Bob Pritchard - Maggies Farm (Bob Dylan Cover)
Happy Birthday Bob Dylan!!
Bob Pritchard - Maggies Farm (Bob Dylan Cover)
Happy Birthday Bob Dylan!!
Tom Williams and the Boat are a 6 piece unsigned rock band from Tunbridge Wells, Kent formed of Tom Williams, Chris Stewart, Anthony Vicary, David Trevillion, Josh Taylor & Geri Holton. The band formed around late 2007 but stemmed from Tom Williams’s original solo work and have steadily grown since the bands inception.
Bob Pritchard - Girls on their Birthdays
My slightly altered cover of Slow Clubs - Boys on their Birthdays song :)
It’s the night before Halloween, and Love Amongst Ruin are in London at the Relentless Garage, which I have never been too before, but apparently has recently undergone a major facelift with sponsorship from energy drink producers Relentless. Having had to cancel their previous UK show at Southampton, this was now the first UK show in the tour since their Sonisphere performance, making it just their 4th show in the UK following a 17 date European run spanning from Holland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Poland, Switzerland and France. Love Amongst Ruin is fronted by former Drummer of Placebo Steve Hewitt, joined by Donald Ross Skinner (guitar), Steve Hove (lead guitar), Laurie Ross (cello, keys and percussion), Teresa Morini (bass) and Keith York (drums). Their self-titled album is out now, and you can buy it here released through Ancient B records which is their own label.
Love Amongst Ruin were being supported by From Great Height and Innercity Pirates. The first of which ‘From Great Height’ were up, and front man Adam Ever had came with face painted in the mood of the Halloween festivities, though he was not the only one there that had done so, Love Amongst Ruin had requested fans to come dressed in a Halloween fashion so he was in good company. Anyway back to the music, From Great Height are a unsigned four piece band from north London. They fall somewhere between Metal, Prog-Rock and Grunge, and have a somewhat familiar sound to them, though I can not place exactly what they sound like. Nonetheless they were a good support act.
Michael Alp on Guitar & Tim Story on Drums
After ‘From A Great Height’, the second of the nights support acts were up welsh rockers Innercity Pirates were up which being dyslexic I misread as Insincerity Pirates for some reason, and I thought Pirates weren’t that well known for their honesty anyway… But dyslexia aside, these guys have a really fun taking the best from bands like the Fratellis, with a mix of the Pixies and The Breaks in there too. With songs like “Seen It All Before” (download here) & “Bang Bang” it’s hard to imagine why they haven’t been snapped up by some label yet, but I think in time they will get there. They even had a line of Pumpkins with their name carved in them, that’s a good effort. But if you get a chance to see these guys, do make the effort they are well worth a watch.
Russell Toomey (vocals/guitar) & Tom Dale (Bass)
Drew Zeller (guitar)
After that there was the nights main attraction, Love Amongst Ruin. There was a raucous cheer when the band arrived on stage. The audience seem to be primarily comprised of Placebo & ex-Placebo fans, but I guess it’s still early days for the band. It was a shame not more people came, but there was a decent amount of people here, but it would have been nice to see the Garage packed.
Love Amongst Ruin who are still on their first album are limited in their setlist and play a similar set to the Scala show, but without ‘Oh God’ and in its place they played ‘Come On Say It’ and ‘Got To Give It Up’ (Thin Lizzy Cover) which was really cool. It was nice to see Hewitt settling in more with his new found role as front man, after years of being behind the drums, Hewitt appears to be gaining more and more confidence with each show, and I’m sure with more shows that will grow further.
After their set had finished and they left the stage, the crowd were demanding more, and they obliged us with a two song encore, first being Bring Me Down (You Don’t) and then they apologised for having to play a song they had played already, but the crowd seemed to be pleased that they were still playing more, and they finished with So Sad (Fade).
Steve Hewitt (lead vocals & guitar)
Steve Hove (lead guitar)
Donald Ross Skinner (guitar) & Teresa Morini (bass)
Keith York (drums) apologies for the flash it was too dark to take in natural light.
