Friday, February 8, 2019

Rocket Twenty

Over the weekend of a rainy 2018 March I attended the 20th anniversary festival of Rocket Records, Rocket Twenty, at the Garage in London. It’s been a while since I went to a gig, never mind something more sustained. Basically cause I am always flipping tired. So to head to the festival meant that there was something special that drew me to it. Obviously this was mostly the bands, but also I expected a good crowd. I expected to see bands that I didn’t know and enjoy them. I expected to buy a lot of vinyl albums. I expected the sort of festival I have not been to since ATP. Sure ATP had no idea how operate from a business point of view but damn they knew how to fill a line up and a crowd that was full of ‘my kind of people’ rather than your standard festival going fare. 

So yes, I was very excited. So excited that I got up really late and missed the train I’d intended resulting in my missing my first intended band, Flowers Must Die. Well, mostly. I caught two songs. It would have been more but there was a queue to get in – thought It wasn’t too bad given the event. Actually, the staff and bouncers were really pretty friendly and chilled – something to note I feel given how the staff at some venues can be. Still, back to the music and yes, I heard two songs. No idea what songs they were – I was told that I must see them and so I attempted too. The two songs I heard were amazing, good heavy psych rock with about 2000 people on stage. Well, a lot of peeps on stage at least. It was enough for me to grab their last album, After Gong, which is outstanding. Shame I missed most of the show. They were really lovely when I spoke to various members too. I like friendly bands. 

I then checked the second stage out. To be honest, it was packed and whoever was playing didn’t really take my interest. We hung out at the bar chatting and deciding who we were most excited to see the rest of the weekend. It was pretty clear we would spend much time up stairs. I am sure everyone up there was great, but I was doing my thing downstairs. 

Next up were Julies Haircut. Hmm, they were all right but I wasn’t too fussed to be honest. We can’t like everyone and the crowd seemed into it – it just wasn’t quite for me. After that was probably my biggest anticipation of the weekend, Josephin Ohrn and the Liberation. I have the last two albums and love them. Great dancey psych, a little poppy. Just really good fun, so I was really excited. Unfortunately I was left disappointed. Whilst I hadn’t enjoyed Julies Haircut much, they were a great quality band. Live, JO sounded a little basic – lacking something. Sure, I danced but I wasn’t blown away as I’d expected. Compared to the previous two bands, they just didn’t feel like they could compete in the same lineup. That was a really shame, but what ya going to do? We watched the band, finished our drinks and headed home leaving some friends to dance away at the venue until 2am or some such time. I needed to crash. 

Saturday arrived and I woke up… late. I was so tired, and met with the main Nurgle himself, Tony – the founder of, along with his little dude. That was lovely but not what I am here to write about. I went home, had actual cooked for the first time in 5 days (I know, right. The life of a trans activist is a busy one right now!) and headed out managing to, again, miss the first band I aimed to see, Mamuthones. Feedback from my mates was that they were ace but I had chosen eggs and beans over them, and I did rather enjoy / need that too…

Gnoomes we the first band I saw, and wow I enjoyed them. I’ve known of them a little while but just not gotten around to listening to them. But they were great. Hailing from Russia, it is always a little difficult to know what to expect from people (as is true for life in general). Lets be honest, there is a view of Russians based on media portrayal and, to be honest, actions of those in power. As a trans person, heck as an LGBT+ person, I am very aware of the treatment of the LGBT+ community in Russia and that can rub off on our view of Russians. But it isn’t Russians, it is Russia that implements these things. Gnoomes were just a bunch of psych loving indie musicians. Very talented but really lovely. After the show I got them to sign a copy of their last LP Tschak!, and they were adorable. Plus they had really cool turquoise tote bags on sale. Score! Musically, it was one of the bands of the weekend that take a more electronic experimental approach to psych. Much more mellow than other bands on the lineup but quality music non-the-less. So far, my favourite act of the weekend.
Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs were due up next but unfortunately they had to cancel. Shame, I have heard nothing but great things about how crazy their stage show is but, alas, I didn’t get to experience it at this event. The were replaced on stage by Housewives, an electronic due from the looks of it. I had a bit of a listen but we had just managed to get a seat in the bar area and I discovered cheapish, decent doubles so we decided to hang out and take the mick out of each other for a while. Which, silly enough, was one of my favourite moments of the weekend. Ha. 

