Tag Archives: Malpas

Re-live the glory of Blue Whale Presents… by listening again to Is I Cinema / Malpas / Boat to Row / Ace Bushy Striptease live @ The Rainbow

The day Blue Whale Studios teamed up with Created In Birmingham, ARC, Leon Trimble, Rhubarb Radio and We Love Brum at The Rainbow is now etched into musical folklore.

We Love Brum

Is I Cinema, Malpas, Boat to Row and Ace Bushy Striptease all created seminal performances as reported here.

Those who were there compared it to the likes of The Beatles at Shea Stadium, The Sex Pistols at Manchester Free Trade Hall, Hendrix at Woodstock 1970, The Clash in Victoria Park 1978 and of course Cliff Richard at Wimbledon in 1996.

But if you weren’t at the legendary show, don’t worry, you can avoid embarrassment when conversation in the pub inevitably turns to the finest moments in music history as the beautiful people at Rhubarb Radio were there to capture the occasion.

Now you can pretend you were there by just following the link here and listening again to the show originally aired on 24th April 2010, the date now referred to as musical year dot.

On a non-tongue-in-cheek that will probably go over some people’s heads leading them to think that we think that the sun shines out of our rumps note, massive thanks to all involved in making the show as spectacular as it was and extra special thanks to everyone who came down to the show.

Enjoy.

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Blue Whale Acoustic Session @CreatedinBrum Shop Saturday 24th April @ 2pm

The kind folks at the awesome Created in Birmingham Shop in the Bull Ring (opposite the Apple Store) are hosting Malpas, Boat to Row and Ace Bushy Striptease as an afternoon appetiser to the evening show at The Rainbow.

This free event is completely free and won’t cost you any money for the free live music that is being staged for no charge whatsoever at a price of zero pounds.

Then at 7pm we join forces with We Love Brum to put on a right old knees up at The Rainbow featuring the aforementioned bands as well as headliners, Is I Cinema.

Rhubarb Radio will be streaming the gig as well as live visuals being provided by the awesome Leon Trimble which may or may not look like this.

Blue Whale Studios and We Love Brum Presents….

At The Rainbow on Saturday 24th April at 7pm for only two bloomin’ quid!

Malpas

“Built up with the dexterity of a matchstick modeller and the power of a traction engine” – The Fly

Is I Cinema

“It’s bookish, filmic, poetic and geeky but above all Is I Cinema are a triumphant tragedy, sounding the death knell of trad rock.” – The Fly

Boat To Row

“The fluent acoustic pickings and wholesome honesty of his sound are like a safety blanket wrapped round you as you curl up on the sofa watching an episode of Bagpuss.” The Blue Whale Blog

Ace Bushy Striptease

“They sound sort of like early Pavement sneaking into My Bloody Valentine’s lock-up with cute shouty bits and some token girly singer trying to hold onto her dignity amidst all the pseudo-pubescent chaos.” Greg Bird for The Blue Whale Blog

Plus DJ sets from This is Tomorrow that may or may not sound anything like this mix below:

Sungazer by thisistomorrowuk

See the Facebook event here.


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‘Another couple of folktronica masterpieces and we’ll have the best album of 2011 on our hands’ – Interview with Ali Malpas – @alMalpas

Saturday 24th April sees Blue Whale Studios join forces with We Love Brum promotions to put on what is shaping up to be one of the most eagerly anticipated gigs in Birmingham this year at The Rainbow in Digbeth.

Ace Bushy Striptease, Boat to Row and Is I Cinema join future folksters Malpas for a night of outstanding musicianship, lyrical excellence and creative endeavor with DJ sets from This is Tomorrow and live video artistry from Leon Trimble. An audio feed of the evening will also be simultaneously broadcast live on Rhubarb Radio. (Doors @ 7pm. Entry £2 before 8pm)

Click here for the Facebook Event Page

Headliners Malpas have been turning heads since the demise of Envy & Other Sins which lead to founding member and frontman Ali Forbes embarking on a journey of fresh faced folk that draws on powerful electric drum beats and synthesizers as much as it does from textured acoustic guitar lines that under pin Forbes melodic mastery. Joined by former Envy drummer, Jim Macaulay as well as local disc jockey Danielle Perry and synth supremo Tim Hancock, they create their cunning mix of electronica with subtle acoustic layerings.

As Ali explains, the Malpas sound was an intentional clean break from his former outfit, writing all but one of the current set from scratch:

“Most of (the songs) are only a year or so old. The only crossover was ‘Lilywhite Blues’ – we played it a couple of times with Envy but it didn’t really fit in. We should have the album finished by the end of the summer – it’s about 75% there at the moment. Just need to pen another couple of folktronica masterpieces and we’ll have the best album of 2011 on our hands…”

Have you seen the other acts on the bill for the 24th before – Ace Bushy Striptease, Boat to Row and Is I Cinema?

“I’ve seen Mike from Boat To Row play a few times and he’s amazing – he plays guitar like I do in my dreams! Heard good things about Is I Cinema of late and with a name like that Ace Bushy Striptease are clearly going to be incredible.”

