Their name was the first thing that attracted my attention – I love interesting band names! I’ve been meaning to mention Wolf Alice for a while after seeing them live, which was totally brilliant. Ellie Rowsell is one of those performers you can’t take your eyes away from as she lets rip her dynamic vocals with the occasional lupine snarl. Their latest album rubs punk-infused ire alongside Prog-rock expansiveness. It’s one of those albums where you can just enjoy musicianship that takes you from one place to another. Seeing them live just sealed it for me and they are now one of my favourite bands. This year also sees them nominated for a well deserved Mercury Music Prize. I am now getting into the deluxe version of their first album My Love is Cool but Visions is a brilliant album and if you can catch them live then go!
Standout track : Beautifully Unconventional
With the charts continuing to be awash with electronica, dance and rnb (although there’s nothing wrong with any of those) you might be wondering if there was still any good live music out there. Well if you have any doubts then get yourself along to one of Abbie McCarthy‘s Good Karma Club nights in London to catch bands that you’ve probably never heard of (yet!) and more to the point are really great. Going to see bands you have never heard (assuming you don’t Spotify them) means you never know what you are going to get, but last Thursday what we got was three brilliant live sets.
Being on first Island Club played to an undeservedly small crowd. I’m loving the 80’s influenced keyboard and drum sound that some bands have at the moment. I just instantly enjoyed their music which doesn’t often happen. Although all three bands were great I think Island Club took pole position on the night. Great songs, great music. Check out their headline tour dates here.
Calva Louise up next provided a loud and lively set very reminiscent of a late 70’s/early 80’s Punk band. For three people they make a lot of noise and lead singer Jess’s frenetic guitar work was brilliant. It’s this sort of band that makes live sets their own. heir energy was immense and I would have loved to have seen more from them. I’ll be keeping an eye out for more chances to see them again.
Easy Life provided yet another different style, showing how great a night Abbie puts together. A kind of soul/jazz Brit hip hop sound that sounded so great. If the talented front man switching between keys, guitar, and trumpet wasn’t enough the rest of the band slid between instruments with equal ease. I never thought I would see an electronic clarinet (?) again either!! Check out their Creature Habits tour dates here.
I’ve been enjoying all three bands on Spotify over the weekend and check out all three bands music here, here and here., but as is quite often the case nothing is as good as seeing them live so if you can catch any of them on their own tours then you should. Also do yourself a favour and check out Abbie’s upcoming Good Karma Club nights here. Well worth a trip to the East End!
Wendy and Lisa are Prince’s greatest collaborators and with him are responsible for some of his greatest work, whether credited or not. It was always going to be difficult for W&L to step out of Prince’s shadow but I don’t think fame and fortune were necessarily their goal. W&L are musicians at heart and Eroica, their third album, has a more mature feel about it as they seemed to have grown into their sound. It really is a listenable album from the view that there is depth to the music. Whether its the layered guitars on one track, or layered vocals on another or the little guitar licks that hop between the stereo channels there is always something interesting to listen to.
Standout track: Why Wait For Heaven – those guitars!