Image by Catriona Mole and Ceri Williams ~ www.thefugitivemotel.org.uk
I n t r o d uct io n 2008 has been a funny old year. The world has felt like it's on the edge of great turmoil - the economy is up the spout, with those at the top who've profited for so long getting a short sharp shock and those at the bottom genuinely scared of losing their jobs and homes. Prejudice is still rife in our so-called forward thinking society and celebrity has become trivialised; with some of its coverage playground bullying laid out for its rabid consumers. And those who are supposedly accountable to us, the people, seem more remote than ever. It's natural in such a messed-up world that great art and music provide much-needed solace. During a panel at this year's In The City music conference on the theme of fame and celebrity, somebody observed that great art and great music abounds in times of trouble. I only hope this will be true as we move into 2009, but in the meantime, it's only fair that we present features on three of the bands who've provided solace and joy to Fugitives this year.
Sky Larkin, (winners of last year's ROTY critics' roundtable), are now signed and it's a genuine delight that somebody else saw that their music is a real positive force in the unadulterated joy that it generates. Late Of The Pier are pure electro escapism. Their wide-ranging, dramatic debut album Fantasy Black Channel was adored by critics far and wide, our online sibling included. And James Yuill has given us a debut longplayer of heartwarming homespun tunes fusing acoustic and electronic in a charming manner. Seeing as it's all doom and gloom lately, we wanted to give you a little something to laugh at too. So there's a Motelvision Song Contest (which alas does not involve contributors singing, but we are working on it for 2009's Review), a board game and an in-no-wayserious gaze into Motel Towers' cheap perspex sphere kept on the editor's desk to predict what 2009 holds for music. With love, hope and respect, Kate and the Fugitive Motel xx
The Fugitive Motel [2008 version] are... spAlexia Rogers-Wright / Andrew Parry / Andy Porter / Arj Singh / Catherine Bolsover spCatriona Mole / Ceri Williams / Charlotte Gush / Chris Richards / Dan Feeney / Dan Trotman spEd Rollason / Eddy Hogg / Gemma Hunter / Hannah Bayfield / James Clark spKate Goodacre / Martina Booth / Mike Woodward / Megan Vaughan / Neil Waterman spRuth Emmett / Rowan Woods / Sean Dagan Wood / Shaun Curran / Sophie Parkes spSte Grindrod / Steven Oldham / Steve Welch / Tom Harrison / Tom O'Brien / Will Bugler www.thefugitivemotel.org.uk
n i k r a L y k S The heroes of 2007's Fugitive Motel ROTY, West Yorkshire trio Sky Larkin are a fine example of the adage that the all best things come in threes. With firm foundations provided by Nestor's frantic drumming and Doug's pounding basslines, the whole package is topped off by Katie's delicious vocals. Their debut single One Of Two triumphed in our record of the year knockout competition last year, including high praise from the BBC's Marc Riley, who hoped "there'd be more of a future for bands like Sky Larkin." Talking to the Motel on tour with Hot Club de Paris in October 2008, the future's looking pretty damn bright. Sneaking into the back of the Ruby Lounge whilst Sky Larkin are soundchecking, I can’t help but feel a smile creeping across my face. Devotees of Katie Harkin (vocals/guitar/keys), Doug Adams (bass/keys), and Nestor Matthews (drums) will waste no time in telling you that their electrifying, happy-go-lucky indie-pop melodies are the perfect tonic to any case of the winter blues. Seated on rickety stools in a room located halfway round a labyrinth of backstage corridors, it’s time to begin. As this interview is for the Review of the Year, it seems appropriate to ask the band how they marked the turn of 2007. The band say that they saw in the midnight hour with a hometown gig at The Faversham in Leeds. Katie had, alas, come down with a nasty case of tonsillitis: “I hadn’t eaten anything for three days...so I was really out of it. Oh, and Doug got thrown out at some point during the evening.” “Yeah, he got thrown out at five minutes to midnight, or something like that,” chips in Nestor. Were they frantically calling him as the mobile phone network underwent its traditional yearend meltdown trying to track him down? “I was just stood outside looking through the window at everyone inside having fun,” Doug muses wistfully. After being snapped up by Wichita Recordings in early 2008 – also home to their friends and regular touring buddies Los Campesinos! – they headed to Seattle in June to record their www.thefugitivemotel.org.uk
forthcoming debut album with John Goodmanson. “Superman!” enthuses Katie. “The man, the myth...the legend...” adds Nestor. Goodmanson possesses a list of impressive production credits – SleaterKinney, Death Cab For Cutie and the radio edit of Stereo by Pavement to name but a few – and Nestor notes that the band heeded advice to “go back and look at your favourite records and see who’s involved in them. And his name just kept popping up.” Doug also points out that the band’s recording sessions were “bookended by Fight Like Apes and Los Campesinos!” – creating a seriously formidable trio of longplayers. “We had no idea that [Los Campesinos!] were going in to work with John as well,” adds Katie, “so it
was like ‘Oh!’. We played a gig with them and we said ‘We’re going to Seattle to record,’ and they said ‘...So are we!’” Nestor speaks warmly of We Are Beautiful..., describing it as “very highly recommended, incredible...definitely worth the wait!” “They’ve expanded their instrumentation even more, they’ve [added] more things,” chips in Katie. Talk turns to the band’s recent playlist. Nestor jokes that the band were granted “access to the CoOp vault!” whilst on tour. He is excited about the new TV on the Radio album, which has grown on him “dramatically” in the past few days. Katie compliments Seaside Rock, the latest longplayer from labelmates Peter, Bjorn and John. She claims there’s more to the Scandinavian trio than that song: “It’s really different, really interesting. It’s really nice, instrumental, and it’s got lots of bits of spoken Swedish in it, which is lovely.” It seems that Europe has treated the band favourably. Katie admits that their autumnal travels supporting Conor Oberst were “kind of a whirlwind” – she mentions the fact that the band didn’t really get to explore Berlin as they had to make a hasty drive to Calais (in their trusty ex-Post Office steed Horse The Van, who sadly expires a few days after this interview up in Glasgow) to catch a ferry the following day. Sky Larkin's Top Six Favourite Things... 3. The Yorkshire Maid 1. Elvis burgers "It's the best service station Contain sauerkraut, 2. Root beer/Mountain Dew according to Katie. The band One of Nestor's choices, apparently in the country," Katie claims. were bought lots of these at when removed from its bottle, Located on the Great North dinner in Germany, where Mountain Dew is a bright yellowish- Road, an online article from Nestor claimed to have green shade. It is also due to be the Northern Echo in 2004 eaten some of the best food renamed "Mtn Dew," which the Motel said the barn-sized building "everything from says makes far less sense for the sole offers he's ever tasted. purpose of saving a few vowels. tourist information to toys." www.thefugitivemotel.org.uk www.thefugitivemotel.org.uk
Another highlight included the band’s recent performance at the “massive” Postbahn complex in Berlin for Popkomm alongside Los Campesinos!, Get Well Soon, Port O’Brien, O Death and Those Dancing Days. Nestor reports that Germany also had “the best burgers I’ve ever had in my life” – more of which below.
The band came up with a novel way of raising petrol money for their European tour by hosting a one-off hometown spectacular, Cake, Rattle and Roll, at the Brudenell in Leeds. Curated, organised and hosted by the band themselves, an inviting cake stall replaced the usual merch stand. “The cake bit was my idea,” claims Katie. “Usually you’re just sat on a merch stand trying to ply your trade, and you feel a bit like a market trader. When you’ve got loads of cakes in front of you, people are like ‘Ooh!’”
“Katie’s grandmother helped...we were trying to get everyone involved,” adds Nestor. “There should be more cake at gigs,” Katie concludes rather decisively. The conversation takes a frivolous turn with a none-too serious revelation about Nestor. He recently acquired the nickname ‘Duracell Haschen’ after a show in Cologne. “We always get Nestor described in really interesting ways. Usually [something] like ‘scary bastard’,” jokes Doug. “But this was quite a nice little one. I thought it was quite cool.” The name of the band’s hotly-anticipated debut opus currently remains a mystery which even the band themselves are not yet able to divulge. However, they can tell us it’s slated for release in early 2009, and all are undoubtedly excited about what the new year could herald. They can't wait to play headlining shows and see a physical copy of the album. Believe me, you should be excited too. words & live pics: KG Sky Larkin's new single Beeline is released via limited edition watch this January on Wichita Records. Debut album to follow later in 2009.
