Archive for November, 2006

More clips from Shepherds Bush Empire London

Posted at 9am on 11/27/06 by

The Word Girl



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Scritti Politti in session for Marc Riley on BBC6

Posted at 9pm on 11/21/06 by

Today on BBC6 Scritti Politti had a session with full band! Mark Riley had a natter with Green and they played After 6, apparently the new single and Dr. Abernathy. From this place i’d like to thank the BBC for their excellent listen again service. Sweet.

BBC6 Scritti session (13 mb)

Clips from Shepherds Bush Empire London

Posted at 12am on 11/21/06 by

What a treat! The Word Girl, Die Alone, Brushed with Oil, Petrococadollar and D to the O for you viewing and listening pleasure. Thanks David C for letting us publish these clips. Me personally… to hear the Word Girl performed live, one of my favourite songs all time, was quite touching really. It’s not the same as being there of course, but to hear this is such a joy!

Sidenote: the sound is a bit too loud, i know.. better turn the volume down a bit. Will try to get better quality conversion this week… was a bit of a struggle to get it all done.

Scritti Politti in New York Times

Posted at 4pm on 11/15/06 by

Posted by John
Sent in by Gary Bingner

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Click on picture to enlarge.

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After 6/Snow in Sun

Posted at 9pm on 11/12/06 by

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It seems “After 6” is indeed a single coming from Rough Trade. Someone posted that this might happen already. Here is further evidence. Too bad “Snow in Sun” never made it past the promo stage. I never saw one that actually used the artwork. Perhaps “After 6” will go beyond the promo stage.

Review Baltimore gig 08-11-2006

Posted at 5pm on 11/12/06 by

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By Zach Salwen (Thanks !)

Scritti Politti at Club Sonar, Baltimore, Maryland November 8, 2006

Well, the Baltimore show was last night, and words cannot express how wonderful a night it was. My fiancee Beth and I showed up just in time to catch opener Jeffrey Lewis’ closing number, an hilarious & catchy little ditty called “Creeping Brain” that made me wish I’d shown up earlier. The lead singer (Mr. Lewis, I would assume) had filled a sketch pad with visual interpretations of the lyrics that greatly added to the experience.

Before describing Scritti Politti’s set, I would like to add that club Sonar was a very nice establishment with a polite staff and better sound than I’m used to in such a small club. There were only a few dozen people turned out for the show, but the stage was positioned in a location visible from most anywhere in the room, so people were able to spread out quite a bit (although it did seem to unnerve the band a little–at one point between songs Green mumbled into the mic, “say something–it’s too quiet in here”). Even though only a small crowd was there, it was an interesting mix of younger and older fans, perhaps a few more young ones than I would have expected. Young or old, they were respectful, polite and very supportive–as Green left the stage a woman even ran up and handed him a bouquet of flowers

Anyway, as Scritti took the stage it became apparent that the stage wasn’t quite large enough for the band and the five keyboards and two drumsets, so Dave, the “utility” player (read: multi-instrumentalist) had to stand on a wobbly riser to the left of the stage for most of the concert. This made for some of the only between-song banter (which early in the set Green described as leaving much to be desired–but the audience seemed forgiving), when Dave announced that it was a bit like log-rolling. The band was in excellent form, and there were too many fine points to number, although I’d have to say that hearing “Word Girl” live was the highlight for myself.

What surprised me most was the considerable power that the band added to the newer songs, without sacrificing any of the finesse that one hears on the albums. Specifically, “Come Clean,” “E 11th Nuts,” “Boom Boom Bap,” and “Die Alone” sounded much better live than I would have been lead to expect, knowing the studio versions, that is. Although all the musicians were outstanding, I think Rhodri deserves special mention. Having seen two keyboardists through most of the video footage available on Bibbly-o-tek, it was a little surprising realizing that the bulk of those parts are done by one set of hands. Also, his harmony vocals complemented Green’s lead beautifully. I’m fairly fuzzy on the set list, but it was much like the others on this tour: “Snow in Sun” as an opener, “Robin Hood” next. The set closed with “Wood Beez,” with “Petrococadollar” and “D to the O” for the encore.

