Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tale To Tell - of strings and things.

I'm no longer sure what should surprise me and what should not. I can however still be surprised - and Mummers did it for me.

It wasn't a case of thinking that I wouldn't like it but, equally, it wasn't in the least bit like what I had imagined it to be either. Here they are on the Uncut Arena on Friday. They are also appearing at 'The End Of The Road' in September. Another Brighton-based outfit, the album 'Tale To Tell' was released in 2009; and Londoner Raissa Kahn-Panni's music and lyric actually have much to do with an unhappy year spent as a waitress in Brixton.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I might dispute everything...

It goes without saying that constructive disagreement is the source of all virtue but what I believe to be so is, as likely as not, your poison. My delight was a relatively little known band from South Africa, 'Dear Reader', that however split listener opinion in half...

I'm on the loving side here, as must be quite apparent, but that is not to say that the detractors have no less reason for their opinion other than the fact that they are wrong.

If you don't like them then that's fine by me but here they are anyway.

The current album 'Replace Why With Funny' is just one of many on the list of those that my trip to Latitude has resulted in.

Monday, July 27, 2009

We have stage (and desolation)...

In four days spent with a crowd of thousands the concept of emptiness is perhaps not just improbable but almost unimaginable.
That such preconceptions are totally wrong is possibly one of the best things...

The 'Sunrise Arena', deep in the woods, was quite deserted on Saturday morning.

Back to the barricade: the sound tower on the Obelisk Stage on Friday morning.

A ghostly scene... 12:30 Sunday afternoon in the Uncut Arena.
There were four of us sat chatting, backs against the crowd barrier, looking out at the fifth and sixth persons in a tent that holds about 5750!

Past midnight Sunday @ Latitude 2007.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

That which can only be imagined...

Latitude 2009 had a few flaws and one of them was the line-up on 'The Lake Stage', some of which was not available in the progamme and also thereafter. I hope that this will be sorted next year but that is not to say that it was derelict in 2009...
It was home, on Sunday, to a new artist to whom the epithet 'estrella' could hardly be more appropriate.

Marina and The Diamonds was simply awesome; the band members were very good indeed and Marina had both them and us, the audience, exactly where she wanted --- wrapped around her little finger --- and it didn't hurt one little bit.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Latitude Festival 2009

It is easy to say that it was amazing, because it served up what I wanted in terms of the less well known, but to deny that I was in thrall of some more main-stream acts would equally be a travesty.

Little Boots live on the 'Sunset Stage', Friday 17th July 2009.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

One is just not enough.

I haven't even posted any real thoughts on Latitude 2009 yet but I will do so soon. Suffice it to say that, while it had the occasional and inevitable flaw, it was simply wonderful and so here a few photos to run with just for now.

Ladyhawke live on the Obelisk Stage on Friday afternoon.

Kap Bambino on the Sunset Stage on Friday...
Such good, if rather curious, behaviour would not last very long!

I don't think I can survive 2009 by going to only one festival... and now I don't have to because I'm going to 'The End of the Road' in North Dorset too. Even as the storm builds, a bit of acoustic never did any harm, and this was in the 'Film and Music Tent' last Thursday evening.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

If You Want Mud, You've Got It...

I'm resigned to it and so I'm going to enjoy myself. The first band on the known agenda is tomorrow evening, assuming we are not all swimming, and is one I have mentioned before. As it happens their 'Frozen Heart EP' arrived with me today.

Not remotely like the recording the post-title parodies but one that I anticipate with much enthusiasm.

That's actually just made me think of something quite different:
Gossip are performing at Latitude 2009, so how about an AC/DC cover version?
'Whole Lotta Ditto'. The more you think about it the less you should but the lyric would need little alteration. She could surely do the original Bon Scott vocals proud and it would work alongside 'Standing In The Way Of Control' admirably.

Technical things:
The link to the Bellowhead tour dates and website, to the left of this post, now works as it should. I screwed it up yesterday evening.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Music I Want in 2009 - Part 9 - New European

I'm pondering strategies for a wet weekend at Latitude 2009 but the issues involved are not devolved; the weather is no less my responsibility than it is that of the event organisers and neither of us can blame the other for it. They have contingency plans too and so, even if not ideal, I think it will probably work out OK... Rather than say which acts I'm hoping to see, though I have mentioned a few already, I thought I'd tell you of a few that I won't be seeing because, in so far as I know, they are not playing. It is not criticism, rather curiosity, that got the better of me...

Ray Rumours is the semi-solo project of Ros Murray (Electrelane) and it sounds nothing like their electronic output and this is the second album released under this moniker.
Recorded in St. Martin l'Ardèche, in the autumn and winter of 2007-2008, it is entirely acoustic. It is released on CD by StitchStitch (March 2009) and it available either direct from either of these links or from some independent record stores.

More Scandinavian surprise, this time in the form of ambient folk-electronica from Sweden, comes in the form of the début album 'Aurora'.

The Deer Tracks (2009) - Aurora

And here is another recent release...

Lau are battling with Bellowhead, in press reviews and more, for the crown of best folk-inspired band of 2009 and it is quite obviously a discussion to be had over a couple of pints in the pub(s) of your choice (The Bourne Valley and The Griffin would be mine) but beyond that it means little except to say that we are currently spoiled by such talent and long may it remain so.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Love Tattoo - live

It is hard to say what the most incredible live gig I have ever seen is but this is certainly amongst the top ten or so...

The remarkable band not only played almost all of the 2008 album 'Love Tattoo' but also several impressive new songs that are to appear on the second album which, they also said, is due in January 2010. Come the end everyone was asking random strangers "did I really hear that?" and it is the mark of a gig that, although they were doubtless already high, exceeded everyone's expectations of it.

If I see two sets as good or better than this at Latitude 2009 then I shall regard myself as very fortunate. If I don't I shall not feel hard done-by and doubt that I will come away disappointed.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Life live?

Two venues and five bands in six hours is a good deal however you view it. That it all took place within a fifteen minute walk from home is just a dream scenario. The supposedly showery weather did not materialise for the International Food Event - I had Kenyan fried chicken with spicy accompaniments and, while rather beyond my usual menu choices, it was totally delicious.

The weather was near perfect and the turn-out was quite amazing. The first band was Praying For The Rain and even that couldn't make it happen... The next band, Phantom Limb, could probably invoke a hurricane without warning if they so wished with their unashamed tales of death and despair... and that couldn't do it either.

... but gathered a young following regardless.
This was the final song 'Withering Bones'.

Time to head over to the Cheese & Grain for Acoustic Plus not least because there is not another until September. I got there just in time to hear the last four tracks of the first set:

Ruby Brown live at Acoustic Plus, Frome , Cheese & Grain - 4 July 2009.

Next up, The Rusticles playing energetic cross-genre tunes of their own devising...

and to wind the evening up some funk rock from their début album.

I'll Be On The Common - Port Erin