Browsing: Music

I have to admit: I’ve been disappointed with the last two year’s Summer Ball lineups. Acts such as Charlie XCX, Wretch 32 and Katy B have failed to persuade me to buy Summer Ball tickets in previous years. Although I realise there is a large fan base for each of these acts, I still believe that the choices were lacking in variety and only adhered to a certain segment of students. However, this changed in 2015. I had promised myself that I’d buy a ticket for Summer Ball this year, no matter how bad the lineup was, simply because this…

‘Maggie Maggie Maggie’ by The Larks. ‘Margaret on the Guillotine’ by Morrissey. ‘How Does It Feel?’ by Crass. Remember these? Unless you’re a Baby Boomer or simply into your political ‘80s rock, the likely answer is ‘No’. Perhaps you remember Klaus Nomi’s ‘Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead’ or Elvis Costello’s ‘Tramp the Dirt Down’ from April 2013 when, as the ever-marmite Margaret Thatcher was lain to rest, some fans mourned while others protested and partied in the streets, reviving these morbid songs and making them more morbid still. The visceral lyrics of these songs sound shocking today. “When they…

Maesgeirchen Social Club is set to play host to an emerging alternative rock band this June. Zefur Wolves is a Welsh 5-piece band, and have written songs in Welsh, English, and Spanish. They were formed when two talented musicians began to work together – both professionally and personally. Super Furry Animal’s keyboardist Cian Ciarán and Baby Queens’ vocalist Estelle Ios are romantic partners as well as being the key collaborators behind the fledgling band. The Zefur Wolves line-up is completed by Danny Wall on drums, Zirian Tahirili on guitar and Trystan Palfrey on bass. All band members are Welsh, and…

It is either an English Lit student’s best friend or nemesis: the Male Gaze. The concept is born from when the audience or reader is presented with an idea or scene from a heterosexual, male perspective. Fundamentally, women become the object of the male observer (who is you, regardless of your gender or sexual orientation). A perfect example of the male gaze was Poland’s entry for Eurovision 2014. The music video is filled with flashes of erogenous zones and girls in traditional dress baking, dancing, or churning butter. The women flaunting their well-tanned, toned and voluptuous bodies are reduced to…

So, Finland got knocked out of Eurovision in the semi-finals. As a Finn this does not awaken feelings of defeat as much as fear. As author Jari Tervo said in his blog after Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät was announced as our Eurovision candidate: “Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät does good for the image of Finland in front of hundreds of millions of viewers as tolerant, humane, open-armed, relaxed, happy, tolerant towards minorities and distinctive. We all know that Finland isn’t like that, but this is the image of Finland we are talking about.” I considered this an accurate statement at the time, and…

The first time I saw Eurovision was when Jedward were bopping around on the stage. I’m going to be honest and say that the event made me feel like I was tripping on something real funky. All the colours, costumes and lights were a bit different for a southern girl like me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen all this Lady Gaga and Katy Perry stuff that’s been going around for the last few years, but if I wanted to see a bunch of people dressed up like they were in a Hunger Games musical, I’d go to the movies. I love the…

If you’re planning to do the Couch to 5K Challenge or even next year’s London Marathon, here are my Top Three Tunes that you should be armed with for your next run. 1. Red Hot Chili Peppers – ‘Deep Kick’ from One Hot Minute. This is a great one to start with as you can warm up while Flea recites his strange and wonderful intro. Then, as soon as he says, “We keep moving, we keep moving,” you’ll know it’s time to move. And driven by Dave Navarro’s heavy riffs, move you will! 2. Femi Kuti – ‘Beng Beng Beng’…

Reviewed by Martyna Piątkowska The British folk scene has just been brushed up with a wonderful novelty in the form of a debut album. These Gathered Branches by The Foxglove Trio was released this month. After the success of their EP Like Diamond Glances in 2013 the band did not drift into hibernation only to spring These Gathered Branches out of the blue, but have been actively sharing their music with eager audiences at gigs across the country, collecting outstanding reviews and blossoming into the mature trio that they are today. Those who are not yet familiar with The Foxglove…