However, this left me nice and rested for the amazing Hey Colossus. I had the last few albums by Hey Colossus (more now), but not the newest album so I didn’t know what to expect. Also, I had never seen them live and they are a heavy band on record. Live they didn’t disappoint. In fact, they cranked up the heavy and songs I didn’t know fit along side songs I did perfectly.  For my first live show of the band, I was not disappointed. A new favourite for the weekend, and one I had been looking forward to for some years. 

Headliners of Saturday, and arguably Rocket Records most famous act of the moment, Goat were next up. They came on with their usual flair, sweeping onto the stage in colourful robes and masks emulating pagan culture. They danced, sang, pulled out recorders to play on and everyone went wild. Well, most people. The crowd was clearly excited, and swelled. However, once the initial thrill was over, about two songs in, I found myself stood there rather bored. For me, Hey Colossus had been so good, scratched that heavy rock itch so nicely that Goat never really stood a chance. About half way through the show I headed back to my mates house for some kip, none of us fussed to see more. A cup of tea felt like a much more exciting prospect. 

Sunday was the last day of the festival, and started of with one of the few bands I had seen before, Bonnacons of Doom. It has been a fair few years since I last saw them, but in anticipation of their debut album I was excited to see how they had changed in that time. An experimental band with capable musicians, Bonnacons were great. Ok, so I missed the first part of the set as was the way of the weekend. But what I heard was a real surprise for me. Compared to the single, and previous live shows, I did not expect such a heavy and loud sound. In my head I expected minimalistic rhythmic sound. What I got was a wall of rock. Fantastic. Like Goat the night before, Bonnacons were dressed up, this time in black robes and with reflective round masks looking rather more nightmarish than the gaudy Goat. I couldn’t help but joke whether it was to hide the identity of any geography teachers that are part of the band. maybe…  

Once I’d got a nice cup of coffee, another great thing about the venue, I was set to watch Kuro. Experimental, to be sure, Kuro are a two piece band. the two pieces being a violin and a cello. Not what I expected when I walking in to see them, but a welcome change of pace and another throw back to the mix of bands you would get at an ATP festival. Like Helen Money, the band require a particular mood and atmosphere to listen to. However, on that rainy Sunday in the Garage I found myself perfectly set to listen to them and enjoyed them immensely. I didn’t pick up the album at the time, figuring again that like Helen Money it was one that I would listen to pretty infrequently. However, having listened to the album since I realise that this was in error, if better for my poor bank balance. I shall correct tis error at some point.  

Zimpel Ziolek followed with their own brand of spaced out experimental psych. Very chill, very relaxing, and just generally lovely. Live the singer sounded a l lot more like eighties Bowie than on the record, and the oboe was rather more front facing. But non-the-less, it was a lovely chill time to dance gently and recover. 

However, I was ready for some rock and Anthroprophh provided this in spades. Kicking  off with additional drumming by the bassist, and finishing in a similar method, the show hit hard from start to finish. With a new album due out shortly, they certainly made their sales pitch and I ran to the table afterwards to grab one of their pre-release copies that they had brought for the festival. Unfortunately I did so rather slower than the unwarranted use of ‘run’ suggests and I missed one of the 25 copies they had brought with them. This is high up on my pick up list, if I have any money left…

After Hey Colossus and Josephin Ohrn, Teeth of the Sea were high on my ‘excited’ list. I think that they would probably have been top, except I have seen them a few times and I hadn’t seen the others and the ‘new’ of the other bands pushed them up. Of course, one disappointed and one was amazing – but I knew I would enjoy Teeth of the Sea. And they did not disappoint. In fact, this was my favourite show by them. All weekend the sound at the Garage was phenomenal. Bands like TotS, Hey Colossus and, next up, GNOD took advantage of the amazing sound on offer to produce walls of high quality sound that would not have had the same impact should they have been let down by the sound. TotS played a whole bunch of songs, but no where near enough for my liking. The band seemed a little different than at previous shows, with extra brass instrumentalists I didn’t recognise. But this just added to the sound. There were also songs I didn’t recognise that mean I am more than a little excited about a new album (that I hope is in the works). Finishing with Reaper though was, as always, and amazing musical moment. 

