Tagged: chris t-t

Elba Annual 2013 – Chris T-T

Our second Elba annual post of 2013 comes from one of my favourite songwriters and live performers, Brighton-based Chris T-T. Having released new album, ‘The Bear‘ with his band The Hoodrats, in October, Chris is currently embarking on a solo tour. He’ll be stopping off at Pivo in Edinburgh tomorrow night (11th Dec) and then Glasgow on Thursday (12th) where he’ll play The Roxy (TICKETS). I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend that you try and catch one of these shows. Always engaging, often amusing, at times emotional, these are my favourite type of shows.

One of the good things about these annual posts are that you often discover something that you’ve never heard before, so I’m very grateful to Chris for sharing his track of the year. It’s a beauty.

Album of The Year

Frightened Rabbit – Pedestrian Verse

I listened to it over and over and over. I love the addition of big budget production (and crucially, studio time) to Scott’s extraordinary songs and a band becoming used to being a band. There were strong challenges through the year and if you’d asked me in summer, 2-3 other things might’ve been ahead at that point but as the autumn got colder, the Rabbit just kept going. In the end nothing toppled them off my favourite album plinth. The show I saw at Brighton Concorde, which isn’t a great venue for a subtle, layered band, was in my top 10 gigs of the year as well.

Song of the Year

She’s a close friend and I sang a bit of backing vocals on this – but still my favourite song of 2013 was Gill Sandell’s 6 minute quiet apocalypse masterpiece ‘Distance‘ from her 2nd solo album ‘Light The Boats’. I’ve not heard anyone take this quiet end of folk music and make it so dark and expansive without losing intimacy. Like that huge John Murry song but looking hopelessly outwards instead of self-indulgently inwards – I can’t think of anyone else in the folk world who could’ve done it. ‘Distance’ feels like a whole Hayao Miyazaki film in one song. Rifa and me were driving around west Cornwall in a rainstorm when we first listened properly, loud in the car, it was devastating.

Best gig you played

I’d started off 2013 not gigging – was my longest gap off tour for 10 years in the end. So most of my 2013 gigs are recent and it’s hard to pick. Twice this year I got the chance to play with an orchestra, which I’ve never done before, so probably my favourite gig wasn’t a T-T show but being part of the Mystery Fax Machine Orchestra (pianist), accompanying Jim Bob at Bush Hall, in November. The orchestral enhanced version of ‘Tall Woman’ in a pub called The Boogaloo in north-west London was also transcendent. In late summer I had a wonderful evening at Uncivilisation Festival, which was entirely unplugged, in front of a roaring fire in a cabin in the woods, in pouring rain. But again, it wasn’t so much my set (although that was really fun) as the other acts, because I curated the evening and it went down a storm. A few of the support shows with Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo were magic, especially towards the end of that tour, and I just had a beautiful intimate show in Ipswich at The SoapBox House that I really enjoyed.

Best gig you saw

Easy. John Parish Band doing their film soundtrack show (mostly instrumental pieces, only two songs with words), except the gig I saw didn’t have the film clips projected, so in theory it wouldn’t have been as good. Yet in fact, it just meant there was nothing to distract attention from the live band doing their thing. In my opinion Parish is one of the greatest living composers, just happens to work with rock instrumentation: breathtakingly imaginative, incredibly atmospheric yet the (mostly Italian) band rocked like bastards and there were some stretched out groove moments that put shame to LCD Soundsystem or krautrock legends.

Any musical thoughts to share on the year 2013?

I’m struggling with self-belief issues worse than ever at the moment, ironic given how proud I am of The Bear. I thought we made a proper great-with-a-capital-G record and loads of people seemed to love it and it’s getting tons of radio, yet instead of focusing on these positives and opportunities, I obsess over bullshit little setbacks. I want to be ‘better known’ without being mainstream famous, but at the same time I feel guilty for that desire. Stinks, right? There’s nothing more boring than a performing artist on the cusp of bitterness! Need to appreciate it more over the next few months.

What does 2014 have in store for you?

Second single in January, just shot an intense video for it, plus lots of gigs this side of summer (especially outside the UK) and hopefully recording some new music quickly, to keep the spirit of the band going. Then festivals and then I’ll take stock in autumn, figure out what’s next.

Elba Annual 2010 – Phil (Elba)

Our final annual comes from Elba Sessions’ constant and reasoned voice; Phil. You will be well acquainted with him by now I’m sure.  For those of you who are not: he is a man of great taste, intelligence, wit and charm.  As a great driving force behind everything Elba I’ve found him to be exceptionally motivated and particularly good at knowing what buttons to push to get the most out of everyone he works with.  It is holding all these elements together and only ever snapping when things have reached well passed boiling point which leads us to his alter ego.  With a quiet and calm demeanor, a patience like no other, an ability to maintain organization even whilst working under potentially incendiary conditions and the occasional (and very understandable) melt down, who else could we select?

