Archives for February 2009
Imagine a school where, ok, you have to do a bit of maths and science and geography and history, but the main thing is the music. Double Drumming instead of Double Maths! Bass instead of Books! Pianos instead of PE! Well we might know about the Brit School, which has spawned the likes of Kate Nash and Amy Winehouse and The Kooks, but there's other schools out there doing it too. Do they tap dance down the corridor? Do they break in to song in the canteen? We went to find out if it's like High School Musical and Fame Academy in real life for the show this week - listen to the excellent story of the Real Brittania High Here or download the podcast of it Here.!
Last week on the show I featured the editor of No Pain in Pop giving us the lowdown on what the website, blog, label and night actually was and stood for. Scratching the surfaces other collectives don't particularly want to, or maybe don't know how to scratch, No Pain in Pop kind of sums it all up in the name. There's no pain in pop. Delve deeper and you'll find some of the more interesting stuff (he says, quickly changing Girls Aloud from the computer) like Gentle Friendly and Banjo or Freakout. Banjo or Freakout! It's the best name ever! They play nights like Upset the Rhythm in London, and again are keen promoters of the true underground.
I was doing Colin's show last night; we had a Bearded Midweek Mobile Disco, which covered folk, hip hop, rock, more folk and banging French electro. Listen back to it here , whether you're bearded or not. Rory McConnell took care of proceedings across Northern Ireland and England last night. He had the wonderful Robyn G.Shiels in session, a man who did a session for me many moons ago; he's still the bees knees. Rory also took a road trip of the UK, musically speaking of course (no petrol, side of road stops etc) - hear Rory's show HERE
I'm excited about this years Great Escape festival in Brighton. I went last year and so so much good stuff, from Soko and Noah and the Whale in a church to Bon Iver in a mirrored tent to Telegraphs from Brighton. It's in May, it'll be a bit Sunny (bring it on) and you can expect BBC Southern Counties to be there covering it, encouraging local talent to make the most of the music fans and industry folks getting excited at their doorstep. There's so much good stuff from Brighton at the moment, from bigger bands like Brakes and their Fat Cat label to the excellent Flashguns seen here at Reading....
After Belfast, Caernarfon, Aberyswyth, Cardiff and London, I'm heading off to Norway at the end of the week for the By:Larm festival to dj and record an International Radio 1 Show. I expect to see snow, reindeer and a lot of great music, from death metal to jazz, liquid electronics to Nordic indie. Can't wait - will blog here from Norway too. If you have any Nowegian tips musically and where to go in Oslo, do leave a comment! I got myself some new warm gloves yesterday. Possibly the most boring blog fact from me in a while, but it was quite a big thing fro me to spend money on such a boring thing.
Check out this piece on Newsbeat about Introducing favourites Little Comets too. They're a brillaint band - fun live and have banging tunes. Can't wait to get new tunes from them to spin on the show.
Apologies if you're not interested in that kind of thing. If you are, I thought I'd take you back to One Big Weekend and the Introducing Stage last year in Maidstone where the Golden Silvers played a brilliant set. Marvel at their onstage antics! Enjoy the three part harmonies! Get a taster of what they'll be like as they support Florence and the Machine. There is a Valentines theme - it's called Arrows of Eros...
And while we're at it - here's Florence's Kiss With a Fist. Mwwwwwwwwwwwah!
I'll be spending my Valentines with Florence. With about a thousand other people as she plays at Cardiff Uni tonight. I'll be the one with a red rose in my lapel.
I've been loving Micachu and the Shapes debut album this week, Jewellery, that's out in March. She's one of those leftfield, under the radar, uncompromising talents is Micachu (kind of her name and the name of the band too), and isn't afraid to experiment with instruments, melodies, beats and her vocals. This makes it a slightly odd listen, but a nourishing one. Check her out here.
Our mate Greg Cochrane was on the show this week. Greg writes for Newsbeat and this week he's been getting the lowdown on Temper Trap from Australia. You can read his writings about Dinosaur Pile-Up, Baddies and Hockey amongst others there too. Sweet!
