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.”
Victoria Park saw the band – singer Tom Meighan, guitarist Serge Pizzorno, bass guitarist Chris Edwards and drummer Ian Matthews – perform to 50,000 people; Glastonbury, including its live feed, was even larger. But as is often the case, a tidal wave which crushes the British Isles is often reduced to a ripple along the shores of America.
Oasis, who Kasabian have often lazily been compared to, were playing Madison Square Garden by the time they imploded in 2009. Arctic Monkeys have seen their stock rise over the past several years, playing large arenas in primarily support slots but looking like they belong there. Yet Kasabian, with their natural bluster and genre-mixing canon, should be even bigger. Instead, they’re selling out Boston’s Paradise Rock Club (capacity: 933) and New York City’s Terminal 5 (capacity: 3,000), and absolutely killing it.
View full gallery from Terminal 5 show
It’s been tough for Kasabian in America, an often deflating experience that’s had little to do with an inability to connect with the audience; the problem, as Meighan and Pizzorno see it, has been with the people in the States who they feel should have been working harder to get the word out.
Ian Mackinnon (vocals/guitar)
Mick McGeoch (keys)
John Boyle (bass)
Mark O’Donnell (drums)
All based in Glasgow but Mick hails from Stranraer and Mark from Mallaig.
We met each other through mutual friends really. A couple of us had played in a band before this and decided we wanted to change the way we did things, and that’s how Medicine Men came about.
Live4ever has already showcased well over 200 breaking artists during 2014, and now we’ve dipped back in to New Tunes Guide highlights, track reviews, Presents features and video premieres to revisit just 25 of the many brilliant tracks to have passed through our radar section so far this year.
Live4ever’s Essential Listening is here to share, not preach! An interactive celebration of rock and roll where your favourites can contribute. Make sure your stand-out tracks of the year so far get a deserved mention by leaving a comment below.
We’ve had veterans dipping into the solo world, seasoned mainstays releasing some of the best work of their career and, always most excitingly, brand new bands unleashing truly impressive debuts. 2014 has been undoubtedly another strong year so far, and Live4ever has once again picked out just a handful of albums for us all to revisit and reflect on as an all-too fleeting summer homes into view.
The variety is striking; from the ‘true joy and genius of great punk music’ found in OFF’s ‘Wasted Years’, to the ‘haunting, tragic air’ of ‘I Can Learn’, and the majestic under-the-radar first release from Vikesh Kapoor which dispays ‘the real America, its majesty and pride never so honestly depicted’. All this and much more is waiting in the latest edition of Live4ever’s Essential Listening series.
Live4ever’s Essential Listening is here to share, not preach! An interactive celebration of rock and roll where your favourites can contribute. Make sure your stand-out albums of the year so far get a deserved mention by leaving a comment below.
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