4. The "lady steak" Not as naughty as it sounds, this was an item on what Katie observed to be a "sexist menu" in Berlin. Designed 'for the small appetite', apparently.
www.weareskylarkin.com 5. The jackets Conor Oberst's 6. Wichita Records band had on their European tour As Katie rightly points out, "it's a The Mystic Valley band members good umbrella to be under." sported West Side Story-style Three cheers to Wichita for bomber jackets with their names signing two bands beloved by on the front and the band name Fugitives in the last three years! on the back... "like something Hip hip, hooray! Hip hip, hooray! the Jets would wear," muses Hip hip...hooray! Katie. www.thefugitivemotel.org.uk
s e v i F To p
After proving popular amongst contributors and readers alike in our 2007 Review of the Year, it's only fair that our Top Fives lists should make a welcome return this year. So, sit back and allow your inner geek to indulge in this year's warm and whimsical (yet entirely pointless) arbitrary lists...
Top five-ish types of festival wildlife 1) Darren Hayman’s dog (indietracks 2008) 2) Peacocks (EOTR, Camp Bestival) 3) Llamas (The Railway Farm, indietracks 2008) 4) Ducks (ATP EITS weekend 2008) 5=) Giant wooden dragon (Glastonbury 2007) 5=) Elephant made from recycled milk cartons (Glastonbury 2007) HB and DF Pictured across pages 6 and 7 Top five responsibly drawn symbols using sparklers Top five varieties of festival weather in a multi-lingual stylie 1) # Ysbeidiau heulog... # 2) <<Il y a des nuages>> 3) ¡Hay llovisnas! 4) Heiß und sonnig 5) Pretty fuckin' awful KG Top five seemingly intoxicated celebrities making fools of themselves 1) Amy Winehouse at Glastonbury 2) Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne at the BRIT awards 3) Kerry Katona on This Morning 4) Lily Allen at the Glamour Women of the Year awards 5) Kiefer Sutherland on a layby in LA being arrested for alleged drink-driving SW
ARW & DT
Top five acts who need to get a bloody move on with their new material in 2009 1) Doves (new entry) 2) The Strokes (new entry) 3) Liam Frost (down from #1 last year) 4) Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! (new entry) 5) The Fall (re-entry) DF
A Selection Of Facts About Popstars Legend has it that The Speaking of names, Young Knives Into Wolfmother? Then you're in Futureheads take their name have been through a few - Simple good company. Speaking to Mojo from the title of The Flaming Pastoral Existence, Pony Club and magazine in 2006, Thom Yorke Lips' record Hit To Death In even The Young Knives (the 'the' claimed to be a fan of the band was consigned to the dustbin of as "they're totally unashamed The Future Head. about what they're doing." www.thefugitivemotel.org.uk history this year).
Top five things which "made the world's angriest man angry" this year 1) The Jonas Brothers (and their ridiculous preachy ways) 2) Glasgow Rangers fans 3) The film Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull 4) The Asahi beer robot (which could only pour half-pints. Halves! We're not in France!) 5) Geordies (You're not a big club. The end). TOB
Top five famous popstar spots 1) Noel Gallagher 2) Bez 3) 2/5ths of Elbow buying shirts in H&M in Manchester 4) Kevin Rowland laden with shopping bags in London 5) Gruff Rhys relaxing in a Camden cafe on a Saturday afternoon Luther Blissett
Top five anti-climaxes of 2008 1. Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong release their album. And then don't. Poor form. 2. Manchesterâ€™s Academy 1. (Is that it? You took that long and this is what we get?) 3. MGMT doing karaoke to Kids. (A fantastic set otherwise, don't get me wrong, which made the anticlimax even greater.) 4. The weather in London. (It's just as bad as Manchester. I was lied to.) 5. The Mighty Boosh series 3 - bar the occasional laugh and the Crack Fox, the same jokes in a different setting do not a hilarious, unique or irreverent comedy programme make. Although it seems they do make a massive sell out tour, so what do I know? AP
Top five interpretations of this year's fancy dress theme at Bestival 1) Dragon (a member of Hot Chip. Not strictly within the remit, but excellently executed). 2) Robert Maxwell (our very own Shaun Curran) 3) 'Cod' Stewart (Radio 1's Nick Grimshaw) 4) Man in a hat with the sign 'Beachy Head' attached to it 5) Giant panda (seen talking to Phill Jupitus) KG Top four arterial routes in Warrington or Cheshire 1) The M56 (specifically between junctions 7 and 12) 2) The B5356 heading out through Appleton Thorn 3) The A556 outside the rush hour when youâ€™re trying to get back to Manchester in a hurry 4) The M62 between IKEA in Warrington and St Helens Yorke's Radiohead bandmate Jonny Greenwood took viola lessons as a child. In addition, he plays guitar, keyboards, ondes Martenot, banjo, drums and various other percussion instruments (not simultaneously).
Des'ree would rather have a piece of toast, followed by a quick gander at the news of an evening. *(So she says).
Here are some pre-popstar jobs Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos has apparently turned his hand to: chef, barman, music promoter, IT lecturer, delivery driver and...welding. www.thefugitivemotel.org.uk
t s e t n o C g n o S s r e w o T l e Th e M o t The wind machine’s been serviced, the backing singers are hanging round in the bathroom screeching arpeggios and the hosts are not only still trying to learn how to read an autocue, the sexual chemistry between them is so forced and painful that concerned viewers across the European Broadcasting networks are already phoning in claiming the Geneva Convention’s been violated. Yes, it’s the closest the Fugitive Motel will ever get to emulating the Eurovision Song Contest (with a healthy dash of the now customary ‘FA Cup stylie’ added in later rounds). Thirty-two nominated songs released this year are due to face off, with each Motel contributor having a vote. And a voice. Key change! Nominations After much deliberation, editorial cadjoling and the addition of a few wildcards to create a pot of songs big enough to play with, here's a list of all the songs that went forward for Eurovision voting. The Motel's lovely website contains the background to some of the nominations as told by our wonderful cast of Fugitives... Black Kids - I Don't Want To Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You Born Ruffians - Hummingbird British Sea Power - No Lucifer Broadcast 2000 - Get Up And Go Broken Records - If The News Makes You Sad, Don’t Watch It Cage The Elephant - Ain't No Rest For The Wicked Dan Le Sac v Scroobius Pip - Letter From God To Man The Duke Spirit - The Step And The Walk Elbow - One Day Like This
The Feeling - I Thought It Was Over Foals - Olympic Airways Guillemots - Kriss Kross Hercules and Love Affair - Blind Holy Fuck - Lovely Allen Kanye West and Dwele - Flashing Lights Kings Of Leon - Sex On Fire Laura Marling - Ghosts Levellers - Cholera Well Los Campesinos! - Death To Los Campesinos!
