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I once said James represented everything that was wrong with British alternative music. Yeah, well, I got that one wrong. In my defence, I was describing the response that megahit single Sit Down got at club nights throughout the ’90’s. If you’re gonna sit on a barely lit dance floor, don’t get upset when I trip over you...Anyway, to Girl At Te End Of Te World. Having sold 25 million copies of their preceding thirteen albums, it would have been easy for James to stick to a winning formula. And they do. Up to a point. Nothing But Love, To My Surprise, Feet of Clayand Catapult are classic James. But this is a band that has always pushed its boundaries. Bitchand Attentionare contemporary takes on motorik krautrock. Despite the hackneyed title, Dear John is an original take on the end-of-the-relationship song. Surfer’s Song and Alvinborder on the ecstatic. Te title track closes proceedings in James’ classic style, somehow both melancholic and uplifting. Tis is a thoroughly convincing set from a band that are now into their fourth decade. It will keep the old fans happy but is also be a good entry point for new fans or the merely curious.



All I Need is the second album from singer/songwriter Louisa Rose Allen, aka Foxes. And it’s very good. I mean, pop music is most definitely not my thing. Normally. But sometimes something resonates with you, and you just like it, you don’t have to have a reason, right? However, given that this is a review, I suppose I should at least try to explain why I’m so enamoured. Firstly, it doesn’t try too hard to be cool. And, as such, it’s cool. It’s tasteful and tempered, with lyrics that bleed with hope and love and… stuff. Te album flows with synthy- electro melodies and catchy beats, melancholic string refrains and minor- chord piano, so it’s sad but dancey all at the same time. Also, it’s a little bit ‘arty’, like Bush or (dare I say) Bowie, which I like. And, in the same vein as both, it’s unashamed to occupy its own place within the musical spectrum. It’s an album proud to be what it is, bringing some class to a liminal space overpopulated with faux hip-hop nob- ends and crass fashionable pastiches. Not all of it is gold, sure, but it definitely gets a gold star for effort.



Kiran Leonard, 20 year old musical alien kaleidoscope from Saddleworth continues his mission to defy conventions & expectations with his second abum. His level of multi-skilled OUT THERE is beyond anything that gets played on a national radio station (Marc Riley aside) but his delivery is exceptional; visionary songs with no equal or contemporary to compare. Te full lengthPink Fruit is equally mesmerising as unique; apparently the love story of girl and squid. I’ve been waiting for this without knowing it for a lifetime. Maybe artists sound like influences, but I see them as signposts to Planet Kiran. Tis is an insane arc of the covenant, wilfully thrown into the air like magic glowsticks. Discordant one minute, beautifully delicate the next, he serves up clanging, jangling, crooning, screaming individuality; it’s his vision and it’s up to you to dig it. “I lost both my legs, to the same illness, that set your arms free” he croons on Half-Ruined Alreadyamidst an impossibly gorgeous timeless plucked melody; like Jeff Buckley without baggage or trajectory, and again I marvel at his creativity. I am overwhelmed by his majestic originality, commitment and talent. Here are eight incredible tracks that deserve to be heard by people who love music. Hear that blast? Tat was me getting blown away.

20 / March 2016/

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