By Mary Chang on Tuesday, 5th March 2013 at 9:00 am
Words by Alex Johnson
Nessie’s going to be rocking out this summer as Rockness is returning to the banks of Loch Ness this year with a killer line up.
From the 7th to the 9th of June, Clune Farm will be playing host to some of the hottest acts 2013 has to offer. The line-up includes some cracking bands and artists such as ska legends Madness, Bombay Bicycle Club and newly anointed BRIT winner Ben Howard. Alongside them will be the Rockness veterans Fatboy Slim and recently announced headliner Plan B.
As wonderful as these guys will make a sunny weekend in the most mysterious banks of Scotland, you could make your weekend even better if you head over to the festival’s competition for 4 days of VIP access here. It’s worth it for the luxury toilets.
Here’s the full line-up as it stands right now:
• Above and Beyond
• Alabama 3
• Alex Metric
• Basement Jaxx (headliner)
• Ben Howard
• Bombay Bicycle Club
• Booka Shade
• Camera Obscura
• Carl Craig
• Ellie Goulding
• Example (headliner)
• Fatboy Slim
• Gary Beck
• Hand Bouffmyhre
• Harvey Mckay
• Jaguar Skills
• Jessie Ware
• Josh Wink
• Julio Bashmore
• Mark Henning
• Netsky Live!
• Newton Faulkner
• Nic Fanciulli
• Plan B (headliner)
• Steve Aoki
• The Maccabees
• The Temper Trap
• The Vaccines
This line up is a glorious melting pot of DJs (Fatboy Slim, Netsky, Jaguar Skills), rappers (Plan B, Example), indie bands (The Vaccines, TGTF favourites The Temper Trap) and indie acoustic solo acts (Ben Howard, Newton Faulkner) with something to please everyone.
Tickets to Rockness are going to set you back £139 for the 3 days and camping. For the rest of the ticket prices and to buy, head here.
Biffy Clyro and Mumford and Sons absolutely killed it last year, but with a line up like this, the Loch Ness monster will have to do something spectacular to stop Rockness 2013 outdoing it.
By Mary Chang on Friday, 7th December 2012 at 4:00 pm
I suppose it’s quite possible to do the same in London for a similar awards show. But for an American, it felt very surreal having Indian food (and really good Indian food!) at a food court for lunch right before reporting to the Sydney Entertainment Centre to cover the red carpet at this year’s ARIA Awards, the 26th year for the Australian music industry’s highest honours. While it may seem like quite a hike from Washington DC to Sydney, I had booked my flight – a birthday present to myself – to the Land Down Under before I found out the inaugural ARIA Week and the famous awards show was taking place the exact same week. When in Rome…
Covered in a high SPF suncream, I thought I was covered when it came to standing for a couple hours outside with the late spring sun blazing down. (Ehh, not so much: I saw later after everything was over, when I went to the ladies’, that I had an unattractive unilateral sunburn on the right half of my body, with tan lines around a ring and a bracelet I was wearing. The battle scars are now unattractively peeling…) As noted through photographic evidence at a Filter Magazine showcase at SXSW, I always wear a hat when it’s sunny, and this was no different: I brought two hats for the occasion, thinking that I better have a fetching looking one while on the red carpet, chatting effortlessly with the celebs, and one for when I was off duty, getting boiled by the Australian rays.
Well, the first half of that plan didn’t really come together. Maybe I had made the wrong fairytale assumptions of “working the red carpet” from all the years watching local girl Giuliana DePandi of e! News on the red carpet at the Oscars. First off, the red carpet wasn’t even red, it was black. (Eh?) Second, we were corralled behind metal barriers for the duration of the red carpet portion of the event. I never wear high heels – with my clumsiness, I always worry I’ll fall – but I had to laugh internally in my sandals thinking about all the precarious, multi-inch footwear I’d seen coming in with all the other members of the media. From behind the metal barrier, I could have been wearing jeans, sweatpants…no-one would ever have known. Ah well. (For the record, I tried to glam it up with a gold skirt.)
