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The Summer that wasn’t…

Well, ‘Summer’ went by fast didn’t it. So fast no one even noticed. Not one football-in-the-park day. Not one London Fields Lido trip. Not a sniff of a tan. Alas, we can’t say it’s been a bad summer. At the start it was very good, but that was more like spring. Then it just became Autumn. Also, we’ve had fun: Bon Bon started up, LED Festival, 1-2-3-4 Festival, Hackney Regatta. Fun times. And so summer ends and the season starts again. Football is back and so is your weekend drinking.

Well, Bon Bon has been our highlight. We’ve had some great times. Not that it’s anywhere near over. Last Bon Bon on the August bank holiday was great fun. Thanks to Nwando and the hula team who came and brought a lot of fun. That ritual of ‘Who’s Got The Crack’ as the final song of the night as decreed by me seems to have stuck. If you don’t stay until the end when we play it then you just aren’t trying hard enough.

Lots to look forward to then. Including this Saturday 10th, and Saturday 24th when the wonderful Messy Fingers are taking over the upstairs rock ‘n’ roll room and generally causing trouble. Leon Hatcher from Messy Finger is responsible for our amazing visuals that are blasted onto the wall in the Ballroom at our nights and he will do a sterling job of keeping you dancing so come on down, it might be the best one yet!

As always, we will be free entry and open until 4am. We have a lot of fun. It stays busy until late so come down at any time. There is a guest list so make sure you attend the facebook event to get on it. We play indie, electro, some new rock and garage and some 80s classics downstairs. Upstairs we play rock n roll of the good old days with a good helping of surf and some original garage rock. Drinks are amazing and if you get there before 10pm it’s 2-for-1 on the cocktails (and they are strong!). There isn’t a cooler night on Upper St. See you there!!

YOWICS x

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2011 in News, Uncategorized

 

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Review – 3rd Annual Hackney Regatta (Formerly Canal-stock)

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There are few things more quintessentially British than getting a little tipsy on Pimms, donning a snappy straw boater, a rakish blazer and mucking about in boats on one of Britain’s many famous waterways. And there can surely be nothing more quintessentially associated with the British summertime than the world famous Henley Regatta. But for those East Londoners in the know, there is a far more risqué and adventurous nautical gathering which like the aforementioned event, takes place but once a year along the salubrious Regents Canal. The not so much as famous, as infamous Hackney Regatta.

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The roots of the event are unclear. Some say it all began way back in 17th century London when impoverished Venetian immigrants would offer scenic tours in improvised canal boats made of macaroni and PVA glue. Others say the event has it’s routes all the way back into the 1980s as a right of passage for East End barrow boys determined to prove their worth to gain the much coveted honour of being Sir Allen Sugar’s human punch bag. Whatever the origins of this remarkable event, it has none the less made itself at home as a regular feature of the nautical calendar.

This year’s event saw a record breaking amount of vessels participate in the afternoon voyage as turnout has increased year on year. In anticipation, organisers provided extra time for those struggling to prepare their craft before casting off from City Road Lock. But organisers ensured that not all tradition was lost, and just as every year that has preceded it, safety measures were neither considered nor implemented for this year’s regatta. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it British Waterways!

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With such an enthusiastic group of maritime merrymakers, and considering the rapid inflation of numbers over the years, next year’s event is sure to attract far more attention than just the confused pedestrians walking alongside the fabulous flotilla. With both major endorsements from international alcoholic beverage companies and an inflatable dinghy manufacturer in the offing, next year’s event is sure to be another massive success.

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And what better  after enjoying a full day of excitement and excess,  than retiring to the venerable surroundings of the Albert and Pearl finishing the day at the official Hackney Regatta Bon Bon after-party?! Huzzah!

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Bon Bon Launch Party

Well that was a pretty f**king good start wasn’t it. To those of you who came to our launch night, thank you, we love you all! To those that didn’t, you seriously missed out! But don’t worry, Bon Bon will of course be back on Saturday 30 July. Plans are already taking shape and Bon Bon II may or may not include: free polaroids, free booze, free surf lessons and a free trained live panda. More details will follow soon, but until then you can (reminisce/see what you missed) by taking a look at a few of the photos from Saturday’s shenanigans.

Photos courtesy of our lovely friends at LionsTigersRahhh.

Bon Bon loves you!!!

xoxo

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Washed Out – Within and Without – Live Review

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Rough Trade East did a great thing last Friday in bringing Washed Out to the store. They played Lovebox earlier in the day and are currently promoting their latest album release. Within and Without is a great album, and the guys have moved up a gear from their lo-fi days. The quality and fidelity is much higher and the song writing is just as brilliant. It may have lost some of its charm from being so well-produced, but you cannot say it’s not a great album. The big tracks, Eyes be Closed, Far Away and Amor Fati, are highlights, and the rest of the album is much more than just filler. Washed Out have always been an album band anyway, so go get drunk here, wake up with some pretty little thing you romanced in the night and put Within and Without on, let it wash over you, get blissed out and fall in love.

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The In-store was just off the back of their show at Lovebox Festival earlier that day. I’m sure that the full electronic performance at Lovebox was great, but what they did at Rough Trade on Brick Lane was just special. They had stripped back all the electronics and the five piece band had more maracas than you could shake a maraca at, simply wired keyboards and multiple vocalists achieving their lovely sound. Most of the tracks they played were of a lounge-jazz persuasion but it came out brilliantly. Obviously in a record store no one is going to be jumping around like mad so this laid back performance was perfect and it really eschued the talented musicians that Ernest Greene has assembled. They played a couple of tracks from the new album including Eyes be Closed and they also played some of their best from the first two albums; notably Feel It All Around and New Theory. Speaking to the bassist and the super-cool headdress-wearing keyboard player afterwards (who wanted to go riding around on Boris Bikes!) they said they thought that it went better than the performance at Lovebox. Really great, really special and you should have been there. Did I mention it was free?

YOWICS
xoxo

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Bon Bon Launch Party – Saturday 16th July

Well mes copains, the time has finally come. The very first Bon Bon party launches Islington off into the nethersphere to return anon. The Muses have been singing about us and the streets call out our name; the future is a double-ended dildo. The dichotomy of life is thus: Great new indie, electro, disco, surf-rock and some persistent classics will exist in a space of exquisite lasciviousness perpetrated by some terrible perpetrators in the Ballroom (that’s the downstairs bar and dancefloor). Whilstwhile, ascending the staircase will pertain to an otherworldly sound echoing back from the early 20th century: proper rock n roll, swing, surf, rockabilly in two beautiful vintage lounges cherrydecorated with chandalier and candelabra.

We are free, but if there is a queue then you can say you know us.  Dressing up is encouraged, we love vintage fashion, but not necessary. Looking good is. Of course, that comes naturally.

We begin at 9pm and finish around 4am. That’s the latest party on Upper Street.
It’s nearest to Highbury and Islington, but you can get from Angel in about five minutes too.
Drinks are very reasonable and the bar staff know how to make a helluva cocktail.

We even have a lovely mention on Le Cool, Le Coolest listings site in London: http://london.lecool.com/london/en/search?q=bon+bon

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2011 in News, Uncategorized

 

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1-2-3-4 Festival – 09/07/2011 – Review

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Without wanting to spoil the conclusion of this review, I had a great time at 1-2-3-4. Perhaps my enjoyment of it has coloured my memories of the event a little rosier than it really was, but I don’t believe that. All enjoyment is subjective, and my morose compatriot of the festivities is testament to this fact. Aside from a late start, and some as-per-usual sound issues, I can’t think of much that went wrong. The weather was fine, and Shoreditch Park seemed to escape the rain that happened outside London.

