YOUR REAL MUSIC MAGAZINE ISSUE 12
APRIL2010 GIG LISTINGS REVIEWS INTERVIEWS FEATURES ADVICE NEWS
BECAUSE MUSIC MATTERS www.BSE-LIVE.co.uk featuring Nikki Loy
CONTENTS EDITORIAL : Pg 4 GIG LISTINGS April 1st - 4th : Pg 5 April 5th - 11th : Pg 7 April 12th - 18th: Pg 9 April 19nd - 25th : Pg 11
April 26th - 30th : Pg 13
REVIEWS Smiley Dave's Open Mic : Pg 6
Heavens Basement / Dear Superstar / The Crave : Pg 8 Mayors Benevolent Fund Charity Gig : Pg 10 Inlight / Secret Rivals / Relik / Speakowire : Pg 12
www.BSE-LIVE.co.uk ÂŠ BSE 2010. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrievel system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical including, photocopying, recording or otherwise without prior permission of the publisher. All views expressed in the magazine are those of the contributors and do not represent the views of the publisher.
FEATURES Garage to Grandure Part #5 : Pg 22 Drugs : Pg 20 SPOTLIGHT Nikki Loy : Pg 16 AUDIO REVIEW Secret Fridge Party : Pg 24 NEWS : Pg 25 CONTACT DETAILS : Pg 15 ADVERTISING : Pg 15 BAND LINKS : Pg 14 PHOTO'S : Pg 27
Cover image © www.tiwigi.co.uk
EDITORIAL It’s nearly summer. Well. It’s closer than it has been so far this year. And besides, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of enthusiasm every so often! To further brighten up your reading experience we have interviewed Oxford's very own Nikki Loy. A real pleasure to talk to, and an inspirational, yet down-to-earth character. It’s good to know that genuine talent still exists in a musical world where pre-manufactured pap seems to be getting too much limelight.
as soon as they stop pulling in the punters. Trust is something that is worth its weight in gold and someone who resents you for not immediately bending over backwards to help them is probably someone you want to steer clear of! But not everyone out there in the wild world is out to do you down. There are still some sterling people out there who honestly want to do you a good turn, and long may that spirit continue.
The Bermuda Square Effect focus has always been to seek real local talent. Our goal remains to support local music and to provide a focal point for fans, venues, bands and the related services. Local bands at local venues are important, but don’t forget that local venues host bands from further reaches, and those performances can provide inspiration for anyone attending. You can get a good mix of people at music venues to, often with varying music tastes and certainly different outlooks on life. There are also varying levels of honesty. Well, not so much honesty, more like varying levels of interpreting a story. Some of this is harmless and leads to nothing more than a brief comedic misunderstanding but other situations can be a little more sinister with things said to deliberately win your confidence and to make you operate in a way that you are not comfortable with, or in a way that will create some gain for the other person. It’s a common cautionary tale, but be aware that not everyone is as helpful as they appear to be. You get plenty of leaches in varying industries, and the musical industry is certainly not excluded from this. Even at the grass roots level there are plenty of people ready to use a band and lay them to waste
GIG LISTINGS APR 2010
Thurs-Sun ( 1st - 4th )
1st April GIG LISTINGS 19:45 Battle of the Bands 2010 @ Avenue, Newbury 20:00 MummaMoto/ The Final Riot / Sylvan Souls @ Purple Turtle, Reading 20:00 Mornigton Lockett & David Gordon @ The Wheatsheaf, Oxford 2nd April GIG LISTINGS 13:30 Sion/Mindovertime/ Onion @ The Avenue, Newbury 20:00 The Rolling Zones @ Riffs Bar, Swindon 20:00 Jimmy Rocket @ Old London Apprentice, Newbury 20:00 Peter Lawrie @ The Jericho, Oxford 21:00 Headline @ The Railway Tavern, Hungerford 21:00 The Geoff Lai Special @ Lock Stock & Barrel, Newbury
4th April GIG LISTINGS 14:30 Mike Miller Trio @ Lock Stock & Barrel, Newbury 16:00 Under 18â€™s Show: Wishlist/ Fake The Attack/ Bless the Hour/ The 4:20 / Fortune Favours The Fallen @ Avenue, Newbury 20:00 Von Braun / Eight Dirty Pages @ The Wheatsheaf, Oxford 20:30 Open Mic Night @ Avenue, Newbury
3rd April GIG LISTINGS 19:00 MC Lars @ O2 Academy, Oxford 16:00 Entertainment Aid for the Children of Haiti @ Madejski Stadium, Reading 19:30 Silent Front/ Nitkowski/ Nygotha/ Robin Williams @ South Street, Reading 20:00 Space Heros of the People/ Secret Rivals/ Picture House/ Gunning for Tamar @ The Wheatsheaf, Oxford 20:30 Alma Pura @ The Monument, Newbury 21:00 Purple Zepplins @ The Railway Tavern, Hungerford 21:00 Street Corner Talking @ Snooty Fox, Newbury 21:30 Rich Austin & The Maestros @ The Jazz Cafe, Reading
