Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Kid Congo did it again.

Right. Just got back from the Kid Congo Powers gig at the Cluny.

WOW. The Kid did it again. All the uber cool chops and camped up suss we've come to know and love from this true legend. Yep that's right Legend, an over used word in describing musicians for sure but hell when you've spent your life playing with three of the greatest front men of all time - Lux Interior, Jeffery Pierce and Nick Cave - you must have done something right. No one can tell me its not a justified description for someone who was in not only one LEGENDARY band but three - The Cramps, The Gun Club and Nick Caves Bad Seed's.

These days Kid Congo is hipper than ever with his own band The Pink Monkey Birds, who's charming, sexy mix of 50's Rockabilly, 60's Garage Trash, 70's Vegas Lounge Muzak, 80's Post Punk all put together with an authentic Hispanic twist - serves up some serious cool medicine both on record and live.

Tonight the band came out dressed uniformally in Matador outfits - drop dead cool, the perfect look for a Hispanic garage band rocking the sex beat.

And rock the Sex Beat they did, as alongside tracks from Pink Monkey Bird albums Kid Congo took us on an exhilarating journey through his past and blasted out The Gun Club classic 'Sex Beat' in his own slinky style. Another treat included a link Wray style version of The Cramps stormer Goo Goo Muck. It's fair to say that the whole gig came over like a tribute to Kid Congo's fallen comrade Lux Interior. Paying his respects inbetween songs with dedications to the late great shaman of voodoo beat rock n roll.

Kid Congo's voodoo mojo however was far from dead tonight, as he tapped into the source - right into the well of voodoo juice, so that for a few hours at least us mere northern Brits could feel the magic of that goo goo muck drenched underbelly Americana.

The band were incredible, giving Kid Congo just the right platform to do this thing.
Mesmerising, enchanting, groovy, rocking and above all original.

Shame on those who didn't make it, hope to see you there when the Kid next rolls into town. Cant wait.

Heres some footage of KID CONGO playing with The Cramps...

And some footage of KID CONGO playing with Nick Cave..

He's not doing anything in this one but being there and being cool..

And some fantastic Gun Club footage..

Thursday, 19 November 2009


Hit Newcastle Friday 5th Jan. 2010.

One of the most interesting and musically exciting British bands to emerge in the last few years, These New Puritans unleashed their debut album 'Beat Pyramid' in 2008, however despite gaining a fair amount of critical acclaim they didn't break above the radar as far / high as they deserved. While Beat Pyramid was certainly one of Jukebox/Splash Ones albums of that year, their forthcoming album looks set to be the record that pushes them into the national conscious.

TNPS are a four piece from Southend On Sea (with Splash Ones love of British Sea Side towns this just endeared them to us that whole lot more) who come on like a gang of well read post punk junkies with a Wu Tang Clan obsession. It's a bizarre filter for sure but that's why we love them.

Artrocker Magazine has described TNPS as sounding like "Sheffield and Berlin synths, '90s alt rock Sonic Youth and Yo La Tengo drones; Underworld beats, and all in the most contemporary of contexts," while in a review of Beat Pyramid, Vice Magazine said "Sharp, strange and enchanting, there aren't many bands around like These New Puritans."

Enchanting is definitely a word to describe TNPS, but maybe desingned and controlled noisy enchantment would be a better description, or tailored magik even.

Their single ELVIS was a smash at Jukebox, played on heavy rotation for about a year, the Band also played live at the club captivating the crowd with that very same special brew of noisy (but refined and controlled) enchantment.

So it is with huge excitement that we anticipate the bands return to the Jukebox stage - THESE NEW PURITANS PLAY JUKEBOX ON FRIDAY 5TH OF FEBUARY 2010.

Another crucial release that we have hammered is the Wu Tang influenced, 'Swords Of Truth'.

The bastard upstart urchin off spring of Mark E Smith & The Fall, some have derided the band for that, but fuck that, if I want to see any new band taking influence from another band and taking that influence somewhere new, a place of their own then I want to see it done with The Fall. Mark E Smith may moan about Fall copy bands but he moans about everything, this band are special, and stand above the pale Fall apeing underachiever's of indie land.

They look good too, which is important.

Splash One cant wait for HIDDEN to drop from the sky,

Here's a few factoids for anyone new to the band.

• The Band have toured with Crystal Castles, British Sea Power, The Kills, Blood Red Shoes and The Klaxons.

have been involved with fashion designer Hedi Slimane, having recorded the song ("Navigate, Navigate") for the Dior Homme Show 2007.

They were part of the Southend scene that gave birth to The Horrors, known as the 'Experimental Circle Club' involved in the semi legendary 'Junk Club' nights - responsible for popularising such bands as Neils Children, The Violets, XX Teens, No Bra, and most of course The Horrors themselves. It should be noted that Jack Barnett performed solo on the first ECC night on 18 November 2006.

New album Hidden has been mixed by Dave Cooly who has worked with underground Hip Hop giants J Dilla and MF DOOM.

