• The last four gigs

    Mar 25 2010, 18h38

    Having noticed how disparate my last four gigs were I thought I'd do a quick sum-up, I guess trying for myself to reconcile drunken indie bands with a capella folk....

    24/02/2010: The NME Shockwaves Awards Show, Brixton Academy
    I went along because the wonderful Bethling won tickets, and hey, how often do you get to go to an awards show? Flicking through a recent copy of the NME on the train it was clear I didn't know any of the bands the cool kids are into these days.

    It's a bit hazy now because the bands I didn't know I surely didn't remember, uninspiring as they were. Kasabian made a good bit of noise, but I've never been a fan of Oasis nor their imitators, so their success bemused me somewhat. A sober, quirky Jarvis Cocker made for the perfect host, his terse Sheffield accent adding to the surreality of playing Catch Phrase with indie band names, although I think he barely hid his disgust at the ragingly drunk Damon Albarn. Also thoroughly sloshed was Lily Allen, who shouldn't have been permitted to sing, and just to add to the general prurience of the thing, poor old Shane MacGowan was wheeled out to ramble about a shit charity single he'd been roped into, only for 'helpful' collaborators to escort him away from the mic so the video for their bash at a Haiti relief cover could be shown. I don't remember what it was a cover of, but my god it was bad: no soul, not an interesting moment in three minutes.

    Thank god for The Specials. Still going strong, still railing about everything, including smoke-less cigarettes, still dancing like men thirty years younger. They played two tracks and it made the whole event more than worth it. Hole also gave a good performance of a couple of songs, although Courtney's guitar could perhaps have done with some additional tuning...

    We had to leave before Paul Weller, which was a shame, but by that stage everyone but Jarv was conkered and with each passing interview featuring Alexa Chung I wanted to eat my own fists. So basically, NME and NME people are still berks, just like when I used to read it. The bands that were good are still good, the new bands are boring and the now respectably Brit-Awarded Florence & The Machine didn't get a look-in. Ah, but it was predominantly ace because of Jarvis and because I was able to satisfy my curiosity about going to an awards show. Though I probably won't be repeating the experience unless I or a friend win tickets again; it's not like we all got together and sang songs by The Bombay Bicycle Club on the last tube...*

    12/03/2010: Martin Carthy, Norma Waterson and Chris Parkinson, St. Luke's Church, Chesterton

    Normally, the Cambridge Folk Club can be relied on as a place where the support bands are of the highest quality. I was glad that I arrived so late in this instance however, because my god was the support awful. The worst kind of Rod Stewart-y self-penned 'real life comedy folk'...bleugh. However, when Martin, Norma and Chris came on it was pure magic. They know just how much information to give about a song to whet your appetite without it turning into a lecture and their own anecdotes about the songs they'd learnt were fascinating. Martin's rendition of Three Jolly Welshmen brought a childhood nursery rhyme my Dad had sung to me flooding back - I'd always thought my Dad had been making up tunes to the written words, but it was a version of a song that's years and years old.

    At one stage, Martin experienced a technical problem of some kind that he had to dash out to fix. Norma didn't let silence rest upon the venue long and proved that whilst her legs are shaky these days her voice is still a wonder. Pouring out The Welcome Sailor into a stunned church full of people it brought home to me how unique she is even in today's folk scene. Her older, deeper voice sent shivers down my spine without the need for any musical accompaniment.

    In short, I felt extremely privileged to attend the gig and a church was an entirely appropriate setting for us to kneel at the altar of some of English folk music's greatest living heroes. And I'm saying that as your common or garden atheist...

    23/03/2010: Paloma Faith and La Shark, Cambridge Corn Exchange

    I ended up at this gig by accident. I thought I'd told my friend who's offered me the ticket that I'd give her a listen and get back to him. However, he must have misunderstood because whilst I kept forgetting to get back to him that I wasn't that keen, he thought I was definitely coming and therefore wasn't trying to flog the ticket to anyone else. Oh. So, as it was so cheap for the Corn Exchange I went along, thinking New York was a rousing enough tune, but otherwise unsure what to expect.

    What we got was an excellent performer giving an exuberant, confident performance despite a voice on the brink of being lost. Whilst you'd think any threat to Paloma's voice would be a huge detraction from her gigs, she made a game out of it, passing notes for her (superb) backing band to read and occasionally cooing "Oooh, I'd love to talk to you, you all seem so nice!" Her Billie Holiday and Beatles covers were faithful yet stamped with her own style and her costume change was speedy and professional. Oddly enough I have no complaints. Even the support band were good! La Shark were a vaguely ridiculous two-tone-ska-meets-Human-League-disco band full of slightly snotty self-confidence and rather good with it. Their songs were hugely fun, their set short and sweet, and their performance accomplished. A new band that I like! More of this, please...

    24/03/2010: Half Man Half Biscuit, Cambridge Junction 1

    After all the excitement of actually liking Paloma Faith, I still went to this gig thinking it would be THE BEST THING EVER. idst. Even arriving grumpy, wet, with sore legs from walking brusquely so as not to miss the start (no support band...), I still thought this gig would be even better than The Pogues.

