ANDY: KINDNESS AT XOYO 21ST MARCH 2012
XOYO was jam packed to the rafters for the long sold out London date of the (very) short UK Kindess tour. I, as much as anyone else there, was excited to see what Adam Bainbridge had to offer in the way of a live performance. Having listened to his debut album World, You Need A Change Of Mind the week before, I knew he had the songs to make this one funky show (apart from an appalling cover of ‘Anyone Can Fall In Love’ by Anita Dobson – you know, the Eastenders theme tune). This is the first we have heard of Bainbridge since he dropped a couple of singles back in 2009, but he was back to fill XOYO with his unusual style of electro funk-pop and there was a genuine sense of anticipation in the air.
Before Kindness even took to the stage, the support act Zdar had blown me away. Zdar is one half of the famous French house producers Cassius who have remixed the likes of Daft Punk and been sampled by Jay-Z and Kanye West on last years collaboration album Watch The Throne. He spun a whole bunch of obscure house and synth pop edits that had the whole crowd who had got down early moving and shaking, whilst as the same time seeing off a pack of Marlboros to the bouncers irritation.
It was pitch black when Adam Bainbridge and his cohorts made their way to the stage, which only served to add to the buzz. The lights went up and I can honestly say everyone danced continuously for the whole hour and a half set. Bainbridge’s music is so care free and accessible that anyone would have done the same; you just cannot help but smile and move.
Of course, covering enormously famous RnB tracks like Womack and Womack’s ‘Teardrops” is going to sweeten the pill and brush over some of the more mellow and tedious album fillers (like the Anita Dobson cover – why would you do that??).
A special mention must go to his two backing singers who both danced the night away with the crowd, Hercules & Love Affair style. I’m sure Kindness will be doing the festival rounds this summer so if you get a chance, I reckon it’s worth your time (if you have your dancing shoes).
ANDY: LONEY DEAR AT BUSH HALL
A couple of weeks back, I journeyed to Shepherds Bush in West London to catch Loney Dear at Bush Hall. Having listened to his BBC6 Radio live session with Lauren Laverne the same day, I gained a sense of what to expect. Textured and harmonious “left of center” pop music. He bemoaned the loneliness he felt writing Hall Music, his latest album, to the point of swearing live on air at 11:30 in the morning. No wonder he brought a band along with him on his European tour, to share those endless hours stuck in airports, no doubt. And I was glad he did, as the music was so much richer for it.
Loney Dear and his traveling band came out to rapturous applause from the 200 strong crowd gathered in the regal setting of Bush Hall. He played the majority of songs from Hall Music, crowd favourites such as “Loney Blues” and “My Heart”, amongst a mixture of older stuff. To see Loney Dear with a full band, in such a beautiful setting, was uplifting to say the least, and life affirming to say the (very) most. I hadn’t been to show like that in a while, where the crowd was a blend of the fresh faced and the not so fresh. Yet everyone seemed content in the company of Loney Dear, each other and the intricate ballad pop, which all had come to marvel at.
You can catch Loney Dear at The Great Escape festival in Brighton in May, along with a whole bunch of other awesome acts. See you there yeah?
ANDY: HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Last week the globe witnessed the celebrations of the Chinese Lunar New Year by billions of Chinese, Koreans and Vietnamese peoples. It’s traditionally a fifteen-day festival and the most important Chinese holiday of the year. And what makes this Lunar Year even more special is that it’s the year of the dragon, which supposedly brings luck, success and innovation to those fortunate enough to be born in a dragon year. This is because out of the twelve animals in the Chinese Zodiac, the dragon is the only mythical creature (the rest are rats and pigs and stuff). Although, according to Chinese commentators, the reverse is the reality. Due to the sheer number of children that are purposefully conceived to coincide with the year of the dragon, education, opportunities and healthcare are worse than a child born in the year of the goat, for example. But that didn’t dampen the celebrations in London’s Trafalgar Square and China town on Sunday, and man do the Chinese know how to party.
The festivities kicked off with a super colourful parade of floats and what can only be described as huge dragon puppets maneuvered by large sticks. Then Boris Johnston, the London mayor, took to the stage and made a classic bumbling Boris speech about who knows what. What followed was some classic Chinese performances featuring girls playing what looked like traditional Chinese Lyres and some dancing and stuff. The presenters introducing each act were god awful, trying to teach the crowd Chinese phrases (although the majority of the crowd were Chinese), with no audience participation what so ever. This all culminated in a fireworks display that was pretty impressive, after which the majority of the crowd headed to Chinatown, were the party really kicked off. There were loads of street stalls selling food (Chinese food, obviously) and Chinese bangers were all you could here as people dashed them at the floor constantly.
It was a super fun day and I suggest everyone should experience a Chinese New Year in London. Even if it’s just to see all the crazy hats people wear (see pictures). Back to the music for the next post me thinks.
TITLE: TIGER & WOODS AT THE NEST IN DALSTON
Last Friday (the 20thof January), for nine straight hours, The Nest in Dalston, East London, was a place of refuge for those into the new school of disco house and disco electronica. There was a lot of us, and in my opinion, way to many of us. This week TIGI Bedhead sent me to the vastly sold-out Tiger & Woods headline show, supported by fellow disco due Pyschemagik, along with a whole bunch of other acts that all seemed to gradually build on the disco-y, electronic foundations the last had laid, creating an ever bigger ‘disco nest’.
Tiger & Woods are an enigmatic due who preference anonymity to fame. In a rare interview given to Dazed Digital last year, they explain that as we live in an age where information is so readily accessible, all the mystery and fun has been sapped out of music. Therefore it is no wonder the due chose a research-proof name (‘Tiger Woods’ isn’t exactly a Google whack). They have a point. I mean, I didn’t particularly need to know that Lana Del Ray was Lizzy Grant in another life, who released an LP that bombed, and has a millionaire father. Nor, however, do I particularly care. They give their names as Larry Tiger & David Woods. However, the first rule of anonymity is that you don’t divulge your real names. They might be from Germany as the label Running Back, that released their debut full length titled ‘Through The Green’, is based in Frankfurt, but this is wild speculation.
I’ll stick to what I do know. ‘Through The Green’ was released in May of last year after a series of mini EPs, podcasts and solo ‘Larry Tiger’ and ‘David Woods’ edits, to critical acclaim. They also released a free, under the radar LP titled ‘Wiki & Leaks’ in October, which was also great. Tiger & Woods take samples of the best seconds of obscure, hard-to-place disco tracks, set them house beats which are looped over and over, with the outcome being extremely long (sometimes over eight minutes long), happy and dance-friendly edits. Some would call it disco house; they call it “future boogie”.
Tiger & Woods came out to rapturous cheers, wolf-whistles and applause when they finally made their way to the small, tucked away stage in The Nest. It was at least half one by this point, so forgive me if my memory is a little hazy. They played the majority of ‘Through The Green’, separated by a scattering of indeterminate tracks, although the most memorable was the single ‘Gin Nation’, which appeared to be many of the crowds favourite too. However, the best thing about Tiger & Woods live is the obvious enjoyment of Larry and David (Larry David?), who dance just as hard as most of the crowd. I tried to take a couple of photos of them both, but they are so committed to anonymity that they somehow made them look all blurry and shit in the cold light of day, weird right? Thanks TIGI for another sweet night. Until next time…. Andy x