Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy UK Tour?

When I first moved to Oxford I missed Bonnie 'Prince' Billy and Trembling Bells play on my doorstep by a month. Every time I hear a Bonnie 'Prince' Billy song I am reminded of this fact. I contacted his record company the other day to ask if he has any plans to come back to the UK, sadly the response was "there are no UK tour plans at the moment" - I'll hang on to the "at the moment" comment.

Here's a recording of the May 2012 concert at the then called 'Bullingdon', now the slightly better but not very inspiringly named 'Art Bar' in Oxford. The Bonnie Bells of Oxford features Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – aka Will Oldham – on vocals, melodica and kazoo, and the Trembling Bells group: Lavinia Blackwell (vocals, keyboard, guitar), Mike Hastings (guitar, vocals), Alex Neilson (drums, vocals) and Simon Shaw (bass, vocals). The live album is available to stream online for free, or can be purchased as a download for £7. You can't beat a bit of kazoo now can you? Please come back Bonnie 'Prince' Billy!

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Metronomy on tour

Oh my goodness! How did I miss that Metronomy are going to be playing the Oxford O2 in March? Amazingly there are still tickets available here. Do yourself a favour and get a couple, this band is one of the most consistently good bands to come out of the UK in a while, great live as well. They've sold out two nights back to back at The Old Market Brighton (but to be fair that might just be my friend Pete who loves them), and one night at the Brixton Academy so far on this tour.

Here's I'm Aquarious, I'm Aquarius, I'm Aquarius, I'm Aquarius, I'm Aquarius, I'm Aquarius... here

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

R.I.P. Pete Seeger (May 3rd 1919 - January 27th 2014)

I've always been aware of Pete Seeger, primarily through his recording of 'Little Boxes' and also after reading a book about Dylan. A couple of years ago I watched a documentary about Pete Seeger's life called 'Power of Song' which left quite an impression not only because he had led such a fascinating life, but also because he seemed such a wholesome man with a caring attitude. His daughter said he was chopping up wood 10 days ago, I like that thought. He passed at 94 of natural causes, what a lucky man. Your music goes on. Rest in peace Pete Seeger, we'll do our best to look after the world.

The BBC has some nice collection of photos of Pete here.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Broken Bells - "Sad Bee Gees"?

Best quote I've heard in forever. I'm a big fan of Broken Bells. Their music feels like some of the best around at the moment. Their latest single 'Holding on for life' with the positively sad lyric, "What a lovely day to be lonely" is so catchy I think I could almost get sick of it, but it never happens.

Looking forward to catching their European tour this time round and to hearing their second album 'After The Disco' when it's released on February 4th.

Live dates here.

Go See Nick Mulvey!

I interviewed Nick Mulvey 5 years ago, he was really good then, he's really good now, especially live. His recently released single 'Nitrous' has a surprise twist of Olive's 'You're Not Alone' towards the end. This brought back memories of dancing to her playing live in Preston Park one summery day some 15 years ago, ah gees, see? OLD! I digress.

While this single doesn't show off Nick's amazing guitar skills, it does showcase his ability to put together a great sounding song. Listen for yourself here.

Also check out his latest song 'Cucurucu' accompanied by a gorgeous video shot on Nihiwatu beach in Indonesia by National Geographic director James Morgan.  It was a video commissioned by Nick himself and filmed by Morgan in March 2013. Nick says: "I felt this song needed a video with wide expanses. Space to wonder. I didn't have to look too far for the right film maker - James is a friend of mine, and I've loved his work for National Geographic. I knew he'd understand what I was after and have something special in his vaults…"

Nick is doing a European tour in February and March, look for dates on his website, I'll be seeing him just a few doors down the road from me in The Art bar, Oxford. Really excited, snap up a ticket fast, this will be great.

P.S. Hi! It's nice to be back :)
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