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Wednesday, April 27, 2005


Was out reviewing Sunshine last night at the Liverpool Barfly, in their support slot to the Bellrays. Very nice stuff from a band doing the rounds in the Czech Republic for years and now getting some attention over here.

It was never my intention to stay for the headliners, due to tiredness, a need for dinner (having not been home prior) and the new CD backlog mounting (so soon!). On top of that, saw 'em once before at a festival, and wasn't gripped, nor was I by their 'Meet The Bellrays' collection, particularly. However, while I was there I thought I'd watch em for a bit.

When I was managing (badly) the wonderful 16 Bronsons at the turn of the millenium, the advice from our sven gali was to run two tunes together at different points in the set, to add a gloss of professionalism and up their already remarkable intensity.

I was reminded of this last night as the Bellrays ripped through 6 songs in about 15 minutes with about half a second of pause in amongst. Amazing stuff, which proves first impressions aren't always the thing. That said, a full set, rather than my quarter hour experience, may have dulled the impact. Better to quit when you're ahead.

Shorter gigs with punch should be encouraged. If the band don't self-edit, then pull yer own plug.

Present to self

Picked up from the post office this morning:

The Fall 'Complete Peel Sessions' 6 CD collection.

Heaven in a box-set.

Election selection 5



Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Election selection 4

Apparently silentwordsspeakloudest will suffer from a slower rate of content in the foreseeable future. A great shame, but Ben has wound down with one of it's finest features to date, an excellent 5-part Right to Reply on issues surrounding the election. While the participants may lean heavily to the left, there are some fascinating views in there.

The individual parts are:

Part One: Campaigning

Part Two: Choice

Part Three: Issues

Part Four: Media influence and public apathy

Part Five: The result

'Ave some!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

VP writers' best of 2004

Some magazines publish their writers yearly top 10's before the year is up.

Never understood that so by way of protest, ahem, we've left it until we're a third of the way through the following year.

Scroll down (or link from the 'previous posts' archive on the right) for top tens from myself, Grebo and Katherine. If any other VP contributors want to do one, they are welcome, and I'll add them.

Leave a comment with YOUR top tens if you wish!

VP writers' best of 2004: Skif

Snap Ant – You Make Me Basic
Chuck – No, Not Ah!
Art Brut – Formed A Band
Javelin – Pale Average Crooks EP
Hyper Kinako – Don’t Delete My Frog/2 Tadgers
Fiery Furnaces – Tropical Iceland
Johnny Boy – You Are The Generation That Bought More Shoes And You Get What You Deserve
Termites – Bolt Gun
Bearsuit - Chargr
Wevie Stonder - Kenyan Harry EP
Taz – Can’t Contain Me

Destroyer – Your Blues
Ella Guru – The First Album
Misty’s Big Adventure – The Solar Hi-Fi System
Blanche – If We Can’t Trust The Doctors…
Electrelane – The Power Out
TV On The Radio – Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes
Half Cousin – The Function Room
L Pierre - Touchpool
Patrick Wolf – Wind In The Wires
The Hidden Cameras – Mississauga Goddam

Charlie Parr. Leeds Packhorse. 06apr04.
Soweto Gospel Choir. Edinburgh St George’s West. 31aug04.
The Magic Band. Highbury Garage. 28jul04.
Nina Nastasia & rare guests. Leeds City Varieties. 14jun04.
Kid Carpet. Liverpool Barfly. 09sep04.
Mount Sims, Snap Ant. Liverpool Carling Academy. 03dec04.
Misty’s Big Adventure, Manchester Academy Cellar. 02oct04.
Bobby Conn. Leeds Joseph’s Well. 26mar04.
Dawn Of The Replicants. York Fibbers. 20jul04.
The Research. TRUCK festival. 25jul04.

VP writers' best of 2004: Grebo

Slipper feat. Andrea Black - When Hot Dogs Fly
Rusty Sheriff - Music To Scare Children
Transglobal Underground - Impossible Broadcasting
Amplifier- Amplifier
Duri - Remember Rock?
Various - Decade:Ten Years Of Fierce Panda
Virgin Prunes -The Re-issues
Pornovurt - Pornovurt
The [International] Noise Conspiracy - Armed Love
Various -Nost8ment Sampler No.1

Living With Eating Disorders - White Like Snow
Everything Must Go - I Hate Music EP
Slipper feat. Andrea Black - Hands Against The Rain (Elsewhen).
Bonemachine - Another Day Over
Ninja Massacre - My Definition Of Punk
The Sultans - Walk Of Shame
[Culture Industry] - Dj Ascetic Loves Himself Badly
M.A.S.S. - Testify
Saint Silas Intercession - All About The Money EP
Ninja Massacre - Brainwash On Sale

