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