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The xx

For a different take on Electric Picnic, I went down to Stradbally with photographer Mark Duggan who shot a series of artist portraits on-site with the xx, Villagers, Heathers, The Jezebels, Young Wonder, The Cast Of Cheers, Milagres, The Staves, Croupier, Le Galaxie, Nightwave and Nanu Nanu.
See the full gallery…

Posted on September 5th, 2012

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The Cast of Cheers

When The Cast Of Cheers uploaded their debut album Chariot for free up on Bandcamp in 2010, it was an action that many bands and artists have done before and since without little fanfare. That simple action got them noticed by many, blogs including this one were amongst the first. My post on the album received a huge amount of interest for a then, unknown band that it’s something I haven’t really since since in the same situation.

So there’s clearly something special about The Cast Of Cheers. The band arrived fully formed and Chariot was the vehicle that carried the band’s abilities in writing looped post-rock-inspired melodic indie songs with arrangements that had constricted air flow. Live, they were just as intoxicating.
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Posted on June 22nd, 2012

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coc
The Cast of Cheers

The Cast Of Cheers have been busy prepping their second album (and first album to be released through normal channels) Family for release on June 15th on School Boy Error/ Co-operative Music. Now based in London, the band have visited Maida Vale for a BBC Session (watch those below), have been touring the UK with buzz band Theme Park and they released the stop-start motion video for ‘Family’. Tracklisting for the album is below but in the meantime, have a listen to ‘Animals’ the album’s second single.

Maida Vale videos & tracklisting…→

Posted on April 4th, 2012

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After Zane Lowe played the song twice on his show last week, you can now have a listen to a the new single from The Cast Of Cheers‘ second album which was produced by Luke Smith (worked on Foals’ Total Life Forever and was in the band Clor). The band’s debut album (now off Bandcamp) racked up over 150,000 downloads since it was first made available. A new version of their song ‘Goose’ appears on the latest Kitsuné compilation.

Posted on December 12th, 2011

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austra

Here’s a look at the 15 bands I saw over the weekend at Electric Picnic 2011 that impressed me the most. There was lots of other sets I enjoyed but these were my personal favourites. All the good photos are by Damien McGlynn (apart from the crappy Best Coast one – that was me) and Instagram photos are by myself or Aoife. Videos by Barry Gruff and Roger.

1. Santigold


An absolute killer set to follow up her equally brilliant set from three years previous. A mix of songs like ‘Say Aha’, ‘L.E.S. Artistes’, Major Lazer’s ‘Hold The Line’ and new material means Santi White is top of my list to see at Berlin Music Festival this weekend.
Highlight: The backing dancers cool moves and BAMF demeanor.

2. Austra


The hour wait between the finish of the main stages and Austra’s set in Body and Soul was a cold boozeless one but where better to take in this Canadian band’s mystical sounding electro than late night under a tree in a natural amphitheatre. Songs from the band’s debut Feel It Break sounded perfect in the cold AM, they really are well-written tight tunes. Add Katie Stelmanis and her backing dancers Tasseomancy’s shamanistic dance moves and it’s the perfect festival closer for those who could not brave another hour for Brandt Brauer Frick at 3am.
Highlight: The dark-edged disco vibe of ‘The Beat And The Pulse’ felt through the night air.

3. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

An unexpected surprise and a perfect festival band, I had heard the ten-strong American west coast collective were a great live act and judging from their 2009 album Up From Below, I had high hopes but they easily surpassed those and went straight into the great festival set book. A raggedy celebratory, up-in arms triumph of musical positivity.
Highlight: The crowd singing back the chorus of ‘Home’ during the extended outro.

4. Flying Lotus

Besides some jibes about himself and Public Enemy being the only black people at the festival and the cheeky culmination of the set with The Rolling Stones’ ‘Paint It Black’, Fly Lo delivered a beat-tight set of songs taken from his own back catalogue along with samples from Radiohead’s ‘Idioteque’ , Mr. Oizo and Odd Future’s ‘Yonkers’. The set is all one big beautiful blur with lots of dancing despite the dodgy sound.
Highlight: ‘Do The Astral Plane’ and Fly Lo’s eternal smiling face.

5. Public Enemy


A masterclass in getting old in hip-hop gracefully (if we ignore Flava Flav’s on-screen reality TV antics), PE are most definitely still in effect. A greatest hits set including classics like ‘ Don’t Believe The Hype’, ‘Fight The Power’, ‘Shut Em Down’ and ‘Bring The Noise’ kept the energy levels up significantly. Not even Flav’s drum solo interlude could detract from the buzz and DJ Lord’s turntablist routine of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ with scratches from behind his back added to the spectacle.
Highlight: The consistent energy of a PE2011 show.