Well this week’s been a shitter, hasn’t it? We don’t believe in broadcasting the political debate here at Shambles HQ but rest assured that we’re a little disappointed at the outcome of the Referendum, even though our European Activities will continue at full pace.
It’s also been absolutely PISSING IT DOWN in London and the rest of the country: par for the course, naturally, and also a hallmark of hippy-Mecca happy-time music-party mud-slog Glastonbury Festival, which just finished this weekend. If you’re sane, like us, you went nowhere near a festival site that boasts hits such as “The Ditch of Death”, “Mabel’s Racist Cow Retirement Home” and “Oh God It’s a Room Full of Middle Class Children”, but still wanted to enjoy some of the music on offer.
Luckily, we’re here to help at Podshambles. Because that’s what we’re here for. Making podcasts and writing a bit about bands we like.
RUNNING DOWN FROM MOST TO LEAST LIKELY TO APPEAR ON THE QUEEN’S “TOP CHOONZ” COMPILATION:
Pick number one is Dancing Years, a five-piece from Leeds that sound a bit like what would happen if Damien Rice, Sigur Rós and the Divine Comedy met for a few beers at their local before getting a bit sad and writing some songs around the knackered pub piano. Their set is sadly unavailable to watch in full but Neon Lights – on YouTube below – is a booze-fuelled and plaintive lover’s lament thanks to swallowed vocals from Dave Henshaw. The band’s other output ranges from not-so-laddy singalongs (Here’s To My Old Friends a particular treat) to angrier, more textured numbers that borrow from the aforementioned Icelanders. At present they’re touring a few venues up North but keep an eye on these cheeky Yorkshire chappies for other dates soon – they’re well worth skipping along to see.
Man, Kamasi Washington. If you’re a jazzy hip-hop head you may already know of the Los Angeles funker, who’s played in the past alongside household names like Herbie Hancock, Lauryn Hill, Nas, Snoop Dogg, Flying Lotus, Thundercat – the list goes on. He was also a formative influence and saxy presence in the studio for Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly, widely regarded as one of the finest hip-hop albums produced in the last decade. On his own, Kamasi leads his own little band that put out some seriously fraught jams – the best jams there are – in huge, sweeping compositions that often last some 20 minutes. Check his whole set from the West Holts Stage right here, especially the shifting, pulsing highlight The Rhythm Changes.
AKA Holly Lapsley Fletcher, Låpsley is not some fey Scandinavian songstress but a young singer from Southport via Scotland who makes soft and spacey songs (where there enough susurruses in that sentence?) Her restrained keys, vocal manipulation and ear for a heart-swelling chorus are all hallmarks of a sound that sits somewhere between SOHN, Santigold and Jamie Woon, but is of course so much more than the sum of Låpsley’s inspirations. She played a few times over the weekend but her stripped down appearance on the BBC Introducing stage is well worth indulging in: check out Station below.
I’m pretty sure these Icelandic lads can do anything – they can make the most enchanting elf-music that it is possible to imagine, they put on a wicked light show and they even have appeared in Game of Thrones at what is officially the most satisfyingly macabre wedding EVER – but seeing them on this most recent tour, live and in the flesh, is something special. Though they had shed keyboards player Kjartan Sveinsson and, with him, a lot of the melodic, delicate twinkly bits some fans may love them for, Sigur Rós have re-cast themselves as a trio of mad, loud, angry thunderbastards, making a cacophony on stage that sounds like three ancient whales beaching themselves in an industrial dystopia. Or something near that effect.
I dunno if you’ve ever heard of these small-time dweebs from Oxfordshire – let alone the one that’s related to award-winning comedian and podcast Paddy “Fights with Emus” Gervers – but Foals picked up Glastonbury festival firmly by the lapels, blew some whiskey-spiked breath in its face and then walloped it around the face for the duration of their mega-set on the Pyramid Stage. You can watch highlights from their barnstorming, trouser-ripping set right here, but really you should go an experience them live. Paddy and Laurie did and barely recovered, their ears blown inside out, their trousers removed and butts firmly rocked by the power of Wally’s bass playing ALONE. Tracks from the fivesome’s latest LP What Went Down really belong on the big stage, the intricate math-rock of early Foals giving way to the snorting, sweaty, black stallion that they’ve now become. Phwoar.
BONUS: Secret list of bands you should boycott at all costs:
The Last Shadow Puppets. Because Alex Turner doesn’t need any more excuses to keep dressing Miles Kane up as himself, Alex Turner.
Bastille. Just dreadful. All the poise of a pissed goose and none of the class.
Tom Odell. YOU’RE NOT KIDDING ANYONE, TOM. YOU ARE GOING TO BE REMEMBERED FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTION TO ADVERT SOUNDTRACKS, TOM. O DEAR, OH DELL.
Wolf Alice. You’ll ask “WHY?” repeatedly during their set, eg: Why is the lead singer suddenly doing screamo? Why does the lead guitarist look like he dipped his hair in tippex? Why are we watching?
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats. Nothing wrong with them or their music but that is a gross band name.