What every festival backpack NEEDS to contain

1) Condoms; Let’s face it, you probably won’t get laid, i mean do you really want to ram it into the crusty unwashed orifice of somebody from Scunthorpe on Saturday night? You’re far better off using these to fill with the cider crammed contents of your bladder in what is called a “tent wee” #note tie end and chuck at the noisy bastards shouting Bollocks all night.

2) Wet Wipes; If you do opt to have actual penetrative intercourse, these are going to be necessary for those distinctly unhygienic body parts that you’re going to enter. Try to make it part of a sensuous foreplay rather than say “your snatch stinks”

3) Loo Roll; When you gotta go, you’ve gotta go and you will need your own loo roll. Several (thousand) unprepared people will have already used the portaloo prior to your visit, that is why it says ‘Brian from Barnsley woz ere’ in Brian from Barnsley’s excrement up the side of the wall. Any loo roll you have left by Sunday night can be used to make a glamorous feather boa at an end of festival camp fire party, or be like every other moron and use it to burn a portaloo to the ground.

4) Bin Bags; Seasoned campers will demonstrate good camp site etiquette by putting their empty cans of Special Brew in a bin bag conveniently placed just outside the tent. The more stylish festival goer can also use them as waterproof Ponchos, hats, sarongs. Remember you are limited only by your imagination. The more entrepreneurial punter could run up a few designs before hand and set up a stall charging £20 a go.

5) Phone Charger; Don’t let your phone battery go flat, most festivals have charging stations now so you can update your FaceBook status to inform friends back home that “OMG Moz has just done How Soon Is Now!!!” just remember that the festival is probably being televised on BBC3 and your mates will have just seen Morrissey close up in HD performing ‘How Soon Is Now’ from the comfort of their sofa, without the agony of patchouli scented dreadlocks stabbing them in the face every few minutes…



Featuring my reviews of Blood Red Shoes and Showbizheroes

My review of Azealia Banks, Tribes, Metronomy & Two Door Cinema Club for withguitars photography by Phill Hutchinson

Death Of Indie A Blog Post

Indie music died for me last night. I was at a gig that featured four acts, all extremely talented I might add, but only one was a guitar band. By the time the headline act turned the venue into a banging rave I was in mourning.

Indie used to mean something, it’s values were based on being independent and alternative. Nowadays indie seems to suggest a hairstyle or a design of trouser.

As the musical output crosses over into the mainstream, identities are lost and things get too polite. Where are the rock stars of today? To put it simply there aren’t any.

At last nights gig the guitar bands singer went all rock n roll crazy and tried to get into the crowd, he managed it after four attempts but come on Courtney Love used to do it in one usually whilst smacked off her tits and wearing stilettos.

Currently it is the rising Hip Hop star Azealia Banks bringing a rebellious attitude and fire to the music scene. Her debut single 212 has more balls than the entire crop of today’s skinny jeans brigade.

When did this happen? In the mid 90’s Brit Pop era everyone was a star, from the squabbling Gallagher brothers to the strut of Jarvis Cocker and the vitriol of flame haired Lush chanteuse Miki Berenyi - whose typical response in one of my favourite anecdotes said to a friend who had just proffered his love to her at a gig “fuck off you Ginger haired cunt”

We need that spirit, that star quality in bands today. True there are some fantastic guitar based bands at the moment with Blood Red Shoes and Pulled Apart By Horses to name but two but it isn’t enough to change an entire music scene. Just as Grunge spawned Riot Girl, a new movement is needed. Some people will argue that Riot Girl was shit but they’re missing the point, it’s the attitude, that Punk spirit that is missing from the vast majority of today’s indie scene. Today’s youth seem to think that a peperami in a wig booted off a singing contest is rock n roll, well if that doesn’t create an influx of guitar bands I don’t know what will.

Film review: We Need To Talk About Kevin

We Need To Talk About Kevin

Out 27.2.2012 on Artificial Eye DVD and Blu Ray

We Need To Talk About Kevin is an unflinching, harrowing adaption of Lionel Shriver’s novel. Directed by Lynne Ramsay (Ratcatcher) the film attacks our senses from it’s start, awash with the colour red.
Opening shots of Tilda Swinton (in a career best performance as Kevin’s mother Eva) writhing in a sea of people and tomatoes at La Tomatina Festival, flashing LED lights, a house daubed in red paint all serve as a portent for the horror to come.
Shriver’s source novel, presented in the form of letters from Eva to her estranged spouse Franklin ( John C Reilly ) was icy and for some impenetrable, here we are placed straight into the nature vs nurture debate. We see Eva trying to bond with her infant son, does her inability to do so cause him to become a homicidal maniac or is Kevin really just a horrible little shit?
All the performances here are outstanding with Reilly bringing much needed light into the family, Ezra Miller delivers chilling menace as Kevin his teen sneer exuding barely suppressed rage in every shot. But the weight of the film is draped around Tilda Swinton’s shoulders, always solid here she is a revelation. A young woman with a zest for life in the flashbacks gradually becomes the mother wearily stood near roadworks to drown out her screaming baby, and ultimately the walking wounded. Present day Eva gets punched in the face whilst walking down the street and has to hide from grieving parents in the supermarket. Tilda as Eva gives a powerful central performance, the human anchor to Miller’s Kevin an utter monster whose massacre is never fully shown, instead we are drip fed visuals of mounting casualties as screams of disembodied high school students float past. We Need To Talk About Kevin is bleak but brilliant, an arthouse horror that commands your viewing.

Jamie Gambino

Showbizheroes review

Single review
Showbizheroes ‘Climb To Fall’
Released 26th March via Urchin Records

With all recent talk about the death of guitar bands circulating, along come Showbizheroes with the follow up to their excellent debut single ‘Sinner’
Showbizheroes are a return to a bygone era of dark melodic songwriting, that delivers a well timed boot up the arse to the tepid indie hipsters of late.

'Climb To Fall' has a slow, rhythmic intro that builds up to a full blown indierock stomp. Crashing drums and spiky guitars are welded together with majestic vocals to form a song that has more hooks than the National Portrait Gallery.

If you like your music a bit indie, with touches of rock and a hint of goth then Showbizheroes could well be the band for you. If I have to criticise, then I think the songs need more prominent basslines, and despite recording in a diy studio they sound a little too polished? But still we need more bands of this calibre to drag the twitching corpse of guitar music back into relevance.

Jamie Gambino

Blood Red Shoes ‘Cold’ review

Single review

Blood Red Shoes
March 19th

Cold is the first single from Blood Red Shoes eagerly awaited third album ‘In Time To Voices’.
Probably the bands heaviest work to date, this is a tauter more muscular sound from the Brighton based duo with Steven’s machine gun drumming providing a solid beat for Laura Mary to shred guitar over.

Joint vocals are a Blood Red Shoes trademark and here they have a heartfelt, passionate urgency - Steven practically screams his first line - and the song production sounds denser, harder than anything we’ve heard from them in the past. Always a brilliant live act it will be interesting to see how they recreate the song on stage.

'Cold' serves as an excellent teaser for album number three, whereas 'Light It Up' was a good indication of what to expect from their second release 'Fire Like This' with 'Cold' it merely hints at what is to come. One thing is for sure, based on the quality of this track 'In Time To Voices' will be Blood Red Shoes time to shine.

Jamie Gambino

My interview with Matt & Nan

My recent interview with Gbenga from Metronomy