So I finally got the go-ahead for another gig in this our post-visitation yr 2021: I’m promoting this one (and one day I’ll stop putting myself lowest on the bill), so you know it’ll be pharmaceutical quality.
After such a long lay-off it feels like a big deal, although the thing itself’s fairly low-key… Well, I say that, but it features the immensely talented and fascinating Oli Spleen (with friends, in Gaslight Illuminati guise) & unique polymathic genius R Dyer.
(NB. it doesn’t matter much, but this gig was originally scheduled for 2 July – I just copy-pasted the original post and changed the date/artwork. If it happens again, might leave this here as a monument to modest, albeit doomed, ambition. But that’s loser talk! …I hope.)
pic(s) by Dexter Bentley
Here’s the live session & interview we did for Dexter Bentley’s HelloGoodbye Show on Resonance FM – it’s very close to the start of the show, and is four uninterrupted songs (including a brand new number) followed by some chat:
(That was our afternoon. Later on, we went to Biddle Bros in E5 for a very loud gig. An ideal day.)
The band’s doing a live session in London this Saturday: Dexter Bentley’s HelloGoodbye Show, Resonance 104.4 FM – that’s from noon on 16 Nov. I’ve wanted to play on Resonance for ages, so this is something of a thrill (there might be an interview too).
Later that same day in the same city, we’re gigging on a great line-up… Here’s the info:
8:30pm THE GREAT MALARKEY (Acoustic)
Influenced by the likes of Tom Waits, Pixies, The Pogues, Beirut, Nick Cave, Fanfare Ciocărlia, Manu Chao, The Dead Brothers and Toots & The Maytals (the latter of whom they supported with only their third gig), The Great Malarkey are a riotous mix of musical styles delivered in a “multicultural train of fast beats and trembling slams of punk-folk spirit.” Earlier this year the song ‘Gimme Sugar’ from their second album “Doghouse” was chosen by Tom Robinson as BBC Radio 6 Music Recommend’s track of the week, getting played by daytime DJs Lauren Laverne, Steve Lamacq and Mary Anne Hobbs. The band play a special acoustic set tonight, featuring Alex ‘Ware-Woolf’ Gillings on vocals and guitar, Hugh Jones on vocals and guitar and Joni Belaruski on drums and vocals.
“A wild, multi-gendered gang of rebels brimming with deviant energy and fun… An absolute must see live experience” – Tom Robinson, BBC Radio 6 Music
9:20pm LEISURE TANK
Leisure Tank are a new female led power duo arrived from Berlin playing raw, minimalistic rock with unpredictable song structures and heavy, danceable grooves. Originally, K.C. (Katalin Czenker) is from Ossak, a tiny East German farm town that was home before the wall came down. Her songs echo that tough landscape, while her gutsy voice and electric guitar can be compared to PJ Harvey or Anna Calvi. She is backed by Budi on drums who plays huge complex rhythms on a gorgeous old Ludwig kit. The duo, in other guises, performed over seven hundred shows in punk squats and alternative acoustic clubs across Europe for a decade, saving their newer harder sound for the tougher British bar and festival crowds. They have just released their latest single ‘Moema’ and are soon to release their just-completed album.
“Gripping indie rock at it’s best” – Tom Robinson
10:10pm MATT FINUCANE
Brighton based singer/songwriter Matt Finucane’s music takes influence from art rock, krautrock and electronic noise and mashes them up into something intense and energetic. His songs have drawn comparisons to Lou Reed, Jeff Buckley, Nick Cave and David Bowie and for several years he has been DIY-releasing albums at a steady rate, getting airplay on BBC Introducing: South (including a live session with an early version of the band), Kerrang Radio and The Séance, among others. He has just released his third album “Vanishing Island” and has a new EP titled “The Seizure” out in November. Live, Matt is accompanied by Stephen Parker on bass and Barney Guy on drums.
