Posts Tagged: Live Music

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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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Edwyn Collins, St George’s Church, Brighton - Thursday 25 April 2013 on Flickr.

A marvellous night in the company of Edwyn Collins. I’ve loved him since the earliest days of Orange Juice. He’s still wonderful. He played a great set that featured tunes from his days on Postcard, right up to this year’s album.

Simply thrilled honey.

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King Charles, The Haunt, Brighton - 17 April 2013 on Flickr.

King Charles live at The Haunt was a joyous experience. The gig was sold out, and the crowd were supportive and up for a good time. He played the majority of his splendid debut album ‘LoveBlood’ and a smattering of new tunes. A great show and a great night.

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Rick Redbeard (supported by Fake Major), Komedia, Brighton, 18 March 2013

Rick Redbeard (supported by Fake Major), Komedia, Brighton, 18 March 2013

A very enjoyable evening in the company of Rick Redbeard aka Rick Anthony aka the singer from The Phantom Band.  I love the Phantom Band, and whilst Rick’s solo work is a world away from the diverse sonic sounds of the Phantoms it is still great - a really pleasing form of pared down, melancholy, spartan Scottish folk.  The Komedia studio bar was full and the audience all seemed very appreciative.

Fake Major (supporting Rick Redbeard), Komedia, Brighton, 18 March 2013 

Support came from Fake Major who are a fabulous folky duo from Glasgow, both with fine voices, and quietly impressive soul filled tunes.  

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Ian Hunter, Ropetackle Centre, Shoreham, Sussex, England - Wednesday 13 March 2013

Ian Hunter, Ropetackle Centre, Shoreham, Sussex, England - Wednesday 13 March 2013

I meticulously prepared for this gig.  Partly inspired by the show, and partly inspired by BBC4, I watched my DVD of "The Ballad Of Mott The Hoople" (forty minutes longer than the version shown on BBC4 last week) which was a Xmas gift, and I gave last year’s “When I’m President” album a few listens.  I’m not sure why I’d not got the album earlier as I’ve bought the last three solo releases around the time they were released.  Anyway, the album is another corker that maintains Ian’s current rich vein of form, and the documentary is excellent (as are all the DVD extras).  I was too young to be following Mott round the country (as Mick Jones of The Clash, and Kris Needs, did) but I did buy all their classic 70s singles as an awe struck 12-13 year old and have enjoyed Ian Hunter’s post-Mott solo career.  He’s a remarkably consistent songwriter and a true star. 

Ian Hunter, Ropetackle Centre, Shoreham, Sussex, England - Wednesday 13 March 2013

For this visit he was without the Rant Band, and instead was playing as part of an acoustic trio along with bassist Dave Rowe and guitarist Andy York.  He was excellent.  The acoustic arrangements suited the songs really well and Ian was as committed and passionate as ever.  Personal highlights included “Just The Way You Look Tonight”, “All Of The Good Ones”, “Once Bitten Twice Shy”, “When I’m President”, “Sweet Jane”, “Roll Away The Stone”, and - of course - “All The Young Dudes”.  How a 73 year old stays so full of vitality is a mystery?  Perhaps it’s the sips of white wine and great rock n roll music?  A great night.  Come back soon.

Ian Hunter, Ropetackle Centre, Shoreham, Sussex, England - Wednesday 13 March 2013

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Robyn Hitchcock, Komedia, Brighton, England - Tuesday 5 March 2013

Robyn Hitchcock, Komedia, Brighton, England - Tuesday 5 March 2013

A supremely enjoyable evening with the legendary Robyn Hitchcock.  The usual mix of surreal and witty between song banter, whimsical and wonderful songs, and a rapt audience.  I could have watched him for hours - sadly an hour and a quarter flew by and then he was off, leaving a happy crowd enthusing about how bloody brilliant he is…yep, a superb lyricist and world-class tunesmith aligned to sublime psychedelic song-craft.  Long may he reign over us.

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Melody's Echo Chamber (supported by Fear of Men) @ The Haunt, Brighton, Sussex, England on Sunday 3rd March 2013

Melody's Echo Chamber (supported by Fear of Men) @ The Haunt, Brighton, Sussex, England on Sunday 3rd March 2013

 

Melody’s Echo Chamber is the name given to the work of Paris-based multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Melody Prochet. The Melody’s Echo Chamber album is a wonderful thing that deals in a pleasing hybrid of kraut, space-rock, dream-pop, electronica and a few other random genre labels, think wild-eyed psychedelia held together by motorik rhythms and you’re probably still not there. Anyway the album, great as it is, did not full prepare for their spectacular magnificence live. Very, very good - that’s all there is to it.


Fear Of Men were the capable support. Sounds like they have a few good tunes in their locker. Pleasing if a tad unexceptional - but that could come given time and experience. Ones to watch.