Stockton Calling – Review

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Teesside one-day festival Stockton Calling returned on Saturday 26th March for another sold out day of live music, with over 70 bands playing across nine stages. The festival, now in its seventh year, boasts a lineup of mostly local and up-and-coming bands, with the occasional bigger name thrown in for good measure. The festival has gone from strength to strength since its inception, with this year’s event promising to be the best yet. What follows is my thoughts on a tiny selection of the bands who played.

One of the first sets of the day was from The Black Sheep Frederick Dickens, the latest offering from Darlington music scene luminary David Saunders. Taking inspiration from the tale of Charles Dickens’ wastrel brother (who died in Darlington and is buried in the town’s West Cemetery), this was more at times more performance art than a traditional rock show. In fine Scott Walker-esque voice, Saunders delivered a collection of gothic ballads, which often build to showtune levels of drama. He was aided by Rob Irish, who played keys and bass as well as unleashing an arsenal of samples from his laptop, everything from atmospheric drones to funky drum loops. This two-hands-one-mouth setup is reminiscent of Sparks, as is the high drama and sense of theatricality imparted by the music (Saunders himself prefers to be compared to the Pet Shops Boys). Venturing out into the crowd, Saunders pinned up various sheets with buzzwords that link not only to the story of Dickens, but also draw comparisons between the harsh Victorian past and the harsh Cameronian present. An impromptu gig at Teesside’s last remaning record store, Sound it Out, followed shortly after, with Saunders delivering an even better vocal performance in an even more intimate setting.

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One of the pieces of paper put up by David Saunders during TBSFD’s set

Less challenging fare was provided by Lost State of Dance, who packed out the Sun Inn and provided a perfect antidote to the inclement weather which had set in by late afternoon. Their 80s inspired indie struck a chord with the mixed-age crowd, many of whom will have fond memories of the decade of excess. Correct me if I’m wrong, but LSOD themselves look far too young to have experienced those heady times, but tap keenly into the sounds of Ultravox and Duran Duran (including a cover of the latter’s Planet Earth). The songs tended to sound homogenous, but the band themselves were endearingly enthusiastic and even the most cynical critic would have been hard pressed not to raise a smile. Similar party vibes came from Be Quiet, Shout Loud, who brought 2000s indie disco sounds to the Green Room in the early evening, their flamboyant front-man belting out such as tunes as (You’re Not) Sitting in Tonight and You’ll Never Know How to Dance. Tongues were firmly in cheeks, with Alan Partridge references and sampled air horns giving the crowd a good laugh in between songs.

I must now take a moment to be truthful: I missed Avalanche Party’s hotly anticipated Stockton Calling set, but all was not lost as they played in nearby Darlington the next day, headlining the Love Fuzz night at InsideOut. Their punky garage sound is now rounded out by new keyboard player Glen Adkins, but they have lost nothing of their intensity with this more polished sound. Lead singer Jordan Bell veered between glassy eyed semi-ignorance of the crowd and snarling at them, all the while riffing on his Vox Phantom with significantly more skill than the D major chord that fellow Phantom player Ian Curtis was supposedly limited to. The band build up a wall of sound during their gigs, second guitarist Jared Thorpe is fond of creating squalls of feedback by bashing his Rickenbacker against the amps. The crowd provided the vocals for much of Let’s Get Together, as well as one lucky audience member getting to play Bell’s guitar during the song. The set was loud and raucous and left me feeling more than a little bit disappointed about missing the previous day.

