Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Pull My Christmas Cracker!


I don't think I need say to much in this post as this picture speaks a 1000 words. Here's my little surprise Christmas Cracker mix, inspired from my recent trip to Berlin, especially one great night at Watergate. Enjoy my tech tinged treat, and of course, MERRY CHRISTMAS!

DOWNLOAD


Tracklisting
Maxxi & Zeus - The Struggle            
Magnetic Man - Flying Into Tokyo (Azedia Remix)           
Benedikt Prechter - Freiwildbahn                       
Trancemicsoul - 32 Barilla Crescent           
Groove Armada - History (Tom Budden's Alive Remix)
Toby Tobias - In Your Eyes (Tensnake Remix)           
Bill Withers - Who Is He (Henrik Schwarz Edit)           
Jori Hulkkonen - I Am Dead (Hercules & Love Affair Remix)           
Errors - A Rumour In Africa (Gold Panda Remix)           
Gunnar Wendel - 578 (Omar S Rude Boy Warm Mix)                                   
Tensnake - Keep Believin’           
Modeselektor - Art & Cash (SBTRKT Remix)           
Errors - Bridge Or Cloud? (The Twilight Sad Remix)            

Friday, 5 November 2010

Matthew And The Atlas - Kingdom of Your Own EP Launch



Fresh from supporting Mumford and Sons on tour Matthew And The Atlas are one of the hottest rising folk bands in the UK, or at least the Southwest! Midas Mumford, sorry I mean Marcus Mumford and his sons have already set Johnny Flynn on fire, and the new folk revolution is truly in full stride. It’s exciting to be part of this newly exposed genre, but sad to see commercialisation tainting what started off organic and good. The earthy raw talent of bands such as Matthew And The Atlas amongst the Communion team is something to behold, now. We don’t need another radio worthy Mumford and Sons, but let them just be a reminder and a hook into the innocent folk scene. To go and buy records you only hear on vinyl not the internet, it’s a lost culture that this niche genre has managed to preserve. Mumford and Sons haven’t sold out (not yet I hope), and their success isn’t bad either as exposure for all smaller folk fish is just what they want. Mumford and the team know this, as they kindle the Communion label as a hub of up and coming talent, just like Matthew Hegarty. The EP launch at The Borderline in London celebrated with Communion’s finest with support from exciting newcomer Rachel Sermanni, Stokes William and the mysterious ‘Daughter’ to make this one hoedown to remember.

Matthew delivered his oak-barrelled odes in a classic quality, full of heartbreak and deliverance. Along with the inevitable contrasts to Mumford and Sons, Matthew’s lumberjack voice is reminiscent of Ray LaMontagne’s and harmonies resemble those of Bon Iver. Ironically the pastoral natures of his lyrics are genuinely heart felt as the singer’s also a landscape gardener. So he really is familiar with the dead leaves and withering roses. From brass duets (and incredible moustaches) the instrumentation is unadulterated new folk – acoustic guitars, accordion, banjo, trumpets, trombone, percussion; peaceful in the slow songs and powerful in the fast. Highlights include, “Within The Rose” and “Come Out Of The Woods”. The EP is avialble now on Ben Lovett‘s (the keyboard/accordion player in Mumford and Sons) Communion records.

In more ways than one, they have Ben Lovett and Mumford and Sons to thank for their success so far. Hopefully, however, Hegarty and his band can escape from their predecessors' shadow, to really come into a kingdom of their own.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Creamfields 2010


Take an August Bank Holiday, a field in sunny Warrington, whack 12 stages in said field with a few hundred DJ's and 50,000 nutters = one heavy Northern rave.

Having sold out, Creamfields bared the big guns of Armin, Tiesto, Deadmau5, PVD, Richie Hawtin, Sven Vath and not to forget the festival favorites Swedish House Mafia.

Rather than writing about all the alcohol consumed (and thrown away by the stupid security guards), hands in the air moments, rain, mud, tent neighbours (I saw one pissing on next doors tent on Monday morning, glorious), hangovers and carparks - I thought I'd just condense it into my own glowstick festival gauge.

  1. Afrojack - he killed it Sunday morning, waking up to Dutch house can be a great thing! (Unless its Riverside! Thanks for that one Sidney.) = 5 Glowsticks!
  2. Kissy Sell Out - Kissy was wearing a string vest for a reason, he was on fire! = 4 Glowsticks
  3. Swedish House Mafia - Although it looked as though Sweden had just won the World cup, people showed big love for the Swedes big tunes and big show. = 4 Glowsticks
  4. Calvin Harris - last live performance (apparently), his stunt drew in the crowd so he certainly was not alone = 4 Glowsticks
  5. Grum - some nice down tempo disco notes were a welcomed respite = 3 Glowsticks.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Come Trance With Me


From Tiesto playing in Victoria Park, to the annual Balearic madness and even to crowded country fields, Trance is pulsating hard and fast through sound systems this summer. So whether you're about to get trance on or if you are reeling from a recent trance expedition - here's a mix to tickle those taste buds.

