New Generation Superstars- nottingham’s excellent NGS play fiery exponents of kick ass punk rocknroll. Or as they put it ‘face ripping rock’ Star Mafia Boy- A warm Bugbear/Dublin Castle RocknRoll welcome to these superb Spanish sleaze punkers and their impressively gritty razzle dazzle rawk edge. Pandora Knox- sassy, sexy, succulent all girl trad rock/metal 4 piece…boom! Stop Press- news just in….the bassist is a geezer… but apparently he’s still a bit of a dish so there ya go. Breaking Illusion- alt metal with a pumped up, strident approach. The Stone Angels- Classic blues rock, think Free but with a groove rock undertow, and some fab sing-along choruses.
Steve Bonham- It’s a swampy brew of styles mixed from both sides of the ocean, appealing to the vagabond lurking inside men, women and children of all ages. Steve’s powerful singing and playing along with his compadres Chris ‘the Bishop’ Lydon on tuba, keyboards, and cajon, and John (on-the-fiddle) Humphreys on violin, banjo, and mandolin just seems to communicate with everyone whatever their declared musical taste. High energy, compelling the live sound mixes in a rootsy Americana feel to songs from recent albums: Songsmith and The Moon’s High Tide, new songs and classics from Steve Earle, Van Zandt etc, and an eclectic bunch of what Steve calls ‘bar room classics!’ Anglo- Americana they call it, oh yes… Juke-A surprisingly mature and accomplished sound for a band so young and a pretty unique sound. It’s a bit like the more reflective side of Squeeze through an Americana lens or later post Attractions Elvis Costello. Great stuff. Frobisher- alluring piano heavy balladeering with a folky proggish tint. Peter Gabriel in Here Comes The Flood mode springs to mind, a hint of Peter Hammil, a wee bit of Radiohead.Summit- arcebic take on avoustic based pop coming on like The Woodentops meet Muse partly unplugged…some choice covers and lots of vim. Redwire- punk infused high octane alterno rocknroll… Summit- high energy acoustic duo with a stuttering new wave cum Buddy Holly delivery….sounds strangely like Muse de heavied and skifflified! Well there may be a cover or two in here…Ace over driven guitars breaking over a frantic delivery. Liking the Quentin Crisp sample…
Goldfish Syndrome- Indiepop a little like 2 Door Cinema Club and Bombay Bicycle Club, that type of thing, only with a touch of edgy emo in parts. A highly commercial proposition it must be said. Dancing Doors- Trio of young fella’s playing roaring roustabout rocknroll – good tunes, pleasingly deep and resonant vocals, from France where le rock c’est vivre. Crooked Hearts- raw grunge rock with a psychedelic feel in places, reminds of Screaming Trees. John!- Intriguing 5 piece. There’s a bit of funk, bit of post punk/New wave. Catchy tracks. Influences include The Stranglers and Talking Heads. All delivered with a very healthy pinch of salt, nice work John!
Jenny Hansen- fine fettered female folkie outta Sweden with bouncy banjo accompaniment…Dolly Parton eat your heart out. Has fabulous pop chops to go too. Kat Reyes- Superb singer, solo guitar. Folk, rock and dreamy vocals all in the mix. The Chancers-Impassioned indie pop with a pleasing jangle to the guitars, doesn’t remind of anyone of the now, A good thing. but harks back to The Kinks without really sounding to much like them, it’s probably the cleverly observational lyrics and insistent hooks. Pete Gardiner-Irish singer songwriter, recently seen on tour with Charlie Simpson and fresh from a session with Bob Harris playing songs from his Tommy McLaughlin produced of (The Villagers) just completed L.P. Retoryka- Jacques Caramac has kicked the Sweet Generation into touch…so this be Retoryka.. A psychedelic shoegaze affair with layered guitar FX, off kilter and esoteric, but always a tip top tune to hum as we know from Jacques C etc… fab guitar sounds here. Also embraces some classic ’60s Sugartown style pop…‘Sunday Morning’ is never far from your thoughts…top tunes.
Continuing their sensational Summertime Dublin Castle residency, expect punk rock of the highest water mark, slashed up the toilet wall with love, from the excellent London Sewage, the effluent of rock sluicing effortlessly across your grateful lugholes.