The tail end of 2009 was taken up mostly by the band supporting the astronomically huge, Kanyeezee and Mr. Beyonce Knowles’ pal, Mr. Hudson on his UK tour, which came about as a result of a long friendship with the chart botherer.

“I’ve known Ben since I was 19 and we were starting out in music,” explains Ali. “We were in a band for four years or so before our musical destinies diverged. We supported him on his last tour and had a blast, and I’m playing guitar for him on the current tour, it’s my guilty little hip-hop indulgence!”

Before they take the stage at The Rainbow, Malpas along with Boat to Row, Is I Cinema and Ace Bushy Striptease will be performing acoustic sets at the Created in Birmingham shop opposite the Apple Store at Birmingham’s Bullring from 2pm on Saturday afternoon. After no doubt blowing the audience away at both CiB and The Rainbow, Malpas can be found playing at this year’s Moseley Folk Festival as well as The Isle of Wight Festival. Go to the Facebook group at http://tinyurl.com/malpas or their Myspace page to join the future folk revolution.

Andy Roberts

Blue Whale Presents….Malpas / Is I Cinema / Boat To Row / Ace Bushy Striptease 24th April @ The Rainbow

24th April @ The Rainbow

Blue Whale Studios and We Love Brum Presents….

At The Rainbow on Saturday 24th April at 7pm for only two bloomin’ quid!

Malpas

“Built up with the dexterity of a matchstick modeller and the power of a traction engine” – The Fly

Is I Cinema

“It’s bookish, filmic, poetic and geeky but above all Is I Cinema are a triumphant tragedy, sounding the death knell of trad rock.” – The Fly

Boat To Row

“The fluent acoustic pickings and wholesome honesty of his sound are like a safety blanket wrapped round you as you curl up on the sofa watching an episode of Bagpuss.” The Blue Whale Blog

Ace Bushy Striptease

“They sound sort of like early Pavement sneaking into My Bloody Valentine’s lock-up with cute shouty bits and some token girly singer trying to hold onto her dignity amidst all the pseudo-pubescent chaos.” Greg Bird for The Blue Whale Blog

Plus DJ sets from This is Tomorrow that may or may not sound anything like this mix below:

Sungazer by thisistomorrowuk

See the Facebook event here.


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Review: King Charles / Malpas / Tom Peel @HareandHounds by Charlotte Payne

King Charles / Malpas /Tom Peel
Hare and Hounds
25th March 2010

It’s generally quite rare that I go to a gig and actually want to see everyone on the bill. King Charles, supported by Malpas and Tom Peel, was just that and so I had a tough struggle with the gig-going body clock which generally prevents me arriving at any venue before 9pm.

Despite technical difficulties, Tom Peel’s genuinely unique geek chic plus makeshift cassette-deck-thing (is there actually a name for it?) was well worth the effort. Due to a hazy memory of his performance at the lovely Coffee & Cake Club Christmas Party I knew what to expect.

Dutdadadutdadadut (one about the phone) – Tom Peel

My favourite song is about a chance encounter with a legless ex-armed service man who’s trying to hitchhike. It’s a didactic tale of caution and empathy that should surely be passed down to future generations. However I’m not sure everyone would have been nice enough to say ‘take my money coz you’ve got no legs’! If the song along doesn’t bring a smile to your face then the dancing probably will. Some musicians seem to take themselves way too seriously whereas Tom definitely knows how to make an audience laugh with him.

Malpas are another act I’ve seen before, I’ve actually sought them out quite a few times and I often find myself recommending them. To be honest this relatively new electro-folk band first caught my attention when I saw front man Ali M. Forbes wearing an immense Doctor Who style scarf and the performance stood out just as much as the knitwear. (The scarf really was enough to make you want to start knitting though, and I still wonder if it was handmade…)

‘Under Her Sails’ by Malpas

I really hope that Malpas find a place in the current folk music boom. I can’t think of anything not to love about these guys and I can really imagine hearing ‘Under Her Sails’ or ‘Here Comes The Rain’ being played on BBC 6 Music. So let’s hope the BBC doesn’t axe the station before they have a chance.

King Charles is part of the super trendy London folk scene that has brought us Mumford and Sons, Laura Marling and Johnny Flynn. Familiar with one of his regular hang outs – Communion, the Notting Hill night set up by Mumford’s Ben Lovett and Kevin Jones, who is currently playing in Summer Camp –  I was VERY excited to see King Charles was coming to Birmingham, especially as this night was not part of any tour schedule. Plus thanks to King Charles falling off a mountain and suffering severe head trauma I had to wait a further month for the rearranged gig. He could be seen keenly watching both support acts and when I asked he said he was definitely impressed by Birmingham’s nu-folk scene.

King Charles

The tracks on MySpace do not do King Charles justice and ‘Mr Flick’ was an amazing entrance track! Apparently it was their first real gig of 2010 and Birmingham was clearly treated to something special as he apologised for getting carried away with his guitar, although no apology was needed. King Charles is part folk, part Jimmy Hendrix, and part snake charmer. He likes polar bears and crocodiles and made many lyrical references to them with no justification other than ‘I’ve always wanted a polar bear’.

