The thoughts and ocassional ramblings of a 30-something muso.
Hello, I’m a muso. I'm one of those guys you see digging around the racks of vinyl in London's backstreet record shops. I'm not addicted, I can give it up whenever I want. I just need to find that limited edition 7" single that the NME made single of the week. Maybe you've bumped into me in the queue for the bar at The Academy or The Astoria. There are thousands of us in London - I've seen all the regular faces in the record shops and at the gigs.

This blog is my attempt to write about the records that I love, the gigs I've been to and, well, anything else to do with music. Hopefully you'll find something here that makes you nod in agreement or rant in disagreement or maybe even laugh.
Thursday, February 24, 2005
Bloc Party tickets on sale now

The band have a link from their web site for pre orders:

but if you're reading this tomorrow then they're probably already on sale and I would imagine sold out.

In other gig news, Babyshambles are playing a matinee gig on Saturday at the 100 club. Unfortunatley I was a bit slow and didn't manage to get tickets. You win some, you loose some.

Babyshambles Photos

Photos from the Brixton Academy are now up on Andrew Kendall's site.

A question for you to consider

So, I saw the latest video by teenage warbler Joss Stone this evening and it struck me that she is the Mariah Carey that it's OK to like. And my question is - am I talking bollocks? If I am right then how long does Joss have before we turn on her?

Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Other news

AllOfMP3, a web site that I've used to download cheap "legal" MP3s on occasions looks like it might get taken out by the big-media lawyers.

News Report on The Register
Slashdot discussion thread

Other news (slight return)

Ive found out that Blogger now supports comments, so I've enabled them and you can comment on this or any other piece on this site just by clicking on the comments link at the end of the item. I know, I'm too good to you.

More About Last Night

Everyone has been talking about last night's Babysambles gig. People at work who normally have no/little interest in music have been asking me about Pete and the punch up. I guess it shows that he is now Grade A media fodder and everyone wants to know about him.

Other people at last nights gig, including Andrew Kendall, one of the only photographers allowed into the venue have been discussing what went on.

For me the most amazing thing about last night was that everyone knew most of hte songs. This band have had just 2 singles released, containing a grand sum of 4 tracks. So how come everyone knows the lyrics? It's probably down to one of the best marketing tools invented - t'internet. Does this mean that when Pete and pals actually get around to putting down the crack pipe and recording some new songs these people won't go out and buy the record? Well that's what the RIAA/BPI etc would have you believe but I'm willing to bet that any album release by Babyshambles will sell like the bucket load.

More details on that punch

The NME says that it was PAtrick that swung out first - not from where I was standing.

Full story here:

Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Babyshambles Brixton Gig Stopped Twice

Just back from another eventful Babyshambles gig.

About an hour before Pete and the boys tumbled onto the stage it was already rammed at the front and it got worse the closer to the mythical 9:50 when 'shambles were due on. During the first song, Killamangiro, the whole crowd just started moving in that way wher eyou know someone is going to fall over. And eventually someone does a little way into the second song. To his credit, Pete is lucid enough to work out what's going on and stops the band. We all shuffle back, give the people at the front some space and the gig continues.

The next stopage is the one everyone will be talking about. Some people behind me said they saw someone on stage (form the audience) attack Patrick. From where I was standing this is what happened. Pete fell against Patrick in that half cuddle half bear hug way he does when he gets his feet tangled. In the ruck Patrick stumbles and his guitar unplugs itself from the amp. Words are said, tempers boil and Pete swings at Patrick and cracks him pretty hard on the side of the face. Patrick (still tangled in his guitar) kicks back, they both go over and the secuirty staff jump on them and pull them apart.

It takes a good 5 minutes with the house lights up and the guitar techs retuning guitars for the band to come back out. It was probably about 50/50 as to whether they would come out again and everyone around us was getting jumpy as situations like this are likely to cause a riot (like the last time Pete no-showed at hte Astoria). Some dick brhind me kept saying "it's going to kick off, I'm going to get on stage this time!". Twat.

Anyway the band make it back on stage and Pete and Patrick stay apart (like caged tigers) for a couple of songs and then they seem to forget about it and are best of mates again.

Will this be the end of Babyshambles? I don't know, but I doubt it. Will this be all over the front pages tomorrow - you can believe it.

Monday, February 21, 2005
Glastonbury DVD out next month

I missed this piece of news, but Glastonbury Festivals are putting out a best of DVD featuring the best performances from the last 10 years of TV broadcasts from Pilton. A good chance to remember what happened after that trip to the cider bus.

Full details here:

Babyshambles gigs are on

Pete is still free after his court hearing today and has had his bail conditions changed especially for tomorrow nights gig. The NME has the news in full:

New Singles

Loads of new singles out this week including The Kaiser Chiefs and The Futureheads. Surely it's no coincidence that in the week when hunting is banned we get a song about foxes cornered by dogs - a nifty piece of marketing if you ask me.

Excellent Bloc Party torrent

Found a great live recording of Le Party playing at The Barfly last wednesday:

Thursday, February 17, 2005
NME Awards winners announced

Just announced...

