MUSIC • ARTS • CONSCIENCE
A MASSIVE THANKS TO THE TALENTED MR JON BURGERMAN FOR THE COVER ART
EDITORIAL You may well have already ripped off the cover of this issue of Freeq magazine and stuck it on your wall because you instantly recognised the famous forms from Freeq’s favourite friendly illustrator with a flagrant fascination for funny little figures. If you haven’t realised that you are holding in your grubby mitts a genuine Jon Burgerman special, then I guess you do now, and we’ve got a feature on Jon’s new interest, a quirky band set up with fellow artist Jim Avignon. There’s also interviews with Newton Faulkner, Wayne Sealey, Rich Hall and an alternative Christmas guide with Oxfam as our conscience section this issue. As per usual, look across the page for all the content details; I’m not going to repeat myself anymore. I will say however, that now the clocks are back, the nights are long and the panic of Christmas setting in, what could be better than a quiet pint in your favourite local flicking through the best free gift you’ve ever picked up (that’s this magazine by the way). We’ve teamed up with Cineworld to bring you film reviews and you’ll also now be able to find your copy of Freeq at the cinema (don’t rustle the pages during the movie), and we’re still the only arts magazine distributed at the Trent FM Arena. That’s two good reasons to celebrate. So, make sure you have a Christmas to remember, and don’t forget the real Christmas message in all the drunken festivities. That the baby Jesus came to Earth to save us all from an eternity of doom. If that doesn’t make you happy then I don’t know what will. Noel Freeq Magazine
Editor in Chief: Sam Borrett Creative Director: Mellisa Harrison Reviews Editor: Jamie Brannon Features: Martin Guttridge-Hewitt Contributors: The Elementz, Phil Robinson, Ellie Rose, Sarah Drumm, Anna Linehan, Craig Stockton Photography: Digital Resolution, Onehaus Collective, Peter Eckersley Cover: Jon Burgerman Design: Radar Creative Published by: Freeq Advertising: Call: 07766 118 852 Email: email@example.com WEBSITE: www.freeqmagazine.com General enquiry email: firstname.lastname@example.org Address: Freeq Magazine, The Hive Burton Street Nottingham NG1 4BU There’s even more for you to peruse online at www.freeqmagazine.com including articles from all our back issues and image galleries of our favourite gigs and events. Facebook: search for freeq Myspace: www.myspace.co.uk/freeqmagazine Online issues: www.issuu.com/freeqmagazine Twitter: www.twitter.com/freeqmagazine
Comedian, actor, author, playwright and quite possibly the lovechild of Tommy Lee Jones and the Simpson’s Moe Szyslak, American funny man Rich Hall is an all round ‘stand up’ guy. Fresh from regular performances on our best telly shows in the UK, he’s embarked on a mammoth live tour and we caught up with him in Nottingham four dates in. You had the responsibility for opening the new Glee club recently...
I didn’t really think about it that much. The expectations are that it’s going to be a good show regardless of whether it’s a new club or not. I’ve got to come out ISSUE TWELVE and be the best Rich Hall that I can. Everything seemed to go fine. You interact a lot with the crowd – how much of the show is pre written and how much is off the cuff? A lot of it is written, at some point it got written down and worked out. It’s kind of a safety net. It’s always there and eventually you get round to it but because I have that, I have a tremendous amount of confidence to go off and people are there thinking, ‘oh is he making this up?’ well then, some of it’s not made up, it’s kind of a mixture of both. Even a song that apparently sounds improvised has some structure to it otherwise you wouldn’t know what to play. So, I know where I’m going. But I think it creates an element of originality, It’s more fun for me if I try and wing it a bit. And of course, you have several hundred dates to do. Yea, and they’re not all going to be as glamorous as Nottingham, there’s Yeovil, er, some real shit holes. Nottingham is one of the more classy gigs. As a US comedian, you’ve done a lot of stuff in the UK, how do you find the difference over here to the US? It’s not a lot different, I don’t really change, I haven’t developed some different persona for the British audience, this is what I do. I work in the UK and I work in the US as well and obviously there’s things I can talk about here that Brits can relate to and if I talked about in America they wouldn’t be interested and vice versa. But in America it’s still my sense of humour, I still do what I think is funny. Americans are actually used to people staying on the script. American comedians are a bit slicker and a bit more polished and a bit more ‘this is what I’ve written, this is what I’m going to do’ and so when you kinda come out of that and actually talk to them, they really sometimes go ‘ahh, woah!’ I think they’re probably more impressed than Brits about that. Brits want you to talk to them, they kind of want you to break the barrier and acknowledge where you are. I want to entertain myself as well and the only way to do that on stage is to keep it interactive.
7 In the show you talked about President Obama, do you think the time has come when it’s OK to ‘diss’ him? Do you really think he’s doing a bad job? Er, I had higher expectations. He seems to be doing lots of things for his self accomplishment, like pushing through a health care programme, that’s great but it seems more like ‘look what I did and what the last president didn’t do.’ But that doesn’t really affect me and it’s a bureaucratic mess. I don’t know, I think by nature I’m going to be sceptical of anyone and I was very celebratory about when he got elected and I was very much for him, and I’m still for him, but it’s been two years now and there’s a lot of unrest in America and a lot of money just being wasted. Britain has a sort of slash and burn kind of approach to being in recession, Britain’s going to cut and cut and cut and you’re going to have to sit back and take it. And America’s trying to pretend that nothing’s wrong, and it’s not working, there’s a lot of f**king unemployment and a lot of stuff going under you know. I’m from a small town so I see it really manifest itself very specifically, there’s a bar that was open two weeks ago and now it’s closed. I don’t know, it’s two different approaches. Americans are blind or something, Obama’s such an eloquent speaker I think he’s convinced people to do stuff but I think he’s convinced them to do the wrong thing. Maybe it’s a sign that the president doesn’t run the country but the people behind him do? Well there’s a lot of bitterness between parties. I don’t give a f**k whether you’re Democrat or Republican, it drives me nuts. Americans are like ‘oh I’m a Democrat because my dad was a Democrat’ so you follow the party line when in fact you might have some really conservative ideas about certain things. I refuse to tow either party line. I think there should be some real conservative stuff done in America so people say ‘oh you sound like a Republican’ well, no I’m not but I think this needs to be done it’s pretty austere and maybe it’s right wing but it depends on the issue. Electing Obama was such a big moment in America, it’s an achievement, it kind of overshadows so much other stuff you know. If Obama wasn’t a black president, he’d just be a kind of good president, like Clinton, to be honest I think at this point in his tenure, Clinton had accomplished a lot more.
