Rapid Reviews – Lana Del Rey – Born To Die

Lana Del Rey - Born To Die Album Review VPME

On a personal level you could certainly understand Lana Del Rey if she disagreed with the epigram “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.” It’s difficult to think of a singer who has had to endure such a vitriolic backlash before having even released an album and it must be said, much of the abuse has gone way beyond the pale. Indeed the bafflingly popular “alternative celebrity” site Hipster Runoff appears to have developed such an unhealthy obsession with attacking Del Rey that it’s re-branded itself “The Lana Del Rey Report” (which is, lets be honest, more about generating web traffic than anything else.)  Sadly the rise of  these “attack sites” which attempt to mimic the success of celebrity shitemeister extraordinaire, Perez Hilton, and who all essentially lick toilet seats for a living, prove that nastiness can be a lucrative career choice and that the public have become inured to this kind of poisonous enmity. These sites encourage the virtual lynch mob mentality by dehumanising their  victims and in doing so make  it easier for others to attack them, obviating the need for the bovine herd to consider the consequences of their actions . But all bullies need enablers …..

Schadenfreude seems to be the drug of choice and Del Reys faltering performance on Saturday Night Live gave her critics yet more ammunition to unleash another tsunami of bile in her direction ahead of her début album “Born To Die.” But now for the bad news, sadly for her critics LDR has produced a début album that whilst being heavily stylised and slickly produced, is none the less, hugely enjoyable. She plays the role of the emotionally bruised Lynchian femme fatale with some aplomb leading the listener through vignettes of doomed love and faded glamour, set against a vision of  pop noire trash can Americana,  based she says, on her own adolescent experiences. Not all of it works, there are one or two tracks which sound like anaemic retreads of the haunting “Video Games” and she sounds at her most unconvincing when mired in derivative hip hop beats (you can almost hear the record label suits imploring- “Give it a bit of Beyonce, Lana“) However when she hits her stride on tracks such as  the honey cracked  “ Radio”, the smokily seductive “ Million Dollar Man” and the gorgeous “Summertime Sadness” the results are hugely impressive.

If you tend to take hype with a large pinch of salt, are not in the slightest bit interested as to whether she’s had any ‘enhancements’ or not , and are not completely obsessed with the mythical holy grail of authenticity, you may be able to accept  “Born To Die” for what it is, a beautifully produced slice of nostalgic  pop that is infinitely more interesting than  Lady Ga-Ga‘s  egregious caterwauling or Rhianna’s joyless dry humping. Let’s face it, if all pop sounded this good Simon Cowell would be positively shitting his incongruous high riding trousers.  That dear readers can only be a good thing.

8/10

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The Von Pip Musical Express Podcast – January 2012

The VPME Podcast January 2012

The news is fucking depressing isn’t it ?   Cuts, cuts and yet more cuts and then when you think it can’t possibly get any worse you observe the ghastly school matronly visage of  The Daily Heil’s Obergruppenführer, Melanie Phillips  on BBC’s Question Time, blithely lecturing us about what is right

“We should lay off the bankers, I really don’t approve of this lynch mob mentality at all, instead  it is right and correct to attack the real enemy within,  I refer of course to the “undeserving poor”. In fact let us convince the “working poor” that it is actually the people who claim benefit who have caused this financial shit storm and not the cuddly and much maligned bankers.   And then I, Melanie Fuckwit of Fleet Street can continue to complacently chortle into my champagne flute with my rich privileged  friends, whilst the proles slug it out. They really are very dim, just give ’em X Factor and cheap booze and they are as happy as the proverbial  pigs in shit. Oh and let’s bomb Iran too – of course I won’t be sending my son or daughter into war , but hey , we can put the poor to work and get the unemployment figures down too – it’s a win, win!”

ARGGGH!   So turn off your TV, put your feet up, unplug your Jukebox and try another flavour.  Here at the VPME we’ll  try  to soothe away  your worries and provide escape and hope in the shape of our our latest pod-cast!  And let us not forget “hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”  I mean what are you without hope ?  A shrivelled, soulless slime sucking  shell, devoid of compassion and humanity. In short. . . Melanie Phillips.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Track Of The Day – Good Dangers and Rose Elinor Dougall Plus New Video From Rebekah Delgado

 Track Of The Day – Good Dangers.

GoodDangers

Ok prepare for the world’s longest opening sentence. Ready ?

