Monday, 29 October 2012


Unpeeled was tiring but fun this Saturday, a tribute to the greatest DJ of the twentieth century, John Peel, with many bands who recorded sessions for the best show on British radio playing forty minute sets at boththe Night and Day and Gullivers. For me the highlights were the heavy psychedelic posse Anthroprophh, Telescopes and Mugstar, who unfortunately had to drop at least two numbers from their set due to keyboard collapse. Blue Orchids, John Hyatt and Groundhogs were also damn good, although I missed the start of Blue Orchids' set due to Yeah Yeah Yeah Noh, a quintessential Peel band whose every song was familiar from late nights listening with headphones under the covers. I spotted four ex members of The Fall, one of whom wasn't even playing!

Inca Babies and Pink Peg Slax played that good ol' rock'n'roll very well. A nice lady platted my hair after Mugstar played which was a new experience for me, hello Nina. I have written a much longer review for "All the Time" but you will have to pay to read that unless you are Rico who deserves a free copy for putting me on the guestlist.

Friday, 26 October 2012

TV Smith and Jim Jones Revue

I wrote a short review of the gig I saw recently by Britain's greatest protest singer TV Smith but rather than blog it I'll give it to Mick Middles to run in his new magazine All the Time, so you will have to buy it if you want to read that. I also reviewed Nightingales ( and Britain's greatest rock'n'roll band the Jim Jones Revue

Monday, 22 October 2012

Acid Mothers Temple and the Carefully Planned Festival

Carlton Melton's new album is a great psychedelic vortex of ecstasy so I tripped all the way to Liverpool to hear them support Acid Mothers Temple which turned out to be a good idea, as Carlton Melton live are way better than even that album suggests, and Acid Mothers were also at their very mind melting best. A big hello to Mimi and Marina two nice ladies from Hamburg, and a thank you to Stevie Eye for his free hotel service. The first band Barberos were also pretty crazy, two drummists and a keyboarder all dressed in grey body suits.

The next day I returned to witness the second Carefully Planned festivalwhich kicked off for me with the ever excellent Plank! who were sounding better than at the Liverpool Psych Fest. Day for Airstrikes proceeded to play a gig approximately ten times better than any I'd heard them play before, and Easter completely obliterated any doubts that they'd be at a loss with the departure of Danny Saul. Gavin has switched to guitar and his brother Richard is playing bass. Also on the first day I think Sex Hands were the best I'd heard them, and I enjoyed Claw the Thin Ice, Well Wisher and the final song of Jesus Knievel's set. Bilge Pump of course totally ruled. I liked their style, thank you very much.

The next day's most manic performance came from Queer'd Science, sounding like a jolly good blast of what Skin Graft records called "now wave" as a pun on "no wave" way before a Manchester gig promoter who puts on mostly pretty lame bands came up with the same idea, albeit for less appropriate music. Pine Barrens were vicious and heavy, Juffage was fun, Hunting Bears played beautiful folk, Burnst were as instumentally crucial as ever and Anaesthetics confessed to liking Blondie.

After a lovely intimate set from the trio Sleeping Dog in The Castle (best venue due to Old Rosie on tap) I tripped out to the Night and Day for a second even more fantastic dose of the Acid Mothers magic. Makoto Kawabata keeps getting better. How is this possible?

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Dan Friel

This new track by Dan Friel sounds jolly and loud enough to obliterate the moronic chatter of the meathead security at the Shitworth Fart Gallery. Perhaps they should book him for the next gig?

Gods Pee

Well behead a fat pig of a Chancellor and shit down his chubby neck if the new album by godspeed you! BLACK EMPEROR isn't the most brilliant and inspirational music I have ever heard. It sounds like armies of angels descending to wage all out victorious apocalyptic war on usurous "free market" capitalism and all the hypocritical horrors it relentlessly perpetuates and then tries to brush under the carpet. With music like this on our side the 99% CAN'T LOSE!

Unsane and Suzuki Junzo

Today I've been having a blast of the new Unsane ( album "Wreck" on
which closes with a great cover of the Flipper classic "Ha Ha Ha."
It sounds like their best yet and the first song "Rats" (not a Sonic Youth or Syd Barrett cover) could be about my dirty dopey naybores Malicious Shitnagaff the Tanzanian loudmouth and pathetic ratfaced David Slobs-born, an alcoholic junkie who is on probation for robbing his mother in order to keep pumping himself full of toxic chemicals that shut down his vacuous mind. The song that sums up those two fools best though is "Thick As Thieves" by The Jam.

