Wednesday 21 December 2011

Darren Hayman live on New Year's Day

Scenario A: New Year's Day. You have a motherfucking hangover. You need the soothing salve of The Hangover Lounge, described by the Government's Chief Medical Officer as "the fourth emergency service".

Scenario B: New Year's Day. You didn't go out the night before because it would've been too expensive, too rowdy and a general pain in the arse. Have your fun with friends at the Hangover Lounge.

In both scenarios, Darren Hayman is playing a free gig. This is a win-win.

Kids (and dogs) welcome.

Tuesday 20 December 2011

Name that tune: Brother Brother by The Isley Brothers

You can't go far wrong with any of The Isley Brothers' post-Motown output from 1969-1975 and you'll go no better than their 1972 album Brother Brother Brother.

Brother Brother is one of three Carole King songs on an album otherwise largely comprising Isley-penned material. Musically, the album isn't that far removed from Marvin Gaye's What's Going On; although the 'brother brother' refrain of Marvin's title track is coincidental, it may have struck a chord with some of the million-plus Americans who bought What's Going On the previous year.

Tuesday 22 November 2011

Edwyn Collins, Robert Rotifer and Wide Sea live

It was the best - perhaps the best ever - of afternoons. Wide Sea had banks of acoustic guitars as if Teenage Fanclub were in LA's Gold Star Studios with Phil Spector. Immediately afterwards, a queue formed to buy their album.

Robert Rotifer told tales, cracked jokes and even played some songs, all of them great. Afterwards, he autographed many records.

The patron saint of indiepop crowned a wonderful bill. Many audience members, even the most battle-scarred hard men of rock among our number, seemed to have something in their eye.

Monday 17 October 2011

Pete Astor and Let's Wrestle and Robert Rotifer live this Sunday

That's right. Are we spoiling you or what.

Pete Astor
Pete Astor, indiepop royalty thanks to his presence in Creation bands The Loft and the Weather Prophets, made a welcome return this summer with his sixth solo album, Songbox.

Literate and melodic, Songbox captures the mood of British folk music in the presence of 60s-influenced pop and is clearly one of Astor’s strongest albums yet.

Wesley Patrick Gonzalez
Wes from Let’s Wrestle makes it a family affair as the man we call Pete Astor, Wes knows as stepdad. After the joyously ramshackle debut album In The Court Of The Wrestling Let’s, this year’s Nursing Home album proved that debut single I Wish I Was In Husker Du was a self-fulfilling prophecy as they went harder and faster towards 80s hardcore heaven.

This acoustic solo show from Wes will show the fantastic Let’s Wrestle songs in a new light. Excited? Fuck yeah!

Robert Rotifer
Writer, musician and radio DJ Robert Rotifer’s sixth album, and first for Edwyn Collins’s new label, was produced by Stiff Records legend Wreckless Eric. The Hosting Couple is a selection of songs about likely subjects such as remote-controlled drones dropping bombs on your hometown, the deceased Austrian sound poet Ernst Jandl, childhood holidays in Essex, and the marine lab in Aberdeen.

Monday 3 October 2011

The Raw Herbs

Possibly the greatest moment in The Hangover Lounge's history happened yesterday. While playing I'm Falling Down by The Raw Herbs, someone came up and asked, "is this The Raw Herbs?" There is probably no other club in the world where a Raw Herbs b-side from 1987 would be recognised. Or played even.

A shame, that, because The Raw Herbs really were a cut above the rest. The tear-in-a-beer Memphis melancholy of I'm Falling Down should be a staple of oldies stations, or at the very least the go-to song for film producers soundtracking moody shots of the guy at the bar.

Someone really should do a Raw Herbs compilation. There was very nearly a two-CD compilation of The Raw Herbs' label, Medium Cool, on Cherry Red four years ago, but the deal was, I understood at the time, not particularly favourable and so fell through.

It would've included The Raw Herbs' Janice Long session. Here's one track from that sesion, Syd's Late Night:

You can find another track from that session on former Medium Cool boss Andy Wake's blog, along with some very sad news about The Raw Herbs' drummer, Brian Alexis.

