7 December 2014

LeftLion Update

It's been a couple of months since my last update concerning LeftLion, so I thought that it was about time for another. I also want to keep this blog semi-regularly updated, even if it's with small updates like this while I think of something more interesting and worthwhile to post about. 

LeftLion Magazine Issue #61 Front Cover
The biggest news concerning LeftLion since my previous post is that following a successful Kickstarter campaign the magazine has now gone monthly. 

The first of the monthly magazines was issue #61. One of the best things about working on LeftLion is the opportunity to work with people I really admire and respect and this was the case when I asked Kagoule to take part in our 'photo interview' feature In Focus. This issue also included one of my favourite interviews that I've done for a long time. I often find interviews to be a frustrating experience, because if I haven't met the subject before it can take a while to warm-up and get a rapport going, which is when both parties relax and the conversation really starts flowing. Although in the limited time you often have to sit down and chat this doesn't always happen, meaning answers can be stunted and the person doesn't necessarily give you as good a response as you hoped or know you can get from them. This definitely wasn't the case when I met up with Nightbreed's Trevor Bamford in a pub on Mansfied Road. He spoke with the clarity and intelligence of someone who is passionate about the goth scene. I'm pleased with how my feature with him came out. We changed-up the music reviews section by trimming down the number of reviews to 8 from the previous number of 12 and introducing a longer 'featured' review, which in this issue was No Romeo by Indiana. I reviewed The Boot EP by Cappo, one of the best Notts hip hop releases for a long time. 

Issue #62 was the first monthly monthly magazine and for personal reasons - moving house and being overseas with work - I didn't do much writing for this issue although I was still involved with the usual admin and sorting things, but definitely not as active as I usually would be. Despite that I still had time to pitch in with the music reviews and gave my thoughts on the recent release by Trekkah

Away from the magazine, on the website I reviewed the first of two nights Sleaford Mods did at Spanky Van Dykes. I hadn't written many gig reviews recently before doing this one because I was getting tired of doing them and felt that I was repeating myself. I think the break did me some good as I approached this one with a clean slate and felt like I captured the spirit of the night and the band well, and it helped me re-think how to approach covering live shows. It's not often I can say this, but I feel pretty pleased with how it came out. I saw Owls and Fists at The Maze. Did a Q&A with the Berlin-based band Camera to help promote a show of theirs I was putting on at The Chameleon. The Sound of the Lion #30 podcast features tracks from the music reviewed in issue #61. Website Q&As are a good opportunity to cover an artist who may not seem 'typical' LeftLion material or isn't quite suitable for the magazine, which is why I enjoyed putting some questions to pop starlet Bianca and Seckou Keita. After a four year break the multi-venue charity music festival Hockley Hustle returned at the end of October and I was on hand to cover it. To accompany my Nightbreed article I collaborated with them to put together a Sound of the Lion: Goth Special that features songs from the Nottingham goth scene past and present. Natalie Duncan is an exceptional talent so it was a pleasure to ask her some questions and then go to Nottingham Contemporary to cover her epic night of collaboration with various Nottingham artists. One of my favourite new-ish acts in the city is Keto who, even though she has been performing around the city for a couple of years now, I have only shamefully been aware of, but I started to make amends by featuring her on the website. Finally, Sound of the Lion #31 has a song from each of the releases reviewed in issue #62. 
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