From Desk Till Dawn

My mainly music & nerd bird blog

Posts Tagged ‘6 Music

Sunday Swoon. February 17th 2013.

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1. The extremely generous 6 Music put on another set of free gigs at Maida Vale Studios and I was lucky enough to be front row with Jo for Richard Hawley on Valentines day (unlucky with camera’s picking up geeky side profile whoops and clapping shots). I loved the acerbic wit and cynicism from Hawley as much as I enjoyed watching him perform. All his albums hold a special place in my heart and it was perfect to finally see him live in such an intimate setting. Photo’s from the session on my Flickr.

2. Everyone I know adored Silver Linings Playbook, so like the book snob I am I decided to read the original book by Matthew Quick first. It’s a beautiful read, full of charming flaws and beautiful intimate moments. I would highly recommend it. I watched the film shortly after finishing it. The credits should read “really loosely based on the book”. Even small but significant moments in the book were eradicated or changed for no reason I could grasp (like a song choice which has important narrative attached to it for example). I would advise anyone to read the original and ditch the film.

3. After stumbling into the John Peel tent during Glastonbury 2011 and being hypnotised by Darwin Deez live I have been itching to see him again. He was in my top 5 at Glastonbury that year, a unique performer. Last week at Heaven (to a remarkably young audience, or I’m getting terribly old) he immediately transported me back to a very happy place. Who doesn’t love insane but tightly choreographed dance routines littered through their gig!

4. Vic Reeves has an art exhibition at The Strand Gallery called Hot Valve Leak: Visual Ramblings of Vic Reeves. And it is a ramble. At times bonkers and at other times classic seaside scenes. It shows there is more depth to him than what we grew up with on TV. The exhibition is free and worth a visit for inspiration and giggles.

5. On the day Foals third album Holy Fire was released I was lucky enough to be wedged in front of the tiny stage at Rough Trade East with friends to watch them perform live. The new songs sound gigantic live, like no room can contain them. It was also beautiful to hear Spanish Sahara at the end of the set. Adore this band deeply, and My Number has to rival any song as an “it’s over” anthem.

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A Musical Congregation

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I have to start off by saying that never will you find a crowd so diverse and different in age, choice of footwear, height, regional accents, choice of tipple, background (you name it) than 6 Music listeners. I don’t think this really hit home for me until I had the pleasure of meeting so many of you/them at their 10th birthday party at The Southbank Centre last Friday.

From a statuesque giant rocker clad head to toe in leather, young hipsters wearing gold lamé skirts and pop socks, cheery cockney chaps flying solo for the evening refusing to watch Graham Coxon due to a bad experience at a previous festival. Impeccably turned out suburban types looking slightly traumatized at having to drink wine out of plastic cups. Women wearing wellies and dancing around pink gloves on the dance floor, another in her late 40’s swinging around a carrier bag, her feet performing the perfect shoegazing shuffle (both of whom looked happy as pigs in sh#t).

All united  because of a radio station that was very nearly axed two years ago. Where would we all congregate without it?

It also speaks volumes that 6 music were able to provide a line up that wouldn’t be out of place at the likes of Glastonbury. Beth Jeans Houghton and The Hooves of Destiny started live proceedings in Queen Elizabeth Hall, she thanked “sparkly eyed Marc Riley” for being the first person to play them on the radio. Her album Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose has been one of my most played albums this year but hearing it live really highlighted what a big sound this petite blonde has. Orchestral, classical, deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Bon Iver and Beirut.

Anna Calvi, by general consensus of people we spoke to that evening, was the real highlight of the evening. About a year ago we saw her perform at the NME emerging artists tour at Koko and never have I seen a crowd so attentive and focused. Now she seems even more self-assured, people were motionless, rapt with her performance. There’s something dark and brooding in her, demonstrated in her sultry version of TV On The Radio’s Wolf Like Me.

Now my review will get slightly vague due to the amount of wine accidentally consumed.

