Northumberland folk act The Unthanks hit the beautiful Birmingham Town Hall on April 6th 2011 as part of a UK tour in support of their excellent new album Last which came out in March. Luckily for all you guys Hotcakes was on hand to capture the event in pictures.
Archive for the Reviews Category
In January 1970, so the story goes, my Dad went to see Led Zeppelin blow away the Birmingham Town Hall as they toured Led Zeppelin II ; 41 years later, a much different proposition is in store as Iron and Wine visit the same venue to play to a busy crowd in the grand and historic venue.
The stage was set then for Iron and Wine, Sam Beam to his mother, to play his brand of Americana-folk-pop to a eager audience – made up of at least 60% bearded folkies – and produce the studio quality performances that had come to bring such a high reputation. However, it turned out that the crowd were not in for a live rendition of the album versions, as Beam and his band stepped away from the more expected Iron and Wine live performance, branching out into exciting new territory. Continue reading
So there we were, myself and fellow Hotcakes baker Seb, at London’s Scala eagerly anticipating one of the first live performances of the much hyped Jamie Woon.
Scala, even when sold-out, is an intimate venue; seemingly perfect for Woon’s downbeat style and emotive delivery. With Ghostpoet in support – his blend of half sung, half spoken vocals and an indie/hip-hop crossover score warming up the crowd to good effect – we thought were in for a good night… Continue reading
It’s time to announce which artists are the winners of our brand new, but still coveted and sought after ‘Hotcakies’ awards. The awards aren’t going to cover best song or best album, because thats been done to death. The criteria is a little bit more random. So here they are:
Best Bass line: Gorillaz – ‘Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach‘
This one had a lot to live up to if it was going to beat Bat For Lashes’ ‘Daniel’ from last year. But this song’s bass line is incredible for a very different reason. Where ‘Daniel’ was beautiful, Plastic Beach‘s opener is just plain cool. Starting off slowly and suddenly finding its rhythm half way through, I haven’t heard a bass line compliment Snoop Dogg so well since ‘Nuthin’ But a G Thang’.
Best Live Band: Arcade Fire
Since releasing The Suburbs, Arcade Fire have been stunning crowds over and over in 2010 with their incredibly energetic, confident and care-free gigs. From the moment they walk on stage, from their sell-out UK arena tours to headlining Reading Festival, they literally jump for joy and make the crowd feel like they are part of the band (the band being big enough as it is). I was lucky enought o see them in Birmingham this month, and their banter is pretty good too. The highlight was Win Butler saying that Birmingham was a shit hole before immediately breaking into ‘Sprawl II’.
Hotcakes favourite Jami Welch, better known by his moniker Seams, is back with a new EP. Welch spent his summer working on the recording while in Berlin and it seems that the city itself very much part of the finished product:
It was inspired by the outdoor living of the city in the summer, and how much music was intrinsically linked to daily life. I spent much of my time in Berlin recording the sounds of the city with a tape recorder and my phone, and based each track on these recordings, attempting to recreate the feeling of being there.
We got our hands on one of the tracks Hung Markets – which you can get as a free download – and you can instantly see that location forms the foundation of the track. The distant chatter of voices forms an initial backdrop, before layers of bells, keys and synths take hold. You get a sense of a bustling market with competing stalls and voices jostling for position while we make our way through the crowded streets. That’s what I took from it anyway, I’m sure each listening will have their own perspective, which is part of the track’s strength.
It seems every time I review a Seams track, I dream up a whole host of new Four Tet comparisons, but I just can’t escape the similarities. However, as a huge Four Tet fan I use the comparison as high praise and I see only good things for the future of Seams.
Seams – Hung Market
Tourist EP is out late November on Pictures Music.
Something for the Weakened, Michael Morph’s debut album, is out and is causing a bit of a stir. With support from Mixmag and DJ Magazine, Laurent Garnier and Dave Spoon, its getting the thumbs up from all the right places and we can certainly see why. Full of rolling electro and techie basslines, wonky synths and a smart sampling, the album continues on from the Brighton-based DJ’s previous releases left off.
Here’s one of the tracks off the album and a couple of remixes to give you a taste. New track Fumdrum features and some addictively heavy bass and a topline that develops and complicates throughout the piece, resulting in a tune that’s simple brilliant.
Something for the Weakened is out now on Pure Mint