Full Time Hobby at 10

It’s been a good little period for the record label anthology. Hot on the heels of XL’s two-disc 25 year anniversary release “Pay Close Attention” which dropped at the end of August and artfully segued from Tyler The Creator to Adele, comes Full Time Hobby’s 10th year compilation, another two-disc effort featuring the likes of Tuung, White Denim, School of Seven Bells and The Hold Steady. “What The Hell Are You Doing?” – a question which co-founder Nigel Adams encountered when he and fellow Mushroom Records compadre Wez channelled Creation, Elektra et al. and set up the label back in 2004 – is an ideal introduction to the label or an ace companion for the already initiated.

Full Time Hobby’s new compilation “What The Hell Are You Doing?” is released today. 

Gigs I went to and liked*

*Not quite gig reviews, not quite blog posts

Sinkane album launch party, Shacklewell Arms, September 12th

Around a week before I go to see Sinkane at the Shacklewell Arms, I sum up his latest release “Mean Love” as “”groovy pop-rock”, if groovy didn’t conjure up images of Austin Powers and bell bottoms”. Thankfully Sinkane (born Ahmed Gallab), is the antithesis to this poor description: nonchalant, the UK born, US raised one-time Caribou and Of Montreal collaborator leans against the merch table watching support band Swim Mountain (recently praised by 6Music) just moments before he’s due on stage. His Soulja Boy-esque Twitter handle (Sinkane Tell Em!) oozes swagger, but standing on stage he has a calm class to match his sound, which – over the course of his past two releases – has grown in range. Gallab’s role as musical director of “ATOMIC BOMB! The Music of William Onyeabor’” – a supergroup honouring the music of the Nigerian synth legend – seems telling of his current guise. With “Mean Love”, he too has painted futuristic strokes onto a Pan African canvas. Joined by guitarist Jonny Lam, bassist Ish Montgomery and drummer jaytram for tracks from “Mean Love” as well as 2012’s “Mars”, he takes the crowd of his first sold out London show on a soulful voyage, from the breathy vocals and reggae beat of “Young Trouble” to the East African-inspired pulse of “New Name”, which on record comes complete with the coolest horns since St Vincent’s Digital Witness. There are ethereal moments, like the hypnosis-inducing synth line of “Young Trouble” (Gallab’s also commanding keyboards). The Sinkane live experience is varied and uplifting, a United Nations of groove which – thankfully – comes minus the bell bottoms.

Sinkane tours Europe before returning to the UK for a show at Hackney venue du jour Oslo on December 1st.

Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, Bristol Exchange, September 4th

“It’s Lennon!” squeals my friend, pointing to a fellow with a headband and circular specs and doing her best impression of a Cavern Club reveller. As it turns out this is not John and Yoko’s son Sean – rather it is one of the troupe who accompany him and partner Charlotte Muhl on tour. He’s a slightly taller, more imposing version of his bandmate, although the glasses. Powering through tracks from Midnight Sun, which was released back in April, they refuse to falter even when Lennon’s wah pedal gives up the erm, goastt. From mafia-themed Seventies throwback “Poor Paul Getty” to the sprawling psychedelia of “Too Deep”, it’s wall to wall rock, full of screeching guitars and choral harmonies. Cutting and pasting the best parts of the 70s but remaining distinctly modern and self-consciously East Coast, there’s no chance you’ll confuse “Animals” with “All You Need Is Love”.

 

 

Animals In The Wall exhibition

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Last Thursday, I went for a sneak peak of the Animals In The Wall exhibition, which is on until September 7th at Shoreditch’s Londonewcastle Project Space. Alongside 40 pieces of art by Beat icon William S Burroughs (1914-1997), there are original new works by contemporary artists which engage with the – still pertinent – areas of counterculture/rebellion, anti-consumerism and skepticism of political intrigue. It’s an intriguing mix of visual works including film and two installation rooms, one of which houses a dreamachine (a zoetrope-type device created by Burroughs’ contemporary Brion Gysin).

