Friday, 28 November 2008

Concert Review: Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds @ The Edinburgh Corn Exchange


I'm happy to bring you the Edinburgh edition of Terrible Love Songs wri
tten by Ian



In recent years Nick Cave's Edinburgh shows have been a rather self reflective experience with the big man parked on a piano stool mumbling in a morose way as a respectful audience licked an unseen but huge collective wound.

What a difference an upbeat album, two great bits of cinema (writing The Proposition and the score for The Assassination of Jesse James two must see pieces of celluloid) and the best moustache in rock n roll make. Nick was perky - Nick was chipper! Nick appeared to be enjoying himself.

Powered on by The Bad Seeds, the best known numbers from Dig! Lazarus ! Dig! opened the set up with a power which banished any doubts that this was going to be a big night. Nick Cave did mix it up though with a funky version of Tupelo which did not loose any of the bile from the original time of The First Born Is Dead. A fair way to unite an audience diverse in age (and I wasn't the oldest there for a change! Ha!) The banter with the crowd was a new thing reflecting the big man's new found comfort where his musical direction has crashed into a new found popularity with people who likely weren't born when the Birthday Party first exploded onto the UK punk scene. Indeed calls for Release the Bats were humoured where on other nights I've heard curt expletives.

Some of Dig! Lazarus! Dig! has found The Bad Seeds stray closer to traditional rock sounds - indeed Midnight Man sounded very close to Queens Of The Stone Age material when it was thrashed out. In contrast, traditional Cave favourites like The Weeping Song drew acclaim for original interpretations from a band who still want to offer fresh sounds. The most original version of an early / mid period cave classic (his words not mine) was a semi acoustic version of The Mercy Seat which spiraled into a thrash and then jettisoned into a more traditional version of Deanna - two all time favourites of mine . We Call To The Author To Explain emphasised what majestic form the big man was in, ranting and barking out the words whilst whirling round the stage resembling a 1970's Torquay TV Hotel Owner. A bizarre sight.

In terms of bizarre sights, the best was saved until the encore when one of the most self absorbed artists of the last decade invited fans to a sing along version of The Lyre Of Orpheus. A rare occasion - like Robbie Williams doing Angels only very dark. With the lamentations about the oldies shouting for Birthday Party classics forgiven, at least temporarily , the band followed this with Hard On For Love - possibly when The Bad Seeds sound closest to Cave's original outfit. They finished, as usual, with Stagger Lee after which we left a bit shell shocked to be honest at the chumminess of the affair - maybe every dark cloud does have a silver lining after all.....

Here's a link to a photo from the current tour.


Thursday, 27 November 2008

Women Instore @ Pure Groove 26/11/08

Women @ Pure Groove

Yesterday I saw Canadian band Women play a lunchtime instore at Pure Groove. I had heard a song of theirs called "Black Rice" and liked it and on the strength of that decided to give them a whirl.

Maybe it was the weather, the recession (can blame lots of things on that right?!) or people just plain old didn't know about the band, whatever it was the turn out was poor compared to other instores and I always feel bad for a band when this happens.

Women played their songs back to back which confused me a bit because I wasn't familiar with their material so didn't know when one song stopped and another started but hey, that doesn't really matter as long as you're enjoying it right? That's the thing, there were moments when they hit some great guitar frenzied grooves and my brain felt musically excited (I noticed other heads nodding in approval). "Black Rice" in particular sounded great and I really enjoyed their thick powerful bass sound but as an overall performance I left the store unconvinced (and slightly deaf - note to self - really must get some ear plugs.) Some very good moments, just wished they had lasted longer.

MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/womenmusic
Pure Groove: http://www.puregroove.co.uk/





Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Single Review: Roses Kings Castles - "Horses"

Roses Kings Castles - "Horses" Release date December 15th

Roses Kings Castles is basically Adam Ficek more commonly known to you and I as the drummer from Babyshambles. In his own words the song is about "the many wintry things I dream about in the months running up to Christmas" so not really anything to do with horses.

Christmas is indeed the first thing I thought of when I heard the bells and keyboards at the beginning of the song and with a December release date maybe this is the alternative to an X-factor Christmas chart topper?

"Horses" is a jolly-ish indie folk pop song. Adam's soft but subtle vocals work well in creating a sweet melodic low-fi pop sound with the occasional burst of harmonica providing a folksy edge.

Line from the song: "Walking in strong winds avoiding everyone, ten miles from home"

MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/roseskingscastles
Adam Ficek's Blog: http://ficekblog.wordpress.com/

Here is a video for you get to get a feel for the song and there are plenty more on the Roses Kings Castles MySpace site.




Roses Kings Castles - "Horses" (without the Christmas bells)

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Single Review: The Brute Chorus - "She Was Always Cool"

"She Was Always Cool" is the third single from London based The Brute Chorus and will be released on December 15th 2008.

