Posts Tagged ‘Guildford’

Lost You To The Cities, Gift of Blindness with The Sleepwalker, Typical Hunks, Unman – The Star Inn, 9th April 2017

April 15, 2017

Buffalo Club join forces with Trial n Error – end result veers more into experimental / noise territory than a typical Buffalo Club night which is perhaps more riffs and noise.  Whatever follows bear in mind that I’m fucking happy to walk into a venue and hear noisey music that’s not straight-down-the-line metal; isn’t some generic punky-emo-y nonsense.

Unman kick things off.  Guitar, bass, drums, sax.  Noise, noise, drums, some sax and more noise.  I was told its all improvisation.  Very believable.

It was all about jazz drumming, the odd sax burst, and lots of texture.  I enjoyed it a lot, lost myself in it… but I have to say that I prefer music to be more song- or riff-based.  I like rhythm.  I like sound.  But most of all I like raw, dirty rock n roll, and that ain’t Unman.  Then again, it’s pointless to consider Unman on those terms.

Great thinking music.  I felt like I do when I look at modern art… an afternoon in a gallery looking at modern art is something I really enjoy… but I often find that relatively little of what I see I really like as a piece of art – what I get from is more that it invariably gets me thinking about art and making art.  And actually, thinking about it now, I prefer good music to good visual art, and I prefer thinking about music to thinking about visual art, so at the very least Unman are better than a visit to a gallery. But that’s harsh, I enjoyed it, its just not massively my kinda music.

Typical Hunks did their thing.  The drum machine is 80s.  The sound it makes is 80s.  It’s a fucking good job most bands don’t use 80s drum machines, but there’s nothing wrong with the fact that some bands do.  It suits the music which is some sort of post-punk, scratchy, US-noise influenced shit.  I’m not criticising the vox or bass, both of which play their part, but for me it’s all about the guitar.  I love it, and a bit of a droney vibe going on behind the main riffs which I didn’t really notice first time I saw them.

Next on was The Sleepwalker whose very brief laptop set was really an introduction to Gift of Blindness.  I cannot stress enough how much I am open to electronics replacing live instruments in live sets, and the drummer’s the obvious first one to ditch.  But my take is that if you’re not going to have a live drummer then you have the ability to do things that a real drummer can’t, whereas with Gift of Blindness it seemed more like programmed drums were there filling a gap until a real drummer turns up.  Technical issues and the lack of the bass player who couldn’t make it and it all felt a bit half-cooked… but Gift of Blindness’s Umair Chaudhry knows that.  Was it the second track that kicked in with a really nice guitar sound and riff?  Think so.  The potential’s there.  £10 says Gift of Blindness’ next gig will be a load better.  The last one probably was too.

Headliners – Lost You To The Cities – don’t seem to have been around too long.  The night’s kinda gone full circle, and we’re back to abstract music that’s more about texture than anything else.  Instrumental post-rock though, not jazz-noise.  Again I enjoyed it.  Again I’m just happy to be able to see live music that isn’t just some straight-ahead metal or pointless indie drivel, but again its not massively my thing and I really can’t say much other that I suspect it sounds a bit like Sonic Youth, Mogwai, Radiohead, Slint, Fireside, … And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Can, Balmorhea, Ennio Morricone, Dirty Three, GYBE, A Silver Mount Zion, Joy Division, Velvet Underground [you have just read a list of their influences C and P’d from their Facebook page.  My knowledge of post-rock is limited].

Nervus, Sibling, Belleview Days, Camcorder – the Boileroom, Guildford, February 27th 2017

April 4, 2017

Not a proper review… but I have to write a few words… [edit – actually, I already wrote a few words and they’d been stuck in a draft folder for a month].

Camcorder – missed ’em.  A bit gutted.  Wanted to see them play with a little less loud sound system.  I know they’re a noisy band, but I think that they’re probably better on record or with the sound a little more under control than when I saw them at the Star.  Boileroom gigs start too early!

Belleview Days.  Bit of a Biffy influence?  Indie rock… less modern sounding than many younger bands, I liked ’em.