a woman president’ but I kinda think Hilary would be a better administrator, it’s hard to say. I’m as impatient as anybody, I just want the economy to get better you know, turn Detroit around, get the f**k out of Afghanistan get out of Iraq, stop wasting money on something you can’t win and start making cars that run on grass, do something! It’s clear that it can be turned around really quickly if you’re someone who’s not led by huge global corporations… Or greed, greed is worse, you say corporations but I actually say greed and greed isn’t a corporate thing, there’s so much f**king greed. And there was so much money that was made and things had so much value, overvalued to a point where, lets say you have a house that’s worth a million dollars and now a real estate agent comes along and says it’s only worth 700,000 and you’re thinking ‘but it was worth a million so I’m not going to sell it for 700,000 because it was worth a million’, but it’s not now! People have a hard time letting go of that, and there’s a certain amount of greed in that. Think about cars and all that, you can go back to the 60s and 70s when they paid people to design f**king kick ass cars and that’s true all over the world. The minute someone designs a really good looking car no-one will give a f**k what it runs on. ‘Oh I gotta have that, what does it run on?’ Canolo oil? Ok, then put canolo oil in...as long as it looks cool.
So he’s in danger of being a token gesture? No, it’s not token because it’s very significant gesture. But if the greatest achievement happened before he set foot in office, because he went in there a black president, then it would be sad. If I could predict it now, I’d say Hilary Clinton is gonna be the next president of the United States. Setting new ground? Yea, and Obama would have paved the way for it. Then he’d be like ‘oh great, I’m the black guy that made
Take one part UK doodler and one part German art anarchist, give them a keyboard and a ukulele and sit back in wonderment at the music of Anxieteam. This was the second time we were meeting up with Nottingham-based illustrator Jon Burgerman but the first time under the pretext of discussing his new venture, a band with pARTner in crime Jim Avignon, an artist and musician that believes in free art for everyone; we knew it would be entertaining. We had an insight into Jon’s work last year when he designed our cover artwork with what is still the most popular cover to date and it was a pleasure to find out about his musical talents and to get to know Jim, a German-born New Yorker who has form in both the art world and the music industry. Jim’s unorthodox approach to the art market has seen him giveaway 800 pieces of his art in a lottery at a museum that was covered in his paintings. He even gatecrashed Germany’s Documenta exhibition and spent three weeks outside the building painting three metre canvasses before jumping through them, getting motorcycles to drive through them and otherwise destroying the art. It was, as Jim puts it, ‘focussing on how the art market and the art world are connected, how the price of artwork creates the importance of the work.’ His aim was to create the art, let people take photos for posterity and then take away the value of the piece by its destruction. It was art that brought Jim and Jon together in a Brooklyn exhibition that Jon was originally scheduled to do as a solo project. However, after emailing Jim they agreed to do the exhibition together despite having never actually met previously. “It could have gone terribly badly. We decided that it wouldn’t be a joint exhibition where one wall would be Jim’s work and the other wall would be my work, that we would paint on each others paintings; a proper collaboration. It was a really fun week, we worked really hard but it was a pleasure to do so, who wouldn’t love to do that
for a week? Paint and draw and talk about things and listen to music, it was a real fun time.” While Jon admits he hasn’t gone to ‘some of the extreme lengths that Jim has done’ when it comes to art anarchy, he does like to keep his work accessible – something our cover artwork is testament to. Jim is of a like mind and explained, “In my opinion art should be made for everybody; everybody should be able to afford it.” This was no more so in evidence than in 2009 where Jim drew portraits of people at a Hamburg exhibition from his home in Brooklyn via Skype. “I could see people sitting in a booth. I did a drawing, a three minute portrait, and scanned it and sent it and they printed it out and took it home for free.” Art collaborations developed into music collaborations when Jim pitched the idea of forming a band to Jon who, after some deliberation, recorded the vocals in Nottingham, sent them to Jim in Brooklyn who put a song together and played it at a New York gallery’s closing event. Jon tells us, “people seemed to like it and it went down quite well, so the next time I went to New York, I met up with Jim again and we just started doing stuff.” Although Jon insisted explaining their sound was a difficult question, he immediately gave us a pretty comprehensive description. “It’s sort of low-fi electronic noises with erm, a smattering of ukulele, but we’re very crafted, simple with catchy melodies underpinning it all. We try and keep things simple but very melodic and colourful in its music. I think we listen to lots of different genres of music and rather than taking something sonically from those as inspiration. I would say we get inspired by bands that leave you in a good feeling or that have a nice sort of quality to them rather than like ooh, try and make it sound like this
9 or that. I mean, I’m not a super proficient, technical musician at all so I don’t analyse music in a way that I try and replicate a certain technical element of it. I’d rather have a song that is memorable and you hum it to yourself or you enjoy listening to it, and it gives you a pleasant kind of experience for the short while you’re listening.” With songs about eating Soya and being a cat, combined with unusual musical arrangements, we asked if there were similarities between Jon’s art and the music. Was the music an ‘audio doodle’? “Yea, definitely, stylistically, it’s like a sonic representation of the way that I would work in a drawn manner, but it’s a little different whereas I might do a drawing and it might take a minute, songs just by their nature, composing something and having a structure, it’d be misleading to call it a doodle. It’s not like something’s just plonked out and there it is, it might have a light feel to it but it’s actually very meticulously planned and honed and polished and you know, made to work, which you don’t necessarily have to do with an illustration, you can do a drawing quite quickly and it might magically just work. We definitely want the music to have a nice effortless quality, we don’t want it to sound laboured, but actually behind the scenes they’re very much honed.” We knew the time was coming when we’d have to ask the inevitable questions of choosing between music and art. “I get asked that a lot”, Jim explained. “The art is the one thing I’m kind of guaranteed to make a living from, but the music is the one that has my soul inside so er, sometimes people ask me if I’d prefer to be blind or deaf…” Jon interrupts by suggesting being poked in one eye and blocking up an ear as some kind of compromise which helped lighten the severity of Jim’s revelation. “Personally I would lose more if I couldn’t do the music,” he went on to clarify. “Doing the art is more like doing some kind of work, doing the big works is more like, I have to work now. So it’s like, get up early, do the work. But with music it never feels like work, I always enjoy it. It’s like you’re looking for something, you don’t know what it is and it’s that moment you find it. It could be a tune, some weird arrangement idea, I really enjoy that process of finding it.”
