Posts Tagged ‘Fat White Family’

Naively pretty melodies … Insecure Men.

It’s seldom that anything involving Fat White Family comes with a heartwarming story . Their music springs from a grimy personal world of mental torment and hard drug use. And yet, there is something at least vaguely cheering about the story behind the eponymous album by Insecure Men, a project that really came to life when the band’s chief songwriter, Saul Adamczewski, was asked to leave temporarily after – and this is a very Fat White Family kind of story – refusing to vacate the Paris venue the band were playing on the night of the Bataclan attack because he’d arranged to meet a heroin dealer there later on.

After a fairly harrowing spell in rehab, Adamczewski has emerged not only clean, but eager to make music more tuneful and less unsavoury than the oeuvre of Fat White Family, in the company of his schoolfriend Ben Romans-Hopcraft. The latter is no stranger to unexpected musical transformations: his own band, Childhood, converted themselves from a middling shoegazey alt-rock combo into the makers of last year’s Universal High, a brilliant, unfairly overlooked album rooted more in the tradition of British street soul than in indie music.

Anyone familiar with Adamczewski’s previous work might point out that suggesting an album is more tuneful and less unsavoury than Fat White Family’s work isn’t really saying much, and they would have a point. It is perhaps worth noting that the lyrics on Insecure Men variously deal with Operation Yewtree, Gary Glitter’s post-prison sojourn in south-east Asia, Adamczewski’s brief period as a crack-addicted building site labourer in Penge and the respective deaths of Whitney Houston and her daughter Bobbi, retold from the viewpoint of the latter’s ghost.

Insecure Men is often more unsettling than the last Fat White Family album, because, rather than the wilfully tuneless and grey noise that was Songs for Our Mothers’ stock in trade, its tracks set this stuff to naively pretty melodies, at which Adamczewski is considerably more adept than his past work might lead you to believe: unashamed pop choruses abound, presumably stockpiled while attending to a different musical agenda. The Whitney Houston track features a children’s choir, made up in part of the members of Rough Trade’s young trio Honey Hahs (aged 11-16), singing about a celebrated, mythic cure for reviving a victim of a drug overdose.

Elsewhere, the music carries echoes of glam, the showtune-inflected singer-songwriter stylings of Harry Nilsson, 80s synthpop, and the kind of cheap drum machine and saxophone-assisted lounge music you might once have encountered in the bar of a provincial hotel. Deliberate or not, the preponderance of clangorous, trebly guitars, Adamczewski’s disconsolate, estuary-accented vocals and the way the grimy production drowns everything in reverb recalls the early 80s work of indie pioneers the Television Personalities.

It also avoids the biggest failing of the last Fat White Family album in that the songs never seem to be trying to shock you for the sake of it: set to a fragile, off-key piano, the closing Buried in the Bleak depicts the dysfunctional relationship between Adamczewski and Fat White Family frontman Lias Saoudi far more effectively than the similarly themed tracks from Songs for Our Mothers that dragged Hitler, Goebbels and Ike Turner’s abuse of Tina into the equation. Once you get over your initial queasiness about its subject matter, Whitney Houston and I is desperately and affectingly sad, a portrait of a young woman who never escaped her mother’s shadow even in death, while Mekong Glitter is horrified by its subject’s lack of repentance and by the old pop world’s willingness to turn a blind eye.

It adds up to an album that feels like far more than just a repository for the tunes and musical influences, a slice of darkly skewed pop that’s weightier and much better than the side-project label suggests. Whether it represents a one-off diversion or an ongoing path that runs parallel to Adamczewski’s main musical outlet remains to be seen – there’s apparently a third Fat White Family album due later this year – but Insecure Men is good enough to make you hope it’s the latter.

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A supergroup of members from Fat White Family, Childhood and more – plus a schoolteacher on vibes calling himself Steely DanInsecure Men play a kind of skronked Ariel Pink-style exotica, where rudimentary drum machines patter behind psych-pop ballads about Cliff Richard, teenage sexuality and Penge.

