Monthly Archives: February 2011
Wolf People – Deaf Institute, Manchester 19/02/11
The Deaf Institute, one of Manchester’s most glorious music venues hosts this evenings entertainment. I like the fact this is a two band bill so we don’t have to sit through a lot of chaff before we get to who we want to see – Wolf People. First up are The Liftmen, a band who seem musically mismatched, child-like ditties, mixed with indie-pop and sonic youth noise, kinda like Drugstore if anyone remembers them…
Now for the only reason we are here. Imagine it’s 1972 and you’ve come to see Wishbone Ash and Jethro Tull, both bands are at the peak of their powers, Fairport Convention, Neil Young and some British folk rock artists are in the crowd. Wolf people are the band born from this meeting of minds. Even the decor of Manchester’s Deaf Institute gives the proceedings a definite early 70′s feel, but Wolf People are very far from being mere 1970′s revivalists nor are they just pillaging the past as there is a sense of a ethereal timeless quality to the song writing that transcends any retro tag.
As the only UK band signed to Indiana’s Jagjaguwar Records, you can see why they made the perfect tour support for fellow Jagjaguwar artists Black Mountain for last years UK tour. A lazy description could be England’s answer to Black Mountain, but Wolf People are out there on their own, a band who do what they do because they do. There is no contrived moments to the whole affair as its pure and unadulterated. There are elements of early British Folk alongside early British Rock but done in such a way that it sounds fresh.
Most of this evenings set comes from ‘Steeple’ and the fact that I love this album goes without saying. ‘Tiny Circle’ is played without flute and funnily enough no one legged front man, however a lot more rocking and heavier than on record, as is most of the set this evening. Twin guitars give us intricate solos and melodies which are dispersed throughout proceedings. ‘Banks of Sweet Dundee’ is a highlight. This is a band who are going to grow into your favourite band…
Twisted Nerve recording artists The Liftmen support on most dates, details as follows:
February 13 Nottingham, Bodega
February 14 Bristol, Cooler
February 15 Brighton, Prince Albert
February 16 London, Cargo
February 18 Oxford, Jericho Tavern
February 19 Manchester, Deaf Institute
February 20 Leeds, Nation Of Shopkeepers
February 21 Sheffield, Harley
February 22 Glasgow, Captain’s Rest
Akron / Family album “S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT” Dead Oceans March 14th, 2011.
This is the fifth album by experimental psychfolk rock oddballs Akron / Family; a record written in a cabin on the side of an active volcano in Akan National Park in Hokkaido, Japan and recorded in an abandoned train station in Detroit. These surroundings have obviously given the record a eclectic feel and following on from 2009′s ‘Set `Em Wild, Set `Em Free’, it treads similar paths through psych, folk, psych-pop, rock and even world music; bits of Animal Collective, Flaming Lips, Fleet Foxes and MV EE thrown in the mix for good measure. ‘Islands’ is a great slowcore psych-pop song beautifully performed. The album cycles through different styles, tempos and rhythms like we will never see tomorrow on the horizon. “Another Sky” shines bright across the canyon with a great low end bass boom, whilst ‘Light Emerges’ sounds like a dark Japanese fairy tail. ‘Fuji I (Global Dub)’ could be Folk Implosion on acid drenched ice pops, colouring the album and giving it its best most interesting track – all in 2 minutes and 23 seconds. There is depth to it and for me at 48.11 minutes it peaks and plateaus through a cosmic landscape at the right pace. There is a warm organic glow to the album, you can hear the birds, old trains buzzing in the distance. But strangely no volcano.
The Skull Defekts – ‘Peer Amid’ Thrill Jockey (14th February 2011)
The Skull Defekts have always been a strange beautiful creature no more so now than with ex-Lungfish man Daniel Higgs on vocals. That he is here is testament to The Skull Defekts other worldly spirit. “Peer Amid” is an almost perfect album, by a band always wanting to defy being pigeon-holed, this is their most ‘Rock’ album to date which is no bad thing. It’s great to hear Daniel Higgs with the power of a band behind him again. It almost like the re-birth of Lungfish had they been on 2011 Thrill Jockey rather than 1990 Dischord. ‘Peer Amid’ runs through elements of post-rock, post-punk and krautrock. Rhythm and repetition play a large part of the interplay especially between the music and voice with the guitars and drums sounding huge.
There are Eastern influenced guitar lines and rhythms in ‘No More Always’ and ‘Gospel of the Sun’ giving the whole album a very hypnotic feel. You can hear the subtle changes in the texture of the songs which emphasise the fact that they are taking it that one stage further, listen to the way the song runs through the last couple of minutes of ‘Fragrant Nimbus’, a song which reminds of The Ex. The last track, and arguably the best track, ‘Join The True’ is relentless with a repetitive groove with an ominous spoken word from Higgs. The best thing you will have heard in a very longtime….intense, repetitive, hypnotic joy.
Go see Barn Owl.
|Tue||Apr 26||London, UK||- Camp Basement||w/ Jefre Cantu-Ledesma|
|Wed||Apr 27||Bristol, UK||- The Cube||w/ Jefre Cantu-Ledesma|
|Thu||Apr 28||Dublin, Ireland||- The Joinery||w/ Jefre Cantu-Ledesma|
|Fri||Apr 29||Belfast, UK||- The Barge||w/ Jefre Cantu-Ledesma|
|Sat||Apr 30||Glasgow, UK||- Captain’s Rest||w/ Jefre Cantu-Ledesma|
|Sun||May 1||Manchester, UK||- Sounds From The Other City Festival||w/ Jefre Cantu-Ledesma|
|Mon||May 2||Brighton, UK||- The Hope||w/ Jefre Cantu-Ledesma|