Category Archives: TVD UK

TVD Video Premiere: CAFOLLA, “1985”

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again, there must be something in the air up in Scotland because the talent coming out that tiny country right now is palpable! Our latest discovery is indie-electro artist CAFOLLA and we’re pleased to announce we’re premiering the brand new single and video for “1985” right here at TVD.

If you didn’t guess by the name, “1985” is brimming in all things ’80s—from the synth-infused soundscapes, to the political lyricism, right through to the VHS-inspired visuals in the video, “1985” is a powerful time machine that deserves your attention. The distinctively soulful vocals remind us of a cross between Jamiroquai, Prince, and even Michael Jackson in parts—and we can’t get enough.

It’s an undeniably addictive debut with an important message that we should all take note of. Talking about the single and video, CAFOLLA elaborates, ““1985” is a blaring commentary on consumerism, greed, and a reminder of what it has led to. It asks the question, “Have we truly grown from this over indulgence or is it as rife as ever?” Some serious food for thought there folks.

Check out the vintage-inspired visuals above, created by videographer Danny McCormick and produced by McCormick, Gordon Beveridge, and CAFOLLA.

“1985” arrives in stores on 22nd August 2019 via Dusty Reel Records.

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UK Artist of the Week: Glossii

Get ready to rock as emerging quartet Glossii take over as UK Artist of The Week, and they’re taking no prisoners in the process.

Their latest single “Watching Me” is a raucous slice of alternative rock that is snarling with attitude from the offset. Hard to pin down to one genre, Glossii combine post-punk, grunge, and feedback-laden indie-rock to create their unashamedly thunderous sound.

Frontwoman Sofia Zanghirella’s powerfully distinctive vocal is instantly reminiscent of Garbage’s Shirley Manson as she emits dark femme fatale verve by the bucket load. Talking about the single, the band elaborate, “‘Watching Me’ is about growing up and going against the rules that parents tell you and want you to abide by.”

Having recently performed as part of NME’s newly appointed Girls To the Front programme, it’s clear that Glossii are going from strength to strength. Also proud members of the LGBTQ+ scene, it seems Glossii are exactly what we need right now in a world of political turmoil.

“Watching Me” is in stores now.

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TVD Live Shots: Dead Kennedys at the Electric Ballroom, 8/9

Dead Kennedys remain a force to be reckoned with, four decades on, with yet another triumphant return to London.

This time instead of two shows in a smaller venue the band opted for one night only at the legendary Electric Ballroom. The excitement around the recent release of the three-CD set, simply titled DK 40, and the jam-packed venue makes a clear statement about the sign of the times—impending doom for the climate and the political landscape—but also offers up a lesson in longevity. East Bay Ray, Klaus Flouride, D.H. Peligro, and Ron “Skip” Greer were once again in top form tearing through a blistering 75-minute set that celebrated one of punk rock’s most excellent catalogs.

It’s way, way, way past time to stop with the lazy comments, “It’s not DK without Jello,” because it is. Go see this fucking show and tell me you didn’t think it was spectacular. Skip does a brilliant job keeping the original angst of the songs while also adding a jolt of his own explosive style. I think it’s time to see the band record a new album with him as the chemistry is 100% there and the fans are ready. It’s clear that the band is open for a reunion and the ball’s in Jello’s court. While he says he’s just too busy to make it work, but we can all bet that it will happen in time, DK 40 certainly lays the groundwork while provoking the question of a new record.

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UK Artist of the Week: Canary Gold

Glasgow’s been on a pretty decent roll recently when it comes to producing great new music, and today is no exception. Canary Gold are the latest pair of Scots to impress us with their undeniably spellbinding blend of indie-electronica.

Canary Gold are brothers Spencer and JP O’Grady and they are indeed worth your attention, so listen up. Their latest single “Hummingbird” is a celestial slice of indie rock that combines twinkling piano notes with a driving, tribal-like beat to create a sound that is truly unique. Fans of the likes of Alt J and Local Natives will feel at home here.

Talking about the single, the duo explain, “in our heads Hummingbird is about a made-up apocalypse but it’s quite open to interpretation. We thought innocent image of a hummingbird against the back drop of some of those dark lyrics brings out a really interesting contrast.”

“Hummingbird” is in stores now via Master Closet Records.