All that sucking up needed balancing out with something ridiculous. Ironically he will, of course, love this comparison. Here is Phil’s account of 2010:

Album of The Year – This is a tough one. There have been quite a lot of albums I’ve really liked over the course of the year and the title of ‘favourite’ constantly seems to change. I think ‘Method’ by Thirty Pounds of Bone gets the win though. It is an honest album and really nicely put together and produced. For the first couple of months, Los Campesinos! and Field Music would also be in with a shout as well as notable mentions for Chris T-T, Meursault, Super Adventure Club and The National.

Best Gig – There have been several people I have really enjoyed seeing this year, RM Hubbert, King James, Super Adventure Club (possibly the most fun that can be had watching a band, as well as the most jealous at how ridiculously good individually they are). Best gigs are usually defined for me by notable things or songs that were played. In that sense, there have been two or three great gigs for me in 2010. The National, which seems to be on everyone’s lips really stands out just for the whole occasion. Mr November, including a tour of the crowd by singer Matt Berninger, was a biiig standout as well as the completely unplugged sing-along to Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks.

Also, on two occasions I’ve seen a band play a song this year that has just made the hairs on my neck stand up. When The Scottish Enlightenment bellowed into Little Sleep at the end of the set at their album launch in the 13th Note and when they played it at The Liquid Ship on one of our Elba gigs, i knew that there was something pretty special happening.

Favourite New Band(s) – Probably could make a lengthy list here but I’ll try to keep it short. Bella Ruse play the kind of sweet indie folk pop that I’m just a sucker for. I’ve also been digging Caitlin Rose, The Mariner’s Children and more locally Johnny Reb, She’s Hit, Yusuf Azak and The Douglas Firs.

Musical Memories of 2010 – Putting on some great bands at The Liquid Ship as part of our Elba Sessions gigs…Chris’ boundless enthusiasm for Springsteen…Kim’s boundless enthusiasm for music and her awesome writing…Kim and Chris’ support and patience when I get ‘the rage’… The National at the Academy…Willy Vlautin at the Captains Rest (if indeed that was this year)…The return of Le Reno Amps…Making some new musical acquaintances…oh, and being thanked in the sleeve notes for the Thirty Pounds of Bone album was pretty sweet.

Hopes/Plans (music) for 2011 – To kick on with Elba a lot more. I really want to get a good focus going on the blog, going for a bit of a wider viewpoint on the music we all love here at Elba rather than the same old. We’ll also get the Elba Sessions gigs going again in a few months, peepers on the lookout for bands to play already. I’m also looking forward to Dj’ing at the first BARmellodie night at Bloc on January 21st. Also, I want to start getting along to a lot more gigs and seeing some bands to get excited over.

So that’s us for 2010. Have a grand old time this evening!  We wish you a bonne année and we will return before you have fully recovered fully from the celebrations.

Elba Annual 2010 – Thirty Pounds Of Bone

Instalment two in this year’s Elba Annual features one of our favourite musicians/persons/wanderer (delete as applicable) here at Elba. I came across Johny a few years ago when a friends band released a record on the same label as Johny had released his first album ‘The Homesick Children of Migrant Mothers‘. His music has since featured prominently at my wedding, we’ve had him and King James cohort Laurence up to play one of our nights at the aptly named Liquid Ship and now he’s gone and released an album on Armellodie Records. The record is called Method and it doesn’t need us to tell you that it’s bloody good.

If you haven’t yet sampled Thirty Pounds of Bone, we’d really urge you to. As a wee treat, and we don’t do this often round these parts, you can download The Jonah Shanty which Johny recorded at Elba Studios during our podcast in February. This track is taken from his EP released last year on Woodland Recordings. And apologies for the size of the file. The blame firmly lies with Stephen at Elba Studios for that!!!

Hello Elba Sessions, I’ll probably change my mind about all of this tomorrow, but nevertheless:

Album of The YearThis is really tough…. Not because there’s a lot to choose from, but because I’ve not paid attention. I’ve listened to a lot of Harry Parch, and lots of really old field recordings. Will that do? No? Ok. Both ‘The Scottish Enlightenment’ and the ‘Super Adventure Club’ albums are great, and I’m not just saying that. Oh, I don’t know, the three records I like the most aren’t out yet but I suppose I’ll big them up anyway. ‘Lakes, Meres, Ponds and Waters’ by the Diamond Family Archive, ‘Music at Court’ by Birdengine, and SBL. Worthy of a mention also are Chris T-T’s ‘Love is Not Rescue’ and the Great Park’s ‘If You Can Hold It You Can Throw It’.

