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/

 

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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

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/

 

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/