• "I always find it quite amusing how people tell us we were actually good"

    17 aug 2011, 10:24

    An interview with my band Mitford Rebel by Fit4Talent

    Today we welcome Mitford Rebel into the interview room, welcome ladies!

    Caz Latham: Hi!

    Lauren Denman: Hello

    Caz Taylor: Haaai!

    It's great to see an all ladies band taking to the stage, so thumbs up for that!

    Caz Latham: Thankyou! We have a male drummer, and the all-female fronted thing wasn't intentional - it just happened that way! It's cool, though.

    How are we all doing? Please introduce yourselves and let us know your role within the band.

    Caz Latham: Very well thanks! We've just come back from trying out our new drummer with great success. My name's Caz Latham and I'm the guitarist, backing vocalist and chief songwriter.

    Lauren Denman: Yeah I'm good thanks, I am the lead singer for the band and play acoustic guitar on some songs on occasion. I am also chief tambourine shaker and write a few songs for the band.

    Caz Taylor: I'm Caz, I play bass.

    How long have you been together? How did it all come about?

    Caz Latham: Mitford Rebel formed in January 2010. Lauren and I met at uni, and have been working musically together for about seven years now. We were in a band called The Spinning Jennys that fizzled out after uni finished, and recruited our old drummer Adam Taylor and my old mate Charlotte on bass. We've since swapped them for Caz T on bass and our brand new drummer, Bobby Rathod.

    Lauren Denman: Yeah me and Caz. L meeting at Uni and making music together worked well from the offset and we really enjoy the vocal harmony thing we have going on. It seemed only right to carry on with this and it seems to gain the positive response that we were hoping as we always get complemented on them.

    What is it that got you interested in this style of music? Was there an inspiration growing up?

    Caz Latham: The first band I ever really loved was Oasis, who I noticed when I was about ten years old. This led me, through their influences, to bands like The Beatles and The Jam. However, my taste in music was quite narrow until I started studying popular music at college and then university, which opened my ears to the fact that music of all genres and eras can be brilliant (or awful). I like to be as open-minded as possible when it comes to music.

    Lauren Denman: Yeah like Caz. L my musical tastes before going to uni to study music were very narrow. Studying different styles of music at uni really allowed me to experience the beauty of different genres. Living in Salford whilst studying got me really involved with whole Manchester music scene particularly artists like Ian Brown, Elbow and then the whole History of Joy Division and Ian Curtis who are a massive influence of mine. I am also influenced by strong female artists such as Blondie and Annie Lennox who was a favourite of my mum growing up so has always inspired me. Studying music at uni really taught me how to appreciate all styles of music regardless of whether they are 'my thing' or not.

    Caz Taylor: My dad plays guitar so I became interested in music and playing in bands through watching him, and it gave me a place to start as we used to play at open mic nights together. I also remember being in school and the headmaster brought in his Fender Strat to show us. He played Layla by Eric Clapton and I thought it was awesome, which is partly why I started listening and getting into rock music.

    So far in your careers, what has been the highlight, individually or as a band?

    Caz Latham: We've recently had our first EP reviewed in Rock Sound magazine which was very exciting! In the Spring we had our first London gig - at The Enterprise in Camden - which was awesome because we hardly ever get the chance to go visit to London, let alone perform there!

    Lauren Denman: Yeah the positive press that we have received has been amazing and just the whole experience of being in a band that you love and people who you love playing music with on a regular basis is great!

    Do you have any gigs coming up that you can tell us about?

    Caz Latham: We're quite busy throughout August, with the following dates:

    6th August: The Blue Room, Blackpool
    12th August: The Engine Rooms, Skelmersdale
    19th August: The Crescent, Salford

    Lauren Denman: yeah then we have a number of dates booked for september too! We will be competing in a BOTB final on the 2nd so fingers crossed it all goes well :-)

    What are the immediate plans for you ladies? Do we have any singles/albums/tours in the pipeline?

    Caz Latham: We're currently working on our first album, which is being recorded and produced by our old drummer Adam Taylor. We're thinking of it as his swansong. It would be a real shame for him not to have been a part of it, as we started it before he decided he would have to leave, and he was a big part of the creative process with regards to the song structures and his drum parts on these songs.

