Friday, October 19, 2018

Write Me Stories...

Please find stories below. Start from the bottom of the 'blog' and read upwards to read them all in chronological order if you wish. Actually, you may have to click the names of the individual stories from years gone back, as I'm not sure how to have them all shown/readable easily!
198 stories, 16 years, and (slowly) counting.. A Hawk And A Hacksaw, Adem, Amina/Amiina, Lydia Ainsworth, Antarctica Takes It!, Arcade Fire, Lauren Auder, Benni Hemm Hemm, Andrew Bird, Jherek Bischoff, Bodebrixen, Bodies Of Water, Alice Boman, Braids, Breathe Owl Breathe, Jonathan Bree, Broken Twin, Calexico, Nadine Carina, Choir Of Young Believers, Adrian Crowley, Chris T-T, Clem Snide, Darren Hayman, Dan Deacon, Dear Reader, Dillon, Dinner, The Divine Comedy, Dresden Dolls, Eels, Efterklang, Hannah Epperson, Eleanoora Rosenholm, Elvis Depressedly, Explosions In The Sky, Farao, The Flaming Lips, Fog, Fol Chen, Ben Folds, Lyla Foy (Wall), Freschard, Fujiya & Miyagi, George Thomas And The Owls, Get Well Soon, Laura Gibson, Half Waif, Happyness, Aldous Harding, Gemma Hayes, Hjaltalín, Hope Of The States, Husky Rescue, Hymns From Nineveh, Ichi, I'm From Barcelona, Siv Jakobsen, Neverest Songs, Jay-Jay Johanson, Denis Jones, Kathryn Joseph, Kishi Bashi, Jordan Klassen, Martin Kohlstedt, Lambchop, Jens Lekman, Jack Lewis, Jeffrey Lewis, Joasihno, Little Scream, Loney Dear, The Magnetic Fields, Jo Mango, Laura J Martin, Mercury Rev, Misty's Big Adventure, Anaïs Mitchell, The Moldy Peaches, Musée Mécanique, Neverest Songs, Noiserv, The Notwist, Linn Öberg, Ohbijou, Owen Pallett, Pascal Pinon, Phia, The Polyphonic Spree, Princess Chelsea, Ramona Cordova, Rauelsson, Resina, The Real Tuesday Weld, Sean Nicholas Savage, Seabear, The Second Hand Marching Band, Shearwater, Cosmo Sheldrake, The Silent League, Sleep Party People, Slow Skies, St. Thomas, St. Vincent, Steady Holiday, Sufjan Stevens, DM Stith, Suburban Kids With Biblical Names, Sylvan Esso, Thinguma*jigsaw, Thus Owls, Yann Tiersen, Shugo Tokumaru, tUnE-yArDs, Tunng, TV Girl, Stuart Warwick, Emily Wells, Why?, Oliver Wilde, Windmill, Woodpecker Wooliams, The Young Republic, Yossarian.

Steady Holiday - Dre Babinski

The Islington, London, October 19th 2018

"Do what you want with it" is what I was told after being given my story. and so I have! (shortly followed by filing it away with the rest of the stories)
A lovely gig, and Dre has such a lovely voice, especially live. Really lovely new album, Nobody's Watching (go and have a listen and such stuff).

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Yossarian - Ash Spencer

Servant Jazz Quarters, London, September 10th 2018

This was my fourth Yossarian gig since coming across them at Field Day a few years ago, and they've been great each time. Ash was a super friendly interested/interesting guy, and after writing his story he asked me what my story was, which threw me! I should have just said that I don't have a story, I just collect them. But I didn't.

Princess Chelsea - Chelsea Nikkel

Shacklewell Arms, London, September 11th 2018

I somehow haven't been to Shacklewell Arms before, but it was worth it for this gig. Especially with a bonus Jonathan Bree playing in the band also (who I grabbed a story form last month). It's pleasing when there are these links between musician folk I like.

