Music: April 2004 Archives

Barenaked Ladies

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My Canadian music week continued earlier this evening with the brilliant Barenaked Ladies. They are quite simply one of the most fun groups around. And don't think they're not talented either; from drummer to bass to keyboards/accordian, they're exceptional musicians.

The one track that just about everyone knows is the radio friendly "One Week", but guess what? They have loads more really fun stuff like that. And they put on a show. Not in the U2/Michael Jackson mode with vast set pieces. The stage at the Hammersmith Apollo was basically just the band and their instruments. But the guys are just brimming with excitement. If anyone in that audience was the slightest bit down when they got there, it'd have taken them about 30 seconds to brighten up as soon Steven Page or Ed Robertson started performing mocking guitar "thrusts". There's plenty of banter and general mucking about. Basically, they take the piss.

A huge North American contingent were out - most audibly for me in the guise of a woman behind me who was quite fanatically happy, and couldn't help screaming the entire evening whilst jumping up and down. She also regularly hit the back of my head, but I forgave her because she was so enthusiastic (about the band, not hitting the back of my head).

I couldn't help but notice that the Barenaked fanbase is quite possibly the shortest known to man. Is it something in the genetic make-up that makes people of a certain "less lanky" height love the music? I don't know about that, but I do know I was a full head taller than anyone else even vaguely in front of me, and that there were initially issues with a woman behind me about our party, and in particular me, blocking her view. After I'd explained that me standing 20 feet off to one side would make me come across as being a little unsociable towards by companions, a reordering of who stood where became a compromise. So great was the size difference, that I began to suspect that the floor of the Hammersmith Apollo was akin to that of a swimming pool, with a sudden drop as you get towards the deep end. Look, I'm only 6'2" and I do sympathise with short people who stand at concerts. I do whatever I can to avoid causing problems. When I go to the cinema, I always try to sit in front of an empty seat so that anyone who comes along afterwards and sits behind me should have been fully aware that they were going to sit behind a tall person. And even then, if I can "sense" that they're suffering from a restricted view, I slouch down into my seat, even though I feel sure that I'm only storing up future back problems. I try, I really do.

Anyway, the latest album, Everything to Everyone, is just out in the UK and I heartily recommend it (Likewise, I've now heard the new Cowboy Junkies album, One Soul Now, and it's essential that everyone gets the early release that includes the bonus EP).

The support act were really good too. A band I'd never heard of before (not difficult) called The Honeymoon. Their lead singer, Thorunn, is Icelandic, and has a great voice, and a stage persona that seems to be ever so slightly modelled on Marilyn Monroe. I shall hunt out their recently released debut EP, Passive Aggressive, in a spare lunchtime.

What a great week for music!

On the way home, I think I may have spotted the only person in the universe to complete the NME Crossword.

Don't Tell Your Friends

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Cowboy Junkies

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The Cowboy Junkies have a new album out at the end of next month, and are on a brief tour in the UK and Europe before heading back off to North America for a larger tour. I'm a massive Junkies fan, and one thing I was always sure of. A band like that would never show up at Virgin Radio.

How wrong was I? I was idly looking to book a room the other week when I noticed that they were booked to come into the station for Captain America.

So guess where I was at 11am this morning. Not at my desk that's for sure.

Siblings Margo and Michael Timmins were in. Michael playing guitar, and Margot simply singing. I just sat there quietly and watched, not even getting one or more of my many Junkies CDs out for signing. They performed two songs in the Virgin zoo, The Slide and My Wild Child, both of them off their forthcoming album One Soul Now (looking forward to tracking down a pre-release copy).

I'm not sure when the session is going out, but, well, when you work for a radio station... They're not just visiting us; yesterday they were recording for Stuart Maconie (I'm not too sure whether this is for Radio 2 or 6 Music). I suspect that they'll be going to other places too - watch this page of the website.

Sometimes my job's great!

From Ash to Diana Krall

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Ash came in to do a Virgin Superstars session on Wednesday, which I sat in on. These things take the form of an interview in front of a live audience, interspersed with songs, a couple of old ones (Girl From Mars and Burn Baby Burn) and a couple of new ones. All acoustic and all very intimate - they seem like a very relaxed bunch of guys. I look forward to the new album.

Then the next day, it was the one I was looking forward to. I'm on the BBC Concert Orchestra mailing list and they were recording a live concert with Diana Krall for broadcast in May. This was one hot ticket, and I was quite excited getting along to the Mermaid Theatre down in Blackfriars with a hall full of Radio 2 listeners. How did I get my tickets? Email competition.

Krall was on Parkinson at the weekend and I bought her new album on Monday (9.77 at Safeway). This was a concert full of jazz standards, accompanied by a set of gifted musicians. Krall herself plays the piano, nearly as much as she sings, and she's surrounded with a Double Bass, Drums and Guitar. Together they were accompanied on many tracks by the massed ranks of the BBC CO.

I loved every minute of it. She's the sort of singer who leaves you with a spring in your step as you depart.

Listen out on Radio 2 for the concert at 7.30 on 7 May!

Soggy Bottom Boys

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Soggy Bottom Boys Remixed - via Boing Boing. Music to pass the time of day by until you get your copy of O Mickey, Where Art Thou (heard the bluegrass version of Supercalifragilisticexpialdocious last night on Radio 2, but I want to hear The Bare Necessities - even though I hate Disney for reasons not worth going into just now).

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Music category from April 2004.

Music: March 2004 is the previous archive.

Music: June 2004 is the next archive.

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