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The reason for missing Avalanche Party at Stockton Calling itself was that my friend Richy and I wanted to get a good spot for Velvoir, who played at 7pm at Music Lounge, a venue acting as a stage for the first time. Lead singer Verity Jasmine Bee prefaced opener Bring out your Dead with an introduction to the band and acted as our host on this trip down the rabbit hole, challenging societal concepts of gender, identity politics and sex along the way. The band are all incredibly talented musicians in their own right, but Velvoir is greater than the sum of its parts. Military tattoo drumming and propulsive basslines provided a solid bed for guitarist Adam Sams to deliver his more-is-more riffing, which appears to be as grounded in jazz as it is the blues. Bee is the undoubted star of the show however: with the voice of Jim Morrison and the shamanic dancing of a young Mick Jagger, she growled out sexual innuendoes and filthy come ons to the packed out room. The set climaxed, almost literally, with Pearls on Velvet, Sams’ guitar cum-faces perfectly mirroring Bee, who writhed on the floor, alternating between throaty laughter and orgasmic moaning. Velvoir are certainly one to watch, especially if one is lucky enough to catch them playing a full-length gig. The band themselves took to social media to state that playing for only half an hour felt like being interrupted ‘mid-coitus’. Expect to find them playing an even more prominent spot and to an even bigger crowd should they return to Stockton Calling in 2017.

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One of the pieces of paper put up by David Saunders during TBSFD’s set

Immediately following Velvoir, David Saunders and Glen Adkins retured to do double duty, this time playing in their main project, Goy Boy McIlroy. The brooding alt-blues boys played what is rumoured to be their sole gig of the year to a packed Music Lounge, many of whom had hung around following Velvoir. As Adkins, guitarist Simon Goy and drummer Al Evans worked their brand of dark post-punk, Saunders turned the crowd participation up to 11. I myself was encouraged to down half a bottle of Aftershock by the man himself, who went on to start a pillow fight between members of the crowd. With a frontman as effervescent as Saunders, it is easy to forget that he has three very talented compatriots, who sounded as tight as they ever have done. Last year’s EP Duell is well represented, its huge riffs and pounding drums sounding even more visceral live than they did on record. As with Velvoir, it is all over much too soon, but not before an incendiary version of Writhing. Almost all in attendance will surely be hoping that they do not have to wait too long to experience the magic that is a Goy Boy gig once again.

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A rather sweaty David Saunders of Goy Boy McIlroy/TBSFD

Dutch Uncles played to a criminally underpopulated Georgian Theatre at 9:50pm, with large swathes of the festivalgoers obviously drawn by the more populist music of fellow headliners Reverend and the Makers and Blossoms, who played at the ARC and Ku Bar respectively. Those in attendance experienced a sparkling set, filled with atypical rhythms and lead singer Duncan Wallis’s idiosyncratic tenor and jerky dancing. Appropriately for a band obsessed with non-traditional time signatures, Wallis sang an acapella snippet of Kiss from a Rose, one of the biggest pop hits not to be in 4/4 time, before the gig began in earnest. A sultry Babymaking was the first song of the show proper, one of many offerings from Dutch Uncles’ most recent album, O Shudder, which was also represented with breezy versions of Decided Knowledge and Upsilon, among others. Older songs such as Cadenza and Flexxin’ were also aired, as was Same Plane Dream, a song newer even than O Shudder. When not dancing or singing, Wallis darted to his keyboard, sprinkling the songs with short blasts of piano and dual electric xylophone, played in tandem with his fellow members. Although the songs are tricky, nothing was lost in translation from the studio to live arrangements. By Wallis’s own admission, the set flew by at 100 miles per hour, but it was the perfect way to wrap up a day of impressive live music, with BBC Radio 6’s Marc Riley taking over to see the happy festivalgoers into the early hours.

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2016 was another vintage year for Stockton Calling and 2017 cannot arrive quickly enough. In the face of brutal cuts to local arts funding, it is refreshing to know that a town such as Stockton can pull off an event like this. That it was such a success is a testament to the organisers, the artists and those who came down to support their local music scene.

Bands we wish we had seen: Kingsley Chapman and the Murder, Mouses, Figmennt, J.P. Riggall, Plaza.

Ice Cube vs Cypress Hill, What Was That About?

Above: Ice Cube and B-Real chillin with an AK, it must not of been a good day.

