Archive for July, 2008
So the blog has been rather barren over the last couple of days (I’ve been moving house.. Sorry guv) – and anyone stumbling across it, as well as downloading the excellent new free Family machine single, could be forgiven for angrily kicking tumbleweed as they make their way through old posts, wondering where the hell the updates are. Well – here they are!
Firstly – thanks loads to everyone who popped down to Alcopopalooza on Saturday and indulged in a day of booze, bands and burgers. A great time seemed to be had by all, and amongst the piles of BBQ meat, flowing booze and bustling crowd, a fantastic line up of acts rocked us from 4.30pm till very late, with This City, Pavilion, Cut the Blue Wire, Paul Steel and Stars and Sons amongst the many highlights. Look out for Alcopopalooza 2 in, oooh, about a year.
However, It is with sad news that I must bring you news that, unbelievably, Alcopop Records did not (as boldly predicted on these here pages) triumph in Sundays BSM 5-a-side tournament, despite a series of epic performances. Making our way through the tropical heat of Wormwood Scrubs, London, Alcopop’s brave and hardy soldiers – myself, Thom, Manus, Si, Leigh and grandson of legendary Scotland and Rangers forward Torry Gillick Darren (pictured doing his best Gattuso impression amongst the hands-on-the-hips gang below) – took to the field in a tough looking Group D.
Battering Banquet Records 5-0 in what can best be described as total football, we went on to draw 2-2 with the very energetic Rolo Tomassi, and topped it all off with a morale-boosting 2-1 victory against Gold Artists (featuring many of Pavilion) coping with wave after wave of attack as our savaged feet blistered in the midday(ish) sun. 7 points and a goal difference of plus 6 was surely enough… But no! And as the now very tired Banquet shower capitulated 9-1 to Rolo Tomassi, the hopes and dreams of Team Pop were shattered, leaving us missing out on making it through by the odd goal.
Congratulations to Punktastic who triumphed…. For more info, head over here to Kev’s BSM blog – or here for the vitriolic Punktastic thread toasting their own victory.
Other than that, my time has been pretty much spent between shifting beds up many stairs, and listening to the new Cut the Blue Wire EP (coming out September time – it’s truly stunning!) So any band wanting to sign their lives away to Alcopop and garner rock star fame and riches (or send us a demo at least), please note the change of address.
Oh – and did anyone notice that Sam Isaac was the ‘Hottest record in the world’ on Zane’s show… Awesome
They aint half good to you… And those handsome chaps from Alcopop album releasees, the Family Machine, have safely signed, sealed and delivered their new EP to the blog. And it’s free, Free, FREE. Available to download by simply clicking the shiny button below – why not take a moment to grab the 2 track single and slap them on your iTunes. Feel free to send them to pals the length and breadth of the country, nay globe – and make the Family Machine your new pals.
If you’re an Alcopop regular, chances are yo’ve heard the guys before – but if not, then take a look at what gigwise.com had to say – “An album that promotes the dreamer in all and is folk-acoustic pop gold ready to be sieved into the collection of the daring and broad-minded… The acoustic influences are appropriately attached in wide-eyed childlike naivety and create a blend of powerfully emotive songs that walk the side of raucous masculinity and poignant delicacy.”
You see? Alex Zane digs it too!
SIde A: Flowers by the Roadside – Side B: Let yourself know better….
I’ve always thought, since the dawn of all things Alcopop almost 2 years ago, that its been rather a good time to be running an indie label… With musical talent emerging in the UK faster than we can press music (no I don’t buy the ‘naysayer opinion’ that there are no decent artists around these days – look further than the end of your nose damnit), and fatcat majors having choked upon their cream and concentrating on downsizing rapidly – there seems to be quite the space in the market for small labels who are willing to work with people they believe in passionately. Especially with the amount of ace industry people, hard-working distributors (in our case Shellshock) and more willing to support the likes of Alcopop, BSM, Smalltown, This is Fake DIY et al.
Sure, the days of finding one breaking artist, receiving a fat pay-off and assimilating yourselves into a major seem to be diminishing – but here at Alcopop we’ve always rather dug our ‘fiercely independent’ tag. Now don’t get me wrong – while I’m not suggesting that if someone came along and offered to help us pump a whole heap of their cash into our dearly beloved artists, I would dismiss it out of hand. But we very much enjoy the freedom to work with bands we know are clearly awesome, and watch them grow knowing that we’re supporting them not just because we think they will sell records…
Indeed, what we lack in cash I hope we make up for in work ethic and creativity – and while major’s deal with the fickle bunch who will turn on an artist who wears the wrong outfit in Heat Magazine, we’re lucky enough to be appealing to people who know their shit – and have supported us since the beginning, by buying the stuff they genuinely like.
