Archive for September, 2017


September 21, 2017

Can I just say that it is best to try not to swear in front of children because –

(1)  The education system is full of fucking cunts who get upset by things like swearing, when in fact swear words when used  appropriately often help make it fucking clear just how fucking strongly someone believes what they are cunting well saying.

(2)  4 year olds saying “fuck off” is not a good look.

But other than that there is nothing wrong with swearing and anyone who thinks that there is is a fucking cunt.  IMHfuckingO. I’m not keen on the c-word, but sometimes, when one is fucking furious with some of the fucking moronic anti-swearing attitudes one comes across from moronic fucking cunts one has to use the c-word.

And some cunts even believe that not all farmers are cunts. FFS. Cunts, the fucking lot of them.

Back to music next time.


Princess, Camcorder, Big Gruesome, Bent Ref and Silent Mode at the Star Inn, Guildford 10th September 2017

September 17, 2017

I’m gonna go random and try to write quick.

Bent Ref were great. Absolutely no idea about what to say about them other than the guitarist had a nice guitar, practically no pedals and the sort of tone that screams “I know what the fuck I’m doing. Worship at my feet mere mortal”. The only band they reminded me of was Sebadoh, but (1) I am not an expert on Sebadoh, and (2) I think they only remind me of Sebadoh because Bent Ref sound a bit like a band that could have been around back then and I think both bands share a kinda song-based but quirky enough that it’s hard to pin down thing. Superb technicians, interesting artists, I like.

Silent Mode rock and I love that their sound is somewhat modern without being somewhat shit (there’s a lot of bands around now that don’t seem to give a shit about their tone, or they want a tone that will alienate people like me who grew up with all sorts of really warm / retro / analogue / valve / sounds). Definitely prefer them at their rockiest / hardest / fastest; they sound a bit like they’re undecided whether they should focus on the heavier, or whether they have enough in the locker in terms of song-writing and talent to be crossover-desert. I don’t have a problem if they stay where they are or go in either direction.

Big Gruesome. Loved the Trematron. Their Facebook page lists the following influences “Black Sabbath, Metallica, Van Halen, The Doors, Pink Floyd, Deftones, Bloc Party, Letlive, AC/DC, Funeral For A Friend, The Cult, Pearl Jam, Motorhead, Led Zeppelin, The Stooges”. NOT MY THING – aside from FFAF and Deftones and Bloc Party and Letlive (bands I know fuck all about and have no desire to learn) you have the sort of tedious mainstram rock shit that is unacceptable as an influence – Lep Zep, Doors, Floyd, Metallica, AC/DC, Cult, Pearl Jam. Plenty of people love this kinda thing. NOT ME. SUE ME.

Princess. Oh Princess. My first gig with new, reasonably good quality ear-plugs… sounded so much more refined that I am used to from them, but what I lost in edge I gained in clarity. The consensus is they’re improving… nothing to blow my mind (not every band can be Who Saw The Light) but their 80s-influenced noise rock hits some lofty heights and never disappoints.

Camcorder are like Princess in that I’ve previously kinda thought it’s the abrasiveness that is the greatest selling point, but I might be coming round to the idea that it’s not. I’ve long wanted to see Camcorder in the quieter and more refined sonic space that is the Boileroom… but I think aforementioned ear-plugs had the same effect.

The Lemonheads were a great band. I’m a sucker for the poppier end of what they did (Mrs Robinson), and especially the rockier stuff (Lick is a proper album). Camcorder are a bit like Bent Ref in that I can’t pin them down but do like it… but if anything Camcorder remind me of what Lemonheads could have been had they dropped the rock influences and gone straight to the pop whilst making sure the guitar fails to sound poppy. This is probably utter horseshit as a description, but I know what I mean. Either way I kinda get the feeling I’m listening to a really poppy but noisy American early-90s grunge-influence indie-pop band. I’m not sure how poppy the songs really are, they all just flash past in the blink of an eye leaving me with a feeling of “I’m not sure what that song was like, but it felt like it was over in an instant so I can safely say it didn’t bore me”. I am shit at this reviewing thing.

Special props to Nick Holland who get’s my “closest thing we had to the promoter turning up” award for the night.  Not a great crowd but not a bad one either, pretty good for a Sunday night in fact. Cheers Stef (allegedly).