Metronomy - Heartbreaker MGMT - Electric Feel MGMT - Time To Pretend Mystery Jets - Two Doors Down Neon Neon - I Told Her On Alderaan Nick Cave - Dig!!! Lazarus, Dig!!! Santogold - Lights Out Shout Out Louds - Tonight I Have To Leave It The Ting Tings - Be The One The Verve - Love Is Noise Vampire Weekend - Oxford Comma The Walkmen - The Blue Route Thomas White - The Runaround
Eurovision Round A programme of local entertainment begins and the hosts disappear for the first of numerous costume changes. A reminder of the evening’s performances is issued and voting commences. Although voter apathy prevails during the second round despite plentiful reminders, a text-vote rule and regular updates on the standings from the Electoral Commission (Kate), some of the electorate have plenty to say. Andy (Porter) claims that seeing his twelve-pointers Born Ruffians at The Great Escape made missing out on Vampire Weekend to massive queues “entirely worthwhile.” He adds: “Terry Wogan would love it too, so in the spirit of the thing this one should win.” In giving Foals 8 points, he issues an editorial challenge: “Criminally overlooked for the Mercury, they should not be by us. Make it so, Kate!” Alas, it’s not down to Kate alone. Our Cheshire jury, Ste (Grindrod) also gets into the spirit of Eurovision by suffixing each of his votes with country names including “Russia” (MGMT), “Former Allies of Russia” (British Sea Power), “Little Russia” (Black Kids), “Turkey” (The Walkmen) and “Malta” (Mystery Jets). He also makes a point of giving The Feeling (Norway) 0 points, and The Duke Spirit (United Kingdom) 0000 points. Just returned to Sheffield after a year away, Steve gives early favourites Elbow 12 points: “Euphoric, uplifting and simply beautiful, there are few songs that warm the heart quite like this one,” and calls Nick Cave a “prophet of highly articulated doom”. Kate suspects he means “command of English” and not articulated-as-in- “articulated lorry.” A couple of the tracks he gives nul points merit mention, if only for his claim that Electric Feel is derivative of “the worst 80s pop excesses”. Kate can’t bear to print what he said about Neon Neon in full, apart from the bit where he said the rhyming “makes Craig David look like Bob Dylan.” Benjamin gives Hercules and Love Affair 8 points: “Further evidence to support my hypothesis that everything on DFA Records is amazing.” (Kate, considering them to be vastly overrated, does not give them any points). He only gives Two Doors Down 2 points because it reminds him of a friend who apparently does like to dance around the room to a worn out Marquee Moon 12”. “From a purely musical perspective, Mystery Jets are shit,” he sulks. However, in news to delight The Tweecore (Official Title), he even gives Los Campesinos! one point: “Even I make mistakes sometimes. They’re actually rather good.” OUT: The Walkmen, Black Kids, The Verve, Shout Out Louds, Kanye West and Dwele, The Duke Spirit, The Levellers, Hercules and Love Affair, Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip, Neon Neon, Guillemots, Broken Records, Thomas White, The Feeling, The Ting Tings, Santogold. www.thefugitivemotel.org.uk
Third Round After the returning officer delivers Round 2’s results, the Electoral Dictatorship, who’s absolutely furious because The Blue Route by The Walkmen didn’t get through, decides it’s had quite enough of Eurovision despite its obvious proportional representation advantages. An FA Cupstylie knockout format is immediately adopted which means that Kate can dispatch a thoroughly unfunny missive to the electorate in the style of a sports report packed with clichés. Andy Porter responds by delivering his votes in the form of famous football quotations: for Born Ruffians “I would love it – love it if we beat them” (Keegan, K). Metronomy apparenlty think: “this could be our best victory over Laura Marling since the war” (Various). He also applies the Mourinho (Jose) Omelette Theory to Elbow. In the music industry, apparently one has class 1, 2 or 3 eggs. Some are more expensive than others, and some will give you better ‘omelettes’, in this case the Mercury Omelette-winning The Seldom Seen Kid.
Ste (G) is Not Amused at BSP being drawn against Elbow. Conspiracy? “Yan is not slapping the referee in the face yelling what-the-fuck-is-going-on?!?” he mutters. Andy Parry isn’t pleased either: “That’s like Man U playing Liverpool in the third round of the FA Cup. It shouldn’t happen.” Benjamin enjoys being able to pass comment on the songs. Oxford Comma? “All filler, no killer”. Cage The Elephant? “Every bit as awful as you’d imagine”. (As an aside, Tom O’Brien is apparently convinced Born Ruffians do not actually exist, so votes for Cage The Elephant by default). Benjamin then proclaims Hummingbird to be “one of the most underwhelmingly average singles I’ve had the misfortune to encounter this year.” Heresy! And whilst asking him to choose between Metronomy and Laura Marling is at first like asking him to do a headstand whilst playing the bassoon, eventually he plumps for the former in a close tie. OUT: Vampire Weekend, Born Ruffians, Foals, Los Campesinos!, British Sea Power, Nick Cave, Holy Fuck, Metronomy. Quarter-Finals They’ve been dancing in the streets of Amersham overnight, as Andy Parry rejoices in Broadcast 2000’s giantkilling of Nick Cave. “Splendid. I’m backing it for a Cardiff City-style run to the final,” he boasts via text. Steve votes for Broadcast 2000 too but complains that the choice between it and Laura Marling is “like being asked to pick the cutest between fluffy bunnies and kittens.” Meanwhile, there’s outrage on the streets of London as Tom (H) has finally been spurred into voting action. “Cage The Elephant. What’s going on? They’re terrible! The song’s even worse, and don’t get me started on that clown of a frontman. Please take into consideration my plight, and count my third line vote ten times over if needs be.” Dan (F) agrees up in Manchester: “This is like Scotland v Estonia, and an automatic 3-0 win for the Mystery Jets. I really don’t get, or indeed like, Cage The Elephant.” www.thefugitivemotel.org.uk
Meg, meanwhile, is amazed and pleased they’ve got this far: “I have to admit I had little faith in my own nomination because everywhere I look people are slating them for being Chilli Peppers rip-offs with no credibility. Yay for stage diving and sweatiness!” Sophie is still lamenting the loss of The Levellers in the second round but seeking solace in the Mystery Jets’ dodgy saxophone solos. “Two Doors Down is as cheesy as you can get. But I can’t get enough.”
Kate has meanwhile realised that there is the very real possibility of an all-MGMT final which, for her, feels a bit like being hit over the head repeatedly with a sledgehammer. Tom (O’Brien), meanwhile, is determined that his nomination should win and plumps for Time To Pretend over Kings of Leon. He does admit Caleb and co offer impressionable teenagers “some potentially dangerous ideas for fornication...it’s also some pretty fine rock.” OUT: Kings Of Leon, Elbow, Cage The Elephant, Broadcast 2000. Semi-Finals Well, this has thrown up some shocks. With the loss of Elbow, Hannah and Dan both smell a Fix worthy of Garvey and Hawley themselves and both place their bets on the Mystery Jets. Catherine is hankering after electoral reform before next year’s competition: “This is a conspiracy. EVERY one of my votes from the last round has been eliminated. I feel this democratic system is not representing me...my vote is wasted in this First-Past-The-Post nonsense.” That said, she still exercises her right to vote. The iPod Party Shuffle method of drawing songs has thrown both MGMT songs against each other. Voting is very close throughout. In the unitary borough of Halton, Ste G has been quiet for a little while: “I was mourning the loss of No Lucifer and all the other good songs we’ve lost. And anyone who says Electric Feel is better than Time To Pretend is a liar and should be shot. Yes?” Kate promptly falls on her own water pistol. OUT: MGMT (Time To Pretend), Mystery Jets. Out of everyone, Charlotte best sums up the final (Ghosts by Laura Marling against Electric Feel by MGMT) by saying it's "like choosing between amazing eggs on toast and an amazing curry. Both are perfect, but for completely different times and moods!" She plumps for MGMT, drawing the analogy that sometimes curry is acceptable for breakfast. However, Laura "Eggs On Toast" Marling triumphs in the final by eight votes to four with the divine Ghosts, described as "life affirming, arm-aroundyour-shoulder realism" by Arj in his I'd Marry That Voice on the talented lass. Well done, Laura! www.thefugitivemotel.org.uk
Late Of The Pier Feeling uninspired by music? All these derivative numbers about pissed-up ruffians starting fights and eating takeaways in adonyne small towns getting your goat? Well, if you’re yearning for something with a bit of vision, a bit of range, then look no further than Late of the Pier’s truly stunning debut opus Fantasy Black Channel. With the Motel concerned it’s making itself sound like a police interrogation by asking those present to “introduce yourselves to the tape”, Samuel Dust (vocals, guitar, synths etc), Sam Potter (vocals, keyboards, synths) and Ross Dawson (drums) kick back with a tray of fresh miniature vegetables and wax lyrical... “A happy accident, really,” says Samuel, when pressed about how Late of the Pier and Erol Alkan first came together. “Erol turned up at one of our gigs. We'd been fans of his abilities for a couple of years. A couple of us went to see him DJ at our local, Liars club in Nottingham.” “If it weren't for Erol Alkan, Ricky Haley would never have started a clubnight,” muses Ross. “He'd never have started doing Liars club. That’s what he told me.” “I didn't know that,” says Samuel. “So without Erol Alkan, in a weird way, we might never have started. Go Erol! He's an amazing man, really.” “He kinda influenced everyone to get off their arses and do something exciting,” points out 1. Midnight walks in the countryside Legend has it that The Darling Buds Of May author H E Bates enjoyed late-night strolls around his native Northamptonshire in the name of artistic inspiration. www.thefugitivemotel.org.uk
Late Of The Pier's Six Favourite Things... 2. The Metro car During the car's heyday in the late 1980s and early 1990s, some TV adverts featured blindfolded customers sitting in the car, shouting out the names of foodstuffs whilst handling the steering wheel. Search for "Rover Metro advert" on YouTube.
