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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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

 

 

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/

 

 

 

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/

 

 

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

 

Ministry Live!!

Venue:- The Kentish Town Forum, London, UK

Date:- 20/8/2016

NO unauthorised use of Images!!!!

Al Jourgensen

Al Jourgensen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

”I didn’t know if i’d make this show! I sent numerous emails to different agencies requesting photo passes and not one had the decency to email back with a positive or negative response, which i find is disgraceful!! Not knowing if i had got a pass or not i decided to go to the show anyway, with my not so good back up camera, i was not expecting a pass to be waiting for me, and a massive hangover from the night before. When i arrive at the venue the security assumed that i was press and ushered me inside the venue to get my pass, which was a good start!! I tell the girl behind the glass who i was working for and she looks through a long list, my name is not on it!! Another girl looks through the list again and again my name is not there! Finally she radios for advice and then picks up a clip board, what’s underneath? A photopass!! Brilliant i thought! Why can’t these people email confirmation, emailing is so easy and it takes no more than 30 seconds to send one, i know i’ve done it!!”

 

Al Jourgensen

Al Jourgensen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

”Anyway, on to the show! Ministry had just taken to the stage when i arrived, i could hear the loud raptures of the crowd as the trademark abrasiveness commenced! I fought my way through the dense crowd to the front, entered the photo pit and took 31 photos with my shit camera for 3 songs! One photo i did not get was when the bassist flipped me the bird, the camera conked out temporarily! The band were up for a great show and so were the crowd, there was plenty of energy directed at the stage, lots of air punches and horn gestures! I’m not au fait with all Ministry’s out put but i remember NWO, Just One Fix, Stigmata and as an encore Psalm 69. Most of the tracks got my foot stomping and my head banging especially the aforementioned tracks!! There was a great energy in the venue and it was packed to the rafters. Thoroughly good show and i’m glad i went!!”

 

 

1:- Hail to His Majesty (Peasants)

2:- Punch in the Face

3:- PermaWar

4:- Rio Grande Blood

5:- Señor Peligro

6:- LiesLiesLies

7:- Waiting

8:- N.W.O.

9:- Just One Fix

10:- The Missing

11:- Deity

12:- Stigmata

13:-Thieves

Encore 1:-

14:- Psalm 69

15:- So What

16:- Khyber Pass

Encore 2:-
17:- Gates of Steel
(DEVO cover)

 

Links:-

http://www.aljourgensen.com

http://www.facebook.com/ministry

 

spotify:album:4iXQPvKToQ3krCirQoW6I9