Monday, 27 June 2011

The Rider! (Based Upon my 10 years of working with bands)

Dear Promoters,
Me and my bandmates will soon have the pleasure of playing your venue/festival/university ball/village fair yadda yadda yadda. There are a few essential (although modest) requests that we politely need before we can become friends and of course play to our highest standards. I was a promoter in a past life so I know there’s a certain amount of toing/froing that we all need to do before we come to a middle ground to suit your budgets/our egos (but anything other than a jovial or helpful alternative will be dismissed as bad or boring “business practice” and hey we all got into this for a “bit of a laugh” right?)
The following are the aforementioned requests that I know you will be able to adhere to...
1)      A BUY OUT of £ 15 per head (for 10 people) or in house dinner...
I’m not a picky eater, I occasionally treat myself to a sizeable portion of cheesy chips after a long night at the pub. However we do not expect for this to be the case with the catering at ANY of our forthcoming performances. So let’s just rule out altogether Burgers/Fries/Pizza/KFC or any version of this. If the food is catered, please let it not be swimming in a pint of grease or simply be a glorified version of the following: Pasta with tomato sauce, Chilli, Baked Potato (although great as a side) or a lump of meat. Put a bit of time and effort into preparing it, think of it as an audition for come dine with me or dinner date, We will rate you out of 10 and report back to our manager/agent, If we do not approve we will suggest that the costings of said “food” be taken out of the final settlement. Alternatively, if a buy out recommend me somewhere nice- imagine I’m a hot babe that you really want to impress... Let it be said that I am not interested in Candles, Flowers or holding your hand over a three course meal but something that will not end up in a long flowing of faeces in a series of overused travel stops between your show and the next. This is much appreciated... A Sandwich does also not count as “dinner” no matter how “lovingly” prepared.
2)      ALCOHOL
Yes! It’s the staple of the “life on the road” diet and the whole point of pursuing a “career” in music is for a constant flow of alcohol (worked for my heroes Lemmy, Keith Richards and Motley Crue) and girls (but I’ll get to that later) so we require the following:
a)      Three Cases of HIGH QUALITY (Essential) BEER.
Read This as meaning NO Carling, Fosters or Carlsberg- Advertising Bullshit aside, none of these “beers” would ever win a “finest beer award” although potentially a “least disgusting drinkable piss” award could be on the cards should such a contest exist. No Offence if any of these companies are your sponsor, it’s not personal and deep down inside you know you agree!
b)      One Bottle of GOOD QUALITY (Essential) WHITE AND One Bottle of GOOD QUALITY (Essential) RED Wine.
We are all grown-ups, you know what I’m Talking about, Sainsburys, Tesco and Even Fucking ASDA do some really good deals... look for the Buy One Get One Free, Reduced By £2, 3 For £ 10 (Hell you keep the third...Our Tour Manager may question your integrity when he’s sees it missing from the rider when he goes through your receipts for the settlement but tell him I Said it was okay) but again, use your discretion, I don’t want no Lambrini or Crap Chardonnay and just because they drunk Black Tower in Big Brother 3 Doesn’t mean I want it on the rider. This is essential for various reasons, 1) There are girls in our band that simply “vomit at the taste of beer” (bullshit- but I pretend to care) so they NEED wine. 2) I’m also trying to prevent a certain band member who gets serious wind from drinking half a crate of even the finest of continental microbrews and I’m tired of waking up every morning smelling like an OAP who has shat themselves. 3) As a whole Girls Like Wine and I think we’ve discussed that already or are soon about to... Obviously if you have the luxury of having a wine cellar with the crème de la crème of vintage and fine wines then this will be appreciated but only expected if the show sells out.
c)       One Bottle of GOOD QUALITY Vodka (Not the kind we used to pay people to get for us from wine shops when we 14 that had the same consistency as nail varnish) One Bottle of GOOD QUALITY Whiskey (To me this is Jack Daniels, Jameson or Bushmills, I like to mix it with Ginger Ale/Lemonade... So I probably wouldn’t know if you got an empty bottle and filled it with basics but I trust you and know that without this you appreciate the show will suffer) Of Course if you have the luxury of having a large selection of Whiskey in your establishment I will take a shot of the most expensive one or a selection of a few in the higher ranges. Please Surprise us with One Other bottle of Spirits from your range (This should not include Sourz or Sambucca- Hate The Stuff!), Consider it your moment of creativity in an otherwise regimented system of “artist demands.” If we don’t like it then we’ll probably give it to the support(s) and as we all know most of them are happy as larry with 12 carlings, a case of water and a 6 pack of Walkers Crisps (Under no circumstances should that be our rider!) not like they have any choice anyway!   
d)      A Few Cans of Cider... I speak for one member of our band  who once paid $ 10 for a strongbow in the USA, yes it’s idiotic, but its along the same lines as those who “vomit at the taste of beer” except they will not consume either B or C... if you need any further justification for any inclusion of the previously stated, we will say we are allergic and could not possibly fulfil our commitments to play the event for it may lead to a trip to the hospital or at worse an untimely death.
e)       A Selection of Mixers To Include CocaCola (Official Brand ONLY Please, Yes I know they are evil, feed aborted monkey foetuses to third world countries or whatever, but It’s the only brand I like... preferably in Glass Bottles, but Cans or even a 2L at a push will have to do), Lemonade (I’m not really picky on this one, although NO Cloudy Lemonade, and obviously Sprite or 7UP would be admired and is likely to enhance our performance), A Selection of Juices (No Own Brand/One Step up from Own Brand, in an ideal situation you have freshly squeezed the oranges/apples/pineapples/cranberries  yourself earlier in the day and have lovingly prepared it in the same way you have our delicious dinner) and finally some Tonic (Schweppes) and Ginger Ale (Canada Dry). Of Course these are only guidelines and are suggested to provide a Five K/10 out of 10 performances for you, us and the people spending their hard earned money on your show. 
f)       Tea/Coffee/Milk/Sugar/Honey/Lemon (All Standards although  seldom ever used, it is expected that you carry these around to every gig, set them up on the off chance and have to lug them back to your office every single night. I personally LOVE All of these things, and I feel that if you the promoter have made the effort I will endeavour to make myself  and you- should you want one, a cuppa!)

