Archive for the ‘pigeon playlist’ Category

Festival season is galloping ever closer, and before it quickly passes us by, let’s get our act together. You could pay a lot of money to go and see a load of bloated old stars at Leeds/Reading festival, be bogged down at Glastonbury (it’s due a rainy year, after all) or go to one of the many other generic festivals with incredibly similar line-ups that seem to have sprung up from nowhere. Or, if you want a glimpse at what your friends are going to be talking about in 12 months time, you could do worse than visiting Salford on May 2nd. Sounds from the Other City is taking residence for it’s 5th year and the line-up is phenomenal – you can take a look on it’s Facebook page, whereas there’s even more information on it’s official website. Tickets are £15 and it’s bound to be an excellent day, whilst the various clubnights that are flocking down for the evening will make sure you won’t be home well into Bank Holiday Monday.

To celebrate, here’s a mixtape of bands playing the festival, donated by the acts themselves. Listen to the tracks and download the whole mix below:

    1.Egyptian Hip Hop – Heavenly

Manchester’s great new hope, fast becoming one of the most talked about new bands on the planet. Taking the best of the city’s musical past and completely demolishing it, you’d be a fool to miss them
Playing Bring on the Dancing Horses, Upstairs at The Old Pint Pot

    2.MAY68 – Last Mile

Infectious and utterly brilliant, the band have recently released their debut single on the uber-hip Hit Club Records. Ridiculously talented, certainly one to watch.

Playing Bring on the Dancing Horses, Upstairs at The Old Pint Pot

    3.Dean McPhee – Water Burial

Anyone who thinks that downtempo music can’t be breathtaking should listen to Dean McPhee. With all his songs (whether improvised or not) done in one take, his live show looks set to be the best at the festival
Playing Room Tones in the Engine Room of Islington Mill

    4.Hotpants Romance– Stop Escaping Me

Anyone who promotes themselves as ‘3 girls. 3 years. 3 chords.’ is bound to be wonderful. Stripped back and utilising a tremendous energy, there’s very little not to love of Hotpants Romance
Playing Comfortable on a Tightrope at The Angel Centre

    5.Io Monade Stanca – Abete 43211234

Filled with the kind of math-rock breakdowns that’s made Battles the math-rock band that could, Io Manade Stanca take experimental post-rock to it’s natural conclusion. Rarely short of breathtaking.
Playing Mind on Fire vs Wotgodforgot at The Salvation Army

    6.A Middle Sex – MRSA

To say A Middle Sex are minimal is somewhat misleading – the band’s sound is peppered with influences from all over the sonic spectrum, driven by a kind of cold electronic industriality. In practice, nothing short of amazing.
Playing Room Tones in the Engine Room of Islington Mill

    7.The Cavalcade – For You

If twangly guitars and heartfelt, slightly nasal lyrics that sound like they’re being delivered by a man in a nice vintage suit are your thing, look no further. Comparisons to The Pains of being pure at Heart and Belle and Sebastien are inevitable, but that’s never a bad thing
Playing Postcard from Manchester, downstairs at The Old Pint Pot

    8.Windmill – Big Boom

The fact that Windmill is one man’s work is pretty much unbelievable. The Polyphonic Spree might be on adverts for supermarkets, but they didn’t manage anything that comes close to the scope shown on Big Boom, and they were the size of a small army. Bewildering, inspired and uplifting. Excellent.
Playing Postcard from Manchester, downstairs at The Old Pint Pot

    9.Levenshulme Bicycle Orchestra – Whale in a Duckpond

Constantly blurring the lines between music and performance art, recent performances have seen the band hand out ‘Last Will and Testament’ cards` for the audience to fill out. Playing parts of broken bicycles won’t seem like such an odd thing once they’re done.
Playing Mind on Fire vs Wotgodforgot at The Salvation Army

    10.Sam Barrett – Lay a White Rose

Folk inspired music with speedy guitar work that you could easily lose yourself in. Overwhelmingly beautiful, with lyrics firmly set in nature, definitely one to see on a lazy bank holiday weekend
Playing Your Mama’s Cooking at The Crescent

Sounds from the Other City: A Mixtape


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Pigeon Playlist #2

It’s easy to forget, but people are quite nice, on the whole at least. For every nasty person, there are about 10 that would happily make you a cup of tea and give you a biscuit when you are feeling a bit down. And the same goes for musicians, really. So for every horrible band with disasterous haircuts and terrible music, there’s a load who are plugging away, doing what they love. And some of them are even good, too. This playlist aims to showcase some of the better bands around at the minute, bubbling under the radar – hopefully, you’ll have heard of some of them, and it’d be good if you liked them too, and maybe it’ll help you find a band that you like.

