Monday, 29 April 2013

DIGITAL WORDS / Jaws Interview

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Hailing from Birmingham and bandying around a comforting ‘90s indebted strung out garage sound, four piece Jaws seem so far so B-Town. They’re a band who have been gently but assuredly bubbling away as their home town scene has become the focal point of a nostalgic slacker pop revival. Jaws filled 2012 with a number of shimmering singles like ‘Toucan Surf’ and ‘Surround You’ and they have continued this year in the same promising fashion with their latest ‘Friend Like You.’ For those who haven’t yet had the pleasure of having Jaws’ warming tones washed over you, the band have done you a favour and compiled all their best tracks and b-sides onto one understatedly rich EP - ‘Milkshake’. We recently had a chat with the guys to find out about their ever growing popularity and their fresh new compilation.

You played your first show together about a year ago. Compare that first gig to the shows you played on your recent UK tour.
Well, our first show was a nightmare for us, I’m not sure how the ten people in the crowd found it but we know we sucked.  However some of the shows on the tour were incredible, I’m going to say the Birmingham show was the best night as somehow it managed to sell out which was unexpected so that made the show really something special for us, we got a load of inflatable palm trees, sharks, beach balls and confetti cannons for it.

You guys are a big component of the B-Town scene. Do you think it’s fair for Jaws to be compared to the likes of Swim Deep and Peace or has it just become an easy way of labelling all of the good bands coming out of Birmingham?
Of course, we’re all from Birmingham so we’re always going to get compared to each other.

How do you feel about your contemporaries, the aforementioned Swim Deep and Peace, becoming more London-centric? Do you think you’ll end up doing the same?
It doesn’t bother us in the slightest but obviously if you gave someone the choice of Birmingham or London then 99.4% of people will chose London. Maybe one day we’ll be the same, who knows?

Are there any other bands from your hometown who we should be listening out for or that you particularly like?
There are so many… Superfood, Laced, Bad Moon, Wide Eyed, Heavy Waves, God Damn, Dumb, These Kings and Caves. 

There’s a hell of a lot of dreamy guitar pop floating around right now. What would you say makes Jaws stand out?
Erm, I’m not sure, maybe it’s because one of our guitars is named Kelvin.

Your new EP ‘Milkshake’ brings together all of your singles and b-sides from the past year. How does this collection of songs make you feel about the band’s career so far? Has it been a bit of whirlwind experience?
Yeah, I mean I guess the whole point of this EP was to kind of check point where we are as a band right now, it also groups together all the tracks for anyone who discovers us and wants to give us a proper listen it saves them having to go deep into the internet for the odd single and b-side.  The fact we’ve managed to get as far as putting out a proper EP makes us feel pretty proud. It’s something we never expected to be doing when we started the band to be honest. We didn’t think anyone would care.

What are your upcoming plans for the rest of 2013? Can we expect a Jaws album? More tour dates, perhaps?
We’re doing some festivals in the summer like Bestival, Camp Bestival, Beacons and X&Y. Plus we’ll be playing here and there. Hopefully some tour dates towards the end of the year. And there is a 100% chance of more music coming your way in 2013

Finally, who are your idols?
Our cat, Pip ‑ just a pure legend.

Jaws’ ‘Milkshake’ EP is out now

Written for IDOL

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Monday, 22 April 2013

UPDATE / Making HIStory Exhibition

I have more details to tempt those of you who still have not bought your tickets.

Saturday is nigh-on sold out. So if you want a quieter gallery experience I would recommend visiting on the Sunday. 

You can purchase tickets HERE

Also, here's a couple of previews of some of the vintage merchandise that will be available at the pop-up shop. Although I am way more excited about the brand new, exclusive items that will be on sale...

See you there, yeah? 

