ALBUM REVIEW: Hey Sholay “((O))”

‘Buzz Band’ is a title that can kill a band before they have even had time to shine. While a group needs to garner attention as they are on the rise, to be suddenly awash with praise can be more than a little bit detrimental. A ‘buzz band’ often explodes, basks in the immediacy of success and glory, then fails to live up to the praise. Sheffield ‘buzz band’ Hey Sholay have done far from that. While they have clearly won over the music press, both at home and overseas, they have far from rush released a product to appease fans. Instead, the five piece have focused their energies on crafting a brief, but fully captivating and most mesmerizing debut album, “((O))”.

Clocking in at just over half an hour, and boasting only nine tracks, “((O))” is a short, sharp, well executed introduction as to what is to come.  Though there will be obvious comparisons to an array of other leading Sheffield acts, notably the jaunty indie pop of Alex Turner and his pals, Hey Sholay have produced a sound that has their signature all over it.

Lead singer Jono is a dynamic presence. His raw, rich vocal sends shivers down the spine. He delivers each line with an emotional punch, yet never overblows his point. With echoes of JJ72’s overwrought Mark Greaney and Starsailor’s commanding James Walsh, Jono is compulsive listening. Surrounded by a cacophony of sound, he takes you on a sweeping, moving journey that allows you lose your inner self along the way to the hypnotic beats and melodies.

Hey Sholay are a band who defy categorisation. Though they are a commercially entertaining proposal, with a radio friendly sound, they are far from pointed solely in that direction. At the core is clearly a love of electro, while the classical also rears its head with tender piano recitals. While “Burning” and “The Bears, The Clocks and The Bees” are easily the strongest contenders for the top of the pop charts, it is the dizzy “Dreamboat” that really gets you going.
‘((O))’ is a stunning debut, but it is also far too brief. While it wows and woos with every turn, you can’t help but want more as it comes to an early close.
Hey Sholay are so much more than a ‘buzz band’. They are a stunning, engaging sensory treat.
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Jeremy Williams

FESTIVAL REVIEW: Summer Sundae, Leicester

Summer Sundae is a The Kaje favourite. A city festival which is so far removed from the city. Just a stone’s throw from Leicester city centre, Victoria Park is transported for one weekend a year to a world of artistic wonder. With performers including Adam
Ant, Katy B, Ocean Colour Scene and Patrick Wolf on the line-up, 2012 was full of early promise.

However, the Katy B headlined Friday night failed to live up to expectations. With a distinctly small audience wandering between four performance spaces, it was difficult for any real buzz to be created. While Bastille packed out a sweaty Watering Hole, Patrick Wolf mourned diminished audiences in Crocodile’s Lagoon for his tender acoustic set. For her part, Katy B pulled in the punters and had all ages bouncing to her euphoric pop-dub.

Thankfully the sun shone on Saturday and the audience arrived in droves. With a spring in everyone’s step, Victoria Park was abuzz. Hotly tipped girl rockers Savages brought a touch of Juliette Lewis inspires glamour to the day, while the lush Lucy Rose won hearts with her wistful woes. Birmingham’s Goodnight Lenin’s Stornoway-esque folk captured hearts, while Adam Ant made everyone ‘Stand Up and Deliver’ with a riotous set. Ocean Colour Scene were worthy headliners, though the stand out performances of the day came from the enchanting Agnes Obel and addictive Lianne La Havas.

Sunday saw rain but few were deterred. Appearing far too early in the line-up were Leicester’s finest Midnight Wire, who out in a set so fresh and energetic that memories of early Arctic Monkeys were provoked. Equally exciting are Norway’s Team Me who whip the main stage into a frenzy. Beth Rowley and Juan Zelada both inject a little blues into the day, but it is Sheffield’s Hey Sholay that steal the crown with an unforgettable romp.

As ever Summer Sundae does not disappoint. An eclectic line up celebrates an array of artists and caters to all tastes. While there were a handful of lowlights, notably the over-hyped Friends and frantic Japandroids, here at The Kaje we say roll on 2013-though next time have La Havas headline!

Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Mark Chalmers
Photographer: Jeremy Williams

The Kaje talks global goals to San Cisco

While in the 60s the Brits invaded the world with their musical prowess, only to be superceded by the States for the remainder of the century, the Teens looks set to be dominated by a superlative invasion by the Antipodeans. While it could be argued that ex-Soapstars Kylie, Jason and Dannii dominated in the late 80s, the early Teens has been kickstarted by Gotye, Kimbra, The Jezabels and Angus and Julia Stone.. However, we would like to introduce you to Fremantle popstrels San Cisco, who we personally feel could eclipse everyone before them… Reminiscent of The Clik Clik, San Cisco have a fun bite that is sure to linger…

For those who don’t know you, tell us a little bit more about how it all came together?

I was playing shows solo around our home town of Fremantle and I decided that it was becoming a bit boring so I start playing some songs with my high school friend Josh. I then won a song writing award that gave me two days of recording time. At the same time I had been doing some jamming with Scarlett who was a family friend of mine. The recording of our first song which was ‘Rocket Ship’ was what bought the three of us together back in 2008 or whatever it was. Then we decided to play some live shows under the name of King George – this is when Josh and my very good friend Nick came on the scene to play bass. After a while of playing folky stuff we decided it was time for a change, so we had a bit of a make-over an decided to call ourself San Cisco!

How did you settle on the name San Cisco?

We liked the name San Cisco because it was like a blank canvas, in that it didn’t mean anything and perhaps we could make our own meaning to it or create our own genre of music. The name actually means nothing.

How would you describe your sound?

Indie-pop-surf-rock-gangster-punk-folk

Who would you say has been your biggest collective influence?

The Beatles

The last year has been amazing for you in Australia, how would you sum it up?

A series of fortunate events and a lot of support to make the most of those fortunate events.

How much has the success on home turf altered your ambitions?

Quite a bit, as when I first started playing music I just did it for fun and never thought it would be more than a little hobby. I thought that I would finish school and just go to uni, but it turns out the band is way to full on for uni or a job, so I guess our ambition now is to make a living out of music for as long as we can.

The video for “Awkward” has been a runaway success on YouTube-what was the thought process behind the video?

We just wanted a simple video for a simple song.

The single is the lead off new EP “Awkward” – can you tell us about the record…

‘Awkward’ is our second San Cisco ep and I feel that it projects the sound we are going for a lot better than our first (Golden Revolver). The second single, ‘Rocket Ship’ is an old song that I wrote before the band formed and was actually the first song we recorded together. It has been re-recorded since then of course and moved down a semitone to allow for my voice dropping haha!

Which song serves as the best introduction to your sound?

Oh that’s too hard to say! Probably some of our newer songs that have not been released yet.

“Awkward” contains an Arctic Monkeys cover-how did you settle on the song?

I have always loved that song and the Arctic Monkeys. We were never really planing on doing a cover, but one afternoon we were left with nothing to do so we thought we would give it a crack.

What other songs are you keen to get your teeth into?

‘Roses’ by Outkast. It’s a great song!

What is the key to a good cover?

No idea! Personally I think a good cover is when the artist or the band gives the song their own twist, but this is hard to do without completely butchering the song. It’s not about making it better or exactly the same, you want to make it a little diffrent from the original. For example, ‘Going To Acapulco’ by Jim James from the Bob Dylan movie is a great cover.

You are now embarking on global domination – what are your hopes outside Australia?

To play lots of shows, learn lots of things and make lots of friends.

If there is one market you could crack-which would it be? Why?

The fresh produce market because we like our veggies!

What is your one goal by the end of 2012?

Release an album that we are all very proud of.

