Monday 31 January 2011

Goodbye Blog.

So basically, I've been way too busy writing for the 405 to continue my blog. I'm also busy because I've just set up my own online magazine, Freedom Spark.

I was just using this really as portfolio of my work but I'm writing so much now that I don't even have the time to copy and paste my work onto here any more!

I probably won't abandon this blog forever so don't unfollow me or anything. You may get a cheeky, occasional post now and then but I won't be updating regularly. Please keep your eyes peeled in regards to my site though as we're constantly updating it with lots of interesting, arts related stuff. I've got lots of different writers and PRs on board so it's all very exciting and we hope to keep expanding it and reaching out to wider and wider audiences.

Here's my latest post for the 405 for you. It's a review of the Grouplove EP:

Also if you follow me on twitter, not only will you get updates on my life but you'll get updates on posts I've done for various websites and exclusive Freedom Spark info. So, go on, follow me on twitter.

This blog has helped me reach where I am and I'll miss updating it but hey, c'est la vie. I cannot control time.

Peace out,



Friday 17 December 2010

So,who'll be big in 2011?

I can't predict the future but I do have an idea of bands that I think will make it in 2011...


I watched them play a gig at The Bull & Gate in Kentish Town this week and can indeed confirm that they are the future of indie pop with their sharp, yet light and pleasant melodies.

The Naked and Famous

They make good, rather cool, pop music, yes? And now that everyone's catching onto this fact and they're getting the attention that they deserve, I'm sure they will acheive amazing things in 2011.

Esben & the Witch

I'm listening to their album as I write this which is going to be released in January 2011 and can indeed confirm that it is BIG. I'm pretty certain that it will be just as well praised as albums from their 'witch-house' counter parts: Glasser and Zola Jesus were this year.


I don't think I really need to say much about Yuck as if you're a regular reader of my blog, you'll know how much I've raved about them over the past year. 2011 WILL be their year, with their debut album set for release.

Matthew and the Atlas

They fit right into the 'nu-folk' scene along with Noah and the Whale (who are also due to release an album in 2011), Laura Marling and Johnny Flynn but this is not to say that they're just another nu-folk band. They are individual and posess the melodic/musical/poetic skills to do great things in 2011.


Having been the first person ever to interview her back in May of this year, I feel so proud of all of the media coverage she's getting at the moment and trust that she'll do great things in 2011 as she certainly has the drive. Here's the interview:

Having just performed her first set (and only 2nd ever live show) of the Marina and the Diamonds tour, East London songstress, Spark joins me for a brief chat in the Glee Club dressing room. Her dark hair is all clipped back, gravity defying eyelashes frame her eyes and she’s wearing starry hot pants teamed with a fancy looking ruched top; she looks like an authentic pop star already.

We soon establish that Spark’s real name is Jess Sparkle Morgan, yes; Sparkle is her middle name, that’s amazing right? But she mainly goes by the name of Spark whilst on tour due to her manager also being called Jess which can lead to confusion.

Spark tells me that although, leaving education would seem like a big decision for many people, for her, it was not as she would never have considered going to university. She’s only eighteen and left school (the Brit School) yesterday (she was meant to leave on Friday but “slipped out early” to come on tour) and has no intention of returning.

We also discuss how the whole music career thing happened; it seems to have all taken place so rapidly. “I have no idea, one day I was singing in nursery and the next day I’m on tour with Marina” Spark tells me endearingly. She used to play guitar and write songs, wrote her first song at the age of twelve and has always sung but she says that never really had any musical influences at all. She also describes the whole process as: “I just kept writing songs and then after that is all a blur.”

When asked about being on tour with Marina, she seems incredibly excited; having never witnessed one of Marina’s brilliant live shows, she’s eager to see what all of the fuss is about. She also appears to be stimulated by her future plans for after the tour as her debut single ‘Shut out the Moon’ is being released and she is already “living her dream.” “I feel like some-one’s going to pinch me and I’ll wake up and have to drag my sorry arse to school” she tells me with what seems like a mixture of genuine disbelief and delight. And that is where our chat terminates as we ‘hug it out’ in the words of Spark and head off to see Marina.

Sunday Girl

She's beautiful, she has a good eye for fashion, a great voice and can write good pop songs (and produce good cover versions). She's so perfect that there's no way in hell that this girl won't be doing something huge next year!


