Tuesday, 29 June 2010

So it's day one of the Post Glasto comedown and suffice to say I'm knackered. Miles of walking, partying in the shady depths of Shangri-La until the wee hours and seeing a whole host of acts from the likes of Snoop Dogg, Biffy Clyro and motherfucking Muse make for one long but completely awesome weekend.

In the coming days I shall be reminiscing about the musical feast that was my Glastonbury and sharing some of my favourite acts of the weekend, in an attempt to keep the spirit alive for that little bit longer.

First up is burgeoning acoustic star Grace Petrie. Miss Petrie was a staple feature of the Leftfield stage this year, having been chosen by curator Billy Bragg to take part in his muso-political lineup that also featured the likes of Beans on Toast and Frank Turner, as well as the main man Bragg himself. I managed to catch 2 of her mini sets and each time found myself glued to my seat.

What I particularly enjoyed is that there doesn't seem to be anything false about Grace. No Mockney accents, cliché lyrics or ridiculous haircuts: just good, honest folk. You can't say fairer than that really.

I love this, hope that the Glastonbury effect works its magic on her. It would be a crying shame if she faded away after such a triumph.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

After a stressful day there's nothing better than sitting back and listening to some gorgeous msic by the largely underrated Damien Rice. Sitting here in candlelight, listening to this and only this, I am calm. It's a nice feeling.

Besides, not nearly enough people pay tribute to our eskimo friends- Inuits are people too!


Friday, 18 June 2010

What a brilliant, if mildly creepy, music video.

I love Newton Faulkner.

Adelaide's Cape- Moles, Bath 14/06/10

Monday night wasn't a gig.

On Monday night I wasn't in some dingy (yet brilliant) club in Bath, checking out burgeoning talent Adelaide's Cape. On Monday night I was sat in someone's living room at 3 in the morning, gathered around with some friends watching a couple of mates have a bit of a jamming session. At least, that's what it felt like; sat in some dingy club in Bath, checking out Adelaide's Cape and co. Both the support and main man himself managed to create a truly refreshing gig in a world where the connection between artists and audience has been cut short.

Before all that though, there's the mater of the support. Now usually the support slot can always be a bit hit and miss- you know, the kind of act that leaves you wanting to impale them with the mic stand. Thankfully however, this wasn't one of those occasions. Mike Still offered a somewhat unconventional support; regaling tales of falling in love with a stripper, the wonders of MDMA and even a particularly well formed ditty about incest (well, he is from Swindon..). Mike shows real promise as these songs stand well on their own, though a bit of progression is needed before he can really bring them to life. For me anyway there was this kind of longing present in a lot of his songs; it was all far too abrupt. Just one more verse, chorus, anything really. I couldn't quite put my finger on what was missing but there was a definite sense of anticipation after his songs, not something perhaps should be present after every song. All in all though I'd say that was the only downpoint of the evening. Mike is obviously a very talented musician who has a razor sharp wit- perhaps in time this will become more evident in his songs' full realisation.

Adelaide's Cape provided a very chilled end to the proceedings with a couple of really mellow numbers, definitely more swaying than lighters in the air but nevertheless all very twee. Again there was this kind of inclusive vibe that gave the impression of just chilling with some muso types; a certain sense of camaraderie more typical of an impromptu performance at a houseparty, not at a gig in the traditional sense. Hell, he even stopped midway through song to joke about someone in the crowd being tickled. You don't get THAT at the Academy now do you? With lyrics so vivid you could literally place yourself within them and a rousing accompaniment from his band (including a particularly groovy double bassist- actually makes me want to take it up again), Adelaide's Cape were well worth waiting for, even if in the end only a select few of us had the privilege of hearing it.

Despite being dubbed as "nu-folk" on his Facebook page, Adelaide's Cape have that stripped back feel of one man and his guitar that is typical of a lot of great traditional folk artists out there. I only hope that he is able to reach the same heights of popularity as his counterparts have.

There should have had a bigger crowd. Fact. But the selfish part of me almost prefers that there wasn't. Monday night wasn't a gig of normal proportions: but my what a lovely way to spend an evening.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Surrender to the Scandinavian Shiver

This is gorgeous and precisely the reason why I adore Miss Olof Arnalds.

Whenever I say to people that a have a zest for foreign and Scandinavian music, I'm often greeted with looks of bewilderment. Even after the successes of Sigur Ros and Mum in the Western alternative music scene, it seems that this unique style of music is still left in the background. Shame really. Sometimes a small voice is all you need to make the most deafening noise; or at the very least a shiver down your spine, something which virtuosos like Olof demonstrate with ease. But I dare the naysayers and, indeed you, to listen to this and prove me wrong.

I'm not a huge Bjork fan I must say, her voice kinda rubs me the wrong way at times, but on top of this ambient acoustic melody it's almost perfect.

If that has got you wanting more then there's a mighty fine EP of hers available to stream on Spotify. Check it out mofos.