Archive for August, 2009

Kings of Leon – Set update

Posted in Uncategorized on 2009/08/30 by sturgeonmusic

To respond to my previous post, it has now been discovered that the band were unhappy with the crowd at this year’s Reading festival. Featured in the news of the world, the band allegedly stormed off stage and smashed their guitars (though this could be the press exaggerating).

True that the festival crowd were not as lively this year by far, though a response like this may be very damaging to the Kings career.

Advertisements

Kings Of Leon – “Unhappy with set”

Posted in Gig Reviews on 2009/08/29 by sturgeonmusic

Friday headliners at Reading festival Kings Of Leon refused to show more than an hour of their set after they were “not too happy with their performance”, Edith Bowman announced on the BBC3 coverage.

If you didn’t catch the performance either at the festival or on BBC3, it was hard to see why they were. Certainly more positives than negatives, as the band gave the audience a very long set of songs both new and old. The crowd also seemed to respond well, especially with their hit ‘Sex on Fire’, which naturally caused chaos.

Not to mention the cold, there could be many reasons why the band decided to stop coverage, though at this time they have not stated why in any interviews. When looking at the set in detail, there are many sections where lead singer Caleb looks unhappy.

It could have been down to the band not sounding right, for some reason not gelling correctly. Though myself being used to stage equipment it would have probably been down to the sound. Sure we hear a well mixed set on the television as it comes through various boards, however on stage this could have been a completely different thing. If there was a delay between ear pieces some band members could come in early, or perhaps his vocal mic was unstable and changed volume.

Its hard to tell at this time, though something was certainly not right on stage. However with this aside I still think they managed to play a well rounded set that would put many bands to shame.

Stage Presence – 8/10

Sound – 7/10

Set List – 8/10

Below are several shots from the coverage, and you can watch the performance again on BBC iplayer now.

kings 2kings 3kings 1

The Festival ‘Mediocrity’ Theory

Posted in Features on 2009/08/27 by sturgeonmusic

Its come to my attention that a lot of people nowadays seem to give the festival line-up organisers a good run for their money. The likes of ‘V Fest’ or the Reading & Leeds festivals always attract thousands of fans from around the globe. With such a large popularity for being a place to hear all of the latest and best music, theres no doubt that all of the organisers take much time and effort to make sure the experience tops their previous year.

Below is this years Reading & Leeds festival main stage line up –

As you can see there is a wide range of music being played across all 3 days of the festivals, so why is it that some people believe the line ups to be getting progressively worse as the years go by? Apart from the obvious case of personal taste, many of my musician friends have been calling it a “cavalcade of musical mediocrity”. Maybe its down to the idea of festival routes, the old school 60’s favouritism of woodstock for instance. Many of the bands playing at the festival this year have been in the charts, take Kings of Leon for instance, with their hit ‘Sex on Fire’.

This does not however, in my eyes, mean the festival spirit is any less than it used to be. Festival line up’s may have become more mainstream in the sense that it has become a major way to make a ‘capatalist’ profit, but the spirit of music loving remains the same. Many disagree, but festival go-ers old and young love nothing more than to be stuck in a hot crowd of thousands, smelling of a dozen different things both natural and illegal. And I dont think that any views the ‘hardcore’ musicians around have on the music itself, it will never stop them from happening, or even make a dent in the consciousness of the people attending.

Festivals happen all around the world and essentially span every genre of music. Personally, id prefer to go to both the  North Sea Jazz festival and to a hardcore mash-up party, though this does not mean that either are better than the one another. My point here is essentially that the spirit of the festival, fun and freedom, will never die. Regardless of the critics.

Coverage of the Reading Festival starts this Friday on BBC3!

Mr. Big making a comeback!

Posted in Features on 2009/08/26 by sturgeonmusic

Famous 80’s rock group Mr.Big finally reformed earlier this year in Febuary, to celebrate the anniversary of their debut album released back in 1989. Over the years they have provided their fans with 16 albums spanning both studio and live recordings from their most famous shows. The original band lineup features Eric Martin on vocals, bass innovator Billy Sheehan, 80’s shred legend Paul Gilbert and drummer Pat Torpey.

