Music

A sneak-peak into my record collection

One of the most important aspects of my life is music.  It surrounds every major life decision; soundtracks the heartbreaks and heartaches  I encounter; lifts my mood like nothing and nobody else, and has influenced me to embrace my interest as part of a possible future career path.  Because of how important music is, I thought I would share some gems from my record collection with you guys.

The Cure – The Caterpillar 

1984 – The year of The Terminator, the birth of The MTV Music Awards and The Cure’s ‘Caterpillar’.  My premier band list is longer than my tongue, but topping it every time, without the flick of a heavy-mascara eyelash, is The Cure.  ‘The Caterpillar’ is entering its fifth year as being the hidden gem in my vinyl collection and this 7” is not slowing down in idolisation anytime soon.  I feel I have a little bit of the original Goth queen, Robert Smith, watching over my Castlefield flat every time I give this pretty single a spin.

Lady Gaga – Bad Romance Picture Disk

In my record collection, I have one and only one guilty pleasure, which also doubles up as one of my prized possessions – my Lady Gaga ‘Bad Romance’ picture disk.  The 7” vinyl itself is stunning –  featuring a dazzling picture of mother monster herself, and holds both a radio edit of ‘Bad Romance’ and a DJ Dan club remix of ‘Paparazzi’.

I have forever been in adoration of Lady Gaga.  From firstly seeing her emerging pregnant from a coffin on stage at Radio 1’s Big Weekend, to cruising around my hometown with my mother dearest, blaring the words to ‘G.U.Y’ – Gaga is an artist who bears a selection of my fondest memories.

The picture disk isn’t something I like to get out of its dust cover very often but, when it does come out, my neighbours down the hall know about it.

Kate Bush – The Kick Inside

Of the hundreds (maybe even thousands) of novels, I have had my nose wedged in; nothing comes close to Charlotte Bronte’s Wuthering Heights.  The passion I have for Wuthering Heights is second to none, which is probably why I believe Kate Bush’s ode is the perfect remedy for any bad mood.  Catch me mortal drunk stifling sobs as I scream the words “IM SO COOOOOLD/LET ME INTO YOUR WINDOOOOOW”.

Kate Bush’s ‘Wuthering Heights’ features on The Kick Inside (1978) – Bush’s debut LP – and, although the album itself is not one of the greatest vinyl in my collection, it features my karaoke classic as well as ‘The Man With The Child In His Eyes’.  Have you heard anything more tear-jerking than Kate Bush softly crooning the words to ‘The Man With The Child In His Eyes’?  The double team of tracks follow each other on the tracklist, making owning The Kick Inside beyond worth it.

Adam And The Ants – Kings Of The Wild Frontier

The tidal wave of emotion I receive from the 7” crackling, and then Adam Ant’s pertaining voice echoing “A new Royal Family, a wild nobility, we are the family” forever surprises me.  The wash of gratitude I have for my dad for purchasing this 7” is forever embedded in my heart.  Not only is ‘Kings Of The Wild Frontier’ my favourite Adam & The Ants track but reminds me of ridiculously overpriced dragon fruit cocktails in Camden and caving in the bed of my old bedroom… Through ponging up and down on the bed in joy, obviously!  Gosh, what were you thinking?

And there you have it, a sneaky-peak into the backbone of my vinyl collection.  It is ever-expanding and extremely diverse, but I always have time to adore the classics.  What are your favourite albums and singles that you cannot live without?

Tweet me on @ellalascott with your answers!

Ells x

Music

Jack Rocks This Feeling @ Reading 2017: Four Acts for the Future

What do Sheafs, Anteros, Emily Capell and The Cosmics all have in common?  Why, a swanky place on the bill at Reading Festival, thanks to This Feeling and Jack Rocks.  If you are heading to the – sure to be muddy – fields of Richfield Avenue this weekend (25-27 August 2017) then be prepared to sink your teeth into a plethora of raucous talent and feast your eyes on forty-seven show-stopping acts.