Sibling.  Not bad, not blown away, wouldn’t mind seeing them again.

Nervus.  I like them… again, not 100% my thing, but they do have a certain something (mainly two singers – one on keys, one with a bit of guitar action going on – who know what they’re doing and keep things interesting.)

Morass of Molasses, Space Church, Grits, Silent Mode, Buffalo Club night at the Star, Guildford, 30th March 2017

April 2, 2017
As their set started I was worried that they were going to be pretty poor… but my concerns were soon found to be totally misplaced.  Band with most commercial potential – Silent Mode.  Is this down to age / look as much as sound?  Maybe, not sure.  The combination of a relatively modern sound and more stoner rock vibes makes for a nice combination.  Vocals really reminded me of Brian Molko… not everyone’s sup of tea but I have a bit of a soft spot for Placebo… and they’ve managed pretty darn tidy career.

Grits are a bit like Silent Mode – definitely a band that could fairly be described as alternative, whilst coming from a place that is probably quite straight-ahead rock too.  At times they remind me of the frantic energy of MBV at their best (for the avoidance of doubt this is very high praise coming from me), whilst not sounding much like them at all.  I’d love to know how that set was meant to sound compared to how it came out… chaos, falling cymbal, collapsing drums, more falling cymbal, more falling cymbal, more falling cymbal, more falling cymbal, more falling cymbal, more falling cymbal.  Bit of luck I have a soft spot for amateurism and chaos – the band who I suspect might be the most technically gifted of the four on show really did come across somewhere between unlucky and clowns.  Not the best set of the night, not the best set Grits will ever play… and I don’t 100% get where they’re coming from.  But when they get it right they really get it right.

Space Church.  I swear they sound totally different every time I see them.  My perception was wonderful noisy all over the place weirdness the first time I saw them.  I love the album.  At the Boileroom recently I thought it was the sound that gave me a totally different perspective (no pun intended, still available on 7″).  Much quieter, more professional, more like a band who might actually want to be liked as opposed to really really not giving a flying anything.  They seemed to carry that back to the Star, sort of… maybe it was the venue / sound less at the Boileroom, and more them developing.  No idea.  Most interesting band on show, and one I’m actually finding harder to pin down the more i see them.

Really enjoyed Morass of Molasses – a sludgey stonery bassless heavy quite retro sounding bluesy damn fine thing.  Probably the band I enjoyed most, despite, on paper, perhaps being the one I’d think I’d like least.  Second time I’ve seen them and I think I’m getting them more.  But not enough to write much… I blame lack of shared reference points between MoM and WEM.

I really can’t work out which of the following statements is most true –
(1)  There are a ridiculous number of really good bands around Surrey / Hants right now.
(2)  The Buffalo Club guys can spot a band.
(3)  I love any old shit so long as its live, loud and a bit different.

Gigs in Guildford and Surrounds April 1st 2017 onwards

April 1, 2017

Updated list of upcoming gigs by bands in and around Guildford that have caught my eye… this does purport to be a full listing – it’s stuff that’s caught my eye, with bands or promoters I particularly like in bold.  If you’re in a band or a promoter or venue then you’re welcome to get in touch and let me know about what you do – if it interests me I’ll add you on.

Saturday 15th April 2017
Moper (ex-SBB), Group of Man at the West End Centre in Aldershot
https://uk.patronbase.com/_WestendCentreEvents/Productions/WSOX/Performances
https://www.facebook.com/events/281156012308389

Friday 21st April 2017
Camcorder, Moper (ex-SBB), Tailblock, Grenades at the Fighting Cocks in Kingston
https://www.facebook.com/events/221174725019463/

Sunday 23rd April 2017
End of Salvation, Gutlocker, Kill For Company, Spreading The Disease at the Star Inn, Guildford
https://www.facebook.com/events/363520220661573/

Friday 28th April 2017
Wonk Unit, The Wonder Beers, Second In Line at the Star Inn, Guildford [Jasta11 Gigs]
https://www.facebook.com/events/416491455361879/

