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Cha Cha

Interview: Cha-Cha Frontman Blain McGuigan

Following the recent release of London based group Cha-Cha's first album, 'We Are', I interviewed the groups multi talented front man and bass player Blain McGuigan. I wanted to find out a little more about this exciting three piece and what the future has in store now that they have released their catchy and unique sound to the general public.

Written by: Adam Simpson | Date: Tuesday, 01 June 2010

We Are Scientists

FEATURE: To Push or Not To Push? Atmosphere vs. Personal Space

Whilst making my way towards the stage for the Vampire Weekend set at Coachella this year, I went to make a move between two ladies standing roughly half a metre apart. One of the ladies saw me coming, turned her nose up and shuffled across to fill the space. Being a little drunk and keen to fill the gaps nearer the front, I nudge past with a brief “Sorry Love” as I went. I turned to see her flip me off, which fuelled my antagonistic side and I blew her a kiss before heading further forward just in time to see her turn slowly purple. This was not the first time during this festival that I was met with similar hostility in a sparsely packed crowd and with the UK festival season underway, I began to pose the question, to push or not to push?

Written by: Nick Hewitt | Date: Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Download

FEATURE: Download Festival 2010: 30 Years of Donington - Interview with Promoter Andy Copping

There are just a few weeks to go until Download and it already looks set to be one of the biggest musical events of the summer. This year's festival will mark the 30th Anniversary of rock music at Donington. In the run up to the June event, Stereoboard caught up with the man behind the festival, promoter Andy Copping, to discuss Download 2010 as well as Donington's thirty-year history. With three legendary acts topping the bill, it is shaping up to become the most successful year in the history of the site. That is no small feat either. Especially as last year's festival was the first to sell out. "We sold-out at Download 2009 for the first time, with seventy-five-thousand people. We've surpassed that figure already and we've still got three weeks to go." As in previous years, Andy has managed to book an impressive line-up of rock artists, including three of the best headliners on 2010's festival calendar. On Sunday 13th, Aerosmith, who are celebrating their own 40th Anniversary this year, will headline the weekend. This performance, which will be their third appearance at Donington since 1990, follows an eventful few months for the band. Towards the end of last year, singer Steven Tyler dramatically left the group, only to return a few months later after reports that Aerosmith were looking for his replacement.

Written by: Rob Sleigh | Date: Sunday, 23 May 2010

The White Stripes

FEATURE: Genius of Jack White & The White Stripes - Proof that Rock and Roll Is Not Dead

It’s the kind of thing my dad would call racket. Heck to me it’s a hell of a racket too, but for some inexplicable reason, it’s fantastic. To start with, somebody who’d only started playing a week before could have been drumming. And yet, the simplicity works. It lets the rest of the music and melody (for want of a better word) do the work. The rest of the music emanates from a variety of beaten up, plastic in some cases, dishevelled guitars. For any guitarist who knows their stuff, ‘tone’ is something of a holy grail. You either got it or you ain’t. Variables can be guitar wood, room temperature, even the sweat on your hands according to some connoisseurs. A plastic guitar is almost sacrilege. And when the second guitar was obtained in exchange for moving a fridge, you know you’re not dealing with the best of equipment. But somehow it sounds amazing. It’s the absolute lack of ‘tone’ that makes it such a great ‘tone.’

Written by: Daniel Lynch | Date: Friday, 21 May 2010

Unsigned Live

FEATURE: Life As An Unsigned Band Part 2 - The Promoters

Where would we be without fantastic stage shows, pyrotechnics, massive moving figures, flying drum kits, and thousands of people crammed into venues, or up to the eyeballs in mud? Such is the diversity of live performances among modern bands that the show is as important as the music itself. You could be witnessing the spectacular lighting show of a Muse gig one night, the giant walking Eddie at an Iron Maiden gig the next, or be treated to the masters of stage presence such as Eddie Vedder or Steven Tyler on another day. However, none of these bands woke up one morning with the money and expertise to build such amazing shows. They all cut their teeth in local bars and clubs learning their trade as musicians and performers. They are what many unsigned bands aspire to be.

