Amelia’s Magazine | Kimberly Anne describes the making of the Bury It There video

Kimberly Anne Music by Tom Radclyffe
Kimberly Anne Music by Tom Radclyffe.

She went to the Brit School and she’s got a honeyed voice with a gorgeous edge but Kimberly Anne is cut from a different mould. Having worked with a series of high profile collaborators she took time away from music in order to learn what she really wanted to say and how she could create it herself: the results were worth it and then some. From the spare room of her father’s house she has crafted, from start to finish, a beautiful song which describes efforts to shake off the melancholy state that can be so hard to escape after the end of a romance. In the stunningly simple video Kimberly Anne needs no glitz or glamour to showcase her charms… instead she appears in every frame covered head to toe in what seems to be ash, physically shaking the past from her body. Doing everything her way has resulted in ‘juggling a few too many balls’ so it took Kimberly awhile to describe the making of this video… read on, listen and enjoy. Hers is a talent worth waiting for.

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When considering whether to create a video for ‘Bury It There’ I went through a number of ideas but eventually decided not to go ahead unless I had a strong creative concept. My heart sinks sometimes when I see videos by independent artists like me who kill themselves attempting to make videos look 100 x times more expensive than it needs to be. I don’t thinks lots of cash equals a good video and some of my favorite videos from artists just execute a simple but effective idea on a small budget. Also I’m pretty skint after making my ‘Bury It There’ EP so needed something cheap!

Kimberly Anne by Samantha Eynon
Kimberly Anne by Samantha Eynon.

Almost two years ago I took sometime out from music, I really wasn’t happy with what I was creating and the pressure I had put on myself to write music to please a lot of people around me and not myself. I promised myself I wouldn’t pick up my guitar again until I knew exactly what I wanted to say and how. Luckily things started to click back in place around a year ago when I started to demo a few ideas, the first one being ‘Bury It There’. Reconnecting with music and creating material that came quite naturally was really liberating. Being someone you’re not is exhausting and that’s why I think my relationship with music really broke down before. Before embarking on recording the new tracks I planned a photo shoot with a good friend and documentary photographer Charlotte Emily Groves, I knew I’d need an image online to promote the material. Having been away from creating work for so long I sort of felt like I was coming out of storage and emerging from the rubble wiping the dust off of myself. As an artist not very comfortable with getting too tied up with my physical appearance, I wanted to avoid using my energy and limited financial resources on getting someone in for hair and make up! So my answer was to buy two bottles of talcum power and cover myself from head to toe.

Kimberly Anne
The striking ghost like appearance seemed to capture people’s attention and imagination, which I liked. I wanted to experiment with how the talcum power would look on film so approached videographer Ryan Say of Dead By Cinema. I’d recently admired his work with duo Death Rattle and I asked if he’d be up for joining me in my mum’s shed for a day and filming me looking like Casper. He agreed (great guy). When I considered the powder within the context of the song, I realised it also represented the melancholy state that it’s hard to escape after a break up or bring turned down romantically. The more you try to shake it off, the more it seems to surround you. 

If only all music was made with such integrity. The ‘Bury It There’ EP is out now, available from itunes.

Kimberly Anne
Video Credits:
Videographer: Ryan Say 

Editor: Ryan Say

Makeup/Hair: Talcum powder

Categories ,Brit School, ,Bury It There, ,Casper, ,Charlotte Emily Groves, ,Dead By Cinema, ,Death Rattle, ,Kimberly Anne, ,Ryan Say, ,Samantha Eynon, ,Tom Radclyffe

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Amelia’s Magazine | Festival Preview: Kendal Calling

For a festival that is just five years old, illness Kendal Calling has already amassed a kudos rating that belies its youth; (Annie Nightingale remarked simply, “It’s how festivals should be”). Savvy enough to realise that it is all about keeping the punter happy; the organisers of Kendal have gone above and beyond the call of duty to provide an enjoyable and hassle free weekend for all attending 2010′s festivities. In a few aspects, they got lucky. Take the setting for example; situated in Lowther Deer Park inside the Lake District in Cumbria, Kendal gets to take advantage of the stunningly breathtaking and unspoilt location; nestled between the dramatic landscape of craggy mountains, Lowther Deer Park makes up 1,000 acres of lush greenery. But with everything else, Kendal has worked hard on its own volition to provide a sound weekend.

The eclectic and diverse line-up will mix up bigger acts such as Doves, The Coral, Calvin Harris and The Futureheads with indie darlings Wild Beasts (whom several of our contributors have professed undying love to recently), OKGo and Erland & the Carnival, while the Calling Out Stage – dedicated to cherry picking the most exciting new music – and the Kaylied Stage (featuring a blend of local and folk music) has the kind of line-up that makes our mouths water. Like some kind of Tom Robinson/BBC Radio 6 airplay fantasy, the buzz around First Aid Kit, The Parlotones, Goldheart Assembly, Good Shoes, These New Puritans and Kirsty Almeida will mean that anyone catching their sets will be a good six months ahead of the curve (which you all are anyway; but extra brownie points can never go amiss)

There are now only a few hundred tickets left for Kendal Calling. Tickets can be found on their website, along with details on additional Thursday night entertainment and camping.