Tracklist 
John O'Callaghan  - Desert Orchid (Thomas Bronzwaer Remix)
Roger Shah & Ralph Fritsch Pres Black Pearl - Discovery
Marcel Woods - Tomorrow (Dub Mix)                                   
Above & Beyond vs Kyau & Albert - Anphonic           
Sand And Sense  - Cold Night (The Flyers And Mike Sonars Original Mix)
Cosmic Gate  - London Rain           
Jordan Suckley - Lush!
First State Feat. Sarah Howells - Reverie (Original Mix)           
Tigran Oganezov  - Orko (Original Mix)           
Marcus Schossow  - Genre This (Original Mix)
Jon O'Bir - Out Of Touch (Beltek Remix)                                   
Danny Nightingale - Sunsetter (Original Mix)            

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Hosepipe Ban-ger Mix


Who's not loving the amazing weather hitting the UK at the moment? Well, as the heat continues to crank up, it brings an abundance of highs and lows. Scorchers in the Park with a nice cold Pimms - WIN. Smelly people on public transport - FAIL. I have had a run in with more of the latter unfortunately. And what would British summer be without a library of complaints about how hot it is, with air-con's melting, beers going warm and of course the good old hosepipe ban. So things tend to get pretty sweaty, sticky and damn right dirty in the summer really, so why not give you a mix to properly encapsulate that? With its fair share of annoyances and grimey basslines, I present to you my Hosepipe Ban-ger mix sure to have you reeling for a dip in your responsibly filled paddling pool!

Tracklist:


Jack Beats - Out Of Body
Soulwax - E Talking (Faisal Remix)
Afrojack ft. Eva Simons - Take Over Control (Original Mix)
Sidney Samson - The World Is Yours (Original Mix)
Afrojack - Polkadots 2010 (Oliver Twizt Remix)
Mike Posner - Cooler Than Me (Skeet Skeet's AY! Edit)
Human Life - In It Together (Jaymo & Andy George Moda Remix)
Nom De Strip - Loving Life
Bloody Disco - Blood!?
Proxy - Vibrate (Sound Of Stereo Remix)
Sound of Stereo  - Zipper
Deadmau5 - Some Chords (BetaTraxx Remix)
Mowgli - London To Paris
The Twelves - Air (Skyy Mix)

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

The Middle East @ Bush Hall 13th July 2010


A balmy and relatively muggy English summer evening welcomed The Middle East into Shepherds Bush’s own Bush Hall. It wasn’t only the weather that was reminiscent of their homeland, immediately antipodean murmurs filled the hall (like many of the gigs I attend these days – the enlightenment of having an Aussie GF). Murmurs turned to pandemonium as the five plus strong band took to the stage, fortifying that tonight was very much a home from home gig.

The Townsville rockers have been assembled for five years only to oddly sport one album “The Recordings Of The Middle East” amongst various EPs and compilation releases. Like many folk bands I have witnessed, the EPs songs are mythical and lush complimented with pensive picks of guitars and blissful harmonies; juxtaposed by onslaughts of noise and thrashing banjos.  The live Middle East flirt between a barndance ho-down to a pin-drop silencing of the crowd. The later reminiscent of young Laura Marling’s musical authority. Marling herself attended the gig as the B&B host to Bree Tranter (female vocalist). In one moment the stage is buckling under the pressure of the foot stomping fun. To the next where the audience has been commanded into musical silence with only the hum of the air conditioning as interruption coupled with the thought that the sweat coating your body would deny had ever been installed.

A lead vocalist could not be pinpointed, with vocals being harmoniously shared between three members: Jordan Ireland, Rohin Jones and Bree Tranter, which doubtlessly derived in a phenomenal sound texture. Add these foundations to the ever-changing amalgamation of instruments and instrumentalists (the list is truly as long as your arm) with the cherry on top being that the band are infatuated with their performance. With this kind of enthusiasum galvanised with their material it seems the band are sifting through copious albums for 75 minutes, what more could you ask?


