Amelia’s Magazine | Festival Preview: Truck

‘Glass Gun 2′ by Julie Hill

A couple of days ago my housemate returned home bursting with a tale that he’d been carrying around with him all day. What he had witnessed on his well-trodden route to work that morning had seemed to pervade the conditioned air of his office in the hours that followed, mind reruns of the scene played out in windowpane reflections and on the inside of mid-blink eyelids. He had been inspired.

‘Breath Should Be Held’ by Julie Hill

The action that had my friend so roused wasn’t overtly political. Nor was it spectacularly en-masse. It was a man. Alone. Dancing at 8am in the centre of one of Bristol city centre’s busiest junctions, stuff multiple lanes of traffic whirring around unrestrained flying limbs like mechanical rings of chorus girls, capsule their metallic bodywork sparkling.

The root of this act, and the results of it, we can only guess at. Was his rush hour spinning a signal that the rest of us should slow down? A statement on the vulnerability of the pedestrian or the mindlessness of the daily grind? Maybe he just fancied a dance.

CRASH at Artsadmin: experimenting with sustainable alternatives to financial and ecological crises CRASH at Artsadmin: experimenting with sustainable alternatives to financial and ecological crises

As my friend’s impassioned regaling of the scene evidenced, whatever its grounds, form or situation, art is an enormously affecting class of action. And it’s being increasingly embraced as a method of political expression beyond homemade banners or gallery walls, because we can all be arts activists. The only thing that’s required is a little imagination.

Image courtesy of Artsadmin: ‘Quantitative Teasing- A benchmark in post-capitalism’

Two artist activists are on hand later this month to help spark that imagination via Interference, a free five-day workshop to encourage people to develop new ways of working collectively to make a difference to the causes they care about. Beth Whelan (who last year played a large part in the Mainshull Solidarity Camp) and Julie Hill will be working with participants to develop art-related strategies for both acting towards and reacting against change, using such tools as story-telling and myth making, climbing and reclaiming public space, urban foraging, self-publishing and night biking. Interference runs from 21st to 25th June at Artsadmin’s Toynbee Studios in London, but is limited to just 20 places, so if you want one of them Artsadmin asks that you write a short paragraph explaining why you want to get involved, and send it to

Beth Whelan at CRASH

Open to people from all backgrounds and experiences, Interference is an invitation to those who want to go beyond just thinking about change; to act via art to be part of, or begin, an empowering, engaging and positive political movement. You never know, it might even be one that stops traffic.

Turning our attention to the smaller independent festivals, page we are thrilled to be featuring Truck, help an event with an impeccable reputation and massive good will behind it. There are so many things that we like about Truck, we could practically list its attributes alphabetically. But for those who are scratching their heads in befuddlement, and wondering who and what this curiously monikered event is, the most important fact to learn about Truck is that it has the ethos and sensibility of a village fete and combines this with a cutting edge musical policy to create a unique and highly personalised festival that is head and shoulders above many of its contemporaries.

Truck has a much deserved reputation of having an eagle eye for upcoming talent. In recent years, bands such as Foals, Young Knives, Fuck Buttons, Get CapeWild Beasts and Fanfarlo have all graced the stages (which are used as cowsheds for the rest of the year – it’s on the site of a working farm), at a time when they were still fresh faced to the music scene. Headlining this year are bands that can easily be described, as NME did, as “awesome”. The roster includes Teenage Fanclub, Mew, Mercury Rev Clearlight Ensemble, Los Campesinos!, Chapel Club, Good Shoes and Summer Camp (a full, and yet to be completed line-up is featured on Trucks website).

