February 13th, 2007


the sound of space > 80s smooth jazz sax

Band news 1: Space Heroes of the People play the cellar this thursday. In addition to the song in which I shout about dinosaurs (Dinosaurs!), this gig is also the first performance of Barbie is a Robot, in which I shout about, um, Barbie. Being a robot. Space Heroes do not like to complicate things. Thanks to the entirety of the Oxford gigging scene saying they'd love to put Space Heroes on but they're booked up for the next five months* it's the last gig for a bit, so if you're curious, come. Space Heroes are on first, supporting Witches and The Rock of Travolta -- but it's the Cellar so we're not expecting much to happen before 8.30pm.

Band news 2: Space Heroes are on the Download Demo slot this week. That's where you listen to three demos and vote on which one gets played in its entirety next week. Assuming that you don't want to curse! Realplayer for half an hour while poking the forward-five-minutes button (it wasn't fun), I'm going to transcribe from memory what was actually said. Your actors are Tim (presenter), Sidekick of Tim (co-presenter) and Ronan (editor of Oxford music mag Nightshift and bringer of the demos).

Following a bit of opening banter, they're straight into a tiny, rough-sounding, oddly-cut clip of Space Heroes Groovy Dancer. [You can listen to the rest of the Demo there, too.] Ronan immediately chips in with how you have to see this band live because the demo doesn't capture a fraction of how exciting the live show is, because they have a fantastic live drummer who just bangs on and on and doesn't quit, and how amazing she is, how like a metronome, and gives a bit of background and pedigree about the band, members etc. and then Tim chips in with how they had to cut the clip they played because of a naughty word, and sidekick agrees, using the words apparently even robots swear. Next up is a slice of 80s smooth jazz from The Colins of Paradise -- a couple of verses -- you should wait until you hear the singer come in, at least. Tim and sidekick and Ronan praise this enthusiastically for being so different from what they normally get sent in, and describe it as refreshing. Then Tim and sidekick go off into an extended banter about whether or not Bob Holness played the saxophone in Baker Street [as debunked in popular christmas gift book Bears Can't Run Downhill] and then, having exhausted that, mockulate Ronan by telling him he should go on Mastermind with the special topic of 80s music. Ronan points out that there are huge quantities of 80s music he knows nothing about, which Tim and Sidekick clearly [and probably correctly] disbelieve. Back on the music, they summarise the tracks briefly and Tim asides that Space Heroes sound not altogether unlike Neu!, at which point Sidekick opines that audience is likely to be composed of ignorant mud-grubbing island monkeys who know not of this Neu! of which they speak. Some disagreement about how much (if any) of their audience is Neu!-ignorant mud-grubbing island monkeys follows. The end.

If you care at all about the freedom of robots to swear, vote Space Heroes. Mud-grubbing island monkeys will thank you. In person.

*I may be exaggerating. A bit.
  • Current Music
    space heroes of the people - groovy dancer

too polite to heckle gilbert and george

We went to visit the slides at the Tate in half-term week and came back alive and not too aggravated by overachieving parents attempting to shove their rather small children down the ducts of doom. Level 3 just lets you feel the fun before it drops you off. Level 5 is a G-force treat that pushes back the skin on your face. Carsten Höller (it turns out I've enjoyed him before at the Tate) wants slides to be adopted for regular use -- perhaps for exiting office blocks or theatres. They're updating the fire escapes on this building (or at any rate, the rickety iron ladder arrangement has been officially declared Unsafe) -- maybe I could suggest it. We do have a suggestion scheme. I've even had a previous suggestion accepted. His Sliding Doors have reappeared too, on Level 3. We had fun finding out just the right spot to stand to close them all at once.

But much to timscience's disappointment, it was already too late already for the level 4 slides, now cut off by enormous Gilbert & George art walls. We went up to sniff around what was already visible (it opens on Thursday) and found; gallery constructors zipping around on Mr Plant Scissor lifts, an artists's manifesto talking about getting in touch with normal people (by cutting us off from the slides!?), and Gilbert & George having a coffee with their agent in the coffee shop, inbetween being swept around the exhibition by various gallery folks and kissed by effusive fellow artistes. Even though we had the perfect opportunity, I was too shy to complain about the lack of slide access, but I did eat a coconut pyramid in plain sight, quite close to them. I like to think it got the point across.
  • Current Mood
    artist spotting