WARDRUNA LIVE!!!

Venue:- The Union Chapel, Upper Street, Islington, London.

Date:- 17/11/2016

Main Members:-

Einar Kvitrafn Selvik:- Founder/Lyrics/Music/Most Instruments/Vocals

Lindy – Fay Hella:- Vocals

”That was brilliant that was!! I’ve not come out of a gig in a while feeling invigorated and entertained!! It was was not only the hairs on the back of my neck that stood up but also the ones on the small of my back and on the back of my legs!! The Union Chapel, a place I pass most days and is just up the road from where I live, I have lived in Islington for 18 years and it took Wardruna to get me into the venue!! It is brilliant for this type of music!! Music that speaks to your soul, your inner being!! The only other place that Wardruna could have performed in London with this type of music is The Royal Albert Hall, but then again maybe not!! The Union Chapel is just the right size for intimate!! It is cavernous but not mega cavernous, the gothic arches and the oldness meld with the music in a kind of symbiotic pureness!! Wardruna is an experience that commands your attention just like a charismatic preacher in the full flow of a sermon!! The band asked that people did not constantly use their phones during the performance as it was distracting and is irritating to other audience members and to the performers alike! Go old school and absorb the experience in your minds eyes, live the experience and give your memory a work out!! For the most part the audience respected this request and I appreciated the fact that I was at a show where bloody smartphone screens on show were kept to a minimum. As a photographer I am used to going to gigs and being told that I have 3 songs maximum and no flash!! If I can’t get some good shots in 10 minutes or so then there is something wrong with me!! Maybe the audience should be given a 3 song maximum as well, if the band wishes it???

Another thing I like about Wardruna is that the sound is not synthetic!! It is an organic sound created using traditional instruments such as the Kravik lyre, deer hide drums, tagelharps, goats horns and the like. It’s sound that is married to nature, the natural forces, the imagination and ancient ideas and thinking!! It is a sound that entrances and facilitates reverie. This is not shallow music, this is music that strips out the bullshit and gets down to what matters!! It reacquaints you with yourself, its a spiritual cleanser!! Tonight’s set was mainly music from ”Ragnarok” the third album in the RunalJod Trilogy, for those that don’t know the RunalJod Trilogy is 3 album music rendition of the runes of the Elder Fulthark. Gap Var Ginnunga is album one of the trilogy and first graced our ears in 2009, Yggdrasil is number from 2013 and Ragnarok wraps up the trilogy coming out this past October.”Tyr” opens the proceedings with enigmatic horns front lit to enhance the grandness and awe, ”Runaljod” closed said proceedings 90 minutes later with the same feeling!! Lindy – Fay Hella and Einars voices interplaying and interwoven, soft gossamer accented by harsh rope and visa versa, it was  like knotwork crawling around atop the skin before penetration into it, moving around the veins and every pore, intoxicating and openig the doors to the gods!!”

”And then it was all over!! I’ve seen a lot of bands this year but only two have had me leaving a venue with a satisfied feeling of ”WOWWWWW!!! and a cheshire cat grin!! Both are Norwegian!!!”

 

Darkher

Members:-

Jayn H Wissenberg – Vocals, Guitars, Production, sorcery.

Martin T Wissenberg -Atmospheric & Lead
Guitars/Bass

Shaun ‘Winter’ Taylor-Steels – Drums

”A short set of 30 minutes. Very Haunting. I see moorland, cold and desolate and shrouded in fog and mist! One moment I felt lost and then I feel empowered by being lost because I can only find!! In life one minute I know where I am, I know who I am and then the next, as if a switch has been clocked, I feel disorientated and confused, what the hell is this place I stand?? And then, with another click of a switch, I am back!! In places this sounds like Julianne Regan of All About Eve , PJ Harvey, the track ”Hung” and Tori Amos. Take a woman in a long white dress with long hair and  put her in an old chapel and what you also get is a Dante Gabriel Rossetti painting! The track ”Forgone” is the All About Eve sounding track, all tension and foreboding!! Wardruna were the guides who laid the crumbs and I found this!!”

 

 

LINKS:-

https://www.facebook.com/wardruna/

https://www.wardruna.com

https://soundcloud.com/wardruna/albums

https://www.instagram.com/einar_selvik/

https://www.youtube.com/user/wardruna

http://www.darkher.com/

twitter.com/DARKHERMUSIC

 

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JOHN 5 LIVE!!!

