Archive | September, 2010

Chrome Hoof UK tour announced this October

29 Sep

Life of a PR – part 1 – Crass press days at Dial House

23 Sep

Last Friday and Saturday I enjoyed two full days of interviews and photo shoots with Penny, Gee and Steve from Crass at Dial House. They were promoting the stunning reissue of The Feeding Of The Five Thousand which has been so well received, and rightly so, for it is a truly beautiful work of art.

I drove a number of journalists and photographers in my little Ford KA (affectionately known as Thelma) to the peaceful and tranquil setting in Epping, started the interview proceedings, arranged a nice spread for lunch and even modeled in a few pre-shoot pictures. Happy days!

The following images, courtesy of Mr Al Overdrive, capture us getting up to mischief during the shoots. It’s a hard life, but someone’s got to do it!

A charming pose from Steve Ignorant

This is me, taking things VERY seriously

There was even time to relax in their library with a few magazines

Penny cottoned on that I actually quite enjoy this modeling lark

That’s all for now.

All hail! Black Breath!

21 Sep

Black Breath’s brutal and infectious debut Heavy Breathing (Southern Lord) is not only rated highly in my album’s of the year, which, let’s face it, does not mean much in the grand scheme of things, but it also seems that appreciation of their filthy full length has spread far and wide indeed (it scored 5 out of 5 stars and ‘album of the month’ in Mojo’s acclaimed Underground column) and they are quickly becoming everyone’s favourite band. The praise in the press continues and last week Kerrang! printed this whopping full page Introducing feature…

Come November, there will be no avoiding them, particularly with a full UK and European tour in the works, here are the dates so far…
November 4 – Essen, DE @ Panic Room
November 5 – Copenhagen, DK @ Stengade
November 6 – Stockholm, SE @ Swahili Bob’s Fest Vol. 5
November 7 – Oslo, NO @ Garage
November 8 – Gothenburg, SE @ Truckstop Alaska
November 9 – Hamburg, DE @ Hafenklang
November 10 – Berlin, DE @ Jagerklause
November 11 – Prague, CZ @ Klub 007
November 12 – Budapest, HU @ Durer Kert
November 13 – Crnomelj, SI @ MKK
November 14 – Vienna, AT @ Arena
November 15 – Milan, IT @ Magnolia
November 16 – Bologna, IT @ Nuovo Lazzaretto
November 17 – Lausanne, CH @ Le Romandie
November 18 – TBA
November 19 – Messnacy, BE @ Rider’s Park
November 20 – Hasselt, BE @ Muziekodroom
November 21 – London, UK @ Borderline
November 22 – Manchester, UK @ Star & Garter
November 23 – Glasgow, UK @ The Arches
November 24 – Birmingham, UK @ Hare & Hounds
November 25 – Cardiff, UK @ Buffalo Bar
November 26 – Tilburg, NL @ 013
November 27 – Utrecht, NL @ Le Guess Who

Words cannot describe how much I am looking forward to seeing them.

Calling all inhabitants of the Big Smoke – Eric Chenaux Rough Trade East in-store and Cafe Oto show – Wednesday 22 Sept

21 Sep
Toronto’s prolific experimental guitar virtuoso ERIC CHENAUX will be performing at ROUGH TRADE EAST at 2pm on Wednesday 22 September (tomorrow) ahead of his CAFE OTO show in the evening. Support in the evening comes from Dead Rat Orchestra and Brain Dead Collective.
Eric is currently touring the UK in support of his latest album, his third for Constellation, Warm Weather With Ryan Driver. An album which builds on his fruitful collaboration with piano/synth/melodica player Ryan Driver – whose key role on the new album is signalled by his inclusion in its very title – the new record is without doubt Chenaux’s most accomplished and focused work of forward-looking, contemporary balladry.
Here is an MP3 of one of the album tracks, Warm Charleston for your listening pleasure, courtesy of Constellation.
We are not the only ones excited about the show, it is also recommended in Time Out this week!

Dag Nasty – Dag With Shawn

13 Sep

Today is a momentous day for me.  I have long loved Dag Nasty, still do, and Can I Say is a record that continues to have a huge impact on me (I just realised I am wearing my Dag Nasty T-shirt today, it’s like I knew what was coming…)

Today I received a copy of one of Dischord’s new releases, Dag With Shawn, which was originally recorded on Halloween Day 1985 and features the original line up of the band with Shawn Brown on vocals. Initially songs from this session were to be released as a 4-song 7″ on Dischord, but shortly after the recordings Shawn left Dag Nasty and the tape was shelved. This original session has only been previously available as partial outtakes and unauthorised bootlegs and, until now, has never been released in it’s complete form.

