London Update April 2009

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Easy People.

It’s spring time in London and the post Christmas release lull is OVER! I can’t think of a more exciting time for music in the UK than the months leading up to the Summer Festival season. The rumor mill has been rife with line-up announcements, ticket news and headliner buzz. Adding to all this is the ripple of excitement shuddering in from last weeks SXSW festival in Austin Texas. One of the most talked about acts at the whole event was The Temper Trap. I’m fortunate enough to have scored a gig working at their UK label, so I guess expect to hear a lot about them this year, but more and more people are becoming intoxicated with The Temper Traps tunes. You heard it here first, the album ‘Conditions’ is nothing short of PHENOMENAL and their live shows are going from strength to strength. John Davis (U2, The Enemy, The Ting Tings) was asked to master the record and funnily enough when I met him briefly he handed me a copy of the new Howling Bells album and remarked how one truly has to dig out new music. It had me thinking particularly about Australian music. In many ways, the increasing interest in The Temper Trap and their now solid bill of tunes derives from the fact that they’ve develop largely away from intense hype and industry expectation.

Another new Australian band that similarly came to mind, though it’s not specifically UK related was Sad Waters. This is the new project of former Starky members Beau, Jonny and Chris Reeves. It couldn’t be further away from the pop-rock jangles of Starky, with the ambiance and softness of these few tunes on myspace having a real effect of making one want to listen harder. Mogwai, Beach Boys and Suede all come to mind, but what I find incredibly intriguing is the genuine ease of the writing. Currently based in LA due to the success of Violent Soho who signed to Thurston Moore’s label Ecstatic Peace, Jonny has taken production duties and the results are pleasingly sound. Seems like they have really been able to reinvent themselves musically away from the spot light ‘slash’ post-Starky Australian gaze, and I think you can hear that in the music.

In other news I was soured that I couldn’t see Tame Impala play at a head line London gig. With a line out the door I can only account the great atmosphere in the bar downstairs to the venue. They had a pretty sensible write up in NME this week- album soon maybe? And which Australian pop-treacle has been jet setting around the world working and writing with the BIGGEST cool-as-(enter swear word here) pop group from the 90’s….??? Next time.



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