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Welcome to the first ever photo special of Freeq magazine. Regular readers will know that each issue we usually have an illustrator or graphic artist design our iconic wraparound cover artwork but this time, to mark our 2nd anniversary, we’ve pulled out all the stops to bring you some outstanding imagery courtesy of rock photographer Jill Furmanovsky. We’ve also got some photo profiles in place of our regular artist profiles and we’re leaning more heavily towards images throughout this issue, just check out the images in our conscience section. There are the reports from the Nottingham Bar Awards event and a full list of winners in the final part of our official media coverage. Already looking forward to next year! We’re pretty excited about our summer festival coverage, we’ve got a preview on a selection of festivals we’ll be covering during the rainy season. There’s lots more inside – use the contents page as per usual, as I prefer this space to talk crap for 300 words rather than summarise what magic we’ve put together. What I will say is that since the last issue some of you may have noticed we’ve got a new government. So, there was no overall majority and we’re now being led by the second successive prime minister that hasn’t been officially elected – way to go democracy! It’s also worth pointing out that we published a conscience article in the launch issue two years ago all about the extortinate price of petrol, nothing’s changed in two years except the price has increased by another 20% - I’m investing in a new bicycle... Enough of the doom and gloom, sun is shining and the weather is sweet, enjoy the festivals, the art and most importantly, use sunscreen. Freeq Magazine
Editor in Chief: Sam Borrett Creative Director: Mellisa Harrison Reviews Editor: Jamie Brannon Features: Martin Guttridge-Hewitt Contributors: The Elementz Photography: Digital Resolution, Paul Larkins, Samuel Kirby, M Gonzalez-Noda Cover: Jill Furmanovsky Design: Radar Creative Published by: Freeq Advertising: Call: 07766 118 852 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org WEBSITE: www.freeqmagazine.com General enquiry email: email@example.com 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
COMBINING OUR LOVE OF MUSIC AND PHOTOGRAPHY LEADS US INEXORABLY TO ONE OF THE VERY FINEST ROCK PHOTOGRAPHERS IN THE COUNTRY:
JILL FURMANOVSKY Jill has been ‘rocking’ the photography world for four decades and in our opinion there aren’t many better out there. With artists ranging from Michael Jackson and Bob Marley to Oasis and Led Zeppelin all captured over the years, her work is both highly regarded and influential for many aspiring and professional photographers. We were honoured to have the opportunity to grab a few moments of Jill’s busy schedule to get an insight into the life of a professional music photographer and delighted to feature two of her images on the front and back covers of our very first photo special. How did you start your photography career? With a two week block course on the basics of photography in 1972. It was a module course for all students at Central School of Art & Design, intended purely as an aid to help students photograph their work. However, during the course I used the college camera to shoot pictures at a gig by the group ‘Yes’ and by some quirk of fate ended up becoming the official photographer at the venue they played that night – The Rainbow Theatre in Finsbury Park, London. What was your first ever camera and do you still have it now? Kodak Instamatic, then a Pentax S1a borrowed (but never returned) from my dad who was an enthusiastic amateur photographer. I still have a Pentax S1a but bought it for sentimental reasons about 10 years ago. The original one was used till it fell apart. What camera do you never leave home without? Currently my ‘sketchbook’ camera is an Olympus Pen.
Excellent piece of equipment for street photography and in the right conditions good enough for professional reproduction. You’ve seen some drastic technological advances during your time as a professional photographer. How have you changed your approach to photography in that time, if at all? Changes are disturbing each time. When I changed from Pentax to Nikon there was a learning curve, when I changed from a Nikon FE to an F4 that was too, so changing from a Nikon F5 to a Canon EOS Mk 11, which was my first professional digital camera, was also a shock. The reason the changes are unsettling for me and possibly other professionals is that you need to be so familiar with the equipment that you don’t have to think about it, only what you see through the lens. The other main change was being able to see what you were getting more or less instantly. At first that was incredibly strange because the urge to check the back of the camera means you lose as many moments as you shoot. On the other hand at least you know when the picture is in the bag. I still get a huge kick from shooting on film and do so for my own pleasure, but I have come to love the creative possibilities offered by digital photography and more particularly, digital printing. With photography so much more accessible nowadays, what do you think sets a great photographer apart from any other photographer? You still need to be able to see things that others don’t to be a great photographer. It is always in the vision. “Jill Furmanovsky at Glastonbury with Chrissie Hynde and Joe Strummer”
Your portrait of Charlie Watts won you the Jane Bowen Observer Portrait Award, do you have a favourite image you’ve taken? That Charlie image is certainly one of my favourites but there are lots. Another is one of Liam Gallagher and Bono taken in San Francisco in 1996. And there is a live shot of Pink Floyd during The Wall show from 1980 that has stood the test of time. Like all passionate artists I hope that the next shot I take might be my best. Talk us through the cover shots for this issue of Freeq: Johnny Borrell of Razorlight was the first person to tell me about Florence Welsh. He was very impressed with her way back in 2007 and they worked on a few demos together. Johnny invited me to attend a rehearsal at John Henry’s where the two with a small backing band were working on an arrangement for one of her songs. Florence was a charismatic presence even then. She had that huge voice and punctuated the song by beating the shit out of a snare drum. I love this image of her in full flow, and it is entirely just that she has gone on to become one of the best new rising stars.
