Archive for the ‘Drinking with fans’ Category

19th August 2017 & 26th August 2017

Performing live at SIPS Pop Up Bar, Edinburgh as part of the Pressure Valve night.
These were gigs in the tent on Niddry Street so entry was free and the live music started at 7pm.
We played a mixture of acoustic guitar / vocal tracks (originals and a few choice covers) and also some tracks with loops and KP3+ samples and beats… this was a little different for the SIPS crowd but I think everyone enjoyed the show.
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We’ve loved being part of the Pressure Valve artists featured at this year’s event and look forward to bringing our new musical projects to their events in the near future.

NEXT UP:
2 Shows in October 2017 supporting Marilyn Carino

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Saturday 12th August 2017
Our last morning in Paris was spent at Culture Rapide drinking coffee and relaxing in the early morning sunshine before gathering our belonging and making our way to Gare du Nord to catch the 3:30pm Eurostar back to the UK.

IMG_2778As always Paris has been good to us; catching up with friends, meeting new like-minded souls, eating a vast amount of fantastic food and spending time in one of our favourite cities where the pace is gentle and the people are welcoming.

Arriving back in London is an assault on your senses. St Pancras is buzzing with the sound of kids running around and families waiting to board trains for a multitude of destinations.
We hoped on board a Thameslink train (direction Bedford) without checking that it stopped at all the stations on the line; of course it didn’t! We ended up getting off at the first available opportunity, which happened to be St Albans, turned ourselves around and took this gentle reminder that we were no longer in Paris, things weren’t so simple here and we must remember to check everything, twice.
Arriving at our hotel in Kensington about an hour later than planned was not such a big deal. We checked in, dropped off our cases and bags and headed straight out to see what the area was like.
Our hotel is just around the corner from the Olympia which had just closed its doors on a 3-day beer festival and you can believe it when I say everyone there seemed to have had a ‘merry’ old time; I’ve rarely seen such drunkenness in the streets of London. Everyone was in good spirits and as well as the beer, seemed to have indulged in odd head-wear (chickens, unicorns and frogs seemed to be the most popular and I bet the company that had the stall selling these were in good spirits too). Also at the end of the street we are staying on is the London publishing offices for Universal Music Group, home to some of the world’s leading writers and artists across a huge range of genres and sub-labels.
This time next summer they will have moved into a new building at Kings Cross / St Pancras: https://umusic.co.uk/umusic-blog/fourpancrassq

Feeling tired and not in the mood for a big night out, we stopped in at a local Pizza Express, had a quick bite to eat and made our way back to the hotel for the evening.

Sunday 13th August 2017
Everything in London seemed a little odd today.
We knew about the Sunday Trading By-Law that is in place in England, but hadn’t remembered it all being so strange. We popped into a large TESCO store near our hotel to pick up a few bits ‘n’ pieces. It was 10:45am and although the place was quiet (for a mega store) there were still a fair few customers filling their trolleys. We were about to make our way to the cash desk when “Bing-bong customer announcement: I’d like to remind customers that we are not able to process any transactions until after 11am on a Sunday. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. Bing-Bong”.
I found myself asking “why have you opened the doors then? What’s the point in letting people in if you can’t serve them?”  I wondered if it was so people could fill their trolleys and be ready to hit the tills as soon as 11am arrived?
Problem was easily solved as there was a little coffee place (they were allowed to serve us due to only having a few staff members) with free WiFi – soon we’d be able to process our purchases and start our day properly.

Later we walked along to Kensington High Street before making our way to meet our good friends Joe & Martin for lunch at The Windsor Castle. The bar was originally built in 1826 and is now a Grade II listed building. They have a lovely courtyard space with outside bars. We didn’t spend much time inside, but it seemed to be very traditional with lots of real ale pumps and dark wood. I imagine in the winter it’s a wonderful cosy place to spend your time, but on a lovely summer day we were best placed at one of the picnic style tables out back.
From there we wandered through Holland Park which was incredibly busy so we didn’t stay too long. We walking through Notting Hill Gate, Regents Park and finally hitting Baker Street. By this point in the afternoon it was time for another coffee before a spot of window shopping and the occasional rest in parks along the way before finding somewhere to have our evening meal. We ate at Cinnamon Spice – cheap and cheerful but full of wonderful flavour and spice (just as the name might suggest).