This is also the first time I have EVER heard this album with Shawn Brown on vocals and it is sounding incredible, and very different to Dave Smalley’s style as Shawn’s vocals have a much more aggressive hardcore sound. Whilst the instrumentation is totally familiar to me, the vocals are so splendidly new and I am genuinely excited to be hearing it.

Dischord have excavated a fantastic album, taken from restored master tapes, and one which offers a unique view into the early development of one of DC’s most influential bands. Other Dag Nasty fans should get this, no questions asked.

Supersonic festival needs YOU!

10 Sep
From the lovely ladies at Capsule…
Capsule’s internationally renowned festival runs 22nd to 24th October 2010 and there’s plenty of opportunities to get involved as a volunteer. The festival is small enough for everyone involved to gain not just an overview of how the festival works, but to give real value and be part of a dynamic team.

We need a team of volunteers to help deliver the festival over the weekend of the event itself – we are looking for people to work over the festival weekend 22nd -24th October and in the run up to Supersonic from early October onwards. We expect a minimum of 12 hrs over the festival period in exchange for a weekend wristband.

In addition we are looking for professional quality photographers to help us document the festival

How to apply:
To apply send an email to volunteer[at]
Mark in the SUBJECT of the email VOLUNTEER or PHOTOGRAPHER

We will send you an application form, which you need to fill out and email back to us before the deadline which is the 21st September. There will then be a meeting on the evening of the 22nd of September to find out more about the festival and to meet the team.

Please note, unfortunately we can only receive applications from people over 18 years of age.

For further info about the festival check:

Please feel free to spread the word.

The Effective Disconnect by Brian McBride

10 Sep

Sublime, beautiful, seductive and entrancing are all adjectives that I would use to describe the latest album by Brian McBride, The Effective Disconnect (Kranky). This is the second solo album for Kranky, the fourth overall for Brian who is also one half of Neoclassical heroes, Stars Of The Lid.

The arrangements, conduction and recordings were all orchestrated by Brian McBride on guitar, piano, treatments, orchestral glockenspiel and flugel harmonichord with added instrumentation in the form of Lauren Chipman on violin and viola, Jeffrey White on cello, Stewart Cole on trumpet and flugelhorn and Tom Senning on piano. These carefully selected instruments are arranged in such a way that the tone of the music is, the majority of the time, incredibly hopeful. And tracks like ‘I know That You Don’t Like The Future Like I Do‘ and ‘Chamber Minuet’ which close the album, are so overwhelmingly powerful that they totally immerse and seduce the listener and for sensitive souls like me, could even bring a tear to your eye. To say that this album is emotive would be an understatement. But this is of course the effect that I get when I listen to the music alone, in fact, the listening experience can be enhanced when you consider that this particular record is part of a bigger project that is the musical score to a documentary about the decline of the bee population, The Vanishing Of The Bees.

Brian McBride has this to say about the project…

“When George and Myriam approached me to compose for their film they suggested I concentrate on four different themes: the gloriousness of the bees, the endurance and hardships of traditional beekeepers, pesticides and the holistic nature of non-industrial agriculture. I was especially intrigued with the idea of combining some of their mournful aspirations with something more serene. Composing began in May of 2009. I had decided to start fresh not using anything that I had already recorded. Preparing the music for the film, I knew that I needed to provide more built-in changes in the structure of the pieces to give George and Myriam more flexibility. As I worked, I purposely distanced myself from the more continuous architecture employed in my previous recordings in favor of several mini-suites. In the thinking about the music, I hoped that the pieces would do justice to the “gloriousness of the bees” theme, striving for a more overt hopeful quality. But old traditions die-hard and the hopeful side of the music was eventually more subsumed by the lamentable.

I should also mention that if you have seen the film, this record will not contain all the music used and scored for this film.
I am incredibly honored to be a part of this project even if the final compositions turned out to be more appropriate for a different and more forlorn film. I know you have a lot to think about in this world but if you care about food or the world around us, you deserve to at least consider the arguments within this honest and real piece of film-making.”

I recommend you watch the documentary and then listen to this album on some good quality speakers and prepare to be immersed. This currently stands as the most sublime album I have heard all year.