Considering I have a bit of free time on my hands right now what with waiting for my A Level results and hopefully going to Uni in September, I've been hoping to start a new feature on this blog called the youtube mixtapes: a kind of round up every now and then of what tracks or videos I'm enjoying at the time or have recently discovered, with some sort of common theme, however tentative. Don't say I never give you anything. Reading Festival is only two weeks away and I'm immersing myself in live music to celebrate and get myself in the mood, hence this editions theme. So have a scroll through, try out some tracks and hopefully discover your new favourite song...
Elbow - Mirrorball (Abbey Road Session)
Fast becoming one of my very favourite bands, Elbow have been a bit of a fixation within me for the past few weeks, this song in particular. There's something so unashamedly homely and romantic about Elbow; whilst they may develop with every album, you always now that you're going to get bona fide modern classics with Guy Garvey's cathartic lyrics and comforting vocals as the focus point. However, this version of Mirrorball stands out particularly for the magical orchestral section. A match made in musical heaven. The only thing I have left to say are words stolen from a youtube commenter on this track: "I live in hope that someone will love me as deeply as these lyrics suggest possible." First wedding dance territory? I think so.
Ed Sheeran - You Need Me, I Don't Need You (SB.TV Session)
If you're british and haven't heard of Ed Sheeran yet, shame on you. If you're from overseas I forgive you, but be prepared to catch sight of his ginger mop soon, because mark my words, he is going to be huge.It's been a very long time since I encountered a rapper so exciting but yet so unpretentious: in fact, many people have been wrongfooted as to what he's all about considering his indie boy appearance and the fact that "The A Team", his first single proper, was a rather delicate but grittily worded acoustic track.He's come a long way since I first discovered him, and when his album comes out I'm sure he will experience unprecendented success.Once you have viewed the following video, his talent will not be in doubt: anybody who has a flow that fast whilst playing an instrument has my respect.
Foo Fighters - Everlong (Live from VH1 Storytellers)
I think it's fair to say that everybody loves Foo Fighters, but from their festival sets I've been watching on TV this summer they're just as good when they strip themselves back as when they're pulling out the full rock show.For this reason, this particular version of Everlong has become a firm favourite of mine; a nice way of looking at a classic band in a different light.Even when playing it in this way, Dave Grohl really puts all he has into it, songs he's probably played a million times before but evidently isn't sick of, making it special for each and every fan, old and new. I definitely need to see them live before I die.
The Maccabees- Bag Of Bones (Acoustic For They Shoot Music)
The Maccabees have always been at the top of my live favourites list for their endearing nature and blissful, wide eyed lyrics, and this rare outing of "Wall Of Arms" highlight Bag Of Bones is so sweet it should come with a health warning.They Shoot Music deserve a shout out on this blog as well, for they have shot some of my favourite musical youtube clips for bands like Wintersleep and Pete & The Pirates, classic in their spontaneity and D.I.Y appeal. Enjoy at your peril, you may find yourself feeling a bit teary.
Gorillaz - Crystalized (BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge)
It takes some balls to cover a band as critically lauded as The XX, but who better than Damon Albarn? With somebody who always makes such diverse and obscurely influenced music, it's always nice to hear them come back to earth to do a cover, and even more so when they take it subtly in a new direction and make it their own.Taking an already pretty haunting song and ramping up the ghost factor with spooky keyboards and deadpan vocals make this a little known gem, and certainly worthy of a place in Live Lounge history.
Biffy Clyro - All The Way Down (Live at Wembley)
I won't harp on about this one seen as I already did in a previous post (see my review of Biffy Clyro's Revolutions;Live DVD), but I think it's fair to say that over nearly 10 years, Biffy have never had a lapse in quality: this may be one of their oldest songs but it is a highlight of this live set. Like Foo Fighters, it's lovely to hear a band famed for their raucous appeal sounding so melodic, particularly when Simon reaches the high notes aided by Ben Johnson.New Biffy fans would do well to delve into their back catalogue; it makes for a very rewarding and interesting listen.
Brand New - Sic Transit Gloria (Live in Philadelphia 2011)
I am a massive, massive fan of Brand New's album Deja Entendu, and could not be happier that they're touring again.Having only seen them once, very briefly at Reading Festival 2009, I am dying to get to a live show of theirs, but until that happens, I am happy to make do with these fantastic quality youtube bootlegs (all credit to relevant owners.) The sheer power of the audience over Jesse Lacey is really quite something after such a long break, showing what a special band they are.
(no infringement intended to any owners of these videos)