Wednesday, 16 March 2011

The Middle Boop Blog is Dead! Long Live Middle Boop Mag


As some of you may already know, we here at Middle Boop hq have been plotting and scheming, developing the new site Middle Boop Mag. With a sleek new look allowing the you
to access all of our information easily and more of an emphasis on news, honest, quality reviews and art, we hope to offer our readership something a little different.

Thanks for reading and being a part of our humble blog over the last year and a half. The new site is now live so have a look, check things out and let us know what you think!


Enjoy,

Gordon.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

PJ Harvey - 'Let England Shake' (Universal/Island)


This is a peachy album, I like it. Basically PJ Harvey has recorded acoustic piano music with a few bars, instruments and some drums thrown in. In regards to the title i’d say England only shakes because it's pissed all the time but Let England Shake has a melancholic feeling to it with some of the chord changes. I wouldn’t say that’s very unusual for this type of music. Not an awful lot I can say, but it's nice.

I had it on shuffle by accident, ‘The Glorious Land’ started and I liked this from the start.
It made me feel like summer was coming, but I'm not sure how the military horn fits in, and although it’s not a very military sounding song, it’s an all round good track.

"The last Living Rose", this one made me thing of "Wild Thing", only less heavy. I was caught out by the sax that kicks in, which I wasn’t expecting. It also slightly reminds me of MGMT, in a very nice way. "The Words That Maketh Murder" follows a similar style.

"Bitter Branches" came on next, strong sound for an acoustic album; PJ Harvey has a booming voice aided by a shit load of reverb I might add.
This one made me drum along on my laptop, I felt like it should kick in with distorted guitars and big drums but it ended instead, fairly short at 2:29.

Many of the songs are similar, I am only picking up on the ones I think have something good to offer, "Written On The Forehead" is one of them.
Imagine lying down in a field with some tinnies and some friends on a nice summer’s day, and then getting horrendously drunk and burning down a house.

I like this album, not something I would normally listen to but it’s definitely worth your time and money. I can imagine listening to it with a massive hangover.
There we have it then, buy this album and add it to your hangover playlist; I guarantee you will feel better after. I know this for obvious reasons.

Words: Tim Bascombe

Friday, 4 March 2011

British Sea Power @ The Forum 27/02/2011


On Sunday I had the pleasure of seeing a band who probably rank amongst the top of the ‘bands I’ve been to see live an unhealthy amount’ category. I think this may have been the 7th (or possibly 8th) time I’ve been to see them put on a live show of some form, whether it be their own intimate gig, at a festival or playing the local sweaty student night club.

Previous shows have been nothing short of spectacular, combining onstage theatrics such as members sitting on one another’s shoulders whilst jousting a giant bear named Ursula with their guitars, to some musical accompaniment from the London Bulgarian Choir.

Sunday’s show at The Forum didn’t have any of the above. Aside from a large screen which occasionally had some imagery of wild life (you guessed it - mainly birds) to accompany certain tracks, plus the usual spattering of onstage foliage, there were no gimmicks or cheap thrills. This is by no means a criticism, it’s just after all these years I’ve been to British Sea Power’s shows, I’ve come to expect a unique factor to be present, be it musically related or aesthetically pleasing. I guess that’s my fault for having certain expectations.

The set itself was predominately influenced by tracks from their most recent album Valhalla Dancehall, which encompassed approximately one third of the playlist. This worked just fine and all the new tracks sounded great live, however in all honesty I couldn’t quite get into the live rendition of ‘Living Is So Easy’. It just didn't seem to translate as well live as it does on record which is a great shame yet inevitable, what with it being the least traditional style on the new record, mainly revolving around keyboards rather than the usual guitars.

All the previous albums aside from Man of Aran got a look in at some point throughout the night, with a selection of crowd favourites such as Remember Me, It Ended On An Oily Stage and No Lucifer being well received by an increasingly elevated audience. Sadly the usual climactic epic prog rock closer ‘Lately’ from debut album ‘The Decline of…’ didn’t get a look in, which I have fond memories of deafening me back in 2008.

I guess the natural progression of a band releasing more and more albums will inevitably lead to the exclusion of certain tracks from setlists, especially when promoting a new album. All in all, a solid set from a band proving to be increasingly adept, and apparently, more mature. Some mild disappointment on my behalf from the unusual lack of showmanship. Maybe that ship has sailed.

Words: Neil Phillips

Photo: Hamish Bredin

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Trevor Jackson 'Nowhere' Opens 3rd March at KK Outlet

One of the most infamous designers in modern music design, Trevor Jackson opens his new show tomorrow at the fantastic KK Outlet. 'Nowhere' features his design and photographic work. This is one not to miss.

KK Outlet, 42 Hoxton Square, N1 6PB

ATP Nightmare Before Christmas curated by Caribou, Les Savy Fav & Battles



Are you excited? Are you scared? Are you feeling festive?

ATP have announced the curators of their creepy Christmas fest that is Nightmare Before Christmas, held over the weekend of December 9th-11th at Butlins Holiday Centre, in Minehead. The three acts headlining and picking the bands for the event are Battles, Caribou and Les Savy Fav.

Each band will take a day and select 14 acts to storm the stage. Les Savy Fav start on the 9th, Battles take the 10th and Caribou round out this motley trio on the 11th.

Tickets will be on sale from Thursday 3rd March for £170 room only and £180 for self catering.

Girls Names - 'Séance on a Wet Afternoon' Video

GIRLS NAMES - Séance on a Wet Afternoon from Girls Names on Vimeo.

Cold Cave announce European tour and free Download


To mark the release of their third album Cherish The Light Years (out April 4th) Cold Cave have announced a handful of European shows.

March
29th - Start The Bus, Bristol
30th - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
31st - Stereo, Glasgow
April
1st - Ruby Lounge, Manchester
2nd - Ifor Bach, Cardiff
5th - The Lexington, London (The Quietus Night)
6th - De Kreun, Kortrijk
9th - Jack Daniels, Barcelona

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Smith Westerns tour the UK with The Vaccines

On the run up to the release of their album 'Dye It Blonde' out on 2nd May, Smith Westerns will be touring with The Vaccines on the following dates.


Sunday 3rd April - Manchester, Ritz
Monday 4th April - Bristol, Anson Rooms
Tuesday 5th April - Glasgow, ABC
Thursday 7th April - London, Electric Ballroom
Friday 8th April - London, Electric Ballroom
Saturday 9th April - Birmingham, HMV Institute