Month round up ft mini reviews of CHVRCHES, Frank Turner, The Fratellis and Rachel Sermanni

Hey pals!

I try to keep this blog updated as best as I can. The reason that I started Ambivalent Peaks was so that if I was ever inspired to write, I would have a platform to do so. Inspiration doesn’t strike as often as I would like and I don’t enjoy the feeling of rushing anything because usually, if I rush things, I fuck them up. I feel I work better when I can come to a nice round-up after a wee while, collect my thoughts and reflect on what’s been going on. Maybe not the best format for a music blog, but hey ho. I do have a Facebook page now that you can like if you want. 

So what’s been going on?

I’ve been pretty obsessed with the new CHVRCHES.

 

So much so that I’ve went through a phase of listening to their first album, The Bones Of What You Believe againI have concluded finally that that album is most probably one of my most favourite albums in recent times as it’s one I can actually listen to all the way through and enjoy. Now that might not sound like a massive feat, but the way that people in the modern day – and myself especially – consume music is very sporadic. I’ll find a song by an artist that I like and tend to fixate more on that song and how good it is and not be too fussed about trying to listen to the album that it belongs to. Usually, when I do, I find myself skipping songs or not having as much patience as I feel people 20 years ago might have had. Us damn kids and our short attentions spans. Bloody Vine.

Singer of the band Lauren Mayberry also publicly called out dickheads on the internet because they were being a prime of example of why sometimes I hate the entire universe. Being targetted for putting out music that you create I can only imagine is a scary thing to do, but to be attacked by people on the internet for it and ripped apart because of your gender has got to be terrifying. Holy shit, let the girl be in a music video. The whole thing sucks but I respect her so much for calling them out and not ignoring what was going on.

I also got to see Frank Turner in King Tut’s when he played there as part of a very last minute (the announcement was anyway, I’m unsure of the amount of planning behind it) acoustic set in support of his new album. It was really intimate and special and lovely.

From my instagram.

There’s something quite magical about seeing someone who’s capable of playing a lot larger venues playing a stripped back, no frills set. There’s also something magical when smaller artists play the same kind of sets but have bucket loads of potential and you can sense that they’re going to grow and get even better than what you can see in front of you — but you know for now that you got lucky being able to see them early on.

That was a wee bit deep and hipster-y, wasn’t it? Woops.

Moving on… earlier this month I was also very lucky to sit in the audience for the BBC Quay Sessions, a new show for radio hosted by Edith Bowman. The show(if you haven’t guessed) is based at the BBC Scotland at the Quay, where bands come in every two weeks to perform live for sessions.

Although rather than it being an acoustic session ala Tenement TV (see above, one of my favourite bands Manchester Orchestra playing a set for them) or smaller scaled like a NPR Tiny Desk Concert, it’s set up to be as lively as a gig. It might be a little bit difficult for some to zone out and pretend you’re not sitting in the figurative front room of a corporation building, but it works. Set against the backdrop of the River Clyde and and Armadillo in full view, it’s kind of astounding. A gig with a view.

I’ve been twice. The first one I attended, I wasn’t familiar with the artists playing but it was a nice experience nonetheless. The tickets are free if you apply for them in advance. The second time I went, there were some familiar faces. First up were The Fratellis. You know who The Fratellis are. I’d never seen them before, but since they’ve planted themselves firm in the Glasgow music scene as being one of the most well known bands from the city, I was looking forward to seeing if they matched up to their reputation.

I was pleasantly surprised. After almost ten years of storming the charts with Chelsea Dagger, they proved to be energetic and eager to show off their new material. Stylistically, it was very different to what some punters may know and love but their live performance was stellar. Frontman (Did you know he’s not actually called Jon Fratelli? It’s John Lawler. Who woulda thunk it. Anyway, for generalising purposes, we’ll stick to what we all know, shall we?) Jon Fratelli was sweating by the third song in. They have great stage presence and there was some people dancing out of their seats along to them. There was a really sweet moment when a mother and daughter were dancing together in the aisle, to which they were mentioned by the band on stage. I live for interactions like those. See below.

The next familiar face was Rachel Sermanni. Now, I’m not even going to get into how much I was besotted by her. Her performance was a world away from the Fratellis’. Not in a bad way. She was mind blowing. In a way that made you sit and reconsider your entire life. Watching her perform and listening to her lyrics made me want to jump on a plane and head to a remote cottage somewhere in Canada and drink wine and write until further notice. The performance was so captivating and the vibe was totally different. The audience were quieter because they were paying attention. While the Fratellis made you want to get out of your seat and have a dance – which is exhilarating itself – this was exhilarating in a different way. Rather than wanting to get involved with it, I think it is something more to sit back, watch and absorb what’s going on. I walked away a different woman after that performance, let me tell you.

I think that’s everything for now. I’m going to try and get some more updates up on here before I start back at uni next month. Where does the time go?!