Posted by xneverwherex on April 10, 2016
April 1, 2016
One of my favorite bands was finally in town again. Well, it wasn’t exactly the same as Supergrass is no more, but Gaz Coombes is going strong as a solo artist. He was nominated for the prestigious Mercury Prize (sadly, did not win it) for his album Matador. He was back in SF after at least 5 years, if not longer. And it was great to have him back.
Sure, he looked a bit older, but he still had the same muttonchops and looked quite the same. His voice sounded as strong as it ever had. Plus, he had his signature row of guitars all lined up across the stage. And they were as beautiful as ever and looked to have seen (played) a show or 2 – like the most loved guitars ever.
Gaz opened the set with “Oscillate
“, psychedelic trippiness and the perfect opener off the album Matador
. That led into “Buffalo
” – which sounds like a forgotten Supergrass track – a lot of angst and emotion as the song progresses. “One of These Days” is a beautiful track which takes him away from the guitars and is just him and a keyboard. It’s dreamy and airy and with the lyrics of countryside and graveyard, it evokes the feelings of being there. The album doesn’t seem to stay in any one direction but is a bit all over the place. But, it works.
It seemed like everyone was just waiting/hoping to hear some Supergrass songs and Gaz did not disappoint. While a lot of people were yelling out for certain songs, Gaz mentioned he had certain songs that he would be playing and this wasn’t request hour. He then went into one of the most gorgeous covers of “Moving” which had never sounded better. The crowd sang along happily and Gaz seemed to be overjoyed.
He was able to reminisce about spending some of his formative years in the Bay Area (Palo Alto – he mentions) stating it’s not quite San Francisco. An interview had just been published about him growing up here and his father working in the Valley as a tester of sorts. He seemed to have fond memories of living here – especially weather – even though it had been so long ago, but always loved coming back to San Francisco. A feeling of a second home.
Gaz played some songs off his first solo-album, Here Come the Bombs, and the songs had never sounded better. “White Noise” just pulls you in with lyrics that just evoke emotion. You could feel them come through as he sang his heart out. The set, which felt all too short, ended on the biggest high note. Gaz told a story of being 15 and getting “caught by the fuzz” for possession of marijuana which of course meant the debut single of Supergrass “Caught by the Fuzz“. The crowd yelled out the lyrics with Gaz as he strummed along at a quick pace singing along with us. If he wasn’t sure about a Supergrass reunion, hopefully seeing everyone so happy singing along should have been an indication.
Piney Gir, a Kansas musician – but based out of London, opened the set. She was quirky and fun. Plus, she had stories for all of her songs. They were catchy and fun and songs like “Gold Rules” had me tapping along and bobbing my head. She had a great voice and had names for all of her instruments. If anything, she made herself memorable not from her music exactly, but from the quirky things she did. I guess these days, however people remember you, it doesnt really matter. She is definitely someone I would see again and is worth catching. Strangely enough, the two acts together worked out really great.
One of These Days
The Girl Who Fell To Earth
Caught by the Fuzz (Supergrass)
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: 4/1/16, britpop, britrock, concert, Gaz Coombes, live, music, Oxford, San Francisco, Slims, Supergrass, UK | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on February 11, 2015
Catfish & The Bottlemen
The much hyped Welsh band, including a test-tube baby born lead singer with the born to be rockstar name Van McCann, Catfish & The Bottlemen lived up to everything and more. Its hard to actually believe the hype as all too often there is such a big letdown. But in this case the 4-some came to San Francisco and were ready to play their hearts out.
Catfish & The Bottlemen
The band opened with the very catchy “Rango
” off their debut album The Balcony
. Van wasted no time with amping up the audience. With a lot of kicks and jumps, he worked the stage taking all of their songs a level up. They were harder and heavier in concert, not sounding quite as poppy. And the heavier sound worked perfectly. The packed show (surprisingly not sold out) had everyone singing along like they had been fans of the bands for years. It was hard to believe that this was their first time in San Francisco.
The band then went into the even more catchy “Pacifier” with catchy guitar riffs and Van’s lovely vocals. It has a bit more of a pop sound and had the crowd dancing and rocking out. Van’s head was constantly bopping up and down, his floppy hair all over the place.
Van is very reminiscent of Luke Pritchard of The Kooks. The way he moves, the way he takes over the stage and his whole presence reminds me of the band. You can almost imagine them playing around the same times. The band exudes energy and its infectious and everyone around me was smiling and clearly into it.
There was also a lot of stage banter with him calling out to a Liverpool fan who ended up singing their football anthem. There were clearly a lot of ex-pats in the crowd last night. There was talk about pies and what makes a perfect one and what to put it one (I think Van was not talking about a pizza pie). And it went on. He was so peppy and so full of life.
The other guys of the band left for a couple songs (which I guess could be an encore of sorts) and Van played “Homesick” on his own – along with a crowd sing along. It then went into the acoustic version of “Hourglass” which is beautiful. A girl next to me freaked out about not being able to video the song which was somewhat amusing. The band emerged again for “Cocoon” and “Tyrants” and included the awesome moves of Van sliding up and down the mic stand, resting his head against it as well as sliding his guitar up and down nearly using it as a slide. He just exudes coolness.
