Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Current stockists

Places to buy issues of The All Thrills No Frills Music Bill fanzine in paper format:

Housmans, Kings Cross
Banquet Records, Kingston
Collectors Records, Kingston
People Records, Guildford
Starswirl Etsy
SW Zines

Coming soon to:

Rough Trade East
Rough Trade West
Station Records, Milton Keynes

If you would like to buy the fanzine, but cannot get to any of the above outlets, please email us: artistic_vices at to arrange Paypal or other method of payment.

If you like what you see/read, and want to stock this music fanzine, we welcome you getting in touch at artistic_vices at

A reminder of what's in each issue...

Issue #2:
Interview with Amelia Fletcher and her band Tender Trap with in depth article on Marine Research/Tender Trap, also new Tender Trap album Ten Songs about Girls, The return of Tilly and The Wall, The seven inch singles of Pullover, Brian Jonestown Massacre live, Records recently bought: Altered Images, This Mortal Coil, John Foxx, and Teenagers in Tokyo, The Chameleons live at Camden Palace VHS tape review, Edwyn Collins's TV show, West Heath Yard, Female exclusion/abuse within music (including getting attacked at gigs), 1990s compilation tapes and 1990s music culture, Anti anti-pop consortium!, Loads of silly anecdotes/satire about bands/singers, Recent favourite record shops, Mix CD listings, Vinyl.

Issue #1:
Interview with Robyn Hitchcock, Articles on Record Store Day, vinyl, record reviews, mix CD tracklistings, also lots of incidental music fan stuff, humour. Bands featured include: Allo Darlin', Lawrence / Go Kart Mozart / Denim / Felt, Brix Smith, Bow Wow Wow, Belly, Paul Haig, lots more.

Also available a series of mini zines:

Monday, 24 June 2013

Devendra Banhart, tame imposter....

What do you do when you realise you've spent three days listening to a disc that you were led to believe was the new Devendra Banhart album - but is, in fact, by Tame Impala? This album that says Tame Impala on it came in a Devendra Banhart sleeve, and was sealed with cellophane when I bought it... from HMV.

Does this mean someone out there has a Tame Impala sleeve, with a Devendra Banhart disc inside? And are they as confused as me? And do they want to do a swap, jigsaw puzzle style?

This has never happened to me before! I've been buying music from record shops for 20 years. I'd be intrigued to hear any similar tales... It goes to show how music can't always be central to life as I get older, that I didn't notice.

I really do dig this album. From the first listen, I was captured by the very different direction Devendra Banhart had chosen to take. Drums so high and pounding in the mix, electronic sounds, and a very big, fuzzy, hazy, echoing sound that I bet would sound incredible and even more echoing and astoundingly all-encompassing on certain drugs. It sounds so 60s and so Beatles-y, that I just cruised along, merrily accepting that this was Devendra Banhart. The music is very plausible, in its Beatles-like 60s way - he's a huge hippie. It's the voice that I kept questioning. It sounds exactly like John Lennon, especially on the first track. I just ended up assuming there was some sort of John Lennon machine and Devendra had channelled his voice through it. His own voice is much deeper, so this album has been jarring with me a bit and making me wonder, it being so much higher... like it was a different vocalist.

I didn't look at the label on the actual disc much, only the album sleeve, until today. So when I picked the CD up today, from the player, and inspected it absent-mindedly for the first time, I suddenly realised what was actually written on it was Tame Impala. For a split second, I thought it must be a misprint, I'd gotten so used to this album being the latest Devendra Banhart release...

But now I'm in the position where I can't locate any receipt, and I'm wondering: do I want to go in and ask for the Tame Impala sleeve, then wait till I can buy the Devendra Banhart album... Or go and demand my copy of the rightful Devendra Banhart album and let them sort it out with the distribution company... Or keep my wonky, unique musical artefact... No proof that it is the mishap that I say it is, though...

You don't get this fun and serendipity with downloading music, now, do you?

Friday, 21 June 2013

Allo Darlin' @ The Half Moon, Herne Hill, London, 20th June 2013

The Half Moon in Herne Hill is a stone's throw away from Brixton. It's a stunning, historical pub, with a brilliant backroom for gigs. Last time I was here was for an all-day shoegaze/dream pop festival with a record fair. I was thrilled when one of my favourite current indie pop bands, Allo Darlin' announced a 'compass' tour of London - playing in four different corners, north, east, west, and here in Herne Hill: south (west). Tickets were instantly bought.

it's so nice to have a gig that is not in the typical, clich├ęd, 'cool' places of the moment like Shoreditch or Dalston - moreover, this was a pretty local gig for me, and travel was a joy.

