As good as a nice cup of tea, and a sit down.

Friday, 30 April 2010

Coming Up...

Cold Cave 8th May, @ Nation of Shopkeepers.

I've been looking forward to cheery-looking lot coming to town for ages. It also occurred to me that I dont think I posted my review of the album, Love Comes Close, which came out the back end of last year. So to give you a better idea, here it is.
They are actually a bit of an oddball bunch. Before he started sounding like a sexy robot, Wesley Eisold was in several different ultra-hardcore bands, and had a public falling out with Fall Out Boy. There's a pun in there somewhere.

God, I hope they have a smoke machine. It just wouldn't be the same otherwise.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Poorly Dressed

Fashion Fail - Oh Dear God Yessss

Being already a fan of Failbook and There, I Fixed It for time-wasting, I suppose it was only a matter of time before I came across this little gem of a site.
If you're stuck for a laugh at work, this keeps me cringing through most slow afternoons.
Fashion Fail - Vacuum Sealed for Freshness

Wowzers! American Apparel didn't start this trend, then.
Actually, this brings back some memories of my own fashion howlers. Particularly of the patchwork jeans I made, at 14 years old, out of three different pairs. I spent ages sewing them together and putting authentic rips in the knees (I liked Jimi Hendrix, but I also liked Nirvana. What's a girl to do?).
I wish I could post a photograph, but my Nana eventually managed to sneak out of my room and throw them in the bin. What an angst-filled afternoon that was.

Monday, 26 April 2010

...and another story

This is the impressively futuristic Parc Del Forum, which is Primavera's main site.
During some research I was doing for the festival, I happened upon a fact that I'm doubt they are going to put in the brochures! The Parc Del Forum, which was constructed in 2004 specifically for Primavera, was originally the site of Camp De La Bota: General Franco's prison camp during the Spanish Civil War. Nearly 2,000 socialist resistance fighters were executed here between 1939 and 1952.

When opened, the Forum held a monument to those who gave their lives in the conflict, but it has since been taken down - perhaps for fear of depressing all the revellers? Artist Francesc Abad's award-winning exhibition is detailed here.

Personally, I think it's a shame. Though nowadays Barca is a thriving international city, the streets in the Barri Gothic still bear the pockmarks of bullet holes; a reminder of a very recent conflict. The Catalonian people are extremely proud of their heritage and independence, and it can't have gone down well that it was glossed like this. You've only to look at the bitter rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona's football clubs to know that under the surface, things are still raw.

On a lighter note, if you want an irreverent look at the events of the war, George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia is a funny and insightful read.

Friday, 23 April 2010


I am beyond excited to confirm that I am going to be covering Primavera Sound 2010, in Barcelona.

Prima has been going for a decade now and surely can be put in the same league as All Tomorrow's Parties, SXSW and Latitude as a hugely successful, diverse music festival, attracting people from all over the world.
This year the organisers expect a cool 75,000 people to come and watch the likes of Pixies, Pavement, The Fall, Wilco and scores of other legendary artists.

Check out the full line-up @
My full preview of the festival for Contact Music should be out this week and I'll be posting it up here as soon as it is released.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

British Wildlife Festival IV

(Photo by Hannah-Rachel Sunderland, 2010)
This was a great weekend! A weird and wonderful selection of artists straight out of Adam Nodwell's jukebox brain. My ears were ringing by Saturday afternoon.

The link to the full feature on the Counterfeit Website is here.

Monday, 12 April 2010

"With No Power, Comes No Responsibility"

This is the glorious Kick-Ass, one of my favourite new releases at the moment, and judging on how HMV is armed to the hilt with "Hit Girl!" slogan T-Shirts, comic books and action figures, I'm guessing it's not going to disappear quickly.

Here's my review:

Everyone said how ‘subversive’ The Dark Knight was. Obviously, it was more thrilling than the increasingly ridiculous franchise which came before it. But as readers will know, comics often deal with adult themes and violence: Batman merely tapped into that a little further than the average big-screen adaptation. Kick-Ass, on the other hand, takes the usual morality of comic books and skews it so far it’s easy to forget who has the upper ground.
You may think it strange that Matthew ‘Layer Cake’ Vaughn has turned his hand to a graphic novel, but it is his gangster sensibilities that make this film what it is. For a start, the only real, pure ‘good guy’ in this whole thing is the geeky, awkward protagonist Dave Lizewski (young Brit Aaron Johnson). Dave tires of being life’s pushover, buys a silly looking scuba suit and patrols back alleys trying to fight crime. Rather than the expected seamless cinematic transformation into masked crime fighter, it’s nice to see a reality check in with Dave for once. We see him stabbed, run over, beaten to pulp, set on fire, and generally pulverized. Dave’s luck starts to fail further, but he is saved by the ‘Good Guys’, father/daughter combo Big Daddy (Nicholas Cage) and Hit Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz). You might sigh with relief at this development, but the twist comes in the fact that BD and HG are pretty nasty themselves.
Their quest for vengeance is run of the mill, after all, heroes always have an axe to grind. But what shocks is BD and HG’s gleeful appetite for violence. The more torturous ways they find to kill the criminals on their hit list, the better. Kick-Ass laughs in the face of duty and justice in favour of a healthy Tarantino-style splatter-fest, and this is what makes it so deliciously dark.
Strong comedic performances all round and an ever loveable Christopher ‘McLovin’ Mint-Plasse save Kick-Ass from straying into a total blood bath. The last 5-10 minutes tarnish the lustre a little but other than that, it’s a cheerful assault on common decency: tongue-in-cheek, funny and juvenile enough to offend the grown-ups.