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20 Years Old, from Doncaster but live in Leeds. Music listener, creator, player, blogger

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

LIVE: The Skints + Support, Leeds Musiquarium, 25/05/13

After months of anticipation, I finally got to saw The Skints live again. This was the fourth time i've seen them, and it's probably my favourite. It's not my favourite set of theirs, or my favourite gig performance-wise (not that they weren't amazing) but the atmosphere at this gig was like no other. I've got a few videos of the night but you can barely see anything - im mainly posting them so you can hear! It was at a venue in Leeds called Musiquarium - it was quite a way out of the city centre, but it was a really cool place. You stepped through a little doorway and there was an outside area, with some wall art, fairy lights all over the ceiling, and a few sofas. When we arrived we chilled here with a pint, it was really relaxed and their was a few people from the support bands hanging around.

After we'd chilled out there for a bit, we went inside ready for the first bands. It was really warm which I thought was pretty normal for a gig but it got a lot worse. There was a bit of a delay - a lot of the gear had stopped working because it was so hot. We met the singer from Outl4w in the crowd aswell. He was a nice lad, we chatted to him for a few minutes.

The first band were Midnight Landing - a ska band who were a lot better than i expected. I'd only gone to the gig to see The Skints and Outl4w - I hadn't really listened to any of the other support bands. But these guys were really good, and we met them afterwards and talked to them for ages, they were really sound guys.

I'm pretty sure there was another band just after these, although I have no pics/videos of them, and can't remember what they were called - oooops. Outl4w played next, and they were sick. (I've written a bit of a post about them but I haven't actually posted it to the blog yet - I will in the next few days, it's got a few of their tunes on). Had a good old jump around to them, was screaming like a madman (I was a bit drunk at this point). They only played a short set, but they did all my favourites - Blackpool to Leeds, Thank Fuck for Randall and Ball and Chain.

After Outl4w, a band called Extra Curricular played. Again, a band i'd never heard of, but wow. Very, very good band. They sounded absolutely amazing, with live horns, and a great singer who really knew how to work the crowd. They weren't really the same as any other band there, but they were still very well recieved. They were Funk/Soul Jazz Blues? I have no idea haha. They had an AMAZING song that everyone there was singing called Last Day, which is ridiculously catchy and since the gig I've listened to it about 20 times. The dudes voice is just unreal. I didn't manage to get it in video, but I do have another video to post.

The crowd really started to build up by now. And it was getting really, really hot. The walls were all padded, which i guess was for soundproofing reasons, but it acted as an insulator too so it was like an oven in there - it got hotter and hotter all night. You can tell in those last pictures - Extra Curricular's singer was drenched in sweat! It only got worse through the night aswell. You can see in this picture that I was sweating buckets.

The Skints were almost an hour late on stage, through no fault of their own - the gear was breaking in the heat! But they took to the stage around 2:15am and they were incredible. As always. They've always sounded amazing every time i've seen them, and this time they didn't disappoint. They played a slightly shorter set than normal (and they didn't play the new single which I was gutted about) but it was still great. I even managed to snatch a setlist at the end which Josh signed.

 'Rise Up'
'Ratatat/No No No' 

'Culture Vulture'

Again, you can see how warm it was. I think they planned on playing for longer but they literally couldnt carry on with the heat. Afterwards I chugged lots of free ice cold water that the bar were leaving out, cos i was actually struggling to breathe. My lungs were killing, it was awful. We went outside afterwards and were lucky enough to have a chat with Josh for a bit! Then later on when they were loading their stuff into the van we got to talk to Jamie and Marci.

So thats about it. Great gig by one of my favourite bands, and I can't wait to see them again soon! Could be a year or so now :( But it'll be worth the wait!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

New Music: The Skints

It's been a while since the skints released any new studio recordings! They've given us a few acoustic sessions which always sound amazing (Kiss from a Rose and Passin' Me By have been on repeat none stop recently) but it's been a long time since there's been a proper song released.

Their new song is called 'Out My Mind' and quite frankly, it's brilliant. It has big summery vibes - i'm certainly gonna be blasting this one out loud while i sit in the sun with a beer this summer! It's mainly sung by the guitarist Josh, and it's a similar sound to the song 'Lay You Down' from their album Part and Parcel. The video's great too - I had a massive smile on my face at the end when Marci, Jamie and John show up clapping and singing the 'ba-da Ba Ba' hook! It's a real feel good song and I know any fans of The Skints will love it, and I doubt even people who haven't heard The Skints will be able to stop singing and skanking to this one. You can buy it on iTunes on the 27th May, but you can pre-order it now! I have done, it's only 99p for an amazing feel-good song that you wont stop playing this summer! They'll be sure to be playing it on their UK tour too, so get tickets to that, they're always outstanding live! I give you, The Skints - Out My Mind!

