From Desk Till Dawn

My mainly music & nerd bird blog

Posts Tagged ‘The Maccabees

2012 Was…

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I do not have a decisive enough personality to make definitive lists so just off the top of my head this year…

Has been soundtracked by albums from Crybaby, The Maccabees, Friends, Wild Nothing, Mystery Jets, Mary Epworth, Beach House, Zulu Winter, Kindness, How To Dress Well, Hot Chip, Sharon Van Etten, Sleigh Bells, Polica, Toy, The Futureheads, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Grimes, Grizzly Bear, David Byrne & St. Vincent, Jessie Ware, Bat for Lashes and Perfume Genius. I wasn’t blown away by Alt-J (someone had to not be).

I can count the amount of times I went to the cinema on one hand but adored all the films. The Hobbit, Avengers Assemble, Moonrise Kingdom. Most of all I loved Beasts of the Southern Wild and Searching for Sugar Man.

It seems to be a year where I’ve mainly read David Sedaris. However, Anna Richardson’s Little Gods would be my book of the year. Stunning debut novel. After reading Virginia Woolf, A Room Of Ones Own I am determined to work my way through the rest of her books next year.

The exhibitions this year have been the strongest since I’ve lived in London. From Charles Dickens writing desk at the London Museum to Grayson Perry at The British Museum.

It’s been a year where I finally got to see Mystery Jets live, and at the Royal Festival Hall with someone who’s support has been unwavering this year. There’s been Gigs where I’ve been with my parents and created cherished memories, gigs of sitting in Hoxton basements and leaning over Heaven’s balcony. Drunk gigs, sober gigs, gigs that have moved me to tears or where I’ve come away with aching feet from dancing so much.

Above all these things it’s mainly been all about London 2012 for me. I hope I am forever changed by the Olympics and Paralympics. It made me kinder, motivated, deliriously happy and proud to be British. Actually, proud to just be a human being. This Public Enemy song will forever serve as a reminder.

It’s been a year of pesky Tinnitus, goodbyes and job changes. It’s been a year where friendships have sprang out of the unlikeliest of places and where I will never underestimate the kindness of strangers. At times you have overwhelmed me with your support and general brilliance (I know some of you read this blog, most of you will never even know you made a difference).

Of course there’s plenty of things I didn’t get round to in 2012. Like swimming round all of London Lido’s, having tea with Ian Hislop, learning how to ride a bike or shaking Robert Jay QC by the hand.

It’s been a year where I’ve decided bravery is one of the most important qualities you can possess. A year of remembering I can breathe underwater.

2012. In equal measures I’m glad to see it gone and reluctant to let it go.

Here’s to 2013. Happy New Year.

NB: Huge thanks to Pete at Flush The Fashion for putting up with my contributions for another year. To Pub Diaries for letting me waffle on in a Q&A. The ever energetic and tireless Dan Thompson for printing my pop up shop piece. To Darren Hayman for letting me talk about my love of swimming and to The Guardian for printing my ‘Six Songs Of Me‘. To Tim for having me on Resonance Radio. And to everyone who reads this. Cheers.

final collage

The Letter ‘M’ Mixtape.

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I will never get over how glamorous Metronomy make Torquay appear in their video to The Bay. The most realistic thing about the video is the girls spreading their legs behind the bushes outside the leisure centre on Torre Abbey. I grew up there, I can speak with authority. This is a town where bronzing balls are used on your cleavage and not on your cheekbones. Joseph Mount’s concept album The English Riviera is so unbelievably close to my heart for the very reason I was born and raised there.

Anyway. I am tired and grumpy. I have a couple of bruised and battered toes taped together and I thought I nearly swam into a poo at Tooting Bec Lido earlier this week. Then I done a mini cry over the beauty that is Mercury Rev’s The Dark is Rising. I completely forgot how emotionally woeful that track is. So if you are on a Friday high perhaps skip the final track of my M mixtape.

You can play my letter L mixtape on Spotify or YouTube

  1. The Maccabees – Love You Better
  2. The Mighty Wah! – The Story Of The Blues
  3. Metronomy – The Bay
  4. McAlmont & Butler – Yes
  5. Mint Royale (feat. Lauren Laverne) – Don’t Falter
  6. Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell – You’re All I Need To Get By
  7. Mary Epworth – Black Doe
  8. Marc Almond – If You Go Away
  9. The Middle East – Blood
  10. Mercury Rev –  The Dark Is Rising

Written by Anon PA

August 24, 2012 at 11:15 am

Sunday Swoon. July 22nd

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Pelicans, Mist and Sausages…

Big Apple Hot Dogs

1. Finally got my chops around a Big Apple Hot Dog on Friday. Smoky, Chunky and Juicy. Anyone suspicious of exactly what meat usually goes into hot dogs will have their faith restored by this local London business. 94 – 98% meat content accompanied by pickles, every mustard you can think of, freshly baked buns. Track down their whereabouts on their website.

