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Entries in Radiohead (4)

Thursday
May222014

Lukas Batteau: Dance (for the Dead)

Single release: ‘Dance (for the Dead)’ by Lukas Batteau 
Release date: 23 June 2014
Label: RnR Live
Listen on: Lukas Batteau official site

Melancholy and melodic, unpolished and emphatic: some words to describe the music of the Dutch singer-songwriter Lukas Batteau. He will be launching his first single, ‘Dance (For The Dead)’ on June 23rd in the UK. A very promising upbeat prelude to the album ‘Wasteland’, scheduled for this year.

In this single many characteristics of Lukas Batteau’s music come together. The driving banjo and his distinctive voice cause goose bumps in both the higher and the lower registers. Somewhere towards the end of the song he slows down, to then intensify with a refined final sprint. B-Side ‘Waterside’ similarly enthrals with a dark thumping beat and an overriding fluidity of its namesake.

Lukas Batteau grew up in South Korea, The Netherlands, and America, finding some steadiness in his guitar and voice at fifteen. Inspired by nineties bands like Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins, and Radiohead, he took to songwriting. Melodic, melancholy songs, soulful without getting too heavy. In 2008 he released his successful first EP ‘All Dressed Up And Nowhere To Go’. In 2012, in collaboration with hometowners Jelte Heringa, Nicky Hustinx, and Merijn van de Wijdeven, a well received second untitled EP.

Since the release of his first EP, Lukas Batteau has performed on many stages, like Paradiso and Melkweg in Amsterdam, Ekko and Tivoli in his home town. He even briefly toured the US, playing at the famous New York club The Livingroom. He has opened for international artists like Tracy Bonham, Gomez and Megafaun.

Friday
Aug102012

Bellowhead return with 'Broadside'. Out 15 October on Navigator / Proper

Album release: Broadside by Bellowhead
Release date: 15 October 2012
Label: Navigator Records via Proper Records 
Listenhttp://www.bellowhead.co.uk/ 

Bigger, bolder, brassier and more brazen than ever, Bellowhead blaze back with their mighty new album, Broadside.

While all things Bellowhead tend to be an event, Broadside is a positive spectacular, taking some of the wildest, most joyous and iconic songs in the richly colourful canon of the folk song tradition…and turning them upside down and inside out with their unique mix of drama and theatre, instrumental virtuosity, verve, humour and blind cheek that has seen them spearhead the new folk boom. 

Their third album Hedonism was the highest selling independently-released traditional folk album of all time, yet the new one, Broadside (a title that rather cunningly melds an early form of printed song sharing with an appropriately nautical reference to firepower) is set to eclipse it with its thrilling arrangements and non-stop party spirit.

Like Hedonism, Broadside is produced by the great John Leckie, who has previously done wonderful things with The Stone Roses and Radiohead; he’s now effectively captured all the explosiveness that has established Bellowhead’s undisputed reputation as one of the planet’s most exciting live bands and replicated it in the studio. In this case that studio is Rockfield, where Freddie Mercury once held court. Indeed, at one point the massed vocals even evoke Bohemian Rhapsody and Freddie would surely have identified with the electrifying dynamism and sense of fun conjured up by this very special band. 

A couple of the tracks are based on songs that initially found common currency in the form of those printed broadsides – the gruesome romp Black Beetle Pies for one and the spooky ballad The Wife Of Usher’s Well (all death, ghosts and “earthly flesh and blood”) for another.

Weirdness also abounds with Betsy Baker, a vigorous tale of unrequited love, while some of the most venerated songs of the folk revival – Northumbrian mining song Byker Hill, the Copper Family classic Thousands Or More, the rocking sea shanty Go My Way and The Old Dun Cow - the knockabout tale of being trapped inside a burning pub – are revived in startling ways. They may be familiar, but they’ve never sounded like this before. There’s even an irresistibly bonkers take on Lillibulero, a satirical song set to a tune attributed to Henry Purcell, on which the band flex their considerable muscles and gleefully explore their seemingly bottomless box of magic tricks, emerging with storming vocals, blitzing percussion, rampaging strings and mad, bad brass. 

Broadside, their fourth album, writes another extraordinary chapter in the story of Bellowhead, which began in 2004 when a disparate group of characters who initially knew one another from informal pub sessions thought it might be a good wheeze to pool their widely varied backgrounds, influences and talents and form a big band… just to see what happened. Even they couldn’t have imagined the results as their funny little enterprise -incorporating top-notch jazz, world, folk and classical musicians and a swathe of brass, strings, squeezebox, percussion and anything else that seemed like a good idea at the time - swiftly expanded into a gung-ho 11-piece line-up. Four albums, a glut of awards, sell-out tours and a long trail of thunderous festival appearances down the line, they’ve transported folk music into hitherto unknown territory, introducing a whole new audience to it with them. 

“The greatest live act in Britain,” says BBC Radio 2’s Simon Mayo. “One of the best live bands in the UK…or anywhere,” says Jeremy Vine. And the hordes of dancing fans grinning and singing along and treating every gig as a party clearly agree.

That party gains even more momentum with Broadside for, while some of the songs may appear graphic and brutal, this is above all, an album driven by a lust for life. And that’s a subject close to the heart of Bellowhead.

Bellowhead UK Tour

The album will be accompanied by the band's biggest ever UK tour (6th - 24th Nov). The 19 dates include Bellowhead's first show at Roundhouse, Camden's world-renowned venue (7th Nov). For tour dates, see the live section of the Bellowhead website.

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Friday
Jul152011

Sunday Recovery: Coma

EP release: Coma
Label: Mazepa Records
Release date: October 3 2011

Italian band Sunday Recovery formed in 2009 when main composer Gianluca Cucchiara began collaborating with singer Mirko Petrini and guitar player Fabio Staffieri. The latter duo were later joined by drummer Fabio Testaferrata and bass player Emanuele Nazzaro. Once a tight unit, the quartet wasted no time in recording their debut album, and the epic, ambitious rock of Coma is the result.

Musically, the band pay close attention to songcraft whilst pushing boundaries with progressive overtones, whilst lyrically the album deals with everyday issues such as love, sex, politics and the environment. Mirko, Fabio and Tancredi Gaetani worked together with lyricist Andrew James Whelan to create meaningful, empathetic lyrics that would resonate outside of their native Italy in order for their intended emotion and mood to be shared and enhanced. Whelan is the author of four tracks on the CD.

The band secured Porcupine Tree bass player Colin Edwin, a fan since their inception, who contributed to the project by playing bass on the tracks In Front of You and Side C. The band wanted to create an international feel to their debut album, which led them to mix the CD at Sphere Studios in London.

Taking influence from the likes of Colin Edwin’s afformentioned Porcupine Tree, King Crimson and the melodic soundscapes of Muse and The Bends-era Radiohead, Sunday Recovery more than meld a sound of their own. Undeniably a brew that contains as much dark as it ever did light, the band are proving experts in the field of hard hitting rock music. Already a leading name in Italy, they are set to break further waves elsewhere when Coma is released to the rest of Europe in September.

The band have announced the following live dates in London around release date:

24 September – The Purple Turtle
5 October – The Underworld
12 November – The Barfly

For more information please contact James Parrish on 01223 505328 or email james@prescriptionpr.co.uk

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