Friday Video roundup with Ingrid Plum, Cordelia Gartside, Astro Physics and The Kingsmiths

Here’s a few videos that have come our way recently – it’s been barely a week since the last one, but they keep rolling in. There’s some folk from Ingrid Plum, who’s playing at the Bleeding Hearts Club on 10th September and Cordelia who’s supporting House of Hats at the Brunswick tomorrow night, then some Hip Hop from Astro-Physics, and some indie rock from The Kingsmiths, so there’s definitely something for everyone there:

 

Ingrid Plum / Early

Cordelia Gartside / Fathoms Deep

Astro Physics / Chances

The Kingsmiths / My Best Error

Woodpecker Wooliams / The Bird School Of Being Human

The Bird School of Being Human is the new album from Woodpecker Williams, out on 10th September on Robot Elephant Records.

The album is both challenging and comforting, bonkers and beautiful. It all starts off innocuous enough, with Gemma Williams (you didn’t think Woodpecker Wooliams was her real name did you?) proving that Brighton can match Joanna Newsome for quirky harpists. The first sign of discontent is at the end of opener Red Kite, where things break down a bit, but Gull brings back the strumming.

But then we have the new single Sparrow, and everything’s changed. The harps have gone. There’s wonky chopped up keyboards, and lots of reverb all across the vocals. Magpie has acoustic guitars and a queasy drone, and by the time we get to Crow (which got picked for the cover cd of this month’s Uncut), things get really messy and distorted. I’m sure I’ve had nightmares  which have sounded like this. Which is kind of a compliment – in that to actually capture the creeping fear and paranoia is quite a feat.

Then our palates are cleansed with Dove, as Gemma reminds us that there is beauty in the world. The harps swirl again, but this time recalling some of Bjork’s quieter moments from Vespertine. Finally the record closes with Hummingbird, the album’s triumphant moment. It builds slowly from a choir-like intro, then halfway through things pick up, vocals get looped, latin drums kick off, and the vocals are joined by trumpets and party blowers.

Less than half an hour after we started, the album’s done. You’ll want to listen to on repeat to go through all those emotions again and again, and I can guarantee you won’t hear anything quite like it this year. Sparrow is out as a single next Monday with remixes from Marcus Hamblett, Becky Becky and 182 Productions, and the album launch is at Saint Andrew’s Church on Saturday 8th September. You can pre-order the album from the Robot Elephant Website.

Apples and Eve / Dionysus

Apples and Eve return with a new EP of gypsy folk out a week today. Dionysus is available to pre-order from the band’s website, and there’s a launch party at the Komedia next Wednesday (5th September), which hopefully we’ll be down at to report on. If you can’t wait a whole week, you can watch the video for Dionysus here, and listen to the EP below:

Keel Her / Prize Catch

Keel Her has been on my radar for a couple of months now, but every time I’ve gone to write something, it’s already out of date. Rose Keeler-Schäffeler is one of Brighton’s most prolific artists – a quick glance at her soundcloud page today shows 86 tracks, with the front page tracks being 5 days ago, 9 days ago, 12 days ago, 13 days ago…

Keel Her makes lo fi pop music. Most of the time when bands are described as Lo Fi, it means that they’re deliberately distorting their guitars and maybe putting the vocals low in the mix. Keel Her’s guitars are distorted and the mix is uneven, but I get the impression that’s less down to wanting to be lo fi, and more due to the limitations of bedroom recording, and the desire to get the track down and move onto the next song.

A physical release makes things a bit more permanent though, and Keel Her has a single out. Prize Catch is out now on Critical Heights. Don’t go thinking that Keel Her have gone into a studio and made a nice polished recording though – the four tracks on the EP are all of the same demo quality. Initially I thought my 7″ might have been a bad pressing, until I realised that it was just the way things were!

The lack of production hasn’t hindered Keel Her, receiving accolades across the music press, and working with lo fi heroes R Stevie Moore and Ariel Pink. And just today, they’ve been announced that they’ll be supporting The Charlatans at The Garage next months at a gig that sold out in a matter of minutes. Good work!

