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  • Quays News REVIEW: Transformer Festival at Victoria Warehouse

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    REVIEW: Transformer Festival at Victoria Warehouse BY JAMES TICHBORNE ON MAY 29, 2017 THE FIRST Transformer event featured some incredible bands. While there were quite a few across the two stages, Quays was lucky enough to be able to catch four of the sets from the evening. To begin the night are This Is Not This Heat; a reformation of This Heat renamed as tribute to a fallen member. What a set to begin the night with. The amount of people playing on stage nearly reaches double figures and every single one of them packs so much energy into the set it’s hard not to be impressed. The band can go from soothing lullabies to utterly deranged within seconds. Their unique brand of alternative, experimental post-punk is exactly what you’d expect from an evening like this, and even though it was still early I was left in complete shock by how genuinely exciting this show was. I’d go as far as to say the music is far better than it sounds on record. Loop are not quite the follow up act they should have been. This was not to say this was bad set by any means, but their music can sometimes come......

  • The Wee Review Òran Mór review

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      Swans at Òran Mór        DAFYDD JENKINS | 22 MAY 2017 An epic and difficult swan song for legendary noise rock ensemble. What the writer John Doran once said of The Fall might easily be said of Swans: though the group is perennially lead by its own king of misery Michael Gira  (and it can be said that much of any musical project spearheaded by him is at least ‘Swans-related’, much as Mark E. Smith once claimed “If it’s me and yer granny on bongos, it’s The Fall”) – Gira isn’t necessarily coterminous with Swans. Like the shamanic leader of a mystic cult, Gira’s role is ostensibly as divine mouthpiece, speaking on behalf of some bigger cosmic being (or, as the group’s apocalyptic sound might suggest, nothingness), directing the path of Swans’ devotee-members. There is certainly something cultish going on tonight in the underground venue of Òran Mór, as the most devout followers make their way to the lip of the stage, and it’s not even half seven yet. The night’s off to a wonderfully unceremonious start with support Little Annie, a bewildering and beautiful torch singer act fronted by the prolific musician Annie Bandez, looking like a ghostly circus fortune teller with her sparkling headscarf, huge mascara-heavy eyes, and gaunt......

  • The Skinny Swans @ Òran Mór, Glasgow, 18 May

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    Swans @ Òran Mór, Glasgow, 18 May ★★★★★ Live Review by Lewis Wade Swans are known for making very lengthy, very loud music. They also have a fierce live reputation as when this music is transferred to the live setting it makes for a remarkably intense experience. Performing for over two hours, with no breaks, and only playing five songs is not your standard rock concert. 'Intense' is the operative word at a Swans show. They open with an unreleased song, The Knot, which builds very slowly (even by Swans standards) to a pummelling crescendo about 20-30 minutes in, demonstrating the 'noise' aspect of their style. From there they move through Screen Shot and the epic Cloud of Unknowing. Sandwiched between two almost-40 minute monoliths, Screen Shot comes across as an interlude – a snappy, punk cut – despite it running to almost ten minutes itself. Michael Gira is an imposing presence at every turn; even when thanking the crowd between songs he is taciturn and solemn, though he seems to greatly appreciate the support. During songs, he is wholly engrossed in the music, delivering deep, repetitive phrases like a Gregorian monk and conducting the band with his wild gesticulations.......

  • The Seventh Hex Interview

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    Swans Interview 2nd May 2017 Following the unprecedented critical and commercial success of Swans’ double-album masterworks ‘The Seer’ and ‘To Be Kind’, Michael Gira announced that the existing iteration of the band would only produce one more album and tour. ‘The Glowing Man’, as with its predecessors, is an expansive two-hour epic containing lengthy compositions that the band developed during their momentous tours. Throughout the latest release, Gira is less a songwriter than a summoner, channelling unspeakable amounts of energy into ritualistic spectacles. Many of the songs start out with tension-building drones, often utilising lots of percussion before ebbing and flowing with intense bursts, and eventually reaching ecstatic, trance-inducing states. There’s no way this type of boundless energy can simply be retired or silenced, though, so the album serves as another exciting portal into the unknown… The Seventh Hex talks to the legendary Michael Gira about being self-critical, sequencing and Buddhism… TSH: Since the inception of Swans to now, how rewarding is it for you to consistently and continually develop little worlds and atmospheres with your compositions and have listeners connect on a personal level? Michael: Without sounding too sentimental, that’s the greatest reward. When I talk to audience members after the......

  • Swans Perform At The Roundhouse on Getty Images

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    http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/event/swans-perform-at-the-roundhouse-700055453#michael-gira-of-swans-performs-at-the-roundhouse-on-may-27-2017-in-picture-id689138258...

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