3. Derelict and/or ruined buildings The not-for-profit social centre rampART is based in a derelict building in Whitechapel, London. It successfully fended off eviction threats earlier this year.
Sam. “[Erol] encouraged us that we were doing something interesting...and gave us the space. I guess the power of Erol was to put everybody else aside...put them at bay, keep them from moaning, and say, ‘Just trust us.’ He was quite forceful about that. But they trusted him more than they trusted us.” Fantasy Black Channel was recorded in seven different studios, including Samuel’s bedroom and the band’s shared house. “We even did some of it at the mixing studio [Music Box]”, adds Sam. “We recorded No Time there, which appears as the secret track on the album. It was recorded in a tiny little editing studio. But the piano was recorded in the Strongroom, which was the other mixing studio.”
The band’s “happy families house”, as Samuel calls it, has been the scene of both work and play. They moved in during October 2007, and “It was a bit last minute though,” chips in Ross. it was where the band saw in the New Year. “We suddenly realised the day before we didn't have any plans for New Year's Eve, so we invited a few friends over.” “But then everyone who was out in Nottingham decided to come back to our house at 5 in the morning. It was a mess,” Samuel says. For Sam Potter’s 21st in January, the band swiftly staged another party: “We've got a lot of bizarre garments lying around the house, so we had a random parade. It was a long night,” says Sam. Returning to the album sessions, the band put their trust in Erol immediately. Samuel says: “We just put all our faith into [Erol] in that studio. We had the songs, and he was the one who was saying 'why don't you put your synths through guitar amps', stuff like that. I was really delighted to hear him say that. That's the kind of stuff that I thought we should be doing.” “Erol's relatively new to production as well,” adds Ross. “He was just as excited about 4. Power cuts Says Ross: "We had a powercut at our house. We were halfway through a roast chicken dinner, so we had to go and light candles all around the house. I was chopping wood in our coalshed by candlelight. It was amazing."
5. Berocca Repeatedly namechecked by Vince Noir in The Mighty Boosh, the winner of Best Energy Supplement at the Boots Vitamin Awards 2004 (the Motel shits you not) is available in 20 countries. There are three flavours original, tropical and orange.
6. Coathangers Hastily decided after the band found a load lying on the floor. They then made a game up to see (we think) who could throw one upwards so it hung on a pipe above us. (Who won, by the way?) www.thefugitivemotel.org.uk
experimenting, doing new things, finding out for himself.” “He tried to bring out the idea of certain moments in songs,” says Samuel. “[As] a DJ...you try and achieve a state where [you] can drop something at that point, and it becomes the perfect moment to do that. He'll do that in songs for the listener.” “He doesn't have a sound. He tries to do what's best for the songs,” suggests Sam. “It’s why we work so well together,” says Samuel. “As a band, we don't think, 'OK, we're gonna put our stamp on this'. When we think of the song, we drop everything else around us - the idea of the band, everything. [We] just put our hearts into the idea of this song as the thing.” The result was an album which was worth
the wait. “I think actually putting it out a lot later that when we chose to gave it much more of an unhinged feel,” Ross says. “People were much more [willing] to listen to it, to give it a chance.” Samuel observes that a number of bands “kinda got dumped in with the whole nu-rave thing” - he uses Shitdisco as an example. The Motel gets the sense that the band are relieved to have escaped the lazy labelling which, sadly, is often so symptomatic of parts of music journalism. The band say that time spent in Japan at Summer Sonic, a three day festival split over two sites like V Festival in the UK, was a highlight of their year: “It was really fun,” says Sam. “We got to go on a plane with all the other bands. It was a really really good atmosphere.” “[Fantasy Black Channel] got released in Japan while we were there,” adds Samuel, “so we sort of had our album release in Japan.” “They're very switched on to English bands,” Ross notes. The band were also fascinated by a soft drink which they say resembled the Nickolodeonmanufactured slime-like 90s toy Gak. “They have THE craziest drink in the world! I just remembered that!” exclaims an animated Samuel. “It’s made by Fanta...as you drink it, it was just...these strings of jelly going down your throat.” Sam chips in that it drinking it feels “just like worms wiggling!” Samuel plans to see out December by working on “an extended release of some sort” with La Priest, his side project, and looking to 2009, the band have just announced plans for a sixteen-date headlining tour in February. All in all, we spend nearly half an hour talking, and to break the fourth wall for a moment, it's been so difficult to chop down one of the most engaging and interesting interviews this publication's ever conducted. Equally assured talking about their music as they are making it, the full-length interview online makes for wonderful reading. Honestly. words: BT/KG Fantasy Black Channel by Late of the Pier is out now on Parlophone/Zarcorp. www.lateofthepier.com
15 Industry Snakes + Ladders
1. Photocopy or trace this page or the board on ssppages 16 and 17. 2. Cut out the pieces and pick your favourite. sspThis game caters for 2 to 6 players. 3. Take it in turns to roll a dice to decide who sspgoes first. The first player to roll a 6 goes sspfirst and play continues in a clockwise sspdirection. 4. The first player rolls again to determine how sspmany squares they will move to start the sspgame. 5. The aim of the game is to be the first player sspto reach square 100. Obviously. 6. If you land on a ladder, ascend to the top of sspthe ladder. Well done, you. 7. If you land on a snake, descend to the sspbottom of the snake. Sorry. 8. You must have the correct number on the sspdice to land on square 100 and win bragging ssprights. No more, no less. 9. Any variants of these rules must be agreed sspby a simple majority of your fellow sspparticipants. Music Industry Snakes and sspLadders is a democratic game, after all. 10. No biting other players or touching of the sssphair or face. www.thefugitivemotel.org.uk
16 Notable Motel Online Quotables 2008 “There is an honesty about this EP which I adore.” ~ Andy Parry dusts off a Motel 6.0/6.0 for Broadcast 2000’s debut release. “It ain’t over ‘til the fat lady sings, and last time I checked Dan Gillespie Sells was neither fat nor a lady. Superb stuff.” ~ Kate succumbs to The Feeling’s safe-as-houses pop charms. “I’m sat at home surrounded by things like a biro, a shatter-resistant ruler and a leccy bill final reminder. This is not this song’s natural domain.” ~ Will does not feel he is in the correct place to enjoy Trash by The Whip. “We had a cocktail and some lovely tasting beer in the first bar we frequented; being the geeks we are, we enjoyed a light round or two of the game Yahtzee.” ~ Martina recounts a particularly messy one in Vancouver. “Their divinity is underlined by the girl I hear telling her boyfriend ‘When we get married, this should be our first dance.’” ~ Overheard by Dan T at a live show by The Music. “8.9 out of six” ~ Megan loves Mumford and Sons live. IDST.
