Sunday, 20 April 2014

A letter from Grant McLennan, February 1979

Grant McLennan "hails from the outback. His family are pioneers. He is courteous and listens to the radio a lot."

Monday, 14 April 2014

The Clientele / Birdie / The Would-be-goods: Friday 11 July

It's not very often we arrange ticketed shows, but when we do we do our best to make sure they're good ones. This is no exception. We're proud to announce, in conjunction with our friends at Chickfactor, this blinding bill featuring rare sets from three of our very favourite groups: The Clientele, Birdie and The Would-be-goods

Even when these groups played more often they didn't play enough. These days, we miss them and can't wait to see them. 

What's more, everyone who buys a ticket gets a free copy of a beautiful brand-new 7" picture disc featuring new songs by The Clientele and Birdie!

The show will be on Friday 11 July. Tickets have been on sale for a few days and they are selling fast, so be sure to get yours quickly. Like, now, preferably. They're available here but I fear they won't be for very long. 

While your diaries are out, make a note of the afternoon of the Sunday immediately after that, Sunday 13th July. Back to the usual Hangover Lounge Sunday afternoons, we are working on yet another extremely special line-up. More of that soon. 

Incidentally, we think the photo of The Clientele up there is by Gail O'Hara of Chickfactor, but we're not absolutely certain and we'll correct the photo credit asap if we have to! 

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Grant McLennan tribute gig 4 May 2014

It's that time of year when we celebrate the work of one of our best-loved songwriters ever, Grant McLennan. Our fourth annual Grant McLennan gig stars David Westlake again, because it wouldn't be the same without him (you should listen to his radio session backed by Robert Forster, Amanda Brown and Robert Vickers). And you should know that The Servants' excellent Small Time/Hey Hey We're The Manques! is now on vinyl.

We're equally delighted to welcome Heathers from Los Angeles, one of our favourite bands to debut last year. Of course they're Go-Betweens fans. Why would they not be. Here, listen to the rough and tumble jangle of their new single:

There's a very special guest joining us. Don't ask us who, because we're not telling. Last year Robert Forster dropped in, fought the jetlag and played a couple of songs. You remember:

We open our doors at 2pm. The gig's free and starts at 3pm. You should stick around afterwards and go to the Odd Box gig in the evening. Why not? It's a bank holiday the next day. Why? 4 ace bands, that's why:

Kid Canaveral
One Happy Island
Night Flowers

Monday, 31 March 2014

Gavin Osborn, Grace Petrie, MJ Hibbett - free gig June 1

Gavin Osborn sings about break-ups and girls. And occasionally, burgers, clown-costumes and cryogenic freezing. A lyrical feast for the wistful, the hopeful, the lovelorn and the losers. In his own words.

He has recorded three albums for Banquet Records - In The Twee Small Hours, Meeting Your Heroes, and Come On Folks, Settle Down. He is regularly on BBC Radio 4, has co-written heart-warming midnight story-shows with comedian Daniel Kitson, with whom he toured the UK in 2010, supporting Belle and Sebastian.

Here he is with Kitson at Latitude:

"Gavin Osborn writes minutely detailed, bittersweet story songs on his acoustic guitar and sings them with a comic timing usually absent from his anti-folk contemporaries." - Stewart Lee, The Sunday Times

Grace Petrie is a songwriter, activist and performer from Leicester. She exploded onto the national protest scene in 2010 with the emotive anthem Farewell to Welfare, which captured perfectly the spirit of the new wave of dissent in austerity Britain. Since then she has quietly become one of the most respected independent songwriters working in the UK today.

Her young career boasts three studio albums and national tours with Emmy the Great, Josie Long and Robin Ince, as well
as a string of festival performances including Latitude, End of the Road and Glastonbury.

In 2012 she appeared on Channel 4's Random Acts, in a video made by award-winning director Chris Shepherd for her song "Rise". She has been featured in the Guardian, Diva Magazine and named 'one to watch' the Independent on Sunday's Pink List. She has appeared
on BBC Radio 4's The Now Show, and writes brilliant third-person autobiographies.

MJ Hibbett has performed live on Radio One, had a Record Of The Year in Rolling Stone, an Album Of The Day on 6Music, released one of the first ever viral videos, inspired a character in Judge Dredd, toured all around the world, very narrowly avoided writing an autobiography, and taken five productions to the Edinburgh Fringe, all independent of
record companies or management. He doesn't expect a medal for it, though a pint would be nice.

