White Town Live At HDIF, 24/9/09

White Town Live At How Does It Feel
(pics by Ian Watson)

Wow – I had a brilliant time playing at How Does It Feel To Be Loved? in London on Thursday night. And I was honoured to be on the same bill as Honey Pine Dresser, Cavalcade and Arthur & Martha. All fab bands and lovely peeps.

The gig started off a little bit unevenly – I was trying to tune my acoustic guitar with the tuner pedal but the disco was so loud, the tuner was trying to tune that. So, I tuned up, hit an E chord and… chaos! My god! I finally had to get the bewildered DJs to turn the music down completely and then managed to get it right. Tuning up is one of things you take for granted, it’s almost an irrelevancy. Until it fails and then you realise how utterly boned you are.

After that initial hoo-haa, the gig itself went beautifully. The audience was really attentive and, for such a large number of people, really quiet. I’d almost say they were Swedish attentive! πŸ˜›

What made me beam was seeing people singing along with songs that weren’t ‘Your Woman.’ There was a lad right at the front and I swear he knew the lyrics to everything from ‘We’ll Always Have Paris’ to ‘Death In Kettering.’ That’s basically 19 years’ worth of White Town covered! How flattering is that?

I was also pleased because there were sooo many cute girls within my sight. If I’m singing to women, inevitably, I sing better. It’s basically why I keep doing the rest of what I do, for that brief time when I connect with someone like that, look a total stranger in the eyes and open my heart to her. I guess if I was gay, I’d be singing for the cute boys. πŸ˜‰

Of course, the biggest response was for ‘Your Woman.’ Everyone was singing and jigging about, it was a bouncy, party vibe. Which is always ironic since it’s such a depressing and horrible song! It’s always rather spooky to hear lyrics you wrote in a tiny spare bedroom being sung back at you en masse! πŸ™‚

HDIF Peeps

After the gig, I chatted with loads of friendly, highly sexy people and even got to dance to ‘Sensitive’ with a group of them.

Jen + White Town single

I was also chuffed that I sold quite a few records, including some copies of my debut single you can see being held by the gorgeous Jen above.

FEB

And then, to top the day off perfectly, we even managed to track down a proper Full English at the services on the way home. I could feel my arteries blocking as I scoffed it! Yaaay!

Earlier in the night, Ian HDIF was asking me why I’d never played London before. And I told him the truth: I’ve never been asked! Admittedly, I hadn’t got any kind of proper live thing going back in ’97 when ‘Your Woman’ was in the charts but I probably could have knocked out an acoustic set.

But I also reminded him that when I wrote this rant, he was the only person who got in touch with me to ask me to do something in Britain (HDIF DJing back then). It’s all a matter of having people like Ian Watson or Mattias Jansson around: people who put on nights for all the right reasons and who refuse, steadfastly, to make it easier by putting them on for all the wrong reasons. There aren’t many of these gems around, I know my life would be a lot greyer and sadder without their influence. And I suspect yours would be too. I’ll remember playing that gig on Thursday night, the people I met, the fun I had singing for them, for a long, long time.

And if you’re the supercute, manga-eyed girl I was singing the perviest bits of ‘Death In Kettering’ directly at, sorry but I couldn’t help it – you’re gorgeous! πŸ˜›

Bzangy Groink Playlist 23/9/09

The Bear Quartet

The best new track tonight was ‘Sweet Beef’ from The Bear Quartet, another damn fine Swedish alternative band that I only know about due to my Scandi excursions of the last few years. Check out the new album from them, it’s marvellous!

