The second annual Homespun music festival took place in various venues across the Medway Towns last week, starting on Wednesday 23rd with among other Jowe Head, he of Swell Maps & TV Personalities fame, and culminating with five bands playing at the newest venue, the Sun Pier House hosting only its second gig. A cafe & art rooms by day it was transformed into a gigging venue on Saturday evening to host Hand of Stabs, The Sine Waves, Galileo 7, The Parade & Young Husband.
After being told by several people that I would like Hand of Stabs I decided to put brave the heat, put on some clothes and smother myself with deodorant in the hope that I could last long enough in the heat to watch their set before melting. But alas, I began dripping profusely even before Hand Of Stabs had assembled their odd array of instruments that included an electrified bicycle wheel – not since Psychic TV have I heard someone get a tune from such an inanimate object. On that note, if the Sun Pier Cafe is to host regular gigs, and I hope they do, they need to invest in air conditioning or windows that open properly and a large enough fridge to serve ice cold alcohol.
Unfortunately, I was disappointed with Hand of Stabs. They didn’t appear to be enjoying the experience of playing a conventional gig and the freeform improvised jam never quite go off the ground. I made a mental note to go see them perform in a field, woods or museum – a normal place to perform as far as these three wise weirdy beards are concerned – I will I’m sure enjoy it much more next time.
The Sine Waves made a good, tight surf racket dressed in lab coats and wacky head gear, and the Galileo 7 played an equally tight set of melodic psych pop. By now the heat was on, and I was about to pass out and give in. But for some reason I decided to stay and listen to one song by The Parade. I had seen the name around and was aware of the singer’s solo project Lupen Crook. But not heard either. The five-piece ambled onto the stage through the sweat and chatter, donned their instruments and drifted into their first song. Taking centre stage, Matt Prichard began by playing the organ and quietly singing in a gentle, poetic way with his acoustic guitar slung high around his back like a drunken bohemian vagabond stumbling out of a Victorian bar into the bright light of a new day.
Unannounced I wasn’t the only one to cock-an-ear. There seemed to be an aura, an electricity, if not from the group, from Matt Prichard (aka Lupen Crook) – a tortured soul, basking in the limelight while also giving an air of awkward discomfort in having to give a performance; and that is exactly what this was – a performance. The Parade have edginess about them. A feeling anything and everything is about to happen. Jemimah Dean sang with Prichard while bashing drums, crashing cymbals and demonically strutting barefooted in shamanic-like posturing.
From the other side of the stage the sweet innocent looking Hannah Prescott began plucking at strings to make the most beautiful noise while she stamped on an array of effects pedals to give her guitar various surges of distorted life, which was so not what I imagined – a twee indie pop jingle jangle. Behind this frontline barrage of positive power and bleeding emotion there is a tight rhythm section courtesy of Chris Garth on drums and bassist Chris Taylor. Together they liberate the space for Prichard, Dean & Prescott to express themselves, filling the air with broken glass-like jagged sounds and some of the most exciting power pop I have heard in a very long time.
My one and only criticism of The Parade performance that night was I wanted it to be 10x louder. I didn’t want to hear people yakking. I wanted those people to be forced to shut up and leave holding their palms over their ears to stop the blood flow. The Parade need to be as loud as My Bloody Valentine without earplugs; as uncontrolled as The Jesus & Mary Chain at the infamous North London Poly ‘Riot’ gig; and if The Parade continue to be fully committed and build it, they will come.
With their Australian release ‘Where Wolf,’ Ginger and the Ghost grabbed the attention of the tastemakers with their experimental pop, quickly becoming the darlings of the local music press. Now with their first UK EP ‘Call Up The Whales’, released on Rabble Records,the duo return to fully establish themselves amongst the alternative pop scene with four tracks displaying their mettle.
Ginger & The Ghost are Missy & Daniel, both renowned visual artists within the Australian fashion industry. The duo’s live set is as enticing visually as it is phonetically. A quality they also bring to their videos, emphasizing their love of the dramatic in their costume and set design to create an entire conceptual world around their music.
