Archive for the ‘Live Music Review’ Category

This is a review from my companion at the gig

“I’ve been obsessed with Adam Green since purchasing the Moldy Peaches debut album and doing what seems to be that rarest of things, since I’ve grown out of my teens, falling head over heels in love with it.

As an ex riot grrl (apart from still loving wearing nighties as daywear and silly hairclips) have never really liked male singers.
However there is something about Adam. He is admittedly rather fine looking and his rich timbre is at odds with his pretty indie boy looks. As someone who prefers music to melodically drift over my head, thinking them as more of a carrier of the tunes rather than anything vital in themselves, both his songs and lyrics mesmerise me, there is not one without the other and there is rarely a time when his songs do not accompany me on my daily absolutions. This is not good as I work in a nursery and absent-mindedly sing hideously catchy couplets about ketamine and death.

Anyway, in a bland mediocre age of uniform singers singing forgettable songs about nothing, thank fuck for Adam Green.
He comes onstage looking like Big Bird in a slightly satanic looking top with white tassels and white jeans. He stumbles, looks befuddledly arrogant, slurs, smiles, trips then bursts into glorious rich classical numbers with tunes that transcend boundaries, style and images-songs which only last two minutes and have lyrics about fucking girls with no legs, but sung so so sweetly, that haunt and hum. I watch the bouncers eyes widen as they listen and their mouths drop. Everyone around me is terribly excited at the thought that he might be on drugs. ‘He is so fucking fucked; they murmur in admiration.
He goes through the whole repertoire of his five solo albums, each song greeted with devotion and sung along to although there are a few people who have come to the gig due to hearing him and his ex Moldy Peaches band member Kimya Dawson on the Juno soundtrack.
He dives around the stage, his only words, mumbling about haggis but it is clear that he is a star. His fellow band members help him out when he seems to forget where he is, starting songs and improvising, sometimes looking like annoyed parents when he swans off, staggering on his skinny legs waving his arms and still somehow remaining impossibly elegant and glorious. How did such a glorious voice and such a foul mouth end up in this mid twenties American who looks like a member of the Killers?
Proof that if there is a god, he has a sense of humour.
Frank Sinatra, Curtis Mayfield and Mick Jagger are channelled through this slight swaying figure-I want a wee but am transfixed, cannot take my eyes of him-I imagine it would be the same seeing a disjointed Kurt Cobain in some seedy club in Seattle but Adam suits this venue-a deconsecrated church, rich and lavish yet seedy and gloriously wrong with its selection of two hundred whiskeys and plush leather sofas where people once prayed.
Adam at the pulpit, breaks into glorious song, stumbles, forgets and beams. And he is absolved as yet another song rolls forth in all its glory. Rich, orchestral and magnificent, yet lyrics delving into the seediest of mines. He is one of those rare artists where every song is a classic, no filler, all killer as they say. I cannot even remember which particular ones he sang as every song he has ever recorded is so fully burned onto my membrane, each one following me as I walk to work, brush my teeth and go to sleep that I cannot distinguish reality from memory. I just stand in a vodka haze, watching a legend perform before me, knowing I witnessing something so very very fucking special.”

Tamar Newton


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First time for ages at the excellent LAWM with a multi faceted 5 act line up. We arrived to late to see the uniquely talented Kriss Foster but were happily not too late for the buccaneering spirit of One Chip Potato.

(click to visit OCP homepage)

OCP as all the cool cats in the alley call them are a curious machine, all sea shanty rhythm and soaring vocals from their curiously contrasting twin vocalists, she all cool-ice and he the very definition of the word intensity. Sadly, this time the fiddle which creates the real sparks arround their sound was not working but never the less they soldiered on. I highly recomend this band to anyone with a sense of the epic and odd. Think Jeff Buckley singing Nick Cave songs with Kid Carpets instruments. Yay.

Then we went outside and missed the other two bands… Well, actually we saw a bit of Kate Goes, which lurched somewhere in between vomit inducing uber twee and deceptively clever sweet melody depending on whether you you like either sort of thing. I dunno. There is a line and I didn’t see enough to comment but my compadre had had enough after two songs….

(click the pic to make your own mind up about Kate Goes)

Then finally, the big one! – On the verge of the release of new album, ‘Funny times’ Misty’s Big Adventure had created a sell out at the Yorkshire House and set opener Long Conveyer Belt created the tone for a superb set, driving military beats and saxophonic twirlyness underscored by playful clinks, pings and beepyness, a song that on the one hand threw arround vibrant primary poster paint colours yet on the other reminded us that in it’s duration we’d moved three and a half minutes towards death. Therein lies the genius of the evening and the band. They seem to distill their thoughts on big concepts into a form that seems genuinely inventive, ever changing and yet somehow always the same.