The scene is fucking healthy, apart from a few more people through the door would be nice. Four really decent bands for a sum total of fuck all, plus Big Gruesome who I am simply not in a position to judge – I don’t do hard rock.

Who Saw The Light, Tuskar, Daisy Chain – Star Inn 12th September 2017

September 15, 2017

Someone said to me this “if you review a gig you should review all the bands”. Sorry, it doesn’t work like that. For (1) I am Wild Eye, this is my blog and I can do what I want, whether that is telling people to go check out Jon White’s amazing youtube channel for awesome live heaviness [] or ignoring bands for whatever reason I like.  For (2) I have got absolutely nothing to say about some bands other than “not my thing” or writing an essay on why I think “straight” rock / hard rock was killed off by grunge and had literally no relevance in 1990 let alone a modicum of relevance 27 years later.

To expand a little further, my opinion on such bands is somewhere between believing that they are not really my thing but have some merit as musicians, albeit merit I struggle to appreciate, and believing that their conservative nature is a despicable sonic representation of the politics killing this country. On balance I favour the latter argument. If you sing “I love the past and I hate progress, I want to go back in time 50 years to when I could offend minorities with impunity and discriminate against them willy-nilly” then you are a fucking arsehole. If your music shouts in massive fucking capital letters “I love the past and I hate progress” then I have to be suspicious about your politics, sorry. And mainstream rock / hard rock is just fucking shit of course. It has never been part of my life and never will be.

On first Daisy Chain.  New band to me, and someone told me it was their first gig.  If so, serious hats off.  Pretty impeccable list of influences on their facebook page – Black Sabbath, Motorhead, Mudhoney, Hawkwind, Sex Pistols.  Basically they’re a fuzzy grungey rock band who are fairly traditional, but have enough of an edge to keep someone like me interested. Awesome fuzz tones, vocals which owe something to shoegaze. A lot of the newer, younger bands I find myself loving now are heavy-as, whereas Daisy Chain are much less so, though that fuzz tone is pretty heavy (by 1970s standards maybe) and f-ing awesome. If I was a wanker I might say FFO Dinosaur Jr. They sound a bit Freak.

I love the retro guitar tones, I love that they are heavy and a bit psychedelic whilst resisting the urge to go all-in in either direction (or both)… but then again could they be even more interesting if they did veer off towards insanity or genuinely, overwhelming heaviness? Who the fuck knows but I look forward to finding out.

Loxdown are “not my thing”. Sue me. Please don’t sue me.

Tuskar. Hard rocking sludge two-piece. Love the occasional Mastodonny atmospherics. So, what makes a great pop band? Great songs and a beat you can dance to! What makes a great sludge band? Great riffs and a beat that fucking rocks! Tyler’s drums are as heavy and aggressive as you could wish for, but I think it might be a hint of  genuine funk in there too that makes them special. Tom’s riffs fucking rock, his guitar sound is heavy and full, another fucking EHX POG I presume. I want a POG and a HOG and in fact I actually WANT ALL OF THE FUCKING PEDALS.

They play a few songs off Arianrhod – the ep that I managed to get an early copy of before their signing to Riff Rock who will be re-releasing it soon. It is a serious ep. Buy it when it comes out. I can’t speak for the room, but I can speak of my experience in it. So easy to lose yourself in a maelstrom of fuzz and battering drums, so much energy in the thrashier bits. The room went mental and I’m guessing this was kinda an appreciation thing.

I’m honestly not envious of any band that has to follow Tuskar. Who Saw The Light get away with it with ease, they almost match the heaviness of Tuskar, and they out-weird them by miles. Tuskar are the band you can be sure will carry you across the ocean; Who Saw The Light are gonna shove you in a rocket-ship and you have no idea whether you’re gonna reach the stars or you’re gonna explode on launch… fuck they might even set the controls for the heart of the sun. Man. Fucking hippies. Hippy punk metaller freaks I meant. But either way, even if you die on the fucking launchpad, you’ll be happy. Or something. Does this metaphor work?

Where was I?

