Lyrics of the Week

Jamie T has really grown on me over the years. Described as one of’ Britain’s best since Strummer, his songwriting has the ability to capture the experiences of many with tales of everyday shenanigans brought to life with his distinctive London tones and a unique use of sampling and his own skills on guitar and bass.

Below are the lyrics for Castro Dies, one of my favourite tracks from his most recent album, Kings and Queens:

Ya messing up my mind
You do it all the time
And that’s why enemies enemies and lovers
Will never be friends of mine.

Speak treat west
Like a stain on the chest
Of a while collar
Why do i bother
Money love hates honour
Grates if i look down i’m a goner
I’ll end up working for the bbc as a runner
Burning bills sloughed my fish wonder died of hunger
Friends stopped calling this time last summer.

I sit down sorrows and i start to sigh
I gotta get there before castro dies
Plight my guilt with highs
She smuggled with trouble in bubble wrap
Up the gap strapped between her thighs
So surprised when you meet her
She seemed so shy
Considering she got balls that are twice the size
Of you plus me plus the give me let me try
Better buy them all cos they’re in short supply
So here’s a conversation we can have when we fly
Got to get there before castro dies.

Ya messin’ up my mind
You do it all the time
I just can’t take the lies
Boy ya just going down on a low
I just can’t take the lies
Ya messin’ up my mind
And that’s why enemies enemies and loves will be friends of mine

I have a lesson learned
Enemy burned
I’m saving up my bandages
A non believer turned can be the loyalist of advocates
On aggregate i’m smashing it
I’m lacking backing but trashing it
I’m slacking and jacking the chips ya stacking
And spending them all on sandwiches
You ask me how it’s done
I just know how to handle it
See me through cynic critic scum who think your branded packages
And if you wanna come you know what i’ll be brandishing
A speaker full of lyrics beats and loops that i’ve been sampling

Ya messing up my mind
You do it all the time
And that’s why enemies enemies and lovers
Will never be friends of mine

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Lyrics of the Week.

Frank Turner’s brand new album, England Keep My Bones has been incredibly successful, but this newfound success, reaching single figures in the album charts has not led to any compromise in Frank’s astounding ability as a songwriter. One of my favourite tracks on the album is one which he has admitted to being possibly the most personal and painful of songwriting experiences. This is the touching ‘Redemption,’ which sees Frank baring his soul to the listener and showing his guilty conscience for all to see:

I was walking home to my house through the snow from the station
When the Springsteen came clear in my headphones with a pertinent question
Oh is love really real and do any of hope for redemption
Or are we are merely biting our time down to the lonely conclusions
Darling let me take your hand as I talk you through this
How loneliness edged into deep seeded psychosis
Lying away in crowded hotel rooms focused on takers
With my feelings laid clear on the ceiling
I don’t think I can do this
I don’t think I can do this

Well I tried so hard to not turn into my father
But if I only ever skip out his choices will I ever choose better
Oh the sad truth is the grass it will always seem greener
So I left you alone in a restaurant in London in winter
You deserved better

Out of trash some might back in my ears
Sound comes clear and brings the awful truth that I can’t stand what I’ve done to you
And it’s written clear in my diary today should have been our anniversary
But I’m far way and I’m far apart
And you’re back home with a broken heart
And loves is real and I can escape
I’ll only ever have myself to blame
These failures shift and save me in the night
Like a fever I can’t break try as I might
Wake me darling I need you take me home
But I know in the end redemption is mine and mine alone
So if each of us is made of a tally of mistakes and successes
Then the hour in the restaurant makes my score less than impressive
If each can be redeemed with the courage by which he confesses
So darling I miss you, your music and your musk and your kisses
I don’t think I can do this.

This is a fantastic song, with superb lyrics; something which is consistent throughout the new album. So, if you haven’t already been infected with ‘Frankophilia,’ then I highly recommend listening to the new album – England Keep My Bones, out now on Epitaph records.

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R.I.P Mouthwash!

It was a shame to hear about the split of long-standing British ska-punk group Mouthwash this month, just days after the release of the video for new single, ‘Nine To Five.’ The video, as seen below, was released on 20th June, whilst the split was announced on the 21st:

The band have been going since 1995 and have made a name for themselves as one of the most underrated British groups out there within the genre.

