Friday, 7 November 2008


I have decided to officially say this blog is pretty much over, because basically I do not want to keep feeling guilty about not writing enough on here but I also really can't be bothered to write on here anymore. My life has literally got so hectic since starting A-levels and sharing my opinion on bands I like or might not like has slipped off the radar a bit. And the amount of time I waste on statcounter looking at what google search terms people have used to stumble on here ("Alice Practise did a party poo", anyone?) is time that really could be spent on other things.

i'm not going to delete this, on the offchance that I decide to start agin vaguley in the future, but this is probably the end. It was fun while it lasted.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Enter Shikari @ The Alban Arena, 08/10/08

(Photo from a totally different concert, but included here for aesthetic and 'show you what the band look like' reasons)

Enter Shikari are a band I have never been wildly enthusiastic about, but half of them went to the same school as me, and this show was about a mile and a half from my house and I've heard they are quite good live. The rumours were true. Never in my life have I got so battered at a gig, nor have I ever been that violent in a moshpit. I usually just dance in the middle until someone runs over and floors me, but this time I was going for it, flying into people and punching and kicking and screaming. School on thursday was not a very fun experience, but it was definitely worth it. Support from one local band who I didn't think were very good, and a drum and bass called DJ Pdex who was probably not all that brilliant but at the time was very fun to jump around to.

Musically, Enter Shikari are only slightly different to pretty much every other ridiculous emo band, despite the fact that they like to make a big fuss about the fact that they use a bit of synth every now and then. The singing, when it goes into a full 'screamo' mode is, a bit horrible, but they aren't badly-written songs and if you pretend Enter Shikari's fans don't all have myspace names such as "<3 GEORGIA♥[ravetingz]FTW <3" it's possible to almost enjoy some of their songs, but only in a really S-Club 7 guilty pleasure kind of way.

Enter Shikari - Kicking Back On the Surface Of Your Cheek
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///Update: If you've found me through a search engine looking for photos, as far as I know there was no official photographer but a girl called Lorien took a few decent shots and you can see them on her Flickr

Friday, 5 September 2008

Underage Festival 2008

Gallows @ Underage Festival


FOALS @ Underage Festival

Dizzee Rascal @ Underage Festival

(All photos by me, please don't use without permission!)

The one-day extravaganza for all of London's annoyingly fashionable topshop-lovers returned for its second year. It was bigger, louder and more chaotic but I'm going to be honest: it wasn't as good as last year. This is mainly due to the fact that the line-up did not include as many bands I loved, but also there were way too many stages, and it didn't seem to be as organised as before. I managed to score myself a photopass which was a very interesting and fun experience, but from it I have also learned that the actual fun in gigs is definitely from jumping round and getting horribly sweaty. So, no more photopassing for me I reckon. Unless someone wants to pay me, but this is quite unlucky to happen.

First act I managed to catch was Kid Harpoon, but he was pretty boring so I headed off to see a bit of Nick Harrison, and to be honest I cannot actually remember for the life of me what I thought of this band, but they were probably OK. After this I saw Polly Scattergood playing in a shed for about 2 songs, and she was really good. I hadn't heard of her before but she is honestly really good.

From there it was Ox.Eagle.Lion.Man. This is a group I have been casually aware of for a while, but hadn't actually got round to listening to, and upon seeing them live I have no idea why anybody would want to listen to them ever. The singer, who runs around calling himself Frederick Blood-Royale, puts on this ridiculous moaning posh voice, like Antony Hegarty but about 10 times worse. The songs themselves seemed reasonably well-written but the rest of the band need to find a new vocalist.

From here I saw Pull in Emergency who I didn't really have an opinion about and still don't, White Williams who I thought were really intresting and inventive, and if we are going to go along the Santogold/MIA method of describing bands then they are a bit like a cooler New York version of Metronomy. I didn't stay for the whole set because I wanted to check out a bit of Poppy & The Jezebels who I though were OK and then I saw Cheeky Cheeky and the Nosebleeds in the Topman tent and they were absolutely fantastic. Really good slightly shouty indie dance-punk. After this one of my friends persuaded me top see a bit of Count and Sinden, who were good in terms of the actual music but they had a really annoying rapper person just sort of repeating 'yeah, yeah Count and Sinden' on top and this totally ruined it.

Care Bears on fire were crap. They were yet another band of american 10 year olds. There was one of these last year and they were crap also. Nobody had heard of them or liked them or decided they were good after watching them. Sorry, I am being horribly mean and nasty to these spoiled american tweenagers or whatever the disney channel is calling them at the moment but whoever decided to fly out this rubbish band and put them on the main stage is a fool.