I worked intensively with Chrissie Hynde in the late 80s. This was the hey-day of MTV; a self-conscious, foppish period in music that neither of us was entirely comfortable with. We both had our roots in the punk era. Chrissie worked and modeled for Vivian Westwood and Malcolm McLaren’s ‘Sex’ shop in the Kings Road in the mid-70’s. She enjoyed dressing up as long as the look was ‘Fuck You!’ and not ‘Fuck Me...’ I would say that in a nutshell is the single best piece of advice to give to a young female rock artist. No matter which hat Chrissie wore in this shoot - and there were 12 different ones - she was always indisputably, defiantly, Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders. What’s the single most important piece of advice you could give to aspiring music photographers? Love your art – the art of photography – slightly more than you love the idea of being part of the rock scene. Copyright is an issue that has been important to you recently – can you tell us your views on the subject? The gradual dissolution of photographer’s copyright
has come about at the same time as the musicians ‘ recorded art has become a cheap commodity in the digital age. I want to encourage young photographers not to give up their copyright. This will be increasingly difficult for them as giant publishing groups and many picture agencies try to insist that they own the copyright of images shot by hired photographers. All I can say is try to keep that to a minimum by shooting your own material whenever possible and working hand in hand with the musicians themselves whenever possible. I wouldn’t have an archive now if I hadn’t kept the copyright of my material when I was young and the same is true for Pennie Smith, Anton Corbijon, Kevin Cummings, Ray Stevenson, Mick Rock, Keven Westenburg and other greats in the field. Of all the very famous people you’ve shot, who were you most excited about? Can’t pick just one: Nelson Mandela and Bob Dylan are two, but I was also thrilled to meet and photograph the author of ‘The Easy Way to Stop Smoking’, Alan Carr, and Dr. Michel Odent the childbirth guru – both highly influential people in my life for the good. Who’s your favourite photographer? There are so many....outside of rock - Cartier Bresson, Don McCullin, Dianne Arbus, Irving Penn, Ansel Adams, and in the rock world - Pennie Smith, Anton Corbijn, Ray Stevenson, Fernando Aceves to name just a few. I am a fan of rock photography as a well as a practitioner which is why I started rockarchive.com. How hard is it to make a successful living from photography these days? If you choose an area where there is less competition and perceived glamour than say music and fashion, then it is possible. One lady I know makes a good living photographing pregnant women, mostly in black and white, and I know a couple of wedding photographers that are always busy. What’s Rockarchive and what inspired you to create it? Rockarchive (www.rockarchive.com) is a collective of more than 60 rock photographers, each of whom contribute images from their archives, to the website and for publication. These are all available to buy as limited edition fine art prints in editions that vary between 10-300. At the top end there are classic pictures, many still made traditionally in the darkroom, which sell for thousands of pounds. At the other end there are ‘contemporary’ images packaged in 12” album-type sleeves that can be bought for £50. We use the income generated to keep the art of rock photography going. Each year we help sponsor a rock photography competition called PopView with EU2500 prize money, and we also have a ‘Rockarchive Print Bank’ that raises money for charity. It has been a struggle to survive but we are proud to have been around for more than 10 years now. www.jillfurmanovsky.com
Hometown: Nottingham! Weapon of choice: Canon 5D Mark II, with 24-70 L 2.8 Inspiration: Everything! Beauty and fashion images in a magazine to sitting having lunch in the park with my fiancee If you could take one thing with you to a desert island, what would it be? My bass guitar. Future plans: To work with some local and national brands and magazines and really establish myself on a freelance level. Where can we find your work? My website; www.paullarkins.co.uk is the best place. Also on facebook under “Paul Larkins Photography” Explain the profile shots: I love them because the first time I looked at these images, I knew I had found my style. Lighting, composition and cropping create bold, striking and dynamic photographs.
Hometown: Nottingham Weapon of choice: Nikon D3 with Sigma 70-200mm 2.8 Inspiration: Loud music and flashing lights. If you could take one thing to a desert island what would it be? Er, my camera. Future plans: To branch out into travel photography â€“ anything for a free holiday. Where can we find you? www.digitalresolution.net or at the bottom of a bottleâ€Ś Explain the profile shots: The top one is of Q-Tip at Glastonbury 2009. That set was amazing, so high energy for an old man! The second shot is of The Virgins, again at Glastonbury. I found their show by accident at one of the random small stages, This band absolutely rocked and it was a highlight of my festival that year.