Other notable pieces come from Bolivian “enfant terrible” Gastón Ugalde, pithy Brit graffiti artist Mobstr and Australia’s Ben Frost, who once faked his own death in the name of art.

Here are some bits by Burroughs himself (copyright of his estate):

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And here is my favourite piece he inspired (by Ben Frost):

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Animals In The Wall is a free exhibition, curated by James Elphick (Guerrilla Zoo) and Yuri Zupančič (William Burroughs Communications), and you can find it at 28 Redchurch Street, E2 7DP.

…parce que je ne sais pas mes chers

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 I am now in NW Spain to get better at Spanish and breaking my selfie ban. The skirt cost five euros on sale at Zara which – aside from surviving absinthe – is my biggest achievement of the year so far.

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Here’s the first bit of graffiti I found in Spain, on the back of the toilet door in the bus station. After no sleep for a full twenty four hours it seemed intensely poetic. “We’re the Eiffel Tower lit up on the 14th of February”. Oh, it was a little piece of Paris, I thought, as I finally got to have a wee after my near three-hour coach journey. Alas, it turned out to be a lyric from a song by some sub-Jonas Brothers Spanish boyband called Melocos (and here I was thinking it was a 17th century poet). Will be interesting to see what other musical offerings I can find out here, preferably not scrawled in the bog.

Anyhow, here’s what I did in the latter part of 2013 whilst living in Montmartre/Pigalle and finding out about life under various guises (student, journo, translator , professional hide and seek champion, actual twenty-one year old human being etc).

 Rock En Seine Festival. SEEN TRENT REZNOR LIVE ☑

Phoenix were amazing, although on home turf in France I suppose the crazy reaction was no surprise. They are France’s great indie hope and Bankrupt was amongst the best releases of the year. Likewise Laura Mvula, although she didn’t draw a large crowd :(

 MaMa Apero soiree

 Made In Chelsea s6 preview among other telly bits for The Guardian

 SPECTOR live review and Le Trianon venue guide (coming soon) for my friends at Gigs In Paris

 Benjamin Clementine  singles and new one from Sivu x Marika Hackman for The Line of Best Fit. Also contributed to the Best Fit end of the year rundown. 

 Bought my fave albums of the year (Shulamith by Poliça and Kurt Vile’s Wakin’ On a Pretty Daze) from a great record store called Balades Sonores in Paris’ 9th arrondissement – will 2014 be the year I properly get into vinyl?! Started shopping in a little vintage store with great music which made me appreciate the Stones more.

 Gained an obsession with bullet points and Boursin, and went to Disneyland where I realised that the golden age of Disney is definitely over.

- GIGS:

 

 Jake Bugg at L’Olympia, Paris, 21/11/13

I walk past an Elton John poster on our way into the Olympia. Now there’s an artist you can rely on to still be standing! (shitty pun very much intended) As for Jake Bugg…in ten years time will he just morph into a morose version of Frank Turner? Or will he age backwards, headlining Glastonbury 2024 as a five year old child? Whilst I jest, so much of THE BUGG FACTOR comes from his age (19). Weirdly, the French promoters have decided to almost fetishise this – three days after the release of his second album they’ve billed him as a “British Justin Bieber”, which as well as being hilariously inaccurate is quite offensive to pauvre Jake who is rather established in his own right. Once he starts playing, however, his age just isn’t relevant. A few things get a little loss with a French crowd, notably new track “Two Fingers”, which historically wasn’t really the Gaellic insult of choice. The crowd here flick their peace signs at Jake like wannabe harijuku girls in accidentally benign fashion.

Shangri La, that aforementioned second album, means lots of new material, with lead single “Lightening Bolt” getting a great reaction. Ultimately though it’s tracks from his debut album like “I Can Taste It” that get the best reception. Has he already peaked? Unlikely, but if he wants to hang onto fans the media and PR machine which surrounds him should start focusing on his pitch-perfect voice and quality songwriting, not the fact that he would definitely get ID-ed buying vodka at Sainsbury’s.

