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Introduction Zola Jesus, Bestival 2011 © Kate Goodacre

Welcome to the fifth annual Fugitive Motel review of the year. To be honest, the name ‘Review of the Year’ feels like a misnomer now - particularly as our publication date has permanently slipped ‘til the end of January as contributors try and fit work around their day jobs and other commitments - but it felt hard to break with tradition. Things may take a slightly different slant in terms of our 2012 print spectacular, but a year is a long time and come December, I might have changed my mind again (or pulled my socks up and got organised). This year’s featured artists are probably our widest in range yet. TuneYards’ avantgarde, upbeat pop stylings reference influences from around the world in euphoric style, while Ghosting Season achieve the same end result by drawing from electronica and techno influences.

The History of Apple Pie’s influences lie in the grungy guitars and sugar-sweet vocals of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s - but again, with a soaring, instantly melodic streak. Dry the River’s sense of melody comes from their intricate guitar lines and soaring vocals - so it’s quite a pleasant surprise to learn about their early punk/rock roots from Catherine’s profile. As per usual, there’s another beautifully rendered cartoon from Tina, and the annual Motelvision song contest sprawls over six pages (running the risk of taking over the whole magazine with finely-tuned snark). So, please do enjoy this year’s Fugitive Motel Review of the Year - hopefully the next one *will* actually be out in time for Christmas! Love from Kate &the Fugitive Motel xx

The following people helped the motel go round in 2011...

Andy Fairclough, Andy Porter, Arj Singh, Benjamin Thomas, Catherine Bolsover, Catriona Mole, Ceri Williams, Charlotte Gush, Chris Park, Dan Feeney, Daniel Trotman, Gemma Hunter, Hannah Bayfield, Harry Garne, Holly Arrowsmith, Kate Goodacre, Malcolm Mathieson, Rowan Woods, Shaun Curran, Simon Garner, Stephen Grindrod, Steven Oldham, Steve Welch and Tom Harrison.

Please do take time to check out Tina and Ceri’s new website for their design company hotcakes at http://www.weareHOTCAKES.net/ :-)

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Tune-Yards

tUnE-yArDs’ second album W H O K I L L was released to great acclaim in april of this year, blending a Pandora’s box of samples with dischordant, joyful vocals. Catherine Bolsover spoke with founder, leader (and Motelvision 2011 nominee!) Merrill Garbus Backstage at this year’s Berlin Festival, after witnessing one of the band’s typically tour-de-force live performances. She may shrug off the ‘hipster’ label that has been attached to the band in 2011, but there is something undeniably cool about Merrill Garbus and her band. Fresh from the stage, her skin is glowing with sweat, and her signature face paint smeared around the eyes. She’s been likened to Bjork and M.I.A, but the way I’m warmly greeted with a shy smile makes her seem refreshingly normal. Coming from lo-fi beginnings (first LP BiRd-BrAiNs was recorded in part on a dictaphone and originally released on recycled cassette tapes), tUnE-yArDs released a second LP, Whokill, in 2011. Abrasive, yet poetic, Whokill earned the band rave reviews (making many ‘Best of 2011’ lists, including single ‘Bizness’ making

our very own Motelvision song contest longlist for its mix of ukulele, honking saxophones, vocal loops, frantic drumming and even a bit of yodelling). At the centre of it all is the humble ukulele. “It was the first instrument I picked up and started writing music with,” says Merrill. Growing up with hippie parents in suburban Connecticut, she went to an artsy college and ended up working as a puppeteer with a troupe from Vermont. It was through performing with the theatre that she realised her own brand of artistic expression lay elsewhere. “I’m not obsessed with puppets... and some people are obsessed with puppets,” she says with a giggle. “So it occurred to me {that} I really didn’t need to be doing that. I’d been

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writing this puppet opera on the ukulele and I realised “oh, this is what I want to do, play the ukulele.” From that point, forming tUnE-yArDs’ unique sound was “intuitive” and involved quite a lot of exploration. “It wasn’t until I was 30, maybe 28, that I was really listening to myself enough to work out what I wanted to say,” says Merrill.

being a white American woman and taking these certain rhythms and African sensibilities into my music. It’s troubling, I think,” she ponders. “It’s the music I feel I want to be making and what I hear in my head and my heart. Musicians borrow from each other all the time, but with African culture and

l’ is the sense of “What I enjoy about the word ‘triba trying to create – community, and that’s something I’m audience as well” not just within our band but with the

These kinds of sentiments could sound really pretentious, but there’s an earnest intensity behind them. This intensity grows when I ask about the African influences in her music. Having minored in African studies and Kiswahili at college, Merrill then went to Kenya, where she became fluent. She also cites West African dance classs and Tanzanian musician Hukwe Zawose as key influences. But, she obviously suffers from some kind of guilt. “I’ve struggled with this idea of

western culture there’s a very ugly history of imbalanced theft that I’m really aware of and conscious of.” Apart from the ukulele, the glue holding tUnE-yArDs together has to be Merrill’s amazing vocals. Her range is ridiculous, showing off her choirgirl training. On stage, Merrill has been likened to a shaman for her face paint and almost demonically frantic way she loops her voice on stage, dancing on the pedals as she

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“Musicians borrow from each other all the time, but with African and Western culture there’s a very ugly history of imbalanced theft that I’m really aware of” strums the ukelele. Not to mention the tribal face paint...

Public Enemy aren’t the only heroes Merrill and the band have met in 2011. Playing on stage with The Roots was a personal highlight, she adds, not to mention performances with Yoko Ono and opening on tour for Beirut, a band she has a lot of love and respect for. As her songs strike a chord with 2011’s growing army of the disillusioned and disaffected, and WHOKILL makes appearances on several critics’ top album list (The Guardian’s #10, Pitchfork’s #7, Album of the Year #4), it looks like 2012 could be the biggest year yet for the band. Undoubtedly, a busy touring schedule across Australia and Europe will earn the band a well-deserved new legion of fans. Now, “do you want to LIVE??”

