• Thump Thump Thump Thump

    4 Abr 2012, 12:13

    Tue 3 Apr – Shearwater, Julie Doiron, My Sad Captains

    Oh dear. I didn't expect this. After two glorious previous experiences of Shearwater live, the last thing I expected was RAWK. The beautiful voice is still there of course - but apart from perhaps 3 songs of blessed relief the songs were submerged in meat-and-potatoes drumming leading arrangements that did them no favours.

    Julie Doiron was charming, and thoroughly enjoyable.
  • Sons of Noel and Adrian

    4 Sep 2008, 19:39

    Wed 3 Sep – Sons of Noel and Adrian, Stanton Delaplane, Blacklands (Al Murphy)

    Real serendipity from last.fm here. Wednesday evening I play football. It's that simple, and there's no question about it. Unfortunately, and inexplicably, many of the best gigs in London are also on a Wednesday night.

    This week though, the hall was shut. Couldn't play football, but it also seemed to be the one Wednesday with no decent gigs either...

    So, Tuesday night, late, I'm listening to the music like Woodpigeon station. Because they're playing at the Luminaire on Saturday, I'm out of town, the Luminaire mailout's blurb sounds interesting, and I want to know what I'm missing. (And I like what I hear of Woodpigeon too). But anyway, an hour or so down the line, a pretty decent track comes on by Sons of Noel and Adrian. Who are utterly unfamiliar to me. Their artist page tells me they are playing at a pub 2km away the next night. So what the hell - I round up a friend, and check it out...

    and blimey - they are very very good. 11 people on a small stage. Drums/percussion, cello. violin, flute, clarinet, trumpet, bass guitar, guitar/vocal x 2, banjo/mandolin, accordion. Many of them sing at various times. Obvious sonic comparisons with Sufjan Stevens and Tunng. A Will Oldham cover. The songs aren't catchy, but they're gripping. Reminds me of seeing Lullaby For The Working Class in the mid 90s - more people than feasibly fit on stage, a feeling of coming across something wonderful by pure chance, the interplay of a range of interesting instruments - but each only when it has something to say.

    Two decent supports too. And the first gig I've ever been to with cupcakes on sale at the door.
  • X-Ray Spex/Killjoys ? Spring/Summer 1977

    19 Feb 2008, 22:17

    Can't find any gigography referring to this - but it took place before I went back to Canada on holiday in July, and it was a hot night. So May, June or July.

    In the late spring of '77 a whole new live circuit sprung up in south west London. There were punk gigs in unlikely venues in hitherto quiet suburbs such as Twickenham and Teddington. It didn't last long, usually because of some kind of violent incident, but perhaps the most incongrous venue of all was the Railway Inn in Putney. A big old pub, it was filled with a collection of stuffed animals (not toys - taxidermy) in glass cases. Hares, foxes, otters, badgers. Which added an element of surreality to the evening.

    Two memories remain of The Killjoys. The big guy in a floor length leather coat, entirely inappropriate to the conditions. Wondering how he didn't melt. A few years later he became well known, Kevin Rowland, in Dexy's Midnight Runners. What impressed me most was a scream from a girl backing singer. It went on and on, and sounded like she was going to make herself sick. The song, Naive later turned up on the B side of their single Johnny Won't Get To Heaven, but on record the scream was mixed so far back it was easy to miss.

    X-Ray Spex were 40 minutes of sheer excitement. All the energy and pizazz of their records, doubled or tripled. 2 minute songs, wild honking saxophone, great tunes.

    And, perhaps to my shame, it was even more exciting because during the gig I was invited to go and take part in a big rumble with Teds, on the King's Road the following weekend. I had no interest in fighting Teds (or anybody else), although I later got a lot of practice in running away from them, but it was nice to be asked. I didn't look like a punk - my hair was over my collar - but being there was enough to establish credentials.
  • Ramones/Talking Heads/Saints - June 1977

    12 Feb 2008, 22:24

    Inspired by some of my friend's fascinating journals, I'm going to try to dredge up some memories of gigs past...