The Aussies closed with the singalong favorite “Blood” and it was evident that The Middle East you hear through your headphones aren’t the Middle East witnessed on stage. Country roots infect their vigour live, with more power and passion. A crescendo becomes a deafendo, it begs whether amplification is needed at all in such a venue. However, when they wind down to the quiet sections over half the band are satisfied to leave the stage (minus the mentalist from the support band who begged to play then tambourine for every song of their set – he got dragged off...).  Very much a home gig on foreign soil but was one hell of an away win.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Houser Than July


Here's a little treat for you guy's looking for a bit of summer respite! The weather is trying its best but we all know our next sunny day is few and far between. Smack this mix on whatever the weather, with some remix duty on festival favorites as Two Door Cinema Club and Crystal Castles. Indeed I popped the odd kick in there just incase you were about to drift off on that sun lounger and spill your Pimms everywhere!

Houser Than July Mix 2010 by Samcotton on Mixcloud


Tracklist:

John Roman - Ready For This (TKO Remix)           
Mowgli - We Think Its Cool (Original Mix)
Duck Sauce - Barbara Streisand (Manila Killa Edit)
Tiesto feat. Diplo - C'Mon (Original Mix)           
Tom Starr - Cannon
Passion Pit - Folds In Your Hands (Keljet Remix)
Casio Kids - finn bikkjen! (LightsOverLA remix)           
KA SO RE - Bunnies (Helsinki 78-82 Remix)
Chemical Brothers  - Swoon (Boys Noize Summer Mix)
Two Door Cinema Club - Undercover Martyn (Softwar Remix)
Crystal Castles - Celestica (THE SONIXX Remix)
Breakbot  - Baby I'm Yours (Aeroplane Remix)                       
Aeroplane - We Can`t Fly (Extended Drums Mix) 

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Flight of the Conchords @ Wembley Arena 25th May 2010


A far cry from the miniscule venues of New Zealand, New York and even New Zealand Town, a Kiwi duo wait to humour 12,000 fans at Wembley arena. The last in a string of sold out shows across Europe; tickets were hot property for this elusive gig.  But how will this understated double team translate to venue of such stature and enormity? Can they still be funny? Or are they destined to be watched by one possessed fan for the rest of their career?

The translation wasn’t completely lost, however with massive screens and the odd decision to seat the entire venue didn’t make life easy for the pair. It wasn’t such a distance from the X Factor-esque productions, which take place under the same roof.  Blame cannot be blasted just on the duo, just sort your production company out.

The opener ”Two Many Dicks” mimics Daft Punk’s act in their very own lo-fi FOTC style equipped with cardboard boxes instead of flashy cyber helmets. Much of the humour is provided through the pairs awkward chemistry, and unscripted cock-ups – reminiscent of their TV performances.  From anecdotes about the band’s rock and roll muffin eating to Jermaine forgetting how to play “Prince of Parties”, laughs were abundant. Possibly from a virgin FOTC viewers perspective this must have seemed like the most chaotic and surreal show ever.

The band’s attempts at audience participation fell flat (due to the ridiculous decision to seat everyone!) – with Bret getting ticked off by an impromptu sing-along to “Albi the Racist Dragon”. All was rescued with great versions of “Bowie”, “Robots” and “Business Time”, the later was extended among new less familiar tracks like “Jenny” which all worked great.

The downfall came, as mentioned, through restricted the audience to their seats. Like with any gig, musicians feed off reactions from the crowd, but Wembley Arena sees no dancing, or other immediate reaction above laughter. Regrettably the connection you have when you watch FOTC was effectively negated by this segregation. It wasn’t actually until the final song, where both Bret and Jermaine get offstage and into the audience for a storming version of “Sugar Lumps” which rekindled this eluded crowd connection.


Maybe it’s my fault for failing to track them down live sooner. But maybe it would be nice one day to see them in a small dive in New Zealand Town, even if I have to sit next to Meg foaming uncontrollably at the mouth.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Rubber Dubby Mix

WOW! There is so much good music at the moment from the genres beginning with 'D'! So I have honoured this with my ingeniously named 'Rubber Dubby' mix! Yea I really am that tenuous sometimes - it's hard naming mixes alright! This is a fusion of Dubstep and D'n'B, I hit you with the slower filthier stuff first then crank it up more than double-speed into the realms of D'n'B. Surely this one will be enough to shake off the arctic weather we are facing! If not it's enough to get you dancing and raise your body temperature a couple of degrees!

Saturday, 1 May 2010

I've gone all eclectic on yo ass!


Word up! So through the trials and tribulations of my dissertation I have finally welded a mix together! Partially from tunes I acquired whilst procrastinating, or 'testing' with my shiny new speakers. I really had no structure to this one, which was pretty cool, I jump around - and why not join in yourself while you listen! There's plenty more filth on the way, keep it locked.

