Friday 27 February 2009

Popfest : Zipper - Buffalo Bar

Sound a little like The GoGos and like the more poppy end of Talulah Gosh.
I thought they were a bit run of the mill, but my companion was in a coma, really she almost stopped breathing of boredom.
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Popfest : Betty and the Werewolves - Buffalo Bar

They sound more hurried than they are punk. Unrelentingly like Town Bike's faster riot grrl tracks.
We're stood right at the back, I see singing bass player girl and a bobbing about guitar girl by her side. And lots of familiar faces in the crowd, either more so than last night or its just better lit in here.
Heh, technical problems as they've written the set list in the same colour as the stage lights so its invisible.
Betty and the Werewolves sound better than Hotpants Romance by a wide margin. Tighter and more polished, and occasionally invoke the spirit of Talulah Gosh.
By the end of the set they've won me over, a rich and diverse tapestry drawn from their pop punk pallet.
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Popfest: The School - Jam

Lighter and less rocky than the previous band according to my burd, and she's never seen this mob before.

Ooh, Simon Love from The Loves is playing drums, that's a bit different. Heavier than the previous chap.

London Popfest : The School

And they seem to have lost Spud, the wee glokenspeil chap. I miss him, he disarmed a little of their rock edge.

Its like with My Drug Hell, where you've been listening to the recorded version of Girl At The Bus Stop then you see then play it live and they do it invoking the spirit of rock, is all wrong. Okay, with The School its just a little like that.

Hmm did I write exactly the same thing last time I saw them? Possibly.

"Ah laik it" says my burd.

Popfest: Pocketbooks - Jam

Aw man, I've seen them about a zillion times before, and I still stand by my earlier reviews.

This evening I seem to be stood a bit close to a wall, so the music is very bass and drum heavy.

London Popfest : Pocketbooks

They announced Camera Obscura are headlining Indietracks.

Ooh, and they have new albums for sale. I've been listening to them play live for a while and their new material has been getting stronger and stronger.

Its a fun crowd tonight, subdued head-bobbing nearby and some genuine jumping around at the front.

Thursday 26 February 2009

Popfest: Let's Whisper - Jam

A little like REM says my missus


Colin sporting a fulsome set of sideburns.

London Popfest : Lets Whisper

The 'nummy nom nom' refrains made my girlfriend smile.

Ukelele duo!!

Thursday 12 February 2009

Kelman - The Gramaphone

First struck by the ace Doors-esque keyboards, then the laid back relaxed drawl from the singing guitar chap.

They seem easier on stage than the last mob, but the audience has thinned out a wee bit, more t-shirts than the becoated crowd earlier in the evening.

Very slow paced and more erm... musical, with a little of the driven shoegazer drone we love at Lost Music gigs. Soundman has his head on.

Ooh, absolutely magic track that rips the pounding of of B&S's Sleep the Clock Around, is that the trusty E-B-C#-A sequence, there have never been any crap songs that use those chords in the entire history of recorded music.
Kelman #2
Broken string, slows the momentum of the set a wee bit, but a replacement guit is provided by a helpful audience member.

A storming finish to the set too, I'm going to have to look up this Kelman on MySpace.

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Hari and Aino - The Gramaphone

Its freezing outside, the was snow just starting to lie when I set out. The Gramophone tonight is pretty fullish, people standing around in coats and scarves.

Five-piece band on stage, singing girl sounds a little like Sonia from Echobelly, angular chap weirdly dancing and flailing away on melodica but his mic is barely picking it up.

Sounded very bass heavy when I came in and where I was stood to the left. The vocals buried under the drums and bass. New Order / King of Partick bass and pretty alive drums, noodly Britpop guitar, and I'm more convinced the vocals are Echobelly covers.
Hari & Aino
Oh, some painful cracks, where's that coming from? Maybe its the synth violin.

Nice groove, could do with cranked up vox.

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Sunday 1 February 2009

Beake - The Torrino

Some curly-haired troubadour guitar busker chap on stage with Steve accompanying on trumpet. Playing covers, I think the first one is Bob Dylan.

Aw man, its freezing outside. The missus had convinced me to wear my cool jacket instead of my warm jacket and now I'm suffering. I wouldn't like to be sleeping rough tonight.

Its a Camden Calling night, all homeless and vulnerable musicy folk, with a wee accompanyment of local musicians. The gig's kind of free, donations accepted, to support paying for courses and studio time for the bands.

The chap on now has a very mellow voice, turns out its laryngitus, so the vocals are very smokey and Rod Stewardish. 'Good, I liked his spirit'.

Interesting venue, its a wee basementy place, red walls, reminds me of Sleazy's or the 13th Note, that kind of vibe. It smells a bit, I think its the toilets, but there's debates about whether its garbage or low-lying stink of eggs.

Nice twelve string guitar sound. As always the trumpet gives a whole different dimension to how it sounded.

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Daydream Parade - The Torrino

Ooh, I've seen this chap before, he's funny.

Aye, acoustic guitar, sat on his own, and singing a song about deaths caused by eggs. Surreal stuff, Edward Lear would be proud.

'Its been ten years since I saw my penis' ah, a song about chidhood obesity. It would be funny if it was true.

'Comedic, but socio-political' appartently, I'm get the comedic side of things, but the funny voices play down the other. There was that scene in the League of Gentleman movie with the theatre company, there are shades of that here.

'Was very comical political original'. One of the songs was very poignant, all finger-picked and nice.

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The Lyrebird Sings - The Torrino

Ooh jazz girl singing, with a lone electric guitar, very bassy.


All kind of kooky, with jazz singer dancing and vocal riffing.

Some nifty guitar work going on. I wish I'd paid more attention to the tutorial section of Total Guitar magazine.
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Mada - The Toriano

The compere introduces, the band improvises and after a few moments Mada takes to the stage.

Mada's almost overcome with emotion as he thanks the organisers for this, his first headline shot. The songs sound a little more polished than usual, and it was a weird experience to hear the crowd singing along to everything. Mada was just loving it, holding the microphone out for the crowd.

Too much faffing, trying to get things just right. And then half the audience's view being blocked by the compere or the cameraman. Aw man, and the drunk clapping dancing girl.

Steve on trumpet has a new friend in the sax girl, she seemed kind of nervous, especially when Mada slings her to mic to sing a chorus. But Steve is a reassuring influence. Musically it was best gig so far, with the extra horn and keyboard player, they came up with decent horn parts.

Here you can really see what Camden Calling is about, you can sense the feeling of achievement in the room, the recognition of Mada from his peers.

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