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.

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.