GIITTV: Holy Esque – The Cookie, Leicester 27/04/16

For those of us who have spent a number of years living in Leicester, these are strange yet wondrous times. The city’s main sporting protagonists may be about to re-write football folklore and to be quite frank, it’s all anyone is talking about. Even the seemingly unbelievable ‘King in a car park’ story has been relegated to a mere footnote as the locals eschew the humdrum of your average weekday and focus their energy and their wallets on what could be about to happen approximately a mile away from The Cookie, which is rapidly taking over as Leicester’s home of up and coming musical talent.

Quite what Holy Esque expected when they climbed on stage tonight, only they can answer but I’m guessing they weren’t anticipating a paltry crowd of eighteen punters, including the support act. For a band who are on an upward trajectory, this must have come as a massive kick in the solar plexus and they could easily be forgiven for going through the motions and heading over to Nottingham quicker than Jamie Vardy chasing a lost cause. But no, after urging us all to stand that little bit closer to the stage they launch into thirty minutes of heartfelt, passionate endeavour to the obvious delight of ‘the Leicester 18’.

I make no apologies for my admiration of Holy Esque, their debut release ‘At Hope’s Ravine‘ has breathed new life into the stagnant pond of indie guitar music just when we all starting to worry that Time Team would be called in to dig for its remains. Pat Hynes has a unique vocal style which suggests he was raised on gravel whilst being permanently tortured with a blunt instrument as guitars swoop and swirl around the empty vacuum of The Cookie basement. It’s easy to lose yourself in the semi-ethereal chaos and my friend does her best impression of a whirling dervish; proof of how their evocative melodies can grip your soul before the keyboards shake you back to something approaching normality. On record, there is a sinister undertone to their tracks. “Prism“, “Tear” and “Strange” are all unsettling in their own way whereas “Hexx” still has me reaching for the medication and my teddy at night.

Yet live, these same tracks take on a subtler hue. Whether it’s the venue, the lack of production or the fact the lyrics are being belted out by a man in a flowery shirt, I have no idea. But the effect is profound, Holy Esque have carved out some genuine beauty from the Glaswegian tenements and theirs is a talent which begs to be heard by more than a handful of paying punters on a cold, dreary night in the East Midlands. Listen, if justice decides to make a re-appearance any day now then Holy Esque will soon be playing with the big boys and laughing about that night in Leicester when the locals were too busy planning domination of the football world. For now, buy their album, see them live and add fire to their dreams because it is beholden upon us all as music aficionados to nurture such talent and not let it wither away to nothing. Leicester, consider yourself officially yellow carded.

Photo courtesy of Paul Reno

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The VPME Fest Evol – Preview And Stage Times

Tomorrow’s the day when Fest Evol kicks off big time at Liverpool’s Camp and Furnace. We preview it with six must see acts  and you’ll find the set times below …

Fest Evol has been an annual event on the local music scene for a number of years, normally held in August, during the quiet time (locally) when festival season is in full swing. Promoter Revo recently explained why the switch to May took place  “we needed a new approach if we were going to take FestEvol up a level. After doing Caribou at the Camp and Furnace it was clear to me what could be achieved in the venue and that it had a natural festival feel. It felt right, as did the placement of the event at the foot of the festival calendar rather than early August. When we started out there wasn’t anything on until the final weekend of August and last year there was almost too much going on so with the venue being much bigger it was best to slingshot to May. And for me personally, it’s a better time to work as there’s more talent out on the roads.”  And he’s really throwing down the gauntlet to discerning music fans and putting on a stellar all-dayer, with a mixture of epic headliners, bands who are about to go to the next level (yes Black Honey,  that means you) and some of the best emerging bands from the local scene.

We’ve picked six artists YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS

Juliette Lewis


Time / Venue – 23:30 – Camp

Forget the “Hollywood actress turns rock n’ roller” which the press always focus on, Juliette and The Licks are the real deal and they sweat rock and roll swagger with Juliette putting heart, body, and, soul into her live performances. Check out the Michael Rapaport documentary  -“Hard Lovin’ Woman” for further evidence that Juliette is indeed the real deal Honey


Time / Venue – 21:30 – Camp

What more can we say about Black Honey? We’ve been banging on and on about them since before Jesus was a lad …We dearly love Izzy ,Chris, Tommy and the man they call Tom, suffice to say if you haven’t seen them live yet, you will be blown away – that’s a Von Pippian guarantee.


