ALICE’S WICKED TEA PARTY 2018

AWTP2018

 

”4 years ago a new alternative music festival insinuated itself onto the annual festival calendar down in the middle of darkest Dorset. Holt Heath was the setting for the inaugural Alice’s Wicked Tea Party. Like all festivals you have to start somewhere and you have to be prepared for obstacles being put in your way  regarding t licenses and objections from the locals. Obstacles overcome a  varied selection of bands  were willing to play and support this fledgling festival and the likes of Tunnelmental Experiment Assembly, The Vultures, Doghouse and Poisoned Electric Head all put on fine performances. I remember there being a campsite in one field and a bridge going over a small gully into the field where the stage was located. On the day that I was attended there weren’t that many people in attendance but many more arrived for the following days entertainment. What I do know is that in year two of the festival the attendance was  noticeably more dense and enthusiastic. It helped that the stage area had been moved to the field previously occupied by the campsite, a cosier atmosphere was achieved by this and the enthusiastic aura did not dissipate into the trees….. This time around Luxury Stranger, The Underrunners and Pussycat and The Dirty Johnsons were on the bill along with Go Go Cult and Anarchistwood. Vultures and Doghouse returned to finish off where they left off from the previous year, all in all a great time was had by all!!. The 2017 event I did not attend due to a clash with another festival so I’ve no reminiscences for that year I’m afraid but a new venue was found near to Corfe Castle in Dorset which I’m reliably informed is a step up from the last venue. I’m looking forward to experiencing this for the first time so I hope it does not disappoint! 2018 is on course to surpass last year and continue on the path to greater and greater things. and over 20 bands have been booked to appear.  Ticket sales have been very healthy and this years attendance is set to surpass last years with brass knobs on!! The festival I mentioned that I attended last year, Wave Gotik Treffen, started over 25 years ago with 8 bands and now regularly hosts over 200 over a 4 days. It has made mistakes, tried and tested ideas and formats and finally has got to the stage where a whole city embraces 4 days gothic darkness. With the same good management and eclectic roster of acts Alice’s Wicked Tea Party can become a regular and successful addition to the Festival calendar and a welcome two days of escapism for the Dorset area. Onwards and upwards.”

LINKS:-

http://www.wegottickets.com/f/11131

http://www.themembranes.co.uk/

http://thedirtyjohnsons.com/

http://www.luxurystranger.net/

http://www.blamedfornothing.com/

https://thewattingers.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pollypikpocketz/

https://unkindnessofravensband.bandcamp.com/

https://wherethenightfalls.bandcamp.com/

https://stereojuggernaut.bandcamp.com/

https://www.yurmum.com/

https://theblunders.bandcamp.com/

http://www.splink.band/

https://brotherzgrim.bandcamp.com/

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WAVE GOTIK TREFFEN 2018

WGT Banner

Date:- Friday 18th May until Monday 21st May 2018

”Its nearing that time of year again where the annual pilgrimage to Leipzig gets under way and a large section of the worlds Goth community, around 20,000 people go see a large eclectic selection of bands and performing artists along with the experiencing of numerous exhibitions at various museums in and around the city!! Just think, 1992 was the first year of annual darkness with only 8 Artists on the bill including Das Ich and 25 years later 231 bands played! The organisers started small, worked hard with the groundwork and we finally get to  where we’ve ended up today, a festival that has become an integral part of the Leipzig calendar. Whatever your musical tastes you’re sure to find something that satiates the palate be it EBM, darkwave, post punk, neo folk, metal or shoegaze. And there’s sure to be some theatre, comedy and burlesque for variety. The festival is a city-wide experience and is not just concentrated in the central area so you can get a flavour of the whole city if you so wish!! I’ve been twice and i think it is a great place to hold an event like this because the city embraces all things dark and you are made to feel very welcome! And because Leipzig is not a sprawling conurbation like London it is within capability of getting around fairly easily!! Places to visit while in Leipzig include:- The Museum Of The Printing Arts, The Natural History Museum, The Museum Of Applied Arts and the Monument To The Battle Of Nations! Also check out the Alter Johannisfriedhof  (St Johns Cemetery) or Südfriedhof if you have time”

”Usually people start preparing for the following years festival not long after the current one has wrapped up so if you have not sorted out accommodation yet then i suggest you get on to that  asap!! Many places won’t accept bookings for less than 5 days and i suspect most of those have gone already but you may be lucky especially if you decide to go the hostel/Air BnB route!!”

