Sunday, 25 October 2009


That's what you mean isn't it? The Almighty Defenders...

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Release date

What's the deal with US and UK album release dates?

Why can't I get my next favourite record the same time as everybody else?

Friday, 21 August 2009

Off the beaten Tracks

Friday is a good day.

It's a day to dream of shenanigans that lye ahead over the coming weekend. It's a day to switch between doing work you get paid for and the various tabs you've opened on your desktop...Facebook anyone? And it's just the best day to take advantage of said slackness and discover the brand spanking new music that sit's unexplored across the vast vastness of the blogosphere.

Here's a few i've inadvertedly stumbled across today:

Warm Heart of Africa-(Feat Ezra Koenig):-Just when you thought Ezzy couldn't be more like Paul Simon...

We Are Water-Health: Taken from 'Get Color', their forthcoming second full length. It duly makes light of '2nd album issues' in just over 4mins of pure, unhinged glory.

To The Dregs-Wavves: Nang, sick, ill, heavy, deadly, dope.

Dominos-The Big Pink: Undoubtedly my favourite new British band. One listen of this and you'll be humming the shit out of it for weeks.

Monday, 10 August 2009


YACHT are a Portland band I'm sure I'll be sticking with for much longer than a summer.

Signed to James Murphy's DFA records, home to LCD soundsystem, Prinzhorn Dance School, Hercules and Love Affair and Holy Ghost!, the embarrassingly talented duo of Jona Bechtolt and Claire L Evans make the dreamiest most trippingly positive music around. And every single person in the entire music industry that actually matter, adores what the duo are putting out.

Like a new age healer, Bechtolt produces triangular stimuli that incorporate a collection of ever changing elements. Live music, PowerPoint visuals, immersive audio and shamanistic video's. It's an experience that goes way beyond any thing produced on stage today and it's a forage into a brave new world that looks nailed on to succeed.

New Mystery Lights, their debut album, marries the pure hedonism of Animal Collective and the forward thinking drive and funk of Eno and ESG. It's a masterpiece in physical form and it's out now to own. Released 4th August.


Since May I've seen Portland 4 piece, Hockey not once, not twice, not thrice but four times. It's been a blast. Mind Chaos, their brilliant debut record, is due out August 24th and it really is very very good. I wont be getting it though. If truth be told, I'm bored of the band. Our relationship is as stale as that 3 day old slice of Hawaiian beside your desktop.

Bare in mind I've only known the band all of 4 months max and have invested time, effort and dollar into them. Just when the fruits of their labour should be budding an overwhelming sense of overkill has dampened any excitement i might have for perhaps the most important month of their time as a band.

It's sad and i fell kinda bummed but in the 4 months together I've not paid for a single gig, all were free, and I've heard every single track off the LP more times than perhaps any record I physically own.

The problem for as far i can see, you may think otherwise, is that Hockey have been way too accessible. Their first London gig was in December 2008 and they've since moved to the capital for what can only be described as a full on UK, record label, chart assault. Of course, it's worked a treat. They've played not only IOW, Glastonbury, Great Escape, Camden Crawl, Levi's sponsored shows and worst of all T FUCKING 4 ON THE FUCKING BEACH. I guess that shows the width of audience they're aiming at and why not. They'll chart well and sell truck loads of records but I, and i guess a fair few others too, wont be sticking around to dangle the teet.


I could just write an article on my favourite new band and let the fact that I've not posted anything on this blog since May slip by the wayside, just like our much-mangled, almost non-existent summer has. That would, however, be very rude and I do like to think/hope/pray that out there somewhere is a dedicated follower of our inconsistent scribbings.

For me personally this sunless summer has been heavy busy. It started with three sick days in Brighton for the Great Escape festival and finished with a week long gig-fest that saw me take in and review five shows in five days, all of which were sprayed across the musical blogosphere like the territorial piss of an alley cat. You can find them all here and here on so have a butchers and let me know what you think.

It's not all been work though. I managed to survive the violent brain-cell hammering of Glastonbury which, it has to be said, was my favourite of all time. The Big Pink, Bon Iver, Fucked Up. Crosby, Stills and Nash, We Have Band, Man Like Me, Alberta Cross, Kap Bambino, Florence and the Machine, Animal Collective and Blur were all bands I'd, for one reason or another, had never got to see until one glorious weekend in Somerset. RAD.

