Gig Review:: The Bronx/ Maricahi El Bronx

After a recommendation from my hairdresser I thought I’d go see California-based band, The Bronx at the Cambridge Junction . I had been told they had a mariachi alter- ego and so I was ready for a fun, slightly out of the ordinary evening.

On arrival at the Junction, I soon realised that they’re not just a novelty mariachi act; it was surreal to see that the audience were all fairly heavy punk fans (even if some were a bit “mature”).

When Mariachi El Bronx swaggered on stage in complete charo, Mexican outfits and  without a hint of irony; I realised that they take their somewhat imaginative, side project quite seriously. The hardcore fans, sometimes said to be a cult following, have responded well to the bands Latino rhythms and have shown, the true spirits of die-hard music fans and learned to love the Hispanic sounds. The running order pretty much twinned that of their self titled album starting first with ‘Slave Labour’ and ending with ‘My Love’ but all songs reeked of the passion and feeling they put into their music. The band played with straight up professionalism and didn’t show a trace of their hardcore punk origins.

The next band were the support, Ghost Of A Thousand. On first appearance these were an audacious band with a true punk spirit, so when singer, Tom Lacey jumped back on the stage after moshing with the crowd, it was a surprise to hear he had the speaking-voice of an I.T. guy. Although Lacey’s voice was juxtapositional it didn’t compromise the music that Ghost Of A Thousand play with that of a striking reminiscence to “Gallows”.

After G,O,A,T,  came the headline of the night as it were, The Bronx, this time lacking the trumpets. The band who were seen before as very serious had now taken off the mask and unveiled their gritty, punk , reality. Although they had been stripped  of their charo outfits they still played with the same edge of excitement and feel to their music and just like Ghost O f A Thousand’s singer, front man, Matt  Caughtrain ended up in the audience and dancing with the admiring fans. With so much going for them and the ability to laugh at themselves, the Bronx are a truly inspirational band and if ever you get the chance, go see them as it’s a night you will remember.

By Choo/Chloe Cooper

Single Review:: Imogen Heap – First Train Home

Vocal harmonies and rhythms, choppy drums and a distinct quaintness to every track is all that Imogen Heap seems2jb049 to be good at, but that might not be the worst thing in the world.

First Train Home, the opening track of her latest album, Ellipse, truthfully, sounds like a track that would probably pass you by if you didn’t pay attention to it – there’s nothing that tears you away from the gripe of daily life, the track has almost no impact or melody that you can really pick up on, and overall, it’s a relatively uninteresting song. Imogen Heap, fortunately, has never really wanted to do anything but write and enjoy music, and that’s reflected here – First Train Home is a track you can whack on your mp3 player, sit back and enjoy. It’s as simple as that, perhaps to the point where it’s actually quite bland. But still, if you like happy, cheery music, there’s no harm done here – and I can’t really think of anything else to say about this track.

The John Hopkins remix on the B-Side of the single, however, really is the track that First Train Home was meant to be. The whole thing feels so heart-wrenching – the broken pads in the introduction, the incredible vocal effects that scream subtlety. Imogen’s angelic voice is complimented with a nearly-orchestral yet simple backing – think a falling-in-love moment – softest touches, fragile, emotive. Hopkins track structure feels as if it was written solely to counteract the vocal line rather than taking to any set structure – the words almost seem irrelevant, the tone and emotion and rhythm of her voice being all that matters to the track, the instruments and Imogen working in perfect harmony. John’s remix ends with the same pads it begins with, as if the song were just one large gradient – the whole thing really is a collage rather than a painting, but that’s where the charm lies. It’s a beautiful track, and definitely one to check out.

Listen here on YouTube

Listen here on Spotify

Gig & EP Review: Tim & Sam’s Tim & The Sam Band

To put Laurie Lee’s words into music, is to present Tim & Sam’s Tim and the Sam Band. One listen to their EP, and you’ll have quenched a thirst for sounds you never knew you were thirsty for.

Tim & Sam's Tim & The Sam Band With Tim & Sam

Tim & Sam's Tim & The Sam Band With Tim & Sam

We first mentioned Tim and the Sam’s Tim and the Sam Band with Tim and Sam (…) in our review of Hafdis Huld’s Academy 3 show. I’m sorry Ms. Þrastardóttir, but these guys really did steal the evening. . Their blend of  ambient-folk instrumental sounds mixes obvious influences like Sigur Ros and Mum, but with subtler sounds more akin to Ludovicio Einaudi or even the brighter melodies of Air.

Multi-instrumentalist ‘front-man’ Tim McIver’s looped guitar-based melodies create an ideal base for the rich layers other members bring, incorporating the ambeince of clarinets, saxphones, pianos, organs; all overlain with simple, perfectly effective glockenspeil melodies. Backing this up are driving-but-not-garish percussion all helping the songs progress.

Tim & Sam’s EP is quite a find; it’s one of those, that you can’t listen to just one song: you just do not notice the journey the record takes you on until you’re at the end. It transports you away through pine-forests and hay-fields and English country lanes. domain tech info It isn’t monotonous nor repetitive, but just so perfectly executed it’s an absolute pleasure to listen to no matter what the occasion.

Out today is their new single on Static Caravan ‘Summer Solstice’ (it’s got to be done hasn’t it). We wish them all the best for the launch party today. If you like the sound of them, check out our free mp3 below, and consider their album, out October 5th. We’re confident that you will not have heard the last of these guys, and we certainly do not hope so. Definately one to check out for the future.

Tim & Sam’s MySpace | Static Caravan

Gig Review: Hafdis Huld

photographed by Johan Eckerström; from

photographed by Johan Eckerström; from

Performing to scarcely more than 25 people can hardly be the biggest boost to your confidence; however, a consistently professional Hafdis Huld wasn’t daunted as her almost brash confidence infiltrated the audience to even get a few tapping their feet and waving their arms slightly.

For starters though, it’s not very often you’re impressed by a main support slot, but everybody has to start somewhere I suppose. To say the least “Tim And Sam’s Tim And The Sam Band With Tim And Sam” stood out; so much so, we grabbed front-man Tim McIver for an interview afterwards and will be combining this with a full live review of their own later on. Make sure you check back later for that. So, back to that minx of Iceland, Hafdis Huld.

Giggling about the Bar Academy and boisterously exhibiting an almost child-like innocent persona, you somehow know straight away that there’s more behind this charming lady than meets the eye. Confidently strutting on stage with a keyboardist, acoustic guitarist and a distinct lack of percussion, she opened with Dirty Paper Cup’s opener Ski Jumper. To say this was starting to feel like an intimate show is a bit of an understatement. After reeling through a few classics off Dirty Paper Cup and a couple of songs off the up-and-coming album, (a particularly memorable one about overly-controlling people as robots) she played charming new single Könguló, written about French urban-climber Alain Robert aka Human Spider (check out our interview with Hafdis as to the reasons behind writing this song). This song promises some decent material off the coming album, which we are expecting to be a much fuller and funky sounding record.

Finishing with a cover of Lou Reed’s Who Loves the Sun, an encore genuinely didn’t seem to be going to happen. But much banter and debate with the crowd and they were breaking into Fucked Up Mind – not the most encore-friendly song, but beautifully performed by Hafdis.

Overall, it has been three years since Dirty Paper Cup in 2006 and new single Könguló promises a different direction for Hafdis Huld. We know she is a very accomplished, dynamic and adaptable musician (check out her collaboration with Tricky) so we are expecting alot from her new album. At the end of the day, we are not so much dwelling upon her performance last night, but anticipating her new record.

You can catch Hafdis Huld at a few more venues on her tour; for more information and records, go to