Tag: live review

Live review: From The Jam

From The Jam / Nine Below Zero Northampton Roadmender November 30th 2018 Some bands age like fine wine and that’s certainly the case with Nine Below Zero. Opening their set…

From The Jam / Nine Below Zero
Northampton Roadmender
November 30th 2018

Some bands age like fine wine and that’s certainly the case with Nine Below Zero. Opening their set with an energetic version of fan favourite ‘Riding on the L&N’ the band deliver a masterclass in rhythm’n’blues. ‘I’m in the Doghouse’ follows and simply swings while evergreen vocalist Dennis Greaves makes his guitar sing on a hard edged rendition of blues standard ‘Killing Floor’. With his partner-in-crime, the harmonica maestro Mark Feltham the pair have been performing together for four decades and share an obvious chemistry – as evidenced by a tight but fun rendition of ‘Tequila’. Nine Below Zero turn in a crowd pleasing, greatest hits set with ‘Wipe Away Your Kiss’ and ‘You Can’t Say Yes, You Can’t Say No’, both from their seminal Third Degree album, following in quick succession. As you’d expect a fiery run through of ‘Eleven Plus Eleven’ sets the venue alight and ensures they end on a high.

From The Jam are touring the classic All Mod Cons album to celebrate it’s fortieth anniversary. Nowadays a word like ‘classic’ is thrown around casually but All Mod Cons is certainly worthy of such a title. More than just an album it really captured the spirit of the times, both musically and lyrically, and the triumph of tonight’s show is that some of that essence is replicated. The short, sharp shock of opener ‘All Mod Cons’ is performed with the aggression it warrants, before the band ease off the throttle with ‘To Be Someone’. In the live environment it becomes evident what a kaleidoscopic album All Mod Cons is. From the power-pop of ‘David Watts’ to the neo-psychedelia of ‘The Place I Love’ to the primitive punk of ‘Billy Hunt’, From The Jam paint each song with the appropriate shade.

‘English Rose’ affords the opportunity for an acoustic interlude and the band deviate from the original track listing to include ‘Smithers Jones’ and ‘Private Hell’. The latter, when stripped bare, reveals a lyrical depth hidden in the original. Then it’s back to All Mod Cons for the Orwellian ‘A Bomb in Wardour Street’ and the poetic ‘Down in the Tube Station at Midnight’.

What follows is a ‘best of’ set full of songs that defined a generation. ‘A Town Called Malice’ turns the venue into a huge dancefloor, before we’re treated to the “too good to be a b-side” ‘The Butterfly Collector’. Vocalist Russell Hastings sounds uncannily like Paul Weller, but he still manages to impart his own stamp on proceedings. Bruce Foxton has cut down on the trademark leaps and bicycle kicks but he still turns in an energetic, lively performance and his vocal on ‘News of the World’ sounds vital and fresh.

The band return for three well-deserved encores: ‘In The City’, ‘Eton Rifles’ and a rousing ‘Going Underground’. Purists may dismiss From The Jam as a glorified tribute act (albeit with an original member), but they obviously haven’t seen the joy their performance brings. Thankfully Bruce Foxton cares enough about his past so we can relive a little of ours.

Peter Dennis

No Comments on Live review: From The Jam

Live review: Ctrl Alt Fest Delete

CTRL ALT FEST DELETE Various venues, Kettering Friday October 26th – The Three Cocks Tonight, Ctrl Alt Fest Delete kicks off the party with three incredible bands. This is a well-loved…

CTRL ALT FEST DELETE
Various venues, Kettering

Friday October 26th – The Three Cocks
Tonight, Ctrl Alt Fest Delete kicks off the party with three incredible bands. This is a well-loved pub, but it’s not just regulars in tonight – the place is packed with both old and new faces, all buzzing with excitement to hear Kettering’s (and Corby’s) finest.

Female-fronted My Mate Dave take to the stage with endless energy and relentless enthusiasm, starting their set with an unbelievable cover of ‘These Boots Are Made For Walkin’. The band seems to specialise in pop songs, but they perform the tracks with a rocky, razor-sharp quality, adding bouncing riffs and gravelly vocals to songs that were once smooth and clear. It’s an element of talent that a lot of bands seem to miss, but My Mate Dave hits the mark every single time. Corby instrumentalists Family Of Noise clearly have a lot of fans present tonight, as many people are waiting with anticipation for the trio. It’s not hard to see why, as they make their entire set look effortless, playing their instruments with as much ease as the most experienced of professionals. It’s easy for instrumental bands to fall into a trap of repetition, but with strong bass lines, smooth riffs and pounding drums, Family Of Noise make each and every song sound as fresh as the last.

