DiScover: Tame Impala, Young Fathers and WWPJ
What's wrong with all the English bands at the moment I hear you cry? The answer is 'nothing at all'; it just so happens this week's DiScovered trio are all from elsewhere.
Australian power trio Tame Impala evoke the Woodstock spirit (expect guitars to be set on fire this Tuesday when they play our Manchester DiScover Club), whilst the Scottish double-header of Young Fathers and We Were Promised Jetpacks might be close geographically but couldn't be much further apart in musical terms.
The former's bombastic - and perhaps a little tongue-in-cheek - hip-hop stylings are sure to provoke mirth from as many corners as they are booty shaking in others. Returning scribe Billy Hamilton's firmly in the latter camp, and we're inclined to agree. Their rhymes? Bottomless.
Recent FatCat signings We Were Promised Jetpacks, on the other hand, have feet (and guitars) firmly planted somewhere near skyscraper territory. If you fell in love with Frightened Rabbit and The Twilight Sad last year, then listen to Dom Gourlay - he's got a hunch these young guitar-slingers are destined for similar success. They're playing the DiS stage at this year's Great Escape, too.
If you thought Australia's days of producing decent rock bands ended at the turn of the nineties then it may be time to think again. After a brief hiatus from the scene, the country that brought us The Vines, INXS and, lest we forget, ACDC, is back on the money with psychedelic rockers Tame Impala, aka Kevin Parker, Dominic Simper and Jay Watson. Despite being baby-faced boys who were no more than a twinkle in their fathers’ eyes when psychedelia took off, Tame Impala master that sound to a tee, without ever sounding like a parody of the genre or a tribute act. No mean feat. Yes, there is a definite similarity to Cream and the like (is that supposed to be a bad thing?), and, yes, at times listening to three barely out-of-short-trousers boys from Perth replicating a movement that took place 40 years ago can have that awkward feeling of watching the little kid who used to be in Brookside doing a Frank Sinatra song on X-factor, but those moments are extremely few and far between. In fact, for the most part, it is the authenticity of the music that is most striking. We're talking fuzzy guitars, bluesy vocals and soaring melodies, tinged with heavy, hazy harmonies reminiscent of Jefferson Airplane and, at times, Pink Floyd, with a bit of The Who thrown in for good measure. 'Desire Be Desire Go' is the trippiest number, all distorted vocals and blurry guitars, while new single 'Half Full Glass Of Wine is a self-assured little number with fast-paced drums and swirling guitars. Ever had that distinct feeling you’re stoned but didn't realise? Christine Toner
10 Manchester Deaf Institute (DiScover show)
11 London The Lexington
12 Edinburgh Sneaky Pete's
13 Glasgow The Arches
14 London Coronet
Video: Tame Impala 'Desire Be, Desire Go'
We Were Promised Jetpacks
The relationship between independent stalwarts FatCat and the seemingly never ending conveyor belt of exciting new talent reared North of the border has blossomed once again. This time, it's the turn of incendiary leftfield pop combo We Were Promised Jetpacks to follow labelmates Frightened Rabbit and The Twilight Sad into Scottish musical folklore via a glut of infectious tunes that, even before having officially released a record as yet, are already creating a stir in alternative clubland up and down the British Isles. Although initially conceived in Edinburgh some six years ago, a spate of hometown shows coupled with a move to the auspicious surroundings of Glasgow and countless more live performances placed them under the spotlight culminating in last year's eventual penning of their first recording contract via FatCat. First single 'Quiet Little Voices' is due to be released next month, while the band's as-yet-untitled debut album is set to follow suit in July, preceded in June by their first headline UK tour, or, if you're one of those fortunate enough to have a ticket for SXSW, they're playing numerous showcases in Austin, Texas between March 18th-20th. We Were Promised Jetpacks are Adam Thompson (vocals/guitar), Michael Palmer (guitar), Sean Smith (bass) and Darren Lackie (drums). Dom Gourlay
8 Glasgow Oran Mor
26 Newcastle The End w/ Frightened Rabbit
15 London Scala w/ Frightened Rabbit
Video: WWPJ 'An Almighty Thud' (Bandstand Busking session)
Edinburgh and Hip-Hop are a little like skinny jeans at Christmas: try as you might, they never seem to fit. But cutting loose from the city's underground with a hype-driven furore normally reserved for West Coast (that's Glasgow, not LA) art-poppers is indelible beat-smiths Young Fathers. Already on the radar of Skins-ogling miscreants, the Auld Reekie ensemble annexes hip-shooting rhymes with skirt-lifting samples that bunny-hop to an 80s flavoured beatbox. By running the gamut of fresh and used, the MC ensemble of Ally Massaquoi, Graham Hastings and Kayus Bankole engulf the ears in a manner The Cool Kids could only dream of. Recent download single 'Straight Back On It' is a prime example of their pliable sonics; sliding up to the floor with the ethereal zing of flower-wielding era De La Soul before exploding into a luminous disco twirl of breaks and brass. Both funny and overtly verbose in delivery (check the brilliant Mr. T inspired diss on the elasticised 'Superpop'), the effervescent triad have slipped away from major label clutches, preferring to stick to their roots by releasing forthcoming long-player Inconceivable Child ... Conceived through Leith-based label Black Sugar. Exhilarating home-boys, you might say; Young Fathers are so tight it hurts. Billy Hamilton
5 London Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes
14 Edinburgh Picture House
18 Glasgow ABC w/ The Noisettes
24 London Proud
16 Leeds Cockpit w/ Esser
17 Glasgow King Tuts w/ Esser
18 Middlesborough The Empire w/ Esser
19 York Duchess w/ Esser
30 London ULU w/ Esser
Video: Young Fathers 'Straight Back On It'
10 Manchester The Deaf Institute - The Invisible / Tame Impala / Urgent Talk
11 Sheffield The Harley - Crystal Antlers / The Invisible / Three Trapped Tigers
1 Sheffield The Harley - Dananananaykroyd / Calories / Me My Head
9 Manchester The Deaf Institute - The Week That Was / Papercuts / Young British Artists
7 Manchester The Deaf Institute - M83
13 Sheffield The Harley - School Of Seven Bells / Telepathe
14 Manchester The Deaf Institute - Abe Vigoda / The Mae Shi
16 Sheffield Skate Central - Rollerpalooza - Black Lips / Mika Miko / Gringo Star / The Old Romantic Killer Band / Brontide Info