La Truite Magique – The Sweetest Festival

Update: The schedule is up on the website of La Truite Magique!

The following acts have been added to already very varied and interesting bill:

God Damm, Het Zesde Metaal, Douglas Firs, Rob Heron & Tea Pad Orchestra, Man-O-Phone, Yellowstrap, Hidden Charms, Lili Grace and Tiny Legs Tim!

Now, I am normally not a festival goer and this has nothing to do with old age…never liked them much, unless they offer music I simply cannot resist all bundled onto one festival terrain as is the case for instance for “Down The Rabbit Hole” in Beuningen/Netherlands or they do away with all the fearsome aspects of a festival.

Now here is the sweetest of them all: La Truite Magique in Houffalize/Belgium, right in the beautiful Ardennes, easily to reach for anyone in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg and even the UK.

Picture a fairytale setting in a river valley (and that setting is still visible and enjoyable when the festival goes on). No hassle with parking, only around 1000 visitors, clean toilets (sorry, but I have to mention it, this is usually one of the horror sides of festivals) and fantastic food and beverages at reasonable prices (and I mean out of this world and really reasonable). Small campsite right in the middle of nature and and and, ah, you have to see it, truly.

The set-up is truly magical: Think little bridges and pathways, fairy lights and one tent stage and one small stage in the forest. A nice crowd and then, the music.

This year (14th, 15th and 16th of August 2015 in Houffalize) there will be an abundance of new bands, from bluegrass to folk, from psych rock to garage pop such as (announced so far):

Belle of Louisville, Champs, Herman Brock Jr., Mister & Mississippi, Tubelight, ZZZ, Afterpartees, Birds That Change Colour, Man From The South, Moaning Cities, Pauw and the name that would have me even cycle to Houffalize this year: Steve Gunn! I cannot imagine a more perfect setting for Steve Gunn. Because, note, this is not your typical miles-away-from-the-stage-staring-at-a-screen-we-would-have-better-watched-this-on-telly fare, the setting is really intimate and full of vibes.

Would love to see all of you there at La Truite Magique!

Brilliant new video for “Howl” by Jay Woodward

One of my first blog posts in this wee blog was on Jay Woodward from California, master songwriter and producer. His album “Letters We Told” still accompanies me everywhere as there is so much to discover behind the slick yet not overdone production both musically and lyricwise.

My fondness for Jay Woodward‘s music is shared by many many fans and people seem to have taken a particular liking to the song “Howl” (including me). Without blathering on too much and manipulating you (as if I would), this is a perfect song! The smooth production, the sparse instrumentation, the beautiful voice and then the song does something I really love in a song: It builds up from childlike singing to guitar riffs and all. Lyrically the ascension is matched perfectly: From a stroll in the woods to a more spooky atmosphere and the dark sides of human nature.

Jay Woodward gave in (THANK YOU) and is finally giving us a video to “Howl” and I won’t cheat: I will be watching this for the first time, just like you. Knowing the perfectionism of Jay though, this is going to be a perfect fit for the song and a stunner.

Are you sitting comfortably? Pull the blankie up, we are going into the forest…NOW, we have waited long enough:

** Jay Woodward Sends out a Call to the Wild in Howl Video Premiere **

Jay Woodward releases his second music video from his debut album, Letters We Told, following the recent listener driven explosion for the single, Howl. The video for Howl, shot in Big Bear, CA by Leslie Chou, showcases the purist side of Woodward’s Ginsberg inspired song.

Ready?

 

 

All Sparks Burn Out & Lights That Change

Very tempted on this Saturday evening to cuddle up on the sofa but I dutifully sit here and work my way through the piles of wonderful music I received this week. Now, I could pester you with the amazing new album by Patrick Watson called “Love Songs For Robots” but a) you can listen to that in my programme on www.byte.fm on Monday, 5-6 pm CET or all week on ByteFM actually, as it will be album of the week. It takes some time to open up to you, that album, but the journey is undoubtedly a very enjoyable one. What was b) again?

Oh right, of course I am a bit cheesed off that I do not get to see Patrick Watson live  as he is playing RIGHT NOW close to me as I am writing this. So, I do not really want to torture myself any further.

And c) there are already gazillions of people promoting Patrick Watson’s new album and I would really mostly like to introduce new bands to you in this blog.

So, finally, off we go.

From Sidney, Australia, All Sparks Burn Out, surprise with shoegaze and noise rock (even if I do not like to label music, it sometimes makes it easier for the interested reader plus the band say so themselves). They like guitar pedals – now there’s a love I would definitely support, no matter what 🙂

I am failing to deliver you a fantastic band photo, so I think in this case we are all happy with a photo of at their huge array of pedals and band members at work…

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All Sparks Burn Out are

Anthony The – Guitar
David The – Guitar
Simon Cox – Drums
Garry Stephenson – Bass

They are currently working on a new album and their last EP was called Red Sky At Night.

Now, sit back and enjoy All Sparks Burn Out:

And there is so much more: Released by super dedicated Welsh/Canadian label Ear To Ear Records, Lights That Change from North Wales will have come to your ears certainly over the past few years.

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Their debut EP “Rainbow On Your Shoulder” was followed by “Whispers In February” – both received well-earned good reviews. Now, that Lights That Change like a Cocteau Twins’ song or two is fairly obvious and that is a brilliant thing in my eyes. Copycats they are not. I cannot put it as wonderfully as Joe Foster of Creation Records said: A radiosexy reinvigoration of early 4AD spirit! Indeed! Mandy Clare on vocals has a mesmerising voice and John Bryan adds the necessary drive on the bass. Marc Joy, last but not least, founder of the band, layers and layers guitar sounds in there, oh bliss:-)

Their album “Byzantinum” will be released this summer and features also Rebecca Palin from Golden Fable and Mal Holmes from OMD.

“Voices” is the first single of that album and will be released in two days, so get ready!

 

 

 

 

The Dead Good and The Vicious Guns

I have been wanting to write about The Dead Good for a long time and now I finally get around to it. Just as I thought that pairing them in this blog with The Vicious Guns would be a good idea, the two bands being inspired by many the same influences but expressing it quite contrary.

The Dead Good I know a bit longer and so they get featured in the title photo.

You see The Dead Good and you are shaking in your boots – you hear them and you are on the floor! (Actually, you talk to them, and they are the loveliest and politest people on earth, so there). Anyhow, The Dead Good are Isabella Knight and Sonny Lanegan from Los Angeles. Sonny used to be frontman of the electronic rock band White Pulp. Now he excels in rock, a touch of blues and punk thrown in. Over it all stuns Isabella with her vocals.

Now, tug in here: Their EP Thirteen Polaroids is on Bandcamp (and don’t be cheapskates now, lads and lassies!) A first taster is here:

 

 

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Now off to The Vicious Guns

Jennie and Richey are The Vicious Guns. Their music goes more into the post-punk, new wave direction, a good knack for a tune they have. The two of them first met in Toronto, Canada in 2008. And since then they have toured relentlessy, received outstanding reviews from all the high places, released an EP and their debut album, started their own clothes line, spend time in Nashville, moved to New York and are now, deep breath, working on their second album. Also, Jennie Vee is doing solo work right now.

Find The Vicious Guns’ EP and debut album Love’s Sweet Exile on Bandcamp.

And this is what they sound like, there is a poppier side to tonight’s blog post now:

Nightynight!