Situated deep in the Oxfordshire countryside, Truck is proud to be one of the UK’s longest standing independent small festivals. The more you discover about Truck, the more you realise that it is fiercely independent in all aspects. From the get go (it was formed in 1998), Truck has rejected corporate sponsorship; instead allowing its food and ale stalls – all locally produced of course – to be run by locals rather than brands (and in the case if the ice cream stall, run by the local vicar). Truck lives by a strong charitable ethos; rather than sitting on their profits, they funnel money made at the festival back into local and national causes. Last year for example, £50,000 was raised for charity. The people behind Truck are quite possibly the busiest of bees in Oxford; as well as community projects in the city, they also run Wood, described as “Trucks folkier/younger, cleaner, greener and mysteriously beardier brother”. While Truck may be less hirsute, it certainly has the travellers bug, and recently came to New York State in the shape of Truck America, held in the mountainous Catskills region. Those who would like to attend a closer to home Truck can do so buy booking tickets through their ticket providers, Gigantic and Brown Paper Tickets, one of the first fair trade ticketing agencies in the UK which operates in a not-just-for-profit fashion. For the first time this year, there will be Friday night festivities (the music starts on Saturday at 12pm and finishes Sunday at 10pm), so campers are now welcome to pitch up from Friday, 4pm onwards. This perfectly sized, magic brew of a festival has all the key ingredients for a glorious weekend, and time is running out to get your tickets before it sells out, so hurry up and book yourself a spot!

Festival Details:
Truck Festival July 23 -25th
Ticket Prices
Adult (18+) Weekend –  £80?Friday – £15 adv/£20 on the day
Teen (13-17) Weekend – £60?Friday – £15 adv/£20 on the day
Minor (0-12) Weekend – Free?Friday – Free
Age Restrictions
Children age 14 and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Weekend tickets include access to the festival from 9am Saturday, and include 2 nights camping (saturday & sunday).

Categories ,Chapel Club, ,festival, ,fuck buttons, ,Good Shoes, ,Indie, ,Los Campesinos, ,Mercury Rev, ,mew, ,Oxford, ,Stornoway, ,summer camp, ,Teenage Fanclub, ,Wood Festival

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Amelia’s Magazine | Fionn Regan: brand new 100 Acres of Sycamore video and instore gigs

Fionn Regan is a folk musician with the history that befits his heartfelt words. The son of musicians, buy information pills he grew up in the Ireland that we all hear of but never quite imagine exists: a rural idyll where a child could wander free and return home to the sounds of home made merriment. He left school young and took up a series of itinerant jobs whilst travelling around Ireland and the UK, order self educating himself in libraries. With the release of first album The End of History in 2006 he gained critical acclaim and a nomination for the Mercury Music Prize. His second album, The Shadow of An Empire, took a more experimental electro influenced turn, but for 100 Acres of Sycamore (released in August), he has returned to his roots.

100 Acres of Sycamore was written in Mallorca, where he stayed at the home of Anna Friel – invited after having met her by chance in Valencia. He was enchanted by the ancient setting and on his return recorded the entire album in seven days. It’s a deeply rich experience, made special by his use of language. Not for nothing is Fionn Regan an honorary member of the Trinity College Literary Society.

The video for 100 Acres of Sycamore was shot by music photographer Sebastien Dehesdin on Hampstead Heath.

Fionn Regan plays a couple of inshore dates this week, including one at Rough Trade West this Sunday 18th September, then at the Lomography Gallery Store on Commercial Street. He headlines Bush Hall on the 20th September. 100 Acres of Sycamore is out now on Heavenly Recordings.

Fionn Regan by Autumn de Wilde HWCH

Categories ,100 Acres of Sycamore, ,album, ,Anna Friel, ,Bush Hall, ,electro, ,Fionn Regan, ,folk, ,Hampstead Heath, ,Heavenly Recordings, ,ireland, ,Lomography Gallery Store, ,Mallorca, ,Mercury music prize, ,Rough Trade West, ,Sebastien Dehesdin, ,The End of History, ,The Shadow of An Empire, ,Trinity College Literary Society, ,video

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Amelia’s Magazine | Caribou @ Audio

He’s come a long way has Dan Snaith aka Caribou. From the purer electronic instrumental cut’n’paste soundscapes of his Manitoba guise to this: the Odyssey and Oracle goes Pro-Tools psychedelic pop of his Caribou incarnation. Summer’s Andorra long player exemplifies just how a musician, given time to grow and develop creatively, can create beautiful art. That’s not to negate his previous works but Snaith’s most recent album is fucking light years ahead, marrying choral song-structures with a left-foot sensibility.

