PHOTOS: Tanya Auclair & ESKA @ PUT ME ON IT Live 10th April 2013

If there is one PMOI Live event that represents what I believe in perfectly, it's this. Growing up I couldn't begin to fathom the idea of going in to music (had I some talent in that area, which I don't), because it seemed so... artistically limited... for women of colour in the UK. It's in that context that I watched Tanya Auclair and ESKA - both singers, songwriters, composers, and producers who represent the exact opposite of the two dimensional women I grew up watching. These women are not just unafraid, but are opposed, to walking the monotone and conventional paths some might assume are laid out for them at a cursory glance. Whilst they are very different musically, they both excited the audience with their originality and the creativity of their work - I don't recall hearing a single "ooh baby" all evening, by the end of which most of us had our eyes closed or were in tears.

The rest of the photos by Wayne Thomas are on our Facebook page.

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PUT ME ON IT LIVE – WED APRIL 10TH: Tanya Auclair, ESKA, Eric Lau & Marshmello

This installment of PUT ME ON IT Live features two artists we've been in awe of and supporting since the very start, both performing some brand new material. ESKA is one of the most stunning vocalists and live performers we've ever come across, and it is a huge honor to have her grace our stage. A composer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer, the list of artists she has collaborated with - Matthew Herbert, Bobby McFerrin, Zero Seven, Cinematic Orchestra etc - is almost as impressive as the list of her talents (!) We are particularly excited to hear some exclusive new material!

Tanya Auclair is an artist who encapsulates what PUT ME ON IT is all about - independent, original, authentic and moving. Known for her imaginative songwriting and one woman army approach to performance, Tanya is always exciting and intriguing to watch. We had the pleasure of booking her a year ago following her self-produced EPs Thrum and Origami, and we are very excited to hear some new material from the debut album she is currently working on.

On DJ duties we have residents DJ / Producer Eric Lau and Marshmello (NTS / Two Timers) playing eclectic party music that will make you miss the last tube…

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PUT ME ON IT LIVE @ THE OLD QUEENS HEAD Wednesday 10th April (7.30 - 12.00 pm)

Live: ESKA & Tanya Auclair | DJs: Eric Lau & Marshmello

Tanya Auclair - 'Kimchi Landslide' - In The Woods 2012 Barn Sessions


Yes, Kimchi, as in the delicious Korean fermented cabbage dish. No one can accuse Tanya Auclair of a lack of songwriting originality. This beautiful piece is actually a new song she brought out specially for the glorious day that was In The Woods Festival 2012. I am reliably informed that Tanya is writing her debut album and working with a very exciting producer, so this little video nugget is the closest we'll get to hearing it for a while. This video is probably also the closest we will ever get to a video of Tanya featuring booty shots - oh yes camera man I see you.

In Photos: PUT ME °N IT @ Soundwave Festival Croatia 2012

PUT ME °N IT was first invited to curate a stage at Soundwave Festival Croatia in 2010, which was a huge honour  and pleasure. We returned for Soundwave 2012 with a bigger and better line up - in total there were 15 of us - for a beach party on the Saturday afternoon and a main stage session on the Sunday afternoon. The beach party included DJ sets from ESKA who played a valiant and brilliantly eclectic set through technical turbulence, Ghostpoet whose was session so full of in your face heaters I can't imagine what the hell he plays at night, and Eric Lau who took us on a musical journey from J Dilla to Jimi Hendrix. Tranqill hopped on the mic to host and the rest of the crew came out to dance and support. The beach stage at the new site is truly a site to behold; situated directly over the turquoise water, half the crowd is partying in the sea and the other half is in their swimwear dancing and sunning themselves in front of the DJ booth, splashing about in the shallows sipping smoothies, or chilling on the rocks underneath the shade of the pine trees.

