Sunday, 18 July 2010

Dog is Dead - Glockenspiel Song

Dog is Dead have recently appeared at some festivals this year including Great Escape and an
appearance at Glastonbury on the BBC introducing stage.

'Glockenspiel Song' is their Debut single and it cleverly ties in some catchy sounds coming from the saxophone and keys which benefit from a lively rhythm provided by the drums. During the beginning of the song it is easy to think that this song would be a more chilled song – something to relax to on a summery day, however, it offers a lot more bounce and is almost comparable to a Mystery Jets song.

With such tight and well organised playing of the mixture of instruments you could be forgiven to overlook the vocals. However Dog is Dead provide fantastic vocals from the front man which just adds to the summery feeling. The combined vocals shouting, “We are a mess, we are failures and we love it” create a real sing-a-long point in the song and with the song then breaking out into an instrumental finish just gives this song everything – even a saxophone solo!

Overall, a very enjoyable catchy song.

Rating: 4/5
Review by Craig Thomas

Friday, 2 July 2010

Glastonbury – Too Commercial? Bollocks.

It’s come to my attention very recently that a lot of people who don’t go to Glastonbury Festival stand back and say – it’s too commercial. This has always been an annoyance to me and many other Glastonbury goers since this is obviously a VERY prejudice view as many of these people have never been to Glastonbury.

I genuinely fail to see how people can say this if they look at the full line-up and the events that take part at the Festival. Many people who I have had saying this to me are regulars at Reading and have even said that this year they are only going to Reading to see “You me at Six”. Correct me if I’m wrong but are “You me at Six” not played on Radio 1 on a regular basis? Surely this defines commercial bands over non-commercial bands.

Granted if you are lazy enough too solely look at the pyramid stage then yes, it does look quite a commercial line-up with bands Shakira, Dizzee Rascal, Gorillaz and Scissor Sisters. However if you look further into the line-up and look to the stages such as The Park, John Peel and Queens Head, you will see how a lot of the bands are far from commercial. The Park stage, this year boasting bands such as Beach House, Avi Buffalo and Broken Bells who I am sure many of the critics will not have come across so decide to ignore and continue to blab on about the commercial side of the Pyramid stage. The Queens Head stage also hosts bands such as Fanfarlo, My Luminaries and Lissie who again cannot be considered mainstream and commercial. Another band to have appeared twice at Glastonbury is Holy Fuck. Apologies for the rude word but as this is the band’s name I have to type it, the point I’m making here is that with their electronic style and a name like they have the rule themselves out from being commercial.

Aside from focussing on the music, Glastonbury also offers everyone something to do besides the music. There are plenty of things to do for fans of arts and fashion. Places like Arcadia, Trash City and Shangri La offering something to please these people.

The main argument stands with the music. I’d like to think if you held this view that reading this will help to change your mind. I however have never been to Reading Festival, but I will not hold a prejudice view on it either way, I will be going this year and will then like to make my own mind up on the festival.


Saturday, 29 May 2010

Allo Darlin' -Allo Darlin' - Publlished here -

The debut album from Allo Darlin’ gives off a delightful and somewhat innocent sound to summer 2010.

The first track from this album holds an upbeat rhythm comparable to songs by The Drums and therefore a summery sound is created; the irony is that the song actually appears to be about winter. Elizabeth and Paul’s voices work well together and in Paul’s case fashions an 80s sound.

The lyrics from Elizabeth possess a great deal of truth and with it bring a feeling of innocence. Certainly in ‘The Polaroid Song’, where she is simply telling us about old times, taking Polaroid photos and dancing on her own. When combined, this gives an image of young love in older days. The music does nothing to hinder the overall summery feel and with the inclusion of a sprightly played flute jumping in this is a very chirp song.

‘Kiss Your Lips’ once again is a song which resolves around truth and innocence. Especially with lines like, “I kissed you lips and they were kinda salty” and reminiscing about being on a ferris wheel and singing Weezer songs. This is once again a very summery song and with the rhythm and guitar it does bring a thought to the mind about Noah and the Whale.

