music and video, chocs and blood

Yesterday Hamlet and I went into the MUZU TV studio to record a video for their site (to be released at some pertinent date in the future).  I arrived in first, bearing my spine-compressingly-large keyboard up to the second floor, and was greeted by the amiable Martin who furnished me with a cup of tea.  He was taking a straw poll at the time – Roses or Quality Street? My bid for Quality Street was overturned and, a short while later, a tin of Roses appeared to the general delight of all.  I notice Cadbury’s have banished foil completely, allowing for easier access to such delights as the caramel barrel.  I happily munched away on fistfuls of chocolatey goodness despite holding firm to my conviction that Quality Street is a more interesting mix of sweets.  Truly stalwart stuff on my part, you’ll agree.

The video recording was really laidback and the guys made our visit really enjoyable.  We recorded ‘I am a man’ and ‘El Capitane’ and then Hamlet was interviewed by one of the editors of the marvellous (and now free) State magazine, Phil Udell.  The MUZU TV site has loads of really great archive video footage on it as well as all the latest stuff and Phil asked Hamlet to have a look for a video he’d like to talk about to camera.  They happened on an interview David Bowie did with Russell Harty which was just fascinating.  The subtle tension and awkwardness as Harty repeatedly goads Bowie with provocative assertions is remarkable in this age of nonsense-talking TV interviewers.

I had a look at the site today – The Ting Tings’ channel shows off the inventive videos to their infectious songs; old interviews with Sting, Andy Summers and Stuart Copeland (seperately) on The Tube oozing attitude and talking about their various non-Police dalliances; Paula Yates interviewing Michael Hutchence; Zoe Conway stunning the crowd at the Balcony TV awards – there are armloads of gems to discover.

I picked up a copy of State, too.  I like their layout (amazingly devoid of excess advertising) and the quality writing about music and (almost) nothing else.  The rating system in the reviews section is good, too, using a kind of temperature gauge instead of any numbers, stars or anything so quantifiable.  I bought Messiah J & The Expert’s new album, ‘From the word go’, on the back of reading the review.

On Wednesday I played a solo set at The Song Room (Trust you, The boy who cried wolf, Radiohead’s Backdrifts, Face in a frame, and Kings of Leon’s Sex on fire).  Hamlet’s guitar was in surgery after sustaining a nasty injury at last week’s Song Room so he used mine for his set.  The slight difference in the dimensions of our guitars coupled with Hamlet’s masochistic playing style meant that my brand new strings got a bit of a respray…

'Hep C' Hamlet, they called him...

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