CONVERSE GIGS: HOW TO DRESS WELL REVIEW

April, 2014

For April’s Converse Gigs @ 100 Club show we partnered with tastemaker independent radio station NTS to bring a truly all-star line up to the club.

Headlined by ethereal US R&B singer How To Dress Well with support from Koreless plus Laura Groves and NTS’s Bullion, the evening’s proceedings were well worth the queue that snaked down the street before doors had opened.

The last time How To Dress Well played in the UK was at East London’s Field Day festival in 2013. Almost one year on, and two months away from the release of his third LP What Is This Heart?, central London’s ‘intimate’ 100 Club seemed a more fitting location for Tom Krell to perform some of his new music. His songs, which are heartfelt and explore his deepest, most conflicting emotions, require an audience that is brought physically as close to him as the songs themselves allow people to be.

The headline act was preceded by two excellent supports; Bradford singer-songwriter Laura Groves and Welsh electronic producer Koreless. The former was accompanied by a full 5-piece band, the latter stripped back and solo with an array of brightly lit midi controllers.

When How To Dress Well took to the stage he was illuminated by moody neon-coloured projections from all angles. The sultry lights were an extension of the tone of the music. “I wrote this song because I’m basically a teenager when it comes to exploring my desires”, he said about the evening’s second song ‘What You Wanted’, taken from the new album.

Midway through the set, following a captivating showcase of another new song ‘Very Best Friend’, the slightly confused 100 Club crowd were evacuated up on to the street due to a fire alarm.

After a brief ten minutes spent in the evening air we were safely back inside. What could have been the night’s lowest point soon became the overall highlight as How To Dress Well treated the audience to a special a cappella rendition of Whitney Houston’s ‘I Will Always Love You’ whilst his band set themselves back up. “Don’t tell anyone about that!” he joked afterwards.

‘Words I Don’t Remember’ – the first single from What Is This Heart? – received the biggest reaction of all new material from the night, as the post alarm section of his set drew to a close. The song, which builds and builds into crescendo, showcases just how good How To Dress Well’s craft at constructing a modern take on an R&B slow jam really is. Enthused audience members now lost in his world within a song only broke silence to give rapturous applause.

Another month, another fantastic show, another name etched into the 100 Club infamous dressing room wall.

CONVERSE GIGS @ 100 CLUB: APRIL

April, 2014

After a storming run of performances that has seen the likes of Blood Orange and A$AP Ferg take to the venue’s legendary stage, the Converse Gigs @ 100 Club series is set to welcome ethereal R&B songwriter and producer How to Dress Well for an exclusive show in partnership with London radio station NTS.

Merging ever-surprising production choices and aesthetic detail with a sensual but sincere R&B influence and a deep emotionality, Tom Krell has steadily established himself as one of the most unique and influential figures in contemporary experimental pop music. His new album, due for release by Weird World / Domino in June 2014, takes its influences from artists as varied as Prince, Burial, Tracy Chapman and Lou Reed.

How to Dress Well’s debut album Love Remains was released in 2010 to critical acclaim. Sequel Total Loss followed in 2012, named as one of the “Top 50 Albums of 2012″ by music outlet Pitchfork. The Converse @ 100 Club show will be Krell’s first London appearance since Field Day in 2013 and also sees him joined by an all-new four-piece band.

Support on the night comes from Glasgow-based producer and Young Turks signee Koreless, who will be performing a live set.

WHEN: Wednesday 23rd April

WHERE: The 100 Club, 100 Oxford Street, London

To apply for tickets to the 18+ show… just enter your details in the form below.

Good luck!



CONVERSE GIGS: A$AP FERG REVIEW

March, 2014

From the moment people descended into Oxford Street’s 100 Club, NTS Radio’s resident DJ Martelo was already setting the tone for things to come by delivering the finest cuts of the latest hip-hop and urban bassline music.

Not long after doors, our favourite venue was already packed with A$AP Ferg fans; a collection of well dressed London cool kids, clearly taking inspiration from the stylistic prowess of the A$AP Mob.

With the room quickly at capacity and anticipation high, A$AP Ferg finally emerged on stage through the crowd with fellow mob-member A$AP Nast in tow. As fans surged forward to get just that little bit closer to the members of NYC’s much-hyped hip-hop crew, Ferg kicked off proceedings with Dump Dump from last year’s revered Trap Lord LP.

From that moment on, Ferg and Nast continued to work the crowd into a frenzy and treated us to new A$AP Mob songs including Trillmatic; a track that truly justifies A$AP Nast’s tag as the rapper to watch in 2014.

Continuing with more Trap Lord favourites such as Let It Go and Work Remix, the set contained everything expected from a good 100 Club performance, with Ferg crowd surfing, spraying water over the crowd and even inciting a few mosh pits.

