Tag Archives: shoegaze

Review: Storms at Club NME

© KOKO London / Charlotte Davidson 

Ahh, Club NME at Koko. In its heyday, this weekly guitar-fuelled orgy was a place where trilby-wearers could find a safe haven of acceptance, and spoilt girls who dressed exclusively in the Kate Moss for Topshop range could kid themselves that they were going to find their future rock star husband here. Now, Club NME is a bit stale – indie music just ain’t what it used to be, the playlist doesn’t sound too different from the Geordie Shore soundtrack (okay, that’s unfair, maybe it’s more Made In Chelsea) and the drinks are still horrendously expensive.

Not that tonight’s headliners, Storms, really give a fuck about any of that. They’re not here to relive the, err, ‘glory days’ of The Libertines, nor are they trying to peddle some chart-humping shite that sounds like a collection of rejected Owl City songs. Nope, Storms have drawn their musical influences from arguably the best genres of the ‘90s – grunge, shoegaze and Britpop. As the sound of Kanye West fades away and the band take to the stage, a wave of gratitude washes over me. Opening song ‘Special’ fills the auditorium with heartfelt lyrics, even if these sombre tales of society’s lower echelons are masked by an anthemic riff. The crowd doesn’t seem to mind much though, and they sway along happily in a Jagermeister-induced stupor. “Nobody’s special!” they wail in unison, blissfully unaware of the sad truth they seem to be confirming.

The next track, ‘Words’, with its slow, layered guitars and crunchy reverb, is a definite nod to bands like My Bloody Valentine and Spacemen 3. Launching straight into new song ‘Swell’, lead singer George Runciman showcases stronger vocals that range from high-pitched yelping to Cobain-esque roars, supported by a thumping drum beat and thunderous, guitar-backed choruses. By the time the song is over the band appear to have created a bizarre kind of festival atmosphere, as a noticeable amount of girls have actually clambered onto their boyfriends’ shoulders, hands in the air like they’re trying to clutch on to the last of the summer.

The penultimate song of the evening, ‘Plague Machine’, is easily my favourite. With just the right mix of yearning, lust and anger, it’s got a frustrating familiarity to it; the classic influences are there, but you can’t quite pinpoint what they are. Essentially though, it’s a blend that is all Storms’ own.

It’s clear that Storms already have some loyal fans who showed up especially to see them, but you can’t help but wonder if the depth of Storms’ lyrics and their range of influences might be a bit wasted on the people who also enjoy the likes of Bastille and Everything Everything. Perhaps the idiots are still winning, but the enthusiasm for tonight’s performance shows that this lot at Club NME aren’t lost causes just yet.

The Bilinda Butchers – Careless Teens

ImageImageImageImageAww. This video for ‘Careless Teens’ by The Bilinda Butchers is really priddy and makes me yearn for a lazy sunny day where I can just do whatever I feel like. I discovered this band a couple of months ago when I first heard ‘The Lovers’ Suicide’, which also made me think of the weather. It was March and still snowing a lot in London, so it felt strangely appropriate to be listening to the lines: “Like a flower can’t bloom in the snow / We can’t hide, we can’t grow!”

Don’t you think that this video is almost like a lookbook for some kind of hipster fashion brand, like Wildfox or Cheap Monday, or something? When I saw it, I felt that it evoked a real girly ‘Tumblr’ aesthetic. Hopefully the maker of the video, Vanesa Capitaine, won’t be offended by that description – she does seem to use Tumblr a fair bit!

The Raveonettes for FAULT

Raveonettes James D KellyA while ago, I interviewed Sune from The Raveonettes for FAULT Magazine, ahead of their latest album release, ‘Observator’. The above photography is by James D. Kelly, you can read an excerpt from the interview below…The Raveonettes Fault MagazineThat’s all I can give you at the moment! You can read the whole interview in the latest issue of FAULT, which is out now. It’s available to buy at Books Magazines etc, along with FAULT back issues and merchandise, too.

Carousels – Over Me

Carousels bandHere is my favourite song off the ‘Pop’ EP from Cambridge-based shoegazers, Carousels. This isn’t the official video, but someone on Youtube has combined ‘Over Me’ with some nice clips of everyone’s favourite narcoleptic – River Phoneix’s character in ‘My Own Private Idaho’! Drink it in with your eyes and ears…

My Bloody Valentine Tickets!

All booked for March 12th at Hammersmith Apollo! I’m excited, to say the least. Now then…when the hell are The Jesus & Mary Chain finally going to do a UK tour again?

Veronica Falls – Teenage

Veronica Falls "Teenage" videoNice little tune from Veronica Falls – reminds me of the likes of The Shop Assistants, The Vaselines and Broadcast.

Tame Impala – Elephant

I love this new single by Tame Impala. Although they have still retained their mellow sound, they have added a foot-stomping beat to it and some trippy disco synths. The finished result, titled ‘Elephant’ is incredible! The video, which was created by artist Yoshi Sodeoka, possesses all the attributes that I’ve now come to expect from this genre of music – chromatic effects, kaleidoscopic visuals and vivid colours. This neo-psychedelic aesthetic is beginning to look sort of clichéd and predictable, but I still like it, so I’m not going to whine about the fact that bands are kind of doing it to death.