Archive for October, 2009
Anyone who knows co-owner of Alcopop Kev, will rightly be aware he’s currently sunning himself (well, shivering) in the big apple – following The Gat Up Kids on tour, hanging with Morgan Freeman and shimmying down cocktails at 10am. This is rightly making me very jealous – although I can bring myself to revel in his joy.
However, those who know Kev even better will know he’s also a big Reading fan, and being of the Sky Blue persuasion (Coventry City indeed) myself, today’s match which pits the two sides together is bloody massive. Despite mis-firing all season, resembling half cut, crippled mules trotting around a football pitch whilst sporting extremely thick blindfolds – Reading are still a threat, and if they beat Coventry today, it will be a disaster. A disaster unparalleled.
So today I call upon all poppers who are pure of heart and fresh of soul, to pray to the gods of football that today doesn’t end in disaster. Because despite the fact that my estememed business partner, and all round charming pal is thousands of miles away – just won’t stop the mock if we lose….
This is a massive game! Feel for me Team PoP!!!
At the turn of 2008 I, with a million others no doubt, found Spotify, and since then we’ve all been tear-stained on our grass stained knees, wringing our hands in humble awe – thanking them for bringing x billion songs to our unworthy ears via the joy of streaming. Songs that we can then discard as over-hyped balls, or trot off to our nearest online e-tailer to purchase (maybe anyway)…
Well now, it is with great delight that I can announce that Alcopop related tracks are a-headed up thick and fast. No that’s not to say that the whole back catlogue is up there, far from it (although that’s not to say it won’t happen in the future) – but what I can tell you is that I’ve created a nice, none-to- imposing Alcopop playlist ‘Alcopop Tarts’ featuring some of the magnificent bands of the last year or so who have done us the service of releasing with us…
Every now and then, you’re sitting in a little music venue, and between bands the conversation will turn to Andrew WK. “Have you seen that ‘destroy, build, destroy’ trailer” someone will say – which will be replied immediately with something like “no, but how about that piano battle set up via video in the interview”, or maybe “did you see him vomit at that Queens College show the other day”.
Well here’s another BRILLIANT Andrew WK moment – this time, settling once and for all the age old, ‘who would win in a weather off – WK or Michael Fish’ debate… Move over Mickey, Andrew’s got it down!
We don’t get much Alcopop coverage on drowned in sound… Not a lot indeed. But it is with proud faces and handsome grins that I’d like to point to their most recent single of the week column (occupied by the Candle Thieves), point an outstretched thumb at the offending article and say – y’know, we’re on wotcha.
The review is nice enough, with the reviewer feeling “confident it will appeal to those of you mourning the likes of Aberfeldy. Or those with a fondness for perky ditties what are darker than they first seem”. She goes on, “because this song is actually all about how we’re all going to die. So not quite as cute as it sounds.”
But kinda cooler than the article itself is the way it happened… Step forward Andre Wonder (PR guru helping le Candle Thieves) who responded to reviewer Wendy Roby’s power-hungry offer to make a track ‘single of the week’ if “it was sung down the phone to her” – by bloody doing it (video below)! His voice is not quite as heart-achingly beautiful as TCT Scott’s, but fair play on the effort old chap.
For his next trick Andre will be burping Stagecoach’s We Got Tazers to Jools Holland for a slot on next weeks show…. Maybe
It wouldn’t be an Alcopop show if everything went to plan, and despite last Saturday (and a bit)’s show at RoTa being quite a remarkable rock n’ roll orgy of ace (busiest RoTa’s been in months according to the organiser – get in Team PoP ) it was not without it’s teething problems. Gigjunkie will explain from their point of view….
“After searching for forty minutes [for the venue], I received a text from Scott McEwan of The Candle Thieves; informing me they had broken down on the M25 and might not be able to make it at all – a rather bad start to the day!
However, despite the initial problems, all turned out well. The RAC rescued The Candle Thieves, and the venue [which we'd walked past dozens of times] opened it’s doors as if to say sarcastically “Yes, I’m here – you haven’t looked foolish trying to find me at all.”
But despite the difficulties – with a generous double fisting of free beer bottles, it was plain sailing… And as the all-Alcopop line up took the stage, and the punters poured in, we were rockin’. The Candle Thieves, fresh from the busom of the RAC, delighted the crowd with honey sweet melodies, delicious faces and hand claps galore, My First Tooth launched into a veritable marathon of folk-fused modern day classics – do you dance? Do you laugh at the lush melodies or cry at the bitter sentiments hinted at? All three at respectable levels (perhaps simultaneously) recommended.
Then it was time for Stagecoach, who showcased a new stage show which really rocked – with crowd pummeling Nick furiously thrashing within the crowd while Tom became perhaps the first Mandolin player to pull a flying leap from atop a bass drum ever… In short, breathtaking… On decks Nathan T Pyle kept the punters entertained with a smattering of The Candyskins and Arrows of Love, whilst Richard from Ten Speed Photography took marvelous photographs.
All in all, a splendid day – and a favourable setting for the launch of the Stagecoach We Got Tazers EP… Strong times ladies and gentlemen, strong times…. Oh, and cheers so much for coming y’all!
We’ve just got back from a startlingly fine weekend at ITC, and unbelievable tiredness is tearing at my eyes like a rake to leaves… Therefore, this will be a short post. More to come tomorrow, but for now let me delight and entertain with this magnificent video of Stagecoach, playing Good Luck with Your 45, live in Dorking.