Sunday, August 05, 2018

Sean Nicholas Savage

Sebright Arms, London, August 4th 2018

Our choice of headliner for Visions Festival was basically a guy singing along to tracks on his iPod, but it was such a fun feel-good gig with a very happy audience. I think he had toured last year with another band I love, Dinner, which must have been a super upbeat 80s style dancey gig.

Jonathan Bree

NT'S, London, August 5th 2018

New Zealander Jonathan Bree's first time in the UK I think. He and his band (including two female dancers) wear masks covered in a spandexy type material along with a mop-like wig, and have no chitchat during their show. It was the hottest venue of the day at Visions Festival, so they must have been sweltering.
After their set they went off backstage, and I was wondering if I would be able to identify Jonathan when (/if) he came back out so that I could ask for a story. Thankfully it wasn't too hard though: 

The eagle-eyed among you might notice that he has no eye-holes in his mask, and he was still not speaking (also portrayed in the photo). I thanked him for the show, shook his hand, and told him that I have a strange request for him to write me a story and which is probably going to be a bit stranger due to his attire. He at first shook his head and shrugged his shoulders and pointed to his face, signifying that he couldn't help, but I said any kind of squiggles would do. And so he wrote some kind of squiggles.

Lauren Auder

London Fields Brewhouse, London, August 5th 2018

Lauren's song The Baptist is one of my favourites from this year, and he was my fist must-see performance at Visions Festival. The gig (and his voice) was amazing despite him having apparently lost his equipment when flying over from Latvia the previous day. Messy handwriting though, something about fishing with a horse's head I think. I can't believe he's pretty much almost half my age though.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Noiserv - David Santos

Teatro Tivoli BBVA, Lisbon, April 8th 2018

I first heard Noiserv just over 4 years ago, and have been waiting / hoping for him to come and play in London since then, but then decided that the only solution was to just go to Portugal instead. The gig ended up being as great as I hoped from watching his live dvd and videos online - just an amazing build-up of sounds and tunes from one guy, with tv screens showing the various parts of his instruments at all times. It was a shame to not understand Portuguese and understand everything he was saying in between all of his songs, but lovely to meet and chat with him afterwards. Hopefully will see him play again one day!

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Martin Kohlstedt

Servant Jazz Quarters, London, February 7th 2018

This sold-out gig was a delight, with Martin's expressive and ecstatic face manoeuvres being a nice little addition to the excellent music.
I asked for a story afterwards, and at first he was a bit taken aback, and joked that he might have used up all of his creativity in the gig. After some thinking for a while, he said that his first though was 'juvenile restlessness', but he wasn't sure how to write it in English. I then said German was more than fine enough, and then he happily wrote away.
I just need to summon my German friend Tanja to come and translate the story please!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Dinner - Anders Rhedin

The Joker, Brighton, November 20th 2017

Story time. I used to (and still do) love a Danish band/chap under the name of Jong Pang, who released two albums back in 2008 and 2009. Excellent albums, especially the second one. The singer then disappeared to L.A., and I was not very good in finding out where he went.
Then, 2017, the Choir Of Young Believers chap, Jannis, announced that he would be coming to do a solo tour supporting a friend of his called Dinner. I had a listen, they sounded super 80s, but catchy. I then read that he was also Danish, and was living in L.A.... and lo and behold it was my Jong Pang chap!
A ticket for London was then bought, as well as one for a gig in Brighton the evening beforehand. Unfortunately this gig got cancelled, so I then bought a ticket to see Blue Hawaii (who I had previously got a story from in the form of Braids) in Brighton instead, and then it was later announced that Dinner would be the support. No bonus Choir Of Young Believers, but I was still happy.
& the gig was amazing. Such a fun performer, with crazy dances (which I filmed and compiled here in case anyone fancies watching), and looking forward to doing it all over again this evening, now with bonus COYB. Which seems fitting, as I had originally found Jong Pang as a result of Choir of Young Believers, and so did the same for Dinner.
I'm so tired, I didn't sleep well last night, and my story is longer than the original story from Anders, but that uncertainty of sleep and awake also seems fitting.


Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Jherek Bischoff

Union Chapel, London, June 3rd 2017

It's true! He's great at stories on stage (encouraging babies to sing along to one of his scary songs to add to the atmosphere of it), but not off stage.  Actually, I quite like this story.  Him and his string quartet were very impressive live, and it was great to hear/see Cistern performed live.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Jay-Jay Johanson - Jäje Johanson

DRAF Studio, LONDON, May 18th 2017

A very last minute discovery/decision to attend this superb free gig.  This Swedish chap has a lovely deep singing voice like Neil Hannon or Jens Lekman, and great lyrics to boot.
At the end of the gig, Jäje then went around shaking everybody's hands and thanking them!  When he started writing my story, he paused for a bit, and then excitedly asked me: "It doesn't have to be very long does it? Maybe it can be a secret! Or a recipe!", both of which I was happy with.  He thought for a bit more and then wrote his list of three suicides.  He then asked me whether I had heard of the story of the Russian poet Majakovsky before, to which I said I hadn't.  He said it was a wonderful story and so he then wrote Majakovsky's name again and then started telling me about him, then adding Lily, who M was apparently in love with, although she was married to Osip.  M & L sent lots of letters to each other, but M ended up shooting himself in the heart as M wouldn't leave her husband.  Something like that!  Jäje then said that there was a great book about it/the letters, so will need to investigate.  This might have been the first time that a story was explained to me whilst being written. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Kishi Bashi - Kaoru Ishibashi

Hackney Oslo, London, May 14th 2017

Such a great fun performer.  A quick story, due to the tens of people waiting for his time, with my suggestion of Mr T as a topic after Mr Bashi mentioned him briefly in the gig.  Maybe some Grimm Tales type horror could happen to him in the forest...

Thursday, April 27, 2017

TV Girl - Brad Petering

London, Kaimo, April 26th 2017 

Have been a fan of TV Girl since 2013 and never thought they would come over to the UK, but luckily they tagged with Elvis Depressedly to play a much-too-short-set in front of a excessively fascinatingly hipster looking crowd.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Half Waif - Nandi Rose Plunkett

London, Surya, January 23rd 2017

I've been enjoying Half Waif's album a fair bit last year, and so it was good to see them at their first European gig in a small London venue.  They sound even better live and Nandi's story above is more interesting than my one here!

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Kathryn Joseph

London, St John at Bethnal Green, November 30th 2016

December 2015: came across the stunning Kathryn Joseph album, Bones You Have Thrown Me and Blood I've Spilled, listened to it constantly, and drew my own version of the album cover for my end of year mix cd for friends.
January 2016: mentioned it to Miss J on twitter, and stole her address and posted it to her.
November 2016: saw her play a lovely (and freezing) gig in a church with free whiskey, mentioned my mix cd just after asking for a story, and then collected the above story from the happy lady.  Happy Paul also.
December 2016: need to decide what this year's cd cover will be and what songs to include.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Lambchop - Kurt Wagner

London, Rough Trade, November 8th 2016

The last (and first) time I saw Lambchop was over 14 years ago in Glasgow, with the lovely and missed St Thomas as support.  It was before I had started collecting stories, and in that brief phase when I was getting bands to sign cuddly toys instead.  So after that gig, I got Kurt and his wife to sign a DangerMouse cuddly toy, which I still have in a cupboard somewhere.
I've not done much Lambchop listening since Nixon and Is A Woman, but I really should do.  Was a really nice mini-set this evening.  The utterly surreal q and a session by Tim Burgess just added to it.  Anyhow, here's hoping that my today isn't dwarfed in comparison to the tomorrow coming from America!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Resina - Karolina Rec

Union Chapel, London, October 15th 2016

It's been a very Polish few weeks - a friend's wedding in Poland three weeks ago, another one next week, and in between is this amazing Polish find at Daylight Music.  Loopy cello experimental lovely sounds, not too far away from Hannah Epperson, just with no singing.  Oh, the story is in Polish, saying that she's very happy that she's had a chance to perform in a place such as the Union Chapel - wonderful character/aura!  (she was probably talking about me)

