Tuesday, 25 February 2014

20/8/2007 Another rant: London Transport/Tubelines ruin YET ANOTHER night out!

SubjectAnother rant: London Transport/Tubelines ruin YET ANOTHER night out!

So right now, instead on sitting here at my PC (which I spend far too much time doing already) I should be at the Soho Revue Bar, or on my way home having seen Girlschool (or some members of) playing a short set along with various other bands to play tribute to their late guitarist Kelly Johnson. I rushed home from work, grabbed something to eat, got ready, and headed off for the gig - stopping to raid the cashpoint and and off licence on the way as I wanted a couple of 'liveners' to drink on the way to avoid being ripped off at the venue's bar. (I've been there before). So I take my seat on the tube, crack open my first can and wait for the train to leave. And Wait. And wait... And then wait some more. An announcement says there is a 'Signal failure'. What's new? I wait.... Over half an hour later and the train still hasn't moved. Ever get that deja vu feeling? Eventually, another announcement says the service is suspended. We are told we will have to get off the train and get on a bus. Of course, there is no bus outside. And our Oyster cards have already been charged for the maximum length tube journey. That's OK though, 'cos we can get a refund at the ticket office. Only it's never fucking open. Fifteen minutes later there is still no sign of a bus, and I realise that even if one turned up now I'd still be so late it still wouldn't be worth bothering going as I'd arrive so late! I finish off my first can of livener - it was wasted. Unfortunately, I wasn't.

I cut my losses and walk back home. Yet another night out ruined by London's fucking useless public transport system. 

Sorry to those who were expecting to meet me at the gig. I did go - I just didn't get further than quarter of a mile from home after about an hour's trying.

To all my subscribers and other readers - I will catch up on blogging the four other gigs/bands I've seen since last Wednesday - I'm just not in the mood right now, and some sleep would be a good idea as I should have been in bed over an hour ago and only got three or four hours sleep before a day at work today...

15/8/2007 The Pleasures @ the Bull & Gate

SubjectThe Pleasures @ the Bull & Gate

So, the final band on this terrific Pure Rawk promoted show at the Bull & Gate. I checked out videos of the two bands on the bill that were new to me beforehand: Plastic Toys seemed the most promising from what I saw, but turned out to be the least exciting (although still good) band of the night. I wasn't that impressed with the Pleasures effort and wasn't particularly looking forward to seeing them...
They turned out to be the biggest surprise of the night and were bloody amazing!
Imagine the original New York Dolls lineup (only much better musicians) fronted by Alice Cooper (only a better singer) and you'd be getting close. It has to be said that the Dolls had (and still have) better songs, but what a show The Pleasures gave us!
They played really well - a proper band, not just an image and big stage show. These guys can really play and were very tight.
Their performance was totally over the top - and gloriously so! Their cover of The Sweet's 'Ballroom Blitz' was particularly good.
This lot were as camp as the New York Dolls or Kiss, but rocked harder - this was a well drilled unit who knew exactly what they were doing, and they did it really well.
Glam rock really doesn't come any more 'Glam' than this. It may not be to everyone's taste - not even mine normally, but I defy anyone not to be thoroughly entertained by the Pleasures.
There are quite a few bands doing this sort of thing at the moment, but this lot just seem to do it that much better. Normally, this sort of band seem to be somewhat tongue-in-cheek and ironic - or take themselves too seriously and end up looking rather tragic. Can the 'irony' and 'tongue-in-cheek' factors be ruled out as this band are actually German? Or maybe that's why they do it so well - precisely (well Germans are precise) because they don't see it from that angle at all? Whatever it is - just stand back and allow yourself to be entertained and the Pleasures will do precisely that. After being slightly dubious beforehand, this band won me over and I'm really looking forward to seeing them again.
This famous London venue closed for live music in 2013.

