Thursday, 26 February 2009

Friday Madness: Like Yoda I Look!

Frank Welker, my real name is. Responsible for the voices in many cartoons such as Scooby- Doo and The Simpsons (santa's little helper), I am. Like Yoda I look. Yeesssssss.

Frank is indeed a very cool guy. The list of cartoons/movies he's provided the voices for is incredible. Looking like Yoda (well in this photo anyway) and using the force can only add to his coolness, just hope he used it wisely.

Read more about Frank Welker's awesomeness here.

Happy Birthday Johnny Cash!

The late great and never to be forgotten Johnny Cash would have been 77 years old today. R.I.P. Johnny Cash.

Here's my favourite Cash song, which one is yours?
(Incidentally he's singing the Folsom Prison Blues at San Quentin State Prison in this video.)

I hear the train a comin'
It's rollin' 'round the bend,
And I ain't seen the sunshine,
Since, I don't know when,
I'm stuck in Folsom Prison,
And time keeps draggin' on,
But that train keeps a-rollin',
On down to San Antone.

When I was just a baby,
My Mama told me, "Son,
Always be a good boy,
Don't ever play with guns,"
But I shot a man in Reno,
Just to watch him die,
When I hear that whistle blowin',
I hang my head and cry.

I bet there's rich folks eatin',
In a fancy dining car,
They're probably drinkin' coffee,
And smokin' big cigars,
But I know I had it comin',
I know I can't be free,
But those people keep a-movin',
And that's what tortures me.

Well, if they freed me from this prison,
If that railroad train was mine,
I bet I'd move out over a little,
Farther down the line,
Far from Folsom Prison,
That's where I want to stay,
And I'd let that lonesome whistle,
Blow my Blues away.

Here's a link to an npr stream called 'Inside Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison' with loads of great links where you can listen and compare Gene Beley's recording, from the audience, of Cash's 1968 performance at Folsom Prison, with the official recordings, from the album, "Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison". Enjoy these great moments of musical history.

npr - Inside Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison

and because I couldn't resist, here's a recording of Folsom Prison Blues from 1959. Check out the gum chewing moment.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

TLS Edinburgh Edition: Live Review: Magazine @ The Glasgow Academy

Another contribution from the Edinburgh reviewer who only ever goes to gigs in Glasgow !!

The last time Magazine played in Scotland, I was celebrating completing my O levels with some cheeky pints and getting tipsy on less cash than it takes now to buy a large coffee from Starbucks. This show started with the equivalent of a caffeine hit which would have woken the dead. 'The Light Pours Out Of Me' was once introduced by Peel as a song about the consequences of drinking too much beer, a bit frivolous on a most complex post punk classic suitable to meet expectation built over two decades head on. Thirty seconds into the intro Howard Devoto appeared looking much fitter and healthier than in his cameo role in 24 Hour Party People in 2002.

Dressed in a pinkish white blazer, three quarter length breeks and deck shoes, Howard looked like he had docked his million pound speed boat at the nearby Jamaica Bridge. Typically the vocals cruised into place alongside the layering guitar and keyboards backed by a superb bass rift. Devoto looked slightly overwhelmed by the audience reaction at the end of the tune - it had been well worth the wait. Magazine were back at the top of their game and with a back catalogue many artists would kill for, we were in for some night!

Magazine instantly set themselves apart from other bands on the "nostalgia" circuit with a sound which was utterly fresh and a performance which reaffirmed that they were at the top of the art band end of post punk. With the exception of Wire, no other band gets close. Devoto's stage presence complimented the thrilling keyboards of Dave Formula and Noko (who played with Howard in Luxuria) played guitar lines which were a real tribute to the late John McGeoch.

The set featured tracks from throughout Magazine's recording career from the racy 'Because You're Frightened' to the anthemic 'A Song From Under The Floorboards'. The confidence and panache was clear and additional art entertainment was thrown into the mix as the lectern appeared and Devoto donned the milk bottle lenses to indulge us with a reading - in Glasgow - now that IS confidence. The cover for 'Real Life' was used as a stage backdrop for the gig and tracks like 'Shot By Both Sides' and 'Recoil' reminded us how great their debut album was. Mind you 'Second Hand Daylight' with 'Permafrost' and 'Correct Use of Soap' featuring 'I Want To Burn Again' were equally merited. In some ways it would be sad if guys this good, this original and this talented don't get back in the studio and, even this belatedly, build on this reunion.

