Mini “Exam Season” Musical update from BollocksToThis


What up my good fellows. Times are tough at BtT HQ. Everyone is busy pretending to revise and preparing to fail their GCSE’s, AS Levels and A levels. So yeah, thats why its been pretty quiet on the music front. I (Curt) am kinda at the advanced note stage of the 50 tracks of 2012 so far. There are some absolute belters on there, so much so that it can only be taken in through small doses. You’ll have to visit the site every day and listen to each song individually. This has nothing to do with boosting site traffic.

To help with the cause, a few fellow music insiders who are far more talented than us here have thrown their “Silver into The Streets” (Ezekiel 7:19. I am studying Theology at AS), including my good friend Andy Westcott from Q Radio

Whilst were on the subject, you may or may not know that I am on The Q Show’s recommender pannel alongside some real, fully fledged music journalists who have well surpassed the blog stage. The show is on every sunday and is a really great listen, spanning all sorts of genres of both new and old tracks from the alternative music scene

Alot is going on in the Liverpool scene at the moment. The first ever GIT award, Merseyside’s equivalent to the Mercury Prize, was hosted at Leaf on Bold St recently. I wasn’t invited so followed the sketchy, coke fuelled twitter updates in between short, sporadic bursts of crying about how small time I am. I unsurprisingly went with a Ninetails win, baring in mind the mega-talented math rock quartet are currently one of my favourite bands on the planet. Super-Scouse rapper Bang On, ambient indie act Tea Street Band, experienced krautrockers Mugstar, media harlots Outfit and the only Liverpool band who have exploded everywhere bar Liverpool, Forest Swords, were my Fernando Torres’ (Back Ups). This, of course, was not how things panned out. The ironically named “Loved Ones” walked away with the award, taking with them their uniquely nondescript form of hipster pop. This was undeniably a very “safe” option by the organisers, much like Kiwanuka as BBC’s “Sound of 2012”. I let my disappointment free into the realms of twitter, to realise I was not alone in my outrage at the musical injustice. Overall, it has to be said that, as fantastic an idea the GIT Awards was, it will inevitably go down as a disappointment. Here’s to next year’s though. Hopefully, with experience, the minor flaws (and they were minor) will be ironed out and the fortunes reversed

One piece of silverware is never enough though, just ask “King” Kenny. The GIT award might be the FA Cup of scouse music, but never disregard the Carling/Worthington/Coca Cola/Milk trophy, or in this case the “Merseyrail Unsigned” award. One of my current favourites of the interspace, Port Sunlight (pictured), are through to the final four due to their their smooth, ambient west coast phycadelica-influenced shoegaze. Think The Smiths meet Dinosaur JR at a Coral gig. Not toally dissimilar to the aforementioned Tea Street Band or “The Gomars” (An ex favourite of mine when I was first discovering live music, who appeared and disappeared into obscurity in the blink of a eye). Debut single “Tismean Beach” is free to download here. I Live near the village of Port Sunlight and I assure you there is no beach. The Award show is on 31st May at The Cavern Club. Tickets are £3 OTD and will not be one to miss.

Elsewhere in the music world, 2012’s two greatest exports so far have been making seismic waves in the battle for indie domination. Alt J uploaded their full debut album “An Awesome Wave" for free on Soundcloud, reaffirming their status as the kings of hipster., it really is everything we had hoped for. Get ready for them to explode. Talking of exploding, Django Django’s recent spot on Jools Holland saw them trending world wide, which is never bad for publicity. This is really deserved. Django Django make inch perfect feel good tracks, utilising simple guitar riffs, synths and vox effects to the max, and top it off with the fact that they are actual genuinely nice people. A rarety in the music world.

The Enemy continue their fall from grace with their new track “Saturday”. 3 years is always a long time to wait for new material, especially when the material is nothing new in the slightest. Although the likes of Hard Fi and Kasabian have moved to pastures new, Clarke & Co seem adamant that lad rock is still alive, donning their branded raincoats and over the top “working class” Coventry accents and performing what sounds like a a bad cover of their horrible second album. It’s not 2007 anymore lads. Sorry. Move on.

I guess I’ll top my whistle stop tour of the music world with an update of whats happening on the wirral (when people arn’t trying to kill eachother). it takes alot for acoustic music to impress me. anything less poppy than Ben Howard usually slips discretely through my brain, shutting the door on the way out, and never returning. It says something huge about the barricade of the talent currently on show in Birkenhead, then, that two drum/synth/tenorion-less acts have managed to lodge themselves into my concious. The first is 16 year old Ellie Smith. I’m not really in much of a position to make comparisons here, primarily because Ellie sounds like nothing i’ve ever heard before. for someone who almost exclusively listens to music at every point of the day, its quite an odd sensation. Some tracks tell you to feel happy. some tracks tell you to feel sad, but Ellie’s music doesn’t put anyone in a box. Ellies music tells you to feel exactly how you want, and that’s just fine. This girl is 16 years old. Just Incredible. In a similar vein, but at the total opposite end of the acoustic spectrum is Lois Warrington. Lois’ influences may be completely juxtaposed with Ellie’s, but the intention is almost identical. Easy listening tracks with a deep real lyrics, precision engineered to relate the Mersey surroundings. Both girls are full of potential, and with a little recognition, are destined to achieve massive things. I know thats a clique, but you have to believe me. Have I ever lied to you before?

If you’re a current artist, send your tracks to Curt@the-mcardles.com. I have no friends, no girlfriend, no talents and no hobbies. Listening to music is all my life consists of. please continue to feed me. If its mega, ill tell the tumblr world

Good luck to anyone still sitting exams. keep your head up. relax. dont mug yourself. work and be safe

Words: Curt McArdle

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