Posts Tagged ‘electro music’

Wednesday 6th July 2016
Yay! We’re going to Paris today!
Shower. Pack. Check out. Coffee. Underground to King’s Cross. Check in. And we’re off.
Thank you Barking – it’s been great!

Arriving in Paris at 5pm the sun was shining and everything seemed to be right with the world again.
J’adore Paris.
We arrived at the apartment and dropped off our bags before heading straight out for the night.
Coffee, walking then food.
We ate at the Lotus Flower (a lovely family run Vietnamese resto) and watched the world go by. The food was great; filling and healthy tofu & veg dishes and the service was, as always in Paris, fantastic.
After a little late night stop at a café we headed back to the apartment and watched a couple of episodes of a French drama called ‘Paris’. It’s good for me to watch French language TV as it helps with the language & accent and also it’s great for location spotting.
‘Paris’ tells a twisted tales of love, life and politics staring Éric Caravaca, Florence Pernel, Sarah-Jane Sauvegrain – I’m loving it.
“24 hours in Paris following the trail of different people whose fates will cross decisively”

Thursday 7th July 2016
After morning coffees Alexis headed over to GDN to pick up his large drum bag and I popped into Belushi’s to catch up on some emails. We didn’t think that there would be anyone left there that we knew however Liam (a guy we met and suggested he ask for a job at the bar a few years ago) is now the bar manager.

Lunch was vegan burgers at Hank’s in the Marie, and it was great.

We wandered up to the 19th arr. & popped into our ‘home from home’ Belushi’s Canal.
This place and the old staff are the reason we first started playing shows in Paris – being invited in 2011 by the manager at the time to play shows in the bar and at their Plage stage. We met so many great people over the years thanks to the Belushi’s team and even though only one member of our Belushi’s family still works at Canal it still fills us with great memories and lots of love for those times.

Tonight is the France vs Germany Euro16 semi-final so we left before chaos ensued and walked back to the apartment via shops before finding a less ‘crazy’ bar to watch the game. Well, that was the plan anyway.
We ate at a lovely Indian resto close to the apartment and finished our meal about 9:45pm; just in time to pick a bar and get settled in for the second half of the game. The atmosphere was electric and we decided that the bar at the end of the street was looking like the one most likely to provide us with a seat. Outside all the tables and chairs were filled with wine drinking, face-painted fans and as their team were winning there seemed to be no chance of them leaving to provide us with a space in the late evening warmth. We headed inside and there were a few chairs left which had a view of the TV. I’m not sure if I’ve ever been so impressed with a bunch of drunk football fans (being Scottish means we have the best fans in the world however our team sucks, so we never really get to see fans celebrating such a big win). The locals shouted and cheered at the TV, applauding every decision and kick of the ball. Even when Boateng was taken off injured, the French fans were gracious and applauded the player’s effort. The full time whistle blew and the cheering and singing, clapping & dancing began. It continued into the small hours of the morning.
I may have mentioned this before, but I’ll say it again- I LOVE PARIS!

Friday 8th July 2016
Waking up for our second full day in Paris seemed strange; almost like we’ve been here for ages already. Everything seems so familiar and easy.
Today’s plan involved making some soup for lunch and testing out the facilities in the apartment and by lunch time we were sitting down to a healthy bowl of lentil soup and bread straight from La Flute Gana (one of the amazing boulangeries on the street).

We’d arranged to meet up with Antonia prior to the show at Au Chat Noir next week. Antonia is the poet in residence at Paris Spoken Word & I’m such a big fan of her work. We’ve been emailing back & forth for a few weeks and she has sent me some examples of material she may use for our collaboration & I am beyond excited to have her involved in our tour this year.

We met at 2pm outside the station Saint Germain des Pres and took a small walk before stopping off at a cute side-street café for some drinks.

After leaving Antonia we made our way to Au Chat Noir to deliver some promotional material for the gig, then carried on to Le Gambetta (again to deliver the flyers and posters for the show) before heading to Cinecitta (Italian resto) and then home for the evening. Determined to get to sleep earlier tonight, we watched the final 2 episodes of ‘Paris’ and went to bed.

Saturday 9th July 2016
We headed out to the beautiful and peaceful Bois des Vincennes in the morning armed with a picnic of bread, hummus and potato salad for lunch. The area is popular with locals as a spot for dog walking, horse riding and running, but still it retains a sense of calm. The sun was high in the sky, reaching temperatures of 35 degrees as we strolled through the wooded areas along the stream.
As we were close to Nation we decided to pop in to café Arnold Netter for coffees, reminiscing about our stay in this arrondissement whilst on tour 2 years ago. Each morning we would start the day with a café creme pour moi avec un espresso pour Alexi. We have very fond memories of the area and were pleased to see not much had changed (if anything) since our last visit.