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Elvis Depressedly - Matt Cothran

Moth Club, London, June 8th 2016

I first came across Elvis Depressedly via another band TV Girl recommending Coma Cinema (Matt's other band) a few years ago, and quite enjoyed the Coma Cinema album. I only properly listened to the brilliantly-named Elvis Depressedly this year when I saw that they were coming over to the UK for the first time. It ended up being a great sold out gig, and after I got and thanked Matt for the story he then thanked me for giving him the opportunity to create something, which was a nice outlook!

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Hannah Epperson

Sebright Arms, London, 2nd June 2016

Part 2 of her self-confessed dark story.  Reminds me of Sufjan Stevens' delightfully bonkers story.

Hannah Epperson

Sebright Arms, London, 2nd June 2016

Out of all of my near(ish) 200 requests for stories, I'm pretty certain none of them had such an enthusiastic response as Hannah's: "Fuck yeah! Cool. Love it!"
I only discovered Hannah's music a couple of days ago, after finding out that she would be supporting Aidan Knight (who I'd only discovered a few weeks before), and quickly fell in love with her Owen Pallett / Emily Wells style violin coolness.  & she was just so amazing and spine-tingling live - better than most main acts that I go and see.  Go.  See.  (She'll be back in London in October apparently)

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Aldous Harding

Union Chapel, London, May 21st 2016

I only started listening to Aldous the night before seeing her at Daylight Music, and quickly fell in love with the darkness and beauty of her songs. She was incredibly good and quirky live also - kind of wish I'd listened to her sooner and caught more of her gigs. She was super nice also, praise praise praise... Looking forward to her next album, and the brilliantly titled song 'What if birds aren't singing, they're screaming'. Poor birds.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Second Hand Marching Band - Pete Liddle

Union Chapel, London, March 19th 2016

I first heard about these guys back in 2008 from my friend Laura who was convinced I would like them (maybe because there were a million members), and she was correct.  Fast forward 8 years later for their first London gig and my first chance to see them, and also their last ever gig!  (although let's hope that unhappens one day in the future)  Standing ovations and encores at the lunchtime Daylight Music gigs are quite rare, but theirs was much deserved after their tearful/smile-inducing joint set with Benni Hemm Hemm (who I collected a story from back in 2006 here).  Nicely fitting story from the super nice main chap, Pete.

Happyness - Jonny Allan

Moth Club, London, March 6th 2016

Their Weird Little Birthday Girl song was one of my most listened to songs from last year, despite being about 900 minutes long.  Had a nice chat with Benji after their sit about some guy in New York or somewhere who got bands to write their favourite lyrics in a notepad, what a geek.  Whilst after a split second's thought, Jonny came up with this superb story.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Mercury Rev - Jonathan Donahue

Rough Trade East, London, October 7th 2015

I've loved Mercury Rev for over 15 years, so this was a very long overdue story.  Was a great instore set - only four songs played during an hour, but lots of Jonathan rambling about stuff, including stories with The Flaming Lips and Sparklehorse's Mark Linkous.  

Monday, July 13, 2015

Siv Jakobsen

The Slaughtered Lamb, London, July 6th 2015

Quite happy to get to see Siv, as I was planning on seeing Hydrogen Sea play that evening in the Old Blue Last, but I ended up managing to see both so that was moderately pleasing.  Lovely venue to see Siv and her songs.  Hoorah Norway!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Cosmo Sheldrake

The Boileroom, Guildford, May 12th 2015

I only recently discovered him, and was disappointed to see that I had just missed seeing him in London a couple of times, and wouldn't be able to see his next gig in July (some cultured To Kill A Mockingbird fun instead) - and then realised that Guildford wasn't actually that far away. Was a great performance, as all of his youtube videos led me to expect. and he was one of those people who agreed to write a story straight away without second questioning it. Must see again!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Phia - Sophia Exiner

