Friday, December 26, 2014

Curb, Milk Teeth, Live at The Sunflower Lounge, 18/12/14


Last time I saw curb live they headlined the Sunflower lounge, and the tinnitus in my head was so bad that I didn't sleep for the entire night afterwards, and then went into work at 6 am afterwards. Obviously going to the show in the first place was a very bad decision, but the show was awesome and absolutely worth it, despite being a total wreck the morning afterwards. This time I had the day off after. So I could fully appreciate what a great band Curb are. They definitely seem to take influence from britpop, but the cool end of britpop pioneered by Suede rather than the laddish, twattish end of britpop. In fact CURB are pretty damn funky. Things really got crazy about half way through the set, even though they've written plenty of good songs, the first one to hit their soundcloud, 'So High' was the one that got the punters moshing about. I was head-banging instead (I swear I'm one of only 5 people in the world who still does that). All this goes to show what a great song So High Is. By the end the (very, very attractive) girls who started the moshpit were dancing on the 'stage' by the band and the lads who'd come along with them were crowd-surfing.

B-Town Rating: 8.8/10

Milk Teeth

All I can really say about Milk teeth with any real confidence is that they are loud. Really Fucking Loud, a proper punk rock band with a bit of a Simpson's obsession, (they've got some really cool Ralph Wiggum T shirts, Although all their merch is ace). Tonight they played without their usual bassist, as a three piece with two guitarists. Their singer Josh screamed his way through the set, yet these guys are far more raw and grungey than any of those screamo bands. Less people were in the lounge by this point than those who'd come out to see curb. Yet those who remained were genuine fans, a couple of head bangers were right at the front, decked out in denim and patches. While everyone else just moshed. The merch table was knocked over within minutes as people ran into each other. I took a few photos then I joined in the fun. I can't say an awful lot about the bands music as my main memories of the set involve running into people. But Milk Teeth's Music is perfectly suited to that purpose.

B-Town Rating: 6.4/10

Monday, December 22, 2014

Introducing the B-Town Rating.

Writing this blog can be hard at times, Unlike most gig reviewer/photographers this is still just a hobby so I like to join in on the action as much as anyone else, and racking my brains for details on what happened 4 nights ago can be difficult. So I am introducing the B-Town Rating for each bands set that I see. 
It works like this:
  • Songs: The most important one, do I enjoy the songs, do they have catchy hooks or choruses, will they affect my emotions? make me think? or are they just 5 minute blasts of feedback?
  • Style: How do they look? not in the sense of being attractive, but would I want to dress like them, do they look as cool as they sound?
  • Sound: obviously this is down to the sound guy, and I like almost any genre of music but do I like how they sound? is it a unique sound or is it just that one guitar tone that makes me wanna listen to then and get moshing with everyone else?
  • Attitude: Some bands when faced with only a handful of punters, or technical difficulties might sulk  a bit or shout at the sound guy, some take it in their stride and put on amazing shows regardless. Or just as important, do I wanna be in your gang, or do you have an all round coolness that makes me wanna like you?
  • Musical Ability: I'm not the most talented musician in the world but I know when someone else's talent impresses me. 
I might change the criteria around, but I think this what I normally judge an act by.
So I then make a score out of 5 for each one, add it up, multiply it by 2 then divide it by 5. This leaves me with a result out  of 10, which becomes The B-Town Blog Score. Simple. 

Swerve does Weezer/ Vault of Eagles: Live at the Sunflower Lounge, 18/12/14


This was the 3rd time that I'd seen Swerve live, and as always they were great to watch. The only problem is that their set list this time was made up of nothing but Weezer Songs. Which was a bit of a problem for me as I can only actually name 3 Weezer songs of the top of my head (Hashpipe, Beverly Hills, Buddy Holly). Seeing as I am unfamiliar with those songs all I can really say is that they were played well, no bum notes or anything and that their singer has a great voice, a properly powerful, manly one at that. Yet Swerve have plenty of amazing songs of their own (which they didn't play), HoneyDripper being the best (which you can check out online). I had a chat with their singer afterwards and as it turns out he was also in a Kiss tribute band with his dad once. I'm not a fan of Kiss though, so if Swerve make this an annual thing, I'm hoping they'll do Nirvana instead next year.