And that has pretty much been that. Same old really. We caught some other live shows over the past couple of months, most noticeably the Black Lips and Mika Miko in Camden, Crocodiles nang show at Bardens and Wavves at the Old Blue before his lame ass breakdown at Primavera. Pussy.

You'll get to read about those and a whole host of other crap that I've got lined up over the next few days so hang tough and keep tuned.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Stop Fucking Ruining Music You Talentless Fucks In Suits

"Speakeasy / at the link it's easy" is probably the benchmark of favourite records becoming the property of the snarling, soul less, gack hoofing ad execs. One day Joe intern comes in to work whistling a tune and Farquad McSuityprick goes, "You know what the tune really summarises for me? That's right... the sweet sensation of chemically induced alpine freshness" and bam, The White Stripes are advertising toilet bleach.

The White Stripes were lucky though. They got away with an imitation, royalties avoiding, tribute to 'Hotel Yorba'. Shed Seven on the other hand were gripped by the afformentioned ad exec douchebag, and whilst noshing on his coke shrivelled dick Rick Witter uttered the immortal words at the head of this post. That has to be the tipping point for selling out. Shed Seven re-recording one of their few really good songs for a mobile phone shop staffed by a tricked out Nova's worth of garage and RnB loving wankers hopefully pursuaded any bands who could smell the greenbacks that you could go too far. It hasn't stopped it happening though, and it's understood. For every Shed Seven there might be a Jose Gonzalez forging success from oblique and inventive commercials.

The only execptions to the rule - doing an advert = loss of all credibility, respect and rock n roll heritage - were Levi's and maybe now Sony. Do a Levi's / Sony ad and not only were you garunteed a number 1 single (when that counted for something) but also a place in rock n roll legend. Give me a man on the street who doesn't know the wolf whistle on the Steve Miller Band's 'Joker' or knows Handel’s ‘Sarabande’ without actually knowing that's what it's called.

Recently Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers ended up advertising Weetabix with 'Egyptian Reggae', The Sonics started hocking something along the lines of sanitary towels with 'Have Love Will Travel' and now just to really fuck the world inside-out Langhorne Slim is selling Pedigree Chum. Pedigree 'Dog Feeding' Chum? It's no Levi's Launderette that's for sure. So Langhorne may not have actually said 'Woof' himself but someone's made that call and he's pocketed the fee. Does it air in the USA, or is it specifically for the UK so he'll never have to face it? I'm sure it's not going to stop his following turning out but they'll remember it, some will definitely lose sleep over it and others will be set off on an unsatiable dialogue that followed a sleepless night wrought with emotion and a loss of faith in things they held dear.

When will Levi's start doing TV ad campaigns again?

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Mika Miko 'We Be Xuxa'

I was right. Mika Miko and No Age sitting in a tree, et cetera. Proof is two Randy Randall produced tracks on the latest and most polished from Mika Miko. To say they were the strongest tracks on the album, 'We Be Xuxa', would be a) unfair and b) untrue. 'Sex Jazz' and 'Keep On Calling' carries No Age, New York no-wave, new-wave out the end of an album that has many strengths.

I hoped not to mention the Ramones or post-punk in this review, but quite blatantly have. Thing is they do sound that way and are honest about it. Throwing Ramones covers into live sets and reaching deep into the post-punk bassline sack for tracks 'Totion' and 'I Got A Lot (New New New)' is a pretty obvious call out. 'We Be Xuxa' is, in actual fact, a great gateway album to old bands - The Gun Club, James Chance and the Contortions, The Ramones, The Au-Pairs, The Bloods and numerous other bands you can find on Rough Trade's Post Punk Volume 1.

The barking between the two distinct vocalists is alluring, Jennifer sometimes sounding like she has a singer trapped inside a hardcore punk while Jenna keeps her cold shouldered vocal chipping away. Musically the guitar throughout invokes jealousy in the same way as The Slits claiming they had no musical ability (the only mention of them by the way) with naive riffs and scales. Jennifer and Michelle chop and change guitar responsiblity live and the same occurs on the album. Massive credit has to go to Seth and Jessica, drums and bass respectively, who lavish the album with popping basslines and frenetic rhythms that lock the chaotic mix of styles into something somewhat danceable and the reason post-punk will continue to crop up, whenever they are brought up.

I'm toying with a simile to sum up the album, but it's gross. Something around the notion that this is a quickly executed album that doesn't necessarily look pretty (in an visualization of the sound kind of a way, because actually, the album photography is splendid and the typography, while confusing, is entirely beautiful), but in the moment is so completely satisfying that you might feel guilty after listening and with consideration know it was somewhat degrading but hope the opportunity will definitely arise to do it again, and soon.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Adventures in iPod: The Best Songs With Blue In The Title

Before the slew of Great Escape related reviews and hedistic nostalgia I wanted to get an update on the iPod A-Z.

It's taking longer than I'd anticipated and currently has stalled at Bu. But (haha) Bl. passed a while ago and made me realise that there are a fuckload of songs with 'Blue' in the title and it would be rude not to compile a 'Top 3 Songs With Blue In The Title'.

Naturally this top 3 will be definitive so no arguements.

Number 3 - 'Blue Flowers' by Dr. Octagon
Back in the 80s Kool Keith was pure skill. Leader of the Ultramagnetic MCs who originated samples that later flicked the switches of the Prodigy (Kool Keith owned 'Smack My Bitch Up' long before the not so cool Keith and Liam adopted it). Dr. Octagon was one of many alter egos KK took on in the late 90s and the story goes that Dr. Doom (another ego) brutally murdered Octagon. Produced by Dan The Automator and released on Mo' Wax, the album this track comes from is stuff of conceptual legend. The Doc, a gyneacologist / surgeon, travels through time and space, WTF?

2. - 'Blue Boy' by Vincent Vincent and the Villains
I concede that there could be hundreds of tunes that would better fit in the number 2 position. 3 and 1 are so definitive that they can't be moved but 2 is a toughie. It's come down to the fact that VV&TV are defunkt now. I believe V is going it alone. We used to go crazy to this ditty, despite none of us could harmonise anything like the boys do.

1. - 'Blue Moon' by Elvis Presley
You've heard of him right? This song, so bizarre. I can't really get my head round the idea of this song first being released. It's so haunting yet such a standard country ballad. My idea is confused by it's appearance in the movie 'Mystery Train' (named after another Elvis classic) by Jim Jarmusch, where the song provides the red thread of four intertwining stories in Memphis occuring one night.

Thursday, 14 May 2009


Well clamp my nipples and call me Susan. Today is the day Isthereanything... say bye bye to the heaving, smog filled skies of London and hello to the sunny seaside backdrop of Brighton (err, have you seen the forecast-Rich). That's right, day one of the Great Escape Festival and I'm about as steady as John Terry on wet Moscow evening.

It seems like only yesterday I was hyperventilating about the Great Escape Festival on this very blog. The promise of meeting the Black Lips, catching up with Mika Miko and blog favourites KASMS and generally running wild along pebbled shores of the south coast was almost too much for me to take. But, as they say, good things come to those that wait and right now I'm reaping the benefits of not kidnapping Peggy Sue and getting them to perform in a pebbled filled basement. Er, Police please.

So this is post one. In just a few hours we'll be bouncing on our hotel beds, raiding the mini-bar and updating the blog on every opportunity we get. Expect photo's, reviews, stories and some good ol banter as we go balls deep into the single most exciting end of the week/weekend of the year.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

A Certain Reformatio...

The tangible excitement whipped up by Devo after last nights show at the Forum (See post below) meant their surrealist-cum-mad scientist-evolutionary-escapism fell bang in line with a band of post-punk brothers that have returned to stages of late.

With as much guise, poise and essentiality as their younger legs yielded, Devo's Triumphal execution of 'Are we not men...' draws heartening comparisons to the recent Ether theatrics of Byrne and Eno, the brute recrudesce of Wire and Magazines cyclopean resurrection.

In comparison, the stagnant and bloated cash-cow comebacks of the Sex Pistols, Led Zeppelin and The Who make the live re-emergence of Devo and Co look like the second coming. Whether it's their art school upbringing or DIY ethics it's evident Mark Mothersbaugh, Brian Eno, David Byrne, Howard Deveto and Colin Newman have lost not a smidgen of integrity or significance. John Lydon however promotes butter.

