Little Comets – Common Things

Leicester’s Comedy Festival kicks off again today. For a large proportion of February, those of us living in this fair city get the chance to laugh our socks off at shows. We can pretend that the world isn’t quite as shit as it actually is. By the end of the festival, March is pretty much upon us and Spring optimism is in the air. Perfect. 

Anyway, I’ll be doing a fair few reviews for the Leicester Mercury, the local daily newspaper. I’ll try hard for it not to be the case but posts on Sonic Breakfast might lapse under the weight of alternative writing pressures. Before I head off into that world of giggles, I thought I’d make time for one quick post. 

(Click on page 2 to read about Little Comets)

 

Joel Gion – Tomorrow

You have to enjoy it no matter how stupid things get, ‘cause we always have each other and you always have yourself.” – Joel Gion, 2016

The film, Dig!, had quite an impact on me when I first watched it at the local arthouse cinema. I probably left the cinema and said to friends that it was the best music documentary ever made though I’ve always been prone to hyperbole in an effort to stress my point. 

 But, there’s no getting away from the fact that there’s something hopelessly desolate and tragically romantic about the way it tracks and contrasts the careers of the Dandy Warhols and  the Brian Jonestown Massacre. It’s sometimes not pretty viewing but it’s always exciting. As one band digs towards a drug-fuelled, psychedelic oblivion, the other spends millions on state-of-the-art videos. Creatively, we all know which band we’d want to be in – and it’s not the Dandy’s. 

 

Joel Gion, the tambourine player in the Brian Jonestown Massacre, creates quite an impression throughout the film. He’s a cheeky space cadet and, for the most part, you can’t help being drawn to his impish humour and honest charm. Despite being off his head, you like him and want him to succeed. You worry that the story might have a tearful ending given the amount of abuse going on and breathe a sigh of relief when it doesn’t quite.

 Over the past weeks, I’ve received a few E-mails from Joel’s PR company telling me about his new single, Tomorrow, which was released last week in advance of an album later this year. 

 (Read Sonic Breakfast’s review on page 2)

 

Steven James Adams – A Preview

I can’t quite remember when I first crossed paths with Steven James Adams. I’m pretty sure it was at the Cambridge Folk Festival. As I queued to get a beer, he stood up and played an impromptu acoustic set with his band. This was many years ago.

A lovely friend, Nicola, encouraged me to listen to the Broken Family Band more. She was right to do so. I grew to love all that they offered. In a venue, here in Leicester, that has been gathering cobwebs and closed for years now, I once got so rowdy seeing them that I threatened a guy with a broken glass. Times have changed.

As my friendship with Nicola grew so did my love of the Broken Family Band. She procured tickets to their last ever show at the Portland Arms in Cambridge. On Halloween night we went along, experimenting with gothic mascara and stupid drugs. It was an incredible show.

Much as I’d loved, Steven James Adams drifted in and out of my vision. There was a far too casual gig for The Singing Adams in Leicester. We shook hands and I had a drunken fanboy moment with Steven and Dan Mangan backstage at the very last Summer Sundae whilst Jake Bugg played elsewhere (fact). There were new priorities then.

 

Heck, it’s lovely to discover that I’ve got catching up to do. The man has now spent four years doing a solo thing. There are two new records to immerse myself in. It was a random message from a PR company that once again piqued my interest. 

(Click on page 2 to find out what piqued my interest)

Pilgrim Speakeasy – Plan D

You think we’ve got it cold here in the U.K.? Admittedly, scraping your car windscreen every morning with makeshift defrosting gadgets such as an unwanted CD case (it’s not for us to be organised) is a slightly uncomfortable frustration but surely it’s nothing when compared to the perishing cold faced every day by today’s featured act. 

Pilgrim Speakeasy first came on my radar a couple of years ago when I exchanged a couple of E-mails with mainman, Roger Roge. They’d not long released a new record, ‘Lo-Fi Love At The Park Cafe’, and I was drawn to the psychedelic funk within. Flitting between lounge jazz, freakish soul, worldly riffs and fuzzed-out rock, it touched some buttons and I was keen to find out more. 

(Click on page 2 to discover more)

The Blue Aeroplanes – Rescue Rooms Nottingham – 18th January 2017

Sonic Breakfast has had a full-on week of gigs to go to this week. Given how much we’ve been falling in love with the latest Blue Aeroplanes record, Welcome, Stranger!, (previous blogpost here), the one that was filling us with most excitement took place on Wednesday at Nottingham’s Rescue Rooms when the fine Bristol collective flew into town. We were not to be left disappointed.

 

(Click on page 2 for the gig review)

Nikki Pope – A preview

I’m back from Eurosonic in Groningen. Now the hard work begins as I piece together the jigsaw of events in an attempt to make a coherent review for eFestivals. Suffice to say, I’ll be singing the praises of a fantastic event.

 Forgive me if the blog goes quiet for a few days whilst I’m working on that. The day job remains busy and I don’t have a massive amount of spare time. I did want to publish this piece first though.

 Jono has been a friend for a number of years. He’s a man to know in Leicester with his finger in many pies. I don’t know much about studios but friends with more expertise than I’ve got tell me that his studio (Yellowbean) is one of the best-equipped and supportive across the Midlands. Jono sings in a Madness tribute band, Gladness; he has the trust and ear of Dean Jackson, the excellent BBC Introducing DJ for the East Midlands (who I once blogged about here). Every year, he organises a fab skiing trip for mates (I went one year and, in truth, struggled on the slopes). Jono’s an avid Leicester City FC fan and a very friendly and sociable guy. In truth, he’s one of the good people on this planet and I ought to drink beer with him more than I do.

 So, when a stranger gets in touch with you saying that they’re a friend of Jono’s and he’s sent them your way, you sit up and listen.

(To find out more about that stranger click on page 2)