Saturday, 18 September 2010


John Cooper Clarke and I 

Hi there cats. Are you all chilled this fine weekend? I've had a sensory overload in that on Thursday night, not only did I get my allocated 15 minute face to face interview with John Cooper Clarke, but ended up enjoying his company all evening. My friend and I somehow found ourselves seated at the Dragon's Rendezvous on Donegall Pass sharing stewed aubergine and other such culinary delights with JCC and his manager, Phil Jones.

We were regaled with tales of rock n'roll excess involving the legendary Mark E Smith of The Fall, JCC's time in the 80's as the housemate of Nico from the Velvet Underground and even got a rendition of 'I've fallen in love with my wife' at the table after he had forgotten the words at the gig. All in all an amazing and surreal evening which will not be topped for some time to come. If only all genii were as charming!

I'm in the process of writing up the long and detailed interview which I will be then hawking to some newspapers. It'll be up here in due course too. JCC's manager has asked me to help them garner a bit of a buzz for the Irish tour with some live reviews also.

Catch him down in Whelans on Tues the 21st, for more deets.

Here's a review of the Black Box gig on AU's website:

Go on and leave a nice comment on AU's website if you like it!

John Cooper Clarke

Black Box, Belfast

The Bard of Salford, heir to the throne of Poet Leaurate, the English Bob Dylan: the Black Box is packed to the rafters to witness John Cooper Clarke’s visceral short sharp bursts of punk poetry.
Much of the audience look like they are fans from Clarke’s early days when he ploughed a lonely furrow as a poetry-reading opening act for bands like the Sex Pistols, Joy Division, Elvis Costello and Siousxe and the Banshees.
Clarke walks onstage to wolf-whistles and screams of delight. He looks the part of rock star punk poet – jet-black Robert Smith-esque hair, a tweed jacket, long spindly legs clad in drainpipe jeans, an elegant silk scarf and of course his ‘fitted as standard’ rose-tinted specs.
He fires straight into ‘Hire Car’. The poem’s linguistic hurdles still sound as fresh and vital as ever: “Hire-car, hire-car / Why would anybody buy a car? / Bang it, prang it, say ta ta / It’s a hire car baby.” It’s all about the words, delivery and every syl-lab-le baby.
There has been criticism from some quarters that Clarke’s live shows have shifted more towards gags as opposed to the performance poetry he started out with. Tonight it’s a mixed bag and flows along perfectly. We get stories, ramblings, jokes so funny it starts getting painful to laugh and inspiring punk poetry. The poet has said that it’s just something that has happened naturally and no-one appears to be complaining tonight.
He tells us of his native Manchester and his early days gigging in the working men’s clubs. “Don’t let the fancy titles fool you, these places were rough,” he says. “Let’s put it this way – they came with their own coroners.”
We also get reditions of ‘Attack Of The 50-Foot Woman’, a hilarious take on aging in ‘Things Are Gonna Get Worse’ and the poet’s most famous poem ‘Evidently Chickentown’ – which appeared in The Sopranos. Anyone from a small town can relate to it as Clarke dissects the town in a brutal fashion. The poem is delivered at a breakneck pace and packs a punk rock punch.
“The fucking scene is fucking sad
The fucking news is fucking bad
The fucking weed is fucking turf
The fucking speed is fucking surf
The fucking folks are fucking daft
Don’t make me fucking laugh
It fucking hurts to look around
Everywhere in chicken town”
Other highlights include his attempt at a haiku (“To con-vey one’s mood, In sev-en-teen syl-la-bles, Is ve-ry diff-ic”) and a gag about the late Sir Bobby Robson’s son bringing out a book about coping with his father’s death, to be entitled Over My Dad Bobby.
This shit is funny.
Afterwards I tell Johnny, “It was brilliant, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.” To which he replies, “Was I that bad?”
John Cooper Clarke is a larger than life character who, three decades on, is still at the top of his game. In a word, genius. Tia Clarke

More pics... 
Aileen, JCC and moi 

Johnny's bag of coveted poetry! 

When the cat's away... 

Wednesday, 15 September 2010


I'm really excited and a wee bit nervous as I am interviewing an absolute LEGEND this week, in the form of punk poet John Cooper Clarke!

