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'Camden Town ain't burning down!'

Sun, 09/30/2012 - 7:34AM by Clema Flamée 0 Comments -

I wasn’t planning another Amy post, because it usually results in me sobbing into my cup of tea and snotting everywhere  but I’ve just got back from Camden so Kleenex at the ready kids..

I finally dragged my unwitting boyfriend on a pretty much Amy exclusive tour of London and after desperately tracing the route on Google Maps for about the past year, I finally got to see her house.

I clambered on Nic’s back to spot her huge Smeg fridge and ‘lioness’ biscuit tin in her kitchen, the pavement opposite, once crowded with flowers and candles is now looking a little bare. But, the messages scrawled on trees remain resilient, standing firm against the council.

We made our way back in to Camden Town and went to The Hawley Arms, as we went in, I noticed a shelf behind the bar, dedicated to Amy, including a half eaten glass of lollies with her name on. I remembered the tabloid’s images of her tottering outside, offering her sweets to the paparazzi like an over-generous child. There’s a signed photo of her on the wall that reads “measure upstairs and fit up a pool table, I’ll take any shifts going ‘til its paid for..lotsa love Amy. Ps: I love Blake.” She’d even drawn a thought bubble above her own head that says  ‘I love Blake,’ for just in case you managed to miss it the first time.

One gin and tonic down, we hopped on the tube to Soho to find Jazz After Dark. Owned by Amy’s ‘second dad’ Sam Shaker, the teeny Jazz bar is brimming with paintings of his beautiful inspiration. Asked by Amy to paint nearly 50 pieces of art, his bar is like a shrine to the songbird. Clutching his cup of tea, he showed me his ‘VIP area,’ a room not much bigger than a toilet, filled with cushions with a thick curtain draped in front of it. ‘Amy used to shut the curtains and sit in here with my laptop on facebook’ he says. ‘She’d sit at the bar and find it really strange that her own eyes were looking at her from everywhere on the walls!’ he says gesturing to the surrounding paintings.

‘You’re drinking a Back to Black,’ he says, noticing the white and black vodka with lemonade that I’d so carefully picked off the menu, ‘that’s Amy’s drink, she could drink gallons of the stuff.’

There’s a gleaming sparkle in his eyes everytime he mentions Amy. The lyrics to Back to Black are etched into a wood panel on the wall and he tells me that she wrote the song in here. ‘She used to eat and sleep here,’ he says. He serves a dish he calls the Amy platter as he used to make it for her. ‘She loved meatballs, she’d eat all the platter then go outside with ketchup all over her mouth kissing everyone. ’

The paintings range from Amy as a child, to the most recent, after her boob job, ‘they’re massive!’ I say and he laughs in agreement. It’s one of the only two that she never got to see. In the other she is surrounded by swirls of beutiful gold paint that she asked him to buy specially for her.

You can tell from talking to him that when the rest of the world lost an incredible jazz singer, he lost his muse.

As we leave, he assures me that he ‘loves meeting Amy’s fans’ and I can’t help feeling that his life must be a little empty now she’s gone. I doubt that the 50 Amy’s on the wall offer him anywhere near as much as the one who left them behind.



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CDs aren't dead

Thu, 06/14/2012 - 3:58AM by Clema Flamée 0 Comments -

In a world of spangly new digital downloads and enticing free mp3's, i appear to be the only person in the world still buying cd's. Okay, that may be a slight exaggeration but you get the picture. And no matter what people try and tell me about free download sites and file converters, second hand CD’s hold the same appeal to me as slightly tainted vintage clothing. I love the mystery of who’s thumbed through the album cover before me and eagerly clicked the disc into their player.

So, I want to know who’s still clinging onto their slightly scratched, well-loved disks.

Everybody loves a nosey, and what gives away more about a person than delve into their treasured cd collection. Send a photo of your favourite cd’s to clemence.flamee@hotmail.co.uk and I’ll whack them up on here. And if you’re still on itunes, log out. Immediately.