Support provided by all girl four piece Ipso Facto who gave us a fresh take on girl goth, Xmal Deutschland style raggy scratchy guitar pop. They lost a bit of impact being thwarted by some poor mixing from the sound desk. Singer Rosalie Cunningham then joined Magazine on stage for a rather arty duet with Devoto and then, aided by bassist Samantha provided more conventional backing vocals on the old Sly & The Family Stone classic 'Thankyou' ( Falettinme be mice elf agin - check out this youtube link). Good to see them down the front enjoying the encore with the rest of us. Well worth checking Ipso Facto out on their current UK tour, see their MySpace page for details...

(Ipso Facto on Flickr by vern)

By Ian Campbell (of Edinburgh)

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

What's on in London this week (Including FREE shows) w/c Feb 23rd

Here are a few of the gigs going on in London this week (and a couple of other events) that caught my eye. This is by no means a definitive list of ALL gigs happening so please leave a comment if you think I've missed any worth knowing about. My apologies for being a day late with this, I got carried away weeding out books from my collection for the charity shop and ran out of time.

Tuesday 24th February (Pancake Day)
The Great Spitalfields Pancake Race @ Dray Walk, 91 Brick Lane 12:30pm
Fleet Foxes + Vetiver @ The Roundhouse
M Ward @ Bush Hall
Metronomy + Charilift + thecocknbullkid + Micachu @ Koko's
The Deer Tracks In Store@ Pure Groove Records 12pm (FREE)
Rachel Yamagata @ Mono Water Rats
Richard Swift + The Leisure Society + First Aid Kit @ The Borderline
THE ACORN - LIVE / BELLA UNION DJ SET In store @ Rough Trade East, 7pm Collect a wrist band one hour before (FREE)

Wednesday 25th February
M Ward @ The Borderline
Chairlift in store @ Pure Groove Records (FREE)
Woodpigeon + The Miserable Rich @ The ICA
Amadou & Mariam in store @ Pure Groove, 1.15pm (FREE)
Marcus Foster + Lana + Gitta @ Monkey Chews

Thursday 26th February
Ane Brun @ Union Chapel
Kyte + School of Seven Bells + Apache Beat @ Cargo
Baby Sol + Gabby Young + Scott McFarnon @ Monkey Chews
IKTOMS Unplugged ft.Joan Coffey + Russell Joslin + Aleister Kelman + The Mariner's Children @ The Liberties

Friday 27th February (France Vs Wales)
Emmy The Great @ ULU
Crystal Stilts @ Bardens Boudoir

Saturday 28th February
Vetiver instore @ Pure Groove Records 4pm (FREE)
Vetiver @ Cecil Sharp House
The Brute Chorus will be recording their debut album live infront of the audience in a single take @ The Round House
Rota ft. The Old Romantic Killer Band + more @ The Notting Hill Arts Club (FREE) 4pm

(In case any concerts have changed dates/ changed venues/ been cancelled or I've made a typo, you'd be wise to check out the venue websites before heading out the door because even though it's got a warmer and I've actually been wearing a t-shirt for the last two days, it would still be a pain to be hanging outside a venue for ages especially if the gig wasn't happening right? That is unless you meet someone really interesting to talk to of course.)

I am still trying hard to find a way to get to see M Ward at the Borderline tomorrow night but I think I'm going to have to try to forget about it and be content with going bowling instead or something. Never mind. If you do find yourself with a ticket(s) and can't go, I would still be more than happy to take them off your hands.

Apart from my immense disappointment at not getting to see M Ward, I hope to go along to see Vetiver @ Pure Groove on Saturday. Hopefully the hard core Vetiver fans will be content with having seen them support the Fleet Foxes tonight and will be going to see them @ Cecil house on Saturday evening so they won't all turn up to this because the shop ain't that big.

OK, I'd better publish this before it's too late for you to get over to see the Great Spitalfields Pancake Race or The Deer Tracks @ Pure Groove of course.

Happy Pancake Day!

Chalky xo

Monday, 23 February 2009

M Ward interview and live performance now streaming on npr

The lovely people at npr have earned themselves yet another pat on the back. Not only have they been streaming M Ward's fantastic new album 'Hold Time' in it's entirety for over a month, they're now also streaming an interview and live performance M Ward did for npr on Feb 17th (the day his new album was released).

The interview provides some background info to the album, the cover art, collaborations etc and the songs are a mixture of new and old.

btw If anyone can help me out with a ticket to see M Ward play at The Borderline in London this Wednesday I would be very grateful.

Obama's Elf

This is great!

Here's the link if you have any problems watching it.

Noah and the Whale present Club Silencio

If you're a Noah and The Whale fan you might already know that they will be out on the road this March headling a tour called Club Silencio. Hot on the heels of their debut album "Peaceful, The World lays Me Down" NATW are currently recording the follow up which I'm looking forward to hearing.

I'm told the Club Silencio tour will consist of evenings full of film and music and live sets curated by the band. There will be moving-images, performances and screenings amongst which will include David Lynch, Andy Kauffman, the Marx Brothers and Doug Sweetland. Jay Jay Pistolet will be supporting.

