Posts Tagged ‘Guildford’

Bloodrush / Gatvol / Star Inn – Guildford 28th January 2019

January 29, 2019

So, a few words… arrived late intending to see most of Gatvol‘s “alternative rock” set, but missed pretty much all of it… not really my thing.

Bloodrush… really enjoyed them… again, not really my thing, I’m no metaller, but I did enjoy it.

Blues > rock > hard rock > metal > more metal > more newer metal > nu metal > more metal > now.  How’s that for a history of metal?  Aside from the fact I’m not big into metal by a long shot, the problem for me is that metal bands, to grossly oversimplify, fall into one of two camps –

(1)  You have your retro blues-based classic metal nonsense.  Offends my desire to hear music as art, not music as homage to the past.

(2)  You have your soulless, shit-guitar-tone, modern metal nonsense.  Offends my desire to hear music that has humanity and good sound, and tends to be a rabbit-hole of pointless sub-sub-sub genres that are dead-ends in the history of musical development.

Maybe this is my perception and based a million miles away from reality, but the best metal in my eyes recognises that we are not in the 70s / 80s, whilst knowing that music needs to be organic and a lot of modern metal has lost that.

I’d argue that Bloodrush get this and find that sweet spot… they’re not gonna turn me metal, but I’d go see ’em again.  Sweet.

The Star.  To be honest, the main reason I was there was to see (hear) the back room of the Star for a noisy gig.  I think that I’ve been there once since the noise reduction efforts started, but that was in the early days and the bands I saw were the sorts of acts who don’t desire or rely on massive volume.  It sounded good, but it left me worried that bands who are all about power and volume might find the venue very dissappointing compared to it’s pre-complaint fearsomeness.  So what can I say?

I stood at the back.  I’d forgotten my earplugs which wasn’t a big issue due to the reduced levels, but I could have stuck a pair in quite easily if I did have them with me.  It was hardly quiet, but no longer the sort of insanity that a band like Morag Tong need (at least I think they need) and Tuskar enjoy.

They don’t seem to have done much if anything to reduce noise leakage from the room – what they’ve done is hung theatre style curtains down the sides and applied acoustic treatment to the ceiling to improve the sound.  I think it’s the damping that helps sonic clarity, and reduces the need to crank the pa to the max, whereas in the past, pre-acoustic treatment, the tendency was to push volumes to the limit to try to force the sound past the unsubtle acoustics of the room, or something.

The sound was great, and the consensus from others I spoke to was that it’s a lot better than it was before the changes, even if it’s a bit quieter.  I’m not gonna promise that some bands and audience members might not turn up and feel a little dissappointed and underwhelmed compared to the monster noise you sometimes got before… but equally I have gone from “serious reservations” about the changes to “next to none”.  Excellent!



Guildford, Aldershot etc Gig Guides

January 25, 2019

I can’t be arsed to do a gig guide any more.  You might have noticed.  Will try to mention good stuff I see, but if you wanna know what’s caught my eye check the Wild Eye facebook events page –

And you must keep checking Chris’ great Surrey / Hants gig guide here –



Gigs / events this week and a bit further forward – Guildford and surrounding…

September 24, 2018

Fresh, Me Rex, Tea Leaf (acoustic)
The Keep, Guildford, Weds 26th September 2018

Aldershot Modular Cafe
West End Centre, Aldershot, Thurs 27th September 2018

Guildford Rhymes Volume XIII [UpSet Collective]
Casino Nightclub, Guildford, Thurs 4th October 2018.  Date change – this might be moving to the 11th October 2018.  TBC TBC.

Beggar, Archelon, The Lunar Effect, Slug 13 [The Swamp]
Facebar, Reading, Friday 5th October 2018

blanket, Matro Rancho, Mikey Riley [F4Wt Spaces4Sound]
The Star Inn, Guildford, Sat 6th October 2018

Kayla Painter, Nanye, The Sleepwalker [Trial N’ Error]
The Star Inn, Guildford, Weds 17th October 2018

Always remember to check –

A quick round-up of stuff that’s caught my eye…

September 20, 2018

Slug 13 have released the “Cut” ep.  Their first release since paring down to a two piece sees them moving a touch towards noise-rock and a touch away from grunge.  They hit the Swamp in Reading on 5th October.

Check the ep here…

Oz and the Kryds have gigs coming up in Guildford on 18th and 24th of October.

Oz’s Spotify account has an album up called Screwdriver that I don’t think I’ve got around to reviewing… and allegedly the next one’s dropping early next year (I think).

Meeting 2 of the Aldershot Modular Cafe happens on 27th September at the Westie.

Kayla Painter brings abstrct electronica to the Star on 17th October.  [Full disclosure / disclaimer – I’m helping out a bit with this one]

The F4WT (Forward for Wiz Trust – a charity supporting young musicians) are putting  bands on at the Star on 6th october.  Expect – blanket (cinematic post rock); Matro Rancho (heavy trans-era rock); Mikey Riley ft. James Armstrong (experimental ambient & drone); Project Untitled.

