Rockaway Beach Festival 2022

Rockaway Beach, Butlin’s Bognor Regis, 7th-9th January 2022

Planning a festival for early January with the very real possibility of venues being closed again after Christmas has to be a fairly onerous task. Getting safely into the new year with no restrictions announced would seem a good reason to breathe a sigh of relief, but then to have artists dropping out on a daily basis due to positive testing takes things to a whole new level.

There were points in the run up where it looked like Rockaway Beach wasn’t going to make the finishing line this year but, despite the odds, it proved to be a gamble that paid off. Some inspired last minute substitutions were made and the crowd embraced the changes in good spirit. Here are some of our best bits…

Big slots at Centre Stage on Friday were filled by Buzzcocks (replacing The Futureheads) and Do Nothing (subbing for Working Men’s Club), sandwiching a tricky set from Tricky. A more than solid start to the weekend with much audience appreciation.

No tents to pitch or portaloos to queue for at Butlin’s, and after a night in your chalet or hotel room of choice, there were plenty of highlights on both stages throughout Saturday.

Italia 90 have clearly kept up momentum during lockdown, drawing old fans and winning new ones with an early slot at Reds.

Maria Uzor (one half of Sink Ya Teeth) was an unexpected yet memorable surprise, showcasing glitchy electro-soul with hooks and melodies aplenty.

And darling of the London scene Nuha Ruby Ra proved that her performance works equally well on a bigger stage as it does in a smaller setting, making the most of the light show and never using one mic when two will do.

It’s probably unavoidable that some people will come to see Imperial Wax to check out what some of the ex members of The Fall are up to. The reality is that you very quickly lose the need to make comparisons as they really are a strong enough band in their own right, their musicianship highlighted by overcoming technical difficulties with ease and making the set look effortless.

Another very late addition, Crows pulled in a big crowd who will doubtless be pleased to hear that they followed up their Butlin’s trip by releasing new music and tour dates.

Thankfully one act that didn’t cancel was the incomparable JARV IS. Always one to walk his own path, Jarvis Cocker has become cemented in modern day culture as a storyteller extraordinaire; who else would you find headlining in a beige velvet jacket throwing mini Bountys into the crowd while chatting about Shirley Bassey? An expert in giving the crowd exactly what they want but very much on his own terms, this was undoubtedly the biggest draw of the festival, and rightly so.

Rockaway Beach certainly have a knack of scuppering any chance of a lie in, kicking off Sunday with TV Priest waking everyone up with an animated set turned up to the max, their energy only surpassed by their gratitude for the equally lively response from the early risers.

Another crowd favourite, Hull’s bdrmm continued the clever pick me up to battle Sunday fatigue with their well honed mix of hazy shoegaze lifting the late afternoon timeline.

For a band that’s spanned decades, A Certain Ratio still sound surprisingly fresh, with tracks like Lucinda sounding as good as ever and new vocalist Ellen Beth Abdi fitting in perfectly. With much dancing in the room, it’s fair to say there was plenty of movement with no room for improvement.

In a fine way to end the weekend, Porridge Radio took to the stage. The transition from small, quirky DIY band to festival headliner isn’t an easy one to pull off but they managed to retain the feeling and nostalgia of performances of old, while impressing their newer fans with tracks from Mercury nominated Every Bad.

And that was that, festival complete. Talking about being at home at Christmas, Jarvis told us that he said, “We’re supposed to be playing this concert but it’ll never happen”. Happily he was proved wrong as it turned out that the ever changing line up added some spontaneity to the already eclectic proceedings. With amusement arcades, silent discos and DJ sets into the early hours, Rockaway Beach really is a festival experience not quite like any other. See you next year.

Rockaway Beach

Words / photos by Callum / Siobhan

17th January 2022

 

 

 

Best Music Shots of 2021

‘I’ve been looking so long at these pictures of you
That I almost believe that they’re real’ – The Cure

Here we are again with our annual Best Music Shots of the Year gallery, thankfully 2021 reopened the doors of venues big and small and reminded us exactly what we’d been missing. And so it’s even more of a privilege than usual to bring you this amazing selection of live music shots captured around the world.

Photos are in no particular order, mixed by genre and style, so grab a cup of tea and take a break while you check them all out to avoid missing anything… enjoy.

