Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Show: 29.12.13

It was great to be back in the studios of Cambridge 105 for the final show of 2013. There are some favourites from the last year, some new music and spoken word from local poets and Raymond Antrobus plus a look ahead to a great music-spoken word event coming up in Cambridge next month.

Aidan Smith - Joni
Kimberley Rew - All I Want Is You For Christmas
Peel Carol Concert 1970 - God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Robyn Hitchcock - Fix You
Melt-Banana - Lie Lied Lies
Pete Um - DVLA
The Handsome Family - Gulls
Hannah Floyd and Alex - Poetry at Romsey Poets
Ian Fisher and The Present - Regret
Holograms - Meditations
Raymond Antrobus - The Town in This Dream
Teho Teardo & Blixa Bargeld - Nur zur Erinmerung
Sound Menagerie - Find The Line
Hella Better Dancer - Sleeptalking
Bemba Trio - Melô Do Vatapá
Jet Jaguar - Rollige 2013
808 State - Atlas 7
Dementa - Dementia

Monday, December 23, 2013

Headsound: Antonymes - Snow on Snow

Amongst the slew of charity records released at this time of year, one that is worth six of your hard-earned pounds and a couple of hours listening time is Touched - a compilation of electronic music released in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. It contains a staggering 123 tracks by artists including 808 State, Future Sound of London and recent Headsound pick Jet Jaguar. I haven't listened to half the tracks yet but here's a nice ambient piece with a festive touch from Antonymes.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Show: 16.12.13. with Michael James Parker

It's been a while since I got round to doing a show but here's an episode featuring Brighton performance poet Michael James Parker.

Tune in on 29th December when I'll be back on Cambridge 105.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Headsound: Jet Jaguar - Five Production Mistakes Even Professionals Keep Making (They're Not What You Think)

Five Production Mistakes is the final EP in a series of 6 released in the last year by the very productive New Zealand musician/producer Jet Jaguar. Featuring spaced-out disco, warped easy listening and glitchy beats gently dissolve and reform in five multi-flavoured compositions.
Jet Jaguar aka Michael Upton is half of another Headstand favourite Malty Media.

Looking forward to more like this in 2014.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Headsound: Sivu - I Hold featuring Marika Hackman

This simple, enchanting duet by Sivu and Marika Hackman is one of three tracks available free from Sivu's website. Sivu and Marika Hackman are currently on tour and play The Hope in Brighton on December 10th and The Portland in Cambridge on December 12th.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Hammer & Tongue Slam Final with Simon Munnery - 5th December

This Thursday I have the honour of competing in the Brighton Hammer and Tongue poetry slam final at Komedia. The honour is further enriched by the inclusion Simon Munnery as the headline act making the £5 admission an absolute steal. You can get all the details here.

Here's an article I wrote last time Simon Munnery did Hammer and Tongue which gives an idea of what to expect both from Simon and the slam.

(Originally published on localsecrets.com)

The small function room upstairs at The Emperor was packed for Hammer and Tongue: a night of spoken word entertainment featuring a poetry slam, performance poet Cat Brogan and comedian Simon Munnery whose name frequently appears in close proximity to words such as “legend,” “genius,” and “surreal.”
Simon Munnery
Hammer and Tongue started in Oxford and now runs events in five cities. Each event features a slam: a competition in which entrants have 3 minutes to perform a poem. A panel of judges drawn from the audience awards points out of ten. The result is a fast-paced event with high energy and dynamic performances creating a tight bond between poet and audience.

Slams are not as brutal as they sound. Slam etiquette demands respect for performers and newcomers brave enough to step up to the mike are always rewarded with a round of applause and a good score. For the most talented performers the rewards are greater. The national final is highly competitive and winning brings national media exposure, paid gigs and other exciting opportunities.

Hammer and Tongue provides further entertainment and inspiration by featuring established performers at each event. Support act Cat Brogan delivered a polished set combining witty and thought provoking poems on subjects including social prejudices and her Northern Irish upbringing. Her powerful delivery perfectly combined words and performance, the hallmark of a slam champion and worthy of the sellout crowd who had come for the headline act.

"I used to be allowed to stay up to watch this guy on TV,” announced excited compere Alex Iamb as he introduced award-winning comedian Simon Munnery. Taking to the stage strumming a toy guitar he dispensed with the three minute bursts of poetry format and delivered a twenty minute ramble of observational comedy and shaggy dog stories. With material on subjects including killing dogs, Swiss hazard signs, seedy great uncles and rural life it was an unpredictable routine that kept the laughter flowing.
Munnery’s skillful use of language allows him to constantly juggle a diverse range of topics and give stand up comedy a fresh twist. “Anyone from anywhere? Anyone noticed anything?” he inquired, deadpan, early on. “Some of these jokes require background reading,” he remarked after a line about Greek mythological characters Sisyphus and Icarus. Only towards the end of the set did he do any poetry; a chant sarcastically praising a well-known chain of pubs and a surreal and embittered rant on London.

It was a low-key gig for a veteran performer who has many awards, TV and radio series to his credit. His appearance is testament to the outstanding reputation Hammer and Tongue has for organising events which are getting more people to listen to, write, perform and enjoy poetry.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Headsound: Textbeak - EICV7" No. 56

A number of releases from net label everythingischemical.com have featured on Headstand. Electronic, hip-hop, shoegaze, ambient and dream pop collide in exciting and original combinations on their regular releases. Their 56th virtual 7 inch from Textbeak contains deep dark industrial rhythms with cinematic overtones. If you enjoy this take some time to check out their other releases.