Interview by Jeremy Williams

EP REVIEW: San Cisco “Awkward”

San Cisco’s single ‘Awkward’ has already clocked up over a million views on YouTube and is set to become the second international super-hit from Australia of 2012. While Gotye may have leant heavily on ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep’ for his inspired hit ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’, San Cisco’s ‘Awkward’ channels the lesser known indie popstrels The Clik Clik to create an unforgettably frenetic, quirky indie pop number. The formula, though beg, stolen and borrowed is perfectly executed and leads nicely into the Fremantle foursome’s debut EP ‘Awkward’.
Musically ‘Awkward’ is anything but. Containing four self-penned tracks and one cover, ‘w’ is a well-executed introduction to a young band who clearly know who they are and where they wish to head.
While their reworking of Arctic Monkeys’ ‘505’ is far from inspired, the fact their only cover provides the EP lowlight is no bad thing. Of their own compositions scant a bad work can be said. With ‘Awkward’ and ‘Rocket Ship’ demonstrating the band’s playfulness, ‘Lover’ showcases the band’s aptitude for storytelling, while ‘Reckless’ opts for lyrical depth and channelling emotions.
San Cisco are without any doubt an exciting proposition. ‘Awkward’ may only be five tracks long, but each number brings a different strength to the fore. With ‘Awkward’ offering such an exciting insight, we just have to hope that San Cisco do not fall into The Jezabels trap of releasing a stellar line-up of EPs only to fall flat at the album challenge. San Cisco could be the most exciting and versatile band of the decade, only time will tell. But rather than wait patiently to see what will unravel, we suggest you simply pop ‘Awkward’ on and bop along to your heart’s delight.
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Jeremy Williams

The Kaje talks returning to Tenacious D

Jack Black and Kyle Gass first formed Tenacious D in 1994, but it was a good 7 years before their mix of rock and comedy really hit the big time with their 2001 eponymous debut album. Never in a rush to release, the pair waited a good five years before unleashing “The Pick Of Destiny”, and another six years have swiftly passed by since. With the dynamic duo finally ready to release album number three, “Rize of the Fenix”, The Kaje have been lucky enough to have a quick chat with the pair to find out more…

You haven’t released any songs since 2006, what brought the group out of it’s hiatus?

K. Well, I guess…Love of the game? Yeah I’m gonna go with love of the game.

J. Yeah, I’m gonna go with love of the game. Though it should be a multiple choice, you should give us all of the possible reasons as to why we came out of hiatus and then we choose one!

What has Tenacious D been up to in this time?

J. What have we been up to since the last time? Well we’ve been working on our
meditation, a lot of meditation. There’s been a lot of time spent in the Himalayas. There’s been a lot of exercise and diet. There’s been a lot of nose to the grindstone. That’s right, I’ve been nose to the ground stoned! We put out a DVD, about three years ago.

K. That’s true. The Complete Master Works 2.

J. This time even more completer! We’ve been working very hard to complete a
masterpiece, you know. But what else have you been up to?

K. I’ve made babies since last time.

J. I’ve been making babies too, but I just can’t find them.

K. Did you lose them?

J. I don’t know where they are. Maybe we’ll find them somewhere on the road!

So can you tell use a little bit about the inspiration behind the songs on this album, and a bit about your songwriting process?

J. Well my inspiration was really just my children. It’s kind of like when Creed found out about his baby and he wrote all those songs about it – like ‘With Arms Wide Open’. This is kinda my “Arms Wide Open” album. Would you agree?

K. I don’t know, that’s the first I’ve heard!

J. I guess the inspiration was the haters, the non-believers, they inspired us to fight much harder. I mean, it’s definitely our comeback album. We’ve been gone for years. What was the inspiration K, besides fighting off the haters and the critics?

K. Well every song has it’s own story really. I mean, ‘Low Hangin’ Fruit’ was
inspired by sexy, you know, sex. ‘Senorita’ was inspired by sex. Okay so I guess
there’s a lot of sex in there.

J. The cover of the album is really a big raging boner. I guess the inspiration was orgasms. We should put orgasms on the special thanks list, I don’t know why we didn’t really.

K. Not until we get more, more and better ones.

J. I don’t need more, I have all the orgasms I need.

K. Really?

J. Well, if you have more orgasms then they’re not as good, you know that. You’ve gotta spread them out. If you’re gonna want an orgasm every night, it lessens their explosivity. You’ve got to hold off sometimes, just to have a bigger blow-out.