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Class Actions - Rip Up The Sun

Wed, 04/04/2012 - 4:25AM by Clema Flamée 0 Comments -

Rightfully angry Salford rap duo Class Actions are back with their clever lyrics and bold political statements. This time Thatcher’s off the hook as they tackle The Sun in their latest video, ‘Rip Up The Sun.’ The 3 minute wonder sees an all Salford Crew head to Liverpool to persuade local people to do just that. The final outcome is a memorable, hard hitting statement that’ll be sure to get people dtching their tabloid and sticking with the Guardian.



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Juliette Ashby

Mon, 01/30/2012 - 3:40PM by Clema Flamée 0 Comments -

 

Here’s a confession, Adele repeatedly makes me want to claw my own ears off and I think Lana Del Ray needs to take her dreary, gargling drivel and retreat back to the hype that spewed her. Phew, that feels better already.

In despair and desperate for a new female voice that didn’t make me want to hurl myself from the nearest window, I took to the internet and stumbled upon a diamond.

Juliette Ashby was Amy Winehouse’s best friend, but the similarities end at their hoop earrings. Her reggae fuelled ‘Drop A Baby’ screams summer in even the mankiest of winter months, and her powerful Norf Landan twang and memorable lyrics are positively addictive.

Have a listen below..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2amT34Raz4&feature=related

 



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Inside Salford City Radio

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 6:48AM by Clema Flamée 0 Comments -

 

Nestling between Swinton’s Town Hall and a generic looking Salford car park, is a tiny, fenced off portakabin. It’s almost unnoticeable amongst its bleak surroundings, but nudge aside the surrounding prison-like bars and scruffy exterior and you’ll find yourself immersed in a world of unsigned bands, musical passion and a massive dollop of record spinning.

For the past 6 months, I have been making a weekly trek to Salford City Radio, a community run radio station in Swinton. Although its external appearance is a little hard on the eyes, it’s a secret haven for over a hundred little known DJ’s.

Awarded its broadcasting licence in 2007, the station pleases every possible audience, featuring everything from political talk shows to band sessions, to presenters unearthing new music. Guests from David Cameron to Frank Turner have visited the tiny premises, buzzed the shabby-looking door and entered into the three studio strong building. Photographs of previous guests and presenters adorn the walls, mimicking your grandma’s mantelpiece and emphasising the ever present value of community spirit.

I have always had an unhealthy obsession with radio. As a child, I’d religiously tape the Sunday night chart, haphazardly cutting the tracks halfway through if I got bored. I’d gather some easily bossed, impressionable friends and tape my own radio show complete with bewildered, unhappy guests. I still have the endless cassettes of waffling chatter and clunky recordings cluttering my room to prove it. So, when I got the chance to nosey around SCR, a real life radio station, I donned my headphones and vowed to visit once a week.

Surprisingly, there isn’t a blueprint for a volunteer in community radio. Unlike lovey amateur dramatics actors or pretentious painters, the only defining feature that bonds volunteers together is a love of spinning tracks and wittering about music.

DJ’s range in age from sixteen to their early seventies. Their full time, bill paying jobs couldn’t differ more, from working in hospitals to driving lorries and working with mental health patients, yet they all gather united in a complete devotion to all things music.

New recruits find themselves embarking on the dull as murky water tasks of completing ‘what’s on’ guides or compiling lists of local events to be read out on air. However, after just a couple of months at the station I found myself presenting a breakfast show with DJ, Stu Currie. Not only did we unite over our mutual love of all things Amy Winehouse, hatred for Simon Cowell, and Beyoncé’s backside, but we fast became friends. One of community radio’s biggest pros is the extended family you immediately gain, fuelled by a wealth of musical knowledge.

It’s Sunday afternoon, and we’ve just finished pre-recording our Wednesday morning breakfast show. ‘You’ll love this’ Stu says, handing me a soggy square that once resembled a cd, ‘it got a bit wet in my car but I think you’ll like it. And, there’s this really amazing cover of Outkast that I’ve got to play you.’

There’s a familiar gleam in his eyes as he start’s trawling the internet for the song, it’s a recognisable sparkle that only a deep passion for music can trigger.

