Chris Ball


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

With The Dead – Love From With The Dead

Fans of the band and their previous works will no doubt find something to enjoy on ‘Love From With The Dead’, but personally I would hope for more from musicians as revered as these.

Dead Heavens – Whatever Witch You Are

All in all, this is a triumph. Go ahead and enjoy that new Quicksand album, but Dead Heavens are equally worthy of your time.

John Murry – A Short History of Decay

The best tracks here are all singular in their delights and are all equally surprising in small ways.

Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires – Youth Detention (Nail My Feet Down To The Southside Of Town)

One fine rock n’ roll album – you will be pumping your limbs and hollering like the ghost of Joe Strummer

The Magpie Salute – The Magpie Salute

This album is an absolute triumph.

Future Lives – Mansions

Only a churl would criticise an album that comes with such a heartwarming tale and several of these songs will be accompanying me on my travels over the summer.

Exodus and Dust Bolt – Chinnerys, Southend-On-Sea

Exodus are still at the forefront of the genre. This isn’t a heritage act for misty-eyed old rockers, Exodus is still very much the real deal.

Harvestman – Music For Megaliths

‘Music For Megaliths’ is at times a genuinely effective and affecting piece of art, with a rare depth and sensitivity.

Desertfest London 2017 – Friday Review

As ever Desertfest was a blast, and I saw some great acts, but although it’s getting to be almost a cliche to say it now, the best thing about Desertfest is the atmosphere.

Feral Ohms – Feral Ohms

Twenty six minutes of utterly committed, intense, gonzoid thrashing, Feral Ohms is like a grungier Reign In Blood. You may consider that a recommendation.

Desertfest London Preview: Friday

Yep, whatever your preference, commercial or cult, there is something for everyone on Friday at Desertfest, Camden.

Tamikrest – Kidal

There is so much to enjoy on Kidal, so many deft and beautiful performances, that you cannot help but feel a solidarity with and respect for Tamikrest

Spoon – Hot Thoughts

Hot Thoughts proves what an enormous amount of promise Spoon still have in their locker.

Bill Fisher of Church of the Cosmic Skull

Already a devotee, Chris Ball caught up with Bill Fisher of Nottingham’s cult-come-classic rock exponents, Church of the Cosmic Skull, to find out more about their origins, the upcoming tour and, of course, just what the ‘Cosmic Rainbow’ told them..

The Moonlandingz – Interplanetary Class Classics

This album is about as weird as it gets, but if you don’t enjoy it then you’re even fucking weirder. Instant classic.

The Raven Age – Darkness Will Rise

A few more tunes like ‘Age of the Raven’ and a tighter editing on the songs and shorter track listing and this could have been a much more impressive debut.

Pissed Jeans – Why Love Now

From it’s confrontational title and all the way through it’s punishing noise and scabrous lyrics Why Love Now shows that the scum will always rise to the top.

Shovels & Rope at Islington Assembly Hall, London, 06.02.2017

This was my first gig on the year and seldom do you see a more winning example of the power of live music.

Witchstone – Mortal Fear of Infinity

This is definitely an album doom devotees should check out, and although it lacks one absolute killer riff or chorus Witchstone, ironically, have a fine future, despite their apparent ‘Mortal Fear of Infinity’.

Dool – Here Now, There Then

As it stands I personally think Dool are very much a band with their own merits who show some promise, but I guess most people interested in this album will have much stronger opinions, one way or the other.

Grey Hairs – Serious Business

A grin inducing celebration of our youth, for those of us old enough to have grown too fat for our Mudhoney ‘Super Fuzz Big Muff’ t-shirts.

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