Amelia’s Magazine | Music Listings: Sept 27th – Oct 4th


Monday 28th September: Loverman, visit Ox.Eagle.Lion.Man, more about A Grave With No Name and Sunderbands, sale Hoxton Bar & Grill, London

Hotly tipped grunge punk trio Loverman launch their EP release via Young and Lost Club at Hoxton Bar & Kitchen tonight amongst a star studded line-up. Former Mr. Peaches fronted OELM and shoegaze grungers AGWNN are in support and rumours are, that the most hyped band of 2009, The Big Pink will also make a live appearance.

Florence and the machine

Tuesday 29th September: Florence & The Machine, Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London

What else is there to say about this young lady who has single-handedly made gospel cool? She headlines a sell out tour hitting most towns this month and with her effortless style and performance prowess it will no doubt be worth a look.

melodica melody and me

Wednesday 30th September: Climate Swoop Benefit, The Purple Turtle, London

This fundraiser for the Climate Swoop dangles a bunch of great acts in our faces; my favouritely named act Melodica, Melody & Me, Melbourne catchy rock trio The Spiral and the ska-tinged five-piece Five Working Days with Bonoestente bringing up the indie corner.

laura gibson live

Thursday 1st October: Laura Gibson, Peasant and Steve Abel, Café Oto, London

Celebrate the arrival of a new month with Portland autumnal songstress, Gibson. We’re still stuck on Beasts Of Season after catching her instore earlier this month. Her album launch sees her headline a Dalston night with Pennsylvania-based singer Peasant and mesmerising NZ singer songwriter, Abel.


Friday 2nd October: Stricken City, Pure Groove, London

We’re extra excited about this instore as we’ll be chatting to the band beforehand. Stricken City’s catchy post-punk pop has made them a fixture on our shuffle.

hackney colliery band

Saturday 3rd October: Stop Deportations Network Benefit Night, Rampart Social Centre, London

Nine-piece (including two drummers) brass band Hackney Colliery Band, traditional African beats of Kasai Masai and reggae dub outfit, One Drop provide the musical element of this night supporting asylum seekers and migrants threatened with deportation.


Sunday 4th October: Joan As A Policewoman, Union Chapel, London

Joan Wasser’s beautiful songcraft has previously caught the romantic attentions of Jeff Buckley and professional eye of The Wainwright’s. You can catch her alt bluesy ways in this godly setting.

Categories ,cafe oto, ,Climate Swoop, ,Florence and The Machine, ,florenceandthemachine, ,folk, ,gig, ,grunge, ,hackney colliery band, ,hoxton bar and kitchen, ,Indie, ,Joan As A Police Woman, ,kasai masai, ,laura gibson, ,listings, ,london, ,loverman, ,melodica melody and me, ,, ,peasant, ,pop, ,punk, ,steve abel, ,Stricken City, ,the big pink, ,the purple turtle, ,union chapel

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Swedish musician Lykke Li

Photography by Lee Goldup

Sweden is a small country but it has produced some big exports. Whether it’s infectious pop, this web affordable furniture or fashionable, well-priced clothes (take a stab at guessing the brands!), the Swedes know what it takes to satisfy their consumers. Now if we extend these categories to ‘hip young musicians’, you’ll find that they have their bases covered here too.

We first featured Lykke Li back in February 2008 when she was just an emerging artist, relatively fresh to the gig circuit. Since then, she has well and truly blossomed amongst the underground and commercial elite of the music scene, building up a set of credentials to leave most of her peers looking on with green-eyed envy.

She released her debut album ‘Youth Novels‘ to critical acclaim in 2008 and has since performed with The Roots and hip hop legend Q-Tip, collaborated with Kayne West and MIA, and currently features on a track called ‘Miss It So Much’ on Roysopp’s latest album. As if that weren’t enough, she also penned the track ‘Possibility’ for the second installment of lovey-dovey vampire Twilight saga ‘New Moon’, gaining herself a healthy teen following in the process.

On the award front, Lykke’s musical talent and fashion sense have not gone unnoticed; she has received nominations for “Best Video” and “Best Female Artist” at the Swedish Grammy Awards and was voted “Best Dressed Woman” at the Swedish Elle Magazine Awards in 2009. Is there an end to this list of fabulousness?? (And she’s only 24!)

Photography by Lee Goldup

Dressed in an oversized black tassled jacket, a short black mini-skirt, bulky black boots and lashings of thick black eye make-up (and with few words), on meeting Lykke, I couldn’t help but feel that she exuded the demeanor of a slightly irked teenager.

I caught up with the Swedish starlet briefly, prior to her set at the Volvo Subject 60 launch party in London last week, for a rather intriguing interview in a drafty stairwell to talk about her international background, performing in front of big crowds and desert island necessities…

So how are you feeling about your set tonight?
Yeah, I’m looking forward to it. I’m going to do some new songs tonight which I haven’t done before. The sets are also going to be more acoustic so it will be different and quite interesting.

You’ve had a very international upbringing – have you found that this has influenced your music?

