Born to a Belgian mother and an Italian father, Mélanie De Biasio a fan of groups like Nirvana composed in English. She played in several groups before focusing on jazz with the trio Harmadik Fül. During 2011 and collaborating with Avanti ASBL, De Biasio worked with prisoners in a creative process using voice, movement, breath and rhythm, which then led to a critically acclaimed performance in the prison.
Caudal is a trio featuring Aidan Baker on guitar, Gareth Sweeney on bass, and Felipe Salazar on drums. Baker’s multi-layered, heavily affected guitar overlays Sweeney and Salazar’s driving, propulsive rhythm section creating music equally influenced by krautrock, post-punk, and spacerock. Their debut album “Forever In Another World” was released in April 2013 by Oaken Palace Records. Their second album “Ascension” was released on Consouling Sounds in 2014.
In a decade peppered with cultural and economic change, the 1970s certainly churned out a vast array of musical genres. While TV sitcoms reflected the mundane of life there was also documentaries that sought out injustice and the mysteries of the world, (John Pillinger, The World in Action, Whicker’s World). In this national psyche emerged the oddity of Jake Thackray’s Yorkshire baritones penetrating the fray of well tuned southern accents, which still dominated broadcasting. My first memory of Thackray was as a young child during a magazine TV programme called That’s Life, a machine gun etiquette of consumer protection, light entertainment, performing dogs, funny shaped vegetables sitting alongside hard-hitting investigations into wrong doing. Thackray was brought up in a working-class family and enjoyed the pleasures of pale ale, rugby and pipe-smoking. After moving to Lille in France, where he taught English, Thackray became an unlikely disciple of French artists like Georges Brassen and Jacques Brel.
A poet songwriter and solitary singer Thackray’s songs were pitted with humour, satire, and social observations of everyday life. A person who shied away from the limelight, referring to himself in the 1970s, “I turned into a performing dick” after his popularity propelled him to regular TV appearances Thackery withdrew to smaller venues and pubs where he felt a connection with his audience. Aspects of this work have dated, but his importance is often overlooked, and while some lyrics may not find favour, it can be sluggish to cast off artistically given his observations are so humorously ludicrous, and light years away from them misogynism we witness in today’s music scene. It would be like trying to sensor Tom and Jerry cartoons for modern video game violence.
In his later years, Thackray was beset by health and financial problems: he had become an alcoholic and was declared bankrupt in 2000. He died of heart failure 24th December 2002. To a young child, he was an oddity. He stood out because there was no reference point to place him but he remains to this day one of those artists who is captured in glimpsed childhood memories of my parents chuckling along to the double meaning of this lyrics.
A free newspaper is thrust into my midriff. Most people simply walk past the young man distributing them. He is hardly captivating, wearing headphones, comatose in a faraway land, going through the routine. Above the announcements Waterloo Station is a cold place at the best of times. I take the paper and without looking I make my way to the bottom of the steps. I glance at it. Noticing copies are bundled on the adjacent wall, burgeoning out of refuge bins, littering the immediate pathways.
The New Musical Express (NME) was once an important and valued commodity. In fact, alongside John Peel’s radio programme, Sounds and Melody Maker, the NME was a crucial source of information on band tours, interviews, the latest record releases. I make my way to Jubilee Gardens, under the shadow of the London Eye, sit and flick through its pages. It takes about 2 minutes to glance through the photographs with bubble quotes and advertisements. The images are shiny, precise and sterile. I am old and everything is well and truly in its place.
Medium Mystic are a Brooklyn, New York garage band who have released a five track selection under the title Demo, which consists of catchy hooks and very competent songwriting. You can listen to Demo through the link below, which is also available on a name your price basis.
One of my favourite soul, funk, jazz bands on the musical circuit at this moment in time. Ephemerals don’t miss a beat. I took these photographs during the first of their two sets at the Wilderness Festival, Oxford.