26 – ‘A Genuine Freakshow’, ‘OK’, ‘Alvin Purple’ and ‘Radio 9’
A Genuine Freakshow:
“A Genuine Freakshow. An artful blend of experimentalism and pop sensibility from Reading comprising the traditional rock ‘n’ roll facets of guitars, bass and drums but augmented by the less obvious additions of cello, violin and trumpet. A band that embrace the icy soundscapes of Sigur Ros but remain entranced by the possibilities of the pop song.
The genesis of this multitude is, as you would expect, less than straightforward. A question as to how the band came into being brings forth a plethora of answers and a volley of disagreement. Various members’ recall of history blurs between fact and (assumed) fiction. What can be said for sure is that by 2008 the current line-up was settled and the previous experiments which saw them begin as “too pop to be challenging” and then swing the opposite way until they were “too post-rock to be fun” had been amended and developed to hit the sweet spot that remains their raison d’etre to this point.
Prior to that settled point, the band had already made their mark in the world with the release of a debut EP that all those still in the band from that time (those changes of personnel again) agree was the “too pop” point. In what would become standard AGF fashion, the follow up ‘0.008%’ EP was, naturally, the “too post-rock” response. A musical equilibrium was found with the release of ‘We Are The Undercurrents’ in 2008 and its follow up ‘Holding Hearts’ in the same year. By the end of that year another equilibrium was achieved with the permanent recruitment of the final pieces of the band, drummer Jack Bryant just making it in time to play the band’s autumn dates by fast-tracking the set in a hectic three week period of cramming on his part.
Plaudits followed for this settled unit. ‘Holding Hearts’ made Tom Robinson’s ‘Best Of 2008’, Word magazine’s Mark Ellen fell for the band, leading to their recent appearance on the magazine’s CD for October. Meanwhile, the seven settled into a touring schedule that saw them build a healthy evangelical fanbase leading to a sold out Bush Hall show in February of 2010. In tandem with touring throughout 2009 and 2010, the band entered the studio with producer Jordan Fish to completely re-record the album that had been taking shape throughout these single releases, so unhappy were they with the final version mark one. A brave decision, some would say foolhardy, but one that is vindicated by the now complete debut album, ‘Oftentimes’ that finally ended its gestation on 8th November 2010.
The journey of this firmly bonded septet – despite the notices from media names – has taken place through the old-fashioned world of word-of-mouth and touring. In keeping with that ethic ‘Oftentimes’ comes to you via band-owned Peartree Records, all members making a firm decision to retain their ownership of their music and complete control over their musical destinies. In support of the album A Genuine Freakshow returned to the touring world for an extensive run of dates from September through December 2010 with plenty more to follow in 2011.”
(Quote obtained from the band’s official website)
“Welcome to the bright and colorful world of OK! …Four Cardiffians with a love of pop, truly terrible jokes and generally jumping around like idiots.
Having been obsessed with depressing music as a teen, singer Joe Paine decided he would dry his tears and form a band that would make people feel good again! Rounding up good friend and bass player Adam Barrah, the two waved their West-Walian hometown farewell and, with wonder in their eyes and love in their hearts, set sail for Cardiff.
After a few months playing acoustic shows and generally getting very drunk, the two quickly be-friended guitarist Oliver Miles. The technical whiz-kid hit it off with the boys and was soon on stage performing with them.
In desperate need of a drummer, the band coincidentally bumped in to ex ‘Inner-city Pirates’ sticksman Dave Powell. With their notoriously weird sense of humour, the four got on like a series of terrible house fires and soon released their debut record ‘Under The Weather But Over The Moon’ at a frantic launch party in Cardiff’s renowned ‘Buffalo Bar’.
It wasn’t long before the band had begun to transform Joe’s old-fashioned ‘Libertinesian’ sing-alongs into faster, tighter and dancier full-band pounders. OK have since played a string of packed-out shows, which have left audience and band members alike in sweaty heaps!”
(Quote obtained from the band’s facebook page)
(No biography info available on the artist’s website)
“Radio 9 is a collective (usually 3 live members, not including the laptop) that plays electronic music that isn’t boring. Augmented by real drums, guitar and bass and even some vocals, their energetic, melodic Krautpop kicks arse. varying from subtle, mellifluous atmospherics to harsh postpunk whiteouts, the band frequently improvise live in extended rhythmic bop. previously based in the UK, now Oslo, the band have worked with Paul Epworth (Florence and the Machine, Bloc Party) and Gareth Jones (Depeche Mode, Sons and Daughters). The band have just released an album, ‘Endless Streams of Light’ on Oblong.”
(Quote obtained from the band’s facebook page)