Friday, February 27, 2009


Rose Elinor Dougall, Brixton Windmill 25.2.09.

Accuse me of stalking then you may be right. My second Rose Elinor Dougall gig in a couple of weeks over a hundred miles apart. This was a reasonable journey to Brixton’s Windmill, a place I hadn’t been to before. Cheap too, indeed admittance was nearly the same as the price of a pint inside.
Her support this time were, The Clowns, who played indie rock, sounding like the Manics at one stage, though they actually dressed up like clowns for some reason. I don’t particularly like Ronald McDonald in the first place. The second support were the Bobby McGees, a middle aged irish couple, the male of which had a big beard, singing comedy songs and chucking sweets into the crowd. What it is about weird support slots these days. Fortunately they had the Chelsea game on, on a TV at the back.
Rose was much better than in Cardiff. She seemed more relax and the band took their time between songs. The sound was also very good and it seemed to be a bit more tight. The songs are growing on me and allegedly her album is ready once she finds a label to put it out on. She’s playing a place in Shoreditch in a couple of weeks which is even cheaper to get into (free apparently). Will let you know how it is here no doubt should I venture out.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


NME Award Show Brixton Academy 21.2.09.

South West trains are shocking. There was engineering works between Southampton Airport and Southampton Central this Saturday meaning a replacement bus and an extra 50 minutes on your journey which coincided with the home game against Preston. What’s more it seems to continue for the next few Saturdays coinciding with another two games!!! This resulted in me not being able to get to Brixton Academy in time for the rated Florence & The Machine, the first act on in this NME tour show. Still, I was in a buoyant mood thanks to Marek Saganowski’s brace of goals after Drew Surman opened the scoring. Our first home win since September and hope of staying up. I arrived in time for the White Lies set, reminiscent of The Bravery and The Departure who sprung up and then disappeared a couple of years ago. I quite like their melancholic keyboards with a couple of catchy choruses. They were joined on stage by Florence so if she dents the charts I’m claiming her as an act seen.
Friendly Fires were not my cup of tea. Going for an Ibiza esque indie vibe, it doesn’t really work for me. Glasvegas were the main act, and although having only one album I was disappointed their set did not last for more than 35 minutes. Their album reminds me of Slade in the mid eighties with darker lyrics. Geraldine was the opener and Daddy’s Gone closed their seven song set with an explosion and a fall of glitter at the end. Good albeit brief stuff indeed.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Portsmouth & Status Quo, 14th February 2009

Valentines Day and single. An excuse for a pub crawl and a gig. This was done with my brother (who is married). We decided to make use of Status Quo’s rearranged date at the Portsmouth Guildhall. We made a quick stop at Horsham changing trains where we had a half in the Bedford pub nearby. Pleasant enough, some jazz figurines on the wall and a big screen showing rugger! Unfortunately the train coincided going through Fratton just after their game with Man City, (both teams vermin!). Still, biting my tongue this went without incident and we got to Portsmouth harbour about half five. The first pub was the Old Customs House. Two very attractive bar staff working at this Fullers pub and a quiz machine. The bar area was small and a larger restaurant room was attached. Very pleasant but quite expensive. After a walk we found the Dragon bar and restaurant. Again the bar area was smaller and we had three frames of pool on an exceptionally poor table where the cushions were resistant to any sort of bounce. The India Arms was next and we had a game of darts, with each dart having a different weight (as this was all they had behind the bar). This prolonged matters as did the pool, and we had finished our drinks a long time before the game was resolved. The Hole In The Wall was next and this small ale pub was probably my favourite despite no machines or games. A raised bar and a small corridor of seating however this meant it was fairly packed. Onwards to the Barley Mow, where there was only one barman. We waited patiently to get served and decided to have a game of bar billards. After depositing a pound we noticed that you had to pay a deposit to get the mushrooms. Back to the bar and the barman had disappeared. However the mushrooms were on display on the shelf so we helped ourselves. Despite the clock ticking during this wait, it was at least twenty minutes before the shutters came down, meaning again we had finished our drinks long time before the game ended. Good things from Beer In The Evening were heard from the next pub, The King Street Tavern. It failed to live up to expectations however, with lots of tables set out for a valentines meal and a jazz band setting up. Time was getting on so after a brief stop for some chips it was off to see the Quo. They were on form, with Francis back to his guitar playing best. Certainly better than when I saw them at Brighton in December despite the same set. The show ended in time for the last train which got to Woking just before midnight leaving time for a final pint in the O’Neills there! Fantastic.