Having not seen the Misty’s for years I was struck by the brilliance of their storytelling and the intelligence of the deceptively simple lyrics. They seem to have really grown into a band as opposed to Gareth and some musicians which was how I percieved them when I last saw them. Psychedilia, Ska, Funk, Lounge, are words that are frequently applied to said band, but unlike much labling by journo’s they really do fit. Then you have the glorious Erotic Volvo, a man in a suit that looks like a volcano covered in rubber glove who actually achieves the incredible feat of making utter sense.

This is a band that manage simultaniously to be a spectacle, a curiosity, to communicate something utterly genuine, to make you dance and smile and for it to appear utterly unaffected and natural. Snow Patrol and their other friends of the bland age achieve none of that and have millions of your pounds. Misty’s Big Adventure should be national treasures. Fuck it, they are. Celebrate them. They are utterly brilliant.


Misty’s Big Adventure

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Three bands that got it loud at ‘Get it Loud in Libraries‘ – Lancaster Library’s fabulous and deservedly prize winning semi occasionally regularly excellent series of music nights. A big and alarmingly youthful crowd gathered squished in amongst the shelves in the music section and were treated first to Leed’s Sky Larkin, a three piece who made a pleasant but occaisionally icy sound which made me think a lot of the Delgado’s. To my mind this is a good thing… I can’t recall to much to say about them, which is sad but I definately felt their style was natural and not affected. Worst review ever so far…. Hang in there…

Next up were You Say Party, We Say Die who came across like some over excited poodles on helium performing crazy high school cheerleeder chants. They were (and I quote) ‘super excited’ to be here and they were indeed super exciting to look at with shapes thrown, speakers climbed and jumpsuits worn. I didn’t find any great revelation in the music which if I’m honest was a bit too wilfully brutal and primal for my pallate but then, nine out of ten for effort and a perfect ten for the name.
It was all a bit like watching the cast of fame perform the hits of Iggy and The Stooges whilst wearing the clothes from fraggle rock or something, but again, in a world that gives us a billion soulless ‘gang of four-lite’ acts then I’m not going to make a thing of criticising them. Go see them – They are very good fun fun fun fun fun fun fun fun fun fun fun fun…..

And finally we had the aural and visual delight that is Los Campesinos, camp as a big camp full of people camping camply and all the better for it, they touched some reference points that I can’t ignore – Imagine Hefner playing with Bis and your somewhere there, but there was much more to this lot than camp twee musical self reference cos they had tunes and that too, lovely swirly synthy tunes, sparky bitter, witty tunes and sweet, twee, brilliantly toe curlingly fantasticly intelligent tunes. Bedecked in in a Sleater Kinney T Shirt, the frontman is a disarmingly engaging sweet thing and there were 7 of them all up to all sorts of glockenspiel pinging, violin picking and effects pedal fiddling. There was I think something quite sweet about this lot – The same thing that makes say B&S all the better for the way they tread on the line between smugly hatefully self indulgent and soul bearing genius and seem to come out all the more wonderful for it. Damn, man, they had a group hug whilst they sung a song to each other before going on stage and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a band smile so radiantly at each whilst playing – Go and buy their music then. I reckons it’s pretty reet by me.

So, that was indeed that – Next up at the library is The Whip on Oct 24th whom I saw at Beatherder and Wickerman this summer and whom on both occaisions were quite good. For me, hopefully next thing will be John Cooper Clarke in Morecambe. Hurray for that.

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Situated in the beautiful Galloway Hills, the Wickerman festival is a lovely small to mdium scale festival with a laid back atmosphere. This years festival had a pretty good line up to compliment the the natural surroundings and Scottish bonhomie.

Sounds ranged from the laid back celtic tones of folk quartet Galloway (formed especially for the festival) to the more hectic hardcore of the all night dance tent

Cover version fun was in no short supply as Hayseed Dixie did their usual genre bending act and if that wasn’t enough – The Easy Star Allstars provided Floyd-tastic dub shenanigans that had a lot of the unitiated confused then delighted.

