Alan Vega Live at the Roundhouse Freedom Studio 16.6.07.

In the Freedom Studio with HTRK.

 

This was a free gig as apparently whoever the

Corporate sponsors where believed we deserved to

see Alan Vega for free and who are we to argue.

 

This gig took place in the Freedom Studio which

is one of the spaces in the Undercroft of the

Roundhouse and is a smallish room.

 

First band on HTRK were annoying in the extreme

especially the singer a woman who spent almost

the whole set with a look of blank indifference

on her face and as well as singing she hit a floor

tom drum with a maraca while the two blokes in

the band played bass and guitar and the guitar

player also hit the buttons on the effects laden

drum machine thingy, they were awful and annoying

a load of old noise!!

By the second song we were taking the piss out of the singers drumming

ability and asking how many hours a day it took

her to learn her part, they reminded me of Gang

Gang Dance and were almost as bad as them too, we

escaped to the bar about two thirds of the way

through there set it was awful!

 

Then it was time for Alan Vega who is promoting

his new solo lp The Knife I think, but didn’t have any to sell with

him! He was backed by his wife Liz Lamere who was

playing a table of effects and sample triggers

and some sort of electronic theremin thingy to

manipulate the walls of sound and squalls of

noise coming at us while Alan ranted and raved

and proved how dangerous he still is by smoking a

cigarette in the non-smoking venue, he even had a

bouncer try to stop him, who ended up being

ranted at for his lack of freedom in the Freedom

studio. The only song I recognised was New

Raceion but it didn’t matter this was a great set

and he even got his young son up for a couple of

number’s on Harmonica and backing vocals, damn I

wonder what the kid will have to do to rebel

against a dad like Alan Vega, but as he is only

about 7 at the moment that is a ways off as yet.

 

Still judging by the form Mr Vega is in the new

album will be a must find purchase.

Oh and thanks to whoever sponsored the gig so we

could all get in for free to see Alan Vega.

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Iggy & The Stooges and Suicide Live at Hammersmith Apollo 2.5.10.

Yes this monstrous double-header has been 
anticipated for a very long time indeed as 
tickets went on sale last September and sold out 
a long long time ago for both nights. This show 
was part of the celebration of 10 years of All 
tomorrows Parties "Don't Look Back" series of 
shows with bands playing classic albums and 
tonight opens with Suicide playing their first 
album at punishing volume truly the loudest band 
I've heard this year so far they opened with 
there sound guy the head honcho for Blast First 
turning on Marty Revs keyboards that let forth a 
gust of noise and pounding nose bleed techno 
type beats before eventually Marty Rev and Alan 
Vega wandered out to cheers and laid waste to 
Ghostriders in viciously violent style of Marty 
thumping and bashing the keyboards while Alan 
Vega shrieked the vocals it was great and was 
followed by a version of rocket USA that was 
almost unrecognisable in the squalls of noise 
that came at us, Cheree lost all subtlety in 
this delivery and all the while Alan Vega was 
stalking the stage fiddling with the cigarette 
he couldn't light or wasn't allowed to light and 
all of a sudden he was screaming John John John 
John Johnny at us like all our lives depended on 
it and Marty kept up the pain from his keyboards 
and effects and seemed to really only be playing 
the left hand end of the keys that he hit with 
almost anything but his fingers. Frankie 
Teardrop was as frightening as it needed to be 
and went on as it should for a very long time 
which included Alan disappearing offstage for a 
smoke I guess and of course we are all Frankies 
but unlike normal he didn't make such a big 
point of that before they closed there set with 
a squalling real nasty sounding Che that he left 
the stage before the wall of dissonance and 
noise was anywhere near complete and was 
followed a couple of minutes later by Marty Rev 
who once he'd finished assaulting us took a very 
slow walk across the stage waved at us and left 
us cheering and stunned, not there best 
performance but mighty good as an opening salvo.

