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Friday, 19 August 2011

Events - Thee Savage Kicks

Thee Savage Kicks have been making raucous rumblings for the last 18 months or so in their hometown of London, playing with the likes of other upstarts Thee Vicars and stately fuzzmasters The Fallen Leaves. After releasing a Dirty Water Records single of the week, 'Flipsville
Girl', their debut album, 'Preacher', was released late in 2010 to glowing reviews, one reviewer stating "it’s clear we’re in the realm of live-fast-die-young nihilism where guitars serve as deadly
weapons." And with a fistful of new tracks, the band are looking to head to the studio in late 2011 to record a follow-up.

Armed with new pistoleros - bassist Shane O'Connor and lead guitarist Shaun Marsh – the band are taking their sonic savagery to Paris, playing two shows with feverishly rockin' Parisian bands Les
Guillotines, Brain Eaters and The Norvins. As Thee Savage Kicks are primarily a live beast make sure you go and see 'em!

Friday, September 09 @ Le Rigoletto
Saturday, September 10 @ Espace B


Events - Shindig!'s Happening night with Teaspoon and more!

HAPPENING - Saturday September 3rd

Live acts:
Swedish psych masters play their first London show. Debut 7” single ‘Dream
Girl, released by Eyes Wide Open Records, available to buy on the night!
East London’s psychedelic punks are impressing everyone with ther BJM/Black
Lips ramshackle pop. Debut 10” came out earlier this year on Big Dirty
Engine Records.
London’s new female-fronted psychedelic mind-warpers!

DJs Phil Istine, Charlie Salvidge and guests Darious Drewe & LadyFantasy
Tina will spin your world via ’60s/’70s dancefloor psychedelia, garage,
beat, and general rock’n’roll wondermints!

‘Happening’ has now established itself in London as the grooviest place to
sample the delights of the Shindig! universe. The leading magazine for ’60s
and ’70s music, in conjunction with Sweet but Deadly Promotions, have made a
corner of Stoke Newington, The Drop, their own little subcultural haven,
inviting the best band’s and DJs to stoke the sonic fires. Come meet, greet
and party with like-minded souls ’til your head explodes with delight!

@ The Drop
below The Three Crowns, 175 Stoke Newington High Street London N16 0LH
8.00pm-4am, £6 entry
Buses: many. Train: Stoke Newington (from Liverpool St)

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Record Review – Trummor & Orgel 'Out Of Bounds'

Out Of Bounds
Tri-Sound / Introspection

The warm reverberating sound of the Hammond B-3 is indeed a truly
wondrous thing.

A magical instrument both beloved of and key to the diverse sounds of mod, soul, R&B, blues, psych, progressive and, of course, jazz ever since it first appeared on the musical landscape during the ’50s.
The choice of working monicker might make this duo sound like a firm of continental solicitors and notaries or even a carnival side show but rather more straightforwardly Trummor & Orgel is in fact Swedish for "drums and organ" which makes perfect sense given that this Hammond and drum kit double act comes courtesy of Sweden's Ljunggren brothers Anders (Hammond and synths) and Staffan (drums). Intentionally shorn of all non-essentials crucial to the functioning of the stripped down organ and traps combination Trummor & Orgel are the living embodiment of hip contemporary roots-inspired instrumentalists.

Over the space of the 10 selections on this their fourth studio collection Trummor & Orgel succeed in stopping off at succession of related sub-genres that take in the mood driven worlds of library
recordings, applied film and TV themeology, loungecore, spacey electro pop and, almost inevitably, groove driven jazz. Whether uptemo – 'Worlds Collide', 'Some Friendly Advice', mid tempo – 'Letters In Red And Blue', 'Straight On' and the album's title track or downbeat – 'Corduroy' and 'The Wheel' it makes little difference to the Ljunggren brothers who repeatedly show themselves to be extremely well versed in the art of making comparatively little go a long, long

An inescapable part of the richness of Trummor & Orgel's sound on Out Of Bounds is the way it brings with it echoes and resonances of a sparkling roll call of Blue Note Hammond legends
whether it be Jimmy Smith, Dr Lonnie Smith or Larry Young while on the soul, R&B and psych side of the equation Booker T, Georgie Fame, Brian Auger and Steve Winwood style vibes can all be heard hanging intoxicatingly thick in the air.

So, retro for sure and even on occasion nostalgic and melancholic, the one thing the impressively potent alchemy of Trummor & Orgel can be relied upon track after track is their ability to conjure up a succession of richly evocative moods.

