Saturday 26 November 2011

Miaoux Miaoux Album Preview - Captain's Rest 23/11/11

I've been singing Miaoux Miaoux's praises for a good 18-months now. That should be no surprise considering I manage the unique talents that Julian Corrie possesses, but in truth I wouldn't be doing that if I wasn't a fan first and foremost.

Julian has been working on an album for almost a year now. I've heard bits and pieces during visits to the studio and I long for it to be finished and released as I know it will really move him on to another level.

Wednesday night saw Miaoux Miaoux take his live performance to another level, by playing an Album Preview with special guests joining him on stage to form a live band. Paul Carlin (Dananananakroyd) was on drums, Kris Ferguson (Mitchell Museum) was on bass, Anna Miles (Maple Leaves) was on vocals and the rapper Profisee joined for one song.

Photo by Euan Robertson, RADAR

Jonnie Common was support for the night, and a fine one at that. Elements of the Beta Band and Lemon Jelly were evident, with Jonnie joined on stage by a drummer while he utilised all manner of electronic gadgets to create some beautiful music - well worth checking out.

Miaoux Miaoux strode on to the stage and burst into a garage guitar pop song, catching some of the audience by surprise. There were to be quite a few surprises through the night as Julian showed how easily he could switch from guitar pop to electro, techno and hip hop. The album is going to cross musical boundaries.

Highlights? Well the whole show was one big highlight. 'Guided by Voices' (possibly a working title) was brilliant, more guitar pop and a delicious vocal hook shared with Anna. 'Virtual Fighter' was catchy as fuck with Julian and Anna dueting before Profisee came in and took the song off on a glorious tangent. It reminded me of the Gorillaz, the pop hooks mixed in with hip hop.

Profisee was outstanding, commanding attention and looking cool as fuck. I met him for the first time on the night and he is a lovely guy. I look forward to seeing him perform a full show in the future.

Anna Miles has an effortlessly beautiful voice and throughout the show she dovetailed brilliantly with Julian, backing him up, singing alongside him and on the poptastic 'Is It A Dream?' she got to take centre stage. This is surely a summer smash for 2012.

Julian then cleared the stage to perform his double a-side 'Cloud Computer' into 'Hey Sound'. The latter was teased out into an extended version which then went into an improvised techno jam for a good ten to fifteen minutes.

The band rejoined Julian for my favourite Miaoux Miaoux song, the epic 'Stop The Clocks'. I heard a very early demo for this, a picked guitar riff, a gentle vocal melody that was just a guide with words still to be chosen.

The riff is now backed by a simple but huge beat, the lyrics and Julian's voice send shivers down my spine every time I hear it and when it morphs into an electro gem it gets people dancing. I think I can safely say that it will be my song of 2012.

'Snow' finished the show, with Julian thanking the crowd and all his guests. The crowd thanked him back with huge applause.

Bring on the album!

Friday 25 November 2011

Five for Friday 25/11/11

I'm going out to see Stevie Jackson at King Tuts tonight with my old mate Ian. So I am in the mood for some good tunes to get the weekend started.

We start with this absolute belter of a tune by the Frank Popp Ensemble. I first heard about them when I heard an amazing song 'Hip Teens Don't Wear Blue Jeans' on a compilation. Then I discovered this on another! Sublime!

Next up we have Erland Oye recording under the guise of the Whitest Boy Alive. I love Erland Oye's stuff after discovering him through his work with Royksopp. This is just a little beauty, I love the guitar sounds, especially on the closing instrumental.

Another song with a real groove and a real pop sound is 'Young Folks' by Peter, Bjorn and John. So catchy, so simple, brilliant production, great duet....Haven't heard this in ages. I love when a pure pop song comes out.

At the Bennicassim Festival in 2005 (highly recommended by the way), Lynn and I stumbled across a small tent and the music sucked us in. Hot Chip were playing and we fell in love with them immediately. They may well be my favourite band of the last decade, along with LCD Soundsystem. I'm sure Hot Chip will feature several time on this blog, this tune is great, I love the play on words and Hot Chip's videos are always fab.

One of the best albums I have bought over the last few years is The xx. The songwriting, playing and production combine impeccably. It truly is a brilliant album, if you don't own it, track it down.

This is 'Islands' by The xx.

Friday 18 November 2011

Five for Friday 18/11/11

The weekend is on the near horizon, I am in a good mood.

Here are five songs that will hopefully get you in a good mood too.

We start with the genius of Badly Drawn Boy and 'Silent Sigh'. This guy could pluck a beautiful melody from a rubber band.

We then move on to a remix of the Macca track 'Coming Up by Linus Loves, who co-founded the Glasgow label Breastfed with Mylo to release 'Destroy Rock'n'Roll'.

Talking of Mylo, that was a brilliant album. I hope he gets around to making a follow up, I have heard he has problems with his hearing. That album was everywhere when it came out, pubs, clubs, parties... the graffiti campaign around Glasgow.