The name of the tour is an allusion to the David Lynch film scene but also to the show's unifying themes of real, surreal and illusion.

Here are the dates:




Sat 7th BRIGHTON, St George's Church

Sun 8th MANCHESTER, Academy 2

Tue 10th GATESHEAD, The Sage

Wed 11th EDINBURGH, Queens Hall

Thu 12th LEEDS, Metropolitan University

Fri 13th BIRMINGHAM, Town Hall

Sun 15th BRISTOL, Academy

Mon 16th NOTTINGHAM, Trent University

And here's a link I found to some ticket information.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Concert Review: Women @ Madame JoJo's

Last Tuesday evening, (which now seems like a decade ago) I met up with fellow music blogger Anika to see Women play at Madame JoJo's. Nestled in between a seedy cocktail of Soho's sex shops and strip bars, JoJo's is a sort of tranny/meat market nightclub most nights of the week but on Tuesday evenings it's more of an indie club. So when I say we were "watching Women play there", this meant four men in t-shirts and jeans supporting guitars with not so much as a fake eyelash or a fake pink feather boa in sight.

Anika and I secured a spot right in front of the small but very high up stage - I guess it could be true to say some of the normal clientele might use the height of the stage to try to "check out" the performers/dancers but for us it brought about entirely different challenges like how were we going to get good photos of the band from such an angle? etc. music blogging geeky issues! Anika (who incidentally is a super photographer check out her Flickr) thought the steep angle actually worked out to our advantage although I have to say it didn't make much difference to my photos which just turned out as fuzzy as usual.

Desmond and the tutus

On to the show. Desmond and the tutus (great name) were first up. Hailing from South Africa they played an energetic set of dance punk accompanied by strutting vocals and an occasional unmistakable African sounding groove. They also provided the opportunity for me to take what is possibly the weirdest photo I've ever taken (see below). All good fun and I would be happy to see these guys play again. Check out their blog here.

Desmond and the tutus - my weirdest fuzzy pic yet

They were followed by The Soft Pack who didn't impress me as much as they did one guy in the audience. He appeared just before the band started, lined up loads of bottles of beer on the stage (you can see them in the photo below) and from the first note proceeded to swig the beer and to bounce/head bang about all over the shop. Not so unusual at a gig? Sure, but everyone else was pretty much standing still which meant the overly excited guy became more of a focus of attention for the audience more than the band themselves.

The Soft Pack - note all the beers the excited fan had lined up

Onto the headliners, four guys from Canada called Women. I saw them play an instore at Pure Groove last November and had come away with mixed emotions. Yes they had some great songs packed full of intensely enjoyable music but it's the bits in between that didn't leave much of a lasting impression on me. Maybe I'm just not 'getting' their sound but some of the songs felt directionless and Tuesday nights performance was on times not that dissimilar. I don't want to knock these guys because the songs that rock, REALLY rock but I just wish those moments lasted longer. I can't think of anyone who is making music like them, it's original stuff, the delivery is complex and tight and on the whole makes me pretty excited.

Overall it was a good evening.

Women have just recorded a session for BBC Radio 6, you can hear it here.



OK, life has finally regained some sort of normality at Chalky Towers. Thanks to all of you who sent your well wishes, they mean a lot when you're tired and sitting in a hospital doing nothing but worrying. I'm looking forward to a much calmer week ahead.

Friday, 20 February 2009

No Posts

Over the last few days my husband has been quite ill and I've been mostly sitting at his bedside at the local hospital waiting for him to get better. All a bit scary and not much sleep. I'm hoping he improves lots today, flat feels empty without him.


Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Album Review: M Ward - 'Hold Time'

M Ward - 'Hold Time' (9/10)

M Ward, thank you for a beautiful new album. You have succeeded where so many other artists have failed. You have created an album with 14 songs worth listening to rather than just a couple of hits held in place with some air filled nonsense packaging tracks.

The folksy opening song 'For Beginners' sets the mood, it politely grabs your attention, lays the tambourines out on the floor, massages your shoulders and puts your mind in the right mood to listen the rest of the album which I highly recommend you do.

Hold Time has everything from porch folk finger picking guitars (Shangri-La), strutting beats and fuzzy guitars (Never Had Nobody Like You), the most delicate of vocals (Blake's View) and possibly the most gorgeous yet harrowing piece of music (very Pink Floyd) I've heard to close an album in years fittingly called 'Outro'. My only criticism of this album is how short it is, 43:39 mins to be precise.

Make your own mind up but I'm giving it a 9/10 and I don't do that very often.

If you'd like to listen to Hold Time, npr are currently streaming the whole album for free here. I love npr.

Hold Time was released on Merge Records on February 17th 2009.

Track Listing

1. For Beginners
2. Never Had Nobody Like You
3. Jailbird
4. Hold Time
5. Rave On
6. To Save Me
7. One Hundred Million Years
8. Stars Of Leo
9. Fisher Of Men
10. Oh Lonesome Me
11. Epistemology
12. Blake's View
13. Shangri-La
14. Outro

Monday, 16 February 2009

What's on in London this week (Including FREE shows) w/c Feb 16th

Here are a few of the gigs going on in London this week that caught my eye. This is by no means a definitive list of ALL gigs happening so please leave a comment if you think I've missed any worth knowing about.

Monday 16th February
Choir of Young Believers (instore) @ Rough Trade East @ 7pm (FREE SHOW)
Secret Machines + The Big Pink + The Joy Formidable @ O2 Academy Islington

**UPDATE** Rumour has it that Laura Marling will be playing a few songs @ Rough Trade East this evening - The Rough Trade website says "Also performing will be a very special Mercury Nominated secret guest previewing a few brand new songs ....................... mystical to say the least, I wonder who?" **

Tuesday 17th February
Women, Desmond and the tutus and The Soft Pack @ Madame Jo Jo's
The Joy Formidable Instore @ Pure Groove Records (FREE SHOW) @ 6:30pm

Wednesday 18th February
Lucy Rose / Erin Lang / Joan & The Shindig Addict @Monkey Chews

Thursday 19th February
Asobi Seksu and Sennen @ The ICA
Passion Pit instore @ Pure Groove Records (FREE SHOW) @ 1pm

Parts & Labor, An Experiment On A Bird In The Air Pump and Cold Pumas @ Cargo
Greg Holden / Seamus McLoughlin / Andy Walker / Julian Velard @ Monkey Chews

Friday 20th February
Tricky + One Eskimo + The Gay Blades@ Shepherds Bush Empire

Saturday 21st February
OWL PARLIAMENT ft. Jeffrey Lewis, Laura Marling, Herman Düne, Johnny Flynn,Mechanical Bride, Planet Earth, Peggy sue, We Aeronauts and Stars of Sunday League @ The Union Chapel

Sunday 22nd February
Mia @ Wax Jambu @8pm(FREE)
The Deer Tracks and Sad Day For Puppets @ Old Blue Last
Fleet Foxes @The Roundhouse

(In case any concerts have changed dates/ changed venues/ been cancelled or I've made a typo, you'd be wise to check out the venue websites before heading out the door because yes you've guessed it, it's still mighty cold out there.)

This week I'll be heading out to see Women @ Madame Jo Jo's (JoJo's used to be a strip bar so this sentence would have meant something else a couple of years back) and then I'm dragging the other half and a couple of cushions to the one off sitting of the non political but very earnest Owl Parliament at Union Chapel on Saturday.

I must mention what an amazing time we had at the Cirque du Soleil last Friday. Not only was the performance out of this world but we also very fortunate to have some of the best seats in the house which made the evening all that more awesome.

Before the show we spent some time walking around South Kensington checking out our old college haunts and laughing at how ridiculous it is that Imperial College students get to live in one of the most expensive post codes in London. I think the good citizens of South Kensington find this ridiculous too I mean c'mon if you'd spent millions on your luxury pad would you want a bunch of cheapo students and their student union serving up the cheapest beer in the West of London on your doorstep?

When I studied there I used to live directly opposite the Natural History Museum and could watch London Fashion Week and all it's casualties from my window, Tom Cruise had a flat on my block, Mark (return of the mac) Morrison allegedly held up the local grocers with a fake gun and I frequently queued up behind Vivienne Westwood at the local cash machine. It was unreal. I must add my rent was £65 a week, the paint was peeling, the floor was permanently sticky and don't even get me started on state of the bathroom! Happy memories.

Have a great week.

Chalky xo

Saturday, 14 February 2009

'Memorising dinner' anyone?

Apologies for the quality of this photo but I thought you might like it anyway. Out and about on our local high street this evening we noticed this sign outside an Indian restaurant advertising a truly unique type of meal!

Thanks darling, that dinner was truly memorising!

Happy Valentines Day!

Flight of the Conchords - The Tape of Love

Friday, 13 February 2009

Owl Parliament: Schedules and derriers!

More information has been released about Owl Parliament, the now SOLD OUT all day music bonanza on 21st February 2009 at The Union Chapel in London.

