:{IS LOVING…}: CLEAN BANDIT: mozart’s house //

CLEAN BANDIT: mozart’s house [incredible industries] //

released: 19th december 2011 //
www.cleanbandit.com //

The title, ‘Mozart’s House’, tells you a good deal about what to expect from CLEAN BANDIT, an electronic band with an integral string section, THE CHATTO QUARTET. The song is a charming confection, evoking the same successful alchemy as FAZE ACTION’s classic, ‘In The Trees’:

If you’ve got any Christmas lurking in your bones, here’s their deadly serious take on ‘The Christmas Song’:

And, their previous video for ‘Telephone Banking’, was shown on Channel 4’s Arts strand, Random Acts:

“Alongside our classical performances, we form the core of the electronic live band Clean Bandit.”

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:{IS LOVING…}: MAPS: stay another day //

:{IS LOVING…}: Unplanned Christmas
MAPS: stay another day [mute] //

FREE download: www.pinglewood.com //
maps-blog.com //
www.myspace.com/mapsmusic //
www.east17official.com //

In my darker moments, I always thought this was a decent tune, marred by sloppy, clichéd production and, it seems, Mister Chapman had similar thoughts.

:{MAPS}: James Chapman
“I wanted to send a special gift to those of you who’ve supported me through this amazing year. This song is my special Xmas gift to you, inspired by taking 12 Es and running myself over in my own car. Only an enormous puffer jacket prevented me from certain death.
Mappy Xmas,

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:{IS LOVING…}: EMMY THE GREAT & TIM WHEELER: home for the holidays //

:{IS LOVING…}: Unplanned Christmas
EMMY THE GREAT & TIM WHEELER: home for the holidays [infectious] //

listen: hypem.com //
album: this is christmas [released 21st november 2011] //
www.thisischristmasalbum.com //

“One could say inclement weather played a big part in the recording of this album. This Is Christmas, comprising nine self-penned songs + a Phil Spector cover, began in a snowstorm and was completed in the midst of a hurricane – in August. Last December Emmy and Tim found themselves holed up in snow bound Sussex. Having missed 6 flights between them and bored of building snowmen, the two hit upon the idea of writing a Christmas album.

“I’m a sucker for all kinds of Christmas songs from carols to Nat King Cole to 70’s glam rock classics and 80’s guilty pleasures” admits Tim “and it felt like a good time to contribute something new to the genre”. Taking the name ‘Sleigher’ (oh yes), the duo started penning the first of these songs which included dedications to Mrs Christmas – “she must sit at home on Xmas Eve seething, ‘cos she’s on her own again”; an ode to that long lost love you only see in the festive season – Home For The Holidays and Sleigh Me, the first song Emmy and Tim have written together and “probably (says Emmy) my favourite on the record”.

A second writing stint took place in New York in May, a surreal experience given the spring weather, but obscure black and white Xmas movies like Christmas In Connecticut helped get them in the mood. In late August, as they rushed to meet the recording deadline, Hurricane Irene hit the U.S East coast and with yet another flight cancellation giving them the extra time they needed, the record was finished.

Full of the sort of pop gems Tim Wheeler has made a career out of and aided by Emmy’s lyrical prowess, This Is Christmas is a much-needed departure from the usual sentimental warblings that clutter up the charts this time of year. The album features Matt Tong from Bloc Party on drums, Euan Hinshelwood (Young Husband, Emmy The Great) on guitar, a string section orchestrated by esteemed film composer Ilan Eskeri, with Tim and Emmy playing everything else.”

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PORTICO QUARTET: ruins [real world] //

FREE download: realworldrecords.com/pqruins //
album: portico quartet [released 30th january 2012] //
www.porticoquartet.com //

“Portico Quartet still sound like nothing you ever heard before. The Mercury nominated East London based outfit’s unique brand of hypnotic minimalism has expanded to embrace new sonic territories. Drawing on the inspiration of electronica, ambient, classical and dance music as they take their strange, beautiful, cinematic, future music to exciting new vistas where the inspiration of Burial, Mount Kimbie and Flying Lotus rubs shoulders with the textures of Arve Henriksen and Bon Iver and echoes of Steve Reich and Max Richter. But all underpinned by a shared joy in collective music making as the band push their inimitable music into the future.