    That aside, the whole thing has been a bit like wading through quicksand recently, considering recording with Adam, gigging with our stand-in drummer David, and now teaching Bobby all the songs ready for him to take the reins in September. Once the album's done though, it's gonna be all systems go and there won't be any stopping us.

    If you could choose to play at any venue alongside ANY artist/band in the world, past or present, where would it be, who would it be with and why?

    Caz Latham: If we could ever get a support slot for the Manic Street Preachers, I think I would actually wet myself. They're so important to me, both musically and culturally. One of my favourite venues is Manchester Central. It's got a really cool atmosphere that's like a perfect hybrid of an indoor gig and an outdoor festival, somehow.

    Lauren Denman: For me it would have to be Joy Division, Just experiencing the intensity of Ian Curtis as a front man and playing alongside them would be amazing. I really like the Apollo in Manchester as a venue, its big but still has a personal feel about it AND the floors are slanted so being short allows me to be able to see wherever I stand, this is usually always a massive issue when I go to a gig.

    Caz Taylor: This one is difficult to answer, but probs Wembley arena with AC/DC when they played there a few years ago. Simply because it was the biggest most energetic gig i've ever been to. To hear your own music that loud must be something special.

    Music seems to be over ridden with male artists in the mainstream scene, why do you think this is?

    Caz Latham: I'd say that's always applied to rock music especially. Maybe it's something to do with guitars being used as a phallic extension. Perhaps it's to do with the varying degrees of aggression that are usually involved. Also, back when the electric guitar was invented and gaining popularity, I'd imagine it would've been very frowned upon for a young lady to want to take up something like that. The agenda had been set right back at the beginning. It's stupid though. We get so many people saying to us after gigs that they were "surprised how good" we are, and things like that. Why should they be surprised? It's great that they enjoy our set, but they obviously have some assumption prior to hearing us that girls = crap. Neanderthal.

    Lauren Denman: Yeah I always find it quite amusing how people tell us we were "actually good" I remember standing outside a venue we were about to play at and some guys were giggling saying "yeah were gonna watch a Girl Band next this will be funny." They sat through the whole set and again were surprised at how good we were. I'm not sure if they expected us to be throwing some girl band shapes and singing along to the backing track.

    Caz Taylor: I think music like punk rock is oriented more towards male musicians because let's face it, punk rock isn't very 'lady like'. >:)

    If people want to find out more about you, where can they go to find you?

    Caz Latham: We're on loads of social networking sites, most notably Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/mitfordrebel) and Soundcloud (http://www.soundcloud.com/mitfordrebel). A quick Google of us will bring up loads, though!

    Well, it has been great chatting to you today, good luck for the future!

    Caz Latham: Thanks for having us, bye! :)

    Lauren Denman: Thanks BYE

    Caz Taylor: BYE!!!
  • New music for yooooou...

    25 maj 2011, 14:02

    Hello!
    If you happen to like any of the following bands:

    Manic Street Preachers
    Mansun
    Elbow
    Joy Division
    X Ray Spex
    Angelica
    The Clash
    Queens of the Stone Age
    Led Zeppelin
    Penetration
    Biffy Clyro

    ...you might just like my very own band Mitford Rebel. We are playing at Night & Day Cafe in Manchester on Sunday 29th May, so if you're stuck for something to do with your bank holiday still, and you love to discover new music, it'd be brilliant if you could come along!
    Let me know if by some amazing chance you're sat there thinking "heck yes I'll come!" because I can put you on the guestlist so you can get in for £4 instead of £5. Plus we'll give you some free things just for being so lovely.

    Event guide below!

    Facebook Event

    Okay, shameless but somewhat necessary sluttish promotion over!
    Thanks for reading,

    Caz x
  • Interview with 50% of my band!

