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, March 30, 2006
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
The Good: Guillemots and Delete As appropriate. I've recently discovered the guillemots, they were by far the best band on the NME's best of SXSW CD. Whilst searching for info about them I stumbled across DAA, which is a fine blog.

The Bad: Keane almost split whilst recording their new album, shame they didn't.

The Ugly: That fecking Orson record, which seems to still be playing every morning on XFM just as my alarm goes off, despite dropping like a stone from the charts.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Make Good Your Escape, The Metro Club
The Metro Club wasn't exactly full last night, but it doesn't matter because MGYE rocked. We saw them play one of the Ones To Watch gigs at the barfly last year and were blown away, so I'm a bit suprised I din't write about them at the time.

Make Good Your Escape, would probably be described as Emo, but I've never really been comfortable with the genre. What is clear (to me at least) are the influences - U2 and The Cult - which are probably enough to bury any new band. But if that hasn't scared you, then download the free tracks from their website or myspace and for yourself.

Support was from Jackson Analogue, who play a scuzzed up type of blues.

Bell Orchestre, Bush Hall
Recently, we’ve seen a lot of guitar bands, and as they say, a change is as good as a rest. So Saturday we had a cultural evening with violins and brass courtesy of Bell Orchestre.

For those not in the know Bell Orchestre are an offshoot Arcade Fire, formed by Richard Parry and Sarah Neufeld. They replace guitars with double bass, violin, trumpet and French horn played through a series of effects pedals.

I was actually a bit scared - I picked up their CD on Saturday and managed to cram a listen in before the gig and thought it was a bit quiet. Live, they’re a much better proposition. They start with the brass section at the back of the hall walking towards the stage giving a surround sound affect. The songs (if that’s write thing to call them) build and swirl but there’s always something to keep you interested. I guess the sound is close to Sigur Ros but with extra digital stuff and effects.

Support was from Ted Barnes, whose day job is backing up Beth Orton. He’s got a new album out, which is quite a pleasant acoustic thing, and as a special treat he had Ali Friend in to play double bass. If you don’t know Ali – then check out Reeled and Skinned his record with Red Snapper. Ted and band were good (and we picked up a copy of his new CD) but he’s not much of a front man… so perhaps he’s best off backing up Beth.

We got radiohead tickets
So I managed to get hold of 2 tickets for one of the Hammersmith gigs. Can't wait.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Radiohead tickets on sale this Saturday
Radiohead have announced 2 dates at Hammersmith, and a couple of other venues around the country:

Tickets go on sale this Saturday, 25th March and, will promptly sell out in minutes. So how do I get my hands on tickets without getting fleeced by a tout on ebay?

Monday, March 20, 2006
News Round Up - gigs
So.. what's been going on. Well as usual, we've been out to a few gigs over the last month.

NME Awards
The NME awards tour thingy with We Are Scientists, Arctic Monkeys and Maximo Park was manic... but everyone seemed to leave after t' Monkeys, which was stupid on their part, but good for us because MP are a great band and so we got room to groove.
I'm still not sold on Mystery Jets, but I' told they will grow on me.

Belle And Sebastian
B+S don't play live very often... and as I think I've mentioned before they used to be very dodgy live, but now they are always a semi religious experience. And with a full brass section (bringing the stage count to over 10 at times), almost all of Are You Being Sinister and only 1 track from the appalling Dear Catastrophe Waitress, you have a classic night. In fact they are possibly one of the best British bands at the moment. I didn't really like support band Brakes.

Editors were f'cking brilliant. Need I say more. No, good. Support was from a band called Brakes, who actually, I'm now warming to. OK so the singer is a bit like a weak Michael Stipe and their songs just start to get going before they stop abruptly. But I can kind of see what they're doing now. As a postscript we got a call after the show from Jim, a friend of ours. We were on the bus home and he was at the after show... with 2 spare tickets. Turns out he know Russell from the band.... Bugger.

The Wrens
A coupe of months ago The Wrens were being talked about as this years Arcade Fire. The truth of the mater is the album is a bit average, and in fact they're a bunch of fat Americans from New Jersey. There are a few good moments, but really most of the set is dull. The support bands were The Favours and The Immediate. Of the two, The Favours are the band I remember; they're a 3 piece with Nirvana influences and a pretty cool female singer/guitarist. My memory of The Immediate, was that they wanted to be Radiohead really badly and do it really badly. They also swapped instruments after every song resulting in a toe curling incident with the drummer trying to play the bass and quite clearly not being able to keep up with the song.

The Automatic
It's not often you see a moshpit at the barfly, but The Automatic have a hardcore of fans already and the mosh pit is fierce. Unfortunately, shortly into the first song I take a full pint in the mush, which put's a bit of a dampener on the evening. But lager shampoo put to one side, they're pretty good, and future single Raul is good. They claim to be influenced by Blur but I can't see it. The sound is a kind of Indie Electro Glam. Check 'em out. Support band The Marshalls are an average Irish three piece.

Band news

Lisa Brown
I've been getting into Lisa Brown, who we saw supporting Liam Frost a couple of weeks ago only to find that they're gone and changed their name to something even worse: "Snowfight In A City Centre", sort it out boy.

Make Good Your Escape
They sound like unforgettable Fire era U2. I can't wait to see them live.

The Shout Out Louds
Imagine a band that sound like Supergrass or The Kooks, but have a singer like Conner Oberst from Bright Eyes - this is what Please, Please, Please the SOLs current single sounds like.

The Kooks
I've been listening to their album quite a bit, but I've been put off by the video for naive, which makes them look like Toploader. For some reason I can't get the picture of Jamie Oliver groving along to them on his moped out of my head. He's not in the video you know, but it just feels like he should be.

Dirty Pretty Things
I've been having a re trying to get tickets. We missed out on tickets to see DPT at Kings College; and The Arctic Monkeys May tour and The Raconteurs. But I was cruising around See Tickets the other week and managed to get tickets for the DPT at the Forum in May. Lucky - because the tracks I've heard so far are great - back to Libertines standards.

The used to be friends news
Jack White (or as Liam Gallagher would have it - Zoro on pies) has fallen out with his old friend Billy Childish. Billy slagged Jack off to a US magazine, Jack spat back, Billy came back with another put down and Jack threw his toys out of the pram - have all the gory details. There's also a poster available to comemorate the whole thing.

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