Archive for February, 2010
So sorry, but tomorrow I’m a-coming home from Poland and normal service shall be resumed. Reviews and love for Screaming Maldini meanwhile has been coming through thick and fast (so many links to share with you), the SM/ S&S tour was mindbogglingly super – and Kev has been working hard on putting something pretty damn tasty together for you Oxford types next week.
For sure, it’s time to hit Oxford’s finest ice cream parlour again (on the 4th March – this very Thursday indeed!) - with My First Tooth and BSM favourites Shoes and Socks Off... Free entry, ice cream to go and awesome acts yeah – you know it makes sense!
It’s all go at Alcopop at the moment, and myself and handsome Kev are pretty much loving every minute of it. Big party on Monday night at Old Blue Last, Screaming Maldini receiving props from every quarter in town – and so why not add to the already swinging party with a new signing, right?
So – as I write this our new lot are just about finishing off a startlingly rock n’ roll set in Brixton – rampaging around, trumpeting hit after massive hit – we’re ready to announce that hot on the heels of the rather gentler Aspen Sails, Elephants have joined the Alcopop roster. Yes, yes. And it’s some kind of pop punk joy that we can reveal probably this bunch of hard-partying heroes from Kent (managed by the lovely Parry from idle Hands) will be putting out a very limited single with us early in the summer months, with an EP hot on its heels in the Autumn time.
Recent tour buddies of Stagecaoch, Elephants have some serious pedigree, (there are some serious tusks on these beasts), previously releasing with good pals Vacuous Pop and gaining much love from some serious sources. Zane Lowe reckons they’re “Great”, whilst lovelies God is in the TV reckon they “combine youthful bounciness with a fat guitar sound without making you want to punch the nearest ugly person”. Also, they’re recent touring buddies of Stagecoach, and with the two good as inseparable, what better reason to get involved!
As Greg Cochrane said of their performance at Radio 1’s Big Weekend: “African elephants have big ears. Indian elephants have smaller ears. These Elephants, from Kent, just have good ears.” True indeed! Go listen, and almost certainly love…
My First Tooth – always so so busy touring from here to there and back again…. Are now busy in the studio baby. Yes, yes. As this video shows…! Well, in truth it really shows Ross rocking out, Gammers looking hot, Jo thrashing bass like there aint no tomorrow and Joal y’know – hanging out being a consummate muso type. I’m convinced Sophie must be in there somewhere too, but I just couldn’t see her. I do have eyes of a wombat though (I don’t really, but y’know).
You want panoramic views of London too? Hell yes – you want to watch a bit of this:
Do you remeber ‘Whittle’ on Channel 5? Great show, people wore masks, noone other than me seems to remember it… Well if you are one of the sage few stroking your chin and saying “ah yes, now there was a show”, then you’ll be pleased to have a butchers at this magnificent pic of Tim Vine, captured by good ‘PoP soldiers The Candle Thieves last night (Glock pictured glaring at what must be a flyer misprint). If not you should look at it anyway…
I have no words of explanation, no idea how this magnificent meeting of minds took place. But what I do know is that if you own The Candle Thieves Sunshine EP, you should know that you’re in very, very good company!
8.00pm on a Saturday night and quite frankly, I’m lacking inspiration. Been packing up Screaming Maldini CDs to the accompaniment of Winter Olympics all afternoon, I’m a few beers down after a majestic Coventry City victory this afternoon against floundering Palace – so all things considered probably a fine time to tell you about Monday night. Sure, sure…
Really – it’s an Alcopop explosion right? Because with Screaming Maldini, Stagecoach and Ross from My First Tooth all treading the boards alongside former PoP pals Stars & Sons, everything will be coming up lovely. And what’s more, it’s all free, free, free to get in. Can’t beat a bit of that. So Old Blue Last tomorrow is surely the only place to be in London town… And if you need more convincing you can download a free Screaming Maldini and Stars & Sons track just here.
Oh, and The 405 & Alcopop DJs will be dropping bombs inbewteen acts…! Yes!
Say you’ll be there.
It’s been a while since we announced the signing of Screaming Maldini in a firework laden splash of excitement – so it seems about time that the Alcopop family (lets for a moment pretend they’re a happily grazing herd of horses) welcome the newest foal into the stable, nuzzle him gently and show him to the oatbag. Is this a ridiculous analogy? Neigh! So without further ado, it is my pleasure to announce Alcopop’s newest recruits. Aspen Sails!