Steve Hewitt rocking out and Laurie Ross in the background.
Thanks to the kindness of some lovely ladies on the Love Amongst Ruins forum, I and some new friends of mine got after show party passes, and I got a chance to catch up with Steve Hewitt himself, got him to sign my copy of their self titled album and also he agreed to doing me a favour which I will reveal only when it is ready, but there are exciting times ahead to be sure.Source: Flickr / fallenstarphotography
You Say Party are a five piece dance punk band from Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada. The band was formerly known as You Say Party! We Say Die! but due to the tragic death of drummer Devon Clifford (RIP), they decided out of respect to drop the ‘We Say Die’ from the name. They are Becky Ninkovic (vocals), Derek Adam (Guitar), Stephen O’Shea (Bass & Synth), Robert Andow (Keys) and Al Boyle (Drums).
Supporting You Say Party were a magnificent five piece band from Dublin, Ireland whose musical styling reminds me of a mix of Architecture in Helsinki & Modest Mouse with their infectious happy tunes. These young Irish guys and girls played through a string of fairly short but energetic set, and swapped instruments on a number of occasions. Their fun and quirky style is refreshing from an over saturated indie scene, and were defiantly a good choice of support on You Say Pary’s side. It’s a crime these guys are still unsigned. But you can buy/download there music here, here & here. They are well worth a listen!
After Grand Pocket Orchestra, You Say Party took to the stage for the first time in the UK for three years. The kicked off their set with There is XXXX (within my heart), a song that sees a mix between trance and rock, these dance punkers know how to make dance music more accessible to the more rock minded music fan. The band looked and sounded good and played through a 16 song set filled with great tunes, although I was unfamiliar with much of their back catalogue they impressed me quite a lot.
Some of the other songs that stood out for me were ’Dark Days’, ’Monster’, an emotional rendition of a song which I’m ashamed to say I don’t know what it was called but it was dedicated to Devon Clifford. Ninkovic stated although Clifford was not with them in body, he was there in spirit, and invoked the crowd to sing a long, whatever the song was called it was magical. Their final song before the encore was Lonely’s Lunch, which they recently shot a video for in India, which you can see here, it’s pretty incredible, a mix between Slumdog & District 9. See my recording of this song at the bottom of this post.
Becky Ninkovic getting a piggyback from Stephen O’Shea with Derek Adam behind.
Lonely’s Lunch @ Camden Barfly 29/10/10Source: Flickr / fallenstarphotography
with Jont, Little Fish, Ben Walker, Tony Kaye & Daniel Hernandez
Unlit is a concept born in the mind of a man who goes by the name ‘Jont’, and started out by Jont using his home as a gig venue organising a series of bands to play short sets followed by a rocking party. Jont did this for awhile before his neighbours became annoyed by it, it could have been the end of the dream, but something magic happened. Some of his friends told Jont that they would let him turn their homes into venues for the night, and thus Unlit thrived. At it’s core, Unlit Records relies on the kindness and graciousness of the hosts and trust in the attendees to behave themselves and respect the enormous leap of faith in letting complete strangers enter their homes. This is a true testament to some of the greatest qualities in people, and Jont has brought this magical event to the States, Italy, (I think France, and maybe more) and of course the UK.
I had gotten an invite to this party via Twitter, from one of the acts playing there that evening ‘Little Fish’ a trio (although tonight a duo) from Oxford who I had seen previously supporting Placebo for both nights at Brixton Academy (see my blog entry on this here). I had tried to convince some of my friends to come with me, but they were all too busy, too skint, or otherwise inaccessible to join me. I was teetering on the edge of ‘coming’ or ‘not coming’ and it wasn’t until a five minutes before I left that I decided that I would go, and I would make friends there (this was something I would later find out, I would NOT regret). So I made my way to London, and headed to the brick lane area where the party was. I drew myself a little map as my phone lacks the internet capabilities that most have at their fingertips on their mobile phones, and it was a relatively simple journey. When I arrived at the front door, the buzzed me up and I was greeted with this sign.
