New Bohemia with the Wailers and more

The Wailers / Andreya Triana / Homecut / East Park Reggae Collective / Iration Steppas / Gentlemen’s Dub Club / Broke‘n’£nglish / Kidkanevil / Exodus / Noah
@ Stylus

Aston Barrett, called ‘Family Man’ because of his 52 children, is the man who taught Bob Marley to play the guitar. He played with Bob Marley and the Wailers and also with Lee Perry’s band The Upsetters. As well as writing many of the basslines for Marley’s tracks he was involved in their production and arrangement.

Since Marley’s death in 1981 Barrett has taken on the role of musical director of the Wailers, and it was he who lead the band onto the Stylus stage in April.

The occasion was New Bohemia’s fifth birthday. To celebrate reaching primary school age Leeds’ finest hip hop, dup and broken beat night had laid on quite a spread, the cherry on the cake being the Wailers performing Exodus in its entirety.

Exodus was named the 26th greatest album of all time by VH1 in 2001, 169th of all time by Rolling Stone in 2003 and in 1998 Time magazine crowned it the greatest album of the 20th Century.

As the band took to the stage it was fairly obvious that this wasn’t the original Wailers line up that recorded the album - the drummer looked about 19. Another quite pressing concern was the question of the lead singer. Who would attempt to step into Bob Marley’s Pumas, avoiding the poisoned needles that the CIA had hidden in there?

Our front man for the night was Elan Etias, who, despite dancing a little bit like a five year old - lots of jumping up, down and around, was really quite good. He definitely did the songs justice and held the capacity crowd captive.

So the band worked their way through Exodus, playing extended versions of every song, and the crowd cheered, danced and sang along. The biggest reactions were saved for ‘Exodus’, ‘Waiting In Vain’ and Marley’s ode to brewing tasty preserves, ‘Jamming’.

Supporting the Wailers, who left the stage to well deserved rapturous applause, was a stonking line up of Leeds’ finest purveyors of reggae, dub and hip hop.

Andreya Triana has provided vocals for artists including Mr Scruff, Bonobo and Flying Lotus. Now she’s going it alone, with an album coming out soon. She was on stage before the Wailers performing her own songs, a gorgeous combination of soul, funk and jazz. This lady really does have a beautiful voice. Keep an eye out for the album.

Exodus & Iration Steppas joined the dots between the live acts. They played reggae and dub in their own inimitable ways, and generally kept the crowd on the up.

The apparently ubiquitous Gentlemen’s Dub Club continued their march to the top with a tight set. These guys seem to be playing everywhere in Leeds at the moment, but when it sounds this good, no-one’s complaining.

My personal non-Wailers highlight of the evening was the live set from Kidkanevil. The Leeds-based beatsmith is undoubtedly one of the most exciting hip hop producers in the UK at the moment. His sophomore album Back Off Man, I’m A Scientist was released last year, and he’s already got to work on the follow up. His tight, stark, bassy beats were accompanied by Laura J Martin on flute, and the two of them put on a stonking set. They played at around 11pm, providing a seamless segue from the blissed-out reggae party atmosphere the Wailers had created to a more late night, edgy vibe, setting up the smiling revellers for a long and happy night.

Some films

The End (2008)

Nicola Collins' over-long portrait of East End hard men, specifically her Dad and his mates, doesn't manage to shed any real light on its subject. At times it comes across as a constant stream of cliche- we are informed that gangsters like violence, weapons and their families but hate prison, paedos and people that tell on them.

The only genuinely surprising moment comes at around the hour mark when the documentary pulls a massive switcheroo and briefly morphs into a piece of evangelical Christian propaganda. Cue stirring, inspirational music, shots of ducks on a pond and images of hard guys looking wistful while describing how Jesus wants them for a sunbeam.

The Burial (2008)

A mother's last wish is that her body be taken from France to the river in England where her husband died, and so her three estranged sons set off together in a hearse with the coffin loaded in the back.

Handled less skilfully the film could have been either an unimaginative madcap farce or a slushy emotional cheese fest. However, for the most part Boucher and Mills' direction manages to tread a fine line between comedy and tragedy, providing humour without stupidity and emotion without overt manipulation.

Jasmine Women (2004)

Hou Yong's visually striking film tells the generation-spanning story of three women in the same family who seem destined to keep making the same mistakes. Zhang Ziyi, best known for her work on Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, House Of Flying Daggers and Memoirs of a Geisha, is impressive as the young female protagonist of three separate stories set in China in the 1930s, 50s and 80s. Early scenes set in pre-war Shanghai are particularly worthy of mention for their stunning cinematography.

