Category Archives: Gigs

Yet another Annual Review of 2015

Really, I’m not big on lists, music criticism, reflection or history. Yet for some perverse reason I’ve posted Annual Best of posts pretty much since I started this blogging thing. The main reason being it compensates for poor memory. In doing this list I had to check my calendar and a pocket of receipts to verify what I’ve done over the last 12 months. Shocking isn’t it, age is catching up with me, living in the moment is the only option.

This years version is split over live & recorded. I’ve not included any musical purchases of music not released this year (unless indicated or where I’ve cheated). I’ve also cut back on the critique in relation to the recorded stuff, theres column inches of that self absorption out there. Lists and best off are just examples of the bubble that the commentator lives in, my aim if any above aid-memoire is to guide you dear reader to somethings that may have not burst your bubble. Also, don’t look for chronology or ratings, I’m not responsible enough for that. So, lets start with gigs, these chronologically listed.

British Sea Power - Derby Theatre

Jan 10th – British Sea Power – Derby Theatre

More intrigue than fandom. This was the tour where they played with a Brass Band. I only really knew their first two albums which I recall liking. The concept worked well when it gelled but I did find some of the orchestrated parts shoe horned in. Worth a look though.

J Mascis - The Rescue Rooms 2015

Jan 16th – J Mascis – Rescue Rooms

Slacker Prince of Shred. I’ve seen him a dozen times but never solo. A great way to start the year especially as it wasn’t that packed and I got to stand front & centre. He played a great selection of tunes from his not insubstantial song book. The treat though was up close view of his loop building on the fly. I would always jump at a chance to see J.

JAMC - Rock City

Feb 22nd – JAMC – Rock City

The first time I’ve seen these. Like many bands they were on a ‘play x album back to back’ Rock City was absolutely rammed and the sound was monstrous as you’d expect as they slowly pushed past 11. The album was Psycho Candy which to be fair is a great album, the first half of the show was best of the rest which I think I preferred.

Hookworms - Rescue Rooms

March 22nd – Hookworms – Rescue Rooms

These Sheffield boys share a label with some local bands so have played here before. They work on the long near drone punctuated by great melodies and a flying vocalist. Definitely worth a visit and really enjoyable event.

Wire - rescue Rooms

April 22nd – Wire – Rescue Rooms

Another band that I’ve enjoyed over the years but never seen live. This was a standout surprise of a gig. They played almost entirely new material and it held my attention throughout. They walk their own groove, a little like Hookworms with long limited chord songs but great dynamic and masterful sonics. A highlight of the year.

Nick Cave - RCH Nottingham

April 30th – Nick Cave – RCH

This came with a lot of loaded expectation. One of my favourite artists who I’ve seen several times over the years. The last time he played the Royal Concert Hall was on another ‘Nick Cave’ solo tour with the proto Grinderman line up. That was ‘intimate’. This was expansive. A near full Bad Seeds line up, lots of pretty lights and long long show. Cave is the king of stage craft, interacting with the audience, chatty light and full of jokes. And the songs are immense and played to perfection. Not just gig of the year but in the list of best evers.

Grey Hairs

June 19th – Prolapse / Grey Hairs – The Maze

I was attracted to this by the support band, local grunge paddlers Grey Hairs. They released their debut LP this year which is jolly excellent. They gave good gig on the small stage in the Maze. I think I missed Prolapse first time around. A post MBV/Curve/Slowdive shoe gaze band with added regional kitchen sink drama. It was good.

Ex Easter Island Heads

July 25th – Ex-Easter Island Heads – BoHunk Inst

I missed these when they played in 2014 so was keen to make sure to see them this time around. They play electric guitars, lain flat and in odd tunings by variously hitting them with batons & sticks. Invariably long tunes building on rhythm and repetition. It’s very hypnotic especially in a small gallery venue when you are standing at arms length from the performers. Look them up on Bandcamp. Worth a listen I guarantee.

Mike Watt

Sept 10th – CUZ – The Maze

CUZ are Sam Dook and ace of bass Mike Watt. Again great to see them in a small venue like the Maze and managed to chat with Mike a little before the gig. They played a hybrid pop, rock, world music set. Very diverse and quite unlike the album they had recently produced when played live. Watt is a master though and worth seeing in any setting. Apparently the last time he played Nottingham was with J Mascis & the Fog which I saw. Forever ago.