The Sunday afternoon live session on the main stage was a very special moment for us. It takes a lot to attract the crowd away from the water down at the beach stage, but by the end of our session we'd managed to do just that. Szjerdene and her band started us off, her mellifluous tones stopping passers by in their tracks, glamorous long black dress and hair billowing in the wind. Tanya Auclair followed with her quirky  yet catchy alt-pop and impressive one-woman band set up, flooring the audience as she artfully multi-tasked between uke, synth, percussion, looper and voice to create crunchy layers of juicy goodness. UK rapper/ producer Tranqill quite literally burst forth with his short and anything but sweet set of gritty tales that brought South London to the Dalmatian coast for an exciting, tension-filled minute. Tranqill's set was hosted by regular collaborator, Washington DC's rapper/producer extraordinaire Oddisee, who showed his experience and skill as a live artist, delivering a charismatic and passionate set of songs from his recently released debut album. Tawiah and her live band came next, and if there were any stragglers queueing for a beer before she took the mic, there were none afterwards as that incredible voice soared over the site and commanded their attention. For many people the highlight of the festival, Tawiah skanked, rocked and literally tore up the stage (her drummer The PSM jumped on top of the drum kit at one point, as the stage crew looked on in horror but couldn't stop filming it on their camera phones). We finished with newcomer Anna Meredith, an accomplished classical composer whose new electronic material is easily some of the most exciting I've heard since I first stumbled across a young man named Steve Ellison six years ago, and whose performance elicited at least one marriage proposal. Eric Lau held the afternoon together DJing in between sets, and the stage crew somehow managed to stay calm despite my very ambitious programming.  Video coming soon...

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Listen: Josephine Oniyama "What A Day"

Remember when I got all excited about Tinashé a few years ago? Well around about the same time Island Records scooped up another talent of equal measure with a slew of great songs named Josephine Oniyama. Despite being the label who brought us artists like Bob Marley, Grace Jones and Baaba Maal, it seems that when Chris Blackwell left the company much of his vision, taste and flair for breaking artists who didn't fit a pre-existing mould disappeared with him.

I first stumbled across Josephine's brilliant and ridiculously catchy song A Freek A two years ago through Dom Servini, so I was very excited to discover that she has been working on an album with Ed Harcourt and Seb Rochford entitled "Portrait" due out on October 8th on Rubyworks/Ark Recordings. The new single "What A Day" is every bit as infectious as "A Freek A" and will be released on 20th August. I suggest watching the video below by way of brief introduction -

By rights the likes of Josephine and Tinashé (and many others you can find on this blog such as Tawiah, Tanya Auclair, Joshua Idehen, L.A. Salaami, Rahel, Ghostpoet and ESKA), are a new generation of homegrown singer-songwriters who probably grew up with The Smiths and Joni Mitchell as much as King Sunny Ade or Michael Jackson, as well as the artists Chris Blackwell worked with. The originality and richness of their music is the result, but so far it seems to be proving somewhat of a challenge for much of the industry to wrap their heads around (what some of us see as a no-brainer). Happily things change much faster now than ever before, and what with the quality of her voice and songwriting Josephine is undoubtedly about to make some serious headway. We will be supporting her with the very fibre of our beings.

Connect @thisisJosephine

Support: "What A Day" will be released on 20th August 2012.

Video: Tanya Auclair "No One Knows" Queens of the Stoneage Cover

I wasn't sure whether to title this post with the song title of the cover - it took me until half way through the chorus to recognise it the first time Tanya played it to me. There is an undeniable trend at the moment for singers covering other people's work - preferably as quirky and far away from your chosen genre as possible - but failing that out warbling the original creator will generally do. Ahem.

I may be biased, but I love the way Tanya Auclair makes covers her own. I've seen her rendition of Roy Davis Jr and Peven Everett's "Gabriel" raise countless smiles and Garage fingers skywards in surprised epiphany, and here she brings a joyously bouncy yet sincere feel to the Queens of the Stone Age's hit "No One Knows". A well written song should traverse the boundaries of genre, gender, and time with ease, and this is a perfect example.

Put Me On It Live at Soundwave Festival Croatia, 2012

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[wpcol_2third_end id="" class="" style=""] "All that you are, all that you have, all that you give".

It almost sounds like a memory I've created - Heidi Vogel singing the words Fontella Bass burned in to our souls ten years ago - as The Cinematic Orchestra flooded the Dalmatian sky at sunset with music that may have been created for just such a moment. We turned to each other, crying and singing and hugging, vowing to remember and to return.

Soundwave Festival in Croatia (there's one of the same name in Australia I cannot vouch for unless you like Limp Bizkit and Marilyn Manson), has become something of an annual pilgrimage for the artists, DJs, labels and supporters who make up a chunk of the UK's eclectic independent music scene. It is run by the same team behind Outlook Festival (Soundcrash and New Bohemia), so at first I was tentative about getting involved having heard horror stories of gurning 18 year olds tagging up an idyllic Croatian fishing village and peeing on the church a few years ago. Outlook has since moved to a more appropriate location in a disused fort, and Soundwave has emerged as a festival for lovers of live music.

