(((O))) Category: Live

Petrol Girls – The Oslo, London

Petrol Girls loud ‘n’ clear righteous causes are soundtracked and delivered live by quite possibly the best Post-Hardcore Punk band around at the moment.

HRH PROG VIII – SHEFFIELD, DAY 2

Day 2 of Sheffield’s HRH Prog festival saw great turns from Canterbury legends Soft Machine and Caravan, amongst others.

Boris – Classic Grand, Glasgow

If anything really defines Boris’ appeal tonight it’s the double-whammy of ‘Coma’ and ‘LOVE’, two nebulous, droning titans . . . These are where Wata is given her chance to flex her muscles to the utmost, layering distortion and squealing semi-melodies and then ramping up each of them until the room becomes nothing but a fog of sound and dry ice.

Battle Beast – ULU, London

The success of shows like this are a clear demonstration of why Battle Beast are the rising force that they are in European metal. They put together a set which perfectly balanced spectacle and musicianship, and which they were able to combine for a thoroughly entertaining evening.

Alter Bridge – O2 Arena, London

Alter Bridge’s form of introverted hard rock is joy to behold. . . As they continue to be one of the most consistent acts in the genre, there will be plenty more great shows like this still to come in the next decade too.

Lacuna Coil – O2 Forum, Kentish Town

At a stage where many bands struggle to have any impact on the scene that made them in the first place, Lacuna Coil continue to redefine expectations and use their experience to carry on pushing boundaries as well as entertaining their fans.

Clutch – The Roundhouse, London

It may be the holidays  and we may have been lulled into a beery bonhomie,  but this bunch of unassuming nice guys can still pack one hell of a punch.

A Forest of Stars • Necronautical • VOID – Nambucca, London

A Forest of Stars – wrapping psychedelia, black metal, folk music, and prog rock up in a kind of skewed Neo-Victorian package – are certainly ambitious and, like VOID, have always aimed for a complex yet coherent aesthetic that unifies the band’s disparate elements, which Stars largely achieve, even if it can be pleasantly muddled at points on record.

Periphery – O2 Forum, Kentish Town

Periphery are on top of their game right now and should feel on top of the world with a performance like that. One of the most exciting and adored progressive outifts of the decade, the future looks even brighter for them, not least because off the back of this show every fan there would go back to see them in a heartbeat.

HRH PROG VIII – SHEFFIELD, DAY 1

We headed to Yorkshire for the weekend to keep abreast of developments at the UK’s biggest prog festival, and heard great sets from both The Vintage Caravan and Gong on Day 1.

Kazu – MOTH Club, London

It’s a remarkable feat, transposing the studio grandness with the bare minimum of tools at her disposal. Strings swirl and electronics ember to produce a warm glowing intimacy that swells and overwhelms when required.

Desaster • Root • Archgoat • Mork – Underworld, Camden

Regardless of the odd ordering and slightly uneven feel of the line-up tonight, it was clearly a monster, and further proof that anything stamped by Sublime Terror Promotions, Cult Never Dies and/or Zero Tolerance magazine indicates a grimly exciting badge of quality.

Cult of Luna • Brutus • A.A. Williams – Electric Ballroom, London

What I really like about COL is how well they play the quiet before the storm, the steady rise and the heavy drop, the brooding swell and the tidal wave – in other words, the essence of the post-metal sound that they laid the foundations for.

GLASTONBURY PSYCHFEST 2019

There’s far more to Glastonbury’s music scene than just a once-yearly festival in nearby Pilton. We relive 10 highlights from this year’s psychedelic celebration at The King Arthur here and now.

Pitchfork Music Festival Paris, 2019

Like the previous year, this 2019 edition of the Pitchfork Music Festival proved to be as exciting as it was unpredictable, a fertile ground where unmet expectations on one end are inevitably traded off with amazing discoveries found not far elsewhere.

Ghost • All Them Witches • Tribulation – SSE Wembley Arena

I do miss the more sinister Mk1 and 2 iterations of Ghost, but they are not my band: they are the people’s band, and their number grows ever larger!

Earth – EartH, London

Earth segue into ‘Even Hell Has Its Heroes’ from Primitive and Deadly, and the opening riff resolves into two absolutely glorious open chords, which sound simply wonderful. For that’s often the best aspect of Earth’s sound: every repetition establishing the riff more firmly in your mind until you appreciate how well-crafted that it is, and how the very final part of that riff leaves you gleefully anticipating its reoccurrence.

HAWKWIND – Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh

The show’s not over. As expected, they’re back, and take us right back to their very beginning with ‘Hurry on Sundown’ . . . and then the quintessential Hawkwind riff-monster, the incomparable ‘Master of the Universe’. This is it. This is what made me love Hawkwind forty-odd years ago, and what is likely to keep me coming back from time to time.

De Staat – The Garage, London

One of the most fun gig nights I’ve been to in a long time and vastly surpassed my expectations. De Staat performed impeccably and left the whole crowd baying for more. I would recommend anyone wanting to shake of the cobwebs and do some serious grooving, to go and see De Staat next time they play in town. I promise it will be so worth it.

MONO 20-Year Anniversary World Tour with Bell Witch – The 27 Club, Ottawa

While they were playing, I couldn’t help to think about the fact that they have been together for 20 years. Touring, writing and recording emotive music for 20 years! It’s incredible and incredibly beautiful when you think about it. It was an emotional night.

Girls In Synthesis – The Old Blue Last, Shoreditch

This band is important. They remind us that neoliberalism is construct not nature; it’s corrosive effects can be resisted. I don’t know what effective protest looks like at the moment, but this feels like part of it because it’s an affirmation of what makes us human; reminds us of what life is meant to be about: community, trust, hope.

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