Saturday 1 October 2011

Harvey Williams, Rachael Dadd, Jack Cheshire: Live at the Lounge, October 9th

On October 9th, we'll be delighted to welcome some more live music to the Lounge! This time it's a triple-bill, and as ever it'll start early-ish. PLEASE be there by 3pm to catch the fun. Also as ever, it's all free and all hand-picked for YOU by US.

Here's who's playing:


Harvey's been a favourite musician of mine for knocking on a quarter of a century now, and I'm delighted that he's agreed to a grace us with a rare live appearance. I remember someone once saying that he hits the perfect mid-point of Vic Godard and Victoria Wood. Looks like he'll be guitar-based for this show, so the chances are we won't get to hear this, one of my faves from his last LP:


Rachael's making her own path through the modern young people's folk world, I don't think anyone does it quite like her, and she's quietly made what amounts to a stack of brilliant records. I've seen her play many times and she's never failed to amaze. I can't wait to hear her off-mic.


Jack's a relative new one on me, but I saw his amazing show to launch his recent LP "Copenhagen" at the Slaughtered Lamb a few months back, and immediately started nagging him to come and play. This should give you the idea:

See you there.

Thursday 29 September 2011

Withered Hand and Vatican Cellars footage

All this takeaway food is making me feel unwell
at my funeral have them play Highway To Hell

Isn't grey hair just the first light of a new dawn

Thanks to TheBoudicca3 who filmed those Withered Hand songs and also shot footage of Simon from The Vatican Cellars solo and acoustic:

Wednesday 14 September 2011

Withered Hand and the Vatican Cellars LIVE! At The Lounge, 25th September.

When Ben said that Withered Hand's first LP, "Good News" was the best album of 2009 I'll confess I raised an eyebrow, and possibly even two. But damn me if I haven't returned to it more than anything else from that year, and goodness knows I've liked it more every time. The LP is "streaming", as I believe the young people say, on his website: We (and Ben in particular) have been trying for some years now to persuade Dan Willson, Mr. Withered Hand, to come and play at the Lounge, and we're delighted that it's happening at last. Oh, apart from Ben, who'll be on holiday.

The Vatican Cellars are probably the closest we have to regular live guests at the Lounge: this must be their third or fourth time now. That really goes to show how much we like them: their delicate melancholy sets our Sundays off a treat.

This will be a tremendous show, and it's likely to be an early one, so don't sleep. At least, don't sleep too much.

Dates for your diaries - three live shows coming soon!

We'll be saying more about each of these nearer the time, but we have three of our exciting unamplified and totally free live show Sundays coming up, and our very strong advice to you is to get each of them in your diary - each one will be ACE! It feels a big naff to say it but we're genuinely quite proud of what we have coming up in the next few weeks. Look:

SEPTEMBER 25th: Withered Hand, and the Vatican Cellars!
OCTOBER 9th: Harvey Williams, Rachael Dadd, and Jack Cheshire!
OCTOBER 23rd: Pete Astor, Wesley Patrick Gonzalez, and Robert Rotifer!

So, more on each of these before long, but don't say we didn't warn you they were coming up.

Friday 19 August 2011

Good things this Sunday

This Sunday we have no fewer than three special treats for you! THREE!

ONE: Special guest DJ Nick Tesco. Nick was the singer in The Members, amongst other awesome things. Last time he played at the Lounge he played a tremendous set of mostly African music, and we're delighted to have him back.

TWO: Special guest DJ Gideon Coe, our favourite radio DJ of all, his Lounge sets are always great and are way too infrequent.

THREE: Alex Lewis's band The Rosemary Works make sumptuous acoustic moves to steal and break your hearts, more like Paul Simon than Noel Gallagher. Using an array of wonderful instruments, this is a 100% acoustic show.

Look! Here's a film to give you the idea.

See you on Sunday, we hope.

