Ramblings

Does It Rock? Awards 2011: The Winners

Sadly all of the award winners cannot be here to accept these awards, but feel free to get in touch to send your acceptance speeches any time!

Find the Nominees here!

Does It Rock Live Awards 2011: The Winners


Best Gig Performance

Winner: Jim Jones Revue (@ KoKo)

For this special live performance, a slice of the good ol’ days of rock and roll armed with two tone shoes, rockabilly style and jiving dancehalls was transported to north London. Everyone was swinging along to the amped up retro-blues party and all round great show brought to us by the Jim Jones Revue. A blistering live band who are impossible not to love, time and time again!

Best Festival Performance

Winner: Coldplay (@ Glastonbury)

As expected Coldplay’s live show is immense. But this one really surpassed expectations kicking both Beyonce and Bono into row z. A heady mix of classics and the new electro sound worked wonders as I fell back in love with a band who can probably now consider themselves among the greatest on the planet.

Best Song

Winner: Executioners Day (Heaven’s Basement @ Underworld)

On three different occasions we sampled this classic rock thumper. Each time better than the last! Its new extended live format the bridge melody now extends to a sample cover of RATM’s Bullet In Your Head, genius stuff! With their debut album on the horizon it’s long overdue release on the public at large is imminent. Hold tight world!

Best Venue

Winner: The Lexington

A great selection of beers in the cool hangout downstairs bar that’s never overcrowded and a superlative intimate venue up above wins this award hands down. There is no better place to catch a band in London!

Best Crowd

Winner: Death From Above 1979 (@ The Forum)

This over-enthused bunch were chomping at the bit on the much rejoiced return of the fuzz punks first London reunion shows. Bodies flying everywhere, uncontrollable dancing and more bustle than a half price sale at Selfridges. Mad, but great!

Best Festival

Winner: Glastonbury

The reasons are endless…there is simply too much to enjoy. All night bars, disco’s, side acts, crazy post-apocalyptic late night party zone, chill out area’s and fantastic food. This is before we mention any of the music. Worthy Farm is the spiritual home of the Music Festival, long may it reign.

Best Festival Anthem

Winner: One Day Like This (Elbow @ Glastonbury)

A totally brilliant set from elbow was massively endearing and full of emotional heartwarming tunes to swell the heartstrings. This had nearly everybody on the festival site singing in harmony, a great moment of joy (helped by the appearance of the sun !)

Best Frontman/Vocalist

Winner: Tim Harrington (Les Savy Fav)

Not so much for his singing though, this guy is a loony tune of epic proportions. His antics are chaotic, borderline insanity but you seriously can’t take your eyes off the man. Mesmerizing!

Best Guitarist

Winner: BB King

After his short waddle to his seat this old school legend showed everyone how to be the master of guitar. Beautiful staccato and hugely emotive string bends took centre stage during this set of pure blues magic.

2011 Spotlight Awards:

The “Waahahaaay Over The Top” award for exuberant Showmanship:

Winner: Saxophone Solo and Karaoke in the Crowd (Datarock @ The Garage)

You have to be pretty mad to start a karaoke sing-a-long to dirty dancing’s Time of Your Life. But to do so entirely in the crowd not forgetting the sax solo is on a different level. Showmanship and cheese collided in a truly unforgettable moment.

The “Eyecandy” award for the hottest woman of rock

Winner: Charlotte Hatherley (Ash)

Her triumphant return to the Ash fold proved that girls can truly rock with the boys, whilst adding that sprinkling of glamour!

The “Turned to 11″ award for the Loudest set

Winner: The Qemists ( @ Camden Crawl)

A shoe-in for this award were these Drum’n’Bass rebels after they blew up their rigs two songs into the set. They played not just for the Camden crowd, this show was audible nationwide!

The “I can’t believe I saw that” award for the Most Unexpected Gig Antics

Winner: The Balcony Climb, Crowd Demolition Derby and Bat Hang (Les Savy Fav @ Heaven)

Tim Harrington’s crazed antics took in a ride on a box on wheels at simply frightening speeds through the crowd (all with wired mic!). Then with the help of leg-ups and frantic pulling he clambered up onto the balcony, whereby he decided it was a good idea to hang over the edge backwards with a few burly guys holding his feet. Madness personified!

The “WTF??” award for the most unusual crowd Antics

Winner: Glo-Stick Assault (Les Savy Fav @ Heaven)

Another award for Tim Harrington, this time he gave the crowd permission to go crazy by lobbing a huge box full of glo-sticks into the crowd. Cue a glo-stick tsunami as they were catapulted around the room, at the band, at the security guards and at each other. Strangely beautiful to watch, but also quite dangerous to stick your head up for fear of flying luminescent projectiles.