Fits of screaming would erupt at one end of the carpet or the other, making us wonder if someone famous had arrived. There were of course loads of false alarms, but also there were some ‘canned’ moments when the official tv crew asked the young fans, who had been standing there for hours for their favourite artists and were therefore severely dehydrated and also sunburnt, to scream wildly for the cameras. We watched as presenters from various shows were shepherded through to the carpet to make their introductory appearances for their corresponding programmes and then later, snagging some artists for impromptu interviews as they headed down the carpet.
Probably the most exciting moment at the beginning was when a table was set out on the carpet and someone with a ball cap (not sure who) on did a one-handed stand and other physical tricks. The weirdest moments? Bananas in Pajamas came by and wanted to take pictures with or pose for everyone, as did Dorothy the Dinosaur.
As explained by our AU Review friends in their report here, some other members of the media were less than, shall we say, thoughtful. We were on opposite sides of the aisle of carpet, so we had different challenges for the afternoon. I was a little weirded out by other people taping my interviews with their recording equipment (aren’t there journalistic rules against this?), so if you hear my voice on an Australian Web site, they’re one of the offenders. When event staff determined a disabled section was to suddenly encroach our side of the carpet, I totally understood and was ok with this decision, since the area would be to my left.
However, with the media to my left forced to decamp when the area was widened, what ended up happening? We were practically on top of each other, having to fight for real estate at the barrier. Being a single person, without large camera equipment, I probably should have kicked up a bigger fight and not gotten pushed out by other media, but I wasn’t too pleased having earlier being talked down to by someone who I think was from a fashion blog. I wasn’t pleased when a video crew were practically on top of me when our friends the Temper Trap passed by and I couldn’t get a word with any of them, I was able to see them later in the media room (stay tuned for that report).
All things considered, getting a brief interview with Example, who was attending with his new fiancé, Australian model and presenter Erin McNaught (the woman in the green dress with her back to us; a better photo of her is after the Soundcloud widget below), was a coup. I had hoped he would speak more about his new album ‘The Evolution of Man’ but I think he was more interested in having a night off, basking in the celeb glow of his woman being photographed by a million flashbulbs. I also would like to point out that the man must not sweat, as he was wearing a leather jacket and looked cool as a cucumber as he made his way down the carpet. Thanks, Example, for being my first interviewee at the ARIAs!
As a bit of a joke, I nabbed two loudmouths, waiting for their wives (whose famous identities are still unknown), for some off-kilter comedy.
I also nabbed an interview with the chaps in sleepmakeswaves, an instrumental, post-rock band that I guess could best be compared to Mogwai and Sigur Ros. Really nice guys and although one of them was really, really excited to see Taylor Swift perform (the most anticipated performer of the night, judging from the screams when Ms. Swift went quickly past us), they seemed just really pleased to have been nominated for Best Hard Rock / Heavy Metal album. (Unfortunately, they lost to popular Brisbane thrash band DZ Deathrays.)
Matt Corby, who I caught at St. David’s Historic Sanctuary at SXSW and I had hoped to talk with, was a no-show. So that was a bit of a disappointment. All in all, while it would have been great to have I think it was a good introduction to the madness of the ‘red’ carpet and I think we’re in much better position, just with my own experience from the ARIAs, to cover the BRITs in the future. Fingers crossed!
By Mary Chang on Monday, 19th November 2012 at 12:00 pm
Words by guest reviewer Carrie Clancy
I’m not into dance / club / electro / techno / hip hop / dubstep music. When my Twitter feed started buzzing about Example‘s new album, I stifled a yawn and scrolled down the page. But when I spied a Tweet from someone whose musical opinions I respect, about the album’s first single, ‘Say Nothing’ I narrowed my eyes and clicked the accompanying link. And…the single wasn’t bad. On subsequent listens, I quite liked it. I was disappointed that ‘Say Nothing’ wasn’t available for purchase in America, so I decided to seek out more information on the album proper. Thus began my virgin foray into the world of dance / club / electro / techno / hip-hop / dubstep / whatevs… via ‘The Evolution of Man’, out today on Ministry of Sound.
