Friday, 17 October 2014
There was a good period of time where I forgot clean about ever having participated in any form of amateur journalism.
If there's anything I've learnt in my 3 month writing hiatus it's that's I'm exceptionally good at procrastinating things that I enjoy doing with shittier insipid activities; such as, becoming assistant manager of a luggage shop, losing my iPhone and making a fresh post-it every morning for the past 12 weeks pledging to myself a fresh blogpost.
Your find yourself in a vicious cycle of promising yourself you will endeavour to produce a piece then finding a seemingly more important task (mine ranged from knitting a long mint coloured scarf, bumping into Matt Bellamy on a south Devon beach, gutting my bedroom, cutting my hair, painting the spare room, the list goes on) and losing faith in yourself upon the failure of completing the task in the back of your mind grinds you down. As a result you ultimately lose the passion for what you were doing in the first place which is weird, because I sure as hell enjoy the act of writing. It's odd, you just find yourself totally slumped at the though to of sitting down at the computer, and every time I saw another published article go up I just think 'what's the point?', a sickening sense of inadequacy at the inability to even produce a few hundred words. I suppose in essence I lost track of what I wanted and people took priority.
Yet we persevere, life is swimming merrily along and months have sailed away. I find myself in the gap year rut of working, soon to be, three equally dissatisfying jobs in pursuit of a month volunteering in Kerala, Southern India in February followed by some weeks of aimless wandering. Then to Sweden? It's all rather vague. Roll on Goldsmiths.
I guess this is quintessentially part of the entire 'finding yourself' cliché. A kick up the arse and a stern 'ELINOR GET BACK ON THE HORSE' because I'm telling you now, I'd hidden the goddamn saddle.
Here's my pledge of a piece a day, let's see how it goes.
Friday, 11 July 2014
- It’s a real smorgasbord of talent with a long standing history of bagging some big old headliners. There’s art installations and more eateries than you can shake a stick at on site as well as a theatre and a runway in the Fashion Stage. Prepare yourself for some exceptionally suave looking contemporaries.
- Impeccably polite and accommodating locals. The security guards even zipped our bags back up after ransacking them for contraband. Adorable.
- Don’t cast yourself as the classic ignorant tourist. Go the extra mile and learn some Polish.
- For the love of god, bring water with you. 80p for half a litre is definitely not ok, particularly when it’s 6AM and you’re feeling a little worse for wear.
- On a health basis this is probably not going to be your finest hour. Beautifully cheap vodka and cigarettes are easily sourced, at the consumer’s peril.
- Hot showers, like, every day. That’s all I need to say.
Thursday, 10 July 2014
A band emerging as part of the seemingly swelling Brighton music scene, Blaenavon command stirring lyricism alongside melodies forged by the generation influenced by the The Maccabees and Bombay Bicycle Club. ‘Prague’ is plucked from the polished KOSPO EP put out last year on transgressive recordings and is a golden, swelling anthem brushed with an air of sadness. Angst driven, Prague paints almost a dysptopian lyrical landscape and upholding musical simplicity to a commanding effect, bubbling to a fierce climax at 4:20.
The three piece are scheduled this summer for Warlingham based ‘Leefest’ as well as the the ‘Iceland Airwaves’ festival and a one off date at ‘Le Travendo’ in Paris in late July.
And as they so charmingly proclaim, Blaenavon do indeed prove to be ‘3 boys with a story to tell’, with ‘Prague’ asserting this first chapter as one not to skim over.
Set on Kosakowo Airport, Open’er boasts six stages and is a four day pledge of ferocious musical energy with the allure of (equally?) satisyingly cheap beers. This years lineup presents an array of potential headliners in their own right with Foals, The Horrors, Jack White, Metronomy, The Black Keys, Pearl Jam and Warpaint, spanning the genres with the likes of Jamie xx, Julio Bashmore and Mary Jane Coles taking to the Beat Stage.
Open’er presents a plethora of best UK and US Indie/Alternative artists whilst simultaneously showcasing the best of the Polish music scene with artists such as Król and Pablopavo i Ludziki sharing stages with the quintesentially British Ben Howard.
A lynchpin of the emerging European festivals scene and putting many back home to shame, Open’er 2014 sets expectations suitably high.
You can expect a comprehensive review of Poland’s prime
beersmusical party in the coming days. Eyes peeled.
Sunday, 15 June 2014
Sunday, 18 May 2014
Thank you for tolerating my presence. It's been a fantastic push towards getting out there and cracking on with this writing business, in-between the suffocating smog of work that A Level literature, language, and godforsaken history entail, seemingly eclipsing all else.
It's been a mega learning curve and I've enjoyed every minute of it so far.
Here's to a summer of festival induced poverty, chats, cats, potential spats, copious amounts reading and a gap year of hella lotta more where this came from!
Eyes to the skies.
Sunday, 6 April 2014
|Duo Leo Braukmann Pugsley and Callum White|
Forming but five months ago, forged deep in the Devonian wilds, Blues-Rock duo 'The Lion' are slowly but surely working their way up through the ranks. Drawing inspiration from the likes of Drenge and The White Stripes the two took a minute before their gig at Exeter's Phoenix Arts Centre to bask in the blazing Exeter sunshine and consolidate their rising success.
So how long have you been together?
Leo: We were in another band before with a friend. We had loads of names, but it never really kicked off. It was difficult so we ended up cutting it down and he wanted to go own way anyway and we kept it just simple, two piece, rock n roll.