Next week we have the promise of Gang of Four's seaside soiree to look forward too as well as scheduled shows for The Slits and A Certain Ratio this summer. Keep your peepers peeled to Isthereanything for all the latest updates.

Devo at The Forum, London, 6/5/09

The premise for tonight's gig - 5 overweight, middle-aged, big-in-the-eighties men in yellow boiler suits playing their debut album in its entirety, to an audience of overweight, middle-aged, were-young-once men in yellow boiler suits - is absurd.

Until, after the exhibition of Devo's original 'The Complete Truth About De-evolution' (which can't be found on Youtube), Devo take the stage and own it from there in.

If you're not familiar with Devo I'm disappointed. They carried the flag of surrealist humour, charting the de-volution of man in regression to their ape-like roots. Back in the day as a the first American signing to the British label Stiff records - home to Elvis Costello and the legendary Ian Dury to name but two - and forerunners of the post-punk slew of eighties bands, making bizarre music videos as the MTV generation developed.

It was all there tonight, the stage show - tearing away the yellow signature Devo boiler suit to reveal the signature Devo black shorts and t-shirt - just like they used to. The music - you can't fault those guys as great musicians, especially when you take into account Mark Mothersbaugh's continued success as writer of film scores and mastery of the stage - was perfect, heavier than on record but delivered without pretension.

It was calmly reassuring on the trip home to overhear discussions between fathers and sons about how great they were and how the record (vinyl no less) was going to wake the neighbours when they got home.

The truth about de-volution is that Devo can play out a fantastic gig to long term fans reliving it through a new generation of fans without ever appearing tired or dated.

Friday, 24 April 2009

A Bout De Souffle to Zurich Is Stained

For some reason I can't now recall, I decided to listen to my iPod by 'songs' without shuffle. In other words, A-Z through the 6034 songs on my iPod. I understand the time involved and can't commit myself to that one task alone (I do have to listen to the weekly podcast for instance) but I am prepared to see it through.

There is - I can assure you so far - nothing to be learned from this adventure. In acknowledgment of this here is my top-ten 'songs on my iPod beginning with A(in no particular order)':

1. Absolutely Sweet Marie - Bob Dylan: the hotch-potch cachofany of Dylan going electric from 'Blonde On Blonde(1966)', great hammond organ and flirtatious lyrics.

2. Adventures Close to Home - The Slits: couldn't find Slits version on YT so this is The Raincoats (which I have to admit to starting to enjoy a little more).

3. Age of Consent - New Order: they're just fucking brilliant on 'Power, Corruption and Lies(1983)'. Kraftwerk via Manchester. n/b about the video, some people have too much time on their hands.

4. Air Travel - Jerry Seinfeld: Seinfeld basically leaves no leftovers for comedians in his wake. n/b - in the video 4:15 before "air travel" section.

5. All Tomorrow's Parties - Velvet Underground and Nico: New York. Art rock. The Beginning.

6. Always Late With Your Kisses - Lefty Frizzell: it's the little steel pedal intro that gets me and the way the end of each verse segways beautifully into the chorus.

7. Amalgam - The Dudley Moore Trio: yes Dudley Moore. I love in Derek & Clive the story where he got blown straight up Joan Crawford's...

8. Anthrax - Gang of Four: sends shivers done my spine... "I feel like a beetle on it's back / and there's no way for me to get up".

9. Archive From 1959 - The Buff Medways: Chatham's finest, Billy Childish, with a song that sounds a little bit like smashing through Billy's loft without a torch.

10. Atlantis to Interzone - Klaxons: it's about the first time we heard it. So completely new yet familiar. Despite awards, atrocious live performances and general middle class intellectual twattery, still sounds completely mental.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Predictable? Maybe...but I'm Starting Over

If there's one thing you can expect to see on 'Is There Anything...' its the obligatory Black Lips post.

I know it, you know it, everyone knows it, we champion the Black Lips and I can be as sure as hell that those boys, those lovely bloody boys appreciate every single miss-spelt, factually inaccurate word we cast upon this very blog.