Sometimes it’s easy to look at London and see only the good bits; beautiful parks, historic streets, great venues and a multi-cultural community where everyone is welcome.
At other times it’s easy to see the city as a difficult place; dirty and filled with people rushing to and fro, no time for manners or stopping to admire everything on their doorsteps.
Today was somewhere in between. The grass isn’t always greener and perhaps after 3 weeks away from home (and our home comforts) I’m starting to miss Edinburgh and everything that makes our home city so great.

NEXT UP:
Sacre Noir @ SINK! The Blueberry Bar, Shoreditch for Plugged In Switched On

For our next two shows in Paris we were being hosted at events curated by poet a musician David Leo Sirois.
We met David last year when collaborating with Antonia Alexandra Klimenko as they are both involved with the Spoken Work Paris community. This year David has been a great connection and has been responsible for arranging these shows for us in two fantastic basement venues.

Tuesday 8th AUGUST Follow That Muse @ Le Cave Cafe
The first of our shows for David was hosted in the fantastic Cave Cafe in Montmatre, Paris.
Moments away from the iconic Sacre Coure, run by an American music fan and frequented by the artists and art-fans of today, this superbly cool bistro, bar and venue was exactly the kind of place we’d be hanging out in if we stayed in Paris.

We played two different sets during the evening; one filled with acoustic songs, readings and some spoken word, the other was our loops and beats electronica set. Everything was great apart from the electricity blowing a fuse half way through the final song in our electronica set (which we had chosen to play first due to the set up of the evening and other acts booked to play).
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This was a great night; filled with love and laughter, friendships old & new and a feeling that we may have finally found the ‘core of the Paris scene’.

Wednesday 9th AUGUST Open Secret @ Le Bistrot des Artistes
In the second of our two shows for David we found ourselves in the uber-trendy BDA (Le Bistrot des Artistes) alongside some of the cities best new and established jazz poets and blues singers, beat-poets and acoustic artists. The drinks were flowing upstairs with the house mojito getting a lot of love from the crowd.  Downstairs the vibe was reminiscent of the speakeasy joints you see in Hollywood movies (a cave filled with moody lighting and a few tables with bench style seating).
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This was an intense show – people cried and not just because we were swimming in an excess of spilt beer and mojitos, but because there was a closeness in the room that all who entered were dragged into. Each act and audience member focused intently on the performances; giving 100% attention to the content and absorbing the emotions.
At the end of the evening a bunch of us stood outside chatting about “the state of the world” and other topics that had been raised by the theme of the night (which we were honored to have been ‘Rebels & Loners’ inspired by our current single). We’ve met some great people on this trip to Paris, some of whom I’m sure we’ll never see again, but others I’m sure we will stay connected to for many years to come.

NEXT UP
10/08/2017: Radio Kaoss Caribou – Interview and live recording session

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Thursday 3rd August 2017: Featured artist at Paris Lit Up

Sacre Noir live at Paris Lit Up Open Mic / Culture Rapide

We had a wonderful time at PLU; playing at the historic home of French Slam poetry, Culture Rapide, drinking with friends and making new fans – this is what touring is all about.
Paris Lit Up is a non-profit community organisation that aims to intensify collaborative artistic practices through community events, performance and publication. Our principle objective is to stimulate creativity through the cultivation of common spaces such as local platforms connected through transnational networks for artists living in and passing through the City of Light.
With emphasis on transnational writers, artists and musicians, Paris Lit Up promotes the importance of artistic synergy through transparent, democratic, consensus-based decision making. Artistic autonomy, group collaboration and open sharing are the foundation of our operative ethos.
Through our ethical transparency and democratic modus operandi, Paris Lit Up strives to foster a horizontally-minded community inspired by the desire for social cooperation and cultural diversity. In recognizing the social origin and function of the arts, we hope to encourage broad participation and facilitate personal and collective growth through grassroots artistic activism.” – http://www.parislitup.com

