SOLSTAFIR LIVE IN DUBLIN

 

 

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Solstafir

”I was having a short break in Belfast with a friend at the end of August which included a road trip around County Donegal and when i got back to Belfast it was suggested that i go to Dublin to attend this festival. I was reticent at first but after a short bout of coaxing i relented and bought a ticket. So 3 days after getting back from Donegal i was off again to the Irish Republic for an afternoon and evening of heavy psych!!”

”The Voodoo Lounge is a club/music venue situated on the north bank of the river Liffey with 2 bars, 2 stages and a woman selling flip flops and chuppa chups in the loo, my first port of call when i am feeling hungry!! And the sound system was very good, manned by attentive engineers!!”

”All of the bands on the bill sounded very Black Sabbath/Led Zeppelinesque  except for Vulpynes, a female duo that were very L7 sounding with a hip thrusting and lip sneering attitude. Just drums and lead guitar with plenty of reverb and fuzz. In fact, apart from Solstafir i’d heard of none of the bands on the bill so this festival was in a sense a blind punt! A punt that turned out well!! The aforementioned Vulpynes were worth the listen along with Crowhammer and Lord Vicar, Gorilla Pulp and Witch Sorrow. If you like your music sludgy and the consistency of  blackened treacle then check out the bands i have mentioned!!”

”And then there was Solstafir:- Very earthy and peaty in sound, with undertones of sulphur. It’s a sound that conjures up images of a sparse landscape scarred by millions of years of geological activity, i see geysers and sulphur clouds and windswept beaches overlooked by snow topped volcanoes. This is a sound that cannot be mistaken for anything else, except perhaps a hint of  Fields Of The Nephilim which is mainly bass orientated. Just a subtle hint though!! They were/are another band that conjure up open landscapes, desolation, isolation and introspective thought. There is a desolation but also there is a light shining in the distance! I think the track they opened with was ”Silfur – Refur” form the new album ”Berdreyminn” or ”Dreamer of Forthcoming Events”, which i have listened to a few times to get used to, it’s not ”Otta” so don’t expect it to be!!”

”Solstafir played for around 60 minutes, a very enjoyable 60 minutes i must say, the set felt like they had played for a lot longer, an hour and a half would’ve been great but i won’t grumble!!”

”As i said, this was a punt that paid off, i thoroughly enjoyed the festival and it’s offerings and i think i’ll pay a visit again in the future!! ”

 

 

LINKS:-

https://www.facebook.com/pg/solstafirice/about/

https://www.facebook.com/pg/crowhammerdublin/about/

https://www.facebook.com/lordvicar/

https://www.facebook.com/pg/vulpynes/about

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The (Jay Aston’s) Gene Loves Jezebel Interviews 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Date:- 26/6/17

Venue:- The Black Heart Camden, London.

”After spending the early summer touring around Europe not only playing to appreciative crowds on their own but also with The Mission Gene Loves Jezebel played a rare London Show at The Black Heart Camden to promote the brand new album ”Dance Underwater” and where i caught up with Chris Bell, James Stevenson and Jay Aston in the Bar. Initially i was going to interview just Jay but  that was changed to  James but when i turned up at the bar to prepare i happened to be sitting directly across from Chris so i introduced myself and did an impromptu interview before moving on to James and then finally Jay!! He does not really like doing interviews before gigs but was very gracious in giving me some time!! The recordings of those interviews are below, i apologise in advance for the sound quality!!”

 

 

https://play.google.com/music/m/B4gmj7ngiax6ob3a744h6x47loi?t=Dance_Underwater_-_Gene_Loves_Jezebel

 

LINKS:-

http://www.genelovesjezebel.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/pg/OfficialGeneLovesJezebel/about

 

 

INCONCESSUS LUX LUCIS

22/4/2017

Venue:- The Boston Music Rooms, Tufnell Park, London.

 

”These guys are like Magi!! The sounds that can be conjured from their guitars is pure magic. Sure other bands are just as competent with their instruments but the whole here is greater than the sum of its parts!! The image, the smells emanating from the stage and the production, it just does it for me. Inconcessus Lux Lucis are a great live band, they are raw and stripped down, monochromatic shades that emphasis rather than drown and dull!! A melodic sludge played out in the shadows!! If i ever get the chance to walk through London’s sewers then Inconcessus Lux Lucis is what i want played as my accompaniment!! Black is the canvas, the bass flicks paint like a heavy brush, the guitar offloads  paint laden wire flicked with abandon and the drums are  paint cans, lids removed and dropped from a great height!! There is something visceral going on here, it’s like my base needs are being catered to without all the sugary bullshit getting in the way!! Pure sucks out the pure!!”

 

 

Links:-

https://www.facebook.com/inconcessusluxlucis358/

http://www.i-voidhanger.com/

Gene Loves Jezebel Live!!

Venue:- The Black Heart, Camden Town, London.