I saw them play at a night that my friend, Jamila, put on in a rather odd venue in Hackney under a block of flats and they were absolutely brilliant. They're like no other bands out their at the moment. They combine distorted guitars with piano riffs and electric violins. Think of Muse, but of their faces on MDMA. I will be posting more on these boys soon! Keep your eyes peeled!

Too Young to Love

Hailing from Madrid, Italy; I'd say that this band are the most diverse choice on my list. Their music is a mélange of witch house, indie, shoe gaze and classic pop. Thus, giving them the sound of The Big Pink, mixed with These New Puritans (in some of their more experimental songs), mixed with Fever Rey, mixed with Hurts.

Wild Palms

Simple, catchy indie pop but with a bit of synth and plenty of delicious percussion. I saw them the play the other day too and they proved themselves to be pretty great live.

Clare Maguire

The phenominal voice of 2011. Her voice will blow your songs off just like the likes of Adele and Winehouse did. Her pop songs are great too. Head over to for a free download of the song below.

Wolf Gang

Now that they're finally getting the praise and media coverage that they deserve for their utterly marvelous pop music, they're heading for big and exciting things in 2011, including the release of their debut album.

The CocknBull Kid

Now that she's focussing on her own music carreer instead of writing songs for other people, Anita Blake is releasing her debut album 'Adulthood' in Febuary 2011 on Moshi Moshi. It will be a great pop album, fact. Here's the time when I interviewed her in November:

Jamie Woon

This man knows how to mixed beats together and sing. Look, he's great! Beautiful pop music with bitterly dark undertones:

James Blake

The voice, the minimalism; it's all just pure beauty in a musical format.

The Vacccines

Ok, yes, they are another scuzzy, nostalgic, lo-fi indie band. But that doesn't make them any less brilliant.

Summer Camp

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you obviously know how much I love them. With the album release next year and a heavy tour schedule planned, they will achieve mass recognition in 2011, for sure. This video is so cute, it's ridiculous:

Thanks for reading! Have a nice christmas! I love you!



Wednesday 8 December 2010

Chapel Club -Wintering EP

As far as dark, atmospheric rock music goes, Chapel Club are one of the best bands of recent times. After the likes of Glasvegas and White Lies, although quality bands, made a mockery of the genre by refusing to wear anything other than black onstage, Chapel Club are making morbidity cool again.

In this new EP, they successfully balance elements of love, life and heartbreak into an even mix of pensiveness, joy and pain. Opener ‘Roads’, introduces the style of the EP; a hazy, blissed out body of relaxed, yet skilful, guitar loops and painstakingly intense lyrics. ‘Bodies’ is a gothic twisted power ballad that conveys feelings of love at its extremity in a truly moving format. ‘Widow’ cements the gothic undertones that the band seems to posses whilst the distorted guitars add contrast to the mellower moments that are present in the EP. Chapel Club’s lyrics are certainly their great strength and throughout Wintering, singer, Lewis Bowman’s poetry skills are uncovered and displayed amongst layers of drums and guitars; the drums allowing movement and adding ‘pop’ qualities.

As soon as the listener starts listening to the EP, they begin to uncover Bowman’s emotions one by one which are so easy to lose yourself in. Wintering plays with the heartstrings with its solid intensity throughout; the lyrics toying with the listeners mind and emotions as Bowman pours his heart out and the band as a whole appear to put everything they have into what they are doing. It is clear that a lot of time, effort and creativity has been put into this EP and it’s certainly a ‘must listen’ and an emotional journey that everyone must embark on.

Monday 6 December 2010

Summer Camp and Idiot Glee @ The Drop, Stoke Newington

It's December and now socially acceptable to celebrate Christmas. So when guests arrived at the door of 'The Drop', the basement music venue of 'The Three Crowns' pub on the 3rd of December they were greeted by Summer Camp holding a box of mince pies. The dj was playing the Moshi Moshi Christmas compilation on repeat and Idiot Glee was wearing a flashing Santa hat. The barman also gave me half price drink "because it's Christmas", this was another reason for me to be filled with festive cheer. The fact that basement resembled a Swedish cabin also helped.

