Archive for ‘Live Reviews’

May 9, 2011

Ghostpoet Live At Rough Trade, 9th May 2011

When Ghostpoet started playing a the back of Rough Trade East it was just me standing there watching. Luckily for him technical difficulties intervened after the first track and they retired for 20 mins to sort them out. By the time they came back on stage the shop was pretty much packed (Such is Bricklane punctuality!). The gig was free to promote his new single ‘Survive It’ and of course his brilliantly titled LP ‘Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam’. The set built track by track towards the final performance of the new single which I shot on my iPhone and you can watch it below.

May 9, 2011

Candi Staton Live At The Jazz Cafe, 7th May 2011

For me, the chance to see a soul legend like Candi Staton was too good to miss. Although I’d heard in the past she’d occasionally been average, so I was a just a big ball of hope and excitement when she took the stage. We managed to get right down the front, slap bang in front of the lady herself (Fortunately not so close that we we’re passed the mic to sing along… like the poor sod in front of me!).

Her band was simply stunning, cranking out Soul, Blues and Gospel music with guts. The Bass was funky, the Drums were powerful, the Backing vocals were graceful and Guitar solos were shredded. My disappointment at not having a good view of the impressive Bass Guitar work was off-set by it being obscured by the Eye-Meltingly long legs of one of the backing singers that Candi had employed.

Candi herself delivered a stunning performance with her voice sounding as rich and passionate as ever it has. She launched into classic after classic like ‘Suspicious Minds’, ‘I’d Rather Be An Old Man’s Sweetheart’ (See below), ‘In The Ghetto’ and of course ‘Young Hearts Run Free’ (I’d have loved to of heard ‘He Called Me Baby ‘, maybe next time.  She finished on a beautiful Gospel reading of ‘You Got The Love’ with a bit of the Jamie Principle Bass line woven in.

All the band members did a solo at end which were met with rapturous applause. As she left the stage they went into the Jamie Principle Bass part again and it was only a shame that they didn’t mine this groove for a bit longer. But hey you can’t have everything and we all got allot that night.

Candi’s complete recordings for the Fame label are finally being released on June 7th so click here to pre-order a copy.

May 7, 2011

Camden Crawl 2011

This was my first time attending the annual Camden Crawl music festival.  I only went on the Sunday evening due to work commitments so next year I’ll definitely be booking the whole weekend off so I can do the whole thing.

We started off by heading to the plushly decored Annie’s Bar to see Polarbear’s set.  He delivered his songs/poems as spoken word pieces or rapped them backed by his DJ and collaborator Session, as the mood took him.  He was my highlight of the evening and quite possibly the year so far as well.  He rhymed tales of bitter-sweet nostalgia and his spoken word reading of ‘Fade To Black aka Jessica’ got the biggest cheer at the end (Enhanced by the fact that you could’ve heard a pin drop during the tale).  At the end he handed out free 12″ EPs to the front row (Including lucky old me) because his missus is apparently sick of them being piled under their bed!  Here’s a taster of that very EP:

Session & The Bear – Fade To Black mp3

I also filmed him on my iPhone performing ‘Keep It Simple’:

Next up we went over to the backroom of The Dublin Castle to see The Cocknbullkid.  We got there just in time to see a set from an Indie band with the intriguing name of The History Of Apple Pie. The muddy sound in the venue didn’t do them any favours but beneath that I could detect a rich seam of melodic C86 Indie-pop.  I suspected they would be better on record and Indeed they are, but you can judge for yourself:

The History Of Apple Pie – Malory mp3

After a swift pint of Guinness to cleanse my palate The Cocknbullkid waded through the audience and took the stage.  I confess I haven’t listened to one note she’s released since her ace 2008 debut single.  Judging by this set she’s been busy in my absence since song after song sounded like a hit and they all had a big instant soul chorus.  I’m looking forward to her imminent debut LP ‘Adulthood’ with bated breath. Checkout this Soul Pop stomper:

The Cocknbullkid – Hold On To Your Misery mp3

Our next move was to grab some fast food from Macky-D’s (On the way we noted the huge cue for Tinchy Stryder outside the Jazz Cafe) before stepping into the darkened confines of  The Black Cap. Team Ghost were onstage as we walked in playing an enthusiastic Metal take on Krautrock.  The lead singer and guitarist delivered a great histrionic show with his fingers dancing across the fretboard while feeding the guitars back against each other.  Unfortunately at that point I had to get the last tube home for an early start at work in the morning while my fellow crawlers went on to an apparently excellent set from Paris Suit Yourself back at The Dublin Castle.  Oh well, we all have to earn a crust…

Team Ghost – High Hopes mp3
Paris Suit Yourself – Craig Machinsky mp3

October 10, 2006

LIVE IN LONDON ROUND-UP: 1st – 5th October 2006

I’ve not posted anything for a couple of weeks due first to illness, and then to visiting my brother in London. The second week was spent walking round galleries, watching films, attending gigs and spending more than a few hours record shopping.

Jurassic 5 LiveOn Sunday evening we went to see Jurassic 5 at the Astoria who were brilliant showmen and they employed all the tricks in the book. They got everyone to clap along, wave their hands in the air, hold up lighters and at one point they even encouraged the crowd to sit on imaginary motorcycles for their performance of ‘A Day At The Races’ (One of my all time favourite tracks). DJ Nu-Mark had his own breathtaking spot and his hands were a blur as he cut up records and appeared to be using Fischer-Price toys to create his sounds.

Hoff ChristMonday was spent doing loads of record shopping and we were in HMV just in time to see David Hasselhoff sign copies of his ludicrously catchy new single ‘Jump In My Car’ (Which sadly only went to number 3 despite the internet campaign to get him the top spot).

The Viking MosesOn Wednesday we had tickets for Micah P. Hinson with support from The Viking Moses. I’ve got one beautiful acoustic 7″ by The Viking Moses so I was surprised by the rabid Rock ‘n’ Roll three-piece that confronted me. Brendon Massei gurned, screamed and jumped around so much his guitar strap repeatedly came off but he played on anyway. This thrilling performance coupled with the solid Drums and Bass reminded me of how well Jack and Meg White work together. His best song had to be the currently unreleased ‘Surrounding Skin’ with its screams of “Feel the surrounding skin, and the blood that flows within”.

Micah P. Hinson LiveMicah P. Hinson’s set had plenty of interaction with the crowd. He got us to clap his Mum, thanked us for buying his records (And so changing his life), asked us what we thought of his new album (Someone shouted “Bollocks”, to howls of laughter) and as the gig went on the hecklers got more vocal, encouraged by Micah’s witty put-downs. It was great fun.

Badly Drawn Boy LiveThanks to my brother working for the Beeb, on Thursday we snuck in to watch Badly Drawn Boy record a session for 6 Music. He recorded three songs including a brilliant version of his last single ‘Born In The UK’. It frees a wonderful song from the shackles of the recorded-in-a-toilet production of the album version. His performance of ‘All Possibilities’ had me humming it for the rest of the day.

Jurassic 5 Website / Jurassic 5 MySpace Page

The Hoff in HMV short-clip and ‘Jump In My Car’ video on YouTube

Micah P. Hinson Website / Micah P. Hinson MySpace Page

My brother’s photos of Micah at ULU on Flickr

Poor quality clip of Micah P. Hinson at ULU on YouTube

The Viking Moses Website / The Viking Moses MySpace Page

The Viking Moses ‘Surrounding Skin’ Live video on YouTube

Badly Drawn Boy Website / Badly Drawn Boy MySpace Page

You can get the Badly Drawn Boy session as three Zip files: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3