Ben Calvert, Creature of Simplicity – Video in Production

Post / Anti-Folk friend of Blue Whale Studios, Ben Calvert is currently working with illustrator Louise Wright on a video for ‘The Creatures of Simplicity’.

Still from 'The Creatures of Simplicity'

The video, accompanying the single taken from The Broken Family Daysaver, according to Ben; “tells the story of a mis-demeanor in a wooded area.”

More info can be found at the Bohemian Jukebox blog here.

As well as stirring up a grand old hoo ha about Putting A Price on Art, Ben recently popped into Blue Whale to record and film a few tracks –

More of this sort of thing can be found on Blue Whale TV here.


Listen to Episode 7 of In The Belly feat. Scarlet Harlots, 35 Seconds, Jamie Clayton, Johnny Foreigner & Miss Halliwell

Below is Episode 7 of In The Belly for your listening pleasure. Guests joining Andy Roberts this week are Greg Bird & JP White from This is Tomorrow and John Napier from Jugend Klub.

In The Belly 24th June by In The Belly Radio Show


1. ‘Halcyon’ by Scarlet Harlots

Geoff from Scarlet Harlots working with Dom James at Blue Whale Studios

2. ‘Causers of This’ by Toro Y Moi

Toro Y Moi @ The Hare & Hounds, Monday 12th July

3. ‘Amblecote’ by Miss Halliwell (Back catalogue now available from Amazon)

4. ‘Ever Cloakroom Every’ by Johnny Foreigner

Alternative version of the JoFo classic

5. ‘Summertime’ by Jamie Clayton

Jamie Clayton, prepping for recording at Blue Whale

6. ‘Wall With Your Face On’ by Of Pandas and People

7. ‘Chew’ by 35 Seconds

8. ‘One Track Lover’ by Dr. Lucian Sanchez (Synthia Remix)

9. ‘Fresh’ by Devo

10. ‘Indie Medley – (Love Will Tear Us Apart/How I Wrote Elastic Man/Take the Skinheads Bowling/Bigmouth Strikes Again)’ Frank Sidebottom (RIP)

RIP Frank Sidebottom (and Chris Sievey as well of course)

The Best Band of the Noughties, 35 Seconds, Return @ThisisTmrw 12th July


The greatest Birmingham band of the last decade as voted for by readers of The Blue Whale Blog return to play at The Hare and Hounds for This is Tomorrow on 12th July.

35 Seconds support the hotly tipped Toro Y Moi with help from Of Pandas and People featuring ex members of Hero Machine, Alex ‘The King Singh’ McIntyre and Tom ‘Grease Boy’ Rees.

A free 35 Seconds Mix CD is available to the first 30 people through the door.

More info can be found on Facebook here.

OxjamBrum @ Urban Coffee, Birmingham Friday 25th June

Urban Coffee will be hosting free event on behalf of OxjamBrum on Friday 25th June.

The music will be performed on the mezzanine floor with acoustic acts confirmed as:

5:15 – 5:45 – Alex Moir
6:00 – 6:30 – Eliza Little
6:45 – 7:15 – Marlem
7:30 – 8:00 – Tom Peel

The cafe will be promoting their cofftails which are alcoholic iced coffee drinks.

The chaps from INKwell will be there to do some live screen printing onto t-shirts, cloth bags etc.  They have created exclusive new designs just for OxjamBrum.  Bring your own garment or there will be some available on the day.

GotSeeN will be live streaming the show live on their site.

This event is also supported by Mostly Jazz who have donated a pair of tickets for their festival at Moseley Park the following weekend.  You can enter this FREE prize draw at the event.

Brave or Invincible Debut Mixtape to Feature Blue Whale Artists @boirecords

Songs by Jamie Clayton and Savant recorded at Blue Whale Studios are to be featured on the debut mixtape on Birmingham’s Brave or Invincible Records. Released on cassette, each with its own individual artwork and a free download code, the mixtape will feature a number of up and coming artists from around the UK including Tiny Cinema, Katerwaul, There Will Be Fireworks and Minion TV amongst others.

