andy peterson Tour and Music News

Album Review: Tourists – Another State

Posted on 26 Nov 2020 at 8:18am

The debut Tourists album is out now on Modern Sky UK.

It’s not clear whether Tourists named themselves ironically or not.

From the sleepy retirement destination of Torquay, about as far as you can get from the music industry’s zeitgeist as possible, under normal circumstances in the summer months of the year it’s overrun with just those kinds of visitors, celebrating the rustic paraphernalia of an English seaside town.

Perhaps the truth though is a little more complicated. A quintet who have gradually evolved into something quite musically striking, the overriding impression from their debut album is that of innocents trying to escape from themselves, their work layered and enigmatic, whilst in singer James Coile they possess a frontman with a dream-giving voice.

Tourists have made themselves a composite of well-thumbed influences – The Cure, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Stone Roses, The Wild Swans – but whilst in some ways this is familiar sonic territory, it’s often hard to see where the old times are lost and the new era begins.

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Album Review: The Jacques – The Four Five Three

Posted on 23 Nov 2020 at 8:42am

The Jacques spread the net wide on their debut album.

Five years is a long time in any field of the arts, but some transformations still happen slowly even if they’re away from the light.

When in 2015 we last featured The Jacques, covering their Artful Dodger EP, the influence of mid-noughties’ indie rock was there for anyone to hear, leaving the quartet in amongst the indie landfill cynics and those who still had a weakness for young fashioned traditional virtues.

Half a decade later, their debut album is set to confound anybody reading old reviews eager to apply some labels – they’ve been described as ‘gritty, distorted, lush, dreamy, discordant, infectious, inventive, evocative, romantic and ludicrous’, all terms which could variously be applied with arrow-like accuracy where certain passages of it are concerned.

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Album Review: Cabaret Voltaire – Shadow Of Fear

Posted on 20 Nov 2020 at 8:00am

Richard H. Kirk returns with Cabaret Voltaire for a first new album in over 25 years.

Depeche Mode’s September 1981 Top Of The Pops performance of Just Can’t Get Enough was one that cemented their reputation as unlikely synth-pop heartthrobs.

But it also sent a clear message to an admiring nation that this ‘new’ instrument was not only here to stay, but could make happy, joyous music that even the stiffs could totally endorse.

In Sheffield, things were different.

Cut off by more than just geography, the region was still heavily industrial, its teetering prosperity held in steel, coal and manufacturing; the mills clanked all night and it was long rumoured that on some days an acrid smell hung over the city, released from unidentified chemical by-products.

Cabaret Voltaire began in 1973, well before punk, in the guise of a multi-media art project that took inspiration from Dadaism, literary dystopians like William Burroughs and other lysergic nightmares.

By the start of the next decade, the now duo of Stephen Mallinder and Richard H. Kirk had also begun experimenting with samplers and keyboards, their work – a clattering, paranoid overture at the fringes of dance music – a long way away from daytime radio accessibility.

Notwithstanding, albums like The Crackdown earned them a significant trans-Atlantic cult following, one loyal even after they shifted towards house music with 1990’s Groovy, Laidback & Nasty.

The last album under the CV banner was released four years later, after which Mallinder departed.

Album Review: The War On Drugs – LIVE DRUGS

Posted on 19 Nov 2020 at 7:46am

‘Over 40 hard drives of recorded shows’ have gone into The War On Drugs’ first live album.

Whether you gamble or not, you have to admit that the post-millennial odds of acts like Tame Impala and The War On Drugs becoming some of the planet’s most successful would’ve been pretty long.

Yet here we are, TI’s Kevin Parker the global king of the sad banger, and whilst Adam Granduciel’s had to take his share of critical lumps – Direr Straits, Springsteen lite etc – the last word has unquestionably been his.

We’re in a momentous era however where the live album (the clue being in the LIVE DRUGS title) is something of a double conceit, moments ripped from an event that you probably weren’t at and, for the latter part of the year, something most could only experience remotely on a screen.

Granduciel neatly side-steps this though by relying not on one performance but many, the ten tracks here offered up from different shows stored amongst the 40 hard drives that make up a personal chronicle across continents and years.

Album Review: The Cribs – Night Network

Posted on 13 Nov 2020 at 8:06am

The Cribs are back with a bang on their eighth studio album.

Although hailing from the fiercely independent nearby city of Wakefield, The Cribs know that whilst the distance between Leeds’ now defunct Cockpit venue and its arena might only be a couple of miles in real life, in practical terms for most bands it might as well be measured in light years.

The Jarmans, however, can look back on making that journey, from the time of their first gigs spent in the dingy subterranean environs beneath a railway arch, to headlining somewhere many times the size in 2017 (and still turning up in a van).

If that naturally marked something of a career apex and full stop, what happened afterwards was the opposite as legal wrangles following a split with their management company effectively left The Cribs under an embargo which nearly caused them to stop working altogether.