 

 

If you’re a fan of gangsta rap, you could probably already reel off what this was about. But for all those who don’t know prepare to be told a tale of betrayal and treachery…just kidding. Ice Cube literally just stole a chorus concept. That’s it you don’t even have to read on now, finito, fin, finished!

In all seriousness though, lets get into this shit.

The first question we ask when faced with the horrifying truth that Ice Cube could ever do such a thing, is did he really though? Is B-Real just being a little bitch? Is he lying? Did he make it up? Well that was more than one question, but there are so many questions!!?? There probably isn’t that many and you’re just probably sat there like c’mon man you said you was going to be serious now, quit it with your jokes. So now I shall.

So this is how it all started (what follows is from the point of view of B-Real), Ice Cube was making the film ‘Friday’, which B-Real was originally going to star in but he couldn’t due to Cypress Hill touring and preparing for their next album release. So instead he asked Cube if it would be cool if they made a song for the movie and naturally Cube agreed. Wait, let’s take a step back a second. I feel like you should know that Ice Cube and B-Real were good friends at this point and B-Real was even at Cube’s wedding etc, they were tight, so to speak. So anyway, Cypress Hill made the song ‘Roll it Up, Light it Up, Smoke it Up’ and invited Cube down to the studio to listen to it to see if he liked it, whilst Cube was at the studio B-Real asked if he wanted to hear a couple of tunes off their new album. So they played him 3 or 4 songs with the last one being ‘Throw Your Set In The Air’, apparently Cube really liked the song and asked if he could use that song in the movie, they told him that they really wanted to but they couldn’t due to Sony marking it as their lead single.

Not long after, Cypress Hill were on tour when B-Real got a phone call asking if they had given the ‘Throw Your Set In The Air’ song to Ice Cube, which they responded to confused as they hadn’t even released the song yet. Apparently it wasn’t the exact same song it was just the chorus concept that was exactly the same as theirs, but naturally it would appear that he stole it. Sen Dog and DJ Muggs were instantly on the radio throwing hate at Ice Cube, whereas B-Real being such a close friend to Ice Cube took a more neutral approach, assuming that Cube would of had a good explanation.

Not long after Ice Cube got wind of what Sen Dog and DJ Muggs had said about him he called up B-Real, to which B-Real explained that the guys think he stole their song, Cube denied stealing their song and said he would never do that and said that sometimes rappers just come up with similar hooks that’s all. B-Real wanted to believe him so took his word for it and that was that.

Then a few months later B-Real received another call from Cube, asking if he wanted to come and lay down some vocals on one of his tracks, which he agreed. Real got to the studio and realised some of the lyrics were the same as the ones from the song Cube had previously been accused of stealing . So he went outside to make a phone call to his manager and then came back in and asked if he could lay down the vocals again, telling them he thought he could do it better, but this time the lyrics were gone. Real has said that there must of been some sort of expression on his face when he realised that those were his lyrics, that Cube picked up on, so when he left to make the phone call Cube took them out. Real didn’t confront Cube in the studio, but instead decided that Cypress Hill would have to call Ice Cube out. So they layed down the dis track ‘No Rest For The Wicked’.

This then started a chain of dis tracks, with Ice Cube releasing a track with his group Westside Connection named ‘King Of The Hill’.

Next Cypress Hill hit back with a song named ‘Ice Cube Killa’, taking the beat straight from ‘King Of The Hill’.

Ice Cube’s input on the beef has just been that ‘Cypress Hill think I stole one of their hooks’. He hasn’t really elaborated too much, but to be fair B-Real and Ice Cube have since squashed their beef and are friends again.

Who won?

I’d like to say it was a Tie.

Henry’s Dream: The greatest album Nick Cave will ever write?

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There’s not many artists in music (if any, for that matter) quite as distinct and singular as Nick Cave when it comes to narrative songwriting. No other musician has painted such visceral yet beautiful imagery in my head, conjured up by his seemingly never-ending stream of fascinating and observant lyrics, referencing literature along the way whilst simultaneously winking at pop culture, the man is the best at stringing a sentence or two together. These lyrics have filtered through from their beginnings in his infamous notebooks to The Bad Seeds’ 14 studio albums thus far.

