Ten reasons why you should go and see Witch Fever live at the Shacklewell Arms on Wednesday 9th January @WITCHFEVER

January 8, 2019

1. Because they’re awesome

2. Because it’s January and it’s cold and dark and miserable and you need something to fire up your blood for the battles ahead. Witch Fever will fire up your blood.

3. Because they have the riffs of Black Sabbath, the energy of The Stooges and the words of Andrea Dworkin

4. Because their guitarist is really cool. She has that combination of joy, power and aggression that you want in a great guitarist (see video below)

5. Because it’s impossible to take a bad picture of Witch Fever

6. Because John Robb of the Membranes likes them

7. Because Something Leather are supporting and they’re really good as well

8. Because now is their time.

9. Because Witch Fever are so good I’ve run out of words.

10. Because it’s free. Which is ridiculous. You get to see one of the best new brands in the country for free. Go and see them. And buy some merch.

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Merry Blogmas!

December 22, 2018

So I could waffle on about what happened to me in 2018.

But let’s face it, what you really want to know is… what was good this year?

Guitar solo of the year: “(One Less Thing) Before I Die” by Death Valley Girls

Guitarist of the year: Gwenifer Raymond

Gig of the year: a joint tie between Peach Club and Witch Fever.

Album of the year: “Songs of Praise” by Shame

Musical of the year: “Heathers”

Dystopian electro rant of the year: “Disintegration Machine” by Black Slipper

Techno banger of the year: “Hendrexit pursued by a beat” by Lee Sparey

Brexit related track of the year:

Surfin’ rock n roll guitar of the year: “Bomber” by Magno 808

Spotify playlist – best of 2018 

Soundcloud playlist – best of 2018

2019 is already shaping up nicely. Witch Fever are live on the 9th of January (with Something Leather) and Death Valley Girls on 6th March.

Have a good Christmas and best wishes for a peaceful and prosperous new year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Weekend Listening: “Nightingale Sanctuary”

October 6, 2018

I’m obsessed with “Bitches Brew” (what is “Bitches Brew”? It’s not “jazz”. It’s not “rock”. It’s certainly not “jazz rock”. It doesn’t sound like anything Miles Davis recorded before it, or anything he recorded after it. I’ve still never heard anything quite like it) by Miles Davis.

At the start of “Sanctuary” the “ballad” (it doesn’t sound like a ballad. It sound like a army waiting for the start of a battle) that occupies side 4, Davis improvises some phrases and and at the end is a short phrase that sounds to me like a quote from “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square“. He then pauses. It’s like you can hear him thinking “I’ve played that before. I don’t want to play that again”.

Later I discovered that what he is playing at this point is a completely different standard, “I Fall In Love Too Easily” which I’ve never heard.

But I’ve never let getting something completely wrong stop me lurching ahead with an idea.

So what would “A Nightingale Sang” sound like if it was played in the style of “Sanctuary”? Or what would a montage of “A Nightingale Sang” and “Sanctuary” sound like? Simon Hopkins (thanks to him as always) suggested we play them simultaneously but that was well beyond my competence.

You can now find out…

 


Death Valley Girls: “Darkness Rains” ( @DeathValleyGrls )

September 30, 2018

A few years ago I said to myself “I’m old. I probably won’t listen to rock anymore. I expect it’ll just be jazz and classical from now on”.

Then I was messing about on Twitter searching for Iggy Pop. And I discovered Death Valley Girls.

I thought “These people are fun. They sound like The Stooges fronted by Kristen Hersh“.

They I discovered Death Valley Girls second album “Glow in the Dark”. I thought “This is REALLY REALLY good”.

“Glow in the Dark” is as good a rock n roll record as I’ve listened to in all my years on the planet.

Since then I’ve seen Death Valley Girls live twice. The first time, in London, was enormous fun. The second in Brighton was like no other gig I’ve ever been to, a wild, wild night where all the walls came down… How far can too far go? That night things went WAY too far… in a good way…

Now it’s time for Death Valley Girls third album “Darkness Rains”. It’s a more sombre record than it’s predecessor, but we live in sombre times. And alongside plangent metal ballads like “Born Again and Again” where Bonnie sounds like she’s bound to an eternal wheel of fire, is more than enough blood pulsing rock n roll: “Disaster is what we’re after”, “Street Justice” and best of all “(One Less Thing) Before I Die”, one minute and thirty seconds of pure head-shaking fury.

Through Death Valley Girls I’ve discovered other great bands: The Darts, Peach Club and Witch Fever.

So I’d like to thank Death Valley Girls for bringing me so much pleasure and joy, at a time when I really need some.

“Darkness Rains” can be purchased here. Death Valley Girls are on tour through the autumn in the States. If you happen to read this, go and see them! I’m hoping, really hoping that they will play the UK again soon…


How the Internet works now…

September 26, 2018

I’m in Berlin… I saw this… I pressed the button… nothing happened…


Weekend listening: “Brexit Blues”

September 22, 2018

Do you have the Brexit blues?

This may help… or it may not…

Thanks as always to Simon Hopkins.

Full “Odes to Brexit” playlist here:


In the cave…

September 17, 2018


Monday Night Listening: “Hendrexit Persued By Beat” @grooveyardmusic

September 10, 2018

So Lee Sparey took some of my horrible guitar and transformed it into a thing of brutal beauty… God speed to him!


Pride Flag

September 8, 2018


Saturday night listening: Jimi Hendrexit live at the All Weather Backstop Festival

September 1, 2018

Horrible… muddy…

A “Wail of Sound” production.

More “Odes to Brexit” here and here.