Categories ,BBC Radio 6, ,Calvin Harris, ,Countryside, ,doves, ,Erland & The Carnival, ,festival preview, ,festivals, ,folk, ,Goldheart Assembly, ,Good Shoes, ,Indie Pop, ,Kirsty Almeida, ,OK Go, ,The Coral, ,the futureheads, ,The Parlotones, ,These New Puritans, ,Wild Beasts

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Amelia’s Magazine | Stag and Dagger 2011 review: CocknBullKid, Our Mountain, Marques Toliver, James Yuill

Our Mountain Stag and Dagger 2011 Abbey Lee Kershaw
Abbey Lee Kershaw of Our Mountain, medical playing at the Stag and Dagger 2011.

I started my Stag and Dagger journey at Camp on City Road, ampoule a grotty basement venue with minimal light and sound. I was there to see the CocknBullKid, who is set to release her second album Adulthood on Monday, and with whom I have just done an interview that you’ll be able to read next week. She has a name that is very at odds with her cute and slightly old fashioned demeanour, all flirty stage mannerisms.

CocknBullKid Stag and Dagger 2011

We interviewed her many years ago for a profile in the print version of Amelia’s Magazine and she’s grown in confidence dramatically since I last saw her live, rattling through her highly danceable newest songs to the delight of the heavily female audience. But it was a real shame that the lighting was so bad, CocknBullKid‘s face hidden in deep shadow for the entire gig, with her legs instead enjoying the spotlight.

CocknBullKid Stag and Dagger 2011

Then it was on to see Our Mountain in Underbelly, where a thin blonde girl in long robes was clanging a chain dramatically against a drum as lead singer Matthew Hutchinson yowled centre stage.

Our Mountain Stag and Dagger 2011 Abbey Lee KershawOur Mountain Stag and Dagger 2011 Abbey Lee Kershaw

The gothic girl may have looked like an elf from The Dark Crystal but I was soon to discover that she’s actually a famous model from Australia called Abbey Lee Kershaw, a catwalk star who has worked for the likes of Gucci and Chanel. Which would explain why lots of people wanted a photograph with her post gig. Her boyfriend Matthew is an ex model himself and wasn’t so bad on the eye either.

Our Mountain Stag and Dagger 2011 Matthew Hutchinson Our Mountain Stag and Dagger 2011 Matthew Hutchinson

The thrashing psychedelia of Our Mountain was delivered with great panache – definitely ones to watch.

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Current single: Wooden Hearts.

From there we attempted to see perhaps the most famous band of the festival, New Young Pony Club over at The Macbeth (another Amelia’s Magazine find back in the day) but were unable to get in, so then it was back to Underbelly for Marques Toliver, a former busker from Brooklyn who sings and plays the violin, using it to pluck out a simple back beat over which his gorgeous soulful voice carries the melody.

Marques Toliver Stag and Dagger 2011 Underbelly

It was a beguiling show and the packed audience listened in near silent rapture.

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I’m a bit partial to danceable indie electronica with a good melody so it was good to round off the evening with a bop to James Yuill back at Camp, where he performed amidst his bedroom ensemble of keyboards, drum machine and guitar. He thoroughly endeared himself to many of the male audience members by calling himself a bit of a dick. For my part I was utterly transfixed by the beautiful coloured visuals.

James Yuill Stag and Dagger 2011 CampJames Yuill Stag and Dagger 2011 CampJames Yuill Stag and Dagger 2011 CampJames Yuill Stag and Dagger 2011 Camp

This year Stag and Dagger was much more lo fi and all the better for it – gone were the hoards of pissed up city boys, replaced by true music lovers. It’s a great place to discover little known and up and coming talents – here’s to many more Stag and Daggers to come…

Categories ,Abbey Lee Kershaw, ,Adulthood, ,australia, ,camp, ,CocknBullKid, ,James Yuill, ,Marques Toliver, ,Matthew Hutchinson, ,model, ,new york, ,New Young Pony Club, ,Our Mountain, ,shoreditch, ,Stag and Dagger, ,The Dark Crystal, ,The Macbeth, ,Underbelly, ,Wooden Hearts

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Amelia’s Magazine | Sea of Bees: Songs for the Ravens – Album Review


In autumn nature is vibrant, story drug but also gently muffled, dosage there as it whispers within the trees and slowly looks away from the warmer month’s naivety and brash explosions. These later, brown, red and golden months are melancholic and self defining. The blurriness of the previous heated moments become filed in nostalgia and glorious knitwear is exposed. The perfect music to announce this new phase, both outside your window and inside your stirring consciousness, is sweet, sensitive and yet, triumphant. Determination backing you up like a personal yoga instructor. Sea of Bees is the music you long for. Trust in Californian, Julie Ann Bee, to drift over in her ship and sail you away to a reflective, inspirational paradise.