# Best British Band – The Libertines
# Godlike Genius Award – New Order
# Best Album – Franz Ferdinand’s ‘Franz Ferdinand’

.. but no best new band award for Bloc Party :-(

New Music To Look Out For

It's that time of year when we start to cast around for new bands to keep us interested. I've seen or heard some of the following, and the others I've just heard talk of:

We say the following bands at last night's NME show and liked what we saw:
Nine Black Alps
The Dead 60s
The Magic Numbers

Several people have told us to look out for the following and we've got our mits on some tracks which sound pretty good:
Special Needs
The Longcut
Willy Mason

THe NME seems to be going metal about, but we have'nt heard them yet:
Patrick Wolf
The Modern

So there you go, 8 new bands/artists, time for some homework.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005
NME Awards Tour - Brixton Academy

Well then, it’s time for a quick review of last week’s NME Awards tour show.

The first band on are the Kaiser Chiefs and are the only band on the billing that we haven’t seen already, so we turn up early and wait to be impressed. And boy, are we impressed – this band are a lot of fun. Front man Ricky Wilson is everything you need from a front man, playing up for the girls in the front row and jumping around the stage like Damon Albarn used to during Popscene, before he hit middle age. The guitarist (who’s name I can’t find at the moment) looks like he should be playing in a mod band (posibley Ocean Colour Scene) but don’t hold that against him because he rocks. By now you’ll probably have heard the 2 singles, I Predict a Riot and Oh My God, which get the biggest reaction form the crowd. The rest of the set is equally as good and we’re considering going to see the Chiefs when they tour again soon.

And so to Bloc Party. What can I say about them that I’ve not said already. Kele tells us that the band are really nervous but if they are then they don’t show it. Russell hides behind his fringe as usual, but every guitar part is spot on and he attacks his guitar with real ferocity during the solos. The only slight sign they might be nervous is tonight’s performance of Banquet, which seems to speed up as they pile through it. Not that the crowd notice as they mosh away to songs that already sound like classics. I’m gushing (again) so I’ll move on.

The Futureheads have a big following tonight, but for my money they still feel like a school band play Jam covers. The actual cover in the set, Hounds of Love makes an appearance and is once again the best in their repitoire (and so catchy we’re singing it all they way home) but it’s not a patch on the version they’ve recorded as a single.

The Killers are tonight’s big hitters and the only one of the four bands to have been invited to perform at the Brits (there you go, I’ve gone and mentioned them again). So by the time they hit the stage straight from the shindig a little late (and without an award) we’re rammed together at the front. The band give us the full Vegas treatment (see the intro on their website for an idea) complete with sparkly Rhinestone keyboard stand and name in flashing lights at the back of the stage. We get all of the hits and The Academy respond by singing back every word and dancing as best we can, given the lack of elbow room. What else can I tell you? They have a guitarist who looks like a cross between Brian May and erm, Bon Jovi, now that’s a serious rock look.

Tonight’s show is the last of the tour, and so we get a special treat during The Killers encore – all of the other bands come back on to help out on backing vocals and crowd surf. And then all to quickly we get a bow from all of the bands and they’re gone and another great NME tour ends on a high.

Saturday, February 12, 2005
One Final Word about The Brits

I was out on Thursday night, boozing with friends from work, so I missed the TV coverage of the Brits (no doubt it'll be on ITV2 this weekend some time). Anyway, I didn't get to sit in front of the TV and rant as I usually do.

Robbie Williams' Angels was lauded as the best british song of the last 25 years. Is that really true? I mean it's a really good pop song but is it better than every other record from the last 25 years? Better than any of the great records from the 80s? I really don't know and I don't think it's possible to choose just one record from the last 25 years as "The Best".

Thursday, February 10, 2005
Ohmigod I Can't Believe It

Just back from the NME awards show which was just awsome. Each of the 4 bands was worth the price of admission alone. A more in depth review soon.

Looks like my Brits predictions were mostly right. Good to see Franz Ferdinand getting something, they are worth every award they get.

I really don't think my ears should be ringing as much as they are right now - The Killers were fucking loud. Time to try and sleep it off.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005
And finally for this evening....

The Five O'Clock Heroes have some new tour dates up on their web site. They've got support slots for Brendan Benson and The Bravery but are better than both, so go and see them (and hopefully we'll get some headline dates soon too).

The Futureheads are OK?

About nine months ago we saw The Futureheads supporting Graham Coxon and thought they were pretty average. At the time we thought there cover of Kate Bush's Hounds of Love was one of the worst we had ever heard.

So it's time to eat some humble pie and admit that their cover has grown on me. I first heard (the recorded version of) it over the P.A. at the Garage the other week and it's been a slow burner ever since.

We're off to see them play the NME tour tomorrow. They're on between Bloc Party and The Killers, so they've got a lot to live up to.

Brits 25 Predictions

Tomorrow night is the Brits award ceremony, the British music industries anual back slapping event. I'm not going to get angry, as I've mentioned before the Brits serve their purpose.