Callum Joynes and Nick Moreton from the label give the Blue Whale Blog the lowdown on the pending release –

I see that 100% of the Birmingham based artists on the mixtape have recorded their tunes at Blue Whale. Is this because there is LITERALLY NO WHERE ELSE IN THE CITY worth recording at?

“We selected the Birmingham artists really based on the music. Jamie Clayton has played with our artist Tiny Cinema several times in the past and we love his stuff. Purely coincidence really…but Andy did recommend Savant. And the recordings do all sound great.”

How did you go about picking the artists? Have you worked with any of them before or did you purely just hear the tune sand decide to include them on the mix tape?

“We basically picked the artists based on music we’ve been listening to and finding out about anyway. We’re all big music fans and so it really hasn’t been too hard to find some really good bands and really good songs.”

Savant to be featured on BOI Mixtape Vol. 1

Tape players are a thing of the past, my 18 year old nephew hasn’t even heard of cassettes- why choose an extinct format when the shiny new fangled internet can do wondrous things?

“The new fangled internet is great for music, the mp3 is so convenient, and you can fit literally millions of songs on an mp3 player literally the size of a peanut. Literally.

“But there is still a great need and want for an interesting and desirable physical product. This is a need that the CD does not fulfil, but we believe that a cassette tape can. We have a strong belief that cassette tapes are hugely culturally important in musical history, and people recognise that significance and want to celebrate it.

BOI Mixtape artwork by Ben Ricketts

“The tapes are limited to 100, will have unique handmade artwork by brilliant artists and designers and each one will be 100% individual. This project is cool as fuck, and we are so excited about it.

“Tell me now you won’t buy one.”

The BOI Mixtape Vol. 1 will be released on 19th July and will be available from

Review: Primavera Festival, Barcelona by Gareth Ackerman @heliconx

Primavera Sound Festival
Day 1
29th May 2010

Romance at Primavera by Brid Rose

And so, we arrive. Your correspondent bravely venturing forth into Primavera, the air thick with beards, hash smoke and Pavement t-shirts. I make my way across the purpose built concrete, (and some might say, soulless), site and head downwards, towards the Vice Stage. My first band of the festival: the ever amazing Monotonix. In a bizarre way it’s almost boring how brilliant this band are and a small part of me wants to see them play a poor gig one day. But that day will not be today.

Monotonix by Brid Rose

Setting up in the middle of the crowd and dragging the drumkit around the place is the very least you expect at a Monotonix show and it works just as well on this massive outdoor scale (apart from bloodless protestations from a few hipsters not wanting to have their shoes stepped on) as it does in the confines of any other venue I’ve seen them demolish. For you, gentle reader, I insinuate my old weary body into the frontline of this assault, wearing my (figurative) Blue Whale hat, to supply you with the very best in gonzo reportage. And it’s awesome. But, like, deep fried awesome. Your correspondent has now *officially* played at Primavera, mindlessly thrashing the tom as I bound up the bleechers, following Ami Shelev, a drum in one hand, a microphone cord that snakes away into the crowd in the other.

Monotonix, again by Brid Rose

Finishing, he dangles over the edge, clearly contemplating the fifteen foot drop, then thinking better of it. Well, his leg is heavily bandaged, you can’t expect everything. As the crowd cheer and disperse a part of me expects to hear the following over the PA: “You might as well all fuck off now, that was the best band you’re going to see all weekend.”

But no, onwards. Mark E Smith and his merry band of pranksters that make up The Fall this week dance onto stage. Smith greets the crowd in fluent Spanish before switching to Catalan and plays hit after hit after hit, engaging in the cheeky between-song-banter that we’re all so familiar with…

Only joking! It’s good for morale.

What you get is the standard hour or so of a miserable man in his mid-fifties shamble about the stage, bellowing into two microphones and pissing around with people’s amps (whilst the owners of said amps worry silently to themselves as to whether or not they’ll have a job by the end of the show). Basically it’s as if you put a tramp, ripped to the tits on Windowlene and boot polish in front of a terrified post-punk-psycho-billy-dirge band… Amazing, obviously.

