Track Review: Vampire Weekend – Diane Young

by James Sloan
The band who gifted our ears with the upbeat guitar riff and head pounding drumming of ‘A-Punk’ are back and set to release their third album ‘Modern Vampires of the City’ on 6th May.
Both ‘Step’ and ‘Diane Young’ have been released, with the task of setting a precedent for the upcoming LP. The latter of these tracks has a very retro feel to it. So much so that it wouldn’t feel out of place in a contemporary remake of ‘Back to the Future. You can just imagine Marty McFly playing this song at his parent’s prom, whilst teenagers of the 1950’s twist and shout to the repeated calls of “baby, baby, baby”. For the time being Ezra Koenig will have to suffice though.
The lead singer further emphasises the classic feel of the song by stuttering and almost swallowing the same words later in the song. In contrast, the studio effect used to make him sound like he is singing whilst melting inside a microwave returns us to the 21st Century. As you’d probably expect from this New York Group, there is a very quick beat to this tune that entices listeners to tap your leg involuntarily, whether you are a fan of the band or not.
This quirky merging of sounds is definitely worth a punt and is different to their other release ‘Step’. It will be interesting to see if there are any other tracks on their third album that also strive for a middle ground somewhere between Chuck Berry and The Strokes.
Released: 09 April 2013
Label: XL Recordings
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Music News: Hard-Fi upload sample of new material to SoundCloud

Staines-based rock band Hard-Fi today offered fans a taster of what could potentially be demo tracks for an upcoming fourth album via their SoundCloud profile.
A minute and 41 second long sample titled ‘SAMPLER mar13 short’ features what appears to be demos of eight different tracks blended into one session, with the hashtags ‘Hard-Fi’, ‘new’ and ‘album’ attached alongside it.
It ranges from a gentle acoustic part to a more electronic dancey section, with a touch of the indie rock from their number one debut album ‘Stars of CCTV’. The caption states: “Just rough desk mixes for now…”
The band’s experimental third album ‘Killer Sounds’ failed to reach the heights of its predecessors ‘Stars of CCTV’ and ‘Once Upon a Time in the West’, only reaching number nine in the UK Album Charts.
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Track Review: Glasvegas – I’d Rather Be Dead (Than Be With You)

by James Sloan
Taken from their third studio album ‘Later… When the TV Turns To Static’, Glasvegas will hope that this track will turn attention away from their below par second album, and instead remind fans of their self-titled debut LP.
The slow starting piano melody continues through the majority of the track. This reoccurring rhythm wouldn’t feel out of place as montage music to a sop story on the X-Factor or when a couple break up in a Rom Com.
However, soon the distinctly Scottish vocals of James Allan come to the fore and you know that this is undoubtedly a Glasvegas record. The difficulty to distinguish all of the lyrics at first will have fans playing the song over and over again.
A spoken verse in the middle of the song keeps the listener engaged prior to the chorus and the returning calls of the songs title (“I’d rather be dead than be with you”). The elongated “dead” is almost a trademark of Allan’s singing style and it is reminiscent of early hits such ‘Daddy’s Gone’, ‘Flowers and Football Tops’ and the timeless ‘Geraldine’. Released on 25th March, this tune is easy to listen to as you take in the smooth voice that compliments its partnering scaling piano piece.
After second album ‘Euphoric Heartbreak’ just scraped the UK Top 10, the Glasgow group will hope that their upcoming release will be received more like their Mercury Prize nominated debut album. This track may not surge through the UK charts, but it is a sign that the band are producing slower tracks like ‘It’s My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry’ that filled ‘Glasvegas’.
Released: 25 March 2013
Label: Go Wow Records
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Fashion: Fred Perry launch brand new Bradley Wiggins Collection

by Sam Skilton
Bradley Wiggins models the new Fred Perry 'GB Tipped Bradley Shirt' (photo by Scott Mitchell)

Bradley Wiggins models the new Fred Perry ‘GB Tipped Bradley Shirt’ (photo by Scott Mitchell)