With an abundance of aptitude, it can be difficult to decipher who you should be witnessing make history on the Jack Rocks This Feeling stage, at Reading 2017.  Luckily, Cigarette Sounds have broken down the weekend for you, detailing four acts and artists you earnestly cannot afford to not invest your precious time in.

 

 Anteros
Friday 25, 2017
12:40

A cast of cool cats are about to rain cotton candy-tasting indie pop on Reading 2017. The purveyors of your sweet dreams, Anteros, stand on the backbones of 80’s pop-ballads, forcefully blended with a colourful vocal range from frontwoman Laura Hayden and sprinkled with a pure passion when performing live.  Style-wise, think big hair, bigger boots and the clobber to match their spine.  Relish and invest in Anteros and you are bound to have a bouncing beam gripping onto your cheeks.

The Cosmics
Friday 25, 2017
12:00

Ravenous for consideration, The Cosmics drag you by your ears into their spinning storm of stimulation, not that you would ever dream of refusing them of course.  The regurgitation of modern-day punk is well underway and the Birmingham band is successfully fuelling the smoking fire with steaming, honest lyrics and wickedly crisp guitar lines. Harnessing energy unparalleled to many, their opening slot on the Jack Rocks This Feeling stage is not for the fainthearted.

Sheafs
Sunday 27, 2017
23:20

Some strident sounds from Sheffield is precisely how you should be finishing the final day of Reading 2017.  If you are still standing at 23:20 on Sunday night, then Sheafs will be rolling with the punches on stage, preparing your mind to be brazened with their clatter of drums.  Injecting you with a smidge of Miles Kane’s swagger and a dab of what goes on when the lights go down at Venue, MCR on a Wednesday night, Sheafs are here, poised and ready, to take down Reading Festival, Jack Rocks This Feeling style.  Fall in love with the band.

Emily Capell
Sunday 27, 2017
15:50

The sight of an open gob, raised eyebrows and contorting mouths cracking into grins of disbelief must be a sight our North West Londoner, Emily Capell must be used to looking down on to by now. On early as far as festival standards go, Capell has got us eyeballing the idea that we should be counting our lucky stars that we have the chance to see her on the Sunday at Reading before she skyrockets in the future.  A voice decorated with a 60’s twang and a pat of ska-influence where her riffs are concerned, Emily Capell is not an act to skip out early on.

So there you have it – the Cigarette Sounds pick of who you definitely need to see at Reading this year.  Alongside these names, we can’t help but mention the likes of White Room (Friday 13:20), The Shimmer Band (Friday 18:05), Blackwaters (Saturday 12:45), False Heads (Saturday 15:50), Plastic People (Saturday 21:40), No Hot Ashes (Sunday 13:35) and The Luka State (18:55).

Basically what we are attempting to project is that there is no need to place your body anywhere else at Reading Festival 2017 except the Jack Rocks This Feeling stage and your tent.

See you in the fields!

ELS

Music

Preview: The Libertines & Blackwaters | Live From Times Square 2017

The kings of the 00’s, The Libertines, do not need a recap of their legacy nor do they need to be presented in a false, glittering light of fantasised praise in order to sell some show tickets. Even though the enthusiasm surrounding their ‘return’ is beginning to curb, and ticket holders are slowly segregating themselves as the ones who haven’t travelled for a live glimpse of the boys in the band – if you put them on, the fans will buy their way in, they will hound the bar staff for more beer and there will be a showcase of unruly jiving under the stars.

In only its second season, the Live From Times Square gigs already have a cumbersome reputation surrounding them. This time around, Leftfield and Manchester darlings, James, have been seen ploughing through Newcastle upon-tynes city centre.  Following in their wake is the purveyors of havoc, The Libertines, the Manic Street Preachers – who have the mighty Cribs as a support act – and also a special performance from Brian Wilson Presents Pet Sounds.

