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

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Cauldronated Live At The Queen Of Hoxton, 20/12/14

Venue:- The Queen Of Hoxton, The Junction of Worship Street and Curtain Road, Shoreditch London.

Date: – 20/12/2014

Update:- Since writing this review and forgetting to post it (How professional of me!!) a tower of characterless glass has been erected opposite the venue!!

”The night before i had one of my usual boozy binges and i overdid it as per usual! One should have stopped after the first bottle of wine but no i had to ruin everything!! Saturday afternoon i woke up with no memory of the night before and with the early stages of flu setting in. The flat was a mess, there were bottles everywhere along with empty plates replete with chicken bones, bread and indecipherable vegetables! I was in no state to go out Saturday night, i had no energy and my face looked like i’d been slapped around with spatulas simultaneously on each cheek!! ”I must make an effort” i said to myself!! So after numerous black coffees, paracetamol and rounds of toast i got ready in a half arsed fashion and then dragged my barely alive carcass down to The Queen Of Hoxton.”

”The Venue was located on a corner at the far end of Worship Street in the city of London opposite, well opposite nothing really, there was a building there but it’s not there now, another part of old London pulverised to nothing probably to be replace by more characterless glass. After negotiating the barriers and if i may say so, very accommodating staff, i entered the venue and descended the stairs to the stage/bar area!! I was just in time. Cauldronated were the stage and getting ready for the forthcoming set. Eva going through her pre set routines whilst Dave Barbarossa made final adjustments to his drums. The crowd was not an alternative crowd tonight. Totally different people to the crowd i am used to but there was plenty of them. A mixture of locals and out of towners readied themselves for the force that is Cauldronated!!”

”I have seen Cauldronated many times this year and as the year has progressed so has the confidence and presence of Eva Menon on each stage. Each gig is a progression, a letting go, an opening up, a statement of intent!! She uses the stage with much for fluidity, marking her territory with the the words that are spat forth with a subtle hint of ”don’t mess with me!!” If Cauldronated were a F1 car engine they would be this past seasons V6 that won the championship for Mercedes!! Well oiled, all the components working in perfect harmony with each other and fuel/air mix just right to facilitate the perfect explosion!!’

”Ibossa, Ring Of Khan, the new single ”BUY THIS THING!!” all went down well with the ”normals” in the crowd, there was a lot of foot tapping in front of me i noticed whilst the group of girls sat behind me on the left side of the stage looked on with expressionless faces but the feet tapping under the tables showed their true emotions!! As i have noticed from other gigs that Cauldronated have played, the venue is packed for their performance and thins out like an Arctic Foxes winter coat in the summer sun when they finish!!”

”These Guys have got something, if you’ve not noticed!!”

They know that!!

 

https://www.facebook.com/cauldronated/

KMFDM LIVE IN LONDON!!

 

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Venue:- 02 Academy Islington, London.

9/9/2017

”Ventenner are, as I’ve stated in another review a very good band, i love the angsty feel to the sound, a sound slightly Numanesque/NIN, heavy, dark, atmospheric and abrasive but not too repetitive!!The sound was better tonight than their previous show i saw with Skinny Puppy and the crowd i observed were more appreciative!! The mix was just  right for my ears I absolutely love ”The Start is The End” and the other fav track of mine is ”Be Still”. What’s the word i want to use to sum up Ventenner?? Oh yes,  satiating!!”

”Lord of The Lost i have not heard of before!! Hailing from Hamburg they are a sugary mix of industrial metal a la Marilyn Manson with anthemic overtones! They also remind me of Lacrimosa for some reason and Mortiis. They are showmen with a well honed stage presence that went down well with the crowd!! Most definitely crowd pleasers this lot, the crowd sang along often and the air was seldom not filled with devils horns! I liked them but i  would get bored  pretty quickly. They are like a cream cake that gives a quick sugar boost before another energy dip!! Personally they are to be enjoyed on special occasions unlike Solstafir who i saw the week  before and who i can listen to over and over…  To end this part of my review i can say without contradiction that Lord Of The Lost are great to photograph!!”

”Unlike Inertia, who irritated  me!! I know a band does not take to the stage to cater to the whims of the gathering throngs of photographers in the pit, you deal with the conditions as they arise!! But from the off Reza Uddin traversed the stage like a hyperactive who had consumed too many expressos. I tracked him across the stage like a sniper after an un obliging kill to the point where i started to lose my patience!! There was no interlude from the darkness either with brief flashes of spotlight!!  This affected my appreciation of the music  because i started to get bored and fidgety and these feelings never really left me for the duration of the set!! Sections in songs went on for too long and i lost focus. The crowd were not as animated as with Lord Of The Lost in my view either, they were politely attentive  waiteing for KMFDM. I make no apologies but this set did absolutely nothing for me!! Even the rendition of Peter Gabriel’s ”Games without Frontiers” did nothing to bring me back onside!!”

