Sunday, 26 January 2020

Chop’s Journal - 26th January

Third week of these and I’m currently struggling to keep my eyes open after a long day travelling. I made my first trip to Coventry to help @Kedwondo celebrate his 50th and had a smashing time. Travelled back today but got diverted via Reading to pick up my errant eldest son. 


“RIP Coyote Condo #5” Grandaddy 

Albums I’m enjoying

Another week lacking in new releases to get obsessed by. I mainly revisited last year’s excellent Big Joanie album “Sistahs” ahead of their gig on Thursday. 

There were a flurry of new albums out on Friday though so next week should see something new to discuss. I managed a full listen of Ezra Furman’s “Sex Education” soundtrack. Great to have those tunes properly released, a mix of new songs recorded for the show & older tunes. It’s out on vinyl for Record Store Day in April, not sure if there will also be a regular release. 

Earworm / Recommendation of the week

“Checkout Girl” by HANN

I think this came out last year but it feels new to me as I only consciously took note when Marc Riley played it on his show this year. They did a session for Riley last week which was great so another band for my gig watchlist. 

Gigs of the week

Big Joanie @ MOTH Club (23/Jan) - Third time I’ve seen BJ but the first headline gig and it felt a bit special. 

No Home opened the bill, totally solo and armed with just a guitar and her voice. I’m always interested in totally solo performers, there’s nowhere to hide and this was an impressive performance. 

Breakup Haircut were really upbeat, fun punk. Definitely worth seeing again. 

Big Joanie played a cracking hour plus set with all my favourites and maybe 5 new tunes that sounded just as good. A cracking night all round. 

Sunday, 12 January 2020

Chop’s Journal - 19 Jan 2020

Second week of whatever this is and I’ve already run out of things to say at the start. Meh. 


“Wreck” by Fortitude Valley

Albums I’m enjoying

Mainly “Bad Wiring” by Jeffrey Lewis & The Voltage, I think it’s probably his best album yet. 

I’ve still been listening to the three new albums that caught my ear last week (The Just Joans, Field Music & Georgia) but nothing else new has popped up so far. I’m trying to be a little more selective this year but I’m still employing the “play it three times before deciding if it’s good or bad” approach (TM Ruth & Martin’s Album Club). 

Earworm of the week

This is also “Wreck” by Fortitude Valley

Gigs of the week

Jeffrey Lewis @ Rough Trade East (14/Jan) - Having realised last year that cutting back on gigs wasn’t really working I’ve decided this year to try harder to reduce my “gig footprint”. Basically trying to reduce the number of times me being out affects the family. So, double headers are to be grasped whenever I can and this was the first of two on Tuesday. Seen Jeffrey a few times but never without a band so this was a nice change. He also made it more unique by trying to do things he wouldn’t do at a normal gig. The highlight was a 30 minute recreation of an open mic set Jeff saw Mike Rechner perform in New York in 99. 

Jeffrey Lewis

Hello 2020: Lazarus Kane @ The Old Blue Last (14/Jan) - A short walk down commercial road got us to The Old Blue Last to see a free entry four band bill of new bands as part of the Hello 2020 residency (every Tuesday in January). We were unfortunately too late to see Speedy Wunderground artists PVA but got in to see the excellent Silverbacks. They were new to me but had some decent tunes & a dry sense of humour. Next up were another new to me band, Sleep Eaters. They grew on me as the set progressed so definitely worth keeping an eye on. Headliners were Lazarus Kane, who I’d seen before at the end of a long, boozy, day at Ritual Union. We’d loved them then and I’m pleased to report they were still good fun tonight. 

Lazarus Kane

Sleep Eaters


Other Notes

Listened to a few podcasts again this week. Gareth had another episode of Yesterday’s Jam out which had loads of great tunes, a q&a with Eamonn of The Chats and a little mention for me (referencing Bilge Pump). I’ll try and link to the show but it’s still a bit fiddly doing that via this app so if there’s no link just search the name on Twitter. 

I’ve also been really enjoying the Loud n Quiet series of interviews with music industry insiders about different roles. A real eye opener and one that’s made me regret not choosing a different career path but also realise I probably wouldn’t have survived if I had. 

Saturday, 11 January 2020

Chop’s Journal - 12 Jan 2020

Inspired by filling out my @IndieOver40 journal last year I thought I might reinvigorate this blog by continuing with a weekly post on here. I’m trying out a new app so I can do this from my phone so things could be a bit ramshackle but I’ll give it a go and see where it takes me. You never know I might even get a few Top Fives posted again. 


“Kaizen” by Peaness

Albums I’m enjoying

The Just Joans “The Private Memoirs and Confessions of The Just Joans”

Field Music “Making A New World”

Georgia “Seeking Thrills”

Earworm of the week

Marc Riley must have played “Checkout Girl” by HANN a few times last year but it really caught my ear this week and is a really catchy tune I can’t shake. 

Gigs of the week

Winter Sprinter day 2 @ The Lexington (9/Jan) with Mammoth Penguins, Broken Chanter & Adults - First gig of the year and as per tradition it’s a Winter Sprinter show. Three great bands, two new to me & then firm favourites Mammoth Penguins headlining. 

Mammoth Penguins

Winter Sprinter day 3 @ The Lexington (10/Jan) with The Just Joans, Seazoo & Fortitude Valley - Another really fun night. Fortitude Valley making their live debut. Seazoo being brilliant fun. The Just Joans absolutely smashing it. 

Other Notes

I enjoyed listening to Yesterday’s Jam “Songs of the Decade” podcast despite having to cope with the, mercifully brief, sound of my own voice. My pick was “Amateur Rappers” by The Burning Hell. I almost chose a Parquet Courts so was amused to see two different PC songs get picked by other people. Courtney Barnett also got two mentions and one of those, Avant Gardener, should have been on my list of candidates. It ended with a very sweary entry chosen by Kedwondo which made me chuckle. 

Saturday night I went to see Knives Out at The Korba Theatre in Shepperton Studios. We’ve lived here for 18 years and I’ve been wanting to see the studios plot ever since so it was nice to finally get the chance. The Korba is a 44 seat cinema which was a cool place to see a film and I really enjoyed the film which is a great mix of humour and whodunnit.