    13 apr 2011, 17:02

    Mitford Rebel interview by Red Rose Music Lancs

    I'm gonna copy and paste it here as well so I can put in artist links etc. It's weird what a mental block you get being interviewed...forgetting all the other bands you love and lyrics you've known off by heart for ages etc etc... :P

    Mitford Rebel formed in January 2010 and after picking up a drummer and new bassist completed their current line-up in early 2011. With an EP out and an album being recorded soon, Red Rose Music Lancs decided now was the time to catch up with them.

    We spoke to Caz and…Caz from the band about the EP, badges, their name and food.

    So if you could start by giving us your names and telling us a little bit about yourselves.

    CL: Well I’m Caz Latham I play guitar and sing backing vocals.

    CT: I am Caz Taylor, I play bass.

    CL: We are also missing Lauren who sings vocals and she can’t make it because she has to work and our drummer Dave, who is actually called Adam has uni or something. I think someone said he looked like a Dave and it stuck, it’s a pretty crappy story.

    So when did the band come together then?

    CL: Well in this formation, in about January 2010, something like that but me and Lauren were in a band for about four years before that at uni.

    Caz Taylor, you only joined the band in January this year was there a bassist beforehand or not?

    CL: Yeah there was but it just wasn’t working with her, it’s a shame though because she’s like my best mate. The thing is though and she is still my best mate so this hasn’t affected anything but she’s like the grown up one of us all and she’s got a mortgage and a brand new beautiful house and I think she had grown out of the playing about in a band thing.

    What would you say the bands sound is?

    CL: I would say it would centre around dramatic alternative rock, with tinny girl vocals. It’s a bit punky and jangly at times aswell. (laughs)

    What was the moment you both decided ‘yeah, I want to be in a band?’

    CL: Oh I have been playing guitar since I was about 11 and there was no going back, used to be pretty good at sport then I got a guitar and that all went out of the window really.(Laughs)

    CT: Well, my dads always played guitar so I used to play an acoustic when I was little, found it easy because I used to play with him a lot.

    Where does the name ‘Mitford Rebel’ come from?

    CL: It’s kind of about The Mitford Sisters, you know the Mitford Sisters? It’s kind of named after Jessica, the second youngest who when all her family were sitting around with Adolf Hitler and marrying Oswald Mosley, she became a communist and ran off to the Spanish Civil War, so she’s a rebel.

    That’s quite a thought out name, most people just get drunk and think: ‘Alligator!’ that’ll do…

    (Laughs) Yeah, I read her book and yeah well most people don’t really think about what it means, and it sounds okay as just a name anyway without the meaning.

    In terms of other artists who are your main influences?

    CT: Mine are really weird, Gary Numan we both love Gary Numan, erm Jimmy Eat World, Paramore and Rage Against the Machine

    CL: I’ve been pretty much attached to The Manic Street Preachers since I was about eleven and errrm, I’m really into Led Zeppelin and Mansun! Who are an indie band who are kind of forgotten and I reckon deserve more recognition…Oh and Rufus Wainwright.

    So, do you have any gigs coming up for people to attend?

    *Mitford Rebel phone rings*

    CL: Well we did have a Manchester gig buts that’s cancelled now. We are going to London soon, for our first London gig and we are all reaaaaaaaaally excited. And then Skelmersdale and yeah all over Lancashire, you can find them all on our website if you wanna look on that.

    Have you been out on tour before?

    CL: Not officially, we try to gig where we can and we have been on a few random jaunts up to like Newcastle and Scotland. Erm, it all fades into one really.

    Do you have any physical releases for people to get their hands on?

    CL: Well we have the EP, which you reviewed, which was more of a posh demo but we thought we have the four songs so we might as well have a cover and sell it. And we are starting an album and we should start that in the next few weeks I think. We have all the material but Dave has his own studio and some incredibly important bit of it broke, so we are waiting for that to be fixed.

    Do you have an incredibly in depth name for your album as well as the band?

    CL: Erm well, I dunno about anyone else but I haven’t thought of a name for it yet, I got cover art work but nothing name wise…

    Am I correct in thinking that if you buy an EP you get a free badge?

    CL: You do get a free badge! It has like our loooogooo on it and I like badges and it’s a good thing innit. The idea was to give them to people who joined the mailing list, but at one gig in Manchester I was walking round with a bag full of badges and they ripped the piss out of me so that fell on its arse.