Soon enough it was time for Iggy & The Stooges 
who have once again replaced the late great Mr 
Ron Asheton on lead Guitar with Mr James 
Williamson who has taken this as a retirement 
job from his post as a vice president at Sony! 
Who of course the band are signed to and have 
put out the incredible new reissue of Raw Power 
either as a double cd or the full three cd one 
dvd one 7"single box and the latter is well 
worth its high price. They are also putting out 
the all singing and all dancing version of Kill 
City later in the year.
The band ran onstage and James Williamson who 
was first onstage launched into the opening riff 
of Search And Destroy and the place went mental 
and we were off with a street walking cheetah 
with a head full of Napalm leading the 
preceding Iggy had on a leather waistcoat for 
the first song at sounded great James still has 
what it takes after having to relearn to play 
guitar. 
Gimme Danger did indeed sound well dangerous and 
to prove it Iggy did his first stage dive of the 
night and he looked great all rippling muscles 
and way better than the cartoon Iggy of the 
insurance ads. Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell 
sounded immense as Iggy screamed out the words 
and Mike Watt amped up the Bass riff and Steve 
Mackay switched from Sax to I think that was his 
first keyboard part of the night a good two 
fingered effort. Rock Ashetons Drums fair 
propelled Penetration deep within us as Iggy 
Promised to stick it deep inside while showing 
us where he wished to stick it. Raw Power was 
next and boy do they ever have Raw Power in 
abundance this was just as mean and lean as you 
could wish for and none of them played like old 
men at all. I Need Somebody is probably the 
slowest song of the night and it wasn't that 
slow at all but just kept up the power as Iggy 
emphasised the lyrics and rolled around the 
stage. For Shake Appeal Iggy Appealed to the 
crowd to join him onstage and plenty did as they 
just about managed to hold onto the song amid 
the mayhem at the end of the song Iggy remarked 
to one girl on her bravery at getting up there 
as she was about 4ft something and rather 
slight. Then it was time for Iggy and the boys 
to take us on a Death Trip and boy were we ready 
for it the song had never sounded so good he 
ended the song by putting his microphone square 
into the big speaker to get a howl of feedback 
from it. 
Then it was straight into the "Hits" section 
with a storming version of Cock In My Pocket 
that saw Iggy stick his hand down the jeans that 
were slipping lower and lower down to play with 
his cock that was screaming down the old highway 
with us. Soon enough of course he was telling us 
I Wanna Be Your Dog while behaving like a dog 
onstage!  I Got A Right had Iggy making it plain 
what he had a right to do and the band and 
audience certainly agreed with him and it 
certainly included being out of his mind on 
saturday night as it's 1970 and he feels alright 
and I know I did seeing Iggy dive into the 
audience again. They then did the instrumental 
from Kill City is it Mastercharger before 
playing a great version of Kill City and 
finishing with a devastating version of Open Up 
And Bleed.
The well-earned encore started with Fun House 
and a honking great version it was too and then 
my mind has gone blank for a couple of songs 
during which Iggy put the house lights up to 
look at all of us and thank us for coming and 
eventually to introduce the band before the 
finished things off with Johanna that was a 
perfect close to a great great show. I bought my 
memory stick on the way out so I can download 
the show later in the week at which point no 
doubt I'll know what songs were missing!
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Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music Trio live at The Royal Festival Hall 19.4.10.

At The Royal Festival Hall. London.