With the threat of stage invasion imminent from the clearly riled up fans, Ferg let Trap Lord’s biggest songs come last with all 350 audience members singing both “Sha Shabba Shabba Ranks” and the infectious hook of Hood Pope in unison well after the music had stopped.

As Ferg and Nast left the stage, they let everyone know how much they appreciated the opportunity to play for them in London. Judging by the look of the crowd, it was clear to see the feeling was mutual.

CONVERSE GIGS: BLOOD ORANGE REVIEW

February, 2014

The Converse Gigs @ 100 Club series is known for hosting some of the brightest and most exciting talent in music and this month’s edition was no exception.

NTS DJs kicked things off and began working the already packed room, providing everything from soul to reggae, setting the mood with their eclectic choice of cuts. 

Support on the night came from the hotly tipped Stay Bless, AKA George Cassavetes who delivered his modernist take on R&B complete with power ballad guitar lines and intimate lyrics taken from last years Faded EP, before building up to single Always. George admitted that this was his very first show, something that was hard to believe from witnessing his seemingly natural display of confidence throughout. 

By the time Dev Hynes and co took the stage, London’s oldest music venue was about as busy as it’s ever been. With this being his first visit to the UK in 3 years, the room full of Blood Orange loyalists were clearly eager to hear tracks off 2013′s critically acclaimed Cupid Deluxe. Beginning with album opener, Chamakay, Dev’s charming charisma was made clear from the offset, as the 28-year-old flamboyantly moved around the stage in what’s quickly becoming his own signature dance style. Collaborator and girlfriend Samantha Urbani was also in tow, providing mesmerising vocals for You’re Not Good Enough, as well as other Cupid Deluxe favourites, including Always Let You Down and No Right Thing.

After momentarily jumping back to Costal Grooves’s Sutphin Boulevard, Dev was joined on stage by surprise guest Skepta to perform their track High Street, much to the excitement of the audience. With energy levels at an all time high, by the time the funk guitars of Uncle Ace began to ring out for the evening’s penultimate song, people needed little encouragement to join Mr Hynes on stage as he began to invite gig goers from the crowd to dance with him. With what seemed like the entire venue’s capacity now in Dev’s chorus line, the evening ended with a rousing edition of the soulful ballad Time Will Tell, rounding off what was a truly special 100 Club performance.

Converse x Maison Martin Margiela Collection

December, 2013

MMM

Converse Inc. announces its all-new collection with avant-garde French fashion house Maison Martin Margiela. The first-time Converse Maison Martin Margiela collaboration features the Chuck Taylor All Star and the Jack Purcell sneakers, each completely hand-painted in Maison Martin Margiela’s iconic white paint. Covering all canvas, eyelets, laces and soles, they naturally crack and shed their outer coat of paint to reveal the original colors beneath.

The personality of the Converse Maison Martin Margiela 1970s Chuck Taylor All Star and Jack Purcell sneakers is discovered through an evolving dialogue between the bold colored canvas and clean paint. The more the sneakers are worn, the more their personality and color is revealed. “The Maison has always been obsessed with white; it is used as a layer to give an incognito feeling. A sort of poetry, with the passage of time, the shoe asserts itself,” says Maison Martin Margiela.

Converse First String is a limited-edition collection that celebrates craftsmanship, authenticity and collaboration at the highest level. The Converse Maison Martin Margiela sneakers will be available for purchase globally at Margiela stores, and at select Converse First String retailers.

Maison Martin Margiela

About Maison Martin Margiela:

Maison Martin Margiela is a French fashion house founded in 1988. A cross-section between fashion and design, the Maison presents Haute Couture and ready-to-wear collections and indulges in leather goods, footwear, accessories, fragrances, interior design and furniture. In 2002 Maison Martin Margiela joined OTB, the holding company of Diesel, Marni, Viktor&Rolf, Staff International and Brave Kids.

CONVERSE GIGS: JOEY BADASS REVIEW

October, 2013

The excitement that surrounded Wednesday night’s Converse Gigs was understandable. Joey Bada$$, one of the most prolific and exciting young hip-hop artists to emerge in recent years was in the country for one night only, to play only his 2nd official gig in the UK at the 100 Club.

The night began with London’s favourite hip-hop DJs Greenmoney who got the party started with some choice cuts; sound tracking the endless flow of fans entering the venue.

Support act, 19-year-old Rejjie Snow then took to the stage and promptly introduced himself “My name is Rejjie Snow and I’m a black rapper from Ireland!” Formalities out of the way, he then instructed people to “let the music absorb their brains” as he took them on 30 minute journey through his unique hypnotic hip-hop and lyrical wordplay that has earned him notoriety on both sides of the Atlantic, performing tracks from his Rejovich EP.

