Saturday, 24 September 2016

My Vertigo Swirl - Status Quo - Piledriver

Today I got hold of a Vertigo Swirl album (full swirl not metallic mini swirl) and they are difficult to track down. It's a 1972 version of Status Quo's Piledriver which is actually a very good album, containing the excellent Paper Plane and their take on The Door's Roadhouse Blues. I posted  a video on Instagram here.

This sort of the thing that makes me recollect vinyl. It looks amazing playing. In the video below is Black Sabbath's Paranoid and a copy of that will set you back around £150. Even the Swirl Inner sleeves sell for a tenner so they are actually a good investment.

My Status Quo album cost me £15 which is the going rate for a new vinyl album, but essentially I got it for the effect that you get when you play it, it's funny I never really thought of it when I played my Vertigo records in my teens, but maybe I see things a bit differently now.

Anyway enjoy , the videos. These vinyl pieces are things of true beauty.

There is a book on the label and various Youtube videos , just search for Vertigo Swirl.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Extreme Noise Terror? - Extreme Metal Party Methinks

Metal Noise
On Wednesday I went to The Riverside to see a gig on the recommendation of several friends. It was going to be loud metal , but as I get older I have tended to come out of gigs without any effect on myhearing , until The Smyths the other week at the O2 , but somebody assured me that was due to the rubbish sound system at the  O2.

Anyway it's so long since I heard Combichrist or Filter and Rabia Sorda were new to me but recommended and they were on stage when I walked into the place. Part of my ethos is that generally , if a band is any good you don't need to know any of there songs , Gallery Circus are a prime example of that for me.

Rabia Sorda look metal and sound metal with goth threatening make up and eyeliner , and I still cant tell you any of their songs although they did play an impromptu acoustic song outside after the gig, they were also very engaging with the crowd both during the gig and after , and , though they were aggressive shouty metal , they sounded good , and no my ears didn't hurt. Rabia Sorda were actually worth the price of admission alone , which is a good omen for the third band on the bill.

Next up were Filter (awkward name to search for but not as bad as !!! )  , and this band really hit me with low frequency bass and drums, but again they sounded amazing and again I can't remember any songs but they played a wonderful set , crowd pleasing and as threatening as any good horror film. So after the Smyths doing my ears filter hit my body , making me feel the slightest bit queasy. The other thing was that their drummer was well hidden so I thought they were using a drum machine, but by the end of the their set you knew you were at an amazing gig , the second of two brilliant acts.

Finally we had Filter's co headliners Combichrist and after the low frequency attack from Filter , Combichrist had something else in store for me. Two drummers and an impressive sonic assault to start with , songs peppered with the word FVCK  and lots of raised metal fists among the crowds. Although bands like these seem to carry a threat for a lot of the public , they are all about having a brilliant time with great shout along songs like "What The Fvck Is Wrong With You"  and playing the encore finale with members of both the other bands.

However part way through the set I had to walk out , my eyes severely affected by the strobe lighting, outside every street light was a massive white brain searing blob. It eventually wore off and I went back it to watch the rest of the gig , and came away knowing I had been to an amazing one.

IF you get a chance to see any of these bands you should do, it was a brilliant re education for me.

Friday, 17 June 2016

The Dad Horse Experiance In Which A German Dominates The Globe

Last night night my friend Lynn asked me to go to a gig to see The Dad Horse Experience. I thought she'd mis spelt it but she hadn't . The gig was at The Globe which is five minutes walk from Gallowgate, and it's a excellent concert area if a little small , but very intimate. There was a good crowd and everyone was talking to each other.

Essential the band is Dirk Ottn , who turned up in a three piece suit and was talking to everyone in the Globe before taking the stage, His instrumentation for the set I stayed for was a couple of banjos , mandolin , kazoo and bass pedals which were used to excellent effect.

A Dad Horse Beer Mat
He is similar to if a little darker than CW Stoneking but they share a lot of common ground , being excellent raconteurs , drawing you into their world of blues and gospel in their own amazing way, his own Keller-Gospel style , and you have to hear. I could see him playing in a bar in a David Lynch film.