Date:- 26th June 2017

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”The first time i saw Gene Loves Jezebel  was in 1988 at the Bristol Bierkeller  and then i see them twice in a month this year. Once at Wave Gotik Treffen where they played a blinding set in front of around 400/500 people and then the other night to around 80 people at The Black Heart in Camden. First onstage at just  after 7:45pm was Evi Vine. To be honest i don’t know much about Evi’s solo output so this set was a first for me. The music was very pensive and dreamy, i felt like  i was crawling through a shallow pool surrounded by trees and mist trying not to succumb to a hypnotic soporific. This is the sort of music i want to listen to whilst ensconced in a comfy chair…… And it sounds like a sparser All About Eve and like the band Darkher or come to think of it, Jarboe who i saw at WGT too. Like Jarboe there was no talking between songs which i prefer. Evi did say at one point that she does not talk between tracks as it throws her off her performance, i mean, you don’t need to talk, don’t force banter if it does not feel right, just play. I did overhear one audience member say ”I can’t wait for GLJ to come on cos this lot are putting me to sleep” Hmmm, not to everyone’s taste then??”

”Gene Loves Jezebel came on at 9pm and played until  around 10:30. There was only one difference to when i saw them in the 80’s, i’ll leave that up to you to guess what!! The band were well received when they came on and started off with ”Upstairs” from the album ”Promise” followed by a mix of other known tunes and new tracks  from new album ”Dance Underwater” which is released on the 30th June. This will be the first album released by the band in around 20 years with Pete Walsh back on producing duties! He produced the album ”The House Of Dolls 29 years ago which was a great album and he was the only person wanted to work on this new offering! Since it’s release i have a had a listen and it is a very  poppy album, the first  track ”Charmed Life” has an auto tune feel on the vocal a la Cher and the single ”Summertime” is a very breezy and fizzy track and had me tapping the side of the stage when i heard it live . This is the best work in ages the band say and from what i have heard i tend to agree with them!!  Jay was very chatty between songs, flirty with the audience and keeping them onside throughout the set, totally different feel to the support. His voice was stronger than from what i remember from 1988 gig, a point not lost on me when i saw the band in Leipzig and it was filled with liberal smatterings of ”huh huhs” and chirps. This was a rare London show and the Black Heart Camden was good place to have it.The venue has a good sound, is intimate, has good ale and is near to the tube!! All in all this was a good night of music thoroughly enjoyed by all, the encore was a version of ”Desire” and then they were gone!! I bought a t shirt and then so was i!!!”

 

 

 

Links:-

https://www.facebook.com/OfficialGeneLovesJezebel

http://www.genelovesjezebel.co.uk/

http://www.peterwalsh.de/

https://www.facebook.com/evi.vine

http://www.evivine.com/

 

 

 

WACKEN OPEN AIR 2017

The Festival:-

”One of the festivals on the European metal/alternative circuit that i have always wanted to go to is the Wacken Open Air festival which is 50km north of Hamburg in the state of Schleswig Holstein. Over 3 days in August over 130 bands from various different metal subgenres will play on numerous stages to thousands of dedicated metal pilgrims, many of whom will be making their annual pilgrimage from all over the globe. It will be a time to party, to catch up will old friends,meet new ones and listen to some of the finest music created by some of the most influential acts from all over world, established acts and also new ones too!! All sub genres are catered for, from Hair Metal to Nu Metal all the way through to Black, Death, Thrash, Industrial etc etc! The average age of attendees is around 27 years old and 84, 000 tickets roughly are sold every year and for the past few years all the tickets have been sold out within 24/48 hours of them going on sale which is usually the day after the current festival ends. A nice touch is that  approximately 1800 residents  of the village of Wacken get free passes which is only fair considering that the village has to cater to thousands of people for 3 days, acting as guides, offering accommodation, catering/beer etc and of course putting up with a disruption to their peace and tranquillity!! In 2011 expansion to the festival was halted so as to not abuse the hospitality of the village and also for safely and logistical purposes. I personally think that was a good idea, obviously you want your event to be popular and grow but there comes a point at which the bigger you get the more problems you  encounter and the unique vibe that makes an event what it is can end up being watered down and being totally ruined!!”

The History:-

”The Seminal Wacken commenced on the 24th August 1990 with a band called Skyline and finished the following day with 5th Avenue, Ax’n Sex, Motoslug, Sacred Season and Wizzard (I assume this was not Roy Woods Wizzard but Wizzard from Sweden who were formed in 1985) The 26th Edition in 2016 commenced on Thursday 4th August and finished on Saturday 6th August and bands that played that year included Iron Maiden, Henry Rollins, Ministry, Borknagar and Twisted Sister Amongst others. In the intervening years there have been many bands that i have never heard of playing on the bill with plenty of familiar faces that have included the likes of Dimmu Borgir, Black Dahlia Murder, Motorhead, Cradle Of Filth, Therion, Saxon, Iced Earth, Celtic Frost, Gorgoroth, Mayhem and Amon Armath. This years iteration will include Alice Cooper, Marilyn Manson, Lacuna Coil and the Cavalaera Brothers to name but a few. So, in 26 years we’ve gone from humble beginnings with a handful of bands to the pulsing behemoth we have today with hundreds of artists who are part of the global metal family. May this years  festival be a roaring success  and for many years to come.”

