Posts Tagged: Gig

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Ruts DC supported by Prince Fatty @ Concorde 2, Brighton on Friday 13 June 2014



Despite the rival attractions of Rod Stewart playing up the road at Brighton and Hove Albion FC’s Amex Stadium; and Spain versus Netherlands in the World Cup; anyone with any taste and sense was down at the Concorde 2 for Ruts DC ably supported by Brighton’s own Prince Fatty and Horseman (Prince Fatty also produced the superb 2013 Ruts DC album “Rhythm Collision Volume 2” which, if you don’t own, you need to put that right ASAP).



If you’re reading you probably don’t need me to tell you that Ruts DC were formed in 1980 from the ashes of The Ruts and following the untimely death of Malcolm Owen by guitarist Paul Fox, bassist John ‘Segs’ Jennings and drummer Dave Ruffy, before splitting up in 1983. 

In 2007, Ruts DC reformed to play a benefit gig for Paul Fox, and in 2008 Segs and Ruffy started recorded the aforementioned “Rhythm Collision Volume 2” and, so far as I know, have been active ever since. 

So, on Friday 13 June 2013, there was only one place to be in Brighton. 



Prince Fatty and Horseman were a wonderful, bass-tastic way to kick off the evening and despite the lovely weather which meant quite a few of the crowd stayed outside, they got plenty of people dancing and grins aplenty.



Along with Segs and Ruffy, Ruts DC are now guitarist Leigh Heggarty and the splendidly charismatic Molara providing additional vocals and percussion. What a night! I see a fair amount of live music and this is right up there with the best gigs I’ve seen in a long time. Segs makes a great front man - passionate and humorous.



Ruts DC played plenty of old favourites, including West One, It Was Cold, Jah War (with Horseman helping out), In A Rut, Babylon’s Burning, SUS, Staring At The Rude Boys, and Something That I Said, and this was augmented by plenty of Ruts DC tunes. 



Part of what makes Ruts DC so great is that they are still producing vital new music that is every bit as good as the classic punk era songs. 

The audience seemed to be loving every minute - I know I was. 

If you get the chance to see Ruts DC grab it with both hands.

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Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Brighton Dome - 24 October 2013

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Brighton Dome - 24 October 2013

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Brighton Dome  - 24 October 2013

It was around the fifteenth time I’ve seen Nick Cave and he becomes every more mythical with each passing year.  This was as good as I’ve ever seen him.  This version of the Bad Seeds is, as ever, a force of nature providing subtlety, power, melancholy, and magic, to order, whilst Mr Cave prowled, danced, pleaded, and exulted.  A two and a quarter hour set never sagged and we treated to tunes from every part of his long and illustrious back catalogue.  My personal favourites were Papa Won’t Leave You Henry, The Mercy Seat, Higgs Boson Blues, Deanna, Tupelo, Red Right Hand and (of course) Stagger Lee, but really it was all wonderful.

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Brighton Dome - 24 October 2013

Here’s the set list…

Jubilee Street 
Abattoir Blues 
Tupelo 
Sad Waters 
Stranger Than Kindness 
Hiding All Away 
Nobody’s Baby Now 
Mermaids 
Higgs Boson Blues 
(Are You) The One That I’ve Been Waiting For? 
From Her to Eternity 
Babe, You Turn Me On 
West Country Girl 
Stagger Lee 
The Mercy Seat 
Push the Sky Away 
We Real Cool 
Deanna 
Red Right Hand 
Papa Won’t Leave You, Henry 
Slow new song 

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Brighton Dome - 24 October 2013

Here’s a link to all my photos

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Half Man Half Biscuit (HMHB) @ Concorde 2, Brighton - 18th October 2013

Half Man Half Biscuit (HMHB) @ Concorde 2, Brighton, East Sussex, England on 18th October 2013

A day, or rather night, I never thought I’d see. The legendary Half Man Half Biscuit (HMHB) from Birkenhead on Merseyside playing in Brighton and Hove. It happened and I was there. They don’t play live very often and I don’t remember them playing in Brighton before. 


Half Man Half Biscuit are national treasures. If you only know Half Man Half Biscuit for their early “hits”, then do yourself a favour and get reacquainted.

HMHB (Nigel Blackwell (lead vocals, guitar), Neil Crossley (bass, vocals), Ken Hancock (lead guitar), and Carl Henry (drums)) played a marvellous set that had the sell out crowd grinning, laughing, dancing and generally feeling good about life. 


Half Man Half Biscuit (HMHB) @ Concorde 2, Brighton, East Sussex, England on 18th October 2013

Here is the set list:

Fuckin’ ‘Ell It’s Fred Titmus
99% Of Gargoyles Look Like Bob Todd
When The Evening Sun Goes Down
Left Lyrics In The Practice Room
A Lilac Harry Quinn
Joy In Leeuwarden
Floreat Inertia
All I Want For Christmas Is A Dukla Prague Away Kit
The Light At The End Of The Tunnel
Look Dad No Tunes
Bob Wilson Anchor Man
Vatican Broadside
National Shite Day
Irk The Purists
Fix It So She Thinks Of Me
Running Order Squabble Fest
Petty Sessions
For What Is Chatteris
Joy Division Oven Gloves
Time Flies By When You’re The Driver Of A Train

Encore:

The Bastard Son Of Dean Friedman
A Song From Under The Floorboards
The Trumpton Riots

Come back soon.