How do you find the two-piece works in terms of dynamics, is it right for you?
Leo: it's good because when we play together live,it's just two of us and we can just sort of go with it. The energy's there, even though there's not a lot of texture and things it's fun and it means we can do a lot with our live performance. When we're live it means then we go out there we just make the performance as good as we can.
Callum: we only rely on each other. There's no one else to rely on it's just TWO. It's a lot easier.
With the rise of two piece bands such as Drenge, would you say that they had an influence on you at all?
Leo: Oh definitely a lot yeah! We've seen them, they came to our local venue and we do have a lot of influence from bands like the White Stripes, a little bit of early Black Keys, just all that kinda vibe. Blues/Rock influence, Garage/Rock Guitar sort of stuff.
How would you categorise your sound then?
Leo: Blues? Rock, Garage, Rock n Roll. Something like that, it's a hybrid infusion.
Where do you see yourselves going from this gig? Do you have high aspirations?
Callum: FUCK YES.
Leo: (more tentatively) We'd love to hit it big time, definitely. We'd sell out in a heartbeat. We wanna go to the top. Next year we're going separate ways but I see the band staying together and we'll keep gigging. It's good for us, it's promotion and experience and an opportunity to get in with the local bands.
Do you think there is a specific Exeter scene then?
Leo: There is an Exeter scene, yeah but it's a bit.. shit. We're just breaking into it really but there are also some really good bands in Exeter. We like 'The Big V', they're quite big I mean they're playing gigs in London and stuff. I saw they were playing one the other week in London, not that that means it's a huge venue but I think two of the members actually live there. There's a lot of bands who are around who are popular but we think are shit. But I won't name any names.
Obviously you've got this gig tonight, any other upcoming gigs where people can catch you?
Leo: Yeah we're playing on Friday 18th April at Tobacco House on the Quay which is like a new up and coming venue. There's quite a lot going on down there and there's a festival down there as well in May which we're playing at with loads of other local bands so that'll be good for us.
Do you find it easier to write lyrics of music first? Or do they come relatively together?
Callum: It changes every time really, though the lyrics usually come first.
What have you two been listening to recently?
Leo: Who was it who performed on Letterman recently? Future Islands, they're like a synth-pop group. Man that performance was so good, you seen it? The guys is there literally fully going for it and turns into a goblin, it's fucking sound. They're like 40 or something?
Callum: to be fair, there's a group from Ireland playing at the moment called The Strypes?
Leo: Oh god, not the young guys?
Calum: I think fair play to them I think they're pretty good for their age.
Leo: The Rolling Stones did a gig for their 50th Anniversary and they thought: 'ooooh let's ride on that wave!'. They're definitely doing well I mean they're great musicians and they're so young so good for them. I shouldn't be jealous really, but, I am.
Callum: I dunno, I haven't listened to them but I've definitely checked them out.
And finally, the age old conundrum; (as answered by the fabled James Bagshaw himself) B-ow-ie or B-oh-ie?
Leo: B-OH-IE! EVERY SINGLE TIME B-OH-IE! and he's a big influence as well
Callum: oh no. I used to say B-ow-ie. Should I say B-ow-ie? I'll say B-ow-ie for you.
The Lion perform at The Old Tobacco House on Friday 18th April and Off Quay Festival from 25th-26th May.
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Thursday, 20 March 2014
Swept there on a compelling tide of nostalgia and elated on expectations of £23 tickets, that were needless to say; high.
The band have received heady mainstream success from album number four ‘So Long, See You Tomorrow’ with singles such as ‘Luna’ gracing the airwaves of the daytime Radio One playlist.
The set was a notch up in professionalism from the 2010 post ‘had the blues’ relative underground status, they’re big boys now. Support act ‘Flyte’ seemed reminiscent of a mediocre Mystery Jets minus the 80s hype, though pleasantly harmonious.
This was soon followed by Rae (‘The Hair’) Morris, a radiant songstress who sat, somewhat subdued, at the keyboard whispering delicate vocals. A poignant affair, songs such as current single ‘Skin’ were beautifully executed.
Bombay were confidently commanding with spirits soon became frenzied by the very presence of the quartet. The Indie introvert pin-up boy Steadman was brilliant as ever, despite the vivaciousness of early tracks such as ‘How Can You Swallow so Much Sleep?’ and ‘Always Like this’ possibly subtracting from the sincerity of ‘Eyes Off You’ with vocals slightly lapsing.
Use of mesmerising graphics projected onto circular screens were stunningly implemented, the Asian-fusion undertone to tracks such as ‘Feel’ seeing a gang of artsy cobras grace the background to which guitarist Jamie Maccoll exclaimed ‘RELEASE THE SNAKES!’ to much effect.
‘Luna’ also saw a Disclosure- esque mockery of the band’s ‘interative’ online video with rotating silhouettes of Steadman and accomplices.
A ‘Flaws’less performance that secured crowd pleasing old ‘Evening/Morning’, ‘Shuffle’ ‘Light Out, Words Gone’ with an encore of the sublime ‘What If’ and ‘Carry Me’ it was triumphant effort from a band who have certainly secured themselves as seminal figures in the alternative
Monday, 10 March 2014
Thursday, 23 January 2014
special thanks to the endearing accomplice Jessica Eason - you save my bacon.