The only minor disappointment of the evening was not getting to hear “Am I Right in Thinking” live, but one really can’t complain, especially considering how worn out the band seemed (and Green claimed a throat infection). I had been hoping to rent a portable digital recorder for the concert, but Sonar does not allow audio- or videotaping. I was able to stop dancing long enough to squeeze off a few shots, but except for the last half dozen–due to a misunderstanding between myself and Herr Camera–they’re rather blurry.

Visually, the band also had quite an interesting look going on. Green was dressed in a scruffy low-key manner, with jeans and a hooded sweatshirt (with a Scritti button, of course), but the rest of the band had a somewhat distinguished look to them. Dickie, the guitarist, had flared pants and a silk shirt (it gave him a very Phil Manzanera-type look), and Frank (?), the drummer, wore a vest. If anyone who reads this site has doubts about going to see them live, please PLEASE do–it is absolutely worth it. Green and the rest turn out some fine danceable music, with a lot more valid funkiness than one might expect, and getting to share such an intimate setting with them made for the most ironically romantic evening.

3 Unreleased Tracks on iTunes

Posted at 6pm on 11/10/06 by

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Scritti Politti
White Bread Black Beer -3 Track Unreleased Songs EP

Includes
1. The Last Time I Looked
2. Am I Right in Thinking
3. When I was Happy

http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?
id=202958365&s=143441&o=a

John Hyde
I eat white bread, drink black beer and bleed green belly-washed blood.

SCRITTI POLITTI – THE OPERA HOUSE, TORONTO, Nov. 6th, 2006

Posted at 2pm on 11/07/06 by

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SCRITTI POLITTI – THE OPERA HOUSE, TORONTO, Nov. 6th, 2006
Posted by John Hyde
Written by Kirk

Wow! What an amazing show Green and band put on at the Opera House in Toronto tonight. I got to the venue early and soon Jim and Jennifer arrived, they had also driven down to see the Chicago show (and plan to go to more). We heard the sound check through the front doors and I knew I was in for an amazing night. Everyone in the band (except Green) walked past us and a few said Hi as they went to find some food after the soundcheck.

The show was fantastic, Green sounded amazing and the band was very tight. The setlist is below. Unfortunately there were quite a few security people hanging around which meant taking pictures or video of the show was risky. I tried to video tape two songs but the picture didn’t really turn out, the audio is okay.

After the show I managed to meet the entire band and they were all very friendly and seemed very happy to be touring with Green. Unfortunately they hadn’t had a chance to explore Toronto, another reason to come back and spend a longer visit here.

Well meeting Green (and seeing him perform live) was a dream come true for me being a fan for such a long time. He was very gracious and signed my cds and posed for some photos. When he saw my Anomie & Bonhomie fridge magnet he said that was one of the few items he had kept from that era and I gathered it is on his fridge at home. He signed it and my set list that Rhodri was nice enough to get for me. I overheard Green mentioning that he and David and Fred plan to get back together to record another record next year, what great news that is.

Green also said that he felt this was a new beginning for him, performing live again after all these years. He seemed happy to meet the fans and had time for everyone.

It was a concert I’ll never forget, and I wish Green and the band all the best and look forward to the next record and hopefully another tour.

Setlist:

Snow In Sun
Robin Hood
After Six
E Eleventh Nuts
Come Clean (cover)
The Word Girl
Dr. Abernathy
The Boom Boom Bap
The Sweetest Girl
Hands Up
Brushed With Oil Dusted With Powder
Cooking
Road To No Regret
Skank Bloc Bologna
Die Alone
D 2 O
Wood Beez

Encores:
Petrococadollar
Edge Of Degradation

The Double Door in Chicago: The New Green Party Headquarters.

Posted at 2am on 11/07/06 by

Posted by John J. Hyde
Photography and Journalism by Gary Bingner

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My wife and I traveled from Minneapolis to Chicago to see Scritti Politti at the Double Door Nov. 4. We were not the only ones to make a considerable journey to “party with Green”. There were visitors from Canada, New York, Italy…even the Scritti Guru John Hyde made the trip from Minnesota. Chicagoans seemed to be in the minority among the hard core fans.

I had the opportunity to talk with Green both before and after the concert. Considering how I venerate him as my most revered “pop star”, I was taken aback (but delighted, of course) by how kind, humble and accessible he made himself before and after the show.

