We have Allo Darlin’ DJing for us at our next club night on Saturday 9th February!
Allo Darlin’ have been one of our signature bands since we started the night and Elizabeth always plays fantastic sets that gets the dancefloor bouncing. From going over to Norway for shows with them, interviewing them for our fanzines and DJing at countless gigs and it’s always a pleasure to have them at the club!
We sold out by midnight last time at the Moustache Bar so please come early to guarantee entry and avoiding queuing. You’ll even get a free badge! We’re keeping the later opening hours of 10pm to 3am too so you can come out later.
Have we mentioned how much we love hearing your song requests? We have? Well you can send them in via the Facebook event.
Last week we caught up with Dan Willson from Withered Hand ahead of his DJ set at the club on Saturday night.
We discussed his recent collaborations, plans for a second album, his songwriting and religion and sex. Here is the interview in full.
Hi Dan, we’re very much looking forward to your DJ set at the club. What sort of thing have you got planned?
“I guess I will just play a bunch of songs that I liked to dance about in my bedroom to and still grab me in some way. There will definitely be a late 90s bias.”
You’ve just come off the back of releasing a couple of EPs. How is work progressing towards a second album?
“Work is just starting on a new album. I have a cycle of new songs building for a while now that I am starting to bash into shape. I am not signed to a label at the moment so I am concentrating on getting the thing recorded myself and then will look at options after that.”
Are there any labels in particular that you would like to work with in putting your records out?
“Maybe. There is no real magic in the words ‘record deal’ for me, I just want to work with good people who are honest and believe in their artists more than they believe in money and fashion.”
How did your collaboration with Darren Hayman come about? (Hayman produced the Heart Heart and Inbetweens EPs in his London home last year).
“Those sessions were fun and came about through an invitation from Darren to go stay with him and try recording at his house with no particular outcome in mind. I think I am critical of my own previous recorded efforts and those sessions were another step closer to learning how to make things sound like they do in my head when I’m writing them. Darren is a very thoughtful guy, I have fond memories of that time and I hope to work with him again sometime.”
Do you see that in a producer/artist capacity or more of a musical collaboration either working on each other’s records or a joint release?
“I don’t know. I suppose that’s up to Darren too but certainly as a producer/artist again at some point. I think there’s still mileage in that.”
We enjoyed seeing you play at Fortuna POP’s Winter Sprinter a couple of weeks ago where you were joined by Pam Berry. You’ve said in the past that you were a fan of Black Tambourine. How did you come to work with Pam and has the artistic process worked out how you imagined it to?
“Oh, working with Pam is a joy. Same with Darren and King Creosote. It’s amazing to learn by working with people you admire. So yes I am a fan of Black Tambourine and I had been researching them and when I wrote something about them, Pam got in touch. They really nailed that exuberant noise/melody thing I so love. Pam turned out to be a fan of Withered Hand and I had a feeling we would get along so the next step was obvious. Pam’s really intuitive in her approach to singing and music, which suits me as I struggle when it comes to formal musical knowledge. I have a song on the new album which I wrote with her in mind to sing a vocal harmony.”
The Scottish Arts Council has helped many bands release their albums, Camera Obscura, Butcher Boy and The Felt Tips spring to mind. How much of a help were they in releasing Good News?
“They don’t actually really help you ‘release’ anything but at that time they were very good at helping match-fund recording projects. So you raise a pretty hefty amount towards recording, then they will match it with a percentage of that amount. I don’t know if that’s still the same but I imagine it is similar. I was very lucky to get that help but the hideous form I had to fill out more than justified it. The Scottish Arts Council became Creative Scotland though; I hope they can carry on supporting the various new music scenes in Scotland through these challenging times.”
Religion and sex have been recurring themes in your songwriting. Has that been a deliberate topic or something more subconscious, that rejection of religion?
