Monday, July 24, 2006

Watch this space

Nothing good ever comes free. Or so I thought of free summer music gigs. Any Peter, Paul or Mary can lay claim to a bandshell. Somehow just by being outdoors expectations are lowered, our critical faculties become dwarfed. How many summer concerts are spent consumed by drink and chat, with the music a token notch of culture to abet guilt-free idleness. What Summer's veil of frivolity is all about, afterall.

So when you end up at a free gig where you actually do listen to the music, you know the company you are keeping is either that bad or the music that good. Unless you score other means of 'enhanced' inspiration. Such was the case this past Saturday (high standards, that is) at the Watch This Space Festival (, outside the National Theatre (NT). Part of the festival (which runs to 2nd Sept) are free evening jazz and world music gigs in the large temporary space on the NT's uber-prime spot of the Southbank.

Saturday's late night session (10:15pm) featured Badmarsh & Shri, which to me sounded more like a hip Japanese clothes designer than a music band. I was told they played Asian Underground fusion music. Whatever that meant. But the NT stage was suitably grand, and from the first song Badmarsh & Suri filled it both with presence and performance.

To a virgin of the world music scene, Badmarsh & Shri could most accessibly be described as a mixture of techno, electronica, funk, and pop all combined in one enjoyable concert. A blending of Eastern and Western influences with an obvious Indian footprint. The best part came with Shri who coerces haunting and funky sounds from his bass. Better than any songs off the Buddha Bar CDs that I could remember.

The evening well exceeded the expectations of a free Summer's Saturday entertainment in London, and the NT is pulling out all the stops this Summer. Once the show winds up, there is free entry to the NT's late night Late Lounge ( which is open until 1am (Fri-Sat) and where everyone is invited to bring albums for a bit of DIY disco. It feels like you are crashing somebodies wedding party. But before the line dancing kicks off, don't worry.

The NT is definitely where London is at this Summer.

If also a virgin (to Asian Underground music):

A few to get you started (all which can be found on and most high street music retailers.

Signs, Badmarsh & Shri

Beyond Skin, Nitin Sawhney (a classic)

Ok, Talvin Singh

Star Rise: Remixes, Various (an excellent sampling, for those who can't commit to one artist)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent CS. I get into trancey stuff. Will have a look.Ta

10:52 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Badmarsh and Shri are great. Welcome to 2001! To return to 2006, I strongly recommend a listen to the Sonar festival's 'music a la carte' system ...

12:47 pm  
Blogger City Slicker said...

Thanks Max, sonar looks very interesting.
I guess I always take the stance that if I haven't heard it, it's new to me.
But I will update my tastes, starting with Nerdcore "hip-hop, or geeksta rap, is a subgenre of hip hop music that is performed by nerds, and is characterized by themes and subject matter considered to be of general interest to nerds."
My week has been made already :-)

1:02 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Max cant hear your sonar website to say for sure. do you need myspace account? and outkaste records are never old..tanya

3:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the Badmarsh & Shri songs sign and get it up. Signs is a top LP.

4:27 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post new music comes best by tip offs. thanks CS

8:13 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tanya, I think you need Flash to get the Sonar website to run ... you can load it here.

And yes, Outcaste records never fade. They've just released their 10 Year anniversary compilation. They're also claiming that Cliff Richard is a British Asian! Really?

12:08 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks max. really good of you to help me out. streaming it now. cliff richards i think not. whats with nerdcore? any good? tanya

2:58 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nerdcore? I never heard of it either. Actually it sounds terrible ... give me, er, 'Japanese glitch-pop' anyday. M

5:19 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

max, i sampled nerdcore last night. stay away. trust me

2:57 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here are some links that I believe will be interested

11:34 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here are some links that I believe will be interested

9:20 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work. thnx!

10:43 pm  

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