Graham Coxon adapted his trademark stance (striped t-shirt, head slightly bowed, feet turned in, guitar go) and delivered exactly what he always does, a man so talented he’s unlikely to make any slip ups. I was holding out for Freakin’ Out which was frantically and energetically delivered. The beautiful Gruff Rhys dressed reminiscent of Wes Anderson’s Team Zissou and a hot science teacher you never admitted to fancying playfully poked the audience with cards saying “Thank You” after applauds, his solo work not a million miles away from the SFA but cosy, heartwarming and melodic.

PIL closed the evening to an audience on their feet, flooding into the aisles to dance and defying the staff trying to keep them seated. John Lydon gave thanks to the 6 music listeners saying “someone’s got to put up with this stuff”. This Is Not A Love Song was a personal highlight of the evening (though perhaps played a little too early in the set based on audience reaction).

What exceeded my expectations of the night, yet perfectly sums up the sense of community and interaction 6 Music shares with its listeners, were the moments you found yourself side by side with the DJ’s. Radcliffe and Maconie’s Northern Soul Disco was the most I’ve danced this year, and I have to say Stuart Maconie is possibly one of the warmest, genuine characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of talking too. Don Letts played songs that helped me get through sleepless nights of Tinnitus when it first forced its way into my ears. John Holmes pulled off a mash-up of ABBA & Van Halen (you can listen to it on Soundcloud) and I suspect was as drunk as us by the end of the night. Peter Serafinowicz was utterly  and effortlessly charming and I think both the boy & I developed a smidgen of a crush on him. Huey Morgan also treated us to an acoustic set of his new solo material (a love song to Shaniqua). If Queen Elizabeth Hall was the main party the foyer turned into the kitchen where all the brilliant people lurk with the gin picking the most amazing songs to play.

6 music could easily turn this into a yearly occurrence. Huge congratulations to all involved and thanks for the memories. Also, massive IOU to Mondonomy for swiping up tickets.

You can watch highlights from the evening here and there’s a set of photos over on my Flickr page.

PS Would love to hear from anyone that had tickets for the Purcell Room for Laura Marling and Lianne Le Havas. Please do comment below if you stumble across this blog.

Sunday Swoon. March 18th

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A weeks round up with Paul Weller, a big moth, Hot Chip and more……

1. Hopefully I’ll get round to writing a more full review of 6 Music at The Southbank Centre at some point this week as it deserves its own spotlight, but had to include it in this weeks round-up. Exceeded all expectations, met a lot of DJ’s that have introduced me to bands I now adore, great performances from the likes of Anna Calvi and Graham Coxon. A real credit to everyone involved in an amazing evening and congratulations to the staff, audience, artists and 6 Music for making it such a memorable night. 

2. Album of the week has to go to Grimes for Visions. This album is a truly a headphones moment, it’s been my soundtrack to solo strolls around the streets. It’s addictive and the track above is what I’d urge you to listen to as a way in. The video is brilliant as well,  a shed load of testosterone. Muscleheads in the locker rooms, sport fans roaring in the stadium and petite Grimes with her stereo singing an electro lullaby. She’s also on the cover of this weeks Dazed & Confused looking stunning.

3. I blogged about Paul Weller at Maida Vale for 6 Music earlier in the week so you can read all about it here and be saved from my ramblings again

4. Craig provides the words and then Thom sketches for “Me And My Big Moth“. Super funny content from super talented boys. All those things you probably shouldn’t be laughing at but will. Please check out the whole set on When Monsters Attack.

5. Hot Chip – Flutes is the first offering from forthcoming album ‘In Our Heads’ out in June. I woke to this song Saturday morning and I’ve been frequently going back to listen again. What I love so much about this band is that I literally find it impossible not to be feel happy and full of joy when they’re on. Infectious positive bunch of talented boys.  

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Paul Weller For 6music

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I have my moments with London where I am so utterly in love with it. They are typically unglamorous moments, a shared joke with a stranger when typically you can’t make eye contact with someone, a stroll over Hampstead Heath just at the right time in the autumn to catch the blue hour, the Soutbank in the sunshine. The smell as you get on the Bakerloo line at Paddington, sooty and warm, especially clenches at my heart for inexplicable reasons.