They start with Lightsaber Cocksucking Blues again. They end with Bangerz if memory serves. Fuck knows what they play in the middle, probably a few off their Psychedelic Philosophy EP. I’m not sure the extent to which they are getting tighter as a band or more focussed in their ideas – maybe quite a lot but maybe not at all. I do know that the more I see them the less random they appear, though the genre-defying madness is still there.  Is this more to do with me getting used to them or are they changing / progressing?  No idea, but I do know they have the riffs and the craziness to get a crowd going, whilst someone pit-averse like me can stand to the side and just grin for 30 minutes at the life-affirming show they put on.  Seriously, I’d expect a band to have really catchy poppy songs, with humour in the lyrics, to make me grin like this. And they’re political. Explicitly and implicity.

Fuck they’re good.

Pretty full room a first band on that went down well and the two main acts managed to absolutely destroy the back room of a pub in fucking Guildford on a fucking Tuesday night. Chapeau.

The Lottery Winners Pt 2

September 11, 2017

And another thing.  Their facebook profile describes themselves as “Mediocre Indie-Pop.”

Indie used to mean alternative, now it just means “guitar band, probably very retro, bland and boring”. But to self-describe as “mediocre” – I know your music’s shit, but if you don’t believe in it then why should anyone else?

Or is it some sort of humourous self-deprecation?  If so, not really humourous and not really self-deprecation, because in the context of The Lottery Winners’ music mediocre is actually a massive lie; a ludicrous claim of brilliance in comparison to the reality.

Or is it a reference to the fact that no indie-pop since about 1990 has been anything other than mediocre?

Cinnamon by Pooh Sticks, that’s indie pop.  30 years old and more energy in the silence before the song kicks in than in every note The Lottery Winners have performed on record, on stage and at rehearsals combined.


I’m gonna listen to Television by The Shitty Limits 10 times in a row to try to purify my mind.



The Lottery Winners

September 11, 2017

A few words about a random band I have never heard.

Only I have now heard them, just pressed play in this –

When I hear music like this my only thought is “why?”

You kinda have that slight Foals-y cultural appropriation thing going with the bland clean guitar sound. But basically the story is this.

In the 1960s there were all sorts of guitar pop bands. By the 1970s this type of music was dead, replaced by hard rock, prog, punk, disco, krautrock, glam. Then in the 1980s there was a guitar pop revival. Many people were sick of SAW and the worst of synthpop (and some bands and fans were just luddite arse-wipes who hate electronic music and the future), and we had some amazing guitar pop made again. Some, like stuff on Sarah, was quirky and twee; other stuff like the Stone Roses combined other elements such as the emerging acid house influences to create something that was new as well as a bit retro. It was great, but it was one last, barely-acceptable, load of twitching from the dead corpse of 1960s guitar pop.

And this –

Why?  Just why?  Pleasant enough, apart from it is this kind of conservatism and backward looking unimaginative shit from our politicians that is ruining the country, and anyone whose art falls into the same trap is SUPPORTING TORY SCUM by implication.

They say they make pop.  That is a lie.  Pop now is electronic.  It is the soundtrack to a dire celebrity culture and horrific nights in meat-market clubs that smell of strawberry vapes, cheap perfume and botox.  They make a homage to 1960s pop for people who cannot accept that the guitar is dead in pop and that it is 2017.

All IMHO of course.

Andertons and Always The Sun and the local music scene

September 10, 2017

This is a post related to the other one.

Always The Sun – thank you for putting on local bands, giving them a chance to play.

Andertons – thank you for being a superb shop – great for mail order, very helpful when you go in, great videos etc etc.  Thank you for sponsoring the local band stage at Always The Sun.

But, I have to have a moan. Why did these bands agree to play the Andertons stage? It is presumably a combination of –

(1) the cash they are being paid;

(2) the job of simply getting on stage and blasting their music out is one they love and therefore they’ll do it any time they get a chance (leaving themselves open to being exploited);

(3) the ability to play in front of new potential fans;


(4) the general publicity that they will get from appearing on the Always The Sun website and associated marketing materials.

To address each of these points in turn –

(1) I do not know what the bands are being paid but I strongly suspect that the agreed fees are not sufficient on their own to justify the bands playing.

(2) If bands want to get on stage under any circumstances then fair play to them.

(3) Bands and promoters share a responsibility to get as many punters through the door every single time an event is on, though arguably it is primarily the promoter’s job to promote. I have no idea how good a job Always The Sun have done promoting the event, but I do know that I would definitely not have gone had I simply looked at the posters and the Andertons blog posts, that I nearly did go as a result of the promotion that some of the bands did personally, and that I ultimately chose not to go as a result of the response I got when asking ATS some questions.  Questions about set times which are entirely reasonable and normal questions according to every single person I have asked.

