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Meghan Trainor is sexist? Let us explain

Meghan Trainor has managed to set feminism back 20 years with the release of her new song ‘Dear Future Husband.’

She recently told Billboard “I don’t consider myself a feminist.” It shows.

‘Dear Future Husband’ was featured on her album ‘Title’ which was released in January 2015. However this month the song made it into the spotlight following the release of its music video, which currently holds 10 million views.

The song and accompanying video are overwhelmingly problematic, and what is scary is that women are listening to it, and not realizing how oppressive it is.

‘Dear Future Husband’ enforces gender stereotypes that feminists have been battling for years. Trainor states she will “Buy groceries” for her man and that will make her the “perfect wife.” I realize that women are the primary consumers in the vast majority of households (because we haven’t yet overthrown the idea that it is always the woman’s responsibility to take care of the housework), but buying groceries is what makes a wife perfect? Incredibly sexist as it teaches women the household should be their responsibility. This idea is perpetuated in the video as Trainor is shown in the video dressed in retro housewife attire, scrubbing a kitchen floor with no indication of irony. Housework should be the shared responsibility of all the able bodied members of a household. How can we wonder why the double burden still exists when we are being fed songs that maintain gender stereotypes?

Even the title of the song is problematic! It teaches children that men are born to be husbands and women are born to be wives; we should not assume this is the course people will take.

Unfortunately, the song and accompanying video are not just damaging to women, but also to men. The video depicts a suitor for Trainor ‘failing’ after he cannot hit the top on a high striker. What does this tell men about their self-worth? Trainor may as well have sung “You’re not a man worthy of a woman unless you fit the gender stereotype of strength.”

There is one saving grace to this song – a line in the first verse that goes “You got that 9 to 5, but baby so do I.” Thank goodness Meghan Trainor recognises women work now, and that we’re not still in the 1920s.

It isn’t especially shocking that Trainor has released a song so grossly anti-feminist considering her song writing history. Trainor’s first popular single ‘All About That Bass’ shames women with slimmer physiques, describing them as “Skinny b****es.” It appears Trainor does not understand that you don’t have to shame one body type to make another seem acceptable– she just can’t seem to spit out the self-assured lyrics without spitting on slimmer women. Obviously “Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top” if you have the same figure as Meghan Trainor. She also stated it was okay to be big, but only because “boys like a little more booty to hold at night.” Self-worth based on whether men find you attractive is pretty flimsy; we shouldn’t need verification from other people to be confident in how we look.

Ultimately, both of the songs are heteronormative, obnoxious and sexist, but the disguise as a swirly rainbow lollipop of girl power makes the world accept Trainor as a pop princess.  I would encourage you all not to buy Trainor’s album or even one of her singles, her music is damaging and she should not be supported.

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SoLonge Tom: Guitarist and Singer Tom DeLonge ‘indefinitely’ leaves Blink-182; replaced by Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba.

SoLonge Tom: Guitarist and Singer Tom DeLonge ‘indefinitely’ leaves Blink-182; replaced by Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba.

by Heather Moss 26/01/2015 20:48

So, in the most shocking news of 2005 Tom DeLonge has ‘indefinitely’ left Blink-182… oh, wait, it’s 2014 and I can’t say it comes as a surprise. I feel as though something about him has changed, that this time round he, and they, just weren’t what they were before. Was it the age? The pressure? Or purely just the fact he came across as a massive twat? Obviously I don’t know the guy so that assumption is founded on no other basis but opinion, strong opinion. Of course, what I say now is riddled with hypocrisy (as the only times I got an opportunity to see Blink was after their return) but, I must ask the question we are all, on some level, thinking:

Was it worth the return?

On behalf of the fan base, I’m glad they made their return. In a completely selfish light, it was my opportunity to see them so I’m beyond grateful for that chance. It wasn’t just me however and it gave a large, slightly newer, section of their fan base to experience the completely innuendo-based anarchy that is Blink-182 live and the older fans the chance to relive their glory days.

