Nancy Elizabeth – Feet Of Courage – single review

Nancy Elizabeth – Feet Of Courage – single review

Nancy Elizabeth: Feet of Courage (Leaf Label)
Nancy Elizabeth: Feet of Courage (Leaf Label)

Nancy Elizabeth has made a wonderful single. Feet Of Courage has the sparse and unconventional accompaniment of a Björk classic, the simplicity of Radiohead’s Idioteque or Wolf At The Door, the melodic structures of The Unthanks and the bleakness of an Emily Brontë moor.

It must take a lot of confidence, too, to produce something like this, as her voice is not as distinctive as, say, Björk or Karin Dreijer, but something approaching the roundness and softness of the new soul generation (Joss Stone, Adele) and it seems hard to marry the two clashing styles together. Yet the simplicity of Feet Of Courage, with Nancy Elizabeth’s vocals forming the substance of the unerring backing, carries even her very normal voice.

What is even more pleasing is that the remixes on the B-side of the album are brilliant too, particularly Paddy Steer’s Asian-influenced reworking of Feet Of Courage‘s backing.

Nancy Elizabeth is going on the influential BBC Introducing show in Manchester this Sunday October 4 for an interview and session. She will also be on tour with the brilliant Efterklang at the end of October/beginning of November.
Her album, Wrought Iron, will be out on 5th October, on the ever ear-enriching Leaf Label.

Fri 30 Oct: Oran Moor, Glasgow (with Efterklang)
Sun 1 Nov: Brainwash Festival, Stylus, Leeds (with Efterklang)
Mon 2 Nov: The Concert Hall, Reading (with Efterklang)

Here’s a link to Nancy Elizabeth’s MySpace. And here’s one to her website.

Latitude Festival – Thom Yorke, Gaslight Anthem, Saint Etienne, Magazine

Thom Yorke @ Latitude Festival: photo by Paul Wesley Griggs
Thom Yorke @ Latitude Festival: photo by Paul Wesley Griggs

Latitude Festival Music Stages
There were four main music stages at this year’s festival: Obelisk (main stage) Arena and The Lake Stage were open air, while the Uncut and Sunrise Arenas were in tents.

Latitude Festival Highlights – Sunday 26th July

Thom Yorke – Obelisk (main stage) Arena
I’m sure a large majority of all ages at this year’s Latitude Festival was excited at the last minute special guest announcement that the main stage would start at midday on Sunday to accommodate a rare solo performance by Radiohead’s Thom Yorke.

The main arena was packed and like me was probably wondering which Thom would turn up to play for this friendly festival crowd.  Would he be silent between songs, sultry and moody, play songs and take a bow. Or would he be Mr Jolly on this sunny summer day?  He turned out to be the most responsive and talkative of all the acts I went to see over the whole weekend.

Thom Yorke was greeted by a very enthusiastic cheer as he walked onto the main stage and sat behind a piano to play an opening song from his solo album, Eraser.  I like Thom Yorke’s solo album but I love Radiohead, and I wasn’t the only one wanting Thom Yorke to play acoustic versions from their back catalogue.  After all, it was a festival!

Yorke was in good spirit, replying to the crowd as the called for songs.  He was very upbeat, vocal and amusing.  At one point introducing an unreleased track which he said would now be available on YouTube. Throughout the set Yorke moved between piano, synthesizer, bass, electric and acoustic guitar with an excellent set including two Radiohead songs.  I was hoping for a sing-a-long moment with Creep, but settled for Everything In Its Right Place & There There.

Gaslight Anthem – Obelisk (main stage) Arena
I spent much of Sunday afternoon taking in non-music attractions but had earmarked Gaslight Anthem as soon as I had received the weekend’s timetable, after seeing their performance at this year’s Glastonbury.  I was hoping for another big performance from the Springsteen-lovers from New Jersey.

For whatever reason it was a shame to see the main arena was only half full when Gaslight Anthem started their late afternoon set.  But as their garage rock anthems began it was like the Pied Piper calling.  The main arena was soon pretty full with a mix of fans and the uninitiated.  But everyone was dancing and enjoying one of the best live bands around.  There was even a small, excited mosh-pit formed in front of the stage, while to the sides families had young kids on their shoulders.