Stu is a familiar face at the station, previous to his stint here, he has lived in America, grown a Jack Osbourne-esque afro and performed in various raucous bands. At the age of 28, he’s settled back down in his hometown of Swinton. It is from here that he drives the length and breadth of the country in his job as a truck driver. But, he told me that ever since he’s been old enough to whack on a pair of headphones, he’s  dreamt of being on the radio.

“All my mates that I’ve had since I was a little kid have always known that I’ve wanted to be on the radio. When I was a kid I used to sit there with a ghetto blaster pressing play and record and I’d sit there in my room doing my own radio show. I’d be sat there just reading a magazine and interviewing all the people in it, I’ve still got the tapes somewhere!"

Aside from developing the audio talents to rival a mixing desk genius, he’s achieved his own live slot, ‘Stu Currie’s American Experience’ on Sunday afternoons. I often wonder how he finds the time to prepare and plan his obviously unpaid hour’s track lists, links and interviews. He admits that some weeks it isn’t easy.

“A lot of American music doesn’t make it over here, just by essence a lot of the bands that you read about in Q or NME, they’re all British, so I have to spend a lot of time searching for American bands. I sort of do it throughout the week, say if I’m listening to the radio and hear a track I just make a note of it. But, I’d say for a one hour show, it probably takes me about four hours. I think that’s because I make an effort, I won’t just play anything. Say if I get a new album, I’ll listen to an entire album instead of just the singles on it so it does take a long time, but I’d only be at home listening to music anyway. Even people like Chris Moyles and Chris Evans who make it sound like they’ve just turned up put loads of preparation into it, you can’t just turn up.”

Trying to squish the four hour prep, band interviews and breakfast show recording into his tight work schedule never seems to leave him stressed. I have only known him to miss one show, and that was after witnessing him as a stumbling blur, fleeing the building as he clutched his face screaming ‘TOOTHACHE,’ which I think makes his absence perfectly understandable.

He admits that a major part of what pulls him back each week is the rapport he’s struck up with the other volunteers.

He said: “It’s just fun, it’s a hobby, I mean obviously you don’t wake up every day and think ‘okay, brilliant I’ve got to listen to loads of music today that I don’t necessarily want to’ but it’s just fun. I mean like we have a good time doing the breakfast show and that is one of the things that I do sort of think ‘right well I’m going to do the breakfast show with Clémence  and I’m just going to have a mess about basically. So yeah, that’s what motivates me, you!” he finishes, bursting into a fit of uncontrollable laughter.

Unlike some of the DJ’s at the station, Stu has managed to perfect his ‘radio voice.’ I watch in awe as he steps in front of the mixing desk and becomes the most enthusiastic, knowledgeable, likeable voice.  I once asked one of the station managers exactly how you should go about developing the perfect presenting voice. He replied frankly, ‘it’s simple, you’ve either got it or you haven’t.’

Stu disagrees with this and puts his talent down to the time he has time spent touring with various bands.

He said: “I do think it’s helped me actually because I know you’re not standing in front of somebody when you’re in a radio studio but you have the mic technique and you don’t get nervous in front of a mic. You’ll notice a lot of people when they first get in front of a microphone they start acting stupid and act daft, much like we do on the breakfast show,” he jokes, “but yeah I do think it helps a lot if you’ve got experience of doing that and working in music and also because you can listen to music in different ways. There’s music just to listen to and then there’s musicians music. I think because I’ve played in bands I can choose not to play the musicians music and just think ‘right, people don’t want to hear that, they want to hear the other stuff.”

The area outside the three studios is where DJ’s tend to congregate before and after their shows. It’s home to two 70’s floral patterned sofa’s, which were undoubtedly uncool the first time round, and an old chair overflowing with sobbing wires bearing the homemade sign ‘RIP headphones.’ In the centre is a round table, which today is slightly busier than its usual derelict state. About eight DJ’s schedules have brought them to coincide here and the rock ‘n’ roll conversation is fast flowing.

‘I had two bottles of wine and four cans of that really strong stuff to myself last night’ groans one DJ whose show is in a very fast approaching ten minutes. ’I used to be able to cane it all night on pills’ he continues, resting his head on the table, ‘but now.’

