King_leer's Videos Playlist....Summer 2015

Sunday, 29 March 2009

AFRICA EXPRESS - "All on board...." !

“The curious beauty of African music is that it uplifts even as it tells a sad tale. You may be poor, you may have only a ramshackle house, you may have lost your job, but that song gives you hope. African music is often about the aspirations of the A” - Nelson Mandela

In the following lines, we will know more about this project that talks about Africa, a continent to which we Portuguese are historically connected. It’s a different project, a valid cause and above all with a very important “minor” detail: The aim to mingle two different cultures in a musical and appealing way in order to capture a single moment of spontaneously creativity.

Events like this one make all the sense to take place in this country of ours. I sincerely hope that one year or a little more from now we can be talking about the Portuguese Africa Express edition review.

A special thanks to Andy Morgan from the organization for the following words. I hope you enjoy the content ant that it’ll be useful to you.


The interview:



Dear Andy,


This e-mail interview will have the main concern of introducing you and your role in Africa Express to my readers and also to allow a brief explanation on the Africa Express meaning.



# 1 On your role in the so called music industry:



King_leer (KL) :


Andy, tell us a little more about you and your backgrounds. You are Tinariwen manager ( Besides that, what keeps you busy   nowadays?


Andy Morgan (AM):


I've worked in music for 25 years, doing everything from singing in bands to handling marketing and international development for companies like WOMAD (UK), FNAC Music (France),  Piranha (Germany), World Circuit Records (UK).    I briefly ran my own label, Apartment 22 Records, releasing electronic world music.    I've also been a freelance music journalist for the past two decades, writing for Songlines, fRoots, The Independent and the NME amongst many other publications.    I've been managing Tinariwen since 2001.

# 2 On Africa Express ideal, idea and meaning.





I've started getting in touch with Africa Express by the NME's reports and after that by following the news. What's the real story behind this ideal? It started with Damon's journeys and abroad experiences or was the combination of many factors?




Africa Express started as a reaction to the Live 8 concerts of Bob Geldof.    Many people in the UK and elsewhere felt that by excluding any African music from his concert programmes Geldof was presenting this false image of Africa.    The impression he gave is that Africa has nothing to offer except AIDS, malaria, poverty, corruption and wildlife, and only deserves pity or charity.   This is false.   Africa can teach the world many things, and it also has great music.   Initially it was just a group of people working with African music who came together with the idea of organizing some big concerts at which African and Western music stars would perform on an equal footing.There was Damon Albarn, but also others, especially Ian Birrell, the deputy editor of the Independent newspaper here in the UK.

Otherwise the team comprised a mix of promoters, journalists, label owners, managers etc etc.  After spending a year trying to find the money to stage these huge concerts, Damon suggested that we try and do things differently.   He wanted to go back to the grass roots, and organize trips and events at which the musicians from the west and those from Africa could mix and inspire each other.


# 3 Still on Africa Express






When you put a new show on, how the bands get involved? It's "mouth by mouth" invitation or there's certain rule to apply?




Basically, invitations go out to a huge number of groups, both form African and the west.   We use all the leads and contacts we have to draw up as big a list as possible of potential candidates.     Many people want to come but can't because they already have commitments.   The principle is that no one gets paid a fee, only expenses, although sometimes the African artists are paid for broadcasting rights.   It's supposed to be very democratic.    We want to appeal to musicians' sense of adventure and curiosity, and not their greed!


# 4 You role and the organization.






You told me that you are one of the ten directors from the organization. Explain me your role and how this committee works?




The committee (it's not really called that...we don't have a name for it!) gets together about once every two months to decide what we should do...what events, what trips, what projects etc.   We talk a lot and exchange a lot of ideas and usually arrive at some kind of agreement.   Then various people are de4legated with the job of putting these plans into action.   Each one of us has their own area of expertise.   Mine is writing, communication, the internet etc, etc.


# 5 Last, on one eventual Portuguese Africa Express show.





Our contact begun with the question for the possibility of having a Africa Express show here. If in the near future the project moves on, what kind of show we can have? It'd be interesting to merge our African background (former Portuguese ex-colonies)  with your concept?  




Yes, it would be great to do something in Portugal.   But it needs a very special combination of facilities and circumstances to be possible.    First, you need a good venue, with a good atmosphere.    Not too big...500 - 1000 capacity is fine.    It needs to have a flexible license which will allow the musicians to continue performing until the early morning (2am etc).    There has to be a good BIG space backstage, or close by, for musicians to be meet, hangout, jam, meet etc etc. The costs are big, so we need local backers and sponsors.   It's a really big deal. There's no fixed fee because there's no fixed format.

The whole point is just to create a situation and an atmosphere where anything can happen creatively. We can only do a couple of shows every year.



Monday, 9 March 2009

Mark Beaumont - “From NME to the World , from Morrissey’s influences to snorting ashes ‘cause… Daddy’s gone!”

I’ve been waiting for Mark’s answers since last December. Mark was under the deadline to finish a book. The waiting was worthy and now I can tell you the result.