Their journey over the last five years has seen them rise from gritty street performances on London’s Southbank to countless international shows from Berlin to Paris, London to New York and beyond. Their self-produced debut album ‘Knee Deep In The North Sea’ was nominated for the 2008 Mercury Music Prize (alongside Radiohead, Robert Plant and Elbow), and they subsequently signed to Peter Gabriel’s Real World label. Their second album ‘Isla’, produced by John Leckie and recorded at Abbey Road, explored wide-angle filmic themes and textures. Now they return with their eagerly awaited self-titled third album that finds the band expanding on their trademark sound of eerie hang, ethereal sax, earthy bass and drums via an organic use of electronics and effects diving headlong into an epic, cinematic sound palette. They’ve done all this while integrating hang player/keyboardist Kier Vine (an old friend of Milo’s from Goldsmith’s University) into the line-up alongside drummer Duncan Bellamy, bassist Milo Fitzpatrick and saxophonist/keyboardist Jack Wyllie after the band’s original hang player Nick Mulvey left to explore pastures new.

Expanding their sound to embrace electronics was a natural progression in an age where integrating effects, real time looping and samples is second nature to many musicians. In the process Portico Quartet maintain an authentic acoustic core sound that’s magnified through skilled electronic manipulation. As saxophonist and keyboard player Jack explains; “When we were touring the last album we were trying to find ways of going beyond the sounds of our own instruments, for me that was using effects pedals and then looping it – Duncan ended up taking a feed from my saxophone so he could affect what I was doing. Then Milo had some effects on his double bass and now Duncan has now got wholly electric drums, alongside his normal drum kit – so you’ve still got the warm acoustic sound of the instrument but it’s being manipulated. So you get that warm acoustic feeling but you also have digital manipulation.” And for all the digital trickery behind these sounds, there’s both a human being and a soulful intent behind every sound created and note played.

The genesis of the third album began when the band returned from touring ‘Isla’ and set up a permanent rehearsal space in Leyton, near to where they all live in Clapton, East London. The three band mates then spent about a month just looking at each other wondering who would make the first creative move. Wanting to continue making music together, the electronic side of things then became, albeit temporarily, the fourth ‘ghost’ element of the band. They had already begun sampling the hangs while Nick was still in the band, beginning to explore ways to morph its soft, acoustic sound into unusual new tones. And while Duncan had been primarily the band’s drummer and designer to this point, now through his use of a MIDI controller and laptop to trigger and manipulate the hang samples and his own kit sounds, he became the catalyst in rewiring the band’s sonic architecture, ushering in a new chapter in the Portico Quartet sound.

Taking all this into the studio in January 2011 the band already had a clear idea about how all these external elements would work to magnify the smallest details in their already finely tuned acoustic group sound. Looping various parts to make a bed of interlocking electro-acoustic noises was a means of replacing the middle ground the hang once occupied, with Duncan’s hang samples and Jack adding keyboard parts as well.

Bassist Milo has always brought a wide range of dynamics to the group whether it’s through a number of hugely propulsive bass lines, or his increasingly powerful bowed melodies that he layers via a loop pedal creating a keening multi-layered, one-man string section. Much of this experimentation was also happening at soundchecks on the Isla tour, yet another key part of Portico Quartet’s creative DNA has been their extensive international touring, that’s both allowed time for these new elements to flourish and fuelled much of the imaginative subject matter that’s inspired many of their new songs. Part of this on the road research and development came via Jack and Duncan using their laptops to start exploring and composing electronic music – learning how to use software programs and their own organically created samples. This also came to further fruition when Duncan and Jack joined forces with their friend Will Ward to form new electronica trio Circle Traps, once again consolidating their increasing love of electronic music and the huge new palette of sound it afforded them musically.

Thus the groundwork for recording their new album had already been done and in spite of shifting focus away from the hang – the instrument that has been such a defining feature of their sound – what has followed reveals a band bursting with creativity and an abundance of fresh new music. Sampling the hang revealed a whole new spectrum of musical possibilities. Amplifying the soft-toned hang had always proved problematic yet in its newly sampled form the sounds take on keyboard like qualities. From fragile, spectral high notes to rumbling bass chimes Portico have revolutionised the hang once more via its sequenced and sampled use. And they can turn it up loud too.

