(((O))) LIVE

Enjoy Sugoi Festival Part II – Scala, London

I entered London’s Scala with pricked up ears and senses tuned to pick up on any Sugoi activity going on, whether good or bad. If one expects to be spooked when entering a spooky castle, it sounds only fair to expect enjoyable “Sugoi” music to come out of this second day of Enjoy Sugoi Festival.

Pitchfork Music Festival 2018 – Paris

Self-evident though it may sound, Pitchfork Music Festival felt fantastically festive, as though our smug cynicism had been lifted from all of our minds for the duration of our stay at hip-young-music-snob-heaven, a time during which many Parisians briefly reunite with long-lost acquaintances such as the concept of bright, flashy colours and non-ironic optimism.

Pitchfork Avant-Garde 2018 – Totes Lost in Paris

Pitchfork Music Festival has expanded to take over the Bastille area for two evenings chock full of performances by promising new acts from the indie music scene. Here I stood, sole person in line at the Badaboum at 7:30 pm sharp, with excitement tingling in my brain and French opinionatedness running through my veins. I was ready.

Within Temptation – O2 Academy, Brixton

Within Temptation belong on the big stage, and with some epic new tracks, well-rehearsed and waiting to be released, there is no doubt that more arena-style performances like this await us in future.

Evil Blizzard – Hare and Hounds, Birmingham

Disappointment guaranteed. Tonight sees a cherished illusion shattered as the widely held belief that a Blizzard gig could be improved by power failure turns out to be another myth.

10 YEARS OF KSCOPE – Union Chapel, London

Anathema steal the show at Kscope’s 10th birthday party, the headliners joined by a raft of label talent and special guests.

Deer Tick – Dingwalls, London

“Leave them wanting more,” they say. I do – I do want more and when they’re back in the UK I’ll see them again. And again, and again, and again. . .

Whale Fall at bluewhale, Little Tokyo, Los Angeles

In a rare live show, Whale Fall displays their mastery of instrumental post-rock.

Damnation Fest 2019

There’s been bands I loved, bands I really didn’t, and a lot in between, and it will have been exactly the same for everybody. Let’s hope that the Damnation philosophy never changes.

Idles – O2 Institute, Birmingham

Idles are not just a band, nor are they just a movement. . . This night showcased their extraordinary gift: the ability to bring people together, to listen to a simple message, and to think about it, all while enjoying themselves.

The Lovely Eggs • Rob Auton • ILL – Hare & Hounds, Birmingham

They sound fantastic, loud and sharp, there’s a natural sense of rightness in the way the songs unfold that makes them seem simpler than they really are.

Sinsaenum – Dome, Tufnell Park

There’s no drum solos suspended above the stage; no guitar wankery under the spotlight; no egos; no compromise. Because, at the end of the day, that’s why Sinsaenum are here: for a return-to-roots, back to the underground for the love of playing the nasty in sweaty venues.

YOB • Wiegedood – Garage, London

If Wiegedood hammered home an utterly-unvarnished sense of the bleakness and harshness of existence then YOB, alongside Om, Pallbearer and the like, concentrate on conveying a genuine sense of warmth, beauty and euphoria that is beyond piousness or pretension, and which stays with you way beyond the tube ride home.

SONS OF APOLLO – SWX, BRISTOL

Sons of Apollo put on a slick show in Bristol, albeit one that’s almost as heavy on showboating as it is prog metal anthems.

Revocation • Rivers Of Nihil • Yautja • Battlebear – Hard Luck Bar, Toronto

Toronto played host to a night of some great technical/progressive metal on a four-band bill.

Current 93 • Nurse With Wound – O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, London

Some context for this review: I wasn’t vastly familiar with either performer here. I’d not really listened to much Current 93 until a week before the gig, and until a couple of months ago I’d never knowingly heard a Nurse With Wound album. . .  though …

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 (((O))) UPCOMING GIGS

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