**** time unknown please contact venue. Listings correct at time of going to print. Send us your listings at: Listings@bse-live.co.uk
REVIEW Smiley Dave’s Open Mic Night @ Snooty Fox, Newbury Lest we succumb to favouritism but anyone wearing a BSE ‘Black’ t-shirt is bound to get at least a small mention between the electric covers of our magazine, however there is more to be glad about. This particular evening marks the one year anniversary of local legend Smiley Dave hosting the open mic at the Snooty Fox in Newbury. Now that’s cause for celebration. In keeping with the sentiment spirits are high, and musical performances are in fine form. Smiley Dave, whose set list is growing by the week, never fails to spark up a genuinely feel-good atmosphere. The electro-acoustic set retains diversity from ballads, to rock tunes to good ol’ self-penned comedy tunes. ‘Wild Thing’ by The Troggs goes down well and ‘When You Say Nothing At All’ shows the range of musical style that the host of the evening can successfully deliver. An impromptu performance by Dave of ‘500 miles’ by The Proclaimers, complete with lead vocals from a guest Scottish vocalist had the place in pieces. With just about an hour of strumming, singing, joking and cursing under his belt the host takes a pause. Time for the interval and Snooty Fox staff Matt Sutton, and Sherrie take to the stage. The performance needs a little preparation and Mr. Sutton stands upon a bar stool and slings his electro-acoustic behind his head. Enter stage left one friend who assists Mr. S by holding a pint complete with straw. The strumming begins and the novelty factor of beer-supping-while-playing-guitarbehind-your-head is easily matched by the frankly awesome female vocal talent as the pair admirably perform ‘Zombie’ by The Cranberries. A rendition of ‘Crazy’ by Gnarls Barclay with Sherrie taking the floor while Matt meanders and strums around the floor and outside, completes their short, but nonetheless extremely impressive set. Words: The Juke Images: TiWiGi Visual Creations
GIG LISTINGS APR 2010
Mon-Sun ( 5th - 11th )
5th April GIG LISTINGS 19:00 Death Angel/ Divine Chaos @ Sub89, Reading 21:00 Smiley Dave’s Open Mic Night @ Snooty Fox, Newbury 21:30 All Jazzed Up @ The Jazz Cafe, Reading 6th April GIG LISTINGS 19:00 Robots in Disguise @ O2 Academy, Oxford 7th April GIG LISTINGS 19:00 Tim & Sam’s The Tim and Sam band/ Piskie Sits/ Sam Forrest @ Oakford Social Club, Reading 20:00 King Creosote and his One Man Band/ Mr Fogg/ Mark Knight @ South Street, Reading 2000 BOTB Pt 1 @ Riffs Bar, Swindon 8th April GIG LISTINGS 20:00 Tin Soldiers/ 4Hours @ Purple Turtle, Reading 9th April GIG LISTINGS 19:00 Plan B @ O2 Academy, Oxford 20:00 Barb Jungr @ New Greenham Arts, Newbury 20:00 Kirsty McGee and the Hobopop Collective @ Arlington Arts, Newbury 20:00 Balmorhea/ Nils Frahm @ South Street, Reading 20:00 Bob Bowles @ Riffs Bar, Swindon 20:00 Chapel Club @ The Jericho, Oxford 20:30 Street Corner Talking @ The Monument, Newbury 21:00 Nova @ The Railway Tavern, Hungerford 21:00 Jukes Blues @ Lock Stock & Barrel, Newbury
10th April GIG LISTINGS 18:30 Rolo Tomassi/ Trash Talk/ Throats @ O2 Academy, Oxford 19:00 The Spectators/ Could Try Harder/ Poppy/ Jason Manners/ Daniel Zaire/ Liberal Arab @ South Street, Reading 20:00 Stepping Out @ Old London Apprentice, Newbury 20:00 The black Hats/ The Long Insiders/ Bear in the Air/ Empire Safari @ The Jericho, Oxford 20:00 The Alter Eagles @ South Street ,Reading 20:00 The Floyd Effect @ Central Studio, Swindon 20:00 Ahab Rides The Whale/ Soul Corruption/ The Clarity/ Stricken 22 @ Bang Bar, Basingstoke 20:00 NightBus/ Vienna Ditto @ Oakford Social Club, Reading 20:00 Desert Storm/ Ivy’s Itch/ Annero @ The Wheatsheaf, Oxford 20:00 BenPoole Band / Watch Out @ Moose Centre, Basingstoke 21:00 Lovefist @ The Railway Tavern, Hungerford 21:00 Three @ Snooty Fox, Newbury 21:30 Funkline @ The Jazz Cafe, Reading 11th April GIG LISTINGS 19:00 Bowling For Soup- An acoustic evening with Jaret Erik @ O2 Academy, Oxford 19:00 Viatrophy/ No Made Sense/ Chapersmartyr Defield @ Sub89, Reading 20:00 Open Mic Night @ Avenue, Newbury
**** time unknown please contact venue. Listings correct at time of going to print. Send us your listings at: Listings@bse-live.co.uk
REVIEW Heavens Basement / Dear Superstar / The Crave @ O2 Academy, Oxford Brighton-based rock band, The Crave, waste no time at all cranking the energy up in the academy from ‘ambient’ to ‘supersonic’. The atmosphere is truly electric as the foursome deliver their set with a winning combination of in-your-face stage presence and a respect that immediately links the band to the crowd. For an opening act this band tick all the boxes and their performance left the crowd on a high and their guitars with concussion. Second up are Dear Superstar, hailing from the Manchester region. The frontman has a definite love-it-or-hate-it style fuelled by dirty magazines and testosterone. Irrespective of your taste the singer has to be admired for abusing the freedom that being armed with just a mic can give you. The set has a definite vibe to it, spurred on by the character of the main man, yet perhaps not shared by the remainder of the band. The connection between the crowd was not quite so strong, but the set was played well if lacking a little in conviction by the players. Being the last night of the tour, Dear Superstar shared the stage with The Crave for their last track which pumped up the atmosphere once more. Last, but by no means least, are Heavens Basement, who have been sporting a new ‘standin’ lead singer for their recent tour. Their vocalist performs admirably and does a fine job of stoking the already energetic atmosphere. The guys roll on for around an hour and showcase of variety of new and older material. It’s clear that some of their dedicated fans are in the crowd as set is a singalong for many watchers. Their final track of their set, and of their tour, is shared with The Crave and Dear Superstar and seals the deal on an entertaining evening of rock. Words: The Juke Images: TiWiGi Visual Creations