Written by: Daniel Lynch | Date: Friday, 14 May 2010

Kele

FEATURE: Kele Okereke In State Of Flux

What has happened to London's most beloved, platinum-selling purveyors of sentimental, dancefloor indie? Well, according to Bloc Party, the band is on hiatus, providing perfect opportunity for its members to stretch their legs (and maybe even spread their wings) for a little bit.

Written by: Jacob Mier | Date: Monday, 03 May 2010

Paolo Nutini

FEATURE: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Thank goodness I never found a bookmaker willing to take my bets on pop music’s next big thing. The fact that bands like the Howling Bells and The Concretes aren’t topping the bill at Glastonbury, conjures up a picture of a bookie’s outstretched podgy hand and a glum-faced me. Of course I’ve backed the occasional winner in the last few years: I was one of the first to be raving about Franz Ferdinand and long before the Arctic Monkeys made the charts, I had them marked down as the bizz. But what’s there to shout about? As my granny used to say: ‘Stand a blind cat in a fish tank and sooner or later he’ll be munching on a guppy’.

Written by: David Evans | Date: Saturday, 24 April 2010

Record Store Day

Record Store Day 2010: What The Shops Had to Say (FEATURE)

Over the last couple of weeks, it has been difficult to miss news of this year’s Record Store Day. Reports of limited-edition releases from bands, such as the Rolling Stones, filled the music press prior to the event on the 17th of April. The biggest story of all was probably that of the new Blur single, ‘Fool’s Day’. It was their first release in seven years and has led to calls for a full return from the band. However, Blur were not the only people involved. A number of artists, including the Flaming Lips, Lily Allen and Hot Chip, were also busy getting records out in support of the day. Since last Saturday, Record Store Day 2010 has been hailed as the most successful yet. Many of the independent record shops that took part around the country have reported seeing queues that extended out onto the street.

Written by: Rob Sleigh | Date: Saturday, 24 April 2010

Record Store Day

Record Store Day 2010: A Farewell to a Dying Trade?

Next Saturday, the 17th of April, marks this year’s Record Store Day, an international celebration of independently-owned record shops. This annual event first took place two years ago in the US to promote the recognition of a diminishing trade and to strengthen the belief that such shops still have an important place in modern popular culture. The date has since spread to many other countries worldwide, including the UK, and has proved that people still seem to have a great fondness for small music retailers.

Written by: Rob Sleigh | Date: Monday, 12 April 2010

Aerosmith

FEATURE: Aerosmith In A Spin

Up until a month ago I would have jumped at the chance to see Aerosmith live. But that was before my wild-goose chase… before that moment when I was a mouse-click away from making a cyber-klutz of myself. Now, the way I’m feeling, I wouldn’t go and see them if Sharon Stone came to pick me up in a chauffeur-driven stretch limo… OK, well maybe I’d be tempted if I could sit opposite the star of Basic Instinct on the way to the gig; but there again, knowing my luck, she’d probably turn up wearing jeans.

Written by: David Evans | Date: Wednesday, 07 April 2010

A Plastic Rose

FEATURE: Life As An Unsigned Band Part 1 - The Bands

You could argue that there would be no music industry if there were nobody to make music. However, people seem as motivated to make music in modern times by the financial gains available as by their love of music itself. It’s the old egg and chicken argument really these days. From the earliest days it was the love of music that motivated people to create their own. Without this passion and belief in music they wouldn’t be able to commit to the endurance race that is life as an unsigned band. Countless hours of practice and writing material, then, when gigs come the uncertainty of payment, attendance or even decent equipment at the venue.

Written by: Daniel Lynch | Date: Tuesday, 06 April 2010

Beatles

Here's One for the Album... What Do Nirvana, Beatles & Pink Floyd Have in Common?

Here’s a question for you: What do Nirvana’s Nevermind, The Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band and Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon have in common? As well as being critically acclaimed, all three records have been voted for in various polls as having some of the most iconic album covers of all time. I have always believed that these forms of illustration have had their artistic merit downplayed in comparison with more prominent genres in the world of art. However, in the digital age, listeners tend to hunt for music on the screens of their latest gadgets rather than flicking through the racks in the shops and nowadays album covers are often reduced to a thumbnail print at best. This begs us to ask the pertinent question about whether it is time for this classic form of art itself to finally face the music, rather than fronting it?