(Header photo above by Tina Sherwood, details in article)

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Genn
Chalk, Brighton – October 2021

By Rob Orchard – Website | Instagram

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Rachel Mae Hannon
Whelans, Dublin – November 2021

By Alex Curran – Instagram

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Ben Sargent of Hell’s Addiction
Rockin’ The Bowl Festival, Sheffield – September 2021

Hazel Jade Rogers of JOANovARC
Rockin’ The Bowl Festival, Sheffield – September 2021

By Tina Sherwood – Instagram | Facebook

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Bob Vylan
The Ferret, Preston – August 2021

Steve Diggle of Buzzcocks
Waterloo Music Bar, Blackpool – August 2021

By Gary Hough at allthecoolbandsphotography – Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

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Cody Hibbard
Ft Worth Panther Island River and Blues Fest – November 2021

Rachel Stacy
Texas Lottery Pavilion, Irving, Texas – October 2021

By Robert C Maxfield II – Website | Instagram | Facebook

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Oracle Sisters
The Glue Factory, Glasgow – November 2021

Callum Easter
Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh – September 2021

By John Mackie – Instagram

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Doug Aldrich of The Dead Daisies
Nottingham Rock City – November 2021

Angelo Tristan of Collateral
Sheffield Don Valley Bowl – September 2021

By Cobspix Photography – Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

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Judgement
Biltmore Theatre, Ontario – November 2021

Excuses Excuses
Biltmore Theatre, Ontario – November 2021

By Mirjana (Mikki) Simeunovich – Website | Instagram | Facebook

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Freya Beer
Paper Dress Vintage, London – November 2021 (shot for dead good music blog)

By Rachel Wonders – Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

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Nile Rodgers and CHIC
Dreamland, Margate – September 2021

The Ks
Dreamland, Margate – September 2021

By Katie Stokes – Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

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Royal and the Serpent
XL Live, Harrisburg PA – August 2021

Nick Reese of Joyous Wolf
Reverb, Reading PA – October 2021

By Erin Servey Photography – Instagram | Facebook

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Sydney Sprague
Rebel Lounge, Phoenix AZ – June 2021

Danielle Durack
Rebel Lounge, Phoenix AZ – June 2021

By Jennifer Mullins –Website | Prints | Instagram | Twitter

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Steve Diggle of Buzzcocks
Gateways Festival – August 2021

Lauren Tate of Hands Off Gretel
Long Division Festival – September 2021

By Steve White – Instagram

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Daniel Filth of Cradle of Filth
Bloodstock Festival – August 2021

Benji of Skindred
Bloodstock Festival – August 2021

By Clare Ratcliffe – Instagram | Facebook

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Julia Bardot
Bodega, Nottingham – October 2021

Paul Weller
Octagon Centre, Sheffield – November 2021

By Nigel King Photography – Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

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Sons of Liberty
Don Valley Bowl, Sheffield – September 2021

The Outlaw Orchestra
Don Valley Bowl, Sheffield – September 2021

By Andy Houghton – Website | Instagram

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Alex Southey
Bar Cathedral, Toronto – November 2021

The Sarandons
Dakota Tavern, Toronto – November 2021

By Steven Medeiros – Website | Instagram 1 | Instagram 2

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False Heads
The Boileroom, Guildford – November 2021

Girli
The Boileroom, Guildford – November 2021

By Matt Chapman – Website | Instagram | Twitter

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The Sixth Lie
London

By Najm Clayton – Website | Instagram

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Priestgate
The Hope and Ruin, Brighton – October 2021

Walt Disco
The Hope and Ruin, Brighton – November 2021

By Siobhan at 16 Beasley St Photoraphy – Website | Instagram | Twitter

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As always, a massive thank you to all the awesome photographers who have shared their images. If you like what you see, go and give them a follow on the links shown. Whether you’re a photographer, musician, gig-goer or involved/interested in the music industry in any way, keep supporting your local scene and please, please keep taking a test. Wishing you all a safe and happy Christmas and New Year – take care of yourselves and each other.

All images are the copyright of the photographer credited; please do not use without gaining their permission first.

17th December 2021

 

Live – LIFE | Nuha Ruby Ra at The Green Door Store

LIFE | Nuha Ruby Ra, The Green Door Store, Brighton, 9th December 2021

Towards the end of 2019, LIFE played a gig at The Green Door Store in Brighton, an animated and immersive performance as always. It’s odd to think back and realise we had no inkling of what was to come over the next few months, and even when things started closing down, we could never have anticipated how long it would be for.

So here we are two years down the line, and it’s great to see LIFE back at the same (sold out) venue and really on top of their game. Their latest track Friends Without Names sits comfortably alongside crowd favourites Bum Hour and Moral Fibre, their energy is relentless and full of humour.

Support comes from the mesmerising Nuha Ruby Ra, whose parting words “Enjoy Life” seem like pretty good advice in general and inevitable in the short term. Gallery below.