So, how to rock this complex and multi-layered beast in a live context. Get a bad-ass band together. Lap-tops, two drummers, vintage guitars, neck-ties, wigged out projections, Electric Prunes circa ‘66 haircuts…Check, check, check….Oh man, it’s gonna so fucking rule. In truth, it nearly didn’t. Squandering triumphant nugget, Sandy, as first number was a shame. You could hear the band finding their feet and acclimatizing to the stage as the song thundered on in cack-handed fashion. No bad thing of course, but when it’s such an unabashed turntable hit as Sandy it kinda grates. Still, with Snaith finding his voice and his beautiful boys kicking up a psych-storm they lay waste to Brighton’s Audio with aplomb. Melody Day does that whole scorched earth thang leaving the audience mouths agape whilst She’s The One is just sublime, like Kieren Hebden producing the Beach Boys today. Desiree is heartbreaking; with soulfully strained harmonies seeping into our ears, glooping down like wild honey over a Midi-orchestra backing. Sweetness personified.

You rarely get to hear such celestial orch-pop made flesh. Vibrant, human…alive. Dan Snaith and friends know how to do retro and make it so fucking fresh. Tell that to the hordes of dim guitar slingers taking up space in this town or in the pages of the NME. This is how you do it, boys. Class dis-fucking-missed.

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Amelia’s Magazine | Interview: Laura Hocking

Illustration by Georgia Coote

As with all the best new music discoveries, more about my introduction to Laura Hocking and The Long Goodbye began with snippets from light-hearted conversations. By the time that three separate friends, (whose judgement I value deeply) had announced excitedly that they were off to see her play, waxing lyrical about her delicate voice, gorgeous harmonies and all-round One To Watch-ness, I couldn’t resist it any longer. Cut to a few Sunday nights back where I found myself in the top room of the Old Queen’s Head in Angel. So it seemed, did a lot of people; the room was packed – always a good sign! On Saturday night they take this heady brew to Deptford, where they will be playing at the consistently excellent Folie à Deux. The wonder and magic of standing in a converted dairy shed whilst hearing the best of the new alt:folk scene never abates. Laura Hocking and The Long Goodbye describe their sound as ‘folk-tinted freak pop’, which sounds alright by me.

I saw your set at the Old Queen’s Head; I thought it was wonderful, you have a new found fan in me! How did you find the night? 
Thanks! It’s always a nice place to play – the gig was put on by a band we’re friends with so most people knew each other and were into similar music, which makes for a good show. I like the decor in there. Sometimes mid-song you’re faced with yourself in a mirror, which is disconcerting. 

For the uninitiated, can you describe your music? 
 Best description ever came from Jon, who composes music for films. He said it was like biting into a cream cake and finding a razor blade. We call it folk-tinted freak-pop. 

Your Myspace lists a truly expansive and diverse list of influences, and I’m especially intrigued by Expressionism, Edvard Munch, David Lynch, Ingmar Bergman. What is it about expressionism that appeals to you?
Ha, I wrote that a while ago, I haven’t thought about it in a while. I’m fascinated by dark, uncomfortable, macabre things. Expressionism seems to access that place in a person where anxiety and vulnerability meet with violent creativity. Those artists create weird worlds which express their individualism in a ferocious and inventive way, but they also capture elements of human experience that we can all recognise. It rips the scab off of life for you, and I like that. 

 You also mention that your EP is based on “love, anxiety, devastation and renewal”. Do you find writing and performing your songs to be a cathartic process, and has it helped you deal with emotional setbacks?
Writing is always cathartic for me, but the material is not directly about my life. It’s often about all the things I would like to say to people, but don’t have the guts to. So most of my songs are ‘to’ people, rather about them, but I like to hide that message inside a story. It’s a trixy thing to do, I get a kick out of it. If the person wants to find the message, they will.
Writing and performing do help you deal with other parts of your life, because they give you something bigger than yourself to think about. For me, song is bigger than anything.

