The New Power Generation – Barry & Angelos Interview

Chris sat down and interviewed the legendary Angelos Epithemiou & Barry From Watford ahead of their June 9th show at the Leadmill Comedy Festival. Their show goes under the name ‘The New Power Generation’ and they promise to identify your weaknesses, expose them in front of everyone and then cure you 100% from whatever rubbish you might have.

In the interview with Chris they discuss how they first met at Mensa, their hypothetical political manifesto and their relationships with the opposite sex. They also chat about Barry’s experience working for the tabloids as well as Angelos’s feelings towards veganism.

Contains some mild cursing.

Buy tickets for Angelos & Barry in Sheffield here:

Listen to Angelos & Barry’s Podcast here:

Dawn Penn Interview – Tramlines 2016

Let me set the scene for you guys. Tramlines 2016, a brisk Saturday morning, I wander down to the main stage and hear the sweet sounds of reggae blasting from Ponderosa park – the legendary reggae singer Dawn Penn and her band are getting ready for their afternoon slot. I meet all round great guy and Sheffield donk pioneer Alex Deadman, who has promised me an interview with the 64 year old singer herself. Alex has never let me down before and today was going to be no exception. I perched myself on a bench next to Dawn in the backstage area and she immediately started chatting about her very own perfume she’d been working on. It’s called The Dawn Penn Experience and despite it not being available publicly (yet, I must add) I had a little smell and I would even go as far as describing it as ‘divine’. Dawn spoke very quickly and jovially, she seemed very at ease chatting away and the conversation soon started flowing…

Chris Arnold: You’ve lived all over the place – New York, London, Jamaica, Virgin Islands…
Dawn Penn: Well I was born in Jamaica, but around the time I became a young adult I moved to Tortola where my Dad’s side of the family was from. But now I keep my whereabouts under lock and key, you got to think about your security!

CA: Is this your first time in Sheffield?
DP: Maybe I came here a long, long, long, long time ago. Because You Don’t Love Me No More was a hit back in 1994, I was touring a lot, was even on Top of The Pops.

CA: Nice! What was doing Top of the Pops like?
DP: I think I was in a dream world, I was so glad to be there. You know it’s always exciting to be on a TV show like that. It was a great experience.

I considered asking her if she remembered who presented the episode she appeared but then thought better of it in case it lead us down a Dave Lee Travis/Jimmy Savile conversation path. Although after doing some research I found out that Vic & Bob presented the episode Dawn appeared on! What a party that would have been.

CA: I want to ask you really quickly about the music industry, do you feel it’s improved over the years? Got worse?
DP: Oh my, well I have a song called Never Hustle The Music, because that what’s happened to me in the industry. The main thing about this business, and some people might called it ‘a dirty business’, is that you have to really PR & market your brand, your product. It makes you try to hook up yourself with people that do that kind of work, and it’s not cheap! That’s what it entails and every 10 years it all changes. Ultimately you have to remember that it’s about the music, and the music connects you with people.

CA: I hear you work a lot with your son, is that correct?
DP: Yeah my son and I run a label called Da Beat. I was signed to Big Beat Atlantic back in 1994, and I just get the idea that I’m going to call my label Da Beat, the ‘Da’ stands for Dawn. My son just graduated with his business law degree, he thinks money, he lives money, he dreams money! He says he’s a strategist but he very much keeps me on my toes. He is an artist as well and has a lot of very good songs, plus he’s been to school in Jamaica, the US and UK so he can do a lot of different styles. He thinks family members shouldn’t work together, but I think if you have your family together with you in a business you can be stronger. I like the idea of ‘so&so and sons’, like Mumford & Sons!

We then chuckled for a few minutes debating whether Mumford & Sons are actually a family business. Upon doing further research I can confirm that nobody in that band is related. What a con.

CA: You seen very busy at the moment, What have you been up to recently?
DP: Well I did a video in Mexico you know! I can’t tell you when it’s coming out though, even though I have it in my bag, watch out for it coming out soon though.

CA: To finish us off as I know you need to go and get ready for your set – you’ve been performing for quite some time now, do you still enjoy it as much as you do when you started?
DP: When I started I didn’t really know what it was, but now I can see why it’s so necessary to me – I get to see the world for free, I live in hotels but I love it. It’s funny when I was younger and in Jamaica I couldn’t travel at all, I would start to puke. But now I can happily travel all the way to Australia! And then stopping in Hong Kong, Dubai, wherever! And I’ve been to Hawaii, that was very nice, I got up very early to see the sunrise, it’s all good.