King Crimson BSH

Sept 14th – King Crimson – Birmingham Symphony Hall

Another gig proceeded by huge anticipation. KC don’t tour often and hadn’t played in the UK for several years. Now a seven piece band with three drummers and decades of incredible complex music to draw from. Unlike Cave they have no interaction with the audience. A pre-recorded message from band leader Fripp with a request to not take pictures before the band come out immaculately dressed in dark suits. Expertly rehearsed they played songs from their 50 year history including devastating versions of ‘Starlesss’ and ’21st Century Schizoid Man’. World class genius.

Hey Colossus - The Chameleon Arts Cafe

Oct 10th – Hey Colossus & Kogumaza – The Chameleon Arts Cafe

The Chameleon Arts Cafe has a performance space in the upstairs of an already small upstairs bar. They also have enough PA to put on a loud show in Rock City. Supporting were local hard drone (?) band Kogumaza (again, check Bandcamp, they are excellent) who use finely balanced analogue / retro effects with huge volume.
Hey Colossus release two albums this year and have rightly got them selves a lot of attention. Three guitarist, bass, vocals & drums, slow builds to roaring noise. There was paint falling from the ceilings at this one. Another stunning show and a must see band.

Sisters of Mercy - Rock City

Oct 15th – Sisters of Mercy – Rock City

From the distant 80’s Goth scene I couldn’t resist the pull of Andrew Eldridge and the current Sisters of Mercy. Rock City was again completely packed even though it was a early (7.30!) show. Barely visible through the dry ice Eldridge, two guitarists & Doktor Avalanche ripped through the hits. A dense mass of youngsters slammed and swayed their shoulder dancing girlfriends while I hid on the balcony. I hadn’t seen them since the late 80’s but they gave good gig. And of course closed with Temple of Love & This Corrosion.

The Space Lady

Oct 16th – Space Lady – The Chameleon

This was pure curiosity. The Space Lady (Susan) was a street performer from San Francisco who uses a Casio keyboard and a beguiling manner to re-interpret songs from the seventies mainly. A gig is like being introduced to an obscure mystic who has plainly discovered a level that you can’t quite imagine. Precious and as hard to nail down as smoke.

God Speed You Black Emperor

Oct 22nd – GSYBE – Warwick Arts Centre

From out of left field GSYBE announced a tiny handful of UK dates. Closest to me was Warwick Arts Centre which has been rebuilt since I was last there to see Bauhaus quite a few years ago. God Speed released a great album in the early part of the year which was essential a single 40min piece of music in four movements.
I arrived early and by immense fortitude managed to stand front and centre throughout. I had anticipated the kind of crushing volume used by Swans but it turned out they have a more user friendly approach. It was loud but clean and precise. Like King Crimson they avoid anything more than a quick wave hello and a nod of the head goodbye. In-between was tidal storm of music whipped up by musicians who knew each other intimately on stage. Unmissable performance which I won’t forget.

There was supposed to be one more but I ducked out due to frailness. Next up in 2016 is Bob Mould, ‘\w/’ as the kidz say.

Albums that crossed my horizon…..

So here’s a less than comprehensive list of albums I’ve enjoyed this year. To help you along I’ll include some YouTube videos (the only irritation being regional restrictions and future take down notices – get it while its hot I say).

No chronology here. Sorry. Probably available for academics out there.

Black Mass – Dumb Flesh

A recent find although this came out early in year. One of the guys from Fuck Buttons, I’m more with the noise than the groove. Side four of the vinyl is a long nameless ambient piece which is a stunner.

Hey Colossus – Black & Gold and Radio Static High

See above about their gigging. They put out two albums this year and I couldn’t choose between them. A cracking band with a signature sound. Nothing not to like. This from Blank & Gold.

Grey Hairs – Colossal Downer

Local vendors of post grunge Stooge noise. They have a knack with covers (Final Solution & Jump Into The Fire). This is from the album though. Honourable mention to Colossal Downer for an iconic cover image.

Pop Group – Citizen Zombie

From one of the standout gigs of 2014 to a great return to the studio in 2015. Mark Stewart and the Pop Group didn’t loose a beat from their 1980’s edgy punk funk conscious dance grooves. Immaculate.

BJM – Thingy Wingy & Musique de Film Imagine’

Always prolific (thats a dumb thing to say isn’t it) and always idiosyncratic and beyond the curve. Anton Newcombe gave us two BJM albums. Played the grooves off both of them.

