It’s just a quick one though, because, you know, life… Overall, it was a very enjoyable night – with some surprisingly great pizza from the Old Abbey Taphouse too, so check that out if you are ever in the area.
The Skints with Bedouin Soundclash
Too much dancing, too much fun, the entirely correct amount of bass...
For the second of my weekend double-gig-athon (read the review of the first one here), I was back in Manchester once more, this time with tingling anticipation bubbling up inside me. After some appropriately spicy chips, myself and Josh found ourselves under the railway arches of Gorilla, ready for an evening of offbeat fun. Bedouin Soundclash
Gloryhammer Live (plus Beast in Black + Windrose)
Ridiculous future-goblin-pantomime-metal is brilliant
This might be a short one – brilliantly, I got to go to two gigs this weekend! – but Saturday night I was invited by my mate Josh to see the band Gloryhammer…
Now, I’d never heard of them before he asked, but over the last couple of months I’ve listened to their brilliant-if-odd mix of symphonic theatrical space metal with a rise sense of anticipation. With songs like “Questlords Of Inverness, Ride To The Galactic Fortress!“, and raging, hypermelodic guitar solos, you know you’re in for a treat. I was fairly sure I’d end up with neckache from too much head-banging, after many years without going to a proper Metal show.
I’ve been in love with Bedouin Soundclash since around 2004. Back then, I was in the habit of rolling into All Ages Records and asking Nick to recommend some new ska. He handed me “Sounding a Mosaic“, and said “You’ll love this one”.
Codename Colin – Escape From Everything
Running away from everything, with a soundtrack you can skank to...
I’ll be honest, the first time I heard Codename Colin was when they submitted a track to the terribly-titled Warrington Ska Punk compilation (get yours for just £4 in our store!). But please ignore my ignorance: storming out of Hertfordshire (which, in my defence, is about half the country away from Warrington), Codename Colin are an energetic 6-piece, playing quality ska-punk.
They’ve got a familiar horn heavy sound, immediately bringing to mind some of their current fellows in the UK ska stable, especially rising stars Call Me Malcolm (read our CMM album review here), with vocals leaning a little more heavily in the [Spunge] direction. I definitely haven’t called them Call Me Colin about 5 times. Nope.
So a couple of months ago, my mate Dean from Side Mission Records was dropping off a Pizza Tramp LP at mine, and he had a cheeky look in his eye. “How do you like the sound of SMR001, then?” My ears perked up, and I asked what they had cooking. He just grinned and said “It’s really really F-ing emo”. I have it now, clenched in my pale clammy hands, that first release from Side Mission Records and I can confirm that Dean was correct: Its really really emo.
Now I’m not talking that new wave of nonsense that called itself emo: this is not Panic at the Disco or My Chemical Romance. I’m talking old school: early Brand New or Jimmy Eat World, stuff like Sunny Day Real Estate, Jawbreaker, Dashboard Confessional. Proper plaintive, vocal heavy, tells-a-story emo. And, let me tell you, Dude Trips have given us a bucketload of plaintive here.
I’ve been excited about seeing the Beths for about 6 months now, ever since listening to them on a whim on bandcamp and getting hooked. Having missed them earlier this year, it was with a bubbling joy I dragged my lovely wife off to see them at Manchester’s Band on the Wall. We had some Jamaican chocolate dumplings first in Pull Up Cafe, obviously, then headed into the venue… The Beths
Well. Did they live up to the hype in my quite easily-hyped brain? Yes. The Beths were fantastic.
Manchester Punk Festival is a vast, enthralling beast. With over 130 bands, over three days, its a thing of majesty, to the point of being potentially a bit overwhelming. Plus I was too scared to ask my wife for permission to go – I’ve been out a lot recently! So sadly, this year, I can’t make it.
However, when I heard there was a cheeky little warm up gig, starring none other than my-possibly-favourite-band JB Conspiracy, I got all excited like.
The Fabulous New Sounds Of King Prawn
Although maybe a little bit less fabulous than I was hoping for...
I pretty much missed King Prawn, first time around. I reckon I saw the tail end of their sets a few times in London. I remember thinking “woah, they are a bit too heavy for my tastes”. Looking back, that was blatantly dodgy venue levels, cos I’ve listened to their back catalogue a fair amount recently, and, well, it’s not exactly Pig Destroyer is it? But if you did prefer your ska-punk on the gentler end of the spectrum? That is definitely what you are getting with this album.
In fact, I’m not sure it’s really punk at all, more a ska-reggae-indie-hiphop-punk hybrid. Which is fine: ain’t nothing wrong with being eclectic. There’s a consistent almost “Arabian Nights” theme to the brass parts: songs like “No Harmony” and “Black Beads” would totally work wafting through the cold night of a desert. Some epic synth parts here and there too really add some atmospheric layers.