Archive for August, 2009

Get Loaded In The Park - 30 August, 2009

August 31st, 2009

London festivals are a dime a dozen, but Get Loaded In The Park seems to have audience vote - maintaining a reputation for being a small, quirky festival with a good atmosphere. This and the fact its one of the last festivals on the summer calendar attracts a wide range of londoners up for their last summer fling.

This years Get Loaded fare was a strictly electronic menu. On inspecting the programme, it turned out i’d be missing 2 (The Bloody Beetroots, Mstrkrft) of the 7 I was interested in, but fortunately my more prized choices remained intact (Miss Kitten and The Hacker, Royksopp, Orbital, Steve Aoki, Peaches).

My timetable for the day was:
Marina and the Diamonds
Tom Middleton
Sneaky Sound System
Felix Da Housecat
Steve Aoki
Magnetic Man
Miss Kitten and The Hacker

The only thing that detracted from the day unfortunately, was the sound. the Dim Mak tent suited the DJ’s well, but naturally was the least complicated tent. Miss Kitten suffered from no vocals for a good 5-10 minutes of her 30 minute set in the Clash tent. Royksopp could have been farting into the vocal mics for all we knew it was so woofy. The Main stage, directly in front about 20 metres back, (where there should have been perfect sound) lacked body, and suffered from phase issues (high speaker set where not fixed to the frame, but hanging in the wind). Fair enough i’m probably harder on sound systems and engineers than most, having come from that background, but - I paid for a ticket - I expected better sound, and professional engineering. For the final headliners, Orbital, we resorted to standing next to the left speaker stack, which, turned out not being such a bad idea - sound was great, and we edged into the front row, about 10 metres off center, giving us a great view also.

Heres set 3 of 3 30 minute sets by Orbital:


Laura Marling - Royal Festival Hall, 11 August 2009

August 16th, 2009

Proceedings for the night began in much of the same vein as it continued through out - a short film introducing a small community of friends and folk musicians who work with, and influence each other. They are the babes of the new folk scene in London which is slowly growing, and tonight included stirling performances by Laura Marling and band, Alessi’s Ark, Ethan Johns, Andrew Bird, Johnny Flynn, Mumford & Sons, Pete Roe, Peggy Sue and Sons of Noel and Adrian.

It sounds like quite a large gathering, and it was - a truly eclectic mix of styles with a total of 24 songs for the night. One would expect that the additional acts would be merely a distraction to the main event, but this certainly was not the case. Laura introduced the audience to the wonderful music of her friends, who put a convincing case together that this was also just scratching the surface of the untapped folk talent out there. I’m certainly going to be listening to many of them in alot more detail in the weeks to come.

It was great to see Laura in a different context to the solo aspect I experienced at the Hoxton gig some months back. Tonight she was accompanied by a keys, drums, cello, fiddle and bass, which all filled out the textures in her songs nicely. I couldnt help but draw some comparison between her and Nick Drake’s ‘Way To Blue’ when she sang with the cello. While I think she has already attained alot of the influence on others that Nick Drake had, I hope she has a much longer and prosperous life than he acheived. Her new album tracks are as good as - if not a growth from - her debut album, and I still strongly believe she has alot of potential as an era defining songwriter - the next Joni, Suzanne or Tori, and I personally cant wait!

Heres a few tracks from the night:




Clint Mansell - Union Chapel, 20 July 2009

August 3rd, 2009

photo by wanterlustg -

After a suprise introduction by friends including none other than Darren Aronofsky praising his music, you’d expect a relative air of confidence about Clint Mansell, but as he even as he took to the stage, he was quietly and unassuming.
Clint as a musician has had quite a meandering path to where he is now, some of which, if you didnt previously know about, you might find abit suprising. In particular the contrast between his last band, the extroverted Pop Will Eat Itself and the relatively introverted compositions he makes now. Of course, those of us who are familiar with both sides of the coin can draw similarity between the two - I often imagine hearing the PWEI guitars powering away in tandum with his current works.

The contrast of work was joy to hear - the serene beauty of the work in The Fountain to the heaving brutality of Requiem For A Dream. Watching the lead guitarist hammering the bridge of his electric guitar with his fist, or teasing out textures with an ebow was simply awe inspiring.

I’m fortunate to have seen Clint live, as I believe this was only the 2nd time ever they’ve performed in the current format. I’m not sure how many more of these he’s doing, but if your into him, you’d do well to go along and check him out!

heres an sample:


photo by wanterlustg -