Tag Archives: gigs

ola stranger

5 Jul

Last night I was lucky enough to be invited to Secret Screenings – the new(ish) arm of the incredibly popular ‘Secret Cinema’.

For the uninitiated (if there is anyone left out there that hasn’t heard of this great concept), at Secret Cinema you buy a ticket to a film but you don’t know what it is. There’s always a big interactive element to the experience, but you don’t know what it’s going to be and the only thing you know is that it’s going to be pretty special.

The screening last night was of ‘Searching for Sugar Man’ – a documentary about a musical legend from Detroit you’ve never heard of.

With a voice and sound that’s reminiscent of Bob Dylan fused with Nick Drake, yet completely individual, Rodriguez recorded two albums in the late sixties / early seventies which, although a critical success, sold barely any copies. Rodriguez was subsequently dropped by the label and he disappeared.

Yet somehow his albums made it to apartheid era South Africa, where the songs, protest themes and lyrics connected with those that opposed the regime. Unbeknownst to Rodriguez his records sold hundreds of thousands of copies, he inspired a generation of musicians and was literally more famous than the Rolling Stones (he never received a penny for any record sales).

The crazy thing about his huge fame was that no one knew anything about him and legend had it that he committed suicide on stage. This amazing documentary follows two South African fans searching for the Sugar Man and the unbelievable discoveries they made.

All I’ll say is that after we had the pleasure of watching this great film, we were treated to a very very special performance which practically blew everyone in the audience’s mind.


This is one of my favourite songs from Rodriguez – as they say in the doc, one of the saddest, most beautiful songs you’ll ever hear.

Sign up to @secretscreening and @futurecinema on twitter for future events.. And also make sure you go see this doc when it’s released.

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the robert glasper experiment

15 May

There are a lot of birthdays for us this week and to celebrate, Ollie surprised the May Babies by taking a few of us to the Barbican to see the Robert Glasper Experiment.

And they were absolutely, ridiculously brilliant.

Their album debuted at number one on the jazz charts and number three on the hip hop r&b charts (just below Rihanna – even they queried whether it was ‘the greatest typo ever’).

Given they sold out the Barbican, they will be playing another last minute show tonight (venue TBC so check Robert’s twitter) and Lalah Hathaway will be playing at the Jazz Cafe on Thursday and Friday this week.

Update: the secret show will be at Village Underground tonight. Tickets at the door from about 8.30. See you there!

heading south to northside

23 Apr

I am in Melbourne for a couple of weeks and there are a few little haunts that I just can’t miss when I’m in town. One of them is Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, which is home to a clutch of great little shops, restaurants and Northside Records – the “best record store in the world” (The Next Men’s words, not mine).

Ollie’s post on Friday about Record Store Day spurred me on to see how the celebrations went down at Northside. Run by one of Melbourne’s favourite DJs, DJ Chris Gill, Northside is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year.

To celebrate Record Store Day, Northside had amazing instore appearances from Kurtis Blow, Maseo from De La Soul, The Putbacks and The Psyde Projects. DJs were also playing all day. Chris was having so much fun he was late for a family wedding – so late that he had to divebomb into a pew just as the bride started walking up the aisle. You can imagine how that went down.

Judging by the tunes blaring out of Northside today, it seems Chris doesn’t really need Record Store Day as an excuse to have a good time, but to celebrate a decade of supporting soul – new, old and reinvented – Chris assures me there will be non stop parties all year long.

With previous instores by The Bamboos, The Congos, Eddie Palmieri and loads of Melburnian up-and-comers, I think record lovers can be confident he will be true to his word.

Northside Records – 236 Gertrude Street  Fitzroy, +61 3 9417 7557

your record store needs you!

20 Apr

Having spent the majority of my youth (and, let’s be frank, a lot of my adult life)  in record shops, and working in radio, I am unashamedly biased in my support for the annual Record Store Day which, if you’re not aware, is tomorrow.