Sea of Bees is ethereal in her folk sound. Her pitch is high and her instruments hark out in a manner less like ho-down festivity, more like modest little eruptions. There is an element of Decoder Ring, Laura Marling and Joanna Newsom in Julie. This is mixed with a distinct Californian, hippie edge. Despite a voice of sweeties personified (flying saucers), she has more bite than a girly girl, achieving this impression through her guitars, drums and confidence in her flowing notes. She’s that girl you see dancing with her eyes closed, oblivious, absorbed in her own thoughts and allowing her feelings to be shown like the cider in her hand.

sea of bees julie
Julie Ann Bee.

She must do this because Sea of Bees lyrics are so full of raw emotion, it’s like listening to someone’s heart beating, particularly, It Won’t be Long and Skinnybone. She is wistful, glorious and powerful. Just crack on Marmalade right now, I implore you, (available as a free download right here) and embrace the birth of something marvellous.

The new album Songs for the Ravens is out now on Crossbill Records in the USA and Heavenly Recordings in Europe. Sea of Bees is currently touring in the USA. You can check out her myspace here.

Categories ,album review, ,california, ,Crossbill Records, ,Decoder Ring, ,Ethereal Folk, ,folk, ,Heavenly Recordings, ,joanna newsom, ,Julie Ann Bee, ,Laura Marling, ,Sea of Bees, ,Songs for the Ravens

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Amelia’s Magazine | Music Listings

Down in Chicago a collective of environmentally aware artists have collaborated with curator Elga Wimmer to make a body of work responding to climate change. Entitled Nature Interrupted, erectile ambulance the exhibition details a wide range of approaches and concerns. We love the work of French artist Soazic Guezennec who has focused on pollution, prescription healing by tackling the idea of metaphors for acid rain which destroys Africa’s natural environment. The installation works with a disintegrated umbrella which allows water to pass through, unhealthy purchase collecting in a pool at the ground.





Drawing inspiration from Giovanni Batttista Piranesi’s (1720- 1778) renditions of the collapse of Rome in depicting architecture being taken over by nature, Helen Brough works with a series of diagrams which lead to glass work. The enamel painted fired glass work with glass layers of flowing ink lines contained in acrylic boxes to simulate a peering window of the progression of time. Mixing ideas of the haunting potential realism of disaster films and unconscious dreams, iconic architecture is used which, with the progression of global warming, may eventually become ruins. Brough describes her outcomes as “imagined forecasts of moments.”



Other featured artists tackle issues with recyclable materials from Joan Backes with the incredible construction of cardboard and paper houses, to Jon Brumit with a 35 ft cob made from 436 recycled bags, 6000 staples and a fan. Brilliant news to anyone who’s near Chelsea Art Museum, if not have a surf of their site.


Cardboard and Paper house by Joan Backes


The Monsanto Diet by Jon Brumit

I’ve only ever been to Brighton once. Which is ridiculous actually, buy information pills as I’ve been told it’s lovely. I think I must have picked the wrong day to show my New Yorker mate the seaside, about it which consisted of a wide variety of capped gentlemen screaming at some sort of sporting event. It must have been a really big deal, doctor because they all seemed to be angling to get arrested. Oh yeah, and my friend fell asleep once on the beach and got so sunburnt her face blistered! So to sum up, really great reviews methinks.

But seriously, it’s obviously awesome. Google told me that Simon Cowell, Natasha Kaplinsky and Des Lynam come from there and clearly they’re all making the world a better place. And so is the cute Brighton-based website Red Hot Ruby, literally. The online boutique of adorable t-shirts and bags are all ethically produced in Europe, with absolutely no funny business. And with free postage and packing to all of the UK and a re-usable mailing bag to boot, Katharine Hamnett would be seriously proud.


And if that doesn’t get your organic knickers in a twist then you should really check out the products – from the new mini ice-cream design to the classic nautical anchor print on a variety of affordable t-shirts and tote bags for both the lads and the girlies. With a little bit of 1950s Americana thrown in for good measure, you can purchase a trashy novel clutch bag (my personal favourite thing – ever) and a Bettie page notebook. The website is also pretty darn helpful as well. There’s even a Ruby’s ‘Guide to Brighton’ section, clearly helpful in avoiding the hen parties and/or providing me with a more wholesome view of the place I’ll be visiting pronto, that is, after I check the sport listings…




Monday 18th August

Lord Auch – Durr at The End, this web London
Menomena and The Week That Was – 93 Feet East, London

Tuesday 19th August

The Death Set – ULU, London


Catch The Death Set on their apprently never ending tour. I really don’t know how they do it, i get tired just watching them.

