The Final Interview Of 2011 – With The Good Natured

THE GOOD NATURED Live In Manchester

We thought it would be a rather fitting end to the year to wax lyrical once more about the band we tipped to do well in 2011. Yup, it’s Sarah, Hamish and George, known collectively as The Good Natured!  We’ve followed them throughout the year, (and well before to be honest) with regular updates and have been delighted to see them really develop into something very special indeed.

Before a recent headline show in Manchester we caught up with Sarah and the boys to reflect on just how 2011 has panned out for them.  They’ve had quite a year, record deals, SXSW and Glastonbury appearances as well as broken bones, we of course take full credit for none of this because it’s pretty obvious to anybody but a drooling simpleton with cauliflowers for ears and a lump of coal for a heart that Sarah is an wonderful song writing talent blessed with an outstanding, distinctive voice who, with the input of George and Hamish has taken what was essentially a solo project to the next level. And so despite pre gig nerves, they helped me through the interview 😉 ( ho,ho) as we looked back on 2011 and forward towards 2012


VP:  Hello! , I thought it’d be nice to end the year by having a chat with you guys and reflecting what sort of year this has been for you, the highs the lows. etc.

SARAH :  Hi Pippy ! Well, at the start of the year we were offered a record deal on my birthday in January which was an amazing birthday present! Since then things have been really busy. We officially signed in March and almost immediately went out to SXSW to play a few shows where we had the best week ever. Then when we arrived back in April we did a few shows supporting The Wombats around Europe. Then in May,  I met you and broke my foot in Liverpool [laughs]

We didn’t do too many gigs this year because of my foot but we did manage to get to Glastonbury, which was great fun in the mud with my cast on!  We’ve also just arrived back from touring with “Oh Land,” we did France, Germany, Scandinavia, and did a few headline shows in Germany which were great due to us having a little sync in a German shoe advert and got to number 79 in the German charts! Now we’re just doing a little run of shows back over here before Christmas. Really most of the year has been mainly about writing in preparation for the album, I’ve been out to Sweden a few times and wrote half the album out there and the rest in London, I’ll do a little bit more writing over Christmas and then the albums pretty much done and should be out in April.  So yeah it’s been a really intense, whirlwind of a year.

VP: Do you have an album title and who’s producing?

SARAH:  Erm, not yet we haven’t decided on a title yet!  Patrick Berger has produced half the album in Stockholm and most of the rest is with Liam Howe (The Whip, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Emmy the Great, Marina And The Diamonds) who’s wicked, so it’s a very exciting time!

VP: So I take it The Good Natured is a full time concern now, there are no part time jobs going on.

SARAH: Yeah, its full time, we really want to give it our all.

GEORGE: Yeah we really wanna smash it !

VP: So what’s been the biggest advantage you’ve noticed being “signed” as opposed to self releasing as you have in the past?

SARAH: I think just having the support and freedom to spend time writing without worrying about other things. I think in a way we were fortunate that it took us a while to get signed, like four years, which was disheartening at the time, when there’s loads of A&R at a gig and nothing happens! But looking back at it, I suppose it was a blessing in disguise as we had four years to mould and hone our sound, which got us signed and they love what we do and have been so supportive. All the ideas we have we can kind of make happen now so it’s amazing.

VP: So what about the band dynamics, there’s the brother [Hamish] and sister [Sarah] and then there’s George, do you ever have to step in as peacemaker George? Any sibling disputes?

GEORGE: No, they’re fine; Honestly,  I can trust them on their own [laughs]

SARAH:  [laughs] We used to fight when we were younger….

HAMISH:  Definitely when we were younger but we’ve grown up a bit now…

SARAH:  We’ve been asked this a few times and we always sound boring but we really are all the best of friends.  And we’ve spent so much time together this year touring that we all know when to give each other space, so it’s all good and we haven’t had any fights yet.

VP: And you’ve recently released a free download from the forthcoming album, a track entitled ‘Video Voyeur’ – Would it be fair to say the songs a bit, erm, “stalkerish”;)

SARAH:  [laughs] Yeah definitely, it’s all about spying on people so yeah, it’s got big stalker vibes!  We just wanted to give that away because we haven’t released anything in a while due to being so  busy song writing,  but we  wanted to let people know the album is coming and hopefully build up the anticipation and get people excited about it !

