Sandwell Street Dubz: Vol 2

sandwelltingzFront cover – Source: Chameleon Recordings

In just over two weeks, the latest release from Chameleon Recordings will be available for all to enjoy. The second edition of Sandwell Street Dubz is just as good as the first. The album showcases just some of the studio’s most talented and loyal clients. Expect to see music videos released in the near future for some of the best tracks on this record. When they are online, you can see them at the Chameleon Recordings YouTube page. All tracks were recorded at Chameleon Studios.

The mix has been put together as something to give back to the local music community and the loyal customers of the Chameleon. It has a celebratory feel to it. Despite the often gritty and raw nature of the lyrical content, a lot of the tracks are quite uplifting. There are three particular songs that really caught my attention from Big Dog Yogo, E Blessed and Flawzz, Blacka Blacks & AD. All three of these artists are set to have their own releases on Chameleon Recordings in 2014. Watch out for those!

Big Dog Yogo’s offering is a perfect example of this balance. The lyrics on the track talk a lot about the challenge of just trying to live your life for yourself. However, with it’s mellow relaxed beat, it’s rather therapeutic. E Blessed spits on trying to make it in the music business and balance everyday problems. This is probably the most poignant track. Flawzz, Blacka Blacks and AD produced the best song on the whole thing, in my opinion. It has tight delivery, a catchy chorus and captivating lyrics. It’s definitely one you will want to listen to over and over

You won’t be disappointed when you hear these tracks, and the others on the CD. You can expect many more volumes of Sandwell Street Dubz to come out, as long as Chameleon Studios is still the epicentre for urban music in the community. Be sure to check out Volume Two on February 23.

Check out the following pages for more information:

www.facebook.com/chameleonrecordingsuk
www.soundcloud.com/chameleonrecordingsuk

Thanks for reading,

Craig

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Sandwell Street Dubz Vol. 1

Sandwell Street Dubz mixtape cover FRONT FINALChameleon Recordings is proud to bring to you the brand new mix-tape Sandwell Street Dubz Vol. 1. Recorded and mixed by MoJoe at Chameleon Studios, it features the very best in emerging and established rappers and MCs from all across the West Midlands. Its content is strikingly varied. Made up of many interesting takes on hip hop, grime and trap, it features big names like Sox, Slick Don, Big Dog Yogo, Zimbo, Flawzz, Jae Sosa, Chucky and even Roachee from London’s world famous Roll Deep crew. Most of these bold and fresh tunes are previously unreleased and unheard. They are bold, fresh and exciting. A couple of older tunes are thrown in there, helping to maintain a balance between the experience and the youth.

Sandwell Street Dubz mixtape cover BACK FINALThis is just the start. There is a lot more to come from Chameleon Recordings. Expect regular releases showcasing the hottest names in a thriving underground urban music scene. A lot of the tracks on the mix-tape feature regular clients of the studio at Chameleon HQ. This is the culmination and integration of a lot of different music made by different artists from similar environments. The lyrical content is very street orientated and although it deals with many different concepts and subjects, it has a common source. It touches on a lot of real life experiences of different kinds, that the majority of people living in modern day urban Britain can relate to. Get it on Saturday 4th May completely free through Chameleon Recordings.

Check out the following pages for more information:

www.facebook.com/chameleonrecordingsuk

www.soundcloud.com/chameleonrecordingsuk

Tour Blog #16: Walsall – The Homecoming

IMG_0617So, I’m sitting on my sofa in my lounge writing this final blog on the Brains For Breakfast ‘Work. Rest. Play’ Tour. Before I go into last night, the ride back and today, I’d just like to thank a few people. I’d like to thank Andy (Brains For Breakfast) and MoJoe (Chameleon Recordings) for working with me to make this tour a success on every front. We had a lot of fun together, did a lot of work and helped get the very best out of the tour. We will now begin editing the huge amount of footage we captured into the tour video, which will be released episodically on YouTube. I’d also like to thank everyone who has given this blog a read over the last couple of weeks. I hope you have enjoyed the posts and found them mildly interest. It really means a lot to get the kind of views I’ve been getting. I will also be releasing a photo blog of the tour over the next couple of days, so check back for that and follow the blog if you’re on WordPress.

