Place your bets now

HotchipThoughts on this later maybe, but here’s the list of nominees for this year’s Mercury Music Prize.

Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not
Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan – Ballad of the Broken Seas
Editors – The Back Room
Guillemots -Through the Windowpane
Richard Hawley – Coles Corner
Hot Chip – The Warning32
Muse – Black Holes & Revelations
Zoe Rahman – Melting Pot
Lou Rhodes – Beloved One
Scritti Politti – White Bread Black Beer
Sway – This is My Demo
Thom Yorke – The Eraser

Seriously, could it be much more yawnsome? Admittedly, I’ve only heard a few of them so I probably shouldn’t judge yet – but it does just  look boring, doesn’t it? Hooray for Muse and Hot Chip, but where’s Come and Get It and Chemistry, for gawds sake!

Last night at Barfly


OK i take back nearly everything I said about STG after seeing them live last night. They are nothing at all like The Modern. I was fooled by boy/girl electro vox but live they sound much much rockier than on record.  The confusion began when we showed up at Barfly to check we were on the list a bit earlier on and it seemed full of glammy emo kids. And I really do mean kids – surely it’s an 18+ venue? James and I felt like we were chaperones at a teenagers party.

Snipshot_hogxu2onu_1Supporting were Under The Influence Of Giants – a band I’d never heard of who’ve just been signed to Island Records – who fall somewhere between the rock soul of RHCP and the falsetto hooks of Scissor Sisters. Aaron Bruno (vocals/lyrics), Jamin Wilcox (drummer, keyboards),  Drew Stewart (guitars), and David Amezcua (bass) make up the L.A. group. While Aaron prances round the stage in his best lycra armgear, David Amezcua is a bassist who’s been studying the always-pleasing art of looking like Jack Black.
To be honest there was nothing exceptional about them. They were just good, fun and I enjoyed them.

The changeover between bands was exceptionally long for such a tiny stage before Shiny Toy Guns came on, leaving us getting a bit restless and clock watching. Finally they came on and opened with You Are The One (I think). Live, much of the synths seem to fall quiSnipshot_ft9p1v2r3etly under full on emo guitar. It doesn’t sound anything like The Modern, the 80s or Linken Park – in fact on the way to the gig I decided it was more Muse than LP, but screw that idea too. This was total Panic at the Disco territory and the ‘kids’ knew it. For every epic drawn-out hysterical verse, there was a punchy chorus which got us all bouncing about. But, then suddenly it would switch into soaring, even DJ Sammy-esque europop on their poppier tracks such Le Disko. Covering all the bases, they switch from I-won’t-tidy-my-room emo howling to full-throttle pop-rock bliss many times throughout the course of the set, and frequently even within the same song. Unfortunatly they didn’t look as glamtastic as their promotional photos suggest but special mention must go to the drummer, Mike Martin, who’s hilariously theatrical drumming will surely go onto better things. Leaving the stage, the band thanked the crowd who had followed them from ‘Essex County – Colchester’ last night to watch them tonight as well.

Under the influence of Giants play again in London tonight at Madame Jo Jo’s on Brewer Street. Otherwise catch them supporting Shiny Toy Guns at various UK venues in the next week – full deets on, you guessed it.

Shiny Toy Guns


If The Modern hadn’t royally fucked up with their last single Industry, then the London electro-glammers would probably still be signed to Mercury and would be very happily poking the top 20 with the amazing Discotheque Francais. Oh, and of course, all my yelling at people to listen to The Modern would have been justified.  But while they mow the lawns of fields filled with dropped pop stars, let’s refocus our electo-pop energies on some other Eighties sounding electro rivivalists again on Universal. This time it’s Polydor instead of Mercury and the band are Oklahoma’s Shiny Toy Guns.

The glamourous (seriously, look at that stunning photo) Shiny Toy Guns have been a permanant fixture on my iPod since reading about them on a forum several weeks ago and eventually bothered to look up them up.  They have a darker sound than The Modern and seem to use their synths to a more haunting effect while still remaining fun. In fact I even hear slight nu-metal sounds in the tracks on We Are Pilot, but that could be because I’m really missing Linken Park (really!) Yes, electroclash + nu-metal, I know what you’re thinking – I’m making this sound awful! But seriously just trust me and take five to listen to it yourselves over on myspace.

There’s a great review of the album over on electrocore.

The band are in the UK at the moment and play Camden Barfly tomorrow. Tickets are £7 and you can get them from the Barfly website.

Robbie goes dance

RobbieJust when we thought he’d gone a bit irrelevant and boring  Robbie Williams has shocked, well certainly me, and gone dance. I’m just listening to the Essential
and there’s quite a dark sounding track by ‘Artist Unknown’
called RudeBox. It’s a little reminiscent of Simian Mobile Disco’s Hustler with lyrics like ‘work the rudebox, do the rudebox’ –
and then towards the end of the track you get a mini Robbie rap.

