Tag Archives: folk rock

LIVE REVIEW: Of Monsters and Men (12.07.12)

13 Jul

Crouching on the benches at the back of the Scala and twisting into an awkward position in order to balance isn’t necessarily the best way to see Of Monsters and Men, but the venue is so packed that people resort to anything they can to catch a glimpse of the Icelandic band. 

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LIVE REVIEW: Nat Johnson and the Figureheads (15.02.12)

21 Feb

Formerly of folk-pop band Monkey Swallows The Universe, Nat’s been called as integral to the Sheffield scene as Jarvis Cocker – and tonight there’s no doubt she’s where she belongs, on stage in the Memorial Hall, at Sheffield City Hall.

After a brief song on the balcony above the audience and an introductory video, depicting the making of latest album I’m Across, I’m Ashore, Nat and band launch into the catchy Astronomy.

My problem with some of the newer material is it doesn’t feel as raw as Roman Radio, the début album. That’s not to call Roman Radio unpolished, but I’m Across, I’m Ashore – and the offerings from the What The Heart Pours Into EP – lack the edge and definition of previous songs. While it stays nicely in the twee, folk-rock genre that Nat and her band do so well, it never quite manages to push past that.

Introducing Sheffield Shanty as “the first of two songs about Sheffield”, however, the performance starts to pick up. The lively shanty showcases all the best bits of Nat’s musical skills, and the new line-up of the Figureheads are backing her at every opportunity.

The night only improves from there, with one song after another keeping the audience’s interest as Nat’s haunting voice provides the perfect complement to charming, clever songs.

The encore ends with the catchy Your Majesty, which sees Nat wearing a jaunty crown on her head.

Originally published here.

Breaking News: Bob Dylan cover album may not actually be the end of the world

3 Nov

When finding out that Miley Cyrus and Ke$ha are among a recently announced list of artists to contribute to a charity Bob Dylan tribute album (yes, the obvious joke is that we thought Amnesty International were against torture?), the instinctive response for most people is a negative one. Excluding those rare few who are genuine fans of both Bob Dylan and Ms Cyrus – if, in fact, such people exist – it’s fair to say that neither fanbase is going to experience a reaction of pure, unadulterated joy. Fans of Dylan are those who usually exude a sense of their own superiority, categorising Bob Dylan as ‘real’ music and turning up their noses at the so-called mainstream, particularly Miley’s brand of Disney pop. And Miley’s own fans, those oft-reviled ‘teenies’, aren’t likely to have any kind of interest in the strains of Dylan’s folk-rock music that they probably associate with their father.
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