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Chew Lips to headline Brum Notes Xmas Party

Hipster disco trio CHEW LIPS will headline a night of festive fun and frolics at the first ever Brum Notes Magazine Christmas Party.

It will be a unique chance to catch them in all their electro-pop glory in the intimate surrounds of The Victoria in John Bright St, Birmingham, on December 16, ahead of the release of their hotly-anticipated debut album next month. The east London three-piece are ending 2009 on a wave of critical acclaim following a string of triumphant live shows and the release of singles Solo and Salt Air on uber-cool label Kitsuné.

Support comes in the shape of bass-loving, punk-stepping Brummie heroes SCARLET HARLOTS, as well as geek-prog rockers IS I CINEMA and the haunting vocals of boho teen queen LITTLE PALM.

As a special festive treat, punk-poet PAUL MURPHY, nigh-on legendary frontman from THE DESTROYERS, will be regaling you with Christmas tales throughout the night, while the tunes will keep on rolling with sets on the decks from THIS IS TOMORROW DJs and can’t-be-bothered-to-bring-their-guitars-but-want-to-turn-up-anyway indie post-punks THE TRAPS and MISSING SID.

Add to that lashings of mulled wine, festive food, a well-stocked bar and plenty of seasonal sparkle and it makes for quite the festive treat. With advance tickets just £5 and free Christmas Dinner pies from Urban Pie with all tickets bought by December 1 you’ll want to get in fast to secure your spot at the hottest party this yuletide.

Tickets from The Victoria or online at www.theticketsellers.co.uk.

 

The Wheel is Returning

Birmingham’s big wheel will be returning to the city centre this winter.

The 60ft attraction will be back in Centenary Square by the end of the month.

It will be of similar design to the last incarnation of three years ago, which left the Midlands for the sunnier climes of Australia.

Its replacement will feature 42 covered and heated gondolas giving bird’s eye views of the city.

It will be installed by Great City Attractions Ltd, formerly World Tourist Attractions, which opened its first wheel in Birmingham for Christmas 2003 before going on to operate 10 wheels around the world, including the world’s largest in Singapore.

The wheel will be positioned in Birmingham until the end of February, running alongside other Christmas attractions, including the highly exciting Frankfurt Market which gets underway on Thursday, November 12.

Chart-toppers Editors announce new tour

Fresh from topping the album charts with their third album, Editors have announced a fresh headline tour next March. The all-conquering adopted Brummies stormed to number one with their electronica fused record In This Light And On This Evening. The album, a brave departure from their previous releases, became their second number one long player and their most successful yet, also reaching number two in Belgium, three in the Netherlands and three in Ireland.

The band, formed at university in Stafford and signed in Birmingham, are currently performing sell out dates across the country and will be at the Civic Hall in Wolverhampton on Sunday, October 25. Fresh from signing a new two-album deal with label Kitchenware Records, they have now announced another series of dates next March, including a return to the venue they opened last month, the new 02 Academy Birmingham, on March 30. Tickets go on sale on Friday, priced £20 (£22.50 London) plus booking fees.

Editors Tour Dates, March 2010:

MARCH
Sat 6th – Lincoln, Engine Shed
Sun 7th – Preston, Guildhall
Mon 8th – Bradford, St. George’s Hall
Wed 10th – Glasgow, Academy
Thu 11th – Dundee, Fat Sams
Fri 12th – Inverness, Ironworks
Sat 13th – Aberdeen, Music Hall
Mon 15th – Newcastle, Academy
Tue 16th – Manchester, Apollo
Wed 17th – Cambridge, Corn Exchange
Fri 19th – Bournemouth, Academy
Sat 20th – Brighton, Dome
Sun 21st – Cardiff, University
Tue 23rd – Folkestone, Leas Cliff Hall
Wed 24th – London, Brixton Academy
Sun 28th – Portsmouth, Guildhall
Mon 29th – Liverpool, Philharmonic Hall
Tue 30th – Birmingham, Academy

Buy tickets here

Interview – Ian Brown

Ian Brown has gone full circle with the release of his sixth studio album, having recorded it at Battery Studios where he and former band The Stone Roses made their seminal debut two decades ago.

But with his latest solo offering again attracting a fresh wave of critical acclaim, the iconic frontman has cemented his reputation as a vital musician in his own right.

As he prepared to hit the road on a full UK tour next month, Brown spoke about his most personal record to date.

I feel it’s my best work, yeah, I certainly put the hours in,” he said.

I started writing it about this time last year, not constantly, but on and off. We worked right through the winter, started recording it in early spring and finished it on July 7, so we’ve gone through all seasons.”

From the social commentary of previous LP The World Is Yours, Brown has taken a more introspective approach to My Way and Brown admitted it was a conscious effort to take a more “autobiographical” outlook on his writing, even addressing his Stone Roses days within the songs.

We thought, right it’s gonna be a “My Way” album-I’m gonna write about my life in music. I’m gonna write about coming off the dole, going into music, what happened along the way-that was my brief.