Friday 22 July 2011

The Cavalcade + Paisley and Charlie gig

August 14: mark it in your diaries now for we have the return of The Cavalcade and the debut Lounge peformance by Paisley and Charlie. This is going to be a great gig. Entrance is free. Soothing sounds downstairs from 2pm; the bands start at around 3.30pm.

Monday 18 July 2011

Whiskey Galore: Joshua Brook

Resident DJ and whiskey expert Steve Edmond has manfully undertaken the onerous task of reviewing every whiskey at the Lexington. Why, Steve?

Since the Lexington has well over 50 different American whiskeys on offer I thought the least I could do was make sure I sample each one and then, if I can still write at the end of the evening, review a different one each week.

Most of the US whiskeys the Lexington has are Bourbons - to officially be allowed to call itself a bourbon, the whiskey has to meet the following criteria: The ABC of Bourbon, if you will (thanks to Simon Difford for this)

American - Must be made in the USA
Barrels - Must be aged in brand new, charred oak barrels.
Corn - Must have a mash formed from between 51-79% corn
Distillation - Must be distilled to strength of less than 80% abv.
Entry - Must go into the barrels at no more than 62.5% abv.
Filled - Must be bottled at minimum of 40%abv.
Genuine - Must not contain any artificial flavours, colours or other alcohols. If so it must be labelled as 'blend' or 'blended'

So the first whiskey I decided to review is one I've not tried before:

Joshua Brook
An 8-year, Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey.Higher than average abv at 90%
Smells spicier than it tastes. Nice slow warming heat, rather than any real burn.
Mild, some vanilla and maple syrup flavours with quite a long finish.
Good value for an 8-year bourbon.
Similar to Jim Beam Black, but not quite as tasty.

Friday 17 June 2011

Ghost Box DJs Sunday 26 June

We're delighted to welcome the fine folk from the Ghost Box label - specialists in esoteric electronics, library lounge, sunken treaures from television soundtracks and folk curios - who'll be bringing all manner of unheralded treats for an afternoon of haunting ambience on Sunday 26 June.

Wednesday 15 June 2011

More Video Goodies

Anyone with any sense will be out tonight watching Louis Philippe charming the pants off the Betsey, but for those of you with a good excuse (like, I dunno, you live on a different continent, or somesuch) here are some video treats from Sunday's glorious show(s):

UP FIRST: Mr Wright

NEXT: Amor de Dias:

If that's not enough for you, here's that same Amor de Dias song, as filmed and shared by friend of the Lounge, String Bean Jen, this time a little louder and in appropriately moody black and white:

Aren't you glad you were there? Or, don't you wish you'd been there?

Also, this may be my opportunity to recommend the novel Little Apple by the marvellous Leo Perutz - I reckon its title pops up in AdD's song.

Tuesday 14 June 2011

Louis Philippe live

Louis Philippe, who turned in a wonderful set at the Lounge on Sunday (no one will ever forget Louis' rendering of I Just Wasn't Made For These Times), take their pop classicism to the Betsey Trotwood tomorrow, June 15.

This is a change of venue to previously advertised, and it's a smaller capacity, so try to book in advance.

A reminder for those who were there on Sunday, and a temptation to those who weren't to go on Wednesday, how especially intimate and uplifting the Louis Philippe live experience is:

Monday 6 June 2011

Amor de Dias, Louis Philippe and Mr Wright free gig 12 June

Amor de Dias, who are currently touring their excellent Street of the Love of Days album in America, return to the UK this week to launch that opus at the Hangover Lounge on Sunday June 12.

Louis Philippe - whose live band numbers the Dias's Alasdair MacLean on guitar and backing vocals - is gracing the stage (if you haven't already, check out his latest record The Ocean Tango) and further support comes from another fine El alumnus, Mr Wright.

The Lounge opens its doors at 2pm. The first band is on at 3pm. It's free. We'll see you there.

Wednesday 25 May 2011

3rd Birthday Party starring Darren Hayman

This Sunday, 29 May, the Hangover Lounge turns 3. To mark the occasion, Darren Hayman has designed a poster which we'll be giving away along with CDs and commemorative beermats to the first 30 punters through the doors.

