Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Introducing "V & the Vendettas"

After my studio tour I met a fresh upcoming band called “V and the Vendettas.” They've only recently formed about seven weeks ago (finding each other through an advert placed by front person Vee Double E in the UK Music Jobs website) but already this band is earning themselves a reputation for entertaining audiences with their fun and funky, party vibe energy.

Currently they are developing their music at "The Vatican" rehearsal studios by developing the arrangements of songs previously written by MC, songwriter and vocalist Vee Double E. No doubt they will soon add to this body of work with some additional tracks which we can't wait to hear!

The band describe their style as a fusion of various musical styles including : drum & bass, hip hop, electro, funk and jazz. With a number of upcoming gigs supporting charities they're well worth checking out. Many thanks to V & the Vendettas for inviting us behind the scenes and we can't wait to see you at a music festival sometime soon!

Video filmed, edited and produced by Daniel "StereoDan" Taylor

The Vatican: London Rehearsal Studio Tour

While visiting London I took an afternoon off to meet up with a talented MC, Songwriter and vocalist called Vee Double E. I know Vee well having worked with her in the studio before and collaborated on a few breakbeat / hip hop / drum & bass tracks while I was based in London.

It's great to see how things have been developing for her with her music getting played on BBC radio and other commercial radio networks. Currently she and her brand new band “V and the Vendettas” are practicing at “The Vatican” rehearsal studios so while there she took me for a quick tour around the premises.

Located under the railway arches just 5 minutes stroll from Bethnal Green tube station, the space has a really relaxed vibe and homely feel to it. I imagine it would a great place to kick back and enjoy developing your sound. Once inside there is very limited mobile phone reception which is probably a good thing!  The studios are situated at 190 Bancraft Road, London, E1 4ET and for more info check out

Filmed and edited by Daniel "StereoDan" Taylor

Fuji Rock 101

After a 14 hour train ride, 8 local japanese trains, 6 consecutive stops at 6 different ¥100 stores (for camping and other festival necessities) I have finally arrived at Naeba ski resort (which can be done if your wiser in 2 hours with the Shinkansen bullet train Osaka to Naeba direct!).

However, at this time of year there is not a ski or drop of snow in sight, but 100 000 eager (and remarkably polite) festival goers warming up for the Fuji Rock Festival 2010. With Japanese characters high and low, a 'Field of Heaven' set up on the mountain, and a 'Gypsy Avalon' placed in the skies above (literally one of the stages only reached by a cable car) this is one of the world's most unique music festivals.

Tonight the guests of Fuji Rock were buttered up by the famous Fuji Rock Gan Ban Dj's who were celebrating tonight's warm up in style with banging electro beats from the early evening to long after the sun had set for sleep. Tonight's teaser for the following three day installment has truly left me galvanized.

- Adam

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Camden Markets

With Open-air and indoor markets that offer almost everything you could imagine Camden Town, North West London is a Must. The East and West Yards of Camden Lock Market have a huge range of clothing, arts, crafts, jewellery and food on offer. The streets were bursting with life and this was only a Wednesday, I don't even know what to think about how ridiculous this place would get come weekend.

Renowned for its alternative attitude, fashion is one of the focal points for both locals and visitors. Absorbing the unique styles of the people who pass by you in the street is just the beginning. Pushed passed by an overly pierced and violently tattooed punk it was clear the locals are well and truly over tourists. Sorry but this place is my new Mecca and bargains are calling. I’m not leaving any time soon.

Dita-esque and burlesque fashion trends are popular in Camden, therefore many stores offer this plus an array of seductive modern lingerie. Also hugely popular are the Gothic and Punk styles that showcase chains, leathers, studs and not to mention an elaborate collection of Doc Martins at one of the shoe stores. I did also happen to notice the occasional latex or PVC donned mannequin in the Fetish shops. It also comes as no surprise that piercing and tattoo shops are on almost every corner. I’m due for another one, so next time perhaps.

Even with the unusual styling of Japanese street art canvassed across t shirts and bags the most unique style and shop in Camden would have to be the collection at Cyberdog. A rave influenced shop that has everything from UV and PVC clothing, light reflecting strips, fluffy pants, fluorescent everything, and odd items that will glow, flash or god knows what. Aside from the (mostly camp) store assistants flamboyantly dancing to the heavy techno being played and my experience was topped when I discovered a selection of plush STD toys. Yep, you can pick up your very own cuddly Chlamydia molecule. Strange.