However on behalf of the band themselves, I feel like it wasn’t right. They had shifted into a entirely different, less enjoyable, dynamic and personally I think that was because of, as one source so rightly put it, Tom’s “half assed” attitude. It seemed like he was dragging his way through chores rather than living the dream of playing his music to crowds of tens-of-thousandsof adoring kids. It’s easy to believe that, in regard to the image of Blink and the prestige they have in the music industry, rather than become a middle-aged duo, they would have better staying gone and living on in everyone’s memory as a musical icon for a generation (or three) to come. With regards to Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba stepping into Tom’s Macbeth sneakers, I’m really interested to see how that will work. Blink will never be Blink without the stereotypical DeLonge drawl and the epic bromance of Hoppus and DeLonge that was at the heart of the band, but Skiba is a talented guy with a mountain of experience behind him that should be more than able to step in and step up.

Despite everything anyone says, Tom DeLonge will always be a huge figure in the music world; whether it be with his memory living on through old Blink-182 records or any future endeavours he has with Angels & Airwaves or any other project. I wish him the best of luck with the future but I must say… can’t you stay together for the kids?

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Taylor Swift’s 1989 – Review

As a long-time supporter of Taylor Swift’s music, the release of her new “purely pop” album was eagerly anticipated. I did my best to remain unbiased during the discussion of her new sound or her change in music genre, and I have ultimately been incredibly impressed by ‘1989.’
The album is a tribute to the electro-pop that dominated radio 25 years ago – in 1989, coincidentally the year that Swift was born. However despite the album being interpreted as a dramatic change in genre, in ‘1989’ Swift hasn’t moved far from her music roots. Underneath the heavy drum patterns and synth melodies are songs that could conceivably be strummed on an acoustic guitar alone in a room, which is how Swift began. ‘How You Get the Girl’ mixes up the best of her old and new tricks, as she plays an acoustic guitar aggressively over an upbeat disco surge. There are obvious flares of her old sound in other songs too, with well-formed verses and catchy choruses (most notable ‘Style’ which presents distressed, melancholy verses combined with a repetitive and fast paced chorus). At the heart of country music is an engagement with the grit of real-life struggles, and this remains Swift’s lyrical terrain. On the other hand, ‘1989’ also doesn’t incorporate as many genres as Swift’s most previous albums Speak Now and Red which mixed country with rock, and in Red flashes of pop such as within hit singles like ‘I Knew You Were Trouble.’ The risk Swift took with her new sound paid off, hooking many listeners and making the album a success.
However, Swift has worked hard to separate herself from pop stereotypes, saying she has “no female role models in music.” Her songs are certainly unlike other pop musicians of today such as Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry. There is no production by Diplo, no guest verse by Drake or Pitbull. Swift’s idea of pop music harks back to 1980s synth pop. However, I would liken some of the sound to Lana Del Rey’s music or early Ellie Goulding – in particular ‘Wildest Dreams’ is very Lana Del Rey-esque.
‘1989’ is mature, the album on the whole feels less diary-like than her previous work, emphasising Swift’s more grown up attitude to singing and songwriting. It has a new found levity – Swift rises above the haters (that’ll “hate hate hate hate hate”). She shows impromptu support for the LGBT community in the opening song on the album ‘Welcome to New York’ – claiming “You can want who you want, boys and boys and girls and girls.” There are also casual digs at the media and the way they have portrayed her present in the album – lines such as, “I could build a castle out of all the bricks they threw at me.” Most notably, there is the bouncy ‘Blank Space’ which hyperbolises her portrayal in the media as an overly attached man-eater who dates for song writing material. “Got a long list of ex-lovers, they’ll tell you I’m insane, but I’ve got a blank space,” she coos before a clicking sound like a pen, “and I’ll write your name.” The comments regarding the media aren’t limited to the chorus in this song however, Swift also writes in the first verse “I can read you like a magazine, ain’t it funny, rumours fly and I know you heard about me.” ‘Blank Space’ is funny and knowing – not only is Swift in on the joke; she also relishes it, showing her intelligence and wit.