John 5

John 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Venue:- The Garage, Highbury Corner, London.

 

”Mesmerising guitar riffery a la Satriani/Malmsteen/Vai/Friedman, a zombie not restricted by one particular genre or style! A journey through the streets of blues, jazz funk, metal, country/hill billy!! The finger speed was sublime and you know what? No vocals were needed for this at all, it would have ruined the vibe!! John 5 is a guitarist not a vocalist so why water down what you are good at??? Usually photographers get 3 songs with no flash, we were allowed flash and for the whole set! If I had known that i’d have taken my flash!! At times I forgot why I was there, to take photos of course, I just stared at the fingers, see those fingers go……….. Anyway I shook myself out of my trance and got on with my job! This was a show enjoyed by band and fans alike, John threw plectrums into the crowd and offered his telecaster to the crowd a few times, they gratefully touched the sacred object which sent invigorated spasms down their collective spines!! I read somewhere that the axes on show tonight were of a limited selection, the rest being in Berlin with Rob Zombie awaiting attentions for his tour, what would we have been party to if this collection had been brought here?? Who knows, next time eh?? The man himself finishes the show with a medley of riffs from well known tunes before departing the stage to gracious applause!!! A good night had by all methinks!!”

 

John 5

John 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John 5

John 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John 5

John 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LINKS:-

JOHN 5 AND THE CREATURES music videos

 

Mortiis Live!!

Date:- 28/5/2016

Venue:- The Garage, Highbury Corner, Islington, London, Uk.

Support:- Die Kur, Ventenner and Seraph Sin

 

”Short and sweet this review!! Just like the support for Mortiis, short and sweet! Just enough music from each band on the bill to wet the appetite and get us all ready for the main course! And the main course, Mortiis was mesmerising, in my opinion!! Havard Ellefsen is a seasoned performer, every movement, every dread shake, every shake of the finger was carried out with a purpose, nothing was put on, nothing felt fake, no going through the motions here, this was a real visceral spectacle that had the front row staring glassy eyed with satisfied smiles. Die Kurs set went down well with the crowd, another no nonsense set with no distracting frills or frippery followed by Ventenner, a band i have known about but not heard before! There set was hard and  pulse like with an interesting use of abrasive guitar textures floated of the top of the back beat like rusty gossamer strands! Seraph Sin, the penultimate band on i have never heard of before, i thought they were Italian but in actual fact they were from Scotland. There is a NIN vibe running through all the bands, some more than others, apart from Mortiis! They sound like, ermmm, well, Mortiis!!!”

 

DieKurBW3

Die Kur

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VentennerBW1

Ventenner

 

SeraphSinBW1

Seraph Sin

 

MortiisBW5

Mortiis

 

MortiisBW6

Mortiis

 

 

LINKS:-

http://www.diekur.net

http://www.ventenner.com

https://www.facebook.com/SeraphSin

https;//facebook.com/officialmortiis/info

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MY DYING BRIDE LIVE!!

Venue:- The Islington Assemby Rooms, Upper Street, Islington, London, UK

Date:- 31/3/2016

All Photos:- ©ClaudiaBlack2016

 

My Dying Bride

My Dying Bride

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

”The Islington Assembly Rooms are very convenient! I live just a 10 minute walk away so if anything worth seeing is happening at this venue i can get there quickly and the bonus is if i get too drunk i can roll in my front gate hahaha! The building is built in the art deco style and has been in use since the 1930’s. The building is used for weddings, private functions, jumble sales, political events and of course bands. I like the venue, it’s pleasing to the eye, big but not cavernous and when filled there is a good atmosphere. What is also handy is the fact that there is a bus stop next to the venue that takes you to The Angel/King X/The West End and there are a few pubs opposite handy for a post gig drink or two. Or there is also The Hope & Anchor up the road if more live music is what you crave! Tonight my visit was to see metal Legends My Dying Bride who i was seeing for the first time. First up were 40 watt Sun who i never saw so this is all i can write about them, and Oceans Of Slumber, a Texas based female fronted band that sound like metal, like jazz, like hard rock, a fusion of differing ingredients that are performed with virtuoso skill! They can play i tell you, they can play!! I have listened to their music online and it is definitely worth delving into more deeply, unfortunately the sound in the venue did not do them justice in my opinion and the atmosphere was a bit flat from the crowd, it was lacking in enthusiasm, Polite applause was the order of the day, the crowd saving their energy and enthusiasm for the main attraction. And guess what? The sound quality for the main attraction improved considerably with the click of a finger! No longer thin but rich and booming, the sound filled the auditorium like musical treacle flowing and then covering all in its path! I was instantly hooked and drawn into the MDB experience. I love the mix of dark but clean vocals interspersed with the guttural unclean version. I particularly liked the track ”Erotic Literature”! I can’t remember how much i paid for the ticket but it was worth it!! I left the venue contented!!!”