The Old Queen's Head, London, April 26th 2015

A friend recommended Phia to me at the end of last year, and since then I have eagerly pre-ordered her album and so jumped at the chance of seeing her play this last minute set. She was as good as my high expectations had hoped. & very nice too! More please.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Farao - Kari Jahnsen

Lexington, London, February 26th 2015

Cast: Kari, Paul
Setting: Lexylexington

Paul: Hi, weird request/musicians I like/story etc
Kari: a story?
Paul: Yeah, it can be about anything
Kari: Oh, I don't know. Can you give me a theme?
Paul: ummmm...... errrrr...... ummm....
Kari: Aha, I will take inspiration from your glasses
(gives me beer to hold. writes story. gives story back)
Paul: ThankyouIloveyourEPlistenedsomuchlastyearwillyouhavealbum
Kari: Thanks, that's nice. Yes, in September.

The end!
I like this story. It's horrid.
Listen to her song To Sleep Apart, it might make you cry. Or her song Forces, it might make you cool. and cry.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Lydia Ainsworth

Sebright Arms, London, February 17th 2015

Cast: Lydia, Paul, Paul's friend Eran
Setting: Sebright Arms, just after Lydia finished her set

Paul: Hello, that was really cool. Can I ask you a weird request / can you write me a story please?
Lydia: okay
Eran: You don't explain why you want a story?
Paul: (whilst moving Eran away so that the story can be written) No, I don't want to influence what they write
Eran: Don't they want to know why?
Paul: Mostly not
(story is then finished and handed back)
Paul: Thank you!
(Lydia starts to walk away)
Eran: (to Lydia) Don't you want to know why?!?!?!
Lydia: No, I don't care
Eran:  ?!?!?!!?!!
Paul: See!

Dan Deacon

Islington Assembly Hall, London, February 16th 2015

Oh gosh. Such a fun gig. I danced like an excitable loon non-stop. Mr Deacon seemed very nice and quite happy to write a story, once the half naked Norwegian guy Eric had gone away.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Notwist - Markus Acher

Oval Space, London, October 29th 2014

Oh gosh, I'm so happy to get a story from him, after loving The Notwist for over 12 years, and seeing them live a bunch of times and having a failed attempt of getting a story 6 years ago. Anyhow, he was super lovely, and god I love The Notwist.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Slow Skies - Karen Sheridan

Sebright Arms, London, October 21st 2014

Anyhow, an utterly lovely band.  Go youtube their 'Oscar' video should you want a cry or some such.

Slow Skies - Karen Sheridan

Sebright Arms, London, October 21st 2014

Ooh, a story with a title! and with the word 'eejit' in it. Not sure what more is needed.
I was feeling a bit cowardly in barging in to get a story this time, like the previous time I saw them last year, but my chum Vicky decided to be brave and interrupt for me. Fame and riches on the way to her at some point. Karen was rather lovely, and disappeared for a short while and came back with this sweet little story.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Jordan Klassen

Ace Hotel, London, September 25th 2014

..but then it ended up being quite a cool story, seamlessly switching to his own pen halfway through. Go listen to (watch the video for) The Horses Are Stuck. Brilliant.

Jordan Klassen

Ace Hotel, London, September 25th 2014

Lovely free gig for this Canadian chappy. Although I felt bad as he seemed to not know how to start the story for ages, and then he had to keep shaking the pen to get it to work.....

Monday, September 01, 2014

Oliver Wilde

End Of The Road Festival, Dorset/Wiltshire, August 31st 2014 

A very recent discovery, and I've been playing his album on repeat for the past fortnight. Fascinating fact for you there. Excellent live also. This story is rather lovely too!