Look out for some exclusive stuff from Cork's very own wonderboy Dashka - before he gets too famous!

Friday, 30 April 2010

The Temper Trap @ Shepherds Bush 29th April 2010


The first of Temper Trap’s string of three sell out shows hit Shepherds Bush last night. The Australian quartet known for their distinctive epic pop tones, could only conjure up a 3-star show. Opening with a not so epic 4-minute instrumental, the crowd lay confused as if they had accidentally strolled into the adjacent Walkabout, but this thought was banished as soon as the familiar synths of Rest hit. But it was this miss-match in arrangement and tempo that had the crowd swaying to the bar whilst the slow-burning first half played out juxtaposed with running back as you got half way there to bop along to tracks such as Down River, Love lost and Fader. No doubt the Aussie rockers soon shall have a sizeable back catalogue to choose from to deliver a more coherent listen next time. Though the entity of Conditions was delivered with precision and energy it just seemed to lack a live element.

With an extensive touring schedule lined up for coming months, one has to wonder when their next material shall be written. Fear not TT fans, as they delivered a rather sombre new addition in their encore, maybe this is a turn for a maturing and Temper Trap trying to cultivate debut success into a career as epic as guitarist Lorenzo’s riffs. However, it seems just as Lorenzo faded into the furniture of the set so did the charisma and presence of front man Dougie. No chat and as lost as his hands were without a guitar it seems for once the outlandish Aussie stereotype had been canned. He tried to rescue this by launching into the crowd at the end of the set, maybe a little too late. Bassist Jonathon provided the most entertainment with his windmill bass playing technique, whilst using thumb-plectrum to add to his truly unique performance.

There were no hard feelings as everybody got what they wanted by the end in the form of an anthemic delivery of Sweet Disposition to finish off the set listed show. Shortly followed by new material and new single Science of Fear left reverberating around in heads until morning. Let’s hope the onslaught of festivals perks these Aussies back into the tit-pullers we all know to deliver a confident and entertaining live show.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Laura Marling @ London Palladium 25th April 2010

London Palladium? Yes that's right! Somewhat of an odd venue for a gig but what a venue it is, a truly regal venue for a royal performance. Support came from Boy and Bear, a wicked Sydney-based fivesome who fuse the likes of  Fleet Foxes and The Middle East delivering an uplifting, carefree vibe. They chucked in a cover of Bon Iver too, while not as being as mighty as the original it was a fair effort. I highly recommend these guys, so if they are playing near you soon get your behind down there! I love it when you get to a gig early, crossing your fingers that the support isn't going to be crap, and the Boy and Bear lads did just that.
With artwork like this, surely they can do nothing wrong!

Next on the bill was Alessi’s Ark - a timid duo from Hammersmith. Hell, the stage presence was floundering backstage with Boy and Bear, there was no audience interaction or engagement whatsoever! Yes she may have an interesting/good voice but charisma surely makes up for at least 15% of a performance. You could listen to the CD and it would be just as good, personally I think you need that extra dimension, giving the audience something more than just doing a live version of a current long player. The only cool thing about the act was their knitted CD cover.


OK so rant over... Right? Well I'm going to have to say, Laura Marling was astonishing. What a voice, what a band and what a venue, surely nothing could spoil this idyllic situation? But yet again a case of 'no-charisma' syndrome hit the stage. Brief shy exchanges were made with the crowd, but nothing worth writing home about. I suppose coming from a background in up tempo music may make me seem a bit raw. However, why should everyone flounder at her feet 'because she's such a great singer'? Maybe, these youngsters are just humble and want to play their music, maybe they are just overwhelmed to be so successful so young, but surely after being on the circuit for a few years, confidence surely would have prevailed?

Aside from her small talk - she brought an awesome show to her hometown. A packed palladium sat in silence taking in every blissful note. Indeed her voice was phenomenal, delivering her peaceful but meaning-felt melodies. She performed the first half of the gig with her band and the second solo, acoustically. Controversially she doesn't believe in encores. So she signposted two tracks from the end that it was her metaphorical 'encore' now as she ended on 'I Speak Because I Can'.

Overall it was a fantastic evening, where I discovered a little gem in Boy and Bear, they in some senses were the highlight for me, giving good banter and energy along with a powerful performance. Laura was excellent, I look forward to seeing her at Glastonbury this year, but I hope she manages to escape from the 'speechless' bubble she is engulfed in. I appreciate it's daunting, but its just a chat, come on love! Some sort of Gareth Gates reversal? Take a leaf out of  your boyf's book (Marcus Mumford off of Mumford & Sons, FYI)!