 Suede at La Cigale, Paris, 11/11/13 (part of Les Inrockuptibles Fest).

Ever drunk slightly warm Heineken in a room full of people double your age? When the room in question is La Cigale and Paris-loving Britpop pioneers Suede are playing and the cups have Debbie Harry’s face on them it’s quite enjoyable. Temples are support, not that their Seventies-inspired look/sound is given much attention. (Toy, moody band du jour and recently hyped on BBC 6 music by Brett Anderson himself, would have possibly been a better choice).

Suede kick off with Still Life from Dog Star Man – it’s weird hearing it without the strings but poignant nonetheless. Next up are two tracks from 2013 ‘comeback’  Bloodsports: Barriers and It Starts and Ends with You. Still unmistakably Suede, but nicely matured like good cheese or wine or Brett himself, who has the same magnetic quality but a little more wisened. Trash, from my favourite Suede album – Coming Up – is riotous as ever, the crowd joining a sweaty Bretty for anthemic chanting on the chorus. Animal Nitrate is next. This song encapsulates Suede – the band, the brand – at that crucial moment where everything grew from in 1993. It’s as dark and ambiguous as it must have been at time (I’m not too sure however, being in the new wave of Suede fans and having been born in 1992).

They dash from the old – We Are The Pigs – straight back to the new, but nothing ever feels jarring or outdated. The Drowners – one of my favourite Suede songs from their debut feels so powerful and hopeless, with Brett ensconced by fans in a rather surreal scene (see below) yet also detached from everything around him.

Back to the future for more Bloodsports before a few classics that no quality Suede set would be without: So Young and Beautiful Ones. The latter is my all-time Suede fave track and singing along, wildly off key, was the highlight of the night. A little encore ending in acoustic mode rounds off an amazing set from a band who somehow are both effortlessly nostalgic and always, erm, In Fashion.

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HJD

Parisian hello

 

Photo on 01-06-2013 at 23.14

STUFF IVE WRITTEN SINCE I LAST POSTED HERE APPROX 1,000,000 YEARS AGO:

- I now write telly previews for Saturday’s Guardian Guide which are neatly organised over here.

…I think the last time I posted was between two very interesting (by that I mean interesting to write but yes, also hopefully to read!) Guardian pieces which I wrote on Made In Chelsea and My Mad Fat Diary.

- I have reviewed a few gigs for The Fly in the past few months. Although I have the world’s worst memory I think these were Everything Everything at Newcastle O2 Academy, Loom at Ku Bar in Stockton On Tees (magazine) and Maximo Park at Newcastle Cluny.

- I reviewed the new Icky Blossoms one for Zero Core, Jen Long’s zine.

- My novel still hasn’t happened.

- With no more uni for 18 months, I’ve resurrected my Tumblr. Get ready for irritating links of cats morphing into croissants 500 times a day. And more blogs here.

It’s not Madchester but…

Dutch Uncles played Shacklewell Arms on the 8th Jan, marking the release of their third record.

Do they sound like Hot Chip on ‘Out of Touch In The Wild’? Perhaps. But who doesn’t want to be in a band that sounds like a young, sparky Hot Chip/Field Music hybrid? Along with Everything Everything, Delphic + Egyptian Hip Hop, Duncles are putting a certain type of Mancunian music in the spotlight. With the exception of EE, these acts are from MARPLE which is very easily misspelled as MAPLE (syrup, leaf) but is in fact a town in Greater Manchester which has a special section of it’s Wikipedia entry dedicated to it’s Scout hut. A small-town existence is a bonus in many ways – Arcade Fire had to resort to an abandoned church to reach the sublime.