GNOD were the final band of the weekend. I didn’t know what to expect, but hard and heavy are words that do not emphasise just how hard and heavy the band were. Or loud. For days my ears hurt. It was pretty amazing. Ear plugs may have been a good move given that I spent the gig right in front of the left speaker but too late now. Still, a week on and my ears have recovered. My mind though is still stuck on the barrier watching the awesome unwind. Honestly, what a sonic assault in such a fine way. The set flew by in far too short a time, with the ‘JUST SAY NO TO THE PSYCHO RIGHT-WING CAPITALIST FASCIST INDUSTRIAL DEATH MACHINE’ opener ‘Bodies for Money’ the absolute stand out. 

Needless to say, by the end of Sundays show I was half deaf, tired and ready to crash. Yet, I would happily have listened to a double length set from GNOD. I was not quite ready to leave. However, leave I did. I think that, all in all, sums up a wonderful festival. Once I got home, all the new vinyl were listened too and plans for catching Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs were being made.
All in all, Rocket Twenty was ace. No two ways about it. The crowd was pretty much awesome, there were always great bands to hear (even if I wasn’t much of a fan when I did) and I could get a brew – something you cannot underestimate. 

Happy birthday Rocket Records. I look forward to your future releases.

Friday, May 13, 2016


My music blog. Been whhhhiiiile. eeps. Sorry. i kinda spent a while concentrating on sorting out the whole 'being trans*' thing in my other blog. But now I feel the need to write. 

Why? Well, last night I went to watch a band called Wheatus. A dear friend of mine is a die-hard fan and I figured 'why not'. I like a gig, I like the genre and I knew I expected a good crowd. It was not just to get my gig numbers up for the year following a few lean years - well, maybe a little. This indie girl gotta retain some indie-cred. But can I do it with Wheatus? Well, that may be up for debate, but I'm not much one for caring about that.

For those that need a reminder, Wheatus had a huge hit in the indie-world with Teenage Dirtbag. They also did a reasonable cover of 'A little respect' which prob got played at my club nights - sounds like something I would do. After that I heard little except that they were around. And then I didn't even hear that. Seems like they were still going, putting out albums and touring. I just missed it all. 

I'll be honest, Wheatus came a little late to the party for me. Around the same time as bands like Sum-41, Alien Ant Farm and Fountains of Wayne (I want an alien for Christmas). Also the time that bands l liked, Offspring, Green Day and Blink 182, became pretty much unlistenable. I was not a fan of that whole alt scene from the US at that time. Wheatus were not on my agenda.

I'm not totally sure what I was listening to right then. Given that it was turn of the millennium, I guess a lot of cali-punk, old school punk and as much twee stuff as I could get my ears on. I had a club night playing rather obscure alt-indie around then (Psycho Killer - with as much unknown euro indie as I could find pre-internet), another playing alt-indie called Ultra-Violet (including Belle and Sebastian and Sonic Youth and a lot of earlier brit-pop for some reason) and also Dj'd at me mates punk night around then (which led me having to hide from a Manchester biker gang for fear of unpleasantness for quite a while). 

So 'still going surprise' aside, what did I expect from the gig? See, I put Wheatus in the same vein as some bands that I have very little care for above. But really, I expected something in the vein of Weezer, Cake and Nada Surf (minus the awesome but depressing songs - although I cannot say I have listened to any Wheatus albums so maybe they are out there too) - bands I like! 

What did I get? Well, yer. Pretty much that actually; with a smatter of bands like Nerf Herder - the more chilled out end of the whole Cali-pop/punk scene. 

But the important thing is: It was fun. The band had fun. The crowd had fun. Yes, I invaded into the sanctum of a tight fan-group and got the rewards for doing so. It is a while since I have seen a band on stage that actually look like they want to be there and are prepared to be goofy and be seen being goofy. Most songs right off the bat were audience requests. There was a back and forth that I've missed out on for a while listening to my moody, dark/depressing musical obscurities or super serious singer/song writers (with the clear exception of the Wildhearts). Not that I would give up the bands I tend to watch nowadays, but it was refreshing. The band even came right out into the crowd as soon as the show stopped. It had all the group feeling of an Amander Palmer / Belle and Sebastian / Emilie Autumn gig - the love from the fans being absolute and clear, without being inaccessible as it can at those shows. Course, the scale helps - it wasn't the biggest crowd.

Side note 1 - some dude was wearing a t-shirt from Abart. Abart was a small club in Zurich. Sorta the indie hub of Zurich and a place I saw a few gigs (the Lemonheads and Amanda Palmer with the Grand Theft Orchestra) - although the layout was a mess for gigs! There were unhappy stirrings when the club was closed, and I was with them despite being a relative newcomer to the city. Anyways, there was this guy and he was wearing a t-shirt from the club. That was pretty cool to me.