Ending the night with a bang, The Fevers play with finesse and style. Covering well-loved tracks from bands like The Ramones and Buzzcocks, there’s not a single person in the crowd that isn’t bopping along. Although The Fevers are a covers band, they each possess intense amounts of talent, with a clear cut, professional sound. They are the perfect band for this festival, and truly define what it’s all about: a love of music, for all ages.

Saturday October 27th – The Prince of Wales
Here in one of Kettering’s oldest pubs the music is loud and the drinks are flowing. People of all ages have turned out to see the two bands playing tonight – one with a unique, original sound, and the other an Iron Maiden tribute band. It knits together the two sides of the town’s music scene, and The Prince of Wales is the perfect setting.

Unitra, a heavy metal three-piece, embody the energy of Steel Panther but the talent of musicians that have been around for decades. Taking to the stage with a dramatic intro track, Unitra’s smashing drums and polished riffs make for excellent listening. Inciting mosh pits and dancers alike, the space in front of the band is packed with all kinds of people, from old to young, and those celebrating Halloween to those that have just turned up for this gig. The banter between songs may be balancing on the wrong edge of cringy, but when the music is this good, you can’t quite bring yourself to care. Besides, they slot into place at The Prince of Wales with perfect ease, and the punters are loving it.

Judging by the amount of Iron Maiden t-shirts in the crowd, Iron 2 Maiden are going to go down a treat, and the highly anticipated set does not disappoint. Kicking off Saturday’s closing set with ‘Can I Play With Madness’, they storm this tiny pub with all the enthusiasm of the real thing. The guitar and drums are a perfect match, coming together to create the tunes we all know and love, and while the vocals aren’t quite true to the original band, it’s an admirable effort from Iron 2 Maiden. If you’re a fan of Bruce Dickinson and co, this tribute is definitely worth a watch.

Sunday October 28th – The Shire Horse
The Shire Horse is the perfect place for a Sunday afternoon gig. With comfortable wooden chairs and a roaring fireplace in the corner, it’s a nice reprieve from the bitterly cold weather outside, and with several acoustic sets taking place across the room, it’s the right setting for winding down Ctrl Alt Fest Delete and bringing it to close.

Jacob Brathwaite fits this evening’s mood perfectly. Armed with an acoustic guitar and a gentle voice, he mixes his own songs with covers from the likes of The Kooks. Death Cab For Cutie’s ‘I Will Follow You Into The Dark’ is a highlight of the set, and the singer makes every track he performs his own. He is undeniably talented; featuring professional riffs and a clear voice that wraps around you like a comfort blanket, his set is unforgettable. Kettering’s own hazeyjane are up next, with a set that promises ‘ambient acoustic material’. The description fits the band to perfection, as they play well right from the very first song. The music is ethereal, almost otherworldly, with a strong acoustic sound that fills The Shire Horse, but it stands out against the rest. Underneath the surface, you find strong percussion and haunting vocals, creating a calming atmosphere that blends well with the open fire and warm wood decorating the pub.

From the outside, it seems as though Aldous Pinch does not quite fit this line-up. He is neither calming nor gentle, instead bringing to the stage a vaudeville performance that has the whole crowd on their feet. His music is somewhere between sea shanties and poetry, and every song is a complete story. Featuring tails of boozy nights and prostitutes, it would be very easy for the performer to get lost in repetition, but instead, it’s enthusiastic, exciting, and something entirely fresh. Aldous Pinch is definitely one to watch out for in the future. To close the festival Kettering duo Dem Urban Foxes take to the stage with a captivating sound. The music is polished and practiced, and the band clearly knows what they’re doing with their catchy hooks and intense vocals. The music is neither boring nor depressing: instead it is energetic, and most of all, sincere. It’s a great headlining set, and the perfect send-off to such an exciting festival.

Lucy Wenham

No Comments on Live review: Ctrl Alt Fest Delete

Photos: Billy Lockett, & Cousin Avi at the Royal

Billy Lockett played a triumphant hometown headline gig at Royal Theatre in Northampton on Saturday night. The singer-songwriter took to the Victorian-built stage for a solo, 11 song set featuring…

Billy Lockett played a triumphant hometown headline gig at Royal Theatre in Northampton on Saturday night.

The singer-songwriter took to the Victorian-built stage for a solo, 11 song set featuring some of the songs which have propelled the Northampton native, who now lives in London, into the national limelight.

Opening with ‘Covered In Chaos’, Lockett’s set featured new single ‘Feels So Good’, ‘Empty House’, a cover of ‘Heart-Shaped Box’. and set closer ‘Burn It Down’.

Joining Lockett were an acoustic version of Cousin Avi [also pictured below], whose set included new track ‘Mustard’.