”Bands so far confirmed for this year include:- Australian outfit Buzz Kull,  Trepaneringsritualen, Front Line Assembly, Jesus And Mary Chain, Tiamat, Einar Selvik and God Module.You have to go to this festival at least once in your lifetime and trust me when i say you’ll not regret it!!”

LINK:-

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

https://trepaneringsritualen.bandcamp.com/

http://thejesusandmarychain.uk.com/

https://buzzkull.bandcamp.com/

https://frontlineassembly.bandcamp.com/

https://einarselvik.bandcamp.com/

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

http://www.sadgoth.com

http://www.facebook.com/WaveGotikTreffen

http://www.airbnb.co.uk

https://www.hostelworld.com

 

Batushka, Schammasch and Trepaneringritualen LIVE!!

”That Fucking gig was probably one of the best i’ve ever went to!!”

”I’m going to their next gig in London, whenever that is!!”

”My friend said the above!! She has summed up my experience in a nutshell!! That gig was brilliant. The first act on were called Trepaneringritualen, this was a slow ponderous introspective set that at times felt like i was having my intestines pulled from my body, twisted and then wrapped around a gnarled tree. This reminded me of Skinny Puppy/Throbbing Gristle and Performed by a Swedishman from Gotland going by the name of Th.oth XIX and his gadgets, i got the feel of the performance and when i was not having my guts twisted and wrapped around trees it felt soporific, something i could have been more attentive too if i was not standing in amongst a crowd of strangers constantly shifting my weight from one leg to the other to alleviate the aches!! This gave me the feeling of some prehistorical ritual staged in a cave, paintings all over the walls and fire burning in the centre of things, smoke billowing upwards , orange embers floating in the heated updraft. Figures with bones and shrouded in furs sit transfixed by the hypnotic proceedings take journeys into the other world to coax out answers to the mysteries of life. This can be a healing experience if given the chance…”

And then there was Schammasch…

”First we had a shaman and next we have monk priests who conduct the second act of the liturgy replete with candles and incense to invoke the spirits of anticipation and to fine tune the atmosphere. I have been listen to The Maldoror Chants at home and this gives an idea of what to expect at a Schammasch live show!! Big, The album is inspired by a  surrealist/Misanthropic book written  in the late 1860’s by The Comte De Lautremont and is about a character who denounces god and conventional morality! If this was a photograph i’d liken it to a melding of Horst P Horst, Billy Brandt and Ansel Adams. The tones and colours are deep blacks through to bright whites with muted colours to accent. The drums are heavy  and menacing and demand attention and the guitars set the hairs on the back of your neck on edge. The production is not over done, but what is there is put together in just about the right proportions to evoke the feelings i expect are intended!!There are sludgy moments interspersed with simple but effective riffing that succeed in getting across the feeling of menace, dread, transgression, the ”warped” joy of transgression and the cathartic transformation of being!! Schammasch hail from Switzerland just like Triptykon and  i find them sounding similar to them in places which isn’t a bad thing to soud like in my view!!”

”Batushka, the Coptic ”anti Popes” are the final act on tonight’s bill of Triptych entertainment!! They were the crescendo of this experience, hailing from Poland, being somewhat mysterious is as much as i know of this band at the moment along with the fact that Batushka means ”Father” in Cyrillic and the chanting  is a subversion of Russian Orthodox Traditions, or so I’ve read. What Schammasch did Batushka cranked it up a notch further. This was dark Orthodox Mass with lecterns and sensors and candles galore. Another demand on the attention which was given without reserve. You could feel the awe and admiration in the room, The music is not overtly technical in my view but it is well produced and put together in the right proportions!! Everything is choreographed according to its place and point in the proceedings and nothing seemed to be there for no reason. The point was to seduce the senses and keep hold of your attention until the ritual has run its course and at the end you are not thinking ”Is that it??” When i  left i  felt like i had been fortified by something incorporeal, like a dose of cosmic Vitamin D.”