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Peter Stampfel & Jeffrey Lewis (aka The Jeffrey Lewis & Peter Stampfel Band) supported by Hour Hands @ The Blind Tiger Club, Brighton - 28 May 2013

Jeffrey Lewis, Peter Stampfel, and Franic of The Wave Pictures

Another wonderful Jeffrey Lewis show.  The first time I’ve seen him with Peter Stampfel.  Lots of great tunes including rousing covers of Hawkwind’s ‘Orgone Accumulator’ and ‘Surfin’ Bird’ by The Trashmen, and a moving reminder of the importance of Pussy Riot ‘What Would Pussy Riot Do?’. The song-poem got the loudest applause of the night…

"Pussy Riot went to prison, just to make some people listen…these woman are my heroes, and the world needs punk rock heroes".  The message was aimed at all of us, and especially those bands that are more interested in getting their songs used in advertising, and cashing in.  The final question: "So at least I can ask me and you can ask you, What would Pussy Riot do?" 
 
Touring to mark the release of their second release - a full-length 13-song CD - the collaborative team of Jeffrey Lewis & Peter Stampfel released “Hey Hey it’s… The Jeffrey Lewis & Peter Stampfel Band” on 15th May, 2013.  The band also includes bass by Isabel Martin, drums by Heather Wagner, and mandolin by Spencer Chakedis.  The touring band also featured Franic of The Wave Pictures.
 
Needless to say I snapped up the new album from Jeffrey straight after the show.  Here’s some info about Peter and Jeffrey that you probably already know, but if not, through the wonders of copy and paste….
 
Peter Stampfel is now celebrating 50 years of NYC folk-madness album-releases. Peter Stampfel is an original Holy Modal Rounder as well as being an early member of the Fugs, and musical collaborator with Gary Lucas, Yo La Tengo and many others.  
 
Jeffrey Lewis leads a double-life, as both a comic book writer/artist and a musician (or is that a triple-life?).  His band also has a multi-faceted existence, restlessly exploring a stylistic swath from contemplative folk narratives to distortion-fueled garage rock to soundscape abstractions and more.  Most often a trio (though occasionally just Jeffrey solo, or as a duo, and on some tours as a four-piece), the Jeffrey Lewis group has shuffled its name a number of times over the years, from Jeffrey Lewis & The Creeping Brains to Jeffrey Lewis & The Jitters, Jeffrey Lewis & The Jackals, Jeffrey Lewis & The Junkyard, and others, in 2013 becoming Jeffrey Lewis & The Rain. These various formations (often in the past featuring Jeffrey’s brother Jack on bass and Bronx-native David Beauchamp on drums) have toured the world from Los Angeles to London, Berlin to Beijing, Melbourne to Moscow, blowing minds all along the way and sometimes sharing stages or full tours with the likes of Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, Devendra Banhart, Devo, The Mountain Goats, Thurston Moore, The Fall, The Vaselines, Roky Erickson, Pulp, Beth Orton, Frank Black, The Fiery Furnaces, Daniel Johnston, Scout Niblett, The Moldy Peaches, Cornershop, The Cribs, Dr. Dog, Kimya Dawson, Adam Green, Akron/Family, Black Dice, Au Revoir Simone, The Television Personalities, Jarvis Cocker and many other luminaries.  
 
Live shows often incorporate “low budget videos,” Jeffrey’s large illustrations displayed to accompany certain songs, such as Jeffrey’s educational multi-part “History of Communism” or flights of fancy like “The Creeping Brain.”  In 2001 Jeffrey Lewis signed to the venerable Rough Trade Records label (home to The Smiths, The Strokes, and many more alternative legends) and has since released six albums worldwide on Rough Trade/Beggars, the most recent of which is 2011’s ”A Turn in the Dream-Songs” which was recorded at an all-analogue studio in Manchester, UK and features musical cameos from Dr. Dog, Au Revoir Simone and The Vaselines among others.  Jeffrey has been self-publishing a comic book series called “Fuff” since 2004, has lectured around the world on topics such as theWatchmen comic book and independently produced music, and in recent years his work has been featured by the History Channel, the New York Times, the Guardian, NPR, and elsewhere. As of 2013 his most recent projects have been creating the soundtrack for the film Radio Unnameable (distributed by Kino Lorber), illustrating Jaimee Garbacik’s academic book Gender and Sexuality For Beginners and writing/drawing a 9-page comic book biography of Woody Guthrie for the Paul Buhle-edited book Bohemians.

Few more photos here.