This gig starts early at 2pm and will be over by around 4pm. And it's free.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

The Understudies album launch Sunday 30 March

The Understudies are launching their finger-snapping, rump-shaking debut album, Let Desire Guide You Hand, on Sunday March 30 with A Little Orchestra.

You won’t have forgotten their 2013 star turn at our Lost Weekend:

And A Little Orchestra, the hardest working orchestra in showbusiness, will be playing a set of their own, too.

Enderby’s Room, meeting all your indiepop folk needs since 2012, make a welcome return. They were very good a year ago. They’re better still now.

Tickets are a mere £4, or £12 if you fancy a side order of The Understudies’ album with your ticket. And if you’re a fan of Spector pop and Smiths jangle, the £12 option is recommended.

The Lounge is open from 2pm as usual. Doors to the gig open at 6pm and the whole shebang will be over by 9.30.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Chris T-T live at the Lexington Sunday 19 January

Chris T-T is playing an evening gig at the Lexington this Sunday after the acoustic shenanigans of our Lost Weekend. Chris has helped us out with the timings, affording us the chance to present you 3 fine acts. We think he's a gentleman and a scholar.

So does previous Lounge guest, MJ Hibbett, who offered this vignette of touring life to demonstrate Chris's humility and nobility:

In 2011 Chris did his show "Disobedience" at the Edinburgh Fringe. As he is such a delightful chap we spent a lot of time hanging around with him, so one day we were all sat having a natter in the Pleasance Dome cafe, when he spotted a journalist he admired, sitting a few tables away. "I'd love to go and talk to him and tell him how great he is," said Chris, "but he probably just wants to be left alone".

We had a lengthy discussion about it, with me (and Steve) pointing out that being told you're great is a Nice Thing, and that he'd be pleased if someone came and said it to him. This is typical of Chris - he's fearless in
his willingness to speak truth to people who deserve it, but ever wary of upsetting anybody who doesn't - but after some determined badgering he went over to say hello.

A few minutes later he came back, happy and relieved. They'd had a lovely chat, the journalist had indeed been pleased to be told he was great, and the entire experience had been a delight for all concerned.

We toasted our success and returned to our general chat, until another few minutes later when a nervous young man approached our table and said "Excuse me, are you Chris T-T? Sorry to bother you, but I just wanted to say I think you're great."

That's great, Mark, but what's the best Chris T-T song for anyone still dithering about whether to go to the gig?

Favourite songs is a bit difficult - in my house it's a FITE between "Giraffes #1" and "Seven Hearts", so rather than cause VILENCE I'll give you links to both, THUS:

And what are you up to, MJ?

We're releasing a podcast version of "Total Hero Team" at the end of the month with live dates in London, Sheffield, Glasgow and Leicester.

Friday, 3 January 2014

The Lost Weekend 2014

The Lost Weekend - 2 days of free gigs and relaxation, interspersed with a few drinks - is back on Saturday 18 January and Sunday 19 January.

Starting at 12pm in the Union Chapel on the Saturday, we've got The Pictish Trail (he likes "drum machines, old 8-track recorders, lo-fi fuzz boxes, squelchy synthesizers" - all we know is that he'll come with an acoustic guitar and everything will be very special).

Freschard specialises in Francoise Hardy vocals, Jonathan Richman gusto, Lieber & Stoller songwriting, played with a relaxed Lou Reed guitar, a gentle Parisian swing, a nod to calypso, a country twang and some yé-yé innocence. Her latest album Boom Biddy Boom goes a little bit like this:

The Middle Ones are Grace and Anna. They play acoustic guitars, sing different vocal lines simultaneously in different keys to each other while both quite possibly out of tune, decorate their bedsit pop with toy instruments and giggle at the silliness of it all. Pop music doesn’t get more charming than this.

The Union Chapel gig finishes by 2.30pm, at which time we'll be going to the pub. See off your hangover in style the following day, Sunday 19 January, at the Lexington, where the Hangover Lounge starts at 2pm.

The live music starts upstairs at 3pm sharp, featuring:

Stanley Brinks: the umlaut in Herman Dune, collaborator with the Wave Pictures and Freschard, and ace troubadour in his own right.

Steven James Adams, once of the Broken Family Band (whose critical acclaim cruelly never quite translated into platinum sales) now of the Singing Adams (same story; it's a great one so worth hearing again). Steven's playing solo for us and it, too, will be great and worth hearing:

Michaelmas, aka Michael Wood, aka Singing Adams bassist, is playing a rare solo gig. You might remember Michaelmas. You would if you saw them.