Last night I was enjoying some fantastic psychedelic improvisation from a hastily convened quartet of guitarists Nick "Golden Lab" Mitchell, Darren Adcock and Edwin "Sex Hands" Stevens with former Serf Tom Settle on drums.  When I asked him later what the name of the band was, Edwin decided then and there to call them Gaybus. The other former Serf Jon Collin played a quiet solo acoustic guitar improvisation which eventually grew manic with fast finger picking and was better than his support spot for Dylan Carlson the previous evening at Kraak Gallery. Next to enliven the upstairs room at Dulcimer in Chorlton were Part Wild Horses Mane on Both Sides, the dup of drummer Pascal Nichols and flutist Kelly Jane Jones, who played the best snake charmer rattles I've heard from them yet. The main event was Tokyo guitarist Suzuki Junzo, who finished his excellent set with a mighty mind levitating feedback blast feast. I considered it to be the best gig I've attended since Nomeansno finished their tour at Leeds Brudenell Social Club. 

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Hugh Cornwell

Hugh Cornwell and his trio were great last night in Manchester. They played two sets, the first being the new album, the second all of the No More Heroes album then Strange Little Girl for the encore. The new album sounds like his best since La Folie and I just hope the world has ENOUGH TIME left before the RISE OF THE ROBOTS causes the powers that be to inflict a CURFEW as they feel THREATENED. Then we can all learn to drive our very own TANK to SWEDEN!

If he plays Black and White all the way through I will move hell and high water to get to every damn gig!

Afterwards as a bonus I crossed the road to Kro Bar where they now have Old Rosie on tap, and witnessed the whole of Tribal Fighters album launch set.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Police Story

I left the Brudenell Social Club at around 11pm on Saturday the 6th of October with the intention of catching the 11.35pm train back to Manchester Piccadilly. I was cutting it fine, and ran into the station singing a song that summed up my situation, "Enough Time" the last song from the Stranglers' apocalyptic "Black and White" album. The exact words I sang were: "Have you got enough time? What when your face falls apart? Have you got enough time?"

This caused excitement and consternation for police officer number 6921, a slightly overweight man of Asian descent, who pursued me requesting that I stop and be told the error of my ways. When he caught up just before I got to the platform, I refused as I did not wish to miss my train and explained that it would be quite reasonable for him to walk very fast alongside me to deliver his words of wisdom. He instantly lied, informing me that I had been swearing on the station concourse and that children might have heard me and been shocked to the core of their being. As we all know children in Leeds like hanging around the station until midnight to prove that they won't turn into pumpkins. Even though they all swear like builders in the primary school playgrounds, it seemed to be the view of this defender of their morals that hearing a Stranglers song sung loud with no swearing would be a disaster for them worse than the end of all things.

The time wasting fool made me miss my train so after a quick piss in a generic chain pub that was closing at midnight I went in search of him to write down his number, so that I could complain about his trivial harrassment. Before finding him I took the opportunity to count all the children on the station, There were precisely zero. When I found him I requested that he repeat the words that had so offended him. He got very indignant at this and spluttered, " I don't see why I have to do that!" so I told him I didn't see why I had to bother talking to him anymore as I had his number. At this point a colleague of his, number 9226, started to get in on the lying act, claiming vociferously that I had been hanging around the station all evening. I would therefore like anyone who saw me at the Nomeansno gig to get in touch and verify my whereabouts that evening. I think I'll be able to rustle up a hell of a lot more witnesses than he can! I feel I should now pursue a complaint even if just for sheer comedy value. They wasted my time. So now I will try to waste theirs.

Ironically, since the next train was due at 2.26am, I was forced by the actions of 6921 to hang around for over two hours on the station and was therefore at risk of upsetting 9926 who loitered a while in my vicinity making notes as I listened to the radio and made some notes of my own. Several groups of very rowdy drunkards shouted their way across the concourse as I waited, but the police did nothing to stop them. Perhaps by this time of the evening they had found themsleves too understaffed due to the Tory scum austerity con (a scam on the poor to keep their paymasters the bankers rich).