(4) I think Andertons let the bands down a bit. They did post brief profiles of some of the bands – well, four out of about 25 – but I really do think that they could and should have made the effort to try to cover all of them over the last month, partly to ensure higher numbers at the festival, and partly to do the bands a favour. It does leave a slightly sour taste in the mouth. Andertons have no obligation to support their local scene, but by sponsoring the stage they are clearly hoping to appear like they are supporting the scene, but only bothering to profile four bands kinda makes it look like it was a token effort rather than a genuine desire to help. I am sorely tempted to suggest to Andertons that they really ought do a proper job next year, or, if they haven’t got the time or inclination to really try to do something for local musicians, not to bother sponsoring the stage at all.

And a similar thing could be said of ATS.  If all the bands are listed on the website then I couldn’t find them. Fair enough if the bands are all being paid £50 towards petrol plus £100 per member as fair payment for the hours of work getting there setting up, playing and getting home. If – as I suspect – they are not getting this sort of money then the least ATS could and should do in return for the bands playing is publicise all of the bands to help boost their profile. Not least as this can only help encourage people to come along to the event.

All in all a little disappointing from both ATS and Andertons.

Always The Sun Festival

September 10, 2017

I know I can be a pain in the arse.

The organisers of Always The Sun can do exactly as they please (on the assumption that they get absolute no council subsidy whatsoever – if they do get council support then arguably they do have a responsibility to do what is best, not what they want, and to answer my questions as a Guildford council tax payer.)

I believe that consumers have not only a right but a duty to give feedback to companies, and to do their best to avoid handing over money to companies that let them down.

I saw the advertising for Always The Sun… a few bands I’d like to see, but overall not my thing – I’m not up for 10 hours straight of live music; you can’t guarantee the weather; small venues have much much better acoustics than fields.  Then, as the weekend drew closer a few bands I like a lot posted that they were playing the Andertons stage.  I was really busy and up for the Star in the evening, but maybe a few hours at ATS would be good if I can see a few bands I love.

The ATS website is not very user friendly. I couldn’t find evidence that all the bands that said they were playing actually were.  There was no full line-up posted for the Andertons stage, let alone stage times. I really did not find the ATS website user friendly, though maybe if they had the programme for all stages clearly listed any other deficiencies would not have bothered me.

I kinda did two things.  Someone posted on Facebook asking about stage times and then someone from ATS replied saying that there will be free programmes at the festival with stage times (followed by a smiley thumbs-up emoticon). I asked a couple of follow-up questions and got no response whatsoever.

Yesterday I went along to the ticket office to ask if they would provide stage times and explain that I am only willing to go if I know what I am paying for (I have other commitments and cannot be there all day) and to cut a long story short I learnt that all the bands are on the website, that there is a very good reason why they are not giving out stage times but that it would take far too long to explain and that they have plenty of customers [1] and don’t need to listen to feedback from the public. I am not certain any of those things are true. Sometimes I think I can be a right pain in the arse, over-demanding and over-opinionated… but I was somewhat reassured by a lady in their 60s behind me in the queue butting in to back me up that it was hard to get the information potential customers wanted.

I phoned my cousin who used to drum in a little band.  I spoke to someone I bumped into at a pub. I messaged a few musicians. I literally could not find anyone who could come up with a plausible reason why they were being so secretive and refusing to provide set-times.

ATS can do what they want – as can I by refusing to pay for a ticket as a matter of principle because I do not like handing money to organisations who I feel do not show me the respect I deserve as a potential customer. I feel that giving full stage times ATS would be doing what is normal in the industry, and they would be meeting customer expectations. I can see massive upsides to this and no downsides. I do not think that it is unreasonable for a punter to ask a promoter why they are withholding information and being left entirely unsatisfied with “we have a really good reason but it’s too long to share with you” as a response.

But the mystery gets ever deeper.  I was doing some googling and it appears that ATS does publish stage times!  Or rather Get Surrey do –

Why why why was I not told (either on Facebook or when I gave ATS a second chance by taking the trouble to go to them in person to request information) that this page exists? Saying that here is the listing for the day that I was interested in –


Drug Store Romeos – 9pm-9.30pm

itoldyouiwouldeatyou – 7pm-7.30pm

Drones – 6pm-6.30pm

Fables – 5pm-5.30pm

No mention of who is on between 11am and 5pm, or at 8pm.

