Monday, November 30, 2009

Three Trapped Tigers

Last Thursday, on a rare free night, I ventured to the Brudenell to see Three Trapped Tigers, who I first mentioned over a year ago. Described as Battles meets Squarepusher in many quarters, and ticking lots of math rock meets f*cked electronica boxes, I was still pretty suprised by the live 'show' - the best, most exciting thing I've seen for a long while.

The ferocity the music was played with, rigidly hooked into mechanical grooves, seemed to sum up to me the evolution of a musical style that can so often lack focus and point of interest. They are not pretenders to anyone, but masters of what others can only try and accomplish. Decide for yourself anyway

Soundtrack to this post: Bear In Heaven, Three Trapped Tigers

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Whiskas Story

As mentioned as a frequent amend-um to talk of studying my Masters degree, I have also been known to partake in the odd guest lecture at LMU and infact a few other educational institutions. Traditionally these have been my anecdotal recollection of how I started Dance To The Radio, and talking about Forward Russia.

In the last few weeks, however, I've been lucky enough to talk on a variety of specific subjects, such as production techniques, label / producer relationships and songwriting. However, I still got wheeled out to talk on what LMU dubbed 'the whiskas story'

The idea behind this lecture, as part of the music industry module, was to give an idea to the students of what you can achieve through building connections, and also that sometimes you need to pursue a variety of different paths to make a living in the music industry. LMU filmed it and stuck it on YouTube - so I thought I'd write a bit more about it and put it in context.

I've never actually thought about what I've been doing, and quite often just doggedly followed a path that I've ended up on, and in hindsight, a lot of things come across a lot more thought out than they were at the time. As I say in the lecture, it isn't telling people how I did something, it's not me bragging about what I've done - it's a story about what I did with a few ideas and some friends I guess

Soundtrack to this post: Johnny Cash

Friday, November 13, 2009


I've been meaning to blog all week, but have lacked sufficient time and inspiration to post something truely worthwhile. And lo - I come to muse and notice it's the 100th post!!

First -
THE NEWS. Am very confused to be trying to operate in the real world, though that is currently manifesting itself in recording bands which is good. Some good stuff coming up when I get chance to finish it!

I'm enjoying being in the studio, but need to find time to work on some new Honour Before Glory stuff, and I keep missing some really good gigs. Tonight, I'm missing Dinosaur Pile-Up + Eureka Machines, La Roux (feat. Will Bowerman) and pAperchAse + Vessels. My appearences for FC Lokomotiv have also been severely reduced. Anwyay, I said enough of the self-indulgence

Secondly, this blog has really turned self-indulgent, so it seemed the right time to plug some NEW MUSIC I'm enjoying:


This is no bullshit "best band in Leeds" / "these guys are going to be huge" post, but this is a band who are more than worthy of your attention.

The story goes, I was sat in the bar of the Brudenell and was convinced I was listening to a big headline band soundcheck, only to realise later it was these boys opening up an alldayer. I knew the songs cos they're not precious about their digital media and have most of their recorded tracks up for download on their blog. Cool eh?


I'm never quite sure about Tegan & Sara, but damn I do enjoy listening to it. Just the right mix of pop, shoegaze, riffs and tune-age. New album Sainthood 'blew up' in their native Canada I do believe

Soundtrack to this post: Tegan & Sara

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Next... Damien Jurado & More

Sorry, this blog isn't 'supposed' to turn into one completely about Honour Before Glory, but it's the centre of musical universe at the minute... well just about. I hit the studio next week with two new band, more of which soon

First thing for Honour Before Glory is a gig at Brudenell Social Club supporting the wonderful
DAMIEN JURADO, mentioned previously on this blog here. The gig is, as I write tonight - Wed 4th Nov 2009. So maybe of more significance in the past tense

But this may be the last time I play solo in the style I've worked out that enabled me to go on tour with Sometree. Now that is complete, the next time I do something I can hopefully work on collaborations with people who've contributed to the recordings I've done. This will be better I'm pretty sure! And a step to 'putting the band together' - something that I'll be trying to do when I go into the studio to record the next set of songs, which I've already started demo-ing. For now though, I have to have one eye on the real world

Soundtrack to this post: Tegan & Sara

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Honour Before Glory in Germany - Day 8/9

I'm back home in England now, trying to establish something resembling normality. The last few days in Germany were just as fun as everything else. It is nice to be home, but I will miss the Sometree guys!

I left the story in Regensbourg after zero sleep and a drive to Dortmund. I wasn't playing this night as it was a Visions Magazine Anniversary Party. This also meant Sometree were supporting the awesome Robocop Kraus, and lots of other things were happening, including Biffy Clyro play across time

So not much to tell, as I generally felt like a spare part for the initial part of the day before heading off to go watch Biffy, who'd flown in from Dublin for the show. It's always interesting to see bands you know well play to a foreign audeience, and the crowd went crazy for the Puzzle / Revolutions heavy set. Afterwards, I suprised the guys back stage, leading to a ridiculous backstory explanation - like, what the hell I was doing in Dortmund. Good to see them and their's though!

But unfortunately I managed to miss Sometree who played one of the best shows on the tour apparently. Had a relatively early night at our rock star filled hotel, and up for another long drive to Leipzig, fully refreshed after an awesome shower experience (you know, great temperature controls, really powerful)

With all the driving over the last few days, I'd finally got to working on some new bits and bobs for songs I've been playing acoustically to record 'fuller' versions in the studio. Was good, and hopefully I'll get in to the studio again by the end of the year

Anyway, Leipzig. Today we were joined by Tobias aka And The Golden Choir. With an early curfew, time was pushed, and we had to bail on watching Schalke v Leverkusen. The gig was great though, and everyone tore it up afterwards. 'Helium Man' made an appearence, people dissapeared, we danced to bad metal, and at somepoint we managed to make it back to the hotel

The next morning we bid a tearful, no, hungover, farewell. Sometree & Tobias headed off to Cologne, while I wandered wearily for some food before the trip to Berlin and home. Thanks guys! It was hella fun. We should do it again sometime

Soundtrack to this post: Sometree, And The Golden Choir, Throwing Muses