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I only had time to ‘do’ the pictures from the D.S.A. gig from a couple of weeks ago, as well as one more T.A.T.E. pic - here’s one of each…

D.S.A. -

D.S.A. Live at The Rising Sun, Reading

Anna from The Airborne Toxic Event -
The Airborne Toxic Event, Live in Bristol - Anna tunes up...

More to follow after the weekend…


Originally published at TechnoMage. You can comment here or there.

maleghasty: (Default)

So, last night and exactly a week before that, I managed to see my ‘new favourite band’ live. These gigs have been in small, intimate venues, in front of crowds of between twenty to forty people, and there is a good deal of truth in the words of Josh from Fleet Foxes when he said on Radio One last night (as I was driving home) that really the best way to see a band is when the space and the crowd are small enough that the band feel they can form a connection with every single member of the audience.

The Airborne Toxic Event (their name comes from a book that I love and that I read at University, called “White Noise” by American writer Don DeLillo), are going to be big. I referenced Fleet Foxes above (another band I would merrily commend to your listening pleasure oh dear reader), and they are all the evidence that I need that I am right about TATE (apart from the cool coincidence that happens when their band name is made into an acronym). Fleet Foxes were unknown when they first came to the UK to play some shows in 2007. Rather like TATE they played a large number of small, intimate gigs around the UK and just let their music ear-worm its way into the alternative scene’s consciousness (I use the term alternative scene here for the big tent that many scenes share that are simply outside the mainstream; sue me). Just like TATE, they were getting a small amount of airplay on the ‘right’ shows on Radio 1 (Colin Murray, Huw Stephens, and eventually Zane Lowe), as well as all of us in the International KEXP community boring the ass off anyone who would listen, and now they are back in the UK, playing venues like The Shepherd’s Bush Empire, and packing its 2,000 capacity… It is also worth mentioning that TATE have a road-tested management / marketing / label team behind them, so with a few music fans starting to talk about them, the right ‘alt’ opinion formers covering them, and a bit of luck they are going to be huge - you heard it here first… ;-)

I often ‘go on’ about music on my blog(s), and I know that a lot of what I __really like__ is not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you like interesting guitar music (i.e. with __something__ fresh about it), and you like Franz Ferdinand and / or The Killers, or Hot Hot Heat, or The Kaiser Chiefs then check The Airborne Toxic Event out. I have nothing to gain from you doing so, except that the more people who like their music here in the UK, the greater the chance that they’ll come back sooner, oh and I do like people to find out about good music too.

Here’s a picture of Mikel and Anna during the latter part of last night’s set:
The Airborne Toxic Event, Live in Bristol - Mikel and Anna

They were great, they tore the place up on night 24 of their 30 consecutive UK dates, even though they barely knew where they were anymore, even though only fifty people came out to see them… The little, cute, blonde stood next to me, called Steph was a good benchmark of crowd response; when they played ‘Sometime around Midnight’ she was visibly vibrating with joy, as was I truth be told.

Enough… You’ll either check them out or you won’t, you’ll either like them or you won’t - I did my part.

I would also like to take this time to mention the support acts that I have caught by attending these two gigs, as they have all been rather good…

On the 17th I arrived at the Jericho Tavern, having been told by that there was “No Support”, to discover that there would be two bands playing before the main event. I caught the latter half of the first band - The Socials. I have to say that I was impressed, and let’s be honest that is not always the case with regard to opening acts. They clearly have talent, they were good at the whole ‘being on-stage’ thing, and their material was good ole, foot-tappin’ UK guitar, jangle-pop, mixed with a sense of identity. If they keep playing and recording then you may well hear more from them before too long…

Next up were The Long Insiders, and man did they surprise and delight me. They had a bunch of friends show up to support them, and I got talking to a couple of them (Steve and Kirsty(?)), and I quickly realised that the act was going to be something a bit different, but wow! Imagine a fifties rockabilly meets surf-music band, fronted by a burlesque styled, dark-haired beauty with a voice like a fallen angel and you are getting close. Their music would not be out of place in a noir movie, or gracing the soundtrack of a Lynch movie either, but more than that it was just such a breath of fresh air and excitement, that I found myself singing along and whistling after every tune. If you get a chance to see these guys, take it - they’ve got game.

