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Posts tagged as 'Music'

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SXSW Music Festival 2014

Last week, we visited SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas. What originally began as a $10 music showcase has grown to be one of the best-known festivals in the USA, drawing over 25,000 official registrants for a two week conference focusing on interactive technology, music and film. Every year, hundreds of artists travel from all over the globe to play to crowds at what's known by many as the ‘Live Music Capital of the World’. SXSW is just as well known for its official schedule as it is for off-calendar gigs, with musicians lining the city’s historic 6th Street and taking over barbeques, carparks and patios.

6th Street Austin Sxsw

British acts have been flocking to SXSW for years and 2014 was no exception. From relative newcomers such as Thumpers, Temples and Wolf Alice to super-acts like Damon Albarn and Coldplay; SXSW offers the opportunity to see big names in small settings and a platform for some of the UK’s best new music. The BBC's Huw Stephens hosted his annual showcase at the intimate Latitude 30, presenting British artist Bipolar Sunshine to a packed-out crowd. Other stand-out performances came from Baltimore trio Future Islands and the hotly tipped Chlöe Howl.

Bipolar Sunshine

Chloe Howl

British artists also featured in the SXSW Film schedule - former Orange Juice frontman Edwyn Collins premiered The Possibilities Are Endless, the story of his recovery after a stroke left him without memory and able to utter just two phrases: 'the possibilities are endless' and his wife's name, 'Grace Maxwell'. The poignant film, directed by James Hall and Edward Lovelace, received an incredible response from both critics and attendees at the festival.

Whilst SXSW continues to grow - pop behemoth Lady Gaga held a keynote speech - its charm still lies in the presentation of break-through acts from across the globe, many of whom may be headlining festivals this time next year.

sxsw.com

The Moons

Speaking to Bradley Wiggins shortly after his history-making wins at the 2012 Tour de France and the London Olympics, we asked the cycling champion whether there had been a soundtrack behind his incredible summer of successes. A preview of The Moons second album Fables of History had been brought along to the Tour by Team Sky photographer Scott Mitchell, who had recently worked with the band. Bradley recalls travelling back to the team hotel and listening the album, saying: "songs like English Summer and Jennifer became a bit of a soundtrack for the third week of the Tour for us, as well as the Olympics".

We caught up with Andy Crofts, vocalist and guitarist with The Moons to talk music, influences and what's up next for the band.

The Moons 1

How did The Moons get together as a group?

The Moons originally started as a solo project. I'd worked on many demos, so I decided to go into a studio and record a collection of the best songs I had at the time. I soon got lots of good feedback and decided to get a band together from there. The spirit of The Moons as a band is very free: we have musicians and friends who have been involved over different periods of time and we like that way of doing things. I write all of the songs, so I keep a lunar thread through it all.  

Who are your key influences?
Throughout my life I have collected many influences that have had a vital impact on me both musically and mentally. For instance, I love record producer Joe Meek and all of his ground breaking techniques in recording and the mighty sound of Motown. In fact, it was my obsession with Meek and space sounds that started The Moons. Some of the artists that I rate are David Bowie, The Zombies, The Buzzcocks, the Clash, Air, Hooded Fang, The Specials, The Beach boys, The Kinks, Bob Marley, The Bees and Tame Impala. Ekseption, Beatles, Count five; you get the vibe. The list goes on...
 
What’s been your most memorable show to date?
One show that always springs to mind for me was at the Indra Club in Hamburg, Germany, last April. It was our bass player Ben's birthday so we were all in good spirits. It was just a great show with a great crowd - for some reason it's stuck in my head as a favourite. Let's not forget that Indra was also the first place in Hamburg that The Beatles played!
  
Bradley Wiggins mentioned you as one of the main groups he listened to during his 2012 Tour de France race – how does that feel?
To be honest it's an honour. To know that I write these songs at home on my bed or couch and then they go on to inspire and influence people is the greatest feeling. It makes me realise how important it is to keep writing. It really made my day when Bradley won the Tour de France and then I found out our album was one of his main records he listened to at the time. He's an English sporting hero, a fan of The Moons and my mate - I'm happy!
 
What do you think of Bradley's collection for Fred Perry?
Everything I've seen looks great. My favourite piece is the black champion tipped cycling shirt. That's the one I have - his cycling shirts are his main thing so it's nice to have one if the classic tops. 
 
What’s up next for The Moons?
We've just finished recording third album Mindwaves which is sounding amazing. It's probably my favourite album we've done. I'm happy with all of the songs and there's a lot of colours in the music. A release date is coming soon, but it should be summer time. We've also just announced a bunch of live dates for March and April which are now on sale at The Moons official website, with more dates coming soon.

www.themoons.co.uk

See the latest Bradley Wiggins Collection online and in shops now.

Warp x Tate

The newly reopened Tate Britain has teamed up with Warp Records for a free evening of performances and installations, inspired by former Turner Prize winner Jeremy Deller. Focusing on the artist's 'History of the World' piece, which shows a diagram of Acid House's relationship with brass bands, the evening will feature live performances by Jeremy Deller's Acid Brass collective and Warp Records' patten.

Warp X Tate Hi Res White On Black

Deller 2

Jeremy Deller, The History of the World, 1998. © Jeremy Deller

Installations on the night will include work by Warp artists Hudson Mohawke, Oneohtrix and Rustie. The Warp x Tate evening will take place on Friday 6th December, and forms part of a series of bi-monthly 'Late at Tate' events, featuring music, film, fashion and live performances.

http://warp-x-tate.net