Animotion

The best old track was, of course, ‘Obsession’ by Animotion. What can I say? Pure, classic synthpop bliss! πŸ™‚

This is what I played:

Stricken City – Pull The House Down
Samiyam – Roller Skates
Phoenix – Too Young
The Juan Maclean – No Time
Fresh Daily – Supaspectacular! (Prod. By 2 Hungry Bros)
Palpitation – I’m Happy Now
Chromeo – Call Me Up
The Orphan, The Poet – Archetype
Freeland – Best Fish Tacos In Ensenda
Twin Atlantic – Old Grey Face
Homeboy Sandman – The Big Band Theory (Prod. By
Endwell – Living Through Losses: 02/30/01
Kraftwerk – Tour de France
Refused – Coup D’Etat
Frisco – One Me (Ft. Jammer) (Prod. By Ratchet)
Beirut – Elephant Gun
Djedjotronic – james
Tigers That Talked – Black Heart, Blue Eyes
Deerhoof – Milkman
mc chris – Zuckuss’ Prius
Burning Hearts – I Walked Among The Trees
Tiga – shoes mr oizo remix)
Arise Horror – The Descent
Belle and Sebastian – Funny Little Frog
Bound By Honor – Word Play
Dananananaykroyd – Black Wax
The Sensational Skydrunk Heartbeat Orchestra – Feet they hardly touch the ground
Every Time I Die – The Marvelous Slut
miaBeane & The Asthmatic Scene – Chapel gravel
Raekwon – Knuckle up (feat. Pimp C & Icewater) (Prod. by Trife)
Animotion – Obsession
Wave Machines – I Go I Go I Go
Four Tet – She Moves She
Fugazi – Exit Only
Sage Francis – Gunz Yo
The Elephants – Take it!
Wreck Of The Minotaur – Big Money Stella
Art vs. Science – Parlez Vous Francais?
Russian Circles – Youngblood
Tragedy Khadafi And Trez – Pleasure To Know ‘Em
Mesmer – The Exorcist
King Cannibal – Virgo Featuring Face-A-Face
Jap Adaptors – I Am An Ant
Wienzeile – geisterbahn
Canadian Invasion – One Hand Claps The Other
New Order – Temptation
Rsd Ft. Wilks – Firewall
The Crayon Fields – Mirror Ball
Astronomy Class – Dishin Dirt
Jon Hopkins – Insides
Wilco – Wilco (The Song)
The Shinjuku Mad – The Singularity
The Bear Quartet – Sweet Beef
Subplots – Poltis
Yak Ballz – Halogen Glow
Roy Budd – Carter Takes a Train
Sonos – White Winter Hymnal
The Hidden Cameras – A Miracle
Teenage Fanclub – Mellow Doubt
Tim Hardin – Don’t Make Promises
Billie the Vision & The Dancers – I’m Pablo
August Burns Red – Thirty And Seven

Butterflies & Other Tiny Wonders

Peacock butterfly

There’s a buddleia next to my garage that was becoming huge and unruly so it was hacked back to this:


Well, the hardy thing grew back and I’m glad – butterflies love it! This summer, I’d often go out to the car and the re-grown monster would have twenty or more butterflies all over it. If you click the pic at the top, you can see a few shots of them. Plus other assorted beasties! πŸ™‚

Bzangy Groink Playlist 9/9/09

The Paper Merchants

Tonight’s best new track was ‘Kids At The Club’ by The Paper Merchants. Bias disclosure: I recently gigged with TPM in Sweden and got talking to them all as I liked their show so much. And they’re as wonderful as their music. Sooo, yeah, I’m biased. But if you love singalong pop, I reckon you’ll love this chorus, this song and this band. Check ’em out!

Lawrence Felt

The best old track was Felt’s ‘I Will Die With My Head In Flames.’ I’ve probably had Felt as best old track before but, fuckit, this song always makes me ecstatic. It’s so good to singalong to! And that’s probably why this song, and ‘Kids At The Club’ are both on my Summer Singalong 2009. πŸ™‚

