Live Reviews

Van Onderen – 24 hours of Dutch Underground @ Paradiso Amsterdam, January 7, 2017

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Backed by New Jersey’s Low Doses it turned out to be one hell of a gig! The Jersey trio

played the songs with a mix of technical perfection and poppy groovieness, and nailed the vocal harmonies to a T. After he warmed up with those first few songs, Paul Collins was bringing it. The non-stop hit-o-rama was enriched by a few of his one-liners and stories from back in the day.

The Coathangers Live @ the Moth Club, 05.05.2016

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This review is not only a review of the Coathangers gig, but a social check on my status in terms of music taste. Am I a cynical old prick, I ask myself as I plummet towards the arse end of my thirties? Do my music tastes reside in the past, or do I actually like new stuff? The Coathangers were a good measure, as I used to like the band insert garage rock cliché, “I like their earlier stuff.” However as time went on, I found the sound got more slick complemented by even slicker music videos. Therefore, am I right to be cynical or am I well on my way to grumpy middle-aged musician status?

The Seth Bogart Show @ the Shacklewell Arms 13.05.2016

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Friday the 13th – it’s not really a date you associate with campiness, vibrancy, playfulness and fun, is it? Yet, that was exactly what was expected when everyone paid £8 to see the Seth Bogart Show in the back room of the Shacklewell Arms. No prizes for guessing correctly that it was exactly what was expected either. It had John Waters levels of campiness, performance and spectacle. It really was… Ahem… fabulous.

Giuda @Sugar Factory, Amsterdam 02.05.2016

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© Alex Koutsman

They opened with the anthemic ‘Working Class Man’ from their last album Roll the Balls, and when I say anthemic, that goes for the rest of the set too. Giuda are an unapologetically over the top, fist pumping, sing-a-long rock n roll band.

Stags @ Dalston Victoria, London 20.04.2016

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On a cold Wednesday evening I headed to the Dalston Victoria to see one of the most thrilling emerging bands of the year, Stags. The band was formed in 2011 by the singer, Chris Finney, lead guitarist Alessio Pesaresi, drummer George Vallack, and bassist Oisin Walsh (who wasn’t performing with the band this time and was replaced by the guy from Acid Tongue). Surprisingly, the venue was nearly empty at the beginning, but before Stags hit the stage the crowd grew bigger and bigger.

The Blind Shake @ The Shacklewell Arms, London 03.02.2016

Blind Shake ATP2016_WEB_670x0I want start this review by informing you that I will be saying The Blind Shake a lot. What is with a lot of journalists being lazy when repeating nouns of groups that they like to use abbreviations to save nanoseconds of time? Whilst usually useful, it’s detrimental here, as you’d be reading The Blind Shake as TBS or BS. The Blind Shake is neither Taking Back Sunday nor Bull Shit.

SHOW YOUR SCARS FEST – Los Angeles, CA

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The timing of my most recent US trip was perfect– I got to go to Lemmy of Motörhead’s memorial meeting at the Rainbow Bar & Grill on Sunset Strip, and I got to go to Show Your Scars festival– an underground metal fest in Downtown Los Angeles.

Guantanamo Baywatch @ The Shacklewell Arms, London 10.12.2015

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© Carla Salvatore

They had so many throwbacks to Beach Boys and Link Wray that they towered above all those aforementioned bands. Despite their name, they are not a band that relies on gimmicks, or the whole “we smoke weed and party for daaayyyyzzzz” thing– they just rely on talent, and an amazing knack for writing a really catchy three-minute pop song and jangly solo.

Giuda @ The Lexington, London 05.12.2015

IMG_4050I’ve always found Giuda to be a really consistent live band. I’ve seen them a fair few times across several cities (and two countries) and I’ve never really felt disappointed by any of their performances. They’re the kind of band that really makes you want to dance and sing.

Victor Torpedo Karaoke Live Show @ SWS, The George Tavern, London 20.11.15

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Victor Torpedo’s Karaoke. Pic by Penelope York

Victor Torpedo, as one-man band with his Karaoke Show, is definitely not your type of showman. Hell, I don’t even think there’s a type out there that can label exactly what Torpedo did on that stage.

Useless Eaters @ The Shacklewell Arms, London 10.09.15

Uselles Eaters @ the Shacklewell Arms, London

Uselles Eaters @ the Shacklewell Arms, London

This is my first time reviewing a live gig (Hi Mum!).
I’m usually confined to doing the visual stuff: gig flyers, illustrations and (career-definingly) Heatwave’s last cover. But I’m a fan of the Useless Eaters and was enticed with a guest spot, (hey, that’s worth two whole pints at the Shacklewell). So here we go…

TRAAMS @ The Social, London 05.08.15

Copyright TRAAMS archive

Copyright TRAAMS archive

I saw the TRAAMS play at the Social. The Whig Whams and the Venus Lyx supported the band. Unfortunately I was too late to catch the first group, narrowly missing the set by one song. From what I saw, I’d definitely want to get a proper look next time and see what they have to offer.

The Sonics at the Forum 30/07/2015 

Photo by Jini Dellacio

Photo by Jini Dellacio

Meeting Rob Lind, the saxophonist of the Sonics in Danny’s chip shop on Kentish Town Road was a life moment. He’d had the same idea as me and was looking for some food pre-gig. I’d already been to the venue and seen them soundchecking, but couldn’t get close enough to snag an interview. This was my chance.

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Being a garage freak, I was very pleased that some of the songs consisted of mostly four chords, especially on my favourite track, “Nothing”. I’m tempted to say that there was also a touch of power pop in the material, but the set was much more raucous, and I prefer it that way.

The Five Best Live Shows I Ever Did See

Resident staff writer and music enthusiast, Betty Pondikakis muses over five of her all time favourite live bands, covering everything from KISS to Dead Moon.

New Beats on the Streets: Electric Pencils

Flier from the first Electric Pencils gig.

Flier from the first Electric Pencils gig.

It was a sad day when beloved London punk band, thee Spivs split, but much to the pleasure of London punk fanatics, former Spivs members, Ben Edge and Steve Coley have re-emerged with a new band—the Electric Pencils.