Last night I caught the last four numbers by The Volt, and I have to say that again I was pleasantly surprised to discover that support acts are sometimes well worth seeing… Click on the link above and listen to ‘Rock my Soul’ on their MySpace page - these guys can play. They’ve got quite a few gigs coming up in December, January and February; if anyone fancies catchin’ one I would be up for it…

Tonight I’m shooting a local model for fun, her portfolio and as a ‘getting to know you’ exercise to see if we like working together, and then I’m charging the camera’s batteries, cleaning down memory cards and printing maps, as tomorrow I am off to see two people for whom I have all kinds of love (but clearly only the appropriate kinds) get married, and into the bargain take some pictures of the events of the day. Apparently I get to stop for a while in February ;-)

Originally published at TechnoMage. You can comment here or there.

maleghasty: (Default)
I am in posession of an extra ticket to see The Airborne Toxic Event at the Jericho Tavern in Oxford (upcoming American Indie Band who are doing a mad 30-date tour around the UK at the moment), due to sudden illness on the part of my intended companion.

Is there anyone out there in LJ-land who would like to join me for the gig, my treat..? If you are in or near Reading, or between Reading and Oxford I can even pick you up. If you are in Oxford, clearly we can meet there.

Please, someone use the ticket, not because it was expensive, it wasn't and anyway I'm offering it for free, but because although I __will__ go to gigs alone, I prefer not to. Anyway, good chance to bond / spend time if we haven't lately...

Answers here or by email to the address on my profile page, please...

maleghasty: (Default)

Last night I lost another virginity.  Last night I saw Clutch live for the first time and there is likely to be no better live musical event for me this year.

They were truly amazing. Tight, but not clinically rehearsed; loud, but in a good way; rock, yes pure, unadulterated, blues-inspired, stoner-flavoured, sex music from the very soul of the American Dream.  If you have a chance to see them in Birmingham (you’ll already have tickets as it’s sold out), London (be quick!) or the Hard Rock Hell festival in North Wales in early December, or for our friends in the US, all over the country between September and December, then I urge you to see them.  Guaranteed to satisfy, they are one of the great hard rock bands of the nineties and noughties, and right now they appear to be on their very best form.

Find out more here (official site) and here (wikipedia)

Originally published at TechnoMage. You can comment here or there.

maleghasty: (Default) playing in Reading on the 14th of December - anyone want to come..? Booking tickets at the end of the week to avoid disappointment. (£16 / ticket)
maleghasty: (milestone)
Having the day off yesterday was definitely a good move...

I got up at a leisurely pace, processed the photos from the SpinVox Party, had a shower and ambled down to Rivermead via a nice all day breakfast for about 1530h.

Diana told me later that the festival is tiny compared to the likes of Glastonbury etc., but I did that whole bumpkin arriving in the big city thing and just wandered around for about two hours, trying to process it all.

Then it was off to the Siam Tent to see Värttinä, a Finnish folk rock band that I had never heard of before, but they are now firmly on the shopping list! Really entertaining, beautiful voices and excellent music - I deiced to take this as a sign and see other acts of which I knew nothing...

So I wandered down to the Radio 3 stage after Värttinä and took in an apparently famous Senegalese artist Daby Balde and his band. They were great! He had everyone up and dancing before he was halfway through the set and it just got better... I was starting to suspect that I might be a bit of a hippy on the inside by this point...

So Di showed up and we went to get food and catch the end of Los Del Abajo of Mexico on the Open Air Stage. Again, there was a baseline love of making music that sometimes seems to get lost in our domestic music scene, and they scored many points by banging the peace drum - the WOMAD crowd is a fair bet for peace to be a crowd pleaser, lets be honest.

Then we went on to the band that had clinched my decision to buy a ticket, the mighty Gotan Project. WOW! Just incredible, there are no words... WOW. The way they have mixed tango and traditional hispanic and french music with dance and rap and... WOW!

We did a bit of wandering in the dark, catching a bit of Tiger Moth (a British Caillie band) in the Cabaret tent, and taking the opportunity to just sit and have a beer together, something that we have not been able to do for weeks it seems. Then to round the evening out we went to listen in on Anoush Shankaar and her Sitar. It was great to just lie down in the dark and let the haunting melodies just wash over me, and by the time we hopped in a cab to head home I had forgotten that I had a job or that I needed one, if you know what I mean.

A quick drink with Di and Al before I headed down the hill and home and now I am about to leave to take in as much of Saturday as I can without knackering myself too much - I have a party to go to after I leave the festival today (or more likely tomorrow morning)...

Hope you all have a lovely weekend :-)

Gig Review

May. 25th, 2006 12:52 am
maleghasty: (Default)
So tonight (well last night now, if you want to get technical about it), I went to a gig as a birthday present to myself and to mark my maternal Grandfather's 91st birthday in my own way...

The High Dials (of Montreal Canada)

Well the High Dials from Montreal were an interesting and pleasant surprise! I'm fairly sure that I've heard them on KEXP once or twice, but to see them live was (as ever with live music) a real eye-opener... There odd blend of spiritual lyrics, plaintive pain and flowing, yet hard-edged riffs left me wanting more - so I bought the CD. I find myself wondering if they are big news at home in the Maple Leaf state, but how would one find out? I must ask Sarah; my oracle for all things Canadian, for example the woman who told me about The Trailerpark Boys and loaned me 'Hip albums (well ok I made that second one up, but she should loan me 'Hip albums!!). Also, extra points for use of a Sitar in an epic "closer" (shame it's not on the album I bought)...