Back in the stable market, posters and canvases are also a popular sale point for stall holders, many of which recreating or selling prints of the famous British graffiti artist and political activist, Banksy. I believe some of his works are even around the streets of Camden.

Food wise, these was a huge selection of market stalls, restaurants, bars and pubs, each with its own distinctive flavour. What I loved most about this was the fact that the stall holders would try and entice customers over with free samples. I probably had about four lunches that day on samples alone. The proper sit down lunch part of my free sample degustation was a table at a roof top pub overlooking the still functioning Camden Lock. The grub was OK but the view was perfect.

Having enough energy to visit all bar about 2 of the markets and stores along the main drag our Camden Market experience was complete. Actually maybe not, I did still have money in my wallet. Either way I was knackered and ready to head home….

The London Sights

London is a place of incredible history and diversity. We think we are a cultural melting pot but no where in Australia have I seen or experienced anything quite like this.

Post Latitude I spent an extra seven days in London exploring and catching up with friends. Yes, some days were dedicated to interviews for both myself and Dan, but the rest, all mine. I have been to London once before so this time around I didn’t to the whole touristy thing. No Big Ben, no London Eye and no Buckingham Palace. This time I explored the people of London

Dan and I stayed in a little hotel in Earls Court which is a nice area, very central and seemingly safe. Later to find out that the place we were staying had an armed robbery the week prior. But lighting rarely strikes twice so we would be fine.  Making my way around the city was easy, I have mastered the Tube and was pleased to discover that once you spent 5 pound on trips in a day, the rest of your travel for that day is free. Sydney really needs to invest in a system akin the Oyster – a microchip card that you can top up almost anywhere then simply hold over a censor to travel. Its fast and easy.

From the fast pace of Oxford St with it’s frantic host of department stores and mindless shoppers, to the quant river side pubs in Richmond, this trip was an entirely different experience.

Richmond Bridge over the river Thames.

Tuesday night was a trip to Camden Town to watch a friend sing at bar. Although most of the market stalls were closing or had already closed as I meandered though the unique streets of this eccentric town I quickly fell it love with what it had to offer - culture, creativity and attitude. Intrigued, I went again the following day to really see the sights….

A Meeting with Vanessa Amorosi

While we were in the UK for Latitude festival we got the amazing opportunity to meet up with Australia singer/songwriter Vanessa Amorosi in London. Recently she has been busy not only juggling music and video recordings in Los Angeles but also performing across the United Kingdom for the past three months. 2011 will most likely see her spending even more time in the UK as she promotes her forthcoming singles and maybe even an album release?

When asked about her future plans:

"There are so many plans. I'm definitely going to be having a lot of new tracks for Australia for Christmas time, which is very exciting and I'm pushing it a little bit harder in the direction that I think is me. And of course I have a new single coming out in August in Australia called Holiday"

Currently there is a competition being run by Universal Music Australia where you can go in the running to win a deluxe trip to Hawaii simply by texting an SMS to 1992 2844 to pickup her new single HOLIDAY. I think we could all use a nice beach-relaxing holiday and included is a bonus dance mix of the track ... what a worthy investment and check out Vanessa's website for more details!

So far her live performances of the recent album "Hazardous" have been received rave reviews from audiences. In particular her current single "This is who I am" and side track "Mr. Mysterious" having been going down a treat with UK audiences. Another highlight off her current album is the track "Show me how to love" which features her amazingly beautiful melody and soaring voice.

When asked about where she got her talent from she replied:

"I think I was a really shy kid, and I had a lot of personal demons and that's where it came from. I sang to make myself feel good, and it was just really high and aggressive. It's sort of gone from there, it's been something that I do to keep myself sane."

As for her current album "Hazardous" she wanted to communicate through her music some of the life experiences that previously she has kept secret from the public. Her very revealing album was predominately created in conjunction with Swedish producer Machopsycho in Gothenburg with additional tracks produced by Matthew Gerrard in Los Angeles. Mixing duties were bestowed upon Chris Lord who has brought together these collections of diverse tracks in a very tight unified way.

When looking for songwriting and music producing partners Vanessa described her approach saying:

"I was looking for a chemistry, I had a really distinctive sound that I wanted to go for. There were things that I wanted to talk about to my fans. It really just took a long time to find the people that I was able to open up with and explain the sound and have an understanding of what I was hearing to what they heard."

Special thanks to Vanessa Amorosi for meeting with us!
Filmed as part of Universal Music Australia's "My World Tour"
All music and videos used with kind permission of Universal Music Australia (c) 2009.