Here's the set list for those interested -

Set List

w/ Band
Devil’s Spoke
Hope In The Air
Rambling Man
Ghosts
Blackberry Stone

Acoustic
New One
The Needle And The Damage Done (Neil Young Cover)
Failure
Night Terror
Rest In The Bed
Made A Maid
Goodbye England (Covered In Snow)

w/ Band
What He Wrote
Alpha Shallows
Alas I Cannot Swim

ENCORE (well they didn't go off!)

My Manic & I
I Speak Because I Can

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Angus & Julia Stone Live at Shepherd's Bush Academy - 22nd April 2010


What a big night! Big in multiple senses! Last day of uni for me FOREVER and topping the celebration off in style I headed to Shepherd’s Bush Academy to see Angus & Julia Stone. The dreamy duo, hail from Australia and are siblings (however Julia’s interactions with her brother seem a little incestuous from time to time – it must be how the Aussies get down…) and not only share a second name but a host of musical talent.

After getting over the miss matching of tickets (I booked circle instead of stalls – doh!) – we assumed a decent vantage point side stage. The stage peppered with instruments, which were decorated like Christmas trees soon became the focal point of interest as the lights dimmed.  The band shimmied onto the stage, all men dressed as they were going to some outback farmers market and Angus hid behind impressive amounts of facial hair (I have seen them a couple of times now and that was a record amount of beardage), but Julia stole the fashion show in her gracious flowing turquoise dress. 

The enchanting duo opened with ‘And The Boys’ luring Shepherd’s Bush into a carefree 80 minutes. The epic ‘Yellow Brick Road’ followed, my favourite off the new long player ‘Down The Way’, with swirling pads and triumphant chords, as far as I was concerned A & J were already onto a winner.

‘Hold On’ was another dreamy highlight, typical of their updated sound.


Throughout Julia pranced around the stage like butterfly using the trail of her dress as wings as she fluttered bare foot around the stage.  Contrary was Angus’ prominence as he timidly hid behind a cap left of stage while girl’s screamed their love for him at any given silence. Angus unveiled a new track ‘Mercedes Benz’ shyly recounting a story of how he hitched a lift two hot girls in a white Mercedes, not the only song he has written about longing after a random female meeting. Nostalgia came from classics including crowd pleasers ‘Mango Tree’ and a cover of ‘You’re The One That I Want’ from Grease. This wasn’t the only cover; Julia nailed her twist of ‘Private Lawns’, which included an impressive one-handed trumpet solo!

The audiences trance ended on a perfect slow burner ‘Santa Monica Dream’, reminiscent of mellowing out on a beautiful isolated Australian beach somewhere. A beaming audience left that night from the charming indie folk duo. The new album ‘Down The Way’ is out now, though it takes a few listens, I defy any folk fan not to fall in love with it. Let’s keep these guys our little secret. 

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Teenage Cancer Trust: Arctic Monkeys Rock The Royal Albert Hall

The Arctics rocked it for The Teenage Cancer Trust on Saturday Night at the Royal Albert Hall! Sorry guys I'm proper busy with my dissertation, yes I know who cares - so the review for this one is pending at the moment, but I have a nice little video for your visual pleasure whilst you wait! Check us out, getting all exclusive in the box! I did get red wine poured all over me whilst videoing this too (from the balcony above)- that's commitment!



Review to follow - check out the rest of my YouTube channel videos!

Friday, 26 March 2010

Air 50 Skate Crew



Another quick post, just to say check out my brothers skate crew at in this vid. He's the protagonist as it were! Josh Cotton is his name, look out for him burning up a spot near you soon (or generally scaring the crap out of innocent pedestrians or annoying local OAP's with their 'noisey toys'). Here they are tearing up their local park in Charlbury a small town in Oxford - as you can see the skatepark is actually in the local 'dog field' - thats were you walk dogs, not park cars! Look out for that fat fakie varial over the hip! BLATTT!

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Time To Get Grubby!

Ah, you see I found some more time from my dissertation slavery to grace you with another mix - this one is dirty! Hope you like it!

Sam Cotton - Wash Before You Mix March 2010 by SamCotton

Nu-House Mix

I love Nu-Disco! But I also love Disco too, but which one is best? There's only one way to find out...
No, really I'll leave it to Harry Hill (but he's gone until the autumn - I'm sure we can all depend on the repeats!)

So I knocked together my first sort of Nu-Disco mix today, but I couldn't resist throwing in some wicked new house tracks too - hence my ingenious naming "Nu-House" - probably already a genre - you guys know how it is these days!

So have a little listen to this - you can scrobble it too! - use this Mixcloud Last.fm Scrobbler handy link!