At 8.30, the adorable Idiot Glee takes to the stage. His is set is furnished with pretty much all of the songs on his myspace page , including his absolutely beautiful take on Bill Withers's 'Ain't no Sunshine' where he manages to fuse together blues with lo-fi pop. He also gets Luisa from Lulu and the Lampshades up on stage for a duet of 'Baby, it's cold outside' ; their voices gell together magically. Idiot Glee is definitely onto a winner as tonight's performance proves.

And at half past nine, on come headliners, Summer Camp, to a wave of claps and cheers as the room is now full. Their set is a recipe of songs from their 'Young' EP such as ‘Why don’t you Stay’ and ‘Veronica Sawyer’ and favourites 'Was it Worth it' and 'Ghost Train' as well as new songs such as the fantastic 'Losing my mind.’ These songs were sandwiched between onstage banter (including Elizabeth trying to rap) and their wonderful cover of The Waitresses 'Christmas Wrapping' which goes down an absolute dream.

The evening was a complete festive treat on behalf of Moshi Moshi and I'm pretty certain that every single member of the audience had a lovely time. Again next year please Moshi Moshi?

Thursday 2 December 2010


So, it's that time of the year again and whilst everyone is writing their 'Albums of the year' list with no explanation to why they chose each album, I thought I'd do a one sentence explanation per album, apart from my number 1 which gets a paragraph. So here we go, there are some obvious choices and some rather controversial ones...

30. Jónsi - Go

For being a beautifully epic, well orchestrated masterpiece.

29. Wild Nothing - Gemini

For being sweet on the ears

28. Harry's Gym - What was ours can't be yours

Because they deserve more recognition for the brilliant, haunting pop music that they create.

27. Beach Fossils- Beach Fossils

One of the most relaxing, happiness inducing albums of this year

26. Yeasayer - Odd Blood

For being an excellent pop album with a cynical twist

25.Hurts- Happiness

A great pop album

Johnny Flynn - Been Listening

For being lovely

24. Beach House - Teen Dream

For being one of the 'chillwave' albums of the year.

23. Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest

For the wonderful American folk-pop

22. Everything, Everything- Man Alive

For being utter indie-pop darlings

Freelance Whales- Weathervanes

For the individuality and the delicious intricacy of their music as well as the man at Brick Lane market (whoever you may be) who listens to it on Sundays whilst he works his stall.

21. Tame Impala -Innerspeaker

For the delicious guitar riffs and the trippy ambiance that they conjure

20.The Drums - The Drums

For providing one of the soundtracks to my Summer.

19. Marina and the Diamonds - The Family Jewels

For being one of the best female pop stars of the past ten years.

18. Blood Red Shoes -Fire Like This

Because they're one of my favourite bands and don't get enough credit for their talent in crafting superb rock music.

17. Foals - Total Life Forever

An album that takes you to another place.

16. Dum Dum Girls – I Will Be

The best album to drive to, ever.

15. Bombay Bicycle Club - Flaws

For being one of the sweetest albums of the year

14. Zola Jesus – Stridulum II

An EPIC album

13. Glasser -Ring

For taking you on a journey to a far away land.

12. The National- High Violet

For it's urgent emotion

11. Caribou- Swim

Trippy, yet motivational dance music at it's best.

10. Laura Marling- I Speak because I can

For the mature poetry, collaborations and sleek musicianship.

9. Mystery Jets - Serotonin

One of the best indie albums of the year; brilliant songs songs with brilliant lyrics.

8. Perfume Genius- Learning

For it's ability to take away your breath with just one listen.

7. Villagers- Becoming a Jackal

For Connor's beautifully honest lyrics that tug at the heartstrings.

6. Sleigh Bells- Treats

For being Rad.

5. These New Puritans- Hidden

For the extreme experimentation and for doing things that no band has ever done before.

4. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

For it's polished brilliance and for the songs 'We Used to Wait' and 'Sprawl II' which are two of my favourites of the year.

3. Best Coast-Crazy for you

For reminding me of the best summer of my life

2. Los Campesinos! - Romance is Boring

This album is already an old friend that I turn to in times of need.

Warpaint- The Fool

After being completely and utterly blown away by them at Reading Festival (despite being quite unknown they were literally a highlight of my weekend), I knew that this album was going to special as their set proved that the material they had created was of an incredibly high standard. Since Reading, I long awaited this album and the wait paid off and made me even more happy when it finally arrived. For me, Warpaint's powerful lyrics really strike a chord and are backed by tidy guitar riffs with effects that build up a blissful, hazy ambiance and urgent drumming that captures the intense restlessness that the album seems to possess. I know it may be a controversial choice but I think it definitely deserves the position I've given it.

