Category Archives: Counterfeit Mag

It’s Festival Time!

Beatherder Festival 2011 (taken by Jamie)

I still have tons to write about Kenya, but what with starting a new job recently, doing a bit of music scribbling for other sites (these are over on my portfolio), and a higher than usual number of my friends getting married this year, there’s not been a lot of spare time.  I’ve got notes about it everywhere so they will appear online soon, I have promised myself!

Wedding Disco (taken by Jamie)

But I do have another excuse too, and that’s the start of festival season! As those of you who know me have cleverly managed to work out, I do like a good live band, and so festivals to me are like a giant pie to a fat kid. As if squeezing in 7 festivals last year wasn’t enough, I have decided to ignore the tiny voice in my head telling me to have a weekend off once in a while, and am looking at crowbarring 8 into my diary this year, and I’m a little bit excited!

I’m lucky enough to be able to reduce my costs by working for magazines & websites at most of the festies I have planned in, and 2 festivals in, I’m really enjoying fitting into the reviewing side of things rather than just being a punter, so much so that I think I might get a little bit bored if I didn’t have to think about what I’m doing at a festival.

Alt Track at Beatherder (taken by Jamie)

Jamie & I covered Beatherder festival at the beginning of July. It’s a wonderful mini festival tucked away in the Lancashire Dales not far from where I grew up (which was in Yorkshire for those of you counting). It’s a proper grass-roots affair with no commercial input whatsoever, and it works. My write up is over here on Counterfeit Magazine, along with Jamie’s photos. For me, working these festivals over the summer is a chance for me to develop my writing and I’m loving it. I took a different angle on Beatherder this year, and I’m really pleased with how it turned out. It looks like other people were too because we’ve been getting tons of great feedback on it and loads of hits, so thanks if you gave it a read!

I’ll blog about my second festival of the year, Latitude, during the week. Watch this space!

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Farmyard Fun and other gigs

Strictly speaking the “farmyard” in title has come from an evening I spent at the Cow & Calf rocks in Ilkley, watching a performance by Jez Colborne and the Mind the Gap entitled Irresistible. Mind the Gap are a theatre company based in Bradford comprising tutors and professional actors, and provide theatre studies courses for people with learning difficulties. My brother (who has Asperger’s, so he has more of an issue with “getting” certain social contexts rather than the media-peddled stereotype of a person with low IQ and “special learning needs”) has just started at the company and is loving it. He and his fellow coursemates were also taking part in the performance.

Jez is inspired by sirens and the setting for the performance of music inspired by sirens (air-raid and indeed the Greek variety), inside the quarried out centre of the Cow, was breathtaking, especially as the rain misted in and was caught by the lights. Animated projections backlit the performance, and although there were fewer siren sounds than I’d been led to expect, it was still an enjoyable and very different night. You can read Jez’s blog and see photos from the evening on the Mind the Gap website.

Foals - (c) Danny Payne

Animal related fun continued as we dashed back to Leeds for Foals at the O2 Academy, which I was reviewing for Clash Mag. I do really love Foals’ latest album (Mercury nominated Total Life Forever) and I’d only seen a couple of their songs live before, so I was looking forward to it. The sound where we stood wasn’t amazing unfortunately (the grapevine informs me there may have been some over-zealous amp cranking from the band), but the atmosphere was pretty electric, which made a nice change from the all-too-commonly disinterested hoards that seem to be attracted the the Leeds O2. You can read what I thought on the Clash website, with photos from Danny Payne.

Delphic - (c) Jamie Boynton

Not content with two events in one evening, nor a quick 8 hours at work, next stop was Manchester’s the Warehouse Project (not forgetting a quick stop for pizza obviously). It was Delphic‘s turn to curate the Warehouse Project,  and if it wasn’t for the over-boisterous crowd I would have enjoyed them immensely playing their hearts out to their home fans. Do peruse the reasons for my unconvincedness at the concept of crossover clubbing/gig nights on Counterfeit. Pictures are from FictionalFuture.

A quick stop at a Halloween Burlesque night (and I hope what was a suitable fishnet, hotpant and basque related outfit), I had a day off then was back at the Academy to review Ellie Goulding, again for Clash with Danny taking the photos. Much girlier than my usual choice of musical entertainment, I was pleasantly surprised. She really does do a nice line in catchy arm waving numbers. Read the review at Clash online.