when you go back to it it’s fun again for a bit. So it’s been good this year doing a little bit of each. “I like the real time aspect of it, I’ve done a lot of live painting and I guess it’s a similar kind of thing where you’re creating something in front of people and that’s exciting because every time it’s a bit different and their reactions will influence how it goes, and that’s nice to have that feedback, to see people’s reaction to your work immediately, you don’t get that so much when you have a painting on the wall… unless you stay in the gallery all day watching people’s faces…” “I think if you sing and stand on stage you learn something new about yourself,” added Jim. “I think that’s also a reason why a lot of artists started in music as well. It’s a different way of expressing what’s going on with you or what you want to say.” Before we let the guys get ready for their gig we asked them to tell us the story behind the band’s name. “We did an exhibition together in Brooklyn, and for that Jon suggested the name Anxiety Room because Jon is a very anxious person. He sees dangers everywhere, and he thought from knowing my art I would be the same, but it turns out I am blind to any possible dangers (both laugh) so we did that exhibition about anxieties and it turned out to be not a very scary exhibition, it rather turned into a funny thing. When we came up with the idea to have a band we thought we’d stay with that theme and we played around with words and we liked the combination of anxiety and team like to present us as Jon’s the Mr Anxiety and I’m the Mr Team, or like staying together and fighting anxieties. I don’t know. It sounded good. We liked it. We took it.” www.anxieteam.com www.hellothor.com www.jonburgerman.com www.jimavignon.com
Jon’s response was less surprising given what we know about him, “I love listening to music but playing it live and creating new songs with someone is fairly new to me.” Given just how unfamiliar it was to be a musician and lead singer in a signed band, we asked just how scary it is to play live to people. “It is scary, I’m not a performer, I’m not a singer or a dancer or anything so to do that is very scary, but that’s exciting. It’s nice actually to do both, to have a period of time doing music and enjoy that and get excited about that and then you forget about some of the work of painting, you forget about some of that hard drudgery, and so www.freeqmagazine.com
ALTERNATIVE CHRISTMAS SHOPPING If you are fed up with the seasonal onslaught urging us to spend, spend, spend on a bunch of things we don’t really need, or the strings of your social conscience have been tugged by the thoughts of people much worse off than yourself then we’ve got the perfect solution this Christmas. Try a gift that keeps on giving; buy one of the many Oxfam Unwrapped presents and you and your nearest and dearest can learn about the difference the gift has made for people
in poverty around the world. Then enjoy the warm and satisfying feeling that will no doubt wash over you knowing you’ve truly bought a message of joy and hope this Christmas. Oxfam Unwrapped is the largest range of charity gifts on the market, and this year marks its seventh birthday. Over 500,000 people have bought an Oxfam Unwrapped gift including our good selves who have purchased goats from the website since our launch ‘Goat Issue’ way back in May 2007.
Oxfam have launched a new kids range with the aim of encouraging children in the UK to help transform the lives of other children around the world who are less fortunate than themselves, and to understand how they can benefit from a gift this Christmas. The gifts available for kids vary from the very simple, such as a desk and chair at £21 through to the most essential, such as care for a vulnerable child (which includes activities and support for children who are suffering as a result of HIV/AIDS). The Playtime gift (£7), which provides health education to kids in emergency camps via play, comes with an activity book for the child in the UK.
HOW DOES ITWORK?
Choose a gift online at www.oxfamunwrapped.com You get a card to give to your friend or relative as a memento of the gift which tells the recipient about the present you have selected for them Oxfam Unwrapped then sends your gift to where it’s needed most Find out more at: www.oxfamunwrapped.com
Save Trees and Recycled Pad gift set (£19.99) Buying this notepad made from elephant dung supports the Save Trees initiative, teaching communities the importantance of using trees to prevent flooding.
Coffee (£15) and Fairtrade coffee gift set (£22.99) The coffee gift provides coffee producers with seeds, tools and training to grow their crops, and turn their business into a success. The giftset also includes a jar of fairtrade coffee which you can give to the recipient – meaning people overseas benefit and so does your friend here in the UK.
Solar Panels (£25) In places where the national grid is nonexistent, solar panels can be the answer. In Sudan, solar powered fridges are used to store veterinary medicine and in Bangladesh families can work and study after dark with electric lighting.