Well and truly ready for the main event, the 100 Club’s tightly packed crowd were kept on their toes with some more favourites from the Greenmoney boys until DJ Statik Selektah jumped behind the decks to introduce the man of the evening.

Joey Bada$$ swaggered through the room and onto the stage, jumping right into track “Alowha” followed quickly by the clear crowd pleaser “Waves” from his critically acclaimed “1999” mixtape.

For the next hour the 100 Club was treated to one the most energetic hip-hop performances it has ever seen, with Mr Bada$$ well and truly surpassing the bar set by previous alumni Nas and Ghostface Killah. Taking us through his extensive catalogue of mixtape classics including “FromdaTomb$”, “Hardknock”, and “Survival Tactics” Joey exuded presence well beyond his 18 years, with his audience of peers rhyming every one of his lines back at him.

Ending on a high note, special guest Maverick Sabre joined Joey on stage to exclusively perform their brand new remix of “My Yout”, bringing to an end quite possibly the best Converse Gigs @ 100 Club of the year.

GET LOUD: BRING ME THE HORIZON INTERVIEW

August, 2013

This week, Bring Me The Horizon are playing The Circle tattoo parlour in London for the third and final instalment of our Get Loud music series.

We caught up with front man Oli Sykes to talk tattoos, crowd surfing and Hillary Duff…


1. On Thursday you’re playing the basement of The Circle tattoo parlour in London…what’s the strangest venue you have ever played in?

The Rave in Milwaukee is pretty weird.

2. The Circle holds around 100 people. How does playing intimate gigs compare to big venues and festivals?

They both have their highlights! I personally love smaller shows because the interaction with the crowds is one of my favourite things about playing live. 100 people though – that takes us right back! Gonna be interesting!

3. What’s the craziest thing to happen during one of your gigs?

Uhhh, we’ve had plenty of moments! Wheelchair crowdsurfing, Charlie Simpson in a raft, someone once got their eye punched out, I was shot at 3 times, Pink was once skateboarding while we played.

4. What’s your favourite song to play out live and why?

Probably Shadow Moses right now. We open with it and the sing along gives me goosebumps.

5. Tattoos are clearly a big part of your lives, what first got you into them?

I just always wanted tattoos for as long as I could remember – my mum wouldn’t let me get them til I was 18 so when I turned I just went mad!

6. If you had to get a tattoo of your musical icon, who would it be and why?

Hilary Duff, dunno why.

7. Why do you think tattoos and heavier genres like metal seem to coexist so well?

For me getting tattoos meant I could never have a normal job, because no one would employ me. I guess you just give a sh*t less when you do this job, you got no office to go to. They say your body is a temple, but why not paint the walls?

8. Musically, what are you into that people would not expect?

Hillary Duff.

9. Lastly, what can fans expect from your gig at The Circle?

I couldn’t tell you if I wanted to mate.

Bring Me The Horizon play The Circle tattoo parlour as part of our Get Loud music series this Thursday 22nd August 2013. Today is the last day to apply for tickets. Full info HERE.

GET LOUD: PURE LOVE INTERVIEW

August, 2013

Pure Love; one half ex-Gallows frontman Frank Carter and one half ex-The Hope Conspiracy guitarist Jim Carroll have seen much success since their formation in 2011. During this time they have spawned a series of headline shows, supported the likes of Paramore and Biffy Clyro and released their debut album “Anthems”.

We caught up with them ahead of their unique gig in the basement of The Circle tattoo parlour to talk music, tattoos and their special love of a particular Nickelback song…

1. In July you played your first US show, how was it? If any at all, what are the differences between US & UK fans?

The first US show was amazing. We had both been wanting to play at home since we started but we were unable to do so because our backing band was so spread out.  Once we got some local musician friends involved it came together quickly.  It was much needed.  As far as fans go there was no major difference and that was actually sort of surprising.  New York audiences can definitely be hard to crack at times and our UK fans have set the bar pretty high in terms of rowdy shows.  We didn’t know what to expect but it was just as wild as some of the gigs we’ve played over last few years.

2. Your music has taken some turns creatively, where are you drawing inspiration from at present?

Psychedelics and cute pictures of puppies…

3. You’re playing a gig in a tattoo parlour, is this your first show in a venue like this? What other interesting venues have you played in?

Yes, first show in a tattoo parlour. Years ago I played a hardcore show on a street corner in San Francisco.

4. Why do you think music and tattoos seem to coexist so well?

I actually like to think that music and tattoos have a rivalry similar to the Bloods and the Crips.  Constantly battling for supremacy of the block.

5. How does the craft of music compare to that of tattooing, do they cross over?

People in prison sometimes use guitar strings to tattoo. I’ve never been to prison but that’s what the National Geographic Channel told me.

