- 23rd February, 2015 Comments
Next Sunday (8th March), The Bodega will be treated to a good old Rock 'N Roll show in the form of a headline set by The Dough Rollers. For those of you unfamiliar with this band here's a little breakdown; they've worked with the likes of Jack White and Josh Homme, toured with Billy Idol, Bob Dylan and Queens of the Stone Age and lead singer Malcolm's dad is the one and only Harrison Ford. Oh, and they are an excellent band, of course.
We spoke to Jack the guitarist about coming to play in Nottingham for the first time.
You’ve worked with some impressive names (Jack White, Josh Homme etc.) over the last couple of years. What have you learnt in the process?
To hurry up and get things done and don't think about things too much...time is precious. Both Jack & Josh were great to work with and both so different in personality and style that you cannot help but learn even if subliminally, but also it can be hard waiting for the various studio processes to work, so don't count on anything to happen quickly unless you do it yourself in your own timing.
Obviously blues and whiskey go hand in hand, and we’ve got quite an extensive range of Whiskey here at The Bodega, but what’s your ultimate favourite?
Mine is Hennessy but that's not whiskey. Malcolm is the whiskey connoisseur and he loves a good bottle of Oban, however on our last European Tour when we supported Billy Idol, it was customary for him to hit the stage each night with a bottle of Jameson, Kyle will drink anything as he is a drummer!!!
Have you ever visited Nottingham before and if not what have you heard about it? Are you excited to come and play here?
We have never been to Nottingham ever, but our friend Jake Bugg is from there as you know and we've heard only good things from him about the place. Our UK tour manager informs us that the place has a ratio of 8:1 women to men which seems very interesting especially after the Whiskey from The Bodega has kicked in, as we do like to party after each show. We know that the venue is the place to play on the circuit and really cant wait to come, seriously. Maybe Jake will pop down to jump on a couple of songs if he is in town?
When can we expect another release from you guys?
Well, we are repackaging and re-releasing our current EP in April whilst we record our new material/album in New York at the Famous Relic Rooms (where we are at this precise moment). We are really excited about the new material. It keeps on evolving and we are looking to showcase and launch it in the UK before the USA, around mid summer we expect....How about that then!
You’re about to go on tour with Black Keys and play some huge arenas – how do arena-sized shows compare with smaller shows like the one you’re going to play here?
Actually, we unfortunately have been recently told that the Black Keys tour is being rescheduled for later this year as the drummer injured himself whilst on holiday, which was a shame as we were all ready to rock n roll all over the arenas. That's why we have been free to come over in March to play at The Bodega and the other venues in England, hence 'don't wait for other people to dictate your route...we make things happen ourselves if need be'.
As for the difference between arenas and smaller venues, it really is a more difficult question to answer than you think as both are amazing in different ways. Yes the arenas size, the buzz of being on a big tour and stage, scale of productions and crew, crowd attendance, noise, even catering is INCREDIBLE, especially if you're a headline act. As a support act its a fight to win over the headline act's crowd but one we have luckily enough been able to do so far. We, in general, get on with all the people we work with and have fun and maximize any opportunity we can.
In the Smaller venues we work in the same way, we try our best to get on with all the local production and other bands so we all have a good night, its a good chance for everyone to learn our craft and importantly engage with our audiences. In fact the smaller venues are often some of our best gigs as we are upfront and personal with the crowd, so much so that they can smell the whiskey coming off the microphones.
Technically some of the smaller gigs can be interesting but we thrive on that, in fact on the last arena tour we did we especially filled our days off with filler gigs in really small pub like venues and we had the best fun. For example one night we played to 2500 at the Manchester Apollo supporting Billy Idol and the next night we played in Halifax at the Puzzle Inn to about 17 people, just us and a few local bands. The smaller gigs rock and we find so many new fans that way. We also get to try our new material easier as opposed to the big venues as support slots are where we only have a limited stage time.
Get your tickets for their show on 8th March here.
- 12th February, 2015 Comments
This Sunday one of the loveliest guys in the industry returns to The Bodega to play a show and we are dead excited. We caught up with him to discuss his album, touring and what it's like playing in Nottingham...
