It may be a chilly November afternoon but here in Rugby's lively Bacco bar I'm getting warmed up by a lively discussion with Robert Low. Many of you will know Rob not only from his dynamic vocals with the popular Record Covers, but also from his work organising Hamplified for the Matt Hampson foundation and co-hosting the PM Music Café on Radio Plus.
It turns out that he's making new plans to invigorate the live entertainment scene in his home town bringing "a fresh calendar of events to Rugby, Warwickshire and Coventry."
The big idea is to bring together entertaining but thought-provoking performers with beautiful spaces in creative ways. It's great that lively covers bands can fill up town pubs on a Saturday night but there are many creative performers who deserve a venue where they can be seen, heard and appreciated. That might be the Killerz and the Rushmore at the Benn Hall, but could equally well be poets in the airy St. Andrew's church, comedians in cocktail bars or DJs at a pop-up festival but with fabulous street food and an amazing urban vibe. To bring this vision to life, Rob and his wife Julie, ("My wife is definitely the brains behind the outfit"), have set up Enterlude, an independent promotion group. The plan is not only to enhance the cultural vitality of the local scene but also to demonstrate that a commercially viable model allows promoters to be bold and independent.
In his own words, "The great thing about what we do and what we plan to do is that we are not beholden to anyone – that's the important thing. We're not looking for council funding, not looking for permissions, all in private spaces. We'll organize events for anybody. But our main drive and focus is to be organizing these events ourselves. Events we feel there is a space for, events we feel there is a need for locally. We want them to be culturally diverse, thought provoking and entertaining – that's what excites us so much about it."
Two important goals are to work with Rugby's festival of culture and then to be a key supporter of Coventry's 2021 city of culture bid. However Rob's concern for the cultural vitality of Rugby remains central to his plans, "Rugby town centre is our heart, were we build from."
So diaries ready, folks! Rob's already announced the Hamplified Comedy Night on 24th November at St. Andrews RFC, Killerz and the Rushmore on the 9th December at the Benn Hall, Antarctic Monkeys and Stupid Boots at Lawrence Sheriff School on 3rd February next year. You can get tickets from Ticket Source .Get yourselves along to these gigs and keep it live and lively in Rugby.
An exciting new event creation venture Enterlude launch on Saturday 9th December at The Benn Hall Rugby bringing you The Killerz (The Worlds Leading Tribute To The Killers) plus awesome local indie act The Rushmore.
So join them for a great pre Christmas nightout with more music planned at the afterparty at London Calling, Castle Street from 11pm.
Between 1979 & 1981, Martin Bowes created & published eighteen copies of the highly influential fanzine "Alternative Sounds" which chronicled the local punk & post punk music scene, including the whole Two Tone adventure. Towards the end of this period, he also put together the legendary "Sent From Coventry" compilation which is essential to understanding what was going on at that moment. Martin then moved on: to his internationally successful & immensely influential band ATTRITION, his own studio, The Cage & his own record label Two Gods. However Martin always felt that a nineteenth "Alternative Sounds" might be an idea: hence instead of a pure fanzine, the idea of a Coventry Music Museum record label to put out a series of albums under that banner, not just capturing the Coventry & Warwickshire music scene of today plus, emerging new local talent but bringing back into the light unreleased & not well known gems from our musical heritage, with an accompanying booklet to explain who all the artists are/were & what they are/were all about.
Since "Alternative Sounds Volume One", to be released on December 12th 2017 features material written, performed & recorded by Coventry & Warwickshire writers & performers from between 1601 & 2017, with participants who range from people involved in four UK Number One singles, countless international hits to a local school & emerging artists including recent BBC Coventry & Warwickshire Introducing Artists of the Month, that aim of diversity, breadth & depth has been well met already.
