Posts Tagged ‘ Rammed ’

JUST AN OBSERVATION

Just an Observation
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With the very welcome Indian Summer- actually the only summer we have had this year- drawing to its inevitable conclusion and the first stirrings of winter hovering expectantly in the wings it would be wise to take advantage of the slightly lighter notes before we are cloaked in darkness for seemingly endless months.
Tonight a perfect opportunity to have a good time in aid of a worthy cause presents itself in the form of Sanctuary at Studio 24 where some of Edinburgh’s finest will coalesce both on and off the stage, behind the scenes, in the audience and on the dancefloor at a benefit in aid of those refugees who are stuck in Calais through no fault of their own but are in desperate need of medical assistance and general help.
With a line up including compere Tam Dean Burn hosting a line up including Neu Reekie boys Kevin Williamson and Michael Pedersen, music from Samba Sene and Diwan, Delightful Peoples, The Youth and the Young, Texture and Katherine McMahon. As if this wasn’t enough the lovely Rachel and Corneilius who rocked the floor at Rammed will be spinning tunes guaranteed to keep the dancefloor packed throughout proceedings.
Definitely not a night to be missed and all in a good cause so what is not to like?
Elsewhere the Street in Picardy Place celebrates its eleventh birthday party tomorrow night with a party although I am sure that it was only a couple of months ago I went to their alcohol fuelled opening night. Not that I have ever been very good at counting years and lose several at regular intervals and at my own convenience as many of my friends will attest.
Out at the cinema the new version of Macbeth starring Michael Fassbender is on my to do list for the coming week. Hopefully it impresses more than the hyped up Legend which despite having great subject matter as the Kray twins was only saved by Tom Hardy’s performances as both brothers. Fassbender certainly has his work cut out for him matching some theatrical legends in the part and Shakespeare doesn’t always translate well to the cinema so it will be intriguing to see what this production has to offer.
Right about to sign off and remember tonight Studio 24 and Sanctuary; it is the right thing to do!

JUST AN OBSERVATION

Just an Observation
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A weekend of live music is on the agenda this weekend. First up is the Space Siren, Fatalists and The Trama Dolls gig at the Franklin Rock and Roll Club in the cricket club in Leith, whilst tomorrow night sees the launch of The Merrylees second single at the Liquid Rooms. Both should be nights well worth catching’
For The Trama Dolls this is only their second gig after their debut on Tuesday after a blistering set which impressed many of Edinburgh’s finest who actually ventured out on a school night to witness the event. Fresh, relevant, glamorous and sleazy their short set was varied and delivered to a rapturous reception.
They were, of course, supporting the mighty Kid Congo Powers and The Pink Monkey Birds-The Phlegm held the middle slot- who also rocked the roof oof the Voodoo Rooms with a dynamic set which included many new songs alongside a cover of The Gun Club’s ‘She’s Like Heroin to Me’ and David Bowie’s ‘Cracked Actor’. A thoroughly charming man Powers-or Kid as he likes to be addressed- was pleasant company before, during and after the gig and the night rocked on in determined fashion; definitely a night to remember for everyone there.
The Merrylees have also been creating quite a stir for the couple of years they have been together and their rise has been an inexorable one. Their second single due for release on Neu Reekie records ‘Forever More’ is launching at the Liquid Rooms Saturday 31st May. Produced by Richard Hawley it is a sterling effort which sounded mighty fine when they played it at last month’s Neu Reekie at Summerhall: a summer anthem in the making with sun drenched harmonies and wistful but somehow uplifting melodies. I do believe the launch looks like being another one of those night’s which will draw on Edinburgh’s finest, so good luck guys!
Next weekend sees another great Edinburgh band return to an East Coast venue when after an extended sabbatical the mighty Opium Kitchen join forces with the mighty Rammed at the Voodoo Rooms. Featuring ex-Scar Robert King on vocals their appearances on the domestic front have been severely curtailed by his defection to Lyon so this is a perfect opportunity to catch them in all their glory. The Doors open at 8.30 and more details about the gig will be released next week.
Here to put a spring in your step and set you up for the weekend is the opening number from The Trama Dolls doing their very unique take on Jonathan Richman’s ‘Pablo Picasso’ on Tuesday night. Enjoy!