Tonight, youse guys hoird:

teeny grownups – Campfire
Flying Lotus – Parisian Goldfish (Take Remix)
Akrow – King Im Pott
Heart-Sick Groans – In a Small Kitchen Song
School of Seven Bells – Connjur
Stuck in the Sound – Zapruder
Dontcha – Rap De Paname
Death Cab for Cutie – I Will Possess Your Heart
The Shins – We Will Become Silhouettes
Mother Mary – Magnetic Space Plug
Zed Bias – Colditz
Taking Back Sunday – The Blue Channel
Tragedy Khadafi And Trez – Pleasure To Know ‘Em
Russian Circles – Youngblood
Palpitation – I’m Happy Now
The Bloody Beetroots – Storm
Debaser – The Crown Fits
Clinic – the Witch (Made To Measure)
Pizzicato Five – Twiggy Twiggy
King Cannibal – Flower Of Flesh And Blood
Scar My Eyes – The Game (Think About It)
Liechtenstein – All At Once
The Slits – I Heard It Through The Grapevine
It Dies Today – The Architects
Burning Hearts – Iris
Bombay Bicycle Club – Magnet
U-God – Stomp Da Roach
Art vs. Science – Parlez Vous FranΓ§ais?
Pixies – I’ve Been Tired
6BLOCC – Warning
Termanology – Forever (Feat. Superstah Snuk)
August Burns Red – Rationalist
The Answering Machine – Obviously Cold
Tiga – shoes (mr oizo remix)
Dananananaykroyd – Watch This!
Fugazi – Place Position
Refused – Coup D’Etat
Laakso – The Death Of Us
Bound By Honor – Word Play
A Place to Bury Strangers – It Is Nothing
The Blue Screen of Death – Broken
The Shinjuku Mad – The Event Horizon
The Holly Springs Disaster – I D.A.R.E. David Bowie To Drive Drunk
miaBeane & The Asthmatic Scene – Chapel gravel
The Mars Volta – Inertiatic Esp
Sapient – Famine
Jap Adaptors – I Am An Ant
The Paper Merchants – The Kids At The Club
Felt – I Will Die With My Head In Flames
Yak Ballz – Halogen Glow
Surrogate – A Constitution
Echo & The Bunnymen – The Killing Moon
Twin Atlantic – Old Grey Face
Sparta – Hiss the Villian
Moka Only – Feel Right
Lovvers – creepy crawl
Rustie – Bad Science
I Hate This Place – Morse Ft. Supa
The Decemberists – The Rake’s Song
Lusine – Gravity

Cosy Den Five Year Festival

Gula Villan
(Click any of the pics to see a gallery of the day!)

Just over a month ago, on August 1st, I played the Cosy Den Five Year festival. It was brilliant. This is the line-up for that day:

Cosy Den Running Order

Jap Adaptors
Tada Tata
Paddington DC
The Paper Merchants
White Town
Vit Pals
Allo Darlin’
Suburban Kids With Biblical Names
Cats On Fire
Erik De Vahl
Mats Jonsson

I recommend you check out each and every one of those bands. They’re all brilliant. I can honestly say there wasn’t a single band I disliked or didn’t enjoy on the day. And I’m quite grumpy when it comes to multi-band all-dayers so that’s not faint praise. Since coming back, I’ve made a little iTunes playlist of the bands from that day, yes, I am that silly. πŸ™‚

I first played Cosy Den waay back in 2005. Click here to read about that.

Back? Good.

Well, everything I said in that post still holds true. Sweden still feels like my musical home. The audience at Cosy Den last month was fabulous: attentive and involved. I’ve been to too many gigs in Britain where hipsters yammer on through the whole thing. They’re there to be seen, not to see the bands. Not at Cosy Den!

It was a wonderful feeling to be sitting there, just me, my acoustic and this group of people ready to connect, willing to go where I wanted to take them. Well, I say wonderful, it’s actually the best feeling a songwriter can have. I do love getting fan mail and nice comments on videos but there’s nothing to match interacting with an audience.

Because of personal shit I’ve been going through, the gig was intense even by my standards. I had to hold myself back a couple of times as I didn’t want to go mental on stage and start sobbing. After all, the show must go on. Innit?

Cats On Fire

Mattias from Cats On Fire guested on the second verse of ‘Your Woman.’ He was great as they’ve recently been doing me the honour of covering my song live. Click here to see that. (And, in return, I completely murdered the second verse of ‘Higher Grounds.’ God, I was awful. πŸ™‚ )

The whole day seems dreamlike to me now. That’s why I’ve waited so long to write about it, I needed to process it all in my head. It all seems too good to be true. The music, the people in bands I met, the people not in bands I met, the venue. Honestly, it was more like watching some beautiful independent film than playing a gig.