The songs were a mix of original and standards such as "St James Infirmary" , "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" and Hank Williams' "Lost Highway".

The crowd loved every song , and this guy  is an absolute must see,. I spoke to him after the first set and he was great and funny to talk to . He also had the bar selling his own cocktail as well.

I came away with a copy of his Live In Melbourne album , and another must see artist on my list.

The Dad Horse Experience proves that despite music consisting 7 notes plus sharps there is always a new twist round the corner to delight you. Go and see him if you can.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Punkest of The Punk?

A good friend of mine, Bethany, pointed me to an article about a Cramps concert in 1978 where they played Napa State Mental Hospital . The article is here . While I laud the band for doing that , and many have done similar things before and since . Take Johnny Cash at San Quentin for instance , bands playing for people who normally would not be treated to live music . One of the best examples of that I have seen was at The Chase Park Festival at Whickham where the whole set up was geared towards total social integration (see review here)

Punky Reggae
My issue with the "I'm Punkier Than You" thing is that as soon as you adjectivise the word it becomes it's own establishment , and Punk is meant to be anti establishment. I remember hearing that Bob Marley had a song called Punky Reggae Party ... just the title made me cringe , as though Bob was trying to jump on a bandwagon . If a band described themselves as punky I would expect something like The Knack singing My Sharona.

A punk is an undesirable , a delinquent , something that doesn't care so for a real punk gig or record , it should challenge , it should be unexpected , and really The Cramps gig was something you would expect The Cramps to do. It wasn't what Fleetwood Mac would do , but then again , when they followed up Rumours with Tusk wasn't that a total punk thing to do , they risked destroying everything with Tusk , although it's probably my favourite album of theirs.

And what about The KLF / Extreme Noise Terror at The Brits , that was a shock to the mainstream, showing punk attitude 15 years after the British Explosion.

Then you had teh Sex Pistols a manufactured bad boy band who's album was heavy metal with a sneer. I bought "New Rose" by The Damned when it came out , "I'm Stranded" by The Saints and then when I heard Anarchy In The UK I was really disappointed because it was metal not punk.

So really if you want the most in your face example of punk attitude it has to be The KLF at the Brits , because the Cramps were just doing what The Cramps did, The KLF actually shocked.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Quality Cheese During Prohibition

More Cheeses Vicar?
This is another post I wasn't going to write about , but I have to tell you about a truly excellent night promoted by Divine Trash at The Prohibition Cabaret Bar in Gateshead on the Sounth East Side of the Tyne Bridge in one of the Railway Arches.

The evendt was The Wrong Side of Cheese and was thoroughly enjoyable , with some class sounds spun by the two DJs Sheena and Juli . It's great to see somone choosing the discs rather than just kicking of a computer playlist.

The surrounding of the bar are conducive to an excellent party atmosphere and the proprietor Mitch is a friendly great guy.

The night was LGBT friendly but that didn't exclude terribly boring , straignt and narrow people like myself. I also was "hellowed" by a few people I didn't recognise , but I think everyone made a great effore on their looks apart from me.

The sound level was perfect,  enabling  conversation, even with people you had never met . The bar was quick to serve, and the look and feel of the pace was brilliant.

I've only DJd a few times and that was with vinyl , but last night we were treated to Kylie , Abba , Donna Summer and lots more, four hours of great friendly fun.

So I'll leave you with one of the songs from the night , by the rather excellent Gina G.

I am looking forward to the next one , if they will let me come.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Amazons in The Gallery (Circus) - Think Tank?

This week has been hectic and last night was no exception. Met with my friend Amy in Bar Loco and mentioned that where we were sitting was when I first encountered Gallery Circus in 2009 see here. I thought two angsty whiny students, turned out I was wrong , they were an excellent part of a great night and were the headline act at a Think Tamk? gig last night. I've seen them a few times since the Bar Loco gig and they get better each time I see them.

