From Desk Till Dawn

My mainly music & nerd bird blog

Posts Tagged ‘Battles

Don’t Stand Your Ground

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Over the past couple of years I’ve experienced, and been told many stories, of what I can best describe as bullying at gigs. Without exception it always involves people who are my age (thirty-five) and older, and a majority of the time it is men that behave this way. It’s also worth noting that I only ever see and hear about women being on the receiving end of this. During the day I am sure they are all utterly polite and hold a door open for a colleague, step aside when someone says excuse me. At gigs this all goes out the window.  Let me give you a few examples.

Recently at a Matt Berry gig a woman who I’d guess is in her late thirties was so incensed at a girl of about seventeen wanting to squeeze past just to take one photo that she screamed “obese bitch” at her and refused to move. At a polite girl young enough to be her daughter who made it clear it was just to take one photo and she’d be gone. Friends suffered men constantly, and on purpose, crushing into them at an Arcade Fire gig whilst being told to stop pushing them.

At Glastonbury I was told I wasn’t allowed to stand here by a man who was actually in front of me which I am still puzzling over. I had an experience so awful at a Battles gig with my friend Priyam that I still frown about it two years on. Men in their forties were stood behind us on the balcony. When I went to the bar they barely let me past, when I returned they formed a solid wall and refused to let me through despite the fact that I asked politely to get back to my friend, even strangers asked them to let me past and they refused. At the end of the night one of them pushed me in the back of the head with force. For no reason.

Last night at Public Service Broadcasting my bladder gave out after too many pints so I decided to run to the toilet. A relatively short dash in the intimate upstairs of the Lexington. Grown men crossed their arms and adopted a military stance. I had to squeeze through gaps a mouse would have problems getting through.

Let’s be clear. When you buy a gig ticket you are not paying to rent an exclusive square metre. I understand that views can be frustrating but I’m talking about scenario’s when someone is trying to dash to the bar quickly, not suddenly arriving on stilts in front of you.

Music is actually like a religion to me (without the wars). Going to see a band should be a shared experience, one of those oh so rare moments that you can look around at everyone and think “we’re all here for the same reason”. When the entire crowd sank to their knees during Foals singing Spanish Sahara at Glastonbury in anticipation of the song building up I felt like I utterly belonged. These were my people. Sadly there seems to be a growing minority of adults who seem to think they’ve paid for a private experience and are disgusted other humans are in the same room/under the same sky wanting to have fun. The only person’s night that’s being ruined is those guilty of behaving this way. They always look so miserable.

When an unstoppable force (my need for a pint or a wee) meets an immovable object (an adult refusing to budge even an inch to let me pass) chances are I will be tempted to lightly touch your back on my way back through to wipe a boogie on you. Karma is unkind. What can I say.

Written by Anon PA

July 18, 2013 at 10:57 am

The Letter ‘B’ Mixtape. Part 1

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It’s been tough getting this down to my self-imposed 10 track mixtape so I am splitting this into two posts, this is the first installment. Until I decided to conquer an alphabet playlist I had no idea my music collection was made up of so many bands/musicians beginning with the letter….

And before any smart asses leave comments saying “What the F! You left out The Beatles” I am fully aware of this and yes it’s intentional. I’m more of a Rolling Stones girl myself. That’s what I’d like on my gravestone. “Here lies Hannah. She was always more of a Stones girl”

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. Belle & Sebastian – Lazy Line Painter Jane  (In John Osborne’s must-see monologue for all music lovers, John Peel’s Shed, he mentions the number 1 rule in music is “all girls like Belle & Sebastian”. So utterly true).

2. Bow Wow Wow – Go Wild In The Country (An old colleague is married to drummer Dave Barbe, there were countless occasions where I clutched this on vinyl but chickened out when it came to asking her to have him sign it. Annabella Lwin was discovered singing at her saturday job in a dry cleaning shop, I don’t feel that she ever really got put on the plinth she deserves for being one of our great frontwoman. I literally worship this track).

3. Battles Featuring Matias Aguayo – Ice Cream (Non sensical grunting and groaning over plonky keyboards makes me smile until I’m sore. One of my favourite tracks from last year. Battles also have the most talented, insane, genius drummer)

4. The Bandana Splits – Sometimes  (I can’t remember which 6 Music DJ introduced me to this band but it was definitely one of them! If you like The Pipettes you’ll like this girl group. Trust me)

5. Bruce Springsteen – Dancing In The Dark (Glastonbury 2009. Bow down to The Boss. “I’m just tired and bored with myself” is one of my favourite ever lyrics, surely we can all relate to that feeling? I’d type more but literally… have to dance when I hear this song and I’m playing it right now…)

6. Black Keys – Howlin’ For You  (I was lucky enough to see these a couple of weeks back at Alexandra Palace and blogged how I firmly placed them into my “Fucking Living It” category. How are they from this generation? I swear Bill & Ted kidnapped them from the 70’s)

7. The Beach Boys – God Only Knows  (Seeing Brian Wilson perform this, a single blue spotlight illuminating this genius made fragile from a life of excess moved me to tears last year)

8. Braids – Lemonade  (There are certain songs I really, really, really want to hear in a field, with the sun setting and a gallon of ciders running through my insides. This song would also make that playlist)

9. Bloc Party – Two More Years (This track has got me though many a bleak time, I can’t think of any other song that whispers such hope tenderly into my ears. Listen to the lyrics “be brave, there’s a right way and a wrong way, this pain won’t last forever,” to “You don’t need to find answers for questions never asked of you”and “I know, my love, this is not the only story you can tell”. Kele should man the helplines, he knows exactly what to say in a crisis)

10. Bat For Lashes – Daniel (I definitely have a ‘type’ when it comes to my girl crushes. Alexis Krauss, Karen O and Natasha Khan. Not a blonde in sight)

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November 21st Mixtape Guest Blog from A Very Cool Pea

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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.

If you’re a Spotify user click here to play Pea’s mixtape, if you dig the Youtube then click here instead.

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).

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