Catherine Irwin (of Louisville Kentucky)

I can't think of a lot of things that are braver than a lone woman walking out on a stage with a guitar and a mic to do covers of old, old Country songs that were originally performed by men, in front of an audience that is now impatient to see the main event. For my money she was more than up to the challenge. An incredible voice and nimble
fingers as her plucking pulled on every heart-string in the joint with songs of pain and heartbreak. The joke was good too:

"Two peanuts were walking down the street, and one of them was assaulted."

At some point I will have to see if I can get one or two of her records - I couldn't face the crush into the lobby post-gig as the merch lady from Detroit Michigan (name forgotten, apologies) was swamped by newly whipped up fandom...


Neko Case (of Chicago Illinois) and her band (of many, many places)...

I hadn't seen Neko perform since 2000, when she toured the UK in the wake of being short-listed for the Mercury Music Prize for her first full-length release; "Furnace Room Lullaby". John Peel had been championing her to win, with particular reference to "Twist the Knife" which temporarily replaced "Teenage Kicks" as his favourite song of all time, and even though I had the album and been disappointed by her loss of the prize I went to see her at the Night and Day Cafe on Oldham Street in Manchester's Northern Quarter, one night after work. I was the only guy in the place in a tie, and by the time Kelly Hogan and her Pine Valley Cosmonauts relinquished the stage to Neko Case and her Boyfriends (as the band were then known), the place was packed to the rafters. When I arrived at the Shepherds Bush Empire this evening to see a lacklustre turnout I was concerned, but I shouldn't have been worried - in true London style the crowd had simply not bothered to show for the support acts... It is worth saying at this point that I have not bought a single other Neko Case record since I bought the aforementioned "Furnace Room Lullaby", but after this evening's safari through material previously unknown to me, that is gonna change. Neko's voice is still a wonder of the modern world, her pitch and clarity matched only by the power she seems to be able to summon from nowhere, or at least implausibly from within her tiny size eight frame. The banter between songs topped off what was already not only a completely satifying performance, but also a great value for money gig. For an old-time fan like me, the stand-out moments were her excellent renditions of "Set Out Running" and "Furnace Room Lullaby" (the title track, not the whole album, clearly). Having said that the stuff that was new to me was equally moving and mystical, particularly a song that I will know only as "a scary Ukranian story" until I get my shopping boots on and buy some albums (I have a lot of catching up to do, it would seem). Special mention should probably be made of how gorgeous Neko looked, bright red hair tumbling over her shoulders as she belted out number after number, and also to Rachel Flotard (the backup singer - if anyone can tell me the name of the band she is also in I would be dead chuffed, it was mentioned, but I didn't hear it because of an amorous fan) who proudly announced that she was not wearing any underwear...

maleghasty: (Default)
Last night was Sunn O))), and Earth at the Islington Academy. Utterly fantastic!

There is no way to explain Drone Metal to people who have not experienced it, and frankly it has only been in my life for about 3 months, so I'm no expert, but it is worth it... Oh yes... The one really incredible aspect of the music is the way in which it promotes visual thought. Last night during Earth's set I had a vivd "daydream" about walking through a ruin near to my parents' home whilst filming it, in really cool early light. The experience was remarkably vivid, to the point of being able to see the tiniest detail, like water dripping down the tumbled walls and a spider that I focussed the frame on for a long time as she built her web. Then Sunn O))) came on and I was pleased, if a little disturbed, to discover that I had a similar experience from their performance. I have only been surfing once, and I was no good at it, but as they started to play I could see myself falling from a surfboard, somewhere in the Pacific (think the LOST island in fact) and then as they played their entire set in one long symphony of discord I could only imagine myself being worked by the wave. You know how time lengthens in moments of danger and stress? Well the hour long set gave me the sense that I was under water, being worked by the wave for a few seconds, and yet in that time I had the time available to consider all kinds of things going on in my life, the whole 'life flashing before your eyes' phenomenon I suppose. It was an utterly explosive experience.

If you get the chance, go and see them. The 'music' such as it is may not be to your taste, but if you can close your eyes and lose yourself in it I pretty much guarantee that it will move you.

I repaired back to Rob and Mark's place, with Scott as well for Jameson's and Ginger Ale and to take in more music before crashing on their spare bed.

Soon - after taking on pizza - I will head back to Reading for my Saturday madness that includes a jam session, a pub crawl and DropZone; Saturday FTW!

Later LJ-Land...


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