“Really fucking good, actually. 4.1 out of six” ~ Arj on Glastonbury's toilets. “Tellier’s consistent use of slow electro beats and synths leads me to believe he might [be]...stuck in a perpetual time bubble with Mrs Thatcher and Timmy Mallett.” – Andy Parry on the Sleaziest Frenchman Alive (Official Title). “Calling it punk is about as accurate as recommending Roy Walker as a chartered surveyor.” Kate gets tough on mediocre landfill rock-bynumbers. “Twenty-five minutes later, we’re still discussing the spiciness of Gruff [Rhys], and decide beyond any doubt he is superior to Wayne Coyne in every conceivable way.” ~ Shaun at the Camden Crawl 2008. “We’ve become used to seeing Wayne Coyne wandering around the site in a cream suit with suitably large lapels, supervising the assembling of a gong or the inflating of a net full of large balloons.” ~ Sophie falls into the Wayne Coyne division of Team Motel. “As the overcast skies finally fade away, we’re already so covered in mud that we almost expect Siegfried Sassoon to put his head above the parapet and recite a moving poem on the imminent onset of trenchfoot.” ~ Benjamin's Sunday morning at Bestival.
J a me s Y u i l l James Yuill's path to the hearts and souls of cutting-edge musical tastemakers including John Kennedy and Huw Stephens has taken him via an undergraduate degree in forensic science and a day job selecting music for television adverts. Sometime along the way, he dared to fuse tender lovelorn acoustic songs with relentless, pulsating electronic beats that Justice or the Chemical Brothers would be jealous of. And it worked. The result was Yuill's debut album Turning Down Water For Air, just released by Moshi Moshi to a rapturous reception from critics and fans. After a hectic 'Oc-tour-ber', James samples Trof Grovenor Street's finest draft ales with the Fugitive Motel and its compact dictaphone in tow... October must have felt like the longest month in the world at times for James Yuill. He's been on the road almost constantly since day one in Bristol, cruising up and down the country with his tour manager, friend and ‘Octourber 08’ videographer Christiaan in tow. According to James' blog, their chariot, a blue Peugeot 106 named Madame Ananas, may have come a cropper (if you've already read the Sky Larkin feature, please be assured that any causal links between Fugitive Motel interviews and peoples' tour transport breaking down are merely coincidental), but on the whole it’s been a good debut tour. “This is the last date actually,” says James. “It was good, really good. There was a couple of dates which weren’t so great, because the crowds didn’t really know what it was. But it’s generally been really positive.” Smack bang in the middle of the month, James’ label Moshi Moshi celebrated their tenth birthday James Yuill's Six Favourite Albums (In No Particular Order) 1. Nick Drake - Pink Moon 2. Radiohead – Hail To The Thief 3. Jackson And His Computer Nick Drake’s final album, In May 2003, Thom Yorke told the Band - Smash apparently recorded in just a NME that he noted down words and Smash includes guest pair of two-hour sessions. The common phrases he heard on the appearances from Jackson original cover art is an radio during late 2001 for lyrical Fourgeaud’s mother, who sings illustration by Michael inspiration. However, he added he on Fast Life. His niece, then Trevithick, who was then made a conscious effort to take aged 4, also appears, seeing Drake’s sister Gabrielle. them out of their (often political) narrating the tale of a mad king on Oh Boy. www.thefugitivemotel.org.uk context.
at Matter, Fabric’s new venue just a short hop from the O2 in London: “It was brilliant. I absolutely loved it,” James declares. “Because it was midway through the tour...[but] it was pretty much like a climactic moment. “I really like the roster of Moshi Moshi, so it was really great to watch all the other bands and then play myself in a really nice venue, then quickly clear my stuff off and go and watch Hot Chip. “It wasn’t the first time I’d met Wave Pictures, and I’d met Florence and the Machine before, but the first time I’d met Slow Club. It was a really good night.” October also saw the release of Yuill’s vaunted debut album Turning Down Water For Air, greeted with glee at Motel HQ and picking up high praise from The Guardian and NME along the way. It’s a project which had been in the
pipeline for quite some time, according to James: “It was recorded at the beginning of 2007. That was when I first had a proper copy of it. It was recorded in my bedroom, on my laptop - I wrote the songs really quickly. “I was gonna do an EP, but I decided to carry on and do an album. I had a friend do backing vocals on a couple of tracks, and someone came in to do cello, but the rest is just me!” As for Yuill’s remixing prowess – he’s turned his hands and ears to characteristically glitch-tastic reworkings of The Answering Machine, Sam Isaac, Roots Manuva and labelmates Tilly and the Wall to name but a few – this only developed after his own album was underway: “[It was] when I produced my first album, that’s when I started to get involved more in the production side. It’s only recently that I’ve started doing remixes actually. “I’ve just done a David Holmes remix which I 4. Tasmin Archer – Great Expectations Archer’s debut features her breakthrough hit Sleeping Satellite. A biography claims that Archer once joked her BRIT Award for best breakthrough act in 1993 was useful “for cracking nuts and tenderising steak.”
5. 4hero – Creating Patterns Creating Patterns saw the band shift from their then-trademark drum and bass sound to a more downtempo style upon its 2001 release. Their cover of Minnie Riperton’s Les Fleur is a perennial favourite on advert soundtracks.
6. Justice – † There is disagreement between Motel contributors as to whether one pronounces the band’s name “jus-tiss” or “zheusteece.” Oh, and the band employ not one, but four JazzMutant Lemurs live. www.thefugitivemotel.org.uk
think is one of the best ones I’ve done so far [of Holy Pictures, from Holmes’ most recent album]. I spent a lot of time on it and I’m really pleased with how it sounds.” “Then you get to Warp Records and y’know, I investigated further. Jackson And His Computer Band and Jamie Lidell and all those people really got me into production and electronic music. I kind of got bored of just listening to rock bands. Thinking about it, 4 Hero’s Creating Patterns was what really changed my views. Up to that point, I was only listening to Feeder and stuff like that. Suddenly I heard this style of music and I was like ‘Wow!’ ” James’ enthusiasm for electronic music is clear not only from our conversation, but also from a recent article he wrote for This Is Fake DIY on the theme. “I think Smash [see
James' top six] is one of the best-produced albums.” He also thinks that electronic music is “the only real progressive genre there can be” due to its continual relevance: “[Take] Massive Attack – listening to something like Blue Lines, it’s still brilliant isn’t it?” Whilst James sheepishly claims that “I normally go to all my friends’ gigs, so as a ratio I probably listen more to their music,” he counts material from Teenage Bad Girl and The Presets [whose live show he proclaims to be “just amazing, really really good”] amongst recent favourites, in addition to output from friends The Operators (he shares a flat with one of the band) and Rod Thomas. James saw out 2007 with his girlfriend at a house party in Brixton, “in a living room where they had this massive green laser [and] lots of little mini disco balls all over the ceiling. It was really crazy...They played Justice, and I was thinking ’oh, this can’t get better.’ It didn’t”, he adds with some regret, “because they then started playing a load of really crap drum and bass.” However, early 2009 looks set to be more work than play: “I have a lot of European dates booked with Lo-Fi-Fnk, another favourite band of mine. The album comes out in Europe in January, and hopefully America as well sometime.“ He also promises more remixes, and hopes to be working with his friends Post War Years producing some of their material: “I can’t wait to actually get my hands on their stuff and mess it up!” Above all, Yuill hopes to get another album out “because...the songs on this one are [now] quite old to me personally.” More lovelorn acoustic melodies effortlessly fused with primal, core-shaking electronic beats before 2009 is out? Yes, please! words and live pictures: KG James Yuill's debut album Turning Down Water For Air is out now on Moshi Moshi Records. www.jamesyuill.com www.thefugitivemotel.org.uk
21 s l l a H e h T k c e D ) ( Re co r d
'Tis the festive season, and as everyone with half an opinion comes up with advice on how to run Christmas on a budget, rampant commercialism still abounds in one area - the race to be Christmas number one. With the excitement and suspense taken out of the competition to be top of the musical 'tree' (ho ho ho, and so on and soforth) removed in the past few years as a result of The XFactor winners' assured domination of the top slot, the Motel's Shaun Curran delves into the vaults to analyse Christmas hits of years gone by. In a pathetic attempt to squeeze more Christmas themed puns in to this standfirst, yes, there are some crackers, but there's also a handful of turkeys. (Sorry, Shaun!) Christmas is upon us once again, although I am not here to celebrate that fact. Rather, I am writing to bemoan the loss of a great, once-treasured yearly tradition – the Christmas song. Some background. My love of Christmas songs, not to get all Frasier Crane, can be tracked back to childhood. On December 1st, every year without fail, my mum would dust off a cassette of Christmas songs that we would listen to whilst cruising the roundabouts of Skelmersdale in our rickety D-reg red Metro. She didn’t tape it off the radio or anything, she bought it - presumably due to the fact Band Aid were track one and there was no Pogues or Housemartins on it - somewhere between 1985 and 1986. Listening to this tape became a ritual. You should have seen the panic one year when we couldn’t find it; short of ripping out the engine, there was little we didn’t do to retrieve it. (This went on for about a week, until we remembered that after the previous Christmas, we decided to keep it ‘somewhere safe’ in the house where we would remember where it was. Ahem.) www.thefugitivemotel.org.uk
It was all we listened to every December. And as I’ve grown older, I’m still the same; I have an irrational love of Christmas songs. But why? It obviously goes against my better judgement.