VP: Have you finalised the album track list yet, is it difficult to narrow it down?

SARAH:  I don’t think it will be, we’ve got loads of songs and obviously they won’t all be on it, but we will use them as B-Sides etc I think. It’s defiantly better to have a lot to more to choose from then less!  “Skeleton” and “Wolves” will be on there in their current state,  “Your Body Is A Machine” and “Be My Animal” are being re-recorded, but other than that it’s all new stuff.

VP: As you’ve mentioned you’ve travelled quite extensively, you’ve spent a fair bit of time in Sweden, loved SXSW, but what’s been your favourite place to gig so far?

GEORGE, SARAH, HAMISH : Definitely Germany!!

HAMSH : Hamburg was amazing.

SARAH:  It was ! We had an amazing show at The Prinzen Bar in Hamburg were we sold loads of tickets and we’ve never had a show that’s been that busy!

GEORGE : [laughs] That sounds great doesn’t it ‘we’ve never had a busy show!!’ hahaha!

SARAH: [laughs] Well I meant we haven’t had that sense before that everybody’s there to see us , you know ? And everybody was there singing along, they knew all the words which is an amazing feeling!  Everywhere’s been wicked but yes, Germany really did stand out.

VP: So before you became “The Good Natured” and followed the path that hopefully leads to musical nirvana… what did you all want to do?

SARAH:  I met George at Uni and we both dropped out to pursue music as things were getting so busy. I didn’t have a plan, I just really wanted to do this and can’t imagine doing anything else.

GEORGE:  I just want to play drums….. as long as I can play drums in a band [cue collective laughter]  … I’m not just saying I’m doing this just for that! I mean I like this a lot obviously….

SARAH: We all love it and are lucky enough to be able to do it full time so we couldn’t really ask for anything more, it’s amazing. Hamish is really good at Maths and stuff…

HAMISH: Yeah if the music side hadn’t of really taken off I probably would have looked at Architecture or Graphic Design. I did my A ‘levels this year so it was a relief to get them done not have to do anymore study and concentrate on the band!

VP: And were all your parents very supportive?

HAMISH: Very much so yes, when we were first starting off our mum used to drive us around to all the gigs, to be honest we probably couldn’t have done it without them to begin with!

SARAH:  Definitely! They were so supportive from day one and when we dropped out of Uni, both our parents were totally behind us. Without their support I don’t think we would have got signed, I wouldn’t have had time to do all my writing and hold down a job or study.  So yeah a blessing!

VP: And 2012 will be all about the album.

SARAH: Definitely, we can’t wait for people to hear it!



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Ones To Listen Out For In 2012

15 to Listen Out For  in 2012 ?

The VPME Tips For 2012

We’ve mentioned in the past that this tipping malarkey can often arrive deep fried and positively dripping in narcissism, garnished with a large sprinkling of ego- “hey look at me I’m a pop precognitive, I can predict the muthafucking future. And it would be easy to look at The BBC’s “Sound Of” list and slavishly copy much of that, throw in a few left field buzz bands, sit back and watch your big massive fucking fat head expand because acts with big label backing are invariably and often tragically the ones that tend to do well. Big labels know that best way to predict the future is to invent it and spend a lot of time, energy and cashola in doing just that this time of year.  Doubtless there are a number of artists on the Beebs list already being lined up by their labels for appearances on Jools Holland and there’s nowt wrong with that, not all record labels are intrinsically evil 😉 , still, I think there’s room for some unsigned bands on JH.

That being said  let’s try not to get involved in the “tipping politics” instead let’s just look at it from the view that here are a group of artists we’d love it do well in 2012, quite simply because we feel they have much to offer and will hopefully make some interesting music in the coming 12 months.  They may not be brand spanking new or wilfully obscure, but we love em !   You can also check out the BBC’s own Sound of 2012  and The Bloggers Alternative here which we helped organise.

Last year we tipped The Good Natured and Islington Boys Club as ones to watch, and we’ll continue to do so this year because we think they both have a huge amount to offer.  We also hope Let’s Buy Happiness get more attention this year as they are also another band who deserve greater recognition in 2012.  Anyway without further waffle as I’m sure all your brains are addled by festive spirit coupled with that gnawing anxiety and uneasy sense of guilt induced by flashbacks from your shameful antics at the office Xmas party,  here are our musical hopes for 2012.