With strong folk undertones, it’s an ethereal pop offering that has both depth and whimsy. Utilizing the quirk of Missy’s unique voice with their natural tendency towards the avant garde, songs such as The Mark of Hearts have recently drawn praise globally from tastemakers such as Nylon Magazine.
A dark complexity and beguiling spookiness lends an air of mysticism to the tracks, which can be attributed to their recording in a converted water tank in the Australian outback.
The talented duo are quickly amassing a strong fanbase that saw their 2013 single One Type of Dark reach No. 1 on the Hype Chart.
Pete Molinari has released his latest album, Theosophy on Cherry Red Records.
The 13-track album, featuring both the well known Dan Auerbach and Little Barrie from Primal Scream, was recorded at the Humbug Studio on the Isle of Wight, Toerag Studios in London & Giant Wafer Studios in Wales and was produced by Boe Weaver, with additional production from Andrew Weatherall, Tchad Blake and Liam Watson.
Theosophy is Pete Molinari’s fourth album, following Walking Off The Map (2006), A Virtual Landslide (2008) and Train Bound For Glory (2010).
The title is inspired by The Theosophical Society – an organization formed in 1875 “to promote an understanding of the Esoteric Teachings” and whose interest spans science, mysticism, religion and the arts.
Pete Molinari – Theosophy track listing:
1. Hang My Head In Shame
2. You Will Be Mine
4. I Got Mine
5. I Got It All Indeed
6. When Two Worlds Collide
7. What I Am I Am
8. Dear Marie
9. Mighty Son Of Abraham
10. So Long Gone
11. Easy Street
12. Winds Of Change
13. Love For Sale
Completed in early 2014, and recording most of the original album tracks on the Isle Of Wight, the talents of producer Liam Watson, acclaimed DJ/re-mixer Andrew Weatherall and Grammy award-winning producer/mixer Tchad Blake, who’s previous credits include the likes of Tom Waits and Al Green, were subsequently added to the mix.
Theosophy pushes lots of musical boundaries, and with a host of musical allies he was able to explore new creative fields not ventured on past albums. It’s been a journey that has brought Pete to a new level of songwriting, epitomized best by Tchad Blake. As Pete recalls, “Tchad told me he admired my sense of abandonment. I think going off and finding out what he meant by that really summed up the whole record. The sense I got was that I’m not inhibited by anything that’s going on at the moment, whether the present or the past. I just go about things my own way.”
Born into a large Maltese, Italian and Egyptian family in Kent, Pete became fascinated with the 1960s’ folk of Leadbelly, Hank Williams, Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie. After reading the beat writings of Jack Kerouac Pete set off for New York where he honed his craft in the blues clubs of East Village, travelling to Memphis, New Orleans, San Francisco and Los Angeles before returning home to record his debut album, Walking Off The Map, in 2006 with the help of Billy Childish.
Recording his follow up album, A Virtual Landslide, at Toe Rag Studios in London, Pete began a working relationship with producer Liam Watson, which continues to this day.
2010’s critically acclaimed A Train Bound For Glory earned Pete an appearance on BBC’s Later With Jools Holland and a nomination for Best Newcomer at the MOJO Awards, while successful stints in the US brought acclaim from a host of songwriters and producers including Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Ray Davies and Yoko Ono with whom he appeared on stage with last summer when she curated the 2013 Meltdown Festival at the Royal Festival Hall in London. For the festival finale, Yoko and her band performed for the first time ever the John Lennon/Yoko Ono Double Fantasy album, in its entirety. Yoko handpicked Pete to sing the Lennon songs “Woman” and “(Just Like) Starting Over” along with her band.
