Posts Tagged ‘edinburgh band’

Monday 1st August 2016
Nothing Falls Apart – official release

So it has been 4 yeas since the release of the last Sacre Noir LP ‘Sinking Into Darkness’ and in that time we have written, recorded and thrown away enough material for several new records… always stuff we felt was ‘quite right’ and so here we are 4 years later with what we think is the best Sacre Noir record to date.
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This is going to be Sacre Noir’s final album and we’ve decided to do the physical releases as a limited edition wooden USB drive (100 copies). The drive features wave files and mp3s of the album, plus hand written lyric sheets, set list, press releases and photos.
We’ve had the idea for a few years and it’s really exciting to see the final product!
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The USB is available online from bandcamp & savage recordings or Elvis Shakespeare in Edinburgh & New Hellfire Club in Glasgow.
It’s also available to download / stream from iTunes, Spotify, Deezer & Bandcamp.
We’re very proud of the outcome & feel each track tells its own story as well as being part of the whole record.
SNNothingFallsApartPressReleasePlease do check it out and let us know what you think.

Here’s the video’s for the tWo singles to come from the LP
From last month ‘A Rhythm Between Work & Sleep’

Inspired by a line in a George Orwell book, this track has had loads of support since it’s release in July 2016 from radio plays and youtube views.
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The lyrics were built around this quote and Erin did an amazing hair & make up job within the 1930’s inspiration (very different from her usual work with Sacre Noir). Location is key & our venue, The Biscuit Factory, was a perfect fit for our look and the music.

And from last year ‘Listen To Me’ – filmed by MeltedBeetle

“In the span of just 2 minutes, the group present us with a ridiculously catchy tune with fantastic lyrics and a captivating rhythm that appears to have a subtle touch of old school blues. In addition, Carrie’s harmonies are stunning and the riffs are remarkable, only picking up with every passing moment. Nothing short of excellent.” Small Music Reviews
 

Friday 29th July 2016
Gig 8: The Monarch Bar, Dunfermline with Acoustic Live

After a lovely relaxing day to celebrate Alexis’s birthday, we woke up early with a spring in our step. It felt just like being on tour with a few delightful exceptions; getting up in our own house, in our own bed & with our own shower and washing machine etc. – living out of a bag for even just 3 weeks makes us realise how readily we take for granted the luxuries of modern living and how lucky we are.

Tonight we have a Sacre Noir first and must say ‘thanks’ to the good folks at Acoustic Live for inviting us to play their monthly event in Dunfermline! We don’t often do acoustic gigs as it doesn’t really reflect ‘Sacre Noir’ or our ‘lo-fi electro’ aspirations, but the organisers of this event are great so we decided to take them up on the offer and arrange some of the songs for a simple guitar / vocal set for our first ever performance in Dunfermline.
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Cob & Fiona who run Acoustic Live, have certainly got an ear for talent. First up was Micha Sutherland, a local lass who they discovered at one of the other event nights that they run in Dunfermline and invited her along to perform at this showcase event. Micha, sang a couple of covers (Emilie Sande & Adele) and a couple of her own numbers (one upbeat & one ballad), she has a cracking voice and I think would go down really well in the nightclubs in Edinburgh.
Next up was the mighty talents of Sophie De Rose; at only 15 years old she has her own country-pop style sounds going on and is definitely one to watch out for in the future. She confidently sang and played (guitar) her way through a set of covers that really suited her voice and told you that this young lady had taste beyond her years.
Sacre Noir played next; our debut Dunfermline performance was supported by the local crowd and quite a few members of ASIF (a choir I run in Dunfermline). We owe you all a big ‘thanks’ – the support really was superb and one of the talented choirettes also took some fantastic pics… thanks Sara T.
IMG_7169The tracks seemed to go down well, in a trippy / shoegaze type way and it was a great excuse for us to play a country cover, my favourite track by Patty Griffin ‘You Never Get What You Want’.

The final act of the evening was 3 piece covers band Half Built House.
Playing classics by REM and White Stripes the crowd loved them and it was the perfect way to finish off the event, with people singing along and dancing at their tables.
I can’t recommend these nights highly enough­; a great selection of talent, promoters that really care about live music and a nice wee function room in a local bar.

Saturday 30th July 2016
In preparation for the new LP release Alexis completed the redesign of the savage recordings website & updated the BandCamp page with back catalogue.
It really does take many-a-man-hour to keep that side of stuff running smoothly and Alexis is the man that makes it all happen for Sacre Noir (not just a pretty face and talented drummer, songwriter and producer).

