Saturday, December 28, 2013

Black Sabbath - Extra photos

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Black Sabbath, Lg Arena, 22/12/13 Live Review

After a quick trip to the loo (it actually took a good 20 minutes just to get up there and back) I managed to get back to see Black Sabbath start almost exactly on time. Those famous devil logos shone out through spotlights from a black stage as red lights flooded the arena. Without any real messing around they started with War Pigs, Ozzy, Tony, Geezer, and Tommy Clufetos were blown up big on the screens behind them as images of war flashed beside them. A trick they repeated throughout the gig, most notably with images of girls and tits for 'dirty girls'  and images of religion for another song (can't remember which one).
It  was pretty obvious that the old geezers seemed to be enjoying themselves a lot during this little gig, Ozzy repeatedly told the audience to jump and go crazy and that he loved us all as well as a few funny bits of stage banter. Tony threw a bucket of water over him and he also briefly wore a santa hat. Ozzy also played up a little bit to his other persona, pretending to bumble around the stage like the old fool many remember from the 'Osbournes' yet when not playing that persona, he was in full 'Prince of Darkness mode, leaning on the mic and letting out the same screeches and screams just like on all the old records, while his voice sounds very rusty on '13' tonight  it hadn't aged a bit.
speaking of '13' the new songs fit alongside the old favourites very nicely, with End of the Beginning, God is Dead' and Age of Reason being particular highlights.
but it was the oldies that people wanted to hear of course. We got 'Black Sabbath' performed complete with pyrotechnics, Iron man, Paranoid, and Fairies wear boots too, but it was 'Children of the Grave that stuck with me, of all the songs that Ozzy told me to jump to this one made me the most.
Tony seems to be doing alright too, while much has been made of his 'health issues' he played all the songs without any problem, and made it all look easy, needless to say the crowd hailed him as the guitar hero/rock god he is.
Bass solos get a bit of a bad rep, yet Geezers short little funky solo was a joy  to behold, yet it was the drum solo that really impressed, i don't know who that guy is but i'm amazed he could carry on afterwards.
The show ended with explosions of purple confetti (it smelled lovely, clearly they ordered purple but forgot to check that it might smell of violets, or other non metal smells) purple balloons filling the stadium like something from a Storm Thorgerson photoshoot. this gig had been a hell of a lot of fun, Ozzy shouted 'See you next year!' and by this performance they seem to have plenty more years in them.

3rd gig i've been to this year with confetti bombs, must be a Brummie thing.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats. Lg Arena, 23/12/13

Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats have been a cult band over the last year or so,  yet Supporting Black Sabbath seems to have given them a big leg up. Obviously Black Sabbath was the main event but i always like to check out new bands, so i'll  tell you about Sabbath in the next blog.
Having said that  i might as well have been watching Black sabbath (In 1971), Uncle Acid Sound, and look a hell of a lot like Black Sabbath. And while they've been tagged as 'psych' by the press, this is just a sign that they're marketed well, (Psychedelia is kind of cool at the moment) because the music is pure stoner rock. Unlike Black Sabbath who've always been famous for showmanship and Ozzy's Larger than life Personality, Uncle Acid thrive on anonymity I never saw any of their faces throughout the whole gig, I wasn't even sure who 'Uncle Acid' was, as all i could see was messes of hair.
There is something strangely hypnotic about this band, each song finds a groove and sort of settles on it, there's a big riff, a simple drum rhythm and they just repeat it, hear the Aptly titled 'Over and Over Again' to see what I mean. The stage show was repetitive too, with the band's movements being repetitive too. with each song being similar but not too similar and a different colour flooding the stage for each song, the show had a hypnotic sense of 'Deja Vu'.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Peace,13/12/13 02 Academy Birmingham

Last Friday I went to see Peace for the 3rd time this year. yet even being the huge Peace fan i am i had to admit that Drenge were one hell of a tough act to follow. I was pretty much knackered after that set, so it was nice to have something slightly less aggressive to listen too. Peace Came on and went straight into 'Waste of Paint' which is one of the highlights off 'In Love'. They've clearly brought back new threads - they've ditched the vintage clothes for classy simple clothes such as black turtlenecks and blazers and overall have slightly more american look- and a new sense of confidence from their Trip to America.
or maybe its just grown naturally, they definitely seemed far more confident on stage this time than when  last I saw them as a support at the academy in February.  Harry's stage banter is no longer mumbled, and "two years ago we played our first gig in Doug's kitchen" was a clearly heard acknowledgment of how far this band have come.
You know how when you go to see a band and they play a 'new song' and its really just an offcut that won't actually make its way onto the album and just isn't as good as everything else on the setlist, well 'Money' isn't one of those songs, its beautiful, and by far the funkiest song they've done yet, despite what one recent live review said, this song bodes well for the next record and i'm hoping they will keep getting funkier.
1998 was also as incredible as ever, this 10 minute jam is still as amazing as it was when it was first released, and this time the surprise halfway through was massive confetti cannons right in the bit at the middle.
watch here \/\/\/\/