“I would say it is more the product of introspection. Certain times in my early life were preoccupying my mind when I first became a father and that is when those songs were made. If that is deliberate then it is. I mean I didn’t write them in some kind of trance. But if anything I have tried to suppress those same introspective themes when they try and make cameo appearances in the new songs and concentrate on other areas of life and love’s rich tapestry. I’m broadening my horizons.”
You’re playing at The Hangover Lounge’s Lost Weekend next month at Union Chapel. Do you have anything special planned for it?
“Pam Berry, new tunes and maybe some golf trousers.”
When will we see a full-band Withered Hand playing live again? Do you have any festival appearances planned for this summer?
“I don’t know and no festival appearances planned. I play solo a lot too so sometimes unfortunately ages pass between seeing the friends who comprise my ‘band’. Also with making this new record, I think I can feel a reclusive period coming on.”
We’ve been fans of Withered Hand since coming across “Religious Songs” in 2008, then getting the Good News LP and seeing them live over the years. The songwriting has been superb throughout with two recent EPs Heart Heart (our favourite single of 2012) and now with Inbetweens (produced by Darren Hayman) being welcome editions to the catalogue. It’s been a long time coming but we’ve finally got Dan behind the decks!
There’s a Facebook event for it if so please help get the word out by inviting your friends along. As always you can post your song requests on there too.
Doors open at 9pm and we’ll be open right through until 2am. To get your in the mood check out our guest DJ archive on Spotify.
Red Shoe Diaries have announced that they’re calling it a day.
The band played at one of our Lexington shows in 2011 and Tom Grayson and Rob Mackinder from the band DJed at the club at the end of last year. The band leave behind two beautiful EPs, it’s just a shame that they never got to make an album. “Underage Disco” remains a lost classic in our eyes and the songs on When I Find My Heart… EP were staggeringly good.
It’s not all bad news though as a new band featuring members of Red Shoe Diaries are starting up. Seabirds first gig will be at the Leicester Indiepop Alldayer on Saturday 23rd March.
With all of our favourite bands splitting it does set up a Shrag, Standard Fare, Red Shoe Diaries reunion show for 2023 rather nicely.
Dave Tattersall from The Wave Pictures played a fantastic DJ set downstairs until 2am. We have sore heads this morning.
These are the records we played at the show.
Acid House Kings – “This Heart Is a Stone”
Dexys Midnight Runners – “This Is What She’s Like”
The Just Joans – “I Won’t Survive”
Being There – “To Allen Ginsberg”
Standard Fare – “The Look of Lust”
Taken By Trees – “Dreams”
The Pooh Sticks – “Indiepop Ain’t Noise Pollution”
Black Tambourine – “We Can’t Be Friends”
The Middle East – “Jesus Came to My Birthday Party”
Tralala – “Never Understand”
The Go-Betweens – “Right Here”
Tigercats – “Konny Huck”
Benjamin Schoos ft. Laetitia Sadier – “Je ne vois que vous”
Eux Autres – “You’re Alright”
Help Stamp Out Loneliness – “The Ghost With a Hammer in His Hand”
The Specific Heats – “Take the Wheel”
Jens Lekman – “Become Someone Else’s”
Wild Nothing – “Shadow”
Ballboy – “I Lost You But I Found Country Music”
Cats on Fire – “After the Fact”
Rather than having a focus on indiepop which we’ve done in our podcasts at the beginning of previous years, here’s an eclectic selection featuring some of the other stuff you might hear at Scared To Dance. Here’s the band on the tracks they have picked.
Wild Nothing – “Counting Days”
Sam Lewis: “I love the guitar riff here.”
Phoenix – “Too Young”
Sam Lewis: “French fancy.”
Twin Sister – “All Around and Away We Go”
Sam Lewis: “This has a classic feel to it, like Tom Tom Club maybe.”
The Jellies – “Jive Baby on a Saturday Night”
Sam Lewis: “Great jive song.”
Beck – “Black Tambourine”
Sam Lewis: “Dance like you’re in Inland Empire.”
