Random jukebox – Readymade FC

One of my favourite discoveries of 2009 was Readymade FC‘s fantastic album. This track, with Feist on vocals, is Snow Lion:

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Chart for stowaways – 13 May 2017

Top albums this week:

  1. Depeche Mode – Spirit
  2. Goldfrapp – Silver Eye
  3. New Order – Lost Sirens
  4. Jean-Michel Jarre – Oxygène 3
  5. Gorillaz – Humanz
  6. The Human League – Anthology – A Very British Synthesizer Group
  7. Jean-Michel Jarre – Oxygène Trilogy
  8. Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon
  9. Feist – Pleasure
  10. C Duncan – The Midnight Sun

Readymade FC – Babilonia

It must have been some time around the end of 2005 when I first heard the charming, childlike chime intro of Cirkus, the opening track on Readymade FC‘s one and only album Babilonia. The album followed early in the New Year, and of course I snapped it up as soon as I could.

Cirkus is truly charming – very simplistic and lovely, with a sweet lyric about growing up and a lot of chimes, acoustic guitars, and pads. It’s rare that you come across something like this, and for me it came completely out of the blue – thanks, I think, to Mark Radcliffe‘s show on BBC Radio 2.

I still don’t know very much about Jean-Philippe Verdin, the man behind Readymade FC. Four years earlier, after a series of one-off vinyl releases, he had put out a minimal electro album Bold as Readymade, and between 2009 and 2010 he seems to have recorded a few things under his own name and what’s either another pseudonym or a duo of which he was a member, Akzidenz Grotesk. Otherwise he appears to have kept himself largely to himself.

Anyway, the quality here really doesn’t let up. Bare Feet is another sweet childlike song, full of pads and ripples. Then Feist turns up to deliver the vocal on Snow Lion, which makes for a beautifully atmospheric and wintry piece. This is followed by Not, a silly, nonsensical, and ultimately yet again entirely pleasant song.

For SlideYael Naïm turns up to deliver a soft, lullaby-like vocal, and meanwhile the backing track turns decidedly trippy and electro, and the instrumental Simple Appareil which follows keeps entirely the same mood. If you look for complete albums, rather than collections of songs, you definitely have a lot to explore here.

One of the more interesting aspects is the use of music box chimes, sometimes in an innocent way, but at other times it can be truly haunting, as on  A Fire in the Forest, with David Sylvian on vocals, and some brilliantly bizarre found sounds in the background. It’s an exploration of similar territory to Bold in a way, where Sylvian also appeared, on a song called Sugarfuel, but it fits perfectly here too.

A short instrumental, Cirkus Interlude, carries us through to the adorable Time Machine, a largely acoustic piece in which Verdin sings about his mother. Then, the one and only single from this album, The Only One, a lovely pad and chime-based piece with Yael Naïm appearing again to deliver the vocal.

There isn’t a lot left after this – the curiously named instrumental If So, What? follows, and then the slightly chaotic, harmonica-based The Last Time, and finally another instrumental, Didi. In the end, this is a sweet and simple album, which, while complete in its own right, does seem to be screaming out for a follow-up. Hopefully one day, it will come.

You can still find Babilonia on CD from places like this one.

The BRIT Awards 2012

Tuesday 21st February 2012 saw James Corden hosting the BRIT Awards, for the second time at The O2 Arena in London.

This post is part of a series about the history of the BRIT Awards. You can read about the 2011 ceremony here, and the 2013 ceremony here.

British Male Solo Artist

Presented by Plan B. Nominees:

  • James Blake
  • Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
  • James Morrison
  • Professor Green
  • Ed Sheeran

Winner: Ed Sheeran

British Female Solo Artist

Presented by Kylie Minogue. Nominees:

  • Adele
  • Kate Bush
  • Florence and the Machine
  • Jessie J
  • Laura Marling

Winner: Adele

British Breakthrough Act

Presented by Cesc Fàbregas and Nicole Scherzinger. Nominees:

  • Anna Calvi
  • Jessie J
  • Emeli Sandé
  • Ed Sheeran
  • The Vaccines

Winner: Ed Sheeran

British Group

Presented by Jo Whiley and Huey Morgan. Nominees:

  • Arctic Monkeys
  • Chase & Status
  • Coldplay
  • Elbow
  • Kasabian

Winner: Coldplay

British Single

Presented by Tinie Tempah. Nominees:

  • Adele – Someone Like You
  • Ed Sheeran – The A Team
  • Example – Changed the Way You Kiss Me
  • Jessie J feat. B.o.B – Price Tag
  • JLS featuring Dev – She Makes Me Wanna
  • Pixie Lott – All About Tonight
  • Military Wives / Gareth Malone – Wherever You Are
  • Olly Murs feat. Rizzle Kicks – Heart Skips a Beat
  • One Direction – What Makes You Beautiful
  • The Wanted – Glad You Came

Winner: One Direction

MasterCard British Album of the Year

Presented by George Michael. Nominees:

  • Adele – 21
  • Coldplay – Mylo Xyloto
  • Florence + The Machine – Ceremonials
  • PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
  • Ed Sheeran – +

Winner: Adele. Famously she banged on for a bit too long without really saying anything and got cut off without warning.

