The Raconteurs
9

  • London
  • United Kingdom
  • Astoria
  • 2006-03-23

This is the first (relatively low-key) London appearance by this Detroit supergroup-of-sorts, featuring Jack White, solo artist Brendan Benson and two thirds of The Greenhornes (Patrick Keeler and Jack Lawrence). Their visit follows only one very limited 7” release and proceeds their debut album Broken Boy Soldiers. All but two of the (original) tracks played were new to the audience, but each was treated like a Robbie Williams tribute act at a chav wedding reception. The two songs already released and streamed on their website were given an even more fervered reception. I guess that’s what happens when someone who normally plays stadia, arenas and headlines festivals plays such modest surroundings.

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Calla
8

  • London
  • United Kingdom
  • Islington Acadamy
  • 2006-03-09

Calla is made up of Aurelio Valle, Wayne Magruder, and Peter Gannon and are now on their fourth album of skyscraping gloom-rock, Collisions, and this show was part of a short tour to promote it.

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65daysofstatic/Clark
7

  • Bournemouth
  • United Kingdom
  • Opera House
  • 2006-03-11

New releases on Warp Records will always have the benchmarks set by the label’s most forward thinking artists such as Aphex Twin and Squarepusher to live up to. Tonight Clark, having dropped his first name of Chris from his title as an artist, had the chance to show off new material from his limited edition EP Throttle Furniture ahead of a full album later this year and 65daysofstatic were showcasing their album from last year, One Time for All Time.

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You and the Atom Bomb
8

  • London
  • United Kingdom
  • Islington Academy
  • 2006-02-26

Apparently, backstage these guys didn’t bring beer or amphetamines only a load of Willy Wonka chocolate bars. Gees it showed, whether it was through the guitarist’s hair or the oompa lumpah keyboards, this chocolate was refined.

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Test Icicles
5

  • Oxford
  • United Kingdom
  • Oxford Zodiac
  • 2006-01-31

They played a song from the yet to be recorded album. It was called “Idle Chatter” and it was by far the best performance of the night. Lisa Francais’ high pitched scream really knocked the socks off the Test Icicles and their drunken shambles of covers.

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NME Tour
7

  • Bristol
  • United Kingdom
  • Bristol Academy
  • 2006-02-13

The Bristol academy was packed to the rafters for the hippest gig of the year. The kids were there, the museos were there, the curious were there, the BBC was there, and the Arctic Monkeys were waiting in the wings. You could hardly hear for the buzz.

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Earth
8

  • London
  • United Kingdom
  • Islington Academy
  • 2006-02-10

In a double-headed beast of a tour alongside drone-lords Sunn O))), Earth came to London in support of their recent double-titled release Hex; or Printing In The Infernal Method. The sound the band offer on Hex is faily removed from previous Earth releases, however, it contains elements distinctly apparent throughout the band’s career. That career is a long one, spanning over fifteen years, and one containing multiple personnel shifts, all around the core of mainman Dylan Carlson.

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An Albatross
8

  • Berlin
  • Germany
  • Golden Gate
  • 2006-02-02

The band stripped the paint from the walls of this awful venue with an extremely corrosive initial outburst of antagonising ‘riffage’ and a digital breakdown on the keys. In fact, the premiere of their sound was pretty much what was to expected through the whole set: walls and walls of thrash quenching noise.

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Goldfrapp
9

  • Southampton
  • United Kingdom
  • Guildhall
  • 2006-02-02

The show starts with a track from their latest album, Supernature: “U Never Know”. With dramatic synths and soaring vocals erupting through the room, it is an announcement Goldfrapp are here to entertain by sending the music vibrating through your body.

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The Cribs / The Chalets / Help, She Can't Swim!
6

  • Leeds
  • United Kingdom
  • Leeds Metropolitan University
  • 2005-12-08

Tonight Leeds Met plays host to two very different sides of the current indie scene. Fighting out of the blue corner, The Chalets bring a distinctively kitsch brand of pop with a good live reputation. They’re the most interesting and shamelessly fun band I’ve listened to in a long time, and seem destined for the top. The red corner plays host to our headliners, The Cribs. As something of a homecoming gig for the Wakefield trio, their raw northern guitar rock sound should go down a storm, but a patchy live reputation precedes them.

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Mastodon
8

  • Camber Sands
  • United Kingdom
  • All Tomorrow's Parties
  • 2005-12-03

Mastodon achieved incredible success in 2004 with what was widely voted the best metal album of the year, Leviathan, and live performances in support of it were truly impressive. This set at ATP offered promise though of not just expected classics from both Leviathan and previous album Remission but also of some new material – which was achieved. As well as the treat of their awesome cover of the Melvins “The Bit” off Stag.

