A Soundtrack for Fen: a Short Story Collection by Daisy Johnson

CB - Jun - Fen Daisy Johnson’s Fen, according to publisher Jonathan Cape, “is a place where animals and people commingle and fuse, where curious metamorphoses take place, where myth and dark magic still linger. So here a teenager may starve herself into the shape of an eel. A house might fall in love with a girl. A woman might give birth to a – well what?”
It’s the kind of mercurial WTF title that nailed itself of its own accord into our June 2016 Book Recommends… And, given I was looking at some articles on music and writing, I just had to ask Daisy if she’d like to share something of that nature as relates to Fen.
Here’s what she had to say… (NB. Links to Apple Music / ITunes provided where available)

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A Q&A with Crashing Heaven author Al Robertson

CBP Jun - Crashing Heaven CB - Go - Oct 16 - Waking Hell Having read the marvellous Crashing Heaven – mass market paperback coming from Gollancz in May and the sequel Waking Hell scheduled for October – we were very keen to quiz the mind behind this “gnarly, wild AI thriller”.
Here’s what we wanted to know and what author Al Robertson had to say…
(NB. If you’d like to read more about Crashing Heaven first check out the link above and / or read our extract here!)


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Macaque Attack – The Song of the Book by The Boy from Space

11183_JKT CBP - Macaque Attack We’re all about alternative music here, and SFF as well of course. So when Gareth L Powell tweeted that a band called The Boy from Space were releasing a tune based on his cult hit Ack Ack Macaque books we were all over it.
Check out what The Boy from Space’s Guy Thompson had to say on it all… 

Some of my earliest memories involve watching TV shows and films such as The Boy From Space, Planet of the Apes and Marine Boy – Sci Fi has always been a huge part of my life. I always loved music and the first link between the two major influences in my life would be the theme music to these programmes. Music that has haunted me throughout my adult life. Read the rest of this entry »

Album Launch: 30 Goes Around the Sun – 30 Years of the Wonder Stuff!

We love the Wonder Stuff and just had to put something up to say Happy 30th Birthday and congrats on the launch of the new album! They’re also touring as part of the launch, tonight at the O2 Forum Kentish Town, then Birmingham, Glasgow, Newcastle, Leeds and Nottingham.

From the band’s site:

CA - 30 Goes around the Sun cover “March 2016 sees The Wonder Stuff celebrate it’s 30th anniversary. Yes, 30 years since the band’s very first rehearsal in the heart of The Black Country. Since then they have sold millions of albums worldwide and continue to record and tour internationally to this day.
“To celebrate their longevity the band will not only be touring some very special shows, they are also set to release their eight studio album ’30 Goes Around The Sun’. The new album, in CD, vinyl and digital formats is available to pre-order here along with some other very limited merchandise.”
You can click the cover or here to download a copy (only £7.99!) from ITunes or visit the bands site for other buying options.


All the very best to the band and here’s to many more anniversaries and albums!




More musical greatness on Carabas…



THE CURIOUS INCIDENT, FOSSA and MAN MADE: Tunde’s Top Gigs in Review, Winter 2015-16

Tunde's Winter 2015 Top Gig's Arriving at a new venue always brings a sense of anticipation, the hope of something great and memorable being unveiled that night. This winter I had my first visit to Underbelly Hoxton but returned to now-familiar places like Lexington and Barfly. Here are my handpicked favourite bands of my winter gig crawling…

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Gig Review: YOUNG STATES, UK FEDS + STANDING LIKE STATUES @ The Camden Black Heart – 29/10/2015

UK Feds 1 Mark K headed down to the Black Heart to check out Midlanders (Redditch’s) UK Feds, fresh off a UK-wide tour as main support for punk legends Ruts D.C. and performing tracks from their recently released debut EP, ‘Living In Anger.’Three acts, UK Feds on second – but who was supporting who?

The Black Heart is known for its interesting musical line-ups, and tonight certainly does the place justice. Proceedings are started by Standing Like Statues, something that they signally fail to achieve incidentally. Initial impressions are that they resemble Pearl Jam with female harmonies. Read the rest of this entry »

Gig Review: MAZ O’CONNOR @ The Green Note Cafe, Camden – 04/10/2015

Maz O'Connor 1 Having caught Maz O’Connor’s performance at a fundraiser, Mark K made sure to catch her gig at the Camden Green Note; here’s what he made of it…


I’d been impressed by Maz O’Connor when she played a short set at the Body & Soul Fundraiser in July, and had made a mental note to find out more about her work. So when I discovered she was playing a venue as intimate as the Green Note, well, I had to be there!