I don’t know because I’ve never known any different. I don’t know how I would write music if I only lived in one place. I feel that my music comes more from within – not so much from the outside.

Photography by Lee Goldup

Who are your biggest musical influences to date?
There are just so many. I don’t really listen to a lot of new music. I get really inspired by weird chanting, like Voodoo music. I recently found these field recordings from the 1920s which I’ve been listening to a lot.

What bands currently excite you?
I really enjoy Beach House – the singer has a great voice and their songs are very well written. I am also listening to The Big Pink and a lot too who have an interesting sound. Of course, there’s always Leonard Cohen.

How have you found the transition of playing in big venues compared to small venues?
It’s been fine although I still enjoy playing small venues the most because there’s more of an intimacy you share with your audience.

How do you find playing in front of a UK audience in comparison to a Swedish audience?
It’s kind of crazy because I almost never play in Sweden; it’s so rare. I guess every audience is different but I find that in big cities, people tend to be slightly more reserved – there’s more of an effort that people make to be cool.

What has been your most memorable gig to date?
Last summer there was a festival on an island just outside Holland so we had to take the smallest boat to get there, but it was during severe storms and the water was really rough. Everyone on the boat thought that we were going to die. And then there was the coming back part when we were super drunk in the middle of the night. It was crazy but we had a great time.

Who would you most like to work with?
Leonard Cohen as always.

What’s the best piece of advice you can offer someone starting out?
It’s hard to maintain yourself in this industry. I think the main thing I would say is to be honest and always stay true to yourself. It’s clichéd but it’s true.

What are you most looking forward to this summer?
I’m looking forward to going for a swim in the lakes in Sweden when it’s finished. It’s going to be a long summer for me as I’ll going to be in the studio for most of it. It’s exciting but I can’t sleep anymore because I’m thinking so much – my brain is working all the time.

What three items would you bring with you if you on a desert island?
A hot man, a Swiss army knife and some erotic novels by Anaïs Nin.

Categories ,Anais Nin, ,Beach House, ,CSI, ,Elle, ,Grey’s Anatomy, ,Kanye West, ,Kat Phan, ,leonard cohen, ,Lykke Li, ,MIA, ,Q-Tip, ,Royksopp, ,the big pink, ,twilight, ,Volvo S60, ,Voodoo

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Amelia’s Magazine | Ones To Watch: Jonquil


Amelia’s Magazine likes folk music, visit this site drugs and Jonquil are deliciously, timeless folk music. Yet they are also indescribable and I like not to be able to pin point a band’s genre. It could be said, they are folk music because of the tradition of group harmonies, the rich depth of sound created through the carefully crafted relationship between instrument and voice. Furthermore, the entire band appears to be multi-instrumental

This autumn witnesses Oxford-based, Jonquil begin another of their massive European tours of whimsical venues beginning last night in the Macbeth pub, London. They return to Camden’s Proud Gallery on October 24th, miss your second chance to see this band at your peril because as any supporter will tell you there is nothing more enjoyable, inclusive or liable to start a smile on your face than a Jonquil performance.


Jonquil are six; Kit Monteith plays the drums providing the ever-rhythmic backbone to their songs, Jody Prewitt is on guitar, Hugo Manuel provides the voice for the majority of the songs with the rest of the band contributing to choruses and introductions, Ben Rimmer, Robin McDiarmid, Sam Scott and Hugo Manuel juggle instruments throughout the gig. Swapping from guitar to keyboard to double bass to flute and the accordion with only the occasional hiccup, which by the time this usually happens, the crowd are so enamored with the music that a misplaced flute is the least of anyone troubles.


This autumn sees the showcase of new songs composed for the eagerly awaited second album (Lions was released in 2007 and Whistle Low an EP in 2006). The new songs see an increased presence of the entire band’s individual voices, whilst Hugo’s remain centre stage. The added depth of sound provided by the variety of voice increases its instrumental presence rather than functioning as ornamentation. The voices of Jonquil complete their harmonious sound, it is this attribute which makes a Jonquil gig so special, as a viewer you feel enveloped in their creativity and part of their imaginary world conjured by the lyrics of each song.


Moreover, rather fantastically Jonquil started a blog where you can find Kit musing on their recording and practice sessions as well as the lead up to their current tour. It is refreshing to be let into the everyday life of a band and how they essentially function in order to produce songs. The blog is really lovely to read and I look forward to it being updated throughout their up and coming tour.

You can find Jonquil on their myspace, which they have recently updated with new songs whilst retaining a known crowd favourite: Lions.

Categories ,folk, ,johnny flynn, ,jonquil, ,mumford and sons, ,noah and the whale

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Stylusboy

Stylusboy by Giles Mead
Stylusboy by Giles Mead.

Sometimes I get contacted by wonderful musicians out of the blue, find and so it was with Steve Jones of Coventry. An email, a link to a website: sometimes that is all it takes. His new EP Whole Picture is out now: meet the beautiful sounds of Stylusboy...