    Maybe it was too much expectation. There are few times when I've attended The Junction and thought the crowd were appreciative music fans out for a good night and to hear one of their favourite bands play a great set. In fact I think the only time I thought that was when I saw Jonathan Richman there, and even then people continued to smoke despite his request that they stop on behalf of his recently operated on throat. At first it was kind of funny: the crowd looks exactly how I thought a HMHB crowd would. Lots of middle aged men with not much hair. And because middle aged Pogues fans were so much fun in Brixton I thought this would be a fun, genuinely appreciative crowd who weren't averse to a bit of a push and shove and to calling that dancing, but not blaming short girls for defending themselves with sharp kicks. Hm.

    Restless Legs was a great starter, and it was reassuring to see them saunter on, plug the guitars in and just get on with it. Nigel Blackwell was on good form, muttering in surly Scouse about the local museums and their lack of cake. The crowd was already shouting requests. With a hand-written (of course) setlist, the band stubbornly stuck to the songs they'd already decided to play. "CHATTERIS! What is Chatteris!!" hollered the crowd. "Yep, that's one of ours," quipped Nigel, launching into something completely different.

    With 11 albums and at least 3 EPs to pick the setlist from, not even two hours was going to contain enough songs for everyone to be happy. I'd expected this; I'd expected the 6 or 7 songs that I didn't recognise because I don't own Editor's Recommendation, MacIntyre, Treadmore and Davitt, This Leaden Pall or Some Call It Godcore. But everyone else was determined to hear their favourites, and the shouts for requests kept going throughout the gig, leaving a pervading air of dissatisfaction.** The affectionate surliness of the band became simple surliness, Neil Crossley turning his back to the audience for much of the time, even though he gave a cheery wave when the band finally left the stage.

    Neil's bass drove cleanly through all the songs that night (apart from one he played guitar on. Obviously). The excellent Uffington Wassail was a highlight, as was the rambling does-he-or-doesn't-he-remember-the-words Twenty Four Hour Garage People. Yet, as profpirate pointed out, they don't always translate well live. Songs that I was unfamiliar with didn't shine because I couldn't always hear Nigel's fantastic lyrics, and some songs that I was familiar with could have easily been replaced with more singing songs (not 'song-based'...I mean in opposition to the many monologues that we got), songs such as When The Evening Sun Goes Down would have sounded a treat live, where National Shite Day did drag on a bit...

    It's always a bit disappointing when a band admits that they've forgotten how to play one of your favourite songs - as after a taste of The Ballad Of Climie Fisher, a brief concession to the thick-flying requests. The youthful venue staff looked bored. The crowd was having a bit of fun, but between me and the only fun-lovers was a technophile filming every song on his camera rather than paying any attention to the real people on stage in front of him. Rather than feeling welcomed by an older crowd, I felt like a two-headed imposter. I don't know how better to describe the sense of deflation that I felt as I left the venue, as some fat prick pushed past me, shouting drunkenly at his friend "It's ok, watch me impolitely shove these people out of my way!".

    Half Man Half Biscuit are surly, but always seemed rather well-mannered, cynics with a glint in their eyes, revelling in the underbelly of daytime TV culture. I was disappointed that the sense of simple, adventurous inquisitiveness ("The inside of a Halex Three-Star table-tennis ball smells much like you’d expect it to", "There are questions in corners of my mind that lurk, like how do the road gritters get to work?") seemed to be totally lacking from their fans. That can make or break a gig for me, as anyone who's read me rant about teenagers at the Junction before might know, and I'm fucking miffed that an aggessively demanding crowd spoilt a gig that I had been looking forward to so much.

    *See previous journal entry, discussion of The Pogues.
    ** I admit I did tentatively call for Blood On The Quad, because I thought it would be appropriate for Cambridge, but I had not real expectation to be a)heard or b)listened to.
  • Musical moments of 2009

    Jan 13 2010, 21h32

    10) No more George Lamb on 6Music! Fuck yes.
    Not much more to say, really. I still don't find time to listen to it much, but the other afternoon I tuned in and heard Steve Lamacq playing Hefner. Hefner. On the radio. It was brilliant. Though I'll not manage to be a regular again until they put Phil Jupitus back on the breakfast slot, followed by Gideon Coe.

    9) Finding that Patrick Wolf's still got it, live.
    See my review of him at the Junction on 10th March 2009. The album was a bit pants, and I only listen to it selectively, but I stand by the Kate Bush comparison, and my longing to see him in a venue for the 18+ only... (not so he'll take his pants off, you see, so that I don't have to punch drunken 14-year-olds in the kidneys to get them off my feet). A great live performer, even if the corpus of his material is getting unwiedly and hard to combine into a single set.

    8) A live Talking Heads album that blew my mind.
    It's amazing what having your hard-drive wiped makes you do. Having lost two or three Talking Heads singles, I casually picked up a Talking Heads album for £2.99 noticing that a couple of them were present on the tracklist. Getting the album home I realised that it was all live, and there was lots of it. No bad move - I can take all the warbling Jeff Buckley gives, because I mistakenly bought Live at L 'Olympia before Grace, thus becoming acclimatised to the live sound and finding the studio stuff a bit over produced. Now ditto Talking Heads, plus the bonus discovery of songs I'd not otherwise have come across, the glorious The Girls Want to Be With the Girls and I'm Not in Love.

