Sunday, 28 March 2010

Melvis is back! For a bad trip at Bickershaw Festival 1972;

Now that's what I call a good night: Creak & Kryptic Klu at The Libertine

People came. People drank. People danced. Musicians networked. People added their emails to the mailing list, even! The place was b-u-s-y, BUSY! So, it is possible to fill the pub on a ROCK-TIL-YOU-DROP night. The bands just have to bring there friends and family in abundance, like Creak and Kryptic Klu did, God bless 'em. There was the added bonus of the stag party that arrived to fill the far end of the pub; but who cares who they were? They were there. At the Libertine. All of 'em. That night.

The first band of the evening, Kryptic Klu, has been evolving for six years or so. It is a five-piece guitar band led by Ray Hyde. The band rehearses regularly (their guitarist Liam Barnes once told me that weekly rehearsals were written into each of their marriage vows!) but has played less than a handful of gigs. Last night was the boys' first gig in a long time, and was therefore a very special occasion indeed, which galvanised friends and relatives, from teenagers and upwards. And they didn't disappoint their travelling massive, with a solid set of Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan-flavoured rock songs.

Winners of ROCK-TIL-YOU-DROP's Best Band of 2009, Creak had a hard task following the Kryptics, but rose to it, and kept the room buzzing with their mix of classic rock covers. Their guitarist Vladi arrived in the nick of time, straight from the airport that he'd flown in to from France, put his luggage down, got himself a Guinness, plugged in his sunburst Les Paul, and spent the next 45 minutes throwing the rock moves and shapes that have become his trademark. Creak is solid, professional and loud, but never uncontrollably so. I want a rhythm section like theirs, and a lead guitarist like Vladi or Paul. Singer Paul Rodger can join me on stage for our encore, a rendition of We're Not Gonna Take It.

Musicians met musicians. Promoter met musicians; I was introduced to the members the Foaming Beauties, a band I had not come across yet, who seemed very nice - I look forward to finding out more about them.

Youtube video of Creak and Kryptic Klu to follow shortly.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Pocket Rocket needs a funky/rock drummer. Hobbyist, GSOH, serious re: commitment, music & gigging regularly.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Creak & Kryptic Klu at The Libertine, Borough, SE1, tomorrow (Sat) night. Free entry. 8pm

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Let me make something clear... ...The Galileo Seven rock!

Despite the poor turnout the other night at The Fiddlers, the support act The Galileo Seven, who were playing a long way from home, were outstanding. If you get a chance to see them, don't miss it.

I do hope they'll come back to play for ROCK-TIL-YOU-DROP again some day. In the meantime, here's a video of their song Never Go Back performed that evening.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Why does it always rain on me?

Why does it always rain when I'm cycling to rehearsal with my guitar on my back and my panniers full of expensive kit?!!!


RTYD Presents: Creak and Kryptic Klu at The Libertine, Borough, SE1, this Saturday. 8pm. Free entry.

Posted via web from rocktilyoudrop's posterous

RTYD Presents: Creak and Kryptic Klu at The Libertine, Borough, SE1, this Saturday. 8pm. Free entry.

Friday, 19 March 2010


Check out ROCK-TIL-YOU-DROP's new YouTube page, including recent performances by RTYD -associated bands:

Posted via web from rocktilyoudrop's posterous

Check out ROCK-TIL-YOU-DROP's new YouTube page, including recent performances by RTYD -associated bands:

Sod this for a game of soldiers

The 4th Suit

The Galileo Seven

Alpha Rays

I think I've done three or four Fiddler's gigs now. Attendance at all of them has been disappointing. It's a shame. It's a decent venue. There's no division between venue and bar. Once you're in, you're in. The sound is good. It's five minutes walk from Chalk Farm tube station. The staff are friendly.

At the last gig, the Blues night, there was nearly 60 people in the 150 capacity venue, but only 22 of these were paying customers. 20 musicians. A few WAGS. And a bunch of locals made up the numbers. It seemed reasonably busy. People danced, and so on.

Last night, there were 12 paying customers. Just enough money at the end to pay the sound man. Their were a few WAGS, a couple of French guys who thought they were above paying to see their mates. The locals. But there was a gaping void in front of the stage. People were pinned to the walls around the venue of fear of standing out, literally.

Is is worth it?

Tox of 14 Carat Grapefruit came out to support The 4th Suit who'd travelled from Bristol to play. And what a fine punk band they are. And lovely blokes. The kind of band that stops me from giving up on this whole thing. Hobbyists. A good attitude. No egos. No bullshit. Mates, mostly from school. Loyal to each other. No bickering. They plugged in, following their late arrival, and played. Then they relaxed. And ate. And drank. And drove home to Bristol.

Steve 'Istvanski' was out in support of The Galileo Seven, which featured on lead vocals and guitar, former Stabilisers guitarist Allan Crockford, perhaps more famously known for his place in 80s psychedelic-mod-rockers The Prisoners. They were very professional. Kept themselves to themselves, but put in a fine performance, much like The 4th Suit, performing as if the venue was more than half-full rather than more than half-empty.

By the time the Alpha Rays hit the stage the place was empty, save a handful of loyal friends. Which was sort of depressing.

