Author Archives: Interceptor

Kate Stellmanis/Pens – Old Blue Last, London

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Kate Stellmanis

Kate Stellmanis

A roasting hot day in the city, and The Last’s dingy interior offers some respite from the packs of dogs and wobbling drunks outside Old Street Tube Station.

It’s a Thursday, and despite things being quiet, Vice Magazine are launching a Brazilian issue, and the lure of free rum filled Caprianhas has lured a few desperate Hoxton style pirates from their holes. The entire Canadian Hipster population of London sounds like a band in it’s own right, but it’s actually the vocal crowd who’ve turned up to support Kate Stellmanis and her able percussionist Maya.

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Pete Doherty Live @ The Troxy

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Quite standable, actually.

Quite standable, actually.

Sunday night, and something decidedly indie and mainstream for the staff of DownTuned, as we brave both the East End and a style of music that doesn’t include a pig sacrifice, strange days indeed! But while the dodgy boozer next door doesn’t fill me with confidence for the evening, things pick up on entering the Troxy’s glorious 1930s art deco environs, complete with balcony booths and even a bloody carpeted dancefloor-god alone knows how they get the stains out…

It seems like the country air and pies are doing young Pete a world of good, as he ambles amiably onto stage in fine fettle, actually filling that suit for once, and launches into a lone acoustic version of “When the lights go out”, and sets the tone for this evening, one of shambling, good natured fun with the newly christened Peter and a few celebrity great mates.

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Higher Love: The Further From You The Less To Speak – Demo Review

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Not the best CD cover I've ever seen...

Not the best CD cover I've ever seen...

As the weather turns ever colder and the nights ever darker, it seems only fitting that we get round to covering some Goth on DownTuned, and they don’t come much Gothier than London’s (And formerly Warsaw’s) Higher Love.

While The Cure are the obvious touchstone throughout this demo, there are touches of U2 (Especially in the twangy, hangy guitar lines) and Joy Division to be had, and at least a faint glimmer of perrenial underdogs London After Midnight and some very early (Read: very odd) Human League. There’s certainly a very 80s vibe going on, and the heavily accented vocals actually help add to the generally vampiric atmosphere at times, putting me in mind of Outcast (not the “Hey-Yah!” Andre 3000 ones…), and this has the potential to be a major selling point for the band, if only they weren’t quite so po-faced (Or possibly “Poe” faced?) about it all. Goth, while being deadly serious, is also an inherently ridiculous form, and it’s best practitioners know and play on this.  This failing is unfortunately particularly apparent on “Do You Talk About Love”, where amatuerish production and deadly seriousness combine to create humour for all the wrong reasons.

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Puck: All We Got – CD Review

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puck

Puck are obviously a band who have worked hard on their sound, for a demo this is super slick with a solid, clear production that showcases frontlady AmyJay’s soaring vocals. If anything however, this could be as much a problem as a bonus. Things start promisingly enough, with a chunky, stonery riff introducing opener”Fly”. Once those vocals kick in however, the heavy edge quickly rubs off. I’ve mentioned the slick production, and combined with the high end vox there’s a definite touch of 80s and early 90s rock to this, Heart and Vixen springing to mind (and bizarrely, the fictional Tia Carrera fronted band from “Wayne’s World”!).

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