3)      SNACKS  To Include:
a)      A Selection of Meats: This is the bit when you go to the meat section of the supermarket and just go crazy, although please don’t pick up Bernard Manning or any of those kids sandwich packs or anything that looks like it could be scraped off the floor and thrown into a packet (basically this is not an ASDA moment) but also please use a bit of common sense and do not provide us with BEEF... who puts supermarket Beef in a sandwich! Ugh makes me sick just thinking about it, however if you are feeling so kind to roast Beef on the day of the show (or the day before) for our rider, this is appreciated and may be rewarded. Otherwise no Beef! Just think about it!
b)      A Selection of Cheeses: Again this is fairly self explanatory, get a selection, a Cheddar (But not Mild, who buys mild???) A Bree, A Blue Cheese, Something Spicy (Nothing with Fruit), you can get one of those “Cheese Selection” packs, they are usually pretty good and come with a knife (often something forgotten) and a board to chop it on.
c)       A Selection of Bread: Fresh Rolls preferably or Bagels (Love Bagels!), but other types of bread are acceptable, but please consider that we are making sandwiches and would request that the bread is fresh and not basics (We were students and consumed enough 39p bread back then for a lifetime) My Personal Favourite is “Tiger Bread” (In Loaf or Roll format, no need to be picky) if it’s still warm I’ll get down on my knees and suck your preferred testicle (Disclaimer: Only ONE testicle per show) (Further Disclaimer: The Bread must be at the optimium temperature where my butter (Please Provide Butter, Butter/Butter not Flora or the Italian one or some can’t believe its not butter stuff...) melts without a hasty knife wrist action and only then will this offer be redeemable
d)      A Selection of Fruits To Include but not be limited to... Apple, Orange, Banana, Grapes, Peaches, Plums, Pears, Nectarines, Strawberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, Raspberries, Gooseberries, Quince, Cherry, Apricot, Greengage, Paw Paw, Loganberry, Jujube, Pomegranate, Pineapple, Grapefruit, Kumquat, Passion Fruit, Guava, Avocado, Lyches or any other tropical fruit. Preferably freshly grown by yours truly or provided by a local organic greengrocer and not just a selection of Basics from any previous advertised supermarket... I can taste the difference.
e)      A Selection of Vegetables To Include by not be limited to... well use your common sense, there’s no point bringing us any “Flower Bud” or “Tubers” without any means to cook them is there... Tomatoes, Celery (Although personally I hate it), Carrots, Cucumber etc etc... You Don’t need me to hold your hand
f)       A Selection of Dips (Hummus, Salsa, Sour Cream yadda yadda) if we can dip a vegetable in it... buy it please!  But don’t get funny with me and provide me with a pot of Chicken Tonight sauce like some smart ass did, let’s just say he ended up wearing it as a hat if  you know what I mean and still works up a cold sweat every time he hears that theme song.
g)      An Assortment of Crisps and Nuts I think we know each other well enough now to cut to the chase... A Walkers Six Pack may be acceptable to our support band but we will not be happy to see 2 packets of ready salted, 2 packets of cheese and onion and 2 packets of salt and vinegar in our dressing room on arrival. We are more likely to crush them all up and sprinkle them down your trousers... If Walkers are your sponsor please provide us with some of their more expressive flavours  or cutting styles. Personally I’d like to forget Walkers all together and focus more on Kettle Chips, McCoys or Vegetable Chips, Wholewheat Pita Chips are also really nice too.  This isn’t an empty threat.  We probably won’t eat the nuts but buy them anyway.
h)      An Assortment of Chocolate Bars Major brands only please, basically check if there’s an ice cream version of it and we’ll be barking up the right tree.
i)        Utensils/sauces for us to make said sandwiches this is a fatal flaw when it comes to riders, often you have everything to make a delicious sandwich but without a knife or bread or butter or mayonnaise or BBQ Sauce and nothing makes me more depressed than this. Well Supermarket Beef but I think I’ve already covered that. We aren’t monsters are unlikely to want to accumulate a lifetimes supply of plastic cutlery so you’ll be able to use it on other shows. Yes plastic is fine, however metal and fine china is always welcomed and will enhance the quality of our performance.
4)      MISC.
a)      Several Postcards of the town we are playing in: We have anxious parents that our worried we are simply drinking and eating and playing “music” and would love to know that we are still alive and well and maintaining some level of cleanliness and good manners (of course from this rider you have discovered that the latter is present in our every day behaviour).  Of Course if the highlight of your town is an old tree stump that Lisa Stansfield once took a piss on, then please let our Tour Manager know and we will promptly cancel the show and have a day on the sofa instead because quite frankly it’s not worth our time or yours.
b)      A Packet of Extra Large Condoms Now you think I’m doing myself a great service here but I’m being serious, in my long list of skills and talents designed to make the world a better place, I require Extra Large Condoms, I’ll even show you if you do not believe me, the only reason I have not enlisted myself in a life of porn is due to my lack of acting ability and I believe if you can’t really live and breathe the role of a plumber, people will never fully invest themselves into the character and as a fan of motion pictures I could not inflict that on others. Alternatively If you do not believe that condoms are your responsibility I beg you to reconsider your chosen profession.  I am playing your event and by doing so I am turning women on and without means to protect myself (and them), your event is effectively impregnating them and as a result you are liable to any of the circumstances post said impregnation including but not limited to marriage, raising the child as your own, paying for it’s education, wedding etc. So save yourself a lot of money and effort and buy some condoms, as we have already discussed the only other reason besides “the music” (yeah right) is women!
Right I think that covers everything, of course you’ve seen a lot of these riders so once again i encourage you to use your common sense on anything I may have missed out on in my small and modest request required to get the very best out of this experience.  We are very much looking forward to meeting you and cannot wait to hear from you regarding what cannot be provided on our forthcoming show, of course I think we have an understanding as to what can be removed from this simple list (aka nothing) but if you feel any of it should be discussed simply contact our Tour Manager so he/she can bully you into submission.  And Please under no circumstances ask us for any CDs/T-Shirts/Tote Bags/Autographs for you/your best friend/your girlfriend/boyfriend, transsexual cousin/sister/brother/aunt... whatever. On the very unlikely event that we should offer such a service, say no and walk away.
Thanks and all the very best,