Here's how the day will look:

12:30 Doors

13:15 Stars of Sunday League

14:00 We Aeronauts

14:45 Planet Earth

15:30 Mechanical Bride

16:15 Peggy Sue

17:00 Break

18:00 Johnny Flynn

19:00 Laura Marling

20:00 Jeff Lewis

21:15 Herman Dune
22:30 End

Since it's an all dayer I'm pleased to read re-entry will be allowed. Apparently tickets will be converted to wristbands and must be collected by 18:00. They also advise bringing a cushion which I think is a great idea, church pews can be very unkind to the derrier!

For more info please check out

See you there?

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

SXSW 2009 Updated List of Bands (additions and removals as of Feb 10th)

SXSW have published an up to date list of bands (as of 10th Feb) playing at this years SXSW festival in Austin Texas. The list is long and it's a real headache trying to figure out who has been added and who has been removed so I'm grateful to a guy called Jay Sutton who has compiled a list of just the additions and removals. Thanks Jay! SXSW should employ you!

You can view Jay's list here and the full SXSW list here.

I'm pleased to see The Felice Brothers, Bishop Allen, AmpLive, Pendulum and Thao With The Get Down Stay Down have been added but it's a shame Metronomy won't be there, they're great.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Mumford & Sons to release new single in April

One of the UK's finest new bands Mumford & Sons will be releasing tracks The Cave And The Open Sea and But My Heart Told My Head on limited edition 10-inch vinyl as well as digital download on 6th April on Chess Club Records. Thanks to the website For Folks Sake for the tip off.

I am yet to hear The Cave and the Open Sea but I have found a YouTube performance of But My Heart Told My Head from their current tour which sounds like another burst of Mumford magic. I assume they will be playing these new songs at their ICA show in London on March 4th which incidentally is yet another of their concerts to sell out. This is promising to be quite a year for the Sons, fortunately I have a ticket for this concert and will be reporting everything back here.

Mumford & Sons - My Heart Told My Head (Live in York)

Free 7” single with pre-orders of new Vetiver album - while stocks last and listen to whole album on LastFM

Just saw this MySpace message from fantastic Vetiver regarding their new album :

"While it’s true, you could wait until Tight Knit, the spectacular new album from Vetiver finds its way into your local record or appliance store, you should probably take advantage of the fact that Sub Pop are giving away a free 7” single with pre-orders of the album through This is a “while supplies last” type deal, meaning that we will give away these singles until they are gone and then that’s it. Do this today, in other words. Vetiver’s Sub Pop debut will be released on February 17th on CD and LP (LP comes with a free digital download code, btw), either of which will arrive with the “Hey Baby Doll” 7”. And if, as I do, you like to be even further rewarded with free things for making intelligent purchases, you will be enthused to learn that we’ve got Vetiver-related stickers and a button for you as well. PLUS! Every pre-order will get access to a full album stream on our site all the way up until release date. So you don’t have to wait to hear the record! Go ahead, savvy consumer, buy Vetiver’s Tight Knit album from us now."

Pre-order Tight Knit here.

Treat yourself to a matching Vetiver t-shirt here.

Listen to Vetiver here.

**UPDATE** The whole Tight Knit album is currently streaming on LastFM for free - take a listen, decide for yourself!**

Upcoming Vetiver Tour Dates:

Feb 19 La Maroquinerie, Paris France (La Nuit des Alligators Festival w/ Dear Reader & Xavier Plumas)

Feb 21 Le Grand Mix, Roubaix N/A, France (w/ Chairlift & Kill The Vultures )

Feb 22 Le Botanique, Brussels 1210

Feb 23 Vooruit, Gent Belgium

Feb 24 Roundhouse, London United Kingdom (w/ Fleet Foxes)

Feb 25 Dulcimer, Manchester United Kingdom

Feb 26 Stereo, Glasgow United Kingdom

Feb 27 Hare & Hound, Birmingham United Kingdom

Feb 28 Cecil Sharp House, London United Kingdom

Mar 10 Johnny Brenda's, Philadelphia PA (w/ Sian Alice Group & Bloodfeathers)

Mar 11 Sonar, Baltimore MD (w/ Sian Alice Group & Beach House all ages)

Mar 12 Cats Cradle, Carrboro NC (w/ Sian Alice Group all ages)

Mar 13 Soapbox Lounge, Wilmington NC (w/ Sian Alice Group & Love Language all ages)

Mar 14 Snug Harbor, Charlotte NC (s/ Sian Alice Group 18 and up)

Mar 15 Bottle Tree, Birmingham AL (s/ Sian Alice Group 18 and up)

Mar 16 Square Room, Knoxville TN (w/ Sian Alice Group )

Mar 19 Radio Room, Austin, TX (Sub Pop SxSW Showcase)

Mar 22 Back Booth, Orlando FL (w/ Larkin Grimm all ages)

Mar 23 Cafe Eleven, St. Augustine FL (w/ Larkin Grimm all ages)

Mar 24 40 Watt Club, Athens GA (w/ Larkin Grimm 18 and up)

Mar 25 Grey Eagle Tavern, Asheville NC (w/ Larkin Grimm all ages)

[Source: Vetiver MySpace Page]

Monday, 9 February 2009

What's on in London this week (Including FREE shows) w/c Feb 9th

Here are a few of the gigs going on in London this week that caught my eye. This is by no means a definitive list of ALL gigs happening so please leave a comment if you think I've missed any worth knowing about.