(that confetti tasted very salty, and got a bit stuck on my mouth)

you can also hear the beginnings of an awesome guitar solo in that vid.

after that i think there was an encore, Scumbag got played, and Peace followed a trend started by Swim Deep, and covered Wham's 'Last Christmas'.

and  errm then california daze (awkward couples making out next to me) and Bloodshake.

Overall it was pretty awesome, although the euphoric peace and love vibe was soiled slightly by the fight that nearly broke out between two of the sound guys, and the boring wait for propaganda (I went home instead)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Drenge,13/12/13 02 Academy Birmingham

I LOVE DRENGE, I pretty much fell in love with them not long after buying my ticket for this gig. Their album is the perfect thing to listen to after a long evening shift at work, and really seems to reflect how i feel at the moment.
I only got one good photo because I was too busy being squeezed about, moshing jumping, and loving the whole show. There was a great vibe, everyone seemed very respectful, helping those who'd fallen over and letting people in or out of the centre of the crowd. I even bought a DRENGE T shirt before the gig which i used as both a banner and sweat rag. I did all this while wearing a zipped up leather jacket (it was the best way to keep valuables safe). Which i'm pretty proud of considering how hot it got.
The only thing that really came close to a slower ballard was the song 'Fuckabout' which I knew all the words too, and this was followed by the awesome doomy jam 'Lets Pretend', which worked way better in a live setting that i'd have thought. By the end Eoin Loveless was swinging his guitar around and all the hits 'Face Like a Skull', 'Bloodsports' 'Backwaters', Gun Crazy all just sort of blended into each other. For some reason I was the only one there putting up the horns, despite the fact that there is a pretty strong heavy metal streak in this bands sound, although while most metal gigs goers seem to plan their moshpits, this was more spontaneous, gaps would open, people would jump around then those gaps would close  I pretty much used up all my energy for Peace by the end of this set but it was worth it. Their music is amazing live, you can compare it to QOTSA, Nirvana, Black sabbath, White Stripes... Etc but they just sound like Drenge. I saw a lot of love for The Loveless Brothers that night, and they rewarded  it while making the whole thing seem easy.

This'll give you some idea of what it was like

Saturday, December 14, 2013

SuperFood, 13/12/13 02 Academy Birmingham.

yep I was there, last nights Peace, Drenge and Superfood show. and It was AWESOME.
The night started with Superfood who made a pretty decent opening act. Theres a lot of promise in their poppy, yet grungey sou

nd, and songs such as Bubbles, Melting, and Superfood went down brilliantly with the crowd despite all being only a few months old. These songs are full of hooks and melodies and the band played them all without a problem, they get extra points for having a girl bassist too.   The crowd was already starting to mosh about, so they clearly did a pretty good job as support band.

and yeah all i can really say is I watched the show from a distance with a beer, and that yeahh, superfood are pretty good.  but I want to see them in a smaller room as a headline act with a proper long set, as then i think i'd really get the full superfood experience. I was with my mate jason (Pink Violence) and he says theyre getting better and better, so i look forward to seeing them again.

On another note i met a member of the Grapham Water Sailing Club, and he was a pretty cool guy. There will be more on that band in later blogs. Also other news is that Heavy Waves and Leopard have both split up but solo projects are on the way.

Friday, December 13, 2013

RIP, The Child of Lov

At first i didn't believe it. reported that the Singer/Songwriter Professionally known as the Child Of Lov passed away on December 10th following complications after surgery. However i've now read the same from more reliable sources.
He released his amazing self titled album earlier this year to critical acclaim, yet never performed any of the songs live, Little was ever really known about him and he always seemed, sincere, friendly yet quite strange in the interviews i read of his. his music, particularly songs such as 'Give me' and 'Heal' are addictive mixes of Funk, Soul and Hip Hop and his only album is full of variety and proof that this was a hugely talented man.

While 2013 has been amazing year for music, we have lost great artists such as Lou Reed and Ray Manzarek yet the passing of 'Cole Williams' is sadder for me, not just because of how much younger he was but also what he had left to achieve.
I have no doubt that his cult status will grow of time and he may be seen as a cult figure in a Syd Barrett, Dennis Wilson sort of way. So I highly recommend that you check out his self titled record.

