Liam Gallagher

The Velvet Hands: Live in London

“Everybody's looking for last gang in town
You better watch out for they're all comin' around”

 

Falmouth’s The Velvet Hands kicked off their intimate sold out tour off at London’s Roadtrip & The Workshop this past Tuesday night.

The Clash had a gang mentality, The Libertines had it and now, The Velvet Hands have it! Despite the rock n roll, the punk fury and the icey coolness of the vocals, they have warm embracing nature. It’s so inviting that, on the modern classic ‘Party’s Over’, the raucous crowd invite themselves on stage for a dance.

On the debut album record, The Strokes influences were plain to see. Live though, they transcend their NYC heroes. As the BRMC inspired ‘Sick of Living’ catches fire, their welcoming spirit permeates the sweat drenched room. What Richard Hawley does via pop couplets and enriching arrangements, The Velvet Hands are doing with garage punk rock.

New singles ‘Don’t Be Nice To Me’ and ‘This Feeling’ also go down a storm. The word is out! The former, a Cribs meets Strokes banger is the pick of the bunch with its ecstatic closing moments!

Brace yourself Britain, you’re about to get new national treasures!

*Image courtesy of Craig Taylor-Broad

The Velvet Hands – This Feeling

Fresh from supporting 2019’s all-conquering heroes Fontaines D.C. and the omnipresent Liam Gallagher, the Falmouth four-piece are back! Their new single ‘This Feeling’, is released on 27th September via Jam X Recordings.

If previous single 'Don't Be Good To Me' was a solid jab, 'This Feeling' is a massive right hook! The brazen NYC rock n roll of The Strokes collides with the Danish punks Iceage. The results, slice of pure devilment.

Despite the chaos, there are moments of pop majesty. The Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist meets Julian Casablancas back ‘n’ forth vocals recreate the Pete and Carl dynamic for a drunken night out in 2019.

Nevertheless, it’s the intensity that overshadows everything here. Pete Shelly may have left this mortal coil but, his soul lives strong and furious in the The Velvet Hands.  

There some moments of real pop majesty lurking within here. The early Libertines back n forth vocals being the cream of the crop. However, it’s the intensity of it all that overshadows everything. With the spirit and the joy of the Buzzcocks in their hearts, it’s to visualise the assault they put upon their kit in the studio.

The Crooks - Now Then

For many Oasis fans, including Noel Gallagher, they wish upon a parallel universe. One where 1997's 'Be Here Now' had undergone extreme quality control.

Well, that wish might just have been granted in the form Chesterfield's The Crooks. Cut them and they will bleed DMA's via the extravagance of Oasis circa 1996 to 1998 but, crucially, without the self-indulgence on their latest EP ‘Now Then’.

'Grey Man' has the lone wanderer feel of Noel's solo masterpiece 'Riverman'. Here though, he walks upright with youthful enthusiasm. The psychedelic guitars of Stee and Mods are the perfect platform for frontman Jacko to execute his Liam Gallagher via Thomas O’Dell (DMA’s) vocals. As Jacko decrees “bring me back to the wonderland”, music lovers over the age of 30 will have their youthful ambition restored whilst this generation runs amok to secure it for them.

The Oasis via DMA’s style continues throughout to wonderful effect. ‘All Isn’t As It Seems’ is a lyrical update of ‘Live Forever’ or The Enemy’s ‘Away From Here’. As the chorus of “I want to live my life away / I’m sick of doing it your way” images of huge festival crowds singing arm in arm come rushing to the fore. Meanwhile, on ‘Champagne & Caviar’, the parallel universe strikes. Oasis’ ‘It’s Getting Better Man’ is cut down to 3mins of scintillating solos and the hunger of ‘Definitely Maybe’.

When they do strike for the stadium rock sound on ‘Rocket’, it comes with the anguish that rock ‘n’ roll needs to truly matter. With a punk spirit in its veins, ‘Rocket’ is the sound of people trying to make ends meet and enjoy themselves. All the while, an Etonian racist and Pro-Privatisation of NHS dickheads battle it out to rule over us. The sheer guts and desperation of ‘Rocket’ can be all things to all people. It’s a clarion call to the jaded and a helping hand to those on the canvas. It’s uniting spirit is a reminder that rock n roll will never die.  

Despite the comparisons to DMA's and Oasis, this is not just a re-hash. The Crooks are very much one step backwards, 2 steps forward sonically. It’s the spirit they evoke on ‘Now Then’ that shines brightest. It’s as though they put Shane Meadows in charge of producing ‘Be Here Now’ to give it the brutal reality check it needed. The results, heady and pure rock n roll.

Friday 2nd August marks our 8th birthday. Come down to the New Cross Inn for a night of great live music. Tickets available here:

The Velvet Hands - Don't Be Nice To Me

With a huge Liam Gallagher support slot in the bag, Cornwall’s The Velvet Hands return with their new single ‘Don’t Be Nice To Me’.