    As far as I can figure out from the www, it was June 5th 1977. The gig that I’ve ever since accounted my best ever. I can’t remember who all went. I know Dave H did, because I remember how the sweat roiled an inch deep in the back of his Morris Minor on the way home. But all of us who took up punk gigs at the time wouldn’t have possibly fit in – so probably three of John, Jay, Steve & Simon were there.

    What else do I remember? Hearing Rock Lobster for the first time, over the PA. The Saints (their first UK gig) looking like a bunch of oiks, but making a phenomenal noise. Talking Heads (who we knew only because Love Goes To Building On Fire was on the compilation “New Wave”) stunning the audience into rapt attention, despite being in no way punk (as we understood it). But most of all, the succession of songs that started 1-2-3-4 and lasted for an eternity in less than 2 minutes. The whole set lasted less than 40 minutes, but had the intensity to account for 3 times the length. The Gabba Gabba Hey flag (I’d seen the film Freaks for the first time only a few weeks before, so felt particularly at one with the Gabba-Gabba-We-Accept-You mindset).
    The Ramones at their peak. I saw them several more times, and it was always great. But never again reached that height.
  • Mountain Goats

    5 Ago 2006, 21:16

    Saw the Mountain Goats at the Old Blue Last in Hoxton Thursday night, and it was very marvellous. Don't understand how I've managed to never see them live before. Several songs from te forthcoming album, several from the Sunset Tree plus a The Chiffons cover (One Fine Day) and a couple of classics (No Children, Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton).

    I first heard of the Mountain Goats at a Herman Dune gig in another pub not far away a few years ago. The Dune played a song which they announced as "Monkey Song" - a Mountain Goats cover. It caused me a lot of confusion - because, as it turned out, it was a joke (a homage perhaps) - thay played their own Monkey Song (as released on Mash Concrete Metal Mushroom) and not a cover. But by the time I'd figured that out, I'd become familiar with (and a rabid fan of) the Mountain Goats. Long may they run.
  • Salvador Duran photo

    24 Abr 2006, 15:41

    I've put a photo of the remarkable Salvador Duran up to be voted (or improved) upon. He was special guest at the Calexico / Iron & Wine show last night, and showed us some powerful mariachi style vocals, clever vocal percussion, the best farmyard animal impersonations I've ever heard, and a great pair of trousers!
  • Akron/Family 21-4-06 The Spitz

    21 Abr 2006, 23:27

    Akron/Family - the good bits were very very good.



    There were moments of bliss tonight where this seemed like one of the best gigs I've ever seen. In the end, the set was too long (especially the freeform feedback freakout sections) for that - but still - top 10%, great fun, and highly recommended.
  • It's all happening in May!

    15 Abr 2006, 18:53

    I've got tickets now for the London gigs:

    4th Merz
    8th Okkervil River
    9th Fiery Furnaces
    11th Edward Ball
    15th CocoRosie
    18th Tapes 'n Tapes
    19th Decemberists
    23rd Not exactly sure who's really playing.. the venue website says The Microphones, but the CftPA website says Casiotone for the Painfully Alone. Both agree that Mount Eerie are on the bill.
    25th Handsome Family

    and there are still 6 weeks for further temptations to be placed in front of me...
  • Deerhoof 27-3-06 The Scala

    29 Mar 2006, 23:27

    Better than I'd hoped, charming and thoroughly entertaining - it was a privilege to see Deerhoof Monday night. Hadn't realised from the recordings what excellent musicians they are. And the self-indulgence/pretension I'd feared simply wasn't there.

    Well.. there was plenty of both - but it was support group Wilderness which featured them. I hadn't heard of them before (and am surprised to see how many listeners they have here on Last.fm). The music was highly reminiscent of Joy Division but without tunes, and with some bloke shouting randomly.

    First support Brown Owl were more palatable - an instrumental trio from Leeds playing what I imagine to be math rock. They seemed like really nice guys and the music was tolerable, without pulling up any trees.

    A thoroughly enjoyable night - and the Deerhoof live experience is highly recommended
  • Derailroaded

    27 Feb 2006, 23:38

    Back this evening from seeing the Wild Man Fischer documentary "Derailroaded". A sad story, but a really enjoyable film for anyone with as much as a passing interest in Larry. I didn't know he'd sung a duet with Rosemary Clooney!

    Interesting footage of Frank Zappa too