Now for this final post business. The show at The Pull And Pump in Brighton last night was absolutely great! The perfect way to end the tour. Everything about the show was positive. The venue was a quaint pub made up almost entirely of wood, with lovely staff and an absolutely brilliant couple of promoters. The room was packed out with an audience of people who actually paid attention, made a lot of noise and showed a lot of respect and love to every artist on the night. The place had that sweaty, bar blues feel to it.

The show had a genuine character about it. I would put it in the top three shows of the tour. As I mentioned, the crowd were enthusiastic and encouraging. We even did a whip round for petrol and they gave extremely generously. The artists were all tremendous, easily one of the best bills of the two weeks. The promoters (along with Leeds and Nottingham) were a league above all those others we encountered. They were supportive, generous and beyond helpful. I can’t give them enough credit for the way they handled the whole show, and the way they treated the talent. Most importantly, Andy played a very good set and was greeted warmly by the local crowd.

After shaking a lot hands and saying a lot of goodbyes to all the great people we encountered, it was time to hit the road. We made the long walk back to the car with the merch and instruments through the city centre. The bright, vibrant city of Brighton does seem to suffer from one epidemic which plagues most great cities: homelessness and poverty. We were confronted with a slightly depressing sight as we made our way through the centre. There were many beggars, buskers and folks sleeping rough on the streets. It was a sad thing to see, but I can’t really hold that against Brighton. I’ve been to Barcelona, Venice, New York, Dublin, you name it and I have always seen this.

We got to the car and headed for Uxbridge, London to drop Dan off. It was great for us all to hang out with such an old and good friend, but now we were on our way alone down to Walsall, home. We finally got back about 3.30am and I didn’t get to sleep until about 5.30am. There was some kind of tornado going on in our area last night. The wind was so loud that you heard it over the TV. I woke up today at about 4pm. I was supposed to be at my Birmingham 2022 workshop tonight at 5pm, but there was no way I would have made it. I had to cancel, and now I’m worried that I may not be allowed back, but I hope I will be.

IMG_0625The tour was pretty incredible, but it’s cost me a lot and I’ve had to sacrifice a lot. I’m very broke right now, as you can imagine. This means (for the first time in five years) I will have to miss the annual Leeds Zombie Film Festival, a tradition I carry out every April. I missed Wrestlemania!, I missed two of my magazine workshops, and may possibly have lost the project. All of that stuff is pretty annoying but it was worth it to see all the things I saw, meet all the people I meet and go to all the places I’ve been. I wouldn’t take it back, but I do think I’d do it differently in the future. But, you live and learn. I’m thinking of doing my own free zombie film festival at our place, so I’ll be sure to post about that if it happens.

I’ve loved the last two weeks but I’m happy to be home for many reasons. I feel clean and fresh, comfortable and relaxed, happy and content. It’s been a crazy roller-coaster ride, but now  it’s time to get back to focusing on all the things I need and want to achieve for the rest of this year. I’d like to once again thank everyone for their support. If you like what you read, create an account and follow this blog. Be sure to check back for more posts upcoming (including the tour photo blog) and share this site to your friends if you think they might like it.

Thanks a lot for reading.

Peace

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Tour Blog #15: Brighton – Waves

IMG_0606Today is the final day of the tour. We are joined by Dan, an old housemate and band mate. The four of us have had an amazing day out in Brighton. We are sitting in a pub called the Prince George. I’m hooked up to The Cloud so I can actually upload this post immediately after it’s been written for a change. I think we can all agree that we don’t really want to go, and it’s not because we don’t want the tour to end. It’s simply because this place is so great. I described it as paradise earlier, and I don’t think I was far off the mark.

As for yesterday. The show at Gigalum Bar in Clapham was pretty average. The crowd was okay, but it wasn’t really the right kind of place for Andy’s brand of music. It was still cool to pass through London though, mostly because we got to stay in Uxbridge with Dan. We had a great catch up and watched movies, viral videos and UFC into the early hours. His house mates were all really great guys too. The hospitality we have been shown on this tour has been incredible and restored my faith in humanity a bit. Yesterday was no different.