Feeling refreshed we decided it would be a good idea to walk all the way home to our apartment on Rue des Pyrénées. It’s quite a long way so rewarded ourselves with cake from one of the many Patisseries on the street.
That evening we started watching the 1984 film flop that is David Lynch’s Dune. . . as big fans of Mr Lynch we were still keen to soak up his greatness (also Alexis had read the book and figured I’d enjoy the story if not the special fx that were bound to be out-dated).I was not surprised to see that the cast was filled with Twin Peaks actors (Kyle MacLachlan & Everett McGill) alongside classic British greats like Patrick Stewart & Sting.
The special effects do indeed look pretty awful now, but I can imagine that if I’d seen it back in the 80s I’d have been more than impressed.

Sunday 10th July 2016
This was our 6-year wedding anniversary.
We had coffee in the retro-styled café ‘Cream’ before making our way to the Buttes Chaumont for a tasty picnic.
Then we wandered along the Canal Saint Martin to the Parc Villette to enjoy more of the sunshine and weekend atmosphere.

In the evening we found ourselves a lovely Indian retso close to our apartment before we went and joined the locals surrounding the nearby cafés and bars to watch the 2nd half of the Euro2016 final. It was a nervous time but in the end France lost to Portugal.
All was not lost in the world of sporting achievements as Andy Murray won the Wimbledon men’s singles final.

Monday 11th July 2016
Lots of places are closed on a Monday (including the laundrettes) so we had a pretty quiet day; walking along the Seine from Gare De Austerlitz to the Louvre then the side-streets around the Champs Elysees. The street that our apartment is on is a food-lovers paradise and so we popped in to the deli downstairs and got some fantastic fresh ravioli for tea.

Later that evening we sauntered along to Au Chat Noir for coffee and a bit of Spoken Word Paris – the guest was Chris Bernstorf (from the USA) whose style and delivery was good but the content was overloaded with ‘Jesus loves us’ and ‘God is King’ chat…. A bit too much for my personal taste.

Tuesday 12th July 2016
We listened to the mastered tracks for the new LP all sounding fab and we’re so pleased with the final results.
Coffee & a visit to the laundrette were first on the cards for today, but after that we enjoyed another fine day of weather and wandering in this city that we love so much.

We visited the Jardin du Luxembourg and ate fresh falafel at a great little café near the Insitiut du monde Arabe (one of our favourite buildings in Paris).

Alexis treated me to a home cooked meal of puy lentils and goat’s cheese which was just what the doctor ordered. It’s strange being away from home for so long and not being able to indulge in life’s little pleasures (cooking and having a reliable wifi connection), so was lovely to be able to have such a fantastic tea made in our ‘own’ space.

Wednesday 13th July 2016
Headed out early to have coffee in the Marais before heading to the Pompidou centre. The queues were massive (even though we turned up 20 minutes before the place even opened), but we waited in line with everyone else eager to see inside. Doors open at 11am and once inside we found a bunch of other queues for tickets and who knows what else.

We saw a fantastic photography exhibition by Louis Stettner (American photographer) which put us in mind of our good friend Stephen Young; he also has a love of NYC and real life photography – not staged shots.

Afterwards we went to our favourite resto in Paris Les Pates Vivantes for lunch. Watching the noodles being hand-rolled whist we waited only served to make our tummies even more hungry. The food & service were as always fantastic – it never disappoints.

The afternoon was finished off by a trip to A L’etoile Dor – the renowned chocolate shop run by the equally renowned Denise Acabo. Recommended by everyone from my favourite ‘sweet freak’ Amy Thomas to the world’s favourite food blogger David Lebovitz, this place is like stepping back in time. Denise welcomes you like you are a long lost friend, providing a tour of her beautiful shop and the exquisite bon bons and bars that it houses. She speaks so quickly that I’m not sure I understood much of what she said but her enthusiasm is clear and the ingredients are world class. Denise selected a bag of 20 or so chocolates from her hand-picked range stored in wooden cabinets for us to take home and try before closing up for her summer holidays (she’s off to the south of France for 1 month to get some sun and much needed rest).
If you ever find yourself in SoPi (south Pigale) with a few euros to spare, I strongly recommend paying this marvellous woman a visit.

The shop was closed due to a gas explosion in 2014 and reopened in November 2015 almost exactly as it always was.
You can read about the recent adventures (or reconstruction & reopening of the shop) on many a blog but here’s a link to David’s updates… he is clearly a big fan.

