Evil Scarecrow (Southampton Engine Rooms, 24/01/19)

484 words. Written 26/01/19. It might feel like “a very expensive band practice”, but parody black metallers Evil Scarecrow make it work, at least for those who are in on the joke. At the back of the stage is a box, ominously marked “PROTOTYPE. CAUTION: RADIATION. ZERO GRAVITY”. While obviously it doesn’t function as the warning suggests, it does define Evil Scarecrow’s performance technique well … Continue reading Evil Scarecrow (Southampton Engine Rooms, 24/01/19)

Victorious Festival 2017 (Southsea Common, 25-27/08/17)

Once again, ROCKSHOT asked me to write a gargantuan review (which true to their style, resembles a diary entry) of Victorious Festival. Many more photographs of the event, snapped by the awesome Simon Reed can be found on the Rockshot site. I am local to Portsmouth, and I admit that I became slightly concerned before attending my third Victorious Festival. Victorious refuses to stop growing. It engulfs … Continue reading Victorious Festival 2017 (Southsea Common, 25-27/08/17)

Lissie (Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms, 04/12/16)

(Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Wire) Written for PORTSMOUTH NEWS. — Removing electricity from rock to leave behind only the voices and guitars, beckons assumptions that only a raw, atmospheric gloom will remain. On her acoustic tour, Lissie backs this up at least to begin with, during the profane ‘Shameless’ – its erratic rhythm built from knocking on the wood of her guitar. Her chaotic movements escalate … Continue reading Lissie (Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms, 04/12/16)

Joe Black – Meet Me at the Eldorado (Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms, 05/11/16)

Written for PORTSMOUTH NEWS. Follow this link for my diary entry on this show. – At a piano, dark cabaret darling Joe Black alternates between an effeminate gossip and sudden growls, looking back on the start of the collapse of nightlife culture in Berlin during the early 1930s – “never bring a nihilist to a dinner party”. As if the sombre atmosphere isn’t uneasy enough, things … Continue reading Joe Black – Meet Me at the Eldorado (Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms, 05/11/16)

Twin Atlantic (Portsmouth Pyramids Centre, 14/10/16)

Written for PORTSMOUTH NEWS.  — In just ten minutes, the plug is pulled on alt-rockers Twin Atlantic’s show tonight, to sort out a crush in the audience, before restarting a song. Not that that seems to upset frontman Sam McTrusty: “You are the weirdest crowd. It’s really keeping me on my toes. I like it!” It is no wonder that he likes “weird”, having just … Continue reading Twin Atlantic (Portsmouth Pyramids Centre, 14/10/16)

We Are Scientists (Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms, 09/10/16)

(Photo by Paul Windsor) Written for PORTSMOUTH NEWS.  Against a goofy backdrop of giant smoking cats, vocalist and guitarist Keith Murray enters the stage to Lionel Richie’s ‘Hello’, arms in the air. He makes a peace gesture with one hand, and holds a beer bottle aloft with the other. It is only appropriate for New York’s energetic indie rock duo We Are Scientists, who are … Continue reading We Are Scientists (Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms, 09/10/16)

Feeder (Portsmouth Pyramids Centre, 13/10/16)

(Photo by Paul Windsor) Written for PORTSMOUTH NEWS. Welsh rockers Feeder open their first visit to Portsmouth in four years in a surprisingly downbeat mood, bizarrely choosing to open with the gloomy new album closer ‘Another Day on Earth’. They continue with the much angrier ‘Universe of Life’. Though, as it is another track from their week-old ninth album, All Bright Electric, which many are … Continue reading Feeder (Portsmouth Pyramids Centre, 13/10/16)