Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Stuff we've been up to

Isn't it nice when people visit and you have a special reason to do fun things at the weekend instead of boring chores? We had friends up from London this weekend and we:

... cooked goats cheese and onion tarts and drank wine on Friday night.

... slept late and then wandered round town drinking "the best hot chocolate in the world" (TM) from Aubreys (the crepe place), before heading up to Nottingham Contemporary for the Star City exhibition. I made a "hilarious" joke about the big wheel in the city centre and how our visitors would never have seen anything like it. I'm funny. Anyway, the exhibition, firstly, don't see the exhibition backwards, we did and I regretted it afterwards. Secondly, it's pretty big/long, so don't linger too long over stuff you're not bothered about. Highlights for me included:
- the machine making noises as water droplets fell - it was like a dystopian sci-fi scene, a bit menacing, like it should be in the basement of a multi-storey car park in a horror film.
- the old Russian posters promoting space travel, really made you imagine how people must've felt about space in the old days. It was such a magical, almost spiritual place then.
- the collages of religious icons & rockets - I love icons stylistically and I really like space imagery, so this just really worked for me!
- the 'doctor's surgery' bit made by a husband/wife team who were some of the first installation artists
- And finally, the quote from Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, near the giant spacesuit in the bottom of the building:

"Those who have already been in space yearn with all their heart and soul to return there again and again. With every single day passing, time leaves my flight in the past. Occasionally the wind will whisper something from the tops of tall pine trees and then everything becomes silent. In such minutes I remember the most bright and wonderful experience in my life: the flight into space."

I can't get over how beautiful that is, and how well she captures a moment and a feeling that pretty much no-one else has experienced.

... saw the most random performance I've seen in ages at Nottingham Playhouse. It was called Pregnant?! and involved a PowerPoint animation with a live performance from a Japanese artist which was about being impregnated by rabbits. I can't really explain any further than that to be honest, as that's pretty much the extent to which it made any sense. Despite that, it was brilliant, really funny, the interaction between the animations and the artist was great, surreal and confusing but great. Plus we learned that bunnies ovulate even when pregnant, so that's a new fact for us all there. It was insane, like someone saying "I had this really weird dream, right", only without it being the most painfully boring conversation in the world, because it actually recreated that dream world for you. Ace.

... ate breakfast late, enjoying John's discovery of bacon and eggs on crumpets instead of toast. Super nice, especially when you get lovely local bacon from JT Beedham's instead of horrible, watery, over-salted bacon from Tesco. Then we wandered round the cemetery next to the forest in the snow. It was lovely. I took some photos and me and Anna Ray made this tree:

... Finally, on Monday night we saw Hot Horizons at the Social. They're really good, strong vocals, interesting guitars and some really good tunes. I'm looking forward to hearing the recorded stuff later in the year. Then we popped over to say a quick Happy Birthday to Andy from We Show Up On Radar who was celebrating with an apple juice at the Orange Tree. We heard about his visit to Maida Vale at the weekend to record tracks for the BBC, it's really exciting! Don't know when they will be on the radio yet, but we've heard that they sound really good.
Anyway, enough rambling from me, hope you have a nice week!


Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Hot Chip – Rock City (15th Feb 2010)

This gig combined all the hedonism and euphoria of your favourite dance anthems with real heart and soul. Even on a damp, cold Monday night Hot Chip brought the carnival atmosphere – dynamic and dancey, but not at the expense of emotion and their idiosyncratic, lovely songwriting skill.

For the live set, they reworked lots of their material - especially some of the big hitters. Boy From School (the wife's fave) became punchier and less vulnerable. Over and Over morphed into the perfect killer tune – something that got the mosh pit chanting and pogoing like crazy, but still surprised and tickled the headnodding musos at the back (apart from the huge muscle-guy next to Bex, who remained as solid and impassive as a rock throughout).

Yes this was stadium dance at times, but it kept all the subtle, intelligent flourishes that have always marked Hot Chip out as a band of beguiling character. Even when turning everything up to ten and they never trot out some Pendulum-esque 2-D luddite dance-rock.

The new material sounded great too – Brothers being a particular favourite. Guitarist / steel drummer / trumpeter (!) asks us all to vote for it to become the next World Cup anthem and I for one can think of nothing more apt.


(p.s. I did take some pics and awfully noisy video, but my phone has decided it hates me so I can't put them up. It was an AMAZING gig though. - Bex)

Sunday, 14 February 2010

We Show Up On RadaR - New video for EP out on 15th Feb

We Show Up On RadaR's new EP "A Loaf of Bread, a Container of Milk and a Stick of Butter" is out on the 15th Feb on Hello Thor Records.

Here's a little video for the very lovely "It should be you and me":

We Show Up On Radar - It Should Be You And Me from Joe Hardy on Vimeo.

