Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?


The latter quarter of 2017 had plenty of highlights including getting some Facebook likes from Lee Scratch Perry (see above), monkeying about on the grave of Jeremy Beadle and consuming some great culinary shit (see below). There was plenty of other slices of action in between but here are what we recorded via our phones innit...












Soulwax strike the Roundhouse


Soulwax's new live set up has three drummers. Three! It's a lot but were there even three? Were there four? Or ten? Who's counting other than the players themselves?

For many of us, Soulwax just sounded like one huge Robocop-esque synthetic machine, only intent on taking the very roof of London's Roundhouse off rather than doing any high-end maths.

We were lucky enough to clock them in the midst of December when they took over the venue for two nights. Their arrival was a relief as they cut through the festive chaos with their white suits and sleek electronics. But we, by contrast, were all over the place, lighting up snouts inside and hollering at every opportunity. We missed Jarvis Cocker's DJ set as were too busy getting pissed in the pub across the road, can just about remember the start of their set, went back to our buddy's with about 30 cans of czech lager, then woke up on the sofa fully clothed and in total disarray the next morning. It took a lot of beige food items, including Scotch eggs, Mcdonald cheeseburgers, chicken burgers, pork pies and even a quiche to feel anywhere near present or correct the following day. Brap to all crew involved. A strong showing indeed...

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Stick your blue passport up yo ass

Every year starts and ends with a list. And the sound of witless hacks and scribes scraping the bottom of the content barrel. They realise that what was it in has long since been sucked dry at a time of year when most people have nothing better to do than flick aimlessly through cyberspace, waiting for their thumbs to find them something gratifying.

So rather than any new pictures online of dogs doing magical things, cooking up bananas or smooching with your wife, you’re gonna get all the old ones you’ve seen before but compiled into a one stop shop for all your dog wife smooching needs. Thank you oh powerful content curators. Without your handy signposting, we would be all lost, adrift in a culturally dank existence. Amid all the total bollocks of the last 12 months, here’s what we’ve been listening to as Trump felches and May fails. Fuck your blue passports, fuck you Rupert Murdoch capiche? You can’t tell us what to think.

Slowdive

Been caning this one song by shoegazing returnees Slowdive all year. The rest of the album has gone unheard but this really does it for us...


Jackmaster 

Scottish lad Jackmaster is almost as well known for his ability to stay awake forever as he is for his astute choice of tuneage but this Eros moment from his Essential Mix was one of the best...



Ride

Another old bunch of bastards making satisfying guitar music for old farts like me...


Bicep 

This isn't by Bicep but is taken from their Beats in Space show. Like an italo 10cc...


DJ Harvey 

He's back and he's still the man. This is the opener from his 2017 mixtape for legendary Ibiza institution Pikes...


LCD Soundsystem 

LCD returned to great fanfare in 2017 with their best record yet by miles. Hats off to Murphy et all for pulling it out of the bag...


Stranger Things 2

Stranger Things returned and was, surprisingly, not shit. Phew. The music was as addictive and as satisfying as anything else made in the '017...

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Hall and Oates vs Steely Dan


As celebrity death matches go, a tussle between two elderly veterans of pop music sheen, the very venerable Hall and Oates and even more doddery Steely Dan, couldn't be nicer.

Both are proponents of tunes smooth enough to buff your best crockery with. Although you might argue that the latter are slightly more prickly than their hair plug sporting counterparts. But whatever, both peddle 'AOR' of the most excellent variety. Rather than watching them putting their dukes up and slugging it out in the ring, we had the pleasure of catching them both play over consecutive nights as part of the Blues Fest at London's cavernous, vertigo inducing arena at the O2.


Saturday night was all about Hall and Oates who successfully transported some California sunshine to Greenwich. Thankfully, they didn't dilly dally with new material, instead just wheeling out a dazzling set of total bangers from Private Eyes to I Can't Go For That (No Can Do) and sporting some delightfully buffonic hair do's. One of the funnest aspects of watching an old band is the old audience and we felt incredibly young as we went through the airport style security of the arena. We were also the only punters on our side of the stadium to ingest too many Stellas and dance in the aisles while simultaneously shitting it that we might come a cropper and tumble to an almost certain death from our vertigo-inducingly high seats. But we lived to tell the tale. Whoooop.