Alongside having the summer songs Allo’ Darlin create a fantastic love song with ‘Heartbeat Chilli’. With the honesty of the lyrics and by singing about something as simple as making dinner, they have managed to make it relatable to love. The final line of this song just sums it all up wonderfully – “I adore you; give your heart to me” – a real strong sense of innocent love.

‘If Loneliness Was an Art’ begins with a bouncy bass line creating a slightly different sound from the previous songs. The song gradually picks up the summer feeling with a few “La’s” towards the end, keeping spirits up.

The final song, ‘What Will Be Will Be’ is a cute rendition of ‘Que Sera’. Elizabeth’s voice fits this song perfectly and with Paul’s company creates a modern twist to this timeless classic.

Overall, a fantastic collection of innocent summery songs complimented by the voices of Elizabeth and Paul.

Rating: 4.5/5

Review by Craig Thomas

Monday, 24 May 2010

The Twilight Sad - The Wrong Car EP - Published on

The Twilight Sad return with another powerful and vocally striking couple of songs with some edgy remixes to go with.

Fans of The Twilight Sad will be familiar with the authoritative voice of vocalist James Alexander Graham and he once again does not disappoint as the vocals immediately stand out upon first listen to ‘The Wrong Car’. The song gradually builds into slow yet explosive drumming which when combined with the vocals hits you hard. This seems to indicate the Scottish roots and influence in the band.

‘Throw Yourself into the Water Again’: with the title of this song opening many questions as to what the song could be about, the words follow the same pattern - especially with lyrics like “dancing over your grave”. Once again the power of the drums and vocals combined is a big stand out element of the song and mixed with the guitar gives an overwhelming muscular feel.

‘The Room’ is a song that has been beautifully remixed by Mogwai with more of a synth sound created. The electro drum pads don’t give off the same power with the vocals, however with the synths, James’ voice is allowed to be the main listening point. The remix has a great flow to it and the dragging synths just add to the overall melancholic feel of the song.

The final song included on the EP is a remix of ‘Reflections of the Television’ done by Errors. The original version of this song is very atmospheric and the remix it does slightly lose that. However, Errors have created a livelier song with some energetic synth and electronic sounds. Due to the power of James’ voice nothing is lost with the vocals and it’s quite surprising how well his voice sounds over the Errors electronics. This song is the stand out from the new EP, simply down to its originality and creativity.

It is very easy to categorise The Twilight Sad with the likes of Frightened Rabbit or Biffy Clyro due to their Scottish routes and powerful Scottish accents. However, The Twilight Sad have added a darker twist to their highland music.

Rating: 4/5

(Errors Remix 5 out of 5)

Review by Craig Thomas

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Stilje Nes - Crystals - Posted on

A very peaceful and tranquil sounding new single from Stilje Nes, the singer-songwriter from Norway.

It seems there are many talented artists coming from Scandinavia lately and Stilje Nes joins that group. Her music is recorded in loops as she performs by using several different instruments. The combination of Stilje’s enchanting voice and her exquisite mix of instruments, including a looped viola, combine superbly to create a captivating and almost fairytale soundtrack.

Stilje has a voice comparable to the likes of Feist; however it holds a much more delicate feel, more comparable to the likes of Lisa Hannigan’s music.

Stilje also includes a twinkly musical backdrop and the soft gentle flow of the song as it flutters by you is complimented with each chorus as they merely add to the songs rhythm, instead of rocking it. Just as the song seems to be building into an upsurge of intensity it gradually ceases each instrument in time, halting as the song lapses out.

A pleasant new single from Stilje Nes, offering something to lose yourself in. Let the imagination take you where the music does.

Rating: 4/5

Review by Craig Thomas

Sunday, 16 May 2010

The Drums Sefl Titled debut album review - Published at

There has been a lot of hype surrounding The Drums since we first heard their debut single ‘Let’s Go Surfing’ as well as them receiving the Philip Hall Radar award from NME.

On initial listen to their debut album, it is very hard to find a flaw and being released in the summer the music seems perfect, as if wrote for the season. On further listens however, it all seems just too repetitive. The guitar offers a lively jangly rhythm but it seems to be followed throughout the whole album.

