November 21st Mixtape Guest Blog from A Very Cool Pea
And so the first girl steps up to the mark to guest blog a mixtape for me. Pea is so unbelievably cool she’s a frozen pea, fact! I have many musical soul mates, but Priyam really stands out for me as the epitome of über aceness when it comes to all those bands that could have slipped past my radar had it not been for her enthusiastic links to tracks (Zulu Winter, The Rubens, Yeasayer). She has a charming way with words as well, do feast your peepers on her blog, All Things In Print.
Making a list like this is bloody difficult. Make a mixtape she says, pick a few songs she asks, OK! I agree enthusiastically. Then I realise how many songs there actually are. It’s like asking a mother which of her children she loves the most. Cest tres difficult man. So, rather than just list everything that is on my iPod I have decided to dedicate my cameo, debut, guest appearance on From Disc Till Dawn to my all time, favourite, numero uno, live music experiences.
1. Augie March – Here Comes The Night (This song is taken from the band’s first of four albums, ‘Sunset Studies’. They are the first ever band that I truly obsessed over after I saw them at an Australian music festival in 2001. I was a massive festival rookie so after almost being killed and salvaging one of my shoes in the middle of an unexpected mosh pit, I decided to abandon the crowd and find some quiet place to put my shoe back on. It was about 37 degrees that day and the only way of cooling down was to stand under one of the many hoses that they had jetting out cool water. I stumbled, soaking wet, into the nearest tent and was blown away by the tremor and delicacy that is Glenn Richard’s voice. They are kings of Australian folk music and may they forever reign).
2. Roisin Murphy – Ramalama (Roisin is one of my biggest hero’s. She’s outrageous, eccentric and so fucking cool Eskimos could live on her quite happily. The album Ruby Blue can only be described in exactly the same words. Oh and it’s quite sexy too. I saw her play at the Roundhouse (one of my favourite venues) in February 2008 and hearing/watching her live blew my tiny mind. I’m pretty sure I overdosed on endorphins. Or gin. Either way, this was the encore and ’tis my favourite. Ramalama is a religion. Bang Bang!).
3. Yeasayer – One (Anand Wilder – swoooooooooon. He is a Brooklyn God. I came across these guys listening to a compilation album called Dark Was the Night. I’ve seen them as many times as I possibly could – if you were there that was me yelling ‘Anand, I love you’. I begged Lady H to see them at Field Day one year and have suitably converted her into a fan. The most memorable gig I saw them at was at Digital in Brighton. Their music makes me want to get naked, put a daisy chain on my head and dance in mud. There can’t be any better feeling can there?).
4. Mozart – Porgi Amor (This is the most beautiful thing I have ever had the joy of listening to. It’s a song about the pains of love and you can feel every emotion in the Countess’s voice. I had tears in my eyes watching this in the Gods of the Royal Opera House. If you’re not a fan of opera perhaps I can persuade you with this? If not, then opera and champagne go hand in hand).
5. Joan As Policewoman – Chemmie (Oh this was a disastrous day. I woke up not being able to remember what happened the night before and was physically unable to get out of bed. I shamefully had to cancel my afternoon plans of watching Fantasia on the big screen and very nearly missed out on this gig which a friend of mine had treated me tickets to. Mustering my will power, I dressed, drugged and watered my broken self to see her at The Barbican. She came on wearing an all-over, leather playsuit and I was immediately thankful for being there. Take it away Joanie).
6. Wild Beasts – Vigil For A fuddy Duddy (A friend of mine once described the Cumbrian quartet as operatic. I scoffed and asked what the hell he knew about opera (cause I’m such a officiando yeah). Turns out his dad is some big shot in the Scottish orchestra arena. Lucky I had my top off to distract from this embarrassing, backfired mockery. Annnyway, I freaked when I missed out on tickets to their gig at Wilton’s Music Hall and literally begged a friend to take me instead of his girlfriend (what? she wasn’t a fan anyway). Summer Camp supported, I almost wet myself on refusal of not wanting to miss a second with the inconvenience of a loo break even after 4 pints, the venue was spectacular and intimate, and the boys performed to perfection. I even had my ticket signed by all the lovely chaps).
7. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zero’s – 40 Day Dream (Amazing, transcendent, fantastic, supernatural, spiritual, enchanting, enigmatic. These words are the closest I can get to describing the phenomenon of their gig at The Old Vic Tunnels. The Tunnels were transformed into a small universe with everything from an ethereal Texas Tavern with its very own haunting Les Enfants Terribles, spacecowboys, shamans, sun, moon, contraband candy and magical rum cocktails. Credit to the production of this 3-day extravaganza goes to the almighty Nick Cave but Ed Sharpe and his Zero’s brought the love and the music and sent my soul soaring higher than it has ever been without the use of class a’s. Nothing will ever compare to this gig).
8. Battles – Tonto (Drrrrrrruuuuuuuummms! I love this band. They are phenomenal. My companion for their gig at Heaven was From Desk Till Dawn. My focus was entirely on the drummer. I was in absolute awe of his stick mastery, his rhythm, his concentration but most of all the sheer amount of sweat that he was exuding. By the end of the gig his shirt was sodden. I love instrumental bands and these guys are probably the best (ahead of Errors). Watching this kind of stripped, raw, heavy sound be created live is pretty damn special).