Laura Moody

I can’t count the number of obscure and fantastic bands I have discovered while attempting to stay dry, and Laura Moody was no exception. It was the last day of the Bestival on the Isle of Wight, and I just wanted somewhere dry and warm to eat my burrito. I wandered into a rather empty tent with a soggy floor, and by the time I’d finished my lunch the stage had been set up and Laura Moody was making her way to center stage.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, though I thought it might be a chilled-out classical acoustic set – I was wrong. The set did start in a way that could have lead the audience to believe they were going to enjoy 45 minutes of beautiful classical cello work, however, we were soon disabused of this notion. Her set was enthralling and elegant and weird and completely out of this world.

Moody has a beautiful, haunting voice, with an operatic quality. The first part of the set included a lot of songs from her debut album ‘Acrobats‘. This album puts more emphasis on the cello work than the voice, and the two work together and compliment each other beautifully.

During the last part of her set Moody moved on to songs that were from her new E.P, which do include some wonderful cello work, however there is a lot more experimental work going on here. Moody uses her impressive vocal range to contrast with the cello, rather than compliment it. These pieces are striking and enjoyable, though probably wouldn’t be considered ‘easy listening’. Moody not only uses her voice, but ‘plays’ her throat with the cello bow, creating these weird and wonderful sounds. She also played a Nick Drake cover, which was very out of the blue, but I did enjoy it. One of the last songs she played really struck a chord with me. It was a mash-up of Marianne Faithfull’s ‘Ballad of Lucy Jordan’ and Moody’s original song ‘Creeping Alopecia‘ (that’s what I’m assuming it’s called, on the E.P it’s just ‘track 01). This was a really interesting mash-up and worked incredibly well.

All in all, I am so glad I stayed for the entirety of the set, and would recommend you go out and listen to her, and if you can, see her live. She’s a wonderful ethereal performer, and an extremely talented and impressive cello player.

 

 

Some Bad Photos

I’m now quite behind on this blog, but I don’t think anyone’s reading, so that’s ok. And if you are reading, you probably don’t know my calender, so I’ll pretend this is a recent gig. One better, I’ll pretend this is a gig from the future.

In the future, I will go to Scroobius Pip’s tour at the Nest in London.

Ok, let’s not do that. On with the actual review/whatever the hell this blog is.

The venue was fine, not the best one I’ve been to. Ok,  I’ve only been to one gig there, and I have a feeling the atmosphere is a lot better if it’s packed out. Unfortunately, though there were people, it wasn’t teeming, which was a shame. The gig I went to was an extra date, added ‘cos the first one sold out.

The gig itself was fine, but not the best Pip gig I’ve been to. Though, that was the 24th time I’ve seen Pip, so ya’know. It was pretty cool, because it wasn’t really a Pip show, it was a Speech Development Records tour, (Pip’s label). So there were loads of guests, and Pip was essentially just hosting.

The first guest was PolarBear, an amazing spoken word artist, from Birmingham. What I love about his work, as well as the content, is the delivery. Polarbear’s inspiration seems to come from a lot of hip-hop, and when he speaks, you can hear the rhythm echo those hip-hop roots. This melded with intricate and personal lyrics, and a distinctive brummie accent, you have one spine-tingling poet.

Warrenpeace were the next act. Made up of hip-hop producer and DJ, Buddy Peace, and guitarist/producer/genral cool guy Warren Borg, or as he’s often known, ‘Worgie’. Over the summer these guys released their single ‘Hungry‘ (and I was totally in the video, but that’s beside the point (it’s really not)), and then dropped their album later in the year. Their music is dirty, guitar-y, and kinda heavy. A good band to see live.

The ‘headliner’ in this talented, musical event thing, was a guy called B.Dolan. B is known primarily as a rapper/spoken word artist. His music deals with a range of subjects, from the death of Russell Jones (Ol’ Dirty Bastrd, one of the founding members of the Wu Tang Clan) to Agoraphobia, to police brutality. The last one brings us onto one of B’s other passions. He’s also an activist, and co-founder the site knowmore.org, a site that tells consumers social responsibility information about corporations. He is passionate about a range of issues, and was recently interviewed by Russell Brand on the ‘Trews‘. This episode is well worth a watch even if you’re not a fan of Brand.

The evening itself was pretty good, as mentioned above, it wasn’t my favorite Pip-esque night, but it was fun. I do have a bit of a confession about the photos though. This gig was almost straight after Billy Idol, where I managed to get some pretty decent photos, thanks to the brilliant lighting. However, one thing The Nest doesn’t have is great lights. They essentially had two small red lights, one ultra violet light, and a blue light *shudders*. So, all the photos came out terrible. This is why I’ve uploaded a compilation of photos of the bands mentioned above from other events – most of the photos are from Pip and Polarbear’s (and Kate Tempest) spoken word set at Camp Bestival, the others are from Bestival and Pip’s solo album tour in 2011. Hope you enjoy ’em.

Imagine Dragons – Brixton O2

WARNING: Another old gig review.

So Imagine Dragons got pretty big last year, what with this, which, I’ll admit, is a good song. Got all the elements of a good pop hit, which is probably why it did so well.

Anyway, veering off point a little. So. The Brixton O2 Academy. As I’m sure you know O2 have a number of venues under their name – not least the O2 Arena in Greenwich. The Brixton O2 was the first of the smaller O2 venue I’ve been to. The venue itself is quite nice. The drinks are overpriced and staff were helpful but tense, though I guess that comes with the gig. The best feature about the venue is that the floor is sloped towards the stage, which is a brilliant idea, and works wonderfully. Brixton itself is quite easy to get to, and after the show there is no shortage of cheap fast food places.

Imagine Dragons had two supports, which isn’t unusual in a venue that size, specially when the bands are on a major label. Their support acts were Eliza and the Bear, a very typical indie/rock band. They did support AWOLNATION before their Imagine Dragons slot, which only strengthens my theory that the two bands are different versions of each other, but in a good way. Eliza and the Bear are doing pretty well, supporting Chlöe Howl, Bipolar Sunshine, and having their own set at the Isle of Wight festival earlier this year.

The second support act were Grouplove, Fronted by Blue-haired Christian Zucconi (Though when he played his hair looked a little bit green, giving him a Ledger-esque Joker look). They a fairly talented bunch, however, they have a typical indie-kid vibe about them. They’re taking fashion from the hipsters, and giving it the masses (ya’know, like Ubran outfitters). Which is fine, because we’re not worried about their style, but about their music. Unfortunately, it’s the same case. If they had released an album four or five years ago, I’m sure they’d be dominating the whole scene by now. The audience loved it, (they were mainly 14-18yr olds with wayfares and baggy shirts). However, I felt like their music had a stale indie-pop taste to it.

And so onto the main act. Imagine Dragons were technically very good. Their music sounded good, but it was NOT how it sounded on the CD, which is always nice when you’ve paid £20 to go and see them live. They only have one album out, so the setlist was fairly predictable, though they added a few b-sides and covers to mix it up, (including With or Without You – U2 and Song 2 – Blur) which was nice. Despite all this, the show had a very polished feel to it. When I go to a gig I want raw excitement, I want to feel the adrenaline radiating from the stage. To be fair, an Imagine Dragons was not the place to go for this.

All in all, good gig. Good music, nice to dance to. Not something to get very excited about.

(Also, I’m very sorry, these photos aren’t my best. I’m gunna blame the blue light, my lil’ camera can’t handle it)