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The Lancashire accent in pop music

I've been trying to think of times when I've heard a proper Lancashire accent in music recently. (Pop, rock, rap, whatever.) It's not easy! Suggestions please? We want someone who's done for the Lancs accent what the Arctic Monkeys have done for Yorkshire...

A couple of nice examples are Shaun Ryder and Guy Garvey. But then it's a bit of a mixup because the county of Lancashire used to include Manchester, but the modern county doesn't include Shaun or Guy's hometowns, so, well, they've got the right voices but they might get disqualified on a technicality :(

Looking back to earlier eras... the same thing happens with The Beatles. Liverpool used to be part of Lancashire but not any more. Anyway The Beatles are confusing because they sometimes used quite genuine regional accents, sometimes transatlantic rock'n'roll accents - quite explicitly hopping about. Much more dependable, and much older, George Formby's voice is a proper representative sample.

Here's one modern example, though not famous: The Eccentronic Research Council - the woman in that track is Maxine Peake (another Manc/Lanc stowaway).

Oh and I don't really want to mention The Lancashire Hotpots because they're too daft.

Chumbawamba were from Burnley, hoorah. But their singing doesn't have much of the accent as far as I can tell.

FFS come on! This list needs some vim. Let's chuffing represent! Answers on a postcard.


Edit: top tip from Lucy: The Lovely Eggs - that's what I'm talking about!

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Please help save Arch1

Arch1 is a tiny little music venue in East London. It's got a great atmosphere, a great acoustic, and it's run by one man, a lovely fella called Rob. It's just what you want.

And now this:

A sudden flash flood due to the storms, and all of a sudden it's taken out lots of expensive equipment (amplifiers, mixer, drumkit, and the handsome little piano at the back) as well as obviously ruining the place.

The venue is a labour of love, Rob's been working at it 7 days a week, and it needs our support. Please support the crowdfunder to save this venue.

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Alan Jenkins: Free Surf Music #4

Wow, look what came in the post today: the latest release of Alan Jenkins' FREE SURF MUSIC. In fact I got all four albums as part of his kickstarter pledge (watch that video).

Untitled

This latest one (#4) is one track of 47 minutes and one almost as long. It's a tuneful yet avant-garde surf landscape. Love the way it's experimental yet with tunes that I was singing along to even on first listen.

Frankly I don't understand why there aren't more people making this kind of music. Broad-minded surf instrumentals which lapse in and out of surreal abstraction! ISN'T IT OBVIOUS? COME ON PEOPLE

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What tracks would you take into a shop to test out a hifi?

What tracks would you take into a shop to test out a hifi?

FWIW here's what I'm thinking.

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ArcTanGent 2014 festival

I'll admit it: I wasn't sure I could tolerate 48 hours of nothing but post-rock. Lots of great stuff in that scene - but all at once? Wouldn't it wear a bit thin? Well no, ArcTanGent festival was chuffing fab. My top three awesome stickers are awarded to:

  • Bear Makes Ninja - wow like math-rock with great indie-rock vocals and harmonies, and some blinding drumming which isn't obvious in that video I linked but you should really see.

  • AK/DK - a twopiece, and both of them play synths and effects and vocals and drums, shifting roles as they go to make great electro stuff totally live. Fun and danceable as hell.

  • Cleft - another twopiece, drums and guitar, using a loopstation to fill it out and make mathy tuneful stuff. Oh and great crowd interaction - this might violate postrock ethics but I do like a band that talks to the crowd. This crowd was pretty dedicated, they were actually singing along with the zany time-signature riffs.

Unfortunately we missed Rumour Cubes while putting our tent up in the rain, so I'll never know if they would have earnt a top awesome sticker. But loads of other stuff was also great: Jamie Lenman (from heavy to tuneful, like early Nirvana), Sleep Beggar (heavy angry hip-hop and chuffing rocking), Luo (ensemble postrock with some delicious intricate drum breaks), Year Of No Light (dark slow heavy doomy, like a black hole), Alarmist (another dose of good ensemble postrock), and Human Pyramids (sort of like a school orchestra playing postrock compositions... in a good way).

