Sunday, 15 July 2012

BAND OF BADGERS PRESENTS #5







Welcome to the fifth Band of Badgers Presents podcast. I know, I know, it has still seemed to take a good few weeks to get this one completed and out but so many other things seem to be occupying my time. Mostly work of course as one must seemingly waste an entire eight (or more) hours for five consecutive days each week in order to live but such is the way the world works at present, sadly. 

No sponsors have yet come forth following the plea I made in podcast #3. Perhaps my advertisement to be sent over to the US and cover some great gigs over there was a little too much to begin with, frightening off any potential sponsors? Like I mentioned, I'm very flexible so if you can offer me any other type of work along similar lines (producing a music show of some sort, writing about music or helping with promo, for example) then do get in touch because I assure you I'm a very hard worker and will be well worth the money. 
I am kind of semi-serious by the way (don't ask and you don't get so they say (those 'they' make their appearance everywhere don't they?)). Well, completely serious about finally kick-starting something akin to a career and in an area I thoroughly enjoy and can revel in. This is a vital existential component for a happy life, surely? Quite why it has to be so difficult to get to that point I'm unsure. Perhaps that is part of the point? The harder it is to get where you might truly want to be the better things are when you get there (if you get there). If anything, it feels good to finally be at a point where I know what I do want. Okay, enough with the serious work chat for now and on with the show before you all click away on to something else.

Needless to say I am absolutely thrilled beyond comprehension to be able to feature Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman in this episode. After tracking Kathryn down on Facebook (in a non stalkery way I assure you) and sending a message about how much of a fan I've become of their work and mentioning the podcast in the hope I would be able to play something from them, she replied to give permission. A huge thanks to Kathryn and Sean for that. I mentioned the release of their album last time, which comes after a nine year gap. It is not just another folk record either as much as it remains steeped in the genre. It is a beauty so do check out more from them if it is your kind of thing. Having seen them live twice now, trust me, Kathryn's vocal ability is spellbinding. Goosebumps and skin tingling kind of amazing so do yourself a favour and get to a show if you can.

The Playlist:



A huge thanks to Aidan Logan who has allowed me to play the song he wrote and recorded especially for the Pips Project 929. This is a charity very close to Aidan's heart as he has himself lost friends to suicide and Pips was set up by bereaved families in a bid to not only help save lives but to support all those who are immediately affected by this. The project was established in 2003 following the suicides of 13 young people under the age of 18 in North Belfast. I recall there being a similar spate of suicides of young people in Bridgend, South Wales a few years ago but the mainstream news hadn't filtered through the issues being experienced in Belfast. There was little to no support available for the families and bereaved so PIPS was set up, which stands for Public Initiative for the Prevention of Suicide & Self-harm. Visit the website for more information as there is a really strong network that has been built up offering all kinds of support and guidance. You can go and purchase Aidan's song, Let Them Know >> here << with all proceeds going to the charity.

Aidan is a promising up and coming singer-songwriter who I'm looking forward to featuring more of in future podcasts so keep your ears open and waiting. In the meantime you can check out more songs and videos from him via his Facebook page.



Note of Clarification:

I must make an urgent note of clarification before continuing. When introducing Lightfire on the podcast I mentioned Grand Theft Auto featuring on the list of man sports the band are able to compete in for the Lightfire man championship title belt. Of course, I mean the Playstation game and not actual grand theft auto. It may have gone without saying (and thus requiring no mention) but you know, just in case. For those whose brains may not be fully engaged attention-wise. I can however use this opportunity of an extra mention to urge you to get to one of their gigs when they're anywhere near you because you will be entertained! Their next planned gig is on Saturday 4th August as part of Emma Scott Presents at the Slade Rooms in Wolverhampton.

Have you seen Eric Unseen? Well if not and you've only listened to their kick ass tune Sex in the City via the podcast I recommend you check out their latest video for Out On My Feet which kicks ass equally if not even more so than the aforementioned.



Under the Spotlight:

As music continues coming to me via Twitter I was impressed recently by two international outfits. When a German band called Anokato with the tagline, '...music to balance the craziness we witness every day..' and a website called dezombification.org started following me, I felt instinctively somehow that it was going to be something promising. Following the link to the website didn't disappoint where I was faced with the option of receiving their free EP via download by merely agreeing to let them tweet on my behalf that I'd done so. The EP is a taster for the album they are working on, a song from which they release every 10,000 followers. It is an interesting sound marrying vocals that, to me, border on a David Bowie style although it is no mere imitation, I assure you. The music bounces from hard to soft rock with some nice acoustic arrangements. I think the Germans can finally be forgiven for that whole episode whereby they were pretty much the only nation keeping David Hasselhoff in the music business. Don't be too disappointed there are no actual zombies because these are tunes that could easily form the soundtrack to a zombie movie or apocalypse type running for your life situation. Do download and keep them ready. Just in case.

The second one is even more surprising. Saritote are a Japanese rock band who blend many different genres of music including but not exclusively, alternative, ambient and dance. The name itself is an old Japanese word meaning 'nevertheless' and the band formed in 2010 in Osaka. Whatever I was expecting when I clicked on the link to the website and checked out the tunes on their soundcloud page I don't think it was this.



