Thursday, 23 July 2009

Fightstar - Interview/2000 Trees Festival Review

EBTM were really looking forward to 2000 Trees Festival. We were gonna make a real weekend of it, grab the tents, our girlfriends, some nice bottles of wine and go and lie in the mid July sun listening to a great selection of up and coming bands and more established names in an idyllic setting at one of the UK’s more intimate festivals – all topped off by hanging out with our competition winner Lauren and interviewing Fightstar.

Until God decided to unleash two days of apocalyptic weather on the UK and Snoop Blog contracted swine flu. Festival season and a Great British summer? More like the Ten Plagues Of Egypt……..Not to be deterred I gathered up our in house photographer Alex, kissed goodbye to not so stoic girlfriend and the nice bottles of wine and we were off up the M5 / Moses Parting Of The Seas.

Arriving much later than planned God finally showed some pity and for the rest of the day not a drop of rain fell. Unfortunately, not soon enough to stop the site being extremely muddy and looking a little forlorn. Not that it was going to stop anyone from having a good time as smiley faces and the blitz spirit were in abundance as was the fancy dress competition which totally confused our slightly hungover roving reporter. There is nothing quite like spending ten minutes trying to get your bearings in a mudbath just outside of Cheltenham whilst watching The Cat In The Hat dance around with Fred Flintstone and three Where’s Wally’s all drinking cider. It makes you feel proud to live here, it really does.

As if that wasn’t all confusing enough the first band we saw were Rolo Tomassi (told you we were late). Disarmingly young, full of confidence and energy, they were the perfect start to what was becoming an increasingly surreal day. It was hard to decide what was more confusing – the ridiculously opposing set of genres clashing together to create a wonderful mish mash wall of noise or the sight of the cute, diminutive female lead singer screaming pure hardcore from the bottom of her belly like no-one we have witnessed in a while. There are a plethora of quotes trying to explain this bands sound but our favourite and most accurate possibly is ‘bat-shit mental’. It sounds like it shouldn’t work anywhere, especially a wet afternoon in a field in the middle of nowhere but in a crazy way it did and the crowd lapped it up.

Just as the sheer ridiculousness of the day started to take over a ray of sanity and decorum arrived in the shape of our competition winner, Lauren. A bright and lovely lady that spent the rest of the day being generally cheerful and eventually organising EBTM around a very enjoyable evening.

After a quick break for medicinal cider and making acquaintances the next band were up. The 2000 Trees programme describes Amplifier as their favourite band, going as far as saying it ‘luuuurves Amplifier’. That’s right – four u’s. The highest of praise surely. They didn’t disappoint, doing exactly what they do best, banging out track after track of pure riff laden rock whilst half the crowd sang along to every word. They weren’t EBTM’s favourite act of the day but they performed live at a standard that was set when Kerrang! awarded them a 5K review on release of their first album in 2004. On this performance they haven’t lost anything since. Big sound, happy crowd, lots of luuuurve.

After more medicinal cider the next band were up. Definitely our favourite of the day, The King Blues were awesome. Anyone who hasn’t witnessed their unrivalled blend of acoustic punk and ska needs to. Now. Jonny Fox aka Itch could be the most charismatic frontman in UK music right now. No shit. They killed it. Check their MySpace and get to a gig. Nuff said.

Finally, the big moment arrived when EBTM and Lauren got to hang out in the backstage VIP area (a portacabin right behind the stage) with Fightstar. Here’s the transcript of the interview from our intrepid (and very competent) music journalist……………

Lauren - 3 albums in 3yrs, pretty impressive going...are you guys happy with how things have progressed for you?

Fightstar – Yeah…………I think we’re most happy with the last album we did. I think it’s our most ambitious work to date, probably our favourite record so far. It’s been a whirlwind past four or five years, to be honest. We are happier now than we have ever been as a band, creatively and personally.

Lauren - "Be Human" (released early 09) has received great reviews, how do you feel about the there a particular song on there you’re most proud of?

Fightstar – War Machine followed by Chemical Blood – we love the string element to that song - plus the last track Follow Me To The Darkness. Gimme The Sky definitely deserves a mention too…..

