Thursday, 2 June 2011


One of my favourite London bands, Fair Ohs are releasing their debut album 'Everything is Dancing' on June 6th, just in time to soundtrack your mega summer dance bbq parties and to bang out nice and loud on road trips...which is exactly what I shall be doing.
Here's the video for their single which is awesome...they are awesome...go pre-order now.

that is all.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

House of St.Junior

Check out this great new venture from two friends of mine, such a lovely idea...postcards in ready made frames which you can post just as they are and make great little keepsakes for your nearest and dearest.

Some examples and a little description in case you haven't quite got your head around it yet...

House of St. Junior have teamed up with their favourite artists to produce an ongoing series of memorable, limited edition collectable postframes. 100% artwork, 100% postcard; Keep it all to yourself, or post it on to a friend! We are already working on the next series so keep checking in for new postframe prints!

The House of St. Junior Postframe itself is made up of a 162 x 114mm piece of artwork, encased in a sheet of shatterproof lightweight perspex, with a black matte foam frame. Every Postframe is made up by our very own hands and adorned with the St.Junior logo. Frames arrive at your door sealed in an envelope ready for you to post or hang.

Limited Edition Originals are also available.


Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Alasdair Gray

I wanted to do a quick post for my own benefit really. I've been reading 'Lanark' by Alasdair Gray for about 4 months now. I'm not a particularly slow reader, in fact I've been flying through it because its so interesting, which is why it's taking me so long...going back and re reading several passages.

There are complex themes, a lot of which are centered around religion but the format and general plot are somewhat indescribable so I would recommend giving it a read.

Also it's on The Observers Top 100 novels to read list.

Gray produced several illustrations for the novel and on further research I found some more great stuff. I LOVE that his work has spanned so many decades and therefore won't have been influenced by the current saturation of the illustrative scene, with so much material looking the same and each theme and style being indistinguishable from the next.

Here's a link to his blog:

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

My Lomography

I've had a new art direction idea that will take inspiration from this series of Lomography photographs I took with a Diana F+ when I lived in London. I'm not on Facebook so this is as good a place as any to store them just in case my lack of backing up comes back to bite me.

Some are double exposed and others I think are even more so...there's even some traces of the frame number at the side of the film in one of them.

Hampstead Heath Summer '10 (you can vaguely see the massive octopus 3D kite in the distance)

Lisa and I on Hampstead Heath, Summer '10

Alice and Lisa, London Fields Summer '10

Tiger and Lisa, Shoreditch Summer '10

Shoreditch Summer '10

Ed Lilo, Dalston Summer '10

From the roof of Ian's flat, Hackney Road Summer '10

From the roof of Ian's flat, Hackney Road Summer '10

Luke and Marcus, Columbia Road Summer '10

Lisa and Ian, London Fields Summer '10

Tiger, London Fields Summer '10

Lisa and I, London Fields Summer '10

London Fields Summer '10

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Dum Dum Girls Interview

I interviewed Dee Dee from the Dum Dum Girls at Bardens Boudoir in Dalston a wee while ago and just found it again so this is for you...if you like that kind of thing;

There is no doubt that Dum Dum Girls are hot property right now in more ways than one and judging by the crowd who have turned out to watch them play on a damp weeknight at Bardens Boudoir in Dalston, they are firmly on the new music radar. Fresh off a plane from the USA, despite their lingering jet lag, they don’t disappoint. Supported by The Human Race and Dalston based Sub Pop label mates Male Bonding, their set goes down well and this all female group’s stylistic aesthetic certainly holds the attention of the (nearly) all male crowd. Their rich sound, lead by singer Dee Dee Penny’s haunting reverb vocals fill the basement and despite the very controlled audience response, the most recognisable songs in their set such as Bright Futures and Jail La La get the most enthusiastic head nods of the night. I catch Dee Dee Penny as she comes off stage after packing up their gear and corner her for a quick chat.

So you’ve timed it pretty well coming to London in time for Fashion Week, have you been able to make it to any shows?