It tells the story of a traveller cut from the belly of a killer whale who finds a new life on a desert island but Arrr! (pirate sound?!) there is one final twist in the tale (FYI it's nothing to do with pirates that Arrr! just slipped out!).

Accompanied by a blend of skiffle, rockabilly, preacher blues and a few bars of a kazoo (any band that manages to blend a kazoo into a song is OK with me), The Brute Chorus have been using this song to open an impressive 70 plus shows this year. If you'd like to hear this song along with a few others visit their MySpace page. Keep an ear out for "The Cuckoo the stolen heart" with its infectious beat and a distinct air of Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds.

Favourite line from the song: "I could count the days we were married and the notches on my wooden leg"

MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thebrutechorus

(Note: I had trouble opening their MySpace page in Firefox, try IE instead)


Monday, 24 November 2008

What's On In London This Week? (Including Free Shows)


Another week in London means lots more music. Here is a list I've put together of just some of the concerts happening this week:

Monday 24th November
Paul Weller @ The Brixton Academy

Tuesday 25th November
I'm From Barcelona
@ Scala
Women @ Pure Groove 1.30pm (FREE JUST TURN UP)THIS IS ACTUALLY ON WEDNESDAY SEE BELOW!


Wednesday 26th November
Rough Trade At 30 Ft. Jarvis Cocker + Jeffrey Lewis @ Shepherds Bush Empire
White Lies @ Koko
MARK OLSON & GARY LOURIS @ Rough Trade 6:30pm (FREE JUST TURN UP)
Women @ Pure Groove 1.30pm (FREE JUST TURN UP) (UPDATED-SORRY FOR PUTTING THIS ORIGINALLY ON TUESDAY-THANKS FOR POINTING THIS OUT CITIZEN MEH!)
Panama Kings @ Pure Groove 6:30pm (FREE JUST TURN UP)


Thursday 27th November
Scouting For Girls @ The Brixton Academy
MGMT @ The Forum


Friday 28th November
LYKKE LI @ Koko
MGMT @ Shepherds Bush Empire
New Found Glory @ Brixton Academy

Saturday 29th November
Róisín Murphy @ The Brixton Academy
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds @ Troxy
The Future Heads @ The Astoria

Sunday 30th November
Ben Folds @ The Shepherds Bush Empire

(In case any of the dates have changed or cancelled, to avoid disappointment please check for up to date information on the websites of the venues mentioned.)

If I've missed any concerts, please let me know by leaving a comment.


This week I'm going to be mostly putting the kettle on, hugging the radiator and focusing on reviewing some of the songs I've been sent over the last few months that I haven't had enough time to listen to properly yet. In an attempt to blitz the pile that has been building up I will write just a few lines on each, well that's the plan anyway, we'll see.

Concert Review: Dengue Fever @ The ICA, London 20th November 2008

Chhom Nimol

I booked my ticket for this concert months ago after I first saw LA based band Dengue Fever perform a free show at Rough Trade East. Back then there were only a handful of people in the audience, last Thursday night was a sell out. I'm sure a recent appearance on the Jools Holland show probably helped raise their profile in the UK but also intensive touring and plugging looked like it had finally paid off and deservedly so.

I've been enjoying listening and following this bands progress all Summer (see their entertaining home made videos on YouTube) so I was so pleased to see other people were just as intrigued and enjoying their music. I wasn't sure the British audience would accept so many songs sung in Khmer (singer Chhom Nimol’s native language), I thought it might back fire on them but thankfully not. Thursday evening proved they haven't been chastised into the World Music Section yet (hands off Kershaw!)

Zac Holtzman

Dengue Fever hit the stage and aced their first song “Hold My Hips” sending ripples of excitement through the audience who responded by starting to dance. A combination of the almost hypnotic sounding Farfisa organ (played by Ethan Holtzman who with his flat cap and moustache looked a little bit like Luigi from Super Mario Brothers) and psychedelic 60’s sounding surfer style guitar riffs (played by his brother Zac Holtzman) did something to my mind sending it into overdrive, a musical frenzy! Their sound is mesmerizing, it draws you in and their energy is incredibly infectious. Senon Williams (very tall bass player) bounced around the stage with a great big smile and at one point stood literally right in front of me (I had managed to bag a spot in the middle at the front) making him seem like a giant!

Senon Williams

I always find it interesting to see the different kinds of people bands draw to gigs. Dengue Fever pulled quite an eclectic mix, everyone from middle aged people in suits (that got very sweaty and I hope weren’t worn to work the next day) to youngish looking hipsters. They were a friendly bunch as well, a couple of songs in Zac seemed to be a little unhappy with his sound levels and tried to get the attention of the sound engineers to which a guy in the audience shouted out “Don't worry! You sound great!”

The last time I went to The ICA was to see Brooklyn based band Yeasayer and I remember complaining about the sound quality of the show in my review. Although The ICA quickly put the sound right this time they did however manage to slow roast the band under the stage lighting. As a result, the lead singer Chhom Nimol looked like she was struggling a bit, even I could feel the intense heat off the lights in the front row. Nevertheless all credit to her, she didn’t complain once and gave a note perfect performance, a true professional.


