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Browsing: Music

The punk scene in the 90s was dominated early on by Nirvana, but after the release and success of their second studio album ‘Kerplunk’ in 1992, record labels were starting to pay attention to Green Day. They eventually agreed to sign with Reprise Records after a good connection with representative Rob Cavallo. This led to their major record label debut – the internationally successful ‘Dookie’. The first single released, ‘Longview’, begins with a bass line from Mike Dirnt which is somewhat mesmerising. This continues throughout the song, which is interrupted by loud bursts from Billie Joe Armstrong. It concentrates on…

Photo by Storm FM Bangor, Facebook Date: 28th November 2013 Location: Bar Uno, Bangor On November 28th 2013, a battle was fought. A fierce, fierce battle. The prize? To play the Psych Societies Winter Ball on December 10th. There were five contestants; each of whom put up a brave fight. The Battle of The Bands was put on by Storm FM in association with Bangor University Stage Crew and hosted by Bar Uno. All five bands were given a 20 minute slot in which they showed their talent. The night started with a cool and mellow acoustic act – Sam…

So, has 2013 been a good year for music? We’d like to think so, as there have been some noteworthy album releases this year. Therefore, here’s our selection for Seren’s 10 favourite albums of this year (in no particular order). There are some notable absences which deserve an honourable mention, including ‘AM’ by Arctic Monkeys, ‘Rewind The Film’ by Manic Street Preachers, ‘Night Visions’ by Imagine Dragons and, of course, David Bowie’s ‘The Next Day’… Thomas Bickerdike – Dropkick Murphys: Signed and Sealed in Blood “The boys are back and they’re looking for trouble.” Appropriate words from everyone’s favourite…

Date: 1st December 2013 Location: Wembley Arena, London Having started their tour in October, Avenged Sevenfold’s ‘Hail to the King’ world tour finally arrived to the capital city – London. Wembley Arena has seen a lot of great bands play there to entertain its 12,500 capacity. Having just seen them on Sunday 1st December 2013, I have to say it was a great display of showmanship and the music was immense. I arrived at the sold-out show in time to see the support band, called Five Finger Death Punch. Having never heard of them before, I was pleasantly surprised when it…

Forget the snake, 2013 is the year of the two man rock band. From Wet Nuns to Drenge, DZ Deathrays to Crushing Blows, Bleeding Knees Club to Bass Drum of Death, it’s a scene saturated with talent, primed to explode. Dublin’s ‘Kid Karate’ are the newest sons of anarchy to be born, but debut EP ‘Lights Out’ proves that age is just a number. Don’t take them too lightly. Opener ‘Two Times’ is a tale of love-laced hate, with all the energy and vigour of early Black Rebel Motorcycle Club in a fist fight with Black Flag. Huge riffs and…

After about an eighteen month recording process and a near universally-acclaimed EP, Haim have finally released their debut studio album, ‘Days Are Gone’. Unlike their blues-oriented live shows, the studio version of the band sound more like Pat Benatar drenched in ‘90s pop/R&B harmonies and ‘80s synths. It’s a testament to these glossy touches to ‘Days Are Gone’, then, that post-production was the most painstaking wait for Alana, Este and Danielle. Picking holes in this record is difficult. Its production is slick (thanks to Arctic Monkeys’ right-hand man James Ford and Ludwig Göransson), and songwriting and melody take priority over…

27th October, we lost one of music’s greatest individuals, a man who helped shape rock music for nearly fifty years. He was one of the faces of the alternative rock scene in 1970s. Ladies and gentlemen – Lou Reed. Reed was born on March 2 1942 in Brooklyn, NY. He learned to play guitar by listening to the radio and developed an interest in rock and roll and rhythm and blues. He played guitar in numerous high school bands. After graduating from Syracuse University in 1964, he moved to New York City and worked as an in-house songwriter for Pickwick…

Photo by Lawson Official, Facebook Dates: 28th September/16th October Locations: Rhyl Pavilion Theatre/O2 Apollo, Manchester I am one of those annoying people that flicks through channels until finding something I like to watch on TV, particularly music channels. I’ll watch a music video that I like and when it’s finished I’ll channel flick until I find another song. It was purely by chance that I discovered Lawson’s song ‘Brokenhearted’, featuring B.o.B.. Liking what I heard I ended up channel surfing so I could watch it again. I spent hours watching their music videos on YouTube. This is what happens when…

