Tag Archives: Super8

UrgenCity (Urr-jahn-Sitt-ee)

20130215-185700.jpgSo, two weeks since my last update, barely taken any photos (cold & dull mainly, no interesting day trips) but I have made this little lump of fun. Inspired in no small part by Mark Ward & Chris Olley, and also as a result of listening to a lot of MBV, Primal Scream & Shellac, I’ve ended up with the this 4m26s ‘musical’ illustration and film.

Whilst I a share a love, nay obsession, with music with the above, sadly I don’t share their musical ability. I can just about play 5 chords on my guitar, two of which are made up and not great sounding.
However, aided by Amplitude & Korg on my iPad and Garage Band & iMovie on the computer almost anything is possible.

The underlying theme came from the Korg beat, this textured with effects and layered with Garage Band loops and a feed back track recorded through Amplitude effects pedals using my Tanglewood Bluesound.
The movie is a Hitchcock style single shot, a little over 25 minutes speeded up and squished down to fit the track length. This shot with Super8 on iPhone throughout a painfully long drive home in the snow on Wednesday night.

It took a little while to get YouTube to accept this HD file and whilst I could tweak it endlessly I’m going to set it free and move on with the next project, a slow Death Metal blues ballad with funky bass.
Long live the Punk Ethic! This is UrgenCity!!!

Here’s the second track from this little noise experiment. The full audio file streaming from Soundcloud. Play it loud.

UPDATE: Just worked out what the title is about. I had in mind a ‘period’ like Jurassic, Miocene etc, or something descriptive of a time just before an era that was about to arise. But, if you Google Ceene, other than various Italian names you find CEENE as an acronym for Cumulative Exergy Extracted from the Natural Environment.  I was going to change it, but now it’s glued in.

This is the full audio of UrgenCity. Clearer here without the video compression. As above, loud works best.


…and marching towards enough tracks for an EP, here is track 3. This included contributions from DBoy & BabyJ, both who helped record some guitar loops using DBoys mini strat. £20 well spent! This is IyeZ (from ‘eyes’ or maybe ‘I is’),video coming soon.

@f1fanwmm quite rightly pointed out the continuing theme of urban travel. It sounds like a journey through a busy city street, different music coming from diverse venues.

And as if from nowhere, here is the video for ‘Iyez’. Contributions from the looking orbs of my family.

UPDATED 03/03/13

This is ‘Full Bleed’ A short, sharp cut.

And as if by time slipped magic, here is the video. Pictures by DBoy6.03 and filmed with iMotionHD. Quietly pleased with this one.

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The Psychedelic Furs

The Psychedelic Furs – Nottingham, Rock City – July 6th 2012

Back in the 80’s I was a big fan of the Furs. The first four albums The Psychedelic Furs, Talk Talk Talk, Forever Now & Mirror Moves got a lot of play in cars, flats & personal cassette players. Shocking to do the math and notice this was 30 years ago.

I never saw them live during this period but they had a good following and went fairly orbital when John Hughes used ‘Pretty in Pink’ as the basis for a film. Other than that particular song they didn’t get any real chart success and never quite reached the popularity achieved by the Simple Minds at around the same time (or U2 who couldn’t have been far behind).

When I noticed a month or so ago that they were to play the eternally sticky (not a criticism, its part of the character) Rock City in Nottingham it had to be a yes.

Here’s ‘President Gas’ filmed by me using Super8 on iPhone (yes, it’s meant to look like this, it’s retro)

The venue looked a little empty when I arrived but once at the front and with the crowd surging in it felt far more comfortable and well attended.

They started out with ‘Into You Like A Train’ which was a good move and with such a great back catalogue they couldn’t  go far wrong. According to Setlist.FM the rest of the show went like this;


Richard Butler’s voice has barely changed and is still snarly and guttural. He always bore comparisons to both Bowie & Lydon but throughout this set he was very bouncy (literally)and cheerful, obviously enjoying himself. Brother Tim on bass looked like the original version of Nicky Wire prowling around and generally playing the crowd, mouthing the words and looming over the front row. Mars Williams kept the original Furs sound together with great sax playing, full of squeals & squawks and some occasional pretty clarinet work. The band these days consists of Richard Butler (vocals), Tim Butler (bass), Rich Good (guitar), Mars Williams (saxophone), Amanda Kramer (keyboards), and Paul Garisto (drums).

With recent tours in the states and more coming in Europe they are getting good reviews everywhere. They aren’t trying to promote any new music so far but they play so well together you would hope that they made it into the studio again.

Here’s another video shot by MetalheadSince1968 who was on the other side of the stage. I started to film this but the general exuberance incited by the song bounced me out of touch.