However, despite the album being drenched in the iconic sound of the Hammond B-3 and its rich analogue aftertaste the thriving family affair that is Trummor & Orgel manage to avoid the pitfall of finding themselves trapped in the past thanks to their talent for re-shuffling and re-imagining their many sources and influences into something effortlessly cool and stylish.
Grahame Bent

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Style - Roll up! Roll Up! A Circo of hippie delight

Excess, glamour and free love. Welcome to the CIRCUS! The online shop, based in Spain, channels the haze of Haight Ashbury, the good vibrations of sunny California, and the freewheelin’ decadence of The GTO’s. Girls want to be them – and judging by the reaction to their catalogue pictures -– men want to be with them. YVONNE McKEOWN went to find out what is setting hearts all in a flutter...

Shindig!: Firstly, can Shindig! say you ladies have got some serious style… Were you all friends before starting your shop?

Mery: Firstly, thank you for

the compliment! Yes, we were friends before we launched Circus – we’ve known each other since we were teenagers and have shared many experiences over the years. We’re great friends as well as business partners.

SD: Who are the ringleaders of the Circus Shop?

M: The ringmasters behind Circus are Mery and Sol. We’re a pair of reformed city rats. We were both living and working in Madrid, and just grew sick of city life. Sol is an artist, really skilled at painting and expressing herself through hand-drawn visuals and photography. I (Mery) have always had a knack for aesthetic surround, like interiors, and how different textures, prints and items work together. Independently, we headed to southeast Spain, to the Mediterranean coast. We picked up where we left off in our new rural lives. These days, we only live down the road from one another.

SD: Your shop has a distinct early ‘70s West Coast bohemian influence, with lots of bold floral and paisley prints and floaty materials. Do you fancy yourself as a bit of a freewheelin’ flower child? What are your loves about ‘60s/70s?

M: We live our lives according to the gospel of freewheelin’ and flowers. It’s funny, in our collection we have suede waistcoats, which is a difficult word to say in Spanish – we always say "west coasts" by accident... West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, you know… Our roots are totally in that sort of bohemian San Fran / Swinging London epoch. It was such a creative, explosive time in history. I (Sol) spent some time in California and Mery lived in London for a while. More than anything it’s the music, the abundant creativity and the vivid aesthetic of that time that we love because it feeds all the senses. All of the designs in our latest collection are named after some of our favourite records – De Ja Vu, Harvest, Hunky Dory, Pearl, Ooh La La

SD: What do you love the most about these materials and patterns? Why are they so feminine and timeless?

M: We look for the magic and really enjoy the creative process of designing – from discussing our initial ideas to trying out prototypes, modifying and then choosing delicious prints and fabrics. Our latest collection has a lot of chiffon, which is beautifully feminine. Our accessories are versatile, so you can wear a big length of bronze around your neck coupled with one of our waistcoats with a modern style of jeans and look both on trend or retrospective. We keep our designs quite simple, nothing over-complicated, which is perhaps why they’re quite timeless.

SD: You make all the clothes yourself… That’s an awful lot of sewing! Is it hard work having your own boutique?

M: We don’t sew all the clothes ourselves. We design them and choose the fabrics. Every year, we go to India, to a small town in Rajasthan. Here, we work with a select group of tailors who we’ve known and worked with for the last seven years. They’re like family to us now! They help us modify our designs if they need it and make suggestions as to how the cuts will work better or… They have a lot of input into our work, and not just practically speaking. Just being in India and around our friends there gets the creative juices flowing, the magic, the ambience, and it’s this we take a lot of inspiration from. It’s like cooking: the recipe doesn’t just depend on the main ingredients, it’s the subtle or the surprise flavours that make it taste good! Of course, you have to work hard to make anything work, but you can enjoy it at the same time. For us, this is the creative process, from start – the whole inception of each new collection – to finish, when you pack up for the day after a day’s work behind the counter.

SD: Finding original ‘60s treasures can be like finding a needle in a haystack for women (and men). Circus is accessible and affordable. Were these your reasons for starting Circus?

M: Yes and no. The "no" is that about 10 years ago, we were driving to Morocco, which at the time was where we collected and bought up exotic pieces to sell back in Spain. We ran our own businesses then but got talking in the van on the way there about how we should do something together and, given that we both had a similar love and style of clothes, decided it was time we joined forces. Mainly, it was a way to fully express our creativity combined with our love of wearable aesthetic.

