Category Archives: Live Reviews

Live Review: …and you will know us by the trail of dead/Middle Class Rut

Live Review: …and you will know us by the trail of dead + Middle Class Rut
Venue: Electric Ballroom, London
Date: 23rd April 2009

The last time I saw Trail of Dead was supporting Audioslave at the Brixton Academy, which seems like absolutely years ago. They completely failed to impress me back then with their noisy and disjointed performance, rounded-up with an immature and pathetic attempt at being ‘rock and roll’ by smashing up their instruments. In the years that both band and I have had to grow up and develop, would this second viewing result in a different reaction? Continue reading Live Review: …and you will know us by the trail of dead/Middle Class Rut

Live Review: Zu/Black Carrot

Live Review: Zu + Black Carrot
Venue: Borderline, London
Date: 20th April 2009

Zu have been my surprise discovery of the year – their new album received a favourable review, and since then I’ve enjoyed diving into its murky depths on a regular basis. So, there was no question of where I was going to be on the 20th April – in a downtrodden, cramped, smelly and overpriced basement in London. Continue reading Live Review: Zu/Black Carrot

Live Review: Earth/James Blackshaw

Live Review: Earth + James Blackshaw
Venue: St Andrew’s Church, Brighton
Date: 16th April 2009

Earth

Tonight marks the first time I’ve stepped foot into a church since I was about thirteen. It’s a surreal experience, knowing the kind of music that will soon be reverberating around the 181-year-old walls of St Andrew’s Church, and there is a palatable sense of hushed reverence as I walk in to find local James Blackshaw performing alone with his acoustic guitar. At first glance, it may seem a strange support act for a band that is known for their omnipotent volume, but Blackshaw woos the audience with gentle, unchallenging melodies with just his acoustic guitar. His nerve holds well and the silent respect the audience pay him is probably helped by our surroundings but, towards the end, you can feel a tingle of restlessness in the air as another drawn-out guitar solo is started. Continue reading Live Review: Earth/James Blackshaw

Live Review: 36 Crazyfists/Poison the Well/Gwen Stacy

Live Review: 36 Crazyfists + Poison the Well + Gwen Stacy
Venue: Electric Ballroom, London
Date: 13th March 2009

With tonight’s show starting at a fairly ludicrously early time, Gwen Stacy take to the stage at 7 to a sparse and disinterested crowd. But this doesn’t stop the Indianapolis band from putting their heart and soul into their brief set, with a markedly comic performance from bassist Brent Schindler. The dual vocal attack is rather less amusing, with some stretched notes and wobbly barks undermining the erratic brutality of the guitar riffs. The strangest moment however is reserved for Schindler’s closing missionary statement, informing the now slightly larger crowd that Jesus loves them, and they’ve got to have faith in something, which is understandably met with a rather deadpan silence. Continue reading Live Review: 36 Crazyfists/Poison the Well/Gwen Stacy

Live Review: Isis/Torche

isis-thumbLive Review: ISIS/Torche
Venue: Scala, London
Date: 4th December 2008

It’s a shitter not having much money. But ATP, the promoters behind the upcoming Nightmare Before Christmas weekender have been generous in the gifts they’ve offered music fans this holiday season. Tonight’s show is, on paper, the best present of them all. Torche have had every music critic jumping at the chance to anally satisfy them, and ISIS are a band who have such a consistently incredible discography that there’s no way tonight can ever turn into a disappointment. Continue reading Live Review: Isis/Torche

Live Review: Slipknot/Machine Head

Live Review: Slipknot/Machine Head
Venue: Hammersmith Apollo
Date: 2nd December 2008

I wont be the first to say it, but pantomine season truly kicked off tonight with Slipknot’s second night in residence at the Hammersmith Apollo. Masked horrors, blazing pyrotechnics and some very evil going ons was the order of the night, and I was actually really looking forward to it. Continue reading Live Review: Slipknot/Machine Head

Live Review: These Arms Are Snakes/Russian Circles/Tropics

These Arms Are SnakesLive Review: These Arms Are Snakes/Russian Circles/Tropics
Venue: The Engine Rooms, Brighton
Date: 15th November 2008

It might be quite disenchanting to come all the way from the US and find out that the first venue you’re playing on your tour is a glorified basement with a bar. Oh, and a roof that leaks incessantly. But that’s where the joint headline tour for Russian Circles and These Arms Are Snakes has kicked off, and tonight I don’t think they could care less about the not so glamorous surroundings. Continue reading Live Review: These Arms Are Snakes/Russian Circles/Tropics