Category: music

Music post

Let’s have a music post.

So we went to this, Crouch End’s version of the Camden Crawl/Land of Kings/presumably originally SXSW. It was…slightly awkward. Well, an ice cream shop is always going to be a bit sporky as a music venue, however hipstery. Also, the organisers didn’t schedule anything after 10.30pm, so it cuts off in mid-air and leaves everyone to hang around the Harringay Arms. This lot were pretty good, as were these and these. And, you know, Alexis Taylor from Hot Chip is playing in that old church. He’s in that gloom somewhere.

Actually it was the first time I’d been inside the studios in the old church and it’s sort of nicely homemade, although God help you if there was a fire. Changing gear, we did Ibibio Sound Machine’s gig at the Village Underground, who I’d missed (but blogged) earlier in the year. This photo is a pretty good reflection.

For once they got the sound right after only one song:-) I’ve yet to find any video from the night but here’s one they made earlier:

In an attempt to stop replaying this, here’s a ripper of a version of a great Lamont Dozier song.

And finally, RIP Ian McLagan:

non-thursday music post

OK, you’ve had some #savileweek, some housing disaster, some ISIS. Here’s your unicorn-chaser.

If that doesn’t work, try this:

they play “Salsoul Nugget” about 1.30.xx in and then dig into Aretha Franklin records.

non-Thursday music post

So George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic played the Forum on about the sweatiest night of the year and I went. This isn’t my video – who wants to stand still and point a camera? – but it gives a strong flavour.

They give value; having hit the stage about 2145 they were still playing at 1am. They might have cut a couple of ironic stadium-rawk workouts – yes I know, who says a funk band can’t play rock, but it’s probably the least interesting bit of the show and it’s long. Also it might be cool to bring your granddaughters on tour as backing singers but it’s not professional. But there was really no point splitting hairs. This was legendary stuff and the crowd was on good form, even the old jazz weirdo in front of me in a panama hat looking like he came from commentating on the Test match. Perhaps he did.

I also saw Theo Parrish’s live project at the Forum lately (someone’s booker is on a tear, right?) Here’s some more borrowed video:

The standout here was his team of dancers, not really best shown here due to it not being that kind of song. Also, the crowd was seriously up for it (perhaps we’d all read this interview?). Unfortunately the band struck me as underrehearsed and the sound was pretty poor all night; it felt very much like a warm-up for their slot at Lovebox a couple of days later.


Bit of a while now, but I went to see Factory Floor in Hackney, and ran into an old colleague who wisely quit Informa Towers to join the GSM Association’s vastly better compensated service. Perhaps as a result, he dresses like a Northern dancer, head to toe Fred Perry, these days although he still doesn’t dance:-) This stood out because literally everyone else there looked like a bike courier. I didn’t find any reaction on the Internet except this character, so here’s a video from their next gig:

Recommended if you like that sort of thing (live industrial/techy with more funk than you might expect from that description or a bunch of pasty Brits). Also recommended is the support.

Looking for video, Google recommended me this:

Meanwhile, here’s an incredible version of “Walk On By”:


The UsVsTh3m crowd really gave me the horrors with this app, at least when it was returning UK No.1s. Mine has a fast start – Odyssey, in July 1980 – but then plunges into two Spice Girls tracks and, Christ!, Wet Wet Wet. And Frankie Knuckles has left the building. This of course was an excuse to Listen To All The Things.

Here he is (thanks to Les Inrocks) in 1977.

The amazing thing here is that even then, when there were no conventions for this sort of thing, it’s all already there. It even sounds pretty fresh.

Here he is on the radio in 1986.

And live in 2012:

I saw him play in November that year at XOYO. I had flown back that morning from Dubai; I probably wouldn’t have done that for many other artists. He projected; DJs are infamous for hiding behind the machinery, and either making a virtue of being a faceless technical force or else trying to escape it and looking like a twat. But he seemed to host the night in a real sense, projecting welcome and acceptance. I also remember that he didn’t play much of his own stuff. Nothing could have been easier than running through a conventional, conservative set of the classics, but he wasn’t going to do that.


even if I prefer this version:

Thursday Music Post, On Thursday

So, Patti Smith played Cadogan Hall. This sounds incongruous, but according to her gloss of Mapplethorpe in Just Kids he’d have fit right into the Sloane Square crowd. Even though as a visual artist he had patrons who wanted mithering, while she had a job and then a paying public*, he was a killer snob. I think I reviewed that his social climbing, in her account, divided them more than his bisexuality. I can well imagine that. But I have lost the blog post in question. How did I manage that?

