This is another new band that allows you to listen to their music online, even here on Shotgundentist. Give it a listen and if you like them, buy an album or go to a gig. I saw them recently in Islington, and I highly recommend them, for a brilliant performance.
A couple of months ago, a friend of mine was visiting us for a weekend, and he asked if there was any music on. Knowing that there would be loads of music on somewhere in London, but having no idea what, where or when, I turned to the internet. Not surprisingly, there was indeed loads going on. We finally decided what to see and only when we were pretty much on our way out the door we realised that our chosen gig was on the Sunday and not the Saturday as we thought. So we had a quick panic and returned to the list from earlier and picked the second choice. This was how we ended up going to The Wilmington Arms to see Eliza Shaddad and The Worry Dolls. We managed to sit at a small round table a few feet from the stage, and witnessed some great performances.
Tonight, I’m going with Katie to see Eliza Shaddad again this time at the St Pancras Old Church; a beautiful venue where we’ve seen Emmy The Great in the past.
Check out her music here and if you like it, buy it and share it!
We enjoyed a very beautiful and intimate concert with Emmy The Great in the unusual venue of Cecil Sharp House in Camden. The set was a great mix of songs from the new and old albums plus some extra treats. Now we’re looking forward to the concert in Cambridge in October.
Everyone in front of the stage were sitting down and we sat in the front row of people. It was very Emmy. The support act were called It Hugs Back and though they seemed very shy their music was very good. It was only very hard to make out any of the lyrics, but hard to know whether it was due to their shyness or just their style.
This year we were going to Skanderborg Festival aka Smukfest (= beautiful fest) for the first time. I’d heard nice things about it, and there were a promising line up with Tom Jones, Skunk Anansie and Robyn as some of the bigger names, though Kaizers Orchestra was the one I was most excited about. However, we’d never been there and there wasn’t anyone we knew going and we weren’t sure how much of the “smuk” in the name was pure marketing. This post is about the mud, the great music and how we discovered that it really is beautiful 🙂
We didn’t go to the festival from the first day the camp sites were opened, as we wanted to enjoy the summer house for a bit longer (I know I need to write the second post about that trip). Instead we went there on the Wednesday, which was also the first day the festival area opened and the actual festival started. However, the camping sites had opened on Monday and Tuesday, and when we arrived most of them were full. We were directed to Holst camping site, and when we got there, it looked rather full as well. We managed to find a big enough gap that had been ignored by others, as it was quite wet and muddy. It wasn’t too bad though, and we had air mattresses so we didn’t think it would be a problem.
It wasn’t a real problem. Even though it rained all through the first night, the tent held tight and we didn’t get wet. However, when we opened the door and looked outside our front tent bit was flooded, and the mud that had looked very soft the day before had turned into a thick liquid paste. The sight was almost enough to make us lose hope for a lovely festival. But as soon as we got out of the mud in our waterproofs it didn’t seem that bad. It was still raining, but it was a very gentle rain and we had proper gear. Almost! We had no wellies. So the first thing we did when we got to the festival area was to buy some boots. Not surprisingly there were quite a few stalls selling wellies, and it didn’t take us long to find some we liked. I got some traditional green farmer/fisherman/biologist ones, but Katie got some amazing, colourful smarties-covered ones 🙂 They were beautiful as you can see in the photo on the left. At about midday the rain stopped and we hadn’t been cold at all. The rain only meant that it was much easier to get around at the festival and find seats/tables at the drinking and eating places.
Another thing that helped cheer us up after the wet start was the sight that met us when we got to the festival area. It truly earns its self-proclaimed title as “Denmark’s most beautiful festival”, located on the bank of a lake in a beautiful beech forest. How important the trees are to the event is emphasised by the way they are left to lean all the way against the main stage and in front of the speakers. It makes it all seem much more organic, and is a relief from the typical “practical nature” where trees are groomed and placed in a very organised fashion. I think you can get a good idea of this from the rather blurry photo on the right from when Johnny Madsen was playing as we first approached the fittingly named “Beech Stages”. There’s another stage next to it and the bands alternate to reduce set up time.
To finish off this post I’ll leave you with two more photos. The one on the left is of our favourite bar at the festival, the Special Beer Tent. It had a wide selection of Danish and foreign bottled and draft beers, including several festival specials. The other photo is the view over the lake seen from the main road between the camping area and the festival area. It was a pleasure walking past this every day 🙂 I’ll soon post again with Part 2 where I’ll talk about the music at the festival.
I felt like writing something about Emmy The Great. I’m not sure what exactly it will be yet, but I’m listening to her right now, and felt inspired 🙂
I first came across her when one of my friends posted a link to her Black Cab Session where she performed the amazing “Two Steps Forward” together with Tom Hobden from “Noah and the Whale”. The song was not included in their first album “First Love”, but was later included in a bonus CD sold with the album. There was something in that song that made me able listen to it over and over and just never seem to get tired of it. It even seemed to be getting better every time.
I then discovered that Emmy was playing a charity gig against violence towards women at The Shop in Cambridge, so I went to see her. Again she hadn’t brought her usual band, but showed up alone. It was a very small gig (it’s a small place), and there was no mic, speakers or stage and the closest people were sitting on pillows in front of the people sitting on chairs. It was a very intimate concert, and seemed much more personal than usual music gigs.
Another quite special gig was an “in store” performance at Pure Groove in London. Katie and I managed to get there straight after work, and even though it was a very short performance that was ok, as it was free and we like going to London. It was also very cosy and Emmy was sitting on the counter.
The first real gig I saw was at the O2 in Oxford. Katie and I went there together and spent the weekend exploring our “brother city” (I guess Oxford is “the brother of art” while Cambridge is “the brother of science”). The gig was great, while of a more “normal” sort and to my great excitement she reluctantly played “Two Steps Forward” after lots of shouting from the crowd, even though she said it was a very personal song. This was before it was put on the bonus CD for First Love (the album was originally sold with a different bonus CD). Maybe she got lots of requests for the song at all the live gigs and decided it was too popular to keep private 🙂
Last year I noticed a link on their website (emmythegreat.com) to Pledge Music where they were selling “pledges” to finance the production of their second album. I really liked the idea of them being able to produce the album this way with no producers interfering or “owning them”. I was happy to support them by buying a couple of signed albums (one for a present for my sister) and a ticket to a special “pledgers’ gig”. This turned out to be yet another very special experience with a small gig in a beautiful little church in St Pancras, London. The warm-up act was provided by some apparently quite green stand-up comedians, which added an extra unusual edge to it, and the church’s acoustics were perfect for Emmy’s voice 🙂
Now their second album is out, and I think it’s even better than the first one, and can’t wait to see her live again in September in London and then in Cambridge in October. You can get the album (from Amazon or Rough Trade) and see the tour calendar on emmythegreat.com. If you do get it (or already have it), please let me know what you think on here.
If you’d like to listen to some of the music it’s available on SoundCloud.
It’s amazing how popular (and awesome) things on the internet can be and then still hidden (or undiscovered) by so many. One of my own new discoveries is “The Lonely Island”. They are a group of three musicians from Berkeley, California. They got known by performing some of their material on Saturday Night Live, and since several of their youtube videos have had over 100,000,000 views! And it’s only after this that I’ve discovered them.
I would give a description of what they do, but it’s too hard to do it justice in word. The originality, outrageousness and silliness is just phenomenal and I can only recommend checking it out! 🙂 … it’s free as well! 🙂
My favourites, I think, though it’s hard to choose, are probably “I’m on a boat”, the “Shy Ronnie” series and maybe “Motherlover”…