IMG_0607When we got to Brighton today, we parked the car and headed off around the town. Every building looks different. It’s such a colourful, beautiful place. That’s just the shops and the stalls. I absolutely have to come back here in the summer for a few days with a few hundred pounds to spare. 3 amazing shirts for £8 – what the fuck!? It’s literally like heaven. When we got out onto the sea front, it was too much. The water, the rocks, the skies. You could easily sit out on the beach for hours and hours getting lost in it’s beauty.

We decided to record a couple of music videos down there near the pier. We got some pretty cool material and had a great time doing it. It’s been really cool last night and today getting the band back together, so to speak, hanging out like old times. The only difference is we aren’t underneath a smoggy sky in a concrete jungle, but breathing in pure air and taking in fascinating and spectacular imagery. So much graffiti, so many crazy fashion trends and a lot of happiness.

Brighton is such a creative and positive place, and this is the impression I’ve got from being here for about four hours. I really, really NEED to come back here this summer. I can’t speak highly enough of the place. Passing through London was cool, but I’ve been there a million times and never felt as fascinated and inspired as I have at times here in Brighton. Tomorrow I will post a final update about tonight’s show at the Pull and Pump, the journey back and what it’s like to be back in our natural habitat

It’s almost over. It’s been a hell of a ride. Thanks for reading.

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Tour Blog #14: London – Clapham Common

IMG_0593I’m riding shotgun in the Fiesta on the M4 into London. I just uploaded yesterday’s blog from Bristol outside a service station using their lightning fast internet. That was written in the early hours of this morning. Some interesting stuff has happened since then, and more importantly, because of one particular thing we did, I have a lot of photos I want to share on the blog. This will be one of the final posts of the tour. After tonight’s show in Clapham, we are going to stay In Uxbridge. Then tomorrow it’s the final date in Brighton. We don’t know whether we will be staying overnight and then coming back Thursday or coming back straight from the show. The person we were supposed to stay with is in France apparently, so that’s thrown a bit of a spanner into the works. No such problems tonight though. We are looking forward to tonight.

Now, on to today. We woke up at a pretty respectable time. Well, it was still morning for a change. I can’t say that sleeping on the floor did my bones any good. They are ageing as it is. After shaking off the aches, we decided to head to Clifton to see the awe inspiring suspension bridge. I’m so glad we did. We are almost in London now with two hours to spare, so it was totally worth the hour or so to go and see it. I took some photos and we had a little smoke up there with James, the guy we stayed with yesterday. Once again, we stayed with someone we had never met, and yet again, he was extremely cool, laid back and fun to be around. We have made so many new friends on this tour. I think that has been the best part of it.

IMG_0588Last night’s show was my personal favourite so far. It was a simply unreal experience. Hanging out with James into the early hours was really fun. Seeing the Clifton Suspension Bridge was humbling. Driving around Stokes Croft taking photos of all the graffiti – Banksy and otherwise – was exhilarating. Now we are driving into Central London ready to embark on one of the last legs of our journey. It’s sad to see it coming to an end. I’m looking forward to being home and things being back to normal, but I know after a few days I’ll be wishing I was back on the road.

Please check back tomorrow to see how things go on the last day of the Brains For Breakfast ‘Work.Rest.Play’ tour. I’ll also be filling you in on how we get on at the London show tonight. Thanks for supporting the music, the label, and this blog with your eyes. Keep reading, and please feel free to comment, question or anything.

Peace!

Tour Blog #13: Bristol – Folk Club

IMG_0582This should have been posted yesterday (Monday) but sadly that wasn’t possible. It should be up tomorrow afternoon (Tuesday) hopefully. It’s coming up to 2am now. I’m watching RAW on the 3G of my iPhone, because I can’t access Wi-Fi here. I’m lying on the floor on top of a sleeping bed and my trust knitted throw. This will be my bed tonight. I’m about to tuck into a hash brown, and then I’m gonna have a fat smoke. I’m all set to settle down and catch the rest of the wrestling.

Today has been pretty awesome. We’ve all really enjoyed Bristol, day and night. We had a great time at The Shed in Leicester last night catching up with everyone at the show. Then it was back to stay with my old housemate Rich. We watched 12 Rounds on Film 4, and then hit the hay to get ready for the epic journey ahead of us today. We needed the sleep for the drive. We woke up and headed straight to the venue: The Nova Scotia Folk Club. With hours to spare before the show, we went for a couple of good walks and took in a lot of the local area.

