Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Anti-boredom weekend: The results

Cocaine otherwise known as 'domestic dust'


Ok I was pretty annoyed at the comments I heard saying that Sheffield is the most boring place in the UK, that's total stupidity what about Bradford?!

I was pure fuming after watching T4 the other day they played the new H2O single and said "everyone knows bassline comes out of the grimey scene in London". Nothing makes me spill my wheetos quicker than inaccurate comments about the origins of b-line! Grime/Garage has nothing to do with bassline, i'm sick of reading about "bassline being dubstep's ying and grime's yang". B-line is more like house's racist bigot of a half brother and hardcore's coked up niece, get it right!

I never made it to Lights Down Low which is a major regret, but seeing as i have about fifty quid until easter i've got to be tight. I decided on going to Mumdance which was an absolute result . We got down to DQ to see about 1000 people trying to get in downstairs to see the bass player from Reverend and the Makers play some Inspiral Carpets and Pulp.

We dodged that bullet and went in upstairs, which meant we didn't have to queue and we could go downstairs to act like it's 1996 if we wanted to later.

Mumdance can dj, we missed Rankin playing dubstep but i was too giddy to do slow motion dancing anyway so them playing Sinden 'Beeper' had me pogoing about by myself on an empty dancefloor.

The whole thing was anti boredom, they kept things b-line and pumping but insisted on playing Dizzee Rascal 'I Luv U' which is the most boring song ever and totally ruined the buzz. I was contemplating shouting for 'Bow E3' or 'Eski-boy' but i resorted to shouting out some Tempa T lyrics instead. Mumdance aren't idiots though, as if they knew what they were doing they then slammed on 'So Much Love to Give' (pictured in the irreverisble post, someones been reading the blog!) and left me so excited i needed a sit down.

There are some weird people at DQ though, there were some bang tidy birds, your usual student types and a gang of about thirty 50-year-old blokes who smelt like poppers and looked like predatory male rapists. At one point i saw this young girl trying to avoid the grasps of two of the brutes, she eventually had to grab hold of the closest 20-year-old and snog his face off to get the fiends off her scent.

Still the night went a long way to dispelling the boredom myth. I went to the toliet at about four to see what looked like five gypsies having what they were telling the bouncer was a 'domestic dispute', seriously these were the most articulate and agreeable gypos i've ever seen. What they called a 'domestic dispute' looked suspiciously like sniffing coke but they somehow managed to stay in the cubical and finish off their little chat. I suggested they should call it 'domestic dust' which got me some of the worst looks i've ever had i even got a "what ya on about?" which isn't very nice.

Stay Bored!

Art goes DIY goes Punk: Futureheads/Grammatics

Ross Futurehead

The Futureheads have a special place in my heart
i used to bop to work listening to A to B and
it made
everything seem alright. Ross from the band is bloody
massive btw once he walked past
me in Newcastle and
it was like that bit in Lord of the Rings when Gandalf
gets massive and dark!

My homeboy Super G was in Leeds to see them play
with the Grammatics who areswooning and
everyone who listens to their stuff right now.

Cue the superlatives!

This week Leeds Guide became the latest media channel to become
tarnished by SCANDAL asmore competition rigging comes to light -
First the beeb (Marson gotshipped) then ITV (Ant and Dec go straight
to Hell for that one) andnow Domestic Dust!
But seeing Grammatics support The Futureheads after
'winning' the reader competition at work? I think we'll get away with

Since The Futureheads split from Warner it seems the angular pop tune
smiths have gone all DIY on our ass. Self booked, released and
managed, The Futureheads are taking matters into their own hands. This
is already having fantastic implications, first of which being this
intimately sweaty 'comeback' tour that graced the Mine venue in Leeds
union on Sunday. Secondly, they could chose their support...

Now basically Grammatics are fucking MINT - I saw them support and
completely upstage SYEAYBIF last year and now Dom's quit his job at
DTTR the whole set up is skinnier, moodier, more anarchic, brittle and precise.

They do the Guillemots thing with more romantic angst and focus, and
without any of the aimlessness and humour. They seem to have earthly
musical credibility to equal parts scenester name-drop-ability; they
appeal to both love-lorn shoegasers and coked-up electro geeks
respectively and tonight, a sharp moody Grammatics play their totally
accomplished set with a very obvious sense of purpose.

I walk into the room, saturated with not only the usual scenester
suspects but a refreshingly large cross-section of pop fans, to the
drawn out melancoly of The Vague Archive, from the Grammatics latest
EP. [Their Veretie and Reverie EP is out now in Japan ad on iTunes and
if you ever see the Shaddow Commitee single, GET it. James Kenosha did
that one in Bridlington and b-side Broken wing is extra special.]

