I'm thinking of changing the name of this column already, to "Notes From The Sickbed". After but two days of almost -wellness I caught tonsillitis for the first time ever on the weekend. It hurts. A lot. Cue more cancelled work, more time forced to stay in bed but this time the added bonus of penicillin...mmmm, it's quite nice. I spent most of this afternoon sitting in a drug addled haze thinking about ice cream.
So, once again it hasn't been the most busy or actively musicky week for me. I did go and play one gig though, with a covers band a friend and I put together a few years ago. We play weddings, birthday parties, office Christmas do's...the usual sort of thing. Lots of musicians do it, and because we run the band ourselves we get to pick all our favourite tunes to play. It's fun mixing up material like "Girls On Film", "London Calling", "Freak Like Me" and "Drive My Car", and as cheesy as it might seem in theory it's actually really nice when people start dancing.
Last weekend our gig was at an incredibly gorgeous, absolutely massive house in Oxfordshire. There was an Aston Martin DB6 parked by the stables, we had a gazebo for a dressing room and we played in a marquee in the (also gigantic) garden. Unfortunately the part of the garden the marquee was on was hilly so we had to play sloping downwards by some degree. I wasn't feeling so good so I stressed myself out worrying about children getting squashed under heavy speakers, the rate of my expanding throat glands and trying to remember the words to thirty-odd songs.
I needn't have worried. The audience stayed outside in the garden for most of the gig (probably so they could breathe oxygen, selfish people) and most of the children who were gamely chucking themselves about all over the dance floor in front of us seemed to be ignoring us. Apart from one cheeky little chap who decided to start heckling between songs about halfway through the evening. My favourite of his outbursts was "Oh good, you've stopped". He can only have been 6. Brilliant.
This week my friends are all excited about a big free music festival that's happening on the weekend. I unfortunately have another covers gig - in Inverness! So I couldn't be further away from all the excitement surrounding Rise: London United.
The website sums it up thus: "On Saturday 8th July 2006 Rise: London United, the Mayor's free festival celebrating London’s diversity and opposing racism, takes place at Finsbury Park.
Acts already confirmed for this year's festival include: Common, Killa Kela, Sway, Roy Ayers, Graham Coxon, Buzzcocks, The Wailers, Mentor Kolektiv, The Duke Spirit and DJ Kayper."
The programme for the Rise: London United Stage looks like this:
12.00pm - DJ Kayper & MC Inja
12.45pm - Mentor Kolektiv
1.30pm - Killa Kela
2.20pm - Sway
3.00pm - The Duke Spirit
3.45pm - Roy Ayers
4.45pm - Common
5.45pm - Graham Coxon
6.45pm - Buzzcocks
7.45pm - The Wailers
8.30pm - Close
"As well as the main stage, there's also six other stages; Big Cuba Fiesta, Crescent stage, Urban music stage, African stage, Mela stage and DJ Bus, as well as a comedy tent for those wanting to sit back and laugh! Other activities include a children's play area, fair ground, food and drink, exhibitions and arts and crafts.
This is the sixth year that the Mayor of London has organised this free festival as a celebration of London's diversity and to oppose racism. In 2005, over 80,000 young people and families attended the festival, which also brought together Londoners from all communities in the wake of the bombings on 7 July."
I had a phone call from Unite Against Fascism this afternoon, they're still looking for volunteers for the whole weekend to work on their stalls giving out leaflets, selling t-shirts etc. If you'd like to be involved please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 020 7833 4916 / 020 7837 4522.
I couldn't be less informed about, or interested in, the contents of this or any other week's Top 10, though I think it's fairly safe to say that some kind of "Come On Ingerland" anthem is stagnating in there along with one or two sad little Euro DJ tracks sung by girls with whiny voices. Whatever, I've decided to start making up my own Top 10 tunes list every week for this column. You might not have heard of everyone and they probably aren't current releases. They'll just be songs I've been listening to a lot in the past seven days. In my geekish manner I've put them in an order that'd sound good on an iPod.
1. Paralyzed - The Cardigans
2. Channels - Popular Workshop - link
3. Bitterness By Discipline - Die So Fluid - link
4. Red - Elbow
5. Castle Keep - Open Mouth - link
6. A Cleaner Light - Kristin Hersh
7. Here's Where The Story Ends - The Sundays
8. Landspeed Song - Tanya Donelly
9. Combat Baby - Metric
10. Inside A Girl - Chelsea Wolfe - link