The Cribs – King’s College Student Union, London
MGMT – Waterfront, Norwich
The Metros, Underground Heroes and The Pepys – The Macbeth, London
The Last Shadow Puppets – Guildhall, London

Wednesday 20th August

Future Of The Left and Fighting With Wire – Monto Water Rats, London
Dan Sartain and Gemma Ray – The Luminaire, London
Tokyo Police Club – Ruby Lounge, Manchester

Gig of the week

Pivot – Roundhouse, London


Pivot are almost definately the best live band i’ve seen this year. They are a band that have something truly unique and there album is a fine body of work.

We Are Scientists – Academy, Oxford
Yeasayer and The Week That Was – King’s College Student Union, London
Selfish Cunt, No Bra, Pre and An Experiment On A Bird In The Air Pump – 100 Club, London

Thursday 21st August

Broadcast 2000 and Kinzli – The Lock Tavern, London
Cut Off Your Hands – Pure Groove Records, London
Das Pop – Hoxton Square & Kitchen, London
Noah & The Whale – Duchess, York
Finn Peters, Micachu and The Shapes and The Invisible – Cargo, London
Operator Please – Bar Academy, London
Pharoahe Monch – Jazz Café, London
The Ghost Frequency, The Clik Clik and Rosalita – Madame JoJo’s, London

Friday 22nd August

Bombay Bicycle Club – Koko, London
Underground Railroad, The Bleeps, Nayfo and Daughters Of Hendrix – 93 Feet East, London
The Wave Pictures – Joshua Brooks, Manchester

Saturday 23rd August

Cut Off Your Hands, Green Man Says Go and Swanton Bombs – The Macbeth, London
Conor Oberst & The Mystic Valley Band – Carling Academy 2, Liverpool
Holy Fuck – Push @ Astoria, London
Madonna – Millenium Centre, Cardiff

Man Like Me, Micachu, Popof and Joe and Will Ask – Secret Location, Shoreditch London


For Man Like Me, Micachu and Joe and Will Ask, it may actually be worth going on a hunt around Shoreditch for this secret location.

Napolean IIIrd – Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes, London
Yacht – The Faversham, Leeds
So So Modern and Velofax – Proud Galleries, London

Sunday 24th August

LCD Soundsystem – The Medicine Bar, Birmingham


This is perhaps not a gig i would most enjoy on a Sunday evening. LCD Soundsystem are just too much of a party, and The Medicine Bar can become quite a raucous and heated venue. I’m sure it will be lots of fun though.

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Amelia’s Magazine | Music Listings: 9th – 15th November

jarvis cocker

Monday 9th November, web Jarvis Cocker, Village Underground

The former Pulp man is relocating the piece he performed recently in the French capital to Shoreditch. This three-day event sees members of the public BYI (bring your own instrument) to participate in on-the-spot improv accompanying various types of exercise classes. Cocker’s artist mates will also be joining this eccentric project at various points, culminating in a concert on Wednesday evening. For more info go to


Tuesday 10th November, Flaming Lips + Stardeath And White Dwarfs, The Troxy

Wayne Coyne and his nutjob crew tote their brand new album, ‘Embryonic’, which hears them return to their ’60s/’70s psych-rock influences. In a fine display of nepotism, Coyne’s nephew, Dennis fronts support band SAWD, who play not radically dissimilar space rock, with a country-rock tinge.


Wednesday 11th November, Gonzales + Akira The Don, The Pigalle Club

With recent achievements including a 27-hour performance and keyboard duel with Andrew WK, Parisian keyboard whizz Gonzales is something of an extreme pianist. This is the second installment in a four-week run of his ‘piano talk shows’. Each week Gonzales has a different guest and tonight it is the turn of Brummie laptop rapper Akira The Don and hula hooper, Marawa The Amazing. Quite a unique night of entertainment.


Thursday 12th November, Vladislav Delay + Food + Eyebrow, Union Chapel

Aka Sasu Ripatti, the Berlin-based Finnish composer of minimal electronica who’s worked with everyone from Massive Attack to Black Dice and Ryuichi Sakamoto is in the UK for a rare appearance. The show is co-headlined by British-Norwegian ambient jazz outfit, Food and trumpet/drums duo Eyebrow are in support.

david cronenburgs wife

Friday 13th November, David Cronenberg’s Wife + Gyratory System + Deathray Trebuchay + Jamie N Commons, The Windmill

Defy the myth of Friday the 13th with the lucky line-up of Tom Mayne’s Fall-inspired, antifolkers who headline, playing from recent second album, ‘Hypnagogues’. Support from Andrew Blick’s experimental electronica as Gyratory System, and Balkan gypsy brass from Deathray Trebuchay.

lucky dragons

Saturday 14th November, Lucky Dragons, ICA

The freaky, trance-inducing, electro-psychedelia from LA’s Lucky Dragons, is a beguilingly delicate take on Arthur Russell‘s and Four Tet‘s avant pop. Their last ICA visit saw them set-up stage in the middle of the audience as opposed to the actual stage, making for a ‘no fourth wall’ performance. This is the opening night of a nine-day festival of experimental music and sound throughout the ICA, with performances, workshops and discussions.


