John Cale Live At The Mean Fiddler London 17.3.07.

John Cale Live at the Mean Fiddler London 17.3.07.

Originally Posted 3/19/2007

John Cale Live at the Mean Fiddler 17.03.07.

 

This had to be the only venue in London not

Celebrating St Patrick’s day, this show was very

early with the doors opening at 6pm with no

support act and on getting in there no music on

either, but by the time John came on the place

was packed and thanks to Swedish Joe I was

standing second row centre, which was way cool.

 

They opened with a stunning version of Heartbreak

Hotel that made sure we knew that his current

backing band who are miraculously the same as

last year’s band have turned into a fine tuned

machine more than capable of reinvigorating John

Cales music in such a way that many times I was

left guessing what tune they were playing, but

then they did also play some fine new tunes as

well, but the set really shook me with a great

version of Big White Cloud from Vintage Violence

that seemed to be almost a sing along tune these

days!! Amazing what turning up on a soundtrack

can do for a song! Pity I can’t remember what I

heard it on recently.

 

The first song that John played Guitar on was a

brilliant version of Model Beirut Recital that

rocked like hell, Then they managed to fuse

together Leaving it up to you and Strange times

in Casablanca in a fine mash up style that lead

us well off on one.  Outta The Bag still sounds

real good as one of the stand out live tunes from

his recent Black Acetate album. Save Us shocked

me as I wasn’t expecting to hear that tune dug up

but was glad they did.

The current drummer is about the best drummer

I’ve ever seen with John Cale his fluid style

reminded me a lot of Elvin Jones and the Jazz

touches he added really help to take the songs to

new places.

By the time the band wound the sound down for the

acoustic section that gave us a flawless version

of Thoughtless kind and a rousing Buffalo Ballet

to finish things off it was clear this is one of

the best Cale bands in a very long time indeed

and just the fact they have stayed together this

long says a lot for them. The encore started with

a great spitting bile version of Fear and was

followed by Chorale and they left the stage to

thunderous applause for a second encore that the

venue denied us as we had to be out of the place

before 10pm for curfew in this 24 hour drinking

city!! This meant that John didn’t use the Viola

that had sat onstage for the entire gig!!

Oh well still another great gig and If Cale gets

anywhere near you go and see him.

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Gallon Drunk and Last Man Standing Live at the 100 Club 15.2.07.

Gallon Drunk and Last Man Standing live 100 Club

London 15.2.07.

 

Well this show was the antidote to Valentines

Days cheese fest and for me the perfect night to

blast all those Europe songs out of my head again.

It certainly worked we had got there early enough

to get a seat at one of the tables at the side of

the stage and we sat there for the first few

songs by Last Man Standing who are the band

fronted by Glen Max the promoter at the South

Bank. The first number sounded a little like

Little Feet crossed with a southern soul revue

type band, once the brass section hit there

stride though they had a lot more power and we

soon moved to stand with a better view and a lot

more of the sound they were creating a great stew

that the small 100 club stage could barely

contain especially when they added Kelly Le Roc

for a couple of tunes that were right on the

nail, funkily bringing to mind George Clinton

meeting any number of Staxx bands. Really cool

and I’d love to see them with a bigger stage to

perform on so that Glenn can go really mad with

his hand held pedal steel.

Then it was time for Gallon Drunk who I haven’t

seen for far too long and damn they are every bit

as intense as ever from the opening blasts of

Terry Edwards giving us a good sax solo to blast

everyone’s ears that led into Two Wings Mambo that

was full of dissonance and howling rage as James

Johnston played his guitar sang and played

keyboards at the same time and Terry Edwards was

just howling away as Ian White kept his Bass

rumbling away. We certainly needed two Clear eyes

to keep up with this band who just blasted us

away, for me though the high light of the set was

when Terry Edwards played his keyboard solo on

Some Cast Fire that was nigh on perfect as was

that song, they also did a killer version of Jake

On The Make with the band stripped down for most

of it and James singing away from the microphone

for some of it.  They were every bit as caustic

as they had always been even if the drummer

doesn’t quite have the charisma of Max Decharne

whose boots he ably fills.

As ever they left the stage and didn’t come back

for an encore I guess it is tough to get that

level of intensity back once you stop a great set

and there first three albums are about to be

reissued on Sartorial records which can only be a

good thing.

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Europe Live Shepherds Bush Empire 14.2.07.

Europe Live Shepherds Bush Empire 14.2.07.  

Yes the perfect Valentine’s Day gig for Jet,

Europe back to Rock the night for us once more.

