Wagwan peaches, the past month has been a rather busy one. This month I moved to Southampton and started uni; only halfway through freshers events, I've only died twice this week.
Since the last AB post, I went to Reading Festival which was quite easily one of the best experiences to date. Even though I went Wednesday to Monday, I had to go home for the day on Friday and cover bass for Maverick at Reaper Fest at The Melbourn Rock Club (even if it did mean missing The Big Moon, Marika Hackman and Two Door Cinema Club. But at least I caught the last 20 minutes of Kasabian).
The majority of my Saturday was spent running between the BBC Radio 1/NME and Festival Republic stage. The first band I saw (properly) that weekend was Wolf Alice's secret set and left halfway to catch the end of King No One. After KNO I stayed at NME for Blaenavon and saw InHeaven for the first time. I spent the rest of the day at Festival Republic and saw my favourite band for the second time, Superfood, who I'm also seeing again next month at The Joiners in Southampton. The Japanese House were the best mid afternoon comedown band as I was completely mashed at this point and was in desperate need of some chilled out vibes before Black Honey. This was easily one of my highlights of the weekend as Izzy Baxter held my hand during Corrine and signed my white Doc Martens after their set.
I started off my Sunday with VANT on the main stage and honestly it's the worst band I've seen live. I love their studio album however their stage performance was piss poor. Maybe it was due to the fact they were on the main stage at 2pm however I was expecting so much more from them. This didn't ruin my day though as the next band I saw was possibly the best band I've seen live to date. Prior to Reading I'd never actually listened to Pond even though multiple friends have recommended them to me. From Perth, this Psychedelic rock band are the side project of Tame Impala with a revolving lineup. It was rather nice having comedy to just mong out to in the afternoon, I've been a fan of Katherine Ryan for years now so seeing her grow in popularity over the past year and at Reading was the absolute best. I started the Sunday evening with Blossoms followed by Liam Gallagher which was indie heaven. When it came to the headliners, I had the conundrum that i told myself id see the first 15 minutes of Muse then bounce over to Haim on the other side of the arean. However I managed to get a perfect front and center spot for the main stage, so I had no option but to crowd surf my way out of there if I was going to make it in time for the NME stage (dw I did with time to spare). I'm so glad I finished my weekend with them as they were one of my gateway bands when I was a tiny ickle music connoisseur.
A few weeks after, there was an end of an eara. It saddens me so much knowing that there isn't gonna be anymore Staycations for a while as of their farewell for now gig last fortnight. It was a rather emotional gig as after four years they're all off to uni. And also for me, it was my last Cambridge gig before I moved to Southampton. Even though they have no more gigs planned for now, all their music is on their Spotify and soundcloud.
Last week I went to Nambucca on Holloway Road for the first time to see my pals Maverick at their first London gig. The event was hosted by Jack Rocks and I managed to stick around for some great bands like Sophie & The Giants, Kevin & The Vandals and The K's from Manchester; all of which I highly recommend.
Lastly I went to my first Southampton gig at The Joiners this week. I didn't stay right till the end of the night (had freshers to get to) but two acts that really stuck out for me was singer-songwriter Matt Bialas and grungy/funky four-piece Lost Or Stolen.
The Staycations - Why Can't You Make Up Your Mind
In their blazing glory, Staycations have left the Cambridge music scene for now with three brand new tracks on the EP Just Before It Falls, including their hit Ophelia. Why Can't You is darker, edgier and shoutier than ever, and is a massive leap from their first original tracks like Dust Beneath Our Feet which had a lot of Mumford and Sons influence. But this new EP has for sure nailed the unique sound that is theirs.
Superfood - Where's The Bass Amp?
I'm so excited to be seeing Superfood for the third time next month, especially now that their swaggering wonky indie second studio album Bambino is out. This song is an absolute super happy bop, a downright funky strut, and like many other tracks on the album, has a hazy yet creative use of sample-heavy highlights. The entire album is giddily infectious and also as a bassist, I've never related to a song title so much in my life.
4th Oct - Thekla, Bristol
5th Oct - The Joiners, Southampton
6th Oct - The Garage, London
7th Oct - Neighbourhood Festival, Manchester
9th Oct - Think Tank, New Castle
10th Oct - King Tuts, Glasgow
11th Oct - Mama Roux's, Birmingham
12th Oct - Bodega, Nottingham
13th Oct - Dryden Street Social, Leicester
Pond - Don't Look At The Sun Or You'll Go Blind
Even though this some was released back in 2009 on their debut album 'Psychedelic Mango' (only 500 copies were printed), it was this song that captivated me at Reading Festival. Hearing it for the first time in that atmosphere with the right people really made it stick, and was just as good when i searched it up online after the festival weekend (it was harder than I thought, but the best audio i could find of it was the KEXP Live Lounge session on youtube which you can find here. I think it's the driving bass line that keeps the whole song together and going. Their new album 'The Weather' is out now.
These Merseyside lads made a debut onto to spotify this July with Sarajevo, which was one of my favourites during their set at Nambucca this month. Front man Jamie Boyle has this 'textbook Jack the Lad' style with his stage presence and audience awareness but their songs are well crafted indie-drunk-sing-a-long bangers. Even though they had the quality PA system and the whole venue bopping along, it honestly felt like Nambucca wasn't big enough for their songs to thrive.
30th Sep - Double Denim Live Leeds, Verve Bar
16th Dec - The Deaf Institute, Manchester
Tom Copson - High Hopes
This track is quite sentimental to me as Tom Copson and I had the same guitar teacher growing up (big up John). I haven't seen/heard any new stuff from him since 2013, so when he released the High Hopes this month I was absolutely thrilled. Like his influences of Damien Rice and Sufjan Stevens, this song is a perfect omnichord acoustic ballad with stark but genius lyricism about his own experiences and the future. His first Live @ The CB2 EP was one of the first locally produced albums I ever bought, so listening to his sound develop over the years to such a special quality really hit me hard.
Dates:3rd Oct - The Troubadour, London
24th Oct - Seedling Sessions, Bristol
28th Oct - BBC Introduction Live Lounge, BBC Radio Cambridge
16th Nov - The King's Head, Guildford