The main things that struck me about this festival were probably the size and the people. Some may not look at it as a boon, but this festival is good because it’s small. I could probably jog from one side to the other in a minute, no probs. Yet inside there were four stages, plenty of bars, copious toilets, one large silver Kopparberg Kube (hello again friend!), a VIP area and some dodgems. The people were also (clearly) local. They were not the chumps that come into Shoreditch on Friday/Saturday night and start fights outside the kebab shop; they were the people who lived around Hoxton/Kingsland/Dalston and actually cared about the great (relatively unknown) bands and artists playing at this festival.

First act we properly saw were Arrows of Love who got off to a good start, but fell flat by the second song. Part of that was probably the fault of the awful sound work on the Art Rocker stage. Not enough bass, sounded weak and thin. So we left that pretty quick to go get something to drink and look around. At this stage in the day, there was a lot of space around and you could move from one stage to another in a few minutes. That was refreshing.

We ended up in the dance tent, which probably had the best sound alongside the main stage, and saw Attaque, someone we hadn’t heard previously. He wasn’t bad. Did a pretty good electro set, if a little bit mainstream for the too-cool-for-Ministry of Sound crowd that he was playing to. Could be good playing a heavier set in a dirty warehouse on Scrutton Street or something, but at this time of the day in this atmosphere his otherwise very good work went unappreciated.

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I don’t know if you can see Rainbow Arabia in the background there on the Noisey stage, but they were fairly good. Her vocals do get a little raw after a while and if they hadn’t written some very good songs then I’m not sure I’d be a fan. As it stands, they were one of the bands at 1-2-3-4 who I expect big things from. Next year they will have an album and be playing further up the bill, although I’m not sure they will be headlining anything soon.

The real star of this show was the tiny Asian man standing at the front. Why was he there? How old is he? So cool, with that nonchalant stance and his hat probably obscuring his vision. So effortless. A massive contradiction in a sea of pretence. I figured that the most likely reason for his being there was this:

In Yokohama in 1967, Hiroshi (I have no knowledge of his name or nationality) worked in a little camera shop selling film to the neighbourhood scene kids, when this rock musician walks in to get some photos printed. The two people strike up conversation and one Damo Suzuki invites Hiroshi to a gig at the Town Hall. Hiroshi takes his girlfriend along and they all go back stage to drink Whisky and eat rice crackers. A couple of weeks into their friendship Hiroshi finds his girlfriend in bed with Damo and vows revenge. Damo runs off to Europe to have a career in Can and only now has Hiroshi raised the money to get a flight over and exact that revenge. Underneath that hat is hidden a tiny poisoned dagger small enough to pierce Damo’s heart. It’s possible that Hiroshi missed, because Damo didn’t die whilst we were watching, and so, poor Hiroshi’s grudge remains, probably to be carried into the afterlife.

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So this is Damo freaking out. He was good too. I was worried he was going to get a bad neck though because he kept pulling his head real sharp to the right when he sang, and it was probably doing some damage. I don’t really know Can, or Damo Suzuki’s music, but Krautrock is cool, right?

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This was Sex Beet on the Rough Trade stage. They have some great songs, and were pretty good on the day. No complaints. Definitely one to watch. However, I can’t remember too many details about them mind, so I was either having too much fun, or they weren’t that special.

Lydia Lunch was good for an aging punk who looked like my ex-girlfriend’s mum (that said, my ex-girlfriend’s mum was quite cool). Autokrats were fairly consumate too; something like a cross between Soulwax and Duran Duran, they were both industrial and hard electro but 80s and ridiculous at the same time.

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Black Lips, on the Noisey stage, were obviously who everyone was there to see, and they didn’t disappoint, although I did remark later that they might have been a bit disappointing. An Irish girl I met later thought they were awful live, and that they were awful live as a rule. However, I really enjoyed it. Getting smashed around at the front like I was 15 again at my first Taproot gig was a lot of fun. I was launched into a crowd surf more times than I care to remember and have a lot of bruises to show for it. I had a lot of fun, I was pretty drunk by that point, and my friends just kept throwing me back up there.