Sunday 15th November, Atlas Sound + Sian Alice Group, Cargo

Atlas Sound is the 4AD-signed solo project of the often controversial Deerhunter front man Bradford Cox, who plays a strange, haunting strand of psychedelic pop as heard on recent second album, ‘Logos’. Support comes from London quartet working their driving mix of psych rock, pastoral nu-folk and grooves.

Categories ,Atlas Sound, ,flaming lips, ,gonzales, ,Jarvis Cocker, ,listings, ,lucky dragons

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Amelia’s Magazine | The Pipettes – Interview

The Pipettes were a pretty big deal a few years ago, prostate bursting onto the indie club scene with their 50s and 60s-influenced polka-dot pop song album Meet The Pipettes and its hit singles like ‘Pull Shapes‘ and ‘Your Kisses Are Wasted On Me‘. That was half a decade ago, information pills though – since then, and they’ve had several members come and go, leaving the band in its current incarnation of sisters Gwenno and Ani [right and left, respectivaly, in the photo above], along with the boys who play the instruments and help write the music. After a long delay they’ve managed to get a second album ready for release, so I caught up with them earlier this week to see how they’ve been coping with all this commotion.

I thought that we’d start with just clarifying something that I’m not entirely sure about, which is the songwriting – who writes what?

Gwenno: It’s the same as it’s always been. How it works is that one person will write the song, and they’ll bring it in, usually in something like a finished form – it might need a few more chords, or a second verse – but they’ll bring it to the band, and we’ll all interpret it in our own way.
Ani: Everyone’s a songwriter in the band.

I’ve been listening to the new album. It’s an interesting change in direction because it’s not as doo-wop any more, is it? There are a couple of songs that still have that Phil Spector kind of sound, like the first album, but there’s a big change towards synths and electronics and stuff. Almost like moving forward through time a bit? That’s kind of what it sounded like to me. It’s called Earth vs The Pipettes which, in my mind, means space and sci-fi and lasers and things like that – futuristic things. Is that roughly what the thinking behind the album title was?

Gwenno: Well, we were going to call it In Colour, but then there was the whole sci-fi thing – there’s this b-movie called Earth vs The Flying Saucers, and there’s a poster for the film, with all these monsters coming down and people on the floor, and we were going to imitate it with the boys all on the floor and us coming down as the monsters. The album is slightly more grown-up and more serious to a certain extent, but there’s still that silliness and that sense of ridiculousness.

There’s a lot less playground-romance in the new songs.

Ani: [whistfully] I think we should be honest that our school days are well and truly gone…

Time to put the photos away in the album?

Ani: Heh, yeah. Although I never liked school much. We were 100% losers.
Gwenno: But now you’re a winner!
Ani: Yeah! Um. A winner all the way.

So there’s the sci-fi influence on the new album, but what else was coming into your heads when you were making it?

Gwenno: Well, everyone had different takes on it, really.
Ani: When I first came into the band…

Sorry, how long have you been in the band now?

Ani: Two years. When I first came into the band I thought, “yay, I’m in a 50s pop band,” and the first songs that I wrote were songs like that, but they’re not now, they’re more disco.
Gwenno: But also there was a natural evolution, if you’re wanting to be pseudo-academic about it, but at the same time it was a natural thing for us to move in that direction. And of course, being in a band together for so many years, you start to think…

Something different?

Gwenno: Well… Actually, I don’t know.
Ani: It’s not going to be the same, is it?
Gwenno: I know, but I do think that it’s a development anyway, in a way. Everyone can be themselves more.
Ani: Who are you?
Gwenno: [Laughs] I don’t know… Well, I really love a lot of British 80s bands, Bananarama and things like that.
Ani: Which you reference on the first album quite a lot.
Gwenno: Not sonically, though.


Gwenno: Yeah. And I like old Kylie songs and things like that, and I think that you can hear that more.

So are you saying that you weren’t as keen on the Phil Spector-influenced stuff from the first album?

Gwenno: No, it wasn’t that. There was a point to it, and it was a really good point. I remember seeing the band play in Cardiff and thinking it was absolute genius, and that I wanted to be in this band. None of us were massively into 60s pop music or anything like that, but it was about the history of pop music. Like, if this makes sense then we can make our own year zero here. It was a slightly more intelligent approach than just, “oh, I like playing, I like singing.”

And with your new songs you don’t feel tied down to a single aesthetic?