Friday 28th April 2017
Masiro, Slug 13, Luau, Who Saw The Light at the Lounge Bar in Alton [Trial n Error Night]
https://www.facebook.com/Trial-N-Error-Productions-1511711255801880/?fref=ts

Saturday 29th April 2017
ALLUSONDRUGS at the West End Centre in Aldershot
https://www.facebook.com/events/1400967353256596/

Sunday 30th April 2017
Muncie Girls at the Boileroom in Guildford
https://www.facebook.com/events/1365320940209728/

Monday 1st May 2017
Meat Wave at the Boileroom in Guildford
http://www.theboileroom.net/listings/events/1-may-17-meat-wave-the-boileroom/

Thursday 4th May 2017
Muncie Girls plus Support at the West End Centre in Aldershot
https://www.facebook.com/events/1009896509143488/

Friday 5th May 2017
Diggeth, Cavalli, March The Desert, Squid Resist at the Face Bar in Reading [The Swamp]
https://www.facebook.com/events/237441310027007/

Saturday 6th May 2017
Forward 4 Wiz Trust 10th Birthday Celebration
I Plead Irony, Parachute For Gordo, Deadstate, Princess, Red Means Danger, Joe Booley, The Hunt at the West End Centre in Aldershot
https://www.facebook.com/events/376200369432054/

Tuesday 9th May 2017
Shame at the Boileroom in Guildford
https://www.facebook.com/events/404018573296740/

Thursday 11th May 2017
Hands Off Gretel at the Boileroom in Guildford
http://www.theboileroom.net/listings/events/11-may-17-hands-off-gretel-the-boileroom/

Sunday 14th May 2017
Buzz Rodeo, PORCH, This is Wreckage, Space Church at the Star Inn, Guildford [Buffalo Club Night]
https://www.facebook.com/events/1851757875095504/

Friday 19th May 2017
Morass of Molasses (album Launch), Cybernetic Witch Cult, Prophets of Saturn, Sons of Endor, Tuskar in Reading [The Swamp]
https://www.facebook.com/events/1947289105490799/

Friday 19th May 2017
Skraeckoedlan, Tank 86, Pensevor at the Sanctuary, Basingstoke.  [Buffalo Club night].
https://www.facebook.com/events/1902757813273003

Saturday 20th May 2017
Deadwound, Pensevor, Sealclubber at The Fighting Cocks, Kingston
https://www.facebook.com/events/1296598210431900/

Friday 2nd June 2017
The Frankleys, Camcorder plus more TBC at the Star Inn, Guildford [Jasta 11 Gigs]
https://www.facebook.com/events/200771547081568/

Friday 2nd June 2017
Heinous Pianist, Sizzling Bonobas, Senor Fire at the Lounge Bar in Alton
https://www.facebook.com/131347206687/photos/a.386701151687.172970.131347206687/10154235459886688/
Note – First support band should really change their name to Sizzling Bono His Smug Face Melting on a Barbecue for the World’s Pleasure and Delight

Sunday 18th June 2017
Jungfrau, Swords of Thought, and more TBC at the Star Inn, Guildford [Buffalo Club Night]
https://www.facebook.com/events/1689271328040204/

Friday 30th June 2017
ALLUSONDRUGS / Icarus Dive / Silent Mode at the Star in Guildford [Jasta 11 Gigs]
https://www.facebook.com/events/252324221839932/

Sunday 30th July 2017
Moper (ex-SBB) at the Facebar in Reading
https://www.facebook.com/mopernoise/

Promoters to follow –

The Buffalo Club Facebook Page – Noise, alternative, all sorts.

Jasta 11 Gigs Facebook Page – Indie, alternative, all sorts.

Leafy Incline Promotions Facebook Page – Noisy, grungey stuff.

Rose Coloured Records Facebook Page – Indie, alternative, all sorts.