1.Two Wounded Birds

Two Wounded Birds Pic By Andy Von Pip

Margate based four piece have been criminally overlooked by the printed music press in the past possibly due to the fact that they aren’t  A/ London hipsters and B/ have more song writing talent in their little fingers than your average NME hyped band will ever possess . Their debut album is set to arrive in the New Year and looks set to build on the huge promise of recent singles and 2010’s “Keep Dreaming Baby” EP. If you ever loved The Beach Boys, The Ramones, David Lynch, if you know your pop history than as sure as night follows day, you will love Two Wounded Birds.  Interview Here


2.Tashaki Miyaki

We first heard this lot on  6 musics “NowPlaying” show of which we have been proud to have been a part of in 2011 and immediately fell in love with them. They have never appeared in the Karate Kid and  are in fact a Californian collective who specialise in impeccable reverb soaked dream pop of the highest order. They’ve already been described as sounding like a female Jesus And Mary Chain (hang on wasn’t that Sister Vanilla ?) and that’s certainly a description that should pique anybody’s interest. We are very, very excited to hear what they come up with next!


3. Rae Morris.


Our Mancunian gig going chums first altered us to Ms Morris, insisting we really should catch her live, to be truthful we haven’t quite managed that yet but as soon as we heard her songs and her voice it was like fireworks going off in our head. A brilliant prodigious talent, ignore the blithe comparisons with other female songwriters (they are generally wider of the mark than a Chris Waddle penalty) and just sit back and allow yourselves to be swept away by the beauty of her voice and the poetry of her lyrics.

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4. exlovers

There’s a kind of bruised poetic nobility about exlovers music, bittersweet, heartfelt, honest and eloquent. They produce songs which give hope and inspiration to the lovelorn and the lost, and although their world view may suggest they have experienced their fair share of heartbreak and emotional turmoil, exlovers are not devoid of optimism, for within their shimmering melodies there is the hope of brighter days ahead. A debut album is set for release in the New Year, which we are sure will reward the band with more exposure and a bigger fanbase.


5. Trailer Trash Tracys

Another band who seem to have been around longer than they have* (*comment sponsored by Edward Lear)  who are set to release their debut album “Ester” on 9th January 2012, which will hopefully make a sizable, ethereal dent on the musical landscape. Everything we have heard so far by this band has been excellent, if melancholic, gauzy dream pop is your bag then the TTT’s may well set your loins aflame.


6.The Jezabels.

Huge lunged soaring melodies and intense live performances are what The Jezabels are all about.  Their emo-centric tendencies may be a tad theatrical for some, but there’s no denying the power of singer Hayley Marys vocals and what a great band they are live. Their debut album has already taken their native Oz by storm and is set to have the same effect over here in the New Year. Very surprised not to see them included in the BBC’s “Sound Of List”


7.Zulu Winter

If you have recently discovered Zulu Winter than ya- boo to you as we liked them before you did, in fact we liked them before they were even called Zulu Winter. We first featured them a few years back when they were called The Molotovs.   

At that time  it seemed they were on the cusp of making a breakthrough, yet somewhat bafflingly it never quite happened. However a name change has given the band fresh impetuous and 2012 could well be the year they make their mark.



Bird , from Liverpool

One of the most interesting bands to come out of my home town in recent years, and not a single twangy Merseybeat guitar in earshot. Bird is the brainchild Adele Emmas a young singer songwriter inspired by Kate Bush, the Cocteau Twins, and has a predilection for producing mesmerising mysterious ethereal soundscapes. Be prepared for Adele’s voice to cast a spell on you and draw you in to a world of seductive, dark magic, where nothing is quite what it seems.


9.Lana Del Ray

There was been much written about Lana Del Ray , some complimentary and some suffused with more than a hint of  rather disturbing misogynist frat boy spite. We really don’t give a flying fuck with regard to this ‘too cool for school’ hipster backlash because the question is this  -does Ms Del Rey produce bad art, or good art ? Does it stand on its own two feet; indeed does it add value to your existence?  From what we’ve heard so far the latter defiantly applies and Ms Del Rey has it all to play for in 2012. Really we should celebrate an artist who has a unique voice and style rather than castigate her for having the audacity to sign to a record label. Save your bile for the parade of the inane overseen by Cowell the musical ringmaster for the terminally bland. Which is pretty much what we wrote for GIITV zine about the “Double-Eged Sword of being a blog sensation”




Euan Hinshelwood - Younghusband Live Manchester © Andy Von Pip

If you thought Euan Hinshelwood’s band would sound anything like his work with Emmy The Great your ears may have been in for a rude awakening. younghusband’s sound is influenced by lo fi indie and is infused with a gorgeous, gauzy fuzz pop shoegazy vibe which owes more to Pavement  Kraut rock and MBV than Diane Cluck. After  a couple of fine releases this year in the shape of their debut single “Carousal” and the “Crystal” Ep we look forward to hearing more from these chaps in 2012.


