Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Basement Jaxx - The Singles

I really don't have enough dance tunes in my collection so the release of this compilation came at just about the right time for me. And what a corker it is too. The Jaxx have been churning out top-quality tunes for ages, but have never really quite grabbed me enough to purchase a studio album. This however is the perfect compromise.

The Icon's quality-o-meter definately pricks it's ears up at the earlier tracks on this collection. "Red Alert" is a funky stomper, "Where's Your Head At?" is funk-punk at it's best (if indeed that is even a genre of music at all) but my pick of the pack is the delightful "Romeo". A song so good that the Beckham's decided to name their daughter after it. Or perhaps not.

Other trakcs don't quite hit these heights, but all offer something different, and take on different styles, which is always a welcome feature of dance collections. New single "Oh My Gosh" is quite a grower too.

So all in all, this does exactly what is says it will do. It collects the Basement Jaxx singles in one handy collection, and proves that they are well worth a listen. Now let's all get on that dancefloor.

Icon's View - 4 out of 5

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Concerts 2005 Update

Just a quick update, for my reference more than anything, complete with latest addition.

18th February - KT Tunstall - Liverpool Academy 3
27th February - Electric Six - Carling Academy Liverpool
1st March - Natasha Bedingfield - Liverpool Royal Court
7th March - The Donnas - Manchester Academy
16th March - The THrills - Liverpool Academy
12th April - The Subways - 53 Degrees, Preston
24th April - The Hives - Liverpool Academy
19th May - Girls Aloud - Manchester Apollo
22nd May - KT Tunstall - Manchester MDH
26th May - KT Tunstall - Carling Academy 2, Liverpool
27th May - Girls Aloud - Liverpool Empire
11th June - Ben Folds - The Lowry
17th June - REM (with The Zutons & Feeder) - Lancashire Cricket Club

Queens Of The Stone Age - Lullabies To Paralyze.

Ignore my slightly warped liking for the wonderful Josh Homme, this is one hell of a rock record and one that, for once, deserves every bit of critical acclaim that has come it's way.

From start to finish this is a rollocking ride which is even better than previous classics Rated R and Songs For The Deaf. Stand out tracks include the single Little Sister, You Got A Killer Scene (featuring guest performances by Brode Dalle and Shirley Manson) and Everybody Knows That You're Insane. Although to be honest, choosing favourite songs from this album is much like choosing which of your offspring is your favourite.

So this is rock as it should be. Dark, edgy and, above all, sexy. Buy it now.

Icon's View - 5 out of 5.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

The Thrills LIVE

Well could The Thrills continue to enthrall at the third time of asking? The answer is a delightful yes. The poor boys come in for some stick, but they sure can put on one hell of a show.

Their great tracks, pick of the bunch being the delightful One Horse Town, were spread throughout the show so you never really got bored. There was also the plus point that the venue was stacked with the most teasely skewed audience I've perhaps ever seen. Not that that did my constitution any good at all.

Another cracking night out with the Irish lads and they really do give it their all. I just pity them if they ever have to play a gig in Skegness or Lytham St Annes.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Kaiser Chiefs - Employment

Pitching straight in as a 21st Century Parklife (right down to the packaging of the album), Employment is an album which makes no bones about it's outlook or intentions. Singles "I Predict A Riot" and "Oh My God" whupped up a frenzy of expectation for the album, but sadly, the boys from Leeds can't quite manage to live up to the hype.

When they are good, as in the singles and the riotous "Everyday I Love You Less And Less", they are bloody fantastic, but too many tunes meander along without ever really hitting the mark, and at times it feels like the band are trying too many styles and are trying to be too ambitious in a debut album.

They've nailed the "storytellin" aspects of Parklife, but failed to keep up the momentum up over the whole album. Still, there is enough here to suggest that there is something more to come, and songs such as "Team Mate" suggest that there is more to the Kaiser Chiefs than the "Brit-Pop" attitude would otherwise suggest.

Icon's View - 3 out of 5.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

The Donnas LIVE

It's been a long time coming, but finally the Donnas made it to Manchester. Worries about the girls health led to pre-concert speculation as to whether or not they would even make it on stage, but once the first drum beat kicked in there was no doubt at all. The Donnas were here, and they were coming to ROCK!

The energy level was amazing and the quartet sounded very tight indeed. There was a varied choice of songs from their back catlogue, and whilst this meant that some classics were ommitted, there wasn't really a duff song in the set.

Four chicks who love to rock out? Is it any wonder I love them?

And on another note, I do hope that lad from London managed to get home alright.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Natasha Bedingfield LIVE

She's teasely for sure, but could she capture me for an hour and a half of concert related entertainment? As it turned out, she did the job well.

All the hits were in (thankfuly spread throughout the show) and some great album tracks reminded me just how good her album actually is. The only negative would be that the girl appears to be losing her voice and at times the backing singers took over. But she still belted her lyrics out with aplomb and she does have a great voice.

Top marks for the Maroon 5 "This Love" cover version too, which was the best that song has ever sounded. Throw in some delightful drunken ladies and a soon to be infamous "lacy red knickers" incident, and you have yet another top quality night of entertainment.