Samstag, Mai 26, 2007

the curse of Rory Gallagher

Rory Gallagher - I'm not awake yet

I discovered this song by pure chance when I was listening to some playlist containing the clash on radioblogclub. I am not really interested in any other of his songs. I did ready his wikipedia entry, but I forgot about it afterwards. Frankly, I do not care who Rory Gallagher is.

Just this song really hit me. I reckon it is the most beautiful piece I have heard for a really long time. And I just figured out that ever since I heard it I am having fuzzy sleeping habits. Like I do not sleep. It is hard to fall asleep. I dream shit. It takes me ages to wake up, spending much time in this weary state when you are conscious but unable to move or open your eyes. And I feel awkward afterwards.

Is it the curse of Rory Gallagher?

Montag, Mai 21, 2007

CSS and The Gossip Myspace Secret Show @ Roadhouse, Manchester

This is gonna be a long one, but worth the read! ;)

Some bold facts: Myspace UK has been organising two secret shows so far, this was the second one. I learned about it in a bulletin sent out by the Myspace Secret Show UK page. It announced the date and place, May 18th Manchester, but I only found out about who would play a couple of days before the gig.
To get a ticket I had to befriend the myspace profile (which I had already done ages ago) and CSS's and the Gossip's myspace page. Then put the three in my top eight, print out my profile page, and then, they day before the gig, go to the local book and music store Fopp to queue for my ticket.

My friend and I arrived at the store two hours before they started giving out the tickets, only two be quite surprised that there were people queuing already! So we took our place in the line and waited. Somebody took pictures of us holding the prints of our profiles. I mention this because we were exposed to photographers let loose quite often. They started handing out the tickets on time, and soon, after showing the prints and an ID, we got a wristband, a ticket and some buttons which said things like "you looked better on myspace" or myspace is for losers but you're all f*cking on it.

Holding the tickets in our hands we thought of two things. First: we got the tickets, no more queuing! (how wrong we were...) Second: oh, the tickets say dress code: shock. What are we gonna do about this?
I won't explain what we wore, in case you may read my description too well and then I got no idea if weird pics of me will finally come up on the myspace page...

But we did dress up a bit the next day and went for a nice pint. The tickets said Doors 8:30, so we where there 8:30. Only to have to queue again, for an annoying one and a half hour. Why this was like this, I do not really know, but I got my suspicions: there were cameras again. People handing out flyers, people taking pictures. And a film team that filmed the queue, encouraging everyone to cheer. Of course, if you wanna persuade people who weren't there about how busy it was, you got to make the audience queue. But for one and a half hours?

Nevertheless, we finally got inside, only to wait a bit more. Then CSS played. To be honest, I did not know any of their songs before, and one gossip song only. And to be honest, I was not particularly found of the music. I liked both bands attitude, the singer from CSS with glasses painted on her face and a fake tooth gap. I read about them afterwards that they started the band without knowing how to play any instrument. If that is true, bless them. But to me all the songs sounded the same.

Things were similar with The Gossip. Again, not really an idea what they sound like, yet I was familiar with some of the modern myths surrounding Beth Ditto, and maybe she fulfilled them again this night with her ultra-short dress and her party-attitude which could have resulted from drunkenness. But she does what she wants to (at least I hope she still wants to be like this, and it has not become a necessity to stay popular), and I appreciate this. Plus there was something else about her, which was clearly my highlight of the evening: her voice. Let me tell you, no matter what you think of her and her band, her voice IS amazing. They opened their set with a cover version of George Michael's Careless Whisper, and I as an old George Michael fan say they did it very well.

Here are some pictures my friend took:


The Gossip

The glowsticks

After these nice impressions, here is what the press said:

First of all, myspace UK still has not managed to put reviews, videos and pictures up on their profile yet. Maybe they will have when you read this, but they certainly did not have when I wrote this. Considering the fact that the gig was friday night, and I am writing this on a monday afternoon, I must say that's pretty lousy and lame of them.