The Swamp Reading Facebook Page – Sludge, Doom

Trial N Error Productions Facebook Page – Sludge, DoomAll sorts / experimental

Venues to Follow –

The Boileroom Guildford Facebook Page

The Facebar Reading Facebook Page

The Lounge Bar Alton Facebook Page

Sanctuary Basingstoke Facebook Page

The Star Inn Guildford Facebook Page

West End Centre Aldershot Facebook Page

Past Events –

Friday 7th April 2017
Confessions of a Traitor, Gutlocker, Throatpunch City, Silent Mode at the Lounge Bar in Alton
https://www.facebook.com/events/637023236484073/https://www.facebook.com/events/637023236484073/

Friday 7th April 2017
Hummune, Wychhound, Morass of Molasses, Nyogtha at the Facebar in Reading
https://www.facebook.com/events/593207000880853/

Sunday 9th April 2017
UNMAN, Typical Hunks, Lost You To The Cities, Gift of Blindness and Sleepwalker at the Star Inn, Guildford [Trial n Buffalo Night]
https://www.facebook.com/events/706660459508133/
https://www.facebook.com/thebuffaloclub/
https://www.facebook.com/Trial-N-Error-Productions-1511711255801880/?fref=ts

Fauntleroy, Throatpunch City, Aching Muscle, Slow Ruin at the Star Inn, Guildford – Buffalo Club Night – Sunday 19th March 2017

March 20, 2017

Slow Ruin are not your typical Buffalo Club band.  Well they are in one respect – they know what they’re doing.   Buffalo Club nights, to me, are about high quality, and alt, noise and maybe a dash of metal over the last 25 years, and all sorts, but generally pretty noisy.  Not normally particularly modern sounding, but aside from some hard rock riffs generally more late 80s onwards than anything before in terms of overt influences.  Some of it is pretty mathy and modern, but Buffalo Club nights don’t generally chase fashion.  Which is something else they have in common with Slow Ruin.

Slow Ruin have a late 60s early 70s jazz-infused folk thing going on (under the surface… reminded me of the Pentangle, but maybe that’s because they’re about the only late 60s early 70s jazz-infused folk thing I ever listen to), that they take in a bluesy, heavier, psychedelic direction.  When they started my immediate reaction was “this is all too blues / classic rock for me”, but I quickly came round to that being part of their sound, and in no way simply their sound.  It got noisier, almost a bit early 80s, neo-psychedelia.

3 piece.  Really liked the drums, really liked the guitars.  The singer has a great voice.  Kinda good start.  At one point I was wondering whether she was gonna go all talent-show waily-shit, but no, my fears were allayed and she carried comfortably on the right side of the “giving it some” / “caterwauling painfully” divide.  My fears were not down to anything she did, they were down to how high a proportion of people who have a confident and powerful voice seem to take it ten steps too far and start breaking glasses and stuff.  Not on Slow Ruin’s watch.  Really good voice, really enjoyed it.

Actually, you know what.  If I could chuck one criticism at the Buffalo Club booking policy is it could go in a bit more of a psychedelic direction.  Minor criticism.

I’ll come back to Aching Muscle.

Throatpunch City have their moments.  There’s a lot to like.  Kinda remind me of Mars Volta but I’m sure there are closer comparisons that I’ve not heard.  They are loud.  They have a scruff-pot guitarist who was happy as anyone I’ve ever seen on a stage.  Pretty good but what they seem to be trying to do – playing fucking loud and precise – is damn hard.  Two things, perhaps I am judging them harshly when lining them up against my experiences of listening to the likes of the Mars Volta on record.  Secondly, I reckon the two hardest things to do in music are these – play simple (I dunno, acoustic guitar, one voice, simple song) and make it magical; play hard and precise, trying to get perfection alongside power.  They’re trying one of those things. The latter. I hope is obvs.

Fauntleroy.  Richard Fennings on guitar.  Some geez on drums who deserves love attention and even respect for his efforts with the sticks, but if he’s stupid enough to get on stage with Richard he should know well enough he’s gonna get a bit overlooked.

I really struggle talking about most bands (why am I even writing this?) but more so those bands who come from any sort of proggy or mathy direction.  I don’t know Fauntleroy’s reference points one bit, but I do know they are playful, incredibly precise, beautiful, varied and that I like them a lot.  They even get damn noisy at times and come close to replicating and simultaneously bettering / battering the Throatpunch City sound with 60% fewer people on stage.  [I’m probably being harsh, and I’m grossly oversimplifying, but I have a feeling that for Throatpunch City to be the band they’d like to be they need to sack most of themselves and start breeding Fennings].