Appearing like a wistful summer breeze to metaphorically sweep the grey turbid doom laden clouds away from the unremittingly grim January skies (for at least three minutes and fifty seconds ), Good Dangers have made ‘Abagail’ available for  free download  as a precursor to their debut single proper which will be arriving in the next months.

It’s joyful pop nugget sung in the style of a younger more melodious Robert Smith. And unlike Dear old tremulous voxed Uncle Bob, it doesn’t sound like a singing arachnophobe trapped in a room full of spiders.

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Track Of The Day 2  Rose Elinor Dougall

Rose Elinor Dougall

Ok we’re a bit late with this but the lovely Rose Elinor Dougall is giving an entire EP away for free and to be honest it really is fucking wonderful. You can download it all here. Why isn’t she bigger than Adele please? (cue terrible jokes which we neither encourage or condone 😉 )

So good we’ll have another I think !

Interview HERE

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Video Of The Day – Rebekah Delgado

 Rebekah Delgado prepares for her first solo  release  which apparently  will be a  free to download 4 track EP, here’s the new video for VPME fave ” Sing You Through The Storm” which premiered on Art Rocker this week.

Interview HERE

Songs To Learn And Sing – Jethro Fox, Frankie Rose, Toy and Creeping Ivies

Jethro Fox.

It gladdens our bitter and blackened hearts to hear yet more talented musicians emerging from Liverpool, keen to explore  different musical avenues and happy to leave the jejune revivalists trapped in their own musical cul-de-sac, drowning in a stale piss filled well of dreary nostalgia.

Of course everybody is influenced by something but it’s what you do with those influences that really matters.  Jethro Fox take his own musical inspirations which he says range from 60s sunshine-pop bands such as The Hollies, to the darker elements of Grizzly Bear and melds them into a beautiful sound that is all his own. He also plays all the instruments on this track too. Clever bastard ! 😉

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Frankie Rose.

Another track from Frankie’s forthcoming album ‘Interstellar” and one thats sure to “go blog” as they say these days. And rightly so, as yet again she delivers another slice of fabulous pop that serves to whet the appetite for her the album, due out on April 19th via Memphis Industries

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Toy

Toy are  an analog semi-poly synth/string machine led five piece formed in 2010. It consists of Tom Dougall (Vox/Guitars), Dominic O’Dair (Guitars), Maxim Barron (Bass/Vox), Alejandra Diez (Synthesizers/Modulation) and Charlie Salvidge (Drums/Vox). Tom’s also the brother of our old (sorry young) mate Rose Dougall. So now you know.  You can preorder their debut 12″  here – ‘Left Myself Behind’ / ‘Clock Chime’ 12″ pre order

You can catch their Residency at The Shacklewell Arms in 2012: on the following dates

Jan 25th
Feb 1st
Feb 10th.

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Creeping Ivies.

By Michael Lambert.  Pic By Michael Lambert.

 Creeping Ivies are Becca Bomb – Vox/guitar and Duncan Destruction – Drums, formed in 2010 in Scotland. Their influences and love of sleazy, dangerous Rock N Roll is apparent and  it might come as no surprise that they list The Cramps, Bo Diddley, Link Wray, Johnny Thunders, The Clash, The Ramones, The Sonics, Velvet Underground amongst their favourite artists.

It’s rather nice to hear there are still purveyors of deep down and dirty visceral rock n roll and we have not quite completely been over (or should that be “under”) whelmed  by “Generation Mumford” – there is still hope 😉

Track Of The Day – Lana Del Rey – Born To Die Remix

I’m getting a little irritated with this whole rather nasty Lana Del Rey backlash thing. Even more so since it scaled new heights of hysteria and malicious hand-rubbing following a faltering performance on Saturday Night Live from Ms Dey Rey. Jesus, she was nervous and didn’t do her self justice, it happens, get some perspective people.  The fact remains that her album is still one of the most eagerly anticipated of 2011,  above is the Woodkid Remix of ahead of the official single release of  “Born To Die” which comes out on 23rd January a week before her debut album of the same name. I reckon it’s going to be a great album. So there!

In fact the whole hype vs backlash thing annoyed me so much I wrote the following article for God Is In The TV zine a few months back.