The “Is that a…” award for Most Random Stage Prop

Winner: A Lighthouse (The Joy Formidable @ The Forum)

What on earth a Lighthouse is doing on a Kentish Town stage I will never ever understand…answers on a postcard please!

The “Fashion Disaster” award for Terrible Style

Winner: Yeti Jacket, Leather, Indian Headgear, Masking Tape Bikini, Face Paint etc… (Tim Harrington)

Tim’s shelf will be bulging now as his style also wins an award. Bizarre outfits, numerous changes and outlandish extravagance.

The “Do Not Enter” award for the worst gig Venue

Winner: KoKo (For extortionate beer prices and bad setlisting!)

Irked by the recent poor showing of this venue and it’s pricing and scheduling, KoKo despite its nice paintwork is the most underwhelming venue from 2012.

The “Ouch My Ears!” award for the worst Performance

Winner: Divorce @ Camden Crawl

These Glaswegian girls were absolutely hideous! They made a god awful, intolerable arty tripe which barely classifies as music. The worst performance of 2012 by a country mile!

City or Field?

Festivals are a HUGE business these days with everyone getting in on the act. Picking your summer festival is a tricky business! From the huge corporate sponsored festivals (O2 Wireless, T in the Park, V) to the anti-corporate ethics of (Green-Man, Field Day) to niche fests (Creamfields, Download, ATP, etc… ). The current indie explosion of “discovering the hottest band in the land” clearly has a lot to answer for!

It is one such festival, which has sprung up over the last few years, that I attended over the last May bank holiday.

Dot 2 Dot festival is a relatively small but ever growing city festival based in Nottingham and Bristol, I personally was at the west country leg. The idea of a city festival is a great one and whoever came up with the concept should be knighted for lots of reasons I’ll go into. But which is best – City or Field? Let’s ponder…

The Dot 2 Dot lineup was packed with emerging and more established bands, clean undercover venues, cheap tickets, no overblown marketing ploys, good sound systems, in a vibrant city to explore, a city full of choices to eat and an actual bed with shower/catering facilities (that’s if you live nearby, which thankfully my girlfriend does…yay Anna!)

No more being woken by the sun at 6am in a sizzling tent or the drunk louts singing “feeling hot-hot-hot” at 4am, no eating greased up burgers from those dodgy catering vans, no beer from cardboard cups, no standing in the pouring rain watching your favourite bands, and most importantly no damn portaloos! Of course these are all part of the summer festival experience and I would never think of changing them.

The city festivals are not immune to criticism either. There is no possibility of standing in sun to watch bands, venues tended to be quite far apart (up to 40 mins if you were really unlucky), you may not be let into a venue if its too crowded (thankfully this never happened to us), no huge bands could ever play them, you lose a sense of the festival camaradery as other non-festies are chilling out sipping their Sunday afternoon coffee’s totally oblivious to the action unfolding around them. Plus some venues (huh.huh …Trinity Music Centre…huh..huh..) are in some rather unpleasant areas.

I hope that you, like me, realize the definitive answer to this question. And that is no matter how long I can compare them to each other, essentially they are totally different concepts. The only similarity being it appeals to the music fans and any one who remotely enjoys music will love both experiences on their own merits.

So here I find myself back at the start of this ramble and no further along to an answer than when I started. Still I hope I may have ignited a spark within some of you to get out there to at least one festival over the summer, there truly is no better way of sampling all the best bands in the world on a budget!

Standby for the full Dot 2 Dot 2008 (Bristol) review shortly….

Kaiser Chiefs Vs Scooby Doo

I think that the Kaiser Chiefs have been spending too long watching re-runs of kids TV shows recently. The specific series in question would be the burger munching hapless mystery solving dectective canine, Scooby Doo.

I don’t know if its just me, but on their latest single “Ruby”, the chorus line plays like Scooby Doo’s famous catchphrase.

“Rooo-by, Rooo-by, Rooo-by, Rooooooooooo-by”

It’s such a good likeness, that “If it wasn’t for those pesky kids, they would have got away with it!”

Scooby Doo

Reformations, Reformations, Reformations…

Seems as if 2007 is going to be a big year for music as 3 era defining bands are reforming and will play take their shows on tour once more ready to revel in the tours cash fund for the next decade!

1) The Police: Those ska and reggae rhythm makers are definitely back together and touring after a 30 year hiatus. Glasto?

2) Rage Against the Machine: As much as I am saddened at the disbanding of Audioslave, but things can only get better as these 90’s funk, rap-metallers are back!! Now we just need to pray these will come to the UK for festival season. Reading? oh I hope so!!