Whenever I want to sit myself down, stop whatever i’m doing and just listen to incredible storytelling in the form of song, there’s one album in particular that I always come back to time and time again, and that’s 1992’s Henry’s Dream.

Over time this album has sort of been dismayed a little by the critics, and kinda left in the dust by music fans. Before I get into why I think it’s actually the hidden gem amongst their back catalogue and quite possibly their best album yet, it’s easy to see why it’s had a turbulent history. As brilliant as this album is, it’s one that was stooped in misery during the recordings for Nick and the Bad Seeds, born from tribulation at the hands of producer David Briggs. Before even entering a studio to start the album, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ manager at the time suggested they find a more renowned and knowledgeable producer to produce their next album, to build upon the success they found with their last album The Good Son (in particular the success they had with the singles ‘The Ship Song’ and ‘The Weeping Song’ from the album). This album had been produced by only The Bad Seeds themselves, and with a little guidance and a push in the right direction, it was felt that the right producer would be able to capitalise on Nick’s ever-growing songwriting abilities and propel them sky high. So in stepped David Briggs.

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Neil Young with producer David Briggs, 1973.

Chosen by Nick Cave himself because of his admiration for Brigg’s work on some of Neil Young’s records in the 70’s, it soon came apparent however, some time after entering the studio with Briggs, that the band felt they’d picked the wrong guy. Briggs apparently preferred to use a ‘live-in-the-studio’ method that he’d used with Neil Young, however the band, Nick and Mick Harvey in particular, felt that this method wasn’t doing the songs justice, and so tensions between the band and producer began to surface, with members growing increasingly tired with the recordings. Ultimately, Nick grew so disillusioned with how the songs were being treated that he just wanted to get through the rest of the album and get it over with.

Now while I can sympathise with Nick and Co. and their frustrations, I believe that Briggs’ live-in-the-studio method of recording the band worked amazingly well with Cave’s tales of death, love, malevolence and lust, creating songs that feel like 5-minute stage plays taking place in the 12th century. I can understand why Nick was so particular about how he wanted his songs to be recorded and treated, as these are without a doubt absolute masterclasses in lyrical songwriting, and he must’ve felt the same way about them too, almost like a proud dad watching from the sidelines as their child plays for the local sports team, all too aware of, and aggravated by, the managers’ incessant and provoking bark of commands towards their child.

It really is these lyrics of his that make this album the narrative powerhouse it is. Take the first song on the album for example, ‘Papa Won’t Leave You, Henry’, which is quite possibly the greatest album opener ever, setting up the apocalyptic scene of a violent barren landscape in the Gothic Deep South, with it’s “lynch-mobs, death squads, babies being born without brains” and it’s “mad heat and relentless rains”, it literally feels like a grotesque, disturbing novel is unfolding right in front of you, with each subsequent verse growing more and more unhinged and ferocious. Nick had been inspired by buskers he’d seen playing ‘violent acoustic’ songs on two-stringed guitars on the streets of São Paulo in Brazil, where he had lived momentarily. This idea of violent, acoustic songs with a strong narrative is the concept that would carry on throughout the album, and you can really hear this idea in it’s purest form here. Many Nick Cave fans regard this song as perhaps his greatest lyrically and it’s not hard to see why, with the imagery that the lyrics conjure up burned into your skull long after the song has ended.

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Another lyrical goldmine comes in the form of ‘John Finn’s Wife’, which tells the tale of  a married woman with a “crimson carnation in her teeth, carving her way through the dance floor” of some old dance-hall on the edge of town. The protagonist seduces the wife, before John Finn arrives and challenges him to some sort of standoff, leaving the band on the bandstand fearing for their lives and a bloody mess in tow, ending with a bolo knife in John Finn’s neck.

“And I slip my hand between the thighs of John Finn’s wife
And they seemed to yawn awake, her thighs
It was a warm and very ferocious night
The moon full of blood and light
And my eyes grew small and my eyes grew tight
As I plotted in the ear of John Finns’ wife”.