Nuha Ruby Ra

LIFE

Words and photos by Siobhan

13th December 2021

Live – The Bug Club | Sins | The Heavy Heavy at The Loft

The Bug Club, Sins &  The Heavy Heavy at The Loft, Portsmouth, 2nd December 2021

Sometimes there’s a buzz around a band that proves to be more than warranted. The Bug Club have been steadily making a name for themselves with a series of infectious psych pop tracks that are regular players on 6 Music and have been much lauded by new music connoisseur Marc Riley.

Their visit to The Loft on Thursday was a sell out, despite numerous other gigs taking place locally on the night. With a set worthy of a much longer established band, it’s clear that they’re not only developing a seriously strong catalogue of songs to dip into, but also that their ease in performing draws the crowd in and makes for a lovely warm atmosphere too. You have to wonder how much longer you’ll have the chance to see The Bug Club playing in venues this size for – with more live dates pending you should absolutely grab that chance now if you can.

Gallery below with supports The Heavy Heavy and Sins.

The Heavy Heavy

Sins

The Bug Club

Words and photos by Siobhan

6th December 2021

 

Breaking Glass Magazine – December 2021

Breaking Glass Magazine – December 2021

Firmly on our favourite new bands list, we planned to have LibraLibra on one of our monthly covers just over a year ago. That plan was thwarted by a day of extraordinarily heavy rain followed by a plunge back into lockdown. We’re delighted that we’ve finally made this happen and to see how much recognition and support the band has gained in the meantime.

As an added bonus, it was a huge pleasure to catch a packed hometown show at Brighton’s Hope & Ruin a couple of weeks ago; their new music sounded great, their energy is infectious and the crowd had an absolute ball.

Now that we all have the opportunity to get out to gigs again, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and forget that lots of artists and others in the industry have had a tough time throughout the pandemic. It’s so important to keep supporting the music scene to make sure we all keep getting the chance to experience the sheer joy it brings.

Vocalist Beth told us, “Not gonna lie, 2021 has been one of the worst years yet, not musically but mentally & physically it’s really taken its toll, we would love to be all sweetness and light but for us collectively it’s been full of heartbreak, an oophorectomy, instability and mental breakdowns. However ironically the only saving grace for us in 2021 has been the music. We finally released our new single, Candy Mountain, and got to throw our souls into some killer shows. 2022 presents a glimmer of hope for us, our EP is coming out, a tour has been booked & lots of things to come. Here’s to the future and to thriving not just surviving!”

If you haven’t been lucky enough to catch LibraLibra yet, this week they’ve announced performances at Icebreaker Festival, 2000 Trees and a slot on The National Lottery’s #ReviveLive tour with Music Venue Trust. Check out their new single Candy Mountain, and link to their socials and music here for more details of live dates.

No more than they deserve, we’re wishing LibraLibra the best of years in 2022, and extend that to all of you as well – thanks to everyone who contributes to, reads and supports Breaking Glass in any way; we wouldn’t still be here without you.

Words and photos by Siobhan

1st December 2021

Live – VLURE | MEMES at The Green Door Store

VLURE & MEMES at The Green Door Store, Brighton, 27th November 2021

Back in the days before a certain pandemic took over our lives, VLURE shared the visual for their track Desire, an insight into what was to come from the Glasgow five piece. I watched it repeatedly, weirdly fascinated by its almost tribal ferocity. Fast forward to Saturday night at Brighton’s Green Door Store and it’s time to find out whether the same urgency is still brimming over.

First up though, the powerhouse that is MEMES warm things up on the coldest night of the year. There may be only two of them (three if you count the drumming laptop) but what they lack in numbers they make up in volume and spiky socially observant lyrics. Talking Heads meets early Young Knives turned up to eleven if you will, in a good way for avoidance of doubt. Well worth a watch if they’re passing your way. 

And so after much anticipation, VLURE hit the stage and any idea that they wouldn’t live up to expectations is instantly quashed. With a breathtakingly solid collection of songs now under their belt, there are no dips in the set. The pulsating wall of 80s electronica fronted with a visceral vocal that makes up Shattered Faith is a standout that has the venue shaking, the actual storm outside overshadowed by the manufactured one inside. 

Intense, immense, and the most welcome of antidotes to the past eighteen months, VLURE are everything you’d want them to be and more. Just a glance at everyone’s faces in the crowd shows the pure joy in the room. There were stacks of gigs on in Brighton to choose from on Saturday, I can only thank the powers that be that we had the foresight to be at this one.