The last Pigeon Playlist was centred around artists located in the Manchester area – this one is far from that. There’s a Greek man living in Barcelona, a set of twins from New York and… well, some lads from Manchester, too (but even then, they’re remixing a critically acclaimed London band). In short, it’s 9 artists that have really made writing this blog for the past couple of months worthwhile thanks to their music. I e-mailed them all, begging for a track to use and they sent me some tracks in order to compile this. Obviously, this wouldn’t have been able to happen without the bands themselves, firstly on the most literal way imaginable (they’re their tracks) and also without their immense kindness. Anyway, enough talking, here are the tracks. They’re all wonderful, and as well as being able to stream, it’s all available as one big downloadable .rar file below:

Pigeon Playlist #2 – Mediafire download


It’s almost insulting how much potential Is Tropical have. Their debut single is out on Hit Club records next year and it’s a dead cert. to be a collectors item in years to come. Their unique brand of laid back, fuzz layered pop is, for want of a better word, tropical. It makes your feet tap and your body sway, in the way that all music should. This track is more thumping that other tracks, but equally catchy and amazing


Like HEALTH having a fight with a really good pop song or the Disney Channel having a harrowing nightmare, Zambri are the perfect crossover between the end of the world and sugary sweet vocals. It’s so blindingly obviously brilliant that the main shock is that no-one has thought to do this before. Taken from their EP of the same name, it’d be a massive shame if these aren’t all over 2010.


Probably the best band ever found by blindly searching blogs and crossing fingers on myspace, they’ve recently finished supporting Johnny Foreigner on tour, which was likely the highlight of anyone who saw it’s life. They’ve also just released their debut single, Cover the Walls, which showcases their lo-fi power-pop to perfection, and this track should haunt your dreams in a similar manor.


He might be a Campesinos! in waiting (financial restrictions permitting), but his solo work is some of the most touching, personal and all round wonderful stuff about at the minute. This recently renamed track is perfect for walking in the rain with your hood up and feeling slightly in love with the world. Maybe give this a miss if you’re on your way out of a long term relationship.


If you’re named after a Beat Happening song, then you’re already halfway to being a good band, though This Many Boyfriends hardly need the bonus kudos that such a moniker brings. That’s what diaries are for is the perfect reposté to all your fashionable friends who think they’re cool, being witty and anthemic in equal measure. And Anthemic in a good way, not like Hard Fi or whatever


We’ve all heard Bombay Bicycle Club. They’re lovely and have been brightening our stereos for the past few years now. If the BBC Sounds of 2010 was being polled a few months later, it wouldn’t have been a suprise to have seen Dutch Uncles in there, and whilst their brand of indie-pop is bound to excite in the next 12 months, we can wait for it to unfold whilst listening to what they’ve done to Magnet. (Labelled ‘Walking Backwards’ on the download due to e-mail errors. Sorry)

7 NEDRY – A42

After originally putting out their debut themselves, Nedry have earnt themselves the distribution deal that their talent rightly deserves. A heady mix of trip-hop and dubstep, it’s like if Portishead were more into grime. The amount of exposure they’ve getting at the moment is miniscule compared to the amount they deserve, but Huw Stephens is a long time fan, and the group have even done a session for his show. They’re touring next year – you should do all you can to be there


Usually noted for their dark, sinister music, this track shows a different side of Fiction. Of course, they’re stick the hint of danger, like the haunted woods in a children’s morality tale, but it’s nice to hear a slightly lighter side to the London foursome. Recently played Dummy Mag’s party and have been recieving rave reviews from ArtRocker magazine amongst others, whilst their choatic drum set up (in which each member of the band plays) is the perfect antidote the usual, predictable band set-up

9 LARRY GUS – Tailbone Blues (H.O.P.E. Radio Session)

I’m actually convinced that Larry Gus is a genius. The alter-ego of Panagiotis Melidis, his debut album was awarded the ‘record of the month’ award by Vice Magazine’s Greek edition, and it’s easy top see why. Now living in Barcelona and writing jingles for adverts, this is taken rom a session he did for local radio. Almost unclassifiable, it’s mind-boggling and slightly frightening, but overwhelmingly wonderful.

So, there are the tracks. You can get ahold of them all as a download from mediafire below. If you’d like to be a part of the next Pigeon Playlist, drop me a line at mbritton2@gmail.com. Comments are always appreciated too.

