"It is wonderful to be able experience art without understanding how it was meant or what makes it good." (Kim Boekbinder said that during an interview I did with her) I might not have the biggest knowledge about music but I have a great passion for it. Passion is what counts.
I live in Berlin, Germany (born, raised and still resident) and this is my personal blog about music and other things that cross my way. Things I love to be exact. And even though I am German and my English is still not perfect, this blog is in English.
Happy Birthday, Sinnbus! So, one of my favourite German record labels is turning 10 and I thought why not introduce them and some of their artists to you. Sinnbus have a fairly wonderful and diverse rooster and I picked some of them – a future artist, some current and one where the members have been with the label for ages.
The first one is Rue Royale. Ruth and Brooklyn Dekker, the couple behind this band, are one of the few international (and active) artists on Sinnbus at the moment. It took me a moment to fall in love with this charming couple and who would have thought it would needed a gig in a huge, impersonal electronics store? Certainly not me. With their third album “Remedies Ahead” they step out of this cliché of being a coffee shop band. It’s the first time, they went into a studio for the record process. The album is full of beautiful harmonies, a bit of darkness and charm.
I have read and heard that you’re using more electronic music in you current album than you did beforehand - was is actually difficult to include this in a natural way?
Ruth: No, I think it is quite natural. I think we always have that tendency. We even tried to do it the past but we are always a bit to timid. So, it’s kind of easy to just put it in bits here and there but also we had a friend of ours work with us in the studio. He was very good at getting us thinking differently…
Brooklyn: Helping us being a little bit more brave. Because we have always done it. The first few songs we wrote and the first music that we made were acoustic but that only because that just was what we had. In our minds we always heard in a different way then it came across. People considered us some kind of coffee shop band. We never thought that. We always heard in a more hypnotic kind of electronic thing even though we weren’t playing anything electronic but that’s how we heard it. That’s what we’re trying to do and over the last couple of years we have been writing and recording with another band which is an electronic band. So, we had to learn how to do it live, how to do it in natural way.
I love the artwork. Who did it? Is it the same person who did the last one?
Brooklyn: It the same guy who did the one for the second record “Guide To An Escape”. His name is David Litchfield. He lives in Bedford, England. We played there I think four years ago. The promoter of the show hired David to design a poster for that show. We showed up and we saw it and were like “This is an amazing poster! Dude, give me your phone number, I want to work with you sometime”. Ever since then that’s where we go to first. And he turns out to be a good friend and everything he does is just so cool.
The woman of the artwork reminds me of you, Ruth.
Brooklyn: Yeah, I can see it.
Ruth: I think maybe he was inspired, I don’t know. I never ask him. We should ask him.
Are you not interested why he did that?
Ruth: No, that’s what is beautiful about this guy. We give him ideas but he just goes somewhere else but he gives you something… all of his artwork is like this, you can’t really figure out what, why or how but you just love it.
Brooklyn: We had a lot to say with the album artwork. The cover image itself was a surprise because we gave a list of images that we liked to see that we thought it would be nice, taken from the lyrics.
Did he listen to the music as well?
Brooklyn: We gave him a copy. When we did that that was when things really changed because then he started giving us artwork we didn’t ask for and we were like “whoa, that’s really cool”. This was one of the images and it was really easy. We thought this was the album cover. It was pretty quick that we decided that. It just felt good.
Brooklyn: It’s really natural. I don’t know.
Ruth: Seem like you could see that he got really into that drawing, that he really committed himself and it was quite fantastical but also quite well formed. And it was just stunning. I loved that and we wanted to do that. He was drawing it listening to our music and inspired by it, so we didn’t know why or what it was. It was more like “yes, it fits. Yes, we love it. Let’s do it. You’re the artist”.
Brooklyn: It’s kind of amazing to have someone who is really good at it to create something as a reaction to your music. That’s really profound.
It seems a lot of the people you work with are friends by now, almost like a modern family business.
Brooklyn: Well, this is our family business. We chose who we work with very, very carefully. It’s not easy for us to give stuff away to other people. The artwork and the way our tour is booked or all these things define how we look to other people, so all of that stuff colours the view of the audience, how they receive Rue Royale. It’s really important to us to find people we trust and we’re lucky that we have got so many.