VLURE | MEMES

Words and photos by Siobhan

29th November 2021

Mutations Festival 2021

Mutations Festival, Brighton, 4th – 7th November 2021

The past eighteen months have been tough on the music industry and, along with the hit to musicians in not being able to play live, many independent venues have struggled to stay afloat. Bringing an abundance of current and breakthrough talent to Brighton, Mutations Festival offered up the chance to take in four days of live music and support a whole heap of local grassroots venues at the same time.

With some tough clashes to choose between, we started Thursday in style with Holiday Ghosts, opening proceedings in the shadow of the pier amusements at Patterns. Singing songs about the city you’re in was as good a way to kick things off as any, and the standard was set for what was to come.

Moving across to the largest venue on the agenda, Chalk played host to the ethereal songs  and bitter-sweet musings of Bill Ryder-Jones. A world away from the TV advert-friendly indie pop of his days with The Coral (though still repping them on his guitar strap), Ryder-Jones has proved to be an accomplished writer, singer and producer. His set could have been twice as long and still not long enough. Closing the first day, This is the Kit filled the room with the sounds of enough instruments to start their own music shop and an ambience that would send everyone home happy and ready to return for more.

Left: This is the Kit, Top Right: Holiday Ghosts, Bottom Right: Bill Ryder-Jones

Friday night and the lights were low, and in a nice touch that ensured Hove wasn’t left out of the picture, the evening’s activities moved across to The Brunswick and The Old Market. Highlights at The Brunswick included Hull’s Low Hummer, wearing their indie hearts firmly on their sleeves, they have a new album release if you’re inclined to hear more. Glasgow two-piece Memes engaged the crowd with their charm, energy and Hazmat suits, ending with a singalong to a German techno track, as you do. Folly Group had to take a short intermission for a guitar string break but picked things up and made a strong impression.

Along the road at The Old Market, the ‘main house’ drew in a big crowd as soon as doors opened. Hotel Lux took starting position, their brand of nonchalant Dr Feelgood-esque contemplations well received by likely a different audience to usual. Next up, Billy Nomates seemingly actually has lots of mates who knew her songs word for word and bounced off her vigourous performance. The biggest pull of the night came in the form of Mr Maserati, king of the migraines himself, the inexplicably charming Baxter Dury. For no discernible reason abandoning his trademark suit for a full camo and goggles ensemble, Dury entertained as only he can, a set showcasing most recent album The Night Chancers while incorporating a string of old favourites and new songs alike. The suit returned with his encore, the crowd had a party, Friday night ended well.

Top: Billy Nomates, Left: Hotel Lux, Right x 2: Baxter Dury

A full day on Saturday began by confirming Keg’s status as ones to watch, except ironically not every could get in to watch them as their reputation meant there were queues up the stairs to The Folklore Rooms to see them. It’s testament to the quality of a band when they sound as good from outside as they do inside the room; their charisma, humour and stacks of energy warrant the hype. And for those who missed out, there would have been photos but it was so packed and hot it fogged up all three available camera lenses.

A trio of recommended acts followed at The Albert, a tight squeeze for the frenetic pace of TV Priest, a very welcome return for the slick post-punk of Social Haul, and a thankfully rescheduled set from Famous who are clearly not as famous as they should be. In the midst of this veritable hat trick of musical delight, back at the Folklore Rooms, Legss were possibly one of the only bands that were ready to start early and had to wait, winning over the room once things got going with their raucous South London vitality. After a quick break, it was back to Patterns to catch some wit and riffs from Mush, followed by current 6 Music darlings Yard Act at Chalk.

TV Priest

Left: Mush, Top Right: Famous, Bottom Right: Yard Act

Social Haul

And so we made it to day four. An early start paid off as we were treated to a spiky yet enchanting performance from deep tan at The Albert, a welcome calm before the beautiful chaos to follow as Lynks took centre-stage at Chalk. Never one to forget their mask, Lynks put on a show that was far from your regular Sunday afternoon entertainment, complete with adroit choreography and guest vocals from Barbara the table. Imagine if you’d come to Mutations and missed Lynks, that would have been a great shame indeed.

deep tan

Left & Top Right: Lynks, Bottom Right: deep tan

The rest of the day kept the stakes raised high, continuing with an immersive set from Nuha Ruby Ra at Komedia Studio. A late start but definitely worth the wait for PVA – having seen them before in multiple venues, Chalk seemed like the perfect fit and they once again balanced keeping existing fans happy whilst doubtless picking up new ones along the way.