Freakouts have a new track out on 5th October for all you punk fans (you know what, blog post coming up which will explain the entire history of good music and why punk is not a genre in under 1000 words).  Freakouts aren’t punk.  Maybe they are.  They do have energy and genius and less hair.

Slow Clinic have released Music For Slow Moving Arpeggiators –

I’m not the biggest indie fan out there, but love the vid, love the bassist, and think that People In Museums have got something about them… the energy and the old “far too many words per line” thing which I’m a sucker for…

What have I missed?  Let me know and I might do Pt 2.

Wild Eye Gig Guide – 9th September 2018

September 9, 2018

Weekly gig guide… hey ho, let’s go…

Tacado, Serpent Tax, Swords of Thought, Shockpowder – Sunday 9th September, Stag’s Head, Hoxton, London

Vibracore, Noisepicker, Slug 13, The Boss Says Kill, Aching Muscle, Wingo Lamo, Say Your Prayers – Saturday 15th September, the Lounge Bar, Alton

The Sun and The Stars, Nyogtha and Mountainscape – Saturday 15th September at the Facebar in Reading.

Noisepicker, Slug 13, Treasure of Woe, Troll Mother – Sunday 16th September, Star Inn, Guildford.

For more – especially further into the future – check out the Wild Eye facebook events page –

And –

Trial n Error Productions – Nanye, An Early Haunting, Chrono and Slow Clinic – live at the Star Inn, Guildford, 2nd Spetember 2018

September 6, 2018

I’m too honest for my own good.

If I was normal (by abysmal modern standards of music criticism / journalism) I would give this gig 10/10, five star, A+++++, better than finding out that you’ve won a quadruple-rollover Euromillions whilst getting a hand-job off… you know what, I’ll leave it there.

I’m not normal, I try to make this blog as honest as I can.  This becomes hard when part of the reason I write is to trying to encourage connections and attendance at gigs; when I meet and like people and don’t want to slag their music off as a result; when I’m helping out the promoter a bit – he might even claim I co-promoted, which is utter bullshit.  Stefan Powell, aka The Sleepwalker, booked the bands and the venue and did pretty much everything else from what I can see, but I did try to give him a bit of a hand because I MASSIVELY BELIEVE IN WHAT HE IS DOING [see note 1].  And another thing makes it hard – on the one hand I’m judging bands for what they are – young and / or local – on the other hand I want to see originality and quality that matches up to my favourite music of all time, which is a pretty high bar to set.

Anyway, now I’ve got that out of the way I can get on with being honest – shit the lot of them.  Absolute toilet, especially  the acts featuring at least one guitar.

Not really.

First not on was Cyberwaste – illness preventing Ashlinn Nash from providing electronic interludes… hopefully she will be back with TNE soon.

James Armstrong’s Slow Clinic persona is taking a live break which is a massive shame.  Drones, swells, effects-laden ambient-guitar heaven… I think this was the third time I’ve seen him now and every time I’ve enjoyed it more than the last.  I think the reason for this is that when I first hear music like this – simple in many respects, sound-based and not relying on high levels of musicianship [Note 2] – I fear that I will buy into something that is ultimately relatively worthless.  I love a lot of very simple music, and do not believe that technical ability (or the amount on display ) and quality of output is corrollated, but I do fear that my ability to tell “simple, genius” from “simple, nothing special” is poor.

Stunning, mesmerising, beautiful… swells and drones, occasional more traditional guitar playing which has it’s power multiplied by its rarity… if I were to doubt my judgement I’d only have to look at the faces of some of the musicians in the audience and the rapturous round of applause at the end of the set to know for sure that I was wrong to.

I’m on even more dodgy territory trying to review Chrono and An Early Haunting.  Both bands play music which I’m open to, and supportive of because of its attempts to put the more traditional rock tropes behind it, but neither fit neatly into genres that I love or know huge amounts about.

Chrono – a part-time Freakout on a guitar, another guitar, James Armstrong (again) on bass, drums.  No vocals.  Some sort of post-rock-y, math-y thing, which veered a little into more classic rock territory at times.  At their best they got noisier and veered towards a Mars Volta sound/style, but then listening to the minute of studio recording “Debut” online leads me to think they could be as good if they pursued a pretty-much ambient route much closer to Armstrong’s Slow Clinic.  Their set seemed to fly by, which is undoubtedly a testament to them doing something right.  Looking forward to seeing how they develop, the selfish side of me hopes that when I next see them they’ve pushed the more aggressive and chilled sides of their sound, and reduced the amount of middle-ground.  One to watch.

An Early Haunting rise from the ashes of Lost You To The Cities, claiming – entirely fairly – that the direction they’re moving is towards more of a soundtrack / film-score vibe.  Lack of drums probably helps that… not sure if / when they’ll get a drummer, but I’m tempted to suggest they stick to eternal drummerlessness to emphasize that they’re not trying to compete with a typical rock or post-rock outfit.

