Tag Archive: wasuremono


mail-1It’s got to the point now that any time I find myself coming back to Wasuremono after any significant time away from their music, it feels slightly like coming home. Or at least returning to a place that you didn’t realised you had missed until you find yourself surrounded by its radiant charms. And Wasuremono’s charms are many and as the album opener, title track and recent single Are You OK? washes over me with its hazy, soothing sonics, its slightly oriental, descant vocal harmonies and its blend of the quirky and the ethereal, all seems good in the world.

But knowing that familiarity breeds contempt, the band have always, whilst moulding a wonderful signature sound, used those particular traits merely as a springboard, a launch pad from which to explore some wonderful, tangential musical ideas. Roads less travelled and all that. Even structurally they are happy to do their own thing and whilst most bands seem work from the guitars outwards, Wasuremono prefer to work from the rhythm section up. Phoebe’s bass in particular providing deep rooted melodies upon which guitars add chiming beauty, keys wash around, behind, between and beyond the root notes and drums are happy to emphasises the groove with little show or bluster. Having four voices also gives the band a wonderful dimension and it is the way they layer these vocal textures as much as what they actually sing which really grabs the listener. Vocals aren’t just about communication, they are also instruments in their own right and if you don’t agree, consider this album lesson 1. Make that lessons 1 to 11.

Lonely Type has a wonderful Cure-like feel, yes, a band I all too often reference when reviewing their music but not a bad band to tip your hat to, A Lesson To Learn is full of skittering beats and resonant lead vocals and Nothing is Easy sees them play it straight…well, as straight as they are able…to create something which already feels like an underground anthem, if that isn’t indeed an oxymoron.

Whilst it is easy to pick out post-punk fingerprints and Bowie-esque subversions, Wasuremono is very much a band of the here and now, although their here and now might not be quite where everyone else’s here and now is. But that is what makes their music so great, it’s modern but not conformist, it references the past without pillaging, plundering and plagiarising, it looks to the future but doesn’t feel the need to try to invent new genres. In fact Wasuremono is what pop music could be if only people were brave enough to stop following fad and fashion, convention and convenience. Think about how great the world would sound if everyone started to follow their lead? No, really think about it….

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15823159_10153985879836876_7307184432675953030_nIt is always a treat when bands such as those to be found at The Victoria tonight come along, if for no other reason than even in something as straight-forward as this gig guide, I get to break out the box market “pretentious words, use sparingly.” For as much as it is fun to find new ways to describe the sonic muscle of a classic rock band or the commercial cool of the latest young indie outfit, I am most at home when using words such as dreamscaping, ethereal and sonorous to describe music. (See what I mean…pretentious.)

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12744745_1030968833617887_4773140140613442708_nSome weeks the town’s available gigging options are subject to quality over quantity, other times there seems to be a lot going on but little new being added to the gigging canon, so it is great to see that this week we seem to have the best of both worlds, a selection that is both diverse and in great numbers.

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11182185_821629961223827_7480345842100529154_nNot quite local but close enough and big enough to warrant a mention, the ever wonderful, ever family friendly Wytchwood Festival takes place this weekend. Located at The Cheltenham racecourse and very much in the same vein as the other big regional event WOMAD, this festival is the perfect antidote to the crass commercialisation and overt hipsterism of many of the big music gatherings around these days. Mixing stalwart acts such as The Wonder Stuff and world music icons like Ladysmith Black Mambazo with the best of the newer breed -Lucy Rose, Ghostpoet and Demob Happy – Wytchwood is a great weekend out for all the family with only the appropriate amount of beards and check shirts to be seen.

The perfect warm up to that event can be found around Old Town tonight. The big name that all on trend types will be dropping (excuse the industry speak) is Coco and The Butterfields who can be found at The Arts Centre. These Canterbury buskers mix raggle-taggle folk, accessible pop and hip-hop beat boxing into wonderful genre-hopping fusions. Forget Mumford and The Whale and all that overly earnest fashion-folk, this is where the genres real future lies.

The Beehive plays host to The Walker-Broad Band, a duo who have blended their passion for folk, blues and jazz into a wonderfully emotive sound that is as at home in a late night lounge bar as it is an old school back-street boozer as The Beehive.

Something a bit special is happening at The Victoria as The Cadbury Sisters (pictured) return to Songs of Praise, this time with a new musical direction. Without losing those amazing harmonies that they are renowned for, musically they have moved into a less roots, more commercial place, the result is a fantastic, otherworldly dream-pop sound. Fellow musical soundscapers, Wasuremono, also add some ethereal vibes and opening the night is the brilliant George Wilding who seems to channel an acoustic, Bowie meets Nick Drake sort of sound.

Friday sees the mercurial Alan Clayson and The Argonauts return to the scene of former musical crimes, The Beehive. Operating on rocks lunatic fringe, Clayson and his band deliver a baroque ‘n’ roll experience, one that is difficult to put into words, so I won’t even try, just go along, be amazed and think of your own superlatives. The Castle will be rocking to the sounds of The Teddy White Band, a ridiculously soulful blend of vintage R’N’B, blues, beat and boogie with a unique blend of vocal harmonies and an effortlessly cool delivery.