15/8/2007 Patchwork Grace @ the Bull & Gate

SubjectPatchwork Grace @ the Bull & Gate

Having seen Patchwork Grace a couple of times before and been impressed, I was certainly looking forward to seeing them again - they didn't disappoint!
Many bands claim to be unique or different from all the other bands on 'their' particular scene - but very few actually are.
Patchwork Grace really stand out as something a bit special - far less derivative than the other bands on the sleaze/glam scene.
There are shades of Garbage pop and Queen Adreena metallic edge in their sound, mixed in with a glam/sleaze rock image, but in a way that makes them really stand out from all the other clones on the scene.
They have their own charisma and when the hit the stage you feel you are watching a real performance, rather than just another band trotting out their songs.
They are one of those bands that grab your attention and keep you looking to see what is going to happen next - this is a real rock show!
I thoroughly enjoyed this band's set and felt like it was worth the admission price for their set on it's own, although to be fair it was such a good bill that I could say that about any of the bands on the bill - really terrific value for money from Pure Rawk at only a fiver on the door! 
And even after a highly entertaining set from Patchwork Grace there was still another band to follow...

The Bull & Gate stopped hosting live music in 2013.

15/8/2007 Plastic Toys @ the Bull & Gate

SubjectPlastic Toys @ the Bull & Gate

This was one of the bands on tonight's Pure Rawk bill that were new to me - I'd heard of them but knew nothing about them so I didn't really know what to expect. The drummer was wearing headphones, which I didn't find an encouraging sign.  They turned out to actually be rather good at what they do and played well, although I wasn't very keen on all the samples and/or DAT sounds going on - I can never help but wonder when I see a band relying on this sort of thing what they would sound like without all the tecnology and would they be deadly dull or just very average without it?
Plastic Toys seem decent enough musicians, but behind all the image and effects I felt this was definitely least exciting actual performance of the four bands on the bill.
I did find myself enjoying their set more than I expected, but they were rather 'emo' for my tastes and I certainly wouldn't go and see them again, although I dare say I'll end up watching them sharing a bill with some other bands I like again sooner or later.
This venue closed for live music in 2013.

15/8/2007 Kitty Hudson @ the Bull & Gate

SubjectKitty Hudson @ the Bull & Gate

I'm going to split this Pure Rawk show into four seperate blogs as it's just going to be too long and have too many pictures otherwise. I think this is the first Pure Rawk promoted show at the Bull & Gate, but it turned out to be a cracker! 
There was a respectable turnout for a Wednesday night in Kentish Town and the atmosphere was good in the venue - lots of familiar faces! I was only familar with two of the four bands on the bill and wasn't expecting too much from the other two, but I was pleasantly surprised. I'd have happilly paid the money just to see Kitty Hudson and Patchwork Grace so anything else was a bonus!

Kitty Hudson kicked off the night's proceedings and were taking no prisoners with their new lineup.
I've got to admit I miss seeing previous drummer Lou's hair flailing about, but the current band with their extra guitarist are a tight lineup with a load of great songs. 
I was also really pleased to hear them throw in their great cover of Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers 'I Wanna Be Loved' - a song they don't play so much these days.
It's always great to see this band when they make the trip up from south of the river - hopefully now the new lineup is settling in they will be doing it more often.

PS: This venue no longer has live music.

Monday, 24 February 2014

13/8/2007 I don't like Mondays...

SubjectI don’t like Mondays...
PostedDate8/12/2007 6:12:00 PM

What could be worse the 'Friday the 13th'?

Monday the 13th. 

Back to work and the so called 'real world' - there has to be a better way...

Actually, I know there is, but it involves being skint - which means not being able to go to gigs, meet my friends, have a few drinks, etc. Not an option really.

"Only rock 'n' roll can save us now Batman!"

Maybe so - but it's been doing a piss-poor job recently!

Blue monday - how I hate Blue Monday. 

9/8/2007 Zodiac Mindwarp & Neon Diamond

SubjectZodiac Mindwarp & Neon Diamond

Yet another two gigs in one night scenario. Fortunately, both venues are only yards apart which is great.  Not so great is that the first band go on about an hour late - seemingly buggering up my plans once again... 

