Monday, 28 February 2011

Choo Choo Trains, The Madrigals and Humousexual live (Notting Hill, 25th February 2011)

I didn't touch a drop of alcohol yesterday, but my whole body still hurts from my efforts of previous nights. I've seen so much music in the past few days...and with a couple of exceptions it has all been really good stuff.

On Friday I headed to a flat in Notting Hill for a bedroom show organised by Dyke Bar. I do love those kind of things and they seem to be quite a rare occurrence in London. First band playing in the small room was The Choo Choo Trains, an all-girl three-piece playing charming, dreamy lo-fi surf-pop. They were really good and I definitely would like to hear more from these girls.

Next on was The Madrigals, another lovely band that was news to me. They picked up where the The Choo Choo Trains left off, adding a twist of banjo, keyboards and glockenspiel.

Finally, Humousexual

They were just really, really great and this was definitely the perfect place to see them.

A lovely evening in every possible way. Well, I did manage to fall asleep on the night bus on my way home, which was a bit unfortunate. I woke up somewhere outside Edmonton, which is not a particularly nice place, especially at 3 in the morning. Some old guy on the bus told me I looked like "that guy from Simple Minds". He was a bit bummed when I didn't know who he was talking about, so he left me alone and went to start a fight with someone near the front of the bus. North London night buses. There's nothing quite like'em.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Video of the day (The Vatican Cellars - The Same Crooked Worm)

Here's a music video I just finished for The Vatican Cellars. It was shot on black and white super-8 film one Sunday in late November last year.

The Vatican Cellars on myspace

Cloud Nothings (CAMP Basement, 24th February 2011)

I'd never been to CAMP Basement before, but the place was a pleasant surprise. Decent view from wherever you were standing, good sound and a bit grimey looking. Like a good venue should be really.

Unfortunately we arrived while the first support band were still playing. I have no idea what they were called and have absolutely no desire to find out.

Anyway, Cloud Nothings were great. I thought it would be a case of them just playing all the album songs, but in the end they probably played more "new songs" than songs off the record. Their drummer was especially great. Mesmerising in a wow-Animal-from-the-muppets kinda way.

I'm hideously hungover and my left ear is still ringing so I will keep this short. But, it was a great gig and I'm now looking forward to seeing them again at Primavera in May.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Videos of the day (Cloud Nothings and Wetdog)

For the next four night I'll be going to gigs, gigs, gigs and more gigs. Tonight it's Cloud Nothings and Wetdog at CAMP Basement. Should be awesometastic.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Video of the day (Let's Wrestle - We Are The Men You'll Grow To Love Soon)

There's a crazy amount of exciting music-related things happening this week. Some of them I have no particular interest in talking about, some are doing fine without me talking about them, some I don't think I'm really allowed to talk about....and then there are some that I can and will talk about.

Like Let's Wrestle, for example. They're playing a free show at The Victory in Hackney on Saturday and if their support slot at the Allo Darlin' show the other week is anything to go by, it's going to be a great show.

Also playing are Girls Names, Proper Ornaments and Sea Pinks. It'll be great.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Free album from Avtalet

In my interview with Agnes from Tiger Tape/Moofish Catfish last year, she mentioned that she also played in Swedish-language pop band. That band is Avtalet (meaning The Deal/Agreement in Swedish) and they've just released a record, which is available to download for free. It's called den 18 februari 2011, which curiously translates into February 18th 2011. What a fantastic way to start the weekend.

Get the record for free here

Avtalet's official website

Video of the day (Superchunk - Fishing)

I spent this morning counting down the seconds to 9am when ATP tickets went on sale. I should really have known that a Jeff Mangum curated festival wasn't really gonna sell out in seconds. But, the site kept crashing and timing out. When I finally got through I ended up paying the full price instead of the early bird price, which at the time of my booking was still available. So, I cursed the ticket company, shouted at the computer, ate some crisps and finally called customer services. They ordered me a new, now discounted tickets and said they would refund my previous booking. I really hope they do as soon as possible, cause at the moment this means £2,200 will have left my bank account this morning and that stings more than a little.

BUT, I got my tickets in the end. They can add whoever they want to the line-up now. Jeff Mangum and Superchunk is enough for a brilliant December weekend.

Today's video, Superchunk's Fishing from 1992.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Japanther live (Tufnell Park Dome, 11th February 2011)

I know it's a predictable statement coming from me, but Japanther were fucking incredible on Friday. The energy, both from the band and the crowd was unbelievable. It's such a great feeling seeing so many sweaty, smiling faces. It doesn't happen very often in London, so when it does it makes it all so much more powerful. I can only think of a handful of gigs where it has happened. Les Savy Fav have a similar effect on their audience, so do Matt and Kim, but that's about it. Maybe I just don't go to enough gigs. It's not even really about the music. I mean, I love Japanther on record as well, but live it's something different...a proper shared experience and you really get the sense that the band is into it just as much as the crowd is.