    Do you have a lyric by either yourselves or another band that are inspirational to you or you could give to people as a way of living your life?

    CL: There’s a Mansun lyric that I have on my facebook page but it will sound really arsey if I say it. Shall I say it? Okay erm, its something like “You see the way I cower from authority something something. My life is a series of compromises anyway and I’m conditioned to accept them all.” Its just about like how people don’t really see what it’s all about because of all the shit put on top them by society.

    CT: For me there is one by Dave Matthews Band from a song called Warehouse, which goes ‘If you turn off the light you will see a black cat changing all its colours’ I don’t know if this what it means but this is what I take from it, that erm there is no such thing as luck and if you want something you gotta work for it.

    Going back to you (Caz Taylor) joining the band, how did that come about?

    CT: I actually heard about it from my guitar teacher who is in a band with Caz’s brother, he told me about it and gave Caz my number.

    So how has it worked up to now with you joining the band?

    CL: Really well, slotted into place like right away.

    If you could both perform once with some one you idolise who would it be?

    CL: Well, I’m not going to say Manic Street Preachers again, though I can’t think of anyone else because that’s the obvious answer. I do love them though! (Laughs)

    CT: I think mine would have to be Gary Numan.

    What’s the one thing in music where if you achieved it you would think, yeah I’ve done it all now?

    CL: Remove all misconceptions about girls playing guitar from people who presume girls can’t play guitar because there are loads of them.

    CT: My boyfriend for one!

    If you could be any food what would you be and why?

    CL: (Laughs) Food… I would be cheese because it’s… Ok I would be immature cheese, there we go.

    CT: Brussel sprouts so no one would eat you!

    Would you rather be a Giraffe or Koala bear?

    CT: Koala bear because you can hang around in trees all day.

    CL: Koala as well and you could hang onto people.

    You can find out more about Mitford Rebel and hear their stuff at:

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/mitfordrebel

    http://www.myspace.com/mitfordrebel

    http://nwb.co/mitfordrebel
  • These new CDs are keeping me out of the sunshine

    10 apr 2011, 09:00

    Hello everyone!

    I still buy CDs. I should probably join that massive group on here called "I still buy CDs". I also buy vinyl in charity shops and the like. However, I haven't listened to any of my records for ages due to not having anything set up to play them on at the moment (it had to get packed away due to a mouldy wall...long story).

    This week I have no money because I am a silly mare. Firstly it was my boyfriend's birthday and I bought him a banjo. Also I spent £49 in HMV the other day on Fur and Gold, Two Suns, Further Complications, Random Album Title, Magnetic Man and the original soundtrack to The Wicker Man which set me back fifteen quid but I've been meaning to buy it for years so what the hell.

    I've also been meaning to get some Bat for Lashes since I saw her supporting Radiohead a couple of summers back so I figured I'd splash out on both her albums (that's all of them, right?)

    I'm hoping I enjoy the Magnetic Man and deadmau5 albums in their entirety - I can often find albums in the dance genre a little tedious to listen to from start to finish (ooof...now there's a sweeping generalisation for you. I hate myself.) - but the singles that prompted me to buy each of their albums are so eerily beautiful that even if the rest of the albums turn out to be a complete crock of shite I'd still be happy as larry.

    Oooh...almost forgot. I also bought The Fool the other day. It's very good. I really wanted to see them at Lancaster Library but I missed the ticket boat. Dammit. :(
    I am not going to buy tickets from a tout because I think they are about as evil as Gaddafi. Roughly.

    Well...I think that's it!
    I'll leave you to your Sunday.

    Mitford Rebel
  • Oooh, what a lovely mediocre review about my beloved band's first EP...

    3 apr 2011, 12:09

    Hiii everyone.
    I am writing this on Mother's Day while my mother is upstairs doing DIY. I don't think she understands the concept of relaxation, although she did very much like her present.

    Right, my band Mitford Rebel have had their first review for Mitford Rebel EP, even though it came out like eight months ago or something and we're now working on our first album.

