Popes of Chillitown : An Interview


My approach in doing interviews for bands has not changed. It is still made in the spirit of spontaneity. You know, that moment when you meet your favourite band and you scribble questions in a piece of paper (or ask them impromptu) and let them answer it shortly. I think it also depends on the occasion. There are times when the interview is complicated due to the schedule or the availability of the artists. But I always try to strike at a moment when I can get my answer out. Because it is fun that way. And I am darn sure you my readers will enjoy it.

I want to keep it simple and that thought made me decide to have a brief chat with Matt, the singer from Popes of Chillitown. They are a 6-piece band from London. They play a variety of Ska,Dub and Punk. They’re originally founded in 2006. This interview is a continuation of something I’ve written a few weeks ago.

Enjoy the answers and explore the music!

1.Tell us about your new album To the Moon.

Our new album to the moon…it’s our journey through space (uk ska scene and dance floors) and time (a year of line/up changes and our first European tour) What we wanted to do with to the moon was give people something that they could either dance to or sing along to as consistently as we could across 11 tracks.

2.Your new single Wisdom Teeth is out how was the experience shooting a music video?

Doing the music video with Craig from the snare was jokes. We’re all mates so we just had a laugh and ate monster munch and drank red stripe. It was nice that he knew what he was doing too. Check it out on the YouTubes.

3.You’re touring Europe promoting your album. What keeps you all energize while being on the road?

I’ve already mentioned monster munch and red stripe so add ginsters and walkers sensations to that list of energy giving fodder. Not that we’re looking for sponsorship or anything…More spiritually it’s an altruistic Bill and Ted style vision of musical utopia that drives us on. That. And Munroe.

4. How do you decide that the song is ready for recording?

When we finally get round to recording stuff we’ve usually tried and tested every could-be song at live shows. We feel that is the test of whether it should go on a recording. And that’s what we’ve done with this album. Other songs maybe fun to play or whatever but we were only after dance music on this one. Aside from that when a song is ready is a weird concept as some things burst into existence and some things linger and fester so you have to sympathetic to this and adaptive in the creative process.

5. What can the audience expect when they go to your gigs?

At live shows we try to bring as much energy as possible to the entire time that were on stage. We want people to dance so we have to take the lead in it, innit. We have sing along bits and we try to get people moving. Sometimes me and Tom go wandering on the wireless. Which is fun. Especially at festivals when you go too far from the stage and you’re trying to sing in time with an echo.

6. Are there other bands you hangout when you have the time?

I said The Snare and Millie Manders. We hang out with any of the bands we play with around the country. There are loads of safe people in the ska scene. People who have recently been safe; Tree House Fire, Riskee, Call me Malcolm, Stiff Joints, Cartoon Violence, Mad Apple Circus and Counting Coins.

7. Can you list down the band members and what they play?

Popes of Chillitown are:

Popes of Chillitown:Attitude, melody and energy- the reasons why I like these guys.

Popes of Chillitown:Attitude, melody and energy- the reasons why I like these guys.

Jck – drums / vox

Arv – Bass

Tom – Electric Guitar / vox

Jimmy Pingu – Trombone / vox

Classic Trev – Sax / Melodica / vox

Matt – Vox / Acoustic Guitar

8. What’s great about being in Popes of Chillitown?

Being in Popes is great because we get to live the glamorous life style of eating shit, driving all day to Germany and then sleeping on a strangers floor. We get to listen to a lot of music in the car though. We just love gigging and playing shows with other bands we like and can have a laugh with. We’ve had a really fun time this last year making the album and we’re enjoying playing it – as well as a few of the dancier tracks from the first one. We’re still exploring the continent one gig at a time and that’s fun too.

Yes, these fellas are fun. Be sure to visit their official links below:



The Cornerstones : Britpop with an edge.

The Cornerstones:haunting, uplifting but with a beautiful dash of sadness.

Smack me in the Face has now become one of my most played singles from The Cornerstones. The song is gorgeous. It features a haunting piano and drums with awesome vocal harmonies in the chorus section. As the song dips into the minor chord, it kind of gives me a vague reference to the greatest alternative ballads of the 90s from bands like The Verve and Fuel.