The "yes" is that here in Spain, you can still pick up amazing items of vintage or unique clothing in the weekly markets for a couple of Euros. Very often, people will ask where we got this waistcoat or that blouse or those jeans. Although they’re not necessarily expensive, they are one-offs. Our friends, and sometimes complete strangers, would covet certain items so much, we recognised that we should make designs that reflect that sort of vintage in Circus. And we do.

SD: You also make jewellery, which channels Egyptian, Aztec and tribal styles – how do you create your designs?

M: Our jewellery is primarily bronze and ceramic. All of it echoes original Indian Naga tribe designs. We’re responsible for the designs as you see them although, yes, the Naga is a big influence, as is all our time in India and other places. We were so drawn to the Naga that we sometimes joke we have past lives there. Just like Sol was told by one Indian guru that she was an Egyptian sphinx in a previous life. So, Egyptian too? Maybe…

SD: If you had to describe Circus in three words, what would they be?

M: Rock, Love & Roll.

You can find the girls and their fine wares on Facebook.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Record Review - Buffalo Killers '3'

Alive LP/CD

Buffalo Killers have outdone themselves on this, their third long player. Building upon the quieter moments found on the Cincinnati trio’s previous outing, Let It Ride, the boys have found freedom in the laid-back country-rock grooves familiar to those of us who get their kicks listening to Neil Young and Crazy Horse.

With a little hickory twang provided by lap-steel player Sven Khans and banjoist Ryan Wells on a number of songs, especially ‘All Turn To Cloud’, the Killers’ loose arrangements and perfect harmonies create mellow mood pieces that ooze thick and sweet as molasses from the speakers. ‘Spend My Last Breath’ is a beautiful melancholic love song cloaked in the haunting tones usually heard on murder ballads, while ‘Circle Day’ adds a touch of glam stomp to the plaintive country reflection.

A seductive listen and a real contender for album of the year.

Alan Brown

Competition - Win The Stepkids majestic psych/soul debut

The Stepkids are one of our current favourites and we know they will be yours too.

To win their self-titled debut answer this simple question:

"Name one of the cool ’60s comps that The Stepkids' wonderful label Stones Throw is behind." Clue: they have done quite a few!

Please send answer to win@shindig-magazine.com with Stepkids Comp in the subject line.

Record Review - Jonathan Wilson 'Gentle Spirit'

Gentle Spirit
Bella Union LP/CD

Jonathan Wilson may be on the same record label as Fleet Foxes. He may possess the same late ’60s/early ’70s aura. But that's about where the similarities end. To say Wilson = Neil Young and Foxes = Simon & Garfunkel, would be wrong. Whereas the unlikely musical stars focus on honed vocal harmonies and acoustic folk emblems Wilson breathes his vocals in a manner not unlike (that other Wilson) Dennis circa Pacific Ocean Blue (which indeed a lot of his debut album Gentle Spirit, reminds one of, especially in its sense of circular motion and slow stoned rhythms). He looks something like James Taylor, Neil Young and his musical compadre Jackson Browne and plays gliss guitar solos in the school of Meddle era Gilmour, Mac with Kirwan in the driver's seat, and a sprinkling of John Cippolina for good measure. Equal part guitar god who knows his way around a Gibson's fret board and cosmic troubadour who sings of the rustic woods of his native North Carolina.

It would be easy to cast Wilson off as a throwback, but in his appropriation of psychedelia he sounds more like The Rain Parade on 'Natural Rhapsody' than The Grateful Dead and his consistently falling asleep at the mic style of hushed vocals has as much in common with Spiritualised as it does with first time round stoners.

Yet, of what era the record sounds like is neither here nor there. Gentle Spirit works as an album in 2011. It works as an antidote to the frenzied pace of modern life. The carefully considered and gently constructed, multi layered and soulful nature of the proceedings could not have possibly been rushed. It's the antithesis of modern day pop. Guests on the album included a veritable feast of like minded pals from Chris Robinson (The Black Crowes) and Andy Cabic (Vetiver) to Gary Malliber (Van Morrison and The Steve Miller Band). Musicians who do things the old way, the right way and the best way.

“I recorded everything to analog tape which I’ve always done; it’s not something I’m trying to do as a boutique kind of hip thing," he says. "Analog simply captures things better and it takes the edges off. It creates a beauty much like film. I have a console that was built in 1972 and used to belong to Shelter Records. That’s a big part of the sound for the album.” So yes, if anyone knows what they're after it's Wilson and on this fragile, beautiful and pastoral record it is something he has undoubtedly achieved.