BJM & Tess Parks – I Declare Nothing

Another Anton project from earlier in the year. This with Tess Parks who had appeared on the Musique de Film Imagine album. Absolute corker of an album. Tess growls through the project in the classic European ingenue style.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Asunder, Sweet and other Distresses

Near gig of the year and near album of the year. Huge in scale but the result of tight personal connections in the band. This is the closing section of the album. Played live the entire piece was name Behemoth which is appropriate.

Rocket From The Tombs – Black Record

A surprise entry. Cult Cleveland progenitors of avant-rock came through with a new line up and finally put down some old songs. Given the age of these guys its a damn miracle. This might well be my album of the year. And of course David Thomas.

Sun Kil Moon – Universal Themes

After the sublime 2014 album Benji this came with a heap of expectation and TBH it didn’t fulfil on first listen. A couple of months on though it started to sink in. Kozalek had dug even deeper into his personal life and took pretty much himself and drummer Steve Shelly into an acoustic orchestral fantasy life.The songs change pace and the though train derails before jumping back with such intricate detail you can smell the food he mentions and feel the cold on the film set. It needs slow absorption.

Jeff Bridges – Sleeping Tapes

The Dude made a self help album for insomniacs. Yep. Pretty sure its great but I have no idea what happens at the end. If you want we can pretend to be crows.

Steve Wilson – Hand. Cannot. Erase

I had some appreciation of Wilson from his ‘Raven Songs’ album. For a short period I played the hell out of this. Through this I also found his long form drone albums. Admirable artist with a wide interest and substantial talent.

Courtney Barrett – Sometimes I Sit & Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

Acres written about Courtney. Great album, you can see why she hit a groove. But what do I know…. I’m a phoney..

Wire – Wire

30 years at the forefront of obscurity and they can still put out a ground breaking album. At this rate in tens years they will be an overnight success. Seriously though, epic album and they use beautiful guitars.

Bjork – Vulnicura

Appearing on lists all over the place. Bjork’s lack of given fucks helps but this albums narrative of relationship fracture made it into something more human than some of her previous albums. I still can’t got Moto Crash out of my head though. The videos though….

Bob Dyan – Bootleg – The Cutting Edge

My first cheat. Yes its old but there where literally hundreds of unheard versions, sessions, breakdowns and sweepings on this. Bobcats three years of wild mercury sound. The full release needed something like 19 hours to absorb. More of a historical artefact than an album release.

Bob Dylan – Shadows in the Night

And on the other side of his career, confounding fans and critics, Bob puts out a album of Sinatra covers and shows with a pitch perfect lo-fi band & production that He Can Still Sing. This is utterly sublime……

David Gilmour – Rattle That Lock

When I first heard this it didn’t ‘grab me’ but after watching the BBC Making Of doc I was persuaded by its merits. Still enjoying it but still waiting for Comfortably Numb. This track is about encouraging young people to social insurrection so not a bad message. So Long Syd.

Keith Richards – Crosseyed Heart

The vampiric eternal life form and human riff Keef came back with a solo album. What I loved about this was the production. They had gone with studio ambience, it sounds like a band in a room, its primal, no flashy solos. The soul of rock’n’roll. Its just music, man….

Twelve – Houston V – Houston IV (HERACLEUM MANTEGAZZIANUM) – Houston We Are All Going To Die – NO_COUNTRY

The most prolific artist in the country came through with four full Twelve albums in 2015. These have accompanied me on numerous journeys, each has a different tone but mines the same electro Kraut Rock / Motorik mines of beat and groove. The penultimate frontier.

Miley Cyrus – ‘Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz’

This might be considered a surprise last entry. This album was fascinating in the same way that being given strange food when blindfold and trying to decide if you like it or not is fascinating. The feeling on the palette is uneasy but the gag reflex hasn’t kicked in so it must be OK? Still undecided but would definitely advise you don’t play it on the school run. You go girl….

So there you go. There are about half a dozen albums that have been recommended that I didn’t get to, Joanna Newson, Father John Misty, Public Service Broadcast, Jenny Hval, Low (which I’m sure I’d like) and also a bunch I tried but (shockingly) didn’t get.

Apologies to all who tried to guide but for the life of me I didn’t get…….

Jamie xx – In Colour

Panda Bear meets the Grim Reaper

Sufijan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell

New Order – Music Complete

Wolf Alice – My Love Is Cool

I promise to try again unless some fool brings another record out in the mean time.

Seasons Greeting to you all and remember as Uncle Frank taught us ‘Music Is The Best’.


