Friday, November 27, 2015

Sunday Xpress's end of the year bash!

Awwwwwwwwwwwwww, going to miss this one now I'm in deepest Devon but if you're in or around Brum there's frankly no excuse. Yet another awesome line up with one of the first ever live outings for noise rockers The CPM Connection (with added Miles Perhower) and Hearing Aid favourites The Courtesy Group. And it's all ruddy free. Kick off's at 4pm with open mic slots (which are always hugely entertaining). Pop along and Xpress yourself!

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Mercury’s rising...

Almost time for this year’s Mercury Prize winner to be announced (one of the few awards I pay any attention to these days) and I’ve certainly got my favourites, in no particular order they are (along with the pick of their respective albums):


Gaz Coombes  


I rarely back the winner, although sacrificing that goat to ensure Anthony and the Johnsons won a few years back seemed to work, but who knows, fingers crossed for one of the three listed above. Needless to say in the spirit of friendly competition  good luck to all the rest of those on the shortlist, just in case I happen to end up sat next to them on a plane...who am I trying to kid...train...oh, alright then...bus. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Aimless Comet - Roscoe Balaban

It's always a treat to have a cool new track spurt out of whatever social media nipple you happen to be suckling on and today's (via Facebook...who sadly seemed to have banned nipples...lady ones at least...naughty nipples) comes from Roscoe Balaban who, for many years, has figured in the ever shifting line up of Hearing Aid favourites Miss Halliwell. Young Roscoe's solo offering is as raw as a papercut drenched in vinegar, a '4 real' cry from the gut underpinned by some rather fine and atmospheric guitar work. The boy can sing too, pleasingly retaining a little Black Country twang for good measure. Aimless it certainly ain't. Highly recommended.  

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

In these shoes...

It's been a difficult old week for reasons that are too personal for this humble little blog, but suffice to say I have my reasons for posting up this vid...and not just because it's a cracking tune. Enjoy.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Jim Causley @ The Beehive, Honiton – Saturday 7th November 2015

“It’s great to ‘bee’ here”, as far as opening lines are concerned playing a venue like The Beehive is pretty much a pun lover’s gift. Somehow though Jim Causley resisted overdoing it (I’d have gone on about the place having a nice buzz and why doesn’t Sting play here etc etc...which is probably why I’m not allowed on a stage anymore) before playing a two hour solo set showcasing one of folk’s finest talents singing an equally fine selection of self penned, adapted (in the case of setting ancestor Charles Causeley’s poems to music) traditional tracks and covers (one particular highlight being a suitably wry rendition of Chris Wood’s version of Frank Mansell’s poem The Cottager’s Reply). Causley’s an utter delight from start to finish. A natural and instantly engaging performer, peppering his two sets with anecdotes and local history (like fellow young folkie Sam Lee Jim has a clear passion for preserving the material he sings and hopefully passing it on to future generations) you get the distinct impression that he could’ve played all night and most of the following day for that matter if he’d been allowed. With songs like the moving Honiton Lace and In The Sidings, plus a more Rambling Syd Rumpo style tune about some bloke mowing a young lady’s ‘field’ (ahem...), I’d have happily listened to him too. Jim-ply the best.

PS: As regular readers might know I’ve recently moved to an East Devon village called Whimple which, until recently, Jim called home and it was nice to be able to whoop and holler like loons whenever he mentioned the place (even if we’ve only been here for 5 minutes). Hopefully Jim’ll be back for the legendary Whimple Wassail (huge fun) on January 17th.   

PPS: What a great venue The Beehive is! Thoroughly recommended for performers and punters alike. 

Holy Pinto - Best Pals

The world's run by lizards you know, well at least it is if you believe some of the odder theories out there...giant lizards pretending to be people...the Queen...lizard...Dave Cameron...lizard...Cheryl Cole (or whatever's she's called this week)...lizard...well, you can kind of see the last one. Anyway, to kick off the new week here's a new track from Canterbury's finest Holy Pinto featuring a giant lizard (see, there was a link in there somewhere). Whether you're a lizard or not it's a darn fine slice of indie punk that starts off all gentle and lullaby-ish (albeit a pretty twisted lullaby if you listen to the lyrics) before exploding into a bit of a Creep era Radiohead chorus and then onto a bonkers Latin interlude, "there are no rules" indeed. Ace! (fun vid too). Gecko and see 'em live if you get the chance...sorry, it had to be done.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Shit Present / Young Adventurers / Will Rene / Honey Pot @ The Cavern, Exeter – Thursday 5th November 2015

First gig in months and first gig in Exeter too and we picked a cracker (although rather boringly public transport cocked up the end of the night and we had to miss pretty much all of Shit Present’s set to catch the last ruddy train at 11.00...that’s barely tea hiss etc).