In a live setting they’re not afraid of messing around with their vocals, improvising xylophone bars on “Fester” or, erm, restarting songs altogether. Theirs is a brand of electro that is cleverly formulated but organic and easily tampered with.

Were third albums supposed to be this fun? Does the Shacklewell embue some kind of greatness in acts that perform hear? Probably not, but I like this face of Manchester regardless. It’s sensitive yet cool, unpretentious but definitely complex*, tighter than their previous releases, less guitar-driven but if we wanted that wouldn’t we just listen to a rock band proper?!

In a post-Wu Lyf world we need all the North West talent we can get – yet another reason to jig, jive and jump along to Duncles. They might be out in the wild, but they’re definitely not out of touch with the rest of us.

*I’m defining pretentious here as needlessly arsey/Klaxons part 2. Whilst Duncles do have tracks called “Zug Zwang” and “Phaedra”, they are yet to release an album on VHS or sample Jermaine Jackson.

December 2012 playlist

AHsgjegfjhkeahenbaf! my first ever blog as a twenty year old.

Extremely scary/exciting times. I can’t post on time so apologies about that…my hands are usually red and freezing since I lost yet another pair of gloves.

Mundanity aside, since my last blog I’ve been listening to SO much music, ungodly amounts for someone who doesn’t even carry an iPod around anymore…and written a few cultural bits and bobs (this for The Guardian on Cuckoo, this on Womens Hour (radio show, not the band), again for The Guardian and also live music reviews for The Fly (Frank Turner at the O2 Academy in Newcastle) and Hooded Fang at The Cluny in Newcastle for NME!! (should scan this in soon)). Now all I need to do is write a list of my top tracks of 2012 …but before then…

I’ve stopped writing essays/reading Rookie for five minutes and opened my diary. This is my diary…I made it myself:

 

Inside you’ll find: workyperky, a list of potential train times for going home to London (picking.the.trains.that.don’t.stop.too.lazy.to.move), the spanish word for bruise, some pictures of slugs I drew in a café with the worst service ever (40 minutes for a coffee…jog on…no wait I’ll just stay and draw slugs in a passive-agressive fashion) and some notes on the new + nearly new music I’ve been listening to lately. If you want more new music I recommend the newly-launched new music blog http://thisbandthatband.tumblr.com/, Robbie over at  http://theflashpod.tumblr.com/ and of course BBC 6 Music on the radio… anyhow, here are the bits I’ve copied out of my diary:

Turnpike Glow – why.isn’t.it.summer.2013.already.

China Rats – this safe but punchy (yeah, I’m not sure how that works either)  foursome sound like they drink K Cider out of Cath Kidston mugs. In other words, incredible. Fellow Leeds boys The Sunshine Underground seem an obvious reference point.

PINS- another fourpiece. They like strobes. They like fringes. They like pillow fights. They shop at River Island for checked pants and ask boys on street corners for filters. PINS are the sort of band I’ve been waiting for an invitation to join since I found myself watching Girls and eating chinese takeaways on a regular basis. Building up an underground following, 2012 saw the release of the Manchester girls’ first EP – ‘LUVU4LYF’ – on Bella Union. A dark and rousing mix of abstract noise and punk riffs, its perfect for moments of emotional crisis or, erm, long bus journeys. File besides: The Kills, Siouxie and The Banshees circa Israel.

Allah Las – The high production values and excessive ‘ahs’ are self aware nods to  ritual reinterpretation and their self-titled debut is a pleasure to listen to…but will enough listeners persevere with three minute chunks of the 70s that sound like they should be on your dad’s iTunes wishlist? If you can deal with Alabama Shakes and have a Magic Numbers CD hiding in a drawer somewhere then you’ll probably find yourself whistling rather than gritting your teeth.