Monday 9th February
Howling Bells + Chief @ Carling Academy Islington
UPDATE : Excentral Tempest @ The Social

Tuesday 10th February
The Olympic Symphonium + The Gala Band + Robin Allender + William Carpenter's Towering Trees + Elk @ The Slaughtered Lamb
Moriarty @ The Borderline
Huw Stephens' Introducing Young Fathers + Isosceles + Unicorn Kid + Sparrow and the Workshop @ The Social (FREE)

Wednesday 11th February
NME Shockwaves Awards Show ft. Ida Maria + Flashguns + Middle Class Rut @ Koko
Moriarty @ French Institute @ 6pm (FREE)
Sky Larkin Instore @ Rough Trade East @ 7.00pm (FREE - collect a wristband 1 hour prior to gig)

Thursday 12th February
Mannequins Make More Sense: Moriarty + Richard Walters + Six Toes + House of Brothers and more @ 20th Century Theatre
Robyn Hitchcock + Catherine Feeny @ Union Chapel

Friday 13th February
NME AWARDS: Mystery Jets + Little Boots @ Shepherds Bush Empire

Saturday 14th February
Vivian Girls + Desmond & the Tutus + Mystery Jets DJ set @ Proud Galleries

Sunday 15th February
Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip & Goodbooks & Flashguns @ Bush Hall (SOLD OUT)
NME BRATS ft. BLack Lips + Vivian Girls @ O2 Academy Islington
**UPDATE **The Sound of Rum @ The Lock Tavern Pub

(In case any concerts have changed dates/ changed venues/ been cancelled or I've made a typo, you'd be wise to check out the venue websites before heading out the door because looking out of my window I can see it's very wet and I'm assuming it's still mighty cold out there.)

After a long weekend of bowing to the porcelain god and generally feeling uch thanks to a virus, I am back on my feet (well in my chair) and trying to get it together for the week ahead. If I had to give you some recommendations of who to see this week try Moriarty (bluesy folk from New York and Paris) and Catherine Feeny (lovely vocals) - check out the videos at the bottom of this post.

**UPDATE** I've added a couple of Excentral Tempest gigs (The Sound of Rum) shows to the list for this week - I highly recommend checking her out, saw her at the end of last year and she blew me away, very talented.**

I hope to pop along to the free Moriarty show at the French Institute on Wednesday, I've been meaning to go there for a while to learn French, this will at least get me through the doors, hey it's a start!

Thanks to my husbands lovely parents we've got front row tickets to see Cirque du Soleil at The Royal Albert Hall on Friday. This promises to be a fantastic evening and I've heard through a friend that if you're sitting in the front rows there's a chance you will be called up on stage to take part in a small part of the show. The last time I was at the Albert Hall was to be awarded my Physics degree from Imperial College, it would be kind of fun to be able to say the last couple of times I went there I made it onto the stage - we'll see!

Hope you have a great week.

Chalky xo

P.S. Anyone else think the new Sacla advert (youtube link) sounds a bit like Kraftwerk's 'Boing Bum Tschak' (youtube link)? I also discovered a few spoofs of the ad on youtube:

Moriarty - Jimmy

Saturday, 7 February 2009

New Album: Backwords - 'The Buffalo Still Roam'

Backwords second album The Buffalo Still Roam sounds a bit like what you'd get if Daniel Johnston had recorded with The Beach Boys and being a fan of both, I love it!

Full of a lovely whacky charm with raw but somehow gentle sounds of unpolished Americana, this album is exactly what I needed to be listening to right now. Really great job guys!

Top Tracks: The beggars and the bread, Smoke Detector, This is what I call home

The Buffalo Still Roam was released on January 27th, 2009


Here are the American tour dates they have up on their MySpace page right now, please come to London soon!!

22 Feb Cake Shop - CD Release Show - FULL HORN SECTION - w/ darwin deez & broken trees New York, New York

28 Feb Ubiq - McJawn’s CD Release Party - FULL HORN SECTION - w/ cortez cortez Philadelphia

27 Mar The Khyber w/ Anders Manly Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

10 Apr Gillie’s Blacksburg, Virginia

11 Apr The Night Light Chapel Hill, North Carolina

12 Apr The Basement Nashville, Tennessee

15 Apr Snug Harbor Charlotte, North Carolina

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Twitter: "Follow Me" songs

Here are a few songs I found to try to persuade you...