I get the feeling that the venue now holds more Grammatics fans than
there were when the night began - a conversion rate that should carry
over to all 12 dates of this tour. Grammatics are so finely tuned that
they produce something so GOOD that it seems this emotive unit could
snap at any moment - I always find it poynient as the final chorus of
the set kicks in with "everybody loves a breakdown.." The music takes
on even darker characteristics and I just hope this rhetoric proves
not to be the band's ironic swan song, but just another of the
perfectly constructed pieces that will continue to take rooms of ever
wider audiences and set fan conversation rates to 100%

So, to state the absolute obvious, Futureheads are awesome! They're
one of the few bands that have weathered the pop industry storm and
popped up with their indentity intact. A band that no amount of
re-branding, re-mastering and re-packaging could erase.

Yep, "this one's off the first album" is met with ecstatic reaction as
the band blast through vitriolic renditions of A to B and Decent days
and nights. And yep, the new, more aggressive tracks get even the most
style-conscience Vice-a-likes bumping around off each other (which has
got to be the main idea, right?) and hell yep, the band seem to prove,
as much to themselves as the fans, that they can play the DIY pop
career game as well as any buttoned-down major label bitches.

But all handshakes and small print aside, tonight, Sunderland's finest
smash up Mine with the household-harmonies and radio-one-riffs we've
all come to KNOW and as this tour will remind everyone LOVE, Super G.

Friday, 25 January 2008

Anti-boredom weekend

One of my friends told me the other day that Sheffield is officially the most boring place in the UK. Those people need to get down to Reflective and start saying that in front of 2000 of the most bored people in the UK, i'm sure something 'interesting' would happen to their faces.

He was basing this on a newspaper report that in return was based on a survey of Google and apparently Sheffield has the most google searches that start with "i'm bored" wtf? talk about conclusive.

Anyway this weekend should be redubbed the anti boredom weekend because tonight Lights down Low are putting a night on at Penelope's in Arundel Gate which should be nothing short of interesting.

These guys (along with Eyes Down and Electric Chair R.I.P in Manchester) have kept the north ticking over and filling its quota for nu-jazz/broken beat and truly eclectic nights for years.
I'm almost wetting myself in anticipation and it'll be good to get out to a night that doesn't have bassline somewhere on the flyer.

Speaking of b-line i'm interviewing Ts7 and Mr V for the blog and trying to put together a TS7 remix for Leeds band The Hair, lord knows how that would come out but at least it wouldn't be boring.

Then tomorrow Mumdance of Vice and Old Blue Last fame are putting a night on at DQ's with Tronik Youth and Boy 8-bit who played at Club Pony a while back.

Club Pony is now moving to DQ as well, that place is going to have the monopoly on 'cool' nights, there gonna have to get an extractor fan to get rid of all the hairspray and popper fumes.

High Rankin is also playing some dub step down there which should be interesting, i've totally gone off dub step ever since i heard Milanese's album on Planet Mu, everything else sounds bland in comparison.

'Mr Bad News' should be the standard dub step producers work to, that track is harsh and when reviewing it it's impossible to say stuff like "you can feel the dread and drudge of inner city life between the bars with a ginsu knife in between it's teeth" music journalists love writing stuff like that about tracks made by 17-year-old choir boys from Swansea.

Anyway, basically there is some mint stuff happening this wknd i'll let u know how it went on monday!

Monday, 21 January 2008


Knifehandchop aka Billy Pollard from Canada has been producing mashed up dancehall, jungle and breakcore since the early noughties when he became a favourite of the late John Peel. We had a brief chat about live shows, new material and nu-rave?!

What have you been up to recently and have you got anything new planned for 2008?

Well recently I have just been making tunes. Tons of dancefloor stuff. Always playing the newest stuff live! As for releasing it, I just don't know when. I'll just keep playing it live and then decide.

You're playing at the bangface weekender what do you make of the 'nu-rave' scene?

Nu-rave? well I still don't really understand what it means to be honest. Someone told me a long time ago it was the Klaxons. So that made me think it was rave-influenced rock music. But now people tell me it's just regular rave music but it's new? I say who cares. If it's good then it's good- call it what you like.

When i spoke to Shitmat he spoke about wanting to do a live show where he was amongst the crowd like Lightning Bolt, have you ever tried anything bonkers in a live show?

Anything bonkers? Not really. I'm mainly interested in making people dance.

Bassline house is massive in the north of England, have you heard much of it and if so what do you think about it?

