Wednesday 23 December 2009

Happy Christmas, happy between-Christmas-and-New-Year

Here's hoping you have a tremendous Christmas, and there's hoping we see you at the Lounge this coming Sunday (27th) where we'll be recovering in our usual relaxed fashion, 2 'til 7.

Is there a name for the period between Christmas and New Year? The lack of an obvious one makes life very difficult for those of us who like to supply rubbishy puns or (failing that) alliterative names for the kind of events which might take place on the 27th of December. It's too bad. I'm off for a drink.

Wednesday 16 December 2009

Name That Tune: Make This Young Lady Mine

“What’s that song that De La Soul sampled?”

That, thanks for asking, was Make This Young Lady Mine by The Mad Lads, whose striking guitar riff was sampled by De La Soul for Eye Know. At least one other DJ of this parish might prefer Steely Dan’s Peg, which was also sampled for Eye Know, but The Mad Lads’ 1968 Stax single is solid gold soul.

There’s no youtube stream of this song, but it’s on Impressed! 24 groups inspired by the legendary Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions, one of the very best Kent CD compilations. I’d urge anyone interested in classic soul to buy it.

Strictly speaking, The Mad Lads’ work up until about 1966 owed more to Mayfield’s legacy of group soul harmonisation than Make This Young Lady Mine does, and I expect Booker T, the song’s co-writer, might see the blend of gospel and pop-funk as very clearly stamped with his hallmark, but no matter; this is one of the unheralded greats of soul’s classic age.

Christmas Opening Hours

All reliable predictions are for a hangover on Sunday December 27. Worry not, as the Hangover Lounge will be open from 2pm offering a variety of tunes to salve the mind and soothe the soul.

There'll always be booze to drink and people to chat to, which years of dedicated research by our resident DJs proves works just fine.

Tuesday 1 December 2009

Clientele and Cavalcade live this Sunday - FREE!

Two great bands, one great relaxing club and no entrance fee. This Sunday, December 6, we're delighted to host one of our long-time favourites, The Clientele, and one of the UK's most exciting prospects, The Cavalcade.

We open our doors at 2pm for drinks and soothing tunes; the live music will start by 3pm.

Thursday 26 November 2009

Time Out's Best Sunday Lunches

The Lexington earns its place as one of the best places to eat Sunday lunch in a Time Out feature.

They describe the Hangover Lounge as "a day-after session with soothing indie music and fortifying drinks", which is sort of right as most of the soul and reggae we play was issued on indies.

The Lexington's kitchen is currently closed - it'll re-open soon with similar American-themed food, only the prices will be lower - but in the meantime you can buy pizza from the excellent Basilico across the road and bring it in to the pub.

Thursday 12 November 2009

Gig times 15 November

Stage times are a little earlier than usual this Sunday, so get to the Lexington early for your free acoustic treats:

Birdie: 3.20 EDIT: just to be on the safe side, turn up at 3pm as times may be brought forward.

Peter and Jessica of the Would-Be-Goods: 3.45

Gregory Webster: 4.20

Tuesday 3 November 2009

Chickfactor Special featuring Would-Be-Goods and Gregory Webster and Birdie live

We're delighted to welcome back the Chickfactor ladies to the Hangover Lounge decks on November 15. Gregory Webster returns to the Lounge's live forum in support of his Promised Land single, a splendid 12-string trip through 1966 via the pop perfection of the Razorcuts' 1987 ep I Heard You The First Time. After much cajoling, browbeating and haranguing, we've managed to persuade The Would-Be-Goods to play live as well. I know that's enough, but just so you're really spoiled, Birdie have kindly agreed to grace the stage for the first time in years. Result! What are you waiting for? November 15, obviously.

Wednesday 21 October 2009

Sunday: it's all happening, and it's all happening!

It's quite literally all sorts of excitement. Actually it's a subset of all sorts of excitement, that subset which is conducive to pleasingly gentle Sunday afternoons. It's some sorts of excitement.

Anyway, the point is that we have more, and more of the good stuff coming up this Sunday... we have our Colour Me Pop friends coming along to treat us to their relaxed indiepop tunes, AND we have a Jumble Sale upstairs, or to give it its proper name the New To You Craft and Vintage Harvest Festival Fayre! New To You is hosted by Travis and Emily, and promises to offer vintage clothing, records, books, dvds, cakes, and everything else you'd want on a Sunday afternoon. Except booze. But handily that's downstairs!

What's more, to accommodate all of this good we are craftily deploying the slightly earlier start time of 1pm. We'll be playing our usual mix of high quality low volume tunes downstairs, and upstairs will be New To You, until 4:30... then you can re-join the Hangover Lounge downstairs, showing off your new stuff, over a bloody mary or two... splendid.

