Tuesday, March 31, 2015

ALLUSONDRUGS, Live at The Flapper (21/3/15)

ALLUSONDRUGS take to the stage with little fuss. No big intro, they just plough straight into the first song. The first note has only just been played and already two of the band members have fallen over. It is amazing how this band are able to play coherently while almost constantly losing balance. The amount of energy the band put in is incredible and after seeing them play to only a handful of punters last year, I was really happy to see them play to a packed out flapper. The rise in popularity is partly down to the release of their self titled Ep, and singles such as 'Am I Weird?' which ensured that the crowd could sing along to amazing songs, like Nervous, and Cherry Pie (not a cover version), with the bands singer, Jason.
Jason is a great front-man, friendly, cheeky and a great guy. He is the only band member whose face can be seen under his hair, and his personality made him the star presence of the show. Whether that be sticking his hands down his pants, mock blowing the bands guitarist, screaming like a mad man, or lifting his shirt above his head like he'd just scored a goal. He's never less than entertaining. He even saw me and my T-shirt, and pointed out that, they have a tee total bass player, yet they still put his face on a T-shirt with a joint in his mouth.
Happily all this tomfoolery is backed up by great songs, they're only at the EP stage, yet 'Nervous' deserves to be a hit. By the end of the show, my mate Jason 'Pink Violence' came on stage roared some death metal growls, then jumped off stage. leaving the band to desecrate their drum kit, fall over each other and leave guitars on their amps.Which is probably why Jason's back was bleeding afterwards...

B-Town rating, 8.4/10

FootNote: I spoke to the bassist afterwards and asked him if he really is teetotal, yeah he said, apart from the booze. I then said it was amazing how the band are able to play while constantly losing balance, he laughed.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Romans + Press To Meco, Live at the Flapper (21/3/15)


While The Kaleidoscopes were hazy and noisy, and Mutt were quirky and punky. Romans came across as much more of a straight forward rock band, 5 blokes who claim to be from Birmingham, but admitted that they say that because it's cooler than where they're really from.  Romans had more of a Kerrang! vibe than the NME feel of the last two bands. Much cleaner in tone but still with massive riffs, I can imagine hearing Romans on the radio, (Kerrang! radio in particular). They sound a tad like Don Broco or Mallory Knox, but err, a bit better. From a photography point of view, the band's Bassist was the main attraction, dressed all in white in contrast to the rest of the bands all in in black, with long hair and an NWA sleeveless top, he looked very much the rock star. Throughout the show he was at the front of the stage (and at one point right in the audience), head-banging and constantly leaning on the edge of the stage. Him and the bands much more no-nonsense singer make a perfect contradiction. They are not without a sense of humour either, as their singer warned us to not make eye contact with the merch guy.  The man with the tattoos and beard who would make us by a t-shirt if we made eye contact with him. Though those were cool T-shirts for a £5   (I'm glad I didn't get one,  I needed that £5 to get in to Uprawr later that night). Anyway if you search Romans and Mary on Youtube and click on the first link  you will find a video of a woman called Mary talking about Roman history. The one you want is a few vids down. Jokes aside, It wouldn't surprise me at all if I see Romans go onto more success from this point on.

B-Town Rating 6.8/10


Press to Meco

The only band on the bill who were not from the Midlands (other than head-liners ALLUSONDRUGS) were penultimate band Press to Meco. Who had travelled all the way from Cryodon with ALLUSONDRUGS and on this night were playing their last date of the tour with them. The two bands have formed a friendship (ALLUSONDRUGS bassist wore their shirt on stage and Press To Meco thanked them for being such a great tour-mates). Press to Meco are a unique band in the sense that they have no clear singer or front man. There are only three members, on bass, guitar and drums, yet each of them share vocal duties. They are all great singers. Yet all have voices that stand apart from each other, even the drummer sounds  great as a singer. In fact it was their drummer who did the majority of the singing, yet the vocal harmonies between the three of them were stunning. Press to Meco are also great musicians, their music is very melodic yet very technical, like a less angry At the drive in. Between them they can make quite a noise despite being a trio. The three of them put loads of energy into their set, and made sure there was a cool upbeat vibe. It was refreshing seeing a band so free of ego.

