Oct 06

Wednesday 25th Oct

Lambchop
St Georges, Bristol.

Definitely the poshest gig I’ve ever been to. The setting of a recital chapel is beguiling and the bar prices match that of the polo-neck wearing Guardian chin strokers who seem to make up the entire audience. You even get a sheet of A4 telling you about the band on the way in which I guess is just in case you paid 20 to see a 1970s glove puppet! The formal setting of a 8 piece band and grand piano was tempered with the use of weather balloons with 3D images projected on them throughout as an impressive and innovative distraction. Despite this, the stuffy atmosphere and uncomfortable wooden church chairs made it a rather dull affair. Kurt did his best having some banter with the audience and his pianist, but most of the listeners would have been more at home with a cup of cocoa and a nice warm blanket. Highlights included Paperback Bible and Beers Before the Barbican from the latest album Damaged. Very professional but too sedate by half.      

Wednesday 18th Oct

iLiKETRAiNS, The Early Years
Barfly, Cardiff.

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The Early Years played a deafeningly loud set of tuneful drone guitar space rock in the mode of Spacemen 3 or perhaps Echo and the Bunnymen meeting the Jesus & Mary Chain in a back room. When the songs broke through the wall of sound we could see why their album is getting rave reviews. Worth investigating

After an extended interval due to a blown amp, iLiKETRAiNS hit the stage..

Starting with impressive slow building new song Spencer Percival the band lay out their stall for an evening of downbeat doom laden music. Quickly followed by The Accident and Rook House for Bobby. The irritating and unfunny heckling of “ilikebuses” “ilikeplanes” by one student grated but was taken in good jest. Why do these people bother? Before the Curtains Part Two got an airing (why no Part One guys, its your finest 5 minutes?). Then another new song Dr William Boyd, which didn’t quite work. Ending with Terra Nova and the ever-present Stainless Steel to put a stride back in the step of the set. No Beeching Report due to the venue curfew disappointed some, but you can’t blame the band avoiding a fine for overrunning.

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It was a shame that cornet player Ashley was so low down in the mix and there seemed to be an unease about the band on stage we hadn’t detected at previous gigs. Whether the earlier technical problems upset the balance was unclear, but it wasn’t a classic performance. The new songs were a bit hit and miss but maybe time in the studio in December will shape them up and give them a change of direction the band need to keep the growing amount of interest up. That aside, it can only be time before one of their songs is used to add eerie atmosphere to a film soundtrack so fame and fortune will be theirs. Maybe second class tonight, but iLiKETRAiNS are still on track and not out of steam yet....

Sunday 15th Oct

Hugh Cornwell
The Point, Cardiff.

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Hugh appearing tonight as a trio flanked by impressive female bass player Caroline Campbell and drummer Chris Bell. Playing the entire live CD he’s pushing - The Dirty Dozen full of  Stranglers classics Goodbye Toulouse, Hanging Around, Duchess and No More Heroes along with the rarely aired Bear Cage and Peaches with lyrics altered oddly to “Walking on the Benches” and “Is she trying to get out of Swansea”??  The assembled loyal fans were not disappointed but Hugh won no new admirers with his downbeat attitude to the faithful telling one guy to not smoke near by him and another to see The Stranglers if he wanted a request show when shouting for Go Buddy Go. Maybe Hugh  wants a slot on the Old Gits TV show? On tonight’s former he’d out-miserable Rick Wakeman! Much better in Bristol last April. Maybe he holds a grudge against Cardiff after that incident over 20 years ago...... 

Monday 9th Oct

Patty Hurst Shifter, Lone Pine
Bonavenyture Social Club, Bristol.

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Lone Pine’s first gig at Bonaventure and their first as a four piece since the departure of Guitarist/Mandolin player Neil. The stripped back line-up seemed to give the band a new sense of urgency and tightened up the sound. While the new “experimental” song may be a bit too off the beam for the Bristol crowd, the tracks from their Lock Up Sessions EP went down a storm and it wont be long before they are back over the Bridge....

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It would be fair to say that Patty Hurst Shifter are the rockier side of Country-Rock. With two albums under their belt, the band turned the amps to 11 and power-chorded their way through a 90 minute set with singer/guitarist J Chris Smith hardly pausing for a breathe. With so many songs of their own it was a shame they chose to end on a Buffalo Springfield cover.

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