CA: It’s all good indeed! Thanks for taking time out to chat Dawn.
DP: Thanks for having me.

Dawn & Chris
© Jenn McCambridge

For those who caught Dawn at Tramlines this year will know already that she was certainly a weekend highlight. If you get the chance to go and see her, make sure you pop on down, fantastic voice and fantastic show woman.

Thanks to Alex, Nicola and James at the Tramlines Promo Office for hooking me up! Go grab a ticket for Tramlines 2017 while they’re hot!

Cool Beans X

Three Years Of Beaning!

So Cool Beans is reaching the ripe old age of 3 years this autumn, something that we are all genuinely surprised at and impressed with. It’s fair to say we’ve come a long way since our inaugural show at the Raynor Lounge back in October 2011, in which the highlight of that event was a Twister mat and blue monkey costume. A very long way indeed.

Cool Beans has become a festival touring, tour-booking, podcast-producing, video-making, bean-enchilada-baking, party-starting Sheffield-based institution. 2013 really has been special – the sounds of the Beans have been heard in places as far as the Scottish Highlands, the French Alps, Glastonbury Festival, the Edinburgh Fringe and more recently the naked-party island of Ibiza.

First and foremost – a huge THANK YOU to anyone who’s come to any of our shows, listened to any of our podcasts, booked any of our acts or simply complimented Ham Pocket on one of their lacklustre performances. It means a huge amount, your support is what keeps Cool Beans going and without you this whole operation would be one lonely man typing nonsense on the internet.

In celebrating 3 years of Cool Beans, we’ve made a new mix, a new podcast and are putting on a massive party!

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Now, earlier this year we put on the incredible King Porter Stomp at the Riverside. The mood and atmosphere in venue that night was frankly unbelievable, and we knew that we had to return at some point – what better occasion then than our 3rd birthday celebrations.

So without further ado, here’s what we have planned..

We are extremely proud to be bringing the mighty Hackney Colliery Band to Sheffield for the FIRST TIME EVER! You may have heard this 9-piece brass extravaganza on BBC 6Music with Craig Charles and Huey Morgan, you may have spotted them on stage as part of the Olympics Closing Ceremony last year, you may have caught them blowing the roof off a festival tent in a field somewhere or even caught a DJ spinning their phenomenal takes on Toto’s ‘Africa’ or Blackstreet’s ‘No Diggity’.

Wherever or whenever you’ve heard them the breadth of musical talent is clearly on display in their eclectic repertoire. Mining nuggets of funk, hip-hop and high-octane rock from the musical coalface and throwing in a few chunks of Balkan brass, ska and contemporary jazz for good measure, the Hackney Colliery Band’s setlist is as diverse as the London borough that gave them their name. Add the fact that the band stays true to its roots by bringing the tradition of mobile marching bands firmly into the 21st Century and you know that every gig’s sure to be unique.

Whether playing to a global audience of hundreds of millions or to a few hundred in a club, you can be certain of one thing: this is high-energy, good-time music that’ll make you want to move your feet.

Plainly and simply – this is the perfect headline act in rounding off 3 years of eclectic good times party music.

As main support we have enlisted the funky sounds of Dexter Dextrous & his band of merry men. They’ve been taking their energetic show all over the UK this year and their Cool Beans appearance in fact marks the first show of their Autumn Tour.

Their latest video “Devil Drives” is also a perfect, pre-Halloween warm up. Expect a raucous set of funk, swing, ska & soul!

Another Cool Beans debut, very happy to be welcoming the fresh, new, exciting delights of the Bone Lab. They claim to be the best Funk/Rap/Dance/Blues/Drone/Folk/RnB band in the world. Get down early and find out yourself!

Early evening entertainment courtesy of two of our favourite acoustic artists. The soulful, jazz-esque stylings of Jack Athey followed by the skill-full, finger-picking sounds of Andrew Duxfield. Absolutely delightful!

+ Poetry from Lonesome Dom
+ DJ sets from Thirsty Ear, Soulful Sally & us!

6PM – 1AM
£4 before 8PM – £6 afterwards
The Riverside, Mowbray Street

So there you go. It would be an honour and a pleasure if you would all join us for a massive evening of dancing, sweating and swancing (the ultimate combination of dancing and sweating).

No advance tickets for this one, show up early to guarantee entry. Last one with King Porter Stomp was a sellout!

Much love and thanks again for the good times,

Cool Beans. xx