I'm afraid the night was tinged with a little sadness, though, since - whilst looking online for stage times - I had come across a website noting the possible plans to convert the gig room into flats ! This trend - and the trend for converting pubs into mini, big chain supermarkets - is heartbreaking to a music fan like me, who thrives on tiny gigs. So I made the most of being in the venue with the utter privilege of this wonderful, fun band tonight. I took photos of the venue, although sadly it was too dark to capture the golden stars and chandeliers adorning the ceiling. I got a nice red-lit shot of the stage before the bands came on. And those plush, turquoise velvet curtains surrounding the stage too.

It was such a fun gig. This was my third Allo Darlin' gig, and the band always put a smile on my face. Elizabeth Morriss's own smile, and her pure, obvious enjoyment in singing and playing is so infectious. The new song sounded so strong. Since I didn't have names to note down set-list style, I, er, just wrote down the themes of the new songs: being stronger, nostalgia, Australia, living in a cupboard. The Allo Darlin indie pop songwriting skills are at work, so much melody, energy, and genuine emotion. Elizabeth Morris has one of my favourite singing voices, lots of warmth and feeling.

Sad for the blurriness of these photos, but we are lo-fi here.

The Wave Pictures were in support, with Darren Hayman style vocals, and songs of Johnny Cash's shoes, and whisky, and tales of the heart.

I had a good time, chatting to the Fortuna Pop people, who were kind to put the paper zine of The All Thrills No Frills Music Bill on their merchandise stall. Allo Darlin are featured in two issues! Another Fortuna Pop band, Tender Trap are also interviewed in issue two of the zine. Nice to bump into two people that were dining with Tender Trap and us the night we interviewed them, including a sound engineer for various bands including The Wave Pictures and The Lovely Eggs, and a DJ from Atta Girl club. I passed some zines on to be sold at the next Atta Girl club night, in Birmingham, which is this coming Saturday 22nd, at The Hare and Hounds pub. Wish I could go!

Rounded off the night by transporting myself back to my youth and trying on band t shirts for size in the gig venue toilets! Came home with a bright orange, sunny, lovely Allo Darlin' t-shirt, plus replaced our digital version of the recent, very excellent Tender Trap album, with a physical CD version. And that's how gigs should be, amazing venues, full of community, supporting independent bands and labels and promoters who work damn hard in really harsh times, and where you come away smiling.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

New mini issue of The All Thrills No Frills Music Bill out now!

New mini print issue of The All Thrills No Frills Music Bill is now ready to go! It is a special about Milton Keynes, and being an indie kid growing up there. Always meant to start writing about my hometown Milton Keynes, especially how much music played its part. Now there is the arrival of a new record shop by the train station, I felt excited at the prospect, and decided to make a special mini fanzine/zine for the launch day, which is June 29th!

This Milton Keynes special issue of the music fanzine is a kind of alphabetised list of music-related things I recall/treasured. Record shops, market stalls, gig venues, indie club nights, the music fanzine I started there, and more.

BUY BUY NOW! From the Etsy shop.

You can also buy via email to get Paypal details via artistic_vices @ yahoo dot co dot uk (£1.20 including postage). I'll get it out to some record shops soon. And, of course, it will be available on the day that Station Records launches its vinyl wares in Milton Keynes!

Station Records will be open every Saturday from 29th June. They will be raising money for Make A Difference youth projects. The address for the record shop is: The Cafe @ The Buszy, 401 Elder Gate, Central Milton Keynes, MK9 1LR.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Six by Seven times nine!

Not only am I addicted to the new songs from Six By Seven's next album, over at Soundcloud, but I finally got round to fixing up the holes in my Six by Seven album collection (it's perfect, I've only doubled up with one album but plan on gifting it to somebody).

Nine albums for £5?! Courtesy of the band at their website.
It's a necessary parcel of noisy panacea that I was so gladdened to come home to. Really looking forward to hearing Chris Olley's solo work properly now too.

Did you know Chris Olley makes fuzz pedals?