Despite the repetitive rhythm some songs do still stand out. ‘Let’s Go Surfing’, despite being around for a while now, is definitely an example of one of these songs and one that most people are familiar with because of bands’ debut EP. From the whistling to the jangly guitar riffs, it still offers that summer vibe and is something everyone can sing along to on the summer dance floors.

‘Best Friend’ is another song from the original EP which still jumps out, offering some lively electronic sounds to get bodies moving. The song loses the repetitive guitar for some bouncy, jumpy electro beats.

The vocals from Jonathon Pierce really shine through in ‘The Future’ – the last song on the album. The power of his voice really stands out in this song and mixes in good health with the twinkly music. The vocals in this track could well be associated with some of the ballad style songs of the 80s.

A song that draws you in after more than one listen is ‘Forever and Ever Amen’, instead of just relying on catchy, bright sounds, this one seems to go further - even offering some 80s style synth. This song goes deeper than the music with its lyrics, which are strikingly about love - something that may not be associated with The Drums and their style of music but this song is a real stand out from the album.

The debut album from The Drums does become a bit repetitive with the continuous guitar riffs repeated throughout in most songs. On the whole though, this album is perfect for summer lovers as it offers the whole package - a great soundtrack for those who enjoy light, fun and happy songs.

Rating: 3/5

Review by Craig Thomas

Friday, 23 April 2010

Young Rebel Set - Lennons Southampton 17th April

The seven piece band from Stockton-on-Tees stepped up onto a very small stage barely leaving a single member with any room to move.

The immediate thing that was striking about this band besides the seven of them stood up on stage was the voice of their lead singer. He has a strong voice and sung with his northern accent, creating a similar voice to that of Liam Fray.

Their music was definitely lively and offered a folk feel, which naturally led to a lively crowd bobbing up and down to the bouncy bass lines to songs such as ‘Rosie’. The folk influences that the band have shone through in this song and scratchy sounds of the acoustic guitar that were played in sync with the bass and mandolin made it stand out.

As well as creating bouncy lively songs with punchy drumming these young rebels have the ability to create a song with a much more meaningful edge to it. ‘I won’t get up again’ was one of these songs – with catchy lyrics and forceful drum beats, it had the feel of a ballad, slowly building up to the big sing-a-long, which made this song one to stick in your head – no wonder is it set to be released.

The band managed to show us a softer side with ‘If I Was’, which came across as a gentle love song. The guitar during the intro was parallel to something from Bright Eyes. This song immediately came across as a wonderfully wrote love song and could easily something you’d hear on Valentine’s Day swapped between many couples. Lyrics like, “If I was a betting man, I would bet you loved me too, I’d bet everything I had for chance to be with you”, paint an image of a song wrote for a loved one.

Listening to the lyrics in more depth there seems to be more to the song. “I wish I never learnt a chord” and “I wasted so much time” could have led the audience to believe that the song may be about love lost due to music.

A fantastic performance from Young Rebel Set containing something for everyone.

Rating: 4/5

Review by Craig Thomas

This has been published on Southsonic's website.

Save 6 Music

Save “6 Music”!

For many years I have been listening to BBC 6 music radio station after discovering it one Sunday morning when I found myself bored with nothing to do. I was immediately hooked on the music that they played and the quirky presenters they had to go with it. After recently this year discovering that the BBC have plans to take the station of air I was saddened and like many others couldn’t see why they wanted to do this.

For myself and I am sure for many other people BBC 6 Music has been a great source for discovering new music from the various selection of music they play on the show. It’s probably the only radio station in the UK that plays the music that they do. Mix the music with the quirky presenters and there is not much else more that you need for a great radio station.