IT’S BEEN TWOYEARS SINCE WE SPOKE TO ONE OF NOTTINGHAM’S FINEST PERFORMERS AND IT WAS TIME TO CATCH UP WITH THE PETEBOX TO TALK MONACO, SWIMMING BADGES AND FESTIVAL APPEARANCES. THE PETEBOX HAS IT ALL, THE LOOKS, THE VOICE, HE PLAYS GUITAR AND DRUMS, HE’S THE LIFE AND SOUL OF THE PARTY AND WHAT HE CAN DO WITH HIS MOUTH SENDS WOMEN WEAK AT THE KNEES. Two years ago he blew our Freeq magazine launch party away with a stunning set combining drum and bass beats with mainstream music and even a rendition of the Round the Twist theme tune – all with his mouth! You can get lost viewing the hundreds of Youtube clips of Petebox performing but nothing gets close to seeing him in full flow live, you’ll leave the gig gob smacked and wishing you had even half the talent! How do you stay ahead of the game in the beatboxing world? I don’t really have the mentality of ‘staying ahead of the game’… I’m a musician, beatboxing is my instrument, I make and arrange music because I’m compelled to do it. Simple as that. What separates me from other beatboxers is the music I create, and the way in which I cover other artists songs in the live arena. I have created a live set that is unique to me both for the music I choose to perform and the way I perform it. How have you developed your act since headlining our launch party two years ago? I get more drunk before and during the shows nowadays… it really makes for a much fiercer gig, like it’s my last moment of consciousness before I crash into oblivion. The crowd really seem to
respond to that and everyone has a better time for it. Fortunately with a couple of pints of water and a fruit smoothie the next morning I never actually wander into this impending oblivion and all is well. Some beatboxers just use their mouth – although you can do that pretty amazingly, you also include technology to put on a show – give us a quick rundown of how it works. I have a loop pedal which allows me to layer my voice up, part by part to create a track. I will start with some hi hats, add a bass line, add a beat, add some vocals, do some harmonies, and hey presto… a track! Dang, that’s my formula exposed. You’ve been involved in some pretty big gigs over the last year, what’s been the highlight and what are you looking forward to this summer? Hmmm, yeah I tend to love every show I do no matter where it is… maybe that’s just the booze… but I have to say the highlight of last year was Reading festival – I was playing at 1pm in between some spoken word artists. I was mildly concerned people weren’t gonna be up for a party at that time and when I started, the tent was about a fifth full and everyone was sat down. After I had done my intro, about five minutes into my set, all the gaps in the tent were full up, people were
queuing to get in and there was this epic moment where I suggested it would be better if everyone stood up… which prompted about 2000 people to rise to their feet at the same time as another couple of thousand people filtered in from outside and in about a minute the whole atmosphere had changed – the tent was full and we were all ready to party! What am I looking forward to this summer… more festivals! Playing Latitude,Rockness,Creamfields and a few more big ones to be announced. More Diversity shows, festivals with my band, making my bands album… music! I was really proud of myself for finally getting my 5-metre swimming badge, even though everyone else at work thought it was rubbish – swimming means something a bit different for you though – tell us about the band. I play drums in a band called SWIMMInG. We play pop songs with cool sounds and are currently working on our second album.Check us out at www.swimmingband.com If you suddenly (God forbid) couldn’t do music anymore, what would you do? Hmm, I’m not too sure on that one, I think all other faculties of my brain have withered and shut down, music’s all I can do really. I do know that whatever it was I did end up doing, I’d be doing it on Bondi beach. What else are you working on at the moment? I’m working in the studio at the moment, just finishing
off an e.p with the awesome producer beatfreak Ben Fawce, which will be ready later this year. You can hear me on a forthcoming Phil Keiran release and I am in my home studio recording for my solo e.p. I have a room full of mic’s and within it a suit with tiny mic’s weaved into it. When I’m wearing my mic suit in my mic room I’m in the zone, there’s no telling what could happen… You played with Diversity at the Monaco during the grand prix in May – please tell us you partied on a big yacht with bikini-clad girls and champagne everywhere You say this as if it’s something special for me… Monaco was great - having just done an amazing tour with Diversity I’ve now become resident Diversity beatboxer, we have some awesome shows coming up over this year, the last of which was the Monaco grand prix and we did indeed end up in some seriously swanky surroundings with all that comes with that.. but… back at home, I have this sweet pimped out Nova, I’m the king of McDonalds car park, now the chicks that come with that… that’s what I’m all about. Do you have your larynx insured? I don’t trust insurance, they’re out to screw you. www.thepetebox.com www.twitter.com/thepetebox
Once in a while Nottingham throws up a band that gets you thinking ‘this could be the one that finally cracks the national scene’ Sharp Knees are that band.
