Uncategorized

AIM Awards 2011

Myself and Steve Lamacq hosted the first Association of Independent Music Awards recently. Sailor Jerry made a short film of the evening, featuring some people that were there.

DJ Shadow

Genius Welsh film makers Casey Raymond and Ewan Morris Jones have made a new video For DJ Shadow featuring Little Dragon. More of their work can be seen here ; www.caseyandewan.com/

Daughter at Swn Festival 2011

Elena Tonra aka Daughter performing outside Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff during Swn Festival. Head to http://themmp.tv/mmptv/ to see more great videos filmed for the Miniature Music Press

Gaggle

It’s not every day you can say you’re DJing the Royal Albert Hall as support to all female choir Gaggle, who are performing a reworking of a 1969 ‘cantata’. But on Wednesday September 29th, I am. So I’m rinsing it.Link is above for more info, and the ace Sound of Rum is on too.

Kenya with Action Aid

I went to Mombassa and Nairobi in Kenya with Action Aid. They have been working with Reading Festival for ten years now, and there are secret gigs and dj sets at Reading in the Action Aid tent this year by Bombay Bicycle Club, Simian Mobile Disco and more.

The 2 Bears – Bear Hug

Here’s a single by The 2 Bears called Bear Hug. It’s the kind of joyous, silly single that could get to to number 1 in a White Town – Never Be Your Woman stylee, but I know things don’t work like that anymore. Anyway, it’s well good, and the video is great too. The 2 Bears are Joe from Hot Chip, and Raf Rundell who I met recently as Hot City’s manager. Busy boys!

 Here’s a single by The 2 Bears called Bear Hug. It’s the kind of joyous, silly single that could get to to number 1 in a White Town – Never Be Your Woman stylee, but I know things don’t work like that anymore. Anyway, it’s well good, and the video is great too. The 2 Bears are Joe from Hot Chip, and Raf Rundell who I met recently as Hot City;s manager. Busy boys!

Swn Festival 2011

Well pleased to say that Swn Festival 2011 happens again from October 20-23. Yes, four day this year for the 5th annual festival in Cardiff City Centre.We are over the moon to bring The Fall, Joy Formidable, Herman Dune and loads more to Swn this year, and there’s loads more to be announced on the site – http://www.swnfest.com/ , or click on the blog title to go straight there.
Swn Festival is intimate, friendly and aims to bring some of the most exciting music makers about to Cardiff every year. Hope you can make it!

Free Wales Harmony

The man Andy Votel is a bit of a legend. I first heard about him through his Twisted Nerve label, home to Badly Drawn Boy back in the day, and a label that was clearly not afraid to experiment. For me, it was this snapshot of Manchester displayed on the roster that was more exciting than Oasis and similar bands we were being drip-fed back then. Now, Votel dj’s round the globe and brings his passion for non Western music to the world through his Finders Keepers label, which puts out mind bending compilations at a baffling rate. The Welsh Rare Beat compilations he put out are mighty fine, bringing a lot of the 60′s and 70′s Welsh language protest and entertaining songs together, which went mostly ignored by the world at large, apart from the die hard fans in Wales. Votel’s passion for Welsh language music was displayed beautifully in this documentary on BBC Radio 4, produced by James Hale at BBC Cymru Wales. It features Geraint Jarman, Meic Stevens, Dyl Mei, Mici Plwm, Caryl Parry Jones, Gruff Rhys, Cerys Matthews and so many more. It will be online for 7 days, click on the above link to hear it.

Primavera 2011

Pop

My first time at Primavera, in the beautiful Barcelona. 

Primavera Pop

The music starts later, round about 5pm, and continues until about 5am. You avoid the heat a bit more then, and get to sleep/sightsee/swim/whatever takes your fancy in the day. It happens in Parc Del Forum, a short tube stop from Barcelona city centre.


Some of what I did see with my very eyes;


Islet. A whopping way to start the day, Cardiff’s prominent freakout noise makers were on their usual strange form. Their crazy proggy wig out jammz sounded strong, beefed up by constant instrument exchanging and the refreshing dispresect for stages and barriers. It’s hard to beat them in a sweaty, indoor venue, with a sound system that’s sympathetic to them, but the small and awestruck crowd got a taster of something very special which you just know Islet will deliver. Sonny & the Sunsets play rattling rock n roll with such charm and panache it’s hard not to love them. Papas Fritas came back from the 90′s, Odd Future did what they will now have to do at every gig and cause a mini riot, all ironic lyrics and good beats, and the legend that is Money Mark played to a disappointing crowd of not many people, but was taking requests and was bloomin great.