Chocs - £5.50 with any unwrapped gift but great with the chocolate gift at £19.
Goat (£25) The goat is the most famous Oxfam Unwrapped gift, and the most popular, having sold over 210,000 since 2004. The goats are locally sourced and able to make a big difference to local communities – providing milk to drink and sell, fertiliser for crops and kids to take to market.
The Growbox giftset (£29.99) gives an allotment gift to a family who really need it, and a growbox for your green fingered friend – so they can get growing too. Honey and Fair trade honey giftsets (£52.39) The giftset enables Oxfam to give local communities hives, bees and training to provide a valuable source of income.
Plant an allotment (£24) This gift helps feed a family, and pay for their healthcare and education fees – helping to buy the essentials for a working allotment (tools, sees, training and education) enabling the family to feed themselves and sell the surplus.
Vinyl Junkie Wayne Sealey started collecting acid house and hip-house back in the eighties and hasn’t looked back. Dj-ing all over the north, spinning hip hop, breakbeat, electro, disco, old school house, soul, R&B, funk, jazz, ska/reggae and Latin styles he has been a permanent fixture on the music scene since 1989. We caught up with Wayne to talk about the good old days, teaching and touring with Nightmares on Wax As a child were you musically inclined or did you want to do something completely different? I was always musically inclined really thanks to my mum who constantly had records playing and encouraging us to dance around with her, mainly to old Motown, soul and funk tracks. However I do remember a time when my younger brother had ambitions to be a copper and I intended on being the robber! Thankfully music was the path I ultimately chose! How did you get into music? My mum was definately the strongest earliest influence, however as I started collecting music myself from about the age of 11, I discovered I had an ability to pick out tracks and make mix tapes that all my friends and family really enjoyed. This was my first experience of being in demand as a DJ although I obviously didn’t realise it at that time! Eventually I discovered the DMC DJ Championships and Acid House Music and these two movements combined inspired me to save for my first set of decks.
When did you get your first set of decks? and what where they? I saved up for a set in 1988, saving up by working nights in a polystyrene factory making trays. I bought a pair of SL1210’s because at the DMC Championships I had seen everyone had that as the spec so thats what it had to be! Tell us about Revenge? Revenge was a crew I worked with in Wigan. It was really special because they were putting on local raves and warehouse parties. We all knew each other growing up so it was a really tight crew. We had a great set of DJs and we got booked all over the north west mainly because we knew how to create a good vibe. Gigs at Maxines were some of the best early gigs I had with Revenge. You have been on the music scene since ‘89, is there a period of time that you look back on as being the most memorable? The time I most enjoyed was between ‘95-’99 working on the Leeds scene doing the Headz Club and Funky
13 Mule, which were amazing because we had a great all round team promoting hip hop and funk. We were able to get some of the best artists of the time booked such as Afrika Bambaata and Kool DJ Herc. I enjoyed been resident DJ and so attended nearly every gig! At this time I also discovered Dj-ing alongside live artists and worked with Boogaloo Foundation, Chocante and also enjoyed a six month stint at the Liquid promoting and Dj-ing a Funk night called Gumbo, again working alongside live jazz, funk and Latin bands. Tell us about your time with Nightmares on Wax? I first met George in 1994 after he had bought one of my mix tapes at Eastern Bloc records....which he enjoyed! We subsequently worked together as DJs at the Headz Club, we connected musically and got on as friends. This led to many collaborations DJ-ing, I became the band’s DJ for after parties and ultimately worked on the live set for the tour Inner Space Outta Sound. I enjoyed the Tour with Nightmares on Wax travelling all over the world, most memorably Fuji Rock Festival in Japan, where I had probably one of the best live gigs of my career so far, absolutely rocking the crowd. You create really interesting and eclectic mixes, does your heart lie with any particular genre? My heart completely lies with funk and breaks; this is part of my soul and underwrites any of my mixes irrespective of the genre. However I think eclecticism comes from listening to early Pink Floyd and Genesis when I was in my teens, the concept albums and the stories they told were a huge influence in how I structure a set and will probably always run through my work.
Keen to spread the love, you also developed a training programme for aspiring DJs, how did this come about? In ‘95/’96 I was studying at Leeds College of Music and working with musicians, the live artists were all running workshops for local schools and colleges and I saw that there was a gap in that there were no workshops for DJs. I was really inspired to create something that really showed upcoming DJs how to mix, create the story and scratch, the hip hop culture is what really inspired the structure of my courses - DJs such a QBert who was already running workshops in the States and Shadow who whilst at a gig in London had stopped mid set to give a history of hip hop - it was sensational! I hear you are something of a sculptor too? Wood is my second passion in life, I love collecting natural shaped specimens and creating pieces of art or functional furniture, my favourite pieces are when a natural shape connects with a real life entity, without being manipulated. I really enjoy the challenge of finding these pieces. What’s next for Mr Sealey? Musically I am about to take up a monthly slot at Red House in Sheffield. My first gig is this weekend, the night is called The Psychedelic Solution and I will be playing alongside Mantra Rhythms and The Wicked Whispers, amongst others. I know I am going enjoy mixing it up with the Bands and then taking the party to a close with a funky mixed up set. I am also working on some radio sets to go out on digital/online radio stations, hoping to give the listeners a taste of the Real Seal!
Below: Wayne on tour with Nightmares On Wax Soundsystem
Newton Faulkner has received critical acclaim for his unusual style and sound, with his first album reaching number one back in 2007. He has since undergone reconstructive surgery on his hand after an accident and subsequently released his second album Rebuilt By Humans last year that marked another top ten album for the young dreadlocked lad from Surrey. Newton was kind enough to spend a few minutes with us before his set at the Big Chill this year.