JUST AN OBSERVATION

Just an Observation
Frank trailer

Usually I veer away from politics in this column but it would seem we live in worrying, possibly dangerous, times with the BNP party political broadcast on Channel 5- which hopefully surely no-one is still tuning into- and UKIP leaflets attempting to spread carefully worded doctrine falling through our letter boxes. It would seem now more than ever each individual’s vote is more valid and the European elections next week- May 22nd- followed by, for Scots at least, the independence vote in September are possibly the most important elections of recent years.
Unfortunately I was unable to vote in the last General Election due to being stranded at Gatwick airport at the time of the volcanic ash debacle which disrupted flights for several weeks in 2010 preventing me making it back in time. However my disappointment with the government/coalition which subsequently elected itself due to no outright winner being declared has ensured that I will never again allow the complacency which sometimes set in around election campaign time- the same old rhetoric dressed up in misleading new garb- to numb me into submission. I have consoled myself with the fact that my one vote wouldn’t have changed the outcome but I have also wondered how many other people, like myself, were also affected by the flight delays which prevented them from making it, by only a matter of minutes in my case, to the polling station.
Never before in my lifetime have I ever been so galvanised by politics because for the first time it feels that a vote actually has the power to change things, especially in the case of independence, and move away from a system which obviously doesn’t work.
It was interesting to note a report this week claiming that sales of hard copy newspapers in Scotland has dramatically fallen over this issue as the bias of the mainstream media-let’s not even mention the BBC- has been so covert that it has backfired. Threats, intimidation, cheap tactics and bullying are all accusations which have been levelled at the Better Together campaign and they are justifiable claims which fortunately have backfired as the perpetrators underestimated the unerring Scots inbuilt gene allowing them to see through bullshit; they have had centuries of practise. Fair play to the Sunday Herald who were the first to come out in support of the Yes camp and actually provided a voice for a cause which has seen a groundswell of support improved by the aforementioned threats etc as opposed to the intended fear and backing down.
Use your vote wisely in both the European elections and the independence issue as it may be the only time we have this power at our fingertips before those in power are able to destabilise even this statutory right.
Elsewhere on the cultural spectrum there are several interesting films on the circuit at the moment. Hollywood poster boys Michael Fassbender and Tom Hardy both attempt to duck the momentum of their mainstream careers by appearing in lower budget films thus guaranteeing their appeal with the indie brigade and retaining their edgy status as more than mere slabs of Hollywood bland.
Fassbender appears, for the most part anyway, in an outsized papier-mâché head in Frank as a Captain Beefheart type character and although the film may not appeal to everyone I must admit to thoroughly enjoying it and loved its wacky appeal. Hardy meanwhile hides behind a beard and a dreamy Welsh accent-seriously you could listen to it for hours and still be wanting more-in Locke which dramatises its sole character’s life falling apart through a series of phone calls. Both actors are outstanding in their roles but the films are unlikely to trouble the big budget extravaganzas of their parallel careers which is a shame as they are far more charming and interesting films.
I am also really looking forward to the new screen adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s The Two Faces of January which I am seeing this afternoon with a review to follow shortly.
Also there are a few interesting live music moments in the near future including Kid Congo Powers, the return of Opium Kitchen after an extended sabbatical at the next Rammed on June 7th and the latest buzz around town, The Trama Dolls. More details will be provided about all of this next week, a little nearer the time.