LINKS:-

All travel and accommodation information can be found here. Please do your research carefully and thoroughly, i shall not be held responsible for your mistakes!!:-

http://www.wacken.com/en/

https://www.facebook.com/events/165108507250281/

Skinny Puppy Live!!!!

30th May 2017

Kentish Town Forum, London

Support:- Ventenner

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”Skinny Puppy were on form this evening sharing songs of protest, tracks that question, music that pisses off and provokes a reaction, unlike at a One Direction gig where the only reaction you’d get from me  is of moving quite swiftly towards the exit!! The kentish Town Forum was quite full, not as full as when i saw Rob Zombie as there was space at the back  you could still walk through but a good crowd none the less. This would be the first time i have seen Skinny Puppy since they played the same venue around 2005. Nivek Ogre came onstage wearing a hypodermic needle suit, an allusion to his past addiction that needed attention due to the needles coming out or bending.There was a triangular display showing projections behind Nivek which complimented the stream of consciousness matter of fact abrasive vocal delivery that was filtered through a vocoder. I always  found this vocal delivery sinister and at times disturbing but always fascinating! It’s like listening to someone being garroted whilst they are suspended inside a rusty  drainpipe dripping with rancid water. I can almost taste the rusting metal and the cold foulness of the water!! The sound mix was excellent and i found myself shoulder bopping through out the set, as if trying to create some more room for myself inside the aforementioned drainpipe !! Standout tracks that go my shoulders bopping were ”Fascist Jock Itch” , ”DogShit” , ”VX Gas Attack”, ”Worlock” and ”The Choke”. The sound was strong and the vocals did not disappoint in any shape or manner, this was a fully rounded set!! It is a shame that i found the Ventenner set disappointing!! In my humble opinion the sound mix was terrible, there was no sound separation and the bass sounded too loud. I stood stage left left, then right and finally centre but the sound still sounded awful!! I think Ventenner are a good band, think NIN/Numan and the new album ”InVidia” is really good from what i have heard so far!! Track one is a screamer!!! I have seen them before at The Hope & Anchor in Islington and the sound there was a darn sight better!! maybe on this occasion the mix was slapdash so as to not upstage Skinny Puppy????”

”One other thing:- is there any chance Skinny Puppy T shirts could be made out of a better quality cotton?? A softer brushed cotton perhaps?? Just saying!!”

Skinny Puppy Set list:-

1:- Jahya

2:- Dogshit

3:- Fascist Jock Itch

4:- Death

5:- Tin Omen

6:- T.F.W.O.

7:- Curcible

8:- Hardset Head

9:- Village

10:- The Choke

11:- Worlock

12:- Killing Game

13:- Assimilate

14:- VX Gas Attack

15:- Candle

 

 

Links:-

http://skinnypuppy.com/

WAVE GOTIK TREFFEN 2017

WGT Banner

Venue:- The city Of Leipzig, Eastern Germany.

”Its that time of year again when the annual pilgrimage of Goths all converge on the city of Leipzig for 4 days of dark chicanery!! There will be bands, exhibitions, clubs, lectures, theatre and movies in over 50 venues across the four corners of the city. And there will be free travel on the trams and buses with your event pass as well, which means more bucks for your booze!!!! I will be here for a second time after an enjoyable jaunt last year. This year i shall get to see many new bands and old favourites and i’ll get to go to the venues i did not get to last year!! I said in a previous review that you need to go twice to get the full experience of the event plus the sights of Leipzig itself!! I remember last year getting lost a few times on the transport system and ending up taking a long trip to a venue that i could have gotten to more easily if only i’d taken a tram, ie The Felsenkeller. On the bright side i got to travel on a different rail line which will be handy for future use!! Who’s playing at this event i hear you ask!! Well we have a large assortment of sonic confectionery that includes The Mission, Desperate Journalist, Saigon Blue Rain, The Agnes Circle, VNV Nation, Revolting Cocks and Sex Gang Children to name but a few!! And of course loads of bands i’ve never heard of like Black Nail Cabaret and Bloody Dead and Sexy!! ” As of writing there are over 145 bands confirmed for this years festival, more will be added/or deleted as the events nears!! And again as of writing i do not know of what parties/clubs or DJ’s will be on the roster as yet but that should change over the coming days and weeks!!”

”Apart from the event the city of Leipzig has many things to keep you from descending into the cellar of boredom. You will probably have an exhibition at the central station, there is the Monument To The Battle Of Nations, The Panometer Leipzig, The Grassi Museum and if you are into football then there is the Redbull Arena!! There are Goths into football, i know cos i have met them : )”

See you there folks!!

Below are a few teasers for your aural delectation:-

LINKS:-

http://www.wgt-guide.de

http://www.sadgoth.com/overview-wgtfestival-prewgtmeeting.html

http://www.wave-gotik-treffen.de/english/info/info.php

http://www.hostelworld.com/findabed.php/ChosenCity.Leipzig/

https://www.facebook.com/events/122977274790719/

http://lostinleipzig.com/use-tram-bus/

http://www.bayerischer-bahnhof.de/en

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monument_to_the_Battle_of_the_Nations

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leipzig