Pigeon Playlist #2 – Mediafire download

PIGEON PLAYLIST 2 (thepigeonpost.wordpress.com).rar

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Pigeon Playlist #1

Despite what it might seem like, I actually love listening to albums. I love the ebb and flow of them, I care and attention put into track listings, into inlays, the cover art. They often so much more than the songs that appear on them – and a single track in itself can rarely reveal in itself as much as an entire album can. When I post singular mp3s of bands, I feel like I’m potentially selling them short, which is always a pity, but without causing the DMCA to shut this down, there’s very little that can be done.

Of course, compilation albums are a completely different matter. Usually a disperate group of songs flung together for a vague purpose, they’re far from being as personal as an individual record, but they can be just as rewarding and exciting for the listener. With that in mind, I’d like to introduce to you the first in a hopefully monthly series of mixtape albums brought to you by this blog. With being based in Manchester, I thought it fitting that the first Pigeon Playlist feature artists based in and around the Rainy City. Over the past week or so I’ve been e-mailing and begging some of my favourite artists from the region, asking them if they could spare an mp3 so that something could be cobbled together.

The result is some of the most exciting and talented bands in the country, jammed together into a 10 song, 30 minute .rar file that isn’t even too jarring, to be honest. If you’ve read and enjoyed this blog in the past, there’s probably something for you – from Jam on Bread’s jangly ukelele pop to Weird Era’s shoegaze inspired noise, it’s got a broad spectrum of material on it. There’s no real genre for it all, but as long as it wasn’t a bunch of ‘lads’ trying to be Oasis, it was considered for inclusion. Tracklisting and the link for download is below. Hope you enjoy:

Pigeon Playlist #1

1 Run Toto Run – Platic Gold
They’ve been featured on blogs the world over due to their sensational cover of ‘Sleepyhead’, but it’s their own work that’s truly brilliant. Taekn from their EP of the same name, ‘Plastic Gold’ is the perfect showcase for their unique talents. Infectious and brilliant, I was utterly thrilled that the band let me include this.
2 Egyptian Hip Hop – Rad Pitt
EHH often get a bad press on the local music scene. I’ve yet to see them live, but judging by the tracks I’ve heard, they’re truly special. The NME agree, having given the band a full page feature in the magazine. Definitely destined for great things.
3 Jam on Bread – It’s always sunny inside
The man with the greatest beard in the world succintly sums up a wasted childhood transferred into growing up. Outside is rainy and horrible, whilst inside has wikipedia and TV on demand. Jam on Bread has the best ukelele riffs and lyrics that will warm your heart with joy. I am in awe.
4 Awesome Wells – You’re flogging a dead horse, Jon
Originally featured on the ‘Awesome Wells & Friends’ EP, but it could’ve just as easily been an early Beirut track. Releasing work through Manchester’s superb Red Deer Club label, it’s an utterly beautiful song.
5 The Shrieking Violets – Summer
Some people have so much talent it’s enough to make you sick. Whilst I sit here typing blogs, Natalie ‘Shrieking Violet’ Bradbury is out penning awesome pop tracks inbetween writing issues of her massively impressive zine. Summer is yet another amazing track from her.
6 Weird Era – Ghost
Most Myspace friend requests from bands are given by awful American hardcore bands filled by 13 year olds. If Weird Era prove only one thing, it’s that going on the old decadent social networking site still has some use – even if that’s only to listen to some Deerhunter inspired noise.
7 The Middle Ones – Countdown
It might be fair to say that a little bit of cheating has been involved in this one, but I’m not bothered. Despite the fact that they may inhabit Norwich now, their heart and myspace status still lay in the rainy city. They make music that with personality and warmth that is utterly guarenteed to make you smile.
8 Mazes – Bowie Knives
The other week, my girlfriend went to a party. I stayed at home, because I was a bit tired. The next morning I was told that not only had photographers from Vice magazine been there, but also Spectrals and Mazes. I’m still bitter, but this song eases the pain. Fuzzy and glorious, expect big things.
9 Young British Artists – Small Waves
Another Red Deer Club artist, another testament to the depth and diversity of artists that Manchester holds. Sometimes disparate, often distorted but always engaging and inspiring, it’s taken from an EP of the same name.
10 Cats in Paris – The One
Despite not being named after the amazing website of the same name, they make angular, jaunty pop songs that can only make you want to shake your body and wave your arms. There was absolutely no way that I wasn’t going to end this mixtape on the line ‘I’m the King of Norway/No way!/Yes way’.

If that sounds okay with you, then you can get the whole .rar file below:

Pigeon Playlist #1 – Manchester (mediafire)

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