Despite being christened as an official ‘Erbert only last year, after seeing them support the King Blues with the Dirty Revolution in May, it was still sad news, as their music has made a big impact on me, especially their last album, ‘True Stories.”

Many bands have been paying homage to the group since the split, and it’s clear to see that this band have made a huge impact upon the scene, so they will be sorely missed. One such group are Sonic Boom Six, so Barney Boom decided to publish his first videoblog as a tribute to the band and their successes! R.I.P Mouthwash!

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Frank Turner – Live @ St Paul’s Church In Cambridge

After headlining his biggest show yet at Brixton Academy at the end of 2010, Frank Turner made the decision to go to to the opposite end of the scale to promote his upcoming album – England Keep My Bones – which is due to be released on June 6th.
Last nights venue – a tiny church in the heart of Cambridge – was a brand new experience. After entering, you took your pick – would it be the pews or the tiny standing area at the front? There can’t have been more than 300 people packed into the tiny venue – and it was fantastic!

Photo courtesy of Kon2Photography

First up for the night was Ben Marwood – a singer/songwriter from Reading. Much like Frank, his songwriting style is aggressive and passionate (and sometimes bitter too!), shown by song titles such as ‘Tell Avril Lavigne I Never Wanted To Be Her Stupid Boyfriend Anyway.’ He was a great warm up act and a nice guy too! Check out his website at:
Next up was Franz Nicolay – A man whos name and appearance wouldn’t look out of place in Gogol Bordello. Like a thinner, more friendly relative of Mario Kart’s Wario, he was reminiscent of a circus ringleader from way back at the start of the 20th Century! Anyway – lets get to the music! Self described as punk rock cabaret, he has a unique blend of genres that make for a sound that fantastically eccentric, and thought provoking too. A little weird at times, but intriguing none the less! Have a listen to ‘This Is Not A Pipe,’ and check out his website at:
Next up was Frank himself – Appearing on stage as understated as ever, breaking into ‘I Knew Prufrock..’ you could tell this was going to be an amazing show!

With the upcoming album, out next Monday, it was inevitable that there would be some new material. The new single ‘Peggy Sang The Blues’ has already been well received with radio play on Xfm and 6Music, as well as another new song ‘I Am Disappeared.’ He played both of these with great success – I can’t wait for the new album! Frank also performed another as yet unreleased track called English Curse – a powerful a cappella song based on English Folklore from the New Forest – Only Frank could!

Other highlights included ‘The Road’, ‘I Still Believe’ and two cover songs – Bruce Springsteen’s Thunder Road and a cover of the Postal Service’s ‘District Sleeps Alone Tonight,’ during which he invited Ben and Franz back on stage, for a new take on one of my favourites. However, the true highlight for me, had to be the final song of the set, ‘The Ballad of Me and My Friends,” where Frank smashed the very few barriers that existed between musician and fan and played the song in the crowd, proving to me that this man is never better than when he’s live – He has to be one of the most passionate men I have ever seen – a truly great performer! Thanks Frank.

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Artist of the Week – Beardyman!

If you have read any of the other posts on this blog, you will tend to see that my musical tastes largely lie in rock, ska and punk, but now and again, somebody catches my eye. And nobody has done this recently more so than Beardyman – the one man beatbox jukebox who never ceases to entertain me!
UK Beatbox Champion of 2006 and 2007 makes Beardyman the first beatboxer in UK history to win 2 championships in a row. And what a talent he has! His live shows are a totally unique blend of comedy, beatboxing and looping, making it a gig like you’ve never seen before!
The general theme of his shows consists of taking song or genre requests and making something fantastic up on the spot, using only his voice, a keyboard and between 3 and 5 Korg Kaoss pads. These pads are what make Beardyman even more unique – he expertly uses looping technology to build up numerous layers that eventually result in an entire song.

Whilst you may think that surely an entire show of this might get a bit repetitive, Beardyman’s good sense of humour and crowd participation make for a show that will leave you smiling throughout.

Beardyman also released an album this year, titled ‘I Done A Album,’ which is great, with some fun tracks like ‘Vampire Skank,’ which is a cross between Gogol Bordello and dubstep! but it’s no match for his live performances judging by what I have seen online. It seems to me that part of his appeal is the mix of comedy and music, which is obviously hard to get across with an album.
So, enough of me, I’ll let you watch for yourself. Below is his entire show: ‘Unshaved – Live at the Udderbelly.’
It’s a whopping 48 minutes long, but it’s well worth watching – I watched the entire show without a minute of boredom!