The album (which was preceded by a limited edition 7" vinyl EP a couple of months ago to whet people's appetites) is not only in aid of the Museum, but brings to light many previously unknown tracks, gives a shop window to people who will be stars for years to come & tells some perhaps little known stories of much admired musicians. By luck, three tracks featured the late Steve Edgson, (a member of Analog, ENS, the Reluctant Stereotypes, the Pink Umbrellas, Crocodile Tears, the Giraffes and Two Giraffes.) so we decided to dedicate the album to him (future volumes will also have dedications): a really moving media piece relating to this aspect may be found here:
Advance copies of the album can be bought here:
and there are still a few copies of the EP (which features the same tracks by Roddy Radiation & the Skabilly Rebels: ("Heartbreak City") and The Primitives: ("Never Kill A Secret") plus different tracks by ATTRITION ("Two Gods") and Crokodile Tears ("Trains (2017 remix")) (the eagle eyed will note the variation in spelling between ‘Crocodile' and ‘Crokodile' on the two records: that's not my error: the spelling changed over the years due to lineup changes) and are available from the Museum, ‘Head' in Leamington, ‘Seismic Sounds' in Leamington, ‘Just for the Record ‘ in Rugby, ‘Vinyl Destination' in Coventry Market and via Bandcamp
Once the album is released, copies will be available via the same outlets too.
The tracks on Volume One are:
One of the finest tribute bands I have ever seen in action, this band amazed me upstairs at The Assembly back in 2012 by capturing both that wonderful Doors sound and giving the audience a total recreation of what it must have been like to have seen Jim Morrison and crew on stage in the sixties.
The bands Jim has the voice, the look/style and also the at times the outrageous showmanship of the Lizard King, everything that is required for a totally convincing portrayal of one of the most iconic frontmen of all time.
The other 3 members of the band (no bass player of course but I am always thrilled being an Elvis fan that the kings bass player Jerry Scheff was in the studio playing on the final Doors album and masterpiece that is L.A Woman) bring all the musical attributes of Ray, Robby and John to the table.
At that Assembly show back in 2012 I was also impressed with the stage lighting that gave the show the look and feel of seeing the band in action in an L.A. bar as they strutted their way through the likes of ‘ When The Music's Over', ‘Break On Through (To The Other Side)' and ‘Light My Fire'.
Of course it should also be the chance to hear tracks from that final Doors album that because of tragic events were rarely if at all performed live by the band with Morrison at the helm such as ‘L.A. Woman' and ‘Riders On The Storm'.
For me this is one of the towns shows of the year and if they are as good as back in 2012, Friday 1st December at The Zephyr Lounge will be a night not to be missed.
Tickets available from the Leamington Assembly box Office
Find out more about the band on their website
A change from my usual rock/blues gigs this one by the renowned gospel choir who had a full electric band as well as brass section to back them up at this performance.
The first half was a short selection mixing traditional African music with a little gospel and a fine appetiser for the main course which was of course Paul Simon's icon Graceland album performed in its entirety.
The ten vocalist covered the whole of the front of the spacious Assembly stage and made for both an aural and visual delight with a wide range of vocal ranges, plenty of dance work and especially with the ladies a selection of fabulous costumes.
Many of the vocalist took turn on lead and the band behind them definitely played their part with (if I counted correctly) 2 keyboard players, 2 guitarist, 2 drummers, bass player and that brass section along with of course the incredible vocals creating a fantastic, rich at many times joyous sound.
The big draw of the evening was of course the Graceland performance and they did not disappoint with standouts including the breathtaking multi-vocal acapella of ‘Homeless', a vibrant upbeat ‘Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes' and starting with surely some of the greatest ever opening lyrics "The Mississippi Delta was shining, Like a National guitar" a beautifully flowing ‘Graceland' itself.
To close it was an upbeat, full of life performance of that albums huge hit single ‘You Can Call Me Al' and a final piece of traditional African music.
They also managed to get the Sunday evening (can be difficult to get audiences firing on all cylinders with Monday on the horizon!) audience involved with boy/girl singing competitions on a couple of the Graceland tracks and there was plenty of dancing and swaying around the room.
A quality evening of music, dance and joy at the Assembly.
A Seismic Records promotion ...
