The ups, downs, in's and out's of two North East UK musical eclectricians.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Friday - Tom Vek Live - 29/04/05

Hallow Space Cadets,

Last night I went to the best gig of the year so far...

Tom Vek at the (tiny) Cluny bar on Newcastle's unfashionable upper quayside...

Where we were treated to a blow-for-blow re-enactment of the "We Have Sound" album (reviewed by us here - which was great.

Although he isn't the greatest showman (apart from some impromtu crowd interactive dancing during "Green Lights") and the band didn't really seem to possess much on stage personality, the music was crystal clear and flawless. The Mighty "Doves" could take a leaf out of young (and he is - having met him before the gig) Mr. Vek's book.
A better venue would suit him though, as it was absolutely heaving, he would easily fill one of the Universities.



(p.s. please note these photo's aren't from the cluny - Steel)

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Tuesday - Ben Folds CD - 26/04/05


Today sees the release of "Songs for Silverman" long player from Ben Folds (formally Ben Folds Five) a long time F&S fave.

And on the first few listens we're not impressed, I'm hoping it's going to be a grower, but it's too saccharine for our tastes, songs about 4 year old offspring isn't usually our cup o'tea (where's the angst of "Song for the dumped" ? - Steel) but I guess we all move on and grow up (eventually). The William Shatner album "Has Been" which someone kindly loaded to me - turned out to be completely different however !

This is great, produced and mostly co-wrote by Ben Folds, it seems to be an antitheses to Silverman, and I prefer it. It features the like of Lemon Jelly and Henry Rollins (?!) and it definately worth a listen.


Sunday, April 17, 2005

Sunday - Monsieur, I need to Poop ! - 17/04/05

Bon Jour,

Our blog will be quiet for a few days as Mr. Steel is off to Paris for his day job (what does he do ?!) as soon as he returns normal service will be resumed.



Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Wednesday - Bullet Boy - 13/04/05


Been a bit quiet, our day jobs have been keeping us out of mischief !

Last night I went to see "Bullet Boy"

Featuring So Solids crew's Asher D, who I believe is no stranger to gun related bother himself...

It's been described as a UK "Boyz in the Hood", but by my reckoning it's more like "La Haine" - but unfortunately depends on too many ghetto stereotypes for my liking, Boy gets out of jail, get's back into a bad crowd, trouble ensues etc...

If this was shown as a BBC2 screenplay film, it would've been great, but for a cinematic release it just didn't cut the mustard. That's not detracting from the acting though, using a virtually unknown cast (apart from an actor previously seen in BBC's "The Real McCoy") the characters are completely believable and natural on screen, the plot is just too thin.

If you're from anywhere north of watford you might struggle with the patois also, but again not enough to detract from the excellent acting.

One to watch on television or even DVD, but it's a bit of a bum-number otherwise.

There's a link for the trailer below.

One other date for your diary.

F&S are playing in "The Forth" Newcastle this Saturday, so get down and squash your way to the bar if you can.

Take it easy,


Monday, April 11, 2005

Monday - Samsung Phone - 11/04/05


I've went and got me a new phone...

After weighing up the pro's and con's of all the models available I begrudgingly paid £50 and got the very small and lovely Samsung D500

I guess what swayed me was the 96Mb of memory for MP3's, video's (3gp), java games or Jpegs... (Steel says he remembers buying external hard drives smaller than that!) So there's absolutely oodles of space to put stuff on.

Connectivity (is that a Kraftwerk song ?) is great as you have both Bluetooth and Infrared, a nice big screen and doesn't feel heavy in the pocket. You also get some nice iPod style stereo headphones, although they don't seem to want to stay in my lugs.

On the downside, as this isn't a service provider bundled phone (eg. Vodafone) you have to set up all the wap/mms stuff yourself, but a phone call to your network support or a look on the internet can sort that out.

Another downside is not being able to save wap content you can see on the screen (bit like right-clicking and saving a picture on a webpage) - I'm still trying to suss that one out.

