Archive for May, 2008
Well they don’t, but you know… As connoisseurs of the good ship Alcopop Records will now, this city was not just built on rock n roll. Oh no! The full story is likely to appear as bonus content on an Alcopop CD in the future sometime, but our history is one of vices, of which gambling plays a plump, juicy part.
God knows whether we would have been able to fund the This Charm is Charmless EP by data.select.party had not Portsmouth beaten Charlton with a last gasp winner way back in September 06- (thanks Lomana Lua Lua) – and who knows where we might be now, if Snowy Morning had romped home in the National rather than heartbreakingly throwing it away at the end.
Still – I digress… What I’m really hear to tell thee about is this set of statistics from www.euro2008statistics.com which offer a pretty damn awesome insight into Euro 2008. Ignore the bookies – Portugal are gonna get bashed to hell, and Holland could just be the choice at 15’s. However, where the real money lies looks like it could be with Romania (available at 50-1 all over the place) who statistically have a 7% chance of lifting the silverware – much better than that of Italy.
Have a look below – and just for a minute imagine what winnings on a £1 e/w on Romania could buy you in the Alcopop shop…! Tasty. Oh, and I hope you enjoy the hideous animated .gif i’ve put at the bottom of this post… It’s so ‘welcome web user, you could earn 10k in just 3 minutes’ I just had to put it in…
UEFA EURO 2008
Team – Progress to Quarter Final – Progress to Semi Final – Progress to Final – Win
Germany – 83% – 51% – 32% – 17%
Spain – 79% – 42% – 24% – 14%
Netherlands – 55% – 33% – 18% – 10%
Czech Republic – 63% – 36% – 20% – 10%
France – 54% – 32% – 17% – 10%
Romania – 49% – 27% – 14% – 7%
Italy – 42% – 23% – 12% – 6%
Switzerland – 51% – 25% – 12% – 5%
Portugal – 51% – 25% – 11% – 5%
Croatia – 55% – 26% – 11% – 5%
Sweden – 45% – 17% – 7% – 3%
Greece – 43% – 15% – 6% – 2%
Turkey – 34% – 14% – 6% – 2%
Poland – 37% – 14% – 5% – 2%
Russia – 33% – 10% – 3% – 1%
Austria – 26% – 9% – 3% – 1%
See…? Awesome! Look out for the EP released on Alcopop in the summer… Or buy teh single from iTunes now, Now, NOW (for 79p)…
“The sure sign of a top draw single is that it leaves the listening begging for more, a trick which is executed with consummate skill here by Portsmouth-based five-piece Cut the Blue Wire. ‘Everest’ is positively brimming with same kind of youthful exuberance and towering ambition that fellow up-and-comers In Case of Fire are dripping with, as effervescent verses fizz along and blend effortlessly into a toweringly infectious chorus. With a six track EP due for release in July, summer simply can’t come quick enough on this evidence.”
If you missed part 1, where were you – come on now! As part of Alcopop’s very irregular feature where we interview some great people who are friends, fans or heroes (usually all 3) of Alcopop, yesterday saw part 1 of an interview with Martin Johnston of The Sunshine Underground Radio show… Read all the intro and his first 3 questions here, or see more words of wisdom below… Cheers Martin!
4.) Favourite band on Alcopop?
Oh don’t make me choose – you never forget your first love, which was goFASTER>> but we made Family Machine a featured album on the show because it’s such a great debut. We love that Nathaniel Green song a lot too. We are going to the Latitude festival so when we come back and we’ve seen Sam Isaac there maybe he’ll be our favourite. Who knows? Not me.
5.) Are you a Stockport FC fan? If so, is that about the most depressing pastime of all?
Haha no. I only moved to Stockport last year from London. I was brought up on Merseyside and I don’t ever remember being allowed to choose a team, my Dad just made sure I was a Liverpool fan. It’s all relative though isn’t it? It’s depressing seeing United win things and not competing with them but not as depressing as say being a Wrexham fan and dropping out of the league.
Conversely Stockport County have had a great year and are playing in the League 2 Play Off final at Wembley on bank holiday Monday. Come on the Hatters. (NB – they won! Hurrah!) Jackie is a Man City fan – now that must be depressing being treated like that.
6.) Is the whole of Stockport dancing to your tune?
We like to think we’re making a bit of a difference. But we’ll be putting our money where our mouth is soon when we starting putting on some gig nights in Stockport.
We’ve got a great venue lined up in the Cafe of Stockport Plaza. The Plaza is a fantastic Grade II listed theatre which was built as a ‘Super Cinema’ in 1932 and is virtually intact. We’re looking at dates at the moment but very keen to get Alcopop bands and other similarly wonderful acts on stage with us. Watch this space. Well, our MySpace thing anyway.
Go the Pops.
Cheers Martin – and may yourself and Jackie ever rock on!