Friday 4th August 2017: A day in the Marais
Saturday 5th August 2017: A meal with friends
One of the lovelist things about being away from home is catching up with friends that live in these wonderful cities we visit & when we don’t get to see each other often it’s lovely to make time, so that is just what we did.
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A wonderful day wandering through the city was followed by a lovely evening with friends and a home cooked meal; Que peux tu demander de plus?

Sunday 6th August 2017: To Play Or Not To Play
We started the day with news that our show tonight may have to be moved or cancelled (ah Paris you are a wonder) so headed out to meet friends at one of our favourite spots for brunch in the city, Cafe Martin, which sits beside Pere Lachaise and is always a little slice of peaceful Paris.
After a few hours of sunshine and catching up with friends we headed back to our appartment to discover that despite the promoters best efforts, everyone in Paris is on ‘vacances’ and we would be best to cancel the show and have a night off.
Great!
I sometimes wonder if I’ll ever get used to the laissez faire attitudes of the French. Everything is relaxed and that’s just what we need sometimes.
We had a lovely evening at the Plages with friends chatting about food and politics and the cute animals in our lives – Très Bien!
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COMING UP
8th AUGUST Follow That Muse @ Le Cave Cafe
9th AUGUST Open Secret @ Le Bistrot des Artistes

Saturday 29th July 2017: Gig 4: The Dublin Castle, London
with JD Kelleher | Head of Light Entertainment | The Lunar Effect

A new day in London dawns and we headed to Café du Coin on Earl’s Court Road for coffees and breakfast.
We journeyed over to Camden for lunch, stopping at the fantastic Mildred’s on Jamestown Road. Superb menu full of various cuisines, all veggie / vegan and with super quick service. We then headed over to Kentish Town to meet our good friends Bob and Lisa Duncan who were coming up from Hemel Hempstead specially to see the show tonight. We met with Bob and Lisa at The Abbey Tavern where we had played in 2016 – a great bar with lots of different rooms and areas outside.

Some things are meant to be…
Exactly 4 years ago we played at The Dublin Castle for the first time; tonight we return to support the fantastic JD Kelleher (who shares his birthday with Alexis)… this final tour is full of synchronicity!

“The Dublin Castle is a legendary pub and music venue located 2 minutes away from Camden Town tube station. It has been ran by the same family for over 28 years and features 4 live bands every night as well as a great selection of beers, ciders and wines.
But what is it that makes the Dublin Castle the long-standing centre of the indie rock universe?
Is it because it’s Madness’ birthplace? Because its stage has been graced by everyone from Blur, through Coldplay, Supergrass, The Killers, The Arctic Monkeys, Billy Bragg, etc? Is it because it was no surprise to see Amy Winehouse behind the bar serving costumers? Or Suggs? (who, mind you, tended to ignore costumers and serve himself)
Or is it because far from being just another Camden venue it has established itself as an indie rock institution?”

For us The Dublin Castle is an amazing ‘fair play’ venue with friendly locals, uber-cool staff and one of the best sound engineers in the city. We owe a huge ‘thank you’ to Tony at BugBear for supporting us and stepping in to help when one of our other London dates was cancelled due to the venue losing it’s licence (noise complaints from neighbours – boo).

Back in 2013 we played a great show at The Dublin Castle alongside the mighty dressmaker and The Oceans Above and on arrival we were pleased to see that little had changed in this classic venue. Bugbear promotions always put together a great line-up and so we were pleased to kick things off with our set mixing acoustic numbers with tracks featuring bass and beat loops from the KP3+. Once again it was great to have good friends in the audience to cheer us on and the rest of the viewing public enjoyed our sounds too.

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Second on the bill were The Lunar Effect who drew inspiration from the 70s sounds of Led Zeppelin and the 13th Floor Elevators – excellent vibes and kudos to their singer for wearing a leather jacket throughout on what is one of the hottest stages in London.