Lauren - Switching labels seems to have given you more freedom, how do you guys feel about moving to the Search & Destroy label?

Fightstar – Search & Destroy is good, it’s a joint venture between us and the management. It’s cool, we get to make our own decisions and it’s a bit more relaxed. In the past we had to ask for cheques to be signed off and we just sign them off ourselves now. It’s allowed us a whole new level of freedom with regards to the music and running our own band the way we want to run it. It’s nice to not have to answer to anyone else. It’s good to have the responsibility. With responsibility comes focus.

Lauren - You played Download last month, how was that experience in comparison to the last few years had a great reception from the crowd….

Fightstar – Download was the best festival we have ever done. The crowd were awesome and the sun was shining, got to listen to some Down afterwards which was awesome. Omar was there for the whole weekend and said ‘It was the best Download ever, music wise and partying wise – not much more I can tell you apart from that!’

Lauren - Are there festivals you haven't played yet but would like to be on the bill for?

Fightstar – Reading and Leeds were the ones we wanted to play when we were younger and we’re playing them this summer. I think we might be the wrong kind of band for Glastonbury. Although, it would be a good one to do one day.

Lauren - What are the bands you've most enjoyed playing with?

Fightstar – Had a lot of fun touring with Funeral. Did a massive tour of Australia, America and Japan with them. Really cool guys and nice to be on tour with them. Also, Reuben, rest in peace, one of the best British bands ever. Not together anymore, unfortunately, but great to tour with.

Lauren - Any funny or embarrassing stories about these bands you can share?

Fightstar – One day we were on tour in Australia when we met Gareth from Funeral after he had drunk a whole bottle of Ranch Dressing, we offered him $10 each and there were twenty of us in the room, he drank the whole thing and mopped his lips with the $200 he had just won.

Lauren - On that subject, any embarrassing stories about each other?

Fightstar – Nothing about each other we can share (lots of giggling and talk of one of the band upside down in a hot tub that EBTM doesn’t catch over the laughter).

Lauren - When on tour, which of you has the most annoying habits?!

Fightstar – More laughter and then finger pointing!
‘Omar snores really loud’.‘Charlies feet stink’.As a band we’re pretty much like an animal pit. It’s like an unclean zoo.

Lauren - Your fans are clearly very important to you, but what's the weirdest thing anyone's done to/for you?

Fightstar – The coolest thing we saw was the other day a guy came to the show and had all our artwork tattooed over his arms, the EP all the way down his back. We asked him where he was gonna put the cow and he said his chest or something!

Lauren - What are your plans for between festivals this summer, writing more tunes or you taking time away to relax?

Fighstar – Firstly, we are going to write some new songs and re-package the album for October alongside the UK tour. That’s an exclusive! (an argument ensues about whether that is an exclusive and whether they should have mentioned it).

Lauren – If you could duet with any other artist who would it be?

Fightstar – Tough one………Chico? Beethoven? Louis Vega?.....................

So. That was the interview with Fightstar and not only did our competition winner hold her own with one of the nicest bands in rock but she got an exclusive!
About five minutes later Fightstar were on the stage thrashing out their awesome new album to a crowd of devout followers that sing along to every word (apart from the youngest moshpit we have ever seen). From where we were stood – about two feet to the side of Omar on stage – they totally killed it. Great interview and a truly awesome set from a band that goes from strength to strength. The perfect end to a day that started off far from perfect.
Thanks to Lauren, Fightstar and 2000 Trees for a proper good day out.

Whiney Crackhouse - Words
Alex Shore - Photos

Monday, 20 July 2009

Fresh New Releases...