Again, not only are the lyrics sublime in their cut-throat delivery, but the instrumentation from The Bad Seeds here is second to none, with lush strings and a beautiful final verse, almost gospel-like with Cave’s spoken words sailing towards the end of this exquisite short story.

One thing that strikes me the most with this album is just how well Nick Cave juxtaposes such horrific scenes of dramatic and sudden violence with gorgeous melodies and his obsession with beauty. On ‘Straight To You’, the lead single from the album, the vocal take is so menacing in the final verse that he almost sounds like he’s growling, yet Nick is painting an almost fairy-tale like scenario between him and a lover, with crumbling towers of ivory and his repeated cries of “this is the time of our great undoing, this is the time that I’ll come running, straight to you.” It’s a wonderfully simple love song, but with Cave’s unique approach to delivering it to the audience in a way that sets it apart from other love songs.

‘I Had A Dream, Joe’ and ‘Jack the Ripper’ show the Bad Seeds in the swing of things, Cave taking full authority with his demanding and uncompromising vocals, backed up by his entourage of sleek and sharp musicians.

There’s also the autobiographical song ‘When I First Came to Town’, which I can only guess is a middle finger to his critics who shunned him from the start when he first touched down in London with The Birthday Party in 1980, but remarks “how quickly they change their tune”, and solidified Nick’s confidence in his own songwriting capabilities at the time. And he had every reason to be confident.

Every Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds album is a tour de force of lyrical wit, wonderful storytelling and haunting melodies, yet no album for me has fused all these components together quite as magnificently as Henry’s Dream did. It was the start of a new Nick Cave, the one focused on telling a captivating story, full to the brim with harsh and beautiful imagery, foul yet poetic wordplay. I hope this doesn’t end up being his magnum opus, as Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds are still going strong after 33 years, however this one’s gonna be a tough one to better that’s for sure. But for now, delve into the twisted and enticing world of Henry’s Dream.

“If you stick your arm into that hole it comes out sheared off to the bone.”

 

 

Single review: Prince – Little Red Corvette/Dirty Mind (live)

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The image of Prince Rogers Nelson most fixed in our collective imagination is that of a purple-coated rocker, shredding the Purple Rain solo on various unusually shaped guitars. Less commonly known is that the piano was in fact his first instrument. Aged seven, the pop polymath taught himself how to play the Batman theme tune on his father’s piano, shortly thereafter writing his first composition, a song called Funk Machine. Half a century later, his Royal Badness has returned to his roots at the ivories for a solo piano and microphone tour, garnering some of the best reviews of his illustrious career.

The tour was supposed to start in Glasgow in November, but all European dates were cancelled due to a combination of pre-sale touting and the atrocities in Paris (something which Prince must have felt all the more keenly, as he had previously recorded a live single at the Bataclan). Uploaded at the same time as a new live version of the underrated Joy in Repetition, this recording of Little Red Corvette/Dirty Mind is the artist’s first solo piano release since 2002’s One Night Alone album, which mostly went unnoticed by those outside the hardcore Prince fanbase.

After a false start, probably purposefully included by the master showman to rile the Sydney crowd (the man himself refers to the city as Sidney-apolis, in reference to his Minnesota hometown), Prince launches into a heartfelt version of the 1999 album’s standout among standouts. His piano playing is tasteful, subtly complemented by synth string arrangements (disclaimer: Prince plays a keyboard on stage, as opposed to an actual piano). Dipping in and out of the salacious title track from 1980’s Dirty Mind, it’s clear that at 57 his falsetto remains as youthful as his appearance. He returns to Little Red Corvette for an ad-libbed coda, imploring an unnamed lover to ‘slow down’ and reminding her that even though he doesn’t mind if she goes to another, ‘nobody can do it like Prince do’. Coming from Prince, this isn’t arrogance, it’s simply true. This single is currently a Tidal exclusive, along with most of his oeuevre, but as with all things Prince, it isn’t guaranteed to be online forever, so it’s worth checking out this latest expression of his genius musicianship while one can.

