Muso-bable
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.
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
 
Artic Monkeys Mania
It sounds like the Artics stormed the Reading/Leeds festival.

To quote:

Turner even let the audience sing the first verse of ’Scummy Man’ by themselves, despite the fact that only a demo of the song is available as a download, and it has never been officially released.


I don't want to say told you so.. but, i told you they are going to be huge.

 
Just 2 things
1. Just how much fun did Andrew Kendall have at the Leeds festival last weekend hanging out with QOTSA and Arctic Monkeys.

2. Can Pete Doherty make it through a week without getting in a fight. Stop it Pete - it's just getting boring now.

Thursday, August 25, 2005
 
Audioscrobbler

I've been playing around with audioscrobbler and the Last.FM web site.  

For the uninitiated, Audioscrobbler is a database that tracks the music you’re listening to using a plug-in for windows media player or iTunes. The database can then be used to build charts and recommend other artists you might like to listen to or tailor a radio station for you to listen to.  This is where the last.fm web site comes in.

You can see what I’ve been listening to here.

 
Foo Fighters, The Astoria
As mentioned before we managed to get tickets to see The Foo Fighters last night.

What can I say – they were awesome.  I was a bit worried when Dave Grohl came on stage and suggested that they were going to play a set for the fans, “something different from what we’re going to play at Reading” – I thought we were in for set of B-sides and obscure album tracks.  Luckily, he actually meant that they were going to skim over most of the recent album and play a greatest hits set.

So you can imagine how good the set was.  It was so good that Annie fainted during the encore and I had to carry her out of the venue.  We are now fully fledged Foo’s fans and King Dave is our new hero.

NME.com have a review and set list here.

 
V Festival - Our Review

So we were V-Virgins, but we got the full VIP treatment - picked up in a golf buggy and driven around the site, breakfast brought to our tent and a quick tour backstage and then getting to see some cool bands. Not bad for a competition I only have vague memories of entering.

We managed to see all our fave bands, Nine Black Alps, Franz Ferdinand, Scissor Sisters, Magic Numbers and Kaiser Chiefs.  The new stuff from the Franies sounds good - you've probably heard the new single (which to me sounds like My Sharona by The Knack).  The Magic Numbers and Kaisers played to huge crowds and both seemed to enjoy the crowd they drew.  The happy hippy Numbers couldn't stop smiling and thanking everyone for turning up, whilst Ricky is living up to his new status as a proper pop star so that even having his foot in plaster doesn't stop him jumping around the stage like a loon.

Our new finds for the festival were Emiliana Torrini and Goldfrapp.  Torrini has had a couple of singles and some radio airplay but that’s about as much as we know before she takes the stage.  We can report that she’s a little Icelandic mouse like creature, stiff as a board in front of a reasonable size crowd (given the time) but the songs are just so beautiful that she melts our cynical indie kid hearts and since getting back we’ve been out to get her album, Fisherman’s Woman.

We’ve come across Goldfrapp before but to tell the truth, the first album Felt Mountain was enough to put us off.  But Alison Goldfrapp has been away and reinvented herself as a sleezy electroclash vixen complete with sexy stage dancers.

Away from the bands V isn’t actually a bad festival.  All the stages are pretty close together, which means you can get between them pretty fast and catch bands you might not see otherwise.  Also, it’s also not as corporate as we thought it would be.  Obviously it lacks some of the bits that Glastonbury has – no greenfields or lost vagueness, just a funfair with some pretty scary looking rides.  But there are a few things V could learn from Glastonbury, for example, there are NO bins.  Apparently they litter sweep the arena area every morning, but  obviously this goes straight into landfill and its really nasty walking around on a see of rubbish at the end of the night. Also, the toilets.  Apparently V has more loos than any other festival, but they’re obviously in the wrong place because the queues are about a mile long, which means the arena fences are turned into public Urinals - nasty.

Friday, August 19, 2005
 
V Festival
We've won tickets to the Weston Park leg of the V-festival. How cool is that ? I vaguely remember entering a competion where I had to describe Special Needs in under 160 characters.

Full report and maybe some photos after the weekend.

Thursday, August 18, 2005
 
Foo Fighters tickets
The Foo Fighters are playing at The Astoria next week as a warm up for their headline slot at Reading. And I managed to get hold of 2 tickets, which is great, except I've got friends who are massive Foo fans and they didn't manage to get tickets, so I feel just a little guilty.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005
 
Britpop night (yes again)
But just remembered how good (and underrated) Gene were. Suddenly feeling all nostalgic.

 
New Babyshambles record
Good to see Pete and the boys have put down the crack pipe for long enough to finally put Fuck Forever out as a single. It's so great to hear a proper recording rather than a dodgy bootleg. Well done boys, now how about the album you've been promising for months?

 
Britpop night (Slight return)
Menswe@r - I'd forgotten how shit they were.

 
The Duke Of Clarence
Our regular reader will recall a strange night we had at The Duke of Clarence a couple of months ago when we went to see The Five o'Clock Heroes. Well last week it was finally raided by police during a Babyshambles gig.

