Nottingham University Man-Choir
From Barbershop to Britten, Man-Choir is an all new, all male choir starting this year. Without auditions but with mandatory drinks afterwards, singers of any ability and experience are welcome to come along on Thursday’s 7-9 sessions. Man-Choir takes inspiration from artists as diverse as King’s Singers and Groove for Thought right through to Shaggy and RikRok, and will be working towards a series of unconventional performances this year, such as ‘FlashMobbing’ and our alternative Christmas Service. You can find more information about Man-Choir at the Mussoc (Nottingham University Music Society) stand at Freshers Fayre, or by visiting www.mussoc.org.uk or the Man-Choir Facebook page.
Nottingham University’s quintet Childhood may not be a name you’re familiar with but considering the interest that they’ve been generating recently, it won’t be long until it is. A string of low-key gigs and an impressive set at Nottingham’s Dot-to-Dot festival has done a lot to showcase the bands talent for creating effects-laden, Pop-y, danceable indie songs. The three songs on their profile (‘No Words’, ‘Blue Velvet’ and ‘Paper Wave’) are instantly enjoyable and Ben Romans-Hopcraft’s vocals are a cut above most. Childhood sound at their best during their choruses; the full sound of the rhythm is led by the lead guitar and vocals. The band has struck out onto the music scene with a very steady set of songs, backed up by the talent to produce many more. Having said all that, Childhood seem to be missing that breakthrough song, which would catapult them forwards. Their return to the University of Nottingham in September means that it’s more than likely they’ll be performing around the city, so look for posters or Facebook invites.
Forgotten Classic: Pulp – ‘His ‘n’ Hers’
The year was 1994; the English football team had failed to make the World Cup Finals and Jim’ll Fix It shuffled off our television screens. Amidst these great tragedies, Pulp released a great, but much forgotten album. That year saw Britpop explode and from then on it became all about Oasis and Blur. ‘His ‘n’ Hers’ seemed destined to be forgotten as it lost out in the 1994 Mercury music prize to M People’s ‘Elegant People’. ‘His ‘n’ Hers’ perfectly encapsulates the real ‘90s England, however, with Cocker’s wry and sneering tone disparaging the growing superficial optimism of the country. The band’s ability to captivate the listener in two very different styles can be witnessed in the standout singles, ‘Babies’ and ‘Do You Remember the First Time?’. Cocker is at his most tender in ‘Babies,’ as he draws the listener into fellowship and confesses what “happened years ago”. The album’s anthem is undoubtedly ‘Do You Remember the First Time’ as the chorus is repeated to a rising crescendo of guitars. Alongside these are songs that pay testament to Cocker’s abilities as a lyricist, as the album comments on everyday Britain, whether it is with angst in ‘Razzmatazz’ or romanticism in ‘Acrylic Afternoons’. With a summer full of festival appearances, it is unlikely this album will stay forgotten for much longer.
Ed Denham, Richard Swift & Nicholas Batty