On the same street as this fantastic candy store there are a number of musical instrument shops alongside cafes and bars which lead away from the seedy side of the area and back into old school Paris.
Feeling pleased with ourselves we stopped off at Belushi’s GDN for coffee and wifi before heading back to the apartment to finish off the press release for the new LP.

Next up we have our Paris shows: 14th @ Le Gambetta Club, 16th @ Au Chat Noir and 17th @ PopIn


Gig 3: The Abbey Tavern, London – 5th July 2016

Monday 4th July 2016

Waking up in Barking at the start of a working week, I expected the streets to be super busy and a bit manic, however I could not have been more wrong.
The high street was bustling and there was a general atmosphere of ‘work’ but the area seemed really relaxed; not too many people trying to move around, lovely wide streets and lots of independent cafés and shops.
We made our way to the Mali Café for coffees; a small but friendly space with a lovely beer garden and very friendly staff. The coffee was good and the sun was shining – a lovely way to start the day.

We headed over to Earl’s Court to drop some posters and flyers off at The Troubadour and spec out hotel number 2 (yes we’re those people, we like to know where we’re going before we have to get there). In true London fashion we were welcomed by the staff and made to feel at home in this iconic venue – we are even more excited to be playing there now, knowing that everyone is so accommodating & friendly.
As a side note, their brunch menu is rather tempting and the coffee is superb!

After spending some time in the area we decided that it was time for lunch. Keeping our eyes peeled for something not too pricey but still fresh and tasty, we spotted Franco Manca, an organic pizza place specialising in sour-dough based and organic ingredients, we ordered, and before you could say “leaning tower of Pisa” our delicious lunch was ready. 2 large pizzas, homemade lemonade and an apple juice for £16.00 – now that’s a ‘bon prix’.

Feeling very pleased with ourselves (and also very full) we made our way over to Charing Cross for a spot of shopping and people watching + a little time in a café to make use of the WiFi and check in with emails and social media.

We sat outside at St Giles and watched Andy Murray win his quarter-final match at Wimbledon before heading into The Angel (bar / lounge) to meet up with our good friend Keith.
Time flies when you are having fun & catching up with friends (or discussing politics and verbally annihilating a common acquaintance as was in our case), and soon the bell for last orders was ringing.

Tuesday 5th July 2016
We decided to spend a bit of time in the morning in Barking and headed out to the Abbey. Originally founded in the year 666 (not that there is much still visible from that time) it really is very beautiful. The nun’s cemetery looked French to me; Alexis reminded me that this because of the religion (Catholic) and not really a ‘stylistic’ or ‘aesthetic’ design. The Abbey was destroyed by the Danes, rebuilt by William the Conqueror and over the years St Margaret’s Church and the Curfew Tower were added to the grounds. Today it is a peaceful space which houses a café and visitor centre.

For me a trip to London is not complete without a wander down Brick Lane.
This is the 1st place I ever played a solo London show (at The Vibe Bar which is now gone) and is also home to Rough Trade East, Café 1001, 93 Feet East and some of the best local designers and artists currently in the city.

The area is also responsible for some of the most amazing smells via the Brick Lane curry mile so after a quick stop at Rough Trade (where we literally bumped into Bobby Gillespie from Primal Scream) we found the friendliest Bangladeshi waiter, who sold us his menu by mentioning the fixed price menu included lots of veggie options, we could have a round of drinks and they could do me a great mango lassi – done.
It was a great lunch and the service was superb until it came time to pay and the waiter asked if we had any “British money” when we tried to pay using Scottish notes.
No tip for you buddy!

We walked from there to Old Street Station past some great street art and getting a little lost along the way.

Musician spotting no. 2: Jarvis Cocker

We spent some time in Camden, relaxing by the lock before searching out a fantastic local café, whose staff sorted us out with fresh pressed apple juice and homemade lemon polenta cake.

Next stop The Abbey Tavern for tonight promotional activities; the Open Mic night for eARmusic with some superbly talented people. As is always the case when we play this type of event in London, we were blown away by the diverse range of talents on show. There were a few guitar/vocal song-writing types, a saxophonist/vocalist, a conga playing singer and my favourite of the night ‘Stylophobia’ (a fanatically entertaining chap who delivered a mini pop-rock festival of covers on a Stylophone).

Back in our hotel we did a little reading / TV watching before it was time for bed.

Gig: Friday 1st July 2016
The last week has been emotional and hectic to say the least. After the shock referendum result we were all a bit dazed and confused.

We kept busy & were able to distract ourselves with finishing the LP mixes, listening to mastered versions of each track, finishing the music video and putting together the package for Nothing Falls Apart.