A Scottish festival would be incomplete without bagpipes, which came courtesy of local favourites, The Dangleberries (not pictured) and the celtic tin whistle techno dub fusion crew The Peatbog Fairies

The more laid back of the revellers enjoyed a typically smooth set by the Fun Lovin Criminals

Also slick smooth and full of deep bass was the incomporable Jah Wobble who gave a mesmeric main stage performance, a truly hypnotic pleasure, featuring a simply devine extended version of Visions of You and special guest Rankin’ Roger.

For those seeking more ear splitting, limb shaking high velocity thrills and spills, both Eat Static (top) and the Orb gave good value for money

Away from these acts, my personal highlights included the indie whimsy of St Judes Infirmary…

… the delta blues of the Swampstompers…

and the Pogues-on fire revelry of the Junkman’s Choir

A few sights

Roll on next year 🙂

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Dub FX

dub fx1.JPG, originally uploaded by tangerinedream.

I urge you to check out this fella who I saw at the lovely Beatherder festival earlier this summer. DubFX is his nime and his live show is an inspired hip hop/dubstep type extravaganza of footpedals, dubplates and lyricism. I’m not convinced the samples on his page really capture how mesmeric his show is, but check it out anyway!


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I was lucky enough to see this lot live a few months ago and how special they were is hard to convey. A rich blend of sea shanties, klezma and improvised hypnotic drones. Ice thin violin and strong steel bar thick bass, 7 Hertz Band walked the path between inspired and indulgant with the skill of a tight rope walker with his head on fire. Or something. They were really, really good.


Here is their myspace which has much more info and songs.

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So – Dpercussion is no more and the final event was last Sat, as ever, in Castlefield, set amidst the railway arches and urban sprawl of god’s fair city.

Like every year, the organisers had created a fascinating line-up, hundreds of acts across 7 or 8 stages and venturing into dpercussion is an exhilerating and frustrating experience – There is so much packed into the 10 hours that the temptation to run madly from stage to stage is great. Who knows what you’ll see? – The next big thing? Your new favourite band?

The day begins with a long queue cos they havn’t set the gate up but it’s hard to grumble too much about something that’s been free for nearly 10 years. I felt like having words with miserable bastards in the queue whinging, not only about the wait but also about having to pay £3 – what the hell else can you do with three quid in this day and age? Probably the same tossers who will moan about the lack of big names in the line up. When you remember the event is run by volunteers a little bit of give might be nice, eh?

Anyways, we’re in and the main stage is swinging in a slinky samba style with the 15+ strong La Gran Descarga who I find a pleasant diversion in that, I don’t actually really like what they are playing, but they are playing it very well. I think it would probably be hell to be stuck in a car with someone who had only latin jazz CDs but once in a while in the sunshine (ok, grey murk, but it wasn’t raining for once) a big old samba band sound pretty damn fine.

A wander around the site and we’re drawn to the unity stage, home of all things of (for want of a better descriptor) ‘ethno fusion’ – A place where Punjabi MC’s meet dohl drumming whilst breakdancers spin on their heads and a band straight from Nathan Barley watch on. All of this enthusiasticly overseen by a ‘lively’ young female DJ who exorts the early afternoon to ‘do the lightbulb dance’ – To absolutely no response at all. Poor thing…

It was EpocLive (above) who drew us to the stage first and whilst my companion assured me they sounded like ultraviolence, I was expecting a rendition of ‘Terrorists are Gay’ at any moment. Which isn’t I suppose a bad thing. It means they were cool. The woman was very shouty and the drummer didn’t look over bothered with the whole affair. Lack of passion isn’t some thing you could level at the two chaps picture below who fused traditional devotional songs with drum and bass to great effect. I don’t know their names though, which is a shame. Because they were good. Sorry gentleman… 😦

Mystery act! (1)

Mystery act! (2)

After this came a cracking set from Dj Asif whose blend of house, breakbeat and global sounds got the crowd moving. A little bit.
<- A little sample of DK Asif
The set was interspersed with guest spots from local artists pictured below and whilst the whirling ever changing sound spun around the gloomy railway arch that loomed up over us, I was heard to mutter ‘Why would anyone ever like indie shit when you can listen to this stuff’ Which, I think should give you the indication that I enjoyed this part of the day.