Some things in life simply go hand in hand. Take fish and chips, for example. How about salt and pepper? And here’s a shout: Mod Culture and the south coast city of Brighton.
It’s a wet and windy night down by the seaside, but a few blocks down from East Street – the road which is famous for the Mods and Rockers riot scene in Quadrophenia – the city’s Fred Perry store is offering a warm welcome.
The beers are flowing, and the record decks are spinning, but let’s rewind a bit first to the very beginning of the story which has led us here.
This time last year a bloke called Bradley Wiggins lived a rather peaceful life in his little village of Ecclestone in East Lancashire. Yes, he was something of a hero locally, and yes, he was a six-time Olympic gold medallist. But the man himself never claimed to be a celebrity.
Twelve months on, and oh, how times have changed for Mr Wiggins. Now Britain’s first ever Tour de France winner and a national hero, he is a celebrity – whether he denies it or not. He may not act like one, but the amount of people who turned out on Thursday (21st March) for the launch of his brand new Fred Perry Collection is testimony to the fact that he is.
Wiggo, as he is affectionately known, captured the British public’s hearts during the summer – not just an excellent sportsman, but a man with a sense of humour too. One of the iconic moments of the London 2012 Games occurred when he posed for the cameras having perched himself upon the men’s time trial winner’s throne.
Wiggo strikes a pose which will be seen by millions worldwide after winning gold at the London 2012 Olympics

Wiggo strikes a pose which will be seen by millions worldwide after winning gold at the London 2012 Olympics

The 32-year-old cyclist had just pedalled his way to his fourth Olympic gold on the streets of the London Borough of Richmond-upon-Thames. And with Hampton Court providing the backdrop to the medals ceremony, it was some wonder that the organisers were able to resist the temptation to produce Henry VIII’s headpiece from inside the Palace, and crown a Modern British Hero.
That is the catchphrase which has been chosen by Fred Perry for Wiggins’ new collection of attire – a swanky collection of stylish cycling gear and modernist style.
So here we are in Brighton, one of a number of Fred Perry stores worldwide debuting the new gear. After being offered complimentary drinks, we went to check it out.
DJs Simon Webster and Craig Swiftly Simpson of 'Nightboat to Wigan' provided "floor-filling tunes" from the Sixties

DJs Simon Webster and Craig Swiftly Simpson of ‘Nightboat to Wigan’ provided “floor-filling tunes” from the Sixties

The new collection includes a smart ‘Golden Age Cycling Shirt’ featuring a stripe panel across the chest and back with a zip down funnel neck, a ‘Vintage Track Jacket’, his very own navy blue Harrington, and a GB Tipped Polo (of which this writer is a proud new owner). The range also features shorts, kit bag, ‘Strada Bianche’ and ‘Suede Hayes’ shoes.
While ‘This Is England’ star Vicky McClure was at the Nottingham do, Wiggo would of course not be attending any of the launches in person as he is currently battling to win the Tour of Catalunya for Team Sky. And even if he is unable to triumph in that, he can rest safe in the knowledge that his new clothing range appears to be yet another success story for him.
Bradley Wiggins models the new Fred Perry 'Bradley Harrington Jacket' (photo by Scott Mitchell)

Bradley Wiggins models the new Fred Perry ‘Bradley Harrington Jacket’ (photo by Scott Mitchell)

Official Fred Perry images from Scott Mitchell, also photographer for Pretty Green, Team Sky, Steve Cradock, The Moons and Bradley Wiggins (does this guy have the best job in the world?).
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Music News: Foals critical of UK festival organisers

The Stone Roses led the way for reunions in 2012 with three huge sell-out concerts at Heaton Park and various festival appearances

The Stone Roses led the way for reunions in 2012 with three huge sell-out concerts at Heaton Park and various festival appearances

Foals have criticised UK festival organisers, but insisted that despite claims that they are “bored of seeing some dude from the ’90s headline festivals”, they “love the Stone Roses”.
It was reported by The Daily Star that Yannis Philippakis had commented: “There’s a big problem with old bands who always occupy the top slots at festivals.”
Foals were announced as headliners of Lattitude Festival today, alongside Bloc Party and Kraftwerk, and the band’s leadsinger added: “More heritage names reform every year, which only makes it worse. It really limits bands of our generation.”
“You get people in their late thirties going to festivals, in their dungarees with a couple of kids, wanting to relive their adolescence, pretending they’re baggy again by watching The Stone Roses,” he said.
“They aren’t in touch with what’s going on now. I’m bored of seeing some dude from the ’90s headline, it means nothing to me.”
But Philippakis seemingly backtracked on his comments, tweeting on the Foals official Twitter page: “We love the Stone Roses. Let’s make that clear!”
Foals have recently released their brand new album ‘Holy Fire’ which peaked at number two in the charts last month.
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Live Review: Ryan Adams at the Royal Albert Hall