We pick up the pace with the sensational remix of the Gossip's classic 'Standing In The Way Of Control' by Soulwax, taking Beth's powerful and passionate vocal and spewing it out on to something that improves on the original.

A definite TUNE with a capital T.

We end with another TUNE, one that I may well have made a T sign with my hands to back in my clubbing days. I remember it being dropped on the terrace at Space in Ibiza when I was out there in 2001. The place just went nuts.

This is Groove Armada with 'Superstylin' from their stupendous album from 2001 'Goodbye Country (Hello Nightclub)'.



Monday 14 November 2011

Fools Gold? - why are so many bands reforming?

Black Sabbath are the latest band to announce a reunion tour. I like Ozzy, he is good fun, I don't think any of them need the money, I wish them well.

The Stone Roses have sold out three nights at Manchester's Heaton Park next summer, the money lies in the promoters account gathering a significant amount of interest. Fans are planning their travel, clothes, booze, drugs and time off work.

Reunions are big bucks for the bands, promoters, merch operators, dealers and pretty much everyone concerned.

They are certainly big bucks for the fans too. Tickets, merch, travel, beer, food, all adds up.

Lets take a quick look at Heaton Park. Without even taking the crazy VIP tickets into account (£199 and £299), the ticket sales will reach almost £12 million.

£12 million!!!! No wonder the Roses look so happy in this picture!

The 'admin charge' or 'booking fee' will be almost £1.5 million (on top of the £12 million).

Hotels, B and B's, pubs and clubs are all going to benefit. There will be programmes, tshirts, swaetshirts, name it.

I haven't even mentioned event sponsorship yet! The Roses could get some cool brands involved (don't bet against Adidas) to make even more money.

Promoters are on to a good thing with reunion's. They know the bands that will shift tens of thousands of tickets, they know when they will make a killing. Blur, Sabbath, Pulp, The Pixies, The Roses.... all bands that people love.....all bands that can make others money.

The current musical scene is full of solo stars, manufactured pop stars and bands that just don't seem to mean as much to people as the bands mentioned above. They all captivated peoples hearts.....en masse, the Roses even changed the look of a generation.

So are we the fools, imparting with our hard earned cash (gold)?

One thing is for sure, the promoters involved in these reunions are no fools.

5 reasons why promoters are chasing bands to reform

1. Demand - The Roses finished on a sour note, the reunion is a chance to change that. Blur had unfinished business, Pulp, The Pixies, Sabbath - they all have huge fan bases that want to see them....and they will pay for it.

2. Sure fire thing - this fan base, the classic bands, the reunion stories about friendships being patched makes for good media and ticket sales.

3. The lack of new bands breaking through that have a significant fan base.

4. The current climate - tickets for festival sales were down in 2011 and that may well continue in 2012. Where are promoters going to make up that shortfall? Reunion tours!

5. The money - at the end of the day, it's all about the benjamins for the majority of promoters.

Blur, Pulp and The Pixies all received huge acclaim for their reunion shows. I hope the Roses do too.

At the end of the day, these reunions are going to make a lot of people happy.....ESPECIALLY PROMOTERS! ;-)

Friday 11 November 2011

5 for Friday 11/11/11

So I'm a little late in buying the new Ryan Adams album.

This is rather lovely...

I am loving this just now, real Massive Attack circa 'Blue Lines' vibe going on

So New Order are playing in London in December. Won't be quite the same without Hooky but they are one of my fave bands of all time. How about 10-minutes of them?

Speaking of fave bands, I do have a ticket for The Roses at Heaton Park next year. I fear the worst and dream of the best.

And I am looking forward to The Lemonheads at Oran Mor in December.

Tuesday 1 November 2011

The Shivers - Beauty

The lovely Lloyd who runs one of the best Scottish blogs under the guise of Peenko is putting on a show at Mono next Monday headlined by the American band The Shivers. Support comes from the excellent Randolph's Leap.

I like Mono, I like Lloyd, I like Randolph's I decided to check out The Shivers who have all of their new album up on their Soundcloud page.

I've yet to digest the album, but the comments at the bottom of the set directed me to a song called 'Beauty' off their debut album 'Charades'. So I decided to check it out and I am glad I did.

The lyrics are below. They are poetic, beautiful, heartfelt and they flow easily.

The production is basic, the music is subtle, sounding live and raw. The vocals are rightly to the fore, as they should be on such a beautiful song. The singers voice is aching, harmonies come in at the end.

This is quite stunning. Exquisite. See you at Mono next Monday if you are going. 

i live off love
i feed off love
i breathe off love
i think of love
i drink of love
i sink in love
and in the middle of the night i need my love
i need to grieve and need to need and be in love
my love is gonna come to me

i feast on love, a beast for love, release my love
you're scared and unprepared for love, don't care my love
cause youre the only woman i've been dreaming of
i swear to god i'm loving you for that
i swear to god i'm making you my wife

and if you ever leave me
i never will be sore
i'll love you 'til you're lonely
then i'll love you some more just before

beauty beauty beauty, there's nobody near me,
there never was
beauty beauty beauty, there's nobody near me,
there never was.