It’s not nostalgia to me, it’s my life and all things come around. There’s a point to everything and everything comes around in a circle eventually.

By nostalgia I mean repackaging, remastering, reselling, squeezing a lemon. That made me think about the Roses, as I’ve never addressed them in songs before.

It was easy-I feel great about the Roses, I don’t feel bad about it.”

As he prepares for another round of UK dates, despite a career of stellar tours, it is a festival appearance which stands out as a career high.

Glastonbury 05 was probably my favourite show because it was the biggest crowd I’ve ever played to. It was pretty emotional and everyone was singing along. There were thousands of people bobbing up and down and we played really well that night.

Usually I do a show, I feel great about it and the next day I’ve forgotten it. But one day, if I make it, when I’m 90 and I’m sat out in the back chair with my Filipino nurse putting a blanket over me, maybe I’ll think about when I played Nottingham Rock City on my birthday, or my first Brixton Academy, but Glastonbury’s the show that I think about every few weeks and think “Wow, that was ace”.

Ian Brown plays at the O2 Academy Birmingham on December 18.

Editors – In This Light And On This Evening

Editors

In This Light And On This Evening

Kitchenware/Columbia

Ooh, looky who’s got some synthesisers? I really didn’t expect to like this record. In fact I’d already half written the review in my head, with lots of clichéd references to Editors jumping on the 80s synth bandwagon.

The press pack arrived with a slightly bizarre letter to the listener from frontman Tom Smith. At times it sounds like an apology, while elsewhere it is just a defiant two-fingers to any predictable criticism for going ‘all electronic’. Either way it smacks of someone who was really expecting some kind of backlash, admitting that “this album will alienate some Editors fans, it will split opinion…good.”

The slower tracks have never quite rung true on previous Editors albums but the layered, brooding atmosphere of album closer Walk the Fleet Road is a triumph, while single Papillon is unmistakably Editors, with its catchy hook and soar-away chorus.

They may have ditched the guitars, but they have retained the unerring sense of melody. The constant buzz of electronic noises can grate but overall it is worth persevering.

Mumford & Sons – Sigh No More

Mumford & Sons

Sigh No More

Gentlemen of the Road/Island

If, as Mumford & Sons bassist Ted claims, music fans are looking for something with a bit more heart, then they can certainly find a sizeable chunk of it on this stunning debut.

At times it is haunting, others euphoric, but their blend of old time, sepia-tinted bluegrass and shimmering folk-pop sounds fresh, vibrant and uplifting.

Banjos and double bass  may give the impression of a derivative novelty act, but together the band mould delicious harmonies with overpowering melodies.

And as they planned, it just makes you want to have a good old sing song.
An almost perfect piece of modern folk, with tunes that linger long after you press stop.

Mumford & Sons – Sigh No More

Mumford & Sons

Sigh No More

Gentlemen of the Road/Island

If, as Mumford & Sons bassist Ted claims, music fans are looking for something with a bit more heart, then they can certainly find a sizeable chunk of it on this stunning debut.

At times it is haunting, others euphoric, but their blend of old time, sepia-tinted bluegrass and shimmering folk-pop sounds fresh, vibrant and uplifting.

Banjos and double bass  may give the impression of a derivative novelty act, but together the band mould delicious harmonies with overpowering melodies.

And as they planned, it just makes you want to have a good old sing song.
An almost perfect piece of modern folk, with tunes that linger long after you press stop.

The Boxer Rebellion – Union

The Boxer Rebellion

Union

Self release

The aptly named ‘Union’ is a fitting testament to the bands dedication and continual triumph over adversity, having released it without a label.

From the pounding tribal drums in the opening of Flashing Red Light Means Go through to the passionate urgency of Evacuate, The Boxer Rebellion create a deeply brooding atmosphere which amalgamates OK Computer era Radiohead with the transcendent beauty of early Verve to create their own blend of guitar distorted indie.

It is a breathtaking combo of instantly memorable melodies and heart-wrenching falsetto gracefully floating above delay-layered soundscapes.

Mando Diao – Give Me Fire!

Mando Diao

Give Me Fire!

Universal

It would be really dull to write a review about a Scandinavian guitar band that compared them to The Hives or Soulwax.

But even so, Mando Diao do sound a bit like both The Hives and Soulwax. They sound a bit like Franz Ferdinand too, with some Stax soul thrown in.

Bjorn’s gruff-voiced bellowing adds real soul to the shameless melodies, while the pumping bass and sprinkling of brass keeps things interesting among some of the less adventurous pop-rock standards.

The Destroyers – Out of Babel

The Destroyers

Out of Babel

Destruction Records

It’s like getting your own pop-up gypsy-folk-punk mash-up in a handy little pack.

The Destroyers are a band not to be missed playing live and this debut album attempts to capture that same energy.

It certainly succeeds for the most part, with title track Out of Babel a stand-out highlight.

Paul Murphy’s twisted mythologies weave tales of intrigue over the top of a frantic cacophony of instruments.

Some of the instrumentals are more for the purists but a party record nonetheless.