The magic of the song extends into the music video, released on the 10th of November and has already accumulated over 42 million views. Swift’s disapproval of the male character being on his phone, and then dropping said phone in the water correlates with her disapproval of the digitalisation of the music industry – made most clear by her refusal to have 1989 on Spotify or any other music streaming sites. This decision caused controversy across the web, and initially was a decision Swift’s producers disagreed with. However, it all added to the ‘1989’ hype and worked to Swift’s advantage. Furthermore, some have suggested the choice of food in the video sends out the message we and we alone control our bodies, and that we and we alone are the only people our body shapes need to please. (I think this could be a dig at Meghan Trainor’s ‘All About That Bass’ and Trainor’s suggestion that it’s ok to be curvy, but it’s only ok because boys like it.) The dramatic irony of eating unhealthy foods in the picnic scene yet both the characters being so slim has been interpreted various ways. Slim and attractive on the outside, perhaps, but ugly on the inside. Swift also sends out the message she does not agree with the objectification of women in pop music – by cutting out the nipples of the male character’s shirt. Swift describes herself as a feminist and many have interpreted this part of the video as support for the #FreeTheNipple campaign. Finally Swift displays her enthusiasm for green energy. She has stated in recent interviews she, “has not driven a car in six months,” and this message is exaggerated with her smashing the male character’s car, and the scene of the couple cycling inside.
Swift sending out messages like this makes her an excellent role model for women around the world – independent and willing to stand for what she believes in, an excellent reason to listen to her music. Her motivation and work ethic are clear from the process of creating the album. Swift talked in her interview with TIME Magazine about her fight to get ‘1989’ the way she wanted; describing how she, “got some kind of interesting side-glance looks” when she presenting ideas for the album which when they were taken on were, of course, a success. Swift spoke about, “When I wanted to call the album ’1989,’ people on the team questioned that,” making her driven personality is blatant. Swift is empowered by music – and hasn’t been the type to ask permission in her career, but she has long seen herself as a stranger to the grand-scale fame that New York signifies. “Someday I’ll be living in a big old city” she taunted on ‘Mean,’ from her album ‘Speak Now’; and here she is, living in New York, even writing songs about it. Swift also certainly knows how to market songs, playing to the media with her wit and intelligence by entitling one of her songs ‘Style’ which is of course 5 of the 6 letters in Harry Styles’s last name. The song hasn’t even been confirmed to be about him but it without doubt gets people interested in the album and the drama encircling ‘Haylor.’
Ultimately, 1989 is a powerful album written by a powerful and intelligent young woman. It benchmarks Swift’s journey away from country music and into pop through compelling, energetic songs. Her talent for song writing has not faltered, lyrics such as “Kaleidoscope of loud heartbeats under coats,” reminding listeners of Swift’s inherent talent. Her confident and robust entrance into pop music emphasises her versatility between genres. I would recommend 1989 to anyone, from those wanting a lyrical journey to those just wanting songs to dance to. I think 1989 is one of the best albums of this year so far, and most importantly is just as great as all Swift’s previous work.

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Arctic Monkeys Live Review – Sheffield Arena

Anticipation has a habit to set you up”. Those are the first words from the Arctic Monkeys’ 2006 debut ‘Whatever People Say I am, That’s What I’m Not.’ Only after the build up to this concert do those lyrics seem so significant. When Arctic Monkeys set out on the UK leg of their ‘AM’ tour they seemed unstoppable and of all the possible things to prove they weren’t, it was laryngitis that did it. It was only a few weeks after the cancellation of three shows (Birmingham, Glasgow and Sheffield) that Arctic Monkeys were back on the road; and on Monday 18th November they returned home to Sheffield for their eagerly anticipated homecoming concert.