Outlook festival at the Coronet, Elephant & Castle

Dubstep will probably get spoiled this year. At some point in the tragically near future some arsehole with gelled hair and a mate at a record label will produce some cheesy, watered-down dubstep-lite tune with a token female vocal or 'urban' rap on it that will smash its way to the top of the charts. In the industry it's called the Fedde Le Grand method. It's been brewing for a while, just listen to the wobbly bassline on 'Freakshow' by Britney Spears from Blackout (the album she released while she was still shaving babies and dangling her vagina over balconies).

So enjoy dubstep while you can, before it becomes 2009's funky house. One of the best places in the whole world to do this is in Petrcane, Croatia this summer, where Leeds scene veterans Subdub, Exodus, Vagabondz and their kooky cavalcade of freaks and geeks will be setting up a big top full of low frequency tomfoolery and christening the whole mess 'Outlook'.

There'll be Captain Eddie's boat parties, live illustration, guaranteed sunshine and a line up that'll definitely put a smile on your pretty little face. Confirmed acts so far include Rusko, Digital Mystikz, Jehst and Iration Steppas.

On Saturday 18th April they're having a bit of a launch party to get you into the swing of things. Shy Fx, Mungo's Hifi, Plastician, Joker, Ramadanman, Ruckspin, Tomb Crew and many more will be shaking the Coronet to its foundations and, as a tasty bonus, 20 free tickets to the festival itself will be given out.

In the immortal words of Tim Westwood: 'Bang! and the dirt is gone'.


Every summer there's one dance track that gets everywhere. Last year it was 'Pjanno' by Eric Prydz, the year before it was 'Heater' by Samim and before that it was 'Put Your Hands Up For Detroit' by Fedde Le Grand. This year it looks set to be 'Bonkers' by Dizzee Rascal and Armand Van Helden. It's a track made from a similar mould to 'Dance Wiv Me', Dizzee and Calvin Harris' ode to poor spelling.

So far so uninteresting, but here's where the story picks up. Wax:On and Bad Robot resident, raconteur, bon viveur and general man-about-town Doorly has made a stomping dubstep remix of the track. Within a few days of being let loose the track has had the blog world losing its mind, and it has stormed its way to the top of the Hype Machine charts. This is the same Hype Machine chart which picked up on the excitement around artists like Simian Mobile Disco, Justice and Little Boots months before the mainstream media pricked up their noses. Get on this quick because it's going to be big.

Get it here:

Preview – Soundwave festival

The world of mainstream rap is a tragic one. Becunted oafs like Kanye West and 50 Cent march around yammering on about girls 'n' guns over tedious, soulless beats. And don't even get me started on this fucking ridiculous auto-tune craze. You know how stupid Kriss Kross seem now? (They wore their clothes backwards.) In ten years time that's how people will think of T Pain.

Luckily, if you look a bit deeper there's a lot of really good stuff going on in hip hop. Q Tip (from A Tribe Called Quest) brought out The Renaissance, one of the best albums of last year, MF Doom is back with Born Into This and a new Dre album is on the way.

New Bohemia, Leeds' finest promoters of hip hop etc, have had a hell of a year. They've been celebrating their fifth birthday in style with line ups including The Herbaliser, Bonobo, Mr Scruff, Flying Lotus, Horace Andy and the actual Wailers, as in Bob Marley and the… Pretty impressive. Now they're putting on the Soundwave festival in Petrcane, Croatia.

Soundwave is a three day shindig full of hippety hoppity goodness taking place from the 17th – 20th of July on the Adriatic Coast. The festival site has an outdoor amphitheatre for live acts, a beachside terrace, a nightclub and a party boat for maritime shenanigans. They've got a Funktion One Soundsystem (which everyone goes on about as if it's the answer to something) and a pretty stonking line up prepared. Highlights include:

DJ Yoda
Fire up good old Youtube and search for 'Wearing My Rolex Mills McCartney' to get an idea of the sort of inspired silliness Yoda brings to his Magic Cinema Show. Interestingly, he isn't named after Yoda from Star Wars. He actually he takes his name from Jeff Yoda, the man who invented chair legs.

Alice Russell
Her recent album is the really rather good Pot Of Gold and she lent her voice to Mr Scruff for Music Takes Me Up, the big tune from Ninja Tuna. Alice is a keen fan of vintage pencil cases and spends most of her weekends at various collectors' fairs around the Tenby area.

