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

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Wednesday - Do You Know Squarepusher ? - 30/11/05

Damn - It's December tomorrow !!!

So, we've been busy - hence the gap between blogs - so in no particular order, here we go !

I went to see Squarepusher do his bass guitar fuelled "Drill And Bass" at the Newcastle Carling last Thursday (24/11/05).

After an amazing Acid driven laptop DJ set in a partially full venue, from the very nice Luke Vibert - (pictured with my badself below... )



It was time for Tom Jenkinson to do his slap bass version of Jungle - and he didn't disappoint !



Going right back to his early Burningn'n'Tree days he ripped through the jazzier moment of his back catalogue, two laptops pushing out the Amen breaks chopped in his own inimitable style. The crowd were very much up for it, at one point there almost seemed to be a mosh pit ! My only criticism being folk were too beered up or after some noize to listen to the more quiet melodic phrases of his set.

Imagine The Aphex twin, Jaco Pastorious and mark King all rolled into one and you have Squarepusher live.

The Saturday before that saw Flint & Steel play the Forth, with special guest slot from Fluid Ounce's Frank De JoJo.



Who played a cracking set blending genres of funk, hip hop and jazz quite seamlessly, it's easy to understand why he's in hot demand in Japan.

I've not posted a pair of kicks for a while - so here's my latest purchase - some artic Nikes...



Finally - Flint & Steel will be playing a special Christmas Set (complete with Santa suits) on the 10th of December, then the New Years Eve party at The Forth, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Hope you can make it.

Catch you soon,

Monday, November 07, 2005

Monday - Quantic @ Better Days - 07/11/05

Hi there,

Flint & Steel were in attendance to see Quantic (Will Holland) at The Other Rooms on Saturday night (05/11/05), amid fireworks and bonfires.


http://www.quantic.org/

With a warm up from Better Days head honcho Tony Morales, a fullish room got down to some serious darncing.



Once Quantic had started, an extremely smooth mix of Jazz, Funk and interludes of Drum and Bass were feasted upon.

Only problem was the mix was a bit too smooth and a few knee jerkers would've been good to pull the attention of the room to heel, as it became a more social environment with most people chatting and enjoying the vibe than full on grooving.

The "Quantic" and "Quantic Soul Orchestra" vinyl output reflects this kind've mood, but folks started drifting away towards the end of his set, no standing ovations there.

This weekend - Flint & Steel are back in the Forth this Saturday (12/11/05), playing the usual mix of Funk, Soul, Hip Hop and mystery mash-ups with a special guest slot from Fluid Ounce Records' "Zero Db" http://www.fluidounce.com/zero%20dB.html - something to look forward to.

Catch you then !

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Saturday - Jamie Lidell Rocks - 05/11/05

Howdy,

Friday night we were back at the Sage to see Jamie Lidell, same room as Fourtet, so I knew what the set-up would be this time round. It was a later start with it being a Friday night with "Jackson And His Computer Band" being up first at about 10.30pm.


http://www.warprecords.com/

Warp records' Jackson Fourgeaud, played a pretty unenthusiastic beefed up version of his album, with the emphasis on a heavy 4 to the floor kick, which delighted the few people that were dancing (in very interesting ways) with insane grins on their faces and some quality gurning going on.

A simple laptop and mixer set-up, I'm not sure exactly what he was doing up there, bit of a disappointment as the album "Smash" is really good.

A quick DJ break featuring the North-East's Smoove and Raj Pannu (who had the personality of a couple of undertakers) and the crowd poured in for Jamie Lidell.


http://www.jamielidell.com/index.php

Walking on stage like an electronica version of Penn and Teller, in a long black mac Jamie resembled a dirty old man with his visuals pal Pablo Fiasco (dressed like a charity shop super- hero, complete with silver cape and 3D effect visor) he started off with singing one of the more slower Motown style album tracks, then moving over to the myriad of boxes, computers and devices he had squeezed on stage along side a huge split studio mixer, let rip with a collage of live looped beatboxing and singing.



And boy, this guy can sing. He was throwing himself between boxes and layering up harmonies, all of the pushes of the buttons and twists of the knobs being shown on the large projection screen behind him. I recognised strains of the vocals from the album but with completely different accompanying backing (for the better!)



The sound he created was sometimes out of time and out of key, but had an organic feel to it and eventually did all come together, which judging by the crowd - who were dancing their feet off - everyone was feeling it.



Pablo Fiasco was constantly moving cameras around and manipulating the output, switching the views in time to the music, attaching little mini spy cameras to the various keyboards (and a helmet) as they were being played, quite a character as well - interacting with the crowd (at one point we saw someone stroking his shoes... ?!)



With no sign of Jamie quitting and getting very shweaty and more into it, the power (and the sound) suddenly stopped. Mr. Lidell looking as bemused as the rest of us, I wondered if the breakers had gone but as the house lights came on, we weren't allowed to leave the auditorium, and found out that the fire alarms had gone off, and we were to be evacuated via the fire escapes.

An unfortunate end to a fantastic set, I'm kicking myself for not catching him on Jools Holland also, as seeing and hearing really is believing, and the music he makes live is almost indescribable. If there's ever a Jamie Lidell Live DVD I'll be the first to buy it, with multiple angles and similar features, his performance would be perfect for it.

Quantic Dj gig tomorrow (after some sleep!) and I'll hopefully post a blog after the weekend.

Ciao for now.



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Friday, November 04, 2005

Friday - Fourtet Live (ish) - 04/11/05

Howdy, Last night F&S were at The Sage in Gateshead,to hear Mr. Keiran Hebden do his thing.

First on were a guitar based band from Texas "Explosions In The Sky", who played a very enthusiasic set if nothing else.


http://www.explosionsinthesky.com/

Consisting of the classic two guitars, drums and bass - they did a mix of ambient and shoegazing rock-out heroics all in one song normally, and it wasn't really our bag. There was a very young audience for them who seemd to thoroughly enjoy it though.

After a brief DJ break, Keiren was up - we'd seen him shuffling around the Sage with his backpack and mobile phone (the satchel actually made it to the stage!) but once the beats of "A Joy" from the "Everything's Ecstatic" pounded in, he was a changed man, manipulating samples and furiously cutting beats.


http://www.fourtet.net

The sound was great, but a guy standing behind two laptops isn't the greatest thing to watch, so a visual show would have been nice, but unfortunately a couple of spot lights flashing on and off does not a lightshow make. I think today's electronica audience to be honest, expect it as part of the deal.

Playing most of the new album, he came back on (after quite a short set) to do an encore finishing with "She Moves She" from the "Rounds " 2003 release.

Tonight it's "Jamie Liddell", and current Flint & Steel favourite "Jackson and His Computer Band" at the Sage (probably in the same room!) which does have a guaranteed light show, hopefully he's as crackers as his picture promises ;-)



Saturday (hopefully funds and energy permitting) brings a DJ set from Quantic at "Better Days", who I'll be attending with my good mate Frank De JoJo from Fluid Ounce - currently visiting the area after a long stay in Japan.


http://www.fluidounce.com

I'll post a review fingers crossed next week.

Bye for now...