Saturday, October 22, 2005


There's no point in me putting this up tomorrow, as it starts at 2pm. There's an acoustic all dayer at Bar Vida this Sunday (23rd) which will cost you nothing to get in. Get there early, so that you can report back to me about how Mascot Fight can possibly work acoustically. I, naturally, shall be in bed. Here's the line-up:
2.15 - Mascot Fight
3.15 - Joe Atom
4.15 - Beyond this Point are Monsters
5.15 - Chris Jones
6.15 - Vendettas
7.15 - Ben Walker
8.15 - Lardpony (though this one's in the balance as Tom is Ill)
9.15 - Dragonflies Draw Flame
10.15 - Franke Machine (not, of course, the definitive version, but - y'know...)
11.15 - Monkey Swallows the Universe
Is it my imagination or is that the third time Ben Walker has played Bar Vida in the last week or so? Somebody show him an atlas.


From No Rock N Roll Fun blog (yeah, I know...) and mainly here for the brilliance of the anecdote within:
One of our favourite Beatles anecdotes is from the time John was off from the rest of the band recording the Ballad of John and Yoko. He'd done all the instruments, but wasn't much good on the drums, so he rang the hotel the band were in. Ringo answered.

"Hi, Ringo, just recording this song, and I've done nearly all the parts myself..."
"Oh, right..."
"But I can't do the drumming as I'm crap at it. So I'm calling for a spot of help from someone who knows what they're doing..."
"Oh. Yes, certainly..."
"Yeah... could you put Paul on?"

There may, of course, be a smidgen of rock apocrypha to the tale, but even so, it does pretty much sum up the 'Ringo wasn't even the best drummer in the Beatles' attitude that clings to the man like gaffer tape.

So, it's nice to see Ringo finally picking up a prize. He's been named the best-ever substitute for his role in taking over the duties from Pete Best.
What's even sadder is that you can easily argue that the best drummer substitution of all time was Keith Moon taking over from the High Numbers' (later to become The Who) pan-basher and destroying both his kit and his job security.

Poor, poor Ringo. At least there's one person he can lord it up over. His son, Zak. "Who've you played drums in? The Icicle Works? Pffft... I was in The Beatles, y'know..."


The Babyshambles album has been leaked onto the internet. Just like that new Strokes single was a couple of weeks ago. And the second Libertines long player. And the last thing that Radiohead put out. And every record of the last three years or so.

Excuse me? How is this news?

The news, perhaps, is that early reports, even according to stalwart Libertines fans is that the Babyshambles album is a bit, well... crap. Who would have thought it? Between the crack habit, selling his arse to the tabloids, torpedo-ing Kate Moss' annual income out of the water and launching his own fashion range the poor Doherty boy's barely had a moment to ham-fist his way through a load of tunes that weren't considered good enough for his old band.

But anyways, does anyone else have the sneaking suspicion that the 'leaking' of eagerly anticipated music is now the equivalent of the celebrity profile boosting 'stolen sex tape' a la Paris Hilton, Pamela Anderson, Abi Titmuss and so on?

I might review the forthcoming one from Britney Spears 'live', that should test your resolve as a reader.

Back to the point - I'm VERY suspicious that these 'leaks' generate quite so much publicity mileage for the records involved. It's almost as if the labels have realised that downloading doesn't really harm sales at all, and now they're using it as a cog in the promotional machinery...


This might be a first! I'm in the process of downloading Tom Vek's CC (You Set the Fire in Me) single, and I've decided to review it as I hear it for the first time.

Why? Because for one, Tom Vek looks like my mate Daz from You Slut! and for twice, Doddsy from Mascot Fight thinks that that particular song sounds like Cable (Derby's second finest band ever. Ahem. You're no-one from here unless I was once in your band...). For triplets, Junkmedia has compared it to Joe Jackson (of "Is She Really Going Out With Him" fame) and I've just got to hear a song that sounds like Joe Jackson and/or Cable. I bet they're all WRONG. Let's see...

It might just be me but when something starts downloading at 78KB/s I start to get excited AND suspicious at the same time...

Right. It's in.

The verse sounds a bit Cable-y vocally. Instrumentally, it sounds like a man playing Organ with his head. And they've farted around with the drums, they sound a bit distorted. It's all a bit drawn out for me now...

It's over. Hmmm. I think what Doddsy Mascot Fight and Junkmedia have overlooked is that it's a bit rubbish. Heaven only knows why Daz Slut! wants to look like him.

I'm glad I didn't buy it. Thank the merry Gods above for P2P networks.

I might do more live reviews of recordings. It's easy, and it takes up a lot of space just to say that something isn't much kop.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


Blur are going even more low-key than the last time they went wilfully and self-consciously low-key. They're planning to play "a couple of pubs" around Christmas, says Damon Albarn.