Before we knew what had happened it was Thursday evening and we headed out for a pre-gig / tour rehearsal at Edinburgh’s Color Sound Studios.

Sometimes things happen just as planned and run ahead of schedule.
Sometimes things get a little lost in the mire.
Sometimes things happen pretty close to the edge.
But everything happens for a reason and so we carry on.
This is the way things are in Sacre Noir.

3pm Friday: bounce the final (FINAL) version of the new music video
4pm Friday: pack bags and ‘extras’ for the launch party
5pm Friday: arrive at The Safari Lounge, set up and realise we’ve forgotten stuff
6pm Friday: re-arrive at The Safari Lounge with the rest of our equipment
7pm Friday: doors open
7:30pm: Publisher hits the stage as the evening’s opening act.
The Edinburgh based, Dutchman brought his one-man electro set up and delivered a fantastic shoegaze-esque set. Guitar, vocals, fx, loopers and Kaoss Pads blended into soundscapes that invoked the music of Twin Peaks had it been sound-tracked by Ian Curtis.
Some songs were pretty commercial and were reminiscent of early Coldplay, others much more niche and geeky. Everyone loved the set & it was just a shame the man himself had to dash off to play another gig in town.
A perfect way to start the evening.
Track of the evening: Father

8:30pm: Next up was one of our favourite musicians in the city, Stephen McLaren; a passionate singer-songwriter who was on great form vocally (he even brought some banter about his song-writing process, which I really enjoyed).
Stephen played a crowd pleasing set; a nice balance of tracks from days in previous bands and new solo material.
A strong Scottish accent peppers his delivery and Stephen showed off not only his piano playing prowess but also his outrageous vocal range.
Track of the evening: We Used to Go Raving

This is exactly why we love to run our own events. We get to see acts that we really love and thankfully everyone else seems to enjoy our curation skills too.
We should definitely think about doing this more than just a couple of times a year.

9:30pm: Time for Sacre Noir to take to the stage.
We planned to play the new LP from start to finish (just as we did in 2012 when we launched Sinking into Darkness at the Hyperbubble show in Henry’s Cellar Bar).

It’s a good test of the running order and although not right for every venue, we felt the chilled atmosphere of The Safari Lounge could take the full on trip-hop experience that we’re hoping to delivery with Nothing Falls Apart.
The crowd reaction was great to the new material and after a quick trip to the bar to top up glasses it was the moment we had all been waiting for – the video preview.
Screen Shot 2016-07-04 at 16.00.20.png

Again the crowd reaction was amazing. Speaking to people afterwards it was clear that the change in ‘style’ was welcome and fitted the track, linking the lyrics (quote and 1930’s inspiration) to the venue (The Biscuit Factory) and the music.
We DJ ‘d until it was time to go home, taking time out to catch up with friends and fellow local musicians.

@ Midnight: pressed ‘make public’ button on the YouTube page.
Screen Shot 2016-07-04 at 16.04.08.png


1:30am time to go to bed
We have one more day to sort everything else out before hitting the road.

Saturday 2nd July 2016
We woke up early and got ourselves ready to head along to our favourite café / gallery (Art and Vintage) for one last lazy morning before we head off to London and Paris.
A few cappuccinos and one warmed almond croissant later and we were ready once more to take on the world. In reality this involved cleaning the house and finishing press releases, answering emails and backing up data. . . it really is a rock ‘n’ roll life we lead.

Sunday 3rd July 2016
After a very late night we arose first thing with the sunlight streaming through the curtains.
Coffee, tea, showers, last-minute packing and we’re off.

We caught the 11:00am Virgin train to London Kings Cross and after a pretty standard journey, headed over to St Pancreas and sent the big drum bag to Gare Du Nord. It’s a great service; no need to keep it with us in London as we’re only doing a small guitar vocal set during this first stop in London. Also saves us moving it to the hotel and back again which is always a bit of a pain as it is so heavy.
I had to get a new Oyster card on arrival as I totally forgot to look mine out, then we headed East and found our hotel.
First stop was The Broadway Theatre for coffee and a bit of time to enjoy the evening sunshine.
We ate at The Bengal Lancer in Barking which was really near the hotel and provided us with exactly what we needed; fine & tasty veggie food.
Caught the end of the France vs Iceland Euro2016 game, had a pre-bedtime jaunt to the local park & Abbey and then had an early night.

Next Gig: The Abbey Tavern in Kentish Town for EarMusic
Facebook Event Page


LeithLate16 @ Elvis Shakespeare, Edinburgh 
Thursday 23rd June 2016
Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 14.30.12

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.

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).
Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 14.39.11
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.
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




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.



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.
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

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.

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)