Gwenno: No. I think it feels… The longer you make music with someone, the more that you trust them, and the more you understand, and you can trust their input. It’s not as controlled.
Ani: And also, with this album, everyone in the band now is at the same point. You [gestures to Gwenno] came in later than the start, I came in even later, so everyone could start from the same point and everyone worked together as a unit, wrote it as a unit.
Gwenno: I guess the common thread is Martin [Rushent, producer], apart from the space theme, of course.

I was watching your video for the first single off the album, ‘Stop The Music’ – you’ve got your dance moves in that, and lots of costumes…

Gwenno: Yeah, and again, it’s quite an organic development, and I don’t think that that song is very ‘Bam! We’re Back!’ – people have been a bit slow to get behind it, and me too. I didn’t write this song and it took me quite a while to actually understand it, to really, really get into it. It’s such a grower.
Ani: It’s a much more confident approach. I don’t want to undermine ourselves, but it doesn’t sound as desperate, like, “hey, we’re in a band.”

So you’re more sure of yourself? The album does sound very cohesive despite the change in direction, I think.

Gwenno: Well, it was a move away from songs like ‘Pull Shapes’, which we ended up feeling quite defined by. Putting ‘Stop The Music’ out first is quite a deliberate thing from us, as in, “here’s a song, we really love it, and it stands on its own and doesn’t need gimmicks.” Which, again, is what this album is about. You have to take it as it is – you like the music, you like the music, if you don’t, you don’t. I think ‘Stop The Music’ confirms that statement, really. The video, too, I don’t think is at all a gimmick, I just think it’s shot very beautifully. It’s probably the proudest I’ve ever felt in making something, visually. I don’t feel like I’m being stupid, jumping around clapping my hands.

You don’t worry at all that the change of direction will alienate some of your fans?

Gwenno: Well, I think that was inevitable. I think, even had it been the same lineup, someone isn’t going to like the new direction anyway. It’s easy to think that we’re alienating fans with a change in direction.

But you’re picking up new ones, too?

Gwenno: I think so, too. To be honest with you, the only reason we’re still here is for the songs. We knew it was going to be difficult with the new lineup, but had we not had so much faith in the songs we just wouldn’t have done it.
Ani: Yeah, and I’m not going to lie – over the past two years it’s not been easy to keep going, at all. There’s been no reason except that we’re making this record.

A labour of love?

Gwenno: Well it is, but having done the first record and having had people respond to it by saying, “it’s a bit gimmicky, it’s a bit throwaway,” it just made us feel that we wanted to do quite a serious thing. Yes, we do dress up and do silly dances, but we feel very passionate about that!
Ani: And then there’s the whole thing that we’re doing it independently, by ourselves, not on a major label or with co-writers forced on us. We would never do that, even though it was an option.

You said that the first album was a bit gimmicky – but surely that’s the point of pop music? To criticise pop for being throwaway and fun is a bit like criticising water for being wet.

Ani: Yep. That’s a thing I find with pop, that it can still be great music, it’s not just throwaway. Someone’s writing it, it’s someone singing someone’s emotions. Just because it’s pop…
Gwenno: I do think it’s completely different, though, when you have artists drawn up in a marketing board meeting.

But that’s still someone’s words that they’re singing, someone’s emotions.

Gwenno: I suppose. I just have a real detachment from modern pop music at the moment.
Ani: I’m not talking about Rihanna – I love Rihanna! I love Girls Aloud! But I’m talking more about…

Straightforwardly manufactured acts who are designed deliberately to make sales?

Ani: Yeah…
Gwenno: [To Ani] I don’t get what you’re trying to say…
Ani: I’m trying to say that just because it’s pop music that doesn’t make it less good, or less credible, than indie or whatever. I think that because we clap hands and dance and wear silly things…

Lots of bands wear silly things, mind. You guys seen Of Montreal?

Gwenno: Hah, yes!

Just because pop music might be, as you say, manufactured, doesn’t make it any less worthy, does it? But you guys are clearly not that kind of mainstream pop music, you’ve got that weird twist to it still by bringing in elements of disco and soul and so on.

Gwenno: I do think that it’s important, with this album, that even though it’s four to the floor most of the time it has still be played and written by a real band. I was talking to [former member] Rose about it yesterday – I like that in songs like ‘Stop The Music’ it’s grounded in very good music. It’s not just an electro-dance-slash-hip-hop song, it’s clearly grounded in 60s soul and all of that stuff. We were having a discussion in studio the other day about having a backing track – obviously Martin has done a lot of stuff to make us not really sound like we’re real, which is brilliant, we love that, and you can never recreate that live unless you played along with a backing track, which we would never, ever do. I really dislike bands that play to backing tracks, on the whole, and I have yet to see a band I’ve enjoyed the feeling of who have played along to a backing track. I would rather have less instrumentation, and see what everyone is doing on stage, and have that being what I hear.
Ani: It loses a lot of its soul. The way it feels, when it’s played in a certain way…

Like having an old record where it always skips in a certain place, and when you hear it on the radio and it doesn’t have that little clip in it, it feels less real?