And talking of good radio, super Steve Lamacq has once again shown his impeccable taste by picking up former Alcopop labelites, and 5-a-side-football veterans, 4 or 5 Magicians as his weekly “New Favourite Band”, and has invited singer Dan along to do an interview for his 6music show on Wednesday. “Cool huh?” says aforementioned vocalist… Yes Dan, it sure is!
Apparently the interview goes out live, so there will “probably be a number of pauses for thought and mumbled sentences that tail off. Anything could happen” – so in hope of catching an obnoxious demonic rant, or embarrasing uneditable secrets, you really ought to tune in if you’re about. Oh, and if you haven’t bought the extraordinarily limited edition single released on Alcopop to just 500 copies, shame on you… Make up for it now, and get a free 50 track BSM MP3 sampler into the bargain.
But where can I hear such an extravaganza you may be asking – well, you can listen online at www.bbc.co.uk/6music or on digital radio or TV…. Or by standing on tiptoes outside the BBC offices, and telling everyone to shhhh.
Oh – and in other magician related news, it won’t surprise any followers of the band that Dan is looking for some more new members (or rather a collective of sorcerers)… Check out the MySpace if you wanna sign up.
A final word from Dan “I will be on sometime between 5:30 and 7:00. I can’t really be any more specific than that I’m afraid! It’s a good show anyway, so just listen to it. Sometimes he plays Mansun and Kenickie!”
God – isn’t Lauren Laverne just the perfect woman, and (reffing a totally unrelated story) well worthy of a National Gallery portrait… Here’s a photo of the princess of lovable lo-fi indie pop from the north…*love*
The state of British radio is, more often than not, pretty bleak for those of us who like to delve an inch or two under the swathe of mass-produced crap that tends to dominate the charts – and other than a few notable DJs playing some genuinely great stuff, that actually does get the success it deserves – one can often be forgiven for dismissing most popular/local radio for a CD, or grinding your face into a wall perhaps?
Not so if you live in Stockport! For every Tuesday night between 8 and 10pm, Martin and Jackie (AKA Sunshine Underground) pump out classic tunes on 107.8 FM. You like Hot Club de Paris, Mates of State, Family Machine, goFASTER>> or Rival Schools – well tune in, and if you aint local – JUST GO TO WWW.PURERADIO.ORG.UK AND CLICK ON ‘LISTEN LIVE’ at the same time tonight, and every week beyond… Oh yes!
And as they are bringing great music to the masses, it’s only fair that Alcopop shows its appreciation, by making Martin Johnston from ‘Sunshine Underground’ – ‘Excellent Popper part 3’!
We ask him gentle questions – he responds thusly…
1.) Who would be your red hot picks of this year’s best breed of musical talent rampaging through the ranks of also-rans?
Nice alliteration. There’s your band name if anyone’s looking for one.
In the UK, I think the Liverpool scene is pretty vibrant at the moment. I’ve always loved Hot Club de Paris and I think Voo and Married to the Sea are brilliant too. Across the pond there’s a band called The Envy Corps we’ve played a lot and I really like Fleet Foxes for their country-rock harmonies. Annuals are fantastic too, they write amazing and intricate songs which really grow on you. There are some great moments on The Mae Shi album and I’m delighted to see Rival Schools back. Jackie has asked me to point out that she thinks The Wedding Present are quite good too.
2.) In 50 words or less, what does your radio show offer to fans of new music?
We play music that deserves to be heard more. We’re very lucky because we can play what we like so we respect that and only play things we like but crucially things we think other people would like too.
3.) You have a feature in the show asking which year was best for rock – what is your very favourite year?
It’s a feature on the station, (our actual show features are much better) we just plug it a bit on the show but for me it would have to be 1978. That was the year I bought my first single, with my own money. I’d had cassettes before. I used to record my uncles Beatles LPs with a microphone next to a speaker. But the first record I ever bought was Jilted John by Jilted John. Superb. We played it a few weeks ago. Still sounds fresh as a daisy.
God bless Sam Isaac – for the kind-hearted chap has not only been responsible for filling our hearts and minds with all sorts of great music over the past few months, but has smashed the old myth that charity always begins at home – for in his case it begins in Johannesburg.
And what better way to tell it than in his own words…
“I’ve been asked to go to South Africa at the end of May by a charity called The White Ribbon Alliance, which is very exciting. They’re running a tour that goes from Johannesburg to Cape Town via Durban over 10 days. The idea is to go play some shows, do some workshops, and visit schools and community groups. Other artists from Britain are going, and we’ll be joining up with local artists from South Africa along the way. The tour aims to promote collaboration between young people from South Africa and the UK.
The White Ribbon Alliance is a charity that campaigns for safe motherhood for pregnant women, raising awareness of the fact that every minute somewhere in the world a woman needlessly dies during childbirth. In the world’s poorest countries, 1 in 8 woman dies during childbirth, and many more are permanently disabled. The Convoy To Cape Town hopes to put pressure on political leaders to reduce maternal deaths in the lead up to the World Economic Forum in Cape Town at the beginning of June. This can be achieved through improved healthcare, equipment, medicine and providing more health workers to areas such as sub-Saharan Africa and southern Asia where help is desperately needed.
