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 Post subject: Re: Gig reviews
PostPosted: 30 Jun 2008, 16:25 
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MCGlentworth wrote:
Fantastic review Fliss - many thanks. I should have been there really (probably the most 'high profile casualty of my 'small gigs only' policy to date).

Have a policy...but don't be afraid to stray from it is it goes belly up! - or if there's a fab gig in the pipeline!

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 Post subject: Re: Gig reviews
PostPosted: 30 Jun 2008, 16:34 
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Disco Biscuit wrote:
MCGlentworth wrote:
Fantastic review Fliss - many thanks. I should have been there really (probably the most 'high profile casualty of my 'small gigs only' policy to date).

Have a policy...but don't be afraid to stray from it is it goes belly up! - or if there's a fab gig in the pipeline!

I guess another relevant factor is that you have to book so far in advance for so many of the 'big' gigs. Then you find a small gig that you really want to go to comes along on the night in question anyway.

Having said that, all things being equal I will be 'straying' from the policy on 20th November as I'll be at a large gig that night.

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 Post subject: Re: Gig reviews
PostPosted: 09 Jul 2008, 17:23 
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Further proof that the 'small gig only policy' is not inviolate came last night when I saw Ben Folds play live at Sheffield Academy.

In many ways it didn't feel like a small gig at all. We arrived after 'doors' and entered the venue without having to queue. We got a great spot right behind those on the barrier to the left of Ben's piano - giving us a great view of the piano and keyboard magic weaved by ‘The Folds’ throughout the near 2 hour show. Even when we went for a last minute pint before the encore, we still had a pretty decent view of Ben’s playing.

Although I’ve always liked (liked very much in certain cases) rather than loved Ben’s work over the years, and never become totally familiar with his back catalogue, I was amazed just how many great songs (many I’d half forgotten) we were treated to last night. I also loved the ‘improvisation’ in responding to audience requests (including radio jingles he’d recorded for Tokyo FM) – no rigid setlists here. I’ll definitely be further exploring that extensive back catalogue.

Support was from an interesting character called Corn Mo. Ben’s fellow American played a very diverse short set, using accordion & keyboards with a mixture of humorous novelty songs, a entertaining cover of Queen’s We Are The Champions and a one man ‘heavy rock’ closer (‘sung’ to a recording of ‘his band’).

It was wonderful to enjoy the gig in the excellent company of a true Folds fan. It's so good when a great gig can be the centre-piece of a massively enjoyable time.

Even if (like me) Ben Fold’s music has somehow sort of passed you by, I’d thoroughly recommend catching him live – I’d certainly love to see him again.

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 Post subject: Re: Gig reviews
PostPosted: 09 Jul 2008, 18:02 
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Ah, I have been intending to get my finger out and see The Folds live for some time - he's defiinitely on my list of people I want to see. I like what I've heard of his songs, but I'm generally more impressed by the piano playing than the singing.

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 Post subject: Re: Gig reviews
PostPosted: 09 Jul 2008, 18:08 
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morganalefay wrote:
I'm generally more impressed by the piano playing than the singing.

Even many of his fans would probably agree there. I think he's got a quite pleasant singing voice - but certainly not one to 'fall in love with'.

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 Post subject: Re: Gig reviews
PostPosted: 18 Jul 2008, 16:51 
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Since I offered my spare ticket on here, I thought it only fair to post a review of the free iTunes Guillemots gig at Koko last night. Sadly I didn't find anyone to go with me; but they were giving out the spare passes on a 'first come, first served' basis after 8.15, so it didn't go to waste.

Koko looks smaller than it used to when I worked opposite it many years ago. It’s very glamorous and very red inside, and the familiar strains of Elbow’s ‘Grounds for Divorce’, as I wandered downstairs from the balcony, seemed like a good omen (as I’d been listening to the album while working during the afternoon). Koko’s website says it has a mirrorball ‘the
size of the Death Star’ which is hardly an exaggeration. Having wiggled my way down the side of the crowd to a position just behind the front row at the left side of the stage, I amused myself with watching it (and videoing it) for a while. When ‘White Winter Hymnal’ by Fleet Foxes came on, I was already as happy as a person at a free gig.

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First up was the Swedish singer Lykke Li. Her stuff is quite dancey, quite angular, quite minimalist, quite electronic and really quite good, as is her voice - a strong, clear, slightly husky pop soprano with a very slight suggestion of Bjork.

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She had a golden kazoo round her neck which she inserted into some of the songs, and a megaphone.

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She also dances in a very silly way, which impressed me as I sometimes despair at how few women are prepared to look silly on stage.

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I suppose some people might describe her as ‘mad as a bag of spoons’ but not an audience inured to the antics of Fyfe ‘Hatstand’ Dangerfield and his merry cohorts. I was impressed by the fact that she’d apparently managed to get Chris Martin on drums and Jarvis Cocker on keyboards, too.

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I was less impressed that they closed the curtains to set up the stage for Guillemots, as I love watching roadies messing about with equipment. Although some people were fooling with lights at the front, which led to some very interesting shadows, apparently of headless men, behind the curtains.

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At one point a large screen dropped in front of the curtain to project a bunch of iTunes promos, including enjoyable snippets from last year’s gigs, of which the highlight was Editors performing ‘An End Has A Start’. Finally, after a hilariously cheesy announcement, the curtains opened and they were on, Fyfe and Greig both sporting ridiculous sunglasses, launching into a typically noisy rendition of ‘Get Over It’.

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I’m always amused by how LOUD Guillemots are live. For all their classical background and orchestral tendencies, they’re still a rowdy rock band, albeit with a larger than average selection of instruments. I love the way they all play everything. Arista started on percussion,

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then moved to her double bass,

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then picked up a recorder

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followed by a bass guitar, came out to sing the lead vocals on ‘One Last Kiss’ and flitted behind the keyboards for ‘Kriss Kross’.

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Magrao may spend a lot of the time bent over his guitar making seagull noises, which I think of as Guillemots’‘signature sound’, with a bottleneck,

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but he also did duty behind a keyboard, hit stuff and played bass.

Greig blows into things, waves things, sings and plays the drums, apparently all at the same time.

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And Fyfe is all over the place – thrumming his guitar in the style of a man with St Vitus’s Dance one minute,

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bouncing up and down behind the keyboard like Thom Yorke on speed the next,

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all gangly arms and legs and fluffy hair, singing and screeching and yodelling like a loony, yet with never a note out of tune. Now that’s impressive.

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At one point the rest of the band went off and a guitar tech came on, handed Fyfe his white guitar and carefully set a Gibson Hummingbird down next to him. I thought ‘oh good, he’s going to do that solo version of “We’re Here”’. Instead he started wittering on about listening to George Michael in the bath when he was a kid, and having a ‘Ladies and gentlemen, Mr Elton John!’ moment, before flinging out an arm and announcing gleefully ‘Ladies and gentlemen – Miss Martha Wainwright!’

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They proceeded to duet on one of Martha’s songs – You Cheated Me (I think).

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Now I have to confess I’m a bit ambivalent about Martha. I’m afraid her voice doesn’t do a lot for me. I feel bad about this, especially considering how huge a fan I am of her brother, and I have tried, but it isn’t happening. All the same, it was pretty damn magic.

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And then the rest of the band came back on and they performed ‘Redwings’ with Martha singing backing vocals, and it was even more magic.

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Then it was only left to Greig to career around the stage ringing his bell before they hit ‘Trains to Brazil’ with a big stick, and after that we knew it was going to be Sao Paulo, although not before Fyfe had given a bizarre plug to his friend’s book about football in the Middle East. They threw everything they had at Sao Paolo, and then some more. As the song reached its huge, noisy climax where the roadies come on and bash any spare percussion they can find,

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Fyfe ripped his T-shirt off (which he shouldn’t - he has the physique of a washing line) and stood there belabouring his dustbin lid like some kind of wild man

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before scrambling back behind the keyboard to hammer the peal-of-church-bells outro.

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And then it was over. But a huge, excited buzz continued around the auditorium for some time. I think everyone was stunned. I know I was.



Setlist:
Get Over It
Go Away
Made up Lovesong
Clarion
If the world ends
Last Kiss
Don't Look Down
Kriss Kross
You Cheated Me (Fyfe and Martha Wainwright)
Redwings (Martha on backing vocals)
Trains to Brazil
Sao Paulo

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 Post subject: Re: Gig reviews
PostPosted: 18 Jul 2008, 22:37 
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Wow Fliss - that's certainly an "epic" review. Thanks for putting all that together. Sounds like you had a great night.

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 Post subject: Re: Gig reviews
PostPosted: 19 Jul 2008, 11:42 
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Brilliant review and pictures Fliss! - and yep, that keyboard bloke does look like Jarvis Cocker!

Shame you didn't manage to find a taker for your spare ticket, but that was certainly a damn good night by the looks of it. And free is always good...we like free. Martin and I are doing Doncaster Live over the weekend. Elliot Minor, The Levellers and Little Thoughts with others. My camera is in my bag, so there'll be pictures when I get back home.

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 Post subject: Re: Gig reviews
PostPosted: 21 Jul 2008, 21:25 
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Martin and I did Doncaster Live over the weekend. (Thank you very much for putting me up! You're a star.) I'm not gonna waffle on 'cos there was lots of bands and I'll be here 'til kingdom come.

Highlights

Fear of Olive:An acoustic quartet with the guy singing reminding me a lot of Paolo Nutini.

Tiny Dancers:Liked these lots, they had very catchy tunes, good with the crowd and had a party atmosphere when earlier acts joined them on stage for their final song.

Elliot Minor:I'm down with kids me, don’t’cha know! I really liked them, they’ve got very good skills on the ol’ guitars and seemed to be enjoying themselves on stage.

The Levellers:Extremely lively set, have to admit I was more concerned with staying on my feet though...I failed! It was an experience, I’ll tell you that much. I got to know lots of strange people far more intimately than I would have liked to. I got pushed and shoved and ended up on the deck, It’s an odd feeling being lifted to your feet by about half a dozen men!

Little Thoughts:Shame it was only a short set for 'em, four songs I think, but they did a fab little set and filled a much larger stage than the Leopard really well. OK, I know they had the huge stage experience with The Pigeon Detectives, but I've only ever seen 'em play at The Leopard. Good on you lads!

Despite being extremely sore, tired, bruised and missing an umbrella after it all…I loved it. The whole experience of it was something I kinda think I needed to do before I was too old to be pushed to the floor and break a hip!

Some of these bands I didn't like so much, but these are my photos that are in focus, so I'm going for a general feel of the day!

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Little Baby Cheeses

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A Massacre at Dawn

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Tiny Dancers

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Little Thoughts

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Elliot Minor

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Elliot Minor

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Sugarcubed

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The Rascals

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The Levellers

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The Levellers

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Fear of Olive

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 Post subject: Re: Gig reviews
PostPosted: 19 Dec 2008, 13:28 
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I had the most amazing weekend in Southampton last weekend, catching two of Delays' four-gig Christmas tour of their hometown. Best of both worlds - acoustic on Friday and electric on Saturday. At the acoustic set they played songs off 'Faded Seaside Glamour' that I've never heard live (Satellites Lost' and 'You Wear The Sun' ) and a really old song, 'Safety in Numbers', that I've never heard at all. They've recently released an EP ('Lost Tunes' - only available either on iTunes or vinyl) of cover versions including Jackson Browne's song 'These Days' with the most gorgeous harmonies you've ever heard, and the old Creedence Clearwater Revival number 'Bad Moon Rising'. They played both of those as well. Nearer than heaven? We were in it.

Greg introduced the gig by saying 'We're Delays, we're going to do our acoustic skiffle thing for you tonight, we're going to play some songs, tell some jokes and some anecdotes, and there will be a Q&A afterwards.' At one point, when a bunch of punters at the bar were being particularly loud and chatty, he turned and looked daggers at them and they shut up (how cool is that? This guy's about 5'6", half of which is hair, and built like a stick of celery, and he can silence an entire nightclub just by looking at them.) Best of all, when his guitar pickup stopped working towards the end he just stood there with his mic and sang the first verse of a favourite B-side, 'Overlover', completely unaccompanied, while someone brought him another guitar. Aaron was quite ill (and looked it) but still managed to sing 'Panic Attacks' and some fabulous falsetto lines in the cover versions, yell in all the right places, and appear hugely unimpressed throughout by the fact that as it was an acoustic gig he was only allowed a tambourine. Which always seems pointless as the amount of noise Rowly can make with his brushes renders it superfluous. They should give Aaron a triangle instead, or one of those keyboards on a strap. I asked Colin afterwards when he's going to sing a solo and he replied 'when I can be bothered'! and explained he prefers singing harmonies ... not everyone wants the limelight, I suppose ...

While we were queuing outside the Joiner's Arms before the following night's gig, we got chatting to this lad who turned out to be the lead singer of the support band, OpenRoom, who were really good. (He's from Brecon - us Welsh people get everywhere - as the band were local, I can only assume he went to college in Southampton.)

As for the D-boys, they were on fire (and they played 'Girl's on Fire' which I've never heard live before). Greg coped magnificently with his guitar strap breaking, getting down on his knees and playing the end of 'Lost in a Melody' at a 90 degree angle before a roadie could scurry on with his other guitar. They had a jolly good trawl through all three of their albums plus the 'Love Made Visible' EP and actually played, joy of joys, 'Waste of Space' (the last track off 'You See Colours', one of my favourites).

I had an exceedingly random conversation with Greg afterwards while he was signing my 'Lost Tunes' ep, about playing in peoples' living rooms (he doesn't like it, he finds it freaky to have peoples' family photos and stuff about the place) wallpaper and writing songs on the piano (he said that, as he can't play the piano, it sends his songwriting in a different direction). Then he wished me Merry Christmas and hugged me. It should probably be illegal to have that much fun.

Pics (all from Joiners as my Orange Rooms pics were rubbish).

Greg proves that the sun shines out of him...

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... even in a horrible black bin-bag jacket.

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Guitar strap malfunction!

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Greg's hair is gradually taking over the universe. It needs its own postcode.

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Colin

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Aaron, who was miles away over the other side of the stage

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Only decent one of Rowly

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Fun with equipment! I couldn't help noticing what it said on one of Greg's pedals.

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And, since I have the sense of humour of a 12-year-old boy, I can never resist something with 'bottom' in the title.

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 Post subject: Re: Gig reviews
PostPosted: 19 Dec 2008, 15:29 
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I had to do the sad fangirl thing with one of my favourite bass players. Please note the T-shirt.

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 Post subject: Re: Gig reviews
PostPosted: 19 Dec 2008, 15:44 
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morganalefay wrote:
Please note the T-shirt.

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Good work!

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