Friday, 31 May 2013

Seen It>> Fucked Up & Titus Andronicus at Electric Ballroom, May 30 2013

Three of North American punk’s most exciting young bands teamed up for a UK wide tour, spanning Bristol, Leeds, Glasgow, Manchester and finally London, in between dates at both Primavera Sounds.

First up was Toronto’s METZ, who garnered comparisons to the likes of Melvins and Drive Like Jehu with the release of their debut self-titled album last year. The power trio threatened to destroy the eardrums of everyone present with their relentless loud-fuzz anthems such as “Wasted”, “Headache” and “Wet Blanket”, making a similar racket to their forbearers like Sonic Youth and Big Black.

New Jersey’s beer brawling Shakespearean punks Titus Andronicus followed, who are a combination of The Pogues, The Replacements and with a dash of Springsteen for afters. Opener “Fear and Loathing in Mahwah, NJ” had everyone awaiting to chant “FUCK YOU!”, before “A More Perfect Union” had everyone launching into a moshing frenzy. The sweaty atmosphere inside saw frontman Patrick Stickles remove his top to unveil a Lil Wayne t-shirt he’d purchased from Camden market. “Titus Andronicus vs. The Absurd Universe (3RD Round KO)”, from last year’s third album, Local Business, took on a hardcore flavour, reminiscent of early Replacements, whilst the self-titled loser anthem “Titus Andronicus”, saw Stickles go into the crowd, with everyone in unison chanting “Your life is over”, like it’s a badge of honour. The 14-minute epic “The Battle of Hampton Roads”, earned a brief rest bite, before the climatic and chaotic ending. The quintet ended on Neil Young’s classic “Rockin’ in the Free World”, which was dedicated to the Canadian friendly line-up, and saw members of Metz and Fucked Up join in.

Third and finally, Toronto’s hardcore punks Fucked Up closed the show. If you were expecting the audience to be knackered by that point, then opener “Let Her Rest” paid rest to those fears, as a giant pit opened up, with frontman Pink Eyes joining them, before “Queens of Hearts” had everyone singing along. The growling Pink Eyes (or Damian Abraham to his mother) gave a shout-out to Camden’s finest punk record store All Ages Records, before dedicating “I Hate Summer” to anyone who’s ever suffered from tormentors about weight issues or else. They closed with “Police” and “The Other Shoe”, the latter leading a chorus of “dying on the inside” from the crowd. They returned from the encore with “Two Snakes”, which Pink Eyes dedicated to the audience member who shouted out “I hate weed”.

A carnage and chaotic triple bill that delivered on its promise, it will be hard-pressed to find a better line up for a gig this year. 

Monday, 27 May 2013

Seen It>> Primavera Sound 2013, May 22-26 Parc Del Forum, Barcelona

Thursday, 23 May>>
Tame Impala>>The Australians were at Primavera promoting Lonerism, which was one of 20102's most acclaimed albums. Their psychedelic fuzz set included "Elephant" and "Apocalyptic Dreams" on the Heineken Stage.

Dinosaur Jr>>The American alternative legends were back at Primavera, but without drummer Murph, after the release of I Bet On Sky in 2012. They gave a tour round their impressive back catalogue, including "Lung", "Watch The Corners", "Fell the Pain", "Freak Scene", and rounded off their set with an appearance from Pink Eyes of Fucked Up, to cover Last Rights, a Boston hardcore band.

The Postal Service>>Tears aplenty were at the Heineken Stage, to witness the return of The Postal Service. Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard's electronic side-project had reformed after 10 years from their only album Give Up was released, which was played in full. 

Grizzly Bear>>A later than scheduled appearance meant only a glimpse of the Brooklyn indie rockers, which included songs from 2012's Shields, including "Speak in Rounds" and "Sleeping Ute". 

Fucked Up>>On the more intimate Pitchfork Stage, were Toronto hardcore band Fucked Up. With no new album to promote, the band were just here to show everyone how to rock out with fury, the set included opener "Queen of Hearts", "The Other Shoes" and "David Comes to Life".

Friday, 24 May>>
The Breeders>>The Ohio based band, featuring Pixies bassist Kim Deal and her twin sister Kelley, were playing their 20-year-old classic The Last Splash in full, which meant crowd favourite "Cannonball" made an early appearance in the set. 

Shellac>>Steve Albini's band are regulars at Primavera, and the show just why with a loud, blistering set that included "Ghosts" and "Watch Song".

The Jesus and Mary Chain>>The Scottish alternative rock band were a rare sight on the festival line ups of 2013, and they were a big pull for the Primavera audience. Their set included "Halfway to Crazy", "Some Candy Talking" and "Just Like Honey", where they were joined by Bilinda Butcher from My Bloody Valentine. 

Blur>>The Britpoppers are headlining festival all over Europe this summer, with a stomping and atmospheric delve through their back catalogue, including "Tender", "Parklife" and opener "Girls and Boys".

Titus Andronicus>>New Jersey's beer brawling punks Titus Andronicus were back at Primavera, after last year's release Local Business. Their manic beer-fulled anthems such as "No Future Part III" and "Titus Andronicus" got the repetitive fist pumping chants that they deserve, "You Will Always Be A Loser" and "Your Life is Over" respectively. The rowdy crowd were treated to new tracks such as "Still Life With Hot Deuce and Silver Platter" and "In a Big City", along with classics "Upon Viewing Bruegel's 'Landscape with the Fall of Icarus'" and "My Time Outside the Womb". 

Saturday, 25 May>>
Thee Oh Sees>>The quarter from San Francisco had a fast paced and eventful set, that saw frontman John Dwyer arguing with security guards over their handling of the rowdy crowd. Their psychedelic garage rock featured the new release of Floating Coffin, including "Strawberries 1+2" and "Minatuor". 

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds>>Nick Cave was at Primavera with his Bad Seeds in tow. They gave a pulsating delivery through his ethereal back catalogue, including "Jubilee Street", "Jack the Ripper" and of course, "Red Right Hand."

My Bloody Valentine>>Festival and Heineken stage closers My Bloody Valentine, drew a somewhat modest crowd. Their loud guitars had blocked out Kevin Sheilds' vocals, which caused a problem. Their set included songs from the new record, mbv, "Only Tomorrow" and "Wonder 2" and their first EP You Made Me Realise, "Slow" and the self-titled track. 

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Incoming>>Titus Andronicus - "The Dog"

New Jersey punks Titus Andronicus, have given us a slice of summer thanks to their Record Store Day split, "I've Got A Date Tonight/The Dog". The latter is a two minute punk jam, with vocals provided by drummer Eric Harm. It is more lo-fi than their recent third album Local Business, with an 80s punk sound similar to the likes of Cock Sparrer and The Replacements.

The five-piece will be hitting the UK at the end of the month, alongside Fucked Up and Metz, so make sure to catch them. Dates are:

Sun 26 May 2013, Bristol, The Fleece
Mon 27 May 2013,  Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
Tue 28 May 2013, Glasgow, SWG3
Wed 29 May 2013, Manchester, Soundcontrol
Thu 30 May 2013, London, Electric Ballroom