By chance the gig was also the 100th anniversary of William S. Burroughs, which coloured it. The location made it necessary to play against type. We got a reading from the Wild Boys, who aren’t round there very often, except perhaps as single spies. The cash point I used had a big sticker for Bond & Mayfair, London Escorts, after all.

The ticket – I’m looking at it now – advertised “an evening of words and music”. This meant a succession of readings, songs, and anecdotes. This sounds potentially awful. A churlish view would be that it might be like listening to the last member of the 1st Punks regimental association, and you do get a fair few tales of the Chelsea Hotel. That said, they’re her right, and a lot would work as pure standup.

This is beside the point, though. Fools would come for stories of the leftover Beats, good as they are. The pacing was expert, building steadily in both music – louder – and words – more extreme, and then flipping the show into a focused, intense blitz through the best of the songs. The band is tight as hell and loud. Unlike a lot of rock, the songs were built for dancers. The voice is still gripping, probably the most working-class white voice in America. A pome might quote Pawl Vallery, and damn right too. Us “English dogs” were called on to howl and we did.

So, a raucous and dance-minded blitz from a performer of deep autodidactic reading and epic stage command. Get in!

*We were a paying public, and some


FreakyTrigger recalls the Chemical Brothers’ Setting Sun going No.1. I associate myself entirely with the following sentiments:

If you’d have asked me in 1996 who my favourite band was, I’d have said the Chemical Brothers, without hesitation. I was 15 and knew next to nothing about dance culture or psychedelia or hip-hop but their music was a route into all of these things and more

Also this, from the other place:

Ive always tried to tie in british dance music with britpop cuz i was really into it at the time and so were a lot of indie kids/britpoppers. Noel certainly was and at loch lomond and the gigs before it everyone was hoping oasis would do a screamadelica and go dance. It was set up for them. But no , they had to make be here now and look what happened after.

Note: If you follow that link into Facebook you can also see me flaming Neil Kulkarni and getting a rise. That, at least, is one ambition from 1996 I can tick off.

Meanwhile, Twitter was all over this lot this week and with good reason, and rather wonderfully some French TV station has put a whole one of their gigs on the web.

And because we can:

Also, anyone else a bit underwhelmed by new Wild Beasts?

Utterly self-indulgent Friday music post

Music post, single-malt version.

Really, isn’t this totally prefiguring all those fuzztone semi-R&B people who appeared over the last year or so? Just with Bootsy Collins and therefore more funk. Beats anything here.

The video is ridiculous, but why didn’t this sell a ton just as daft party music? Also, rhyming “chaos” and “never was a great loss” is both awesome and unavoidably Yorkshire.

Also great. What about this?

Or this?

Sod the Fatboy Slim comeback, bring back the Lo-Fis. I remember in 1996 the Face called them the new Stone Roses, which was actually a remarkably accurate assessment but not in a good way, predicting the loss of key members, toxic ego wars, and under-achievement. That said, they have still released more actual songs than the Roses ever have.

For some reason, searching for their stuff on YouTube tends to really fox the recommendations algo, which has plainly given up and started pushing completely random things on me. In the future, we will come to cherish anyone and anything whatsoever that achieves this effect. We need a name for it.

An opportunity that may never come again

OK, so here’s your chance to be me for an evening.

I have two tickets to the last-ever Belleruche gig, at XOYO on the 13th of November. Unfortunately, I will be in Dubai. I’m out fifty quid. The successful candidate, having passed the programming test, quiz set by the readers of Jamie Kenny’s blog, simulator checkride, etc will be expected to a) uphold the ethos of Harrowell and b) not get me barred. Beyond that, knock yourself out.