Archive for April, 2009

Eat Your Own Ears presents

Tuesday 14 July
Doors 7pm

O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, Shepherds Bush Green, London W12 8TT 020 8354 3300

Tickets £15.50 from
08700 600 100
0870 264 3333

Of Montreal bring their consumate theatricality to the Shepherds Bush Empire this summer. Their songs soar and weave with energy and goodwill, daring anyone who hears them to walk away without a smile on their face. Listening to OF MONTREAL, you might think that singer Kevin Barnes is missing the angst gene. But the longer you listen, the more you start to realize that maybe missing the angst gene is a blessing. It allows Kevin to explore more fully his crazily creative ideas and to make wondrous music, drawing on influences from the Byrds or even the Mamas And The Papas; the group's songs are all sweet pop ditties, as suitable for campfire-singing as stage performance.


Favouring a new breed of energetic, percussion-driven music, this clan of five gentleman craft songs reminiscent of a musical tribe, singing and dancing in harmony, with the eccentricity of Talking Heads and the aura of Broken Social Scene. 

With electrified, sweet melodies, Local Natives were one of the most talked about bands at this year’s SXSW, picking up across the board plaudits for their strikingly beautiful baroque, harmonic pop.

In the age of auto tune and vocoders, Local Natives is one of those rare bands defined by their ability to deliver live. In fact, it has been more of challenge for the group to translate the vibrant and exciting nature of their performances to a recording than vice versa.

Eat Your Own Ears presents

ICA, The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH 020 7930 3647

Wednesday 1 July
Doors 7.30pm

Tickets £10.50 (advance) from:
020 7930 3647  
08700 600 100  
0870 264 3333

Jon Hopkins is a musical shapeshifter: a composer, pianist and a self-taught studio wizard. He makes affecting, bold electronic music using walls of synths, lustrous melodies and amorphous bass rumbles. As such his two albums have seen him labelled by the likes of ambient patriarch Brian Eno as an electronic innovator while an impressive sweep of artists from Herbie Hancock and David Holmes to King Creosote and Coldplay, have called upon his handiwork as a producer and composer.

New album Insides will be released on Domino on the 4th of May.



More information on Jon:
Coldplay were so taken with Light Through the Veins – which is earmarked as the first single from Hopkins’ new album Insides – that they used a reworked version to bookend last year's bestselling Viva La Vida and persuaded the 28-year-old Londoner to spend the last six months of 2008 opening their live shows across the USA and Europe.

Insides is more confident than its predecessors, showcasing Hopkins' intriguing musical aesthetic to brilliant effect. His ethereal compositions transcend genres, melding digital coldness with subtle, bucolic textures; veering from simple elegance to strange, unsettling sonic depths. Hopkins' artfully constructed palette of rhythmic loops and treated piano can be partly explained by his unusual adolescence; he was a child piano prodigy before discovering the bleeps and beeps of dance music. In his west London bedroom he balanced a teen obsession with acid house, early hardcore and grunge alongside weekend piano tutorials at the Royal College of Music. At 16 he flitted between the twilight stoner world of drum'n'bass pirate radio and German label Recycle or Die's hypnotic electronica, and the classical discipline of playing a Ravel piano concerto.

His first album, 2001's Opalescent, was written in a Wembley bedsit while he jobbed as a session musician. Although he was still naive about rave culture and its comedowns, Opalescent unwittingly tapped into a cultural shift as rave morphed into a more downtempo sound. A collection of instrumental songs with an escapist feel, it earned him a cult following among the electronica cognoscenti.

His second outing, Contact Note (2004), was more enticing still: a cinematic, layered work with a harder experimental edge, it earned Hopkins comparisons to, and praise from, Brian Eno. An introduction to the sonic alchemist lead to sessions that were later released as part of Eno's Another Day on Earth, and subsequently to Hopkins working alongside Eno as an additional producer on Coldplay's Viva La Vida. A stint producing Scottish folkie King Creosote's Bombshell lit the touchpaper for the genuinely exploratory electronica of his forthcoming new album.

Insides moves on from the cold clinical accuracy of earlier, more rigidly sequenced work, to a drifting, wordless electronica that has a seductive intimacy. Opener The Wider Sun is a slow, layered violin lament that conjures a rural idyll, gently melting into softly pulsating electronics. The likes of Vessel and title track Insides have a more ominous quality, infused with a particularly British strain of melancholy. Their delicate melodies mutate into bass heavy oscillations that wouldn't be out of place at an east London dubstep night, or even accompanying avant-garde choreography – the first half of Insides formed the score to Wayne McGregor’s recent contemporary dance production Entity, which has been touring the world since its premiere last year at Sadler’s Wells.

As each track segues seamlessly into the next, thunderous claustrophobic frequencies are offset by familiar sounds – the submerged noise of cars on the street, birdsong – and cold currents of melody that open a window and let the day back in. First single, Light Through the Veins (27th April 2009), is all but perfect: drawing the listener in with each pure, serpentine note. None of which is to say that Insides is cerebral music for art boffs. It's hardly even a dance record. Instead it's about juxtaposition: natural, arcane textures welded to uneasy rhythms, beautiful acoustic melodies set against jarring bass. Above all, Insides is an audacious album which boasts a magical aura all of its own.