Alice Boman

End Of The Road Festival, Dorset/Wiltshire, August 29th 2014

Alice Boman was one of my new discoveries I was most looking forward to seeing at End of the Road. Very lovely and sweet live, and she seemed incredibly nice and unsure about what to write until her merchandise wotsit selling friend suggested to write about something that happened today.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Yann Tiersen

Rough Trade, London, 16th May 2014

I heard that he was going to rush off after the instore to catch a train, so I pounced on him ten minutes before he was due on stage. He protested that he didn't have much time, but I said that it didn't have to be very long... and it wasn't! He seemed like a nice guy with unruly hair, so I approved.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Sylvan Esso - Amelia Meath

Village Underground, London, May 12th 2014 

I had to quickly grab Amelia whilst Nick was writing his story, before she walked off, and just gushed about how I had listened to 'Coffee' easily over 100 times. Surely will listen another 100 times too, and maybe the rest of the album a little bit.

Sylvan Esso - Nick Sanborn

Village Underground, London, May 12th 2014 

I only managed to find a ticket for the sold out Tune-Yards/Sylvan Esso gig a couple of hours beforehand, very keen to see Sylvan Esso. I caught them both at the merchandise stall afterwards, but didn't have a pen (had to borrow one from the merch stall) or a story card (had to tear a page out of my book I was reading - Dark Eden by Chris Beckett... it felt wrong tearing a page from a book, but then it felt so right) to get the stories!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

 Joasihno - Christopher Beck

Hoxton Bar & Kitchen, London, April 23rd 2014 

This was such a poorly attended gig, and I'm not even sure if the other handful of people who weren't me or my friend were actually paying punters, as opposed to friends of the band, which was such a shame, but it was still brilliant despite that. Plus it made it easy to get a story afterwards! Joasihno did a great long set with their cool snazzy lights and even managed to come back for an encore. Excellent stuff.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Thus Owls - Erika Angell

 Ace Hotel, London, March 4th 2014 

Oh, I've just realised that Thus:Owls no longer have the colon in their name. First Loney, dear get rid of their comma, and now this! Anyway, Thus(:)Owls were amazing this evening - I'm eagerly awaiting another gig and for their new album to come out next month. The new songs (played for the first time at this gig apparently) were excellent. They need to play 'Sometimes' next though!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Freschard - Clémence Freschard

Union Chapel, London, January 18th 2014

But then English was chosen.  There was a tv crew waiting in the wings to interview her afterwards, but the story took precedence!

Freschard - Clémence Freschard

Union Chapel, London, January 18th 2014

Another great Daylight Music lunchtime gig.  An initial attempt in French..

Friday, December 06, 2013

Broken Twin - Majke Voss Romme

Servants Jazz Quarters, London, December 5th 2013

Part two. and so here is the Danish story/joke. I'll need to see if I can decipher/translate it at some point. Anyway. Love. This. Band. Cannot wait for their album in the Spring. Is it acceptable to have a 4-track ep as my favourite record of 2013?

Broken Twin - Majke Voss Romme

Servants Jazz Quarters, London, December 5th 2013

Oh I love this band/lady. informs me I've listened to her four track ep over 100 times this year, it's just perfect. and the fact that they played to less than 30 people seems a bit criminal, but made it very special. She started writing this story, but then said that she couldn't think of the English for a couple of Danish words, so I said that she could write in Danish, as I've had Danish stories before.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Nadine Carina

Birthdays, London, November 19th 2013

Part two.  I asked for a story after the gig, but then had to wait as she packed up her gear, with me wondering if it would be one of those elusive stories which slip by... but all is fine seeing as it was packing up to then be able to rush off to see a gig - that's the kind of priorities I can understand!  I think I remember meaning to investigate Tasseomancy when they were called Ghost Of Bees (I think) a few years ago.  Maybe I should have another listen.  Lovely handwriting!

Nadine Carina

Birthdays, London, November 19th 2013

I'm so pleased to have seen Nadine Carina this evening - one of my favourite and most listened to discoveries this year (along with Broken Twin, who I'll hopefully get a story from next month, fingers crossed...), her self-titled ep is just perfect, and her new ep released yesterday sounds really great too.