Gwenno: Yeah, and I think where we differ, as a pop band, to a producer in a studio just making up something for a hired songwriter, is that we don’t have to justify ourselves by saying, “we’re real.” I think that’s an interesting distinction.
Ani: You always feel like you have to validate why you do something. I feel like we’ve thought a lot about the point of us doing this now.
Gwenno: Yeah, because the point is different now. When we started we were sort dressing up and being all anti- those indie guitar bands that were around, but they’ve all gone now, so where do we stand in the grand scheme of things? [Laughs] You need to know who your enemies are, you know, who the bad man is, fighting against what system. It’s finding out what your context is, sort of doing that all over again, really – and I think the songs are wicked. I genuinely do. I think Martin’s done a really good job.

He’s been around for a while – almost old to enough to have worked on some of the original doo-wop records.

Ani: Yeah he has. There’s just some amazing stuff that he’s done. The thing that I love about Martin is how ridiculously enthusiastic about music he still is. He’s not at all cynical, which is just great, because you’d think that you’d lose enthusiasm by then. He’s kind of done more than anyone I’ve ever met.

So who’s he worked with?

Gwenno: Well, I think his biggest thing was Dare by The Human League. Buzzcocks, Stranglers, Shirley Bassey, Altered Image… I think he turned Madonna down.


Ani: A guy called and said, “I’ve got this girl, Madonna, do you want to make a record with her?” and he said he was too busy because he was doing another Human League album. Even if that’s not true, I think it’s great.

Rehearsals for your tour are going well?

Gwenno: Really good, actually. We’d done a gig as a duo in October at S?n Festival, Huw Stephens’ festival… it seemed a bit of a curse, the S?n Festival, because we couldn’t do it the year before because a girl left the band, but this year we decided we were definitely going to do it because my mum was there, my dad was there, my friends… And then we hadn’t rehearsed, and rehearsing as a duo has really changed the dynamic of the band which I hadn’t expected so much. There’s a lot more singing in unison – I feel so much more confident about it. Obviously, it’s good because we’re siblings, and if we’re singing out of tune we’re going to be harmonising out of tune, if that makes sense. I remember with Rose and Becky that it wasn’t always in tune, there wasn’t that natural instinct, and we were always counteracting each other, we weren’t really harmonising. This is good, I’m quite excited about this new thing, there’s more of a unified voice.
Ani: And also with the old songs we haven’t found that it massively affects them, and we were worried about the old songs mostly because of the freaky harmonies, but there really weren’t any three-piece harmonies anywhere. I do Rose and Becky’s parts, though – I rock ‘n roll AND I hip-hop, which is great.

Does this mean that you’re not looking to find a third member of the band, to get it back to how it was before?

Gwenno: No, not really. I think it was quite nice realising that we’re not the Sugababes, and you can’t just fill that gap. It feels like an evolution, because obviously having a third person who you don’t know can be really weird. They’re not Rose, they’re not Becky, and that’s just not how it is any more. Getting a randomer doesn’t really work…

Kind of like a session musician?

Gwenno: I think that’s what happened, by the third girl who came in. She ended up being really more of a session singer, really, because they couldn’t join in the writing because we’d already written the album, it was finished, they could only sing along with us. It was kind of a redundant thing, and there was no point in them joining the band if they couldn’t help to create anything. Much more of an urge to get the album out, because it’s been going for the last couple of years, and now it’s finally coming out…


Gwenno: Yeah, actually! I’m just so happy, that we’re not sitting on this album. It was recorded in the spare bits of studio time that Martin had, which is great, we appreciated that so much, but I remember we read a book which mentioned him, talking about when he made Dare. He said it took him more than a year to make it, and were already three months into recording so we were a bit worried because he was comparing our album to Dare – though obviously it’s probably not going to be anywhere near as big! – and in the end it took him, I think, one more day to finish than for Dare.
Ani: It’s just so good to have the album out really. I’m not nervous at all. You don’t know what’s going to happen, but we have tried our best.

