June 12, 2009

Great Bowls of Fire this Sunday!

Filed under: Events, PopArt — scoobydom @ 2:35 pm


Full running times (subject to acts of PopArt):

330 Jonny Cola & The A-Grades

430 Machetes

530 Cursors

630 New Royal Family

730 Last Army

830 Gamages Model Train Club

930 Jailhouse Judd & His Jailbait Juniors

March 31, 2009

PopArt presents the Mr Solo album launch!

Filed under: Events, PopArt — scoobydom @ 11:46 am

December 28, 2008

The PopArt End-of-year message

Filed under: music, editorial, Tamla Tim, PopArt, The label — digest @ 3:13 pm

Hello our darling Smart Kids

What a year 2008 has been for PopArt enterprises. Join us as we sit around the fire with a pipe and a brandy and muse on what has come to pass, and what delights are to look forward to in 2009.

We started 2008 with many board meetings in various pubs, frantically planning and scheming for the year ahead. Once we had dried out the beer soaked minutes and remembered what we said we’d do, we kicked off in earnest with an all dayer - ‘BritPopArt 2: Bargelife’ on the Battersea Barge, the now annual celebration of the glory and the folly of the Britpop wars. This saw the return of the game show ‘Line Up In Line’ with our resident compere, Leicester’s Funnyman ‘The Bullet’ Dave Rees. All the bands did a Britpop cover version and the PopArt AllStars supergroup did a full set of mad ferrit classics. There’s some footage from that event here:

Pete Green doing ‘Inbetweener’ | Goodbye Lennin doing ‘Ready To Go’ - | PopArt AllStars with ‘Babies’ and ‘Trash’

Shortly afterwards we set up home at The Fly on New Oxford Street for PopArt Monthly, the staff have come to both love and fear the second Saturday of the month in equal measure. They always compliment the bands we have on and sing along to our choice of tunes, but are often perplexed when we explain there will be a live game show on stage between the bands. We have had some fantastic nights down in the PopArt bunker, had some of our favourite bands play, had lots of silly fun with game shows like ‘Indie Bingo’ and danced the night away to indie pop, alt rock, soul, hip hop, stadium fillers, lost classics and the odd TV theme tune. London Fire Brigade paid us a visit one month due to a smouldering fuse box and the Smart Kids serenaded them with a disco chant of ‘Burn Baby Burn’ before dancing on to ‘Heatwave’ and ‘Panic!’. We ended the year in our own indie pop prankster style with the PopArt AllStars getting everyone in the yule mood with a set of Christmas covers. Some footage of that here:

‘Santa Claus Is Coming To Town’ with Leiscester’s Funnyman ‘The Bullet’ Dave Rees | ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday’ with the living legend Mr Solo | ‘Do They Know It’s Christmastime?’ with erm … everyone

From January onwards there will be a whole extra hour and half of dancing at our PopArt Monthly nights. The party people often beg for ‘one last tune’ at the end of the night. We’ve listened and can now bring you lots more tunes until 3.30am! The first night of specially extended mayhem will be on 10th January, with the Bridport Dagger, Fulcher, Smith & Dance (featuring members of Art Brut) and Evilwitch playing live. Plus there’ll be a game show when we think of one.

October saw the third annual celebration of Belle & Sebastian at a bowling alley, namely ‘Bowl & Sebastian 3: Is It Wicked Not To Spare?’. This saw B&S cover versions from the fantastic bands, the return of every twee kid’s favourite American geography based quiz ‘The State That I Am In’ and another high octane set of covers from the PopArt AllStars with guest singers from Lucky Soul, Brontosaurus Chorus and Pocketbooks amongst others. Some footage of that here:

MJ Hibbett sings ‘La Patie De La Bourgeoisie’ | Mr Solo sings ‘Judy And The Dream Of Horses | Andrew from Lucky Soul sings ‘The Boy With The Arab Strap’

November saw PopArt London the fledgling record label make something of a splash with the long awaited release of the Subliminal Girls single ‘Self Obession Is An Art Form’. This was the first time we’d done a release that would be on iTunes and HMV and all that and, being like we are, we didn’t make it easy for ourselves. We signed up with a distribution company who would get the single in all the online stores and we started talking with authority about things we didn’t understand. We found ourselves saying things like “Yeah, no problem, I’ll send through the UPC code this afternoon,” and sometimes even knew what this meant. Other times, Wikipedia was our friend. The single itself was by no means run of the mill either. Actual Pop Artist Stuart Semple designed and made just ten special packages which contained the single on vinyl along with all sorts of arty goodness, and these were sold in galleries as far a field as Milan and New York, while we handled the digital release back here in Blighty. It’s still too early to know exactly how it went but it was number 1 in the Play.com indie download chart, which was very exciting, and we were delighted to be involved with such a fantastic song and such an interesting project. If you haven’t got a copy yet you can still download it from:

Play.com | HMV | Or search iTunes.