The place was packed but not quite sold out for

this show on their tour to promote the new Album

Secret Society.

As expected this was good hard slick metal with

all the clichés intact they played a good safe

set including a good version of Got to Have faith

and one of the new songs Love Is Not the Enemy

was pretty good , Seven Doors Hotel got it’s

normal preamble but a cool version none the less,

Yes they Rock The Night and gave us the Girl From

the Lebanon a song I like more each time I hear

it, Secret Society isn’t quite as Heavy as Joey

would like to believe but a good rock song none

the less, yes we still had the Wings of Tomorrow

to fly off on and if we Start from the Dark who

knows what might happen.

Carrie was as monumental a Ballad as ever and the

version of Yesterdaze news they did with loads of

false endings and elongated solos seemed to go on

for ever.

The encore as ever featured Cherokee and then one

of the new songs before they closed with the song

that will forever close there concerts yes indeed

time for the place to erupt for The Final

Countdown sounding as good and cheesy as ever.

Damn they make everyone smile even when Joey

comes out with the same stuff he always come out

with…

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The Yayhoos and The Surgens Live at the Luminaire Kilburn 12.2.07.

Originally Posted 2/19/2007

The Yayhoos and The Surgens 12.2.07.

Live at the Luminaire, Kilburn High Road.

 

We managed to miss the start of the Surgens set,

but what we caught was top notch and every bit as

good as last time although with less make up on

the guys, but there was a great version of

Twisted brain and yet again it took a couple of

days to get Goodbye Nadine out of my head, why is

that tune so catchy and a good rollicking

twanging go at Death Of a politician, on one of

there songs they failed to finish the song as the

singer dissolved into laughter over what were not

too sure, but either way I hope these boys take

there medicine show country fair rock all the way.

With some of the finest Washboard playing this

side of the Pond.

They went down really well with the Yayhoos fans

which was cool.

Before this gig I had no idea who The Yayhoos

were or why I’d go see them, but I’m mighty glad

The Surgens supported them so I could find out.

So The Yayhoos are the new group put together by

Dan Baird and Terry Anderson from the Georgia

Satellites with Eric “Roscoe” Ambel and Keith

Christopher and are sort of a Country Rock Disco

(Crisco) super-group who played a great set of

high octane good times rock with all the members

of the band singing various songs or together,

some of the highlights were Where’s Your

Boyfriend At and Hurting thing but the songs that

really got me were there choices of cover songs

the first one to knock me over was Love Train it

seemed so unlikely in this Crisco version and yet

somehow it worked really well, everyone was

having a great time and they played at least a

couple of Terry Anderson and the Olympic Ass

Kicking Teams tunes including a spiffy version of

Gityoassupda road, none of them seemed to take

anything too seriously while playing real tight

and loose at the same time it was great they

closed there set with the “Swedish National

anthem” a totally raucous version of Abba’s

Dancing Queen, yes they know how to get a place

dancing.

The encore opened with Battleship Chains a song

that still sounds great then they did another

tune and finished the show with a glorious

rambling version of the B52’s Roam by which time

they had completely won me over as a fan a great

band to go and have a drink or three to…

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The Plastic People Of The Universe Live at Queen Elizabeth Hall 24.1.07.

The Plastic People Of The Universe First UK Gig

Originally Posted              1/29/2007

The Plastic People Of The Universe 24.1.07.

The First Uk Performance supported by Peter

Blegvad, Chris Cutler, John Greaves and

Kristoffer Blegvad. Queen Elizabeth hall The

Southbank.

 

Yes indeed what a way to start my gig going for

2007 with the first ever London show by this most

revolutionary of 1960’s bands, who spent most of

the 1970’s and 1980’s fighting with the

authorities in Czechoslovakia, being arrested and

thrown in Prison for their music.

A band Vaclav Havel insisted reform to play after

the Velvet Revolution that the band helped to

inspire. They were also the band that Lou Reed

insisted support the Velvet Underground when they

played in Prague on the Reunion tour.

Those were certainly the reason I went not even

knowing who the support act was going to be!

The foyer was filled with just about every

serious music fan in London and loads of

Musicians, sorry to anyone I didn’t get to talk

to like Horton and Dan from They Came From The

Stars.

The Hall was two thirds full for the support act

who were playing at the special request of the

Plastic People Of The Universe.

