My apologies. It's been rather a long time hasn't it? I seem to remember that most blogs are composed, in no small part, of groveling posts every now and again, apologising for the lack of updates. I'm no different from everyone else: that's a hard lesson to learn, isn't it?
So, I hear you say, where have you been, Iain? What have you been doing? OK, let me think. There was the Great Escape festival here in Brighton, which was, frankly incredible. So inspiring, as well- it was obviously an attempt to rival the structure and importance of SXSW, and, considering this was it's first year, it was a roaring success. Brighton really lends itself to this sort of thing, there's its faintly bohemian air, its profusion of students, ready to raise merry hell at the earliest opportunity, it's close enough to London for the massed hordes of our wonderful record business to hop on a schmooze train...If there were any minor quibbles it was really only that the queues on the Saturday night were far too long and meant that a lot of people missed out on the chance to see some of the acts on the final night. The night before was completely different, I went from the Pressure Point to The Ocean Rooms, from Zap to Audio, ending up at the Spiegeltent and having seen close to a dozen bands in the process.At this point I should also perhaps point out that it was also a pub crawl with the added attraction of some rather fine bands for many people, and why not? Let them see bands ina state of advanced happiness, that's what I say. Next year it would be rather nice to see a much wider range of venues being welcomed under the umbrella of the festival-and actually, it would also be good to see events attaching themselves to the festival, for the hell of it..I like the idea of gigs springing up in Rounder Records, in Fopp....Just the idea that people could arrive from wherever, plug in a PA and try and attract the attention of A&R men or scouts. Maybe next year, we'll see.
So what of the bands that I saw? Top of the pile has to be Hot Club De Paris, who'd I'd been aware of via the Moshi Moshi compilation CD, but live, they were absolutely entrancing. Want to know what they're like? Hmmm... Like a barbershop version of Primus, like .......Oh, I give up. Suffice to say, they're my new favourite band (still can't quite knock Sukpatch off the top of the perch, but there you go...) The set they played at the Pressure Point was pretty close tp perfection and actually left me gasping for breath at one point. You know that feeling you get when you're seeing a band that's SO good and SO natural and SO funny and the entire thing becomes this all-encompassing concoction that leaves you swooning and you suddenly feel rather light-headed? And you realise that's it's because you've been forgetting to breathe? Bingo. That's Hot Club. There's some stuff for download on the myspace page, but, as ever, do keep abreast of those mp3 blogs: they'll be your favourite band soon too, mark my words. The new single (get ready for the best title EVER) "Sometimesitsbetternottostickbitsofechotherineachotherforeachother" is out soon, buy or die.
That's the good then; sometime soon after the festival, when the gales and storms were not letting May go without a fight, I got zapped by the summer 'flu. Gah. On top of the annual Hayfever, it resulted in a fortnight ruled by painful sinuses, a head full of candyfloss and a hacking cough that seemed as if it would be with me for the rest of my life. As I type, the Sun has won the battle with the rain, the summer has banished spring...The World Cup has begun....Here's hoping things get better from here on in.
finally then, this week to come: what will it bring? AFAIK, a v/o on Monday, The Scream doing an Xfm gig on Wednesday and DJ-ing for the showing of the England game on Thursday. Bring it on.