Staying at my mother-in-law’s in Llanelli last week, flicking through the lower depths of Sky television channels, we stumbled across an episode of The Streets of San Francisco featuring pre-irony Leslie Nielsen (i.e. back when he was simply a terrible ham rather than a genius straight-faced actor). Mrs Abahachi hadn’t seen it for years, I’d never even heard of it. Great fun, but the best bit as far as I was concerned – besides the fact that they put up titles for ‘Act I’, ‘Act II’, ‘Epilogue’ etc. – was the music; I’ve never heard of Pat(rick) Williams, but this is up there with the great TV themes, with classic 70s scratchy wah-wah guitar and some nicely dissonant chords.
This is my new baby – bought on Sunday from an astonishing shop called Guitar Village in Farnham, with literally hundreds of guitars, entire room full of Les Pauls, another full of Strats, guitarist heaven – and I’m still trying to think of a name for her. I don’t name all my guitars – that would be both sad and peculiar – but the special ones deserve to be treated right. Trouble is, my current TV character crush (my gorgeous Gibson ES335 is called Buffy, predictably enough) is a non-starter as she has the same name as Mrs Abahachi, which means that I’m having to cast the net more broadly, and so far haven’t hit on the perfect name: Lauren might have been a possibility, given today’s news, but that’s also the name of a second cousin; my sporting heroine is a Lena, but she’s very blond and most of this guitar is brunette…
So, a random extra EOTWQ, for the half hour before the new theme turns up, or if you get bored over the weekend: what name(s) have you ever given to inanimate objects, male or female, and why?
Someone has been feeding Trwbador after midnight, and then getting them wet (okay, not so difficult for a band based in the depths of West Wales). The landscape of their forthcoming second album (out on 11th August) is familiar enough, with Angharad van Rijswijk’s delicate vocals, Owain Gwilym’s guitar patterns, subtle electronic beats and random tinkly noises all present and correct. This time, however, the landscape is dominated not by gentle, shy creatures with big soulful eyes but by giant avant-pop monsters in eye-catching plumage, cavorting exuberantly. Continue reading
As I’ve mentioned before, my mission at every festival I attend is to get hooked on a new act. This year, rather than Glastonbury or somewhere else with hundreds of different stages and performers, I was at the Dinefwr Literature Festival near Llandeilo in West Wales, mainly because Trwbador were playing. An interesting new experience – great set from them, fascinating guided tour of the remains of Dinefwr Castle, got heckled by the comedian Bridget Christie (I’ve never actually been to a stand-up performance before, but I do have a vague idea it’s supposed to be the other way round…) and heard the amazing Viv Albertine in conversation (but missed getting my copy of her book signed as I had to head off to Trwbador – dammit, Dinefwr, if you have only three stages why can’t you synchronise the timings properly to allow people to move between them..?).
However, the emphasis on the literary side of things did mean that the musical pickings were a little thinner: four blokes with copious beards who had clearly decided that the future of music was a fusion of Coldplay and Fleet Foxes (they may of course be right), some badly distorted noise with unintelligible vocals (needed more dynamic contrast, and I needed a beer – a shout out to Jacobi Brewery’s Red Squirrel) and… Cardiff’s Baby Queens. Perfect summer music: vocal harmonies that remind me a bit of En Vogue, plus some effective rapping; catchy songs with a chilled soul/RnB groove, with a hint of dub in the live performance (but they really need to get a proper bass player – the sound needs a bit more bottom end to be perfect). Four songs released so far (links to two of the catchiest ones below the fold), and an album planned for 2015. The one thing I find disturbing is that Gary Lineker is a fan, through a family connection, but please don’t hold that against them… Continue reading
I think I may have done my last stint as Temporary RR Guru: the article that’s just gone up on the Mothership bears a certain resemblance to what I wrote, but they’ve changed various things for no obvious reason, not improving the sense and certainly not the style, they’ve taken out the best joke, and they’ve rendered the first paragraph more or less unintelligible. Obviously no attempt was made to check with me about any of this, and that means that the work I put in feels like a complete waste, to be left feeling this pissed off. Anyway, for what it’s worth and in case anyone’s interested, the original article is below the line… Continue reading
Trwbador’s new single Breakthrough is officially released on 26th May, but the video is now available on YouTube. Perhaps not exactly what their fans were expecting – and, having heard a sneak preview of the new album, I can tell you that this isn’t by any means the most surprising track on it…
20140111/JnNSA-GCHQ/564q/20:00:01 Commencing operation.
20140111/JnNSA-GCHQ/564q/20:00:03 Monitoring identified channels, incoming and outgoing traffic, full decryption protocols. Key algorithms established to search for: Spill, RR, Awards, identified individuals.
20140111/JnNSA-GCHQ/564q/20:00:12 Surveillance feeds recorded according to agreed protocols with full deniability. Confirmed.