Musically it was fun. I enjoyed most songs although it is not always as easy to be as enamoured with songs that were new to me. But I liked them for what they were. I felt a little bad as I know the bassist caught me yawning my head off a few times but I was pretty shattered! These things happen.

The first support did nothing for me. I know I could have done the cover of AC/DCs 'you shook me all night long' better, and I having even played that song. Her glasses were too try-hard kooky too. Bithchy, but I really didn't like them. The next band sounded like the Postal Service. Made me realise I'm over the Postal Service. 

But the main gig - yes, the crowd was great. They knew a bunch of the lyrics and bopped away nicely given that it was an English crowd in attendance. Mostly. Some dude had driven from Holland just for the gig. 

Side note 2 - sorry, but I need to slip in a story that is trans* related. It happens; it is part of my life. And it happened at the gig. Yes,  I am trans*. Yes, people know. And I have said before in my other blog that I occasionally get looks from women that say 'ah, you're trans*. Well done, I support you' or something. Sorta like getting a little gold star. But in truth, I'm not really sure what to do with that star - all it does is remind me how much I stand out. But it is well meant and I take it as such. Last night I got such a loo from a girl at the bar. Just burst out laughing (discussing why pets are just such bad pets, very judgmental...), so the moment passed. Later, I realised that the same girl was stood nearby with her bloke. I felt like I'd been a little rude, so I made sure to smile over. Plus, good looking girl who caught my attention. Why? Nothing out of the ordinary but there was something in the back of my mind. Over an hour I noticed: hips just a little too thin, arms a little too muscular, hairline a little high and Adams Apple a little too pokey... damn. Had I not had my (somewhat poor) trans-radar on I would not have even noticed. Such subtle things, but she looked amazing. Bitch! Lol. But yer, still on my mind given what I'd been thinking when she first gave me a knowing look earlier. Maybe one day I'll be in the same passing boat as her. 


All in all, proper glad I went. It was a good night out, a lovely gig to be part of and I was in awesome company, which always helps. Would I have gone on my own, no. Will I rush out and buy the CDs... no. The days of such music are passed for me. Would I go if asked by the same folks, yer. 


Which says a lot coming from me.

whilst listening to this i was listening to Teeth of the Sea 'Highly Deadly Black Tarantula'' and The Unicorns 'Who will cut our hair when we're gone?'

Friday, January 31, 2014

THAT missed/ing gig...

Ah, the Ravonettes. See, I went to see Supergrass with Nathan - and Christian I think. Sweet gig. Supergrass were amazing. The last time I saw them. Life on other planets tour I guess. I never got into that album. Just never clicked. Which is a shame after the majesty that was In it for the money. Poor album aside, they were ace live. Really regret not going to the fair-well tour. Seems I only ever really regret missed gigs more than anything...

Anyways, that aside. They were supported by this new Danish band called The Ravonettes.
Damn. The first single had just come out, Attack of the ghost rider. What a sound. Garagy/sleazy/grungy/surf rock. They went on to release a lot of albums (still do) and I stuck with the band for a long time. In truth, the last few have sounded like more of the same. 

Live they remain amazing tho. I caught them, hmm, I wanna say not too long ago but it was when I lived with Dave and that was a LONG time ago. His band, Nine Black Alps (a critically under-rated band. Not the first in this blog. And I do not say it cause they are mates. I really did love them. First album, Everything Is - if you like rock - or grunge especially - you MUST own it anyways...), were playing at Leeds Festival so I got a backstage pass for a day. i.e. nice toilets and Juliette and the Licks  were, ahem, watch from behind. Still, that was the last time I saw them. I watched them with Anna and thought they would have lost something. But live they were still just fantastic. Really commanded your attention. I would happily go see them again now, dull albums aside.

But anyways, that first EP, whip it on, was really something. But that was not quite released so we knew little by them (in the glory days pre-youtube!!!). So just one single, some buzz and supporting Supergrass. I guess NME or whatever the kids read then were all over them after ace reviews. The crowd was full of, what would now be called hipsters now but back then were just the NME drones. Either way, they got a great reception. And they deserved it - they were ace.

So yer, I got back. Grabbed the EP released the following week. But, more importantly, me n Nath grabbed tickets to see them play the Roadhouse a few weeks later. And the buzz, added to sterling reviews, meant that it sold out pretty darn I was pretty chuffed with that.

