Archive for the 'Blog news' Category

15
Jun
10

Hello/Goodbye

Before anyone starts rejoicing at my return (ahem) I’m not back permanently, but the blog should none the less be re-emerging from the gloom — I’ve not had anywhere near enough time to devote to it so I’ve handed the reins over to local all-round wunderkind Mhairi.  I may resurface from time to time, but this is her baby now so make her feel welcome!

Exit stage left, pursued by a bear badger…

01
Oct
09

Far and Away

I’ve been in the sticks for a few days and connectivity here is nugatory at best; stuff from last week has been written up but I’m waiting until I get back to civilisation before making any attempt to post it — cjeck back later today or early tomorrow…

16
Sep
09

A Plea for Sanity!

One thing I’ve noticed in the recent gigs I’ve been to (aside from the surprising number of indie bands that Stoke seems to produce) is that bands have an increasing tendency to forget there’s an audience — they’ll play to each other, the singer will stand on the drum riser and sing to the drummer, and the crowd rarely gets a look-in.  While I’m not expecting bands to stare intently into the crowd, and while some interaction between the people on the stage is fine, there are limits.  I’m sure if the audience all turned to face away from the band they’d get pretty cheesed off…

Grumbling aside, I’m doing my best to get back on track but I’ve been quite busy with other projects and this (as a non-paying endeavour) has had to slip a little; I’ve committed myself to at least half a dozen events over the next couple of weeks though, so normal servioce should be resumed etc.  (Yes, yes, I’ve said it before.  So sue me.)

04
Aug
09

I’m back!

Ok, vacation over, and I’m feeling refreshed and invigorated so it’s back to the grind. I’ve got a few odds and sods from the past couple of weeks to cover (Flight Five-O-Five, Studio Promo, Vinefest, etc.) which I’ll update over the next day or so, and having not been paying much attention this week the only gigs I’m currently aware of are Foulplay at the Brunswick this Friday and Studio Promo at the M on Wednesday. More to follow when I’ve got my act together…

23
Jul
09

Excuses, excuses!

I’m dog-sitting over the weekend and I’ve had something of an irritating week so far, so I’m giving myself a few days off. If anyone happens to go to any of this weekend’s gigs and fancies scrawling a few words I have a few freebie CDs to give away in return, and normal service will be resumed next week.

16
Jul
09

Right, listen up…

As I’ve had a few complaints recently (publicly via the comments, and privately via email) I thought I’d clear up a few things:

  • Everything here is my opinion; as such you’re free to disagree with it, but by the very nature of opinions they cannot be wrong so there’s little point emailing me and calling me all sorts of names.
  • If you do want to disagree with something I’ve said then by all means do so, but do it in a constructive fashion — calling me names or slinging insults a) makes you look stupid, b) pretty much invalidates any genuine point you may have, and c) is just plain rude.
  • Like everyone else I have personal tastes, and this will obviously have an effect on how much I enjoy any given gig. I always try to make any such bias clear, though, so it should be easy for anyone to take this into account when forming their own opinion based on what I’ve written.
  • If I don’t like something, I’m going to say so; what would be the point of anyone reviewing anything if they weren’t permitted to give their honest opinion? If every review I wrote was positive then I’d be lying from time to time, at which point it’s difficult to trust anything I write — how do you separate the “positive because I liked it” and “positive because I’m lying” reviews?
  • I’m not just some random guy with a big mouth, and I’ve been involved in live music (both as a performer and behind the scenes) for more years than I care to remember, but to some extent I’m not sure why this is important.
  • Just in case it wasn’t clear I’ll reiterate: this is my opinion. I will do my best to avoid being rude, I will try and keep any criticism polite and constructive, and I do not expect everyone to think the same way I do, but if you want to disagree then please try and hold yourself to the same standards.

Ok, you can go now.

06
Jul
09

Some news/Firestorm (The Imp, 2-Jul-2009)

First, some good news. I had an email from Eric, one of the guys involved in reopening the Brunswick on Nantwich Road, and he’s keen to get some live music in there when it reopens so any bands who may be interested in playing there should either drop a in CD or contact him via email. They’re even thoughtfully providing a keyboard/drum setup which may make life easier for those bands who may usually be put off from playing due to the sheer logistics of the operation! Opening night is Thursday 23rd July with music from Mike Holloway’s HMV band, and they hope to have live music every Friday and Saturday, so if you want to play get in touch with him!

I should also give a quick mention to Willaston Social Club; Claire has contacted me to let me know that she’s trying to liven things up down there and is also keen to hear from bands looking for a venue.  I’ll be passing on the details of a few bands I think might be up for it, so if you’re interested get in touch and I’ll pass you through to her.

Right, that’s the end of the news. Onwards!

I’ve mentioned before that, on paper at least, I’m not a huge fan of cover bands.  There are exceptions for those that either make an extra effort or stand out in some way, but for the most part they’re largely formulaic and uninspiring.

Sadly, Firestorm for me fell into this category — the setlist could have belonged to 99.9% of cover bands, and the performance rarely rose above mediocre; the argument usually goes that they’re only "playing what the crowd wants," but (as demonstrated ably by Foulplay) the audience may respond better to familiar-but-not-clichéd material.  They weren’t bad per se but they gave no compelling reason why, if you were looking for a covers band, you should pick them out of the thousands of others out there; I was quite taken with the vocalists voice but they played few songs that really took advantage of it, and I wonder whether they wouldn’t be better off writing some original material or revising their repertoire.