Some photos...

Supportband Shellshag were great as well.

And then...Japanther...

I really can't wait until next time...or I guess there's always Matt and Kim in March!

Friday, 11 February 2011

Video of the day (Japanther - Challenge)

Japanther are playing Tufnell Park Dome this evening. I'm knackered, but determined to go. It will be awesome. They always are.

Here's an old video of the song Challenge from their album Skuffed Up My Huffy.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Withered Hand, Standard Fare and Tigercats live (Catch, 9th February 2011)

Putting on shows can be extremely stressful. I tend to panic for months in advance about not selling enough tickets or, in the case of last night, panic about selling too many. Last night's show should really have been at a bigger venue, but it just didn't work out that way. I do think it's quite nice seeing bands play different places, though, and with venues closing all over London it's nice to support the smaller ones and spread it out a little. I hadn't been upstairs at Catch for about five years and I was a little terrified when I saw the size of the place, knowing how many tickets I'd sold. But, all worked out in the end. Managers/owners were all amazing, very accommodating and helped it all run smoothly. It was pretty damn mobbed in there, but I much rather see a band play a packed smaller venue than a half-full big one.

Anyway, the show. Three of my favorite bands in one night. It was just as great as I hoped it would be.

Tigercats kicked off the evening, playing a bunch of new songs, that I really can't wait to hear on record. Word on the street is that a bunch of new songs have been recorded/mixed and that a weePOP! seven-inch is happening in the not-too-distant future.

Next up was Standard Fare, a band that's impossible not to love. Their songs are just so fucking good. And the songs from the new single sounds amazing as well (you can and should buy it here)

Finally, Withered Hand. The third time I'd seen them in as many months, but I could really watch them every night. They are sooooo good.

Instead of just always apologizing for the terrible sound/video quality I should really just get myself a better video recordery thingymabob. One day. Anyway, here's a clip from last night of Love In The Time of Ecstacy

A brilliant night. Thanks to all the bands for playing. And thanks to the crowd for squeezing together and being all lovely.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Allo Darlin and Let's Wrestle live (The Lexington, 7th February 2011)

Last night I went to my first Allo Darlin' show of 2011. They were great as usual, running through quite a few "new" songs that, after extensive touring, now are as tight as the older ones. The crowd was a bit rubbish though; not as energetic as I'm used to at AD shows. But, I guess it was a Monday.

Support came from Red Shoe Diaries and Let's Wrestle, playing under the name Apartment Pony. Let's Wrestle are one of my favorite London bands and it had actually been a few years since I'd seen them, so this was a big treat. And I wasn't disappointed. They were absolutely brilliant, playing quite a few new songs that I can't wait to hear on record.

Here's a video of the end of their set, the song Insects, followed by a massive instrumental rock-out.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Videos of the day - Best Fwends

What happened to Best Fwends? I haven't heard anything since SxSW last year? I defintely think the world needs them.

Best Fwends - Dream Off

Best Fwends - Blood

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Video of the day (Cloud Nothings - Should Have)

Braid sucking/swallowing/choking? I have no idea what's going on in this video, but it's an awesome song. Cloud Nothings are definitely shaping up to be one of the most anticipated acts on the Primavera line-up.

Cloud Nothings on myspace

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Cooking with Fugazi

Looking through the harddrive, I came across this scanned article from an old zine. I can't remember what blog I got it from originally, but it just makes me smile.

Great Stuff...I really miss Fugazi

Friday, 4 February 2011

Video of the day (Withered Hand - Religious Songs)

Getting excited and nervous in equal meassures about next week's show. Tickets have been selling really well, but I always panic about these things.

Anyway, here's a video from of Dan playing Religious Songs on a roof (his own?) in Edinburgh. Just brilliant as usual.

Help Math The Band fund their next record!

There are numerous ways for bands to raise some extra cash to produce new albums etc, but this has to be one of the best. Math The Band are offering a one-minute live guitar solo via telephone for $2 a pop. How can you go wrong with that? Unfortunately, I can only assume the offer doesn't cover international calls. Personally, I would definitely pay international rates to get my own personal MTB-solo. How about it? Maybe a special skype deal for us on the other side of the Atlantic?

US customers can book their 1 Minute guitar solo here.

And in case you missed it back in April, here's an interview I did with Math The Band

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Video of the day (Standard Fare - Philadelphia)

Just six days to go until the Withered Hand, Standard Fare and Tigercats extravaganza at Catch in Shoreditch. If you haven't already bought your ticket, now is the time. There are still some cheap advance tickets left from wegottickets.

Here's a video for Standard Fare's awesome song Philadelphia.

Standard Fare on myspace