They played:

Hold My Hips

Lost In Laos

Shave Your Beard

NYE
Seeing

Sober Driver

Doo Wop

Thanks A Lot

Integration

Tiger Phone Card

A Go Go

Pow Pow
Glass Of Wine

SNI Bong

1000 Tears


Mr Orange
I'm 16

Tip
Sleepwalking

Made of Steam / Tip My Canoe


During "SNI Bong" Chhom tried to get the audience to sing along a few words in Khmer, and like a Chinese whisper 10 people down the line, we all gave it our best but I’m sure it sounded nothing like she had initially instructed us to sing – I know for a fact what I was singing didn’t bare any resemblance, I just made it up! She didn’t correct us and I felt proud that maybe (but most probably not!) I might have sang my first ever words in Khmer.

The band sounded tight, their show sounded and looked polished and they seemed to be really enjoying themselves. I think nearly everyone chuckled when Zac (guitarist with the cool long beard) took his chance to introduce a song saying "The next song is called Shave your Beard", you couldn't fail to smile.

After about an hour, they left the stage and the lights dropped. I knew there was going to be an encore because I could see the set list from where I was standing but I'm pretty sure the rest of the audience couldn't who by this point were whistling and shouting out for more, drumming their feet wildly on the floor.


They returned to play 5 more songs and at the (real) end of the show Senon announced their next gig in the UK would probably be in June and I think he mentioned it was in Scotland. I’m not sure I can wait that long but I guess I have no choice!

(**UPDATE: DENGUE FEVER WILL BE BACK IN LONDON ON JUNE 18TH @ SCALA - Well Scala can sound like Scotland right?!**)

Brilliant night, great band. I couldn’t sleep a wink when I got home from all the excitement, definitely a band to watch.








Dengue Fever - Later with Jools Holland

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Review: Low Christmas Concert @ Koko, Camden 19th November 2008


I’ve already had my Christmas party this year! It’s a little early I know, but when I saw that Low were coming to town to perform a Christmas concert I just couldn’t resist treating myself to a ticket. Being as I was the only person I knew going to the concert it was a pleasure to meet and converse with two of Lows biggest fans huddling a cup of tea at the front of the queue outside Koko’s. We sat on some of London’s finest free newspapers to keep our derrieres warm and they shared their experience of seeing Low in Manchester the night before with me, wetting my appetite for the evening ahead. When Koko’s doors were finally flung open we wasted no time heading straight to the stage to claim our spot at the front (well I took a quick detour to get a medicinal brandy at the bar – hey it was a party right?!) and we continued to chat and enjoy the warmth – it had been a cold wait! Incidentally, it was at a Low concert in that very same venue four years earlier the couple had first set eyes on each other, and they got married four months ago, so it was a special night for them.

The first act of the evening was an American band called Ida, who are good friends of Low. They have been together for around 10 years but this was their first time on tour in the UK. Ida played a sweet set of folk type music accompanied by beautiful and, at times, haunting vocal harmonies. I particularly liked the way they infused slow Spanish Guitar style techniques into some of their songs, the result was very relaxing and easy on the ear.

Daniel Littleton from Ida

After a short break, Low's three members took to the stage. They started their set with a new song which I don't know the name of, but from my memory sounded decent. This was followed by a crowd pleaser, and one of my favourites, “Murderer”, which, after a few technical glitches at the beginning, sounded superb. Alan Sparhawk, the lead singer, then announced: “This show is dedicated to John Peel, who championed us (long pause) and to the most powerful person in the world”. Someone in the audience shouted out “Play the music!” to which Sparhawk responded “that guy's mom.” There were some more heckles during the evening which I’ll mention later.

They played a few more songs, including "On The Edge Of", "Sandinista" and "Shots and Ladders" before launching into the Christmas section of their show (the bit where I put my Santa hat on - nah not really, but I did sort of wish I had one with me). They performed all the songs off their Christmas EP including my favourite “Just Like Christmas”. Mimi Parker, the drummer and vocalist, has a great voice and the drums and bells made me feel like it was snowing outside. I should add at this point that Ida had come back on stage to accompany Low, along with drummer Eric Pollard from the Retribution Gospel Choir, to create a “superband”, who looked like one big happy family. Well when I say happy, there were some grumbles from Mimi during which she said snarled at husband Sparhawk “I've known you for far too long”. It didn’t help when he then introduced all the musicians on stage and left her to last, to which she responded with a grumble that the audience clapped and drowned out – I don’t think any of us wanted to stand by and watch a domestic!