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God Speed You Black Emperor – Warwick Arts Centre

GSYBE Warwick

So it’s been a little while since I posted here. My day job is fulfilling many of my WordPress hungerings and the Glove of Bones side dish has been occupying my down time. September & October have also been quite a gig fest – King Crimson, Hey Colossus & Kogumaza, The Sisters of Mercy, Space Lady, the Sun Ra Arkestra in a couple of days and last night the stunning God Speed You Black Emperor. I’ve been looking all day for some comment but nothing so far. So I’m here to hang around in a temporarily empty space.

It’s apparently been 13 years since the last time they played the Warwick Arts Centre. Whilst nowhere near main stream the band has a fairly legendary cult status. Formed in 1996 in Canada and broadly tagged ‘post rock’ they are still a large ensemble of skilled and dedicated noise makers. The last album Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress from earlier in the year is their first single platter, all previous productions being expansive long form albums of everything from riffing & crushing guitars, folkish violin & cello to drone, static & tape loops.

The hall at WAC is mainly standing, a modern campus theatre space with a single balcony (I vaguely recall watching Bauhaus & the Southern Death Cult here in the 80’s in its previous life). The stage is low with dark curtain drops at the back. This was littered with equipment, two drum kits, double bass, stacks of amps and complex daisy chained effects peddles.

Warwick Uni

The opening band was The Dead Rat Orchestra, two contemporary chaps doing what I can best describe as post Tudor revolutionary ambient folk drone. Honestly, look them up. They were really engaging and idiosyncratic. Have a look here.

Dead Rat Orchestra

Just a little before 9.00pm the lights went down and the back drop flickered with shadows. A low bass drone hung in the air indicating the volume we should anticipate. Many sensible folks plugged in their ear defenders. Sophie Trudeau & Thierry Amar came out first, hooking up to the electricity and drawing sound from their instruments. The remainder of the band came in from the shadows slowly, Aidan Girt & Timothy Herzog on drums & percussion, Mauro Pezzente on bass, David Bryant and Mike Moya on guitars and effects – both seated, and finally notional band leader of the anarchist collective Efrim Menuck also on guitar, tapes & loops and a mountain of effects. From there on in its anyones guess. The band play, they don’t do show, no guitar faces, no ‘Hello Warwick and the surrounding areas!”, (in fact no vocal mikes at all). The songs are long pieces that build & evolve, the band know the pieces inside out and pass cues between them selves, and when they let fly the sound is internal and external, it shakes your boots and soul, glorious sweeping violin, growling distorted guitars and gut punching bass. Although I was on the frontline I didn’t in the end reach for ear plugs. It was loud but it was perfectly placed for the room. I could mainly hear the sound from the bands back line rather than the halls PA and their evident skill with sound manipulation would have been lost with a restricted plugged up dynamic range.

GSYBE Warwick Uni

Its not impossible that they improvise around some pieces, I don’t know the songs by name, more by feel. They certainly played the four songs from the recent album:”Peasantry or ‘Light! Inside of Light!’ Lambs’ Breath, Asunder, Sweet & the monstorously huge Piss Crowns Are Trebled. If I find a set list I’ll add it in.

EDIT – Setlist as promised;


  1. Hope Drone
  2. Gathering Storm
  3. Peasantry or ‘Light! Inside of Light!’
  4. Lambs’ Breath
  5. Asunder, Sweet
  6. Piss Crowns Are Trebled
  7. Mladic
  8. unknown
    (new song)
  9. The Sad Mafioso


This is ‘Hope Drone’ from 2011


I was as anticipant to see this as I was King Crimson – ultimately very aligned bands, equally about the music – but for pure visceral eye watering impact GSYBE took the edge. If you get the chance they really should not be missed. Its a fine line between GSYBE and Swans as to who’s the most affecting. Swans damaged my ears more…. but that was equally worth while.

Here’s GSYBE from earlier in the year


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History – A funny old place…..

Once more into the land of the Glove. This again originates from the ‘Glove of Bones‘ site. Feel free to hop over there to experience the look and feel of the place.

Bible - Session 1982

History of the Glove

Whilst the Glove of Bones is new for 2015 it’s predated by a number of pieces made under A4(+) since 2012 (all here), and lurching back 30+ years to an exercise in youthful exuberance that briefly called itself ‘Bible’ after the popular novel. This could be accurately described as a proper band having a singer of sorts, a guitarist (Chris), a bass player (Steve) and a drummer who at this moment in time is unnamed.