So, even though the Libs performing the likes of ‘Can’t Stand Me Now’, ‘Gunga Din’ and ‘Time For Heroes’, is enough to get anybody staggering down to Times Square; SSD Concerts have gone one step further in securing an evening to remember.  Welcome to the bill: Maximo Park, Blackwaters and The Pale White.

Maximo Park

Not a man, not a machine, just your friendly neighbourhood band whose roots are still firmly planted in the cutthroat industry of music, seventeen years after they were sown.  They are a group you could see a platoon swarming too, at perhaps a Glastonbury main stage, yet are still – and probably always will be – Maximo Park from Newcastle, who continues to cut their teeth at The Cluny.  The veterans are somewhat Geordie heroes (remember how many times they managed to play Evolution Festival?) and a slot at Times Square is almost a humble homecoming.

Unlike The Libertines, who have been around for three years longer in length, Maximo Park has never called a hiatus on their project.  Expect scintillating energy from burly men when ‘Apply Some Pressure’ blasts, and prepare yourself for an electrifying assault on your perception of Maximo Park – the boys are back in town and they still have the same glint in their eyes.

Blackwaters

The pioneers in this ‘Jarr’ed up Generation’, Blackwaters, make their return to Newcastle, fresh faced from a triumphant summer season which has included Isle of Wight Festival and the ever-challenging conditions of Y NOT Festival… No bill is too intense and no crowd is safe from the savage wrath of Blackwaters’ heated punk-revival noise.  Whether this is to be your first slice of Blackwaters or your fifth riding the hazy wave; the This Feeling favourites will undoubtedly manage to suspend you in a place of sheer fear.  Keep your eyes peeled and your wits about you as Blackwaters are warming up for a murder party, and you are the next victim of the following.

The Pale White

A developing adoration for The Pale White is sprawling out across the country in a vivacious manner.  The home grown three-piece have found themselves plonked on a tour with only Readings’ Amazons later this year, allowing them to prove their weight in gold even before they begin.  Set to first and foremost open the stage for The Libertines in Times Square, what can we really expect from The Pale White?  Compelling vigour and an arousing show of dark and stormy indie rock, and that is just for starters.  The main course will see dramatised guitar riffs bouncing from the front of the pit to the back of the crowd, causing a serious stir and a resonating idea of “hey, these guys are actually areet” popping into bubbles above heads.  Ding, ding, ding – light bulb moment.

So, as you see it isn’t all about The Libertines (we are totally lying, it so is) there are a handful of bands on this bill who you can sure to expect to be in the same position in a blue moons time.  Prepare to be blown away by the sheer strength of this line-up.  We will be seeing you soon.

Ella Scott
@ellalascott

Music

Gaffa Tape Sandy | ‘Beehive’

Honestly, have you heard a better band name currently circulating the indie music blogs of the internet or darting off the tongues of music moguls, then Gaffa Tape Sandy?

Their name is as cutthroat as their sound and their sound is as rough and gruff as you can imagine a band named Gaffa Tape Sandy would be.

They are a three-piece from Bury Saint Edmunds in Suffolk but their American twang, their jangly garage riffs, and overall still-wet-behind-the-ears DIY atmosphere screams the big-time.  Say your goodbyes to Suffolk guys, the renowned venues in the big smoke and those across the pond are howling your name.

To introduce you into the boisterous world of Gaffa Tape Sandy, BBC Introducing has kindly recorded an electrifying live version of the bands’ track ‘Beehive’, from that little festival down South called Glastonbury.

If you are sold on a band live then you don’t even need to hear them recorded.  Side-splitting vocal harmonies contrasting against each other create a sense of chemistry on stage.  The classic lead guitar, bass, and drums combination have been molded to sound like a collective, rather than solo attributes adding to the band.

Taking these two elements of Gaffa Tape Sandy allows you an insight into what they sound like.  Not who they are, not what they do, not what they are interested in: what they sound like.  They breathe life into the idea of being a band – not three solo artists up on stage together. They are the brash Gaffa Tape Sandy, not just three friends who thought it would be cool to make a band in 2015.

