Monthy Mixtapes: June 2007

My Mixtape

Mixtape#6 – June 07
1, Black Stone Cherry – Lonely Train … Great deep south amerianca meld of metal, alt-rock and classic rock riffage
2, Trans Am – Conspiracy Of The Gods … Infectious instrumental dance/rock crossover with big guitars and a ferocious drum beat
3, The KBC – Not Anymore … New band to watch for, their elecrock sound is very cool these days
4, Chris Cornell – Billie Jean … Strange covre version from one of rocks best vocalists
5, 1990s – You Made Me Like It … Franz Ferdinand championed scots on their best form
6, Apartment – Pressures… Great melodic drifty indie track from an exciting new group
7, Honorary Title – One Week … Bittersweet ballad from this US duo
8, QOTSA – 3s & 7s … My Fav track from the Queen’s new album
9, White Stripes – Conquest … Mexican themed track scuzz blues showcasing the stranger side of the Stripes, Great!
10, Rose Hill Drive – Sneak Out … Put on a Mammoth show at Hyde Park Calling!
11, Dinosaur Jr – Pick Me Up … Dino Jr. are back, and better than ever
12, Pigeon Detectives – Romantic Type … More new music this time from these Libertine influenced yorkshiremen
13, Jimi Hendrix – Voodoo Chile … Heard 2 covers of this in Hyde Park, nothing quite beats the original
14, Aerosmith – Cryin’ … Prompted a huge singalong to this classic ballad!!
15, Street Dogs – Back to The World … Pop-Punker for June, with an anti-war message

Followed The Skyway…

Apples in Stereo, Chow Chow @ Bush Hall, Sheperds Bush, London
25th May 2007

I’m on a mission to get to as many different gig venues during my time working in the capital and i can tick another off my list after tonight. Bush hall is out past Sheperds Bush and is a very quaint setting for live music. Steeped in history this refurbished venue is large enough to attract a decent size crowd but intimate enough so that the view is good and what with it going no-smoking pre the July 1st ban, I give this posh little hall a big thumbs up.

I was shocked at the sheer crapness of the support acts name, Chow Chow. Sounds more like a name you would give your pet ferret than a band. I caught their opening track from the small bar area out the back, but to be honest it sounded very razorlight-esque aka crap! After the strange approval of Mr Flowers and The Docktor I ventured inside to find a semi-chav (tongue-in-cheek, maybe?) band larking around with vocoders, keyboard loops and psychedelic thrash guitars. Somehow despite early indicators they were actually pretty good, need to work on songwriting but musically they were great. Mmnnn…those words tasted good!

Chow Chow
Chow Chow

So to the Apples in Stereo who are riding high on the praise for their latest album New Magnetic Wonder. Out stepped an extremely comical guy dressed in what can only be described as a spacesuit designed by a 6 year old with collars you could go hang-gliding on, silver goggles and all. He was soon joined by the remainder of the band who were somewhat less comically dressed, although the singers voice hasn’t broken yet and second keyboardist looked like a ‘TISWAS’ era Chris Tarrant.

The Apples In Stereo
The Apples In Stereo

The pop was out in force and the unrelenting happiness spread joy over all present, The high pitched lead vocals were spot on as were the guitarists rhythm playing. Standout tracks were the pop-perfect “Energy”, “Skyway” and the ever so short but corny vocoder abuse of “Janie Don’t You Worry”.

Man walks into a bar, barman says to the man, “Why do you have steering wheel down your pants?” man replies “I dunno, but its driving me nuts” was a semi-amusing interlude from the lead singer Rob Schneider who really shouldn’t ever tell jokes for a living. It was this kind of self ridiculing humor which makes this band even more likable and fun to watch. This was an all out happiness assault which instead of attacking you full in the face, gently tickles your nose, gives you a hug and skips of singing zip-e-de-doo-da. A master class in pop was played here and it was great.

The Apples In Stereo

Being grown up, isn’t half as fun as growing up

The Ataris, Last Days of April @ Mean Fiddler, London
4th May 2007

After a very last minute decision, me and a workmate Pete, headed out of the city and down to the west end to catch the Atari’s at the intimate Mean Fiddler. I was dubious about tonight’s show. Firstly their latest album was a big miss for me, and probably for any other fan who enjoyed earlier albums Their new indie edge was very blunt and well worth avoiding. Secondly was the support act…

Last Days Of April, are another aboard the train of mellow indie bands with no real cut or thrust for anything catchy or fun. Their songs tended to plod along and with a weak vocalist thrown into the mix, this didn’t make for the best concoction. So with these guys and their deliberate indie’ness, I was dreading The Atari’s ruining my opinion of the happy go lucky Californian punk they have trademarked for years.

The Ataris

When The Atari’s first paused for breath, it was after they had rattled through a supposed new track. This was encouraging as it was good and I couldn’t tell the difference between new and old. Even better was to come as lead singer Kris Roe garbled “Were gonna play some new stuff, and lots of old stuff” much to the crowd obvious delight. True to their word they did just that. There were plenty of recognizable tracks from albums gone by as well as fresh sounding indie/punk. Much to my delight they played a couple of tracks from my favorite Atari’s album So Long Astoria. This featured “In This Diary”, a fiery spark pop-punk track dedicated to friends and good times as well as the set closer album titled ‘So long Astoria”. For veterans of 6 albums they still love to rock to the live crowds, feeding off the energy of the mosh pit.

The Ataris

After tonight I can unequivocally say that, The Atari’s are still a high octane punk-pop beast of epic proportions.

Well, Well, Look what the cat dragged in

Milburn, One Night Only @ Chinnerys, Southend
23rd April 2007

This evenings crowd was one of stark contrast to the week previous, seems if you have an album out then the kids tend to stay away for fear of being left behind the NME trawler. Much older and wiser the patrons were, hence the silly amount of time spent getting to the bar.

Opening act were One Night Only, from what I can remember their sound was electro heavy pop rock. I couldn’t help notice how 3 guitarists could make such a tiny whimper, which was easily outstripped by the far superior ivory tickling. The guitar melodies themselves were messy and a bit pointless and added no real value to the songs except creditability.

After what seemed like a decade Milburn finally decided its time to get down to business and stepped into the lights. Now they maybe from the north, but I’m pretty sure the white man afro 80’s haircut ergo Keegan and Souness has lost it’s appeal of late. Not to the lead singer/guitarist it hasn’t, still style aside their ska infused pop/rock was lively and invited more than your fair share of riotous behavior. As good as some of their tracks were, musically they were short of any new ideas as their new material showcased this eve was destined for filling out those pages of NME nobody reads.

After these guys constant touring there’s no questioning their live gig was energetic, fun and highly enjoyable! I honestly had a ball but was left saddened by a long wait, short set and no encore. So I wandered off pondering when the lead singer has time to fit in those 118 adverts?