All 2 entries tagged Will Metcalfe

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October 11, 2007

Offbeat – Warwick's Indie Music Society

Offbeat Logo


Offbeat (www.offbeat.org.uk/forum) is Warwick University’s premier ‘alternative/Indie’ music society. Offbeat functions as a safe haven to all those students whose taste in music is not of the ‘mainstream’ variety. Joining Offbeat will give you the chance to meet with like-minded individuals who share your passion for the music you love. Offbeat does this by organizing socials, where members can mix, mingle and build friendships over shared loves. All genres are welcomed, but fans of Indie, Punk, New-Wave, Electro, Psychadelic, Folk and Post-Punk will find themselves particularly at home. The more obscure and different your taste is, the better. Both through discussions on the forums (www.offbeat.org.uk/forum) and chats in the ‘real world’ (normally over a pint or two) Offbeat members introduce and recommend all sorts of different music to each other!

Offbeat’s socials have become somewhat legendary, and offer students the chance to appreciate good music in great surroundings. In the past, Offbeat have used the Graduate Club (located above the Graduate Bar) to stage themed discos, where the members get to DJ and decide what tunes go on the playlist (so, less Bump’n’Grind, more Paranoid Android!). Previous successful disco nights have included a John Peel tribute disco (yes, we played Teenage Kicks twice!), an all-Radiohead night and an all Smiths and Morrisey disco (with much gladioli swinging and effervesce posturing). We plan to continue that this year, so keep an eye on the website (www.offbeat.org.uk) for more details!

Offbeat is also a keen promoter of live music, and usually tries to stage at least one gig a year, with either the cream of the local crop (such as Honeytrap - www.myspace.com/honeytraponmyspace David Bowie's new favourite band!) or Indie legends, such as Darren Hayman (former Hefner) who played for us at Coventry’s premier indie nightspot ‘Taylor John’s’ (http://www.myspace.com/thetinangel). This year, we gave away a free CD to all new members, packed with the best signed, and un-signed, bands on the local scene such as chart heroes The Ripps (www.myspace.com/theripps) and NME hopefuls, The Sequins (www.myspace.com/thesequinsspace). If you didn't get one, sign up to the forum, and I'm sure we can get a CD to you.

Offbeat is a constantly evolving entity, and keen for new members and new ideas. Please sign up online (www.warwicksu.com/organisation/4200). As a member of Offbeat, you will be entitled to discounts on the Universities new club night, Electric City, gigs and discos, organized by or in conjunction with the society. You will be put on a mailing list and receive regular updates as to what’s happening in the indie/alternative world, in and around campus. Being in Offbeat is a great way to make new friends and to discover some great music- join us now and discover the alternative campus!

http://www.offbeat.org.uk/forum

[/shameless plug] 


October 09, 2007

Black Francis – Bluefinger

Title:
Rating:
5 out of 5 stars

Will Metcalfe

Hey Francis, how long has it been? Five, ten, fifteen years? Maybe not so long, but it’s the neck end of a decade since we bid adieu to the fat bloke who inspired Stiltskin or something. This rebirth of alt-rock’s favourite son has been much touted, but with good reason. You know how Pixies records have that timeless feel to them, they could never date badly. They will never date badly…well Bluefinger is just the same. The surf edge has gone but the Hispanic licks, psychotic vocals and off kilter humour remains – ‘He played piano really fucking good’.

Bluefinger could be the soundtrack to a spaghetti western, not just any fly-by-night cheese fest though, one that even big Duke Wayne would star in. It’s an erratic tongue in cheek trip to yesterday but you know the best part? Good ol’ Blackie is having a ball, and because Francis is having fun you can have fun. It works.

Lyrically it’s the same affair, deadpan, austere, surreal. Although a never ending stream of adjectives could not help but fail to describe this record. Whilst this is not a retread of Pixes albums it would be fair to say that there is a hint of familiarity in the sound of Bluefinger; both from the 4AD days and the Frank Black years. From the psyched out rockabilly punk of opener ‘Captain Pasty’ (that’s Paste-y not pasty) through to the soiled farewell of title track ‘Bluefinger’ the record radiates Francis’ talents and reminds you that whilst he may forever be associated with the Pixes he is so much more than that.

Whilst ‘Threshold Apprehension’ celebrates the past with a great sense of majesty tracks such as ‘Lolita’ emphasise the path of Black Francis as a solo artist, it’s nothing as drastic as a departure from the favoured stance but it’s a different take and as tongue in cheek as ever. Tongue-in-cheek is perhaps an apt description, especially lyrically. Titles such as ‘Tight black rubber’ and ‘Threshold apprehension’ are more than mere suggestion: ‘She bit me and I just filmed her’ and from ‘Angels come to comfort you’ is perhaps the best line on the entire album ‘He ain’t no saint/but he was Dutch’.

The crowning glory of this record is the syntax, or lack of it. Each song manages to lean on its successor but not out of dependence, more a general malaise. The frenzied punkabilly moves of the opening tracks soon collapses into moonshine and spittoon type grooves complete with harmonica and sleepy rhythms. The ever changing pace, humour and appeal of Black Francis has once again endured. If you can’t bring yourself to like the Pixies, do us all a favour and love Black Francis. Failing that just keep your opinions to yourself and I’ll make sure all toddlers are returned unharmed. Honest.


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