If you're a fan of Flying Lotus who made the Essential Mix of 08 then you might well like Gold Panda from London. Such gorgeous, grooving tunes - irresistable, no?
Will someone please put on a gig with Gold Panda, Golden Silvers and and Gold Teeth playing?
On a Wednesday morning you'll normally find me eating some sort of delicious cereal and doing some worky type stuff. But the soundtrack is always nothing but EXCEPTIONAL, becasue I'm normally listening again to Mary Anne Hobbs on the Experimental show. Her Breezeblock show was a source of huge inspiration for me, and now Mary Anne programmes and presents an essential show for those who love their beats on Tuesday nights into Wednesday mornings - 2-4am. A recent highlight was a mix by Raffertie and the current show is a must-hear, all about the West Coast Rocks scene. Mary Anne even made a video about it;
Once a month I do a night at the Social in London, and last night it was in conjunction with Vic Galloway from Radio 1 in Scotland. Vic chose four great bands to play; Sparrow and the Workshop, Unicorn Kid, Ya'll is Fantasy Island and Young Fathers.
Each were different, all were great. Young Fathers have got something very special going on - not your usual hip hop beats, a bucketload of fun and and style. I don't think there was a person without a grim in the venue.
On air tonight from 9pm and Midnight with the wonderful Marina and the Diamonds in session, check her video I posted in the Marina blog.
Hope your weekend was good. I was in Belfast over the weekend, a city I had wanted to visit for a while. I was there for Unconvention Belfast which was inspired by the one in Salford last year. It's a chance for musicians and those involved in music to get together and find out about what others do, talk, swap experiences and learn. It was interesting, and there seems to be a lot of goodness happening in the music scene in Belfast and Northern Ireland on the whole currently. Bands like Fighting With Wire from the Smalltown America label and Two Door Cinema Club, newly signed to the Abeano label are making a name for themselves onstage and on record, while Oppenheimer, Skibunny and And So I Watch You From Afar make waves in their respective scenes.
It was great to see Rory McConnell from Radio 1 Introducing in Northern Ireland who was watching A Plastic Rose and Ed Zealous. Rory is a big supporter of Northern Irish music and you should listen to his show and send him your music!
I went to see our friend James Yuill play at the Menagerie, a lovely club that's owned by legendary dj David Holmes who was there. I dj'd for a bit and Twittered a lot too. I'm new on Twitter. Life may never be the same again!
This week in session on the show we have a Brilliant Big Session from a band from London called Portasound. There's three of them in the band; James, Luke and Michael Dow , who has had his dance tunes played on Radio 1 by Judge Jules and Dave Pearce in the past.
Live they're a lot of fun, moving and a groovin to the sounds of their keyboards and samplers. Listen to the sesison and see them at Maida Vale here.
As the snow falls, I thought the new song by Emmy the Great might warm you up. She's a real talent Emmy and her long awaited debut album proper is finally out next week and it's full of heart stopping, gorgeous songs. Emmy is popping into the show this week to say hello, tell us about the mammoth tour she's currently on, compare the snow she's seen in different places and choose some new music she's into. You might recognise the subject of some of these lyrics too;
So with this snow falling I've been thinking of snow songs. There's Glasvegas A Snowflake Fell and it Felt Like a Kiss (which I sang as I walked through Cardiff in the snow. A much more romantic image than it actually was.) There's anything by Snow Patrol. There's this too! By the excellent Wave Pictures about dressing up like snow men.
So you know about Lady Ga Ga who likes to where gold and that's pretty much it. You'll know that Florence and the Machine have already won the Brit Award for Critic's Choice and that Little Boots was the top tip in the BBC Sound of 09 poll. But wait, who's that coming through your speakers? It's the mighty exciting Marina and the Diamonds, that's who! With a real flair and sense of fun about these songs, her voice is addictive. Check her out here