”KMFDM or to give them their long name ”Kein Mehrheit Für Die Mitleid” are a German Industrial band that have been creating music since 1984 and currently consist of Lucia Cifarelli, Jules Hodgson, Andy Selway, Steve White and Sascha Konietzko who has been a constant since the bands inception over 30 years ago. Not a band i follow closely like i would with many others although i have been aware of their existence since the mid 1990’s and I will dance to them when they are played at clubs like The Slimelight and Reptile in London along with other industrial luminaries such as Front Line Assembly, Nitzer Ebb, Oomph and Nine Inch Nails. They put on a blinding show and throughout their set  had me shoulder dancing as if i had an uncontrollable tick in both deltoids!!  They also have charismatic stage presence which facilitates the taking of some good photos!! The set was mixed up with metal/industrial/ebm/ sounds that kept your interest and kept the set fresh and as with the aforementioned Lord Of The Lost the crowd sang along and fist pumped/devil horned the air with the enthusiasm of a crowd at a political rally. In fact the front of the stage where Sascha Konietzko stood was furnished with his musical ”lectern” on which was placed the box of wizardry that accompanied the lyrical manifesto. The front of the stage was a bit crowded with stage furniture so  taking  good photos did involve plenty of movement from the photographers to shoot through gaps in the throng of stands!!I would highly recommend seeing KMFDM if you haven’t already as they are value for money and the facilitators of a great night out!!

 

LINKS:-

https://www.facebook.com/pg/officialkmfdm/about/?ref=page_internal

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

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

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

 

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/

 

 

 

MORTIIS LIVE!!

Venue:-  Electrowerkz, London.

Date:- 18th March 2017

Band Members:-
Havard Ellefsen
Levi Gawron
Tim Van Horn

MortiisOilify

”All i can say about this show was that it was a much better show than the previous show i saw last year at The Garage in Highbury Corner. This show should have been at the aforementioned venue but it was changed! I’m glad it was because sound mix was so much better! The set was as energetic as usual and workman like! Every note, every drumbeat every phrase of the vocals were on the money!! I thoroughly enjoyed the set and it’s energy and all three members of Mortiis exuded their own kind of charisma!!Most of the set was tracks from the latest Album called ”The Great Deceiver” Standout tracks for me include:- ”Too Little Too Late” , a piece of aural art that has the feel of a piece created using varying layers of different grade sandpaper, rough in places and as smooth as a finished door knob! The last 60 seconds is pure head nodding bliss!!  ”The Great leap” is another awesome track!! 1-2-3-4 THUMP 1-2-3-4 THUMP with a cheese wire sinew winding it’s way through the body, i have an image now of a body on kebab skewer flailing and thumping to the bass!! ”The Ugly Truth” is very Rob Zombie/Ministry, it has a ”Jesus Built My Hotrod” feel to it!! ”Demons Are Back” I’m burning up inside the demons are back!! This just sums up how  i feel today!! And this is the best medicine to purge!!! The whole track is a catharsis but from around 3 minutes 30 i start to feel the demons getting weaker…..”

MortiisBW6

 

Setlist

 

”it has been  a great privilege to see Mortiis twice in the past year, a great band that i hope to see more of in the future, especially at Wacken!!”

 

LINKS:-

https://www.facebook.com/officialmortiis/

All other links can  be found through the Facebook page.

VNV NATION LIVE!!

Venue:- The Scala, Kings Cross, London.

Date:- 26th February 2017

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”I am going to write this review without any research, just raw as it materialised from the inner parts of my brain!! I’ve not been to the Scala since the early part of this century and that was to see Brendan Perry, he of Dead Can Dance. It was packed then, it is packed to the rafters now!! I’ve known of the existence of VNV Nation since that latter stages of the 90’s but i have never consciously gravitated towards their music. Sure, i may have heard something at the Slimelight or The Electric Ballroom or Reptile but I’ve not done an internet search or sifted through their Cd’s in a music shop or been drawn towards their  stuff on Spotify etc!!  What can i say about them here? They are the musical equivalent of Black Forest Gateau!! i like Black Forest Gateau, if there is a BFG at a party i’ll gravitate towards it! i will cut myself a slice and consume with glee!! i will quiver at the sugar rush and then go back for  a second slice!! I will do that eye rolling thing and start bellowing ”oh, oh, oh my gosh!!” One mouthful into the third slice and i start to feel sick, the urge feeling in the back of the throat starts to assert itself so i have to put the plate down and walk away from the offending article!! That’s VNV Nation!! Pounding bass drum and textured synth filigree, but the vocals seem samey! i feel that there is no resolution when the vocals go off on a roll, i feel there is a build up of tension but no release!! i personally end up feeling frustrated, it’s like a good thing and getting too much of it, you know what i mean?? The vocalist is a showman though, he can work a crowd! He had the knack of rebooting flagging enthusiasm and getting the crowd to sing at various points. Also i was brought onside at the beginning when he said that people could film/photograph the show but don’t block the view of those who have spent good money to see a band and not see a QHD/AMOLED image of the band on a bloody smartphone screen!! i do find that annoying! Wardruna were saying the same thing when i saw them back in November i think it was, for the most part the crowd respected this request!! As an aside, the crowd were very polite tonight!! Apologising for getting in my way when i took photos, holding doors open, picking things up when i dropped them etc!!”

