The 2018 World Cup starts next week!! I love a good tournament, me. However, this will be the first World Cup where I’ll be watching from outside of the UK, so I’ll be missing out on the usual hype which surrounds a tournament like this. I’m not exactly sure where in Berlin I’ll be watching the England games from, there’s a big expat community here so I assume somewhere like Belushi’s might be a good shout – not that I’ve been there before. Anyway, this post isn’t about football, it’s about what I’ve been listening to during the month of May. Here are some new releases I’ve been enjoying…
- Beach House – 7
- Parquet Courts – Wide Awake!
- Wooden Shjips – V.
- The Brian Jonestown Massacre – Something Else
- Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino
- Neko Case – Hell-On
Let’s start with the elephant in the room shall we, the new Arctic Monkeys album. I like it. I don’t think it’s amazing, nor do I think it’s awful. I just think it’s a really good album – one which didn’t catch me on the first listen, but the more I had it on the more I appreciated their change of direction. I found reading the comments on Twitter amusing, especially from those who just instantly dismiss anything because it’s not the same as before. You know the type I’m on about. I also find comments like “Oh, Alex Turner is just trying to be David Bowie on this new album!” a little pointless, too. Is he? How do you know? Anyway, Arctic Monkeys are one of those bands that people like to dislike, just because of the type of people that do like them. You know what I mean?
The new Beach House album is superb. In fact, it might even be my new favourite of theirs! It gets better with each listen. Wide Awake! by Parquet Courts has also been an album I’ve had on a few times recently. Having not really listened to much of their previous stuff, this, their 6th album since 2011, has made me wonder why I’ve never bothered with them before this album. I’d also like to give a nod to vocalist and guitarist, Andrew Savage, who I’ve learnt is responsible for the fantastic artwork on all of the Parquet Courts records. This interview with him is an interesting read. Time to listen to more of their earlier stuff…!
Concerts? Gigs? Shows?
When I’m asked by a colleague about my plans for the evening, I’ve noticed that “I’m going to a gig tonight…” doesn’t really translate all that well in Germany, so I’ve found myself saying ‘concert’ more often. Sounds weird to me.
Baxter Dury – Tuesday 15th May 2018 @ Bi Nuu, Berlin
Only decided to go 24 hours beforehand, and I’m glad I did. I’ve seen Baxter plenty of times, so why I didn’t buy a ticket sooner, I don’t know. First time I’d been to Bi Nuu, a very small venue basically inside Schlesisches Tor station. Okay, it’s not actually in the station per se, but the same building albeit you’re in a different room. A mixed set, with material off all his most recent albums, including ‘Cocaine Man’, which always goes down well. The guy is a total geezer! Go see him if you get the chance.
Arctic Monkeys – Tuesday 22nd May @ Columbiahalle, Berlin
Last time I saw Arctic Monkeys play was back in 2006 on the NME Award Tour at Norwich UEA. Also on the bill that evening were Mystery Jets, We Are Scientists and Maximo Park. I remember being somewhat underwhelmed by them that night. So much so, I thought Maximo Park put on a much better performance. It’s not very often you get to see a band the size of Arctic Monkeys play a small venue – I say small, Columbiahalle has a capacity of around 3500. However, 12 years later and I’m there to see them play the first gig of a small European tour showcasing new material. Like I said, I’m enjoying Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, and was intrigued to see how their newer stuff would integrate into their set. Opener and new track, Four Out Of Five, sounded great as did the rest of their set – which was made up of material off all 6 of their records.
That was May.
Enjoy the World Cup!