Pre-order on iTunes!

LCM Year One is Over!

The past month or so has been hectic! So much coursework to do - I've not had time to update here but it wasn't just laziness! My bad.

So my first year at Uni is over. Mental. I feel like i've only been here a few months. Time's gone too quick, its crazy to think im a third of the way through Uni already. It's dawned on me that I've wasted a lot of time this year, and I could have used the time a lot better and got a lot more done. I mean, i've still done quite a bit of music, but not nearly as much as i could have. I live in a city with an amazing music scene but i've still not started any bands or got any gigs or anything, which is what i really wanted to do! I now have close to 4 months with not a lot to do, so im going to make sure i get a decent bit of music made. A quick recap of what I've recorded or helped with recording this year..


This was the first bit of coursework I did! I took an old piece that i'd done months ago, and took all the MIDI files and put them into logic, and did a lot of work on it. I extended it, added new parts, used better samples, mixed it all better. It sounds a hell of a lot better than the original.

Lots and Lots of Bedroom Recordings

Lots of bored nights in with my flatmate resulted in these. 5 songs recorded for Tom, 1 recorded with Tom and his mate for his LCM Audition (which he passed), and then 3 songs with me on guitar and Tom singing. Probably a lot more of these to come.

Crimestoppers Dub

I recorded this for the Crimestoppers assignment at LCM - this is the first of 2 pieces. This is one of my favourite pieces i've produced this year - It sounds great and I'm really wanting to make some reggae/dub kinda music soon. Its one of the projects that im hoping to start over the next 4 months.


This was the second piece i produced for the Crimestoppers assignment. This came from an idea I had when listening to a song The Prodigy did with Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello. I had this little guitar riff in Logic on a distorted guitar with a wah pedal, and some drums, and that developed into this.


This is a more recent one that I haven't shared on this blog yet! I had to create a 4 minute piece of music and write a 2000 word essay about it (and transcribe it!) This is what I made. I wanted to do music for a certain purpose so I had more i could write about in the essay. My dad suggested doing music for a David Attenborough programme which gave me the idea to use African instruments, however this is what came. It isnt actually for a nature programme, it just kinda.. tells a kind of story. There's a theme representing a herd of gazelle at the beginning which is repeated in a minor key later to show that something has happened to the herd, theres another theme to represent a predator.. it's all explained much better in the essay!


One of my studio assignments was to record a cover of a song as a group, and it had to fit into a certain category. Then we all had to do an individual remix. It had to:
Only use the original vocal track.
Use Found Sound Drums (the version i've posted doesnt use these).
Use a synth that we have made from scratch.
Write and Record 2 original instrumental parts.

I did another reggae style remix which I think turned out pretty well! It was pretty hard to do cos the acapella tempo fluctuates from 150 bpm to 160bpm. It sounds pretty good though, I think. I never recorded 2 instrumental parts, which I could lose marks on. But there is different instrumental lines on this so they could count, i'm not sure. For the Found Sound Drums, which I didn't use on this version as it sounds better with the proper kit, I used quite a few weird things around my room. The Hi-Hat was just me ripping up a takeaway menu, then I added a bit of noise, and a lot of reverb. The Snare was me hitting the bottom of a metal bucket, layered up with me hitting a bottle of salt. I added lots of reverb and delay onto to bucket sound so as to create the typical dub sound. The kick was me slamming a cardboard box over my knee, layered up with me punching myself in the stomach. I EQ'd these and raised the low ends so it was thumpier. One thing I didn't do which i didnt think of till after, was pitch shifting the sounds so they were lower. Still, it sounded ok.

So, that's pretty much all the music i've made in my first year at Uni. Expect some more coming over the next few months as I have a lot of free time! I've just bought a melodica, so I'm hoping to use that for a couple of acoustic recordings. I'm also gonna go acoustic guitar hunting this week, so I can record some much better songs. I'm also finally gonna get my electric guitar fixed and get it restrung so I can record some reggae vibes with that! Hoping to do some kind of Skints covers!

Thanks for reading - I'll be posting more regular again from now!