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Review: Abandon Ship - Knife Party

14th December 2014 | Music

After the emotive blend of electronica and rock that was Pendulum, founding members Rob Swire and Gareth McGillen abandoned bleeding hearts for bombastic basslines in 2011 through their new band Knife Party. Now, after a series of successful EPs, they’ve finally released a full length LP. Abandon Ship, however, is not a promising name for a debut album; it’s apparently bemoaning the decline of EDM (Electronic Dance Music for the uninitiated like me). Whether the tragic death throes of drum and bass prompt us to reach for the tissues is a matter of personal preference, but Knife Party don’t make the best case for its continued dominance.

 

It’s true that all of the songs on the record have bags of energy; and within a potentially limited set of generic conventions (most breakdowns and drops do sound relatively similar) there is plenty of variety on show. We’re served up portions of reggae on ‘Give it Up’; sickly sweet pop on ‘Superstar’; and something vaguely Eastern on ‘Red Dawn’; all immersed in the traditional drum and bass. Another seeming plus point is that Knife Party could never be accused of taking themselves too seriously. The general feel is of mischievous lads rebelling against their more polished performances on Pendulum and revelling in the rawness and unsophistication of their grimy bass. This approach works best on the growling yet infectious bass riff of ‘Give It Up’ and the inclusion of Windows error noises to counter the high drama of ‘404’. On the dreamy ‘EDM Trend Machine’, however, the raw grinding bass of the drop is replaced by glittering aural invention, and the listener cannot help but smile at the witty song-writing on show.

 

Sometimes the silliness gets too much. Between the explosions of bass, there…

Review: McBusted (O2 Arena)

27th April 2014 | Music

 

“The boys prove just why they have all lasted so long in the industry…” - 5 Stars

 

Harry Judd (Drums) actually speaks during this concert. HIS VOICE IS NICE.

It is a well known fact that if Busted never existed, nor would McFly. Tom Fletcher was given the spot as the fourth member in Busted but was quickly ousted when management decided that the skater-boy pop band should be a threesome. With the record deal in hand, Fletcher enlisted the help of friend Danny Jones and scouted Harry Judd and Dougie Poynter to fill in the gaps.

When Busted broke-up in 2005 after being active for only 3 years the hearts of millions of kids were broken. McFly moved in to take their spot but (unbeknownst to many) James Bourne and Matt Willis of Busted fame stuck around with McFly and wrote music with them. Music that would be published as McFly music.

So – is watching McBusted perform in front of a sold-out O2 Arena a natural experience? Yes. It’s as if it should have been this way since the beginning.

With enough Number One’s between them to make each performance last a week (according to James Bourne, McFly get a Number One roughly every 15 months) – the lads have picked well.

10 Busted songs and 7 McFly songs (all of which would comfortably fit in a ‘Greatest Hits’ compilation album) are performed with the heart, soul and dedication which you would expect from a band who sell their best tickets at £150.

It is apparent that every single person in that arena is obsessed with this collection of old and new hits. When James Bourne asks you to put your phone lights on, you put your phone light…

McBusted at the O2 Arena

26th April 2014 | Music

 

As with any teenager in the UK, when McBusted announced that they were a 'thing' and that that 'thing' would be touring the UK, DJ James Gilmore and Roman Armstrong grabbed the first tickets they could find (this was before the whole 'Georgia and James' thing so they actually PAID). Although those tickets were in the heavens of the O2 Arena, we gave them a camera and told them to keep us updated!

Here is what happened...