How are you hoping the critics will receive the new album?

K. I hope they rave about it. I’m gonna read every single review.

J. I hope that they speak the truth, my only fear is that they’ll speak what they think they’re supposed to think. They’re gonna say what they’re supposed to say oh these guys are just clowns right? We don’t take these guys seriously, right?’. That kind of bullshit. It’s lazy. I’m open up to critics who will really listen to it and say what they really think, as I honestly think it’s the greatest album in the last seven years. And you say ‘why seven Jack, why not just one year?’ Well seven’s just the number that came into my brain.

Have you received any feedback, have you read any reviews yet?

J. Everyone who’s heard it so far has creamed, they’ve creamed upon it. The songs are better than orgasms, it’s been proven scientifically. They’ve wired people brains and when they listen to the album their pleasure cylinders fire on all cylinders. K, can I get your back up on this?

K. I’ve read every review so far and they’ve varied about 90% positive. There was a bad one.

J. Who fucking dared?!

K I can’t remember who it was! It said the big comeback falls short.

J. What a dick! Well my mum likes it a lot.

K. That guys either a lier or has the worst taste.

J. You know what I wanna to, I want to go back into the archives and see who he likes. Maybe, ‘Well Linkin Park’s new album, that’s an album I can really get behind! That’s an album I can really sing and dance to!’. That fucking asshole can just chew on it all day long. And when I say ‘it’ I mean my shit.

What’s it like making music together again and being back together as a group? Is it the same dynamic or has it changed?

J. You know, it’s bettter than ever, really. The older I get the more I appreciate the comradiory and the creative buzz that we get – it’s been a pleasure. I love to rock. How do you spell that?

K. ROQUE?

J. I do love to roque. Roque and roll!

So a fair chunk of your tour is going to be spent in Europe in June. What do you like about performing for this specific audience and what are you hoping for those shows?

J. Well we’ve never played in Germany before so that will be interesting. We’re
looking forward to seeing if the hunger for The ‘D’ is as ravenous as we’ve heard. But the UK has always been some of the best shows we’ve ever had. They just have a deeper appreciated for rock than the rest of the world. And it makes sense, I would say most of the best rock has come from the UK, and it makes sense that they would appreciate it more. Wouldn’t you agree K?

K. I do, I think the people in the UK are just a little smarter, a little more
sophisticated. Thank you UK.

Talking of British rock, what kind of British rock do you like?

J. I don’t know if you’ve heard of these kids, the Arctic Monkeys? I like some Arctic Monkeys, and have you heard of a band called Biffy Clyro? We had to open for them. The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, there’s just some really great bands.

So what are your favorite things to do in Manchester?

J. I like to go out for some curry and I like to just wander the streets, on a little bicycle built for two. I like to do a lot of tandem biking through parks, and just meet some people.

K. Get up close and personal.

J. I like to go to a book store and curl up in the corner, read some Sherlock Holmes and talk to some different British people, and the Mancunians. I like to have a spot of tea and a crumpet. Or just stay in the hotel room. I remember that Manchester rocked extra hard though. It’s the Philadelphia of England. That’s a compliment, they’re a very rocking audience.

And you played Glasgow in 2006, what are your memories of the show there?

J. Well that was one of the best shows ever, remember that K?

K. Yeah

J. I think that was the biggest show we played in the UK, and it was off the scale. I remember some ‘ole ole ole’ before the show started, and I remember our opening act were almost killed by being pelted with pennies. Then we went on and the sound of the audience was similar to thunder, Kyle almost had a cardiac arrest because it vibrated his cheastal cavity so intensely.

K. I tell you, that would have been a pretty cool way to go.

J. Kind of. ‘He died because his heart was such a pussy’. He just couldn’t survive the roar of the crowd, and what a roar! And they just kept it coming, we rocked them and they rocked us. And we were rocking back and forth all night long – it was very similar to sex. And we got a tremendous climax. I imagine the people of Glasgow are waited with baited breath for our return, because no one’s loved them like that since.