You are – as yet – unsigned. Do you find it a struggle to do everything yourself (marketing, distribution etc) or do you relish the freedom of being able to navigate your own path? 
It’s been a huge joint effort between me, my band, and our various friends who’ve put together things like the cover design and the website. We’ve really put our heads down and really pushed hard on this release. It’s a hard learning curve, I feel like I’m being schooled and it is quite humbling, but I want to understand how the industry works, and how far we can get under our own steam. It’s going bloody well, we’re more than halfway to selling out our physical stock.
In terms of marketing, music fans are what really count – people who love music and want to support artists and spread the word are a PR force to be reckoned with, and that’s what’s helped me the most. 
Your interests outside of performing: this is when most people say something like “long walks, hanging out with friends”, but you say that you have learnt to brew beer and have written an opera?!  I’m not sure what I’m most impressed by…  First, could you give me some pointers on home brewing, and then could you tell me a little more about the opera that you have written?
The formula for a beer is thus: steep something (could be ginger, nettles, elderflower or grains) in hot water for a few hours. Strain. Add lots of sugar. Cool. Add beer yeast. Sterilise a large container  (like a  5l water bottle) pour it in, top with an airlock (at it’s easiest, this can be a balloon over the neck), and leave for about 10 days. Taste with interest. My current brew is quince wine. You can brew anything, but beware of coconut milk…the fat makes it explode. 

The opera is something me and Dan (violinist) worked on together. It’s a translation and adaptation of La Serva Padrona by Pergolesi, a comic operetta from the C18th. I’m writing the libretto (lyrics) and he’s doing the instumentals. It’s like a musical version of Fawlty Towers. We want to stage it, so we’re looking for a space we can use for free. 

You mentioned that you are originally from West Yorkshire.  Do you miss life up North? I lived in Cornwall as a child and deeply miss the open skies, the countryside, the friendliness of locals, the pace of life – but that could be just me!  –  how do you find being a transplanted Northerner in London?
More than anything, I miss being alone in the countryside. I used borrow a neighbour’s dog and walk for a few hours across fields, and not see anyone at all. I don’t think that the North is necessarily friendlier than the South, but people definitely show their emotions more in public – one person can be having a big moan to their friend on the bus, and other passengers will chip in. In London, many people have their Tube face on all the time. Pubs are friendlier in the countryside. Curry is hotter in Bradford than in Brick Lane. I love meeting other Northerners in London. I get all giddy, like a puppy at the park, and out come my northern vowels.     

What are your plans musically in the next year?  I hope to hear about more songs and more live dates!
I have a lot of studio time ahead of me, with about 15 songs which are ready to be demoed out an arranged. I’m lucky that some very talented people have offered their time and resources to work on songs, which I’m grateful for. When a good proportion of them are in the shape I want them, I’ll be looking to release through a label. It’s quite a flirtatious thing to try and arrange – I’ve had interest from several sources but until the songs are ready it’s difficult to talk in concrete terms. 
There will always be lots of live shows in London, I’ve been offered some gigs in California and New York, so I plan to go there next summer. But more than anything I want to get back to the North and play there. 

Where can we find out more, and get hold of your music?   – as the place to buy music    – my website –  as the best place to network, find gig details and sign up for the mailing list
@laurahocking – my twitter cos I Mary Hampton and Nick Mulvey at Folie à Deux in Deptford.

Illustrations by Georgia Coote, you can find her work here, and here, and follow her on Twitter here.

Original photographs by Anika Mottershaw and Holly Falconer.

Categories ,acoustic, ,Alt:folk, ,Alternative, ,David Lynch, ,Deptford, ,Edvard Munch, ,Expressionism, ,Folie a Deux, ,Ingmar Bergman, ,interview, ,Laura Hocking, ,Laura Hocking and The Long Goodbye, ,live, ,mary hampton, ,music, ,Nick Mulvey, ,Old Queens Head

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Amelia’s Magazine | Brainlove Records – Two Thousand And Ace


Brainlove Records began in 2003, setting up camp firmly left of centre and offering shelter to genre benders, weirdos, and all manner of arty bands. No one would be deemed too strange, Brainlove promised, proclaiming themselves to be the label for all those bands who were too “far out to fit in anywhere else, all kinds of bands and artists that the label felt deserved more exposure.”