As ever, keen to run before we can walk or even before we’re potty trained, we are currently working on not one but TWO albums which will both be out in March 2009. This is very much hot off the press, the first whisper of two very exciting releases.

And What Will Be Left Of Them? - The Hi-Fi Low Life Blasting out or Worcester with a song in their hearts and whiskey in their bellies, AWWBLOT? have built up a storming reputation through years of gigging up and down the country. bringing their own charming brand of clatter pop to the kids, not least at PopArt events. This will be their debut album.

Brontosaurus Chorus - You’ve Created A Monster Also the debut album from this London 8 peice (yes, 8 piece) quirky but classic pop orchestra, marrying ringing guitar with throbbing bass with swoonsome strings with soulful trumpet with bitter sweet lyrics. Compared to Belle & Sebastian and Arcade Fire.

The CDs have just arrived and they look and sound amazing. Both will also be available as downloads.

What a year it’s been and we can hardly believe 2009 is shaping up to be even better. Stay tuned for more events and records which we and you, the Smart Kids, can inject with our own ramshakle charm.

Keep a little PopArt in your heart x

November 17, 2008

Single Out Today!

Filed under: music, Tamla Tim, PopArt — digest @ 11:14 am

 Buy from HMV | Buy from Play

Exciting news everyone! The latest release from everyone’s favourite indie-pop pranksters PopArt London is afoot!

The new Subliminal Girls single is available on November 17th for download (links below) and as a VERY limited edition vinyl. Tracklisting is:

1. Self Obsession is an Artform 2. Posh Girls Names 3. Electronic Hearts

Following our adventures with the And What Will Be Left Of Them/Brontosaurus Chorus split 7” pink vinyl and the charity download album ‘Covered At Christmas’, both of which we sold from our website, we’re going to play the big boys at their own game, but by our rules. Our rules are; there ain’t no rules.

So for our third release we’ve hooked up with one of our favourite bands who’ve played our club nights - bubblegum cynics Subliminal Girls - and between us we’re shaking things up.

British artist Stuart Semple, a huge fan of the band, volunteered to create a very special limited edition artwork. Inside a silver screenprinted box, art collectors and music connoisseurs can expect to uncover; a special fold out print, a photographic book by Semple, a hand silk-screened t-shirt, a laser cut acrylic disk and one-off signed negatives of the band. Of which only a very few will be available.

The limited edition vinyl package will mainly be for sale in galleries in such salubrious locations as Milan, New York and Honk Kong BUT the three tracks will also be available to download from iTunes, HMV Digital and all good online music stores and also come with digital artwork by Semple.

Sub Girls have already released one double-A side, indie top 20 smash “Burn Koko/Mirror” and a cover of one of the biggest pop bands of all time, Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like the Wolf.” The synth-pop quintet’s latest single contains 2 b-sides and through its three tracks, show off their sweet yet venomously bitter sound. The band reckon it’s the best they’ve ever done and we’re inclined to agree.

We’re all in this for the love of it and because we think the songs deserve to be heard, none of us are going to make our fortune on this. So as well as getting three of the year’s best tunes for your listening pleasure, you’d also be striking a blow for the good guys in this business we call show, and it would mean we might be able to put out more records by other deserving, talented people the majors are too blinkered by the latest fad to notice.

Keep a little PopArt in your heart x

Buy from HMV | Buy from Play

Please also check out the Facebook group here - Invite your friends and spread the word!

October 12, 2008

Burn Down The Disco - PopArt Monthly Report - 10 October 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized, music, Tamla Tim, Events, PopArt — tamlatim @ 7:54 pm

Well, we were determined that last night at The Fly was going to be one of the all time classic PopArts, and having thought at one point the night had been cruelly snatched from our grasp, a classic it did turn out to be - in a particularly demented, typically PopArt kind of way, and provided a fantastic bit of drama for the first official blog of a PopArt event, which we’ll be doing for every event from now on.  London Fire Brigade were involved last night, but more of that later.

The Seven Inches

There was a big, up for it Saturday night crowd of Smart Kids for the wonderfully charming pop weirdness of The Seven Inches to kick off the live music.  Hailing from my previous home of Leeds, boy singer Ian was resplendent in a sort of Morris dancer style hat that a Blue Peter presenter might have showed you how to make from everyday household items, and wielded a faux guitar fashioned, unless I’m mistaken, from a thin sheet of polystyrene.  There was boy vocals from him, girl vocals from Emily, trumpet, melodica and foot tapping, singalong pop poetry perfection from start to finish.  With wit and style and emotion and above all a sense of fun they couldn’t have been better for us.  Check out “Cashback.”

