Following their epic headlining of The East Wing venue for this year’s Great Escape Festival, I made it a priority to watch The Districts again. The alternative rockers possess the ability to make anything sound epic, as they turn venues into one large hotbed of euphoria. If coming-of-age album A Flourish and a Spoil hinted at the band’s forward thinking signatures, then the new tracks featured on Popular Manipulations are the culmination of that and they transfer marvellously into a live setting.
“Birmingham was a bit boring last night, we’re glad you guys are more fun as it’s our last night in this country,” said frontman Dustin Payseur as Beach Fossils ended the UK leg of their tour in chaotic fashion. Their lo-fi, atmospheric sound was still sounding as fresh as ever as the young, eager crowd showed their appreciation to a New York band which can now fall back on a diverse back catalogue.
Celebrating 15 years of their acclaimed debut album, Interpol took their anniversary tour of Turn On the Bright Lights to the magnificent Alexandra Palace and it still sounds as fresh now as it did in 2002.
Whilst Antics took them to a wider audience, the first record has always been their most flawless as a body of work. Dressed in their typical business-like suits, Paul Banks and his gang looked as stylish as ever as they ran through the album in its entirety, along with a mini greatest hits set for the encore.
Four years have passed since the release of Trouble Will Find Me, but frontman Matt Berninger has said that The National started working on this record the minute they finished touring the last one: “The only break we took was from the constant pressure we put on each other. We didn’t feel like rushing it.”
Although 2004’s You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine helped define the indie-disco era, it left people wanting more from Death From Above, as the band broke up soon after. The Physical World then came a decade later in what was a surprise reunion. It again embraced the exhausting sonic levels of the first record only with more maturity and production value. Sebastien Grainger and Jesse F. Keeler then said that they wouldn’t leave it as long for the third record and the pair have proven to be men of their word with an LP that picks up where the last left off.
“Let’s just start this thing finally with some clarity,” said James Murphy in a statement last year. LCD Soundsystem’s Madison Square Garden show was supposed to be their final gig; a grand send off on what was a terrific ten years of music. However, this was not the case.
Pedalling 90s grunge but spat out for a 21st century audience, INHEAVEN seem to have been gracing ‘ones to watch’ lists for the last few years without any significant release to back it up. The time has now come then for the London band to move beyond their ‘hype’ description. They have managed to do this to a certain extent, in what is an enjoyable listen.
Under the backdrop of angelic wistful vocals and swirling melodic rock, Neon Waltz, the UK’s most isolated/hard-working band, blew the capital away on a rainy August weekday night. Based at the top of the UK near John O’Groats, the Scottish group’s debut gathers influences from this area and they delivered a stupendous set made up of intricately crafted, heart-swelling songs taken from Strange Hymns.
Australian post-punkers Gold Class have gone deeply personal for their new record Drum. Whilst their second release still showcases their dark, strident, riff-heavy sounds, the four-piece are this time exploring conversations surrounding queer history and the ideas of silence, evasion and transgression within this. They will be bringing these new tunes to their first ever Brighton headline show in September. I caught up with frontman Adam Curley:
The long-awaited return of Beach Fossils, Somersault exhibits a band in bloom. Moving into new musical territory with a refined songwriting style, it’s an album that captures flashes of life in New York grounded in personal experience. The Brooklyn band will be showcasing it to Brighton at the beginning of September, ahead of this show I caught up with Dustin Payseur from the band.