Next up were Head of Light Entertainment – a quirky group featuring male and female vocals plus guitar, keys, bass and electronic drums. They had come down from Teesside for this show and demonstrated their individual sound extremely well.

Headliners for the evening were JD Kelleher and band – an amazing frontman and vocalist, JD has put together a great band around him and has some great original numbers. His cover of Love Will Tear Us Apart was his first release, and went down a storm within the set.
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Homeward bound and loving life!
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COMING UP
3rd AUGUST Sacre Noir live at Paris Lit Up Open Mic / Culture Rapide
6th AUGUST Unite & Take Over @ Le Bistrot des Artistes
8th AUGUST Follow That Muse @ Le Cave Cafe
9th AUGUST Open Secret @ Le Bistrot des Artistes

Thursday 27th July 2017: Gig 3: New Cross Inn, London
with Red Tape Riot | Human In Bloom | Pillow Queens
The day started with coffees at The Bluebird Café in Chelsea.
“Bluebird Chelsea is a London landmark, a gleaming Art Deco icon right on the King’s Road. Made up of a chilled out Café & Courtyard on the ground floor and a more refined Restaurant & Bar on the first floor, it comes complete with its own Wine Cellar and Food Store too!”
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We decided to stay in the area for lunch and shopping as the rain was pretty heavy; the thought of facing the chaos that is the London Underground more than once in a day was not overly appealing and with so much on our doorstep it was easy to have a lazy day.

First show in London of 2017….

We arrived in New Cross in what seemed to be a biblical storm, sideways rain that battered down on the rooftops so hard you could almost feel it, and we popped into the Red Lion Coffee Co. for a little refreshment before making our way to the venue.

A couple of years ago we were booked for a fab show at The New Cross Inn so we were really looking forward to the night ahead.
First up on the bill was Irish ‘girl’ band Pillow Queens; full of youthful energy and 90’s indie vibes (think Lush or Elastica) despite the group clearly being far too young to remember those bands 1st time round.
“fast becoming Dublin’s most talked about up-and-coming pop-punk band.
Their catchy songs and upfront lyrics earned them a spot on the bill for Dublin’s top music venue Whelans’ Ones To Watch Festival earlier this year, playing one of the most crowded shows across the entire weekend.”

We were up next and seemed to just be starting when it was time to play our last song (half an hour just files when you’re having fun). The sound on stage was great and friends in the audience confirmed the quality of the set when we were done. It’s always so lovely to have friends come see us when we’re playing in London, and it was an extra nice surprise when our Edinburgh friends showed up without letting us know they were in town.
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The best thing about not headlining events, is that there is time for drinking and chatting after a performance and that is just what we did.
BIG THANKS to Ewan and Steven for the wonderful company and banter!

After our set, it was time for the only London-based band on the bill, Human in Bloom
“a brand new indie-alt-rock 4 piece from East London. Psych-alt-rock-indie-electronic-experimental-folk-pop at it’s very best.”
They brought the house down – super energy on stage & once they had finished someone came around with copies of their EP for free which I thought was a nice touch.

Headliners for the night were Red Tape Riot who are on tour all the way from South Africa.
“a 5 piece indie band who produce music with a cutting contrast between heartfelt melodies and strong party grooves. Influenced by the Post-Punk sounds of the 80’s, modern Indie Rock, Brit Pop, Drum n’ Bass and Electro dance scenes, the result is a highly danceable and catchy sound.”
I’d never heard of them before booking the show the bar was full of fans singing along to their tracks, so they must have a decent fan base in the city. Their sound is epic rock similar to The Killers (catchy choruses and sing-a-long lyrics that everyone was loving).

Friday 28th July 2017
Alexis’s Birthday
WiFi in our hotel is not great so we went out early to make use of the internet at The Bluebird café and had a lazy morning there (FaceTime with family sending ‘happy birthday’ wishes for Alexis and soaking up the ambience at the hipster spot that was at one time a car garage.