What kind of bands did you play in before your Stylusboy creation?
I played in a few bands before starting to perform as Stylusboy. I was in a punk pop band at school which did pretty well and got played on Radio 1. I was in a three piece rock band, kind of Muse/Foos-ish and then a 7 piece trip hop style band. All great fun and I am in touch with them all! 

Stylusboy by Faye West
Stylusboy by Faye West.

Why the name Stylusboy?
The name came about a number of years ago when I was trying to create an email address. With a name like Steve Jones I was going to end up with a load of numbers in my address if I used my name. I wanted something easy to remember and at the time I was sat in front of a well known printer and thought ‘stylus’ sounded cool. I stuck boy on the end and created my email. Then when I started writing solo acoustic stuff I thought it would be more distinctive and memorable to perform as Stylusboy

StylusBoy by Jessie Potter
Stylusboy by Jessie Potter.

How has being from Coventry informed the way you create music?
Coventry has a great musical history, with bands like The Specials and The Selecter coming from here, and also more recently The Enemy. Plus there is a wonderful music scene with brilliant bands like Wes Finch and the Dirty Band, Shackletons and Shockparade playing around town. There is also a big acoustic scene with a great choice of nights to play at. Some very talented people who play regularly include Emma McGann, Al Britten and Atlum Schema to name just a few. I often play gigs around Coventry and have been playing house shows recently. 

StylusBoy by Sam Parr
Stylusboy by Sam Parr.

Who plays with you on the EP? Is it pretty much a solo affair, in which case what instruments do you play?
Tim Bowes, who is a good friend, plays the drums and percussion. Chris Smith, who recorded the EP, plays the keys. Rachel sings the harmonies. I played all the guitars, bass, glockenspiel and banjo on one song.

Stylusboy camera photo
Beyond the Flags

How did you hook up with singer Rachel Grisedale? Does she have other projects she is working on?
I met Rachel through mutual friends and we played together at various church events. When I recorded my first EP Fingerprint I asked if she would sing on it. She kindly agreed and it went from there. We sometimes perform live together and collaborate on a few songs. Rachel does sometimes write her own songs but she rarely performs them! 
Left to Hide

What was the process of creating this EP?
The process was alot of hard work but also alot of fun. I recorded the songs in my friend Chris’ studio in his garage in the evenings over several months. We recorded all the drum tracks with my friend Tim and then played all the bass, guitar, glockenspiel and banjo parts before Rachel and I recorded the vocals. Dave’s song was recorded live in one take as I really wanted to capture the vibe of the song. Chris (who recorded the EP) played the keys parts. Chris and I spent a long time mixing the songs, listening to the mixes in our cars and different places before we were happy.

Stylusboy hipstamatic photo
Something Worth Keeping

In terms of the song writing every song was different really. Whole Picture was written quite a while ago. Beyond the Flags was a song I wrote with Rachel. We played the first version live a few times and weren’t happy with it so we cut it up and changed sections until it is the song you hear today. Something Worth Keeping is a simple song where I wrote the verse and Rachel and I wrote the chorus. Left to Hide is reworked from a song I used to sing in my louder rock band. Gunfight is a cover of a song by my friend Andy Mort and Dave’s Song was a song I wrote in one hour late one night. So all very different processes.

Gunfight at the OK Corral

What inspired the lyrics? How do you sit down and write them?
All sorts of different things have inspired the lyrics. Whole Picture is inspired by a day I went swimming with my little girl. She spent the whole time holding on to a football which eventually slipped out from under her and she got a little bit worried but then found out she would float. The lyrics talk about how I want to be able to guide her in her life but also let her find her own way and become her own person. Beyond the Flags is inspired by a story of an Australian open water swimmer who was part of a club where the leaders always told him to stay inside the flags. After a while he started to question why he needed to do this and eventually left the club and started swimming beyond the flags and when he did he found more freedom. So the lyrics talk about the idea of doing things differently and not always doing things the way they have always been done. 

Stylusboy photo
Dave’s Song

Left to Hide is a song about forgiveness and moving on from mistakes that have been made. Something Worth Keeping is inspired by having my house in chaos after my neighbour had a flood last Christmas. Gunfight at the OK Corral is a cover and the song is about keeping going in hard times and the fact that as humans we are all the same when we loose everything. Dave’s Song is about a friend of mine who past away. I wrote it when I had the message he only had hours to live. 

YouTube Preview Image

What was the idea behind the video for Whole Picture and who helped you make it?
My good friend Andy Mort (the man is very talented) made it with me. The idea of the video was that I am trying to find the answer to something. I start by looking in books and then find envelopes scattered around where I find pieces of something. It is the idea of finding pieces and then having to place them altogether to make the Whole Picture.

Stylusboy whole picture cover_image

You can download or order the limited edition hand made EP from the very comprehensive Stylusboy website for a pay what you want price. Each EP sports a hand made cover by Steve and with each bought copy you’ll get a second copy to pass on to a friend. Follow Stylusboy on Twitter and Like him on Facebook.