11.Lucy Rose

Lucy posses a fragile yet husky smoke cracked voice and writes songs with the sort of honest straight forward sincerity that can only come from the heart.  She became well known at various acoustic nights and a chance meeting with Jack Steadman of Bombay Bicycle Club led to her appearing on the title track of the bands acoustic album ‘Flaws’.  Lucy has since gained an enthusiastic, dedicated; some may say besotted fan base and now regularly sells out venues weeks in advance, which is quite a rare thing for an unsigned act. She also makes a nice cuppa.  Interview HERE.


12.Alt J

The artists formerly known as Films are now called ∆.   (∆ =Alt-j on your Mac  keyboard apparently) and  seem to have derived as much attention from their name change as they have for their music, which I suppose means job done in one sense. These guys are quite difficult to pigeon hole, at times it sounds like understated folky blues rock, on other occasions like  a kind of electronic  trip-hop with a bit of anti-folk thrown in. But then again at other times it sounds bugger all like that, or indeed anything else out there at the moment, so we’ll shut up now.



Rebecca Stephens - The Projectionists

Projectionists are based in Manchester and feature former Pipette Rebecca Stevens on vocals and song writing duty. There may be a nod to her former girl group past in terms of harmonies, but this is much more grown up pop with lyrics that are introspective and tinged with sadness set against upbeat melodies. It’s top quality stuff, which may surprise some people but not us, their debut EP is planned for January and we’ll have more on that in the new year.


14.Mode Moderne

Vancouver’s Mode Moderne seem to like the dark side of life and come across  rather like  The Arcade Fire meets Depeche Mode in a graveyard, which believe me is a good thing. The darkness, which makes Nick Cave seem positively sanguine is all enveloping, like black velvet, which disturbs and yet comforts. Let’s face it if upbeat pop is represented by the unholy union, nay the shrill pop abomination that is  Mike Posner and Cher Lloyd  I’ll direct my feet to the dark side of the street any day of the week!


15.Cold Spex

We caught Cold Spex supporting Howling Bells and from the off it was glaringly apparent that  singer Al Spx  posses the sort of voice others can only dream about. Whether they quite have the songs yet is another issue, but if they are given time to grow and not given a hideous record label make over they certainly have the potential to be something very special indeed, – doom gospel with soul.

Merry Xmas 2011

Christmas 2011 - The Von Pip Musical Express

Happy Xmas folks, here’s a special Christmas track from Sarabeth Tucek, who was responsible for our album of the year. Have a great one , we’ll be back between Boxing Day and new year to talk about who we think will produce music of note in 2012.

Ho Ho Ho !

THE VPME AWARDS 2011- (Including Top 20 Podcast)


It’s almost the season to be jolly, but just before the holiday season we are in the midst of “the list.”  Yes music mags/zines and blogs are full of endless lists, lists about the best albums, best gigs, best songs, lists about lists. It could leave you feeling quite listless and we can’t have that, so , here’s our list, we’ve even checked it twice!  Yup it’s that vertigo inducing  career high that results in being presented with a special VPME trophy ( known colloquially as a “Pipster” )  we therefore present the music that touched, inspired and kept us sane during a bumpy 2011……



You can listen to the Album of the year podcast below whilst you read along 😉  ( or on Mixcloud)

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       1. Sarabeth Tucek – “Get Well Soon”

Sarabeth Tucek With Her Magnificent Album Of The Year Trophy - The Von Pip Musical Express

Sarabeth and her "Pipster" award !