Update: I've had a look at the lyrics in my copy of his CD and they now seem to be oddly foreboding.
For example "Up on the mountain hebron, I'm gonna take a bow, up on the mountain Hebron i'm gonna take the clouds. or on 'Give It to the People' 'look into the morning light,walk into the light so bright'.

In fact every lyric now seems to be a sign that he was aware that this would happen.

'One Day, baby, i gotta die, gotta lay down."

 It's a shame he had to so early.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Swordfish records

TempleStreet3aLately i've wanted to buy a few Cd's. No CD's in particular, but i've decided that i should go get them from Swordfish records. this has been inspired by a conversation i had with a customer at work, I saw that she had a beanie with 'Pie and Vinyl' written on it and it led to a painfully hip conversation about local record stores and vinyl players, in which I recommended Swordfish, but mentioned that it is a real hard place to find.
Swordfish was hard to find in it's old location  down by pigeon park, in that alley way it was hard to miss. but it was always a nice little diversion, even if you could get burned under all those records and it was a bit small and dark in there. Swordfish records moved at a new location  at 66 Dalton Street, Birmingham City Centre, which is  much nicer, the new store has more room, more natural light, and i never felt that the stack of promo cds could fall over and kill me like i did at the old store (ok thats an exaggeration). 

This record Store has a hell of a history too, and the record label that is ran alongside the shop put out early releases by bands such as 'Godflesh'  'Lilac Time' and various other obscurities. while also Swordfish has had store appearances, Henry Rollins, Billy Bragg, Mark Ronson & Duran Duran, and  Lenny Kravitz. While notable customers include John Peel, Dave Grohl & The Foo Fighters, Robert Plant, The Horrors, Jamie T, Stuart Maconie, Franz Ferdinand, Mud Honey, Neil Diamond, John Cale, Primal Scream & Jamie Cullum.

The two old blokes running the place seem as if they have been doing it for years, (the website says Swordfish was founded in 1979) and while normally when speaking to a specialist in any store it becomes a competition. I have had conversations with blockbuster staff members where i was struggling to uphold my geekiness. Yet when discussing the amazing local band Table scraps and cassette tapes i almost felt cruel talking at the pace that I did, to such laid back guys.  

I Bought a copy of Table Scraps Cassette EP (I don't even own a cassette player) and walked out vowing to carry on supporting this great little Record Store, and the next time i have the time and the will to walk all the way to the Cul-De-Sac Behind Scruffy Murphy's I will.

Long Live Swordfish Records!

read more about this great place at

Monday, December 2, 2013


BABYPINK’s avatar

The name 'Babypink' has been circling around my twitter feed for a while now. the NME tipped lads have supported Wolf Alice, Superfood, JAWS, Spector and Circa Waves, and seem to be gaining some hype because of it  Only two tracks are online right now but they are both awesome, and both show different sides to this new band.
'Feeble' is a mix of subtle sunny melodies that mixes lo-fi grunge with a more psychedelic tone, while Petrichor just rocks. They've mastered the loud/quiet dynamic really well on these tracks and if they can keep making them like this  look set to follow in Peace's success
both tracks show that Babypink are brilliant at playing melodic indie. its shoegaze -ish  but with an energy that makes it hard to believe these guys could just stand there staring at their shoes.
Two tracks isn't usually a lot to go on but babypink are definitely ones to watch. 

you can hear them both here

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The German Market

Oh German Market how I love you...

All this time you've never really changed have you?

I remember it used to be kind of a tradition that a year or two ago  I'd go with my parents to shop about there for a browse each year.  We'd usually walk round  and then after having bought some cool south american threads and dodgy hotdogs we'd go off.

-Side note: Seriously what the fuck is up with these hotdogs? okey its kind of funny how the bun is far too small for the sausage but when the sausage falls out it a bit annoying, its £4 for them too which is a lot.
and why do i get so addicted to them?

Anyway now that i'm 21 it was the perfect time to finally try to market as an adult, as the only place where getting wankered at 5 in the afternoon  and adding condiments to food through massive squirty udders is sort of acceptable. It was nice getting a bit drunk with colleagues and friends from work, even though i was a bit bewildered by how the whole buying a drink system worked.  It was something about a deposit and a token, it means you get your beer quicker but you don't even know what you're drinking, not that it was too amazing anyway.
It was fun though, untill we all got too cold and just decided to go to Wetherspoons instead.

still I do love the German Market though, I love the food, the crappy spiritual hoohah, and useless wooden carvings, i love the lot of it.

Oh german market.. Don't you ever change

Friday, November 15, 2013

Solihull (my home town) is officially the best place to live in the UK

"At least according to a survey that found residents there enjoying higher incomes, better employment rates and longer life expectancies.