I cannae believe it as he doesn't really like giving interviews it seems. His manager has gone and put me on the guest list too, whoop!

I first heard of John after watching a segment about him on The Culture Show in early 2009 and was instantly drawn to his sardonic tongue and razor sharp wit.

He's a poet, but not as you know it. He delivers poetry in a spoken word breakneck pace spitting each word and syllable in his vitriolic Manchuanian drawl.

The man has led such a colourful life. He opened up for acts like The Sex Pistols, Joy Division and The Fall in the seventies and once shared a flat in Bristol with one of my favourite singers, Nico from the Velvet Underground. Rock and Roll!

I got to catch John at The Galway comedy festival last October and since then have elevated him to hero status. Now, aged 61, having spent most of his career as an underground hero, JCC is back better than ever. He's such an original and hasn't compromised himself for anyone, which is something I really respect. Words cannot do justice to his genius, listen below.

(Not sure what publication this piece is going to appear in yet, but I'll put the interview and pics up here. Wish me luck!)

Here's the menacing 'Evidently Chickentown' as heard in The Sopranos.

If you wanna know more here's an interview with JCC on The Culture Show.


I've been listening to the new record from Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan. I've always loved Isobels sweet lush and gentle voice from her days as a chanteuse in Belle & Sebastian.

I reviewed the first record her and Lanegan put out in 2006 for Connected and totally fell in love with it, 'Ballad of the Broken Seas', totally missed out on the second record but now I'm back in for number three 'Hawk'.

It's a bittersweet record with Campbels husky Nancy Sinatra vocals paired perfectly with Lanegan's gravely midnight cowboy drawl. I also love the album cover (above), it's so sixties looking and really suits the music.

Anyway, here's my fave song 'To Hell & Back Again'. Depressing lyrics made beautiful and hazy by Isobel Campbells gorgeous vocals. Enjoy.

Saturday, 11 September 2010


Erm, just cause it's Saturday and I'm in a good mood here's a choooon.

Have a loverly weekend. Might see you down at Chilli Fest.

Friday, 10 September 2010


Here you, get the new Nialler9 podcast inta ya and funk up your weekend! I've been listening to it all day and it's brillo pads.

Niall and his lovely girlfriend Aoife Mc who presents the podcast are about 200 million light years ahead of everyone else in terms of music, so take notes! Loving The Tshetsha Boys.

Artwork is done by Belfast's finest illustrata Stephen Maurice Graham- of 400 Facts fame.

Listen and subscribe on iTunes here:

Podcast #32 -Tracklisting

  1. Star Slinger – ‘Mornin’ (Volume 1 free download)
  2. Egyptian Hip Hop- ‘Moon Crooner’
  3. Wild Nothing – ‘Golden Haze’
  4. Sun Airway – ‘Waiting On You’
  5. Beat Connection – ‘In The Water’ (Free EP)
  6. The Count & Sinden – ‘Desert Rhythm’ (Mega Mega Mega)
  7. Tshetsha Boys- ‘Nwampfundla’ (Shangaan Electro: New Wave Dance Music From South Africa)
  8. Matthew Dear – ‘I Can’t Feel’ (Black City)
  9. PVT – ‘Window’ (Church With No Magic)
  10. Letherette – ‘Late Night Operation’ feat. Theophilus London (Remix)
  11. Young Montana- ‘Sacré Cool’
  12. The Walkmen – ‘Stranded’ (Lisbon)
  13. Twin Sister – ‘Lady Daydream’ (Color Your Life)
  14. Big Maybelle – ‘That’s A Pretty Good Love’ (Keb Darge & Little Edith’s Legendary Rockin’ R’n'B)

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Yummmay Four Tet Mix

I'm a mad woman for all things Four Tet. Seriously, I'd listen to anything Kieran Hebden releases and have spent years tracking down all his juicy side projects. His music is so innovative, he leads where others follow. Here's a gorgeous hour long mix he's done to celebrate his new residency at Plastic People in London. He's going to be playing 5-6 hour long sets. Heaven!

