Monday, 31 May 2010

Thursday, 27 May 2010

The Outbursts & Trad Arr. at Peter Parker's


On Saturday I went to support The Outbursts at Peter Parker's Rock n Roll Club in Denmark Street. Tox of 14 Carat Grapefruit did the same. I also wanted to catch the support band Trad Arr., another band of mature musicians, and to meet them.

I lost count of the amount of musicians in Trad Arr. Among others, they have a sax player, a harmonica player and violinist. They are led by Andy Golding, who used to play in mid-80s indie band The Wolfhounds, one I completely overlooked while I immersed myself in the heavy rock of the period, simultaneously working my way though both Led Zeppelin's and Alice Cooper's back catalogue.


Anyway, after their energetic set, which was punctuated by entertaining on-stage banter and sounded at times like the Velvet Underground playing The Pogues, and at others, vice-versa, Matt Russell introduced me to their singer and guitarist Andy Golding. Another nice bloke, with another great story, this one of playing with the likes of Primal Scream, and touring in the mid-80s. Andy also fronts an acoustic version of the band, which I am hoping to book at The Libertine in July.

The Outbursts took to the stage in full punk regalia. Neale Muldowney, in kilt and dog-collar, was in punk rock heaven given the opportunity to play through a 4 x 12 Marshall stack; and loud as he was, was so 'on it', it was a joy to watch him play, and control the feedback as it leaked through the fuzz.

The band introduced their new song, the necrophiliac anthem, Dig 'Em Up & Fuck 'Em, which sounded suitably obscene, and romped through all their classic tunes, including their other new original You're Dead, an anti-tribute to Neale's predecessor. Let that be a warning to you Neale!

As Tox pointed out, The Outbursts go from strength to strength. I said it myself the last time I saw them. I do hope that soon their music will be available to download from the ROCK-TIL-YOU-DROP-RECORD-SHOP. So watch this space.

The good thing about Saturday night gigs at Peter Parker's is that he only puts on two bands. This is because live music has to be over by 10:00 when the (night) club opens. Like the Libertine, this is perfect gig for mature musicians and music fans used to an early night.

And, as we all know, as well as careers and families, these days we all need our sleep.

Remind me to email PP, and suggest I sub-promote a Saturday a month there. 

Night night.
The Robin Hood, Guildford. ANOTHER venue closes by Trisha McNair: http://ping.fm/1dMBd

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Live Wires at The Hope


Went to meet Live Wires and see them play at The Hope & Anchor last Thursday night. They are making their RTYD debut at the next PUNK-ROCK-TIL-YOU-DROP gig at Dublin Castle on Wednesday 16th June.

They are: Nick Cooke - vocals and guitar,  Paul Waterman - guitar & vocals, Stevie Buckerfield- bass and Greg Ball - drums.

It also turns out that I have booked Paul and Stevie to play an acoustic slot at The Libertine, but I hadn't made the connection, so that's cool. Nice blokes. Offered to buy me a drink and gave me a copy of their new CD, which is great.

The gig was not well attended but the band put on a show anyway. Nick Cooke was energetic and suitably manic in his role as front man, stepping out onto the floor once free of his Telecaster. Their music was definitely the post punk end of the genre. Not Gang of Four, but maybe earlier Magazine or Wire. And a bit Good Vibration label, Belfast punk.

Before their performance, Nick had to make comfortable his mother and her friend, who proudly and loyally attend Live Wire gigs with some frequency. And why not?

I am proud to have Nick and co. as members of this family too.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

New! YouTube videos of live performances from RTYD at The Fiddler's Elbow last week: http://ping.fm/ZGDYj
Tonight! The Outbursts & Trad Arr. live @ Peter Parker's Rock n' Roll Club, Denmark St. W1. 7:30-9:45, so an early night can still be had!

The Times they-are-a-writing


It's 6am on Saturday morning, and this is the first time since Thursday that I've had to sit down and blog. Which is good, of course, because it is a sign that I am busy. And I like to be busy.

I'm always worried about the ROCK-TIL-YOU-DROP nights at Fiddler's because, for whatever reason, people don't flock to them. The venue is five minutes from Chalk Farm tube, past The Enterprise pub, and down Crogsland Road, NW1, but this seems to be too far for many, or simply venturing into the 'unknown'. And as you know, most people don't like the 'unknown'. Those that do venture there, discover a great venue, with a good stage, sound and layout, and friendly staff. So I do hope it gains popularity. It deserves to.