So I’m excited. It’s a great cause, and I’ve never done anything like this before. A documentary is being made of the whole thing by Bill Nighy’s daughter Mary Nighy. I’ll try and do some blogs and take pictures and stuff. Maybe you could go to the White Ribbon Alliance website and see what they do.
The convoy will be heading through the following cities, and smaller towns in between, on the following dates.
28th May – Johannesburg
31st may – Durban
4th June – Cape Town”
So there you go – ace eh! And any of our South African pals should definately check it out! See below for a lovely image of SA>…
So with bands galore all playing at different venues across fair Brighton, an impossibly difficult task of fitting them all in – and plenty of people to chat, negotiate and drink with – Great Escape was always going to be a tough experience… And it wasn’t made any easier with the inordinate amount of booze supplied by The Australian Tourist Board (thanks), Red Stripe (thanks more so) and Mr Pimms (I love you), all of whom contributed to quite the most enjoyable Friday eve I’ve had in a long time.
Starting off with a quick chat and passes from the irrepressibly ace Sam Isaac (or Sam Isaacs if the programme was to be believed) – the Alcopop (or Alchopop if the programme was to be believed – are you spotting a theme here?) boys (AKA Kev and I) hooked up with some charming industry types in the *FREE* hotel bar. Bliss! Smashing back the booze till it was all done, we then managed to take in a few bands between downing shots of Pimms in a boat, inadvertently fighting with the sea in a vague attempt to skim stones in it (I lost) and eventually being thrown out of some god-awful Brighton club for ‘spinning on a chair’.
Yup! Spinning on a chair! If you put spinny chairs in a club, surely people are bound to spin on them?? Still, one of the bouncers was quite pleasant, offering to go stone skimming at 4 if I stuck around – I politely declined his offer though – incensed that in an otherwise well-mannered war of words, another door-devil had called my hair greasy… Que? Shiny and lustrous surely?
As for the bands themselves, probably my pick of the night was Sam Isaac and This City, both of whom played storming sets – although rumours of lots of other inspirational gigs sparking off about town (of which Tellison were widely mooted as delivering) only made me wish that the shows had gone on all day, so there weren’t quite so may clashes.
Overall though – a great festival experience, and even the crappy, overly salted rubbish served up in a seafront American diner (called something like JB’s I think) the next morning couldn’t spoil it. Oh and lots of thanks to Paul Steel and The XCERTS who let us stay in their house… Very kind, and I’m sorry if my sea-splashed trainers left any salty residue (that sounds really unpleasant doesn’t it)….
I’m feeling v. festivally though now – net stop, Boring by the Sea!
God knows how many times this feature will see the light of day, and here’s hoping it will never die – but as I sit in Kev BSM’s wasp-ridden pit of an office (alright so there’s one wasp, but its been dead for days) trying desperately to finish all the Alcopop work I’ve got on my plate, and there’s no way its happening. Mainly because of Kev’s DJ set – which has so far been delicious!
‘Glorious’ by Andreas Johnson, ‘Gangsters Paradise’ by Coolio and LV and even ‘Zelda’ by System of a Down – but most importantly, the song that inspired this feature .. EAT MY GOAL by Collapsed Lung!
Yup – “no no ask me about summer so let everybody in the house say disco” – say Collapsed Lung in their infinite wisdom – and in the spirit of Euro 2008, this (other than the now erroneous 3 Lions) seems the finest track to play whenever there’s a decent game on the telly anytime the summer – and can I suggest that playing it damn loudly out of the window will help you seriously make friends and influence people.
Of course, there are lines that I’ll never understand “the new part team of mum won’t move into ma home, to play sport and to forget to call their mums on the telephone” but that only adds to the mystery of the track for me J. Basically, and I speak with authority after spending a good few hours with this on repeat after England drew with Sweden 2-2 in 2006, this is a hit that never gets old!
So Alcopoppers – take a look in your old CD collections, or rip this track from somewhere, and make your summer complete!
OK – a bit of a dull post here, but it has to be for those of you who frequent the Alcopop shop (if you haven’t, do – it’s lovely) we have a new way to pay. For you see, since the beginning of our cheeky young life, anyone who has wanted to purchase a compact disc, vinyl or tape from us has had to fill in all their details to make sure the package is safely delivered…
Not any more…
For you see, those friendly chaps at Paypal have been in touch (after two years of pouring money into their pockets I might add) to give us a new solution. Now if you just press the ‘check out with paypal’ button, one click will fill in all the details for you instantly! Genius eh – and it’s still as secure and covered as it ever was.
Plus, you’ll still (for a limited time) get a free 50 track BSM MP3 album with every purchase made – nice eh.
Right – I promise never to be so boring again… next post – sex, booze and Brighton pebbles…