Miley Cyrus. Do we really need an introduction? It’s been impossible to escape her these past few months, as she celebrated her emergence from the Disney cocoon with aplomb: twerking, licking hammers, and proving to everyone her Hannah Montana days are long over. Bangerz, Cyrus’ fifth album, is the culmination of the past few months’ publicity. This is her first “adult” album, and she’s determined to make it work and prove her mettle. But does she succeed? On the whole, yes. Vocally, she can’t be faulted. Her voice sets her apart from her peers. Even the copious amounts of vocal…

BBC 6 Music recently broadcast the third annual John Peel Lecture, where a musician presents a view on the current state of the music industry and music-related media. In 2011, it was Pete Townshend. Last year, Billy Bragg. This year’s luminary was Charlotte Church. She described the music industry as having a “culture of demeaning women”. Current pop stars such as Miley Cyrus and Rihanna have been criticised for their sexual imagery. Church called it “a male dominated industry with juvenile perspective on gender and sexuality”. Ms Church related how the industry seems to have roles specifically for women, mainly…

Lately I’ve found myself listening to the radio on the drive to work, perhaps because my CDs have started to skip. For some stupid reason I automatically find myself tuning into Radio One despite the fact that I hate the majority of the music on it and the competitions in between the songs make Radio Four sound appealing. One night however, after working until 2am, I was driving home from work to the sound of an unfamiliar Radio One DJ. From what I can remember it was a show featuring the kind of bands that all the cool DJs knew…

NB: Article penned in September 2012. Does anyone remember the Brit Awards ceremony in circa 2003, when Coldplay performed? No? Well then I will remind you, at the risk of showing my age. Amid the inevitable arpeggio Coldplay introduction that becomes the infectious riff/predictable loop (delete as appropriate), the broadcaster’s cameras focussed on Chris Martin’s spidery hand. On it was written the statement ‘MAKE TRADE FAIR’. This was a reflection on the Fair Trade movement that began in the last decade and has since come –largely- to fruition. Calendars (not those calendars), recipe books, new food ingredient legislation and of…

It’s twenty years since Nirvana released their second studio album, Nevermind and a nineties revival is said to be imminent. How very fly. We at Seren have a soft spot for this decade and celebrate with our annual nineties night every February. The nineties decade was famous for three pops; sugary musical pop, Push Pops and –my personal favourite by a long shot- Britpop. The nineties saw an unstoppable rise of anthemic guitar bands, particularly emerging from London and Manchester- or as it became known in this musical movement, Madchester.  I never understood why London Britpop acts did not adopt…

Please note the time of going to press: February 2012. The Brontës- a sisterhood of gothic writers.   The daughters of a solemn Irish reverend, the three sisters grew up at the family home based in Haworth, Yorkshire, although the extended family remained on the Emerald Isle. The Brontës wrote in a time before women could vote and many worked as scullery maids who would be fortunate to earn £6 a year. The educated trio of sisters attended a school for the children of less wealthy clergy members and their love and ability for writing began as a childhood game.…

Kaya Festival kicks off in Bangor this weekend, a month back Becki got the chance to talk to organiser Thabani to find out a little bit more. What inspired you to start up your own festival? I’m a musician myself, so it’s something I am passionate about. I’ve been going to festivals for years, and thought I could add something to the market by creating Kaya, a world music festival with good vibes in a beautiful part of the world. What made you choose Bangor as the location for Kaya? I’ve been coming to Bangor for years for student gigs…

My love affair with Wildlife began when I was given a bootleg copy of Arcade Fire’s Suburbs before its release. I quite happily bopped along for a good month or so before it was pointed out to me that half the songs on the album weren’t actually Arcade Fire, sparking a deep investigation (ie Google) into the origin of the majestic songs on that album. For someone who considers himself to be a bit of a dab hand when it comes to music… well it was a bit embarrassing. However, in my ignorance I had stumbled upon Strike Hard, Young…

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