This is the band to see – so if youre on the East Coast – find yourself a ticket pronto. Most shows are/will sell-out and you will have no regrets.
The openers Wild Party
from San Antonio, Texas are also a band not to miss. The bands are pretty different sound-wise from the heavy guitar rock of Catfish to the lighter, pop sounds of Wild Party. But each of them have the energy. It will be no surprise to see Wild Party around a lot more often.
Lead singer, Lincoln Kreifels tried to get lots of dancing going on and was really engaging. It was clear the band was excited to be in town. They have the same catchiness of Rooney who sadly never became bigger. Power-pop guitars, dance-y songs and in no time you’ll be dancing along to songs like “Outright“. The bass lines of Ethan Kaufmann are beyond catchy esp on songs like “Connect the Dots“. He’s excellent and the band is great to watch. In their ever tight skinny jeans, the band seems almost too jaded and cool, but its clear they’re all just having a good time.
Their music just makes people happy. Everyone around me seemed so into it and just having a great time. I remember missing them at SXSW last year and thinking eventually Id see their name. And I was so glad that I finally caught them. Its one of those bands to just go out and see and you wont regret it.
The combo is one hell of a two-some. Its hard to get two incredible bands with different styles, yet it works just fine. They’re a perfect opener, getting the crowd ready to go and then leaving it all to Catfish & The Bottlemen to take it to the next level.
I expect to be seeing both bands around a lot more often.
Set List: (Catfish)
Set List: (Wild Party)
Connect the Dots
When I Get Older
Life’s Too Short
Take My Advice
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: 2/10/15, britrock, Catfish & The Bottlemen, concert, indie, indie-rock, indiepop, live, San Antonio, San Francisco, synthpop, Texas, The Independent, Van McCann, Wales | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on May 24, 2011
May 20, 2011
Oh DC. How sometimes I love you so much, and other times I dont. The 9:30 Club tends to be a great venue, but after Friday nights show I was left feeling a bit disappointed. Ive gone there enough times, and to be asked to take out almost everything your purse, including keys was a bit odd. Then I was asked to unzip random things on my bag that were clearly decorational. C’mon its a woman’s purse – what do you expect. The woman was just left baffled. I dont know what she was looking for – drugs, alcohol, my camera, iphone … hell Im guessing it was the camera as she pretty much did the same to my friend who had a much smaller bag (read: only holds pretty much id and lipstick). I was going to ask if she wanted to strip search me too, but I figured Id rather not get ejected from the club.
Sun Airway opened up the night and it was already not looking good. Plagued with sound problems they could barely get through the first song. Way too much feedback, everything sounded off and it sounds like the keyboards were causing lots of problems. Sadly, on a 30 minute set this did not help them much. But, by the time they were finishing up their set the sound was perfect and their last song – lots of loud guitars and a big soaring feel – was awesome! I wanted more. Sadly, not going to happen.
Instead of another night of School of Seven Bells – we got Asobi Seksu instead. Now I cant tell if she was having sound problems as well as her vocals were pretty much indeciperhable. It sounded ok enough, but something was lacking. It didnt seem there was much enjoyment and maybe at 25 minutes they were onto the last song. I dont know if that was the club’s doing – but it seems that their sets have become quite short. At least ‘Thursday’ was played and sounded good.
White Lies came on with their same big sound from the previous night. They started again with ‘A Place To Hide’. It sounded as great as the night before. Harry was talkative again, but not nearly as talkative as he was in New York City. He did make the comment about how they just got to DC from the UK and were so happy to be there. It was a bit odd hearing that, as Im sure a lot of people knew they were actually just in NYC. So that huge long trip over – heh – not so much.
The band seemed a little less energetic than the night before, but unless you could compare the two, it definitely wasnt too noticeable. They played the same setlist which is a nice balance of the new and the old. The newer stuff is growing on me more and more and seems to have a more electronic feel to it. Some of the songs “Bigger Than Love” feel like they should have been on the prior album. It fits right in. Live it sounds awesome and its a perfect encore.
The crowd was interesting. Most people stood there with their hands to their side, feigning interest, while a few were really into it – making up for the others. For a non-crowded- show (ie not sold out), the crowd was typical with pushing directly into you when there was no need. People felt entitled to push into you – even tho they had plenty of space to dance in. Ill never fully understand a DC crowd. It really didnt matter tho. I had an awesome time, singing along, dancing and enjoying it. They definitely know how to put on a great show and their music is not to be missed live. The whole chatty, happy thing might not totally work for their music, but the music does speak for itself.
1.A Place To Hide
3.To Lose My Life
6.The Price Of Love
8.Farewell To The Fairground
9.Peace & Quiet
13.Power & Glory
14.Bigger Than Us
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, DC, Random Ramblings | Tagged: "9:30 Club", "White Lies", 2011, Asobi Seksu, britrock, concert, DC, indie, live, London, May 20, NYC, Philadelphia, shoegaze, Sun Airway, UK, Washington DC | Leave a Comment »