We were introduced to the guys at a battle of the bands night at Central in Hockley earlier this year. The competition was very clear cut, Sharp Knees stood out like a sore thumb, or a sharp knee; they were on a completely different level to the other bands performing that night. Sporting the indie/folk songwriter and performer Sam Bennett as their frontman, Sharp Knees have a headstart on many other aspiring bands with solidly crafted songs and the charismatic lead in Sam that is so often the pitfall of other bands. The group are tight, they love performing and are very easy on the eye. It all bodes well for the ‘big-time’. Who’s who in the band? Sharp Knees are a four piece made up of Sam Bennett (vocals/guitar), Shane Egglestone (bass/ocals), Jacques Moran (keys/vocals) and Peter Dean (drums/ vocals). Sam - how do you balance being a solo performer and one quarter of a very talented band? At the moment, I’m not playing live as a solo performer, mainly so I can concentrate on the band. In terms of writing though, I spend a lot of time writing, and I also write quite quickly, so I really need to have some sort of solo project so that all the songs can go somewhere, and we’re not constantly changing the Sharp Knees’ tunes. Why does the world need Sharp Knees (as in the band obviously, no-one needs actual sharp knees, that would probably be painful)? Our aim is really to just put out classic pop songs. We want to be doing songs that have that special
bit you can sing along to, or that little bit that makes you smile. The world needs Sharp Knees to make everyone aware that you can still do cool stuff without fitting in with a particular scene, or playing a style of music that is particularly in vogue at the moment. Who do you get compared to and who do you actually think you sound like? We really struggle to get an accurate comparison to ourselves, and that’s not for want of trying. People often say that we remind them of 80s pop music, and I’d agree with them, it’s a big influence on the band. We used to get a lot of Jack Penate comparisons, but we’ve matured, and so has he, so that’s stopped. We’ve been compared to Keane, which isn’t as bad a thing as some people think! As for what I think, I have no clue! I think we’re a blend of a lot of things. What are the plans for the band this year? At the moment we’re just wanting to push our first album out there and do as much as we can to get people listening to it. We’re going to be playing as much as possible over the summer, and we’re going to be out there just playing songs to whoever we can. I can see us promoting the album until the end of this year, and then maybe looking at what path to take next.
You’re mostly playing Nottingham gigs this summer, how difficult is it to start gigging outside your home town? The difficulty is less about gigging out of town, or getting those gigs,and more making those gigs worth it.Our core following is in Nottingham right now, and we are about to knuckle down and see what promotion we can do in other towns to boost our profile there. It’s so difficult to break out of your local scene. You spend so long building your presence there, and it’s impossible to apply that same technique to every other city around. In short, we’re just quite selective about out of town gigs, because we know we’ll not be taking a large crowd down, so we really rely on there already being a crowd at the gig. Tell us what you love about the Central music venue? The Central is a great at being supportive towards local acts. It’s very neutral, and whilst that does mean there’s not a particular scene associated with it, the venue is very welcoming to many, many local bands. You can see such a mixed bag of artists down there, it’s one of those things that pretty much anyone could enjoy a night a week down there. Who would you say is in charge of the direction the band is taking? I think the band sort of directs itself, we just follow whatever avenues open up to us and see where that takes us. Musically, everyone has an influence. I’ll write basic songs, and then the band will flesh them out, so whilst I’ll have a melody, and basic guitar parts, that song could still be a ballad, or an up-tempo track, reggae track, anything. I think the positive of that is that you do get a melting pot of all four members influences, which means we’re a bit of a cross breed of a band, like I mentioned earlier. At what point do you all quit your day jobs and become full time band members? I think the key thing is finances.When we realise that we can actually survive on the money coming in from the band, and we have been able to for a while, we’ll be able to say. The band are all pretty down to earth though. We know that the chance to become a full time band is a long, long way off, we’ve got a lot of battles to fight and a lot of hearts to win before we get there. I’m not saying it will ever happen, but I’m not saying it won’t either. We’re just giving it our best shot. What would improve the live music scene in Nottingham? The music scene is so fractured in Nottingham. I’d like to see more collaborations between artists, more artists putting on their own gigs, and just more general interest in the music that people are putting out. Some of the stuff coming out of Nottingham is good enough that I’d be glad to be hearing it even if
it wasn’t a local band putting it out. I think just more general comradeship would help out no end, bands just giving a hand to other bands. I think Nottingham should actually have less gigs! We’re overcrowded! I’d like to see a more selective policy from some venues as well. A lot of bands out there just aren’t ready to gig musically, but can bring in a lot of their friends, so the venue will happily have them on. From a business view, that makes short term sense, but in the long term, I feel that certain venues are going to get a reputation for not quality controlling their gigs, and in time, the people that might take a chance on going to a gig there, because they usually get good bands, will no longer risk it. Casual gig goers will be a thing of the past, and all bands will just have their mates watching. It’s nice to have mates watching, but do they really like your music? Or do they just support you out of loyalty and a wish to see you succeed? Interact with other bands! Allow your music to make you new fans! Don’t fill your set with in-jokes to your mate on the front row, because to be quite honest, I feel completely out of the loop and have just switched off from your set! Also, if you haven’t got at least 5 or 6 original songs to put out there, you’re rushing things. Get back to the studio and get some more songs. Nottingham has too many half-formed bands. Let’s have more free gigs! Let’s allow people to mature musically before putting them on stage! Who are the best and worst Nottingham bands at the moment? There are so many good, even brilliant Nottingham bands, it’s very hard to name them all, and would take up a lot of space. However, there are a few that stand out to me. Right now, I love Infinity Hertz (www.myspace. com/infinityhertz). Such good soundscapes and such freaky noises. I saw Captain Dangerous play an acoustic set the other day, and I was blown away.The harmonies they put out, the songs they craft, some of it is just so sublime, and I think you hear that better when they are stripped down. Finally, perhaps my favorite live band in Nottingham, Other Left. So funky, so danceable. However, unlike a lot of funky/danceable music, the songs have a lot of substance. Often I watch a funk band, and struggle to tell songs apart. Not so with Other Left. In terms of worst, I’d never like to name a worst, because to be quite honest, the worst that I’d name would just be my least favorite, and I’d just be insulting a band that could be exceptional within their genre, but I just am not a fan of that style. It would probably be a metal band to be honest. But that’s all I’m saying. www.myspace.com/sharpknees, or search “Sharp Knees” on Facebook!