You’ve lessen your DIY ethos a little bit by working with Sinnbus. Is it difficult to give stuff away?
Ruth: Well, it’s difficult but I think they wanted work with us because we had a DIY ethos. I think that’s the way it’s progressing. You can’t just be like “let the label do all the work”. It needs to be a real partnership now. I think everybody sees that. We have to tour more because you need to be out and meet people and really engage. They have a respect for the DIY ethos that really help. But for us: It took us years to let any label…we always said no to labels. We didn’t even talk about it but in the end we just felt they are good guys and we could trust them and we scarily went into a relationship and it’s working really well and we love them. Again it’s like a family. We let them in to our family.
Brooklyn: That’s what it feels like. It’s never easy at first.
I have read that you married like 10 years ago and one of the reason we do the interview today is because I am doing a special about Sinnbus turning 10 years. 2003 must have been a good year.
Ruth: I love that: It’s their 10 year and our 10 years. It’s really cool.
How was that year for you?
Ruth: It was massive. We got married and I moved to America. It was probably the biggest year of our lives.
Brooklyn: But it was crazy. We are from different countries because of visas and this stuff it was actually the first time we lived together was when we got married. You learn things about people when you move in with each other. Like everyone we drove each other crazy for the rest of that year. Just getting used to each other.
And now you’re not leaving each other side any more because you’re touring all the time.
Both: It’s true actually.
Is it difficult to be together all of the time? From friends who work very close as well, it is sometimes difficult because they have different rhythms throughout the day…
Ruth: Yeah, I think every marriage is a challenge anyway, I think. If you live so closely and connected to someone you have to work at it but we find it very easy to just be together all the time. It seems quite simple. I definitely need my own space sometimes but that can just be we listen to an audio book in the car and it’s like “see you later”. We are in the car together but it feels like you’re in your own space and your own world. I think we just learned how to survive being with each other all the time. We are definitely a different couple because we do this. Who knows what we would be like if we haven’t done it? I don’t know.
Brooklyn: But actually I think we are getting along better when we’re on the road and really busy. Almost every tour when we come home for 2 or 3 days we don’t like each other. It’s like “oh, I am so tired of hearing that” and also on night off we always argue. It’s hard sometimes to switch from band to family.
It’s already difficult where just one of the partners is touring and if you’re both in this different space it’s even more difficult, I guess.
Ruth: Yes, I think it is. I think everything changes. A lot of people don’t realize that when you come off a tour it is kind of dramatic because you had something to do every day, you’re travelling a lot and it’s actually exhausting because you go out and meet new people every single day. It’s amazing but when you get home you body is just… suddenly you’re stable, there is nothing changing. You kind of want someone to tell you where to go. It’s really weird. We both get a little anxious “What should we do? We don’t know.” There is almost too much to do because you need to catch up but there is nothing like easy and simple like go to that place and play a concert. No one says that to you. So, it’s like “Oh, I have to make decisions and figure out my life again”. It’s so weird.
Going to the grocery stores…
Ruth: Everything becomes big.
Brooklyn: It’s called “after tour depression”. Lots of bands talk about this actually. It’s a really common thing.
You wrote this album on tour and beforehand wrote in places with weird neighbours and in other people’s houses basically - how did change when you were allowed to be loud?
Brooklyn: You’re the first one to ask that question, it is a really good question. But I think the album is the answer, it is the first record without thinking about limitations but it’s more than just that: We also gave ourselves a permission to just write songs and not to try to write songs that sound like Rue Royale… which is a weird thing that I said out loud but it made sense in my head. Because often when we write a song and it feels really good and then we’ll record a demo on the iPhone and then we were like “That doesn’t sound like this band at all”. It’s been cool, we have never seen that. But actually a lot of these things we kept anyway and worked on it in the studio. We are definitely allowed to be loud now but we are still not very loud, are we?
Ruth: No. I think in the studio it was really great because we really turned up stuff and got really different tones that you wouldn’t get when you would record them in your house. You can turn the guitar up and get really beautiful sounds. We used a Hammond which was so loud. There is no way we could have done that stuff at home. You just couldn’t. That was really incredible, Just to be able to feel things and then put that into the process of making the music. It definitely changed it quite dramatically.