In the mid-1970s reggae and its darker incarnations had an influence on white kids, especially in inner city, multi-cultural neighbourhoods. Sounds and cultures clashed at parties, while police and youths clashed in the streets. Nowhere better to find the cause and effect of how young white punks and black youths of West Indian family origins bonded as disaffected youths against the police and oppression of inner city decay than in West London. From the mid-1970s the angst & spitting aggression of punk rock music and the chilled, laid-back vibe of dub reggae were polar opposite. But they effected a generation of musicians who found perfect solace in both white rock noise and the heavy bottom-end bass vibrations and echo chamber space of dub reggae. The Ruts, Slits and The Clash flirted with fusing these forces with varying degrees of success. But no other group in the late 1970s created a more powerful, mesmorising and powerful music, equal in its white punk angst and deep understanding of dub reggae culture sound than Killing Joke.
Though not originally from Notting Hill, the founding members of Killing Joke met there in 1978. Jeremy ‘Jaz’ Coleman and drummer Paul Ferguson were joined by the two members that helped forge the unique and original post-punk groundbreaking sound of Killing Joke. Kevin ‘Geordie’ Walker stroked his gold Guild guitar effortlessly to make a wailing wall of sound. Whilst Martin ‘Youth’ Glover took bass inspiration, emotion and depth from dub reggae.
In 1979 I bought the first Killing Joke release, Turn To Red 12” EP, by way of an introduction from the legendary, John Peel. It made an immediate and lasting impact on me. The classic self-titled debut album followed the following year and included a slow version of the second single ‘War Dance’ along with timeless songs ‘Requiem’, ‘Change’ and ‘Tomorrow’s World’. Both still remain regular favourites played over 30 years later in my home, in my car, at work and on my MP3 player.
After recording a second album, What’s THIS For…! (1981), Youth left Killing Joke, only to return some 27 years later in 2008 after meeting the other original members at a funeral, following the untimely death of replacement bass player, Paul Raven.
Along the way, Youth has produced and remixed a plethora of artists and has become one of the most sort after British record producers. On his travels he also found time to continually produce some amazing dub re-workings of Killing Joke songs; and for the first time ever, Killing Joke are officially releasing a dub album.
Killing Joke In Dub is a 3-CD release scoping Killing Joke’s 35 year back catalogue and on hearing the news of its forthcoming release, was probably the most excited I’ve ever been for such a collection of ‘re-workings’ in my entire life. But anticipation is not always a good thing. It can ultimately lead to disappointment. Nostalgia can be burst with hindsight as time warps our over-inflated memories.
My own interest in Killing Joke waned shortly after the third album, Revelations (1982). So I am unfamiliar with the original recordings of most of the songs collected here; and the only track I had previously heard was ‘a floating leaf always reaches the sea’ remix of Requiem, originally released in 1992 along with the Spiral Tribe mix of ‘Change’ (also included).
Please note: To witness the full force of this album and the quality of these dub plates, the following tracks and indeed the whole album should be heard at full volume through, if possible, the biggest baddest subwoofing motherfucker you can lay your ears on!
Killing Joke – Requiem (A Floating Leaf Always Finds The Sea mix)
CD1 kicks off with the deepest, darkest trance dub of Youth’s ‘This World Hell (Alive & Kicking Dub Remix)’. The drums are clean and crisp in the mix, while the sub-bass throbs like a demented bulldozer, slow and effortless, shaking everything to the ground that dares to cross its path . In my attempt to receive the full impact of what I was about to receive, I turned my stereo volume to max and turned the bass all the way down. Dub reverb filled the room, quickly followed by the first sub-bass warbling of the lowest end that literally blew my cat clean off her paws! Fucking awesome – there’s no other words that will more succinctly describe the shiver that started in the nape of my neck and fizzed the length of my spine.
Killing Joke – This World Hell (Alive & Kicking Dub Remix)
With compilation albums such as this, I normally hear two or three gems and the rest of the album is littered with re-workings that were originally used as 12” fillers at best or standard remixes with formularized lazy beats and drops. But this is Killing Joke and these tracks were produced by Youth!