I had arrived as suggested with a bottle of wine (white wine from ASDA) and I was greeted as soon as I had arrived by many friendly faces and got talking to quite a few different people almost instantly. I was nervous at first, it has been some time since I last attended a house party, and even longer to a house party that I did not know the host, and well never had I come to one alone before. My nerves were quickly subsided, with good conversation and alcohol, the great social lubricant that it is.
While standing outside on the Balcony, admiring the view of London from this very lovely Flat, I got talking to the man who gave birth to Unlit (metaphorically speaking of course), the great Jont. He was very appreciative of the fact that I had taken the leap of faith to come, and we got talking about how Unlit began, which is a subject I believe I have already covered in the first paragraph of this blog, so I shall save myself in repeating this.
The stunning view of London from the balcony.
So the evenings entertainment began sometime around 10:30pm. Jont began the evening by introducing a man dressed as a clown, by the name of Daniel Hernandez, who took to his position and the crowd around him watched as took out some plastic bags and watched them fall to the floor. He did this a few more times before throwing around a huge number of blue plastic bags all over the place and then he took out a large blue plastic sheet, which he assembled into a backdrop resembling the sky, with a little sun in the corner and an umbrella he had cleverly turned into a palm tree. Hernandez continued by miming along to a song, with some classic clowning gesturing and expressions. It was a nice gentle opening to the night, and was entertaining although it did remind me at times of Norman Lovett, of Red Dwarf fame as Holly (his show in Edinburgh Festival Fringe this year, was very much a plastic bag floating event).
Daniel Hernandez albeit not the best picture, but it was dark and I didn’t want to use Flash.
After Hernandez, a man called Tony Kaye entered the middle of the crowd with his acoustic guitar. If you don’t know who Tony Kaye is he directed one of my favourite films American History X, and I had no idea he would be here when I came. I did briefly meet him, but I felt a bit to fanboyish I got his autograph (well actually he did a little doodle for me, see it here). Tony Kaye played just two songs (I think) but they were brilliant, I found a youtube clip of one of the songs he played The Hell Of Compromise enjoy! I only wish I could have managed something more intelligent to say to him, rather than “I really loved American History X, it’s one of my favourite films”. Oh well, at least I got the doodle.
Tony Kaye with his guitar in middle, and next to him is Jont, in the bottom corner incidentally is Daniel Hernandez, and to the left of Kaye, is Hernandez creation (the umbrella tree, and the blue plastic backdrop, complete with bright yellow sun)
After Kaye, Ben Walker (who plays the Hammond in Little Fish, and has played with Jont for many years) played a series of 12 second songs on his guitar which were all very funny and got a lot of laughs from the audience. Songs ranging from favourite shirts with stains on, to imagining what you could hear if you could un-mute a silent film (see below).
We had a little break to allow Little Fish to set up, and got some more drinks, and when we returned Little Fish was being introduced to us by Jont, and Julia “Juju” Sophie Heslop declared that she doesn’t really do many acoustic shows and stating there aren’t enough women in rock, and her shows are normally louder. This was a special treat to see them in this environment, having previously seen in Brixton academy, this was a very different experience. They began off by playing ‘Darling Dear’, a song I was familiar with, followed by a new song called “Hollywood” which required some audience participation, during the chorus one half of the audience sang “Old fashioned morphine”, followed by the other half singing “old fashioned love”. This kind of sing song environment may be somewhat different to what Little Fish are used to, but they really excelled here.
Little Fish have an album out called Baffled and Beat, which was released in August under Island Records.
Little Fish were loved by all it seemed and when they finished their three songs, the everyone clearly wanted more, so they obliged us very kindly with a few more songs from them as a band, and a few more with Juju solo. When she had finished I got the chance to talk to them and got them to sign a note book I had with me, and they wrote this (Juju’s message & Ben’s message), I told them how I had first heard them at the Placebo shows (see here) and they seemed very happy that I had come to see them. After that the music went up and we all danced. Well we danced for a little while before the neighbours complained.
