Archive | November 2009

soundCHECK 22 – November 26th 2009

Have people never seen curly hair before?

Last week began in dramatic fashion as wide-eyed fuzzball Jamie Archer was unceremoniously culled from the nation-hypnotising snorefest that is X-Factor. That Archer has come to be defined more by his locks than his lungs was perhaps his downfall – but, like his hair, the poor lamb had slim control over it.

As I gazed up to the emptying heavens, arms held aloft (for dramatic effect), a solitary tear cascading down one cheek, struggling to cognate the injustice that had just been bestowed by the X-Factor Gods – the shock of Archer’s departure was soon to be cushioned by having a chat with a very friendly man from North Devon about his new band.
“We formed in spring this year, we all just really missed being in a band.”

I’m talking to Daniel Edmonds from The Midnight Toys – North Devon’s latest exponents of everything that made rock classic. He’s the drummer. And in a feat of multi-tasking that would make any woman blush, he’s also the singer. That’s like patting your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time. Upside down. While spinning plates with your feet. Or, like watching a weather report on the tele and actually taking in any of the information.

Yes, rising like spandex-baguettes in rock’s fiery furnace are The Midnight Toys. Formerly of Aeroplane Blonde repute, Edmonds is joined by Stuart Clayton on bass (who tours with Carl Palmer of Emerson, Lake & Palmer fame), and Dean Boni on guitar (who also had a stint in North Devon’s music scene with Rachel’s Tattoo).

And in a bit of a backwards battleplan, they’ve recorded their debut album before they’ve played their first gig.
“It might be a strange way of doing things but our first sessions together were really prolific”, explains Edmonds, “We wanted to capture that raw energy”.

But now, with the album recorded, mixed, and ready to buy on iTunes and in local music shops, The Midnight Toys are launching the album with their first gig at Inn On The Square this Saturday (28th). Doors are at 9pm, and entry is free. If you like your rock a bit oldschool, go and involve yourself.

I may even go myself. Now that Archer has been dismissed it might be safe for me to go outside without having “JAMIE ARCHER!” yelled at me by people who should just bite the bullet and book their Specsavers appointment.

soundCHECK 21 – November 19th 2009

This week, there’s no need for me to hopelessly scurry around the creative graveyard that is my brain in a desperate search for something anecdotal that could pass as entertainment.

Such is the abundance of gigs and bands and fun times to write about that my job is made far easier, which frees up some time to read that Music Columns For Dummies book I got last Christmas.

But before I dive head first into a soup of steamy impending gig action, a round of applause is due for anyone and everyone that helped make LOAD.CLICK.SHOOT!’s final gig last week a beautifully chaotic triumph. As one review put it, “the great gig gauntlet [has] not just been laid down, but buried deep beneath the psyche of all who attended”. It’s the first time I’ve seen crowd-surfing at a local gig. The bands, the fans, the stage invaders, the escapaders. Big up yourselves.

Anyway. First on my agenda are a clutch of whippersnappers named The Confused (myspace.com/theconfused). Their Braunton based brand of gloopily melodic indie-rock exhibits a potential not normally associated with a bunch of fifteen year olds, and who in Indie Bennett have a frontman who commands a compelling and haunting voice that cooly navigates bewitching melodies.

They are taking residence at The Aggi in Braunton over the next fortnight with two weekend headline slots (21st November and 27th November), with an acoustic set on Thursday evening (26th) in Barnstaple High Street nestled snugly in between. Listen to the superbly chilling Save My Soul for a good idea of what they’re about.

Meanwhile, Inn On The Square hosts the next of Generator’s ever-popular live feasts this Saturday (21st) featuring Joe Carnall & The Bookclub. Comprised of ex-Milburn and Arctic Monkeys members, Joe Carnall & The Bookclub’s airtight indie pop looks destined for the list of Sheffield’s finest exports along with Arctic Monkeys, Milburn, and steel. Catch them before they get massive.

Also, North Devon’s Swim Team are cramming their delicately entwined melodies and richly serene sonic vistas into their travel bag and heading to Exeter for a slot at The Cavern next Thursday (26th).

And finally, a reminder that The Noisettes are evidencing their ever-advancing grasp of multi-tasking in Barnstaple’s Square this Sunday (22nd) as they juggle turning on the Christmas lights with an unflinching failure to upset the rhythm. The Brakes are among the local support. Go.