I Told You!

7 09 2011

See, there you go, I told you Ghostpoet wouldn’t win the Mercury Music Prize.  Still I am quite glad that PJ Harvey did.  What I have heard of Let England Shake is good (I suspect that I will hear a lot more of it on 6 Music today though), so well done.





Mercury Music Prize (Albums that I Own)

6 09 2011

I thought I would list the Mercury Music Prize Nominated albums that I own, after my last blog.  Turns out it is quite a lot.  I really wouldn’t like to say what is my favourite of them, but there is some classy music in there.  There is also a lot of dross, that given the choice I wouldn’t by again (Hard-Fi, The Thrills and Keane come to mind there)

 

1992

Primal Scream- Screamadelica

 

1993

Suede – Suede

 

1994

Blur – Parklife

The Prodigy – Music for the Gilted Generation

Therapy? – Troublegum

 

1995

Leftfield – Leftism

Supergrass – I Should Coco

 

1996

Pulp -Differen Class

Manic Street Preachers – Everything Must Go

Oasis – (What’s The Story) Morning Glory

 

1997

Roni Size/Reprazent – New Forms

The Chemical Brothers – Dig Your Own Hole

Beth Orton – Trailer Park

The Prodigy – The Fat of the Land

Radiohead – OK Computer

Suede – Coming Up

 

1998

Gomez – Bring It On

Asian Dub Foundation – Rafi’s Revenge

Cornershop – When I Was Born for the 7th Time

Massive Attack – Mezzanine

Propellerheads – Decksanddrumsandrockandroll

Pulp – This is Hardcore

 

1999

Blur 13

The Chemical Brothers – Surrender

Faithless – Sunday 8PM

Manic Street Preachers – This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours

Beth Orton – Central Reservation

Underworld – Beaucup Fish

 

2000

Badly Drawn Boy – Hour of the Bewilderbeast

Coldplay – Parachutes

Doves – Lost Souls

Leftfield – Rythm and Stealth

 

2001

PJ Harvey – Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea

Elbow – Asleep at the Back

Ed Harcourt – Here Be Monsters

Radiohead – Amnesiac

Super Furry Animas – Rings Around The World

Turin Breaks – The Optimist LP

 

2002

Ms. Dynamite – A Little Deeper

The Coral – The Coral

Doves – The Last Broadcast

The Streets – Original Pirate Material

 

2003

Dizee Rascal – Boy In Da Corner

Athlete – Vehicles and Animals

Coldplay – A Rush of Blood To The Head

The Darkness – Permission To Land

The Thrills – So Much For The City

Martina Topley-Bird – Quiotic

Radiohead – Hail To The Thief

 

2004

Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand

Basement Jaxx – Kish Kash

Keane – Hopes and Fears

Snow Patrol – Final Straw

Joss Stone – The Soul Sessions

The Streets – A Grand Don’t Come For Free

The Zutons – Who Killed……….The Zutons?

 

2005

Anthony and The Johnsons – I Am A Bird Now

Bloc Party – Silent Alarm

Hard-Fi – Stars of CCTV

Kaiser Chiefs – Employment

KT Tunstall – Eye To The Telescope

M.I.A – Arular

Maximo Park – A Certain Trigger

The Go! Team – Thunder, Lightning, Strike

The Magic Numbers – The Magic Numbers

 

2006

Editors – The Back Room

Guillemots – Through The Windowpane

Hot Chip – The Warning

Muse – Black Holes and Revelations

Thom Yorke – The Eraser

 

2007

Klaxons – Myths of The Near Future

Bat For Lashes – Fur and Gold

Dizee Rascal – Maths + English

Maps – We Can Create

Young Knives – Voices of Animals and Men

 

2008

Elbow – The Seldom Seen Kid

British Sea Power – Do You Like Rock Music?

Laura Marling – Alas, I Cannot Swim

Neon Neon – Stainless Style

Radiohead – In Rainbows

 

2009

Speech Debelle – Speech Therapy

Bat For Lashes – Two Suns

Glasvegas – Glasvegas

La Roux – La Roux

 

2010

Laura Marling – I Speak Because I Can

Mumford & Sons – Sigh No More

 

 





Mercury Music Prize 2011

6 09 2011

Back when I used to listen to a lot more music, I took the Mercury Music Prize a lot more seriously.  I thought it recognised the good, but not popular artists.  Unlike the Brits, I thought, it had some credibility (although Simply Red did get a nomination at one point). 

In the past, winners have been outsiders, people that nobody really would have backed, Roni Size/Reprazent beating Radiohead and Suede in 1997 for instance followed by Gomez, Talvin Singh and Badly Drawn Boy. 

Now I own quite a lot of the Mercury nominated albums (Over 70 from nearly 20 years of awards) so I like to think that I know a little of what I am taking about. But this year, mopre than ever I hope that one of the smaller, less well known groups win.  If Adele, Tinie Tempah or Katy B win, I will give up on believing that the people in charge know what they are talking about.  Elbow would be a terrible choice too.  Build a rocket Boys nowhere near as good as The Seldom Seen Kid.

