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Kings of Leon on ‘verge of splitting up’

Say it ain’t so, say millions of easily-pleased rock fans. But yes, teen heart-throbs Kings of Leon may soon be heading the same way as other great boy bands by cashing in their chips and planning unsuccessful solo careers. Rumours have been circulating ever since they cancelled their US tour amid reports of problems within the band. And, to be fair, the rumours come from them.

The cancellation came three days after frontman Caleb Followill left the stage during a show in Dallas, Texas. He said he was no longer able to sing because of “heat exhaustion and dehydration”. Aww.

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Guitar music – dead again?

Guitar music is dead again, apparently. What do you mean you didn’t know? Well, it’s your fault for not noticing.

Yes, as utterly ludicrous as it seems following the year when Kings of Leon sold 18 trillion albums and you couldn’t get a ticket to see Mumford and Sons without a hundred quid or the willingness to blow a shifty Scouse tout out the back of the venue, guitar music is yet again being given the last rites. This is being hyped before the return of White Lies, who follow up their rather enjoyable debut ‘To Lose My Life’ later this year.

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Stop me if you think you’ve heard this one before – Kings of Leon and Josh Rouse

There are many things in life which are annoying. People who put empty After Eight wrappers back in the After Eight box rather than simply throwing them away. Ladies wearing Ugg boots and doing so without a sense of shame. Brummies.

But one of the most annoying things a person can experience is hearing a song and thinking ‘that sounds like something’. The closer you get, the more elusive the thought becomes until you find yourself up at 3am scrolling through your iPod desperately trying to find the offending number.

Kings of Leon’s new single ‘Pyro’ struck us as familiar, but identification was, thankfully, rather straightforward. that lovely, lilting vocal line? Why, it’s from none other than ‘Rise’ by the inimitable Josh Rouse. Wait, inimitable? Apparently not.

See what you think…..

Kings of Leon – Is ambition a dirty word?

During the recent avalanche of publicity ahead of Kings of Leon’s new album Come Around Sundown, the band kept returning to one central theme; ambition. This was the album, the Followhill family declared, which was aimed at cementing their status as genuine, bona-fide rock aristocracy.

“If the world is looking for a big band from our generation, we at least want to give it a shot,” said 28-year-old singer Caleb Followill, one of three brothers and a cousin in the group named for his grandfather. “We’ll put ourselves up there against anyone because we’re very competitive and we’re family. Yeah, we’ll give it a shot. I’m not afraid to at least try.”

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The Monday Meh! – Kings of Leon

One of the images of the 90s was supermodel Eva Herzivogová staring at her ample bosoms clad only in a black bra. To much nudge-nudge, wink-winkery the caption read ‘Hello Boys’. Yes, it was the Wonderbra, the single most disingenuous invention of the last fifty years. Many a young lady would look devilishly saucy in a nightclub, but when you got down to the nub of the matter, it was all lies. The problem with a wonderbra was that, like the Millennium Dome, it looked mightily impressive from the outside but in reality there was nothing inside worth seeing.

Kings of Leon are the musical equivalent. They look great. They have all the tools. But their music is just so unremittingly average that it makes you question what the point is.

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The Songs That Saved Your Life – The 00s: What Now?

ColdplayIn the final part of our look at decade-defining works, we shift gears slightly and look at what the current era will be remembered for musically. Frankly, we’re gutted John and Edward won’t release a record before the qualifying period ends.

So, the 00s, or the noughties, or whatever you chose to call them. What will they be remembered for? Iraq? Black President? Economic catastrophe? ‘Jenny from the Block’? Continue reading

White Denim – The Captain’s Rest, Glasgow

There’s something powerful and unequivocal about a good garage band. And, if their debut ‘Workout Holiday’ is anything to go by, White denim are a good garage band – all scratchy guitars and yelping vocals. They’ve drawn a sell-out crowd to an admittedly small venue and ELM is poised, MC5 t-shirt worn and everything, for what should be a balls-out celebration of all that is great and dirty about rock’n’roll.

Initially, it is a false start. The sound engineer has, for reasons best known to himself, elected to forget to include vocals in the mix. You’d think it was a fairly important part of a three-piece’s act, but still. Rectifying it two songs in, it kicks off properly. And boy, do this mob rock and rock properly. It’s sweaty, frenetic and energetic – which a garage band should be – but it’s lifted by the sheer dynamism that the band bring to the stage. ‘Shake Shake Shake’ and ‘All You Really have To Do’ are given sinuous, taut run-throughs while the crowd find themselves swept along by the jerking, insistent noise the band provide.

Kings of Leon spring to mind by way of comparision, but White Denim are less artificial and studied. They are also far more ambitious – the psychedelic squalls which provide definition to ‘Ieiei’ are so far awat form KoL’s comfort zone as to come from another planet. 45 minutes in, it’s over, and it has been perfectly times. White Denim may lack a ‘Last Night’ to do a Strokes, but for sheer rock’n’roll power, they have a wicked arsenal.