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Light The Horizon Finally Available!

For all of you Bedouin Soundclash fans in the UK who have been wondering when on earth they are going to release Light The Horizon, in a format that doesn’t mean buying the imported CD for £40 on Amazon, you’ll be pleased to hear that you will be able to download the album from iTunes from 23rd May. If you pre-order now, the album is only £6.99.

From what I have heard already, with classic tracks like ‘Mountain Top’ and ‘Fool’s Tattoo,’ the album will be worth the very long wait. Enjoy!

The band also have an upcoming UK tour. Check out the link for more details:

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Frank Turner Featured In Film

This year, Relentless Energy continued their Short Film competition, with the first entry featuring Frank Turner.
The short film was made by up-and-coming filmmaker from Hertfordshire, James Henry. He chose Frank as the candidate to fill the competition’s themes of ‘No Half Measures,’ and ‘Focus,’ two adjectives which I cannot think of anybody better to grace with. James stated that: “I want to explore who he is at his core: it’s Frank’s story so who better to tell it than him himself?”
The film, titled ‘The Road,’ unsurprisingly documents life on tour for Frank – his highs and lows, and his inspiration to carry on making music.

Whilst only brief, is a great insight into Frank’s personal side, with behind-the-scenes interviews and as well as containing some great live footage and is truly inspirational, as it goes to show that hard work and passion can take you to places you could never have imagined!

James, since graduating from Hertfordshire University, the site for this years Slam Dunk South Festival, has been making a name for himself making films about various underground artists and fashion companies, as well as producing pieces for numerous magazines.

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Against Me! – Total Clarity

Against Me! have set the release date for their album of unreleased records and B-Sides for 24th May. The album will feature some demos and unreleased versions of older songs, with some previously unheard tracks, too:
1: Miami
2: The Shaker
3: Justin
4: Exhaustion & Disgust
5: Unprotected Sex With Multiple Partners
6: The Energizer
7: Violence
8: The Mover
9: How Low
10: Joy
11: Holy Sh*t
12: Lost And Searching In America
13: Problems
14: Money Changes Everything
15: Total Clarity

Until the date of the album’s premiere on Myspace, the band are offering tasters of some of the tracks on their Myspace page, with a new track uploaded daily. Here are the links for the first two:

And follow this link for the page that you can visit for a new song daily:

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England Keep My Bones Update…

As I am sure you will be aware, Frank Turner will be releasing the much anticipated follow-up to his last album Love Ire and Song, with ‘England Keep My Bones.’ From what I have heard already, the album is set to be yet another fantastic release, if not his best yet. He has already released a couple of songs from the album over Youtube, including the new single and video for ‘Peggy Sang The Blues,’ which you can see below:

He has also released a new favourite of mine, called ‘I Am Disappeared,’ a soul-baring and emotional track that sees Frank exposing himself yet again for the pleasure of his fans! This is bound to be a hit for the future, and has racked up over 50,000 views online already!

And if you’re keen to see what’s gone into the album, Frank has also recorded an album diary, documenting everything from a question and answer session for fans, to the origins of the album title. Check it out below:

All of this has really whet my appetite for seeing Frank at the end of May – This Spring’s solo tour is bound to be fantastic, and it looks as if Frank will have a whole lot more songs for us to enjoy whilst we’re there!

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The King Blues… Thank you!

My weekend was made when I found out that the King Blues have been so kind as to fit us Slam Dunk-goers into their schedule. Well… Slam Dunk South-Goers that is, because they have been announced as special guests at Hatfield this year, whilst the Northerners are still left waiting in anticipation as to the special treat in store for them. The rumours are all saying it will be Zebrahead.. but nobody knows!

Anyway, The King Blues are a fantastic addition to the already great line-up. The band were supposed to be playing last year, but had to pull out, because of the birth of Itch’s first child, so I guess it’s their way of making it up to us!
It’s extra kind of them, as they have a show in Norfolk(!) later that day at 9pm, so it’s going to be a bit of a tight squeeze to get there in time.
All of the stage times haven’t been announced yet, however we do know that the King Blues will be on at 3.20 on the Kerrang Introducing stage, although I’m not sure why, as they are probably the biggest band on the bill!

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