Week 65



The Royal Theatre   

S L Records


Every day at 5.30 one of my bosses gives me a lift home. The journey takes approximately 5 minutes and in order to fill the otherwise awkward silence which would occur we tend to chat about either; the weather; the state of Carlisle United - a team who thanks to my dad I am very knowledgeable about (Hawley is having a superb season by the way) and what my dog has eaten that she shouldn't have and subsequently when and how often she has been sick. Bearing this in mind it was somewhat surprising that on Friday 8th of October our conversation should turn to ballboy.

"I got a CD by one of my favourite bands today" I told my puzzled boss,
"Oh right, who?" he replied probably wondering how this was related to the weather C.U.F.C. or my dog being sick
"Oh..." he said, somewhat at a loss for words.
"It really brightened up my afternoon. It was really good." I continued undeterred. The first song on it was about a lap dancer and the next one about a bank robber." I could see he was looking confused so I paused and waited for him to join in the conversation. He looked up thoughtfully and then said:
"Nice weather we've had today"

I don't often have such random one-sided conversations with people. In fact I very rarely tell people anything unless I have been drinking a lot or I am very very very excited. As it was 5.30pm on a work day (and I can tell you that I am not an alcoholic) you are safe to assume that I had not been drinking. But the sun was shining, it was Friday afternoon and I had just spent all afternoon listening to a new ballboy album.

I had spent my time sat in a dimly lit bar watching a man a little on the short side drink cheap whiskey. He had a sad look of desperation mixed but was surrounded by obsessive optimism created by a fuzzy electric guitar, a simple but uplifting keyboard line. As a drum pounds within his head he hatches a plan to escape. The complexity of the plan escalates with the amount of alcohol he drinks. Eventually though the song slows, and pensively he comes down to earth and recedes into the dark night.

I had spent my time in a the gentle swirling world of two lovers who knew each other inside out, where words were sung with compassion, violins swayed and the gentle tapping of drums soothed. And I had spent my time swinging from the crazy hedonistic life of a youthful love to the slow sombre death of a lover.

I had spent my time listening to tunes filled with pounding drums, and crashing guitars, and tunes filled with intricate string arrangements and tunes which veered into lively folk like reels.

I had spent my time locked into a world which was not my own. A world created by music, which was not just a collection of notes or carefully plotted lyrics, and was not just about perfect timing or clever harmonies. A world created from feelings and passions and love and being alive and which is utterly impossible to analyse.

And yes there had been bank-robbers and lap-dancers too.

So, now you know the whole story can you really blame me for puzzling my boss with a sudden burst of excited chatter? I think that I might have exploded if I hadn't.

Rachel Queen





Misty's Big Adventure

Misty's big adventure and their place in the solar hi-fi system

S L Records


Have you ever walked behind a group of children listening to the talk when they didn't realise you could hear them? If you have you'll know they say all the best things because they just don't care about getting the facts right. They'll pour out everything that they think in no particular order. It's a baffling experience and it shouldn't make any sense at all but somehow it does and you just can't stop yourself listening and smiling.

Listening to "The Solar Hi-Fi System" by "Misty's Big Adventure" is a bit like that. It is full of strange beeps, odd samples, and peculiar lyrics the album veers from crashing guitar driven choruses to swaggering laid back verses. The multicoloured, mulitlayered album seems determined not to leave any inch of the musical sprectrum untouched. Mixing pop with jazz, electronica with acoustic, off-kilter with traditional the album races through a strange world which could have only been invented by a child a mad man or genius. The band began crazy adventure began back 1996, in Birmingham when two 15 years old got together and decided to make some music. The band grew, they released their first single "i am cool with a capital c" in June 2002. Today the band contains nine people playing instruments ranging from saxophone to egg whisker and the adventure is still going strong.

Released in September this year "The Solar Hi-Fi System" is here to perplex, puzzle and pummel you into submission. Don't try to understand it. Just put it in your CD player and press play.

For details of how to catch them on their nationwide tour or to buy their record visit sl records.

Rachel Queen





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