Category Archives: bars clubs gigs

list of bars and clubs – city based


Last weekend the Cambridge Folk Festival took place, and the highlight was no doubt – with all due respect to Laura Marling who was also brilliant – Katzenjammer: four very talented girls from Norway who play some kind of balkan-inspired polka punk.

Now I feel like I should say something profound about the massacre at Utöya a couple of weeks ago but it has left me speechless.

Click here to watch the YouTube mix for Katzenjammer. It will cheer you up.

Francois K at Cielo: refreshing in every way

It’s refreshing to know that the guy that remixed Chaka Khan and Prince to such great effect back in day is still around.
It’s refreshing to hear uplifting house music verging on disco still has a place in the world.
It’s refreshing to feel the glow of early-evening spring-time.
It’s refreshing to know that you can just dip into SoundCloud and end up with a smile on your face.

Feeling like some refreshments?

Jesus Christ, Har Mar Superstar

I’ve had this category called ‘all over the place’ on this blog for a while… finally I’ve found the perfect subject matter. Last night at Benders for the opening of Noisepop, our man Har Mar was not just ‘all over the place’, but quite simply all in our face (one of our friends narrowly missed a teabagging). This indie court jester/rock hobbit has a stage act nonpareil.

To be honest, I’ve sampled his recorded music before and have never been that enthused. For the same reason I’ve passed up tickets to his show in the past. But the music really isn’t the point. It’s a prop along with the spandex cloak, the African tunic and, erm, his underpants. Not one to blush at pretentious ideas like artistic integrity, there’s even a spell of ‘yelling at the soundman’ drama, where HMS makes it clear the music player dishing out the backing track (including vocals from the likes of Beth Ditto and Karen O) is his fourth band member. The other two floppy-haired fellas being a bassist and drummer, both play it relatively straight as Har Mar pounces and preens through his dance/funk R&B, undressing at will.

Finally, the crowd has what it wants – HMS sporting little more than the garb that brought him into the world. And there, within his ‘barefaced cheek’ lies the crux of my enjoyment: Har Mar exults and adores us humans at our basest, most sordid, most ironic. Like a 40-year old accountant fantasizing about winning gold at the 100 meter sprint and getting it on with a supermodel. Har Mar just brings this fantasy to the stage as an urban yank version of the laughing Buddha. One that gets the last laugh.

More on Har Mar Superstar

A selection of hits from the sleek Har Mar Superstar website (I guess we’re still awaiting his release of a clothing line):

Surprisingly downbeat whilst being interviewed in a launderette:

Dirty Laundry Presents: Har Mar Superstar from Dirty Laundry on Vimeo.

You’ll find a collection of his ‘works’ on YouTube and he’s not too prouo to Tweet.

Matty from Glock’N’Spiel – fast and loose with minimal

Thanks to Tim from for pointing me in the direction of this mix from Brighton’s own Matty, a graphic designer who doubles up as a house DJ involved with the free underground movement that is Glock’N’Spiel.

This is a tight little mix that really get’s going about 15 minutes in. A jacking undercurrent keeps the thin minimal infrastructure lifted. I’d be interested to know what the tinkling little number is about 30 mins in but couldn’t dig up a tracklisting for this one.

There’s a bit more info here, but I’m afraid that’s all I’ve got for the time being.

Slinky minimal house from Agnès

So, finally, after about 18 months I may finally get out to Kontrol – one of SF’s prime house/techno nights.

Agnès is due to be headlining tonight. A Swiss producer with a penchant for dubbed out minimal productions. For some reason I don’t get to check out much minimal these days, so looking forward to seeing what Kontrol has to offer.

In the meantime, here’s a taste of the man himself in the mix recorded at Hidden in NYC.

More about Agnès

SXSW and thereafter

img_0234What a surprisingly delightful place Austin turned out to be. Not exactly sure why I have this latent distrust of Texas; after all you’d have thought I’d have lived through enough racism not to fall into the trap of tarring all with the same brush. But yes, for some strange reason I expected all Texans to live on ranches and spend their spare time regaled in cowboy boots and sturdy hats.

Austin was different. We stumbled into a gay cowboy bar but that was about the extent of that metaphor. The kids were all goth, punk or hip hop. That reflected the live music just about everywhere you turn. And thrown in the mix were a smattering of dance acts, many of whom I’ve featured here…

AA 24/7 (Diplo Remix) – Dance Area
You’ll hear more from Diplo later but this was just a little snippet of what happens to banal acapellas in the hands of a bootie maestro.

Positif (Pink is Punk Remix) – Mr Oizo
He warbles and he’s messy. Welcome to the tripsodasical mind of Mr Oizo. Oh, and watch him turn the tune in a direction you just couldn’t have dreamed when the French woman screams ‘arrêt‘.

Bounce Up – Kyle Watson
Funk + fidget = some quite serious ‘bounce’.

She Got It (Cheap As Chimps vs HeavyFeet Remix) – HeavyFeet
Touring as a three-man DJ/MC combo, these guys cite influences as diverse as Jesse Rose, Timbaland and Old School Rave – all of which are papable, even after Cheap As Chimps have been involved in a thorough scrubbing.

High Roller (iamxl remix) – Ice T
If you do tune into these mixes, you’ll probably know that I’m a sucker for a remix. This time Ice T gets a royal dust-off.

They Live! (Felix Cartal remix) – Evil Nine
The break beat stomper from Evil Nine gets some high throttle disco slapped on top.

Missing You (Howard Who Remix) – Everything But The Girl
See, I told you I was a sucker for the remix. There’s more to come, so just get used to it.