It’s Bands and Burlesque night at The Victoria so expect sensuality, costumes, humour and tease plus music from Rockabilly Rumble, making the night a wonderful cultural clash along the lines of The Kit Kat Club meets the late, great Johnny Burnette.

At the Rolleston The Pistol Slapper Blues Band play tribute to the music of Rory Gallagher. Those in the know will have picked up the reference in the bands name, but whether you did or not expect a night of electric blues, which bounces from the barnstorming to the bewitching to the just plain beautiful at the flick of a wrist.

Saturday also has its fair share of covers and tributes. Catch the music of Led Zeppelin at The Victoria with Black Dogz, and The Chaos Brothers will be using the twin weapons of punk and rock covers and bawdy humour to entertain and insult The Rolleston in equal measure. Psychobilly, punk and ska can be found at The Woodlands Edge courtesy of The Corsairs but original music fans also have a couple of great options. Either you can head down to The Queens Tap to catch Reginald Road, whose music is woven from threads of punk, ska, rock and reggae or catch some rock at The Castle with The Damned and The Dirty and Zero Return; two bands that really kick some arse and cut the mustard.

We end our trawl through the musical diary at The Roaring Donkey on Wednesday for the welcome return of Sue Hart and her charming and witty folky-Americana creations.

4180_79993902739_2766341_nI have to start this column by way of an apology. Last week there was some confusion as I omitted to mention the actual venue for the Tom Hingley gig and it seemed to have suggested that it might have been taking place at a different location. I was alerted to this mistake early last Thursday when the distant, yet audible, clamour of keyboard warriors (none of whom actually went to the gig, presumably) rushing to be the first to comment online could be heard and a distant glow of their eyes lighting up made for an unusually bright morning. Obviously I apologise for any confusion caused, but here are a few phrases that might help next time. “Everybody makes mistakes,” “ It’s no good crying over spilt milk” and “It’s just a gig guide people, not a proposition from Socrates.”

 

Anyway, onwards and upwards. The Victoria begins a run of wonderful diversity tonight with a headline show from Delta Sleep. Complex layers of guitar driven melody, fluid and hypnotic bass lines, jazz tinged percussion and left field electronica are the order of the day. Support comes from two stalwarts of the local alt-rock scene, All Ears Avow and The Damned and The Dirty.

 

Have you ever looked up into the night sky and pondered that big question, are we alone in the universe? I would suggest that you are looking in the wrong place and that answers are more likely to be found in The Beehive as the Zetan Spore mother ship docks there tonight. Communicating through the medium of industrial strength psy-trance, euphoric, psychedelic waves of energy and trippy tribal beats – is this proof of alien life? Who cares, just dance.

 

The big one for Friday can be found at Level 3 as South West Indie Music present a fist full of young acts for your delectation. Sahara Heights have already made quite a name for themselves with their shimmering psychedelia and chiming shoegazey meanderings but this is a show that promises headline quality acts all night. Coco-esq skirt around similar territory but are anchored to a more conventional indie delivery and The Primeveras aim straight for underground pop cult status. Yves manage to harness that timeless alt-pop jangle that has fuelled everything from The Byrds to The Paisley Underground movement to current bands such as Desperate Journalist ad Field Mouse and they do it so well. Opening the night is Josh Wolfsohn who does a neat line in accessible and witty acoustic indie-pop.

 

The second Victoria offering of the week comes in the shape of Songs of Praise first ever, monthly Friday show. This step up to hopefully a wider platform sees the welcome return of puzzle-pop wizards Super Squarecloud who showcase some of their new material. They are joined by garage-electronica, post-punkers Candy Darling – if anyone is old enough to remember Suicide then you might want to check them out and the band name is an obvious reference to another seminal New York band. Opening the night are dream pop soundscapers Wasuremono. Indie rock covers are one the menu at The Rolleston with Vice Versa.

 

I make no bones about the fact that I prefer original bands to tributes, but I have made a few detours into their world in the past. Three of their ilk have left me nostalgic for my early musical education, The Dayglo Pirates (Jethro Tull,) Limehouse Lizzy (Thin Lizzy) and Saturday night’s headliners at The Victoria, Still Marillion. Not only do you get a set of Fish-era songs delivered to perfection, this show will also feature the complete Fugazi album, which I have just realised is about 6 weeks short of its 31th anniversary. Blimey, how to feel old. This is an absolute must for fans of not only the neo-progressive movement which spawned the band, but I urge all those with discerning taste to check it out.

 

High octane, electric blues doesn’t come much more authentic than Innes Sibun (pictured), not only a powerhouse guitarist with a great band behind him but a voice that seems to channel the heartache and anguish that blues was born from. Fans of Rory Gallagher in particular should make this Rolleston show.

 

In the “if you like that, you’ll like this” department multi-award winning mainstays of the British Blues scene Joel Fisk and Jon Amor (The Hoax) play a stripped back mix of their own songs and standards at The Beehive on Sunday Afternoon.

 

The week rounds off with be-hatted, Latin-jazz aficionados, Gilmore ‘n’ Jaz at The Roaring Donkey on Wednesday.