The lights go down and the walk on music plays, greeted by rapturous cheers from the crowd. The band walk out and Alex Turner strolls up to the microphone as nonchalant as ever. He eases out the opening line as Jamie Cook’s guitar riff fills the Motorpoint Arena. “Have you got colour in your cheeks?” Turner wonders as the phones of crowd members illuminate the arena. This along with most of latest album ‘AM’ gets an outing with only ‘Knee Socks’, ‘Mad Sounds’ and ‘I Want It All’ failing to be played. All of these new songs are greeted with euphoria most notably ‘Why’d you only call me when you’re high?’ and latest single ‘One For The Road;’the latter doing well to show off the falsetto tones of Matt Helders and bassist Nick O’Malley. The album’s closing track ‘I Wanna Be Yours’ that brought an end to the main portion of the set with confetti raining down on the audience as Turner crooned the final lyrics taken from the John Cooper Clarke poem of the same name. The band returned to the stage a few minutes later with ‘Snap Out Of It’ and an incredible semi-acoustic version of ‘Mardy Bum’. Turner built up the tension preceding final track ‘R U Mine?’ by telling the crowd “I’m yours, but the question is…”. It’s here that the postponement of the original date is mentioned for the first time, with Turner simply saying “sorry about the other week by the way”. He then teases the crowd once more. “The question is…” he says again, and shouts “Are you mine baby? Goodnight!” before launching into the song and sending the crowd into absolute mayhem.

There were quite a few surprising omissions from the set list, including fan favourites such as ‘Fake Tales Of San Francisco’ and ‘A Certain Romance’. We did hear ‘Crying Lightning’, ‘Cornerstone’ and ‘Pretty Visitors’ from 2009’s ‘Humbug’ which upon its released began to signal the demise of Turner’s strong Yorkshire accent. Now his voice for all of the songs has taken a stateside twang, making ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’ feel like a different song entirely. Alongside the new accent we see that Alex Turner has really started to evolve as a frontman, now oozing confidence and rocking sparkly gold suits (disappointingly not making an appearance at Sheffield). This new persona is shown off during the build-up to ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’, with Turner introducing the early single with his now signature “This one’s for the girls. LADIEEEEEEES”.

The omissions didn’t do a lot to dent the quality of the set. The band still came out with hit after hit, proving why they are one of the biggest bands in Britain – if not the world right now. In a 2013 involving headlining Glastonbury for the second time, playing a tour that took only a few hours to sell out entirely, releasing a number one album and receiving a Mercury Prize nomination to boot. It is clear that 2013 is the Arctic Monkeys’ year - do they deserve it? Yes. That night in Sheffield proved it. Anticipation may have a habit to set you up, but as we found out it isn’t always for disappointment.

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Bangerz – Banging or Boring?

The transformation that Miley Cyrus has undertaken in her journey is almost comical; we have seen her go from innocent teen star, Hannah Montana, to a pseudo sex icon, twerking her behind in Robin Thicke’s crotch in what appears to be a form of pop star prostitution and persistent sexualisation. Where has the teenage role model gone?

Coming into “Bangerz” I expected to see a reiteration of the boring lull pop music that has become of the past two years; epic, mindless vocals about love followed by an unnecessary bass drop, compulsory guest male rapper swearing too much, and repeat until fin. Don’t get me wrong, pop stereotypes aren’t avoided on Bangerz but it’s by no means the only model. Where “Wrecking Ball”, “My Darlin” and “Adore You” are instantly forgettable, repetitive and uninspired, “FU”, “We Can’t Stop” and “Do My Thing” retain a modicum of interest. The rapping Cyrus herself does on a few of the tracks makes a welcome change from the far more standard vocal style she employs for most of the album, the worst of which is a fumbled “So-la-da-di” that had me cringing. Hints of creativity gleam through the standard-pop monotony, the trumpet on FU being a highlight in this respect, but otherwise the album is disappointingly safe and samey. Much of it sounds like it could have been lifted from a latter years Deadmau5 album and repeats to no end. The incessant guest raps are contentless and seemingly arbitrary. The only guest appearance which has any weight is Britney Spears,who unduly exposes what a weak pop singer Cyrus can be.