    You can read it HERE.
    There's a link to download the EP for free on the review itself (although that link will just take you back to our last.fm page so I guess there's no point using it while on here!).
    I would absolutely love it if you could have a read of the review whilst listening to the EP in question and let me know your thoughts. Think of it as a kind of review of the review.

    Red Rose Music Lancs who are responsible for said review are a kind of online Lancashire music blog set up by some UCLAN students.
    We're doing an interview with them next week which I personally am now very much looking forward to.

    In other musical news, I am obsessed with Anna Calvi, I found The Big Roar pretty good but slightly disappointing, especially after that awesome track they did with Paul Draper out of Mansun.
    I have decided against seeing Manic Street Preachers live this time around. After much, much deliberation and pain :(
    It's just that they're playing nowhere near me and it'd cost an absolute fortune. I had to let my head rule over my heart this time around.

    I can't wait 'til I get my fancy pants copy of The King of Limbs in the post, although the delivery date seems like forever away!! I think the album is excellent. Radiohead will always be very important to me and never fail to excite me.

    Festival-wise, I'm off to Kendal Calling with a group of very good friends again this year. The line-up is okay. There's Blondie who I saw at last year's RockNess. They were pretty good apart from the guitarist having clearly lost the plot and the ability to play the riff from Atomic. Deborah Harry is still too cool for school though and her voice is in better nick than I was imagining.
    The weekend is bound to be amazing anyway because it's my best mate's birthday on the 31st and it's like the best party ever.

    Oh, also I've applied for tickets to Radio 1's Big Weekend which is about an hour from me in Carlisle this year. Being able to see Foo Fighters or Lady Gaga would be marvellous but then when I heard The Strokes had been added to the bill I jumped for joy. Is it Sunday they're playing? Anyway, that's pushed whatever day they're playing on into the preferential spot. I hope it's the same day as Gaga because even though Foo Fighters are spectacular live, I have seen them before and I've never been more than a casual fan.

    Speaking of The Strokes, I am very pleasantly surprised with Angles which I think is quite excellent and much better than all the reviews I read seemed to suggest.

    There we go.
    That's why reviews are nonsense even when they've been written by a proper journalist who has a clue.

    ;)

    FAREWELL!
    Cazzie x
  • Hello! Please can you do me a little favour to ensure my future rock stardom.…

    11 jan 2011, 15:24

    Hiiii!
    My band have entered this thing, but you have to get through this voting thing to actually get through to the thing.

    GO HERE PLEASE. ^_^

    Just click the Facebook like button under "vote band".
    If we get enough votes we can play at this Battle of the Bands at 53 Degrees in Preston and it'll be soopoib.
    Thankyoooou. ^_^

    PS this is my band: Mitford Rebel

    Love Cazzie xxx
  • Are you in a band? Support needed!

    19 okt 2010, 17:35

    Hi, my band Mitford Rebel has just been booked last minute to play at The Alley in Lancaster on 23rd October 2010.
    Thing is, we would really love to have an opening act to get things going.

    [THE GIG]

    I know this is a massive shot in the dark, but if you've seen this, and you fit the bill, and you're interested, please e-mail us at mitfordrebel@gmail.com.

    We're bringing all the gear and you can use our amps and stuff if you like. We'd be wanting a 30 minute set or so.
    Obviously we don't want someone who is crap so please send us some links so that we can have a listen to your stuff.

    Thanks a lot!

    Caz *fingers crossed*
  • Mitford Rebel

    24 aug 2010, 13:08

    It's been a very long time since I wrote a journal on here or in fact anywhere. My blogging has become pretty much non-existant these days.

    Anyway, basically I just wanted to give whoever may read this a little heads up about my new band. If you're my neighbour, especially, you might just enjoy us! We're called Mitford Rebel and after a few months of breaking in our new drummer and bassist, as well as recording our EP, we're ready to launch ourselves onto the world. We've already got our first gig...it's this Thursday! I am very excited. It's not like I've been completely off the stage in the time it's been since I finished university...I've been playing guitar in a ska/reggae covers band since about May 2009, but it's just not the same! I mean I enjoy it and everything because I love playing guitar and I love the material, but it's just not a patch on being able to perform your own music to a crowd. Anyway, it'd be great if you could have a listen. Hopefully we'll be playing live somewhere near you soon!

