I/V: A Quick Chat with Tone Idle

Tone Idle are duo James Matlock and Marc Manning who along with their bass-filled synth-accented electro tunes featured on the blog a while back – they’ve been busy mixing and making new tunes lately so it’s ripe time for a for a quick chat.

The premise is simple, the band share their top three answers to three questions, so here goes!

Tone Idle’s three biggest influences and why?

1. It starts with groups from before our time such as Earth Wind and Fire, Kool and the Gang, Funkadelic, Gap Band, Prince, Tower of Power, the Brothers Johnson etc. They wrote some timeless songs, with great hooks, rhythms and melodies amongst many other things. These guys also supplied with some cool drum breaks, which are still popular today.

2. We’re both fans of metal, mainly for brutal guitar riffs and insane blast beats, stuff like Pantera and Testament, Early Killswitch, God Forbid etc. The stamina involved in performing this stuff live is incredible.

3. Anything that exploits rhythm and tone.

Three favourite remixes/songs of 2010 so far?

1. Zombies For Money – Numbra One (Foamo Remix)

It’s absolutely disgusting filth.

2. Noisia – Alpha Centauri

It’s all about the blend between quite hard-hitting synths and rich sounding 80s-esque pads.

3.  A1 bassline – Close to me.

Tasty arpeggios that mix beautifully. Fat Distortion, cool drum patterns and melodic too. Love the way he takes one riff and keeps it exciting.

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The Libertines Live at Reading 2010

In case you didn’t already know The Libertines reunited to play slots at the weekends Reading and Leeds festivals. The band have always divided opinions but my feelings are clear, ignore the media circus surrounding them, they are one of the best bands of the last decade and of critical importance to the rebirth and rejuvenation of the UK indie/rock music scene.

Sadly like most of you reading I wasn’t there, judging by the footage on the beeb it seems they’ve come through it with flying colours and maybe they could pay Ireland a visit? Here are a few moments captured by the BBC whose festival coverage is always second to none. It’s a pity our ‘state’ broadcaster pretty much ignores our own festivals, more interested in the likes of Crystal Swing, show bands and making a career for Ryan Tubridy (rant over).

Eoghan over at The Point of Everything has almost the whole show in videos (kudos) you should definitely check it out over on his blog.

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Electric Picnic: Picks for 2010

Electric Picnic takes place this weekend and it will be my 4th trip to Stradbally for what’s become an annual musical pilgrimage. There’s plenty to do over the weekend; an eclectic mix of music, food, drama, arts, comedy & spoken word with George Galloway & Howard Marks in particular being an exciting prospect. This year will be a little different for me as I’m taking part in the 90km ‘Tour De Picnic’ cycle to the festival in aid of Temple Street Hospital – I’d expect to be a wee bit tired on Friday night but one must persevere.

None the less here is a purely subjective take on what acts worth a little of your time over the weekend. I’m always up for new musical discoveries especially at festivals so any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

(There’s no stage times yet but I will fill them in when they are announced – go here for the day by day break down)


Laura Marling: (Crawdaddy Stage 19.15)

Laura Marling is one of the stalwarts of the burgeoning folk renaissance in Britain and with two albums under her belt beautiful, seductive and sultry folk has never sounded better.  I saw her at Oxegen but the setting wasn’t suited to it with bigger stages drowning her out – looking forward to seeing her in more suitable surroundings at the picnic.

Mp3: Laura Marling – Devils Spoke

Johnny Flynn: (Body & Soul 19.10)

Friday is all about Folk and Marling’s mate Johnny Flynn is no slouch, a superb song writer whose ability to mold folks past with the here and now is unsurpassed by his contemporaries. He has two great albums under his belt, this year’s Been Listening and the masterful A Larum in particular means we should be in line for a memorable performance.

Johnny Flynn – The Box

Foals: (Crawdaddy Stage 21.20)

While I haven’t really got the 2nd album vibe from the Oxford 5-piece I absolutely loved Antidotes with its post-punk, looping post-rock jarring guitars. I caught them live last time they played and didn’t disappoint – expecting to be won over on the new stuff by a redoubtable live show.

Foals – Cassius

Others: Duke Special (Cosby Stage 23.00), The Rubberbandits (The Little Big Tent 01.15).

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Friendly Fires – ‘Suck My Deck’

It seems like an eternity since Friendly Fires released their debut album in 2008. They’ve done a 19 track Bugged Out! mix called Suck My Deck featuring 19 trackss, including a new one with a little help from Toronto house crew Azari & III called ‘Stay Here’. Have a listen to it below and the tracklisting is after the jump.

It’s out in September on Rough Trade.

Friendly Fires – Stay Here

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The Last Tycoons Free Single Giveaway

Dublin’s The Last Tycoons debut album has been one of the highlights of 2010 – rootsy Americana/indie rock of the highest order (Check the album review here).

They’re about to hit the road once more for and to celebrate they’ve released single ‘Seven Days (Off The Road)’ (irony eh?) as a free download single from their website.

The Last Tycoons play the Salty Dog Stage @ Electric Picnic Sunday 5th September.

The Last Tycoons – Seven Days (Off The Road)

Noisia, Ed Rush & Optical – ‘Brain Bucket’

I’ve really enjoyed both Noisia and Ed Rush & Optical’s most recent albums, news that the pair had ventured into the studio together to work on some form of collaboration was very welcome indeed.

The result of this coming together of two heavy weights? So far we have ‘Brain Bucket’ to sink our teeth into, a pretty outlandish synth straddling drum n bass tune from two parties on top of their game. It’s not clear yet whether there is more to come from this studio incursion but lets hope so.

If you haven’t already done so check out Noisia’s Split The Atom & Ed Rush & Optical’s Travel The Galaxy, two execellent albums.

Noisia, Ed Rush & Optical – Brain Bucket

Yes Cadets – ‘Lies’ (Super Extra Bonus Party Remix)

Super Extra Bonus Party have been pretty quiet of late, by their standards anyway, so I was delighted to receive this gem of a remix from SEBP’s Cormac over the weekend. It’s a crackin’ rework of Belfast band Yes Cadets recent single ‘Lies’ – brimming of glitchy and  ravey vibes.

Yes Cadets play Crawdaddy on Saturday night with support from Funeral Suits and Talulah does The Hula. Tickets are €8 or €10 on the door.

Yes Cadets – Lies (Super Extra Bonus Party Remix)

Tap Tap: An Overlooked Gem

Tap Tap is a side project of Thomas Sanders, lead singer/guitarist for Pete and the Pirates which is now two albums in, Lanzafame (2006) and On My Way (2009).

The fruit of Sanders simple yet effective approach is perfectly crafted quintessentially English jangly indie/folk with touches of 60’s psychedelia – think of a cross between The Beach Boys, Syd Barrett and Mystery Jets. It flips between the melancholic and beautiful, to the rowdy and rousing without ever feeling forced or misplaced, all while being ridiculously catchy. Sanders timeless songwriting of everyday ponderings coupled with his wonderfully soothing vocals makes for a rather special listen and places it head and shoulders above many contemporaries.

Get your ears around new song ‘Dry Dry Land’ and the emotionally charged drunken ponderings of ‘Half Moon Street’ – perfect for relaxing with on a sunny afternoon.

Mp3: Tap Tap – Dry Dry Land

Mp3: Tap Tap – Half Moon Street