The emergence of a heavier dance music edge to the Portico Quartet sound is a reflection of the band’s current listening habits. And while Duncan, Milo and Jack have all acknowledge the importance of jazz as part of learning their instruments the music they have never seen themselves as jazz musicians or Portico Quartet as a jazz band. They simply make music they like and the music they are making now is a true reflection of their myriad influences from UK bass, ambient, electronica, contemporary classical, bass heavy hip hop a la Flying Lotus and the experimental avant garde. This is also part of a wider reflection of London itself, that Portico Quartet have absorbed via its buzzing club scene and the gritty urban music making that surrounds them.

One of the album’s standout tracks is the mesmerising ‘Lacker Boo’ that opens with cascading droplets of melody, throbbing low notes, poignant bowed bass and an insistent bass drum that nudges the music over the line of ambient exotica into a cavernous crossroads between haunting electronica and the inner psyche of an as-yet un-filmed David Lynch movie. Duncan reveals this was an early turning point during the band’s post-Isla transitional phase; “That was a real breakthrough, we did that track in March, and that came together really quickly, it feels like a pinnacle in terms of where we’ve got the sound now. The twinkly loop that starts it is actually the hang on the loop station but pitched up a couple of octaves and then I pitched the hang down two octaves so the bass notes on that tune are the hang as well. Then Milo is bowing the bass and I was playing the bass drum and the hi hat – then Jack was playing all the samples on the keyboard – because we now looking for ways to not always have the saxophone, or the sound of the hang, but it’s still in there – and that really felt like a breakthrough. Because it ticked a lot of the things we were trying to do and kind of struggling a bit to make things work, that was like wow, we’re on to something here.”

New boy Keir Vine brings myriad musical sensibilities to the band, a keyboardist with a classical training in composition, his previous work includes electronic, post-punk and Afrobeat projects as well as Sound Art installations and film music.. Thrown in at the deep end he joined the band towards the tail end of their time touring ‘Isla’, learning not just a new set of tunes but also how to play the hang. Yet with lots of support and encouragement from the rest of the band he got through this challenging period while simultaneously becoming a full fledged band member gaining insight into their working methods and becoming part of the creative process too. “It really suited where I wanted to be at that point, it really suited what I was craving at that time, and it’s been about as smooth a transition into a band as I could have wished for. It’s been like joining an artist collective and a family at the same time. We’re there to challenge each other and bring things out of one another and similarly we all play different roles in being the children and the parents to throw things off course and nurture in equal measures. Then the roles can swap round. Like a family there is support and trust and a lot of laughs at the core of it.”

With their new, richly layered sound Portico Quartet have, like so many other artists today, brought elements of the recording studio into the live environment, blurring the lines between band and producer. Emboldened by this process the new album is produced by the band themselves and brilliantly engineered by Greg Freeman at the Fish Market studios and Real World. Jack explains how they’ve mastered the art of creating such a detailed live sound; “Because of the way we were making it by putting on the effects live, we did half of the production while we were composing it. So we knew where all the reverbs were going because we are doing that all live as well, so we knew exactly where we wanted that to go – like distortion or whatever, all the effects – almost doing our own live ‘dubs’ of the acoustic tracks. So when it was in the studio we knew exactly what was going on. Then it was a case of mixing everything and making sure it fitted in, and putting it down in the best way we possibly could.”

The result is an album of compelling musical journeys exploring both inner and outer spaces. Abstract, virtual, visceral, horizon-less landscapes of sound, melody and rhythm; unlike anything you’ve ever heard.”
Mike Flynn, London, November 2011

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:{IS LOVING…}: BRENTON WOOD: gimme little sign //

BRENTON WOOD: gimme little sign [double shot] //

listen: hypem.com/search/brenton+sign //
album: oogum boogum [released 1967] //

The choice of Edwyn Collins, whilst talking to Stuart Maconie on 6Music about the launch of his new label with James Endeacott, Analogue Enhanced Digital. ‘Gimme Little Sign’ is the track Edwyn always plays when he’s DJing and, as you can hear, J Dilla sampled it on his track, ‘Signs’:

“‘Gimme Little Sign’ is a classic soul music song by Brenton Wood. It was released in 1967 on the album The Oogum Boogum Song. It was written by Jerry Winn, Alfred Smith and Joseph Hooven. The most well known version is by Brenton Wood, which peaked at number 9 in the U.S., but it has also been a hit for Danielle Brisebois in 1995, also covered by the Sattalites, Hepcat, Mina, Don Dixon, Syl Johnson in 1979 on his album Uptown Shakedown and Peter Andre. Peter Andre’s version was his second single, released in 1992, which went on to win him an ARIA Award in 1993 for highest-selling Australian single of the year. It was also covered by Roberto Jordán and Cox in one Spanish version and by Los Straitjackets in another. Jay Dee aka J-Dilla remixed the song, which was released as a 45 rpm promo. The song was also recorded by Constant Meeuws singer from a Dutch group called Skateboard at the end of the 70’s and was produced by Rudy Bennett from the Motions.”