Anyway, Thursday night's gig at the Fiddler's was made a bit special by the arrival on Thursday afternoon of an email from a young journalist from The Times, who wanted to talk to me about a piece she is intending to write on mature musicians, and to attend the gig with a photographer. Fantastic! We all know there's a great story in 'mature musicians'. It was just a matter of time before someone had the enthusiasm to write it. Apparently, another London promoter had given our young journalist, Mary, a heads-up about ROCK-TIL-YOU-DROP, and being a musician herself she was sufficiently intrigued to listen to music by some of the bands associated with site. She said she was so impressed by what she heard, she felt there was a good story in it; a story about what motivates the mature musician to continue making music past the point that they are too old to 'make it'.

Man! My specialised subject. So I rang Mary and she interviewed me for 25 minutes. I couldn't say enough. I was virtually gushing. She was already aware of 14 Carat Grapefruit and Punks Not Dad, who she had already emailed but was was keen to come down to the Fiddler's to talk to, and photograph, more mature musicians and bands. And she came! Remember the days when you put A&R and journalists on the guest list, and they didn't turn up!

She came down with two associates, one a photographer, and so I fed her mature musicians throughout the night, and she proceeded to take them to a quiet place and eat them. I mean, interview them.
 
First I introduced Mary to Phil Ram of The Great Outdoor Experience, whose story, as some of you may know, includes a short spell in punk band The Vibrators in the early 80s. Tox from 14 Carat Grapefruit came down to show his support and was happy to talk, so I introduced him next. Then it was Luke Toms, who was playing with his band The Luke Toms Vanity Project. Now, Luke also has an interesting story, because he had a contract with a major record company (I think it was Virgin), for whom he made an album that was then 'shelved', and has never been released. I'd put him in his mid 30s. And finally, I sent in Conal Cunningham who fronts Loose Fruit Museum, the headlining band, which is remarkable for fact that they have been going, with various personnel changes since the 80s, or was it the 90s? A long time anyway.

I have to confess I was buzzing about it all. Even the next day.

Anyway, more about the gig in my next blog. There are a few photos here. And I have videos to post to YouTube.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Photos from last night's RTYD gig @ the Fiddler's. Thanks to all the bands for playing, & to all those that came along: http://bit.ly/9lv1pm

Thursday, 20 May 2010

NEW MUSIC BY OLD GITS tonight at The Fiddler's Elbow, Chalk Farm, 7:30pm. ROCK-TIL-YOU-DROP: LARGE BUT LOCAL.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Tomorrow night (Thurs): Loose Fruit Museum, The Great Outdoor Experience, Luke Toms & Seb Cooper at The Fiddler's Elbow, Chalk Farm, 7:30pm
Spinning Wheel @ The Good Ship, Kilburn is looking for indie, folk & shoegaze bands for upcoming gigs. Email: chrissy@thegoodship.co.uk

Monday, 17 May 2010

RTYD-related gigs this week include RTYD @ The Fiddler's Elbow, NW5 & The Outbursts @ Peter Parker's, W1: Gig Calendar: http://bit.ly/cTt8ZG

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Friday, 14 May 2010

Pavement for the ninth time


Went to Brixton to see Pavement last night. For those that don't know the band, they are a slacker-style indie rock band that formed in Stockton, California at the end of the 80s. Brilliant. Funny. Very dynamic. Quirky. Heavy. Gentle. Beautiful. Stupid. I remember hearing songs from their first LP Slanted and Enchanted on XFM, when it started trial-broadcasting in 1992. I had long hair and went to loads of gigs back then by less-well known US indie and hardcore bands. Pavement 'disbanded' in 1999, only to re-band this year.

When I got home last night I counted up nine old Pavement gig-tickets including a couple of festival shows. Before last night, I had last seen them play in 1999 at The Scala. This might explain why I was sort of underwhelmed by the gig last night. To be honest, I wasn't that bothered about going but the wife was keen.  And, perhaps because it was her first time, she absolutely loved it. Or perhaps, it was simply because she's not a grumpy old git like me.

The Pavement songs I had (nearly) forgotten sent the shivers, the rest seemed largely a slacker lesson in how to play your songs like you really don't care, and in the process murder the nuances.