    I went to two festivals this Summer...firstly, RockNess, which I was mostly drawn to by The Strokes and Vampire Weekend, who were both brilliant. I don't think there's any better band around at the moment for enjoying in the afternoon sunshine than the latter. Although there were only three of us that went up to Scotland, we had a great time. The initial plan was to get a big group of friends to it but after we'd already bought our tickets, it turned out that everyone else had decided they wanted to go to Kendal Calling instead.

    This was my first year at Kendal Calling and it was also loads of fun. I like the small/medium festivals, and I think it would be a shame for this one to get much bigger, as it has a great atmosphere the way it is. However, I think it does suffer slightly with the line-up it can manage. Don't get me wrong, I saw some great artists over the course of the weekend, but I just don't think Doves and The Coral stand up very well as festival headliners. They're both great bands but they just don't have that epic quality that really resonates when you've been hanging around in a field all day just to see the final band of the day. And of the weekend, in The Coral's case.

    It didn't matter though. There was a crowd of seven of us this time, and it was my friend Charlotte's birthday on the Saturday, so we all dressed up like idiots and squeezed as much fun out of the day as we possibly could. We'll be playing there next Summer, you just watch. :)

    Elsewhere, I am waiting with baited breath for the new Manic Street Preachers album, Postcards from a Young Man. I've heard a couple of tracks so far...one of which I thought was quite brilliant and the other I wasn't really sure about at first. I have every faith in them, however, and I have my signed copy pre-ordered. Can't wait to see them live again in October, either!

    Caz xxx
  • An Evening With Rufus Wainwright, 50% Sans Applause.

    26 apr 2010, 14:05

    Thu 22 Apr – An Evening With Rufus Wainwright

    No clapping? At a gig? This is vaguely what I thought when I first read about Rufus Wainwright's "no applause, s'il vous plait" request in the paper the weekend before the gig. Surprised, however, I was not. When I arrived at Manchester Apollo on Thursday night (in plenty of time for the "7:45pm prompt" start) and saw the posters dotting around explaining further the reasons for this request it got me thinking that there's absolutely got to be good reason for this.

    There was. Rufus took to the stage at least ten minutes after 7:45pm prompt in an incredibly opulent black hooded gown with a train the length of an actual train. After solemnly approaching his piano in slow motion, he sat and played All Days Are Nights: Songs For Lulu in its entirety, accompanied on the big screen with visuals by Douglas Gordon and punctuated only with the occasional gulp of water. Not applauding after every song was hard, but I think that was mostly due to force of habit. At times I felt like I should be sitting on my hands because the performance was so flawless that not to clap in appreciation felt a little bit rude, but in the grand scheme of things, it was totally justified. The performance put me into a trance-like state - not only because of the music but because of the visuals. This heavily made-up blinking eye with quivering, glittering eyelashes; sometimes shedding a tear, sometimes set against bright white, usually set against black, sometimes not there at all, now seems to be burned into my psyche whenever I listen to the album. The two artistic aspects now seem to be part of one whole.

    At the end of the album, Rufus left the stage in exactly the same manner in which he entered it. As soon as he was just about out of sight, the applause floodgates opened with what felt like a mixture of relief and pent-up joy.


    This potentially could have all seemed a bit pretentious were it not for Rufus's mild self-mockery and gratitude on entering the stage for the second half. This time, we were encouraged to applaud "to our heart's content". The man's an artist in every sense of the word but gladly he doesn't seem to take himself awfully seriously when the mood doesn't call for it.
    In the second half we were treated to a career spanning set of well-loved tracks, all performed with just piano and vocals. This being the first time I have had the privilege of seeing Rufus live, I was surprised at just how virtuosic a pianist he is. Of course I was aware of his huge talent, but seeing and hearing it first person just meant it smacked me in the face. His voice, too, is exquisite. The tracks were performed very faithfully to the studio recordings which, in a way, surprised me. However, I get the impression that that's because he refines these songs to the point of perfection before he goes in to record them, in which case, why change them?
    Some songs, too, he messed up a little bit on (the end of Matinee Idol, for example) but instead of letting it phase him he just started again from where he'd messed up, then messed up again and laughed about it. Little touches like this as well as his general chatiness, laughing and joking between songs made him even more captivating as a performer and meant the whole gig felt a lot more intimate than it should have done for a venue of this size.

