Posts tagged ‘Oxford’
Former stablemates, ever brothers, Ute were a classy bunch. Oxfordian gents by day, wretched drunkards by night – they co-existed in a magnificent haze, half melody, half tumultuous swathes of dark post rock terror… All fucking handsome! So it’s rather nice that 2/3 of the band (Ollie and Michael) have whipped us O-Towners into something of a frenzy by getting something new on. Old Grinding Young is the project name, and a track for free is their only output.
It’s definitely worth a listen… You can check it out over here – and the good news is that amongst deliciously crafted melodic ditties about incest, crumbling boats and tyranny – there’s a big, Innocent Tailor style murder ballad in the offing right now.
God I miss them, but this is hot new delicacy… Listen (and download free) right away!
Yada yada – another day another column. I apologise for pushing my witterings at you, but who knows – you might just fancy a butchers fair poppers. Today it’s the fantastic kids at RockMidget who have posted my words – specifically about the grand old Oxford music scene (or what little I know of it) and what on earth it’s doing. And the answer is ‘rather a lot considering’.
Just whisk yourself away into this lovable picture of the dreaming spires to read on, and find out who I think are worth a gander next time you drop anchor in our fair city… x
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…
The bleak midwinter is a dangerous place to be… Especially if you’re a Luton Town supporting snowman!
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.
Happy Thursday folks… Make it a better day by enjoying Ross from My First Tooth’s tip of the day… Here it is!
“So you’re on your bicycle, and you see one of those ‘really professionally dressed cyclists’ ahead…pedal as hard as you can, overtake them, feel like a winner, then take the next exit off the road. Stop, turn around and watch them ride by with that ‘i could’ve taken them but i’ll never get to prove it look upon their face’. Priceless.“
Boris salutes you Ross!
“Enjoying the same sandpapered finish as Beirut and Bon Iver, My First Tooth and the Rubies EP makes you wish for a front porch, a sunset and a song of your own to sing, that could match Honesty Honestly for it’s beauty.
Typewriters almost replicates its namesake rythmically whilst it is steeped in honey-thick violin and melodies that reach for the open road.
Oak cured alt-country“
Lovely bit of writing – thanks Martyn Boyle!
Now I’m off to get drunk with some folks from the real world. I imagine, as bank holiday approaches, that the bars will be filled with mega-c**ts on their annual ‘one day out of the year’, dressed to the nines (possibly even tens), shovelling down wine like it was water and crying/vomiting/screaming about some long lost office argument at around 8pm – before having their soiled bodies thrown into a cab by fat co-workers.. and spending the rest of the weekend in bed, hoping they won’t be sacked on Tuesday.
Know good Alcopoppers – that I can guarantee none of these folk will own an Alcopop release, let alone think a crocodile on a skateboard is cool. In fact they probably think that Fierce Panda would be a public nuisance, and that Moshi Moshi is a dubious dish they buy from the Chinese takeaway of an evening.
In other words – you’re bloody ace… Know this
I sometimes feel a touch bad that when it gets all down and regional on this lovely Alcopop blog, that despite the spread of our bands up and down the country – we tend to focus on Oxford and London when it comes to gigs, dancing and that DJing sort o’ thing.
Well – this morning is no different (sorry), as I felt it pretty much my solemn duty to let you know that tonight at The Regal (you know Oxford residents, that super-club on the Cowley Road that failed but is beginning the process of reinventing itself with a refreshingly indie facelift) will see not only Jack PoP once again taking his rightful place behind a couple of sweaty decks with a bottle of spirits in hand, but also Alcopop favourites This City take the stage!
