Author: Robbie Hayward

EP: Lail Arad – Someone New

Lail Arad is truly delightful, as I discovered when I accidentally went to see her play back in December.  On stage, she comes across as being adorable, but the question when confronting her new EP, Someone New, is whether that…

Album: The Hidden Cameras – Origin:Orphan

Self-styled ‘gay church folk music’ band The Hidden Cameras have always had a great sense of humour, loading often overtly sexual and usually overtly queer lyrics into songs such as ‘The Man That I Am With My Man’ (which deals…

Album: The Very Most – A Year with the Very Most

The Very Most made it their duty to soundtrack your 2009, releasing an EP for each season, which are now brought together in A Year with the Very Most.  The album, which clocks in at a healthy nineteen songs with over…

Album: A.A. Bondy – When the Devil’s Loose

Ten years since Scott Bondy and his band Verbena caught the eye of grunge legend Dave Grohl, who then produced their second album (the averagely received Into the Pink), an older and (perhaps) more mature Bondy has released his second album under the name A.A. Bondy, When the Devil’s Loose.

EP: O’Messy Life – Green Posies Grown Gangrene Below ‘Em

If you’re anything like me then the tag ‘folk music’ conjures up images of farmers, checked shirts and things happening with sheep that really shouldn’t be. However this traditional image of folk is now outdated. O’Messy Life hail from Sunderland of all places. That said, even a Geordie like myself has more sense than to judge a band by its origin – and a good thing too.

Album: Dust Poets – World At Large

Murray Evans really needs a redneck drawl, a proper Bible-belt country style voice, because it would really fit a lot of the songs on World At Large. Having the voice would definitely do something for the album, which otherwise is a little lacking. Evans puts on a fairly good redneck impression on the track ‘Codeine Dreams’ and it improves (perhaps that’s not the word I want – affirms?) it greatly.

Album: The Cave Singers – Welcome Joy

There is something rather comforting to this album, an almost homely feel to the slightly country influenced brand of folk that The Cave Singers create. Perhaps it’s the acoustic simplicity that gives this air of unassuming naïvety to the album, or perhaps it’s the hint of a croak in lead singer Pete Quirk’s voice; either way the music is trustworthy.

Review: Latitude festival 2009

At four years old, Latitude has grown out of toddlerdom and is now walking happily on its own two (eco-friendly) feet. It has developed into a wonderful family-friendly festival that is the darling of the liberal media and the middle classes. But such a reputation cannot be built upon vegan food stalls and top-notch recycling alone; no, Latitude Festival is built instead upon that most solid of all foundations – damn good entertainment! Whilst the festival is indeed ‘more than just a music festival’ with its impressive array of cabaret, comedy, literary and poetry acts, it is the music I wish to talk about.

Album: Parliament of Owls – Crow

As the achingly beautiful strings of the intro to Parliament of Owls’ debut Crow swelled beneath the singing of birds and a David Attenborough-like voice began to speak, I was stunned into awed silence. Any looming dread about having to review a two-disc album disappeared in one magnificent surge of music and, as commanded by the voiceover, all I could do was “wait and listen for the first songs to begin”.

Album: Black Moth Super Rainbow – Eating Us

Building up layers of synthesiser and creating an engagingly ethereal – by which I mean otherworldly but without being atmospheric like Sigur Rós – sound, Black Moth Super Rainbow are as unexpected as their name.