Thursday, 6 March 2014
Tuesday, 4 March 2014
Super Arkane is the long-awaited debut LP release from aptly named Bristol hip hop artist, ThisisDA. The alter ego of 19-year-old David Aidoo comes from a family of musicians, with his younger brother Just Scribble causing ripples in the UK rap scene. David is no stranger to the game either, being tipped by BBC Introducing in 2012 and supporting grime artist Tinchy Stryder soon after. His unique style encompassed by the onomatopoeic genre of boom-bap has attracted attention across the spectrum with support pledged by Scroobius Pip to Chris Brown.Mankub, responsible for the funky soul vibe emanating through the backing tracks. Unlike most vocalists’ albums, ThisisDA chooses to selectively showcase his own voice with the sole exception of ‘Taking Over’, which features Temz. The addition of a softer female voice brings a more melodic downtempo side to the LP, which at times can seem repetitive due to their monotonic nature. But I must say that the combination of dexterously delivered lyrics over the definitive instrumentals of Mankub creates a prominent blend. Lyrically each track tells an almost autobiographical story of coming of age in the urban ecosphere, without falling into the habitual trap of an unrealistic egotistical hoodlum filled narration. The occasional skit breaks up the album, sampling quotes from movies including American Gangster and Single White Female. This is a brief insight into the spread of David Aidoo’s talents who, aside from his music career, is a published writer, photographer and producer. After completing a BFI Film Academy course, he was named as one of the promising future talents in production. This free release LP will go a long way to showcase the talents of both ThisisDA and Mankub, tipping both of them as ones to watch in 2014. Words: Charles Veys
Thursday, 27 February 2014
Now Then have teamed up with the revered leftfield venue Band On The Wall to offer the prize of a pair of tickets to one of two upcoming events on their hallowed stage. You can choose between Apollo Brown on Thursday 6 March and Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba on Tuesday 11 March.a period of uncertainty for the country’s musicians. But, even if performing in their home nation is more precarious, Kouyate and his band continue to perform to large audiences across the globe. For your chance to win a pair of tickets to either show, just like and share the Facebook photo at the other end of this link, remembering also to leave a comment underneath the original photo stating your preferred show. For the Apollo Brown show, we’ll draw a winner out of the hat on Wednesday 5 March, so make sure you enter the competition by midnight on Tuesday 4 March if that’s your choice of gig. Then, for the Bassekou Kouyate show, we’ll draw a winner out of that hat on Monday 10 March, so make sure you enter the competition by midnight on Sunday 9 March. Good luck!
Playing the old when you are young can be a risky business. There is always the temptation to ham it up and make a mockery of age, or else play it straight with safe stereotypes that can only open a very small window on the soul. How enjoyable, then, to see Fresh Loaf Productions take that risk and get the payoff with their wonderful staging of Hand Over Fist by Dave Florez. Hand Over Fist is a one-woman show that sees Emily (Helena Davies) tell the tale of an important meeting with a man in a bar. At first everything seems normal, but as the story flows along it suddenly escapes, like water in a river studded with sinkholes. Emily, you see, has dementia, and so nothing is quite as it should be. Infinite significance is butted up against meaningless nothingness, causality vanishes and, in Emily’s own words, ideas and objects are, “Empty...yet atomic.” This mixture of lucidity and lunacy feels very real, and while it is humorous it is also rather sad.
Manchester-based indie five-piece band LVLS (pronounced Loveless) have just released their new EP, Teenager, featuring the three tracks ‘Echoes’, ‘Suzie Shoes’ and ‘Young & Cruel’. The new songs continue in the same vein as those previously released, with the deep, rousing vocals of lead singer Jay Gibb complemented with refreshingly sincere female backing vocals.
Wednesday, 26 February 2014
If you love Russian literature then you must catch the fantastic Library Theatre production of The Seagull, directed by Chris Honer, a contemporary adaptation by Anya Reiss that appeals to modern audiences but also stays faithful to Anton Chekhov’s original play. If tales of unrequited love and emotional existential angst are your thing, especially ones that aren’t too abstract, then this is for you. The play explores the creative nature of theatre, writing and acting through characters who are madly passionate about their artistic vocations and efforts; we get real insight into what it means to be a writer and an actor. These artistic types are not happy though, and early on in the play we learn about their discontented auras, as well as their romantic souls and dramatic personalities.
Tuesday, 25 February 2014
The K I N G S EP by Leeds natives Khufu invokes atmosphere from the moment its backwards guitars give way to the driving piano on ‘Links’. These poignant pianos are accompanied by minimalist percussion, seemingly giving a nod to the likes of SBTRKT and Mount Kimbie. Khufu push just how much can be achieved with so little as ‘Links’ builds on the sparse piano and beats with non-lyric, almost whale song vocals and reverb drenched guitars that promise an interesting listen throughout the EP.@RMilesSayer)
Saturday, 15 February 2014
It sounds like one. It appears like one, so surely it must be one. Well, it is a festival but, as the headline states, it's not a summer festival which is technically true as we are being deluged with water in February. That does compare well with Glastonbury in June or July though.Crywank. It's one thing to have a name that will stand out, court controversy and attention, but is the talent there to support it? On this performance, James Clayton, subtlety supported by Dan Watson, who has the packed crowd entranced, does have the magnetism to draw people around him. He might just be able to reach the escape velocity beyond merely being potential. The Ferals’ set is inviting enough to try to catch them from the start next time. A more precise, considered musical range is displayed by MyLyricalMind. Waltz. Ged Camera.
Friday, 14 February 2014
Monday, 10 February 2014
I once watched a fantastic culturally-specific adaptation of Hobson’s Choice in London a few years ago, which was set in an Indian clothes shop and portrayed by an Asian cast. I didn’t think I would get to watch an equal or better version...and yet, last week in Bolton, I did. In this Octagon version, as the audience are seating themselves, we see the lasses busy beavering away in the magnificent set of a traditional 1880s shoe shop with its mahogany counters and shoe displays. Soon we meet the forthright and assertive Maggie Hobson (Natalie Grady), the eldest daughter in the Hobson family. She is plain-speaking and no-nonsense as she derides the process of courting, comparing it to a fancy slipper: “all glitter and no use to nobody!”