BUT don't forget the real shit:



and I know this doesn't come to mind first - but what a tune!

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Fantasy Festival


Just a quickie to say if any of you you guys are on Last.fm and Sony's Fantasy Festival - I'm now getting involved, got a bit more knowledge here than fantasy footie you see!

Catch up with my 'Fidget Fest' - what a line up! What if? Maybe one day, one day!

Josh Pyke


I gone done it again! Don’t worry I’m not going soft on you lot though! I just started to think, why not broaden some of your music horizons, and why not give you guys a little run down on the gigs I’ve been tapping my foot to. So this week, it’s all about Sydney boy Josh Pyke. It was a bit of an odd one, considering he was involved in a “Co-Headline” UK tour with Scot, Emma Pollock. The Tabernacle in Notting Hill gets the thumbs up for cool gig venue of the year so far for me. Supposedly it’s an old Catholic church (as one fan less eloquently responded when Josh asked “What is this place?”)

Right on time, Josh emerged from behind the curtain with his brown paper bag and guitar. Brown paper bag, what’s that all about, I thought, however it contained his wires and pedals – bless him! As he modestly set up, the crowd started to converse about how down-to-earth this guy was, as he invited us to chat amongst ourselves. He climbed up from his wires on the floor, took a swig of red wine and introduced himself. Straight in with Chimney’s Afire the Aussie went, to the 100 strong crowd – it doesn’t always have to be huge clubs or arenas! The next 45 minutes were executed blissfully, with some minimal polite chat in-between. Time was of the essence however as he was must have drawn the short straw that night, acting as the pre for Emma Pollock. So he ploughed on, cramming as many of his sun-drenched tracks in, leaving the crowd feeling all fuzzy. A beaming crowd gave a rapturous applause to his finale – Middle Of The Hill, leaving a positive ora for Emma Pollock.

Check Josh playing my favorite tune of his, Sew My Name…


Sorry for the arty/shaky black and white clip - not my professional work obviously!

Josh invited fans to the makeshift merchandise stool at the back of the hall, where he took part in his “signature” end of gig ritual by chatting, posing and signing autographs for predominantly eager Aussies.

 So big props to Josh Pyke for being a proper nice guy as always and delivering the goods musically. From such a high, Emma Pollock sort of warped it. Awkward banter and heavy handed guitar riffs blew away the clouds people pretended they were on with Josh, unfortunately. Which resulted us leaving half way through. Mean – yes, but why ruin a good night with disappointing finish? 

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Dance-a-thon time again!

Ahhhh! 12 hours behind the decks…again! Yep it’s that time of the year for lucky me! Every year I DJ at my old school for a 12 hour ‘Dance-a-thon’ in aid of the Burford School Uganda Link charity. It kicks off at 8pm and goes all the way until 8am – for all students in years 7, 8 and 9 to rave away to. This year was a good laugh, even after all the hassle of tip-toeing round the new fire alarm system the school has installed. We usually use pyrotechnic fireworks to kick off the show, however, the fire alarm says no! So, I thought lets go in big with some Ibiza-esq Co2 cannons – it was all go until we found out that a 50 quid canister would give 45 seconds worth of blast and that was it! Bargain right? Oh not to mention the 75 quids worth of firing equipment! Joke, so we just went in big with the light show! Check this bad boy rig out!

The kids were great too, dancing their socks off all night, even at 5am! We managed to fight the sleep off, and keep the management happy – until 7am, when it all went off! Well, at least the fire alarm did! Sort of got a bit trigger happy on the old smoke, oops! After the fire alarm machine printed an economy bog roll’s worth of paper receipt out, we finally got the bloody thing to stop! As we continued for the final hour smoke free.  

And that was it, my seventh 12 hour music marathon, and the best one yet! Let's say I'm not quite looking forward to next year, just yet. Once a year is enough for me!

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Mumford & Sons

Who? Yea, you lot might be wondering either who on earth Mumford and Sons are or maybe what’s got into me – or both! They are a folk band from London, who have exploded within the last 6 months, although their album has been knocking around since 2008 – only now they have been picked up by the mainstream. Folk, WTF Sam! – some of you may be shouting at your screen – but my girlfriend’s musical taste is rubbing off on me. One of my mates said I was musically whipped the other day! Oh dear. But, to be absolutely fair they were amazing when we saw them on Saturday night in Wolverhampton. So why not do a 360 and talk a little about folk, this blog is about anything that gets you dancing, so why not!

