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/

 

 

 

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/

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/

KAMPFAR LIVE!!!

 

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Venue:- The Underworld, Camden Town, London, UK.

Date:- 25/10/16

KAMPFAR!!!!! An Old Norse Battle Cry meaning Odin or Wotan!!

Abraham Ben Jacob:- ”Never before have  I heard uglier songs than those of the Vikings (in Slesvig). The growling sounds coming from their throats reminds me of dogs but more untamed!” 10th Century AD

 

 

”The last time I saw Kampfar was last year when they played at the Dome in Tufnell Park supporting Gorgoroth! They grabbed my attention more than Gorgoroth, the energy was captivating, the rhythm was intoxicating and presence of all the band was stereolithic! A brief biography, the band has been in existence since 1994 when  Dolk  parted ways with his previous band called Mock. The band started as a duo and their first release was a self titled mini cd followed by their first album in 1997 called “Mellom Skogkledde Aaser”. These guys are no wall flowers, you know they are there, they pull your attention and it is kept for the duration of the gig!! I’ve always found Kampfar spine chilling, i’m not fully up to speed with all their catalogue yet but what I have heard is sublime!! ”Mylder”, 6 minutes of raging goodness accented by a teasing airy and somewhat mocking flute, ‘Swarm Norvegicus’, rousing and bombastic, the guitar cutting through you like cheese wire! In fact the whole experience of listening to Kampfar is like listening to an opera whilst being garrotted with cheese wire, and loving it!! Dolks guttural utterances  mirroring your own gurgles as the blood spews out of your neck!!  I was on a bus the day after this gig listening to ”Glory Ablaze” and I was in a trance, a look of insular musings on my face and a propensity for uncontrolled jerking, I had a need to break out and thrash my head about but I could not, I was on a bus! Any one looking at me would have thought I  was mad! I was having an experience, a visceral experience, it was  like an orgasm but better, prolonged!! The set list for tonight gig consisted of tracks from albums, in no particular order:- ‘Kvass’ (2006), ‘Profan’ (2015), ‘Djevelmakt’ (2016). I was listening to ‘Lyktemenn’ whilst writing this, I went into a trance again, sorry!! And the other albums are:- ‘Heimgang’ and ‘Fra Underverdenen’. After skimming through all the albums online I have found some gems to explore in more detail and to be honest although there are some tracks that I don’t like the majority are satisfyingly brilliant, for example ”Hymne” from ”Mellom Skogkledde Aaser” and ”Troll, Dod Og Trolldom”  from the album ”Fra Underverdenen”.

 

”I know what  I like and I like this band!!”

 

SETLIST:-

 

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LINKS:-

https://www.facebook.com/kampfarofficial/

http://www.kampfar.com