Name That Tune: B C Camplight: Couldn't You Tell?

It came on a recommendation from a ludicrously clued-in friend and it's one of those records that I'm sure I'm going to like within 10 seconds: smooth bossafied intro followed by a nice squelch of some kind of synthesiser. All that can go wrong now is for some whiny or whispery of shouty dumb vocalist to come and foul things up.

Not this time. "Couldn't You Tell" glories in the smoothest of voices - let's call him BC - telling you straight up that he's not to be trusted, under any circumstances. Meanwhile the Camplight rollick along in a pleasingly hangover-friendly way. Which is not very rollicky, I grant you. But it does seem to be the groove it hits towards the end that gets people asking what it is. It's "Couldn't You Tell" by BC Camplight. I think it's great.

Tuesday 13 October 2009

Scrabble Sunday and Piney Gir DJs

This Sunday (18 October) we are thrilled to have Piney Gir coming along to play some records, as well as our regular third Sunday of the month Scrabble club... it'll be an extraordinarily relaxing afternoon...

As usual, we start at 2, and play records at a relaxed volume, while you enjoy the papers, the conversation, the roasts, the bloody marys, and whatever else it is you might care to enjoy.

Wednesday 7 October 2009

The Claim and Amor de Dias FREE GIG

A pared-down Claim featuring the Davids Read and Arnold are performing acoutiscally this Sunday. They'll be taking the stage at around 5pm. Amor de Dias will be playing either before or after that. They like to keep us guessing.

The Hangover Lounge's artist-in-chief has left the country for tax reasons, so the flyer has been botched by yours truly. Oh well. But it's the music that counts, right? And the beer. See you Sunday.

For those of you who missed The Claim's rivetting peformance in Rochester last month, there's footage below, which includes an exciting shot of the birthday boy frugging gently at the 2min mark.

Tuesday 6 October 2009

This Sunday's going to be a corker

I have to be honest: one of the reasons I'm particularly looking forward to this Sunday's Hangover Lounge is because it's doubling as my birthday celebration. And I'm celebrating a Big Birthday, one with a zero. I know it's hard to believe I'm 20 already, but there you are.

That's not all though. We are looking forward to hearing free acoustical sets from Amor de Dias (you know full well it's Lupe from Pipas and Al from the Clientele, two of my favourite groups of the last decade) and the Two Davids from The Claim, absolutely my favourite group of the decade before that. Here's the apropriately-named "Sunday": I love it.

You may have seen us advertise an appearance from Greg Webster, too - we're still hoping to see Greg play but (I have to be honest) we're not certain he is going to be able to make it. We'll see.

There is the vague possibility that I might have a drink or two, too. Purely medicinal, you understand. hair of the dog. That kind of thing. See you there, I hope.

Friday 18 September 2009

Name That Tune: L'accord Parfait by Autour de Lucie

L’accord Parfait is a wistful song with such a great melodic punch that it should have gone down in pop folklore. I can tell you that it’s from their 1994 debut album L'Échappée belle, which was produced in part by Michael Head, but not what it’s about, although listening to it is more fun than waving a dog's head on a stick at your mother.

In the interests of research, I should’ve played their follow-up album, Immobile, but some vague memory told me not to bother with it again. I don’t have any more of their records. It would be unfair to describe any band who can write such a magical desert island disc as L’accord Parfait as “average” – even though that’s what most of their songs are – because no average band ever wrote a song this good.

Friday 28 August 2009

Name That Tune #3: Gal Costa - "Baby"

Today I've been thinking about that old " right NOW it's the greatest record ever made!" feeling - that sense that you're listening to the single most inspiring passage of sound ever passed from recording technology to human ear. It's familiar to most people with any kind of emotional investment in music, especially (it seems) the blogging non-community and a big part of the thrill is that you know it can't possibly be true even as it feels undeniable.

Mmmmm. Anyway.

The record which will most reliably give me that feeling is "Baby" by Gal Costa. Someone usually asks me about it if I play it at the Lounge and this Sunday was no exception, apart from the fact that two people asked me about it. Look, here it is:

Part of my continuing love and amazement about this record is, I suppose, that I don't know much about Brazilian pop, so it seems like it has beamed in from another (better) world. That also means I'm not going to burden you with lots of facts and/or trivia, but I do have four things to point out:

1. the way those strings swell around the thirty seconds mark! From that moment on you know you're in the presence of something special.
2. the way the reverb which surrounds Gal's voice all the way through completely drops off for a line or two around 1:30 is mysterious and oddly beautiful: for just a moment, she's right there next to you before spiriting off back into the world of reverb. (Apropos of nothing, I am reminded that I was once with the band The Clientele in Spain, which is the best possible way to find out that the Spanish pronounce "reverb" as "reberv". And apropos of that, and this, go and see Amor De Dias play with Damon and Naomi in early September in London and Manchester, do.)
3. "Diana" - what?
4. Gal's been going for forty years or more now and she has returned to this song several times, and cut some radically different versions, including one English language version which stomps rather hard on the mysterious poetry I imagine the Portuguese version brings. So on the off-chance that you were rushing out to buy yourself a copy of this, this one (from season '68/'69 I think) is The One. Right now, The Greatest Record Ever Made.