I think I'm going to knock these gigs on the head. I'll honour the bookings I have committed to. And I'll probably continue to do The Libertine gigs, especially the Saturday night electric ones. But with respect, many of these bands are wasting their time playing in 150 or more capacity venues. They don't have the following. These are pub bands. They want less bands on their bill, and to be able to play longer sets, but they don't draw enough people to justify these arrangements.

Last night, two of the bands were travelling ones, so they can be forgiven for not bringing a big crowd, but The Alpha Rays are a London band. They won't survive long on the Full-PA Toilet Circuit without more support. I don't pressure bands to bring people. I'm beginning to see why venues do though. I don't want to be a promoter like that. It's not me.

On Tuesday night, 14 Carat Grapefruit arranged a ROCK-TIL-YOU-DROP gig of their own. In the spirit of the mature musicians' community, they branded it as such. They asked me to bring my stage-banner down and I went along and introduced the bands. I flyered it, and did some real-world social networking. Their performance was well attended, but as the night went on, the Miller in London Bridge felt much the same as The Fiddlers did last night at 11.15. Empty.

I think this is the way forward for RTYD. I'm tired of organising these bigger gigs. Bands can arrange their own gigs at these places. I will promote those bands and musicians that I like, and are friends with. I will happily endorse their gigs, and include them in my monthly email-outs, as long as they give a nod to ROCK-TIL-YOU-DROP in some way.

I need to focus on my own band. And when that's back in one piece, I will do as 14CG do, and organise Pocket Rocket gigs, with support from stalwart RTYD-associated bands that I like and care about.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Saved by the Brentford Nylons

Thanks to Jack, of Bang To Rights & The Brentford Nylons, kindly passing on the booking, the problem has been solved.


Not doing a good job of booking the next Libertine gig. In my panic to fill the bill, I seem to have double booked the support slot. What a cnut. Now I want to honour both bookings, but I got a live music curfew at 10pm. Bollocks.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Drummer Lusted

Drummer-lust, my wife called it, as I fixated on John Bonham's drumming during a clip of Led Zep's debut live appearance on Danish TV in 1969 shown as part of BBC4's Heavy Metal Britannia the other night.

The Beast & Probing Cranks at The Libertine:

Monday, 8 March 2010

The Beast & Probing Cranks at The Libertine

I'm always disappointed by my favourite bands when they allow their songs to be used in TV adverts. To be fair, maybe they don't even have a say in the matter these days. On Saturday afternoon then, while watching The Railway Children for the umpteenth time with my seven year old daughter and daydreaming that my name was David and after a walking trip with my friend on the Yorkshire Moors, in which we are both attacked by a wild animal, I had been woken in my hospital bed by a nightmare only to see Jenny Agutter rushing to my bedside..... where was I?.....Oh, yeah, so on Saturday afternoon More Heroes by The Stranglers, albeit without a vocal, is advertising, of all things, bread; baked for you by Hovis. No more heroes? Too right.

No more heroes, apart from Probing Cranks, of course, who, judging by those gathered at The Libertine to support them on Saturday night, are treated as such on their own little scene in SE-Whatever-it-is. They however, will never get the chance to 'sell out'. They will never be faced with the moral dilemma over whether to licence their music to advertise margarine or marmalade or muesli. This is both good and bad; good because I don't want to associate Probing Cranks with my breakfast, or vice-versa; and bad because Probing Cranks deserve the commercial success that might face them with such dilemmas. I get the sense though, that they are beyond giving a damn about commercial success.

When spooning the aural casserole that boils on the Probing Cranks' hob, one is reminded of quirk-mongering bands such as The Pixies, The Fall and The Wedding Present. Of songs like Love Buzz by Nirvana. Skip Steps 1 & 3, by Superchunk. It's music produced by Steve Albini. It's the sound of a band supporting Jesus Lizard or Sebadoh. Probing Cranks also remind me a lot of the band I was in in the early 90s, called 67. Heavy, quirky, intense and edgy. So that's nice, for me, anyway.

The Beast may be penniless, but what they don't have in their pockets, they make up for in noise, passion and classic-rock riffola.

Toby Nuttall's voice rises and squeezes Brian Johnson-style between the down-beating AC/DC guitar riffs. John Grant on drums and Beanz on bass provide the Led Zep-style backbone.

Having lent my amp to my namesake for the night, I had the pleasure of his company during a lift to the gig. It was a chance to hear another version of the Carol Street squat story - one I love. About Camden in the late-70s. I do wish I had been there. Even earlier. '68 would have been good, in time to see the Doors at the Roundhouse. But '76 would have been just fine; in time to see The Ramones there, and The Stranglers, for a couple of quid.

I empathise with Toby. Not just cos we share the same first name, which incidentally causes some confusion during the evening. No, he, like me had a band on the verge of 'something'. And it came to nothing. Tonight, I feel the release he gets from unleashing The Beast. You sense his regression to the twenty (something) year old version of the same person. One with fewer worries. The untouchable one. The one with nothing more money-wise, but all that a young musician needs, that is: a bunch of hippy-punk friends, a squat scene, some booze, hash and acid, a 1960s Stratocaster and an AC-30.

Squats and drugs and rock and roll.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Thought for the day

I've just decided, from now on, I'm only promoting gigs for bands that have signed up to the Bands, Fans & Industry network. I can't be bothered anymore with those that aren't 'in the club'.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Michael Caines (Times Literary Supplement & Spirit of Play) writes his monthly music-book review for R-T-Y-D: