Posts Tagged ‘electro music’

LeithLate16 @ Elvis Shakespeare, Edinburgh 
Thursday 23rd June 2016
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Number 1 happened without too much fuss. It’s a nervous time and I’m not sure what to expect from the results tomorrow, but cast our votes we did & now all we can do is wait & hope for the right result.

Next stop was dropping off posters at The Safari Lounge for the single launch. We also popped downstairs to see the space and tech spec for the show on the 1st… all seems great!
It’s seems a bit unreal that this is the start of our 5th annual summer tour, but really exciting at the same time. This really is the best bit about a musician.
SNSummerTourPCardBack2016

After our Safari Lounge interlude, we headed along to Elvis Shakespeare to set up for the LeithLate16 showcase.
As always Dave & Michael were very welcoming & provided us with everything a band could want; PA, patio (well, chairs on the roadside), advertising (not just social media but also posters on bins – a genuine 1st for Sacre Noir) and drinks (tea, coffee or imitation Stella / Heiniken).
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The line-up was great and included Stephen McLaren (who we’ve invited to play at the launch party next week), Under the Dogwood Tree (an old friend’s band who we haven’t seen for far too long) and finsihing up with Sam Barber & The Outcasts.
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We have so much love & respect for the guys at Elvis Shakespeare; they have always shown great support for local bands and artists and it’s lovely to see them doing well.

Next Gig: Edinburgh 1st July 2016 @ The Safari Lounge
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Sacre Noir Summer Tour 2015 – Day 1: 15th July 2015
And we’re off!
Our annual jaunt to the cities we love, dragging behind us bags and cases of musical equipment, merchandise and clothes has arrived… first stop London.

AlexisSs at Kings Cross Station

I love London. We love London. Life loves London.

My first visit to this amazing city was in the summer of 2011 as part of the first Sacre Noir tour. We arrived the weekend after the ‘London Riots’ to play a show in Acton; this was a great introduction to the vibrant culture that thrives in this creative city.
A couple of nights later Sacre Noir played a 2nd London show in the fabulous Vibe Bar (Brick Lane) & I fell in love. So much musical talent and such lovely people, Londoners, visitors and expats alike, I couldn’t believe I’d never visited before.
Alexis had been several times as a child and even played at the Garage in Highbury when he was the drummer in semi-cult Scottish alt-pop act Ballboy (favourites of John Peel no less).

This year we decided to have a ‘petit tour estival’ (small summer tour) as we’re keen to get home and release the 1st single from the forthcoming EP; so we only have 10 days on the road this year and we’re determined to make the most of it.
Today we travel from Sacre Noir HQ in Edinburgh to our home from home at the amazing Ealing Towers. Our host (Joe) has been a true patron of the band and has looked after us every time we’ve come down to play shows. Providing us with beds, beer, BBQ’s, banter and so much more, London would not be an option for us without his help and as a small token of thanks tonight we for Greek; eating, drinking, catching-up and putting the world to rights at Joe’s local on Pitshanger Lane.

Pitshanger Lane

Conversation topic no 1: since our last visit, Joe’s very talented and driven daughter has managed to move from her first job after graduating as the Assistant to the Editor at Vogue, to now having a 15-page spread in the Aug. 2015 edition about Art & Fashion in London’s East End… less than 12 months, I’m super impressed.

Vogue

Vogue

Tomorrow we play our only London date of the summer; a great line-up of bands at The New Cross Inn. Also coming up this summer we have 2 concerts in Paris and a few very special shows planned for this years Edinburgh Fringe Festival, before we get our heads back into ‘studio mode’ and get started on finishing the 3rd LP.

However, before we start on that, let me tell you about recent goings on and exciting things we’ve been keeping secret (unless you follow our social media pages)…the crows are not what they seem.

Back in May we had a great photo shoot with Vikki McGraw Photography & Colette Casher Make-Up… this was an amazing day where we captured a few different looks to use for promotional purposes prior to the release of the next LP. Colette was shortlisted as one of the UK Pro Hair & Beauty’s ‘Makeup Artist of the Year’ Award 2015 after submitting this photo.

Photoshoot with Vikki McCraw & Colette Caher May 2015

Vikki & Colette made such a great team on the day and I’d highly recommend working with both these fantastic ladies. Vikki had taken live photographs of Sacre Noir in 2012 and these remain some of my favourites, so I can’t wait to see the final edited shots.

21st June 2015
We spent the day at La Belle Angele (Edinburgh) filming the companion video to our next single ‘Listen to Me’ with Stephen Young from MeltedBeetle . On hand was our make-up artist Erin Culley to make sure everyone looked amazing; actors Lyndsey and Steven (who both appeared in our last video) did a sterling job and Stephen came into his own with the cinematography. We love Erin & all her work on previous Sacre Noir videos, but this time she surpassed herself and we can’t wait to show you all the results.

Sacre Noir Listen To Me

More about the video process coming soon (press release available on request).

The preview party is planned for Saturday 25th July at New Hellfire Club (record shop), Glasgow. Alongside a stripped back Sacre Noir set of tracks from across the back-catalogue and maybe a special cover, the event will feature a set from the fantastically talented Josephine Sillars plus we’ll have some cake and other small tokens of appreciation as well as the screening of the video (which we’re really proud of). It’s the only way to see the video before the official launch on 31st July and we’ve decided to hand press a limited run of CDs for the lovely people who come along to support us as a thank-you.
The shop is run by a bunch of great folk and we’re really happy to have their support. All Ages Welcome / BYOB

NHC poster

Facebook Event Page – New Hellfire Club
The single has been mixed by Leonora Winstanley & mastered by Lucius Lowe for Boogs Music.

We have booked the release party at Bannerman’s Bar (Edinburgh) for the following Friday night (31st July). This show will be hosted by Fortune Promotions; we plan on turning the back-bar of this unsuspecting Old Town venue into a haven of carnival delights (face painting, video screening, party bags and more). Local support for the evening comes from Alt-Rock act Aperture and we are very excited to have London based 3-piece BlackMoon1348 playing with us at the show – this will be their first gig in Scotland and we can’t wait to show them around our beautiful city.

Bannernam's Single Launch Poster

Facebook Event Page – Bannerman’s

Rumour has it there may be a sneaky Black Moon 1348 video shoot happening on the Saturday after this gig, so keep your eyes peeled for info.

26th June 2015 – Bannerman’s Bar
In preparation for the duo shows, AlexisSs & I played a pre-tour set at Bannerman’s trying out the new material and new equipment. We promise to get Phil to London soon for a full band gig of guitar/vocal/drum/loops-madness.
The last time we played at Bannerman’s was at the start of our summer tour last year with London based bands dressmaker & The Terminal Gods, plus our good friends The Omega Corridor (who are also on the bill with us for this show).

It’s the first gig for The Omega Corridor since original guitarist, Andrew left last August and they were sounding great. The onstage banter between Steven & Euan (Little Love & The Friendly Vibes front man) was classic, self-loathing and very Scottish. New guitarist Doctor Sandy seems to be fitting in nicely and is bringing his own style to class it tracks like ‘Local Anesthetic’ (my personal favourite for both musical tensions & lyrical style).

The Omega Corridor

Everything in our set went really well. We gave it plenty of energy as the crowd was small in numbers but huge in spirit. There were some Lyonnais visitors in the bar who’d come along to see us, so I got to practice my French at the end of the night (we also got a few tips about festivals in the south of France that we may be able to play in the future). New tracks seemed to go down well (the crowd danced throughout our set so it was difficult to tell which was their favourite) and an old fan who was in the audience commented that we seem to have gotten ‘heavier’; the last time he saw us play was at the launch of ‘Battery Powered’ by Lynnette almost 2 years ago, and we were a trio at that gig. I guess the new material does have a certain stomp.

Sacre Noir @ Bannerman's Bar

Sacre Noir – here comes the sun…27th June 2015
We’ve had an exciting start to 2015, writing and recording new material for our 3rd LP, and collaborating with some very talented people for recent photo shoots, single mixing and video making.
However, the most exciting news is that Phil got married to his beautiful partner Carol!

Cutting the 'cheese cake': David Lozowy Photography

David Lozowy Photography
Good Times

NEXT SHOW:     Thursday 16th July 2015 from 8pm @ The New Cross Inn, London
PLAYING WITH: The Tinun’s (France), The Vantage Society (UK) & Kaleidos Eye (UK)
Facebook Event Page – NXI, London

Thursday 21st August – Box, Glasgow
We’ve not played a show at Box for ages and were looking forward to a gig in Glasgow where we’d be able to turn up the volume. The show kicked off at 7.30pm with the fantastically talented guitar vocal styling’s of local lass Charly Houston. Charly delivered a set of lovely original material spanning a variety of genres from indie pop to modern Scottish folk and charmed the crowd with her musings on the song-writing process and general banter. Charly plays in and around Glasgow regularly, and often she plays FREE shows so no excuse to not check her out, but in the meantime you can listen to her current single ‘Blue Eyes’ on SoundCloud.

Charly Houston @ Box Glasgow

Charly Houston @ Box Glasgow


Michelle Blades were running late (on a bus to Glasgow from Birmingham) so Sacre Noir played next. It was nice to back in Glasgow and the sound engineer, Scott, did a great job with our live mix. The tour has gone flown by this year and it was hard for us to think of this as the second last show. We’ve had a an amazing time and met some great people this year, played with some fantastic musicians and made some really good new friends.
AlexisSs & the lovely Josephine Sillars

AlexisSs & the lovely Josephine Sillars


Next up were two off those new friends in the form of Michelle Blades. Both the name of the act and front-woman, this Paris based act. Michelle’s vocal delivery is influenced by jazz and pop melodies and the music has an undertone of a band that loves New York Punk. Michelle has been joined on this UK & European tour by her bass player Victor (who also provides some backing vocals) and will be joining us again for a show in Edinburgh tomorrow. Their BandCamp page is full of material recorded bathrooms and bedrooms in various locations.
http://michellekblades.bandcamp.com/
Michelle Blades @ Box Glasgow

Michelle Blades @ Box Glasgow


Next up was the Eyemouth based rock outfit We Were Kings. The had a pretty straight forward ‘anthemic rock’ sound and some very memorable tracks; my favourite on the night was Comedown Queen, which I can’t find a studio recording of online, so here is a live version recorded in Edinburgh earlier this year.

We Were Kings @ Box Glasgow

We Were Kings @ Box Glasgow


Full of energy and ambition, I’m sure we’ll all be hearing more these guys again in the not so distant future, but in the meantime you can check out some of their other tracks on SoundCloud.
Finally, headlining the night was Cousin Kenny. Scottish indie rock ‘n’ roll (minus their bass player), they played a fairly short set of original material almost shoegazey in style. We managed to see most of their set before heading off to catch the train home.
Cousin Kenny @ Box Glasgow

Cousin Kenny @ Box Glasgow


http://www.reverbnation.com/cousinkenny

Friday 8th August – The Beresford Lounge, Glasgow
There were a few negative issues that surrounded this event but I’m going to start with the positives; all the acts were amazing. Chrissy Barnacle opened the show and having only listened to her music online I was really looking forward to her live set. She has a wonderful storytelling manner and made the intimate crowd feel at ease instantly. Chrissy has an amazing guitar style, picking her way through beautiful melodic sections and adding bass and percussion parts periodically, it was quite mesmerising. Her voice is stunning! So pure and honest, she glides through her range with ease and even delighted the crowd with her lupine howl. I loved every song in her set and found it difficult to pick out a favourite but I’ve gone for ‘Sandstone’ because I love the lyrics so much,
“I’ve boiled a million kettles, to fill all of my water bottles
This wont be easy or quick, but it is what we need
I’m sweating you out of me”

I urge you all to download her FREE ‘Hazelnuts EP’ from BandCamp, which includes ‘Sandstone’ and 5 other fantastic tracks.

Chrissy Barnacle live at The Beresford Lounge

Chrissy Barnacle live at The Beresford Lounge


Next up were Made Of Glass, my new favourite Edinburgh based band and I was really looking forward to seeing them live for the first time – they did not disappoint. Despite the issues with sound (live music vs Glasgow City Council) and cheap in-ear headphones, their set was really cool. I loved the production of the backing sounds / vocals and although I was longing for the addition of a bass sub, I thought they played a great set. Their track ‘The Night’ was the stand out track of the night for me, however this is as yet unreleased, so instead I’ve chosen ‘Labyrinth’ for it’s pure electro/acoustic goodness.
Draped in black, Duncan’s energy is amazing, Nicky’s delivery has a distinctive celtic twang and their face-paint is intriguing. They are definitely a band to watch out for in the future.
Made Of Glass live at The Beresford Lounge

Made Of Glass live at The Beresford Lounge


We played next and it was fantastic to have Phil back with us on guitar after so many shows away without him. Due to the sound (volume) issues, we played what should have been a fairly high-energy set with slight reservation. The venue was not really suitable for a band like us; they seem to have a lot of problems with Environmental Health (residential neighbours complain about the sound pollution on a regular basis) and already have a “no acoustic drum kits” rule in place, which we managed to get around by borrowing an electric kit for the evening from The Academy of Music & Sound. After sound checks were completed there was a “no amps” announcement, which was just not possible for either Sacre Noir or Jen Stevens & The Hiccups, so we’d arranged to turn everything down as much as possible. In complete contrast to the phenomenal bass sound we’d had at the last gig with Phil (Bannerman’s 17th July 2014), this performance was controlled but well received. The people we spoke to afterwards seemed to get where we were coming from musically and we’re positive about the front of house sound, so maybe it was lacking on stage due to the small monitor that the room had.
Sacre Noir live at The Beresford Lounge

Sacre Noir live at The Beresford Lounge


Last up were the fantastic Jen Stevens & The Hiccups. Having travelled over two hours to get here, and on the back of my comments to them about how great the music scene is in Glasgow and what a cool place it is in general, I was really disappointed for them… this was not the introduction I’d hoped we could provide. They played for a good 40 minutes and included my favourite track ‘Middle of the Road’. Everyone in the room was blown away by their set and they have definitely left a lasting impression on those who were seeing them live for the first time.
Jen Stevens & The Hiccups live at The Beresford Lounge

Jen Stevens & The Hiccups live at The Beresford Lounge


I’d really hoped for a better night for their introduction to Scotland, but at one point just before the end of Jen Steven’s & The Hiccups set, a member of staff from the venue came barging into the venue space shouting “turn it down”. When the repost from a lively audience member came “turn it up”, his response was “no, turn it down, the council are in”. I was genuinely embarrassed by this episode. Apparently the DJ downstairs, who we could hear above the band already, was not causing a problem, but because our space was closer to the residents it was us that needed to turn down again. I have never been so disappointed by a venue and their ability to book appropriate events for their space or their ability to communicate in a professional manner. There are another dozen (at least) issues that plagued this even but I feel enough space has been given to the negatives and overall, despite everything, I did really enjoy all the music on the night and that’s a huge positive. Another positive is that our sound engineer for the evening, David, was great. He stayed calm throughout all the ups and downs, and managed to get a really great sound for all the acts. These two points have definitely been consistent traits of this year’s tour; we have played with some amazing acts and have met some really talented people, who we’ll definitely keep in touch with.
We managed to miss the last train home by just a second or two, but thankfully Phil was able to give us a lift home. An hour or so later, soothed by the sounds of Tool and The Prodigy we were back home in Edinburgh and ready for a little break from live gigs for a week or two. We have a couple of shows at the end of the month where we look forward to welcoming Michelle Blades to Scotland. We also have the video launch for “It’s Too Late Now” to look forward to as well as some rehearsals and interviews to complete – there really is no rest for the wicked.

NEXT SHOW
Summer Tour 2014: Gig 11 Thursday 21st August @ Box (Glasgow)
Summer Tour 2014: Gig 12 Friday 22nd August @ Elvis Shakespeare (Edinburgh)
Video Launch Night: Thursday 28th August @ Moriarty Bar (Edinburgh)

Wednesday 6th August – The Central Bar, Gateshead
After a couple of eventful days off back in Scotland (being stung on the neck by a wasp and the shock of returning to work) it was time to get our selves together again for the next show… our first ever show in Gateshead.
We are really excited to have arranged a couple of dates with Jen Stevens & The Hiccups this summer and this is the first of those (not including The Corbridge Festival) on their home turf; the North East of England. We chose The Central Bar as it’s a lovely venue close to the Metro station and it has a good reputation for live music. The first act on this evening was Ben aka Felix Police; a one man band with his guitar and a bunch of pedals providing bass, beats, harmonies and other cool sounds. I’ve seen loads of acts like this over the years (KT Tunstall and Ed Sheeran do it well), and sometimes the sound can be limited / lacking but not tonight. I really liked his style especially the vocal harmonies and the fullness of his arrangements. Felix Police is a new act (this was the 3rd live outing) but I expect we’ll be hearing more from this fine young man in the future. The overall sound was like a mix between Tenacious D & Beck with a little Pixies thrown in for good measure. You can check out my favourite track from tonight’s set “The Ants & the Elephants” on SoundCloud.

Felix Police live at The Central Bar, Gateshead

Felix Police live at The Central Bar, Gateshead


Next up we played a 30 minutes set which included all 3 singles feature on the current LP (She Can’t Take It, Rue Crimée and the forthcoming release It’s Too Late Now) plus the two new unreleased tracks that have gone down so well with audiences this tour (Heartache and Rebels & Loners). We had no sound problems this evening in fact everything was perfect (thanks to Tony for sorting everything out for us) and no sooner had we started playing when the set was over. The audience in Gateshead was very polite and reserved in comparison to the crowds in London and Paris; very attentive and seemingly enjoying our material but as it was a sit-down show it was hard to tell just how “into it” they really were, however I got the feeling if they didn’t like us we’d soon have heard about it.
Sacre Noir live at The Central Bar, Gateshead (photo by S. Gray)

Sacre Noir live at The Central Bar, Gateshead (photo by S. Gray)


Again it was lovely to see some familiar faces in the audience tonight. Special thanks to Sarah & Marie for coming out to support original music (always a pleasure ladies).
The final act of the evening was Jen Stevens & The Hiccups; I had forgotten just how tight this band are live! Fabulously catchy tunes, lushous harmonies, fantastic musicianship, big smiles (Adam) and great hair (Jen) – they’ve got it all. I truly love Jen’s voice; like a cross between Stevie Nicks and Gwen Stefani, it’s rocky and soulful with lovely technical moments to catch out the vocal geeks like myself. We can’t wait to introduce them to a Scottish audience this weekend, I’m sure they’ll have a ball. They’ve got a really commercial sound and their songs wouldn’t sound out of place on Radio One: check out their track “The Sound” on SoundCloud.
Jen Stevens & The Hiccups live at The Central Bar, Gateshead

Jen Stevens & The Hiccups live at The Central Bar, Gateshead


Sorry to have missed the second half of their set tonight, but as the last train back to Edinburgh leaves Newcastle before 10pm, we headed off into the night to the sounds of the Hiccups and made our way back to bonnie Scotland once more.

Our next show is in Glasgow and again we’ve been working with House Cat Promotions to arrange this event. It’s a great line up – not to be missed!
I discovered Made Of Glass thanks to local Edinburgh musician Steve Heron (best recommendation of the year – thanks Mr H) and they have become a firm favourite on my current playlist. A new(ish) duo based in Edinburgh, Nikki & Duncan are about to set the scene alight! As soon as I heard them I knew they were the kind of band I’d love & set about arranging a show together pretty much straight away. I was super pleased when they agreed to play this show with us in Glasgow as I think they’ll make a great addition to the night. Also on the bill for this show is Chrissy Barnacle – new to me but I’m loving the material online and again can’t wait to see the live show. I hate it when I discover a new act I love, then have to wait ages for their live show to come to Scotland. This way I get to see two great new acts in one night (and we’re sharing the stage) – bonus.
Check out the links above for all bands, then come along to the live show… when it’s done it’s done!

House Cat Promotions poster

House Cat Promotions poster

NEXT SHOW
Summer Tour 2014: Gig 10 Friday 8th August @ The Beresford Lounge (Glasgow)
House Cat Promotions Presents Chrissey Barnacel / Made Of Glass / Sacre Noir / Jen Steven & The Hiccups

Saturday 2nd August – Day Off, London
For our final day in London we went out early to make the most of our time; Celeb spotting in Soho without even trying over a coffee… Peter Capaldi (Thick of It / Dr Who), a picnic in Soho Square, an hour in Bar Italia for apple juice and a catch up with KMT (The Penny Black Remedy), free chocolate at Choccy Woccy Doo Dah (mmmm) and a chat with Ann in My Art Invest (an art share idea from Paris – investments coming soon) before heading over to Whitechapel for dinner.

Last Day Triptich 1

Last Day Triptich 1


We had made a reservation at Café Spice Namastae which is the restaurant run by Cyrus Todiwala (The Spice Boys / Celebrity Masterchef) and was possibly the best Indian food I’ve ever eaten. We started with the homemade chutneys and popadoms (all excellent, but the crab apple was the most unusual) before our ‘real’ starters arrived, then the Thalis for main, all washed down with mocktails and lassi – it was a perfect 2 hours of chatting, eating and being looked after by the fantastic staff. We left feeling very luck to have experienced such original, freshly prepared food in a fantastic atmosphere on our last night in such an exciting city.
Last Day Triptich 2

Last Day Triptich 2

Sunday 3rd August – Travel Day (London – Edinburgh)
We had a lazy Sunday morning with coffees on Pitshanger Lane before the ritual of packing, un-packing and re-packing on a travel day. Then it was off to Euston Station for our traditional meal at Ed’s diner before leaving London once more. We’ve had a great time in London staying with the super-cool Joe McG (one time flatmate of Robert Plant / designer of Black Sabbath LP covers / daughter who works at Vogue etc etc). We’ve had so much freedom whilst being looked after at the same time; BBQs in the garden and limitless tea and wee-fee… we love staying at Ealing Towers and hope we can show Joe a good time in Edinburgh if he makes it up for a show or two during the Fringe.
The train journey home was painless – no delays or problems with luggage and we arrived as expected into the madness that is The Fringe Festival.
Home Sweet Home

We still have a few shows to play & a video to launch this month, but it feels like the bulk of this tour is done and dusted.

Paris was amazing!
Thanks to; TT – for the great apartment / Pierre, Juliette, Laetitia and all the staff at La Dame De Canton / Teresa, Chakal & all the staff at AbracadaBar / Vincent and all the staff at Au Chat Noir / Dave, Lea, Ben, Leatitia & Tom for being cool / Victor at Midnight Special Records / Popper Must (Be) for a great set at Au Chat Noir / Aubry at Madoro Music Management for being the nicest person we didn’t meet (you really helped loads and we’ll be forever grateful to you for being so cool and professional) and most of all our new best friends Chloé, Ben, Ablass, Dan, Charly, Damien and Robert from AsOne – by far the best band in Paris!
Extra thanks to Chaval for the fantastic pics and to Sithara Ieng for the amazing video of our show at AbracadaBar from his “j’ai filmé pour vous” series.

London was fantastic!
Thanks to; Joe for the run of Ealing Towers / Martin / Andy Docherty and all the staff at The Village Inn for letting us hijack your acoustic show / all the “open mic’ers” we met in Putney & Ealing / Barry & Ray / Lisa & Bob / Phil M / Muir V / Tinderdust / Grand Bassam / all the staff at Power Lunches (especially their amazing sound engineer) / Andunemir for filming the show at Power Lunches and to Tom, Charles, David & Ben (dressmaker) for all their support.

NEXT SHOW
Summer Tour 2014: Gig 9 Wednesday 6th August @ The Central Bar (Gateshead)

Friday 1st August @ Power Lunches, London
After catching up with some work and emails we had a pretty quiet morning; we went out for coffee / lunch and decided to just stay in Ealing and not go too far. We had coffee at Farm W5 and had a wander in the area before lunch at Cote on Ealing Green. One of the local parks is named after a harvest festival which was traditionally held on August 1st so it seemed quite fitting to spend some time there.

Lammas Park, Ealing

Lammas Park, Ealing


In the afternoon we went to St Pancras to collect Alexis’s large drum bag and then made our way over to Hackney for the gig. There had been a terrible accident at Ealing Broadway station (someone was hit by a train & killed) so there were some delays and even more people than usual. We made it to sound checks by 6pm and the night ran so smoothly that I think there may be more ‘dressmaker presents…’ shows in the future. Most musicians have a general dis-like for promoters, but if more bands put on nights like this, we’d be doing okay.
First up was Grand Bassam – a solo act for the evening as one half of the band is on holiday in Greece (popular this year as a destination it seems).
With a machine and a mic and a pedal of sorts this one man show was brutal on the eyes (due to the strobe being on for the full 25 minute set) and brilliant on the ears. Original and poetic, unusual and intriguing all at the same time, it was quite an intense performance from within the crowd.
Grand Bassam live at Power Lunches, London

Grand Bassam live at Power Lunches, London


Next up was the band I’d been most excited about play with in London; Tinderdust. From their online content I’d genuinely fallen for the concept of this act and their execution on the night was blinding. Vocalist / front-woman ‘Lovebeads’ seemed mysteriously cool and musically interesting in interviews etc and live the 3-piece band brought the music to life. They are not a copy-cat of anything, so trying to put labels on this band and draw comparisons would be silly, but for me they are one of the most original and creative musical acts I’ve discovered this year.
It’s noise music but not as I know it.
It’s electronica but not as we (Sacre Noir) do it.
Tinderdust live at Power Lunches, London

Tinderdust live at Power Lunches, London


Then it was time for us to take to the stage… with friends & family in the crowd this evening we hoped for a smooth run, but as always there were one or two technical difficulties. Nothing major and the crowd were great at putting up with my chat while we sorted things out.
The sound on stage was great (very loud and bass heavy), the audience were amazing (great reception to songs old & new) and the sweat was running off the walls by the time we’d finished.
Sacre Noir live at Power Lunches, London

Sacre Noir live at Power Lunches, London


It was great to catch up with old friends and band mates (The Duncans) as well as possible new collaborators (Mr Phil M) in London. We have made some great new friends and fans during this tour but it is always great when people you know and trust come to shows and enjoy themselves. So to have family (cousin Muir and Uncle Barry & Ray) coming along to this show was very special indeed.
This has to be one of the best nights we’ve played in London; great acts on the bill and hosted by the coolest band in town – we went home feeling very lucky indeed.

George Orwell one wrote of London “it was queer after Paris; everything was so much cleaner and quieter and drearier.”
Well George if you could see her now – after Paris we found London more dirty & noisy, and I can only imagine London being dreary if you don’t know the right people… we have had a fantastic time in London this year and it has been great to catch up with dressmaker too; can’t wait to have them play in Scotland again.

NEXT SHOW
Summer Tour 2014: Gig 9 Wednesday 6th August @ The Central Bar (Gateshead)
With Jen Stevens & The Hiccups

Sunday 27th July – Day Off, Paris
After the success of the Paris leg of this year’s summer tour and some much needed sleep, we went into the 10th Arr. & had brunch in a lovely bar called ‘Swinging Londress’. It was great value (quiche, salad, eggs, rice & olives, bread, juice, coffee & dessert for €12), with great service and in a really nice location too.

Sunday Brunch in Paris

Sunday Brunch in Paris


Later in the day we went back to Au Chat Noir as I left my hat & mask the previous night after our show, before heading out into the suburbs for a BBQ with friends and in the evening we ate at an American style café.
Paris street art & AlexisSs

Paris street art & AlexisSs


Having had a pretty lazy day, we went back to the apartment to discover that a local music fan had filmed our show from Friday night at AbracadaBar and uploaded the full set to YouTube. Although we always record our rehearsals and live shows to watch back and evaluate, the angle is usually from the side of the stage and it’s often more like watching again from your own viewpoint rather than that of the audience. As this was all from the audience’s view it provided us with a little insight into the delivery and performance aspect of a Sacre Noir show, which was really nice.

We were really pleased with our set after the show and having watched it back we were pleased to see that everything did indeed sound & look just as great out front. The Tour de France finished today & apart from all the fans in polka dot tops, we managed to miss the whole thing. We were in Paris at the same time 4 years ago (honeymoon) and saw the final sprint down the Champs Elyssee, which was really cool, but I do remember having to walk the long way round the city as many of the streets and roads were closed off, so we were keen to avoid that this time.

Monday 28th July – Day Off, Paris (Alexis’s birthday)
As with all birthdays, I was more excited than Alexis today, but after a quick call from his mum & dad, we went out for the day.

Paris Metro

Paris Metro


Starting with a trip to the Albert Khan gardens and photography exhibition, which involved 3 changes on the Metro. When we got there we discovered that it was closed on Mondays, but as we found ourselves in an unfamiliar and a nice part of town, we decided to stay for a coffee, and after a trip to the supermarket we ate our picnic there too. Keen to spend some time in a ‘green space’ today, we went over to the park Andre Citroen (on the site of his old car factory).
Paris park

Paris park


It was really lovely & peaceful in the park, so we stayed there for a while then went back into town for a spot of shopping near Montmartre.
"I love you"

“I love you”


In the evening we ate at a local Indian restaurant, which was really lovely. It can be very difficult going out for food in Paris as a vegetarian, but thankfully some national cuisines can always be relied upon to provide lots of options.
Back in the apartment for our last night in Paris before midnight (this has been rare on this trip), we caught up with some emails and watched TV and had some birthday cake.
Birthday cake

Birthday cake


It really has been a great trip and we’ll have to make a special post for all the “thank-yous” at the end of the tour.

Tuesday 29th July – Travel Day (Paris – London)
Got up early and headed out for coffee before packing the bags and heading into for lunch near GDN. We also managed to find time for some cake before leaving Paris.
Our train back to London was just after 3pm, getting into St Pancras before 5pm. It was raining when we left Paris, but the sun was shining when we arrived in London. We made it back to Ealing in time for a quick cuppa and a change of clothes before going out to The Village for a small acoustic show with Andy Docherty and friends. We met Andy last year when we played at Power’s Bar in Kilburn (sadly gone now).
Andy (a fellow Scot) is running the open mic at this nice pub on Pitshanger Lane, bringing some of his very talented friends into the leafy suburbs of Ealing. Tonight, as well as Andy and ourselves, one of the other acts who performed was a fantastically talented young lady called Jai Blue – she has a stunning voice and managed to bring the crowd to silence with her beautiful voice and lovely lyrics. Her first song was about her relationship with her mum (who “didn’t raise no quitter”) and told a story of strength and trust – just beautiful. There were a few first timers to the open mic scene but everyone had a great night and the crowd was very supportive.

Jai Blue at The Village Inn (Ealing)

Jai Blue at The Village Inn (Ealing)


The Village Inn is a lovely bar with really great staff (super friendly and full of fun) and I’m sure their ‘acoustic night’ will go from strength to strength. Andy finished the evening with a cover of ‘Hey Laura’ by Gregory Porter, which was a very classy way to end the evening.

Wednesday 30th July – Day off in London
“So I went and sat in Crystal Palace, by the plastic dinosaurs”… and all because of some lyrics in a Brett Anderson song. The park was beautiful & the dinosaurs (which aren’t plastic) were really cool. They pre-date Darwin’s ‘The Origin of Species’ and are really quite different from the more contemporary versions. The song “To The Winter” makes the park sound bleak and dark and lonely, but on a beautiful sunny day, with kids running and playing everywhere and families in small boats in the pond, it was anything but bleak.

Crystal Palace Park

Crystal Palace Park


In the afternoon we went to Camden and had coffee by the lock. I love Camden! It really is one of the most vibrant areas of London with a great mix of bars and cafés and strange sights like the DJ Granddad (who entertained the crowds by playing dance track while his friends did a strange dance routine (if you can call it a routine)… it was very funny.
"People are strange, when you're a stranger"

“People are strange, when you’re a stranger”


We also discovered the ‘Edinburgh’ area of Camden (near Parkway) which is home to a pub called the ‘Edinboro Castle’ and streets called Holyrood Court and Northbridge schools…. Very funny for us natives.
The Edinboro Castle, Camden

The Edinboro Castle, Camden


In the evening we went back to Ealing for a BBQ in the garden to make the most of the beautiful weather.

Thursday 31st July – Day off in London
We went out early in the morning to Holland Park which is really stunning.
Just before you get to the park there is a statue of St Volodymyr of Ukraine with a tribute to those who have recently lost their lives in the recent conflict. It was very emotional reading the stories of how these young men were found or killed, and some are still missing (since March this year).

St Volodymyr of Ukraine

St Volodymyr of Ukraine


Inside Holland Park there are a few peacocks that live there and they were really cool to see up close – very calm and quite friendly with the public and squirrels. The park has a beautiful Japanese garden and loads of natural play areas for kids. It is a really relaxing space in the city, I think because there is no cycling, skating allowed and dogs have to stay on a lead, and as a consequence everything seems very controlled.
AlexisSs in Holland Park

AlexisSs in Holland Park


After a picnic in the park we headed over to Hackney to catch up with friends, Barry & Ray. We started off in their local pub, The Cock Tavern then heading out for food at the Hackney Bureau. Both the craft beer and cider at the pub were lovely and in the bistro the food was simple and fresh. It was great to get together and have a good chat before they gig tomorrow evening when I’m sure Alexis & I will be in ‘show mode’ and not really able to spend as much time with them as we’d like to.
at Barry & Ray's in Hackney

at Barry & Ray’s in Hackney

NEXT SHOW
Summer Tour 2014: Gig 8 Friday 1st August @ Power Lunches (London)
dressmaker presents: Sacre Noir (Dark Female Lo-Fi from Scotland), Introverts,
Tinderdust, Grand Bassam
https://www.facebook.com/events/301947156645961/