On most professional radio stations, this sort of talk would be banished before you could say ‘ad break,’ but there’s a certain 60’s pirate radio element to working here. There’s an ever present vibe of scratched vinyl and muffled beats, a bit ‘the boat that rocked’ but with less indecency.

The air is often tinged with tales of beer crates being stashed in studios and fights with band members.

The hung-over DJ stands up and runs outside for a few puffs on his Marlboro light before silently shuffling into the studio. Within seconds, he’s a vision of professionalism, fresh faced and beaming with enthusiasm.

Between the DJ’s there’s an inconceivable amount of talent, regardless of their unpaid status, and the preparation and ability to provide a high quality show obviously means everything to them.

Usually volunteers work alongside each other fairly tranquilly, but every so often a collision of opinions can erupt. I once witnessed a particularly fiery argument, in which Metallica’s biggest fan was politely informed that their back catalogue was utter ‘garbage.’

Stu said: “I think the main thing we’ve got in common is we all want to do radio. Especially with the music, just everybody loves listening to music. There’s a lot that you have in common with some people rather than certain others.”

Fast forward a week and I manage to corner Chris Brophy, one of the station’s paid managers. He works at SCR as well as running a music industry learning project at Salford’s Media City, hosting free workshops for budding musicians and still helping his wife to juggle the care of their typically energetic children.

He first became involved with community radio in 2001 and tells me that he hasn’t taken the normal route into a broadcasting career.

“I’ve done things back to front,” he said “I worked for professional radio first, Kiss FM and Galaxy before doing this.  I just wanted to keep my foot in the door and study technical work within a station but I found out that they were setting up a Salford community radio project and I just got involved as a volunteer, but over the past ten years I just got a real good taste for what community radio was about. For me it wasn’t just about playing records, it was that we were providing an invaluable service to these people. It’s not your ‘Radio One’ style station, its primarily talking about things that are affecting the local people. It was run by local people for local people and that for me was why I stuck with it and over the years did more and more volunteering and then became studio manager in 2007 and in 2010 station manager. I loved what it was about and that’s what I still love about it today.”

Chris is one of the most cheerful, friendly faces at the station.  As everyone’s favourite manager, he’s often the most in demand when a DJ needs help.  He admits that not everyone appreciates how stressful his role is.

“No, nobody understands.” He laughs wearily, “people come here to escape the pressures of life and it’s good for them to be able to come in here and just be able to walk in and see Mary who’s on reception during the week, she’s somebody who they can have a nice chat with. That’s what I wanted, a front of house person who can just be friendly and nice so that if people want to come here and talk about how their budgies died or that their nana’s got toothache, they can. For me, I have a job to do, a very demanding job which involves me raising tens of thousands of pounds a year to keep the station running because without the station there’s no voluntary roles for these hundred people and there’s no job for me and I can’t feed my kids. I know that sounds drastic but I always think of the worst scenario. I don’t think people really understand what happens day by day for me, but I have a lot of things to do.”

Mid-sentence, there’s a knock at his office door.

“Chris, can you just come and turn the monitors on for me?” a face asks, peering round the ajar door.

“Which monitors, the speaker monitors?” Chris asks.

“No, the computer screen.”

“Well just press the on button then.”

“Oh, ok.” A sheepish sounding voice replies before shuffling back into the studio.

The door closes and Chris looks at me wearily.

I ask him which trait he thinks bonds the volunteers and he tells me that it’s their differences that allow them to work together so well.

He said: “I think that they don’t have a lot in common with each other and that’s what makes it work, with your commercial radio stations they all have that ‘radio voice’ in common, that set style that you hear but with community radio everybody’s different. Our youngest DJ is 16, our oldest is in his early 70’s. Some people come here with no intention to ever do anything professional with radio and others do, like Adam Brown who came here four and a half years ago with the sole intention of being a professional broadcaster and now he’s on Key 103 and BBC Radio Manchester. So it’s a great thrill for me to be somebody who trained Adam. But some people are just here to escape the pressures of family life and work life so nobody really has much in common with each other, we don’t want everybody to be the same. There are so many people here who are very different, that’s what makes it fun for me. I like that I can be talking to a 16 year old who’s into hip hop one minute and a 70 year old guy who’s into Tchaikovsky the next.”