Tuesday 18 August 2009

Dinosaur Planet Sunday 23 August

It is beyond doubt (at least among those who KNOW) that the number one highlight of this year's Edinburgh Fringe was the marvel which is Friend of the Lounge MJ Hibbett's brilliant Dinosaur Planet. You can see the trailer up there. And a review here.

We are delighted to say that MJ, having secured success in Scotland, is heading to the Hangover Lounge on Sunday for a victory lap. Entrance is FREE. He'll be on at about 5pm but you might want to come along earlier to delight in the HALF PRICE FOOD! And! In addition to the gently rockin' smooth sounds of the Lounge regulars, this week we'll be enjoying the pick'n'mix provided by friend of the stars and all-round grumpy good guy Steve Edmond. Come down, and come down.

Monday 17 August 2009

Name That Tune: I Can Feel It by Sloan

Whenever Sloan’s I Can Feel It is played at the Hangover Lounge two things happen:
•someone asks “what’s this?”; and
•upon being told responds, “oh, I didn’t think I’d like Sloan”.

Geffen, who released Twice Removed, the album from which I Can Feel It is taken, were similarly surprised by Sloan’s mix of Big Star powerpop, Beatleseque melodies and Pavement-style literate college rock, and promptly dropped them after realising that rather than signing the Canadian Nirvana they’d signed the Canadian Built To Spill.

For my money, Twice Removed is Sloan’s second-best album; for an album of unrelenting powerpop greatness – ringing guitars, chiming hooks and three-way harmonies – look no further than 1999’s Between The Bridges which is so breathless in its all-out pop assault there’s barely a respite between songs.

I gave up on Sloan in 2002 after their seventh album, Pretty Together, which was well under par; if their subsequent efforts capture their 1990s vintage, please let me know.

The video is Sloan playing I Can Feel It in Australia in 2007 (the female singer is an audience member; trivia fans may be interested to know that Jale’s Jennifer Pierce sings on the record).

Tuesday 11 August 2009

Name That TUNE! #1

[The first in a series* of posts about songs we’ve played at the Lounge: the only rule is that someone has to have asked about the record, while it was playing.]

Rozi Plain: Stolen Shark (Played: August 9, by Tim)

Rozi Plain (it’s pronounced “rozzy”, apparently) is the common factor between the Fence Collective, which I’m sure you know all about, and the rather more delicate and obscure Cleaner Collective. I don’t really know how tight or loose a collective this lot are: where Fence has that village-y feel, Cleaner come from the larger and rather more cider-scented surrounds of Bristol. Some of the stuff is great: I’m a particular fan of Rachael Dadd and her various offshoot bands including Whalebone Polly, a name for the project Rachael shares with Kate Stables, aka This Is The Kit, who also sometimes guests with Soy Un Caballo, Francophone Belgians who seem to be playing in London quite a lot and whose LP “Les Heures Du Raison” is a real treat (Sean O'Hagan AND Will Oldham? There's a night in the pub I'll likely avoid) and a longstanding favourite for the Lounge’s more delicate moments. And so on.

And so anyway, there is quite a lot of the good stuff around this bunch of people, but I can’t shake the feeling that Rozi Plain might be the oddly fascinating kid sister of the bunch who nobody really notices until it becomes surprisingly clear that she has all the pop sensibility and a cheeky fizz and a mad glint in her eyes which sets her up and apart.

“Stolen Shark” appears to be about being slowly eaten by sharks, except it doesn’t really stack up: under what circumstances does one snag ones jumper on a shark’s tooth? How possible is it to be completely devoured apart from “a very much alive part of [ones] head”. My friends, we may be dealing with a DREAM SEQUENCE here. Or it may be METAPHOR. Or possibly we are experiencing GOOFING ABOUT. It’s not for me to say. I am happy to venture the opinion that the way the song builds to the four part weaving harmonies (courtesy of Rachael Dadd, again) is delightful. The thing to do is to listen to the song on Rozi’s myspace and then seriously consider purchasing the LP, “Inside Over Here”, which is on Fence and packed full of folk-pop fun - more so even than the myspace demos and oddments suggest.