all images: Christian Aid / M Gonzalez-Noda
DON’T FORGET ABOUT HAITI In January this year, Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas was struck by a massive earthquake which killed an estimated 230,000 people – almost the entire population of the city of Nottingham – and left a million people homeless. Like many natural disasters in the developing world, it’s picked up by the media for a few weeks and then seemingly forgotten about. Now, five months on, we felt it was right to remind people that there is still a huge amount of aid and redevelopment work to be done. The situation in Haiti is one of Christian Aid’s main appeals and through donations, they’ve raised over 4.3 million pounds, which has paid for medical assistance, food, basic shelter, hygiene supplies, blankets and medical supplies to the survivors of the earthquake. Their ongoing work requires continual funding so find out how you can help at www.christianaid.org.uk www.facebook.com/christianaid or www.twitter.com/CA_global
TOP OFTHEWORLD SkiMan is not your typical rap star in the making. He isn’t from the hood, he doesn’t wear a chain, and his neck isn’t tattooed with the name of his ex girlfriend, or anything else for that matter. SkiMan is equally at home studying psychology for his A Level exams as he is tearing down microphones; for which he is quickly garnering a fierce reputation. You’re as likely to find him discussing nature in his raps as he is testifying about the state of Britain, his trainers, or his roots in Barbados and West London. Indie kids love him for his live bandinjected stage shows, and the hood loves him for his gritty delivery and hard hitting beats. We catch up with SkiMan; real name Daniel Waithe, amidst a production line of freshly pressed CD’s, hurriedly being readied for deployment onto an unsuspecting public. So, how did you get the name SkiMan? When everyone asks me, they expect a long and dramatic story, but actually my dad gave me the name when I was a baby and it’s kinda stuckas his nickname for me. When did you first bless the Mic? I started when I was about 13 just writing lyrics and spitting them on mobile phone cameras with my best mate, but I started to take it more seriously around a year ago when I came back from Kavos.
Kavos isn’t the most likely place to give birth to a career in rap, what happened out there? I was asking loads of people at the time if they knew where I could record, and I met a guy called LA Golding out there who’s an artist from Nottingham. He did music at The Elementz studios, and when we got back he bought me through to a session. The Elementz were feeling what I was doing and we’ve worked together ever since. Your debut mixtape Top of The World just came out, what should we expect? Versatility. I’m trying to make inspirational music. I try to make people think about what I’m saying. So what is it that makes you different from other artists? One of the tracks on the record is called Soljah where I’m basically saying you don’t have to be out on the streets selling drugs or talking about it to be respected. There’s a stereotype in this music, and I’m trying to be an exception to that. I always try new types of music, and try to do something original with way a track’s structured. I’ll perform with indie bands, and then the next day I’ll be spitting at a Dubstep rave, so I’m really trying not to limit myself to one thing. SkiMan – Top of the World is available now for free download from www.theelementz.co.uk
Local Producer/DJRed Rack’em has got plenty going on this summer. He’s starting a new weekly Thursday night session at Hidden Bar in Alea Casino on Parliament Street, which is free and runs from 10pm-2am.Rack’em has also got 2 singles out in June, ‘Underground’ on new label Shift and ‘Pressure’ on Home Taping. He’s also launching his own label Bergerac in September! Congratulations to Nottingham DJ’s Paul Lyman and Squigs from OhMyGosh who both have been booked at Glastonbury this year! Niiiiiice! We’ve just finished mixing and mastering the debut album for our good friends -Inkrument. It’s taken a while but is sounding DOPE! 12 Hip hop tracks with a remix from The Elementzand featuringMC’sKarizma and Emcee Killa. RRRarehits the shops this summer through Dealmaker Records. Check the guys out at www.Inkrument.com Upcoming Elementz gigs... 19th June is a charity event called Breakdownat Rescue Roomsand will have Livebreakdancing from the Groundhogs - Live graffiti from Dilk and the Montana crew - The first screening of footage from the NG83 documentary. Music from:The Elementz,1st Blood,Inkrument, Emcee Killa, Nina Smith, Liam Bailey, CRS Artists,Motormouf, Basement forte, Beatmaster Bill, Still Motion and DJSynic… All of this is in aid of a good cause too. Proceeds from the event go to Roads to Recovery. www.theelementz.co.uk
NOTTINGHAM BARAWARDS 2010 The hospitality industry in the city of Nottingham came together on May 10th to witness Coco Tang crowned Nottingham’s Best Bar 2010 in a superb party at the Pitcher and Piano in the Lace Market. Complimentary drinks courtesy of Vedett and Bacardi helped get the party started and after the ceremony, hosted by BBC’s Richard Spurr, the Cuban Brothers blew the crowd away with their unique brand of entertainment. The House of Coco Tang were voted overall best bar 2010 and owner, Henry Ferrer of Coco Tang, had this to say about the awards “We didn’t expect to win, we just kept our heads down and deliver the service to our customers, we don’t operate to win awards but we’re very happy and appreciate that someone somewhere has seen what we’re doing.” The announcement of Coco Tang as overall winners was followed up with compliments to Henry and his team from across the bar industry and Henry was also proud to be awarded the judged Best Cocktail List category. As we were going to print, Coco Tang has taken over what used to be Fashion and opened a Parisian-style café with rare coffees and teas and an opportunity to sample their award-winning cocktail list in the sunshine. www.cocotang.co.uk Visit www.nottinghambarawards.co.uk for photo galleries and news on next year’s event.
