Les Savy Fav and cLOUDDEAD at All Tomorrow’s Parties


Another long weekend, another ATP. Except this weekend, the holiday camp indiefest we’ve all come to know and love was not curated by a band or artist: half the lineup was chosen by the ATP staff and the other voted for by us, “the scum”. Oh sorry, I mean “the fans”.

I was very happy to see that as a result, both Why? and Subtle were asked to play. Now, anyone who’s a fan of Subtle frontman Adam “doseone” Drucker and Why?’s Yoni “Why?” Wolf will know they’re long-time friends and musical collaborators, best known for their incarnation as the completely marvellous and sadly missed cLOUDDEAD (their project with fellow Anticon member Odd Nosdam, pictured). So with them both appearing at ATP, despite having diverged in two rather different (but equally brilliant) directions, surely, I hoped, they might perform something together. They did. It wasn’t for long, but they did. They sang the “physics of a bicycle” refrain from Bike and I managed to record the end of it once I recovered from the initial shock at a dream coming true:

cLOUDDEAD at ATP on Vimeo

I wasn’t so surprised to see Les Savy Fav on the lineup, but I wasn’t any less pleased. They managed to be the highlight of my weekend, even though I’ve seen them plenty of times before. Like Subtle, their music alone would be enough to command my attention – but their vocalist Tim Harrington consistently seems to put everything he’s got into the live performance. In fact, if he’s got more, I’m not sure I want to see it, especially after coming face-to-groin with his painted self during Rome (Written Upside Down). By this point in the set, he had stripped down to a black leotard and made his way out into the audience before deciding to make his way back to the stage via the medium of table. Like this:

Les Savy Fav @ ATP on Vimeo

It’s certainly a good way to get a crowd going.

So, good work, fans. And good work ATP. It turned out there’s really no need to fight. Now if only Fugazi had reformed especially for the occasion like I asked, it would have been completely perfect…

Categorized as music

Better Weird Than Dead

Better Weird Than Dead My friend Naomi has just started her own record label, of all things. It’s called Better Weird Than Dead (special kudos if you get the reference) and it launched a couple of weeks ago with The Covers EP, a split release between her (as Naomi Hates Humans) and bearded co-conspirator Tim Holehouse.

Naomi talks more about her label and London’s antifolk scene in this recent interview with Music On Air. It’s part of a series called Girls With Guitars. Lines of questioning possibly include “what’s it like being a girl?”, “as a girl, do you find it difficult singing and playing an instrument at the same time?” and “wow, you mean you even write the music?”.

Categorized as music

The Chap: Courage + Modesty

The Chap: Courage + Modesty on Vimeo

London’s The Chap played to a packed-out Buffalo Bar on Friday night in support of Thee More Shallows. As the video above demonstrates, the venue was full of Talky McBastards and Inconsiderate Tall People, which I think slightly perturbed the immensley talented SJ Esau who opened.

But The Chap are hugely accomplished and I suspect most people were there to see them. They’re my favourite local group and I’ve seen them play many times: playfully experimental and ocassionally willfully obtuse but always a great deal of fun. Plus they’ve upped the number of harmonies and tongue in cheek dance moves since I first saw them in 2005, and that can only be a good thing. It’s just a shame we have to wait until the end of the year for their new album. And why the hell aren’t they massive yet? I blame everyone else.

Like the sound of ’em? Watch The Chap play Woop Woop on Vimeo and then friend them up on MySpace.

Categorized as music

Save our Spitz!

Well it looks as though the rumours were trueThe Spitz is definitely in danger of eviction:

The facts are that The Spitz has been given six months notice to quit its current site in Old Spitalfields Market by its landlords Ballymore Properties. This means in a worst case scenario The Spitz would cease to exist by the end of September this year.

I’m never sure how much good online petitions really do, but I’ve signed the one in support of The Spitz just in case, and you should too, even if you’re not sure what The Spitz is or what this is that you’re reading and you’re totally dead and hollow inside like the dried out innards of a worm-ridden treetrunk. You utter bastard.

Also, I am pleased that even Ken Livingstone is outraged at its closure. But couldn’t you, like, send some heavies from the Mayor’s office round to Ballymore Properties Ken? To rough them up a bit? Or perhaps you’ll adopt a more subtle approach and price them out of the capital by banning them from using Oyster cards (this is clever London satire BTW).

Categorized as music

BARR at the Luminaire

BARR @ Upset The Rhythm on Vimeo

Last time I saw BARR, at last year’s Upset The Rhythm-curated Frieze Music event, he was one faintly irritating – but very entertaining – man and a lo-fi backing track.

But now BARR have gone and done a Why? and returned to the UK as a full band. And they’re great. I mean, BARR is never going to be to everyone’s taste, but whereas before his music/performance could veer toward the self-indulgent (as I suppose all solo artists must be to some extent), now all that is tempered by his “team”. He’s got friends to interact with, he’s more comfortable on stage and his unique vocals are engaging, not irritating.

If you’d like a chance to marvel at Brendan’s unnerving flexibility and feel happy and not at all annoyed like you originally suspected you might, BARR are touring the UK right now and will be back in London on the 26th.

Categorized as music