Bite the Buffalo

After being recommended this band by a friend, I pushed for them to play at Leopallooza. I don’t get a lot of input on acts so I was glad this one got the team consensus on first listen. And they didn’t disappoint… lo-fi blues rock with a solid crowd in full support. Definitely a stand out for me at the 2014 festival.

Bite The Buffalo – Scot-born, Zambia-bred, UK-based duo, the Goneos brothers – recently signed on to Never Fade Records, the label run by platinum-selling artist Gabrielle Aplin. Their first release following this is below – the excellent single Polka Dots, which sees the decidedly hairy lower-halves of their faces replacing the speakers of a ghetto blaster.

2015 is going to be a busy year for them. New label means new album and new tours… I caught up with the brothers for a little pre-Christmas Q&A before things get hectic…

Cai: So, 2014… what was your best gig and why?

BtB: The Hope, Brighton, although we have had a few amazing London shows. Playing with the Ben Miller Band was a great show at Borderline. I think Brighton has it though as it’s always great to come to a city months after playing a festival there and seeing a hell of a lot of familiar faces… followed by an after party at a house near by, the night climaxed in some good old fashioned debauchery.

Cai: Tell me about your standout moment from the road this year…

BtB: A lot of this year has been about getting ready for 2015, making sure the single went out, writing a lot for the new album. We had amazing fun working on the Polka Dots video with Rhory Danniells. Never Fade gave us free reign to do something different and I think we certainly did that! It has been a bit less on the road because of all the prep for next year but one moment I guess might be back in Brighton, that night of good old fashioned debauchery… never purchase six litres of Scrumpy Jack, especially if it’s called Crumpy Crompton.

Cai: Best Breakthrough act from BBC Introducing; placed in the top 10 new acts at SXSW 2013… what does 2015 hold for Bite the Buffalo?

BtB: We are learning all the time about this crazy business. As a band you want to be out with fans playing as much as possible and thankfully it looks like 2015 will be super busy because of all the groundwork done in 2014. First job is to record the album and release it, we are heading into the studio with the amazing Ian Davenport in January which is really exciting. Then we get to go back on the road for some mass gigging! New festivals, re-visit some of the best ones we have already played, so many gig’s in between and then sleep a little!

Cai: I’m still mystified as to how you got your actual heads in the stereo system for the latest video, Polka Dots. Camera trickery or a little-known Goneos family ability?

BtB: It is a secret that only the Goneos family and a Zambian witch doctor will ever know! Oh and also Rhory the director and the amazing special effects team he used!

Bite the Buffalo

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Bite the Buffaloposted on by Cai Waggett in Festival, Music


#OPENSPACES

OS Press Pack - Book Back

Avid Hickory Nines watcher’s will no doubt remember our guest, Karl Mackie. He’s a talented photographer, designer and just one of those highly creative and vibrant people that manage to continually produce work that is at once inspiring and influential.

Over a long period, Karl and his team at Mackie Studio have been taking daily pictures of Cornish life, more often than not along the coast, and have uploaded them directly from their iPhones. In so doing, they’ve created an enviable bank of beautiful images that tell as many stories. From this has developed #openspaces – Karl and team’s new Kickstarter project from which, with your help, will come a book. A really good looking book, best explained by Karl himself (images are examples of those which will appear in the book)…

“For the vast majority of my work I’m either shooting on film or with a digital SLR. Since the rise of the smart phone and, in this case, the iPhone, I have found mobile photography is hugely important, convenient and above all a lot of fun.

OS Press Pack - Book Crantock

“Almost every working day, either on the way to work, on a shoot or out with the dog, a shot has been taken, edited it in the VSCO App and shared on Instagram, and consequently we’ve seen our Instagram account grow over two years to now include a loyal and connected community that have played a large part in the decision to make the book…

OS Press Pack - Book Fins

“#openspaces is not so much about the fact the images have been shot on an iPhone, but about the memorable images that were captured throughout a year in Cornwall, UK.” – Karl Mackie

OS Press Pack - Book Porth

And it sure is a challenge. Karl and team need to raise £12.5k on Kickstarter to get the #openspaces project to print. But it’s not without highly prized benefits… on the Kickstarter page you’ll find many varied incentives to encourage donations, not least The Weever, a limited edition Mackie-made surfboard… worth digging deep!

