It’s been a few weeks since my gig at Henry’s Cellar Bar with The Occasional Flickers and Thank You So Nice (TYSN).
Here’s the board outside the venue on the night in question…
I’ve no idea who Dr. No is, but he sounds like a fun dude. ’60s, ska, rock steady and early reggae? All in one night? Phew!
Anyway, back to the matter at hand. The gig on the 9th of March was great fun. I have to say a huge thank you to TYSN for inviting me to come and play.
I also want to say a massive thanks to my special guests who were kind enough to join me on stage; Simon Herron, Sam Bradley and Kelagh O’Neill.
Kelagh provided vocals on my most recent LP ‘Like Lovers‘ but took on the challenge of learning parts for 2 new songs. Here we are duetting on ‘Roll’ in a very different version to the way it appears on ‘Like Lovers’…
Just for comparison’s sake, here’s ‘Roll’ as it appears on the LP…
In further gig related news, I’ve been invited to headline The Listening Room in The Blue Blazer pub, Edinburgh on Sunday June 30th at 8pm.
I previously headlined The Listening Room last year and it was great fun.
For those who aren’t familiar with the concept, The Listening Room is completely unplugged. That is, no mics, wires or nonsense. Just performer and audience in the same room, sharing an evening.
The night starts at 7pm, with several artists performing up to 3 of their own compositions. Just FYI, the standard is intimidatingly high! You will not regret coming along early. The night is rounded off by the featured performer who goes on around 8pm.
Thank you so much to everyone who came along to gig at Henry’s. I’d be so pleased if you wanted to come and see me again (or for the first time!) at The Listening Room on June 30th
Posted in Arran Arctic News
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Every now and again, I come across a record that has the power to make me perform a complete 180. That is, on the initial listen I’ll absolutely hate it, but over time come to love it more than my (as yet non-existent) children.
‘Something‘ by Chairlift is one of these records.
A while back, on first listening to PJ Harvey‘s ‘Let England Shake‘, I publicly decreed my dissatisfaction… then later had to humbly repent. I decided to learn from past mistakes and keep my gut reaction to ‘Something’ under my hat. And boy, did it pay off!
It seems there’s value in the old adage; “if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. Mainly because it allows you to skip the apologies when you later have lots of nice things to say!
Like most folk, Chairlift initially came to my attention by way of an Apple iPod commercial featuring their song ‘Bruises’ from their debut album ‘Does You Inspire You‘.
Between then and now, Chairlift have abandoned their icy indie in favour of punchy pop. Along the way they’ve lost a member but gained something much more valuable, a sense of fun.
That’s not to say ‘Does You Inspire You’ is a bad record. On the contrary, it’s an album I return to again and again. But, where ‘Something’ surpasses its predecessor is in it’s willingness to give front woman Caroline Polachek’s vocals free reign.
Although her vocals have always been front and centre, Polachek really shines on ‘Something’. One rarely hears such accomplished technical vocal ability sans auto tune. Don’t believe me? Listen to Chairlift live…
I’ll admit there are a few tracks on ‘Something’ that I’m not fussed on. However, there is always at least one moment or melody that is worth waiting for on every song, and band mate Patrick Wimberley’s production is flawless throughout.
What has also helped this record win me round are the band’s fantastic alternative promotional videos (see above regarding newly found sense of fun!). The Japanese version of ‘I Belong In Your Arms’ and karaoke style video are justification enough for the new fans Chairlift are no doubt winning.
And here’s another version of ‘Met Before’ with Mystery NYC girl group vocalists accompanied by fucked up bass guitar. Listen to those choral harmonies!
I’d strongly suggest anyone who initially passed on ‘Something’ go back for a second listen. I, for one, am really glad I did. And the record is all the more enjoyable without having to eat my own words!
Posted in Reading / Listening / Watching
Tagged aaron, actic, alternate, alternative, aran, arctic, arms, arran, arron, artic, before, belong, bruises, caroline, chairlift, does, in, indie, inspire, met, patrick, polachek, pop, something, video, videos, wimberley, you, your