Tuesday, October 06, 2009

19 September 2009: The Wildhearts + Black Spiders + No Americana - Rock City, Nottingham, England, UK

First support was provided by No Americana; 4 young fellas, sounded alright, not really my bag though. The second support act was Black Spiders; loved this lot, whiffs of Sacred Reich, Motorhead and AC/DC which is meant as a compliment, rocked hard and heavy without resorting to the just-need-to-be-fast-to-be-heavy angle - highly recommended. They’re supporting The Answer (a.k.a. poor man’s Black Crowes) soon and I might go along just to catch the Black Spiders.

Rock City had filled up by this stage and I’d guess wasn’t far short, if at all, of being a sellout. It’s great to see people coming out for The Wildhearts once again after a brief lull in their apparent popularity (or marketing)...[more]

Friday, June 26, 2009

19 June 2009: Southside Festival 2009 - Neuhausen ob Eck, Germany

Thursday 18th June

Arrived in Zweibrucken to beautiful sunshine and a beautiful smiley face of my friend Iris who was picking me up and driving me to Saarbrucken where I was to spend the rest of the day in her garden eating cherries straight from the tree and annoying her cat with a long/thin stick. Later the same day we had a lovely dinner at a rather picturesque local old brewery come restaurant where I was introduced to...[more]

Thursday, June 18, 2009

11 June 2009: Eastfield + Garden Gang + Paul Carter + Chris Butler - Victoria Inn, Derby, England, UK

It was much later than I had anticipated when I arrived at Derby's Victoria Inn and I was dreading missing the first artist but, a bit of good fortune for me, it was much later than anticipated when Chris Butler appeared on the stage at about 20:30 and consequently I managed to catch all of his set.

Less fortunately, Chris's set had to be cut short to fit all of the acts onto the bill. This meant that we only got four tracks. But, oh, what tracks they were.

Chris is a folk-punk-protest singer and his songs are story-telling...[more]

Thursday, June 11, 2009

29 April 2009: The Sizzling Gypsies - The Enterprise, Camden, London, England, UK

Fortunately for the 30-40 foot-tapping music loving audience in the Enterprise last night, 5 males have been drinking gallons of the stuff.

Raucous vocals, drooling riffs and boundless energy were the first impressions I got from The Sizzling Gypsies. Put these traits together with an ability to write and perform huge songs and it seems all the ingredients are in place. Granted, I’ve only known of the band for roughly 48 hours through my friend Kev who has known the members of the band for several years, but having witnessed 30 minutes of material last night it’s easy to get pretty excited....[more]

Thursday, May 28, 2009

24 May 2009: The Specials - Millennium Square, Leeds, England, UK

Young and old skankers alike turned out in force on Sunday, to welcome legendary Two Tone ska band The Specials back to Leeds. After a thirty-year absence, Terry Hall marked the Millennium Square leg of the group’s long-awaited reunion tour by apologising for “taking so long to come back”. All was forgiven though, as the diverse congregation of contented cider-infused spectators (save for the few miniature offspring of original ska aficionados) were just thrilled to be present on such a momentous day.

The absence of Jerry Dammers prompted the question of whether relations are quite what they once were in the rude boy camp, however the evening was not sullied by this one exception and the remaining members-Terry Hall, Lynval Golding, Neville Staple, Roddy Byers, Horace Panter and John Bradbury-performed as passionately and energetically as they did back in 1976, when they first notably Rocked Against Racism...[more]

Thursday, May 07, 2009

06 May 2009: Ginger + Laika Dog + Dear Superstar - Seven, Nottingham, England, UK

When Junktion 7 closed down at the end of last year I feared for the future of live music in Nottingham. Thankfully, somebody saw sense and rebooted the venue and here I am back at, the renamed, Seven for another Ginger gig.

Other than the name, nothing much else has changed, and the venue remains probably the best small venue in the city.

For once, due to unprecedented levels of organisation, a little luck and deliberately ignoring the fact that the Champions League semi-final second leg was on the Telly, I found myself in the venue before the first band had started.

Dear Superstar were enthusiastic, slick and...[more]

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

21 March 2009: Re-Play Music Festival - The Grove Tavern, Wimbledon, London, England, UK

Some days are better than others and last Saturday was one of the better days. I’d go as far as to quote Lou Reed “Just a perfect day, problems all left alone”.

That bright and warm thing in the sky that you kids call the sun was beaming down relentlessly which is most unusual but very welcome after months of simply miserable weather. The only problem with these early sunny days is the pasty white legs and spare tires on show. Although this is a small problem, catching a sight of the offending body parts can be blinding if the sun reflects from them at a particular angle.

So, after deciding not to venture outside preferring the comfort of my friends sofa, I settled down for a 7hrs non stop Rugby. Yes folks, I am one of those people who howl at the TV set.

Sun gone, Rugby over, yours truly well satisfied with the results, it was time to put on some slap and go out. The Idea was to go to this gig at a pub not far from my friend’s gaff, where I spend most of my weekends. I only intended to see one...[more]

28 January 2009: God Is an Astronaut + i concur - Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, London, England, UK

It was on a typical Wednesday evening in the big smoke of London town. The usual cold, wet and miserable weather playing havoc with ones hair and make-up. Something was certainly in the air. A mixture of happy excitement and tension. Tension due to finding myself running late to a venue 5 minutes walk from my gaff. Excitement because I was about to go see God is an Astronaut.

After the said 5 minutes walk, wearing some killer boots which I shall incinerate later, I got to the venue:Hoxton Bar and Kitchen. The usual bouncer at the door recognized me at once and we exchanged pleasantries before going into this good old trusted venue which hasn’t changed much since it opened and with all due respect it needs some updating and better lighting. It is after all used by the "happening" crowd who wants to be seen and...[more]

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

14 March 2009: ColouringIN - Club Motherf**ker DEAD!, Barden's Boudoir, London, England, UK

This was going to be a two act, double review of Rex the Dog -a great and well known DJ- and Colouring In - a breaking act pushing to establish a new sound.

But on arriving at Club Motherf**ker in Stoke Newington for its final monthly party, the black board on the street announced that Rex would not be appearing due to a bout of Dog flu.

Undeterred I still paid my six quid, and one beer later ColouringIN front...[more]

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

09 March 2009: Gold Future Joy Machine - Star, Bethnal Green, London, England, UK

East London is known most, in musical terms at least, for its role in evolving UK dance music in particular its history of british Hip hop, Grime and Ragga. However a new sound is also evolving in Hackney estates below the radar that maybe has as much to do with Grunge guitars as it does the bleeps and glitsches of Beau Grime or Shoreditch Electro.

Gold Future Joy Machine are a sonic wrecking ball five piece that electrified The Star of Bethnal Green last night, and are the undisputed kings and queens of this new sound. Taking to the stage in rugged monochrome their opening song was called "Sons and daughters". It sounded like J-Dilla being torn apart by the entire past and present roster of the sub-pop label. A brilliant opener. Frontman Johnny Kenton's...[more]