Categories ,Al Britten, ,Andy Mort, ,Atlum Schema, ,Beyond the Flags, ,Chris Smith, ,Coventry, ,Dave’s Song, ,Emma McGann, ,Facebook, ,Faye West, ,Fingerprint, ,Giles Mead, ,Gunfight, ,Jessie Potter, ,Left to Hide, ,Rachel Grisedale, ,Sam Parr, ,Shackletons, ,Shockparade, ,Something Worth Keeping, ,Steve Jones, ,Stylusboy, ,The Enemy, ,The Selecter, ,The Specials, ,Tim Bowes, ,twitter, ,Wes Finch and the Dirty Band, ,Whole Picture

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Amelia’s Magazine | Shhh: A Celebration Of Quiet Music, Art and Film – Review

Shhh music night 2012 -amelia gregory
Completely gratuitous shot of me in the snow, just cos I like the effects.

On Saturday night we took a delightful stroll through the snow to check out the last few acts at Shhh: A Celebration Of Quiet Music, Art and Film as recommended on my listings section. When we arrived it was clear that most people had been in full flow since mid afternoon, but since I can’t drink these days I can’t exactly get jealous.

Shhh music night 2012 -anna meredith
The main venue behind The Gallery Cafe is a remarkable find, somewhat reminiscent of a village hall. Here cans of Red Stripe littered the tables as a lady called Anna Meredith tackled an apple laptop on her own in front of a warm orange glow (and no, that’s not just hipstamatic effects.) What began as mellow electronic beats soon took on a darker sheen with a thudding bassline… which my baby decidedly did not like: funny how you can just tell.

Shhh music night 2012 -Folk Cancellation
Out in the tiny chapel a couple of blokes were having a quietly fought war of the speakers. Steve Dickie and Stuart Bannister’s Folk Cancellation ended with the unfurling of two opposing banners, folk and anti-folk. How very east London.

Shhh music night 2012 -Mirel Wagner
In the main cafe we sat down for a set by acoustic songstrel Mirel Wagner, who baffled us with her accent. I’ve since discovered that she is Ethiopian born Finnish – what a mix! Her deathly take on the blues was depressing, not helped by overly cliched lyrics that gave away her lack of skills with the English language, but she certainly has a beautiful voice. I agree with a recent Guardian review that herein lies the bones of something wonderful, if only she can escape her downbeat ghetto.

Shhh music night 2012 -Stranded Horse
Then came the highlight. Stranded Horse took awhile to set up his home made Koras, which are a type of African harp. Using deceptively simple repetitive techniques he proceeded to create the most marvellous hypnotic sounds, sadly cut short as he ran out of time. I recommend you go check him out! Unusual and very special.

Shhh music night 2012 - snow
Another gratuitous shot of snow on Weavers Fields. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Categories ,acoustic, ,Anna Meredith, ,Bethnal Green, ,electronica, ,Folk Cancellation, ,Gallery Cafe, ,Kora, ,Mirel Wagner, ,review, ,Shhh: A Celebration Of Quiet Music Art and Film, ,Snow, ,Steve Dickie, ,Stranded Horse, ,Stuart Bannister, ,The Line of Best Fit, ,The Local, ,Weavers Fields

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Amelia’s Magazine | Malachai – Ugly Side Of Love – Album Review

Do you remember Woodstock? It’s said that, page if you were there, you shouldn’t. Something like six million more people claim to have been there than actually were, if I remember rightly – I’m not sure. A number somewhere in that region, I imagine. Can’t be bothered to check exactly, and Malachai probably wouldn’t either, so I’m acquiescing to their style. Ugly Side Of Love is a rough-hewn 60s throwback that sounds like (what I imagine) what waking up at Woodstock on the final morning felt. I say waking up, I mean coming up with the dawn as Jefferson Airplane stumbled through their set at around 8am, Grace Slick’s voice distorted by many things more than just the distance and the tent canopy and a whole bunch of reverb. Malachai have managed to make an album that is, no word of a lie, entirely summed up in the album cover. Just look at that blue-smoke psychedelic vision (capturing the sound of blue smoke is a terrific achievement, it must be said), those terrible eyes, those colours. Just look at them. Wow.

Malachai are one of those extremely loud duos, a couple of guys who sound like a whole bunch of pissed-off bastards making deliberate noise. They’re from Bristol and have been championed by Geoff Barrow of Portishead, and that makes a lot of sense by the 1:30 mark on opener ‘Warriors’. I say this because they’ve reminded me just how limited, how narrow-minded, most of the current ‘alternative’ music I’ve been listening to is – I may wax lyrical on ‘breadth of influence’ or some similar critically pretentious descriptor, something that is essentially just a re-hashing of ‘they’ve got horns/strings/lots of members/synths’, but we’re talking about bands who pretty much listen to nothing outside of a narrow range of post-punk, 80s indie, 90s indie, and a few token world acts (or possibly just Paul Simon) for good measure.

