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SnC 036 – Wed 18 Oct 2006

I was in Leeds at the end of last week and had an evening to myself before a load of meetings. It’s a while since I was in central Leeds and the speed and extent of development is astonishing.  New high-rise buildings seem to be going up all around the city centre. I don’t know how the good people of Leeds feel about the transformation but it certainly looks impressive. There seems to be something about a time when lots of development is happening which gives developers permission to be a bit adventurous and even whimsical. I just caught these birds out of the corner of my eye and had to stop for a photograph.A quick check on the web threw up some live music at a really good cafe bar called The Wardrobe, it’s just near the West Yorkshire Playhouse.  Cara Robinson was singing with her compact (but perfectly formed) band of keyboards, guitars, bass and drums. What a find. Every member earned their keep and then some with some really solid bass (Neil Innes) and drums (Andy Marshall) intelligently overlaid by creative and virtuoso piano from Joe Tatton and some blinding slide guitar from Rob Durbin. I didn’t go to Leeds specifically to see Cara, but had I realised how good she is I probably would have done. The Album Keeper Lit is consistently fine and deserves wider recognition – you can get it online from Amazon.co.uk or by Paypal, direct from Cara.  SUN – Cara Robinson (Leeds, UK)Even during the early stages of her career, Cara Robinson was writing and recording with notable artists from a huge range of musical genres, including David Holmes, LTJ Bukem and upcoming EMI artist, Corinne Bailey Rae. She has toured throughout the UK as a session singer, backing singer and solo artist. As a backing singer for Sony’s Rhianna, she toured Japan and the UK, supporting Jamiroquai and Beverly Knight. Her soulful, thoughtful and innocent voice has featured on various documentaries for Ulster TV.Keeper Lit is Cara’s impressive debut album, which she wrote and produced with keyboard player Joe Tatton. the closeness of the band has been established over years of working together and is audible in the tightness of the grooves and subtleties of the tunes.The collaborative work ignores all musical boundaries and acknowledges all that is good about blues, folk, alt-country and rock, giving more than a nod of gratitude to Cara’s roots in Northern Ireland.Leeds – Wardrobe – 21st Oct, 12am – 1:30am, MotownLeeds – Hi-Fi 27th Oct – Oxfam charity gig AlbumLeeds – Dr Wu’s 11th Nov – Album Gig Cara Robinsonhttp://www.cararobinson.com/News from Kat Leese (Katbite) she’ll be playing UK solo dates at the end of January and is searching for good venues. Let me know if you’ve got a venue suggestion and I’ll pass it on to Kat. I’ll keep you informed.Girlfriend go crazy – Miss the Occupier (Glasgow, Scotland)Formed in Glasgow in 2003, MTO (Roz Davies, Magnus Hughson and Derek Butters) stick to a three-piece ethic with songs punchy, pacy and loud. A single was released on Skribble Records in March 2006, and the band are looking to release their first album, which was recorded with Mark Nicol in April.http://www.misstheoccupier.com/Also heard from MyVisor this week. They have a full on electric gig on Saturday (21st) at The Marquee on Cattlemarket Street in Norwich.Nothing at all – Wired all Wrong (California) FIRST PLAYRock producer supergroup, Jeff Turzo (God Lives Underwater, Paul Oakenfold) and Matt Mahaffey (Self, Beck) turn modern rock into a menacing pop beast, complete with chopped up distorted guitars, breakbeats, catchy harmonized choruses and song-flows from tongue-in-cheek chic to balls out rock. On top of thathttp://www.myspace.com/wiredallwrongHopa di Bida – Fishtank ensemble (New York, USA)Fishtank formed around the arrival in our midst of the gifted young fiddler Fabrice Martinez. Originally from France, he has spent the last seven years traveling around Europe in a mule-drawn caravan learning and playing folk music with the ensemble "Croque Mule." Much of that time was spent living in Rumaniahttp://fishtankensemble.com/Tomorrow – Kiran Hungin (London, UK)Vocals – Kiran HunginOn recording:Guitar – Rachael WoodLive / on future EP (yay):Guitar – Tom Rogers, Bass – Dan, Drums/percussion – ShaneSo, I’m from the North East. Teesside to be precise. With one parent from Surrey and the other born and raised in Nairobi, you might say my upbringing wasn’t a typically Northen affair. Though I do say words such as ‘class’… and on occasion, ‘mint’ – but usually that one only escapes when conversing with my younger (and extremely more Northern I might add) sibling.Songwriting is my chocolate. Actually it’s my Haribo. It’s my friend, my enemy, my life coach, my bully, my lover and my pet. You get the idea. I think a lot. About everything. Sometimes my brain feels like it will cave in due to excess thoughtage, so in a sense the process of my brain spilling out words into songs is not only cathartic, but a self-defence mechanism. A funking great one.Kiran is playing the Winelight Club in Norwich on 1st November.http://www.myspace.com/kiranhunginWinelight Club (Norwich, UK)This Saturday (21st October), the Winelight is playing host to a special event, As part of the Norwich Food Festival, the club, in association with the Wine Press, is proud to present an evening of superb entertainment and dinner at the Wine Press, Norwich. For an all inclusive price of £19.50 (which includes a £3 discount to newsletter subscribers) you can enjoy a 2 course a la carte meal and a full set from the enigmatic and mesmerising Naama Hillman.Naama, who played a stunning set at their last Wednesday club night, rarely plays in the UK instead preferring to accept lucrative offers to appear at the infamous Zappa Club (Tel Aviv) and GBGB’s (New York). This is indeed a rare opportunity to see and hear such talent in such intimate surroundings in the UK. One not to be missed. Reservations 01603 622134PC podcastOn my way up to Leeds, I was listening to PC Podcast 65 when Pete Cogle played an astounding song from Cornwall (here in the UK) rendered as dub reggae. So you have traditional instruments and all the trimming of dub. As Pete said to me, "I just love the way some artists juxtapose some of the most unexpected musical styles and come up with a great sound.  Just got to find some hurdy-gurdy thrash metal for next weeks show now."I was going to resist the temptation but I think I’ll have to contact the band, Begas Deval and see if I can play it on Suffolk ‘n’ Cool but if you can’t wait check out show 65 of PC Podcast at http://pcpodcast.blogsome.comHold on – Tim Armstrong (California, USA)Formerly of Operation Ivy and currently in Rancid, Tim Armstrong is a Bay Area Punk LEGEND. He has a brand new solo release called ‘A Poet’s Life’ on that drops 11/7 on Epitaph Records.http://www.epitaph.com/artists/artist/233

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