2. The debut book by Erick Setiawan, Of Bees And Mist, has a touch of Neil Gaiman about it in the element of magic and the fantastical. Centred around three strong and proud women tied together by family is saddening, life affirming and deals with the tough choices women have to make on a daily basis wrapped up in a fairytale. All from a young, male author.

3. The third single from Lucy Rose was released this week. Adore the unexpected pace change in Lines, around 40 seconds in. Her debut album is released in September and if the strength of her releases so far are the level to prejudge then it could be a contender for my album of the year.

4. Had a very merry (and by merry I mean very drunk) night at Zoo Lates on Friday. Such a fantastic idea, that us adults get to be as giddy as the children but with a pint in our hand. I have a new-found love for Pelicans, by far the most entertaining. Such a comic way of preening, dancing and parading. Now The Maccabees song has a new memory attached to it. You can book on London Zoo’s website.

5. BBC’s The Hollow Crown came to its conclusion with Henry V last night. I am not brave enough to put into words just how brilliant the adaptations have been. All actors involved, and those that made it possible, produced something to be truly proud about. Of course it wouldn’t exist had it not been for Shakespeare. A man we have so much to be grateful for. Catch it while it’s on iPlayer, I urge you. I was utterly blown away by it.

“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother” 

– William Shakespeare, Henry V

July 18th Mixtape – Marc’s 25 for 2012

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Last week I blogged a mixtape made up of twenty-five tracks that have rocked my socks at the halfway point of 2012. This is born out of Twitter discussions with Marc and he’s agreed to let me put his list up so here are his. I expect he’s sleeping off Latitude somewhere so this will potentially pass him by. There’s a smattering of similarities to mine but it feels like a very different mixtape given the tracks he picked in comparison. I can’t stop playing the Purity Ring track.

You can play Marc’s mixtape on Spotify or *YouTube. Enjoy 

  1. Friends – Friend Crush
  2. Best Coast – The Only Place
  3. Passion Pit – I’ll Be Alright
  4. La Sera – Please Be My Third Eye
  5. The Maccabees – Pelican
  6. Solar Bears – Alpha People (feat. Keep Shelley in Athens)
  7. Lower Dens – Brains
  8. THEESatisfaction – Ecnhantruss
  9. Pond – Elegant Design
  10. Purity Ring – Fineshrine
  11. Sleigh Bells – Comeback Kid
  12. Nicolas Jaar – With Just One Glance
  13. Charli XCX – You’re The One
  14. Death Grips – Get Got
  15. Alt-J – Breezeblocks
  16. Kindness – House
  17. Beach House – Wild
  18. Polica – Dark Star
  19. Hot Chip – Motion Sickness
  20. Sharon Van Etten – Serpents
  21. Django Django – Waveforms
  22. Burial & Four Tet – Nova
  23. Perfume Genius – Hood
  24. Grimes – Oblivion
  25. Oneohtrix Point Never – I Only Have Eyes For You

*Not all the tracks were available on Spotify as he’s clearly too out there with some of the choices so for the full list YouTube is the best option.

Written by Anon PA

July 18, 2012 at 10:31 am

July 10th Mixtape – 2012 Challenge

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Around this time last year Marc listed his top 25 tracks of the year so far and challenged me to do the same. This year we’ve only bloody well done it again, and below are the tracks that have very much floated my boat during the first half of 2012, a smattering of them the same as his list produced. You’ll probably guess from the running order that they’re in no particular order, given Sharon Van Etten follows on from Azealia Banks being one good example of my inability to pick a favourite.

Beach House @ Village Underground

At the end of the year I compiled my top 50 tracks and will look to do the same this year if I’m still whittling on and boring you via this blog. One thing I am utterly certain of (and I seem to be uncertain of so much these days) is Beach House will still be there come December, this album captured every single cell in my body.

You can play this mixtape on Spotify or YouTube. Enjoy!

            1. Savages – Husbands
            2. Beach House – New Year
            3. Kindness – House
            4. Santigold – Disparate Youth
            5. Grimes – Oblivion
            6. The Maccabees – Feel To Follow
            7. Hot Chip – Motion Sickness
            8. Sleigh Bells – Comeback Kid
            9. Crybaby – We’re Supposed To Be In Love
            10. Kwes – Bashful
            11. Twin Shadow – Five Seconds
            12. Azealia Banks – 212
            13. Sharon Van Etten – Leonard
            14. Mary Epworth – Black Doe
            15. Friends – Mind Control
            16. Polica – Dark Star
            17. Lucy Rose – Red Face
            18. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs – Garden
            19. Two Wounded Birds – To Be Young
            20. Chromatics – Kill For Love
            21. Zulu Winter – Silver Tongue
            22. Julia Holter – In The Same Room
            23. Alabama Shakes – I Found You
            24. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zero’s – Man On Fire
            25. Lianne La Havas – Lost & Found

Sunday Swoon. January 29th

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Figured I’d add to the weekly pressure of delivering a weekly mixtape by attempting to post a mini blog each Sunday as well. This will be my top 5 from the week. It may be an album release, something I’ve put in my mouth, a gig, a cocktail, a moment, a music video, a blog, an exhibition, a poem, a photo, a book. On its debut my Sunday swoon this week is made up of the following…

1. Courtesy of a Tweet from 6 Music I discovered the shadow puppetry video for Kate Bush ~ Eider Falls at Lake Tahoe. I can’t quite put my finger on a memory from my childhood, there was a programme that used this ancient theatre art of telling a story. Perhaps it’s an old fairytale I can’t quite bring to mind now I’m a jaded old adult.