SHARP KNEES For those that don’t know your musical style how would you describe it? I don’t really know anymore I confuse myself these days. Its kind of acoustic based stuff that kind of spans a lot of genres and I play in quite a strange way. I do the percussive ‘tappy’ stuff that’s really fun. Just songs and stuff!
There’s been quite a lot of success with your first album. Yes but there was four years work that went into that album before it came out so it didn’t feel unnatural, it did what it did. The setup to the first record was really carefully planned. The second one we had to rush a little bit and chuck it out really fast, a bit mental!
You have a very unusual technique, especially how you tap and slap the guitar, could you tell us how you developed it? That’s been around well before I was. Michael Hedges was doing it, and has its roots in flamenco and a lot of that going further back. Also when I was at ACM, (Academy of Contemporary Music) Eric Roche, head of guitar was there, and Thomas Lee were both doing similar things and I just really got into it. Especially because I was gigging on my own at that point it just made sense to try and see how much I could push it, and every time I brought things in I got the same thing, ‘it’s really good but I prefer it on its own.’ And I figured out that the only thing that worked is a string quartet I got in and that worked really well and properly classy and it felt very grown up!
You’ve recorded a great cover of Massive Attack’s Teardrop, what made you choose that song? A; its an amazing piece of music, B; its made of predominantly four parts which at that time was the most parts I could do at one time. I could do a drum beat, a baseline, a melody and a vocal. I was just listening to it and thinking that should be doable and I had three days to piece it all together before I played it on the radio and I didn’t sleep for three days, three days with the metronome going constantly.
How did you deal with the news of Eric Roche’s passing? Yes it was horrible we were really good friends and had kept in touch. It was hard. I’ve got one of his guitars that I play with every now and then; it’s a lot of responsibility playing one. Has that relationship had any influence in terms of your song writing? Oh definitely, I have written about it, so much is completely about Eric’s influence on my playing.
Have you got any plans to cover anything else? I’m always messing around with stuff, I’m really enjoying ‘No Diggity’ by Blackstreet, that’s worked pretty well and I’m working on Regulate by Snoop Dog and Warren G. (Newton impresses us with a quick rendition on request!). I’m doing Bohemian Rhapsody at the moment and I’m wanting to do something in the same kind of area as that. But I will take requests obviously! Finally, with many rumours about having names such as Deuteronomy and Battenberg can you clarify the situation for our readers? Yea that was on Wikipedia for a little while, not for very long but long enough for everybody to write it down! My full name is Sam Newton Battenberg Faulkner; Battenberg is my mother’s maiden name.
Commissioned for musician Papa November on First Fold Records www.firstfoldrecords.com
Hometown: Birmingham UK Weapons of choice: Pencil, Biro, Posca pens, SLR camera, Graphics Tablet. Inspiration: Nature, decay, old machinery, experimental and challenging music, creative friends. Who would you most like to invite for dinner? Thom Yorke...we would rant til the early morn on the finer basslines of Modeselektor. And David Lynch... Dave,what exactly happened to Agent Cooper?? Future plans: Planning a spring 2011 exhibition, an animation project for First Fold records, and I’m always on the hunt for interesting musicians in need of an album sleeve design (any takers!?) Where can we find you? www.craigearp.co.uk
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All the way from Montreal, Canada, Dan Boeckner, one half of Wolf Parade’s two frontmen, spoke to Freeq magazine’s Ellie Rose during the band’s UK tour. So Dan, this isn’t the first time you have toured the UK, how are you finding it the second time around? I don’t remember much of the first time because we played in Bristol prior to playing in Birmingham and I had to sleep in basically a squat and I got a fever so when we came to Birmingham I was totally delirious. Somebody actually this year sent me a video of us playing in Birmingham and I have no memory of playing. So as this is your first memory of playing in Birmingham what are you going to take away from this experience? Well I will remember the fact that I got drunk at a gay bar before we got here because they had the whole downtown blocked off for a bike riding thing. There’s a really insanely ugly building downtown that’s futurist ugly like a giant studded blobby organic thing which for me was a good thing, it was entertaining. What is your highlight of the tour so far? Maybe Belfast, it was kind of insane and the crowd was insane, there were less people I think than any other show because it was the day after electric picnic, which we also played and it was pissing rain but there was a small crowd of people who were just completely shit faced and really into the show. Your energy on stage, the group but you particularly is immense. How do you maintain that on a tour? I don’t know, just will power I guess. I grew up playing in hardcore bands and the thing with hardcore is generally the sound is shit, you’re playing in some shit like basement and to translate some kind of emotion to people in those bands you have to project physically and I guess it just carried over to this band.
You actually play in two different bands, how do you deal with the transition between the two? Its pretty easy for me to do it but it was kind of harder on this tour because I did a tour with Handsome Furs in Asia a month before this tour started so we ended Wolf Parade tour in Los Angelis and the day after the show I flew to Hong Kong started the tour, all over China and Thailand, Myanmar, the Philippines and the day that tour ended I flew back to Montreal and had a day off at home and then flew to Sweden to start this tour. It was a little culture shock; it was the Philippines to Sweden that was pretty opposite. I was really fucked with the jet lag for a while. It’s not really hard for me to switch gears because the other band is so much more electronic based and I don’t get a break from singing on stage with that band so it’s a really different kind of mentality, I have to actually exhort even more energy with the Handsome Furs than I do with Wolf Parade. Which band is your favourite? I don’t have a favourite, they are both different. I get to hang out with my friends in this band, the guys and the other is me and my wife on tour which is pretty sweet. What is the highlight of your career so far? It’s different for both bands. For Wolf Parade, making this last record was really good for me, playing in New York, we did a really big show on this last tour and it felt really good, being able to do the show outside of mainstream press and stuff like that and fill a really huge room. And with the Handsome Furs, we played in Myanmar which is a military dictatorship and we are the first western band to ever play a show that Burmese kids could come and see, it was the first western band to ever play in the country and that was a major accomplishment I think for me.
