Archive for the ‘Black Box Recorder’ Category

Sunday 5th August 2012
Gig 3 in Paris – Belushi’s Bar
After a failed trip to find the Viaduct des Arts, we headed to the Villette park and popped into the Cite de la Musique (there had been a Bob Dylan exhibition on recently, but it had finished a few days before). The park is yet another really large green space in the city, that’s also filled with very cool buildings (the 3D cinema is a mirrored globe) and random stuff including a submarine and a science centre, a fairground and a Zen Garden. It runs alongside the Saint Martin canal in the 19th arrondissement and creates a calm, yet still ‘full of life’ atmosphere in what is a very busy area.

Parc de La Villette - Paris

Parc de La Villette

In the afternoon we headed round to see Jacob at aMi-Ami (pizza place from the first night) to drop off some CDs and grab a coffee. The weather had turned pretty quickly from sunny to rainy, so we thought it’d be a nice gesture, plus the coffee there is good, so two birds with one stone and all that jazz.
We sat for a few hours that afternoon, drinking coffee and talking about music with Jacob. He brought out his guitar and a little amp so we could have a jam in the pizzeria with him & his friend and local MC. Alexis showed Jacob how to play the Elvis Presley hit “Suspicious Minds” and this seemed to go down very well & even got us some free coffee. It just shows that when you make the effort to speak to new people and take the time to be part of their world, you get to know great people & meet some new & talented artists along the way.

Jam Session @ aMi-Ami - Paris

Jam Session @ aMi-Ami

Before heading back to Belushi’s for tonight’s gig, we popped into La Rotonde by Stalingrad Metro to have a quick drink and drop off some CDs for the manager (he’s a really good guy and we might be playing there on Tuesday night, so thought it would be good if he could hear the new LP).
La Rotonde Stalingrad is a very impressive new venue, bar & restaurant set in a redeveloped rotunda in a beautiful and historic building.

So back to Belushi’s for the Open Mic / first electric Sacre Noir show in Paris this year…
First up Graham plays a mixture of modern classics and original material, then we chip in a couple of the covers that have been popular at the Plage shows. Then we had a couple of tunes from Romeo (usually found dealing with all the Spanish speakers at reception) – ‘Everlong’ by the Foo Fighters and the 90’s Britney Spears classic ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’. We we’re treated to a local singer-songwriters too, including Lancelot, Lucy & a guy who was left-handed so played the guitar upside-down al la Hendrix… all were very good but I think Romeo was my favourite of the night. He got everyone singing along and was having fun with his brave cover choices.

Belushi's Paris Open Mic host Graham McIntosh

Belushi’s Paris Open Mic host Graham McIntosh

Then we played our new LP from start to finish (with a quick break for the 100m final – which I got to commentate on / talk through) and everyone in the bar seemed to be really into the sound. We finished with our cover of “Time” which is always a winner, but the most popular tracks from that set seemed to be “Can’t Find My Truth (In Someone Like You)” & our song about Belushi’s in Paris “Rue Crimee”.

Sacre Noir live at Belushi's Paris - 5th August 2012 (photo by Graham McIntosh)

Sacre Noir live at Belushi’s Paris – 5th August 2012 (photo by Graham McIntosh)

Monday 6th August 2012
Gig 4 in Paris – DJ Set @ Belushi’s Bar
After breakfast we headed out determined to find the Viaduct des Arts & after a closer look on-line, we realised it would be best to start @ Bastille and this time we had more success!

Alexis at the Promenade Plantee / Viaduct des Arts

Alexis at the Promenade Plantee / Viaduct des Arts

It’s really nice to walk through part of the city above the crazy roads and busy streets – I think every city should install ‘sky-gardens’.

Carrie & a cat at the Promenade Plantee / Viaduct des Arts

Carrie & a cat at the Promenade Plantee / Viaduct des Arts

After lunch we headed to the Jardin du Luxembourg as it was a beautiful day – seems like loads of people had the same idea, as the gardens were very busy. There were collections from modern artists being shown in the Orangerie of the Palais du Luxembourg, which included sculptures made from cardboard & plastic packaging, beautiful stone statues and wall art from old slate amongst others.
We have a fairly quiet evening hanging out at Belushi’s before the DJ set in the main bar area (10pm – midnight), chatting & planning the set.

The set went down a treat with punters, travellers and staff alike – the drum ‘n’ bass classics were holding their own alongside the newer tunes like Little Dragon’s ‘Little Man’. Gathered a few tips along the way via requests – funny how people see a DJ and still feel the need to come & have a chat… it’s not like you’re busy eh! It feels like such an old school thing to do, still it’s good for the new info.