Ellie Goulding - (c) Danny Payne

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iLiKETHEDEEP

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It’s been a long time in the making, but Leeds’ favourite historical types I LIKE TRAINS have finally had the stars converge positively for them and have a new album ready to be unleashed on you, their adoring public. Well, I’m assuming you adore them, or are at least curious if you’re reading this. They told me what’s been going on for them the last couple of years and how their new album He Who Saw The Deep has come about, which is being launched at the most fabulous location for this I can think of – The Deep Aquarium (in Hull. Ignore the Hull part. It’s the aquarium part I’m excited about) – on Thursday 14th October. If you haven’t got a ticket already, you should. It will be good. Have a read of the full feature & interview here.

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Leeds and Beasts

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Team Counterfeit! Sam & I enjoy festival cider & a curry. Slurp. (Photo courtesy of the also very lovely fictionalfuture)

If you’re missing a summer of sitting in a field, or more to the point a leaky tent, watching a band, whilst slightly sozzled on overpriced cider, then I hope my review of Leeds Festival 2010 which is now online, will cheer your overworked and underpaid souls. The very lovely Sam Bennett provided the cracking photography.

Counterfeit Magazine were good enough to wangle my press pass for this one, so in their true spirit you won’t find any main stage shenanigans. It’s all about the new noises and relatively unknown bands that played. In fact I beat my own record of 27 bands in a festival (which I set at Leeds last year – and I went as a punter!), so unless you’re even more addicted to live music than me, you should find some new names to get excited about. Just remember where you heard about them first ok?

NoTiTLE issue 29 - Freshers' Issue 2010

Also out this month is my interview with Wild Beasts for NoTiTLE Magazine. I chatted to Tom & Ben from the band about how being in Leeds has helped them develop their career, as well as about other exciting things like being Mercury Prize nominated, touring America – and duck molestation. Yes. Nothing but the most important issues covered here. See the full article in print, along with more stuff on cracking Leeds talent, in the latest issue of No-TiTLE – available for free in all sorts of lovely pubs & bars in Leeds this month, including Carpe Diem, Verve, and The Brudenell. Or click the pics below to read ’em in big.

Wild Beasts Page 1 - for the squinters amongst you

Page 2. Don't hurt your eyeballs now... Click for bigger!

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August and Everything After

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I’m sure you’re all dying to know what I’ve been up to then now I have my new-found freedom. The boring answer, sadly, is more work. Freelance locum work however, so that kinda makes it ok (nobody’s the boss of ME, right? Right. Good), and as the work will start drying up from next month I thought I’d best do some now or I won’t be able to buy catfood. Which wouldn’t make me very popular with this little character:

Furry madam

I *have* been up to some exciting stuff though, including lots of meetings of friends for tea, cake & coffee, spending time in fields (at Moorfest), and making lawts of shiny things as I’m doing my first craft fair next Friday. Come down and say hello. It’s at The Edge at Leeds University on Fri 3rd Sept in t’afternoon. I’ll tell you all about how that goes soon so watch this space.

Shiny stuff what I did make

I’ve also got an interview with Wild Beasts due to go in the next issue of No-Title Magazine. I met up with Tom & Ben from the band at Kendal Calling and got to chat to them about touring the US, what they like about Leeds, and their Mercury Prize nomination.

I ruddy love Wild Beasts and if you’ve not heard them, then you should quite frankly. In my personal opinion their nominated album Two Dancers pisses all over the competition (and it’s a really strong year with the likes of the XXFoals,Biffy ClyroLaura Marling, etc..) so I’ll be having everything crossed for them on Sept 7th. Hell, I’m even going to try and blag in to the awards. (*cough* if you are suitably connected to get me in, my email address is on the about me page).

Tom & Ben Beast

What I’m currently trying to avoid getting over-excited about is Leeds Festival – I’m off tomorrow early for Counterfeit [edit – after I’ve been to bed]. Nope, it’s no good, I’m rilly rilly excited!! We’ve been asked to cover as many new bands as possible, so not only do I avoid having to sit through a pissed-teenager-and-MOR-swamped main stage, I get to see about a million bands I’ve been wanting to see for ages, plus some of my favourite bands having tons of fun on stage.

I could start to list all the bands I want to see but I still have to find my wellies. However you’ll find me at the Festival Republic & BBC Introducing tents, especially if it’s noisy, new, and/or from Leeds or Sheffield. I’ll be dancing around, applying glitter to people, and looking for my pen.

I can’t look at this properly until I arrive because those wellies will never turn up otherwise, but the line-up looks like this. Scroll past the main stage bands and get stuck in!

Pyjamas & Cups, Leeds Fest 2009

You have to put up with me in over-excited mode a bit more though, because after that I have the Culture Vulture Secret Social to look forward to. Open to all, it’s a themed hobnobbing event, and Culture Vulture Emma Bearman prides herself in making it super special. This month’s is again in a secret location – we are promised food tasting though so we could be led into a darkened basement and I’d be happy! (Emma will be careful to point out it won’t be in a darkened basement however… Fascinating location guaranteed of course!)

