Oct 07

Wednesday 3rd October

James Walbourne, Blind River Scare
Hot Burrito @ Le Pub, Newport.


Taking the opportunity to officially launch their EP Killing Time, Blind River Scare put on a rocking display of all 5 tracks. Newport’s answer to a country-rock Beautiful South have a loyal following and Le Pub was fuller than it had been for a while. Regular gigging has molded Tim and the band into a tight outfit. Ending as always with the eponymously titled Blind River Scare, hopefully their CD will help them get the recognition they deserve.

Have a look at Out of My Hands here: uk.youtube.com/watch?v=DNYqpS_-N4s 

Never heard of James Walbourne before the night but found that I owned a number of records he has lent his guitar playing skills to - The Pernice Brothers, Peter Bruntnell and Jay Farrah as well as playing live for The Pogues. Accompanied tonight by his brother Robert from the opening song the room fell silent to witness the awesome talent the Walbourne brothers possess. Top notch guitar playing matched a sweet country tinged vocal over some of the best pop tunes heard in these parts for years. No wonder Spider Stacey of The Pogues is making an album with James!

See how No Sympathy looked on the night:
and check for other top tracks at his myspace:


Thursday 4th October

Newport Centre, Newport.


Hadn’t been to a gig this size for a while so it was refreshing to see Editors fill the large stage with their physical presence and sound. Since we saw them on their first tour in Jan 2005 with 20 other people at Barfly we knew they would make it and tonight they showed how and why. From opener An End Has a Start cleverly segued with Bones, the band interspersed tracks from both albums. Tom is now a magnificent frontman. Leaping from the piano or jumping off the drum stand still playing his guitar like a rock god. Ending with new indie classic Hospital Doors and Fingers in the Factories it may well be the CIA next time if their fanbase gets any larger. Watch Racing Rats: uk.youtube.com/watch?v=SGizMgG60D8.


Friday 26th October

Dolly Varden, Lone Pine
Le Pub, Newport.


First time we’d seen Lone Pine with the addition of new member Matt. His presence brings a new Sprinsgteen “E-Street” edge to the band through keyboards and Saxophone. Plagued by sound problems throughout their set didn’t stop the boys from giving their all. See how Good for Nothin looked with added Sax here:.www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlhLFgVsv9U     


Saturday 27th October

Young Knives
Barfly, Cardiff.

Having seen Dolly Varden a number of times in the past 7 years, we knew that they would put on a  good show. Appearing tonight as a four piece (with Diane filling in on snare and tambourine) they didn’t disappoint. Picking tracks from across their five  albums as well as pushing new release The Panic Bell highlights were Apple Doll and The Thing You Love is Killing You from the classic Dumbest Magnets album. Shame about the tossers who talked through the quite songs, but you can’t have everything... Have a look how Killing You  looked here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvBtmRJkAbA


Having loved their debut album Voices of Animals and Men it was a great shame that the band decided to use the night as a platform for unreleased and demo songs that didn’t really cut the mustard. Their jovial banter couldn’t disguise the fact that the songs were nowhere near as catchy as their previous output and sinking faster than a waiter on the Titanic. This was underlined by the rapturous reaction each of the four or five songs they did from their back catalogue achieved. Even new single Terra Firma is only so-so and  failed to fire the crowd. Disappointing....

Tuesday 30th October

Arcade Fire, Clinic
CIA, Cardiff.


Having seen Arcade Fire on their first UK tour 3 years ago in a small venue, entering the warehouse that is the CIA made our collective stomachs slump. Over-large, crammed full and with dreadful acoustics , why did we bother?! Clinic took the stage in black garb with face masks and top hats. Not a look we’ll be sporting this winter. The music was a dreary as their outfits.
Then came the main act... For the first few songs, Arcade Fire put in an uninspired performance by their standards which only picked up with inclusion of Keep the Car Running and a few tracks from the Funeral album. Slipping in an obscure cover by the Violent Femmes just left the crowd more baffled than they entered. Whether it was an off-night or the band have lost their original and innocent sparkle is hard to decipher, but I for one won’t be paying nearly 30 for 70 minutes of their company to find out next time.

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