Anyway the gig:

Tickets were six quid , a pittance given the four bands you got for the money.


Very much the token indie band , not really my scene but they got a good reaction from the crowd.

Cave Suns:

Their tuning up was a welcome noise fest and started off with some monolithic blues reminiscent of Captain Beefheart's "Hard Workin Man" . I've not found any decent video of them but they were more than worth the admission fee alone. Great crowd interaction and they have a new EP coming out soon . Track em down.


The surprising thing about The Amazons was the unfeasible number of guitars, but this four piece were another serving as good as if not better than Cave Suns  The nearest touchpoint was Liverpool's The Sound Of Guns , a great rock band deserving to be headlining at bigger venues. After the y finished their set I said to Amy that Gallery Circus mus be confident to top a line up as good as this and she agreed.

They had a large female following , but the music was riveting rock.

Their Don't You Wanna EP is on Amazon now here. 

Gallery Circus:

I have a confession to make . I don't know the titles of an Gallery Circus songs , but to me they are an irrestistable musical force that needs to be experienced in a live setting without any compromise. Despite an amp failure and disco curfew the did not disappoint. Energy , noise , and some incredibly music from the duo were delivered in spades . They have the "WTF" factor and delivered half an hour of amazing music , culminating unexpectedly with a thunderous take on Ziggy Stardust , which they have been playing for at least a year , but was still a touching reminder of Bowie's departure.

So all in all an amazing night, showing how much grass roots music is alive and kicking in various forms.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Can Your Pussy Do The Dog ...... Again?

Roller Derby Kerry
Kerry From The Back
Seven years ago at The Cluny Dave Campbell curated and starred one of the most impressive nights I have experienced anywhere. My thoughts on the event are here . Tonight in the guise of The Gramps fronted by Lux Inferior we were treated to amazing set tributing one of the best rock and roll bands ever.

On the stairs I met Kerry who was wearing her dad's original Cramps "Can Your Pussy Do The Dog"   T-Shirt and she definitely wore it well , as well as showing excellent taste in music.


 First up were The Ravaged , a four piece real garage band hitting the crowd with originals and covers, the drummer also sang which is no mean feat and I was told he drums for the mighty Slack Babbath Ididnt get any video and I believe this was their first gig , but I will go and see them next time they are playing.

Great sixties style garage band reminiscent of The Sonics and ? and The Mysterions

The Ravaged were a great appetizer for the main course , the be-suited Gramps fronted by a beturbanned Lux Inferior launching straight into "Can Your Pussy Do The Dog" before following with "Some New Kind Of Kick". The sound was excellent and showmanship second to none and another memorable night was had as the band hit us with "Human Fly" , "Bikini Girls With Machine Guns" , "Surfin' Bird" and "Teenage Werewolf"

You can watch the first two songs on here and see what you missed.

Can your Pussy Still Do the Dog?

It Certainly can

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Remembering Bowie

I've done tributes to David Bowie in this and here and in a remarkable piece of idiocy I was nearly three hours late for last night's BowieBall 2 at Vamos  put on by Divine Trash , managing to miss all the performances and so kust managed to enjoy the people and the music and the company.

Who Am I?
I read the 19:00 start as 9:00 start , which I thought was late , but you know these things happen. The last time I went to a gig at Vamos I trusted Google Maps on My Phone and ended up at ten o clock on Friday night outside an old peoples home in West Denton. I am obviously too reliant on technology.

Anyway last night the gig raised £1500 for to support Teenage Cancer Trust to support the Great North Children's Cancer Ward at the RVI , so great thanks to Divin Trash for putting it.

The music was excellent , lots of dancing and a huge age spectrum , my only observation on the music was they played "Let's Dance" twice (a great song but you never have to play a Bowie song twice , oh OK , so you do). and they did inclue "Holy Holy" one of my favourite Bowie "B" Sides.

Also some Roxy Music, Sweet and Sparks were played , all records in my collection which I bought when they first came out. 

