Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Who Was That Masked DJ?

What do the following have in common: a Bruce Springsteen-loving noodle bar, a 19th century gothic chapel, the battleground between two warring radio stations, a Victorian community centre and my mate's kitchen?
That’s right, its me.
Whilst Blunts and Sondek man the radio side of honkjazz I am limited to my performances on the wheels of steel by live music. I play the drumset in a couple of bands which are gigging or rehearsing quite regularly and this means that more often than not I have to miss out on the radio shows .
And there children, is the answer to my earlier conundrum, my puzzler, my quizzlet – they’re the first five gig venues that I’ve played with the latest project. What follows is part information, part memoir, part vitriol  and part advertisement. Infomemtriolisement!

Our first gig was in a local FM radio station. We had no bass player at this point and had only managed a few rehearsals with drums and guitar. The harmonium player had rehearsed with us for about half an hour before the show. We played three songs on a Sunday afternoon folk session and all of the other artists were middle-aged hippies with pot bellies covered by mystic t-shirts depicting a wolf standing near a waterfall with the silhouette of a native American in full headdress in the background. One played fiddly electric guitar through a digital delay pedal. Others played a sort of wishy-washy folk music which made me scratch my head and smoke another roll-up. We played three songs which dip their toes in folk, post-rock, etc.
I find it much more interesting than most bands that I've seen lately and certainly more interesting that the other offerings on this particular afternoon. I don't mean to sound like a music snob but it's prety clear that I am.
We'll discuss that in more detail later.
The next gig was at a noodle bar in Plymouth. I love noodles.
This was a new line-up again with bass guitar replacing the harmonium. It was quite odd playing to a room full of people who were trying to enjoy their noodle dinner and I'm not entirely sure that we were welcome in their lives. And I was really hungry all the way through the set.
After our last song (which is a delicate and haunting piece called ‘A Golden Fire’) the bar staff put their in-house music on which blasted out the hits of Bruce Springsteen at the volume that the hits of Bruce Springsteen truly deserve. Bruce volume or Brolume! (high five someone now)
Delicate and measured psych-folk he ain't. It didn't matter too much as the last of the diners had finished their food and scarpered into the Plymouth night a fair time before so it was left to us and our partners to look quizzically at each other and shout over the awesomeness of the rock saxophone solo and feel sad that we are not and never will be from the United States Of Americans.
(note - It’s a music music business Powerfact that whilst recording the guitar takes to ‘Born In The USA’ Bruce was also repairing barb-wire fences on his ranch and laying railroad tracks with a sixteen pound hammer, all at the same time - the big gandy dancer.)

Our next gig was a daytime affair at the amazing Union Chapel in Islington, London. Being asked to arrive at 9:45AM to soundcheck is an odd thing but the Union Chapel is without doubt the most stunning venue I’ve ever seen. It’s a working chapel, music venue, homeless shelter and art exhibition space which takes your breath away from the moment you see it. It gives it back when you buy a ticket which is a fair deal. The staff were ace and the onstage sound was very, very good. Just a beautiful space to witness music in whether playing or listening. We played pretty well despite heavy nerves and the crowd was good for an afternoon show, clapping when we finished each song and not shouting "YOU SUCK" at us. We then drove through London in a people carrier eating cheap dirty chicken just like U2. The chicken place must have bested the Colonel’s secret recipe as they’d named their shack Perfect Fried Chicken. There was a sign up that said we could like them on Facebook so I went home and didn't do that.
Instead we stopped off in Farnham to visit some friends and listened to an old man rant so furiously about Bob Harris that I remember thinking to myself, "if Bob Harris is found dead tomorrow then I can probably put this case to bed".

The next show that we played was in the venue part of another local radio station (clash of the titans). The setting was beautiful with candlelit tables and that but the crowd just didn’t show up. We played to about twenty people and we knew most of them anyways. But still had a great time and it was the best performance that we’d played until………………..

The show in Brighton! That was on Saturday just gone and was without doubt the best gig I’ve played. It was in a Victorian community centre and was a sit down, bring your own booze affair. Candlelit tables again.
The audience were fantastic, the support acts were both brilliant and we played a scorcher of a set. The soundman was an old friend of the band and was that most beautiful of creatures that is a creative tech. He was adding dub delays to vocals and snare drums, fading reverbs in and out and generally adding another dimension of ambience to our sound. It was also the first time we’d played with the full line-up and I’m pretty sure that we were super, awesome and also super-awesome. 

Thank you Brighton.

