EP REVIEW: House Of Hats “Rivers Will Run”

Four friends – Noddy, Alex, James and Rob – had all experienced success in the music scene on their own, but decided in 2011 that if they all clubbed together and shared their experiences and skills they would be able to raise the bar to new proportions. They wasted little time in releasing their eponymous debut EP, which was received to critical acclaim and bought the troupe the chance to tour. So it is, that just a year or so after forming, House Of Hats are ready to unleash EP number 2 – “Rivers Will Run”.

Opening with the country tinged title track, “Rivers Will Run”, it appears that House Of Hats are about to turn their heel on the serene male/female battle that has defined their sound to date. The romping “Rivers Will Run” is so far beyond a toe-tapper that its opening suggests. A riotous stomp, “Rivers Will Run” may not be terrain commonly trodden by House Of Hats, but this foray warrants a revisit. “Rivers Will Run” is what would happen if The Chapman Family met Phantom Limb and Willie Nelson.

As “Rivers Will Run” storms into the distance, House Of Hats return to the soothing male/female folk bliss that is their signature. This is far from a bad thing. While “Gold” uplifts, “Never Lost” wonders, it is the luscious “Home Is Where The Heart Is” that gets the spine tingling.

“Rivers Will Run” proves that House of Hats were not made to fit a mould. Whatever shape or direction they decide to take, they do so expertly. “Rivers Will Run” may only clock in at four tracks long, but it is easily one of the finest records of 2012. If this is the journey House of Hats can create over four songs, just imagine what they will be able to do on their first full length…

Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Jeremy Williams

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Single of the Week: Phantom Limb ‘The Pines’

Phantom Limb’s Yolande Quartey is without any doubt one of the UK’s finest vocalists. The sheer diverse power behind her soulful country tinged sound sends shivers down your spine. So it is with great pleasure that “The Pines” marks Phantom Limb’s return to the recorded arena, with this sensational lead single lifted from their impending sophomore album. Sit back, shut your eyes and lose yourself.

NEWS: Phantom Limb to support Rumer on December UK Tour

Following on from their successful release of their ‘Live in Bristol’ album, Phantom Limb have been announced as support for Rumer on her December UK Tour.

The band, with their seamless amalgam of classic, southern soul, country blues and gospel will be supporting all four dates across the UK starting on 13th December in Birmingham at The Glee Club whilst taking in Manchester, Glasgow and finishing at Shepherds Bush Empires on 17th. The band will be playing tracks from their critically acclaimed self titled debut album as well as new tracks from their upcoming second album.

Dates are as follows

13th Dec – Glee Club, Birmingham (Live Nation)
14th Dec – Band On The Wall, Manchester (SJM)
15th Dec – The Classic Grand, Glasgow (DF Concerts)
17th Dec – Shepherds Bush Empire, London (Live Nation)

Tickets are available via www.ticketmaster.co.uk. For the latest news on Phantom Limb visit www.phantomlimbmusic.com

ALBUM REVIEW: Phantom Limb “Live In Bristol”

Record Label: Naim Edge
Release Date: 24.08.2010

Anyone who has ever seen Bristol’s Phantom Limb live, the vibrant power of the captivating Yolande Quartey is indescribable. Her ability to emote every intonation with each pore on her body makes even the most agile vocalist pale in comparison. However, as many great live bands have found in the past, converting an enthralling live set to record is an almost impossible feat. Whilst Phantom Limb’s studio recordings are far from disappointing, they lack the colourful energy of the live scenario. Thus, in a stoke of potential genius, Phantom Limb have resorted to “Live In Bristol”, an 8-track collection of past recordings and live favourites.

As with all Phantom Limb efforts, former Massive Attack vocalist Quartey is the star attraction. Whilst the subtle country-soul compositions would impress with any capable vocalist, Quartey lifts from the notable to the unforgettable, with one difference, the ‘live’ recording allows Quartey to push past studio controls and often leaves the listener breathlessly spine tingled.

However, it is important to not just dwell on a groups strengths and scratch the surface for other strengths and weaknesses. Even without the contribution of Quartey, it is safe to say that “Live In Bristol” lacks the ever-present skip tracks. The simple but effective songwriting approach is both direct and honest. With no frills attached, Phantom Limb appear to veer away from musical trickery and favour solid song construction. Whilst “Good Fortune” is arguably forgettable, the lull in proceedings is in fact a much-needed break from the emotion of “Angel Of Death” and allows a change in mood before the delicately upbeat “Waiting Around To Fall”, which in turn is Quartey’s only weak point.

“Live In Bristol” does not fully manage to capture the live dynamism of the sextet, but does go a lot further than their previous recordings. “Live In Bristol” is not just a sturdy effort, but rather an exciting prospect that entices a listener to the live arena as opposed to other recordings.

Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Jeremy Williams

June Issue Still Available!

June Issue!!

Where our May issue was great, our June is even better! Cover stars this month are “The Bang Bang Club” providing their own insights into their evolution into a duo.

Issue 2 has it all – features, reviews, prizes(!) and much more.

Read it here!

Email us at thekaje@thekaje.com to ensure you get updates on our future issues. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Issue 2 contains:

Leo Richardson, “If someone is young and talented then it needs to be nurtured.”Polly Mackey & The Pleasure Principle, “Alliteration is always good in a band name.”Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me, “Most of us have felt powerless at some time in our lives.”
Phantom Limb, “You get some of the best music from pain.”
Jenny Westbrook, “Art is quite often put off by people until the right time.”
Lucinda Belle, “Luck is opportunity meets dedication.”
Naoko Mori, “I’ve always believed she was treated rather unfairly.”
Tim Turner, “I don’t want to write about myself.”
Boy & Bear, “It’s like a big inbred kinda family.”
Cerith Flinn, “I am starting at the deep end, with a cannibalistic play.”Lachlan Buchanan, “I never plan to grow up, so for now, I’m happy acting.”
WIN!!!!; Signed Polly Mackey CDs, The Baseballs CDs, Phantom Limb CDs, Newcastle: Australia DVDs, Tim Turner Books
The Bang Bang Club, “It came to a point where everything in the music industry was a band, but we wanted to be a duo.”
Forgotten Gems:Album: The Go-Betweens ’16 Lovers Lane’
Book: Daphne du Maurier ‘My Cousin Rachel’
Film: Haunted Honeymoon
Jason Newton’s Life Lessons: “Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.”
Designer of the Month: Disorder
Steal My Style: Nikita
The Way I Saw It: Athens
Reviews:
Albums;
Mathew Jonson “Agents of Time”; Lissie “Catching A Tiger”; Noblesse Oblige “Malady”; Sophie Hunger “1983”; Hanson “Shout It Out”
Singles of The Month; Kylie Minogue “All The Lovers”, Jil Is Lucky “The Wanderer”
Live Music; The Radio Dept., Hawksley Workman, Boyz II Men, Ingrid Michaelson
Theatre; Noises Off!, Signs of a Star-Shaped Diva, Canary, Naughty!
DVD; Alice in Wonderland, Precious, A Single Man, Sherlock Holmes
Books; Tim Thornton “Death of an Unsigned Band”, Neil LaBute “Seconds of Pleasure”, Tim Turner “First Time I Met The Blues”, Giorgio Faletti “I Kill”
The Kaje Previews Festivals; Rockness, Serenata, The Secret Garden Party, Blissfields, Lounge on the Farm, Hop Farm, Moseley Folk

Read it here!

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