Monday, 21 February 2011

Black Moth and The Gentleman's Pistols @ Santiago, Feb 18

Ever since I've posted that hold your horses show review I think karma has been kicking my ass. Either that or the people of Leeds are all telekinetic cyborgs sent to bring me down… slowly. Nah I'm just paranoid, I was at Santiagos last weekend to see The Gentlemen's Pistols and got some hostile vibes from a few people, but overall it was a fuckin fun night. A bit of trivia about the band, one of the members is an insane skater called Douggie, seriously he fuckin kills it - one of the only skaters able to pull off wearing flares and long sleeved shirts.. Steeze! That was part of the reason me and Chris were hyped to see them play, and also the fact that there would be a few local skaters going is always a plus; skaters have fun. Unlike some douchebags...

First off, when we're trying to get into the bar the bouncer starts giving me shit about drinking outside (we were having a few beers outside before, hanging out with some friends and whatnot), and the apparent "cheeky grin" I shot him whilst walking past, which was more of an appreciative smile for letting me skate in the mall/walkway. He used these as grounds to not let me in, but after some straight talk he chilled out and let us through. In future it’s best not to make any eye, verbal or physical contact with bouncers. I think they'd prefer it if I took the only remaining humanity out of their jobs and treated them like card reading machines instead.

The first band that came on was called Black Moth, and they were pretty damn good. They seemed like a pretty young group, but that had no effect on their performance whatsoever. The chick on vocals was pretty sexy, and the way she sang and screamed was dark and powerful, it complemented the heavy riffs and fast drum beats perfectly. The mosh which ensued was pretty hectic, I felt like a ragdoll being pushed from side to side, but as long as it got people moving and into the music I didn't mind too much. One dude got really mad at me, I think I reached behind and stroked his girl's hair without realising it, but from Chris's point of view he was simply telling me to stop bumping them so much. I mean, I can understand his frustration, but people need to realise that I'm not doing it on purpose; it’s the music's fault. If you want someone who likes to dance to stop bumping you, you have several options;
  • move elsewhere 
  • leave the room altogether
  • unplug the PA system
  • suck a dick. 
  • relax
Really, if you're at a show, a ROCK show in particular, you gotta expect to get bumped around. One of the highlights for me was getting to crowdsurf for the first time! Thats what I mean about skaters having fun, they just kept lifting me up and carrying me around, it was rad! Especially this one dude with long black hair, he was a pioneer. At one point they even carried the guitarist up mid-solo, pretty fun to hold him up, it made me feel like one of the boys... Crowd surfing also led to my encounter with douchebag #2.

I was getting carried towards the back, where the crowd was obviously more intent on socialising and holding drinks than moving, so I ended up falling straight on my back and, judging from the smell of fuckin redbull in my hair, spilled a few drinks in the process. One dude starts giving me shit about how I should stop being such a dickhead, but seriously, if you don't dig the vibe then go home.  Im pretty sure he'd be better off in a pub discussing how many millimetres of rainfall have dropped in the past week than listening to these rambunctious youngsters with their rocks and rolls. Maybe in future buy drinks beforehand and down them, not only will it get you drunk but it'll give you all the lad points you could ask for. Fuckin score!

Next up, Gentlemen's Pistols motherfucker!! The hype was reaching overload, more people were jamming the dancefloor and more people with repressed rage were lining up along the peripherals. Except for one big dude with a thick curled moustache, he was cool, like a protective German teddy bear. Their stage presence was mellow but their music was heaavy! It was like 70's rock kinda stuff, but with faster interludes and some really immense breakdowns. I dont remember any of the songs in particular, I just remember the moments when the rough sea of swaying bodies reached a calm, and everyone would start head-banging in unison. My whole body would get into it; it was as if the rise and fall of the guitar and bass was enough for me to smash my head against my toes. Douggie was rad too, I just remember seeing him smile a lot, and thats the best. If you see a band play and they aren't feeling it then there's not really much point in watching them, but if you know theyre having a good time you just wanna feel it too and be a part of it.

So if you want a fuckin fun, exhausting and memorable time, go see the pistols. And if you see any friendly photographers snapping shots at the front of the pit, ruffle up their nicely waxed hair, they'll love it!!!


Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Imp, Blacklisters, Hold Your Horse Is and Mojo Fury @ Brudenell 9th Feb

I went to see a show at the Brudenell tonight, and it sucked. Not because of the music, though that was part of the reason, but due to the lack of respect shown by the stuck up lead singer of a band called Hold Your Horse Is. Its really pathetic how low someone will sink just to boost their self-image, as if slagging off bands before you makes you look like a real badass who doesn't give a fuck. I've never seen such disrespect from an artist to another artist, sure I've seen it from the crowd, but that doesn't really matter. As an artist you should respect another artist's motives and ventures, unless that artist is a complete prick and doesn't deserve any respect. I don't consider myself an artist (though I'd like to), but this fundamental goes for any passion. I skateboard, and though there may be people out there who are worse than (or better than) me, I'm never going to make pretentious comments about their skateboarding abilities unless they truly deserve to be berated, because you can tell when a person does something they love and truly enjoys it for the freedom and joy of expression it gives them. Blacklisters, (a local band who played before Hold Your Horse Is) are a perfect example of this. I've experienced them play a few times, and every time they play they put in as much effort as they can because making music is obviously what they love. They were the main reason I went to the show tonight, and I ended up leaving after their set. A pretty self-righteous thing to do I know, but I had every reason to.

Monday, 7 February 2011

New Year's Evil @ Marek's Basement Jan 29th

After a bit of harassment and repeated phone call attempts I finally managed to invite myself (and a couple of friends) to Marek's house party. He was cool with it, I guess it wasn't like I completely forced myself over, but someone told me Marek's band, New Years Evil, was gonna play and I wanted to be there. Me, chris and martin rolled up at their house at around 10 30, kinda drunk but not too bad, I was just pretty hyped to see them play so the alcohol was making me happy and talkative rather than slovenly and incoherent. I recognised the girl who opened the door from my first year in bodington halls. I have a knack for recognising people I’ve never spoken to and see occasionally, and this party was full of all those people from first year.. but this time I spoke to them! It was trippy… The party was pretty much a  mini-bodington reunion, so I had a fun time going up to people and saying "I recognise you!!" and then walking away. I guess I couldn't really think of anything else to say. They were all a pretty friendly bunch of people though, and by the time Marek and his homies from Exeter set up downstairs there was a pretty big crowd going. Well, as much as you can fit into an average sized Leeds basement cluttered with boxes, fairy lights and people holding drinks protectively against their chests.

Mannn I was so hyped to be there, I'd only had about 2 beers so I was buzzing, added to the unique feeling I get when seeing a band in a house, I guess it’s the joy of knowing its DIY... I couldn't really contain myself, which wasn't good for people planning on not moving. They started off loud and crashing (at least I think they did), Marek smashing the drums real fast, the bassist pulling on those strings and the guitarist going nuts, at times I wasn't even aware if he was playing any real chords, just mashing the neck trying to make as much noise as possible, it was raw. The bassist fucked up a couple of times but who cares right? It’s a fuckin house party… Their sound was like, noise/garage rock, you could compare them to Japandroids, but they sounded less.. rocky. Plus the addition of another musician added some more layers, along with some indecipherable shouting vocals. Fuck, just really good to dance to.

There were only a few people really moving, but it didn't matter, the music was making me lose control and thats all I wanted. I guess I was probably annoying the shit out of the people around me, grabbing their heads and trying to get them out in front, yelling in their faces... but fuck, I was feeling too much energy to care, and it was pretty fun to fuck with people. I respect everyone's tolerance though, I'm sure I could easily get smacked for doing what I did if it was some other house.
One of the best things about the night was the feeling of warmth radiating throughout the room, people were handing drinks up to the band, shouting for more music and sweating like FUCK. Maybe I was too dizzy to see how things really were, but I got a real strong sense of togetherness, everyone was there to have a good time and listen to some music. It left me in a pretty upbeat mood, and when we left to another party I found out I'd lost my wallet. Normally I would've stressed out to the point where it becomes childish, but the night was awesome so I didn't have much reason to complain.

check out their myspace for some music:

Listen to the song 'shame', just listening to it now... can nostalgia refer to something that’s occurred within the past 2 weeks? I guess it can. Feels pretty good.

people holding drinks

Friday, 4 February 2011

Chris's Corner: Roxy Music @ Manchester, Jan 30th

My homie chris went to see Roxy Music the other night and wrote a review for it, and so we've decided to add a new segment called Chris's Corner which will get updated whenever he sees something he likes. 
Chris is a highly articulate and intelligent young fellow, so check it out if you're sick of reading my shittt!

- Ben

Two nights ago I went to see Roxy Music perform to fifteen thousand shuffling baby boomers at the M.E.N arena in Manchester. Despite being born nineteen years after the band first started performing together (and the original members all remain, aside from Eno), not owning any of their albums nor ever having listened to them out of my own free will*, I had a truly great time.

The cynical among you may think I had a great time for any number of the following reasons:
  1.  I went for two pints with a friend when I arrived in Manchester and saw a healthy amount of change from a five pound note (two pints for less than a fiver!!!)  
  2.   I then met my parents who took me for a Mexican meal which I didn’t pay a penny for.
  3. I discovered my parents had paid £65 for their tickets to Roxy Music, whereas I got my ticket for free, was in a private box, with free food and booze (I had 4 San Miguels and saw £5 change from a fiver). 
  4.  The look on my fathers face; a Roxy Music fan since 1971, when I revealed this information to him.
  5. Did I mention that I was in a private box? 
  6. With a free bar?
And the cynical among you would be correct. But I will say this:

The facts listed above can be likened to a lofty, oh so perfect pitch of the ball from the great and omnipotent bowler of time. Sure, any old fool could have knocked that ball for six; my day had already been great. However, Bryan Ferry and the gang smashed it right over the crowd, out of the stadium and into a new dimension of stoke, rad and awesome which had me captivated.