Archive for the ‘Belushi’s’ Category

Wednesday 23rd July – Day off in Paris

Today we mainly enjoyed the sunshine and parks of Paris & did a little promotion for our up-coming shows in the city. Everyone we spoke to commented on how “super cool” the model in the picture looked and seemed to think it was me (which is very flattering indeed). I think we may have created a fan-club for our dolls in Paris, so hopefully that will translate into views for the videos / likes on Facebook etc. I have recently been reading a lot about the importance of ‘online presence’ and how it relates to radio play in the UK, which has led to me feel a little down on the whole social media aspect of being an unsigned musician, but it really does help to keep in touch with fans across the world, so maybe I can just use and abuse the system to suit Sacre Noir’s progress.

After coffee in the morning, we wandered up to Paris Plage by Canal Saint-Denis (via Pere Lachaise) & popped into Belushi’s to catch up with friends who work there.

Pere Lachaise

Pere Lachaise

It’s always great to see familiar faces in unfamiliar places (not that Paris is so unfamiliar these days) & we arranged to have a BBQ on Sunday afternoon for a proper catch up.

Alexis showed me how to play petanque in the afternoon and we spent a good hour by the canal doing this until we decided it was time for lunch.

Alexis - Petanque action shot

Alexis – Petanque action shot

A trip to the Parc des Buttes Chaumont is always on the cards when we’re in town, so after lunch that’s where we headed off to for a few hours before going back to Belushi’s for a drink with their marketing manager Ben (such a good guy).

Buttes Chaumont

Buttes Chaumont

Feeling very tired from all the walking and sunshine we headed back to the apartment (via a supermarket) and had a relaxing evening there. Not able to stay indoors for too long when in Paris, we decided to go out again and discover the area. Our apartment is near Nation, which is a very lively area with lots of bars and cafes which all seem to stay open til the wee small hours.

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Gig 14 – Sunday 1st September 2013 @ Henry’s Cellar Bar, Edinburgh
The end is neigh and the final show of this year’s summer tour looms large!
A last minute line-up change is called for after Lewis Gibson goes on a last minute holiday… to the rescue are a drum student, a local guitar legend and a couple of festival performers all brought together by the one and only Ewan Gibson. Naming themselves after a poetry meet The Soul Cypher featuring Mekkah & Twenty20 had a practice in the afternoon before the show and delivered a pretty convincing set (I’d love to have seen them if they were a full-time collective). Along with their sense of adventure the two American MCs also brought a touch of musical magic to the start of this event as everything was so relaxed and in the spirit of making good music and enjoying sharing the results.

The Soul Cypher live at Henry's Cellar Bar, Edinburgh

The Soul Cypher live at Henry’s Cellar Bar, Edinburgh


We get ourselves set-up on the familiar stage of Henry’s and launch into our forty-minute set of dark electronica. The sound is tight and loud and we are pleased to hear that we’ve ‘awakened the goth’ in one enthusiastic fan in particular. It’s a good crowd that includes some familiar faces who are here to support our last show of the tour and check out The Penny Black Remedy. We’re really pleased with the response and happy to have played 14 great gigs stretching back to the first night of the tour back in July.
Sacre Noir live at Henry's Cellar Bar, Edinburgh - Photo by Flare Photography

Sacre Noir live at Henry’s Cellar Bar, Edinburgh – Photo by Flare Photography


By the time The Penny Black Remedy took to the stage everyone in the venue was ready for their unique brand of musical mayhem, and once again the group didn’t disappoint. As with their show in Glasgow they mixed tracks from their debut LP with tracks from their latest release ‘Inhale… Exhale… Ok, Now You Can Panic!’ to great effect and had the crowd dancing and whooping for Keith’s guitar solos.
The Penny Black Remedy live at Henry's Cellar Bar, Edinburgh