I decided to go see FrYars, and have now made up my mind that I do not like his music, because it is annoying. Team Waterpolo I thought were reasonably listenable but slightly too middle of the road to appeal to me, Those Dancing Days were awful and then I saw some very small new unsigned band called A Girl Called Kate which is a rubbish name for a band but they were really good. Then for about 5 minutes I saw SCUM and they were the most amazing noise terroroists and it was fantastic, but based on the music on their profile, the recordings bear no resemblance to the live show. Then I spent a short while being slightly more impressed than I thought I was going to be with ridiculous emo outfit My Passion before i headed off to take about a million photos of Florence and The Machine, who was amazing in just about every way every way possible. That's all there is to say really.

After that I saw a bit of Sons & Daughters. i was quite impressed, but not so much that since then I've actually bothered to listen to any of their stuff. XX Teens are crap. In every way. Goldilocks was quite good, but rap when it's not knowingly taking the piss out of itself I never find that exciting. After that it was back to the red bull bandstand to see a scary girl metal band called Kasms. I think my obsession to weird scary electro bands is translating into also having the ability to appreciate non-electro scary hardcore music, which I find slightly worrying. Next time you see me I will look like this probably. Then it was off to see Ipso Facto, who aren't that good, but for some reason in my head I think of them as nice people even though they wear strange black and white outfits. From here it was Dizzee Rascal, who in terms of musical skill is not a great live performer but everyone was dancing and having fun so we will forgive him for that.

I left Dizzee early to check out the amazing Bonde do Role, who were incredibly fun to watch and came across as really genuinely hilarious people. From here I saw Foals, which was absolutely insane. The tent was so packed that the crowd barriers were actually bending, and some safety-conscious stage manager decided to temporarily stop the set and get all the photographers OUT RIGHT NOW, ALL OF YOU, IT'S FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY YEAH ETC ETC. Which was quite annoying. After this was headliners Gallows, who were not exactly something to listen to whilst doing your homework but the insane onstage (and eventually offstage) antics were a sight to behold.

SO THERE YOU HAVE IT. More than a month late, and badly written as well, and no mp3s either. I am spoiling you people I really am.


Florence & The Machine



Ipso Facto @ Underage Festival

Saturday, 30 August 2008

summer's over

since i've last been on here i've managed to fail to go to the partyshank gig I was advertising, had a wicked time photographing loads of bands at the underage festival, spent a week sheltering from welsh rain in a welsh caravan, saw loads of brilliant comedy acts in edinburgh, got my results (they were good), rocked out at the reading festival then cheated at a ridiculous number of card games with my brother in southwold. I've also given up using capital letters because THERES NO TIME, DAMMIT.

this summer has been amazing, and i am planning on gradually writing about all the musick-related stuff eventually - even if that means you'll have to wait til october.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

A Severe lack Of Blogging

I am back from 3 weeks of having amazingly good fun sailing the seven seas from Liverpool to Norway (OK - there aren't actually seven seas there but you get the idea), then running round the tiny fishing town of Maloy and generally spreading mischief and mayhem - well, as much as you can when bars are charging £6.50 for a pint of beer.

Anyway, this summer I am going to be away from the computer quite a bit - hopefully not as long as my nearly-two-month absense that has just happened, but SGM is not dead. Things here are due to be a bit slow for a while, but I have a couple of gigs lined up for this week: Partyshank and Glamour for Better in Bedford, and the amazing Underage Festival in Victoria Park where I will be taking millions of photos with the photopass I have managed to acquire using underhand and corrupt methods - lying, stealing, bribing, murdering etc. Catcutter Records have sent me a compilation CD which i'm going to listen to at some point, and it's pretty much all bands i haven't heard before but having been out the 'sphere for about a month I am ready to listen to some new exciting bands.

Also, on a bit of a side note, the Forestry Commission is building a massive forest in the fields across my road. Which means I will have to have a big party there at some point.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

HEALTH live at Pure Groove, 10/06/08

Readers, it's been a while, but now my GCSEs are finally over. Summer's here!