Mr B. More rock n roll than Muse.

Then I’m off to Manchester to actually be a punter for once and see Muse play a supermassivegreenstadium with support from some bands I’ve definitely never heard of before called Pulled Apart by Horses and Editors. I’m particularly excited because I have never ever seen Muse play live before in my entire little life. I even skipped them this year at Glastonbury to see Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer because someone I know recommended him and I thought it’d be more rock n roll to spend the Saturday headline slot in a tiny tent up in la la land. (It was by the way, take my word for it).

In festival mode...

And finally, if you’re thinking about my title and wanting some Counting Crows, tough. Go find em on Spotify. If however you’re thinking about my title and thinking “Ha! The end of next week isn’t really everything after August now is it?!”, I will leave you with my extended-diary news that this week I have booked my flights to Reykjavik for the Iceland Airwaves festival in October, and a pre-festy trip to the northern Icelandic town of Akureyri. Northern Lights (hopefully), glaciers, whales, fish, hot pools, and lots and lots of live tunes. HELLYEAH!!!!)

OK, really going to find my wellies now…

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Filed under Art, Counterfeit Mag, Culture Vulture, Festivals, Gigs, Iceland, Jewellery, Leeds, Music, Writing

Not long to go

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Not taken by me cos no one else would, oh no...

Well I’ve been a bit quiet on this ‘ere blog of mine recently, and I’m kinda annoyed at myself for not making more time to post, but for the moment I will be contenting myself with scribbling in appropriately coloured biros (pink is best, you can get them from the pound shop) in various dog-eared notebooks on the bus journey to work. Oh and I’ve been sticking stuff in my hair and making shiny things too.

I write in Gibberish. (Pink pen temporarily AWOL)

Give me 2 weeks though (less than 2 weeks now in fact, YAY!), and I will be free to scribble as much as I want. Well, providing I don’t go and decide I want to run about in a field with some bands playing or something. Which is a risk, let’s face it. So what’s so special about 2 weeks’ time? *drum roll please*:  I have quit my job and will be embarking on a much needed career break (ok, for career read sanity), and I’m proper excited. (You may know this already if you are eagle eyed, so apologies if so. But Brownie points for paying attention too!)

John Lydon. Proper mentalist. But very endearing too (he'll hate me for saying that)

I’m going to delight you all at a later point with my thoughts on this particular source of opportunity, but for the moment (and not least because I should be packing for the Kendal Calling Festival, trying not to get excited about seeing Pulled Apart By Horses, okgo, Dananananaykroyd, and Wild Beasts, then going to bed RIGHT NOW), I’m just going to say very quickly that I’ve still been getting up to fun stuff. I was asked to review the Leeds leg of the PiL tour for Clash Mag – very exciting! I don’t know if it’ll get used but if so I’ll obviously throw a link in this direction – and if not it was a bloody good gig, met some lovely chaps, and had fun writing about it, even if it’s just for your eyes.

Me and Jenn off of Sheffield

I’ve also been at Sheffield’s Tramlines festival and had a bloody good time, saw some ace bands and hung out with some more awesome chaps. And chappesses of course. Again, some scribbling about that from me should be finding its way onto Counterfeit before too long.

Wingman. I love the fact this man has "COCK x" written on his guitar

Next week, after Kendal Calling (obvs), I’ll be helping out folding origami cranes with Kirsty, ready for Hiroshima Memorial Day the following week. I may even write about it on here. Or I might just chill out and wash my wellies. Then after that – Freedom! Watch this space 😉

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Filed under Career, Counterfeit Mag, Festivals, Gigs, Leeds, Music

Herding Beats & Bees

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Eeek! Bearded lady attacked by metal birdrobot

Time for a quick update then – hooray! In between bumming around at my day job and er – in various fields full of people, I have knocked up a couple more articles for ya.

Attack of the Paper Cranes

The first one is one from a few weeks ago when I went to learn how to fold bits of paper in the pub – I’ve been twice since and Kirsty is continuing to run her friendly origami classes, so if you fancy getting to grips with pretty bits of paper and a few pints, have a read of this and make sure you check Kirsty’s blog for foldageddon updates.

Crowdherding at Beatherder

And then we have my review of the Beatherder Festival which has just gone up on counterfeitmag.co.uk. With pics from Adam Birch, you can have a look at my tales of bees, beekeepers, bishops and bearded ladies. Oh and there were a few bands playing too: Beatherder Review on Counterfeit

Hope you like x

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