GIG LISTINGS APR 2010
Mon-Sun ( 12th - 18th )
12th April GIG LISTINGS 19:00 N-Dubz @ The Hexagon, Reading 20:00 The Shivers/Love.Stop.Repeat/ Matther & The Alas @ South Street, Reading 21:00 Smiley Dave’s Open Mic Night @ Snooty Fox, Newbury 13th April GIG LISTINGS 19:00 Twenty Twenty @ O2 Academy, Oxford 19:00 The Alarm @ Sub89, Reading *** N-Dubz @ The Oasis, Swindon 14th April GIG LISTINGS 18:30 Robyn Hitchcock Electric @ O2 Academy, Oxford 19:00 Sweet Sweet Lies/ Alexandra Leguoix @ Oakford Social Club, Reading **** Garard Cousins & Yusuf B’Layachi @ South Street, Reading 15th April GIG LISTINGS 19:00 Battle of the Bands 2010 @ The Avenue, Newbury 19:30 Royal Philharmonic Orchestra @ South Street, Reading 20:00 Cats and Criminals/ Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons/ Courtesey of My Thinking @ Purple Turtle, Reading 20:00 Blues is Truth @ South Street, Reading 16th April GIG LISTINGS 18:30 Joshua Radin/ Lissie/ The Staves @ O2 Academy, Oxford 19:00 The Wonder Stuff @ O2 Academy, Oxford 19:30 Watership Brass @ Arlington Arts, Newbury 20:00 Invisible Vegas/ No Buttonsto Push/ Inventions of Jerry Darge @ The Wheatsheaf, Oxford 20:00 BOTB – Semi Finals @ Riffs Bar, Swindon 20:00 Beverly Crave @ Cornerstone Arts Centre, Didcot 20:30 The Screenbeats/ Primate/ The Stellar Thieves @ Avenue, Newbury 20:30 Claire Covington @ The Monument, Newbury 21:00 Shred @ The Railway Tavern, Hungerford 21:00 Soul Funk Secret @ Lock Stock & Barrel, Newbury
21:30 Logoff @ The Dophin, Newbury 17th April GIG LISTINGS 18:30 The Half Rabbits/ The Rock of Travolta/ Dead Jerichos/ Night Portraits @ O2 Academy, Oxford 19:00 Shalamar/ Kenny Thomas/ Steve Brookstein @ The Oasis, Swindon 19:30 DissolvedIN/ Secret Fridge Party/ Ascent/ The Monday Night Band@ Corn Exchange, Newbury 20:00 Patti Plinko and her Boy @ Arlington Arts, Newbury 20:00 John Renbourn and Robin Williamson @ Cornerstone Arts Centre, Didcot 20:00 theCOLOURS @ Oakford Social Club, Reading 20:00 Who’s Next @ Riffs Bar, Swindon 20:00 Vixens @ The Wheatsheaf, Oxford 20:00 Father and Son @ Old London Apprentice, Newbury 20:30 Blumen Bullets @ The Monument, Newbury 21:00 Uncle Jack @ The Railway Tavern, Hungerford 21:00 Scratchplate Reloaded @ Snooty Fox, Newbury 21:30 Soul Purpose @ The Jazz Cafe, Reading **** Joni Mitchell Project @ South Street, Reading 18th April GIG LISTINGS 14:30 Holly, Geoff and Matt @ Lock Stock & Barrel, Newbury 15:00 National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain @ The Hexagon, Reading 19:00 Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Trio :MM3 @ O2 Academy, Oxford 19:00 The Union/ Voodoo Six @ O2 Academy, Oxford 20:00 Open Mic Night @ Avenue, Newbury
**** time unknown please contact venue. Listings correct at time of going to print. Send us your listings at: Listings@bse-live.co.uk
REVIEW Mayors Benevolent Fund Charity Gig @ Avenue, Newbury Local musicians turned out to Avenue in Newbury to show their tuneful support for a charitable cause. The Mayors Benevolent fund provides support for people who find themselves in less than fortunate positions. Smiley Dave (thereâ€™s no escape from him) opens the evening with light-hearted banter and a few straight up covers with the odd selfpenned comedy track that lights up the ambience. Feisty foursome Wishlist take on the floor and dazzle the crowd with their own blend of rock. An immense medley of the greatest rock track riffs brought their set to an explosive finale. A wealth of acoustic artists took to the floor, each bringing a variety of styles and tracks to the mid-week audience. This includes Matt Ellis, Stu n' jamie, Bruce Hogg, Tom and Eisha, Lance Skybaby, Paul Curtis and Karen Jones, Colin and last but not least Chloe Byng. A fine evening of music, and all for a good cause.
Words: The Juke Images: TiWiGi Visual Creations
GIG LISTINGS APR 2010
Mon-Sun ( 19th - 25th )
19th April GIG LISTINGS 20:30 Mission From Gadd @ The Hexagon, Reading 21:00 Smiley Dave’s Open Mic Night @ Snooty Fox, Newbury 20th April GIG LISTINGS 20:00 Lawson @ The Jericho, Oxford 21st April GIG LISTINGS 19:00 Wild Palms/ Attention Thieves @ Oakford Social Club, Reading 20:00 Soiree For The Buskers / More @ The Wheatsheaf, Oxford 22nd April GIG LISTINGS 19:00 Efterklang @ O2 Academy, Oxford 19:30 Margaret Philips @ Concert Hall, Reading 19:45 Beverly Craven @ Corn Exchange, Newbury 20:00 Sevesa/ Off The Radar/ Rosa Klebb@ Purple Turtle, Reading 20:00 The Crookes / Papa Jules @ Oakford Social Club, Reading 20:00 Dumpy’s Rusty Nuts / The Worried Men @ Riffs Bar, Swindon 23rd April GIG LISTINGS 18:30 The Beat @ O2 Academy, Oxford 19:00 Foreign Beggars/ EngineEarz / Ed West @ Sub89, Reading 20:00 OoBopSh’Bam @ Arlington Arts, Newbury 20:00 The Scarlets / Vultures/ King of Cats @ The Wheatsheaf, Oxford 20:30 Secret Fridge Party/ Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons/ 12 Truths @ Avenue, Newbury 20:00 Alphabet Backwards / Tape the Radio / Crayon @ The Jericho, Oxford 21:00 24/7@ The Railway Tavern, Hungerford 21:30 Fubar @ The Dolphin, Newbury