The Penny Black Remedy live at Henry’s Cellar Bar, Edinburgh


Looking back it’s been an amazing month and a half of gigs and travelling, playing to the new audiences and hanging out in some great cities. Big thanks are due to all the venues and promoters who have helped along the way; The Banshee Labyrinth, Box, The Vibe Bar, The Arc, Power’s Bar, The Dublin Castle, Belushi’s Gare du Nord and Canal Paris, Le Vieux Leon, Soupanova, Little Stage, Pfefferbett Hostel, Pivo Pivo, Henry’s Cellar Bar, Craig McGee, Plugged In Switched On, Bearsuit Promotions, Ben & Lio @ Belushi’s, Selina @ Soupanova, Alex @ Little Stage, Charlotte @ Pfefferbett, It’s a XXXX Blog Thing and Claire @ Henry’s. Big thanks are also due to all the fine bands we played with along the way; Llennett, Hot Jupiter, Little Love and the Friendly Vibes, Tom Coyne, Sir Spence, The Joy, George Frakes, Andy Docherty and The Caped Crusaders, Dressmaker, The Ocean’s Above, Mickey 9s, The Soul Cypher featuring Mekkah and Twenty20 and The Penny Black Remedy.
You can check out a video below which features footage from the gigs, interviews during the tour and more – a great snapshot into the touring life with Sacre Noir.

Saturday 10th August 2013
Markets in the morning

Food & Flower Market, Charlottenburg

Food & Flower Market, Charlottenburg

Sunday 11th August 2013
Berlin bears; Maxi & Schnute

the controversial Berlin bears

the controversial Berlin bears

Monday 12th August 2013
Kreuzberg then the Tiergarten

graffiti / flyer in Kreuzberg

graffiti / flyer in Kreuzberg


Alexis by The Spree

Alexis by The Spree

Tuesday 13th August 2013
Heinrich-von-Kleist-Park, Schöneberg & KaDeWe

in the north of Schöneberg

in the north of Schöneberg


"desirable goods from around the world"

“desirable goods from around the world”

Wednesday 14th August 2013
Trip to Wannsee & Football at Belushi’s

We went to see Wannsee

We went to see Wannsee


a seat with a view

a seat with a view

Thursday 15th August 2013
Picnic in the Schlossgarten & recording a “Black & White Session” in Berlin

map reading skills

map reading skills


Carrie Noir pre-session

Carrie Noir pre-session


making the music...

making the music…

Friday 16th August 2013: Travel Day
Time to go home to Edinburgh via Glasgow

Almost home

Almost home

Next gig: Thursday 29th August, 2013 at Pivo Pivo, Glasgow

Final tour gig: Sunday 1st September, 2013 at Henry’s Cellar Bar, Edinburgh

Gig 9 – Sunday 4th August @ Belushi’s Canal, Paris (evening acoustic set) plus guerrilla gig at A-Mi-Ami

Had a nice lie in after a late night at Le Vieux Léon – got up and headed out to meet friends Dave, Lea, Ali and Carson for brunch at Marcel (in Montmartre). It’s become a bit of a tradition to have Sunday brunch while in Paris, and is a great excuse to have some good food and catch-up.

 Marcel in the 18th, Paris

Marcel in the 18th, Paris


Afterwards we wandered past Sacré Couer and headed down the hill for a refreshing tea / coffee in the sun. We then headed up from Gare du Nord to the Belushi’s in the 19th, which took us past the Paris Plages festival on the banks of the Canal.
Sunday night is Open Mic at Belushi’s Canal, hosted by the very talented Dimitri (bass / vocals) and Micha (guitar / vocals). After they had a played a few songs and a mandolin player from Australia had played we jumped up with Lio providing beat box once again and played a few covers and originals. We hung out afterwards listening to more talent at the Open Mic and chatting with Tom, Rasheed and Lio.
Open Mic @ Belushi's Canal, Paris

Open Mic @ Belushi’s Canal, Paris


To finish off the night our good friend Jacob had asked us to perform a few songs at his restaurant a-Mi-Am-i. We used his electric guitar and played covers and original tracks to the diners and some friends of Jacob’s who had stopped by for a drink. It was a nice laid-back atmosphere and we ended up sitting out and chatting till the wee hours with Jacob and his wife.
We also met a very cheeky little boy, who was very taken with Alexis and his guitar skills (F minor in particular seemed to go down well).
Show @ a-Mi-Am-i, Paris

Show @ a-Mi-Am-i, Paris


Headed back down to Belushi’s Gare du Nord to try and get some sleep before our “sleeper” train to Berlin the following night – once again a big thanks must go out to Ben for arranging our shows at both Belushi’s in Paris.

Gig 8 – Saturday 3rd August @ Le Vieux Léon, Paris (evening acoustic set)

A nice relaxing morning; had coffee in the 9th and lunch in one of the many curry houses near Gare Du Nord, before our extra show at Belushi’s GDN. We played a chilled electro set and also a few acoustic tracks in the afternoon as a little warm up for our gig this evening at Le Vieux Léon.
We headed along to set up and played from 9pm to a lovely crowd. Our friend and fellow musician Charley came along to see us with her bass player / boyfriend Brendan and as always it was great to see a familiar face in an unfamiliar place.

