June 2017- What I’m Listening To

A month of festivals, tour announcements and new music (thank God).

Firstly, Rat Boy are finally releasing their debut album. The record is called Scum, which we already knew after Jordan Cardy (Rat Boy) teased it at Reading Festival last year. The record is out on the 11th August 2017 and features the previously released singles ‘MOVE’, ‘GET OVER IT’, ‘REVOLUTION’ and ‘FAKE ID’.

The Killers are back with a new album and single. The band are set to release their sixth sutdio album, entitled Wonderful Wonderful, later this year. The band released the catchy lead single, The Man, simultaneously to the record announcement. The single channels Two Door Cinema Club’s funky 2015 album, whist remaining iconically infectious, like most of The Killers songs are.  They’re also set to tour the UK in Winter this year, following their surprise Glastonbury set.

Everything Everything have announced a new album, A Fever Dream, which is due to be released on August 18th. The band also released lead single ‘Can’t Do’, which is equally as fascinating, mad and marvellous as their previous material. I love the absurdness of Everything Everything songs, which often include one absolutely brilliant, strange line, which is madly catchy.

Mystery Jets are set to release a remix EP, called The Electronic Earth EP. Key tracks have been remixed and reimagined from their 2016 album Curve of the Earth, especially to dance to and “shed new light on the material”, according to the band’s website.

Wolf Alice have released the raucous ‘Yuk Foo’ (or, err, “Fuck You”, as the song’s lyrics transpire) as the lead single from the second album, Visions of a Life, which is due to be released later this year. The single is explosive, angry and intriguing. You can’t tell a lot about how the album will pan out on just one song, as usually their songs are vastly different throughout- and that’s what makes them brilliant.

George Ezra has also released the lead single from his imminent second album. The single- which he debuted on his recent UK tour and is now a staple on his 2017 festival setlists-  is called ‘Don’t Matter Now’. It’s infectiously happy, upbeat and filled with summery, laid back vibes. It’s gloriously optimistic and I love it. I was lucky enough to hear his 2017 festival setlist at Wildlife Festival (his first festival of the season no less) and at Glastonbury and it’s great to hear our George performing such wonderful new tracks. I can’t wait for the album.

Lorde has announced a September UK tour, which includes a date at London’s prestigious Alexandra Palace, as well as dates at the Brighton Centre and at a string of O2 venues across the country. She will be supported by Khalid.

Reading’s Sundara Karma have also announced a September/October UK tour, which features a HUGE date at the O2 Academy Brixton. It’s so exciting watching Sundara Karma get bigger, especially after the release of their triumphant debut album earlier this year. The band are on their way to big things.

Blaenavon have also released a tour (with The Night Cafe). The tour kicks off in November and features a date at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire. These dates are set to be special, especially after the success of their debut album, That’s Your Lot, which was released earlier this year.

Just when you think there could be no more tour announcements… The Libertines released details of a seaside stop UK. The tour features dates in Brighton, Blackpool and Scarborough. I’m hoping the band showcase some new material, as a follow up to 2015’s Anthems For Doomed Youth.

Reading and Leeds festival have announced details of their Alternative Stage line-up. The stage offers a break from the music, with comics, speakers and DJs.  The line-up features DJ sets from Blossoms, Circa Waves and The Big Moon, as well as a Transgressive Takeover. The line-up also features comedy sets by Bill Bailey, Katherine Ryan and Joe Lycett.

Glastonbury Festival announced earlier in the month that Liam Gallagher and Johnny Depp were amongst the latest faces to join their mega 2017 line-up. The festival itself has since gone by in a flash and was a huge success. The festival was headlined by Radiohead, Foo Fighters and Ed Sheeran and featured secret sets by the likes of The Killers and Elbow. Highlights across the weekend include the spectacular Lorde, Scotland’s finest Biffy Clyro and Blossoms. A full review will follow.

