Which are the best venues to visit this SXSW?
SXSW 2015 is set to take over Austin, Texas for yet another spectacular event, spanning numerous venues with countless showcases and hundreds of artists. We may be a few weeks away yet, but here's a little taster of some of the best places to be this year.
First up, the Parish is hosting some seminal shows all week, so this should definitely be at the top of your schedule. Wednesday, March 18th sees alt rock Londoners Wolf Alice on the bill, impressing with material from their EP releases; though we are yet to see an album release from these four. Equally, LA newcomers BØRNS are not to be missed, nor are San Diego indie favourites Delta Spirit. Thursday sees The Vaccines promote their upcoming album 'English Graffiti', alongside Palma Violets with 'Danger In The Club', while New York's Lolawolf brings their brand of sensational disco pop to the scene. Friday will be headlined by the Jarman brothers' band The Cribs, and Saturday will see appropriate surf-rock from Florida four-piece Surfer Blood.
Borns will perform at the Parish on Wednesday, March 18th 2015
Continue reading: 5 Venues You'll Want To Visit At SXSW 2015
When I first heard there was a new Gang Of Four LP coming out, I, like most I expect, was totally confounded. The political post-punk pioneers originally disbanded in 1983, then again in 1997, before reforming in 2004 and slowly haemorrhaging members. Much has been made in the press about the fact that the only remaining original member on board for 'What Happens Next', the 'gang's' eighth album of original material and first since 2011, is Andy Gill; the band's pioneering guitarist. But whether this is an authentic Gang of Four release or not is beside the point; all Gill needs to do is not leave a giant skid mark on a largely respectable legacy. The main problem with 'What Happens Next' is not the authenticity of it, it is just that it isn't a particularly good album.
For the most part on 'What Happens Next', gone are the danceable, slinky, distinctive bass lines and in their place are the digital bleeps and boops and synth stylings of a sub-par Nine Inch Nails. It seems like somebody gave Gill a copy of 'The Downward Spiral' and he felt inspired to take it as a blueprint for his new direction. Even Gill's signature guitar tone is notable for its absence for most of the LP. The album's opener, 'Where the Nightingale Sings' is minimalistic and sinister, but despite a few sparing scratches of guitar, it bears no resemblance to anything that has gone before. There's no urgency like 'Damaged Goods', there's no lyrics to make you think like 'I Love a Man in Uniform', and there's no groove like 'At Home He's A Tourist'. It is, quite frankly, limp.
The album carries on in this vein, with songs which are pleasant enough plod-alongs but that don't really scratch the itch. Not even Alison Mosshart can save the derivative disco rock of 'Broken Talk'. 'The Dying Rays' is a slow, warm ballad that even seems to convey a tone of hope. But Gang of Four isn't supposed to make you feel comfortable, and it just comes off as confused and out of place.
Continue reading: Gang Of Four - What Happens Next Album Review
As pioneers of the eclectic fusion of rock, dub and reggae that succeeded punk in the late 1970s, Gang Of Four need no introduction. Despite forming at the height of punk in 1977, it was their debut album, 'Entertainment!', released two years later that firmly placed them on the map as one of the most innovative outfits to emerge from that era.
Continue reading: Gang Of Four, Interview