Alessi’s Ark- Dancing Feet

Today on the tube back from the ICA my housemate Adam and I were discussing music (what a surprise!). Adam thinks there are no visceral or passionate bands from England and that British bands are unoriginal and mediocre. While I do agree that Britain is plagued with an awful lot of landfill, generic ho hum-esque bands, I disagree. I think there are alot of musicians around these parts who really care about music and who are talented, far from mediocre, and shouldn’t be so easily disregarded:

I think my friend Alessi is visceral, passionate and the exact opposite of mediocre, she is amazing. Her album is brilliant and I listen to it every day. Dancing Feet isn’t on the album but Alessi plays it live quite alot and I think it’s such a sweet, emotive song. It’s one of my favourites of late. I think anyone trying to convince me ¬†that Alessi isn’t amazing would have better luck trying to convince me to NEVER listen to My Heart by Wildbirds & Peacedrums again. In other words: no chance at all.

Also, I don’t understand why people say ‘there’s not as much great music from Britain as there is from the USA or Canada’. That is true, but it seems to be forgotten that the USA is about 40 times bigger than the UK (in terms of square miles). And, as for Sweden, they just have a freakishly talented amount of people in a small place. Yay for Sweden.

I am going to make a list called ‘Hooray for Britain’ at the weekend and do a feature about some British musicians who I think are great. I am open to recommendations too, so send me a mail if you have some hot tipz.¬†

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11 Responses to Alessi’s Ark- Dancing Feet

  1. fulltext July 9, 2009 at 6:32 am #

    FLorence & The Machine – Marina & The Diamonds – Ella Edmondson

    • anikainlondon July 9, 2009 at 7:18 am #

      hmm I’m not a fan of Marina and I don’t know Ella Edmondson. Florence has a great voice but I am yet to see her live or hear the album.

  2. Adam July 9, 2009 at 8:02 am #

    ESSAY TIME! (I’m bored at work)

    I support this new feature. I’m not saying UK bands don’t care about their music or even that they’re untalented, but I can’t think of a single new British act that’s sent shivers down my spine, or left me on an week-long elatory high. Maybe it’s because I’ve only got a limited tolerance to twee antifolk or strident Scottish indie-rock (the dominant genres in the UK scene) but I think there’s a general sense of unadventurousness that needs to be addressed. Obviously, I know you disagree and there’s no problem with that- if these bands make you happy then that’s the most important thing- but personally I’m saddened that I couldn’t think of a single album I think honestly and genuinely deserves to be added to the Mercury Prize shortlist.

    PS Alessi- I don’t think she’s mediocre, I think she’s a talented, charming and intriguing talent with an excellent voice and a very good live presence. But I don’t think her album reflects that nearly as much as it should do- at the moment her songwriting lacks the consistency for me to rate it that highly. But she’s still young, and I reckon she could produce something truly great over the coming years.

    PSS The US has only 5 times the population of the UK, but probably has 10-20 times as many acts I genuinely love. Therefore, US>>>UK (IMO, naturally).

    • anikainlondon July 9, 2009 at 9:48 am #

      Yeah but the population is concentrated in a small space here, across such a great land mass like the US and Canada it’s inevitable that there’s going to be so many different cultures and places that a huge variety of different music is produced.

      And that’s good you say that about Alessi’s Ark now but I think you were being too condescending yesterday. I think her songwriting does not lack consistency, all of her songs are composed entirely of WIN. And also I think the Slow Club album is very, very well done and deserved of praise.

      • Adam July 9, 2009 at 10:00 am #

        We’ll have to agree to disagree. I’m obviously right though.

        ;) SAFETY WINK

  3. robin July 9, 2009 at 8:28 am #

    i’d agree that britain is definitely more reserved on the whole, but there’s still some live intensity to be found if you look hard enough. mogwai and frightened rabbit spring to mind (scotland ftw).

    • Adam July 9, 2009 at 8:35 am #

      Mogwai are fantastic live, but they’ve been around for yonks- where’s the new blood to match them? And FR are a bit too hit-and-miss for me; don’t like their recorded stuff that much and despite one impressive set at the 229, I’ve also seen them do two pretty dreadful shows.

      The only new UK band I do genuinely rate as a live act is Broken Records, and even they aren’t always as great as they should be (bit underwhelmed by their Water Rats show earlier this year). Sad times.

  4. anikainlondon July 9, 2009 at 11:39 am #

    Adam, have you listened to the Slow Club record yet? It is a brilliant record. I also contest your belief that I have a ‘hipster attitude’ and don’t want other people to know about bands I love. Just look at this blog, I rave about the bands I love and promote them myself without anyone ever asking me to. I want other people to be able to love them as much as I do. I don’t ever pay attention to awards like the Mercury Prize shortlist because I don’t know all that much about them or who votes or whatever, so they don’t mean much at all to me, but if I had it my way Alessi would win.

    And isn’t Antony Heggarty English? He is awesome. Mumford & Sons are brilliant, also.

    • Adam July 9, 2009 at 12:05 pm #

      I recall saying that awards like the Mercury Prize, despite meaning nothing to you, make a world of difference to the band nominated- it gives them valuable exposure which allows them to reach a greater audience. You seemed to suggest that was a bad thing, hence I commented that was a pretty hipsterish attitude. I certainly didn’t intend to infer that you didn’t care about spreading the word about acts you love- because that would so contrary to reality it’d probably rip apart the space-time continuum.

      The point I was (perhaps ham-fistedly) trying to put across that award ceremonies, like blogs are another way of getting a band known. You may not care, but thousands of people do- the kind of people with a less obsessive music fervour than we do, the kind of people who don’t necessarily scour music blogs or go to a dozen gigs a week. If a Mercury nomination means Alessi gets better known, surely that can’t be a bad thing?

      ANYWAY, Anthony Hegarty is technically “English”, but he’s lived in the US since he was 10, so he doesn’t really count. Mumford and Sons are good, but I wouldn’t go so far to call them “brilliant”.

      • anikainlondon July 9, 2009 at 12:50 pm #

        I never said it was a bad thing for acts to win. I want the bands I love to win. If I was in charge they would. But alas, I’m not. If I was in charge the Leisure Society would have won their Ivor Novello for their gorgeous song, they deserved it.

  5. Chongy July 10, 2009 at 10:23 pm #

    There are so many great acts who are based in the UK, it’s astonishing.

    Just quick recently played – Slow Club, Emmy the Great, Florence and the Machine, Laura Marling

    As for your comment further up anika, do have a listen to Florence and the Machine’s album. Really exhibits her voice so fantastically.

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