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TVD Live Shots: The Descendents, CJ Ramone, and Pears at Shepherd’s Bush Empire, 8/2

Punk rock royalty came to London recently via Rebellion—the world’s largest punk rock festival—in the form of The Descendents, CJ Ramone, and Pears. Having been a longtime fan of The Descendents, this would be the first time for me seeing them live. These pop-punk pioneers are one of the most significant bands of the ’80s hardcore punk movement. The band’s brand is a staple in the punk community and lead by the instantly recognizable caricature of singer Milo Aukerman which continues to be the mascot for the band since the early 1980s.

Aukerman has been called a champion of the nerds because he would land the unlikely punk rock role of a plant molecular biologist at DuPont. Or does that make it even more punk? (Remember when Johnny Rotten did the butter commercial and claimed that was the most punk thing he could do?) Although he quit his job after being relocated to Siberia for work (you really can’t make this shit up) Aukerman decided to go at it alone. There’s a spectacular interview with him where he talks about breaking free from the corporate world (“the man”) and setting out to do his own thing. I think he quickly had the realization that he could have done this much earlier on, then again as the great James Altucher says, “it’s never too late to reinvent yourself,” and that certainly applies to punk rock.

The show was packed to the fucking gills with old and new school punks alike. Hell, there were all types of people in the crowd that night which is a common sight lately with the London punk scene. (It’s always full of surprises.) The band came out guns a-blazing, blasting through their signature pop-punk setlist—and the first three songs were over before you knew it. Thank the punk gods that security let the photogs stay in for a few more minutes.

Milo and company fully evoked the spirit and energy of punk and kept it going for 90 minutes plus. How many other bands can fit 35 songs including two encores into a standard set before curfew? Not many. Pulling heavily from 2016’s Hypercaffium Spazzinate as well as the classic albums Milo Goes to College and Everything Sucks, The Descendents were in top form and never missed a beat.

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UK Artist of the Week: Bubbatrees

If you prefer your summer anthems to be a little bit more on the eerie side, then we’ve got just the ticket for you today. Bubbatrees’ new single “Alchemy” is a dark, brooding slice of indie-electronica that is bound to get your head bouncing instantly.

The Scottish quartet have been making a name for themselves in their home country for some time now, having already sold out Edinburgh’s well known Sneaky Pete’s venue previously. But its with “Alchemy” that the guys hope to break boundaries and reach out to the rest of the UK and beyond.

“Alchemy” definitely has a hint of ’00s nostalgia to it, with frontman Andrew Gibb’s deep, powerful vocal reminding us of Maximo Park’s Paul Smith. But it’s the spooky, tantalizing musicality that brings us back into the 21st century and follows in the footsteps of fellow Brits The Horrors or Blossoms. So if you’re a fan of any of the above and a bucket load of synth-infused soundscapes—you’re in for a treat.

Bubbatrees’ new single “Alchemy” is in stores now.

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TVD Live Shots: Zig Zags at The Black Heart, 7/24

I may be late to the party when it comes to discovering the punk-metal genius that is the Los Angeles trio Zig Zags, but better late than never. And it’s prime time to jump on board as the band has seen several lineup changes over the years, finally landing as the power trio that they are today.

Their new album They’ll Never Take Us Alive could be labeled as a throwback, but I think it’s more than that. This record perfectly captures the glory days of early thrash metal classics such as Metallica’s Kill ‘Em All, Stormtroopers’ eponymous debut, DRI’s masterpiece Thrash Zone and more. Zig Zags don’t merely regurgitate, but they add punk righteousness to reignite a lost sound.

This was the first time seeing these guys, and holy shit do they make a lot of noise. It’s a huge fucking sound coming out of three dudes. Cram that into the legendary upstairs room at The Black Heart in Camden, and you have the makings for something quite epic.

The set was fast and furious like a potent mix of piss and vinegar thrown at your face. The songs from the new record are the ones that I wanted to hear live, and they stood out—the strongest of them being the track “Fallout” which was a real highlight of the evening. If you want to be transported back to a simpler time when thrash was primed to take over the metal world, this is your aural time machine.

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UK Artist of the
Week: Buzzard
Buzzard Buzzard

Marc Bolan is that you? Nope, but you’d be forgiven for thinking so if Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard’s latest single”Love Forever” is anything to go by.

The Welsh quartet have been making quite the splash over in the UK recently, having even been praised by the one and only Noel Gallagher—who is notoriously harsh on Britain’s thriving young rock scene. It’s not hard to see why with singles like “Love Forever” being pencilled.

The band’s latest cut is an infectious slice of fuzz-filled glam-rock from the offset that combines ’70s-inspired swagger with modern-day sensibilities, creating a sound that feels both fresh and nostalgic. T. Rex is clearly a huge influence for all the members of Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard, but it’s frontman Tom Rees’ wonderfully distinctive vocal style that is really one to sit back and take note of. Marc Bolan would be proud, we’re sure.