Arthur Russell – “Let’s Go Swimming (Arthur Gibbons Mix)”
Sam Lewis : “Russell is one of my heroes, and his dancier tracks in particular are great, so soulful and heartfelt.”
ESG – “Moody”
Sam Lewis: “Makes me moody yeah, yeah.”
Mac DeMarco – “My Kind of Woman”
Nick Olorenshaw: “Captured Tracks put out his record last year and it’s a winner.”
Woods – “Cali in a Cup”
Nick Olorenshaw: “So dependable. From their fourth good album since 2009.”
Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band – “Observatory Crest”
Nick Olorenshaw: “Ace groove from the Magic Band and a strong contender for Best Guitar Solo 1974.”
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – “Driftwood”
Nick Olorenshaw: “From one of my favourite albums of 2012. God knows what he’s on about, but the production is typically brilliant.”
Jim White – “Static on the Radio”
Nick Olorenshaw: “From a few years ago, but I always come back to it. I don’t know where you’d go in life after writing a song this good.”
Ducktails – “The Flower Lane”
Nick Olorenshaw: “Looking forward to new Ducktails this year. Sounding pretty smooth.”
Japandroids – “The House That Heaven Built”
Nick Olorenshaw: “I was never wholly convinced by these guys until I heard this song; now I get it.”
It’s the first Scared To Dance of 2013 at the Moustache Bar on Saturday 12th January!
We’ve changed the opening hours so we open at 10pm and finish at 3am for more late night dancing.
Sam Lewis and Nick Olorenshaw from the band Being There will be making their DJing debuts at the club. We fell in love with their first album Breaking Away which came out on the rather excellent Young & Lost label last year. Nick is a regular at the club so it’ll be great to have him behind the decks on this occasion.
If you’d like to become a member at the club you can do so for free. You’ll get £2 off the entry price and all you need to do is email us your full name and we’ll make you a membership card. You can also help spread the good word for us via the Facebook event.
We wanted to take a moment to say a few words about Shrag who announced yesterday on the Marc Riley show that after 10 years together that they’ll be calling it a day.
We’ve had the pleasure of having Helen King and Bob Brown DJ at the club on three occasions and we put on a Shrag gig back in 2011 along with Pocketbooks and Fever Dream; they’d always been a band we wanted to put on.
We’ve been a big fan of theirs since hearing “Lost Dog” from their self-titled debut. They really hit their stride with the gorgeous Life! Death! Prizes! where the string sections on a number of tracks completely blew us away. It was like Echo & the Bunnymen-era Ocean Rain. Alas, they didn’t go down that route but to a more aggressive, powerful sound on their latest LP Canines. As any of you who read our Top 10 Albums of 2012 list will know, it came in at number 2 (but really, joint 1st). “On the Spines of Old Cathedrals” is a perfect final single for them to release – it’s one of their best songs yet, on par with the epic “Rabbit Kids”.
They will be making one last DJing appearance for us on Saturday 9th March which is one week before their final gig at The Lexington on the 15th which the band have kindly asked us to DJ at. We just wish there was more to come but at least there will be one last send off. They will be greatly missed.
Standard Fare have announced this afternoon that they’ll be breaking up. Standard Fare will always have a very special place in our hearts as they headlined the first ever Scared To Dance gig. Looking back we’re still surprised they said yes to our invitation since we’d only ever put on club nights and rather ambitiously booked The Lexington.
In the end it was a great turnout including BBC 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq and the NME’s Mark Beaumont. Supported by Red Shoe Diaries and Evans the Death it was a brilliant night with the band ripping through some of our favourites like “Fifteen”, “Philadelphia” and “Dancing”.
We also managed to convince them to DJ for us which they were a bit nervous about since they had never done it before – it was always nice to be around three incredibly nice and generous people and we wish them the best for the future. The Noyelle Beat was one of the best indiepop debuts for years and Out of Sight, Out of Town has got some criminally underrated songs on it.
If you haven’t got any of their music we encourage you to go and buy their records. We’ll be playing them very loudly at the club next Saturday.