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Patrick Wolf @ Club NME, Koko

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Photo Credit: adelaide_v Blog

The inside of Koko on Club NME night resembles a Bacchanalian soiree in full effect, bodies sway and writhe, mass cheers going up as their favourite tunes get dropped by the DJs hidden behind a giant screen. The city is burning, these are the last days of the decadence and the assembled have no interested in quelling the flames…they are here to burn, burn, burn.
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Written by Jonathan

March 17, 2009 at 12:14 am

Tilly And The Wall – Derek Pressnall interview

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This article originally appears on Gigwise

Tilly and The Wall are members of that unique musical breeding ground Omaha Nebraska that spearheaded by the patriarchal Conor Oberst has produced some of the most engaging and raw music to come out of America in the last decade. The first signings to Obersts Team Love label Tilly and The Wall have spent their last two albums building up a folk dance legacy that has seen thousands of ecstatic kids screaming ‘I Want to fuck it up’ across the globe whilst getting down to the tap dance groove. Returning with new album ‘O’, following on from the one off single ‘Beat Control’ Tilly and The Wall are bringing their most complete work to the world  ‘Team Love are so artist friendly, they really understand what we’re doing as artists, they really believe in what we’re doing as artists and that’s the great thing for us. No matter what, they are there for us to try and make any idea we have, anything we want to do they try and make it happen for us, so it’s perfect and it feels like family…and it is family.’


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Sam Sparro – Full interview

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A version of this article appears on Subba Cultcha.

2008 may well be the year of the Sparro. The world straddling, Aussie born soul singer has been destroying the charts with the phenomenon that is ‘Black and Gold’. Following a year on the road that has taken him across the world Sam and his merry band are continuing to take the party wherever the bus stops. The ascendant success of his eponymous debut album and in particular single ‘Black and Gold’ has seen him recently collecting a string of accolades in the year end award season, including 5 Aria nominations from his native Australia. Sam took some time out before a recent Norwich show to discuss awards, Lindsay Lohan, duets and new material.

Hey, so first off I wanted to talk about the big news at the moment being the awards nominations you’re getting, namely the 5 Aria’s you’re up for and I was going to ask you what your reaction to that was and how you take it?

Um, it’s great to be nominated for things like that, especially in my home country of Australia obviously, because I haven’t been back for so long, and actually they’ve really taken to me and been really king to me. Going back to Australia has been really good. It’s been a really nice surprise actually how much they’ve latched onto it in Australia…I mean awards are nice, it’s a nice validation. I mean I don’t really watch them very often, so I’m kind of indifferent to the actual event, but going back to Australia will be nice so that’s cool.

It seems like from an artists perspective the cool thing about Awards ceremonies is the chance to get together with your peers and see people who you may not get to see all year because of touring commitments or whatever?

Yea, that is cool. It is good to get together and see people and get some booze and just have some fun, but it is kind of like work, it is work doing those things, but it’s kind of like the last day of school vibe.

So how is the tour going?

Well we’ve just pulled in Norwich ready for tonight. It’s going well, yeah this has been a really fun tour. I couldn’t really be happier with it. Each show… it just keeps getting better every night.  You know we’ve been playing together for a while now and we’ve got to the point where we are just really, really comfortable on stage together  as a band you know and it’s just a lot of fun, we enjoy playing the songs and …I don’t know, it’s just good fun.

Do you have anything special planned for the final night of the tour in London? Any special guests?

Nothing too out of the ordinary really, we’ll just have our costumes , oh actually we might do a couple of extra kind of vibe things for the London show. Just kind of people who might be in the audience that we were talking about we might throw some of their songs in just for fun. I don’t want to say too much really.

How do you get on with the day to day business of touring, how do you keep yourselves entertained?

Oh well we just have a lot of fun really, we’re always joking around, I mean me and the backing singers are always singing and making up songs about  everyone. But IO mean I like to read and go to the gym, do some writing, check online to see what there is to do, like keeping up with business stuff on emails and shit like that, but um, you know it actually goes really quickly by the time you wake up, get off the bus do sound check go grab some food.  The day’s pretty much gone.

Do you  like the touring, transient lifestyle, is it something that excites you waking up and seeing a different place everyday, or do you find yourself craving a bit more grounding and some more home time?

I wouldn’t mind some more time at home actually. I haven’t really been at home at any point this whole year so I am kind of getting to the point where, yeah I do love travelling but it’s not like I can’t really desperately can’t wait to go to Norwich to check out the greenery.