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The Catcher In The Zeitgeist

The Double Edge Sword Of Being A Blog Buzz Artist

It’s an indisputable fact that the music industry has struggled to cope and adapt to the seismic empire levelling changes brought on by the digital age. Their initial reaction was to adopt a mode known in trade as “complete balls-out panic” which involved issuing threats and lashing out indiscriminately at anybody who threatened to upset the status quo. They even tried, like some crazed modern-day King Canute, to ban the actual internet.  This of course only served to further alienate many music fans, who, tired of paying extortionate CD prices, grew even more determined to ‘stick it to the man.’ But the major labels (at least those who are slightly forward thinking) have softened their approach, and whilst they still don’t appear to have a cohesive digital strategy they are starting to appreciate the benefits of engaging with fans and music bloggers and have realised the influence of the traditional music press is well and truly on the wane.  Despite Kristy Murrison’s best attempts to re-launch the NME as credible music paper after previous editor Conor McNicholas’ woeful tenure the fact remains that the NME at its popular zenith sold 180,000 copies per week and now limps along with a meagre 35,000  sales per week.  Labels are now wisely wooing influential websites and bloggers and often launch PR campaigns describing their latest hopefuls as “new Blog sensations” whilst trumpeting the fact that their artists” DIY” youtube videos have “gone viral.” The truth is despite Andrew Marr’s somewhat acidulous assertions that bloggers are in general “socially inadequate, pimpled, single, slightly seedy, bald, cauliflower-nosed young men sitting in their mother’s basements ranting” that it’s the blogs and zines that are  increasingly discovering some of the most interesting and innovative new music  way ahead of the big boys.

Of course positioning your artist in the unforgiving blogosphere spotlight also means you are placing them in the firing line and, in a sense relinquishing control, as blogs can be notoriously difficult to manipulate. You therefore must employ more subtle, slightly Machiavellian techniques lest the oh-so predictable “blog backlash” develops too early in your PR campaign.   Ideally you’d want the inevitable backlash to build after your artist has enjoyed a degree of success, appeared on Jools possibly and embedded themselves in the public consciousness with round the clock plays on national radio. And if there’s one thing   hipster bloggers hate more than mainstream music, it’s success! It’s like so uncool… Eventually information will “emerge” in the form of a persistent  insidious whisper that this hot new D.I.Y. star is maybe not all they claim to be.  The first phase is normally marked by spluttering indignation as puce-faced bloggers realise they have been duped by ‘big music’ and fallen for  its clever guerrilla marketing.

The backlash will move swiftly on to the next phase, that of questioning an artist’s “authenticity”  whilst accusing them of being a sell out “I mean she recorded her single in a studio, with like, musicians, and instruments and even a PRODUCER-  I mean-what a fake “ Sadly it’s female artists who are singled out for some particularly vile and vitriolic abuse. There is nothing more fearsome than the wrath of a geek scorned.

 Sandi Thom is the first example I can recall in which bloggers described her in rapturous terms as a “genuine internet sensation” and “the next big thing” whilst huge play was made of her nightly webcasts beamed live from her humble basement studio, located somewhere in near  DIY Bohemia, Wanksville which had apparently attracted 100,000 visitors and led to a major  record deal.  Only problem was none of this was strictly true, but why let facts get in the way of an internet fairy story? Upon investigation the figures were found to be spurious at best and Ms Thom was actually already part of the music industries oily marketing machine having signed to a well-connected publisher some six months previous. How ‘Big music’ must have chuckled into their champagne flutes as bloggers went apoplectic after falling into their carefully constructed trap.  However the biggest problem, which became glaringly apparent was the simple fact that actually Ms Thom was, well, a bit crap really.

Which leads us on to this year’s “blog sensation” Lana Del Rey. Vaunted by many blogs as being the real deal, she soon stood accused of not only being the construct of a clever PR campaign on behalf of major label music, but shock horror, of having a major make over.  Once a struggling singer who lived in a trailer park ( yeah, yeah) performing under the decidedly un-starry name of Lizzy Grant, Ms Del Rey has attracted some particularly nasty comments from the sort of sites that actually do conform to Andrew Marr’s blogging  stereotype. Take the woefully piss poor Hipster Runoff, a kind of (even)  low(er) rent indie Perez Hilton which makes the Sun newspaper read like Tolstoy. In its poorly researched, badly written article which many now accept as being an unassailable truth  it accuses her of   ‘tricking the indie blogosphere’  and asks hilariously facile questions which get incrementally more hysterical as the article progresses such as ‘is any blog that hypes her’ totally inauthentic?’ You can almost visualise the author’s head exploding “Scanners” style  when he’d finished typing. It also provides pictures of young Lizzy allegedly “canoodling with industry insiders” although the authenticity of this claim (and authenticity seems to be something Hipster Jerk off takes very seriously-when it suits) has recently been challenged with the assertion that these photos are actually of Lizzy with, wait for it,  her Mum and Dad! “Oh you sell out you have parents? that is like, so bogus !” But really some people need get over themselves , this whole ‘my music is more authentic than yours’ debate allied to the  tiresome blog one up-man ship ‘I discovered her before you’ is pretentious in excelsis and also very, very fucking boring.  As is the issue of whether Del Rey has had any ‘enhancements’ whilst undergoing a make –over, which is again debatable, but is evidenced as proof by her critics, as a physical manifestation of her overall fakeness.  Let’s face the reality – all great pop music cloaks itself in a degree of artifice and authenticity is actually often just another marketing tool used to target a certain musical demographic.  Lizzy Grant was given an opportunity and took it, can we really blame her?  Are we really concerned if she’s had a little ‘work done’ anymore than we give two shits about the  bruised egos of a group of  pretentious indie bloggers who feel duped and  now regard  her as an industry insider and therefore their sworn enemy . I could care less.

At the end of the day Lizzy Grant is doing  exactly what the likes of Stefani Germanotta , David Jones and dare we mention him, Paul Gadd et all have done before her and adopted a stage personae, and let’s face it,  Lana Dey Rey is a fucking great name for a singer.  Then there’s the prickly question of female empowerment – whereas Gaga’s semi nude frolicking is seen  as the ultimate expression of  strong powerful female sexuality by the pine nut and sun-dried tomato brigade and  Rhianna who regularly dry humps furniture and deep throats bananas is considered a role model, Del Rey’s pouting languid, slightly acquiescent  femme fatale shtick has apparently  set the feminist movement back 30 years! Obviously women are only allowed to sexy if it’s done with a degree of cartoon irony or has them cast as a dominatrix these days. This has the added bonus of  enabling The Guardian to go all “Pseuds Corner “ and intellectualise it and thus elevate crap Euro disco  and soulless R n ‘B into something so much more profound than the sum total of its parts.

The strange thing about the whole Del Rey backlash is that most people don’t seem to have a problem with the actual music; with criticism tending to focus on how she’s been presented to the world and depressingly, her looks. Would a man have the same judgements and insults hurled at him? I’m certainly not naive enough  to believe the maxim ‘only the music should matter’ is some sort of “one -size- fits- catch- all,” our relationship with music and indeed fandom is often much more complex an issue to be summed up in a blithe phrase.  Other factors do affect our relationship with music, for example, imagine if we discovered Billy Bragg was secretly a Tory, wouldn’t our emotional connection with his music wither and die forever no matter how good the songs might be?  Ultimately it depends on your own definition of what actually is artistic credibility and if that even matters to you, but Del Rey is no political artist and as such there comes a point when you must ask yourself – is this bad art, or is this good art ? Does it stand on its own two feet; indeed does it add value to your existence?  From what I’ve heard so far the latter defiantly applies and Ms Del Rey has it all to play for in 2012. Personally I hope she comes up with a blinding debut but sadly I’m sure there are already scribes out there preparing to dip their pen in vitriol, having already made the decision to slate the album whatever it sounds like. Which when you think about it, isn’t really very authentic either is it ?

Original published for  http://godisinthetvzine.co.uk (http://s.tt/14GIC)

Screen Test – Projectionists Interview

Projectionists VPME -Rebecca Stephens Interview 2011

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“I certainly don’t think Thatcher is a feminist icon, she had no interest in social equality” so says Rebecca Stephens after we’ve conluded our interview and we can’t help but think “Ahh, how we’ve missed you Becki!”

So let’s recap !

Brighton’s polka dot 60’s uber girl-group revisionists  The Pipettes were undoubtedly  great fun but one always suspected they had a time limited  appeal and that creatively certain members of the group may have had more offer then forever playing the role of polka-dotted pop princesses.   Certainly  after a fabulously, frivolously, frisky debut album the band did seem to lose their way and when Rebecca Stephens, arguably the Pipette whose pop personae as “Riotbecki”  infused the group with much of its personality and spirit, quit the band many of their fans followed suit.

But the good news is she’s back,  relocated to Manchester and has a new band, Projectionists formed with her friend and multi instrumentalist Peter Marshall.  Between them Pete and Becki have recruited  a team of musicians with an enviable musical pedigree for as well as including an ex-Pipette they take in musicians from Alfie, The Earlies, Liam Frost, The Slowdown Family and Star Crossed Lovers.

