Category Archives: bars clubs gigs

list of bars and clubs – city based

Laidback Luke @ Cream Boxing Night 2008

So, once again managed to make my annual pilgrimage to Cream in Liverpool for the annual knees-up with migrant scouser Dax. Last year the Swedish Mafia rocked our boats, this year one of the highlights for me was Laidback Luke. Maybe because many of the other DJs are practically geriatric (John Digweed, John Kelly, Danny Howells, Justin Robertson), Laidback Luke’s youthful gait was a joy to behold. As he twisted synth lines and dropped pounding tribal rhythms, his beaming smile and arm waving (playing some imaginary air-piano) goaded on the throngs of glammed-up revellers. He really does give the impression he’s having unabashedly good fun up there.

Meanwhile, Digweed embarked on his four-hour epic of dark Wagnerian funk in the Annexe. We had no problem dipping in and out of this set which showed his mastery of controlling a minimum of elements to the maximum effect. We tried Armin Van Buuren’s hard trance for a while but the swooping synth washes felt just that bit too derivative. Maybe one day I’ll understand – this was by far the most crowded and energetic of the three rooms. Around 4am I grabbed my duck-down coat and we headed out into the icy Liverpool night, in wonder at all the pretty young things mincing around in nothing more than shirt sleeves and skimpy dresses. Gawd, I’m old.

dj fink and harry covert @ smarties, nice, jan 31

one last live foray (if our dreams come off, there maybe virtual outings in the future) into a world of jumbled beats and freaked out house chez smarties. marc will be hitting a milestone around midnight so expect some extra sauce on top of the normal festivities.

dj fink and harry covert, smarties, jan 31

for me, the end of an era – as intense as it was short. come wave us off!

final soiree with dj ohm at smarties – feb 2

sniff. it’s come to this. the last outing for me and dj ohm at the wonderful smarties in downtown Nice.

still, the beats will keep the tears at bay. we’ve also got some new kit in tow (serato) so will have enough on our plates. i’d like to say i’ll record the event, but who knows given that i’m surrounded by boxes and have no idea where the minidisc is. what does that mean? you’ll have to come down and check us out. it’s the only way. it’s also february – officially the dreariest month in the northern hemisphere – and not too late to make that new year’s resolution to get out more and let your hair down a reality.

oh, i guess you need the details…

flyer - smarties feb 2, dj ohm

harry covert and fink @ smarties – the mixes

december saw my 5th anniversary and a fun night in Nice. the Hi Hotel did a fair job at kicking off proceedings in a bar that somehow reminded me of an Early Learning Centre.

we had a passable meal at an italian with one of the more interesting waitresses you’ll find. ‘yum, yum, yum’ was her catchphrase whenever any food arrived – or actually whenever she came to the table, regardless.

then onto smarties where fink and i got somewhat busy on the decks for a few hours. the crowd was intimate full of those we’ve got to know at smarties over the last couple of years. onto Le Klub afterwards but by that stage things started getting vague and woolly.

Mix 1

Mix 2

next gig at smarties – oct 20

ok peeps, the summer sojourn being truly over and the end of the rentree nigh, it’s time for ohm and harry covert to get physical down at smarties in nice one more time.

come in droves. there’s nowt but french stuff on the telly. or should i say dodgy american stuff with funny french voices. either way, there’ll be none of that at smarties.

dj ohm, harry covert, smarties - oct 20
if all goes according to plan, we should have some audio to tickle you with soon after.

noces harmoniques

noces harmoniques the Cote d’Azur sometimes has a reputation for being one of the more conservative regions of france, given the average age of the population and the generally right-leaning political enviroment. however, conservative is not a tag you could apply to the small hamlet of Camails around the final weekend in august. for over ten years, this sleepy collection of houses nestled among acres of vineyards near Le Thoronet has played host to the 7es Noces Harmoniques – a small musical ‘spectacle’ with a worldy hippyish feel.

think odd flutes and string instruments from the far east. bagpipes from Galicia and the heart of france. songs played on accordians in regional french dialects that are practically extinct. the level of musicianship is particularly high, but not to the extent of being elitist – there’s a number of workshops where you can have a go yourself.

the stage itself is a small platform in front of rows of benches laid out in the main courtyard at the heart of the hamlet. light refreshments and awesome veggie fare (the mixed veg beignets were crispily/fluffily divine) skirt the back of the square.

given that the only promotion for this festival happens by word of mouth, there was a strong sense of camaraderie among the small crowd who included japanese, shamans, a gabonese rasta, north africans and the more liberally-minded sections of french society. given the number of artists performing, there was a blur between exactly who was the audience and who was performing.
as the musicians played, artists painted murals, kids danced and the late summer sun smiled.

some random video clips:

Eric Merry (tambours sur cadre):

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Hombeline (voix, accordéon diatonique) extraits de Chants d’émoi (chants de femmes toubadours):

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Bolokan Fola (percussions et balafons, musiques et chants d’Afrique de l’Ouest):

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Denis Grandclément (guitare électroacoustique) et invités:

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not sure who this was, but he was truly gifted (feel free to comment below):

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other links:

a few pics from the area

noces harmoniques website

hopefully more pictures to come…

Cut Chemist – master of trickery

the art of yoga teaches a young jedi about the discipline of flexibility and balance. but what’s this got to do with the hip-hop portion of the Pantiero festival on a friday night? well, it’s this yogic combination that comes to mind when watching the legendary Cut Chemist in action.

it’s been said that the Jurassic 5 are not the same since his departure, and now i can see why. formidible from all directions – the breadth of music he dips into and dexterously samples, the energy levels that rise from the decks, the composure and humour with which he battles the wind, the lack of ego and statesman-like attitude (he’s graciously recording parts of the Dilated Peoples show after his set).

to top it off, he calls for sound clips from members of the audience for the finale – and turns this into a live freestyle workout. rip-roaringly clever.

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who is Herman Düne?

french? swedish? who cares.

there’s a grizzled crazy-throat on lead guitar, with the power to turn flamenco into driving country music. in contrast, the drummer has that poster-boy appeal and there’s a doctor on the bongos who ever so judiciously injects wafts of horn in and out of a few numbers.

my ignorance means little in the long-run as Herman Düne know who they are and what they’re up to. the lead singer’s high Southern twang is akin to that of Willie Nelson, so i’m told by the Learned One. the sharp, biting, self-deprecating lyrical content sit them neatly in some post-Radiohead hillbilly hinterland. somewhere i can happily hang out.

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