As I walk out of the office I catch the end of Stu’s show, which he’s broadcasting from the main studio. He waves at me through the glass window, his desk laden with cd’s.

“I’m going to play an acoustic cover for Clémence who’s just come in,” I hear his voice beaming from the portable radio on the opposite side of the room and look over to see him grinning at me with his thumbs up.

Another DJ walks in, “Oh!” he says excitedly, “I found this amazing French band, you like French music don’t you, it’s got a 60’s feel to it, come in here and I’ll play it you!”

As he ushers me into a free studio, I can’t help but feel an immense sense of content. After years of scrawling lyrics into my schoolbooks and scratching punk tattoos onto my skin with biro, I’ve finally found a group of people who are equally as barmy about music. Here, I can spend hours delving into the depths of 60’s girl groups and debating whether Green Day should ditch the rock opera and head back to crystal meth, girls and smoking too much weed, without the recipient yawning and falling off their chair with boredom.  As I listen to the retro beats and soft vocals I realise that community radio has brought me more than a weekday slot and a new appreciation for adobe audition, it’s given me a whole new musical family. And that’s worth more than any amount of airplay.

 



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Wired Together - The Whip

Wed, 11/30/2011 - 1:28PM by Clema Flamée 0 Comments -

 

The electro scene has been pretty dull of late. But, the first time I encountered The Whip, I was immediately hooked. Having bagged an interview with the most exciting thing to come out of Manchester since the Gallagher brothers, I was lounging in their dressing room, turning down vodkas and being modelled the frontman’s patterned socks. But since that memorable night three years ago, they have encountered something of a musical epiphany. Their debut album X Marks Destination is a dot on the horizon as their sound is polished, injected with emotion and whirled into a mass of deliciously colourful beats for their glittering new album Wired Together.

Changes within the bands set-up can be heard as slight, barely noticeable tweaks to their sound. The late night raves have been traded for nappies as singer Bruce takes on fatherhood, and the departure of synth-master Danny Saville sees a gaping hole quickly smoothed over. Yet still, the most dance-worthy, euphoria inducing electro band in town have remained under the radar, cautiously gliding below the bubbling surface of mainstream. Their 2008 dance floor-worthy track Trash only found its way into naff beer adverts when it deserved to be pumped into every Friday night playlist in the universe.

Wired Together is altogether more mature. The albums introduction ‘Keep Or Delete’ is a deceptively slow wash-out. But past the first track and it’s clear that they’re just dipping their collective hand in a scalding bath tub before flinging themselves in.

The mimic soaring sirens on Riot are mashed with rising vocals and explosive shouty lyrics, leaving you unable to do anything but whack it up to full volume. It blends seamlessly into next track ‘Metal Law’ one of the tracks the band began showcasing 2 years ago to a visibly amazed and excitable crowd of dancing maniacs. The repeated ‘get up, go to work, do it again, go to bed’ line and fiddly bass line give pioneers Daft Punk a run for their repetitive money.

Amongst the shimmering sea of synths and fierce drum thwacks is a gem that without question is The Whip’s strongest point. Bruce Carter’s vocals are like their trophy, priding themselves on his Northern twang.

Bouncy dashes of piano make ‘Movement,’ an infectious brain basher that’s hell bent on worming its way around your mind for days.

The dials are hitched up a notch for ‘Secret Weapon’ a ready-made hit that screams single. It sounds as though it was created specifically for downing shots and jumping uncontrollably with a gaggle of rowdy chant-a-long friends.

The only other lull appears on ‘Slow Down’ which isn’t dissimilar to a half hearted diluted New Order b-side.

Master of ceremonies begins the come-down, teasing your speakers with softer vocals and tension building beats. It culminates in a wonderfully floaty dream of a chorus that practically leaves you winded, questioning how this little known Manchester band hasn’t exploded across the charts.

Wired Together seems like the final factor, before they plunge through into the mainstream, blasting a splatter of colour all over the gloomy, grey industry.