 

Gig review: Grimes at Manchester Academy, 12/03/16

Are you going to the party? Are you going to the show?

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Canadian pop eccentric Claire Boucher, alias Grimes, brought her Ac!d Reign tour to the U.K. last week, playing to a full house at the Manchester Academy. This marked her first gig in the city since having her equipment stolen following a show at the Ritz in 2012.

Last November’s release Art Angels proved Grimes to have impressive pop chops, marrying massive hooks with 80s synths, all the while infusing the whole thing with a healthy dose of K-pop. Grimes’ star has risen exponentially since the release of 2012 breakthrough Visions and the combination of this and her almost four year absence from these shores has caused this to be one of the most hotly anticipated tours of the year. A mostly youthful crowd of Grimes acolytes, many with multi-coloured hair and glittery faces, turned out to finally see their woman in the flesh, some of whom will possibly have chosen this gig over the allure of Cosmosis festival, happening across the city at Victoria Warehouse.

Following an opening set by HANA, dry ice clouded the stage and the opening strains of Laughing and Not Being Normal gave way to Genesis. Through the fog, Grimes appeared at her work station to a hero’s welcome, simultaneously intoning the song’s Cocteau Twins-esque lyrics and playing its oriental synth lines. Brilliantly, a large chunk of the crowd sang the dreamy vocals back at her. During the verses, she would climb down from her podium, working the full length of the stage in a way that belied her oft-proclaimed stage fright. Unlike many laptop/synth based solo artists, the visuals were as considered as the music, her two dancers alternating between jerky dance routines, twirling ballet ribbons and performing sword dances with what appeared to be parrying daggers. REALiTi (replete with Princely drum machines) and Flesh without Blood followed, with support artist/sidewoman HANA and Grimes both providing heavy guitar and bass work, giving these renditions an edge which is not present on Art Angels. Grimes seemed almost apologetic about replacing Aristophanes’ Mandarin rap on Scream with her own Russian translation, but the crowd lapped it up.

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image taken from instagram: @lukeliddle94

The tension building throughout the opening gambit of songs finally bursts during Venus Fly, featuring Janelle Monae’s sampled vocal. The combination of the song’s thunderous bassline and the dancers shining hand held lasers into the crowd generates a rave atmosphere, something which Grimes is well aware of when she advises everyone to take care of each other and to keep hydrated. From here on out, the pace doesn’t let up, with Butterfly and a reworked Be a Body dispatched one after the other. 2014’s standalone single Go, originally written for Rihanna, is introduced as her ‘most controversial song’, but any controversy wasn’t apparent inside the walls of the Academy as the dubstep infused breakdowns sent the crowd into a frenzy.

After World Princess Part II, performed here for only the third time, the much-discussed dichotomy between Boucher herself and the Grimes persona was shown at its most clear. She announced that she was going to play an encore, but would not leave the stage before doing so as she would not be able to reinhabit the ‘headspace’ of Grimes if she did so. This provoked a rapturous response; her humble demeanour is one of many reasons why Grimes is so idolised by her fans. Earlier in the show, she had endearingly stated that she did not know how to respond when faced with a sea of cheering fans. This pseudo-encore, a refreshing departure from the perfunctory minute or so spent offstage by most artists turned out to be her ‘favourite’ song, Kill v Maim. The deranged bubblegum chant can be heard echoing down Oxford Road as the crowd trickle out, synapses still firing and presumably praying that Boucher’s next absence from the city will be much shorter than four years.

Cosmosis Festival: Preview

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Summer is now just around the corner and this means that the festival circuit is about to get into full swing, with a plethora of bands showcasing their latest material in the glorious (well, hopefully) summer sun.

Cosmosis Festival however is a little different. Taking place in Manchester on Saturday 12th March, Cosmosis is an ‘alternative festival of psychedelic music and arts’, and even though you’d consider it “small”, compared to other festivals, the bands it has snapped up to play this year are far from it.