Mutt- punk rock with ’70s and ’90s nuances meets pop metal…ace altness agogo…featuring a mighty fine female singer with a rather Pauline Murray-esque tone. Penetration resonate a fair bit here but Mutt’s riffage is rockier still than that of those particular post punk firebands. Crashing riffs and a Banshees on rock god protein vibe all makes for a groovy whole. Phil Black- with his new ‘Executive’ vinyl long player to hand this one man maelstrom of lofi art punk and hooligan techno rock returns to shout down society and it’s attendant divs. For fans of Alternative TV, early Cabaret Voltaire and Discharge (the band not the oozing stuff)
Waxhead- is dirty seaweed rock with a filthy lust for cheeky sounds. Stoner meets grunge then slapped in the face by New Wave. Gorilla Riot-Soulful blues-infused post grunge strong tunes with soaring choruses and a nod to U.S. southern rock Whisper Anthem-Uplifting acoustic folk duo. Nice harmonies.well placedf banjo acoustic guitar and asubtle string section. Following the Mumford template, but much better delivered than most.Milk White Throat-ferocious stoner/groove metal with gutteral screamo vocals with yer prog passage, quiet bit some of it quite a lot like pink floyd, jazzy passages, then all-out sonic maelstrom, quite involved stuff really a lot going on in the way of mood/tempo changes but manages to get a mean groove on JOS-attitude to the fore rawk music mashing up the poppier end of Black Sabbath, and glam punk.
The Machismo’s-Effortlessly cool lofi, DIY punk. A bit Bright Eyes with a touch of Modern Lovers meets the Velvet underground, A real NYC sound. A bit frayed round the edges with a lazy laconic vocal Downard-Atmospheric indie rock with a grunge sensibility. A bit Pixies in parts. Also, a QOTSA feel when they rock out but tempered by the subtle shoegaze dynamic.. Stillia-Hooky indie classique referencing Stereophonics, Oasis and a bit of Stone Roses’ cocksureness and swagger. Moses-Female fronted indie rock with searing lead guitar and a pulsing post punk rhythm, hooky tunes played with loadsa conviction and pretty much their own soundBlack Swan Event- Hooky Garage punk with a decidedly brit feel, downliners sect via late 60’s brit psych pop a-la The Animals rsther than yer u.s nuggets style stuff
Emily C Smith- with a hint of PJ Harvey and a satisfyingly alt country howl more akin to Lucinda Williams, Ms Emily C Smith is a wonderfully confident and accessible songwriter with a searing band very up for a bit of rockabilly rumble and art rock razzle dazzle. Poptastic but still just left of centre, a great place to be. of Arrowe Hill- Bugger me what a wonderful bill we’re giving you tonite! The pretty much legendary OAH have been around long enough to have support from the late great John Peel but their lovingly lofi kitchen sink psychedelia and ‘hauntoligical’ rock always has a fresh impetus at every new outing- hence the recent A Conspiracy Of Clocks long player has had rave reviews all over the shoppe. Where The White Album meets Dragnet (The Fall) on the set of Performance with the ghost of Alan Silitoe looking on…. Rainforth- Got it’s own identity this- really doesn’t sound like anyone much…downplayed ethereal female fronted mood music perhaps a bit like Lone Lady…her vocal is unlike anyone I can think of…jazzy and esoteric, and the tunes have a filmic feel with lots of moody wash and wane- Delia Derbyshire meets Rickie Lee Jones via Massive Attack-…the Bristol thing resonates coz Rainforth is co-founder of original post punkers Maximum Joy Janine Rainforth…. After supporting The Pop Group Janine Rainforth garnered some glowing press “Rainforth has a smooth, even alto that probably would have been singing British prog-folk 10 years earlier and trip-hop 10 years later” Joe Tangari – Pitchfork.. and retrospectively speaking “While their compatriots may have generated more attention, the rather more subtle Maximum Joy have perhaps worn rather more well. Janine Rainforth’s vision and vocals at this distance sets them apart, and maybe provide a more recognisable link to the leading players of the ‘90s Bristol creative renaissance.” John CarneyTangents
Iccas Belle- “Utterly delicious and a truly unique sound, blending traditional with contemporary , they defy genre, to simply label them as ‘rock’ is to do them an injustice”… …some hard riffin action that’s part Zep part ZZ Top, some Cream like grooviness, a bit of Purps n Doors… A hairy freaky rocknroll sound, with psychedelia infused prog rock . Jefferson Airplane meets King Crimson with Jim Morrison’s and Tom Waits’ love child on the vocals. Alter Eden- Alt/rock band – technically at the top of their game, with incredibly slick videos to match their playing. Some covers from the likes of Muse and The Deftones – matchless professionalism all round. MT Wissenberg- Blues/folk with intriguing detuned guitar and a late night soul searchin’ vibe. A John Fahey influence is suggested in the style of the playing -them kinda tunings- reverb heavy, treated vocals on top…a great combination.
