Livingston – Animal
With their new album “Animal” the band presents us a totally new style and side of their music. This albums style is quite different to what we knew of Livingston. But wait.. probably most of you don’t actually know Livingston. Just listen to “Broken” or “Go”. Last was used by the German television channel ZDF as Olympia song for the winter Olympics in Vancouver.
The band was founded in 2002 in London. Beforehand, Beukes Willemse and Chris von Niekerk met in Pretoria, South Africa, at a concert and played together for almost two years. That was when Beukes realized that his dream of a career in the music business is not possible in South Africa. He moved to England and Chris followed him. In London they met the other bandmates Phil Magee, Paolo Serafini and Jakob Nebel. As you can see, the band has quite a few multicultural influences which of course influence their music.
Livingston is taken from the book “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” by Richard Bach. In 2006, Manta Ray became their management and they recorded their album in Los Angeles. Livingston supported bands like Revolverheld, Blind, The Duke Spirit, Ich + Ich, Thomas Godoj and gained awareness in Germany, too. 2009 their debut album Sign Language was released. They also appeared in shows like “Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten” and “Eine wie keine”. Moreover, they had an appearance in the movie “Chalet Girl”. Later, they supported Apolocalyptica and Unheilig. Finally they toured on their own in 2012 where they also released their second album “Fire to fire”. Sadly, in 2012 their drummer Paolo Serafini left the band and their new drummer is Jan Siekmann.
After quitting with Universal Music, they locked themselves up in a small cottage in the woods to start working on their third album “Animal”. What’s special about this album is that the band did everything on their own. From writing the lyrics, recording, producing, they did everything on their own. So it’s 100% Livingston. No interference of a record company or someone else. That is very rare today and I love it. How often can you be sure that everything is like the band wanted it to be? That it is 100% the band?
In 2014, they introduced their new album with a tour called “Introducing animal”. The album was released later in 2014 after they signed a deal with SPV. They also played a show in Los Angeles. “Animal” was released in September 2014 and of course there was another tour promoting the new album. One could say that the focus is more on the music itself. More electric drums, more variation in different techniques and sounds. Still, Beukes voice shines over everything. His voice is remarkable and very impressive. Go to a concert and you will know what I’m talking about. It is super duper fascinating what he is capable of and mostly I’m thinking that he doesn’t even need the microphone.
The album starts with an intro which is over two minutes long. It’s kinda mystical and gets you into that certain mood. The intro is also used at the beginning of the concerts now. Pretty cool. Also, I would say a little bit too long because at some point you just want it to start, you know?
The actual album contents of 13 songs with a total duration of 57 minutes. The whole albums focus seems to be on the instruments. More electronic sounds are used than before. Compared to the older albums it is very different to what we’ve know before. “Animal” tries to convince the listener with new sounds, usage of electronic sounds and still being a rock band. For me, I’m not fully convinced. It is a good solid album with some very good songs but it didn’t really catch me. Maybe it’s the heavier and the bitter tone. Livingston is still doing for what they are known for – pure emotions. But some songs really got into me. I listed them at the end as tips. What I love about it is that it’s still Livingston. How, when there is so much new stuff? Well, it’s still Livingston because of the lyrics, the messages they are sending with their songs. The pure emotions you hear when Beukes is singing. Plus, I absolutely love drums – so that’s a huge plus because the drums are very cool and very catchy in the new album. Especially the electric ones and Live it’s so much cooler than before.
Tips: Chemicals, Time Bomb, Skin and Bones, Human, Animal
02 When it goes away
03 Big Mouth
05 Time Bomb
06 Skin & Bones
07 The Hunter
08 Opposite Tracks
09 In my Head
10 Into the Rain
2008 Doorways (Live EP)
2008 Wide Asleep (Akustik EP)
2009 Sign Language
2012 Fire to Fire
2013 Deeper into the fire (Akustik EP)
06.06.2015 Knust Hamburg