Category Archives: TVD UK

TVD Live Shots: The Struts at the Electric Ballroom, 9/18

Here’s something you don’t see every day—a UK band that’s much more well-known in the States than their home country. I’m talking about English glam rock band The Struts. Being a fan of all things glam rock myself, these guys have been on my radar from the day that they signed with Interscope Records when a friend of mine sent me a message that only read, “You need to hear this.”

It’s no secret that The Struts wear their influences on their sleeves and that’s a good thing because they know exactly who they are. Frontman Luke Spiller is the spitting image of the late, great Freddie Mercury, and he has the moves and voice to back it up. You can tell within the first few seconds of a Struts show that this guy was born to do this. He uses every square inch of the stage at his disposal and ignites the crowd with the energy of a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific.

Highlights from the set? How about the entire fucking set was one big highlight. New songs “One Night Only” and “Who Am I” take the band’s songwriting to a new level underscoring the fact that these guys are the real deal. “Kiss This” and “Could Have Been Me” just about blew the roof off of the Electric Ballroom.

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UK Artist of the Week: East of My Youth

Those pesky Nordics have been serving up some amazing acts recently and East Of My Youth is the latest. Their current twinkling delight is new the single “Broken Glass,” out now via West Of My Future Ltd.

Kicking off with silky smooth vocals and a truly hypnotic electro-pop beat, you’ll have your toes tapping from the offset and throughout. As the track builds, we are introduced to a celestial cocktail of synth-infused sounds and soaring, ethereal vocals, creating a wonderfully majestic sound. Fans of Anna Of the North and Lykke Li will feel at home here.

East Of My Youth—aka Herdís Stefánsdóttir and Thelma Marín Jónsdóttir—formed in May 2015 in Reykjavik, Iceland. In that small space of time, these extremely talented women have already started making a name for themselves both in their home country, the UK, and across the pond. Having already dazzled fans at SXSW and Iceland Air, we can’t wait to see what they get up to next. Watch this space…

“Broken Glass” is in stores now via West Of My Future Ltd.

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UK Artist of the Week: Moviestar

This week might be a first for us as our latest Artist Of The Week comes from a trio of intergalactic archeologists who call themselves Moviestar. This band is like no other we’ve come across. Sent to earth to save us all from “Stupid People,” Moviestar combine punk, pop, and sci-fi to create something truly unique.

The first single to be taken from their debut album is the infectiously catchy “Stupid People.” As the title may imply, the single is about people on Earth and the terrible ways we can treat each other and ourselves. Although this band’s narrative is pretty out there, you have to give them kudos for calling out what’s become of the world in its current climate. “Stupid People” is a reverb heavy piece of punk-rock goodness, full of attitude but also a lot of fun.

Their press release tells us they were formed in the future on planet Fenris, but they now reside in Norway as of 2016. Infinity Vik, The Octopus Goddess, and The Anaconda (yes, really) play a variety of obscure instruments including a disfigured guitar with only 4 strings, a 32 stringed instrument, a synth bass, and a child’s drums kit amongst various others we’re sure.

They are also said to put on one hell of a live show with Infinity Vik being compared to David Bowie or Freddie Mercury when it comes to stage presence. If that doesn’t intrigue you, we don’t know what will. We hope we can catch a glimpse of this mystery band in the flesh in the very near future—or maybe the past for them.

Moviestar’s debut album Stupid People / Happy Days arrives in stores on 9th February 2018 via Oh Yeah!

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TVD Live Shots:
The Sisters of Mercy
and Therapy? at the Roundhouse, 9/2

One of the most architecturally astounding and unique spaces in London hosting one of the most influential rock bands of the UK post punk scene—The Sisters of Mercy with two sold out nights at the Roundhouse had the makings for one of the most epic shows of the year, and it delivered big. “We rock like a motherfucker,” says Sisters frontman Andrew Eldritch in a recent interview, and that certainly was the case.

If there was ever any doubt that the Sisters of Mercy are a full-blown rock ‘n’ roll band, that can be fully put to rest within the first few songs of their live show. While Eldritch remains the only “original” member of the group, he’s hired some incredibly capable musicians to back him for his electrifying live show.

Although the Sisters of Mercy only officially released three studio albums, they are a prime example of quality over quantity. Whether this is because of a war with their former record label Warner/ East West, it does beg the question—what could have been? Eldritch has mentioned over the years that while the band has recorded bits and pieces, there are no plans for a new record as the value of recorded music continues to be questioned. But he did mention that if Trump gets elected that there would, in fact, be a new Sisters record. So if there is one tiny sliver of goodness that comes from the nightmare that is Trump, this could be it.

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UK Artist of the Week: Happy Abandon

Having formed back in 2015 and played shows across the east coast of the US and Canada including an appearance at SXSW, Happy Abandon have now released their stirring new album, Facepaint.

A collection of emotion-strewn creations that muse upon the feelings of loss and loneliness that run throughout relationships of all kinds, the album oozes a rich orchestral grandeur alongside catchy indie pop inclinations.

Opening track “Ivory Bound” is the perfect introduction to Facepaint. Filled with twinkling melodies and sweeping strings, it’s a beautifully heartfelt ballad, reminiscent of the likes of Fleet Foxes. Continuing in the same vein but with an added gritty sense of urgency, “Beneath Our Feet” showcases the impassioned power of Peter Vance’s vocals in a soaring slice of cinematic pop.