A couple of songs in and the place erupted with the opening guitar strumming of the wonderful ’59 Sound, the title track from their current album; a perfect song for a perfect summer festival, echoing a blend of early Clash and Bruce Springsteen, nice!

Simple songs about cars and girls, the Gaslight Anthem sound is both garage and stadium rock.  Whatever side of the fence you walk, they make for a great live experience.  Good clean old fashioned rock n roll, but no cussing to be heard from these tattooed lover boys.

Saint Etienne – Uncut Stage
Saint Etienne drew an older crowd to the Uncut Stage tent looking to reminisce and have a good time.  The music was good and they looked great, especially the gorgeous Sarah Cracknell in a grey trouser suit.  She admitted she was nervous beforehand as to whether they would attract an audience at all. No reason to worry.  The tent was completely full and was in full ‘happy mode’ from the first track, Nothing Can Stop Us Now.

It seemed Saint Etienne was enjoying themselves as much as the audience as they played a set including A Good Thing, Only Love Can Break Your Heart, Who Do You Think You Are, Burnt Out Car and He’s On The Phone.  Excellent!

The Saint Etienne set left me with a big smile on my face, really happy and even more so when later, my 12 year old son said it was his favourite performance of the whole weekend.

Magazine – Uncut Stage
Post-punk art rock group from the late 1970s / early 1980s Magazine followed Saint Etienne and played at the same time as Editors on the main stage.  Clearly the recently reformed Magazine appealed to an older audience, though I did have my reservations.  Not only opposed to going to see nostalgia over a contemporary sound, but also witnessing a band who I once loved reform and play without a vital member.  Guitarist John McGeoch was an integral part in the influential sound of both Magazine and Siouxsie & The Banshees and the way I wanted to play guitar, but sadly died in 2004. It wasn’t quite the same as seeing The Jam without Paul Weller, but I think you get the idea.

But Magazine shone out as a mature post-punk band in 1978 not just because of McGeoch’s guitar sound but also Barry Adamson’s throbbing bass (he went on to be a member the original Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds) and the wonderfully eccentric lead singer Howard Devoto.

The sound was good, very edgy especially Barry Adamson’s bass.  Howard Devoto was his eccentric off-the-wall self and very entertaining.  For sure they had realised they were here to entertain a crowd heavy with anticipation and nostalgia, and they didn’t disappoint.   They opened a set of classics with The Light Pours Out Of Me that also included at the delight of the receptive audience Song From Under The Floorboards, Permafrost and my personal favourite Motorcade, before ending on a real high with Shot By Both Sides.

UK Summer Music Festivals 2009

Over the past few weeks many of the main summer music festivals have announced headline acts, so I thought it might be appropriate at this stage to have a quick music festivals round up.

Glastonbury will play host to possibly the biggest of the summer festivals from Wednesday 24th  – Sunday 28th June. The last of the tickets went on sale  yesterday, and like many of this years festivals, all tickets have now been sold.

The full line-up is still to be confirmed.  And even though many artists are officially stating they will be performing, the only “official” Glastonbury list of artists, so far is Lily Allen, Fleet Foxes, Neil Young, Blur, Bruce Springsteen, Emiliana Torrini, Doves, Franz Ferdinand, The Ting Tings, Echo And The Bunnymen, White Lies and Florence And The Machine.

T in the Park will be held over the weekend of Friday 10th – Sunday 12th July at the Balado Airfield in Kinross-Shire. The Main Stage will play host the headline acts: Kings Of Leon (Friday), The Killers (Saturday) and Snow Patrol & Blur (Sunday). While the Radio One/NME Stage will be headlined by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (Friday), Nine Inch Nails (Saturday) and Keane (Sunday).

Other acts already confirmed to play the various stages and tents include Razorlight, Pet Shop Boys, Elbow, Franz Ferdinand, The Specials, James, Bloc Party, Jane’s Addiction, Paolo Nutini, Florence & The Machine, Ladyhawke, The Script, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Lily Allen, Manic Street Preachers, Ting Tings, Katy Perry, Maximo Park, Pendulum, Seasick Steve, James Morrison, Peter Doherty, White Lies and Squeeze.