AlexisSs, Brendan, Charley, Carrie - outside Le Vieux Leon

AlexisSs, Brendan, Charley, Carrie – outside Le Vieux Leon

This was the show in Paris we’ve been most looking forward to and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Le Vieux Léon is a bistro / bar that has hosted some fantastic local acts in the past, so we were very pleased to be following in their footsteps. The bar itself is dark and cool (air-conditioned… well there are a couple of large fans), with a great cocktail list and super nice staff. Tunes on the stereo before we played included tracks by The Doors, Jane Birkin, Jimi Hendrix & Portishead, so it definitely had a “Parisian” vibe – exactly what we’ve been looking for in Paris. After our second set I went round with the mailing list and Charley (as my ‘dictionary’) and the response was excellent – lots of people were apologising for staying out-doors in the evening sunshine: “we were listening & enjoyed very much” they said. The crowd seemed really interested in our little tour and were please a band from Scotland would want to come and play at their local venues.
We hung out chatting and drinking till the wee hours and headed back along to Belushi’s GDN. It is a really nice walk during the day, but after dark it was a little less lovely and a lot more seedy.

Tomorrow is our last full day in Paris and we have decided to stick to the original billing and go back to Belushi’s Canal to play there.

Next gig: Sunday 4th August, 2013 from 9pm at Belushi’s Canal (19th)

Tuesday 30th July 2013 – Day off in London
Last full day in London and it’s pouring with rain in the morning. We had breakfast at Oscars on Pitshanger Lane. We had to pop into Ealing in the afternoon so I could speak to my bank (they are all as bad as each other, but mine’s the worst). We ate lunch at a nice little French-style bistro called ‘Cote’ to get us in the mood for Paris and I did a spot more shopping. In the evening we went out to see Luke Haines play at The Borderline (just off Tottenham Court Road). His support act, Blue Balloon (Robert) was superb. Just a guitar vocal set, which was really beautiful. He also used some kind of pedal to create a bass drum sound too, which was very effective.
When we get back we’ll definitely be paying a visit to his label’s site to purchase the LP. I loved every track he played but stand out tracks ‘Lead Balloon’ & ‘The Fractured Lullaby of Holly Jealous’ can both be found on his SoundCloud page: http://soundcloud.com/marketstall/sets/blue-balloon-hearts-are-pretty/

Blue Balloon at The Borderline

Blue Balloon at The Borderline

Luke was amazing (as expected)! His new LP ‘Rock and Roll Animals’ was released on Monday 29th of July, so these songs have not been in the public domain for very long at all, however his loyal fans had obviously been listening to it for the past 24 hours as there were a fair few in the audience who were singing along. Essentially (as I understand it anyway), the new LP is a rock-opera style concept album, re-imagining Gene Vincent, Jimmy Pursey and Nick Lowe (as a badger), all ‘rock and roll’ animals in the woods. The tracks had a familiar feel, with a lot of humour in the lyrics and I can’t wait to get home and listen to the record in full. Luke played all the instrumental parts on the night – not always at the same time, and also treated us to a passage from ‘Give The Anarchist A Cigarette’ by Mick Farran, who sadly passed away just a few days before (27th July), after collapsing while performing with the Deviants at the Borderline Club in London. Mick had written about his hero-worship and the physical decline of Gene Vincent and the passage Luke read was pretty sad and thought provoking. I’ve not read the book but will be sure to add it to my long list of ‘must read at some point’ books. There was a special guest appearance from Kendo Nagasaki, who brought liver sausage sandwiches to pass round, and for the encore Luke played ‘Baader Meinhof’ and ‘Lenny Valentino’ – a treat indeed.
We were back home by midnight fully inspired by the great music we’ve seen / heard tonight. Next stop Paris.

Luke Haines / Kendo Nagasaki

Luke Haines / Kendo Nagasaki

Wednesday 31st July 2013 – Travel Day
Got up and packed away all our stuff. We were sorry to say good-bye to London as this trip has been amazing. Great catching up with friends and family, great to discover great new bands and great to play shows to brand new audiences.
Paris bound: we got a lift into Ealing Common station from our ‘flatmate’ Martin, checked the large drum bag in at St Pancras, ate lunch at Ed’s Diner at Euston station and before we could say ‘une, deux, trois’ we were standing in the reception of the brand new and super shiny Belushi’s at Gare du Nord.