While Britain slowly emerges from the recession, we are witnessing a cultural transformation. As we head towards economic recovery, there has never been a better time to support a revolution of the consumer conscience. Fast fashion is losing its appeal: incomes are no longer disposable, and so it follows that neither can our clothes be. There is a huge variety of ways that we can incorporate our ethics into our clothes shopping, and currently in the spotlight is the way that we shop for knitwear.
But what is it about wool that is so special? British wool is one of the most sustainable fibres around, and it is essential that British wool is championed by the consumers, in order to protect our planet. Wool is fully biodegradable, has a low carbon footprint, and can be produced organically. Most importantly, though, wool is a completely renewable resource: it can be shorn annually from sheep, without contributing to global pollution in the way that synthetic fabrics do. Britain is pioneering this revolution in fashionconsciousness. At the beginning of this year, the Prince of Wales launched the Campaign for Wool, and October’s Wool Week kicked off further discussion about the importance of British wool in the UK fashion industry. The Campaign for Wool aims to increase demand for wool over the next five years, in order to make sure that we are making the most from this versatile fibre. Wool Week transformed Savile Row into a sheep field, in order to educate consumers about the many benefits of wool. London is not at the epicentre of this trend, however. The East Midlands has already worked hard to provide some alternative solutions for the textile and fashion industries. Previous local design graduates have expressed frustration with the lack of inspiring resources for their materials, and taken it upon themselves to set an example of the innovation that has sprung from the East Midlands. Nicola Sherlock, head designer of
Makepiece, a knitwear brand that spins its own yarns and focuses on low impact manufacture, explains that when designing her final collection, themed around sustainability, “there were no books or articles to back up my ideas, so I took the plunge... I thought that if I was thinking of it and getting frustrated by it, maybe other people were as well”. She couldn’t have been more correct - Donna Bramhall, of the Spinster’s Emporium, experienced similar problems to Nicola, and it was her frustrations that inspired her business. Now she has created a niche for herself, sourcing and selling vintage fabrics and yarns. The Griffiths’ Mill, a small mill near Nottingham, can also provide students with a great resource for locally spun yarn. Alison Yule, award winning textile designer who specialises in hand woven fabrics, suggests that supporting mini-mills in the area could “bring down the price of local British wool and [the textile industry] might sit up and take note”.
For those of you interested in craft as a hobby, there is still plenty available. Knit Nottingham, located on Mansfield Road, sells affordable, locally sourced wool, products from local craftspeople, and fibres which you can spin yourself. The Charity Shop, in Hockley, runs a wool-lending scheme, in order to raise money for the Aegis Trust. Even if you can’t knit, there are still ways to support for the UK wool industry. Choosing to buy clothing made from British wool will help to increase demand for the product, but this can be pricey. Since wool tends to have a longer lifespan than synthetic fibres, it is a wise choice when looking for quality, vintage clothing. Beate Kubitz, Nicola’s business partner at Makepiece, reminds us that “today’s high quality wool garments are tomorrow’s vintage pieces, after all”. To find out more about the Campaign for Wool, visit www.campaignforwool.org Sarah Drumm
image: peter eckersley
FASHION’S ETHICS UNRAVELLED
Wolf Parade opened their set in Birmingham with Soldier’s Grin. Despite a fairly small and reserved crowd Wolf Parade persevered with them.They provided the usual high energy injection into their songs and by the time they rocked out Dear Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts and Ghost Pressure the crowd was starting to find their feet (and arms!).
Finally, a record from a female singer/songwriter that is not packed with maudlin ballads about broken hearts.
MY GUITAR BLEEDS EP The mysterious Zeni Danussi has conjured up an enchanting, if a little one-paced EP, My Guitar Bleeds that will provide the ideal accompaniment to any autumnal blues. Danussi on all five tracks that makeup this EP, enters a relentlessly addictive groove that is steeped in ‘classic rock’ sensibilities. No matter the tune, Zanussi maintains his eerily melodic sound that is bewitching and magisterial at the same turn. The principal gripe would be that this type of instrumental guitar, doesn’t allow for a real change of tempo. The closing two tracks Danger Zone and Knock of Death see a shift in mood as Zanussi is in more a haunting and melancholic mindset. These closers remind that Danussi has the potential to bestride the genre like the axe-wielding behemoth that is portrayed here. Jamie Brannon
The transition between lead vocals and the varying instruments adopted by the different band members are enjoyable to see and keeps you intrigued as to what the next song will bring. Both Spencer Krug (vocals, keyboards, synthesizers) and Dan Boeckner (vocals, guitar) are good quality front men, they have their own individual style and stage presence. When I saw them for the first time in Montreal sweating out a performance in over 31°c at gone 9pm they still entertained with passion from start to finish. The Glee club gig wasn’t quite on this level but nor was the heat! Overall an enthusiastic catchy set of indie rock with a shot of synthesized distortion that makes me seriously consider a purchase of the new album ‘Expo 86’. Ellie Rose
MONKEY TO THE WEST
Instead, sultry Irish songstress Thea Ford has conjured a spiky and sassy collection that brings a whole new meaning to the concept of ‘girl power’. Monkey to the West is brimming with feminine spunk, especially on the thrashy punk of Dear Bully and the punchy defiance of Fall Down. Ballad’s are still prevalent, but void of schmaltz in this compelling offering, they are instead delivered with a raw fractured sensuality that elevates them above the KT Tunstall-type tedium. Her Kevin Keegan ‘heart on sleeve’ approach is never more evident on the gentle splendour of So Long and the taut Made for You. She makes it easy to emphasise with her romantic despair and existential frustrations of the world we inhabit. For sheer passion, this deserves a wider audience who will be bewitched and charmed by her modern folk gems. Jamie Brannon
23 Written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by David Fincher (Seven, Curious case of Benjamin Button), the film follows the turbulent rise to fame and fortune by Facebook’s founders; Mark Zuckerberg (played by Jesse Eisenberg) and Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield), and a supporting young cast of strong up and coming talent. Even with the sheer amount of information flying at you about blogging, megabytes, codes and figures, you are never bored or distracted by the real heart of the film; the core relationships of Facebook’s founders, and how they break down when one man’s dream leaves others behind in his wake and when the line between ambition and obsession is blurred. The characters are well rounded and well acted. Jesse Eisenberg provides an amazing performance as a person who appears at constant odds with everyone around him and hats off to Justin Timberlake for a surprisingly strong performance as Napsters founder; Sean Parker, and Andrew Garfield shone with his emotional performance as a friend betrayed. The Social Network is not about Facebook, it is about friendship. Whether you are a fan of Facebook or not, this film is so layered that anyone can relate to any number of themes present. Often there are things happening on screen you can empathize with, down to a simple argument between Saverin and his girlfriend as to why his Facebook status is set to single when they are an item! To me this is one of the highlights of the film, and clearly underlines a theme about how a social networking site can interfere with relationships and motives get lost in translation when faced with something large and impersonal.