Real Experts- Gloriously fluent, nigh on gushing electro pop which reeks of the 1980’s, and bloody good too, The Human League, Heaven 17 et al but given a modern pop makeover, in deed there’s some really hooky pop numbers and other wonderfully laid back soulful track. You’d imagine yer Radio 1 would be all over this….
Science of The Lamps- The Science of the Lamps are an 8 piece outfit of drums, bass, cello, keys, acoustic and lead guitar, plus vocal harmonies from ‘The Usherettes’. Their inspiration comes from vaudeville, visual art, early Hollywood movie scores, Nordicana, wine, flamenco, trip-hop, music boxes, Paris and whiskey bars. In 2014, the band composed and recorded the soundtrack to forthcoming feature movie ‘My Lonely Me’ and also released their second EP Candela, which launched at a sell-out gig in Williamson Tunnels with support from A Fistful of Spooks (Spooky Men’s Chorale). The same month, their video to ‘Superhero Me’ gained 1000 views within 48 hours of it’s release on Youtube. A must for fans of intelligent, endearingly rendered arthouse pop. Theme Team- Taking TV theme music and pushing it through a loving jazz enevelope…some said it would never work..they were so very wrong. A fantastic fun filled fandango of screenage kicks. Their lis amazenuts…Earth Experiment- jazz and funk and prog all tinkered with tantalisingly…pulsing, propulsive and not a little out there, but at times sweet on the ear’oles too. Home Clouds- Indie rock with much bite featuring some very good performances. King of Leon, Tame Impala influences. Good stuff! Give Blood- two piece Bowie influenced happening ..think the suave Zig in This Is Not America type setting only with a louche and laconic Wayne Coyne buzz. The backing is interesting…twangy bass, vigorous beat boxing, agreeably trashy keyboard sounds and eccentric synth interruptions….a grand attempt at doing something different with electronica…coz it’s warm sounding see.
New Infection- From the ashes of noughties nearly weres Shuffle comes New Infection- an arresting blend of breakbeats, dubstep b lines, singalong post punky pop and hooky instrumental passages…fans of The Go Team, The Fall and Django Django could all find something to grab em here. Life In Cold Climates are based in Cardiff and are influenced by diverse artists from Maroon 5, Hozier and Fleetwood Mac. Breaking Waves-2 piece with a hard, gnarly sound- bass/drums/vocals- some Nirvana in there and of course Royal Blood will come up as a comparison but the vocal is less rwak based, more of a post grunge dymanic, a bit of Muse maye…sound good
Das Fluff- dark and deviant electro gothique with a sassy poetic leaning via the intriguing female vocal prescence. Immigrant007- Dark and delirious electronica meets post punk embracing all the best bits of Ultravox!, Joy Division, Magazine and OMD. Andthe 007 suffix gets a certain nod and a wink too with the filmic/soundtrackesque qualities of some of the play here. From the ashes of Czech alterno poppers Mastermindz, purveyors of a trulywonderful sound. Vivid Vague- Female fronted indie-noire showcasing sinewey guitar lines over hypnotic pulsing rhythms, intense stuff, but they’ve some nice melodies bubbling away too. Remind of Duke Spirit or possibly The XX in places. good. Master Thieves- bright guitars stomping rhythm and a nice Beatles/Badfinger overdriven powerpop vibe here with some bar room piano and sweet sha la la bvs…classic beat n roll with a touch of scally…nice, nifty songs, well delivered, good. ‘Check out the hottest thing out of Widnes since Spike Island!’