Kickstarter

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OS Press Pack - Book Spreads-4
OS Press Pack - The Weever prize
The Weever – this board and many other project-funding incentives are available on the Mackie Kickstarter page

#OPENSPACESposted on by Cai Waggett in Art, Books, Photo, Surfing


Hickory Nines | Winter Playlister 2014

Trust me to be so late posting the winter selection of tunes from the bulk of the Hickory Nines team that Christmas music is likely to drown it out…

But see this as a happy alternative. Hopefully introducing some new artists & bands to you that you hadn’t come across before (like it has me) and in so doing, enriching the build up to Christmas and beyond. A few classics, a few psychedelic treats, some laid back stuff and I had to shoehorn in a track from the latest Mariach El Bronx album too (which is brilliant, as you’re asking).

Hope you enjoy it – Cai

Hickory Nines | Winter Playlister 2014posted on by Cai Waggett in Music


Nizlopi at Glastonbury Assembly Rooms

Nizlopi

Today we are surrounded by digital content. At home, in the street, at work. Especially at work, where in my world clients increasingly require digital content that is interactive. But the interactive world can be a lonely place. Detached, remote, conducted through an iThingy. Sometimes you need to step back, and find some good old fashioned interactivity, with actual real life beings.

Which brings me to Nizlopi at Glastonbury Assembly Rooms. You’ll probably know Nizlopi from the JCB Song. An intimate affair, the rooms hold perhaps 150 people, all seated. Upon entering we were invited to jot on post-it notes the things that make us happy. Shortly after, Nizlopi made their entrance and headed for the centre of the room to open the show with a song written from the thoughts on the post-it notes. It was rather nice for me that the first line was mine, about skateboarding.

For what is principally a duo Nizlopi make a big sound. The beatboxing and deep grooves from the double bass of the writhing beast of rhythm that is John Parker set against the folk driven guitar and soulful voice of the energetic Luke Concannon. A swirling fusion of hip-hop, folk and jazz, they switched several times between the crowd and the stage, encouraging people to sing, dance, make out, and even join them on stage singing. All highly interactive, with a family feel.

There were moments of joy and fun, with favourites like Helen and the JCB, to deeply touching moments like I Feel Free, documenting the frustration of suffering a stroke. Often they give you the back story of a song, whilst the performance is always well crafted and highly controlled. Nizlopi don’t follow the beaten path lyrically or genre wise, and this is where their charm lies. A quick chat with them afterwards confirms they are thoroughly lovely offstage too.

All of which make it one of my top performances (amongst Portishead, Reef and the late Bert Jansch, for those interested). Interactive, in analogue form, can be a pretty special experience.

I took some photos of the gig on my iTelephone, but they were a bit rubbish so the image is from Nizlopi.com. Below is a taste of what they do, from YouTube.

Nizlopi at Glastonbury Assembly Roomsposted on by Dan Fear in Music


Juniper Ridge

Two things you should know before I introduce this post.

1. Like many, I’m a real cynic when it comes to advertising. I’m not prepared to buy what you tell me to buy, just because you have a cracking PR company who are good at their job… (n.b. this excludes most Christmas based food & drink products. If you slap a snowman on it and call it festive, it’s probably already in my cupboard/fridge. I’m not proud of this at all.)
2. Along the way I seem to have accumulated a range of colognes and aftershaves. I appreciate them, I often wear them in fact, but not often enough to warrant going out and buying more.

BUT WAIT.

This morning, as I had a relatively late lie-in, my friend Rebecca introduced me to Juniper Ridge by way of a Facebook message. Lying there under my weighty down duvet, the introductory video from the link she sent me took me back to Yosemite, back to the top of Nevada Falls where, had I just gone 30 degrees off the path and kept walking, I’d be out & lost in the Sierra Nevada wilderness. Safe underneath the contained feathers of a long-since-dead gaggle of geese, my heart ached for that feeling again. The flora, the fauna, the sights, sounds and, of course, the smell.

Well this is where I left the world of cynicism and fell completely under the spell of quality marketing.

Juniper Ridge source, make and sell ‘Wilderness Perfume’. Which is not limited to perfumes, you understand… they sell cologne, soaps, sprays, incense and even tea. The team trek out into the wilderness across North America, and source ingredients for their wares.