 
10 Years since Britpop
We're currenty watching Britpop night on BBC4. I can't believe all of this was 10 years ago - it feels like yesterday. I was there for some of it and I don't know whether to e depressed that so much time has passed or excited because I was there buying the records seeing the bands and well doing pretty much what I do now.

Monday, August 08, 2005
 
Morning Runner
I've just received an email from koko about this weeks club NME, which features Morning Runner. We saw them play the barfly last week and, well the jury is out for now. They sound a bit too like Hothouse flowers for my comfort. I'll try and write a better review soon but we're out all week so why not pop along to see them. Details as follows:


Friday 12TH August

CLUB NME

Morning Runner + Jackson Analogue + DJ Mikey Four

Room 2: THE GALLERY with FROG DJ’s + special guest DJ’s The High Fives

Room 3: THE LOUNGE BAR hosted by NME with special guest DJ’s The Birthday Party


This week’s CLUB NME is a very exciting affair with one of the UK’s hottest bands coming to headline. The band is Morning Runner and support comes in the form of Jackson Analogue.

Morning Runner formed in Reading shortly after the turn of the century, Matthew bonded with Tom (bass) and Ali (drums) with an aim to write and perform great songs far beyond their ability and to have a laugh in the process. While tentative about adding a pianist to what they thought would be a garage rock band, they decided that longtime friend Fields was simply too good a musician not to be in the band. The music that resulted became both big-hearted and brash; the four members drawing on influences from their love of Radiohead, the Strokes, Cat Power, Elbow and Grandaddy. The result is that rarest of things; a band to touch your body, your brain ‘and’ your soul. For more information go to http://www.morningrunner.com.

Sunday, August 07, 2005
 
Ibrahim Ferrer
Cuban music legend Ibrahim Ferrer has died in a Havana hospital. The full story is on NME.com.

He first came to my attention several years ago when I picked up a copy of the Buena Vista Social Club album. More recently we managed to see him play at Kenwood house in Highgate, just a few weeks ago in fact, and we had no idea that he was unwell.

Our thoughts are with his wife and family who survive him.

 
Arctic Monkeys - New Tour
Pre-sale for all dates outside of London available on the web site here (use the link at hte bottom of the page). London date goes on sale Tuesday at 9am.

update : Monday 13:00 Pre-ordering of London dates has started and I've got 2 tickets. Result.

Link to pre-ordering page is here.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005
 
Formatting
By-the-way, I've no idea why the formatting of this blog is adding a large whitespace between the title and the body, but it doesn't matter because I'm going to change the format of this blog in the next week or so.

update 07/08: I've moved the archives and links to the left hand side of the page to solve the formatting problem.

 
Glasgow & Arctic Monkeys
We went up to Glasgow last weekend to see Arctic Monkeys and to catch up with some old friends.

Friday night our friend Ally Kerr (more of whom in a minute) took us to a very cool club called The National Pop League, which is held about once a month in a humid, sweaty, working mans club - think The Pheonix Club and you won't be far off. It's great having friends in a city like Glasgow, I doubt we would have found such a cool club without local knowledge. The music policy is very cool (David Bowie, The Smiths, Belle & Sebastian and Arcade Fire all get an outing whilst we're on the dance floor) and the club appears to be the hang out of Glasgow's coolest indie kids. So if you're in Glasgow on the last Friday in the month then try to find your way to The Woodside Club in the West End of the city and get there early - it was only one of our friends telling the door staff that we'd come all the way from London for the club that got us in.

I booked tickets for Arctic Monkeys at King Tuts a couple of months ago on the strength of one song I'd managed to download. Let's say we wern't disapointed by either the band or King Tuts and the Glasgow crowd.

Artic Monkeys have'nt had a proper single out yet (just a limited relase avaible on a tour earlier this year). Luckily the "illegal" file sharing networks have a pile of songs available for download and there is a roaring trade in bootlegs on ebay. It would appear that most of the people at Saturday's gig have heard these tracks as they know every word of every song. Well almost every song. The band play a couple of new songs early in the gig, which they apologise for and promise to play the classics later on in the gig. Only a band this confident with a loyal following could refer to songs most people have yet to hear as classics. The fan worship reaches fever pitch when the band start up Scummy Man and the crowd sing the entire first verse back to them. Unbelievable.

Musically you can draw a direct line from The Libertines to Razorlight and on to Artic Monkeys. Lead singer, Alex Turner, has a truely great voice and there is a knowing wittyness in the lyrics which we've come to expect from Barat, Doherty and Borrel. The band are on tour for the rest of August but you'll have trouble getting tickets.

And so on to our friend Ally Kerr. He's a singer songwritter from Glasgow and in the year or so since we last saw him he's started to make progress. He has an album out, which has had some good reviews, and has just got back from a mini tour of Japan. We picked up a copy of his CD in Mono (a great record shop in Glasgow) and are reasonably impressed (I really can't be objective when a friend is involved). Check out the reviews on Amazon.com, including one from the late, great John Peel.


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