    7) First experience of the Cambridge Folk Club
    First trip to Arbury, standing on a large cross-roads, eyeing the ginormous chain pub across the road suspiciously; I'm sure GoogleMaps said it was here, but that place is huge, and I'm pretty sure it's not in the dental surgery... Do the guys smoking outside The Golden Hind know where the folk club is? "Folk club? I've lived in Arbury my whole life, never knew we had no folk club." Does the barman know where the folk club is? "Folk club? Never heard of it." Luckily the girls buying drinks at the bar knew it was just upstairs, beyond the bar. So, for a folk gig, in a folk setting, with a folky audience...my impressions were immediately that the support bands in this kind of venue are always going to be of a far higher standard that at bigger venues (see Kiss the mistress), and so were the audiences. Bella Hardy worked the crowd expertly, was funny and charming (along with her side-kick from Doncaster) and played some very good music. And I drank a lot of gin because the patrons of The Golden Hind, in their excellent taste, had drunk all the nice beers. The up-tempo, frivolous version of Dog + Gun was exceptionally memorable, and the harp-free Three Black Feathers was gorgeous. The whole experience made me kick myself for missing Mawkin : Causley the week before...

    6) Discovering Nic Jones and the amazing Mud Cat Café
    The Jim Moray gig at 4) originally introduced me to Nic Jones, then questioning my folk-knowing Dad gave me a bit more info, before Mudcat.org revealed the whole sorry mess of his motorbike accident and the catalogue of folk music that is not currently being released in any way that rewards its artists.
    It's not pretty, but people ought to know, so they buy Game Set Match rather than a copy of Ballads and Songs that gives no royalties to the amazing guitarist who made songs such as Billy Don't You Weep For Me and Clyde Water his own.
    Also, Mudcat has some more cheerful stuff, and introduced me to the history of loads of folk songs (Reynardine isn't a fox, but comes from French folklore via Robin Hood? Lord Bateman is actually Thomas a Beckett's father?) as well as this awesome tidbid:
    To the woods, to the woods, with the rubber goods...!

    Little Girl: But I'm only thirteen!
    Vicar: This is no time for superstition
    L.G: I'll tell the Vicar
    Vicar: I am the Vicar!
    L.G.: My mother's not going to like this!
    Vicar: Your mother's not going to get it
    L.G: Besides, Mummy said I mustn't, the grass is wet and ten pence isn't enough!


    5)The slow creeping up on me of Richard Thompson
    Less of a moment than a slow burning of Richard Thompson and Steeleye Span* appreciation throughout the year, begun with the 1000 Years of Popular music tour, culminating with the slap-round-the-face rememberence of a half-read fact as I listened to Beeswing that the song was about Anne Briggs. Just probably the most beautiful and over-covered song out there. Yeah, screw you, Hallelujah, one cover was too much for Beeswing.
    So yes, I have a best-of RT but badly need some more - I'm can't really get keen on his stuff with Linda, I'm not a big fan of her voice, but any solo albums of his that people would like to recommend would be gratefully explored.

    *Yes, I know RT didn't play with them, but the way they grew on me echoes the way RT's solo stuff grew on me. Also RIP Tim Hart :(

    4)Jim Moray and his rockin' hurdy gurdy working live, as well as the Bubbz bit in Lucy Wan!
    His hurdy gurdy player was head-banging to The Rufford Park Poachers. He made Trafalgar Square scream when he wore a Morris dancing hat. He got played on Rob Da Bank's radio show. Coolest folk around right now. And oh, I want a hurdy gurdy now.

    3)Falling back in love with Maxïmo Park
    I didn't mean to fall out of love with them...I wanted more people to appreciate them...but then when they released Girls Who Play Guitars and Karaoke Plays I despaired. Like I despaired when I saw them at the Cambridge Corn Exchange and it wasn't even that big a venue but I didn't feel like I was in the same kind of audience as the one they used to draw. And the more I listened to their second album, the worse more of the lyrics sounded, the hammier the attempts to write pop songs that didn't make sense (á la Prefab Sprout who were name dropped by the band at some point during the evolution of the second album). I cite as songs that I LOVED from the second album...The Unshockable and Parisian Skies. Others were ok. But didn't make up for the cringeworthiness of A Fortnight's Time or By the Monument (shudder).
    So maybe it's because the music is more mature in the third album, because I'm blind to what are probably still a fair few ropey lyrics now. I listened to the early release of Wasteland out of curiosity. And it fell flat. And I listened again, and it got better, and better. Ditto The Kids Are Sick Again. But still not amazing. Then I got the album (signed by the band? Pff, signed by Archis!) and although the live DVD was kind of bland, like their Cambridge gig (I have high standards for Maxïmo), Calm was a revelation, and every track on the album bar Tanned (weirdly creepy) grew and grew on me, until I couldn't get the fucking thing out of my head all summer. And still love it despite that. Now I just need them to announce a secret gig at The Potland Arms, Cambridge, and tell only me and my mates and no kids with cameras...
    But seriously, I thought 'Recording in the US? The producer of The Dreaming? This is not going to work'. But the synthey background, the spaced out keyboards and toned-down guitar sounds perfect for a more mature band, who I hope will only continue to improve from now on. And release some better singles.