JUST AN OBSERVATION

Just an Observation
Rammed 4

The fog which seems to have been hanging round most of this week seems to be settling in for the weekend which is quite fitting as after this weekends round of activities I expect/hope my head will be a foggy mess. To counteract this I am hoping for some of the sunshine which has made an intermittent but welcome appearance will return to alleviate this, hopefully assuaging my aching head and tired feet.
First up on the weekends round of events is Neu Reekie which makes a welcome return, getting back into the saddle at Summerhall, after a successful sabbatical in New York last month where they wowed the Big Apple with their insouciant charms. Tonight’s outing features a celebration of Tom Mc Grath- including readings by Cora Bissett, Ron Butlin and Calum Roger- Bird and Salena Godden. Headlining tonight’s show are the wonderful Merrylees who also have their second single released on the Neu Reekie record label-that pesky duo get in everywhere these days it would seem- at the end of next month. More details about the single launch at the Liquid Rooms will be announced nearer the time.
Tomorrow night sees the return of club night Rammed at the Voodoo Rooms and after a riotous, debauched outing in February –there is substantial photo evidence revealing as much- with outstanding sets from residents The Baron and Oli Findlay augmented by the Fini Tribe Sound System for a night many there agreed was the best clubbing night in Edinburgh for years.
Hoping to replicate this atmosphere –though I hasten to add not merely repeat it- the Rammed DJ’S guarantee just as good a night this time round and there is also the matter of a secret private part for regulars in May. Doors open at 8 and at only a fiver to get in this makes Rammed good value as well as a great night out. Get yourselves there!
There is also a prefect comedown recovery session, Heavy Nova, hosted by the Baron and his glamorous assistant the luscious Rachel on Sunday in Wooodland Creatures from 3pm onwards.
It would seem that elsewhere on the clubbing scene reunions are the big business of the day. With both Mingin’ and Taste announcing dates in May and July respectively-Joys one off reunion last year seems to have manifested itself into another this September although I am sure this is not financially motivated at all- it makes me wonder just how bad the clubbing scene has got if a trip down memory lane is what it seems to take to tempt people out these days. Living in the past is anathema to me personally but I do understand it needs to be acknowledged.
Surely this way of thinking is the antithesis of what clubbing is all about i.e. meeting new people and exchanging new ideas, concepts and forming new relationships where these things all co-exist. I admit I am tempted by the Taste night- I never went to Mingin’ so it is of no interest to me- as I was actually one of the few who was there on its opening night. In fact if I remember rightly the first three were relatively quiet affairs before it exploded into the phenomena it became. It was also one of the few clubs I could put aside for a year at a time and then return to like an old friend.
My main worry is however that it will be so busy I will merely spend the whole night being herded about having to exchange and endure sweaty greetings with people I barely recognise. One thing is for sure the atmosphere will be amazing as this is one thing that Taste always managed to elicit. One more thing however; has it really been twenty years?
Live music is also on the up in Edinburgh and May 27th sees the legendary Kid Congo Powers and his Pink Monkey Birds at the Voodoo Rooms. A member of both the Cramps and the Gun Club –two bands who were among the handful making the eighties bearable whilst the rest wallowed in a quagmire of sterility and pomp- his credentials are impeccable and this new band are apparently no slouches in their own right. Support is by The Phlegm and an interesting new band, The Trama Dolls, who will be making their much talked about debut at this gig but at the moment are sequestered in a bunker making sure their set is as ‘tight as gnat’s twat’! More details to follow about this night nearer the time. Until then have a good weekend and here’s hoping the fog clears soon; it makes hair care a nightmare!

JUST AN OBSERVATION

Just an Observation
lOU RAMMED

Anyone who tells you there is nothing going on in Edinburgh obviously doesn’t have my invites list and is just as obviously not even bothering to look. Tonight is a perfect example of this with two very different events taking place and overlapping neatly with each other so that a select and well co-ordinated few are able to attend both. First up is that bastion of literary delights and exquisite musical outings that is Neu Reekie at its regular Summerhall base which tonight features, amongst notable others, Momus and The Band of Holy Joy.
At roughly the same time in the town centre-The Voodoo Rooms in West Register Street-the Fini Tribe Soudsystem will be kicking up a storm on the flashing dancefloor in the venue’s French Quarter in the latest instalment of Rammed. A lot of talk has surrounded this event and it will be followed up by a live date to be announced very soon. A fabulous collaboration between several creative types with musical style chopping and changing almost randomly but somehow all sewn together seamlessly, Rammed aims to drag clubbing from its past and into the future.
Certainly not a night to be staying in re-arranging your wardrobe, washing your hair or praying for something decent on the television as it would be more than a shame to miss either or both of these events. Go on treat yourselves!
Not that great nights out are exclusive to the weekend. Tuesday night saw a great solo performance and gig by Sterling Roswell-formerly of legendary space rockers Spaceman 3- at the Parlour Bar in Leith. A totally outstanding performance which the only criticism I have is that it did not go on for longer. The extremely pleasurable and charming Mr. Roswell also gave me a vinyl copy of his band Rosco’s album ‘The Call of the Cosmos’ to review which I shall endeavour to do over the weekend post Rammed and in recovery mode. Certainly the tracks I have heard online seem like just the ticket to assuage my Friday night debauchery as an aural decompression chamber complete with massage.
This coming Tuesday March 4th- Tuesdays are the new Saturdays it would seem- sees a one night showing of a film inspired by Goldfrapp’s beautiful new album ‘Tales of Us’ at the Cameo. This film is followed by a satellite link up to a live show which will be shown simultaneously around the world. This is a worthwhile night not just for fans of the group but for anyone who recognises how important they were for diverting their own, as well as that of others, musical direction in the first ten years of this century, even if their influence has diminished slightly since those halcyon days. ‘Tales of Us’ does see a return to form, of sorts, after their first disappointing album 2010’s ‘Head First’, so seeing how this band who has one of the most strikingly visual performers in the business will interpret their new music visually will be very interesting.
Elsewhere whilst there is serious carnage in the Ukraine there is also carnage here as big businesses, politicians and the like -this week the BBC and Standard Life are the main culprits- all keep throwing their toys out the pram every time the Yes vote for Independence seems to take an upward swing. What none of them seem to realise is that this upward swing is directly related to all the threats, bullying and scaremongering tactics of the naysayers as the Scots are quite rightly sick and tired of these sort of tactics and underhand practices which really only galvanise them into seeing Independence as their only means of escaping them.
Right it is never too early to start getting ready to go out-mentally prepared I mean, although the physical act will not be too far behind- so am off to get ready for a night of mayhem and dancing. Let the weekend begin!
The below link is the visual Rammed Fini Tribe flyer.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwBPslg0nHw