“What I enjoy about the word ‘tribal’ is the sense of community, and that’s something I’m trying to create... not just within our band but with the audience as well,” she says. Her rallying cry of “Do You Want to LIVE??” at gigs cements her enigmatic status at the front and centre of the band. At this moment in our chat, old school hip-hop outfit Public Enemy (complete with entourage) stroll into the room. They seat themselves at some comfy chairs behind us to do an interview with German television. Merrill’s already quite reserved demeanour becomes positively schoolgirl-shy. Asking her who her musical heroes were growing up, she blushes, giggles and points to Public Enemy, saying: “those guys behind me!” The band spot her and give her a big wave. “There’s a lot of American rap and hip-hop which has been very influential to me, so I’m very happy to be in their presence!”

W H O K I L L, the second album from tUnE-yArDs, is out now on 4AD.

The band return to Europe for a series of live dates in February and March, including The Cockpit, Leeds (February 13) and Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London (February 15, NME Awards show). www.tune-yards.com / facebook.com/tuneyards / Twitter: @tuneyards

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© Shawn Brackbill

1 1 0 2 n o i s i v l e t o M

AFTER last year’s poorly-received decision to try out a World Cup stylie ‘group’ format for Motelvision - using a blank Guardian Wall-chart and a lot of patience, the Fugitive Motel’s fourth annual song of the year contest sees a return to its traditional structure - so that’s Eurovision-style scoring immediately after nominations have closed, then FA Cup knockout style thereafter. Contributors were given a month or so at the start of the autumn to nominate up to three songs - their first choices needed to have received a single release (ie ‘people needed to pay money for it’), but second or third choices could be official free downloads from an artist’s website (another controversial move). With an eligibility period running between October 16, 2010 and October 31, 2011, here’s this year’s runners and riders... >> Aloe Blacc - ‘I Need a Dollar’ >> Arctic Monkeys - ‘Brick by Brick’ >> The Art Museums - ‘Dancing with a Hole in Your Heart’ >> British Sea Power - ‘Living is So Easy’ >> British Sea Power - ‘Who's in Control?’ >> Cut Copy - ‘Take Me Over’ >> Death Cab for Cutie - ‘You are a Tourist’ >> Dels - ‘Capsize’ >> Dirty Beaches - ‘Lord Knows Best’ >> Elbow - ‘Neat Little Rows’ >> Example - ‘Changed the Way You Kiss Me’ >> Fleet Foxes - ‘Battery Kinzie’ >> Gang Gang Dance - ‘Mindkilla’ >> Gold Panda - ‘Quitter's Raga’ >> Gruff Rhys - ‘Sensations in the Dark’ >> The Horrors - ‘Still Life’

>> >> >> >> >> >> >>

Justice - ‘Civilisation’ The Kills - ‘Satellite’ The Naked and Famous - ‘Young Blood’ Nero - ‘Me and You’ Patrick Wolf - ‘Time of My Life’ Patterns - ‘Induction’ PJ Harvey - ‘The Words That Maketh Murder’ >> The Rapture - ‘How Deep is Your Love’ >> Real Estate - ‘It's Real’ >> This Many Boyfriends - ‘Young Lovers Go Pop!’ >> Three Trapped Tigers - ‘Noise Trade’ >> Tribes - ‘We Were Children’ >> Tune-Yards - ‘Bizness’ >> Warpaint - ‘Undertow’ >> Wild Beasts - ‘Albatross’ >> Yuck - ‘The Wall’

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"Hello, hello? Is this thing on... you all look so lovely in Estonia tonight," Dan F quips, setting the tone for the return of Eurovision votes in typical style from what he describes as the "Sheffield-upon-Wakefield" region. I'm guessing that he's also delivering his votes in front of a backdrop of a tram, or something. Anyway, Dan starts by allocating 12 points to 'Who's in Control' by British Sea Power, saying it's "quite possibly the finest song of 2011", adding that it has "actively contributed to the campaign to save the nation's library provision in the faces of the tories' axe of despair - for this reason alone, it should win."

Round 2 - Final 32

Hannah agrees - it wasn't one of her original nominations, but she has come round to it all the same. "who can resist the temptation to screech '# Sometimes, I wish, protesting was sexy on a Saturday night #'," she rightfully observes. Steve's more succinct description includes the words "anarchic stomp". I sense a theme here, until Motel newcomer Simon pops up to admit that he's never really "got" BSP. Steven O makes a point of order due to the nomination of two British Sea Power songs

as first choices. Even though he's voted for the track, Steven notes: "Latvia don't send two Entries to our Eurovision cousin do they?" Well, not to our knowledge anyway. Maybe 2012 will see the advent of 'A song for Motelvision', although we'd have to start the preparations even earlier. Elsewhere, Wild Beasts are faring well, with Dan F singing a line from the song over email (it's only taken four bloody years for someone to actually sing their votes amazing!), adding "they are the most creative songwriters in the country right now. Absolutely bloody brilliant." "Maybe winning Motelvision will make up for missing out on {2010's} Mercury Prize?" Simon observes.

© Paul Phung

Arj - who is into one-word descriptions this round - simply labels 'Albatross' as “sexy”. He adds that one of his nominations 'Quitter's Raga' by Gold Panda - is ”bananas”, while 'Still Life' by The Horrors (a surprising early favourite) is “epic”, 'Undertow' by Warpaint is “breathy” and 'It's Real', by Real Estate, screams “Sunday”. Perhaps those smug kind of Sundays where you go down the park with a coffee and a big paper.