This year the festival has managed to get not one, but two of music’s biggest names, The Jesus and Mary Chain and The Brian Jonestown Massacre. They sit at the top of the bill and both look set to play career-spanning sets, with the grandfathers of pysch rock The Brian Jonestown Massacre playing the Air stage (the festivals’ “main” stage) followed by The Jesus and Mary Chain on the night (full stage times here). This coup alone is sure to bring people in droves from far and wide, and that’s only scratching the surface.

Post-punk legends Wire also make an appearance, playing the Earth stage along with the relativity new duo Sleaford Mods (championed by no other than Anton Newcombe himself), who are set to make sure the festival has it’s fair share of swearing. Of Montreal will also play, along with the likes of The Raveonettes and Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats. It’s worth noting that some of the bands i’ve mentioned thus far don’t even come under the “psychedelic” tag; an indication of the festival’s intentions to get the best acts it can to play at the festival, regardless of genre. However, that doesn’t mean that there’s a shortage of the standard psychedelic acts this year, with bands such as LSD and the Search for God, Allah-Las and The Black Delta Movement all supplying us with the fuzz. Be sure to also keep an eye out for new and upcoming homegrown talent in the form of PINS, Cabbage and Freakout Honey, all being Manchester-based bands.

If you want a break from the live music on show however, there’s loads of other things on offer there, from street food to art installations, space cinema to ‘mind bending immersive experiences’, various exhibits, dj sets and many, many more things. It seems there’s always going to be something to see or do, and I personally can’t wait, plus I finally get to see the mighty Brian Jonestown Massacre live after what feels like a lifetime of waiting to see them.

Down the rabbit hole we go.

Check out our Cosmosis Festival playlist on Spotify below:

Tyler, The Creator – WHAT THE FUCK RIGHT NOW / Review

Well this happened. But to be honest after seeing two videos of Tyler declaring his love for the track ‘Freestyle 4’ (Featured on Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo) and the video snippet of him rapping over it in the studio, it comes as no surprise really. That’s right, the whole beat to this track is taken straight from Kanye’s belter that is Freestyle 4, with a few minor adjustments and a whole little section where we still get to hear Yeezus himself (unless they’ve made Rocky sound like him I can’t tell). I can’t help but wonder how Tyler managed to get rights to this though, you know with Kanye being well, Kanye, and the STRICT exclusivity to Tidal, but maybe they’re just tight since SMUCKERS, who knows.

In honesty, I prefer Tyler’s version, the Kanye version is good but it reaches it’s climax and then ends, whereas we get a fuller track from the Odd Future ring leader. A section of Tyler’s lyrics also have relation to the GOLF RADIO interview with A$AP Rocky, for example he raps about go karting and buying the new Ferrari etc, and in the interview they joked about challenging each other to a go kart race and Rocky kept mentioning how many exotic cars Tyler has, whilst also doing a pretty mean impression of him “Do you drive?” (Link Below). It seems like these two are attached at the hip recently, maybe this is a sign of good things to come, A$AP Mob x OFWGKTA maybe? Well we wont hold our breath on that, but just a thought. I’m absolutely certain we can expect a full blown Rocky and Tyler track though, especially after their tour together the back end of last year and their very apparent bromance.

The track itself is surprisingly really good, considering the short time it was most likely made in, the lyrics are pretty creative as well, but we wouldn’t really expect anything less from Tyler. His flow is pretty sick over the beat, I feel he’s definitely made the most of the Freestyle 4 instrumentals, it would of been nice to hear Rocky do a verse as well, but can’t have everything can we, we’ll just have to settle for his shouty talky hype man input instead.

I literally just believe this track was the creation of boredom and from the video they clearly had a great time in the process, so who can knock them ey? I know I haven’t really reviewed this track in depth per se, but you get the jist, maybe I should change the title, but fuck it right?

Golf Wang.