Mimi Parker

Their rendition of ‘Happy Christmas (War Is Over)’ really got to me and before I knew it I was feeling all emotional and fighting back a couple of tears. They also played a reggae-gospel tune which I thought Sparhawk’s voice really suited. The atmosphere was a little spoilt by another heckler at the back spurting out “I’ve been coming to Low gigs for 11 years, and this isn’t the Low I know!” Sparhawk responded “Well, I’ve been coming to Low shows for 15, 16 years...” and carried on. I felt maybe a couple of members of the audience were trying to provoke Sparhawk following his recent less than gentlemanly behaviour involving a guitar being thrown into the audience at The End Of The Road Festival but he kept his cool and remained professional. This was followed by a moving “If You Were Born Today” with some, perhaps depressing, but nicely expressed lyrics.

Alan Sparhawk

The show closed with “When I go Deaf” (another favourite of mine) and Sparhawk left the stage with one final message for us all: “Everything's going to be alright”. It felt strangely reassuring and I left with a smile on my face.

My only criticism of the evening would be at the lighting people and the way they almost blinded us with a large beam directed straight into the audience’s faces every few minutes, rendering it almost impossible to look at the stage. This did get pretty annoying and could easily have been avoided I’m sure. I don’t want to finish my review on a bum note though, so let me just say that it was a superb concert and I’m looking forward to doing it all again next year.







Friday, 21 November 2008

Dengue Fever @ The ICA London

Yesterday evening I had the pleasure of standing in the front row watching Dengue Fever totally rock The ICA in London. I came out of that concert so psyched I just couldn't fall asleep for the whole night! Does that ever happen to anyone else or am I just a little too excitable?!

All in all it's been a great week for concerts, I have a couple of reviews to catch up on (Low @ Koko's, Dengue Fever @ The ICA) in the meantime please enjoy these photos from the Dengue Fever show...


Thursday, 20 November 2008

Tom Jones Does Something Unusual!

Tom Jones Busking outside Festival Hall

Yesterday morning my husband called to tell me Tom Jones was going to be busking later in the afternoon for charity outside The Royal Festival Hall in London. I ditched my plans for a swim, grabbed my camera and rushed out to catch the train. I’ve never seen Sir Tom perform live before and my auntie Pam is such a huge fan she would never have forgiven me if I’d have missed him.

I arrived at about 2:30pm to a small crowd of mostly photographers, some hard core fans and a fair few baffled tourists wondering what was going on standing in a semi circle around a couple of microphones and speakers. “What's happening?” one of the tourists asked, “It’s Tom Jones! He’s going to busk” replied one of the hard core fans to which the tourist responded very excitedly “Tom Jones! Never!” and then she promptly pushed us all aside and stood at the front much to the dismay of a few fans who had obviously arrived early to claim their spot. I could feel myself slowly being pushed backwards and realised quickly it was going to be a struggle to stay anywhere near the front of this rapidly growing crowd which by now had extended across all the balconies of The Festival Hall, one person even climbed a tree! Some of the people around me, (mostly women – funny that!) seemed to have the “push forward and annoy people with your handbag” technique down to a fine art. I noticed one really sweet fan who I gathered had been following him for years had brought along a bunch of daffodils to give him and was being a little pushed about by the “handbaggers”. I tried to make space to let her get nearer to the front which one of the "handbaggers" promptly tried to squeeze into but this time I wasn’t taking it, I had to use my “rigid elbow skiing stance technique” I’ve developed recently to cope with crowds at gigs behaving badly. Eventually a few others took pity on this lady and I was really happy to see her let through to the front, meanwhile I was now about 5 rows back and sinking.


Fan with Flowers

Then the moment arrived we’d all been waiting for. Tom strolled in looking like he’d “just stepped out of a salon”, shades, tan, (new face according to my brother) and a great big smile. Accompanied by an acoustic guitar (played by Keith) he bellowed out “Put on your red dress, on, baby, ‘Cause we’re going out tonight!” and just like loads of other people, I rang up my mum and held the phone up for her to listen. He then sang "The Green, Green Grass of Home", "Great Balls of Fire" and "It’s Not Unusual" with the crowd singing backing vocals. Someone in the audience shouted out “You should try this singing thing more often, I think you’re quite good at it!” to which Tom responded “I thought you were gonna say don’t give up your day job”. He ended up performing a few of the songs twice while the money was counted. I can’t say I listen to Tom very often but I can see how he has stuck around for so long, his voice really does sound great.


Tom Jones Busking

Remember it’s about the money!” he shouted out, reminding us of the reason why he was busking in the first place, to raise money for cancer research. The performance was organized by The Culture Show on BBC Two as part of a competition between musicians to see who could raise the most money by busking. Tom’s main aim was to beat the Welsh Male Voice choir which he did raising over £460. Not bad for 45 mins work!

Auntie Pam - this post was for you.




Tom Jones busks - "The Green Green Grass of Home"

Once the performance had finished I headed off to Camden and to a completely different part of the musical spectrum to see Low's Christmas show at Koko's. It was a great night, I'll post a review shortly.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

News: Two Pendulum Competitions Announced!

Are you partial to a little Drum and Bass?