The band rehearsed a few time in Chris’s parents house, once in the upstairs room of a pub (blue plaque status pending) and played one raucous gig at the ’77 club in Nuneaton supporting local NewRom band Versatran. Sadly, to the best of my knowledge the gig wasn’t recordered and there is thankfully no photographic evidence.

However, recently unearthed (or unlofted) is an Ampex 370 C60 cassette that has the rehearsal in its entirety.

Amped 370

Please find herewith the content of the historic jewel below, from the dark days of 1982 or thereabouts, with a slight nod to influences such as Magazine & Bauhaus, newly digitally transferred and remastered – Bible (there is no ‘The’).

If you have any further information about this lost cultural phenomenon please leave a comment or email

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Citizen Zombie – The Pop Group return…


Last October The Pop Group played the Bodega in Nottingham. They weren’t a band I had thought a lot about for a few years but there was quite a buzz about the prospect. They had briefly played again in 2010 after a long break stretching back to the 1980’s.
When they first came to prominence in 1977/78 I didn’t really notice them – they were the intelligent arm of the punk movement, I was still at school and listening to NWOBHM bands and Queen. Later though they were one of the more admired bands at art school, along with Talking Heads, Television and other British post-punk bands like Gang of Four & Wire.

They entered more mainstream media through a t-shirt rather than for music with their ‘We are all Prostitutes’ song and Thatcher baiting design marking them out as anti-capitalist revolutionaries.

We Are All Prostitutes

Their 1977 debut album ‘Y’ and 1980 album ‘We Are Time’ went on to influence many later artists with their own multiple reference points and use of Jamaican dub production, jazz tones and urban alienation. This was their debut single.

At the Bodega gig they had Sleaford Mods as their support. Given their confrontational nature it seemed telling that the main act had a good deal of confidence in their own ability to stand up and be noticed. This from Drowned In Sound “….the addition of singles ‘She Is Beyond Good And Evil’ and ‘Where There’s A Will There’s A Way’ alongside breakthrough seven-inch ‘We Are All Prostitutes’ during the encore provides the “greatest hits” moments. If such a thing exists within The Pop Group’s canon. But then that also exemplifies why their relevance in 2014 remains unabated. Uncompromising, unnerving and brutal as ever. Long may it continue”. The majority of the gig was taken by songs from ‘We Are Time’, that track here.

The Pop Group - Nottingham Bodega

A month or so after the gig a new album was announced and promoted through PledgeMusic, a direct to fan funding stream for artists that want to maintain independence. My copy of Citizen Zombie arrived today and its a marvellous thing – in fact I’m on my third end to end listen. The same diverse list of influences are there, from twinkly almost ‘prog’ keyboard parts, chugging punk guitar, dub heavy bass and Mark Stewarts manic screams and biting political lyrics. This is music for the collapsing ConDem nation, music for Syriza & Podermos, and it arrived just in time.

This is the recent video for ‘Mad Truth’. This is an absolute treat of an album.They are touring again in March in the east & the US and May in UK. Highly recommended if you can get to see them.

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幾何学模様/Kikagaku Moyo – The Jam Cafe, Nottingham 23/1014

Kikagaku Moyo 01

I’m not entirely sure how I first came across this band. Probably the rabbit hole of social media, maybe through Soundcloud, who knows. It was definitly earlier this year and around the time that their 3rd album ‘Forest of Lost Children’ came out. They seemed to me a perfect storm of well referenced psychedelic sounds, edgy prog influenced guitar,eastern influenced back story – sitar, rising sun myths – and taking all this in, still contemporary and unique.

Only the third album was easily available way back in the spring and it took my a couple of months to get the first eponymously title album and the second release ‘Mammatus Clouds’ At least one of these arrived in a package bearing an Athens – Greece mailing stamp having been release on a small indie label.

I was equally excited and glum when a small UK tour was announce as the original five dates didn’t get close to my home town. However, due to the unfortunate illness of Damo Suzuki, Kikagaku Moyo (translates as ‘Geometric Patterns’ the ones that hide behind eyelids when you approach a dream like state) picked up the slot at the Jam Cafe.
The Jam Cafe is a fairly small independent cafe, bar & entertainment venue in the Hockley / Cultural Quarter in Nottingham. It’s not a venue I’ve been to before but they have lots of micro beers, home made cakes, decent coffee and DJ’s with eclectic tastes it seems. No Red Bull but hey ho.

