It's a long way from the Faroe Islands to the Hope and Anchor. One of London's seminal venues, its 70s pub rock and punk pedigree is legendary. The list of bands who have played there is endless .. Madness, U2, The Damned, XTC, The Stranglers, Spandau Ballet ... it's pretty much the smallest venue with the smallest stage I can think of still hosting regular shows. If you get 50 people in there, they're shoulder to shoulder.
I found out about Gestir about a year ago when some of the very learned music fans on the forum of West Ham's fans website Knees Up Mother Brown. To the lazy and uninitiated it would be easy to compare them to Iceland's Sigur Ros, as they both create beautiful landscapes of sound and soft vocal harmonies. But there is more than a bit of Radiohead involved and I am sure I can detect a bit of early 90s shoegaze too, although no one else in the small but appreciative crowd would admit it (possibly because they're too young to remember ...)
The band played a shortish set of six songs, including two new compositions in English, It's Over and Crashing. A new album is planned and will feature more songs in English rather than their native Faroese.
Recommended listening: Gestir's one album to date, Burtur Frá Toftunum, with the stand out tracks being Sum Urt, Mitt Í Verðini and Dogg. You can see them at www.myspace.com/gestir.
New single premiered for the first time on some BBC station today. It's "out" on 11 August. Hope I manage to get it after a few plays because I haven't got it so far ... it's a good song but a bit different to the first time I heard Little Thoughts playing.
Glam Chops (Art Brut / David Devant spin-off) live on BBC 6music
It sounds good on paper and it sounds good on, erm, digital ones and zeroes so far too. This is an "indie supergroup" whose main proponents are two not-quite-so-super superstars in the terms of record sales a la U2 or Coldplay, but we still have nine of them including the wonderful Eddie Argos from Art Brut and The Vessel from David Devant And His Spirit Wife (or Mr Solo or whatever madness he calls himself these days).
Both bands are great live and I'm sure that this lot, a PROPER GLAM ROCK outfit apparently, will offer more of the same - I should be finding out at the Offset Festival in Hainault, Essex at the end of August. For now here's the three tracks they played for Marc Riley last night on the BBC.
Only four of the eight song set I'm afraid - the BBC thought that Kings of Leon and Amy Winehouse were a better bet. I'm seriously thinking of not renewing my licence fee. (Actually, that's not true. I love the Beeb).
And unlike the NME's coverage, I've accompanied this little storyette with a picture of British Sea Power, and not one of Crowded House. (No, I don't either). And I missed their reported epic version of No Flags. (No, I don't, etc).
Songs included here: Waving Flags The Great Skua No Lucifer Down On The Ground
Looking forward to seeing this lot at the Upload Festival in Hainault Forest on 30 or 31 August (not sure which one yet). The festival is organised by a group that used to run the TMF Festival in Orsett, Essex and they have a pretty eclectic line up - anyone that can put Young Knives with bands like Chrome Hoof have obviously looked the word up in the dictionary. Saw them at Chinnery's in Southend in March and they were absolutely fantastic.
A few sets which I have ripped from digital TV so they should be better quality than the ones available on various "listen again" web places.
I'm also using uploadjockey to host the files, which seems to be able to log into rapidshare, something I can't do about 18 hours a day due to it being very crashy. If it doesn't work, or the popups and ads annoy you, apologies.
Foles r grate tho. Didn't play Olympic Airways which is my favourite track off Antidotes right now but good enough.
I was genuinely upset to hear of the death of former Earl Brutus frontman Nick Sanderson.
While others will remember him for his involvement in a number of other bands - Clock DVA, World Of Twist, Jesus and Mary Chain and Freeheat - I remember him most with his short involvment in the band which was active between 1993 and 1999 and released two albums, Your Majesty .. We Are Here and Tonight You Are The Special One (nothing to do with Chelsea). The latter album was released on Polygram and it's hard to imagine a major label taking such a risk on such a band these days - a 30-something collection which included a former JoBoxer, Martin Fry out of ABC's brother and a headbanging Japanese guy whose contribution other than, erm, standing on stage headbanging was so limited he made Bez look like a multi-instrumentalist.
They first came to my attention when the short-lived "we're XFM, a REAL indie radio station" (copyright 1997-1998) A-listed The SAS And The Glam That Goes With It. In the early days of the UK version of MTV2 (circa 1999), viewers could choose an hour's worth of videos on their website and I managed to get Come Taste My Mind a rare TV showing, which I recorded for posterity and subseqently Youtubed here:
I was lucky enough to see them live about 10 years ago a the Electric Palace in Camden supporting Kenickie, with a friend who clearly hated them. I was pretty much mesmerised by the whole set - probably the best support slot I've had the good fortune not to ignore.
The bastion of all world knowledge that is Wikipedia describes them as a hybrid of glam rock, Kraftwerk and the Fall, and I can't really argue with that.
No firm news of how and when it happened but his last record label, Planting Seeds, reports that it was in the last couple of days, and posters on JAMC message boards suggested it was cancer.
Firstly .. I am on the lookout for a new digital camera that takes good audio in very loud places. My Fuji F700 was awesome at this - but it broke after many years' use, and my Fuji E900 is somewhat pony by comparison.
Secondly .. why does it always piss down whenever I go to Southend?
I Shouted Gun feat Scroobius Pip - Heston
Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip - Letter From God (the one that nicked the Radiohead riff)
Yeah I decided to post something again, big whoop!
Filmed last night in Chinnery's, Southend on Sea, on the edge of the world. (That's why the crowd is always on the low side).
The audio is OK, not GREAT. I'm now filming with a Fuji 900 which is nowehere near as good as the 700 I used for years. But then the sound system at Chinnery's always makes your ears bleed anyway, so what can you do?
Sohodolls - My Vampire
Sohodolls - Right And Right Again
Support was from two local bands, 586 and Weirdgear. Worth checking out for different reasons. One is a punk band that lives in a fairground. The other is firmly bolted into 1981 like no other band on earth.
British Album: Long Blondes - Someone To Drive You Home
British Breakthrough Act: Hot Puppies
British Live Act: The Others
International Male Solo Artist: Simple Kid
International Female Solo Artist: Joan As Policewoman
International Group: The Blood Arm
International Album: Couse and the Impossible - The World Should Know
International Breakthrough Act: The Grates
Outstanding Contribution to Music: Sultans of Ping
There are lists circulating in other places (BBC, NME, etc) showing a different list of winners, such as Amy Winehouse, Orson, Oasis, etc etc. Please ignore that list, it was a first draft and not the intended one for publication.
If there's one thing that makes me angry every February it's the Brits.
1. I have to watch ITV for 2 hours. That's as much ITV as I am going to watch in any one year. 2. I thought Mastercard had produced the worst adverts possible during Euro 2006, but oh no, they're excelling themselves now! 3. There's a horrible constant squeal all the way through the show. (It's the audience). 4. Corinne Bailey Rae. 5. Tom Baker on voiceovers. Well done, that's really encapsulated the fucking zeitgeist, hasn't it.
Plus a load of people who are terrible win prizes, the live performances are horrible, yadda yadda.
My 3 year old loved the Scissor Sisters routine. "Look, they've got no bodies! They're flying!" Says it all really. I sent him to bed straight after that.
Oh Jesus, the Arctic Monkeys have not only won an award, they've dressed up as the Wizard of Oz. (walks off to kick cat)
So what's good about it?
Russell Brand - who I love for this reason alone: words, moving pictures. Half of his routine seemed to be in this morning's Daily Mirror - nice to get paid twice for one bit of work, innit?
As ever, XRRF provided a great running commentary, explaining with wit what I can only spit out angered abuse.