Thanks for making the stop off at Bodega again! We’re really looking forward to the show. Do you enjoy coming to play in Nottingham?
I love playing in Nottingham! I think this will be my 6th or 7th time playing there over the last few years, sometimes with Passenger and sometimes on my own :) I loved being able to sneak on stage with Passenger late last year to sing Heart's On Fire with him at Rock City before flying out to tour Australia. I'm really looking forward to getting back to Bodega again very soon!
Amazingly you seem to be on tour a lot of the time. What are your favourite things about being on tour and do you ever miss being at home?
I love being on the road. I have been moving around the globe constantly for the last 5 years normally just staying in each city for 2-3 days before heading to the next. The best thing about constantly travelling is that I get to catch up with friends in each city as I visit and I love being able to re-visit my favourite pubs and cafes along the way also. Whenever I'm in Nottingham I try to stop in for a beer at Ye Old Trip To Jerusalem.
Ahhh, the good old Trip! Your debut album came out last year, are you happy with the response it’s received? What’s your favourite song to play off it?
It's amazing to hear people talk about my album in such a positive way, I feel very lucky. I think my favourite song to play off Vagabond is San Francisco, the chorus is as true today as it was when I wrote it - 'I won't know where I'm going 'til I get there'.
You’ve visited some amazing countries during your time on tour. Which of them stand out for you?
Japan. It's been my favourite country for so long and I can't see that changing. I love the people, so respectful and thoughtful. I love the food, nothing beats a bowl of Miso Ramen or some Salmon Nigiri :) There is also something so captivating about the culture, new and old, merging into one.
We had a feeling you'd say Japan! Does travelling often inspire your songwriting?
I'm mostly inspired by old Spice Girls videos these days, but previously I have been hugely inspired by the places I visit and the people I meet along the way, everyone has a story to tell and it's amazing to have the opportunity to hear so many people's stories as I travel.
Tickets for Stu's show on Sunday are available here.
- 28th January, 2015 Comments
Next week we'll be treated to 3 very special sold-out shows from brummy band Peace. We caught up with Dom the drummer to see how the tour has been going so far...
We can’t wait for your shows at Bodega. Do you enjoy coming to play in Nottingham?
Neither can we! We have always loved it in Nottingham. There's definitely something in the water in the midlands. We have a lot of good memories at Bodega specifically though, we first played there with the Mystery Jets in 2012, which was almost as good as the karaoke that followed...
Obviously you’re gonna be in Nottingham for three days. What do you plan to get up to and is there anything we could do to make you feel more at home?
Im never really sure what it is that occupies our days on tour. We somehow manage to do nothing at all, but are really busy at the same time? I'm more than up for suggestions though?
Has it been fun playing your new songs to everyone on the tour so far? Which tracks are you most excited about?
Yeah it has. New songs are always fun to play, for the obvious reason that they're new, and people are responding really positively. Crowds seem excited about "I'm A Girl", which is the most recent song we have put online. There's a track called "Perfect Skin" which is responding well, especially as no one has heard it before. It feels like a thumbs up.
Are there any pre-show rituals that we should be warned about?
We like to set up a slip and slide in the dressing room. I hope you are insured for water damage...
Sounds fun! We're in. Do you like dogs? We’ve got an office dog (Bodoggy) who spends a couple of days a week with us and there’s a chance you might see him.
I absolutely love dogs. Here's a picture of my dog Chili.
Peace play The Bodega on 5th, 6th & 7th February. Their new album 'Happy People' is out on Monday 9th February. You can pre order it here.
- 26th January, 2015 Comments
George Holroyd is a singer-songwriter who was brought up in Suffolk but moved to Nottingham for university. Whilst living up here as a student he’s made quite a name for himself in the city's music scene. He’s been a part of some great Acoustic Rooms line ups, following in the footsteps of Jake Bugg and Saint Raymond and he’s also had some great slots at several festivals including Dot to Dot, Splendour and Glastonbury. This Friday, George is releasing his debut EP Peru and his launch party is right here at The Bodega. We had a few words with him in the build up to the launch.