Made possible by the kind sponsorship of: VAustralia, Blackberry, and Mossimo

Video filmed, edited and produced by Daniel "StereoDan" Taylor
Camera assistance by Bec Clark

Post by Daniel "StereoDan" Taylor

Latitude Highs and Lows (Aside From The Music)

After getting along to a fair few, both home and aboard, you can safely pin point the things you love or the things you loath about a music festival. Latitude was no exception. In a world of its own this little field day had a touch of both…

Aside from the multitude of different entertainment arenas, many of which I barley even glanced at, there was just as vast an array food on offer. And probably the best I had seen yet. 

Not sure when Pizza was first considered Chinese but hey…

Drink prices were pretty close to pub prices – paying 3.70 quid for a beer or vodka with mixer as opposed to around 3.40 for the same thing in a pub. Needless to say drinks were a bit more X-y at the cocktail and wine bars.

One of the shitter things about Latitude was that they didn’t have free line ups or site maps on offer when you entered the gates. Instead, you had to pay 10 quid for a thick booklet that had the info you wanted/needed plus a brief low down on all the artists and performers. A Great souvenir but a bitch to carry around all day. Organisers did happen to redeem themselves by having helpful information personnel all over the place, pointing you in the right direction and letting you know what band you’re about to miss. 

Latitude is a family event and while the little kids are cute at times they do tend get under foot as did the wheel barrows and unusual carts parents brought to haul their children around in. The little ones even had their own section that offered arts, crafts and games (including mini golf). 

The teenagers were more often than not massive pains in the arse, throwing bottles and generally just behaving like twats. Perhaps the age restrictions will change for next years event following the two rapes that regrettably took place over the weekend. 

Another festival low were the toilets which were putrid… just big holes…no flushing, no cleaning, just filthy holes. High point, literally, was the grand stand seating that was on offer at the Obelisk Arena. People could really kick back, enjoy and still SEE what was going on.  And unlike Coachella, it was extremely easy to get to the front and get in a good position because people were mostly sitting and chilling. Also on the chilled note, I have to point out how subdued the crowd were, seeing only a few drunk and rowdy punters on the final day.  Did not expect that!

Kicking off around midday and ending at 11 (the music) this mean time slots were a mere 35 minutes, unless you were headlining the main stage in which you got a set closer to one and a half hours. Other minor stages, DJ orientated areas and cabaret stages were all functioning until around 2am. Sadly our lift left just after 11 each night and our (amazing) hotel was a good hour drive from the site so we missed much of the night time shenanigans. 

That said…. would I do it all again?

Without a doubt!

It was phenomenal and if I were to do it again I’d be sure to arrive earlier and leave later so I could get even more in. I highly recommend this Latitude if you have a chance.


Monday, July 26, 2010


Spray painted sheep and forest decorations...

There were not quite as many art installations as Coachella but take a look at the footage below of Latitude's famous lake display. Light displays are projected on to this constant spray of water to create this visual masterpiece.

Photos, Video and Post by Bec Clark

Ellie Goulding Interview

Bright young talent Ellie Goulding has been making waves since early this year after taking out both the BBC Sound of 2010 poll and also the Critics Choice Award at the Brits. Although this pop starlet initially had her head amongst the clouds of folk, Goulding has since teamed up with electronic producer Starsmith to produce Lights, a promising debut that is a lively taste of what this little lass has to offer. The album meanders between genres with some tracks more disco – Starry Eyed, while others more mellow – The Writer. Musically, Goulding sits somewhere between Laura Marling and Little Boots and is all about the great pop hooks. Lyrically she vocalises love-hate tales of broken romances with lines that are dauntingly true. 

I had the opportunity to catch up with the lovely Miss Goulding last Tuesday at Universal Music HQ. After a brief interview Ellie was kind enough to sign a copy of her album. We will be offering you guys the chance to win the album so stay tuned for details of the Competition.

Posted by Bec Clark Photos By Daniel Taylor

Julia Stone and Damien Rice - You're The One That I Want

I blogged about this stunning performance in my first blog/day one review of Latitude but here it is - Julia Stone and Damien Rice performing their beautiful duet from Greece the musical...

Video and Post by Bec Clark

Lauren Pritchard (Interview Soon)

Raised in Jackson, Tennessee on a musical diet of great southern soul artists such as Al Green and Aretha Franklin, 23 year old Lauren Pritchard has an eye opening story of how she made it big. Her debut album Wasted in Jackson is an earnest reflection of the trials and tribulations this little songstress fought and won to get to where she is today. Pritchard is a remarkable vocalist with a keen skill and passion for song writing. After getting that extra push from Lisa Marie Presley, Pritchard later teamed up with lyrical genius Eg White to produce an array of captivating ballads and heartfelt songs that are genuinely uplifting. Pritchard’s honest, soulful and confessional blues numbers are performed with enough pop sensibilities to ensure this stunning artist will succeed in this domain.