With a relaxing day planned we wandered along to Sloane Square and caught the tube to Kew. Neither Alexis nor I had been to Kew Gardens, but we both love spending time at the Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh so figured it would be a lovely way to spend the day; we weren’t wrong. From the treetop walk to the hot houses, Kew Gardens is full of amazing sights and sounds and it’s very easy to spend a whole day here without exhausting all the possibilities.
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Afterwards we had booked a meal at the famous Sagar restaurant in Hammersmith – a vegetarian South Indian specialist; Sagar’s menu features dosa (Indian pancakes), classic curries and some of the tastiest poori (deep-fried Indian bread) that we’d ever tried. With full stomachs we walked home along Hammersmith Road to our Earl’s Court hotel for the penultimate night of this stay in London.

COMING UP
29TH JULY BugBear Promotions presents JD Kelleher live at The Dublin Castle

 

Tuesday 25th July 2017
London part 1 (cont.)

As with our last stay in London, we have haulled up in Earls Court for our first stint in London this year. We loved the area last year and with so may great spots on the door step we knew this was the perfect area for us to come back to.
The hotel we’re in this year is a stones throw from The Troubadour (great venue we played in last year), Brompton Cemetery (final resting place of suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst) and one of my favourite sweet spots in the city Brownie Box (I can’t say enough good things about their red velvet blondie); so that was our first stop on Tuesday morning. We had coffee and soaked up the sugary sweet smells permiating the tiny cafe and made plans for the day.
We headed into Shoreditch for a wander round Spittalfields Market and spent ages chatting to the artists and vendours about their wears. One trader had amazing tile coasters; some inspired by lovingly restored Parisian sheet music cover pages and others in a PopArt style. Another told us all about his t-shirts; Warhol prints with secret messages / Hunter S. Thompson quotes inside Fear & Loathing screen shots – it was all beautiful and really not that expensive. We ate curry on Brick Lane cause that’s what we always do – it’s always wonderful and with so much choice we are happy to just see where the smells take us.
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After lunch we popped over to Camden for a spot of shopping and again spent a while talking to the stall holders and archway vendors about thier art. This is one of the many reasons we both adore this city; people are friendly, creative and genuinelly original in their outlook on life, the universe and everything.

A quite evening was spent catching up with emails and tour promotion before an episode of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods.
(The novel is a blend of Americana, fantasy, and various strands of ancient and modern mythology)

Wednesday 26th July 2017
Woke up to our new video’s premiere on GigSlutz going live alongside a  wonderful review of the track and video.

“Inspired by a desire to drive forward their visual work, ‘Rebels and Loners’ is delicate in all its elements. With lyrics stemming from stories of people affected by Alzheimers, and the inevitable pain, suffering and confusion that goes with such stories, ‘Rebels and Loners’ is handled with true grace. Visual metaphors accompanying the track’s heart-wrenching vocals, ‘Rebels and Loners’ is a track that sees Sacre Noir push themselves – and achieve incredible results.” – Melissa Svensen
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It was a rainly day so we went as far as Fulham (bumped into some Edinburgers & had a quick blether about how we must have brought the weather with us, music and  more), stumbled upon a wonderful coffee shop (Gianlucas Coffee Cult) and stoped their for some shelter and a spot of people watching to go alongside our wonderful rich coffees and superb sandwiches. War of the Planet of the Apes was showing at the nearby cinema, so we figured that would be a nuce way to spend a lazy day… we weren’t wrong. Film was great on the big screen; humanity and explosions with a Gollum-esque ape character bringing a little light humour when needed. I’m a sucker for a big budget Hollywood movie with tears and big landscapes. If you liked the other two movies in this series go see the third – it won’t disappoint.

In the evening we wandered along to our favouried vegan resaurant 222 on the North End Road…

COMING UP
27TH JULY NXI presents Red Tape Riot live at The New Cross Inn
29TH JULY BugBear Promotions presents JD Kelleher live at The Dublin Castle