International Male Solo Artist

Presented by Jessie J and Jack Whitehall. Nominees:

  • Ryan Adams
  • Aloe Blacc
  • David Guetta
  • Bon Iver
  • Bruno Mars

Winner: Bruno Mars

International Female Solo Artist

Presented by Jenson Button. Nominees:

  • Beyoncé
  • Björk
  • Feist
  • Lady Gaga
  • Rihanna

Winner: Rihanna

International Group

Presented by Brian May and Roger Taylor from Queen. Nominees:

  • Fleet Foxes
  • Foo Fighters
  • Jay Z and Kanye West
  • Lady Antebellum
  • Maroon 5

Winner: Foo Fighters

International Breakthrough Act

Presented by will.i.am and Rob Brydon. Nominees:

  • Aloe Blacc
  • Bon Iver
  • Lana del Rey
  • Foster The People
  • Nicki Minaj

Winner: Lana del Rey

Critics’ Choice

Presented by James Corden and Jessie J. Nominees:

  • Michael Kiwanuka
  • Maverick Sabre
  • Emeli Sandé

Maverick Sabre came in second place. Winner: Emeli Sandé

British Producer

Presented by Laura Marling. Nominees:

  • Paul Epworth
  • Flood
  • Ethan Johns

Winner: Ethan Johns

Outstanding Contribution to Music

Presented by Ray Winstone.

Winner: Blur

You should be able to watch the entire show here.

Performances

Further Reading / Viewing

The BRIT Awards 2008

February 9th 2008 saw The Osbournes in their entirety presenting the BRIT Awards at Earls Court in London.

This post is part of a series about the history of the BRIT Awards. You can read about the 2007 ceremony here, and the 2009 ceremony here.

MasterCard British Album

Presented by Vic Reeves. Nominees:

  • Arctic Monkeys – Favourite Worst Nightmare
  • Leona Lewis – Spirit
  • Mika – Life in Cartoon Motion
  • Mark Ronson – Version
  • Take That – Beautiful World

Winner: Arctic Monkeys

British Single

Voted for by listeners of hit40uk, and presented by Alan Carr. Nominees:

  • James Blunt – 1973
  • Mutya Buena – Real Girl
  • The Hoosiers – Worried About Ray
  • Kaiser Chiefs – Ruby
  • Leona Lewis – Bleeding Love
  • Mika – Grace Kelly
  • Kate Nash – Foundations
  • Mark Ronson feat. Amy Winehouse – Valerie
  • Sugababes – About You Now
  • Take That – Shine

Wikipedia lists Mutya Buena as having been eliminated on 15th February, James Blunt on the 16th, Kate Nash on the 17th, and Kaiser Chiefs and Sugababes on the 18th, leaving the following nominees on the night:

  • The Hoosiers – Worried About Ray
  • Leona Lewis – Bleeding Love
  • Mika – Grace Kelly
  • Mark Ronson feat. Amy Winehouse – Valerie
  • Take That – Shine

Winner: Take That

British Male

Presented by Beth Ditto. Nominees:

  • Newton Faulkner
  • Richard Hawley
  • Mika
  • Mark Ronson
  • Jamie T

Winner: Mark Ronson

British Female

Presented by James Nesbitt. Nominees:

  • Bat for Lashes
  • PJ Harvey
  • Leona Lewis
  • Kate Nash
  • KT Tunstall

Winner: Kate Nash

British Group

Presented by Sir Ian McKellen. Nominees:

  • Arctic Monkeys
  • Editors
  • Girls Aloud
  • Kaiser Chiefs
  • Take That

Winner: Arctic Monkeys

British Breakthrough Act

Chosen by listeners of BBC Radio 1, and presented by Jonathan Rhys Myers. Nominees:

  • Bat for Lashes
  • Klaxons
  • Leona Lewis
  • Mika
  • Kate Nash

Winner: Mika

British Live Act

Chosen by listeners of BBC Radio 2, and presented by Chris Moyles. Nominees:

  • Arctic Monkeys
  • Kaiser Chiefs
  • Klaxons
  • Muse
  • Take That

Winner: Take That

International Male

Presented by Kelly Rowland. Nominees:

  • Michael Bublé
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Timbaland
  • Rufus Wainwright
  • Kanye West

Winner: Kanye West

International Female

Presented by David Tennant. Nominees:

  • Björk
  • Feist
  • Alicia Keys
  • Kylie Minogue
  • Rihanna

Winner: Kylie Minogue

International Group

Presented by Denise Van Outen and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Nominees:

  • Arcade Fire
  • Eagles
  • Foo Fighters
  • Kings of Leon
  • The White Stripes

Winner: Foo Fighters

International Album

Presented by Michelle Ryan. Nominees:

  • Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
  • Eagles – Long Road Out of Eden
  • Foo Fighters – Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace
  • Kings of Leon – Because of the Times
  • Kylie Minogue – X

Winner: Foo Fighters

Critics Choice

A new award, chosen by a panel of music experts, and presented by Will Young. Nominees:

  • Adele
  • Duffy
  • Foals

Winner: Adele

Outstanding Contribution to Music

Presented by Kylie Minogue.

Winner: Sir Paul McCartney

Performances

Further Reading / Viewing