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Sunday, 20 May 2012

Review of Flaming June

Okay so I did cover this band briefly on Friday's 'Folklore' but my readers and listeners are generally two different audiences so I wanted to do a more detailed blog post as well.

As you all may know in the last year I have really gotten into the Folk scene and for the past four years I have realised that media and journalism is the area I want to go into. So lately I have decided it would probably make some kind of sense to merge these two interests.


There is a website called Bright Young Folk which looks at the latest on the folk scene and this gave me the idea to mix up my blog posts of philosophy and ethics to some Folk reviews as well.


So I was surfing myspace and came across Flaming June who describe themselves as a mix mash of Folk, Indie and Alternative which I'll admit at first made me skeptical. However I quickly played the first track of their EP "Nerves of Steel" and was delighted with it!


I quickly got in touch for a CD (which has lovely artwork as it happens, my boss commented on that straight away) and I would also point out that it was a pleasure to correspond with Louise Hamilton (The singer and songwriter for the band), sometimes bands give you can get snappy little responses which make you feel there isn't actually a desire to talk to you, but definatly not with Flaming June.

"Nerves of Steel" quickly got five stars on my media player along with "The Insane Ex-Girlfriend Parade" and "You Do Moody So Well" with "I Know What It's Like" and "The Boy I Knew Before I Met You" getting four stars (ONLY because they were a tad slower paced and that is not my thing, the songs are equally as amazing).

I think/hope Flaming June will continue to produce great music for years to come. What I do know is I'll be one of the first ordering their CDs for as long as they make them!

If you want to find out more then please follow these links:

Twitter: @flamingjuneuk

Facebook: /flamingjuneuk
Myspace: /flamingjuneuk

and their website: http://www.flamingjune.co.uk/


DFTBA

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Gay Marriage


Okay so the topic of Gay Marriage is still pretty buzzing throughout the internet and what sort of blogger would I be if I did not enter this debate.

Well actually I would be a sensible one. That’s right I will not enter the Gay Marriage debate and let me try and explain why:


It will not make the slightest bit of difference.


The last time I was particularly vocal about an issue was the construction of a Muslin centre a few blocks away from Ground Zero and all entering that debate (using the term debate lightly) caused me was one massive headache.


I found a lot during my time running ‘The That’s Debatable Show’ that as soon as you find one of these big topics forming around you the best thing to do is to get out.


First of all let me clarify here that it is not because I do not find the topic important. The problem is expressing one’s opinion (particularly on the internet) leads to is other people shooting you down with a rapid fire machine gun just for the sake of it.


All you end up with is flaring emotions and a lot of very annoyed people and no further to progress either way.


People will rarely change what they believe in. You can always tell those who will because they will have an actual debate with you rather than a mudslinging match. Only people with the legal power to change laws such as the one on gay Marriage need to have the debate.


You may then say well Politicians will go with public opinion. That’s true but as always with these debates the public is then split down the middle, all the time, this means politicians are forced to play their end as they can never make everyone happy.


I feel sorry for Politicians. I wouldn’t even want to imagine how difficult it is to run a country, especially when every decision you make will annoy half of the population.


The other reason I refuse to enter the Gay Marriage debate or any similar ones such as immigration is because of what I like to call ‘Taboo Syndrome’.


Here is an example:


Four men are walking through a supermarket and one drops his mobile phone. A child picks it up and hands it to his Mother, she asks the child which man dropped the phone. The Child says:


“The Black man”


That child then gets grounded for being racist.


It seems to me now that because things such as Racism and Homophobia are such sore points and such social taboos that if you make a logical yet negative decision against a certain minority in the population people leap all over you and rip you to shreds for being Racist or whatever.


This is extremely irritating. Now this is not to say that when someone is blatantly being Racist that they should not be yelled at. They should. However it is perfectly feasible that certain negative decisions may be made against a minority on logical grounds and not because of an emotive response to that group.


It can be as ridiculously for suing tanning companies for not making fake tan for black people.


So my point here is that people cannot freely reason why they do not agree with Gay Marriage because people immediately shoot venom at them and call them Homophobic, even what that is not the point.


