Tag Archive: sham 69


10644504_849034398474545_1266507282074302395_nIt might seem that the world has gone to hell in a hand basket this week, or worse…Hull, but at least you have a whole raft of great, original live music to console yourselves with. And as always Thursday does the perfect job of easing you into the weekend with more than its fair share of the gigs.

 

Thursday

Josh Kumra @ The Victoria

It’s great to see Josh back with a hometown show. It’s been an interesting journey for him from accessible Americana-indie influenced local shows to managing to get a foot in the bigger leagues, releasing an album and even finding himself sat at the top of the charts with a co-written song. With all that behind him it is easy to see why his stock has risen so much since those early days when I used to see him playing in the back room of pubs to a handful of people. His songs are great and his voice is surprisingly mature so it is bound to be a great show.

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Last nights wanderings reinforced my reasoning for sticking to original music. To be blunt, I was in musical hell. The names have largely been omitted to protect the innocent. Actually that’s not true, they have been admitted to protect the author. So in a night totally devoid of original bands but still with a hankering to see some live music I wandered off of my beaten track to see what the cover bands had to offer and ended up in a venue that I hadn’t set foot in for many a year. The last time I was here it was to see the wonderful 2 Sick Monkeys and the night ended with the band being told not to play the music was upsetting the regulars and the landlord readying a baseball bat as thirty or so aging punks and local misfits loudly expressed their disapproval. Such is the stuff of local music lore.

So what had changed in the intervening years? Everything! The place was now a trendily decorated bar announcing it’s allegiance to music with posters of Jesse J and a host of other despicable chancers.  If there had been a piano in the bar it would have stopped playing as a leather jacketed hippy, emblazoned with New Model Army logos shattered their pastel, polo shirted idyll. As for the band, standard fair Brit pop and punk classics were delivered devoid of the spark and passion with which they first came kicking and screaming into this world. The Clash, Oasis and, weirdly The Levellers were thrown at a largely uncaring audience and by the time they got to the part in Oliver’s Army that pointed out “and I would rather be anywhere else, than here” I took that as a message from the Gods of Music to move on, my view of cover bands unchanged.

 

Note: The band pictured are not the band in question but a pictorial representation of an exciting and dynamic cover band.

The sanctity of The Victoria seemed in order. A chat in the bar with a fellow hack and various refugees from The Beehive was by then most welcome the highlight being a shared love of The Rutles and wonderful exchange of it’s oh-so-quotable lines.

“If you come to me and ask me, I’m gonna tell you the truth, because it is the truth, I have had tea. Lots of tea. Indian tea. And biscuits.”

And so forth.

Later, I realized that the sound engineer at the show in the back venue was Kieran Moore a fellow promoter and all round good egg and someone with whom I needed to catch up. There was only one problem. The show he was running the desk for was a Dire Straits tribute act! I steeled myself, blagged my way in and prepared for the worst.

Dire Straits, the music of choice of the 80’s yuppie who, having attained the semi-detached, the new car and the fancy new-fangled CD player, realized that they didn’t have anything to play on it. And why did they not have anything to play? Because they didn’t actually like music, had no appetite for it and didn’t have a clue what to buy! Thus the success of Simple Minds, U2, Queen (for playing in the VW Golf) Sting, Phil Collins, Simply Red, Alison Moyet, Hall and Oates and Sade for when the lights had dimmed and the Baileys was served. That pretty much the extent of a large portion of the countries record collections at the time.  Still I did get to play a few tunes after the gig had finished and rather than upset the Straities with anything too radical did subject them to a bit of 10,000 Maniacs and Lloyd Cole and The Commotions. It’s a start!

And to think that this time last week I was watching Sham 69! There was only one thing left to do. Head to The Beehive to get truly hammered. So I did!

Had a bit of a revelation last week, apparently the local music scene is dead. Not only did a bloke in a pub tell me, two days later a totally different other bloke in a totally different other pub told be exactly the same thing, so it must be true. In fact I think they are right as I had only managed to get to watch four bands that week, I really should put a bit more effort in.

It may come as no surprise that there are many things that annoy me; reality shows, celebrities, celebrity reality shows, cooking shows, cordon bleu, James Cordon, Twilight, people over the age of eleven who have read Twilight, people who pronounce coupon with a Q, people who make lists of things that annoy them, Steven Seagal and obviously Nicholas Cages hair. But the one thing that trumps any of those is people who tell me the music scene is dead yet whom I have never bumped into at a gig or even heard discuss a band they have seen.

Okay I admit things have been quiet of late and it doesn’t help that two of our bigger venues seem to have given up altogether on the idea putting gigs on. I will mention no names, as I don’t want to wake up with an overused Godfather movie reference in the bed next to me. But come on, dead? I don’t think so. Even on a quieter week like this,  I can still list a dozen bands to check out, many of them free, but if you would rather sit on Facebook posting “support live music” banners or watch Simon Cowell’s latest round of money spinning exploitations then maybe the local live circuit is not the place for you anyway, there is no “like” button for a start!

So what will the more supportive and broadminded be feasting on this week? Damn it! As if to trip my argument up at the first hurdle, tonight The Victoria plays host to BGT auditionee Sam Kelly who many of you will remember from such classics as Porridge and ‘Allo ‘Allo. He may have ambitions involving Cowell’s evil empire but at least he is putting his money where his mouth is and is out hitting the live circuit. Support comes from the slick dance-pop ear candy of Goldman.

Better illustrating my point is Acoustic Buzz at The Beehive. Blind River Scare main man Tim Manning hosts his regular night and delivers some wonderful acoustic Americana folk, this time joined by the delicate guitar and Kate Bush-esque vocal of Jess Vincent. Also on the bill is Jack Bird whose sound is neatly summed up as invoking bar-room brawls, smoky pool rooms, dusty highways and full of whiskey aching songs.

Friday has a couple of great options for the rock fraternity though both in the shape of tributes. Snaggletooth will be at The Rolleston doing their very best Motorhead impression and up at The Victoria, fans of Green Day will be catered for. After this weeks antics in Las Vegas I just hope no one tries to cut their set short. Oh, the language!

More Americana at The Beehive, this time the real deal. Armed with every instrument in the hill-billy musical arsenal and coming off like Captain Beefheart playing punk-pop bluegrass, Hymn for Her are just the sort of musical experience to blow your mind. Something that The Beehive seems to excel at.

Staying briefly at The Beehive as we move into Saturday and more roots music on the bill, this time with Dirty Old Folkers and their brand of “inappropriate folk” – a wonderful blend of gypsy jive, klezmer, bluegrass, folk and brummie humour.

The big name of the weekend is at The Furnace, not only are we talking about Sham 69 but three quarters of the classic line up in the form of Jimmy Pursey, Dave Parsons and a personal hero (due to his co-founding of Lords of The New Church) Dave Tregunna. Support comes from local punk legends Charred Hearts and bravely opening the show is The Racket. Lets think about this – 300 or so 40-something punks here to see their heroes, armed with unlimited beer money and a BA in drinking greeted by a bunch of whippersnappers playing trashed out indie. Our thoughts are with you during this difficult time.

Next door in the Rolleston are the rhythm and booze outlaws, The Hamsters from Hell and if cover bands are more your sort of thing, Penfold will be playing popular party tunes over at Riffs Bar, 1000 Planets will be performing their Killing Joke set at The Victoria and it’s all about Ozzy’s post Sabbath career at The Queens Tap with Wizards of Oz.

Something a bit special washes up on our shores on Monday as Gabby Young and Other Animals (pictured) play The Arts Centre. A riot of colour and sound this boho-circus troupe meets jazz cabaret blend cool guitar, explosive brass, archaic music hall, unexpectedly delicate folk, abject eccentricity and burlesque. An experience to behold and Alice Offley opening the night is another very good reason to go.

Finishing at our usual Wednesday night recommendation, The Running Horse will be playing host to Louise Latham, a gorgeous voice, elegant and emotive songs and wonderful delivery, what more could you ask for? Ok, who said free beer?