Monthly Archives: October 2010

slow club

I found this lovely duo while listening over at 8Tracks (check me out!) and I just can’t get enough. I would try and describe them but it’s already been done – all too well.

“Could they be the UK’s answer to The White Stripes? Charles and Rebecca are Slow Club. They hail from Sheffield and are a sort of one man band. Only with two people. He strums guitar and sings and she plays drums and all sorts of weird instruments, like water-filled glass bottles, spoons and the back of a wooden chair. And sometimes an organ called Miles. Not something you get to see and hear every day. The effect is rockabilly and somewhat folksy but thankfully their songs are fairly jolly affairs without a bit of teenage angst in sight.”
[The Independant On Sunday]

“In a city still jam packed with derivative monkey bands, Slow Club stand out. Call them ‘folk’ if you must, but songs such as ‘Sunday’ and future single ‘Me and You’ are so gut-wrenchingly beautiful that the term sells them short. No, singing percussionist Rebecca and guitarist Charles are more than folking troubadours, they’re a musical revelation. Tonight in a jam-packed theatre ‘Sumer’ is pure heart-bursting pop, propelled by odd absurdist chair and table thwacking. Equally brilliant is debut single ‘Because We’re Dead’; imagine Nico playing with Bob Dylan if they were raised in Sheffield. Don’t call this club Slow, call it special.”
[NME Radar Gig Review]

But don’t take their word for it; listen yourself! Here’s a song they did for Bandstand Busking.



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itzhak perlman and me

He came on stage with those arm supports that aren’t quite crutches but definitely more than walking sticks. The audience watched in half-awe, half-pity as he slowly staggered across the stage. The concertmaster trailed behind holding his own violin in one hand and nervously clutching Perlman’s Stradivarius in the other. Finally reaching centre stage, Perlman laid his walking sticks aside, stepped onto the platform, loosened his bow tie,  rescued his violin, smiled at the conductor, and started playing. His posture was horrible. His shoulders slouched and his left hand flattened on the fingerboard as if permanently glued there. His hair was frazzled and entirely uncombed. And for the duration of the piece he never, ever looked at the conductor or any of the orchestra for that matter. In appearance, he was the worst soloist you could imagine.

But just listen to him play.  It was as if he was playing for himself, or perhaps a secret lover, injecting so much emotion but all within his own world. His eyes were closed for most of it leaving the audience free to stare and stare and – in my case – drool. (Even members of the orchestra were ignoring their music to gaze in awe.)  The intonation was perfect (as was to be expected) but so were his dynamics and double-stops and impossibly high shifts.  It was surreal.

If you haven’t heard of him, I’ll give you a taste. This is the piece I’m playing for my RCM exam this year. (And I have great confidence that it will sound nowhere near as good as this version.) I digress.

Now, prepare to be amazed.

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Filed under Music