You can buy the EP on or on I-tunes, Amazon etc. If you buy on Hello Thor's website more money goes to the label & artist, so do them a favour and buy it on there!


p.s. Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Friday, 12 February 2010

Charity - a brilliant way to give donations


I'm sure you've all been stopped by "Charity Muggers" (what a horrible cynical phrase that is, sorry!) in the past, or have pretended to talk on your mobile/listen to your ipod/not care in order to avoid them. Well, I want to promise that this post will not be the blog version of that!

I just wanted to let you know about a way to give a donation to charity that me and Anders have been involved with for a couple of years. The concept is simple: just donate 1% of your income to charity.

Do it through the One Percent Scheme and it will be donated to smaller grassroots charities which have less experience in fundraising, but do an amazing job on the ground. The One Percent Scheme is run by a group of friends in London, who are also friends of ours. They do a brilliant job of getting involved with the charities, learning about the issues and seeing where the money goes, so you can be sure your 1% is well used.

Anyway, if you're interested, or just want to read a bit more about it or find out what causes we support, then follow this link:

A new charity which we can vote on whether to support or not is The Choir With No Name:

I think I'll be voting for them.


Wednesday, 10 February 2010

WSUOR EP Launch @ Library

Thanks! to everyone who came along as Hello Thor Records launched their latest release at Nottingham Library last week. We Show Up On RadaR's new EP ("A loaf of bread, a container of milk and a stick of butter") is fabulous, a wonderful magical twinkling and yet slightly melancholy gem. You can buy an actual physical VERY limited edition copy at We Show Up On RadaR's gigs, or you can download it from all major download sites. Put it on and hear it sparkle! Go to to find out more.

The gig was super fun. We sold out of tea, cake AND handmade limited edition EPs. A resounding success. Plus the small group of saturday afternoon drunks enjoyed the show, so everyone was happy. Make A Halo had lovely funny songs and very nice shoes, the Escapologists' new stuff sounded great and We Show Up On RadaR were as charming and melodic as always.

Anyway, here's some pics from the party at the Library:

Hope you enjoyed it tooooooooo!


Friday, 5 February 2010

Thanks Popbitch!

For bringing this to my attention:


Very funny. Thanks also for this joke:
Old Jokes Home:
Q: How many musos does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: It's a pretty obscure number.You probably haven't heard of it.

Tonight I am DJing at the Dolly Disco @ The Alley Cafe. Come along if you like to hear music being played with gaps in between and lots of cries of "Oh no! I pressed the wrong button!"

I have been selecting some tunes ready for the occasion. They currently include:
Vampire Weekend (great live footage), Doris Day, Hot 8 Brass Band (also amazing live footage),Kenny Rogers (live footage from the 70's) and Beyonce, to name a random, yet representative selection.

DJing tonight, Library EP launch tomorrow. Fun weekend!


Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Hello Thor Library Gig on Saturday!

Afternoon All,

Just taking a quick mini-break from working hard to mention the Hello Thor Library Gig this weekend. I have been coerced into producing cakes for the occasion. I'm thinking Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes. They went down really well at the Chrismoustache party and I really don't mind eating up any leftovers, so I reckon they're a good bet. Any other requests?

Anyway, here's all the info for Sat from Hello Thor:

We Show Up On RadaR
@ Nottingham Central Library
Saturday 6th February (4pm - 6pm) FREE ENTRY

We had such a great time when we launched We Show Up On RadaR’s single at Nottingham Central Library last year (if you don’t believe us have a look at this little film) that when they asked us back we couldn’t refuse. Heck, we even booked a tour of other libraries to follow.

That’s right, this Saturday (6th February) at 4pm we’ll be introducing the world to We Show Up On RadaR’s beautiful brand new EP - A Loaf Of Bread, A Container Of Milk & A Stick Of Butter - in the company of a whole load of books, a heap of cake, a box or two of wine, and, of course, plenty of amazing live music:

We Show Up On RadaR is Andy Wright. Andy makes melancholic, mischievous acoustic pop to dream to. It’s full of contradictions - childlike and sweet, but a bit wrong; terribly sad, but hopelessly uplifting - and is, in our opinion, blimin’ marvellous. Check him out in a recent BBC session here.

Escapologists are three very talented gentlemen who produce gently reflective post-rock, informed by the likes of Pavement, The Cure and Stereolab. We last saw them tearing it up at the Christmas Covers Party, and can’t wait to see them again.

Henry Parkinson makes lovely introspective folk pop, kind of like Nick Drake...from Nottingham.

It’s all totally FREE to get in and you can read as many books as you like between bands. It’s going to be loads of fun!

We Show Up On RadaR’s 6-track A Loaf Of Bread, A Container Of Milk & A Stick Of Butter EP is released digitally through iTunes, Amazon etc. on Monday 15th February. It will also be available as a strictly limited handmade CD at the library gigs and from

We Show Up On RadaR is also playing gigs at Leicester Central Lending Library (8th February, 6pm), Leeds Central Library (9th February, 6pm) and Norwich & Norfolk Millennium Library (11th February, 6pm).

Sounds great! See you there!