Written by: Jaspreet Kaur Takhi | Date: Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Live Nation

FEATURE: Live Nation's New Digital Wristbands For Gigs: A Step Too Far?

Entertainment company Live Nation recently announced plans to begin issuing digital wristbands to concert goers in a trial replacement of traditional paper tickets. As previously reported by Stereoboard.com, the new technology will use a “smart chip”, containing details of the event and the ticket holder, to allow entry into gigs.

Written by: Rob Sleigh | Date: Saturday, 27 March 2010

Freebird

FEATURE: Making a Soundtrack: A Director's Guide

We had the pleasure to speak to English director Jon Ivay about the ins and out of making his UK indie film Freebird work and how the soundtrack plays a huge role in the process. Read below if you would like to learn something…

Written by: Matt Hamm | Date: Thursday, 18 March 2010

Kings of Leon

FEATURE: Kings of Leon: Did They Sell Out To 'The Man'?

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Seven simple words I wish somebody had drilled into the heads of the Kings of Leon prior to their last two albums. I would count myself as one of a minority of people who loved the first two albums. Their rawness, Caleb’s indistinguishable vocals; it was good old rock n’ roll in a new, exciting format. It was this format that earned them their current status. It was the first two albums that propelled them from festival tents to main stages. Most importantly, it was the first two albums that created a devoted fan base.

Written by: Daniel Lynch | Date: Monday, 15 March 2010

David Evans

Beware of Those Who Believe Cookery is the New Rock'n'Roll

Stereoboard.com's features writer, David Evans, came to me recently and told me he was writing a book. It sounded intriguing. "In a world where rock stars want to be chefs, and chefs want to be rock stars". If you haven't read David's features yet, they're always a great read, go to the features section and check them out.

Written by: Stereoboard.com | Date: Wednesday, 03 March 2010

Duffy

FEATURE: Duffy - A Damsel for the Distressed

I’ve never met Duffy. My best best-friend has; he got to see her in Cardiff. Now, those of you who are familiar with Wales’ go-ahead capital city will straight away be thinking of St. David’s Hall or the magnificent Cardiff International Arena. But you’d be wrong. My best best-friend was amongst a hundred-strong audience at the Clwb Ifor Bach – a small Welsh-themed music venue, more famous for showcasing local musicians than for hosting those already earmarked for international stardom.

Written by: David Evans | Date: Friday, 12 February 2010

Michael Jackson

Who Really Killed Michael Jackson: Doctor Murray or The Media?

The one question I hear no-one asking in the press or blogland in general is:- ‘why’ was Michael Jackson taking an extreme drug? What made a relatively fit man known for abstention from the early part of his career until the mid-1990's, end his days in a made-to-measure trauma room?

Written by: Deborah Ffrench | Date: Friday, 22 January 2010

Lily Allen

Lily Allen: "I Write My Own Songs"... So What?

From what I understand, there was some kind of hissy-bitchy spat between Lily Allen and X Factor’s own Cheryl Cole. Apparently, the rumpus was sparked off by some criticism of Lily’s appearance … yikes! Sadly, I can’t shed any light on the when’s and the where’s, but if the feisty Londoner’s recent tin-pot award for ‘Best putdown of the year’ is anything to go by, Lily ‘The Tongue-lasher’ must have KO’d the lightweight Geordie lass with a helluva verbal haymaker.

Written by: Dave Evans | Date: Friday, 22 January 2010

Paolo Nutini

Paolo Nutini: Divine Intervention... Or A Slice Of Luck?

So, at last we get to see the list of this year’s most popular albums, and if only because it adds some weight to a Rizla-thin theory of mine, I’m delighted to see Paolo Nutini sandwiched between Lily Allen and Robbie Williams … oops, let me rephrase that: hobnobbing with top ten bestsellers. And just in case the young Scotsman of Italian descent gets to read this article, let me go on record as saying that the more I hear of his music, the more impressed I am.

Written by: David Evans | Date: Monday, 04 January 2010

 
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