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An especially heavy amount of ire is reserved for Elliott 'Example' Gleave and 'changed the Way You Kissed Me'. "He used to be a so-so rapper, now he is a shit R'n'B singer. Same as Plan B," simon says, while Steve compares it to "a return to the dark side of being 21 in a three minute, horriblyoverblown electronic dirge," also accurately describing the standard scene in a Fallowfield bar that Kate used to work in during the dark pre-Motel days of 2004. Dan F, meanwhile, promises a longer rant if Nero makes the last 16. For the moment, he restricts himself to the words "Fucking hell, it is awful".

However, there's high praise for perennial Motel darling (and inaugural Welsh Music Prize winner) Gruff Rhys. "Summer in a Soundbyte," Hannah says of the ever-so-jolly 'Sensations in the Dark'. "I want to be this man!" Simon opines, giving Gruff 5 wellearned Motelvision points. Finally from the second round, an honourable mention for Simon's description of Cut Copy's 'Take Me Over' as "{a} perfect blend of Fleetwood Mac fetishism and hands in the air house", only because despite our open-minded approach to genre, it's probably the only time that house music and Fleetwood Mac will ever be mentioned in such close proximity at the Motel.

OUT: British Sea Power (‘Living is So Easy’, 20 points), Dirty Beaches (17 points), Cut Copy, Death Cab for Cutie, Gang Gang Dance, Justice, The Rapture, Three Trapped Tigers, Tribes (16 points), Yuck (14 points), This Many Boyfriends (13 points), Example (12 points), Arctic Monkeys, The Art Museums, Dels (10 points), Nero (6 points).

The Last 16

The Third round draw is out, and unlike the second round where voting took a while to get going, everyone seems eager to chip in this time around. "Firstly, (as usual) I am not at all happy about these pairings," Catherine begins. "I’m indifferent about both songs in some pairings and passionate about both in others. Urgh. I also feel in the top 10 there was an anti dance/electro bias. No Cut Copy! No Justice! Literally, no Justice!" I see what you did there. One tie that nobody feels particularly

Third Round Draw Patterns v Tune-Yards The Kills v Fleet Foxes British Sea Power v Patrick Wolf Pj Harvey v The Naked and Famous Gruff Rhys v Warpaint Aloe Blacc v Gold Panda ELbow v The Horrors Real Estate v Wild Beasts

excited about is the Kills against Fleet Foxes, which would have been a real headpickler in 2008. Catherine gets all X Factor and stays loyal to 'Battery Kinzie', which she nominated at the start of the contest. Hannah describes the tie as 'Boring v Boringer' and plumps for Jamie and Alison. "At least I've never had to freeze my extremities off guarding a 'gate' to 'backstage' in a Dorset field while The Kills have been playing," she explains. Dan agrees. He says: "1-0 home win, but truth be told, no-one wants to see either of these

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fought so hard for? This dross?" Oh dear. He votes for Gold Panda on the basis that it's up against it, even though he doesn't think that 'Quitter's Raga' is the Essex boy's best track. There is great upset that Warpaint have been drawn against Gruff Rhys, and many a head is scratched. Harry goes for 'Undertow', saying it "remains as hauntingly sexual as ever", and, on a similar theme, Steve says the song is "like a siren's call to a Greek Galley". Andy P calls it for Gruff by dint of his trumpets, while Hannah's also feeling the brass section.

sides progressing," truly embracing the magic of the FA cup as the competition enters the knockout stages. Another tie that proves difficult to call is Aloe Blacc vs Gold Panda. Andy P plumps for Egbert Nathaniel Dawkins III (yep, that's his real name)'s "swinging positivity" over Gold Panda, attributing the decision to his "particularly good mood" following a recent holiday. Steve’s reasoning is a little more brutal: “Depression soul may not be my thing but at least it doesn't give me a headache like its opponent,” he declares. Hannah votes for Aloe Blacc, too. "{This song} has been stuck in my head many a time over the past year. I try to shift it, but it ain't going nowhere. Which must be the mark of a good pop song right? Right? Well, it's going through anyway," she says.

Elbow and the Horrors proves to be more clear-cut than initially imagined. "Shock of the round as bit gothy underdogs The Horrors sneak an away win at Elbow’s home, somewhere in the dustbowl," says Dan F. "The Horrors sound more and more like they are just listening to loads of Bunnymen." He thinks this is A Good Thing, of course. Most people feel a bit bad about ditching Patrick Wolf - Dan again feels pained by the draw, howling "Damn you, DAMN YOU TO HELL VOICE OF THE BALLS" over email, adding: "Some lovely passing interchange in midfield sees Wolf FC gain a number of plaudits, but you just can’t argue with a chorus that involves shouting and swearing and a verse about libraries and a fucking ace tune." Catherine calls it the same way, saying: "I do like that Patrick Wolf song and {am} indebted

However, in a marked difference of opinion at PYT Towers, Dan's ranting prowess is transferred from Nero, who finished dead last in round 2, to 'I Need A Dollar'. Here is the abbreviated version: "I fucking hate this song. It is terrible. I can find no redeeming features about this sorry excuse for a pop song. “You know how Outkast came along and swept the charts, and that opened the door for fairly interesting pop-cum-soul-cum-hiphop to become popular? Is this what they

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to Motelvision for introducing me to it, but I’m going with my Brighton boys." Well, Brighton/Kendal if we're being pedantic. And let's not forget abi on viola, who's very much a lady. Steve agrees, although he salutes the "interesting yet catchy" 'Time of My Life'. Ultimately, BSP win 10 (Ten) goals to 2. Elbow and the Horrors proves to be more clear-cut than initially imagined. "Shock of the round as bit gothy underdogs The Horrors sneak an away win at Elbow’s home, somewhere in the dustbowl," says Dan F. "The Horrors sound more and more like they are just listening to loads of Bunnymen." He thinks this is A Good Thing, of course. Catherine adds: "‘Still Life’ is just getting under my skin the more and more I hear it. And for that alone it gets my vote. Sorry Elbow. I still love you." Real Estate and Wild Beasts is another fixture that causes some difficulty, with the tide slowly turning against the Kendal foursome as votes come in. Harry gives it to one of his nominees, 'It's Real', "due to whistlability, joie de vivre and simple aceness", saying that the tie was the toughest of the third round for him. Ste G joins him: "Damn you for putting these two up against each other," he laments.

