RIP Daniel Hansson

Daniel Hansson RIP

I just found out about Daniel’s death.

I never met Daniel but we exchanged emails about MIDI, quantisation, timing – the usual geeky stuff that electronic music types love to talk about. He was always unfailingly polite, helpful and friendly. He even offered to give me a tour of the Elektron facility the next time I was playing in Gothenburg. I wish I’d taken him up on that last year.

Daniel Hansson is an example of how one person can reach out and positively affect myriad others’ lives. If Elektron hadn’t invented the Monomachine, I would never have come to this realisation. I might be still stuck in a musical rut, wondering why nothing felt as good as it used to and wasting money on plugin after plugin, vainly attempting to re-capture a lost feel.

And, of course, I’m not the only musician who loves the gear he helped create – I’m part of a legion of Elektron fanatics. Each of us has been touched and blessed by Daniel’s creativity.

You’ll be sorely missed, Daniel.

Bearsuit And The Deirdres

On Friday I went to see The Deirdres supporting Bearsuit.

Despite some of the worst live sound it’s ever been my misfortune to experience (thank god I had earplugs in), The Deirdres managed to overcome the obstacles set in their path and deliver us amazing, tickly fun. It takes (hard)core brilliance to battle through and connect with the audience despite everything going tits-up soundwise.

Due to a stinky melding of sexism and rockism, I’ve heard certain people disdain The Deirdres. They just don’t get it. The Deirdres could play the same dull, fifteenth-hand riffs as “serious” bands, they’re all great musicians. They simply choose to do something more vibrant, difficult and dangerous instead. Click here to see vids of The Deirdres gig.

And then, my old Norwich ‘showbiz pals,’ Bearsuit. I’d been chatting to Jan Bearsuit during The Deirdres and she said how they reminded her of a baby Bearsuit. And that made me think back to seeing Bearsuit’s first baby gigs at Norwich Arts Centre…

It’s hard to believe that Bearsuit have been going since 2000, they don’t perform like an “old” group. They ripped through their set with a level of energy that made me quite giddy, always trying their hardest to connect with the audience, to astound and amuse them. Again, rockists won’t get it, they like their music trapped and solid, stolid and predictable. They like their butterflies pinned to a bit of card, not flapping around, eccentrically, as Bearsuit do.

And therein lies Bearsuit’s genius: they are simply an astounding live band. Some bits of their set were like watching a deranged, steam-powered robot flying apart. The shouting, the clattering, the springy boinging. I didn’t know what the fuck was going on but, clearly, they did as, out of the chaos, sweet choruses and livid riffffs leapt out. Click here to watch them in action.

And if you haven’t ever seen them live, book a ticket now!