You played, well you attempted to play Bestival recently but due to stage subsidence you had to actually pull the show. Do you like the festival circuit or do you prefer to be playing club shows like your current tour, and is that the weirdest gig experience you’ve had so far?

Well we didn’t get to play which is the bad thing about that, but I actually love festivals I actually think that our best show to date was Glastonbury this year. I don’t think we’ve topped that yet, but yeah obviously I mean they are a totally different vibe. I like the small indoor show as well because you’ve got control over the mood and you get to experiment and really show off the nuances of the music a bit more and it’s got a bit more soul and you can pay more attention to the pitch of your voice, whereas with a festival show I’m just trying to be loud and bold and deliver as much as possible so the people 60rows back are getting just as good a show as the people on the barrier.

So what’s next for you once you’ve finished this leg of your UK tour?

Well we’re pretty much touring until February, we’re going to Japan, and doing  a European Tour, spending some time in the States and then doing a festival tour in Australia in the summer, well in their summer.

Cool, Big Day Out?

We’re doing Good Vibrations which is the more kind of electronic, dance, soul kind of vibe tour, which is a really good one actually, I think that last year Kanye West and Calvin Harris headlined it and this year, well this year I’m headlining it and it should be really cool. After that I’m going to get to lay lo for a while and start cooking up the next album which I’m pretty keen to take my time on it.

Ok, so in terms of that new record and writing material do you find that you are the kind of artist who writes constantly, who has ideas on the road etc and so it’s a case that when you come back off a tour you already have an idea of where you’re going next or do you need to be grounded and focused and in one place to do your best work?

I think that I do my best work when I’m relaxed and comfortable. I’m like a creature of comfort when I’m recording because I just work better that way for some reason. I just find it difficult to write on the road. I mean all the pre-production and the recording I’ve done before was done in my bedroom, so you can’t really get more comfortable than that!

Is that something that you want to replicate going forward or do you have a yearning to try the mega studio approach and really go to the opposite end of the spectrum on the next record?

Well my plan is to actually start building my own studio, which is kind of going to focus on when I come back to recording. I mean based in LA you can get cheap studio time so I’m going to do that in the meantime and just concentrate in setting up my own studio. But I mean I do like big studios as well. There’s one we just recorded in a couple of weeks ago in London called…I think it’s called the Toybox or the Toyshop it’s where Oasis recorded ‘What’s the Story Morning Glory’, and it’s just this room full of vintage keyboards and  precussion instruments and so you know maybe starting it in my home studio and finishing it in a big studio like that.

Sounds awesome…so do you have any idea of people you might like to work with, like producers etc? Or even other artists? Would you have any interest in doing something like the Jack White and Alicia Keys  Bond theme duet? Does that kind of collaboration interest you and would it be more of a one off thing or something you might bring under the banner of a Sam Sparro album?

Who was it? Jack White and Alicia Keys, is it true? I haven’t heard that yet actually but I really want to…I mean yeah I would be interested in doing stuff like that, but kind of on the side, I like for my own work, for my body of work like an album to be kind of self contained. Probably even moreso on this record than on the first album really. But I definitely love working with people and doing bits and bobs on the side, like doing something with Adele would be fun or Roisin Murphy, somebody like that.

In terms of videos you’ve had some pretty interesting treatments. How involved do you like to get with that and does your acting past feed into that if at all?

Well I’m kind of a control freak when it comes to that aspect of things as well. Most of the time I’ve been pretty involved with the treatment and working with the Director on the video. Which I enjoy. You know I’ve been very fortunate to work with people who I get on really well . Though theirs is one video which we shot which has never been released and we had to put away.

Which song was that for?

It was for the latest single, ‘21st Century Life’, so we went away and did another one which I was much happier with. But, yea the first one never saw the light of day.

Cool, given the marriage of video and music and the fact that your songs have been used on various TV shows, as well as your fathers soundtrack work, would you ever be interested in doing soundtracks, either as composer or compiler, maybe in an RZA role or Trent Reznor roll like they did on Kill Bill 1+2 or \Lost Highway?

That’s so freaky I like literally watched Kill Bill 2 on the bus this morning. But yea, I actually worked for a music compiler in LA years ago and he worked on some movies and stuff like that. So I can see myself going down that route, I mean I love making mix tapes and DJing so I could definitely see myself scoring a film or doing a soundtrack one day yes.

You’re names obviously attached to the Lindsay Lohan record, do you see yourself working with anyone else like that and would you ever ghost write for people?