HEALTH at Pure Groove, London

Seriously, Health are amazing. On tuesday I decided to skip revising and go see them play a free instore at the new Pure Groove store that's just opened up this month. I was not disappointed. The shop is literally tiny, and the band took up basically the whole of the stage with their piles and piles of crazy equipment. And as they launched into their first track 'Girl Attorney', John Famiglietti the guitarist immediately started jumping and spinning round through the crowd, and nearly whacking us in the face with his guitar. It was a half hour set of what could be described as solid noise, but as performers they are incredibly interesting to watch just to marvel at their equipment and techniques. The lead singer Jake Duzsik had two microphones, one making normal sound and the other making a shrill, high pitched scream. And despite their eagerness to do a bit of 'crazy dancing', and the slightly chaotic nature of their songs, you can see they are amazingly well-rehearsed and slick.

Usually at concerts I consider about 90% of the fun to be based on jumping around, getting very sweaty and slightly injured; but this was a lunchtime concert full of 30-somethings and vinyl. The strange thing (for me at least) was that the lack of dancing was a good thing. Most of their songs are completely chaotic and strange anyway, and with the band getting so into what they were doing it was nice to be able to just observe, if that makes sense. The volume was incredibly loud, and the songs really took on a new dimension in a live setting. They played pretty much all their album, sadly omitting 'Lost Time' and possibly a few others, but there were definitely a few new tracks I'd never heard before.

The band's UK tour finished last night, so UK readers will have to wait until august to see them again, whereas any Americans I urge you to see them on their US tour which is starting next week!

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Tellier Was Robbed

This is the best video I could find, recorded from french TV. it's worth watching for the spectacle of Sébastien Tellier's five female backing singers each with matching beards and sunglasses, a golf cart and the slightly counterproductive decision to inhale a load of helium.

The UK managed to come joint last, and the top spot was run by Russia, seemingly because every former Soviet Union state awarded a maximum douze points for them.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Lillica Libertine remixes Does it Offend You, Yeah?

I think now would be a good time to say that, in all honesty, I didn't really like 'Epic Last Song' on Does It Offend You, Yeah?'s debut album. It's not an awful song, it's not a crying on the floor with fingers in your ears song, it just didn't really do anything for me. And the Lifelike remix might be a slight improvement, but it's still not really anything to get that excited about.

Anyway, clearly the band disagrees with me about 'Epic Last Song' and they're releasing it as their next single, out on the 2nd of June. You can watch the video below.

They've also comissioned a remix by Lillica Libertine, which pushes the epicness (is epicness a word?) of the song all the way up to 11. It slows everything down, throws away all the vocals apart from the central chorus line, adds in some strange vocal effects and turns it into a grinding acid house track from the future. It's pretty 'out there' but at the moment I wholeheartedly approve.

Does it Offend You, Yeah? - Epic Last Song (Lillica Libertine Remix)
-link removed by request.

The single is available in loads of different formats, including CD, download or two 7" singles each with a different remix; which I quite like the idea of but there hasn't been a working record player in my house since 2002 so I might have to pass on those - alternatively you can order all 3 for just £4, and get a free japanese logo poster that I desperately want. Available to buy from here.

Please don't let my lack of enthusiasm about Epic Last Song deter you from the rest of the album, which has some really brilliant songs. Buy it from Rough Trade.

And finally - they've also launched a forum where you can make internet friends and compare which one in the band is your favourite. YOUNG OFFENDERS. it has a good name, methinks.

Friday, 23 May 2008

GCSE Music - What Idiots.

(Photo by Jack Hynes)

Year 11 pupils sitting music GCSE have been given exam papers with the answers written on the back. The OCR exam board (Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Examinations) paper involved pupils listening to pieces of music and then identifying composers and styles of music, and at the end of the paper was a copyright acknowledgement for each piece of music. Twelve thousand people took this exam. Hahaha.

Listen to my friend Wil being interviewed about it yesterday by BBC Radio (Mp3)

or read more on this BBC news article

Saturday, 17 May 2008



Well, recently I have been getting really into listening to a lot of HEALTH. And I'm not even talking HEALTH/DISCO remixes, I mean the full-on noise rock experience. Yeah, I am that hardcore.

Usually when there's really short tracks on an album they are really crap and pointless, for example 'Number One' on Lightspeed Champion's debut or 'Silver Thoughts' From Cut Copy's latest offering. If it's a little bit of fluid sound that does not stand up on its own as a song, it shouldn't be a seperate album track. HEALTH's shorter tracks however, might just be their best ones. Highly compressed thrash-noise compositions that properly get you awake and ready for anything. Like this one:

HEALTH - Girl Attorney zShare | YouSendIt

Another one of my favourite tracks from their self titled album is 'Courtship', and anyway I just want to show off to the world how clever I am when it comes to recognising a bit of sampling. Listen to this song, and at the 0.17 mark it launches into this cool scream/shout thing, and Crystal Castles fans will definitely recognise this from the backing to Crystal Castles' latest single 'Courtship Dating'. And this isn't just something i've thought up, on a bit of paper that comes with the album it says 'background screaming courtesy of Health'. There's clearly some kind of conspiracy going on here with them both using the word 'courtship', but i don't know what it is yet.