There's a slew of great records coming out over the next few weeks- All Time Low, Suicide Silence, Clutch, The Used, Poison The Well etc. The latest one to be doing a permanent rotation on my ipod is the new Set Your Goals album which is out today! It is literally amazing. Whilst every other pop punk band around at the moment is adding synth and generally leaning more towards the pop than the punk, SYG seem to have honed in their sound since their (also impressive) Mutiny album. The best thing about this is how much it reminds me of older pop punk bands like NOFX and Pennywise. It still maintains a pop sheen though, and there are some massive chorus' to sing along to and some big riffs to windmill to. The guest appearances on the record pretty much sum up the widespread appeal of the album/band. Vinne from Movielife (for all you fans that can remember emo before Fall Out Boy), Chad from New Found Glory and Hayley Williams, who drops in the most noticeable of the three with something close to rapping on The Few That Remain. This is the perfect Summer album from a band that have been on the cusp of breaking into the big league for a will. On the merit of this album, they deserve to, check them out!

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

The Streets - Win Tickets to O2 Academy Birmingham Opening Weekend

16-18 Horsefair, Bristol Street, Birmingham, B1 1DB
Saturday 12th September 2009

The Streets are one of Britain’s best loved acts, since bursting onto the music scene six years ago, with Mercury Prize-nominated debut album, ‘Original Pirate Material’. Since then, the band are enjoying some blistering festival performances, showcasing tracks from their magnificent back catalogue and latest top ten record, ‘Everything Is Borrowed’, a charming and thoughtful reminder of why we fell in love with The Streets in the first place.

After playing to a packed out Slam Tent at T in the Park this w'end which saw a 2 minute long glow stick fight amongst the crowds, The Streets Mike Skinner is still adamant their next album titled "Computers and Blues" due for release next year will be their last.

Calling it a day on tunes "Fit But You Know It", "Blinded By The Lights" and "Dry Your Eyes" amongst a roster of other great sing/speak along classics from the last 7 years will be a sad time indeed. Love them or hate them, The Streets have definately brought us some great moments.

So to celebrate the band & the grand opening of the O2 Academy Birmingham, we're offering one lucky winner a pair of tickets for their exclusive Saturday 12th September show!!

To be in with a chance of winning, just click on the comps email link below & title your message "The Streets", please include your full name/age & contact telephone number & we'll announce a winner September 1st.

- Please note, by entering this competition you are agreeing to enter our email newsletter.
- Please be assured all information supplied will safeguarded.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

5 New UK Bands We Are Loving Right Now

Your Demise - brilliant UK hardcore band very much in the old school vein. It makes me want to break faces- this is a good thing!

Twin Atlantic - beautiful crafted songs from these Scottish boys, sure to be huge.

The X-Certs - awesome angular rock, but with massive choruses to boot.

Outcry Collective - filling the gap The Bled have left, no UK band does it better right now.

Spycatcher - soon to be seen on the road with The Get Up Kids, these boys possess the riffs of Queens Of The Stone Age and the hooks of Jimmy Eat World.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Fightstar Rock The Roundhouse

We caught Fightstar's breathtaking set at the iTunes Festival last week. The gig took place at The Roundhouse in Camden (surely the finest venue in London, if not the UK). In Case Of Fire pulled out and were replaced last minute by rising stars Young Guns. Fightstar's performance was all conquering however, as once again the band lay to rest all those who prefer to highlight Charlie's previous musical outfit.
The band are 3 albums in now, and latest album, "Be Special", is a career high by a long way! Their set tonight is pulled from all three albums and every song is played with unending enthusiasm. Far more heavy than anyone gives them credit for, they incite chaos throughout and it is hard to pick a highlight, though surely it has to go to recent single "The English Way" which is, in my eyes, their finest hour.
Forget what you've heard, ignore the Busted link and simply give this band a chance, they truly do deserve your time.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Dinosaur Jr - Win Tickets!!!

Dinosaur’s tunes are indispensable, they're songs that have been rattling around my head for as long as the band has been playing them. “Repulsion,” from the first record, still knocks me out. The second record, “You’re Living All Over Me,” is an exception in that I can’t listen to any one tune on that record without needing to listen to the whole damned thing. J once said that he writes songs that he himself would want to listen to, and he’s got great taste. I never took the Cure seriously until I heard what these guys did with “Just Like Heaven,” a monster of a cover that hits the level of what Hendrix did for Dylan with “All Along the Watchtower.”