Onwards to the new album, Love, Peace and Sympathy, hoping to track it down in an independent shop near me ASAP.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Shop 33, Luton

Really nice sounding shop has opened its doors in Luton. All things arts, crafts, and music - plus they are a record label!

It's part of the regeneration of the High Town area of Luton, which can only be positive. The people working for the shop are volunteers and they're really ace.

I might also add that one of them has taken on some copies of the paper version of The All Thrills No Frills Music Bill! Issue #2 featuring a huge article and in depth interview with Tender Trap/Amelia Fletcher, plus all sorts of bits and bobs on bands like Tilly and the Wall, This Mortal Coil, Teenagers in Tokyo, Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Chameleons, Edwyn Collins... and stuff about record shops, music culture (this issue looks at females being attacked by males at gigs), compilation tapes, pop recommendations, and, er, Luke Haines's cat, of course!

Shop 33 also stocks the fantastic local-to-Luton Clod magazine - a surreal, satirical work of genius that always makes me laugh aloud. Plus, records by local Luton band The Knockouts, and plenty of other rock/jazz/alt stuff.

The interior of the shop looks really artistic, and I look forward to visiting one day.

A New Record Shop for Milton Keynes!

I am really, really thrilled to learn that my hometown is soon to be enlivened by the launch of a second-hand record shop!

Station Records will be popping up at the new community initiative, The Buszy, former Milton Keynes bus station, close to the train station.

The Buszy came to my attention when I spotted - on a visit to MK - a sign that said THRIFT STORE. Then I came across the Twitter account for Moments in Wax, a new regular club night hosted there that plays a classic vinyl album in its entirety (the first one was Dark Side of the Moon, by Pink Floyd). I then heard about all kinds of fun goings on for youths at The Buszy, such as dance classes, skateboarding shows, vintage clothes/books/bric-a-brac and more on sale, and new skills for young people to learn in this community space.

It sounds like exactly what Milton Keynes has been missing. I spent my early 20s plotting indie club nights and various ways to make my hometown more musically richer. Even in the last year or so I have still found myself dreaming up independent record shop ideas and wanting to set something up myself - the thing is to make a quiet suburban place better, and try to create what you want, not just bemoan the place. Yes, I live in London now, but I still go back to Milton Keynes, and I still have a little place for it in my heart - I defy the detractors' uneducated diatribes against the city, since I have a slew of amazing aspects I can readily name that give the city a heart, and uniqueness. People make assumptions, people ridicule, people just haven't been there properly to know more. There might be shortcomings, but, well, why not kick something off to make the place your happier haven? It was here that I first started making music fanzines, and got to interview all kinds of amazing bands. I have many fond memories of gigs, music shops, record fairs, that first bought guitar, and music fandom and community. And so... a new record shop for Milton Keynes!

It is true that for some time in recent years musical stuff has been a bit more lacking than in former years. The late 90s saw bands such as REM, Mansun, Placebo, Blur, and so on play in Milton Keynes. There were regular decent gigs. There was a really worthy second-hand record shop in Wolverton in the shape of Fish Music (sadly, now closed, as many small music shops have in the UK). That record shop shaped my musical tastes, assisted my life story. We also had excellent secondhand music stalls on the market, which fuelled my liking of The Cure at a time when The Cure had gone all quiet and had not been resurrected as extremely cool and name-check worthy again (it took a huge number of years for that in the UK, and it still baffles me).

With the demise of so many music shops in Milton Keynes over the years (in my teens there were at least three or four: Andy's, Our Price, Fish Music, and possibly HMV at that same one time, if memory serves), I was bowled over to hear an announcement on Twitter that there is to be a new second hand record shop introduced at The Buszy premises! How ace will that be?

Open every Saturday from the 29th June, the shop will stock tapes, vinyl, and more. At last check, the stock has reached treble figures.

Profits from the project are going to go to a youth work charity called Make a Difference. And Station Records is also seeking to stock local artists.

The store is run by Warren Smith whose music fandom once reached into making a music fanzine local to Milton Keynes.

The All Thrills No Frills Music Bill paper fanzine (counterpart to this very blog) looks set to be stocked in Station Records, too. So look out for it on the 29th, when the store launches! We are working on a Milton Keynes music memories special.

Here's to runaway success for a wonderfully welcome and exciting independent initiative in Milton Keynes.

EMAIL: stationrecordsmk AT

Moments in Wax club night

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Music pub gentrification and loss

Just read in the CAMRA official publication that The Grosvenor pub in Stockwell, south London has been sold to a property developer.

