In Review: Albino’s ‘Belinda’

It’s at times like these you realise how forgiving you’ve been of singles which have come through for review. Why did I find it acceptable that a 6 minute track which had no discernible melody, rhythm, focus or point of interest was worthy of a carefully thought out appraisal? Albino have nailed exactly what a single should be: their new track ‘Belinda’ is catchy, fresh, yet at the same time redolent of some classic bands you’d forgotten you were madly in love with; but at the same time leaving you clawing at your ears that it only lasts for 2 and a bit minutes.

There’s the well told story from Paul McCartney about the creation of ‘Yesterday’ wherby having written down the song, he convinced himself for the following month that all he had in fact done was to plagiarise an already existing wunder-hit. I almost have the same feeling here: ‘Belinda’ sounds naggingly familiar, yet having listened to it a few more times, I’m confident it is a completely original modern classic.

Yes, there are obvious reference points- the kaleidoscopically drooling organ sound is immediately all things The Doors/The Animals/Brian Auger; the structure is the gutter-garage-blues of The Beasts of Bourbon and early Nick Cave. Although Albino are London based, more specifically, London pub-based, their beer mat agenda is being fully understood by both band and audience alike. This as much tomorrow’s sound as yesterday’s – the hangover comes for free.

What Drink?

Considering the band’s claim that they more or less run on whiskey, it’s got to be a fine single malt. Or simply anything alcoholic…

Furnace and the Fundamentals – Live in Cambridge Review Augst 23rd 2017

furnace

With a name like Furnace and the Fundamentals, it should be a cast-iron, nailed on the wall, skewered into the core of the Earth given that said band is as blood-boilingly elemental as they suggest. If only we had a pound for every time we were led along this merry path, only to be disappointed. Prepare yourselves – it actually happened. On an unassuming evening in Cambridge’s famed Portland Arms, the go-to venue for anyone who’s actually ANY GOOD, there was the quasi-religious spectacle of a band living up to their name. Bless everyone involved.

Party band? Weddings and bar mitzvahs? Soggy sausage rolls? None of it. Furnace and the Fundamentals is an almost perversely talented, energetic, musically-muscular volcano of a band which just happens to play cover versions. Forget your covers of Bon Jovi’s Total Eclipse of the Heart; forget even Bon Jovi’s own version of Total Eclipse of the Heart, and revel in the glory of 6 Australian-based go-getters in glittery red suits shaking you silly.

If you’re after a toilet break during the slow number, you’re in for a troublesome time (or at least the person stood next to you is). Furious from the off, Furnace and his cohorts don’t give you a second to collect your thoughts, powering through song after song without so much as a care for the audience’s collective cardio-vascular system. Half way through you realize you’re jigging along to songs you always thought you hated.

 

Never having thought myself how easy it would be to segue from KISS’s I Was Made For Lovin’ You to a wallpaper-peeling medley of Adele hits, Furnace make us all the eager students to their tartrazine-fuelled headmaster. Blurred Lines becomes Billie Jean; Ginuwine’s Pony becomes Bohemian Rhapsody. It seems obvious when Furnace and the Fundamentals rearrange what you ever thought of some of the most recognisable sounds from across the decades. We’d show you the setlist but with nods sometimes as brief as a couple of lines, we’d be here all day writing it down and our fingers simply wouldn’t stand it.

A packed crowd, who were clearly already savvy to the allure of the band, were joined by the performers on the floor as they did the conga through the crowd and keyboard master, Lachlan Nicholson, knocked out a killer keytar solo. Whilst drummer, Mike Solo, was confined to the corner of the stage, he still managed to add his two cents to the performance antics with stick spins, cross-handed drumming and some ingenious trills and transitions that hold the mash-ups together like superglue.

In some ways, it seemed like The Portland didn’t do justice to the quality musicianship and performance on show, with it struggling to keep a lid on the seemingly unlimited supplies of energy from every member of the band. These guys deserve to be playing bigger venues, packing out tour dates, day in, day out – because if everyone knew that cover bands could be like this, there wouldn’t be the stigma that is usually associated with them. Nonetheless, the lucky Cambridge crowd was treated to an intimate, no-holds-barred performance that proved that Furnace and the Fundamentals are the ultimate party starters – full stop.

It was all pretty revelatory stuff – the band come with a reputation for full-throttle, Olympic-standard party shows, complete with glitter cannons and can-can girls (possibly) but it still comes as quite a shock in the flesh. I really can’t recommend highly enough, one of the most (ahem) incendiary gigs in Cambridge this year. Toto? Check. The Darkness? Check. Beyonce? Check. Paul Simon? Check. How long have you got?