I noticed a few things about Bristol. There is a whole lot of graffiti all over the place, and a lot of it is really brilliant. You can’t go three seconds without seeing a jogger or a cyclist. There are awesome boats everywhere. I got some food from a Chinese takeaway/Fish and chip shop (something I didn’t know existed) We then headed back to the venue and got seated for what was to be one of the most interesting shows of the tour by far.

IMG_0577The Nova Scotia Folk Club is an excellent community of people who get together at Nova Scotia Hotel for an open mic night upstairs. There are no speakers, no microphones. It’s completely acoustic. Musicians, poets and storytellers are welcome, and all featured in tonight’s event. We saw some of the most fascinating people perform, and met some generous and respectful people. If you’re going to check out the Tour Video when it comes out on YouTube in the hopefully not so distant future, look out for this segment because we will be including some of these performances on there.

We then had a bit of a nightmare trying to get from A to B. This is why the post has been delayed and why I’m writing it now in the early hours of the morning. We left the venue at 11pm and between finding the guys place, parking and walking there with all our stuff, it took us until about 1.15am to actually get there. By the time I was connected and ready to chill, it was 1.30. Oh well, at least I’ve managed to type this bad boy up and I’ll upload it when we get to London tomorrow. If I can’t find Wi-Fi on every corner there, our country really is decades behind Asia.

There will be more to come tomorrow. Only two days left. We are off to Clapham Common in London tomorrow. It should be good to be back in the capital and catch up with an old friend/housemate Dan. We are staying with him in Uxbridge, Middlesex which is a very affluent area by all accounts. Hopefully this means some comfortable conditions. Be sure to check back and follow the blog.

Thanks for all the support!

Check out Brains for Breakfast at http://www.facebook.com/brainsforbreakfastmusic

Tour Blog #12: Leicester – Meeting New People

IMG_0554I’d like to offer my apologies for the short and probably incoherent drunk update from yesterday. I am currently at The Shed in Leicester and we are all set for a pretty epic show tonight. The Beautiful Word are playing, who we met when they played the first show of the tour in Manchester on April 3rd. James Dalby is also playing. We shared a smoke with him after the show he and Andy both played in Nottingham on April 11th. The Beautiful Word are a pretty interesting folk group, definitely worth checking out. James is an acoustic singer-songwriter who recently got 1,000,000 views on YouTube for his cover of ‘Ignition’ by R Kelly. He even appeared in the Daily Mail and on CBS America. It’s gonna be really cool to catch up with these guys.

Last night was very interesting. I was pretty wasted when we arrived at Jess’ but after that I started to sober up rapidly and the night went pretty downhill. We went to a couple of awesome bars: Firebug and The Basement, but none of our hearts were in it. We were all tired from the tour and ready for bed, but we ended up all staying out til the not so early hours. Eventually, we all got about four hours sleep in very comfortable conditions, thanks to our amazing host. The morning was slightly weird though because Jess was at a friend’s, and her new housemate locked us and a random drunk stranger he had brought back in her room, where we had slept. She wasn’t too pleased when she came back and the whole weird experience but a bit of a dampener on the whole evening and morning.

Eventually we left and headed to the venue. We caught City v Chelsea on my phone in the car and in the chippy. I was chuffed to see that we have now reached the FA Cup final once again. Good times! We got here, took a seat and now I’m writing this blog. Rich has come down to join us, and we are expecting a few other people to pop in and check it out. We are very optimistic about tonight’s show. I just hope we can sell some merchandise because we are all very broke at this point. We need that bit of extra to help so hopefully we can get some donations. It’s sure to be a good night either way. We have a good group of our friends coming to hang out, and with so many great acts, the place should fill up quite a lot before start time.

We are staying with Rich tonight and that should involve smoking lots of the beautiful plant and watching wrestling for hours. I am very happy to know that this is how the night will end after the show tonight, after the horrors of unpredictability yesterday. We need to leave fairly early tomorrow afternoon to make the long drive to Bristol, so an earlier, quieter night is most definitely in store. I’ll be through with an update tomorrow!

Peace! Also, sorry if the image quality is as poor as it looks on my laptop right now. Had some technical difficulties!