The most exciting of all the live summer festival line-ups, as far as I’m concerned, will at Reading and Leeds.

Reading Festival
Friday 28th August
Kings Of Leon, Kaiser Chiefs, Placebo, Fall Out Boy, Deftones, Funeral For A Friend, Jamie T, Friendly Fires, Florence & The Machine and more.

Saturday 29th August
Arctic Monkeys, The Prodigy, Maximo Park, Ian Brown, Gossip, Glasvegas, White Lies & more.

Sunday 30th August
Radiohead, Bloc Party, Yeahs Yeahs Yeahs, Vampire Weekend and more.

Leeds Festival
Friday 28th August
Arctic Monkeys, The Prodigy, Maximo Park, Ian Brown, Gossip, Glasvegas, White Lies & more.

Saturday 29th August
Radiohead, Bloc Party, Yeahs Yeahs Yeahs, Vampire Weekend and more.

Sunday 30th August
Kings Of Leon, Kaiser Chiefs, Placebo, Fall Out Boy, Deftones, Funeral For A Friend, Jamie T, Friendly Fires, Florence & The Machine and more.

V Festival takes place at two separate locations and takes place on 22 & 23 August. Tickets to V Festival Hylands Park, Chelmsford have already sold out and there are only a few remaining tickets for Weston Park, Staffordshire, too.

The following acts will play Hylands Park, Chelmsford on Saturday 22nd August & Weston Park, Staffordshire on Sunday 23rd August:

The Killers, Razorlight, The Specials, Lily Allen, The Script, Fatboy Slim, Pendulum, The Ting Tings, The Wombats, Happy Mondays, Pete Doherty and much more.

The following acts will play Weston Park, Staffordshire on Saturday 22nd August & Hylands Park, Chelmsford on Sunday 23rd August:

Oasis, Snow Patrol, Elbow, James, Biffy Clyro, James Morrison, Ocean Colour Scene, Keane, The Enemy, Paulo Nutini, Katy Perry, Dizzee Rascal, MGMT, Lady Gaga, The Streets and many more.

Isle of Wight festival will include The Prodigy, Basement Jaxx, Pendulum, and The Ting Tings on Friday 12th June.

On Saturday 13th June, Stereophonics, Razorlight, Maximo Park, White Lies, The View, Paulo Nutini, The Zombies and more.

On Sunday 14th June, it’s retro night with headline perfomances from Neil Young, The Pixies and Simple Minds.

Radiohead release ‘Collectors Editions’ of first three albums

Radiohead release 'Collectors Editions' photo Andy Wilsher
Radiohead photo: Andy Wilsher

Radiohead release ‘Collectors Editions’ of first three albums on 24th March

Radiohead’s first three studio albums, Pablo Honey (1993), The Bends (1995) and OK Computer (1997) will be released by Capitol/EMI in expanded 2xCD “Collectors Editions” and Limited Edition 2xCD + DVD “Special Collectors Editions”.

Each “Collectors Edition” includes the original album plus a second CD of rarities, including demos, sessions and live recordings. Each “Special Collectors Edition,” in deluxe, lift-top box packaging, includes both audio discs and adds a DVD with a variety of promotional music videos, TV performances and filmed concert performances, as well as a series of postcards.

Pablo Honey‘s “Collectors Edition” features the original album on disc one, and demos, rarities, live performance recordings and a 1992 BBC Radio One session on disc two. The “Special Collectors Edition” DVD adds four promotional music videos, the band’s 1993 debut “Top Of The Pops” performance, and nine live recordings from their May 1994 London Astoria concert.

The Bends‘ “Collectors Edition” features the original album on disc one, and EPs with rarities and a 1994 BBC Radio session on disc two. The “Special Collectors Edition” DVD adds five promotional music videos, 1995 and ’96 TV performances from “Top Of The Pops,” “Later with Jools Holland” and “2 Meter Session,” and eight filmed performances from their May 1994 London Astoria concert.