So, in what I'm desperate to call 'Black Lips Watch' but will refrain in an attempt to keep at least a handful of followers, I'm gonna post every ounce of news-worthy or not so news-worthy news on the Black Lips in the lead up to the Great Escape festival. A festival in which we will meet the band. That's right, MEET THE BAND. I've got wet.

As a dynamic blogging force, the Great Escape will be our first festival together so expect plenty of shenanigans being recorded for your reading-the-blog-while-you-should-be-filling-in-Health-and-Safety-inspection-sheets-or-something-along-those-lines pleasure. We'll upload news, photo's, anecdotes and maybe the odd interview as we indulge in three days of satirical seaside silliness.

So, to get us started, below is a link to the festival plus the excellent video to 'I'll Be With You' the second single to be released from 200 Million Thousand, Black Lips second UK album.

I already know what my next Black Lips post will be so keep tuned and I'll be back in a jiffy. Peace out homes.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

VG 4 SL-When we say we're in love, you best believe we're in love, L.U.V

When you spend enough time with someone who, like Cher, would rather ‘Turn Back Time’ than let's say, ‘Push Things Forward‘, like Mike the Brummie your gonna start investing your ear time in music that’s old. Of course, when your passionate about music the origins of your favourite new bands influences are just as important as their own releases.

Which is why, when the Vivian Girls hit up our record shops, stages and blogs in late 2008 the influences behind their Surf Rock, harmony led Girl-Group vocals were an intriguing insight into what shaped their self titled debut LP.

Now Vivian Girls, it must be said, have had ‘Is There Anything…’ in a bit of a pickle of late. On record, in interviews and in pose form, we love em'. Live however, we were turned to cheddar and our big, yellowy, dairy filled heads were grated right off our considerably chipped shoulders.
When they supported the Black Lips back in February we did our homework. As each day passed their Brooklyn-baked output only served to heighten our excitement. 'Tell The World' had us transfixed as if we were driving down a pitch black, deserted road 10 hours into a mammoth road trip, while the sweet, honey-glazed 'Second Date' made for a perfect swoon. All was gearing up for a perfect night, until, that is, they plundered the stage, pins in hand, bubbles in sight.

The performance came and went with much monotony. Barely a pulse was raised, hardly a swoon in sight and neither knees nor hearts were swayed. Vivian Girls clarity and sun-soaked cooings never pierced the fuzz and drone of reverberating guitars and stark, bare and bruising beats. AND as for the banter, stopping the start of a song to ask someone to show a 1000 strong crowd a Japanese handkerchief the size of a...well, HANKERCHIEF did and still does makes my teeth do a grind of nails-on-chalkboard severity.

In other words, we were bitterly disappointed. But in all reality, the worlds fatality is in no way threatened because Vivian Girls had an off night on stage. And lets be fair, it could have just been an off night. There is, as in most cases, a silver lining. They still sound great on record and more importantly we've been re-introduced to one of a our favourite bands of all time thanks to the girls influences.

The Shangri-Las. The portrayers of teen drama induced pop of an all-girl variety. Formed in the 60's the Shangri-Las sound tracked millions of teenage lives and broke hearts the world over with 'Walking On The Sand' and ‘Leader Of The Pack'. The influence they had on a generation of adolescents was obvious, the influence on today’s bands however, not so.

The most obvious is the Vivian Girls. The harmonies and tambourine glistened drums are a direct connection to Shangri-Las, in particular 'Tell The World'. Perhaps not so obvious is the sway the band has on the likes of the Black Lips, The Horrors and a whole host of punk bands dating back to the 70's.

'Good Bad, Not Evil', the 4th LP released by the Black Lips takes it's title direct from 'Give Him A Great Big Kiss', a song which includes the line 'When I say I'm In Love, you best believe I'm In Love, L.U.V', the same line used in 'Looking For A Kiss' New York Dolls 1971 recording.

With regards to musical output, the Black Lips have used '200 Million Thousand' to showcase their influence further. 'I'll Be With You' is more than just a nod in their direction, as is the continual use of a Shangri-La-like drum beat, so beloved of everyone, throughout the record.

