Howler with Man Made at Leeds Cockpit 3/2/2012

Stood alone on the stage with a guitar and a gold sparkly jacket the brave 19 year old played to a fairly packed audience. It is clear Nile Marr aka Man Made has inherited his father’s genes, the one and only Johnny Marr, but what makes him stand aside from his father is his emotive singing and striking song writing ability. It would have been interesting to hear the live performance with a full band as at times he was a little static; however at such a young age it was a fine performance of a wonderful EP. After Man Made’s set came to a close he quickly abandoned the jacket and donned a hat to become one of Howlers roadie’s showing how intimate the tour had become.

After supporting The Vaccines and releasing their debut album it was clear Howler were riding on a high, as they walked through the packed crowd to the stage. Technically the band played well, the Cockpit (as always) provided a great venue for both vibe and sound quality; the band also bantered well with the crowd from telling stories of how they offended the Scots to wearing audience members hats. However, Jordan Gatesmith was drunk and continued to drink from a whiskey bottle, he was swearing and spitting; this created a shambolic feeling to the gig as guitar strings were broken; the problem is it felt like a check list of how to be ‘rock n roll’ rather than coming naturally. However, it is refreshing to see a band embrace the image which perhaps hasn’t been seen since the early to middle noughties. Their set was enjoyable as the crowd lapped up performances such as Told You Once and Back of Your Neck, but just like their album it felt a little disappointing and unoriginal.

Spotlight: Man Made

Man Made aka Nile Marr is only 19 yet has accomplished so much, having shared a stage with Broken Social Scene and Bright Eyes the young musician is now heading out on tour in January and February with none other than Howler. His music is lo-fi and moody yet it is exhilarating and refreshing, a real talent that won’t be hidden for long.

Check out his Facebook page here for tour details and to stream his EP.

Man Made’s EP is also available on iTunes.

“Don’t Thank God”

“Do Your Worst”

 

First Listen: Howler ‘America Give Up’ Review

Howler received a lot of attention and hype towards the end of last year and it is no surprise in a music industry littered with electronic outfits (this is not necessarily a bad thing), these five lads from Minneapolis daringly step out with fuzzy guitars which draws strong comparisons to The Strokes. Next week on the 16th the young band releases their debut album and here at NorthernRoom we are lucky enough to have heard it before its release. The boys release a strong album full of guitar hooks and noise which is very reminiscent of The Strokes. Each song is strong enough to stand alone, but place in a context of an album and it starts to feel like an 11 track compilation. The album isn’t original as well; it is like Julian Casablancas fronting The Vaccines or scraps from The Strokes debut, this could be down to the young age of the band and with time they might find their own sound (much like The Maccabees). The originality aspect isn’t a major hurdle that can’t be jumped because the songs are very catchy, and perhaps isn’t something the band themselves care about: “I keep hearing a lot of witch house stuff, chillwave, shoegazey keyboards with Casio drums. But not rock, so we wanted to make it dirty rock’n’roll” (Jordan Gatesmith); this is an album that does just that each song is punchy and mostly comes in under the 3 minute mark. This is a fine debut from a young band, but you just can’t help feeling slightly cheated by it.

The album is available for streaming at nme.com

Released: 16/01/2012

Essential Tracks: Told You Once, Beach Sluts & America

Sound of 2012

Check out the newly added page at the top! It lists the bands NorthernRoom are very excited about for 2012. The page includes Soundcloud and Youtube links, plus a Spotify link for bonus bands and songs. Don’t live in 2011, read the list and open Spotify.

The Vaccines Live At The 02 Academy, Sheffield

The Vaccines are a rare bread in the music industry using and infusing chord progression and musical styles that we have heard before yet managing to place their own identity within the songs to create something very memorable. Another key element to their style and success is that the songs are short and snappy or anthemic. Thus seeing one of the most exciting bands of 2010 was something I could not pass up.

The academy was pretty full by the time the first support act Howler came on stage possibly one of the most suitable support acts for The Vaccines, considering they sound like a mix of The Strokes and The Vaccines. The band had a good stage presence with some good songs to accompany them. Whilst the second support act: Frankie & The Heartstrings were a disappointment, musically they were pretty average, however Hunger is a pretty darn fine song, but it was singer Frankie Francis who let the band down, he was far too much into himself rather than the crowd (who threw drinks at them) whilst attempting to channel Ian Curtis (of Joy Division) badly.

It was after 9.30 by the time The Vaccines had come on the stage with their immense song ‘Blow It Up’ and they were fantastic; but it was their second song ‘Wreckin Bar’ which saw both the crowd and band burst into energy, from then on out it was a monster of a show. The band was able to combine both upbeat garage rock whilst the slower songs (All In White, Wetsuit) resulted in a mass sing along. The band also previewed a new song which sounds like it could quite happily sit within the first album but it was bloody awesome.

The band technically sounded great better than their album in fact. Whilst the light show complimented the set really well. The band was enthusiastic and knew how to work the crowd, particularly on the slower more anthem songs.

With killer hooks, anthems and a bloody great live performances it’s not hard to see why The Vaccines rose so quickly from the underground scene; and there are few bands that deserve this success more.

Set List

  1. Blow It Up
  2. Wreckin Bar (Ra Ra Ra)
  3. Tiger Blood
  4. A Lack of Understanding
  5. Wetsuit
  6. (New Song)
  7. Post Break Up Sex
  8. All In White
  9. Under Your Thumb
  10. Wolf Pack
  11. If You Wanna
  12. Family Friend
  13. We’re Happening (Encore)
  14. Norgaard (Encore)