”Like my friend said, I’m going to their next gig in London, whenever that is!!”

9/10

https://trepaneringsritualen.bandcamp.com/

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

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

https://batushka.bandcamp.com/

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

https://schammasch.bandcamp.com/

 

Michael Schenker Live!!

Venue: _ Shepherds Bush Empire, London, UK
Date:- 2/11/2017

”I’ve never seen Michael Schenker live before although i have listened to his music now and again either as a solo artist or when he was in The Scorpions. When i came across a competition online to win tickets to see him live i thought ”Fuck it, what have i to lose??” I won a ticket!! Off i trundle down to Shepherds Bush on the Circle line and arrive at the venue just as support band The Departed are taking to the stage!! I’ve never heard of them before and to be honest on first exposure they were not my thing. My fires were lit but they only flickered not roared, that had to do with the extreme belly ache i acquired once i had found a suitable spot stage left to stand. Anyway the sound was hard rock 80’s style, a bit Bon Jovi, a bit David Coverdale, well executed and well rehearsed and confident onstage, something you’d expect from a band that i read afterwards had played on bills with the likes of Graham Bonnet, Status quo and Ginger Wildheart. As i write this my view of The Departed is one of comme si comme ca, something to try again at a later date sans belly ache!!”

”From where i stood stage left there were people who had no interest in The Departed whatsoever, they stood impatiently waiting for the main act of the evening, when the intro music started playing these guys were shaken out of their chats, their eyes pulled away from their phones and an air of life and excitement meandered through the tightly packed throngs!! My experience of the Michael Schenker set was, like for The Departed, sullied by a, at this point, worsening belly ache. But the musicianship and charisma was not lost on me!! There were 5 guys onstage but my eyes were constantly drawn to the right hand side of said stage only offering cursory glances to the rest of the band, sometimes it was as if they were invisible. he could have stood at the back of the stage in the shadows and the charisma would have lit him up like a firecracker. As i am not familiar with any of the tracks played tonight i’m unable to pick a stand out track that wowed me or the crowd, all i can say is that it was a great 90 odd minutes of musicianship that did on occasion become tedious, i mean some of the guitar solos just went on for way too long and my inner voice kept piping up and saying ”Oh FFS get with it, you can play, i know!!”

”And then about 45 minutes to an hour into the set the sound in the venue cut out for 15 or so minutes, i took the time to freshen up and mitigate against the effects of my belly ache to no avail. When the band came back onstage i stood right at the back behind a crowded bar for the remainder of the set. And then i left….”

7/10

 

 

LINKS:-

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

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

CROWS LIVE!!

Date:- 31/10/2017

Venue:- The Lock Tavern, Chalk Farm Road, Camden, London.

 

”The other night i was asked by Shaun, one of the dj’s at Wicked Spins Radio, if i’d pop along to the Lock Tavern in Camden to check out a band called Crows, he said they are a good band that are on the up and destined for great things so i said i would go,check them out and write this review. I  turned up around 7:45pm where i met a friend and chatted for a while  before the support, a band called Krushed Puppies took to the stage. Sounding a bit like L7 or Hole but with weak vocals in want of energy and to be honest a bit ”whiney teenager”. There was a lack of oomph in said vocals and on occasions it was way out of tune. The drums were to high in the mix and the bass didn’t sound poignant enough in my view!! I was glad when they left the stage to be honest!!”

”The tables were removed for Crows and i can see why now because within 10 minutes of Krush Puppies leaving the stage the pub was already filling up for the headline!! The vocalist took to the stage in a dress/wig and dressing gown and mainly performed back at the band and not to the audience. or  if not  doing that spent a lot of time actually  in the audience or standing on the bar. There was a fair bit of crowd surfing too. The set on this Halloween night consisted of only covers from bands of pedigree such as Black Sabbath/The Ramones/The Damned and The Cramps  with the last track a cover of the Hives ”Hate to say i told you so” !! A band  full of energy that is reciprocated by a crowd that is as raucous as the sound. obnoxiously so on occasions, a total antithesis to other gigs i have been to where everyone just stand around politely or is too scared to let themselves go. I went to gig last week and everyone in the crowd just stood passively with arms folded apart from one guy who stood in the middle of everyone going absolutely mental!! Tonight there were many more going mental!!”