Two guitars, bass, and two multi-instrumentalists with cello, violin and keys (and occasional guitar) is a pretty good approximation of the line-up… I’m a sucker for bands who swap instruments going back to seeing the mighty Sebadoh at the Old Trout in Windsor.  Kinda washes over you, booze and four days don’t help, not really sure what to say apart from it’s chilled and glides by kinda like soundtrack music tends to do… kinda like they might be acheiving what they set out to do… will definitely be keeping an eye on how they progress.

Nanye.  I don’t have any booze and four days excuse with Nanye, despite them going on a few minutes later… I distinctly remember not having a clue what I was witnessing when it happened so time really does make fuck all difference writing now.  First track – Circles – some kind of warped electronic pop with Ella Joy taking a lead on vocals – then the rest of the set was some sort of live drum n bass / jazz / dance / noise / folk freakout (word being used more because I’ve been reading about freaks / freeks in Guitar Army about the MC5, rather than grunge-punk-firestorm freakouts).  Lots of kneeling by pedals, I approve.  Seriously good.  Like seriously good. I like mad shit, and this is it.

Next one Kayla Painter Wednesday October 17th.

Note 1 – What he is doing is putting on bands which tend to veer towards the more experimental and electronic ends of the alternative music universe.  Tonight he succeeded, again.

Note 2 – Dear Mr Armstrong, please accept my apologies for any failure on my part to recognise those aspects of your set which are musically tricky to pull off.  I wouldn’t know musicianship if it slapped me in the face with a canoe.  Yours, Wild Eye.

Note 3 – Glenn Christian’s magic box does deserve a mention –

Some links

Nanye – Live at the Star Inn, Guildford – Sunday 2nd September

September 2, 2018

Go see Nanye and hear them do stuff like this –

Event details on Facebook here –

Wild Eye Gig Guide – 2nd September 2018

September 2, 2018

I used to try to do a gig guide every month, but it’s a fair bit of work.  I’m going to go down a different route from now on… much shorter, more often… hey ho, let’s go…

Nányë / Chrono / An Early Haunting / Slow Clinic / Cyberwaste at the Star Inn, Guildford on Sunday 2nd September.  Stefan from Trial n Error is putting it on, I’m giving him a bit of a hand.  Post rock, experimental electronica with guitars and female vox, and guitar based ambient.  Will be a good night.

A gig in aid of Amnesty at the Star Inn, Guildford on Thursday 6th September.  Details here –

Yung Druid, Morag Tong, Dead Lettuce & Trevor’s Head at the Bird’s Nest, London, Friday 7th September.

Typical Hunks, Blimp and Head Drop at After Dark Club, Reading, Friday 7th September.

Between The Void, Hand of Doom, Orbital Junction and Season Of The Witch at the Swamp at the Facebar, Reading, Friday 7th September.

The Wedding Present at the West End Centre, Aldershot Friday 7th September.

Tacado / Serpent Tax / Swords of Thought / Shockpowder at the Stag’s Head, London Sunday 9th September.

For more check out the Wild Eye facebook events page –

And –

The Pink Diamond Review – Live at Suburbs at the Holroyd Arms, Guildford – Saturday 1st September

August 31, 2018

Go see The Pink Diamond Review and hear them do their strange-western-sound-track-electro-psych stuff like this –

or this –

Facebook events page here –

Wild Eye Gig Guide – 29th August 2018

August 29, 2018

I think so, sort of.  I used to try to do a gig guide every month, but it’s a fair bit of work.  I think I’m going to go down a different route from now on… much shorter, more often… hey ho, let’s go…

High Fighter (GER) // Tuskar // My Diablo // Tuscoma at the Dev, London, Wednesday 29th August – doom and sludge and the like.  Tuskar ROCK.  GO SEE THEM NOW.

The Kumari / Freakouts / Kajiki Volt / Burnt Pixels at the New Cross Inn, London, Thursday 30th August – furious punk energy from Guildford-based Freakouts.

Nosebleed / Rotten Foxes / Numbskull Action at the Fighting Cocks in Kingston, Saturday 1st September – energetic dumb-as-fuck punk featuring a Sword of Thought.

Eight rounds rapid / The Pink Diamond Revue at the Holroyd Arms Guildford, Saturday 1st September – Pink Diamond Review are different and very cool – I like a lot.

Nányë / Chrono / An Early Haunting / Slow Clinic / Cyberwaste at the Star Inn, Guildford on Sunday 2nd September.  Stefan from Trial n Error is putting it on, I’m giving him a bit of a hand.  Post rock, experimental electronica with guitars and female vox, and guitar based ambient.  Will be a good night.

A gig in aid of Amnesty at the Star Inn, Guildford on Thursday 6th September.  Details here –

For more check out the Wild Eye facebook events page –

And –