Saturday, 22 June 2013

Late Night Tales: Röyksopp

How much can really be said about Late Night Tales?

If you are already subscribing to this series of compilations then you already know exactly what you are getting.

And if you are a fan of Röyksopp, lava lamps and jazz cigarettes then you are probably already in a purple haze, reclined, listening to the latest in this long line of mixes rather than scouring online reviews.

For those that may need a little more convincing, here goes...

Röyksopp are here to take you under their most capable wing, perhaps you've had a few too many down at the local Yates', perhaps it has been a hard week at work and you are in need of a bubble bath and massage oils, or perhaps you have another reason to simply want to drift away from the rest of the world until morning breaks, it's ok, relax, Röyksopp are here for you.

Although it may not connect directly with fans of the down-beat, up-lifting duo, the spirit of their music and the comfort of a post-club, post-chill out zone, pre-satisfying slumber early hours crash-pad make this a special mix for a ridiculously niche audience, but as Late Night Tales continues unabated, this drowsy niche audience must be buying in droves.

We have the obligatory exclusive music from Röyksopp to satisfy the completists, and we have track after track of easy listening, because the time to dance is over, we have Acker Bilk, XTC and Vangelis, all at their most mellow, and plenty more besides, and we have Bernand Cumberbatch reading us a bedtime story to bring the release to a close.

Part of me demands more from my DJ mixes, but then another part of me has had enough whisky already and is now wanting to close my eyes, hope the world stops spinning by morning and slide away into sleep.

Röyksopp's Late Night Tales compilation can be ordered here.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Return of The Bush: Live Review

London's Astoria, New York's CBGB, Manchester's Hacienda, Liverpool's Cavern Club and the Bush Hill Park Tavern....

Those living outside of the North London borough of Enfield may have possibly been unaware that the ornate old building that looms large near the tucked away Bush Hill Park rail station holds just as much cultural significance to local music fans as the aforementioned legendary venues do to the rest of the world at large.

Despite not quite carrying the same pedigree as more well known sweat boxes, it is the sporadic and erratic timing of the gigs held in the usually serene boozer's function room that has made this place a firm favourite of my home town.

Last weekend saw The Return Of The Bush ushering in a new age for the Enfield music scene, as familiar faces from familiar bands that themselves were no strangers to this back-room's charms took to the stage in new incarnations, gathering under one roof and kicking to the curb rumours that our beloved scene had faltered and fallen for good.

The vibrancy and diversity of musical tribes converged in unity as a sliding scale of genres was represented over the course of just one evening, from the opening mod-influenced indie rockers Decoy Jet, through the psychedelia-laced Four Sheets To The Wind and the unstoppable funk of Deep Seed. Whilst those that prefer the heavier side of life witnessed the debut gig of Building The Songbird tackling atmospheric post-hardcore, the last ever performance from metallers Red Button Exit, who bowed out in style with a 'Wall of Death' mosh pit and headliners Hands Of A Saviour, who were left to cap the evening off by hitting the Bush with the force of a ten-tonne truck.

Whilst other towns and other venues may boast more consistent musical programmes, it has been the impromptu planning and long absences that makes every small gig held at The Bush feel like an event, with local bands clamouring to get involved, and the punters treating these rare musical outings in our little corner of North London as joyous celebrations, supporting our friends and peers and not having too far to travel home afterwards.

And for now, the scene feels revived, with new bands bearing the promise of carrying Enfield's musical legacy further forward, and loose lips swearing that it won't be too long until we see the Bush heaving, sweating and singing again.