Cold Cave – Islington Academy – 15/03/17

coldcaveislington

To paraphrase the title of an old Ministry track, for Cold Cave, every day is like Halloween. With his black hoodie pulled tight over his head, Wesley Eisold looks more like a Jedi about to sermonize the ways of the dark side. Any dark side.

The last proper Cold Cave album was 2011’s Cherish The Light Years, an attempt by Eisold at moving away from the bedroom-recorded debut Love Comes Close into a more-realised sound that was beefed up and subsequently toured with a full live band. Since then, he’s concentrated on releasing the odd 7″ single and download while tending to his Heartworm publishing imprint (and becoming a father too).… Read the rest

Haley Bonar – Moth Club, London – 27/10/16

It must come as a great validation to the artist who quietly toils, recording and releasing their own material year after year, happy that they’re able to find an outlet and an audience, to finally gain critical recognition outside their home country and play to people who are discovering their music for the first time.

Haley Bonar would know all about this. In a career that has spanned 15 years and 6 albums, it was her most recent release, 2014’s Last War, that pushed her into the international spotlight. The follow-up, Impossible Dream doubled-down on War’s refined songcraft and country/dream-pop delivery, unveiling a fresh set of songs heavy with tales of small-town life and world-weary restlessness.… Read the rest

The Church – Factory Theatre, Sydney

The Church
Factory Theatre, Sydney
December 6, 2012

The most remarkable thing about The Church, and there are many remarkable things about this enduring Australia band, is how better they get with age. Memories seep past of watching them just down the road, in what seemed for all intent and purpose their final show. How different the mood tonight from the fractured awkwardness of 20 years past. When success and its pursuit of becomes secondary to making and performing music, the true nature of a band shines through.

Having dispensed with the watered down acoustic renditions and the recent ‘Future-Past-Perfect’ albums-in-full performances, The Church are now free to stretch their legs in any direction they like, which in itself presents just as many problems for a band held together by a democracy.… Read the rest

Chromatics – Heaven, London

Chromatics
Heaven, London
November 6, 2012

On a night when everyone is locked in an US election day trance, American synth-noir act Chromatics were the alternative for those choosing pop over politics. As a band who’ve existed in various forms since 2001, their recent mainstream crossover was aided by the success of the film “Drive” and its accompanying synth-wave soundtrack where their instrumental track “Tick Of The Clock” prominently featured. After releasing their own material and operating under the radar for so long, it was apt that the right vehicle for their spacious cinematic sound would be a soundtrack itself.

Chromatics are still much the unknown live entity over here.… Read the rest

Savages – Electrowerkz, London

Savages
Electrowerkz, London
October 11, 2012

Does anyone remember the post-punk explosion of 2005 when every second band seemed to be cribbing off each other’s influences sheets, and labels with derivative names like ‘Angular’ and ‘Artrocker’ appeared, encouraging this rising monochrome wave? It was probably the first serious resurgence of post-punk since the 80’s, but with few exceptions of real talent being shown (Bloc Party being the only real long-lasting exception).

With just the one single to their name (“Flying To Berlin”/”Husbands”), London-based quartet Savages already have the potential to be post-punk’s next generational shining light. Such accolades are easy to bestow when your band reads like a university post-punk dissertation made flesh.… Read the rest