Even though the music had stopped, it wasn’t quite the end. Jont played us a couple of very beautiful songs of his. I have to say the whole good natured spiritedness of this whole evening is all thanks to this man, who has a new album coming out soon ‘Whole Again’ through Jont’s own lable Unlit Records, which you can get signed by the whole band, and he is having an album launch party, and you can buy tickets to go here on the 12th of November for just £5 (a bargain if I do say so myself).
Jont playing the last couple of songs of the evening, and being lit by the Juju of Little Fish
I didn’t leave the party till gone 5am! Where luckily, and very kindly Jont’s friend and manager gave me a lift back to Kings Cross St.Pancras so I could get home. Little did I know I wouldn’t be getting back into my house until 8:30 in the morning, due to maintenance work on going on between Cricklewood and St.Albans. But a lovely Freezing cold (3 degree’s) Coach service shuttled us very slowly to St.Albans. Oh well, it was a perfect night, and it didn’t matter how bad the journey home was, I will remember it for the great company and the great music of what is Unlit house party. And what a great way to end a great week of live music for me, 5 gigs in 6 days!
A special thanks goes to the hosts of the evening who were trusting enough to let a whole load of strangers into their house to enjoy the fabulous music, and a big thanks to Jont and Lee for organising it all and everything. Thank you so much.
Until next time!
Little Fish’s first song of the evening ‘Darling Dear’
Me with Ben Walker & Juju of Little Fish
Note: there was another band scheduled to play, but couldn’t make it unfortunately, but you should check them out: http://www.myspace.com/holdenofficialSource: Flickr / fallenstarphotography
The Pigalle Club, is situated close to Piccadilly Circus station, it is a venue unlike any I have been to before. The Piggalle club is an Art Deco supper club & music venue that feels like a window into another time, and has a very cool vibe about it. Around the stage is an ensemble of tables set up for dinner, the cost of the ticket for the all Irish show is £15, however if you decided to go for the with dinner option it was more like £45. The Pigalle has played host to many bands old and new from Duffy to the Beatles and has a real intimate feel. The one issue I have with the club, is the tickets that are designated standing does not mean you can get close to the stage, the area around the stage is for people eating (unless they decided to leave early) only. With a standing ticket you can either take a seat at an unoccupied table, or stand by the sides or at the bar.
Outside the Pigalle Club (courtesy of Pete Stean)
My old house mate from university asked me to come with him to see Jack L, a singer/songwriter from County Kildare, Ireland so I thought to myself, why not. So that take’s us to the evening at hand, “A Series of Irish Talent Featuring Jack L, Mick Flannery & Ian Doyle” this all Irish affair started despite doors opening at 7PM, at 9PM. Now it’s good we got here early because there were only three tables available to non-diners tonight, so we took the one with the best view of the stage.
Inside the Pigalle Club (courtesy of Pete Stean)
When it finally came to 9PM, the first act of the night came on a guy by the name of Ian Doyle. Doyle is a good singer/guitarist but not particularly stand out unfortunately, but nonetheless a good enough opening act. As he played the audience seemed to talk amongst themselves, eat their (small portioned and over priced food) while listening to his songs. Doyle’s music is pleasant enough, but lacks a little charisma and charm.
Ian Doyle playing at the Pigalle club
After Doyle, a man called Mick Flannery took to the stage. Mick had a very Tom Waitsy sound to him, with a gravelly voice and darkly poetic lyrics synonymous with Irish folk music and poetry. At times his voice and style resembled Tom Wait’s to the point where I was not sure if it was a cover or not, and then he did a Tom Wait’s cover, which reassured me that the previous songs were originals. Flannery’s style worked well and he had his quick Irish witticisms about him too, and was very funny, saying “I’m playing all my upbeat material tonight” (or words to that effect, I can’t remember exactly). Flannery jokingly promised to end it on a high note and played another sad song. He possesses a very likeable charm, and despite saying he has the stage presence of a ‘dead animal’, this is both not true, but evidence of a very witty artist.