A story reported in the Times said “The BBC has failed British musicians and their fans by deciding to shut the digital radio station 6 Music, record industry chiefs said at the weekend.” The story goes on to say “In a strongly worded letter to Mark Thompson, the Director-General, representatives of the music industry said they were “surprised and alarmed” by last week’s report in The Times that the broadcaster is to close the alternative music station as part of an overhaul of the corporation’s size and scope.” The BBC in my opinion fail to realise the popularity of the show and how it is so important for new small bands to get radio coverage as it is a lot harder for them to get played on radio 1. As nowadays we have no Top of the Pops by having “6 Music” it’s where a lot of bands are showcased to the public for the first time.
Some people have been arguing that the BBC needs to take “6 Music” of the air so that they can save money. I feel that it would much more sensible for the BBC to cut the salaries of their “Stars” like Jonathon Ross. I have also spoke to people and heard people say that Radio 1 is a good hub for introducing new music and to be honest this idea annoys me as I don’t think anyone can compare Radio 1 and “6 Music” for playing and introducing new music. Radio 1 always has been and always will be a much more commercial radio station and they have set playlists as to what they have to play whereas 6 Music plays a much greater variety of music. They allow for much more personality for their presenters who reflect this with the music they play.

I really do hope that Mark Thompson and the BBC come to their senses and realise that 6 Music is far too important to the public and to the music world to be taken off air. They should look at other ways to restructure the BBC without damaging the music sector.


Monday, 19 April 2010

Joshua Radin - Bristol Thekla - 15th April 2010

Joshua Radin pleases his fans in a very intimate and cosy venue with fantastic support from “The Staves” and “Lissie”.

The Staves were the first to grace the stage on a warm Thursday evening in Bristol – three young girls with very melancholic voices leading to a beautiful start to the night. With a one guitar and three stunning voices they created a sound comparable to Laura Marling. Each and every song was greeted with a very appreciative applause by the audience.

Lissie followed The Staves and certainly the expectant crowd. A very charming American gal singing with all she had and she seemed extremely grateful to be in the UK. The performance was folk, blues and country all in one. It was a very strong performance and most of the audience found themselves foot tapping along with songs such as “In Sleep” and “Little Lovin’”. No wonder they received such a great reception from the Bristol crowd.

Joshua Radin didn’t leave the crowd waiting long and entered the stage with his band and “The Staves” providing the backing vocals.

Joshua started his set with “No Envy No Fear” and had the crowd gazing at him in wonder. During the song Joshua even stepped away from the mic and closer to the crowd, still not losing the impact of his wonderful voice. The self proclaimed “whisper-rock” style from Joshua Radin shone through in this song and throughout the night.

One thing about this performance that stood out was that he constantly kept the crowd involved whether it was just by telling them a story or by asking questions. There was constant inclusion of a story before every song he sang – why he wrote it and where he wrote it etc. The stories gave every song that much more personal meaning especially in the case of “One of those days” which he wrote after seeing his ex-girlfriend everywhere he went.

“Sky” which was performed by Joshua and The Staves lead singer was a very intimate acoustic performance with the pair sharing a mic and singing in perfect harmony as the rest of band exited the stage to leave the spotlight on the pair.

Joshua took time to perform some new songs with which he got the whole audience involved in. He had the crowd shouting out lyrics to the chorus in one and clapping along to the rhythm in another.

All in all a fantastic intimate performance by Joshua Radin.

4 out of 5

Craig Thomas

Friday, 26 March 2010

Errors Review Published on Sonic South

Their MySpace reads "Four guys without any spark of talent", a very ironic title for four very talented musicians.

A smoke filled stage partly cleared to reveal the band circled around their instruments. The front man, so to speak, stood at the front of the group manning two keyboards in his geeky attire and addressds the crowd to thank them for coming down – pretty much the only time the band were heard speaking.

After kicking off with their song 'A Bridge or Cloud', which had an interesting introduction that included the guitarist 'humming' down his microphone, the crowd immediately livened up and the sheer talent of the 'Errors' became apparent. There was no need for lyrics and vocals with these guys as their unique electro sound juxtaposed with exciting edgy guitar riffs blasted into the crowd causing movement throughout.

Foals came to mind when listening to this band with its exceptionally wacky guitar sounds reminiscent of songs like 'Balloons'. The song 'A Rumour in Africa', from the new album was probably the stand out song and it brought most of the crowd to go from their lazy and casual head nodding and foot tapping to get lose and dance about in exaggerated movements. From young to old, front to back, wherever you looked people were moving about.