Catch the band live when they headline the first ever Big Indie Summer Sessions, in association with The Line of Best Fit, on 31st July 2019 at Pop Brixton.

“Love Forever” is in stores now via Big Indie Records.

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UK Artist of the Week: Dudley Benson

PHOTO: MIRANDA BELLAM | We’ve got something pretty special for you today, something hard to pigeonhole, but we’re gonna try. New Zealand native Dudley Benson has just shared the extraordinary new video for his single “Mataraki” and its a must watch.

The word mataraki comes from New Zealand and it describes the time of year when the Pleiades constellation appears in the midwinter sky, in essence the Maori New Year. This relates to the Maori custom of tikanga, which tells that the people we’ve lost are still with us through the natural world. The video itself is a brilliant piece of animated work from Tokyo-based New Zealand illustrator Emile Holmewood.

We see Dudley himself in an array of fun cartoon-styled situations, representing a passage through time as he makes his way from creation to destruction to millennia. The song itself is a wonderfully weird slice of avant-pop that fans of the likes of Bjork and Brian Eno will certainly feel at home with. Totaling 6 minutes, “Mataraki” feels more like a short film than a music video at times, but perhaps that’s the point.

Dudley Benson’s musical style is undeniably unique and perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea. Nonetheless, its visually stunning and a conversation starter if nothing more. We can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.

“Mataraki” is taken from Dudley’s latest album Zealandia, which is due for Eurpoean release on 23rd August 2019 via Golden Retriever Records.

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TVD Live Shots: KISS at the O2 Arena, 7/11

This is the seventh time I’ve seen the self-proclaimed “hottest band in the land” and sadly it will likely be the last. Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Tommy Thayer, and Eric Singer took to the stage in front of a capacity crowd at the legendary O2 Arena for one final statement to the fans in London and to say goodbye and thank you for more than forty years of love and support.

It’s bittersweet to write this review knowing that I will likely never see these guys again live,  and it’s interesting to watch Paul and Gene do their signature move and antics one last time. It’s hard to believe that Paul Stanley is 67 years old as he looks to be in the best shape of his life. It looks like the guy just finished a triathlon.

Opening up the evening with the KISS classic “Detroit Rock City the band descended from a steel platform gliding through an enormous cloud of smoke from the opening fireworks. Within seconds Gene and Paul were front and center interacting with the crowd (and the photographers) in classic form. These guys don’t miss a beat and they still have the energy of a rock ‘n’ roller half their age.

In traditional KISS fashion, Stanley brought the stage to the middle of the arena as he ziplined over the crowd with his guitar strapped to his back arriving in style to deliver a rousing version of “Love Gun.” Gene took it up a notch with his fire-breathing and blood spitting for “War Machine” and “God of Thunder.” While it would have been epic to see Ace and Peter return for a song or two, Tommy and Eric have proven to be worthy members of the line up over the years and when they all come together it’s truly magical.

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UK Artist of the Week: Galileo’s Fan

Get ready to be blown away by Scotland’s latest majestic offering. Galileo’s Fan are a duo from the Scottish highlands who create stunning cinematic pop with flawless harmonies.

Their latest single “I Won’t Be Found” is taken from their upcoming new album of the same name, which is out on 16th September 2019. The track is instantly spellbinding, combining indie-pop sensibilities with their traditional folk roots to create something that is truly breathtaking. Think Of Monsters and Men meets Sigur Rós and your almost there.

Galileo’s Fan are siblings Fi and Martin Vass (surprise!). They have two other siblings—one of whom is renowned folk musician Mike Vass—but the pair decided to step out as a duo in 2012. “I Won’t Be Found” is the second single to be taken from Galileo’s Fan’s upcoming album and what’s up their sleeve next. Here’s hoping they’ll make their way across the pond sooner rather than later.

“I Won’t Be Found” is out now via GF Records.

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TVD Live Shots: Rammstein at Milton Keynes Stadium, 7/6

I’ve seen thousands of shows in my life, and I get asked quite often what’s the best show I’ve ever seen. After last week’s stadium show in Milton Keynes, I will answer that question with the same way for the rest of my life: Rammstein. Hands down this is the biggest, baddest, coolest gig I’ve ever seen.