Yea, but I haven’t done anything yet. But yea, sure. I mean I’m up for anything as long as it’s fun and interests me. I’m not too proud to turn down anything just based on the project,. But it’s been hard to co-ordinate I mean I’m busy and she’s busy so we’ll see what happens when it happens.

Iglu & Hartly

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This article originally appeared on Gigwise.

“The energy was a little down on that show actually. We’re used to having it a little more rowdy but we love playing every show and by the end they were getting it a lot further back than just the kids up the front.”  It’s a few days after Iglu & Hartly played London’s Koko venue in support of Hercules & Love Affair and Sam Martin is looking back on a show that saw the band go from maybe 2 rows of enthused support to getting uproarious applause when they left the stage a few short songs later. Iglu & Hartly’s rise has been just as frantic going from one independently released single, some radio airplay and a host of SXSW blog bothering performances to a UK top 20 hit, a major label album, ’& Then Boom’, and followed by a relentless touring schedule, in the space of one year.

“We moved from Boulder Colorado to LA and just started trying to make music but it’s a really funny scene in LA, you have to pay to play so it really makes you have to work even harder at getting people to your shows and making sure they go off,” states Martin when considering the band rites of passage on the LA club circuit. Having met at the University of Colorado in Boulder city the nucleus of the band, Jarvis Anderson, Simon Katz and Martin, made the decision to pack up their lives and make the jump to LA in order to take the next step to world domination. Once there they were joined by drummer Luis Rosiles who flew in from co-front man Anderson’s home tow of Chicago. The band adopted that old standard of band elopement…moving into a band house. Rounding out the quintet is bassist Michael Bucher, “Yea, Michael is awesome. He was actually playing for another band when we first saw him and as soon as we did we just knew that this was a guy we wanted to play with,” states Martin. It was a wise decision as throughout the Koko set Michael power walks, stomps and gurns like the bastard son of a Jagger, Angus Young and Justin Mendal Johnson tryst, all the while knocking out bassline after bassline that locks in with Rosiles to provide the pumping foundation that really carries the whirlwind pandemonium ignited out front by the twin rap attack. It’s a part of the show that’s an invigorating surprise. On record Iglu & Hartly trade in saccharine electro pop with a candy apple rap attack that steals into your cortex and finds you humming the morishthancrack hooks to “In This City” or “Jump Out Of Your Car” in your sleep for weeks to come, but they employ a definite scoop eq mix, there seems to be a hole between the drums and the key/vox/guitar shenanigans. On stage that gap is crammed like Chris Moyles in drainpipe jeans, it’s a whole new level to a band who quite clearly have the songs on record. Combined with the multi harmony vocals and pure kinetic energy generated they manage to do something a lot of bands are currently failing to do, deliver live on the promise of their record.

This live prowess is the result of more than 200 shows clocked up around the LA area that the band used to hone their chops before taking their raison d’etre to the masses, which given the aspiration and stadium nods of their debut album ‘& Then Boom’ is exactly where they need to be to thrive. “We like to get everyone involved”, says Martin of their live shows, “we’ve played warehouses, house parties, clubs. It’s all about working as hard as you can to make sure everyone has a great time y’know.” They certainly achieve that with the relentless positivity and energy that pervades the record. Current single “In This City”, a love note to the bands adopted home in the tradition of the Chili Peppers ‘Under The Bridge’, details the bands determination to stick around and see this through with the infectious mantra, “And I found that round here, that I won’t disappear and I’ve got nothing to fear , in this city”. It’s a universal anthem for those who across the globe who have moved to the big city in search of whatever their personal dream maybe. It’s this kind of universal experience that is resonating with fans so quickly and sending the band into the stratosphere. One thing that Iglu & Hartly manage to avoid is the LA albatross of style over substance, a quick glance behind the electro pulses and slick production you get to a band who are not only charting their progress with seducing the girls of the city of angels and latterly the world, but who are clearly absorbing the world around them and want to get to the heart of the matter.  “I wanna turn us all around now, take a step down, how can we all get along, when we’re so violent and young?” They ask on their independently released debut single ‘Violent and Young’. “We just write from personal experience and we’ll put something together based on something we can all relate to”, notes Martin. It’s just another shade to a band who look set to set the entire world alight over the next year.

Since creating initial waves across LA and latterly SXSW the band have signed to Mercury Records and are currently straddling the world, or “Zipcording” the skies as they allude to on ‘Violent & Young’. They will be back in the UK this winter and they promise to deliver an experience that brings enough California sunshine to keep this city warm through to January. “We want to take it to another level energy wise. I can’t wait. Everything right now is an adventure.”

Written by Jonathan

October 2, 2008 at 2:38 pm