 



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Silence - The Ting Tings

Wed, 11/30/2011 - 12:58PM by Clema Flamée 0 Comments -

The last time I truly enjoyed chart music was when I was at that vulnerable, naive age when you believe it’s really cool to record the top ten onto a cassette and clumsily master the dance routines with your stomping, out of time, elephant footed friends.

I’ve managed to block out most of the humiliating public dance offs of 2001, and have therefore succeeded in avoiding the Sunday chart for a blissful amount of years.

There’s something about the mainstream music of the charts that’s just that little bit too shiny. It’s harsh, blinding colours and squeaky, auto tuned, vocals leave me reeling with a severe bout of brain spinning nausea. And, if I hear ‘Ibiza’ name dropped one more time, I’m going to bundle the offending artist onto the first Easyjet flight out there and abandon them.

My deep rooted hate for all things top ten aside, when Salford duo The Ting Tings splashed onto the scene in 2007, both pop and the charts became slightly less cringe-worthy. They began as that band your Topshop toting friends on Facebook bragged about listening to and then fast evolved into a mass of number ones, backcombed hair and gimmicky shades.

Although their hits were inescapable, and towards the end of their hype, a tad irritating, they flung their poppy beats and memorable lyrics in the faces of the high-shine, beaming numpties who had previously hogged the number one spot.

I’d squished them to the back of my mental music catalogue until electro heroes The Whip posted a link to their new video 'Silence' online last week.

It isn’t in your face, it sounds content, not bustling its way through the chart hankering after a high position. Bag raiders have remixed the track, and the end result is so simple and stunningly melodic that you struggle to believe it’s from the same band.

The accompanying video is an absolute gem, filmed outside Islington Mill with The Whip’s drummer Lil Fee making a cameo appearance as a fuming Salfordian.

This time around, they’re tackling much smaller venues, and not riding on the success of their ridiculously popular album. And there’s no mention of a popular tourist destination in sight.

Watch the video here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDF98NOry0w&ob=av2e



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She's reborn like Sarah Vaughan - Rest In Peace Amy.

Tue, 07/26/2011 - 7:02AM by Clema Flamée 0 Comments -

 

On Saturday night, about 20 texts flooded my inbox. 5 minutes earlier it had been reported that Amy Winehouse had been found dead at her home in North London. As an outsider, it might seem odd how concerned my friends were about me. I'd never met her, I never even managed to see her perform, but regardless, her death has left a massive irreparable hole in my life. With her funeral taking place today, this is the first time I have been able to write anything coherent about her without immediately bursting into tears.

When I was six, my grandad used to play me jazz in his car. But, as an uninterested child, I rubbished it as a genre and plugged into my fm radio to escape to Steps.

A few years after his death, I discovered Winehouse. She wasn't how I remembered jazz, she was quick witted, feisty and had a voice so unique that it sounded unbelievable. I connected with every emotion her lyrics conveyed, beautiful enough to stand alone as poetry. Through her I discovered Dinah Washington, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan. Strong women who were a far cry from the charts auto-tuned slappers. When I bought Amy's debut album Frank, I played it on repeat, finding her charm so daringly different that i was infected with her confidence.

She labelled her ex boyfriend a 'ladyboy' and slated all wannabe wags. She was a real woman fighting her way through a manufactured industry. Amy was there when I sunk too many JD’s and thought I could sing, she was there when I got dumped and wanted to kill the boy in question, she was always there with her ‘don't give a shit’ attitude and brutal lyrics.

My love for her grew until I owned half her clothing line, CD's and a newfound stronger attitude. My friends affectionately awarded me an alter ego named, you guessed it, Amy.

Her music had become an everyday part of my life, I listened to it as routinely as cleaning my teeth or logging into facebook. I didn't see her as a tragic celebrity, I saw her as an idol, one of a kind amongst a sea of futile pop.

Her appearance resembled a cartoon character gone wild. Everything about her was OTT, from her tattoos to her beehive to her behaviour. She often graced the worst-dressed pages but I found her style stunning. She was so quirkily attractive that I began to model myself on her, the pink pumps, the fred perry bomber jackets, the one blonde streak in her black hair.