I’m not even sure how to describe it, but I’ll give it a shot. The music falls somewhere between metal, industrial, techno, and rock, but that’s just the beginning. Oh, and they sing in German, which means that 90% of the audience here in the UK have no idea what they are saying, but that doesn’t matter. This show is bigger than the music, it’s bigger than the constant stream of controversy that follows the band and the top the charts, it’s bigger than anything I’ve ever seen before; it’s a culture of its own.

I saw Rammstein back in the states on the Family Values tour in 1998 with Korn, Limp Bizkit, Ice Cube, and Orgy. I thought they were great back then, but twenty years later these guys are on a new level. I remember meeting frontman Till Lindemann backstage at that tour, and although he didn’t speak English and I don’t speak German, we hung out for a bit along with the others in the band. I remember him having a very good sense of humor about the backstage experience, even when the singer from Orgy brought out the porn video of his wife.

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TVD Live Shots:
Live at Shepherd’s
Bush Empire, 6/30

Live made a triumphant return to the UK for the first time in almost a decade. Touring in support of the 25th anniversary of their magnificent 1994 release Throwing Copper, the original members of Live are back and sounding better than ever before.

The last time I saw Live was back in 1997 when the band was at their peak. Their highly anticipated third album Secret Samadhi was just about to be released and the band was touring intimate theatres debuting the music and playing nothing additional. This idea would be career suicide for any group in today’s confused musical landscape, but twenty years ago it was bold and made a certain statement of confidence that the new material was solid.

Lead by the hard-edged single “Lakini’s Juice,” Live had kept the mystique behind Throwing Copper while adding a harder edge to their sound which would showcase a third evolution of the band. The record debuted at number one the Billboard chart and went on to go double platinum, but it may have proved a bit too ambitious for the band. They would follow with The Distance in 1999 which would also achieve platinum status, but nothing would match the enormous success and mass appeal of Throwing Copper.

Hearing these songs live again reminds you instantly how many hits they did have and why they sold more than 20 million records. The setlist didn’t include anything from their debut album, and rightfully so. Throwing Copper is simply on another level. Few bands can take their songwriting and production to new heights in such a short amount of time. These guys did it all while upping the ante with a statement and a lot of mystique.

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TVD Live Shots: Lynyrd Skynyrd at Wembley Arena, 6/29

When you think of Southern Rock, there’s really one band that comes to mind, and that’s the rebels of the south known as Lynyrd Skynyrd. Through tragedy and triumph across four decades, this band has not only defined the genre and carried the torch, but they inspired every generation after them to keep the spirit alive.

The band’s impact is even more impressive as it crossed over into pretty much every other genre on the planet. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked the group No. 95 on their list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” and the following year the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced that Lynyrd Skynyrd would be inducted alongside Black Sabbath, Blondie, Miles Davis, and the Sex Pistols. That’s some fucking good company to be in. Having never seen the band live, I thought I had better get off my ass and go see them in a proper arena, in London of all places.

Does southern rock ‘n’ roll translate across the pond? Holy shit, yes it does. How about a sold-out Wembley arena for starters? While technically there’s only one original member in the farewell line-up—the great Gary Rossington—that really doesn’t matter. There remains a bloodline and furthermore a legacy that has evolved and has continued to celebrate the most crucial element here: the songs. Johnny Van Zant does an excellent job of leading the pack while the triple guitar attack of Rickey Medlocke (who was absolutely on FIRE this night), Mark Matejka, and Rossington being second in command. The band was rounded out by piano, bass (I swear that was Johnny Colt from the Black Crowes?), one hell of a drummer, and two incredible backup singers elevating those southern style harmonies.

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UK Artist of the Week: KTG

Those Irish know how to write a song, don’t they? It must be something in the air—which is certainly the case for young KTG who is our latest Artist of The Week.

KTG—aka Katie Gallagher—is pretty new to the scene but we’re sure that won’t be for much longer if her new single “Don’t Tell My Mother” is anything to go by. Her second release to date, “Don’t Tell My Mother” feels like a wholesome hug that keeps on giving. KTG combines elements of country-pop with indie-folk to create an undeniably infectious earworm, perfect for the summer months. Citing artists like KT Tunstall and Wallis Bird as her influences, it’s clear that her upcoming album Searching For Magpies will include even more tracks to get addicted to before the year is out.

At just 22 years old, Katie is already exhibiting huge potential and an incredible ability to write poignant lyrics way ahead of her years. With Searching For Magpies out on 26th September and another single on the way before that, we can’t wait to see what’s in store for this wee, Irish gem.

“Don’t Tell My Mother” is in stores now via Beardfire Music.

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