The Double Door is a modest (capacity: 473) and rather “earthy” nightclub in the hip Wicker Park/Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago. Before the show, Green could be seen hanging near the bar autographing memorabilia and chatting with fans. Even after the gig, he popped up near the merchandise table signing autographs and shaking hands.

The merchandise table, incidentally, offered only three items: a tour t-shirt for $20, a set of three small WBBB buttons for $5, and a limited edition signed poster for $20 (all of which I purchased!). Most of what Green ended up signing was souvenirs fans brought from home.

“My god, even I don’t have one of these,” Green said to a fan who produced a rare 45 for him to sign. “But I don’t have any of this stuff.”

Green was also seemed delighted by a fan wearing a “Tinseltown to the Boogiedown” t-shirt. “I love your shirt,” he raved. “I’ve never seen one of those. Where’d you get it?” Green was also asked to sign a baseball, which appeared to intrigue him. “I’ve never seen one of these close up.” (Incidentally, his autograph consists of his first name, printed in all capital letters. GREEN.)

Despite all the 80’s memorabilia he was being asked to write on, it was obvious Green’s not big on nostalgia…especially about his own work or career. “I never read anything about me or watch anything about me,” he admitted. “It makes me uncomfortable.” When I mentioned I’d exchanged emails with David Gamson through Gamson’s website, Green said he’d never been there, claiming, “I never look at anything to do with any of us.”

Green also told me he finds it equally difficult when fans praise him. “I hated it when people said bad things about me or the work I’d done, but I also felt really uncomfortable if people said something complimentary.”

Despite seeming very outgoing and at ease with so many fans (both in person and on stage), Green still told me quite candidly, “I feel uncomfortable meeting people, to be honest. But I always have. Even as a kid.” I was truly impressed and touched by his candor and willingness to be so vulnerable. (Of course, hearing this it’s more surprising that he’s mustered the courage to even embark on this American tour.)

Others have written about the shows, but suffice it to say it was exceedingly well received by a relatively small, but demonstrative audience. Speaking with SP keyboard player, Rhodri (pronounced ROD-ree) before the show, he told me that a typical crowd at their American gigs had been around 200-300 people. As a rabid fan, this surprised me. I expected the place to be packed. According to Rhodri, Green isn’t particularly concerned about headcounts. “Once the show starts, he just gets into a zone,” Rhodri admitted. “He just pretty much stares at the lyric sheets on his music stand.”

You read that right. Green actually had one of his band members pop up to the front of the stage throughout the evening and give Green his latest lyric sheets. When Green introduced his cue card guy, he joked, “Maybe by the end of the tour, I’ll learn the words to my own songs.”

The songs, by the way, were mostly from the new CD, with a couple of exceptions you’ve already read about on this site, with one new “oldie”: “The Word Girl”. (Green kept oldies to a minimum. When someone yelled out “Absolute”, he wryly responded, “Absolutely not.”)

Another interesting fact I learned from Rhodri: Green assembled his entire band at a pub he hangs out at home. According to Rhodri, he saw Green in that pub and walked up to him. Green then told him, “I’m putting together a band for a tour and I’m looking for a keyboard player. Do you know any?” Without hesitation, Rhodri volunteered. He said Green then invited him to come listen to the new album and “if you like it maybe you could join the band”. Rhodri jumped at the chance.

“I’m older than the rest of the band mates, so I’m the only who even knew who Scritti Politti was,” Rhodri explained.. “Our drummer is only 21. He’s never heard of Green. But I was 14 when “Cupid & Pysche” came out and I was a big fan.”

Rhodri said he’s having a great time seeing the United States for the first time. When asked what he thought of Americans, he said, “Everyone seems very nice here.”

After the short American tour, Rhodri says Scritti Politti returns to the UK for some more shows in England. After that Green tells me, he has “many projects” coming up, including a “reunion album” with David Gamson and, “hopefully Fred will join us.”

And the sound for this new effort? “We’re going to get back to the funk soon,” he said.