The Ninja Tune duo are putting on an AV bonanza. Their rider demands include a selection of dressing up costumes and one of each flavour of Pot Noodle.

DJ Format
I love this guy. The ex Jurassic 5 roadie's first album Music for the Mature B-Boy is a classic. Have a listen to his Fabriclive mix to get a good idea of the sort of hip hop, funk and soul he plays out. Format stunned his fans recently by signing a four-year contract to be the face of Tena Lady.

Tom Middleton
Thomas Middleton (baptized April 18, 1580, died 1627) was a playwright and poet. His best-known plays are the tragedies The Changeling and the cynically satirical city comedy A Chaste Maid in Cheapside. It is also widely believed that he collaborated with Shakespeare on various scenes in Macbeth.

Flying Lotus
The LA based beat fiend hasn't been confirmed yet, but rest assured the Soundwave team are trying their very hardest to get him. Fun fact: His name is inspired by the Back to the Future film series. After seeing Doc Brown's time-travelling Delorean, he decided he'd rather have a flying Lotus.

Is currently working on a collaboration with the Jonas Brothers, tentatively entitled BonoboJoBro.

The Glaswegian munchkin is one of the most hotly tipped new producers at the moment, check his remix of Zomby's Spliff Dub for further evidence. He said in a recent interview that he didn't think the internet 'would catch on as a concept'.

DJ Vadim
Vadim is a youthful looking fellow, and he actually got to the last five in the auditions to play Harry Potter in the film series.

Like his father, Evel, KidK is allergic to that silver stuff you scratch off on instant win lottery tickets.

This is a mere taste of the full line up, which is set to include The Bays, Daedalus, Trojan Sound System, Lizzie Parks, Natural Self, Jon Kennedy, DJ Cheeba and loads more. Be there or be somewhere else.

More brains, Mr Collins?

The next big thing in Hollywood looks likely to be "monster-lit", a cinematic mash-up of classic literature and horror. After a bidding war between studios the rights to a new parody book, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, were sold. The rumour is that Richard Kelly (writer/director of Donnie Darko) will direct and Natalie Portman has signed up to play Elizabeth Bennet, a zombie killer trained alongside her sisters in Shaolin, China, before returning to her countryside estate. Early in the story Lizzie overhears the arrogant Mr Darcy describing her looks as 'tolerable'. Slighted, she must defend her honour by slitting his throat, but before she is able to a swarm of zombies invade and the Bennet girls must fight them off.

Other monster-lit titles are planned, including alternate versions of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and George Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss, where the voluminous petticoats and gentle chamber music of the originals will be matched by copious amounts of gore and blood-curdling screams.

Inspired by monster-lit and also by Howard McCain's recent film Outlander (essentially Vikings v space monsters) we decided to create a few more film mash-ups to try and predict the next big thing before it has even begun.

A Spoonful Of Lava
The Banks family's new nanny floats down from the sky and sets about teaching the children how to live a joyful life. After an enjoyable day spent in an animated world full of dancing penguins, flying kites and staircases made of clouds the group return home to find that a previously undetected volcano has erupted, destroying London and killing everybody they love. Contains the classic song 'SupercalifragilisticexpialidOH SHIT!'

He Met Her By A Corpse
In the wake of the seventh grisly killing by the Overkill killer, Archie Townsend of the FBI and Tania Hill of the CIA are forced together to work on the case. After initially disliking one another, the two get closer and closer as they find they have more in common than they first thought. As the body count keeps rising, will the pair be able to stop the killer before he carries out his most brutal threat to date, and will Archie be able to get over his stubbornness and commit To Tania before it's too late?

Pimp My Carriage
The year, 1588, the place, London. As the threat posed by the Spanish Armada looms, William Gilray (Vin Diesel) looks to make a name for himself on the illegal street racing circuit. After beating Colonel Alfred Plunderson in an epic race that took the competitors across three counties, Gilray is starting to earn some respect from the other racers. He has to avoid being put in the stocks and contend with Baron John Smertin, the father of his intended bride, challenging him to a duel. How will he cope when his beloved racing horse Catriona is killed the day before the biggest race of the year?