I wish that I had but we’ve had no spare time since we got here. I really like an American designer called Katie Gallagher and I think she may be here tonight, I saw her running around in New York like crazy last week. She was in the same issue of Elle magazine as us so it would be nice to see her. Her designs are all, like, leather and all black, really amazing stuff.

I’ve noticed that black seems to be your colour of choice, coming from L.A. in the sunshine state is that not a bit of an unusual choice?

I’ve worn all black since I was about 12 or 13, I tried some neutrals once it I just felt funny in colours. I always feel weird if I’m not all in black.

A lot of people name checked the Dum Dum girls as the “ones to watch” for 2010, what are your own hot tips for 2010?

I love a lot of my friend’s bands and there are three bands in L.A. at the minute that I love. West Coast, Night Jewel and Pearl Harbour.

Do you have a favourite all time album that no matter how many times you listen to it you never get sick of?

Yea, the first Guns and Roses album! But there are a lot of classic British bands I like too, like Oasis.

British people love a good H.B.O series, is there anything that you simply can’t miss an episode of?

Lets, see, I think the most recent one is the Wire, I love McNulty, he’s British isn’t he? Yea, I love that show.

Where abouts in London are you staying and can you recommend any particularly good hot spots that you like to visit when you’re here?

We’re staying in Camden. The last time I was there was on my honeymoon and I was pretty much drunk the whole time, we spent a lot of time in ‘the good mixer’ but I think we only went there because we were told that’s where hipster people hang out, haha!

Oh, so you’re married? That’ll disappoint the mainly all male crowd tonight!

Yea, I’ve been married for about three years now, my husband is in a band called The Crocodiles, we don’t see each other very often at the minute, but it’s something you’ve got to work through, we both tour a lot but it’s what we have to do so it’s OK.

Finally, as a cheery note to end on, what would Dee Dee Penny want written on her gravestone?

Haha, f**k, I would say I would have to quote Morrissey….”Dee Dee Penny: There is a light that never goes out”.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Long Time No Post

I haven't done this in a while, but unlike the Royal Mail, I always knew I was going to deliver this post, your grans tenner in yer birthday card is safe and I haven't chucked your Beanie Baby off of ebay behind a bush or nowt. I've been busy s'all. Oh and I'm Northern now, just in case you didn't gather that from the hilarious northern colloquialisms I've been brashing's true, I have moved from London to Manchester. I know I have a lot of reasons for this but for as many reasons I have are an equal amount which I can't put my finger on. Make sense? No, me either. GET IT?

For the time in between I've been up to my old tricks again, writing nonsense, reading nonsense, watching nonsense and of course drawing nonsense (see previous post). My latest victim/subject was that there bloke off of Shooting Stars (I'll be writing like this until someone stops me). That's it really...oh and I've been eating a lot too.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

The Mac-a-bac-o-rama-dama-bees

Hey kids, do you like smirnoff ice and bbc 3 celebs? Do you like to watch your FAVZIES band with your fresh faces model friends and sing along to their record perfect performaces while throwing cups and getting your perfect silky skin all dewy with sweat? You should go see the Mac-a-bac-o-rama-dama-bees (The Macabees).

This dude loves them...although he had lots more fluffy volumous hair the night of the gig.

("artists" impression)

Thursday, 29 April 2010

My Interview with Idlewild guitarist Rod Jones

With word of a hiatus spreading like wild fire through the Idlewild fan camp I got the “inside scoop” from guitarist Rod Jones before their recent gig at the HMV forum in London. As Roddy Woomble announces the break on stage later that night it’s clear that yes Idlewild will be taking a break after this tour of their most recent record ‘Post Electric Blues’ but by all means this is not the last we will hear from them. With the solo release from Rod Jones available now and a tenth anniversary release of 100 broken windows in the pipe line, the last orders bell has not yet tolled on Idlewild.