This is the second time I've seen Zodiac Mindwarp And The Love Reaction at the Intrepid Fox. The last time it was absolutely rammed! It was certainly less so this time, but that's what normally happens after a show which was a rare event the first time round, but not so much the second time - and also it being August a lot of people are away - as I found out with my band last week.  I couldn't get any decent pictures at all last time this band played here, but tonight I already have a nice position at the front when the band take to the stage.
Where I am standing the sound is really good, and as I also get a great view I enjoy the show a lot more than last time.  Another plus point is that in spite of the August heat (yes - at last!) the pub's air-con makes it very comfortable upstairs.
All the 'hits' you'd expect are played - 'Backseat Education', 'Fucked By Rock', and of course 'Prime Mover', along with some newer songs like 'Lucille'.
Once again the band finish with a great version of Thin Lizzy's 'The Rocker' - a song which suits this band really well and lets Cobalt Stargazer make his way out into the crowd during the solo and play from the back of the room. Naturally, the audience love this!

The band are all superb musicians, and combined with a great sound and quality frontman this all makes for a really enjoyable show.

The World's most evil looking bass guitar?

Unfortunately, things are cut short slightly by a monitor lead or something coming disconnected - but everybody seems to have had a really good time all the same. 

Then I nip off smartly round the corner to the 12 Bar Club just in case there is a chance of catching Neon Diamond - who were actually due on stage over 45 minutes ago. Fortunately, for once the Gods of Rock are on my side and they haven't even started yet! This is the first time I've had the chance to see this band, and I don't think I catch them on a good night.  The sound isn't very good and they are plagued by technical problems.  Frontman Mark breaks a guitar string early on and his request to borrow a guitar falls on deaf ears. He carries on without his guitar, and eventually a friend manages to change the offending string and returns it to him - but it's out of tune.  The band never really recover from these setbacks, although the last two or three songs sound quite strong.
The band are obviously not having a good night, but even allowing for that I think I prefer Mark's other band Bubblegum Screw.

5/8/2007 Eyelash @ the Barfly

SubjectEyelash @ the Barfly
PostedDate8/5/2007 2:33:00 PM

After seeing Eyelash a while ago with JOANovARC at Hertford Marquee I've been wanting to see them again, but circumstances have always conspired against me.  I went to see another band at the Dublin Castle recently and was pleased to discover on arrival that Eyelash were on the bill as well - but unfortunately I had to leave to see to see some friends playing at another gig before Eyelash took to the stage.  No such problems at the Barfly tonight though.

Although I'm not very familiar with their material, I was once again very impressed by this band. They sound much heavier than you would expect if you judged them by appearance - but anyone can be heavy - it's easy. What really made them stand out was the quality of musicianship - not just as individual musicians, but the way they play together so tightly as a band - Fe is not only excellent at fronting a band, but also has an excellent voice along with startling stage presence. This is a band where no one seems to stand out from the others and everyone seems to blend in perfectly - while at the same time being a vital part of the band's sound.
Ru is very good technically as a guitarist, but without being flash and over the top as is often the case.

Sophie has a far heavier and more dynamic sound than most bass players, while at the back Flow pounds at the drums in a very tight and sharp display of power.
I'll certainly be going to see them again - in spite of...

The only downer of the show was one of their fans being a bit of a twat - there's usually one isn't there?  He was obviously well pissed up and threw himself around the place with a couple of his mates in what looked rather like attention seeking behaviour - falling over several times and crashing into people who just wanted to watch the band - instead of him I'm sure he was particularly annoying to a photographer who as he was on the guestlist must have been there with the band's blessing to take pictures of them. 'Superfan' managed to barge into him - and even deliberately got in his way when he was trying to work and pranced about in front holding his hand in front of the camera lens on purpose.   I guess a band can't pick their fans, and maybe this guy isn't always such a moron, but even the band started to look embarassed at his antics eventually.  I've just realised - I've just spent as long talking about one idiot as I have about the band themselves!  I'll not include a picture containing him - I think he's had more than enough attention already.