A big thanks. Have a great Xmas and happy new year.

18 Dec

As the title says. Cheers to everyone that was involved in 2014. As you know, the blog is purely for archive purposes now but we are still making our podcasts and running the record label.

We have a bumper xmas podcast coming up, so look out for that on our Mixcloud page.

The record label is over on Bandcamp.

We have loads more coming in 2015 and are working on new stuff already.

Have a good one and thanks again. See you in 2015.

Vivid Riot.


“Everything’s coming to a grinding halt.”

30 Aug

Well, firstly i’ll keep away too much sentimentalism with this post. Secondly and most importantly, Vivid Riot is calling it a day. Damn, it even felt weird typing that. But you know what? The two years plus that VR has been running for have been at a fun and frantic pace and were beyond anything I imagined and believed was possible.

I am not going to babble on, I just want to raise a glass and say a MASSIVE thank you to every single person that had something to do with what Vivid Riot was all about.

I haven’t the time to devote the passion to VR that I once did and I have always been a firm believer in giving 100% or nothing at all.

I’ll leave you with a song from The Cure and once again thank every single person that was involved in or with what Vivid Riot did.






Slowdive Live – Village Underground 19/05/2014

21 May

“Slowdive are reforming and they are playing in London.”  Was I hearing right?

“Yeah, now what are you calling for?” My incredulity at hearing the above and the fact that the person that called me is partial to a bit of leg pulling made what was being said fall on suspicious ears.

Right, straight onto Google to find the inevitable truth that this was going to be a lie. Well, f**k me, it is true. I still didn’t feel like this was happening. OK I know I sound  like a kid at Christmas but when a band reforms that you spent years telling people that you would have done anything to have seen them live, when that becomes a reality, it just takes a while for it to feel real.

It was a few days before the tickets went on sale and I knew they would go fast. I needed to be on the computer at 9am on the day of sale.

So, here goes. Would I be in for a massive let down, after two minutes the answer was a huge resounding YES. “Sold out” the website proclaimed. I wasn’t surprised but I was angry. I spent the next 10 minutes watching Twitter posts appear from joyous fans that had bagged tickets. You lucky gits, I thought.

In sheer despondent hope I went back onto the site and clicked to buy and bang, “Choose quantity” came up. I clicked two and the purchase was made. I was actually going to see Slowdive live, it hadn’t really hit me  but once the E-Tickets came through, I felt more at ease.

The Village Underground in Shoreditch was a venue I had not attended before and have to say it is one I would like to see more bands at. It’s high-roofed and has a post-industrial feel to it and the acoustics are great. Bring on the music.

The air of expectancy was pungent and excitement filled conversations filled the air. Labradford and Brian Eno were the intro tracks and added to the atmosphere wonderfully.

A roar went up and Slowdive took to the stage with smiles all around the venue, including the stage.

The first track of the night ‘Slowdive’ flew into life and so did the crowd. The sound from the stage was incredible. Any notion of anyone staring at their shoes and doing very little went straight out of the window. Halfway through the song I already knew that this was going to be a special night.

‘Catch the Breeze’ sounded spectacularly dreamy and had the crowd swaying intently. A reworked version of ‘Crazy for You’ was one of the highlights for me and also highlighted that the fact the band were adding different dimensions to the songs rather than just ploughing knowingly through old ground.

It was obvious by now to anyone at the gig that Slowdive were full of intent and better than ever.

’40 Days’ had at least one audience member in tears of joy. Not since Mogwai on the Come on Die Young tour have I seen such emotion at a concert. The euphoria was evident on every face that I saw.

The whole set lasted just under 2 hours and after two stunning encores of ‘Rutti’ and ‘Alison’ the band left the stage. Somebody next to me proclaimed that “That was a bit f**cking special” and as blunt and to the point as this statement was, the look on the faces on people leaving the venue confirmed this exclamation.

I listened to Slowdive on my way home and felt sated yet deflated because it was all over but at the same time, I would have been ten times worse had I missed this gig.

The band plays a number of dates around the world in 2014 and if you are contemplating seeing them, I would say that the live experience is one to behold and one that I will cherish for the rest of my life. By the end it felt very real indeed and trust me when I say, SLOWDIVE ARE BACK!