However, a new *albeit foggy* threat seems to have emerged today, with well known musical pioneers (ahem) B-Sky-B teaming up with Universal to offer a pay-by-month way of downloading songs. Now although the details are sketchy and only one unwieldy corp has signed up thus far, if a whole heap more put pen to paper, and the subscription fee is reasonable, the most independent artists, who I imagine would seem of little interest to Rupert and his cronies, could lose out – if the world and their dog take to subscribing and using his system, forcing iTunes to its knees.
That’s a bif IF though, and for sure It’s not all doom and gloom though. As Spence on norockandrollfun.com sarcastically puts it “Amy Winehouse, U2, Kanye West, Duffy, Rihanna, Eminem, Elton John and Abba – Wow!!!! I’ve been waiting for a resource from which I could buy stuff from these cutting edge artists for ages!!!”, and like any advance in downloading illegal/ripping MySpace songs – I still firmly hold on to the belief that genuine music fans will buy music/ support live shows… After all – what’s 3 quid on a limited edition debut 3” Data.Select.Party single, or 7.90 on the new My Awesome Compilation album (from Smalltown Records by the way).
I’m conscious I’ve written a lot of words now – and I don’t want to bang on unnecessarily, but I guess I just wanted to address the issue of the day, and in a way – a hearty thank you all for supporting us. I’m not naïve enough to suppose that the good name of Alcopop will be forever and divinely protected against whatever tempestuous wave of uncertainty the music industry is propelled headlong into next, but I feel pretty safe for now. So I’d like to raise an Alcopop to you – and the fact that man (pictured) doesn’t totally dominate the music industry just yet!
Lv Jack PoP
The Poster’s super-sweet and I think it is an image of me, drawn all hulked up… (Maybe) For any of you non Guildford, Yeovil, London, Windsor, Bournemouth, Hereford or Leeds folk out there fear not – simply buy a travel card!
For more info, click the poster…
And as the next of our summer festivals passed by with plenty of incident, and delight… I can heartily suggest that Truck was THE weekend of the Summer this far. Dodgy were back to their brilliant best (albeit looking a good 60 years old in the process), Rolo Tomassi ripped me limb from limb with their explosive performance, and only the Lemonheads really disappointed – Evan looking washed up, and appearing about as exciting as a night in with nothing but an 8 pack of Carling C2 and Series 1 of Murder She Wrote on VHS.
Meanwhile, I was delighted earlier to note the new Cut the Blue Wire tour poster on their MySpace which looks really cool, and you would be wise to take a peek at, and attend forthwith. Of most note – Saturday’s show at Alcopopalooza, which is coming together a right old treat, with loads of awesome bands, free BBQ, booze and DJs till late – so if you have any requests drop us an email with them.
Tickets can be purchased here for just six quid, and while it is with regret we have to announce the withdrawal of Secondsmile, we can happily let you know they have been replaced not only with Mike (ex 4 or 5 Magicians) from Stars and Sons (about your favourite band you’ve never heard – trust me), but also Paul Steel – who will be treating all to a 20 minute solo piano-led acoustic set.
If you haven’t heard his name before… Check out Honkin’ on my Crack Pipe… And see you Saturday!
Just a quick one, but everybody likes a guaranteed winner – and the latest BSM promo is just that. Without a legal licence to accept your hard earned cash on foolish bets, Kev (pictured below) has kindly offered a shiny disc from the extremely hearty BSM back catalogue to any punter who can succesfully predict the winner of the upcoming 5-a-side tournament.
Easy – pop over here, type in the word ‘Alcopop’ and your email address and press send. Win!
This week’s been a bit of a blur – and opened my eyes to what is definitely the worst part of being involved with Alcopop Records. No f**king expense accounts. At last night’s fun-filled industry fest of a Pavilion show, how I baulked on my cheap rum as the rest of my pals quaffed back handsome amounts of booze, all the time charging it back to their record label/ booking agent sugar-daddies. (anyone fancy investing in Alcopop? *smiles*)
Still – the night was tremendous, mostly down the libidinous bunch of chums out, Pavilions great (if technically troubled) Barfly show and Kev’s birthday which saw us traverse venues (at least one of whom offered us a free box of Indian sweets), until – with no place left to go – we popped by a chums in Camden. Emerging several hours later, we were shouted at by police for unwittingly entering a crime scene and finished up rolling home at gone 5am on the Oxford Tube – rock n’ roll.
Still – ‘twas great times, and reinforced to me how absolutely awesome Pavilion are. If you haven’t listened to them yet, take a butchers over at their MySpace page, or download the Alcopodcast to hear an exclusive interview and some acoustic tracks.
