Archive for John Bills

Harald Math – Etcetera, Etcetera

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , on April 4, 2012 by innothingwetrust

My good friend Jonty has written an album and I have been helping him record it. I have previously posted 3 teaser tracks, but now I can point you in the direction of the album in its entirety. Think Reuben, think Deftones, think Million Dead, think summer pop singles and definitely think Yugoslavia. Harald Math’s ‘Etcetera, Etcetera’ is available for free download here:

http://haraldmath.bandcamp.com/

All art by Lisa Thompson. Bloody lovely art too.

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Gig Review: Katzenjammer

Posted in Music with tags , , , on March 23, 2012 by innothingwetrust

Scala, King’s Cross, Thursday 22nd March 2012

My mad Norwegian housemate Silje insisted that all her friends, my friends and people she didn’t even know go down to Scala near King’s Cross last night to see Katzenjammer, a folk/ gypsy/ punk/ rock quartet hailing from her home country. The tickets were £15 – quite a lot in these austere times, especially for a band you’ve never heard of who play a genre of music you don’t really like. Let me tell you, £15 was a bargain.

I’ll say this first – I don’t particularly like this style of music. There is not enough distortion or half-time for my liking (indeed, there isn’t any) and in general it’s all a bit ‘kooky’ and whimsical. I like my music serious and loud, not care-free and upbeat! But despite all this, Katzenjammer are one of the best bands I’ve ever seen, and I mean that. The four young lasses making the noise are extremely talented musicians. There is no ‘drummer’, ‘lead singer’, ‘guitarist’, ‘bassist’ or ‘keyboardist’ – every member is an accomplished player of every instrument, and they switch between them freely from song to song with absolutely no detriment to the quality of the sound. And the quality of the sound is exceptional.

Even if it wasn’t for the fact that the girls are charming and hold the crowd in the palm of their hand, or the fact that they each play about 10 different instruments every night perfectly, or the fact that they play as a unit more tightly than most other bands you will see, or the fact that their catchy songs are crafted in such a way that they are all recognisable yet not all the same, what would still stun you into having to peel your bottom jaw off the sticky, beer-soaked venue floor is the quality of the vocals.

Hands down – Hands. Down. – the best live vocals I’ve ever heard and I think I’m ever likely to hear. All four girls have utterly perfect voices and their four-part harmonies resonate flawlessly. Two songs in particular stand out from their set: my personal highlight ‘Wading in Deeper’ was dropped in fairly early and is a beautiful and haunting song. One of their quieter and more ‘serious’ numbers, the vocals – especially when performed live – would send shivers down the spine of a mollusc. Similarly, the first song of their (first) encore, ‘God’s Great Dust Storm’ is a showcase of the natural musicianship that Katzenjammer possess. Completely a capella, save for some very sexy atmospheric echoing floor-tom accompaniment, the quartet stay perfectly in time with each other and – far more impressively – perfectly in pitch. Watch the below video to the end and then go back to the start, the pitch has not changed. Not even a quarter tone. And there isn’t an earpiece in sight. Perfect.

However, most of their set, as I mentioned, sounds quite different. It is a mix between Gogol Bordello, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the score of Fiddler on the Roof, which is a bizarrely entertaining blend. As my friend John Bills and I were discussing them, we also realised that they have about 10 songs which could win Eurovision at a canter. And we don’t mean that in a derogatory sense.

Katzenjammer are able to deliver the Holy Grail of live performance, namely the ability to produce CD-quality sound without just sounding like the CD. The energy and passion in their delivery spreads through the crowd like wildfire which in turn feeds the band and by the end of the night, the crowd is a frenzy of very happy drunkards dancing. I have used some form of the word ‘perfect’ no less than 5 times during this review to describe the quality of playing and singing. Perhaps this is indicative of the fact that I need to go out and buy a Thesaurus to expand my vocabulary of superlatives, but there just doesn’t seem to be anything more fitting. The style of music I could take or leave – I really enjoyed some of it and I can very much see why the rest of it is so popular. But the performance was perfect. Watch the videos:

Wading in Deeper

 

God’s Great Dust Storm (live)

Harald Math: Where Foxes Turn Into Peacocks

Posted in Music with tags , , , , on March 21, 2012 by innothingwetrust

Below a link to the third teaser from John Bills’s album ‘Etcetera Etcetera’. It is called ‘Where Foxes Turn Into Peacocks’. John does writing and guitaring, I do singing, bassing and drumming.

http://haraldmath.bandcamp.com/track/where-foxes-turn-into-peacocks

Harald Math: Love Movies

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , on March 5, 2012 by innothingwetrust

The second release from John Bills (Harald Math)’s free album ‘Etcetera, Etcetera’. This is summer pop single ‘Love Movies’. John does the writing and guitaring, I do the drumming, bassing and singing. Link below:

http://haraldmath.bandcamp.com/track/love-movies

Harald Math: Existential Mathematics

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , on March 5, 2012 by innothingwetrust

A very dear friend of mine, John Bills, has written an absolutely biblical amount of songs. The man is a musical machine. He is collating his favourite few into an album called ‘Etcetera, Etcetera’ and releasing it for free to the masses. Below is a link to the first song to be released, ‘Existential Mathematics’. John does the writing, shouting and guitaring. I do the drumming, bassing and singing.

http://haraldmath.bandcamp.com/track/existential-mathematics

You can also find a link to his highly entertaining blog penguinorchestra in my links on the right hand side.

Enjoy!

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