Noiserv – One Hundred Miles From Thoughtlessness

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Noiserv.  10 people paid to see his Edinburgh show the other evening.  10 people.  What a terrible, terrible shame.  A number of reasons I think for this.  Firstly, there was confusion as to who was promoting the show.  It was never billed as a Trampoline night, but because I had booked the Wee Red for the acts I think it was assumed I was promoting.  And I was not.  I am a terrible cynic but a Portugese artist that nobody here is likely to have heard of touring the UK doesn’t strike me as a show that the good music going public of Edinburgh would be interested in attending.   So I gave it a body swerve in terms of promotion.  This is something I now regret.    The simple reason for this is that David Santos, aka Noiserv, delivered a lovely performance of the kind of lo-fi folk music that had he been a native Edinburger or from this area would have been lapped up and probably ensured him a place at the Homegame festival next year.  And I guess that’s why I’m annoyed I didn’t take on the promotion of the show and push it a little more.  I knew the Kays wouldn’t bring a crowd.  We never do.  So I should have taken it on myself and pushed it on the basis that most people who attend Homegame would have loved this set.  He deserved to play to more than 10.  Everyone deserves to play to more than 10. 

Anyways, the disappointment of that aside.  I bought his debut album ‘One Hundred Miles From Thoughtlessness’.  This is one of the most beautifully pieced together records I’ve ever bought.  I LOVE the packaging.  As you can see from the picture, it’s a series of cards each with their own gorgeous drawing, all bound together with a metal binder.  And it comes with a little colouring pencil as well which is one of the nicest touches.  It’s simply lovely in its design and concept.  And whats more the music is a match for the packaging and art in every way.   As you’d see live, David builds his song using loops and more gadgets and toys than I’ve ever seen employed by a solo artist.  The songs tend to swell with lovely looped harmonies over the top of some lovely looped instrumentation.  One of my favourite things about this record is that the vocal sounds like a Portugese man singing in English.  There’s no fake American accent going on here.   David sings very much the way he speaks and it’s to the benefit of the music and this record in my opinion.  ‘Consolation Prize’ is absolutely gorgeous as are ‘Download’ and ‘Good Son’.  Single ‘Bullets on Parade’ is another stand out.  As for set and album closer ‘Bontempi’, what can you say.  Just great fun.  I really hope some people who read this take the time to listen to his music, buy his lovely record and next time he takes the time to come to Edinburgh I’ll promote the shit out of it and hopefully we’ll get the interest that he deserves.  Check him out here.  Buy his album here.  Enjoy.

TSP Grade = B-

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Trampoline Arist Profile: John B McKenna

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Well here’s another artist I discovered via Glasgow Podcart and their wonderful weekly show on Radio Magnetic.  I hope those guys don’t get tired of me whoring their show all the time!  I haven’t actually heard it for a few weeks now due to business at work, where I normally tune in, so I’ve not kept up to date with what they’ve been calling me.  You see, normally if they mention me I take dogs abuse from Sean and Ally.  I know it’s in jest of course (I hope!) but it’s been nice not to hear my name taken in vain the past few weeks.   Cue them reading this and an onslaught of abuse occuring on the next podcart I expect!

Anyways, that’s beside the point.  The point is that thanks to their wonderful show I’ve stumbled across a few gems that I’ve managed to get along to Trampoline.  Beerjacket being the one that sticks out most in my mind.  But then there’s John B McKenna.  When I heard him on their show I instantly fell in love with the song and felt compelled to check him out a little bit more and ask him along to Trampoline.  As always, as we only do a monthly show, it’s taken a little longer than I’d have liked to get him here.  But here he will be on the 14th November to play some of his lovely songs.  And I’m lead to believe he’s started to play with a band now as well so we could be in for a real treat.   Expect some hushed quiet beauty for sure, but with a band onboard I am intrigued to see what will be on offer.  That’s if he brings them.  He might fly solo.  Either way you’re in for a treat.  Check him out here.

John B McKenna plays Trampoline on Saturday 14th November at the Wee Red Bar, Edinburgh College of Art.  Doors 7pm.  Entry £5 or £3 with a valid student card.

Don’t Blog Whilst Under The Influence Of Alcohol

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Last night I went along to the Leith Tape Club at the Iso Bar to help out Alan by manning the door.  It’s a tough job.  Because the venue is so small and the reserved ticket list was so extensive, only 2 extra people were allowed in.  I’m not very good at policing these kind of things.  I always want to let people in simply cause they’ve taken time out to come and support the artists on show.  But I totally understand why Alan strictly controls numbers, cause if it gets too full in there it can be very uncomfortable.  Fortunately, there were no incidents between me and people wanting to come in and the night went off rather smoothly.  Everyone knows by now how much I enjoy the Leith Tape Club.  It’s a lovely little night and Alan has put together a number of wonderful line ups.  Sure, overall last nights line up wasn’t my favourite, but Withered Hand always makes up for everything.  Dan is just fabulous and his album is, without doubt, going to be on my top 10 list at the end of this year.  What I really love about the Tape Club is getting to see artists in a much more intimate environment where their songs are stripped bare and the bones of what makes them special are on offer.  I think Matthew over at songbytoad summed up Dan nicely when he said that what makes him so special is the honesty of his work.  Lets face it, not many artists can lay everything so openly on the table and still retain real credibility.  His lyrics are genius, and yet so genuine and honest.  How’s that possible?!

Anyways, I guess the point of this post was not meant to be Leith Tape Club or Withered Hand.  No, it was more to do with the fact that after 3 beers last night I was a little tipsy (I don’t drink much anymore, certainly not beer), went home, started trying to write a post but tiredness got the better of me and I never finished it or posted it. THANK GOD!  One, it was some of the worst English ever witnessed.  And two, it was somewhat of a rant. Actually, it was more musings about things but it came across all wrong I think!  So I am soooo glad I didn’t post it.  And a lesson has been learned.  No matter how much you think it’s a good idea to write a post when you’ve been drinking, leave the lap top alone and go to bed!