Catch the Breeze 
Crazy for You 
Machine Gun 
40 Days 
Blue Skied an’ Clear 
Souvlaki Space Station 
When the Sun Hits 
She Calls 
Golden Hair (Syd Barrett cover) 






Distant Correspondent. Music for hangovers.

14 May

I’m sure a fair few of you will know the feeling… The early morning alarm wakes you up after the night before, your brain and tongue feel like a deflated football and there’s a fully fit team putting the proverbial boot in.

Hit the snooze button, even though you know another ten minutes in bed isn’t going to make any difference and only adds to the contemplation of the disastrous day ahead.

Jumping up, as you are now running late, the shower might put a positive dent in this feeling. Think again! 8 + pints of ‘something’ that you can still taste and feel isn’t going to be shifted by a stream of tepid water and cheap shower gel.

By the time you have arrived at your place of work, you wonder how the hell you even managed to crawl in and out of bed. A glance at the clock makes that the fact that you have another 7 hours of the working day left totally unbearable.

Right, it’s time for action, coffee and music. This is where Distant Correspondent came in.

On this particular day music was the only thing that could save me and this is where I searched for a cure for the previous night’s antics.

Meanwhile Back in Communist Russia were one of my favourite bands from the early 2000’s and were my band for lazy days of contemplation, (and were what I was listening to on this particularly painful day) after a night of heavy indulgence, MBICR mixed guitar, electronics and female spoken word and created something that was part Arab Strap part Life Without Buildings before both bands existed.

After searching online for what the guys and girl from MBICR were up to at present, the name Distant Correspondent kept popping up. I read a few bits about the band and knew from the write ups that this would be a project that I would like and needed on this day.

I nipped over to Spotify to see what was available by DC and was pleased to see that the band had release a self –titled album in 2013.


The band consists of  David Obuchowski (Goes Cube), Michael Lengel, Edith Frost and  Emily Gray (Meanwhile Back in Communist Russia). The music is written via the internet as the musicians live on differing continents – You now know where the name comes from.

Anyway, where were we? OK I was about to hit play. ‘Listen’ the first track on the album took me where I needed to be. My hangover took a back seat and was no longer the focus of my previously jaded attention. Guitars drenched in reverb and delay, ice cool ethereal vocals and dreamy textures were the perfect start.


Track three on the album ‘Cyclone’ blew me and my cobwebbed head away completely. Reminiscent of The Cocteau Twins and a slowed down version of DIf Juz, I could imagine Distant Correspondent being a perfect band for the 4AD label.

This self-titled release is music to get joyously lost in. It’s not the most diverse release I have ever heard but the album works wonderfully as a whole. Reverb and delay are the primary features but DC succinctly splash small nuances throughout the songs and the less is more approach fits perfectly here.

Emily Gray’s spoken word pieces float in and out of the songs and this is another area that DC has utilized to perfection. I had always adored her voice, it’s the sort of voice that whispered into your ear, sends shivers down your spine and makes headphones a must for this album.

Some of the songs do pick up the tempo; ’Summit’ is a prime example of this, Gray is on top form and so are the band. This is the musical equivalent of reading a secret diary and feeling waves of empathy for the author’s troubles. ‘Summit’ is a stunning track and one that I have had on repeat along with the whole album for days now

By the end of the first full play of the album, all my thoughts and feelings connect to my inebriation and its after effects were a thing of the past and the only way I could keep them at bay was to hit play and listen to this album again and again.

Trust me, the album sounds even better without the added hangover but in case of emergency it’s the CD cabinet and not the medicine cabinet I will be reaching for after one of those nights in the future, DC are the musical equivalent of pain killers and re-hydration – Very comforting and refreshing.

Here we have an interview with David and Michael from the band.

So, how are you?

David: Pretty good, pretty good.
Michael: Great!

What are the band up to currently?

David: Well, we’re doing a lot of recording right now. My wife and I recently had a baby girl, and so that put our live stuff on hold for a bit. But all this time at home has allowed me to put all my focus back into writing.

Michael: Yes, recording, recording, recording. We’re in the early stages on several new songs I think we’re all pretty excited about. After our fall tour and a bunch of Denver shows, there’s definitely a reflection of the live dynamics we’re drawing from in these new songs.