Thursday, 18 April 2013

DIGITAL WORDS / "The Trials of Michael Jackson" Book Review

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‘The Trials Of Michael Jackson’ by Lynton Guest  Book Review by Kate Allen

‘The Trials Of Michael Jackson’ is a 2006 title that was published swiftly following Michael’s 2005 acquittal. With promises of revelations of secret forces, events and conspirators that brought about the downfall of a megastar, this book lures readers in with its premise of unknown and revelatory information. However, the reality of ‘The Trials Of Michael Jackson’ is that it provides little more than conjecture and longwinded tangents that can leave you exasperated, far from the story you thought you would and should be reading and often asking; “Where is Michael Jackson in this book?”

Written by Lynton Guest, who has previously authored five books on football, it therefore seems somewhat incongruous that he would then produce a book on Michael Jackson. Indeed when Guest himself admits in the course of the book;

“I can’t say for certain exactly why the case of Michael Jackson so caught my imagination?”

So, he perhaps has an agenda of his own, it all contributes to the general air of a cash-in that circulates around ‘The Trials Of Michael Jackson.’ Further undermining the authority of the author is his chosen portrait that features in the back of the book. I’m sorry, but I can hardly bring myself to trust the words of someone who chooses to present a picture of themselves with a cigarette hanging distastefully from their mouth. It’s just a tad unseemly and somewhat unprofessional.

The content of the book itself is incredibly frustrating. When a book carries the name ‘Michael Jackson’ in the title one would expect him to be the main attraction. However, he serves as nothing more than the peg that this book precariously hangs upon. The majority of this book and its narrative are made of off topic deviations that ramble on for so long I often found myself checking the book cover to make sure that I was even reading a book purportedly about Michael Jackson. The in-depth history of Sony is turned into a painfully drawn out and dry history lesson, but at least it eventually becomes relevant to Jackson. However, it was difficult to tolerate unrelated tales about independent British record labels and stories about Guest’s time in 60s pop group Love Affair.

I’ve read this book so you don’t have to, so I feel obliged to deliver the one significant theory this book puts forward. Guest presents the notion that Sony in fact wanted Michael Jackson and his finances to be destroyed by the child abuse accusations and trial of 2005, so that they could seize Michael’s portion of the ATV catalogue and the rights to his own songs. There. I’ve just saved you a rather aggravating read!

Friday, 12 April 2013

DIGITAL WORDS / Here Is Your Temple "So High" EP Review

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Swedish five piece who have a distinct way with shoegaze launch you into their alternate universe with their debut EP.

Giving Beach House a run for their money in the grown-up dream pop stakes, Swedish group Here Is Your Temple unleash a five track EP that can be assuredly filed between the aforementioned Baltimore twosome and French synth-poppers M83. Yet what sets Here Is Your Temple apart from their alt-pop contemporaries is that their sound is not so much geared towards inviting you to jump aboard a cloud of hazy ethereal calm, it’s more about pushing you down the rabbit hole.

Title track and debut single ‘So High’ is the prefect introduction to the darkened gloss of Here Is Your Temple’s sound as a brooding, thudding bass underlies an airy, synth hook as well as the androgynous, Patti Smtih-style vocals of singer Emily McWilliam.

As well as the nightmarish edge this EP exerts, a further additive to Here Is Your Temple’s shoegaze concoction are strong melodies which pay tribute to the soft rock of Fleetwood Mac, such as tracks like the deceptively pessimistic ‘Once Rich’ and the spaced-out acoustics of ‘Say Hey.’ Adeptly balancing and combining accessible pop phrases with broad cinematic soundscapes, So High is a tuneful trip that is waiting to take you away.

Written for IDOL

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Thursday, 4 April 2013

PRINTED WORDS / The Mushpit #5

The latest issue of The Mushpit is out now.

It's bigger and better than ever. Plus, it's a beauty special edition. 

As well as fashion stories that are too cool for the likes of me and other regular Mushpit features, this issue also contains my double-page feature on "Bathroom Beauty" which informs you how to turn your humble water closet into a home spa haven. 

Get it HERE

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

PRINTED WORDS / Bastille "Bad Blood" Album Review

Taken from NOTION issue 62

Open in a new tab to read - duh