Sunday 31st July 2016
Today is the last Sunday before the Edinburgh Fringe 2016 kicks off.
Went out for coffee at or favourite café, Art & Vintage trying to make the most of having weekends off during the summer holidays.
The circus is in town.
IMG_7195Tomorrow is a big day!
Nothing Falls Apart
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Thursday 21st July 2016
Gig 7: The Troubadour, London with Whetherman & Harrison Bond

We had an amazing night playing at the iconic London venue, The Troubadour.
It was everything I love in a music establishment – organised & friendly. It really is an amazing venue and deserves all the plaudits that come it’s way. The staff were warm and welcoming. Our sound engineer (Stacey) was fantastic; here’s a man who knows his stuff (he was great at advising on my set-up and the electronic drum kit balance, suggesting that I tweaked the level of FX to allow more of the lyric to be heard– not something I’ve not heard before, but for some reason his advice sat well with me) and that Alexis tweaked the kick drum volume to provide more of a ‘thump’… no wonder people say it’s the best sounding room in London.
Our support acts for this event were fantastic!
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Whetherman (the first act up) is the moniker of 31-year-old folk singer-songwriter Nicholas Williams, who has released six studio albums and 1 live album. His lyrics are poetic, his voice is soulful and he is a thoroughly nice chap.
He explains each song before playing, introducing the audience to his world & process – very insightful and honest which I found endearing.
I especially liked the final song in his set ‘Ghosts in the Water’ a fantastic modern Americana sound. On record it features the beautiful female vocal sounds of Rachel Murray.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhX3oMmn49U
Nick had played in Edinburgh last year at Henry’s Cellar Bar & he had nothing but great things to say about his experience there. I thought this was really sweet and felt a little pang of pride that ‘our’ city had shown him such a lovely time during his visit.

Harrison Bond was next up, a 21-year-old multi-instrumentalist from Milton Keynes who wins the prize for ‘best rock ‘n’ roll name of an act we’ve played with this summer’.
His biggest influence is Lana Del Ray and this was evident most in the final song of his set ‘Honey’ (a beautiful modern ballad which showed off his vocals style and delivery perfectly). I really enjoyed his set; regional accent, looped guitar & beats, melancholic lyrics and an almost shy stage presence – he’s definitely one to watch out for in the future. https://soundcloud.com/harrisonbond/honey-rough-demo

Finally, it was our turn to delight The Troubadour crowds.
We played a 50-minute chilled trip-hop style set which mainly included material from the new LP, but also covered tracks from Demo Recordings III, Her Volatile Condition & Sinking Into Darkness. The stage sound was great and from the audience reaction it was great out front too. Our bass sounds were phat and the change to my vocal FX were clearly effective (generating a bigger shift between the Mini Kaoss Pad AKG mic and the KP3+ Green Bullet mic – as I said, our sound engineer Stacey clearly knows his stuff).
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We were very pleased to have our good friends Keith & Marijana in the audience for this show. It’s been a long time since they have seen us play live and as fellow musicians (The Penny Black Remedy) we were keen to get their thoughts on the new material and LP.
It’s always lovely to have friendly faces in the crowd and there can’t be too many folks that are more friendly than these two. Taking time out of their busy schedules to make time for us was much appreciated and it meant we got to spend some time chatting about their news & the progress of future PBR releases too.

Monday 18th July 2016
Today we took a trip out to Montrouge (a pretty little village in the southern suburbs of Paris) and then a relaxing afternoon at the Parc Montsouris. It was the warmest day of the tour so far, and at 35 degrees for most of the day we tried to find some shaded areas.
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Montrouge is a growing commuter town with a number of lovely local shops and cafes.
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Parc Montsouris is one of four large urban public parks in Paris. The others are Bois de Boulogne and two of our favourite places in the city, the Bois de Vincennes and the Parc des Buttes Chaumont. Parc Montsouris may be a new spot to add to our ‘favourite places’ list as it was beautiful and calm despite being popular and pretty busy.
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That evening we ate at Samsara before taking in more of the local area (bars, parks and views).
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Paris really is a beautiful city and even with a large section of the population struggling to survive amongst the rich and beautiful, the growing concerns about racial hatred and the recent attacks on their way of life, the atmosphere is open and friendly, warm and welcoming and I hope to spend more time living in this fantastically inspiring place.
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Street Art 75011, Paris 2016

Tuesday 19th July 2016
Our last full day in Paris started with a trip to Au Pain et des Idees (another fantastic patisserie recommended in Paris, My Sweet by Amy Thomas).
IMG_7130 The choice was incredible; fresh breads and tarts adorned the display cases and baskets inside this old-fashioned looking bakery, but it was the original flavor combinations that excited me the most; Le croissant au thé Matcha & à l’eau de rose looked beautiful and the choices seemed endless. We were greeted with a big smile and made our decisions; Alexis opted for L’escargot chocolat pistache & I decided that the Pain au chocolat et almond was the one for me. We took our treats to a nearby bench overlooking Canal Saint Martin and savoured the moment. Flakey, buttery, rich and decadent – another excellent recommendation.