For me, Ghostpoet should win.  Out of all of the music there, it is the only one that excites me.  Mind you, as this is the one that I want to win, it won’t.





British Sea Power @ Wedgewood Rooms

1 03 2011

Right, I know its been a long time again, but never mind.  Last Friday I went to see British Sea Power at the Wedgewood Rooms.  The tickets were a Christmas present from my sister so it was good to finally get the use out of them. 

I have liked the band since their 2002 album The Decline of British Sea Power, when they really sounded like David Bowie.  Now their sound has matured alot and they have turned into a really excellent live band.  I saw them a couple of years ago at The End of The Road festival in Dorset and have wanted to see them again for a while.  They played brilliantly for nearly 2 hours, and didn’t disappoint.

Sorry its a bit quick, but better this than nothing.





The Lovely Beth Orton @Wedgewood Rooms

13 12 2010

I was meaning to write this last week, but due to being ill and then becoming addicted to Pokemon Diamond on the DS, but that is a different matter.

I have liked The Lovely Beth Orton since first hearing her guest vocals on the Chemical Brothers Exit Planet Dust album, through her proper debut album Trailer park, and everything up until Comfort in Strangers, so basically 15 years of great music.  I had wanted to see her live for years and finally I got the chance to do so at this intimate seated gig.

In my opinion there aren’t may voices better than hers and with 2 Mercury Music award nominations, her songwriting isn’t bad either.  Listening to her playing through the back catalogue was an absolute delight, She Cries Your Name opening the set was great and it got better from there.  I really cannot wait for the new album to come out.

One thing I will say is that she is taller than I thought.





The National @ Brixton Academy

6 12 2010

Before I start, thanks to Beeskiffle for getting H and I these tickets as an Engagement present.

The Brixton Academy is an awesome venue (save for it being an Academy and them scalping you for your hard earned cash at every opportunity)inside an old theatre, so it has a loveley sloping floor, so even I could see the stage behind the tall people.  The stage looks like a set from Romeo and Juliet, with Italianate style bluidngs built around the wings.  All in all its a pretty epic venue.  Support for the evening came from Phosphorescent who were really good, but to be quite honest I was just a bit excited about what was to come.

I discovered The National late really, only after Boxer had come out and they were playing at an ATP festival.  Anyway, I had fallen in love with Boxer, and Alligator and the new one High Violet, so seeing them again was bound to be good.

Great songs from all albums were playes, with Slow Show and Apartment Story being my highlights, but the “I’m Evil” part of Conversation #16 getting a good sing-a-long.  The highlight however was the encore with a raucous version of Mr November including stage diving followed by the band asking for silence in the venue (which they got) and playing acoustically and singing without microphones.  What happened was the quietest sing-a-long in musical history, an almost lullaby like air, which still gives me goose bumps thinking about it.  Half way through the guy stood behind said to his friend “All gigs should be like this!”  I am inclined to agree.





Midlake

1 07 2010

Midlake are a strange band to try and sum up.  I like The Trials of Van Occupanther album, but I can’t think why.  Its not like I can actually remember any of the songs, which is why I had a hard time at the Wedgewood Rooms when I went to see them last night.

They have recently been voted the best live act at the Mojo awards, beating Kasabian, Rufus Wainwright, the Arctic Monkeys and Florence and the Machine to the title, and they really were excellent, I can’t think of any other bands that would have a flute duet in one of their songs.  What makes this award even better is that its voted for by the public, and unlike the NME, Mojo actually knows what it is talking about, being a proper music magazine.  Anyway, I digress.

Excellent live they certainly are, and they seem to like Portsmouth, reeling off stories about the last time they were down this way, visiting the Submarine Museum.  They also thought that their set was better than the one that they played at Glastonbury last week, which is nice.  I will have to get their new album, as what they played last night was quite spectacular.

On a side note, the audience last night was really weird, there were a lot of SAGA age fans in the crowd (at least a third of them) but it made for a nice atmosphere and there was plenty of space and no moshing.  Early in the evening The Jolly Green Dave Ware, told me that there was a woman that looked like ET to our left.  Later she came up to me and asked if he was single because he was staring at her.  I didn’t tell her it was because he thought she was an alien…





The National

9 06 2010

I was going to start this post ages ago, but other things got in the way.  It’s about what an important band The National have become in my life. 

About 2 years ago I hadn’t really heard of the band, but they were playing at the ATP festival that I was going to.  This happened at about the time that my job was going horribly wrong (I had made myself ill, and  quit the day that I got back from ATP) and I ended up watching them pretty much on my own as I’d had an arguement with my friends.  I didn’t realise at that time how much they would affect me.