Shaun's Top 10 Christmas Songs The Pogues and Kirsty McColl – Fairytale Of New York A Christmas classic, Radio 1 courted controversy last year at their decision to censor the word 'faggot' for fear it may offend people. Many listeners got metaphorical bees in their bonnets and the decision was hastily reversed within the day. John Lennon – Merry Xmas (War Is Over) Lennon's reaction to the war in Vietnam, the soaring chorus refrain was provided by children from the Harlem Community Choir. Wham – Last Christmas Worth it for the video's nod to the very best skiresort related 80s excesses alone.
I think the fact I was born on 28th December (when The Flying Pickets’ Only You was Xmas number one) must have something to do with it, the understandable affinity I have for that time of year affecting my thinking. Or maybe, when it comes to things like this, I’m just incredibly camp and oversentimental. Whatever – I’m here to argue that Christmas songs are not only fantastic, but are actually more significant than tacky pop songs. Firstly, just to qualify – a Christmas song is not just any song that was number one at Christmas, no matter how Christmassy it may be in feel. The Spice Girls’ 2 Become 1, for example, is not a Christmas song. Nor is Earth Song by Michael Jackson. Although that would have been great. And when I say I love Christmas songs, I mean every single one of them. Not just the ones that everyone knows are great, like The
The Crystals - Santa Claus is Coming to Town A festive standard penned in the 1930s and also recorded by Destiny's Child, Peggy Lee, Aerosmith and, er, Michael Bolton.
Pogues, or John Lennon, or Phil Spector’s Christmas album (which if you haven’t heard, put this fanzine down now and go and investigate). I mean every one of them. Even the ones I know in another context would be crap.
Jona Lewie – Stop The Cavalry Apparently Lewie never intented for this to be a specifically festive release, but it still peaked at number 3 in the charts in 1980.
As far as I’m concerned, the tackier the better. Mud. Johnny Mathis. Paul McCartney. They are all played repeatedly every year, but with good cause. www.thefugitivemotel.org.uk
When you go Xmas shopping in 20 years time, they won’t be playing Shayne Ward in the Arndale, they’ll be playing Mistletoe and Wine. And there are reasons for this. Firstly, all Christmas songs are by nature pop records, making them, at the very least, easy on the ear. But more than that, the Christmas song is its own genre, free of conformist pop requirements. Therefore they're incomparable to conventional pop songs. It’s not really about whether these songs are any good or not, that is largely irrelevant and obviously some are better than others. It’s about the way these songs make people feel; there is a timeless, unifying quality to these songs that create a sense of nostalgia, comfort, and – crucially – happiness. There's much to be said for songs that transcend any notions of class, age and taste to become important in the public conscience. This is why it was a terribly sad day for the charts when Gary Jules beat The Darkness to the top in 2003. It was the death knell for Christmas songs. The first time in years a massively popular band said ‘fuck it, we’re releasing a Christmas song and we want it to be number one’, it was all things a Christmas song should be and it was fantastic. It even had cock jokes and everything. Yet it wasn’t enough. Since then a real decline's set in. The X Factor and S*m*n C*w*ll have a seemingly everlasting monopoly on the Christmas No 1.. This year the winner will cover Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah (I won’t let this tarnish the memory of seeing the great man sing it live this year). Well I say it's time for a revolution! Some bands have tried in recent years, such as The Killers and, this year, The Wombats, but these have been half-hearted efforts. I want a return to the all out, unashamed, brazenly ostentatious Christmas single. It is possible. As popular as The X-Factor, the Facebook group attempting to get Jeff Buckley to number one testifies there is resentment there. And, as a wise man once sang, nothing lasts forever. There will surely come a time when people yearn for a return to the time-honoured tradition of watching festive songs battle it out for the coveted number one slot. They’re bringing back Top of the Pops, after all… Merry Christmas!
23 Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas Is You The Stilton of Shaun's festive playlist, this track was a 'hit' in Fugitive Motel Towers - so much so that during his year-long residence at the editorial base, Nottingham correspondent Eddy Hogg would air the track whatever the season (October 2007 and February 2008 being two notable examples). Elton John – Step Into Christmas The B-side to Elton's 1973 Christmas release is entitled Ho! Ho! Ho! (Who'd Be A Turkey At Christmas). Slade – Merry Xmas Everybody The band's sixth and final number one single. Its original title was Buy Me A Rocking Chair. The Pretenders – 2000 Miles Covered by both Coldplay and KT Tunstall, the original charted at number 15 in the UK. The Darkness – Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End) Surely the only Christmas song to make not-so subtle references to a gentleman's anatomy whilst strictly adhering to the traditional festive remit.
T h e Y e a r Ah e a d . . . January: This year’s Brit Award nominations are announced in London. In a shock to the music industry, Tom Waits is nominated in every category, including Best International Female where he is up against a tough field including Katy Perry, Rhianna, Bjork and Grace Jones.
...In which the Fugitive Motel gazes into its glitterball and makes a none-too-serious attempt to predict what lies in store in 2009...
Bookmakers offer odds of 66-1 on Waits' victory in this particular category. During the immediate aftermath, a genuinely perplexed Waits is only able to offer comment to music hacks in the medium of semaphore.
February: After the unprecedented success of their Christmas mini-album last December, NME Awards Tour headliners Glasvegas announce plans to follow it up with a series of limited edition concept EPs. The releases will tie in with time-honoured celebrations including Valentines’ Day, the Summer Solstice and the start of the grouse-shooting season. The band also use the tour to debut a solemn acoustic number commemorating the four year anniversary of the passing of photogenic chart-botherers Busted. March: As momentum gathers around the impendig summer release of their hotly anticipated debut album Another City, Another Sorry, The Answering Machine lead an initially hostile takeover of Switzerland. However, as Switzerland is a neutral country, the government swiftly yields to the band’s indie-pop charms. An hour’s break for tea and cake at 3pm is enacted into law on each working day, official diplomatic relations with the Shout Out Louds commence with a delightful civic reception in Zurich, and Your Home Address is appointed as the country’s national anthem with immediate effect. A List of Great Hip-Hop Samples Notorious B.I.G. ft. Lil' Kim Grandmaster Flash - White Lines and Puff Daddy - Notorious (Samples Liquid Liquid's Cavern) B.I.G. (Samples Duran Duran's Notorious) So outraged were Liquid Liquid by the Grandmaster's unashamed What with their shared love of plagiarism of their bassline on this fine wines, big yachts, and anti-cocaine anthem, they became sharp tailoring, the stars of embroiled in an ultimately 1980s pop and contemporary www.thefugitivemotel.org.uk successful yet expensive lawsuit. hip hop have much in common. With thanks to our Benjamin, who can not only differentiate hip, hop and hippety-hop, but is also skilled in many more intricacies of the genre. So turn up your boom box and dust off your best moves...
