Monthly Archives: March 2005

Holidays in Cambodia

[i]Previously published in Voices From Downtroddendom Issue 2[/i]

Last one to find Gary Glitter’s kiddie-filth hideaway buys the beers…
As if Cambodia didn’t have enough troubles after years wracked by Civil War, genocide and internal strife, then disgraced Glam-Rock pervert Glitter moved in…

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After a fantastic month in Vietnam, my girlfriend, Lucy and I decided to venture across the border to Cambodia. Rather than take a short, sharp bus-trip over the border like most sensible people, we opted for a highly-convoluted trip down the Mekong River. Just like Apocalypse Now, right? But less hellish? Right? Only time would tell. The tour company made it sound like an extravagant guided tour, and I guess it was: in a way. After a bewilderingly-long coach journey, we traipsed around an alligator farm for all of ten minutes before negotiating our way across a dual carriageway (with rucksacks), trudging through a village and boarding a knackered-out old boat. As we cruised down the river, in pitch-black, under thunderstorm skies, I consulted the tour brochure: apparently we were on “the only fully equipped first class boat get you cruising along the Hau River”. Right about then, everyone decided to waste the rest of their Vietnamese currency on the strongest beer they could find as a coping mechanism of sorts. Continue reading

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AKIRA PRESENTS: THE IDIOTS ARE WINNING (Free Gig)

Hello There.

Bored with the same-old, same-old?

Well then: AKIRA PRESENTS: THE IDIOTS ARE WINNING.

Cool new bands. For FREE.

Featuring:

Somebody’s Mind: “Epic and moody, akin to Spiritualized. Swirls of psychedelia. Waves of guitar, lyrics of despair. Think My Bloody Valentine. Captivating and completely enthralling.”

http://www.somebodysmind.co.uk

Akira: “Electronic drums combine with fractured/angry guitars. Textured, abrasive, technoid art-punk for the apocalypse. Bloody and loud Post-Rock/Pop/Punk.” Continue reading

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Live Reviews: Akira, Sunnyvale, Exploits of Elaine, The Violets, Idle Vice Pirate, The Faculty, The Heal…

I seem to be going to see a lot of music at the moment so it’s time for another roundup of the stuff I’ve seen. It’s also part of the reason the gig guide hasn’t been updated for yonks – apologies for those who ever glance its way. It WILL happen. Anyway, meanwhile here’s a roundup of the gigs I attended 14/03/05 to 19/03/05.

Monday (14th March) was a night at the Marquee (now in Leceister Square) arranged by Twentysixfeet and it must be said, the picked a good line up. First was [url=http://www.sunnyvalenoisesubelement.co.uk] Sunnyvale Noise Sub-Element [/url] who were ear-bleedingly loud thanks to the PA. Oh and this was a damn good thing, by the way: everything was sounding about 54% better than normal and it normally sounds fantastic. [url=http://www.akiraband.com] Akira [/url] fill up most of the Marquee’s huge stage with Gbenga’s effects pedals and Joel is forced to walk around in front of the stage while playing. (Okay, so I lied about the space taken up by the effects pedals.) The PA doesn’t do Sarah’s V-Drums so much justice as the engineer can’t seem to get the high sounds out enough (not normally a problem Sarah reckons). While I think I enjoyed their gig the week before more, it’s certainly true that there is more to appreciate each time you see them. [url=http://www.theexploitsofelaine.co.uk] The Exploits of Elaine [/url] are why [url=http://www.ph-uk.co.uk] Pretentious Heathens UK’s [/url] Dubs has come 150 miles to be here, and it’s easy to see why. When I caught the beginning of their set at [url=?q=node/view/191] Akira’s February Catch night [/url] I thought they were decent and very much in the Mogwai mould, but tonight they’re electric, flinging themselves about the stage and very very pleasingly noisy. It’s a great gig and I’d advise any fans of noisy instrumental ideas to check them out. Finally we get [url=http://www.twentysixfeet.net] Twentysixfeet [/url] who surprise me by not being particularly post-rock, but rather sound more like a sort of dub-rock fusion with crazy moments. Their drummer has nine cymbals plus the hi-hats – [i]nine[/i] FFS – while their guitarist is surrounded by half a recording studio’s worth of equipment. Now, I’m not a fan of this much equipment – I tend to feel the place for ‘production’ is on the record, rather than sticking in a small sound that no one is really going to hear or care much about. To be fair to them, Twentysixfeet do really use it well, but the best bits of the gig are arguably when the four of them are letting go and getting on with it. That said, the Kaos Pad (sp?) their singer bashes away at gives some very cool moments. Overall, I am undecided about how much I like them but their ideas are all in the right place, I reckon. Continue reading

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W.O.R.K. R.A.T.E.

Just seen this headline on the NME’s website:

“Exclusive! Babyshambles announce gig!”

Ever get the feeling some of these NME artists are a bunch of lazy fucks compared to some bands who slog their guts out on seemingly endless tours (e.g. the late, great mclusky).

It kind of reminds me of the euphoria when the Strokes wrote their “thirteenth song” or something a couple of years ago. i d Continue reading

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Those Who Can't – Teach

Are you a graduate in a useless, yet inspiring, subject having trouble finding a job you actually like? Fear not, you can always go into teaching. If advertising is to be believed, there is no end to the benefits of this profession. Golden Hellos, bursaries, ‘learn new words’, ‘work with people who haven’t made up their mind yet’, holidays galore, you get to ‘use your head’ and, of course, the rest of your life will be one massive egotrip where you tell thirty unsuspecting youngsters what they are to do next (‘circletime!’, ‘assembly!’ et al). Continue reading

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Website is up!!!!

Go to http://www.ivpirate.com as the IDLE VICE PIRATE website including pics, one minute of ‘Gracias Muchas’ and….yes…a link for http://www.ishotthedeputy.com so you can end up back where you started for free and enlighted/informed!!

Thanks to Vicki Jackson for the web design!!! Continue reading

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The Week in Gigs

There were a lot of bands to see this week and after putting through my Coachwhips review I decided it would make more sense to bundle the rest together.

Tuesday night was [url=http://www.burningpilot.com] burningpilot [/url] at White Heat, a post-punky Wire-ish slice of excellence. They’ve just recorded a session with Xfm and have a single out on the 28th. The gig was a good, with a really nice sound, even if ‘London Flat’ didn’t make an appearance in the set list. I didn’t really catch any of the other bands, unfortunately. Continue reading

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