Muscimol (Joachim Spieth Remix) – Bjîrn Scheurmann
Just a little patch of going in deep.

Bot (Original Mix) – Deadmau5
And here the the techno/trance maestro shows how seemingly different genres can come together.

Congoloid (Minimow Remix) – Solo
African rhythms are everywhere these days. From Township Funk through to Diplo you cannot escape. The same here.

Tanya Stephens – “It’s a Pity” (Lulu Rouge Bootleg)
Spellbinding accordian-led dancehall 2-step. Tanya Stephens is new to me, but Lulu R has set me on a track to find out more.

Nadastrom lay down chunky maximal beats on top of Lil Wayne going off on one.

Syrupsniph – Flunk
Dubby, twangy, electro.

WTF (DJ Wool remix) – Tittsworth
I know you shouldn’t have regrets but do wish I’d caught one of T’s SXSW shows.

Must Be A Devil (CSY remix) – Diplo
Here he is again – just couldn’t resist it. This time CSY is pulling the levers.

My Teenager Gang – Minilogue
I actually didn’t realize this slab of techy funk was Minilogue til’ the mix was done.

Darkness.2 (Edit) – James Zabiela
Driving harder, interspersed with as great little ‘pop’.

Black Music (One Kitten vs Chris T-T Remix) – Chris T-T
Anti-folk like you’ve never heard it before.

More info

the pics that made it through Picasa
thug wife’s favorites from SXSW

Favorites from SXSW 2009

Here it is. Thug Wife digs out some seeeerious classics from Austin this spring.

Miss Lucifer – Primal Scream
Voices In My Head – K’naan
Daniel – Bat For Lashes
Ankles – Chris TT
Nyet Spasiba – Handsome Furs
Mad Dogs And Englishmen – Late Of The Pier
It’s Impossible – Daniel Johnston
Country Mile – Camera Obscura
We Are The Hunters – The D’Urbervilles
Stay Alive – The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart
The Abduction of Margaret – The Decemberists
Farewell to the Fairground – White Lies
Frustration – The Whip
Whachadoin? (feat. Spank Rock, M.I.A) – N.A.S.A.
Black Music Remix – Chris TT
Letter From America – The Proclaimers
Finster Crumley – Golden Arm Trio

Chris T-T live at Hotel Utah in San Francisco

Let’s get the disclosure out of the way first: I’ve been a big fan of Chris T-T for some years having been a fellow Brighton neighbor back in the day (the mighty Rifa did a good job on the promotion front). We were witness to some blinding performances with and without the full Chris T-T band under the variable Oxfordshire skies during the intimate Truck festival.

But that was some time ago.

This time Chris had wrangled a trip to San Francisco on the back of his SXSW tour. He descended on the ageing-but-stately Hotel Utah – the 1908 venue that pre-dates the prohibition.

We kept our vantage point on the mezzanine level as Chris launched headlong into his set: a collection of old and new material straddling the seemingly irreconcilable worlds of trenchant political campaigning (a highlight being a hyperspeed version of ‘Cull’) and absurdist surrealism. Think giraffes raining down across the English countryside. The worlds collide at some subcutaneous level lying tantalizingly just beyond the comprehension of this author. Maybe by the next time Chris reaches these shores I’ll have figured this out 😉

Halfway through the set, the borrowed upside-down guitar is thrust to the side, and for the M1 Song, Chris switches his demeanor to that of a cherubic schoolboy auditioning for a choir. His voice in great condition after years of recording and touring, recounts a mythical conversation between a man awaiting roadside assistance for his broken down 4×4 and a tree who saw his brethren felled for the construction of the motorway. Emotive stuff that’s not lost on the crowd (even though I’m not sure many are familiar with that central English road-artery as it is ‘just south of Leeds’.

I’m not particularly well-versed in the anti-folk movement to which Chris loosely belongs, but I’m guessing domestic violence from the perspective of the perpetrator is not one of the most common themes. However it is a subject Chris has touched on in the past and revisits on Ankles (from the Capital album). Vivid, gory and affrontist, the song’s protagonist explains to his partner why he had to break her ankles to stop her leaving. My takeaway? If you can at least understand the psyche of one of societies’ folk devils, then you can see the seeds of this dysfunction lies in us all, and the distancing of the ‘us vs. them’ often perpetuated by the mainstream media appears little more than thinly-veiled hyprocricy.  Thanks Chris, you’ve reborn the undergrad sociologist that’s laid dormant within me for far too long.

Unfortunately, all too soon Chris has to make way for Seashell Radio (with their impressively-bearded jazz-style drummer), and the rest of the night is lost to whisky, weed and cheap burritos in the Mission.

More on Chris T-T

Obviously being a man of our times, he’s also on Twitter.

2008: Round-up of the year, part 1

Here’s part one of my top tunes of 2008.  Some of these names are a blast from the past, but all the music was released in 08.

Troublemaker – Weezer
So What – Pink
Missing Cleveland – Scott Weiland
Gamma Ray – Beck
The Only One – The Cure
Always Where I Need To Be – The Kooks
That’s Not My Name – The Ting Tings
Ready For The Floor – Hot Chip
Give It 2 Me – Madonna
Strange Times – The Black Keys
We Are Rockstars – Does It Offend You Yeah?
Spaceman – The Killers
Hiphopoptamus vs. Rymenoceros – Flight of the Conchords
Supernatural Superserious – R.E.M.
Silly Boy – The Blue Van
Bruises – Chairlift
GFC – Albert Hammond Jr.
Say Aha – Santogold
Something Is Not Right With Me – Cold War Kids
Runaway – Ladytron
Acid Tounge – Jenny Lewis
Hot N Cold – Katy Perry