Saturday, 22 September 2012

Many surprises await you, in the basement, people, in the basement

Wristbands and coffee :)
 The day began early – we woke up when it was barely light outside, in order to be in Oxford Street, London by 9am to get our hands on the entry wristbands (of which there were only 400!). We arrived with plenty of time, and excitedly put them on, whilst drinking a much needed coffee after our early start!

The actual acoustic gig didn’t start until 6pm, but we arrived at the queue outside HMV’s flagship store just after 5 o’clock, and already a big line of excited Two Door fans (unofficially known as ‘Basement People’) had formed, all armed with copies of the new album ‘Beacon’, ready to be signed by Alex, Sam and Kevin themselves. We were allowed into the shop about half an hour before it all started, and found that an area of the building had been sectioned off especially for the event, with a small stage set up against the wall. As always, the wait for a gig wasn’t particularly enjoyable, but we were waiting amongst the shelves of CDs, so at least we had some time to check out what was in stock!

Armed with merchandise!

While we were waiting, with arms full of TDCC merchandise (two CDs – ‘Beacon’ and also their debut ‘Tourist History’, a DIY T-shirt emblazoned with the band’s logo and a rather battered copy of NME magazine), we were approached by a woman who had spotted the magazine we were holding. She explained to us that she was a reporter for the NME, and began to query us about what we like about Two Door Cinema Club. When she asked who the biggest fan of the band was, Isabella instantly pointed towards me (Felicity – I’m a big Two Door fan!). In response to the journalist’s questions, I described what I felt when I first listened to Tourist History (something along the lines of “it was like my ears were exploding – but in the best possible way”... hardly eloquent, but expressing what you think about your favourite band is a lot more difficult than it sounds!)

Before long, the audience started clapping and cheering as Alex, Sam and Kevin appeared from a stage door and took to the ‘stage’ – a small area at the back of HMV which had been cordoned off. They began their acoustic set with ‘Sleep Alone’, their most recent single to date, and the first single release from ‘Beacon’, which provided the audience with the perfect beat to clap along to (see our “Top Songs of Summer 2012” post for more reference to this!) Although it seemed that many of the audience didn’t know many of the words to Sleep Alone, they soon had the chance to sing along when the band broke out into a slower, folksy version of ‘Undercover Martyn’, which was followed by ‘Do You Want It All’, two songs from Two Door’s debut album which proved very popular.

These were followed by the catchy and optimistic “Something Good Can Work”, which left a permanent smile on our faces for the rest of the evening, and guitar-based new album track “Next Year”, which may have been unknown to many of the audience, but was still enjoyed by everyone there. When lead singer Alex Trimble (who you may have seen singing at the Olympics Opening Ceremony in London this year) announced that they were to play one last song, everyone anticipated what would come next. Upon recognising the opening guitar chords of “What You Know”, the crowd descended into cheering, jumping and even screaming; this song provided the perfect end to the set.

Photo © Indscene
After Two Door had put down their guitars and stood for a few press photos, they sat down and prepared to sign albums for the ‘swarming hordes’ of fans that awaited them (anyone who owns a copy of Tourist History should get that reference ;] ). When it was our turn, we gave the band, who seemed to us like such genuinely nice people, our merchandise to sign (TDCC proving that signing a T-shirt is a lot more difficult than it looks); thanking them a little too excessively and telling them what a great gig it was. It didn’t seem real that one of our favourite bands, whose music we often play on loop, were sitting right in front of us, signing the CD that we’ve listened to many a time, casually speaking to us and complaining to each other about a broken permanent marker. I guess “surreal” would be the closest word to describe that moment.

Sam, Kevin and Alex signing our copy of Beacon!
Felicity getting a T-shirt signed by Kevin!
Isabella speaking to Alex and getting a copy of Tourist History signed!