JUST AN OBSERVATION

Just an Observation
lOU RAMMED

Whilst much of the country has been battered senseless by storms, rain and flood the east coast of Scotland has remained relatively unscathed until this last week when we were battered senseless not by the weather but by February’s never ending round of award ceremonies. Both the Baftas and the Brits had their embarrassing moments. The former had the future King high-fiving the rapper Tinie Tempah and the latter had James Corden and his particularly unfunny and irritating style of presenting not to mention a revered rock star unnecessarily intervening in the Independence Debate by exhorting us to vote No via a speech delivered in absentia by model Kate Moss in an outfit which dated from the last time he actually lived in the UK: that would be forty years ago.
Whilst it is fair to say the issue of who looked better in said outfit from Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust era was never up for debate- David won it hands down- or whether it was one of his better outfits in the first place-definitely not- it is fair to debate whether Bowie was right to offer his opinion from such a platform on a matter which many agree is none of his business. It is not as if he is going to looking for Fife on Mars is it? It certainly felt unnecessary from someone who, apart from a cocaine induced flirtation with fascism in the seventies, has remained apolitical throughout his career.
Whilst there are those who claim he is entitled to his opinion this is always something I contest. Entitlement can never just be assumed and coming from a man who fled this island as soon as the coffers started rolling in and has never returned to live here ever since I feel his sense of entitlement is something he has awarded himself. It is also one which comes from a lifetime of high living-admittedly hard worked for- in comfortable surroundings with the day to day rigours of mundane problems more than likely taken care of by staff and employees.
Perhaps from his Manhattan penthouse it seemed like a relevant bandwagon to jump on and matters were certainly fuelled by his son Duncan Jones, who has a very Scottish sounding name and did actually attend Gordonstoun so can claim his slice of entitlement, who took it upon himself to launch an aggravated attack on Alex Salmond via Twitter. Very good at pontificating and opinion offering form a distance both father and son it would seem. Perhaps he, like so many others, believes that a vote for independence is a vote for Alex Salmond: it isn’t.
Whatever the reasons for Bowie’s misplaced instructions-instructions and being told what to do by others is one thing the Scots have certainly had enough of- he somehow contrived to appear on several front pages the next day which may have been the point all along.
Despite all this I am hardly likely to start burning all my Bowie albums in a misguided form of protest and will continue to enjoy his great works as much as ever and put it down to a misinformed, misguided and indulged rock star overstretching his credibility and importance. He is hardly the first to do that now is he?
Quite a quiet weekend this week but next weekend sees Friday night host two outstanding nights which actually overlap each other. There is the latest Neu Reekie instalment with Momus and the Band of Holy Joy at Summerhall whilst down at the Voodooo Rooms the third instalment of Rammed takes place with the Fini Tribe Soundsystem guesting in what looks like will be an absolute belter of a night.
Already a buzz surrounding the event it also acts as the launch of a variety of remixes of the Fini’s ‘De Testimony’ single with a very limited edition available for purchase on the night itself. Advisable to get there early for this one-it starts at 8- as it looks like living up to its name and being totally Rammed from early doors. Here to whet your appetites is the full length video flyer for Rammed and new mix of the aforementioned Fini Tribe single for the night.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/zvi7eydsywvxqzk/RAMMED%20FINI.mov