Rattled by the Rush, Debris Slide and We Dance were the highlights for me, the forgotten gems.

Here's a link to The Independent's Spotify playlist containing most of the songs from their Brixton live set: http://open.spotify.com/user/theindependent/playlist/0CxYWe4YK99AMEWxHcamP5

And here's a link to my own Spotify playlist of my favourite Pavement songs, minus We Dance and a couple of others that Spotify won't let me stream: PAVEMENT-TIL-I-DROP.COM

I must stop going to reunion shows
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I must stop going to reunion shows
I must stop going to reunion shows
I must stop going to reunion shows

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

The right gig at the right time


In September 2008 just before I started ROCK-TIL-YOU-DROP, I had just found a drummer on Gumtree. I ran an ad much like the one that is out there now. An honest one. It got one response. Thankfully, one was enough. I got lucky and met a new friend as well as drummer. Since then, because of hobbyist-differences, we had to part musical ways.

I'd already conceived of RTYD in September 2008, and wanted it to include a musicians ads site devoted to older musicians in order to cut out all that scrolling through teenage and 20-something drummers who aren't yet desperate enough to join a band comprising three grumpy old grey-hairs.

What I was yet to discover was that there was something else, other than age, that divided drummers, and mature drummers in particular. And that is the requirement of many that they join a semi-professional or professional band, i.e. one that plays regularly and gets paid to do so. They aren't interested in practicing. They don't care if it's originals or covers. They aren't interested in putting a new set together. In being in a 'gang'. They just want to get on with it. They want instant gratification. They are after all in high-demand, and can therefore afford to be choosy.

Mature hobbyist drummers are good honest people. However, as well as being few and far between, they are also virtually all already in bands. This, or their drum kits are in the loft gathering dust, or the garage gathering rust. Since October 2008, I have met loads of drummers, many of which I would happily play with. Unfortunately, they are all taken. This reminds me of school and when I fancied girls who were already spoken for. This happened a few times. Often, the most I could do then, was wait, and the best I could hope for was that before too long the boyfriend would find some other girl to finger at the Wilfred Noyce Disco and the girl of my obsession would chuck him. I had to be patient basically, and then in the right disco at the right time to get the girl, in the end.

So along with checking the usual musicians sites, I may well be found waiting in the wings at the end of your gig, hoping that your quietly frustrated drummer finally throws in his towel and storms off stage, knocking me over in the process. After the apology and hand up, and on receipt of the replacement pint, I am given the perfect opportunity to introduce my drummerless-self, if my drummerless-self is not already familiar to them.

Lock up your drummers.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Friday, 7 May 2010

Check out John Moore's Secret Diary Of A Rock & Roll Star, Aged 45 ½: http://ping.fm/0z0mR

Ning's New Price Plans

So Ning, the company that provides the platform for the RTYD Musicians  and Bands Fans & Industry networks is phasing out its free service, and introducing three new pricing plans. Basically, they'll want $199 annually from me to run each site, as part of their mid-priced package. On the plus side, they will be introducing the ability to sign-in with Facebook, Twitter or other authentication services, more text boxes, that I could be used to run fee-paying ads/links, as well as a couple of other functional additions.

Ning does have a $19.95 (annually) price plan, but it lacks some of the functionality that we have got used to including Facebook integration, Events and so on. On top of this, it only allows a maximum of 150 members, which is no good. I would also lose the right to use my own domain name. So that's out.

The Musicians' network has 500 members, many of whom, as you know are mostly absent. Maybe they check in from time to time but they do it without leaving a trace. They have little to offer in the way of news, blogs, discussions, information, reviews, musicians wanted ads, or whatever. They are members in name and profile only.

The Bands, Fans & Industry site has 254 members, 133 of which claim to be a band, though some of these appear to be individuals, and again many seem to have gone fishing.

All this starts in July, so there's time to think it over.

Do I suck it up myself? Or charge members a small fee to help cover costs?

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Sunday 1pm @ The Libertine, SE1: Gray Dourman, Toby Nuttall, Jim Faupel & Manir Dongue and Strange Behaviour. Family friendly, free and fun.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Photos from last night's RTYD gig at The Libertine featuring The Moths & The 35mm: http://ping.fm/d8q0a