The Civic Hall was rammo, with a well-mixed crowd, some of who were clutching onto their 2 pinter lagers (2 pints of drink in a massive plastic cup – it was mental anyone drinking a half looked like something out of The Borrowers!) and the quirky pre-act Fanfarlo got everyone’s legs shaking. The boys hit the stage after a ridiculously long wait (a good 45 mins – maybe I’m not used to it enough as dance music acts switch seamlessly!) but it was worth it and the crowd sure appreciated it too. Noise levels were incredible from the floor to the humble foursome, Wolverhampton what hosts! They dived straight into big hitters from the album Sigh No More, and energy levels went through the roof. Marcus, the lead, showcased his percussive talent, from thumping a single bass drum along with his guitar to playing a full kit and still singing the lead – how often do you see the lead behind the drums by the way?

Anywho, the banter wasn’t bad either – which was refreshing as the amount of people you see these days who turn into mutes in-between tracks is ridiculous (I spose it’s who you go to see) but either way Mumford and Sons are funny guys – check out their tong-in cheek live lounge interview here (BTW how un-charismatic is Sara Cox in this?) All in all they well and truly took little Wolverhampton by storm, and Wolverhampton rocked me – what a great people!

Mumford and Sons will be hitting festivals up this summer, go and grab some cider and jig along!  

Thursday, 4 March 2010

The XX


The XX certainly have taken the music industry by the horns and wrenched them off as we storm into 2010. This time 9 months ago the trio were playing modest pubs in suburbia, then they got their break supporting Florence & The Machine. Since then its all been going off for the South Londoners. In amongst it all they donned their remixing hats and set fire to Florence’s (well Candi Staton’s) “You’ve Got The Love” set the group in good stead, with DJ sets alongside big dogs like Annie Mac and a more extravagant tour around Europe. Last night Shepherds Bush Academy saw The XX grace the stage for the last night of their London shows.

Mandatory pre-gig drinks were held at The Walkabout next door for classy people like myself, after a few it was time to make over to the Academy. Saw the set list, “These New Puritans” were the pre – TBH I didn’t have a clue who they were, after their performance I knew why. The band looked cool as they wondered on stage with clarinets, horns and two electric drum kits (the drums didn’t walk on obviously!) – that was fine, it was the 12 year old chav vocalist that ruined it, check them out for yourself but they don’t come recommended from here.

So, the night wasn’t great so far, my drink was empty – no thanks to those puritans – and we had some greasy Italian couple complaining about people taking pictures, seriously just get over it! Anyway, rant over. A white curtain dropped and up shone a simple X which painted the bands logo as a back drop, then the chilled chords and synths leaked through the O2’s speakers to a hyped crowd. Silhouettes shone through the curtain as they lead with Intro. On the tracks final note it dropped, cue crazy screams! (Weird considering most people were draped in black as if we were at a bikers convention). The trio stood before us and went on to deliver every track with perfection. Vocals were incredible live, simple and raw – like the band.  With only 11 tracks to play with, some interesting covers were tackled with wicked results. UK Funky sensation Kyla’s “Do You Mind” was particularly unpredicted but interesting choice.

The contrast between pre and headliner was huge, but I don’t mind it when goes the way last night did. The XX were incredible – so if there playing at the same festival or gig your going to – get your ass over there! 

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Lomo


Lomography? What's that all about then? Well it's quite cool actually (you wouldn't of expected any less of me I suppose) - it's a type of arty/retro analogue style of photography. My girlfriend has been getting to grips and has been snap happy since December. You should go and check out her skills with her own lomography photos. Pretty mint I reckon – it’s wicked how you can take pictures over each other (multiple exposures – check me getting all techy) and do other things like splitting the image up like the one of me above. Give her a little comment, she'd love that ha! I might even have a little photo shoot to top up my artist pics on MySpace and Last.fm, hmm could be interesting! And why on earth doesn’t anyone print pictures anymore? I wish they did because it costs an arm and a leg nowadays (well a good tenner to get a 35mm film developed) so it’s an expensive but cool little hobby. Get involved!

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Dissertation Madness


That’s right I’m doomed by dissertation duties at the moment. I know most people who aren’t a student hate the constant Tweets and Facebook updates about how many words we may have written (or left to write!) or how many days are left till the deadline and we’re free! – But seriously, I’m not here to moan – just to give you a heads up that I may go into some sort of blog hibernation for a few weeks whilst I bury my head into mountains of A4. Don’t threat though, I will be back with some absolute banging mixes soon! Laters!

