Suddenly Bagpipes

It was just before 1pm at work today. It was a bit quiet because everyone else was either eating or had gone out for some food or were in that ‘I just ate and now I’m digesting and looking at FaceBook’ mode.

Suddenly, I hear the faint sound of a bagpipe. “Is it just me or does anyone else hear bagpipes?” I asked. Not the most common question around these parts. Turns out I wasn’t mad; there was indeed a pipe and drum band around the back of the building. I went out to take a look.

Ahh a piping classic.

Pipe & Drum band at Regent's Place

Pipe & Drum band at Regent's Place

Pipe & Drum band at Regent's Place

At some point in the past week or so I got into a discussion with someone about piping. Ah, now I remember. Someone was saying they once worked with a Canadian who tried to teach them how to do highland dancing. He asked me if such Celtic things were popular in Canada. In response I told him that the part I’m from even has a bagpiping and Celtic arts college it’s so popular.

Wonderful Electric – Goldfrapp Comes to Cambridge

Last Thursday I had the pleasure of seeing Goldfrapp at the Corn Exchange in Cambridge.  I didn’t hear about a month ago and jumped at a ticket.  I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see them just a 15 minute walk from my flat.

I had a floor ticket (the seats were all sold out) and got there early enough to be second row.  I was glad I wasn’t in a seat, as all the seats were up in the balcony and it seemed miles away from the front.  The stage set up was pretty impressive.  Several keyboards, a MacBook Pro, racks of sequencers and what nots, two harps, three basses, a couple of guitars (with more off stage), drum kit, and lots of mics and foot pedals strewn about.

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iTunes iLive iLondon

Last Thursday I got an email saying that I won a spot at the iTunes Live London Festival to see Annie and Sam Sparro on the 21st of July. Woo! I didn’t even recall entering a contest, but apparently I did. The iTunes Live hoo-ha is a month long music festival of sorts put on by Apple. A different act (or acts) every night at KOKO in Camden which are all recorded and available on the iTunes Music Store at a later date. It’s a pretty neat idea. Plus, all the tickets are free… you just need to be picked.

I headed into Liverpool Street Station right after work last night and then high tailed it to Koko. The doors opened at 7:30pm and I got there just a few minutes after that. The queue wrapped around to the back of the building but it moved impressively fast.

Sam SparroOnce inside, ticket scanned, iTunes Live passcard/lanyard in hand er around neck, it was time to stake out a place on the floor. I had never been to KOKO before and it lives up to it’s reputations of being one of London’s nicest music venues.

The show was brilliant! It was great to hear some of Annie’s new tracks in full and Sam was so incredibly energetic and had a red key-tar which was used during mash up of Sick and Daft Punk’s Around The World. I was pretty close to the front, but as my luck always goes three tall chaps ended up in front of me for Annie’s set. Thankfully everyone moved around a bit during the intermission and I had a better view for Mr. Sparro. A highlight from the intermission – a big screeen appeared that was showing a promo clip for iTunes Live material on the iTunes Music Store. One of the clips showed Amy Winehouse from last year and someone tossed a drink at the screen. No love for the Winehouse in Camden Town. Sadly I had to leave during Sam’s encore which started off with a cover of Blackbox’s Ride on Time. Alas, I had a train to catch. Hey I can always download it using the voucher code that was on the back of the pass card. What an age to live in.

I had an enjoyable sit down outside Liverpool Street and munched on some chips. I took a few snaps of the street before getting the 23:28 train to Cambridge. Cracking good night all around. Some photos are up on Flickr and I have video clips to upload as well.