Tuesday, June 30, 2009

End Of Season

As the regular football came to a close with England U21's being battered by the German's - so did FC Lokomotiv's first foray into competitive football with a battling 2-1 defeat at the hands of champion's Richmond Rovers.

Solid and good fun season all round, we finished 8th out of a league of 11 and put in some good performances and I'm sure we'll do well next season that starts in a few weeks!

For now though, the break is for our World Cup - BSM 5-a-side on Sunday. We can't wait!

Soundtrack to this post: Blue Roses, Rock Plaza Central


Blogger / Blogspot seems to be going mental over an error message that stops people posting new updates which stopped me posting all yesterday which was a right bugger

Found a way round it for now, by emailing a post in and then editing it in the main post section so it conforms to everything else. Maybe this blog will help someone else... we'll see

Soundtrack to this post: Sunset Rubdown

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Mercury Music Prize 2009

Yesterday NME and numerous others published a selection of odds for this years Mercury Music Prize, and the 'tipping' world went into meltdown. And who am I to buck the trend - there's something intriguing about the composition and perspective winners of said prize. View said list of odds HERE

Here's some thoughts from the whiskas camp. Check out my thoughts on the matter last year HERE

This year is the year of the female solo artist, with Little Boots, La Roux, Bat For Lashes, Lily Allen and Florence & The Machine all in with a shout for the overall prize

Florence seems to be the most media praised, so I'd expect that to get in, I also have a feeling Ms Allen may get in if she stays out of the media limelight. Her proximity to winning 2 years ago, may count against Bat For Lashes

It would be ace to see wild card Blue Roses (Shipley's Laura Groves) in the shortlist, but I suspect she would be one too many female solo artists, while I also expect her label to be too busy pushing Friendly Fires and The Horrors to give her the media 'face' time she'd need. Those later two though, should be among the strong favourites for my money

Other local potential wildcard Grammatics have been present on the latest list of odds, which I'd see as massively encouraging, Alongside Fanfarlo and The Leisure Society, they may provide one genuine independent act in the shortlist - the latter, Ivor Novello in hand, might have a real chance of making the short list. If Beggars didn't have so many priorities you could probably add Broken Records to that list

As for the winner, past form dictates that this year's winner will come from leftfield, and The Bug may be the one - although if you'd predict any band in Britain to "do an Elbow" it would be Doves

Other names worth a mention are The Noisettes, who I think will make the shortlist, as well as Pet Shop Boys for the well recieved 'come back' (did they actually go away?). Patrick Wolf would add to the eclectism of the list, while Red Light Company may make a less bombastic mainstream inconclusion than White Lies. Neither can obviously shake a stick at Kasabian who will bump up the mainstream quota in lieu of a Coldplay, Oasis etcetera. The Enemy better not be anywhere near the list

The Maccabees, Jack Penate, Marmaduke Duke would all be worthwhile inclusion of the list, but I suspect they will fall slightly between "genuinely exciting and different" and "mainstream and popular." Glasvegas? Maximo Park? Paulo Nutini? Prodigy? Bloc Party?

It's hard to predict the 12, as there's a few slots that could be filled by numerous capable artists - aka too many indentikit artists! There's no fun without a prediction though, so here's my 12, with a proviso that at least one band will come completely out of leftfield

Florence & The Machine
The Noisettes
The Bug
The Leisure Society
The Horrors
Friendly Fires
Lily Allen
A Seb Rochefort Jazz Band
An unheard of folk band (possibly the new Seth Lakeman)
A band with a classical tinge

Having changed that list numerous times, I concede - I've no idea. I find it hard to imagine no White Lies or La Roux / Little Boots. But the above seems to sit nicely

For the diary, nominee's are announced on July 21st, with the winner revealed on September 8th. As usual if we were in the US, the answer would be a simple two way tie between Grizzly Bear & Animal Collective. Alas, we are not

Soundtrack to this post: Sunset Rubdown

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

FC Lokomotv / BSM 5-a-side

So, it's that time of year again, when renowned independent label Big Scary Monsters hosts it's annual 5-a-side football competition

Since last year's competition, FC Lokomotiv have been slugging week in week out in a Football Mundial 6-a-side league - the season finishing this coming Monday with a dead rubber against the champions. We're guaranteed a respectable 8th placed finish.