Cults played a tight and neat little set, all sweet ‘Thank you!”‘s and ‘I can’t believe we’re in Spain!’s between their cute, melody drenched retro sounding songs. I’m a sucker for it, and belters like You Know What I Mean, and the irresistable Go Outside were note perfect, a ray of pop sunshine in a world of droning feedback. Seeing Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti was very pleasurable, their Before Today album a thing of beauty and bewilderment. Apparently not always on it live, their Primavera set shone with a band knowing exactly what they were doing (phew!) and their weird grooves and beats came together beautifully.


Ducktails (in session on the show this week) played a good set, one which I wasn’t expecting, On record his vibes are all lo-fi, cut n paste loops and vocals, which have consistently blown my mind over the last year. With a band, like many a one man band, his sound becomes fuller, bringing to mind Wild Nothing’s latest gigs and fitting in nicely to the Primavera weekend. On the same stage, Connan Mockasin continues to compose on a different level. Otherworldly and humble, his tunes are just beautiful, as heard on his recent Forever Dolphin Love album. You just wanna hug him and tell him he’s a genius. Tune Yards looked and sounded magnificent on the Pitchfork stage, a woman totally in control and sounding like no one else on the planet.


Big Boi was a highlight. For some dumb reason I didn’t figure he’d be playing so many of the Outkast hits, which he did of course, and standing in front of the speakers (stage left), the bass rattled my insides until I was grinning like a fool. I fell asleep during the magnificent Caribou, which is no way a representation of their massive, swirling set. A treat to see Gonjasufi live for the first time too, his raw, brutal hip hop a breath of fresh air and standing up to his brilliant album. James Blake took to the decks the day after he played his gig, and played a brilliant selection of bangin electronic musical pieces, with a healthy dose of remixed r’n'b and hip hop tunes that got Primavera bouncing. It has to be said, in a sea of guitars, the dance and hip hop sets were much needed breaks, to save from indie-gestion.


All roads lead to Pulp. I had vague recollections of seeing them before I knew how lucky I was back in the day, but now, some ten years since they last gig, this first comeback performance was anticipated to say the least. And it rocked. Cocker was on fine form, the original line up looking like they were really into it, and all the hits came out to play. I cried during Common People. My favourite heckle was when Jarvis goes ‘Me and Steven have dj’d at club Razzmatazz in Barcelona often’, and a man behind me corrects him, shouting ‘It’s Steven and I!’. Sums up Pulp quite nicely, I thought.

My first time at Primavera, in the beautiful Barcelona.

The music starts later, round about 5pm, and continues until about 5am. You avoid the heat a bit more then, and get to sleep/sightsee/swim/whatever takes your fancy in the day. It happens in Parc Del Forum, a short tube stop from Barcelona city centre.

Some of what I did see with my very eyes;

Islet. A whopping way to start the day, Cardiff’s prominent freakout noise makers were on their usual strange form. Their crazy proggy wig out jammz sounded strong, beefed up by constant instrument exchanging and the refreshing dispresect for stages and barriers. It’s hard to beat them in a sweaty, indoor venue, with a sound system that’s sympathetic to them, but the small and awestruck crowd got a taster of something very special which you just know Islet will deliver. Sonny & the Sunsets play rattling rock n roll with such charm and panache it’s hard not to love them. Papas Fritas came back from the 90′s, Odd Future did what they will now have to do at every gig and cause a mini riot, all ironic lyrics and good beats, and the legend that is Money mark played to a disappointing crowd of not many people, but was taking requests and was bloomin great.

Cults played a tight and neat little set, all sweet ‘Thank you!”‘s and ‘I can’t believe we’re in Spain!’s between their cute, melody drenched retro sounding songs. I’m a sucker for it, and belters like You Know What I Mean, and the irresistable Go Outside were note perfect, a ray of pop sunshine in a world of droning feedback. Seeing Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti was great, their Before Today album a thing of beauty and bewilderment. Apparently not always on it live, their Primavera set shone with a band knowing exactly what they were doing (phew!) and their weird grooves and beats came together beautifully.

Ducktails (in session on the show this week) played a good set, one which I wasn’t expecting, On record his vibes are all lo-fi, cut n paste loops and vocals, which have consistently blown my mind over the last year. With a band, like many a one man band, his sound becomes fuller, bringing to mind Wild Nothing’s latest gigs and fitting in nicely to the Primavera weekend. On the same stage, Connan Mockasin continues to compose on a different level. Otherworldly and humble, his tunes are just beautiful, as heard on his recent Forever Dolphin Love album. You just wanna hug him and tell him he’s a genius. Tune Yards looked and sounded magnificent on the Pitchfork stage, a woman totally in control and sounding like no one else on the planet.