Buying the albums Boxer and Alligator, I fell in love with some of the songs especially Slow Show and Mistaken for Strangers (from Boxer).  I didn’t really think about them again for probably a year until that I heard High Violet was coming out and started to hear the trickle of new songs.  Blood Buzz Ohio is superb and the album has been on in my car non-stop for about a month now.

Listening through the Albums, Boxer is still my favourite, but all of them are excellent.  They are a band that I would really like to see live again, but as they are only playing 3 UK dates this year, I doubt that it will be anytime soon.  Now I just have to work out a way to shoehorn one of their songs into the wedding.





2nd Album Syndrome

25 03 2010

A couple of years ago, 2 albums were released that I instantly loved and still do.  Vampire Weekend by Vampire Weekend, which is probably one of my favourite albums of all time, and  Angles by Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip. 

I have mentioned them on here quite a lot and am a massive fan of both.  I have seen DLSvsSP 4 times and am seeing them again this week at a sold out gig at the Wedgewood Rooms.

I have just got around to buying the second album by VW even though it has been out for a while.  Partly through it being an expense that I didn’t want and mainly because I didn’t want to be disappointed.  The same went for the new DLSvsSP album The Logic of Chance.

Eagerly I opened the packet and put on Contra, and I hate to say it on first listen I wasn’t too impressed except with the singles Cousins and Giving up the Gun.  Then I listened again, but this time I really listened, the lyrics are great, and although the music is a lot different to the first album I like it.  There are still the almost classical pieces in there, but now interspersed with bleepy electronica.  I get the feeling that I will like this album more as the summer comes on.

No such first listen issues with The Logic of Chance.  I instantly liked it.  The witty, dark lyrics with a social conscience are still there, but the beats sound heavier, more sure of themselves, and it makes this record the better for it.  The use of the guest vocals of Kid A (look her up, she sounds great) on Cauliflower are great and the sample of Kid Carpet on Cowboi fit in perfectly.

Lyrically Pip is still one step ahead of the pack.  I am really looking forward to the gig, which as I have been faffing about writing this, is actually tonight. 

More tomorrow.





My Favourite Gigs

4 12 2009
Its been a while since I have blogged, so I had better make this a good one.  As I made a very bold statement in my last blog that the Flaming Lips gig may have been the best gig that I have ever been to, which got me thinking, what are the best gigs that I have ever been to.  I have made some tough choices here and omitted some really good bands (Including Muse twice, Elbow and Radiohead who are my favourite band).
 
So here they are in vaguely Chronological order, with a bit about why I thought they were so good:
 

3 Colours Red (1999)- This has probably made it on to the list as it was one of the first gigs that I had been to, and one of my favourite bands at the time (Listening to Nuclear Holiday still rocks my socks off), but mainly because I was chatting to the Lead Singer at the back for ages. 

Goldie Lookin’ Chain (2004)- On the back of Half Man Half Machine, I went to see these (the first gig that I went to with the Jolly Green Dave Ware). They didn’t sound like any music around at the time and still don’t.  On their day (this one) there stage show is amazing, even when the power went out it was brilliant, they improvised a game show called Win a Date with the Maggott.  Sadly they are getting worse every time I see them. 

Gogol Bordello (2006)- Immigrant Gypsy Punk has never sounded so good, to have the drummer girls crowd surfing on top of giant drums was genius.

Apples in Stereo (2007)- You know when a new song hits you and you need to know what it is and everything about the band, that was what it was like with Energy.  Seeing them at ATP vs The Fans topped off the festival, it also helped that I was stood on a chair so that I could see.

Bon Iver (2008)- Again its amazing what a brilliant song can do to you, top it off with one of the best voices in Music at the moment, sat in a festival field with a paper cup of Cider when the sun comes out, you have near perfection. 

De La Soul (2008)- At ATP again, De La Soul provided a perfect hip hop party beat.

Vampire Weekend (2008)- Mansard Roof, was easily my favourite single of the year (probably of the last 5 years) and I may have said that the album could challenge The Bends as my favourite album.  I am not sure if it has or not, but this gig on my birthday was utterly superb.

…And you will know us by the Trail of The Dead (2009)- Awesome band name, awesome music, 2 drum kits, brilliant.

Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip (2009)- I have seen these 4 times now, the first in 2008 at the Joiners was great too.  This time was at Bestival though, their second set.  At midnight, in a tiny tent.  It was sweaty, it was loud, the place went mental, it was everything that all gigs should be.  I really can’t wait to see them agin in March.

Flaming Lips (2009)- See the last Blog entry, but this was a definite spectacle.

The main thing that all of these have in common is that I was there with good friends, and I liked the music before I went.  I suppose I had a pre-programmed idea of what the gig would be like, and I guess these lived up to the expectations.  The 3 big bands at the top that didn’t make it in aren’t the only ones that have had great gigs, some of the others include Skindred, Rival Schools, Modest Mouse, Le Savvy Fav, Futureheads, Editors.  I could go on, but I won’t.