The main members of the band (like the majority of the audience) must be into their 50’s now and I can’t decide if it’s embarrassing or heartening to see that kind of moshy behaviour, especially to songs like ‘Imitation of Christ’. I would have been in my early twenties when I first found the Furs and would have not just forgiven but probably found meaning and life context in many of the lyrics. Many are lost romantic, failed love songs, party crazy, and a little social comment (was Rockets Ronnie Reagan ‘President Gas’?) straight from art school and not what you could call culturally deep. They are though visual songs and broad & illustrative but, they are just a band and these are just rock songs. The audience still had a lot of love for them, singing riotously to every chorus and lapping up the slightly clichéd but stylishly performed mime / interpretive figures Butler added to the lyrics. He pulled pirouettes, goose steps, crucifixions, that hugging/kissing girlfriend thing seen from behind and crazy in brain/twirly fingers. I wonder if these are still taught in drama schools.

Butler reminded me of an old art school tutor I knew a long time ago. He has a lot of ‘been around’ cool going for him. He takes the songs seriously but perhaps not himself so much so as he maybe once did. He dresses well as well, very European. It was great to see him (and the rest of the band) so plainly enjoying themselves and giving their all to such a wonderful set of songs.


Filed under Gigs, Hipstamatic, Music, Photography, Uncategorized, Video

Motorhead | ANWL | UK Subs

First off, apologies to purists for the absence of the umlaut on the ‘O’. I really can’t be bothered to figure that out in WordPress. I have however been very impressed by the auto fill skill of iPhone & iPad when it comes to recognising the band’s name. That if anything is the best illustration of the bands place in the cultural landscape.

One the bands Wikipedia page, Lemmy notes that the umlaut was included for visual effect and that German fans don’t alter their pronunciation to accommodate it in the normal way.

When my associate (Obiwann Kenobi, not the real one though) suggested we go and see the band I kind of paused. He had asked before and whilst I saw them years ago I couldn’t quiet say yes. On this occasion the swinging factor was the support. It has been a long time since I listened to the UK Subs & the Anti No Where League. Steeping back in time to Tamworth punks & the Tavern in the Town in 1984 was an interesting proposal.

The only song the Subs played that I can honestly remember was Stranglehold. Even at its dirtiest, punk rock had a way with pop methodology. If you can see past the volume, swearing  and dubious morality the movement was really quite populist.

One of the things I remember (well, paint with vague memory brushes) about the eighties was the small scale tribalism. 2011 seems far more homogenous but maybe that’s because I’m not a participant. In the eighties we had punks, skins, straights, rockers, ska, reggae, new romantics, kiddy pop, MOR, AOR, etc. All of these had their place on TOTP’s and their own ‘nights’ at the local night club.

The Anti No Where League didn’t make much of an impression on the charts (I think the Sub’s might have) but then the League are quiet intense. It would be wrong to say they are a guilty pleasure but without interrogation I can’t say what elements of the band are performance/irony/intent/ideology. I’m no biographer or historian. I just remember hearing Woman, Streets of London, So What!, We Are The League in the Tav’ and enjoying the rush. They played all of these songs tonight and the singer Animal gives an uber macho, strut monster credibility to every word.

Now the thing about Motorhead is that they are primordial. Lemmy started the band in 1975 and the formula remains unchanged. They are a rock’n’roll band. They play quiet short songs, fairly fast and very loud. Occasionally Lemmy creates a lyric that defines the band clearly (Motorhead, Overkill, Ace of Spades, Bomber,). The songs tend to avoid boy/girl love, philosophy and social comment and concentrate on big concepts like excess, victory, dominance, #winning in their broadest sense. They do this very well and without any pretence.

Motorhead are in Dr Who terms a fixed point in time and this is something to be admired. There is a great documentary about Lemmy out there. Like many great English Men he treads his own line with one foot in the past (he has an appreciation of 20th century history) and has been involved in the British music scene since the early seventies. There might be elements of his Lemmyness that make you uncomfortable but you can’t deny his commitment and openness.

The demographic is narrow but the appreciation is honest and joyous. The crowd was 99.95% white male with at least 50% above 40 (this allows for the event that this is a non-qualified and invented statistical assertion). The Royal Centre was a strange venue given it’s seating but it was almost full and I certainly appreciated being able to watch the support acts seated. Rock City may have been a better venue but with half the ticket sales and the associated claustrophobia I would have probably chickened out.

I’m including a number of pictures here and two videos. I have no idea what one of the songs is. As I think I’ve indicted I like the idea of Motorhead slightly more than I want to immerse myself in the actuality. I have a couple of CD’s but they aren’t my go to guys for any event that springs to mind.

But saying that, I had a big dumb grin on my face throughout the show, and enjoyed every minute of all three bands.


Filed under Gigs, Hipstamatic, Music, Uncategorized, Video