The Lost Art- fine folk duo with marvellous harmonies..fresh faced young men sharing the vocal dutiesand wowing potential paramours with their spomewhat sexy rustic/bucolic imagery , toiling in rugged environments against life’s endless cycle and possibly removing the cableknitwear for a bit of scything now and then! …Damn right. Think Mumfords for real men and rugged rascalish women.Yoji-S lick and soulful R N B fantastic voice with impressively quality production think Alicia Keys, Jill Scott etc appering tonight instripped down solo mode
Othereyeswise – stoner tinged progressive metal with sophisticated, mesmeric content set to thrill. Inside The Circle- Crunching female fronted alt metal with a nod to the likes of Black Sabbath, Type O Negative and Pantera. Subterranean Popular- Good old fashioned grunge. The guitar work reminds of The Stooges, mostly SP come on like Nirvana meets The Vines. Vain Galen- Gothic, searing, screamo metal. Well arranged and played with aplomb and fire. Channelling a lot of lovely doom! They’ve done a grand job. System of a Down spring to mind. Memento Mori- Groove metal, righteously rough hewn and feral around the edges. A good few 1980’s blistering guitar solosjump up and twist yer metal melons.Memento Mori- Rough hewn melodic groove-rock with a nod to classic 80’s metal
SlimDali- Electro art rock. Interesting stuff, something a bit different. Big Talking Heads influence certainly, but still sounds very current. A touch of Metronomy and LCD Soundsystem. Very well produced and conceived. Like it like it like it! All The Wrong Reasons- Swedish reggae and heavy funk infused hip hop outfit featuring big ol dubby basslines…, great stuff that doesnt really sound like anyone although there’s more of a Brit-hop resonance than anything else… Dub Pistols fans will find plenty to enjoy here…Dice People- Dark immersive electronica,with ambient soundtrack oriented mood pieces from school of Eno, and a myriad of interesting textures, beats and samples, plus an excellent audiovisual element. All round a fabulous experience…a hint of Underworld and early Chemical Brothers- mighty fine. Retoryka- Jacques Caramac has kicked the Sweet Generation into touch…so this be Retoryka.. A psychedelic shoegaze affair with layered guitar FX, off kilter and esoteric, but always a tip top tune to hum as we know from Jacques C etc… fab guitar sounds here. Also embraces some classic ’60s Sugartown style pop…‘Sunday Morning’ is never far from your thoughts…top tunes
Versus Ursus-Stonking heavy alt rock veering towards metal with a pretty unique vocal, a bit Lydon-ish, a bit off the wall, does the sore throat growl, a wide eyed out of it punky yelp and generally rocks in a versatile manner…. Musically Metallica meets RATM.the singer’s on another planet. The Harry Macintosh Project-Math rock via pronk with moments of Jazz and a general off-kilter bonkers vibe. Sounds like they dig the cardiacs, Beefheart and Slint with vocalson a Butthole Surfers via Bongwater tio. Compelling stuff, sounds like one of those mid-90’s avante-rock acts Trumans water, Hirameka Hi-Fi etc. new EP ‘Such Is The Vulture’s Love’ is due to be released through Zube Records on February 28th 2015 New Love Engine-Dream pop with some lovely glacial guitar and a vocal reminiscent of Thom York. Nice use of light and shade the heavier moments remind of Mew the more reflective nod to Radiohead
Twin Heart-post hardcore emo with prog-folk passages, there could be a Yes influence at play here but holds the interest by way of hooky tunes, compelling stuff. Miss Maze- Soulful grunge tinged alt rock hooky tunes played with plenty of conviction. Wild Ride-3 piece from L.A dealing Americans tinged Rock N Roll, whic also dips a toe in reggae and new wave. Amaelle- An impressively voiced soulstress whos already scored a mobile ad doing covers in the main but in her own unique style backed by top notch musicians