Might I suggest The Rhino in Chaddesden as a potential venue? That'll test their reflexes.

Why? Why? Why are they becoming so reductionist, you're wondering? Well, that's because they're releasing an EP that's not going to be actually by them, or something. "I think we're gonna do an EP first, sometime by the end of this year. But you probably won't know about it. It'll just 'come out'. It'll be so, sort of, underplayed. It'll come out but you won't know it's us as it'll be so, well, not us.". Got that?
Blur : yet, somehow, NOT Blur.
Cheap, I know. I couldn't help it.


Bono from Bono and the U2s has taken another lovely lunch with George W Bush. Everything in the world now sorted out.

To read the Whitehouse/U2 press office spin on it go here.


It shouldn't happen really, as I'm the only one who writes this BUT I'm caving in to grief from Ms Holly Johnson (so many jokes, so little server space in the world) to inform you that The Sons are playing at the Water Rats, King's Cross, London on Saturday (22nd). There's a coach/minibus/convoy of cars that don't look like they'll get there and back. If there are places left then I heard it was going to cost £10 including gig entry.

They're playing with Supersmile and Souther Still, the DJs are Auntie Rhyme and Uncle Reason, which ruins the alliteration horribly.

If you want to go and you want transport why don't you email Holly at - there you see, Holl, you bully me and your work email ends up on the internet. EDIT: 'cept that clearly isn't your work email anymore since you made me change it. this is NO FUN.

If you don't want transport get yourself over to The Water Rats in King's Cross on Saturday. At least you don't have to wade through all of the dealers, pimps, hookers and Pete Doherty's mates anymore. They've moved them on.


In light of the fact I'm updating so late, it's good news that if you want to go see aggro-instrumentalists You Slut! play at The Social in Nottingham with The Robcop Kraus (don't mention the war...) tonight, you still have time. The earliest The Slut! boys will be onstage is 11pm.

This is a Liars Club promotion, so you might want to tart your hair up like a wanker. £4.
I could have used this shot of You Slut!
looking cool and made it much bigger,
but it's not colourful soooo...
You Slut! : Every member playing with
a big hairy ball and giggling like girls.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Junkmedia have the second part of Dave Allen-from-out-of-Gang-of-Four's interview up now.

This time, he takes his 18-hole Doc Marten's off, and merely slaps Bloc Party around the chops a bit.

He does, however, claim to only listen to hip-hop nowadays and then sing the praises of The Arcade Fire in the next breath.


A Stage Monitor : Starving and Frightened.

Above is a picture of a stage monitor for those who aren't certain what such a thing is. It's purpose is to allow singers to hear how out of tune they are.

Why do you need to know this? Becuase tonight there's a benefit gig at Bar Vida to buy one (or rescue one or send one to Disneyland in a baseball cap or something). The line-up is Concertina Turner, St Kilda Mailboat, Ben Walker, Go Ha Ti, Lucy Day. Entry is by donation, but I think they're expecting at least £1. If you were really funny, like me, you'd go along and hand over some electrical wire or a piece of grillcloth.


There was a time you'd buy the NME and to either side of the Morrissey/Smiths centrespread you'd learn stuff about other bands. New bands. Good bands. My vinyl collection is littered with the great and the awful, a fair amount of which was all but put there by the NME. I was young, I needed the advice.

This week's NME has The Kaiser Chiefs on the cover. Their last front cover was approximately two weeks ago. Then they made room for Babyshambles. Next week will most likely see a Babyshambles cover. The week after that The Kaiser Chiefs. There's a Franz Ferdinand U.S tour special pencilled in for the next issue, but then we're back to normal. Babyshambles, then The Kaiser Chiefs. This year's Xmas special will have two covers. Babyshambles OR The Kaiser Chiefs. Choose at your discretion. You have to nail your flag to the mast at some point.

You should be getting my drift by now.

Was it always this limited and predictable, or is it just cos I'm old now? Exaggeration aside, it really does seem to rotate around a four band axis. Babyshambles, The Kaiser Chiefs, Franz Ferdinand and Bloc Party. It's not even the case that I hate them all. I'm not telling you which ones I can stand, mind you. That's not the point. Although, it's not Babyshambles. I have some pride.

Where are the risks? Where is the 'New' that the title implies? How many more times can they rephrase the sentence 'Pete Doherty takes crack'? My MUM knows that Pete Doherty takes crack. She just doesn't know what crack actually is. But she knows that Pete Doherty takes it.

I know that the NME has been awful for years. I know it'll never be good again. I even double-checked with some young people to make sure I wasn't just some curmudgeonly old git wanting to smash the new machinery in the factory. They told me I was, but that it was by-the-by cos the NME was a joke nowadays.

So what's my point? I think it's that either the NME needs to whither and die much more quickly than it is doing, or that I need help to stop looking at it in W H Smith cos it was once good. It's embarrassing, people think I might be planning to buy it.

