Saturday 24 March 2018

New Indie March 2018 - Critical Reaction, Delphina Kings & Sunglo...

Nothing like letting the internet take you a treasure hunt of new music, well actually nothing like going to random events to find the latest talent. Anyway Saturday morning and the internet will do, normally I spend hours trawling for bands and sharing sites to find something new, someone who's taking a sound and making it their own. This morning I took a longer listen to a band I came across earlier in the week, a northern band called Critical Reaction (that's a southern band to you folk in Scotland).

Today I didn't need to spend that long searching because Scruff of the Neck have put together a pretty sweet line up in 2 weeks time at Gulliver Manchester. Critical Reaction, Delphine Kings & Sunglo It's rare you hit lucky and find 3 really interesting bands in 1 go.

Critical Reaction - 4 piece band from North England, started off as a pub band in 2015 and quickly released several singles and a few months ago released their first EP "Take Some Time". 

I often find that now-a-days most Indie bands first few songs are a little samey, showcasing talent but not diversity. Not these guys, their first 4 songs are really good in their own way. They start out with 'Leave It Out' (their first single) it has hints of the early 2000's Nu Metal scene / Post-Grunge with progressive rifts synonymous to early Indie bands such as Arctics. 

'Forget About It' maintains that early Indie sound but with uplifting chords giving the feeling of Post-Punk / Pop-Punk influence.

'Days' slows the pace down and brings in more of that Pop-punk / Funk sound to the forefront with lots of building up, and drops, very well executed with a lot more backing vocals.
'Home' starts with a relatively slow pace, you can hear the Indie influence massively here, then boom we start to build up and again and pull in those Nu Metal guitar rifts and progressive drums, into a guitar solo - its a little quiet could do with a little more volume, but it works.

Definitely one to watch! Especially with them bringing some creative sounds, it's been a while since I've heard a sound like this. 

Take a listen below and browse over their pages

Delphina Kings - another 4 piece from North West. In their own words
"Delphina Kings formed in 2017. Combining the fuzzy energy of Blur with the singalong hooks of The Hunna, the North West trio play an angular brand of indie rock."

I think that's a pretty fair representation, their 5 singles (linked below) have the brit-pop sound with elements of Indie-Pop & Euro-Pop merge elements of grunge and Electro!

I really like "Like You" the chorus has some raw vocals which draw similarities to some early hard rock legends with a very Electro sound. 
'Electric' has a very catch sound - this is where you hear the early 00's Brit sound - Think Futureheads meet Oasis meet Blur.

All 5 tracks on Spotify are all really good, again a mixed sound waving in and out of early 00's & Modern Rock influences.

Sunglo - Here we've got another Northern Band,  Female fronted band who's influences are pretty clear Smashing Pumpkins, Soundgarden, Pixies... we have a Progressive Psychedelic mix of Rock & Pop

There is limited content available but check out the below Soundcloud and Youtube it won't disappoint.

Tickets to see all these at  Gulliver's Manchester 7th April are available @ £6 here:


- Michael

Thursday 22 March 2018

Lily Allen - Gorilla Manchester March 2018

It's no surprise that Lily Allen's first gig in 3 years sold out in seconds, especially when it's at a 500 capacity venue on the eve of a new Album release.
Gorilla has seen a few intimate gigs recently with the likes of Kylie doing a similar gig the week before. I'm hoping this becomes a regular thing, because intimate gigs are genuinely the best type.

There was no support act but we didn't need one, Lily Allen was about to showcase her new Album and that's all the very mixed crowd wanted.  Coming out at just after 9pm wearing a Maharishi Tracksuit, Lily hit straight off into her new material. Which was, as expect, Lily Allen through and through. Funny, heartfelt, political. Lily started off a little nervous, but that quickly changed and excitement took over.

It's a little different getting into a gig where you're hearing the songs for the first time, it's more stand, listen and enjoy than full on dance and sing. Being Lily's first gig in a few years there was a few teething issues with sound and such but that's the nature of Live music, it didn't help that's she was also suffering from a sore throat although that didn't her sound too much.. in fact she actually sounds better live than on the studio tracks!

Each track Lily gave us a little background about it's origin. 'Three' made me laugh, after she sang it, joked that whilst it's a song about her child it's an easy way at getting the gig as backing track on a certain Mobile network providers Adverts. 

I'm definitely looking forward to the album release so I can properly listen, but from the showcase it was everything you'd expect and more. It's clear the focus of the music is inspired by her children and ex partner, which introduced us to a new, grown up, side of Lily. Dont worry though we still have the party Lily we know in Higher and Trigger Bang.

The latter half of the gig we got top hits such as 'Smile' and a perfectly dedicated 'Fuck You' (to Trump and May).
Encore was 'Trigger Bang', 'The Fear' and smash hit to finish 'Not Fair'.

Overall the gig was on form and personal! Certainly worth adding to the Wishlist when she's next on tour.