Crystal Castles - Courtship Dating zShare | YouSendIt
HEALTH - Courtship zShare | YouSendIt

And anyway as I was having a read round the rest of the album literature I was intrigued to see that the track 'Air War' does not credit the vocals to Alice, but in fact they are sampled from 'Thema (Omaggio a Joyce)' by someone called Berio. I wasn't all that surprised the vocal wasn't Alice - and I don't think anyone would be, seeing as to be honest it sounds absolutely nothing like her - but without another option most people had assumed they were by her. And so in the name of investigative blogging, I decided to have a look around. After a bit of googling I found out the song is on a few different CDs, all of which are out of print. I then stumbled upon this blog. It didn't have an mp3 of Thema, but it made a bit of a reference to it, along with a lot of interesting stuff about postmodern composing that I didn't understand at all, but was still quite interesting to stumble through. So I decided that at the end of the day it wouldn't hurt to email the blog author, a Mr Jacob Sudol, and ask ever so nicely if he'd send me an mp3. It turns out he'd actually already posted it on his blog last June, and I've posted it here it is for you to enjoy as well.

To introduce it a bit, it's a reading of the opening to the Sirens chapter of James Joyce's Ullyses, which I haven't read but I think I will one day. It's not read the composer Luciano Berio himself, but his wife Cathy Berberian. Herself a soprano singer, she definitely deserves a lot of the credit for it due to her crazy vocal acrobatics, but then gradually her voice is subjected to all kind of crazy effects: distortions, echoes, stutterings; the tape speeds up, and then it slows down. Eventually it becomes an unrecognisable mess of sound. It's pretty weird, and although it's obviously a bit dated sounding - it was made in the 1950s - it's quite amazing to think people were messing around with sound like this before either of my parents were born. If you like it, I might suggest you also have a listen to 'Visage', which, although unlikely to get into your most played, is quite a terrifying experience and worth hearing at least once.

In the CC track 'Air War' the vocals are a bit more high pitched and of course, made even less recognisable to the point that a lot of people thing the words are in a completely different language. I've just found an old Pitchfork article that is quite funny to read now, because it describes "Alice's vocals" as "reminiscent of Luciano Berio's Thema (Omaggio a Joyce)". Haha, silly pitchfork.

Luciano Berio - Thema (Omaggio a Joyce)zShare | YouSendIt
Luciano Berio - Visage zShare | YouSendIt
Crystal Castles - Air War zShare | YouSendIt

Buy Crystal Castles' Album
Buy HEALTH's album
Buy HEALTH's remix album

Oh yeah, and because this blog is now a year old, as of a few days ago, I am posting the lyrics as well, to celebrate.

Bronze by gold heard the hoofirons, steelyrining imperthnthn thnthnthn.
Chips, picking chips off rocky thumbnail, chips. Horrid! And gold flushed more.
A husky fifenote blew.
Blew. Blue bloom is on the
Gold pinnacled hair.
A jumping rose on satiny breasts of satin, rose of Castille.
Trilling, trilling: I dolores.
Peep! Who's in the... peepofgold?
Tink cried to bronze in pity.
And a call, pure, long and throbbing. Longindying call.
Decoy. Soft word. But look! The bright stars fade. O rose! Notes chirruping answer.
Castille. The morn is breaking.
Jingle jingle jaunted jingling.
Coin rang. Clock clacked.
Avowal. Sonnez. I could. Rebound of garter. Not leave thee. Smack. La cloche! Thigh smack. Avowal. Warm. Sweetheart, goodbye!
Jingle. Bloo.
Boomed crashing chords. When love absorbs. War! War! The tympanum.
A sail! A veil awave upon the waves.
Lost. Throstle fluted. All is lost now.
Horn. Hawhorn.
When first he saw. Alas!
Full tup. Full throb.
Warbling. Ah, lure! Alluring.
Martha! Come!
Clapclop. Clipclap. Clappyclap.
Goodgod henev erheard inall.
Deaf bald Pat brought pad knife took up.
A moonlight nightcall: far: far.
I feel so sad. P. S. So lonely blooming.
The spiked and winding cold seahorn. Have you the?
Each and for other plash and silent roar.
Pearls: when she.
Liszt's rhapsodies.

Monday, 5 May 2008

3 Songs That Are Somewhat Vaguely Relevant To A Recent News Item


Shock! Horror! Incest! Rape! Here are some vaguely disturbing-ish songs that could be seen as some form of commentary.

Death From Above 1979 - Little Girl zShare | YouSendIt
(from the album 'You're a Woman, I'm a Machine'. Buy)

Interpol - Evil zShare | YouSendIt
(from the album 'Antics'. Buy)

Patrick Wolf - The Childcatcher zShare | YouSendIt
(from the album 'Lycanthropy'. Buy)


1. Of the following options, is this idea of using mp3s to belatedly bring you the news
A. Too pretentious?
B. Not pretentious enough?
C. Just right with regards to levels of pretentiousness?

2. Of the following options, how obvious is it that I have stolen the idea of having loads of questions from Hipster Runoff?
A. Too obvious?
B. Not obvious enough?
C. Just right with regards to levels of obviousness?

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Love Music Hate Racism Carnival @ Victoria Park, 27/04/08

(Truly awe-inspiring cameraphone photography by me)

Mmmkay. Sunday was fun but overall the day was quite badly organised, and whoever thought it would be a good idea to encourage every act to badmouth the BNP at every possible oppurtunity was foolish. Obviously the BNP are stupid evil racist nazis, but I didn't need to be told that by twelve different people at 20 minute intervals. Some of the politics were also a bit wonky too, such as the festival's organiser saying the BNP should be banned as a party, which is obviously wrong. If the government just goes around banning political groups on the basis that their political beliefs are wrong, then how can this country be any better than Nazi Germany, Apartheid era South Africa or McCarthyist America? Anyway - rant over - I spent most of the day jamming out in the dance tent to a load of trance/grime/dubstep/bassline/garage and old nineties house music, breaking all the rules of 'Thou Shalt Always Kill' and dancing like an easily amaused moron but it was very fun. There were a lot of 'Gyals wiv Attitood' who I can only assume hadn't been to the kind of musical event that might be described as a 'gig' before, and some of them got very annoyed at people like me who wanted to jump around. There were more than a few times when it looked like someone who'd accidentally stepped on someone's toe was 'gonn get slapped' for 'disrespecting ma family' or something. But it was alright on the whole.

Love Music Hate Racism

After a bit I made the mistake of thinking it might be a good idea to check out Hard-fi, seeing as I figured the people dancing there might be a bit tolerant of getting brushed against by accident, but after spending about 5 minutes saying 'excuse me' I was at the front and I realised nobody was dancing or was going to. There were several thousand people crammed in like sardines with their eyes on the stage and no intention of moving. Ever. Which, all in all is not their fault because Hard-fi really are the worst band in the world. Ever.

With reference to me saying it was badly organised, I asked a million stewards when Patrick Wolf was playing, and it turned out they hadn't even decided which stage he was playing on until about an hour before he took the stage. It took a lot of asking to find out when he was actually on, but when he finally took the stage he was really good. We arrived a bit early and saw the last ten minutes of Akala, and heard a few tracks from his new(ish) album, and one bit where he managed to rap a whole song a capella at a rate of about ten syllables per second. Which I thought was quite impressive. Back to Mr Wolf - it was quite a short set, starting with 'Accident & Emergency' and closing with the brilliant 'Magic Position'.


The show started off with Patrick wearing a black shirt and trousers combo but in the middle of one song he threw them off revealing some rather brilliant Union Jack pyjamas. It was quite an upbeat poppy set, with a full backing band and Mr Wolf dancing round the stage armed with a microphone only. Last time I saw Patrick Wolf, at the Underage Festival (also in Victoria Park), it was a more piano-based ballady show that eventually I left to go rock out to Boy Kill Boy instead, because I couldn't see anything or hear it that well. As Patrick introduced the track 'Vultures', a massive pit opened up behind me and the rest of the set became a big euphoric crowdsurfing pile-up, as opposed to a million teenage girls trying to get as close to Mr Wolf as possible. It ended with Patrick Wolf climbing all over the crowd barriers and flailing around Alice Glass-style, and it was really fun.

Patrick Wolf - The Magic Position
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And the fact that I heard this song about 20 times means I am actually starting to like it. Please don't hate me, I am already full of enough self-loathing as it is.

T2 Ft Jodie - Heartbroken
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