The group have now released tour dates for Europe during the fall and have already conquered their return to Japan, a place where they have remained the most sucessful for many years. Often bands like this plan a comeback and then somehow fail to deliver, though Mr. Big seem fresher than ever.

Along with 2 new singles the band released an ‘expanded’ version of their debut self-titled album which contained demo tapes of original songs ‘Merciless’ and ‘How Can You Do What You Do’. In comparison to how the music industry has changed since their break-up in 2002, their music still feels fairly new and the band seem to be obtaining new fans of all ages.

Their legacy will always remain in the Japanese market, selling out every single show on their tour calendar, however the European market looks fairly shakey at this time. Their shows are yet to sell out in the UK, however I feel with some devoted fans spreading the word, their reunion could turn into a more perminent fixture.

They brought something new to the music around in the early 90’s, with Billy and Paul’s legendary guitar/bass duels and Eric Martins insane vocal talent. This certainly hasn’t died off with their age, and whilst in an industry that is dominated by synth and auto-tuners, they may find it hard to breakthrough into the limelight once again. Though with a little more PR the bands talents should shine through.

photo

 

Mr. Big’s official site – http://www.mrbigsite.com/

Open Mic Nights

Posted in Features, Gig Reviews on 2009/08/26 by sturgeonmusic

In the dark times of the present day, what with the state of the world and all its troubles, often people look for an escape to forget the troubles of everday life. What better way to do it than to join in with one of the oldest pub traditions around, ‘Open Mic’ nights.

They seem suitable for everyone, up-coming bands and experienced ‘old-timers’ showing off their guitar licks. So why is it that the general public in England seem to not take advantage of such a community environment? It certainly seems to be that way in Reading. Every Tuesday night the ‘Horse & Jockey’ houses its own Open Mic night, and I went down one evening to see whats its like.

In terms of turn-out, the regulars and a few youngsters relaxed with their pints as each took to the stage to perform their favourite songs. Not exactly a headliners crowd, but the people that were there loved every second, even if someone destroyed a specific song, no one cared. This great community spirit is what I feel, everyone needs at least once a week.

These nights happen in pretty much every pub weekly or monthly, so why not check out your local? Even if your not a musician the atmosphere should help anyone kick those mid-week blues!

DSCI2256

The return of past Culture?

Posted in Features on 2009/08/22 by sturgeonmusic

I recently went on holiday for 2 weeks to various coastal locations around the UK. During my travels I began to notice one familiar thing in nearly every town I came across, florescent colours and mix-matched clothes are the new ‘hot’ thing with teenagers. Don’t get me wrong I love my fair share of NEXT t-shirts, checked shirts and star wars themed socks, but there is definately a hint of change in the air.

I don’t consider myself to be any kind of fashion expert but its clear to notice that Society is moving once again. The recent boom of RnB stars and auto-tuners in the music industry is just one example, as was the rise and fall of Hair Metal. The charts are still abundant with these things, however there are several artists currently producing music that stand out from the crowd, and are still ‘popular’ within the mainstream.

Take new wave synth fan ‘La Roux’, her recent self-titled album was received very well by the public and her two singles ‘In For The Kill’ and ‘Bulletproof’ were instant top-ten hits. Both songs are still hanging onto spots in the UK top 40, which is slightly strange considering the rest of the music on offer from the chart itself. Along with her music comes her very distinctive look, her soon to be ensured quiff for example, and it all bursts with an essence of classic 80’s style. The reason that she is so popular could state that there is indeed a shift backwards in society to the more flamboyent days of our past.

Think the peace loving hippy days are also behind us? Id say think again. Take my other half for instance, she recently started wearing flowery bands in her hair and has been showing me the large collection of clothes on sale in the highstreet that feature distinctly floral patterns. I couldn’t help but think at the time, “things are going back to the 60’s!”.

To be honest, id like to think the times are a’ changin’. Ever genre of music deserves its rightful place in music history, but I can’t help but think that too much of something is a bad thing. The recent boom in RnB seems to have just given us yet more and more of the same listening experience, artists are now using one route chord, heavy bass blasting drums and chorus’s to get into the charts quickest.

If the shift is indeed happening, and our cultural society is once again changing, id say expect some new sounds that havent been heard for a very long time. Music effects people just as much as we effect it, and if these past cultures are about to return to the mainstream, id say most people are ready for it.

Peace!