Mercury Tilt Switch, Three Children Of Fortune, Day Of The Fight, Last Kiss. Portsmouth Horseshoe. 10feb04.
Balance Of Power, Cinder. Portsmouth South Parade Pier. 17mar04.
GNA, Devilish Presley. Portsmouth Horseshoe. 30jan04.
The Demons, Flesh, Epideme. Portsmouth Frog On The Front. 26nov04.
Mister Doom. Portsmouth White Swan. 24aug04.
Funeral For A Friend, The Rapture, The Von Bondies, Franz Ferdinand. Portsmouth Pyramids. 06feb04.
The Dynamics, Cinder, The Dirty Touch. Portsmouth White Swan. 28sep04.
Radiate. Portsmouth South Parade Pier. 13apr04.
Red Letter Day. Portsmouth White Swan. 07sep04.
Franz Ferdinand, The Kills, Bob Log III. Portsmouth Guildhall. 23oct04.

VP writers' best of 2004: Katherine Tomlinson

Greenday - Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Keane - Bedshaped
Matchbook Romance - Playing For Keeps
Embrace - Ashes
Evanescence - Everybodys Fool
Breed 77 - World On Fire
The Rasmus - Guilty
Belle and Sebastian - I'm A Cuckoo
Goldblade - Psycho
Gwen Stefani - What You Waiting For

Greenday - American idiot
The Rasmus - Dead Letters
Breed 77 - Cultura
Evanescence - Fallen
The international noise conspiracy - Armed Love
Keane - Hopes and Fears
Embrace - Out Of Nothing
Ben Arthur - Edible Darling
Scissor sisters - Scissor Sisters
The Streets - A Grand Don't Come For Free

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Election selection 3

Once again the BBC come up trumps with a nice portal straight into all the manifestos.

All your bedtime reading for the next 2 weeks (ahem) can be found here.

The Official Monster Raving Loony Party's 'Manicfesto' is also available, via their website.

Any readers in the South West may also wish to get to grips with Mebyon Kernow, the party for the people of Cornwall.

Five minutes spent

Found this on a livejournal, and thought I'd fill it in. If anyone else fancies a go, feel free. I make no demands of you.

1. Favorite Beatles song: A Day In The Life
2. Favorite Rolling Stones song: Start Me Up
3. Favorite Doors song: Light My Fire
4. Favorite Bob Dylan song: Subterranean Homesick Blues
5. Favorite Pixies song: Debaser
6. Favorite TV Theme Song: Littlest Hobo
7. Favorite Prince Song: When Doves Cry
8. Favorite Madonna Song: Like A Prayer
9. Favorite Michael Jackson Song: Earth Song
10. Favorite Metallica Song: Creeping Death
11. Favorite Motorhead Song: Motorhead
12. Favorite Ozzy Song: Bark At The Moon (unless 'Black Sabbath' allowed)
13. Favorite Public Enemy Song: Bring The Noise
14. Favorite Song from a cartoon: Family Guy – ‘I Need A Jew’
15. Favorite Faith No More song: Ashes To Ashes
16. Favorite Depeche Mode song: Enjoy The Silence
17. Favorite Cure song: Close To Me
18. Favorite song that most of your friends haven't heard: Cast of thousands in truth
19. Favorite Smiths song: Ask
20. Favorite Beastie Boys song: Sabotage
21. Favorite Korn song: nil
22. Favorite Police song: Message In A Bottle
23. Favorite Sex Pistols song: Pretty Vacant
24. Favorite Beach Boys song: God Only Knows
25. Favorite Def Leppard song: Action (although a Sweet cover)
26. Favorite song from your favorite movie: She Moved Through The Fair/Coda from ‘Michael Collins’ (not favourite film though)
27. Favorite Duran Duran song: Planet Earth
28. Favorite Blondie song: Hanging On The Telephone
29. Favorite Garth Brooks song: Standing Outside The Fire
30. Favorite song from an 80's one hit wonder: The Timelords - Doctorin' The Tardis
31. Favorite song from a videogame: nil
32. Favorite Kinks song: Dedicated Follower Of Fashion
33. Favorite Genesis song: Land Of Confusion
34. Favorite Led Zeppelin song: Kashmir
35. Favorite INXS song: Need You Tonight
36. Favorite Weird Al song: Smells Like Nirvana
37. Favorite Pulp song: Mis-shapes
38. Favorite John Lennon song: Instant Karma
39. Favorite Pink Floyd song: Shine On You Crazy Diamond
40. Favorite cover song: Lonnie Donegan – Grand Coulee Dam
41. Favorite White Stripes song: Stop Breakin’ Down (although a cover)
42. Favorite dance song: Marc Smith vs. Safe & Sound – Identify The Beat
43. Favorite U2 song: Sunday Bloody Sunday
44. Favorite song from an actor turned musician: Stefan Dennis – Don’t It Make You Feel Good? (am sure there’s a better example, but decided to answer this one with the first thing that came into my head)
45. Favorite disco song: Kelly Marie – It Feels Like I’m In Love
46. Favorite Motley Crue song: nil
47. Favorite Guns N' Roses song: You Could Be Mine
48. Favorite The Who song: I Can See For Miles & Miles
49. Favorite Elton John song: I’m Still Standing
50. Favorite song, period: Cardiacs – Big Ship
51. Favorite David Bowie song: Ashes To Ashes
52. Favorite Queens of the Stone Age song: ?