There were all kinds of good things happening at The Umlauts’ slot at Patterns, an art school project with the potential to become a masterpiece, check them out if you get the chance. And later on the same stage, way more established but still sounding fresh, Big Joanie supplied a lovely atmosphere, some great tunes and a message of inclusivity to lift the spirits of anyone who may have been flagging.

Left: Nuha Ruby Ra, Top Right: The Umlauts, Bottom Right: Big Joanie

Finishing up at Chalk, Scalping managed to speak volumes whilst only playing instrumentals, silhouetted on stage and painting pictures not just with projections but also the intricacies of their music. This was followed by BEAK> playing their blend of reverb heavy, synth driven tracks to a full house, and we ended the weekend with lots to reflect on.

BEAK>

It’s heart-warming to feel like live music is a normal part of life again, there are stacks of good bands and artists to see, and we can only be grateful that all the venues involved survived the non-year that was 2020. All in all, Mutations was a treat for many reasons, and we’re already looking forward to seeing what they do next year.

Mutations Festival

Words / photos by Callum / Siobhan

10th November 2021

Live – Walt Disco at The Hope & Ruin

Walt Disco at The Hope & Ruin, Brighton, 1st November 2021

Scotland has produced some brilliant artists over the years. From the antagonistic wall of sound instigated by the Mary Chain and refined by Glasvegas, to the pure joy of jangle pop from Orange Juice via the perfect vocal courtesy of The Associates, it’s been a journey with multiple highs and doesn’t look to be stopping any time soon.

Though there are plenty more Scottish bands of note who have emerged in the past few years, Walt Disco are surely sitting at the top of tree, raining down hailstone sized drops of glam and euphoria whilst they’re there.

Their live performance has gone from strength to strength and, as their tour came to a close at Brighton’s Hope & Ruin on Monday night, there was a sense that things can only keep spiraling upwards. Their setlist doesn’t hit a bad note, their music plucks the best of the past and rolls it into their own unique sound, and with no offence (or maybe a little) to all the cooler than school bands who wouldn’t dare crack a smile, it’s refreshing to see the sheer enjoyment of what’s happening from both the band and the crowd.

A night to remember – Walt Disco are not to be missed, bring your dancing shoes and get involved.

Catch up with Walt Disco here

Words and photos by Siobhan

3rd November 2021

 

 

Live – Skindred | Trash Boat at Corporation

Skindred & Trash Boat at Corporation, Sheffield, 22nd October 2021

Sheffield Corporation was heaving on Friday, full of anticipation for a brilliant night of music, which didn’t disappoint!

(Horrendous Friday night traffic on the motorway meant a late arrival, so apologies to openers, Sheffield’s Cellar Door Moon Crow).

Hertfordshire’s Alt/Rock band Trash Boat brought the house down, interacting with the crowd and delivering a loud, impassioned performance.

It was clear that the audience was teaming with Skindred fans who knew every word and nuance of every song, jumping and singing along as once voice during Benji Webb’s call and response moments. This was an overwhelming gig, not least because of the volume of people all in one place! Numbers aside, Skindred are back and bringing their fans out to play!

Skindred | Trash Boat | Cellar Door Moon Crow

Words and photos by Tina Sherwood

28th October 2021

Live – The Hot Damn! | The Addiction | Ghosts of Men at The Old Salutation Inn

The Hot Damn, Addiction & Ghosts of Men at The Old Salutation Inn, Nottingham, 15th October 2021

The Hot Damn! Gals at The Sal

Resident ghosts at The Old Salutation Inn, Nottingham must have been rocking last Friday (15th October) as The Hot Damn! gave a show of dynamic proportions relative to the size of the venue, much to the delight of everyone in attendance!

The whole evening, promoted by local guys, The Public House Brand, had a great vibe, with top music from 3 great bands.

There may be only 2 band members, but Essex openers, Ghosts Of Men, made a massive impression on an unsuspecting audience, bringing the house down with their own distinctive Heavy Alt/Rock sound, gaining a host of new fans in the process.

Local band, The Addiction, have introduced a new singer and drummer since they last played the venue. Effie Wilson promises raw power vocals, alongside intense percussive energy from drummer, Dean Cruxon , giving the band a commanding Punk/Alt/Rock sound, warming the crowd up nicely before the headline act.

The Hot Damn! are a 4 piece with an impeccable Rock pedigree, harnessing experience from their times variously with The Amorettes, Tequila Mockingbyrd, Aaron Buchanan and the Cult Classics and New Device. They know just how it’s done and should be cited as inspiration for any young women with their hearts on rock stardom.

It was also heartening to note a diversity of ages and gender in the crowd, an accolade to the band for the appeal that their music conveys.