Another standout is “#GETITRIGHT”, a song that instead of lifting the annoying, repetitive synths from most of the other songs, like “4×4″ (the most annoying track by some impressive distance), goes for a more simple guitar chord sequence, reminiscent of Bruno Mars, that is so catchy and uplifting it puts most of the album to shame. It might actually warrant the title of a good pop song. It leaves me wanting more like this though – Miley seems split between three or four song types (both lyrically and musically) and ends up doing none of them well. The result is a bit of a mess of an album, which opens and finishes on standard, heart aching love songs like her previous years and applies just hints of the badassery that the cover and media persona promises, interwoven with boring synths and pop standards. Instead of giving the listener loads of ideas it just makes each of them look half hearted and doubtful. I’m not sure what Miley is actually trying to say with Bangerz.

This creates a weird contradictory message. On the one hand, the love songs make her look like a pathetic teenage girl; submissiveness to all the sub par boyfriends who break her heart persists on tracks like “Adore You” and “My Darlin”, soppy ballads with mind bogglingly dull love lyrics. However Miley then suddenly appears a badass promoting sexual liberty with the line “We can kiss who we want to” and “Ima do my own thang”. Miley Cyrus will inevitably be a role model for teenage girls, so for the message she gives them to be so confused and incoherent is going to be a problem with the album.

English: Miley Cyrus singing in concert

English: Miley Cyrus singing in concert (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bangerz is a reasonably consistent pop album marred by lack of creativity and an incoherent message. Miley tries to address too many strands, spreading herself too thinly with her past persona and her new one, to the result that each song is almost instantly forgotten and every message fails to resonate. The lyrics leave me unable to discern from what she truly feels, and the usual bog standard lyrical monotony and tropes that seems to make up most of it. To top it off, the synth melodies that sound like they’ve been concocted in a few seconds plague the album, leaving it a mess that can’t be approached as a whole. The few moments of greatness make up for it though and leave it not without merit – #GETITRIGHT, FU and We Can’t Stop are a trio of, honestly, decent pop songs .Therefore, I have no reason to feel my time has been truly wasted listening to “Bangerz”, but I can’t help feeling the album could have been a lot more.

 

3.5/10

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Bastille at Stylus, Leeds University

Bastille have shot to success recently with their debut album, Bad Blood, going to number one in its first week of release and their surprising chart battle against none other than Justin Timberlake with single, Pompeii.

With several singles and EPs already floating around the music world, the South London four-piece released the first of two mixtapes entitled Other People’s Heartache in early 2012 with the second mixtape, (aptly called Other People’s Heartache, Pt. 2) released later on in the year. Both mixtapes feature film clips, covers and samples of tracks both new and old; from TLC’s No Scrubs and Corona’s Rhythm of the Night to Calvin Harris’ and Florence Welch’s Sweet Nothing and Frank Ocean’s Thinkin’ ‘Bout You.

February saw the start of a, very almost sold out, tour for Bastille and on Sunday 10th March and, still reeling from the success of their now number one album, the band played at Stylus in Leeds University.

Featuring four support acts across the ‘Bad Blood Tour’, the crowd on Sunday was warmed up by The Ramona Flowers and New York based band, MS MR who drew the audience in with catchy but haunting songs such as, Bones and their new single, Fantasy.

Bastille frontman, Dan Smith began the show with previous single and album title track, Bad Blood before playing a

mixture of new tracks from the album such as, The Silence and incredibly catchy, The Weight of Living Pt. II along with older favourites, Laura Palmer and pleasantly unexpected B-sides, Poet and Sleepsong.

When discussing the band’s mixtapes, Smith unabashedly confessed that they were, “sued a little bit” which is why the mixtapes are now unavailable to download online, before encouraging the crowd to, “download it from Pirate Bay” and then launching into their rendition of R&B trio, City High’s What Would You Do? Popular favourite of the Other People’s Heartache mixtape, the cover saw crowd members sing along to every word, showing their dedication to the band and demonstrating the wide and impressive range of music that Bastille can cover.