Downsides – I’m open to plenty of different things music wise, but their style is certainly not one of my favourites.  Its the sort of music I’ll happily listen to, not the sort of music I seek out.  They are almost too knowing to be a “proper band” [and I do mean almost, they are a proper band, with their own sound]; they risk being seen as not serious… which is fair, cos they’re not that serious, but unfair because it is possible to be very serious and the total opposite simultaneously.

I’m pretty sure I checked them out online 12 or 18 month’s back before I realised that I could trust the Buffalo Club to put on a decent show… and I’m pretty sure a very quick listen made me think “not my thing”. Which they’re not, but a thing can not be your thing, whilst still be a thing that you can shake your thang too, from time to time.  I will be checking them out more on record, and I will be seeing them live again.

If you like musicianship, variety or simply beautiful intricate and surpising math then THEY ARE FOR YOU.

Which brings me onto Aching Muscle.  Richard Fennings, solo.  Basically Fauntleroy but more so.  More varied, less serious.  Backing samples / loops, guitar, insanely impressive, but more Britain’s Got Talent than Brits.  Absolutely legitimate to have a solo thing going on, why not?  Entertaining enough, but more of a novelty than a band (not that one person ever really has much hope of being described as a band).

When something is as unserious as this the question has to be asked, why not go the whole hog and get in a comedian / comedy singer (rapper?  poet?) in to front it?

Reminded me of Mike and James’ “Expert Knob Twiddlers” album from the mid-90s. I was thinking “in spirit, not sound”, though maybe quite a lot of the backing loops shared something soundwise as well.

 

 

Slug 13, Blackdroid, King Ghidora, Princess at the Star Inn, Guildford – Leafy Incline – Sunday 5th March 2017

March 19, 2017

Not a full review, far too late for that, and I did start drinking about 6 hours before the gig started, so arguably my views might be somewhat impaired.  But a few words anyway.

Slug 13 – getting tighter, good set, good signs.  If you like it noisy / grungy / riffy then fill yer boots.  Princess – fine set again, their abrasive gothic-tinged noise does it for me.

King Ghidora I’d not seen before… grungy, metally beasts, will definitely be seeing them again sometime.

Blackdroid came down from Southend.  FINE FINE BAND. Heavy.  Riffs galore.  Well impressed.

Idles, Scarlet Rascal, Space Church at the Boileroom, Guildford – 15th March 2017

March 16, 2017

So, I’m here for two reasons.  Space Church and Idles.  Space Church I like, Idles sound really good online… angry, political… top notch post-punk noise.  I was going anyway so no need to check out Scarlet Rascal.  I have no expectations of them.

Space Church came on before the venue really filled up.  It’s a bold headliner who is willing to spend so much time at the start of a set playing in almost silence… its a very bold support act.  I like bold.  It’s a bold alt-rock frontman who does snow and rain hand gestures to help the audience follow his lyrics.  I like bold.  What I like isn’t always wise.

To what extent should a band be praised for their courage, their single-mindedness… to what extent should they be given a short sharp slap and told to go away and think about how much the audience reaction from people seeing them for the first time could be changed for the better by ditching some of the weirdness and chucking one or two slightly more catchy numbers in the set?  Whilst not a particularly close comparison I note that whilst their albums went off in different, quiet and experimental directions, live Spacemen 3 focussed on the noisy tracks that went down well live.

Is it sound system or my mood?  Some of it might even be down to the band playing different on different nights.  When I first saw Space Church they just threw me totally in a really noisy, really all over the place, really don’t give a fuck way I love.  Later I was less impressed (less, not un)… which I mainly put down to a set-list that changed little, maybe the band getting a touch tighter, and the overall effect being considerably less of a headfuck compared to seeing them the first time as a result.

Space Church are my perfect type of band to see at the Boileroom.  A band I know and love and who I have already seen blast away loud as.  A band in a new environment where I get to see what they can do with a better (no, not better, more controlled) sound system and more controlled sound.