If you are you might already know Drum and Bass legends Pendulum are doing a tour of the UK to support their album "In Silico" (which incidentally hit the number 2 slot in the album charts and has since gone gold.)

To coincide with the tour the band have set up two competitions on The Other Side, the fan area of their official site.

The first competition is a Photo Pass competition which will see fans enter a Q&A style competition, with the winner getting a pair of tickets and one photo pass for a gig of their choice on the tour. The second competition is a Photo Submission competition with fans being given the chance to upload their own Pendulum related photos on The Other Side. A shortlist will then be drawn up and voted on with the winning photo being made into a limited edition print to be sold exclusively on the store at www.pendulum.com.

So if you fancy your chances, check out their website for more details.

Pendulum Links:

MySpace
Website
YouTube

Pendulum UK Tour Dates:

November

27th - Newport Centre, Newport

28th - Guildhall, Portsmouth

29th - Oasis, Swindon

30th - Pavilions, Plymouth

December

2nd - Carling Academy, Leeds

3rd - Carling Academy, Birmingham

4th - Academy, Brixton

5th - Academy, Brixton

7th - Apollo, Manchester

8th - University, Liverpool

9th - Carling Academy, Glasgow

10th - Carling Academy, Sheffield

12th - BIC, Bournemouth

13th - Venue Cymru, Llandudno

14th - Carling Academy, Newcastle

For up to date information on tour dates and any last minute changes visit their website www.pendulum.com.


Please Note: Terrible Love Songs takes no responsibility for any errors or inaccuracies involved in advertising the competitions mentioned in this post and is not in any way involved with the running of the competitions. If you have any queries about the competitions details, please visit the Pendulum website.


Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Review: Chairlift Instore @ Pure Groove

Chairlift @ Pure Groove

I think that one of the best aspects of living in London is the abundance of free instore gigs at record stores. Today I visited Pure Groove Records for the first time to hear the Brooklyn based band Chairlift play a free lunch time concert. After 13 years of living here I still managed to get lost trying to locate the store and ended up walking through the nasty, fresh meat smelling part of Smithfields market before I figured out where I needed to be. It reeked!

The shop was a lot smaller than I had expected with a selection of about 100 records dangling from the wall, sort of boutique style (a world away from the crammed market stall I used to scour for decent music as a teenager in Wales.) Most of the records were by artists you'd probably not expect many of your over 30's friends to have heard of yet (unless they work in the music industry or read this blog). They also had a decent selection of interesting t-shirts going for a credit crunching tenner and loads of merchandise amongst which I spotted a “We Smoke Fags” necklace and little mini cars that somehow play your records – unfortunately these were kept in a glass cabinet so I couldn't pick one up to have a look at how they work, that's probably why they're kept in there to keep inquisitive people like me out! So can anyone tell me whether these things actually work? Anyone used one?

Back to the gig; After a delayed start which got a few of the people (on a lunch break from work) understandably twitchy (ah, these musicians and their late starts!) a very New York looking Chairlift launched into the first of their four song set. We were told by singer Caroline Polachek that they wouldn't play anymore songs in order to not give away too many of their secrets before their gig @ the Dublin Castle in Camden tonight.

Some of you will have heard Chairlift already without knowing it. Their song “Bruises” was recently used in an advert to launch the ipod nano – remember the song that goes “I tried to do handstands for you”? Incidentally I think this is one of their weaker songs and most likely to turn me off them if I hear it too much.

Chairlift are Aaron Pfenning (songwriting/vocals/electronics/guitar), Caroline Polachek (songwriting/vocals/tambourine/synthesier) and Patrick Wimberly (drums/bass guitar/keyboard). They have just released their second album called “Does You Inspire You” on Kanine Records. Their music is essentially pop with plenty of keyboards, a dash of Peter Gabriel, a sprinkle of 80's Cure and a great big dollop of Brooklyn’s own brand of experimental cool, which has recently revealed itself in a few other homegrown and heavily hyped/blogged about Brooklyn bands such as MGMT and Yeasayer.

Aaron Pfenning

During this afternoons performance I was really impressed by Caroline's expansive vocal range which on times was strongly reminiscent of Kate Bush's past warblings adding an interesting and welcome dimension to the overall sound.

Caroline Polachek (Fantastic Vocals!)

During the last song I spotted Aaron playing his guitar with a small object that looked very much like a stapler! I'm quite sure it must have an official musical instrument type name because it had a little blue light on it-am I that easily duped? Someone else was also perplexed by the object and at the end of the show asked him what it was. I couldn't quite hear what he was saying and didn't really want to hang around so I'll probably never know. Whatever it was I'm sure it was very important, actually, maybe it was a stapler with a blue light on it, you ever know with these experimental type bands.

On a side note, I thought the guys and girls behind the scenes at the shop did a fantastic job getting the sound balance for this show just right, which meant not only could I hear all the instruments but I also came away with my hearing still intact.

Overall I did enjoy the concert and as I said earlier, Caroline's voice was really very impressive but I'm not sure they're writing style sits well with me right now or maybe I'm not ready to revisit certain parts of the '80's just yet.


Update: Just remembered why they started late-problems with the electrical plugs -my bad, sorry musicians!


Upcoming Tour Dates

18 Nov 2008 Dublin Castle London
19 Nov 2008 Coalition - Club NME Brighton
21 Nov 2008 Retro Bar - Up The Racket Manchester
22 Nov 2008 Crawdaddy Dublin
23 Nov 2008 Cyprus Avenue Cork
24 Nov 2008 Magnet Liverpool
25 Nov 2008 Madam Jo Jo’s London
26 Nov 2008 KoKo [EARLY SHOW w/ White Lies] London
26 Nov 2008 Club Fandago - 229 London
27 Nov 2008 Fleche D’Or Paris
28 Nov 2008 Showcase [w/ Santogold & Uffie] Paris
3 Dec 2008 Sixth & I Historic Synagogue [ w/ Yeasayer ] Washington DC
4 Dec 2008 First Unitarian Church Sanctuary [ w/ Yeasayer ] Philadelphia
5 Dec 2008 Music Hall Of Williamsburg [ w/ Yeasayer ] Brooklyn



Herman Dune - "My Home Is Nowhere Without You"

Herman Dune have an album out called "Next Year In Zion" which I haven't heard yet but I really like a song taken from it called "My Home Is Nowhere Without You" and the accompanying video.




Herman Dune - "My Home Is Nowhere Without You"

Now do I get tickets to see them in December @ Scala? There have been some great reviews from their current tour. Maybe I should listen to the album first.

This next video makes me smile every time I watch it. The kid in the blue top dancing on his own really puts so much effort into his little dance - so cute!




Herman Dune - "I Wish That I Could See You Soon"

What do you think?

Monday, 17 November 2008

What's On In London This Week (Including Some Free Shows)

There are some great shows going on all over the capital this week, here are just a few:

Monday 17th November
The Wombats @ Shepherds Bush Empire (Sold Out)

Tuesday 18th
November
The Wombats @ Kentish Town Forum
Uh Huh Her @ Koko's (Sold Out)
Feeder + Fightstar + The Chemists @ London Astoria
7 pm Metronomy DJ Set Rough Trade East (FREE!!! but turn up very early because this will be very popular)
1:30pm Chairlift Instore @ Pure Groove (FREE!!)
Julian Cope @ Royal Festival Hall
The Fratellis + Noah And The Whale + Ladyhawke + Sergeant Little Noise Sessions @ Union Chapel,
White Denim @Dingwalls
6pm Jay Jay Pistolet Instore @ Pure Groove

Wednesday 19th November
Low A Christmas Concert @ Koko's
TV On The Radio @ Shepherds Bush Empire (Sold Out)
Marillion @ Kentish Town Forum
Death Cab For Cutie @ Briston Academy
LONDON JAZZ FESTIVAL: Portico Quartet + Suppanggah @ Purcell Room

Thursday 20th November
The Kills @ London Astoria
Dengue Fever + Special Guests @ ICA

Friday 21st November
Andrew Bird @ St Giles-in-the-Fields

Saturday 22nd November
Dizzee Rascal @ Kentish Town Forum


Personally I recommend the FREE Metronomy DJ set @ Rough Trade East 7pm on Tuesday. This promises to be a great evening but if you're thinking of popping along I highly recommend you get there as early as possible, the last time they played @ Rough Trade the queue was round the corner and up the street and then around another corner, here's a photo as proof!

Queue for Metronomy @ Rough Trade East

I never made it in to this show because I'm too much of a grump to stand in a queue for that long and I won't be heading along to the one on Tuesday @ Rough Trade for the same reason.

Instead, this week I'll be digging out my Christmas hat and heading off to see Low @ Koko's to celebrate a merry miserable Christmas show. This is like my equivalent to a Terrible Love Songs Christmas party, much better than all those corporate ones I used to have to go to. I'm also looking forward to seeing the LA based Cambodian psychedelic rockers Dengue Fever @ The ICA on Thursday. Dengue Fever have been drumming up some interest recently with an appearance on the Later with Jools Holland show last week.


If you think I've missed a show, please leave a comment.


Here's the video for Metronomy's "Heartbreaker" taken from their great second album "Night's Out"




Friday, 14 November 2008

Review: Emmy The Great Instore @ Rough Trade East

Emmy The Great

On Thursday evening my diary was looking pretty empty so I decided to head out to see Emmy The Great play a free instore gig at Rough Trade East.

Arriving early (sometimes the queues stretch around the corner of the street) I gathered my wrist band and headed off with my impossibly small but incredibly useful eee pc laptop and a sandwich to do a little pre gig research on Emmy.

