Chris Ball

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I’m an ageing rocker who has been going to concerts and buying records for over 30 years. I used to write for Metal Hammer, then briefly another magazine that went down to the bottom of the ocean with that fat crook Robert Maxwell.

I gave up for a while. Experimented with listening to dance music, hip hop and indie rock. It broadened my horizons and I had a lot of fun, but when I reached my late 30’s I realised I was living a kind of cultural lie. I love rock music I realised, much of it deeply unfashionable, but fuck it, I’m old enough now not to care. In the meantime I’d become a father, I now have two boys, and accumulated several more tattoos, middle-aged spread and a healthy dislike of modern pop music and the facile celebrity obsessed industry that fuels it.

So I’m an Essex geezer who’s returned to his roots in more ways than one, I live on the coast after having spent 20 years living in East London. Don’t let the tatts and West Ham shirt fool you though. I love Japanese ukiyo-e art and haiku poetry, impressionist art, the works of Alan Moore and Salman Rushdie, botany and bird watching. I still go to gigs as often as my family, liver and bank balance will allow.

My all time favourite bands and artists are Tom Waits, The National, The Drive By Truckers, The Who, Wilco, Randy Newman, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Thin Lizzy, Celtic Frost, Slipknot, Public Enemy, Warren Zevon, Queens of the Stone Age, The Handsome Family, AC/DC, Lykke Li, Laura Veirs, Monster Magnet (obvs) Black Sabbath, Black Sabbath, Black Sabbath and Black Sabbath.

Recent faves include Bo Ningen, Windhand, Witch Mountain, St Vincent, Lana Del Rey, Public Service Broadcast, Ghost Poet, Triptykon, Matthew E White and Courtney Barnett.

Tell me yours.

 

 

Articles by Chris Ball

Ty Segall – Fudge Sandwich

This is a fantastically engaging album, with some people are saying it’s Segall’s best.

The Necromancers – Of Blood and Wine

The Necromancers play heavy metal with a freshness and verve as if they just invented it and as a consequence it is a joy to behold. 

Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs – King of Cowards

A collective noun for a group of pigs is a drift, but that’s not what’s happening here. Sharper, leaner, smarter and keener Pigsx7 have taken their sound to another level and are all the better for it. King of Cowards is a fine album.

Årabrot – Who Do You Love

Årabrot are a very welcome counterbalance to meat and potatoes hard rock acts with nothing to say and the desire to keep saying it blandly.

BlackLab – Under a Strawberry Moon 2.0

The sheer ferocity of the band’s attack, combined with a broad range of influences means BlackLab have real crossover appeal.

Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters – Come & Chutney

Friends of mine frequently mention the good times to be had catching the band in action and no doubt their corpsepaint and tie-dye look makes them hard to forget, once witnessed.

Desertfest 2018, London – Sunday

There was only one place I wanted to be on Sunday of Desertfest, and that was The Roundhouse for the what was festivals biggest venue and suitably starry cast list to date…

Desertfest London 2018 – Friday

Happy punters connecting and discovering great new music: Desertfest your work is done!

High Priestess – High Priestess

An impressive introduction, full of strong performances, promising songs and just enough individuality to mark High Priestess out from the metal hordes.

Sunflower Bean – Twentytwo In Blue

Sunflower Bean have no right to be making music as accomplished and ravishing as this at such a tender age.

Monster Magnet – Mindfucker

Dave and the gang have decided to put out an album of no-nonsense, hard rocking crowd-pleasers.

Desert Storm – Sentinels

With ‘Sentinels’ they still show more promise and display more ambition and creativity then nearly all their peers, no question.

Desertfest London 2018 – Sunday Preview

If you like stoner and psych and plan on still being alive in May then why the hell wouldn’t you go?

Buffalo Tom – Quiet and Peace

Buffalo Tom don’t do anything unexpected, flash or controversial here, but what they have done is make a beautifully simple and simply beautiful rock album. A career high.

The Lovely Eggs – This Is Eggland

There’s an undeniably pleasing, ramshackle ambiance throughout as the band invent their own kindergarten krautrock and post-pub pop.

Windhand / Satan’s Satyrs – Split

Both bands bands do enough here to make you wish there was another side of their music to flip to, but Windhand edge it for me.

Black Moth – Anatomical Venus

Black Moth… have developed a darker, more sophisticated sound whilst retaining much of what made them interesting in the first place.

The Pearl Harts – Glitter and Spit

I suspect they have the potential to pen dozens more indie-disco floor fillers, the likes of which this debut is undoubtedly packed.

The COPS – First Offense

‘First Offense’… will carry you along on a speed rush of caveman riffs and screaming sirens.

Gold Key – Hello Phantom

Gold Key apply the rigors of hard core and rock to their songs whilst still packing in more incident, flash, daring and emotion than most bands manage in an album.

BongCauldron – Binge

‘Binge’ is just that, a dangerously enjoyable feast of metal.

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