 

My Dying Bride

My Dying Bride

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Dying Bride

My Dying Bride

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oceans Of Slumber

Oceans Of Slumber

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oceans Of Slumber

Oceans Of Slumber

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Dying Bride Setlist:-

1:- Your River

2:- From Darkest Skies

3:- And My Father Left For Ever

4:- My Body, a Funeral

5:- Feel The Misery

6:- The Raven Wings

7:- The Prize Of Beauty

8:- Erotic Literature

9:- To Shiver In Empty Halls

10:- The Cry Of Mankind

11:- She Is The Dark

12:- Like A Perpetual Funeral

 

<iframe src=”https://embed.spotify.com/?uri=spotify%3Auser%3Afr101621%

 

LINKS:-

https://www.facebook.com/My-Dying-Bride-Official-uk

http://www.mydyingbride.net

http://www.40wattsun.com

 

http://www.oceansofslumber.com

 

http://www.islington.gov.uk/assemblyhall/about-us/Pages/default.aspx

ZEITGEIST ZERO, SAIGON BLUE RAIN, BLACK CASINO And GEETA LIVE!!!!

VENUE:- THE Hope and Anchor Pub, upper Street Islington, N1 1RL

 

”Tonight i took a trip up to my local muci pub The Hope and Anchor to see Saigon Blue Rain. I’ve wanted to see them for a while and Velevet Sheep brought them over from Paris to play a show with  three other bands, non of which i was that botherd about to be honest before i arrived at the pub but they all turned out to be quite good. I was in the process of organising a gig here in London with Saigon Blue Rain but i was beaten to it! I couldn’t get the bands together that i wanted so oh well!!”

 

Geeta ©ClaudiaBlack2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

”Geeta was on first!! She hails from Montreal but now lives in London! She’s into dreams and gravity and cinema and poetry and all that!!She sounds like Bjork and Siouxie crossed with Android Lust with hints of Sopor Aeturnus thrown into the mix. The music is like taking a walk through spun sugar whilst figures on stilts throw sticks covered in chocolate at you! It’s light and airy with with fronds of denseness thrown up in your way to keep you on your toes! First impressions, i like!!!”

 

Black Casino & The Ghost ©ClaudiaBlack2015

Black Casino & The Ghost
©ClaudiaBlack2015

 

”Black Casino and The Ghost have a confident groove that comes from the hips and a spaced out backing that is a bit tinny. I have never seen nor heard of this band before either but my first impressions, interesting!! A bit bluesy with Scandinavian overtones, a drummer who was in Kula Shaker and a bassist with the same surname as a certain bassist who plays in Motorhead!!The set was short due to the proceedings starting a  bit late but i heard enough to be curious and wanting to check them out online lafter the gig!”

 

Saigon Blue Rain ©ClaudiaBlack2015

Saigon Blue Rain
©ClaudiaBlack2015

 

 

”Mesmerizing,  a sound that arrests all thought and cultivates dreams! A sound that sends shivers down the spine and causes certain muscles to go into spasms! The interplay between vocals, guitar and bass is like smoke dancing in and  out of the gaps in a filigree fence. Its like spell casting, all the the right ingredients put together in just the right way to create  magic that conjures the spirits of rejuvenation from within, snap!! Just like that!! A slight issue with feed back to start with but once that had been dealt with, perfect!!”

 

 

Zeitgeist Zero

Zeitgeist Zero Taken with a smartphone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

”Zeitgeist  Zero, a new band for that i found intriguing!! The vocalist  fascinated me for some reason!! There was a goth vibe mixed with a metal vibe mixed with a cabaret vibe and a 20’s vibe mixed with a 50’s R&R vibe. It all worked and i found my self sat on a stool playing an imaginary kick drum and doing some headbanging lite!! Very good band!”