Have you played or do you plan to play any gigs?

David: Ah well, we actually went on a national tour this past fall in support of our album. Emily even came over from the UK to be a part of it. It was a lot of fun playing nearly every night, drinking beer in a different town every night, and all of us Americans speaking to Emily in our best English accents. We played a slew of shows when we got home from that tour. But as I said, my wife and I just had a baby so we’re spending our time recording and writing right now. Though, I expect we’ll be back at it come summer.

Michael: It’s funny, when you’re in one stage of the process how you can yearn for the other… when you’re touring you start to get fidgety, wanting to write and record; when you’re recording, you can’t wait to play the songs live. We’ll have shows coming in the summer, but for now, speaking for myself at least, just trying to be present and enjoy developing these new songs.

How would you describe your sound?

David: We have a running joke in the band that we’re “trans-Atlantic dreamwave.” For some reason every piece of press that came out when we were on tour used that phrase. We couldn’t escape it. I guess I’d actually describe our sound as being a kind of dreamy, lush post-punk. We try to put tension and dynamics and hooks into all the songs (which is where the post-punk comes from), but then really try to fill it out as much as possible with layers and melody.

Michael: Yeah, “trans-Atlantic dreamwave” has kinda stuck…


What are your musical influences?

David: I mean, as the guy who plays and writes the guitar parts, I think I’m probably wearing a lot of my influences on my sleeve: Cocteau Twins, Smiths, Slowdive, One Last Wish, Kate Bush. But then, I’ve also been playing metal for a very long time, so that still factors into it. So there’s some Russian Circles, Pelican, Isis influences happening for me, too. I’ll let everyone else tell you what their influences are.

Michael: Rhythmically, I draw from Boards of Canada who for me, bring an impressive simplicity but intense groove to their beats. Liars, Fly Pan Am and some older stuff like Scott Walker’s huge sounds from Scott 1, 2, 3 and 4, Harumi which is Japanese psych from the 60s… These don’t really show in our sound per se, but what I love about each of these is that balance of relative simplicity with invention that adds a dimension of intrigue rhythmically.

What was the last album you listened to?

David: As I type this, the last album I listened to was Suzanne Vega’s first LP.

Michael: Echo Lake’s LP, Wild Peace. Absolutely delicious.

I noticed a love of delay and reverb on the album, where did this influence come from?

David: I think the obvious answer, again, is to look at the Cocteaus and Slowdive and Smiths. But from a practical perspective, the answer is probably just as much about the metal bands I’ve toured with (in my band Goes Cube). Goes Cube has always had a big Quicksand, Helmet post-hardcore influence mixed with more straight-up thrashy/grindy/driving stuff like Napalm Death. But between listening to Hydra Head bands (like Isis) and touring with bands like Dub Trio and East of the Wall, I was amazed at the textures that could be created with delay even in the heaviest, most brutal music. So with both Goes Cube and Distant Correspondent, I’ve been a little more interested in that. But with Distant Correspondent, I’m also adding chorus to the delay, which gives it that sort of shameless shoegazey/new wave British sound, which I love. There was a moment early in the record process where I played a chord and it sounded kind of like the guitars in “Headmaster’s Ritual,” and I decided “that’s it!”

If you had to chose one of your own songs for our listeners to hear, which would it be?

David: “Shatter” seems to be a big favorite. And I do love that song. I also love “Summit.” But then, I’ve always felt like “Forward” could be a real kind of “single.” I don’t recommend it as the ONE song everyone should hear, but I think “Department” is one of my favorite songs on the record, though I think it’s probably most people’s least favorite. I didn’t really give you a straight answer, did I? Oh well, I can’t decide.

Michael: “Say” and “Clay” I think are two songs that show a bit of our ability to create a dreamy soundscape that also has a driving element.

Anything else you would like to add.

David: Yes, we had a UK-only single come out on Static Caravan Recordings. It got really good press. We have an amazing British member (Emily Gray, who used to be the vocalist for Meanwhile Back In Communist Russia, a band I’ve been obsessed with for well over a decade now). Point is: We really want to come tour the UK. Aren’t there any booking agents and/or promoters who want to help us out? We practically ARE a UK band. I mean, you should hear our accents!

