The Long Blondes

Liquid Room

Two things are immediately obvious when The Long Blondes take to the stage tonight. The first is that their live sound is driven by the rhythm section, the bass and drums surging forward in a two-pronged assault. The second is that there`s something very wrong with Dorian Cox`s guitar playing more… “The Long Blondes”

Badly Drawn Boy / Malcolm Middleton

Queen's Hall

To those unfamiliar with Malcom Middleton – and there will be a fair few on his tour with the wooly-hatted one – there must be unspoken thoughts. E.g.: is he really that miserable? Opening with ‘Desolation’ it`s not the cheeriest of starts. For those who do know Malcolm`s work, A Brighter Beat is of course just that – a lively and (comparatively) chipper affair, but for those doubters (and those involved in the counseling and therapy careers) things are – surely? – put in perspective with `We`re All Going to Die’. Malcolm is still not one for audience interaction, though he cracks a smile on stumbling over the lyrics of ‘Speed on the M9` more… “Badly Drawn Boy / Malcolm Middleton”

Brand New

Carling Academy

There`s a high chance that unless you were an emo kid about four years ago, Brand New may have passed you by but after the release of their new album `The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me`, they`ve started turning heads again. If you don`t know who they are, this is the band who sold all those t-shirts that said `Mics are for singing not for swinging` on them more… “Brand New”

The View / The Automatic

Carling Academy

Unless you`ve been living in a coconut hide for the last few years, you`ll be well aware of just how quickly an act can emerge from the Clap n Parrot circuit and be propelled into the utmost echelons of stardom. From Enter Shikari`s math Metal Gabba outselling many a pop act live (having released virtually nothing to date) to cod-falsetto twerp Mika instantly topping the charts, times are-a-moving more… “The View / The Automatic”

The Sounds / Leatherettes

Westport Bar

It`s a game of two halves tonight` Dundee duo Leatherettes play sleazy, Kills-like rock `n` roll to an empty floor, the audience hiding in the shadows. Live they are a frustrating proposition, half irritating, half brilliant. Like the anti-heroine of Richmal Compton`s Just William books, when they are good they are very, very good ` particularly on the genius set closer which recalls the Lounge Lizards seminal take on `Money`, with its clipped beats and laconic vocal delivery ` and, when they are bad they are very, very` well irritating really more… “The Sounds / Leatherettes”