This week I've been getting really excited about all the new bands I keep seeing and hearing. Since starting to play gigs in Lewisham and meeting a lot of the Lewisham/New Cross bands I've been impressed not only by the music but by the sense of community they're building up and the DIY attitude they display in every aspect of their work. They're just doing their thing, releasing independent EPs and split singles, gigging all over town and creating their own world of music without giving a second thought to the mainstream scene, helped at every turn by some really dedicated and hard working promoters.
Last Thursday I went to one of the key venues in this whole new community, The Fox & Firkin on Lewisham High Street. Popular Workshop headlined, supported by the marvellous William and Chet, with all three bands delivering passionate, intense and energetic performances well worth the trip out to SE13. If more rock gigs had this quality of music with as friendly an atmosphere I might leave the flat more often to discover new music in person.
Instead, I've been listening to The Hot Puppies on My Space today. The fact that the NME are drooling all over them should put me off but they are genuinely really interesting new wavey/rocky/poppiness with the added kudos of a Jonathan Ross session coming up on 22nd July. I've also been listening to Regina Spektor's album "Begin To Hope", on a recommendation from my sister who saw her play at Latitude Festival last weekend (coincidentally The Hot Puppies played there too). Cool, slightly-jazzy alternative pop.
I was very excited to find out on my internet trawls on the weekend that one of my favourite bands in the world, Metric, are playing a special warmup gig for their Reading/Leeds Festival performances at Kings College London Student's Union on 23rd August. I was given their debut album "Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?" a few years ago and fell in love, scheduling a trip to visit my best friend in New York especially so as to coincide with their Bowery Ballroom gig in September 2004. They were stunning. I saw them again at Koko last year, supporting Death From Above 1979 (who I absolutely loathed) and I'm pleased to see that their trips to the UK for gigs are getting more and more frequent. I recently had to miss them playing a very intimate and sweaty gig at The Barfly because I was off playing pop music abroad - I sold my tickets to some friends who had a brilliant night, I remained gutted.
If you haven't discovered Metric's peculiar brand of disco rock yet then you really should have a listen. Ticketweb still have some tickets for August's gig here. Their second album, "Live It Out", has just been released in the UK (though us fans have had it for aaaages) and lead singer and keyboard supremo Emily Haines is releasing her debut solo album "Knives Don't Have Your Back" in September. Her website isn't finished yet but you can sign up for her mailing list here.
I've been getting more and more excited as the line up for "Nightmare Before Christmas" fills up. For those not in the know, it's the special almost-Christmastime All Tomorrow's Parties festival curated by Thurston Moore, held at Butlins in Minehead from 8th - 10th December. I'm not one for booking ahead because of the whole freelance thing but this one just couldn't be missed. Where else can you see Sonic Youth, Iggy & The Stooges, Melvins, Dinosaur Jr and Gang of Four plus loads of other bands while staying in a room with a comfy bed, private bathroom and a TV? That's my kind of festival. Most of the room-only tickets are sold out but there are some 4-berth rooms left for £486 + £4.80 postage plus on the self-catering side there are 4-berth apartments for £566 + £4.80 postage and 6-berth for £849 + £4.80 postage so if a bunch of you want to go you still can by clicking here.
Finally, here's a gig recommendation for tonight:
The Betsey Trotwood, 56 Farringdon Road EC1
"Piles of cookies and cosiness for a Wednesday night, with superstar comperes and beautiful music" £3 entry.
This Week's Ten
1. And It Rained All Night - Thom Yorke
2. Gold Lion - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
3. Waterfall - The Stone Roses
4. Sunny - The Far Cries - link
5. Drink Your Milk - Open Mouth - link
6. Hoopla - William - link
7. Little Things - Lily Allen - link
8. Gun - Uncle Tupelo
9. Terry - The Hot Puppies - link
10. On The Radio - Regina Spektor - link