OLD REVIEWS

‘cos everyone loves an old review that’s been sitting in the extension of my diary (read: Gmail drafts folder) for a few months. Plus Alunageorge are finally getting exposure if the BBC Sound Of polls still have any relevance…

Alunageorge – Put Up Your Hands (released Jul 2012)
Welcome to 2040. A cryogenic Bird and The Bee have been defrosted in Blighty, and pumped full of Pro Plus, Serato and Janet Jackson’s Number Ones. Oh wait, it’s just the new one from Alunageorge. Wholesome r’n’b grooves from George. Sugar-sweet vocals courtesy of Aluna. Even though the most salient point of the song is raising your hands à la Fedde Le Grand, Fat Man Scoop and, erm, S Club, this futureproof slice of garage-pop is achingly cool. For fans of Disclosure, (ironic) snapbacks and Nandos.
Cheatahs – The Swan Track Review Oct 2012
Two parts painfully constructed nineties vibe to one part sub-Pavement bassline equals something catchy…but unfortunately for Cheatahs the familiar quickly becomes the predictable. Why frontman Nathan Hewitt ignored his calling as an Elliott Smith-influenced strummer (Cheatahs started off as a lo-fi one-man project) to make such mediocre music is anyone’s guess, but now that he’s touring the UK with The Cribs  I hope he enjoys eating Skips with the Jarmans in a layby off the M4.
Ellie Goulding – Halcyon Album Review Oct 2012
The electronica has been turned up to 11, but even a romance with Skrillex didn’t jumpstart Ellie G’s career as a full-on dubstep artist. She reprises the folksy approach she took on “Your Song” for the title track amongst others, but for the most part this is rejected in favour of a polite brand of bassy, dark and tumultuous electropop. Her timorous lyricism about love spreading like fire through her veins is drowned out by complex synths on “Don’t Say a Word”. Likewise “Figure 8″ is ruined by prosaic production…yet it seems that juxtaposing overdone and half-baked was the idea here. For every overly nasal forte into clubland there’s another forgettable chart-orientated Goulding classic, destined for a BBC 1 Christmas ident. Even appearances from Tinie Tempah and Calvin Harris can’t make this album into something special…it lacks definable soul for the most part, and pointless vocal meandering gets repetitive. Unfortunately, this messy mix makes occasionally profound ballads (“JOY”, “Dead In The Water”) feel turgid, and perfect pop gems (“Ritual”) calculatingly formulaic. Perhaps a dubstep career would help Goulding re-focus and work out exactly what message she’s conveying to her fans…”Anything Could Happen” she sings on the track of the same name…but, erm, does anything actually happen at all?
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Resolutions/Soundwave

So I’ve neglected the  blogosphere for a while now…but I am back and ready to rumble. I’ve been away and now I’m back studying and watching pretty much everything I can record on the Sky box…as well as looking for exciting new projects.

The last four years of blogging have been so incredible and I’m not going anywhere, and from now on please expect to see me posting on the 1st of the month. If you would like to contact me and my email doesn’t get locked again (that is a story for a technology blog/rant…) then please drop me a message at hannah AT hannahjdavies . com OR tweet me: @hannahjdavies.

I’m listening to a lot of new, as-of-yet unreleased music as well as the old (Francoise Hardy, random New Order B-sides like the one my friend found in Oxfam, etc) and I want to gather it all together so expect a drop in the next few weeks…like this amazing song from Jake Bugg (the truly talented Generation Z Bob Dylan who you’re equally likely to hear on BBC 6 Music as, erm, Hollyoaks). It’s been around for a bit but it remains fresh with every listen.

Excellente. Also, here and here is some stuff I’ve done for The Guardian lately…

Soundwave Croatia Review

Here’s a review of Soundwave…whilst slightly overdue, I have been meaning to post this for a while and now that it’s rainy and I can FINALLY get into my email account I think it might be the panacea to winter and Bovril. It was the friendliest festival ever (ever).