Seeing live music is also a huge part of this love for London. Yesterday, courtesy of BBC 6 Music, we got to see Paul Weller at Maida Vale studios. For free. I could never take opportunities like this for granted and where else would I get to see an intimate gig with a musical legend without denting my pocket? Where I grew up you had to travel over thirty miles across Devon to catch a gig with the Modfather, my poor sister having to be the designated driver due to my lack of driving license. Yesterday we just jumped on a bus down the Kilburn High Road.

Paul Weller was in chirpy spirits, clearly less angry and more mellow as he gracefully ages (flawless dress, he is still a Mod of course). More importantly he still performs like he means it, deep in his bones and running through his veins. No fakery or false sentiments. Just raw sincerity.

You can listen again on BBC 6 Music. He played Around The Lake • That Dangerous Age • The Attic • The Changingman • When Your Gardens Overgrown • Wake Up The Nation • Andromeda

Snaps below but full photo set can be found on my Flickr so click here to view them. Another huge IOU to BBC 6 Music




Written by Anon PA

March 14, 2012 at 5:31 pm

A Tribute To John Peel

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I recently made a plea for people to keep their ears open, how as a music lover I think it is essential to keep discovering new music. I want my life to be a constant soundtrack, ever-changing, ever-growing, sometimes heartbreaking sad, sometimes joyous and ecstatic, sometimes a precious secret, sometimes shouted from the rooftops. I hope it constantly evolves, taking me to places and down paths and through emotions like a trusted old friend.

John Peel will always be an inspiration to me. His faith in his music choices, his ear for picking out the next big thing at times years before they reached critical acclaim is a talent that I suspect cannot be taught but one I will always strive for. There are DJ’s working hard at keeping that legacy of supporting new music alive. Namely Steve Lamacq and John Peel’s son Tom Ravenscroft, who he must be immensely proud of.

I am sure many of you will be flicking through your well-worn copies of Margrave Of The Marshes this week, some of you may be catching John Peel’s Shed at Jackson Lane like lucky me. I guarantee all of you will be playing music he championed, maybe without even realising it. From PJ Harvey to Pulp via The Undertones and Nirvana.

As an oh-so painfully awkward teenager it was music I felt most connected to, spoke to me when I felt misunderstood, alone, gangly, spotty. John Peel brought me a lot of the music that saw me outgrow my acne, get a much fatter bum and find my confidence, my footing in the world.

So to him. Thank you.

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Image from Future Radio

Written by Anon PA

October 25, 2011 at 1:13 pm

October 17th Mixtape

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This weeks mixtape is making me feel like I have multiple personalities, swinging from Indie to Pop to Reggae. I had the pleasure of speaking to Steve Lamacq a week ago today on his 6 Music show on an item called Good Day/Bad Day. He summed up my two choices (Yeah Yeah Yeahs Date With The night and R.E.M’s Nightswimming) as “wild abandon or melancholy meditation”. Dear friend Ms Mangetout, owner of the worlds coolest slow cooker, said that summed me up perfectly. Strange how your music tastes sub-consciously reflect elements of your personality.

I spent this weekend at our family home in Devon. My parents moved into the house when I came along (I’m the youngest in the photo below) and 33 years later its still a true haven for me. I took long walks along cliffs, beaches and through fields. I stuffed myself with so many vegetables at Riverford Farm that I am still full up two days later. I picked Sloes with my Mum in preparation to make barrels of gin whilst getting caught in brambles and stung on the bum by nettles. But what struck me the most this weekend is how my parents still teach and introduce me to new things, namely Therese Raquin, Bert Weedon and Knitting on this occasion. Their seemingly never-ending knowledge on almost every subject you can think of is something I’m very grateful for. That and the fact that they swear so I don’t have to mind my language!

If you’re a Spotify user click here to play the mixtape and if you’re a YouTube purist click here to play the videos.

