A music blog, reviews and comment from an overly opiniated 26 year old London bloke

Motion Picture Soundtrack, Water Rats, London, 22nd May 2009 May 31, 2009

Filed under: Blog,Gloam,Reviews — gloamsticks @ 9:44 pm
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motion picture soundtrackI’ve known Motion Picture Soundtrack since my days at Uni in Canterbury. My band played a few gigs with them, and other bands on the same circuit always showed a certain amount animosity towards them. This was partly due to what appeared to be a lot of well looked after expensive equipment (you see, you’re not a real band unless your gear was battered when you bought it off eBay and has got more battered since) but mostly due to them apparently being on the brink of real success. Envy, I suppose, but I found it hard to feel anything negative towards them, as they were¬† nice guys who got us a few gigs. And, well, they were really good.

I say the brink of success, it actually became a bit of a joke during the years of playing with them that nothing actually would come to fruition. There was always a rumour that MPS had got interest from a major, their debut single was coming out next week, no, week after next, no, next month… Talking to the band before this gig it was clear that this was still ongoing, only now it didn’t sound like bullshit. An album recorded and major labels at the door, they are waiting for a bit of positive PR to give them the green light.

So, to the music. Back when we first heard rumours of MPS hitting the big time it seemed feasible, the world was looking for another Coldplay. Main touchstones are, Jeff Buckley and… er, mostly just him. Since then though, indie bands started aping the Libertines, carried on aping the Libertines, then aped the Libertines a bit more, until we all got very very bored and invented a new genre which didn’t have to involve guitars. It was called New Rave and only people who wrote for or read the NME really believed in it. Nonetheless, the Libertines were only aping the Kinks in the first place, so that makes the term ‘the new Coldplay’ a massive oxymoron – anything traceable back to Coldplay is inevitably old hat and unfashionable.

All of which basically means that for the majority of their life, this band has not made fashionable music. Which I think is the major reason why they haven’t breached the next level, because they are certainly good enough. They have always created soundscapes, but before those were created with guitars, delay and the occasional e-bow. Now it involves strings samples, Graeme Blackwood’s drumming has become massively fuller and more rounded, whilst the guitars and bass sound the same but EVEN more expansive.

Other than being unfashionable, the only shortcoming of MPS’ have ever had is a lack of songs that you’d be able to pick out of a line up. Nothing is particularly memorable. As debut single Departure bursts into life the sound hits you deep in the chest, and as I sit here now I could probably still hum the melody to the chorus, but it is still the only moment in the entire set that might stick. The rest is just a feeling…

But, it is a good feeling. I am unsure as to whether they’ll make that next step. I do hope they do, but MPS have crafted a sound for stadiums, and I’m not sure I can see them playing much bigger venues than here at the Water Rats…


The beginning of GloamSticks… May 21, 2009

Filed under: Blog — gloamsticks @ 10:14 pm
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This is my first blog post here at GloamSticks. First thing’s first, it seems to make sense that I choose this moment to lay out some guidelines I intend to stick to (these are for me, but for you to be aware of to tell me when I’ve gone astray) –

  • Regularity. As this is going to be written entirely in my own time, I need to make sure I find that time. I’m going to aim to post at least once a week at first. Who knows, eventually I might get a reader or two who will actually chase me up if I haven’t posted in a while…
  • Topic. This blog is about music. I am interested in other things, but really, they’re not as important. This blog is hear to be about music and every post should have a connection to that.
  • Balance. As explained on my about page, there are two sides to this blog, they both need to be seen too. If it gets too sincere, that ain’t good,¬† it is equally bad if I stop posting anything about anything that is vaguely thought provoking.

That is all. For now.