April: A press release issued at 7am on April 1st announces the immediate reunion of The Libertines with an impromptu gig to be held that evening on the site of the former Astoria (bless its soul) in central London. Events sadly conspire against the seminal band when a combination of the infamous Boy Who Cried Wolf(man) effect and the unfortunate timing of said press release means that everyone assumes the news is an April fool. The sole turnout (excluding passers-by) for the historic event consists of Darren Hayman and his dog.
May: This year’s Eurovision Song Contest, staged in Russia, sees the UK defying convention with an entry from Gallows featuring Paul McCartney. Unfortunately, the unlikely collaboration flies over the heads of most of the viewing public and the song trails in in a disappointing twenty-second place. Switzerland, undergoing somewhat of a musical renaissance, triumph with an entry which is equal parts Belle and Sebastian and The Walkmen. With voting cartels further down the table reaching hitherto-uncharted peaks, Graham Norton is heard to actually explode in the commentary box halfway through the results. June: During a particularly clement Glastonbury 2009 (it rains continuously for all five days this year), Blur’s Pyramid Stage headline set ends halfway through the third song as Alex James starts a rush on the smoked cheese stall thanks to whiff of a particularly fragrant Gruyère on a passing gale. Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the Cities of London and Westminster, Dave Rowntree, is not heard to advise punters to “go back to your constituencies and prepare for government.” In other news Colin McIntyre, formerly of Mull Historical Society, decides that he is in fact going to break up with himself and perform his delightful indiepop hits as "Colin" from hereonin. Manic Street Preachers - Kanye West Stronger De La Soul - The Magic Number Repeat UK (Samples Public (Samples Daft Punk's Harder, (Samples Johnny Cash's Five Enemy's London Invasion 1987) Better, Faster, Stronger) Feet High And Rising) The boys from South Wales take on Chuck D's NYC posse, putting our capital city on red alert with their battle cry of "London, England: Consider yourself WARNED!"
Ever the egotist, Kanye manages to sample not only the French dance duo on this track, but also paraphrases Friedrich Nietzsche: "that that don't kill me can only make me stronger".
Listen carefully to the outro and you'll hear Cash ask: "How high's the water, mama? Three feet high and rising", the title of De La Soul's most successful record. www.thefugitivemotel.org.uk
July: Oasis bring their world tour to the UK. They take the opportunity at their first London show at Wembley Stadium to debut a new song which has hastily been penned in celebration of Manchester City’s entry to the Intertoto Cup, hastily revived by UEFA due to unprecedented popular demand. The track is made available as a free download in time for City’s first round tie against AC Power Adaptors of the Faroe Islands.
August: A sense of surprise permeates the music industry as Guns n’Roses headline Friday night at the Green Man Festival in South Wales. Their stage time is delayed by an hour as Axl Rose and bandmates are occupied sampling the Pieminister menu and testing out ukuleles at the Duke of Uke stall. Meanwhile, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, headlining V Festival, start an old school NME-style slanging match with Guns’n’Roses as per their similar feud with Kasabian two years previous when Malkmus and his band headlined Green Man. The latter’s response is slated for July 2020. Finally, Reading and Leeds festivals are both postponed for two weeks due to a backlog in the marking of A-Level and GCSE results. September: Richard Hawley does win this year’s Mercury Music Prize, but is actually robbed afterwards by a reformed M People, touring to mark the 15th anniversary of their 1994-winning longplayer Elegant Slumming. Gruff Rhys contributes to every album shortlisted. He provides a charming spoken word contribution to track 6 of Hawley’s album, which is later attributed to a predicted jump in the birth rate in March 2010. However, an act of negligence sees Gruff’s omission from the liner notes so he still manages not to win. The Fugitive Motel Contributors' Complete-A-Lyric Challenge! 1. "# Nothing was the same 3. "# I haven't got the words 4. "# I said 'I no longer feel I have again... #" for you, all your diction to be James Dean', & she said... #" Steve: "...especially that poor dripping with disdain... #" Kate: "...'We interrupt this cocker spaniel." Benjamin: "Is this perhaps programme with the latest scores the most eloquent excuse from the FA Cup 3rd round.' " 2. "# I kissed a girl and I liked you've had for missing a copy it... #" deadline that you've been 5. "# If I only knew your name, I'd Tom O'Brien: "Sadly she didn't given all year, Kate?" go from door to door... #" due to a lack of arranged Tom O'Brien: "...claiming your permission. I'm looking at 12 Kate: "...so buy a bloody identity as part of a long-term years." fraudulent campaign." dictionary, or use Shift-F7." www.thefugitivemotel.org.uk
October: Live touring silly season starts and the Motel implodes as numerous writers attempt to be in four places at once. Los Campesinos! announce a comprehensive tour to promote their fifth release of the year, recorded in an hour in the back of a transit van driving down the M4.
Menswear and Sleeper reform for a two-week joint headlining nostalgia tour of small to medium-sized venues, and Elbow turn down a stadium tour and instead accept a month’s continuous residency at Night and Day in commemoration of their 18th birthday in November which sees the band adopting a shift pattern in order to maintain a continuous month of musical joy. November: Muse finally declare that their fifth album will be released in the first quarter of 2010, and announce a lengthy world tour to coincide with the hotly-anticipated overblown opus. The said tour includes audacious plans to make their live show the first to be visible by astronauts watching from the International Space Station. The Teignmouth trio’s return is promoted in typically modest style with a special gig at Wembley Stadium on Bonfire Night which sees the largest pyrotechnic show in recorded history. Colin, formerly Colin McIntyre and formerly of Mull Historical Society, decides that "Colin" isn’t working and parts with his second syllable, performing from hereonin as "Col". December: Guy Hands takes things a little too far with his effort to attain the Christmas Number One with a self-performed megamix including hits from EMI artists past and present Coldplay, Art Brut, Robbie Williams and Rachel Unthank and the Winterset in a gangsta rap/bebop stylie. Despite receiving mass airplay, Mr Hands is pipped to the top of the chart by Half Man Half Biscuit with a re-release of All I Want For Christmas Is A Dukla Prague Away Kit. As imagined by Luther Blissett (aka Hannah Bayfield, Dan Feeney, Kate Goodacre, Sophie Parkes, Benjamin Thomas and Steve Welch) 6. "# Then you go sort out the recycling. That's not part of it, but... #" Kate: "...everyone knows from reading last year's Fugitive Motel Review of the Year that recyclers are better lovers. Probably."
7. "# The word's on the street talking, talking... #" ("this and it's on the news... #" would be my fantasy indieTom O'Brien: "...don't go pop mashup!", he adds.) swimming at Barrymore's." Kate: "Forth, Tyne, Dogger, Steve: "It's just a shame German Bight. North 5 or 6, whoever put it there can't spell perhaps 7 later. Rain, then it." stormy showers. Moderate Steve: "...it sets an example to or rough, becoming very that horrible bunch down the road. Benjamin: "# I'm not going to rough later." The ones with that ghastly A-reg teach him how to speak French, Volvo." so I let the funky music do the www.thefugitivemotel.org.uk
28 Where Are They Now? Has 2008 been good to 2007's featured artists? > Elbow Where to start? Elbow released the Mercury Music Prize-winning The Seldom Seen Kid. Amidst glittering critical reception for said longplayer, they became the only band to receive four 9/10s from the NME in its history. Meanwhile, they soundtracked almost every sporting montage and advert for a gritty film going and charmed audiences around the globe, including in the UK, with excellent live shows. > Gideon Conn Gideon toured with both Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip and Jason Mraz, delighting audiences with his unique sociallyconscious blend of hiphop, jazz and indie. He's currently beavering away on an eagerly anticipated debut album. > The Answering Machine The band owned both SXSW and Camden Crawl. They've also recorded their debut album with Dave Eringa and have just inked a deal with indie label Heist or Hit! for a summer 2009 release.