Soundwave Croatia takes place by a beautiful, untouched stretch of coastline to rival its Greek neighbours. The Garden in the seaside town of Tisno plays host to tons of different events on the festival calendar, and this self-contained campsite with a restaurant, shop, private beach,  showerblocks and loos (as well as apartments for rent) is a cost-effective alternative to UK festivals. We arrive at the campsite and instantly realise it was worth it. My friend Cathryn and I chill out in the sunshine for 48 hours before the festivities begin; on Wednesday we sit around reading books and eating baguettes, and on Thursday we actually hear some music (the festival ‘proper’ is Friday to Sunday).  

Ewan Hoozami brings his Bristolian brand of heavy beats to the mainstage at 6pm. The most amazing thing about this festival is that it’s not a typical “Brits abroad” affair. Yes, pretty much everyone we meet is from London, but Hoozami’s music is appreciated. Beautiful bass and dubstep dips are allowed to seep through the cool evening breeze without accompanying jeers/laddish behaviour. “Lazy Days” is an infectious indie-electronic slice of summer with the repeated refrain of “living in a hazy daze, I just can’t stop loving these lazy days” which surely reflects the docile crowd sprawled out around the mainstage, some on bales of hay, others further away on beanbags. The second amazing thing about this festival is that there is no separation between the mainstage and the campsite. Not up for a twenty-minute trek to get back to your sleeping bag? Perfect – you can stagger back from the bar (just be careful not to trip over any massive rocks…Tisno does have a touch of Bedrock about it…)

Mikey J DJs on the beach stage – a dancefloor and multiple lighting rigs perched by the sea like a shipwrecked club. He’s skilful, and we’re soon dancing to a remix of Ghost Town by The Specials for what won’t be the last time that week. It’s novel to be out by the sea, now dappled with pink and purple shapes from the lights. I’ve never seen so many high quality moving heads and high end showgun 45s at such a small festival! It’s practically Ministry out here! We stay for another, more funky DJ (Rich Reason) before catching a relatively early night. (n.b.: I’ve become a lighting nerd this summer and even went to the PLASA trade show…)

 

Friday

Natural Curriculum play on the mainstage just after 1pm. The quick-tongued Mancunian hip hop crew sample jazz loops and cult telly (The Twilight Zone), rapping about daytime TV and rebellion side by side. They’re followed by the mellow musings of Laura J Martin; I lie sprawled out on a wall with a book, the sound of her fragile vocals and floaty melodies an angelic partner to the sea breeze and pretentious reading. There are so few people here (3,000) that everything feels very intimate…I later befriend someone who comments on my afternoon reading. Elsewhere, it would be creepy. Here, you’re in a revolving door of calm.

The evening sees Ghostpoet take to the mainstage. Although he’s a headliner there’s a sense of equality between all of the acts which is rare for festivals. I won’t lie, his songs do sound better when they’re slowed down recordings, but he gave a stellar performance full of energy on songs like “Survive It”. We also catch Kidkanevil, an exciting DJ/producer and the coolest person ever to have the moniker Gerald (copy and paste “808BoOoOoOmFiyaNight” and check it out) and DJ Yoda has people going mental like Charlie Sheen to high-energy tracks such as, erm, “Charlie Sheen”. It’s worth the packed, potentially very dangerous coach journey to make it to the official festival club, an open-air affair named Barbarellas. Originally built in the 70s but now refurbished, this is the perfect place to listen to Snoop, Biggie and Kanye on a killer soundsystem. We even get free entry as guests to Soundwave, helping us save money for the pizzas in the restaurant which turn out to be amazing and not too expensive. Perhaps I’ll start a pizza blog and write about them there. Forget surviving on bread and Cheerios at other, unnamed European festivals…

 

Saturday

 There’s no better feeling than waking up clammy and worn out in a black tent which has absorbed hours of heat and sunlight! Weirdly, we don’t really care. That’s how chilled out it is at Soundwave! We spend the morning and early afternoon recovering before having a jazz-themed afternoon with the Renegade Brass Band and Riot Jazz (more on them coming up later in this post). There seems to be a synergy between funky brass instruments and sunshine and Renegade even cover “Let Me Clear My Throat”. When I say Sound…you say WAVE! Wah Wah 45s label boss Scrimshire (plus band) bring even more soul to proceedings – check out brooding, Portishead-esque track “Afar” from his latest EP “The Hollow”. We take a few hours out to swim at aforesaid private beach. 