I fear about the future of pubs in general, have done for a couple of years, and seen and felt so many negative, dramatic changes, or losses - especially to music venue pubs.

I had a sad day for favourite London pubs yesterday - first a visit to The Hope and Anchor yielded the fact that it now resembled one of those identikit looking swish eating pubs - all the historical music posters from the punk 70s and post-punk 80s have been removed, replaced with Breakfast at Tiffany's style dainty wallpaper. This isn't what I want as a music fan - The Hope and Anchor was a wonderfully old, historical music pub, famed for its venue, and loved by me (and by many others, I'm sure) for its jukebox music, and rock pub feel, plus pool table upstairs. It was the pub I always took friends of indie/musical mind to, place have a pint and a talk about music, with decent music, and maybe a game of pool soundtracked by decent music. Thankfully, the gig venue remains, as does the jukebox (not sure about the pool). The basement gig venue is the place's heartbeat. Pretty much every punk/new wave band has played there, and there are innumerable new bands starting out from here still. But it's just not the same in the main room of the pub. It's all too sensible now, and has lost much of the feel that made it totally unique, famous, a place to want to go out of your way to go to if you were not local (when I was local, I was in there so much, it's the only place I've ever drunk in where I'd go up to the bar, and they'd already be pouring my favoured pint).

I don't mind that it might serve food to survive - god knows pubs need to do what they can to survive in these harsh times, and food is useful to the drinker - but to strip this landmark pub of its history is unforgiveable, and beyond belief. I saw this happen to The Half Moon in Putney, and I find it too distasteful to go back now it is a wine-glass/napkins-on table eaterie with so much faux decoration and all the musical history torn out - plus, it's painted the most depressingly drab grey in the world (over its beautiful Victorian red brick).

Also yesterday I was floored to walk up to Filthy McNasty's with a couple of its fans in tow, to see that a sign had been put up: COMING SOON! MEAT LOVERS' PUB! A bit of investigation asserted that the pub has indeed been sold. Also, merely looking inside the windows you could see that all the historical music posters had been completely removed - in favour of stark white walling. The place looks completely devoid of character so far. And as a non-meat eater, it will never get my custom in my lifetime. I'm guessing a new food pub won't launch itself under the original name of Filthy McNasty's...

Again, another significant pub. Owned in part, I believe, by Shane MacGowan of the Pogues, and a place where there was always a good atmosphere, and a welcome if you were an alternative music fan. A place that hosted book readings, off-kilter gigs, showed films, and was just generally an individual place to enjoy the night. Lost forever. Its owners do still have the Boogaloo up in Highgate, thank goodness (let's hope that legendary joint is secure). And there is also the New Rose down on the Old Essex Road, which is nearby to Filthy's but that place is not quite the same in look and feel. However, it does play excellent music (yesterday enjoyed a slew of stuff, mainly 60s garage rock and pop, and some newer stuff. Particularly The Box Tops' The Letter, and Let's Pretend It's Summer by the Brian Jonestown Massacre - tell me anywhere where you can hear all that of a casual afternoon!), and it is helpfully located a stone's throw from a couple of excellent record shops (Haggle and Flashback Records).

So, three London pub blows in one afternoon/evening for me yesterday. The future feels quite threatening, and so so sad and empty. That's why it is a political act where you choose to go and what you choose to do. Supporting your favourite (and especially those that are independent or small in operation) pubs, shops, etc is more crucial than ever. Rising prices for pints and pretty much in everything else, plus so many other factors (rent, wages, licensing laws, the smoking ban), have throttled pubs' abilities to survive so much. But should this really result in pubs becoming identikit or dull/conservative looking over-priced/unaffordable dining houses? Is that what people really want?

Under this government, property sell-offs and development are like a (cold) soul to everything. Anything that can be bought up and refurbished or sold for big bucks seems to be in danger of being up for the taking when times are tough - but how many more ugly looking mini/express big-name supermarkets and 'luxury' high-rise flats do we need? It feels like gentrification has taken over, and beyond the loss of communal places like pubs/cafes/libraries, lies not only the loss of community, but moreover for crass money-orientated individualism to succeed over all - combined with other current factors (and many more just kicking in), so many people are going to be pushed out of the city of London unless they are rich. The message seems to be clear: rich people welcome, we want to cater for you above everyone else.