When Brian at Bleemusic floated the original Dinosaur line-up reunion idea a few years ago, I was dubious, We all know the trend for reunions right now. J, Lou, and Murph never had a “stable” marriage to begin with. But, of course, the tensions within their layered relationships as a band helped to make them so insanely powerful. Kids seeing the band on the YLAOM tour would come backstage after the show, dazed and transformed. It wasn’t just the wall of J’s Marshall-driven guitar or Lou and Murph locked in as tight as any bass/drum duo ever has been. It was vitality of the tunes themselves, delivered with emotion distilled to rock-bottom rock-n-roll essentials.

Icons & stalwarts of an undeniable sound, if you haven't already heard Dinosaur Jr then slap yourself in the face & go play some of their tunes! Or just click on our comps link below & enter yourself into our competition to win a pair of tickets to see them play 02 Academy Oxford UK on August 19th.

- Please note, by entering this competition you are agreeing to enter our email newsletter.
- Please be assured all information will be safeguarded.

Imperial Never Say Die Tour - Win Tickets!!!

Having continually pushed the envelope within the realms of the aggresive music scenes to bring audiences all over Europe unmissable tours and exciting new talent from around the world Avacado Booking unleash the IMPERIAL NEVER SAY DIE! CLUB TOUR 2009 on unsuspecting European audiences.

2009 will be chased out on it's heels by these motley crew of sonic slaughterers:

DESPISED ICON (headliner Germany)
ARCHITECTS (headliner UK)
OCEANO (rotating slot)

Montreal titans DESPISED ICON will be showing European audiences once again why their corrosive brand of death metal, hardcore and grind will destroy every venue on this tour, their latest CD is only one aspect of what this band are about, live they are truly brutality incarnate! They had this to say about their involvement: "We’re excited to be coming back to Europe on this year’s “Never Say Die” tour.We're finally going to play a few new tracks for you guy's, we'll be sharing the stage with some awesome bands. We can't wait to be a part of this tour!"

ARCHITECTS will be headlining the UK leg of the tour melting faces with tracks from their blisteringly acclaimed record (Century Media). They're no strangers to Never Say Die! and had this to say about this years ferocious outing: "We're stoked to be part of Never Say Die again! Last year was arguably the best tour we've ever been part of so to do it all again as co-headliners is truly awesome. We won't have played a headline show in the UK for 9 months by the time the tour comes around, so we hope to see some familiar faces out at the shows, and Europe is always amazing for us too. We can't wait!"

30.10.2009 UK Brighton Concorde 2
31.10.2009 UK Birmingham 02 Academy 2
01.11.2009 UK Sheffield Corporation
02.11.2009 UK Glasgow Cathouse
03.11.2009 UK Manchester Academy 2
04.11.2009 UK London The Electric Ballroom
05.11.2009 Germany Münster Sputnikhalle
06.11.2009 Germany Hamburg Markthalle
07.11.2009 Germany Köln Essigfabrik
08.11.2009 Holland Eindhoven Effenaar
09.11.2009 Luxembourg Esch-Alzette Kulturfabrik
10.11.2009 Switzerland Solothurn Kulturfabrik Kofmehl
11.11.2009 Germany München Backstage Werk
12.11.2009 Austria Wien Arena
13.11.2009 Slovenia Ljubljana Kino Siska
14.11.2009 Italy Cesena Vidia Club
15.11.2009 Italy Roncede New Age Club
16.11.2009 Germany Schweinfurt Alter Stattbahnhof
17.11.2009 Czech Rep Prague Abaton
18.11.2009 Germany Berlin SO36
19.11.2009 Germany Kalrsruhe Substage
20.11.2009 Germany Leipzig Conne Island
21.11.2009 Belgium Hasselt Muziekodroom

Ferocious, brutal & down right dirty this tour will kick ass and we've got two tickets to give away for the October 31st set at 02 Academy Birmingham UK.

If you want to be in with a chance of winning these tickets, then drop us an email at the comps link below with your name/age/contact telephone number.

- Please note, by entering this competition you are agreeing to enter our email newsletter.
- Please be assured all information supplied will be safeguarded.