Rudebox is about 40 mins into the essential selection (if you want to
listen again, the new Basement Jaxx track is at 18m, although on 1st listen it sucks!).  Admittedly this is a Soul Mekanik Dub so it might not sound much like the original but it’s still very exciting.

it’s taken from the album 1974 which’ll be out on Sept 18 and includes
collaborations with PSBs, Manu Chou, William Orbit, Mark Ronson and Lily Allen! Youtube has some not very interesting viral clips for the single and also this one which shows Robbie dressed up as a stripping granny during World Cup fever with the track playing in the background. That clip links you to the Rudebox website. The Essential Selection aren’t saying who it is at the moment, so it’s all part of a big strategy to make you like it before turning your nose up at the idea of ‘Robbie doing dance’!.

My set at Pottymouth

Tonight I played a couple of sets at Pottymouth, an all girl vox party,180195997_3e5a7e1f6a_1
at the Spread Eagle in Shoreditch.  This is what I played:

Chicks on Speed – Love Life
Sarah Nixey – Strange Love
Herbert – Celebrity
Twiggy – When I Think Of You
Le Tigre – Viz
The Delilahs – Is That A Reason
Deadstar – That Dress Looks Better On You
Stefy – Chelsea
Ladytron – He Took Her To A Movie
Freezepop – Here Comes A Special Boy
Peaches – 2 Guys
mia – Heroes
Cardigans – Do You Believe
Sons & Daughters – Monster
Kitty & The K’s – I am a MF
Robots in Disguise – DJs Got A Gun
Bis – Kandy Pop

Tigarah – Fake Out
Nenah Cherry – Buffalo Stance
Los Super Elegentes – Dance
Long Blondes – Weekend Without Makeup
Tori Amos – Raspberry Swirl
Metric – Dead Disco
One More Kiss – This Itch
Dead Disco – City Place

Girls Aloud – Swinging London Town
The Pipettes – Pull Shapes (Butlins Remix)
Morningwood – NY Girls
Donnas – Dancing With Myself

Nelly Futardo – No Hay Iguai
Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopez – Block Party
Annie – The Crush
Elastica – In The City
Charlotte Hatherley – Kim Wilde

Lily Allen – Oh my god!

While some people might have got bored quickly, I’m still firmly in the Lily Allen Rulez camp and it seems most of you probbly are too given Smile has gone straight to #1 on iTunes.

I’ve just come across her cover of Kaiser Chiefs Oh My God and oh my god it’s awesome. I figured it must have been done for a live lounge session but realised the recording sounded too produced for that. Now it seems that it’s off a forthcoming Mark Ronson album Version – of course it is, listen to the brass!

Check it out at Shoes Are For Work and don’t forget Smile is now avaliable on iTunes or for pre-ordering on Amazon.

Muse: Supermassive Free Gig

Snipshot_14fsfkftmiThanks to Mr Potts, I managed to get some tickets last night to Muse’s one off special London gig in celebration of their forthcoming album Black Holes and Revelations.  I’d listened to the album via their myspace special stream once, so was preparing myself for an hour of songs I didn’t really know.

WRONG! Instead they played a blistering greatest hits show, obviously with a slight bias to the new album. I saw the band once before in Wolverhampton back in 2001 for RaW, after begging the Head of Music for the tickets and him happily giving me them because the rest of the indie boys thought they were rubbish. New material stood up alongside the old, and the crowd went crazy to classic hits like Plug In Baby, Bliss, New Born and Hysteria. The stage was set in a futuristic fashion with illuminated spiral tubes hanging from the ceiling and the Muse boys were, as always, smartly dressed to fit the situation although Chris was sporting a rather wrong 70s porn star moustache. Matt looked rather hot with a blonde streak through the middle of his hair, and might be added to my worrying list of ‘indie boys who look like monsters’ that I seem to have the hots for. From the new songs Invicible probably stood out the most to me, but that was probably because I thought they were doing a very strange cover of You’ll Never Walk Alone for the first minute of the song. Needless to say everything sounded epic, hysterical and very over the top, but in an awesomely good way.

Celebrity spots were rubbish as I only managed to see Johnny Borrell, Kele Obereke and Sarah Cawood.

This was the setlist

Take a Bow
Map of the Problematique
Butterflies and Hurricanes
Plug in Baby
Citizen Erased
Soldier’s Poem
Feeling Good
Stockholm Syndrome
Supermassive Black Hole

New Born

Time Is Running Out
Knights Of Cydonia