hold Fast‘. The album comprised infectious hit single ‘Afterglow‘, showcasing Waite’s plaintive yet alluring, Morrissey aping vocals, soaring over a punchy and jangling Libertines style lead guitar and a crowd pleasing ‘oh-oh-oh’ based chorus.
“There’s one thing to say that you don’t give a fuck – there’s another thing to not actually give a fuck” says Jon McClure (aka ‘The Reverend’), outspoken frontman extraordinaire of Reverend And The Makers – not one to beat about the bush, when expressing his views on things, especially music – at least, not without setting light to it first – then pissing on the branches.
“Imagine if you were a young band, now. Who are you looking at? Who says what you think? Cos you’re in a young band, you think everything’s shit…the mainstream sucks. I’m about the only motherfucker – only person in England who says it…”.
It seems like an eternity since Warwickshire based singer-songwriter Lucy Rose was best known for contributing backing vocals to Bombay Bicycle Club albums, having since forged an already promising solo career with the release of debut album ‘Like I Used To‘ back in September last year.
The songs comprising that album were endearingly relatable tales of forlorn romance which, when coupled with well translated live performances, have seen the Rose fanbase continue to blossom to the point where her name now appears ever present on the list of many notable gig and festival announcements.
The allure arguably lies not only in the delicately constructed, heart-warming melodies comprising her music to date, but also in her conduct away from the spotlight. Whether it’s regularly keeping in touch with her steadily growing number of followers on social networking sites – including a respectable public stance against ticket touts and exploitative ticketing franchises – or selling her own blend of tea as part of gig merchandise, there is something altogether down to earth about Rose which becomes further apparent in her candid demeanour during interviews.
Rose sat down with Live4ever during her recent stint at Austin, Texas’ South By Southwest festival, talking of her introduction to the event as part of her attempt to filter into a previously untapped US market. She also reveals thoughts of a contrasting experience in moving from an unsigned singer/songwriter before eventually signing to Columbia Records, making an album which has propelled her into the alternative music scene limelight on these shores, alongside revealing her plans for the future.
After first coming across the group 18 months ago as they released their first single ‘Take Turns’, Live4ever contributor Carl Stanley returns to the Manchester band for a talk with lead man Liam Faherty on line-up changes, the success of their last single ‘Rode Your Luck‘ and recent tour with city neighbours The Courteeners:
What is your initial thought when you think of the sprawling megatropolis of Los Angeles and Southern California?
One might think of the surf culture of Venice beach; The Doors playing The Whiskey A Go Go; Iggy Pop getting arrested by the LAPD along Sunset Strip (in a puke stained mini skirt) during the implosion of The Stooges, and all manner of musical poets, down the ages, making tripped out, sunshine daydreams on wax about bikini-clad babes and hot rods.
Such an environment has also been partially responsible for sculpting one Davis Fetter, and the unique place he is currently carving for himself in the musical landscape.
When Oasis’ manager stated that the band, ‘Does not exist anymore’, after an altercation between the Gallagher brothers in the bowels of a Parisian music festival in the summer of 2009, some feared the final nail in the coffin for a brand of contemporary rock & roll music which harks back to its original roots of carefree swagger, attitude and intrigue.
Talent scouts and the collective music media alike continue to search in desperation for the next guitar band that will supposedly ‘save rock & roll’, but arguably not since The Libertines, or more recently the Arctic Monkeys, have we witnessed a band able to command the attention of a nation in the manner of the Nineties Britpop-dominated music scene, when rock music transcended a basic style with anthems capable of uniting an entire generation.
In steps Cold Committee, a four-piece guitar band jointly hailing from the North Wales coastal towns of Prestatyn and Rhyl, with influences sourced from decades of past rock luminaries such as The Who and The Beatles, all the way up to the present day with the Arctic Monkeys and Oasis. The intrinsic link with Oasis in particular goes beyond merely a strong musical inspiration however, with the band having recently played a string of private in-store gigs in aid of Liam Gallagher’s Pretty Green clothing line.
Manchester group Paris Angels will release the exciting new ‘Distant Drums‘ compilation album through Stereokill Records on March 4th in memory of their late drummer Simon Worrall.
The likes of The Inspiral Carpets, Supajamma, Mark Burgess (The Sun and The Moon), Proud Mary, Elixa P and many more of Simon’s friends have contributed to the tracklist, with all profits being donated to the Hectors Fund charity set up by Clint Boon in support of the baby ward at St Mary’s Hospital.
‘Distant Drums’ offers one-off tracks and special releases such as former World Of Twist man Tony Ogden‘s ‘Girls In Color‘, and Paris Angels themselves with a gem from their ‘long lost’ album. There’s also a super-cool collaboration between Intastella‘s Spen, MC Tunes and Mani on the outrageous and energetic rap/rock stomper ‘Saturday Night‘.
Simon’s passing last year brought his former bandmates together for two special reunion shows in his memory. Performing for the first time in 20 years, Paris Angels made a triumphant return to the stage supported by a long line of artists and groups who all knew and loved Simon; a big man with an equally big character, his loss was felt by many around the city of Manchester.
Live4ever contributor Carl Stanley recently talked to a selection of artists due to feature on the album. Ex-Fall drummer and Intastella’s Spencer Birtwistle, who features alongside Mani and MC Tunes on ‘Saturday Night’, explains how this unique line up and the monster rap/rock crossover came together:
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