Plus guests


Thursday 21st May 2009
Doors 8pm
Bardens Boudoir, 38-44 Stoke Newington Road, London N16 7XJ (020) 7249 9557
Tickets £6

S.C.U.M. are: Thomas Vain (vocal), Bradley Baker (machines),
Samuel Kilcoyne (moog), Melissa Rigby (drums) and Huw Webb (Bass).

After recording their debut single with Tomethy Furse of The Horrors, the band announce a series of exclusive digital download tracks, location specific works created and recorded in cities across Europe.
Taking studio time in each city they visit, S.C.U.M are recording new works
specific to each location. These new tracks will be released as digital downloads, SIGNALS from around the globe.  Each SIGNAL will be available for a limited time period. Building into a body of work documenting their sonic journey. Each SIGNAL will act as an audiovisual scrapbook of the bands travels and musical progression.

RRIICCEE (featuring Vincent Gallo)
12 June 2009
Doors 7:30pm
ICA, The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH 020 7930 3647
Tickets £22

With RRIICCEE, Vincent Gallo continues the musical career which has included beautiful, well-crafted Warp album When and Gray, his band with Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Formed with Eric Erlandson, Nicolas Haas and Rebecca Casabian, the improvisational project promises to metamorphose into something unique for the ICA and it’s audience on the night.

Plus special guests

Thursday 3 September 2009
Doors 7:30pm
Bush Hall, 310 Uxbridge Road, London, W12 7LJ 0208 222 6955
Tickets £10

THE DODOS are a duo from San Francisco, who throw together a delightful mix of ephemeral psych-folk-pop. Singer and guitarist Meric Long’s fleeting, intricate and finely-tuned finger-picking is warm and focused, resonating under his refined lyrical hopscotch and drummer Logan Kroeber’s foot-stomping tom and-tambourine back beat. The propulsive results recall everything from John Fahey to the Akron/Family, and hones the callings of free-spirited, unhinged acts like Animal Collective.

You would be mistaken when listening to their recordings that The Dodos consist of many more members than they actually do. The San Franciscan duo create beautifully orchestrated music, ranging from soft chanting and wistful lyrics, to escalating primal screams and frantic strumming. Visiter, their pioneering debut with ethereal vocals, tribal drumming and urgent guitars, was undoubtedly influenced by Meric's studies in West African drumming and experimentation with percussion including the inventive 'tambourine foot' which involves having a tambourine strapped to your foot.

Tickets from
0844 477 2000
0870 264 3333

Plus guests
14 April 2009
Doors 7:30pm

ICA, The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH 020 7930 3647

Tickets £8 advance from:
020 7930 3647
08700 600 100  
0870 264 3333

Live, APES & ANDROIDS believe in the spectacle of rock n roll. The band deal in events rather than gigs. Luminous skulls, glitter cannons and fluorescent lights make each gig a work of art.

Apes & Androids are Brian Jacobs and David Tobias – two old school friends with a love of the flamboyant and musical adventure. Their music recalls the operatic, over the top nature of Queen, whilst rubbing shoulders with Ziggy-era Bowie. Whilst other tracks see a big Prince kick added to the equation, The Police and Talking Heads murk in the background too. Underpinning all these ideas and inspirations is a keen pop sensibility.
In New York, the Apes & Androids have been selling out venues for months. Prestigious venues such as Bowery Ballroom (2000 capacity) and Williamsburg Music Hall (1200) have both witnessed the carnival of sight and sound. Now it is the UK’s turn to see for the first time why Apes & Androids are generating such excitement.  
London-based electronic disco duo HEARTBREAK are Argentine singer Sebastian Muravchix and producer Ali Renault. Fusing the finer qualities of electro, Italo-disco and metal, Heartbreak's powerful synth-pop is how the 80s would sound today if the 90s hadn't gotten in the way. The fusion of Italo-disco with the dark metal energy of black sabbath has created the new genre of metallo.

Following in the footsteps of Jaques Lu Cont, Phones, Jagz Kooner and Unkle, ALEX METRIC is deadly on a mission to destroy dancefloors and expectations. The Vibe is hooky electronic music, with real songwriting.

ICA, The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH 020 7930 3647

Tuesday 30 June 2009

Former Arab Strap multi-instrumentalist Malcolm Middleton will be playing a special show at the ICA. As part of the now-defunct Falkirk duo, he spent 11 years peddling seedy, sweaty tales of cheap booze, late nights and sexual perversion, and his burgeoning solo career seems to be running along the same thematic lines. Working with numerous luminaries from the Glasgow scene, it’s Malcolm and his songs, however, which are the stars here, confirming Middleton's status as one of the best songwriters of his generation.

Tickets £13.50
08700 600 100 
0870 264 3333