2018’s debut album ‘Party’s Over’ got people talking excitedly about the four piece but, such was the Strokes influence, question marks loomed over future successes. Could they break free from their heroes shackles being the main one.

‘Don’t Be Nice To Me’ is a big stride away from their NYC idols. It’s a short sharp upper cut to their peers and the drivel in the charts. With the warmth of Palma Violets and the angst of Shame, they have found their sweet spot.

This free flowing piece of rock rebellion is going to cause some serious beer spillages on indie dancefloors this summer!

Friday 2nd August marks our 8th birthday. Come down to the New Cross Inn for a night of great live music. Tickets available here:

Liam Gallagher Live, Ally Pally

Ally Pally, last week, was ventured to with a big sense of trepidation to see the immortal one, Liam Gallagher. The last Beady Eye gig at Brixton was only 3 quarters full, the stardust was fading. So, would this be a giant karaoke set? Will he be killing the memories of youth culture at its finest?

Fears were not put to bed on arrival. Ally Pally acts more as a wankers paradise than a gig venue. More people were queuing for a 15 quid burger than a pint. Then there was the support acts, Kyle Falconer, once great in The View delivered a bland set. Was this an omen? As for Rat Boy, give it up, just become a Jamie T tribute act, least then they can play some good tunes.

However, 'Fuckin' In The Bushes' drops, and there he is. This last great colossus front man. Enigmatic, angry, and disdaining of what he purveys. As “I live my in the city” leaves his lips all reservations float away. Yes, these are Noel’s songs, but without Liam, Noel would be still be polishing Clint Boon’s organ.

The opening pace is relentless, like Roy Keane tearing lumps out of Alfie Inge Haaland in his pomp. As a result, 'Paper Crown' becomes a welcome break. As do all the ballads of his new album. If there was a ‘mic drop, exit stage left’ moment, it was ‘For What It’s Worth’. The apologetic and defiant ode to brother Noel unites this packed crowd in a way that, previously only his brother could.

‘Rockin’ Chair’ was the only time Noel was missed, as the acoustic solo was butchered. Nevertheless, as soon Liam steps to the mic, the Lydon via Lennon vocal makes this blip irrelevant. No matter the song, no matter the writer, this crowd is one big Jager bomb boshing, bank card scratching party.

As you were!

Liam Gallagher - As You Were

“Gonna take you off my list of to do’s / Gonna sing my soul / Shake of these blues”

The opening lines of ‘Bold’, says all you need to know about Liam Gallagher’s comeback. It’s confessional, heartfelt and, to quote the god like Alan Partridge, Liam has “bounced back”.

Anyone who lived through the 90s will have been worried by Liam’s solo album. He embodied so much that was great in the epoch, another lacklustre effort would render him redundant cultural capital.

As the album kicks off with ‘Wall of Glass, the alarm bells ring. It’s that faux chaos comeback single that plagued Oasis for so long (‘Hindu Times’, ‘Lyla’ and ‘Shock of the Lightning’). However, from ‘Bold’ onwards, a remarkable, almost psychoanalytic approach to his character is explored.

Most striking in this respect is ‘For What It’s Worth’. An apologetic ode to brother Noel set to Oasis via ‘Let It Be’ strings was always grabbing headlines. It’s the honesty that shines brightest though. Calling his brother out on his calculated media persona to accept his apology and get the Oasis juggernaut back on the road is a story that writes itself.

The lyrical directness befits Liam’s vocals far better than the hazy psyche of latter day Oasis and Beady Eye. Whether it’s Lennon via Lydon snarl on the bluesy rock n roll ‘Greedy Soul’ or the angelic ‘Paper Crown’, Gallagher’s confessional style has the effect of healing wounds and defying the odds far more than “Gold and silver and sunshine is rising up / Pour yourself another cup of Lady Grey”.

This is yet again exemplified on ‘You Better Run’. An attack on bands and artists who are just happy to be at the party. Liam reminds everyone that being an outsider is something that you live and breathe. It’s not for Chris Martin to write fair trade on his hands. It’s not for James Bay to put on a hat. It’s not for Ed Sheeran to pick up a guitar. It's not for Radio X to have an all male line up. It’s not for Pitchfork to wank themselves silly over an obscure German industrial influence on a Radiohead album and then slate Liam for being inspired by T-Rex.  

When the ‘Supersonic’ documentary came out, it felt the perfect end point for all things Oasis. It encapsulated everything that youth culture and youth culture could achieve. Like a Smiths reunion, it would detract from the power of being young and dampen their greatness. But, when Liam sings “Let's leave the past behind with all our sorrows / I'll build a bridge between us and I'll swallow my pride”, the emotional side of any Oasis fan will find it tough to argue.