There's even more! Darren will be donning the house cans for some soothing beat matching as our guest DJ.

Apologies to anyone who was misled by this post's title and thought that Darren Hayman was taking the place of Nick Cave in a reincarnation of The Birthday Party.

Monday 23 May 2011

Moon Horse free preview on June 19

Moon Horse vs. The Mars Men Of Jupiter is a brand new two-man science fiction rock opera which will be appearing at this year's Edinburgh Fringe (as part of PBH's Free Fringe), Camden Fringe, and touring the country.

First, though, there's a London premiere at the Hangover Lounge on June 19 at 3.15pm. Steve Hewitt bravely answers some questions and gets confused by simple maths:

Can we expect a mash up of and My Lovely Horse?
I don't know why people seem to automatically say moonpig instead of moonhorse, I mean the two things couldn't be more different. One is a slightly dodgy internet-based card company and the other is an amazing super hero from outer space who has an awesome series of adventures with his good friend Geoffrey Livingstone battling the dreadful (and rather stinky) Mars Men of Jupiter.

And I'm definitely not speculating on which of us is Ted and which of us is Dougal.

Did an asteroid destroy Dinosaur Planet?
No, we just thought it was time to move on, although the Real Actual Proper Concept Album With A Gatefold Sleeve And Everything will hopefully be out before the end of the year (I'm not committing myself to which year at this point). It has a proper cast of actually semi-famous people in it and everything. I'm barely in it at all.

The Dinosaur Planet itself (Mr Squish to give him his real name) is living in peaceful retirement Chez Hibbett.

The Hangover Lounge prides itself on its family-friendly environment. Can you assure our patrons that there will be no swears, full-frontal nudity or jeggings in your show?
There are, I'm afraid, two proper swears in the show, but they are both entirely artistically valid and are both about The Secret Evil Empress of England (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). She is a
Very Bad Lady. I'm sure viewers of all ages will be glad when I say nudity and jeggings are both definitely off the menu though.

On the music-comedy scale of 1-10 where 0 is those cuntin’ Halifax Radio adverts and 11 is Spinal Tap, where is Moon Horse? Please show your workings.
Hmmm, tricky one. Given that our show at the Hangover Lounge comes only three days after the world premiere (in Northampton, of course) it's a bit early to tell what heights of satirical mirth-making we
will reach. I pledge on my life that we will be better than the Halifax ads though...

Your partner in rhyme, MJ Hibbett, suggested last year that you had joined him in the world of musical theatre so you could sport a cravat and indulge in a wave of homosexual affairs. Is this what psychologists call projection?
It's not for me to comment on Mr Hibbett's artistic bent. I myself continue to own precisely 0 cravats however.

Have you bought yourself some theatre sandals this year?
Long term devotees of Mr Hibbett's flyers will be pleased to note that his toes are not visible this year, I think I've weaned him off the sandals. It's all 10 Hole Black Docs round my way innit...

Wednesday 11 May 2011

The Mexican Postcards play Mexican Postcard

What a wonderful event Sunday turned out to be. The Mexican Postcards put on a great show. The footage is very grainy, but then the lights were way down low:

Wednesday 27 April 2011

Grant McLennan tribute

We'll be marking the fifth anniversary of one of our favourite songwriters, Grant McLennan, at the Lounge on May 8. A live tribute comes from The Mexican Postcards - led by Rob Price of Airport Girl - then we'll settle back to watch the excellent 16 Lovers Lane documentary and be treated to select picks from guest DJ Jonathan Turner, webmaster of The Go-Betweens site.

The Mexican Postcards will be playing from around 3pm (exact time tbc).

Tuesday 19 April 2011

White Town and Nat Johnson duet Your Woman

Excellent sets from Nat Johnson and the Figureheads, Rozi Plain and White Town on Sunday were topped off by Nat joining Jyoti on an acoustic take of the number one hit Your Woman.