However, the NME was really quick, giving us this story. Do I approve what they wrote there? Frankly, no, not all of it. But first, my congratulations to the author who figured out the setlist. How you can keep all these songs apart and recognise them is a miracle to me. But maybe he just nicked the setlist? Yet I do not remember Beth Ditto shouting for Paris Hilton to be put into prison. I also do not recall her dedicating the gig to Yoko Ono. And I was really sober. The rest seems true, though.

After the gig was over, there was a bit of djing going on, were once more I realised that either my electro time was ten years ago and is over now, or the best electro songs simply were made ten years ago, because what got me (and the crowd) going the most were some old nice tunes such as daft punk's around the world and mr oizo's flat beat. When we left they gave us free posters of both two bands, and we still had these glowsticks they had been throwing into the audience extensivly. Having spent less than five pounds for this night I was quite satisfied with the outcome. lots of annoying things, but who am I to complain when it's a bargain!

Harry And The Potters @ Urbis, Manchester

Seeing Harry and the Potters was one of the most "different" gigs I have ever been to, probably. As you can tell by the name, the group is inspired by the Harry Potter books. In fact, all the song-lyrics are based on characters or episodes from the story.

Don't believe me? Here are some lyrics for you:

From The Human Hosepipe:

so we said there with all the couples kissing
and soon things began deteriorating
and you began turning into the human hosepipe

From Wizard Chess:

I don't want to go home for Christmas this year
I don't wanna see my family
I just wana stay at school with my best friends Ron
we'll spend our Christmas playing wizard chess
we'll spend our Christmas being invisible
be invisible this Christmas

(my favourite song)

I enjoyed observing every single detail of the gig. Let me give you some facts: The Urbis is a museum. The band played in the entrance hall. Generally, they perform in theaters and libraries rather than concert hall or gig venues. Their audience comprises approximately 13 to 16 years-old kids. And oh, how these kids looked: Black eyeliner on allmost all faces, some in really colourful clothes, socks with different colours, but some dressed in black. Almost all guys with long hair, almost all girls with at least two different hair colours. Spome wore self-made t-shirts with lines from the books. Hard to tell if any dressed up as actual characters, hard to tell for me, at least. But there was no Harry Potter in the audience. And rightly so, because the kids knew there would be two Harry Potters on stage!

Harry and the Potters is actually two brothers (and a drummer), who look very much alike each other, and who did their best to look like Harry Potter. Dark curly hair, glasses, a scar drawn on the forehead. The even wore the Hogwarts school uniform. They looked really nice.

Okay, so what do we have so far: emo-kids going to a gig at three pm, two brothers, I'd say in their late twenties, dressed up as a adolescent wizard and a performance in a museum. What did I save for the end: the music!

Let me tell you, the music simply was a very sweet surprise for me. Listen to the songs the band has on myspace and you'll get no idea of what it is like to see them live. Live they rock! Or, more acuratly, they punkrock! They rarely played a song that was longer than one-and-a-half minute. The two Potters jumped around and screamed, there even was some serious moshing going on in the audience at one point. Lyrics were spit out, microphone stands were broken, the singer ran off-stage to dance and sing and cry with the kids, no reservedness, no timidity at all. And I thought: thanks somebody is saving these emo kids from teenage angst and makes them angry instead!

Dienstag, Mai 15, 2007

Bitchiest Popstars

There are some really nice quotes in this top10-list of bitchiest popstars on virginmedia. And I even found it all by myself while googling.

Montag, Mai 14, 2007


The whole blog is now labelled. categories so far are:

music styles:
heavy metal

artist recommendation
that's life

click on any of the links to read all the posts with this label.

Nicole Willis & The Soul Investigators @ Mint Lounge, Manchester

The evidence of a funky night out! This pic was taken at the Nicole Willis & The Soul Investigators gig in Manchester in early May this year. They blew me away with their 2005 record Keep Reachin' Up, which I discovered just very recently. I therefore did not really expect to get a chance to see them touring this record, but there they were, in the Mint Lounge, 8 or so guys on stage, starting the concert with a ten minute long instrumental introduction. In case you have not read about them before, they are a ten-piece finnish band playing music following the tradition of Northern Soul sound.

