Tuesday, 8 July 2014


New Manic Street Preachers album out today. Not heard it yet, but ... I must say I am really looking forward to hearing it. Sounds pretty interesting.

Hopefully they do those Holy Bible shows they've hinted at later this year.


I don't know why I've started writing here again. I just feel the need to write. Not really for an audience, although I'm sure no-one really reads this blog anyway.

Sometimes there is so much going on ... that words on a page somehow feel calming.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Nick Zinner: 41 Strings

Went to the UK premiere of 41 Strings, a 'four-part, classical piece featuring an army of electric and acoustic strings including guitars, violins, violas, cellos and bass, as well as three drummers and synths' composed by Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the other week. Had seen it advertised a while back, but ... given I was away from London for the first two weeks of June I hadn't really given much consideration to going. Saw an offer for cheap tickets on Time Out a couple of days before the show. Seemed no good reason not to check it out.

Nick Zinner is definitely one of my heroes. I don't really go in for the whole starstruck thing, but ... there's definitely a few guitarists that I admire. Suppose I first discovered the Yeah Yeah Yeahs during sixth form. Think Miles Away was on the NME's New Rock Revolution compilation, if I remember correctly. Listened to the Master EP a lot when I finally managed to pick it up. And even saw them play at Manchester University (in February 2003) shortly before Fever To Tell was released. Right at the front in a small sweaty room after driving up with some close friends. Good memories. Getting crushed trying to watch them in the tent at Leeds Festival in August 2003 was memorable for less positive reasons. Seeing them back at Manchester Academy in April 2004 was better as Nick stood next to me whilst watching the support band. The guitar playing on those first couple of releases was so inventive. A lot different to what I was otherwise listening to around that time. I think I've spoke about my excessively large man-crush enough for a picture to be painted, ... I believe this guy is seriously talented.

So back to the show. First up was a composition called IIII, a rhythmic composition (performed by four drummers) based on 'the changing of the four season'. It was immensely powerful stuff. The crowd was pretty stunned after it was over.

And then 41 Strings. I made some notes as soon as it finished. I wanted to share my feelings with one friend. A fellow music geek. Music can be so life affirming at times. And this performance just made me feel elated. I described it as 'the sort of music that makes you want to laugh, cry, drink JD and get laid'. And I stand by that - the fact that Nick Zinner favourited my tweet saying something to similar effect also made me geek out quite a bit too. It's sounds kinda stupid, but ... sometimes you just need to indulge yourself as a music junkie. And the simplest pleasures are the most satisfying, of course. Ah, the final movement was just stunning.

Apparently you can stream the whole piece here. I'm not even sure I want to though, as I doubt it could live up to the expectations created by my memory. Maybe one day soon.

Event: Nick Zinner: 41 Strings
Further details: Part of James Lavelle's Meltdown. UK Premiere.
Venue: Royal Festival Hall, London
Date: Friday, 20 June 2014

I did also see the Yeah Yeah Yeahs play twice last July. To complete the full history of the, um ... five times that I have seen them. Managed to get tickets for a Latitude Festival warm-up gig at Islington Academy in the pre-sale. Somehow! It was incredible. An 800 capacity venue. I kept it together mostly, but ... I think I was dancing like a loon by the time they finished with Date With The Night. A couple of songs from the Master EP too. Art Star was awesome.

Unfortunately the person I dragged along with me just doesn't seem to get the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. She liked that one bit of that one song. Feel like giving her the ticket was such a waste. [sigh]

Setlist, as taken from setlist.fm.
  • Bang
  • Black Tongue
  • Under the Earth
  • Gold Lion
  • Slave
  • Cheated Hearts
  • Subway
  • Wedding Song
  • Zero
  • Turn Into
  • Despair
  • Art Star
  • Sacrilege
  • Heads Will Roll
  • Maps
  • Date With the Night
Event: Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Latitude Festival warm-up show
Further details: Supported by The Bots.
Venue: Islington Academy, London
Date: Monday, 15 July 2013

The second time was at Latitude Festival a few days later. Was actually standing quite far back, so definitely not the same experience. But they played Miles Away! I definitely lost it then. That song is quite important in my musical development for sure. Pin was also a massive highlight.

Setlist, as taken from setlist.fm.
  • Zero
  • Gold Lion
  • Sacrilege
  • Mosquito
  • Under the Earth
  • Heads Will Roll
  • Cheated Hearts
  • Maps
  • Despair
  • Pin
  • Miles Away
  • Date With the Night
Event: Latitude Festival 2013: Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Further details: Third on the bill. Performed before Hot Chip and Kraftwerk.
Venue: Henham Park, Suffolk
Date: Saturday, 20 July 2013


You know those times when you just feel an overwhelming sadness. Was just listening to Ready to Start by Arcade Fire. A friend posted it to Facebook. I always found it to be a rather moving song. But I'm not sure I've ever really listened to it before. Not properly. It's like the first time now. I suppose it's about making a big decision. Having the courage to do so. Not doing what is expected of you. But what you need to. That probably makes absolutely no sense. It stuck a chord at this particular moment though.

For some reason it just made me think about all the changes that may/may not be about to happen. Maybe I'm entering a period of melancholy. Been so busy recently. Just keeping my head above water. And filling my spare time with 'stuff' whilst I still have the opportunity. Avoiding reality. For a moment or two.

Eventually you have to decide what you want, right. Then go for it. Perhaps I should actually deal with all those issues that I previously chose to avoid.

Ha. It was probably a bad time to listen to this song.

Next Week

Am determined that next week is going to be awesome. Definitely seeing Tricot. Japanese all-girl math rock. Was quite shocked to see they were playing London. Pretty excited about that actually. Possibly seeing NYPC. Then another day at Hyde Park on Saturday. Before the Cat Empire at Somerset House on Sunday. I may just collapse after all that.

Still love the Cat Empire!


Let's be honest, I'm not altogether happy about how today went. Mostly it was fun. Except when I wasn't losing my mind due to seizures of random stupidity. I managed to go two weeks in Singapore without getting even the slightest sunburn. Three hours in London, I'm a tomato. Added to other careless moments. And random updates. It has been a little disheartening.

The past few days seemed to go so well. Cinema. Gig. Positive life developments. Survived work (for another week). Pleasant drinks. Bands in Hyde Park. Met interesting people. All pretty good. Think I probably got overtired with all the stressful situations happening and managed to lose all semblance of social aptitude by today though.


It has been nice to see old friends over the past few days. And not awkward. Big plus.

Maybe I should write an emo song about my day. Has anyone ever addressed the relationship between emo side fringes and sunburn. I know the truth. Only half my forehead is still white, ...

Oh, well. It is now Monday. I can just move on. And perhaps not look in any mirrors for a few days.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Tron Legacy: Redux II

Best quote of the film

    You're really messing with my zen-thing, man.

Think I'm done with the Jeff Bridges love-in for this evening. Although perhaps I could watch the Big Lebowski tomorrow.