Single Review – The Libertines – Gunga Din

With their new album Anthems for Doomed Youth coming in September, The Libertines have released a new single to come from it with ‘Gunga Din’. Despite the ‘hype’ of a Doherty and Barat reunion the track is hopelessly stuck in the middle of the last decade to the point where they sound like a matured version of Catfish and the Bottlemen and is narrowly aiming straight for that ‘LAD’ strain of Indie music or what they claim it to be whilst only occasionally engaging with the reggae tinged aspects of the song. Despite the half decent effort of the Babyshambles last album, it by no means set the world alight and with this single coming off the back of their criticised Glastonbury set it just makes you question what on earth are they doing?

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995

Glastonbury 2015 – Who To Catch Up On

If you were busy this weekend and didn’t feel like being surrounded by the mud, the Tories or the wannabes at Glastonbury, then here’s a small guide about which acts you should catch up on…

Lionel and Pharrell spread the joy

The Soul and Pop legend that is Lionel Richie attracted the biggest crowd of the festival with over 100,000 moving to tracks like ‘dancing on the ceiling’ with thousands all decked out in what was the most popular merchandise of the festival. It’s almost like they missed a trick not making him a headline act given his reception. Similarly Pharrell got the crowd going in an enthusiastic fashion and both provided the simple feel-good factor.

Ronson and friends provide the funk

Mark Ronson went all out in his efforts to wow the audience with his set. He did just about played and tampered with everything available and rolled out a varied list of artists to give him a hand from Kevin Parker, Kyle Falconer, Boy George, Grandmaster Flash, George Clinton and Mary J. Blige to name a few! Outstanding effort from Ronson to give the audience more than their money’s worth.

Florence Substitutes

Florence + The Machine delivered a high energy performance verging on the insane as she belted out her simple yet sophisticated catalogue of music and paid tribute to the missing Foo Fighters with her own rendition of ‘Times Like These’. The fact she’s back to number one in the album charts should tell you all you need to know about the impact of her performance.

Reliably Amazing acts deliver again

Future Islands rocked out another fine performance, despite feeling the fatigue slightly in what has been a non-stop year and a half for the band. Samuel Herring still amazed and frightened the life out of people with his now trademark stylish aggression, passion and ridiculous dance moves. In a similar but wonderfully sleazy way, Father John Misty thrust and launched himself just about everywhere, but delivered every track at album level quality. ‘Bored in the USA’ was just as theatrically trashy and even unnerving as you’d expect and was a sight to behold. Meanwhile, Courtney Barnett made herself feel at home at the Pyramid Stage of all places whilst effortlessly and breezily rolling through set in her typical laid back style. Glastonbury veterans delivered their set as if it was 1993 again and even stole a lot of the crowd away from Kanye’s headline act. The Who rolled out a hit feast for the fans and delivered also delivered a performance like their famous seventies gigs, but at a slower pace, still worth seeing despite their advancing years.

Kanye…

He was causing controversy before and after the his headline slot with many signing petitions to get him removed, but he was there in defiance and the opening stages of his set delivered some of his biggest tracks and was almost space age in it’s opening and set up for his ego with him and the lights on him. As simple as that. It worked wonderfully as a statement, but for the whole show it’s novelty wore away and he really should have took a leaf out of Ronson’s book for the middle and latter stages of his set. Not even Kanye can do everything on his own. The fact he claimed he was the biggest rockstar in the world is of no concern to me… it’s that sort of musical conservatism that stifles music and similarly threatened to stifle the festival, but Kanye was always going to be there and divided the majority of the audience straight down the middle. The Libertines were also left high and dry by being moved up the billing thanks to the Foo Fighters absence and their disjointed and worn set did nothing to get anyone shouting.

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995

Single Review – Royal Blood – Figure It Out

With their fourth single and a very capable Glastonbury set; Royal Blood are completing a rather successful PR campaign before the release of their debut album on August 25th. The new single is called ‘Figure It Out’ but ironically there is little to figure out sadly. It does start with a slight urgency and Zeppelin-like trepidation and a bold drum beat of which the vocal flows through in a slick and close fashion. Then it just turns into the mindless guitar thrashing, porridge-like taste when there is an endless list of those who can provide the same sound but in a far, far more coherent and imaginative way. I’m sure it sounds great live but of course it does. That sound has sounding great live for well over a decade now. It’s no miraculous discovery and from what I can tell neither are Royal Blood. I’m not sure upon which situation that you’d find yourself listening to these. Maybe if Jack White, QOTSA, Black Keys, Blood Red Shoes etc. etc. etc. are not to hand as you’ll find that they all do far better and more imaginative things with this sound. So much so that they have now left this sound as it’s becoming a bit of a deadweight that is only made heavier by Royal Blood I’m afraid to say.