24th April GIG LISTINGS 18:30 Battle of the Bands @ O2 Academy, Oxford 19:00 Battle of the Bands 2010 @ Avenue, Newbury 19:30 Brass Ensemble of the Mariinsky Theatre @ Concert Hall, Reading 20:00 The Yarns/ The Levenshulme Bicycle Orchestra/ Age Of Misrule @ The Wheatsheaf, Oxford 20:00 Michael Weston King @ Cornerstone Arts Centre, Didcot 20:00 Back to Blues @ Central Studio, Swindon 20:00 Street Corner Talking @ Old London Apprentice, Newbury 20:30 Riff Raff @ The Monument, Newbury 21:00 Replica @ The Railway Tavern, Hungerford 21:00 The Geoff Lai Special @ Lock Stock & Barrel, Newbury 21:30 HeadRush @ The Jazz Cafe, Reading 25th April GIG LISTINGS 14:30 Holly, Geoff & Matt @ Lock Stock & Barrel, Newbury 16:00 Under 18’s Battle of the Bands @ Avenue, Newbury 19:00 Story of the Year @ O2 Academy, Oxford 19:00 Alphabeat/ Eliza Doolittle/ Pearl and the Puppets @ O2 Academy, Oxford 19:30 Bedroom Community Collaboration @ Concert Hall, Reading 20:00 Open Mic Night @ Avenue, Newbury
REVIEW Inlight / Secret Rivals / Relik / Speakowire @ Jericho Tavern, Oxford A first-time gig is always a special occasion, and for Speakowire this was certainly the case. A duo of female vocalist with keyboard and laptop juxtaposed with metalinfluenced male bass player certainly gave the band a quirky presentation before the tunes even started. However, the peculiar mix lent itself to generating some really fresh and different sounds. Yes at times I felt like applauding by banging my head on the table, but when the mix was right the band exerted a really fresh blend of sound that made fine use of the wide spectrum of influences. Relik, on second, produced an acoustic set (full band minus drummer) which captivated the audience. ‘Lucky Day’ demonstrated the bands ability to mix strong lyrics, emotion and sentiment into a track that makes a real impression. Stage presence was fine, although I think the crowd were a bit bemused when lead singer, Nick, mentioned swans and swordfish. Peculiar comments aside the set was really well played, enjoyable to listen to and created a good atmosphere for the gig. Four piece, Secret Rivals, took the stage third. The performance was nothing short of frantic energy. In between songs the band would adopt relatively sedate poses, but as soon as the tracks started the band erupted into a mix of explosive movements and a racing pace. The tracks were tight, loud and absolutely jam-packed with verve and attitude. Last on, headliners Inlight take the stage. The four-piece produce an extremely full-on sound that is clean and accomplished. It’s clear that the majority of the gig-goers have turned up to see them as the dancefloor is at its most crowded. I think it would be an offence to brand these guys as indie, as the sound is more complex than the genre would allow. The switch between keyboard and guitar by the frontman/vocalist is used effectively and the backing vocals really add a depth that rounds off the sound of the band. With such a variety of music, gig-experience and band styles this is easily the most entertaining evening of music I have seen for a long time. Daisy Rogers music promotion has done well to bring together such a variety at a venue. Words: The Juke Images: TiWiGi Visual Creations
GIG LISTINGS APR 2010
Mon-Fri ( 26th - 30th )
26th April GIG LISTINGS 19:00 Peter Hook/ Howard Marks @ O2 Academy, Oxford 19:00 La Roux @ The Hexagon, Reading 21:00 Smiley Dave’s Open Mic Night @ Snooty Fox, Newbury 27th April GIG LISTINGS 19:00 The Primitives @ O2 Academy, Oxford 28th April GIG LISTINGS 18:30 Audio Bullys @ O2 Academy, Oxford 29th April GIG LISTINGS 19:30 The Quireboys @ O2 Academy, Oxford 20:00 Madolinquents / Dave Swarbrick/ Kevin Dempsey @ New Greenham Arts, Newbury 19:30 Zion Train @ Plug n’ Play, Reading 20:00 Misty’s Big Adventure/ Mountain Parade @ The Jericho, Oxford 30th April GIG LISTINGS 18:30 The Bluetones@ O2 Academy, Oxford 19:00 Twelfth Night @ South Street, Reading 19:00 Battle of the Bands 2010, Semi Final @ Avenue, Newbury 20:00 MG Christie @ Old London Apprentice, Newbury 20:00 LYREBIRDS @ The Jericho, Oxford 20:30 Night Prowler @ The Monument, Newbury 21:00 Roadhouse @ The Railway Tavern, Hungerford
BAND LINKS www.dearsuperstar.co.uk/ www.heavensbasement.com/ www.myspace.com/thecraveband www.inlightband.com/ www.myspace.com/secretrivalsband www.myspace.com/speakowire www.myspace.com/nikkiloy www.myspace.com/secretfridgeparty www.myspace.com/karrionuk www.strikes12.co.uk/mrtemper/ www.tinsoldiers.co.uk/ www.myspace.com/relikofficial www.stevegifford.co.uk www.myspace.com/superlance666 www.myspace.com/thecircussands
THANKS TO: TiiWiGi Visual Creations Nikki Loy Nick Strong Lance Skybaby Simon Corcoran Steve Gifford Secret Fridge Party All performing bands (especially those featured in this issue), without you this magazine wouldn't exist!
