From our roving reporter Tristan Harper
If music be your muse, then boy, oh boy, have we got a few treats in store for you.
When I first heard Thurston Moore was a part-time liver in and lover of Stoke Newington, it was one of those random learnings that seemed to come entirely out of leftfield. Well, Thurston, former guitarist and vocalist of Sonic Youth will be plying his trade at new local hotspot, Babble Jar, along with some nameless friends and I’d say that was an opportunity not to be missed. SOLD OUT.
Musically, that’s quite a hard act to follow, but follow it we will, and in some style.
Last year, one of my favourite moments was hearing Dave Arthur lovingly bring to life a fellow he’d written a biography about called Bert Lloyd. I’d never heard of Bert or Dave but it was quite the most fascinating hour I’d spent in some time. I’d say Peter Culshaw on Manu Chao is this year’s equivalent. Now, I have heard of Manu Chao but I know nothing about him – apart from that song Desaparecido – so I’m hooked already. Culshaw’s travelled far and wide to hear, play and write about music so he should be the perfect guide to bring this enigmatic, elusive character to life.
Saint Etienne was a pre-Britpop indie band, back when indie was indie, before it became boisterous. Paul Kelly had a brief spell as guitarist before going off to concentrate on film and design work. They’ve collaborated on three films with Kelly as director and Saint Etienne providing the soundtrack, all being portraits of London. The second, What Have You Done Today Mervyn Day? explores the history of East London’s Lower Lea Valley before it was redeveloped to become the Olympic Park. Kelly and Saint Etienne guitarist, Bob Stanley, will preview excerpts from the films (a fourth collaboration, an archive-based project entitled LDN, is due for release in autumn of this year) and talk about the places and faces that inspired each project. Event details here.
Finally, on our musical journey, I’m going to take you to a place called Juke Box Fury, compèred by the inimitable Richard Boon (The World’s Coolest Librarian. “T – bloody – M… okay?”). The Boonster (can I trademark that?) will be joined by basically the whole of The Guardian’s music department (including editor Alexis Petridis) to discuss the songs that inspired them to pick up the pen rather than the piccolo. Of course this discussion will venture off into other uncharted territory so be there if you want to learn something.
Finally, in the all-new Budvar Tent come and catch Never Mind The Buzzcocks’ Phill Jupitus and poet Tim Wells alongside local musicians Nigel Burch and The Flea Pit Orchestra and an acoustic set from Bikini Beach Band.
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