Monday, 30 November 2015

No Rest in November (Not a Round-Up... Kinda)

I wasn't going to do a round-up this month because I've actually decided I hate them. Buuuut this has kind of turned into one of those so lol yolo etc.

Albums and EPs and That Sort of Thing


I thoroughly enjoyed all of these but you know what I'm like, in typical Natalie fashion I've left this until the last minute and writing about everything just really isn't feasible.


Who knew? Who knew that a band like Crooks could improve so drastically over the course of a year or so. I was genuinely so surprised with the quality of 'Are We All The Same Distance Apart' that I had to check that this was still the same band. I've said numerous times throughout the year that I think rock music is pretty dull at the moment, and whilst Crooks haven't been able to fully restore my faith in "alternative" music they've definitely given it a good go.


Hearing the tracks separately I'd actually slated the songs taken from this EP when I posted the othe track above on the daily blog. Listening to the Genesis Series as one entire package it is immediately clear how drastically incorrect I was about everything. Despite 'Modern Conversation' and 'Automatic', which I think are by far the weakest two tracks on this release (which makes me really sad because I love Alunageorge) the rest of Genesis Series is of such a high calibre that those two don't really matter much. Gallant sounds phenomenal on 'Testarossa Music' and 'Working For It' is the club banger that Q4 has been waiting for. I genuinely feel quite embarrassed that I didn't think this EP was worth much. Forever apologetic.


Steven A. Clark's debut album 'The Lonely Roller' is finally out here and we can all be overjoyed and rejoice at our ability to listen to it. This is the perfect R'n'B soul debut. You literally could not ask for more from one artist. There are absolutely zero holds barred when the title track starts and honestly the album doesn't let up the whole way through. 'Can't Have' has slowly wormed its way into being my life anthem, and 'Bounty' has also become a firm favourite. I can't imagine anybody disliking this, like obviously I like it, but I also can't imagine that my parent would be too opposed to it either, you know? I also went to see Steven A. Clark live and he sounded GR8. Similar to when I saw Alessia Cara a couple of months ago though, I can't wait until he's playing with a full band as opposed to just with a guy with a laptop and a keyboard. Reckon that would sound at least 10 times more #rad.

Shows and Stuff


I was actually supposed to go to a whole load more things than this, but I'm really lazy and a couple of them were cancelled so...


It's actually getting embarrassing, the amount I post about Huntar... like it's making me a little bit uncomfortable. But you know when something is so exciting you just gush about it everywhere to anyone who will listen - and that's literally me right now. This was so good though, even more so because when Huntar headlined New Shapes, the sound in NHAC was the worst thing ever, so seeing him opening for Blonde at Village Underground as part of Community Festival was sick. I live for hearing 'My Drug' - a song that isn't released yet, and I can't wait for it to be released and then we can all sit around and chat about how great it is.

On that same night I learnt a very valuable lesson: Don't attempt to attend more than one show on the same night unless they are around the corner from each other. The journey from Shoreditch to Shepherds Bush seems simple enough but really it's just not worth it. Even when Jack Garratt is on the other end. So in short this meant that we only caught the latter half of Garratt's set, but to be honest, apart from the fact that I'd paid for a ticket, I wasn't particularly bothered. He was good, he always is, but after three times this year, I'm a little bored of it. Maybe post-album I'll enjoy everything more again.

I got to see some of my favourites for the first time ever this month which was COOL. I took a trip to Brighton to catch MS MR at The Arch which was super totally great. It's actually appalling that I haven't seen the New York based duo before now, but all things rectified, they sounded immense with a perfect setlist blending tracks from their debut and songs from their recent second album 'How Does It Feel'. Would pay to see a million times over.

Despite some major venue sound fuckery I managed to see Lany do music live and it was on my birthday and they were so lovely and I made friends and afterwards I got a burrito so in the end everything was great. The trio sounded really tight too. I was gutted that I couldn't make it to their headline show the following night but you can't have it all, can you? I didn't know what to expect from their live show but all in all everything was excellent, to be honest.

Jamie Woon is another one where I wasn't sure what to expect. In my head, 'Lady Luck' was going to be incredible but everything else was going to be a bit boring. This wasn't the case. Despite how much I loathe Scala, (I think it's cesspit of dickheads with the most horrendous security staff making it by far the worst venue in London) everything was okay. It wasn't mindblowing though, thoroughly enjoyable, but after finding Woon's second album a little... dull, I'm not sure how quickly I'd rush to see him live again. Very glad that I did see him once though.


An hour after doors, I guess 8pm is a little "late" for an opening band to take to the stage, but it worked more than in Blood Youth's favour because the crowd that had gathered to see the four piece was clearly one of the largest that they've played to. There's clear potential in Blood Youth as a band and the music that they're making and since they've only been a band for eight months it's no surprise that's there's definitely room for improvement. Matey on vocals was not on form and that's that really, it's a shame when the guy standing in the crowd behind you is singing better than the bands' frontman.

Beartooth are the band that Blood Youth could easily be in no time at all, and if anything, they're exactly the band that Blood Youth should be aspiring to be. It's been a while since I've been to a rock show this big and I almost forgot what it was like. I probably need to be grateful that Beartooth are the band who halted this drought as they we flawless. I genuinely could not fault a single aspect of their set; it didn't dip in excitement or pace even once. This was the first time I'd seen Beartooth headline their own show too and honestly I was surprised to see that they were playing a venue the size of the Electric Ballroom, but it was sold out! I can only imagine the growth this five piece are going to see when they come back with new material. Was this Tuesday night enough to restore my faith in promising rock bands in 2015? Quite possibly.

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