CONTACT DETAILS Gig Listings: Listings@bse-live.co.uk (Listings for May issue to be in by Apr 18th please) Advertising: Advertising@bse-live.co.uk Contributors: Contribute@bse-live.co.uk General Enquiries: Enquiries@bse-live.co.uk Telephone: 07512 602952 WEBZINE: www.bse-live.co.uk MYSPACE: www.myspace.com/bermudasquareeffect
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SPOTLIGHT: NIKKI LOY So, every girl and a guitar must be a folk singer right? Maybe that's not the best line to use with a girl who takes her song-writing seriously and certainly doesn't class herself as 'folk'! With creativity in the blood, a bundle of musical dedication and more enthusiasm for music than I have ever seen in anyone, it was a pleasure to find out a bit more about Oxford's Nikki Loy. How long have you been playing? I’ve been singing since I was about seventeen. I did my first duet when I was thirteen but I didn’t do anything after that till I was seventeen. But guitar I’ve only been playing a couple of years. That was just because there weren’t enough musicians around and you can’t really just be a singer without a musician. So I thought ‘right, do it alone then!’. Ultimately I focus on my voice. One day I’ll have a guitarist! In an ideal world would you drop the guitar and just focus on vocals? Yeah. Between you and me I’m a much better vocalist when I don’t have to play guitar. I think everyone would find that if they focussed on one of those two things that they are better at it, rather than compromising. I do enjoy playing guitar. I enjoy being able to sit down and come up with songs. I wouldn’t give it up completely. What makes you stick to the solo thing at the moment? It’s finding like-minded musicians. Oxford is very much a singer-songwriter place and I find there’s one drummer, one bass player for six bands and they’re not necessarily on the same wavelength. So I’m waiting for people to come along who are prepared to head in the same direction. So it’s definitely something you’d consider doing should the people, the time and the place be right? Yeah. Absolutely. I mean really I need a full band. So if there's anybody out there! Have you trialled anyone yet? There have been some drummers that I absolutely love and I could work with them forever, but they have their commitments and want to go in other directions. Or they’re not prepared to commit to me in the long-term. But I’m brewing some things and I’m hoping they will work out. It’s surprising that Oxford is short on musicians, with its rich culture and diversity. It is, but it’s got a population of about thirty thousand students, and thirty thousand students leave. People don’t stay in Oxford. It’s a really transient place. I’m in the wrong place, I should move to London, but I love it here. When London is only an hour away you find yourself thinking, well what’s the point of moving there, it’s an hour away. Is all of your work acoustic? For the most part yes, my CD is not very acoustic, but live I’m acoustic. I’ve got one CD out. It was a bit of an experiment. I was a bit green when I had it done. I’m pleased with the result but maybe they could have been a bit more reflective of my
actual act. It was finished last August so it’s been around for a while. It’s very much what I envisage the songs to be should I have had the opportunity to have a full band and everything. Where do you see yourself going in the short-term? I’m looking to work with producers because obviously as a solo artist and performer I’m quote strong vocally so I could go in either direction I could go down the full band route which I think is more credible in the longterm or I could go down the working with a producer creating some backing tracks and being you know more like a solo kind of little pop girl but that kind of makes me cringe just a little bit. (laughs) But working with producers is really fun and you get some really good quality recordings from it. How many guys have you been working with so far? The producer that I worked with on my recording we got on really well he pretty much did whatever I asked him to do. I’m now working with somebody else, but on their project so I’ve come in as a vocalist and songwriter as opposed to Nikki Loy and that’s going quite well, but it’s all in the early stages. I feature on their recordings as opposed to the other way round, which is quote exciting! I’m enjoying it. Do you find yourself using a different character rather than the regular Nikki Loy when you’re lending assistance? No. I think I maintain who I am in that situation because what they’ve asked of me is to be Nikki Loy which is great. So I dig around and see what creativity there is in me that I can apply to their music instead of my own and it’s been really fun, I’ve enjoyed it a lot. Do you find it helps you be more creative being around different sorts of people? Yeah, definitely. It definitely pulls something different out of me. Where do you think your creativity comes from? I come from a really creative family, in lots of different aspects. My parents both sing, but they’re not musical really they just happen to have good voices which they don’t use for anything, they’re both very creative in other aspects of their lives. My father is a carpenter and joiner and my mother is a dressmaker, my sister is a textile designer I in my previous life did children’s book illustrations so creativity is just in the blood. I decided it was time to apply it to music, the songs always come out anyway it doesn’t matter whether I’m doing illustrations or an ordinary day job I find myself singing and making up melodies so it’s always there.
Do the tunes just come to you? They come in all sorts of ways. Sometimes the songs just come. Like I’m walking down the street with iPhone in hand because it has a brilliant little recording thing on it and I think I’m singing something and I think that’s good so I make a little recording and go back to it later and make a song out of it. Other times I’ve actually got an idea I want to write about and it may takes years to for me to find it it’s almost like you know how archaeologoists kind of, they’re digging for something and they know it’s down there somewhere and they brush the dust away and eventually its revealed it’s a bit like that. I dig around inside my brain (laughs). It wasn’t an analogy I was gonna use! When you have your song how do you know it’s a good one? Usually I know whether something is good enough and whether it hangs together. I recognise the structure and the form then if I’m happy with that and I’m ok with it then I might present it and see what other people think. If it doesn’t get to that stage its not going to make it to the public domain! Honestly there aren’t that many people around that will say ‘Nikki that’s rubbish’. My friends are like ‘yeah that’s lovely’ and ‘it’s brilliant’, but I think it is though? Is it really? I think people might be too afraid to hurt my feelings. I can tell in a gig situation like if the crowd start talking and they all wander off you know that’s probably not a good tune! When you’re playing do you take everything in, or can you ‘zone-out’? I’m rubbish. I’m really easily distracted. So I wish I could zone out. I wish I could completely focus, but on the other hand I think it’s good to interact with your crowd and your fans, if you’re too insular then what kind of show is that? But then if I do interact I find myself going ‘oh that’s a nice dress’ and it all goes wrong! (laughs). I’m currently trying to perfect the art of engaging with the crowd whilst maintaining my concentration! It’s getting better. Busking helps. There’s nothing like busking Corn Market street to create a distraction. What are your influences for your songs? I usually write things about either situations