I have lots of questions of ATS, but my main one would appear not to be “why not publish stage times for the Andertons stage?” it would be “why not publish full stage times for the Andertons stage, and why say that the stage times are not available until inside the festival on the day when some of them are published in the Get Surrey in advance?” Very odd.

The Wild Eye Wild Speculation Paragraph.  The only thing that I can think of that makes any sense at all is that ATS have done an exclusive deal with Get Surrey to publish stage times and then failed to get complete stage timings to Get Surrey in time, and that has left ATS too embarrassed to refer potential customers to Get Surrey’s page, and unable to publish stage times themselves because of the exclusivity deal. This does sound far too bizarre to be true, but it’s the best explanation that I can come up with.

Please please please ATS – let me know why. I write this blog to try to get behind local bands and the local scene – I list gigs at the Boileroom on my blog and try to encourage people to get out more often to see live music. I don’t expect thanks not least because I’m probably not actually making any real difference… but as someone who cares about the local music scene and who would like to do my little bit to encourage higher numbers at all live original music events – especially an event with some decent bands like ATS – it is a real shame that ATS have left me with an overwhelming feeling of “fuck ’em”.

[1] Based on photos on the net from the Friday and Saturday I am genuinely curious to know attendance numbers, but I strongly suspect it wasn’t a sell-out.

A list of bands…

September 9, 2017

… what I need to check out more… what have released records in the not-too-distant past, or are new and show massive promise… or I just fucking missed cos I am an idiot… kinda note to self…

Crystal Fairy
Dilinger Escape Plan
The Julie Ruin
The Kills – Ash and Ice LP
Methyl Ethyl
Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs
Russian Circles
Wrong (Relapse)

And one who could / should be good, but I think might actually deserve a massive critical kicking…


Dancing Exhortations

September 7, 2017

I found this from an old interview, must have been from when the Make Up was getting back together a while back.

Ian Svenonius: “Make Up as a reunion band is really different of course, but it’s important for me to remember, as I perform, what the Make Up idea was: communication. Through sermonising, call and response, dancing exhortations. That’s what made Make Up really unique and exciting. That was our mission; to inspire the moribund underground rock & roll scene. To create a mythic narrative to a night instead of allowing it to degenerate into passive spectatorship.”

Fucking worked on me when I saw them.  God.

Moper – An Altar of Nothing Erected For No-one – LP

September 5, 2017

Nothing but a fairly clean guitar, doing fuck all, slow, sadly. A voice. He feels much better, apparently. He doesn’t sound like it. “Life is so short.  It feels so long when you’re alone.”  Sure does. “Everything’s temporary.

They  say ‘an apple a day..’? you die anyway” is almost up their with the Hell’s “Everybody Dies” in pure genius stakes.

Negotiating with Prey is proof that a simple guitar and voice doesn’t have to sound retro, even if nothing about the song is particularly modern. Great start.  Love it.

Bass and drums.  Moper by Moper.  Slow, nothing to it, more misery.  That this is one of the weaker songs says more about Moper than it does Moper. I nearly got those italics the wrong way around.

Drums are class on Pennypusher.  The way they work with the guitar/bass. The vocals.  The way Johnny sings “I’m giving everything I’ve got.” Love it.  Some class guitar noise.

Shit City Birdbath might be the best yet.  No idea what the fuck he is on about most of the time but who cares? Andrew Falkous is practically GOD and I don’t know WTF he is on about either.

Ants In My Eyes. Bass kinda reminds me of Black and White-era Stranglers (BIG compliment coming from, or indeed anyone else who knows their shit). This one rocks. And stomps. It kinda takes the piss a bit as well. Crash bash.  Ends.

Bork could almost be light relief if it were not for the slight sense of foreboding.  Fuck… it is still light relief. Some of these guitar sounds are f’ing awesome.

Featuring the title lyrics, Leo Slayer matches Falkous in the title stakes (just about).

Ends with an acoustic number. Cheery. Dig. Like Moper, not one of my favourites but after the relentless, understated misery and kinda supressed brutality made beautiful, somehow, it’s kinda necessary.

What makes a record? The way it sounds. The songs. Whether it convinces. Top marks on three fronts.  Buy it.

Available here –