 

LINKS:-

 

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/ZeitgeistZero/info/?tab=page_info

https://www.facebook.com/SBRofficial/info/?tab=page_info

https://www.facebook.com/blackcasinoandtheghost/info/?tab=page_info

https://www.facebook.com/Geeta-210044302360486/info/?tab=page_info

Hanzel Und Gretyl Live!!

Venue:- Electrowerkz, London, 17/10/2015

 

©ClaudiaBlack2015

©ClaudiaBlack2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

”I’ve never seen Hanzel Und Gretyl before but they are a damn good band live!! Very aggressive in a hypnotic way,they remind me of Rammstein (As you’d expect), Rob Zombie in places, Static X in others with a tinge of Amon  Armath and Venom!! Their sound has Germanic overtones but they are not a German band at all! They  comprise of Kaiser Von Loopy  (vocals/programming) and Vass Kallas (Vocals/Bass) and are from New York City where they were formed  in 1993. Tonight Kaiser wore some  kind  of Wolf/WWI German Helmet mask  whilst Vass was crowned  with her trademark red hair which complimented that very guttural death growl that is  earthy and cadaverous!! Originally their sound was described as scifi metal/Industrial and experimental but as they have progressed the sound has morphed through heavy metal to Black/Death Metal! They have also been linked to the Neue Deutsche Harte movement which, for those of you who don’t know is a German mix of Industrial, Metal and Groove Metal. The venue tonight was quite busy and the crowd were totally into what was going on up upon the stage. Normally i’d be fighting my way to the front to get some close up shots of the action onstage but tonight i could not be bothered so i stood some distance back on a bench to get an overall view of the proceedings and of course to get a feel for the  music without being deafened close up by the speakers, i think i got some good shots based on that decision!!. I am not fully familiar with Hanzel Und Gretyl’s  output  so i can’t tell you what tracks were played on the night, however i did listen to ”Transmissions From Uranus” (1997) ”ScheisseMessiah” (2004) and  ”Black Forest Metal” (2014) If you want some sonic contrast then these albums are a good place to start.”

8/10

 

©ClaudiaBlack2015

©ClaudiaBlack2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

©ClaudiaBlack2015

©ClaudiaBlack2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LINKS:-

 

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/hanzelundgretyl

 

http://www.last.fm/music/Hanzel+und+Gretyl/Transmissions+From+Uranus

 

Dir En Grey Live at The 02 Academy Islington

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No photo pass this time so it was poor mobile shots!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

”What can i say?? Dir En Grey have been around since the late 1990’s and their style has morphed over the years but it can be described as Prog Metal, Alt Metal, Nu Metal, experimental Metal with pop and Visual Kei overtones. Their name is made up of words from different languages and was originally used because it sounded ”right”. There is now no meaning other than being a signpost to the band itself. I got into Dir En Grey around 7 years ago and i’ve played the albums ”Withering To Death” , ”marrow To The Bone” and ”Ourobouros” to death!! There are nine albums in all, ”Arche” of which is the latest!!”

 

IMG_20150523_210059

Poor Shot #2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

”I have finally ticked them off of my ”Got to see before i die” list, They are brilliant live, full of energy that is consumed by the crowd and then shot right back at them! at times i had shivers running down my spine due to the crowd noise and the vocal gymnastics of lead singer Kyo. I got the impression that there was a ”sonic 69” going on between artist and onlooker because the energy got quite intense.”

IMG_20150523_204048

Poor Shot #3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

”Kyo’s vocals are amazing!! he is a Japanese Diamanda Galas, one minute crooning, then screeching like a banshee then growling like a demon possessed before shifting into clean vocal mode and hitting the high notes like a well honed operatic diva. It was like watching a musical painting being painted right in front of me, the low and growling darks followed by high and clean whites all used to great effect to create an impressive whole!! The only thing that would get me to watch Baby Metal live is if Dir En Grey were headlining!! Seriously, they are that good!! i don’t care that i cannot understand Japanese, so what!! Everything else makes up for that and i can always use my imagination to conjure my own unique interpretations!! I’ll definitely be going to see these guys again!!!”
”The support band, Rise Of The Nothstar, not really my cup of tea and from where i was standing up iin the balcony when they played i did not get the full force of their sound. The youngsters liked them though, each to their own!!”

 

 

Links:-

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dir_En_Grey

https://www.facebook.com/direngreyofficial

http://direngrey.co.jp/