Watch Social Network at the Cornerhouse in Nottingham. Call 0115 988 8002 for film times or visit www.cineworld.co.uk
From start to finish Fincher has you constantly being made to consider every action and consequence, which for a film with simple subject matter is a big achievement. Quality acting, slick editing and a great script go a long way for this film in keeping your eyes firmly glued to the screen. Smart, ruthless, pessimistic and utterly addictive viewing for our techno fuelled generation of the same nature, definitely one to watch. Phil Robinson
MINISTRY OF SOUND
This is a two-CD compilation of old and contemporary underground techno spanning over two decades. There is some strong 2010 minimal tech house like Adam Beyer’s Dactyl, Uto Karem and King Unique on Bedrock records. And some older tracks like The Black Dog – Virtual from 1989. (Check out the Bytes LP - an all time classic). CJ Bolland’s
Carmargue is also a great example of the early years of techno. The compilation finishes on a high note with a beautiful homage to Detroit techno provided by Tony Lionni’s Timeless.This compilation captures some new blood as well as some classics with plenty to enjoy for the techno fan. Craig Stockton
THE ELEMENTZ :GET NOTTZ Nottingham’s music scene has a powerful undercurrent, but the chances are, you know little or nothing about it. With a seemingly untapped supply of fresh artists, producers, singers and managers popping up almost daily, the question remains, why are people still relatively clueless about the existence of homegrown music of black origin in our city? The Elementz catch up with Joe Roach, creator of www.getnottz.co.uk, who could quite possibly have the answer. How did getnottz come about and why? I was looking to get hold of a copy of J Littles’s mixtape but hadn’t seen anyone from that crowd in a while because I was living in Liverpool. So one morning I set up the Get Nottz blog and went through my phone and Facebook list and by lunchtime I had about 15 mixtapes uploaded and it naturally progressed from there. Have the artists of Nottingham been supportive of the movement? I’ve received a lot of support from artists all over the city and I’m getting new projects to release on the site all the time. Now it’s become less about making the idea work but more how to make it sustainable, I’ve had to move back to Nottingham to be able to engage in the scene more and fulfill the potential of the idea. What does the scene need to help it grow? The hip hop scene in Nottingham needs the fans back. As artists and hip hop fans we need to have those nights where we all get together and vibe off each other’s creativity and energy. We need events to maintain the buzz of the scene in Nottingham but they started to die out over the last few years because they weren’t getting the turnouts that made them profitable to the promoters. There a few new events on the horizon though. There seems to be a revival lately with a few nights on more regularly. We need to maintain this and get everyone excited about the scene again and get the people back out their doors and into the venues.That’s where I see Get Nottz playing a part, by promoting
the up-to-date product and the latest artists from the scene so when the nights come around people are excited to get involved. Who should our readers check out? Ha ha, I’m biased. Go check out Roach “TV Isn’t Reality’! Also Low Starr, he’s got an EP coming out soon and it’s shaping up to sound real nice, Dub Ryda is really doing it and being exclusively a Dubstep MC he’s kinda on his own vibe as well. Everything Karizma is sending through at the moment is on the iPod. Stan’s got a new mixtape out, Instinct’s ‘Bring It Back’ is a bonafide hip hop mixtape with DJ Fever and Big Trev featuring, but my favorite right now is Micky Grim’s ‘Street Poetry’ mixtape, it has some deeper content and he’s a real hip hop head so there’s some classic beats popping up on there and the whole thing just has a rugged street hip hop feel to it. Where does getnottz go from here? Promotion, promotion, promotion. Right now, I’ve finally got the site how I want it so it’s just promoting it to the fans and artists. I’m also looking to launch a promotional campaign that’ll involve a mixtape series and a street team. For those out there trying to get noticed, what advice would you give them? The site is there for the city, not just for those who’ve already got out their bedroom studios and into the scene, so use one of the links below and get hold of me. I’ll travel to collect CDs if necessary and my aim is to make www.getnottz.co.uk one of the essential places for Nottingham artists to put their music. Finally, who would win in an animal death match between a tag team of angry badgers versus four hungry female ferrets with rabies? Badger’s are too slow, when was the last time you saw ferret-road kill? email@example.com Facebook: Joe Get Nottz Roach
IF YOU’RE ALREADY GETTING FED UP WITH THE COLD AND DARK BRITISH WINTER, LET THE NEXT FEW PAGES TAKE YOU BACK TO THE LONG HOT SUMMER DAYS, AS WE RELIVE OUR MEMORIES OF SOME OF THE BEST FESTIVALS OF 2010.