You sense this detailed idea immediately in the introduction to ‘Beehive’.  The drummer timely chimes the symbol, the bass player follows the lead guitar and the lead guitar lends itself to the drummer to keep time. The track is then enhanced by the lead singers vocal, another layer to this well-oiled machine.  The foundations are set and sturdy. 48 seconds in we see the cogs of Gaffa Tape Sandy spin: the raucous noise takes over and we immerse ourselves in this pleasurable experience.  We burst with excitement.

‘Beehive’ is set to be Gaffa Tape Sandy’s next single.  What this means is that ears of the world are about to be flung open and this three-piece are about to have an almighty boost. Catch them now while you still can.

Listen to ‘Beehive’ below.

Ella Scott
@ellalascott

Music

Repetitive Rhythms: Songs of the week (3-9 July)

Mahalia – Sober

Has eighteen-year-old Mahalia perhaps just soundtracked the feeling of coming to terms with not being in love? In a whirlwind of hate-fuelled snapshots of women rising above toxic relationships and calling time on negativity, Mahalia is a breath of fresh air for those of us who just need to come to terms with a situation of change.

Honey-suckle vocals cocktail with a cool slice of 90’s R&B, bringing Mahalia into the foreground of 2017.  The retro track plays like a slightly warped record; the fuzziness combines with the crisp, harmonising vocal to make a seriously sweet, modern ode to a bittersweet epiphany. An updated break-up track everybody needs in their artillery, we are tipsy on Mahalia’s radiating tone of realisation.  We cannot help but aspire to deal with our troubles the way Mahalia does so passionately.

Maddy Storm – Tempest

Anybody who rises above the odds and expectations of BIMM (British Institute of Modern Music) is a golden ticket in my book.  However, ethereal songstress, Maddy Storm might just be the leader of the starry-eyed pack.  Her brand-new single, ‘Tempest’ is a nothing less than a power ballad, used to form the ideology that Storm’s voice reigns supreme, and is far beyond its years.  Guitar riffs with a gothic edge and the mysterious – what sounds like – synth creeping in the background pale next to Storm’s resounding vocal.  If you ever needed a voice, you have bloody got one now.

Storm’s ‘Tempest’ is released on July 14, with a special launch night planned at Jimmy’s MCR on the 15.

Liam Gallagher – Chinatown

If LG keeps releasing mega tunes at this rate, he is going to be featured on Repetitive Rhythms every week.  We at Cigarette Sounds are definitely not sorry. ‘Chinatown’ is the official second single to be taken from his imminent solo record As You Were.  Although the abstract lyrics are raising eyebrows (“Well the cops are taking over/while everyone’s in Yoga”) and the simplicity of the guitar lines can be brought to our attention; we can’t help to appreciate ‘Chinatown’ as one of LG’s softest, heartfelt tracks we have heard to date.  Can we believe that the voice is back?  No.  Will we ever stop banging on about it? Probably not.

The Roov – Dreams

There is no sweeter feeling than pride swelling in your chest from seeing that band you are head-over-heels in love with rising from rock bottom to the tip-top of any festival bill.  Believe in the unsigned, because ultimately they are the future of music.  An untainted four-piece with a twinge of DMA’s in their vocal chords, The Roov, have recently put out their debut single, ‘Dreams’.

Poking at the idea that they could perhaps be your unsigned claim-to-fame, ‘Dreams’ is the ultimate jangly ode to progressive rock.  Seriously 70’s-influenced percussion makes up the body of ‘Dreams’, perfectly paired with the 90’s style vocal of gruff frontman, Frankie Ralph.  A song dripping with era trends is an excellent showcase to what The Roov is about – now to square up and swim in their own current.  Cigarette Sounds will be keeping their eyes peeled.