Saturday 26th July @ Au Chat Noir, Paris
Feeling very tired after yesterday’s excitement, we got up late and after a coffee at the bar downstairs went into town for lunch at a curry house near Gare Du Nord, which was just what the doctor ordered. Well fed and feeling a little more human it was time to head back to the apartment and get our selves together for tonight’s show.

graffiti at GDN

graffiti at GDN


We arrived at Au Chat Noir and set up our equipment early as we are doing everything ourselves this evening (door, sound, promotion etc) and we were very pleased when the guys from AsOne arrived to help with the balance. It’s always difficult to be the musician and sound engineer at the same time but because we’d played together last night both bands could help each other (and the bass player from AsOne is a sound engineer for TV & Film so this was a great advantage). Our support act for this evening is a local musician who goes by the moniker of Popper Must (Be). A friend of a friend, he has kindly agreed to join us for this show after we had to cancel our original choice a few weeks ago. His music is new to me but having listened online, Alexis & I were both very impressed with his alt.folk style. He played a set of original material with a cover of “Nights in White Satin” which was amazing! His performance was rich in dynamic range and his lyrics are full of emotion and honesty. He is the kind of artist that makes you pay attention and he really draws you in to his performance.
Popper Must (Be)

Popper Must (Be)


Next up was AsOne, and after our show together last night we were really looking forward to seeing them again. We were not disappointed. Just like the previous night they played a full on set of trip-hop sounds and once again we were blown away! Unlike last night (when I was a little nervous) I was able to really enjoy their set and from the back of the room, beside the cash desk, I danced away to the whole set and tried to pick up some vocal jazz tips from their fantastic vocalist, Chloe.
The crowds gather from AsOne

The crowds gather from AsOne


Then it was our turn to take to the stage for our final show in Paris for this tour. With a mixture of excitement and sadness we played a heavier set than in AbracadaBar and again everyone seemed to really enjoy our show.
Sacre Noir @ Au Chat Noir - photo by Chacal Fréville

Sacre Noir @ Au Chat Noir – photo by Chacal Fréville


We are really keen to work with AsOne again & outside the bar after the gig we talked about future collaborations, remixes and tours together. We have had a fantastic time in Paris, playing in some great venues and making great new friends as well as getting to catch up with old ones. Now it is time for a few days off in this beautiful city before our next show in London, which we are really excited about.
dressmaker presents: Sacre Noir (Dark Female Lo-Fi from Scotland), Introverts, Tinderdust, Grand Bassam

dressmaker presents: Sacre Noir (Dark Female Lo-Fi from Scotland), Introverts, Tinderdust, Grand Bassam

Friday 25th July @ Abracadabar, Paris
In the morning we went to the Pantheon to check out the JR exhibition (having read about it in the Eurostar magazine) and then went for lunch at the Institute De Monde Arabe, which is in the same area of town. The view from the rooftop of the Institute is amazing!

Rooftop view of Paris

Rooftop view of Paris


Feeling excited about the show tonight, we went back to the apartment to collect the instruments and then made our way to AbracadaBar. We met AsOne outside and instantly knew we were all going to get on well. They are a 6-piece band (2 guitar, bass, drums, keys & vocals) and arrived with a van full of equipment. We decided they would play 1st as the other act that was meant to be supporting us this evening pulled out at the last minute (the guitarist is in Greece apparently). Like many venues in Paris, AbracadaBar has a limiter so I was a little worried that this space might be a little too small for them, but the sound engineer was great & everyone sounded amazing! I really love their ‘trip-hop’ sound! They have a classic, dirty sounding stomp (helped by the synths / keys), an amazing bass player, a drummer that used to be a Drum ‘n’ Bass DJ and a vocalist who oozes Jazz. Both guitarists played between lead & rhythm and there was even a bit of instrument swapping going on. To top it all off they have a friend (Robert) who records all the spoken word sample parts for them, which are so good I thought they were film samples when listening online.
AsOne at AbracadaBar

AsOne at AbracadaBar


There set was great! Each member of the band is strong & confident within their role and together the chemistry is obvious. I’m so glad we discovered them and hopefully we’ll be able to arrange some shows together in the UK soon.
We received a great response from the audience and again were signing CDs at the end of the night. Amongst the crowd we met a fellow Scot (who was on holiday from Kuala Lumpur) with a bunch of his friends and a few locals who all seemed keen to see us playing again. Perhaps Kuala Lumpur is a little far for us to go, but we’ll definitely be back in Paris again soon.
We stayed for a few hours after the concert chatting with AsOne & our new friends / fans as the Metro runs til 2am, so no need to rush off. Along with all the compliments we received, I also managed to attract a red rose & a hat by the end of the evening and only had one minor (major) drama RE: a lost iPod which turned out to just be a ‘Carrie’ moment and we went home feeling very pleased with ourselves.
gifts from fans

gifts from fans


NEXT SHOW
Summer Tour 2014: Gig 7 Saturday 26th July @ Au Chat Noir (Paris)