Sunn O))) – Barbican, London – 21-March 2017

I rather wondered, after the first time I saw Sunn O))) live, whether I could physically stand going a second time. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy it, it was just that the after-effects were like nothing I’d ever experienced after a gig. Read more “Sunn O))) – Barbican, London – 21-March 2017”

Best of 2016: Gigs

This has been a quiet year. Read more “Best of 2016: Gigs”

Cold Waves V – Metro, Chicago – 22/23/24-September 2016

For the third year running – although it was a bit touch-and-go this year with the wedding and everything else, and my wife chose not to come along this time – the last weekend of September meant a trip 3,960 miles to the west of London. To the city of Chicago, to catch up with friends from far and wide, to enjoy a cool city…and attend Cold Waves, a festival of industrial music that commemorates, and celebrates, the life and loss of Jamie Duffy. It also raises a ton of money for good causes, and is generally a hell of a good time that has become a fixture in the calendar for many of us, no matter how far we have to travel. Read more “Cold Waves V – Metro, Chicago – 22/23/24-September 2016”

Infest 2016 – University of Bradford – 26/27/28-August 2016

Over the weekend of this year’s Infest, there was some discussion over the current state of the industrial (and wider) scene. In many other scenes – or indeed in “mainstream” popular music, there is an air of nostalgia as record labels struggling with new sales, are relying heavily on reissues of the old, particularly on vinyl. Read more “Infest 2016 – University of Bradford – 26/27/28-August 2016”

Ruby – Live at Servant Jazz Quarters: London N16

Lesley Rankine’s career in music now spans a few decades, and more than a few styles. She first came to prominence in the vicious, no-wave influenced punkish-rock of Silverfish, a fixture of the Camden scene in the early 90s and unusual in their strident politics and just how confrontational they were. The band toured with Pigface, which drew Rankine into that loose collective, resulting in a couple of Pigface’s most memorable moments (in particular, the rampaging Silverfish track Big Bad Baby Pig Squeal became the iconic Hips, Tits, Lips, Power!).
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Laibach – Live at The Forum Kentish Town – 12-April 2016

I’m struggling to think of a single band in “our thing” that has had as much mainstream coverage – as in appearing in the news, not just in the music press – as Laibach did last year when their show in North Korea was announced.
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The Black Queen – Live at Oslo Hackney – 05-February 2016

This was one of those gigs that I took a while to make a call on. The Black Queen is a new side-project very, very different from the “parent” band (Greg Puciato, the vocalist of The Dillinger Escape Plan has formed this with Joshua Eustis, a former touring member of Nine Inch Nails and Puscifer, and Steven Alexander, a tech of DEP among others), their newly released album Fever Daydream took a couple of listens to get hooks into my brain and I finally decided to get a ticket the morning of the show.
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Massive Attack – Live at Brixton Academy – 03-February 2016

It is easy to forget, but Massive Attack are now very much veterans in the electronic music world. Formed as far back as 1988, they released one of the most perfect debut albums ever (Blue Lines), helped define “trip-hop” in the mid-90s (whether they wanted to or not), and then went a whole lot darker and heavier with the multi-million selling Mezzanine, before splintering somewhat over the following decade.
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2015 in Review: Best Gigs

2015 in gigs: 70 days, 165 live sets, 154 unique bands, forty venues, seven cities, four festivals (and each of those festivals in a different town/city), three countries, two continents. Read more “2015 in Review: Best Gigs”