Monday, 31 December 2012

Free Download of the Day - 'Hex Beast' by Landslide Purist

Today's free download of the day is 'Hex Beast' by Landslide Purist. This track is today's installment of the annual Madvent Chokalendar, wherein users of Bristol-based music forum Choke give away their music in the festive period each year. There might well be some more of the 'Chokalendar' tracks here as our Downloads of the Day over the next week.
You can download 'Hex Beast' from the Madvent Chokalendar - right click on the 7 and choose 'Save As' to claim it, and do explore the other tracks there too, there are always gems - and follow Landslide Purist on Soundcloud.

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Friday, 28 December 2012

Free Download of the Day - 'Way 2 Dark' by Twisted and Rakoon

Today's free download of the day is 'Way 2 Dark' by Twisted and Rakoon. Twisted and Rakoon are both members of the German-based Dutty Dubz Crew
You can download 'Way 2 Deep' from Twisted's Soundcloud and follow Dutty Dubz on their Facebook page. They're promising more free tracks over the next couple of days.

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Thursday, 27 December 2012

Free Download of the Day - 'Move Me Starlet' by Yusuf Azak

Today's free download of the day is 'Move Me Starlet' by Yusuf Azak. The track is taken from Yusuf's current album 'Go Native'
You can download 'Move Me Starlet' from Yusuf's Amazing Tunes page (registration required, but don't worry - it's painless and opens up a world of possibilities) and find out more about him on the Song, By Toad website.

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Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Free Download of the Day - 'Blush' by Runaround Kids

Today's free download of the day is 'Blush' by Runaround Kids. The track is taken from the Philophobia band's current album 'Teeth Blue, Lips Red'

You can download 'Blush' from Runaround Kids' Bandcamp on a name-your-price basis, and find out more about them on their website.

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Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Free download of the day: 'Willkommen Patchwerk' by Willkommen Records

Today's free download of the day is 'Willkommen Patchwerk' by Willkommen Records. The label invited a panoply of artists with some connection to them to submit thirty seconds of sound, and stitched them all together, simply in the order they arrived.

Contributing artists include Heartbeat of a Rabbit favourites such as Gravenhurst, This Is the Kit, Rachael Dadd & Ichi, Laish and Birdengine. It's a brilliant introduction to the label and a mysterious journey of a composition in its own right.

You can download the Patchwerk from Willkommen's Soundcloud and find out more about the label on their website.

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Thursday, 26 July 2012

Old Men Express

Have been helping Annie Hysterical check details of NME archives to make sure her installation for Ladyfest earlier this month wasn't too skewed by the fact of there being a few missing copies. 

We were pretty sure Annie wasn't misrepresenting anything, given that the sample used represents easily the vast majority of copies in the period shown (1989-2008). But people have been starting to ask questions for academic purposes, so we wanted to make sure it was watertight - that a large number of covers featuring females hadn't randomly been left out of those Annie had acquired for some reason, for example.

Not only are any concerns we might have had proving unfounded - take the main bands featured on the cover in 2008, one of the years most underrepresented in the sample, and you find the split is as follows:

Female: l
Male: llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll
Both: llllll 

- the one female in question being Scarlett Johansson, since I'm sure you're curious. I do happen to think Scarlett is a wonderful singer; but I'll leave it to you to decide if you think that's the main reason she was the only woman to get a solo cover from them that year.

so it seems we had nothing to worry about, and in fact if that year had been better represented the 'male' pile in Annie's installation would be even more dominant. But beyond that, and rather sadly, the magazine seems to have given up any pretence this year of focusing on new music.

As far as cover star slots for the last 10 issues goes - 3 were taken by the Stone Roses, 1 The Ramones, 1 David Bowie, and 1 The Rolling Stones. 

This week's cover features Muse, announcing, "We're opening a door into the future!" 

