Music Notes: Saddle Creek and NME Radar
Kingsley HarrisIt's been non-stop since I arrived back from Brighton. First there was the Saddle Creek Records tour at the Norwich Arts Centre. Kicking off proceedings were VIOLET VIOLET who sounded amazing with their usual brash, but tonight, crystal clear set.Kingsley Harris
It's been non-stop since I arrived back from Brighton. First there was the Saddle Creek Records tour at the Norwich Arts Centre. Kicking off proceedings were VIOLET VIOLET who sounded amazing with their usual brash, but tonight, crystal clear set. Brother sister act DAG FOR DAG, from Stockholm in Sweden, were main support and gave us something memorable. Proclaiming an alt rock mantle it was more psychedelic in a Jefferson Airplane style, with front woman Sarah Snavely certainly having a Grace Slick quality.
Indie-punk outfit CURSIVE, from Nebraska, USA, were headlining. I'm not sure where their idea of punk came from, yes the guitars can get a bit grinding and some of the tracks do shift at pace but to me it was quite tame and poppy. One track reminded me of Cars and Girls by 80's pop band Prefab Sprout, and that's about as far from punk as you can get.
The NME radar tour at The Waterfront was a packed house, mainly to see La Roux, I suspect. I arrived late deliberately to miss openers THE CHAPMAN FAMILY who I've seen once and too many times already. I can't find technical fault with them, their songs just don't push any buttons that say remember me.
So first band on the bill for me were MAGISTRATES from Essex. Although a bit repetitious they were the most complete performance of the night. The band drifted in and out of retro pop and dance with people like ABC /Marvin Gaye and Prince at the top of my list.
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Then came HEARTBREAKER, and they certainly were. The whole band reminded me of that clip they keep digging out for Ricky Gervais when he was in Seona Dancing, it was cringe worthy and very Eurovision.
I found the start of the LA ROUX set rather hilarious with Elly Jackson playing the big rock star to the hilt. Despite having a pretty unusual voice and a fabulous look I'm not sure we have a major talent in Elly and if (when) this all goes wrong I can see another Adam Ant, Boy George scenario, as Warhol's theory of fame kicks in.
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I think back to bands and artists like Yazoo, OMD, Blancmange, Heaven 17 and the unforgettable Gary Newman and for me trying to repeat this is very pass�.
Yes, In For The Kill is an awesome song but the whole set at the moment seems to be built around this one track. I know the new single Bullet Proof is a bit catchy in a You Spin Me Round kind of way but this still doesn't capture the same essence, and with no number ones I can't even say 'one hit wonder' at this point.
Perhaps I'm just jealous because all we got in the 1980s was a 1960s revival and apart from a few genuine 60s re-releases the best they conjured up for us was Jive Bunny.
t Violet Violet will play B2 as part of Hot City Sounds on July 10