Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Plans had been made a long while back and now the time had arrived for a trip thousands of miles across the globe for several evenings of musical enjoyment. The last night in the UK was spent with Uncle Johnny at the Indigo in the O2 on the south bank of the Thames River.
On December 13th I returned the rental vehicle, checked in at the hotel, washed up, had dinner and was off to the O2 to get in line at the door with many others hoping for a good place to stand in front of the stage. I found a spot on the barricade on the left side of the stage in front of Lu Edmonds. The crowds pressed in from behind during this sold out show, the only one they performed in 2014.
The experience from beginning to end was a blast! I only wished that there was enough room around me to dance to their hypnotic beat. John was as playful as ever, both scolding the audience as well as praising them for attending this evenings show. Yes, he is a legend.
And before I knew it, the show was over, leaving me emotionally deflated, especially considering it marked the end of my 10 days in the UK. Time to turn around and return home and the reality that awaited me there. What I found interesting was how after the show the theater turned up the music and the pit area in front of the stage became a dance floor on which the remaining audience could continue enjoying their time at the Indigo. A lot of 80's post punk sound, including one by the Bunnymen.
I intentionally imbibed less than usual so that I could easily find my way back to the hotel near Paddington Station. Made it back fine and was in bed sometime after 1AM. I made a point of first pulling the bed away from the wall which appeared to be spattered with something I'd rather not think about. But it was a cheap bed, which was all I needed for my last few hours in London.
The video clip has the same quality audio found in the link below. Enjoy.
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Saturday, November 1, 2014
The Low Litas, who opened for Broncho are temporarily part of the band as Broncho's bass player has departed. And Broncho's drummer, Nathan, is the Low Litas drummer until they find a replacement. Resources are being shared supporting one another. Spent a lot of time with Nathan who stepped outside to talk to the bar patrons.
Right before Broncho took the stage I stuck my head in the back room door where Ryan is with the two gals from the Low Litas, waving me in to join them smoking a doobbie. I declined the smoke because I was already cruising at a high altitude on the tequila alone. We talked again for a bit and I probably delayed them taking the stage in front of an enthusiastic audience.
They really rocked the house. They played several new songs which departed from their old fast paced style. I understand the need to branch out and try something new or else they will live a short life like so many other punk bands.
Offered many words of encouragement, and I and others were excited at their opportunity at opening for Billy Idol later this year and next year. More exposure means an opportunity to build a bigger audience base. I'm all for it. Ryan's expecting to see me at the Paramount in February!
I bought and they autographed an album for me!
In "bed" in the back of the truck by 1 AM.
At first glance, you’d think that BRONCHO is some horrible, horrible hybrid of “bro and macho.” You picture beer bongs, arm wrestling, fist pumping competitions, etc. In reality, the band makes delightfully fuzzy pop music characterized by addictive “do-do-do-dos” and “oh-oh-oh-ohs.” The band released its sophomore album, “Just Enough Hip To Be Woman,” last month and plays Denver’s Larimer Lounge on Oct. 21.
Monday, October 13, 2014
This post features Brick + Mortar, a new band who's performance and sound I like, having performed at The Big Gig back in August. They were one of the first bands to play on the May Farms stage Sunday afternoon.
Brandon Asraf and John Tacon formed Brick + Mortar six years ago after countless attempts to do something meaningful with other musicians were less than encouraging. Keeping it lean and mean has worked for the New Jersey-based duo: Last year, they aligned themselves with Photo Finish Records for the release of Bangs, a six-track mini-LP that isn’t impenetrably experimental as much as it is slightly askew. Distorted keyboards, slamming rhythm tracks and grating samples are couched within fully realized pop songs, topped off by bassist Asraf’s highly expressive vocal melodies. It’s a chemistry that wouldn’t sound out of place on a bill on the Fest or foreshadowing a plotline on an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. When they roll up onto the Riot Fest stage, there’s a good chance the smattering of rocker tribes in attendance will find something in Brick + Mortar’s high-spirited set to gravitate toward.
Read it all here:
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
I woke up mid morning after wandering the streets of New York City late into the night. Took a shower, dressed and spent sometime looking over the equipment to determine what the problem was the previous night. I decided to minimize the risk and settled for a different rig, crossing my fingers that it would work better this time. As always, I only blame myself, problems always arising from human error. Pizza for breakfast!
At noon I met an old friend of mine who I had not seen for many years, Mike, a former roommate from the University, sharing a year rooming together in 1975-1976. We were both older, both successful in our own ways, with so much happening in the intervening years. But we were still friends just like it was yesterday. Mike had a treat for me, driving into Manhattan from Brooklyn on his motorcycle. The plan was to spend the afternoon driving around NYC, have a cigar and a drink over lunch in Greenwich Village and end the time with a short trip to an up and coming hip section of Brooklyn. It was a fabulous experience, getting to see the city in a way I had never seen it before in my life. All these sights seen from a different angle, sky scrappers whizzing by. The five hours went by quickly, Mike dropping me off at the hotel where I returned upstairs to prepare for this evenings show.
I changed, gathered up my gear and went out for dinner, smoking a cigar as I made my way to the theater to stand in line.
The band seemed to be more in tune with the audience, and the crowd was more into the show than the previous night. It was Sunday night, the true fans willing to stick around late into the evening and risk being tired and hung over for work in the morning. The band responded by putting on a great show. Lots of smiles from Jez and Nick. Ian seemed to be in a good mood throughout the show, not sensing the usual tension among the band members who in the past would look at Ian expectantly, waiting for his directions. Not tonight.
As is always the case, it all comes to an end so quickly and I find myself standing outside in the cool summer evening near the back stage door. Tonight they erected a barricade between the door and the street behind which the sizable crowd gathered. Gordy was no where to be seen this evening, perhaps busy with his new friend from the previous evening. Will came out and signed some autographs, spending some time chatting with a group of women who I believe were part of the VIP crowd. He was standing right next to me, I being fearful of saying something stupid to this legendary figure. Ian was in good spirits when he stepped out, his pen autographing whatever was put before him. I was standing behind one or two other people watching all this unfold. I was stunned when Ian and I made eye contact and he immediately extended his had out to me, we shake and exchanging pleasant remarks, I thanking him for another fine performance. Off into the waiting taxi and he's gone. There's a new young guy directing things involving the band these last two evenings. I make the comment to him and Ian, asking whether he's the new Peasy (band manager). This young gentleman jokingly highlights the difference between himself and Peasy by patting his belly, this guy in his all black military style ensemble. Stephen, Jez and Nick came out together and we chatted for a bit. Once again they departed together, heading down an empty street in the direction of Union Park. I was in heaven.
I wandered the streets making my way back to the hotel. I gulped several beverages in an effort to rehydrate. Ray's Pizza provided a late night snack. It was sad to think this week and now come and gone. All that was left was to sleep, pack and return to LaGuardia Airport to catch an early afternoon flight.
Last night, the classic drama-pop masters, Echo & The Bunnymen, played the second of two sold-out nights at Irving Plaza in Manhattan. They’ve been touring the U.S. this month in support of their new album, Meteorites, released on May 26 in the U.K. and then June 3 here in the U.S., via 429 Records. They doled out a mix of old and new material interspersed with chatter from leader Ian McCulloch’s barely decipherable Liverpudlian accent, though this time around his singing voice and stage energy were better than the last time the band strolled through NYC a couple years ago. The Cutter, The Killing Moon and especially Lips Like Sugar seemed to be crowd favorites, the newer songs went over well, and a fair bit of dancing and arm-waving went on throughout. This brazen Brit bunch continue to prove they still have some viability left after all these years.