The last of our gigs was on Tuesday of this week and was in a kitchen.
We decided to gatecrash the Cornish House Gig Day. Gatecrashing something in your own house works right? Luckily the kitchen in question is a fair enough size to fit twenty or so people so after clearing the furniture away and putting up a black-blanket/fairy lights backdrop we set up the instruments and waited for the man with the barrel of ale to arrive. This was an utterly charming gig. The three acts played three songs each on rotation with some chatting, laughing and breaks to play old records and alter the dynamic of the night a bit. It was really lovely playing to familiar faces in a familiar room and being able to chat with the audience in between songs. It was just like doing a gig in someone’s kitchen.

So there you go. Hopefully you’ll not be so confused, upset and eventually bitter about the fact that there are three names on the radio show header but more often than not only two on the airwaves. If you really, really want to talk about this then you can either approach me at one of our upcoming gigs (you’ll have to pay to get in and will then have to watch us play so you may find yourself won over to the extent that you rush to the merch’ desk and buy copies of every CD and vinyl that we have for sale before touting us to all and sundry as the best thing in your bread bin like a giddy town cryer) or you can just evaluate your anger issues and speak to a close friend, relative or trained professional.
Either way, good luck.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

i know it's just that...

these things take time :)

the last two shows will be up for download soon...otherwise they are already up right here

honkjazz (with blunts and sondek) on soundart radio - 06/04/2012

ok so this should have been done a few weeks ago (tut tut) but anyhew here is the show for streaming and  download. it was a mixed bag (when is it not??) and as is now the norm the last 30 minutes was 1 track each with some interesting selections to boot ... enjoy

Tracks that got played:

sondek's selection 9pm

art department - in the mood
fortunato and montresor - imagine
rennie foster - devil's water
molecule ft martina topley bird - baby girl 2014
tube and berger - the puzzle (hanne and lore remix)
16 bit lolitas - non verbal language
siriusmo - ideologie
computer paul - world talk
andre 'suku'gray - sign rhythm
rebecca pupkulies - burning boats (masomenos remix)

blunts selection

the Roots ft Dice Raw – Lighthouse
freddy Fresh – Boy That Turned Him On
me & you – Last Night (Bassnecter Remix)
erykah badu – Honey (CP’s Sticky Sweet Talkbox Fetish Mix)
arp 101 – Mystery Man
S.F.B – Burning Up (Kon’s Edit)
kick ‘aL’ anchum / Farther Up The Road (Nirobi Edit)
guynamukat - Afrika (The Cameroon Afro Boogie Reconstruction Re Edit)
incredible bongo band – When The Bed Breaks Down I’ll Meet You In The Spring (Seiji Remix)
rebtuz – A Bit Pomba

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

honkjazz (with blunts and sondek) on Soundart Radio - 23/03/2012

Good evening and welcome to the first post on the honkjazz radio blog.... the sun is shining and last fridays show is ready for download .... it was an extended 3 hour show on and we went to town.... the last hour was 1 tune each... we had a blast and hopefully you'll enjoy listening to it...

here's what we played:

Sondek (8pm - 9pm)

Adrian Lux – Teenage Crime
Caribou – Sun
Mr Fingers – Can U Feel It
Wiz Kidz – Team In My Heart
Harry Craze – Gone
Menahan Street Band – Tired of Fighting
Plier (Bonner Productions) – I’m Your Man Dub
Kickin Productions – What You Gonna Do
Mux Mool - Valley Girls
The New Mastersounds – Land of Nod (Lack of Afro Remix)
Adani and Wolf – Les Seigneurs
Gizelle Smith – June
Flevans – Small Room Syndrome
Daft Punk – Solar Sailor (Pretty Lights Remix)
Steven Ventura 4 Kings of Kings – Throw Your Hands Up jOBOT – Bottle of Bumpy

Blunts (9pm - 10pm)

little beaver - do right man
the soul chargers - charge it up baby
ebony rhythm band - soul heart transplant
ministers of funk & the saviors of soul - strut it baby
nathan bartell - top goin down goin up
tyrone thomas & the whole darn family - fly away love bird
the roger webb sound - grey sigh
the dragons - food for my soul
fire - flight to cuba
the spunky onion - cookie man (part 1)
angela jefferson - i can feel myself slipping away
kellee patterson - i'm gonna love you just a little more baby
sound experience - 40 acres and a mule
the united image - the african bump
rickey calloway - tell me (part 1)
gold - what about the child
pure essence - wake up
greenwood rhythm coalition - guajira 78

Blunts & Sondek - 1 Track Each (10pm - 11pm)

neither of us can remember what was played as were too busy trying to out do each other....