In many ways Insecure Men – the band led by the fiercely talented songwriter and musician Saul Adamczewski and his schoolmate and stabilising influence, Ben Romans-Hopcraft – are the polar opposite of the Fat White Family. Whereas sleaze-mired, country-influenced, drug-crazed garage punks the Fat Whites are a “celebration of everything that is wrong in life”, Insecure Men, who blend together exotica, easy listening, lounge and timeless pop music, are, by comparison at least, the last word in wholesomeness.


The band originally formed in 2015 in the cramped confines of The Queens Head pub, Stockwell, in the Fat White Family’s notorious South London ‘practice space’. Saul recorded all of the songs he wrote at The Queens Head onto tape at Sean Lennon’s studio in upstate New York. This tape, recorded on his own in a corridor onto an ancient Tascam while in a foul mood with his mates, essentially became Insecure Men’s self-titled debut album as more layers were dubbed over the top until nothing of the original demos remained.

Saul lists some of the influences on their sound, mentioning the exotica of Arthur Lyman, the early electronic pop of Perrey and Kingsley, the supreme smoothness of The Carpenters, the songwriting chops of Harry Nilsson and the hypnagogic uncanniness conjured up by David Lynch, describing what they do as “pretty music with a dark underbelly to it”.

The Moonlandingz – comprised of members of the Eccentronic Research Council and Fat White Family – are Hale-Bopping their way into our consciousness with this blistering debut: a sonic rollercoaster that ricochets somewhere between Earl Brutus and The Cramps, the nihilistic vocal stylings of Nick Cave and a swaggering zombie Elvis. The band have just released a MOONLANDINGZ DELUXE version of this acclaimed album

The Moonlandingz—the outer space troupe featuring members of the Fat White Family and Eccentronic Research Council—have readied this special edition of their lauded debut full-length, Interplanetary Class Classics.

The Sean Lennon-produced LP was picked on BBC 6Music’s top albums of the year,

Out January. 26th, the deluxe version features the original 11 compositions, plus 20 bonus songs. These tracks include b-sides from all the EPs, remixes, unheard demos, and more.

Special guests include Philip Oakey of The Human LeagueYoko Ono, and Randy Jones of the Village People.

The band’s Adrian Flanagan says, “It’s nice to have all these tracks in one place, so to draw a line under what’s gone and make way for our future, next to the greats. We may not be there when you want us but we will be there when you truly need us. Till then, we are observing your earth!”

 A new version of “Sweet Saturn Mine,” featuring Philip Oakey of the Human League.

Among the eerie swirling synthesizers and infectious singalong melodies is a well-crafted opus of total cosmic bedlam. It also features guest vocals from Yoko Ono, Phil Oakey, Rebecca Taylor of Slow Club and Randy Jones aka the Cowboy from The Village People. Expertly crafted, Interplanetary Class Classics exists truly in a class of its own.Absolutely fucking mental. Really the review could be that first sentence and still be entirely encapsulating of what is an incredible album. Unrestrained and entirely liberated The Moonlandingz take on everything and everyone in this LP.

While there are some more ‘dance floor ready’ tracks (Sweet Saturn Mine is a particular favourite), it also features that enigmatic swashbuckler Johnny Rocket (Lias Saoudi of FWF) getting all croony. This album calrifies The Moonlandingz as the supergroup they’ve always professed to be. ‘The Strangle Of Anna’, might be the best track of the year too.

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The Moonlandingz – the band born from a semi fictional concept album by Sheffield electronic analogue weirdos the ‘Eccentronic Research Council’ and fronted by Fat White Family frontman, Lias Saoudi – have shared their brand new This Cities Undone EP, ahead of their forthcoming and fast-selling UK headline tour dates.

The extended player includes a single version of album closer ‘This Cities Undone’ featuring guest vocals from Yoko Ono and Human League’s Phil Oakey, alongside a Confidence Man remix and new cut ‘Dirty Red Rose’.

