Sunday, 19 September 2010

Live Review: Band of Horses, Enmore Theatre, Sydney, 29/07/2010

Back in Sydney for another Splendor side show, tonight: Band of Horses at the Enmore.

I find my seat just as support band Gentlemen of Fortune come on stage. Made up of members of The Drones, Gin Club and Dallas Crane; Gentlemen of Fortune play blusey country rock which for me is a little boring. So I go back into the bar and grab an over priced can of VB.

Tonight I am seated in The Enmore lounge area, directly above the stage, the view is perfect. However as is always the way when seated I find it can be difficult for the live energy to reach me.

I stamp my way though Band of Horses' opener The Great Salt Lake before being blown back into my chair by how huge Is There a Ghost sounds live. No concerns tonight the live energy has certainly made it all the to my seat.

The Band of Horses' sound is rugged, American and beardy, this imagery is compounded by a video montage that is being projected behind the stage showing: big skies, large American landscapes, music festivals, long roads, beards, tattoos and snow capped mountains.

I am not a fan of the bands latest album, but find that the new songs stand up well in the live setting. NW Apt, Complements and Laredo are highlights even.

After rolling along at a rock'n pace for 40 minutes or so the show slows right down, Marry Song and Detlef Schrempf give the band a chance to take a breath and everyone else an opportunity to wave their lighters/phones in the air - some things never get old.

Cigarettes, Wedding Bands and Ode To LRC have the whole room grooving again before the main set is brought to a close with a huge sign-along version of the The Funeral, still the bands best song.

Back for a short encore Band of Horses play the beautiful No One Is Gonna Love You (a song with great personal memories for me) and finish with a cover of Am I A Good Man by Them Two.

I missed Band of Horses on their 2008 Australian tour and after having a violent stomach bug deny me the chance to see them at Glastonbury I had a lot of expectations for this show, it exceeded every one of them.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

The Social Network

A few months back Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails) revealed he had been working with long time collaborator Atticus Ross on music for David Fincher's upcoming film The Social Network.

The soundtrack will be released on CD, HD Blu-Ray Audio and Vinyl on September 28th. A free, five track sample is available for download right now.

Download the sample EP here.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Live Review: Hot Chip and LCD Soundsystem, Horden Pavilion, Sydney, 26/07/2010

Dear Nick,

I am sorry I sold on your ticket to this show, I know you were not there please don't be jealous as I tell you how the night panned out.
After sharing dinner with friends I arrive at Fox Studios. The crowd milling around outside the Horden Pavilion are in good spirits: grabbing drinks, chatting, wondering just what kind of show they will get on this Monday night.

Not one for standing around in the cool winter air, I move inside just in time to see Hot Chip take the stage. I am sure my ticket said doors opened at is 8.06 and Hot Chip have already played Boy From School! Guess no one likes to stay up too late on a weeknight.

As the rest of the crowd start to realise that Hot Chip are actually on stage, some people run out to grab their mates and I make my way forward to claim my own primo piece of dance floor.

Once at the front of the stage I realise that Joe Goddard is absent (paternity leave apparently), replaced tonight by a massive Holly-esk (Red Dwarf) head on a tv screen. Joe's head bobs along singing his parts - a nice touch and I am glad they made the effort, but sadly the vocals are slightly out of sync and as well as missing his vocals, many of the songs miss his fat base synth.

Hot Chip graduated from opening band to headline act long ago and the hit laden set only confirms this. The slinky slinky One Pure Thought transitioned into One Life Stand which tonight features the best use of steel drums since Jesse (from Full House) joined The Beach Boys on Kokomo.

Over and Over had the whole room jumping, before Hand Me Down Your Love and Take It In showcased the bands sensitive side. Hold On and I Feel Better reminded everyone that Hot Chip still love to rave before the set came to an end with a rocking version of Ready For The Floor.

I am Ready For the Floor indeed, this night is only half over.

Nick, you would have hated the long beer lines and toilet crush between sets. I survived both before resuming a position at the front of the room and looking up at a massive disco ball while waiting for what could be LCD Soundsystem's last ever Sydney show.

The band arrive on stage to a massive cheer, the loudest of course reserved for frontman James Murphy. 40-odd years old, slightly grey, generous middle age spread hidden under a plain white t-shirt...I don't know why, but this guy just oozes cool.

Us vs Them starts the show, James Murphy's lyrics confirming what everyone already knows...The Time Has Come, The Time Has Come, The Time Has Come, The Time Has Come, Today ...The Time Has Come, The Time Has Come... and it is going to be awesome.

The shout out house party stylings of Drunk Girls gets limbs flying, Get Innocuous! keeps everyone dancing while Pow Pow turns up the funk. A wild version of Daft Punk Is Playing at My House leaves me covered in sweat (most of it belonging to the topless guy next to me - yuck). All My Friends is still LCD's best song: tonight it comes with a Happy Birthday message and impromptu Love Is In the Air-based intro.

The set loses its way for a few songs before the post punk of Movement brings the room back to life. Then Yeah has everyone reaching for the ceiling as the band leaves the stage.

The band return for Losing My Edge before playing New York I Love You But Your Bringing Me Down which cleaverly morphs into a cover of Jay-Z/Alicia Keys Empire State Of Mind, a wonderful end to a great show.

I am a little disappointed that cracking new tracks Home and Dance Yrslf Clean were left out, but it is hard to argue with a band playing a 'best of' set on this their farewell tour.
I am sorry I sold your ticket. I owe you a night of great indie dance music (and about $85).

- Hummer
LCD Soundsystem's set is being replayed on triplej: 8pm on Monday 6th September and again at 5pm on Sunday 12 September.