Lazily comparing them to other bands is nigh on impossible, but ideal for those who enjoy soul-searching folk-infused indie with the kind of river-deep soul that the likes of Fleet Foxes, Iron and Wine and My First Tooth deliver with aplomb… It should be perfect. The duo, recently named as BBC Radio Gloucester’s band of the year, quite an accolade no doubt, have been on the PoP radar for some time, and after some storming shows in the latter part of 2010, sealed the deal, as it were.
The 405 said of them that they have “harmonious music that had the atmosphere of an endearing American county ballad. They had the skill to silence the room with such soaring vocals and foot-tapping sequences”, whilst The Fly were also keen to wax lyrical “perfect harmonies, songs that will melt your heart.”
Their debut single (following a freely downloadable EP you can introduce yourselves to here) will be out early in the month of May on an exciting format which, y’know – we’ll tell you all about soon. Strong of face and warm of heart, do take Aspen to your bosom with open arms. Yes!
Owning the internet is ACE! Note to self…. Send out more packs of 1989 Turtle cards with review CDs Next person to put in an order (or send me a nice message) also gets a pack… Go, go, go
It’s not often I like to get all sickly sentimental on the PoP blog (that may or may not be a lie) but Monday night saw the absolute end of an era in Oxford Town when the Cowley Road branch of Videosyncratic, presumably one of the last remaining independent video-rental businesses in the UK, closed its doors for the final time. Now I know it’s probably been on the cards for a while, and a cynic may say ‘who rents DVDs these days’ and they’re probably right…
But that didn’t stop the hordes of wellwishers, bargain hunters and other randoms who showed up for the final night, along with some of Oxford’s finest musicians, to wave goodbye to the place. Amongst such luminaries as Ute, PoP favourites The Family Machine and the charming Richard Walters (ex BSM) – The Candyskins (or 2 of them at least, performed a tear-jerking acoustic set – whilst everyone fought for the remaining couple of copies of Cool Runnings.
But as the sentiment ebbs away and the dust settles on the memories of a once great institution, I cannot help but be left with some of the comments that I heard while I was in there. “Oh, should have come to this place more often” one fella said, whilst another suggested “used to come here a few years ago before on-demand. Shame it’s shutting down”.
Sure is! But with the passing of Videosyncratic (a shop lest we forget that had branched out into selling toys, tees, comics and investing in films beyond just the renting of movies) comes a timely reminder that bricks and mortar indies do still exist, but are continually under threat as ‘progress’ sweeps our beleagured nation.
Whether it be butchers, DVD establishments or cafes whatever… Lets support the indies! Well – actually, having said that, noone should feel obliged to support the indies – it’s not y/our duty to keep everything alive. But if they care, you care and everything’s good – lets get on it! Here’s a video of the (very) latter stages of the career of one of my favourite bands ever, fresh from Monday… Viva las Candyskins…
Apologies any Italians who have got through to this page expecting to find career statistics on their raven-haired former captain Pierluigi – but I’m very glad you did. Because that’ll give me a chance to tell you about the debut EP release by the similarly monikered band from Sheffield, now available in our shop.
Featuring ex-members of local heroes (now sadly departed) The Situationists, Screaming Maldini are nevertheless a very different proposition – somewhere between the likes of Mew and a ‘Muppet Babies Bloc Party’ (God is in the TV zine)… Something like that anyway.
As for the EP itself, the 5 track behemoth hovers somewhere between epic and tumultuous, switching from huge orchestral sonatas to punchier power pop and well, you’ll really have to have a listen to it yourself… As I’m not really sure how to do this one justice.
CD is lovingly artworked and hand crafted with lavish-looking folded cardboard sleeve (with kookaburra present) – and for a very limited period we have mega deal packs to ive away for just a shade over a tenner, which include a magnificent Kookaburra tee (well of course)… But we’ve literally got 20, tops (below), so do order quick.
Oh – and I probably should take this opportunity to tell you that postage rates are fixed in the pop shop however much stuff you buy. 75p to UK for 1 or 1000 discs (although you may struggle to find the latter in our shop J) – so have yourselves a butchers….