Gary Bingner claims he’s been a fan of Scritti Politti since “back in the days when I had as much hair as Green.” Time has obviously been kinder to Green’s hairline. Bingner is also the owner of Quasimodo Advertising in Minneapolis, MN. (quasiland.com)

John’s Review of Chicago Gig

Posted at 9pm on 11/06/06 by

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“Signs”

I met Jen Gruhl, a fan whom I had met online before, at the Pontiac Cafe, which is next door to the Double Door, at about 8 pm on Saturday night. This cafe was hosting a political rally for Rockford Register endorsed Rich Witney, the Green Party Candidate for the Governor of Illinois. There was music from a small band and people milling about. The fun part was that there were politcal rally signs throughout the cafe. I suggested someone grab one and modify it since it said “Green Party” on it. I think it was Jen’s boyfriend ultimately did the dastardly deed of absconding with one. (Sorry about the petty theft Rich. 14 percent in the polls is stellar for a Green Party candidate, but I would have to go with DFL candidate Blogojevich who is tracking at 44 percent.) The Green Party signs were literally a sign that I was in the right place. If that wasn’t enough, accross the street from the Double Door is a dry cleaners named Greener cleaners. Wow. This was too ridiculous.

Green and company were doing there soundcheck when I arrived so we could actually see and hear them a little. See the video section for a little snippet.

I then met several fans outside the Double Door. Some I knew from the Yahoo group and bibbly-o-tek.com. I met a guy named Gary, and his wife, who’s name I forget, sorry. They are also from the Minneapolis area (my hometown as well.) Many congratulatory remarks were made to me about my involvment of these Scritti web projects, and I said thanks for noticing. Someone said I was da man…I replied that Green was the man and thats why we were there. I am just a guy who learned to type in 8th grade. I can’t really even write…too many run on sentances. I digress.

A little after 9 pm they opened the doors and let us in. Green appeared out of nowhere and just started saying hi to people as we were streaming in. A small line formed and he shook hands and spoke with everyone. I was caught off guard because I expected this towards the end. With my Cupid & Psyche Laserdisc that I got from a fan in Japan in hand, I got in line, too. A few moments later I was stuttering to Green about my work on the web and handed him a 4 DVD set of all of the videos I had ever collected. I made my own “3 Decade Box Set” with Photoshop and titled it Scritti Politti Confetti. I don’t know if he will ever watch it, as he tends to look ahead, not back, but perhaps he will offer it up as entertainment for the new band members. Later in the evening, I spoke with Ralph and he was born in 1985 so I doubt he has ever seen these videos. Perhaps they have a DVD player on the tour bus. Good for some laughs perhaps.

Green said he had never seen the Laserdisc before, in fact didn’t know it existed. It is the rarest SP item I have I think. So I asked him to sign it after chatting with him for a little while. “To John, Love Green” was scribed at the top in my pre-calculated green Sharpie marker. Cool. After a few moments of that indulgence I left, making sure all had a chance to talk with the man. After order a beer, I heard Green call my name from across the bar which freaked me out for a nano-second. “Hey John,” he projected. “Green actually knows me by name,” I thought. “Can we use the green Sharpie?” Of course I gave him the pen. Jen Gruhl had her rendering of Green from the Cupid and Psyche era signed then.

Jeffrey Lewis was pretty politcal and pretty funny. I enjoyed him for a few minutes, but got bored too quickly. I was more interested in chatting with Scritti fans at that point. Otherwise I might have watched more of him. Interesting politcal stuff. Neat that Nonesuch Records teamed him up with Scritti.

I met up with Matt, a really nice Chicagoan that I recently be-friended. He was wearing a Tinseltown to Boogiedown shirt. That is how I recognized him. Dave, the drummer was sitting at a table during Jeffrey Lewis’s opening, and I was going to try to meet him then, but he left to hook up with the rest of the band. The bar was filling up and no chairs were left so I grabbed the table he was sitting at and relaxed my tired feet (from walking around downtown trying to find the Virgin Megastore.) Not a moment passed is whehn I saw Matt in his shirt.

After chatting for a few moments, Matthew said here they come, and oops…Green fell down on stage. Green rambled something about his entrance and I started to shoot some video on my Powershot camera. Missed the fall, oh well.

