Tag Archives: Ross Campbell

Everything Everything – Arc album review

It’s been long speculated, much anticipated, well received so of course it’s rad. ‘Arc’ is the new release to be beamed down from the Everything Everything brain ship.

20130202-123927.jpgThe Mancunian quartet are as tight as ever. Higgs’ unmistakable falsettos are flawless and matched seemingly effortlessly by the band’s tinkering. That’s the best way I can describe their doings: ‘tinkering’. Is that even onomatopoeic, who knows? Answers on a postcard.

I think what makes this band the musical engineers of today is the layers of their sound. In most modern day outfits the percussion often takes a backseat, but it’s often drowned in resentment. EE sound like they’ve got a solidified agreement. An appreciative forethought imbedded deep within the team of what the final product is going to sound like, then they just go out and execute.

Obviously the headline is ‘Kemosabe’ – that sucker was stuck in my head for a week. It opens with the usual weird, non-descript bollocks that EE apparently live for but it’s what it evolves into that I really need to get across. It’s all about the fat power chords that beautifully stab into the verse and the shouts and interjections from Higgs’ backup. It’s been built in pretty much the same way Schoolin’ was, by which I mean you can sing along without really knowing the words. Just make whiney, high-pitched, melodious noises and you’re well on your way to the likes of Kemosabe.
The difference between this lot and your typical high pitched whine is that they execute with a finely crafted Wilkinsword and I’m assuming their studio operator is half studio-terminator.
To paraphrase Buzz Lightyear: this isn’t singing – it’s whinging, with style.

When I first heard ‘Feet For Hands’ I thought I was listening to that emotionally detached Radiohead number from Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo & Juliet screenplay. I wasn’t disappointed for long however, it ticks all of the boxes and works well as a mortar tying the album’s loose ends together.

As an overall, it’s powerful and soothing all in one neatly wrapped boxset. It’s a sodden road Everything Everything have been treading for a while but it’s their empathetic, cruel and melancholic approach to music that I find engaging. It hosts the beauty of The XX’s composites and simultaneously the drive of more powerful groups like Vampire Weekend and Boy Crisis. They’re flirting with the parameters of studio-electronic, modern hipster-wave and it’s working brilliantly.

These lads are going to be touring this album this summer, make sure you’re there.

Find the published piece at I Are Yeti

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What to expect when you’re expecting, to leave University

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This is it – you’re fast approaching the bitter end. That seemingly insignificant glow at the end of a three year tunnel has begun its swift approach. It now burns galactic weight onto your already dissertation laden shoulders and you want nothing more than to sack off the library and go blow a bit of that fresh student loan, daringly peeking out from inside your usually paper-thin wallet.

I get that.

The concluding months of university are all about establishing an equilibrium. Don’t become a hermit and set up shop in the book prison and by no means give Charlie Sheen a run for his money when you’ve got that final exam looming.
In one of my closing weeks I played catch in the house for three hours. Other nights I would wrestle with the notion of ‘just one pint’ – which is okay, right? You’ve got to give yourself time to recharge otherwise your work will suffer.

I think we’ve all been at the point where you’re staring at a harrowingly sparse Word document, effortlessly trying to contemplate where all the literary greats got all their stupid inspiration from. All too soon the harsh Sun will break and the morning dew would glisten with condescension against the white wash walls – that’s when you eventually give in and call it, right? They’re the all-nighters generally followed by late, lazy afternoons in which you find work that little bit easier and you can polish that half conscious drivel from the night before.

Always (try to) leave yourself enough time to employ alterations. Aim not to be hammering in those last few sentences on handover day. As I type this now, post-uni, I know you’re probably thinking “pfft, easy for you to say” and yes, if I said I wasn’t still going over ideas a few nights before handover I’d be a liar and a hypocrite. There is no definitive plan to success – only commitment, sheer determination and my crudely crafted advice.

Nail it and you’ve got a few weeks of untainted bliss ahead of you, to do with whatever you please. Then you get to wear daft robes and pretend you’re at Hogwarts.

Good luck.

Find the published blog at Grads.co.uk

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Mumford & Sons @ Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle

Newcastle is renowned for a lot of things. Unfortunately its weather at times outranks its positives, 4 December being no different.

As I entered the convivial doors of Metro Radio Arena, perched on the banks of the Tyne, the atmosphere was immediately apparent. The concessions were abuzz with excitement of the fast approaching headline act, Mumford & Sons.

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Fresh on the back of their second studio album release (Babel, 21 September 2012), the band industriously take to the stage and it’s clear they’ve lost no love for their art.
The performance consisted of everything I was hoping for. The frantic, finger busting tracks like The Cave, were executed with precision and it wasn’t until the bitter end that Markus snapped a string – this of course didn’t hamper the track’s continuance or the awestricken crowd’s exhilaration.

Over the course of the performance the quartet were flanked by up to seven other musicians (string family and horn section) at a time – really delivering the overall sound toward studio quality.

Dust Bowl Dance was a personal highlight. The dark track opens with a melancholic narrative aided by a simple and sluggish chord progression. I’d been looking forward to Dust Bowl in particular because I’ve learned (from the music video, not a secret journalism source) that our frontman lends a leaf from Don Henley’s book (Eagles) and takes to the drums whilst still fronting the vocals.
The track swiftly evolves from its humble and slightly ominous beginnings, to a frenzied free-for-all. The arsenal of onstage musicians exploded, the crowd erupted, the entire room was amassed with energy and it’s for that exact reason I was looking forward to Dust Bowl Dance. Bravo, more like this please gents.

As the warm fervent atmosphere burned from the stage, engulfing the young crowd, I feel comfortable in confirming it was incomparable to any performance I’ve attended at the venue in the past.

The band praised their near 11,000 supporters and treated them to an up close and personal performance on an audience-centre stage (below). This was of course met by rapturous applause and the evening was put to bed shortly after the short encore.

Thoroughly recommend the group for a live setting, with absolutely nothing lost even in the aircraft hangar sized arena.

Soon to be published at I Are Yeti

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