Best Newcomer sponsored by Bigspring Web Design Development BAD JU JU Best In-house Club Night sponsored by Freeq Magazine STEALTH V’S RECUE ROOMS Best Independent Club Night sponsored by Audiotherapy DETONATE Best Nightclub sponsored by Redbull ROCK CITY Best Live Music sponsored by Redbull ROCK CITY Best Sunday Roast supported by J.T.Beeham & Sons GOLDEN FLEECE Best Bar Food sponsored by Brownejacobson Licensing Solicitors ALLEY CAFE Best Cocktail List sponsored by Bacardi THE HOUSE OF COCO TANG Best Cocktail Bar Tender sponsored by Bacardi CHRISTIAN TYRELL ( BRASS MONKEY) Best Out of Town Bar sponsored by Vedett MOOG Best Sports Bar sponsored by Libra WALKABOUT Best Student Bar sponsored by Kopparberg RESCUE ROOMS Best Traditional Pub sponsored by Libra Drinks YE OLD SALUTATION Best Small Bar sponsored by Kopparberg RIDE Best Large Bar sponsored by Vedett DOGMA Nottingham’s Best Bar sponsored by Libra Drinks (Purely on public votes over all categories)
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REVIEWS WHITE BELT YELLOW TAG METHODS
SPARROW & THE WORKSHOP I WILL BREAK YOU
Folk music has struggled in recent years to infiltrate the mainstream. Judging from their new single, I Will Break You – Sparrow and the Workshop could be the group to help folk music make that seismic impact. I Will Break You showcases all their playful tendencies and allows their greatest asset front woman Jill O’Sullivan to sound like a delectable cross of Florence Welch and PJ Harvey. Containing elements of grunge, ethereal pop and elegiac indie-folk, I Will Break You is the ideal song for the sunset slot at this year’s festivals.
ASH GIG REVIEW BIRMINGHAM IRISH CENTRE There have been times during Ash’s 18-year career where they have threatened to move into the higher echelons of music success. However, since deciding to become a singles-only group their time has surely passed to reach the arena-level they once threatened to break into. The Irish Centre was rammed despite their commercial downturn as Ash were determined to show the audience they are not about to fizzle out into cultural irrelevance. They burst onto stage around 9.30 pm and charged into beefy opener Lose Control off their exuberant debut album 1977. Soon as frontman Tim Wheeler had got to the second verse the PA system broke and although it was rectified in a fashion it marred the first half of the show as many songs felt distorted. Only a soaring rendition of the timeless Shining Light masked the technical glitches.
Methods is the debut album from Newcastle-based trio White Belt Yellow Tag. Lovers of Coldplay and Editors will be fawning over this sweeping musical landscape that is decent in places but is ultimately too soporific and gentile to get your juices flowing. Many of their mid-tempo anthems fail to get out of second gear. Throughout this record the triumvirate threaten to escape from their slumber into something more substantial - with the exception of opener Remains they tend not to awaken much. Their dark brooding spirit is reminiscent of the best bits of Glasvegas. Just like their Scottish counterparts White Belt Yellow Tag sound too detached to really engage the listener into feeling any passion or conviction that Methods is anything more than background music. There are flickers of potential here as there are echoes of something more inventive than Coldplay-esque lighters aloft fodder. If they can shake their timidity then perhaps White Belt Yellow Tag can then be awarded their black belt.
When the problems began to ease – Ash rattled through some old-school classics like Kung Fu, Girl From Mars and Oh Yeah with optimum guitar spunk. Their new singles have seen the ‘forever young’ trio develop a new electronic new romantic tinged influenced sound. It has added a new dimension to their already sun-drenched anthems of romantic misfortune and sci-fi-escapism. Climaxing with a gloriously raucous Burn Baby Burn Ash battled through their PA system failure to signify they are one of the must-see bands on this year’s festival circuit. After all what acts can match their sizzling back catalogue?
Reviews by Jamie Brannon
WE TAKE TIME OUT TO INVESTIGATE THE BEST VALUE EVENT IN THE BALEARICS THIS SUMMER BROUGHT TO YOU BY A MANCHESTER DELI ALONGSIDE SOME GOOD FRIENDS WITH RECORDS. IT’S WHAT THE HOLIDAYS WERE MADE FOR.