Years later then, and the not-so-old-yet-not-so-young Brainlove have amassed quite an array of odd-ball artists (36 in total, if their website is to be trusted in it’s up-to-datedness) and their new album ‘Two Thousand and Ace’ is a taster of what they have on offer.

Disregarding the advice not to judge an album by it’s cover, you can tell – just on looks alone- that with ‘Two Thousand and Ace’ you are are in for a kaleidoscopic, messy journey through all the most loony tunes Brainlove has to offer. If images of ponies prancing through a rainbow filled twinkling universe don’t give you a clue about where this album is coming from then I don’t what else can.

Cats in Paris start the album off as it is destined to go on with the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink (there’s even dogs barking in there) sound of ‘And Ugly’. Building up like the countdown to a blast-off, this synthy,
keyboard-tastic tune really feels like it should have been used on some 80’s kids cartoon about spacemen. Pseudo Nippon carry on in the same crazy cartoon theme, although anime would obviously be a more suitable animation style for this twisted J-Pop peddler. A treat for all those old school Nintendo nostalgics out there, the high octane ‘Constellation Jebubu’ will gnaw into your brain and happily sit there, tearing your brain cells out and replacing them with brightly coloured pixellated acid crystals.

There is a lot of glitchy craziness on offer throughout this album, and though it’s all great fun sometimes a change is as good as a rest. One of the highlights of the album is when Junkplanet offer us some respite from the full on Korg-o-rama with a wonderfully melodic ‘The Half Life‘. Starting out as a bluesy a capella round, it gently breaks down into a fuzzy, mashed up electro buzz (see, there had to be some ‘electro’ in there somewhere!). Also showcasing some very pretty singing skills are Alice Musics. Their track, ‘In My High Heart There’s A Fox Dying’, is a pure vocal piece that goes gently around and around until you feel calmly hypnotised.

More acoustic goodness comes from Jam On Bread who is a master of low-key, wryly funny, sweet songs. In ‘I Heart Labrador Records’, lone band member Steve strums his ukulele along to mournful pinings that he was signed to the afformentioned Swedish label. It’s quite good of Brainlove records to allow this blatant cry for a record deal onto this compilation, considering, but I’m sure they saw the funny side.

Speaking of funny sides, something that all Brainlove bands seem to share is a good sense of humor. Applicants’ jangly number entitled ‘History Has Been Kind To Spike Milligan’ is testement to this, as is Napoleon IIIrd’s ‘Zebra’, which includes the line “I’m not surprised that you’re the last zebra, those white stripes never suited you, they look better when they’re on my wall.” Both the Applicants and Napoleon IIIrd are sparkly, rocky, indie types, a sound that is also well represented on this compilation (with Bearsuit and Aela being welcome inclusions).

Some other tracks to listen out for on ‘Two Thousand And Ace’ are Modernaire making science sexy with their Leslie Hall-esque track ‘Science’ and The Oracle’s consuming ‘Sunny Graveyard’, a personal favourite, with its cut up voices acting as beats becoming sort of reminiscent of the Chemical Brothers ‘Dream On’.

Keyboard Choir interestingly see ‘Two Thousand And Ace’ as a chance to offer up a weird, yet wonderful, electronic rap sampled piece with ‘In This Situation, Thinking Won’t Help’. It’s a bit different to the spacey, warpy calm feeling tracks they usually give us, but sits really well alongside all the other tracks.

Brainlove’s new compilation is a tumble through many different styles, each as weird as each other. Whilst Brainlove as a record label may represent bands from various genres, this album will delight those who are especially into electronic madness and humorous indie. You will definately get on well with the Brainlove sound if you don’t take anything too seriously (in fact, perhaps a pinch of salt would make a good free gift with this album?) With a limited number of ‘Two Thousand And Ace’ available, those who are in need of a happy helmet should hurry along to the Brainlove site and snap up a copy. Whatever the weather outside, this album is sure to bring the sunshine indoors.


