Memory of a free festival

fables-review At the turn of the 1990s I was living in the South West London district of Tooting on a street which contained a row of housing association houses/ flats now sadly demolished to make way for a car park. Every summer, the adjoining gardens of the residents made way for a stage and a day of music, booze and general good-mannered mayhem known as Maybury Fest (and subsequently Longley Fest).
Like the Field Farm Festival, this was a fantastic event that ran on community goodwill and enthusiasm. The police would usually show up and stick their heads round but cheers to ’em, they never intervened.
I have particularly fond memories of the Maybury Fest as I made my debut musical performance there playing a mix of Stones, Velvet Underground and Doors numbers in a combo tragically (but also brilliantly) named, The Velvet Underpants. The following year I returned as guitarist with The Fables (see review right), making their live debut. Continue reading

Mick Jones’ Rock n’ Roll Public Library

Pink-portraitNo, it’s not a comic strip from Viz, it’s a real life exhibition of stuff – books, magazines, clothes, instruments, posters etc. from Mick Jones’ personal collection.
Imagine The Clash/BAD/Carbon Silicon guitarist/front-man went on holiday and asked you to house-sit for him. Well, this is what it would be like – free to root around in his vast collection of music mags, poke about at his samplers, drum machines and synths, sit down and watch his videos, go through his wardrobes and nose around in his office.

Continue reading

Norman Records


Those inestimable folks at Leeds’ Norman Records have some kind words to say about “Sketches For A Lost Summer”.

‘Sketches For A Lost Summer’ looks appealing. Beautiful cover art, recycled packaging and swish foam padded CD tray, lovely stuff. Music is pretty sweet too. The Untied Knot a.k.a Nigel Bryant (from 90’s indie rockers The Fables amongst others) makes the old acoustic six-string sing like a bird chorus on a summer’s morning. ‘An act of kindness’ sounds like Donovan jammin’ the soundtrack for BBC1’s Gardener’s World, and it sounds better than you’d think. This whole record oozes tranquillity….Bryant’s guitar does most of the talking but the occasional percussive element elevates the tracks and adds colour. Things even sway into psychedelic territory with the introduction of analogue synthesizers on ‘The Clocke Stopped At Mydnyte’ and ‘A Premonition’ among others. I can hear elements of The Byrds, John Fahey, Simon and Garfunkel, Donovan and Nick Drake…..All good references. If you like modern psyche influenced folk ala Static Caravan then you’ll dig this for sure. Limited to 500 copies so catch ‘em while you can.

Norman Records is my favorite independent mail order store, they’ve got a vast range, top service (free sweets!) and actually give a damn about new independent music – pop along and treat yourself to something nice…

CD now in London shops

Just a quick note to say that Rough Trade in Brick Lane, E1 6QL and Sister Ray in Berwick St, W1F 8RP are stocking “Sketches For A Lost Summer” on CD.

Both are well worth a visit – Rough Trade’s shiny new(ish) flagship store has lots of live in-store stuff every week and Sister Ray is my favourite London shop because it just feels right.rough-trade_logo

Supersonic festival

This Saturday marks my 4th visit to Capsule’s superlative Supersonic festival in Birmingham.
Because I’m a getting a little bit excited about it here’s a link to 13 live sets from the 2007 edition on Last FM including Oxbow, Mogwai, Voice Of The Seven Woods and Kid 606.

Enjoy…