PERSONAL PARTIES ON SECLUDED SHORES If your boss announced he was shutting up shop for a week, and paying for you to go to Ibiza for six parties in four hedonistic days what would you think? Probably that one of you had lost their mind. But that’s exactly what the employees at Folk, winner of Best Casual Dining Experience at the 2009 Manchester Food and Drink Awards, were told. The idea is simple. Get a handful of Manchester DJs, a few hundred ticket-holders (from as far away as San Francisco), some picturesque Balearic locations and make like its 1987, or something like that. From dusk parties at Sunset Ashram to sessions at sea on a 200-capacity boat it’s likely that everyone at the opening July 22nd party will remember it for some time to come. After all, it’s not easy to visit somewhere so well trodden, and then find yourself a little off the beaten track. “It was almost a frivolous idea really,” said Justin Parkinson, owner of West Didsbury’s Folk. “The clubs out in Ibiza have got bigger, more touristy and more money oriented. But there is still- I can report back, in person- an amazing vibe to the whole place. “Everyone else is going on that festival trail, and often a lot of them are becoming a bit of a plod. We thought no-one’s going to Ibiza. Well, nobody’s going out there to do it properly.” It’s a reserved and mild mannered free(ish) party ethic that mirrors the wooden interior of Folk. On the walls hang antiquated photography on spirograph wallpaper, while outside palm trees and pot plants add a holiday aesthetic to a high street long established as a drink and dine destination. The business used to be a Polish delicatessen. Although it still serves food, Folk is now just as well known as a bar thanks to the album launch nights and summer garden parties that adorn the menu. The nearby Albert Club often hosts Folk’s frolics alongside Naïve Melody—a four-year-old Manchester monthly with guests including Ivan Smagghe, Aeroplane and Andrew Weatherall. Proof if it were needed of the deli’s inherent connection with music.
In addition to the players of records from Naïve Melody other DJs heading to the White Island include residents from The Acid Tree – Folk’s own monthly Balearic night; former Café Del Mar resident Phil Mison and Manchester stalwart Kelvin Andrews, one half of production outfit Soul Mekanik and an international guest. Not bad for a line-up that professes to be about leaving headliners at home. “Our plan is to try and keep the flavour of each day different in term of the people playing. With all these DJs going out there if it was a bit of a free for all then every day could sound the same,” explained Parkinson. “I’m quite interested in mixing it up a bit as well. Use people that haven’t played together or aren’t used to playing with each other and see how they respond to that. It won’t necessarily be the people who play together in Manchester playing together in Ibiza.” These ambitious plans have a lot of potential. The personal satisfaction of seeing a few hundred folk with reasonably priced tickets getting on a four-day session you have arranged should be gratifying. Certainly more so than filling a club with ignorant, rude and pretentious people at £20 a head per night. “We would like the opportunity for Folk to be able to continue to do foolish things like this. Ideally if we could do this as a free party we would do. We really want to do stuff without getting the business end mixed up in it. “In terms of the way we’re doing this we would like it to have an effect on people, out there and back in the UK. People can see that it’s not that we’re just f*!k heads who want to get wasted for a week. We do it with a degree of thought, and try to do things in a nice way- a decent way.” Doing things in a decent way is one way of putting it, and it’s hard not to take your hat off to the idea. It should sell out, but even so running at a loss is likely - a far cry from the corporate clubbing ethos. Bearing this in mind booking time off work and bagging one of the £60, all event tickets should be a real possibility. Well, it’s not everyday offers like this appear, is it? Martin Guttridge-Hewitt
Images: Paul Larkins Make Up: Sali Jones Stylist Karine Vigneau Clothes: Oxfam
Images: Paul Larkins Make Up: Sali Jones Stylist Karine Vigneau Clothes: Oxfam
Images: Paul Larkins Make Up: Sali Jones Stylist Karine Vigneau Clothes: Oxfam
DE MONTFORT HALL & GARDENS, LEICESTER
SUNDAY 15 MAIN STAGE
TINCHY STRYDER THE GO! TEAM
SLOW CLUB FIONN REGAN LOU RHODES SWIMMING SPOTLIGHT KID
THE WHIP CARIBOU TUNNG LAURA VEIRS THE WOODENTOPS LIAM FROST
THE LAST.FM RISING STAGE
THE LAST.FM RISING STAGE
THE LAST.FM RISING STAGE
ISBELLS KID ADRIFT WE SHOW UP ON RADAR BLACK CARROT THE SOUVENIRS
ELLEN & THE ESCAPADES MATTHEW P RED SHOE DIARIES DAVID GIBB
THE SUNSHINE UNDERGROUND FANFARLO CHARLIE & THE MARTYRS
STORNOWAY TURIN BRAKES DIANA VICKERS AUTOHYPE GAGGLE
DOG IS DEAD
STEVE MASON THE WAVE PICTURES
LISSIE ERLAND & THE CARNIVAL MEGAPHONIC THRIFT RUGOSA NEVADA
JASON & THE SCORCHERS DANNY & THE CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD ELIZA DOOLITTLE PEGGY SUE LIAM BAILEY KRISTYNA MYLES KIRSTY ALMEIDA PLUS ACOUSTIC CAFE
THE INVISIBLE FOOL’S GOLD A GENUINE FREAKSHOW MUSICIAN STAGE
FRANKIE & THE HEARTSTRINGS TIFFANY PAGE GOLDHEART ASSEMBLY HARPER SIMON THE LEISURE SOCIETY ALEX HIGHTON PLUS ACOUSTIC CAFE
MUMFORD & SONS LOCAL NATIVES THE LOW ANTHEM JUNIP JOHNNY FLYNN & THE SUSSEX WIT THESE FURROWS
