Sunday, 24 June 2007


Wow. I just saw Björk's live set from this year's Glastonbury Festival. I think the festival itself is something that would definitely be worth clamouring to go to once, and if I ever go I hope to god Miss Guðmundsdóttir is playing. Dressed as some sort of leafy druid creature, she along with about a hundred or so backing singers/dancers/musicians (who all had their foreheads painted eerie shapes that glowed in the dark) raced through pretty much all the tracks off new album Volta, and some old favourites. The set opened with Björk in a huge hat that looked a bit like a tea cosy, and Volta's flagship single Earth Intruders, before moving onto Venus As A Boy, from Björk 's Debut album. I think Björk is perhaps the most under-rated musician of our time. The woman is literally amazing at what she does, and has the most versatile, beautiful voice. I'm not even saying she's unsuccessful, but if you compare how good she is to people who've experienced similar mainstream success, she'll kill them. The highlight of the show had to be the stomper Declare Independence, in which audience and performers gave up any pretense of sanity and the screeching, distorted guitars were pierced only by acid green Björk's awe-inspiring voice. Wow.
DOWNLOAD: Björk - Declare Independence
Watch The Live Set

Bolt The Dizzee Hadouken Fox Party

OK I'm sorry this is turning into a blog that seems entirely dedicated to Hadouken, but I just had to do a write-up of their excellent (and I mean excellent) mixtape. Sampling all of early 2007's best banger's, this is really one for the scene kids. It's got Caroline's a Victim, Ready To Uff, TWO Klaxons rework's (major kudos on the Golden Skans snippet) and they're even remixing their own tracks. IT IS AMAZING. The available artwork only gives the sampled artist's names and not the songs, and some of the tracks I honestly cannot be bothered to research but it tracklisting is roughly as follows:

Bloc Party vs Hadouken! - The Prayer Remix
Like Woah! - (DON'T KNOW)
David E Sugar Feat Ears - (DON'T KNOW)
Wiley - (DON'T KNOW)
Plan B vs Hadouken! - No More Eating Remix
Virus Syndicate
Skepta Feat Wiley, JME, Creed - (DON'T KNOW)
Klaxons vs Hadouken! - Atlantis To Interzone Remix
Bolt Action Five - Tree Friend Tree Foe
Hadouken! - Tuning In
Uffie - Ready To Uff
Kate Nash - Caroline's A Victim
Klaxons - Golden Skans
Justice - Phantom
Fox N Wolf - Youth Alcoholic
Radioclit - (DON'T KNOW)
Gossip - Standing In The Way Of Control
Test Icicles - (DON'T KNOW)
Jixilix - (DON'T KNOW)

Get the whole mixtape @

Overall the mixtape is really really good. Personally I reckon some of the rap/grimey bits at the beginning go on a bit too long + Maybe they coulda done something a bit more interesting with Caroline's A Victim. I particularly like the way they've really subtly messed with the bassline from Standing In The Way Of Control, although it actually makes me wince so much when i hear people refer to Beth Ditto & Co's three and a half minute frenzied protest track as 'The Skins Song'. Eurghhhhh.

My favourite bit of the track has to be Bolt Action Five's Tree Friend Tree Foe. I hadn't heard of this band before but I am officially in love with them. I have no idea what they are talking about with friends and foes and trees but it makes an excellent track. The Cleft Pallettes have an amazing remix of it, all glitchy synths and super mario drumbeats.
DOWNLOAD: Bolt Action Five - Tree Friend Tree Foe (Cleft Palettes Remix)

In fact, the Cleft Pallettes have some really awesome remixes, especially their edit of the Teenager's Homecoming, in which they manage to laugh at just about everything to do with the Myspace generation of 2007. Get them off their Myspace. I'm also grateful for the screechy Youth Alcoholic bit. It's like the horrible third verse of the Timewarp, except really really good. I do have first-hand anecdotal evidence it will make your pets go temporarily insane. There's a wicked "hungover booty crunk" remix of it available HERE from

In other news, Cajun Dance Party have just started their UK tour. I'm hoping to catch them at the Bedford Esquires in a few Saturdays' time, and they've just made their 2006 demo EP available free from their website. If you haven't heard Cajun Dance Party yet I seriously suggest you check them out. CAJUN FREE DEMOS
&&&& I have FINALLY managed to get my hands on the Dizzee Rascal album. I'd be lying if I said it's all good - track number 1 is especially crap, the hightlight is where Dizzee coughs at around the 2 minute 40 mark - but there are some awesome tunes. Sirens, his ode to 'goin out n robbin stuff', if you ignore the fact it includes actual sirens, is a wicked banger. Listen to the heavy guitar riffs that sound like they're stolen out an old White Stripes album, and the catchy-as-anything chorus: it's impossible not to be hooked.
DOWNLOAD: Dizzee Rascal - Sirens

Monday, 11 June 2007

Hadouken! Live At The ULU

After the short train journey from St Albans to Kings Cross and the 20 minute walk to the ULU, we arrived to see a crowd of new-rave teenagers, and what struck me was how young the crowd were. Me and my friends (aged 15) had expected to be among the youngest people there, especially considering it was at a student union. We were literally amazed by what everyone was wearing. Skinny jeans in colours usually reserved for highlighter pens, girls with blue knee-length hair extensions, boys with flat top caps balanced on hair so backcombed they looked like bird’s nests – it was insane. Just about every girl in a skirt was also wearing leggings – we thought one girl was wearing silver (silver?) leggings, but she explained to us she’d actually just spray-painted her legs silver. Everyone had their glowsticks and plastic sunglasses – which loads of people insisted on wearing the WHOLE NIGHT – and we were just about the only people without H! scrawled all over our clothes. It was mad. We arrived at seven O’clock and the queue already had about a hundred people in it and the time was about ten to eight when we finally entered the venue.