Meanwhile, the Quality of Life Index conducted by energy comparison site,, found that Scotland is where the 'worst' places to live in the UK can be found.

The study looked at 38 local areas and 24 different factors to determine where the 'best' place to live is. These factors included average salaries, disposable household income and the cost of essential goods, such as fuel, food and energy bills.
It found that Solihull, located nine miles outside of Birmingham, was top for lifestyle factors such as working hours and life expectancy.
While residents of this region pay more for houses and face higher bills, these costs are outweighed by comfortable average salaries of £27,435 a year and relatively high levels of disposable income, which sit at £17,359 annually.
Mortality rates are low and life expectancy is notably high in this area, with men expected to live until 81 and women 84. 
The top ten places to live in the UK according to Uswitch.comAmong the least desirable were regions in Scotland, with East and North Ayrshire ranked as the 'worst' place to live in the UK. In this area, life expectancy is lower - 75 for men and 80 for women - and the average salary is £24, 242 a year. This leaves a disposable income of £14, 430 per year.
The study also found that along with all these factors, people living there enjoy much less sunshine.
Rather less surprisingly, West London remains the richest region in the UK average salaries of £35,500 and an annual disposable household income of £32,800 – three times higher than disposable income in Nottingham (£10,834).

Copied and Pasted from

Birmingham Bands Your ears deserve to hear part two!

I've contributed yet another little blog to the guys at fairshare!
you can read it here!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Superfood are the new likely lads, it's kind of obvious that they will  be the next big thing to come out of the B-Town scene, yet i've not written about them now because i've not met any of them, seen them live or had any stories to tell. instead however i'm going to tell you everything i DO know about them so you'll be clued up for when these guys break through.

They are now signed to Infectious Records (Alt-J, These New Puritans, Drenge) who are releasing their debut physical release, the single Bubbles and it's B-side 'Melting' on December 9th.
They formed last year and have been gigging and gaining hype since then.
They are Dom - singer, ryan- guitar, emily-bass, carl -drums.
Both their singles so Far, 'Superfood' and Bubbles have been released for free online, and you can hear the former below and the latter at

I'm seeing them support Peace and the Awesome Drenge in December, I'll report with more then. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

An open letter to the music industry

This is something that has been annoying me for some time, and I don't really have anywhere else to get it off my chest so i'm writing about it here. Deluxe Editions. Now i think Deluxe Editions themselves are  an annoying and good example of the greed and laziness of the music industry, but at the end of the day, it's your choice, you get the standard or pay slightly more for the softpack and 3 extra tracks.

What I am talking about is those Deluxe - Deluxe Editions, you know, those ones that come out 4 months after the original.  Lady Gaga's 'The Fame Monster'  is probably the most famous example, at the time it was a huge boost to her career, the album that bridged the line between the naff pop of 'The Fame' to the insane brilliance of 'Born This Way'. Yet I never bought this record, it always annoyed me how these great songs came out in a package with a record I'd already bought, Lady Gaga's 'Little Monsters' didn't mind of course, but then they're happy to get anything she puts out*.
Now 5-ish years down the line, everyone's doing it (Ellie Gouldings pulling of this trick was part of what stopped me listening to her). It's annoying to me because if like me you followed Ellie (or any act you'd care to name) from the beginning, you probably saw her supporting someone else first, got to like her, decided to buy one of the early EP's, read about her in one of the hip magazines and once it came out bought her album,  (on CD or for Vinyl for the dedicated fan)

The Deluxe Deluxe edition package only caters to one type of fan, those who might be late to the party, who heard the hype that the early fans caused and decided to join in. Now there's nothing wrong with this, (I bought MGMT's debut a good year after the rest of the world did) not everyone is a hipster, or is in the right place at the right time. The problem is that while the newer fans get a nice package, the fans who bought the records first time round are either going to have to buy a record twice, ignore the new tracks, or rip the new tracks for free. I don't mind these label tactics when for example, the new tracks are sold separately as an EP.  In fact packaging a new EP and album together is a nice way to encourage listeners, but it's when you can't buy the new tracks as a package, that package comes out 4 months after the original with no warning whatsoever that people are being ripped off. Record Labels need to understand that people who supported the bands from the start are the ones who need rewarding, not the bystanders.
For me the final straw is that DAVID BOWIE is re-releasing 'The Next Day' with a hand full of new tracks. In this case it is completely different because as you know David Bowie is one of the most successful, loved and influential artists of all time, he's not going to win any new fans from this re release, as new fans will be more likely turned on by the standard edition or his classic albums. So obviously, when the next Day Extra comes out unannounced around 6 months after the original, who else can it be aimed at other than the Thin White Duke's long term fans? who not knowing that this record was coming out will likely have to buy the same album again? (and may be less likely to rip the racks for free)
With this blatant example of greed and laziness becoming more common, it's time we as consumers told record labels that this is where the line should be drawn