As a final treat for the crowd they played 'Salut France', a song which definitely holds more of an electro influence from the band. Similar to the work of Holy Fuck with its heavier synth sounds dragging out underneath the bouncy and snappy keyboard. They drew out the ending, ripping out the synth for as long possible and casually left the stage with the crowd wanting more.

Rating: 5/5

Review by Craig Thomas

To see the published on line article click here :

Broken Bells - Broken Bells

Combine James Mercer from The Shins and Dangermouse what do you get? The answer is Broken Bells.

The album starts with “The High Road” where there is a feeling of The Shins with it’s laid back and chilled rhythm. Obviously with James Mercer singing it will still sound like The Shins but this song sounds like it could have been from anyone of his previous albums. It has a splendid feel to it, something for a lazy summer afternoon. Dangermouse’s influence can be heard with the electronic sounds popping up in the background and the whole thing works beautifully.

The same could be said with “Vaporize” where once again this song sounds as if it could be from one of The Shins albums. Another song that just works again though as the instruments mix together to create another joyful song

The real stand out song from this album is “The Ghost inside” where there is a much more upbeat feel and a Michael Jackson –esc high pitch voice. This song wouldn’t go a miss at a party to bring people together in a swaying dance. There is definitely more input to this song from Dangermouse but when combined with James’ voice it works well and creates a catchy song.

Fans of The Shins should be very happy with this album as they still have James’ voice to listen to and it would seem that he gets a lot of say into each song. However they may need a bit of time to adjust to the “newer” electric sounds. Especially with “Mongreal Heart”, the music from this song sounds like something you would here in an 80’s film soundtrack – a good one at that!

Overall this is another great album from James Mercer with help from Dangermouse it creates a new but well worked sound.

I am a big fan of The Shins and this album does enough to keep me interested especially as James does the vocals. Some songs do have a new edge to them but for me it all works and is an album I have found myself “biggin’ up” to my friends.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Local Natives - Gorilla Manor

People could be excused for thinking Local Natives may be “just another folk band” but they be sadly mistaken in this instance as Local Natives offer something different. Gorilla Manor is the debut album for this five piece band from L.A who have been tipped for great things this year as the apparent Folk movement continues.

After listening to this album it is easy to see why people have been tipping them for success. “Airplanes” the second track on the album shows a darker side to the band. Lyrics such as “I did not know you as well as my father” and “I want you back” seem to suggest this is a sad song sung about the loss of a loved one. A song which I’m sure lots of people including myself can relate to. The contrast to this darker song can be heard in the next track on the album “Sun Hands” which has a much livelier feel to it with its quirky guitar lines and constant rhythm from the drum beat. This same use of instruments can be found in further songs on the album and there appears to be a continual use of this rhythm.

A lot of people have been comparing Local Natives to Fleet Foxes and it’s plain to see why when you hear the vocals. In songs like “Shape Shifter” there is without doubt a Fleet Fox feel. However if you were to ask me I would say that this band offers a lot more than Fleet Foxes. They also have songs which would be able to get a crowd going and with “Warning Signs” that is definitely the case.

Local Natives are another great folk band to come from the US and I’m sure we will be seeing a lot more of these guys. I am a huge fan of this album and have been listening to it non-stop since I purchased it. Each song has its own individual impact on me for different reasons. I wouldn’t be surprised if we were to see them appear at several festivals this summer.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Frightend Rabbit - Nothin Like You (Video)

From Frightened Rabbits new album which I am still waiting for!!!

I like this video :)

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Album review

Jose Vanders – Literature Lovers

So I recently purchased an album called Literature Lovers by Jose Vanders, a young, up and coming singer songwriter with a voice which reminds me of Emmy the Great.

Literature Lovers is a beautiful album and the real stand out from it immediately is Jose’s voice. She posses’ an outstanding voice which she uses to express her lyrics and every song is sung with meaning. As well as having a great voice Jose plays the piano and creates a melancholic sound in songs such as “man on fire” which is one of my personal favourites from the album. The piano is also used to a lively manner in songs like “summer” and this creates a song that sticks in your head.