It was started in 1998 by self-confessed mushroom forager and wilderness enthusiast, Hall Newbegin, who would create potions from wild flora, and sell them at San Franciscan farmers’ markets. Since then it’s grown into a 15-strong operation, but with it’s original aesthetic at heart. They describe themselves as ‘the world’s only wild fragrance company’, and their fragrances really do come from plants, bark, moss, mushrooms, and tree trimmings. I’m sold.

What I appreciate most is that the team really do seem to be hikers and adventurers first, with the passion to source & hand-create their perfumed products as an added bonus. Could this be the perfect job for a wilderness romantic like myself? Yes, I think it could.

On top of all the well-presented and thoroughly backed up marketing, they also give away 10% of their profits to a range of wilderness based charities. Sold, twice over.

Go check out their website. Not only is it a real pleasure to search through and take in, it also includes some well-penned ‘Harvest Stories’ from their foraging trips, expunging any idea that this might all be the work of some stealthy PR company. There are also some beautifully filmed videos from their treks.

I haven’t yet checked their shipping costs to the UK, so these additions to my Christmas purchases may yet flounder. But it’s taken me back to my happy place for at least 2 hours this morning… a morning well-spent on Juniper Ridge.

Juniper Ridge on…
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Adendum: It turns out that Juniper Ridge don’t ship internationally. However, they do stock their products in stores around the globe. In the UK, you can purchase it from the following outlets…
- Garbstore: 188 Kensington Park Road, London W11 2ES
- Le Chien Et Moi: 60 Derby Rd, Nottingham, NG1 5FD,

Juniper Ridgeposted on by Cai Waggett in Film, Nature, This World


Get out there and get one

For me November has always been a bewildering time of year. Nearing the end of another ‘shoulda woulda coulda’ 12 months, and so it begins, a period of pensiveness, reflection, melancholy for what hasn’t been, and eventually an unfaltering and naive optimism for what might be in the year ahead.

It’s a time to think of the waves I didn’t catch, that blue 7’2 single fin I didn’t get to ride and that inspired summer suit I was just too seasonably late to debut. There were the camper trips we didn’t make time for, beach days we waited too long for the “right weather” for, and the dawnys we were just a little too tired for.

Then of course there was the first family camp of the year, not telling my brother-in-law he shouldn’t tuck his wetsuit into his boots, watching my sisters face as she caught her first ever wave, falling in love with it just like I did.

As much as there is to wish had been different, there is twice as much to be grateful for, and there is always inspriation to be found. The late Barry ‘Magoo’ McGuigan, probably the oldest competitive surfer in the world before he sadly passed away, his thoughts were unassuming, his aspirations simple and his motivation inspiring, he thought positively about surf, life, and his wife who gave him the desire to just keep on going.  Still Swell at 85 is his perception of being involved with surfing since  the advent of the sport and how surfing shaped his philosophy to life.

We could all use a little Magoo in our lives, to find the time to do things, to not spend too much time pondering what has gone and what could have been, and to just “get out there and get one”.

Get out there and get oneposted on by Lisa Reading in Film, Surfing


Winter Surfposted on by Lee Robertson in Surfing


Bass Drum of Death

In preparation for the seasonal playlist (published soon) here is a band that has my juices flowing currently. VERY much enjoying this band right now…

Bass Drum of Deathposted on by Cai Waggett in Music


The Cruel & Curious Sea II – Film #1

There are a couple of videos in the pipeline documenting our recent return to the barns of Stowe Barton for The Cruel & Curious Sea II exhibition.

This is the first, a great little edit by Jessica at Shimnix Sessions, featuring a soundtrack from our good friends, StringerBessant.

The Cruel & Curious Sea II – Film #1posted on by Cai Waggett in Art, Film


Keep On Pushin’

I’m ashamed to say this is four months old. Not sure how I missed it but I did, like a big nit-wit. It is a true delight especially for an ageing skateboarder like me who recognises some heroes of his generation like Barbee, Natas, Hensley, Duffy, Dressen, Markovich and Salman Agah.

Just to make this short even f*ckin’ cooler; the narration at the start is Ian MacKaye.

Keep On Pushin’posted on by Dan Morgan in Skateboarding