The lights dimmed to an eerie darkness and Albert Hammond Jr.’s voice boomed across the room, reciting the spoken word intro to The Doors’ ‘The Soft Parade’, in which Jim Morrison bullishly asserts that, “You cannot petition the lord with prayer!” Beyond Morrison’s Nietzchean, anti-theistic worldview, this brazen monologue is often perceived as an outpour of Morrison’s frustrations with what audiences expected of him, and his desire to just be himself. As a guitarist of The Strokes - one of the biggest indie bands in history - now touring as a solo artist, this was an intriguing, suggestive choice of introduction. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Hammond Jr.’s setlists never feature a single Strokes song, despite the rapture he knows they’d be received with.
There are artists who simply reflect the zeitgeist; shiny and designed for short bursts of enjoyment. Then there are the megastars-pioneering juggernauts who bring a cavalcade of tricks, hits and talent but are utterly unattainable or personable. Then there is Janelle Monae. Completely relatable and there, with spunk, wit and energy that can make even Beyonce look tired.
Shining as one of London’s biggest one-day music festivals, Camden Rocks returned this year, with a line up boasting the attention of indie, rock and punk fans in the capital. Showcasing a militant collection of bands and artists with highlights from Maximo Park, Twin Atlantic, Towers Of London (yes, really), BlackWaters and Sophie and the Giants, here’s what went down.
One of the many great things about Edinburgh trio Young Fathers is the way that they seem to defy the predictable trajectory of the pop career. Some of the greatest bands in musical history like The Smiths or Stone Roses have become a little flabby around the edges after a while, either adding superfluous musicians where they're not needed or lengthening their tracks to so called 'epic' proportions. Young Fathers seem to be going the other way.
Plenty of 18th birthday parties have queues for the keg. Few have kegs full of beer specially brewed for the event. So as clued-up electro and roots fans grab a pint of Rodney P’s personal ale and raise a toast to birthday boys Paul Jonas and Robert Luis, the Roundhouse unanimously agrees that Tru Thoughts know how to throw a party. The terrace is crammed with pop up food stalls, the drinks are dedicated to the label’s biggest names and, from the off, the vibes are hotter than Carrie’s prom.
With their new album Want It Need It released at the start of the month, Baby Strange stopped in to share the fruits of their labour with the Capital. Heading south after the previous seven tour dates being in their native Scotland, it’s evident in their performance following support acts Happy Meal Ltd. and RainDog that these guys are no strangers to holding the stage.