When we first heard the title track from Sarabeth’s second album our reaction was thus . . . “There are occasions in life when you come across a song of such exquisite beauty that it literally stops you dead in your tracks. One that has the power to effect you so profoundly that it makes your heart ache whilst simultaneously gives cause for your ears to quiver with joy.”  And so the album had quite something to live up to, but happily it surpassed expectations.  Of the album we wrote “‘Get Well Soon’ chimes and resonates with sincerity and beauty, it crackles with genuine emotion and ultimately turns the pain of loss into something incredibly poignant and life affirming. What starts out as a lament to her late father becomes a celebration of remembrance in terms of, not only her relationship with her Dad, but also in how she survived grief and emerged from the darkness. Quite why it’s been ignored by  much  of printed musical press in their albums on the year lists is a mystery. Or is it ? Much of them sadly are more concerned with short term hipsterism rather than long term talent.  You can read the full review and interview with Sarabeth HERE

      2. Dum Dum Girls – “Only In Dreams”

“Whereas Dum Dum Girls debut album,  ‘I Will Be’ was essentially the one woman  project of songwriter and front lady Dee Dee Penny (real name Kristen Gundred) ‘Only In Dreams’ sees Dum Dum Girls flourish into a formidable, fully formed, holistic musical entity.  At the risk of being accused of indulging in hyperbole it’s my opinion that in any right thinking society this album should be regarded as a genuine slice of  pop genius and as such ought to be mentioned in the same breath as canonised classics such as ‘Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes,’  Blondie’s ‘Parallel Lines’ or The Ramones ‘Leave Home.’ With Richard Gottehrer and Raveonette, Sune Rose Wagner on production duties, the album demonstrates just what an amazingly gifted songwriter Dee Dee is. This is not empty vacuous, throw away pop, for the twist is that beneath the often blissful melodies you’ll discover dark lyrics full of poetic candour imbued with genuine emotional depth and intelligence that is both profoundly beautiful and extremely moving.” Read the rest of the review and interview with Dee Dee HERE.

3.       The Joy Formidable – The Big Roar.

We wrote “Amongst the fury, the power and the often giddy pace of the album, The Joy Formidable manage to stir something deep inside you, connecting  an emotional level, filling you with a sense of euphoria and ultimately  leaving you to ponder just what is it about  such a magnificent noise that is so incredibly moving and life affirming ?  It’s also an album that in time may well be cited as an inspiration for many future bands, because it really is that good. Just weeks into 2011 The Joy Formidable have already thrown down the gauntlet in the album of the year stakes.   On the sublime ‘A Heavy Abacus’ Ritzy sings ‘ Happiness, it won’t last long’ well maybe not, but goodness while it does last, the joy is truly formidable.”   Original Review here

 4.       Veronica  Falls –Veronica Falls

We wrote  Their eponymous debut album, called somewhat surprisingly, ‘Veronica Falls’ is  raw, edgy, melodious and mysterious. “Found Love In A Grave Yard” is, excuse the pun, a killer tune and has been rattling its ghostly chains about the internet for some time. It’s a perfect album opener, laying the ground work for some dark sparkling indie pop nuggets such as “Right Side Of My Brain”, “Misery” “Stephen” and “Come On Over” whilst “The Fountain” vocally conjures up  Lush’s Miki Berenyi [Hurrah!] Given some of  slightly macabre subject matter,  graveyards, loss,death and everybodys  favourite one way destination  “Beachy Head” you may think this could be an earnest, po-faced hipster ride through angst and existentialism. You would of course be very much mistaken. Veronica Falls’ sunny pop shimmer belies the dark lyrical thematics, which you sense are sung with a knowing wink and a sense of mischievous fun.”

Read the interview and review HERE  

 5.       Pete And Pirates  “One Thousand Pictures”

The hope and romantic idealism that permeated ‘Little Death’ is replaced by the sort of cynicism that comes from experience and the jangle pop is replaced by a much more rounded rockier sound. Ok so they haven’t done the whole Arctic ‘This is what Led Zeppelin would sound like fronted by George Formby Monkeys rock thing but there are some fantastically meaty guitar riffs in evidence. However Pete And The Pirates are an eclectic bunch and don’t really conform to one particular template instead they take us on an intriguing musical journey through indie, rock and even shades of Donna Summer (on ‘Winter.’)  As ever it’s the quality of the songs that ultimately ensure that the band build on the success of their debut and ‘One Thousand Pictures’ is definite progression forward.  Underneath the jaunty veneer of many of the songs you may find something rather darker lurking and it’s this juxtaposition along with fabulous melodies that once again makes Pete And The Pirates stand out from their peers”  Read the interview and review HERE