The core of last year's team (pictured above), will be the same - Geoff 'Poo Poo' Punshon has hung his gloves up for the last time, and so regular keeper Fezz 'The Cat' Phelan will be between the sticks. Brudenell Social Club, Nation Of Shopkeepers / Good Form Club, I Like Trains and Forward Russia will be just some of the northern institutions representing, aiming to better our semi final appearance last year

The tournament takes place at The Linford Christie Sport Centre, Wormwood Scrubs, London. Follow the build-up on the official website HERE

Soundtrack to this post: Wimbledon

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Saturday Night

Last night I had a rare 'night off' - and the choice of gigs and bands to go and see was quite something. Lots of bands I've mentioned on here before, all doing well for themselves and all a delight to go and see. 

My gig of choice, ended up being Ellen & The Escapades playing the Our City, Our Music launch, followed by popping in at Die Video Die playing the Grain Division's 4th Birthday Party. Unfortunately, I'm a bit too wet to stay out late, so that was 'it' for me.

But things are busy and involved in Leeds. Other options tonight, included watching Yonderboy at The Library (c/o Brew Records), Mi Mye bandmates Middleman at local haunt The Cardigan Arms and over in Bradford, Johnny Foreigner, Just Handshakes (We're British) and a large supporting cast were playing a charity all-dayer

That familar names, consistently playing around town at exciting line ups, cooperating and playing together, with rumours of split singles, cross supporting - well, it all warms the cockles. 

Soundtrack to this post: 20/20 World Cup Final

Friday, June 19, 2009

Bloc Party - One More Chance

Bloc Party's new single got it's first airplay on Zane Lowe / Radio 1 last night. I'm just listening back right now. The first 10 seconds are utterly ridiculous, but as the song goes on, I don't find it half as bad as I thought I would do from that initial intro.

To explain where I'm coming from, I used to really like Bloc Party. In former incarnations, we played with them, and I was lucky enough to see a few early gigs in small venues. The first album I liked, but I thought the album didn't flow too well. The second album felt like a mess, and I honestly didn't get along with a lot of it. By the time Flux & then Mercury came out, I'd stopped listening out for what they were doing next. I haven't even the 3rd album.

I honestly don't get the band, and more to the point, their infatuation with experimentation in the production of their songs. The odd thing about this song, is that it sounds like there's a good song in there! Unlike Mercury which was just a complete mess. Strip away the bad midi piano and added bells and whistles from the drums, it'd probably sound pretty good. The comparatively stripped back and restrained chorus holds it's own, and benefits from these facets. Why the song as a whole sounds like some mid-90's throwback experiment is anyone's guess.

So in conclusion, ignore the wierd piano - the new Bloc Party single might be the best thing they've done for quite a while. If this was their One More Chance, they might just have grasped it [sorry]

*due respect to It's Getting Boring By The Sea for hosting my intial discovery*

Soundtrack to this post: Bloc Party interspersed with Royksopp

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Mi Mye - The Last

This is the video for Mi Mye's single The Last - released in March 2009. I wanted to include this, as I love it - it is the easiest one I've ever been involved in, and was a lot of fun!

The Last is still available from the Mi Mye Myspace and the Trash Aesthetics website


Soundtrack to this post: Mastodon - Crack The Skye

Rock Plaza Central

Rock Plaza Central first came to my attention with their last album, 2006's Are We Not Horses - an amazing concept album about being resurrected as a Steel Horse, witnessing an apocalyptic battle between humans and angels, ending with a realisation you've picked the wrong side. At least that's what I think it's on about. 

They are of course Canadian, and are a many membered beast - although as far as I can tell don't seem to share members with any other notable bands. They sound Canadian, with a heavy dose of 'influence' from the Elephant 6 way of thinking. The new album …At The Moment Of Our Most Needing Or If Only They Could Turn Around, They Would Know They Weren't Alone, seems to indivualise their sound even more, with an even greater array of instruments at their disposal. Unfortunately this new album is only released in USA & Canada at the moment, but I'm pleased to have found it on Spotify today:

RPC seem to exist outside of the modern structure of bands, Are We Not Horses was released without a record label, alongside ring leader Chris Eaton's literary 'career' with 2 books published. The Inactivist is witty look at activism and capitalism, while The Grammar Architect is supposedly a re-telling of Hardy's A Pair Of Blue Eyes which I've yet to crack open. 