We couldn’t resist one final stop at Belushi’s Canal as this is where Sacre Noir first found our feet on the non-Scottish gig circuit. The view from the terrace is one of my favourites in Paris and the staff are always so lovely. All along the canal, workers were preparing for this year’s Paris Plage; installing zip-wires and sand-pits, showers and pop-up bars and cafes for the locals to enjoy, but right at that moment it was probably one of the most serene spots in Paris.
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Wednesday 20th July 2016
Time to say goodbye to my favourite city, before heading back to the UK.
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We met with a family friend for morning coffee and as always it’s great to spend time with friends who we don’t get to see very often.
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The Eurostar back to London was running late due to the previous night’s vandalism and over-crowding at passport control (to be fair to the Eurostar staff, if people had completed their boarding / landing cards before getting to security, things might have moved along a little quicker). Regardless, we were only delayed by half an hour and arrived safely in London before the evening rush hour really kicked in.
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We made our way to our hotel (Earls Court Garden Hotel; great location but a little noisy as our room seemed to back on to the Underground line), got changed and headed out for coffee and something to eat.

Our first stop was Café du Coin (it only seemed right to try to extend our Parisian experience for as long as possible) – a lovely café at the end of our street which serves salads and simple plates as well as coffee and pastry treats. We settled for coffee before making our way to GBK for some very fine veggie burgers, milkshake, fries, onion rings and elderflower presse. Both the food & service were really very lovely and despite being a chain restaurant the atmosphere was relaxed and not dis-similar to an independent diner (if such a thing still exsists).

We had a good walk around Earls Court & then it was time for bed.
Everything seemed a little strange, waking up in Paris & going to sleep in London, but we definitely felt excited knowing we had a great gig lined up the following night at The Troubadour.

Sunday 17th July 2016
Gig 6: Pop In, Paris (Open Mic Night)

The day started at a slow pace; pre-brunch drinks with our good friend Carole, followed by brunch with another friend Ben (ex-marketing manager at Belushi’s Paris).
We arrived at Café Martin around midday and stayed till after 3pm – passing the time with coffees, good food and great chat.

Pop In is a pretty special place and although the venue space is small, it has played host to some amazing acts, so we were very pleased to be invited along for their open mic session.
Pop In is more than just a bar with a venue in its basement – it’s a record label and community too. Playing host to releases by Herman Dune and shows from some of our favourite artists like David Byrne & The Kills, it really felt like we were discovering the ‘underground’ scene in Paris – real musicians looking for new contacts and opportunities (just like many of the open mic nights that can be found throughout the UK).

The talent on show ranged from hip-hop to French pop, solo acts who sounded like Al Green to duos who were bringing something new to the scene – I enjoyed them all.
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We played a small guitar/vocal set (thanks to one of the performers for letting us borrow his brand new electric guitar) and the reception was excellent. I’m sure one day we’ll be back to play a full set of Sacre Noir material.

Saturday 16th July 2016
Gig 5: Au Chat Noir, Paris

We had lunch not far from the apartment at Les Fleurs de la Pensee – a lovely family run Chinese restaurant, serving fresh raviolis filled with vegetables and accompanied by a variety of sauces.
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Afterwards we headed back to the apartment to ready ourselves for the concert at Au Chat Noir and to check through our equipment. We headed along to the venue early to meet up with Antonia and rehearse our collaboration with her.

It has been 2-years since we last played at this lovely little bar in Bellville; it’s a very cool little space with lots happening including the Spoken Word Paris events (Monday & Wednesday every week). We popped in for coffee a couple of times during the week leading up to our show and as always Vincent (and his staff) were very welcoming. It’s an easy place to pass the hours, people watching and listening to the jazz music chosen by the bar staff. The coffee is good and the atmosphere relaxed.

To say we were excited about this show is a bit of an understatement.
Not only were we able to arrange the collaboration with Antonia Klimenko (I’ll do a special ‘the people that make the tour special’ post soon and will give you more details about the fantastic lady), but also the other acts who agreed to play this show were very special indeed.
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Firstly, my newest Paris based folk/pop discovery Sarah Jeanne Ziegler; a young lady born & raised in Paris, who finds herself taking the French music scene by storm.
Sarah played her solo set of guitar/vocal tracks, utilising her live vocal fx to generate a fuller sound than most solo performers manage to achieve. For her last song she invited an electronic musician to join her and they performed a version of her track ‘White Gun’ to complete her set – c’est manifique.