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Beard fanzine

We've eschewed our fondness for taches to bring you news of a quality zine.

The award winning 'Beard' fanzine is out - alternative music and beards in one glossy publication. Marvellous stuff. Current edition talks to Sky At Night and Motormark, the Asking For Trouble folks.and reviews the Instal festival, British horror movies and several gigs and bits. There's cartoon strips on Sonic Youth and a wonderful article on fatherhood for fans of odd music by Neil Jaques.

The Beard editorship also have a blog. Find out all about it here.

Also in beard news, there's this...


Am sure it's been doing the rounds for a while, but worth your patronage I reckons.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Another election selection


If you're struggling to work it out. Probably not an exact science, but worth a look.

Election selection

I'm really undecided about what to do this year. I always am. Have been known to vote for local independents, but not all lone soldiers have the same kudos as your Martin Bells and Dr. Richard Taylors, so it's best I do some sniffing around before I put my cross against them.

I just have no enthusiasm for party politics anymore. My membership of the Liberal Democrats fizzled out, on my instruction, 6 years ago, and certainly no one party represents my views. This is probably because there are few issues where I have a firm view. Seeing merits in both sides of pretty much every argument (with exceptions - see below) doesn't help these things - where's my blind dogmatism?

I do love the democratic process though. It's a large part of the reason I did my Masters dissertation on Parliamentary libraries - an excuse to sneak a look inside the corridors of power. See how it comes together.

I have also volunteered to count votes. It's a dirty job etc. etc. Thing is, I just love to be involved in spite of the parties turning me off. I also like to think I can bring a non-partisan ethic to it which can't hurt.

Also as part of my work, I'm going to be putting some election stuff together for our library, and so any useful little websites I find, I'm going to bang on here.

Here's two to start.

Don't wish to vote as a democratic choice rather than a show of apathy? Here are some testimonials for those who feel the same. www.notapathetic.com

The BBC have a quality map graphic that enables you to see who is standing in your constituency - and will be updated until nominations close.

I notice from this facility that in my home ward of Havant (although now I'm registered in Liverpool), that alongside incumbent Conservative David 'Two Brains' Willetts, we have UKIP, Veritas and the BNP standing. Much better (it is, my fellow left-leaners) to keep an intelligent fairly moderate Conservative than get any of these reactionaries anywhere close to power.

Indeed, in the case of the BNP, don't even give them the satisfaction of keeping their deposit. They, certainly, must be defeated!

I find it weird that Havant gets all 3 of these parties represented as there's not much multi-culturalism in our part of the world. No real problem with economic migrants or asylum seekers either.

With that in mind, and the potential of split in the vote, means that I probably have nothing to worry about, but I encourage my former neighbours to be vigilant!

Monday, April 04, 2005

Flashmob, of a sort

So, I was listening to Rob Da Bank's show that I'd taped from the previous night on Friday lunchtime as I took a quick break from m'colleagues maternity leavo do to drop off the latest VP at Probe Records.

Glad I did, as sometimes I stretch it out over a number of days to have some gear when I'm walking place to place, as he played a tune by Thee More Shallows, which immediately had my ears pricked up. Mr DJ man then says they're playing Liverpool on Friday. That'll be tonight then, I thought.

I've been bemoaning my lack of spontaneity when it comes to gigs, and I've certainly not been to as many as I would like at the really little clubs since moving to Liverpool (certainly not as I did in Leeds, and even then it wasn't enough). Good opportunity then to get amongst it on the hop, so stayed out with the work crew until the show.

A top show it was too with the crazed dadaism of support a.P.A.t.T. also pretty wonderful. Indeed, gig moment of the year thus far for me was when their bassist, while his band mates were screaming and crashing away at their instruments, stood calmly clicking his fingers like Sammy Davis Jr. conducting a school band. Beautiful.

A review will be forthcoming on www.vanityproject.co.uk.

Also it turns out the promoter will be starting regular nights. On this form I think it could therefore become a regular VP haunt.

To think I might never have known...

Serendipity and chance are fundamental in this game, and frankly I need more of this new stuff.