Brooklyn: We did a lot of things that were really different technically in the studio which were more voluminous, a lot more louder than before like turning the electric guitar way up so it sounds really dirty and it starts to get really hot and starts to make nasty sound but we love that. We thought this is really cool. We can’t do this normally, so let’s go for it. And the same with the organ and even some of the ways we recorded the drums. Some of the drums were recorded and then bounced back out through a delay pedal into a bass amp and you get this weird sounds. I was just banging on the drums and I am hearing it through the speakers with weird delay and it sounds crazy, it’s crazy loud in there because it’s two drummers plus delay effects. We played it in a very different way. I mean the answer to the question: The album is the answer. That’s what happens when we can be loud.
Will you continue it to do it this way?
Brooklyn: Come on, we had so much fun!
Ruth: I think we really learned something. I think there is something really beautiful about being able to create your own…like we recorded “Guide To An Escape” in our own home and it was like a real decision to be there but I can really feel the freedom that came from being in a studio. It feels more open and I don’t think you can go back so much. Maybe a few things but I think we would do it differently. If we would record it at home again it would be… I think we have a different spirit doing it, I think we’d invest in some really good microphones or something…
Brooklyn: It’s a matter of evolution. We have moved on. We’re not gonna go backwards. We gonna keep going.
What’s next? A band?
Brooklyn: No, this is Rue Royale. I mean we toured with a band before and we might do it again but I can’t see a future in that. I think this is always Rue Royale and maybe we do something extra for a tour, have some fun and bring some extra people but we don’t know what’s next. We are enjoying this right now.
The album has just been released, you don’t need to make plans for the next one.
Brooklyn: Now we are talking about it tho.
Ruth: It’s hard to not have plans because we recorded in January. That’s actually quite a long time but now it like “phew, it’s out and it’s going ok”, so we’re allowed to think ahead “OK, let’s start writing again”.
It’s always funny because when you’re a fan or a journalist you get the album so many month later, for us it’s fresh, for you it like old stuff and it’s almost like the next stuff is cooking up in your head. And now you’re forced to talk about it again.
Brooklyn: I don’t think that the case so much with us because this album is a little bit different from the previous albums, so we didn’t want to perform the songs the way they are on the album live too much before we released the album. We wanted it to be a fresh thing for everyone, us, too. So actually on this tour it feels fresh to play these songs. I mean I’m still nervous, I get butterflies to go out and play my guitar on some of these songs. For me they don’t feel new but they do feel fresh to me somehow. I’m not past it yet. I’m ready to write some more. I’m excited about the next batch of songs but we’re still really in love with this album.
Well, you should be. If not something went really, really wrong in between.
Brooklyn: We’re terribly proud of it.
Thank you for the interview, Ruth and Brooklyn.
Rue Royale will be part of the 10 years anniversary tour of Sinnbus:
31.10. Hamburg, Uebel und Gefährlich - Unmap, The/Das, Rue Royale, La Boum Fatale & special guest (tba)
01.11. Jena, Kassablanca - Unmap, The/Das, Rue Royale, Bodi Bill DJ-Team
02.11. Leipzig, UT Connewitz - Unmap, Rue Royale, Miss Kenichi, Jan Roth
02.11. Leipzig, Distillery - La Boum Fatale, Thomalla, Freedarich, Sinnbus/Krakatau DJ Team & special guest (tba)
07.11. Berlin, Heimathafen Neukölln - Unmap, The/Das, Rue Royale & special guest (tba)
But apart from that they are also on tour through Great Britain and Italy as well. Look on their website for the never ending tour shedule:
Another week, another interview. This time I have met the British band Tunng. Well, I have met 50 % of them in Berlin: Ashley Bates*, Mike Lindsay and Becky Jacobs. They were lovely and funny. I did the interview for FastForward Magazine, a German online magazine. If you fancy reading the German version, please go to their website:
With ‘Turbines’ the band release the second album without founding member Sam Genders. He left the band before ‘…And Then We Saw Land’ was recorded and released in 2010. 'Turbines' is full of beautiful harmonies with a bit of a Folk Rock and Electronic touch. Read about Ethiopian Pop, inspirations and drunken hugs below.
*In case you were wondering: Long-haired, bearded man.
Is the band a full time hobby or a part time job for you?