MARNIE ( Helen Marnie - Ladytron)

Time / Venue – 20:00 – Furnace

Helen Marnie, with the obligatory (of Ladytron) brackets produced our fave album of  2013… we recently re-read our review recently and thought … were we a little too effusive?  … so we listened to the album again and thought no we bloody well weren’t, we were 100% correct … ..she may even play a Ladytron track or two. She’s great and we’ll sure on her return to the City, she’ll get a huge Liverpool welcome.

Cash + David

Cash+David Funn Von Pip

Time / Venue – 1:45 AM – District

Cash + David are Tim Ross (Cash) and 24-year-old Liz Lawrence (David). As a solo artist Liz was rather special, but the direction her music has taken with Tim as Cash +David is sublime … their recent EP “Side 1” is pretty much as close to perfection as you can get and we’ll look forward to seeing how it translates live. Moon


Time / Venue -15:15 – District

We’ve not seen Indigo Moon live yet , but people who we know, respect and at a push may even love keep telling us we’ll love them live.  They sound pretty impressive on soundcloud , and singer Ash’s voice is immense , dripping with soul, blues and sass . Robert Plant in Scouse female form? Maybe but she’s defo got a voice that is up there with the very best. In between gigging the band are currently recording as and will be sharing tracks soon as well as a brand new EP



Time / Venue – 18:00 – Furnace

We came across Zuzu at this summer’s FestEVOL in Liverpool and her set was one of THE  major highlights. As, a bonus she’s also named after a character in our favourite film …


And we have one other selection which we’ll be chatting about to Shell Zenner on Amazing Radio Today Wink Listen HERE from 1.oo pm (Sat 30th April)


Ticket Info

Fest Evol Box Office is situated in the entrance of the Blade Factory and opens 1:45pm. You are advised to get down as early as possible and see as much of the action as you can. The last online tickets from are available until 5pm on Saturday. Physical tickets are in Probe Records and 3 Beat Records.



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from The VPME

Dave Hill | The Guardian: Has Boris Johnson been a good mayor of London?

As his second term draws to a close, we look at Boris’ record at City Hall – on transport, policing, housing, the Olympics and the legitimacy of the mayoralty itself

Boris Johnson will cease to be London mayor when a successor is elected on 5 May. What exactly has he done?

Less than he could have. Some dismiss the mayor’s job as fiddling with bus fares and doing lots of showing off, but there’s more to it than that. Johnson himself recently listed “a spending budget far bigger than many Whitehall departments,” command of a vast transport network, setting the priorities of the Metropolitan Police and exercising strategic planning powers. The mayor can also affect a range of environmental issues, along with health and education in the capital – and, yes, use the job’s platform for sounding off. The problem with Johnson is that there has been more noise than achievement.

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via Dave Hill | The Guardian

Owen Jones: Scottish Labour leader: ‘The SNP has been fundamentally dishonest’ – video

Ahead of the Holyrood elections on 5 May, Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale tells Owen Jones that the SNP portrays itself south of the border as a socialist party – but has failed to act austerity in Scotland, saying its hands are tied without independence

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GIITTV: Wire – Nocturnal Koreans (Pink Flag)

One of the many great things about Wire‘s late-career renaissance has been the sound of a near-40-year old band revisiting and reinterpreting their back catalogue as older, and presumably wiser, men.

Red Barked Tree and Change Becomes Us saw them having another go at the angular post-punk of their classic early albums to mostly wonderful effect; and now the concise eight-track Nocturnal Koreans, like its 2015 predecessor WIRE, sees them return to the sound of their inexplicably underrated mid-1980s Mute albums.

In fact, the tracks that make up Nocturnal Koreans were recorded during the WIRE sessions and either didn’t make the cut or were considered worthy of an album of their own; the quality is such that it is clear these are no b-sides or offcuts and like WIRE, this is Wire on tip-top form.