Ok, now onto the music. Wood Beez really hit me hard. It was later in the evening, but it really rocked great. Word Girl and Sweetest Girl were really fun. Boom Boom Bap was incredible. I caught myself thinking, usually I go away from concerts thinking, well that was nice, but the studio record was better. Not this time. Not the case at all. The concert was sooo good, it was better than the album on CD. My friend Matt said he saw them at the bowling alley in London. He thought this was much better. They were far more polished and prepared. Plus, Rhodri was not at the gig at the bowling alley in London. So that’s it. Rhodri is the real rock and roll star here! :)

Brushed with Oil was fun and D to O was really fun. Since this isn’t an album track anywhere, I hadn’t really understood it. Alyssa was beaming during this part of the concert. I could tell she was having a great time. She rapped in some song, I can’t remember if it was Hands Up or was it Come Clean? Or ??? Dave took the bass over and she rapped during this one. I think she was used to having her hands on the bass or the keyboard, so she started a little dance to do something with her hands since they were empty. I was up front so I saw her do this. It was subltle but fun. I don’t know if anyone else caught her. Sadly, she stopped because she was quite good.

I got a picture with her later that night. A stunning woman and she seems so charming without even trying. I told her I wanted my picture taken with her because she was the best bass player in the industry.

I also spoke with Rhodri a bit and got my picture with him too. I also got an autograph from him on my Unreleased tracks CD. Rhodri rocks!

Matt gave me a lift back to my hotel, which was very gracious of him to offer since I could have taken a cab and it was out of his way. I suspect it was the begining of a great relationship. Super nice guy. Entering the expressway was a sign that said “Wait here for Green.” Usually red means stop and green means go, but these were metered lights that usually flashed yellow. If it was green, you are supposed to stop anyway…US traffic lights…nevermind. Funny sign that Matt spied as we got on the expressway. It was at that point I realized. They didn’t do Am I Right in Thinking or Locked. My personal faves. But they did close with Petracocadollar. Nice.

At the airport the next morning I saw Gary and his wife on the same flight I was. I am sure it won’t be the last time I see him either. He lives just minutes from my office in Minneapolis.

Lastly, although I didn’t here it from Green, many fans were mentioning that Green and David Gamson might work together again from something Green said that evening. I suspect David and/or Fred’s involvement will be around producing like Anohomie and Bonhomie. But then again, some band members talk about going back to their regular jobs in December…The future will tell us the truth I guess. Godspeed to you Mr. Gartside. This sounds like a cliche, but it exceeded my expectations. I eat white bread, drink black beer and bleed Green. Wow! That was way too corny. Thanks for reading this sappy stuff, because I was getting cavities from all of the sweetness.

John

Double Door pictures

Posted at 9pm on 11/06/06 by

Standing in front of the Double Door Scritti Politti! Fans outside the venue Coincidence? Rhodri and John Rhodri and fan Rhodri and another fan Signed and sealed Green and fan Green and another fan! Green and John Green and fans John and Alyssa The poster! White Bread Black Beer Signed package Nice one Signed sealed and delivered

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Clips from Double Door, Chicago

Posted at 10pm on 11/05/06 by

John (the lucky guy!) went to the gig in the Double Door, Chicago on November 4th. He managed to make some video’s, which give a rough impression of the entire evening. Enjoy!

Rod Reynolds’ Roxy review + sound check pics

Posted at 11pm on 11/03/06 by

Rod Reynolds & Green Gartside

Rod Reynolds has send us the following review of the Roxy gig:

Scritti Politti was one of my favorite bands in the late 80s. I was in my early 20s and was very much influenced by the music and style of bands such as Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, A-Ha, Japan, Adam & the Ants. The album ‘Cupid & Psyche 85’ was a long-time favorite of mine, including the classic songs ‘Perfect Way,’ “Wood Beez (Pray Like Aretha Franklin),’ ‘Hypnotize,’ and ‘Absolute.’


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Scritti Politti play at Big Takeover party

Posted at 9pm on 11/03/06 by

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Scritti Politti are listed to play at the Big Takeover Low Key / Low Watt Afternoon Party at Sound Fix Record Store on saturday 11th of november. Sound Fix Record Store is in Williamsburg, Brooklyn NY, 110 Bedford Avenue. Admission free. Have Fun !

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