AlexisSs & Carrie on the Eurostar

AlexisSs & Carrie on the Eurostar


Now, those that know us, know our love for Belushi’s and St Christopher’s Inn’s, so this may seem a little sycophantic, but holy cow this is an amazing building. From the entrance, through reception and into the main bar (complete with a stage above it), I can safely say the newest hostel in their collection is going to be a winner…and that’s before we get to the staff – I love it! I knew I would but now we’re here I don’t know how we’ll be able to leave. We’ve got a lovely private room on the 2nd floor, complete with it’s own bathroom… what are the squatting laws are in France? To be honest the security guards, although lovely, are pretty huge so it’s probably best not to out-stay our welcome.
Belushi's GDN

Belushi’s GDN


We met up with Belushi’s friends Ali, Ben & Laetitia, were introduced to the bar manager Nick (who reminded us of the lovely Mark G from the old days of Edinburgh Belushi’s) played a couple of tunes at the ‘open mic’ and then it was time a little wander round the area (it’s close to midnight but still very, very warm) and then off to bed.
Je t’aime Paris!

Updated schedule for Paris:
2/8/13 = Belushi’s Paris (Canal)
3/8/13 = Belushi’s Paris GDN (afternoon show)
3/8/13 = LE VIEUX LÉON (from 9pm)
4/8/13 = Belushi’s Paris GDN (from 9pm)
4/8/13 = secret after hours show in the 19th (message for details)

Monday 29th July 2013
Gig 6 – The Dublin Castle, London

A pretty relaxing start to the day despite Alexis having to do more work. We had lunch at a little Mexican place on Bond Street (Ealing) and a wee wander round the shops before sorting out the gear for tonight’s show at The Dublin Castle.
“If I was an MP, the Dublin Castle would be registered as my second home.”
– 6Music DJ Steve Lamacq

This is the gig I’ve been most excited about (although it’ll need to go some to better Power’s Bar) as the venue has an amazing history of showcasing live music and loads of bands that we count as an influence have played there at some point including, The Tindersticks, Madness, Billy Bragg.
“The Dublin Castle is one of London’s most famous pubs and venue. Any aspiring band should, or has, passed through the doors in to the backroom to play.”
– someone on the internet

Alexis @ The Dublin Castle

Alexis @ The Dublin Castle


On the way to sound-check we picked up tickets to see Luke Haines @ The Borderline for tomorrow night (our last night in London before we head over to Paris). Got set up and found out that there are only 3 bands playing tonight & that we’d actually been booked as the headliners (boom). The other two bands on the bill were The Oceans Above (Nuneaton/Milton Keynes based melodic rock) & Dressmaker (London based noise makers) – we enjoyed both acts very much even though they were very different from each other and ourselves.
Dressmaker played first and delivered a full on brutal assault to the ears. Visually arresting and sonically ruthless this was quite a way to start the evening’s entertainment. It wasn’t till we were chatting after their set that we discovered this was their first ever gig, which I think impressed me even more… watch this space, if these guys don’t break everything in their way I’m sure we’ll all be hearing more about them soon.
Dressmaker @ The Dublin Castle

Dressmaker @ The Dublin Castle


Next up were The Oceans Above, a much more melodic band with lovely harmonies and a very catchy forthcoming single ‘I’m Gone’ which they recently recorded in London at Fortress Studios with the excellent Justin Hill (former front-man of SikTh) – it really is a superb track and I can’t wait to hear the production.
The Oceans Above @ The Dublin Castle

The Oceans Above @ The Dublin Castle


We had a lovely surprise guest at the show in the form of CAT member Phil Morphett. CAT is a collective we joined ages ago and have had some very satisfying collaborations so far – check out the Pixelpusher videos for the Savage Sound System.
http://www.youtube.com/savagesoundsystem
Phil is a producer and seemed to enjoy our set – I have a feeling that there may be a new remix or two on the way in the not so distant future.
CAT meeting in London

CAT meeting in London


So that’s us finished with London gigs for this tour – it really has been a blast & we’d like to say a huge “Thank-you” to everyone who has been there to support us on this leg – promoters, fellow artists, friends and family… next stop France.

Next gig: Thursday 1st August @ Belushi’s GDN, Paris
If you haven’t seen their new bar yet, check it out: http://www.belushis.com/bars/paris/gare-du-nord