Yes the day has finally arrived where I have to 
miss the New York Dolls so I can see Lou Reed 
perform Metal Machine Music!! A day I thought 
would never happen let alone in 2010. What odds 
could you have got on that in say 1989 maybe 2 
million to 1. Then a guy got on the tube with a 
red tea pot it's that sort of a day, I'm not 
sure if I have my head ready for this or not. 
But I'm sure some strong alcohol will sort that 
out, oh and a good smoke just along from Kevin 
Sheilds ought to do it.
The main review is being written as the show 
unfolds so I can convey what the night is like 
and what it does to me as it happens, so i will 
now try to translate the hieroglyphs of my awful 
handwriting while stoned out of my brains.
I'm sitting at the front of the cheap seats in a 
little more than half full hall, So I am a fair 
way back but refused to pay more to see Lou with 
a trio than it cost to see John Cale with a full 
orchestra in the same venue. 
There is some drone noise vacuum pump thing 
blaring over the tannoy before Lou and the boys 
arrive. On stage Is one massive gong, one 
massive drum, A Saxophone, 4 guitars, Keyboards, 
Effects and computers. I hope the mainly in the 
bizz music nut crowd is ready for what's to come.
I have a double rum to keep me company on this 
voyage that is about to begin. This noise is 
mad!!
Lou is joined in his trio by Ulrich Kreiger and 
Seth Calhoun, it's not quite as empty as the 
Albert Hall last time I saw Lou but there are 
empty seats all over the place, Lou's late and 
this noise just doesn't stop or change but it's 
tripping me out already.
They take the stage to applause before starting.
They stare at guitars feeding back, look at the 
drum start twiddling away pulsey rhythms open up 
my world in sound, Gong earthquake sheet of 
sound. Noise tyres squeal over tidal wave crash 
of reverb, give me the rum, ostrich guitar gives 
way to an exploding plastic inevitable mindfuck.
Estrangement of my stomach as it is moving 
independent of my body, bewilderment of my body 
shaking revolving sax blurts in between the mess 
of noize.
Ships horns in hell, whales collide screaming 
skronk begins reality dimensions of brain 
effluent of time signature. Jimi's star 
crucified. Quiet is worse than loud why? Troughs 
of sound make me numb paralysed as golgotha's 
signal strikes and down we go of deep despair 
castrati wail and wail in agony. Beyond 
everything people leave early, why did they come 
it said it was going to be Metal Machine Music 
what did they expect.
Implosion implosion disposition distortion 
contortion of eruption. Eruptions of sounds so 
strange they begin to collapse my mind to hell 
why did you come if your going to leave early 
distortions fearless of worlds within this 
noise great dissension an a nightmare march to 
oblivion fleeing to other dimensions swaying 
above or below you. Aylers Ghost rises once more 
in the maelstrom. Rumble in the rubble of skronk 
skronk skronk!! Lou's standing by the amps once 
more. If you didn't want the headache why come. 
Strychnine meth amphetamine mephedrone super 
dilaudid dreams of a pcp encrusted world of 
opiated  meth dreams of sleepwalking nightmare 7 
day high no sleep till noise day. Screeds of 
what the hell ever over drone drum feedback 
medicine. You prefer spatial displacement of 
what this noise is doing to the cortex of my 
brain tympanic membrane could shatter or crumble 
to dust as shattering duels take place is that 
the amine b ring of hades lost control of my 
mind again. rumble beneath my sphincter shatter 
my perceptions in the crevices of my mind
Good applause from the survivors of this sound 
trip.
I walked out numb and struggling to walk and 
most of the faces were of the walking dead glad 
to have survived Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music 
Trio. Please let me know if this makes any sense 
at all.
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The Velvet Underground Under Review DVD

The Velvet Underground Under Review DVD

Originally Posted 5/14/2007

The Velvet Underground; Under Review

An Independent Critical Analysis. DVD

(www.chromedreams.co.uk Sexy intellectual)

 

This was one of the cooler finds on my trip to

Athens lurking in the http://www.fnac.com store out by

the Olympic Stadium I found this excellent

addition to any Velvets fans collection a new

Documentary that came out in 2006.

This features interviews and commentary on the

bands career from beginning to end by among

others Moe Tucker and Doug Yule from the band to

Billy Name through to Robert Christgau, Malcom

Dome, Clinton Heylin, Sal Mercuri and Dean

Wareham.

This mainly takes films from the Warhol Archives

of the Velvets performing and hanging out and

cuts them with lots of Billy Names, Doug Yule and

Moe Tuckers Photos of the band while they tell

the story in the normal manner.

Some great clips that I haven’t seen before and a

full telling of the story of the first recordings

at Sceptre sound by the guy who paid for it, and

whom Warhol paid with a Painting, not a bad trade

for $600 of studio time. Plus the extras include

his theory on where the actual master tapes of

that session that turned up on the Acetate are

stored!!

Throughout the DVD Moe’s comments are cool and

throw some light on what really happened, good to

hear Doug Yule giving his side of things,

especially how he was kept out of the loop and

didn’t know what Candy Says was about until after

he had sung on the recording!

Billy Name talks us through the three Velvets

Album covers he was involved in in good detail

complete with the original colour shots of the

White Light White heat cover, yes the full colour

still that the skull tattoo was cut from.

There’s also good interviews with the guy that

booked the Velvets at the Boston tea Party and

Woodrose Ballroom on how good a live band they

were and what sort of person came to the shows.

The low points for me were listening to Robert

Christgau proving that Lou’s comments on Take No

Prisoners wasn’t far off the mark!! That and they

guy who insisted on showing us how he thought Lou

played his guitar, I’d be more impressed with

showing clips of Lou playing those songs while

explaining the Ostrich Tuning and other Quirks of

Lou’s Guitars.

Other than that this is a very nice addition to

my Velvet Underground DVD collection.