• Press release states that the sound of Hidden will include..."Six-foot Japanese Taiko drums, a thirteen piece brass and woodwind ensemble, sub-heavy beats, prepared piano, a children's choir and Foley recording techniques".

• These New Puritans are signed to the very fine Domino records.


An evening with Malcolm McLaren

Musical Paintings:
An Evening with Malcolm McLaren

I was buzzing to be asked to DJ at the launch party of the BALTIC's current exhibition of Malcolm McLaren's latest 'Musical Painting' titled 'Shallow'.

As it meant I got to attend to the 'Evening with Malcolm McLaren' event which was a two hour film preview and talk session with Malcolm himself - introduced by Michael Bracewell (who's extensive Roxy Music / Geordie Pop art book Re Make Remodel - I highly recomend).

The film that Malcolm showed and discussed was his brand new piece about Paris. In which he has used old discarded Parisian advertising commercials that had previously been thought trash, and by focusing attention on the fact that many of these throw away pop culture artifacts were made by many of Europe's great artists (undercover - for the cash while starting out) such as Max Ernst, re examines the nature and depth of the films/ad's - and elevates them from trash to art. On top of these gem's of unearthed past trash McLaren has inserted a soundtrack made up of tracks from his 1994 'Paris' album. The whole affair amounts to one giant love letter to Paris.

This is not the same film as the one that is on show to the public at the Baltic at the moment. The film that the Baltic has on display is a work titled 'Shallow' which is a series of so called musical paintings that are actually old amateur porn movies from the 50's and 60's that have been slowed down to an absurd often almost static pace, on top of which a collaged soundtrack of pop music moments and elements from McLaren's own musical career jar in a juxtaposing sequence of audio visual cultural 'ruins'.

Some of the tracks like the one I've included here, are clever musical edits/puns, the title of this one alone this one is fantastic - LOVE WILL KEEP US TOGETHER / LOVE WILL TEAR US APART

Baltic themselves say..

This collection of musical paintings - portraits of people thinking, desiring, wanting, wishing, imagining having sex, have been dug out of the ruins of pop culture: pornographic films and pop music. McLaren has likened them to a map of feelings that navigate both the ‘look of music’ and the ‘sound of fashion’. Shallow has been shown to critical acclaim in Art Basel, London’s Royal Academy and in Times Square, New York.

Both the Paris film (plus post viewing Q & A) and the Shallow film were mesmerising delights.

And as a life long fan of Mclaren's mischievous manner it was also a pleasure to meet him.

Even for those who cant stand the man it's hard to argue against the sheer weight and importance of his greatest achievements. His influence spreads far and wide, the seed he sowed with the invention of British punk and the Sex pistols had a direct and lasting effect on many aspects of UK (and therefore global) music and fashion culture that we take for granted today.

His influence on Manchester alone is colossal, forever influencing Tony Wilson who freely admitted the debt to Malcolm while transforming the city from the grey and desolate post industrial landscape of the 1970's into the rejuvenated Northwestern metropolis of today.
While Factory records and it's bands would simply not have existed without Malcolm McLaren.

Like wise Creation records Alan McGee has always acknowledged his and his labels debt to McLaren. No Malcolm McLaren mean no Primal Scream, Jesus & Mary Chain and certainly no Oasis.

(though that may not be a good thing).

Ok so we wont blame Malcolm for the dreary dull grey spot that is Oasis, but here's a quick list of some of his achievements.

• Studied at both Goldsmiths and Central St Martins.

• Opened some of London's most forward thinking, conceptual and cutting edge fashion boutiques with shops such as Let It Rock, Too Fast To Live, Too Young Too Die, World End, Sex, Seditionaries, World End, Nostalgia Of Mud.

• Through his 50's Rock N Roll revival fetish shop Let It Rock he supplied garments for the film 'That'll Be The Day' - one of British youth cinemas true classics.

• 12 year design partnership with Vivian Westwood

• His obsession with the Situationist's would not only lead to the creation of the Sex Pistols but also inspire Tony Wilson to create Factory Records and... build the worlds most famous club - the Hacienda. 'The Hacienda must be built' being a situationist slogan.

• Managing the New York Dolls at the sticky end of their career in the mid 70's. Dressing them up in Red Patent leather as would be Communist Transvestites. Although Shocking at the time the stunt didn't quite come off, how ever looking at it in retrospect it was an act of genius, that surely inspired not only the Sex Pistols Anarchy shtick but also the Clash's 'Red Army Faction' Rebel chic.


• Turned to old friend and fellow Situationist fan boy Jamie Reid to create the graphic imagery for the Pistols. Thereby creating some of the most successful and powerful imagery in pop culture. The 7" single sleeve for God Save the Queen being a stirring example.

• The Great Rock n Roll Swindle - last word on media manipulation and corporate hi jacking of 'youth' ideas, and a thrilling ride on the greatest rollercoaster in the fairground of popular culture. Also - one hell of an affecting and effective prank.

• Inspired by the Sex Pistols spark, McLaren's assistant Bernie Rhodes would manage and mastermind The Clash, and later work with The Specials and Dexy's Midnight Runners.