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:{IS LOVING…}: DOBIE GRAY: out on the floor //

DOBIE GRAY: out on the floor [charger/black magic] //

album: sings for “in” crowders that go “go-go” [kent/gotham] //
www.dobiegray.com //

:{DOBIE GRAY RIP}: 26th July 1940 – 6th December 2011
“US soul singer Dobie Gray, best known for his hit 1973 song Drift Away, has died aged 71. The news was announced on the singer’s official website, although no cause of death was given. Gray’s only UK chart hit was The ‘In’ Crowd which peaked at number 25 in 1965,” BBC Obituary.

My introduction to DOBIE GRAY came via a circuitous route in 1997, when ‘Out On The Floor’ was sampled by SPEARMINT for their equally marvellous single, ‘Sweeping The Nation’:

“This is probably the single biggest and most acclaimed Northern Soul record of all time. Dobie is otherwise best known for his 1973 smash “Drift Away,” Dobie Gray was a versatile vocalist who could handle soul, country, and pop, not to mention musical theater. Gray’s origins are somewhat ill-defined; different sources alternately list his birth name as Leonard Victor Ainsworth or Laurence Darrow Brown, and his Texas birthplace as Brookshire or Simonton. His likely birth date is July 26, 1940 (though some sources list 1942 or 1943). Whatever the case, Gray grew up in a family of sharecroppers, and discovered gospel music through his grandfather, a Baptist minister. He also soaked up the R&B and country music of his surroundings, and in the early ’60s he moved to Los Angeles to seek his fortune.

Before adopting the name Dobie Gray, he recorded several singles under the names Leonard Ainsworth, Larry Curtis, and Larry Dennis. His seventh single, “Look at Me,” became his first chart hit in 1963, but his true breakout was a 1965 recording of “The ‘In’ Crowd,” whose Motown-style bounce distinguished it from jazzman Ramsey Lewis’ celebrated version. Gray hit the Top 20 with “The ‘In’ Crowd” and also had some success with the follow-up, “See You at the Go-Go”. “Out On The Floor” was not a hit in the US, and it was only years later that it became a cult classic. This period, spent mostly on the small, poorly distributed Cordak, Charger, and White Whale labels — was the most soul-oriented of his career.

It would be some time before Gray returned to the charts. In the meantime, he pursued a concurrent acting career, eventually spending two and a half years with the Los Angeles production of Hair. During his Hair years, Gray also sang with the band Pollution, which recorded two albums on Prophecy beginning in 1971. In 1972, Gray resurfaced as a solo artist on MCA, with producer/songwriter Mentor Williams in his camp. Gray promptly scored the biggest hit of his career with the Williams-penned “Drift Away,” which hit the Top Five in early 1973 and remains an oldies-radio staple today. The subsequent “Loving Arms,” written by Tom Jans, grew into a much-covered repertory item, recorded by singers from the realms of rock, country, and R&B.

Gray’s own sound was shifting more toward country as well, and when he moved to Capricorn in 1975, he recorded in Nashville with new songwriting collaborator Troy Seals (he eventually relocated there permanently). Gray’s popularity in Europe and Africa was growing steadily, and he managed to talk South African authorities into allowing him to play to integrated audiences during the apartheid era. Gray’s tenure in Nashville was marked by a commercial downturn, but his increased activity as a songwriter — mostly in a country vein — resulted in covers by the likes of Don Williams, Charley Pride, George Jones, and John Denver, among others. The disco-flavored “You Can Do It” became his final Top 40 hit in 1978, the same year he recorded the first of two LPs for Infinity.

When Infinity went bankrupt, Gray concentrated exclusively on songwriting for a few years, then re-emerged on Capitol in the mid-’80s as a full-fledged country artist. He made the lower reaches of the country charts with singles like “That’s One to Grow On” and “From Where I Stand,” but found it impossible to break through to a wider country audience, and again faded from view after two albums. In 1997, Gray released Diamond Cuts, a mix of new songs and re-recorded past hits. But “Out On The Floor” remains his most beloved soul anthem.”

