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The life and times of james Hart: his family, his music, life in Luton and his occasional escapes onto the internet.

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Saturday, 15 May 2004


I've not really written a great deal of late - life's been full to saturation with the daily grind. As summer approaches, though, there'll probably be more going on!

For the time being, though, here's a quick entry about the music gigs I've attended in the last six months. I don't get to see a band or artist perform live very often (it often involves a fair expense or a smoky environment) but I do try and make a brief recording using my iPAQ if I can, so I can relive the musical memory.

The Bluetones

Back in December, I saw The Bluetones with my pal Elin at the Astoria in London. Like Crowded House, it's hard to recall more than a couple of songs they've made, but, given the chance to hear their repertoire of melodic, catchy tunes, it's surprising how many I recognise. It's not helped by the way they give their songs unusual (and sometimes incongruous) names, so a look at a greatest hits album wouldn't give much away.

  • The Bluetones - Bluetonic [1'18]
    [listen] (922kB @ 96 kbps)

The Keys

My friend Joanne celebrated her birthday back in March, and part of the celebrations involved a trip to her local pub to enjoy some live music. They had three bands on that night - not bad for three pounds - the first two acts being of the drab, indie guitary nature, and the headline act being refreshingly not like that at all. They were called The Keys and came from Wales. All of the music was almost painfully loud - not surprising, considering the size of the venue and the amount of equipment piled around the stage - but I managed to record a short excerpt that reminded me a little of The Bluetones and The Thrills.

  • The Keys - {unknown song} [1'10]
    [listen] (422kB @ 48 kbps)

Duran Duran

I was invited, by a generous internet friend, to see Duran Duran at the enormous Manchester Evening News Arena. They certainly didn't disappoint, with some rather impressive stage design and an excellent support act (which, because I didn't have the programme and nobody mentioned it at any time, I subsequently discovered was Goldfrapp). The sound quality was fantastic (not much of a surprise, considering the MEN Arena is the biggest purpose-built music venue in Europe) and once again, I returned home with ears ringing. Here's an excerpt of one of my favourite Duran Duran songs ..

  • Duran Duran - Ordinary World [1'30]
    [listen] (528kB @ 48 kbps)

Polly Paulusma & David Blayze

Earlier this month, Beth and I were lucky enough to get tickets for Polly Paulusma at the small Bush Hall venue. The support act was melodic and interesting, although I know precious little about him (there's not much on the internet about David Blayze at the moment, and the pen had disappeared by the time I'd made it to the piece of paper on which I could sign up to the mailing list after the gig). Polly was short, energetic and enchanting, and her performance completely transformed my enjoyment of the CD.

  • David Blayze - {unknown song} [1'10]
    [listen] (413kB @ 48 kbps)

  • Polly Paulusma - Dark Side [1'06]
    [listen] (388kB @ 48 kbps)

All this live music has inspired me - at some point this year, I'd love to do an 'open mike' performance somewhere, and Jude (the band I have recently joined) is currently rehearsing for a small performance in late June. We'll see...

Posted by james at May 15, 2004 9:00 PM

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