Billy’s set will be broadcast this Saturday on BBC Music Introducing in Northampton at 8pm, and he has just announced his biggest headline show to date, at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire on October 9. For more details, visit www.billylockett.com

Photos by @davidtjackson / www.davidtjackson.com

No Comments on Photos: Billy Lockett, & Cousin Avi at the Royal

Gig report: Century City + Pieces + GoGo Loco

CENTURY CITY + PIECES + GOGO LOCO The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton March 24th 2018 Since the turn of the year The Garibaldi Hotel, yer proverbial diamond in the rough in…

CENTURY CITY + PIECES + GOGO LOCO
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
March 24th 2018

Since the turn of the year The Garibaldi Hotel, yer proverbial diamond in the rough in the back streets of The Mounts, has been under new management, and what a difference it’s making already. Tonight the turn out is exactly what it should be for decent local live draws – in short, busy.

The openers are playing their debut show tonight. Not that you could obviously tell, as GoGo Loco merge seamlessly on from their former The Mobbs guise. Joe and Cheadle might be a man down, but the songs are still primitive and strong. The primary influence now is clearly Bo Diddley, as demonstrated by them covering ‘You Can’t Judge A Book By Looking At It’s Cover’ in a short but deadly set. From now on bring your dancing shoes to the shows, you’ll need them.

Pieces are a new trio formed from the ashes of An Army Of Lights. This, just their third show, is hard and entertaining. The indie disco rhythms are very much the legacy of the noughties, but their tough edge and excellent interplay gives the whole enterprise a strong coherent whole. No idea what the songs are called as they haven’t put anything online yet, but Pieces are definitely a band you would want to check out if you see them listed as playing near you.

The headliners Century City have been wowing ShoeTown since they formed in 2014. A vehicle for former New Cassettes denizens Nik Gray and Tommy Francis, they are joined by Oli Knight (Loose Tooth) on guitar and Dan Battison (Ginger Snaps, and another former New Cassette) on bass. Their guilty pleasures-influenced guitar pop is the very definition of infectious, as it combines Tom Petty/Fleetwood Mac vocals with Death Cab For Cutie/Biffy Clyro drive’n’crunch.

They are the go-to party band in these lands as they give proper show and can handily write pop triumphs like ‘Cherry Red’ and ‘The Others’. As things begin to climax at this well-received outing Gray gets on the bar to fully express himself and get a closer look at those at the back. Result: smiles all round. Gods among men, Century City have the winning formula of not taking it seriously whist actually being seriously good. Long may that continue.

Words: Phil Istine. Photos: David Jackson/Phil Istine

No Comments on Gig report: Century City + Pieces + GoGo Loco

live review: Jen Dobson

JEN DOBSON Club 43, Northampton March 5th A Northampton university graduate, Jen Dobson is a folk artist that has been playing now for seven years. I first saw her perform…

JEN DOBSON
Club 43, Northampton
March 5th

A Northampton university graduate, Jen Dobson is a folk artist that has been playing now for seven years. I first saw her perform before I started university on an open day, giving me great inspiration. Here she performs a heart-wrenching and emotional four songs; ‘A14’, ‘I Got You’, ‘Mess’ and ‘Jesus Loves My Girlfriend’. All four songs talk about real life matters such as friendship, religion and the issues faced in modern day. She speaks out strongly about LBGTQ+ subjects. This performance incorporates great audience participation, getting everyone to sing along and have themselves a lively and entertaining night.

The first song ‘A14’ starts off with spoken lines, which really puts you in the song and makes it easy to relate to. The way the song is presented feels very intimate, the vocals making it feel like you’re having a heart to heart with your friend. As the song hits the chorus it speeds up and Jen began to encourage the audience to sing “get me on the A14 with you in my passenger seat” and used this to ad-lib for the rest of the song that got everyone to join in and have a good time. Second song ‘I Got You’ shows real emotion and heartbreak as the lyrics come across again as very personal and intimate. The song content talks about being there for friends and gives a strong message. ‘Mess’ talks about serious issues but has an upbeat, fun sound – though the lyrical content talks about self-destructive behaviour. Closing song ‘Jesus Loves My Girlfriend’ talks about being both religious and being part of the LBGTQ+ community, confronting people’s opinions on that. The lyrics “Jesus loves my girlfriend just as much as your son” shows the negative affect people opinions may have and how it is unfair to discriminate based on sexuality.

Dobson’s songs are very touching and emotional; they make you feel like she is personally talking to you and contains a lot of feeling. If you have ever felt that you are going through a rough patch these songs are definitely relatable.

Katie Montford

https://www.facebook.com/jendobsonmusic
https://bandcamp.com/jendobsonmusic

No Comments on live review: Jen Dobson

Type on the field below and hit Enter/Return to search

error: Content is protected !!