Finally, (and for me most excitingly) our good friend Chloe Cassandre took to the stage as our local headline act for this event. Chloe is a fantastic musician, vocalist and performer and we have been lucky to play shows with her trip-hop band ‘AsOne’ for two years (2014 & 2015). Chloe also performs as part of a duo in Paris ‘Miam’, but for this show it was simply Chloe, a piano, and her spectacular voice. I honestly think she is one of the most talented singers I have ever met and each time we see her perform I fall more in love with her style and originality.
See for yourself…

Many thanks to everyone from Spoken Word Paris who showed their support for this show and also to Sithara for filming us once again.

 

Thursday 14th July 2016
Gig 4: Le Gambetta Club, Paris
Bastille Day

We visited Père Lachaise in the morning as it is located at the end of our street and is always a peaceful space within the city (as long as you don’t spend time near the grave of Jim Morrison). As it was Bastille Day it seemed pertinent to visit and pay respects to those who have fallen fighting for their country, protecting human rights, or gaining civil liberties; it provides cause to be thankful for all we have & also to remember those who we have lost.
Pere Lachaise is a beautiful space & I’ve always found the graveyards of Paris to be less sombre than churches.

Last year we arranged a concert at Le Gambetta Club & had a fantastic night, so we were happy to be returning.

On the 13th July the fire stations host the Pompier Balls across the city & as Le Gambetta Club is a late night bar, the party had gone on until the early hours of the next day, so when we arrived at the venue to set up for our show, Joe (owner) and Marco (bar manager) were both still feeling very tired – nothing a couple of espresso shots didn’t fix.
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We were very pleased to have secured Laurent Henode to play with us at this gig as we’re both big fans having followed his progress since meeting two years ago thanks to a mutual friend. He is currently working on material with a new band but for this show he played a solo set of material just acoustic guitar and vocals under the pseudonym Popper Must (Be). Laurent’s voice has great dynamic range which matches his writing style perfectly. He is a master of the ‘quiet-loud-quiet’ delivery and his confidence seemed to have grown along with his repertoire. It was so lovely to seem a familiar face in the city and especially one as friendly as his.

The other act we secured for this show was Eric Costa, an electronic musician based in Paris who not only played an amazing set or original compositions, but also played ‘DJ’ in between the live music, styled the stage with lights and saved the day with brown tape.
I discovered Eric’s music via his BandCamp page and cannot speak highly enough about his live set-up. Intense and modern is one way to describe his music, moulding synth sounds and drum loops with ease (whilst trying to get rid of drunk fans intent on speaking to him during his performance).

Le Gambetta Club have a BBQ (free with drinks) so people who were coming to the show were offered food as well as great cocktails, a selection of Japanese whiskeys and fab live music – what more could people want.

We had a great night and after our set we talked till late on the terrace with Eric.
We must say thank you to Stéphanie for inviting us back to this lovely local bar to perform our new LP.
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When it was time to head back to the apartment we said our goodbyes and the bar manager Marco wished us a ‘bon soiree’ and also ‘good luck’; making sure we understood to ‘be careful’ on our way home. We thought this was sweet but didn’t realise until we got home that there had been an attack in Nice and this was why he was so worried about us getting home.
We have always felt safe and comfortable in Paris, but this year we have noticed a marked increase in the presence of soldiers on the streets. Sure, they have always been around the large train stations, Tour Eiffel and Sacre Coeur, but this year we have seen them lining the streets near Pigalle and Bellville (both are areas which have suffered attacks in recent months). Honestly, I’ve never felt comfortable with the soldiers and cops having guns openly on show, but I think this is just because it’s something you rarely see in Scotland. However, this summer the sight of them and their increased street presence did not leave me feeling uneasy; if anything I completely understand why the locals feel safer with these guys around.
It’s hard to imagine what it must feel like to be living in a constant state of ‘emergency’ but life in Paris seems to be carrying on as usual and the city is still such a vibrant place that I also can’t imagine that changing too much either.
We live in strange times, but we can’t let the fear take over and change who we are.

Vive la France.

Friday 15th July 2016 (Day Off)
We slept in after a late night at La Gambetta Club and the city also seemed to be late in waking itself, so we headed down to Arts et Metiers for a coffee; and a great spot to sit and watch the world go by. It was a hot day and we wanted a lunch that would fill up all the lost calories from the previous night’s exertions, so we checked out a few Indian restaurants by Gare du Nord and chose a place that specialised in dosas (Indian savoury pancakes) and vegetarian cuisine. It was excellent and filling, with great service as per usual in Paris.

In the evening we cooked another meal in our Parisian apartment (warm goat’s cheese salad and bread), we then headed out to wander around Belleville and soak up the atmosphere of the city. It’s lovely to be able to walk the streets late at night while the weather is still warm and we spotted many nice looking bars and restaurants with people dining or drinking into the wee small hours. It was great to be able to have such a relaxing day after our first gig of 2016 in Paris.