that I’ve found myself in or intense emotions. So when it comes to situations I find myself in just a couple of weeks ago I went to a wedding, I was paid to perform at the wedding, out in the garden at nine o’ clock at night in February around a bonfire and I started off on my own with the best man just playing and the bride came down and had the bridal party with her and they were all very quiet because I was playing and then they set off these Chinese lanterns with the little lights inside them, well they all came down and they set off these little lanterns into the sky and they all went up and I was so struck by the beauty of the moment and how pretty it was, it was a classic distraction moment. It was really lovely and I felt alive in that moment and I felt that was one of those things that needed to be captured and immortalised in a song. So I went home and I brainstormed the whole thing and wrote about that. And other times you find yourself when relationships go awry, and you can’t help it but that’s sort of standard song writing isn’t it? I’d love to be a storyteller. I think that’s in there, down the line a bit. It seems everything you’ve been involved with is a method of expressing yourself. I had a meeting this week with some people in London. They called me in to this meeting with this music label. They wanted to see me but they didn’t tell me why! So I turned up there kind of expecting that they’d heard my music and so on and they basically said to me that they were looking for someone to be the next global pop princess. And I thought I’m not really sure that’s me! Up to that point I thought well you look at people on TV like
Beyonce and they have incredible stardom, incredible creativity that goes into their shows, amazing music and who wouldn’t want to have that life but when they say global pop princess it doesn’t seem congruous really. I think you’ve got the wrong person here! Being a singer-songwriter and creating something credible, going down the classic route is much more my style. I think if you’re going to do it you need to be an awful lot younger than I am. At that malleable age. I’m beyond the malleable age! I may never succeed because of that but then on the other hand, I think I probably will. Is there anyone who has impressed you recently? I was very impressed by Lauren Pritchard, who played at the Jericho Tavern a couple of weeks ago, and was the headline act. She’s just been signed in this country and America. As a songwriter and singer I was really impressed by her. She used her voice exceedingly well and her songs were really inspiring and interesting. She is quite a few steps further down the line than I am and talking to her was good. And big global superstars, I’m probably showing my age but I just read Tori Amos’ biography. She’s a bit mad, but she’s really creative and some of her music is phenomenal. What do you do when you’re not in music? Is there a world outside that? (laughs). To be honest most of my life is either out there gigging or getting gigs. I do this full time. I’d like to say that I get some time to paint but I never do! I never make time for it. I’d think I’d have to go far away from England to do that! How do you get to play so many venues? Busking is usually the way I get to play so many different places. Because people see you in the street and they’ll ask if you can play at their event, and I say yes. Promoters on myspace generates quite a few gigs. Being seen too and sometimes I just out and out go and ask for one. What are your next steps? I think it’s seriously time to find some management and either producers to work with and get signed. I have a little personal goal, with a little date on it, but I won’t tell you what it is! That’s where I’m headed really. Follow Nikki Loy on www.myspace.com/nikkiloy / www.nikkiloy.com or twitter/nikkiloymusic Words: The Juke Images: TiWiGi Visual Creations
DRUGS In the last issue we had a look at alcohol and how it is undeniably linked to music in many ways, in this issue we shall delve in to the issue of drugs. So alcohol is accepted in general by society but recreational drugs on the other hand and shunned by most. Even so drugs are frequently linked with music; take the phrase “Sex and drugs and rock n’ roll” for example! As trends in music changes so does the drug consumption, Jazz in the 1940’s for example was linked with heroin use, as Miles Davis noted in his autobiography ‘People were considered hip if they shot smack.’ The Mods chose amphetamines, Beatniks barbiturates and Rockers tended not to bother with drugs. When the Reggae started to become popular, so too did cannabis. The hippies adopted LSD as their drug of choice. The Punk era saw a rise in speed and amyl nitrate, with anything sluggish and introspective being classed as hippy crap. And so it continues... Regardless of your music genre of choice people take drugs for many reasons: as coping strategies, peer pressure, enjoyment, boredom etc. I am unable to go through every single drug here in this issue as there are far too many, so instead I shall cover the main groups briefly. Central nervous system depressants often referred to as downers are psycho active drugs which diminish the function or activity of a specific part of the body (or mind). They tend to have a calming effect, reducing anxiety, stress and panic, cause drowsiness, reduce aches and pains, relax muscles, boost the mood and enhance sociability. Usual route of admisitration is by mouth (drinking liquids, swallowing pills) Examples of downers: Alcohol / Barbiturates / Benzodiazepines / Gammahydroxybuturate (GHB) – Liquid ecstasy Opioids – which include: morphine, heroin, codeine and methadone, decrease the perception of pain, they also offer a sense of well being, relaxation, slowing of heart rate and respiration, decrease in body temperature, coma, nausea & vomiting, cold chills. The common routes of administration include: Nose (snorting powered form) / Lungs (inhaling pipe smoke) / Mouth (swallowing pills) / IV (injection into a vein) Cannabinoids are psycho active drugs, the effects include sense of well being & relaxation, enhanced colour perception, mental confusion, contains cancer causing compounds, bronchitis and lung infections, anxiety, personality disturbances, depression. Cannabinoids are usually smoked or eaten. Cannabinoids are found in: Cannabis / Kief / Hashish / Hash oil / Residue CNS Stimulants are psychoactive drugs that induce temporary improvements in mental and/ or physical function. They are often referred to as uppers. The effects include a sense of well being, energy, euphoria, reduced appetite, increased breathing and heart rate, blurred vision, panic attacks, irregular heartbeat, violent behaviour, stroke, heart attack, coma, after intoxification there is a crash period when exhaustion occurs. Long term use can lead to malnutrition, fatigue, insomnia, severe anxiety, high blood pressure, low immune system, amphetamine psychosis – similar to paranoid schizophrenia. Routes of administration include Nose (snorting powered form), Lungs (inhaling pipe smoke) Mouth (swallowing pills, drinking coffee)