Mike: Different answers to different people, I guess. For me music is a full time job and hobby and life. Tunng is a massive part of that. But I’m lucky to be able to make a living out of music, maybe not a grand living. Tunng gave me the opportunity to do that, I think. What about you? [looking at Becky]
Becky: When it is going on it is very much full time but in between times we have other careers. In fact I’m a radio producer. We haven’t been playing together for a long time and in between playing and writing most of us have other commitments, other projects and other bits of work that we do.
Ashley: It’s a full time job but it doesn’t pay full time wage. You have to do other things as well. I make music. That’s all I do. Tunng is one of the things I do but when I’m doing it it’s full time.
It seems that it has to be full time when you’re on it. I have read that this time you’ve focused during the recording process - I was just wondering how difficult it was to change the recording process. For the last album you did it differently.
Mike: For all the other we did it differently. And every other album we have made has been done in one location which was a basement in east London. This album was not and that’s because our situations geographically have changed. I’m not in England anymore. People have moved out of London. When we chose to start making the record, we had to find a place to live, hang out, record and be focused 24 hours together. That was amazing. And that what has never been done before. So, pretty good.
Ashley: It was new and it was also essential. There wasn’t any other way we could do it.
Is it a difficult decision to say “I’m going to move to another country” when when you have a project like Tunng?
Mike: Well, I didn’t decide to move to another country, the other country decided it wanted me. [laughs]
You could still always say no…
Mike: I was powerless. I went there after we finished touring the last album and I had a bit of time and I chose to do a project there on my own. I ended up living there and staying there. Of course it is difficult because this is so much part of my life and this band are my friends. So, it’s difficult but we managed it, didn’t we? I come back a lot and we are together right now.
Did it influence your music writing as well being in Reykjavik (Iceland)?
Mike: I don’t know. I don’t know if it influenced my songwriting for this album directly because this was so much a collective equal writing. It’s not a partnership, is it? Because it’s six of us. But it influenced my confidence and I managed to get something out my system that I wanted to do as well. I was more able to concentrate on these projects and it was a lot more open. I can deal with that in that way.
Was it like this for the rest of the band as well?
Ashley: I mean this album is the first one that we have actually all written and recorded, all together, all at the same time through the whole album. It’s the only one we have done like that. It has always been bits and pieces here and there. Occasionally we might be four people writing but it was never all of us all of the time whereas this time it was. It’s different. To be honest it’s probably just quicker. Although it still took a year. The actually album probably was done in about 2,5 months. It was just spread out. I am not sure we could go into a studio for two and a half months and come out with a good album. We need time away from each between each session. When we were together that was what we were doing. I don’t think Mike was bringing any external influence into it at all.
Mike [to Ashley]: Did you feel external influences from me? Did you think I have brought anything to the table after my experiences?
Ashley: Ah, interesting.
Becky: The Ethiopian thing but that’s not Icelandic.
Mike: No, that’s true. We haven’t talked about it that much.
Ashley: See, that came in but I mean that never particularly…
Mike: I have got one point. I went to Ethiopia for a holiday for a month with my girlfriend and came back I was suggesting quite heavily that we make an Ethiopian pop inspired album. I was fully down with it because I thought ‘Wow, this music is really twisted’ and everyone else was like ‘nah, no’.
Ashley: None of us went there. We couldn’t get it.
Mike: But there were a few samples from Ethiopian Pop rhythms that we did start jamming to, so did made into the album. But I forgot actually that we haven’t talked about that that much. That was the original idea. Well, my original idea.
Ashley: It was the thing that kick started it off. Definitely. But how much of that permeated through to the final product? I think, it disappeared. It may have been based on it. So, obviously it was an influence but it didn’t shine through that much by the end of it.
Are you satisfied with the songs? I remember reading that on the last album you’ve changed the song afterwards.
Mike: Yeah, definitely, we are very satisfied but I think they could have also gone in many other directions than the way they ended up. And I think live we do have an opportunity to explore other ways of presenting these songs because they went through different formats whilst recording. Let’s see how we get on. There are loads of elements. But as we were just saying everybody had certain amount of opinions on the way these songs should be completed. Mostly we agreed but sometimes we didn’t.
What did you do then? The boxing ring?
Mike: A few hefty passionate discussions followed by a couple of drunken hugs. I have to come up to Ashley in the kitchen. He was vigorously doing the washing up about 6 in the morning after a twisted chat.