The mix is great, if you're doing something just stick it on in the background and enjoy :)

Return to Plastic People (September 2010) AKA FACT mix 182 by Four Tet


Cathy Davey is a singer songwriter from Dublin and one of Ireland's finest, in my opinion. I love everything about this lady, her witty and quirky lyrics, her ability to mix a multitude of genres, her cool attitude and her voice. Her voice is so sweet and candy coated, I just can't get enough of her stuff.

She's had three albums out to date, all of which come highly recommended. She's also rocking live so if you get a chance to see her, do so.

Here's the brand spanking new video for her song 'Little Red' which I saw on the excellent Nialler 9's blog. The video is a tad creepy but really imaginative and suits the song. It's taken from the album 'The Nameless' which is a masterfully crafted record and a lot more mature and knowing than the previous two.

And here's an oldie too, for your listening pleasure, 'Clean and Neat' taken from 2004's 'Something Ilk'. Cathy rocks! 

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

What I've been listening to...

Hi there! I haven't updated in a while. I haven't been chilling my cats though I've been busy reviewing for Yelp, partying quite a lot, working on features, passing my exam and my journo course (whoooop) and hatching elaborate plans to land a shiny job in London town in the new year. Oh and I've also killed two mice. It had to be done and I don't feel guilty, at all.

I have discovered some bloomin' great new albums recently though and wanted to share 'em with you incase you haven't heard any of them yet.

First up is the new Best Coast album 'Crazy for You'. They are an indie pop trio from LA and they make hazy lo-fi pop which is best washed down with sunshine and beers. What's great about them is that they have this fantastic hazy lite-grunge sound that just kinda washes over you. Whilst they won't win any awards for song-writing, the music more than makes up for the lyrics lameness. Beautiful sun-drenched stuff straight from Cali.

Myspace here:

This is my fave song off the album:

My second album, is very much another album Du Jour, Wavves 'King of the Beach' comes from another Cali band. It's their third album and is a bit more noisy than the Best Coast album, a bit more pop punk (in a good way, not in a Sum 41 kinda way!). It's also a real summer chill out album and it's noisier moments reminds me of No Ages 'Nouns' two years ago. 'King of the Beach' won't be in your top ten albums in a few years, it won't radically change your life, just treat it for what it is, a bit of feel good throwaway pop. It's got a bit of a headbangey slacker grungy feel to it, which really seems to be coming back into fashion now-who woulda ever thunk it?

Myspace here:

Hmm best song off the album- ..................this one!

Today I also discovered another juicy new album, which ticked all the right boxes for me.
It's a dude called 'Gold Panda' and his beautiful delicate and glitchy electronica album 'Lucky Shiner'. I've been listening to it all day and really love it. So lussssh.

He was one of BBC's sounds of 2010, they said this about him: "Gold Panda is a left-field producer who makes instrumental soundtracks to half-remembered, dreamy summer days. He scours charity shops for old records and VHS tapes to turn into distorted samples, and wraps them in minimal warm beats." Pretty spot on. 'Gold Bear' is also obsessed with Japan and Japanese culture and sold his entire record collection to pay to move there and study. Jaysus!
What would happen if Gold Panda and Panda Bear were to have a lovechild?? A Golden Bear perhaps?!

Learn more about him here:

Anyway enuf yakkin', the whole album is here and it's beautiful, listen:









Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Hey Ladies.... Get Funky!

I have some excirring news, I'm gonna be DJing at Belfasts' Funk and Soul night in McHugh's Basement Bar on Friday 5th November. 

I'm having lots of fun putting some fresh and funky tunes together. I'm planning on doing a modern take on Funk n' Soul with my set (if I can run this one past the dudes) and have a few gems up my sleeve. 

Bottom line is that my set is going to be really, really fun. Trust me. I've been picking out some  joyous tunes which will have you all grinning from ear to ear. I'm aiming to show that soul and funk have lived on past The Isley Brothers and ultimately just do something a bit different. Don't fret, there'll be some classics in there too. 

The rocking Kiani will also be splicing up some phat funky beats for my intro and who knows what else yet?  

I'll be playing from 9.30 to 11.00 so make sure to come on down and feel the love. 

Nov 5th is the preliminary date and it may change but I'll keep y'all updated. 

You can add Belfast Funk and Soul on Facebook here: 

There's an excellent night planned this Friday Sept 3rd, see you there!