I cannot lay claim to their discovery, as it's one of those bands my father managed to pick out from nowhere. And grateful I am too! They had a UK tour lined up last July, but postponed to finish the latest album. Hopefully they will put sometime aside for us in the future

Soundtrack to this post: Phoenix / Royksopp

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Mi Mye / Duels

I spent a bit of time writing a few of these blogs the other day, and have been putting them out into the world gradually ever since. Today feels a bit odd, as at just coming up to 2pm, I have already been up for about 12 hours, having witnessed mine and my girlfriend's car being stolen with my very eyes infront of our house. A nice end to the week finishing off bits and bobs in the studio has turned into this, a mess of insurance, locksmiths, police and numerous other incidentals

But life must go on, and there's not much more I can do right - one thing I can do is keep churning out the blogs.

On a personal making music note (of which more to come), Mi Mye and Duels have been busy the last few months, while I've been crap at updating this here blog

MI MYE - the band of Jamie Lockhart & friends, featuring me, I guess 80% of the time on guitar? I am 100% on our recent single though! Entitled The Last, we made an awesome video, below, and were lucky enough to play some really fun gigs around it's release in April / May, including a ridiculous sold out room at the Brudenell for Live At Leeds. Preperations for a new single "In The Morning" are on-going, including a photo shoot where the band dressed up as cactus. Yep.

Photos from Live At Leeds HERE

DUELS also played at Live At Leeds - the first and so far only gig with myself included! At the minute we are beavering away writing Duels III, which is going well and sounding tasty, with a rich selection of sounds and rhythms. There probably won't be any more gigs until the majority if the album is at least written, but if anything happens you'll about it on the website first.

Photos from Live At Leeds HERE

Soundtrack to this post: Arrested Development for some light relief

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Die Video Die / Recording

As mentioned previously, at the start of the year I began recording some songs/demo's for Die Video Die (with a pop arrow through the heart). Well, I'm pleased to say after a (very long) break (for the aforementioned degree commitments), we finally finished two songs last week. The band are currently planning a release 'scenario' for the songs, so hopefully they'll escape to the greater world in good time

Before these demo's, keen and observant readers may recall me recording some tracks for The ABC Club. These were an experiment in nearly every shape and form, and for numerous issues remain to all intent and purpose unfinished. However, we should be going into finish them off in the next month, time/travel/location permitting!

And the exciting news is there is more recording to come from me in all shapes and forms over the coming weeks and months, and I hope to keep the blog upto date with what I'm getting up to

Soundtrack to this post: Honour Before Glory demos

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Leeds's annual premier Futuresound competition / showcase has been announced, and there's a lot of great bands I've mentioned on this here blog that are involved. It's something of a battle of the bands, but more simply is a showcase of new Leeds' bands, six of which will end up playing Leeds Festival. Historically this was the only way to get on the festival, before BBC felt it had to patronise independent bands through it's 'Introducing' brand (ooh, is that another blog post on it's own?).

Anyway, the full list of bands, along with a humorous discussion of it's announcement can be found HERE

Some kind of prediction of the 'winners' is customary, with my two penneth including:

with The Broadcast Society, Milk White White Teeth, Last Gang, Just Handshakes (We're British), Benjamin Wetherll, Olfar, Holy State, Hey Sholay all in with a shout. Sorry, that's practically half the field I guess!

Since writing this however, a couple of assumptions have been blown out of the water, and possibly a few more favourites might make "the 6". Prizes for guessing the tenuous link to the image

Soundtrack to this post: New Yonderboy demos / studio sounds

Monday, June 8, 2009

Ellen & The Escapades

Ahh, how the blog world can escape from you. Apologies to anyone still following the blog for the lack of anything interesting. I have found twitter a great outlet from an immediacy point of view, but I'm hoping to kick start this again, as I have a couple of interesting projects underway. First though a recap of somethings I've been upto:

Throughout some of the last few months I've been helping a band called Ellen & The Escapades, the result of which is partly some cool videos we shot to introduce them to "the world.' They released a single "Without You" a couple of weeks ago, and launched with a stunning gig at Leeds Holy Trinity Church - seriously one of the best gigs from a 'local' band I have seen for many a year.

The reason my helping the band manifested itself in these videos, was to fulfill obligations for a Masters degree I'm currently undertaken. Without wanting to sound pompous or just like a plain idiot, I've enjoyed working with a few 'educational' institutes over the last few years, promoting an awareness of doing things for yourself in line with what we did with DTTR and the Russia. This last year I've had the opportunity to get involved on the learning side, which has been fun, and I'm hoping they'll be a more to come on both sides, as I'm getting a bit 'involved'

Soundtrack to this post: Will Oldham 'radio'