The Roadhouse. Such a small venue in Manchester but held some of my favourite gigs ever. Compulsion (I met Garratt Lee before the show and hung for a while. He came on stage, saw me and said "Hi" to me in front of me mates. THAT was AWESOME. It may have only been the Roadhouse but I bloody loved that band and their albums so size does not matter at all to me (head, gutter, out) - I was star-struck!) 

The Evil Superstars supported them. Also ace, if sorta insane - the lyrics "I want to paint the refrigerator, but it's already done" and the most songs on the first album, possibly excluding Satan is in my ass, are silly works of genius. The second album with sad, sad planet was ace. Both albums are well worth searching down for a piece of insane rock history of the most minor kind. Worth noting, I spoke with Mauro their singer. Really nice guy and is now the guitarist for my fav. ever band dEUS. I was stood next to him at a dEUS gig at Rote Fabrik in Zurich (during the support act), an ace venue btw! I was going to remind him of our chat many years earlier but I couldn't hear bugger all cause the decidedly average support act were too loud :)
I also saw 5,6,7,8's tho I didn't see much as the stage was about 10 mm high and the band were so damn short so I ended up catching up with Suzanne the entire time. I saw many mates bands there, Cable, Feeder (the later before they became popular, dull and just plane rubbish).

And my favourite Roadhouse show that will ever be - Baby Chaos. I love this band so much. So powerful, deep, heart wrenching and really amazingly crafted songs. Just so well constructed. I am sure I will wax on about them again. But this is of particular note as I loved it so much and it was their only proper headline tour as Baby Chaos. That they never hit it big is one of rocks biggest cock-ups. So damn unlucky. If I hit it rich I will beg them to play a show for me. Happily beg. (And pay any price. So yer, I need to be mid-rich...)
To reiterate - I love Baby Chaos.

Where was I? Oh yes - the Ravonettes. So they were playing the Roadhouse and were generating a shed load of buzz. Me and Nath grabbed tickets and it soon sold out. The night of the show, the EP well digested, I was really pretty excited. We met, drank some drinks. 

Then it got fuzzy...

...and I woke up with a stinker of a headache the next day. 

I rang Nath, of course, and asked what the hell happened and why we didn't go to the gig - seeing as I was so excited about it. I was pretty annoyed we missed it. Figured something weird happened. But, with the head haze, I could not quite figure it out.

Turns out we did go.

I usually remember everything from night out (which is weird cause my usual recall is poor to say the least. If I had been the main protagonist in Total Recall, the movie would have been rubbish as I would never have remembered any past life. Just domestic bliss with Sharon Stone - could be worse for me but not really movie worthy). Still, there are two nights I have no recollection of. One caused an ex to throw a bottle of booze at my head the next time I saw her (and no-one would ever tell me why - although to be fair to me, she did was pretty mental anyways). 

And this one. I have no idea how the Ravonettes were that night, tho I expect they were awesome.
On the plus side, it seems I did manage to liberate Nathans chicken burger - before it was captured in his stomach, letting it know the power of flight - at some guys stood at the crack bus stop on Oldham Road and whom we then had to beat a hasty retreat from. 

Ah, the idiocy of youth.

Whilst writing this entry I was listening to The Beautiful People, The Beautiful People EP, and Fred Woods, Documenta, Clinic Kills -Free Reign. Enjoy :)

Future of the Left, ATP and other stuff

A few months back I was sonically assaulted by Future of the Left. Not the band themselves, but the music the band play. Defiantly not the band. I cannot see how it could be at all moral to share a police statement in my blog. And rest assured, if the band did assault me I would go to the police station and report it because that sort of thing is really not on (even from the bassist - wrong is wrong). 

And I love them despite the blood dripping from my ears. The shear ferocity of the music left me tired, jittery, with a huge throbbing headache. I LIKED it.

OK. Yes. It is now post All Tomorrow Parties and I started to write this before then. I could tidy up the continuity but, you know what, I like it more like this. Feel yourself warned. Plus, well, I spent ages writing and editing it anyway. Blogs take bloody forever to write. Well, me at least. I hope I get quicker, I have a shed load more to share. Right, back to the point tangent (I have read ahead).