At one point the band threw a plethora of toilet rolls into the crowd and we had a TP party for a while, but that was about as crazy as it got. Given that Black Lips are known for on stage fights, vomiting, stage invasions and more I was surprised we didn’t even get a snog between band members. On all other fronts, I can’t complain about their performance.

All-in-all, it was a great day. Small is the new big. You get to see the bands you want, there are no dickheads about pissing in their cups and throwing it at your head, and 80% of the people there could walk home in 20 minutes. This meant that the after parties were a great option. Twenty minutes walk and a can of K-cider later and we were watching Babeshadow at Hoxton Square Bar and Grill continuing to have a good time.

Special thanks go out to the guy who found my phone in Shoreditch Park and called my friend who subsequently met him, gave it to our other friend and returned it to me later in Hoxton Square Bar and Grill much to my elated surprise.

5 Crumbles – Because it was fookin’ great!

YOWICS xoxo

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2011 in News, Opinions, Uncategorized

 

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Live Review – Stay + (formerly Christian AIDS) @ The Victoria Thursday 30th June

After months of waiting, last week we finally got the chance to see what we (and now most of the mainstream music press) believe to be one of the most exciting acts to come out of the UK in a long time. Thanks to the good people at Eat Your Own Ears, The Victoria in Hackney hosted the first London performance of Stay +, the new moniker for crumble favourites, Christian AIDS. Following legal action from the chairty of the same name, the guys have had to change their name and branding a little bit, but rest assured the music is just as good as before if not better.

The whole set up of the gig was a bit weird. The room was pitch black except for the warming glow of the projector screens at the far end of the room. It felt more like an art installation than a live performance. The guys haven’t played many performances so far, I think this was something like their fourth, so they haven’t quite got a road crew set up yet and had to do most of the preparation themselves. After a little bit of popping on and off stage finally they took their places behind their macbooks, four people appeared at the front of the stage wearing ‘S’ ‘T’ ‘A’ & ‘Y’ t-shirts and the room filled with hipsters.

To be fair to the guys, they really do put a lot of thought, preparation and effort into their performance. As well as having people stand at the front of the stage for the whole show in complete silence, they also have the three projector screens for their visuals, two LED light bars that they’ve brought with them and even the little apple logos on their macbooks have been customised to look like little ‘+’ signs. Despite the fact that they haven’t got much of a budget it doesn’t stop them from putting on an incredibly impressive show.

They kicked off with one of the few tracks that have been doing the rounds on youtube, ‘Fever’. The instantly gripping intensity was built up to a mighty crescendo beautifully accentuated by the live vocals (both male and female) which I didn’t realise they would have. They rattled through the tracks (some familiar ‘Young Luv’, ‘Scum’ and ‘Stay +’ and some new) relentlesly without leaving pause for breath let alone applause. I later found out the combo behind Stay + are actually a two piece, complemented by two live vocalists. While one is taking care of the sound, the other is video editing live to the music with incredible effect. Although the format may not be particularly new, the energy of the performance is definitely original.

The weird thing is, the whole thing is like an art piece. The video editing is like their youtube clips, graphic and visceral whilst retaining an element of intellectual awareness and social comment. The effect is fantastic, but also confusing. Quite often I was caught in two minds whether or not I should be standing and appreciating or jumping around and dancing. I think what the guys need is someone to give them an opportunity to play one of their sets in a much bigger club with a much louder sound system. A pub in Hackney is fine for most bands starting out, but these guys deserve something much bigger.

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I can’t really do the energy of the performance justice. And considering that they are still relatively new to performing and the they can already deliver such quality, I highly recommend you go and check them out yourselves as soon as you get the first opportunity. Unfortunately, that won’t be at 1-2-3-4 this weekend. After chatting to the guys afterwards I found out that they have unfortunately had to pull out. But fear not, crumble’s favourite band from Manchester to not be born, live or work in Manchester, are sure to reappear in the capital soon enough. As soon as we find out when, you’ll be the first to know!

Joe

xoxox

 
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Posted by on July 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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