As for Blondie, they twice covered 'Out In The Street'. And most surprisingly of all is the pull the Shangri-Las have on The Horrors. Sited as an influence even before 'Strange House', the promise from the band and hacks alike, that the new record is peppered in Shangri-La kissed tambourine and spoken vocals is in equal parts bewildering and brilliant.

So beg, borrow or steal a copy of 'Leader Of The Pack' and it's quality and legend will hit you in the smacker. The class and panache that glistens throughout will leave you in no doubt that the Shangri-Las are a class apart. Hell, if this post and it's ramblings of quality bands don’t, nothing ever will.

Don your Canadian Tuxedo, Mika Miko are coming to town.

Followers of our blog will know we kinda dig Mika Miko. We've got History. It started when I wrote an article on The Smell, continued when 'C.Y.S.L.A.B.F' and '666' blew our socks off and stepped up a notch when shows at The Dome and Bardens Boudouir saw us take to the stage and divulge in a two hour long cock-block of a conversation that left both of us steaming if not for very different reasons.
So you can imagine the excitement when we heard the news yesterday that not only is a new record on the horizon but so too are UK dates. And when we then found out those UK dates will be in support of the BLACK LIPS we vomited, pissed, shat, orgasamed, hyperventilated, died and was born all at the same time.
The tour kicks off at the Luminaire, London on May13th and comes to an end at the Electric Ballroom, London on May26th. You can also see the girls take to the stage in Glasgow, Brighton and all thats in between throughout the month.

The album, We Be Xuxa, released on Post Present Medium, will hit the UK on May 4th and the US on May 4th.

KASMS, here to Bone You. PT1

Back in the heady days of 2008 this very blog predicted big things for a scene of the very darkest nature. A scene we brilliantly called Dark Wave. Basking in the cast of it's gloomy shadow, we marvelled at the brilliance of Televised Crimewave, S.C.U.M, Lord Auch et all. One Dark Wave band however were and are firm favourites of 'Is There Anything...' and that band is Kasms. As spell-binding as they are scintillating and as seedy as they are sultry, from day One,
Rachel Mary Callaghan (Vocals), Gemma Fleet (Bass), Scott R Walker (Guitar and Drums) and Ex-Testicicles Rory Brattwell (Drums and Guitar) captured our hearts, made love to our ears and made us weak at the knees.
Dabbling in the dark arts, Kasms have emerged from the scene as the main pretenders. Cross breading post-punk with sharp and sensual shriekbeat the London 4-piece are stealing a march into the spring of 2009.
With their already finished and as of yet untitled debut album due for release before the summer Kasms are preparing themselves for a busy year of ‘ones to watch’ proportions. Already headlining gigs across Europe, including Paris and Milan the band are playing gigs throughout the months of April and May and are taking in two festivals in that time, Camden Crawl and The Great Escape.
We caught up with the band in the new year at a deserted gig in North London to talk albums, ex-bands and Echo and the Bunnymen.

It must of been weird tonight, sparse crowd?
(Scott) Yeah it was a little bit quite. I feel like we didn't do much to publicise tonight so its our own fault really.
(Gemma) It's a full moon so its a very strange night.
(Rory) All our friends were down the road watching a band called Vivian girls. They’re really good you see and way more important than us. Everyone else was watching Coldplay at the O2 arena.
(Scott) Actually Shakin Stevens was playing the O2 I checked earlier, not that I wanted to go(Laughs) So all our fans were down there. Shakin stevens at indigo. Kasms 0 shakin stevens 1. Or 2000 really.

Tonight must have been a perfect opportunity to try new stuff out and experiment a bit?
(Rory) Yeah it was. I enjoyed tonight as it goes. We got the chance to play a new track, we haven't named it yet but it was good to give it an airing. We kind of umed and ared about it anyway and we said we’d see on the night. So it all came good.

Was it a track off the new album?
(Scott) Yeah its the last track on the album and the last we recorded.

It must be harder to play in front of a crowd like tonight than a packed venue in a way?
(Scott) It was horrible. We all said it was a bit nerve racking before we went on and that doesn’t normally happen to us. I used to get nervous but now I'm just eager to start but tonight i felt nervous. Which is strange because your more nervous when there’s less people. I suppose its that impending feeling you get when there’s a lack of sound after each song. You just go oh god I'm gonna tune my guitar in total silence. When we first started we played some really small, quite gigs and everyone seemed to really hate us. They were the worst ones, nothing like tonight though.
(Gemma) Your making us come across really well in this interview!
(Scott) Its a day of honesty. And i suppose that's what kasms are all about. Its true we've played some brilliant gigs and some big gigs but there's also been times when we could have walked of and no one would have cared. At least tonight we weren’t shit.
(Rachel) Yeah we’re not completely shit anymore.