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:{IS LOVING…}: THE SUBMARINES: shoelaces //

THE SUBMARINES: shoelaces [nettwerk] //

FREE download: www.whatstheruckus.com //
album: love notes/letter bombs [5th april 2011] //
www.thesubmarines.com //

“Blake Hazard (the lady of the band) was living in Boston, making music. John Dragonetti was doing the same under the name Jack Drag, which was, it seems, him and his projects all at once. I asked if one day, in Boston, John had set eyes on Blake and said ‘Boy, I’d like to have a complicated relationship with that woman’ (you’ll see).

“No, that came later,” answered John, laughing, “I mean, we had mutual friends, and Boston is a pretty small music scene.” “We had mutual band mates,” Blake added. “Yeah, just a lot of friends in common, I had this band Jack Drag for quite a few years, and the fellow that I played bass with played with Blake.” Blake smiled. “I heard a lot of John’s music too, a particular record he did called ‘Aviating’ I really liked, and I had a lot of songs ready to be recorded, and so I approached John. He agreed. So we worked on that, a couple songs at first, and then we thought okay let’s do the record, and then we started falling in love.”

But obviously the story doesn’t end there and, though now there is a happy ending, there were bumps to come. John continued: “When we met, we each had our own projects, but we also kind of like couldn’t be apart, and so Blake was like ‘I’ve got a European tour coming up, yeah be in my band’ It was just awesome.”

After touring they moved to Los Angeles, and soon afterwards broke up. They were living in different places, but were both still recording their own music in the studio John had at his place. Somehow, they wound up hearing what one another had been making: songs about the break up. This new understanding led them to get back together, and eventually get married. As a wedding present, one of their friends mastered the tracks for them, and that became [debut album] ‘Declare A New State!’”

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:{IS LOVING…}: SHARON VAN ETTEN: serpents //

SHARON VAN ETTEN: serpents [jagjaguwar] //

FREE download: rcrdlbl.com //
album: tramp [released 6th february 2012] //
reviews: metacritic.com //
sharonvanetten.com //

“Sharon Van Etten has a voice and songwriting prowess that could steal any show, and her newest slice of solo glory finds her leading a band featuring The National’s Dessner brothers, Matt Barrick from The Walkmen and Doveman’s Thomas Bartlett. “Serpents” is recorded with lush sonics, leaving her to emote over guitars that twang, scream and chug. What else would you expect with this class? Find more on her upcoming Tramp, which arrives February 6 via Jagjaguwar.”

“Serpents is the first single off of Tramp, Sharon Van Etten’s Jagjaguwar debut. The shimmering sound of Tramp both defies and illuminates the unsteadiness of a life in flux. During the 14 months of scattered recording sessions, Sharon Van Etten was without a home – crashing with friends and spreading out her possessions between various locations. The only constant during this time was when Van Etten returned to the garage studio of The National’s Aaron Dessner.

The resulting album is an assured and strident one, and Tramp showcases an artist in control of her powers, incorporating vivid arrangements and instrumentation into the songwriting. It is a startling collection, filled with as much defiant rock as pious, minimal beauty. There are declarative hymns and remarkably sultry numbers. Tramp features many stupendous guests, as well, including Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner, Julianna Barwick, and Beirut’s Zach Condon, and Dessner himself.”

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:{IS LOVING…}: REIGNS: the mounds //

REIGNS: the mounds [monotreme] //

album: the widow blades [released 24th october 2011] //
www.reigns.net //

After POLINSKI and M+A, the Monotreme Records live frenzy unwittingly continued at Saturday’s marvellous Daylight Music, in the equally wonderful Union Chapel.  I was unaware of REIGNS and had no idea they were on the same label, but they’re also rather fine.  ‘The Widow Blades’ is their fourth album and, live, they ploughed a broad post rock furrow, whilst deviating into other areas.  If you want to cut to the chase, you may be able to live without the first 6.5 minutes of ‘The Mounds’ – but the remaining THIRTEEN minutes are great.  Towards the slightly bluesy conclusion, it somehow reminds me of IT’S IMMATERIAL’s 1986 single, ‘Driving Away From Home (Jim’s Tune)’:

But, may have more in common with GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR’s ‘The Dead Flag Blues (Intro)’:

