The total goddess and music legend that is Róisín Murphy did an incredible performance of three tracks from her brand new LP Róisín Machine for the Esquire Townhouse (at your house) online series/virtual festival. I was asked to interview her for it and here is the video, alongside a brilliant line-up of video content with so many iconic people over on the Esquire channels.
This performance presents the track from Róisín's new record in a completely different way with just acoustic guitar. I had the absolute pleasure of speaking to her flawless afterwards for the film. In a strange covidy way, things had come full circle as the last live gig I saw before the pandemic kicked off was her Roundhouse headliner at the BBC 6 Music festival where she converted the whole hall into a dance party. What a way to go out! We spoke about that last gig pre-Covid, creating in lockdown, the making of the album and her proudest moment.
Big thanks to Will Hersey for asking me to do it and the lovely team at Esquire.
Also props to the sponsors Breitling watches for helping me really up my watch game for this shoot!
This month I had the pleasure of speaking to drummer Robby Staebler from All Them Witches on my Music Discovery show on Soho Radio. I've been really into the band's music for a number of years and true story - I gave them their first ever radio play in the UK as a DJ on XFM around the release of Lightning At The Door in 2013 after hearing it in the background in a coffee shop in East London on Brick Lane.
They've done a few tours in the UK now and every time the venues get bigger and every time they are sold out quicker. It's been really cool following their journey and seeing the amount of love globally that people feel for their music and electric live shows. It's always felt truly independent and authentic and jeez do they jam together! The trio just dropped their new sixth album Nothing As The Ideal, which was recorded at the legendary Abbey Road studios in London just before the pandemic lockdowns hit. It's a phenomenal piece of work so I loved catching up with Robby over zoom to talk more about the LP and to pick out some tracks from it and their catalogue on the show. Here's the full chat on video above and the radio show with all the music below...
I didn't get a moment to post this at the weekend because I was working but I was so sad to hear the news of the death of Toots Hibbert from iconic reggae band Toots and the Maytals. I spoke to him just a couple of months ago for BBC Radio 6 Music about his new album ‘Got To Be Tough’ - the first new Toots album in over a decade. It was quite late in the day because of the time difference I'd stayed until about 7pm and he was on his way to the studio so at one point pulled over, at another he stopped to have breakfast, all while nattering away. He talked to me openly down the line from Jamaica, about being tough in hard times, collaborating with Ziggy Marley on one of the album tracks and Toot’s memories of time spent with his father Bob Marley and about all the music he has been making. He was prolific. And an absolute joy. At the end of the conversation he was very complimentary about our chat and my voice! He told me to call him any time. I've put the sign-off on the end of this piece that went out on 6 Music because it filled me with so much joy I went home beaming.
Rest in peace Toots you wonderful soul. Thanks for the incredible legacy you left with all those tunes Pressure Drop, 54-46 That's My Number, Monkey Man, the list is endless.
My latest guest on Foundation was the brilliant India Jordan.
They got in the mix live for 30 minutes and we discussed the 2020 For You EP, new music in the works and how they got started as a DJ and producer.
I also shared some new tunes from the likes of Gerd Jansen, Lauren Garnier, Radio Slave, Mild Minds, Jacques Greene, Logic1000, Max Cooper, Haai, Lau.Ra, Nova, Cousn, TSHA and more.
Here's another guest I was beyond hyped to have on my Music Discovery show on Soho Radio this month... Rival Consoles.
Ryan came by the studio to hang out for half of the show to play tracks off his IMMENSE new album Articulation, recently released on Erased Tapes. We delve into his back catalogue as well going right back to his 2011 track I Left The Party.
Photo Credit: Paolo-Scalerandi
London-based Aussie producer and DJ Haai is one of my faves of the last few years so I was so glad to have her on my Foundation Fm show this month.
Her next EP Head Above The Parakeets, which is quite frankly a genius title given the pun, the hoards of parakeets residing in East London and the sheer gold lockdown meme of Chanel the African Grey. We discuss such matters as well as her next body of work, an album, life off the road during the pandemic and have a good old catch up.
Listen back. Haai is on from about 40 minutes in.
Today - End of the Road festival have announced In The Garden of Streaming, a virtual event to mark the festival weekend, which along with many festivals has been cancelled this year due to Covid 19.
