With Liverpool being a second home to both my band and my gig going self, I never knew the O2 Academy 2 existed. Being more used to the grimy underground establishments (some that disappear as quickly as they pop up), venturing into a ‘bigger’ venue in this city is like a step into the unknown. Bigger venue means bigger prices – £6 for a pint of beer brought a sigh of relief from my liver, which was still in the recovery position after CrapFest.More
EBGB’s and Jacaranda, Liverpool
I am big fan of self-depreciation and the lowering of expectations to all the more be pleasantly surprised when anything goes right or is good, so it’s great to report that Crapfest did exactly NOT what it said on the tin. The theme stemmed from its founders, the anarchic Wirral two-piece of the Crapsons setting up a gig of friends, established band connections, and any excuse for a party.More
GIG REVIEW – Ill Gotten Gains, Emissaries Of Syn, Monkish, Kid Klumsy, The Woodsman @ The Pavilion, Colwyn Bay
Football, paella and Hobgoblin put us on the back foot, and the early start time meant we sadly missed South Wales punk band The Woodsman. I’m listening to their EP ‘Castle Of Unrest’ right now on Bandcamp and am so disappointed to have missed out on their cool sound. Really distinct voice and great lyrics.
From Londonium, Monkish are on gig #3 of a four date mini-tour and brought the lighter side of life with them (and practice amps). A drummer, bassist (in his underpants), vocalist and THREE guitarists (although you could only hear one of them) gave us a feel good pub rock punk rock lavatorial performance. Subject matter raised some serious points like, 17p For A Freddo and Toilet Nazi. Good fun.More
They’re made of tough stuff in Rotherham; either that, or they’re bonkers (probably a bit of both). Bodach took the perilous 2.5 hour journey from South Yorkshire to land in Rhyl on this Thursday.
‘It’s life Jim, but not as we know it.’ – This is true, as many of us are still taking tentative steps out into the broadly unknown. Strange new worlds and civilisations beyond the safety of our four walls and our social media portals. Fuzzed Up is run by that pioneer Steve Rastin and The Late Lounge was once Bar Blu, home to hundreds of gigs throughout the 2000s.
Seasons change, people change, demographics change, venues change (Rastin stays the same) and Bar Blu (eventually) became The Late Lounge. With the change, the venue itself transformed into this cool place, with cool decor, a great stage and great sound. We used to endure the sound in Bar Blu as bands fought with the PA to try and get a decent sound, here Bodach plugged in and blew us away.
A Bodach is a Scottish peasant or a ghost (whichever dictionary you read) and you’ll find a couple of these in the rough end of Rotherham. Here they exist in a sludge filled gutter. Bodach make ends meet by joining riffs together to ward off evil spirits. For a two-piece, Laurie and Tom stamp on the footprints of other duos like Riggots, I Am Austin, Dollar and make a huge noise. We watched with guitar envy and marvelled at the sonic assault happening before us. Take their song Ruiner as a fine example, on Spotify it’s ace… in the flesh, it’s immense, riff laden like Baltimore Gun Club and very Sabbathesq, which I’ll take all day, every day.
Check out their EP ‘A Flickering Wick’ on bandcamp and additional stuff on Spotify…
When you’ve been sitting at the proverbial Gig Bus Stop waiting for over a year, waiting impatiently to be taken on a tragical blistery tour, suddenly two turn up… Second outing to witness the phenomenon of live [original] music in as many days…
Tonight they’re in the flesh, alive and spitting and threatening to finish off my one good ear for good… Bring it on…
Long time link2wales reviewer Mark Watson-Jones is today celebrating the fact he has inexplicably made it to 50 years. Considering he keeps his liver in a jar of Absinthe, making it this far is none short of a miracle. Although still serving time for being an emissary of syn Mark’s band took the night off and allowed three great bands to don their guitars and wish him many happy returns.
Maines as ever, (once you’ve coaxed them into appearing) never fail to deliver, and this is the first opportunity to experience their wall of bliss in almost two years. Pulling from their two EPs with songs [well; compositions] like, My Cull Cain, the excellent Malkovich, finishing with Whales, it’s the intricacy of those compositions that leave your mouth agape and your mind mesmerised. The ebb and flow of their sound can be a trickle and it can be a tidal wave. I grabbed a Maines mug too…
All Consumed are a godless bunch from Preston, but don’t hold that against them (their location). More core than grind, their set was toe-tappingly, head-bangingly, back-stabbingly to the point. All Consumed will iterate that there is no world order and their suicidal tendencies will have you clamouring to join this shapeless existence. They blasted through ten, maybe eleven punches to the head in no time at all, and the diverse line-up made for an excellent evening of noise pollution.
The Rage is a contagion that spored in Halifax and has spread through the punk fraternity in the form of Burning Flag. Their eagerly awaited third album in its vinyl form has been subject to the usual delays of world pandemics, Tory Brexits, Suez Canal boating disasters and (worst of all) Record Store Day.
‘Matador’ (and tonight’s gig) brings with it the debut of Holly on screaming vocal duty. She / we have waited eighteen months for this, since her onscreen live appearance when bands took to streaming their material live on Facebook (it was almost a glimpse into a sterile could-be world where we watched our favourite noise merchants from the boring safety of our homes). Like the new album, Burning Flag opened with Thrown Out and bar a couple of tracks ‘Matador’ was unleashed upon our very souls. Toxic by design, they know what they’re doing [play no nonsense punk rock] and they certainly know how to do it… Check their gig schedule, they’re coming in thick n fast…
Burning Flag bandcamp.