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James Chance Et Les Contorsions Live at the Barfly Camden 1.5.07.

James Chance Et Les Contorsions Live 1.5.7.

Originally posted 5/6/2007

James Chance Et Les Contorsions Live 1.5.07.

At The Barfly, Camden.

With Chk Buda and Twisted Charm.

 

Yes indeed the laziest man in show business is

back in record time with his hot new French band

Les Contorsions to blow us all away with his

current European tour.

I got into the Barfly during Chk Buda’s set and

wished I had caught all of it as this is a very

funky and rather cool funked up band that has a

damn good Alto and Tenor sax attack and if my

eyes are right featured at least one member of

Led Bib on Sax. They were cool and got me moving.

Next up in a by now packed Barfly was Twisted

Charm who left me cold, almost as soon as they

started playing I just felt nothing like I was

missing something. On paper I ought to like them,

but they did nothing for me, the best thing in

the band is the sax player who looked like Brian

Molko crossed with half the guys in Sha na na!

The singer was trying hard to be David Bowie in

the period 1966 to 1968, it wasn’t good.

But then I was there for the Fuhrer of Funk

himself Mr Jaaaames Chance! Well this time there

was no intro from his brother David Just the band

coming on and setting up before launching into a

great set of superb intense Funky Jazz Punk. The

new band live up to the task and the first big

highlight for me was a great take on That Old

Black Magic, that was indeed enough to make us

know we were in the presence of a Sax Maniac who

knows exactly how to Melt Yourself down.

By the time James told us we were about to hear

the first ever live version of Stained Sheets he

had already got the whole audience going, but

then on slunk Judy Taylor to give us the most

dirty delicious orgasm while writhing towards

James who replied with some truly filthy sax and

we were all in heaven.

James then brought things down with a colossal

version of King Heroin that was followed by a

couple of new songs from the Japanese album that

was unavailable afterwards no matter what James

claimed, still they did have Lost Chance and the

incredible Soul Exorcism Redux.

They closed the set with a totally twisted

version of Contort Yourself that had Judy Taylor

back onstage pulling James off the stage like you

couldn’t get him to leave it!! It was steamy and

electric way to end his set.  They came back for

an encore of “I Hate myself” or something like

that, that brought a great show to a storming

close.

Yes James Chance is back still and funking it up

like there’s no tomorrow and if the rammed

Barfly is anything to go by he is building his

following once more, now to find that new

album….

Originally posted on Myspace and the unofficial soup kitchen.

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Spiritualized Acoustic Mainlines Live 26.4.07.

 

Spiritualized Acoustic Mainlines Live in London 26.4.07.

Originally Posted 4/30/2007

Spiritualized Acoustic Mainlines Live 26.4.07.

At the Shepherds Bush Empire.

 

I’d managed to be sold just about the worst seats

in the place for this sold out sit down show with

the Empire fully seated for the first time that

I’ve seen since it stopped being the BBC theatre.

I was in the wings on the second circle just

above the stage lights, if I sat down I could see

two of the 9 piece Spritualized Acoustic

Mainlines band. But if I stood up I had to hold

on to the post behind me as the drop in front of

me seemed to be like some huge void especially

with how stoned I was feeling during the support

band who were pretty forgettable and I don’t know

who they were either.

So while I was inspecting the sculptures on the

ceilings on the Empire and wondering whose Busts

are either side of the stage on come

Spiritualized Acoustic Mainlines to help make me

feel like I am floating high above everything

almost as if I’m Sitting On Fire that they opened

with, in there woozy laid back way the line-up of

two violas, one violin, One cello, pianist,

acoustic guitar and vocals from Jason and three

voice choir. From that slow and woozy beginning

the pace was set on slow very very slow as lord

Let It Rain On Me set one of the main lyrical

themes tonight of Jesus and the lord and what he

will and won’t do for us, coupled with True Love

Will Find You that followed it and set us sailing

looking for the Cool Waves to wash over us and

we’d better slow down some more and say Amen!

Oh Jason you have almost broken out of first gear

by now as Your Soul On Fire had some real

brooding menace going on as the song built and

choir built and everything built till it was time

to go Walking With Jesus one of the songs that he

Played the first time I saw him with Spacemen 3

20 years ago now. It was a cool version but I was

yearning for the Vox Starstreamer and AC30 drone

by this point, The closest they came was almost

upbeat version of Sound Of Confusion, but such

almost 50bpm pace couldn’t last!! As fine as this

band is the pace was just so slow and well Death

Take your fiddle brought things back down to a

crawl once more as Jason had to Go Down Slow more

songs of drug epiphanies and love gone wrong

meant they played All of My tears, Feel So Sad

and Stop Your Crying almost as a suite of despair

the sadness and blue tone was getting a bit

overwhelming. even if the three songs together

got the loudest cheers of the night!!