Another artist I stumbled upon via Twitter and who impressed me instantly is Steve Thompson AKA Blabermouth whose album Ramble you can hear via bandcamp >>here<< These are proper throught-provoking tunes. While folk-inspired they're more than simply folk if I may say so. With a mix of styles he seems to marry perfectly and ordering the tracks so you really are carried off on a journey if you just sit back, relax and let them take you. It is impossible to choose a favourite amongst the gems on offer with Ramble. Old Grey London is a beautifully delicate song about the wonder and enchantment the capital used to hold yet how things have changed so much, predominantly for the worse. It reminds me lyrically very much of some of the Bee Gees best lyrical works with a performance reminiscent of Ralph McTell. This leads into the much more upbeat, Amsterdam where Steve sings about the laid-back honesty and genuine nature of that city. This is a singer-songwriter I'm looking forward to learning and hearing more about. 




Editors

I was hoping to have a video of at least one of the songs I recorded at the Editors gig I went to on Wednesday June 27th. It has taken me weeks of lengthy uploading to get just this one of Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors on so far. I don't know if Facebook haven't paid some of their server bills or something (perhaps they spent too much securing their numerous mentions in the current series of True Blood?) but the videos just will not upload. The best quality video I have is of the song Eat Raw Meat but I'm unable to get that one on at present. I would have most likely written a short gig review if I had been able to get them sorted but this will follow in due course.

It was an awesome night to keep it brief with the recent departure of one of the original band members being unnoticeable in the phenomenal performance that resulted. Smith commanded and captivated the audience with his usual style and splendour. They played numerous songs from their previous three albums with a few new additions they've been working on for the fourth one due out next year. With any luck I may be able to get my hands on a demo of the first seven tracks although naturally I won't be able to share anything at this stage. It hasn't come my way yet though but hopefully it will do soon.


video



While on the subject of checking out a band's new tunes, I am hugely grateful to Chris Gillett, guitarist for the alternative rock band The Scholars, for sending me a link to sample five brand new songs they've recorded. I played the song Turbulence in the third podcast and this band will be one I feature quite often as I am such a fan of their music. Fans are in for a treat with these new offerings, the first of which, Wired, will be released as a free single download sometime in September. The other four are set to follow as they have decided not to release it as a collective EP. I will keep on at them for the album just to satisfy my own selfish need to have it in my collection.


I know I mentioned about doing interviews at some point and while I haven't got any set up just yet I haven't forgotten. Chris from The Scholars has also kindly offered an interview which I'm really thrilled about so as soon as I can get it all sorted I should have at least 3 interviews in the pipeline.



Gigs:

Excellent news about Band of Horses announcing their UK dates for later this year to promote their forthcoming fourth album, Mirage Rock, due for release on 18th September. As I increase my networking I've tried to bag myself a promo copy of the CD (this and Battle Born from The Killers). I'm yet to receive a response but can only wait. Unfortunately I'm unable to get tickets for the gig in Birmingham yet so I'm hoping they don't sell out too quickly. Well, not before the cat has bought in some money. Ha, who am I kidding, she is currently sprawled out asleep on the sofa where she's been for the past three hours.

I did however bag myself tickets for the Tom McRae solo tour. It just isn't an option to miss out on a fix of Tom. I am also really looking forward to seeing Dry The River in Cambridge in October. They are proving themselves to be a force to be reckoned with musically.

Finally, next weekend is of course Truck Festival, which I just cannot wait for. Even with the unfortunate announcement today from Get Cape Wear Cape Fly pulling out due to health issues, the line up is a corker. Get well soon though Jack, I will definitely miss not getting to see you play. I really must sort out who I'm going to see too before it's too late and I'm there in the throes of festival life. Line up clashes are one son of a bitch yet just cannot be helped.

NO TO THE BBC'S ENGLAND PROGRAMME!

The BBC are planning to axe evening programmes on your local BBC Radio stations and replace it with a national talk show. Many great presenters and outlets for local content will be lost and once gone it is unlikely they will ever be reinstated. Please see the below extract from the BBC report:

'On weekday evenings (7pm-10pm) all stations will come together for a new all-England programme, with opt-outs for live sport and local news (as currently provided).
Each local station should commence local broadcasting by 6am (rather than 5am). All stations will broadcast Radio 5 Live from 1am until the start of their breakfast programme.
The locally split breakfast programmes within Devon, Three Counties, Wiltshire and Cambridgeshire will end.'

This is an atrocious way to run the programme of cuts that may very well be required to save money in the face of the current ongoing economic situation everyone finds themselves in. All no doubt so those at the very top can keep their unnecessarily super-inflated salaries with ridiculous pension schemes and even more obnoxious bonuses. How about giving the real workers the bonus of keeping the jobs they do so very well and in turn keeping the opportunities in place for local bands to get featured on their local radio stations.
This is just one step too far so please everyone jump on the band wagon and help say NO to these savage cuts. We demand a rethink of these so-called proposals!

This was bought to my attention by Stephanie Wright of New Music Connection and you can check out more details at the Facebook page >>here<<.

As always thanks to Mark Blasco at podcastthemes for the intro theme tune. 

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