Starting with her MySpace page, I listened to the play list which not only contains her own material it also has really good covers of Ash’s “Burn Baby Burn” and The Pixies’ “Where is my mind”. More searching uncovered a wikipedia entry and I think this is usually an indicator that a singer has been around long enough to earn a decent fan base so I was quite surprised to read that although she has supported the likes of Martha Wainwright, Mystery Jets, Tilly and the Wall, Jamie T, Euros Childs and Kimya Dawson and has collaborated with Lightspeed Champion and The BPA amongst other artists, she is yet to release an album so far, limiting herself to just a few singles and downloads.

Anyway, words can only help you get a feel for a band so far, the proof is in the pudding so to speak and with that in mind I claimed my spot on the floor in front of the stage and waited for the concert to begin. There was a decent turn out and for the first time in all my experiences of Rough Trade instore concerts, nearly everyone stayed seated, even after the performance had begun It gave me a sort of nursery school/Pete Seeger vibe which felt nice. I’m a bit tall (for a girl) so realizing the folks sitting behind wouldn’t appreciate me standing through the show, I skulked up against a wall and tried to grab a few photos.

Harmonium
There were a whole myriad of instruments squeezed onto the tiny stage including a harmonium, a mandolin, keyboard, guitars, drums, tambourines and last but not least… an egg shaker. I did spot a cello case but no sign of a cello.

Emmy The Great (real name Emma-Lee Moss), accompanied by four band members, kicked off with her latest single, released only a few days prior, called “We Almost Had A Baby”. I’m struggling to think of who Moss reminds me of. LastFm suggests if I like her I might also like Laura Marling, Florence and the Machine and Diane Cluck and I can see how the anti folk vibe might influence a computer to recommend these artists but this doesn’t really put a finger on it. Emmy has a lovely voice which can, at times, make her songs sound quite twee but if you listen a little closer the lyrics are often telling a story, sometimes quite thought provoking, and not necessary as sweet as her soft voice might lead you to think. I felt the subtleties of her lyrics were a little lost on me, due to my lack of familiarity with the songs. It was a shame really because I think this is a big part of the attraction with this band.

They played seven songs including “the myspace page ones”, as Moss put it, and a song called “First Love” off their forthcoming album of the same title which was inspired and based upon Leonard Cohen’s song “Hallelujah”. Occasionally Moss added a few comments between songs, like how she’d hoped to buy some CDs while in the shop but couldn’t find the new release section, and how they should make it more obvious which she quickly followed up with “ They’re not going to invite me back her again are they?”. She also mentioned how excited she was about having tickets to see Leonard Cohen at the O2 later in the evening and how the drummer had eaten some dodgy chicken from a food joint around the corner – I think I know which eatery she meant but I’m not going it name it here.

Most of her supporting band members are also involved in other projects, Euan Hinshelwood plays for http://www.myspace.com/younghusbandmusic, Euan Robinson plays for http://www.myspace.com/thestarsofsundayleague and Ric Hollinbery with http://www.myspace.com/thisispengillys , all thoroughly decent bands you should check out.


Although I did enjoy my first Emmy The Great experience, I'm not sure I'm completly sold on them yet, the jury is still out.


Emmy The Great has just released a single called “We Almost Had A Baby” which you can get a copy of at Rough Trade records (which apparently comes with some great artwork and is limited to 750 copies) and is expected to release her debut album titled "First Love" in February 2009.

Here is a new collaboration between The Brighton Port Authority (Fat Boy Slim) and Emmy The Great which I'm enjoying more with every listen.




The BPA - Seattle Feat. Emmy The Great


Emmy The Great Links:
Last FM
MySpace
Website

Hallelujah Leonard Cohen!

In celebration of Leonard Cohen playing the O2 last night, I thought it fitting to post a slightly different take on his song "Hallelujah".






The language is Welsh and this cover has received the thumbs up from Leonard Cohen for official release. It's the first time one of his songs has been released in any other language apart from English.

Unless I've missed something, I'm not expecting many of you are familiar with Welsh and "Hallelujah" is probably the only word that you'll recognise but I felt it was worth sharing because the vocals are so impressive.

This song makes me think of my dad.

BBC Link

Meanwhile I went to see Emmy The Great play last night who also slipped a song loosely based on "Hallelujah", I'll be posting my review with photos shortly.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Fleet Foxes Take Away Show

The Fleet Foxes have been given the Blogotheque Take Away treatment and the results are quite superb.

They sing "Sun Giant","Blue Ridge Mountains" and "White Winter Hymnal"

There is a lot of information about how they did the shoot on the Blogotheque website here




And here is the link to another inspired video shot of the Fleet Foxes by Blogotheque back in February of this year before they released their debut album, before many of us knew who they were.

Both of these videos are truly awesome.

Fleet Foxes Myspace

Tin Pan Alley Under Threat

There was an interesting article in The Guardian yesterday about the campaign to save one of the original homes of American popular music, Tin Pan Alley.