With the album “Literature Lovers” not only are you rewarded with beautiful songs, you also get the lovely album artwork. Each page holds photos from the past and present as well as lyrics to songs – in some cases hand written, this to me makes the album feel that much more personal.


Saturday, 6 March 2010

Some Gigs I have recently been to see.


So on my last post I promised I would review Jamie T and other gigs that I was attending. I also said I would have an interview with Cosmo Jarvis but unfortunately that had to be cancelled.

However, I did very recently get a chance to interview Lauren Pritchard who is a new signing to Island Records and that will be played on my radio show which you can catch this Tuesday at 6pm go to

Heres my reviews hope you enjoy.

Jamie T – Southampton Guildhall

What do you expect when you see Jamie T? It was lively, passionate and crazy! Bottles were constantly thrown to the stage I found myself in a very vulnerable position as I got hit by numerous bottles. The crowd were encouraged to throw more bottles during chaka demus and we saw a surge of bottles flying through the air towards the stage.

I was very impressed by the performance of songs of the first album with songs such as “Salvador” and “Operation” being performed at a much faster pace – something which Jamie said he liked to do to get the crowd moving. It certainly worked and maybe even too much as at the end there was a large fight between about 30 people. Nothing to serious just some over excited fans I guess!

Twin Atlantic – Southampton Joiners

Oh how I love a Scottish accent! These guys didn’t fail to impress. This was an exceptional gig with an extremely powerful performance from all. Twin Atlantic powered through some album tracks and the usual 14 year old mosh pits began. Songs like “Lightspeed” proving to be very popular amongst the crowd and it was plain to see that Twin Atlantic have a good following of fans down in Southampton as the crowd sang along word by word.

Sam announced that it was time for some new songs and im sure no-one really knew what to expect as a cello was brought on to stage. The guitarist carried on head banging whilst playing the cello and the impressive performance continued. By the end the crowd wanted more but there were no more songs left to play.

An exceptional performance from a band that I’m sure will be playing bigger and better things in years to come.

Errors – Southampton Joiners

There MySpace reads “4 guys without any spark of talent” however this is very far from the truth. They are 4 very talented Scots!

They kick off and the music reminds me of when I saw “Holy Fuck” supporting Foals in Bristol. No need for lyrics with this sound. Parts of the crowd started to dance straight away to the quirky guitar and electro keyboard sounds. From the new album “A Rumour in Africa” brought most of the crowd from head nodding and foot tapping to get lose and dance.

By the end of this gig the whole crowd were dancing around as the music grew on us all!

Definitely a band worth checking out and going to see if they are playing anywhere near you. I for one will definitely be returning to see them play again.



Sunday, 31 January 2010

Upcoming Events

First things first, Radio Sonar have a 24hr broadcast coming up on Tuesday 2nd February from 9am - 9am Wednesday 3rd. You can catch my show at 12:30 am - 2am. Definately worth a listen if you share similar music tastes to myself as we promise to play only the best music! If this show is on too late for you then we are back on air once again Wednesday the 3rd at 2pm.

To listen simply go -

Also you can follow us on facebook -

Secondly....we have a radio interview and live session coming up with Cosmo Jarvis so be sure to check that out!

Finally I will be seeing Jamie T play live and the Southamptong Guildhall this Tuesday. I hope to give you all a great review of it so watch this space!


Friday, 29 January 2010

First Post

I guess I should start by saying hello..."hello".

Well I feel the best way to start would be to say a bit about the music I like....

Genre wise - Indie / Rock / Punk / Folk / Alternative / Electro

Top 5 Favourite Bands - Death Cab for Cutie, Joy Division, The Strokes, Bloc Party and Frightened Rabbit.

Favourtie Albums - Death Cab for Cutie - Plans, The Strokes - Is This It?, Frightened Rabbit - Midnight Organ Fight, Foals - Antidotes..... and many more but at least you get an idea!