    2)Do we have a new best gig? I think we do. Stand up, Shane MacGowan and your new teeth! The Pogues' annual shindig in Brixton.
    How much longer is he going to live?! Oh, comeon. He's so pickled by now, they'll be touring for years. And I now wish to go to each of those tours. It helped that I was numbed by enough alcohol and wearing sensible shoes so could hold my own at the front without being crushed against the barrier, and that the London Irish are very polite about short girls kicking their shins because they're being trodden on and can't see. And that anyone who was genuinely being a dick got removed pretty quickly. And that I got Guinness all over me. And that they played The Sick Bed Of Cuchulainn. And Shane rememebered most of the words to most of the songs. And it was an absolute bloody riot where everyone on the last tube back sang Fairytale of New York. <3

    1)Buying tickets to see Half Man Half Biscuit in 2010...
    My new best gig ever? Looks set to be. I never thought I'd get to see them because they weren't leaving the Wirral and I wasn't going there, but altogether now: "FUCKIN' 'ELL! IT'S FRED TITMUS!"

    Happy 2010 dudes.
  • Jim Moray@ Cambridge Junction 14/03/09

    Mar 15 2009, 11h03

    Sat 14 Mar – Jim Moray

    I'll write something here later. Suffice to say it was amazing.


    Leaving Australia
    Rufford Park Poachers
    Early One Morning
    Sweet England
    Lucy Wan
    Three Black Feathers
    Billy Don't You Weep for Me
    Spencer the Rover
    The Flying Cloud
    Adam Ant Alone in His Padded Cell
    The Kingston Girls/The ? Hornpipe
    Henry's Downfall
    Barbara Allen
    I'll Go 'List for a Sailor
    The Wild Boar
    All You Pretty Girls
    Lord Bateman
  • Patrick Wolf @ Cambridge Junction 10/03/09

    Mar 11 2009, 11h19

    Tue 10 Mar – Patrick Wolf, Craig Template, Micachu And The Shapes

    Seeing as the last time I bothered to write a review of a gig was the last time that I saw Patrick Wolf, I thought it'd be interesting to do it again. Unfortunately, I have become old and grumpy since then and the crowds have become younger and drunker, so this will probably be reflected in what I write. It's nothing personal, of course.

    Arriving outside the Junction for a quick Nando's before the gig, it was already clear how much Patrick's audience had changed since The Magic Position was released. 6:45, for doors at 7:30, there was already a straggling queue of skinny jeans, checked shirts and angular haircuts. By the time I joined it at 7:20 it had more than doubled in size and there were crafty bottles being swigged from all around me. Doors turned out to open at around 8, and after the ticket desk printed the wrong person's tickets for me and told me I couldn't live where I said I lived, my friends and I finally got in, apparently to face another huge queue. This one was for the cloakrooms. As people disposed of as many layers as possible it was time for a calming gin whilst dozens of glittery girls and pouting boys fluttered around the interior, shrieking in anticipation.

    Of the two support bands due, I had listened to some of Craig Template's music here (well, one track), and Last Night hadn't sounded so bad in recorded form. Indeed, I had high hopes for the support after enduring the horror of No Bra last time. Alas, we were left with only Micachu and the Shapes, who were more endurable than No Bra because they at least had comedy value. The music was no better though. My friends and I, convinced that 'Micachu' was a prepubescent boy, stood appalled and rather hysterical through half an hour of badly played mini-guitar, Alex Turner gurning, pointless screaming and the occasional (ironic?) shriek from the crowd. When they were tolerable, they were a boring indie band who had jumped on the Arctic Monkeys bandwagon; when they weren't it was akin to aural rape.

    As before, following the support set and long wait I wondered why I had paid £15 to be shoved around by drunken fangirls with too much flesh on show. Myself and one of my shorter friends decided to move to the side of the stage, where we were greeted by the sight of a group of siblings, some barely 10 years old, guarded by a father who looked unsure about his reasons for agreeing to the night. Over the head of one of the younger girls a very tall couple pawed at each other for the duration of the wait.

    When Patrick finally showed, it was in an enormous cloak, shimmying like the Never for Ever Kate Bush, but with the audience screaming I found it hard to shake the image of an, albeit rather gothic, children's party performer from my head. Enough of that for now, though. The opening track, Battle was a stirring call to arms that made me wish June wasn't so very far away still. Followed by some more new material and the shedding of cloak and hair extensions, Tristan produced a truly stunning reaction. The crowd seethed and swallowed whole the people around me, dragging petting lovers and 10-year-olds alike into its mass.

    After Tristan Patrick introduced us to some slower tracks from the forthcoming album: Who Will? and Damaris. Damaris was one of the highlights of the set for me, showcasing Patrick's extraordinary voice, it will surely become an anthem within his sets as it provides a strident and catchy refrain. Another very welcome old friend then came in the form of Teignmouth, which segued into Jacob's Ladder. It made me angry all over again that I never made it to the Wind in the Wires tour, but there was more to come that night in the form of The Libertine (he almost remembered the lyrics...) and The Gypsy King. I don't blame Patrick for repeating a line of The Libertine - he did, after all cry "That's so old!" when someone requested The Childcatcher, and the displays of acrobatic dancing and hip-thrusting left him understandably exhausted.