They’ll be on at 10ish, so make sure you’re in in plenty of time… Oh, and tell em your on Jack from Alcopop’s guest list for a quid or two off. There’s rumours of shots for 50p (as yet unconfirmed), but if they are – I expect to see you on the floor
Here’s a flyer… Capiche
Ah – what a week, and apologies for lack of updates once again. In-between plenty of gigs with my own band, the This City release show and trekking across the country to pick up records, CDs, meet with management et al – and now find myself in the unenviable position of coming by a ticket for tomorrows FA Cup Qualifying Round 2 match to see the mighty Garforth Town take on Guisely AFC. A firecracker in store for sure, and almost certainly worth the 7 hour round trip it’s bound to take to get up to sunny Yorkshire.
And it’s good news on several fronts in the Alcopop stable too, with the good steed Pavilion whinnying particularly proudly after snaring #13th place in the official indie charts some month after releasing their exceptional record ‘Spoils of War’.
Cut the Blue Wire too have been receiving a fair bit of nice press in the dawn of their new EP ‘Revert Restart Reset’, Punktastic stating “Every time I hear a new BSM/Alcopop band I proclaim them my new favourite on the label. It’s usually lazy journalism, but I’m serious – Kev and co seem to outdo themselves with every release”, while New Noise have asked for “More please. Much, much more.”
In time boys, in time!
And now away with me – for I’m off to enjoy a good night of dancing too ‘Feeling Gloomy at Oxford Zodiac’ – oh and incidentally, anyone in the Oxford locale next week, do pop down to The Regal on Wednesday for a floor-filling night of Alcopop DJs busting out massive tunes, and This City playing live… I can barely bloody wait!
Oh – and finally – it’s good news brought to us by The Rambler, who says… “So the Rudd Government (Kevin07 for the kiddies playing at home), has finally admitted that the alcopop tax introduced in April of this year is a big flop and has been outed was what it was designed for all along – another revenue raiser.”
Yeah – have that taxman…. Surely one of the worlds most evil professions! Need proof? Just look what they did to Superman – bah!
Ah that loveale scamp is upto his old tricks again, and as all the members of the Alcopop family are busy touring, thrusting records into the hands of the unsuspecting public or busying themselves in studios across the land – good ol’ Jamie of The Family Machine has taken rather a different approach to spending September. I’ll let Jay from The Family Machine take up the story…
“Jamie (our glorious Family Machine lead singer) is embarking on the jorney of a lifetime with two good buddies, Liam (of local rising stars Cat Matador) and Bonamy ( Who may be better known to you as ‘the drum guy’ from Oxford’s PMT music store). It’s an overland journey to Greece… ‘no big deal’ I hear you say… EXCEPT these brave lads and true are undertaking this journey on Honda C90 mopeds… Yes you heard me correctly, HONDA C90 MOPEDS!!! If you don’t know what I mean, stick the name in to google images and you will get a whole load of pictures of these shetland ponies of the road!!
What’s more dear friends, they are doing all for charity… Sobell House Hospice to be precise. They have set the very achievable (!) target of raising £100,0000 for this good cause… Always good to shoot for the moon!!
It has already been a story full of twists and turns… Not least that some damned reprobate stole Jamie’s C90 from outside his work a couple of days ago… Just a week before the trip begins… The long and the short of it being that Jamie had to go to Surrey yesterday to purchase a new steed… Incidentally, if you do see anyone riding a C90 with the registration F377 OVX… CALL THE COPS!!
If we are lucky they might actually do something, that is if they are not all too busy watching speed cameras and reading peoples emails to check if they are ‘terrorists’!! If you want to donate or know more about the trials and tribulations of our group of intrepid explorers then just google ‘C90 Dreams’ and click on the top entry to find their blog and details of how to get involved…”
And fear not people who don’t like to stray from www.ilovealcopop.co.uk (and who can blame you), cos we’ll be loosely following their progress as they wend their way inexorably to their final destination… Jamie, we salute you sir! Oh, and for anyone who is still yet to purchase the brilliant FM debut album ‘You Are The Family Machine’ – do so while Jamie’s a ridin’ from our shop, and Alcopop will doate 100% of our slice of the revenue to the charity appeal. Oh, and our pals at STNF have recently shoved up a few words.. If you got a minute to spare read them now…