Kitten Pyramid-have garnered great reviews from The Guardian, Q mag, Prog mag and many more…take a Cardiacs type jaunty sound and combine it with some thoroughly Syd era Floyd whimsy and hard edged Crimson meets Tull passgaes , wig out Hendrix guitar, pastoral brass and a bit of Genesis too…but original…new prog! Mouse-Menacing but comedic post punk cum punk rock 3 piece..boy/girl…’bomb in yer fridge’…indeed……Swell Maps meets Crass meets Wire meets etc…yeah! Do an interesting melodica lead prog punk take on Oh Bondage Up Yours sung in menacing Cantonese- or is it Mandarin…sounds bloody great anyway Deco-Classy alt-pop of a Everything Everything meets Foals bent via early U2 or Chameleons dynamics. Decent tunes that’d sit well on any 6 music playlist Moriarti- Americana informed indie pop, outta Kent strong tunes that nod slightly to The Replacements or Lemonheads
The Apartment-Snappy pop-funk like The Bar-Kays fronted by a female vocal with a distinct Northern Soul feel The Klik-Essexy blend of slinky reggae and rapping, all done in an accesssible Olly Murs meets Plan B stylee…great tunes- Tomi Saario-Soulful Rn B tinged pop with elements of folk genuinly impressive voice and strong tunes Dakota- Beautifully pure female vocal against a backdrop of etherial electronica, eerie samplaing and understated rhythms, works well
Alternative TV- With their new long player about to emerge- and word on the street is it’s a cracker- this show is an unmissable event as anyone that attended our last Dublin Castle/ATV happening last year can attest. Book early coz it will be rammed….For those of you that have spent the last 40 years potholing in Outer Mongolia, Alternative TV are original punk rock visionary Mark Perry‘s endlessly shifting sonic lifestyle choice. From angular three chord, two chord, one chord attack through arthouse pre-punk / post punk to acerbic social commentary based in enigmatic storytelling, to pithy mesmeric pop songs about relationships and human foibles, to out and out experimental agitation- all musical life is here. Vive Le RocknRoll…the Johnny Rotten Show may stagger on but tonight in Camden Town you can appreciate real, cerebral punk values, care of Mark P and this explosive new manifestation of Alternative TV…. Rude Mechanicals- Artful jazzbo slinkiness and cabaret poetics with fabulous playing from all concerned and brilliantly off kilter but accessible vocalising from the remarkable front woman Miss Joe Roberts.… with elements from the likes of Rip Rig And Panic, Little Annie and Diamanda Gallas there’s loads here to enjoy… eclecticism never got hipper. And isn’t that Jowe Head once of Swell Maps beneath that top hat plucking bubbling bass notes? ‘Rude Mechanicals are a Pan-dimensional Creature manifesting itself in your reality as an Absurd Rock/Jazz/Punk Band consisting of Miss Roberts and her symbiotic slaves.’ The Underrunners- Dark and deviant artpunk trio with Bauhaus cum Joy Division leanings and a melodic twangsome rocknroll approach that rekindles memories of Californian coolsters X and at times The Cramps as if reimagined by Andrew Eldritch…
The Nightingales- The legendary post punk Country n Midlands combo fronted by Robert Lloyd have been garnering amazebollock reviews all over the shoppe for their superb new long player ‘Mind Over Matter’…released via John Robb’s Louder Than War (clearly a marriage made somewhere North of the ozone layer) this is the latest in a quick succession of blinding albums since The ‘Gales reformed 10 years back or so….no throwback retro wallowing here, expect the same kinda respect for moving forward as you get with The Fall or Pere Ubu….from the scratchy iconaclastic schtick of their Pigs On Purpose era thru Rockin’ With Rita to their Noughties twisty nouveau rocknroll there is so much to enjoy with Lloyds Of Birmingham… and the 2015 model excels all that and some. The Nightingales in The Dublin Castle? Thoroughly in the ‘Not to be missed’ dpt- especially as we lost em late doors last time due to a freak amplifier/finger slicing episode… Ted Chippington- poet, raconteur, comedian concrete….there is nobody like Ted. Boy did he make us wet our pants last time round such was the intensely endearing hilarity conjured by his performance…..his version of The Beatles ‘She Loves You’ still moves me to tears….also, Ted and Will Grundy off The Archers- have they ever been seen in the same room twice? It’s uncanny.