Malachai – coming from a city that is arguably most famous these days for being something of a hippie outpost, a place spoken of with reverence by those who are really into their psychedelics yet find procuring them a frustrating experience – don’t exactly keep their cards close to their chest, revealing themselves as dedicated acolytes of this intoxicant culture. Ugly Side Of Love reminds me intensely of the (occasionally maligned) Magical Mystery Tour EP by The Beatles – a lot of people only listen to that soundtrack for I Am The Walrus and Strawberry Fields Forever and all those big hits, but there are a couple of instrumentals on there that are pretty, well, weird, even by the standards of the Beatles’ LSD phase. Lots of tape loops and odd psychedelic twinges, and that kind of attitude gets stretched here to something approaching the length of an LP. It’s even got the feel and texture of something you might expect served up by DJ Shadow, but it’s also undeniably a straight-up rock record – a strange combination, but one that clearly isn’t tried often enough if this is indicative of the potential in such experiments.

So we have the stoner-rock and garage-rock foundational stones, but adorned with the tricks and treats that can be found within Bristol’s various musical communities. Barrow’s influence, being producer and all, is evident, and certain tracks bear familial resemblances to Portishead’s trip-hop (‘Only For You’), but there’s also a fair bit of turntablism (‘Fading World’) and hip-hop sample play (‘Meeches Theme’). There are horns lifted straight out of the Arthur Lee playbook on ‘Lay Down Stay Down’, and dancehall drum patterns on ‘Only For You’. In fact, the only place where it’s nothing more than just a plain ol’ garage-rock record is on ‘Snowflake’, which could easily pass on any new Nuggets compilation.

Ugly Side Of Love is, as the name suggests, ugly. It’s all over the bloody place, but, by god, it’s wonderful for it. Every listen suggests new hooks, an extra level of depth that you’d never expect from music that’s usually something so simplistic. A lot of care has been paid here – this sloppiness, it’s intentional. Give it the attention it deserves.

Categories ,Arthur Lee, ,Beatles, ,bristol, ,DJ Shadow, ,Garage-Rock, ,George Barrow, ,Hip-hop, ,ian steadman, ,Love, ,Magical Mystery Tour, ,Malachai, ,Portishead, ,Psychadelia, ,Psychadelic, ,the beatles, ,Trip-Hop, ,Ugly Side Of Love

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Amelia’s Magazine | Review of album Dig Down Deep and interview with Vandaveer

Vandaveer by Gemma Sheldrake
Vandaveer by Gemma Sheldrake.

Dig Down Deep opens the latest album from Vandaveer of the same name. It’s a rousing ditty that traces the journey of a merry band of vagabonds as they traverse a snowy landscape. Well that’s what happens in the brilliant video at any rate, this site on which Mark Charles Heidinger is joined by the delightful harmonies of Rose Guerin. Vandaveer is steeped in old world folk and southern roots, web but there’s a driving beat that keeps this album moving forward no matter how keenly it looks to the past… pounding cello or sparse piano keys accompanying the duelling voices of Mark and Rose as they narrate stories of war and loss, love and life. I’d be hard pushed to pick out a favourite tune from this wonderful and emotionally rich album. Just buy it, okay? But first, here’s a Q&A with the man behind it all: Mark Charles Heidinger.

Vandaveer Dig Down Deep cover

Dig Down Deep is your third album. How has your sound and approach changed since your first album?
Vandaveer essentially started out as a fling with my first record, then turned into something more serious for me a short time later, so I suppose I’m a bit more conscious that it’s a career of some sort these days. I can’t really say precisely how that has affected my sound or approach to writing and recording, but I’d like to think that with age comes better filtering. I’d like to think I’ve become a bit more discerning, but I’d be foolish to declare such a thing to be wholly true, for that would be anything but discerning.

vandaveer by daria
Vandaveer by Daria Hlazatova.

What is the title single Dig Down Deep about? It’s a very cold looking video… was that painful to film?! I imagine there were a lot of cold fingers.
I suppose it’s about the great getting on with things. Life is incredibly beautiful and profound, but it’s also full of heavy sadness and tumult. It can be quite a struggle to remain buoyant and focused. But it’s important and more than a bit comforting to know that this is a common experience. As for the video, yes, it was very, very cold. 8 degrees Fahrenheit cold. Took two days to shoot in Long Island, NY this past January. I’ve never known such cold. But we did it, and that’s the point I think. It all made sense. A cold, painful sense of accomplishment.

Who are the rag taggle band of followers in Dig Down Deep?
True believers, esteemed colleagues and luminaries, each and every one, deserving of accolades galore for bearing with us that very long weekend. Musicians, painters, photographers, singers, comic artists, lovers, tenders, fixers, and great conquerors of cold. But most importantly, they are our friends.

Vandaveer by Fawn Carr
Vandaveer by Fawn Carr.

There is a very old world feel to your music and to your imagery – why do you think this is?
I can’t really say why that might be the case, but as the world is in fact a very old place I think it makes sense that music seems to reflect that. What we do as Vandaveer is contemporary by default, but themes and ideas can be quite old at their core, and I’ve always considered myself a thief and a pilferer, musically speaking. But I think that’s the way this game is played in general, really…

vandaveer by neonflower
Vandaveer by Neonflower.