THE MYSTERY LIGHTS + support from SLEAZE
THURSDAY 30th NOVEMBER
ZEPHYR LOUNGE, Leamington Spa, CV31 3NE
Doors 7:00 pm
Only Midlands Date on their first UK tour. The Mystery Lights sound has evolved into a fuzz-fueled hopped-up 21st Century take on 60s garage pebbles, and artful 70s punk, that is all their own.
"The Mystery Lights are as good as it gets, one of New York's finest garage rock bands at the moment." - NME
Daptone Records (home of Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Charles Bradley, ...) is proud to present a group who are dominating the NOW sound in Rock 'n Roll!
That's right folks, Daptone Records, the world leader in today's soul music is now ready to take on the happenings of the modern rock scene and present to you, on their newest subsidiary, Wick Records; THE MYSTERY LIGHTS.
Their debut album was recorded to 8-track tape at Daptone's legendary House of Soul by Daptone studio superstar Wayne Gordon and mixed by Bosco Mann, it was the cutting engineer JJ Golden who called it "the hottest record I ever cut."
"Captivating, (...) firmly rooted in the tradition of Sixties garage and gritty NYC punk." - Rolling Stone
"There's a stoned, analog atmosphere hanging over everything, but there's a fire and toughness, too. [Mike] Brandon, like Charles Bradley and Sharon Jones before him, performs with a power and vigor that keeps him undeniable." - Pitchfork
"Truly trippy throwbacks to a filthier, more hallucinatory era, (...) 'Follow Me Home' comes straight out of that garage tradition, all Hammond organs and straightforward, declining riffs." - NOISEY
"The Mystery Lights have been making a name for themselves as one of NYC's best garage rock bands, and certainly as one of the best live shows." - Brooklyn Vegan
"Combine the aesthetic of [New York]'s downtown dwellers (like The Velvet Underground) with a present-day urgency." - NPR's World Cafe
The Mystery Lights social media links:
The Mystery Lights videos:
SonicPR press release ...
"Heart-wringing, ear-splitting guitar wrangling for those who imagine Nick Lowe writing vocals for Neil Young's Dead Man instrumentals" - Mojo
"The Cut is yet another solid release from Tenebrous Liar that cements their position in the current crop of experimental bands" - Louder Than War, 8/10
After a five year recording hiatus - TENEBROUS LIAR - are pleased to announce their new album: 'The Cut'.
The eighth full length album release from the musical moniker of esteemed rock photographer and visual artist Steve Gullick, 'The Cut', will receive its universal release on 15th December 2017 via the Straight Lines Are Fine label (available on CD, vinyl, and digitally).
Giving you the first taster of the forthcoming record, Tenebrous Liar have also released clattering current single 'Alienation', which you can listen to here.
Gullick, the nucleus and mastermind of the project, as ever, began writing and recording the album in late 2016 during a series of sessions held between the Coventry Rehearsal Rooms and at home.
Whilst Tenebrous Liar originated as a project that sourced its creativity from a transient and ephemeral line up of musicians and collaborators over the years, since 2012's 'End of the Road', the line-up has been gradually refined and cemented to a nucleus that sees Gullick collaborate with the talents of Brendan Casey on bass and Ben Edgar on drums. Now long term members, the pair accompany his distinct haunting vocal style and ragged guitar wanderings on this latest release.
Driven by the notion to create more loosely structured and freer sounding pieces based upon a largely improvised recording style, the trio acted to bring this latest sonic envisioning to life. With ambitions of channelling psychedelic era Miles Davis, early PIL and Neil Young's 'Dead Man' recordings, the result is 'The Cut' - 11 tracks of disorientating Lo-Fi soundscapes lost in a haze of atonal, discordant post-rock signatures and ambient, adrift piano motifs.
Not for the fainthearted, 'The Cut' is music designed to provoke a response. Incorporating songs dealing with global political frustrations ('Alienation') to nightmarish states of isolation ('Lowland'). Hollowed-out piano ballads such as 'Words' and title-track 'The Cut', offset the monstrous eruptions of barbed noise that ripple through the likes of 'Belong' and 'This Ground'. From the warped and strangulated soulfulness of 'Stop Believing', to the loneliness to be found in the love song, 'Forever', 'The Cut' makes for nuanced and textured listen that is as equally soul searching and explorational, as it is bone chilling and harrowing.