Lindsay: That was the only…I don’t even remember.
Mike: I gave him a hug in the Kitchen.
Lindsay: It’s the only time I actually said “fuck you”, got up and walked out.
Mike: He got the wrong end of the stick a little bit, I think.
Becky: No, not the end of stick. [all laugh]
Mike: I mean that’s what it’s all about when you work closely together and care about what you’re doing. Satisfied we are but I am sure there could be other versions of the album that we equally be satisfied with.
Was is difficult to end?
Mike: It was quite difficult to just wrap it up and hand it over. We were working on it whilst we were still doing the final mixes, you know.
I have read a lot of interviews from the last album. It seems like a common problem for you.
Mike: Often the albums are sort of puzzled together, mostly it done in a studio environment and produced as if it was electronic music. People would come in one by one. Because it was such a band thing it was produced and approached differently. All tunes on previous albums have different versions. For this one I don’t think we have loads of crazy different versions. I think we were all just striving for ‘the version’ sort of thing. It wasn’t always easy but I hope it doesn’t sound like that.
You’re swapping lines a lot on this album - is it just a coincidence or is it kind of showing that you been long together as a band?
Becky: That’s sweet. We have always… not always but certainly the last few records we have shared the vocals. This time we have done it a bit more in terms of overlapping things and finishing, not quite finishing each others sentences, but having words overlapping and go on and say something different, so I guess when you got a bunch of people that will sing it is nice to try out different things.
Mike: I remember having a conversation about doing this idea before we really started it with lyrics and stuff. It was said “it’s all of us singing at the same time again” which we do quite a lot on the record but it was a choice to try to utilize the three different voices. Especially in that tune “By This” which actually Ashley worked a lot on the lyrics, too, which lyrically also take over from each other. The last word of each sentence is the first word of the next person. It’s really nice.
Ashley: Yeah, the conversation I remember having was possibly as far back as the last album and it just didn’t for whatever reason ended up on that. And I don’t know, maybe it was something talked about at the latter end of it.
Mike: I think it’s probably because we weren’t so confident without Sam and everything. This Album we were confident to have single voices being their own voices and we’re more used to our own voices. I never considered myself a singer, still don’t really. I sing quite a lot so probably it’s time to get used to the idea that this is what I am doing.
If enough people tell you that you’re a singer just take it in and pretend to be one.
Mike: Exactly. Or if you sing enough times. I don’t think, people think I am a singer either but I force it on them. [laughter all around] But we have character in our voices, I think, and we use that more on this record, especially Ashley’s. He was always pretty buried on the last record, you are kind of featured quite prominently on a couple of tunes.
When you write your songs, do you have the audience in the back of your mind because for example”Once” is such sing along tune?
Mike: That would be nice. it doesn’t happen too often, sing a longs.
Becky: Sometimes crying, I have seen. I have seen some all snogging.
Mike: Those two 16 year old girls in Australia that sang along to every single song so loudly right in the front…
Becky: ..oh my god, yeah, really out of tune…
Mike: …and we couldn’t even hear ourselves and they were so bad. That was quite exciting. […] My moment on the album that I am looking forward to live is on “By This” when me and you [looking at Ashley] do the duo guitar after the breakdown bit […] and we’re gonna extend this for at least 10 minutes. And we both are going to crowd-surf…
And the audience doing air guitar?
Mike: Alright, yeah, that wouldn’t be singing, would it? I was just thinking about myself.
Well, if you’re having fun, the audience will have fun, I guess.
Becky: I think, that is how it works. I think people do pick up when you’re not having a great time on stage. I have read things like “they looked a bit pissed off” and I remember thinking “that was because we couldn’t bloody hear anything”. People do pick it up. If you feel great, you get something of the crowd and I get something out of you and that are always the best shows.
How is it to be 10 years together?
Mike: It’s about 8 years since we have been together, 10 since I met Sam and this started to happen. The first album was 2005. How is it, Becky?
Becky: It’s nice. I mean it’s like…
That sounds so convincing. Now I can see why you needed a couple of months between each session. [laughter]
Becky: It’s like family. We love each other and sometimes it is difficult. I think it’s like that. And we have a brilliant time together and sometimes it’s a bit challenging, especially for me because I am the only girl.