s t h g i l h g i H e v i L
There's nothing that Fugitive Motel contributors love more than going and playing out at a live gig. 2008 has seen writers and photographers taking in locations ranging from small yet perfectly formed sweatboxes Koko to less conventional gig venues like LCCC, Somerset House and even Delamere Forest. Here's some of the Motel's best live memories in the tried-andtested form of words and pictures... Radiohead, Lancashire County Cricket Club, June 29th The genre of stadium rock is so called because it sounds best when performed in enormous sports arenas. Radiohead once proved themselves to be masters of the art, with a performance so vast that it could be heard five miles away in the suburb of Fallowfield. MGMT and Bat For Lashes were undoubtedly hard acts to follow, but with a live repertoire encompassing over a decade, from Just to Nude, the Oxford fivepiece stole the show. Not even a delayed return journey into Manchester city centre as a result of a Metrolink derailment could detract from such an astounding day of music. BT Oasis, Echo Arena, Liverpool, October 8th There are some bands that it just doesn't matter how many times you see them. It doesn't matter that you know what they're going to play, that you won't hear most of it because you're too busy singing along. It doesn't matter that everyone around you is drunk and that at any second you're going to get covered in what you hope is beer. None of that matters once the lazy twanging brilliant noise that is the start of Rock 'n' Roll Star fills the arena. And you realise that you're watching the best band on the planet... TOB www.thefugitivemotel.org.uk
Born Ruffians, The Great Escape, Brighton, May 17th Notwithstanding the sterling efforts of Glasvegas and MGMT at Night & Day, or Micachu at the Old Blue Last, the ticker-tape and accolades must be reserved for Born Ruffians, and I’ll tell you for why.
Take the fact they provided refuge from the biggest queue ever seen at Brighton’s Great Escape festival in May courtesy of their intellectual pop peers Vampire Weekend. Add that they were posted to play in my old teenage haunt The Honey Club, the city’s mini-Falaraki, and you already have something personal and unique. Combine this with languid yet intricate numbers wrought from Jarvis’ social observation, played with a geekily introverted charm, and the result is entirely affecting and year changing. AP My Bloody Valentine, Festival Internacional de Benicassim, July 18th Travelling to Benicassim this summer, I envisaged beach holiday meets fashionable festival and wasn’t too sure whether I would enjoy it. But while all the tourists were watching Hot Chip on the I-can’t-remember-what-it’s-called-it’s-not-important stage, I was witness to a reformed My Bloody Valentine blasting through Glider and 1991’s Loveless. And as I stood against the barrier on a humid July evening in a giant disused car park in southern Spain listening to their dreamy, tinnitus-inducing, feedback-leaden masterpieces, I remember thinking that it doesn’t get any better than this. This was the live moment of my life, let alone 2008. SG Leonard Cohen (x3), The Opera House (x2) and Glastonbury Festival Where to start? Honourable mentions go to Nick Cave, Errors, Jarvis, Ladytron, Elbow, Spiritualized, Shortwave Set, Public Enemy, Neon Neon, The Twilight Sad, Get Well Soon, My Bloody Valentine, Eels, Frazer King, Wild Beasts, Jay-Z, Port O’Brien, Fucked Up, Mercury Rev and, of course, The Specials at Bestival. But for a top three, Edwyn Collins in April was life-affirming, and Echo and the Bunnymen performing Ocean Rain at the Royal Albert Hall with a full orchestra took some beating. But beaten they were by Leonard Cohen, who reduced me to a tears of joy no less than three times this year. The best of them, at the Opera House, was one of the most astonishing shows I have ever seen in my life. SC www.thefugitivemotel.org.uk
Leonard Cohen, O2 Arena, July 17th
Any faint whiff of avarice in the air couldn't blunt the edges of an evening that was everything perfection's ever cracked up to be. A charming, charismatic and willingly self-depracating host, Laughing Len proved conclusively that genius has no sell-by date; his epic "www.farmboyhighoctane. version of Hallelujah shattered my willing heart and firmly recom" stamping his original by-line on what is arguably one of the greatest Insert your own jokes songs ever written. about various contributors' rural upbringings here. Honourable mentions for Bon Iver at the Apollo Victoria Theatre on December 7th - a bitter and broken rendition of Skinny Love made me "scroobius pip antiques" weep like a kid who'd dropped her ice cream - and Nick Cave, whose Presumably down to Dan inclusion in a 'favourites' list of any kind needs no justification. RW and Pip's repeated use of the theme from Antiques Elbow, Delamere Forest, Roadshow as their intro Cheshire, June 14th tape at live shows. Itâ€™s obviously been a big "are girls aloud good year for Elbow, and in singers or just a group of retrospect subsequent prizepretty girls thrown winning events only serve to together?" make this show even more A fair question. special. Having seen a storming set by our well"theme tune ba da ba da loved fivepiece in Academy da da da da da ba da" 1 in April, there were Favourite. Ridiculous. doubts that the show could Search. Query. Ever. be topped, but piece together a tranquil forest, a "fat popstar heaven" balmy evening, a setting Ewww! sun and even a marriage picture: Will Bugler Ridiculous Search Queries (2008 edition)
"roy stride wallpaper" Scouting For Girls just want to sew up every corner of the global economy, don't they? "Catherine Bolsover dancing" Whoever visited using these search keywords spent almost three minutes on the site. Has to be this year's rival to 2007's "Neil Waterman lovely arse".
proposal along with the all-important musical entertainment and youâ€™re onto a winner. Down at the front there was complete adulation from the crowd for tracks old and new, and Elbow really proved themselves to be kings of Manchester. HB Odetta, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, California, October 5th When a living legend is on the bill, there tends to be a buzz around a festival and that was certainly the case around lovely Golden Gate Park on a sunny California afternoon.
Ushered on stage in a wheelchair, one of Bob Dylanâ€™s inspirations projected her enormous, yet crystal clear voice all over the surrounding fields. Be it her own material, or the array of blues "Chinese shouting standards and songs from her great friend Leadbelly, that voice, breakdown riff electro accompanied by a single blues pianist, was enough to strike any listener to the core. She more than earned the standing ovation house" A low-key yet unfairly received from the ten thousand strong audience. SW maligned genre in rave www.thefugitivemotel.org.uk circles.
Lau, The Met, Bury, April 27th Three men: two Scots, one Englishman. And no, this isn't a joke. The impact Lau have had on the current British folk scene is phenomenal, and their gig at the Met in Bury back in April accentuated this in every way. They may have remained seated the entire duration of their set, as did the audience, yet the energy and pace was relentless. And, unusually, there isn’t one musician which eclipses the others. Guitarist and singer Kris Drever may be a heartthrob in looks with a sultry voice to match, but his interpretation of some of the best known traditional songs cannot help but leave listeners open mouthed. Adrian O’Rourke is a fiddle player of top quality, who's unafraid to bend the rules and experiment, whilst Martin Green’s total immersion in the music is alarming. You’ll never have seen gurning and music stimulated seizures like it. SP Guillemots, The Plug, Sheffield, November 16th So confident was I that nobody could better The National’s performance at Green Man that I’d already started drafting my hundred words on them. But, at the eleventh hour (well, month), Guillemots swept in with a majestic performance which lit up the Plug, tucked away in an otherwise unremarkable corner of Sheffield. Blending their enviable musical depth with pop sensibilities, this was a truly magical performance. Guillemots have a remarkable knack of creating a sense of occasion whenever they play, and that’s something which is a rare talent indeed. Here’s to the most accomplished live band in the country today. KG www.thefugitivemotel.org.uk
Thank yous! Katie Harkin Doug Adams Nestor Matthews Samuel Dust Andrew Faley Sam Potter Ross Dawson James Yuill
The newsagent's with the 2p photocopies on Oxford Road opposite MMU for their patience two years running... greenwebhost and Apis Networks for website hosting... All our kind stockists... All the Fugitives, for their enthusiasm, dedication, excellent taste in confectionery, wonderful ideas and unfailing solidarity... And, of course, all our friends and associates for their continued love, loyalty, advice and support. The Fugitive Motel Review of the Year 2008 is dedicated to anyone who has found great comfort in music in difficult or confusing times.