How have your Kentucky roots come to the fore in recent times?
From a purely logistical viewpoint, Kentucky is all over and inside each Vandaveer record. My longtime producer/studio collaborator, Duane Lundy, has a wonderful studio in Lexington, KY, so we find ourselves working there quite a bit. In addition, we end up with a lot of our friends from Kentucky playing on the records… Amazing folks like Ben Sollee, Cheyenne Marie Mize, Justin Craig and Robby Cosenza (they of These United States infamy)… Kentucky is in my bones. From the songs to the studio to the folks who we make music with. Then there’s the bourbon…

Vandaveer by Katie Chappell
Vandaveer by Katie Chappell.

Have you ever had any really dodgy jobs to support your music career, and if so what was the one you hated the most, and loved?
I think every job is dodgy in some respect, playing music amongst the dodgiest, honestly. The fact that I call singing songs a career is quite dodgy. The best job I ever had happened to fall in my lap straight out of college. I was actually paid a handsome monthly sum to write music trivia questions for a dot com before the bubble burst. Doesn’t get dodgier than that.

Vandaveer by Vanessa Lovegrove
Vandaveer by Vanessa Lovegrove.

Why do you think you often don’t like your own songs once you’ve recorded them and is there any remedy for this?
Did I say that? Firstly, I can’t be trusted. Secondly, recordings are more like polaroid snapshots of songs, really. They shouldn’t be treated as definitive versions in my book. That being said, they do end up serving some sort of archival role, so you want them to sound satisfactory. I find recording to be an entirely arbitrary process. Who’s to say that a song should only have 8 tracks or 64 tracks on it? When is too much too much or too little too little? The fact that you have to call a song finished at some point in the process is what I find frustrating. I like to think of songs as living things. They change over time. But recordings stay the same.

Vandaveer by Rhiannon Ladd
Vandaveer by Rhiannon Ladd.

How did your relationship with singer Rose Guerin come about?
Rosie and I met during the heyday of a little folk collective we had in DC called The Federal Reserve. Was a ramshackle bunch to be sure, but it produced golden memories for me. Meeting Rose and casually stumbling into a musical relationship was one such moment. She is truly special. 

YouTube Preview ImageWoolgathering.

What are you most looking forward to next time you come to the UK?
I am most looking forward to the next time we tour the UK. Everything else will be dessert.

Vandaveer by Nicola Ellen
Vandaveer by Nicola Ellen.

Dig Down Deep by Vandaveer is out now.

The Nature of Our Kind

Categories ,Ben Sollee, ,Cheyenne Marie Mize, ,Daria Hlazatova, ,Dig Down Deep, ,Duane Lundy, ,Fawn Carr, ,folk, ,Gemma Sheldrake, ,Harmonies, ,Justin Craig, ,Katie Chappell, ,Kentucky, ,KY, ,Lexington, ,Long Island, ,Mark Charles Heidinger, ,neonflower, ,Nicola Ellen, ,ny, ,Rhiannon Ladd, ,Robby Cosenza, ,Rose Guerin, ,The Federal Reserve, ,The Nature of Our Kind, ,These United States, ,Vandaveer, ,Vanessa Lovegrove, ,Washington, ,Woolgathering

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Amelia’s Magazine | Truck Festival 2011: Saturday Review

Truck Fest by Cat O'Neil
Truck Fest by Cat O’Neil.

It’s been six long years since I last attended Truck Festival, look since when boutique festivals with eclectic musical line ups have become two a penny and taking the whole family to a festival has become the norm. Despite expansion into neighbouring fields Truck is still centred on a working family farm and retains the friendly charm that made it so special in the first place. Read Cari Steel’s great review of this year’s Truck Festival.

Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Truck Festival 2011. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Now into its 14th year Truck Festival is well known as a place to discover great new music before it becomes widely known. Thus it made sense that the new Clash Stage was hosted by Transgressive Records, Heavenly Recordings and Bella Union on different days – all of which are top quality independent record labels.

Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Truck Festival Review 2011
I was only at Truck for the Saturday, and so sadly I missed many people I would have loved to see. But in less than 24 hours I managed to pack in a wealth of talent. Here’s what I saw.

Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Richmond Fontaine were just taking to the main stage as we perched our tent on the hill side high above (offering a perfect view of the sunset). They offer a blend of scuzzy reverb and throaty heartfelt Americana that was perfectly suited to the relaxed afternoon crowd.

Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
The local Rotary Club members were hugely in evidence at Truck, doing everything from selling chocolate bars from a trestle table to running a fully automated burger making operation raising money for worthy causes.

Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Playing the Clash Stage; Trevor Moss and Hannah Lou signed to Heavenly earlier this year.

Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
This year Truck boasted a theatre tent, with plays by the Oxford Playhouse, a showing of Just Do It and more.

Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
There was also a chance to sample Truck’s very own beer: it was very good.

Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Sea of Bees played to a not entirely supportive audience, but she managed to win over the more beered up members of the crowd by the end. For despite her sometimes strange delivery who can fail to be moved by her incredible talent?