On Sunday 6th September from 6.30pm you can watch performances from Squid, Billy Nomates, Katy J Pearson, The Golden Dregs and Modern Woman. There’s also be a collaborative improvisation with drummers Morgan from Black Midi and Kwake Bass alongside various workshops and Q and A’s. It’s not a pay per view, it’s free but they are encouraging contributions towards covering costs with 20 per cent of proceeds going to the Coda Music Trust.
End of the Road is a pretty special festival, it takes place annually at Larmer Tree Gardens in Dorset with an always very 6 Friendly line up.
Previous headliners include Father John Misty, St Vincent, Michael Kiwanuka and Metronomy.
Pixies, Aldous Harding, Little Simz and King Krule were among artists booked for this year’s event.
One of the last festivals of the summer - it’s usually a place where artists that have made a name for themselves that year tend to have really memorable shows.
This happened to Squid last year - a lot of buzz around their electric live sets was building over the summer with the word spreading around the festival and so people flooding into the tents across three sets to see them.
They went on to make the BBC Sound of 2020 list and are signed to Warp Records, they've recently been working on their debut album with producer Dan Carey and shared two new releases in aid of the Bristol food bank charity, their cover of Robert Wyatt’s Pigs – which actually was recorded at End of the Road – and a take on Steve Reich’s Clapping Song.
I spoke to Louis from the band for BBC 6 Music to find out more about the End of the Road streamed event and their relationship with the festival…
Julia-Sophie is an English-French singer/songwriter from Oxford. Following a time in bands Little Fish and Candy Says she took some time out of music before making the y? EP under her own alias. She recorded much of the project in Brighton where the videos and photography was also shot by Siobhan Cox a very talented filmmaker and visual artist. In this interview I speak to Julia-Sophie over Zoom for my Foundation Fm Music Discovery radio show. We connected at the beginning of Lockdown when Julia messaged me on Instagram and sent me a couple of tracks. It was totally instant for me so I have been championing her since. The EP is out now and it's a perfect introduction to her sound. You can check her out on Instagram via @juliasophiex0x - I'm really hyped to follow her journey from here.
After being nominated for the Mercury Music Prize last year this year Anna Calvi is on the judging panel. I spoke to her about the process for BBC 6 Music and what she thinks of this year's list. Listen down below.
MERCURY SHORTLIST 2020
Anna Meredith - FIBS
Charli XCX - How I’m Feeling Now
Dua Lipa - Future Nostalgia
Georgia - Seeking Thrills
Lanterns on the Lake - Spook the Herd
Laura Marling - Song For Our Daughter
Kano - Hoodies All Summer
Michael Kiwanuka - KIWANUKA
Moses Boyd - Dark Matter
Porridge Radio - Every Bad
Sports Team - Deep Down Happy
Stormzy - Heavy Is The Head
I do think it's a strong list. It’s such a great representation of women. Five solo females, two female-fronted bands. It's the first time ever female acts have outnumbered male. It's a variety of women with such strong artistic identifies that really excel in their various fields. I think musicality and the art of songwriting is really shining on this list; albums to get immersed in. However, I do think it's more pop than ever. Personally I prefer a list which isn't so mainstream. Dua Lipa, Charlie XCX and Stormzy don't really need the love let's be honest. I am surprised Nadine Shah and Sault didn't make it on the list - glaring omissions IMHO - and where is one of the great progressive electronic albums? Say a Floating Points, Daniel Avery, Four Tet, Maya Jane Coles Nocturnal Sunshine. Big fan of the albums from Laura Marling, Moses Boyd, Anna Meredith, Michael Kiwanuka and Lanterns on the Lake, so I'd hope for one of those to take it home on the night. My money would be on Laura Marling as she delivered Song For Our Daughter at a very important time and the album is some of her best work.
Listen to Anna Calvi, one of the 2020 judges...
Nick Cave did a stunning pay-per-view live concert film of him performing alone at the piano in Alexandra Palace. It was filmed by Director of Photography on major films The Favourite, American Honey and I, Daniel Blake - the brilliant Robbie Ryan. You could only watch it at that time it was streamed and he covered his whole back catalogue. I spoke to Robbie Ryan for BBC 6 Music about how he came to be asked to make it, the process and about Nick Cave's art of making cavernous spaces feel intimate. Listen here.