“I’m a big fan of Yoko’s 70’s albums like Approximately Infinite Universe,” the band’s Adrian Flanagan said. “During a late night semi drunken recording session, I suggested to Sean Lennon – who we were working with up at his studio in upstate New York – that this crazy psychedelic freak out track that we had on the boil – but had no lyrics for – could really work with Yoko doing her thing on it. Sean got it straight away, said that he thought it was a good idea and after that brief suggestion it was never mentioned again… About two months later I’m at a tiny gig in some old spoon factory in Sheffield, watching a bloke play a home made synth in a shoe box with a wind up clockwork parrot sat on his shoulder, when I get an email off Sean titled MUMLANDINGZ. In the email was a video clip of his mum doing this incredible vocal over our music… The hair on the back of my neck stood on end, her voice stirs you like the most primal of rock and roll, it’s got so much spirit, it’s proper witchcraft!

“After receiving the Yoko vocal, Lias Saoudi and I set about writing some words for the track back in Sheffield. A week or so later we got our friends Philip Oakey and Rebecca Taylor to come and sing on the track and then Dean Honer and I went back to NYC to mix it,” he added.

“It was a song that went on quite a journey, but it was worth every bit of the trip. I see the track as a celebration of the activist in us all, the downtrodden, the ignored, people bullied by their local council, the government, the CEO’s in the workplace, the people you never voted for making a complete pig’s ear of running your cities, lunching out on decent hard working taxpayers money, whilst thousands of kids sleep rough in the street and whilst tower blocks burn. We live in frightening times, under the pretense of a so called democracy and something’s got to give!”

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The brand new track from Fat White Family ‘Breaking Into Aldi’. Now, that’s not because I think due to their low, low prices it would be heinous crime to steal from the multi-national conglomerate, but because this track is pure is pure riot and roll. Organs blaze across a drum machine beat slashed with riffs to murder your puppy to. Crescendoing in a very catchy chorus which is screamed with the sorest throat across the microphone Fat White Family are doing what they do best; causing havoc.

Lias has said this “This song is a post apocalyptic vision of a barely united United Kingdom bereft of quality German supermarkets and their insipid low prices; Breaking Into Aldi is the anthem that never was, a call to arms for the senselessness of our future futility, an overcrowded shadow begging for a rerun, a sell out by sell outs for sell outs. This Fat Whites collaboration with Cole Alexander of the Black Lips, Sean Lennon and Zumi Roscow of the K Holes is by all intents and purposes the sound of hopelessness attempting to bleed itself dry.”

Image of Daughter - Not To Disappear

Daughter  –   ” If You Leave “

Nearly three years after the release of their debut ‘If You Leave’, Daughter – the London-based trio of Elena Tonra, Igor Haefeli and Remi Aguilella – will return in 2016 with a new album, entitled ‘Not To Disappear’.

Not To Disappear’ is Daughter’s second album and finds the band making confident strides forward both sonically and lyrically. Elena, Igor and Remi spent a summer in New York recording ‘Not To Disappear’ with Nicolas Vernhes (Deerhunter, War On Drugs, Animal Collective) at his Rare Book Room studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Image of Fat White Family - Whitest Boy On The Beach

The Fat White Family  –   “Whitest Boy On The Beach”  

The Fat White Family announce details of ‘Whitest Boy On The Beach’, the first track from their forthcoming second album.

The single is released on the band’s own Without Consent label.

The track is accompanied by a video shot at Beachy Head and directed by the acclaimed artist Tim Noble.

The band release their second album, ‘Songs For Our Mothers’, early 2016. It follows their hugely acclaimed debut album ‘Champagne Holocaust’, released in 2013.

Image of Mystery Jets - Curve Of The Earth

The Mystery Jets  –

Of all the acts that sprang into life in The Libertines’ Fagin-like wake, Mystery Jets were always the hardest to pin down. A Syd Barrett-enthralled troupe fashioning delightfully skewed, potting shed psychedelia out of playful wonky pop and unashamedly proggy flourishes from their Thameside hideout of Eel Pie, the South London island that played midwife to the British R&B boom in the early ’60s.On Curve Of The Earth, Mystery Jets have changed tack again, only this time it’s been to strip back some of their more shapeshifting tendencies and distil the essence of what makes them such a great band. Arguably their strongest, most personal and most coherent set of tracks to date, it highlights what the kids down the front of their shows shouting “Zoo Time!” have known all along, that at their centre Mystery Jets simply write amazing songs.