Sounds like someone needs to.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Bristol Ladyfest 2012 review (Saturday, music)

‘For Whatever Reason’..(Access); Annie Gardiner, 2012
Installation of copies of NME magazine from 1989-2008. Piles of magazines divided by gender of artists depicted on the cover, as follows:
Female - Male - Both - None

Strange thing at Bristol Ladyfest, the latest installment of the global feminist festival phenomenon instigated in Washington 12 years ago by female artists including Sleater-Kinney: as pointed out by Katie Allen, the vast majority of the audience were unavoidably, visibly male.

Katie asks "do men support Ladyfest more than women?" In absence of other information, it's tempting to simply assume that the music audience at Bristol 2012 was a blip, and that Ladyfests in general benefit from female participation on the floor as much as on the stage. The other possibilities - either that the general sense of machismo-fuelled barriers to getting involved in music (which some female friends have talked about with me)* extend even to a female-run celebration of female creativity such as this; or, secondly, that women just aren't as interested in independent music as men - both seem implausible. But it was curious. This was my first Ladyfest - what are others' experiences? Was this a blip? They're usually not mostly attended by men, are they?

Drunken Butterfly were first on stage, minus their drummer. I first saw them at the Bristol Reclaim the Night after-party at the Stag and Hounds late last year and was reminded of The Pink Lemons' all-girl youthful vim... I have to say at that point I assumed they were a freshly formed band, but it seems they've been together since 2006! Tonight I think they missed their drummer, perhaps unwittingly, and it made those areas where the set needs work seem very obvious. I left after a certain point, unable to take any more of what seemed to me a stilted, tuneless performance. But they do have charm - and certainly youth - on their side. And they probably won't care about my review, anyway, they got a good one from The Girls Are and a lot more will read that than this. (Their best song, by the way, is the one that goes "I DON'T WANNA DIE! I WANNA PROTEST!", loudly, over and over again. If they played that at Ladyfest it was after I walked away.)

Rita Lynch

Rita Lynch followed by way of stark contrast. Her songs are visceral stories, she puts everything into it on stage, and it's captivating. Annie was inspired by it. It was only when it finished that I realise she did all that with just her voice and a guitar.

The Horn the Hunt
The Horn the Hunt have come down from Yorkshire for Ladyfest... we're glad they did. There is a shamanic sense to this four-piece's anthems. You feel at any point they could pick up a flag and lead everyone out of the venue, still singing and drumming, on some euphoric march to the mountains. Lead Hunter, Clare Carter, reminds me of no-one more than the otherwise-incomparable Jemma Roper - admittedly partly because they have a similar look, but they also share a kind of confidence in carrying their cantations from the other side. It could also do well for people who can't get enough Kate Bush in their lives (No bad thing either).


I missed too much of Straylings to comment, likewise Rozi Plain who came later. My loss in both cases, I suspect.

Rachael Dadd
Rachael Dadd performed with a baby bump for what in some ways marked the first part of what could be seen as an extended performance from herself, Rozi Plain and fellow Whalebone Polly-member Kate 'This is the Kit' Stables, sharing as they all did each other's stages and to some extent sensibilities. They are a loosely geographically distributed collective [members at times as far away from the homeland and each other as France and Japan], but close-knit (and they surely do knit together). All this will no doubt sound nauseating to some who don't know them or their work, but the truth is they simply ooze charm and are good enough to confound any churlishness. For me the highlight of Rachael's set was her homely, rustic, relaxed song about making rice triangles(!) Its thrice-repeated lines echo the product, and its whole mood took us to a kitchen with a wooden floor somewhere in Japan, away from Tokyo.

She Makes War
Just like Rachael (and Annie who follows her on stage), Laura Kidd of She Makes War is a maker of things as well as music, and had been set to exhibit at the Ladyfest exhibition the following day. This was the third time I'd seen SMW live; the first two occasions were as support for Hysterical Injury. Not that those performances were any too shabby, but I think that her music had more room to breathe on this Ladyfest bill, where the edge and emotion in the songs weren't swamped by comparison to the relatively untamed noise of some of the bands at those gigs. It's also possible to be distracted by all the trappings - her sequinned cheeks; the aforementioned artistic bent; and sharp, at times self-deprecating wit ("Sorry, I have some albums for sale, sorry, I hate saying that, sorry...") Ignore those margins to focus on the performance, though, and there is more to it than show. Her glamorous visage distorted in expression at the heart of songs like 'In this Boat', to leave little doubt about the soul behind them.