Viewers will remember Elizabeth out of Allo Darlin' singing Your Woman with Jyoti at the Hangover Lounge last year. We're slowly working our way to having a whole album's worth of Your Woman versions. Quite famous and tuneful singers interested in offering their own interpretation of Your Woman with Jyoti at a future gig please make yourselves known. For everyone else, there's the X Factor.

Friday 15 April 2011

Darren Hayman and Dave Tattersall exclusive songs

Today, another two modern classics from the new Hangover Lounge ep. Darren Hayman brings us Pixie Boots, and Dave Tattersall teams up with mystery collaborator Howard Hughes for Day of the Locusts. Behold!
Darren Hayman - Pixie Boots by wiaiwya
David Tattersall & Howard Hughes - Day Of The Locusts by wiaiwya

the Second Hangover Lounge ep (incl P&P)

The handsome 6-track 10" ep will be available at the gig on Sunday and at some shops for Record Store Day on Saturday.

Thursday 14 April 2011

White Town and Rozi Plain exclusive tracks and free gig

White Town and Rozi Plain, stars of the second Hangover Lounge ep, are playing a free gig at the Lexington this Sunday afternoon. Get there in good time, because Nat Johnson & the Figureheads are first on the bill at 2.30pm sharp with their own acoustic offering.

Have a preview - and marvel at their wonder - of the White Town and Rozi Plain ep tracks:
White Town - Cut Out My Heart by wiaiwya
Rozi Plain - When Are You Coming? COME ON! by wiaiwya

the Second Hangover Lounge ep (incl P&P)

The handsome 6-track 10" ep will be available at the gig on Sunday and at some shops for Record Store Day on Saturday.

Wednesday 13 April 2011

Brand new Birdie

Birdie are back after much cajoling with Message To The Sun, a classic that's now seeing the light of day on the second Hangover Lounge ep. Birdie's Paul Kelly explains:

"This is one of the songs we recorded in 2002 for a planned third album. We had stopped playing any live shows by then but had hoped to carry on making records. I can't remember why we never finished the album, I think I'll have to blame our kids!
Birdie - Message to the Sun by wiaiwya

Buy the ep

the Second Hangover Lounge ep (incl P&P)

OR come to the launch gig this Sunday, April 17, featuring live sets from White Town, Rozi Plain and Nat Johnson, where you can pick up this dashing 6-track 10" ep for a fiver.

Pam Berry's first solo release out now

Pam Berry's debut solo recording is out now on the second Hangover Lounge ep. She tells us all about it:

What made you dip your toes in the solo waters at this stage in your 22-year showbusiness career?
I believe it was the suggestion by Ben of your Hangover Lounge parish that I should contribute an a capella song for HLEP2, which seemed easy enough for Mike to record at home on the 16-track. By the time I came to my senses, everybody I could rope in to lend instrumentation was away on holiday, my own guitar was broken and there was no going back.

Why did you choose to cover Love's Wonder People (I Do Wonder)?
Wonder People (I Do Wonder) has always been one of my fave Love songs, and though I’ve always thought it’s a bit crazy to cover songs that are already so damn great, in my head I could hear this one sounding very different to the original. In my head I heard the cover sounding very different to my finished song as well, what can you do? There were a heap of other contenders – the tunes of Andy Williams, various awesome soulful girlgroup crooners, old-school Bacharach songs, lady torch and country singers aplenty. In the end I couldn’t bear the thought of those songs without guitar and percussion action to go with.

Will there be more a cappella songs from you?
After that handwritten cease and desist order sent straight from the grave by Arthur Lee, probably not.

What's next, then?
In a month or so my friend Bart is going to send along some more of his songs for me to sing on for another Bart +Friends EP. I’ve got nada else musical going on right now, and plan to fill the long days of summer with BBQs, crafting, beachy day trips, hangover lounge lazing about and backyard uke+cake parties with my gals.

Pam Berry - Wonder People (I Do Wonder) by wiaiwya

To buy this ep

the Second Hangover Lounge ep (incl P&P)

OR come to the launch gig this Sunday, April 17, featuring live sets from White Town, Rozi Plain and Nat Johnson, where you can pick up this dashing 6-track 10" ep for a fiver.