Now you don’t have to be massive vinyl nerd queuing up at ungodly hours on a Saturday morning to buy ltd 7″ pressings to enjoy the event. With in-store performances by loads of amazing acts at the majority of the 230+ stores participating, it’s worth using this great little search function on the Record Store Day site to see what’s going on in a record store near you.

We’re going to be heading down to our friends at Phonica in Soho to see a bevy of brilliant acts (including Mo Kolours & Ashley Beedle) and to possibly buy a few shed load of records too.

If you can’t get down to any events, we thoroughly recommend you try and watch “Sound It Out”, a documentary (yes another!?) about the last remaining record store in Teeside. What’s great about the film is that regardless of the genres the geeks customers in the shop like, the passion they have for their music is endearing and something any music fan can relate to.

And finally, without record shops and their staff, the track below wouldn’t have landed in my life. This brilliant tune (for a Friday) from the late 70s was recommended to me yesterday by a friendly record store clerk (they do exist!), which makes me a happy nerd.

rum diaries – the 223 club and aloosh

15 Apr

We’d like to apologise for the lack of posts over the weekend, but in a desperate move to absolve any personal responsibility, it really wasn’t our fault.

Please lay all blame on the unfeasible amount of fun we had on Friday night at the new 223 club in Waterloo (and possibly the strongest rum punch anywhere outside of the Caribbean).

We were there to see Aloosh – a band you should really check out (have a listen to “Time” below).

I’m not going to try and describe their sound, as it’s pretty hard to pigeon hole them into one specific category (without sounding like a bit of a prat). But as each member of the band are all accomplished musicians in their own right, their sound is a really refreshing mix individual influences (and as an inconsequential side note to the music, lead singer Jodie has possibly the best hair ever).

With the super cool Dave Okumu (guitarist of The Invisible and producer of Jessie Ware – reviewed here), following the band and playing a really fun set of tunes that got the whole crowd dancing in the archway space, it was more akin to a great house party than a club..

And with everyone being ridiculously friendly (possibly due to rum punch good vibes), it all added up to make the opening of the 223 a pretty special night in our opinion..

All photos: Courtesy of the 223 club

Check out the club site for upcoming listings… we know we will be… we may just go easier on the rum punch next time..

Aloosh music http://www.myspace.com/alooshmusic

223 club – 137-39 Lower Marsh Street, Waterloo

supporting the support

4 Apr

One of our favourite albums of last year was the gorgeous debut from Lanterns on the Lake, a six piece band from Newcastle. Definitely filed within our more down tempo playlists, the lovely layered melodies of the group wow everyone we introduce them to..

We’ve unfortunately missed them playing the last couple of times they’ve been in town, but we managed to catch them last night in the acoustic glory of the Royal Festival Hall (a music venue every Londoner needs to experience at least once).

Our only disappointment was that they were only the support act, so the 40 minute set was far too short, but to finally hear some of our favourite tracks from ‘Gracious tide, take me home’ played live made us happy (and pretty mellow) gig goers..

Have a listen to the couple of tracks we’ve included here and we hope you like them as much as we do..

see your heroes

30 Mar

Its always with slight trepidation that I book tickets to go see a genuine music megastar rolling out their back catalogue.

Because I have such affection for their songs, and the memories that the music creates for me, the question always plays heavily on my mind that if it’s a below par experience, will that concert taint my experience of the music in the future? (I really should probably stop over analyzing these things i know… but as a nerdy muso, its this sort of thing that matters to me..).

So we were incredibly lucky last night to get tickets to see Sir Paul McCartney at the Royal Albert Hall playing for the brilliant Teenage Cancer Trust charity. Like the majority of us I was brought up listening to The Beatles (with a healthy dose of Paul Simon on the side), so to see Sir Paul play was always going to be special.

Add the atmosphere of the Albert Hall into the mix, and it suddenly gets… well at times speechless. Especially when Paul Weller, Ronnie Wood and Roger Daltrey joined Sir Paul on stage for a number or two.

So the question is what’s next? Do I dare ruin the memories of school holiday car journeys of my youth by booking tickets to this singalong? I think I might. See you there.