I think they will be. You’re playing the same venue as last time too.

J. Well I hope they’ve reinforced it, because it shall be shaken.

You’re doing three dates in London – can you tell me a bit about what your favourite things are about London, and what you’re looking forward to doing?

K. It’s awesome, I love the London fog.

J. In all honesty, the parks are the most beautiful feature of London as a town. You don’t get a lot of towns in the world any more with so much beautiful green parks. I would go down and swing the frisbee a lot. I’ll be meditating, playing frisbee and having a little picnic. I’ll be there everyday.

And you’re also going to be playing Download festival in June. What can we expect from your set?

J. Well I’ve heard that if they don’t like you they throw urine at you. Hopefully we’ll be well liked. But you should expect an umbrella – I’ll bring an umbrella just in case. As much as I appreciate the golden showers, I don’t think it would be safe – there’s possible electrocution.

K. I think we’ll be playing fewer songs than we usually do.

J. That’d right, the festival crowd – you’ve got to keep it tight.

K. Look forward to a very economical set.

J. You can expect a spirited…no, muscular set. There should be a sexier word than muscular, but fuck it. It’s gonna be a good set.

K. Enthusiastic?

J. No…

K. Stimulating?

J. But you’ll be hearing new songs.We’re gonna kick the teeth right out of the gig with some new songs.

K. We’ll massage their libidos in the second half with some old favourites.

J. But it’s probably gonna be about 45 minutes of love.

Do you have anything else you would like to add?

K. Whatever you do, UK, do not download this record. Go to the store and buy it.

J. Are you really lecturing them on piracy. No one wants to hear you lecturing them about piracy. That is the death knell of record sales!

K. I’m gonna buy up all the vinyl, there won’t be any left. That shit’s a good
investment.

J. Yeah if you buy it all imagine how valuable it’s going to be? It just like buying
stocks. It’s like the most precious stock you can buy. Okay I take it back, that’s good sound economic advice – not a lecture at all. You’re looking out for the fans.

K. Make sure you put it in a safety deposit box. Don’t take it out of the wrapper.

J. Unless you have us sign it. But then they’ll never see that gorgeous poster inside of you and me naked, coming out of the flames.

J. But thanks UK, we’ll see you soon. And one more message for Europe: just stay alive. Because it would be a shame if you died before the D came into town. You don’t want to miss this.