The Answer, Dingwalls 12.2.09.

The Answer, after supporting AC/DC in the USA and later on over here are ‘Rock next big thing’. Seen them a couple of times before supporting their first album, Rise. This time they were premiering songs from their second album, Everyday Demons, released in March. This was very loud and I was a little deaf the next day.
We had a few pints in the nearby Wetherspoons and got in the venue, which was heaving. It was sold out after all. Some of rocks journalists, such as Dave Ling, were seen propping up the bar as we made our way towards the front.
Some impressive guitar playing and vocals from Comac Neeson, things started impressively with ‘Never Too Late’ being a highlight. Unfortunately, whilst continuing to sound good, loud, heavy and rock, the songs then seemed to merge into one. It was only in the set closer ‘Under The Sky’ there was a memorable chorus that you could sing along to. Whilst a talented band, and the best new one of the rock genre for a while, you were left feeling that if they had some decent pop songs they could be much better. Still that may just be the unfamiliarity of the new stuff. I have the album on pre-order and will give it a chance before seeing them again at the o2 as the support!

Friday, February 13, 2009


Rose Elinor Dougall Clwb Ifor Bach 10.2.09.

Here's a link to a couple of reviews.

So to Cardiff midweek. After a couple of bars and a mushroom burger from the burger company we get to Welsh Club. Pay on the door and get a white wristband if you are drinking! Odd. We didn't see the first act so can't comment. The Begian duo, "Soy Un Cabello", were odd, the first time I've seen a glokenspiel as a main instrument. The Swedish band, "Hari & Aino", were good (as most Swedish bands are) but suffered with sound problems. Indie pop. Rose was excellent but seemed a bit rushed in her performance. She didn't come on till half ten as the previous bands over ran so this was understandable. Still her new tracks sound good, a bit more rocky than her first show a few months ago I went to. She's at a pub in Brixton in a couple of weeks which I will probably check out. Here's a good link to a recent session she did, I Know We'll Never is probably the best of the three tracks.


Kelli Ali 4.2.09.

I made my second ever visit to the Slaughtered Lamb to see ex-Sneaker Pimps singer, Kelli Ali. Support was from a tall thin bearded gent called Stanton Delaplane. His set was based on recorded loops and seemed to sing albeit in tune, nonsense.
Kelli has a band which was made up of a cello, flute and guitar. Her set was from her most recent album, Rocking Horse and was very good. Amazingly she even threw in a cover of Willow’s Song from the film The Wicker Man which was excellent.
After the show I went in the nearby Sutton Arms pub, noting that there was five minutes left of the Everton Liverpool game with the match heading towards penalties. As I ordered my drink, an advert appeared. That seemed to go quickly I thought, but at least I have my pint for the shoot-out. Not so as after the advert finished the TV drew back to scenes of Everton celebrating a last minute goal. What’s gone on? The full time whistle then went and Steve Ryder made several apologies. ITV have reached a new level of incompetence and surely should be made to relinquish their football coverage in the future.


SAS Band Indigo24.1.09.

The day began with a trip to Waterloo and the Camel And Artichoke pub to watch the Man U Spurs game. A nice pub with a couple of good looking barmaids, one wearing a bandana! Spurs, including Gareth Bale, were rightly outclassed and we made our way through a few pints of Heineken.
So Spike Edneys All Star Band then. A Christmas show in January. Going to have to be a bit vague as this was a while ago and I haven’t got round to updating this until now. Support was from James Towser who is a British Superbikes Champion. He & his band did a covers set of classic rock with highlights being Journeys ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ and Aerosmiths ‘Walk This Way’. Entertaining stuff but probably more suited to a pub rather than the Indigo.
The format for the SAS Band is they have various guests come out to sing their songs. Jeff Scott Soto was early on and did a number of Queen songs, including surprisingly, Love Of My Life. Roy Wood sang I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday which was fun as well as a Move song. A bonus was Graeme Gouldman of 10cc who did ‘All Your Love’, ‘Dreadlock Holiday’ and ‘Rubber Bullets’. Cheesy but classic!
Toyah did a few covers of which ‘Schools Out’ was excellent, and finally Queen’s Roger Taylor turned up for a few songs including ‘The Cosmos Rocks!’, ‘Under Pressure’ and ‘We Are The Champions’. He had his son on drums for ‘We Will Rock You’. The show ended with an ensemble of everyone singing ‘You’re The Voice’. With it ending at 11.30pm it meant we missed most of the New Kids On The Block fans who were next door at the o2 on the journey home.

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