The Pritchard-Jones Hall is a big room. It’s difficult to appreciate just how big with eyes alone; ears are better. An orchestra playing Schubert, Mathias and Sibelius should do. What became apparent on Saturday night, though, was that not even the full force of the Bangor University Symphony Orchestra could fill the space. This is in no way a comment on their effort, which was lustre (if that be the opposite of lacklustre), but on the Hall, which rendered loud music mezzo-forte and soft music muffled, the contrast a middle grey and the drama diminished. Roll on Pontio! Against this…

Seren’s music editor Hedd Thomas will be singing at Lie Still, Sleep Becalmed on 12th March, a new musical and visual production with a twist. He asked Katherine Betteridge, the creative and organisational brain behind the event, to share something about it: The dynamic new North Wales-based arts company, Exploration in Sound, will be holding two concerts on 12th March at 19:30 & 21:30 in Powis Hall, Bangor University. Lie Still, Sleep Becalmed is an exciting musical and visual event comprising a combination of performances by top-class professional musicians and also music students from Bangor University, alongside professional actors and…

Finland stepped up its Eurovision game by selecting the very first punk band in the history of the competition: Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät (Pertti Kurikka’s Nameday; PKN). Consisting of middle-aged men with learning disabilities, the band first started off in a music and culture workshop for disabled people in Helsinki. PKN won a spot at the Eurovision finals with their song ‘Aina Mun Pitää’ (I always have to). When interviewed about their victory, PKN bass player Sami Helle said: “We don’t want people to vote for us out of pity. We are not that different from other people. We are ordinary…

Many consider Finnish music as either metal or classical. Even though this reputation is not unfounded (that’s where symphonic metal comes in), one side of Finnish music is sadly lost in translation: its tradition of storytelling. Varying from funny – “A reason for a lonely night Unnecessarily often is the shape of a bouncer In front of him I’m more scared Than in front of a judge.” – to dirty (Finnish dirty songs deserve their own article), lyrics often tell an entire storyline. The stories told in these lyrics are often stingingly accurate perceptions of human nature. One example is…

After the rationalism of the Age of Enlightenment, Middle Europeans were feeling a bit detached from their feelings and from their place in nature. Instead of grand architecture and fancy portraits, artists like Caspar David Friedrich began depicting fearful mountains and lonely woods. People were painted as tiny figures in an overwhelming environment, as in The Chasseur in the Forest, or with their back to the viewer, as in the famous Wanderer above the Sea of Fog, a painting that epitomises the period. Instead of celebrating society and civilisation, poets likewise took an introspective focus on man’s individual hopes and…

Last year, tenor James Gilchrist visited Bangor University to perform Franz Schubert’s song-cycle Die schöne Müllerin (The Fair Miller-Maid). He returned last Thursday (29th January) to a three-quarters-full Powis Hall to give a recital of that composer’s other great – many would say greater – song-cycle, Winterreise (Winter Journey). Gilchrist used to be a doctor before turning to singing full-time some twenty years ago. I just hope he never had to do surgery or go poking in any orifice, as the first thing I noticed was his hands. They could not keep still. They’d reach out as if to embrace…

New Year’s Eve is a musical time. For some it’s a night for unrestrained camp and cheese at a house party, for others, big beat and DJs at the best club in town. I’ve even crossed the midnight mark with some merengue and salsa. That’s New Year’s Eve. But what about New Year’s Day? While many stay in bed to sleep off the previous night’s festivities, others will be forgiving themselves for having missed that first post-resolution morning run, but will nonetheless be rolling out from under the covers, making a mug of delicious hot chocolate and plonking themselves in…

Current and recently-graduated composition students at Bangor University have been tasked with an unusual commission opportunity for the 2015 Bangor New Music Festival. Visiting the Centre of Alternative Technology (CAT) on Monday 10th November together with Dr. Guto Puw, a composition lecturer at the university and director of the Festival, the composers viewed, examined and played with a pingpong table to germinate ideas. A pingpong table? Yes, you read that right. This was no ordinary pingpong table, however. Created by Christine Mills and Carlos Pinnati, former Artists in Residence at CAT, the idea for the piece of installation art began…

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