The band ended the set with their first single, Flaws seeing Smith come into the crowd and singing along with his fans before thanking everyone for coming and continuing to admit how strange it felt to be playing at the university that he had attended.

Bastille’s songs are all equally epic and captivating with loud, punchy choruses and honest, heartfelt lyrics that put the generic ‘chart-toppers’ to shame.  Finally receiving the recognition that they deserve, the band are already lined up to play many festivals across the summer and will, without doubt, continue to impress.  Their debut album, Bad Blood and Bad Blood (The Extended Cut) are available now.

 

By Meaghan Spencer

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Fiona Apple – Tidal

Cover of "Tidal"

Cover of Tidal

Tidal is the first album of Fiona Apple, a talented singer-songwriter who, following her debut, has released albums of critical and commercial acclaim.

This album whilst not her best remains one of my favourites for various reasons. To name a few: the intricacy of the lyrical content, the melodies – sonorous and sullen and genuinely heartfelt… (Admittedly, this isn’t so much a review as it is an ode to her brilliance.) In my opinion, Tidal, released in 1996, remains a true classic.

Her voice and the piano are the main components of this album, though her song-writing ability certainly stands out too. The opening song, ‘Sleep To Dream’ is filled with sharp bursts with anger as she exclaims, ‘I tell you how I feel, but you don’t care/I say tell me the truth, but you don’t dare/You say love is a hell you cannot bear/And I say gimme mine back and then go there, for all I care’.

‘Slow like honey’ is a little smoother – a little sultrier; in this, she sings with a perfect contralto, giving it a much jazzier feel. ‘Sullen Girl’ is, for lack of a better word, a surprise; while there’s experience, honesty and originality in all of her songs, this is definitely one of the rawest, and the saddest. It’s marked by its hauntingly beautiful piano, which eventually swells up to a near orchestral chorus before shrinking back down again to her voice only.

If you move onto her later albums, you’ll hear that while the both honesty and imagery remain, the sounds change. When The Pawn… is a little more mature, and is favoured by those who weren’t too impressed by her debut. Some fans have found her most recent album, The Idle Wheel…, a little more demanding. However, hailed as a ‘postmodern Billie Holliday’, I would say that she is always worth listening to.

Fiona Apple with comedian Zach Galifianakis in...

Fiona Apple with comedian Zach Galifianakis in the “Not About Love” music video. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ijeoma Okoye 

 

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Mighty Mumford Impress Again

As Mumford and Sons prepare to make their much anticipated comeback, it seems like centuries since their debut album ‘Sigh no More’. This international tour of arenas is a far cry from anything done before by the folk-pop 4-piece phenomenon, and having previously seen them perform at a much smaller and more intimate venue, I was slightly nervous as to whether my high expectations would be met. This was an arena to hold almost 50,000 –Mumford and Sons were really going to have to perform to impress. Not to mention that the average arena tour is dull with no real atmosphere. However, the mighty Mumford and Sons not only met expectations, but exceeded them. Without seeing the performance, you would be sure to presume this performance was to an audience of less than 100. Mumford and Sons managed to command respect – and silence – like no other band I’ve seen. They played a perfect mix of old and new songs, ensuring all the favourites were included, as well as lesser known songs – I’m sure they would have pulled off the show with all their least known songs, but this certainly did ensure that the audience had a brilliant time. Despite a presumably huge budget for the tour, the band decided on minimal decorations, using only strings of fairy lights to deck the arena out. And, when the band came back on for an encore, they managed to get complete silence from the otherwise energetic set list to play two acapella numbers. Unimaginable, but it worked. Topping the whole thing off with a rendition of ‘With a little help from my friends’, Mumford managed to create an atmosphere a million miles away from that of a typically mundane arena tour. This is one I’ll be reliving with nostalgia for many a year to come.