*No offense to the Little Monsters meant of course.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Broken Witt Rebels

Sometime I find new music. Sometimes new music finds me. I'm friends with one or two of these guys on Facebook, despite the fact that I've not met any of them. and I've been telling them i'll write about them for a while. So i might as well give them a listen.
So how to they sound?
Well kind of like Oasis, i guess but less nasal, and more bluesey, in fact there's a definite blues and classic -rock edge to these guys, especially in the nifty little guitar solos that run throughout the songs.
or as they Put it themselves

"The arrangement of James Tranter’s dominant, layered guitar work, Danny Core’s strong and unique vocals, Luke Davis’s muddy harmonic bass playing and Anthony Byrne’s thunderous drumming are the framework of a band that’s enchanting and irresistible"

  It's obvious that these guys have genuine musical talent, more so than a lot of indie bands. The guitar playing is particularly great on the song below. Effortless, yet complex like all good blues playing.
It all seems to be working for them as they've landed a deal with sound hub records, and are headlining venues throughout Birmingham
UP The Rebels!

Website: -
Twitter: - 
Facebook: - 

Friday, October 18, 2013

I met Jason Bradbury! (the Guy from the Gadget Show)

I missed him the first few times he'd visited my little coffee shop in New Street Station, but this time i was right by him when he came in.  He asked me a question about one of our paninis and I looked at him for as second and said.

'Its' aright I just recognised you'. I answered the question and noticed that he was with one or two mates and that he was completely hyperactive, even more manic than on the telly. He even asked me if i thought he'd had too much coffee, to which I just blankly looked at him sand said 'I don't know how much have you had?

Another awkward moment was when i asked if him and his mate were paying together, to which he replied 'What? are you saying i'm gay?' I'd walked right into that one.

He ordered a Flat White, though he'd clearly had enough coffee. and rather than asking for his name to write on the cup like I do with other customers, I simply wrote 'That Bloke from the Gadget Show', on the side.

It was only a very short meeting but i feel we got on very well, with my dry wit contrasting his coffee assisted hyperactivity. Once again I've got no photos as I was at work but this was definitely the highlight of my day.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

I met Doug From Peace!

I work in a train station in Birmingham.
Some of my co workers have met Jimmy Carr on his way to a train and that guy from the Gadget show passes through yet i miss him every time. This story probably won't mean much to my co-workers but that doesn't matter.

I Finished my shift at 11:00 last night and I was walking home when i saw a familiar looking face, a tall guy in a black coat, with his (presumably) girlfriend, walking past the other way.  It only took me a moment to place him  and what next went something like this.

Me: Hey your that guy from Peace!

Dom: Yeahh

Me: Your Band is AWESOME!

We then did a sort of handshake walked away but then Doug said hey lets do that again!, cue another handshake thing and we then both walked off.  I shouted 'See you in December!' because of course I've got a ticket to see them on the 13th. I just hope he knew that's what i meant.

Sadly (like the time i met Swim Deep's Aussie) i had no camera, but we both had places to be anyway, judging by the speed he was walking he probably had a train to catch. So you'll just have to believe me when i say this happened.

Still, this was kind of the highlight of my week.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Duke: Where are we now EP review.

Dukes first official (as in properly released) EP comes out soon and I've given it a listen.

Let it in starts off the 4 track EP. with guitar riffs that instantly burst out the speakers. It sounds like a statement of intent, immediately showing far more energy than the opener of the last EP. Duke still sound pretty much the same (like Oasis meets Ocean Colour Scene) but the sound is much more beefed up. This is duke 2.0 complete with guitar solos and more riffs and a big chorus.

Whats it got to do with you is a bit more laid back but its a catchy number which has been lodged in my head since I saw them play it live.
Its got a good little riff to it and a nice bluesy sound. I think i remember jack saying something about it live about how its about being a teenager and your parents interfering with your drinking. whatever its about, there's a definite angst to this track.
Going nowhere starts with a more acoustic sound to it but it quickly morphs into a proper rock song.  It ends with a great little guitar solo and what sounds almost like Duke's take on a 'Wall of Sound'.
Finally the EP ends with Take Me Away which is a proper straight forward rock song, the sort that you could imagine hearing on the radio if they were that bit bigger. It ends the EP off very nicely. overall this release shows how far Duke have come in such a short time and shows how much promise they've got for the future.