Sweden’s City Maze are a rock band featuring members who’ve had prior links with Melody Fields and Blisterhead. Their 2018 EP ‘Lifestyle’ features four songs that sit somewhere between radio friendly 90s styled rock and the gently alternative. There’s nothing edgy or challenging about their sound, but given Sweden’s track record for great music, it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to expect, say, something relatively enjoyable. What actually transpires is a lumpen Weezer-obsessed trudge through four songs that don’t deserve being heard more than twice.
To tie in with their autumn tour dates and as further promotion for their 2018 LP ‘Islands’, indie rock legends Ash have unveiled a new video for their new single ‘Confessions In The Pool’.
‘Confessions’ really taps into the band’s poppier side and has more in common with their ‘True Love 1980’ single than the better known classics ‘Burn Baby Burn’ and ‘Girl From Mars’, while the glossy video clip involves a choking priest and a teenager whom gets mistaken for the messiah.
Previously of Oxford Collapse, singer-songwriter Mike Pace takes a different approach on his 2018 LP ‘Smooth Sailing’. Recorded with his other band The Child Actors, the album moves away from the indie rock of their 2015 LP ‘Best Boy’ and is – in Mike’s own words “a big pop record…or something like it, recorded by a forty year old who grew up on indie rock and later discovered the joys of soft singer-songwriters, AOR and prog through bargain bins.”
Since the second re-opening of the Dreamland complex in Margate in 2017, the theme park has gone from strength to strength. While the big draw for many visitors has been the selection of nostalgic fairground rides, others have applauded the decision to use the Hall By The Sea as a legitimate venue for live gigs. Dreamland has played host to shows by Gorillaz (a sell out in minutes), Bat For Lashes, psych band Snapped Ankles (with some memorable visuals), Super Furry Animals and more besides. In February 2018, a double headliner between ska legends The Selecter and The Beat (featuring Ranking Roger) resulted in a classic night at the seaside. The Hall By The Sea has provided a brilliant and cool alternative to the frankly past-it Winter Gardens – a venue that still thinks that The Stylistics, the racism of Jim Davidson and a carpet from 1983 is what people really want.
Tonight, Brighton’s favourite sons, Levellers are the visiting dignitaries. They’d previously visited Margate in 2001 and 2004 for shows at the aforementioned Winter Gardens, but this is their first visit since the slow rejuvenation of the town slowly began not long after. The Hall By The Sea is, naturally, a far better fit for them – the spacious area is perfect for dancing, bouncing – and sweating – and the sound quality is amazing. The crowd are naturally well up for a good night and especially so considering this show has already been postponed. …But what will they play tonight? Since the setlists from Utrecht on June 15th and Boston on June 18th differed greatly, seemingly, the gloves are off…
The 2017 Star Shaped Festival events were special. In London, Glasgow, Manchester and Birmingham, the all-day events allowed Britpop lovers to come together in a wave of nostalgia, watching great bands and forging new friendships.
While the big draw for many was the four shows by the unexpectedly reformed Sleeper, The Bluetones were on great and funny form, Space showed everyone how great they are in the live setting – a band much deeper than a couple of overplayed singles – and My Life Story’s Jake Shillingford demonstrated a fantastic command of a crowd.