Music Notes – November – 2015

EntertainmentMusic Reviews

You may not have heard of Elle King. However, guarantee that this time next year she’ll be a name on everybody’s lips. Already surging into the Top 20 of the Billboard charts in America with the single “Ex’s And Ho’s” it will not be long before people in the UK are clamouring to see her and latch on to this extraordinary artist. “I’m nervous about success in the UK” she explains “I want it here more than I do at home”. After a raucous, riotous, passionate and stunning support slot on the James Bay tour she needn’t worry about that. Her record “Love Stuff” will see her become a success in this country. It is, quite simply, one of the best records of the past twenty odd years. Full of honesty. What you hear is almost a confession set to very fine melodies that span a multitude of genres. It is a record that you cannot stop listening to because it gives you something different on every play. “It is a record made on my terms” she says and it is a record that should see a fountain of critical acclaim and awards. Remember where you read about her first when she’s selling out arenas all over the country!
With the festival season over, one that is ongoing and I highly recommend is this urban festival: Beacons Metro ongoing over the next six weeks at various venues including the new, and rather swish, Headrow House: Ex Hex, U.S. Girls and Everything Everything are just three of the bands playing the festival which runs into December:
Brighton based band Black Honey have set the standard for the rest with a raw, loud sweaty set at the new venue. This is a band that are going places and 2016 will be a big year for them no doubt, if the evidence of their performance and their new record Sweet Taste Of Darkness is anything to go by. Watch out for them at Download in 2016!
However, it is in the main back to the old trusted venues for now: New Leeds band Vitamin are touring the country but pleasingly have found time to play a residency at Brudenell Social Club on or around the 10th of each month. If it is anything like the launch party for the rather excellent record “To Believe” then it is going to be huge fun packed with free sweets and rather delicious tunes!

Eliza and the Bear didn’t plan to be a band. Not a real band, at any rate. The Essex quintet had no intention of releasing records, never mind making an album. They had no wish to play gigs, let alone tour. When they got together in the autumn of 2011, all five had given up trying to make it as musicians, Hence, the band began as a hobby, a weekly meet-up of mates now in their early 20s who still loved making music, but only for fun. Which is important to know because it’s key to understanding their sound. It’s why their songs are so joyous and their lyrics life-affirming. Which came through to the packed audience in Leeds on their recent UK tour. Among the songs paraded were a couple that surprised the band’s long time fans including the beautifully broody, strings accompanied ‘I’m On Your Side’. Included, of course, were fan favourites that have long been part of the band’s live set, among them ‘Brother’s Boat’, album opener ‘Friends’ and ‘Upon The North’.
However EATB were almost upstaged by their rather excellent support. The LaFontaines – the UK’s finest party band – who released their much acclaimed debut album ‘Class’ in June. As Scotland’s biggest independent band, The LaFontaines have always followed their own path and the album is no different. The boisterous mob took to adventuring around the Brudenell with a set full of humour and surprises: They produced a mixture of rap with alternative rock and pop, which sounds like it shouldn’t work but is in fact extremely catchy and something very different to the sound that other bands produce. Lead singer Kerr said ‘I don’t know what genre it fits in but people like it’. Brudenell certainly did!

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