Best GigI had a great gig in Berlin, but I’m ashamed to say I can’t remember the name of the venue. cheap uk viagra It was the first night of a run of shows and I was nervous and tipsy, and I jabbered and stuttered like a fool. Luckily the audience forgave me and were great. It was one of those gigs that could collapse at any moment, so you have to concentrate almost till you pass out. Those are the best. I should also mention Hasenschaukel in Hamburg. The Audience and Staff were just impossibly kind. A great night.

Best Gig (by someone else…) Absolutely no question on this one and I’m sorry to those people who also did amazing shows, but this was just amazing. Bygrayvpartynmyrytarm at the Performance Centre at Tremough in Cornwall. Jaw droppingly brilliant. Possibly the best guitarist on earth as well, which is to not even get to the drummer and extraordinary frontman/ synth player.

Favourite New Band(s)See above. There’s also a young songwriter down here I’ve got my eye on. Proper writer.

Musical Memories of 2010mostly E flat major and all associated minor chords in and around that key. Drones in C. Not singing quite as well as I’d like. Harry Parch, and Ewan Macoll singing ‘Isles O Sicily’.

Hopes/Plans (music) for 2011Tour in the UK as much as possible, sell out of copies of this new album, finish writing and most of the recording of the next one. I’m very excited about it. It’s in three different places. There’s lot’s of field recording and guest players. A much more complicated kind of thing. I’d like to do another King James album. Laurence and I are discussing another, slightly different collaboration. There’ll be loads. Oh, and an album of trad songs for Woodland Recordings, some recording with ‘Danny Kendal’, maybe something exciting with Le Reno Amps and hopefully a full band album for Chris T-T too. Busy busy.

‘Method’ is released on Armellodie on Monday 6th December and you can pick up your copy at the Armellodie store.

Thanks to Stephen at Woodland for the following link! Most kind!

Download The Jonah Shanty – mp3 – 5.54mb

The Jonah Shanty (Elba Sessions – Feb 2010) by elbasessions

Gig Round Up 16.03.2010

I always begin putting together our recommended gigs and try to keep the list to a minimum. However, the live music on offer in Glasgow currently makes this a difficult venture. Below I present my extended short list for the remains of the week:

18.03.2010 Findo Gask, Paper Planes and French Wives @ Captains Rest
Super-duper-fantastic line up at Captains Rest. All indie and poppy. A happy maker.

Times New Viking, The Elvis Suicide @ Sleazies
Ohio based, Indie Matador signed Times New Viking play Sleazies with support from local punk rock cowboys The Elvis Suicide.

Kitty The Lion @ The Goat
Beautiful female fronted folkers play a show at The Goat. Highly recommended.

Marlena Shaw @ The Ferry
For anyone who feels the need for a little bit of classic jazz the excellent, and extensively sampled, Marlena Shaw will be appearing on The Ferry

Withered Hand @ Mono
Don’t let the name put you off. Withered Hand aka Dan Wilson plays Mono following his sold out London and Homegame dates. The set up might be simple or he may arrive with a troupe. His song-stories are wonderful whatever the method of presentation.

19.03.2010 Oliver Stays, Otherpeople, Young Aviators @ Stereo
Oliver Stays according to their myspace soundlike ‘Bears with saws.’ This more than intrigues me. Support comes from Otherpeople, who will hook you with their shifty, catchy, extremely listen-able track Wooplash.

21.03.2010 Chris T T, Le Reno Amps, Dave Hughes @ 13th Note
You know that Elba are excited about this one. You even saw a photo of a ticket to this show last week on this here blog. A singer-songwriter in a class of his own supported by some fine acts, including indie/country maniac-stompers/serenaders (depending on what sort of mood they’re in) Le Reno Amps.

Singles Club

I bought two singles this morning. Not a phrase you hear often these days and something which sounds rather old cheap essay writing services fashioned. I mean, singles are so 1990’s??? The fact is, I love a good single. I can see that there is more value in an album and I’m not discounting albums but to get a good single, with a good b-side and maybe a nice acoustic version of a track, well for me there’s nothing better.

I think that at the moment, when everyone is online, downloading music and that it is in general just a lot easier to get your music heard, a single is a great promo tool for bands. At a low cost people can buy your music and at the same time you can recoup some of your costs. I know that personally if a band I’ve caught live, that I like, release a single I can quickly download for a couple of quid, then I’m all over it. With sites like bandcamp allowing bands to stream their tunes as well as giving the option to download for free or X amount of money there is a lot more talent getting heard.

The two singles in question that I bought this morning both cover the above. Firstly, Nintendo by Chris T-T. It’s a lovely piano ballad, a beautiful song and the package ticks all the boxes when it comes to good single extras as you get a great cover of the old Motown protest song ‘Abraham, Martin & John’ and if you buy on I-Tunes, a demo version of the single.