Jon 'Mojo' Mills

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Feature - The Jim Jones Revue

Jim Jones and Rupert Orton took time out from their busy summer schedule to tell RICH DEAKIN about THE JIM JONES REVUES' whirlwind of a year and their plans for the forthcoming months.
Shindig!: Following a year that’s seen another critically acclaimed album, SXSW in Texas [again], Big Day Out in Australia, Glastonbury and now a Mojo Honours List nomination among other things, what’s been the highlight of the last 12 months for you and why?
Jim Jones: Playing in Australia was amazing. We really had a great time there: hanging out with Grinderman, The Stooges, Primal Scream and Wolfmother, and playing to the Aussie crowds… it was a blast!
Rupert Orton: Playing Later is a real milestone for any UK band so that was pretty incredible… selling out first the Scala then Koko was mindblowing. Big Day Out in Australia was astonishing: getting to meet and play with Iggy & The Stooges, Grinderman and the Scream.
SD: It must have been a real shock when Elliott Mortimer left the band earlier this year. What’s the story there then?
RO: Elliot had been unhappy with our touring schedule for some time and it came to head on our European winter tour last year, and he left at the end of the tour in December so it wasn’t totally unexpected but was still a blow.
SD: Henri Herbert’s done a fantastic job since he took over on keyboard from Elliott. How did you find such an ideal replacement?
RO: When Elliot left we were committed to a lot of live work in Australia, US Europe and we were still only half way through the promotional cycle for Burning Your House Down so we had to move quickly to find a replacement. Soon as we got back from the last date on the European tour in December I got on the phone, internet, anything I could find and checked out every keyboard I could across three continents! In the end we decided on three brilliant players which were Clayton Doley who did The Big Day Out tour in Australia, and New Zealand; Andrew Higley who did the US and Henri Herbert who was initially just going to do the UK and Europe. Henri was a recommendation from Dom Pipkin (Paloma Faith’s keyboard player), Dom was originally going to do the dates but had to go to New Orleans, so I contacted Henri. Henri ended being a perfect match so we offered him the gig full time and he accepted.
Losing Elliot was hard but with Henri we’re now stronger than ever and we’re really looking forward to writing some new material with him. And live as you’ve seen Henri is just a force of nature!
SD: With all the excitement you’ve generated recently, have you had any interest from major labels?
RO: Yeah, we’ve had a few sniffs here and there but nothing to jump up and down about. We’re very much independent in the true sense of the word- we’re still self-managed and self-released but with just a few more people to help out now!
SD: Being so busy touring so much have you had a chance to write any new material since Burning Your House Down?
RO: We’ve already started writing new material but it’s very early days at the moment. We’re going to wind down the live schedule in the autumn to really get stuck in with writing and recording. But winding down for us still means doing a three week US tour and 10 dates in France, plus The Shepherds Bush Empire on October 27th!
SD: Can you tell us a bit more about US tour?
RO: We’ve been to the US four times in the last 18 months and the reaction has always been brilliant. Our first shows in the US were at SXSW last year and despite some initial trepidation of taking coals to Newcastle the shows were great. At our official SX showcase it was like walking through a portal into CBGB’s in the '70s – Sylvain Sylvain, Cheetah Chrome, Clem Burke, Bob Gruen, Lenny Kaye, BP Fallon and Kid Congo all came to check us out which was pretty scary but the show went really well. We went back to SX again this year which also went really well and we hooked with a US manager and distributor and took the decision to release Burning Your House Down in August with a tour in September. Kid Congo & The Pink Monkey Birds are playing with us on the East Coast leg of the tour which is going to be incredible. We also play our first shows in Canada in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto which I’m really excited about.
SD: You seem to play a lot of gigs in France too. You must be very popular there?
JJ: We love playing in France. France was the first country that got it, understood and really embraced us.
RO: Right from the release of the first self-titled album in 2008 France jumped on us and we’ve played there regularly ever since. A few years ago when at the time we couldn’t get arrested in the UK playing shows with 30 punters we were hopping over to France to play to 30,000 people at festivals which was pretty surreal. The UK caught up since the release of Burning Your House Down which is great as it’s where we’re from, but France is still very special to us.
SD: What next for The Jim Jones Revue after The Shepherds Bush Empire gig at the end of October?
RO: We’ll be recording our new album which is tentatively slated for release in spring/summer next year. Then at the end of December we go back to Australia to play The Falls Festival in Victoria and Tasmania.