This year I was lucky enough to see both The Dirty Three (twice actually), Mudhoney (playing mainly from, oh yes, Superfuzz Bigmuff), Reignwolf (new band from Jordan Cook - amazing, amazing musician and live set. Check him out. I saw him four times this year and loved each show. You may or may not have heard it hear first folks!) and Shellac (who I will be watching twice this weekend at a Shellac curated ATP). I say lucky because these bands have unique sounds, extremely skilled members (mind out of gutter please) and, most importantly, a ferocious live act that just makes you stand there, gawping with a mouth open large enough to fit in a full satsuma in sideways. (OK, Mudhoney I did not stand gawping. That was my first moshpit in a long time...) Anyways, these moments will stick with me as live highlights for a very long time. I have had this too rarely given the number of bands I watch, but it does happen a lot.

When I heard dEUS live, with particular reference to their live rendition of Roses, I experienced this for the first time (pre single / 2nd proper album release - this was my first listen to the song). A moment I will never forget - it has been over 15 years so I'm not exaggerating. My jaw dropped open and I knew that this was a very special song indeed, one that would continue to give me tingles in years to come. And proved to do so. Haunting, beautiful and just so damn well put together. As did the rest of the gig. They were amazing. But Roses stole the show. (These days, every time they play Suds and Sodas I have the same feeling...) dEUS live shows will a topic of a future blog, make no mistake.

Photo by CMBarker © 2009: half appropriate picture of dEUS at Pukkelpop 2009 as i do not have any other appropriate ones and want to break the blog up a little :)

Another example was the first live show (ever) of Nine Black Alps. I listened and knew what I heard was good. The awesome raw grunge sound carried out by people that loved it the first time round (man, musically the 90's were a great time to grow up). This was ~20 years after the year that punk broke and way before the now-ish revival. In many ways the timing was terrible for them but not totally as I was there so it worked out neat for me. These guys are seriously passed over. 

Disclaimer - I do count these guys as friends and did live with Dave (guitarist) when I saw this show. This does not diminish the fact that I was wowed by this gig - I am a lot harsher on friend's bands. So, yes, this really was great and the surrounding hype was totally justified.

On record I do not often have that moment. It happens, but it is much rarer. Many, many times I have to listen to an album a whole bunch of times, get familiar with it, before I come to love it. Heck, Modest Mouse is a band I now count as a favourite but it took me years to get them. 

There are instant loves, of course - some albums that I just love straight away. But I would say most of my favourite albums and bands are ones that needed me to put the effort into getting to know.

There are also some albums that I hear first time and make me want to smash things if have the energy left after being, myself, smashed by the waves generated from my speakers. Not due to the volume, but just the power of the songs on play (I have a terrible music set up and I live in Switzerland right now, know for intense noise policing - but once my medical insurance pays up I have a sweet Rega set up in sight then it is back to the UK to bag me one of those noise pollution cease and desist letters). 

But albums can achieve my jaw down moment; loving it instantly whilst feeling crushed by the sheer force of the singer, lyrics and musical accompaniment. 

One such album was Baby Chaos, Safe Sex, Designer Drugs and the Death of Rock and Roll. Again, a passed by band that never hit their potential and still, getting towards 20 years later, one of my favourites. How Love Your Self Abuse did not make them huge is one of the travesties of rock music history. 

Another is the Death From Above 1979 album. This is not favourite albums of mine, but I still get that head pounding feeling when it is on and I do love to listen to it immensely. If I have this moment of total revelation, live or on album, then the moment will stick with. This is a good thing - providing there is not a subsequent 'oh no, this album is actually really poop' moment afterwards.

I got that feeling again last night with FOTL. So I am not saying this will be one of my favourite albums ever. It is way too soon to be making such a huge call in that respect. But the moment of listening to them will sure stay with me whenever I remember it (which sounds lame but I remember these things a lot, as you will, over time, come to tell from this blog). I cannot wait to see them on Saturday at ATP.

As for the music. Well. It is ferocious, which I expect I already covered. And they have some amazing song titles. You need Satan more than needs you, I need to know how to kill a cat, and (as pointed out by Michael the Gray), Robocop 4 - fuck off Robocop. The songs are more intense than the titles. I am still shaking just from listening to some of them. That or alcohol withdrawal.  

And I listened to all the albums, finding them to be equally great. Song of note has to be the hope that house built. That song is brutal and catchy as hell. In fact, I will search it down after I complete this current task and listen to it again. I really want to... Also Drink Nike. Another great song. Arming eritrea is amazing. And Robocop 4..., wow. There are loads. These are the few I have pulled out for you to check out. Do so, I hope you enjoy!

