The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011

23

One of the simple pleasures surrounding a summer surf trip is that feeling of heading down the M50 on a sunny Friday evening with your board strapped to the roof, dreaming of the weekend ahead and imagining the adventures you are going to have. It is on occasions like these that a certain kind of in-car music is called for; upbeat, breezy, sunny, uncomplicated and positive. The kind of music that The Beach Boys had mastered, that Picturehouse had tried and failed to get a handle on and that UK based five piece The Feeling appear to have become quite adept at producing on their debut album, “Twelve Stops and Home”.  If you listen to FM radio at all, you will probably have been unable to escape songs like, “Never Be Lonely”, “Sewn” and “Love It When You Call” and, to be fair, there is no reason to escape these sunlit ditties. Too often, surf music seems to be leaden reggae, identikit metal and, worst of all, surfers simply playing acoustic guitars so The Feeling are, if nothing else a breath of admittedly retro fresh air. Maybe you might get tired of them sooner or later but, in the meantime, they certainly brighten up a long drive westwards.

 

Anyway, here are the lads performing 'Love It When You Call" live @ Abbey Road.



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21

the current Wilco lineupIt happened halfway through last Wilco's first ever headlining gig in Sydney last night . The band were ripping through Walken from their imminent release, Sky Blue Sky.  I was sat by the sound desk, in a leg brace - long story. My good friend Fergal, enjoying his virgin Wilco experience, turned to me and took a Robbie-Robertson-a-la-Last-Waltz stance, wide-legged, jerking back and forth, guitar swinging from side to side. I looked back to the stage and realised just how much Jeff Tweedy resembled the former Band front man. Right down to the ear to ear grin. Yep, this was not the grumpy Jeff I'd experienced in the past - this was a happy Jeff. Jeff, the raconteur, taking the piss out of Steak 'n' Kidney (Sydney) and describing Tasmania as "the two-headed state".

The music was just as joyous. Encompassing songs from all of their albums, the gig hit Wilco Setlist Enmore Sydney 21/04/07some extraordinary heights. Misunderstood was HUGE, the audience yelling "Nothing!" with the band over and over and over again. Set closer, the ever avant-garde Spiders, showcased the dualling guitars of Tweedy and lead guitarist, Nels Cline. This was a continuing motif of the night - Tweedy's guitar was dirty, messy, strangled and Cline's was bright, exact, soaring. Together they made a truly compelling sound - the three minute guitar salvo at the end of At Least That's What You Said was a hair-raising highlight. California Stars from their still wonderful Billy Bragg collaboration Mermaid Avenue was as littingly lovely as ever. Theologians, Jesus etc and Hummingbird were expertly despatched. Drums, guitar, piano, perfect vocal harmonies. Wilco could really be the Band of our time. There were glimpses of Dylan, Bowie, the Stones and the Band, of course, but Tweedy has morphed this alt-country collective into something that is so much more.

Such a celebratory concert doesn't quite dispel all my doubts about the new album though. The set featured five songs from Sky Blue Sky, due out at the end of May, and I'm not sure I could argue that lack of familiarity is the reason none stood out as highlights. Hate It Here, introduced by Tweedy as the "Domestic Song", talks of domestic bliss, of missing a loved one when he or she is not home. It's soulful, beautifully sung by Tweedy, but it lacks the bite and challenge of previous Wilco classics. Sky Blue Sky sounds settled, comfortable. Whilst I suspect this respresents where Tweedy is with his life right now, it means the record is all too easy to absorb.

The band tour Europe in May (though I notice that Dublin doesn't seem to be on the current itinerary). They play two shows in the Shepherd's Bush Empire (the best music venue in the world, in my humble opinion) - an exhilarating night is guaranteed.

 A webcast of the gig is here.


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21

The Immediate onstage at La Maroquinerie, 19 April 2007

Dublin indie media darlings The Immediate are currently playing a series of shows in Paris.