In other news, although a number of my big names seem to have pulled from the Alcopop 5-a-side team (no Peter Beardsley it seems – terrible news) the squad is shaping up to resemble a magnificent warhorse on the pitch. Indeed, our goalkeeper Thomas Day (infamous for being banned from all competitive football by the local Oxfordshire FA after punching a chav and flipping the bird to the referee) – has promised not to concede a goal. A proud boast indeed, and who would argue with a man willing to take on all-comers in this aggressive wrestling stance (pictured)…
Last of all, but by no means least, Alcopop shall be attending Truck Festival this weekend, not only in an attempt to find ‘our new favourite band’ (any tips give us a shout), but also to tip a cheery wave to lovable roster eccentrics The Family Machine – who are on Saturday at 5pm at The Village Pub, Pub Rock Stage. For anyone at the festival, go and say hello and they promise they will give you a kiss or blow a raspberry on your tummy. Now that’s value you can’t argue with!!
As a number of you will know, Alcopop was conceived, co-owned and run by myself and Kev from Big Scary Monsters Records – a sterling chap with a wit of gold, and a work-ethic of steel… Handsome of face (though fairly shit at poker) I always regarded him as the best of friends – that is until now, and the image that greeted me on iTunes when I popped online this morning to check on the new Alcopop podcast, which can be downloaded here.
You see, although I was delighted to note that the first edition of ‘Alcopodcast’ had gone live, for free on iTunes, and contained exclusive music and interviews with Sam Isaac, Pavilion – along with music from This City, CTBW and Data.Select.Party (as well as a competition to win a T-Shirt and magnificent banter from the podcast team)… I was less delighted with the picture that advertised said fact.
You see – it is me, dressed as a lobster and pulling perhaps the worst face ever. It would be no understatement to say I look f**king horrible – and somewhat unfairly, for that I blame Kev entirely. Coupled with that it’s up on iTunes now and available to the world for free – *sigh*
Still – you can’t deny the lad (me) in the suit is making a good point – Go on… Do what the lobster says!
At last! After the tepid support act of Euro 2008, the build up and banter of this season’s REAL football tournament has begun…! That’s right, as the BSM bigwigs (AKA Kev and Ivano), ably supported by last years winning captain Sam Duckworth have made the draw for this year’s fabled BSM 5-A-SIDE EXTRAVAGANZA! And Alcopop look to be the golden outsiders for the crown*…
After a team made up largely of 4 or 5 Magicians members spluttered to a respectable 2nd place in the group stages (smashing up Rocksound 6-3 on the way) last year, sadly failing to make the semi-finals – we retired, burned but not beaten, licking our wounds and ready to return in 2008 to take our rightful place at the top of the indie music industries footballing tree. Luckily, our dominators of last year, The Fly, have withdrawn (along with any 4 or 5 Magicians involvement due to their summer tour) – so this year, the usually oh-so-pleasant Alcopop team have new enemies.
Therefore, it is with a wry footballing smile that I shall lead a specially selected squad comprising of Alcopop staff, friends, Cut the Blue Wire, goFASTER>> and James Grant Management, who will hopefully bring Peter Beardsley, into pitched footballing battle in the Group (of) D(esperate challenges). “Death to Rolo Tomassi, Banquet Records and Gold Management!” shall be firmly pressed upon our lips.
The tournament, featuring 16 teams of varying ability – and plenty of hungover souls praying that a concoction of relentless, greasy food and former school football team glories will see them through, will take place the day after Alcopopalooza (27th July) at the Linford Christie Sports Centre in Laaaaaaandon. More info here. Anyone who fancies popping along to pitch in some well needed support alongside (possibly) Coxy, will be more than welcome.
Sol Davies (ex Luton and Swindon) is especially invited – see wonderful tackle below…
* According to those at http://www.paddypopper.com
Two stages, mega-boozing and around 8 hours of awesome live music, DJs and to herald the summer in true Alcopop style, this ones going to be big! Alcopop would like to cordially invite you to our big ol’ summer bash – ALCOPOPALOOZA – Just as good as its American namesake (ahem), and a whole shed-load cheaper to put together, just take a look at this magnificently rendered poster (featuring alcocroc), and buy tickets here for just £6!
Just in case you hate pictures, you’ll be pleased to know that it features 12 bands and solo artists – including The Xcerts, The Computers, This City, Secondsmile (with their first EVER acoustic set) Pavilion, Cut the Blue Wire, Attika State, Flash Flash Photography, Decades, House of Brothers, Russell Joslin and Sean Clothier. There’s a free BBQ as doors open at 4, and special guest DJs and Alcopop regulars playing an eclectic mix of retro pop, classic 90s indie, electro beats and modern anthems (not forgetting Kev’s ill-advised Nu-Metal hits machine).
Whatsmore, Alcopop will be taking part in the BSM 6-a-side tournament the next day, so anyone who fancies sticking around and watching one of the best footie tournaments to take place… EVER.. is more than welcome.