Listening to

Tuesday, 23 March 2010


Tom's Listening To has now moved to another venue. I hope you like it, we've added extra features including a weekly Reggae Recommendation (and download), Song Of The Day, and so on / so forth.

The new site is located RIGHT HERE - enjoy!

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Gil Scott-Heron.

Having stayed quiet for several years, Gil Scott-Heron is back with brand new album I'm New Here which will be released on the 8th February. My favourite track so far is definitely New York Is Killing Me, a clap-beat blues guitar rock-out that really jams. Gil Scott-Heron is back, with a small tour in April, my fingers are crossed for a bigger one soon and a set at Glastonbury.
Listen to the album in full below, and thanks to Guardian Music and XL for the widget. Enjoy!

Thursday, 14 January 2010


This evening is the premiere of the new Blur documentary No Distance Left To Run, and I'm not there. As I can't be there, I decided I'd simply write about how brilliant I imagine it'll be. First thing I did was watch the trailer (below) which is magnificent. The music, the quotes, and scenes chosen make it look as uplifting and glorious as an episode of Life with David Attenborough.
The whole thing looks to be a brilliant cinematic experience and I am literally gutted that it's not showing in Brighton, however the DVD will come out on the 15th of February so I'll just have to keep watching this until then...

Wednesday, 13 January 2010


'THERES SPACE FOR OL DAT I SEE' are the words M.I.A. put up on her twitter yesterday alongside a link to a new video for a new track and as an enormous M.I.A. fan got very excited. However, as a huge fan I'm not sure I can give an unbiased review, because like Radiohead, The Polyphonic Spree, Bjork, and the Beastie Boys, M.I.A. can do no wrong in my eyes.
With that in mind, this is what Pitchfork had to say about it, and below is the video itself.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

The Radio.

The house I grew up in always had a radio playing. It was turned on first thing in the morning by whoever was first up and turned off last thing at night by whoever was still awake. The first time I recall this routine being changed was at least a decade ago when a family friend, who’d recently split up with his girlfriend, was staying with us. Creep by Radiohead was set on repeat for about a week. The second time it changed was when I moved out to live with some friends, none of us had radios and one had an enormous reggae collection that we would trawl through each night, therefore negating the need for a radio.
A year after that and I’m living with my girlfriend who for Christmas this year bought me
a Lexon Tykho radio whilst I bought her a Bush DAB radio, and with that my house has become a radio-listening house.

BBC Radio 2 is my station of choice, and as I get ready in the morning it’s on in the background giving me early morning news and good music to wake up to. Then I’ll do the school run and usually faff about at dads talking about Huffington Post or some new music he’s heard. By the time I get back, I’m just in time for Jeremy Vine, who has the best topical show I know, interspersed with great choices in music that always relates to the topic he’s currently discussing, trying to get the link has become a sad little game of mine….

The Christmas schedule has thrown me a bit as to who’s on at what time but has also made me hear DJ’s I may not have otherwise. The ‘6 on 2’ shows, where 6 Music DJ’s do their show on Radio 2 has been brilliant, with The Craig Charles Funk & Soul Show, and The Huey Show being my favourites.
The music’s been great and led me to hear some music I may not have otherwise heard. The gift of a radio was the best I could have asked for and I hadn’t even thought to ask for it.

I nearly forgot to mention Sarah’s choice of radio station: BBC Radio 4. Which brilliant as it is, has definitely made me stop thinking of The Archers theme as a lovely classic.
Now it’s just annoying.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Basement Jaxx.

I’ve never been too big a fan of arena gigs. They’re far too big and impersonal for me, which is weird when you consider that watching a headliner on The Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury is one of the best, most personal sets you can ever see. They’re both roughly the same size, but for some reason an indoor arena just doesn’t convey any warmth or feeling. This was most evident in the O2 Arena car park that we arrived in last night to see Basement Jaxx. Pulling in, we’re asked what we’re there for, we say Basement Jaxx, and they give us a ticket and say you have to pay upfront at the machines ahead. So we park the car and I head over to the machine where it tells you that the cost for ‘Event Parking’ is £25.
I almost wept, needless to say we weren’t happy and left the ‘event parking’ area (after a small argument with the parking attendant) to go to another area, where, by a separate attendant we were asked what we were there for, this time we said we were coming for a meal, and this time we were issued with a another tickets that allowed us to pay only £6 for the evening.
The shameless attempts at grabbing money from you was all the more evident inside where a small chips cost £5 and a pint of beer was £4.30. By the time I reached my seat, I was actively gripping my wallet in case someone else from O2 simply decided to mug me instead and get it over with.

After sitting through a lacklustre set from Speech Debelle in which she told us she needed to “Represent the youth, speak the truth, and eat more fruit” we were treated to another 20 minutes of flashing adverts before Basement Jaxx finally took to the stage with the brilliant ‘Scars’ as their opener followed by ‘Good Luck’ which had the entire arena on their feet dancing.
The whole show was a fantastic mix of brilliant music expertly played and a fantastic show perfectly executed. Dancers were all over the stage demanding as much of your attention as the musicians and multiple vocalists, all changing costumes throughout to become more and more extravagant. Around half-way through the show two enormous robots came onstage and danced alongside everyone else.
In all the show was spectacular, though I couldn’t escape the feeling of impersonality entirely, Basement Jaxx did a damn good job to drag me out of that frame of mind and I must admit that it was one of the best dance shows I’ve ever seen and will definitely keep an eye out for their next tour.

The night did end on a bad note with snow and traffic meaning the journey back to Brighton took almost 6 hours, but I can hardly blame that on O2, much as I’d like to…

Friday, 4 December 2009

Jazz in Paris.

Jazz is a genre that I have always struggled with. However, on the last night of a recent trip to Paris with this lovely lady, I ended up going to a Jazz club called Duc des Lombards to see Murat Ozturk Trio.

Now, I’ve never been to a jazz club, but I always imagined them to be like The Fast Show – Nice. Although this club did remind me of those sketches, I have to say that it was one of the nicest clubs I’ve been to in quite a while, beautifully done up with elegant lighting, fittings and furniture. The staff were incredibly friendly and when we bought our tickets the day before whilst on a dog walk, we were asked if we’d like to bring our dog to the show!

On the night we decided to sit upstairs at the balcony to watch the band play from above whilst we ate our meal (which was delicious by the way).
With the view I had I could see the drummer perfectly but the pianist and double bass player were slighty obscured.

I always enjoy watching drummers play and this guy was no dissapointment, within seconds of starting the first song, he’d entered his own world and was looking dangerously lobotomised as he regularly switched drumsticks from hand to hand for no apparent reason other than the fact that he could.
I moved myself slighty after our dessert so I could get a better look at the man playing double bass who appeared to be having trouble keeping the instrument still, playing the way he was it just kept slipping away until his back was arched over to much for him to play and he’d quickly grab it back into position then carry on. I don’t know enough about to double bass to say for sure, but the way this guy played it was bizarre, he was hitting very high notes that could easily have been coming from a cello at incredible speeds. When he began using a bow in one song I was sure he was making sounds that were previously unknown, he was brilliant.
The pianist was someone who I didn’t get to see much though, but I could certainly hear him. Like I said, I don’t know much about jazz but again, the way he was playing that instrument was mightily impressive.

Although I didn’t leave the club wanting to dash out and buy a ton of jazz, it has certainly made me respect it and want to hear more (which I can thanks to Spotify).

Speaking of Spotify, search for a band called The Bad Plus and you’ll be able to hear an incredible jazz reworking of Radioheads Karma Police. Enjoy!