Portishead – Machine Gun (Live on Jools Holland)
When I saw Portishead last Thursday they were incredible. Mixing staccato beats with sci-fi strings, the Bristol bunch sounded as vital as they did over a decade ago. Since the show, I’ve barely been able to get this track out of my head.
Björk – Hyperballad
If Portishead were great, then Björk was sensational. One of my all-time favourite artists gave a performance that regularly ascended to heights of pleasure barely felt in the live arena. Already one of my favourite tracks, the section that incorporated Hyperballad, Pluto and samples from LFO’s Freaks was mind-blowingly good. Lasers raked the Apollo, shuddering, pulsing basslines hammered to the very soul of the enthralled crowd. When I next consider my favourite ever live tracks, this would be very high in the reckoning.
Elbow – Newborn
After the double-whammy of musical giants, there was always danger that Elbow would disappoint slightly. I should have known better from a band that rarely fail to deliver. Ending their UK dates at Brixton on Tuesday, Elbow both played and wowed the crowd. For me, recent single Grounds For Divorce really hit the spot, but as a treat to you WoW readers, here’s live fave Newborn.
No Age – Eraser
Having attended so many shows this last week, I’ve barely had time to listen to anything recorded. When I noticed this track floating around the blogosphere I had to give it a try. No Age’s 2007 debut Weirdo Rippers was a great record, and the quality certainly hasn’t dropped here. Taken from the Sub-Pop bow Nouns (due May 6) this great little piece rockets along, riding a wave of fuzzy guitars on a jaunty riff, before exploding into shards of noise.
Scarlett Johansson – Anywhere I Lay My Head
It’s Scarlett Johansson. Covering Tom Waits. With David Bowie. Come off it, you may say. But it’s true! And it’s pretty good!