Monday, 24 June 2013

Midlands music scene + We Show Up On RadaR

Lately I've really been rooting through the musical talent of local bands around the East Midlands, partly for The Mic purposes, partly because I'm looking to put on some events sometime in the future, but mainly because it's a wondrous world I'd never quite looked at before. As a kid, reading Kerrang! and NME religiously, you'd always hear about the famous Rock City in all its glory, but having moved to Nottingham nine years later, the buzz of the Midlands music scene had seemed to have passed its heyday.

But really, I was wrong. The monopoly of major gig venues around the country have hit independent music venues like Rock City hard, and so although they're not plastered over every major tour poster like I remember back in 2005, what they're doing and the music they do bring in is fantastic. There's also a huge array of things going on around here, the Midlands is full of people just doing stuff, with one of the biggest population of skateboarders in the UK, tons of beautiful and quirky independent cafes, venues, shops and stalls powering their way through tough times and inevitably hundreds of appreciated but fantastic artists.

You hear talk of the London, Manchester and Liverpool music scenes all the time, but delve in a little deeper, a little more centrally, and you'll find some gems, I promise you. Here's a little taster by We Show Up On RadaR, an absolutely beautiful song called I'll be a Ghost which I just can't get enough of. WSUOR are playing a few shows come Autumn, so check them out when you can.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Quick thought: Eminem

In college I had the most wonderful, eccentric and intelligent teacher for Classics called Bob, well versed in everything from Homer to Wilde. He swore blind that Eminem was the greatest poet of the modern day. Olden but a gooden, possibly the greatest. Who doesn't think Stan is incredible?

Saturday, 22 June 2013

San Cisco Interview

Originally posted on

A little while ago I caught up with Australian alt pop band San Cisco after their gig at Nottingham's Rock City to chat touring, getting home and their influences.

Hey! You played a great show at Rock City the other day. You haven't been long gone from the UK though, how's touring and the UK treating you? How does it compare to playing back home?

Our last tour with Darwin Deez was a lot of fun. We had some great shows and traveled places we have never been before. It is super interesting to see the different music scenes going on in the various cities.

What's the music scene like in Fremantle? Did it help shape the kind of music San Cisco create?

Fremantle is a great place to go home to. Awesome beaches, not too many people and there is plenty of space to live. There definitely is a very special music scene going on there. a lot of super cool sounds and music is being made. All of this would definitely have contributed to the sounds we create.

Who are your musical influences? Do you all love the same kind of bands or do you have different backgrounds?

We have all grown up on different kinds of music which is largely what has contributed to the sound we have developed ourselves. Me personally, I used to listen to a lot of Beatles (still do) and am obviously influenced by all of the classics. More recently, there is always new bands and records that we listen to in the tour busses and hotels. Really like the new Daft Punk record.

Something that people seem to really love about you is how danceable, upbeat and catchy you are, and your latest single Fred Astaire is a perfect example of that. It's a real earworm. How do you go about writing something like that?

I think generally, we don't chase these things when song writing. It is just part of a lot of the music that we love to listen to and make. we are not really the kind of people who write lengthy ballads or slower songs. I guess its just part of what we like to do.

What are your musical highlights of the year so far?

A few months ago we did a US tour with the Vaccines. That was a great way to see a lot of awesome venues throughout the US. I also feel like we learnt a lot from them as a band.

Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions for us! What should readers expect of San Cisco for the rest of 2013?

We have a lot of touring coming up which will probably take up most of our time for the rest of this year. Also it would be good if we could fit some solid home time in to start working on new material.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Sinead O'Connor - Jerusalem

I stumbled across this video of Sinead O'Connor performing Jerusalem on her Value of Ignorance tour, London 1988. Have I ever mentioned that Lion and the Cobra is probably one of the most wonderful albums ever created? I'm a little personally jealous that my Dad was at this very gig. The genuine emotion in this '88 performance is something you don't always see with artists and all the while her voice is uncompromised and she's still astonishingly beautiful. Enjoy.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Introducing: The Cheap Thrills

Picking my way through Twitter today, I came across this Liverpudlian band called The Cheap Thrills. It's youthful, energetic rock & roll which doesn't shy away from being something you can really dance to. Their songs are tight and their sound is immediately compelling - to much joy they've put up a whole load of songs on their SoundCloud account and I've been listening to them for a good hour. The Cheap Thrills are more rough round the edges and  than your standard indie band, and that little bit harder. There's something of the Buzzcocks about them, and The Strokes, as they take on a garage-rock vibe and produced some really good tunes. A band to keep your eye on, I think.

Personal favourites are Who Fell Down The Stairs? and Justice.