- Solo show in Barcelona, May 10th 2014 -
A couple of months ago, I was contacted by the writers Kiko Amat and Miqui Otero with an offer to play some songs at their Primera Persona festival in Barcelona. As the name suggests, Primera Persona, is concerned with writers of novels, poems, and songs, who write in the first person. I guess I technically qualify, so after a little to-ing and fro-ing I said “yes, please”.
It’s this coming Saturday, the 10th of May, and it’s the first solo show I have ever done. I’m a little excited and a little terrified. Thankfully, it won’t be a strictly one-man show as Kiki and Miqui have teamed me up with a terrific band from Mallorca called Beach Beach.
I head out to Barcelona on Thursday for a couple of rehearsals before the show at the weekend. Hopefully we will play around 15 songs, some Teenage Fanclub and some Lightships.
Also appearing at this year’s Primera Persona are Calvin Johnson, Tracey Thorn, Ian Svenonius, Bob Stanley, Irvine Welsh, Green Gartside, and many more.
I’m a lucky so and so…
A while ago, I penned a fairly angry response to something circulating on the internet – the 21 Habits of Happy People. It pissed me off beyond belief, that there was an inference that if you weren’t Happy, you simply weren’t doing the right things.
I’ve had depression for as long as I can…
Fresh off their recent tour of Australia as part of the Groovin’ The Moo festival the guys from Frightened Rabbit are heading back home for a well deserved month off after playing a whole heap of shows and releasing a pretty bloody amazing record in the shape of Pedestrian Verse.
Frightened Rabbit SXSW 2013 on Flickr.
favorite SXSW 2013 photo #3
PAWS at Valhalla SXSW 2013 on Flickr.
favorite SXSW 2013 photo #2
Phillip & Josh
Two Cow Garage SXSW 2013 on Flickr.
favorite SXSW 2013 photo #1
Two Cow Garage
Maculate Conceptions Volume 2
Being in a pretty successful band means it’s likely that you don’t have a lot of free time. But with some of the time you do have, what do you do while being transported from city to city and/or country to country..take up a strange hobby? Re-learn Cat’s Cradle? Purchase massive quantities of Sudoku books at newspaper stands?* Or do you create unique soundscapes?
Well that’s what Francis Macdonald has done.
Francis is the brains behind the beat in the melodic Scottish pop musical outfit, Teenage Fanclub. In 2010, they toured the world in support of their record Shadows, first gracing the USA, then Asia, and Europe. Inspired by his travels during the last leg of the Fanclub tour thru Europe, Francis crafted music using his Macbook and the Garageband application. Maculate Conceptions is a stunning two-parter, this being the second and final part.
Each track maintains its individuality, based on the city or town Francis was inspired by. One great example from Maculate Conceptions Volume 2 is the track “Weissenhauser”. The drums and fuzzed-out bassline drive you through the three minute and two seconds and it sets the tone for the rest of the album. There are moments of unbridled energy, smooth chill-outs, and just a constant sense of being mobile, being in motion. When I close my eyes as I listen, I can imagine being on a packed Eurostar carriage with telephone towers, smoggy cityscapes and rolling hills blurring by. Maculate Conceptions is certainly one of those records that can melt right into you.
You can preview and download Maculate Conceptions Volume 2 on Francis’ Bandcamp site. Volume One is also available for preview and purchase.
*Maybe he does in fact dabble in Cat’s Cradle and Sudoku, but I’ve yet to ask him.
While he plays drums for one of the greatest bands in the world, Francis Macdonald also manages loads of other incredibly talented bands; Camera Obscura, Attic Lights, and The Vaselines. He is an overseer of Shoeshine Records. In his career he has worked with a wide range of musicians: BMX Bandits, Alex Chilton (Big Star), Chip Taylor, Robert Forster (Go-Betweens), Kate Rusby, Belle & Sebastian, Dan Penn, Kevin Ayers (Soft Machine), and Ian McCulloch (Echo & the Bunnymen).