Posts Tagged ‘the sleepwalker’

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].

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Buffalo Club – Sat May 28th 2016 – Star Inn Guildford

June 6, 2016

Grits, Burning House, Warren Schoenbright, The Sleepwalker

Ballsiest Band of the Night Award

Warren Schoenbright.  Easy.  How the fuck can a band have the balls to have a drummer keep it so simple, like this little skin-flicker did for much of their set?  I’ll tell you how!  No fucking idea.  He might as well have not been on stage for huge chunks of the set given how simple he kept it.

Band Name of the Night Award

Not awarded.  Not that any of the band names are bad, per se, but I’m not sure any are that good.  Or maybe the bands had them the wrong way round?  Grits should swap with Burning House, then Grits (the new one, not the old one) with The Sleepwalker, leaving Grits (the third one) to swap with Warren Schoenbright.  That would definitely make more sense.

Band of the Night Most Likely to Get Nicked for Encouraging Drug Taking Even Though You Can’t Really Get Nicked For Encouraging Drug Taking Unless You’re a Dealer and then You Get Nicked For Dealing Not Encouraging Award

The Sleepwalker.  Note – I know the award title implies that I know that they’re not dealers, the truth is they could be Howard Fucking Marks and his big-time elder bro’ for all that I know.  Please, if either of the members of The Sleepwalker – da one wiv the laptop an da beatz or the one wot guitared – are dealers who supply you, then please do not let this award put you off visiting them again – just make sure you wears a disguise to get your supplies.  Its for your good and theirs.

Best Band of the Night Award

Grits.  Easy.

Best Live Band of the Night Award (judged in comparison to their online output, not in absolute terms)

Warren Schoenbright.  Much better live than some of their stuff online might suggest, some of the suff online being far too abstract for my taste.  Coincidentally one of my favourite ever bands are also far too abstract for my taste to the point where some of their stuff I don’t much like at all.

Comedy Moment of the Night Award

Burning House’s drummer drops stick.  Shit happens.  Burning House’s singer/guitarist reacts as though shit DOES NOT HAPPEN, OR AT LEAST NOT IN MY FUCKING BAND.  Chill Winston.  Or something.

Drummer of the Night Award

Warren Schoenbright.  Easy.  How the fuck can a band have the balls to have a drummer keep it so simple, like this little skin-flicker did for much of their set, and come across like such a fucking amazing amazing drummer?  The last band I saw with a drummer this good were Toehammer.  I am serious.  Toehammer are / were (anyone know?) a three piece where you just kinda wonder what the guitarist and bassist are thinking?  Do / did they realise that they’re there simply because people want to watch the drummer, but watching a drummer on stage by themselves is boring, so it kinda helps if the rest of a band are on stage too even if they’re irrelevant to the level of pleasure the audience gets?

Guildford’s New Best Band Award (hotly contested because, as we all know, more great bands come out of Guildford than anywhere in the UK apart from London, Rugby and Burton-On-Trent)

Grits.  They were the only Guildford band on the bill to my knowledge, but this is not an “on the Night Award” so fair play to this little trio for pulling it off.

Highest Feedback to Traditional Guitar Playing Ratio of the Night Award

The Sleepwalker.

Most Appropriate Other Band T-Shirt on a Member of a Band on the Night Award

My Bloody Valentine Feed Me With Your Kiss on Burning Star’s singer/guitarist.  Burning House’s bass player gets an honourable runners-up silver medal for Dinosaur Jr.  Third for Warren Schoenbright’s drummer for his “I am a fucking class drummer” T-Shirt or did I make that up?

Most Correct Feedback to Traditional Guitar Playing Ratio of the Night Award

The Sleepwalker.

Most Strangest Band of the Night Award

Warren Schoenbright.

Most Used Tremolo Arm of the Night Award

Burning House.

Musician of the Night Award

Warren Schoenbright’s drummer.

Post-rock Rock Band of the Night Award

Grits.  They are the world’s first post-rock rock band.  Or am I talking shit?  Probably.  Whatever the fuck they are they take a shit-load of interesting influences, then turn them on their head and just get on with being a fucking great (hard) rock band.  So probably not post-rock at all.

Soundtrack/scape Band of the Night Award

The Sleepwalker.  They would have got the Only Soundtrack/scape Band of the Night Award if there was one, but there wasn’t cos that would be silly.  They were also the only band to soundtrack a (slowed down) film as they played, but that did not effect the judges’ decision.

The Wild Eye Music “My Kinda Thing” Band of the Night Award

Burning House for being “My Kinda Thing” and doing it damn well.

The Free CD of My Choice that you Probably Have and Probably Don’t Really Want Award of the Night (collection / meet only, no postage)

To the first person to comment on this blog with the name of the three bands referenced in one way or another (but not named) in this review.  Bonus CD if you can name the band referenced twice.