Wednesday, 11 April 2012

#24//Thank Pablo//Cafe 1001//Brick lane//London//Tuesday 3rd April

Tuesday found me in a place you can normally find me on a Sunday with a can of Red Stripe in hand and a reggae bounce in my step, i do so love a Sunday afternoon in The Big Chill on Brick Lane skanking to some serious reggae vibes but tonight i was a couple of doors up at 1001 to check out hotly tipped new band Thank Pablo.

 Thank Pablo describe their music as "sun-kissed quintessentially English pop that has been dragged through the backstreets of Africa, Spain, France and Jamaica" This is a pretty spot on statement. The lyrics are all romantic and nostalgic and very, very "English" with tales of growing up, falling in love, being scared of times a changing, most tracks would fit perfectly into a film about two childhood sweethearts that run off to the freedom of an English coastal town on an adventure away from the scary responsibilities that are approaching at home. The melodies are where the other influences come in and i really noticed the African jingle jangle of the guitar and bass, they have a very upbeat sound and my feet were tapping by about verse two of opener 'just friends'.
The boys have been getting some serious airplay by very well respected radio DJs of late with Tom Robinson of BBC6 music raving about them and The Oracle himself, John Kennedy, The Godfather of new music on XFM throwing his weight behind them, Mr Kennedy has even invited them to play at his upcoming night at The Tooting Tram on the 20th of April, high praise indeed, oh and they supported some little band called Kasabian on Friday, dunno if you've ever heard of them??!
All of this left me feeling pretty lucky to have seen the lads in this tiny venue on a rain lashed Tuesday night before they blow up.

1, Just friends
2, Good things
3, By the sea
4, My favourite subject
5, Old habits
6, Dinosaurs and astronauts
7, Wonderful
8, A little sunshine

Highlights on the night were the beautifully innocent 'Dinosaurs and astronauts' and the infectious 'My favourite subject',a track that made me think of Bug juice, remember that? That great show about the summer camp you used to watch in the school holidays when you were a kid? You should defo check out these and their other tracks on their website:

 Nitty Gritty
Crowd: mostly people keen to check out new music like myself, cool crowd.
Drinks: just as expensive as everywhere else to be honest.
Venue: good size, nice and small, Cafe 1001 is usually a place you go to at 9am in the morning to carry on partying after you have been out all night, it's normally full of loons so it was interesting to see it host an indie night, it worked well.
Cool band or what? yeah cool lads, full of northern charm and good haircuts and we all know it's about the haircuts don't we.

Thank Pablo play very laid back joyful summer music and next time the sun is out i shall be sat on my roof terrace with a Bacardi and Coke in my hand and Thank Pablo blasting out my speakers.
The lads have loads of shows coming up so be sure to go see them, you can find out all the info you need on the band and their tour dates on their website

Contact me on
Peace xx

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

#23//Awsa Bergstrom//Notting Hill Arts Club//London//Friday 30th March

I have been 'Dan In The Front Row' for quite a while now and are there are many great things about it but by far the best is that it gives me the opportunity to meet so many interesting and talented people along the way. 
At a recent gig in a strangers living room in Hackney i had the pleasure of being sat next to the incredibly gifted and beautiful Awsa Bergstrom.
Awsa is a singer/songwriter from Scandinavia who is now based in West London, she has performed with many legendary acts over the years including Madonna, Nick Cave, Stevie Wonder and Elbow to name but a few and has graced some of the world's greatest stages from The Royal Albert Hall to Wembley.
Awsa is now recording and performing her own material and has lots of exciting projects in the pipe line, she kindly invited me to the famous Notting Hill Arts Club to see her perform at the Rock The Belles night ( , I had a feeling i would not be disappointed. 

The Arts Club is a famous old venue that has a seen many great artists hit it's stage over the years aswell as hosting epic House music parties, it is a small cavernous space with low lights and a great atmosphere. It's a pretty perfect little joint to experience Awsa's brand of Electro pop.
The room was practically full as Awsa and her band took to the stage and right from the off she had the audience eating out of the palm of her hand, she is a very charismatic front woman and her confident banter was very well received.
By the second verse of opening track 'Maybe' most people were dancing and this pretty much set the standard for the rest of the show. The highlights for me came in the middle of the set with the incredibly charming 'Innocence', i love the playful tone of this song and you can actually here her accent on this track which i love, this was preceded by 'Do it again' which has a gloriously sleazy chorus that had me hot under the collar as i watched her sing the words on stage! This is the sort of song that Alison Goldfrapp and Kylie Minogue would love to get their hands on. Awsa  does exude Scandinavian vibes which works to her advantage, i could hear the best bits of Robyn and The Knife in some of the music but she also has the stage presence and sex appeal of Lykke Li,  i really like the Scandinavian angle and it is part of the draw for me.
The show ended with a rousing rendition of 'If i could let go' with Awsa cutting one on the stage grinning from ear to ear, as i looked around the room that's pretty much what everyone else was doing too!


1, Maybe
2, Lost in translation
3, Do it again
4, Innocence
5, There's got to be a cure
6, If i could let go

Awsa's voice is ridiculously good, click on the links above to see some of her videos and hear it for yourselves. You must check out her cover of Emili Sande's 'Heaven' too cos it is pretty special:


Venue: Decent, smaller venues are always better, you don't need me to tell you this, right next to the tube at Notting Hill Gate too, sweet.
Drinks: Before 9pm it was £2.50 a beer which is pretty reasonable but after 9pm it seemed to go up to £4.50, i know it's possible i may have been  merked at the bar by a new waitress or something but if that was a genuine price hike then that is not on, after Awsa performed it was a club night so i can see this happening to be honest.
Crowd: cool mix of mostly people in their late 20's and lots of hot girls which is always great.
Ok, ok so we know Awsa is good but is she cool?: Yeah she's cool, she has that gorgeous Scandi thing going on and she was rocking a funky haircut with a sheer blouse over black bra combo, (which i'm loving on chicks right now, so take note girls, this is a good look, haha), she's a cool customer.

So yep very impressed with Awsa, make sure you check out her website, twitter and facebook:
Special thanks to for allowing us to use his amazing pics from the night.
Contact me on and stay tuned for my upcoming interview with Awsa!