Archive | November, 2019

From The Jam – Nottingham Rock City (November 17, 2019)

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From The Jam – Nottingham Rock City (November 17, 2019)

Posted on 21 November 2019 by Joe

From the Jam’s Nottingham gig sees original Jam member Bruce Foxton and co impress as they focuses on 1979’s Setting Sons.

The Jam, Rick Buckler on drums, Bruce Foxton on bass and the ridiculously ageless legend that is Paul Weller on guitar, were one of our finest punk exports.

A young trio who articulated the anger and frustration of youth in perfect three-minute bursts of Rickenbacker rage.

From The Jam Nottingham

Unlike many of their contemporaries though they had the audacity to evolve and escape the straight jacket of three chords and having a shouty man at the front.

First signs of this came with their third album, 1979’s Setting Sons. It still retained the anger and the middle-finger but they wrapped the songs up in fantastic harmonies and genuinely lovely melodies (admitedly often hidden behind cloaks of feedback).

So tonight From The Jam reprise that fantastic album minus Paul and Rick but with Bruce at the helm playing the hell out of a thunderous bass guitar and Russel Hastings as a very authentic Welleresque frontman. Hastings not only looks a little like Paul but posesses a great voice and equally impressive guitar skills.

Add one keyboardist and a rock solid drummer and we are cooking on gas daddio as the kids say, probably.

Setting Sons is satisfyingly signed sealed and delivered, with stunning versions of Girl On The Phone and an oft neglected classic Wasteland. They they deliver every Jam song you can remember. So many fabulous tunes from Thick as Thieves and a tremendously volatile Eton Rifles to That’s Entertainment and Start!

Going Underground and of course Down in the Tubestation at Midnight also feature in From The Jam’s set.

From the Jam Nottingham 2

Ray Davis of The Kinks is often cited as the best writer of quintesentially English pop songs. I beg to differ, on the evidence of these wonderful songs tonight I suggest that accolade must go to Weller, ably assisted by Foxton, the writer of News of the World among other Jam tracks.

Support for From The Jam tonight came from one hit wonders The Vapors, the band that Foxton discovered back in 1979 and supported the Jam back then. Perhaps you can remember Turning Japanese? I can’t, I’m far too young (honest).

Words by John Haylock, pictures by Arthur Hughes.

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Deerhunter (Brighton Concorde 2 – 4th November 2019)

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Deerhunter (Brighton Concorde 2 – 4th November 2019)

Posted on 08 November 2019 by Dorian

I struggle to write a review these days. I’m not a trained journalist, I’m a music fan. I’m middle aged. I don’t have a trend to align myself to. I hear good albums and see good gigs all the time. What I don’t see or hear that much is anything I have anything much interesting to say about.

You’re lucky to see a band at their best play a great gig. I’ve been lucky enough to do so several times in my life, but more often that not I’m seeing a good band play a good show. That is nothing to sniff at, but it is nothing to write home about.

So attending Deerhunter this week I was lucky enough to see a really really good band play an interesting, and definitely unusual gig.

Deerhunter

I’d looked at recent set-lists and I had a good idea of what the band would play. 5 or 6 tracks from the latest album and Halcyon Digest (each) and a couple from earlier albums. This in itself is very good news as these are, to my mind, their best two albums with (the lengthily titled) Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared? being a contender for album of the year.

The gig started as such. After some really nasty white noise (for about 5 minutes) Bradford and Co. play some really solid versions of those tracks. ‘No Ones Sleeping’ is great, ‘Revival’ is beautiful. The set continues as expected.

Between tracks Bradford engages with the crowd, he’s witty and likeable, his faux-English accent amuses me. About half way through the evening things start to get a bit weirder. He announces the start of  a dance contest that he’d hinted at earlier in the evening.

Six people are invited onto the stage and the band start to play a sort of mid-60s instrumental tune whilst the contestants dance awkwardly on the stage. This lasts for some time. At the end of this a voting process begins where the acts are judged based on the loudness of the audience clapping and cheering. At the end of this Bradford Cox picks his favourite and they are awarded the trophy.

The Deerhunter Dance Contest

The Deerhunter Dance Contest

This rather lengthy diversion has eaten into lot of song time, so it is another surprise when the band decide to play their new, non-album, 13 minute single ‘Timebends’. This is the first live outing for the song, and it is great, but t probably knocks another three songs off the list for the evening.

It is at this point that the gig takes a lengthier break. Bradford appears to want to stop playing for a while and starts chatting to the crowd. This goes on for some time. So long that audience discontent starts to set in. It is fascinating to watch. It has the same feel as an extended Stewart Lee joke, the longer it continues the funnier it seems. Conversely, to those who want him to play some more songs the more annoyed they get.

After 30(!) minutes someone shouts “Nothing Ever Happened!” and Bradford immediately agrees. The band then play this early favourite and it sounds great. It is at this point that the band are told their time is up and leave the stage, Bradford himself clearly a bit surprised to have run out of time.

A great gig? Perhaps not. An interesting and memorable gig? Definitely.

By Dorian Rogers

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