Mike: But it’s been a good 10 years actually, it’s been probably the most amazing 10 years ever. I mean without this: 10 years, who knows?
Becky: I don’t like to think about that.
Mike: If we wouldn’t have done Tunng what would we have done? We wouldn’t have been we, I would have hoped to still be making music relatively successfully. But this was a breakthrough for me and continues to take us on adventures all over the world. It’s been the best 10 years in my live and without it who knows what would have happened.
Becky: When you ask me about singing in Tunng: someone else was asking me to sing in a project and I felt I had to decide between the two because I had a full time job and I couldn’t do both and I went and tried to do some music with the other guy. He was really annoying and I thought “oh, choose Tunng”.
Ashley: I have a day job making music but it’s not with people. It’s on my own in a studio.
Do you miss other people?
Ashley: I miss other people. That how I thought I definitely want to be in a band and Phil [Winter, member of Tunng] was saying the same thing and we were talking. So, I have been in a band with Phil but it could have been some weird electronic Rock band. It could have gone all sort of ways - Possibly kind of punky.
Thank you for the interview.
The album ‘Turbines’ was released last week on Full Time Hobby last week and will be released this week in Germany and I assume everywhere else as well. In October Tunng will be on tour through Europe and UK. Please have a look at their website for the dates.
Thank you for reading,
No matter how shit this summer will be like, musically it is already splendid. Stagecoach set out to (finally) release their debut album on Alcopop! Records….after only 10 years and several EP’s they have finally made it! And it is brilliant. I have already had high expectations as I love basically all of their music even though (or because) they have changed so much in those years. Starting being a country band (with far less members) to a more than just a power pop five piece.
“Say Hi To The Band" is a little journey through their history. Not only the country history shines though in some tracks, they also put a new version of "We Got Tazers!" on the record. The song and EP "We Got Tazers!" was released in 2009 and got me into this band. They transformed this number from a fine structured pop number into a little less fine but somehow matured rock number - as if they grew up a little. That reflects throughout the whole album, I think.
There are songs like “VideoShop" and "56k Dial Up" which I really love. Especially "56K Dial Up”* is one of my favourites as it is about a topic I have been talking about with other people (in interviews) a few times as of late. It about this generation (and others) where you work hard just to waste your money on the newest technical shit which is already out of date the minute you buy it. And if you can’t afford it: pay in rate, use your Credit Card.
“VideoShop" is in the first seconds maybe a bit nostalgic but eventually it’s not bad to grow up and plot a plan for your future…I’ll work on that part of my life and hopefully have this feeling some time soon myself.
“Action" is what the title says. Great track for driving around with open windows, walk fast around town with the sun shining. You know what I mean. It’s highly enjoyable. Just like "WorkWorkWork" and "Nothing Leads You Astray”.
It almost seems they’ll have to add a sixth (at least live) member - some of the songs, e.g. “A New Hand" have some beautiful trumpet (or so) going on. I already want to hear that live and sing along to this song, arm in arm with that stranger next to me and sway to the music.
Well, in a way you can say this band shows more façades than you could imagine ever hearing from them, being a bit more grown up without loosing their trademark of extremely catchy songs bursting with energy.
If you fancy to what the band meant with the songs and not my thoughts you can go to DIY and have a read. I may join you on that one.** Also, you can pre-order the Album on Alcopop! now. It’ll be released on Monday (May 13th).
Thank you for reading,
*Note to those who are too young: that was how my generation annoyed their parents. We would connect to the internet via the telephone lines from 7 to 10 pm and none of our aunts, uncles etc. could reach our parents as the telephone was blocked and cell phones weren’t common at that time as well. Oh, we had more than one loud discussion about that.
**I don’t read other reviews and stuff like that until I have written my own…
P.S. They are on tour. The are excellent live. Go and say hi to the band from me!