People are using Racism and Homophobia as trump cards to avoid having a logical debate and when it happens it infuriates me. So I just distance myself from the whole sorry affair.


I want to point out here that I am not saying that this is the case in every argument, but it is fairly frequent.


I can almost imagine the thought process being like this “This guy just disagreed with me, me must hate Homosexuals!”. No this is not necessarily the case.


For example. One friend of mine disagrees with gay Marriage because of definition issues, not even issues of Homosexuality or anything like that.


He says that the legal definition of Marriage is the union between a Man and a Woman. So therefore to him unless they change the definition of Marriage legally, there can never be Gay Marriage.


He is not making an emotive comment about homosexuals, yet people would immediately use the trump card simply because they heard “Disagree with Gay Marriage”.


And that my friends is why I am fed up with debates and these big world issues. Until people stop being ignorant or start using their brains (or a topic that I really care about comes up) I will not be getting involved.


DFTBA

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Belshazzar's Feast Review



First a reflection on the A-Z of April.

Well I failed! I did not manage to post every single day. In my defence I spent an entire weekend with no internet access, my personal computer decided to block Blogspot (I’m still having difficulty resolving this), all of my work computers block Blogspot and then when I finally found a computer that would use it… it simply decided not to work.


At this point I got annoyed and gave up.


Despite this, I am extremely glad I took part, with being relatively new to blogging I felt it helped me to improve and formulate ideas much better than I would have done previous. Thankyou to everyone who has started to follow me and left me comments during this time, I hope will continue to engage with my future posts.


Since my A-Z was pretty heavy I’ve decided for my first post since April should be a review.


As my regular readers (Hah!) should know, I have recently become quite a big fan of Folk music. One such band I have gotten into is Belshazzar’s Feast which consists of Paul Sartin on Oboe, Violin, Whistle and vocals and Paul Hutchinson on the Accordion.


I got into this band through Bellowhead which is my favourite group. They released an album called “Umbrellowhead” which was a compilation of various tracks from the different groups and artists who merged to form Bellowhead.


One such track was Ronda La Turkey by Belshazzar’s Feast. When I heard this track I instantly enjoyed it and decided to explore the other music they had. At first I was surprised, as their other music was not quite as fast paced as the track I had heard, but I still found their music to be to my taste.


I quickly tracked down their albums, finding some songs were hit and miss and others were soon to become staple favourites.


I listened to the second CD on their Food of Love album (taken from a live show) and quite enjoyed the banter and engagement that the duo had.


I began searching around for live shows of Bellowhead, Faustus (another band which Paul Sartin performs with) and other folk groups and ended up e-mailing Belshazzar’s Feast booking agent (Using my Radio e-mail address which often gets me free discs or interviews muhahaha) and found out the closest they were to Liverpool was across the Mersey in Birkenhead.


At first I would not have been able to make the date, but thankfully my schedule cleared and I quickly reserved tickets.


Upon arrival I was surprised to find the band performing in a small church hall for a local Folk Club. This of course is simply my own ignorance as since they were well known to me I expected them to be very popular in the Folk community (They are but I mean as in much bigger sold out venues).


At first I was curious as to how this would play out but I was very pleasantly surprised by the atmosphere of the entire gig. Both members of the band have an excellent rapport both which each other and their audience. Playful banter and audience participation ensured everyone enjoyed themselves.


They performed tunes such as the Primus Hornpipe, Eine Kleine Natchmusik and Widows shall have Husbands. I managed to record them doing Thresherman:








I ended up asking to have a photograph with the duo, which seemed to take them back a little? (Maybe I imagined that, but they did seem a tad surprised) They did of course make a joke… “Paul is that your hand…” which made me chuckle and really emphasised the friendship between the two (uh that was an extremely soppy sentence.)


The performance was fantastic and I whole heartedly say that they are at their best when performing live.


If you ever get a chance to see Belshazzar’s Feast then I strongly recommend you go!


Be sure to check them out on

http://www.belshazzarsfeast.co.uk and also check out

http://www.brightyoungfolk.com

Also be sure to add them on Twitter and Facebook!



DFTBA