JUST AN OBSERVATION

Just an Observation
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For those who indulge in such frivolity I would just like to say ‘Happy Valentines Day’ and to the rest of you I simply say ‘Welcome to the weekend’. For those who want to combine both Valentines day and the weekend then I can think of no better place to start than Lux Lives at Henry’s Cellar Bar in Edinburgh tonight and at McChuills in Glasgow tomorrow. Certainly I will be there swinging my carcass around to the primal beats of the various Cramps celebratory acts on show and if this doesn’t make your weekend swing then probably your weekend ain’t got no swing!
Also happening tonight is Woodland Creatures first birthday party from 7pm onwards. In a week that an article appeared claiming Leith Walk as the best high street in Scotland-even though technically it isn’t a high street- it is fitting that this bar situated halfway down is celebrated as part of that achievement as it has done a lot in providing a bar with integrity and style for those who are seeking these things. Especially in an area which has not always been renowned for such qualities. Although I am not an ardent pub goer I have found myself in Woodland Creatures on several occasions since it opened- every time has been a most pleasurable experience- and I don’t even live in the locale.
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It is not alone in the renaissance of Leith Walk however as it would appear that quite a burgeoning underground scene is occurring in the area whilst the city centre is busy pandering to tourists and stag and hen parties. It certainly says something about uptown when I body swerve the mundane offerings there and head down to Leith to catch up with some really interesting folk and worthwhile events.
Another venue which is well worth checking out this week is Summerhall and its Spring shows. Lat week saw the opening of this event and Colin Jarvie’s In Praise of Shadows retrospective which turned out to be a great night where anyone who was anyone involved in creating a youthful vibrant scene in Edinburgh, so many years ago, turned out in force looking more glamorous and healthy than many of us deserved to.
Another highlight-there are many so give yourselves a good few hours and get along there to check them all out- was definitely Kevin Williamson’s Love to Love You Baby installation which is a Donna Summer tribute and also the best dance you will have in a disco complete with strobes and flashing lights. I certainly spent the best Tuesday afternoon I have had in years there this week and I have the photos and videos to prove it. I did wonder however if there was a secret camera filming each person’s reaction whilst they were in there but I didn’t let this stop or trouble me too much. Obviously!
Things are even looking up on the television front this week with the return of ‘Line of Duty’ for a second series. I know it is yet another police drama but the interesting thing about this one is the fact it is police investigating themselves, or at least the corruption that exists in the force. From the opening sequence the tension was ratcheted up to full whilst the drama never let up and at the denouement of the first episode I was on the edge of my seat, literally gagging for more.
It is reassuring to see the BBC provide some decent drama for a change-last years ‘The Fall’ was another series of note-and something to fill the void left by the departure of Nordic Noir-such as ‘The Bridge’ and ‘The Killing’- though I still feel they need to rethink their scheduling as one hour every week is simply an outdated mode of showing dramas such as these especially in a culture of box sets. The BBC are probably the only station who have not recognised this –even ITV with its two hour ‘Midsomer Murders’ have cottoned onto this although I feel that these are often at least one hour fifty nine minutes too long- and also seem to consign their highest quality dramas to BBC2. Again, I feel they underestimate their audience and this is always a grave mistake.
Out at the cinema Dallas Buyers Club is yet another great film released so far in the early stages of 2014. Both Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto are up for nominations for their performances and, alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street, I think they are the most deserving of all the contenders in their categories. A full review of the film can be found here.
There has been a lot of healthy-and some not so- debating concerning the Scottish independence vote over the last week. A supposed major cog in the wheel reared its head concerning the currency debate with the three major Westminster parties saying that if Scotland does vote for independence then it will no longer allowed to use the pound as its chosen currency.
Whilst I am not in possession of the full details of the issue I must admit that it does sound suspiciously like the bullying and intimidating tactics of those who are running scared. That it comes in the week after it was announced that the ‘Yes’ vote is gaining momentum faster than the ‘No’ vote is even more suspect to me. Surely even if Scotland does vote for independence it is in the best interests of the rest of the UK to allow them to continue to use the pound as this will preserve at least some of the union they insist is so important to them. Or is it only important to them on their terms alone?
Right, if this weekend is beginning then I better make a move and try and locate that dark heart of mine in time to get Cramped later. It is also the two week countdown to the next Rammed featuring the Fini Tribe Soundsytem and this is another night which promises to be something special so clear a date for February 28th in your diaries and there will be more details about this next week.