    Towards the end of the set the crowd had opportunity to shove and sway again as Patrick brought in tracks from his last album: Bluebells, The Magic Position and Accident & Emergency, which was preceeded by a "fuck you, Heat magazine" tirade against the modern media, including the heartening news that he's got a little fat on him now because he's happy and not "vulnerable" as in the [video artist=Patrick Wolf]Wind in the Wires[/video] video. The Magic Position was stopped on the first run by Patrick, who told his band he wanted to go all 'CBGBs', at which the man on the deck became redundant and the violinist and guitarist had all the fun. It worked extremely well, providing a singalong that Patrick compared to Glastonbury crowds, and obviously giving him much-needed energy at that point.

    To rewind a little, Patrick played a track before these that I did not recognise, nor is it one previewed on the 'Battlemegamix' on his Myspace. It began slowly, with Patrick seated at the keyboard, before the crowd gave a yelp of joyful recognition, Patrick looked round at his band in confusion at the reaction, and it burst into a ceilidh-tinged romp about 'desire' and it not being your master: the song is presumably called Desire? It was my favourite new track of the set, but I suppose that I'll be waiting until 2010's 'The Conqueror' to get hold of a copy.

    The final track of the set, Hard Times, was introduced with a description of the time of night when "you've lost your phone and your keys, you're lying on the floor...and you realise you've drunk all your mum's gin. And the brandy." But the song turned out to be along the lines of Battle, a noisy, catchy tune that framed the set perfectly but didn't fool the audience into thinking there was no encore coming...

    The wait for the encore was, my friend and I liked to think, because the wardrobe change wasn't going well - leather doesn't come off sweaty skin easily, we figured. Scurrilous speculation aside, Patrick returned (still in the leather trousers) sporting a leather 'vulture' waistcoat and having been splashed in the face with a large amount of purple glitter. Vulture was a decent track, having the scuzzy feel of his first album more than any of the other new tracks. I'm not sure I'd have pinned it as a first single, but it may well grow on me with repeated listens. The closing track, where Patrick allowed the crowd to paw at him slightly, was Bloodbeat, which Patrick barely needed to sing with the crowd's help (someone correcting his lyrics at one point). It was a messy, sweaty finish that made me miss the time you could see Patrick and dance, as opposed to concentrating so hard on not squashing the child standing next to you whilst the crowd tries its best to knock you from your feet. But hey, I guess I'm too old for this sort of thing now, I was just there to enjoy the music.

    As a whole Patrick's set was a wonderful performance, featuring a silver goat skull as a prop during one track (during which he stood up on a lectern), a ceiling full of disco balls, fancy lighting and the head mic that allowed him to prance, slide, grind and lie down whereever he chose on the stage. It did make me curse all the people who compare such banal acts as Florence and the Machine to Kate Bush when at every turn Patrick's boldness of movement, voice and sound were far more reminiscent of Kate. I am still waiting to hear him play Running Up That Hill when I next see him...

    So despite the wait, the shit support act, and the terrifying crowd, was Patrick worth seeing again? I can't say no, because the show was spectacular. I may try and grow three inches in height before the next one though. Or I may arrive at 6 and beat the tweenagers to the door...


    I couldn't get near enough to see one, let alone grab one, so if anyone could help out with this it'd be great. These are the tracks I remember, in the rough order that I remember them.

    Another new one - Kriegsspiel?
    Who Will?
    Teignmouth/Jacob's Ladder
    Desire (?)
    The Libertine
    The Gypsy King
    Accident & Emergency
    The Magic Position
    Hard Times
  • top 50 'indie anthems' for the more discerning...

    Mai 3 2007, 12h56

    Fucking NME and its predictable, boring, Oasis-filled list of 'indie anthems.' If you've not seen it, this is it in its full glory:


    It's dull, dull, DULL - why does no one try to be original with lists any more? Eventually they'll get their staple 50 and the list will never change, and they'll never have to think about it ever again.

    Fair enough, if it WAS the best 50. Personally I prefer my rather more biased (I'm not partial to Stone Roses, Strokes, Oasis, White Stripes &c.), rather less obvious list. I compiled it before looking at the NME's - check it out if you can be bothered, in alphabetical order for fairness, also one track per artist for fairness. Like no Libertines/Baby Shambles because of For Lovers, and no Radiohead/Thom Yorke because of This Mess We're In. Pipettes/Indelicates don't count because Julia was no longer a member when Pull Shapes was recorded. Right?

    N.B. I don't really know what 'indie' is anymore. If you object to my classing Adam & the Ants as indie I don't actually care.