“He should be heard by many many people” – Louder Than War Magazine
“A delight. Always great to hear an artist doing things their way” – R*E*P*E*A*T
VanityAct have always been a product of a variety of burgeoning London music scenes. The band started in 2015 in a bedroom in Hackney, with the main goal of being equal parts jazz, soul and punk, and went on to scavenge inspiration from the rich and diverse music of East London’s local bars and pubs. Originally flying under the moniker of Bubblegum, the band decided to start recording an album before playing any shows. This led to the release of their full-length LP, “Life in Colour”, which laid the groundwork for their full-bodied, orchestrated sound, rich with gospel choirs and raw brass ad libs. This sonic idiom was fully realised on their 2018 releases, ‘Original Sin’ and ‘Sunset (in the Key of E)’. During that year they also started their own regular music night in collaboration with Deviant & Dandy Brewery, entitled “The VanityAct Jamboree”, where they invite their favourite London bands to play laid back sets. The band are Henry Louis Ogilvie Dabrowski on vocals and guitar, Gabi Demera on bass and vocals, Alex Montgomerie-Corcoran on guitar, Jamie Burnett on drums and Helen Walpole on synth and vocals.
So the gig went well…
…and three days later, we went into the studio to record as a band – which also went very well (more on that later)…
…but meanwhile, there’s a new single coming out next month:
Due 8 March, accompanied by a video (one of my no-budget, lo-fi specials) – link to follow.
I fucking hate January (and February, but that’s another story). Only remedy’s work – been rehearsing with the band for an upcoming gig and some recording next month, and finalising my next release… due out early May, probably.
More news on the gig and other doings – it occurs to me there’s not a lot of stuff online with the band, which we’ll have to do something about – as and when, as ever.
Badges… badges everywhere
A strange feeling, putting yr image into a 25mm metal circle. How do bands cope with their gormless faces plastered all over T-shirts and other… “merch”? Come to a gig and take these damn things away.
…But there are several more to come, including a third go with Safehouse in the Wildcard Quartet, end of June. Details here, as they become available. Anyway, ask me for a badge and you can have one.
My next full-band gig’s on Mon 11 June at the Hope & Ruin, with Pink Narcissus, Peter Cat & Lewis McKale. I’ll be onstage from 8:30, with a new drummer and new songs – truly, playing with the big boys…
Before that, there’s a return to Mr Wolf’s in Bristol (tomorrow!) and another go at Bar 42 in Worthing (electric this time). I chase the phantom wherever it leads, till the oil runs out and the lights go off.
I love a blog entry studded with enticing blue links. So – another track from the new EP can be heard on the second Mixcloud from Plugged In Brighton, along with loads of other really good hard stuff. Listen at leisure.
the venue (Verdict Jazz Club) in a quiet moment
So I’ve been going to Safe House here in Brighton for a while, and it’s helped keep me honest and open-minded musically (flexible, too). It’s a, well, it’s… right, this is off their site:
…collective that hosts two separate nights that focus on improvised and experimental music: Safehouse, on the first Wednesday of every month, and On The Edge, on the last.
[…] There may or may not be any rhythm, tonal centre or structure to the pieces played. The music is free in that sense. No premeditated ideas or constrictions. Any sound is valid. It is a sonic conversation, in which players respond to each other as spontaneously as possible.
It can be brilliant, terrifying and beautiful or absolute shit, depending on the quiddities of the moment. Some of the players are very advanced indeed, but I’ve managed to reach a point where I can hold my own onstage well enough as part of a free improv scratch ensemble – or at least not embarrass myself too often. One aspect of the gig nights is the Wildcard Quartet: four names are selected at random to go on as first support and improvise for about twenty minutes, no quarter asked or given. (They’re very clear about this… it’s not “jamming”, it’s improvisation. Start spamming out riffs by rote and they take you out back and shoot you. Horribly distorted electric guitars are permitted, however.)
Anyway, my name came up for the gig on 31 Jan. It’s exciting stuff, and will be entirely unique, which is kind of the point.
Graham Dunning, Colin Webster, Sam Underwood
In this trio Graham Dunning plays turntable, dubplates and dentristry tools, walkmans and amplified objects. Colin Webster plays saxophone and Sam Underwood the tuba.
In 2014 Graham and Colin released two albums of recordings on the Linear Obsessional and Raw Tonk labels. They also toured the UK and Switzerland – the video below is from their set in Zurich.
The trio performed a memorable set at Supernormal festival in 2015 and released a CD called Bleed on ADAADAT label – a track from which is below.
Fettucini Spicer attempt to provoke/shock each other into action by the application of a multitude of instruments and objects too numerous to mention!
…I have no idea what to expect, and trust me – neither do you.
photos by Paul Newman
Photos of the band onstage at the Guitars Who Cares all-dayer, put on by Poupee Visage at Green Door Store (as you just might be able to tell from the glowing backdrop). They’re grainy because they’re stills from a video camera – sadly the footage was unusable because we were too loud for the mic. It was a good gig.
So I’m playing at this all-day celebration of noise on Sunday, with bass and drums and a loud electric guitar again. We’re on about 6pm, but I can recommend arriving earlier: check that line-up.
5 quid, 11 bands, 9 hours of mind-smashing volume in Brighton’s best, most dimly-lit venue. Sounds like heaven to me.
Brighton Freak Rock est. 2009
Alternative Rock from Brighton.
Fuzz Chug Wailers
Deliciously dysfunctional, hard-edged art rock.
Homegrown heavy featuring bits lifted from all your favourite bands.
A fine tuned mix of garage rock and gospel.
Frank & Beans
Two-piece thunder punk outfit from N. Ireland.
Punchy, noisy, melodic punk from Brighton
One Man Punk Band
Some photos of Thursday’s full-band gig. Mik and Steve sounded great – dead showbiz.
Octopuses (Bouncy Castle single launch!)
alt indie dance from the bottom of the (Brighton) sea
Matt Finucane + band
chanelling Lou Reed stylings with backing band
folk singer songwriter…
live at the Prince Albert on Thursday 13th April
Doors Open: 8pm
tickets on the door only
Some photos by Heather Johnson of last night’s Green Door Store gig supporting I, Ludicrous (except no. 4, by Phil of Spinning Chilli).
Went very well, especially for a first gig as a duo. A high note to finish 2016 on.
(Think I, Ludicrous have forgiven me for bailing out on their set due to transport issues the first time I supported them a while ago… They were inconsolable for years, of course.)
o sweet lord it’s happening again… EVENT LINK
As you can see, this gig happens on Wed 9 Sept At The Coach House… If you don’t know about this venue, you should. Same goes for the performers – I’m not playing this time, am just the door-bitch, but in ascending order we have:
Shonalika – one of the best singer-songwriters in a town full of ’em
Crysi di Milo – excoriating spoken word mayhem
& headliners Broken Ears – so tight and heavy it’s frankly SCARY
Music from 8pm, no messing. The hound of pleasure calls! x
can you tell which one’s me?
Had a blast backing Crysi di Milo at Trans Pride last weekend (then in a sex-dungeon at Fag Machine on Wed 29th). We absolutely killed, so might go into a studio soon and make some horrendous noise, see what happens. Both events were lovely and it was a privileged buzz to play a – very minor, but fun – part.
grey is not a rock n roll colour
Many thanks to those who came, those who played, and those who supported in other ways: it was a blast. Hopefully I’ll do it all again in September, but different. x
cute, isn’t he
This is going to be a very interesting gig.
It features super-powerful performance poet Gary Goodman, renowned multi-instrumental improviser Alistair Strachan, some attention-whore with an Irish surname that’s hard to pronounce, and devastatingly dark new talent Rochelle McLean.
And it happens in one of the – if not the – coolest venues in Brighton. Wed 8 July, folks. It may be Summer, but BRING BACK DARKNESS.
some pics by Agata Urbaniak from last night’s launch of In The Evil Empire
(l-r: MF, Dolly Dollycore, Pete Wiseman, Vicky Gould & Stephen Bad Mother-Folker)
It went very well indeed – thanks to all who came, and I’ll probably stick some video highlights on Youtube soon.
visitation of an American Poet
I’m playing at a Lou Reed tribute night in Kemptown, (At The) Coach House. It starts at 7pm, on Sat 7th Dec. Here’s the address:
22 Walpole Road
There’ll be loads of people playing songs from all across his incredible body of work. I’m doing… Actually, no. If you want to find out, you’ll have to come along. Anyway, it promises to be a fantastic celebration.
A few pics from Saturday’s gig At The Coach House:
…As you can see, it’s an interesting place, the kind worth playing Just Because (that thing in the 3rd photo’s a beyond-vintage speaker, not a municipal radiator, btw). Gig went well and got recorded – might stick it on Soundcloud, whole or in part, in the near future.