So do you feel like you’ve improved as a band then? It's been over a year now since your first gig.
(Rory) Yeah when we first started we were all quite novice. Rachel hadn’t sang in a band for 4 years, I hadn’t drummed in a band before. Scott hadn’t played guitar for about 40 years(Laughs) and Gemma had never played bass before. So we were a little bit shambolic but shambolic in a good way.
(Rachel) We’re never going to be a really tight band.

Is that a conscious decision?
(Rachel) Yeah it is. When we get to a point when we feel we’re getting tight we mix it up a bit and try something a bit different (For half the gig Rory and Scott played each others instruments).
(Scott) I think if one of us makes a little mistake or if we decide to deviate from the original path we’ve got to the stage as a band were we can carry on or pull it off. Before, it would be more obvious and we’d have to start again because we couldn’t finish the song. We all definitely feel more confident playing these songs and being members of Kasms.
(Rory) Absolutely. Because of the album we’re much more confident and its made us better as a band especially live. I think we’ve improved a great deal in a year.

And how has your first year together been?
(Scott) Yeah its been good fun. I was saying its definitely just something we do that’s fun and that’s how it started. Just something to do and enjoy.

So Kasms isn’t a career?
(All) No.
(Rory) In the sense that it has gone quite well and very quickly we’ve been lucky really because very quickly we got a label, we played New York, Milan, Paris and everything sold out, including our first singles and EP. We all started the band not really knowing how to play instruments and we instantly sounded good. Even with the new record everything was really quick. During the recording of the album we wrote two songs.

Do you have a process of writing? Do you all have a go at it?
(Rory) Yeah we do. In older bands there was a process but not in Kasms. We kinda just turn up and someone will play something then we’ll repeat it, add to it and we’ve got a song.
(Scott) It all feels a bit too easy at the moment. We have rehearsals and when we need to write a song we always do.

Maybe that’s a testament to how good you are as a band. How close you are. (Scott) Yeah maybe we don’t want to admit how close we are but yeah I guess it does. We all live together, we’re like a family.

How did you meet?
(Gemma) Dancing! I met Rory on the night I met my boyfriend dancing at a New Years party. I met Rachel dancing and I met Scott at a party.
(Rory) And I met Scott at a gig. We got banned, injuring people, wind milling at the front, bring back those days!
(Rory) Gemma, tell him how you met your boyfriend?
(Gemma) Oh I was at this New Years party, all my mates we're off with there boyfriends and I was bored so I saw this boy and just asked him if he liked Echo and the Bunnymen (giggles all round). As soon as he said yes I just jumped on him. We've been together ever since.

Echo and the Bunnymen are one of your influences are'nt they?
(Gemma) Yeah I guess so. They’re a bit noisy but we definitely take influences from them.
(Scott) It’s funny when you say influences because I don’t really think we sound like them and we don’t go out of our way too. We just take inspiration from them.
(Rory) I like more heavy punk bands, American post hardcore stuff, not really heavy but a bit darker and soggier.

Obviously tonight was hard to gage, whats a normal kasms gig? And is there a typical kasms crowd?
(Scott) Well we usually have more people, honest (Laughs). We really haven’t had a quite night like this for a while. I don’t know what our normal audience is but all these trendy Shoreditch kids that are supposed to like us just stand arms folded looking a bit bored. But when we play to men with suits on they go mental.
(Gemma) Yeah business men. I don’t want all these trendy cunts dissin us i want bald business men saying we make them feel like they’re 17 again and are having the time of their lives.
(Rory) At 93 feet east we had business men going nuts and these 3 dreadlocked French dudes telling us they were our biggest fans. Its normally the gigs we think are going to be great when we fall flat on our faces and the gigs we think will be rubbish that end up being mental.