Two tracks that particularly work for me, are ‘Money Is Not Our God (Babylon Dub)’ (CD1 #2) and ‘This World Hell (Cult Of Youth Ambient Samsara Dub Mix)’ (CD2 #2). Both are very, very heavy.
Killing Joke – Money Is Not Our God (Babylon Dub)
Much of the album is deep and dirty, evidence of Killing Joke’s industrial rock and Youth’s own travels into trance circles are clearly visible even in the more experimental moments. But ‘The Raven King (Never Grow Old, Forever Now Dub)’ offers some lighter relief in an upbeat tribute to the late Paul Raven which errs towards Dreadzone in its more uplifting, commercial sounding summer-hazed dub celebration.
Killing Joke – The Raven King (Never Grow Old, Forever Now Dub)
Killing Joke In Dub is 28 versions, reworking and plain dub mixes by Youth across 3 CDs titled (CD1) Apocalypse Dancehall, (CD2) Rockers Retroactive and the unimaginatively titled (CD3 Bonus Tracks). After countless hours, mainly via good quality headphones I have only encountered two, possibly three tracks I don’t care for. My CD experience is otherwise skip-free, and to be honest, I’m currently finding every else somewhat too light and fluffy, in comparison.
Killing Joke – Tomorrow’s World (Urban Primitive Dub)
Killing Joke In Dub is released on 5th May and is currently occupying #1 in my ‘Best Albums of 2014’ chart.
Glasgow gets set to welcome top names in electronic music including 2ManyDJs, Jamie Jones, Felix Da Housecat and Laurent Garnier for the The Electric Frog & Pressure Riverside Festival that gets underway this weekend.
Increased to a two day event for the first ever time, the outdoor music festival takes place on the grounds of the iconic Riverside Museum, on the banks of the River Clyde over the May Bank Holiday weekend (3rd and 4th May).
It’s a day to night affair and stretching across two of the city’s best club venues the SWG3 and The Admiral, the after parties will kick-off on the first day of the festival. These official parties will include exclusive sets from world-class talent. Saturday 3rd May at SWG3 will feature sets from Pan-Pot, Derrick May and Slam. The Admiral will host Tiga and Matthew Dear.
Sunday 4th May at SWG3 will feature Visionquest, Francois K, Kevorkian, Lord of the Isles and Sunday Circus + more still to be announced.
The festival organisers have confirmed an outstanding line-up boasting an eclectic mix of legendary and up-and-coming talent for the two day festival including headliners 2ManyDJs, James Jones, Laurent Garnier and Pan-Pot.
Acts Andrew Weatherall, Cajmere, Derrick Carter, Derrick May, Felix Da Housecat, Francois K, Lord of the Isles (live), notsosilent, Mash, Matthew Dear , Melting Pot, Moritz Von Oswald, DJ Sneak, Slam, Sunday Circus, Tiga, Visionquest and Vitalic (live) will also appear over the two day festival.
Electric Frog & Pressure Festival Promoter, Dave Clarke said: “We’re hugely excited as we start building the site and putting the infrastructure in place at this inspiring Glasgow setting. The location is simply spectacular with the iconic architecture of the Riverside Museum and the views along the river Clyde as the back drop, and with so many amazing acts on the bill, it’s shaping up to be our best Electric Frog and Pressure collaboration yet! It appears we are to be blessed with dry weather too which is a bonus.”
The Electric Frog & Pressure Riverside festival will feature two covered stages and a variety of bars and stalls bringing together a real carnival atmosphere. The Riverside Feastival provides fans with local street food, brought to you by the infamous KILTR Street Feastival events. Street food vendors including ‘Breaking Bread’ will make sure festival-goers taste buds are satisfied over this Bank Holiday weekend with their selection of locally-sourced bites.
Festival tickets are priced at £35 for day tickets and £60 for weekend tickets, fans can purchase tickets for all events via Tickets Scotland. After party tickets are on-sale now available for £10, for entry you must have a wristband / ticket from the festival.
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