B-Town Rating 7.2/10

Vault of Eagles

VOE are my new favourite Birmingham* band, they're fronted by two sisters who are  barley twice  the size of their own instruments**. Their take on rock n roll though is much more old school than the grunge or britpop inspired music made by the other Birmingham bands at the moment. It's a mix of sounds that attracted a varied bunch of punters into the Sunflower Lounge, a mix of older rock n rollers, and younger fans.  These guys are talented musicians, particularly their front-woman, Mari Randle. Her  voice is a big part of what makes this band great, personally her singing reminded me of Anna Calvi and Siouxie Sioux, and added a darker, gothic touch to the bands otherwise straight forward rock n roll. The New Double A-side single 'Spoonfed Dead' and Livin' with love' is out now, and both those tracks were highlights of the show. 'Insanity' also showed a slower, more melodic side to the bands sound, stretched out to about 6 minutes, it gave them a chance to jam a bit and show of their musical ability. Overall it was a short but really enjoyable set, and their last until 2015. So you'll have too look out for them then. 

B-Town Rating 8.4/10

*The Facebook says Kidderminster, yet I'm sure they said Birmingham while on stage

Friday, December 19, 2014

PEACE, Tour Supports Announced

Nabbed from their Facebook. I'll be there on the 24th. I'm a little miffed that I'll be missing God Damn (They'll be a tough act to follow), even though Juice are one brummie group I've yet to see.  I've heard good things about Yak, and Ekkah aswell. The latter may have blogs written about them soon.

January 15th – 16th, Liverpool: The Vryll Society
January 17th, Birmingham: God Damn
January 22nd - 23rd,Bristol: YAK
January 24th, Birmingham: Juice
January 29th, Leeds: Carnabells
January 30th – 31st, Sheffield: The Moon
February 5th -6th, Nottingham: The Moon
February 7th, Nottingham: EKKAH
February 9th, London: Ekkah
February 12th -13th, Norwich: Teen Brains
February 14th, Northampton: Neighbour
March 5th - 6th, Newcastle: Yak
March 7th, Newcastle: Coquin Migale
March 12th -14th, Manchester: FLESH
March 17th -18th, Glasgow: Echo Valley
March 19th, Belfast: The Late Twos
March 20th, Dublin: PRINCESS
March 26th -27th, Brighton: High Tyde
March 28th, Brighton: Our Girl

Friday, December 5, 2014

The 30 Best Songs of The Year + Playlist!!

1) Tear The House up, Herve + Zebra Katz
2) Vegemite, King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard
3) Oh My darling, Don't Cry, Run The Jewels
4) Nature Trips, Eyedress
5) Colours to Life, Temples
6) Turn Down For What, DJ Snake
7) Shoe Prints in the Dust, God Damn
8) Sunbathing Animal, Parquet Courts
9) God's Whisper, Raury,
10) Solo Dancing, Indiana,

11) Chimes, Hudson Mohawke, 12) Lost on Me, Peace, 13) Tweet Tweet Tweet, Sleaford Mods, 14) White Knuckle Ride, SLAVES, 15) *Soulless Youth, Eagulls 16) Nervous, ALLUSONDRUGS 17) Chasing Time, Azealia Banks,

18) So High, Curb,

19) U Dug Us All, Vertical Scratchers, 20) Cash Diamond Rings Swimming Pools, DENA, 

21) HoneyDripper, SWERVE,

22) I'm Aquarius, Metronomy, 23) Dirty Sheets, The Orwells, 24) Gravedweller, The Wytches, 25) Solemn Skies, Childhood, 26) Come On Over, Royal Blood, 27) XMAS_EVE10, Aphex Twin, 28) Winter 98, CYMBALS, 29) 100, Dean Blunt, 30) Digital Witness, ST Vincent

Link to the Play list here

*This originally read 'Fancy' by Iggy Azealea. I've changed my mind.