You offered fans a chance to have their name on the sleeve of Post Electric Blues and get their hands on a copy of the record as a pre-release but would you be tempted to go down the route so many other bands are now by offering free streaming and album downloads?
I’ve never really been into giving away music. Music’s a living, that’s how we eat and have somewhere to sleep and like anything I think people should be paid for what they do. Maybe it reeks of desperation a bit but then some people thought what we did reeked of desperation, some of us were worried about how it would look, me personally, I didn’t give a shit. The reasoning behind it was that I felt people didn’t really care about albums anymore, I wanted a way to get people to invest emotionally rather than financially. If you want an album now you can just push a button and get it, maybe you’ll listen to a couple of songs but then get distracted. It used to be that if there was a record you wanted to hear you waited and it was all about the anticipation, that’s not happening anymore.

You recently played a series of gigs showcasing each album in full, which was your favourite?
‘100 Broken Windows’ was always going to be the night that people went kind of crazy. It still baffles me that record, I don’t understand why it’s so popular, I don’t think it’s our best record. It wasn’t even the most successful, in fact it was one of the least. I like the our current record because it’s more about who I am now, when you listen back to a record you made ten or fifteen years ago it’s like looking back at school photographs of yourself and no one likes doing that. I think ‘The Remote Part’ was a good middle record for us, finding our sound and being confident with it for the first time, the lead up to that record was the biggest transition we ever made as a band.

A lot of young London bands are championing a low fi post-punk dissonant sound now, you’re not ever tempted to go back to that?
Well we’ve never followed any trends and that’s just not what we are now. No one wants to see guys in their early to mid thirties doing that kind of thing. I think we embrace melody a lot more now and dare I say it, traditional folk music. I enjoy going to see people who are accomplished musicians who can play rather than those who, well, can’t. I mean, I used to love that, bands that are really shambolic and there is still something I enjoy about watching that. Idlewild is now much more the sum of five parts. Roddy and I used to do a lot of the writing on our own but it’s all of us now so it’s a different sound completely. Roddy and I have both gone off and done solo albums and other things, we’re a lot more open to having suggestion from other members of the band, and we’re much more collaborative now within Idlewild. At the start it was one foot on the gas and go, if you had one idea you kind of just vomited it out but now a days you’ve got so many more ideas and experiences and other things to draw from its sometimes more confusing. As time goes on you become different people and experience different things, big things happen in your life and you live different places, as you change as a person it changes the music.

Are you playing any festivals this year? Are there any you really want to play?
Not really this year, the thing is, we’ve done all these small boutique festivals for the last few years, we’ve played almost every one of them so it’s not like we can go back and do any of those. With festivals like Glastonbury, there’s just so many bands out there that fill up the bill now, I’d love to play Glastonbury but I don’t think there’s much room for us. We’re not a huge band and it’s not like we’re doing a comeback, we’re just still around and that doesn’t excite festival bookers. If we broke up for five years and then came back we’d probably get offered loads of festivals, maybe we’ll do that. We are talking about what we’re going to do and whether we might take a break, not split the band up but maybe take a hiatus and do something else for a while. We’ll see how it goes, we never really plan anything. There’s the ‘100 Broken Windows’ ten year anniversary release coming up and we’ll probably play some shows for that but afterwards I think we’ll stop for a while. So other than a few select ‘100 Broken Windows’ shows, this is the last tour we’ll do for quite a while. It comes to a point where you need to take a break and give the people who keep coming back to the shows a break.

Pearl Jam personally chose Idlewild to support them on the North America leg of their 2003 tour, were you a fan of theirs already?
In all honesty I’m not a big Pearl Jam fan, having toured with them I have a lot of respect for them and I found myself liking what they did, it just wasn’t my kind of thing. I think they’re fantastic live and incredible people. The rest of the band love them and are big fans. When REM asked us to tour with them I was over the moon. It’s always nice to be asked by these kinds of people but there’s not many bands we would consider doing that with. If it was something we really liked it would be worth while. This album tour is finishing off all the places we feel we haven’t played for a while and places that we’ve never played, after this we’ll take some time off to do just something else. I think we could make another record, a few records maybe, I think we’ve still got that in us but we have to be realistic as to whether people still buy records. I’m sure there are, we’ve got a really loyal fan base but we would never do one really quickly and stick it out just for the sake of it.

What do you think of free music sites like Spotify?
I’m not a fan of any of those kinds of things. I think it’s great for bands to get their music out but it’s just getting clogged up with a sea of new music. Finding something good is like trying to find a needle in a pile of haystacks. It makes it hard for bands to be working musicians, you either have to be really successful or do it in your spare time. It makes it difficult for bands to make really good records because you can’t get the money or time to spend on a studio or time to develop as a band unless you can do it full time. The first year we were able to do this full time we came on leaps and bounds. We’re lucky that we’ve got such a loyal fan base and were able to do the pre order. It is difficult for everyone now though, even us. There are plus points to it but it’s a lot of hassle. With things like Facebook and worrying if you’ve got enough fans on there, you want to be able to just make a record and not worry about things like that but you can’t think like that anymore. Something will have to give eventually, there won’t be any bands making any good records because they won’t be able to afford to. When I download music I pay for it, I prefer to go buy it at a shop or if I buy it off the internet, I’ll pay for it and they’ll post me a real record.

Do you take a lot of influence from other artists you listen to?
I think the place you’re in effects you more than anything and the people you’re around. The effect of what we listened to was something that happened more in the early days. I went through a period when I loved not listening to music or try not to listen to music as much as possible and the band did that too, they locked themselves away for a few months. It does affect you in that everyone plagiarises and steals subconsciously, you just can’t help it. Things stick in your brain and you just automatically play it but the more music you listen to the less that becomes an issue because influence starts to come from so many different places.

You’re now signed to Cooking Vinyl, a smaller, more independent label. Why did you make the move from EMI?

When we left EMI it was a mutual thing. We’d got to the end of our contract, we’d been relatively successful and we’d done what we’d wanted to do. I think they hoped that each time we released a record it would be the one that broke the million and we always kind of knew that was never going happen. For the last record we released with them we spent a lot of money because we thought if it’s really successful they won’t mind and if not, who cares, we’re leaving anyway. So we did the only rock and roll thing we’ve ever done and recorded in L.A. I think after that we were sick of playing the major label game and I think they were fed up with the fact we weren’t Coldplay so we mutually parted ways.

Finally, have you ever seen the Oukast film also called ‘Idlewild’ and what did you make of that!?
I was actually living in L.A. at the time, I got to my favourite record shop and there was this poster outside. It didn’t know anything about the film, we’d had college football font logo sweatshirts that we were selling on tour and there was this poster with exactly the same font. It just said Idlewild and a picture and then the date so I saw this poster and thought, are we supposed to be playing a gig? That’s in two days time, have they kicked me out of the band? We did have a joke about it saying maybe we should sue them because we did pay for the name in America but we just said to them jokingly that maybe they could do us a free remix of one of our songs. Nothing really came of it but then again, I don’t think anything really came of that film either.

A few hours later I’m back at the forum with an underlying determination to take in as much of this Idlewild performance as I can, knowing that it might be the last one for some time. I don’t have to struggle to do so; they hold my attention from opening to close. The set is punctuated with obscure classics such as Captain from their earliest EP, some of these earlier tunes do seem to bemuse a subdued crowd but the band are giving it stacks and these tracks have not lost any of their original verve despite Idlewild's more recent folk influences. For the encore they kick into ‘Readers and Writers’, the first single from the new album and it certainly has a lot of weight behind it just like each track from ‘Post Electric Blues’ earlier in the set. The last tune of the night is ‘Scottish Fiction’ from ‘The Remote Part’. With Roddy’s on stage announcement of an Idlewild hiatus earlier in the set I get the impression that there are a lot of people in the room willing this tune not to end, me included