Sunday, 3 June 2018

And The Star and Shadow Too

Last night I visited the Star and Shadow for a Celebration of the life of Craig Puranen Wilson / Sheena Revolta. It is a wonderful space and a lot of work has gone into getting this ready. I wasn't sure want to expect but you get a wonderful welcome and there is a labyrinth of corridors and rooms and places to explore.

There were a lot of people and the main performance hall / bar was decorated with gittery stars and pink flamingoes (I don't know if that was a refernce to the divinely trashy John Waters / Divine film, probably). Incidentally John Waters appeared in the last episode of The Blacklist that I watched in a hilarious section with James Spader discussing clothes at a suit fitting.

The corridor to the venue was a redisplay of Craig's Garageland , images of female musicians, from last year.

Anyway the music playing included Gram Parsons and The Beach Boys and we were introduced The Mush described as dark folk music and featuring some wonderful playing and amazingly atmospheric songs. The spirit of Craig / Sheena hovered in the form of Divine Trash movies featuring lots of gratuitous nudity causing lots of laughter among the crowd  and band. I can't find anything about The Mush, maybe it's one of those unsearchable terms.

It was like when I saw the Japanses noiseniks Xaviers supporting  Wire. They were selling Tea Towels and Pillow Cases but know CDs but said they had stuff online. I couldn't find anything.

My friend Hedley post a link to the Mush website here  and they have been going for around twenty years. The website is comprejhensive with details of members, albums and music and well worth visiting as they are an amazing musical collective.

So I will include the video I took from last night so you can see the venue and hear the band. I definitely want to see more of them.

Next was Nathalie Stern , who was backing singin in The Mush with friends. Here music was electronic based with some awesome vocalising, and off course more Divine Trash on the screen, but I think here music would have been beautifully served by "The Wicker Man" or "A Field In England".

There were roller skaters, drag queens, some amazing costumes and lots of love in there but I had to leave at ten as the final collective sang their take on Blondie's "Heart of Glass" and the evening was just getiing going, but I would not have been an enhancement to the dancefloor.

There were DJ sets and dancing through to two AM and a truly wonderful event and get together heralded the return of the Star and Shadow, and veritable jewel to our wonderful home in Newcastle.

Heavy, Loud, Gothic and Looking Great

I noticed Bad Pollyanna were playing Newcastle's Think Tank? again so was determined not to miss them again, and £11 to see a band you want to see is not too expensive except ......

This gig was being promoted in conjunction with Novacrow and Sick'n'Beautiful (details here) which I didn't realise were other bands on the bill, I though they may have just been promoters, but it turned out instead of one band worth seeing I saw three amazing bands.

Novacrow were first up and though the bowler hatted lead guitarist cum judderman (Jonyx) was an amazing visual sight, and Kitty the singer had an excellent voice as well astoting an excellent guitar and suitable gothic front lady attire, very black and white.

The rhythm section of Federico and Torben kept it tight and heavy. I did video on song "Mantra" but  the sheer heaviness and small venue plus my camera knowledge resulted in unlistenable footage, but luckily I bought their "Black Syrup" EP from Kitty which means I ca list their names and listen to them properly. Another band on the "see again list".

I managed to find a promo video for "Fight The  Horde" so turn it up and you have some idea of what to expect.

Bad Pollyanna were next up and this is the third time I have seen them, you can check out their youtube channel here, again steeped in Goth and Horror and similar to Novacrow, so that is two bands to satisfy dark musical tastes, although they are both great fun and very approachable. Aad again I was not disappointed but Bad Pollyanna were even louder and heavier than Novacrow.

They are great supporters of the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, which is another reason to support them.Please visit the site to find out more.

I could have left after either of these bands and not felt short changed.

Finally we got Sick'n'Beatiful. The price of the ticket included a download of their latest album so I knew what to expect, but as well as their music you get a visual feast as well, with incredible costumes and back drops . Probably one on the most impressive bands I've seen at the venue and the experience reminds me a little of GOAT with their impressive visual display.

Every band was worth the admission fee alone, so check all of these out at  your earliest convenience.