Thursday, June 25, 2009
Club Fandango at 229. 24.6.09.
Now then, I have this problem with several venues putting on unsigned or smaller bands on the same bill, is that none of the bands were anything like the other. I may have limited knowledge of putting on a gig, but surely you know what style the act is you have booked and put them with similar acts. But no. The Water Rats is the same. This means whilst each band has their twenty or so followers but they quickly lose interest in the other acts and either leave or chat at the back when another act is on. Anyway these are my views of the four acts on this Wednesday.
Maxfield were the first act on. Apparently playing Glastonbury (is it that easy to get on the bill?). Fronted by a tall dark woman with overpowering outgoingness they played funky dance with guitar riffs. Musically they were not too bad with Never A Stranger being their best song, though not really my sort of thing.
Colour Me Wednesday can be barely out of their teens. Two girls, a cute guitarist and a vocalist with an ankle bracelet, and two blokes on bass and drums. I thought their opening track ‘New Day’? was great, reminiscent of the Darling Buds and the Primitives from the nineties period. However the next two tracks had a reggae beat with talkative vocals like a poor Lily Allen or Specials. Things perked up a bit when they played ‘Lost In The High Street’ which was back to the shoeglaze of the nineties like Lush. Written about Uxbridge, it could be they want to do to this area what Richard Archer did for Staines and Feltham, and maybe with a bit more maturity they perhaps could do so. Finally a couple of covers were played towards the end of their brief set, one by Dinosaur Junior, showing a cool musical taste and fantastically ‘One Night Stand’ by the Pipettes as a finale. I was almost about to break into a finger dance when they said goodnight.
Showing the diversity of the acts on the bill Kym Brown was next. Do electronica with her keyboard and dancing like a japenese robot, this was not my thing, despite the shortness of her skirt. This really had nothing in common at all with the rest of guitar based acts and I quickly lost interest propping up the back of the bar. To be fair her last song, was a proper song ballad and wasn’t too bad, but I won’t be looking out for her in future. Strangely she also got the biggest audience of the evening.
Introducing themselves as the legendary White Man Kamikaze I soon lost respect for the last act. These were heavy and loud. The only tune in each song came from their keyboard player whilst both guitar and bass just thrashed whilst the singer shouted out the chorus’s. For some reason their small audience consisted of a few scantily clad rock chicks which made up for the lack of a decent song though I decided to head home after four songs in as did the audience that stayed from the other acts. Credit to the band that lured me though as it appears they did stay (or at least the two blokes did) for all acts that appeared.
Finally it was a good basement venue with a bar to one side, a decent stage and good sound system. Wouldn’t hesitate to go back to check out a band I may be interested in. Hopefully the bill won’t be as diverse but that would be unlikely in the age without common sense.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Pet Shop Boys O2 19.6.09.
Booked on the back of their Brit award medley and that it was only £30.00. Despite the fact they did not play 'opportunities' this was entertaining as a show. Not one I usually go to nor would do reguarly yet with sing along songs like Go West and It's A Sin you can't really argue with it. I was expecting more razmatazz in the way of big dancers or lazers but instead the sublimeness of people with boxes on their heads or colour shows seemed to work. They have a new album out and although this performance would not make me buy it, the new songs did not seem out of place or exceptionally weak. An established artist I can now tick off the list of having been seen.
Heart / Did You See Me Coming? / Pandemonium - Can You Forgive Her? / Love Comes Quickly / Love Etc. / (Integral) Building a Wall / Go West! / Two Divided By Zero / Why Don't We Live Together? / (Closer to Heaven) Left To My Own Devices / Always On My Mind / Do I Have To? / King's Cross / The Way It Used to Be / Jealousy / Suburbia / All Over The World / Se A Vida E / Viva La Vida / It's a Sin
//////// Being Boring / West End Girls
Friday, June 19, 2009
Non Music Update
Was introduced to a very nice pub below Vauxhall Bridge on the south side of the river near the Oval. Called the Riverside it's a Youngs pub like the Boathouse in Putney. Nice outside area with a great view of Battersea Power Station. Being Youngs it is pricey mind you (more here for a pint than in the Oval).
More local, had my first trip to the recently refurbished Angel at the bottom of Sutton, this lunchtime. Nicely refurbished but always going to suffer due the local clientiele. Interstingly another pub to add to the list of pubs with arabian channels that may show Saturday football as they were showing a compilation of this seasons Premiership goals whilst I was in there.
Need to get myself sorted out soon with a CV and 24 hour access to the net. Only six weeks now till I become a government statistic, which though willing to be for short time is not ideal.
Still plenty of stuff to look forward to including my first experiance of Japanese girl band Shonen Knife, Oasis Kasabian and the Rev at the stadium, Thunder (possibly for the final time) up in Cambridge and the return of Le God, this time as Saints chairman. Will he bring a geordie mesiah in tow? Not sure about that one but things could be looking up for once!
