Tag Archives: Acoustic

NEW GUITAR!

So, a lot has happened in these few months of neglect. One example being the addition of a job into my life. Having been working at Waitrose for a couple of months now, I figured I could afford to ‘splash some cash’ on an acoustic guitar of my own, after having used my dad’s for a couple of years now. So, after spending hours in the infamous Denmark St, I did, in fact leave with no guitar. Instead, a melodica. My love for ska has been edging me towards buying one for ages, so I bit the bullet, and what fun! It’s a great little portable thing, and it can make quite a racket when it needs to. I love the tone of it too. The bass notes sound just like a accordion, my favourite sounding instrument of all time, and it could come in useful for acoustic band sessions in future!

Anyway, back to the guitar. We then progressed to GigGear in Harlow. A great warehouse store, with a whole downstairs section devoted to drums, with the upstairs showing off some electric pianos, and guitars both electric and acoustic. They also offer a wide range of lessons, from guitar to ukelele, which run throughout the week!

So in the end, and after much deliberation I settled on the beautiful electro-acoustic Yamaha APX 500II, which I’m very happy with!! Its got a lovely tone, and great treble, and it’s lovely to finally own your own guitar!

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

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: http://www.benmarwood.com
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: http://www.franznicolay.com
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.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Beans On Toast – Writing On The Wall

Beans is Back!

Beans on Toast, the three chord wonder, from Braintree in the UK, has been a staple part of my music diet for the last year or so, and despite having a 50 track debut album (yes, you heard me) to listen to time and time again, I couldn’t wait when I heard that he was releasing a new album.

Writing on the Wall sees Beans, or Jay McAllister, backed by a full band this time, rather than just him and his kids guitar! The brief, 30 minute long album was released on his 30th birthday – I’m sure you can see the link there… And it’s fantastic! Whilst Standing on a Chair, Jay’s debut album, was fantastic in the sense that it was full of very memorable, contraversial tracks that made you really think about life, it didn’t feel like much of an album, more a bunch of songs to be sung in bars or busked on the streets of London.

Writing on the Wall does not see Beans cutting out any of his down-to-earth and sometimes cringingly blunt opinions of the world around him, yet the songs, backed with all manner of instruments, from fiddles and violins to banjos, harmonicas and drums seem to have much more power behind them, and the songs sound so much more refined. He still songs that many may find offensive, such as Methadrone, which begins with ‘Well this is a song about glamourising drugs, I advise you to stick some powder up your nose,’ yet you do not get the impression that he is saying this just to be offensive, as he later on states that the money gained from the tax could be used to build new hospitals! However this is what makes Beans on Toast so unique – his ability to speak his mind without any care of what people might think. The album also sees Beans’ raspy voice warning the world about the international oil crisis as well as the decline of the music industry. All of this makes for an enthralling, albeit brief, listen. Highlights for me include – artmoneyart, Foolish, Wild and Forgetful and Old Grunge, which you can see a live performance of below:

Tagged , , , , , , ,