Uppers include: Caffeine / Nicotine / Amphetamines / Cocaine Hallucinogens are psycho active drugs, but unlike those mentioned earlier they do not just amplify familiar states of mind but in fact induce experiences that are different from those of ordinary consciousness, and are often compared to trance, meditative and dream like states. Hallucinogens are generally ingested. The effects can include blurred vision, euphoria, hallucinations, anxiety, paranoia, dizziness, increased heart rate and blood pressure and breathing, increased body temperature / sweating which may alternate with chills and shivering, rapid and wide mood swings, muscle twitches, flash backs, drug induced psychosis, convulsions and seizures. Examples of hallucinogenic compounds include: Ketamine / Lysergic acid Diethylamide [LSD] / Mescaline [Cactus] / Psilocybin, [Mushrooms] / MDMA [Ecstasy] / Phencyclidine [PCP] So with all the crazy effects you can experience from doing drugs, just why do people do it? Well for musicians it could be to alleviate stage fright, to relax the mind and get the creativity flowing, to enhance the power of making their lead riffs much faster, whatever it is surely it isnâ€™t worth all the hassle of trying to come clean once you realise that your making a mistake, or the heart ache and pain for all those that know you if you over dose accidentally or otherwise. Too many talented musicians have dabbled with drugs, and many a life cut short. Kurt Cobain of Nirvana fame, is a prime example after having a heroin overdose, he later tried to commit suicide using wine and rohypnol and his successful suicide attempt was with a shotgun, although the post-mortem showed heroin and valium to be in his system too. Janis Joplin overdosed on heroin to the extent that the levels of heroin in her system were eight times higher than the average fatal overdose amount. Robbie Williams has famously taken drugs, including cannabis, cocaine, and prescription drug addiction and Eminem reportedly has half an ecstasy tablet before his performances. Pete Doherty has been in and out of court on drugs related charges, most recently been arrested under suspicion of supplying drugs following the death of heiress Robin Whitehead. Sid Vicious died of heroin overdose, Steve Clark of Def Leppard died of an overdose of codeine, vallium, morphine and alcohol. Tim Hardin (folk musician) died of a heroin overdose, American soul singer Phyllis Hyman died of a barbiturate overdose. There is lots of help available out there once you accept that the drugs are not really helping you, so if you are using drugs at the moment, or you are worried about someone who is there are plenty of people to talk to a good place to start for free and confidential information and advice is to call FRANK or visit the website, where you can find details of local organisations which can offer you more in depth help and advice. The website also includes details about drugs, how to help friends or family that you are worried about, other peoples stories etc. FRANK: 0800 77 66 00, www.talktofrank.com
Words: S. Bruce BSc (Hons)
FROM GARAGE TO GRANDURE #5 - SONG WRITING At the centre of any credible band is the ability to write a good song. Generally this includes a winning combination of lyrics and melody, but how does the magic happen? Because we are so good to you we had a chat to some local music talent to see how they capture the moment in words and tune. Lance Skybaby (singer-songwriter) “If I’m writing a song for my solo stuff it can start with a lyric idea, maybe an opening few lines. Sometimes from a conversation with someone, you know one of you may say something and you think ‘oh that would make a great chorus’ then finding some chords which go with it. Unless it’s jamming with other musicians I normally have to have an idea of what I want to write a song about before I start. I’ve found usually the best thing for me is to sit down on my own in a quiet house with the acoustic, beer, pen & paper. If nothing comes, try not to force or you come up with something sub standard or just end up starring at a blank piece of paper!” Simon Corcoran (of The Circus Sands) “I get a lot of inspiration for my lyrics from people I meet, or people I see walking past me in the street, characters who interest me, people I love, People I hate...Sometimes a song will grow from a title, or a phrase, which gives the song it's sentiment or theme so to speak. More often than not the whole band will jam in the studio and come up with an idea for a song, so we'll all chip in with ideas, and I will hum along a melody, then go away and write lyrics to fit the melody. Although sometimes it happens the other way round. But I think the main thing for me is to not force it, I find it hard to write when I'm trying to write, it has to just come to me, I don't like looking for it. I always find I have good ideas for songs when I'm in bed at night, ‘cause you have time to think.” Nick Strong (of Relik) “I would say there are many things that can be an influence. It can be anything from personal experience, to maybe something you see or read. I find that the smallest thing can inspire me. The way I usually start is with a few chords, this usually comes when I am sitting around with an acoustic guitar and trying a few things out. This gives me the melody and general tune. Sometimes I will just sing gibberish over the top to get the vocal melody! Sometimes this can give you a few lyrics or combinations of words, which is pretty cool, some of my most random stuff has come from doing this!! I think some of the best songs are written by accident. Most of the time though once I have the basic tune worked out, I will start on the lyrics. With Lyrics, I think it either flows or it doesn't. I like to write poetry, so that sometimes helps. I have a song book that I am constantly writing ideas in, some songs are made out of putting these ideas together, some just come all as one part. I have pages of scribbles, but most of the best songs are the ones that just flow. For me I think that the more confident I get with writing, the easier it is. I think that you need to be confident with the writing process, as you will get a better result if you really believe in what it is that you want to put n a song. Like I said various things influence me. A lot of the stuff on our new E.P and a few on the old one for that matter are as a result of a really bad break up that I had. I found at that period in my life it was a kind of therapy for me, the songs just came, they were more an out pouring of emotion than anything, writing them made me feel better and it was a really release to get them out. So that’s what I mean about personal experience being a big influence on starting the writing process. I can help you out of your darkest times!!! On the other side of that, one of our songs 'This City
Is Ours' came about when I was watching Liverpool v Everton! The crowd had a banner saying 'This City Is Ours' and it just hit me and I thought what a great slogan! That night I was driving through Thatcham and there were all these kids hanging around outside a chip shop and I just thought they were patrolling that area and they were so defiant and that slogan came back into my head... I think I went home and wrote that song straight away.... They don’t have to be all about personal experience, I mean a good made up story can do!! Most of the ideas are then taken away, recorded as a demo and given to the rest of the band.. sometimes we don't change them much, but other times they can change beyond belief! I think this is another point, don't be afraid to play around with ideas! I have a dictaphone that I record stuff on and listen back, this is another good trick!! I would also say keep a pen and pad by your bed, as some of my most creative stuff ha come when I am in bed just thinking, its the best way to not forget a great line!! It is also influenced by what I listen to. I grew up listening to everything as my dad loves music, but Feeder were always my favourite band, and as I started to listen to music, I would listen to how they structured there songs, and try to do the same. I now get inspired by listening to other artists and see how they do things. I think this is a good idea, as it gives you a real sense if how to put a tune together. Sometimes the arrangement is just as important as the lyrics. So whatever you do, saturate yourself in