One of the things that upsets me the most about her death is how ignorant my so called 'friends' are about addiction. They belong to a society so quick to judge and criticise that they fail to recognise addiction for what it is, a disease. They have never experienced the difficulties faced by an addict and find it appropriate to engage in crass, insensitive comments. I am left hovering over the 'unfriend' button on facebook, but I almost feel sorry for their cold-hearted ignorance.

Amy was the Queen of Camden, and I still can't accept that she's gone. I struggle to find inspiration in other soulless female singers and fail to see how any of them would be here without her ground-breaking sound.

To my musical, style and personal hero, I hope that you can finally be happy. You’ll always remain the most beautiful, original, talented woman in music, forever. Have a blast with Jim, Kurt and Keith. Rest in peace Amy.

 

‘Ava was the morning now she’s gone, she’s reborn like Sarah Vaughan. In the sanctuary she has found, birds surround her sweet sound and Ava flies in paradise.’



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Class Actions

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 8:13AM by Clema Flamée 0 Comments -

 

In the Factory Records era, Salford fired out original bands like a musical cannon. But since then, there's been a lull in it's production of truly unique, fresh acts.

Class Actions are little known, yet they've already angered the BNP and been mentioned in The Guardian for their anti-royal wedding track 'The Royals,' sporting the lyrics; 'God save the Queen the fascist regime, they sieg heil her they scream at me, I'm really nasty they're flabbergasted, cos I'm a nasty no all, not a royal rich bastard.'

Their controversial, gutsy lyrics are a far cry from the usual sports car, trophy girlfriend pop that's usually defined as rap and their songs are refreshingly raw, unpolished and political.

Stand-out track 'M is 4 Maggie' is a 'tribute' to Thatcher, with lyrics like 'whats the use of British Coal? When you can put a nation out there on the dole? Make my new friends the met police let 'em be violent to increase the peace.'

Think a Salfordian Scroobius Pip but with more guts, and less annoying.

Lyricist of the 2 piece, Aslan AK, half shouts, half raps, while blasting  his vocals over homemade beats.

This isn't the kind of rap that gets the chance to break through onto the mainstream scene,  but it's hard hitting political messages are worth more than any diamond encrusted rapper with a lamborghini.

Watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbU4Q7-t2yc



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Gig-goers, take note.

Thu, 05/05/2011 - 11:55AM by Clema Flamée 0 Comments -

 

 

As much as I object to NME's usually pretentious writers, I found myself reading one of their blogs. It was written by an exasperated member of staff at Camden's electric ballroom, reeling off things gig-goers do that really make her tick. And, as a fellow intolerant blogger I thought i'd make a list of habits that make me want to hurt surrounding crowd members.

1.    
I have spent the best part of the day shivering, begging a roadie for an umbrella and trying to make friends with 13 year olds - I have well and truly earnt my place at the front. No matter how much you try to shove me out of the way, i'm not budging. Infact, push me again and i might get a nearby muscly fan to give you a swift left hook. One whining brat recently tried to convince me that she deserved the spot infront of me because she had ‘come all the way from London.’ I mean, really?

2.
You’ve paid an extortionate amount for your ticket, you’re sporting a twenty odd quid t-shirt, correct me if I’m wrong but you must like the band, yes? But, you still like the sound of your own voice more and are determined to shout inane things to your increasingly embarrassed looking friend. I once asked one of these utter idiots why he was conversing throughout a whole gig. His excuse was ‘I’m with my brother, I haven’t seen him for a while, we’re catching up.’
Manchester has plenty of bars where you can be as vocal as you want and it won’t cost you anywhere near the price of a gig ticket. Now natter off.

3.
Snogging couples. See above. Go and slobber somewhere else.

4.
The down-tempo lull halfway through a bands’ set is not the opportunity for you to sing along. Or shout along if you’ve already downed an adequate number of red stripes.

5.
13 year old girls, usually wearing fishnet tights and band t-shirts, listen up. STOP SCREAMING. Everyone within a 5 metre radius winces every time you let out your ear piercing shrill.
Alright, I once screamed when Billie Joe Armstrong threw his beer in my face. But that was a one off, and I’m still recovering.



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