Twin Sister @ The Lexington

For original post on The 405, click here.

Kotki Dwa open the show tonight and it’s only their second gig after a three year break. Despite this; they’re on top form. There music lies somewhere between The Wave Pictures and Egyptian Hip Hop; they combine indie style guitar work with obscure keyboard sounds and quirky lyrics which finishes up as a rather exclusive and interesting sound. They even use their mouths to create beeping sounds (to mirror a supermarket scanner) at one point during their set as the singer goes onto sing about particular events that occurred during a supermarket shop.

Still Corners are up next which the audience appears to be extremely excited about, probably having downloaded the glorious free give away ‘Endless Summer’ earlier this year; it was certainly one of my favourite musical discoveries of the summer. The band manage to conjure a soothing air of sixties nostalgia and a kind of disturbing, ghostly ambience that I can’t quite put my finger on. Their performance certainly has a powerful effect on the audience as they stand in silent awe.

Finally, headline band, Twin Sister, take to The Lexington stage; lead singer, Andrea Estella's hair a bold shade of green which made her look like some form of beautiful mermaid/sea creature. Twin Sister maintain the hazy, trippy, dream pop vibes that Still Corners created earlier. Estella’s charisma is astonishing; let’s put it this way, I’ve never wanted to have green hair more than I did whilst watching her in my whole life. Her performance comes naturally, casually even; the whole band’s performance is relaxed and all of the members seem to complement each other without even trying. Twin Sister craft beautiful, tripped out, eighties tinged, romantic pop music as their performance tonight truly cements.

Local Natives @ The Forum, London

The orginal post on the 405 is here.

Last week I got the chance to witness Local Natives’s celebratory last show of the year before they headed back to the studio to record the next album. It took place at Kentish Town’s HMV Forum, a beautiful venue that was perfect for the occasion.

First up are Cloud Control, hailing from the Australian Blue Mountains (near Sydney) who enchant the audience with their blissful, hazed out, percussive indie folk. They give a polished performance and definitely recruit new fans in the process with their lustrous, distorted guitar riffs that draw comparisons between them and bands such as Tame Impala (who they have already toured with), Local Natives, who they are supporting tonight, whilst the folk vibes lead to Fleet Foxes similarities.

The next band to take to the forum stage are Moshi Moshi favourites Summer Camp, consisting of Jeremy Warmsley and ex Platform Magazine editor, Elizabeth Sankey. They dive straight in with an abridged version of ‘Why don’t you Stay’ from their debut EP, Young, which was released in September, followed immediately after by fan favourite ‘Was it Worth it.’ Their set comprises of material from the EP, such as ‘Jake Ryan’ and ‘Veronica Sawyer’, and new songs such as ‘88’ and ‘Losing my mind’; all 80’s tinged, smile producing, lo-fi pop diamonds of course, in true Summer Camp style. They end their triumphant set with their most recent single ‘Round the Moon’ which goes down a treat; a perfect end to a smooth set.

The venue finally fills up to its full capacity, just in time for headliners, Local Natives, as they take to the stage to mass cheers; an atmosphere of hysteria dominating the room. Firstly, they plunge into ‘Camera Talk’ and the audience is lost in their own excitement. They then play a set comprising of songs from their much loved album, Gorilla Manor, which goes down a dream with the audience as that’s exactly what they came here to witness. Driving percussion and jangly guitar riffs urge gentle dancing amongst the audience, whilst contagious vocal refrains force a group sing-a-long. The crowd’s passion for Local Natives is clear for even the blindest of eyes to see. The band’s set is graceful, humble and everything you’d want it to be. Local Natives are not a band that offer a ‘show’ as such and it suits them down to their bones. They leave the stage after performing an elegant version of ‘Airplanes’ before returning for an encore of the utterly gorgeous ‘Who Knows, Who Cares’ and the heavily percussive, crowd pleaser ‘Sun Hands.’

They then terminate their performance by thanking the audience for having them and London as a whole for being a “second home” to them over past year. Local Natives are certainly unlikely indie-folk heroes but their audience perceive them as such and their performance tonight proves that they deserve the credit they receive.