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Recommended Playlist- 23/06/2011

The Field Mice- Your Kidding Aren’t You (Snowball, 1989) "Classic Sarah Records Act" 
Red Fang-Wires (Murder The Mountains, 2011) "Wigout Guitar anthem" 
Sons & Daughters- Breaking Fun (Mirror Mirror 2011) "Mighty New Decadent Sinister Pop from Scotland's Premier Band" 
Duane Eddy- Road Trip (Road Trip 2011) "The King of The Road Returns" 
Blanck Mass-Sifted Gold (Blanck Mass 2011) "Ambient Downbeat from one-half of Fuck Buttons" 
Cashier No.9-Lost At Sea (To The Death of Fun 2011) "Sky High Indie Pop From Belfast"
Jehst- Zombies (The Dragon of An Ordinary Family 2011) "All Hail The Return of The Mighty Jehst" 
Patrick Wolf- The City (Lupercalia, 2011)  "Suprisingly Very Happy Return from South London's King of Camp Grandeur Chamber Pop" 
Diskjokke- Mandena (Sagara, 2011) "Dark and Inspiring electronic anbience from the depths of the world" 
John Maus- Street Light (We Must Become The Pitiless Censors of Ourselves, 2011) "Get on the floor with the album that finally captures the frenzy of Maus' live performance attack"
Destroyer- Chinatown (Kaputt, 2011) "Cannot get enough of Destroyer's finest record ever, guaranteed to cross over to the broadsheet coffee table crowd with the most pop hooks this side of the 21st century" 
Hoodlums- Landmarks (Landmarks/The Great Outsiders 7", 2011) "Atmospheric and potentially chart bothering indie pop"
Dum Dum Girls-Stiff Little Fingers (Stiff Little Fingers Ltd 7", 2010) "Further Proof That There is Real Substance behind Dee Dee and Co's homage to Shangraigaze if any was needed." 

