Hot Feet – Sedation

 Back from a great time at the Spring Bank Holiday Off The Tracks. A full review will appear on eFestivals this week once I’ve recovered enough to write it up. I tried to blog from there but couldn’t get a good enough signal to allow for uploading. Here’s something I wrote yesterday (Sunday) morning…

 

I’ve returned to my car to survey the lie of the land. The grass is soggy;puddles sit on the surface suggesting it could be a slipping and sliding affair to get out of this car park.

From elsewhere, the roar of Super Bikes has just kicked in again. The thunderous throttling hum has been a constant this weekend though it has sometimes been drowned out by low flying planes about to land and mostly been hidden by the live music on offer. 

I am here at Off The Tracks. My belly aches suggesting that one of the 80 real ales lives on inside me (Just to clarify, I didn’t have 80) and blue sky is trying to break out from behind the cloud. My hands are no longer cold. An extra layer of socks are keeping my feet warm.

 

But my feet aren’t hot. I’d go as far as suggesting that the only Hot Feet here yesterday were the band of that name from Stroud who entertained from a threshing barn. Hot Feet opened up an early evening session. Punters were still feeling the effects of the hog roast, the incredible, electric, storm that left everybody rushing for cover and a break for beer so Hot Feet’s languishing folk-fuelled laments hit a sweet spot.

I sat on a bench towards the front and marvelled at their display. The drunken, bumbling compere introduced this band as one with the best female vocalist we’d see all weekend. Marianne certainly did impress. A voice, fragile and pure, yet with a hint of rural ruddiness. These are songs rooted in farmyard barn simplicity that break out into urban sprawls of sound. 

And I find it rather charming. They’re apparently playing at Wychwood next weekend, another festival I’m reviewing. My mind is made up that I’ll see them there again. No cold feet from these quarters. 

 

 

Liverpool Sound City – Erotic Market

A week today, I’ll be heading to Liverpool for Sound City. I went last year and had an absolute ball. It was my first festival of an epic summer in which I reviewed eighteen for eFestivals. This summer won’t be quite as crazy but it’s still going to be busy.

 There are hundreds of bands that play over the Sound City weekend (Thursday to Saturday). It’s pure bliss for a new music fanatic to have such quantity and quality across 25 venues in one city – though agonising to deal with the clashes. Many of these acts harbour ambitions to be the next big thing – and some will actually break through. Picking which ones is a task that I’m not going to indulge in – my ears aren’t tuned that way – but you could stick a pin in the donkey’s arse (or a map of Liverpool) and quality would bounce back at you from whatever of the city venues you found yourself in.

In the build up to next Thursday, I plan to write about a few of the acts who have caught my eye – this won’t be your Kodaline, Clean Bandit, Hold Steady or Jagwar Ma’s who, whilst exciting live, are more known than most. This’ll be the acts that really might have otherwise passed you by. It won’t be a daily feature – for I’ve also got a Micah P Hinson gig to preview and another Leicester showcase to feature – it’s more of a finger into the bag of sherbet.

Erotic Market are the first act to be playing at Nation on Thursday evening. They take to the stage at 8PM. I’m not a Liverpool local but I understand that Nation is a club, a big warehouse like shed that’s home to the ‘Cream’ nightclubbing brand. It’s a new venue for Liverpool Sound City.

Erotic Market are a French duo formed in May 2012 by Marine Pellegrini and Lucas Garnier. Both musicians for more than 10 years, they perfected their skills in contemporary jazz bands and a first joint venture, N’Relax.

A few weeks ago, I was sent a preview of their forthcoming album, ‘Blahblahrians’.  It’s a chewy meat of a record. You’ve got to masticate away at the gristle to get to the tenderness. I’m not entirely sure that I’m there yet. The obvious comparison to draw is to M.I.A. but to do so potentially limits the scope of this record. On first listen, one song merges into another with little respite – but, on further investigation, the subtleties, intelligence and humour start to come to the fore. With titles like ‘retro retardo’, ‘I want to be some booty’, ‘Clitacasm’ and ‘Weird arabic stuff’, it’s worth perservering with. I’ve got no doubt that these are tunes that take on a whole new angle when played live – which is why Erotic Market are high on my schedule.

 Still need convincing?  I’ll end with a couple of extracts from their press release. Surely something is lost in translation here? Or perhaps it’s not? 

Grasping Erotic Market music is like that strange, penetrating dream of unknown music which is, each time, neither quite the same one nor a different one. It’s like saying again that beauty is always strange and is the magnificent essence of genuineness. It’s the odd, elusive feeling of remembering those tunes without knowing them at all, recognizing the vigorous rock garage music, the bright triturations of electro, the groove of hiphop…’

‘Erotic Market is a go fast. A racing car that designs its own routes, spinning past illogical scenery, between sensual, suggestive eroticism and a clearcut, flashy market. A space where we can feel in turn fully within and without this world. An allegory of contemporary life that often tosses us from the one to the other end.’ 

 I prefer to call it a chewy meat. 

Glastonbury ticket balance day

A very slight diversion from writing about bands and songs today.

Yesterday, I paid the balance on my Glastonbury festival ticket. I’d been lucky to get one when they went on sale back last year. Today is the last day in the week long window you’re given to turn your deposit into a real ticket. 

I’ve been to Glastonbury every year it’s happened since 2003. I’m sure that 2014 will still provide a lovely time in a field but, for me, confirming my ticket holds much less excitement than it did back then. Yes, I’m older. Yes, there are smaller festivals such as the wonderful Shambala that I look forward to even more and yes, there’s less on the initial line up announcements that is a must-must see for me (though a Sunday afternoon with Dolly Parton promises to provide lifelong memories). 

Perhaps, this’ll be the year when I finally allow myself time to breathe at Glastonbury. Perhaps, I’ll no longer feel the need to rush from stage to stage to watch the next big thing who by the next year is a second album flop. Perhaps, I’ll come home again saying that it was ‘the best I’ve ever been to’. (My standard recourse save for 2007 when a flagpole thrust in my eye by a drunken teen just compounded the misery brought on by five days of rain).

This song by the fabulous Cosmic Rough Riders really does sum up what it used to be like. It’s my favourite song mentioning Glastonbury. I couldn’t find it on soundcloud so we’ll have to listen via youtube. Have a happy Monday all.

Metronomy Interview

 

I’ll be using this blog to write about all sorts of music related things. I have an outlet for my gig  and festival reviews at egigs.co.uk and efestivals.co.uk but I don’t have anywhere to write about the great new music I hear.

Sometimes, a band or a press agency sends me a link to a fantastic piece of music and I want to share it. This seems like a great way to so that…

Anyway, whilst that’s all developing, here’s my recently published interview with Metronomy at the 6 music festival. Their new album ‘Love Letters’ really is a stunner….

 Metronomy Interview