Quarter-Finals

© Shawn Brackbill

Andy F also says it was a tough call as he's starting to get into the Real Estate album, but ultimately gives his backing to Wild Beasts, as does Steve, who says that 'Albatross' "oozes originality and laid-back cool". In fact, Andy P's late decision to switch his vote to Real Estate secures their victory - a move which could prove crucial later on... OUT: Tune-Yards (on Kate’s casting vote), The Kills, Patrick Wolf, The Naked and Famous, Warpaint, Gold Panda, Elbow, Wild Beasts The quarter-finals are upon us, and Gruff Rhys has been dealt the toughest opponent when it comes to the draw once again, squaring up against Mercury Prize winner PJ Harvey. "that boy's had a real tough draw but still battling through," Andy P says, granting his support to 'Sensations in the Dark'.

© Mark James

Catherine supports him as the first signs of a PJ Harvey backlash emerge: "'The Words That Maketh Murder' is beginning to sound just a bit too worthy and annoying," she claims. Steve adds: "I'm going for poptastic fun over the conceptual."

The draw... Patterns v Real Estate Pj Harvey v Gruff Rhys Aloe Blacc v British Sea Power The Horrors v Fleet Foxes

Harry says that the tie has gone to 'Extra Time' in his book, eventually plumping for Polly Jean. "She may need to dust off that acceptance speech again as she marches on, despite a spirited defence from a battling Gruff," he observes. Harry says that the tie has gone to ‘extra time’ in his book, eventually plumping for

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Polly Jean. "She may need to dust off that acceptance speech again as she marches on, despite a spirited defence from a battling Gruff," he observes. Ultimately, it's resolved by a virtual coin-toss as Kate can't bear to use her casting vote (pulling out the old "It's like picking a favourite child" argument), and it's goodbye to poor Gruff. Harry also sums up the ubiquitous nature of 'I Need a Dollar' thus: "It's in every pub, car and supermarket, yet the man whose first name sounds like a Northern greeting still has something with this song... I love British Sea Power as much as the next person... but 2011 was more about the man with the money problems." Steve calls the Patterns v Real Estate face-off for the former. "just the thought of this tie gets the lush, swirling dreampop running through my head again," he gushes. Harry praises Patterns' undoubted home support (Hannah and Dan both said in earlier

Semi-Final draw

rounds that the decision to start up a Pull Yourself Together record label was down to hearing the band for the first time), but a partisan Mr Garne soon adds: "with our (yes, [our]) free-flowing tempo and irrepressible loveability, Real Estate are quickly becoming everyone's second team, like Newcastle." The Horrors, meanwhile, trounce Fleet Foxes, who do not come off well in terms of snark. Andy P says 'Still Life' wins "at a stroll", while Steve says 'Battery Kinzie' is "another Fleet Foxes song that sounds exactly the same as all the others." Catherine, however, remains loyal to her track in the face of a strong challenge from The Horrors. "Another home win... as Fleet Foxes clearly have never played football. Wait, what are we voting on again?" Harry quips.

OUT: Gruff Rhys (on ‘best of three’ coin toss), British Sea Power (‘Who’s In Control’), Patterns, Fleet Foxes

PJ Harvey v The Horrors Aloe Blacc v Real Estate

Simon is delighted with the quarter final results: "Haha! In your [face] British Sea Power and Fleet Foxes," he proclaims. He votes for PJ Harvey in the first tie, and Gemma agrees: “I think the Horrors deserve some credit for the magnificent change from their earlier songs to 'Still Life' - I never would have guessed it was them,” she says. Meanwhile, Real Estate waltz to victory in the second tie, with sentiment best summed up by Harry: “Despite all my kind words about 'Allo 'Allo in previous rounds, closing time has absolutely come,” he muses. OUT: Aloe Blacc, PJ Harvey

Tell you what, Harry seems to have a knack for picking Motelvision winners. He proposed 2009’s winner, Animal Collective’s ‘My Girls’, and he’s understandably delighted that two of his choices are facing off in the final. In a stirring speech in which he jokes about being able to assess “the mood of a nation”, harry says: “which child do I love the most... with 'It's Real', Real Estate have seen the financial crisis, the global conflicts, the civil unrest and the political mess and decided that what the world needs is a bit of nostrings fun. With the hookiest hook since

Peter Hook’s recent trip to a fishing convention, this is the jangle that has soundtracked every aspect of my year. Sorry Faris - you were beaten by the better team.” Well, almost, Harry. Almost. ‘Still Life’ by the Horrors is this year’s Motelvision winner, winning 8-7 in a close final. This year's first ever Motelvision Readers Choice is shared between British Sea Power's 'Who's in Control' and Warpaint's 'Undertow', which each took 15% of the vote. So all the contributors who thought that British Sea Power should've won for writing a song about libraries and protests can feel (kind of) vindicated. I suppose you could say that BSP summed up the mood of a nation in 2011, too.

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Ghosting Season

There’s a new sound on the block as Simon Garner profiles Gavin Miller and Tom Ragsdale (aka “the artists not currently known as worriedaboutsatan”) to find out more about their move across the pennines, their mixtape-making fanbase and how technology can actually be pretty damn complicated at times...

At the start of 2011 Gavin Miller and Tom Ragsdale found that they were making music that didn’t fit comfortably under their Worriedaboutsatan moniker; less downtempo glitch and more of a foot moving house-techno hybrid, Ghosting Season was born!

