Download rumours continue

SHINEDOWN and New Found Glory are two more acts being tipped for a Download performance this year – although no groups have yet been confirmed by organisers.
However Isaac Ashe’s Sound Advice has a finger in the Castle Donington festival’s pie, so keep checking this site for the first official announcement on artists very, very soon.

Fanfarlo fans

ONE to watch in the coming months is alt-folk group Fanfarlo.
With an Arcade Fire, Sigur Ros sound, the currently unsigned group have been chosen by Snow Patrol to support their forthcoming tour – which is guaranteed to whip up a bit of interest in the group.
You can have a gander at tracks from their debut, Reservoir, at their myspace site.

Looking up for The View

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THE same genius that saw singles such as Wasted Little DJs and Superstar Tradesman eyeing up the charts a couple of years ago is back with a new album.
However it seems that Dundee rockers The View have matured a little with their latest album, Which Bitch? – unsurprising, considering that there are things under my sofa older than they are.

They still have singles a go-go such as the supurb Shock Horror and although some of their new-found creativity misses the mark – such as the rapping on One Off Pretender – most of the album has an insidious quality to it that means Which Bitch? stands up strong to repeat listens.
As a result, Which Bitch? is both bewitching and bitchin’.

Who? U2, that’s who.

• PUT your shoes on, brave the wintry weather and head down to the shops to pick up a copy of U2’s new single Get On Your Boots.
The throbbing single, out on February 16, is the first track to be taken from forthcoming album No Line On The Horizon.
• Composer Nathan Riki Thomson’s new album, the laid-back Under Ubi’s Tree, is released on February 9.
The debut album sees the multi-instrumentalist create a unique melting pot of influences from around the world on a variety traditional instruments.
• Yorkshire ska punk band Random Hand release their latest album on February 9.
The album, Inhale/Exhale, is a blistering collection of tracks that will feature during their forthcoming live gigs at Birmingham Carling Academy and Nottingham Rock City.
• The dreamy sounds of Anglo-Japanese group Asobi Seksu, whose name translates as “casual sex”, hits the shelves on February 16 in form of new album Hush.
The group’s third studio LP, Hush is a shoegazey collection of lush pop.
• Australian electro-glam duo Empire Of The Sun release their anticipated album Walking on A Dream on February 16.
The psychedlic pop group, formed by Luke Steele of The Sleepy Jackson and Nick Little more of Pnau, are tipped for the top, and were named in the BBC’s Sound of 2009 poll.
• Get on the bandwagon of Jump Ship, a Bristol-based band whose debut album was released last year.
Whatisthisandwhy, produced by former Massive Attack and PJ Harvey collaborator Head, melds electronic influences with traditional instruments to stunning effect.
• Glaswegians Attic Lights release their versino of Minder theme I Could Be So Good For You on February 16.
The track comes ahead of the remake of the classic TV show on Channel Five this month, starring Shane Ritchie.
• If all of this is music to your ears, you can read more from the pop world online at www.echoisaacashe.blogspot.com

Better living through Qemistry

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BRIGHTON-based band The Qemists, who have been going for over a decade, have hit upon a winning formula with their debut album Join The Q.
The three-piece have blended thumping drum and bass beats with rock riffs and hip hop, dancehall and grime vocals from select guest speakers to create a simply stunning album – not surprising as they started out as a rock band moonlighting at night as DJs.
Demonstrating their crossover appeal, which echoes last year’s Pendulum hit In Silico, rocker Mike Patton shares space with the band as well as drum and bass vocalist Jenna G, grime star Wiley and brilliant beatboxer Beardyman.
Join The Q at shops from Monday – this album is well worth the wait.

Perverts in town

TURNTABLE legends The Scratch Perverts are playing at Revolution in Baxter Gate, Loughborough, on Sunday, February 8.
Tickets to see the stellar line-up of Prime Cuts, Plus One and Tony Vegas cost £5 and are available from 07729 932993 and 07861 681961, or from the venue itself.

The NME are the future

CASTLE Donington band Late Of The Pier have been nominated for the NME awards for Best New Band, Best Dancefloor Filler and Best Video.
The local lads will battle it out with Glasvegas, White Lies, MGMT and Vampire Weekend for the new band gong.
Their track Bathroom Gurgle will compete with dancefloor fillers by Bloc Party, Crystal Castles, Friendly Fires and Calvin Harris versus Dizzee Rascal, while their Heartbreak video is up against promos by The Last Shadow Puppets, Oasis, Vampire Weekend and Radiohead.
The awards will be handed out at a ceremony at the Brixton Academy in London on February 25.

Emmy the so-so

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HONG Kong-born Emmy The Great, real name Emma-Lee Moss, is riding on the tsunami of support for indie folk following last year’s folk explosion with her debut LP.
First Love is a delicate collection of strummers, mixing rich, traditional sounds with Emmy The Great’s delicate vocals and lyrics filled with personal touches and pop culture references – there’s an entire song about Sri Lankan rapper MIA.
However it’s the lyrics that let it down for me – when it works it works well, such as opener Absentee and Dylan, but at times it’s just a bit toe-curlingly specific, such as the uneasy-listening of We Almost Had A Baby.
It’s this trait that makes what is at times Great, grate.

Young Knives pointing at Loughborough

BELTON boys The Young Knives are heading to Loughborough this spring as part of a tour to support their third album.
The trio will be playing at Loughborough University on March 24, and then coming nearby again on March 31 with a date at Nottingham’s Rescue Rooms.
Support for the Loughborough date, which is open to the general public, will be given by Leicester band The Heroes.
Tickets cost £10 plus booking fee. For more information click here.