Ryan Adams at the Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday 19th March by Jack Bezants
Ryan Adams and his star-studded band set to perform at the Royal Albert Hall for Teenage Cancer Trust (photo by Press Association)

Ryan Adams and his star-studded band set to perform at the Royal Albert Hall for Teenage Cancer Trust (photo by Press Association)

“I know most of you aren’t used to music that goes this fast, so put on your racing helmets,” joked Ryan Adams, having ambled onstage in his uniform double denim to open this year’s Teenage Cancer Trust gigs at The Royal Albert Hall.
Noel Gallagher, the curator of this week’s event, introduced the 38-year-old from Jacksonville, North Carolina by saying “he has brought something of a supergroup with him”. To say “something” was perhaps an understatement; to any fan in-the-know, Adams had just rolled into the coliseum-esque building with some of the most acclaimed and accomplished musicians in the business.
Producer and multi-instrumentalist Ethan Johns was on guitar, Benmomt Tench from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers took to the keys and Don Was, producer of albums by Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones, was on bass. Jeremy Stacey of Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Bird’s played the drums and the brilliantly named Cindy Cashdollar, who has previously backed Dylan and Van Morrison, was on dobro.
It took only the first words to be sung from the opening song ‘Dirty Rain’ to realise that Adams himself was on brilliant form – something that was embellished by his band. Collectively, they knew when to rally together in a majestic ensemble but also knew when to ease out of a song, allowing Adams’ flawless vocals and seamless guitar playing to soar in unison.
And it was his singing style that was magnificently infectious and capturing. It did not take the most imaginative audience member to picture Adams sat at a bar, feeling remorseful about “27 years of nothing but failures and promises I couldn’t keep” like he sings of in ‘Let It Ride’.
‘Why Do They Leave’ from 2000’s ‘Hearbreaker’ and ‘Nobody Girl’, a surprise inclusion from ‘Gold’, were perhaps the greatest examples of Adams combining with his band. The latter song included a mesmerising solo from Ethan Johns as the prodigious skill of Adams and his group intertwined to reach its zenith.
The alt. country troubadour performed ‘Oh My Sweet Carolina’ and ‘English Girls Approximately’ completely solo, which conveyed the sheer visual presence Adams possesses as performer.
He enjoyed some verbal jousting with the audience, too. At the end of ‘Sweet Carolina’, he responded to an adrenaline-fuelled shout of “that was outstanding” from a middle-aged, male audience member with: “Gosh, thanks Dad.”
Some audience members may have felt a little dismayed that Gallagher did not join for a rendition of ‘Wonderwall’, of which Adams covered on his 2003 album, ‘Love Is Hell’.
Perhaps it isn’t such a bad thing it never happened. The audience left the Albert Hall talking about him and how good he was but still wanting to be given more.
But nobody was left unhappy with what they had just witnessed. Just possibly, last night was the performance Ryan Adams has been threatening to give for many years, the night where he progressed beyond being very good.
Surrounded by a band that allows him to flourish in the way he did last night, Adams may well have just moved into his canonical realm.
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Track Review: Deadbeat Echoes – No Bones

by Sam Skilton
If there’s any region of Britain which is synonymous with producing exciting rock and roll bands, then it would have to be the north-west. Lying at the centre point between Stoke-on-Trent and the two powerhouses that are Manchester and Liverpool is a town named Winford which emerged around the salt-mining industry, and could be set to become known for providing the birth of Deadbeat Echoes.
John Robb, former vocalist in the punk band Goldblade and founder of the music magazine/blog ‘Louder Than War’, claimed last year that “Deadbeat Echoes are the best young band in the UK”. Their debut single ‘Surge of Youth’ was released on Louder Than War Records in 2012, and the band, who have toured with Inspiral Carpets and The Charlatans, are looking to build momentum with their second release.
‘No Bones’ is a blistering three minute long composition with bursts of guitar reminiscent of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Jack Fearon combines the talented vocals of Alex Turner and Liam Fray to create a voice which bellows out menacingly as the track edges towards its intense finale.
The band have been working on an album with sound engineer John Delf who has mixed the likes of Plan B, Eliza Doolittle and The Script amongst others, and if this is anything to go by, make no bones about it, it could be the real deal.
Released: 11 March 2013
Label: Self-Released
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