Projectionists music certainly won’t disappoint Rebecca’s former fans, it still gives a nod to the infectious melodies of her former groups output but it’s a far more sophisticated musical cocktail, the sort of great indie pop that remembers the basics – if you don’t have a tune you don’t really have a song  and this is beautifully crafted, thoughtful, elegant  pop.  Stephens’ lyrics are a combination of beautiful desolation and raw honesty and whilst being introspective and confessional they never come across as self-absorbed, egocentric kvetching!  Yes they may be wistfully melancholic, but they are also full of hope. Fuck knows we could all do with some of that when we imagine David Cameron knotting his tie in the morning before setting off to implement the latest round of savage cuts( which sadly doesn’t include his own throat 😉 )

We caught up with Becki ahead of the bands EP launch and chatted about the band, her move to Manchester and also her work as singer with the ever innovative Jecsa Hoop.

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VP: Hello Becki, it’s been a while since you left the Pipettes, you had a brief joint musical project as Electric Blue and then  it all went rather quiet until we  hear news you’d upped sticks and relocated to Manchester. Was that a purely musical decision, or did you feel like you needed to get away from Brighton  for fear of forever being typecast as “Riot Becki” From the Pipettes

REBECCA:  Well the fact that I’d started writing music with Peter who was based in Manchester was obviously a massive factor, but yeah I was finding it difficult to get musicians together to work with in Brighton. I was also working as a band booker and job prospects in the area weren’t exactly great . It was one of those ‘if I don’t change now I might be stuck doing the same thing until I’m forty moments” and so I decided to radically shake things up ! Manchester was a city I’d always loved playing with the Pipettes it seemed to have a great music scene, like Brighton but bigger, and so here I am!

VP: How did the band get together and how did you decide on the kind of musical style you wanted to go for, given you all sort of come from different musical backgrounds?

REBECCA: Well that’s Pete again, he seems to know everybody, the master networker [laughs] The initial songs were my original demos arranged by Pete and then Christian brought his Moog on to that and rearranged some of the songs, as did Sam with his bass playing. Sam’s ear is amazing and he was able to pinpoint things which he thought didn’t quite work. Paul’s a great producer and he was able to draw it all together, Christian and I were maybe leaning towards a more retro sixties sound and Paul cleaned it all up a bit. So yeah it happened organically, everybody’s really good at what they do, so we’ve never had to turn around and say like, “thats bloody shit, take it off” [laughs] When it came down to the songs, everybody liked them so it was just a case of polishing and expanding them really.

VP: And your debut EP’s been released, so exciting times, I think you mentioned to me that you’re adding another two tracks taking it to six.. A maxi-EP so to speak!

REBECCA: Yeah very exciting , it’s been a long time coming we’re playing at the Castle in Manchester which is a lovely little venue so really we can’t wait . The extra two tracks were a late development really, but we decided in order to concentrate on completely new material, and start working hopefully towards an album, we’d put out everything we’ve done up to this  point, so yeah, it is like a mini album!

VP: So these two additional tracks are basically the first songs that you wrote on your own, post-Pips ?

 REBECCA: Well one track is one of the very first songs I wrote when I left the Pipettes and the other is the first we did as The Projectionists.  I used to write all the lyrics but that’s started to change. I’ve enjoyed it, it’s been a different experience as previously in The Pipettes there were seven of us all writing songs, which kind of took the pressure off . And now The Projectionists is very much about is all coming together and collaborating, my demo making process is limited due to my own technical shortcomings [laughs].  I can only play guitar and keyboard well enough to write demos, so it’s lovely to come up with a verse, a chorus or a middle eight take it to the band and these amazing musicians start playing it and I go “that’s exactly what I wanted! “

VP: The songs on the EP have quite a melodic, upbeat vibe whereas the lyrics are wistfully melancholic…

REBECCA: [laughing] Yeah I didn’t realise that until about 6 months ago when I turned to Sam and said ‘You know what my lyrics are a bit Emo really aren’t they !” which is a bit embarrassing[laughs]

 

VP: Yeah you mentioned it’s been a long time coming and the demos have been floating about for a while now, even with all the technology we have at our fingertips and social networking is it still difficult for a band to release a physical product ?