OK Computer‘s “Collectors Edition” features the original album on disc one, and EPs with rarities and live recordings and a 1997 BBC Radio One “Evening Session” performance on disc two. The “Special Collectors Edition” DVD adds three promotional music videos and a May 1997 TV performance from “Later with Jools Holland.”

On 21st April, Capitol/EMI will reissue 12 Radiohead EPs on 180-gram vinyl as part of the popular “From The Capitol Vaults” high-quality vinyl series.

Radiohead – Pablo Honey (Collectors Edition) – 2CD

Disc One
1. You
2. Creep
3. How Do You?
4. Stop Whispering
5. Thinking About You
6. Anyone Can Play Guitar
7. Ripcord
8. Vegetable
9. Prove Yourself
10. I Can’t
11. Lurgee
12. Blow Out

Disc Two
Drill EP
1. Prove Yourself (Demo)
2. Stupid Car (Demo)
3. You (Demo)
4. Thinking About You (Demo)

5. Inside My Head
6. Million Dollar Question
7. Yes I Am
8. Blow Out (Remix)
9. Inside My Head (Live)
10. Creep (Acoustic)
11. Vegetable (Live)
12. Killer Cars (Live)

Anyone Can Play Guitar
13. Faithless, The Wonderboy
14. Coke Babies

Pop Is Dead
15. Pop Is Dead
16. Banana Co. (Acoustic)
17. Ripchord (Live)

Stop Whispering
18. Stop Whispering (US Version)

BBC Radio One Session (06/22/92)
19. Prove Yourself
20. Creep
21. I Can’t
22. Nothing Touches Me

Radiohead – Pablo Honey (Special Collectors Edition) – 2CD+DVD
(includes 2 CDs + DVD)

Promo videos:
Anyone Can Play Guitar
Pop Is Dead
Stop Whispering
Top Of The Pops (09/16/93)

The Astoria, London – Live (05/27/94)
Prove Yourself
Stop Whispering
Anyone Can Play Guitar
Pop Is Dead
Blow Out

Radiohead – The Bends (Collectors Edition) – 2CD

Disc One
1. Planet Telex
2. The Bends
3. High And Dry
4. Fake Plastic Trees
5. Bones
6. (Nice Dream)
7. Just
8. My Iron Lung
9. Bullet Proof… I Wish I Was
10. Black Star
11. Sulk
12. Street Spirit (Fade Out)

Disc Two

My Iron Lung
1. The Trickster
2. Punchdrunk Lovesick Singalong
3. Lozenge Of Love
4. Lewis (Mistreated)
5. Permanent Daylight
6. You Never Wash Up After Yourself

High And Dry/Planet Telex
7. Maquiladora
8. Killer Cars

Fake Plastic Trees
9. India Rubber
10. How Can You Be Sure?

Street Spirit (Fade Out)
11. Talk Show Host
12. Bishop’s Robes
13. Banana Co.
14. Molasses

BBC Radio One Session (04/14/94)
15. Just
16. Maquiladora
17. Street Spirit (Fade Out)
18. Bones

Radiohead – The Bends (Special Collectors Edition) – 2CD+DVD
(includes 2 CDs + DVD)

Promo Videos:

High And Dry (UK Version)
High And Dry (US Version)
Fake Plastic Trees
Street Spirit (Fade Out)
The Astoria, London – Live (5/27/94)
Black Star
The Bends
My Iron Lung
Fake Plastic Trees
Street Spirit (Fade Out)

2 Meter Session, Holland (02/27/95)
My Iron Lung
High And Dry
Fake Plastic Trees
Street Spirit (Fade Out)

Later With Jools Holland (05/27/95)
The Bends
High And Dry

Top Of The Pops
High And Dry (03/09/95)
Fake Plastic Trees (06/01/95)
Street Spirit (Fade Out) (02/01/96)

Radiohead – OK Computer (Collectors Edition) – 2CD

Disc One
1. Airbag
2. Paranoid Android
3. Subterranean Homesick Alien
4. Exit Music (For A Film)
5. Let Down
6. Karma Police
7. Fitter Happier
8. Electioneering
9. Climbing Up The Walls
10. No Surprises
11. Lucky
12 The Tourist