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The Human League @ Brighton Dome, Brighton - 23 November 2012

The Human League @ Brighton Dome, Brighton - 23 November 2012

This is Nige talking, I want to tell you what I’ve found to be true…

The Human League @ Brighton Dome, Brighton - 23 November 2012

The last time I saw The Human League play live they were supporting Siouxsie and The Banshees at The Rainbow in Finsbury Park, that was in 1979. The other support band that night were Marco Pirroni’s Rema Rema (anyone else remember them?).

I saw The Human League a few times in their early years.  In those days their shows were accompanied by a fairly rudimentary set of slideshows. The song “Circus Of Death” was a particular favourite of mine when they started.

Back to the concert where they supported Siouxsie and The Banshees, my friend and I nearly got beaten up that night for having the temerity to dance to them.  I recall that the majority of the crowd sat down stony faced as The Human League went through their set of early pioneering arty synthpop classics.  A particularly large and aggressive punk told us to stop dancing or…

Listen to the voice of Buddha, saying stop your sericulture…

The Human League @ Brighton Dome, Brighton - 23 November 2012


So were we beaten up?  Fortunately a bouncer saved us.  Unusual in the seventies as older readers will doubtless recall.
If you’d have told me back in 1979 that I’d be watching a version of The Human League in 2012, and that they’d be running through a set chockablock with poptastic hits, for an ecstatic crowd of predominantly middle aged gig goers who were dancing from start to finish and demonstrating consummate showmanship, I would have found it impossible to conceive.  Truth really can be stranger than fiction.

I listen to a lot of new music and enjoy a lot of new bands however this year I’ve seen an extraordinary array of older bands.  In 2012, at the Brighton Dome alone, I’ve also seen Public Enemy, Dexys and Sparks - all of whom were excellent.  I’ve also seen Johnny Moped, Public Image Limited, The Monochrome Set, TV Smith, The Rockingbirds, and The Blockheads.  To one degree or another they’ve all been great.  Sparks, Dexys, PiL and The Blockheads were superb.  The amazing thing is that many of them have released great new music too.  

The Human League were great.  They may be mainly about nostalgia these days but they know how to make people happy, and I loved every second.

Keep feeling fascination, passion burning, love so strong…

The Human League @ Brighton Dome, Brighton - 23 November 2012

The Human League @ Brighton Dome, Brighton - 23 November 2012

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The Time and Space Machine

Lazer cover

The Time and Space Machine play their debut gig as a five piece band at Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar, Brighton, on Friday 1st June 2012 @ 7pm - 10pm (band on at 8.30pm) and it’s a mere £5 for one of those golden tickets. The Time and Space Machine band will feature drums, bass, guitars, harmony vocals, backwards noises, Hammond freak outs, plus a light show from Innerstrings Light Show.  I think you’d be a fool to miss it.  

New album “Taste The Lazer” is great.

"I’m trying to make music that has a feeling of sensation to it, that moves your head, heart and body. I’m attempting to take the dynamics you get from a really strong piece of electronic dance music — hypnosis, repetition, trance, elevation, tension and release — and putting them into a band. It can only turn out to be psychedelic." 

The words of Richard Norris the Time & Space Machine main man.

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The Monochrome Set @ The Green Door Store, Brighton - 12 April 2012 on Flickr.

Andy Warren and Bid went to school together, Lester Square and Adam Ant both attended Hornsey School of Art. The latter two formed a band called “The B-Sides”, which Andy joined sometime in 1976. Bid also joined a couple of months later, and Adam left shortly after. Lester, Andy and Bid occasionally continued to write and rehearse together (it was around this time that some of the songs later to be used by The Monochrome Set were written, e.g., Goodbye Joe, He’s Frank, Puerto-Rican Fence Climber, Lester Leaps In), until Adam formed The Ants with Lester and Andy. Whilst Andy continued on with Adam to record the first Ants album, Lester left The Ants in 1977, to form, firstly The Zarbies & The Ectomorphs with Bid and Jeremy Harrington, and then The Monochrome Set with Bid (Jeremy joined later). To quote the Asahi Evening News, 1993: “When B-Sides singer Adam Ant quit the band for an ill-fated solo career, The Monochrome Set was born.”

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Future Islands @ The Haunt, Brighton on 9th March 2012 on Flickr.

I only became aware of Future Islands at the end of 2011 having seen them play at the ATP, Nightmare Before Xmas event in December. They’re a trio of a brilliant an understated bassist, a Chris Lowe-esque synth player, and crooning frontman Samuel T. Herring. Samuel T. Herring makes me think of Jaz Coleman’s younger, smaller, funkier brother. Same intensity, same passion, similar appearance - but Samuel is much more nimble on his feet. He’s a brilliant front man. Constantly moving. Very expressive and displaying an extraordinary range of emotions, with dramatic hand gestures, occasionally grinning like a madman, even slapping himself across the face now and then. There’s no half measures with Samuel T. Herring - he gives every line of every song everything he’s got. He’s also one of the best dancers I’ve ever seen. That alone would make Future Islands a compelling live experience however there’s more. Future Islands trade in a wonderful brand of splendid synthpop that’s chockablock with hooks and swelling melodies that generally seem to involve love, loss, yearning etc. It’s a heady brew.