Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Rock and Roll Will Never Die

Glastonbury saw the magnificent Neil Young, the great Bruce Springsteen and the comeback of 90s Brit Pop band Blur as the headliners for the June weekend . The BBC, although the licence fee payer’s institution, still insist on giving their audience a large group of presenters who seem to know nothing about music and insist on shoving down your throat what they want you to watch rather than what you want to watch. This was emphasised by the fact Neil Young, a music legend headlining and playing Glastonbury for the first time ever at the age of 62 got barely any screen time, where as Lilly Allen, Lady GaGa and Dizzee Rascal were seen on a loop the whole weekend.

The presenters seemed to all be bad radio DJs who relied on dry humour that wasn’t funny and had no passion for the great event that they were lucky to be at. With fake mud on Hunter boots that were probably paid for by their employer along with their ticket they really should have made more of an effort to up their music knowledge but instead they looked out of place and arrogant.

Neil Young was a highlight, I can only say this as I had seen him wow Aberdeen 2 nights before where wonderful favourites such as ‘Cinnamon Girl’, ‘Down By The River’ and ‘Harvest Moon’ were played out to a sweaty crowd. Opening with a belter, ‘Hey Hey My My’, the AECC is an awful place for a venue but Young disguised this with his brilliant sound. An open field in the English Countryside must have been a brilliant place to watch Young and his enthusiastic band. His cover of The Beatles ‘A Day In The Life’ was intriguing but the real treats were his classics, apart from the above, the timeless ‘Rockin In The Free World’ and the haunting ‘Needle And The Damage Done’ sent shivers down spines.

Blur also created waves with their set jam packed full of hits. ‘Beetlebum’ and ‘Tender’ were the best. Hot property at the moment Florence And The Machine executed a beautiful set and proved she could win over Glastonbury. The Specials had their moment again too and were great fun. ‘Too Much Too Young’ seemed even more poignant with the band at a markedly older age than the first time round.

Rock and Roll will never die for the music lovers out there but it seems to be long gone for the BBC Team and their awful coverage of musical festivals.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Jamie T on Tour

Pending the release of a new Ep ‘Sticks N Stones’ and with an album to follow, Jamie T is travelling up to the North East again to showcase his latest efforts.  Anyone who has seen Jamie T before is certain to agree he is a treat.  His critically acclaimed first album ‘Panic Prevention’ included the wonderful tale of ‘Sheila’ and the mellow ‘If You Got The Money’.  Mixing cheeky lyrics with his trademark bassy sound, he paints his perception of modern life in a far more original way than his peers.  He sounds even better live than on record.  In Aberdeen, Moshulu isn’t the greatest place for a gig, it’s too spacious (and a bit smelly) especially for the smaller gigs but if there’s a big enough turn out the atmosphere is much warmer.  

Even though Jamie T is a relatively new artist, there’s a feeling of nostalgia at his gigs which may be down to his Dylan-esque story telling.   Let’s hope his new offerings are as fun and innovative as his first.

Home Advantage

I love Tennis, I love watching Wimbledon and I have never seen Andy Murray look so lovely as he does at the moment.  This was further progressed by a sneaky look through Heat Magazine this week, only to find Andy as ‘Torso of The Week’.  Please look at it, even if it’s just a flick through at the Supermarket.

And looking as great with clothes on…it’s great that Andy wears Fred Perry, it takes us back to the glory days of Tennis and suits him so well.  Unveiling his choice of attire for Wimbledon next week (above), his retro look gets a big thumbs up.  The cable knit jumper is very old school cricket and great for the June weather in Britain.  A classic look that emphasises the great Fred Perry himself who won Wimbledon 3 times in the 1930s.  Let’s hope the pressure isn’t too much for Mr Murray but least he always has Torso of The Week to fall back on.

Tis the Season...for Live Music

Festival season is officially upon us.  The deal was sealed last weekend during which The Prodigy rocked Rockness, Neil Young covered The Beatles ‘A Day In The Life’ at Isle of Wight and Download began.  God knows who played there, heavy metal is not the music du jour nowadays and I’ve barely heard a peep about it (and I listen to BBC Radio 6 Music for 8 hours a day – see below blog for details).  Festivals are great fun, nowadays not reserved for the music mad or hippies but for anyone who wants to wear heart shaped sunglasses and a pink cowboy hat, and that’s just the boys. 

Apparently we as consumers spend a great deal on festivals – apart from the extortionate ticket prices, one can not set foot in a stinking third world campsite without Top Class camping gear, £120 Ray Ban shades, Topshop’s finest and the cherry on the cake, £60+ Hunter Wellie boots.  Believe me looking good is one of my favourite things but really, at this expense?  Hunters should be reserved for Farmers who get the use out of them, not for a weekend in the countryside trudging through hangover shit.  Literally.  Try hard comes to mind – for the best looks, try to be simple.  The best looks I’ve seen from the famous world at festivals comes from Daisy Lowe at Coachella (above); with big black boots, a crop top and handcut denim shorts, it’s completely thrown on, ideal for hot weather and not an open toe in sight.  Ideal for crowds, ouch for those gladiator clad babes.  Agyness Dean at Coachella rocked an American Scarf draped round her with a cute ponytail and trusty converse.  Not a Kate Moss ‘I’m with the band’ vibe in the slightest. The cue is dress for yourself and the environment.

Take this tip and make it your own: Keep it simple, keep it you.  British weather being unpredictable calls for some cute leggings, you can always slip them off if the sun is blazing and on again for the cold night. Old boots or wellies from your local army or camping shop, a long Tshirt, tunic or denim dress, a leather jacket, parka or hoody that you can drape around your bag if it’s hot.  Don’t forget a waterproof, there are some great pac-a-macs around. These are easily stuffed inside a bag and can be whipped on at the slightest precipitation. If you choose to wear a hat, a 70s floppy sun hat is the only one that will do. Don’t go out and spend a fortune, work with what you have.

Take some dry shampoo, baby wipes, toilet roll, hand sanitiser and bronzer.  This ensures you look and feel great and can worry about what bands you want to see instead of if you look cool enough, after all music is the only reason for the festival in the first place, would you believe it?