Mick Flannery playing at the Pigalle club
After Flannery, there was the main act of the night Mr. Jack Lukeman (Jack L). Jack L is a popular Irish singer/songwriter (in Ireland) and is what I can only describe as an Irish mix of Tom Waits and Frank Sinatra. He like Flannery has a good wit about him, and does not take himself too seriously. He does have a serious pair of lungs on him though, on stage there is Jack L and his keyboardist (he did say his name several times, but I forgot it now, sorry Mr.Keyboardist). Before coming to this show I had done little preparation i.e. listen to Jack L’s albums, and I wish I had for the only songs I knew was a cover of Frank Sinatra’s ‘That’s Life’, and the much covered (and mostly covered badly) Leonard Cohen song Hallelujah. Jack’s cover was good, but still lacking in comparison to the original (in my opinion, although it is not a popular opinion), still Jack L’s rendition is a good version of the song.
Jack L playing at the Pigalle club
Back to the show, Jack L’s setlist was filled with good, catchy songs and great songs to foot tap along to. During the song ‘Little Man’ Jack recruited the help of the audience to sing “Little Man” three times after each line in the verse, and shout and scream during the chorus, he also played a song on a miniature accordion completly unplugged while walking through the audience, meandering between tables. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the evening of all Irish entertainment, even if I did feel very aware of being one of the only English guys in the audience, I never felt out of place.
Jack L playing at the Pigalle club
Jack L’s setlist (although not strictly adhered to) @ Pigalle Club, London
Source: Flickr / fallenstarphotography
Zigfrid von Underbelly, in Hoxton Square near Old Street Station is a both a bar/restaurant (upstairs) and a music venue (downstairs). It is a stylish place indeed, adorned with illustrations on the ceiling and walls, a lot of care and attention has gone into the aesthetics of this place. The stage downstairs is in a the corner with luscious red curtains hanging on the walls and a giant mirror, a very warm and intimate space to see bands.
On the venues website Manna was advertised as being the main act of the evening, however this was not the case, in fact they were listed second on the bill. The first act on stage (7:30) was a band from Montreal, Canada called Snailhouse, fronted by Mike Feuerstack. On the night there were three up on stage, however when the stage is more accommodating their live set up is a five piece. When they arrived on stage there was a distinct lack of an audience, they opened jokingly by saying “Thank you both for coming”, referring to my brother and I. This was more tragic considering they had come all the way from Canada, Feuerstack having been signed in Canada since 1994 to ‘Grand Theft Autumn’ and most importantly they were actually pretty good. During the set a the audience grew in dribs and drabs, but it was still a very intimate affair.
Snailhouse had a small merchandise stand, which I would have liked to have bought something from, but it was a little too pricey for me unfortunately. Feuerstack even joked about there being enough T-shirts for all of us in the audience. Despite playing to such a small crowd (not even sure if the word crowd applies here) they gave a good show, with good humour and good music. You can check out their stuff by downloading their album and make a donation here (no minimum) or buy Lies on the Prize on amazon. I only wish they were playing higher up on the bill, maybe then they would have had a bit more of an audience to play to. However I overheard them talking about being on tour in Europe, and when I checked it out on-line I saw they had a string of dates on the continent from Amsterdam to Paris, which I hope draws a bigger crowd than tonight for them.
Now it came to the second act on the bill, the one I had come down to Old Street to see, Finnish rockers Manna. I first discovered Manna when reading on the Muse website that they were supporting them in Helsinki. Although I didn’t go to that show, I was interested in the acts they were getting to support them, and after listening to them they instantly resonated with me. I went to see the play in Kentish Town, London ealier in the year and the lead singer Manna Mariam gave me a copy of their album (Songs of Hope & Desire) she had in her bag. I brought the same CD with me to the show last night in hope that I could get it signed by the band. Although the crowd was still a little on the small side, it was growing.