With ‘just’ guitars, keys, drum pads and loops and “something like an electric cello” they’ve had one hell of a year, especially when you consider that they’ve only really existed for the latter three quarters of it. I’ve been to a few of their gigs this year, they’ve blown me away every time. I’ve been lucky enough to chat to them a few times, before and after shows, so got in touch with them at one of their london gigs to ask them what they made of a momentous year.

Blending ‘dark atmospheric techno, with guitars and a healthy post-rock influence, or “techno with a bit more” as they call it - has spawned a very well received ‘Far End of the Graveyard’ EP (within five minutes of hearing it on BBC 6music, I’d downloaded it) and a string of mini-tours up and down the UK. They’ve been met with excited crowds, high profile support slots and some “batshit” fan made mixtapes.

Ghosting Season recently decamped from Leeds, to the spiritual home of the Fugitive Motel, Manchester. They found a music scene that was “less about the guitars” and more open to experimentation, if only because of its relative size. The move has acted as an exorcism of sorts of the rockier leanings that the Leeds scene held, a jump that was a better fit musically.

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All images pp.12-14 © Sebastien Dehesdin

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Fitting with a desire to find out “what else you/[one] can do,” a change, as they say, is as good as a start. Despite its nerdy, socially awkward reputation, Techno is quite an intimate and welcoming scene, with Enthusiasts evangelising over a favourite drum loop the same way they might a train serial number. So still pretty nerdy, but at least you can dance to it. Ghosting Season tell me it is a nice scene to be part of, especially now it is shaking off its ‘facelessness’. As the guys point out, they have a lot of shiny electronic kit on stage, but they don’t hide behind it, they think like a rock band, tour like a rock band, soundcheck like a rock band. If you’re picturing huge piles of Bolivian Marching Powder (like a rock band), then they mean it more in the sense that they “still feel like they’re 18 years old and playing Deftones covers,” they definitely have a sense of wide-eyed amazement at getting to do this for a living.

“They’ve been met with excited crowds, high profile support slots and some ‘batshit’ fan made mixtapes.”

‘Hiding’ has given way to something more theatrical. The live setting, they say, needs to be engaging, it isn’t enough to be a couple of guys stood behind their laptops, you might as well stick on a mix CD otherwise. This is the rock band attitude that spills over in to the Ghosting Season sound. But without a drummer someone, or something, needed to play the drums,

uwilling to alter the dynamic as a creative duo, this has left them adrift in the ‘dance’ camp. It is undeniable that without live drums (occasional drum pad cue notwithstanding) their sound has been shaped by the dynamic; facing off against each other feeding off the energy that builds between them, as much as from the audience. They blend the sort of cerebral techno that would usually have me sat in bedroom stroking my beard and the more visceral beats of house. This change wasn’t a conscious step they assure me. they “stumbled across” their formula. Worriedaboutsatan were making waves when it wasn’t known for electronica to blend the atmospherics of post-rock with the ‘immediacy’ of house, they insist once more that they “stumbled” in to a happy situation, it was they say “serendipitous,” indie kids getting in to dance - house and techno. In August, at the Old Blue Last in London, a healthy audience gathered up stairs to see Gavin and Tom almost crowded off the small stage by their kit. I was stood next to Andrew Hung from Fuck Buttons (embarrassingly I was wearing a Fuck Buttons t-shirt, worse I pointed this out to him. gracious and friendly as he was, Andrew

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didn’t ask me to be his mate). Ghosting Season worked the room like seasoned pros, ebbing and flowing with the beats and atmospherics in just the right way heads were bobbing left, right and centre, people were dancing, high praise indeed from the East London Hipsterati. For a year that has gone from strength to strength, when pressed for a highlight, the pair are too bashful to give reply, but the excitement of playing with a hero, Shackleton, gets the better of them. They were also “pretty chuffed” to support Apparat at the Scala and finding that not only had a crowd turned up early enough to see them, but actually specifically to see them, and whats more were lapping them up. Understated as always, the band said that this was a “massive highlight.” That was mid-point through a fast and frenetic 2011, and they freely admit they’ve been taken aback a little by the ground they’ve covered, the positive reaction from the press, and - most gratifyingly - the audiences at their shows.

“Some of them could be [crazy], yeah... but they don’t know where we live... yet”

Later in the year, I saw Ghosting Season at the first London Fields night, supporting Max Cooper. there were a whole lot more people there that evening, and a great deal more dancing. I spoke to them after their set and they seemed genuinely caught off-guard at the vocal and energetic response. The band said that they were “not thinking in those terms, too busy sat behind {their} laptops, and were taken aback to see so many people there.

Ghosting Season understand the need to strike a balance though, and as with their stage show (the “slightly egoist thing” of enjoying people dancing to your music), they know that technology doesn’t necessarily make things easier. On one level it does things for you, but they’re also aware that it creates more work. Gavin points to an iPhone, saying: “I wouldn’t know what to do if this broke, I couldn’t fix this! I haven’t a fucking clue, we could all end up in a second post-Roman dark age!” What technology does do is make it easier to connect with people, and Ghosting Season harness the fact that everyone loves talking about music. sites like Soundcloud and Bandcamp allow that sense of community to blossom, and they appreciate having fans “nice enough” to soundtrack their tour with mixtapes (a recent competition saw them inundated with responses) that included the Mortal Kombat theme tune. I ask if they worry about having ‘Michael Jackson Crazy’ fans. “Some of them could be, yeah. But they don’t know where we live… yet.” The momentum looks set to carry on well in to 2012. with plans for an album, as well as bringing worriedaboutsatan back from hibernation. Maybe those crazy fans will be driven to finding out where they live… That sounds more sinister written down than I thought.