With a large inflatable banana doing the rounds of the audience as the band began to play, The Hot Damn! showed just why they are worthy of their name. These girls rock! A full 45-minute set of high-octane Rock and Roll left the audience calling for ‘more!’

Personal highlights were the incredible dual guitar riffs of Gill Montgomery and Laurie Buchanan, (taking me right back to the early years of Thin Lizzie’s Phil Lynott and Scott Goreham) and an exciting rendition of the band’s debut single, Dance Around.

The Attic at The Old Salutation Inn is an intimate venue, probably much smaller than the headliners are used to, but lucky for us, they gave an outstanding show, allowing us the chance to feel that this was just a little bit more special than usual.

All in all, an excellent night! Well done, The Public House Brand for a great show!

The Hot Damn! | The Addiction | Ghosts of Men

Words and Photos by Tina Sherwood

19th October 2021

Live – Manic Street Preachers | Low Hummer at Portsmouth Guildhall

Manic Street Preachers & Low Hummer at Portsmouth Guildhall, 8th October 2021

Manic Street Preachers have been around for a while. 35 years in fact, and their career has seen them hit huge highs and crushing lows along the way. Most recently, The Manics have been celebrating their second UK number one after new album The Ultra Vivid Lament became only their second to hit the top spot of the charts following the success of This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours back in 1998. Tonight’s show in support of their latest triumph is a 20-song journey covering both new and old material that blends seamlessly together, and you can sense that the band are loving being back on the road.

Support this evening comes courtesy of Low Hummer, a six piece from Hull. Right from the off, each member of the band is locked into a tight groove that propels their 9-song set along nicely. Take Arms starts with a driving synth drone before the drums and bass come in to add a nice krautrock feel to proceedings. Guitarist/singer Dan Mawer then sings, ‘For all the Northerners pretending to be Southern, take arms, take arms.’ You’ve got to admire that for an opening line down here on the south coast. The guitars come crashing in shortly before the chorus, but not before Dan is joined on vocals by guitarist/singer Aimee Duncan. The interplay between the pair adds heaps of variety, whilst the rest of the band take charge and enjoy the ride. Their debut album Modern Tricks for Living is out now, and if you like the idea of your favourite garage rock, post punk and the more weirder indie bands around covering Bis, then you might just find what you’re looking for in Low Hummer.

Opening with Motorcycle Emptiness, The Manics mean business and they are as tight and powerful as you would expect from a band who have been at it this long. Orwellian then follows and it is a reminder that The Manics still have a knack for writing songs that have something to say about the state of the world. Frontman James Dean Bradfield is more than happy in front of the microphone and around it as he dances about the stage, all whilst bassist Nicky Wire, drummer Sean Moore and touring members Wayne Murray and Nick Nasmyth pummel the audience with precise rhythms and infectious melodies.

At the halfway point, we’re treated to a solo acoustic version of La Tristesse Durera (Scream to a Sigh) from 1993’s Gold Against The Soul. The rest of the band then reappear to join James for a cover of Guns N’ Roses’ Sweet Child o’ Mine. Not just the opening bars, but the whole thing. All six minutes of it, note for note. The Manics are clearly enjoying themselves at this point and to be fair, so is everyone else in attendance. After a couple of slower tunes, the band are back firing on all cylinders with Slash ‘n’ Burn before they finish off tonight’s show with fan favourites Ocean Spray, You Love Us and A Design for Life.

Tonight’s performance was solid, and the tributes and moments dedicated to Richie were genuinely touching (Still Snowing in Sapporo). The Manics will always be the undisputed Welsh kings of crowd-pleasing anthemic rock, and tonight was a reminder of how truly great they are.

Manic Street Preachers | Low Hummer

Words by Ryan Howarth
Photos by Hannah Mesquitta

13th October 2021

Live – The Ninth Wave | Youth Sector | Priestgate at The Hope & Ruin

The Ninth Wave, Youth Sector & Priestgate at The Hope & Ruin Brighton, 9th October 2021

Another tour that’s been on the receiving end of postponements and rescheduling finally made its way to Brighton on Saturday; The Ninth Wave ensuring that everyone was left feeling the wait was more than worthwhile.

Supporting the supports is always important. It’s where all your favourite artists started out, it’s a chance for newer acts to play in front of different crowds and get their name out there. But if you needed any further reason to get down early, this line up offered it up in bucketloads.