GLASTONBURY Wow, what a week. And it’s just that nowadays. Not your run of the mill weekend festival, Glastonbury continues to grow in length and for many people now involves a full week of portaloos and sleeping bags. We finally saw some beautiful hot weather as well, which had its own drawbacks (we wouldn’t be British without having a moan at the weather) and it was a sauna in the press tent – good for weight loss but made it impossible to get tipsy, you sweated out more liquid than you could take on. Minor gripes aside, swapping the mud for dust would be my preference every single year (if you’re listening Mother Nature!) and sun cream and shades for brollies and pac-a-macs is always a winner. There was a distinct upbeat vibe to the festival, helped by the blazing sunshine, and this continued throughout despite a brief anticlimatic atmosphere following the shambolic England Germany game, watched by over 100,000 people on giant screens in a field just off the main site. Michael Eavis said it was the best festival ever (he says that every year) but maybe, it’s because it’s getting better every time? This year happened to be the 40th anniversary of the inaugural 1970 Pilton Pop, Blues & Folk Festival and it was closed with a truly special Stevie Wonder performance which will surely be hard to top for 2011. Speaking of which, tickets for 2011 sold out in just four hours but you can register online for cancelled tickets at www. glastonburyregistration.co.uk which will be released, along with details of the line up, in spring 2011.
images: freeq photography
It looks as though Glastonbury 2012 will be the fallow year due to a lack of portaloo availability. It seems the priority has gone to the Olympics for portable toilets and policing but the break coincides with the one year off in five cycle anyway. You can now get 40% off the limited edition 40 year anniversary scrapbook from www. glastonburyfestivals.co.uk with proceeds going to Oxfamâ€™s work in Haiti â€“ an ideal Christmas present for the festival lover in your family.
THE BIG CHILL
There was almost no Big Chill this year after going into voluntary liquidation in 2009 but, having been purchased by Festival Republic, it did go ahead, albeit with some major changes.
The overall vibe was considerably less ‘chilled’ than previous years. This was due in no small part to the thousands of teens no doubt desperate to see Lily Allen and the like. Losing the comedy tent was a faux pas in our book and the whole festival seemed to suffer from a more corporate feel. There has been very mixed reviews about the Big Chill 2010 and it does seem as though many of the people who went for the ‘boutique’ and independent nature
of the festival are beginning to look elsewhere. Some highlights remain however. Mr Scruff ’s tea tent continued its rise in popularity and there were notable performances from Greg Wilson, DJ Derek and Newton Faulkner (interview on page 14) among others.
It has to be said there aren’t many festivals with such beautiful settings, rolling hills and the Eastnor Castle as a backdrop, and if the organisers take on board feedback from 2010, they should be able to ensure the Big Chill retains its attraction. Visit www.bigchill.net for details on 2011.
THE BIG CHILL
There was almost no Big Chill this year after going into voluntary liquidation in 2009 but, having been purchased by Festival Republic, it did go ahead, albeit with some major changes. The overall vibe was considerably less ‘chilled’ than previous years. This was due in no small part to the thousands of teens no doubt desperate to see Lily Allen and the like. Losing the comedy tent was a faux pas in our book and the whole festival seemed to suffer from a more corporate feel. There has been very mixed feelings about the Big Chill 2010 and it does seem as though many of the people who went for the ‘boutique’ and independent nature of the festival are beginning to look elsewhere.
SPLENDOUR Another year, another summer, another bloomin’ marvellous Splendour festival. To the uninitiated, Nottingham’s finest music festival is set in the deliciously antique grounds of Wollaton Hall with stages compromising of everything from mainstream music to local chanteurs. And with a bit of world music thrown into the mix, you can’t argue that this event lacks variety.
If you’re finding it hard to picture, imagine the local townspeople with the infamous Nottingham student crowd and you might be a bit closer to the truth. In fact, it’s this diversity that sets Splendour apart. At home with young families as it is with any elusive scenesters, it truly is a place to feel at ease and be at one with the party. Anna Linehan
Keep an eye on www.splendourfestival.com for news on the 2011 festival.
I ONLY DATE MODELS How do you know each other? Thomas: Timothy and Sammy went to uni together, and Michael and I know each other from home. How does it feel playing on home soil? Timothy: It feels great, there’s a fantastic crowd out there. And after winning our spot to be here, it’s been an amazing journey. Are you sticking around for the rest of the festival? Sammy: Yeah we’re really looking forward to seeing Athlete. We can’t wait to be in the crowd. We’ve literally just come out the studio, so it’s nice to be outside. image: onehauscollective.com
This Nottingham-born band won their spot at this year’s festival and owned the stage with gay abandon. After years of much hard work in the Nottingham music scene, the future is definitely bright and sparkly for these cool cats.
So, what future plans are there for the band? Michael: Well we’ve just released our single and it’s our best yet. Freeq: So your next single is going to be your best? Well it’s good to peak early. Timothy: Yeah, just like Michael! (Que much laddish laughter)
We’re really chuffed that it’s going on iTunes too, so along with that and several gigs, we’re going to be a bit busy! Michael: Are we going to London? Sammy: Nah we’re not going to London. I think you are, in fact I’ve got tickets to see you all… Michael: Guess we’re going to London then. I Only Date Models have since released two tracks Love Like Vapour and This Ends Tomorrow, which are available on iTunes. They are planning on getting back into the studio over Christmas and are headlining a show in Peterborough on December 17th that should be well worth catching. There’s also a video in the pipeline next year along with a first tour. www.ionlydatemodels.com Anna Linehan
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Published on Nov 5, 2010
Jon Burgerman's second exclusive cover and Freeq's lucky 13th issue. Freeq is a music and creative arts print magazine with a social conscie...