Disc Two

Paranoid Android
1. Polyethylene (Parts 1 & 2)
2. Pearly*
3. A Reminder
4. Melatonin

Karma Police
5. Meeting In The Aisle
6. Lull
7. Climbing Up The Walls (Zero 7 Mix)
8. Climbing Up The Walls (Fila Brazillia Mix)

No Surprises
9. Palo Alto
10. How I Made My Millions
11. Airbag (Live In Berlin)
12. Lucky (Live In Florence)

BBC Radio One Evening Session (05/28/97)
13. No Surprises
14. Climbing Up The Walls
15. Exit Music (For A Film)

Radiohead – OK Computer (Special Collectors Edition) – 2CD+DVD
(includes 2 CDs + DVD)

Promo Videos:
Paranoid Android
Karma Police
No Surprises

Later With Jools Holland (05/31/97)
Paranoid Android
No Surprises

Florian Schneider quits Kraftwerk – one of the most influential groups of all time

Florian Schneider quits Kraftwerk
Florian Schneider quits Kraftwerk

On 6th January co-founding member Florian Schneider finally and officially left Kraftwerk after thirty-eight years. But Ralf Hütter will continue to tour with three other members as Kraftwerk.

Florian Schneider and Ralf Hütter met as students at the Düsseldorf Conservatory in the late 1960’s. The duo originally performed together in a quintet known as Organisation. They released one album, Tone Float before forming Kraftwerk in 1970 with Florian Schneider playing flutes, synthesizers, electro-violin and Ralf Hütter electronic organ, synthesizers.

Over the past thirty-nine years Kraftwerk has had no less than eleven members, with Florian Schneider and Ralf Hütter continuing to be central figures in everything that has become associated with one of the most influential music groups of all time.

Kraftwerk appeared live on German TV soon after they formed in 1970 performing Ruckzuck but UK commercial success eludded them until 1974 with their fourth studio album, Autobahn.

Further critical acclaim and success came with the release of albums such as Trans-Europe Express (1977) and The Man Machine (1978). But thier commercial success peaked in the early 1980’s with the re-release of The Model and subsequent hit singles Pocket Calculator and Computer Love.  The latter two hits taken from the most commercially accessible pop album, Computer World (1981).

But the importance of Kraftwerk is not simply the music they create.  They have continued to influence many artists and shape complete genres over the past thirty years.  Their unique style of German rock was dubbed Krautrock, a label that was used for other German groups that followed including Can and Neu. Then in the late 1970’s amongst a heady mix of Post-Punk and New Wave, British groups like Ultravox and Human League sung the praise and influence of Kraftwerk above The Sex Pistols and The Clash.  By this time Kraftwerk had stopped using all ‘conventional’ instruments such as guitars and drums and created music solely with electronic gadgets, synthesizers and keyboards.

In the early 1980’s Kraftwerk were being credited as a major influence for the Synth Pop music of British bands like Depeche Mode.  But more importantly it was Grandmaster Flash and other New York DJ’s that were rapping over the cold mechanical beats of Kraftwerk to form hip hop music.

I wonder what Florian Schneider and Ralf Hütter would have made of a New York underground house party where hard German methodical beats were being mixed with black soul scratching by DJ’s and their wheels of steel!

The music of Kraftwerk continued to be a main ingredient and influence in the various forms of electronic music genres such as House, Electro and Techno throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s; and to this day are referenced by an evergrowing list of artists from all genres of music.  Coldplay recently sampled Computer Love for thier hit single Talk and Kraftwerk will be supporting Radiohead by special request, on the Central and South America legs of their 2009 World Tour.

In my opinion something is lost when original members leave a group and one member continues to use the name. However, Kraftwerk have not released a full studio album since Electric Cafe in 1986; and Florian Schneider didn’t appear in the 2008 live shows.  Furthermore, as Kraftwerk live is nothing to do with personalities but all to do with electronics and the show, I wonder how much this will actually effect Kraftwerk, if at all.

Florian Schneider will continue to work on solo projects.