Hysterical Injury

No point in me saying what I thought of Hysterical Injury, (because). Here is what some others there said:
"@hiband are fucking awesome" - Shrag

"...favourite new discovery is @hiband" - Rachael Dadd
"Saw this band (Hysterical Injury) and was totally blown away by them" - Mary Epworth
"...utterly, loudly, hysterically awesome" - Cajita
About half of DW's emails are about how awesome Ladyfest, and in particular hiband was/were/are. I approve." - Tiffany Daniels/(
Drunken Werewolf)
"Everything in life lets you down, in the end, except for the Hysterical Injury" - The Girls Are

So, a mixed bag.

As much a success as Ladyfest felt, it was a pity we couldn't ever quite say the Fleece was rammed; not only because it was for good causes, but because the top three billed acts in particular - This is the Kit, Shrag and Mary Epworth - would look good on anybody's bill, leaving gender and politics aside.

Mary Epworth was in full swing when I caught up with her set. It's hard to pin down her music, it comes across in a way that makes the (presumably slightly tongue in cheek??) description currently up on Wikipedia ["Mary Epworth makes music influenced by traditional English song, 60s west coast Psychedelia, and Greek Progressive Rock"] - seem entirely plausible. She stands right at the front of the stage, belting out folk-gothic lyrics ("There like a brace of blackened bone / think they know more than us" - 'Black Doe'), with an incongruous country swagger and alpha grin, like Smoke Fairies in a spectacularly good mood - or - um - Queen Adreena covering Dolly Parton, if you can imagine such a thing.

Men in band blurred and blocked by pillars,
on purpose, because it's Ladyfest. Honest.
So I finally get to see Shrag! (or Sussex Heights Roving Arts Group, to give them their full, long-abandoned title) I've wanted to see them for years, and their Rabbit Kids video featured on the first post of this blog. They are every bit as raucous and infectious live as their recorded tracks suggest. Lead vocalist Helen King in particular jerks, jumps and bunches herself up as if possessed by the songs throughout. Their brand new album Canines is out now.

This is the Kit
And finally a (happily) long day comes to an end with This is the Kit, whose band tonight boasts among others Rachael Dadd and Rozi Plain from earlier and Neil of The Liftmen on guitar (and that is something to boast about). A couple of people during the day had voiced their uncertainty to me about the wisdom of This is the Kit headlining; suggesting that a quieter, calmer band wasn't right to finish on. And admittedly this would have been a daunting bill to top for many performers. It's a big mistake, though, to think of Kate Stables and her outfit as 'fey' or 'whimsical' in that way that way that sometimes really means 'flimsy'. While she's singing, she adopts a serious, determined countenance that belies the easy, lighthearted banter that comes between songs. Also the band she surrounds herself with - both in numbers and talent - back her swift-like, easy-sounding vocal acrobatics with a full, rich sound; especially while Rachael Dadd picks up her clarinet. Both of these things - the attitude in and between songs; and the easy complexity of them - reminded me of nobody more than the last act that brought me to the Fleece - the justly vaunted Field Music. And all of that adds up to an experience that is right, natural, brilliant, sublime.

'Easy Pickings' stood out for me, so to close this review here's another performance of the same, for 'Songs from the Shed':


*In case anyone reading this is wondering why women might feel excluded from music in this day and age, and why people feel a need for events like Ladyfest, one only needs to consider Annie's shocking-if-not-surprising image, at the top of this post, to understand how 'music' might feel like a scene in which only men are allowed access. Her installation, made for this event, collates copies of NME over a 20-year period of the 90s and early 2000s, sorted according to artists on the cover, by gender: Female - Male - Both - None. It drives a skewer through the idea that access for women, much though it might have moved on, has become close to 'equal' in the last 100 or 500 years. Incidentally, in the last few weeks that same magazine has also shown it can't tell one major female artist in that period from another, and squandered their review of the peerless Gaggle's debut album by taking it as an opportunity to insult feminist stereotypes. Some work to do there, perhaps.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Fresh on the Net Listening Post picks 4th June 2012

