Freakouts and Screech Bats, Punk / Rock BBQ 3rd September 2017

September 4, 2017

Very quick few words… Jasta 11… all-dayer, punk BBQ with no BBQ!  I don’t care, bar food good as always at the Star.

I am not going to review all the bands, but a few words…

I love Freakouts.  I love their sheer, unadulterated energy, especially in ‘Fuck all’ the last song of the set.  I love the sense of danger and chaos.  I love their take on punk which is massively grunge-influenced.  I love Charlie’s vocal style which set’s them apart.  At the risk of doing myself (and others) a massive disservice they deserve a bigger, better, sweatier, younger, angrier audience.  The guitarist was a stand-in and did fine… maybe even looked and sounded a little more suited to the band than their usual guitarist does.

Screech Bats did it for me too… I love the sheer joy on the drummers face; the properly fuck-off attitude and stage presence of the guitarist; the energy (albeit they’re much more of a ‘straight’ band than Freakouts and gave me less of a sense of energy).  I loved the contradictions in the singer’s look – quite conventional looking clothes / hair, only fairly heavily tattooed – I liked her hand gestures and physical expressions which were much less obvious and hackneyed than most front-people employ.

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Gigs in Guildford / SW Surrey and NE Hants September 1st 2017 onwards

September 1, 2017

This gig list is stuff that get’s the Wild Eye seal of approval, especially if the band or promoter are in bold.

If you look to your right you should see a page marked “Gig Listings on the Net A to Z” where I have linked a couple of local Facebook listings pages.  There will be further A to Z pages up soon covering local bands, labels, promoters and venues.

Let me know what I am missing.

Oh yeah… always worth checking out the Boileroom website as well.

Tuesday 19th September 2017
Joy Room, Fuzzwalker, Warp Rays at the Boileroom, Guildford
https://www.facebook.com/events/433234143725578/

Saturday 30th September
Lo!, Thuum, I Saw The World Burn, Negative Thought Process, Praecantator at The Sanctuary, Basingstoke
https://www.facebook.com/events/477385599292291/

Sunday 1st October 2017
Thuum, Wytch Pycknyck, Slug13, Newts live at The Star Inn, Guildford [Leafy Incline Promotions]
https://www.facebook.com/events/1839197016332731/

Friday 6th October 2017
Trevor’s Head, Morass of Molasses, Heinous Pianist, Silent Mode at the Swamp at the Facebar.
https://www.facebook.com/events/164401130779858/

Saturday 7th October 2017
False Advertising, Silent Mode at The Sanctuary, Basingstoke
http://www.bandsintown.com/event/15119244

Friday 13th October 2017
Crisis, Deadcuts, Holy Faction at the Holroyd Arms, Guildford
https://www.facebook.com/events/449174145438567/

Saturday 14th October 2017
The Grudge, Heinous Pianist and Stone Soup at the Lounge Bar in Alton
https://www.facebook.com/events/782076291974860/

Tuesday 24th October 2017
Baby Seals, Moper and Swords of Thought at at The Star Inn, Guildford
https://www.facebook.com/events/1750740838558322/

Wednesday 1st November 2017
Syd Arthur and Vinyl Staircase at the Boileroom, Guildford.
https://www.facebook.com/events/1900143626975066/

Friday 3rd November 2017
Valerian Swing, Dialects, The Glowing Juniper and Cody Noon at The Sanctuary, Basingstoke
https://www.facebook.com/SanctuaryLiveUK/

Friday 3rd November 2017
Silverchild, Morass of Molasses, Stone Soup at the Facebar in Reading (The Swamp)
https://www.facebook.com/events/1375695992528398/

Sunday 19th November 2017
This Is Wreckage, Space Church more TBC at the Star Inn, Guildford (Buffalo Club night)
https://www.facebook.com/events/1644920612216088/

Friday 1st December 2017
Tuskar, Morass of Molasses, Slug13, The Grey (TBC) at the Facebar in Reading (The Swamp)
https://www.facebook.com/events/316946622109714/

Sunday 4th February 2018
Line-up TBC [Leafy Incline Promotions]
https://www.facebook.com/events/1965125827096664/

Past Events –

Friday 1st September 2017
Still Wave, Parachute For Gordo, Analogue Device at The Sanctuary, Basingstoke
https://www.facebook.com/events/1964523520502717/

Friday 1st September 2017
Bloodhoney, Naked Aces, Camcorder at The Rowbarge, Guildford
https://www.facebook.com/events/315773242216231/

Sunday 3rd September 2017
Punk Rock BBQ at the Star Inn, Guildford – All dayer
Spoilers, Screech Bats, Captain Trips, Emergency Bitter, Kilter, The Landings, Freakouts
https://www.facebook.com/events/323545878074179/

Monday 4th September
Train Robbers, Luna, Lupus, Stu Brootal at Komo in Guildford (UpSet)  Hip-hop / rap / etc
https://www.facebook.com/events/114926529210171/

Thursday 7th September 2017
Freakouts, Spit, Xero, Revelry and Hydrocele at the Boileroom in Guildford
https://www.facebook.com/events/1446526652049559/

Saturday 09 September 2017
Febueder, Ash The Author, Catgod, Figures of Speech, Cody Noon, Vienna Ditto at Oakford Social Club in Reading
http://www.songkick.com/concerts/30997889-febueder-at-oakford-social-club

Sunday 10th September 2017
Princess, Camcorder, Big Gruesome, Bent Ref and Silent Mode at the Star Inn, Guildford [Trial n Buffalo pt 2] – FREE
https://www.facebook.com/events/1599945420039344/
https://www.facebook.com/Trial-N-Error-Productions-1511711255801880/

Tuesday 12th September 2017
Who Saw The Light, Tuskar, Loxdown (?!?!), Daisy Chain at the Star Inn, Guildford – should be a very good one.
https://www.facebook.com/events/114455422598504/

Friday 15th September 2017
Atlantic Fire, Fainites, Andy Ruddy, Dead State and Soeur at the Boileroom, Guildford
https://www.facebook.com/events/325039217919761/

Best song ever?

August 31, 2017

Bit pointless as everyone’s seen this by now.

I don’t much like funk.  Most dance music leaves me a bit cold.  I prefer noise.  I don’t like flashy musicianship generally, or sax.

Why is this so fucking good?

Sludgefest – Dead Lettuce, King Goat, Morass of Molasses, Green Lung, Pensevor, Nyogtha at the Facebar in Reading, August 4th 2017

August 30, 2017

Wowzers – just stumbled upon a saved review title with no review in my drafts folder. WTF can I remember?

Not a lot.  To what extent was it a night of sludge?  Not a lot?  Does it matter?  Not a lot.

Morass of Molasses do their sludgey thing and I like, heavy, riffy.  Not 100% my thing but they’re a band I would happily see anytime.  Massive props for promoting as well as playing.

Pensevor – my reason to be there – superb.

Dead Lettuce, King Goat, Green Lung – this is where – if I was awarded stars for my reviews – I would get 0/10.  From memory all the bands were OK but a combination of not massively being in the mood for six bands and the fact that they all lean more in a metal direction than I tend to favour meant I didn’t give them masses of attention.

Nyogtha – if you were to describe this band to me, despite being a fan of drone, I would tell you that they are my idea of gothy warbly hell.  They were, in fact, gothy, droney, warbly heaven.  Proper fucked up shit. This has no right to work.  It works.  Well.

Morass of Molasses –
Sludgey riffs from the guys behind “The Swamp”.
https://www.facebook.com/MorassOfMolasses/

Nyogtha –
Goth drone genius.
https://www.facebook.com/Nyogtha.fhtagn/

Pensevor –
Drone metal kinda works, but not really sure that they are either drone or metal. Top top band.
https://www.facebook.com/Pensevor/

Moper, Dead State, I Plead Irony, Daryl Vorderman at the Star Inn, Guildford Friday 18th August 2017

August 28, 2017

I didn’t get round to reviewing this one before… and I ain’t now, but I’ll say a few words.

I had a real nice vibe going all night, probably down to seeing the Forward 4 Wiz Trust sign and thinking about the guy I did not know who wrote some of the best lyrics I have ever heard.  MC4 were a superb band, but Wiz’s lyrics were the one thing that from my perspective were genuinely great about them.  I do not use that word lightly.  Off the top of my head I cannot think of a better lyricist, anywhere, ever.  Only the good die young indeed you sod.  You have no idea how much I would love to be able to see you up on stage now.

Pride and Prejudice is one of the most beautiful songs out there IMO.  I’m in tears just re-reading those lyrics now.

If you read this blog you know I like boxes.  I love it when a band just headfucks me, throws it all in, noisily, confuses the hell out of me.  Who Saw The Light are the best example recently but the first couple of times I saw the mighty Space Church were similar.  But even when this is happening I’m always trying to pin bands down to a style or genre.