“Wessex duo Reigns release their fourth long-player on Monotreme Records.
Whilst growing up in the country, Reigns Operatives A & B, from an early age became aware of the bizarre, yet inconclusive, fate of a woman from a neighbouring village. It took some years (and a great deal of wading through a seemingly endless stream of local conjecture) for them to ascertain that the woman in question was Millicent Blades: a middle-aged widow who had disappeared during the blizzard of 1978, vanishing somewhere between the villages of Tup’s Fold and Tone Gulley. Nothing was found of her save a set of interrupted footprints and a pile of clothes – all turned inside out.
The intervening years have provided much in the way of outlandish theories pertaining to her disappearance but very little in the way of answers. In a possibly futile attempt to reverse this situation and still haunted by the stories they heard as children, Operatives A & B went back to the area to document her final journey across the countryside. Using equipment selected purely on the basis of portability and resistance to the elements (with perfect synchroni- city, their week of recordings coincided with the heaviest snowfall since 1978), they recorded at all the key locations that the widow visited (or is thought to have visited) on her final, fateful day: including, amongst others, her house and that of her physician, an Anderson shelter (home to a vagrant who was briefly suspected of her murder), a former tea room that she had frequented since the fifties, a disused tannery, and (for the climactic 20 minute closer, “The Mounds”) an excavated series of barrows; the approxi- mate location of her disappearance…”

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:{HAPPY FRIDAY}: Roof Dog & Fenton!! Fenton!! Fenton!! //

Good afternoon, Funstackers,
Featuring, this week, eccentric canine latest:
Following a great gig at The Windmill Brixton last Friday, with Monotreme Records label-mates, POLINSKI and M+A, and presided over, as always, by…

Roof Dog Leisurewear:

Roof Dog Facebook:
“Personal interests: Barking, running around on the roof, eating sausages.”
Roof Dog Quiz:

And, whilst we’re on the subject of quality canines…
Deer in Richmond Park, London.  Fenton is a very naughty doggins.

RADIO 1 NEWSBEAT: So Far, We’ve Spoken To Kim Wilde
11 minutes 40: youtu.be/3ZXE4jL176g
4 minutes 45: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0178qg6
The kids react to a report by the High Pay Commission, that the high salaries of UK executives are “corrosive” to the economy:
Trainee hairdressers, Annie & Phoebe: “Hairdressing is a lot harder than working in a bank, anyway.  Because, we’re on our feet all day, for about ten hours a day.”
Newsbeat: “I’m sure these bosses would say that running an international company is a very stressful job and not many people can do it.”
Annie & Phoebe: “Yeah, that’s true, but not many people could do hairdressing, ’cause they all think it’s easy but, if they actually tried it, some of them wouldn’t last.”
In your face, Bob Diamond.

MATILDA THE MUSICAL @ The Cambridge Theatre
A heady combination of Roald Dahl, the RSC and Tim Minchin, and possibly the best thing I’ve seen this year.  When I grow up, I want to be Bertie Carvel:
His portrayal of the odious Miss Trunchbull is equal parts David Bowie in ‘Labyrinth’, Richard III, Alan Rickman, Dr Frank-N-Furter, Griff Rhys Jones and Nosferatu.  By the second half, i was punching the air every time he/she came on stage.

“Russian TV newsreader sacked after raising middle finger to Barack Obama.”

“Her first lengthy interview since the US congresswoman was shot in the head in January.”

“On Friday 2nd December we will urge every genuine music fan around the UK to join in the fight to reclaim our old band t-shirts from the fashionistas.”

BBC: London 2012
Elbow Compose BBC’s Olympic Theme

Radio 1’s Hackney Weekend – 23 & 24 June 2012
“Featuring more than 100 UK and international artists, bands and DJs, including British superstars Leona Lewis, Tinie Tempah, Florence & The Machine and Plan B”.

An historic week for American Samoa, officially the worst international football team in the world.  With an all-time record of played 30, lost 30, they won their first match ever, beating Tonga 2-1, and then drew 1-1 with the Cook Islands.

The England Cricketer Who Helped Bring Down Apartheid:

Jonathan Agnew’s Tribute:

“Sir Terry Pratchett, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2008, said he had started the formal process that could lead to his own assisted suicide at the Dignitas clinic.”

Keep it Unplanned.
Big Three Mills Love,