• Masterminded the subversive bubblegum pop sensation that was Bow Wow Wow. Causing offense by placing a nude 14 year old Annabella Lwin at the forefort of the band. Also an early member of Bow Wow Wow - and taking notes was Boy George.

McLaren was the force behind pushing the 'Burundi Beat sound' into the music world - an African Tribal beat that was taken up as the signature sound by both Adam & The Ants and Bow Wow Wow. McLaren would stay with African music, exploring many south African themes on his Duck Rock album which managed to make word music cutting edge in a pop format - years before the 'World Music' boom of the late 80's

• With his Duck Rock/Global/Hip Hop project he prove himself again one of the great pioneers of modern music by getting into NY hip hop on the ground level and importing some of that dynamite back to Britain via the Buffalo Girls track and video. Trevor Horn produced the music. Breathtaking. Bang on the money, Right on the pulse.

• For many in the UK the Buffalo Girls video was their first full and proper introduction to the might of HIP HOP culture. Here McLaren brings Rap, Electro, Breakdancing, Graffiti & Scratching together - a truly life changing moment for many. And just as influential as his invention of Punk some years earlier.

• From the incredible Duck Rock album came DOUBLE DUTCH using South African high Life sounds and NY Rap style to breathtaking effect. The video is a joyous celebration of NY street culture. LOVE IT.

• McLaren on a remix tip - Great DUB EDIT of Double Dutch.

• As well as merging Hip Hop with South African music McLaren also headed into the mountains of West Virginia to pilage some square dancing elements, with truly bizzare results... now thats Punk!

• The Duck Rock album sleeve was designed by NY artist Keith Haring who also takes up an important space in global pop culture.

• The musical and cultural alchemy continued with the meeting of Opera and Electronica - 'Madam Butterfly' - the number 13 UK hit lead to producer Stephen Hague becoming much sought after - and going on to produce outstanding records by New Order and Pet Shop Boys. The track itself is a fine example of the sample/sound collage heavy boundary smashing nature of new music in the late 80's.

• Letting no one catch a breath or ever second guess him Malcolm served up his
'Waltz Darling' project with which he explored the NY vogue phenomenon (prior to Madonna) to a pumping Disco Funk soundtrack including musicians such as Bootsy Collins, the blueprint of this album would be taken on by De-Lite who had their own Boosty Collins featuring Disco Funk smash a few years later..

• Capturing the romantic spirit of Paris with his concept album 'Paris' featuring Parisian legends such as Francoise Hardy and Catherine Deneuve. Musically mixing late night Parisian Jazz elements with a Serge Gainsbourg influence.

• Has worked on Hip Hop tracks with true Rap legends such as De La Soul, KRS One and Rakim.

• Running for Mayor of London. WTF??

Mclaren and Westwood's son Jospeh Ferdinand Corre is the mastermind behind lingerie brand Agent Provocateur.

• Produced the fantastic and magical TV film 'The Ghost Of Oxford Street' for Channel 4 in 1991, telling the thrilling historic tale of London's Oxford St in a format similar to his Rock & Roll Swindle. The film featured musicians such as Happy Mondays, Tom Jones, Kirsty MacColl and Sinead O'Connor.

• As early as 2003 he wrote an article called '8-Bit Punk' which championed the 8-Bit music sound.

• Was a producer of the acclaimed film documentary 'Fast Food Nation'

• Contributed this great 'Zombie's sampling 'track to the Kill Bill soundtrack.

• Staying on top of his game by turning to the artworld and creating the fantastic Musical Paintings works with such inspired artists as Jim Lambie.

Monday, 9 November 2009

TRAGIC NEWS - R.I.P Jerry Fuchs.


We were shocked and deeply saddened to hear the tragic news of the great drummer Jerry Fuchs death.

Jerry Fuchs the 34 year old drummer with several of NYC's finest bands including !!! and the Juan Maclean (as well as Maserati and Turning Machine) died on Saturday night after a fall down a Brooklyn elevator shaft.

The New York post reported that Fuchs was attending a benefit party in Williamsburg when he and a friend became stuck in an elevator between floors. The two opened the elevator doors and attempted to jump across the elevator shaft to the nearest floor. The friend made it; Fuchs didn't.

In a post on his website, Juan MacLean writes, "Jerry was one of my best and most loyal friends. He was hands-down the best drummer I have ever played with or seen for that matter. Jerry was with me from the start of The Juan MacLean, and we had countless adventures together all over the world. He was utterly sincere and fiercely loyal. During a particularly difficult time, while backstage in a club in Chicago, Jerry told me "Juan, I will follow you to the end of the earth and I will always be there for you." That was Jerry, the greatest drummer in the world, the greatest friend you could ever have."

A post on the Maserati website reads, "We are humbled to have been able to create music with you for all these years, Jerry. You will be missed more than words can express. We love you, bro."

As for Splash one, well - I personally saw Jerry play drums several time's and his playing was a truly magnificent, life affirming and always wonderfully energising experience.

So then Splash One, Jukebox & Dragnet pay tribute to Jerry Fuchs.

Please take time to watch all of these incredible clips....