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High On Fire
8

  • Camber Sands
  • United Kingdom
  • All Tomorrow's Parties
  • 2005-12-03

For nearly an hour High On Fire sweated out the loudest, ear-crushing riffage playing up to metal cliches and doing so beautifully. Matt Pike just loves finding a huge riff, blasting it out and lapping up the whole scenario – his face then screws up as he plays another solo, foot on the monitor, guitar neck pointing high, before spitting and returning to growl into the microphone, probably, although not always anymore, about smoking weed or similar.

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The Fucking Champs
9

  • Camber Sands
  • United Kingdom
  • All Tomorrow's Parties
  • 2005-12-03

The band play raging riff-heavy, cock-metal, generally without vocals, in fact most of the time it seems that they’ve added extra riffs instead of vocals. The band survive as drums and guitars without a bassist because the ultimate classic metal harmonies that the twin guitars perform provide all the notation that is necessary.

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The Locust
9

  • Camber Sands
  • United Kingdom
  • All Tomorrow's Parties
  • 2005-12-02

The band’s sound constanly switches schizophrenically between the two extremes of the loudest, most frenetic, math-grind, to minimal synth noise, remaining (as trademard) distinctively sci-fi throuhout. When loud and active the band are intense, fierce and lurching around insanely, and when quiet they are deadly and eerily still. They are always slightly frightening and unnerving throughout, but somehow their challenging music and presence is not inaccessible by any means, it’s engaging and one hell of a thrill to be in a crowd to.

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The Bad Robots
8

  • London
  • United Kingdom
  • The Dublin Castle
  • 2006-01-16

Anyone fearing the arising of another James Blunt however need not be alarmed, The Bad Robots may be radio friendly but their subject matter and demeanor are much less twatish.

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Forward, Russia!
10

  • Leeds
  • United Kingdom
  • The Tunnel Club
  • 2006-01-14

Sandwiched between two impeccable drummer-led tracks, new single “12” demonstrated exactly why Forward, Russia! are destined for great things: off-kilter lyrics and vocals backed by an energy that’s frightening. With choruses and little hooks bursting out at all sorts of odd angles, this is the sort of music that shouldn’t make sense but does.

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Quintron & Miss Pussycat
10

  • Camber Sands
  • United Kingdom
  • All Tomorrow's Parties
  • 2005-12-03

With a tantalising twin of musical ingenuity and an allurement to shake your organs to the organ — you have the paramount of parties for your Saturday night.

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Subtitle
8

  • Camber Sands
  • United Kingdom
  • All Tomorrow's Parties
  • 2005-12-02

A futuristic, scientific dialectic is the diaphragm where Subtitle finds his muscular munition of words — the antithesis of the bestial and primal paradigm of those emcees that threat physical violence in their war of words.

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Damo Suzuki & Jelly Planet
9

  • Camber Sands
  • United Kingdom
  • All Tomorrow's Parties
  • 2005-12-04

Damo Suzuki is ‘universal’, and with this post-human attribute he is one of very few human beings still discovering new paradigms for pleasure; which still — most importantly — is inticing multitudes into the comprehension of the supertemporal nature of creative output.

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Khanate
10

  • London
  • United Kingdom
  • Garage
  • 2005-11-26

By ordering his paws to never falter in pauses, he opened up a provocative pandora that takes hold of cognition; leaving the listener in focus of the minimalism in sound — not the abundances.

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The Locust / JR Ewing / Kill Me Tomorrow
8

  • Berlin
  • Germany
  • Pfefferbank
  • 2005-12-10

It is honourable that The Locust can slash the convential track time by at least half, and still disseminate the contents of the track further than the gluttonous convention and its many more seconds.

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Jon Brion / Fiona Apple / Matt Chamberlain
10

  • Los Angeles
  • United States
  • Largo
  • 2005-12-22

If you don’t already know, Jon Brion has composed soundtracks for films such as Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love and I Heart Huckabees. He has collaborated with Elliot Smith, Tom Petty, Peter Gabriel, A Perfect Circle, David Byrne and countless others.

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Mr Scruff
6

  • Southampton
  • United Kingdom
  • The Brook
  • 2005-11-24

Armed with three boxes of 12” vinyl, four boxes of 7” and a collection of CDs, Scruff was laying on the jazz funk when I arrived almost two hours into his five hour set.

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Beecher / Architects
8

  • Southampton
  • United Kingdom
  • Joiners
  • 2005-11-24

When Beecher first arrived years ago they were championed for their blend of metal, melody and electronics. Nowadays all of these factors remain in some form but at least in the live act, or at least tonight, they are pure metal – the more emotional moments being swallowed up within the onslaught of noise.

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LCD Soundsystem / Art Brut / Hot Chip / Waxed Apple
8

  • Brighton
  • United Kingdom
  • Event II
  • 2005-12-08

LCD Soundsystem, the rock’n’roll dance band brainchild of James Murphy (DFA), have always sounded a bit flat on CD, but their live show injects verve and excitement to every song thanks to Murphy’s almost obsessive enthusiasm to entertain every single person.

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