The band arrived in their tiny tour bus around 8.00pm and stayed to watch the two supporting acts. The stage is a couple of square meters of raised floor and there was crowded gear changeover between sets.

The band is a five piece;

Vocal/Guitar: Tomo Katsurada
Guitar: Daoud Popal
Sitar: Ryu Kurosawa
Bass: Kotsuguy
Drums/Voice: Go Kurosawa

Whilst I’ve read that on some occasions they don’t always have the sitar player on board, fortunately he he was in attendance this time. The instrument really rounds out the bands sound and takes it out of the rock space for the better.

They played a pretty full selection of songs from the first album and the ‘Forest of Lost Children’ (Mammatus Clouds is a quieter album with more long form jams). As the venue is intimate and as the two guitarists set up on the main floor in front of the raised stage, I ended up standing next too Daoud Popal as he ripped some amazing sounds, playing barefoot, from his guitar and multiple effects peddles.

Kikagaku Moyo 02

Their calm and methodical demeanour underpinned their incredible ability to let go and fly. There were passages that bought to mind Hawkwind or Sabbath and others that had more of a Mahavishnu Orchestra tone about them. They are an incredible example of a sum of their parts, an incredible unit working together with great individual skill.

One of the other aspects of the band I’m really impressed by is their sense of design. From album covers, vinyl stylings to posters they have keep a sympathetic theme in place with impressive illustrations, earth colourings and subtle shimmer.

Kikagaku Moyo 2014 Poster

They really have everything going for them. I hope that they get increasing recognition for they commitment and achieve a wider audience. Their performance at the Jam Cafe was one of the most impressive gigs I’ve seen in a while.

A few links here.

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Late in……

Peter Hook Rescue Rooms July 2014


This one is overdue and under cooked. In a rare event of two nights out in a row I caught a couple of great gigs last week.

Thursday was Peter Hook & the Light. Currently touring the early New Order albums Movement and Power, Corruption & Lies. I’ve played both of these to death in the past so have been really looking forward to these shows. Hooky doesn’t disappoint. The band seem to spend a lot of time on the road and are tight and enthusiastic. The Rescue Rooms has great sound for a small venue and even near the front it was not so loud as to be  distorted. Encouraging to see a large number of middle-aged chaps joshing at certain points as well.

Here’s a sample of it. It jumps around along with the crowd.

The following clip if from the next night in Holmfirth.

With the current kickball competition on-going they also did ‘World In Motion’ which seemed to get some enthused. For me the closing riot of ‘Temptation’ did the trick. Here’s a properly filmed version.

And then……

Brian Jonestown Massacre July 2014

The following night was the Brian Jonestown Massacre. Currently touring to promote their new album ‘Revelation’ . They are still a 5 guitarapocalypse of psych rock. The new album is a great thing and they mixed new and old material throughout the show. This is ‘The Devil May Care (Mom & Dad Don’t). This was filmed by the bloke standing next to me during the show.

Anton seemed in fairly decent humour and only stopped the band twice to whup them into shape.

This is a song from the new album, ‘Vad Hande Med Dem’. I believe its Swedish.

If you have an urge theres a demo version of the album here. Dig!



Blue vinyl! mmmmmmmmm……

Brian Jonestown Massacre - Revelation










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Mike Watt, the Missingmen & the Hyphenated Man

Mike Watt 01


The righteous and iconic Mike Watt came back to my locality recently. Last March we got Il Sogno Del Mariano and this time we got The Hyphenated Man. Watt is an iconic musician with a thumb print on last 30 years of indie/punk playing with the Minutemen, Firehose, Sonic Youth, the Stooges and J Mascis but he still pushes at the gates with his own projects. Lasts nights performance was pre-apologised with “thank you for joining us for this fucked up piece of music”. No apology needed. The Hyphenated Man is a 45 minute power opera made up of 30 related sections. There’s was barely time to draw breath between the sections. This so utterly committed three piece (Watt on bass, Tom Watson on guitar & Raul Morales on drums) blast through the piece with precision and heart.

Mike Watt & the Missingman 02

The piece dates back to 2006 and is apparently based on characters in the paintings of Hieronymous Bosch. A quick scan of the track list makes this a little more evident;


The piece is described as a punk opera or the third opera following Contemplating The Engine Room & the Secondmans Middle Stand.

Mike Watt & the Missingmen 02


I can’t explain the narrative yet. I’ll have to get back to you on that. Watt has history with short punchy songs. The Minutemen almost invented the genre and have a solid history of juggling themes as they try to start broader conversations outside of the punk scene. You can hear the whole thing here.