If you’ve not been to The Cavern it’s a great little venue, not dissimilar to the Liverpudlian version (or at least the one they ‘created’ after the council turned the real one into park...genius) and the kind of place you instantly feel at home at (or maybe that’s just because I feel at home in a cellar, who knows?). The booze is reasonable (£3.50 for a pint of Thatchers), the sound’s pretty decent and there are plenty of cool nooks and crannies to lurk about in if you want to have a natter (n between sets of course...chatting during a band's set should be punishable by death) or cop off with someone.

Okay, tourist information over with, on with the bands and first up self confessed lo-fi miserablists Honey Pot whose emotionally raw lyrics and downcast vocal delivery could well induce wrist slitting in even the most upbeat personality, but if you subscribe to the old adage that misery loves company there’s something strangely comforting about it all too. I’ve not been a teenager for, ooooh, over a quarter of a century or so but for many of us it’s both the best and worst of times and Honey Pot’s music bravely captures that sense of isolation and confusion (actually it doesn’t get much better as you get older but we’ll gloss over that) which takes real guts. Loved the Vini Reilly-ish guitar sounds too, ace.

Next up, with a song about ear wax amongst other subjects, Will Rene, who could well become a Hearing Aid favourite. Imagine Buddy Holly’s great, great, great grandchild crossed with Jeffrey Lewis, early Elvis (Costello that is) and then add a little dash of Adam Green and Jacques Brel (kudos to Will for his pacey cover of Brel's Le Moribond) into the pot and you might just end up with Will (now there’s one for the geneticists to try). Pick of the set, The Trigger’s Broom Paradox (presumably named after the classic Only Fools and Horses sketch where Trigger get’s an award for using the same broom for 20 odd years before proudly revealing that it’s only had 14 new handles and 17 new heads...) is typical of Will’s material (and, quite possibly personality), cramming in more words and thoughts than normal but somehow creating something rather wonderful. If you’re ever lucky enough to see him live (highly recommended by the way) ask him how many official Bond themes there have been...

I was watching a programme about girls/women in bands the other night and there was some debate about whether you should even mention the fact that a band is all female or not. Of course it really shouldn’t be notable in this day and age but the sad and confusing truth is that, out of the hundreds of bands I’ve seen far over the years, far less than half of them are all female or even have a woman in the line up. I’ve always thought this was an odd thing and no one’s properly explained it to me so I’ll carry on banging on about it until we have more girl/woman/female (delete as applicable) bands like (hence this rambling bit) Young Adventurers.  Riot Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrl meets indie pop and with a lead singer who’s clearly put in the hours in a tattoo parlour Young Adventurers made a glorious racket tonight with Pix(ies) of the bunch Song 4 brilliantly blending punky guitars with more melodic vocals. Ladies of the world pick up thy guitars and play! 

That should have warmed us up neatly for ShitPresent but sadly the last train back to the wonderful wibbly world of Whimple is 11.01 and it’s a 9 mile walk or a mortgage-tastic taxi ride back so we had to leave just as they were getting going which was a bit of a, well, shitter to be honest. I guess that’s what you get for choosing to live in the countryside (to be honest public transport in Brum’s not a huge amount better though). Anyone know of any cheap rooms we can rent for the night to avoid this catastrophe in the future?! Answers on a Shit Present 12 inch single to The Baron, Whimple, Under a Barrel of Cider.   

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Shit Present...great line up!

Exeter's very own pop punksters Shit Present launch their brand new record this Thursday (November 5th) at The Cavern with support from Young Adventurers, Will Rene and Honey Pot (hmmm, wonder if they've ever played The Beehive...see, I'm all over this Devon gig lark already). Tickets are a ridonkuously cheap £5 or £8 with a shiny 12 inch copy of the new single (vinyl, it's the future).

Monday, November 02, 2015

Jim at the Beehive!

Multi Folk Award nominee Jim Causely plays The Beehive in Honiton this Saturday, November 7th, quite possibly performing tracks from his forthcoming new album (Forgotten Kingdom) plus a smattering (at the very least) of traditional tunes to boot. Tickets are just £8 in advance or a tenner on the door...discounts for OABees perhaps? Sorry, couldn't resist that.