*We hope!

Monday 10 August 2009

Half-Price Menu

For the next two Sundays (and all days inbetween) food prices at the Lexington have been slashed by half.

The food's good and now it's even better value. Eat up!

Thursday 6 August 2009

Scrabble Sunday, 9 August

This Sunday's a special Sunday at the Hangover Lounge - we are delighted to be playing host to the second ever Scrabble Sunday event! Bring your board and your tiles and be prepared to meet likeminded souls who want to beat you at Scrabble!

The Scrabble won't be compulsory so if you fancy just coming down and coming down to the usual great mix of smooth sounds and Sunday goodness, then please do. We're slowly working our way through the Lexington's menu as well and it turns out that their Sunday selection of chow is worth a bash also.

Facebook fans can read more about the Scrabble here.

Tuesday 21 July 2009

On The Beach July 26

The Hangover Lounge welcomes the fine folk at On The Beach this Sunday, July 26. A look at the playlists from their Buffalo Bar club on their myspace shows they have fine taste in music.

They will, of course, be playing the mellower side of things to heal Saturday night's over-indulgences.

The kitchen, which got the thumbs up from punters last week, will be open to give you something to wash down.

Monday 13 July 2009

DJ Downfall and Help Stamp Out Loneliness 19 July

This Sunday 19 July the 40th anniversary of the moon landing is commemorated with lunar-themed sets by DJ Downfall and Mike Winship.

As if that wasn't enough, Colm from Help Stamp Out Loneliness will be recovering from his stag do hangover by playing a set (non-moon related, just to mix things up).

You want more? Then you shall have it: FOOD. Yes, the Lexington kitchen starts this week offering roast dinners, burgers, chips, that sort of thing.

As ever, the recovery process starts at 2pm.

Monday 6 July 2009

Minutes from July 5

Minutes from the Hangover Lounge 5 July 2009.

1. White dreads = bad thing.
2. PJ Harvey was not once half of PJ and Duncan; in fact, PJ Harvey made PJ and Duncan change their names to Ant and Dec.
3. Helen from Shrag begged for the Heaven 17 album no one else would claim.
4. Liam Gallagher has a cheese butler who recommends what cheese nibble will complement whatever continental lager he’s drinking.

Tuesday 16 June 2009

Kendall Meade and Allo, Darlin' free gig Sunday June 21

One-woman hit factory Allo, Darlin' (motto: "have ukulele, will travel") celebrates the release of her new 7" ep - featuring no fewer than three top pop songs (the wonderfully titled Henry Rollins Don't Dance, Dear Stephen Hawking and Heartbeat Chilli) - by returning to the scene of one of her many great live triumphs, The Hangover Lounge, on June 21.

The excellent Kendall Meade is the key figure in Mascott, whose LP Art Project has just been released in Europe. Kendall's in the UK playing a small handful of dates with Mascott, and we're delighted that she and a few friends are going to treat us to a Hangover Lounge unamplified session this Sunday. Her "seductive tones caress the ear and the heart like a lover's whisper [and] her deceptively simple, folk-rock inflections and subtle lyrics linger long after the album has run its too-brief course" - that's what the legendary LD Beghtol said. We're not arguing.

Friday 12 June 2009

Summer Cats video shoot

Do you look French? A bit 1960s? Have your own retro hipster clothes? Then you could star in the new Summer Cats video. The director says:

I'm shooting a video for The Summer Cats on the 20th of June and am looking for a few people to be in the video. Do you think you would know anyone that may be interested? They would need to be able to look a bit french sixties new wave with their own wardrobe (it's most important they look the part than any acting ability) It will be shot centrally.

He'll be at the Hangover Lounge this Sunday, June 14, where you can discuss your best side, pout, sullenly smoke crafty Gauloises outside and then go on strike.

Or, as per usual, just turn up looking like Serge. You'll leave feeling a lot better. As per usual.

Wednesday 3 June 2009

Salvation every Sunday

The Hangover Lounge runs every Sunday from 2-7pm at the Lexington, promoting the public service values of free entry and soothing sounds (vintage soul, nourishing reggae, gentle indiepop and pastoral folk) with the advantages of a well-stocked bar and kitchen to ameliorate even the most burnt brains.

Guest DJs over the past year have included Pam Berry, Bob Stanley and Alasdair McLean; every month we have exclusive acoustic sets upstairs - previous stars number Darren Hayman, Gregory Webster, Allo' Darlin' and The Hit Parade.

Check this blog for news about forthcoming guest DJs and live acts. Or email us if you want to play a gig or put yourself forward as a guest DJ.