Archive for June, 2009

Noah and the Whale - Crisis Hidden Gig, 24 June 2009

June 29th, 2009

Noah and the Whale - First Days Of Spring Album CoverThe gig included Jay Jay Pistolet, Wave Machines, and Noah and the Whale (Natw), all playing for a hidden gig at the Freedm Studio (at Camden’s Roundhouse) for the Crisis homeless charity. The studio itself is a small space, perfect for an intimate show. I much preferred hearing Jay Jay Pistolet and NatW in this intimate setting, than the massive Shepherds Bush Empire, filled with screaming/shouting fans.

The last time I saw Noah and the Whale, I wished I’d heard them with Laura Marling still in the line up, but now I realize that her departure has allowed them to evolve away from their first album, into something other than folk. Now I hear twangs of The Cure, Sigur Ros and even Mazzy Star interwoven into NatW’s melancholic melodies and riffs. Since their last London show, I could hear that they’ve now worn in their new tracks, which sound alot more settled and organic than before.

I would offer more of their new stuff, but as I’d prefer you all to go see them and buy their new album in August, I’ll give you a single taster:


ps - you can download the title track off their new album (FOR FREE!!) off their website (, so do yourself a favour and go have a listen!

Bobby McFerrin - Royal Festival Hall, 17 June 2009

June 22nd, 2009

Bobby McFerrinWhile the Meltdown Festival has previously brought us wonders such as Jeff Buckley performing classical repertoire, it has taken me until now to get organized enough to take in a show from its programme. This year, with the jazz master Ornette Coleman curating, the selection of performers was very interesting indeed, but I naturally took to Bobby McFerrin.

Having heard a few of Bobby’s live recordings, and seen his youtube videos, I knew his show would be dynamic and varied. He opened with 3 tracks of improvisation before satisfying some of his fans with a few of his standards. What impressed me was his pure enthusiasm for music and his love of sharing it with people - he had me crying with laughter one moment, and then feeling like dancing the next - and in fact, that’s what some of the audience got to do - Bobby let audience members on stage to dance / sing while he accompanied with improv.

Even though I knew he’d be great on stage, I wasn’t expecting how truly inspirational he was in reality - after 2 standing ovations and an encore with Ornette Coleman himself, I honestly felt like going home and making my own music. I don’t think I can even recall feeling that stimulated by music by any show I’ve ever been to.

I know I’ve said it alot before, but to not repeat it now would be travesty - if you get a chance to see him live, by all means do it! you wont be disappointed.

here’s a few samples: