Archive for the ‘ Music ’ Category

Is 2014 set to be the year of the Kaiser Chiefs?

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Kaiser Chiefs

Once heralded as one of the biggest bands in the UK, the Kaiser Chiefs are this year making their long awaited comeback. Although the band once enjoyed almost unstoppable chart success, with eight successive singles finding places within the top 40, none of their past seven have landed within the top 100; the last being 2008’s Never Miss a Beat (which struck a chord at #5).

Additionally, the band’s fourth album, The Future is Medieval, was released to an indifferent audience, selling less than the minimum amount needed to achieve a silver certificate from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). Though of course, there are very many bands that enjoy long lasting careers without even nearing the BPI threshold (60,000 album units for silver), times are deemed hard for a band that could once push a million sales per album, and indeed, two million from their debut.

If you want to be truly sceptical about the band’s success, the follow up album, Yours Truly, Angry Mob, sold 800,000 copies, though compared to I Predict A Riot, this represents a 55 per cent drop in sales, which is only furthered by another 75 per cent drop by the third album, Off With Their Heads, which sold 200,000 copies.

In conversation with The Guardian, an industry insider said, “It’s odd to think of 800,000 sales, or even 200,000, as failure, but Kaiser Chiefs’ sales numbers marked them out as a band in a downward spiral, and that’s very, very hard to get out of. As with everything else in life, people like to support success.”

Boosted however by lead singer Ricky Wilson’s regular slot on The Voice, could we see an emergence of a fallen Leeds giant?

Speaking of his appearance on the show, Wilson has said that despite some criticism, he sees it as great opportunity to help promote the band’s new album, Education, Education, Education & War.

With another appearance on a Barclay’s advert helping to fund the new album, the band it seems, are now set for their 2014 release, despite the departure of drummer and principal songwriter, Nick Hodgson.

Speaking to The Guardian in a different article, Wilson said:

“I don’t want to peddle that old rubbish about being a new band again but for us it did feel like we were making our first record, because it was the first time we didn’t have the captain steering the ship.”

Both the lead single, Coming Home, and the album are set to be released on March 31. So far, the former has already clocked up 600,000 plays on YouTube – far more than any other official upload since 2011.

Judging from the amount of noise and publicity that the band have managed to generate pre-release, it is certain at least, that 2014 shall be a big year for the Kaisers, but just how big, compared to the dizzying heights of 2005 and 2006, it is quite hard to tell.

If you want to judge for yourself, a sneak preview of the new album is now being streamed on the band’s official Soundcloud account.

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Leeds Festival Adds Co-Headliners to Line-up

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Leeds Festival

Yesterday evening it was announced that Queens of the Stone Age and Paramore will be co-headlining the Saturday day of Leeds Festival, which is to take place on the August Bank Holiday weekend.

Speaking to NME, event organiser, Melvin Been, said that the two bands may in fact take turns to go on last when they play at both Reading and Leeds Festivals, “When I told them we have two sites and they could essentially swap who goes on last each date, they loved the idea,” Benn told NME. “We’re just working out the minor details now.”

Interestingly this is the first time that the event will enjoy a female-fronted headliner since Garbage took to the stage back in 1998 (16 years ago).

Joining the two headliners will be the Arctic Monkeys and Blink 182 with support from the likes of Jake Bugg, Vampire Weekend, Foster the People, Bombay Bicycle Club and Cage the Elephant amongst others.

But for those who aren’t up to date on rock bands, which ones are particularly worth seeing?

Aside from the headliners, there are a number of bands currently added to the line-up that are well worth checking out:

Vampire Weekend

Vampire Weekend – A Punk

Having just released their third album, Modern Vampires of the City, Vampire Weekend have enjoyed both critical and chart success over the past year and will be looking to make an impact over the summer.

Typically indie, with a few baroque beats in accompaniment, they probably the most interesting band to investigate if you are looking for a good time.

Peace

Peace – Follow Baby

With just one album to their name, the Worcester band started to gain ground throughout 2012 before hitting it big early last year.

With their sound drenched in 90’s grunge and psychedelia (finding a neat solution between the two), Peace are the band to see if you fancy rekindling something that you may not have felt, or heard, in twenty years.

Chvrches

Chvrches – The mother we share

Another band with but one album under their name, the Chvrches are one of the hottest things to come out of Scotland in the past two years.

By fusing together synthpop and a dash of electronica, the band have won a string of awards as well as coming fifth in the BBC’s Sound of 2013 poll and are not something to miss if you’re searching for something a little different from the rest of the line-up.

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Leeds Festival 2013 – Why You Should Go Too

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

Crowds at Leeds Festival
Although the legendary festival, now located at the picturesque site of Bramham Park, is somewhat suited to a more youthful and teenage audience, the truth is that the 2013 festival caters for just about anyone and everyone.
Though camping may not be the highest priority for the wise and experienced, more people are enjoying the delights of the festival; choosing instead stay in hotels in and around Leeds and York after the music has finished.
As many people buy only day tickets, and much of the music carries on late into the night, buses and coaches are available from the festival to Leeds centre late into the early hours; meaning that you can return back to your hotel with ease.
So, what acts are playing there this year that might interest the more casual festival goer?

Jake Bugg

Having just released his first platinum self-titled album in 2012, the 19 year-old evokes sounds of Johnny Cash, The Beatles and Noel Gallagher.
Dubbed by The Telegraph as ‘an East Midlands Bob Dylan’, the young man has accrued five Top 100 singles alongside his album which topped the charts last November.
A Brit Award nominee, Bugg will be playing on the NME/Radio 1 stage on Sunday 25th August.

Alt-J

Without even a Wikipedia article to their name this time last year, the Leeds University group have since won the Mercury Prize, been nominated for three Brit Awards and their album, An Awesome Wave, has recently been given a Gold Certificate by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).
Announced by some as the next Radiohead, the band have enjoyed a string of successful singles including Matilda, which peaked at number 6 in the French Charts.
The band are headlining the NME/Radio 1 Stage on Sunday 25th August.

Frank Turner

Cut almost with the same cloth as Jake Bugg himself, Frank Turner, for those who haven’t heard him, is a folk/punk singer-songwriter who was originally the vocalist of post-hardcore band, Million Dead.
Since his departure from the band in 2005, Turner has gone on to release four acoustically-based solo albums, the last of which peaked at number 12 in the charts.
Having played his first arena show last year (at Wembley no less), Turner is well worth checking out on the Main Stage on Saturday 24th August.

Editors

After three highly successful albums spanning back from 2005, The Editors are this year making their comeback as they plan to release their fourth album around late summer.
Having had all three albums reach platinum status, it is expected that the band shall perform a hit laden set including ten Top 40 songs and material from the as of yet unnamed new album.
Without a studio release since 2009 however, it will be interesting to see how the crowd react to the Birmingham band as they play on Friday 23rd on the Main Stage.

Green Day

Formed in 1987, Green Day this year form the pièce de résistance of the festival after having released a trio of albums in 2012.
Having sold more than 25 million albums in the United States alone, the band, since the release of their first release in 1990, have gone on to impress in all three decades, having featured no less than 10 times in the UK album charts.
Whether you want to see Green Day for nostalgia, or would just like to try something new, there is no doubt that the Californian rockers won’t disappoint the Main Stage on Saturday 24th.

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