Instead of selling my records, I decided to give them away in exchange for secrets. As a result, I got to talk to loads of people and hear their secrets. None of which I’ll ever reveal, of course – a combination of trustworthiness and my terrible memory will ensure that.

Gula Villan Cosy Den At Night

I owe Cosy Den a lot. If Mattias hadn’t emailed me all those years ago and asked me to come and play, I wouldn’t have had the best gigging experiences of my life. And I wouldn’t have played with some of the best bands in the world. I find it quite amazing and a little scary how such a simple initial action (an email) can wind up affecting my life so much.

So, thank you Cosy Den! Here’s to five years of greatness and to many more too! πŸ™‚

Bzangy Groink Playlist 26/8/09

It Dies Today

The best new track tonight was ‘The Architect’ by It Dies Today. Yes, pure metalcore, yes, magnificent, shuddering breakdowns. And, yes, the new album, out on September 15th, is excellent. Buy it if you need a bit of a shout and a windmill. πŸ™‚

La Casa Azul

The best old track was a complete contrast: ‘En noches como la de hoy’ by La Casa Azul. Sunny and sugary, this is megatwee indiepop at its diabetic-coma-inducing best. Yummy!

This is what you heard:

Signaldrift – Atlas
Little Big Adventure – The Hateful Eye
Sunken Heads – Kinetics
Exlovers – you forget so easily
Birdpen – breaking precedent
Zomby – Helter Skelter
Homeboy Sandman – The Big Band Theory (Prod. By
Mother Mary – Magnetic Space Plug
Tiga – Shoes
Say Hi to Your Mom – These Fangs
August Burns Red – Rationalist
La Casa Azul – En noches como la de hoy
Khao – KhaoTechnik
The Answering Machine – Oh, Christina
Taking Back Sunday – Sink Into Me
My Bloody Valentine – Thorn
Djedjotronic – james
Prevail (of Swollen Members) – Mean Streets (With Souls of Mischief)
Palpitation – IΒ₯m Happy No
Anoraak – make it better
Venetian Snares – MΒ·sodik Galamb (pigeon)
The Narrator – SurfJew
Ladytron – Ghosts
U-God – Stomp Da Roach (Featuring GZA And Scotty Wotty)
Fugazi – Facet Squared
Tragedy Khadafi And Trez – Pleasure To Know ‘Em
Surrogate – A Constitution
Huoratron – Male Bonding
The Decemberists – The Rake’s Song
Dead Kings – Pariah
Khingz – Grillz
Dananananaykroyd – Watch This!
Burning Hearts – I Walked Among The Trees
L.E.G.A.C.Y. – Fly So High
Endwell – Living Through Losses: 02/30/01
Dinosaur Pile-up – Summer Hit Single
The Impulse International – Soundtrack Tonight
Rustie – Bad Science
Descendents – Hope
Cats on Fire – Tears in Your Cup
Mistabishi – Printer Jam
The Nation Blue – Uprisings Off
mclusky – Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues
It Dies Today – The Architects
LMFAO – I Am Not A Whore
The Bronx – False Alarm
Twitch – Kamosis
Shadows Fall – Still I rise
The Destroyers – Sirba
FRESH DAILY – Supaspectacular! (Prod. By 2 Hungry Bros)
The Lucksmiths – Self-Preservation
Gojira – Toxic Garbage Island
Conor Oberst – Air Mattress
Wienzeile – geisterbahn
the Gaslamp Killer – Turk Mex
A Place to Bury Strangers – It Is Nothing
Ochre – Circadies
Burning Hearts – Close To Her
Rebels To The Grain, 12Milagram, Tis, Kef, Melodiq & Faye – Welcome
The Antlers – Bear
Seabear – Libraries
YACHT – Summer Song
Wilco – Wilco (The Song)
Sonos – White Winter Hymnal
God Help The Girl – Funny Little Frog