Pontiak- Comecrudos Part 1 (Comecrudos, 2011) "Limited 12 Vinyl Release intended as a soundtrack on a drive between Phoenix and Texas... Having done that journey I can confirm This is a perfect soundtrack to the empty roads and sandy paths of the USA" 

LaVern Baker- Voodoo Voodoo (Voodoo Voodoo/Hey Memphis 7" 2011) "Re-Released Rocker from a pre-fame Phil Spector, bound to get everyone shaking when it gets played on the ole' 45 jukebox, classic vocals from a forgotten Voice."

Fink- Yesterday Was Hard on All of Us (Perfect Darkness, 2011) "Fink returns with his most commercial record to date, an obvious choice for fans of acoustica, heart draining lyricism and thoughtful production."

Monday, 6 June 2011

Arctic Monkeys- Suck It & See

Arctic Monkeys return after the excellent Humbug with "Suck It and See" Turner's typical wordplay is the strongest factor in what is unfortantely a by the numbers effort which seeks to satisfy the fan definition of the band. Expect more engimatic women existing in Turner's northern stories to familiar effects. By all means not a weak effort as the Monkeys hit some above-average indie pop but follow the expected route rather than venturing in any new direction.  A Long suck leaves a familiar if not pleasant taste (too easy) 6/10

Cold Showers- I Don't Mind/Near Burn 7"


Debut 7" from LA four piece Cold Showers. No Words. Just An Awesome Song you should be playing all summer. Insane Video Too!

Cold Showers - "I Don't Mind" from Mexican Summer on Vimeo.

Julianna Barwick- The Magic Place

This album has been doing the rounds for a while so If you have not yet been privileged to soar along with Barwick's 3rd album The Magic Place where have you been... (Unless like me you've been travelling and then you can be forgiven) A Record that is almost a transcending, eye opening solitary experience, heavenly but also based inside the very torture of solitude and loneliness. Hauntingly melancholy but also joyful hymnal childhood innocence...

Fucked Up- David Comes To Life

Fucked Up- David Comes To Life

Fucked Up come back from the great unknown for what is a wonderful step back, whilst soaring forward from the Canadian giants; sounding sonically more like Hidden World than their previous polaris prize winning Chemistry of Common Life... David Comes To Life is like no other album you will ever hear... lyrically explosive, engaging and deserving of all the hyperbole anyone can throw at it. There are few records which will really hit you from all angles like this one, but I will leave you to experience it for yourselves and read elsewhere about the story behind one of the most pecuilar "rock operas" of our generation. I predict this will be in my top 5 if not higher when it comes time to compare this year's great releases...
Matador you sleigh me once again... 10/10

Thao & Mirah- S/T

Thao & Mirah- S/T

Put Together Thao, who is known to most as the leader of the get down stay down, electrically charged and punked up serrated rockers and Mirah, who can be simply defined as creating some lovely twee and simple songs in various guises and various artists over the last decade. It's not necessarily the most suitable combination, you get the impression it could be a clash of the indie darling champions eclipsing each other with style over substance. But Instead their debut is a astounding success, flipping in style from track to track, blissful summer pop which often settles to showcase the talents of just one of the duo but where their voices combine true magic is made...

May 2011- EMA- Past Life Martyred Saints

So I've been going around the USA so this blog has been obviously abused and left on the wayside during this time, but gradually getting back to the good news:

EMA- Past Life Martyred Saints is where I'll choose to begin and it's a stunning and brutal album, unsuited to reviews and genre tags because it is quite simply astounding... I guess it can be filed with Liz Phair, PJ Harvey and other 90s grunge inspired girls for simple lazy comparisons but Erika M. Anderson (formally of Amps For Christ and of Gown) effortlessly jumps all over the place from heavy beats to 4 track punked up rock. This album cannot be sampled as it should be engulfed by every listener, grab your headphones and take a step inside one of the best records this year has to offer. Mindblowing 9/10
Experience this sample of "California"