6.  Half Man Half Biscuit – “90 Bisodol (Crimond)

Wirral’s own poet laureate Nigel Blackwell and gang return with a mix of Shakespeare meets Edward Lear I mean where else  can find songs about Gok Wan, D.I.Y. Geezer Tommy Walsh, Indie bands appearing on the Sky soccer sofa, despite knowing nothing about football ( But then, disastrously/They ask him casually/“You come from Leigh-On-Sea,/Do you ever get to Roots Hall?”/Which to him means fuck all”  Or  actress Lynette McMorrough ( Glenda Brownlow in “Crossroads” ) trying to recreate her  “King’s Oak” glory days via the medium of  dolls and dolls houses with her ultimate intention being to replace her own doll’s plastic with tofu ! Surreal genius.

7. Emmy The Great – “Virtue” –

If ‘First Love’ proved that Emmy ‘s rough demo’s and EP’s scrubbed up rather well, then ‘Virtue’ sees her music in full make up wearing killer heels and stepping out onto the red carpet. Review and interview HERE

8. Black Lips – “Arabia Mountain”

The  frenetic, sometimes ramshackle sound really hits the mark on this album, as they are reined in by none other than producer Mark Ronson. Having not been what you’d call  a fan of Ronson’s rather ostentatious production style in the past  this is something of  a revelation! Ronson  subtly puts a bit a spit and shine on the bands sound whilst still retaining the bands garagey Stones meets the Ramones vibe and  in doing so helps Black Lips produce their  most consistent album to date.

9. Beirut – “The Rip Tide”

Zach Condon returns with possibly his most uplifting album to date. His talent as a songwriter is in full bloom and the timbre of his melodious voice possesses a huge emotional punch.  After some experimentation in the past “The Rip Tide” sounds like an artist really finding  his feet having gained the confidence to  finally  reveal the contents of  his heart. A thing of poignant graceful beauty.

10. The Bookhouse Boys – “Tales To Tell”

Darker than Nick Cave’s hair dye and more full-some than this magnificent ‘tache The Bookhouse Boys returned to  prove that their superb debut album was no fluke as they continue to produce sinister surf rock combined with goth mariachi which is epic, sexy, sleazy and sinister in equal measure.

The Rest.

11. Ladytron – “Gravity The Seducer”

12. Slow Club – “Paradise”

13. Love Inks – “ESP”

14. Wye Oak – Civilian

15. Lykee Li – “Wounded Rhymes”

16. Zola Jesus – “Conatus”

17. Sarah Nixey – ” Brave Tin Soldiers”

18. Howling Bells – “The Loudest Engine”

19. Help Stamp Out Loneliness – Help Stamp Out Loneliness

20. Prince Edward Island – “This Day Is A Good Enough Day”

21. Kate Bush – “50 Words For Snow”

22. The Indelicates – “David Koresh Superstar”

23. Laura Marling – “A Creature I Don’t Know”

24. Little Comets – “In Search Of The Elusive Little Comets”

25. PJ Harvey – “Let England Shake”

26. The Whip – X Marks The Destination.

27. Wild Flag – Wild Flag

28. Cults – Cults

29. Summer Camp – Welcome To Condale.

30. Austra – Feel It Break.


Song Of The Year.

This year we decided to pick the song  which we had played most on Last FM,  because that would surely be our best loved song right ? Right ! It also proved to the doubters that we hadn’t secretly been listening to the execrable Cher Lloyd! The Good Natured were  far and away our most played artist in 2011 and  their dark electro pop masterpiece “Wolves” had more plays than Dawn French has chocolate bars.  And because they were our tip for greatness in 2011, we’ll conclude the year with an interview with Sarah and the chaps (coming soon)  and of course continue to keep our eyes and ears out for them in 2012 when their debut album is set to drop!

The VPME SONG OF THE YEAR 2011 The Good Natured - Wolves

Hamish, Sarah and George are delighted with their magnificent trophy!!


Video Of The Year.

We don’t really like Lady Ga-Ga style big budget videos, we prefer ones which are filmed on a budget and use imagination rather than cold hard dollars so  Beirut’s “Santa Fe” ticked all the right boxes, a simple video with a few twists, dark humour  and a story-line that keeps you watching.