May 11th -The Labour Club, Northampton
May 12th -The Star, Guildford
May 13th -The Cellar, Oxford
May 14th -Birthdays, London (Launch with Joanna Gruesome & Tyrannosaurus Dead)
May 15th -The Zephyr Lounge, Lemington Spa
May 17th -The Great Escape, Brighton
May 18th -Rough Trade West, London
May 18th -The Nag’s Head, Rochester
May 30th -The West End Centre, Aldershot
May 31st -The Buffalo Bar, Cardiff
June 1st -Santiago’s, Leeds
P.P.S. That was a really crap headline, wasn’t it? Well, I find it funny through…
Photo (c) Naomi Goggin
A couple of month ago I told you to go to a Nada Surf concert in order to see their support act Tall Ships*. I hope everyone followed this advice (if they were anywhere near you). Now they are coming back to mainland Europe for some shows on their own. And once more I just want to tell you to go to one of the dates as they are one of the best young bands you can find out there. They are a bit matured since the first time I saw them, they are not swapping their instruments any more but they will give you a fine rock show full of wonderfully fine structured melodies, beautiful, science using lyrics and three of the most handsome looking guys around. I hope they play a bit longer and more songs.
Have a good week,
09.04 - FRANCE, PARIS, Point Ephemere
10.04 - BELGIUM, OPWIJK, Nijdrop
11.04 - NETHERLANDS, HAARLEM, Patronaat
12.04 - NETHERLANDS, MAASTRICHT, Muziekgieterij
13.04 - NETHERLANDS, DEN BOSCH, W2
14.04 - GERMANY, HAMBURG, Molotow Bar
15.04 - GERMANY, KöLN, Underground 2
16.04 - GERMANY, BERLIN, Comet
17.04 - GERMANY, MüNCHEN, Muffatcafe
18.04 - SWITZERLAND, NYON, La Parenthese
20.04 - LUXEMBOURG, LUXEMBOURG, Out of the Crowd Festival
21.04 - FRANCE, LILLE, La Peniche
And in case you haven’t heard of them before have a listen to they debut album "Everything Touching":
*And I was quite happy to read that the Rolling Stone (german) made them some sort of insider tip after seeing them live. It’s well deserved.
Because Tall Ships is their support band on Nada Surf’s tour through Germany, Austria and Austria. You often hear people moaning about support bands and how useless they are. Well, I can tell you that you want to see the support this time - they are an amazing live experience. I know I am almost too late to tell you about this tour but sickness got in my way.
After two EPs Tall Ships have just released their début album “Everything Touches”. Once more they have created Math Rock hymns at the finest - it’s complex, occasionally playful melodies, it’s controlled chaos and sound explosions and some rock guitars. What I like is their liability to scientific bits in their lyrics and the pictures they use in them. You can already find this tendency in titles like “Phosphorescence”, “Murmurations” or “Ode To Ancestors”. Behind those titles one will find songs about love with wonderful lines such as „Because within you every particle is perfect, and your beating heart is the sum of many working parts. You are a triumph of natural selection, every mutation leading to your perfection…“.
I love the final and most epic song “Murmurations”. The song seems to reflect life up to a certain part. In the beginning you can hear something that sound like echo of the baby’s heart (you know when they check that of a pregnant), the blithy childhood and slowly growing up and the the wild years as a young adult. And the you find love, settle down a bit become calmer and in the end - as the children voice my suggests - start a family. It’s just amazing how Tall Ships build this song up layer by layer up to the climax and then collapse. Just beautiful.
With “Books” and “Ode To Ancestors” they have reworked two older songs. They brought both songs to the next level. They have grown a lot since their self titled EP and “There Is Nothing But Chemistry” without changing their sound too much. I think their sound became more organic, more like a whole than every before. When you watch them live, they are a bit greater in every way. It is simply impressive how they create their songs live with just the three of them. They all play everything that is on stage. They rotate so much on stage that you could get dizzy.
Here is their newest video for “Gallop”:
And a bit of Nada Surf just in case you don’t know them either or if you have forgotten how they sound. It’s „Waiting For Something“ from their current album “The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy”:
Tour dates of Nada Surf and Tall Ships:
10.11 Karlstorbahnhof, Heidelberg (D)
11.11 Bahnhof Fischbach, Friedrichshafen (D)
12.11 Hirsch,Nürnberg (D)
13.11 Rosenhof, Osnabrück (D)
14.11 C-Club, Berlin (D)
15.11 Meier Music Hall, Braunschweig (D)
16.11 Jazzhaus,Freiburg (D)
17.11 Zeche, Bochum (D)
Nada Surf http://www.nadasurf.com
Tall Ships http://www.wearetallships.co.uk/