The intro gave my finnish company a change to admit the band actually really looked finnish, and let my anticipation grow immensly. And it got the audience in the mood, so everybody was already shaking their bits when Nicole Willis finally entered the stage. She has a wonderful stage presence: smiled, danced and enjoyed the music. I am not sure if I actually have to mention that her voice was superb. My finnish friend, usually a follower of Heavy Metal, and a bit of Jazz, was absolutely glad we went and told me he enjoyed the musicd very much. So did I! So did everyone.

some videos with the usual phone camera+youtube-upload-size problems. You do not necessarily have to watch them, just listen while you browse.

Mittwoch, Mai 09, 2007

Herman Dune @ Roadhouse, Manchester

This cool pic suggests that Herman Dune is another of these multicombo bands, with loads of people that are difficult to keep track of. It's not quite like that.
I am still not really familiar with the band's history or background, but as far as I understood the band actually just comprises two brothers from France or Israel or Sweden or the USA or all four or so?

But what do I care about where they are from when the song I like the most is about "being away". It is called I wish that I could see you soon.

When I saw them live in Manchester about a week after Easter, this song was the first of a row of songs that really caught me.
Maybe I wouldn't have liked them, had I just listened to this song, but seeing a band live of course always makes a difference. The beautiful female voice you can here in the song was provided by a singer from Baby Skins on stage. This woman had a really nice array of percussion instruments that I could never be able to name, yet describe. She used a different one for every single song, to accompany the drums and make things a bit more strange and dreamy.

The audience must have been crazy for Herman Dune's music. They even booed the singer when he didn't sing. When Andre Herman Dune, the singer, came back on stage for an encore, he chatted a bit at first, talking about music distribution, and how much better vinyls are compared to mp3s. He said he didn't have the time to go record shopping in Manchester, which he really regretted, and that he loved the idea of kids wanting records rather than mp3 downloads. This got him a little passionate (aren't we all, when it comes to this subject) and he kept on talking, for so long that people started to shout for a song. In the Roadhouse, there was a club night after the gig, and people feared there might not be time for a song if he went on talking.

But a brand new, very sweet love song was sung, everybody embraced, souls saved. Thank you, Herman Dune!

Sonntag, Mai 06, 2007

Midlake @ Sheperd's Bush Empire, London

I have written about Midlake here and here
and you don't have to click on any of these links if you don't want to ;)

So, I went to see the band who won my last year's favourite-record-award for the second time. I thought the fact that they were in the same city as me at the same time was more than coincidence this time. Apart from that I had always wanted to go to the Sheperd's Bush Empire. There was a time in my life when I did not go to gigs (too much money spent on dope), so I would hang around with my friends watching live dvds endlessly. It became sort of a running gag after a while that all these artists we liked released dvds of gigs shot there. The repetition of shots from inside, all these amazing artists I "saw" and the dope made me really really wanna go there for once.

And the venue was perfect for that gig, for that night. We had seating tickets on the balcony. We had been hurrying around all day, travelling from Manchester to London, collecting keys, dropping luggage, making small talk to people we did not know, missing busses...and no time to sit down and relax. Until the gig started.

The atmosphere was great. Midlake's music just sounds so much better in a place like this. Sheperd's Bush Empire is an old theater transformed into a gig venue. They could have performed without any PA at all, I bet we would still have heard every single note.

The music was more psychedelic this time, I felt. Sometimes, the band would literally bend over their keyboards and instruments, soo much into their music. No long breaks between songs this time (that was what made me feel disappointed after seeing them in Berlin last October). I could just sit down and let the music flow through me.

The venue was sold out, and it sold out about six weeks before the gig. Apparently, people in London are really into Midlake. And what an interesting audience it was. Most of them were in their thirties, possibly, but I sat next to an approx. 10 year old boy accompanied by his mum. He seemed to really like the music.

That's why I can't stop blogging about them. One day, I'm gonna convince you all... ;)

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