Sunday evening was spent feeling a little more stale and watching Steely Dan from the vantage of the BT corporate box on the other side of the stadium.Our contact got us in on the lure of a cheapish ticket, plus free booze and food. But while we were ushered into the venue via the VIP entrance, the promise of gratis stuff to stick in our gobs never materialised. Instead one of our party spent £7.50 on a bowl of nuts and we again got on the Stellas. Steely Dan went through a greatest hits style set with one of the slickest band of session musicians you'd ever did see. And while they'd lost a member in the form of the sadly departed Walter Becker, a lone unused microphone paid tribute while Donald Fagan twitched his way through some of the best, jazzy-pop bits... these guys might be fucking ancient but they've still got it...



Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Hey London - let's oppose the developers



Unless you go to bed at 7pm or don't ever look outside, then you should be well aware of the struggle and strife London's LGBTQ+ venues have been facing in recent times. The capital has lost more than half in the last decade but campaigners are now taking a stand and attempting to block the tide of gentrification running over and exchanging the city's best night spots for shit, luxury flats. 

The battle to save the Joiners Arms pub in Hackney has been at the centre of this fight with campaigners recently winning in their bid to guarantee that a redevelopment must see an LGBTQ+ club included in any plans for at least 25 years. 

Well done to the Friends of the Joiners Arms and read this piece I put together for Mixmag on the fight (it was published just before news of the victory)...



The Andrew Weatherall weekender


I reached the ripe old age of 36 last month and to get over it, we went to the Andrew Weatherall weekender in Sete in the south of France for two nights of nocturnal shits and giggles... here's what happened...

The dusty old nooks and crannies of Sete's Theatre de la Mer are perhaps more used to dramatic re-enactments of classic tomes and high brow cultural bashes than electronic knees ups.

But at the end of September this amazing, coast hugging venue throbbed luridly to the beats of Convenanza, Andrew Weatherall's annual music festival.

Dedicated to the passions and talent of the almost mid fifties acid house veteran, the event was previously located in Carcassone within the walls of a medieval count's castle. You'd walk up through the town past the elderly tourists choffing on snails and red wine with bats circling overhead before entering the lair. This year, the crew exchanged the castle for the theatre, heading to the sea and over two nights, held one of the most spectacular shindigs you could wish for.


It's obvious that 'the guvnor' (as AW is affectionately referred to by the crew of gnarled ravers in attendance) is well used to throwing a rave in a suitably incongruous location. But while the setting helps, it's the on point musical selections and programming that always makes it special. From the live electronica of Autarkic to Weatherall's own psychobilly sets, the soundtrack riffs and kicks across all bases.


Sete is a balearic working port in the day, still heated by the late September sun, but when night fell, strobes and smoke beamed out from the venue like electronic sirens urging ravers to come and crash on its salty shores.

As you'd expect, the crowd was a sausage fest but more than made up for this lack of diversity by being totally up for it. No nobs, as the grizzled late 40 sometings we made friends with gurned at us. They might be old but they were hardened, willing to go in over the two evenings while the baby sitters back in the UK worked as hard as they raved. I know our's did. And of course the line up, all cherry picked by Weatherall's exquisite taste. It was so good I returned to the UK with 35 euros worth of drinks tokens while the only French food we ate was a cheese toastie and a burger. You could buy oysters, dance dangerously on steps and even buy scrambled eggs from the food vendors. It's a bizarre mix of the civilised and deranged and is like nowt else... they even finished with this on the Friday which was a fitting tune to stagger off and have a cry to. Ooof...

Drinking beer in Tottenham

We've been in Tottenham for just over a year and in that time it's gone from being home of the Carling binge drinker to the capital's craftiest postcode. Coincidence? I think not mi familia. We're setting the bench mark for taste buds all over the north of London. With so much good beer on offer and the trendies who over run Hackney yet to take over our environs, we've been out and about sampling many of N17's best aley wares.

Check out the latest issue of the Tottenham Community Press for a piece exploring Tottenham's new beer mile...

Read Tottenham Community Press issue six