Michael: I think Emily would confirm our accents are immaculate.






Vivid Riot – The Compilation 2. 14 tracks for free. What are you waiting for?

24 Apr



In the mix.

19 Mar

Well, it’s about time we checked in. We’ve been a little quiet of late but it doesn’t mean we’ve been inactive.

We have plenty of stuff in the pipeline and you’ll start seeing and hearing plenty of it over the coming weeks.

There will be a new podcast, we are putting together another compilation (Feel free to get in touch if you are a band or you think a band would fit in with what we do.) and we have plenty of new music on the horizon to tickle your ear buds.


For know, here’s what we have been listening to of late – Phantogram, The Cure, French Films, Manic Street Preachers, The English and Violet Class.


Beverley – A short film. 80’s Britain revisited.

22 Nov

80’s Britain was a melting pot on all social and political levels. It was a time of high unemployment, racial tension, riots and the threat of nuclear war hung in the air like a mushroom cloud of gloom throughout most of the decade.

Anyone from a working class family that left school during the Thatcherite years faced the prospect of standing at the back of the dole queue. The miners were chucked on the slag heap, police brutality was common place and the youth rebelled.

Football hooliganism, Casuals, Mods, Skinheads, New Romantics, the second wave of punk, all flourished during the 80’s. At a time when material wealth was not the order of the day, the youth took the DIY ethic to heart. Creativity was shown in personal ways still echoed to this day.

Music became angrier and so did the kids.  “If the kids are united”, sang Sham 69”- a rally call that was more of a plea, as youth cultures and races clashed on what seemed like a daily basis. The police brought in the Special Patrol Group to control rioting youngsters and adults alike. The SPG idea backfired massively, as the heavy-handed tactics of the group resulted in many incidents of police brutality.

One band during the punk era did fuse a link between racial and musical cultures. The Ruts, later to become Ruts DC were the heir to The Clash’s punk reggae throne. Formed in the late 70’s, The Ruts pulled together Punk and Reggae influences and fans of both genres alike. Front-man Malcolm Owen sang about Rude boys, Jah and proclaimed the fact that Babylon was burning. The political message made perfect sense to alienated black and white youths and the music wore its influences on its red gold and green safety pinned sleeves. The Ruts were active in The Rock Against Racism movement and played many of the gigs that were held under this banner. Lead sing Owen died of a suspected drug overdose but The Ruts left a great legacy and the band continue under The Ruts DC banner to this very day.

In the early 80’s punks and skinheads clashed as the mods and rockers did years before. The skins split into two factions – There were the highly nationalistic right-wing skinheads and there were skinheads that loved the original ska and reggae once championed by the mods that came to the UK via the first Jamaican immigrants that settled in British Isles.  Punks went into two main groups- On one side you had the Anarcho punks that lived by the non-violent anarchist ethics of bands like Crass, Conflict and The Subhumans. On the other side you had the punks and skunx (skinhead punk hybrid) that were into a punk spin-off called Oi.

Oi was punks in the pub on the streets older brother. Punk was about rebelling against youthful boredom and unemployment – Oi celebrated working class tradition, football and beer culture. From the start Oi had its detractors. Yes, there were some moments that don’t stand up to the test of time and were slightly dubious but bands like Cockney Rejects, Cock Sparrer and The Business released seminal albums that still resonant with a passion and vigor that lacks in a lot of current guitar music.

Oi concerts were seen by the media to attract right wing skinheads and football lads and gigs were now turning into full scale riots. The culmination of troubles that plagued Oi was at a gig by the 4 Skins in Southall West London. The local Asian community feared that the gig was a far right rock concert, what ensued has gone done in rock ‘n’ roll history as some of the most violent scenes to grace a music gig.

Petrol bombs were thrown, the police were under attack and under prepared for the onslaught by the local community and the gig venue was burnt to the ground.  Oi fans were all brandished trouble makers and bands found it impossible to get gigs.

The 80’s must go down as one of the most violent decades in history and anyone growing up in that decade I am sure will look back with fond memories but those memories will always be tainted with the angry and oppressive nature of the decade.

One person that has a story to tell about this decade is Beverley Thompson and she along with a great crew is set to make a film about growing up in this volatile decade.

