1 août 2010, 21h01m

Having a been a little remiss in my gig reports of recently, my readership (all 3 of them) have demanded an update. News in brief then...:

Friday 26th March: The Joy Formidable - They are not the next big thing, they are already here and it's already happening. On this evidence they are going to own 2011. Just need a full album. Coming to a venue near you soo, if you're lucky...

Tuesday 30th March: The one that got away - Taking Dawn - too late in to hear them play but everything i've heard since sounds promising.
Black Spiders - sounding better and better. Another candidate for band of the year and they are only just hitting their stride.
Airbourne - odd - faultless but something missing on this occasion. Joel still managed to go walkabout but Colston Hall isn't the best venue for the full audience immersion experience. Gig-by-numbers but still impressive.

Tuesday 20th April: The Whores - a cross between Rob Zombie and Emily Autumn and just as compelling to watch.
Obsessive Compulsive - yet another band that's managed to slip under the radar but the new album should help with that. Their single $$ has been borthering the video channels so expect to hear more from these Manchester rockers - very good and another of those acts that peg it better live than they are recorded.

Friday 23rd April: Mark Lanegan - great to see the gravelly-voiced QOTSA collaborater and ex-Screaming Trees frontman doing his blues thing. Minimal and atmospheric - lack of any real connection with the crowd took the edge off it a little but still oddly beguiling.

Friday 14th May: We've Got A Fuzzbox And We're Gonna Use It (or just Fuzzbox if you're in the US) which I guess is a bit of a guilty pleasure : ) And there were plenty of people feeling the same way in the Fleece for this one. This was a greatest hits set to help launch the forthcoming album project and they still look and sound as good as ever. Yes, they played Self! : D

Tuesday 18th May: First up, riot:noise - great set as always but stuck in the guest slot which gets polite interest rather pulses racing.
Next up, Black Sonic (or Black Sonic Prophets who help fill my quota of rock acts from Liechtenstein. Don't let that put you off however. Their mix of sludgy and spiky metal-edged riffery is well worth checking out. Plus they included their take on Duran Duran's Ordinary World which stirred up the mix.
Main event Die So Fluid were another big tick in the box on the 'must-see' list and they don't disappoint. This might be a quiet Tuesday night in Bristol, but they still play like their lives depend on it. Grog is on great form. If there are any more super-confident in-your-face front women who don't just mind being in close contact with the audience but actually thrive on and encourage it, then I've not yet found them. It helps that she's backed up by the talents of Drew & Al on guitar & drums whose deceptively powerful rhythyms & bruise compliment the bass-driven hooks. The set list is mostly from the new album The World Is Too Big For One Lifetime with the stand-out being Mercury. Must-see again : )

Thursday 8th July: OK, I admit it - I probably wouldn't have thought about this gig if I had not seen the film, but seeing as they are the epitomy of those who never stop believing then I think it's money well spent. Very well spent in fact as both Girlschool and Anvil deliver a night of metal nostalgia with a refreshingly contemporary edge. Vintage originals are mixed up with much more recent material and the crowd, both young and old, just lap it up. Lips also treats us to his trademark dildo solo to which those of a curious nature can no doubt find on YouTube ; ) Random fact no.1: Rob is a very, very good drummer. Random fact no.2: Glenn has far too many strings on his bass : )

Monday 19th July: Another of those random invites that hit the spot! Gonga, now slimmed down to a 3-piece, opened proceedings and surprised me with a good, powerful set of their shorter songs which put them back on my curious list.
Find of the summer so far goes to Magna Saga who put up a quirky, angular bass-driven set of rock gems that I cannot wait to get my mits on when they get released. Check out the ep 'The Fox' as this will give you a taster of what they are capable of with the likes of 'True to Say' and 'First and Last' standing out as the stadium rockers in waiting.
How I did not have any Brant Bjork in my music collection is still a bit of a mystery given the likes of Kyuss & Fu Manchu are well covered. Whatever, BB put me right with a groove-laden stoner rock brainwash. Good mix tracks with a lean towards new album Gods And Godesses effortlessly delivered by the sort of band that have guitars in the same way we have personalities. I guess you could say i'm a fan now : )

Thursday 22nd July: Wayne Hussey Ok, nostalgia-fest for this one, no messing. This is the first time i've seen him live since I saw The Mission play Exeter St David's way back on the Crusade tour (...ouch!) It won't be the last however, not if tonight's show is anything to go by. OK, the hat is gone and the locks are shorter & siver now, but the voice is as good as always and the songs have stood the test of time - a gentle prod for me as the band slipped off my radar around the time Masque was released. Ironic, then, that one of the first songs he played was Shades of Green, heh. Not long before he was well into the Mission's early back-catalogue however and the likes of Wasteland, Like a Child Again and Tower of Strength get an airing. The clincher is the switch to a synth to play Wake (RSV) and Naked and Savage - both of which make more sense as voice/keys and remind me just why I liked the band in the first place. No Over the Hills.. or Blood Brother tonight but he did play his version of the Cure's A Night Like This. Now if he would only consider putting the band back together...never say never!

Obligatory beer-related comment: 'Whose round is it?!' : )


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