Speaking about the recording process of 'The Cut', Gullick states:
"Making 'The Cut' was a completely new approach for us, we hadn't all been in the same room for a while and as soon as we started playing again everything just clicked back together, there were no rules, without the boundaries of a song and not knowing which way the music would twist and turn quickly became a really natural thing for Brendan, Ben & myself to do. We recorded so much material in those sessions, most of which we only ever played once. After each session, I'd take the recordings away and embellish them at home, we're still listening through some of the recordings that didn't make it onto the album now."
Ahead of the release, Tenebrous Liar will be previewing their latest material with a special one-off headline performance at the abandoned former offices of the Coventry Evening Telegraph, Coventry on 2nd December 2017. The night will see a selection of Gullick's own photographs that feature within the artwork for 'The Cut' exhibited on the walls as part of the event. An innovative art installation comprising projections of still shots combined with moving images will also feature as part of this unmissable performance. Support comes from krautrock stoner rock outfit, Black Helium, who will perform their Coventry debut on the night, plus one of the city's finest new attractions: Fütumche.
Tickets priced at £5.50 and are available here
Further dates are to be announced in due course.
TENEBROUS LIAR - 2017 TOUR DATES
2 Dec 2017 - Coventry, Former Coventry Telegraph Offices
Tenebrous Liar is the alias of acclaimed rock photographer Steve Gullick. Scratching a long felt musical itch, Gullick founded the project in 2005 and following a purge of frantic, genre-bending experimentations, he released his debut album 'Tenebrous' the following year on Fire records.
Recognising he required the assistance of a full band to express his visions on the live stage, Gullick soon began to enlist an eclectic & ever evolving line-up of friends for his subsequent outings as Tenebrous Liar. Creating a further five albums under the moniker in as many years, the project has also seen Gullick perform with a diverse selection of artists since its genesis, including: Scout Niblett, Josh T. Pearson, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Foo Fighters, Duke Garwood, Oxbow, Soulsavers, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Ed Harcourt & Cindytalk.
After a 5 year studio hiatus, Tenebrous Liar return in 2017 with 8th LP 'The Cut', to be released on the Straight Lines Are Fine label.
Tenebrous Liar are: Steve Gullick (Guitar, Vocals), Brendan Casey (Bass), Ben Edgar (Drums)
FURTHER PRAISE FOR TENEBROUS LIAR
FOR MORE INFORMATION
How many shades of blue can you imagine? From the cool tints of gospel to the bold hues of R&B, In the moment's blues revue lit up the full spectrum.
Firstly, let's be clear that 'revue' thing is more than just fancy marketing. It turns out to be an effective performance format that keeps things interesting by matching a lively house band, the SugarDaddies, to a diverse group of local all-star guests, Neol Davies from the seminal ska lineup Selecter, Letitia George, Mark Steeds from Boperator and Stephen Steinhaus notorious for his role in Doctor Teeth fame.
Here's how it worked out. First off, there was fire in the engine room of the rhythm section with Richard Westwood lively and incisive on the drums, Adrian Litvinoff adding an elegant jazz pulse on the electric and standup bass, and Mark steeds digging in with gorgeous rolling piano. And how can you speak the language of the blues without the grit and grind of the electric guitar?. We had Steve Roberts working his iconic cherry 330 with crisp purposeful chord work and focused, toneful solos in his distinctive country-influenced melodic style. As a bonus, we also heard some lyrical lead lines from Neol Davies, a man with a sound all his own while demonstrating a clear respect to the legacy of Peter Green and the Three Kings. For an extra touch of class, we heard some warm, resonant sax from Dave (Dr. Sax) Roberts. Finally, building on this potent foundation, we enjoyed five distinctive vocal styles: the relaxed bluesy delivery of Steve, the R&B exuberance of Mark, the passionate powerhouse soul of Letitia, the warm emotive charm of Neol, and, finally, the bold Chicago drama of Stein.Highlights for me included an exuberant version of That's Life, a slinky Fool for your Stockings, a heartfelt Box of Blues, and, as encore, a sweetly soulful version of the classic Need your love so bad.
