I promised to be back with the “other stuff” I’ve been up to over the last few weeks and you know, it’s rude to lie. So here I am again attempting to bore you to tears 😉
I have recently had the pleasure of seeing three of my favourite bands in ONE SHOW! on 15th Feb I got the very privileged opportunity to be at the front of Shepherds bush empire, stage right at the barriers to watch Zebrahead, Less Than Jake and Reel Big Fish on the last night of their UK tour. It was epic. I have to say, working at an awesome live music venue has it’s perks – the security were ace making sure I wasn’t battered (secretly I was actually really disappointed I didn’t have my usual collection of bruises) and passing me paraphernalia like pics whenever they were dropped, not to mention (but I totally am) getting a hat trick of set lists handed to me! I am such a geek for bands….
Zebrahead kicked off the show playing their synth-punk-pop crazy tunes at supersonic speed with a bar on stage to get the other bands and some random people VERY drunk and happy. I ended up with a signed penguin head… I have no idea why but I will be keeping it FOREVER!
Less Than Jake played a near perfect run of my favourite songs including The Science of Selling Yourself Short and Plastic Cup Politics and they got two audience members u on stage to star jump through an entire song – poor bastards looked like they were ready to chuck their guts by the end. Brilliant antics from Buddy and a cameo from Matt Appleton on Sax made for some awesome highlights too.
Reel Big Fish have been my favourite band since ’99. Even though their set is perfectly choreographed, their jokes are the same every show and Aaron’s shirt collection appears to be rather small, I love them. Their songs, their energy and the fact that they are SUCH LOVELY PEOPLE!! Whenever I have had a chance to interact with any of them they are just very sweet, unassuming people who just love what they do. Side note – the new trombone player stepped up to the mark brilliantly. Proud moment here by the way – RBF used the second picture below for an “insert your caption” post on instagram. This makes me very happy, and VERY smug!
So what happens when you can’t afford a ticket to see Me First and the Gimme Gimmes? YOU WORK THE NIGHT! I’d actually forgotten it was happening having been caught up with Uni assignments and music projects so when I turned up last Friday to be greeted with a big sign saying that, I lost my shit. SO EXCITED! Fat Mike wasn’t able to play, but that did not matter at all. I managed to swap bars so I was on stage right with one of the coolest bar ladies ever – Lianne Drewett if you read this I think you are rad – and I skanked out something chronic and drank shooters with punters as they smashed out hit after ska-punk fuelled hit.
Incase you don’t know who they are, The Gimmes are a covers band made up of some of the most awesome people in punk. They turn pop into ska-punk. Check out Wiki’s info on them here:
I’ve written a review or two since my last blog, so I have posted them here for you if you wish to have a read. One was positive and one wasn’t. When I first got asked to write a review for The Punk Archive it was for a friends band, The Ghouls. I love them, love their music and their debut album (which comes out 4th April by the way – cheeky plug) so a review was easy.
Here’s the Ghouls review if you haven’t seen it before now:
The second review I have written for The Punk Archive was for Courtesy Drop. Like Garage band gritty sounds? They are awesome:
They have quoted from my review. This is a huge compliment for me.
I then had the pleasure of reviewing The Shell Corporation. They have an awesome Police Cover on their album and it is rich with Pop-Punk glory. Here’s my view:
Being a musician myself I know how important feedback is for your music. I also know how hard it is to receive negative or constructive feedback. Your music is your baby. You nurture it from the ground up. Scrutinise it. Perfect it. Even when you release it you hear every flaw, every skipped beat and gap were you “could have just”.. so to write a review about an EP that I felt was sub standard as a release no matter how much potential and good musicianship I could hear has to have been one of the toughest things I have ever done.
If you’d like to read it, it’s here. My review for Bottler’s debut EP:
I even thought about never reviewing again. I haven’t had any feedback about it. No one has got upset with me – It was just so hard to have to be critical in that way. I will still be reviewing though and I truly hope that what I write constructive or not is useful to whomever I write the review about.
By the way, if you don’t follow The Punk Archive I highly recommend it. I am discovering some awesome music reading other peoples reviews. There is so much new and amazing music out there and if you are a punk fan, well…. What more do you need?
Just as a side note before I sign off, this week has seen two new songs being written and some recording time booked in next week to start a six track acoustic demo I will be GIVING AWAY to anyone who signs up to my mailing list… OoooooooOOOooOOooooohhhhhhh….
See you soon cyber space lovelies….