    65 Days of Static: Retreat! Retreat!
    Adam & the Ants: Prince Charming
    The Arcade Fire: Rebellion (Lies)
    Arctic Monkeys: Mardy Bum
    Art Brut: Modern Art
    Be Your Own PET: Adventure
    Billy Bragg: A New England
    Björk: Isobel
    Bloc Party: This Modern Love
    The Bluetones: Slight Return
    Blur: Parklife
    British Sea Power: Please Stand Up
    The Buzzcocks: Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)?
    Ciccone: Look at You Now
    The Clash: Train in Vain
    The Cribs: You Were Always the One
    The Cure: In Between Days
    Deep Blue Something: Breakfast at Tiffany's
    The Divine Comedy: The Pop Singer's Fear of the Pollen Count
    The Dresden Dolls: My Alcoholic Friends
    Editors: Munich
    Elvis Costello: Oliver's Army
    Franz Ferdinand: You're the Reason I'm Leaving
    Guillemots: Trains to Brazil
    Half Man Half Biscuit: Bottleneck At Capel Curig
    Hefner: The Science Fiction
    The Indelicates: Sixteen
    The Jam: That's Entertainment
    Jeff Buckley: Grace
    Jilted John: Jilted John
    Jonathan Richman: I Was Dancing In The Lesbian Bar
    Joy Division: Digital
    Kate Bush: Babooshka
    The Kinks: David Watts
    The Knife: Heartbeats
    The Long Blondes: Fulwood Babylon
    Louis XIV: Finding Out True Love Is Blind
    Manic Street Preachers: Faster
    Maxïmo Park: The Coast Is Always Changing
    Patrick Wolf: Overture
    The Pipettes: Pull Shapes
    PJ Harvey: This Mess We're In
    Pulp: Disco 2000
    Regina Spektor: Us
    The Smiths: Panic
    Suede: The Drowners
    Tom Vek: If You Want
    The Undertones: Teenage Kicks
    Wolfman & Pete Doherty: For Lovers
    Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Cheated Hearts
  • Eclecticism, last.fm style

    Abr 25 2007, 14h27

    My top 10 artists:
    Maxïmo Park
    Manic Street Preachers
    Kate Bush
    Patrick Wolf
    The Dresden Dolls
    Jeff Buckley
    Seth Lakeman
    Bloc Party
    The Long Blondes

    In all their artist connexions 6 out of 80 are repeated. Apparently this makes my music taste wild and eclectic. Woop de doo.

    Breakdown, if anyone's interested:

    kaiser chiefs
    we are scientists
    art brut

    stone roses

    tori amos
    david bowie
    pj harvey
    the cure
    cocteau twins

    final fantasy
    arcade fire
    xiu xiu
    antony and the johnsons
    architecture in helsinki
    sufjan stevens
    joanna newsom

    yeah yeah yeahs
    regina spektor
    bright eyes
    (the cure)
    the white stripes

    elliott smith
    nick drake
    damien rice
    bob dylan
    the beatles
    (sufjan stevens)
    (arcade fire)

    field mice
    the lucksmiths
    helen love
    the magnetic fields
    television personalities
    belle and sebastian

    kate rusby
    stephen fretwell
    scott matthews
    fairport convention
    willy mason
    kt tunstall
    turin brakes
    john martyn

    (arcade fire)
    the strokes
    arctic monkeys
    death cab for cutie
    the killers
    franz ferdinand
    the shins

    larrikin love
    the pipettes
    (the rakes)
    the young knives
    good shoes
    mystery jets
    be your own PET

    Apparently you're meant to use your top 20 and this site: http://anthony.liekens.net/pub/scripts/last.fm/eclectic.php?user=

  • Patrick Wolf @ Cambridge Junction 11/02/07

    Fev 12 2007, 9h32

    Sun 11 Feb – Patrick Wolf

    This was the first gig in a while I was really, truly looking forwards to, and as far as Patrick Wolf went there was no disappointment. The gig as a whole, however...

    Opened with the act No Bra who I hate to slate as it enjoys posting clips of bad reviews on its Myspace, but it really was painfully embarrassing. I don't know whether it was trying to 'challenge conventions' or stereotypes, or just be shocking, but it succeeded in none of these things. 6ft of topless shemale on testosterone pills mumbling over a backbeat probably conceived on a PS1 music game was so bad it was't even funny.

    After twenty or so minutes of that (the set was mercifully short) the crowd had an inordinately long wait for Patrick Wolf, during which time another support act could easily have been slotted in but wasn't. The hour's wait for Patrick after the experience of No Bra gave the audience a shifty mood that I can only assume was intentional, and to be honest Patrick came across as something of the diva for keeping us waiting for so long when there wasn't even soundcheck to be done.

    Finally the man himself arrived and such is his charisma that the minute he came on stage I felt all my loathing of the past two hours fade considerably (though not the back ache from standing around for so long...20 is too old for this kind of larking about!). I will try to recall the setlist, but as he wasn't following the sheet of paper on stage in front of me it might be a bit garbled.

    Get Lost
    Jacob's Ladder
    To The Lighthouse
    A Boy Like Me
    Pigeon Song
    Everything Happens to Me
    Accident & Emergency
    The Magic Position
    Wolf Song

    A significant amount of material from his forthcoming album was aired, and all sounded as swaggering and enthusiastic as his earlier songs, especially those from Lycanthropy. Get Lost and Augustine showed the softer side to The Magic Position after the single Bluebells; incidentally the shift from harpsichord to piano at the join between Jacob's Ladder and Bluebells was one of the most enchanting moments of the night.

    Whilst the lush arrangements of songs like Blackbirds and Stars bring to mind Tristan, A Boy Like Me, Bloodbeat and other familiar tunes (or as my inexperienced friend put it: "Some of the songs sound exactly the same"), Patrick seems to have developed the downbeat tunes a lot more, Augustine retaining the playful, quirky quality we know and love him for whilst still managing to be tender. There is less of a distinction between the very stripped down slow tracks and the electronic-heavy party pieces as Magpies and Bluebells illustrate beautifully, the firework sound effects on Bluebells lending a really ethereal edge.