The battery life only seems to last a day, but I'm still in the honeymoon phase of my purchase, so once I've got sick of playing around with it, it'll probably stretch a bit longer.

There's some good PC software to convert files into compatible formats, and if you don't have an IR port on your computer, it's less than £30 to buy one or a bluetooth dongle.

I did fancy the Sony-Ericcson S770i, but I think this is the better handset, of course that's a personal preference...

Link to a nice D500 flash site below.



Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Tuesday - Tom Vek - 05/04/05

How Do...

Yesterday I got a copy of the new Tom Vek album "We have Sound".

And it's great - very, very English, mixing quirky breakbeats with 80's punk/funk vibe. He's been described as sounding like Beck but it's more like early A Certain Ratio/Gang of Four to my ears. If you like LCD Soundsystem you should get this.

Check out his website and definately try to catch him live, as he's playing a uk tour...

Nottingham, Social – 19
Birmingham, Bar Academy -20
Bristol, Louisiana – 22
Exeter, Cavern Club – 23
Manchester, Night and Day – 26
Leeds, Cockpit – 27
Newcastle, Cluny – 28
Glasgow, King Tuts – 29

Oxford, Zodiac – 3
Cardiff, Barfly – 4
Southampton, Joiners – 6
London, Lock 17 - 12

Catch you later,


Monday, April 04, 2005

Monday - Doves Live - 04/04/05


Hope you had a good weekend - We were busy (as usual).

Saturday saw us playing our bi-weekly residency at "The Forth", where the spirit of Sid Viscous seemed to posses Mr. Steel and we were treated to an evening of punk/funk and indie, till I managed to wrestle him to the (beer soaked) ground and play some hip hop, where upon one of our trusty pioneer CDJ800's decided to stop working, a 12,000 revolution service is imminent me thinks...

Last night I went to see "Doves" at Northumbria University (the poly to us oldies!)

Cracking gig, but possibly one of the worst I've ever seen for technical hitches. During the end of the first song "Pounding" there was a power cut, which lasted for about 15 minutes as roadies ran around with maglites and confused expressions, then after a hasty restart, more problems with wireless transmitters, false starts, and tuning issues. Still a great gig though, although there was a "Chav" element there (who knows why) threatening the band from a distance of 30 feet - it was thoroughly enjoyable.

I got some fantastic news on Saturday, (thanks to Sud and Jo's brother) I have two tickets to see "Mr. Dynamite/The Godfather of Soul" - JAMES BROWN !!!

He's playing at the Gateshead Sage in June (link below) - having seen him in 2003 at the Royal Albert Hall (London), I can safely say I'm thoroughly excited. Even at 72 and with dodgy waterworks he can probably out perform many young pretenders. He'll just need a sit down and a cup of tea after about 45 minutes !

Let's all pray for Mr.Browns prostate...

Anyways, that's all for now, catch you soon.


Friday, April 01, 2005

Friday - Elvis Found On Mars - 01/04/05

Happy April Fools' Day...

Hope y'all had a good Easter and didn't eat too many chocolate eggs !

I went to listen to Max Sedgley DJ'ing on Good Friday at the Stage Door as part of "Hold It Down"

However after a couple of bottles of Chablis in the house before I don't recall what he was playing. It wasn't much like the output I had expected from him ("Happy" for example!)

Looking forward to Bugz in the Attic in a couple of weeks.

I had a jolly up to Scotland on the Saturday, with big thanks to Alex (?) and squad who sorted me with blags for a funk/hip hop night.

Easter Sunday found me covering for TomBee in the Forth as there was a "Better Days" club night at the Head of Steam.

This Saturday (02/04/05) see's me and Steel playing the Forth Hotel from 8pm till 1am - with fresh joints from Mr. Sedgley, Prince Po, The Roots, Kasabian amongst others.

So hope to see you there - have a good weekend.