 

Image of Sauna Youth - The Bridge

Sauna Youth are an evolving band of future humans making truly irregular punk, not quite comparable to anything else. ‘Weird’ is a meaningless platitude, and ‘art punk’ is a classifier that shouldn’t be required. This last year has been an amazing time for the band, seeing them release their widely applauded ‘Distractions’ album, a split record with their sister band Monotony, embarking on several tours, radio sessions and even appearing on Marc Riley’s ‘All Shook Up’ TV show for BBC iPlayer.

To celebrate all of this Sauna Youth have decided 2015 has just enough room left in it for one more 7” and video. ‘The Bridge’ is taken from their album and accompanied with an exclusive brand new song called Blurry Images’ on the flipside.

Beginning and ending in squalling feedback ‘The Bridge’ is the song that rings longest in your head when listening to ‘Distractions’, it’s full of the desire to set yourself apart, to connect and hold fast. “I am the source of the overflow, a torn neck, an effervescent glow, I am the route to the heart of it” sing Ecke and Boon in everyman unison. It’s keen and brisk, tireless and smart as a whip. ‘Blurry Images’ prefers to jog on the spot, its drumbeat and bassline pinned down by throbbing keyboard jabs. “Ancient warning, or invitation, what’s it look like to you?” question the vocals, drawing the song into focus before upping the contrast. It’s a tour de force and a fitting home for one of the most unhinged guitar solos the band have committed to tape so far.

Image of Sheer Mag - I/II CD

Sheer Mag

Limited CD containing Sheer Mag’s first two EPs (originally released on Wilsuns Recording Company in the USA and Static Shock in UK/Europe) to coincide with the bands first European tour. Eight tracks in twenty seven minutes. In 2014, Sheer Mag seemingly came out of nowhere with possibly Static Shock’s favourite release of the year. They are the only band of recent times that manages to sound like a mix of a classic Seventies rock record, power pop and an obscure English DIY 7″ from the late 70’s.

Everything sounds scrappy, fuzzy and scuzzy and it’s all the better for it. The riff packed guitar work and fuzzed female vocals sit perfectly together whilst the crude rhythms just adds bounce and basic beats. Think a mix of the power pop delight of Protex, the lo-fi nature of The Seize, the riffs of Thin Lizzy and the powerful female vocal of Suzi Quatro. The CD comes in a reverse board digipack and with a double sided lyric insert.

Taken from their album, “Champagne Holocaust,” The Fat White Family perform “Is It Raining In Your Mouth?” Last night, Brixton’s Fat White Family played live on the famous David Letterman show in the US, putting in a powerful performance that almost certainly baffled a large chunk of the viewing public.

The band are familiar faces on the Brixton scene – they lived in the Queen’s Head and played our Offline club night at the Prince Albert – and they’ve created a real buzz from their wild stage shows.

Last night, the band performed “Is It Raining In Your Mouth?” from their 2013 album, “Champagne Holocaust” on what is one of America’s most popular chat shows.

nmetour

The Newly announced NME tour with NME AWARDS TOUR 2015 As Dawn approaches this night and to be the bearer of news to set the soul afire, this night the honour of a new NME tour. As autumn turns to dust and snow and the winter is in full throw in February and March of 2015 headlining the NME Awards Tour are Fat White Family, The Amazing Snakeheads and Slaves. Whilst the winter blues may assault and burn you and naysaying keeps you in your door, come out into the night and wrench your disaffection and malaise out and into the night as a primal scream of bass sodden fury. Oh do not ask what is it, let us go and make our visit to the infamous music venue Rock City to bear witness,

palma violets
Palma Violets

The Fat White Family

The Amazing Snakeheads

Slaves are a two-piece. Garage band who make a huge noise, Isaac Holman and Laurie Vincent: one shouts and bangs the drums while standing up, the other coaxes great, fat metal riffs from his guitar. if you shut your eyes this is what the Black Keys might have sounded like had they been raised on Shane Meadows films on a housing estate – wry, suburban disaffection, like Sleaford Mods but with less swearing; maybe a hint of Madness and a bit of vaudeville fun too (“Hello, how’s Amelia? Is she still ugly?” – How’s Amelia). New punk sensations tend to burn out quickly but we think Slaves’ wit will carry them through. They also have a song called Where’s Your Car Debbie?