Keep checking the blog for part two were I discuss with Rory his former band, Testicicles...
Oh, one last thing. The photo's were taken by fellow blogee Richard Anderson. We all think they're ace which is why we made em large. Just look how friggin good they are...

Oh the Horror...

is what I'm guessing your reaction to me posting about the Horrors was. Fair enough I guess. Unless your a 14 year old Topshop-goth with a penchant for hairspray and eye-liner the thought of wrapping your lugs around Rotter and the Gangs congealed goth-tinged garage mutant might send you running to the soft embrace of the podgy one out of the Wombats.
BUT, dear followers ,if you've actually clicked on the link you'll know something of a change is in the air.
Sea Within a Sea is by all means a departure of gargantuan proportions. I mean, it's all Shoegaze and that innit. And it's all, mature and stuff.
Now I know it's just one song from their immanent follow up to Strange House but as word goes, it's a fair taster of whats to come from Primary Colours.
Vice have already given the album a 10 out of 10, The Fly had this to say in their blog and the NME, perhaps giving the more detailed analysis said this...

New Horrors Album 'Primary Colours' - The First Listen
By Emily Mackay
Posted on 13/03/09 at 05:01:20 pm

Not much shocks us here at NME Towers. We’re all cool and cynical, you know? Slap us in the face with an echidna, we won’t even flinch. So the moment this album first hit our stereo like a blizzard in the summer, the dropped jaws and cries of "Shut up, this is NOT The Horrors… it can’t be!" were something to behold.
Here’s our first impressions of this year’s biggest surprise (due for release in May)…

Mirror's Image
Beginning with a low, ambient, throb that’ll make you check you haven’t stuck ‘Music For Airports’ on by accident, after a minute of gentle pulsing it kicks in with an impossibly sultry Mary Chain bassline, big Cult drums and Faris’ declamatory, goth vocal booming "walk on into the night" before a ‘Killing Moon’-ish guitar solo (really) shoots for the heavens. We are definitely not in Shoreditch anymore, Toto.

Three Decades
Ominous, doom-laden bass and clattering drums are swept up by a banshee wail of synth and swoony MBV-style guitars. Gothgaze? Shoekraut? Who knows, but it’s amazing.

Who Can Say
Geoff Barrow’s cavernous production is amazing, Faris' clean, shriek-free vocal cutting through rumbling, droney bass over a steadily driving beat as a high, sweet synth line like the ghost of lost love coos miles above, with the only trace of the band they used to be in a tambourine-kissed Shangri-Las spoken word mid-section.

Do You Remember
This one is again more shoegazey, with a gothy groove like very early Stone Roses, or Echo And The Bunnymen at their slinkiest. The romanticism of the lyrics is another surprise, Faris earnestly crying "I will cross the ocean, I will be with you soon".

New Ice Age
Probably the scariest of all the tracks, this dark psychedelic dirge recalls Bauhaus via the rabid aggression of Killing Joke, ending in a wash of funereal organ.
Scarlet FieldsWith a throbbing bassline oddly reminiscent of U2’s ‘With Or Without You’, this is romantic and shoegazey, with screes of MBV/Sonic Youth guitar textures, as sweet as they are scouring.

I Only Think Of You
With that BOOM-boom-boom-chick ‘Be My Baby’ beat so beloved of shoegazers the world over, this is a doomy ballad from the edge of obsession, Faris booming "you know if I lose you I’ll go mad" like a young Ian McCulloch.

I Can't Control Myself
An unstable psychobillyish cousin of Spiritualized’s 'Come Together', as sexy as it is psychotic.

Primary Colours
The most upbeat and traditional of the tracks, this has something of Interpol-via-Asobi Seksu about it, but much, much cleverer than that.

Sea Within A Sea
An eight-minute Spacemen 3-meets-Neu! odyssey of ominous motorik rhythms, Faris’ mournful incantations and an expanding starfield of synths.

So, as we click our Cuban heels into spring it looks like The Horrors have sprung the biggest surprise of 2009. Primary Colours is released on May 5th and with it I'm sure will be a whole host of opinions clinging to it's coat-tails. I'm fairly sure, judging by Sea Within a Sea it's gonna be full of bangers but as we're dealing with the most Marmityish of bands It will never to far away from it's haters, aint that right Richard?