Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Amount of creative activity achieved in last 24 hours: 2
Listening: These New Puritans
Hair Day: ropey
What I can see from my window no. 11: Smog (or 'SMOG OF DEATH', as the Daily Wail calls it)

It's been Gig Central here at Kerry Towers of late. With Anna rather melon-like in her late-stage pregnancy, it was now or never for launching juice's very impending album, 'Songspin', at Nonclassical's new Hoxton venue, the Troy Bar, with its quirks of ill-functioning loos and a worryingly-bowed ceiling mixed in with its downlow charms. The gig was lovely, and we are itching with excitement to see the actual CD come out, now that we have heard all the totally pumping remixes and are just waiting for some last-gasp mastering to take place. Woohoo!

Never one to launch just ONE album in a fortnight, I also rocked with Metamorphic in Leeds, Liverpool, and lastly London with our official album launch in Highgate. It's out on the F-IRE label NOW!

I've also been enjoying some gigs by Proper Musicians. Sarah from juice and I took ourselves down the Cecil Sharp House to see Jim Moray, who wrote a song last year for our Laid Bare: 10 Love Songs set, so it was high time we saw him perform. Super-slick with visuals and some subtle electronics, Jim and his boys played a sort of stadium-rock-meets-folk set, which felt slightly strange in CSH's posh-primary-school-hall stylings, but rock out they did. Songs included his grime/folk version of Lucy Wan though my favourite was a sweet stripped-down ditty, Valentine; more of them, I say! We grabbed him for a chat in the interval and shared SXSW stories (he went in 2010) and hope to see him again soon.

I also popped to the South Bank to a) support Anna Meredith, who was performing some of her latest electronica, but really b) to join the many all-aged hipsters worshipping at the Church of James Blake. This was another of Olly Coates'-curated nights, meaning an eclectic first half, including a rare airing of Seb Rochford's solo material. Those who have ever heard Seb introduce one of his other bands will know that his rowdy jazz drumming belies a voice of dulcet mouse-meekness, so rest assured this acoustic slot did not explore Seb's penchant for extreme death-screamo. The candy-floss-haired one then bashed some skins for Anna's set of laptop-menace, which actually felt restricted in the Purcell Room's hushed and formal ambience; I'm keen to see how it translates to the discerning club-floor (and would pay good money to see dancers become toe-tied by the fluctuating time signatures and accumulate in a pile of tangled, slim-jeaned limbs). Finally, there was a pretty sweet piece for Olly, Seb and four hammer dulcimers. What slightly let it all down was the inept presenting, which left me curled of toe and unable to watch. James Blake doesn't fail here: he just said a firm 'thank you' after every song, each of which was a magnificent thing of dark, deconstructed dubsteppery (Minus most of the dub. And the step), topped by JB's hoarsely soulful voice, with weird spiky beats, dolorous keyboard and samples from the trio. I LOVE HIM.

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