    In all it was a great live set, Patrick rightly focussing on the more uptempo tracks from Lycanthropy and The Magic Position and only sprinkling the odd bit of more restrained magic in; Everything Happens to Me was a particularly glorious interlude. Personally I'd have liked to have heard more from the excellent Wind in the Wires, but the songs would not have suited the set as well as those we were treated to. It was a curious surprise to hear recent b-side Adder - "a song about having sex with a snake" - but the live setting improved it a lot in my mind, the repetitive backing becoming mesmeric rather than dull when on stage.

    Throughout the performance Patrick was a perfect showman; his quiet banter between songs was unobtrusive and terse and he took the tempermental nature of his theremin in his stride and comfortably launched into the unexpected Augustine. Even a false start to Wolf Song was masked by a cheeky grin and the excuse "it's an old one." His band too were impeccable, as flexible and subtle as needed, and mercifully restrained next to Patrick's glittery exuberance.

    In short Patrick played a wonderful set; his voice is truly astonishing, and the balance of old and new songs worked exceptionally well considering it is still a couple of weeks until the album's release. It was a pity it was marred by the long wait and baffling inclusion of No Bra, but also had the effect of leaving me thoroughly slavering for the new album.


    That all sounded a bit like I'm trying to make up for not writing my essay right now, which I am doing, but that's beside the point. All I really wanted to say was, "he's so sparkly and pretty!"

  • Curious?

    Set 25 2006, 18h29

    1. Name one new band/artist (with a debut album released within the last three years) who you enjoy a lot.
    Ha, tough choice. Maxïmo Park with A Certain Trigger.

    2. How do you discover new music?
    By tripping over it because I'm running about with my eyes closed. 6Music is a good chum of mine, occasionally MySpace delivers the goods, sometimes a support band stands out and sometimes it's sounded good from a magazine review.

    3. Name a band or artist who you'd love to experience for the first time back when they first made a name for themselves. In other words, what band would you time-travel to see perform?
    Easy from my top 5...Kate Bush, Manic Street Preachers, Jeff Buckley. Wouldn't say no to The Doors or some of the early folk scene; Davy Graham, Anne Briggs, Shirley Collins and the like. Steeleye Span and Fairport Convention too.
  • Simply because Sufjan is Out and Seth is In.

    Jul 31 2006, 20h16

    1.Maxïmo Park
    First track heard: The Night I Lost My Head
    Track that made me get into them: Apply Some Pressure
    Favourite track (all-time): The Coast Is Always Changing
    Current favourite track: Waste Land

    2. Manic Street Preachers
    First track heard: er, probably A Design For Life or Everything Must Go.
    Track that made me get into them: Ocean Spray/You Stole The Sun From My Heart/La Tristesse Durera
    Favourite track (all-time): The Girl Who Wanted to Be God
    Current favourite track: Charles Windsor

    3. Kate Bush
    First track heard: Wuthering Heights
    Track that made me get into them: Cloudbusting
    Favourite track (all-time): I couldn't choose. The whole Ninth Wave is perfect.
    Current favourite track: Night of the Swallow or Get Out of My House

    4. Jeff Buckley
    First track heard: Lover, You Should've Come Over (acoustic on KCRW)
    Track that made me get into them: Hallelujah
    Favourite track (all-time): Morning Theft
    Current favourite track: Witches' Rave

    5. The Dresden Dolls
    First track heard: Coin Operated Boy
    Track that made me get into them: Girl Anachronism
    Favourite track (all-time): Delilah
    Current favourite track: Backstabber or Shores of California

    6. Bloc Party
    First track heard: Little Thoughts (Xfm Session)
    Track that made me get into them: Banquet
    Favourite track (all-time): So Here We Are
    Current favourite track: Hero

    7. The Long Blondes
    First track heard: Giddy Stratospheres
    Track that made me get into them: Once And Never Again
    Favourite track (all-time): Once And Never Again
    Current favourite track: Fulwood Babylon

    8. The Smiths
    First track heard: How Soon Is Now?
    Track that made me get into them: What Difference Does It Make?
    Favourite track (all-time): Sheila Take a Bow
    Current favourite track: Unloveable

    9. Seth Lakeman
    First track heard: Kitty Jay
    Track that made me get into them: Kitty Jay
    Favourite track (all-time): I like all my Seth! Er...it'd probably be Kitty Jay or The Ballad of Josie.
    Current favourite track: April Eyes or How Much

    10. The Libertines
    First track heard: Time For Heroes
    Track that made me get into them: The Boy Looked at Johnny
    Favourite track (all-time): Vertigo
    Current favourite track: Bucket Shop
  • Live stuffs meme nicked from Bethling (as always)

    Jul 22 2006, 21h37

    >What was the last concert you attended?
    Kubichek! and The Motorettes at Hull Welly.

    >How many people were there?
    It wasn't packed, and it's not very big anyway...I don't know, 50 ish?