Dead StateI Plead Irony, and Daryl Vorderman are all probably independent, alternative punky rock or something… but they’re the non-weird, more song-based and less experimental end of that… I tend to prefer the weirder noisier end, unless the band in question really does blow me away with magnificent songs… and writing magnificent songs is kinda the really tricky bit in all this (well that and playing guitar, hitting things in time and singing, they’re all damn-near impossible as well).  Enjoyed ’em all, but Daryl Vorderman definitely have something and Dead State definitely have a decent front man.

Moper are a fucking let down.  I say “a fucking let down”, but I kinda meant to say, a fucking let down apart from –

The guitar – the sound, the stripped back simplicity, the beauty, the way there is not a single unnecessary note all night.

Voice – I really love Johnny’s voice, some people might say it’s authentic.  That’s a bullshit expression, but it is deeply convincing.

The way the drums and bass work perfectly to compliment the above.

The songs.

But apart from that, pretty average.  Go check out their records.

Forward 4 Wiz Trust on Facebook

Cody Noon, For Astronauts and Satellites, Aching Muscle and Sleepwalker at the Star Inn, Guildford 27th August 2017

August 28, 2017

Trial ‘n’ Error join forces once more with the Buffalo Club for a night that could best be described as experimental and eclectic.  Four acts with arguably next-to-nothing in common, certainly not superficially, other than three do not feature live drums and if you were to turn up for some rock, punk, indie then you’d be left disappointed.

Sometimes I go to gigs and just don’t much get into it, for no real reason I can put my finger on… other times I just get into it from start to finish and even when it’s not 100% my thing.

Up first, Sleepwalker.  Stef takes off his promoter’s hat and puts on one that I’d mark ambient minimal techno.  He stands in front of the stage and twiddles knobs on the assortment of kit – mixer, laptop, keyboard and some other shit – in front of him.  I missed the start of the set, but really loved what I did catch, which I think was most of it.  Of all the electronica / dance music out there this is pretty damn close to what I like most.  Quite a pure, warm sound.  Simple, funky, energetic… with ambient sweeps.  To my mind this is dance music for a bar / club that is equally effective as head music.  Really takes me back to 1997 / 98 when I was hanging out in little bars in central London on a Friday night, necking lagers and listening to electro-influenced tech-house.  Honestly, I have no criticism other than the Back Room of the Star is not the ideal setting.

Next up, Richard Fenning’s in his Aching Muscle guise.  An eclectic mix of electronic backing tracks, overlayed with live and looped guitar.  By turns fun, heavy, playful, funky, futuristic, lounge, rocking.  The playing can be relatively orthodox, but when it is it usually gives off a sense that it is being played exactly as intended – technically perfect.  Then he veers off in off-key, off-kilter, off-the-wall, off-ensive (not really), jazzy, mathy, experimentally directions that can sound quite random but I’m sure are just as precisely crafted as that which is more orthodox.

I’ve kinda got two criticisms.  A full live band can put out more power and volume, and, of course, gives you more to look at (not that Fennings doesn’t know how to work a stage).  The sound at the Star is really good – loud and faithful – but it’d be interesting to see how different, louder and more all-encompassing and powerful Aching Muscle would sound as a full band.  Failing that, in an ideal world, and this is asking a lot, he’d turn up with three half-stacks and route loops through one, drums and bass another and live guitar a third.  PA’s are fucking great but they compliment a back-line and can never truly replace one.

The second is this.  Music is never just about the music; to really love it you have to have a complete package to buy into.  Fenning’s other band – Pensevor, where he drums – are a perfect example.  They look like a proper band, down in no small part to their man-mountain front-man but not exclusively, and they have a sound that has nods to all sorts of things but is resolutely their own.  Get on stage by yourself and it’s a fuck-load harder to come across like a proper band, partly because you’re not, of course.  Nothing wrong with a solo act, nothing at all, but it’s just so much harder to come across like you’re on your way to a big stage, and so much easier to come across like you’ve just been let loose from your bedroom.  It’s about perception as much as reality, but it’s just harder to make it sound big and authentic (don’t get me started on authenticity in music, but just quickly, authenticity is bullshit, but people’s perception of it makes a massive difference to how a band is received.)