I'm the kind of girl whose ideal festival involves being able to go home at night (after refusing to drink anything all day in a bid to avoid the toilets), food you can't smell frying from the end of the three hundred strong queue, and preferably not staring at a giant screen watching "chart toppers" like Example (whose music I've still never heard), jumping about to a PA 10 miles away. I have been known to turn down free tickets to Glastonbury, and at the Guardian-readers-dream-fest Big Chill I camped in the middle of the sobbing and distraught Mika fan club as a security measure (they refused to leave their glitter encrusted tents for the entire festival because he didn't show up).

Soundwave is definitely better than spending the day in a damp field. I arrived at the village at night and headed to the local restaurant to find my friends who were sitting outside tucking in to giant plates of fresh seafood. I'd heard it was a rocky beach so I was expecting Brighton, sewage and all. I woke up to a white hot, pond flat, turquoise clear scene from a movie. Even my friends who can't swim were straight in the sea when they realised the rocks on the bottom were smooth (like an enormous tiled swimming pool).

The tiny festival site was 15 minutes walk around the bay and I won't lie, it takes a moment to adjust to seeing people you usually see in Dalston wandering around swim wear casual (super awkward hello hugs on the first day). I asked the veterans for the guided tour of the site and it took 5 minutes; main stage, club, beach stage, all right next to each other. It was like I went on holiday with my friends to Croatia and my iTunes came to life and started performing (apart from Ja Rule, thank god).

When I got the call to put together another line up this year I was ecstatic. I called my artist friends and asked if they would like to go on holiday and get paid for it - luckily for me they said yes. We're throwing a beach party on the Saturday afternoon, with Ghostpoet, Eric Lau and Eska DJing in the sunshine right by the sea. The next day we'll be on the main stage in the afternoon, Tawiah with her amazing full live band, Tanya Auclair (and her amazing one man band),  Szjerdene with a paired down intimate live set, Oddisee performing his debut album, Tranqill trying to deliver his gritty realism with an enormous sunshine induced grin on his face, and Anna Meredith - my wildcard - the first electronic musician I've been this excited about since I first saw Fly Lo at his first London show.

That's just the PMOI parties, over 5 days there are over 50 acts. I'm particularly excited about seeing De La Soul, Fink, Eska, Dele Sosimi's Fela tribute (the band probably need a whole plane to themselves), Kwes, Kutmah, and following Olugbenga from Metronomy around whispering "I love your band" then hiding. I might even venture on a boat party this year, though considering I got travel sick on a punt on the river in Cambridge last year it's probably not a good idea. Those with sea legs claim the boat parties are the heart of Soundwave Festival, but I have the feeling this years most memorable moment will come when the whole site sings "Me, Myself and I" as the sun goes down.


FAQs Soundwave are probably not being asked but we are.

  • There is no guestlist, flights will not be cheaper nearer the time, deciding in early July you want to come is not an option, the festival will be sold out. Book your travel (there are lots of options), tickets and accommodation as soon as you can - rooms in Tisno start at €15 - cheaper than a fancy tent.
  • Croatian people are pretty cool with multicultural folk. We found them to be incredibly friendly and kind, maybe a little curious but not in a bad way. We cannot say the same about Poland.
  • Plenty of Croatian people speak English (and probably loads of other European languages). Those that don't speak the international language of point and shout.
  • Do not bring drugs with you or buy them when you get there (that includes weed). Croatian people do not play, you will go to jail.
  • The toilets at the festival are clean, but if you're funny about hygiene your villa will probably be close enough to go back to.
  • Bring mosquito repellant and bite cream - try to avoid too much sugar the week before you arrive to minimize your tastiness.
  • The food is good if you like seafood, red meat or pizza (it's opposite Italy). If you are vegetarian or vegan you may want to bring a few supplies or head to a supermarket on arrival.
  • This is the last year Croatia will use the Kuna before joining the Euro which will means your money won't go as far so make the most of it. It's not super cheap but it's definitely a lot cheaper than London. If you don't drink budget £15 a day (if you do drink budget for alcohol and potentially having to get a new passport/ phone/ losing all your money etc).
  • There is no need to bring heels, your most limited edition kicks or your best imported calf skin leather cape. You do need rubber flip flops for the beach (rocks), but you don't need to hire a stylist, it's not Field Day Festival.

You can find all the other info you need at - see you there.