Smiths, closed : What this picture doesn't
show is dozens of distraught blokes
panicking cos they've nowhere to stand in
a line browsing magazines.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


A slow day, so I resort to my tactic on all slow days of nicking stuff from No Rock n Roll Fun blog:

Terrifying news for six bands, as The Who, The Kinks, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix and JoyDivision-New Order are to be condemned to the Rock and Roll Pit Of Doom. Sorry, that's the Hall of Fame. We always get those two muddled up.

The Hall - which is open to any band who qualify for their left over tat going into a metaphorical Hall of some sort - opened for business last year, accidently inducing Robbie Williams in a nasty mix-up.
Still not as embarrassing as that version of Joy Division's 'Transmission' they did at Bob Geldof's guilt-quenching, egomania knees-up Live8, though a close call nevertheless.


While the great, big, jurassic record labels thrash around in the dark trying to figure out how to cope with seven-year old children outsmarting them on computers and stealing their wares, ex-Afghan Whigs frontman Greg Dulli has nipped in the back door and bypassed the need for record company OR distributor, selling his music directly to independent record stores. That's an impressive leap from a conventional 12% artist royalty to the full 100% of sell-through price. Today high-school rumours that Greg paid no attention whatsoever in maths finally came to a halt.

The Billboard article contains no response from the old guard of the music industry but when it eventually arrives, expect it to translate loosely as "But that's not fair! We don't like this anymore!".

Greg Dulli, laughing : Bank not pictured.


Jet over to Sheffield to drool lovingly at the gorgeous knicker warmers (well, Miikhul and David) in Plans and Apologies who are playing with Balor Knights and Fury of the Headteachers at The Grapes, Trippet Lane (M1 North, off at Junction 33, follow signs to City Centre, drive around for an hour or so 'cos it's SUCH a bastard to find, single out locals that have the navigational skills of the average moth and ask them, turn engine off, cry). Don't know how much that one is.

The Victoria Inn has The Thieves (not David McAlmont's old band), Termites (probably best they knock the place down then. Boom, boom, Mr Roy!) and Girl Fell Dead (who have apparently split up, arrive late to avoid disappointment). All for £3.

However, the kool kidz know that on Tuesdays the plan is as follows. Go to The Dolphin and win the pop quiz by a country mile, sprint off to The Bless for Jyoti's Bzangy night then finally stagger legless over to Screamadelica to make a damn fool of yourself. All free admission.

Monday, October 17, 2005


Gang of Four bassist Dave Allen (not that one) has finally stepped forward to have a bit of a go at Bloc Party, Franz Ferdinand et al for y'know - ripping them off wholesale, but somehow managing to entirely miss the point. He says:

I mean, what on earth are Bloc Party up to? Franz Ferdinand? All of these
bands. They've borrowed our sound but they have not gone anywhere near our
sociological lyrics. It's hard to describe what we do. I'm trying to avoid the
word "political" because we're just not. We've been painted as a political band,
we've been painted as a Marxist band. We're usually asked those questions by
people who don't understand Marx whatsoever. We've taken to throwing that back
in their faces a bit, "Well, what does Marx mean to you?" and they stare at you.
Meanwhile our lyrics are really about the personal in the political
and how every day you have a serious set of choices to make. The way John (King)
painted "Natural's Not in it..."

Which is fair enough, all told. It's just a shame they weren't interviewing Andy Gill, he was always the really narky one.

Please God, don't let those rumours about them re-recording their best songs be true.


Poster by Pat Promise : s'good, innit?
Go to Bar Vida tonight to submerge yourself in nostalgia for a time you can't remember properly anyway. All of the bands listed above have promised to learn an 80s 'classic'. I bet none of them do any Giorgio Moroder. Amateurs. £3 Admission, and though it doesn't say so up there, it's fairly safe to assume that all profits will go towards the staging of Ponce in the Park festival 2006.
I'm not going myself. I'm too afraid that I'd turn up in my clothes and somehow walk away with the best costume prize.
But take it from me, if I WAS going, I'd go as Teen Wolf. I've got the jacket and a naturally hairy face.


The new single from The Research is out today. 'The Way You Used To Smile' comes with 'The HARD Times' on CD and 'I Made a Promise' plus 'Hey Tornado' (they're doing sneaky fomatting! It's like the 90s again!) on coloured 7" vinyl (coloured 7" vinyl! It's like the 70s again!). If they'd only do a weird-shaped 10" picture disc I could go (weird-shaped 10" picture disc! It's like the 80s again!).

In case you missed it before ('cos you are ALL reading this, right?) the video for the A-side can be found here.

For those unfamiliar with the band, they sound kind of like nobody else at all. On toytown keyboards. Tell you what - why don't you click on those links and listen to them?