I also think that the new album, The Plot Against Common Sense has some great, more subtle songs than you might expect from a band that I have just talked about blasting my eardrums out. I may try and follow this up with a review of the album at some point but it may take a while (too much to share with you fine folk). The new album really is a sometimes subtly, well put together, cleverly scripted, powerhouse.

Speaking of lyrics (which I did in a previous draft at this stage), they really are damn good. They are written in a manner I think is smart, funny and cutting at the same time. A manner to rival those of Carter USM. And if you do not know what I mean by that, you have probably missed the point of Carter USM's total career and probably put them to one side as an unimportant or rubbish band. Similar to NOFX. Those guys can play and write. Yes, they can be crass, in a South Park way. But they can also make a message. And I doubt either will really be appreciated for this, which is a shame. I hope FOTL do not also suffer from this. Probably. People do not like to realise anything they do not want to. 

Photo by CMBarker © 2010: poor, even less relevant picture but, again, I just wanna break up the text!. This time, NOFX at Pukkelpop 2010

What is good about the lyrics? Well, find out yourself on the new album and others. An assessment of Michael Bay's lack of understanding about movies seems fair which does make you wonder why the hell he is such a god in the industry (see Robocop 4). Moral outrage at the world's injustices but a lack of 'arsedness' to actually try and make a difference is what I took from Sorry dad, I was late for the riots. But I now know better. It is clear that it is more about 'old-money' rich people participating in riots for the jolly of it but I like both ideas and will continue to have them as mine. I also want to rant about the jist of Sheena is a t-shirt salesman but it is probably pretty obvious. My opinion, Buying merchandise from a band, at a show, is ace (see below). I am a merch whore. But buying from a supermarket when you would not recognise the band on the radio... Ugh.

Notes on achieving orbit contains the lyrics "Girls Aloud were the new Nirvana. Then any old shit was the new Nirvana". I hear the phrase 'new Nirvana' a lot. And people should not use it. A band from years gone by, Compulsion were the victims of this tag. The first album was 'too much like Nirvana'. The second album was 'not enough like Nirvana'. Damn it. They were a freaking awesome band. Could they not have been judged just on merit. They did not last long enough and I miss them! (Plus Garret Lee was a proper nice bloke. I met him in Manchester and hung out for a few hours. I still cherish his autograph on the my copy of the The future is medium CD.)

I have not heard fans speak of the recent Macca led Nirvana referred to in the same way. You know, the new Nirvana...

After writing this I came across a blog post from Andy Falkous (the singer from FOTL). Again, I like the way he writes. I link his blog, a reply to a review of the new album. It may be bad form, but this is addressed by Andy himself. And why the hell should he not have right to reply? In his own blog. Well, fair enough. 

Plus it is something of an annoyance to me. There are a lot of people out there, getting paid money to write about music. I would love to do this. Really, I would. Oh, look. I am doing it now, for free! But nothing bothers me more than a badly written review the wrong person. You know what I mean. I do not mean those articles where you do not agree with what is written. When the wrong person writes a review, you can tell. It comes across. I should not write a review of a Justin Bieber album 'cause I just do not care. I should not write a review of Coldplay because I despise the band.

I like to see that my bands care. And the blog above proves some do.

Note: To write a review worth writing, you need passion about music. If this feeling does not come across then either there is no passion or they are bad writers. Even a review of a 'meh' band can have some passion in it, just not aimed at that band. There are more people out there, let them do it. Go wait tables or something that you equally do not care about. 

(Plenty of people waiting tables would love the chance and do it well. So I make them writers. Over time they become lazy and write bad reviews. At this point I put them back to waiting tables and take the original writers who now have rediscovered their passion. I see this as a pendulum arrangement.)

OK, I guess there is kinda a cut down album review snuck in here as I talked a lot about the lyrics from the new album. It is ace. Buy it. (Nice little hidden track too, if it can really be called hidden on vinyl...)

There is also an ace live album. It is probably the best album to start with and a painful joy to listen to. Which gives me further enthusiasm for me trip to see them at the weekend. It is called Last night I saved her from vampires and it is well ace. Yes. Well ace. 