Almost all of these things I've mentioned were non-headline acts, and most of them were amazed to be in a tent with so many people digging their shit, since they were used to being the niche odd-time-signature weirdos at normal festivals :)

By way of contrast, a couple of the big names I found a bit boring to be honest, but I'll spare you that since overall the weekend was great with so much great stuff. Mono was a nice headliner to end with, enveloping, orchestral and often low-key - we were actually not "at" the main stage but sitting on a bench 50m or so up the slope. Lots of people were doing as we did, letting the sound wash its way up the hill as we took in the night.

I didn't join in the silent disco in the middle of the night but it had a lovely effect, as hundreds of people with headphones sang along to some indie rock classics, and from afar you could hear nothing except their perfectly-timed amateur indie choir, it sounded great.

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Jabberwocky, ATP, and London

Wow. The Jabberwocky festival, organised by the people who did many amazing All Tomorrow's Parties festivals, collapsed three days before it was due to happen, this weekend. The 405 has a great article about the whole sorry mess.

We've been to loads of ATPs and I was thinking about going to Jabberwocky. Really tempted by the great lineup and handily in London (where I live). But the venue? The Excel Centre? A convention-centre box? I couldn't picture it being fun. The promoters tried to insist that it was a great idea for a venue, but it seems I was probably like a lot of people thinking "nah". (Look at the reasons they give, crap reasons. No-one ever complained at ATP about the bar queues or the wifi coverage. The only thing I complained about was that the go-karting track was shut!) I've seen a lot of those bands before, too, it's classic ATP roster, so if the place isn't a place I want to go to then there's just not enough draw.

That 405 article mentions an early "leak" of plans that they were aiming to hold it in the Olympic Park. Now that would have been a place to hold it. Apparently the Olympic Park claimed ignorance, saying they never received a booking, but that sounds like PR-speak pinpointing that they were in initial discussions but didn't take it further. I would imagine that the Olympic Park demanded a much higher price than Excel since they have quite a lot of prestige and political muscle - or maybe it was just an issue of technical requirements or the like. But the Jabberwocky organisers clearly decided that they'd got the other things in place (lineup etc) so they'd press ahead with London in some other mega-venue, and hoped that the magic they once weaved on Pontins or Butlins would happen in the Excel.

This weekend there will be lots of great Jabberwocky fall-out gigs across London. That's totally weird. And I'm sorry I won't be in London to catch any of them! But it's very very weird because it's going to be about 75% of the festival, but converted from a monolithic one into one of those urban multi-venue festivals. The sickening thing about that is that even though the organisers clearly cocked some stuff up royally, I still feel terrible for them having to go bust and get no benefit from the neat little urban fallout festival they've accidentally organised. Now if ATP had decided to run it that way, I would very likely have signed up for it, and dragged my mates down to London!

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All Tomorrows Parties: Jeff Mangum

Just back from a fab All Tomorrow's Parties, this one curated by Jeff Mangum. As well as the bands, he curated quite an educational TV channel throughout the event - we got to learn about Chomsky, Zizek, the Bali islanders, oh and Monty Python on endless loop.

Some of the ...

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MCLD vs Kiti le Step, out now

Chordpunch has put online a video and free download of my performance last year with Kiti le Step. Check it out, here's the video:

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What is a musical work? What is a performance of it?

Yesterday I went to a philosophy talk by Margaret Moore, on timbre and the ontology of music. I'd better say up front that I'm not a philosopher and I don't know the literature she was referring to. But I found it a frustrating talk - she was considering ...

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Generative art and UK copyright law - good news

One of the things you can do with SuperCollider is write computer programs that automatically generate music. So, for example, when we did the sc140 compilation of generative music tweets, we published a set of very short computer programs, many of which had some randomness in them so every time ...

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