Words by Ben Bowman.
Has that wall been built yet? No? Well, with with the shock of Trump’s presidential win starting to wear off and starting to sink into reality, the mimicking of wall-building is beginning to become somewhat less of a joke, despite the President’s comments about erecting a fence. Once again, in a turmoil filled times, music still continues to provide its own escape from the terror of the ‘real’ world. I give my weekly catch up on what you may have missed on the internet this week.
Wimbledon born indie maverick Jamie T resumed his UK tour this week that was partly postponed due to illness, playing shows in Brixton, Bournemouth and Liverpool. In the midst of this, his video for new single ‘Tescoland’ was released too. The video documents Jamie’s time on this tour so far, featuring live footage with buoyant crowds alongside some tour-diary like footage. ‘Tescoland’ is arguably one of the most accomplished tracks on this album, rapidly becoming a favourite amongst fans, which is evident in the video. With the south-londoner’s tour now over, attention turns now to what festivals he will now appear at next year. Is a headline slot not too far out of the equation? Maybe not, but it is a given that he will be appearing across major festivals next summer both in the UK and abroad.His fourth studio album ‘Trick’ is available to stream here.
Sticking with music videos, everyone has surely seen the hysterical video for The Last Shadow Puppets latest release ‘Les Cactus’. Their cover of Jacques Dutronc’s french hit features Turner providing some typically flamboyant dancing, well some would call it dancing and some would call it running. Although his french singing isn’t perfect, it makes the cover even more admirable. His eccentric, yet comedic ‘moves’ seem to bewilder everyone in the studio and the video is encapsulated perfectly at the end, with Miles Kane being left seemingly speechless. Evidently, with the reaction it caused online, Kane was not the only one left rather perplexed.
Continuing the French theme, The Bataclan music venue was re-opened last weekend, marking one year since the tragic attacks on the city of Paris. Sting played the first concert since the events that unfolded during Eagles of Death Metal’s gig there a year ago, but it was Pete Doherty’s crusade to Paris that grabbed the attention of social media this week. The poetic frontman of The Libertines brought a sense of hope back to a venue tainted by death. According to a review in The Independent, the venue was packed mostly of Parisians and only a handful of English fans. Along with a moving rendition of the French national anthem, Doherty was joined on stage by fellow Libertine Carl Barat during ‘You’re my Waterloo’. The concert served as a reminder of how powerful music can be in lifting the spirit of people scarred by suffering.
Now, in a week that has seen a survey released on just how expensive it is to attend football matches across the UK, gig-goers often experience the same bereft feeling when missing out on tickets to see a band as football fans who can’t go and watch their team play. The government this week has called for more action to be done to stop online ticket touting. It is often seen that when a band releases a huge stadium gig, for example when The Stone Roses announced that they would be playing Wembley stadium next summer; some few people are using automated purchasing systems known as ‘bot’s in order to price fans out of buying tickets. These tickets are then being relayed onto ticket touting websites such as Stubhub at highly inflated prices. In this study by the BBC, it was noted that MP’s are going to launch a full investigation into what is known as the ‘secondary market’ and contains some eye-opening facts and figures to show the extent in which this is becoming a real problem. Josh Franceschi from UK rock band You me at Six has spoken regularly about how music fans are huge losers in this system and called for ticket ‘botting’ to be illegal. The BBC study can be found here.
The ‘second hand market’ hasn’t only irritated music fans this week, but has irritated Slaves too. However, it is not the resale of tickets but their merchandise that has angered the Tunbridge Wells band. This instagram picture from Isaac; captioned ‘busy night was it cheeky fucker’ highlights the sense of frustration felt.
I was at Slaves’ gig in Cambridge the night before this was taken and there was no sign of this on that night with the only merchandise available on the night was inside the Corn Exchange. Not only is the merchandise on display from this punter unofficial, but is also deterring the band from making their way. Music shouldn’t be about the money, but if you’re going to buy merchandise, make sure it is from the band itself. I have to say, Slaves were brilliant on monday night, highlighting their status as one of the best live bands in the UK, with a blend of raucous rock ‘n’ roll riffs and naive charm, the band from Kent are progressing in the right direction.
Slaves are currently in the middle of a UK tour, with the dates available below.
While Slaves are in the middle of their UK tour, in March next year The xx will be going on a tour of their own and they have so far announced dates in Manchester, Nottingham, London and Cardiff. The long-awaited return of The xx was cured by the announcement of new single ‘On Hold’ alongside a new album in January next year. If ‘On Hold’ is anything to go by, then we can expect great things from the album in just less than two months’ time. Tickets are available via pre-sale next week here.
Finally, a special concert on the 8th of January next year has been announced to celebrate the life and work of David Bowie. The concert will take place on what would have been his 70th birthday, marking almost a year to the day since his death. In his home-town of Brixton, artists will come together to commemorate and perform his music, joined by his close friend Gary Oldman. The 02 Academy in Brixton is situated just a short walk from his mural, which I visited last week. If you have any time before attending this night, I cannot encourage you enough to visit this memorial. It is thought-provoking, emotional and somewhat surreal. Some of the words written on the wall are tear-jerking, showing just how much he affected the lives of millions of people. For more information and for tickets visit this link.
Written by Ben Bowman, you can follow Ben on twitter here.