It is always great to see Chris Cutler play and

back with his old sparring partners of Peter

Blegvad and John Greaves was always going to be

good they started with 3 songs about car crashes

played in a woozy blues style not unlike JJ Cale

beautifully played but a bit pedestrian, Peter

was in good voice and joking about between songs

especially with or about his brother Kristoffer

who was playing guitar and egg shaker as well as

some vocals. The whole set was mellow blues that

I was hoping was going to break out and go a lot

madder than it did, but I really like the version

of Hangman Hill they did towards the end. A fair

few folks walked back out to the foyer during

there set, but for the rest of us they went down

very well, but I wasn’t as knocked out as I

thought I should be!

After the break and having been given my

programme with a set list printed in it as well

as a free CD it was almost time for The Plastic

People Of The Universe But first an 11 minute

film of the band shot by Cesar di Ferrara FAMU

1970, the film was a great Black and white snap

shot of the band who all look like the Czech

Muppets band meets Cheech and Chong while trying

to be the Monkees climbing out of windows and

running around in what I guess is Prague, the

band come onto the stage towards the end of the

film to rapturous applause, they opened with He

Went For Blood after apologising that they had

decided to sing everything in Czech tonight, but

I’ll use the English titles in the programme.

Wow what a sound as the 7 piece got going like

Led Zepp meets Frank Zappa and gets a good dose

of Swedish Prog like Sammla Mammas Mannas and

Arbete and Fritid, this was dense dark and very

intense music, the second song of the night

Toxics from there Legendary “Egon Bondy’s Happy

Hearts Club Banned” album was the first tune that

really got me with the Bowed Double Bass tying

the rhythm down and just brewing up the storm for

the rest of the band to fly off of as they sing

about being addicted to Toxic Substances.

Then they played the best titled song of the

night “A Fly In The Morning Beer” the title says

enough of what a tale of despair this one is,

music from the tavern in hell some serious sax

attacking us all the while.

The more the set went on the more Swedish they

sounded having been listening to stuff like

Garmarna and the aforementioned Swedish bands

lately it sounded so similar yet darker and

denser which considering their history wasn’t

surprising, yet if this was the sound of actual

revolution it didn’t sound that scary even Long

Johns didn’t make me shiver with cold but they

certainly started to seriously trip me out and

stretch my mind with some very spacey jazz rock

Dear Mr K had such complex stuff going on while

conjuring up the claustrophobia of going further

and further underground, yet we were in a large

government funded concert hall, which was kind of

ironic!

By the time they closed with Little Canary that

was sung dedicated to Milan Hlavsa who is one of

the members of the band that didn’t make it

through to now I was close to overdosing on the

intensity of the music!!

Of course they left to loud applause and soon

came back for an encore that had many of the

Czech’s in the audience dancing at the side of

the hall and shouting for more of the Hits, what

we got was another good  blast of Plastic people

music that included some White Toadstools to send

us tripping off into the London Night knowing we

had seen another legendary band, reactions from

the friends I spoke to after were mixed many of

us were a little shell shocked it was that kind

of a gig!

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The Bikini Beach Band, The Surgens and Wilson at The Luminaire Kilburn 20.12.06.

Complete Control Xmas Gig @ The Luminaire 20.12.06.

originally Posted         12/31/2006

Complete Control Xmas Party @ the Luminaire 20.12.

With The Bikini Beach Band, The Surgens, Wilson.

 

This review has taken longer than it should have,

but still it’s time to remember a good night out

and my first chance to see Wilson and The Surgens

2 bands I have been hearing good things about for

a while.

 

Well by the time Wilson went on first The

Luminaire was still fairly empty with no more

than 20 people in at most among whom was at least

one record company bod who went running for the

furthest corner of the club as soon as Wilson

kicked off as they were way too loud for him!!

 

But what a joyous noise it was no matter how

grumpy the singer at first seemed, it was of

course great to see good old Pat Fish on loud

lead guitar with a full band for the first time

in I don’t know how many years, and in Wilson a

band who at times sounded like a Senser tribute

band, well at least Senser were the last band I

saw that sounded anything like this, the Mad Rave

rock sound of like 1990 England.  I almost

expected them to start singing Ned’s Atomic

Dustbin songs or a Mega City 4 tribute, instead

of which I felt like I was at a really cool Happy

Mondays type rave as they stormed through Police

Chief ignoring the fact that they needed a

seething Mosh Pit to spit out the lyrics and get

the few of us there going I just had to get

stoned to that one!! Or was it Istanbul

connection that had me hitting on the pipe I

can’t remember, but highlight of the set for me

was a great rollicking version of Buffalo Sniper

that I started off thinking was Buffalo Soldier

what was I on!! Yes Wilson sure are a bunch of

Quality People or Monkeys as they prefer! A great

set played to a slowly filling club, at least the

second record company bod I spoke to on the night

saw the last couple of songs of the set even if

she was there to see The Surgens who were up next.

