Bandwagon Blog

Archive for May, 2012

BandWagon Bands – On the Road… with Maia

Maia Weekender : 4th-6th May

Beak saturation can hit at any time – the cusp is always in sight!

We started this weekend’s adventure at 9:30 am; the van’s battery is flat as a pancake! After rushing some clothes on, we get round to Will’s house to try to jump/bump/hump start the van, but to no avail. So we call out the specialists who get us started in 20 mins, and we’re on our way to the University of Huddersfield to pick up all our gear. We check there’s nothing left behind (a Ukulele is too easily forgotten!) and hit the M1 like a sack of beans.

We’re always worried when we head down to London that Will, our drummer, will have ‘laid on something special’ on the motorway, such as a 15 hour traffic jam, or Rare Mongolian Fruit Lizards Nesting in the middle lane! Fortunately, this time there is nothing hindering our progress toward the big smoke, and we make it to The Troubadour in good time (for once!).

Having sound checked flawlessly, we head off out to grab something to eat before the show and get back in time to watch some acts. We then played our set (marvellously, it must be said) and chatted to all the interesting London folk, who would never usually say anything if met on the street! I think we sold a few albums, maybe and E.P. or two, and then it’s time to P.U.F.O. (Pack Up, F*** Off!).

This time, however, we have an extra addition to our van – one of our fans has travelled down to see us from the Bedford area, and by the time we are leaving (c. 1am) she is also; on her own! So, of course, we give her a lift back to Bedford, as we’re staying in Milton Keynes that night!! It’s a fun, but fairly long way back, arriving at the great Haig residence at roughly 3am.

Waking up in Milton Keynes, feeling refreshed, it’s back down to the big smoke again. Morale is fairly low, but we soldier on, looking forward to playing together more than anything, but also we’re playing for Sam Lee of the Nest Collective, this miserable Saturday, at the renowned Camden Crawl. These guys know how to treat a band! First we blag the van into the car park (you wouldn’t believe how difficult this can be, sometimes – usually we just go for it and find out consequences later!) and then we can unload onto the big outside stage, when *cue rain sound effects* it chucks it down!

We’ve been shafted again, are thoughts all round, but NAY! Sam Lee gets us inside the Roundhouse, and we quickly realise that there is no shafting occurring, save for us shafting the car parking warden!! The place is PACKED OUT, and the audience are so ready and willing to listen to our music that we play an absolute blinder, even though the PA/stage inside was a 20 minute makeshift! This just goes to show how variable life on stage can be!

After this excellent show, we are treated to burgers at the artist cafe and pack our van to head off, back up to Huddersfield. We stick around though, to watch a couple more bands – the Magic Lanterns, This is the Kit, and Sam Lee are always a delight to watch – and then we end up making friends with them, doing and album swap and exchanging contacts to sort out shows later in the year… They definitely didn’t teach us this at Uni!

So, we mooch on back up our favourite super-motorway in better spirits than the day previous. We get to uni, drop the gear back off in the store, and head to our various homes for a good night’s sleep.

When doing a radio session/show, one never quite knows what is going to be the drill! We turned up in (it has to be said) one of the more dilapidated areas of Leeds, for our ELFM radio sessions, but was greeted by Zoë, one of the nicest people we’ve ever met (it has to be said!) She got us watered, and we rehearsed a couple of songs, as Will had had some dodgy chicken the night before, so couldn’t bear to sit on the wooden box of the Cajon! But this worked a charm, and without all the percussion, we had played and packed down quicker than we could learn the names of all the busy worker bees there!

We packed the car, and got on the M62 back to Huddersfield, safe in the knowledge that we’d be back down to London quicker than we could write this blog!!

Joe, Tom, Simon & Will (MAIA)

xx

Maia the band

 

Stateside Spotlight

Everyone loves [legally] free music, right?  Well, I do at least, and up-and-coming California fivesome, The Neighbourhood believe in Internet generosity as well.  As of right now, the band has released their debut EP, I’m Sorry, which consists of five smooth, catchy tunes. These are clearly kids brought up on an eclectic musical diet. The main thrust is Indie, but there’s a clear hip hop influence underneath it all. Think NewVillagers, or Why? (with less rapping).  But outside of links to their tumblr and twitter don’t expect to find out much more about this group except their dates. Mystery seems to be their niche at the moment.  And hey, I’m not complaining. Tracks like the insanely catchy Sweater Weather, or Female Robbery more than make up for the information black hole.

They’re currently touring the states with The Wombats, and according to some very reliable sources are due to come over to Europe later this year.  Download the EP here and tell everyone that you heard about them first. (You don’t have to mention the BandWagon part. Unless of course you want extra cool points. Which you obviously do.)

 

Did I mention that they made a music video to Sweater Weather entirely out of old film?  Watch it here
by Caitlin Bahrey
edited by Robert Neumark-Jones

All Along the Watchtower

I’ve been thinking. How much of a role do we want music to play in our lives? It seems that everywhere you go, music’s playing. Think about it – anywhere from the tube to a public toilet. Or you can just put the headphones in and replace all that with music. Music you control. There’s music for sad moments, music for sleep. Sex. Food. Music as therapy. In fact, I came across the most fantastic video you are ever likely to see this year. About just how crucial the most we are listening to now is, and how important it will be as we advance in years. I’ve already said too much. Just watch this (watch it) for the most inspiringly elating few minutes of video this year, and treasure those headphones.

Ok, so anyway, welcome to the blog. There’s going to be lots more going on here as we grow. We’ve got the inimitable GigSlut, of course. Added to that there’s Band on the Road, where we hear all the dark tales of rum and pot noodles from the road, and our very special Talk to the Professional, where we are granted an eye into the other side of the music industry, business style. And then there’s this. Which may lead you – it certainly leads me – to ask, what is this? Well, it’s a few things; A cursory glance over what’s happening in the world of music, be it home or abroad. A  few things that made me smile, or cry, or smile-cry, or cry then smile, then cry and cry and cry. Then smile. It can also be more or less of all these things, it can be YOUR blog if you’ll excuse the cheesiness. Write in, tell us what you think. What you’d like more or less of. Or if you just want to see more stuff like this

As for London, Bad Idea’s EP launch kicked the door in. With support from from the excellent Molten Mirrors, Death Sound Blues. These were three intelligent and occasionally raw (in the best way) performances, and the cake was spot on too. My oh My if only Jan Terri could boast of such accomplishments. Only Kidding Jan, I love you.

Elsewhere, up in Sheffield we had more excellent Opus and the Riverhouse sessions, and down south Kids with Crayons played their first gig to rapturous applause and demands for more. Oh, and is anyone else finding the new Cribs single really good (despite the appalling album title)? Closing salvo here saved for BandWagon’s six month party. Oh take that look off your face. We’re only six months year old, OK? I defy you to find any six month old who isn’t all “me, me, me”. Excellent sets were had by The Traitor’s Club, The May Birds, and Ivory Heroes, but it was L.A. Salami who really stood out. Well, it’s a toss up between him, and the drunken ol’ rasta man, who sporadically approached him to yell encouragement a bit too loudly and a bit too long. It was a beautiful weird double act. Then I left, got on the tube, and put in my headphones. That’s what music does, give you a prescription for any moment. It’s up to you if you want to fill it.

Signing out, ‘til next time, with an honourable mention to The Beastie Boys’ Yauch. RIP.

Egg raid on Mojo.

 

Robert Neumark-Jones

rob@bandwagongigs.com