Penny Broadhurst And The Maffickers
Next up, also from Yorkshire, was the swoonsome pop gorgeousness of Penny Broadhurst And The Maffickers, lyrics with a kind of bruised humour that refuses to stop finding joy in life no matter what it throws at us, all wrapped up in fantastic melodies and solid gold hooks.  And … there were more trumpets!  I love the brass.   Penny started as a spoken word performer and her wordsmithery shone through, but for me the world would have been robbed had these not become the beautifully realised pop songs they deserve to be.  Buy their Allons-y! EP.

Indie Bingo
Then, after all that poetic beauty floating around, what else could we do but give our compare Leicester’s Funnyman, ‘The Bullet’ Dave Rees the run of the stage to delight and confuse in equal measure with his own special brand of wordplay.  This was the long awaited return of ‘Indie Bingo’, in which all the Smart Kids in attendance were given cards with various songs titles on them, when a song was played from the DJ booth, they crossed it off their card.  For those who might not know all the tunes, Dave Rees was on hand with his Bingo caller patter.  Personal favourites were “Two fat ladies – The Magic Numbers,” and the frankly bizarre “Fiddle de da, fiddle de de – Saturday Looks Good To Me.”  Although of course everyone who witnessed The Bullet was a winner, some fine prizes were given out including the best CDs and DVDs the 3 for £10 offer at Zavvi could provide, some beef jerky, many Fredo chocolate bars and a lime green hat I found earlier in the day.  Someone finally took the copy of Suede’s  ‘A New Morning’ that we’ve had as a prize since the first ever Indie Bingo two years ago.  The joy on the faces of the Smart Kids when they completed a card and shouted “Indie Bingo,” was like they were having Christmas and birthday all at once.  In that way I suppose they were like Jesus that night.

New Royal Family
As the final band of the evening took the stage, there were whispers of a strange smell, as though someone was sawing wood, but all that was forgotten in the excitement of The New Royal Family taking the stage and the hilarity of Dave Rees introducing them as “a ‘king great band.”  Another band that couldn’t fit in better with the many faceted nature of PopArt, they put me in mind of a pretend toff Buzzcocks with lyrics by Oscar Wilde proofread by Captain Beefheart.  If you can imagine such a thing.  All the magic of that particularly British off kilter pop was here in the somehow smutty but I’m not sure why picture postcard fun of “Anyone Fancy A Chocolate Digestive,” (answer: “no thank you, it sounds suggestive,”) and the tough guy’s camp hip hop anthem “IWISHIWASGAY,” which is “out” soon on Filthy Little Angels records.

Firemen In The Disco!
Just as the Family were finishing their set, Dom alerted me to the fact that, due to the strange ‘hot’ smell downstairs, the Fire Brigade had been called.  So during the encore five burly fire fighters trooped downstairs into the PopArt bunker.  Having just been delighted by “IWISHIWASGAY,” rumours about this strange occurrence spread through the crowd like wild fire.  Most plausible amongst them was that the firemen were in fact dancers about to join the band on stage for a song about helmets and hosepipes.  As the Samrt Kids continued to dance and drink and generally have a ball around them, blue watch carried out their investigations and tracked down the smell to a slightly smouldering fuse box.  Just as the encore finished the power downstairs was cut, leaving us with no way to reassure the crowd that they were in no danger and could continue to party safely in the bar upstairs.  In the event they didn’t seem bothered and joined us in a disco chant of “burn baby burn,” until security told to stop being silly and get everyone upstairs.  As we led the PopArt refugees to safety and further drinking opportunities upstairs, the other DJs very graciously gave their decks over to us to continue the party.  I’m proud to say that once we knew everyone was safe my first thought was “what’s the right song for this ridiculous moment?”  I went with “Heatwave,” by Martha Reeves and The Vandellas, then “Panic,” by The Smiths (“burn down the disco, hang the blessed DJ,”), under some considerable stress I frantically searched for more songs to soundtrack the emergency.  I didn’t seem to have “Light My Fire,” by the Doors, “Fire,” (Jimi Hendrix or Arthur Brown) or “Fire Brigade,” by the Move.  I had a feeling I had the theme tune to Fireman Sam somewhere but with ten seconds to go I shoved on some Pulp.  From there it was all dancing with wild abandon, air guitars and hugging: everything that’s great about doing PopArt.  Upstairs is smaller so we inevitably lost some of the people who came to watch the bands when we had to evacuate but much as that was a shame the hardcore regular Smart Kids were where they always are, down the front being silly and beautiful and making it all worthwhile.  You know who you are, thank you.

Full DJ set list and photos may follow depending on whether anyone does them.  Until the report from Bowl & Sebastian 3, dear readers, keep a little PopArt in your heart.


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