While many seemed to be hoping for an encore (myself included) King Charles left the audience wanting more. And why not, seeing as rumour has it that he’ll be returning to Birmingham later in the year?

A word to the wise, believe me if I tell you a gig is going to be ‘amazing’! I was definitely 100% correct about this one.

Charlotte Payne
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‘F’ is for February and Folk (in Brum this month)

If you’re in Birmingham and a fan of folk, or a fan of this supposed nu-folk, this February is literally a feast. Last week there were treats from Nancy Elizabeth, Malpas, Dan Walsh and The Low Anthem. But if you missed those nights make sure you catch some of these (if not all of them!):

Fanfarlo @ The Hare & Hounds 16th Feb

Fanfarlo are doing the rounds of the UK before they support Mumford and Sons in March. They have also just been added to the 6Music playlist so this really might be your last chance to catch the band at a small venue (joined by Mr. Bones and the Dreamers). Wednesday 10th February, Hare & Hounds.

Midlake seem to be really making a mark with their latest album and some how the Birmingham leg of their tour has not sold out yet. (Seriously, Manchester, Bristol, Dublin and London have all managed to keep up.) Tuesday 16th February, Town Hall.

Stornoway @ Glee Club, 17th February

The Twisted Folk tour brings BBC Introduced Stornoway and Moseley Folk Festival favourite Beth Jeans Houghton to the city. Wednesday 17th February, Glee Club.

You might as well camp out at The Glee as they’ve got 6 Day Riot performing on Thursday 18th, and Erland & The Carnival on Friday 19th February.

Part of the army of Swedish folk musicians that includes Jose Gonzalez and Frida Hyvönen, First Aid Kit are marching into town.  The fact that they are signed up to Wichita Records is endorsement enough. Monday 22nd February, The Rainbow Pub.

Unfortunately there were a couple more things worth mentioning, but in the process of checking the dates, two massive cancellations have occured. So, apologies if a bit of our initial enthusiasm seems exaggerated but fingers crossed King Charles continues his recovery and gets back to Birmingham when he’s better. Hopefully the gig will still take place as the scheduled supports from Malpas and Tom Peel are well worth seeing (even for the second time in one month).

Charlotte Payne

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Review: Malpas / This Sinking Ship @TheBullsHead

Malpas / This Sinking Ship
We Love Wednesdays
The Bulls Head
Moseley
3rd February 2010

As we arrive at the small but perfectly formed Bulls Head our attention is grabbed by This Sinking Ship – the side project of JP, ex lead singer of The Gravity Crisis. He’s full of likeable confidence and plays a ramshackled set of acoustic oddities while revealing various slogans and ramblings on pieces of paper as he turns the pages on his music stand such as: “Life is like a science experiment, sometimes it works, sometimes it don’t. Either way if you don’t have goggles and the right apparatus, yer in the shit”.

An enthusiastic fan, known only as Simon, gets a love song dedicated to him and two people at the front help JP to tune his guitar as he seems to strum the life out of it every two minutes. A cover of Super Furry Animals’ ‘Runaway’ goes down a treat as well as everything else he has to offer. He’s also a really top bloke and wore a fabulous red shirt – something that Simon and many others complimented him on. Perhaps not what he should have been acknowledged for, but the good vibes are infectious and he’s greeted to a well deserved round of applause as he disappears out of the back door for a cig at the end.

After some quick rearranging as there is simply so much stuff to get in place, Malpas begin their set with the gorgeous glockenspieling of ‘Under Her Sails‘ which is an instant plunge into a sea of soaring vocals, minimal drums and warm synth – it is no surprise that it has become their most well known tune as it sums up exactly what they are about: straddling interesting ideas and unrelenting creativity with superb songwriting. These are songs that never become bloated by theatrical emotive rubbish or involve man on acoustic guitar howling for half an hour with minimal accompaniment from three forgettables – quite the opposite, as each member has a clearly devised a crucial role in contributing to such a wonderful noise.

The atmosphere instantly warms and becomes more intimate as people murmer to each other about how good Ali Forbes’s voice is, and we have to agree. It has a beautifully delicate quality to it whilst standing up to the weight of the rest of the band and leads the way from start to finish. What the recent invasion of oddly dressed trendy folk bands, one of Malpas’s finest qualities is their completely honest approach to crafting such fine music: Jim McCaulay on drums feigns hi-hat stutters and what he leaves out is almost as important as what he puts in and in a way this demonstrates how much love and attention to detail is poured into every flute flourish, every piano chord and every percussive tap. There isn’t anything in here that shouldn’t be and everything is spot on.

The audience seem to engage with this careful songcraft and there are not many people in the room who aren’t wrapped up completely in every tune that is put forward, and even more in the band’s favour, a dodgy lead somewhere in the setup provides ongoing grief but the band simply get on with it. Shepherds Bush Empire this ain’t, but its still a fantastic show and a great end to a top night.

Tim Mobbs

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