Except this album isn’t dance / club / electro / techno / hip-hop / dubstep. It’s a pop/rock album with a very definite electro-dance slant. In fact, the album leans more heavily toward guitar rock than I expected, with Blur’s Graham Coxon contributing guitar work to four tracks. With massive production by several well-known electronic music specialists (Feed Me, Dirty South, Tommy Trash, Skream, Benga), the dance element is still strongly present. The resulting album has a fresh, edgy sound sure to grab the attention of critics and fans alike.
I caught myself dancing along to the heavy beats, at first reluctantly but more willingly as the album went on. Example’s singing voice is pleasantly clear and melodic, with a very sexy timbre in the low register. The choruses are sharp and clever, even on the occasions when eloquence is sacrificed for the rhyme scheme. Thematically, these are mature, self-reflective songs with provocatively witty lyrics. Example and his team of musicians show admirable restraint in not obliterating the songs’ emotional effects with a battering ram of sound.
The first three singles are definite highlights on the album. Anyone familiar with Johnny McDaid’s work (Snow Patrol, Paul Van Dyk, Vega 4), will recognize his stamp on the lovelorn lyrics of ‘Say Nothing’. ‘Close Enemies’ (video below), the album’s second single, is possibly my favorite track, with its infectiously singable and danceable chorus, “keep your best friends close by / but keep your enemies closer”. Third single ‘Perfect Replacement’ is the most heavily dance-oriented track on the album.
The track sequencing is seamlessly effective from beginning to end. ‘Come Taste the Rainbow’ has a sultry, sexy chorus and uses the eponymous lyric without becoming childish or vulgar (or both). Penultimate track ‘Are You Sitting Comfortably?’ is the most in-your-face, aggressive rock song on the album, and is probably deliberately situated next to the familiar dance sound of ‘We’ll Be Coming Back’ (by Calvin Harris and Example).
In summary, I was completely awestruck by this album; it blew away any preconceived notions I might have had. As a self-confessed music snob, I feel a bit guilty about enjoying it, but I also have the feeling that was Example’s intention. ‘The Evolution of Man’ is the most apt title I’ve ever encountered, for here, Example has undertaken the kind of artistic change-in-direction that may alienate old fans but will certainly reap new ones.
‘The Evolution of Man’, the new album from Example, is now available on Ministry of Sound. He will head out on a massive arena tour of the UK in February and March 2013; all the details are here.
By Mary Chang on Saturday, 25th August 2012 at 10:00 am
Example is heading out on a massive arena tour next year. This is a new video for his forthcoming single, ‘Say Nothing’, out on the 16th of September on Ministry of Sound. It’s less rappy and more poppy than I would have expected, so for you non-fans out there, let’s just say you might think it’s a pleasant surprise.
By Mary Chang on Wednesday, 22nd August 2012 at 1:00 pm
Example has announced a massive arena tour for early 2013. Tickets are on sale this Friday (24 August) at 9 AM.
Monday 11th February 2013 – Bournemouth BIC
Tuesday 12th February 2013 – Nottingham Capital FM Arena
Wednesday 13th February 2013 – Liverpool Echo Arena
Friday 15th February 2013 – Sheffield Motorpoint Arena
Saturday 16th February 2013 – Newcastle Metro Radio Arena
Sunday 17th February 2013 – Glasgow SECC
Monday 18th February 2013 – Aberdeen AECC
Saturday 23th February 2013 – London Earls Court
Monday 25th February 2013 – Cardiff Motorpoint Arena
Tuesday 26th February 2013 – Brighton Brighton Centre
Thursday 28th February 2013 – Birmingham LG Arena
Friday 1st March 2013 – Manchester Arena
By Mary Chang on Tuesday, 13th September 2011 at 9:00 am
Example is like the Energizer Bunny: he just keeps going. And going. And going. Now, he’s announced a series of dates at UK arenas next spring. (You know time is flying by when we’re already talking about next year’s gigs.) Tickets for this tour go on sale Friday (16 September) at 9 AM.
He is already booked to do a significant tour in November and December – details here.
Tuesday 24th April 2012 – Aberdeen Exhibition And Conference Centre
Thursday 26th April 2012 – Nottingham Capital FM Arena
Friday 27th April 2012 – London O2 Arena
Saturday 28th April 2012 – Manchester MEN Arena
Monday 30th April 2012 – Bournemouth International Centre