My pictures are a little hit & miss. The Cookie in Leicester is a tiny cellar venue and whilst the gig wasn’t packed the surge to the front by bodies broader and taller than mine was enough to keep me on the narrow edge.

A quick mention for the support as we’ll.

Echolocation are a Leicester band of some note. A varying line up but Saturdays small crew did an interesting job. Reminded me in some ways of John Cooper Clarke stream of consciousness with jazz/post-punk soundtrack (like the Sir George Robey on a Sunday in 1992). The inclusion of trumpet really worked as well.

Mike Watt & the Missingman 03

Lazarus Clamp were also original and engaging. I swear I know the singer/guitarist from somewhere which was distracting. A touch of Wire in there as well as a more contemporary folky Midlakey thing. A couple of big songs with some well placed sonic dynamics.

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Dedicated Follower of Fashion


This post feels like a slight lurching between pride and embarrassment. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while and as I’ve trying to create some wardrobe space over the last week or so today seemed like a good time. Going back 20 years I was very non-brand. I had a pronounced aversion to wearing labels and offering anything overtly personality based in my attire. Previously I had chosen brand new -second hand, ex-army or more often than not…. black. I don’t know what switch was flipped but one day I bought a t-shirt from a gig and all of sudden I’m here. When I counted them today there were nearly 40. Theres a good chance one or two are being washed, plus a few older ones squirrelled away around and about. Terrible…

Amongst these jewels are a few Last Exit from Nowhere specials, a couple of Boss specials, some Marvel acknowledgements, two recent self made designs and lots of great gig memories.

The oldest is easily the No More Censorship / Dead Kennedys edition, the most recent the Pixies Ltd Edition.

I really should curtail this extravagance but it’s not likely. And no, I didn’t iron any of them first. There’s something self proclaiming about wearing message ‘t’s’. “Hey, look what I’ve seen”, “I’m into this so yeah!”. It’s a bit like street blogging.

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Six.By Seven at the Rescue Rooms

Six.By Seven RR01

This will end up as a non-linear piece. Mainly when I have a written thing in mind it gestates for a day or so, or appears fully formed at the moment of it’s birth pretty much without any critical capacity getting involved. A little like throwing fruit at a wall, some of it sticks and looks pretty, some of it drops into the dust.

I’ve mentioned in several previous posts my admiration for Six.By Seven. Their new album (Love and Peace and Sympathy) is a great record. Chris Olleys enthusiasm for the project has been immense and in no small part inspired by getting drummer Steve Hewitt from Placebo on board. Seeing them live brings sense to this enthusiasm.

But, skipping back an hour or so….

One of things that I’ve noticed and noted in previous ‘review’ posts is that even though I’ve turned out for the main event the starters have been surprising and impressive. From WTATDR & Variety Lights, there are a lot of really committed bands playing support the ticket sellers.

Grey Hairs RR01

The SIx.By Seven gig had three openers but sadly I only arrived in time to catch Grey Hairs. As they came out to check their equipment I had made some tiny preconceptions which where shortly trampled into sticky mush by their utterly clear mission to leave the audience shaken by commitment and volume. I looked them up when I got home and found their website here Both available recordings are worth a look. I’m particularly impressed by any band that can pull off a fresh cover of a Pere Ubu classic.

Grey Hairs RR02Listen to their take on Final Solution here….

Six.By Seven played the new album Love and Peace and Sympathy. Chris Olley wore a hat that made me think of Fields of the Nephelim which is odd because I never saw them and don’t really recall any of their material. At a push I would wear a hat like that but would probably opt for something more Sam Spade given the choice. The Rescue Rooms have really invested in their sound system in recent years and don’t seem to have acquiesced to any H&S policies when it comes to volume (this being a good thing).

Six.By Seven RR03

The set falls under awesome for filing. The band gave it their all, they had some great material that has a solid fingerprint but a good level of variation, and they are very skilled.

Six.By Seven RR05

One of the stand out tracks on the album is Truce. I managed to film that one, and its here…………

This is the album version of the song…

Six.By Seven RR06

Above all, a great night out. There is real music in the world and it’s nearer than you think.


In a brave late night decision making style Chris Olley kindly agreed to a Twitter interview. The full text is included below. I think you’ll find it both incisive and informative.


A4+ ‏‪@adrian4acn


‪@ChrisOlley1 Did you get the video to work eventfully? I need more words for the post. How about a twitter interview. I’ll be Richard Maddely.