The title track, all Krautrock rhythms, jangly guitars and hallucinatory lyrics (“Nocturnal Koreans are walking the halls…”) would’ve fitted most easily onto WIRE; the rest of the first half of the album is somewhat more downbeat, with the 3/4 ‘Internal Exile’ recalling 1988’s ‘The Queen of Ur & the King of Um‘ and ‘Forward Position‘ stripping the music right down to little more than skeletal guitar and ghostly ambient keyboard washes, a perfect backdrop for Colin Newman’s plaintive “I am black box, I remember every promise that you broke.

The album’s middle is particularly strong, with the spiky ‘Numbered‘, which seems to be a riposte to those fans/critics still obsessed with the Wire of 154 & Pink Flag (“You think I’m a number/Still willing to rumba…“), closely followed by ‘Still‘, one of the most commercial things the band have ever done, from its Tony McCarroll drums to its almost – almost – anthemic chorus.

But this is Wire of course, so just when you think they’re finally attempting to cross over, they remind you who and what they really are: “Our African sisters have a spiritual plan/They follow the teachings of a triangular man” sings Colin Newman over a one-note bass riff on the brilliant ‘Pilgrim Trade‘; whilst album closer ‘Fishes’ Bones‘ gradually builds to a climax reminiscent of their classic ‘Drill‘, whilst Graham Lewis free-associates on top of it all (“The back door’s open, are you needing a boost? Inside is where my chickens roost“) and you realise Wire will never, ever be on the cover of Q or on the main stage at Glastonbury – and that that is why, after nearly 40 years, they remain so damn special.

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GIITTV: NEWS: Latitude Festival announces its dance line-up plus more theatre and music acts

Dates:  14th – 17th July 2016
Location:  Henham Park, Southwold, Suffolk

On what is International Dance Day – the yearly celebration whose primary purpose is to attract the attention of the wider public to the art of dance – Latitude Festival reveals its spectacular dance line-up.

The curator of the Latitude Festival Arts Arenas Tania Harrison says:

“Latitude are absolutely delighted to be supporting artists across the board, and this year is no exception when it comes to our stunning dance line up. Sadler’s Wells will present a diverse programme of world class dance including Nilda’s Guerra’s !Vamos Cuba!, straight from Havana airport and evoking all the vibrancy of Cuban life, plus rising star Botis Seva who literally has the world at his feet. The incredible Hofesh Shechter Company will perform tHE bAD – a captivatingly dramatic dance piece, to get the festival going on Thursday night. We will also welcome New English Ballet Theatre to the Waterfront, who will present work by choreographers Kirsten McNally and Daniela Cardim.”

Further additions to this year’s incredible bill will include a double presentation from the Richard Alston Dance Company. Richard Alston is a former Resident Choreographer and Artistic Director for the Ballet Rambert and now the Artistic Director at The Place, and his company will perform extracts from the Sadler’s Wells commission Nomadic, danced to Shukar Collective’s fusion of gypsy and electronic music.

Hofesh Shechter’s tHE bAD

Additions to the theatre programme will include Jane Horrocks and the band from Young Vic show If You Kiss Me, Kiss Me; Theatre Ad Infinitum performing Bucket List and a performance from the Berlin-based theatre collective Familie Floz

In music news, the celebrated Belgian electro-dance outfit Soulwax will appear at Latitude for a UK festival exclusive, headlining the 6 Music Stage. Other acts who are now scheduled to appear in Suffolk for this 11th annual edition of the event include the former Beta Band member Steve Mason,  electronic producer Gold Panda, American indie-rock band Augustines and the hotly-tipped revenge pop artist The Anchoress.

All the details for Latitude 2016, including how to buy tickets for the event can be found HERE

Photo credit: Latitude Festival website

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Dave Hill | The Guardian: London mayor race: Khan’s Citizens night showed how Labour ought to be

The Labour candidate’s empathy with a passionate, multi-faith crowd of grassroots campaigners showed what a beacon he could be as mayor

At the end of a day when political news was dominated by a former London mayor further wrecking his own and his party’s reputation, the outline of the good a Labour successor could do took shape in the Copper Box arena on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Sadiq Khan had begun the day as one of the first to denounce Ken Livingstone for his “appalling and inexcusable” remarks about Hitler and antisemitism and ended it mobbed by admirers drawn from just about every ethnic and religious group in the city after addressing a crowd of 6,000 London Citizens campaigners.

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via Dave Hill | The Guardian