Big Boi was a highlight. For some dumb reason I didn’t figure he’d be playing so many of the Outkast hits, which he did of course, and standing in front of the speakers (stage left), the bass rattled my insides until I was grinning like a fool. I fell asleep during the magnificent Caribou, which is no way a representation of their massive, swirling set. A treat to see Gonjasufi live for the first time too, his raw, brutal hip hop a breath of fresh air and standing up to his brilliant album. James Blake took to the decks the day after he played his gig, and played a brilliant selection of bangin electronic musical pieces, with a healthy dose of remixed r’n'b and hip hop tunes that got Primavera bouncing. It has to be said, in a sea of guitars, the dance and hip hop sets were much needed breaks, to save from indie-gestion.

All roads lead to Pulp. I had vague recollections of seeing them before I knew how lucky I was back in the day, but now, some ten years since they last gig, this first comeback performance was anticipated to say the least. And it rocked. Cocker was on fine form, the original line up looking like they were really into it, and all the hits came out to play. I cried during Common People. My favourite heckle was when Jarvis goes ‘Steven and Me have dj’d at club Razzmatazz in Barcelona often’, and a man behind me corrects him, shouting ‘It’s Steven and I!’. Sums up Pulp quite nicely, I thought.

The Second Coming by John Niven

The Second Coming by John Niven

I’m rubbish at reading. In that I start books, then sort of forget to finish them. That’s why I have some six books on the go at any one time. History, music, novels, autobiographies. When it comes to John Niven;s books however, they’re nothing short of ‘un-put-down-able’. If you like music and a bit of reading, then Kill Your Friends by Niven is a must read. It’s a twisted tale of a music industry man, and his travels in a world of gigs, deals and some dodgy characters. It is the finest, most entertaining book about music I have read, and there were rumours of it being made into a film. Recently I was persuaded to read Niven’s novel The Amateurs, which is all about a golfer. Now, I know nothing about golf, and actually start to doze off the minute anyone starts talking to me about golf. So to read the book, for me, was something of an achievement. Turns out you need not like, understand or even have a passing in interest in the dull sport to enjoy it; Niven writes so fluidly, beautifully and engagingly that he could write about a mathematical exam and make it captivating.
His latest novel, The Second Coming, is genius. God is pissed off with the world (fair enough), with what we’ve done with it, with what we’ve become. So he sends Jesus down to sort us out and teach us to be nice. JC arrives in the form of a struggling, poor musician in New York, and ends up auditioning for America’s Got Talent. The story, amazingly, is highly believable, such is the authors ability to describe, conjure up images and make up some hilarious and pretty damn cool situations. It makes you think, it makes you ponder. The laughs come thick and fast. The story is brilliant.
There are music references throughout, my favourites being Jesus’ t shirt collection, with Folk Implosion and Mogwai ones making appearances. If the book had a soundtrack, it would be a beautiful mix of Americana old and new, both upbeat and modern, yet classic and timeless. You know those horrible quotes on books that go ‘I couldn’t put it down!’? Well I couldn’t put it down.I’m rubbish at reading. In that I start books, then sort of forget to finish them. That’s why I have some six books on the go at any one time. History, music, novels, autobiographies. When it comes to John Niven;s books however, they’re nothing short of ‘un-put-down-able’. If you like music and a bit of reading, then Kill Your Friends by Niven is a must read. It’s a twisted tale of a music industry man, and his travels in a world of gigs, deals and some dodgy characters. It is the finest, most entertaining book about music I have read, and there were rumours of it being made into a film. Recently I was persuaded to read Niven’s novel The Amateurs, which is all about a golfer. Now, I know nothing about golf, and actually start to doze off the minute anyone starts talking to me about golf. So to read the book, for me, was something of an achievement. Turns out you need not like, understand or even have a passing in interest in the dull sport to enjoy it; Niven writes so fluidly, beautifully and engagingly that he could write about a mathematical exam and make it captivating.
His latest novel, The Second Coming, is genius. God is pissed off with the world (fair enough), with what we’ve done with it, with what we’ve become. So he sends Jesus down to sort us out and teach us to be nice. JC arrives in the form of a struggling, poor musician in New York, and ends up auditioning for America’s Got Talent. The story, amazingly, is highly believable, such is the authors ability to describe, conjure up images and make up some hilarious and pretty damn cool situations. It makes you think, it makes you ponder. The laughs come thick and fast. The story is brilliant.
There are music references throughout, my favourites being Jesus’ t shirt collection, with Folk Implosion and Mogwai ones making appearances. If the book had a soundtrack, it would be a beautiful mix of Americana old and new, both upbeat and modern, yet classic and timeless. You know those horrible quotes on books that go ‘I couldn’t put it down!’? Well I couldn’t put it down.