Back on the main stage – Is it Linkin Park?! No! It’s PWEI!!!, hang on NO! It’s the Happy Mondays!, No… it’s better than that it’s ‘The Real Dolls’ an impossibly fun amalgam of stuff that is bad on paper but actually they were really good. And they are from Manchester. Guitars buzzed and the frontman, a cross between Sean Ryder and the fella from Zion Train gabbled and encited fun and frolics from all arround whilst ‘Yo Yo (the Bez of this band) through her shapes. In the current climate I applaud anyone who isn’t tortured into standing quite still and making a sub cure noise about the pain, oh the pain. So well done Real Dolls. You were fun. 🙂

What happens next? We saw some stuff – George Borowski y’know the lyric from ‘Sultans of Swing’ by Dire Straits about ‘Guitar George’ who knows ‘all those fancy chords’ – apparantly, that’s him! Definately cooler is the fact Frank Black likes him, but I’m afraid M. Black Francis and I differ a bit. He was very good at singing and his face a pixieish delight to watch but I was really haunted by a very bad phrase all the way through… Which was… Christian Rock. So we left after 3 songs. I took an arty photo of the lovely acoustic stage though, which made it all worth the while as I’m sure you will agree. Hang on.. George Borowski had an…ELECTRIC GUITAR – On the ‘acoustic stage’ – I want my £3 back now…

Another wander round in search of the pulse of the youth and some thrills, past some nice graffiti, along a wall bedecked with barbed wire, accross the Roman remains that give the area it’s name and down to the canal. Where we watched a girl fall in! Hurray! She didn’t drown happily 🙂 Then, despite the temptation to sit and and watch drunkards tumble into muddy water all evening we headed off to see Ink Lined Minds who were a strange mix of Rasta values and gun totin’ attitude but possesed of some fine bouncy tunes. One even made me think of that Kelis track about trickin people once or twice. Except it was about something else. But it was quite bouncy. Like that Kelis track. Oh yeah.

*er…It’s always possible I’ve got the name of these two wrong – if you know better please let me know and I’ll put it right.

By now, things were getting really crowded and it was difficult to get from stage to stage and so we had a break and sat on the grass and listened to the muddy mix of seven stages and drunk some beer and looked stuff. Like the stuff below.

With night falling, I really wanted to catch the Belle and Sebastian DJ set – I did and enjoyed the sunny mix of obscure turkish sounding stuff with a bit of cheesy french tat thrown in. That’s what it was like in my head any way. They could have played different stuff from other parts of the globe, I dunno – It sounded like lift music in the 70’s some of it, other stuff was like what would happen if you made a western with lego men and commisioned a Danish guy to do the soundtrack. Then there was some really nice soul but I think B&S had finished. IT didn’t matter, it was nice soul none the less.

B&S on the ‘Bar Ca B stage’

We were tired, not being as young and fresh as we once we – then again, you, dear reader, are not as fresh as you once were either, so don’t hold it against us. Off out, past the main stage (below)

Up past the Roman stage and out, no….. hang on….. there is the best sound of the day coming from over there…. A rush a stumble, get the camera out, what the fuck is this! It’s the best thing EVER IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD!!! It’s The Urban Voodoo Machine and boy oh boy are they good. Are they? FUCK YEAH 1..2..3. RockNroll played at breakneck 180 bpm type speeds by a deranged and half zombiefied group of freaks. I thought Rocket from the Crypt but if they were reborn after some magical acident where half a ton of black magic oil got spilt all over them and they became super voodoo sex magicians. Even though the singer looked a tiny bit like Ade Edmonson. But much better and cooler with loads of mascara and a voice that must have hurt in the morning cos his soul, man, his twisted and blackened soul. Just sometimes something live picks you up and screams ‘YOU ARE ALIVE YOU PATHETIC LITTLE FUCKFACE – RIGHT HERE AND NOW, SO FUCKING FEEL THIS IN YOUR SPINE, IN YOUR FINGERs and TOES and NECK and EVERYFUCKINGWHERE AND FOR ONCE BREATHE, LIKE IT’S YOUR LAST BREATH ON EARTH’. We only saw it cos we were going to leave early. Therefore, early nights are the new Rock n Roll. The Urban Voodoo Machine are the new God.

If you don’t believe me: listen –>

So that was the last ever dpercussion. Which is a big sad shame. You can read more about the reasons for the demise below and perhaps cross your fingers for something new to take it’s place. The slightly suspicious ‘New Islington’ development (wtf – New Islington? Does that mean a sack load of wankers are moving to Ancoats then? Probably…. What’s up with ‘New Ancoats’ anyway?) has a free little festie thing going on, organised by the same people as Dpercussion (i think.) Anyways, that was that and from me, thanks for the festival. T’was good.

Links and bigger pics

Why the last one?

Full Album of Pics at better sizes

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