Flo Works on a difficult canvas

I also have to thank the lovely Flo for doing my make up , and lets face it that must have been a task.


I was sad I missed the Ronsonettes and the other performances , but that's my own lack of observation , a certain person is going to want to shoot me,

A brilliant night and just full of amazing people , raising money for a great cause , in memory of a truly great person , sadly missed , but we have his music and his films forever. He will live forever in our memories.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Celebrate The Life

When someone passes away I am possibly not the person you want around. People say to me , Why Aren't You Sad ?  Why Aren't You Grieving? A part of it may stem from being the eldest of three siblings in my family and always expected to "know better"  , and whenever I have needed emotional support I'm usually told to man up or stand on my own two feet. I know I am loved and that makes me very positive , so when there is a loss I think of all the good things and memories about a person. I am the one who will smile and laugh at a funeral. Anyway enough about me

Note none of this is researched it's what effect two recently departed musical artists had on me.


I first became aware of Ian Kilminster in the seventies when he became Hawkwind's bassist. The name Lemmy came from the fact that he was always short of cash so was always asking "Lemmy A Quid Til Friday" . He looked the part and musically I loved the song "The Watcher" the closing track from "Hall of The Mountain Grill" but even better was the stunning "Lost Johnny" still one of Lemmy's best ever songs, so an impressive introduction.

Then I heard "Motorhead" the B-Side of "Kings of Speed" although now it sounds a bit under produced , I loved the song and the title.

Then I was shocked when I heard Lemmy had left Hawkwind , but glad when I heard the intention of forming a new band. The band was going to be called Bastard , but the record company (the newly vaguely corporate Stiff who had rejected The Bok - my band ) reckoned it may not go down well commercially so as a compromise they became Motorhead , and debuted with a very load version of their eponymous song.

Lemmy has now been called the godfather or instigator of metal. I think The Kinks , Black Sabbath , Led Zeppelin and Vanilla Fudge and Cream have far more valid claims.

Lemmy and Motorhead played uncompromisingly loud music. Their attitude was inspirational to the punk music while being an excellent rock band.

I couldn't listen to a whole Motorhead album , but they produced some great songs. I sang Ace of Spades and Please Don't Touch (I know it's a Johnny Kidd song) with Spoon , and I loved Lemmy's attitude of doing what HE wanted.

He had a sense of humour to recording Stand By Your Man with Wendy O Williams of the Plasmatics.

Yes I'm sad he is gone , but I love all the Motorhead I have in my collection , and no I don't listen on Spotify .

Karma Chameleon

I liked Bowie from the off . The first think I heard was "Space Oddity" complete with stylophone solo. I remember getting "Man Who Sold The World" and being stunned by "All The Madmen" , "Width of A Circle" and loving "Black Country Rock". When Bowie hit it big I still loved his stuff even though the fashion heads starting liking him I remember at a disco when the DJ with a sense of humour segued Bowie's "Jean Genie" into the Sweet's "Blockbuster" . The heads were not amused , ironic because the sweet married metal , androgyny , and pop just as well as Bowie at the time , but didn't have the ability to reinvent themselves.

Bowie's continued to change and sometimes I thought "What The Fvck Is That" , but in hindsight everthing becomes brilliant.

"Young Americans" was a shock to the system , "Station To Station" is my favourite Bowie album , but I was speaking to a guy recently who can't past Earthling as it is so brilliant.

On the 9th of January I published this blog post about Bowie's Blackstar , and I do love the album , two days later he had gone.

There's very few artists who come anywhere near Bowie's influence. Ray Davies / The Kinks , Brian Wilson / Beach Boys , Bob Dylan , The Beatles individually and collectively , The Rolling Stones , but  few had his scope and influence.

Bowie never lost it , but now is the time to Celebrate his legacy . He lived his life provately but cane into the spotlife to share a rich vista of film and music.

The songs I have chosen are obvious but take theis time to celebrate and enjoy . It's what David and Lemmy would have wanted.