Secondly, Kill The Captains new single ‘Rummy’. These dudes are from Sheffield but have signed to Glasgow based label Armellodie, home to local favourites Cuddly Shark and Super Adventure Club. It’s a cracking single and definitely worth a look if you’re into either of the other two bands on the label. We’ll have more on Kill The Captains on Elba in the next wee while so keep your peepers open.

What does everyone else think about singles? Worthless these days or great for bands looking to get heard?

You can pick up said singles at the below links;

Chris T-T – Nintendo – HERE

Kill The Captains – Rummy – HERE

Elba Annual 2009 – Phil Elba

My turn, let’s keep it snappy…

Album of The Year – Loads to choose from! Titus Andronicus – The Airing of Grievances probably tops the list though. Honourable mentions to Brakes, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Le Reno Amps, Cuddly Shark and The Cinematics, oh, and The Phantom Band! (I could go on…)

Favourite New Band – Again, several! I’ve heard loads of new stuff from doing the blog and going out to gigs. Top 3 in no order at all would have to be Maple Leaves, Julia and The Doogans and The Scottish Enlightenment.

Best Gig (Elba) – All of the gigs we’ve put on so far have been pretty memorable for various reasons. The first night at The Liquid Ship with Le Reno, Calum MacDonald, Paul McLinden and Only Living Boys was a total treat and I think we all felt a sense of achievement at the end of the night. However, all of the gigs have been great fun and we’ve had some very talented people at each night.

Best Gig – It would probably have to be Springsteen at Hampden. It was a great day all round and it was fantastic to finally see him live. Also really enjoyed Brakes at King Tuts early in the year and seeing Chris T-T as Sleazies was pretty sweet as well!

Best Memories of 2009 – Apart from getting married and going on honeymoon (photo above), probably getting involved with Elba and setting up the blog. It’s opened my eyes to loads more music and I’ve had a lot of fun putting on the gigs and meeting people as well as starting to just pop along to gigs as well with my Elba cohorts to listen to a new band. As a musical memory, I’ll not forget Le Reno Amps playing ‘Body’ at Tuts with Marc from Brakes playing pedal steel. It’s a beatiful song and was a nice moment.

Hopes for 2010/Things You’re Looking Forward To – Putting on more gigs, writing more for the blog (and getting better at it), seeing and hearing loads of new music, working with Armellodie records and seeing it evolve, Pavement at the Barrowlands (!!!!!!!) and putting some faces to email addresses!


SEE YOU IN 2010!

News and Stuff

Evenin’ ladies and gents,

There’s been a whole load of stuff happening here at Elba Towers as well as happening everywhere else so I just thought I’d post a wee update…

We’ve been in the studio recording next months podcast with Martin John Henry (ex-De Rosa) and it’s gonna be a goodie. The double bill of October podcasts featuring Andrea Marini and Salon Society are still up on the myspace page for those who haven’t listened yet (note to self; do something about making them downloadable!).

Elba Studios‘ Stephen has been fairly busy in the studio recently whilst also masquerading as a keyboard virtuoso. He’s been practicing with the afore mentioned Salon Society for their album launch this coming FRIDAY (30/10) at Arta. We’ve been told rehearsals are coming on well and it should be a great show!

Andrea MariniThe second Elba Sessions Presents…evening on November 5th is all sorted and ready to go. We’re feeling super organised this time and still buzzing slightly after the last one! We’ve got a great line-up on the night featuring Julia and The Doogans, John Hinshelwood & Sandra Gellatly and Andrea Marini. It would be great to see some of you down at The Liquid Ship, after all it is a recession busting £0 to get in!

Myself and Chris Elba are off to see Chris T-T at Sleazies this week, really looking forward to it, some good local supports playing as well. Other notable gigs in the next 7 days are Camera Obscura + Emma Pollock at Barrowlands (29/10), Los Campesinos + Copy Haho + Sparky Deathcap at King Tuts and Glasgow PodcART’s big gig at The Classic Grand featuring Esperi, Debutant, Panda Su and Yahweh, who we caught at Sloans last night and were mightily impressed with!

Also, for everyone who likes a good freebie and hasn’t done so already, go here to download some tracks which The Scottish Enlightenment are just giving away!!!

Our Christmas album debate has now had a couple of responses, all bigging up LOW and in Al’s case, posting us a youtube video which is still chilling us to our very core…all very HO HO HO! Join in here

Night! x

P.S. We have just set up a facebook, if you have one too, just search facebook for Elba Sessions, be a fan!

P.P.S Muller Little Stars Jelly Pots are dynamite!