Me and Mark are from the same generation (me 1971 and him 1972 – correct me if I’m wrong, Mark) and share the same passion for music and one particular character as you can read bellow, Morrissey. The Smiths were my shadow in the early years and Morrissey’s figure and lyrics were very important to my musical behavior.

But, It’s about Mark we must talk. Knowned by his frontal and sometimes controversial interviews and reviews he tell us a bit more about himself, his NME early days, the stories and , well, you’ll find out pretty soon.

While you read this piece, in each of the players (audio/video), the first track is dedicated to Mark. Morrissey’s video, “Interlude” with Siouxsie. One "lost"masterpiece from his solo work and The Kooks track “See the Sun”.

Hope you like it.

P.s The last record from the Killers is definitely a great piece of work!


King_leer (KL):

You are in one of the most important magazines from all times. Tell me and for readers understanding, in your own words, what's in "the field" a Staff Writer. How is your day to day? How you conduct reviews weekly and your column?

Mark Beaumont (MB):

As staff writer my role was kind of an esteemed words dogsbody – anything that needed to be penned at short notice or features that needed to be rewritten in house style, they’d come to me. I’d also often get first option on writing the bigger features, but also much of my daily time was taken up with editing the Tracks page, which I did for around seven years. That involved compiling 20 lists of singles that were coming out in each particular week, helping choose the Track Of The Week and commissioning the reviews. I’ve since gone freelance, so I’m now outside the office, writing interviews and reviews for NME as well as The Times, Mail On Sunday, Uncut, The Guardian and various other places. With the column, I generally discuss the topic with the news editor on a Friday and write it up on the Monday.


This one i always like to know: What band or individual artist influenced you most, in terms of lyrics? There's any song in particular that affected you most?


I’ve always been a big fan of Elvis Costello’s lyrics, largely because of his stylistic twists and turns – his ‘Blood And Chocolate’ album is full of spiteful lyrical inventiveness. Then there’s The Magnetic Fields – Stephin Merritt’s doleful wit and romance is a ray of sunlight in the days of The Courteeners. But if I’m feeling down, I always turn to The Wedding Present and howl the blues away to ‘Heather’, ‘Blue Eyes’ or ‘Bewitched’.


2008 brought us good tunes but also some records that i expected more. There are bands that since 2004/2005  had a great 1st record, a good 2nd and not so good 3rd, like in my opinion Razorlight’s, DPT's, Killers, Bloc Party’s and others surprises like Elbow, Last Shadow Puppets, Glasvegas....and we are waiting for The 'Franz new one (but i doubt they'll fail). What's happening? Too rush on editing records?


I don’t think the acts are rushing to make the records, I think the listeners are rushing to claim they’re not as good as the debuts. Bloc Party’s latest is a brilliant record likewise Franz and The Killers’ one is growing on me daily. It’s very easy to dismiss a band’s second or third album because it doesn’t quite live up to the first, because most bands have five years to write their first album and six months to write their second. But many second and third albums, if given the proper time, are far better than the critical backlash might suggest.

(KL)/ (MB):

I'll tell you a band or character and you say whatever you want:

- Glasvegas:

   Beautiful band, built to last.

- Pete Doherty:

  Not someone I’d waste my valuable time trying to interview again.

- Elbow:

  They threw me out of one of their after-shows once for writing something they didn’t like, but I   still feel pleased for them on finally getting the respect they’ve deserved for so long.

- Last Shadow puppets:

  One of the best side-projects I’ve heard in the last decade, along with The Postal Service.

- Cribs with and without Johnny Marr:

  Great tunes, Johnny’s a gent.

- The Kooks:

   The originators of some of my most spectacular drunken downfalls. Our time together in     Tijuana was incredible in that nobody got arrested.

- Richard Hawley:

   I haven’t spent much time with Richard since the Longpigs days in the mid-90s. Or, I have to   admit, his records.

- Oasis:

   Are you still here?

- Richard Ashcroft:

  A ludicrous man to worship.

- Morrissey:

  I’m a massive Moz fan, and could forgive him (almost) anything. There’s something about his   personal defensiveness that makes me want to get to know him all the more, possibly because I know I never will. My interview with him is, I believe, the best piece I’ve ever had published.


On the world : What is for you the main cause for this World financial disaster.


Bush, Brown, war, the spiraling price of oil, the housing boom, and the catalyst, as far as the UK is concerned, is the media. The press causes a panic over the dropping price of property, everyone feels poorer so spends less, the media cause a panic over everyone spending less so everyone spends even less, before you know it the markets catch on, confidence in the economy goes through the floor, unemployment goes through20the roof and look where we are now. Giving billions to banks is no solution, companies merely need to make no job cuts, take the reduced profits on the chin and ride it out.


What was the best interview you ever made and the worst (your opinion). A great episode you never mentioned and can share with me to post in the blog.


The best is a toss up between Morrissey in Rome, because I think it inspired me to some of the best writing of my career, the Keith Richards ‘I snorted my dad’ interview because it made front pages worldwide, or interviewing Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach in NYC, for the fanboy potential.