Monday, 1 February 2010

Miike Snow @ Digital Brighton



Day trip? Why not? So we did, and what a mint day it was too, bloody freezing mind - but well worth wrapping up to see the mighty Miike Snow entourage!  First jokes happened as we got to London Bridge, where I forgot to bring the ticket reference code, so had to queue up in the human queue - long. After al that we had literally 60 seconds on the train until it left, good start. The journey however was usually entertaining, we had some footy fans next to us larking about with a 6 pack of lager each - 10am breakfast beers, legends. Some of the girls they were with made some gold comments about how "Wii Fit don't actually make you fit, is it?" and "Why aren't we stopping for people at every station on these trains?" bless them. After an hour of biting our lips, we go there - the lads went off to the local and we hit the pier. Donut time - yes please!

After all of our frolicking on the arcades (I was both the air hockey and Saga Turbo GT champion, thank you!) lunch, catch up with old friends drinking champagne, (well Cava) on the beach etc. we hit dinner up. Real big veggie style! Check out Food For Friends in Brighton, if you around there soon, it is amazing, whether your vego or not, trust me on this one!  After wolfing that lot down, it was straight to Digital, where we were surprised to see a queue outside. We weren't early, so I went down to investigate. Turns out the good old sound engineers had kindly stuffed the soundsystem up so the show was delayed over an hour - and the support wasn't being dropped. That's good if you want to stay in Brighton all night, or pretty bad if you want to catch the 11.30pm train. Ah! So off the the Walkie it was, and a couple of drinks we headed back to the venue. Actually got in this time, tiny little club, but with an immense Funktion One soundsystem, and it sounded big - will let the engineers off this time!

Ali Love was first up, slightly wasted but nevertheless got the crowd going in the Brighton's own little sweatbox! Time was ticking for our last train, but the soundboys didn't care as they allowed at least 45 minutes for the Swedish-American hybrid formation to grace the stage, why cant everywhere have revolving stages?  Finally the lights dropped and white masks assumed their positions as they went into a an extended sort of skit/interlude of Cult Logic, simple stuff but looked awesome.


Extended and instrumental madness surrounded each track delivered by the Miike Snow boys, stretching their relatively short album out into a 75 minute long mix. And there we were right in the thick of it, I captured the biggest tune of the night - check Miike Snow performing Silvia live...



Wicked stuff, wicked album (though I'm quite annoyed iTunes are hailing it to be the "Best pop album of the year" - I don't like pop do I? Ahhh) and wicked live, Digital in Both Brighton and Newcastle are mint venues, so if anyone you like are playing at either go and check them, its guaranteed to sound fat on that system! Remember to keep your eyes on my YouTube channel too!

Check out one of my favorite pics from the night...


Sunday, 17 January 2010

A Cheeky Little January Mix

Hey guys, in the midst of doing my dissertation I found the time or maybe I manage to justify doing a mix to help my work flow - procrastination city, I know! Anyway, I;m procrastinating at the moment - so onwards! Here's a cheekly little mix for January, some bangers in there watch out!

P.S. Please vote for me on MixCloud, share the love x

Friday, 15 January 2010

An Aussie Christmas!

Wow! Into 2010 we go then. I spiralled back down to reality this week, after returning home from an amazing Australian Christmas. I was out in Eastwood, Sydney with the Snell crew. Amongst gallivanting around in the December and January sun (sounds weird hey), playing Bananagrams (check it out!) Articulate or some other festive board game - we actually witnessed one of Australia's most renowned New Years Day festivals - Field Day! Check the photos out here! Gracing the 12 hour dance festival's line-up were Australian favourites, The Presets, but stomping sets flowed throughout the day in Sydney's Domain from the likes of Cassius, Jack Beats, Roger Sanchez, Fake Blood, Sebastian Leger, Major Lazer, 2manydjs and more! Field Day's recycling scheme proved pretty prosperous and entertaining for some, as every can gave you $1 token to be exchanged - free booze or money why not! Apart from my camera going crazy to the basslines (check out my steadiest shot...) the day was enjoyed by ravers and can collectors alike.


New Years Eve was a pretty spectacular event too, we poised ourselves down at Milson's Point overlooking Aussie landmarks like The Harbour Bridge and The Opera House from 3pm to capture the Sydney spirit as we welcomed 2010. They do it in style over there too, fireworks in London take place for about five minutes, whilst clad in as many layers as possible. Not for Sydney, they have entertainment going on from 5pm, including a preliminary firework display at 9pm for the kids (lasts 8mins) then the big guns come out at midnight (for 12mins) firing off the bridge, boats and various buildings from Sydney’s signature skyline. If your there during new year - be a tourist for a day and get yourself down there!




  So we came back on the 12th, managed to get on the Qantas A380 which was mint! Check this beast out...


And then it was back to cold and harsh reality - literally! What a juxtaposition, 35 degrees one minute -5 the next! Good old England hey. Snows a laugh though, right?