The Dawn Chorus / The Retrospective Soundtrack Players - Blogging all over the World

My name is Kyle. I am a happily failing indie/punk/folk/country/rock musician from Hampshire, UK. I have been singing and songwriting in The Dawn Chorus since 2005, and The Retrospective Soundtrack Players since 2010. I love these two bands like my brother/wife rolled into one. This blog details the shows I have played with both bands, in chronological order.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Albums of 2007

I don't think 2007 will go down as a vintage year for albums, yet I can just about pull together 10 albums that I can honestly say I've loved:

10) Bright Eyes - Cassadaga

The biggest, boldest, most polished BE album to date, although there is clearly some filler around the middle section. That said, the first 3 and last 2 tracks are as strong as anything they've ever put out.

9) The Cribs - Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever

As good a set of alternative pop songs as you'll ever hear, if the sludgy 'MTV' had been ommitted from the final cut this may well have figured higher up the list.

8) The White Stripes - Icky Thump

When the White Stripes are having this much fun, I could happily purchase a new set of 12 songs every few years until i'm in my grave.

7) Beirut - The Flying Club Cup

Gulag Orkestar probably would've got my album of the year last year had I bought it in time, but this follow-up isn't far off the standard of his debut. More subtle and with (slightly) less of an Eastern European feel, Zach Condon is truly inspired.

6) The Twilight Sad - Fourteen Autums and Fifteen Winters

If Snow Patrol sounded really fucking angry and discovered huge walls of feedback, they would sound... nowhere near this good. Best use of dynamics in this list by far.

5) The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America

Yes it came out earlier in the US but it landed in the UK in January. I love any band that look completely unfashionable so of course I love the Hold Steady. I know everyone says it, but they must be the best party band going. More bands should combine huge feel-good anthems with genuinely interesting lyrics.

4) The Good Life - Help Wanted Nights

The Good Life's shortest and most direct album, and brilliant for it. 'Share of Men' and 'Heartbroke' come in at around 2 minutes each, but there's nothing you could add to or take away from them to make them any better. Beautiful, soulful pop music.

3) Arcade Fire - Neon Bible

As grandiose and overblown as Funeral but now with a more grown-up outlook on the big, bad world. Will they ever tone down the hugeness of their arrangements? Let's hope not, if they can continue this run of form.

2) LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver

'All my Friends' has deservedly been hailed left, right and centre as the single of the year and I can't say I disagree. Where the debut bordered on pastiche of James Murphy's influences, LCD Soundsystem music now sounds like nothing but LCD Soundsystem, and it's a quite thrilling sound.

1) Jonquil - Lions

This has probably sold a thousandth of the copies that Arcade Fire or LCD have sold, but I will shout about this album from the rooftops until it catches up. The first 5 tracks on this album - culminating in the awesome title track - are as good as anything I've heard since 'Funeral', and they're even better live. Please, please, please go out and buy this record.

Honourable mention: Battles, Radiohead, Ryan Adams, Modest Mouse, Le Loup.


LXXXIII - Eastney Cellars, Portsmouth - 16/12/07

Sunday 12th December 2007
Eastney Cellars, Portsmouth

The Dawn Chorus
The Stations
The Dirty 38s
Luke Ferre

This is the last gig we're going to do for ages while we finish the album properly, and it went fucking well. We love playing at the Cellars, it sounds amazing and just makes you want to play an awesome set.

Luke Ferre was pretty good for a youngster, in fact he was pretty good full-stop, and when he drops a few of the ironic cover versions he'll be better.

I really wanted to see the Dirty 38s. They're half of The Deads, who we used to play with quite a lot, and they play a sort of rootsy Blues/Bluegrass hybrid. That's what i'd call it anyway. They were really refreshing to watch and the crowd were well into it, though they did overrun by quite a bit.

I love The Stations and I have said it many times. Tonight they whipped out a heartbreaking cover of Wham's classic Last Christmas, complete with a guitar solo that was a cross between Kurt Cobain and Les Dawson.

Next time we play it will most likely be a full set of new material, or almost a full set. Can't wait. In case anyone is interested these are the songs that will appear on the album (though some will be dropped):

I can be anything / The Hope will kill us / Fractured City / Not Having fun / Song for Antoinette / Come on Home / She's Like an Angel / Summer of '99 / River Song / The Big ADventure Parts 1&2 / A Blast from the present / We could have it all / First name terms

Have a nice Christmas
The DC

Friday, December 07, 2007


LXXXII - Portsmouth Drift Bar - 04/12/07

Monday December 4th 2007
Portsmouth Drift Bar

The Dawn Chorus
B of the Bang
Jessica Spencer Band

This gig got pulled by the promoter at LUNCHTIME on the day of the show. We decided to go ahead with it anyway and it went pretty well. B of the bang are great. No buffet though, i blame the promoter.


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