Alexis - DJ SET @ Belushi’s Bar, Paris

Alexis – DJ SET @ Belushi’s Bar, Paris

DJ Set Belushi’s Paris 6th August 2012
1. Hurts – Better Than Love
2. Terry Lynn – Kingston Logic
3. Sebastian – C.T.F.O. (feat MIA)
4. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs – Garden
5. Little Dragon – Little Man
6. Pandr Eyez – Eyes on You
7. CSS – Off The Hook
8. Cold War Kids – Hang Me Out To Dry
9. The Bloodhound Gang – Kids In America
10. The Chemical Brothers – Galvanise
11. Calvin Harris – I Get All The Girls
12. The Prodigy – Invaders Must Die
13. Roni Size & Reprazent – Who Told You?
14. The Beastie Boys – Intergalactic
15. Tiga & Zyntherius – Sunglasses At Night
16. Missy Elliot vs. The Cure – Get Ur Freak On
17. Labrinth – Earthquake
18. MIA / Diplo – China Girl Mix
19. Fatboy Slim – Funk Soul Brother (Remix)
20. Basement Jaxx – Where’s Your Head At?
21. Terry Lynn – Streetlife
22. Black Box Recorder – Uptown Top Ranking (Remix)
23. LCD Soundsystem – Give It Up
24. Kasabian – LSF
25. QOTSA – No-one Knows
26. Foo Fighters – Best Of You
27. A – Nothing
28. The Bloodhound Gang – The Bad Touch
29. Primal Scream – Rocks
30. DJ Shadow – 3 Freaks Ft Keak Da Sneak & Turf Talk
31. Pendulum – Hold Your Colour
32. Chase & Status – Time (Remix)
33. Joe Godard – Gabriel
34. Ayah Marar – Follow You (Remix)
35. Ed Sheeran – You Need Me (Remix)
36. Sebastian – Killing In The Name Of

Wednesday 25th April 2012

Last week was one of the most stressful yet successful and rewarding weeks for me musically since, I don’t know when.
The stress & success both came from shooting the first ever Sacre Noir music video. Like many other ‘first time’ experiences, I was beyond nervous & apprehensive about the whole thing; the planning, delivery & execution of our ideas. Is the song even any good? Will anyone show up? Why are we even doing this…etc. Thankfully, we have a lot of very talented & creative contacts that were more than willing to share their skills to help us make this happen.

Before I go any further, I must say that both Alexis & Phil were amazing during this whole process. Not only as band member in the musical sense (although it doesn’t get said often enough how much I respect and admire both of their musical genius & contributions to Sacre Noir), but also as shoulders to cry on, stress out at and general throw diva fits around. You are both amazing & make this all worth-while!

So back to our (very) talented friends…
Firstly our film-maker was David from Boshpit productions.
Boshpit have previously delivered videos for some of Edinburgh finest bands and studios (and he’s a mate of our drummer) so who better to ask. We seemed to be pretty much on the same page from the first meeting. David really understood our concepts & themes and was an absolute pro from that first meeting right through to the end of the shoot. As I’m writing this I’m getting very excited and can’t wait to see the finished article, or even a little taster. I got to see a couple of bits on the day & they looked amazing, so watch this space for updates.
The venue & sound/lighting came with the help from Henry’s Cellar Bar & their amazingly cool engineer, Nora. We already love Nora as she has done our sound @ Henry’s many times and always makes us sound awesome, plus she really is ‘too cool for school’ so having her there for the day was excellent & helped put me @ ease a wee bit.
Make-up & hair came from the very talented Erin Culley. She had 3 characters to work with (2 ‘doll’ type characters & 1 clown) I don’t want to give too much away before the launch, but I will say “WOW that girl has a gift”! I had lots of ideas for how I wanted the characters to look & didn’t really think it would all work out, but Erin delivered everything I asked for and more. She took ideas from the cast & was able to adapt the original ideas as we went along. Erin has such a bubbly personality & was really professional, so everyone felt very comfortable with her & loved their make-up.
If it hadn’t been for these 3 lovely people, the video shoot day would NOT have gone as smoothly as it did. So, if you or anyone you know is looking for a creative team for music videos, live performance or photo shoots, get these guys.
More special thanks goes to our cast for the day – you were all amazing:
Clown – Andrew (from Kill Code Red)
Dolls – Lyndsey & Emma
Audience – TomSki, Chris Scott, Stephen Young, Lisa Naden, Fiona Neill
Also, a big thank you to Marius who was our photographer for the day & Margaret who took the behind the scenes footage. I’m sure both of these elements will shine a light on activities that I’m not even aware of yet.
So all & all making the first Sacre Noir video was one of the most stressful yet successful and rewarding musical experiences ever & I can’t wait to see the final results.
All this thinking and talking about making a music video, made me want to share a couple of excellently dark & definitely different videos that have come to my attention recently, and have been on repeat rotation since.
Firstly, ‘Good Day Today’ by David Lynch. It’s dark, moody and atmospheric in all the right ways…have a wee look:

And secondly, ‘Slides By’ which is the first single to be taken from the brand new A Band Of Buriers album entitled Filth, will be released in June.