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Al Devey’s Secret Gig Picks – Nov-Dec 15

Our pal Alan Devey keeps telling us of the up and coming bands he’s been to see – so we asked him to put his mouth where his money is and share his insider dealings! Alan Devey
So here’s Al’s heads up on those hidden gems he’s been discovering and is planning on seeing in the months to come. Check them out…

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Gig Review: On Blackheath Festival, Blackheath – 12/09/2015

CA - On Blackheath logo Saturday’s line-up at September’s ON BLACKHEATH FESTIVAL – now in its second year – held particular appeal for Mark K. Here’s what he made of it…

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Gig Review: OUGHT @ Shoreditch Village Underground – 01/09/2015

CA - Ought Some bands are just good. And some bands make people who don’t make moves make moves (not to mention bad puns). Have a guess which Ought are – or just read Mark K’s review of their gig at Shoreditch’s Village Underground…

Ought are gracing the Village Underground with their presence in order to promote their second album Sun Coming Down. Support comes from Shopping, who are a three-piece with a singing drummer. They entertain us with angular post-punk strongly reminiscent of the Gang Of Four. It’s good enough, but not sufficient to make me rush to one of those old-fashioned record shops to see whether they have anything on release.

However, by contrast, having heard some tracks from Ought’s debut album for Constellation Records More Than Any Other Day, I’m quite keen to hear what the material from their new opus is like. I ought (pardon the pun) to explain that Ought’s music is essentially post-punk math rock. It’s complex, tight, tuneful and punchy. It’s quite 1978, but it’s also very ‘now’ too, and live it goes down very well. They’re reminiscent of Television at times, but with a twist. Television Plus if you like. The singer is, in his delivery, very clearly influenced by Mark E Smith, which is by no means a bad thing. CA - Ought - More Than Any Other Day

They use controlled feedback as if it’s been weaponised. Tim Darcy counts out “1,2,3 kill it!” and they explode into opening song Pleasant Heart. Dear reader, I head-banged. That just doesn’t happen.

CA - Ought - Sun Coming Down In terms of today’s music Ought are bordering on the outre. Has what they’re doing been done before? It has to an extent, but there’s a mix of genres going on here. This isn’t slavish regurgitation of a particular musical style.
Tonight’s set is split fairly evenly between Ought’s two albums, and you really can’t see the join. That’s not to say that they haven’t progressed. I would say that from hearing the new material live, with their second album they’ve consolidated what they did on their first. So, similar but sharper. They have plenty of time to worry about progression.

This is still the beginning of their musical journey, and if you haven’t heard them then you really ought.

Mark Kelly



Gig Review: VICTORIOUS FESTIVAL, Southsea Sea Front – 30/08/2015 (Day Two)

CA - Victorious Festival 2015 The mere mention of Ray Davies was enough to get Mark K to part with fifty quid for a Victorious Festival ticket for both days. Day one was a blinder – how about day two and the star attraction that got him to stump up the cash in the first place? Read on and find out…

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Gig Review: VICTORIOUS FESTIVAL, Southsea Sea Front – 29/08/2015 – Day One

CA - Victorious Festival 2015 It may have been a late announcement to Mark K but the mere mention of Ray Davies was enough to get him along to the Victorious Festival two-dayer without delay – here are the delights he experienced on day one…

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Gig Review: THE BERRIES & FLOWERPOT @ The Dublin Castle 21/08/15

CA - Dublin Castle logo Tunde’s first visit to Camden gig / music mainstay The Dublin Castle brought a pair of all-girl trios very much to her attention…

The Dublin Castle is one of Camden’s old school gig venues, and frequented by a mix of suited professionals and the mainstay rock crowd. There were four bands tonight but it was the ladies who stood out for me. Read the rest of this entry »

Gig Review: BEAUTIFUL DAYS Charity Fundraiser @ St Ives House – 24/07/2015

LE - Jul - Beautiful Late Nights One of our CARABAS SPECIAL RECOMMEND‘s BEAUTIFUL LATE NIGHTS was the work of ALISON GRAY of the London Indie Music Meetup, a great night of bands at St Ives House, Clerkenwell and a charity fundraiser for a great cause. Mark K got along to sample the delights…

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Group Profile: London Techno, House & Psychedelic Clubbing

CP - Techno House Psy On Meetup: London Techno, House & Psychedelic Clubbing (All events)


LE - Aug - The Gallery - Hernan Catteano et al LE - Jul - Superstition LE - Aug - Shoreditch Industry Car Park Affair LE - Aug - Blueprint LE - Oct - Perfecto Records 25 Years

Raving since the late hours of 2012 the London Techno House & Psychedelic Clubbing Meetup have clocked nearly a century of clubbing events, now pitched by a team of four. Read the rest of this entry »

Gig Review: THIRD LUNG @ The Black Heart Camden – 10/07/2015

CA - Third Lung (Twitter) Not that Tunde found the night lacking in great music, but up and coming Reading band Third Lung made such an impact that her review became all about them: showcasing captivating stage presence and strange time signatures, you don’t want to miss a chance to see them if you get it…

Third Lung (then recently signed) were onstage second of five at this authentic rock bar and music venue, tucked behind a bank and concealed from the bustle of Camden Town. Read the rest of this entry »