(All images courtesy of the band, taken from the shoot for their latest album)

Categories ,50s, ,60s, ,70s, ,Ani, ,Bananarama, ,Becky, ,Dare, ,disco, ,Doo-Wop, ,Earth vs The Pipettes, ,Gwenno, ,Human League, ,ian steadman, ,interview, ,Kylie Minogue, ,Madonna, ,Martin Rushent, ,Meet The Pipettes, ,pop, ,Pull Shapes, ,Rose, ,Shirley Bassey, ,soul, ,Stop The Music, ,The Human League, ,The Pipettes, ,video, ,Your Kisses Are Wasted On Me

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Amelia’s Magazine | Sweet Like Peaches

Here at the Amelia’s Magazine HQ we are experiencing a surge of competitive spirit (making up for those miserable schoolday afternoons stood around in rugby shorts in the rain – now that’s certainly not fashion) and featuring our second competition of the week. This time it’s provided by Oxfam, recipe remedy tying in with their new store Oxfam DIY on Camden High Street , which opened its doors on June 6th and is being touted as a bespoke fashion destination, where the shop asks its customers to let loose their inner creative.
With the recent arrival of the new TRAID store, Camden is fast becoming a recyclarama heaven – just take a look at the pictures of this spangly new (yet old) space.


Oxfam DIY is also the organisation’s new online fashion resource and is pretty damn rad, with handy tips for the fashion beginner, with step by step guides to customising shoes and making your own jumpsuits, to name a few.


Now, to the serious stuff. For the competitition, entrants are invited to use materials from their own wardrobe or an Oxfam store and submit a photo of their customised item, modelled by themselves or a friend, to the competition page on Flickr. The winning designer will have a one-of-a-kind item created especially for them by super stylist Mrs Jones.



The top five shortlisted designs will also be featured on the Oxfam DIY website, and is more than anything a chance to get your work out there and noticed. Mrs Jones recently styled a photo shoot featuring Joe Public (gasp! Get back) modelling unique looks created entirely using garments from Oxfam’s recycling facility, Wastesaver.



She was also responsible for Kylie’s white catsuit from the video for ‘Can’t Get You Out of my Head’ and if that’s not an incentive to get your creations down there, I don’t know what is. Heavens! You could get a catsuit of your very own, taking singing in your bedroom with a hairbrush to an astronomical new level.

For inspiration and information on how to enter visit Entries close on July 15th. Come on boys and girls – let’s play ball.

Peaches n’ Cari goes together like Peaches n’ Cream.

Strolling through Brick Lane this previous Saturday, buy the baking sunshine tried to tempt me to cast aside my plans and do what most Londoners were doing; sprawling, pill lazing, cialis 40mg diving into lidos and lounging in parks. But I was not to be deterred. I had a date with Peaches and I intended to keep it.

Oh, and when I say ‘date’, let me clarify that she was being shared with around 50 excited fans, who clamoured for her attention as she held court in Amelia’s Magazine’s favourite East End jewellery shop, Tatty Devine. For those who need reminding of the teaches of Peaches, this avante garde, post feminist provocateur is back with a new album, “I Feel Cream” doing what she does best; pushing boundries and challenging tired gender stereotypes in her own inimitable manner. Much more than just a singer, she is both a performance artist and social commentator – and funny as hell with it. (Any doubters can refer to her 2006 album Impeach My Bush for proof)



As befits such a multifaceted talent, those who turned out to spend their afternoon with Peaches were a cross-generational bunch. Many were fans, some were friends, and Peaches was pleased to see them all. Hugging the girls, posing happily for photos, chatting away about topics that most female singers would shy away from (Case in point, a proud mother approached with her twelve year old daughter and announced “We love your body hair!” Explaining that she is encouraging her daughter to embrace all aspects of her body, Peaches cheered along and threw up her arms in solidarity. “Yay for body hair!” she exclaimed.) Surveying the rambunctious scene, I was curious to see how this had all come about. “I’m good friends with the girls at Tatty Devine” she explained, “And this is where my hairdresser, Charlie Le Mindu, who has created my most recent hairstyle, and designed the hair earrings that I am wearing now has his pop up salon.” (See the below photos for the hairstyle in action and please excuse the pose!)



Noting that many people around us seemed to know her personally, I asked if she knew London well. “Absolutely, I have lots of friends here, and I recorded part of my new album in London last year, so it’s nice to catch up with everyone.” Wanting to discover more about her new album “I Feel Cream” which has remained in the ‘most played tracks’ on my ipod for a couple of weeks, we discussed the sound and production of the songs. Revealing that she had collaborated with Simian Mobile Disco and Soulwax for part of the album, she explained why it was something of a new direction for her. “For this album, we didn’t use any guitars. I was curious to see how that would sound, and wanted to make it more dancefloor electronica; I am really pleased about how it has turned out.”

Turning to another aspect of the afternoon, which saw droves of customers handing over cash in exchange for a Peaches designed necklace (which yours truly just had to have), she revealed it’s inspiration. “A friend of mine had made me a belt in this exact lettering. She had designed the letters to look like Def Leppard‘s logo for their albums”.



After getting a couple of photos out of her, we chatted about upcoming festivals that she is playing, including Benicassim where I will be throwing myself around in the sun scorched mosh pit, so I made a definite date to watch her performance. Then it was time to leave her to her friends and fans, so I bid farewell to her. It was only fair – everyone wants to get the Teaches of Peaches, and I can see why.

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