Interview by Jenn Nimmo-Smith

The Kaje talks establishing motives to Young Kato

Young Kato are a six-piece from Cheltenham who are set to become the band of their generation. Every so often the music scene needs shaking up, then a band springs up taking the lead from those that went before, but delivering it with their own style and swagger. Young Kato do exactly that. While their influences may be worn on their plush sleeves, they channel their creative spark into a new mould. Though they will be the recipients of comparisons to everyone from The Horrors to The Maccabees, The Arctic Monkeys to Pulp and Foals to The Smiths, we predict that Young Kato will be so big by the turn of 2013, that the need for comparison will fade by the time you finish listening to debut single “Drink, Dance, Play”. Luckily it appears that guitarist Jack Edwards has similar dreams and ambitions..
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So we know you are a six piece and you are from Cheltenham, but tell us a little bit more about how Young Kato came to be… How did you settle on the name Young Kato?
We didn’t! 2 of the 6 band members were totally against the name but after a week of brainstorming and only have one or two people liking the names being suggested, 4 out of 6 was quite good! I suppose being such a big band doesnt make it easy when it comes to things like that… So many of us to please!
Who brings what influences to the table?
We are all into bands such as Foals, The Maccabees, Friendly Fires, Dog is Dead, The Vaccines etc but then we all have other influences. For example, Tom (vocals) is into his 80s stuff… the likes of Duran Duran and The Smiths. Harry (keyboard) loves his jazz and often listens to Oscar Peterson, Herbie Hancock, Joshua Redman and Hiromi. I’m also into the slightly heavier side of the current Pop/Rock scene – Bands such as Twin Atlantic and Deaf Havana, so we get quite a wide spread of influence that probably comes through in our music.
As with all newcomers your sound is being compared to those that have gone before… What have been the best and worst comparisons you have heard?
The best comparision we’ve heard I think was “They’re like One Direction meets Arctic Monkeys, meets Morrisey”, another being “The Smiths with attitude” which was quite cool. Worst one would have to be “A cheap Two Door Cinema Club”, which was pretty bad.
If you had to draw your own comparisons-who would they be with and why?
I’d probably say The Killers with a hint of Morrisey and U2 because people have described our songs having “massive chorus’, and “lighters in the air” verses similar to that of an arena band sound. People also often comment on Tom’s Vocals saying “he sounds like Morrissey”.
You are about to release your debut EP-you have opted for the self-titled route.. Why?
Simply just an introduction to our music, we feel having the name directly alongside the music gets people knowing what we’re all about – we are Young Kato and this is our music.
Can you tell us a bit more about each of the four tracks…
Without giving too much away…
TRACK 1, ‘Drink, Dance, Play’ – A vibrant, youthful track showing off our bands energy. This song has always been the fan favourite with chants and stage invasions.
TRACK 2, ‘Break Out’ – Lyrically this is our strongest song as we co-wrote with Chelt born Ian Dench (EMF). Yet again a song with energy and a song that we connect to, as we sing/shout about breaking away from our daily routines of college/school/work.
TRACK 3, ‘Life’s Good’ – An upbeat love song that simply tells her that life is what you make of it, its time to stop moping around and get on with it.
TRACK, 4 ‘Revolution’ – Predominantly the bands favourtie song, another co-write – this time with Gordon Mills Jnr. A great bloke who works with lots of up and coming bands/artists including Ed Sheeran. The lyrics are strong, surreal and honest and rounds off our EP perfectly as we feel even though we wrote and recorded it in a day we feel we have found our sound.
How did you know which tracks were worthy of being on your introductory EP?
All four of the tracks have a big pop sound which is youthful and upbeat we felt the first release needed to be happy so that everyone can relate to them, not soleum and miserable like many songs around at present.
How did you select “Drink, Dance, Play” as the lead single?
There are so many “indie” guitar bands out there at the moment and we feel “Drink, Dance, Play” play has a completely different vibe to anything else. The combined factor of it’s uniqueness, the joyful vibe and the raw fact we are not ashamed to admit were making pop music the way it should be are the reasons we’ve chosen it as the single.
What hopes do you have for the single?
We’re not hoping to conquer the world for starters (even though that would be nice), after all it is our first release. We just hope it can raise awareness of the band and our name, then hopefully we can go from strength to strength after its release.
With the EP all set to be unleashed, are you looking forward to a life on the road?
Most definitely, the best part of being in a band is playing shows – what could be better than playing shows every night for weeks in a row, going to places
we’ve never been and meeting new people who all have a huge passion for live music? So yeah, really looking forward to it!
Where in the world would you most like to play?
I can’t speak for the whole band, but myself I’d love to play in Japan. I love how music acts as a worldwide language, it doesn’t even need to be literally translated for people to enjoy it or relate to it.
If you could define one ambition that you’d like to achieve by the turn of 2013, what would it be?
Have Album No.1 completed and ready to tour.
Lastly, complete this sentence Young Kato are set to be….
The new era of pop music.
Interview by Jeremy Williams

VIDEO: The Crookes “Afterglow”

They said that Sheffield produces one defining act every generation-from the Human League through to the Arctic Monkeys-it is easy to pinpoint the act and the decade. So what of the teens? Who is set to steal the Sheffield crown? With Shake Aletti and Hey Sholay as strong contendors, here at The Kaje we offer The Crookes as strong contenders. Having unleashed the sensational “Chasing After Ghosts” in 2011, The Crookes may have changed line-up (Alex Saunders has been replaced by Tom Dakin), but they are still going from strength. If latest single “Afterglow” is anything to go by, 2012’s sophomore release is one to keep an ear out for. Head-shakingly stunning.

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