Monument Valley at Truck Festival by Hollie McManus
Monument Valley at Truck Festival by Hollie McManus.

Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Discovery of the festival was Monument Valley over on the Wood Stage, who battled a few technical difficulties to deliver a wonderful set of yearning, introspective tunes about heartbreak and loss. No surprise to find they are friends of Amelia’s Mag favourite Alessi’s Ark.

Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Over at the very popular Stage the trendy Oxford hordes were enjoying the dancey sounds of Trophy Wife, an Oxford based band. Judging by numbers this was THE place to hang out, with music curated by Blessing Force, a local community of musicians, artists and writers.

Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
I’ve never really understood the appeal of Young Knives (yep you’ve guessed it, another Oxford born band), but they played a solid set on the main stage.

Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Stalls at Truck are carefully chosen to support local and ethical retailers, and one of the most eye catching was a new business based on revamped and upcycled books. Bookish had a beautifully laid out stall that was a real magnet to festival goers. I urge you to check out the Bookish website too.

Edwyn Collins at Truck Fest by Cat O'Neil
Edwyn Collins at Truck Fest by Cat O’Neil.

Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory Edwyn Collins
Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory Edwyn Collins
Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory Edwyn Collins
I’m a little ashamed to admit that I wasn’t that aware of Edwyn Collins, though it turns out that of course I know some of his best known songs from his time with seminal 80s band, Orange Juice. On the Clash Stage he delivered a soulful and impassioned set that earned him copious love from the crowd, but it was obvious that something was wrong. Only later did we learn of the two debilitating strokes from which he has bounced back admirably, releasing a new album and continuing, despite his frailty, to deliver a series of masterful live performances which really lift the heart.

Gryff Rhys of Super Furry Animals by Melissa Kime
Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals by Melissa Kime.

Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory gruff rhys
Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory gruff rhys
Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals fame put together a typically sweet set, though I’d be hard pressed to pick out any single song for he’s an artist whose tunes seem to meld into one. My favourite moment? When he left stage wielding a banner stating THE TERROR OF COSMIC LONELINESS.

Truck Festival Review 2011 Benjamin Leftwhich Francis
We had to squeeze right into the back of the tent to hear hot tip Benjamin Francis Leftwich, whose soulful set was possibly not truly appreciated by the already drunken local teenagers. Read my review of his new album Last Smoke Before the Snowstorm.

Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory chad valley
Chad Valley‘s chillwave filled the tent with technicolour happy sounds. Read our interview with this Oxford based musician here.

Miss Cheesecake_Truck 2011 by Rebecca Strickson
Marianne Cheesecake by Rebecca Strickson.

Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory Marianne Cheesecake.
Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory Marianne Cheesecake.
Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory Marianne Cheesecake.
In the Cabaret tent we chanced upon some saucy Burlesque with Marianne Cheesecake.

Sarah Cracknell Truck 2011 by Rebecca Strickson
Sarah Cracknell at Truck 2011 by Rebecca Strickson.

Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory saint etienne
Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory saint etienne
We meandered back to the Clash Stage for a set by Saint Etienne. Despite the fact that I have never before seen them live they took me straight back to my university days, when I listened to seminal album Foxbase Alpha pretty much on repeat. The young lads next to me fell totally in love with Sarah Cracknell, who looks as amazing as ever and had great stage presence.

Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory ODC Drumline
Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory ODC Drumline
On a last tour of the site we discovered ODC Drumline: thrashing drums, men in masks and an MC who delivered a well timed tribute to Norway and Amy Winehouse (I found out about her death on Saturday afternoon).

Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory boxford
Truck Festival Review 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory boxford
Local teenagers were entranced by the heaving dub step at Boxford Dance Village, but for us, it was time for bed after a packed and entertaining day.

Categories ,2011, ,Alessi’s Ark, ,Bella Union, ,Benjamin Francis Leftwich, ,Blessing Force, ,Bookish, ,Boxford Dance Village, ,Boxford Village, ,Burlesque, ,Cabaret, ,Cat O’Neil, ,Clash Stage, ,Edwyn Colllins, ,Gruff Rhys, ,Heavenly Recordings, ,Hollie McManus, ,Just Do It, , stage, ,Marianne Cheesecake, ,Melissa Kime, ,Monument Valley, ,ODC Drumline, ,Orange Juice, ,Oxford, ,Oxford Playhouse, ,Rebecca Strickson, ,review, ,Richmond Fontaine, ,Rotary Club, ,Saint Etienne, ,Sarah Cracknell, ,Sea of Bees, ,Super Furry Animals, ,Transgressive Records, ,Trevor Moss and Hannah-Lou, ,Trophy Wife, ,Truck Festival, ,Upcycled, ,Wood Stage, ,Young Knives

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Amelia’s Magazine | First Aid Kit


You can’t help but smile at the sight of Jessy Pemberton, viagra treatment all rosy cheeks and red lipstick bold and bright, discount she is the picture of wholesome. The industrious girl with her fingers in many home-baked pies, bustled in to meet me for a quick juice in Fresh and Wild and talk ghosts, the weird and wonderous activities of the Pemberton clan, and illustration of course.

