Two hours before I began writing this I had just finished having the pleasure of being in the presence of ‘Sunflower Bean’s’ absolutely brilliant show at the Bodega social in Nottingham. A sold out venue quickly filled when ‘Husky Loops’ a three piece indie outfit from London hit the stage for a thirty minute set, as well as when the main act Sunflower Bean hit the stage at 9PM.
Sunflower Bean revealed themselves, introducing themselves with the track ‘Human Ceremony’, the first track and title track off of the debut album ‘Human Ceremony’ which released earlier in February 2016. The band were on point for the entire night, rapidly generating needed energy within the room with up beat tracks in which some of were played faster than the studio versions such as ‘Tame Impala.’Wall Watcher’ and ‘This Kind Of Feeling’. Once the energy was crafted and spun around the room, it did not leave. The crowd were webbed. Lead vocalist and Bassist Julia Cumming maintained a great connection with the spectators at hand by coming down into the crowd, aswell as constantly having a laugh with fans and laughing and replying to fan comments such as “Marry me Julia.” which really allowed for a feeling of one between the New York based trio and the crowd. Overall, a friendly and easy feeling was present in the upper floor of the Bodega during the gig.
Sunflower Bean are limited in their arsenal of songs to play, due to only having one album and one E.P. However a variety of pace was achieved by the group. As well as the up-beat tracks I mentioned previously, mesmerizing and more down-tempo songs such as ‘Somebody Call A Doctor’ were used to please the crowd. Sunflower Bean completed their explosive ten song set, before returning for a final song which the crowd of course so longingly wanted. The trio played confidently and accurately, all while maintaining a positive and very apparent energy through out the evening.
The gig concluded, and the group came out where the crowd stood to meet with fans, take pictures and just generally socialize which is always brilliant to see. The energy, and the friendly aura of the room continued to be present well after the set was over.
Overall Sunflower Bean played a solid set of brilliant songs from their debut album, as well as their previous E.P. They kept the crowd interested throughout, maintaining a special level of excitement and buzz throughout and for this reason I would definitely recommend going to witness Sunflower Bean live on one of their few remaining dates across the U.K.
It’s coming up to festival season soon, and I wanted to go to a festival which I surprisingly have never been to…Leeds/Reading festival. I’ll only be going for one day this year(I know), specifically the Sunday, as there are few bands that I really wanted to go and see on that day.
Firstly, Cage The Elephant are coming back from half the world away in America. They’ll be taking over the NME stage right before the Wombats and the headliners, The 1975. I absolutely love this band, because their music takes leaps in different directions throughout the albums, as inspiration is obviously and pleasantly present on their earlier albums, while the latest two albums have had their own evolving sound take the lead. There is always a capturing and undeniable energy at Cage The Elephant shows, and I am sure that that energy and atmosphere that they generate so well will concoct nicely with a festival environment.
A second band that I’m really looking forward to seeing for a third time is ‘The Vaccines’. With three solid albums and a relatively new album released in 2015 named ‘English Graffiti’ this band never fail to impress in the studio and in a live environment. Nothing’s more fun than hearing a live rendition of Norgaard played in the space of what seems like 30 seconds. Great stuff!
Half Moon Run are another band that I’ve started to appreciate over the past few days. The indie-rock band from Canada radiate talent, and have been managing to capture my attention easily over these past few days. With a more mellow tone to their music in comparison to many of The Vaccines and Cage The Elephant songs, I can’t wait to see them in a live space!
As I mentioned earlier I’ve never actually even been to Reading/Leeds and this of course is a massive reason for me wanting to go. Despite me only going for one day like an absolute amateur, I’d love to write about my time when I’m back, especially about seeing bands like Cage The Elephant, The Vaccines and Half Moon Run, as well as many more.
Exciting times ahead!
Born out of Kentucky, the now six-piece named Cage The Elephant released their fourth studio album in December of 2015. Produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, the listener can really hear his influences splatter painted all over the album which in this reviewers opinion, isn’t a bad thing.
Starting out with the lively, psychedelic and spirited track ‘Cry Baby’, the tone for the album is immediately set. With an instant infectious opening riff and bouncy verse, which leads into a thrashing and aggressive pre-chorus and chorus, the track had me hooked. The track finished with a blues-rock inspired and zingy breakdown, in which was filled with top notch bass lines and guitar riffs which faded until the song ended.
The fuzzy and in some cases psychedelic tone of the track carries through the entire album, especially in songs such as ‘Cold Cold Cold, ‘Mess Around’, and ‘Punchin’ bag’ which have the listener involuntarily tapping their feet to these easily lovable and twist-taking songs. Their is also a 60’s aura that runs around the album which ties in nicely with front man ‘Matt Schultz’s’ vocals. Tell Me I’m Pretty’s instrumentals suit him very well, and he connects with them so naturally.
It’s great to hear Cage The Elephant expanding their sound as a band, and to see them exploring other areas of music and creativity, as they could have quite easily just replicated the sound of grammy winning ‘Melophobia’, which was released in 2013, however they have decided to deepen their identity as a band which is always brilliant to see.