Lemuria, Dave House, Broken Robot The Fly 13.6.09
Bored on a Saturday without football so decide to head to a gig in London. Lemuria, female fronted indie pop band from Buffalo, New York, seemed a good option. It was at The Fly meaning I could have a quick pint of Oranjeboom in th eBloomsbury opposite. Lemuria's album Get Better is released on the Banquet records label, based in the shop of the same name opposite the 213 stop in Kingston. Therefore a band from Kingston who I did not catch the name off opened proceedings. They suffered from sound problems, as you could hardly hear the female keyboard co-singer, but weren't very good. The bass played at the front of the band but didn't sing and the co-vocalist guitrist to his left seemed a bit of a prat. May have one or two tunes if they kept the focus on the female.
Broken Robot (from Southend) were more impressive. Singer was wearing a Lemuria shirt (is he a fan or had he ruined the one he was wearing?). Good tunes and concentrating on melody rather than noise is always good.
Dave House was next and was impressive enough for me to buy his latest and third album (direct from him no less). He reminds me of Jimbob from Carter USM, singing about London (& Kingston). I have since discovered he has covered Strawberry Switchblade on record (alas he didn't at this gig) which shows he has good taste. Will have to buy his other albums next time I get a 213.
Lemuria, who were advertised below Mr House, headlined. A good 50 minute set, with some good tunes, though some lacked choruses as a slight criticism. Sheena the singer isn't your typical front women for a band and they benefit from that. The only problem is her height when playing these tiny venues it was difficult to see her from only a few yards away (when people are in front of you!). Worth the £6.00 admittance though decided it wasn't worth hanging around after as some did to get some merchandise signed.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Katy Perry, Shepherds Bush Empire 10.6.09.
The tube strike was on this day and instead of going the sensible way (clapham and overhead to Shepherds Bush mainline and ten minute walk) I decided to get a 93 from Wimbledon (fine) and a 220 (not fine). With no 220 in sight after a twenty minute wait, I hope on the first bus going towards Hammersmith. This goes about 1/2 mile before getting stuck in heavy traffic, resulting in a long walk from Jill Dando's road to the Walkabout in Shepherds Bush where I was meeting my mate! Fortuanately, this still left plenty of time to work thourgh the Ausralian bottled beer selection before heading in.
Katy Perry has had some sucess over here, and I thought she was going to be a fairly credible adult orientated artist. However, the majority of her audience were teenage girls dressed in pink tutus. Bars were fairly empty because of this, and led to a nervous Katy trying her best not to swear. However, Katy has a great voice and demonstarted how an artist with just the one album can put on a show that lasts well over an hour (are you listening Ting Tings?). As well as her album, she included covers of Please Mr Postman and Build Me Up Buttercup in a 50s review in the middle and encored with Queen's Don't Stop Me Now, dressed up as a cat. Also a couple of new tunes, performed with just her on an acoustic guitar. Predicatbly the show ended with I Kissed A Girl, though the audience member questioned did not have a cherry chapstick only an apple one! Quirky and good fun, and worth seeing again in my view.
Skin, 100 Club 9.6.09.
'The Only One’, ‘Experience Electric’, ‘Blow My Mind’, ‘No Way Out’, ‘Make It Happen’, ‘Soul’, ‘Which Are The Tears’, ‘Money’, ‘How Lucky You Are’, ‘House Of Love’, ‘Take Me Down To The River’, ‘Look But Don’t Touch’, ‘Tower Of Strength’ /////// ‘Colourblind’, ‘Unbelievable’ ‘Perfect Day’
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Rose Elinor Dougall, Luminaire Kilburn 8.6.09.
This is my 5th Rose gig this year. This time it was to launch her new single stop/start/synchro which was released on vinyl that day. It’s a long trek on the tube to Kilburn, and when I arrived I saw Rose smoking a cigarette outside the Black Lion pub opposite. Unfortunately they were not showing the cricket, Sri Lanka knocking the aussies out of the 20-20 cup, so I chose not to socialise with her and her band and walked on to another pub. She should lay off the smoking really as when she walked past me in the venue shortly before she came on, her jacket stank of smoke. That aside, it was another great performance and the first time I came away with the impression that she is more than capable of playing bigger venues than the Luminaire. It was fairly heaving and I wonder if it was because of the marketing towards the single. This also meant it was her show, rather than a group of bands playing on a bill together. There was even an encore, which I’ve not seen her do before. The set was mixed up from last time and the songs are progressing well. You can hear that they are becoming more structured for a band environment, whereas before the band were playing along with Rose leading. Her bass player continues to impress with her playing high up the neck of the instrument and the rest of the band seemed to have a whale of a time too! The album ‘without why’ should be with the world soon, and we wait to see whether this can launch her into more music venues rather than pubs and the like.