Fink play in the evening – the eponymous singer and his band are exciting, kind of like a British Smashing Pumpkins but super easy to listen to. They play brooding “Blueberry Pancakes” as well as more recent releases from recent EP “Perfect Darkness” and I actually enjoy sitting on a wall for the first time in my life. We make friends with some Dutch guys who’ve brought a miniature rabbit to the festival called Rex (it’s weird but…novel…they’ve also had temporary tattoos in homage to their speckled friend…) and we also catch DJ Kentaro and Eliphino.

Kentaro’s on top form; his transitions are exciting, he loops and samples and his scratching is projected onto a big screen behind him, which is a better sight than his (quite lame) video which looks like it was made in MS Paint. Some DJs have a tendency to lose touch with crowds, slumping into an arrogant pose, whereas he waves and seems to be genuinely enjoying the chance to tempt the crowd with new and old samples, from Caspa and Rusko to 80s hip hop. Eliphino of “More Than Me” fame plays the Pier Stage at 1am (it took us hours to get a definitive answer as to pronunciation: it’s elli-fee-no), bringing old skool garage right up to date. 

Soundwave helped me to broaden my horizons and discover nu-jazz too, although I got overly excited whenever I did actually recognise EDM or hip hop tunes (huge thanks to the beach stage DJs for playing RJD2’s “Ghostwriter” as I know that one fairly well). 

Sunday 

 We chill out for hours and have a brilliant time in Tisno (I know, I know, I sound like a tourism advert now) before heading to a boat party with Riot Jazz for the entire evening!   They’re pretty much the official festival band and have played for a few years on the trot (they even did a little gig in the sea!)

Now they’re headlining a boat party! There’s so much sax as well as classic Stevie Wonder and Whitney choons drifting out across the Adriatic sea. It’s a bit of a tight squeeze, the toilet queue is a nightmare and you have to buy specific coupons depending on what drinks you’re getting at the bar but it’s really fun and everyone is up on their feet. A passing group of ‘lads’ on a speedboat moon us (how very 90s) which causes a flurry of attention but soon people are back to enjoying the festivities without the pale bottoms of Britannia as a backdrop.

We even decipher (e.g.: get told by someone else) what Riot Jazz have been singing all week…it turns out to be “got a sousamaphone, sousamaphone, and that’s why the girls won’t leave me alone” (NOT “got a shoe in my phone” as we had thought).

We arrive back on dry land to the sound of Fairground Attraction’s classic “(It’s Got To Be) Perfect” (in a meta twist the video for this song takes place on a boat) in time for headliners De La Soul, who are so legendary that we are all a little in awe of their retro cool. I even end up on someone’s shoulders pointing gun fingers each and every way like a broken missile. I was reminded of Public Enemy’s performance at Bestival last year in that De La Soul hark back to a time before autotune and pointless lyrics made up a vast part of hip hop. “Ooooh” and “Me, Myself and I” are highlights, the grooves transcending all memory of overproduced crap. 

All in all, Soundwave 2012 was a brilliant experience – a truly hassle-free festival in gorgeous surroundings where the focus was on quality music. The crowd were up for a laugh, the “hangover heaven” smoothies on offer were a cure for more than just the mornings and I felt sad the moment we walked into Split airport and surveyed the hundreds of brown bread rolls on offer. Bye bye paradise…just hoping i’ll see you again next year! There’s a reunion in November  for all lucky people near London…

Images – courtesy of Dan Medhurst 

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