Monthly Archives: February 2011


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March 8 sees the highly anticipated return of Grails with the follow-up to 2009’s “Doomsdayers Holiday” – “Deep Politics” on Temporary Residence Limited.

Wolf People

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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…

Wolf People

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WOLF PEOPLE will embark on their first UK headline tour February 2011.

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


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Both Mugstar’s 2010 albums ‘Lime’ & ‘…Sun, Broken…’ finally see the light of day on vinyl. Due to be released in April (‘Lime’) and June (‘…Sun, Broken…’) 2011 on Agitated Records, home to Wooden Shjips, Moon Duo and Carlton Melton. With live dates to follow…

Akron / Family

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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.


Carlton Melton

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San Francisco’s psyche-drone kings play three UK dates in April straight after their Roadburn appearance:

14th April – Roadburn, Tilberg, Holland

17th April – London, UK

18th April – London, UK

19th April – Liverpool, UK

The Skull Defekts

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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.


Barn Owl

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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