Thursday 15 March 2018

Stiff Little Fingers - The Ritz Manchester Mar 2018

I feel really indifferent about posting a blog about this gig. I feel strange when it comes to a band who've been doing gigs since well before I was born.
It's been 41 years since Stiff Little Fingers first came on the scene, 1977 and this is Northern Ireland's answer to Punk. The Clash, Ramones, Sex Pistols.. the short lived Punk scene paved the way for whole new world of Music, giving us the Post-Punk genres we know and love today. 

For the last 7years I've seen Stiff Little Fingers at their Annual Tour, hitting Manchester around St Patrick's Day each year. I was 14 when I first heard Alternative Ulster, 23years after it was released, at the height of the NI Troubles. It wasn't for another 10 years that I really got into SLF, extending my playlist from Inflammable Material and Nobody's Hero, and started listening to some of their recent Albums of which there are 8 other studio albums and many live compilations.

Supported by Ruts DC (aka The Ruts), of Babylons Burning fame, Stiff Little Fingers - Jake Burns, Ian Mccallum, Ali McMordie and Steve Grantley came on a little later than normal, about 9:15pm. 
If you haven't seen SLF live, they are what you'd expect of Punks in their 50s/60s, older, aged and certainly not jumping around smashing the stage, instead opting to create atmosphere through storytelling - of which Jake Burns is synonymous for - and playing really good anthems.

It's last year we saw their 40th anniversary so got mostly Greatest Hits, not a bad thing, this year we got some of the lesser played songs and even a taster of their new song Tilting Windmills influenced by Brexit, typical of recent SLF songs, got their new sound but based on the typical Politics we expect from Jake. I can tell you it had an awesome guitar solo in it.

I can't give much more on these guys, they are amazing and part of the influence in my love of music. Take the opportunity to see these guys whilst they are still touring, it's worth every penny

Tuesday 6 March 2018

Andrew W.K. - You're Not Alone

I fucking love Andrew W.K!! I love everything about him. I love his political ideas, his look, his strange piano album, his voice, his whole attitude to life, and I especially love the fact that he followed me on Twitter last week. Everyone has that somebody that they just enjoy: A comedian that makes you laugh just by walking on stage, and actor that has you interested before they speak a single word, that person, for me, is Andrew WK. So, this review may be a bit biased.

I fucking love this record!! You probably saw that coming.
It's an entire album of uplifting anthems that will make you feel on top of the world. The catchy-ass anthems are broken up nicely with a trio of spoken word sections. I don't want to go into too much detail, because I want you to go and listen to this record. You won't regret it.

I'd been listening to ‘Music Is Worth Living For’ for a week or 2, and it's a perfect opener to the album (after the atmospheric intro) and really sets the tone for what we are about to experience. Yeah, it's a bit cheesy, but it's so much fun. Isn't that the point? We're in for a ride!

The album flips between genres, there is classic rock with ‘Give Up On You’. There's a bit of Rock Opera, ‘The Devil's On Your Side’ wouldn't sound out of place on a Broadway Musical. There is punk rock, ‘I Don't Know Anything’ has the potential to be a dancefloor anthem for years to come. My personal favourite is ‘Ever Again’ with it’s motivational lyrics, pounding percussion and strange little guitar effects. Whatever musical genre this is, it sounds exactly as it should. It sounds like Andrew W.K.

I'm trying to a be a bit subjective, I'm trying to think of negative things to say about it, just so this review is balanced. I've seen other critics saying the album is too long. To that, I say: this the first time in 8 years we have new music from Andrew W.K. and I believe this is his best work since his PHENOMENAL debut album ‘I Get Wet’! So shut up, it's not too long!
The only negative I can think of, is that the vinyl isn't available in the UK just yet. Does that count?
Anyway. We're not music critics here at ALOMR, we're not journalists, we're music fans, and I am fanboying like crazy with this record.

As a race, we are finally starting to accept and deal with Anxiety and Depression. Life is hard, there are many struggles and many obstacles. But there are just as many people willing to help. We are attacking this head on. We have doctors and medicine, we have outlets, therapy. We are all in this together, and we have brilliant minds working hard to beat this. You're Not Alone!
The title of this blog, A Life Of Music Rocks, signifies how we feel. Music helps us through the dark times, music alters our mood instantly, music keeps us moving forward, music cures. Andrew WK is a poster boy for these feelings. That's why I fucking love him, and I fucking love this record!

If, like Me, you cannot wait to scream these songs back at the man himself, he is on tour with his band very soon. Catch him live in April, in Cardiff (13th), London (14th), Birmingham (15th), Norwich  (18th), Portsmouth (19th), Manchester (20th, I'll be there) and Glasgow (21st).

Do yourself a favour, listen to this album. I promise it will make you feel great, it will make you want to go outside and win at sports, achieve things, or at the very least, it will make you smile.
...and isn't that what makes life beautiful?
Thanks Andrew.

(Did anyone notice how I wrote that entire blog without using the word ‘Party’? Mission Accomplished, that was difficult)

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