“I lied about being the outdoor type/I’ve never owned a sleeping bag/ let alone a mountain bike”, sang Evan Dando sometime back in the nineties. Now, while I have in fact owned both of those items, it’s a sentiment that’s still very close to my heart. A good festival is the only way I’ll be persuaded to head into a field with a tent. Yes, the time has come for me to visit the much-loved Kendal Calling.
Downstairs at Hyde Park Book Club on a hot and sweaty day, the venue completely sold out and deservedly so. The anticipation around tonight’s performance is palatable. Miranda Arieh will play bigger venues then this but it feels like the ideal place to finally launch her astonishing debut album, Ferine. It’s an intimate setting where Arieh can reach out, meet us eye-to-eye and really communicate with the crowd.
Truth be told, I’ve never been much of one to “jump to the beat of the party line” and for this, the world should be grateful. So when Belle & Sebastian’s slot at the 2019 edition of the Pitchfork Music Festival was billed as “Performing If You’re Feeling Sinister” it was beyond compelling. Real life got in the way of attending all of the three day Chicago based festival, but the Saturday lineup was one not to be missed.
- Mark Moody
Singer-songwriter Jeffrey Lewis is one of those artists that embodies’ the ‘indie spirit’. He released homemade cassettes in the late nineties, has made a number of albums for Rough Trade, championed underground music at every turn and has still found time to self-publish an ongoing comic book series. He’s in the UK touring with his band Los Bolts and tonight they roll into the iconic main room at The Brudenell Social Club.
Catching a show by legendary alternative rockers The Breeders would probably strike most people as a more than solid way to spend a Saturday night in Chicago. But when that aforementioned band is being hosted at the House of Vans in the West Loop as part of their House of Vans Parties concert series, it elevates the occasion from what otherwise might just be a casual night out, to a distinctly awesome experience.
- Zach Johnson (Texacaliago)
Like a lot of people, I first discovered the Meat Puppets through Nirvana’s Unplugged in New York. Cobain had invited brothers Cris and Curt Kirkwood to perform with them, introducing a whole generation to the wonders of ‘Plateau’, ‘Oh, Me’ and ‘Lake of Fire’.
Last year’s Membranes and Friends event was on one of the hottest days of the year; I remember feeling mildly guilty about spending the majority of the day inside. Today offers no such conflict of interest as it’s absolutely miserable outside. Manchester looks more familiar in the rain. Fashionably decked out in waterproof trousers, I head into the Ritz for a little shelter and another brilliant line-up.
You might not be familiar with the work of New York singer-songwriter Willie Nile (I wasn’t until recently) but you really should be. Go back to the 70’s and 80’s and you’ll find Nile immersed in the Greenwich Village folk scene and the burgeoning punk scene of CBGB’s. Nile is always there, an ever-present songwriting force; one part folk troubadour, one part punk.
Ten years ago heartbreak helped inspire The Sleeper; the debut album by Brighton’s The Leisure Society. Fast-forward to 2019 and songwriter Nick Hemming is on stage at The Brudenell Social Club explaining how the new album, Arrivals and Departures, came from a very similar set of circumstances.
1989 was an amazing year for music, but no day was more important than May 2. On that day, two iconic albums were released to the world - the eponymous debut of the Stone Roses and The Cure’s Disintegration. Sydney, Australia was able to secure the 30th anniversary celebration of Disintegration by booking The Cure to play a five-night residency at their world-famous Opera House, which coincides with the start of Vivid Festival, Sydney’s annual celebration of lights and culture.
Tonight’s show is the second time the Melbourne four-piece Mildlife have played the Brudenell. On their first visit last year opening for the mighty Wooden Shjips they stole the show with their mesmerising blend of electro-funk/space-jazz; it's the only time I can remember a support band being cheered so loudly to play an encore.