Prize Catch by Keel Her is available on 7″, or via bandcamp, and the band playing at the Green Door Store tomorrow (wednesday 29th August) supporting Fever Dream.

Tyrannosaurus Dead / Lemonade EP

Tyrannosaurus Dead released their new EP last friday, called Lemonade, after the title track. The band haven’t strayed too far from their lo fi shoegaze sound of their previous releases, but have spent a bit more time working on the production, bringing things closer to the band’s vision of their sound. The EP was recorded at Lightship95 – a studio on a boat in the East End of London earlier this year.

To celebrate the launch the band played a free gig at the Green Door Store, which must almost be a home from home for them these days. Support came from Gum (who were also on the bands recent split-release cassette), Poledo and Ides.

The Lemonade EP is available to buy through Tyrannosaurus Dead’s bandcamp page:

 

Club Berlin featuring Call Me Jolene, Jennifer Left and Sweet Sweet Lies

Not every event in Brighton can boast an Amy Winehouse impersonator as compere, but then not every event is Club Berlin, a new live night at the Jive Monkey which had it’s second outing this week. If an Amy Winehouse impersonator is a bit drunk and can’t remember all of the words to the likes of Rehab or Valerie, does that ruin the experience or make it more authentic? And was the drunkenness part of the act?

As I arrived, Dominic Von Trapp from Sweet Sweet Lies was performing a solo acoustic set. Accompanied on ukulele and guitar, Dom sang a host of tracks, most of which were familiar from his band’s album The Hare, The Hound & The Tortoise. The songs stood up well – the songwriting is solid and Dom’s distinctive voice and delivery is one of the things that makes Sweet Sweet Lies special.

Next up was Jennifer Left, also playing with a pared down band to fit onto the tiny stage. No bass or drums this time around, but she was joined by her guitarist and incredibly talented multi-instrumentalist Helen, who played keyboard, trumpet, accordion and xylophone. Jennifer Left looked more like a pop star than ever, with her heavy eye make up and cool new bob making her look like a dark haired Dusty Springfield. To cope with the reduced set up the band played up the jazzier elements of their songs, which worked especially well on their cover of New Order’s Temptation, and rounded up with a preview of their new single due in October which I’m sure we’ll be writing more about nearer the time.

Finally we had Call Me Jolene, who appeared the most band-like with guitar, bass, drum and vocals, but were still reduced in numbers. Rather than play a stripped down set as the other bands had, they played to a backing track – rather disconcerting when a piano track starts playing mid-song with no keyboard player on stage! Despite the presence of ex-Gene frontman Martin Rossiter on bass, Call Me Jolene are very much about Sophie Pointer: her vocals are the centrepiece of each of the songs they played and she was the only member of the band to engage with the audience. The songs themselves are slick adult rock songs, one pitched as a future James Bond theme, and another pitched as Jolene’s response to Dolly Parton’s song that the band took their name from. Some of the band’s songs I’ve heard on Soundcloud have a bit of a country feel, but this wasn’t especially evident live – I’d love to hear more of that coming through.

Club Berlin returns to the Jive Monkey on Thursday 20th Sept and features IDC, Bela Emerson, Das Fenster and Saffron Reichenbacker.

Call Me Jolene on Facebook

Call Me Jolene on Soundcloud

New videos : Fragile Creatures, House of Hats, King Porter Stomp, and King of Cats

We’ve come across a few videos in the past week or so which I thought I’d share. First up is Dear Michael by Fragile Creatures, which we wrote about back in June. They’ve finally got a video to go with their debut single. Next up is House of Hats with their next single Rivers Will Run. We interviewed them about their previous animated video not long ago. Then we’ve got the video for the new King Porter Stomp single which is out on Monday. Finally, we’ve got a new offering from King of Cats. We meant to write about his cassette that came out on Reeks of Effort a little while ago, but somehow got a bit distracted:

 

Fragile Creatures – Dear Michael

House of Hats – Rivers Will Run

King Porter Stomp – The Shuffle

King of Cats – Swelling Up