”To sum up i’d say that VNV Nation are a band that i will listen to on occasions but i do not thing they will become a favourite!!”

7/10

LINKS:-

https://www.facebook.com/VNVNation/

http://www.anachronsounds.de/

LUXURY STRANGER :- ”DARKNESS FALLS UPON THE LIGHT ” PRE RELEASE ALBUM PLAYBACK & POST RELEASE PLAYBACK.

 

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Jake Hampton And Simon York

Amendment 9th May 2017:-

What a difference 7 months make!! Jake has now left the band for reason i know not of leaving Driving force and main man Simon York on his tod to do the remainder of the work leading up to the release. Kevin Bales played  drums on track 9 and Robert Squirrell did some trumpetry though! Now that the album has been released (28/4/17) I have now had a chance to listen to the finished product at my leisure in a warm room not having to worry about how shit i feel or how many coffees i need to stay awake. This album is well produced, very well produced!! Everything in the mix sounds even and at just the right level in the mix!! It’s not overblown, crowded out or too pompous! Every instrument is crystal clear and no straining of  ear  nor tweaking of EQ is required to get the most out of this album. ”Wash” has a snarling emphatic drum beat which is the perfect counterbalance to  the melted chocolate vocal. The guitar comes in out of the shadows and adds some silvery flourishes before dipping out again. Everything about this track is just perfect!! I actually like the pondering wandering flamenco Wimsey of ”Lady Takes The Blame” Another great track is ”Side of the Road” A great head nodder, just the right side of pensive and perfect for working to!! If this album does not bring in some well deserved and steady revenue for the band then i’d like to know why because a lot of hard work, dedication, sweat, tears, trauma and personal trials have all gone into the crafting of this along with a great engineer!!! I mean, seriously!! There is a lot of crap out there that in my opinion should not be given the light of day or be classed as art and stuff like this gets overlooked ?? Luxury Stranger have been  around for years and deserve recognition in my view!!”

If Ansel Adams was a recording artist he would be pleased with what he’d produced here!!

 

Venue :- Chameleon Arts Cafe, Nottingham, UK

Date:- 30/11/16

”This venue was cold!! I turned up at around 6pm when the band were setting up and getting the sound right on the PA. The venue is just up the road from the Old market Square and you access it from an alley between a Game Shop and a fast food outlet!! It is on two floors with a bar/lounge area on one level and the stage and loos upstairs. My first impression of the place was that it looked  like a squat and the fact that it was bloody cold did not subdue that assumption!!”

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”Simon set up chairs for the invited guests who arrived around 8pm for the 8:45 start. I was expecting a live performance/playback of the album for some reason but it turned out to be just a playback. Two chairs were set up in the stage area as props. When the playback started i had a thought, that it was cold for a reason and as the album progressed the heat would be turned up, it wasn’t!! My imagination was also seeing ghostly figures inhabiting the chairs, staring at each other, staring ahead, flitting from one chair to the other, standing etc. The cold was not part of the performance at all, it was incidental but the ghostly images and the music took my mind off it for most of the 45 minutes.”

 

”Cold aside, i  enjoyed the playback, the album is basically reworkings of old tunes such as ”Wash” and ”Diver” and my foot tapped for the most part all the way through the proceedings. The Engineer/Co producer on the album was Guy Elderfield from Random Recordings in Nottingham. His credits include working with the Libertines and The Donna’s, there is a link to Random Recordings below if care to have a look!! .  As i said previously, i enjoyed the playback but the cold in the building was having an affect on my concentration and cold does have an affect on how sound travels through the air so in this environment a few tracks did not come across as maybe they should have. So be wise as not to assume that this is my definitive review of ”Darkness Falls Upon The Light” because it is not!! I look forward to having a lot more listens at my leisure when the album is finally released in March 2017”

 

LINKS:-

http://www.facebook.com/luxurystranger

http://www.luxurystranger.net

https://www.facebook.com/pg/The-Chameleon-Arts-Cafe-Nottingham

http://www.random-recordings.co.uk/