Tuesday 12 April 2011

Actual real press, on paper and everything

We forgot to say: some nearly-national coverage in The Guardian last month! Look:
In case that's to small for you to read, it's the Guardian "Clubs" section's Pick of The Week listing, and it says:
"Hangover Lounge If you've had a big weekend, then here's your chance to relax. Eat a roast and take it easy to a laid-back blend of reggae, soul, indie and folk."

Friday 18 March 2011

Darren Hayman's January Songs Notebook Auction

You remember Darren Hayman's January Songs project? Of course you do. You may even have seen his great performance of the thirtieth song, We're Tired Of Being Dicked Around, which brought the house down at the Hangover Lounge. Either way, see it again AND bid on the notebook that Darren used throughout this project. Darren's auctioning it in aid of a charity helping wildlife affected by the Japanese earthquake.

Song 30 We're Tired of Getting Dicked Around from Darren Hayman on Vimeo.

Monday 7 February 2011

The First Lady Of Indiepop

This Sunday we're delighted to welcome back the first lady of indiepop Pam Berry (as celebrated in song by The Shins) once of Black Tambourine (as celebrated in song by Beck) and many other bands who will one day be celebrated in song because of their songs (apart from Bright Colored Lights, who were named after the Crash song).

Pam will be joined by Mr Pam Berry, aka Mike Jones, ace DJ in his own right. Every time they've DJed for us it's been something special, so come down.

Tuesday 1 February 2011

More films from Sunday

I'm not sure why Darren's set on Sunday appears to be the most filmed event in Hangover Lounge history (and possibly all of human history), but here are some more clips. These are courtesy of the excellent Paul from Scared To Dance. Thanks, Paul.

The Wu-Tang Clan:

Out Of My League:

Monday 31 January 2011

More live action on film!

If that one song from yesterday is not enough for you, or not red enough for you, here's more: not one but SIX flicks of Darren and Jack!

I'm not sure who filmed these but thanks - they're terrific!

Not only that but also a delightful photo of Darren here on flickr!

Hayman's Song 30, live at the Lounge

... And so it came to pass! Darren's 30th song of his month of songs. Not only live at the Hangover Lounge, also featuring the crowd. Here it is!

Thanks to Darren, Jack Hayter, World of Fox and the Man Who Loves you for a tremendous afternoon of live songs!

Friday 28 January 2011

Live music this Sunday!

I note with some sadness that I've failed to put an advertisement for a live show up on this here blog. I'm sure most of you get your information about this kind of stuff from Facebook or similar (and if not, may I recommend that you sign up for our Facebook group, details over there somewhere) but ANYWAY this Sunday we'll be delighted to present another afternoon of live and unamplified music for your delectation, look:
That means:
1. Darren Hayman, now nearing the end of his amazing January Songs project (that's a song written, recorded and released every day this month, and rumour has it he'll be performing and recording Sunday's song live at the Lounge).
2. Jack Hayter, an old mucker of Darren's from Hefner days and beyond, who's recently released an EP of solo material.
3. World Of Fox, whose LP of '80s covers was the very first release of 2011: this is your chance to get your hands on the super-limited deluxe edition of that record, "Respect", which is one of the most beautiful editions of a CD I've ever seen.
4. The Man Who Loves You, fresh from Plymouth with the folk stylings!

All for free, unamplified, upstairs at the Lounge, Sunday afternoon. The usual business will be going on downstairs if the live rockin's too hard for you. We understand.

Friday 7 January 2011

Peter Momtchiloff guest DJ this Sunday

Peter Momtchiloff, one of the UK's premier practitioners of the electrical guitar, whose talents have graced and indeed continue to augment popular beat combos informed by indiepop, folk, garage rock and easy listening, is DJing for us this Sunday (9 January).

The last time Peter - or Monty to his inner circle - DJed at the Hangover Lounge he wore a tie especially for the occasion. Monty, we salute your sartorial elegance.