Viola Beach’s name will always be synonymous with tragedy, but at least now we have a document of who this band were
Howler/Cast Of Cheers/Gross Magic
NME Generation Next Tour @ The Old Fire Station, Bournemouth, Friday, October 19
Thirteen microseconds later, we realise with relief it’s actually Brighton’s Sam McGarrigle of Gross Magic having a laugh, opening NME’s new bands tour in entrancing fashion, with his Pavement awkwardness, Pixies demonics and songs called ‘Telegram Tim’ that resemble T Rex’s ‘Telegram Sam’ being bludgeoned in an alleyway with a Buddy Holly box-set. There’s definitely some sort of foul (but brilliant) sorcery at work here.
“NOOOORRRMMM!” literally no-one shouts in reference to legendary sitcom Cheers as Dublin’s The Cast Of Cheers take to the stage, but within half an hour we’re all memorising their name. For they are the future of mathsy jolt-pop, taking the edgy allure of Foals and The Maccabees and adding Alt-J’s space and tension, bursts of electro noise like Nintendo warfare and the modernist energy of Fixers battling, um, Battles. At one point mainman Conor Adams produces a noise that should only be possible if he’d melted down the Tardis to make his guitar.
And here come Howler from Minneapolis, an uncontrolled surf-garage riot, like Weezer gone wicked. They try to buy drugs off the audience; they dish out Jim Beam like bouncers giving water to the front row – “It’s the audience’s whiskey now!” guitarist Ian Nygaard bellows as the rider flies into the crowd – and they introduce a new song, ‘Ipecac’, about a drug that makes you puke, inspired by singer Jordan Gatesmith’s fantasy about a flashmob vomiting in unison when listening to Black Eyed Peas songs. They’re everything rock’n’roll should be and more – MBV ambiguousness, Raveonettes rattle, Lynchian lost-highway mystique and, in the pandemonium-sparking frenzies of ‘This One’s Different’ and ‘Back Of Your Neck’, sheer ’50s fun and fire. It’s gruesome, it’s grotesque, but it’s gargantuan. Everything Bieber wishes he was.
It’s essentially just a slick remix of Finding Nemo, but Finding Dory’s emotional moments will definitely hook you in
Ethan Hawke toots the horn for Chet Baker in this not-quite-a-biopic that takes jazzy liberties with the truth
Gucci Mane’s first album since leaving prison is a riot of big-hitting confessionals, plus Kanye and Drake guest spots
A heroic blend of radio-friendly guitar pop and bristling disco from the Stockport five-piece named after a pub