You can buy the single from iTunes here:

Other musically rewarding experiences from last week include 2 of the best gigs I’ve been to in ages!
Wednesday 18th April, The Lemonheads @ HMV Picture House, Edinburgh
This was to be the 6th time I’d seen Evan Dando perform and it was a very special gig indeed, as the band were set to play the album ‘It’s a shame about Ray’ as a 20-year anniversary treat…and what a treat it was!
The album was played in order (minus Mrs Robinson) and Evan started by giving us few tracks first with just the acoustic guitar. During ‘All My Life’ I had a wee tear in my eye (maybe a bit over-emotional but it did feel very special) and then the band joined him for the rest of the album. We we’re also treated to a few tracks from other albums including my favourite ‘If I could talk I’d tell you”. The drummer & bass player were on fabulous form, tight as you like & loving every minute of the gig and although Evan looked a bit ‘out of it’ when he first stumbled onto the stage, he sounded amazing and gave his usual committed delivery to every song.

The Lemonheads

The Lemonheads @ HMV Picture House Edinburgh

Saturday 21st April, An Evening with Luke Haines @ The Continental, Preston
I’d never seen Luke Haines before & I’d never been to The Continental, but I’d highly recommend both as I had a great night! One man, a guitar, a Casio VL-Tone and a book (Post Everything) and a record to promote. The latter ‘Nine and a Half Psychedelic Meditations on British Wrestling of the 1970s and early ’80s’ is an excellent collection of tracks, but my favourite on the night was ‘Big Daddy Got a Casio VL-Tone’. This is a song which tells the story of what might go through the mind of the 80’s wrestler (real name: Shirley Crabtree) if he were to make music with said Casio VL-Tone. We were also treated to a short reading from ‘Post Everything’ (a very funny moment where Luke reminisced about the first National Pop Strike) and some classic tracks from previous outputs; The Auteurs and Baader-Meinhof.

Luke Haines

Luke Haines @ The Continental, Preston

A most excellent week indeed.

It has been over 2 months since the last post and after the whirlwind that comes in the form of Christmas & Hogmanay celebrations, and then the cold and dark month of January (and February), I feel ready to return to the real world once again. I like to spend this time of the year hiding away beneath many layers of clothes and amusing myself in the least energetic ways possible, so plenty of time for listening to music & re-organising the CD/Vinyl/iTunes libraries.
Last year I saw a very limited number of ‘proper’ gigs. I saw loads of unsigned/student bands, a few bands that mates are in and a pretty large helping of very cool bands that I was lucky enough to be on the same bill as…but that’s not what I’m talking about. By ‘proper’ I mean the gigs that you buy tickets for the day they go on sale and then spend the months leading up to the show listening to the entire back catalogue (including the rubbish live recordings and b-sides collections). So this year I have decided I must do better. It’s not that the multitude of unsigned acts that I saw in 2011 weren’t great and at times inspirational too, but there’s nothing like the excitement of seeing the folk you love, doing their ‘thing’ live. The anticipation of a roomful of adoring fans waiting for the headline act to take to the stage is, for me, almost as good as taking to the stage and performing myself. And it’s not that there weren’t loads of great shows I missed last year due to either being on the road myself or not paying enough attention to the listings, but there’s no point crying over missed gigs, so after a few trips to Ripping Records, the tickets are purchased & I have a few very exciting gigs coming up & I thought I’d share the delights…
Next week I’ll be attending the Little Dragon show @ The Liquid Rooms (Edinburgh). One of the best bands I discovered last year and I’m confident that this is going to be a cracker! For anyone who has missed this band check out my blog posting from July last year.
I really love both their albums and can’t wait to hear the live arrangements of these tracks that I’ve immersed myself in for the past 6 months & see what cool instruments they have with them on tour.
(2 sleeps to go)

Next month it’s gonna be Vic Godard & The Subway Sect @ The Voodoo Rooms (Edinburgh) – supported by the amazing Sexual Objects… 2 fantastically cool bands for the price of one!
I saw both these bands playing together last year @ The Citrus Club (Edinburgh) and it was a great show.
Vic Goddard & The Subway Sect (regardless of the line up) are sure to deliver their brand of post-punk with all the usual jagged jazz stylings & thumping rhythms. It’s some of the most un-pretentious music you’ll ever hear, but still very clever.
Then we have The Sexual Objects , one of Edinburgh’s finest bands without question. Fronted by the enigmatic Davey Henderson (Fire Engines, Win, Nectarine No. 9 etc) and if you don’t know their story then have a listen to this interview from a Radio station in Greece where Davey chats about the band and the music industry.

If there are still tickets for this show I suggest you get yourself along – The Voodoo Rooms (Edinburgh) 24th March 2012

And last but certainly not least in April I’ll be making the trip down south to Preston to see Luke Haines in what promises to be an amazing, intimate and one-off performance @ The New Continental.
With such a varied musical history I’m not sure where to start; The Servants and The Auteurs in the 90’s, Black Box Recorder in the 00’s or the various solo outings including his Baader-Meinhof project. I could even discuss his books (although having not read any yet that’s probably a bad idea), but I could be here all day. Instead hear are a couple of links to my favourite tracks…enjoy x