Tom Robinson's Fresh on the Net show no longer goes out on 6music (which is a shame), but it lives on in the form of the Fresh on the Net website. Every week now Tom and his team are putting up a selection of tracks from those submitted to their Soundcloud group, and inviting the public to pick 5 favourites. The listening and voting happens over the weekend, then a smaller batch of "Fresh Faves" goes up on the page for the week. Personally I think the "Faves" list could do with being a little shorter so it's a bit more special for bands to get on it, and to give more chance of the casual passer-by stopping to listen to them all. But anyway there are some good finds to be had there.

I don't think all of my own picks this week are likely to make the cut, so I'm posting them all up here. The order is just that in which they appeared on the original Listening Post. My favourites of these are Shura and Mountain Folk. The publically voted favourites should go up at later today.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Hysterical Injury - 'Cycle One' video

Out now, with a fantastic remix of 'Vex' by Antoni Maiovvi and Annie's solo track 'The Third Man', inspired by the film, here.

The video was shot at the Croft, by a bunch of us surrounding the band filming on mobile phones (including mine!) and the odd tablet... I'm the one in the Liftmen t-shirt:

The 'Vex' remix has already spawned its own unofficial video collage tribute:

Hysterical Injury headline the Kiss the Music weekender at London's Sebright Arms on Saturday 9th June, tickets here (only a fiver! bargain..)

Saturday, 19 May 2012

The Heartbeat of a Rabbit Amazing Radio challenge

This blog is fully in support of the campaign that's sprung up in support of Amazing Radio, in the last few days, since the station announced it had to withdraw from broadcasting on DAB.

But I think that telling people how good a station is is no good: they have to find out for themselves.

In that spirit this is the Hearbeat of a Rabbit blog's 'Amazing Radio challenge'. It's for anyone who's not already on board with the campaign.

This is the whole challenge:

1. Go to
2. Click to listen live, and check out what's playing right now.
3. Whatever you get, whatever time you tune in, ask yourself, do you think there should be more of this sort of thing on the radio?

If the answer's no, don't worry, forget it.

If it's yes, though, it's up to you to do these things:

1. Sign the petition to get Amazing back on its biggest public platform, DAB
2. 'Like' and 'follow' the campaign on Facebook and Twitter
3. Tell all your mates. I'm sure you know how to do that. A start would be linking them to this blogpost.

I'm confident that the vast majority of people who tune in are going to hear something they want to hear more of. It certainly won't be an advert, it will almost always be new music, and at that it will almost always be something interesting. If none of those things you'll usually find at least an engaged presenter and another new tune not far down the line. I reckon people will straight away realise this is something they want to support.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Hysterical Injury's 'Maths' video

First posted on Drunken Werewolf, Hysterical Injury's new video for 'Maths' is an homage to the Shangri Las, and in particular their performance of 'Out in the Streets' on 1960s tv show 'Shindig!'. Annie plays the part of all three Shangri La singers at once.

You can still download the track itself for free, courtesy of Strummerville, from

The album, Dead Wolf Situation, is finally out on Monday - read some suitably excited reviews here, here and here.

Tour dates confirmed, starting this Saturday!

4th February - Olives, Norwich with The Broken Seas and DIY Hammer DJs
9th February - The Rolleston, Swindon
11th February - Official Album Launch - free entry at Green Park Tavern, Bath with Thought Forms, She Makes War, Klad Hest
14th February - Brixton Windmill, London with Lilies on Mars and She Makes War
16th February - 10 Feet Tall, Cardiff with The Joy Collective DJs
17th February - The Cube, Bristol with High Places and Hesomagari
18th February - The Bell by the Green, Devizes with I Am Designer, Crash and the Bandicoots

22nd February - Crane Lane Theatre, Cork
23rd February - Whelans, Dublin
24th February - Pine Lodge, Myrtleville
25th February - Roisin Dubh, Galway