In July, I look forward to Finsbury Park’s first Community Festival (headlined by Catfish and the Bottlemen, with The Wombats, Slaves and Fickle Friends amongst loads of great acts) and the long awaited release of Declan McKenna’s debut album. There’s also Haim’s new album, which is set to be good.

This month I’ve listened to a lot of Anne-Marie’s brilliant ‘Ciao Adios’, which is already soundtracking my summer, as well as the Clean Bandit hit she features on- ‘Rockabye’- having seen her play at BBC Radio One’s Big Weekend. There’s also the summer hit that is Little Mix’s ‘Power’, which I’ve been enjoying (in various layers of guilty pleasure) since Big Weekend. I’ve also been listening to a lot of Everywhere’s latest single, ‘Man Up’, who are my new band of the month in June. I’ve also been loving Declan McKenna’s ‘Paracetamol’, as well as bit of Blondie. There’s also a lot of Lorde on this playlist, especially ‘The Louvre’, which I recommend you listen to at full volume on repeat for full effect.

 

June 2017- What I’m Listening To

Foals- SSE Arena, 16/02/2016

Foals played the SSE Arena on the 16th February 2016 as part of their first ever UK arena tour. They were supported by Everything Everything, who played an incredibly energetic set filled with manic songs and fascinating robes, and Peace’s Harrison Koisser and Dominic Boyce provided a DJ set to seamlessly connect the pieces in between sets filled with old dance classics and (a bit randomly but warmly welcomed) Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”.

Foals opened up with “Snake Oil” from their latest album “What Went Down” , which was released last year. This was an exciting start to the set as many fans seemed to know the song, which prepared us for an exciting evening of music with the Oxford lads. They also played other songs from the latest album, including “Birch Tree” (a personal favourite of mine from the latest album), “Mountain At My Gates” and “A Knife in the Ocean”, the final song from “What Went Down”.

They also played a selection of songs from their back catalogue, such as “Spanish Sahara” (Total Life Forever), “Inhaler” (Holy Fire) and “Balloons” (Antidotes). These older songs were enjoyed by all but appreciated most by those who had been there since the beginning, with Yannis Philippakis (lead singer) dedicating some of the older songs to their older fans.

Foals had an incredible stage presence. One which was exemplified throughout their set. Their instrument playing was incredible and encapsulating, whilst the lyrics were sung almost perfectly (even though the sound from Yannis’ mic was faulty at the start of the set, from where we were sat, but this was quickly rectified).

The highlight of the set, for me, was “My Number” from Holy Fire. The song was played third and really saw the audience begin to wake up. Many of the seated were, at this point, standing and dancing along, whereas those who were already stood were all dancing and moving about.

All the songs on the setlist were teamed with brilliantly fascinating set design and light display. At some points there were multiple large LED screens hanging over the band on stage, while at others there was a simple beach-like backdrop. There were lasers galore! This made the set visually stimulating whilst still incredible to hear.

To a chorus of chanting for the band to come back on, they played a three song encore, which consisted of “London Thunder”, “What Went Down” and “Two Steps, Twice”. “What Went Down” is incredibly loud live. It’s mental and is well received by the crowd as they respond with arms waving and loud screaming. It was one of my favourite parts of the set. “Two Steps, Twice”, from Antidotes (Foal’s debut studio album, 2008), whilst simplistic in lyric, doesn’t fail to get the crowd excited as they depart with a sea of clapping hands and screaming fans sending them off.

Overall, Foals played an exciting and energetic set which would excite even non-listeners. They executed all the songs they played perfectly and had amazing stage presence and instrumental skills. This Tuesday night at Wembley arena was a triumph and I hope they come back again and play here again some day. Nonetheless, I am excited to see them co-headline Reading Festival this August with Disclosure. If they can convey a similar set to that of which they played on this arena tour, their Reading set will be undoubtedly a success!

 

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Foals- SSE Arena, 16/02/2016