3) Van Halen: It’s looking more and more likely that Eddie Van Halen, 80’s guitar virtuoso will return alongside original singer David Lee Roth with his son on bass guitar (keeping it in the family). But the extremely volatile relationship between Eddie and David could get douse the flames on this re-union. Monsters Of Rock Festival? How can they resist!!

“Im off to go pray for RATM and the Van Halen to add UK legs to their tours!!”

Vodaphone Live Shambles

I tuned into Channel 4 the other night to find the Vodaphone Live Music Awards being shown to my great excitement. This was however as good as it got for me, there were so many reasons why this was not a celebration of live music but just a big waste of time and just another crappy awards ceremony:

1, The Venue – God knows where this was held but performances of the bands were not all infront of the crowd which assembled in the main arena, but up a floor and out the back infront of some atmospheric shabby looking concrete walls. What was this trying to prove? that bands like to play in garages or derelict industrial wastelands?

2, Sound Quality – For a televised event the sound quality was extremely poor, no vibe of the live music atmosphere waded through the TV at all. I mean if all live televised performances were this dire, bring back the god-damned miming!

3, Chris Moyles – Iv’e always held the impression that Radio is the perfect platform for this guy, for he cannot actually here the long oh my god silences after yet another one of his dead pan japes. Maybe after this evening he will realise nobody laughs and just pack up his bags as well as his ample frame and get back to plaguing the uk’s radio waves.

4, The Crowd – Even the Brit awards have a pit full of screaming teenagers stage front who at least look as if they are enjoying theirselves. But im afraid that this event suffered severely from Corporate Fever. Everyone except maybe a few lucky competion winners looked like white collar corporate bigwigs in highflying overpaid jobs, who believe that making any slight movement in enjoying the music might ruin their business credentials. There were no fans there and it was more aligned with a friday evening social event at the CEO’s country getaway than a concert.

Such a great concept which is well overdue in arriving, but such poor execution! Still hats off to the winners!

Dont Hassle The Hoff

It’s Hoff-icial, the David Hasslehoff Appreciation society are out in force and are preparing for a daring attempt to get his to the top spot on the download charts. So far 24,321 fans have signed up to gethasselhofftonumber1.com pending a parallel buy of a track released after 75,000 names have been accumilated, stuff of legends hey.

Elsewhere The Hoff’s videos have began to re-surface and mark my word they are stupendous. Cheesy, Low Budget, Laced with Baywatch and Knight Rider with an infinite stream of corny and aweful lyrics. His latest single attempt, god forbid, is “Jump In My Car”, totally cringe worthy right down to the infamous baywatch run, James Bond imitation and Kit’s ejector seat (Kit was soo cool until this). Saying that though, it’s just too funny you have to watch it, so bad it’s great! But isn’t that the Hoff all over tho (except for the cameo in Spongebob which was genius, and not getting thrown out of Wimbledon shame really that made me laugh so hard). The making of the video is a gem too, getting to see the crew having to push the car back and forth and the girls seemingly embarrassed to be there (not one to put on the acting CV).

Here’s some vids, you HAVE to check out:

Jump In My Car Kit’s been shamed
Making of Jump In My Car Even better than the real thing
Hooked On A Feeling Ooga Chakka, Hooga Hooga… Insanely Funny

So Hassle aside, Im Hoff!
(sorry, couldn’t resist)

Crowd Sledding

This is just hilarious!! Surfing the easy way!! The instrumental version of “Beautiful” isn’t half bad neither, not what you would expect from Guns n’ Roses tho. Take me down to the Paradise City please!!

Sledding Superstar

Festive Jukebox

Here’s a short list of all the Christmas songs everybody should be listening to at this festive time of year.

1, Fairytale of New York – The Pogues. This has to be the best christmas song out there, it’s a joy to be able to play it loud without getting frowned at because it’s June

2, Driving Home For Christmas – Chris Rea. That’s what i’ll be doing next week, and i know what i’ll be listening to as i do.

3, Jingle Bells/Jingle Bell Rock – The Muppets. What could be better to liven your xmas than those muppets

4, Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End) – The Darkness. Superb xmas song in the same vein as Wizzard and Slades classics. Loud and proud rock anthem with the tongue firmly in cheek.

5, The Entire Christmas with the Ratpack Album. This really is the best album to listen to over christmas, great classic tracks from thoses old crooners. No Elton John or Mariah Carey in sight.

(A special mention to Gary Jules, whose chrismas number 1 of 2003 hasnt been heard since! And were all the better for it too!!)