The songs are tight and there is extra joy coming from the dialogue accompanying the goods. The singer takes the moral high ground and does not launch into a tirade about the evils of Coldplay (almost typed cosplay...) and their singer Chris Martin - something that I cannot promise. Instead, he hits out at Reverend and the Makers. Not sure how I can call it the moral high ground when phrases such as 'punchable face', 'you just want to end his singing career' and 'they were so shit, they created new levels to be shit on, and that was just his face' are aimed at the band and singer. 

But, it was not the easy mark, Coldplay, so that is a moral high ground to me. 

I do not have a problem with Reverend and the Makers. In fact, I have no problem with them because I have no opinion. None at all. And let's be honest, for a band that is the worst thing. Hating a band, well, that is a reaction. Loving them, another. But just not caring. I probably would not recognise any songs if I heard them in the supermarket. And I have no interest in listening to any more of their songs than I have heard already. I am always interesting in listening to new stuff. 

Even the shock of an average pop artist such as Rhianna getting together to sing with her abusive ex has an impact on my life above that of Reverend and the Makers.  (Note: domestic violence, unforgivable. Forgiving for publicity, well, there is a place reserved for those people.) So that is how beige a band Reverend are to me.

And the sad truth is that whilst I am sure that a whole bunch of Rev and co. fans were devastated to hear of their split up, in reality the same fan most likely forgot about the band a few months later, stopped listening to the album further down the line and, in the future, will never listen to, or even think of, the band again. That is sad. 

And it is these kind of people that make good shows sell out fast so that I miss out. I hate those people. You know the ones. They will talk all the way through the show apart from when they pause to shout ' I love you'. They are wearing Ramones tees from Tesco (I do relevant me). So there you go. But, Reverend somehow earned a special kind of loathing from FOTL and so, now, I have dedicated more time writing about them that actually listening to them ever. Ironic. (Well, most of this was aimed at people, not the band, and that is fine by me.)

Ok. So a few months after starting to write this article, ATP is over.  And it was ace. Shellac put on a great festival and played fan-frickin-tastic. What a lovely little festival. I loved the community feel. So much more personal. Wandering round and bumping into Steve Albini and Kim Deal, wow. And the ace bassist from FOTL. Man, she was lovely. Pretty, sure. Real pretty. El Scorchio. And a neat bass / keyboard player. And really, really nice to talk to.

Photo by CMBarker © 2012: Kinda neat pic silhouette of Shellac at Primavera 2012. Note Bob Weston's glow in the dark orange pants.

I dunno. Maybe at a normal festival I would have bumped into her too but I totally did at ATP thanks to the lovely cosy atmosphere, and I got plenty of time from her. Sure, I was buying merch, but I had already given my money. She still gave time. I like that. Many musicians would do that. But you just gotta find them and at ATP, well, they are right there. In truth I ended up getting shy and headed off cause, as I said, she was cute. Didn't even get my LP signed. Eep.

Oh, and buy merch. at live show people. For smaller bands it really does keep them afloat. I mean, you know, make sure you like the band first. Otherwise it is your hard earned monies down the drain. But we need to support our music industry. I want new bands, new albums, more live shows. And I want them from great, small indie bands. I still pine for fav. bands of mine that perished in times gone by that were better environments for musicians. These are bad times. Do your bit (if you can!).

OK, so apart from me daydreaming about the bassist (Julia Ruzicka btw - awho is amazingly cool and an awesome bassist / singer), there was also awesome music from Future of the Left. Lived up to my expectations, totally. Set list... cannot remember. This is no professional review here. They did slip in a few Mclusky songs which was ace: Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues and, erm, something else... Michael went mental over them. (Tho not as mental as a few nights earlier...)

The FOTL set was ace. It contained a whole bunch of songs that I enjoyed. And between there was lots of great banter as I had expected from the live album. "ladies and Belle and Sebastian fans"  made me laugh. Oh, and "are there any Metallica fans out there. Yes? Well, this is a keyboard...". Ace. The keyboard was used to great effect in songs like failed Olympic bid and others, so you know. And Robocop 4, Drink Nike, Manchasm and You need Satan more than he needs you were my highlights of a lively, energy filled live show. Check them out.

Long story summarised, I love the band. Love the new album. Loved them live. I want more.
I will continue to listen to Future of the Left for ages and probably (my) forever. And I will continue to get headaches from listening to some of their songs.

Till next time.

Whilst writing this entry I was listening to Lonely, dear, the Citadel band, and Future of the Left, Last night I saved her from vampires, Nick Cave - Abattoir Blues and The Kills -Pressure Point. Enjoy J