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UK Artist of the Week: Steal The City

Since forming back in 2014, Sheffield punk-rockers Steal The City have fast been building a reputation for their raucous live sets, and are now ready to release their seething new single “Beating Heart.”

Racing with thrashing riffs and immense, pummelling beats, it’s a track that any punk-rock fan should welcome with open ears. Inspired by the idea that we should make the most out of life, “Beating Heart” comes complete with a catchy chorus blasted out by the rasping growl of the vocals. Though tinged with shades of nostalgia harking back to the angst-driven power of the likes of Rise Against, it manages to maintain its own fresh, fist-clenching intensity.

A riotous wall of sound, this debut offering from Steal The City cements them as an enraged force to be reckoned with in the UK and beyond. An instant earworm, you’ll be hooked on first listen.

“Beating Heart” is in stores now via Redemption / Dharma Records.

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UK Artist of the Week: Laura Elvin

Today we offer someone quite unique for our Artist of The Week; London-based Laura Elvin creates idiosyncratic alt-pop like nothing we’ve heard in a long time, and her latest single “Wonder” will leave you empowered—as well as perhaps slightly bewildered.

“Wonder” is performed on a custom-built music box, enabling Laura to create her own distinctive sound from the off-set. The twinkling notes playing in the background combined with Elvin’s powerful lead vocal somehow fit together wonderfully despite the obvious contrast. Fans of Kate Bush or Regina Spektor’s charismatic vocal styles will find similarities certainly, however Laura is definitely her own entity and we’re excited to see and hear what she’ll do next.

Laura is a fully autonomous artist and producer. Born in Camden and introduced to classical music by her family, Laura then went on to fully develop her love of jazz, classical pop, and rock music. After spending a number of years living on a sustainable farm, Elvin is now back in London ready to tackle the live circuit once again.

“Wonder” arrives in stores on 15th September 2017.

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UK Artist of the Week: The Bara Bara Band

South London folk collective The Bara Bara Band have not only received acclaim for their debut album and previous two EPs from the likes of Folk Radio UK and FATEA magazine, but also keep themselves busy running their own folk club in Tooting.

Having garnered a loyal fan-base over the last few years, the band are now set to release their new album next month. Taken from the album, latest single “Plimsoll” is inspired by a true story of the politician of the same name who, in the 1800s, canvassed for better safety on cargo ships where owners were sending sailors off to their deaths to cash in on insurance.

A rich musical arrangement filled with layers of sweeping strings and delicate vocal harmonies, it’s a truly uplifting folk ditty that perfectly fuses together traditional lyrical storytelling with the band’s fresh take on instrumentation.

With the distinctive vocals of Ruth Jacob and Rupert Browne flowing together perfectly in sync, alongside lilting, uptempo melodies, it’s impossible not to fall in love at first listen with The Bara Bara Band’s whimsical charm and innovative sound.

The Seeds Inside (The Grapes Upon The Vine), the new album from The Bara Bara Band, is in stores 15th September via Singaround Records.

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TVD Live Shots: Star Shaped Festival at the
O2 Kentish Town, 8/5

Oh, how I loved the ’90s, and especially the music that came out of it. While the US had is a fair share of breakthrough acts gracing the airwaves, the UK pretty much kicked everyone’s ass when it came to quality. The Brit-pop movement of the ’90s brought us some of the most revered records of all time and gave birth to legends such as Oasis, Blur, and The Verve. But some of the very best of that decade got lost in the mix and overtaken by the next wave of whatever.

Say hello to the Star Shaped Club which reminds us all why we loved this era and proves that these under celebrated artists still have quite a lot to say. The Star Shaped Club puts on monthly Brit Pop parties around the UK with the slogan “Come party like it’s 1995.” They shine a light on the best of ’90s Brit-pop both popular and obscure, brilliantly tapping into nostalgia and keeping the lights on in the house that NME and Melody Maker both built.

Headlining the half day indoor festival was The Bluetones, a band that I missed completely in the ’90s as they didn’t enjoy much success stateside but were massive here in the UK. These guys scored thirteen Top 40 singles and three Top 10 albums in the UK charts, and were the only band on the bill that has remained pretty much active since their heyday. Furthermore, frontman Mark Morris just released a new solo record via Pledge that seems to be doing quite well after achieving 250% of its goal. Having never heard these guys before I was impressed enough to pick up a T-shirt on the way out and added them to my Spotify playlist. How they never broke through in the States is a mystery to me.

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UK Artist of the Week: Hvmmingbyrd

This week we have something truly mesmerizing for you. Meet Hvmmingbyrd, an electro-pop duo from Dublin who, having already made a name for themselves in their home country, are now ready to take their blissful soundscapes across the pond.

Their new single “Gozo” feels instantly euphoric, filled with twinkling melodies, intricate harmonies, and a gorgeous dream-pop production. “Gozo” was inspired by a trip to an island of the same name in Malta, and considering this is possibly the most pop leaning release from the duo so far, the story behind the song could explain its sunny production.

Deborah Byrne and Suzette Das met in early 2016 through mutual friends and they haven’t looked back since. Having already supported the likes of Jaguar Ma and having their music featured in H&M stores worldwide, the girls are now preparing to set out on a national tour across Ireland. Here’s hoping a world tour isn’t too far off the mark!

“Gozo” is in stores now.

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