VPME VIDEO OF THE YEAR 2011 - Santa Fe By Beirut

Video Of The Year

1.Santa Fe By Beirut

2. Paper Forest By Emmy The Great.

Simple, yet strangely moving, even if we haven’t got a baldy what its about.

3. Mirage By Ladytron.

Because Helen looks great, there are stone circles, fires, sinister druidy types  and it’s all a bit Wicker Man meets Rosemary’s Baby. Which is good

4. Phantoms By Bird

Spooky!!  Les Diaboliques meets the Ring meets The Blair Witch Project meets  Little Red Riding Hood directed by David Lynch ( well no but it has that vibe)

5. United By Pete And The Pirates

Because we love cats and this fan provided footage left us feline fine. 😉



The Jesus And Mary Chain Re-issues

Need you ask ? The Smiths remasters were excellent but the re-issuse of all The Jesus & Mary Chain’s studio albums, replete with rarities, outtakes and DVD’s was quite wonderful. To add to our joy we were even mentioned on the sleeve notes for “Psychocandy” and “Darklands” , which being massive Mary Chain fans was even more thrilling than waking up to find a stocking clad Charlize Theron in our bed.

“Best Newcomers ( With Attitude)”


Cat and Mary From Pris abuse their "Pipster"

They tottered about upsetting  the new breed of seemingly critic proof musical deities, having had pops at Jessie J, Everything Everything, Chris Martin, Noah and The Whale, Ellie Goulding, The Vaccines  and Spector to name but a few  and have put a bit of attitude back into a sometimes very bland conservative conformist pop scene. They also write pretty snappy new wave pop tunes too.( Interview HERE)

Most overrated Album of this year or indeed any …. 

Yup it’s The Horrors (again)

Cunts of the year?

“”The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which”

And that’s 2011, coming soon will be the artists we hope will do well in  2012.

See you on the other side and have a fucking EXCELLENT Christmas however you chose to celebrate it ( Jack Daniels , The Pogues and Phil Spector works for me ! )   … All the very best , AVP xx

6 Music now Playing Xmas Special

The VPME on Six Music

Just a quick note to let you know we’ll be on Nowplaying @ 6 Music on Friday 23rd December between 7-9.  Tom Robinson will be asking listeners and bloggers to suggest their musical highlights of 2011.

Here’s our last appearance on the show on 9/12/2011 in which we played Mode Moderne, Victoria And Jacob , Two Wounded Birds, Rebekah Delgado, Bird and Drag Your Heels

The Von Pip Musical Express Christmas Special Podcast

The VPME Christmas  Podcast 2011

Ahead of our album of the year special it’s time to . . . .

Jingle your bells, polish your baubles and roast you chestnuts on an open fire along to this special festive edition of the VPME podcast.  Including festive tracks from The Ramones, the Cocteau Twins, Low, The Raveonettes, Emmy The Great & Tim Wheeler, The Pogues and much more

Listen below or via mixcloud

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Songs To Learn And Sing – School Of Seven Bells And The Good Natured

Oh my, we are currently caught up in the tinselly  vortex of the festive season, what with Christmas shopping festive podcasts, Six music appearances 😉 & interviews with pop star types we are sure to be fit for nothing come the big day.. But there’s just time to bring you the following musical snippets.


School Of Seven Bells Pic By JUSTIN_HOLLAR_

School Of Seven Bells Free Download

School Of Seven Bells return in 2012 with their third album, Ghostory, out on February 28 via Vagrant Records/Ghostly International and are giving a away a track from the album simply entitled “The Night” free.


The Good Natured- Free Download and New Video.

The Good Natured return with a free download (get it here) taken from their debut album which is due to drop in April 2012. There’s also a rather ‘stalkerish’ video to go with it. There’ll be an interview with Sarah and the boys very soon, where we presented them with THIS…

The Video


The Wedding Present

David Gedge and his Wedding Present are playing three gigs to mark the end of 2011 at

29 December: Glasgow Garage

30 December: Leeds O2 Academy

31 December: London Camden Dingwalls

They’ll also be releasing a new album in 2012, embarking on a US and European tour which will include their new album, plus playing their classic “Seamonsters” in its entirety.


And finally I’ll be on 6 music on Tom Robinson‘s Now Playing show on 9/12/2011 between 7-9 , so tune in if your in. You can follow the show and me using the twitter hash tag #blog6music

Ciao !