Tuesday, 22 September 2009
I am in Switzerland for the time being. The German bit. I didn't think there would be any sort of culture shock - Zurich being the financial zenith/Hades (delete as is one's bent) of Europe, but a few things are a little odd to one weaned on an axis of English and Australian quirks. It would be churlish, presumptuous and perhaps wrong to say that a certain part of Swiss society is made up of uptight, emotionally stunted, unimaginative bureaucrats with hearts of cold, solid steel. So I won't, but I think maybe I've been hanging around the wrong parts thus far. I have press access to the quite fancy Zurich Film Festival, which might see more fun amid the glum.
One bright spot, mind you, has been seeing White Denim at Rote Fabrik. I don't think I have really banged on about them as much as I should have in the past - I interviewed them recently, here, but for some odd reason didn't pay much attention to the kafuffle that was made of them last year when Workout Holiday came out. It was probably because of the kafuffle that was made of them last year when Workout Holiday came out. Great band though, and live they are "everything I ever dreamed of", even if Zurich provided a staid audience that barely half-filled the venue. To be within spitting distance of the front of stage at a White Denim gig in London is an unheard of flight of fancy that would get you laughed out of Hoxton Bar and Grill with many a fist shaken at you. Here, you almost felt sorry for the Austin trio as they received no reaction whatsoever from a crowd who, in their defence, didn't have a clue who they were. White Denim always seem to be lost in their own little world when they play anyway, so they seemed happy. And I had a quick chat with their drummer Josh Block afterwards, who is vying with Alex Maas of The Black Angels for the title of Nicest Man In A Band in Austin, Texas. Tremendous chap. I shook his hand FIVE times.
Apart from that White Denim piece, there are a few other new things on my site, including interviews with Brendan Benson and Snowman, live reviews of Yoko Ono, Seven Worlds Collide, Cropredy Festival and The Welcome Wagon and record reviews of The Cave Singers and The Witch and The Robot.
Three songs: 'She Gets Remote' by Hello Fire, '(Ballad Of) The Hip Death Goddess' by Ultimate Spinach and 'Lay Down (Candles In The Rain)' by Melanie.