What I am gonig to do is make a couple of predictions. I don't have any inside news or scoops, just a knowledge of how The Brits work so:

Best British Band 2005 and/or Best British Breakthrough 2005 - Keane
Best International Band 2005 and/or Best International Breakthrough 2005 - Scissor Sisters.

How do I know this? The Scissor Sisters and Keane are nuimber 1 and number 2 in last years sales charts.

You read it here first.

Monday, February 07, 2005
January Roundup

We’ve been busy over the last month – here are the highlights.

Our first gig of the year was a very laid back affair to ease us into 2005 with James Blunt at 93 feet east. James was OK, but only really held the attention of the room when he dropped his backing band for a 3 song solo set, during which the venue seemed to contract and become almost claustrophobic. I don’t think I’ve ever been at a gig where not a single person is speaking and the musician(s) have everyone’s full attention. James needs to repeat this outside of his ex-Army fulhamites (how many times you do see people ordering bottles of red wine at a gig!) if he’s going to stand a chance in the mainstream.

Business as usual resumed the following week with a four band art-rocker night at The Garage. Top of the bill were Art Brut, on top form as usual. All of our favorite songs got an airing and frontman Eddie Argos rather inadvisably lost his shirt to the girls in the front row and spent the rest of the set looking rather self conscious about baring himself. Also on the bill and worth a mention were Mando Diao, who play art rock in a Strokes/Hives style with their tongues very definitely in their cheeks. This band definitely play for the fun, but this doesn’t mean that they don’t know how to write catchy pop songs. North London band, The Rocks, are also worth your time with an interesting mix of garage guitars and dance beats. Last, and only worth a mention for completeness were Irish band The Chalets; we’ve seen them before and they are only marginally better than last time. Best avoided unless you liked Bis, in which case you will love them.

And our next gig took us from The Garage, a small venue on our doorstep, to The Millennium Stadium in Cardiff for the Tsunami Relief gig. Now this gig really isn’t our normal territory, but it is for charity and when it was first advertised the billing was rumored to include U2 and Coldplay. So it was with some trepidation we headed off to see Keane, Snow Patrol, Alled Jones, Charlotte Church, Jules Holland etc.etc. And actually, we had a pretty good day. Keane, not one of my favorite bands, actually played a good opening set to warm up the freezing crowd. Other highlights of the day were Snow Patrol, Feeder, Manic Street Preachers (they really are so iffy – last time I saw them they were very dull) and Embrace. Of course, Badly Drawn Boy was really good, despite loosing the crowd half way through his set with some technical difficulties and some bad language. So, not our usual type of gig – but a change is as good as a rest, and actually a pretty good day out for a worthy cause.

And finally for January, although the gig was actually on the 1st Feb, The Dears at The Electric Ballroom. This gig was upgraded from the slightly smaller Scala because of demand for tickets. The Dears are a real discovery for us – we bought the tickets on the strength of end of year album reviews, so tonight is a bit of an unknown. OK, so I went out and bought the album No Cities Left 3 days before the gig, but really this is all new territory for us. Most reviews that I’ve read compare this band to The Smiths, but for me they are much closer Blur, particularly the gospel bits of Blur (e.g. The Universal and Tender.) and the whole experience is truly uplifting. Support is from old friends of ours Pure Reason Revolution and hotly tipped new New York band Ambulance Ltd. Now, I really, really want to like Pure Reason Revolution because they obviously love the same bands as I do (namely, Pink Floyd and Radiohead) and they have no fear of writing and performing a 10 minute track. My problem is that Kasabian have now made the Psychedelic beats sound their own now and have made the jump to the mainstream – it remains to be seen whether PRR can make this jump too. The one thing they need to do is pick a direction for a song and stick with it not keep heading off on a tangent that sees every song taking a “kitchen sink too” approach to song writing. In comparison to PRR, Ambulance Ltd are very polished and just a little dull. There best parts are like the best tracks by Pavement, but other parts of the set sound like The Thrills. So the jury is still out for Ambulance Ltd.

February is <NME Awards' shows month and we’re off to see The Killers and Bloc Party on Wednesday and The Tears and The Magic Numbersnext week.

Friday, February 04, 2005
The Continuing Decline of Pete

It was bound to happen. As soon as Pete Doherty started to "see" top rock ligger Kate Moss he was bound to attract more media attention than is healthy for a man in his state.

So it's no suprise that he seems to have got into trouble with the police again and the first report of "Assult" seemed to tell its own story. So I was a bit worried to hear that the actualy charges are for Robbery and Bribary - what has Pete been up to ?

BBC London news are reporting that he has been bailed on condition that he is only permitted to leave his house with a security guard and he must obey a curfew of 10pm. Obviously the curfew is going to be interesting when it comes to gigs - Pete has 2 dates at Brixton in the next couple of weeks, both of which might now have an early start.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005
Bloc Party Album News

Just under 2 weeks until Silent Alarm hits the streets and the reviews have started to appear in the press. Today's NME contains an excellent review and a 9/10 score.

With the NME shows at the moment and a headline tour in April it looks like the Bloc Party snowbal will continue to roll on into 2005.

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