What should we expect from the new EP?
The EP is a bit of a mixed bag really, they’re all acoustic songs but each have a different influence and sound to them, which was a bit unintentional but I think it works quite nicely. I’ve waited a long time to release an EP as I wanted to be sure it was exactly what I wanted (there was also a bit of faffing around too), and I think these 4 songs are my favourites so far.
Where did it get recorded?
I recorded it in Newbury at Studio 91 with Sam Winfield, a great guy and a seriously, seriously good producer who’d been recommended to me by Joe from Amber Run. I’d never spent much time in the studio before and had never recorded any of my originals so wasn’t really sure what to expect, but he made it very easy and somehow got me to play in time with a click track (for the most part!).
Do you have a favourite song on the EP?
My favourite is Howl, but Peru turns into a nice medley with one of my favourite ever songs live which is always a lot of fun to play. What do you like about playing gigs in Nottingham? I really like how responsive the audiences are, and the general culture of going out to see some live music that is present everywhere throughout the city. On any given night you’ll have a choice of loads of venues putting on a show, and they’ve always pulled in a crowd, which is a great opportunity as a performer.
What’s been your favourite gig to play so far?
I actually have two in recent memory that have been pretty unforgettable. Firstly playing to the fully packed Rescue Rooms bar in the late afternoon at Dot to Dot last year was fantastic, such a good atmosphere! My hands took a battering though.. Secondly was a more recent gig for Sofar Sounds in a living room just up the road from me in Lenton, it was fully acoustic and a bit daunting as it was much more intimate than I’ve played before, but was a lot of fun. There’s a video from that airing soon on YouTube!
You’re originally from Suffolk, how does the Nottingham music scene compare?
Well the sheer scale of the Nottingham scene is fantastic because there are more opportunities to play here (and to a larger audience in general), but my local music scene back at home is very good and there are a lot of people in the area who play and put on gigs, the amount of venues is just lesser.
You're still currently studying. How do you find splitting your time between music and university work?
It’s been pretty stressful at times but I’m nearing the end of my degree now, playing and going to gigs has been a great way to spend an evening after a day doing uni work and I’ve made some great friends through it outside of university. Dot to Dot is always a bit touch-and-go as it falls in the middle of exam time, I just have to pray there’s no exam the Monday (and generally Tuesday..) after!
Are you looking forward to this Friday's launch?
I really am, I’m itching to play again and I can’t wait for the full EP to finally be out for people to listen to. I’ve also got a lot of friends from all around the country coming to watch so it’ll be great to see everyone and catch up with them afterwards! You can expect a lot of energy, I’ll be playing the EP and other originals with a few covers thrown in for good measure. Afterwards? Some interesting dance moves at Pop Confessional..
Tell us a bit about your three support acts?
I first saw Connor Spray at Acoustic Rooms about 18 months ago when he did a cracking cover of “Waiting for the Rapture” by Oasis as part of a great set. The originals he has written since are fantastic and I love his stage presence, he puts a lot of energy into his performance which I really like, as well as being a top bloke. Make sure you get down early for him on Friday. Molly and Jack are two of the nicest people you will ever meet, with harmonies to match. They do so much with just two voices and a guitar onstage, and have written some lovely songs over the past few years (my favourite is “Empty Streets”). Molly is a Fleetwood Mac fanatic and they did a cover of “Dreams” last time I saw them that blew me away, I can't wait to watch them play again. I’ve played so many gigs with Cheshire and the Cat over the last 3 years around Nottingham (in pubs, clubs, houses, street corners..) it wouldn’t have felt right to not have them here, their lineup seems to have changed every time I see them but they continue to churn out their unique brand of rock/swing/ska/jazz (I’m not really sure what to class it as, but it certainly makes you get up and dance) with every performance. No party is complete without them.
Tickets for George's EP Launch on Friday are available here.
- 22nd July, 2014 Comments
Hi guys 'n gals, it's the Rev here again.
