Tag Archives: Live music

Top 5 albums of the 2000’s

Since I don’t rate my music knowledge enough, and feel I haven’t listened to enough of the ‘classic’ albums of the past decades… so I only feel confident enough to give a list of the last 12 years or so. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, but this is only my opinion and I think, sorry know that many, many people will disagree with it. Hell sometimes I disagree with it…

5) Hopes and Fears – Keane

The first album in my very fluid list of albums, is the début LP by piano rock group Keane. Before people shout ‘boring’ and ‘depressing’ at me very loudly (you know who you are), people should give this a full listen. Hopes and fears is chocked full of emotion and feeling. Of course there are the tacks that most people will know ‘Everybody changing’ and ‘Somewhere only we know’ but some of the best tracks on the album are the lesser known ones. The song ‘We might as well be strangers’ really stand out; it is a track that builds up slow and ends in an almighty vocal permanences by Tom Chaplin(even better live). Talking of Tom Chaplin, his voice soars throughout. The album has a real maturity from a band who were then very young and new to the music scene and is a great indicator of what the band still had to come.

Best Song – Bedshaped

4) The Archandroid – Janelle Moane

A few years ago I would have been surprised as anyone to see this on my list, but times have changed. I think I have posted before how I first got to know about Janelle Moane, through her musical appearance on Stargate Universe so I won’t dwell on that. I absolutely love the whole sci-fi (look at that metropolis inspired cover) theme of the album, there is a concept and a story to Archandrioid something very few albums do. I love Janelle’s voice, it is full of funk and rock and roll, yet it has truth to it that allows a story to be told. It is as if she is both singer and a voice actor on it. But it is a work of music and so it can’t be all story, there is some amazing song on this 18 track album! I can’t wait for the her next work, for the continuation of the story as much as the music itself.

Best song – Cold war

3) Origin of symmetry – Muse

There are few bands that are as fun as Muse. Origin of symmetry their second album is not only fun but has an epic quality to it. The great thing about it, is that there is not one weak song on the whole thing. Origin’s is arguable what helped Muse break into the mainstream and you can hear why after the first song. You can’t go wrong with most tracks, but the song ‘Plug in baby’ and ‘Citizen erased’ are obvious highlights. Although there is real joy when you play the album from track one to eleven. This is something that I found out in one of the best ways imaginable, as I saw muse play live their special 10th anniversary show of the ‘origin of symmetry’ album at Leeds festival. It was one of the most special gigs I have ever seen. They played every track in order and it really struck home to me, what a special band/album this is.

Best Song- Bliss

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2) Under the iron Sea – Keane

Yes it is Keane’s second album on the list! After their multi million début album, Keane really needed to come back with their second attempt with something very, very good. I believe that they did this with a proper ‘classic’ album. Keane were known for being a trio that never used guitars (not the case now), but that didn’t stop them from making a keyboard distorted to the point in almost sounds like a guitar, a technique that is used throughout. This made sure that the album was much more up tempo to the last outing. Not only does the album have some of the more rockier songs that Keane have done, but it also has some great emotional song which ‘Hopes and Fears’ had in the bucket load. It is the perfect blend of Keane’s two sides and it really is the best album that Keane have ever done.

Best song – Crystal Ball

1) The Suburbs – Arcade Fire

Arcade fire are a great band, they have over 100 members in their band (perhaps a slight exaggeration) and they make some sweet, sweet music. Arcade fire have had two, ‘fine’ previous album but the Suburbs (the 3rd) was the first album that just clicked. It is slightly more polished album, yet still keeps the rawness of their music intact. However, I don’t think that this is only things that makes this album so much better than their previous attempts. I’m sure there is lots of different things that make the difference; I am just not musically talented enough to work them out .
You know I am not much of a dancer, in fact a bad dancer a very bad one, yet sometimes (not when anybody is about, I hope) I find myself doing a little dance; albeit with my head, to this album…. I like to think that this is good sign. Every track on the suburbs builds on the last, layers and layers (like each song) of music creates a deep thought process in the listener. I like an album that gets me to think. This is another band that when you hear the music being played live you immediately feel closer to each song and to the band. It is not number one on my list for nothing, you should check it out. Actually if you haven’t already check out all the albums…

The best song – Them all, but Deep Blue

The Kaiser at the Abbey

“his voice is like a manly angel”

In 3 weeks i have seen 3 of my top 5 bands; not bad going for me. On the 26th of August i saw Muse, the following Wednesday i watched arcade fire, and now on Saturday i saw the Kaiser Chiefs, back in their hometown of leeds. This was first gig they have done in Leeds since they played Leeds festival 3 years ago; which i was also at. It is the fourth time i have seen the Kaiser Chiefs, and what made this event a little bit different was the venue; they play at the quite lovely kirkstall abbey.

Kirkstall Abbey

While very nice to look at, a very old abbey is not a typical place for a rock concert. The uneven ground made for strange views of the stage at some of the places. The setup of the official merchandise store was in a silly ass place, so if you wanted to stand halfway back you would get a piss poor view. The entrance was 10ft wide, not a major problem when entering, with different people coming at different times, though once the gig finished and 10,000 people leave; a big problem. Looking around there was many more places where they could have built another exit, so it was a problem that did not need to happen. Also one large beer tent was not enough for the volume of people. A couple of people that was stood next to us, left and came back an hour later with some beer, they stood there and complained about waiting for an hour, i’d be annoyed too; however who in their right mind will queue for an hour for some expensive and watered down beer?

All lit up

For all the complaints about the venue, the abbey really did look good! The abbey was not in the background of the stage, but it went down one side of the audience; at first i was felt it would have been better to have it in the back ground, but in end i felt that seeing the abbey in all of it’s glory helped the atmosphere. .They lit the Abbey up, the colours light on the abbey kept in line with the stage. Also i hear (but can not confirmed because of where i was stood) that Ricky Wilson the lead singer, climbed a part of the abbey and sang from it, to make a change from his normal stage climb.

Energetic

The performance was as i expected from the band that gave me my favorite live performance , it was fast, loud and full of their typical energy . They played all the favorite songs from the previous 3 albums, along with a number from their excellent new album – The future is medieval. While i understand that lots of people,  don’t like the constant sing-along hits they have, people call them “fast food” music, but i’m not one of them. I’m sure i’m not going to change their minds, all i can say is watch them live and listen to the new album. The reason Chiefs are such a good live band, is Ricky Wilson; he is great with the crowd, and as a lead singer his voice is like a manly angel (strangest analogy yet?).

Ricky Wilson – Taken from http://www.zimbio.com

This gig was never going to be as amazing as Leeds festival 2009, when i was feet away from the stage and being lovingly crushed. It was still great, however the people was slightly quite, but then again i was quite far back  and there seemed to be a lot of movement and sound further ahead. I love the Chiefs, my love wavered during their hiatus, but the new album and seeing them again in this great venue, has rekindled my love of them.
Hope to see them for a fifth time soon.