1. Shout Out Louds – The Comeback (When I first heard this band I thought they hailed from New York, they have that sound reminiscent of cool NY art students lurking around lofts. I still can’t get over they’re from Stockholm. This was always my favourite track of theirs).

2. Garbage – I’m Only Happy When It Rains (Shirley Manson is on my list of girls who look  untouchable hot as red heads, she’d have been at the top until Karen Gillan came in to my life. Whenever I’m wandering down Britpop lane Garbage will be one of the first bands that get played).

3. This Many Boyfriends – Young Lovers Go Pop (Every now and again a song comes along that you know you’re going to love simply from the title alone. This is THAT track).

4. The Smiths – Girlfriend In A Coma (My sister & boyfriend have been together a huge amount of time, they have cited their reason for tying the knot based on the following. If one of them ever falls into a coma they want the other to have the right to turn the machine off. They are both Morrissey fans. It’s a very Morrissey reason. This song is for my sister).

5. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Over & Over Again (This track reminds me of living in Kentish Town, my beloved little corner of London, calling in sick after midweek gigs, bacon sandwiches at Mario’s Cafe, parties at The Pineapple. Like Talking Heads have chilled the fuck out).

6. Desmond Dekker – You Can Get It If You Really Want (Stupidly bright and sunny in Devon this weekend, I sat watching people swim down Breakwater beach, resisting the urge to hide their clothes. I listened to old hip hop and reggae tracks as I sat there, this sums up what I’m trying to tell myself constantly).

7. Devo – Whip It (From reggae to some classic 80’s. When watching the video for this last week I claimed that they wouldn’t be able to make videos like this anymore, in hindsight how ridiculous is it that I think that way when pop videos are so overtly sexual now?).

8. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Hysteric (I have to restrain myself from putting a YYY track on my mixtape posts every week. Possibly my most consistently listened to band over the past few years. Karen O once described herself as always knowing she was “a volcano, waiting to erupt”. This track is a love song, the surprise of someone suddenly completing you, its stunning).

9. Florence + The Machine – Shake It Out (I have played this over three times a day the past week, everything about it screams & shouts to me at the moment for reasons too personal and EMO to bore you all with. From a purely musical perspective it’s so well produced. Lungs was brilliant but I suspect too many producers spoiled the broth so to speak. Collaborating solely with Paul Epworth on Ceremonials will no doubt have created something magical and more complete).

10. Lana Del Rey – Video Games (I’d heard this on the radio a dozen times but it was her performance on Jools Holland that connected me to it. Now I understand the hype, funny how sometimes I have to see a live performance to “get it”. Massive girl crush).

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Thanks to Dear Photograph for the inspiration behind taking the photo

#17 A Song I Often Hear On The Radio. 30 day iTunes Song Challenge

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I only listen to one radio channel, the superior, almighty 6 Music. Every time I turn my DAB on at the moment guarantee I will hear this. 

I have a special love for Metronomy so I’m glad I get to shoehorn them in to the iTunes 30 day challenge. I’m from the same area of Devon as Joseph Mount (singer/songwriter) & therefore happily fool myself that his music speaks directly to me. Whenever I discover a musician from Devon I am always really shocked, when Muse burst onto the scene I remember saying to my Dad “But they’re from TEIGNMOUTH!” He replied that everyone has to come from somewhere (very Yoda) & I soon stopped acting like someone who had just discovered cheese on the moon. 

Their album is due out tomorrow, I made a solemn promise to myself not to listen to it until the day of release where I will go to an independent music shop & buy it on vinyl. Call me a pretentious scenester if you like but isn’t that how we were meant to listen to music? Now music sharing means we usually know album inside out by the time they’re released, I want the excitement of listening to it vintage style. The keys at the start of this track are meant to mimick those of carousel seaside organs, every time it comes on the radio I think of sinking my toes into the sand, eating a choc-ice & squinting against the sun (even with my view of the jubilee line). ♥

Written by Anon PA

May 23, 2011 at 2:01 pm