“Space Church Play Post / Noise / Stoner / Math Rock” says their bandcamp.  Steve Albini and Slint are huge influences.  Yet some guy I spoke to after their set dismissed them to me a Pink Floyd rip-off with none of the talent when I asked him what he thought.  I can kinda see where’s he was coming from in some respects, but its basically crap.  Imagine giving a band used to a grand and a weekend to make an album around £20k £40k plus and a month or two.  The Boileroom is probably a bit like the live equivalent.  Space Church’s subtlety and variety and sheer competence comes to the fore, but they lose massively in energy, raw power and that scratchy, trebly, raw abrasive guitar sound that would – IMHO – ensure that Pink Floyd just wouldn’t be considered as a comparison by anybody.

The other thing about Space Church is this.  To what extent are they deadly serious?  To what extent are they are complete piss-take?  To what extent do they know themselves, and to what extent do they care what the audience’s thoughts on the matter are.  I think they’re meant to be taken seriously in many respects (but I could be wrong), but I also think I take them far more seriously than I should.  I suspect many younger audience members took them more seriously than I do, and would maybe hear them in a totally different way if they (the audience or the band) approached it less seriously.

Great set.

The surprise of the night next… Scarlet Rascal.  I took an immediate dislike to the shit drumming, and the arrogant prick on vocals.  Wasn’t overly keen on the wanky jazzmaster action or Ride circa 1991 haircut said offender was sporting either.

Then I got into it.  This is probably the most bullshitty comparison I have ever made, but here’s my take on them.  Imagine PiL decided to go in a shoegaze / krautrock direction, and get the lovechild of Mark E Smith and David Byrne to front them?  It might be a bit like Scarlet Rascal.  One or two songs in and I’m digging the drumming and feeling pretty bad about my misjudgement… maybe my reaction was simply down to how much I like the drumming I’d just seen in Space Church, and Scarlett Rascal’s stickster just does her thing in a totally different way.

Great groove, I’m no massive shoegaze fan, but I do like it, then you add a proper, top class frontman and you have a band that I could get well into I think.  Gonna go check ’em out now, see where they’re coming from, what they’re like on record.  Go do the same.

I just didn’t get on with Idles… the venue was filling up and I moved further back.  The sound was quiet and I thought they sounded bang fucking average.  Nothing like on record.  I moved forward a bit for the last couple of songs and they were better… but still not convinced.  Nothing wrong with not sounding like you do on record.  Its normal.  Many bands sound tight, taut and controlled on record, brilliant for it, then fall apart in the most beautiful noisy way in a live environment.

I was in a minority of one, most of the crowd were well into it, but, honestly, worst set of the night by a mile.  It wouldn’t surprise me if in a different venue at a different time with a louder sound system and I’d give ’em a ten.  Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood.

I was listening to Idles whilst writing this… superb band.

Gigs in Guildford and Surrounds March 1st 2017 onwards

March 1, 2017

Updated list of upcoming gigs by bands in and around Guildford that have caught my eye…

Thursday 30th March 2017
Morass Of Molasses, Space Church, Grits, Silent Mode at the Star Inn, Guildford [Buffalo Club Night]
https://www.facebook.com/events/259958547765891/

Sunday 9th April 2017
UNMAN, Typical Hunks, Lost You To The Cities, Gift of Blindness and Sleepwalker at the Star Inn, Guildford [Trial n Buffalo Night]
https://www.facebook.com/events/706660459508133/
https://www.facebook.com/thebuffaloclub/
https://www.facebook.com/Trial-N-Error-Productions-1511711255801880/?fref=ts

Saturday 15th April 2017
Moper (ex-SBB) at the West End Centre in Aldershot

Friday 21st April 2017
Camcorder, Moper (ex-SBB), Tailblock, Grenades at the Fighting Cocks in Kingston
https://www.facebook.com/events/221174725019463/

Sunday 23rd April 2017
Gutlocker at the Star Inn, Guildford
https://www.facebook.com/gutlockeruk