    The second half's set felt like it lasted about ten minutes, after which a drum kit (what?!) was wheeled on to the stage and Rufus returned, introducing Mark Radcliffe on drums for Going To A Town. I'm not sure this really worked, I think if drums were to be involved, there needed to be bass and guitar as well. Or maybe that was just because the drums were a bit too loud. I don't know. Interesting, anyway.

    The show was ended with a very beautiful and touching tribute by Rufus to his mother, Kate McGarrigle. He played her song, Walking Song, and was obviously only just holding it together by the last verse. It seemed like an incredibly intimate moment that I felt privileged to be a part of.

    Anyway, it was a wonderful concert. I left feeling like I was floating on a musical cloud. You don't get to go to gigs like that every day, although I gladly would if possible. =)
  • Them Crooked Vultures @ Empress Ballroom, 13th December 2009

    15 dec 2009, 16:47

    Sun 13 Dec – Them Crooked Vultures, Sweethead

    Another gig, another missed support act. This is getting to be quite an accidental habit, and one I don't like very much at that!
    However, this was a slight exception in the fact that I didn't actually care an awful lot. I just knew that this was one of these gigs where whatever was before the main event would just feel like a slow, dragging annoyance, no matter how good they were. Seems they were called Sweethead. Oh well, Sweethead...me and you, it just wasn't meant to be...

    BECAUSE I AM GOING TO WATCH THEM CROOKED VULTURES.
    Quite unlike my usual wafflings I am having trouble with exactly how to put into words how astonishing this gig was. I thought they were gonna shake the whole Winter Gardens down, that's how much it rocked. They're the first new band in ages that rock so hard they make me pull cheesy rock faces while listening to them, and that's just in my car! Imagine my cheesy rock faces now!! (Good job it was dark).
    Of course the set was made up of tracks from the recently released self-titled album. (Them Crooked Vultures), but there was just the one track somewhere around the middle that I didn't recognise. They mixed stuff up a bit of course, rather than just playing every track as it is on record...it would've been rude not to, given the circumstances. My personal highlight being JPJ's keyboard solo towards the end of the show.

    Of the three members, it is Dave Grohl that I have had the least musical love affair with, however the sheer unadulterated power of his drumming hits you like a jackknife juggernaut. Aside from (of course) John Bonham, he and John Paul Jones make the perfect team.
    As for Josh Homme, I saw him with Queens of the Stone Age at Leeds Festival 2005, but never since. The man's a god, he's like rock music personified. I don't want to sound like a gushing fangirl here but I just can't help it. Everything seems so effortless with him, he's got so much swagger I'm surprised he doesn't fall over all the time (swigging neat vodka onstage can't help in that matter, either...far out man, far out.) If I were a man I would actually want to be Josh Homme. Hell, I think I want to be Josh Homme as it is!

    As for John Paul Jones...well, what can I say. He really is The Thunderthief, because he stole it and delivered it to Blackpool!! (Fnarrr). Obviously his bass lines are always THERE, but just sometimes he pulls out a phrase that jumps straight out of the track, makes your ears prick up, think "what the...?!" and then pull another inevitable cheesy rock face.

    All in all, though, it didn't matter who the band members were. Even if their album had been released as a debut by some unknowns, it would still be the most outstanding collection of rock songs I've heard in ages. Of course this can't help but translate 100-fold live when you've got three rock legends (I hate that phrase but there's not really a better way of putting it...) on the stage. From time to time I even found myself forgetting who I was watching, because the songs just suck you in.
    Them Crooked Vultures are my new favourite band, and the fact that they just happen to be an excuse to further hero-worship (especially) two of their members then I guess that's just the way it'll have to be.