Third up For Astronauts and Satellites… pretty sure I’ve seen them before, but if I did I didn’t much enjoy them and don’t much remember them.  Dunno what was different this time – probably my attitude not them – but I really enjoyed it.  Shoegaze-influenced post-rock, combining electronics with two guitars; it was the drums that really did it for me.  Bugger.  I noodle at home with a sequencer, but yet another band proves exactly why a relatively traditional live band is so powerful, even 50 years or so since the first all-electronic acts, and despite the fact that so much of the last 30 or 40 years the more cutting-edge music relies increasingly on techniques other than live performance.

Really funky guitar noise.

Finally Cody Noon.  Kinda the missing link between Sleepwalker and For Astronauts, again funky, minimal programmed drums, again guitars, and the only live bass of the night.  Technically I am far from convinced by Cody Noon’s talent, none of Aching Muscle’s effortlessness… but for (1) I’m probably selling them short, and for (2) I really do not give a fuck.  If talent in and music out bore any real direct correlation then Eric Fucking Clapton would make music that could be described as “listenable” or “not horrific” or “unlikely to invoke murderous thoughts in the listener”.  I can’t really describe them… beer blamed, or maybe it’s just cos there’s absolutely nothing to what they do… repetitive, simple… but I really liked it and maybe even my favourites of the night.  In fact, not maybe, they definitely were.  Anything that drones is fine by me, but much more so when it is the drone of repetition as opposed to the drone of a continuous note.

Really looking forward to checking out recorded music from all of them, not least the three whose CDs I walked out with.  Keep and eye, I might even write about them in the next few weeks.  Expect me to come away with completely different perceptions from those I took away last night.

https://codynoon.bandcamp.com/

https://forastronauts.bandcamp.com/

https://soundcloud.com/aching-muscle

https://www.facebook.com/The-Sleepwalker-1700078336900454/

https://www.facebook.com/thebuffaloclub/

https://www.facebook.com/Trial-N-Error-Productions-1511711255801880/

Steve Albini on the Quietus website

August 8, 2017

Interesting interview here –

http://thequietus.com/articles/22952-shellac-steve-albini-interview

Discussing their [non]-promotional strategy he says –

“Part of it was the insult that all of us felt when stuff was being thrust at us. The “check out this hot new band” or “this is the record of the summer” kind of shit. It’s insulting and it makes me hate everyone involved. Whenever there’s active promotion on the part of somebody else, whenever I see somebody all dolled up for a fancy photograph and someone’s handing out flyers or whenever there’s active promotion for something like that, as an imposition on my day, I hate all those people and I want them to fail. I have a visceral reaction to advertising and promotion. There’s just something about salesmanship that grates on me on a very base level and I react very negatively towards it. I want those people to suffer and I want their enterprises to fail. Because of my feelings and the specific insult of having somebody tell you that you don’t know what music you like and that instead you should like this, we didn’t want to be a part of that. I didn’t want to trick anybody into buying our records. If you weren’t interested, we weren’t going to try to convince you. We’ve conducted ourselves that way ever since. I feel like it was the right decision then and I’ve been very happy with the way things have transpired in that we’ve never done anything embarrassing for attention and I don’t feel like anybody would have ever gotten into this band under false pretences.”

I am not going to say that I do and will follow his self-imposed rules to the letter – not least because Albini has the advangtage of having a name that allowed him the luxury of starting a new band and having interest immediately from the press and fans – but I have a lot of sympathy with his thoughts.  My reaction to advertising is pretty similar to his.

Blind River, Princess, Noisepicker, Lost You To The Cities at the Star Inn, Guildford – 3rd August 2017

August 6, 2017

Lost You To The Cities… seen ’em before, really pleasant in a late Sonic Youth way, sorta, but nowhere near as good (unsurprising given Sonic Youth equals GOD).  Pretty, instrumental… really easy on the ear, but can they add some je ne sais quoi?

Noisepicker rock. Great voice, muddy guitar sound, nice, heavy riffy shit.

Princess are losing the trebly abrasiveness that I kinda thought was them… more universal sound now, love the post-punk bass, great drums… I like… they’re gonna get more fans like this… but for me was their wilful sonic evilness their main USP?  Dunno, but fuck it, Wild Eye likes bands that say fuck you to their audience and Princess are saying that less loudly nowadays.

Blind River. Great voice (Noisepicker singer). Sorry, I don’t do hard rock. Review over.

Next Trial n Error night is the 27th August at the Star.

Jon White’s youtube channel

July 26, 2017

If you like noisy shit, doom, stoner, sludge, all sorts, then check this out.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxKMvHJPcHmp0Z3ncOw6Nsg

Mainly London to South Coast and in between live band vids.  Sound and video both tend to be surprisingly good quality, well worth spending some time there.