 

Vidal & Curma To Release EP August 10th

Currently splitting time between their Northern Italian hometown of Padova and the UK’s capital, songwriters Vidal & Curma are a duo making a name for themselves in London. Playing in some of the most prestigious independent music venues in the city, their reputation has already won them a residency at the revered Proud Camden, where they were invited for repeat showings by popular demand thanks to the innate energy and sense of fun in their songs.

Their music boasts a loose, anarchic freshness without compromising on quality, giving an acoustic twist on the indie likes of The Libertines, The Strokes, Mac Demarco, and Velvet Underground to name a few. But perhaps their closest comparison is less well known – both Vidal and Curma are huge fans of Django Reinhardt, a gypsy guitarist  from Belgium who was active from the 30s to the 50s. Reinhardt single-handedly invented the gypsy-jazz genre, and both band members consider him the best guitarist of all time.

His brilliance has clearly rubbed off, and the new three track EP ‘Another Plane’ is a real, offbeat, acoustic treat.

See Vidal & Curma in action with this live Tradiio session:

‘Another Plane’  is due for release on August 10th.

Vidal & Curmà

Tradiio is available here:

Web – http://tradiio.com

iOS – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/tradiio-discover-new-music/id882599955?mt=8

Android – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tradiio&hl=en_GB

Connect with Tradiio on social media:

https://facebook.com/tradiio

https://twitter.com/tradiio

Vidal & Curma Links: 

https://facebook.com/VidalCurma

https://twitter.com/vidalcurma

http://tradiio.com/vidal-curma-1

Alan Mair – ‘Four Winds’

Booze…Dark Rum Cocktail…

An alternative rock track with a tatsty hint of 80s electro dripped over the production.
The vocals are spot on and we’re lapping it up.We’d expect nothing less from a talent with a musical history as illustrious as Mair’s!

Keep up with Mair here:
http://www.alanmair.com
http://www.theonlyones.biz
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Only-Ones/51195139336
https://www.facebook.com/pages/ALAN-MAIR/724568834266947?fref=ts

Noel And The Pandas – ‘In The Art Of Doom’

Booze…Bottle of beer…

Husky voicals and a cool alt rock arangemnt…good ole beer is the only beverage to fit the bill.

Noel And The Pandas are fresh produce from Italy. The five guys are a cool rock band with a hearty story behind them. Their music is all from the hand of front man Noel and is a throw back to some difficulkt times he recently went through.

Get more from the band here
Soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/noelandpandas_official
http://www.noelandthepandas.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Noel.Music.official
Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/noelmusicofficial

Adam Protz – ‘Movements’

Booze…? Whisky

Protz music has the power to transport you into a world of bliss and you slowly drift away on his perfect composition.

The lack of lyrics in the music invites the listen to assume their own interpretation of the heavenly sounds.

Keep up with Protz here:
http://www.adamprotz.com/
http://www.youtube.com/adamprotzmusic
http://www.facebook.com/adamprotzmusic
http://www.soundcloud.com/adam-protz
Twitter – @AdmProtz

Jesse Lowes – ‘Only One’

Booze…? Thoughtful Gin and Tonic

Jesse Lowes is a natural when it comes to pouring your heart into your music. Every lyric from Lowes is laden with raw emotion and we must say, the track is a bit of a tear jerker.

Keep up the latets from Lowes here:
Website: http://jessielowes.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jessie-Lowes/166706493351429
Soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/jessie-lowes83

Apple of My Eye – ‘Seven Tides’

Booze…Real Ale (From an independent brewer)

These guys deliver the very best of Folk. Go on a journey with them and get lost in their world trhough their story-telling style lyrics. You won’t be able to resist moving your feet…maybe have that ale first!

Witchingseason – ‘Codeine’

Booze? Dark Rum.

Witchingseason are no strangers to the world of rock. No band knows better than them how to make killer rock music. We think this stuff is on it’s way to becoming classics! If you like dark rock music and haven’t checked these guys yet, you’re missing out.

Lowly – ‘Stones In The Water’

Booze? An artisan cocktail or some variety.

Delivering a stunning set at Berlin Music Week in September (Nordic by Nature stage), the band have confirmed their first London show will be at the JAJAJA Club Night at The Lexington on October 30th.

Driven by a crashing rhythmic force and insistent synth-lines ‘Stones in the Water’s lyric draws you into an almost mythical, shadowy description of nature: mysterious stones in water and tongues that glow in the dark.