Enter the world’s nicest frontman Dave Grohl, who agreed to let the trio use his studio to make fresh music, and following a Christmas family get together during which the brothers wrote songs to record we now have Night Network, a rocket ship with its nose pointing straight out of the trauma, one that emphatically yells: ‘We’re back’.

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Album Review: Pole – Fading

Posted on 12 Nov 2020 at 8:09am

Pole returns to Mute for first album since 2015’s Wald.

Of all the many rabbit holes to go down when venturing into the world of electronic music, few go deeper than the burrow that leads to dub techno, the floor-rattling hybrid of scenes built in Detroit, Michigan and Kingston, Jamaica.

As a sound in Britain, Alex Patterson and The Orb commercialised it, whilst the late Andrew Wetherall predictably bent out new shapes from the bleeps and bass on several criminally underrated albums, recording as Two Lone Swordsman.

Not many countries have embraced techno more enthusiastically than Germany, however.

As an example, the influence of Stefan Betke’s twenty-five-year-plus career as Pole – named after a broken Waldorf 4-Pole filter that gave his earliest music its distinctive sound – was recognised earlier this year with the reissue his first three albums as one vast tract of retro-minimalism.

If more recent output has seen a shift from this glitchy pop and hiss-filled base, Fading partially retrieves it, diligently using, Betke says, threads from those older works, retaining connection.

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Album Review: Kerbdog – Kerbdog / On The Turn vinyl reissues

Posted on 09 Nov 2020 at 8:01am

Autumn, 1992. Seattle outsiders Nirvana’s second album Nevermind – a high octane mix of hardcore, punk and buried strains of ironic pop – is not only the biggest selling album in the Western Hemisphere, but has also with it ushered in success for a phalanx of loosely associated outfits such as Pearl Jam and Alice In Chains.

At a stroke, most British guitar acts are either wiped out by this dinosaur comet or forced to rethink their approach; if you weren’t acting like you were a nobody, you couldn’t be a somebody.

It wasn’t that the UK lacked an indigenous noise-rock scene, far from it, but whilst Kurt Cobain openly professed his undying love for Scottish C-86ers The Vaselines, the likes of Silverfish, Leatherface and Mint 400 just didn’t have his pretty blue eyes or songwriting hooks. In a peculiar twist of fate, the two bands who arguably profited most from the attempt to sell grunge back to its perpetrators were both Irish: at their peak, Therapy?, a trio from the north, sold over a million copies of their second album Troublegum whilst from the south, Kerbdog signed to a major label amongst an unseemly scramble for bands who could credibly see themselves as noise-rock.

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Album Review: The Last Dinosaur – Wholeness

Posted on 02 Nov 2020 at 8:08am

Slightly ahead of the curve when released in its exploration of the complex relationships between creativity, art and mental health, The Last Dinosaur’s 2017 album The Nothing was a labour of more than love for its creator Jamie Cameron, as he confronted the traumatic personal legacies of both a friend’s sudden death and his parents’ unhappy divorce.

What should however have been a cathartic unburdening proved merely to be a plateau; Cameron soldiered on, but laden still with masses of emotional backwash, beginning even to doubt the validity of his work despite the blanket praise it had received, and considering seriously a withdrawal from music completely.

At twenty-six-minutes long, Wholeness doesn’t signal much beyond a toe being dipped into the icy, sometimes hellish waters of a new decade, but working with his usual collaborators – Rachel Lanskey (viola), Luke Hayden (piano) and Lewis Daniel (woodwind and brass) – Cameron still shyly offers up fragments of what’s made his work so cherished in certain quarters.

Review: Bring Me The Horizon – Post Human: Survival Horror EP

Posted on 30 Oct 2020 at 8:59am

It could be argued that Bring Me The Horizon have forever been shedding skins regardless of the continuously tightening grip the current pandemic has on the live part of the global music industry.

The Sheffield quintet’s sixth and last album, ‘amo’, proved to be one of the most decisive forward steps on this relentless journey, one on which they’ve consciously abandoned their screamo/metalcore beginnings and alienated plenty of long-term fans in the process.

Now is still now, of course; instead of creating a new album the band have announced they’ll release four EPs instead, dropping new music – whatever it sounds like – when they want. It’s a needed release valve.

Album Review: This Is The Kit – Off Off On

Posted on 29 Oct 2020 at 8:59am

Recently, a national news outlet ran a piece on how folk music has regained its footing at grassroots level after being hijacked by waistcoated impostors such as Mumford & Sons for profit. Folk is, they were attempting to point out, just as linked to communities and the people in them as any movement begun on any street.

This Is The Kit’s Kate Stables appeared in the piece, having been bracketed in amongst a cluster of acts who’ve kept the movement’s hearth lit whilst the Trustafarians made it briefly accessible to festival audiences. Off Off On is (in the least possessive sense) her band’s fifth album and one that deals with very modern issues as opposed to the blunted blandishments of the recent past.

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