May 07

Monday 14th May

Rod Thomas, Jimi Alexander & The Satellites
Monkey Cafe, Swansea.


First time in the Monkey Cafe for the soundsnew crew. Nice set up with bands in an upstairs room but a bit of a stroll to get a beer from downstairs and the gig could do with more than the two 30 watt bulbs used to light the entire room and stage! That aside Jimi and the Satellites (minus a drummer tonight) put on a good show. I Thought You Said You Love Me, Wayward Soul and new song Hallelujah. I’m Alive get a an airing. The pairing of Jimi and Lucy’s vocals just gets sweeter and more perfect each time we hear them live. Have a look at how Held In My Arms looked on the night and buy their self released CD EP from their MySpace site: 

The night was official launch of Self-Raising Records so it was fitting that label owner Rod should take the top billing. A kind of modern-day one man-band, utilizing delay pedals to keep the variety of instruments (guitar, keyboard, tamborine etc..) going while he sings (similar to the way Son of Dave, Andrew Bird and solo K T Tunstall do). Rod has an excellent voice and an ear for a good tune. First single Good Coat and next Your Love Is A Tease were obvious highlights but have a look at As If to see how it went on the  and check out his MySpace stuff  .  The animation videos on YouTube are pretty good too  


Friday 11th May

Maria Taylor, Boy Omega
Le Pub, Newport.


A last minute change of plan meant we ended up at this gig with no prior knowledge of either act - and what a find they both were!

First up was a solo gig for Sweden’s Boy Omega. Heartfelt songs in the style of Bright Eyes made up the majority of his set previewing tracks from latest album The Grey Rainbow. Clever use an iPod with the music of his backing band to fill out the sound was an excellent approach to keep the interest of the partisan crowd. The highlight for us was single Explode from the last album. Have a look at one of the quieter songs here :

With the tiny and slender frame of Maria Taylor dwarfed by her giant guitar and with her brother and sister in the band this was almost a family affair. How this amazing six piece from Nebraska ended up playing a free gig in a pub in Newport is nothing short of unbelievable. Promoting her latest album Lynn Teeter Flower which includes a song penned and sung by Bright Eyes Conor the band couldn’t put a foot wrong all night. Somewhere between label mates Rilo Kiley and her previous band Azure Ray its hard to pick a favourite track but try Song Beneath The Song from their first album 11:11 with Boy Omega lending backing vocals here:


Wednesday 2nd May

Hot Burrito No 3 with Lone Pine
Le Pub, Newport.


The third Hot Burrito saw local heroes headline on a blistering hot night. Despite a number of people being absent due to international football on the TV in every other pub in town, a fair crowd of the usual suspects assembled to hear one of the best country-rock outfits in the UK.

Since slimming down to a four-piece at the end of last year, Lone Pine have tightened their sound and with a busy schedule, the band play with a confidence earned through experience.

Tonight we get a rocking set of “Money & Faith”, “I Know Myself” (surely due a cover by a Stones themselves?!), the laid back “It’s In my Heart” and “Good For Nothin”. Ending with a rare outing of “It Wasn’t Very Kind” (have a look at The best three quid you could spend and more skilled than any multi-million football prima-donnas.

Next month sees ex-Rockingbirds vocalist Alan Tyler supported by an acoustic Redlands Palomino. We will be at the usual space by the bar. Look for the long line of Newkie Brown bottles. The MySpace page for Hot Burrito is:  

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