2. One of the best books I’ve read in a long time, I was so determined to finish it that I was reading it under my desk in between meetings. I don’t want to go into detail as if you’re looking for a good read I don’t want to give you any spoilers. Some of the best character writing I’ve devoured in a long time, bright, quirky and pulls at your heart-strings over matters you’re least expecting to feel emotional about. The Guardian published an insightful review if you do want a professional account, but I read this without knowing any details and think I got the most from it this way.

“One key ingredient of so-called experience is the delusional faith that it is unique and special, that those included in it are privileged and those excluded from it are missing out”  

                                                                                                      The Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan

3. Francois & The Atlas Mountains released E Volvo Love this week. It seems to now be my default commuter jam album. I’m instantly transported to a gite, wine on tap, cheese at my fingertips and an inner calm that helps me zone out from the man trying to ram his gym bag up my bum. Also, in their video for Les Plus Beaux, feet have never looked so attractive. My French is rusty but I believe the song title translates to the best, or most beautiful (correct me if I’m inevitably wrong)?? He must be referring to those toes!

4. First gig of 2012 will taken some beating. The Maccabees at Brixton Academy on Thursday will be a cherished memory for the entire year. Three albums in means they have quite a back catalogue to draw on and subtle, mature tracks from Given To The Wild blended easily with earlier anthemic crowd rousing songs. We left it late getting tickets so were up in the Gods but none of the atmosphere or sound was lost and we were on our feet for the entire set dancing to the point of collapsed topknots and aching heels. I’ve created a spotify playlist of the set The Maccabees played here. Live highlight has to be the sense of occasion and new lease of life track Feel To Follow has live. Shivers and goose pimples.

5. The story of a lost Nick Drake recording of  Cello Song found by Michael Burdett in the bins behind Island Records HQ in London where he was employed as a post boy charmed me to childish joy this week. Years later it’s resulted in an exhibition called The Strange Face Project which you can see at The Idea Generation Gallery in East London. Tragically, after the initial joy and wonder wore off I’ve spent the week in a mild panic over how many rare recordings have been turfed out into the bins or had the top 40 recorded over them through the years. 

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What Was & What Will Be. And Artichokes.

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Happy New Year my music loving, book nerd, pick and mix addict alcoholics.

I spent a good chunk of yesterday reminiscing about 2011. It was the year I became addicted to Romanesco, Rum & Ginger, and Hackney (inconvenient seeing as I reside in north-west London). The year I met Jarvis Cocker *swoon*. The year I got a tattoo. The year I spoke to Steve Lamacq on BBC6 Music. The year I remained in love. The year I made a wish in a 6th century wishing well, the Basilica Cistern in Istanbul. The year I found community through Riot Clean Up, the most precious days of last year came from destruction, who could have predicted that – amazing!

It was the year I tweeted for The Guardian at Glastonbury and started writing for Flush The Fashion (thanks Pete!). It was the year I started this blog and had Thom Vincent, Dan Thompson, Bob Winckworth, my Dad and Priyam Chovhan guest blog for me (thanks a ton lovely folk). I’ve had a ton of support from friends, family and strangers in my writing which has truly meant the bloody universe to me.

The year I averaged 2.91 books a month and 2.58 gigs a month (festivals not included as some bands at Glastonbury are a bit of a blur) mainly with Lolita who has energetically suffered my stubborn determination to trek around various venues and fields. This was my soundtrack of 2011.

It was also the year I didn’t truly recognise the value of a friend until she was over the other side of the planet (I should have never let her get on that plane) and that is my one regret. It was the year I was made redundant from a job I loathed, only to find another and be told on my first day they were going bust at Christmas (it’s ok, I found another job after a frantic couple of months). The year my parents bailed me out on a number of occasions reminding me how important family are, I am eternally grateful for their love and support, poor sods.

Then I started thinking about 2012. I’ve never been one for resolutions but this year I decided I’d like some aims to plod towards. My list started with “Eat more artichokes”, and then it remained at that one point for the entire day. I also plan to work my way through the awesome books Cocktails with Bompas & Parr and the stunning Vintage Tea Party. Have a dip dye at Bleach, another tattoo, go back to meditation classes, learn how to ride a bike, find some new friends to trot around London with. Keep a journal in a slightly alternative way thanks to Keel’s Simple Diary, join a book club (ticked off the list thanks to The Good Ship, Kilburn). Above all I hope it’s a content year with few dramas and plenty of creativity.

I’ll leave you all with The Maccabees, the first album of 2012 I’ll be buying and the first gig of the year I’ll be heading to. Happy New Year, hope it’s a proper little belter for you all.