good music and the juices will flow!!! What a line!!! I think the most important thing is to enjoy writing, even if no one ever hears it, just be creative. I will now recap... Inspiration can come from anywhere! Experiment Be confident in what you write Keep an ideas book and dictaphone Enjoy!!” Steve Gifford (singer-songwriter) “ ‘Tunes in my head’ didn't start until about 12 years ago. Why then, after so many years of playing guitar and singing I don't know. The best songs for me are the ones where I hear a tune in my head, it can be at any time but early morning seems to be favourite. For me it is essential to have a guitar close at hand to then try and find the chords to this embryonic song. Very shortly after this stage I think it is easy to say whether the song is going to have "legs" or not. I then set about writing the lyrics which have to suit the melody. To be honest it can be any kind of a story line, personal strife is often very thought provoking and can evoke some genuine heartfelt lyrics. Although these days I desperately try get away from the "me, myself, I," songs because I think they can get too introspective. I've done my share of those! Other songs can arrive in a more contrived fashion i.e. strumming the guitar, looking for new chords, but in my case these songs tend to be less original and likely to be near clones of other songs.” So there you have it. Immerse yourself in music and get stuck in. Don’t worry if the ideas take a while to flow. Try a few different places, get your pad and pen and get writing! Next month we cover booking your first gig. Words: The Juke / Lance Skybaby / Simon Corcoran / Nick Strong / Steve Gifford
AUDIO REVIEW Artist: Secret Fridge Party Media: CD demo Title: No title Tracks: 6 Running Time: ~21 minutes A simple paper wallet with a plastic window holds the plain CD inside. The disc is still branded with the CD manufacturers logo and shows no hint that this is a taster of the tunes from Secret Fridge Party. No even so much as a tracklist. I almost feel saddened that so much detail is lacking, but maybe what it lacks in presentation it makes up for in music. After all, I’m not going to judge this CD by it’s cover, however with a lack of tracklist it does open the opportunity to put my own names in. 1 – perhaps “That’s Why” – 3.38 – Twinkling rock guitar, supported with a pulsing rhythm and punky vocals give a strong start to the disc. The guys obviously have a lot of energy and they drop guitars in and out to add depth to the track. The lyrics are simple not stupid, and this makes them catchy. A fine opener that ramps the CD from a mild tempo up to pumping. 2 – maybe “He said no” – 3.05 – Dirty distortion guitar, catchy lyrics and a rampant pace give this punk/rock tune a real kick. The riff is super catchy too. You know, this tune is pretty catchy! 3 – could be “Your time is up” – 4.21 – A fine use of lead guitar picks you up and takes you through this track. The pace is fine and a variety of rhythm keeps you interested. The track has a lot of potential, but perhaps need to be a little tighter to really sell itself. 4 – err? “The time is now” – 3.08 – Woo. A hefty riff to open with. This is verging on metal. Follow that with a pounding beat. Lyrics that fit with the genre show that SFP are no one trick pony. This track has a lot of grunt, make no mistake. 5 – could be “Track Five” – 2.51 – Listen to this. Ever heard a spooky riff? I think I have now. No time to think though, because the pace is up again, the beat is driving and then it’s a bit more quiet as it’s time for lyrics. Phew. Whoa…the intensity is up again..a real rollercoast. Very cool. 6 – should be “Till the end” – 4.06 – A very melodic riff to close things off with. Then some tasty lead to supplement the tune. It’s as close to a ballad as the guys get, but this is no drive-time track! Plenty of substance, guitar grunt and variety. Splendid. This disc really captures the raw sound and talent that the SFP lads obviously have. That said, the rhythm section needs to tighten up to really make the most of the songs that have been put together. The musical variety that is on this disc really holds your ear and the vocal style, catchy lyrics and overall diversity makes it a really fine collection of tracks. The guys certainly haven’t settled on a specific genre, but this only adds to the interest. Certainly a rough diamond of a disc. Words: The Juke To get your recording reviewed drop us a line at Contribute@bse-live.co.uk
NEWS NEW ALBUM RELEASE ‘Ungodly hour’ the fourth album, from Steve Gifford is being released this month. It's already been released in the U.S. on Tune core www.tunecore.com and also is on iTunes. LET BATTLE COMMENCE The Battle of the Bands series for Newbury kicked off with style on March 26th at Avenue in Newbury. Catch our review and who got through the first rounds in our next issue. Oh, and get down there to show the bands some support….don’t forget to vote. JAM-PACKED FOR JAMMIN’ DODGERS Did you see The Crave and Jammin’ Dodgers at Avenue in Newbury? The place was jampacked and luckily we managed to squeeze in. Check out the review (sent in by one of the appreciative crowd members) in our next issue. WIN THE GOLDEN TICKET Have you been to Sticks and Strings in Thatcham recently? When You Spend £100 or more on one item at Sticks and Strings you will get your personal draw ticket to win £1000 to spend on new music gear of your choice. The ticket will last from Jan 2011 for one year. Now that sounds like a good idea. Maybe you should get yourself over to Thatcham. HIGH-STREET CHANGE High street retailer HMV is changing its strategy to tackle the loss of sales it faces from downloads. The chain is to focus more on live music and fresh ranges of products. It will be selling merchandise from recording artists in specially designated zones in HMV stores. This would include band t-shirts, caps, badges and music fashion label accessories. The group also plans to acquire three new concert halls per year and to expand its ticket selling business. NEWBURY SPRING FESTIVAL The 2010 Newbury Spring Festival will run from 8th to 22nd May this year. For further details check out www.newburyspringfestival.org.uk
REVIEW Karrion / Mr. Temper / Tin Soldiers @ Avenue, Newbury Ladies and gentlemen, the evening is going to get a bit serious. First off, four-piece rock outfit Tin Soldiers who have an exceptionally tight sound. A few of the riffs are a little reminiscent of modern rock classics, but the sound is powerful and delivered with plenty of vitality. A little too much proclamation of their latest album and its rave review was a little unnecessary, but the tracks more than made up for any shortfall in banter. A really powerful band that warrant a second look. Mr. Temper, a fearsome five piece show their metal prowess in strong style. The band does very well to mix humorous banter and hard metal, which is mirrored in more well-known metal bands. However, I think I overdosed on my daily allowance of lightning fast guitar finger-work. The fret bashing of the axes, varied vocal style, charisma of the frontman and the tight rhythms gave the band a really refined sound. Last up are the grand Karrion, complete with leather clad frontmen and an extremely, and I mean extremely, loud and proud sound. The between-song banter is great, and demonstrates how down-to-earth these guys really are. The music is as tight as tracks could be and if anyone wants a lesson on how a band needs to act while playing then check these lads out. Even if you donâ€™t want a smoking vulture skull at the back of the stage, or microphone stands made from welded chain, then take a lesson on the hair swirling, rock grimaces or subtle flair thrown into guitar solos.
Words: The Juke Images: TiWiGi Visual Creations