Bloody H-E-L-L !!!!! - I am VERY excited.
Just announced half an hour ago, and playing the bar in OCTOBER
• • • Double click here to go to the gig listing page • • •
For those of you too young to know what I'm getting so worked up about, here is their WIKIPEDIA entry...
The Pop Group are a British post-punk band from Bristol, England, formed in 1978, whose dissonant sound spanned punk, free jazz, funk and dub reggae. Their lyrics were often political in nature.
Formed by Mark Stewart (lyrics, vocals), Jon Waddington (guitar), Gareth Sager (guitar), Simon Underwood (bass) and Bruce Smith (drums, percussion), they issued their debut single, "She is Beyond Good and Evil" on Radar Records in March 1979.
Their debut album Y, was produced by Dennis Bovell to critical acclaim but low sales figures. Although it did not chart, the album's success was sufficient to convince Rough Trade to sign the band, but not before more line-up changes, with Dan Catsis replacing Underwood on bass.
The band's career with Rough Trade commenced with what is possibly their best-known single, "We Are All Prostitutes", which features a guest appearance by free improviser Tristan Honsinger on cello. This was followed by the release of their second album, For How Much Longer Do We Tolerate Mass Murder? in 1980, which includes a contribution from US proto-rappers The Last Poets.
Shortly afterwards The Pop Group released a split single, "Where There's a Will...", with The Slits, a band with whom they now shared a drummer (Bruce Smith) and managers (Christine Robertson and Dick O'Dell), as well as a growing interest in exploring musical genres such as dub and funk rhythms.
The band split in 1981, after legal wranglings and internal disagreements. Members of the group went on to join bands including Pigbag, Maximum Joy, Head, The Slits and Rip Rig + Panic, the latter notable for the involvement of Neneh Cherry. Stewart collaborated with the On-U Sound posse, issuing records firstly as Mark Stewart and Maffia, then as a solo artist.
The Pop Group's poster for "We Are All Prostitutes" featured prominently in episode 2 of the BBC series Ashes to Ashes.
It was reported on 24 May 2010 that The Pop Group would be reuniting. Stewart announced the first two dates of a reunion tour. Three members of the original line up were part of the reunion with two gigs in London and two in Italy initially confirmed. The band issued a statement explaining the reunion, saying "There was a lot left undone,....we were so young and volatile....Let's face it, things are probably even more fucked now than they were in the early 80's.....and we are even more fucked off!"
The Pop Group played live in Paris (for the first time) on 6 September 2010, at La Machine Du Moulin Rouge venue as part of "L'Etrange Festival" Film Festival which served as a kick off to their five date tour through Europe which included a London gig on New Year's Eve with Sonic Youth and Shellac.
In a 2010 interview, Stewart said that the reformed Pop Group was recording a new album, to be titled The Alternate.
The band were chosen to perform at the ATP I'll Be Your Mirror festival curated by ATP & Portishead in September 2011 in Asbury Park, New Jersey.
The have been cited as an important influence in the development of alternative music in the 1980s; Mike Watt, of Minutemen and, more recently, Nick Cave, have cited The Pop Group as an important source of inspiration on their own work. In November 2013, the band played the final holiday camp edition of the All Tomorrow's Parties festival in Camber Sands, England.
Y (April 1979, Radar Records; reissued on CD by Radar in 1996 and Rhino Records in 2007)
For How Much Longer Do We Tolerate Mass Murder? (March 1980, Rough Trade Records - included collaboration with The Last Poets)
We Are Time (December 1980, Rough Trade)
We Are All Prostitutes (retrospective compilation album, 1998, Radar Records)
Idealists In Distress from Bristol (official bootleg compilation album, 2007, Vinyl Japan, double CD, Japan only release)
"She Is Beyond Good and Evil" / "3.38" (March 1979, Radar Records)
"We Are All Prostitutes" / "Amnesty International Report" (October 1979, Rough Trade Records)
"Where There's A Will There's A Way" (March 1980, Rough Trade split release with The Slits: "In the Beginning There Was Rhythm")