Last night Shepherds Bush Empire felt like there was an electrical fizz passing from body to cramped body, from the floor up to the gods of the theatre. Before SBTRKT even graced the stage. Feet seemed itching to dance, those in seats refusing to park their derrières.
My first experience of Opera opening its arms was watching a production of La Boheme in the Cock Tavern, a pub in Kilburn that once answered “red or white” when my mum asked what wine they had.
Regents Park gem, nestled away in the inner circle behind the boating lakes, bandstands and the siege of herons lining up like guardsman, is the historical Open Air Theatre, whose original airing was in 1932. Suddenly a twinkling of fairy lights appears and you feel like your entering something private and magical.
When you find out you a band is made up of members of The Blockheads, Art Brut, The Specials and The Infidels you’d be right in thinking someone is being extremely creative in ways to grab your attention.
The app picks up your location and then you simply press “get taxi”, within seconds you receive a real time countdown (less than two minutes in this case) and the name and photo of the driver. This is a great safety feature for those travelling alone given illegal car services.
The shortcut/safe description used for any guitar band seems to be “they sound like Coldplay and Foals”. It seems somewhat lazy for the music press to tag Clock Opera with the same label, you need to open your ears and eke out all the intricacies on their labour of love debut album ‘Ways to Forget’.
My ears wide open to every accented lyric, plucking out the sad drone of the cello over the twang of a banjo. Their melodies and harmonies were pitch perfect, like a vintage barbershop quartet or professional choir, but with wit, gusto and that enchanting Sunderland lilt.
Eugene McGuiness has been rebranded by a turned up collar, a tooth pick hanging slack from the corner of his mouth and a ton of Brylcreem to sculpt his previous indie mop into a neat quiff.
We asked Hannah Duncan, one of our ACE music writers for her people to look out for in 2012.
There has been some great music around this year, here is our writers favourite records and live shows of the past 12 months.
Bush Hall felt like a Christmas occasion, bathed in a soft red glow. Tim taking to the stage in dinner jacket, and Emmy wearing a floor length gown holding sleigh bells delicately like a glass of vintage wine.
Who hasn’t emulated their hero’s in front of the bedroom mirror? The difference being, unlike me still dancing along to Kate Bush, über talented Jonny Pierce of The Drums is playing to sold out audiences.
The heartbreaking, haunting and ultimately redemptive album instantly and urgently caught my heart and caused a lump in my throat on its first play. But to see Loney, Dear perform this live is simply breathtaking and beyond words which is problematic for yours truly trying to review it.
Stealing Sheep have only been writing together since 2010 and have already produced tunes that are truly a breath of fresh air, albeit on a bleak, grey morning that you have to face alone.