Firstly, I went to Rough Trade East to see the mighty These New Puritans. A band, I've come to love over the last few weeks. I first saw them play at Truck festival two years ago when I was photographing for DiS, but if I'm honest, I remember being impressed by them but didn't really follow it up and they became yet another band I thought good at the time but left in the mental-note-file of 'will listen to when I get home..' and never did.
Then in November, I was very kindly asked by the nice boys at The Quietus to photograph behind the scenes at their new video for We Want War (as blogged here:http://lucytakesphotos.blogspot.com/2009/11/sneaky-peek.html ). Was a great little shoot to do and I've included some of my shots for your perusal below. But we'll get to those in a minute. Firstly I simply MUST tell you how brilliant their new album is (I know I'm no music journalist so I apologise for my attempts to explain...).
'Hidden' is simply a masterpiece. On first listen, my complete love for the single We Want War (since I saw the final product of the video, as seen below, I hadn't been able to get enough of it... cue song on repeat constantly) coloured my judgement. I was rather addicted to its warlike, tribal drum beats, the swell and flow of the string arrangements, accompanied by Jack's chanting mantra. All of which combined, almost reaches into you and FORCES you to dance. On more listens (as in, I've had the album pretty much on repeat) you realise that this happens throughout the record. Songs like Three Thousand (the intro sounds like a battle ship going into war... until Depeche Mode circa Black Celebration start playing on deck), Fire-power and Attack Music are very similar in their bloodthirsty intent whilst the more beautiful, softer moments of the album like Hologram and White Chords maintain that persistent drumbeat but lull you with softer tones, xylophones and horns into a warmer, safer place of refuge. Non-more so than the album's finale '5' that exudes this exact feeling of cocooning warmth combining glistening glockenspiel, swooning brass, playful woodwind arrangements with soft school-choir harmonies and Jack's whispered words. All of which, completes Hidden with a sense of well deserved gravitas.
Despite all these luxurious brass arrangements, soaring choirs, slicing sounds of knives being sharpened and melons being smashed (to sound like a human head splitting), Hidden manages to maintain a stripped simplicity. The album revels in luring you in with its swelling orchestral movements, then in turn rushing at you like a bulldozer with relentless drums (that I really can't get enough of!). The heavy basslines and massive drumbeats reach into your innate sense of rhythm and make you want to, for loss of a better phrase 'lose your f**king shit'.
In other words, I seriously recommend people buy this album. Oh and I warn you, if you ever happen to hear this played in public whilst I'm in the room, stand back. You're either with me or against me on this one...
Here's the video and below are some of the photos I took. Poor lot, having to jump in that pool repeatedly... they looked frozen!
The second band of the evening was Memory Tapes. Now I say band, as it was Dayve Hawk accompanied by a lovely man who was his drummer (I'm terrible with names sadly). I had the great honour of meeting both fine young gentlemen alongside Memory Tapes' manager David, on Sunday in Hammersmith as we met to shoot some promo shots.
A lovely day was had by the glistening Thames, climbing on to small jettys (if you can call them that...) photographing into the sunshine, then talking about working in Whole Foods, The Wire and the British/US education system's decline over gin and tonic.
Alas I have no album to rave about of Dayve's, however after tonight's performance of pure ecstatic fuzzy pop I feel this shall change and I will have to purchase Seek Magic. I had a great time at The Social, and the only negative thing I have to say about the gig was that there was not enough space to dance like a crazy as the place was totally rammed! The people love Memory Tapes... and here, the people are very correct indeed. I'm sure the Luminaire gig tomorrow will be totally storming!
Here's a little choon taster...
Here's some of the shots we got on Sunday (what a beautifully sunny day it was!)
And now to bed...