Album: Pocketbooks – Flight Paths

On first listen to Pocketbooks debut album there is one band name that pops into your head that you fear will be haunting this young group for their whole artistic career. This album sounds so much like Belle & Sebastian you wonder if they would have a leg to stand on if taken to court for plagiarizing by a furious Stuart Murdoch. The vocal tune structure is the biggest give away, rising and falling melodies that continue for longer than groups think to try (maybe this is because B&S made it their own), and that steamroll through each song almost pulling the rest of the instruments with it.

FFS’s Glasto part #3: Adam Wilkinson – Dan Black, The Dead Weather, Bombay Bicycle Club, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

Another year and new legends are born. Which moment will be remember for the longest from this year’s Glastonbury Festival is as impossible to guess as the weather was through this unpredictable June weekend. Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen showed the world that rock stars approaching, or even well into, their sixties can still blow their younger counterparts off the stage, Blur drew tears from everyone as Damon Albarn broke down on stage during the tear jerking classic ‘To The End’ and secret guest appearances from Jack White’s Dead Weather, The Klaxons and even The Boss himself ensured that this would be a year to remember.

FFS’s Glasto part #1: Rich Furlong – Slow Club, Fleet Foxes, Animal Collective, Bat For Lashes, Bon Iver, Blur

“I hate Glastonbury so much, I really do.” Now, as festival gambits go, this is a feisty (if not downright wreckless) one. However, 10 minutes into a Worthy Farm debut marred by sound problems, tetchy stewards and an unresponsive crowd, Slow Club perhaps have the right to be a little miffed. Fortunately, as the set develops, Rebecca’s spikiness serves to cajole the initially apathetic Guardian Lounge crowd to life and lends the songs a feverous energy which, coupled with the pair’s increasing confidence on stage, gets people on their feet. Such is the group’s enthusiasm, that by the time Giving Up On Love has rollocked its way to glorious conclusion even the floating voters have no choice but to get up and boogie. The world is going love Slow Club, or Rebecca is going to have words…

Peggy Sue tour, EP and album news

As the more die-hard Peggy Sue fans among you might have noticed, they’ve been in the states for ever and ever. Aside from visiting multiple major cities to grace them with Peggy Sue delights, the band have been busy as bumbles recording their debut album.

FFS Interview: Wise Children

Robin started the band as a solo side project to a much louder band that I was in at the time. It was kind of Biffy-esque. I guess I just wanted to do something that represented the kind of music that I was listening to at the time. I met Jami [Wise Children’s cellist] through recording as the producer and I were desperate to get some cello on the record and Jami was suggested. The results were excellent and so he was recruited full time! The rest of the band has been a little less stable and several members have come and gone. We now have another full-time guitarist called Tim and are basically still recruiting, but it’s always been that way. I started it as a solo project with the idea of people helping out and performing as and when they can and it’s only through time that a more permanent form has developed.

Emmy the Great New EP, London show and message for Gordon Brown

Since the undeniable wonder of the album First Love, Emmy the Great has been touring like a superwoman, planning a tour of Asia and preparing for Glastonbury, but she’s still squeezed in time to record a new EP. ‘Edward’ will be released in July on limited 12″ vinyl and MP3, and after that will be included in all new issues of First Love.

Album: Wave Machines – Wave If You’re Really There

It seems that whenever the economy takes a bad turn electro-pop comes creeping back out of the woodwork. Wave Machines’ debut album ‘Wave If You’re Really There’ is one of many recession-electro releases that we’re to be subjected to this year. Its not all bad news though, this release might just have enough great dance tracks to stand out from the crowd.

Album: Tom Brosseau – Posthumous Success

Posthumous Success is Tom Brosseau’s eighth album in four years and I have not been able to get it out of my head. A prolific songwriter and performer, as well as a writer of stories and other musings on his blog (tombrosseau.com/blog), the North Dakotan clearly has a lot to say, but his music is remarkably uncluttered and beautiful.

Album: Bitte Orca – Dirty Projectors

Caught in the middle of great expectations, Dirty Projectors’ new album could have fallen into the overly neurotic avant-garde and polyrhythmic experimentation patterns. It could definitely have happened, considering the Yale intellectual and artsy character of frontman David Longstreth, prone to fidgety, discordant, shrieking echoes and glitchy tunes. Yet, with Bitte Orca, he has managed to make his music approachable but still challenging, violent but still harmonious, tribal but still classical in layers.

Single: Cass McCombs – Dreams Come True

Near Legendary indie folk troubadour Cass McCombs delivers another catchy, yet still somehow morbid slice of storytelling with the first single off his fourth album, Catacombs. As the song starts, McCombs voice alone is breathtakingly raw and powerful, sounding particularly dark in contrast to the upbeat music it’s laid over.

Album: Thieves Like Us – Play Music

There’s a moment that most of us would have to confess to living at least one point in our lives, when it becomes startlingly apparent that you have pushed the boat out too far with the ‘state-altering’ substances. It’s that incredibly uncomfortable moment where you start to feel disconnected from the world going on around you. You feel as though you have been submerged underwater and all sound has become slightly muffled and distant. The night suddenly feels wrong and all the people around you enjoying themselves are monsters. The worst thing is that you know there is no way out, no quick fix answer to bring yourself back from the brink.

Live: Cherbourg @ Mad Ferret, Preston 12/06/09

Despite the venue being a small town pub, the atmosphere for the evening’s show is excellent. After the obligatory local bands The Agitator, Derek Meins’ and Robert Dylan Thomas’ new project, take to the stage. Right from the outset the duo amaze any new listeners present, making a fair few of them jump on walking through the doors. The ferocity of Meins’ onstage personality creates an enthralled silence that’s extremely refreshing. The Agitator fluctuate between the soulful and outright outrageous creating a stir amongst the ever growing audience.