The film short Beverley will be about a mixed-race girl trying to find her own identity within early 80’s Britain. Bev’ fought against the uncertainty and hatred of the 80’s and carved out what was to become the woman she is today – One who is grounded and with a special story to tell.

The Two Tone movement united skinheads, black youth and punks in a way that put the cultural differences aside. Two Tone fused the fast paced beat of punk, mixed in a dash of reggae guitar and fused punk and dub bass lines that provided a voice to black and white youth alike. The fashion colours were black and white and it was the first time that black and white really did come together. Bands including The Specials, The Beat and The Selector, were at the forefront of the Two-Tone scene and a movement was created.

Beverly Thompson had found the home and culture that she was looking for. Two Tone bands had black and white members and fused cultural influences from far and wide. The Specials sang about life in the UK and covered a few reggae songs that both and white youth had cherished years before. Listen to Ghost Town and every nuance and word within that song sums up the violent apathy that was felt by the youth of the 80’s.

In early life Bev moved to Leicester, the culturally diverse area of the East Midlands. Here was a place that Beverley truly felt at home and was another place where black and white youth mixed on the streets, this was cemented by joining Leicester City’s hooligan firm The Baby Squad. The football casual scene was bowling about in Diadora, Lacoste and Fila and Bev’ became one of the first female football casuals.

Without giving too much more away about the story here, Beverly is a project that will encapsulate a time and youth culture in England that I think will add a new angle to history of 80’s Britain. Stories like Beverley’s deserve to be told and being able to see this on the big screen is one that is one worth backing.

The short film will include music by The Ruts DC and The Stone foundation, the latter being part of a current crop of bands that fuse together a soulful mod vibe with a cool slick indie-ness. The Former as discussed earlier, were pioneers of fusing reggae and punk and are doing what they do best and are still making music.

Beverley the film is an independent project that is being funded by donations. Produced by award-winning producer Cass Pennant and written and produced by award-winning filmmaker Alexander Thomas everything is in place to make this a seminal piece of film, except the finances to make it and this is where YOU come in…

Every donation, no matter how big or small will help to raise the funds needed to make the film. Vivid Riot has got behind the project and we kindly ask you to do the same.

Independent film is the real deal. It is about real ideas and real people. People like you.

Here we speak to filmaker Alxendar Thomas and Beverley about the film.


From the synopsis, I have noticed that this film will be about your struggle growing up during the 80’s – Culturally how to you feel the 80’s compares to the current decade?

In a lot of ways there are parallels between the 1980’s and the current economical and social situation. We are suffering from a recession, high employment, public sector protests, greedy bankers, a conservative government and immigration used scapegoat for bad policy.

However, there are a number of distinct differences such as the drugs culture, including the introduction of a mass market for class A drug use. Crack-Cocaine was introduced to the UK in the late 1980’s and was epidemic by the 1990’s.

The class system still exists but the lines are blurred. It is easier to get credit, so material objects are more available to lower income families. Mass production has created huge conglomerates and monopolies. Young people growing up in this fast moving technical age do not have the privilege of naivety – sticks used as swords  have been replaced with real knives and the air rifle with real guns!

Off the top of your head, what are your three best and worst memories of the 80’s?

Three best memories of the 1980’s: Pre-1985, the Fashion and music, getting a Doberman dog, falling in love with Mark Kelly.

Three worst memories: Bob Marley’s death, moving schools and city just before taking my CSE’s, and having my heart broken by Jason Cummins.

In your own words, what would you like the overriding message to be from the film Beverley?

I thought at the beginning of this process I had an overriding message – to tell a story from a mix-race perspective – now it’s becoming something else – should ethnicity define us or should we aspire to see pass racial identity? I am still on a journey of discovery so at this point don’t have a defined message.

But overall I want it to be an interesting story and hope every-one finds their own personal message whether they are black or white, mix-race, male or female – if a story is human you will find yourself in there and identify with the complexity of life.

Pick three or five songs that sum up the 80’s for you?

You’re much too young –The Specials

Mirror in the Bathroom –The Beat

Holiday – Madonna

Night Nurse – Gregory Isaacs

Pearls Cafe –The Specials

Do you really want to hurt me – Culture Club

Silly Games – Janet Kay

Which three fashion items define the 80’s for you and why?