DROWNED IN SOUND PRESENTS
THE FUTUREHEADS FRIGHTENED RABBIT LOS CAMPESINOS! ERRORS THE BESNARD LAKES SUMMER CAMP CATHERINE AD LITTLE NIGHT TERRORS
SKEPTA RIZ MC DEVLIN THE CROOKES MUSICIAN STAGE
EL PUSSYCAT THE GUTHLAXTONES DAVID FORD MEGAFAUN POKEY LAFARGE & THE SOUTH CITY THREE ANDY WHITE THE BLUES DEMONS PLUS ACOUSTIC CAFE
E FESTIVALS CABARET TENT INCLUDING MILTON JONES, ROB DEERING AND JUNIOR SIMPSON. FULL LINE-UP ON WEBSITE
COME AND JOIN US FOR A WEEKEND OF ENTERTAINMENT ACROSS FIVE STAGES, WITH MORE THAN 100 ARTISTS, COMEDY, FILMS, THE BEACH CHILL-OUT ZONE, KIDZONE, QUALITY FOOD & DRINK, CAMPING, SILENT DISCO, THE VILLAGE AND MUCH MORE…
D AY A N D W E E K E N D T I C K E T O P T I O N S AVA I L A B L E TICKETS 0116 233 3111 OR SUMMERSUNDAE.COM
GLASTONBURY What don’t we know about this festival? The biggest in the world, very muddy, and the place to be seen if you’re a music-loving celebrity who wants to be ‘papparized’. It’s also Glastonbury’s 40th Anniversary year and the festival has changed quite considerably since 1970 when the Pilton Pop, Blues & Folk Festival, was attended by just 1,500 people. Tickets sold out again this year despite an increase in numbers so if you haven’t already got your mitts on some you’ll have to content yourselves with BBC and Freeq coverage. World cup fans fear not, the big screens will show England’s final group game and second round match should they qualify. Aside from the huge names scheduled for the big stages, Glastonbury offers the widest range of musical genres to cater for every taste. From Mos Def and George Clinton to Chase and Status and the Bootleg Beatles. There’s even spoken word and live debate on social conscience issues. Our advice is don’t try and cram too much in, pick a stage or two for the day and stay there – if can take over an hour to move between stages when it’s busy and muddy. The festival is on 23rd to 28th June. For travel and festival information visit www.glastonburyfestivals. co.uk
THE BIG CHILL I don’t want to jinx this festival by saying the weather is always lovely but it’s certainly been hot every time we’ve been along. The festival is held in the grounds of Eastnor Castle, very picturesque and lots of open space, unlike most other festivals. There is a noticeably relaxed feel and this is one of the only festivals where you don’t have to queue for the toilets. Recent years have leaned towards dance genres and main headline this year Massive Attack continue the theme with Riva Starr and Caribou among others. Don’t be put off by the fact Lily Allen is on the line up as there’s lots to while she’s performing. Check out the comedy tent, healing fields, sit on the Big Hill or have a go on the roundabout. The Big Chill brand also includes a record label and several bars in London and Bristol that put on regular events and parties including pre-festival bashes. Tickets are just £162 for the long weekend 5th to 8th August. Go to www.bigchill.net for full line up details, tickets and information on the Big Chill bars and record label.
SUMMER SUNDAE A local festival (it’s in Leicester) that has become a big hitter in the short time it’s been running. It’s also nice to see plenty of bands that we’ve previously featured in the magazine, Swimming, WeShowUpOnRadar, Alex Highton, The Go! Team, Spotlight Kid and The Wave Pictures among a line up that includes other big names The Futureheads, Turin Brakes, and our personal favourite, Seasick Steve – an absolute must see. Held on 13th to 15th August in the grounds of De Montfort Hall the festival has a strong ethical stance – the fringe festival raises money for local charities – and a family-friendly vibe. If you don’t just want to drink cider all weekend there are always a wide range of cask ales on offer and good food options that won’t break the bank. As well as all the music the comedy stage returns and there will be a big beach area created especially for the festival. Adult tickets are just £105 for your three days and families of 2 adults and 2 children can get in for £270. www.summersundae.com for more information or call 0870 220 0260 or 08713 100 000 for tickets.
SPLENDOUR There aren’t many festivals in the world where you are surrounded by deer. Splendour, set in the grounds of the imposing Wollaton Hall on 24th July, is Nottingham’s premier music festival. Pet Shop Boys and Calvin Harris are among this year’s headline acts at what has to be one of the most picturesque locations for summer musical frivolity. It’s pleasantly surprising to discover the event is run by Nottingham Council who, with the long-standing Riverside festival and the more recent Beach in the Square and City Pulse, are garnering a reputation for excellent events, due in no small part to the involvement of DHP. Splendour has a definite family appeal with specific kids areas and offers half price tickets to local residents. There’s also a comedy stage and local bands performing in the courtyard of the Hall. At just £30 it usually sells out so get yours at www.splendourfestival.com This year, the day after Splendour sees a new classical music afternoon at Wollaton Hall headlined by the world famous Halle orchestra. It’s not to be missed if you like a bit of culture in your music. Visit www. mynottingham.gov.uk/wollatonclassics for more information.
Published on Jul 1, 2010
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