Located on West 28th Street just off Broadway in Manhattan, New York, Tin Pan Alley was the name given to a row of buildings that collectively became the epicentre of the sheet music business and the place where the modern music industry was born. It's all said to have started back in approx. 1885 when many music publishers set up shop on the street. The shops would be bustling with pianists and singers sometimes employed by the shop or by publishers to demonstrate songs to promote sales of sheet music. Aspiring singers and songwriters would visit the street to play their songs in the hope a publisher would want to buy them. I can only imagine how alive with music this little street must have been back then, in fact many historians believe this is where the name 'Tin Pan Alley' comes from, the sheer noise made by so many pianos being played at the same time sounding like tin pans being banged together.

Technology advances changed the distribution mechanism of the music industry and during the 1930's sheet music was competing with the phonograph and radio. Gradually the shops of Tin Pan Alley closed and the street drifted into decline.

Nowadays the only evidence to suggest this was once a bustling hub of music is a small commemorative plaque on the floor. In October of this year, the original buildings were put up for sale and are under the threat of demolition to potentially make way for an office block.


How exciting it must have been to have visited Tin Pan Alley back in its day. A street buzzing with musical energy, the place to be if you were a musician. Imagine all the characters who would have worked there, the possibilities, the discoveries, the arguments, the competitions and of course the noise! If I could be transported back in time, this would be one of the places I would choose to go. I really do hope demolition can be avoided.


Here is the link to the article in The Guardian:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/nov/11/save-tin-pan-alley-campaign

This blog seems to well versed in not only the history of this historic street but also the status of the sale.

If you'd like to know more about Tin Pan Alley, here are some links:

http://www.parlorsongs.com/insearch/tinpanalley/tinpanalley.php
http://community.mcckc.edu/CROSBY/tinpan.htm
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081108/ap_en_mu/tin_pan_alley
http://lostnewyorkcity.blogspot.com/2008/11/tin-pan-alley-situation-improving.html

[Source: Wikipedia]


Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Dengue Fever on Later with Jools Holland TONIGHT!

Dengue Fever

Just a little reminder the fabulous Dengue Fever are playing on the Later with Jools Holland show tonight at 10pm on BBC 2. They play an interesting mix of psychedelic Cambodian Rock.

Here's the link

If you've never heard of Dengue Fever before, here are some of the posts I've written about them:

http://www.terriblelovesongs.com/2008/08/gig-review-dengue-fever-rough-trade.html
http://www.terriblelovesongs.com/2008/06/chalkys-choice-dengue-fever-venus-on.html
http://www.terriblelovesongs.com/2008/07/sleeping-through-mekong-documentary.html

**UPDATE: Here is a link to my review of Dengue Fever @ The ICA on 20th Nov 2008**

Monday, 10 November 2008

Bushwalla @ The Roebuck, London (4th Nov 08)

Bushwalla

On yet another dark and, meteorologically speaking, miserable Tuesday evening, the brightness and sunshine that is Bushwalla took to the stage of The Roebuck Pub in London Bridge with one intention: to entertain.

Bushwalla is an interesting fella. He’s the kind of guy who is just as comfortable performing to a handful of people as he is to a venue of thousands. He’s the kind of guy who will stop in the middle of a song, jump on the table in front of you and start juggling with a huge smile on his face. I had been informed that he had spent some time performing as a clown - so this wasn’t completely unexpected. While Bushwalla’s circus antics are highly entertaining it should also be noted that this guy has a great voice and the combination makes for a fantastic show. Most of his singing has an acoustic, hip hop sound; there were no drum machines or accompanying musicians (apart from Ed Sheeran who was chosen from the audience for a little free styling rap later on in the evening), just Bushwalla, an acoustic guitar and a microphone.

Ed Sheeran freestylin with Bushwalla

Bushwalla (real name Billy Galewood) originally hails from Cleveland, Ohio, but now lives in San Diego. Former roommate and still bezzy mate of Jason Mraz, he has toured extensively throughout the U.S., independently releasing his latest album Ghetto Blaster, which features the likes of Spooner Oldham, Speechwriters LLC, Tristan Prettyman, and Jason Mraz’s rhythm section. Bushwalla brought sunshine and cheer to many a living room up and down the States back in 2006 when he did an LRC tour – this is becoming an increasingly popular way to get your music out there and cut out the headache of overpriced tour venues, plus well it’s a lot of fun! Incidentally, TLS has already a hosted an LRC for The Makepeace Brothers (friends of Bushwalla) earlier this Summer.

Bushwalla about to balance his guitar on his chin!

I had the pleasure of sharing a couch for the evening with fellow Bushwalla loving music bloggers and friends of mine Abi and Katy from Connect. If you are ever interested in hosting a Living Room Concert, you should check out their website and drop them a mail.

Bushwalla played for well over an hour and I was so captivated by his performance I totally forgot about the time and found myself grabbing my bag at speed and running for the door in the hope I would catch the last train home. I just made it and then stayed up to watch the US election.

 
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