    >What bands have you seen in concert the most, and how many times?
    Maxïmo Park six times - Leeds festival '05, Sheffield Leadmill, Newcastle HMV, Newcastle Academy, York Fibbers, London Vinyl Factory.
    Already booked: Leeds Festival '06, Belfast Mandela Hall, Sheffield Octagon and Brixton Academy.

    >Do you have any set lists? From what bands?

    Maxïmo Park (x2), The Rogers Sisters, ¡Forward, Russia! (it's just numbers!), Little Man Tate

    >Are there any CDs in close proximity to you? Which ones?
    The Best of Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Debut, Celtic Myths and Legends, The Original Higglers' Roadshow Live in Stabbo 'Loaded for Bear'

    >What band are you in the mood to see live right this second?
    Maxïmo Park. I'll have them anytime anywhere...

    >Have you ever been on a tour bus?

    >Have you ever partied with a band?
    I've got drunk in a Walkabout with The Rifles and boogied down to The Killers with Little Man Tate...how rock and roll. We don't talk of my drunken hassling of Paul Smith in Sheffield.

    >How many states/provinces have you been to concerts in?
    About 5 or 6.

    >What bands did you see live the month of May?
    Not that many...Kubichek! and The Motorettes, Les Cox (sportifs) and Maxïmo Park.

    >What CD are you addicted to at the moment?
    Boxing Hefner

    >Who is one band that you used to like, but now you can't stand?
    Razorlight, though Golden Touch and Dalston are still nice enough.

    >Have you ever been on anyone's guest list? Whose?
    Bethling got us on t'guestlist for the last Kubichek!Motorettes gig, and I got on the guestlist for the Vinyl Factory gig with Maxïmo Park and S. Rock Levinson.

    >Last band person that you got a picture with?
    I don't like getting photoed with bands...unless it's all in good fun. Like 'losing it'? No, not like losing it. All photos of me with bands seem to be candid camera.

    >Do you consider yourself a groupie?
    No ma'am.

    >If you were to name a boy and a girl after any band....what would you name them?
    Test Icicles and Ladyfuzz and then I'd laugh when the kids got beaten up.

    >How old were you when you went to your first concert?

    >Who was it?
    It was the fucking Cleethoropes Wintergardens Christmas gig...

    >What bands haven't you seen yet that you want to see?
    The Dresden Dolls, Kate Bush (like that's gonna happen... :( ), Nicky Wire...eh, loads more. Patrick Wolf, Regina Spektor, The Long Blondes, Half Man Half Biscuit...etc.

    >Are you wearing a band shirt right now?

    >What band do you own the most merch of?
    Maxïmo Park, I guess...one t-shirt (that's too big) and some badges.

    >What song is on your myspace right now?
    A Hymn for the Cigarettes

    >Have you ever met that band?
    No...I should try and catch Darren Hayman sometime.

    >Do you ever do anything crazy at shows?
    I dance like a nut, sing too loudly, try and dance even when there blatantly isn't room enough for it, weasel my way to the front, get grabby about setlists....ooh I'm a nightmare at gigs, me.

    >What are your favorite venues to go to shows at?
    York Fibbers, Hull Adelphi, London Vinyl Factory, Lincoln Delph

    >What band do you have the most performance pictures of?
    Maxïmo Park, easily.

    >Would you ever get a tattoo representing a band?
    No! Hahaha.

    >How many concerts do you average a year?
    Not many. It was only 10 in 2005, but I guess once I get round to going to uni it'll be more.

    >Upcoming shows?
    Seth Lakeman this Thursday at Lincoln Drill Hall! I can't wait! I CAN'T WAIT! Agggg! After that, Leeds festival. The Maxïmo in October, as many dates as I can manage.

    >List every band you've EVER seen live, no matter how obscure.

    Err I don't remember the names of all the Wintergardens bands. One was Changing to December
    The Ordinary Boys
    Franz Ferdinand
    The Libertines
    Manic Street Preachers
    The Applewhites
    Blue Sand
    Art Brut
    Neils Children
    Art Brut
    The Drill Hall unplugged, featuring Rigollo amongst others
    The Rifles
    Art Brut
    The Zutons
    Boy Kill Boy
    Art Brut
    The Rakes
    Towers of London
    Sons & Daughters
    Maxïmo Park
    The Duke Spirit
    British Sea Power
    LCD Soundsystem
    The Futureheads
    Thirsty Merc
    Two Gallants
    The Rogers Sisters
    We Are Scientists
    The Blood Arm
    The Paddingtons
    The Others
    The Killers
    Queens of the Stone Age
    59 Violets
    Nine Black Alps
    Arctic Monkeys
    The Cribs
    The Tears
    The Longcut
    The Foo Fighters
    The Cinematics
    We Are Scientists
    The Future Detectives
    Forward, Russia!
    The Rakes
    Franz Ferdinand
    Field Music
    Maxïmo Park
    Maxïmo Park
    Mystery Jets
    We Are Scientists
    Arctic Monkeys
    Maxïmo Park
    The Johnsons
    Little Man Tate
    The Motorettes
    Les Cox (Sportifs)
    Maxïmo Park
    DJ Jack Rollo
    S. Rock Levinson
    Maxïmo Park
    The Motorettes

    *ponders*...I think that's about it. Soon to be added:

    Seth Lakeman