From Desk Till Dawn

My mainly music & nerd bird blog

Posts Tagged ‘Rough Trade

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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Everyday Is Like A Record Store Day

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We had one place to buy records in little old seaside town Brixham. It was also the only option if you needed a washing machine. Terry R Darts on Fore Street. Once you squeezed past the white goods you could climb up the creaky staircase to see Paul who looked after the music selection, he would order in anything you wanted that he didn’t have in stock.

My first album, Hits 5 would more than likely have been purchased from there. It was on tape and lost to the world of Charity Shops decades ago but last year in Oxfam I found the exact album on vinyl. Oh the sweet smell of nostalgia, karma bringing back what was once rightfully mine but in a different format. That luscious black grooved pancake that has come back in fashion.

This weekend sees the return of Record Store Day where people will get up at seemingly impossible hours and commit to the queues. It’s a fantastic event for the genuine music lovers (if only there were a way of filtering out those that are there for ebay profit, maybe cashiers should challenge those buying to sing 5 songs from the artist they’re purchasing) and I doff my cap to all behind it and the artists who have produced limited releases and remixes for us lovely geeks.

For me, bliss is an afternoon spent lurking in Rough Trade, Asahi in one hand, records in the other. So every time I step through their doors it’s Record Store Day to me. Metronomy gig for the price of the album that I’d of rushed to buy anyway, Jarvis Cocker reading from his book Brother, Mother, Lover just for buying his book? Two reasons to keep going back and willingly offering my custom, not just limiting it to one day, like a musical bank holiday. These special stores that bring a smile to our ears deserve our paper round money all year round.

I put Hits 5 on while I typed this post and decided to add a mixtape. Here’s some of the tracks that made me smile and probably shaped my taste in music and by Jove a lot of them stand up to the test of time. You can play it on Spotify or YouTube.

  1. The Psychedelic Furs – Heartbreak Beat
  2. Julian Cope – World Shut Your Mouth
  3. Prince – Anotherloverholenyohead
  4. Rod Stewart – Every Beat Of My Heart
  5. The Pretenders – Don’t Get Me Wrong
  6. Paul Simon – You Can Call Me Al
  7. Eurythmics – Thorn In My Side
  8. Haywoode – Roses
  9. The Stranglers – Always The Sun
  10. Cyndi Lauper – True Colours

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He is not Jesus though he has the same Initials

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Monday night we stood stomping our feet on the cobbles in an attempt to stay warm outside Rough Trade East waiting for Jarvis Cocker to present his book Mother, Brother, Lover published recently by Faber and Faber. It was decided straight from the start that the very worst thing we could do on meeting him would be to crack a joke, (it would be the faux pas music equivalent of daring to high-five the Queen).

The unlikely indie girls heart-throb took to stage with slides to accompany his reading of selected lyrics and words. (I say words because despite the cadence and flow similar to poetry I heard Jarvis correct someone ahead of me at the signing taking place afterwards when she said she enjoyed his poetry. “It’s not poetry. They’re words” he firmly stated). He read from his school days, Pulp, Relaxed Muscle(I was the sole person that whooped at the mere mention of his not so secret project with Jason Buckle. Anyone else there remember Darren Spooner?). Slides were littered with grainy Sheffield car parks, Space, Newcastle Brown Ale and sunbeams streaming in through net curtains. All used to litter his “words” with nostalgia, irony and wit. This is the stuff geeks could only dream about on a full moon.

I always live under the happy illusion that I would exude a calm,  “do this every day” persona when it comes to meeting people I admire. Not for me the comical swooning and knee knocking. The mere fact that I am writing about this makes me painfully tragic, of this I am all too aware.

The sound of my patella’s meeting like a clacker toy was possibly audible.

He made me eat some grapes, I told him I felt like he was forcing me to eat my 5-a-day (I broke the joke rule but the trapdoor did not open below my feet thankfully). He then told me this meant I had to eat 5 grapes. I dutifully popped 5 in my mouth just to stop me saying anything else idiotic. My mere minutes in his presence, *chatting while he signed my book, has to be the most memorable Monday I’ve ever encountered. 

* For the record, we didn’t just talk about grapes.

Written by Anon PA

December 7, 2011 at 1:21 pm