Well we were into greatest hits territory now as

out came Anything More coupled with Ladies and

Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space and Can’t Help

Falling In Love there was almost a glimmer of a

smile on Jason’s face seated as ever facing side

on as you wouldn’t want to look at the audience

too much.

Not when you have a Broken Heart that may have

been caused because Baby I’m Just A Fool that had

me almost wishing the end would come as I wanted

something a little more upbeat this was a real

down of a set and when they Played Good Night

Good Night it sounded so baleful that you almost

thought Jason was about to kill himself with the

pain of it all, even Think I’m In Love that

should be uplifting sounded like a declaration of

despair they closed the set with Lord Can You

Hear Me Hear Me at all, lord can you hear me

call, well yes indeed it was a fitting close to a

real slow burner of a show that made the

energetic response from the audience seem totally

raucous after the laid back set they had just

played. They came back and did a cool version of

Oh Happy Day to finish things off with.

I left feeling like I could have done with some

more Electricity tonight as I needed some shock

treatment to wake me up again from this coma

Jason was trying to induce, I still can’t decide

if it was a good show or not!!

 

Originally posted on Myspace and the unofficial soup kitchen.

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Danny & Dusty Live at The Fuzz Club Athens 14.4.07.

Danny and Dusty in Athens Fuzz Club 14.4.7.

Originally posted 4/23/2007

Danny & Dusty Live at The Fuzz Club Athens 14.4.2007.

Yes at last the time for the Danny & Dusty

reunion tour has arrived, over 20 years on from

there first and last and only previous tour and

record the incredible The Lost Weekend Danny

(Stuart) is back with Dusty (Steve Wynn) with a

new album the excellent Cast Iron Soul that more

than doubles the bands song list and there first

European tour.

Having chosen to come to Athens to see them

without tickets for the show we turned up at The

Fuzz Club absurdly early to make sure we got

tickets, that sorted and we went off for a drink

and to gaze at the Temple Of Zeus at sunset that

was just around the corner from the club.

I have to say on going into The Fuzz Club it is

one of the plushest and nicest music venues I’ve

been in for a long time, a real cool place with

some very strong drinks ordered we took our place

at the Bar in front of the stage and rested our

drinks there on the other side of the moat from

Dusty.

The Moat was filled with 3 professional

photographers snapping away and no Bar staff,

they keep that bar shut during performances,

thankfully as I’m sure Danny would have made full

use of the bar otherwise;)

The band was cooking from the beginning and did a

good mix of just about every song they had from

the Word Is out on down the first of the new

songs was The Good Old Days that I have to say

I’m glad they didn’t go to the same record shop

as me in the Flea Market to get all the old Dream

Syndicate Vinyl they had to really remind us of

the Good Old Days!! But are they really the Last

Of The Only Ones, especially since The Only Ones

are doing their own reunion tour shortly. Still I

felt like I was on the Miracle Mile that seemed

to have half the club singing along to it. Oh and

yes the club was just around The Bend In The

Road, which was enough to Raise The Roof for me.

I have to say throughout that Stephen McCarthy’s

guitar playing was pretty much spot on some real

nice solos and great sound that was well worth

his introduction towards the end of the show as

was Bob Rupe for his solid Bass playing and of

course Chris Cacavas for some mesmerizing Piano

playing and being able to reduce Danny to fits of

laughter while trying to sing by knocking over

his microphone! Thanks to Jet for spotting what

Chris had done! And this review will also give a

big shout out to Johnny Hott on Drums who Dusty

cruelly stopped Danny from introducing all

together by Starting Baby, You All Gottta Go Down

too soon. That song had to have the biggest sing

along chorus of the show. The place erupted at

the end of the set and the band did two two song

encores that closed with a great almost impromptu

version of That’s What Brought Me Here well the

answer to that question had to be Danny & Dusty

had brought me to the Fuzz Club and to Athens and

for that I thank them whole heartedly for a great

gig and a great holiday thanks guys!!

 

Originally posted on Myspace and USK.org

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