One *could* claim that The XX, the next band on your correspondent’s agenda are a touch one-dimensional. And one would be right. BUT, it’s one really good dimension. They seem to be a gigantic draw in Spain, and the vast amphitheater in which they play is packed to the very gills. The music is deeply, darkly sexy and makes me want to *things* with *people* (and back in the old days, when I could achieve and maintain an erection, I bloody well might have done. But I was listening to trip-hop back then. A genre to which The XX owe something of a debt,) but not with the band themselves who seem to consist of a plump Tracey Thorn, a twelve year old in a New Era cap and a man whose name, I would guess, is Slick.

Pausing only to catch a few songs by Superchunk, whom I’d forgotten I loved, your correspondent races (read: plods) towards Tortoise. I love Tortoise. I love Tortoise with a passion many would feel is unnatural, The album Millions Now Living Will Never Die didn’t leave my record player for over a year after I first bought it, and having seen them before, I kinda know what to expect. A magnificent display of technical playing, exciting deconstruction of time-signatures, angular, awkward and at once organic soundscapes (this is all getting a bit Wire Magazine, isn’t it? Adventures in high seriousness and whatnot), but they suffer what to my mind is the affliction of almost all instrumental bands. No focal point. If they had video screens, projections, lights or a performing kitten doing tricks, as a live experience they would improve immeasurably. (Note: I accept that I am probably lazier than you, and having weened myself on a steady diet of soap-operas and music videos, I have a very short attention span but come on, you know I’m right.)

Your correspondents first massive disappointment. I don’t think that Mission Of Burma wanted to be there. And after the third song, when they played ‘That’s When I Reach For My Revolver’, neither did most of the crowd.

And now, seconds out, the main event. Pavement. Those of you who have had the misfortune to read me before, or those of you who have read this far, will know that I tend to dabble with hyperbole.

But having said that, Pavement are, genuinely another of my very, very, veryveryvery favourite bands of all time ever, EVER! The clever, but never pretentious music. The elegantly oblique lyrics (why should the words to a song mean anything? Or why shouldn’t they mean everything?). With a few notable exceptions, Pavement lyrics could be the most beautifully complex poetry to rival the work of, say, Gertrude Stein, or utter drivel, garbage like the work of, say Gertrude Stein (yeah that’s right, I’m having a pop at dead, early twentieth-century lesbian avant-garde poets. Literally no one is safe from my poisoned pen[is]).

So yes, it is fair to say that Pavement are one of my favourite bands, and yes I’ve seen them live countless times, and yes, on each and every occasion I have been completely and utterly blown away by how utterly, immeasurably shite they are. The lackadaisical posturing, the poor playing and timekeeping and the total inability to structure a live set…

But would this time be any different?

Would they have freed themselves from these self imposed shackles and play perfectly to this adoring crowd of international admirers?




Not that anyone minded. It’s still Pavement, innit?

Sleigh Bells live is a daunting prospect. A little too “Kap Bambino” for me. A little too Let’s-just-make-a-racket-and-jump-around-until-my-tit-falls-out for me. A little too If-people-can’t-understand-this-then-they-will-think-it’s-edgy for me. What I like to refer to as “Rubbish.”

Followed by Delorean. A band who I thought I liked, but writing this a few scant hours later I can recall not a thing.

I’m meant to dislike Fuck Buttons. I forget why. It might be the pointlessly offensive name. It might be because they are good looking young fellas. It might be because they are obscenely talented and good. Who knows, let yourself get taken hostage by these sounds, this music, this dark snake of sound, these tendrils inside of you.

It was at about this point things got a bit blurry…

Gareth Ackerman

For more of this sort of thing, check out Chicks Dig Jerks’ blog where Gareth continues his reportage and threatens to take his clothes off…..

Watch the new video to ‘Roly Poly’ by Ace Bushy Striptease

Ace Bushy Striptease came into Blue Whale Studios a while ago to record a version of Falling & Laughing’s ‘Roly Poly’.

Check out the cool new video directed by Lauron Farr and animated by Jennifer Poppet, Nathan Pascoe and Sam Piggot with Eve Phillips and Bas Uddin on acting duties.