Antique - Follow Me (Greek Version) (I'm trying hard!! The chorus is in English-guess what it is?!)

ALY-US - FOLLOW ME (old skool!)

More Follow Me songs (how many are there?!):

Amanda Lear - Follow Me (live performance)
Darkseed - Follow me
NSFW 50 cent feat. Tony yayo-follow me gangster
Uncle Kracker - Follow me
Jam & Spoon - Follow Me
The Answer - Come Follow Me

Camp Bestival 2009 Live Acts confirmed so far (as of Feb 5th)

Here's the list of Live Acts confirmed for Camp Bestival 2009 so far:

PJ Harvey (UK Solo Show Exclusive)
Mercury Rev

Chic feat. Nile Rogers

Bon Iver
Candi Staton

Roots Manuva

dan le sac Vs Scroobius Pip

The Cuban Brothers

Ebony Bones!

Dub Pistols

Chase & Status feat. Takura, MC Rage & Plan B

Drums of Death

Micachu & The Shapes
Hayseed Dixie

Horace Andy & Dub Asante


Dan Black


Imelda May

Laura Izibor

Marina and the Diamonds

O Death

Wave Machines

plus many more still to be announced.

Tickets available now from:
Ticketline: 0844 888 4410 (24 hr)
Lulworth Castle: In Person
(all tickets are subject to booking fees) has all the info.

Camp Bestival takes place on 24, 25, 26th July 2009 at Lulworth Castle, Dorset

Wednesday, 4 February 2009


You may have noticed there's been a distinct lack of concert reviews on this blog as of late. It's not that I don't want to go but more I've been wimping out of them because it's just been too cold and January-ish. I guess my behaviour in Winter time is comparable to that of a hedgehog going into hibernation but let it be known that is where the hedgehog comparison ends- I do still shave my legs in Winter which if you ask me does seem a little crazy because those hairs are there to keep your skin warm right?

I'm sure I'll emerge from my brief period of hibernation soon and I'll be back with my super sharp elbows poised ready to defend myself against those annoying girls who seem destined to push! push! push! even at the front of small folksy gigs. It's hardly grunge or punk, it's folk music! Chill out!! Snuffle, snuffle, grunt, grunt.

Dengue Fever - Sober Driver Live

Dengue Fever @ The ICA

Dengue Fever are not only a great bunch of people, they also make great songs. If I was in charge of this years Grammy nomination list for World Music, these guys would be on it and probably would have won -OK I'm biased but with just cause. Next year Dengue Fever, next year!

Live on Fearless Music in NYC: Dengue Fever- "Sober Driver"

The Grammy awards take place on February 8th @8pm ET/PT

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Can I squeeze my car in there? No!!!

Not sure how I missed this very strange three car pile up being as it happened about a 5 minute walk away from where I live!

Photo from The London Newspaper. See more photos of the weird pile up here.

2009 Bonnaroo Line Up

TV On The Radio sent a MySpace message earlier today which included the 2009 Bonnaroo line up. Thanks guys!

2009 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival Confirmed Artists:

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
Phish (2 Shows)

Beastie Boys

Nine Inch Nails

David Byrne


Al Green

Snoop Dogg

Elvis Costello Solo

Erykah Badu

Paul Oakenfold

Ben Harper and Relentless7

The Mars Volta

TV on the Radio

Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Gov’t Mule

Andrew Bird

Merle Haggard



The Decemberists
Girl Talk

Bon Iver

Béla Fleck & Toumani Diabate

Rodrigo y Gabriela

The Del McCoury Band
of Montreal

Allen Toussaint

Coheed and Cambria

Booker T & the DBTs

David Grisman Quintet

Lucinda Williams

Animal Collective

Neko Case


Jenny Lewis

Robert Earl Keen

Citizen Cope

Femi Kuti and the Positive Force
The Ting Tings

Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

Kaki King

Grizzly Bear

King Sunny Adé

Okkervil River

St. Vincent
Zac Brown Band

Raphael Saadiq

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists

Crystal Castles

Tift Merritt

Brett Dennen

Mike Farris and the Roseland Rhythm Revue
Toubab Krewe

People Under the Stairs

Alejandro Escovedo

Vieux Farka Touré

Elvis Perkins In Dearland


Todd Snider

Portugal. The Man.
The SteelDrivers


The Knux

The Low Anthem

Delta Spirit

A.A. Bondy
The Lovell Sisters

Alberta Cross

...and more artists to be announced.

All in all a nice line up. My first pickings would be Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Beastie Boys, Al Green, Snoop Dogg, Erykah Badu, Andrew Bird, Bon Iver, of Montreal, Animal Collective, Jenny Lewis, Grizzly Bear, Elvis Perkins and Yeasayer.

