Posts Tagged ‘Port Isla’

MM Shorts 692: Port Isla

Posted: April 9, 2015 in Folk, Indie, Music, Rock
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Rocking indie-folksters Port Isla will release a new EP titled A.L.I.V.E. on the 24th May.

Stream the title track below, which looks sure to add to their already rapidly growing reputation. It as, as my Dad used to say, “a doozy“. Well he didn’t, but I wish he had.

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New From Port Isla

Posted: November 8, 2014 in Folk, Indie, Music, Rock
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We first featured Port Isla a couple of years ago on MM and they were also the first band we caught live at this year’s Great Escape festival so it was good to hear that they have now signed to Parlophone Records and will release a new four track EP titled In The Long Run in a couple of weeks time.

Sitting somewhere between the Fleet Foxes and Band of Horses, stream the title track below.

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The Great Escape - A PlaylistA long drive, rain, a Prisoner Cell Block H style hotel room, discovering the camera was still at home… the initial omens for The Great Escape were not great.

Thankfully first impressions can be deceptive as Brighton is a sparky town full of quirky shops and streets, trendy young things and youthful counter-culture swagger (“I smoked 35 bongs once” being my favourite bit of eavesdropping of the night), and of course the smell of the sea.

The festival itself welcomed us with an opening set from anthemic folkies Port Isla who delivered a satisfyingly crunchy set with the driving Sinking Ship and new single Steamroller standing out for an appreciative early evening crowd.

It was on to the NME/Radar introducing showcase at the Haunt, an old-school sticky beer venue that revealed the charms of Neon Waltz’s hypnotic blend of psych-rock and subdued shoegaze that recalled Bobby Gillespie on downers, and an occasionally overly self-indulgent set of indie rock from The Districts that was distinguished by standout tracks Funeral Beds and Long Distance.

IMG_1014By now the venue was at capacity for Courtney Barnett who showed exactly why her star has been rising with a rapturously received set that mixed Dylan like lyrical stream of consciousness with a deadpan style and an intoxicating mix of grungey guitars, garage rock and slacker indie. From the glam-rock stomp of David to the brilliant Are You Looking After Yourself, a thrilling Avant Gardener and rollicking set closer History Eraser she fully deserved the protestations of love that came from the swaying, heaving mass at the front.

A packed Hope pub and long queue meant no chance of catching the Traams, and it was a case by now of finding a venue to get into. It turned out that was the nearby Dome Studio to join Chris T Popper and catch the end of an earnest set of traditional folk-rock from The Rails that was polished, if lacking a little in vitality, and a set of gently fragile torch songs from Alice Boman.

Finally the venue’s headliners (and Barry-Sean favourites) The Hold Steady delivered a bombastic set of blue collar rock with frontman Craig Finn coming across like a slightly demented Science teacher with a bad case of histrionics. To be honest, for those of us not overly familiar with the band, it all seemed a bit one-paced (as in frenetic), but the crowd were thoroughly enjoying it, mouthing lyrics and indulging in some half-hearted moshing.

Set over, we headed home to our hotel cells, sharing the neon streets with a mix of frazzled festival goers, drunks, celebrating Derby County fans, and weary musicians lugging their equipment into vans…roll on Friday.

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The Great Escape - A PlaylistToday, Chris T Popper and I are heading south to Brighton and our first visit to the Great Escape festival.

There are a whole host of bands we’re looking forward to seeing, from the South American punk-pop of Las Kellies, the angst of Gambles, the spectral folk of Mirel Wagner and the junkyard blues of the Amazing Snakeheads, to the stoned slacker indie of Dune Rats and the growling garage of Theo Verney.

Perhaps best of all though is that element of surprise, the anticipation of stumbling across something new that makes an event like this such good fun. And there is plenty of scope for that here with over 400 bands playing sets. Happy days.

Until then, have a listen to some of the highlights that we have already picked out – these are all high on our must-see list…a twenty five song salute!

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Debut EP From Port Isla

Posted: April 9, 2014 in Folk, Indie, Music, Rock
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Debut EP From Port IslaFolk-rockers Port Isla will soon (28th April) release their debut EP, Steamroller. The title track is a typically epic barnstormer (which incidentally, they excel at), with as anthemic a chorus as you’ll hear this year.

Have a listen.

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It's The Christmas Posts - No. 13: Port Isla

Top notch folkies Port Isla have released a free download of their track Snowfall for Christmas. It also features Heart of A Dog and it is rather lovely!

The Gathering - A Playlist

This weekend sees the annual Gathering festival in Oxford – a brilliant event that takes in seven venues around the city and runs from the afternoon into the wee small hours.

