Yesterday, we were lucky enough to get tickets to see Feist headline a show at Royal Albert Hall. Not only that, but M Ward was supporting and Mountain Man sang with Feist throughout the show as backing singers.
M Ward sounded magnificent opening, performing old favourites as well as tracks from his forthcoming album, A Wasteland Companion.
Feist was absolutely fantastic; an utter delight from start to finish. The musicianship of the band, and her showmanship and magnetism as a frontwoman, was spellbinding. The setlist was heavy with Metals tracks, but the band also performed older songs such as Mushaboom and a handful from The Reminder, including the infectious I Feel It All. Most of all it just seemed like she was having a great time performing – getting a crowd at Albert Hall to sing along, get up and dance and do Mexican waves is not an easy feat, but Feist handled it NO PROBLEMO! Highlights included the two encores – one of which she invited the audience to join her on stage to slowdance to her classic track Let It Die, which many audience members were only too happy to oblige in:
Utterly joyous, right?! Mountain Man were terrific singing back up and had a spotlight moment performing one of their own tracks, which obviously went down like a cake delivery to a fat kid’s birthday. Ie: brilliantly.
The encore also saw a duet with M Ward on a cover of Jesus and The Mary Chain’s Sometimes Always.
This Sunday, April 1st, I Break Horses will perform a headline show at London’s Scala. Support comes from Man Without Country, and tickets are available to buy from ATP here.
In 2011, we were thrilled to release I Break Horses’ debut album Hearts. The band had only played a handful of live dates, including a short December UK tour culminating in a sell out show at London’s Cargo. This Sunday’s show will be their first UK performance since that date and promises to be an awesome show indeed.
We are excited to offer a very special prize to a fan attending Sunday’s show. I Break Horses (amongst many other fantastic artists, including a bunch of Bella bands) will perform at Primavera Festival in Barcelona. We’d love you to have the chance to watch the band again at the festival, so we have a pair of tickets up for grabs. All you have to do is come to the merch table on Sunday and leave your name and contact details on the ‘Primavera’ list, and we’ll draw a name at random and alert the winner on the following Monday. Switswoo, what a great prize!
So, to enter, make sure you a) come to the show on Sunday and b) leave your name and email on the list at the merch stand.
This is Pip, he is a house cat. Being the house cat of someone who works 9-to-5 is a pretty shitty deal but, as is Pip’s lot, being the house cat of retirees means your feline consciousness is formed within a world which only serves to serve you, 24/7.
As a touring person who can’t even keep the hardiest, gnarliest pot plants alive, a cat of my own is out of the question. But thankfully, visiting my grandparents off tour also means visiting Pip. He is a constant stoic companion to my Granddad in the daytime and a demanding affectionate bundle to my Nana at night. So attuned to his tiny universe, he knows that the sound of my Nana’s reading glasses hitting her bedside table means it is time to sleep, he’ll run in from the landing and jump onto the bed upon hearing it.
A tiny white Persian, Pip is approximately 80% fluff and makes the tiny ‘yam’ that someone with a face bred to lack a sonorous beaky nose could muster. He’s very different to my parents’ cats, with their social lives outside the home and brethren companionship within, Pip is a quiet soul and rules over my grandparents’ house part watchman, part cloud. Interaction with Pip is a slightly frosty affair, but with time I have been slowly promoted and can enjoy the particular satisfaction of affection that has been earned.
VAN DYKE PARKS TO REISSUE THREE CLASSIC ALBUMS IN JUNE 2012
Bella Union are proud to announce the long-awaited reissue of three of the most highly prized and visionary albums from one of the most influential figures of twentieth century music, Van Dyke Parks.
If you don’t know Van Dyke Parks, now is the chance to immerse yourself in a uniquely eclectic and daring landscape. Parks may be best known for penning the lyrics to The Beach Boys’ legendary sixties masterpiece Smile and more recently his arrangements helped shape Joanna Newsom’s epic album Ys. But the true riches of Parks’ talent lies in his first three solo albums, Song Cycle (1968), Discover America (1972) and Clang Of The Yankee Reaper (1975). This trio of acclaimed records defined Americana decades before the term was invented. An expansive Americana that didn’t merely tap the post-war roots in folk and country music that we expect from the genre, but an all-embracing vision that included ragtime, vaudeville, jazz, bluegrass, psychedelia, classical and calypso, unified by a singer-songwriter spirit as much in line with Randy Newman and Harry Nilsson as Park’s collaborator Brian Wilson.
Born in Mississippi in 1943, Parks was extraordinary even as a child, a musical prodigy and actor who later became a session musician, composer, producer, arranger, lyricist, and singer. His own music is as cinematic, fantastical and even phantasmagorical as it is from the heart. Song Cycle was less conventionally pop, in verse-chorus fashion, than Smile; the mood was something like a baroque psychedelic dream filtered through Disney and music hall. Discover America was a major departure, with most songs written by pre-war Calypso musicians from Trinidad & Tobago but given Parks’ highly individual spin. Clang Of The Yankee Reaper further wove New Orleans, classical and pop strains alongside Calypso and Caribbean rhythms.
There have been more albums since, plus film scores, children’s books and arrangements for a dizzying array of talent (including Bruce Springsteen, Bonnie Raitt and Rufus Wainwright), but the jewels in Parks’ legacy remain those first three albums, slices of musical history both of their time and truly timeless.
Bella Union will release Song Cycle, Discover America and Clang Of The Yankee Reaper in June 2012.
And there’s more! To celebrate the release Van Dyke Parks will make a rare live appearance, performing at the Barbican with full orchestral accompaniment from the Britten Sinfonia and an astounding line-up of special guests to be announced soon. Info below:
Saturday 23 June – LONDON – Barbican (£15 – £25) [buy]