By Sophie Whitehead

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Its all about Leeds – Eagulls Gig Review

Despite an impromptu change of venue and a little panic, we made it to the Nation of Shopkeepers, after a very well-anticipated Eagulls gig, with support band Drenge. Initially, I was shocked by the venue; a cosy bar playing ‘greatest Motown’ didn’t seem right for a gig we had been warned to ‘take body armour’ to. However, I was pleasantly surprised, as the small venue offered an intimate atmosphere that seemed necessary for the style of gig. As the place started to fill, my anticipation built. First band Drenge were pleasantly surprising. The two -piece band offered big sound – if you hadn’t seen them, you’d be fooled into thinking they were of much greater numbers. The brothers did a great job of livening up the crowd with their visceral riffs and interesting musical arrangements, and I found myself wishing for a longer set.

After this impromptu set, they slipped back into the crowd to enjoy the atmosphere with the rest of the crowd. That is, until Eagulls began their soundcheck. With a bass amp that made sound travel through my entire body, I knew this was going to be lively… to say the least. The rooted 5-piece Leeds band has been gigging in Leeds for over two years, in small venues such as The Nation. In fairness, I think they deserve a lot more recognition than they receive – the band claim a ‘harsh but poppy’ sound, which seems to fit the bill perfectly. They have all the grunginess of an 80’s rock band, with catchy tunes that will be haunting you for days after seeing them. This band could be huge, but I have a feeling they’re going to stick to what they know with the local Leeds scene, where they have been very successful of late. Either way, this is not the last we’re going to see of them – me included. The £5 I paid for the ticket was an absolute bargain, with a great night spent in a lovely venue. Definitely one to see again – if my ears can hande it!

By Sophie Whitehead

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We accept PV

Dubbed the next libertines, Palma violets have taken the indie rock scene by storm, blasting the now ‘been-there-done-that-heard-it-all-before, indie dance pop out of the water with their painfully cool and explosively refreshing rock ‘n’ roll.
Reminiscent of an early Clash meets Jonathon Richmond’s Modern Lovers, Palma Violets are proof that guitar music is not dead and are certainly what the music industry has been gasping for. Front partnership Chilli Jesson (bass) and Sam Fryer (guitar), keyboardist Pete Mayhew and drummer Will Doyle make up London’s latest offering. Rumours of secret underground gigs and sketchy living conditions, teamed with the fact they are merely a few months old, only add mystery to the ever growing hype. It’s all very rock and roll.
Leeds’ very own Nation Of Shopkeepers held host to the London foursome on the first Tuesday in October, who, even in their fairly short existence managed to pack the place out with an impressive number of denim/leather jackets. Childhood (band/full time university students) gently warm up the crowd- with a little help from Palma Violets very own Chilli, who thrashes around in front of the stage to the synth-y almost psychedelic sounds of his own support- proof from the start that this night really does belong to the Lambeth lads.
Launching into rattle snake highway a song that starts as something to be compared to the Ramones ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ but turns into something clever enough lyrically to make Joe Strummer proud. ‘Happy Endings’ provokes some audience participation, which stirs the crowd into frenzy, climaxing with a heroic leap from Chilli, who crowd surfs in a room where everybody seems to lose their last scrap of dignity and make a crazed lunge for the future star- but I guess it’s something these boys are going to have to get used too. The explosion into ‘Best Of Friends’ –a song previously described as a ‘1978-meets-2001 time warp’- receives the most ecstatic of responses complete with full audience recall. We also see the full extent of the chemistry between the two vocalists as they throw themselves around the stage, no one knows if they are about to start hugging or punching each other. It’s a tension to rival Pete and Carl. Finishing on ‘Fourteen’ (a bus considered a savior by Sam and Chilli) and a song written in a state of such intoxication it left no memory. This front double certainly have the lifestyle to match the music and could most definitely prove to be another Great British duo to match the likes of, ‘Strummer and Jones’, ‘Moz and Marr’ and ‘Pete and Carl’ before them.
One thing’s for sure: Palma Violets are definitely ones to watch.

Co-written by Caitlin McLoughlin and Abi Foster

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