Chris Olley ‏‪@ChrisOlley1


‪@adrian4acn yeah, Truce, looks great. Who’s Richard Maddely?


A4+ ‏‪@adrian4acn


‪@ChrisOlley1 Only someone totally committed to something other than idiocy could ask that. Well done. Interview has started.


Chris Olley ‏‪@ChrisOlley1


‪@adrian4acn Is he part of Operation Yewtree?


A4+ ‏‪@adrian4acn


‪@ChrisOlley1 That’s yet to suggested so let’s move on. ‪@rescuerooms has really sorted its sound system out. So, tell us about the hat?


Chris Olley ‏‪@ChrisOlley1


‪@adrian4acn ‪@rescuerooms The hat is a Stetson I found on Brokeback Mountain.


Chris Olley ‏‪@ChrisOlley1


‪@adrian4acn ‪@rescuerooms Rescue Rooms was best venue of tour, best venue in UK I’d say! Amazing room, dressing room and PA soundman etc.


A4+ ‏‪@adrian4acn


‪@ChrisOlley1 ‪@rescuerooms Are you just saying that because you might bump into them in the Market Square? ‪#Nottingham is a tight city.


Chris Olley ‏‪@ChrisOlley1


‪@adrian4acn ‪@rescuerooms No, we all thought that. Rock City is best venue in UK, I’ve always said that, to watch bands I mean, and play!!


A4+ ‏‪@adrian4acn


‪@ChrisOlley1 ‪@rescuerooms I agree. The National Trust has a preservation order on the carpet apparently….


A4+ ‏‪@adrian4acn


‪@ChrisOlley1 Moving on, the new album has an iconic front  cover. Is there a Beatles reference relating to the inner spread?


Chris Olley ‏‪@ChrisOlley1


‪@adrian4acn No, it had all the lyrics on it but we used invisible ink. It was a fuck up but great for signing autographs on the tour!


A4+ ‏‪@adrian4acn


‪@ChrisOlley1 The band is really well rehearsed and slay the songs. How did you meet Steve the drummer and does he come with a H&S policy?


Chris Olley ‏‪@ChrisOlley1


‪@adrian4acn Knew him from Placebo days, touring with them, he’s a hard living man!


A4+ ‏‪@adrian4acn


‪@ChrisOlley1 He certainly gave me a day & 1/2 of tintinitus. The tours over now, will you be doing more gigs soon, here or in other lands?


Chris Olley ‏‪@ChrisOlley1


‪@adrian4acn Hopefully a bigger tour in November. We will also be playing in Poland in October.


A4+ ‏‪@adrian4acn


‪@ChrisOlley1 Last question. You speak German. Is there a possibility that you could do a Helden and record Waffenstillstand?


Chris Olley ‏‪@ChrisOlley1


‪@adrian4acn Waffenstillstand?


A4+ ‏‪@adrian4acn


‪@ChrisOlley1 it’s the closest Google translate could get to ‘Truce’ It’s a shapely looking word.


Chris Olley ‏‪@ChrisOlley1


‪@adrian4acn Oh yeah! Truce is Waffenstillstand. In the context of this song though it’s probably more like ‘Ruhe’.


A4+ ‏‪@adrian4acn


‪@ChrisOlley1 That would better in the context of the song as well.


A4+ ‏‪@adrian4acn


‪@ChrisOlley1 So on that note, Chris Olley, thank you and good night!


Chris Olley ‏‪@ChrisOlley1


‪@adrian4acn Goodnight Adrian 🙂


Filed under Comment, Gigs, Hipstamatic, iPhonography, Music, Nottingham, Photography

Gordon Giltrap


This is a quick late night post. Warning! It’s terribly rock’n’roll.

In the really quite lovely setting of the 800 year old ecclesiastical establishment, All HallowsGedling, the respected English guitarist Gordon Giltrap, earlier this evening entertained a full pew set with pieces spanning his career.


I’m not quite sure how I made it there. A friend emailed me the details a while ago and having some vague recollection of the man I said yes. Very pleased I did as well.

He is massively skilled and the playing was beguiling to watch.



Here are a couple of videos of two of the most outstanding pieces, although all of it was fascinating.

This first one is called Dodo’s Dream and uses live played loop effects to brilliant effect….

This one he played as the encore and is really quite stunning…..

And I want one of these……



Filed under Gigs, iPhonography, Nottingham