Still in slight awe of what had just happened, we were walking out of the emptying shock, when we spotted Pete Robertson, the drummer from The Vaccines, buying 4 copies of The Vaccines’ “Come Of Age”, also released on the same day. A brief chat about the new album led to a great photo opportunity – and we soon realised that this was the second member of The Vaccines that we’ve met (the first being Arni the bassist at the Eden Sessions concert in Cornwall). We’ll never forget our trip to Oxford Street on Monday, 3rd September 2012, that’s for sure.

A picture with Pete!

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Our Favourite Albums: The Drums- 'The Drums' (2010)

We're hoping to do a regular post on our favourite albums, reviewing each of them track-by-track, and The Drums' debut album, 'The Drums' (2010) is the first we're featuring.

After listening to the same old much-loved summery albums on a continual loop (Friendly Fires, Vampire Weekend, etc.), we were glad to add this to our collection of Songs To Listen To When The Weather’s Hot. Here’s our take on this refreshing mix of indie, alternative and post-punk, courtesy of NY-based band The Drums.

1.  Best Friend

The Drums waste no time with introductions – kicking off their eponymous debut  with their hit ‘Best Friend’; one of their best-known songs which depicts a hypothetical situation in which Jacob (The Drums’ guitarist) dies and his best friend Jonny (lead singer of The Drums) misses him, but eventually feels he has to move on. Confused? We are too. Nonetheless, it’s a good song combining an upbeat melody with deeper, darker lyrics; something which The Drums seem to do very well (this becomes clear as the album progresses).

2.  Me And The Moon

This is a great example of one of the Drums’ intriguing song titles- the track describes a cold, failing relationship as ‘is it me and you or is it me and the moon?’  The song strangely contains a section extremely similar to that of the single ‘Forever and Ever, Amen’ (track 6), but apart from that, it is a catchy tune in its own right, with the synthy instrumental section sounding very post-punk.

3.  Let’s Go Surfing

This was the song which first introduced me (Felicity) to The Drums way back in 2010. Two years and several hundred plays later, I still love the song as much as the first time I heard it. Its feelgood chorus and distinctive whistle hook, alongside carelessly optimistic lyrics (“he’s going to make it all better”, “I wanna go surfing\ I don’t care about nothing”) and harmonised bridge, set this tune aside as a timeless summer anthem which will remain on our playlist for many summers to come.

4. Book Of Stories

This song is definitely more of a grower rather than one which is immediately a favourite. It isn’t one of our top tracks on this album, but fits in well with the overall sound of ‘The Drums’.  The lyrics are very typical of the band, with the somewhat depressing chorus ‘I thought my life would get easier, instead it’s getting harder’, contrasting with the upbeat, catchy instrumental.

5.  Skippin’ Town

Singer Jonny Pierce makes the most of his vocal range on this track, jumping from high to low and back again when singing the introductory “ooh ee oo ee oo-ooh”s which are recycled at various other intervals in the song. This is a track which definitely relies more on technicalities, such as vocals and instrumentals, than on lyrics – meaning that it is likely to stick in your mind very quickly.

6. Forever And Ever Amen

This is one of our favourite songs on the album- it’s just so happy and really stays in your head after you’ve listened to it. The positively sentimental lyrics ‘It’s forever, baby it’s forever’ make a change from the sadder, more downbeat lyrics of most of the album and the song just wants to cheer you up from beginning to end. If you’re only going to listen to one of the songs on this album, I (Isabella) would choose this one!

7.  Down By The Water

It may be one of the more melancholy songs on the album, but Down By The Water is by no means a disappointment. The beat is a lot more apparent on this track, providing a slow, steady, defined rhythm to accompany the tuba sound and Jonny Pierce’s vocals. The result is a hauntingly romantic ballad which blurs the line between lullaby and love song (the Cure reference there wasn’t intentional, despite obvious similarities between the two bands which become clear on track 12 – The Future). This is a song which could make you smile, or send shivers up your spine, or possibly both.

8. It Will All End In Tears

Don’t be put off by the supposedly bleak title of this song- in true The Drums fashion, the track is not all you expect it to be at first glance.  It is hard to call a ballad, as, despite it being about a dysfunctional relationship, the upbeat guitars and enthusiastic backing vocals make this track yet another of the band which easily gets stuck in your head.