Bassline house? I've never heard of it but it sounds really awesome! It would be hard to screw up two sure-shot things like that!

Your work is pretty varied with hip hop, jungle and dancehall all coming through. what is your favourite genre to produce?

My favorite genres to produce is pretty much anything with a 4/4 dance beat under it like electro, house, techno, hardcore and stuff like that. I've always proffered that to other things like jungle or dub. Although sometimes I like making more broken stuff to. Everyday is different.

Monday, 14 January 2008

Nice and Loud it's Holy Roar!

Holy Roar is one of the most interesting and versatile labels in the UK right now. With releases from artists such as Gallows, Rolo Tomassi and Cutting Pink With Knives there is no sign that they're losing their touch or getting any quieter.

We spoke to the head honchos and about music, artwork and effort.

Let's start at the beginning, how and why did Holy Roar get going?

Holy Roar started in Feb 2005 because we wanted to do a label after moving back to London. We both put on gigs a lot, did a lof of reviewing/writing etc and Alex had previously done a label in Birmingham which didn't do too hot, so we thought we'd try again.

Why are you called Holy Roar?

It's the name of a Torche song, we literally had no idea what to call the label so went through our CD collection looking at song names.

You're working with some very creative bands, how do you choose who to work with?

Aside from loving the music they put out, we try and work with bands who we can get along with and have a similar work ethic. The band has to be interested in working as hard as we'll work.

The artwork for the records is pretty amazing who comes up with it?

It normally comes down to the bands and ourselves figuring out what our options are, but usually it's the band who has the initial idea or knows of someone or has a friend they want to get involved. It's very much a big deal to us now, and we're really happy with the way our aesthetic and approach to packaging/appearance of our releases has evolved, even if it sounds a bit shallow. Working with people like Kate Moross and Angelino from La Quiete is something which makes us proud, and I especially like the art for the Chariots EP and the Gallows 7". Oh and the tape design by Dan at Fake French. And our baby logo by Liam Sparkes. And everything Fessey has ever done for us. There's too much to mention really....

What forth coming releases have you got lined up? and have you got any new bands signed?

Our tape has sold out now so the next stuff we have planned is a Throats/Maths CD our in April, a Rolo Tomassi tour 7" which will be out in time for their tour next month (fingers crossed), a Cutting Pink With Knives/Doom Patrol 7", Mirror! Mirror! digital EP and probably more. We don't really 'sign' bands but Throats, Maths and Mirror!Mirror! are three new bands we're really looking forward to working with in 2008. Oh, and Doom Patrol, but they're cunts.

OH and Holy Roar is Alex and Ellen. Ellen answered these questions.

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Irreversible...damn right?!

I love Thomas Bangalther he is a true legend of house music. I bought the soundtrack to 'Irreversible' back in 2005 purely on the basis that he did all the original music and it was on Roule.

It's an amazing soundtrack with tracks like 'Outrage' and 'Rectum' sounding like they could fit into any house djs set two years later. Quite a departure from the Daft Punk and Together (pictured) stuff he did with Dj Falcon.

But...Irreversible is absolutely hardcore, i thought inland empire was a hard watch! Some of those scenes were actually painful.

I can never listen to that soundtrack again without thinking of arms getting broken and bums getting raped!

Saturday, 5 January 2008

2007 the good bits!

I know i said i couldn't be bothered with a best of 07 list but here are a few things that made my year:

1. Umbrella - i never listen to radio one so when i heard this out for the first time it sounded fresh like oj!

2. B-line getting some much needed exposure and grime heads starting to spit over b-line beats.

3. Reading festival Patrick Wolf, Battles, Foals, Shy Child and Dj Shitmat specifically.

4. Laura Groves getting a single released.

5. Seeing Wolf Eyes and Vibra Cathedral Orchestra at the Baltic in Newcastle

6. The Cumberland Arms

7. Toddla T making dancehall sound like b-line and smiling through his dj sets!

8. Meeting Howard Wilkinson in Broomhill.

9/10. Shy Child -'Summer' it gets two numbers because it was that summery! Here's a video of their live performance at the Old Blue Last, minter:

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Bovine = fine

I was gonna do a best of 2007 thing but i couldn't really be bothered, but this is the best thing i've heard from any band in 2007. The Cribs are mint the reaction their songs get is amazing unless you're in Leeds and Mirror Kissers comes on the reaction is usually three or four people going bananas while everyone else slowly cottons on. I'm glad this is getting released as a AA side with 'Don't you wanna be relevant?' i might get to hear it in a club and get rowdy!