Manna started their set with It Only Hurts For Awhile, with Manna Mariam dressed all in white armed with her incredible voice and her kick ass band, only let down by a few sound issues. They were still great though, although the crowd was small, and very few people venturing near the stage except for my brother, myself and a girl with a much better camera than mine. Manna played a new song that they said they had only played once before in Helsinki, which you can see at the bottom. Just as they were about to play their last song, there was a power cut. In the dark, the band were still high spirited Manna Mariam even did a little dance. It wasn’t too long before the power was back and they got back to finishing their set.
Manna Mariam Jantti & Maria Rantanen
Manna: Mikko Joensuu (Guitar), Tero Sundell (Drums), Manna Mariam Jantti (vocals) & Maria Rantanen (Bass)
When they left, I quickly nabbed the setlist for myself although upon reading it, I couldn’t make much sense of it. Three of the songs in particular were the source of the confusion one called “Nirvana”, one “Strokes” and the other “Beirut” all names of bands I like. I also managed to meet the band after they came off, and got my CD signed by the band, and a photo with Manna too. They are all very nice, and I managed to show off my very limited amount of Finnish that I know. “Yksi kaakao kiitos” which roughly translates to “One hot chocolate please”, and told stories of drunken escapades in Finland last year.
Manna’s Setlist @ Underbelly, Hoxton Square, London 20/10/10
Manna - New Song @ Underbelly, Hoxton Square, London 20/10/10
Other bands to play on the 20/10/10 were: The Onironauts, The Raphaelites, & Kampion although I only stayed until the end of Kampions set who played just after Manna. I don’t know how the venue arranged the order of bands to play, I don’t think they were anywhere near as good as the acts before her, but they did have a group of friends to watch them play.Source: Flickr / fallenstarphotography
Dinosaur Pile-Up are a 3 Piece Alt Rock trio from Leeds, reminiscent of early Foo Fighters with Matt Bigland on guitar and vocals, Harry Johns on bass and Mike Sheils on drums, their album Growing Pains is out now and well worth a listen. Last night (19/10/10) they played at Tutu’s @ Kings College London Student Union with support from Turbowolf.
Turbowolf were up at 8:30, they are a four piece heavy rock band from Bristol, their Big Cut EP is available from their website. They were an entertaining band, a little on the OTT side of rock (all the classic rock gestures included, and the drummer whose face is masked by a wall of hair). That aside they put a lot of energy into their show and seemed grateful to be playing, although the crowd were quite reserved (with a few exceptions). A member of the audience did heckle them laying into the singers appearance branding him as the 118 guy, which he did not like too much. They were however a pretty decent support act none the less.
9:45, and Dinosaur Pile-Up arrive on stage, 15 minutes later than expected due to some technical issues, but when they arrived on stage they rocked out with Barce-Loner. They have the classic grunge look about them, with Matt (lead singer/guitarist) with his hair in his eyes and what appears to be a note to himself on the setlist stating “HAIR OUT of EYES” which made me laugh.
They played through an 11 song set, including their latest single which has had some fairly decent radio coverage, Mona Lisa and one of my personal favourites My Rock and Roll. The set was lacking Cat Attack, which some of the crowd were calling out for them to play, but you can’t get everything I guess. It was date 12 in a string of 18 UK tour dates spanning from Southampton to Edinburgh, and when they left the stage the crowd were calling for more. This gave them their first encore of the current tour, and they finished their set with All Around The World.
Dinosaur Pile-Up’s setlist was:
3. Opposite’s Attract
4. Mona Lisa
5. Never That Together
6. Love To Hate Me
7. Broken Knee
8. Maybe It’s You
9. My Rock Roll
10. Birds & Planes
11. Hey You (Home You Ruin)
12. All Around The World
P.s. thanks to http://a-note-for-the-outcast.tumblr.com/ for bringing my attention to this band in one of her blog entries.Source: Flickr / fallenstarphotography