This is artsy Brit music but with radio appeal. Stand in Line is another personal favorite which also happens to be the title of their new EP. Although I used the term Britpop in the title, I think their music is diverse and they incorporate many styles and instruments in their songs. If you love something rock oriented but not too noisy and with an adequate dash of elegance then The Cornerstones is for you.


Learn more from their website : http://www.thecornerstones.co.uk


Who is Ed Sheeran and Why is he Singing in the new Hobbit Film?

I saw The Hobbit last night. I loved it. I stayed until the credits. And that’s when the name Ed Sheeran came up in the credits list. The song is  “I See Fire“. Which is very fitting as he’s a redhead himself (pun intended). The tune is bluesy with English folk thrown in. It entered the UK Singles Chart at number 13 and reached number 1 in New Zealand on its sixth week. Like Enya(who performed May it Be in TFOTR), director Peter Jackson personally chose Sheeran(his daughter’s a big fan) to be part of the soundtrack.

Sheeran’s paternal grandparents were Irish and he’s raised as a Roman Catholic. Acts associated with Sheeran are Taylor Swift and One Direction. Yes no kidding. Despite the negative association, Sheeran is a credible and interesting singer/songwriter from London.

Let’s just hope he shows more leanings on less pop oriented acts in the future.


Organs by Tom Milsom

Organs by Tom Milsom

Who is Tom Milsom? Tom Milsom is a musician and visual artist living in London. His new album, “Organs,” will be released in November.

That’s what his website bio says. Nothing else. But if you listen to Organs(released in the  18th of November, 2013) then there are many things that can be said about his songs. And he tells you a lot in this album. For example, he tells you that his taste in music is diverse (electronica, dream pop, folk etc). He will also tell you that being a visual artist, he knows how to create landscapes using sound as a tool. That’s what makes Organs enjoyable to listen to. And he has a good voice!

I was talking to my friend Jade yesterday. We were having a musical conversation at Starbucks and Tom Milsom popped in the topic when I was talking about my stint and a DJ in www.radiohappy.eu(she urged me to listen to Organs). 3.am. after waking up and not able to go back, I checked out the link she sent via facebook. I gave it a listen and it felt good. So I thought I better write about him and see if he is open for an online interview. We will see….


The Last Busker in London and Other London Tales by Garry Crystal

Garry Crystal

Garry Crystal

Every author has a certain style in writing that makes him or her identifiable from the rest. Just like in music. You know exactly what band is playing because of a certain sound they have. The Last Busker in London and Other London Tales is a beautiful introduction to the writing style of Scottish author Garry Crystal. Reading Crystal’s prose is like flipping through the journal of someone even though you were told not to spy. He makes each of his stories so personal and believable it feels like you are reading the work of someone you know. And sometimes, you feel as if you are reading about the scenes in your life you dare not wish to tell someone.

This collection  starts with the story of the same title. Here, Cal(written in the first person as most of his stories are) takes a drinking spree on a Christmas eve only to end up in a terrible fate involving three crooks. It is both a cautionary tale and as an excursion into the fact why we sometimes do things that in the end will destroy us. Here, Cal muses about illusion of happiness we sometimes cloak our lives, while deep inside we are really sad: ” The disease only becomes terminal when you don’t realize you are alone and you become used to the silence and look forward to it when you get home at night.”

Crystal  has his stories always surrounded by interesting characters. In Sunrise in the City, Cal meets a friend who gets him into trouble, dumps the car and then runs away leaving him to fend for himself. Crystal’s tone is unapologetic, even brutal but always reflective. He describes every emotional scar we all experience as a sort of cautionary tale. Sometimes as a release.

The Last Busker in London and Other London Tales is something I can read again and again, just to remind me how dull life is without the zany characters around us. And also to remember that in the heart of our quiet desperation lies a seed. And that seed is an art in which Garry Crystal has polished and made beautiful.

My big thanks to Dean Walker for recommending and giving me this beautiful gem of a book. It’s also my Christmas gift!

The Drugs Don’t Work by The Verve is one of the songs that appeared in the book.

Buy the amazon book: http://www.amazon.com/Busker-London-Other-Tales-ebook/dp/B005MKCEJ8