If you want to read the accidental (music) journalist, the book, click to read it on substack!
I met up with Tim Dellow and Toby L (founder of music website Rockfeedback.com and co-founder of Transgressive Records) in a very noisy pub in north London at the start of 2006 to discuss their tremendously successful label which at that time had artists like the Noisettes, the Young Knives, Regina Spektor, Jeremy Warmsley and many more. Ignore the screaming baby throughout the interview and the eating noise. We were having lunch!
What can be said about Transgressive? They went from strength to strength with their artists and won award after award in the years to come. Including many Grammys! One of the artist Flume won best dance/electronic album in 2017. Their latest signing 18-year old singer-songwriter Arlo Parks is currently receiving national acclaim from various radio stations.
I interviewed the Pipettes back in the early 2000s for a fashionista/hipster style magazine called Amelia’s Magazine. The edition which adorned the Pipettes on the front cover was also covered with fake Swaravoski crystals at the behest of the editor Amelia of course, who I now think is a B&B owner in Margate.
Above (Pic credit: Flickr/Pipettes)
What were they up to then?
The British indie girl pop three-piece (formed in Brighton) at that time (in 2006) were releasing their album We Are The Pipettes which charted at Number 41 in the UK. In 2011, they disbanded after their second album proved to be a commercial flop.
Below is the cover
I managed to interview DJ Shabs Jobanputra, founder of Outcaste Records for the Independent newspaper in the late 1990s (circa 1997, I think). In this rare chat (warning strong language!) he discusses stereotypes, why he is aiming for the mainstream and what he thinks of Nitin Sawhney. Listen to the full interview below.
Shabs later found success with Relentless Records, co-owning the Notting Hill Arts Club and an offbeat collection of artists over two decades: from Artful Dodger featuring Craig David – to soul singer Joss Stone, folk-pop singer KT Tunstall and rapper Nadia Rose.
Read more about the music entrepreneur here.
Next up the British girl band The Pipettes.
Well Gordon Raphael is still a record producer. Since the success he found with The Strokes in the early 2000s, he went on to produce many international bands.
In January 2010, Raphael went to Cape Town, South Africa, to produce the debut album Shark by indie rock band The Plastics. In May 2013, he went to Lima, Perú, to record a Peruvian new band called Los Outsaiders.
In October 2013, he went to Seattle, Washington, and recorded a 7-song EP with Red Martian. In April 2014, Gordon went to Mexico City and recorded a 6-song EP with the up-and-coming band Sol Flamingo while simultaneously filming a small documentary on “the making” of it with Montreal based filmmaker Patrick Barbeau.
In March 2018 Gordon released his “first proper solo album” ‘Sleep on the radio’ via Zero Hours Records in London. On January 1, 2019, Gordon released his album ‘I Lick The Moog’, which had been recorded in his old NYC Studio Transporterraum during Christmas 2000, four months before the recording of The Strokes Is This It began.
He currently lives in Berlin. More information can be found on his website.
Listen to the interview below.
Over the next few months I will be publishing audio and written interviews of music luminaries I interviewed in the late 1990s and early 2000s. I will be asking, what are they doing now?
The first up will be American record producer Gordon Raphael, who is best known for his work with the New York city indie rock band The Strokes.
Raphael produced The Strokes‘ debut album, ‘Is This It’.
I interviewed him in his studio in east London. Back then he was most excited by his own outfit, Crystal Radio, London-based Miss Machine, British band Kill Keneda, The Satellites from Mallorca, and a female pianist from New York, Regina Spektor. Watch this space!
I came across this clipping I had kept from the FT. Who knows what year it was from? 1986? Answers on a postcard please… That’s it!
Everyone likes a good music book, here are my top 10 in no particular order!
- Johnny Marr – Set The Boy Free
- The Faber Book of Pop – Edited by Hanif Kureishi and Jon Savage
- Anthony Kiedis – Scar Tissue
- John Harris – The Last Party, Britpop, Blair and the Demise of English Rock
- Keith Richards – Life
- Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run
- John Robb – The Stone Roses and the Resurrection of British Pop
- Barney Hoskyns – Trampled Under Foot
- Paul Gallagher and Terry Christian – Brothers from childhood to Oasis the real story
- Cream – The World’s First Supergroup – Dave Thompson
I was surprised and horrified the other day to have a story about the Foo Fighters appearing on my Facebook feed. Not because of their music.
The story by the NME was written by legendary music journalist Keith Cameron and involved the Foos first live gig in the UK.
Something stirred in my mind, before filling with nostalgia. It was June 3rd 1995 and their debut gig was at King’s College London. My alma mater. I was studying Classics at the time at King’s as well as being music editor of the student paper.
I immediately contacted my editor at the time to verify my whereabouts. Was I at the gig?
The jury is out whether I was actually at the gig. My editor Michelle was though, her hearing hasn’t recovered yet!
At the start of my career I worked at a few newspapers. Whenever, I did, I had to be issued with a security pass. Remember them? Here is one of my first.
I can’t believe I still have this one. A jem!
I like the fact that Mirror Group is in speech marks. I have my eyes closed as usual.
This used to be a great source of amusement to the security guards in Canary Wharf when I passed them everyday.