First up, an absolute killer set from Priestgate. Making a quantum leap into seemingly everyone’s ‘best new bands’ lists (and rightly so), it feels like lockdown has given them an opportunity to tighten up everything to bursting point, the inevitable implosion of which results in some off the scale tunes and a performance to match. Love that feeling of finding something special and wanting to see and hear more – don’t miss them if they’re playing anywhere near you.

A change of pace and tailoring as Youth Sector picked up the middle slot. With their riffs as slick as their suits, they didn’t put a foot wrong as they treated the crowd to their zippy brand of art rock. It was certainly shaping up to be quite a night.

Finally, the return of The Ninth Wave, the packed crowd delighted to see them back on stage. From the almost tribal  Happy Days to the beauty and melancholy of Piece and Pound Coins, it’s clear that it’s not just the old songs but the new songs too that are firm favourites with the crowd. While there’s always a theatricality about their shows, the band also look like they’re enjoying what they do and it’s fair to say that everyone else in the room is of the same frame of mind. The Ninth Wave keep going from strength to strength, it will be intriguing to see what comes next.

The Ninth Wave | Youth Sector | Priestgate

Words and photos by Siobhan

12th October 2021

Live – The Subways | Lauran Hibberd at The Wedgewood Rooms

The Subways & Lauran Hibberd, The Wedgewood Rooms Portsmouth, 2nd October 2021

Another great night at The Wedgewood Rooms as The Subways brought their 16th anniversary Young for Eternity tour to Portsmouth. They played 2 nights in a row at the Wedge as the original show had been booked at The Pyramids, which sadly no longer exists as a venue. Support came from south coast favourite Lauran Hibberd.

Check out our gallery below…

Lauran Hibberd

The Subways

Photos by Hannah Mesquitta

11th October 2021

Live – Nick Cave & Warren Ellis at Royal Albert Hall

Nick Cave & Warren Ellis, Royal Albert Hall London, 6th October 2021

From the mayhem of The Birthday Party to the wonder of The Bad Seeds, through collaborations with PJ Harvey and Kylie amongst numerous others, Nick Cave has emerged as one of the most outstanding performers you will have the privilege of seeing live. Captivating, intense and funny by parts, it’s hard to think who could accompany him and still manage at times to steal the show, until of course you consider Warren Ellis. Accomplished in playing an assemblage of instruments, and with a wonderful sense of both humour and theatricality, Ellis is the perfect partner in crime and the pair delighted fans by recording and releasing Carnage during lockdown, their music the perfect escape from the harsh reality of the pandemic.

Taking the album on tour, with an eclectic mix of songs from different eras added for good measure, their production is simple but slick and holds the attention of the audience from start to double encored finish. The setting of Royal Albert Hall provides a suitably dramatic and elegant backdrop for the music and, despite its size, Cave executes that magic trick of his that makes it feel like the smallest, most intimate of settings for everyone.

Music to heal the soul, a fantastic venue, a night to be remembered.

Nick Cave & Warren Ellis – Carnage

Words and photos by Siobhan

8th October 2021

 

Live – The Wendy James Band at Patterns Brighton

The Wendy James Band, Patterns Brighton, 30th September 2021

Shooting to fame in the mid 80s with Transvision Vamp, who’d have thought that Wendy James would have the crowd eating out of her hand all these years later? After multiple postponements due to lockdown restrictions, the band finally managed to get out on the road, last night stopping off in a very wet and windy Brighton.

Starting strongly with You’re So Great, Wendy explained that everything had kicked off for her musically in Brighton, and the first of many stories evoking memories of people and places from the past ensued, culminating in an impromptu jam of Suicide’s Ghost Rider.

I saw Tom Jones, the famous name-dropper, in Brighton the other week and, to be honest, I’m not sure his stories were as good. When your anecdote book is littered with appearances from the likes of The Stooges, Bowie and Kurt Cobain, there are bound to be some good tales to tell.

But really everyone was here for the music, and they weren’t disappointed. The band were faultless and a shout out to the sound team at Patterns was well deserved.

Standout track from Queen High Straight was the beautiful Marlene et Fleur, amidst a set filled with fan favourites including I Want Your Love and Baby I Don’t Care. At the close of the set Wendy noted that it had been a great night and that she was really happy. Judging from the crowd’s reaction and the queues to meet and greet at the merch stand, she wasn’t on her own with that feeling.

There are a couple of dates left on the tour; if you’re up for a singalong get yourself along to O2 Academy Islington tonight or The Parish in Huddersfield tomorrow, full details here.

Words and photos by Siobhan

1st October 2021

 

 

Tour News – White Lies

There’s been a buzz of expectation emanating from the White Lies’ camp lately, as the band have posted teasers for new music and live dates. Yesterday saw confirmation of a new album As I Try Not To Fall Apart, due for release in February 2022, plus a string of UK & Ireland tour dates in March before heading across Europe.