Ella Scott
@ellalascott

 

 

Music

Repetitive Rhythms: Songs of the Week (26 June-2 July)

St. Vincent – New York

Have we ever heard St. Vincent in a more raw, revealing and vulnerable state? The first minute of ‘New York’ easily sees Annie Clark putting her sublime, electronically-tuned vocal to a simple keyboard melody.  “I have lost a hero/I have lost a friend/but for you darling/I’d do it all again” pipes St. Vincent in the most gloriously, teary way possible. An angel without wings, St. Vincent’s comeback track ‘New York’ is a simple art form.

Arcade Fire – Signs Of Life

The Arcade Fire disco odyssey continues with this smorgasbord of funky, slick sounds.  Its as if they have taken a spoonful of marmite and hurled it at their fans – do you still love them, or is the ABBA tribute outfit divided your opinion?

Tyler, The Creator – Who Dat Boy

“Who dat boy? Who him is?”.  All hail the return of the modern-day controversialist rapper,  Tyler, The Creator.  We missed you boy, and so has the whole of Manchester apparently, as every teenager who has a car seems to have their windows rolled down, with ‘Who Dat Boy’ blasting through the sunny streets.  Intensely deep and horrifyingly menacing, ‘Who Dat Boy’ is a pioneering step in a not-so-diverse direction for Tyler, The Creator.

The Killers – ‘The Man’

Strange Bones vs Avelino FT. Stormzy & Skepta – Energy

Desire – Under Your Spell

Yes, this is from the Drive soundtrack and yes, this is about five/six years old.  However, due to a recent incident, this has been the main soundtrack to my week.  What can I say, I am a sucker for a song that gets my feelings.

LIFE RAMBLE · Music

A Friendless Festival Season

Music festivals usually combine three main components: a copious amount of cheap beer at a ludicrous price, some of the top musical acts gracing the planet and, ultimately the most crucial element for most, spending time with your nearest and dearest mates in a muddy field.

However, what happens when Arcade Fire are headlining a festival 6 hours away and the realisation hits hard that you do not appear to have the third ingredient of friends to make your festival experience reach its peak?  The solution, go by yourself.

Daunting? A lil’ bit.  Sad?  Not at all.

As a T in the Park veteran, where I attended in its penultimate year with a group of fifteen guys and gals, I would never have thought in my wildest dreams that three years later, I would be waking up in a tent at 10 am, grabbing my first bevy and making my way down to the main arena to spend the day making friends, eating good festy food and seeing some serious killer bands, all by myself.

So, why has my friendless festival season been so positive?  Surely I got lonely?  Well, yeah.  It is all well and good lending a boy a lighter and then striking up a conversation about why you chose Trampolene as your headline act over David Guetta and Jonas Blue, but it isn’t the same as having a jolly brill dance off in a tiny tent with your best mate, is it?

The reason my friendless festival season has been such a success is ultimately that I went for music.  I went for the second of the three elements that make up a festival experience.  I went so that I could jump around at the back of the crowd to Catfish and the Bottlemen blasting ‘Soundcheck’, I went because I wanted a slice of Peaches’ ‘Vaginaplasty’ in my life and I went because I am bloody passionate about music.

If nobody wants to go see The Blinders with you, on a Saturday afternoon, then why should that stop you from going to see them, and doing what you want?

The moral of what I’ve learned, personally, from a friendless festival season is: that if you immerse yourself deeply in festival culture and relish in the idea that you are there totally and solely there because you just want to be, then you can survive.  And, to add – as long as you come to terms with the fact that you are there for you, then you can do it. Bloody hell, if I can manage to get two trams, four trains, two ferries, a taxi and a water boat to a festival by myself, then you can do any journey possible.

Basically, what I am trying to say is go to the music festival alone if nobody wants to come with you – don’t miss out on an opportunity of a lifetime to see your favourite band, just because you do not have somebody to stand next to and drink Jack Daniels with until 4 am.  Sleep is underrated at a festival, seriously.

Ella Scott
@ellalascott