6. What do you think differentiates Pure Love from other bands out there at the moment?

I’m going to say our songs. No other bands writes the songs that we do. Take for example our song Handsome Devil’s Club, we wrote that. Nickelback didn’t write that song.  If they did it wouldn’t be our song. Although, Nickelback write some pretty good songs too. Have you heard Burn it to the Ground? That song f*cking rules.

7. When coming up with the name Pure Love, were there any other working titles that you’re glad didn’t make the final cut?

We really wanted to call ourselves Nickelback but that was already taken by the band Nickelback. They wrote the song Burn it to the Ground. Again, that song f*cking rules.

8. Lastly…If you could travel back to any year to make music when would it be and whom would you like to have worked with?

I’d travel back to 2008 to hook up with my man Chad Kroeger so I could jam on a little tune called Burn it to the Ground.

Ticket applications for Pure Love at The Circle have now closed.

CONVERSE GIGS: BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB REVIEW

July, 2013

As the heat wave continued in London on Tuesday night it was only natural the Converse Gigs @ 100 Club’s Black Rebel Motorcycle Club show was the hottest ticket in town. With queues stretching all the way down Oxford Street, fans arrived early and waited patiently in the sun in anticipation of what was coming.

When doors finally opened and people descended under ground, they were met with a ‘cool’ surprise…yes, almost as exciting as the prospect of seeing BRMC headline a 300 capacity venue was the news that the 100 Club had installed a brand new air conditioning system.

Whilst the excitement settled, Spanish alternative punk band IEPI!, who are no stranger to Converse having played our Make Noise festival in Madrid earlier this year, kicked off the night with a raucous start. The instrumental only 3 piece ripped through their tracks of heavy riffs and reverb, setting a high pace for the evening and proving that you really can, just let the music do the talking.

By the time second support act Dexters began, the 100 Club was packed to the rafters. The London natives proved they had earned their place on the bill, with front man Tom Rowlett’s rock and roll swagger feeling reminiscent of the many music icons who hang in frames on the wall of the club itself.

With the queue to get in still snaking down the street, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club finally took the stage, welcomed by a thunderous applause from the eagerly awaiting crowd.  Opening with ‘Hate The Taste’ from their latest album ‘Spector At The Feast’, BRMC stormed through their 1 hour set relentlessly delivering crowd pleaser after crowd pleaser.

Mid way through, Robert Levon Been, stopped to express his gratitude of being able to play in such a small venue, “We’ve been playing festivals all summer and to be able to have people this close to us is the way it should feel”.The 100 Club could however easily have been mistaken for a festival, with girls on shoulders and crowd surfing on mass, as the band finished their set with high octane tracks ‘Whatever Happened To My Rock N Roll’ and ‘Spread Your Love’.

With the guitars from the final song still ringing out, as if orchestrated by BRMC themselves, the 100 Club fire alarm sounded, causing a hoard of exhilarated fans to promptly exit up on to the street.  The slightly confused evacuees were soon joined by Robert Levon Been, who treated them to impromptu acoustic set under the flashing blue lights of a fire engine. A perfect end to another vintage Converse Gigs @ 100 Club.

Kenny’s Tracks – #KA2CONS

July, 2013

July, 15th 2013
KA II – “The Joy Ride”

Kenny Anderson celebrates the launch of his Converse CONS KA II with the short film titled “The Joy Ride”, documenting Kenny’s journey on his magical bicycle. Throughout his journey, the Converse CONS KA II takes him on a joyride as he is pushed by people he encounters within the streets and vicariously lives through their social energy. Ultimately, he relinquishes his KA II sneakers to an elderly man who continues “The Joy Ride” through the streets.


 
June, 10th 2013
OAHU, HAWAII – #SAMMYDONTSURF

Our recent Converse trip to the North Shore was featured in the May 2013 issue of Transworld Skateboarding magazine. Thank you to: Mother Nature, Acai, 80′s R&B, Kalani, Dyson Ramones, The Late Ones, Wallows and double rainbows.

 
May, 20th 2013
TAMPA, FLORIDA – #TAMPAPRO

Skatepark Of Tampa and Girl Skateboards both celebrate their 20th year anniversary. Thank you to: Schaffer, Gaybor City, Big Boi, The Clements, breakdancing, fishing and first class.

Also, check out a short bonus video of additional highlights from Tampa.


 
April, 29th 2013
NYC, NEW YORK – #KA2CONS

Welcome to NYC and the start of a photo and video journal that will follow Kenny throughout life experiences in his next signature CONS sneaker, the KA2. Check back here for additional updates and follow the tag #KA2CONS on Twitter. Thank you to: Chinatown, Impossible Project, Pho, Quartersnacks, Manderson, Dr.Z and slappies.