9.  We Tried

Another more sombre, heartfelt track from The Drums, showcasing once again that sad songs don’t have to be downbeat; We Tried continues to keep up the tempo, regardless of the fact that this is a break-up song. Here, Pierce describes his feelings of loneliness after the breakdown of a relationship – which he attempted to rekindle (“We tried\and we died”).

10. I Need Fun In My Life

The song certainly wins the award for best song title. It begins with lead vocalist Jonny Pierce singing ‘oh oh, oh oh’, along to the opening guitar instrumental- something he does in a lot of songs, but always seems to work.  The playful, nonsensical lyrics ‘I need life in my fun fun fun’ are very easy to find yourself singing along with, and even if you’re not quite sure what they mean, they go well with this upbeat and toe-tapping album track.

11.  I’ll Never Drop My Sword

Upon reading this song’s name, you might not know what to expect. Although this track certainly suits the style of the album and band, the lyrics are difficult to interpret and a lot of repetition is used – this isn’t particularly a stand-out track. The lyric “do you think that Jesus loves me?” is the band’s first reference to the theme of religion, which is a lot more prominent in The Drums’ sophomore album, Portamento.

12. The Future

I (Isabella) often think The Drums sound like The Cure, and this track is the one which I would say reminds me most of the gothic post-punk band.  This is not a bad comparison at all- we both love The Cure, and it’s great to hear a band which has this sound to their music, as it is often hard to find at the moment.  This track smoothly finishes off one of our favourite debut albums, and it is clear, from The Drums even better second album, Portamento (released in 2011) that they definitely do have a future.

Friday, 7 September 2012


Some of you may know that we also have a twitter account @OnTheJukebox for this blog.  We have a number of bands which follow us, and here is a pick of some of our favourites.


These rising stars from Leicester, who recently played the UK festival Summer Sundae, have a fresh, alternative sound which is hard to put in a box (in a good way!). With their single ‘Pocket Rocket (Where The Light Is)’ proving very popular on iTunes, and a sold out gig at the O2 Academy Leicester to their name, we definitely think they are ones to watch. Check out their latest single ‘Young Lion’.

Listen to them if you like The View, General Fiasco and Various Cruelties.



The band, from West London, are more alternative than indie, citing on their Myspace page influences ranging from Elbow and Kasabian, to The Beatles and Bob Dylan.  Their album, ‘Begin To End, Vol.1’ consists of mainly guitar-based soft-rock songs, which personally remind us of Oasis, especially the track, ‘Why Did She Leave Me?’

Listen to them if you like 90s-style alternative and Britpop bands, such as Blur, Pulp and The Levellers.

The first band we thought of when we heard Brighton-based band Young Electrics, were The Kooks.  They play good old indie music, with our much-loved guitar riffs, catchy drum beats and wide-ranging vocals.  If we were to recommend just one of their songs, we would choose ‘Caught In The Rain’, which would fit right in live at any indie music festival.
Listen to them if you like indie and Britpop, such as The Wombats, The Kooks and Arctic Monkeys.



One of the most cheerful bands we’ve heard in a while. The sunny Scouser skiffle band released their first EP ‘Talking Of Tomorrow’ in 2011, and are now releasing their third, entitled, ‘Break Your Heart’. Over the past year, the band have gained success with gigs all over the country, especially in their home city of Liverpool. We recommend listening to ‘Back In Liverpool’. Look out for their debut album, which they are planning on launching next year.

Listen to them if you like indie-folk and country-inspired bands, such as Mumford and Sons or Noah and the Whale.



The Silent Signals are a band from Philadelphia, USA, who have an alternative/ grunge sound whilst also drawing inspiration from more electronic music genres. However, guitars remain a central part of their music, including a wide use of bass guitar.  Their album, ‘An Emotion Picture’ consists mostly of ballads, but the type of ballad which builds up into a crescendo of different instruments, making a bigger impact.  

Listen to them if you like bands which combine, to quote The Silent Signals themselves, ‘Music + Alternative + Electronic’