I Want To Sing A Song
Two strangers wake up on opposite sides of a deserted warehouse room. Each is chained by their ankle to a pipe and they have a hacksaw and a tape. When they play the tape music starts and suddenly the room is filled with creepy dancing puppets singing 'We kidnapped your daughter and your wife, they're being held by a nutter with a knife, if you don't kill each other, it is them who will suffer, and you'll have no more family in your life'. This musical psychological thriller will have you singing along from the edge of your seat.

Bark Hard
When terrorists capture an office building on Christmas Eve, it is up to New York cop John McClane and his wisecracking Jack Russell terrier Demi to free the hostages and make sure everyone gets home safe for Christmas. There's vintage action as McClane battles the bad guys in his bare feet while his mischievous canine pal spouts witticisms about how dogs are too tough to wear shoes. You'll roar with laughter as cheeky Demi humps the leg of a terrorist, prompting him to chase her around the room and slip in a puddle of dog wee.


2008. Cert 15. 115mins. Dir: Howard McCain. Cast: Jim Caviezel, Ron Pearlman, John Hurt, Sophia Myles
2 stars

I expect that at some point in your life you will have had one of those vintage hypothetical conversations about who would beat who in a fight. You know the sort of thing, James Bond v Jack Bauer, a lion v a gorilla, Ashley Cole v Dame Thora Hird, and so on. In Outlander Howard McCain has set out to answer one such question. His chosen battle? Who would win in a fight between some Vikings and an alien monster?

Kainan (Jim Caviezel aka Jesus from The Passion Of The Christ) crashes his spaceship into Norway circa 709 AD. A handy gadget blasts his brain full of the Old Norse language, he swears, vomits and before too long is captured by a posse of Vikings lead by Wulfric (Jack Huston). Cue monster.

Our monster is called a Moorwen and it managed to stow away on Kainan's ship and follow him to earth. On arrival it quickly sets about trying to kill everybody in sight and so two Viking tribes unite with their new space buddy to try and kill the beastie before it destroys everything.

Ron Pearlman, best known for his work on Hellboy, leads one of the tribes. So you've got Jesus, Hellboy and their Viking mates teaming up to fight a big cool monster. There's also John Hurt, lending a touch of gravitas to proceedings and cementing his reputation as the poor man's Sir Ian McKellan. So what's not to like?

Two things in particular. Firstly, the story and characters go way beyond cliché. You've got the wise old king, the rash young warrior, the feisty girl, the brave and noble hero with the tragic past and a drunk Scottish guy. Guess who gets the girl? Secondly, there's the monster itself. For some inexplicable reason the designers came up with the insane idea to light the thing up like a dodgy wedding disco. It's all flashing red and blue LEDs and neon green blood. Very strange.

If the thought of some Vikings fighting a monster from space fills you with child-like glee then this is the film for you. If not, it's probably best avoided.

Madame Pamita's Parlour of Wonders

Tuesday May 19th, The Cricketer's Arms, Keighley

Recently we were sent a copy of Wax Works, a new album by Madame Pamita, the singer, musician and fortune teller. The beautiful package contained a copy of the album, a paper fortune teller, a tarot card (the seven of cups), a small, wax-sealed envelope containing a lucky penny and our handwritten fortune ('Many choices lie before you. Do not be hasty. Gather information before making your decision').

The album was recorded on wax cylinder equipment from 1898 using a recording horn once owned by Thomas Edison and no changes were made to the finished pieces. The result is a sometimes haunting, sometimes warm, but always original sound complete with plentiful portions of crackle.

While the music is great, it is completely overshadowed by the truly inspired liner notes, where Madame P gives a short synopsis of the plot of each song. For example, Willie The Chimney Sweeper (an alternate version of Cab Callaway's Minnie The Moocher) is described as follows: "Enticed into a shop of dubious repute, our heroine embarks on adventures therein". Her track Do Whatever You Please is "A minute digression of great import directing the reader to the secret font of unfettered happiness".

Madame Pamita is bringing her Parlor of Wonders show to The Cricketer's Arms, Keighley, on May 19th. She promises "the most tantalizing, most mesmerizing, most edifying experience of augury and prognostication the world has ever known". Sounds good, right?

During the show she invites audience members up to the stage for a tarot reading then sings a song relating to the meaning of the card. As well as her trusty ukulele she uses an array of vintage instruments including an Imperial banjeaurine, a banjolele, a ukelin, a Marxophone, a Polka-Lay-Lee, and a Tiple.

As the lady herself eloquently says, "Step right up, ladies and gents, and be prepared to be dumbfounded and delighted by Madame Pamita's prodigious powers of prognostication and melodic merriment!"