This mini-residence in the French capital comes only a couple of weeks after they played here at La Maroquinerie on 29 March as opener for Hey Gravity. Unfortunately for them, at that gig they had to try to win over a sparse and less-than-appreciative audience (at one point having to ask: "Come on people - applause!").

This time around, on 19 April, they were back at La Maroquinerie on the bill of French magazine Les Inrockuptible's regular Indie Club night, along with The Kissinmas (from Clermont-Ferrand in central France), The Pigeon Detectives (from Leeds) and Jamie T (from London).

This time the reaction was more favourable: a full house on the night and calls for an encore. If you fancy testing your French, check out the review on French indie music site Sound Of Violence.

You can also watch them perform 'A Ghost In This House' as filmed by Les Inrockuptibles.

The Immediate's Paris shows continue with a concert at La Flèche d'Or on 21 April and a showcase gig for their French label Dad Records on 24 April.


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19

So there is a movie that is coming out soon that has me positively salivating.... it's not Fincher's Zodiac. Nor is it the Rodriguez/ Tarantino lovein, Grindhouse. No - it's This Is England, by maverick English director, Shane Meadows.

The reason? I believe Meadow's last movie, 2004's Dead Man's Shoes, to be one of the greatest pictures of recent years. It's a rivetting revenge thriller starring the British Isle's one true acting superstar (are you watching, Colin?) , the very wonderful Paddy Considine. He plays ex-soldier Richard with such menace, magnetism and macabre humour that I would readily compare the peformance with de Niro's iconic Travis Bickle - yes, Considine really is that good.

Meadow's makes very personal pictures. His Once Upon a TIme in the West was a western based in, you guessed it, the Midlands (Dead Man's Shoes reminds me of Leone's Hang 'em High in its tone) and his newest release, This Is England, is a semi-autobiographical skinhead drama and promises to be as compelling and confonting as Dead Man's Shoes.

Over time, I'll talk about some other lost masterpieces, but if you have some of your own, list them below.


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19
According to the May 2007 edition of Surfing Magazine, Texas band The Sword are the new hip Heavy Metal kids on the block. With a sound that is inspired by bands like Pantera, Slayer and The Zep they are certainly loud. Here is their video for the single 'Winter Wolves'.


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16
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16

Timmy Curren is currently ranked No. 6 in the world ASP ratings and is considered to be an aerials master but, like Jack and Donny before him, he is looking ahead to a career in music. In fact, Jack Johnson once wrote a song about him in which he says, " I know a boy know named Timmy Curren he likes to sing".

Tiimmy has just completed the double whammy of both performing at and competing in the Boost Mobile Surf Show alongside Dave Reardon-Smith (Coolum), Ozzie Wright (Narrabeen, AUS), Dion Agius (Currumbin, AUS), Yadin Nicol (Western Australia, AUS), Dru Adler (Gold Coast, AUS) and Julian Wilson (Sunshine Coast). Here is a clip of Timmy in action


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15
Ripcurl have launched, in association with i-Tunes, a new radio style podcast service via their website Ripcurl.com which will allow subscribers to download surf themed audio and video podcasts to their i-Pods. The new service signals a greater integration between surf and music companies and shows how global players like Ripcurl have moved far beyond simply making wetsuits and are now defacto fashion and entertainment companies in their own right.
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15

American TV shows seem to be picking up some increasingly interesting music - I was sitting watching CSI with my girl this evening when a perfectly funky version of Cameo's Word Up was showcased.

A little digging turned up that the song (available for download below) is by a London soul singer called Willis - more info here.

If you are intrigued, Willis is playing the Plastic People on Curtain Road in London on April 28th.

Cover Versions are pretty special to me and, over time, they'll become a major theme of my blog. I hope you like this as a starter for 10... 

Download: Willis - Word Up


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14



More surfing videos on SurfingMagazine.com
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Nuggets from our archive

2002 - Interview with Rodrigo y Gabriela, by Cormac Looney. As with Damien Rice's profile, this interview was published before Rodrigo y Gabriela's career took off overseas. It too continues to attract considerable visits every month to the article from Wikipedia.