Posts Tagged ‘Foo Fighters’

Another year of the Reading & Leeds festival has passed and it’s another year I’m glad I watched from the comfort of my settee. Any twang of envy felt observing the human pyramids is dismissed with the unwelcome memory of wading in human effluent and resorting to rip-off greasy burgers. Now, let’s talk music: who were the Festival Republic stars of 2012 and who deserves to be detained in the Lock Up, key thrown away?

Endeavouring to steer clear of endorsing the same bands, I must nevertheless give nods to Florence and the Machine & The Black Keys. Flo’ flourished in her main stage slot, prancing about the floor as balletic as ever, the day two deluge failing to dampen her spirits. The rabbit-hearted, ex-art school Welch also entertained when giving her security guard the slip.

Meanwhile, Black Keys’ showcased their 7th sleeve El Camino (“the way”) which has helped pave “their route” to mainstream success. Dan Auerbach ground out the bluesy guitars whilst Patrick Carney pounded the percussions like they were bin lids. Such has been the Keys’ parachuting to stardom, teenage girls were spotted wearing self-decorated t-shirts sporting the messages “I’m Howlin’ for You Dan” and “Dan, I’ll be your Next Girl!” The opening two numbers did not disappoint.

As for the headliners? The Cure were a bore – Robert Smith‘s pallid appearance threatening to actually make boys cry…  Kasabian were also something of a mixed bag. Fire caught on but for the most part Meighan and co looked subdued. Fortunate then that Foo Fighters‘ three hour closing stint was a true lesson in rock & roll brilliance.

Lowlight of the week, perhaps, came from the lips of Fearne ‘amazing’ Cotton when she hailed The Hives set in the NME Tent as “so live”. Sometimes it is just better to say nothing. Quite how “so live” distinguishes The Hives from the 200-or-so other, very much live acts performing over the weekend is a mystery! Maybe miming is secretly more widespread at festivals than we are led to believe… The freeze-frame with which The Hives finished mirrored the astonishment on my chops whenJubilee sickbagCotton dropped this latest cherry.

Many bands can trace their inception back to their Dad’s garage. Leicester four-piece Paladin go one better – conjoined twin garden sheds: site of Paladin jamming studios and the band’s birthplace back in 2010.

Armed with a fleet of their self-styled ‘big beat’ songs, it’s not hard to see why Paladin’s premier gained airtime on regional radio stations. Their debut 11-song demo is hotter property than a burning building and surely posits them knocking on new doors of record labels.

So, what does Paladin mean? “I heard it somewhere, it’s a cool word and it stuck” Foo Fighter-inspired guitarist Joe Foxon tells me at Paladin HQ, his house. And why not? A similar philosophy worked for fellow Leicester band Kasabian who in a striking parallel attended the same high school; now look at them.

Determined to source the word’s origins I delve deeper with a quick flick on Wikipedia disambiguation. Apparently a Paladin is a character class in certain role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons. The Leicester quartet have yet to produce a video so one cannot comment with regards to role-play, but as character classes go these are four talented young musicians.

Estranged vocalist James ‘Baresi’ Shaw has a wonderfully resonant voice, rivalling the Reverend Jon McClure for his huskiness and depth. “This will be the end, just a last chance saloon” he croons on the infectious Exit.

Scintillating overdrive is a feature of the Paladin power-dins Show Me The World, Drowning and Walk Away. All are adventurous in their own right, backed by Foxon’s invigorating chainsaw solos. Hit The Road meanwhile is a classic Foo-Nickelback-influenced concoction.

Paladin from left to right: Bassist Matt Jones, former singer James 'Baresi' Shaw, guitarist Joe Foxon & drummer Craig Shaw.

In Paladin’s guitar rock I also hear Feeder rhythms, sparks of Ash and even echoes of The Coral on the Ballad of Boris which sees cocksure drummer Craig Shaw explore his lyrical abilities with intriguing results.

Focus is the real catch of the demo disc. Matt ‘Larry’ Jones’ walking bassline is an instant hook, luring the listener like a moth to a flame. “I’m your target, I’m your man” Baresi announces with aplomb.

Exit this disc early at your peril. Mixed by Foxon and Shaw on a “boring” afternoon, album closer Drowning (remix) is a funky remastered version brimming with Late of the Pier’s electroclash dance sounds and synthesised drum beats.

Another Wiki excerpt says that ‘according to a literary circle known as the Matter of France, Paladins were King Charlemagne’s foremost warriors’. Despite an Italian-style falling out with Don ‘Baresi’, Paladin can consider themselves the Matter of Leicester with this impressive debut.

Exit, Hit The Road and Walk Away suggest that the Cosby boys are heading somewhere. Are you going to follow?

Paladin are looking for a new vocalist: male or female. The average age of the band members is 21.

Find Paladin on myspace at: http://www.myspace.com/paladinleicester

Download: Focus, Hit The Road, Exit, Drowning (remix). Just listen to the whole demo.

Thanks to The Monograph for publishing this review 🙂

A kilt-clad Tinie Tempah stole the plaudits at a rainy yet fabulous T in the Park 2011. On what looked a windswept day, Tinie endeared himself to the Scottish faithful by donning the nation’s most famous garment mid-set. Running through successive hits taken off his number 1 debut Disc-Overy, Tinie and his entourage detoured from Wonderman to Written in the Stars via the crowd-thrilling Miami to Ibiza. Calls of “where’s the moshpit” and repeated instructions to “bounce” engaged the audience, inspiring waves of jumping jacks. Most looked ironically spent by the time curtain closer Pass Out arrived. Tempah’s stage presence is energetic and firmly in the same mould as fellow London rapper Mr Rascal. Top marks.

Of the headliners, Foo Fighters take the honours for a sterling performance of pure rock and roll. The Foos – completing a hat-trick of T appearances – were in fine form, arriving on stage early to the delight of the Scottish folk. I want to know what Reggie Yates smelled on Dave Grohl’s breath backstage. Whatever it was, the much-loved frontman dominated the stage with his head-bashing antics reminiscent of a headless chicken.

Elsewhere, Friendly Fires Hawaiian Air banished thoughts of the weather while Chase & Status successfully doubled up from Glastonbury in King Tut’s. White Lies gloomy brand of guitar rock also excited despite ghostly lead singer Harry McVeigh’s adamance on disguising all emotion.

The only lowlights of the weekend for me were Gerard Way’s painfully whiny vocals during MCR’s outing and The Saturdays tragic cover of Aloe Blacc’s I Need a Dollar. Try perfecting your own songs first ladies. Did anyone else think Liam Gallagher’s hat and anorak combo likened him evermore to a scarecrow?

T in the Park continues to be my personal pick of the festivals broadcasted by the BBC. What’s yours?