This year the line up includes such MM luminaries as Local Natives, Drenge, Waxahatchee, Temples, Charlie Boyer & The Voyeurs, Pyyramids, Port Isla, Wolf Alice, To Kill A King, Cheatahs and a whole host more.

For a very reasonable £25 you get a wristband that gives you entry into all the events and venues and you just pick and choose whatever takes your fancy. Tickets are almost all gone, but you may be able to snap up one of the last few by clicking here.

If not, console yourself with this rather good playlist of tunes…

MM's Top Tunes of 2012: Toy Steve

As well as our Top 100 tunes of the year posts over the past five days, each of the MM contributors have put together their own lists. Fourth in line is Toy Steve’s debut contribution…

This is my last minute, injury time entry into the 2012 Top 10 list…

10. Graham Coxon – Ooh, Yeh Yeh
I’ll kick things off with a top tune from Graham Coxon with grungy guitars, a great solo at the end and a groovy psychedelic chorus. It is a stand out track for me, laid back and effortlessly cool even if it does make me think of Austin Powers whenever I hear it.

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9. Here We Go Magic – How Do I Know
One of the finds of the year for me and this band also has the best name ever. This is a brilliant indie-pop song with a great video (about an old man who takes delivery of a robot girl whose skills are dancing and philosophy – bizarre, I know but look it up on youtube, it’s brilliant!). It’s my favourite song off the album, A Different Ship, with jangly guitars, a beat you could dance to and even a few “woop-woops” thrown in at the end for good measure – this band are impossible to categorize so just turn it up and file under “magic”.

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8. Port Isla – Sinking Ship
You think you’ve heard this tune before when it starts but don’t panic, it’s not some KT Tunstall cover. Stick with it and a shuffling drum beat, rolling piano and rasping vocal quickly takes over along with one of the best sing-a-long choruses of the year. Fact.

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7. Of Monsters & Men – Little Talks
I used to be a big fan of The Beautiful South and Iceland’s finest reminds me of them with the duelling male / female voices and bitter sweet lyrics (only with igloos and saunas instead of pubs and football). They also shout “Hey!” a lot which can’t be a bad thing.

6. Tom Williams & The Boat – Teenage Blood
A great recommendation from PP here and real foot stomping stuff. I didn’t go to any this year but I could imagine this going down really well at a festival. Plus, anything that counts you in with a 1-2-3-4 is always a winner.

5. Richard Hawley – Seek It
A really beautiful love song with a simple melody like a nursery rhyme and darkly comic lyrics. It sounds like an old classic that you’ve known all your life and just goes to show, sometimes less is more and the simplest things are often the best. Perfect with a brew and a biscuit at any time of the day or night.

4. Stealing Sheep – Shut Eye
This song by a psychedelic-folk girl band from Liverpool is completely nuts. It sounds like something my 5 and 7 year olds would come up with if they were locked in a studio with a load of instruments and for that reason, I love it.

3. First Aid Kit – The Lions Roar
Incredible voices, perfect harmonies and a big slice of americana from two Swedes (who would have thought it) which just keeps rolling along like a boat bobbing over the waves. It is made even better by what sounds like “every time it all shits one way or the other” at the end of verse 2 and it is also Mrs Toy Man’s favourite so it has to be high in the line-up.

2. Alt J – Matilda
A fantastic song (named after the girl in the Luc Besson film Leon apparently) from a top album which sounds like some kind of Tim Burton bedtime story. I could have picked anything off the album to be honest but this was the song I heard first and the one that provided the biggest WTF factor! I downloaded this tune the second I heard it and to quote a famous sports agent, this song “had me at hello”.

1. We Are Augustines – Headlong Into The Abyss
One of the best songs from a great album which deals with lots of heavy subjects like depression and suicide and turns them into triumphant and emotional tunes like this with singer Billy McCarthy screaming out lyrics like “call the police, call your shrink, call whoever you want cos I ain’t gonna wait around for some pill to kick in”. It grabs you by the ear right from the start and marches you all the way to the front of the class.

On the subs bench were The Tallest Man On Earth (Wind & Walls), Shovels & Rope (Birmingham), Hooded Fang (Tosta Mista) and The Helio Sequence (October).

You can find downloads, streams, or videos for all the other tracks above by checking out MM’s Top 100 tunes here: 100 – 8180 – 6160 – 4140 – 21 and 20 – 1.

Introducing >>> Port Isla

Posted: November 19, 2012 in Folk, Indie, Music, Rock
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Introducing >>> Port Isla.

We got this through from Norwich’s Port Isla described simply as “anthemic folk for lonely castaways“.

And, on the evidence of the video for current single Sinking Ship, that is exactly what they deliver. Watch it, and pick it up as a completely free download from the band’s website here.

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We also have a couple of other tracks you can download from their Soundcloud below.