Now – terrorists and big chefs…
Just remembered I wrote this for the latest edition of the very ace – A Short Fanzine About Rockin’… Way back when the air was warm and the skys were a dramatic blue. I think it’s still relevant though A little bit anyway..
I’m not one to whinge generally, but sitting alone at home suffering with the dreaded swine flu haplessly trying to direct my haplessly drunk girlfriend, via mobile phone, to a tent she can’t find at a festival I would desperately love to be at makes my rarely seen pessimistic side think that – at times summer-life can be a big bag of shit….
On the other hand I muse, with the Wire series 5 stuffed into my DVD player, and life otherwise resembling something like that awesome late 90s indie episode of TOTP which featured Gay Dad, The Sebadoh and The Offspring (come on, it was ace at the time and Lou Barlow is always cool) – it’s not all bad. And that’s mainly down to the way we soundtrack it…
What I think we’re missing though is enough massive raw powerpop 5-8 track EP/mini-albums that oh so often blasted out through youthful summers with the kind of rattling enthusiasm that could provide accompaniment for a whole summer of drunken fun. I’m talking Alcopop by Midget, Captain by Idlewild, All Hail Urusei Yatsura and, to get a little more contemporary about things, hell, A Modern Education by goFASTER>>.
So my rallying cry for this summer and every summer beyond is that, as a nation’s youth (ish in some cases) we should seize upon some classic nugget of a mini-album, and play the fuck out of it – and make sure everyone in remote proximity is, willingly or not, exposed to late night parties, sun-drenched sessions and general whatever else with that particular soundtrack firmly at hand, so in years future everyone can recall the summer of ‘insert ace mini-album here’.
I had a mate once who spent the entire summer of 98 blasting One Day at a Time by Symposium out of his window whilst smoking weed and playing ISS Pro… British summers may be short, but he owned that one!
“Gentle readers”, begins Ross on his most recent blog post…
“October tour is here.
It’s way too late to cancel.
So you had better come.
We have new songs.
And one of us has had dental work.”
You know it’s tour time when My First Tooth are in town! And who can deny that popping to an MFT show is one of life’s pleasures that always scores bang on… They’re playing the following dates as of like… Now! Or check out the poster. They’ve managed to slip a few Stagecoach related bills into the list too – which is probably/definitely/certainly bloody ace!
Oct14th – Cardiff, Buffalo Bar
Oct 15th – Cheltenham, 2 Pigs (w/Poppy & Friends)
Oct 16th – Oxford, Cellar Bar (w/Stagecoach)
Oct 17th – Rushden, AMEF @ Pemberton Centre (w/Retro Spankees)
Oct 18th – Manchester, ITC @ Space (w/Stagecoach)
Oct 19th – Leeds, Gaslight Club (w/Poppy & Friends)
Oct 20th – York, City Screen Basement (w/Poppy & Friends)
It’s always fun trying gigs somewhere that little bit different… So last Thursday Alcopop took to G&D’s Ice Cream Parlour on the Cowley Road in Oxford (so a bit of a homecoming show in essence). How lovely it was, and amidst copious amounts on magnificent flavoursome ice cream (with gummy bears the only choice) a vaguely confused crow gathered, wondering what to expect. I too wondered. Slightly worried.
On first, and supplying the PA were the charming Boog who impressed a strong local following, before The Family Machine swept up the gig in a folk-tinged fist of glory. Reminiscent of a bunch of old country yokels (without the straw hats) they sat on a bench and regailed delighted revellers with new songs, old songs and all sorts really. They were ace; consummately delicious some might say. In terms of ice cream, imagine a big nutty caramel swirl served on a wafer – with added smartie topping.
Then came the Candle Thieves, clearly delighted with the scene, to deliver what has to go down as one of the top ice cream shows ever seen in Oxfordshire…. Sparklers, glockenspiels, ceremonial reveries of some starry-eyed kids and more, they left the stage to a standing ovation. Hot chocolates and sugar topped waffles flying about in abject happiness. A super night!
Ah it was ace… Thanks to G&Ds for putting it on, and look out for the next one. It will be ace I promise thee.
Plucked from the Surrey Hills, 5 piece Stagecoach write powerpop for BMX kids about the usual things – hot dogs, girls and cars… But gosh don’t they do it well. Harmonious, balls out indie rock with more hooks than an octopus said we, and We Got Tazers EP is out on Alcopop Records now!
Ole! say some.. Eat My Goal say others.. All are pretty set on one thing though, and that’s that the EP’s bloody ace. The first 100 all come with a lovely extra bonus disc of the EP too… It’s in black and white rather than vinyl look, but it’s there so that you can pass on the EP to your most musically competent pal – and share the love of Stagecoach around…
Brilliant times! Brilliant Stagecoach times that have been shared by some epic blogs as well – We always love Come Pick Me Up, they don’t come much more handsome than Rock Midgets, Musos Guide pwn, Winston’s Zen is literally the finest blog this side of Rumania, Another Form of Relief (kiss kiss kiss) and Belfast Calling are ace too.
In other less brilliant news though, I must apologise to anyone who hasn’t received their pre-order yet. They are now in the post but went out a couple of days late due to Jack PoP being temporarily homeless, and Kev being busier than a barrel load of monkeys who have just been set to a treadmill with not a moments rest for their tiny little monkey pins.
Many apologies xx