Wednesday, 26 August 2015

On Stage: TV On The Radio

Every time TV On The Radio release an album, I like it that much that it ends up in my year list. This builds up in anticipation when I get to see them live and somehow the few times I saw them play festivals it didn't really live up to my expectations. Seeing them in a club show would probably be better and after cancelling their show earlier this year, it finally was time to see them in Paradiso.

TV On The Radio at Paradiso Amsterdam, August 24 2015

I tried not to hold my hopes up too high, since this may just be one of those bands that is brilliant on record but simply cannot get that same level across when live on stage. But I wouldn't have to worry for long. After taking the stage they are off to a ferocious start with vicious versions of 'Young Liars', 'Lazerray' and 'Golden Age'.

The band is very tight and the wonderful layered sound is coming across in a lovely way. The long bearded Kyp Malone is sometimes jumping up and down while playing and Tunde Adebimpe is all over the place when he's not working his loop station. Somehow this band never really got their big break and I wonder why tonight. The venue is far from sold out, but the people that are here, are definitely enjoying it. When the songs are up tempo, Adebimpe fires up the crowd who can only dance harder. He's addressing us regularly adding plenty of audience interaction and making it a lively show.

Of course the more mellow songs are not suitable to go mental but need a listening ear. The band knows how to balance this, making sure it doesn't lose the crowd's attention, which nearly happens after the great start of the set. But tonight all is well for TV On The Radio and not even a failing mic can bring them down. I'm really glad in the end I get to see the band that I love so much on the records and tonight they prove why they keep popping up on my year lists.

More Pictures

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01. Young Liars
02. Lazerray
03. Golden Age
04. Happy Idiot
05. Could You
06. Careful You
07. Winter
08. Wolf Like Me
09. Blues From Down Here
10. Trouble
11. Forgotten
12. DLZ
13. Ride
14. Dancing Choose
15. Staring at the Sun

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Monday, 17 August 2015

New Sounds: Radkey - Dark Black Makeup

Ever since I saw the three brothers of Radkey play their vicious punk and hardrock I've been keeping an eye out for new music. And now finally here's their first album Dark Black Makeup which comes out August 21. The band is about to embark on an extensive tour, including many dates across Europe so pay them a visit when you can.

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Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Spinning: The Vaccines - English Graffiti

Ever since The Vaccines released their first album in 2011 they keep writing songs that are inviting to sing along to. That's why the band are a welcome guest at festivals where they can make any crowd jump around. We were promised a new sound on their second record, which in the end was only partly true. On their third album English Graffiti the quartet is supposed to have chosen another direction once again.

This time the lads do keep their promise, since there truly is a new sound in the eleven tracks. You can hear this very well in 'Minimal Affection' where besides the obvious The Strokes hook it has more of a synth rock vibe to it, with some Duran Duran mixed in here and there. The songs 'Dream Lover' and 'Give Me A Sign' could have been taken from an Oasis or Noel Gallagher album and are actual songs that have a pleasant ring to it. The tracks are not really meant to go wild on, although they do settle themselves in your head.

It doesn't mean jumping around and yelling along isn't possible at all, since there are still a number of tracks on the record that are great dance tunes. 'Handsome' with the insane Kung Fu video and '20/20' are typical catchy The Vaccines songs. But it's remarkable how coherent and more tight the band sounds and how rich the production of the tracks is, that carry subtle electronic elements regularly and give it a more poppy sound. The band also is looking for more quiet moments, which give the songs more air and make them more powerful.

English Grafitti is a surprisingly strong record that shows The Vaccines are open for other influences and that they have matured some more, without losing their edge. Therefore I can forgive them for the weary song 'Want You So Bad'. In this shape the band are able to fire up many a festival crowd in years to come.

Listen to 'English Graffiti' on Spotify.

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