The band have also shared the title track from the album, saying, “We wrote this song quickly, late one night, and often the songs which come quickest are written from the gut and the heart, not with the head. We wanted the melody to feel like a hymn, to give the confessional lyrics weight despite being wrapped up as a pop song. It’s about accepting vulnerability as a man, and knowing it’s ok to be broken. There’s never been a more pressing time to spread the message that it’s ok to not be ok”.

UK/Ireland tour dates are as follows:

10.03.22 – NOTTINGHAM – Rock City
11.03.22 – MANCHESTER – Academy
12.03.22 – NEWCASTLE – Boiler Shop
13.03.22 – BIRMINGHAM – Institute
15.03.22 – GLASGOW – SWG3 TV Studio
16.03.22 – LEEDS – Stylus
18.03.22 – BRIGHTON – Chalk
19.03.22 – BRISTOL – Academy
21.03.22 – DUBLIN – Vicar Street
22.03.22 – LIVERPOOL – Grand Central Hall
24.03.22 – NORWICH – UEA
25.03.22 – OXFORD – Academy
26.03.22 – LONDON – Hammersmith Apollo

Tickets for all shows go on sale at 10am Thursday 30th September
Pre-sale tickets are exclusively available from 10am today via www.whitelies.com/live

The album can be pre-ordered here

28th September 2021

Live – Ash | Indoor Pets at The Wedgewood Rooms

Ash & Indoor Pets, The Wedgewood Rooms Portsmouth, 16th September 2021

Originally scheduled to take place at the Portsmouth Pyramids back in March 2020 (literally two days after the country went into lockdown 1.0), tonight’s show is the second of a two-date residency taking place at the revamped Wedgewood Rooms. After several attempts at rescheduling these shows, we’re finally able to celebrate Ash’s long-delayed tour in support of their recent compilation, Teenage Wildlife: 25 Years of Ash – a career spanning best of that showcases the band’s hits and more. But was it worth the wait?

First up we have Indoor Pets, a spiky four piece from Kent. Having not heard them before, I checked out a few tracks from their recent album Be Content, and I wasn’t overly impressed. However, they are a totally different experience live. Indoor Pets are a band that have plenty of good songs at their disposal that showcase a knack for writing a decent pop hook, but when experienced live, the band’s songs are played with a heavier sense of urgency transforming them into something completely different. Something weirder and much more engaging than on record, so be sure to check them out if they’re playing a town near you soon.

So now for the main event. Three things become apparent to my eye throughout Ash’s set. One, bassist Mark Hamilton doesn’t look a day older than when I first saw them at this venue back in 1997. Two, frontman Tim Wheeler is incapable of not smiling (he clearly loves his job, which is great to see after such a long career) and three, drummer Rick McMurray has the best posture of any drummer I have ever seen. Aside from these observations though there’s not much else happening on stage, so it’s up to the tunes to do the talking tonight.

Ash kick things off with a fine version of Goldfinger, a song dripping with nostalgia and one that helps transport the room back to a time when we didn’t have to worry about deadly viruses and a never-ending sense of doom. The band then launch into another one of their undeniable gems Oh Yeah, and from there it’s just hit after hit really.

Orpheus – a single from 2004 album Meltdown that begins with the line, ‘Yeah, that summer I did nothing’ – feels oddly topical considering current events. It also has one of the most infectious choruses the band have penned to date. It’s then time for the lesser known but yet still decent enough later singles to shine. Here the set drags somewhat, but it doesn’t take long before we’re back into full-on banger territory.

We have A Life Less Ordinary, which is dedicated to a friend of the band who has recently gotten engaged (aww), followed by Petrol, Lose Control (including the TIE Fighter sample that will always take me back to the time I first heard 1977 on cassette as I waited in my parents’ car whilst they went food shopping) concluding with an extended version of fan favourite Kung Fu before the break.

We’re then treated to a cover of The Undertones’ Teenage Kicks followed swiftly by arguably the band’s most loved song Girl from Mars. Things come to a satisfying end with Burn Baby Burn (a song that I think does miss the addition of a second guitarist) and as the lights stay low, Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes’ (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life plays over the PA. Rick treats the crowd to a little dance before the band wave goodbye, and we leave with smiles that could almost rival Tim’s.

So, was it worth the wait? Oh yeah.

Words by Ryan Howarth
Photos by Hannah Mesquitta

Ash | Indoor Pets

26th September 2021