Thursday, July 17, 2014

Long Blondes in New Cross 2004

Is it really ten years since the Angular New Cross summer of 2004? Well, yes obviously, but it doesn't seem that long ago that the music press was full of tales of the 'New Cross Scene' (like this one from the NME in May 2004), and then locally-based label Angular Recording Corporation was getting some of the best new bands of the period to play early gigs at the Paradise Bar in New Cross (now the Royal Albert) - Art Brut, Bloc Party, The Violets, The Swear, Vichy Government... good times.

Angular was was founded by two ex-Goldsmiths students - Joe Margetts (who I recall used to work at Toads Mouth Too in Brockley, now the Gantry) and Joe Daniel (who played with The Violets, as well as with the Klaxons for a while). As described at 'As you are', 'Their first release was ‘The New Cross’ compilation album, featuring the first recorded appearances from future stars Bloc Party and the Rough Trade re-released Art Brut track ‘Formed A Band’. This album of local talent went on to win ‘Compilation of the Year 2004’ in NME, and spawn the media hyped ‘New Cross Scene’.. th e label continued to grow, releasing debut singles and EPs by The Long Blondes, Klaxons, The Violets, The Lodger, and These New Puritans. Joe D also found time to coin the joke genre ‘New Rave’ while in Deptford library with Klaxons songwriter Jamie Reynolds'. And of course there was the trig point on Hilly Fields that they christened ARC001.

The Long Blondes hailed from Sheffield,  with their first London gig  being an Angular night at the Windmill in Brixton on 4 June 2004 (supporting The Rakes and The Boyfriends) and their second at the Paradise Bar on Saturday June 12, where Angular were launching their second compilation, 'Rip off your labels'. A quick search of my hard drive, and here's an actual archive email:

From: "angularrecords"  Sent: Monday, June 07, 2004 5:07 PM

Subject: [Angular Mailing List] Thanks !

Thanks to all of you who came to 'London Triangulation : An Angular Festival' last week. It was much fun, and a great success... The Angular Fun does not end there. It is the launch party for the next Angular compilation on this Saturday at the Paradise bar in New Cross. Four bands will be playing your your delight: luxembourg, The Long Blondes, The Fucks, and Mark Sampson, and there is a strong possibility of an angular cake and party bags being given away! 

So yes, I was there, and it was good. And the other night I stumbled across footage from that very night on youtube. Here they are playing an early, fairly shambolic version of what was to be their first, great single - Giddy Stratospheres.

The band split up in 2008, with one of their last gigs back in New Cross a the Amersham Arms (Darryl 853 was there)

The Long Blondes at the Paradise Bar in June 2004
-the stage backed on to what is now the front wall of the Royal Albert

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