REBECCA: You know, it’s changed so much from how I remember it four years ago. It’s totally different world , it’s far more viral, the internet plays a much bigger role now. For example with The Pipettes we played four or five gigs a week, I mean that was how we did it, building up a fan base, gigging constantly and throwing out a few limited edition 7″ releases via small independent labels. That was how it all happened and it was a slow process whereas now there’s a kind of pay to play mentality, it seems less supportive, I mean I think we’ve only been paid for one gig we’ve played. To be honest it’s a bit insulting for bands not to be given anything!  That’s one reason we’ve limited our gigs, the cost of travel etc means you’re effectively losing money. So we thought ‘sod it’ we need to concentrate on making music and getting it out there!  So that’s why it took so long we were uming and ahh’ing over the best way to go about things really! Once we decided to release an EP that was the easy bit, we realised we need to focus on writing an album, maybe releasing the odd thing on the net, but really focus on the music as opposed to live shows at the moment.

VP: So the myth that bands can sustain themselves via gigging ? Not much evidence of that unless you’re huge ?

REBECCA: Yeah, I mean at a certain level you can, bands can make their money gigging during the festival season, but I would estimate you’d have to be playing venues of 1000 plus to see any real return! It’s so expensive!  So for most new bands it’s out of the question! When the Pipettes started in 2003 it used to be the norm that the first band on the bill would get about 30 quid, the support about £50 and the main band whatever the agreed fee was. I can’t remember not getting paid for a gig back then, but now it seems completely standard, I mean you don’t even get a free fucking beer!  When I was a promoter down in Brighton I’d make sure they were at least given expenses and a drink, cos I’ve seen it from both sides. So it’s defiantly changed in a negative way toward bands.

VP: So 2012 will be full steam ahead writing ?

REBECCA: Yeah, we’ve got four songs for the album and Pete’s just got a studio in Salford so we’ve decided to go in once a week and start demoing. One of the new songs we’ll be playing at the EP launch kind of captures the direction we’ll be going in! We’d love to do some festivals but we’ll have to see if we can do it without the help of the almighty booking agent !

VP:  And are you still singing with Jesca Hoop ?

REBECCA: Yeah, she’s got her third album ( second in the UK) coming out soon and so we’ll be playing some shows as of next week, so can’t wait to get out there and do that.

VP:  So how did you end up singing with Jesca ?

REBECCA: That’s due to the master networker Pete again! She’d just moved to Manchester on the back of doing a tour with Elbow and must have thought, “What on earth am I doing in sunny California ! I’ll move to Manchester!”  This is what happens you see, Manchester just draws you in  – “My life is shit, Manchester will make it better!” [laughs] So yeah, she moved here and Pete knew her manager through Elbow and heard she was looking for musicians and singers to replace her band from California. He said why don’t you audition, but when I heard her music I was like “Are you kidding me??” I’d done three part harmonies and this was like really technical singing ! I thought I’m really not gonna get this, but I went along, did the audition, and I did get it!!( that was two years ago and another reason I moved to Manchester ) I love it, she’s really opened my eyes to singing and I feel a much stronger singer for it, a lot of the time it’s just me and her in a bus which makes a big change from travelling around with about ten people in a sweaty van!

VP:  With the Projectionists You’ve supported some pretty buzzworthy bands, what’s been your fave gig so far?

REBECCA:  Hmmm, I think maybe our first stands out the most, with I Blame Coco, because there was such a buzz and it was so busy. I really thought I was gonna shit myself for fear it would all go horribly wrong beforehand as I wasn’t used to fronting a band, but as soon as I came off stage I was like – that was amazing I want to do it again!  So that felt like a major achievement, overcoming the fear, mind you some nerves are a good thing, they give you that adrenaline to see you through.

VP: Any pre-gig rituals ?

REBECCA:  I might have had a little drink in the past, but now I don’t even think about it, which was one of the best things ever, realising I could go on stage and do this without any alcohol at all! I think my main ritual now is I like to get a feel for the room, maybe get in the audience for the support, take in the atmosphere, I find that so much better than just sitting backstage stewing in the juice of your own nerves!

 

 

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VPME Track Of The Day “Carver’s Kicks” by Straylings.

Straylings Von Pip Musical Express

Now this is fantastic. “Carver’s Kicks” by Straylings is an epic, dark, portentous sounding slice of widescreen drama.  Consisting of Bahraini/Austrian songwriter Dana Zeera and London born guitarist Oliver Drake Straylings have already received high praise for their debut Ep  released last June . On this track the sound recalls the cinematic Alt/Goth country which made the Howling Bells debut album such a critical hit and marks out the 5th March as a significant date in your musical diary.  Why ? Well that’s the date Straylings debut album   “Entertainment On Foreign Ground”   is released via Deadpan records

They  also play their first date of 2012 this Saturday at Camden Barfly.