Ghosting Season’s remix of ‘Nude’ by Radiohead is out now. They play at The Nest in Dalston, London on January 27, 2012, with more shows to follow. www.ghostingseason.co.uk / facebook.com/ghostingseason Twitter: @ghostingseason

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The History of Apple Pie

On a chilly December night in central Manchester, The History of Apple Pie gather at the end of their biggest tour to date (supporting the drums and cloud control) to tell Kate Goodacre about life on the road, boats and confess a soft spot for permanently smiley X Factor runner-up Marcus Collins... Manchester's beautiful Ritz venue has been HMV-ed! The restoration has, however, been a sensitive job, tastefully giving the old building a new lease of life. The atmosphere as we approach Christmas is pretty balmy too - it feels a bit like an end-of-term party at school or college. It may be the night of the X Factor final, but there's still a sold out crowd who obviously prefer go to out and see living, breathing music on a Saturday night. That's not to say that The History of Apple Pie haven't been paying attention to the Simon Cowell-created sobfest, though. Well, at least one or two of them have earmarked their favourite member, as all five members of the band gather around a

microphone on the stairs (the miniature microphone stand on which it rests elicits a chorus of 'awws' from the quintet). "When's the final, tonight?" James (drums) asks - well, it's kind of spread over Saturday and Sunday - before telling his fellow bandmates. "You told me it was tonight! You told me it was tonight." Deciding to turn the questions back on the interviewer, the band then ask who my favourite is. "Well, he's a bit vanilla, but Marcus {Collins}." (Ah, my mother would be so proud.) "James did a really good drawing of Marcus on the window of our van," Jerome (guitar) pipes up. "Oh, I did," James adds. "With the moustache, yes."

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bedroom", which elicits laughter from her bandmates. "You make it sound like you were having sex!" one pipes up. "We wrote them in the bedroom. They're all based on pillow talk(!)" Jerome responds dryly. James was "rescued from poverty", according to Steph, and Aslam (guitar) was formerly an assistant to comedian Stewart Lee. He met James when the pair were working on a boat together. When pressed as to what kind of seafaring vessel they worked on, Aslam jokes: "A sleazy boat!"

The unexpected diversion stemmed from a slightly more legitimate question - given the ITV1 singing competition's habit of setting up glorified ego-stroking/collaborations with superstars for its finalists, who - living or deceased - would The History of Apple Pie like to be guest artists on their first album? No restrictions as to budget or time. "Mine'd be Marcus," James quips. "Probably Nick Zinner, or something," Steph Min (vocals) pipes up. "I'm gonna say the same thing I said last time - Delia Darbyshire", Jerome adds - it turns out the band were asked the same question during an interview in Bristol earlier in the tour. Andrew WK, late punk musician Wesley Willis and Kurt Heasley from The Lilys are also mentioned by the band as dream collaborators. Steph admits that the band are itching to get into the studio for a more prolonged period of recording, and Jerome says that the band hopes a debut album will see the light of day during 2012. The History of Apple Pie have released two singles this year - the grungyyet-bittersweet 'You're So Cool' and its follow-up, the poppier (yet still unashamedly lo-fi and reverby) 'Mallory' - but have spent most of the year on the road. Steph says that the band formed when "me and Jerome started writing songs in the

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Kelly (bass, backing vocals) met the rest through a friend of a friend “we started rehearsing a year ago”, she recalls. Since then, they've been remixed by The Horrors and have opened shows for The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Chapel Club and Male Bonding, who they toured with earlier in the year. However, the band agree that they have received the best reception by far on tour with The Drums. “We've been in proper venues. We got a really good response from all the crowds,” Steph explains. “They are young crowds as well, which is really good, 'cause we've not really played to them yet, but they've all been really great to us.”

“We wrote them in the bedroom - they’re all base d on pillow talk(!)”

Their favourite shows on the tour so far have included Portsmouth, Cambridge and Bristol, while Steph pays tribute to the crowd on the first night at the Library in Birmingham - “{they} were amazing”, she says. While bands don’t often get to see much of a city on tour, they are all in agreement that they especially enjoyed Edinburgh as a place.

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“It was bitterly cold!” Aslam exclaims. They just escaped the high winds which recently rattled Scotland. “We saw the fireworks though,” Jerome jokes, referring to a wind turbine in Ayrshire which caught fire two days before our interview. “That wind turbine going up was mental,” he adds. “It was going around so fast.” The band intend to go back to Scotland soon - “both those shows {Edinburgh and Glasgow} were really great,” says Steph. The long journeys (their longest on this tour has been from London to Glasgow) have brought out a wide range of listening material - and not just limited to music. “Nirvana, the Deftones,” Aslam begins. “We haven’t listened to that for a bit.”

“We’ve had changes - such small little changes that we don’t notice it”

Jerome notes that The Strokes have also been on the stereo, as well as MAle Bonding. Kelly says that the band have also been listening to Heart FM in the van, “{and} a lot of Stewart Lee.” “We tried to listen to Joe Pasquale but it was too edgy for us(!)” adds James. The band intend to travel further afield in 2012. “We're going to Europe quite a lot in the beginning of next year, so that's

really really good,” Kelly explains. Visits to Italy, Spain and a return to Holland are on the cards. The conversation starts to drift off onto boats again - perhaps it’s what talking about european shows does. “I went on a giant catamaran that went to Holland, the HSS ferry,” says James. “It had jet engines. That was cool.” Yes, but was it a sleazy giant catamaran? The band don’t think that there has been a major turning point or catalyst for their progress this year, but James notes that success often comes slowly and surely. “we've had changes - such small little changes that we don't notice it. And people from the outside always go 'Oh, so it's going really well then!'” he observes. Aslam says that the band’s slow, steady, continual progress is still “a good way to go!” As they celebrate the end of a year which has seen them move from their first tentative rehearsals and shows to routinely playing to three and four-figure capacity crowds, The History of Apple Pie have set themselves a high benchmark for the new year ahead.