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Amelia’s Magazine | Julian Casablancas – Phrazes For The Young – An Album Review

julian casablancas

Julian Casablancas needs no introduction, yet journalistic values insist I give him one. This kind of contradiction is an apt paradigm for this album and review. In Phrazes For The Young, the front man from The Strokes has produced a body of work that I would hate (if I were not a Strokes fan), but I don’t (because I am). I can’t shake the teenage self that was instantly infatuated by the vacuously cool Manhattan socialites upon the release of Is This It. So much so that I refused to dislike the two subsequent albums, even though they were clearly inferior. They lacked the impact of the debut, but they had a debonair personality of their own. I relay this as a warning of the rose-tinted glasses that I approach listening this album wearing.

The Strokes’ legacy is a funny one. Having set the style agenda for TopMan for the last ten years, their other achievement can only be having been beaten to death by their own hype stick. The Strokes will always be the band that didn’t realise the potential that the critics attached to them. We hear a possible an introspection of which in the opening lyrics, “Somewhere along the way my hopeness turned to sadness.” I say, so what if Casablancas’ offering plays as a sub-par tribute to The Strokes, that is his schtick. Indeed, a schtick that has so far earned him and his band members a ton of money and adoration. Predictably, Phrazes For The Young doesn’t stray too far from the schtick, but does coat it with a veneer of synthpop. It certainly does feel like the continuation of a dialogue that was started in a Lower East Side coffee with his band members. The trademark nonchalant Casablancas vocals are present, as are The Strokes’ interpretation of 70s CBGB guitar riffs but so are drum pads, and cheesy keyboard sequences that ebbed their way into First Impressions. It seems that what Casablancas does do without the presence of his bandmates is produce longer songs. Most songs here hover around the 5-minute mark, which is a full two minutes longer than anything in The Strokes repertoire. If Strokes branded releases now only please their avid fans like me, an extra two minutes to each song is greatly appreciated.

This album will certainly divide parties, he certainly won’t be winning over any music listeners that refused to digest previous Strokes offerings, but for the completists out there, the continued dialogue of Mr Julian Casablancas is welcome.

In the new fangled world of the web – providing you have the appropriate technology – Amelia’s Magazine are in the position to offer you live streaming of Phrazes For Young below. How modern we are.

Julian Casablancas is venturing to these shores in December to tour the album. Get your fingers ready to jump on the announcement of these tickets going on sale some time in the near future. The dates are:

11th Dec – Manchester – Ritz
12th Dec – Glasgow – ABC
14th Dec – Dublin – Academy
16th Dec – London – Forum

Categories ,album, ,Indie, ,julian casablancas, ,synths, ,the strokes

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Amelia’s Magazine | Au Revoir Simone

Emerging from the deep woods into Portland, web see Oregon and subsequently into The Pigeon Hole in London, cialis 40mg is one Alela Diane. Armed with her simple yet meticulously picked guitar and bluesy, plaintive vocals, she quietly charmed the audience with her soft presence.

Alela Diane’s deceptively sweet melodies often belie the darker, more shadowy subject matters of her songs; telling of rural family existences and the cycles of nature and life. If you’re a cynic you’ll be skeptical of her authenticity; her earnest performance may be too sweet for some, but if you suspend disbelief you find that her somewhat selfconscious presence and performance convey exactly what she sings about: hard working pioneers, silt, water and tatted lace.

A contented kind of yearning accompanies her campfire-style, gospel tinged vocals. An encore presented a new song that showed a more complex development of her music. It looks like this young nouveau-folk-singer/songwriter will be conquering the miles of prarie-land ahead in what could be a long career in the biz.


Everyone seems to have a bit of a crush on all-girl keyboard trio Au Revoir Simone , cialis 40mg consisting of hot girls that epitomise geek and their self-proclaimed ‘sandbox chic’.
Au Revoir Simone is like a perfectly whipped pavlova: light, viagra buy fluffy and crunchy, topped with cream and tangy fruit. As leggy and willowy as their music are Annie, Erika and Heather. With five keyboards, omni-chord, a drum machine and a glockenspiel amongst other miscellaneous electronic and otherwise paraphernalia, their synth-driven compositions are quite delectable.

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