Friday 28th April 2017
Wonk Unit, The Wonder Beers, Second In Line at the Star Inn, Guildford
https://www.facebook.com/events/416491455361879/

Friday 28th April 2017
Masiro at the Lounge Bar in Alton [Trial n Error Night]
https://www.facebook.com/Trial-N-Error-Productions-1511711255801880/?fref=ts

Sunday 30th April 2017
Muncie Girls at the Boileroom in Guildford
https://www.facebook.com/events/1365320940209728/

Monday 1st May 2017
Meat Wave at the Boileroom in Guildford
http://www.theboileroom.net/listings/events/1-may-17-meat-wave-the-boileroom/

Tuesday 9th May 2017
Shame at the Boileroom in Guildford
https://www.facebook.com/events/404018573296740/

Thursday 11th May 2017
Hands Off Gretel at the Boileroom in Guildford
http://www.theboileroom.net/listings/events/11-may-17-hands-off-gretel-the-boileroom/

Sunday 15th May 2017
Buzz Rodeo, Moper (ex-SBB), This is Wreckage, Space Church at the Star Inn, Guildford [Buffalo Club Night]
https://www.facebook.com/events/1851757875095504/
https://www.facebook.com/mopernoise/

Friday 30th June 2017
ALLUSONDRUGS / Icarus Dive / Silent Mode at the Boileroom in Guildford
https://www.facebook.com/events/252324221839932/

Sunday 30th July 2017
Moper (ex-SBB) at the Facebar in Reading
https://www.facebook.com/mopernoise/

 

 

Edited – past events moved down here –

Sunday 5th March 2017
Slug 13, Blackdroid, King Ghidora, Princess at the Star Inn, Guildford [Leafy Incline Night]
https://www.facebook.com/events/941026996031194/

Monday 6th March 2017
Lee Scratch Perry at the Boileroom, Guildford [SOLD OUT]
http://www.theboileroom.net

Friday 10th March 2017
Green Embers, From Fire, Grits, Spider Head at The Lounge Bar, Alton
https://www.facebook.com/events/1505171449572656/

Wednesday 15th March 2017
Idles, Scarlet Rascal, Space Church at the Boileroom, Guildford
http://www.theboileroom.net/listings/events/15-mar-17-idles-the-boileroom/

Friday 17th March 2017
Petrol Girls at the Boileroom, Guildford
http://www.theboileroom.net/listings/events/17-mar-17-petrol-girls-the-boileroom

Saturday 18th March 2017
Mirrored Lips, Fret!, Typical Hunks at the South Street Arts Centre, Reading
https://www.facebook.com/events/259458254476909/

Saturday 18th March 2017
Parachute For Gordo : Possibility of Not album launch show with Vinyl Staircase and Joe Booley at the West End Centre in Aldershot
https://www.facebook.com/events/385125118492811/

Sunday 19th March 2017
Fauntleroy, Slow Ruin, Throat Punch City, Aching Muscle at the Star Inn, Guildford [Buffalo Club Night]
https://www.facebook.com/events/1199407930176890/

Sunday 5th March get yo ass down the Star Inn, Guildford

February 25, 2017

… for this…

https://www.facebook.com/events/941026996031194/993057994161427/

Should be a good ‘un, and anyone who gives a shit about alternative music, noisy guitars, noise rock, blah blah f’ing blah, should support it if they can.

Princess and Slug13 rock.  Not gonna bother checking out King Ghidora or Blackdroid in advance… if the Leafy Incline guys are putting them on then they’ll be worth checking out.

Nova Twins, IDKFA, Moper – Jasta 11 Promotion at the Star Inn Guildford 25th February 2017

February 25, 2017

First on, Moper.  The first time I saw them, under their old moniker, I wasn’t overly impressed.  “Overall interesting, not bad, lots of potential… but not my thing right now.  I’d be more than happy to turn up at a gig and find out they were on the bill, but I wouldn’t go far out of my way specifically to see them” was what I said.  Since then I have made an effort to listen to them online, grown to like them and bought their records.  I judge the bands I see by pretty high standards, but I do try to like local bands, try to give them a chance, give myself every opportunity to grow to like a band so I can go and enjoy gigs locally.  Fucking glad I did with this mob, and it was hardly a chore.