The History of Apple Pie support The Horrors at Norwich Waterfront (January 22). They also play the Barfly, London (February 11) and the Roundhouse, London (February 18). www.thehistoryofapplepie.com / facebook.com/thehistoryofapplepie Twitter: @thoapband

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Dan F’s top 5 songs to bake bread to

1. ‘Street Horrsing’ - Fuck Buttons. Well suited to something deeply flavoured and dark, such as a Black Bread made with treacle, caraway and spelt. 2. ‘The Airing of Grievances’ - Titus Andronicus. Another dark number, with added shouting. Definiitely needs to involve alcohol - wholemeal and ale all the way. 3. ‘Islands’ - The Mary Onettes. A lighter number, though with a subtle taste and texture running through it which you don't quite expect on first glimpse - saffron and ricotta bloomer. 4. ‘Neu! 2’ - Neu! Strangely enough, this makes for a terrific normal loaf, almost rebelling against the music white sandwich bread, cooked in a tin. 5. ‘Allo Darlin’ - Allo Darlin. Light, bouncy, and full of fun; this can't be anything but a chickpea cob, light in colour and crumb.

Top Fives Kate’s Top 5 Breads of the World

1. Norlander rye bread (the Barbakan in Chorlton does a good Norlander) 2. Peshwari Naan 3. Grissini breadsticks (Sainsbury’s Own Brand are an actual bargain at 59p a box) 4. Foccacia - any type 5. Low GI Bread (from the Bakers down the road in Stockton Heath)

The History of Apple Pie’s Top 5 TV shows (no order given)

Young Apprentice (BBC One, first shown 2010) Frozen Planet (BBC One, first shown 2011) Garth Mahrengi's Darkplace (Channel 4, first shown 2004) Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle (BBC2, premiered in 2009) The Simpsons ("That just has to go in the list, because it's The Simpsons".)

Luther Blissett’s top 5 railway request stops in the UK

1. Deganwy (Conwy) 2. Bugle (Cornwall) 3. Delamere (Cheshire) 4. Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch (Anglesey) 5. Invershin (Scottish Highlands)

Ghosting Season’s Top 5 Arnold Schwarzenegger Quips

1. "You're fired", True Lies (1994) - shortly before firing a missile from a Harrier Jump Jet, with Art Malik hanging from the tip of said missile. 2. "Ah, he had to split", The Running Man (1987) - shortly after using a chainsaw to tear Eddie 'Buzzsaw' Butowski in half. 3. "Consider that a divorce" from Total Recall (1990) - shortly after shooting his on-screen wife in the head. 4. "I need a vacation", Terminator 2 (1991) - shortly after appearing from nowhere, battered and bruised, to defeat T-1000. 5. "Stick around", Predator (1987) - shortly after throwing a knife into someone's face. As an afterthought, The Motel’s Ste G adds in a reference to Sixth Day (2000), where Arnie is facing off with a big bad who’s been dabbling in Human cloning. The exchange goes like this... Arnie: "If I was in charge, I'd clone you." Bad Guy: "Why?" Arnie: "So you can go and fuck yourself." Apparently the film ends with two Arnies having a drink in a bar. {KG}

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Dry the River

They may have been hailed as the next big thing in the booming genre of indiefolk, but as Catherine Bolsover discovered, Dry the River are a lot more hardcore than their name and records suggest. Frontman Pete Liddell and bassist Scott Miller take us through their punk roots and their love affair with their tour van Kramer… Bassist Scott Miller’s beard is a musthave accessory needed by any self-respecting, modern up-and-coming Folk-acousticindie band. It’s part Fleet Foxes, part the beardy one from Kings of Leon.

Yes, medical school. After spending his youth gigging with punk bands, Pete put music on the back burner when he went off to study at university. However, he soon got cravings for his guitar.

It’s a good folk beard. But such a beard with its great folk tradition is actually a bit of a red herring, as the band’s roots are more Metallica than Mumford and Sons.

“I’d lost a creative outlet,” he explains. “So I just started noodling about in my bedroom, but writing more acoustic songs.” He clarifies the folk vibe was more out of necessity than a deliberate direction. “I was in uni halls, so couldn’t shout! I started writing songs with more singing and less shouting.”

“We all knew each other by association, because we all played in bands doing the same punk, rock, hardcore circuit in the South East,” says frontman Pete Liddell, explaining how the band got together. “It was only when I went off to medical school that I became a bit disillusioned with it all and started writing folky songs in my bedroom.”

Gradually Pete started collecting band members. Having met through the scene in Reading, Southampton and Newbury, the five members of the band who would become Dry the River started congregating in East London and playing together.

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“When the band started picking up we moved into a tiny flat in London together, all sleeping on sofas,” recalls Scott. The tiny cramped environment must have done them some good, as they were soon picked up by Transgressive, got a little bit of money and have been recording and touring ever since. “We’re literally living the dream - as cheesy as that sounds!” says Scott. “I’d been playing in bands for 17 years and we’d almost given up, and were just playing music for ourselves, and suddenly that’s when it all picked up.” Despite their new folk direction, the band is the first to admit that when they’re on stage, their former influences start to assert themselves. “We tried doing the songs all stripped down, but eventually we just wanted to rock out,” says Scott. “I wanted to throw my hair about a bit and we started putting some heavier stuff in there.” Pete’s thoughtful songwriting is at the heart of Dry the River’s sound, with Leonard Cohen and Paul Simon obviously key influences. He says he lived a nomadic lifestyle as a child, and this comes through in songs that centre on the idea or notion of community.