Who would you recommend seeing?

btw it's the 8th Bonnaroo and it's going to be held on June 11 - 14 on that farm in Manchester, Tennessee, 60 miles south of Nashville. Tickets go on sale exclusively through on Saturday, February 7 at 12:00 PM US Eastern time.

Monday, 2 February 2009

What's on in London this week (Including FREE shows) w/c Feb 2nd

London Chills Out!

Here are a few of the gigs going on in London this week that caught my eye. This is by no means a definitive list of ALL gigs happening so please leave a comment if you think I've missed any worth knowing about.

Also due to a large amount of snow haven't dropped on the capital in the last 24hours (and there's apparently more to come) you'd be wise to check tonight and tomorrow nights gigs are actually still happening. If we can't get to them, there's a good chance the performers will have the same problem!

Monday February 2nd
Shockwaves album chartshow @ Koko's (Website says this is still going ahead despite the snow, check here for updates) Line up includes Lily Allen, Lady Ga Ga, The View and The Script, weather permitting
Crevecoeur + Erin Lang and The Foundlings + The Arthur Dust Brigade @ The Slaughtered Lamb (Cancelled due to snow -see the website for info)
The Irrepressibles + Orphans & Vandals ' Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen
The Only Ones instore @ Rough Trade West (CANCELLED due to snow-see website for more up to date info)

Tuesday February 3rd
Lindsay West + John Mouse @ The Slaughtered Lamb
The Olympic Symphonium, Rod Thomas and Tim and Sam's Tim and the Sam Band with Tim and Sam @ The Big Chill House
Sam Kills Two Instore @ Rough Trade East 7pm (FREE-wristband collection 1 hour prior)

Wednesday February 4th
Mia @ The Blag Club, Notting Hill
evening starts at 8.30pm- 11.30pm £5 entrance plus you need to put your name on the guest list - either send an email to the club directly ( or contact Mia through her MySpace page(

Kelli Ali + Stanton Delaplane + Jack Cheshire @ The Slaughtered Lamb
Amanda Palmer & The Danger Ensemble @ The Electric Ballroom
Kami Thomson with guests Jon Allen and Charlene Soraia @ Bush Hall
Peter Broderick + Hush Arbors + The Trimdon Grange Explosion @ The Social
Stranger Son of WB @ Rough Trade East 7pm (FREE-wristband collection 1 hour prior)
Emit Bloch / Louise Golbey / Sibilla / Senadee @ Monkey Chews
Semaphore / Naomi Roper / Noughts and Crosses / Lucy Rose / Sasha Ilyukevic @ The Old Queens Head

Thursday February 5th
Mike Bones also Hush Arbors, Sleepy Doug Shaw @ The Luminaire
Frida Hyvonen + Joe Gideon And The Shark@ Bush Hall
Ane Brun @ Barfly
eARmusic feat. Monster Bobby / Meat Eye and Dillon / Jessica Grace / James Perryman @ The Star
Mr and Mrs / Rokhsan / Charlie Calleja / Jono Harrison @ Monkey Chews
Sean Redmond / Pintsize / Sean Casey / Robert Selby @ Slim Jims
IKTOMS Unplugged @ Liberties

Friday February 6th
Timeout On The Up featuring VV Brown + Alessi + The No Sorrows + Ronjoy Damn (Real Gold) @ The Camden Barfly (Tickets were free but only upon entering a ticket lottery, basically if you haven't already got one, then you probably won't be able to get into this one)
VORTEX TOUR EAST feat. Theo Bard + Fiona Bevan + Jonathan Geyevu @ Rough Trade East 12 noon (FREE)

Saturday February 7th
JAMES MCMURTRY & THE HEARTLESS BASTARDS featuring IAN MCLAGAN + Jon Dee Graham @ The Luminaire (Sold out)

Sunday February 8th
Shockwaves Nme Awards Show - The Gaslight Anthem @ O2 Shepherds Bush Empire
Mike Bones @ Rough Trade East 4pm (FREE)

(In case any concerts have changed dates/ changed venues/ been cancelled or I've made a typo, you'd be wise to check out the venue websites before heading out the door because it's mighty snowy out there (well it was on Monday anyway), so much so that we built the snowman in the photo)

My brand spanking new speakers arrived on Friday (postie I take it all back) and although they're a little more bombastic than I'd have liked, they're still doing a nice job. Since Iron and Wine's Boy With A Coin seemed to break the last set, I decided to break the new ones in (so to speak) with the same song, this time there were no annoying electric shaver like buzzing noises -this set of speakers obviously likes Sam Beam's beard!

Click here to see Don Snowliani!
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