Monday, 8 October 2012


Nomeansno are three older punks who put the young bloods to shame. I just saw them twice over the weekend. Liverpool Kazimier was great despite bassist Rob Wright's monitor problems which led to dropping at least one song from the set. The venue now has Old Rosie scrumpy on tap which is good news. The Leeds Brudenell gig was more fun than any Manchester gig since Killing Joke! Afterwards I got harrased by the police for singing a Stranglers song, took their numbers as they both lied, kissed by a drunk girl on the train, and the found a bottle of vodka near Anal Street.

Nomeansno came on to a remix of "The River" which they were selling on a 12" white vinyl butchery disc. In Leeds I also picked up the support band Beards album as they were much more my tea than the pop punkers in Liverpool. When I saw my friend Jenny on the door at Kazimier the first words I said were from a Undertones song: "You've got my number, why don't you use it?" as she had the numbers for the ripoff credit card sales that advertise at a one pound fee but really add £2.50. Lo and behold the encore included an Undertones song "Male Model," not only synchronous but very funny considering the aged appearance of the venerable Canadian trio. I avoided credit card cons for Leeds by asking the friendly T-shirt / record seller to put me on a list of people who can get into the gig come hell or high water, which was a good idea as Leeds sold out.

Set highlights for me were:

The Tower

Graveyard Shift

The River (full band version opening the set in Leeds for which I was right down the front)

The World Wasn't Built in a Day (spoiled in Liverpool by all the drunks shouting over it)

Cats, Sex and Nazis (which I think they only played in Leeds)

Oh No Bruno (Leeds only)

Ghosts of Time

Would We Be Alive? (Residents cover)

I'm an Asshole (dedicated by Rob to himself)

One song was presumably new as it was unfamiliar to me (Illuminate) and another fast one, possibly a cover, only played in Leeds, I also did not recognise.

Liverpool Psych Fest

My my there were a lot of pretty women at Liverpool Psych Fest!

I write a BIG THANK YOU to Jon Nash, the drummer of Hookworms for putting me on their cheap list.

Mugstar ruled as usual and I nabbed Jason Stoll's setlist at the end of their set:
Black Fountain
In Earth
Bethany Heart / Star

There was a mighty buzz about Dead Skeletons who did not dissappoint, and Hookworms played the best I've seen them yet (third time). The Lucid Dream were much improved since the first time I saw them a couple of years ago.

Two previously unfamiliar bands impressed me; Helicon and Ancient River.

The only low point was that more than half the people seemed to split before Plank! played which was a shame. The first gig I'd seen them do with new drummer Liam was predictably not on a par with the album launch, and I hope Dave's prog tendencies don't go too much further...

Friday, 5 October 2012


Following a quick souncloud search for Live Skull which threw up just one song (from the days before Thalia sang) I found a great set by Thalia which I was previously unaware of:

Amazing really that the song "Searchlight" hasn't been recorded for any of Thalia's better known albums. She just finished recording her new album which will be released by Thrill Jockey in March.

Thalia wrote this: ""Nature of Drones" was a homemade tour CD that we made for an Australian tour that we did. Super limited quantity , we sold the remainder through the Thrill Jockey website."

Monday, 1 October 2012

Sunday Morning Whiteout

The day after the mighty Mugstar conquered Liverpool Psychfest I rediscovered a tape of old John Peel sessions from the days when I was doing as little zoology as possible at university. In amongst the two Dinosaur Jr session, the first three Pixies sessions, a House of Love session and songs by Slint, Bailter Space, Snapper, the Cateran and half a Mudhoney track, was a very nice surprise indeed. I'd forgotten that the Live Skull session featured a brilliantly intenseley immense and otherwise unreleased song. I hadn't written the title on the inlay and so I have emailed former Live Skull singer Thalia Zedek to ask her if she can remember it.

A few days later after a little confusion, Thalia got back to me to inform me that ol' Uncle John P hadn't mentioned the name of the song as the band hadn't given it one.

"The song you are talking about has a chorus that goes something like " Look at you, wrapped up in your regrets, couldn't leave. Said you weren't finished yet, I think you I know what you're waiting for". I don't think it was ever recorded anywhere else and it probably didn't never had a name."