“I’d been playing in bands for 17 years, and we’d almost given up”

A fascination with religion also comes through on songs like ‘Bible Belt.’ Yet live, the band is certainly not a troupe of shoe-gazing folk musicians. There’s a gritty, heavy sound that comes through in the drums and bass, and there’s a fair bit of Wayne’s World style head-banging going on. Of the two, Scott is the more open and chatty, sitting forward and nodding keenly at the questions. Pete is slouched, and seems more introverted. It’s only when

talking about drummer Jon’s past (he spent at least six months ‘homeless’ crashing on couches) that Pete seems to become really animated. It turns out Jon is a former punk and used to sport a rather fetching Mohawk. “He called it the ‘three day Mohawk’ because of the amount of glue he put in it,” laughs Pete. “It’d stay up for 3 days - he’d sleep and it’d just bounce back up. He was bald for a while after that…” Jon is now more a fan of prog rock like Yes and Genesis, according to his bandmates. It’d be fair to say the tour van has an eclectic mix of music playing. “One day in the van it’ll be Iron Maiden, Metallica, the next album on might be Michael Jackson or Paul Simon,” says Scott. Singer Pete says he loves a bit of post-hardcore - Antioch Arrow and the recently-reformed At The Drive In - or as he puts it: “screamy hardcore stuff.” All these influences were taken with them into the studio last March, when they went out to Connecticut to record and mix their debut album‘Shallow Bed with Peter Katis (The National, Interpol). “We were looking for someone who could strike a balance between lo-fi and hi-fi,” says Pete. After making the BBC Sound of 2012 longlist - an accolade which has boosted

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moments. “Our tent for our dressing room at Green Man was right next to Noah and the Whale and Fleet Foxes. That’s kind of cool,” says Pete. “We played in Belgium, and Jared Leto (30 Seconds to Mars) was just strutting around backstage,” adds Scott. “We were too scared to say anything.” The lovely thing is that there is real joy and excitement, and especially Scott seems like a big kid meeting his heroes and getting to have his photo taken with girls. As the two happily reminisce, I remind them it’s probably time they got back in the tour van and on the road.

the careers of Jessie J and Adele - big things are being tipped for Dry the River. Genuinely down-to-earth, the band almost blush when I ask what they hope for from the year to come. “Maybe the crowds are getting slightly bigger and the venues we’re playing slightly bigger…” muses Scott. “But to me it’s just another day, another time to get up on stage and have a great time. Whether the crowd’s 50 people or a couple of thousand... we just love getting up there and playing!” Scott admits this ‘living the dream’ ethos also stretches to the buzz of being recognised. “It’s always fun when people come up and want their photo taken! I always milk that as much as I can,” he laughs. During a hectic festival and touring schedule undoubtedly their fan base is growing, as well as those first star-struck

“I love that van. It’s like home for me,” says Scott, as his eyes mist up (kind of). “We nicknamed him Kramer after the Seinfeld character because he’s a bit... err... (both laugh) It’s pretty beaten up, we’ve crashed it, knocked it into a few things on the road...”

“Whether the crowd’s 50 or a couple of thousand, we just love getting up there and playing”

“Including a post box,” says Pete. “The handbrake broke and it rolled down a hill, smashed into a house at one point, took out the awning of a building…” Scott trails off. “Knocking two pillars at the front of someone’s house,” Pete finishes for him. Sounds like an episode of Mr Bean or Last of the Summer Wine, I say. “That’s pretty close to the truth,” says Pete, and the two dissolve into giggles.

Dry the River’s debut album Shallow Bed will be released on March 5, 2012 by Transgressive Records. The band play shows at XOYO, London (January 23), HMV Ritz, Manchester (February 8, XFM New Music Awards), Koko (February 22, NME Awards show), with a full UK tour to follow in April and May. www.drytheriver.net / facebook.com/drytheriver Twitter: @drytheriver

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Fifth Anniversary Quiz Bestival 2010 © Kate Goodacre

When the Fugitive motel launched in March 2007, we had a charity launch party in the basement of Scubar, near Manchester Metropolitan University (a venue which is now demolished, it seems. Sadface). Completely by accident, it turned into a charity fundraiser for the british heart foundation. In spite of the fact that Hannah had food poisoning and we kept getting told off for blocking the fire escape with music instruments, it was a magical night. I have to admit that for me (K), it was a bright moment of hope during a very difficult time personally. Anyway, we’re five years down the line and looking back on that evening, the other thing that sticks with me - aside from getting the site off the ground and the money we raised for the British Heart Foundation - was the wonderful atmosphere and sense of community. at the moment I feel like economic woes, ‘divide and conquer’ politics and unrelenting commercialism often take us away from the

most important things in life - learning and sharing new things, having fun and real people and building new communities. so next year, the fugitive motel is going to try and run a series of fundraising quizzes in cities around the uk where you’ll get to meet lovely people, get a bit competitive and the winners will get to take away the entry fee pot for a charity of their choice. There will definitely be a quiz in manchester, and, we hope our writers’ other adopted home cities of london, sheffield and maybe liverpool. The dates aren’t set in stone yet, and we might need a little bit of help from you in getting stuff set up. So if you know a great venue, or have a fab idea for a round, or are interested in getting a team together to play (four people, as I was told five was a ‘strange number’ for a quiz team last week), then do take the time to give us a holler on thefugitivemotel@gmail.com. we’d love to hear from you.

The Motel would like to thank... Dry the River, The History of Apple Pie, Ghosting Season, Tune-Yards, Ben Whybrow at Toast Press, Nikki Wright-McNeill at Global PR, Common Bar in Manchester (as always), plus the British Library and St Pancras International railway station in London for being a nice new southern hangout. oh, and big thanks to Neil Wilkes for the ‘Nicki’s Minajerie’ joke that inspired Tina’s cartoon! Extra-special thanks to the (ever-impressive and, believe me always appreciated) dedication, committment and enthusiasm of the fugitive motel’s band of comrades and all those who looked after us in some way, shape or form in 2011. With Love, Kate xx

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IMAGE BY CATRIONA MOLE AND CERI WILLIAMS


Fugitive Motel Review of the Year 2011