Since graduating from the Royal College of Art in knitwear design, Jessy has worked with the likes of Paul Smith and Jockey; exhibited alongside Tracy Emin and Mike Figgis; and worked with Cath Kidston on her book ‘Make!” – to name a few achievements. But it is when you come to look at her own illustrations that the world of Jessy Permberton springs to life, a fabric of its own woven together with home-made videos, a boundless imagination and a child-like sense of fun. I soon find that the simple question, so where do you get your inspiration from?, opens a window to this world, and all I am required to do is sit back, listen, and enjoy. By the time my carrot and ginger concoction gets to the lumpy bits, it is luckily only in my head that I say, ‘erm, adopt me?”


Take Harold the Ghost; pictured above with younger twins Chloe and Amelia. He comes to aid of children in times of need, asking only a small payment by way of some toast. One story involves a boy who gets bullied for having big ears. The boy calls on Harold, by post, who comes to the rescue with a heavy dose of bully medicine by giving them gigantic ears … But the initial genesis of Harold came from one of the many home-made movies (featured below) made by the Pemberton siblings, on one of their annual trips to the Welsh countryside. It’s also worth looking at their very own zombie film, apparently inspired from watching Braindead a million times over in early years.

The illustration of below is mother Pemberton, who does not drive and is accustomed to going to and from antique sales with her bike and trailer; a habitual collector to which Jessy has followed suite. The French Girl and Cakes comes from another story, Bella and the Sky, into which her family appear in various guises, and the last is a drawing of her dad in younger years, who apparently is the only member of the family that does not partake in their creative activities, thank you very much.




As the world of ghosts comes up against the straight-faced world of publishing we hope that Harold and friends will find thier way to tables and shelves soon. Jessy is also currently working on a top secret project with Rubbish Magazine. Keep your eyes peeled for her name during London Fashion Week.

Feel your modern cynicism just fall away as First Aid Kit‘s new EP begins. Drunken Trees summons folk songs of yesteryear and golden-tinged days-gone-by, hospital the ultimate antidote to credit crunchiness and war. The Swedish sisters have a knack of lulling you with their sweet sound until you wake, medicine revitalized by smart lyrics and a punchy chorus. Here they are at their harmonic best. The seven songs that unfold are the sort heard around bonfires with stars twinkling above, visit this site melody and words perfectly aligned.


The emphasis is on storytelling, playful one minute, subdued the next, ‘Little Moon’ gathers you around with ‘There’s a city at the top of the mountains…I used to go there as a child’ and the narrative rolls on from there. Each track melts into another and the enchanted tales keep coming. And with such song-writing, Joanna and Klara demonstrate a maturity beyond their teenage years. The balmy ‘Tangerine’ (lyrically reminiscent of Regina Spektor) is a gorgeous blanket of sound, recorded at home; ‘Jagadamba, You Might’ is notable as sing-along, dance-along folk.

It’s no wonder they’ve already earned a sparkling reputation in Scandinavia and are rapidly gaining a fan-base over here. Inevitable comparisons are with Joanna Newsom, and the girls cite influences as varied as Bright Eyes, Devendra Banhart and Vashti Bunyan. Listen carefully and their vocals actually owe more to Stina Nordemstam, albeit poppier and younger. There are low points: ‘Pervigilo’ is pretty, but on the dull side and overlong, the tunes are syrupy and won’t satisfy those with more savoury tastes. Many of the songs fade away rather than burn out. But these are matters of personal preference.

Drunken Trees
is bulging with extras, a bonus track, a much You-Tubed Fleet Foxes cover and a DVD of three songs recorded in a Swedish forest. Plenty to satisfy devotees, and an album and UK tour set for later in the year. If this taster is anything to go by, it’ll be full of pure, natural sound and mysteries you’ll just want to keep unravelling.

Categories ,Band, ,Drunken Trees, ,EP, ,Indie

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Amelia’s Magazine | Futureheads – This Is Not The World

Not as impressive as their first output, more about mind not as depressive as their comeback, ask their third album manages to have some really solid hits while they explore their own roots and bring the angular guitars back. Unfortunately, site the excessive number of fillers making the experience less pleasant than it should be. You can’t blame them for trying. Their new songs see them trying to sound like their old selves – back when they had enough dancefloor anthems to make Franz Ferdinand jealous, and a major behind after them. After being dropped by their label because of News And Tributes, the second album which lacked the material which made them interesting in the first place, they had no option but to go back and give us their best impression of The Jam playing punk versions of Beach Boys songs. In The Beginning of the Twist, Radio Heart and Broke Up the Time they show that they still have what it takes to create shiny pop-dance songs. So what am I forgetting to mention? Oh, yes, the bad songs on the album. The ones that sound like a pastiche of themselves; soulless use of guitar and drums (as well as their accent – which we all liked) making me wonder where the energetic, meaningful two minutes of punk madness went. It could’ve been their chance to make it via their self made label, but regrettably This is Not the World could only be a good if it was an EP.

Categories ,Music Album

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