Pre- 1985

Black and White Monotone clothing

Leg warmers

Monkey Boots

Post 1985






When is the film likely to be released?

We are planning to start filming in January, so hopefully ready for the Spring 2014.

Thanks and is there anything else you would like to add?

The film is gathering energy even at such an early stage, there is a vibe that something exciting and special is happening. I think British film has a very high standard and our audience will be severe critics so we know we are at the foot of the mountain will a long way to the summit but we are more than confident and raring to go to make a film that will be refreshing and thought provoking.

Those that say it can’t be done need to get out of the way of those who are doing it!


You msut be doing a good job Alex, as you have won a number of awards for your film work, what would you say is your main driving force and inspiration when making film?

Inspiration comes from a broad range of sources: books, theatre, music, other films and even every day occurrences often provide fertile ground for ideas.

It takes an incredible amount of passion and hard work to make a good film. It’s therefore very important that you find ways to make the subject matter personal and become attached to it. If you don’t deeply believe in the film yourself or don’t have enough emotionally invested in it then it’s likely to fall in around you at some point and you won’t have the commitment and mental resources to dig yourself out when it does.

With Beverley, what are you trying to convey to the audience?

Beverley is a short film set in Leicester in 1980. It follows a mixed race girl’s struggles to carve out a sense of identity in a confusing, shifting, cultural landscape. Whilst the film follows Beverley’s journey, it simultaneously explores British cultural history and concepts of British identity. The backdrop to the film is one of the most explosive post-war British subcultures, the 2 Tone movement which saw the coming together of black and white musicians and the union of the musical influences of Jamaican based Ska and British based Punk. The film therefore raises questions about identity on an individual and national basis and explores the relationship between these concepts.

The film will have a very clear point of view. I want the audience to be in Bev’s shoes. She’s a resourceful, strong-willed character – and I hope to raise a few questions in the audience’s mind about the position she finds herself in and what the implications of that are.

How did you become involved in the Beverley film project?

I worked with Cass on the film Casuals. I was brought on board as the cinematographer for that film, but with such a project, where it’s very DIY you have to get involved in all aspects of the process. So during that time Cass and I were working together very closely and we made a good team. We continued to collaborate after Casuals and that has culminated in this film.

What films would make your top three of all time list?

It would change depending on my mood to be honest, but always up there somewhere would be Raging Bull, La Haine and This Is England.

What makes Beverley different to the projects you have worked on in the past?

It’s the first fiction film I’ve written that’s based on or inspired by a real person and real events. Also, it’s set in 1980 so that’s a new territory for me too. It’s required more research than my other films: I’ve learnt a lot about British culture, history, and identity and about its post war subcultures (especially Two Tone). I’ve also thought a lot more about identity than I’ve done before. Gary Young states in his book Who Are We? “The more power an identity carries, the less likely its carrier is to be aware of it as an identity at all. Because their identity is never interrogated they are easily seduced by the idea that they do not have one.” The process of developing this project has required me to draw upon the few occasions when I have been deeply aware of my identity in certain circumstances.

What attracted you to Beverley’s life story and then how did the thought of making it a film happen?

Cass and I both found Bev a very interesting character when we worked on Casuals. Cass really knows his British subcultures and wanted to make a film with the Two Tone movement as the backdrop – and he connected this desire with many of the social issues that Bev’s story raises. He asked me to research and to see if I thought there’s a story we could make in there. A three hour interview with Bev followed. There was a lot that resonated with me, and although I knew it was going to be real challenge to condense things into a short script, I was extremely excited at the prospect of making the film.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Just to say a huge thanks to those that have donated towards the making of the film. In order to make something that does any kind of justice to the material, era and subculture we’re dealing with it will require a huge amount of generosity from strangers and well wishers and an incredible amount of hard work from everyone else who works on the film which will go largely unrewarded except for the product we create at the end of it. So to those who have supported the project so far and to those who will do in the future we owe a huge debt of gratitude. For my part I can promise a hell of a lot of hard work and dedication in return.

To donate to the film click the link http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/beverley

To follow on Twitter – https://twitter.com/BeverleyFilm

To like on facebook – https://www.facebook.com/BeverleyShortFilm