Finally, a word for the Zephyr Lounge sound guy. Music as subtle as this deserves to be heard and the sound in the auditorium was clear and beautifully mixed. Credit too to In the Moment for promoting quality jazz and blues around Leamington.
So yes, a fine night, joyful, wistful,and raucous by turn, but authentically, all blues.
...One of the most acclaimed albums in music history is celebrated this Sunday (12th November) at The Leamington Assembly with a full performance of the ...
...James H Soars Media Services press release .
...Suddenly, Coventry Music Museum found itself celebrating its fourth birthday on Saturday 4th November 2017.
...For me one of my most memorable nights at the venue for several reasons, it brought back memories of my regular visits to see Quo in action at the N.
...Ever since spotting this show on the Assembly listings earlier this year I have been looking forward to this gig by the Californian all female ...
..."Tunehouse at the Townhouse" is on a fine run of form at the moment: after superb recent gigs by the Folly Brothers, the Doc Brown Trio, Stone Bear ...
...There can be few contemporary musicians who are held in as much affection by audiences as John Otway who performed at the Zephyr Lounge on Saturday ...
...The mighty sounds of AC/DC once again rang out from the Assembly stage as Live/Wire one of the top rock tribute acts in the country returned to what ...
...After the superb Stone Bear gig at Tunehouse at the Townhouse last week, this week saw another top notch act, namely the return of the splendid South ...
...Status Quo are high up on my most attended gig list with at least 6 shows over the years dating back to 1982 and all at the Birmingham NEC and that ...
...Another welcome return to town for one of our very own (Shipston-on-Stour, close enough!) and after his fabulous show at the smaller Zephyr Lounge ...
...As a long time Iron Maiden fan (still remember the incredible show they put on back in the mid 80's at the Birmingham Odeon on the World Slavery ...
...It is not easy to think of a musician who has graced so many bands of such quality & influence & featuring such diverse styles over 40 odd ...
...Some of you may have noticed a gig on at The Squirrel in Coventry on Saturday 21st October entitled "Anthony Harty featuring Sam McNulty and ...
...A rare show at the venue for me without my camera (did feel a little naked!) but what a night it was with Belinda rolling back the years in ...
...Live/Wire are one of a number of top draw bands that return to the Leamington Assembly on an annual or at least every other year basis and I have ...
...The Ruts DC are not admittedly a local band (so please excuse that aspect of this review), but they certainly played a local venue (the Zephyr ...
...The most looked forward to of nights in the Leamington music scene is arguably (well I'd argue that way) the "APE Promoters" nights organised by ...
...On Thursday 21st September 2017, Coventry Music Museum officially launched its own eponymous record label, the first release being a limited ...
...Mostly Autumn live always give value for money but this show (along with two others on the tour) gave even more as they performed two full sets, the ...
...SonicPR press release .
...On Saturday 16th September 2017, Coventry Music Museum hosted the latest Heritage Lottery funded "Sounding Off" session with a local musician of note.
...Really pleased that Belinda one of my favourite female singers has included Leamington as one of the dates on her tour celebrating the 30th ...
...The Tin Music and Arts, in partnership with Bella Promotions, are launching Boudica Festival, a new annual music festival which will highlight the ...
...Mind, the mental health charity has wrangled some of the finest acts in Coventry to play together!Alex Norman, a singer and songwriter who has not ...
...Since I don't work for a commercial music magazine, I have the luxury of being able to review whom I choose.
...The first of the autumn 2017 series of the Big Help Music showcases at the Bear Pub in Rugby was held on September 1st.
...RATTLE is a band that focus almost exclusively on drums and more drums, although it's much more intricate than just that.
...Westerman is a 23 year old, London based singer songwriter and a musical storyteller.
...One of my favourite bands Mostly Autumn return to the Leamington Assembly on Saturday September 16th for what seems to be coming a regular venue for ...