Category Archives: Live Reviews

Eschar / Throatpunch City / Atiptoe / The Deadlights [Live Review – The Boileroom, Guildford, 3/4/2015]

eschar album launchOn an average Friday night, the most challenging music you’re likely to encounter will involve a four-to-the-floor kick drum, some cheesy synths, and the chart topping pop puppet of the day warbling over the top. Prog fans on a night out often find themselves hitting a wall beyond which they either choose to go home, or encounter a sudden urge to Continue reading

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Therapy? / Triggerfinger / Thirty Six Strategies [Live Review – The Scala, London, 1/4/2015]

therapy pressThis wasn’t so much a show as a celebration. Judging from the pre-show chatter, Therapy have been very sorely missed – and when their set came around, it was easy to see why. Before that, Thirty Six Strategies opened the night up with a set that was cool and passionate, although to be totally honest the music felt too safe. That may seem an odd word to use in the context of punk-oriented rock, but the fact is that thousands of bands are pursuing exactly the same direction as Thirty Six Strategies right now. As instrumentalists, TSS are good, and their lyrics hint at tough, hard-knock experiences – but given that no two life experiences are precisely the same, it would be awesome to hear those experiences expressed in an idiosyncratic way with a generous helping of weirdness.

It’s one thing to refuse to conform to the standards of mainstream society – but it’s a whole other game to break away from the standards of literally everyone else, and forge your own 100% individual path. That’s where the best, most timeless and relevant music gets made – and Thirty Six Strategies certainly have the potential to push into that area.

Triggerfinger were explosive, and one of the most Continue reading

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The Hyena Kill [Live Review – The Stillery, Camden, 31/3/2015]

hyena kill stilleryLast damp and windy night, few sounds in Camden were as inviting as the loud, raucous rock’n’roll blasting from the Stillery. To be fair, there wasn’t much competition bar a handful of idiots driveby-harassing women, and a couple having a bust-up in the street – but Wicked Snakes would still have come out on top had the competition been much stiffer. Wicked Snakes deal in no-bullshit rock music in the same Zep-meets-Queens-of-the-Stone-Age vein as Them Crooked Vultures – and they do it damn well.

The Hyena Kill’s latest release, Blisters/Still Sick (reviewed on TMMP here) comes very, very Continue reading

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Karnivool / Monuments [Live Review – The Roundhouse, Camden, 28/3/2015]

Screen shot 2015-03-29 at 14.16.57On the way to this show, I was propositioned by a prostitute; had a guy try to sell me a bible; and was challenged to a fight by a homeless man.

All in the same McDonald’s.

Thanks to my quest to avoid bruises, black eyes, STIs, and religion, I wound up Continue reading

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Thomas Truax / Love Buzzard [Live Review – The Boileroom, Guildford, 26/3/2015]

thomas truax uk tour 2015Warming up for a guy who invented most of his own instruments – and is capable of taking over an entire room with little effort – is a tough ask. Still, Love Buzzard rose to the challenge and nailed it with a relentless tirade of pure rock’n’roll energy. Scrappy filth wrapped around a tough-as-nails core, Love Buzzard’s music managed to get the Boileroom suitably amped up for…

Thomas Truax – an artist who doesn’t so much defy categorisation as cause you to forget that all those other categories existed in the first place. Once a Thomas Truax set is over, Continue reading

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Jon Gomm [Live Review – Komedia, Brighton, 24/3/2015]

jon gomm 2015 tourSome musicians are divas. The slightest backstage issue – even the delivery of the wrong brand of hairspray to their dressing room – leads to pulled gigs and a simple refusal to perform. Fans get gutted while egos get fluffed, because hey – it’s showbiz, right?

At the other end of the scale, you have the hard sloggers. Guys and girls who push themselves onstage even when everything around them is a barely perceptible blur of chaos and stress. Nobody could fault them for taking a time out – but they go do what they do regardless.

Jon Gomm is definitely the latter. Although the 250-odd people crammed into Komedia had no doubt been waiting for this show with baited breath, it could very well have been cancelled, and Continue reading

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Dorje [Live Review – The Boileroom, Guildford, 21/3/2015]

dorje tourWhen Marmozets dropped by the Boileroom last year, there was something in the air at that show. Nothing more tangible than a vibe, but something that left behind a sense of certainty. Cognitive consonance.

At that point, the release of Marmozets’ debut album was sneakily creeping up on the horizon. Marmozets had sweat blood over the previous few years, building up a following the old-school way before signing with Roadrunner. A few singles followed, then that Boileroom show. Then, The Weird and Wonderful Marmozets dropped, and Marmozets promptly became “…the future of British rock in 2014.” Now, Marmozets are supporting Muse, and the rest will soon be history.

Dorje are 2015’s answer to Marmozets. A rich and addictive blend of alt-metal influences (think fat and chunky Porcupine Tree riffs, gurn-inducing Incubus grooves, Karnivool-esque odd-meter polyrhythmic complexity, sense-defying guitar solos that bring Alter Bridge to mind, and a vocal which sits somewhere between Devin Townsend and Maynard James Keenan), Dorje’s music is Continue reading

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Portico (ft. Jono McCleery) / Sea Stacks / Matt Emery [Live Review – The Boileroom, Guildford, 13/3/15]

portico press shotThis past Friday night, Guildford’s residents were offered a prime opportunity to catch three fascinating acts in the act of creating incredible music. It’s rare to experience a gig crammed this full of uncategorizable music – but then, the Boileroom isn’t your average venue. Kudos first has to go to the booking brains behind this show; that kind of talent isn’t Continue reading

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