The stage was empty and there was a huge banner with the distinctive Hadouken! logo scrawled across it. There was some generic bassy rap music playing and the crowd was gradually amassing at the front. A few bald blokes with moustaches were adjusting the equipment and there were about 5 bouncers in orange polo shirts looking less than amused at the restless crowd. The guns, bitches and bling faded out; the soundcheck men cleared off, and after about 30 seconds of nothing but noisy chatter we were greeted with the slightly out-of-place ‘Close To You’, as sung by The Carpenters, blaring out the speakers. Running onto the stage was Example, a “white rapper from Fulham” possibly best known for his bootleg answerback track to Lily Allen's 'Smile' – called ‘Vile’. He urged the crowd to ‘get their glowsticks in the air’ and most of the first verse was just one huge swaying singalong, but eventually it evolved into a foot-stamping rap anthem. Somehow. I was really thrilled Example was playing; I knew he’d done some support on Hadouken!’s tour, but he wasn’t billed for the ULU gig so I thought it would just be his night off or something. I had no idea how good a live performer Example was. Heavy on sampling and audience participation, for example one song had a chorus that was made up getting the crowd to shout, “BOUNCE! BOUNCE! BOUNCE!” over the bridge to The Rolling Stones’ ‘Paint it Black’, or Britney Spears’ ‘Toxic’ used to describe his smoker girlfriend’s breath. We heard an exclusive preview of new single ‘I Don’t Want To’, which (if I’m honest) I can’t actually remember all that well but it was really good. He finished with a rendition of ‘You Can’t Rap’, a song which, I believe, is worthy of the title of Best Rap Song Ever To Feature An Opera Singer. Ever.

After a much-needed water-break, Does This Offend You, Yeah? Took the stage. Having heard mp3s off their MySpace, where they only have a load of cartoon pictures, I was expecting two blokes on decks or something and maybe a drummer. But what we got was a four-piece complete with guitarist and a bassist/keyboardist. And a guy on decks thrown in for good measure. After making a hugely painful horrible guitar screaming noise, the lead singer grabbed the mic and said, in the epitome of cool, “Does This O-Fuckin-Fend You, Yeah?” and they launched into their first song. I have no idea what it was, but GOD, it was crap. After that tirade was over, they were on form with the excellent Battle Royale. It was here that the sweaty pogo-ing rave saw it’s first bit of aggressive ‘mosh’ action. Mainly due to my mate Alex trying to get in front of some hench teenager who was about a foot taller than him, the crowd started literally falling over itself and pushing and swaying and suchlike. And the girls in the crowd were LOVING it. Literally. Not wanting to appear as some sort of chauvinist/sexist stereotypist, but the girls around the bit of stage I was at were violent. I was punched, scratched and squashed and the particularly sadistic ones were the girls. The weird thing was, I honestly did not feel an ounce of pain. I’m usually one of the kids with a low(er than most) pain threshold, but even when a girl in six-inch stilettos managed to scratch a deep (OK, not that deep) gash in my shin, the adrenaline rush was such that I felt literally NO PAIN. At all. Everything went crazy with their final track ‘We Are Rockstars’ which they dedicated to Headliners Hadouken!, despite one audience member’s shout that it should be dedicated to Jesus, and another one saying it should be dedicated to Joan Of Ark. People were crowdsurfing and punching and kicking and at one point this whole line of people at the front all pushed back at the same time, causing about 30 people a few rows back to land in one huge pileup. As a metaphor to help you understand sort of what it was like, here is a video for the song made by a fan for a video & media course she was doing.

Hadouken! finally came on, I was getting really overheated so I made the decision to pour a cup of water all over me. BAD IDEA. I was bloody freezing on the way home. Anyways, they opened with Bounce, which, judging by their YouTube channel, is pretty standard. The crowd were going mental & it was nice to see them also playing some new material I hadn’t heard, such as ‘Blood, Sweat and Beers’ and ‘Declaration Of War’ which was a personal favourite, as it was much more of a sing song, as opposed to a shout song. The show ended with That Boy That Girl, which neither the crowd nor the band really wanted to stop. James rapped the main verse from their rather fabulous Bloc Party Remix and the end chorus got repeated at least 3 times. It was actually a brilliant gig – go see Hadouken! now, while they’re still small. The Album drops in September, and is a must-buy. I can’t wait.

Friday, 1 June 2007

The Wombats

I'm a wee bit annoyed. I've signed up on the UK Undercurrent website to spend by saturday night collecting email adresses and handing out flyers and badges in return for 2 free tickets to see the Wombats at the Green Room in Welwyn Garden city. Unfortunately, Wombats lead singer Matthew Murphy has tonsilitis. The scumbag. Anyway, my gig is cancelled and so my dreams of sending off a huge list of email addresses and myspace addies in return for a nice Wombats CD or t-shirt will have to wait.

If you don't know The Wombats, they're a three-piece from Liverpool who recently signed with 14th floor recordings, thus relenquishing the title of the UK's 'best unsigned band' that many had dubbed them as. Their major-label debut single 'Kill The Director' is out on June 25th, available on on CD, vinyl or as a download. The unused stack of 200 or so flyers in my room is telling me to write that you can pre-order now from
Buy it. It's great. The lyrics are smart and funny, the bass riff foot-stompingly catchy, and the three-part harmonies are heavenly.
I think Matt Murphy's voice is amazing, and is perfectly offset by drummer Dan Haggis and norwegian bassist Tord Overland-Knudsen's falsetto 'woo-hoo's, 'dooby-doo's and 'da-da-da's. The wombats are great.

DOWNLOAD: The Wombats - Little Miss Pipe Dream