They describe themselves as “abrasive and noisy post-hardcore”*.  Yet again my [lack of] knowledge of the multitude of genres and sub-genres over the last 25-30 years lets me down… but I think I can say for sure that Steve Albini and Shellac are influences.  Drums vary between rocking fairly hard, and, perhaps more often, odd time signatures.  Add some really nice bass and a Johnny’s guitar / vox and that’s them.

Johnny has a really nice voice that suits the music.  The guitars can be noisy, abrasive, scratchy and nasty, but more often than not stripped-back and beautiful is as appropriate a description.  Very few bands I have ever seen have taken the volume right down and have had the audience in near-as-damnit-silence… in fact I can only think of one off the top of my head… and the band that managed it (more than once in various times I saw them) were a semi-acousitic / cello / percussion three piece who played their entire set pretty quietly, and had fewer people in the room than Moper did.  And the band leader can boast a major-label solo deal and at least one ToTP appearance as a member of a band on his CV.

It’s hard for me to really judge how good they are – I just don’t know the competition well enough.  But I really like the balance they get between abrasion and beauty… and I have a feeling it’s their balance relatively in favour of beauty, in contrast to most bands doing a similar thing who favour noise, that makes me like them.

Go buy the wonderfully titled new album, “An Altar of Nothing, Erected for No-one”.  I did, and I have NO REGRETS.

I think Moper think they’re depressing, but for me there was only one band on the bill that made me sad.  They came on second.  I am opinionated and capable of making very quick decisions about whether a band is brilliant or not.

I liked the bassist’s MC4 T-shirt.

I like stuff that is relatively new, relatively different.  I have no issue with bands using sequencers, electronics, whatever, live… but dance music is VERY hard to do live.  And more than that, what’s the point?  The best dance music I have ever heard is drum and bass, techno, electro and tech-house.  The strengths it has are watered down by even the merest hint of live instrumentation.  It is meant to be pure and precise.

IDKFA are sort of a 90s rave band I think, probably with some more modern pop-dance / EDM influences too.  It is not my type of music on any level whatsoever.  If I wanted to listen to dance music I’d be in a dark basement club with a DJ, or I’d be at home sticking on Underground Resistance 12″s.  Sorry.

[There is a risk that as this review continues a certain inconsistency of thought will become apparent].

Finally Nova Twins.  Slightly odd that only 4 nights earlier, in the  same venue, I saw a similar-ish 3-piece set-up.  Drums, vocals, and a bassist doing most of the music… the only fundamental difference in set-up was Revelry’s singer just sings, Nova Twin’s singer (actually, vocalist is much more accurate) plays a bit of guitar as well (though not on every song).

To a large extent my criticism of IDKFA is their melange… I’d rather my dance stripped down, simpler, more pure of sound and ditch the live bass and drums cos they can only take away from the precision, they cannot possibly add anything.  Nova Twins are a wonderful melange.

I kinda thought they sounded like Red Hot Chilli Peppers was a starting point, and that they’ve basically taken the intersection of rock, pop and maybe metal, and then infused it with a bit of hip-hop, drum and bass, grime (which is basically drum and bass plus hip-hop, plus a bit else isn’t it?) whatever else.  “We don’t call ourselves rock or grime” they said to the NME.  No they’re both.

Amy’s vocals are great, and I think I’d argue her overall stage prescence is even better.  Georgia’s bass is doing so much and my mind would have been considerably more blown had I not seen someone else pull off something similar so recently, albeit to a much lower standard. Could maybe give her a bit of criticism for being a bit light on the sub-bass, but when that kicked in, wow, props to the sound system at the Star as well to be fair.

I do not like rock-dance crossover acts.  Nova Twins are and they aren’t.  There’s no mess, no crossover because it’s all so seemless.  I could see them pretty damn high up the bill at a big festival.

* [Typo inspired ‘joke’].  In what style did William Shakespeare’s successors write pretty intense and slightly alternative plays?  Post-bardcore.  Sorry.