B-Town Rating 7.2/10


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Kaleidoscopes + MUTT. Live at the Flapper (21/03/15)

The Kaleidoscopes

First I'd like to apologise to Ste alan.  When I first saw the Kaleidoscopes back in 2013 claimed he was a teenager, turns out he wasn't.  I was wrong there.  Last Saturday was the 3rd time that I had seen the Kaleidoscopes and each time I've seen them they've got better. If they sounded like teens the first time round. they now sound much more like men. Ste is a laid back front-man, his voice generally hidden amongst the lazy hazy, yet very-very noisy shoegazy sound of his band. Yet at times they break out of the slower songs and he proves himself to be a pretty good shredder. While the Bass player adds a funkier sound to the bands music that shoegaze doesn't usually have. The band exude slacker charm and have a rather dry, self depreciating sense of humour. Some of the songs are pretty heavy, yet while all of the songs are loud, others are strangely relaxing. Such as the new single Glitter, which the band were encouraging people to nab free singles of from the merch table, (mine doesn't play). Glitter (which you can hear on the link below) is a good example of the bands music. It's shoegazy noise is strangely relaxing, and reminds me a little bit of Yuck.
While some of the Birmingham bands have appeared and consequently dissipated on a cloud of hype, The Kaleidoscopes have grown, and matured over time.

B-Town Rating 6/10



MUTT are a punk(ish) rock band from Birmingham, who's music is raw, scrappy and described by the band as 'Melodic Grunge'. What separates MUTT From being just another (albeit still very good) rock n roll band is their singer, Lottie Spencer. By a good foot or so the tallest person in the Flapper that night, she stood out with her long bright red hair and quirky dress. She has an amazing voice, a loud belting voice that has a hint of punk rock snarl, which reminded me of Sleater-Kinney or X-Ray Spex. Lottie has an amazing presence on stage. Kooky and seemingly friendly yet her screaming, rolling around on the floor, and wrapping herself in her own microphone gave me some idea of what it might look like if Zooey Dechanel decided to actually be crazy for a day.  Bad comparisons and similes aside I really enjoyed seeing MUTT, they reminded me of the also incredibly underrated 'Evans The Death' (who I shall write about soon).  Mutt have got a cool attitude, cool songs and are really just a great rock n roll band.


B-Town Rating 8/10

Thursday, March 19, 2015

I have a new blog!

Hi guys! So as the title has told you, I now have a new blog, it's actually been out there for a week or two, but it think it is now ready to tell you about.

Check it out: https://instagram.com/birminghamstreetart/

Instead of selfies and pictures of what I am eating. It is a celebration of Birmingham's diverse street art scene. A scene with has attracted people from all over the world to take part, such as Setdebellza,  from Spain for example. So far there are loads more pictures I want to take than those that are on there, it all depends on how much spare time I have and where I am when I have that spare time.  Yet I hope that this can become a definitive source of pictures of the amazing artworks to be found in Birmingham, and a way of preserving them before they are inevitably painted over. I also don't just want to show the murals, but also the paste jobs and stickers, or the more subtle jobs such as Liskbot, who's art is hidden in street corners and alleys. The first few pictures are of  artworks in my own collection, but from shops in Digbeth (I'm not too happy with the pictures I got of those). I try not to bother too much with filters, as I believe that using filters to edit photograph's is lazy and a bit daft. Please like what you like and share so others can enjoy.


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Pleasure House: Sunrise. Single Review

PictureHello Guys! This is my first blog for a couple of days, it's good to get back to just writing again. About local bands, speaking of which here is a new one which I had not Previously heard of, They're called Pleasure House, and 'Sunrise' is the first single from their upcoming D├ębut album which will be out in June. They describe themselves as having "taken the sadness and despondency out of a winter a sky and painted it with euphoria, pop joviality and young bliss". So with that in mind, let's give them a listen.  It's bouncy, Funky, indie pop. It's fast and packed full of positive joy. The guitar riffs provide funky foals-ish tropical joy. Unlike most Birmingham bands there doesn't seem to be a distortion pedal in sight. While WU LYF's mix of darkness and tropical riffs has inspired a lot of  bands this is just pure happiness. The song title says it all really, in fact the lyrics say it better than I ever could. "We get high and talk about life, And how beautiful it is to be alive."  Funky, cool indie pop, Pretty much what it says on the tin. In fact the song made me think more of world music bands such as Buena Vista Social club  or Songhoy Blues than brummie contemporaries such as JAWS. I'm not saying it sounds an awful lot like those bands, but Pleasure House have a similar sense of laid back grooves and evoke the same feelings of sunshine.