Feature - Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No... it's Brain Ninja. The mad, mad world of The Stepkids

Talking psychedelia, jazz and soul with LA’s latest hot talent.
JON ‘MOJO’ MILLS learns what makes THE STEPKIDS tick.

“We were fans of Curtis and Shugie Otis for years,” The Stepkids say in unison when I quiz them on that early ’70s stone cold harmony-psych-soul sound that they have mastered so goddamn well. “The ironic thing is that after playing with Alicia [Keyes], Jeff [Gittlemen] was looking to work on music in different genres but it was the other guys that rekindled the desire to play soul music because they were coming from a different place with it.”

So were the harmony-laden soul and psych influences your intention or something that came about subconsciously? “I'm sure this has shaped the sound a lot subconsciously. Because a lot of what we we're doing is providing an alternative to 'pop'. And how can you know the opposite of something unless you know exactly what the thing itself is?” A cryptic answer to say the least, but then anyone who has witnessed the mind-melting genius of The Stepkids will get where the band are coming from.

“I think it's safe to assume that psychedelia found us early on. There's nothing more psychedelic than childhood,” they once again say in a Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum fashion, spookily prosaic from the minds that penned such a twisted piece of childish fantasy as ‘Brain Ninja’.

“There are a lot of influences that we have from jazz. All different schools of jazz. Ragtime, swing, bebop, free jazz, modal, electric fusion etc. That alone is a fountain of American gold. The thing that we all have in common is that we all had that as a platform and then moved away from it towards pop music, then took a break from pop music to come back to the art. And so on,” they explain. That is something you get the sense of in Spirit, Traffic, Chicago and all of the other great ’60s bands that went beyond the strict boundaries of pop.

Talking of ‘Brain Ninja’ I just could not help but think of Zappa. Certain that he in his jazz inspired madness was an influence on their vision. “Though we have a lot of respect for Zappa we weren't really intentionally listening or referencing his music during the recording of the album. ‘Brain Ninja’ was the first song we recorded as a band, so it was like seeing the first light of day. Very exciting to watch it develop itself.” And from crazed things an album grew.

“We're super proud and excited over the album.” When told The Stepkids is intended to be listened to as one continuous play I was most pleased, and got where they were coming from. As you would do with Dr Sardonicus, Maggot Brain or Electric Ladyland this is a record that progresses and comes to a natural conclusion. No bloody iPod shuffle malarky for this crafted gem!

The Stepkids will be coming to England to do a few shows including the big chill fest in early august – and when they say how they are looking forward to performing their majestic music in Europe I have a very strong the feeling that our very different countries will all take to them and their summery brand of psychedelic soul.

For anyone who adores Stone Throw’s old psychedelic reissues The Stepkids are the next step.

Record Review - Dengue Fever 'Cannibal Courtship'

Cannibal Courtship
Fantasy CD/LP

For me, the majestic flow and strength of 2005’s Escape From Dragon House was where Dengue Fever peaked; their third album Venus On Earth flatlined by compassion. However, Cannibal Courtship has restored my fervour to its former high.

Not only is this as good as Dragon House, but it marks a significant development in their melding of eastern and western music styles. The beautiful Chhom Nimol sings in English as well as Khmer and songs like ‘Cement Slippers’ and ‘Family Business’ (check ’em on YouTube) and ‘Thank You Goodbye’ are strident and catchy as hell. The title track opener comes on like a Cambodian Siouxsie & The Banshees!

The vinyl edition is missing two tracks from the CD but you get a download code for the CD version with it. An absolute classic album, retaining both the integrity of the Cambodian pop-rock tradition and the contemporary edge that takes it forward, this is magic music.

Paul Martin

Record Review - The Loud 'Harris Shutter'

Harris Shutter
Payper Tiger CD

WOW! My first EVER review for Shindig! I thought I was gonna pull a stinker out of the hat, but BAM! – I pulled out a corker, although it has left bite marks on me groin. Hailing from Liverpool, I feared the predictable, yet The Loud’s debut full-length player sees them stepping up to the challenge (like an Italian middleweight – thanks PR people) and they positively swagger and scream into the dark-psych ring/void like a deranged yet poptastic blend of The Cribs (second LP-era), The Make Up and The Fall, with a tasty hint of T-Rex glam stomping on yer head to boot. Quite frankly it even made me feel a bit jealous! Great crunchy modern update on The Monks-type production too, courtesy of Ross Halden. Bringing their religious live experience to an Iggy & The Stooges support slot near you right now – my faith in new bands thusly restored – all I can say is, it’s a knock-out fellas. Biff! Bang! POW!

Luke Smyth