Thing of the Day
Shrag's proper pop before breakfast, Hands Off Our Forests, on the hoof, Remi/Rough and Steve More go for another week...
February 5th 2011
SHRAG - Ghosts Before Breakfast
(WIAIWYA) – New free download-only single from Shrag, lead
track off the recent album, two new exclusive b-sides, here comes some
words about it…
Always good to have new songs from Shrag, can’t help but smile while you (virtually) unwrap another of their slightly spiky fizzy springy bouncy pop tunes. For they are unashamedly a pop band, a proper pop band, not one of those manufactured ones, just real people in a real band who clearly love making the kind of pop John Peel would have delighted in. What a fine way to start the day and would you really mind seeing ghosts before breakfast? Yes indeed, this south coast band have a new three tracker and their sound has rather established itself now, instantly recognisable as no one other than Brighton’s very distinctive Shrag.
Hang on though, the melodic b-side Gutless Wonder has a
beautiful glow, not just a one trick fizzy pop pony. Lead track Ghosts Before Breakfast
is apparently the “blurring in and out of one body, Steph and Helen
imagine themselves in an art-house film where everything is stop motion
and arbitrary” - Do rather like the notion that they make pop songs
that sound like panic attacks and that slightly funk-driven new wave
bass line really does compliment the not-too-shouty shouty voices of
the girls who do that multi-voiced shouty harmonised vocal thing in
such a delightfully energetic way. Fizzy new wave pop goodness that
surely would pull all the ghosts out and put big smiles on their
The lead track is off the recent album, the b-sides are new, Gutless Wonder is, by Shrag standards, subtle and beautifully restrained, the sound of Shrag almost behaving before the next fizzy pop tantrum and “no one here is leaving with that special someone tonight. The streets are huge and empty; your shadow grows fangs and cackles behind your back. No other band would be brave enough to sing Gutless Wonder to themselves every faltering step home: beautiful magic used as ritual self-abuse”, lovely keyboard lines, surely no one is coming to any harm here? Heart Open/Mouth Shut just bites down hard and goes for everything, classic Shrag tune and is that the sound of Mark E.Smith coming to town again? Should we wear a frown? Can we work it out? Multi-voiced girls making a sound you just wouldn’t mess with, a three girl/two boy gang armed with big smiles, guitar lines to shatter wine glasses and the kind of songs that really would put a smile on the face of the most heard-hearted ghost… We all like to overdose on colourful sweets and sugary cakes now and again don’t we?
This single is out as Where Its At Is Where You Are’s February free download single today: wiaiwya.com/downloads
And while we’re talking fizzy pop, the London Pop Fest is coming
together nicely, all happens this February
Here’s the schedule, bands are in alphabetical order, not in order of appearance:
Thursday 24 Feb (Bush Hall, evening):
The Pooh Sticks, Tender Trap, The Understudies + 1 more tba
Friday 25 Feb (Brixton Windmill, evening):
The Andersen Tapes, Sourpatch, Town Bike, The X-ing School
Saturday 26 Feb (100 Club, all-dayer):
Bearsuit, Evans The Death, Eux Autres, The Felt Tips, Help Stamp Out Loneliness, The History of Apple Pie, Humousexual, The Monochrome Set
Sunday 27 Feb (The Lexington, afternoon):
14 Iced Bears, The Notes, Youngfuck + 1 more tba
More details here - http://londonpopfest.com
Couple of items from the newsdesk over at SchNews, can’t really stand by and watch those Tories and them Liberal poodles sell off our forests can we?
ON THE HOOF - Last Sunday (30th) both the Forest of Dean and Grizedale Forest played host to groups of angry roamers determined to protect their woodland from the Great British sell-off.
Around 1500 mountain-bikers, horse-riders and environmentalists marched through Grizedale Forest in the Lake District with banners and placards, while the Right-to-Roam campaigners walked through the Forest of Dean.
If you had gone down to the Forest of Dean, you would have certainly been in for a big surprise as the march was populated with cross-dressers and people wearing animal masks and fancy-dress. The costumes aimed to recall an ancient tradition mentioned in Hardy's novels called Skimmington dress, symbolising the world going upside down and their disapproval of the sell-off.
Hands Off Our Forests (HOOF) have called for a national protest over the financialisation of the publicly owned land on the 26th February to ensure that those politicians are aware that a battle might have been lost but that the fight is not over.
GROW TO LIKE IT - Good news for the Transition Heathrow action group, (see SchNEWS 737) whose community garden project has been given a new lease of life as the council have grudgingly delayed eviction for another 10 months.
Grow Heathrow, a guerilla gardening faction of the Transition group, restored the neglected site of an old plant nursery into a flourishing market garden, giving people in the Heathrow area the opportunity to develop more sustainable communities.
Despite putting the disused land back to use and creating a meeting space for local people, they were threatened with eviction in December 2010. However, court papers received on the 22nd January have revealed that the project won't have to appear in court until at least November this year.
Message just in from Remi/Rough.....
"Due to the incredible success of 'A' we've extended the show for 1 week. We will now be running the exhibition until Friday 11th February.
Come down for a chat with either myself or Steve..."
More details of the show on this page - organart.com/organthing070
The show catalogue is now online here -
Lastly, here's an interview they recently did with Brainer Magazine -