”Anyway, this was a good covers set, i shall make a date to see them perform their own stuff soon. a good band!!”

 

LINKS:-

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

Luxury Stranger:- Darkness Falls Upon The Light Album & Gig Review

Album released April 28, 2017

All voices and instruments by Simon York except all drums by Kevin Bales, and piano and trumpet on track 9 by Robert Squirrell

All voice and string arrangements by Simon York

Programming by Guy Elderfield
Engineered by Guy Elderfield
Mixed by Guy Elderfield
Produced by Guy Elderfield and Simon York

Recorded at Random Recording Studios, Nottingham UK
Mastered by John P Braddock at Formation Audio, Nottingham

Live Show:- The Waiting Room 16/10/2017

”The live sound is much better now drums have finally mad a return to the stage. The same intensity as the previous drummer who i thought was good but this drummer adds extra flourishes which spruce up and freshen the sound. the same goes for the bass player!! Tight and driving but with a bit more going  which gives the sound more depth and detail. Vocals still rich and chocolatey, the overall sound is still punchy but more so and regains and retains interest!! A longer set this evening which was appreciated. Maybe leave out the banter to keep the set fluid and mess free or rehearse something that is relevant and in keeping with the set.
I bought the album at the gig and i must say that it does not disappoint!! All the guitar and bass on the album was played by Simon York, It’s well produced, rich with good sound separation. Last year i heard the album being played live to a select few people at a cold Chameleon Arts Centre in Nottingham, my view then was positive but sullied by the coldness, sound travels through cold air differently than in warm air so was somewhat less punchy and erm, warm!! As far as the live set is concerned there is no one track where the new bassist adds to the sound, he adds to all the tracks as stated above with more expressive and textured lines. The bass line in ”Wash” is a simple line but somehow it seems fresher!! The bass takes center stage here with a nice guitar phrase singing along in the background , in fact the counter balancing between the two stringed instruments is maintained throughout the album, neither really dominating, more like a happy marriage where both party’s allow each other to speak!! Nothing here gives your ears indigestion to the point where you say ”ENOUGH!!!”

Overall:- 9 out of 10

LINKS:-

https://www.facebook.com/LuxuryStranger/

PUNISH YOURSELF Album Release!!

(Image to Come)

 

Band :- Punish Yourself
Title :- Spin The Pig
Label :- Verycords
Style:- Goth / Electro / Industrial
Detailed style:- Industrial Metal
Catalog #:- 6022046177
Release Date:- Oct 13, 2017

 

”An abrasive but is easily digestible Industrial metal band from France that produce some trancelike head banging tunes that do not end up falling into that loop of overdone to the point boredom!! The tracks i find are refreshingly to the point!! less is more in regards to the music and the topping that completes the whole is the neon fluorescent stage attire!! They remind me of Young Gods/Alien Sex Fiend in vocal delivery and Ministry in riffing. But whereas with Ministry the overall feel of the sound is dirty and oily this comes across as highly polished with bittersweet overtones!! Obviously that’s my perception, you of course are free to have a different one!! ”Lo Cust” sounds like it would not be out of place on Ministry’s Psalm 69 whilst the interestingly titled ”Die S I Ray” and ”BlackSunWhiteBones” are pure speed n roll!! I’ve played these tracks umpteen times and they are better than coffee!! Title track ”Spin The Pig” builds up slowly with echoing voices and creepy sinister vocalisations and then gets going with a hard driving bass that drives its point home!!! ”There’s no end to this” is like the musical equivalent to banging your knuckles on a drain cover until they bleed, it also sounds like Killing Joke from the Millennium period,  no bad thing because I like that album!”

”This is a very good listen and it’s one of those albums that gets better with each listen. But I suspect  there will be a limit to this ”better” so before I tire of a good thing this current listen through will be the last one of the night”

9/10

https://shop.season-of-mist.com/punish-yourself-spin-the-pig-cd-digipak#.WedRmG7-xOk.link

https://www.facebook.com/Punish.Yourself.official/

http://punishyourself.free.fr/