Now The Surgens make an effort and all dress like

19th century Surgens with blood spattered aprons

and faces and are almost a modern jug band but

are more than that as there reading of John Hardy

certainly proved what a killer version. I loved

there Goodbye Nadine with its close harmonies

and cool lyrics Twisted Brain was a good

description of my state of mind after lugging too

deep. As for the singer in his top hat howling

about the Wolfman I though he was over in the

corner but I might have been mistaken it could

have been the Drunken Angel or was that the woman

who made a rather blatant pass at me!! Either way

The Surgens were pretty brilliant and I had to

get there brilliant Songs of Sadness Misery and

Abuse album off of them afterwards with it’s

Betty Page cover a cool band to see live.

 

This only left the headliners the Bikini Beach

band to come on and give us all a surfing Xmas

vibe in ridiculous outfits and a sound that

became boring very quickly indeed, but seemed to

go down well with all the Xmas party folks that

made me feel like a right old Curmudgeon, but

there way with a medley of fairly obvious choices

for the Surf treatment like a bad surf case of

Jive bunny which soon had the record company bods

heading out the door and I didn’t last much

beyond Crazy Horses and Hotel California I just

had to go.

I guess they weren’t down dark and dirty enough

for me, still Wilson and the Surgens were well

worth the effort and I look forward to seeing

both of them again soon!!

 

Originally posted on Myspace and the unofficial soup kitchen

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MC5/DTK and Gallows Live at the Camden Underworld 7.12.06.

Originally Posted              12/11/2006

MC5/DKT Live The Underworld Camden 7.12.06.

With Gallows.

 

This show was a warm-up for the Nightmare before

Xmas festival, and as such came with a bunch of

rumours as to special guests, the most prevalent

being that the Stooges would support or that Iggy

would join them. Or that Gilbey Clarke would be

playing Guitar.

Well no such luck but it didn’t stop this being a

special gig, the chance to see this legendary

band playing in a small club that hadn’t even

sold out in advance.

First on were Gallows who are a young skinhead

punk band with a Wee Ginger Gobshite of a

frontman who looks far too young for all the

tattoo’s he has, including a spectacular double

headed eagle on his chest.

They played splenetic angry punk that was either

about getting into fights or how to treat your

woman right while getting into fights! In-between

songs the singer kept asking for volunteers to

punch him in the gob but got no takers that

seemed to anger him some more. Either way they

were pretty damn good.

We then had a long wait for the MC5 as it took

over an hour to set the stage up for them, which

made for an agitated and expectant and finally

sold out crowd by the time they came on and

opened as a four piece of DKT and an ex-Sisters

Of Mercy Guitarist whose name I didn’t catch and

launched into Ramblin’ Rose with Michael Davis on

vocals and a we were launched into a fearsome

powertrip through there back catalogue, with Mark

Arm stepping up to the mic for a cool as hell

version of Sister Ann and I want You Right now

they were starting to burn as they got down to

the Borderline, Over and Over they just Gotta

Keep Movin towards that Starship with Brother

Wayne Kramer trading lines with Mark and Michael

before launching into space once more with a song

called Starship!!

Then up came Lisa Kekaula to take over on vocals

and the band ramped it up a notch or two for I

want You right now and Tonight Tonight oh hell

yeah Tonight alright as we all need to Come

Together that had good shared vocals and well we

had all better get ready to Kick Out The Jams

Mother fucker, oh did that one rip the place

apart with everyone singing along. I Believe to

My Soul sounded like it was written for Lisa to

sing, damn she has a great voce and image with a

super BAAD Afro to shake on down with.

The encores opened with I’m The Man For You (Rama

Lama Fa fa fa) with a dollop of Rocket Reducer

thrown in for good measure and a brave move by

Brother Wayne in getting the audience to sing

three different lines at once in sections, wow

that was one powerful song.

Oh no Motor City is still burning as indeed are

the MC5 after all these years.

They then dedicated Revolutionary Blues to the

fight to stop the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. it

kicked like hell and assured them of another encore

that let them rip through American problems

and closed it all with a good bow for the

audience and were gone.

I have to say everyone I spoke to loved it, a

great great show by one of the original Punk rock

gods catch em while they are still alive!!

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