November 19, 2013
Observations: Aidan Moffat

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Image courtesy of Neil Jarvie.

They say that honesty is what makes a good musician, and story-tellers for that matter. It is also often the quality that is most at risk of falling away when careers progress, iconography develops and personal stock becomes an issue. It’s a good job our Aidan isn’t’ee into any of that shit. The Glaswegian was a very welcome headline act (in place of the withdrawn Kimya Dawson) at last Sunday’s instalment of the Illuminations series, and a seated audience at Bush Hall revelled in observing him devour a six-pack of Grolsch in front of a microphone, speaking, singing, shouting and whispering the words that came.

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November 19, 2013
Conversations: León Siminiani

Mapa

This month has seen the ninth annual London Spanish Film Festival visit South Kensington’s Institut Francais, as part of an autumn of eclectic foreign cinema (that you can find more on here). I took the opportunity to speak to León Siminiani, whose autobiographical and first person Mapa was shown to visitors last Friday evening. Sitting down with a film director for the first time, I was hoping not so much to talk about a piece of cinema, but about the process of journey making, about finding yourself in the wrong place, and a man’s torrid struggles to make sense of it all.

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September 4, 2013
Conversations: IS TROPICAL

I spoke to Simon and Dominic from IS TROPICAL at Reading the weekend before last, resulting in the following heavily edited transcript. Indulge…

IS TROPICAL

 

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September 3, 2013
Conversations: Big Wave

I was lucky enough to be invited to this year’s Reading, and whilst a little too hungover and sleep-deprived for my own comfort on the Sunday afternoon I was introduced by a friend to one of the bands selected a couple of weeks before to play the BBC Introducing stage.

With no questions prepared and little in the way of pressing points or time constraints, we were able to have a carefree discussion over a picnic bench in the sun. From this blossomed one of the nicer interviews I’ve had the pleasure of participating in and a remarkably telling story, of good things happening to ordinarily good people. Meet Big Wave.

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July 21, 2013
Observations: Japandroids - Dingwalls, Camden 18/07/2013

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I really don’t know what to say about this show. It always takes me a while to put words to page to describe something that just happened in a room, but this time I really don’t know if the right words will ever come. I am equally clueless if that is because I was so blown away by what I saw on Thursday night, or because it’s all been said before about this band.

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July 10, 2013
The biggest clouds make for the biggest storms - What Glastonbury can do for us today

It’s June 2013 and the UK is buckling under the weight of a sixth year in economic mega-doom, scouring back over a culture of banker’s bonuses and corporate tax avoidance as if it’s something that just came out of nowhere. With that third and most dreaded deadly sin tight upon everybody’s lips, it’s quite frankly been embarrassingly difficult for the Left to organise itself of late. The question I found myself asking on my way down to Somerset two Wednesdays ago was, ‘is there even any room for free love anymore?’

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July 4, 2013
Conversations: Jagwar Ma

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You could be forgiven for thinking that Jagwar Ma were formed a few months ago, such has been the rapidity of their rise in 2013. In fact their debut record Howlin’ is the culmination of two years’ work, a carefully plotted techni-colour explosion that shall see them play an eye-watering amount of festivals all across Europe this summer.

Announcing their arrival on the UK circuit with a weekend at Glastonbury seems a little like opting for heroin as your first drug. I decided to check up on the guys on Sunday to see how it had all gone.

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