Dan and I were lucky enough to catch Pritchard’s stunning set just weeks ago at Latitude before having the chance to chat with her in person during rehearsals at John Henry's studio in London. Pritchard was bubbly, animated, interesting and amazingly down to earth so check back soon because the interview is on its way…

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Latitude Festival Diary (Day 03)

Thomas Woodward (aka Tom Jones) kicked off proceeding for my third and final day at Latitude festival. His arrival at the festival caused quite a stir with them shutting down roads for his entrance, so I'm glad we got up early to make sure we didn't miss this living legend!

It's an incredible achievement to think he's been a recording musician for almost 50 years. With a reputation for his overt sexuality Tom Jones performed a more mellow set of new songs which have been described as his "Johnny Cash" album. I was hoping for more of his old school, leather clad, up beat, Las Vegas showman style songs but I respected his desire to stake his claim in the religious music domain. One things for sure, this 70 year old crooner has still got THAT amazingly powerful and rich welsh voice which you can hear for miles!

Heading south of the river I caught the tail end of Egyptian Hip Hop's performance at the Sunrise arena. They had a difficult challenge to pull off such an indie attitude as they were drenched in the natural sunlight. However they managed to pull it off as the audience slowly shook off their third day dreariness and listened intently.

Back at the Obelisk stage Dirty Projectors played an explorative set of avant-garde indy music to a lazy sunday audience who were content to bask in the glorious sunshine. They showed off their musical skills with a diverse selection of songs ranging from African percussive, latin based rhythmical grooves, right through to more accessible 70's rock and experimental new wave. The audience didn't analyse it too much and just contently sat back and enjoyed the music.

I quickly watched performances by Yeasayer (picture below left) and Charlotte Gainsbourg (below right) in between a few visits to the bar (yes it was beer O'clock). Yeasayer had a peculiar mixture of electronic sounds which made for interesting listening. The usage of delay and reverb based effects was very interesting and nice to see it being incorporated into their performance as an instrument in itself. Charlotte was easy on the eye and the ear.... and being a fan of the female french accent it was pretty easy to be taken in by her performance. With a fairly simple bluesy folk rock approach there was little ornamentation added but I enjoyed it nevertheless.

Aussie alternative rock heroes The Temper Trap were a big draw card of the day for me (as they were for many others!) with their fluttering guitar riffs and uplifting vibe. Looking around the audience it was clear to see why this band is doing so well internationally as people were finally getting up from their picnic blankets to shake a leg. With a massive assortment of festivals on their agenda this year I can't wait to check them out again and get further down to the front of the audience.... or better still the media pit in front of stage!

A musical highlight for me at Latitude festival would have to be Jonsi who's captivating sonic landscape of musical textures and escalating vocals is enough to make anyone get tingles running down their spine. I didn't have a single clue about a word he said but it didn't matter as he proved how much depth of emotion could be communicated through his music. As a gentle haze arose within the tent the crowd breathed a sigh of relation as they forgot the outside world and embraced the magical experience. It was a beautiful performance but in need of fresh air I made my way out of the tent.

Well the best way to finish off a brilliant weekend at Latitude festival was very much with Vampire Weekend They pulled out a great set that got everyone back on their feet and putting on their dancing shoes on! I'd be told by someone at the festival that they had annoying winey voices which I felt was harsh and not even accurate. I think where they were coming from was that their melodies get stuck on loop in your head. Horchata has been stuck in their for a while now and my only tip to removing it is to replace it with another equally ingraining one!

So the festival was over which was a shame because it was the first time that I had felt like the atmosphere was just right. Don't get me wrong it was a really amazing festival with so much great stuff to see and do. The festival has such a wide appeal but with all the schoolies and stressed parents minding kidlets now home it was feeling more like I imagined it should. People were upbeat and enjoying themselves, engaging in sociable rants about their favourite acts and moments of Latitude festival. 

I would say this was the best festival to date on the My World Tour experience, and having been once I would definitely recommend it to someone looking for more culture then you can poke a stick at. It was made all the more great thanks to the lovely nature of the people in attendance and of course all the amazing artistic talent featured! 

Post by StereoDan