Posts Tagged ‘Ginger Wildheart’

Jess Robinson

So, Camden Rocks was good this year wasn’t it?! After almost thirteen hours on my feet, I have blistered soles, a tight back, and by the Goddess I swear my eye-bags could double up as a freakin’ Deliveroo tandem. Totally worth it though.

My musical day-trip started with The Kut at The Crowndale at noon, I feel like I should describe them as shouty and feisty and grrrr, but they really weren’t. In the best way, they were actually genuinely lovely. Personable, proficient, and clearly over the freakin’ moon to be able to play two extra tracks as part of the soundcheck – a soundcheck so damned good it swelled the crowd from a piddly eight people (understandable, given the time of day) to something nearer 50. The Crowndale itself felt something like an abandoned funeral parlour, complete with huge floral tribute on the corner of the bar, but sonically it worked nicely, and it was great to see that the bar staff (definitely not undertakers) were enjoying the music, taking phone pictures of the band at work.

The Kut’s songs are a mix of punky-punkrock-grunge-rock. Yeah that’s a mishmash, but it’s a good one, tunes are raw, unpolished yet without flaws. The punkier elemns of ‘I Don’t Need Therapy’ fed brilliantly into ‘Bad Man’, a track that’s a sublime blend of everything I loved about both Nirvana and Hole – the guitars and sneering Cobainesque vocals work so well with the Courtney Love based lyrics. Vocalist Maha was determined to get us dancing, kicking up the beat with ‘Hollywood Rock ‘n Roll’. Bouncy! Great fun.

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The Kut

My next mission was to find my way into Dingwalls (having basically formed an infinity symbol in footsteps the previous day I decided to start my mission afresh on Saturday). Surely with the music in full flow, and with festival punters making their way into the venue, it wouldn’t be hard to work it out… oh how wrong I was. See, the name “Dingwalls” is marked out in an arc above the doors on the canal-side. So you walk down there, aaaand the doors are locked. You continue alongside the building, drawn to the music audible at the far end. You see the band through the windows, but you can’t get in. You walk around the building, nope, still no doors evident, unless you fancy trying to barge into the back area of the stage mid-set. No. Walk up to Lock 17 (directly above Dingwalls), where there are stairs pointing down to ‘Club’ (i.e. Dingwalls). Lovely bar staff explain we’re not supposed to go down there, and to use the door outside. I remained confused, all the doors are locked! So I take my chances and go down the forbidden stairs… Lovely security guy (who later explained that the name wouldn’t be above the door any more, if only they could physically remove the lettering) told me how to – correctly – enter the venue. So off I trot, to find that the letters above that magical entranceway in actual fact proclaim “The Comedy Loft”. Of course! I mean, it’s so obvious when you think about it….

Once I made it inside Dingwalls, I discovered two stages, and I managed to catch the end of Heels’ set on the larger of the two – thrashy, shouty, femme-fronted, male-backed metal, are Heels. Not really my taste, but they seemed to be on form. When they finished I nipped to the ladies, and it was like that cringey moment in that IT Crowd episode, the one where Roy and Moss crash Jen’s theatre ‘date’ with the gay man, go to the gents during the interval and there’s a toilet attendant man there, who puts them off their stride so badly that they can’t even piss yet they each pay him a tip anyway. Yeh? This.was.worse. The lady, surrounded by myriad bottles of dubious looking perfume, bellows a cheerful “Hello!!” to me and the grrls following behind, so I say “Hi”, but evidently I’m too quiet, for as I my feet carry me to a toilet cubicle while my mind screams “no, run away, remember the IT Crowd episode!!” she glares right at me and booms “When a lady says ‘hello’, you say ‘hello’ back!”. That’s me told then. Except I did say ‘Hi’… does that not count? Does it have to be ‘Hello’? Please don’t hurt me/hate me toilet attendant lady….

I escaped Dingwalls, and after a chippy lunch on the hoof, I landed at The Cuban for the first of Ginger’s three sets. Expecting it to be busy, I got there early but it was still rammed. And I mean rammed. Somehow I tagged on to a quad of hardcore fans and wound my way between jam-packed bodies, following them as far as the sound desk. My view of the stage… was non-existent. Bugger. What to do? Well, I decided to make the best of it and just listen. It was still live music, right?! I was in the building, woohaaaaa! Then… HERO…! the guy doing the lighting took pity on me and let me stand on the bench behind him. Well, I am tiny, so thankfully I don’t take up much room! In return, I fanned him now and again with a Camden Rocks Fest postcard. Oh yes, things were going well.

Ginger and his guys had a few technical difficulties at first, something up with a guitar… It was cool though, he bantered his way through it jovially (no prima-donna stropping) and refused to cut the set short because of the delay. Bet that pleased the organisers… We were melting but we all clapped in time and ‘oooooh’d’ (off key) when Ginger asked us to ‘ooooooh’. “That was definitely the best sing along I’ve ever heard. Not technically brilliant…” ~cheeky grin and wink~ “…for sure, but definitely the best” The highlight had to be ‘I Wanna Go Where The People Go’, of course it was. We all loved it.

Peckham Cowboys followed. They were rockin’, like, well, like cowboys who double up as a rock band. A solid performance, much enjoyed by the remaining crowd.

So then. Onwards. To The Underworld. To Heck. Umm, intense doesn’t quite cut it as a description… It was intense, it was also insane, and it was utterly perfect. Invigorating and terrifying almost alternately, Heck are fuckin nuts, man. Perfect choice of venue, kudos to whoever placed Heck there. It was dark, it was cavelike, it was deliciously claustrophobia-inducing WALL-TO-WALL NOISE AND CHAOS. I’m glad I’d been forewarned of likely antics. Although there was no escape (guitarist stomped on my foot at one point, singer plonked his mic stand down right in front of me, proceeding to sing and play guitar whilst deluged by photographers), I did select a location where I was largely safe. Basically, if you don’t wanna be involved, don’t go see Heck live. Stay at home, listen to the records, watch them on YouTube to see what you’re missing. But naaah, you should probably go anyway, at least once; absorb the wonderful screaming vitality of them.

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Heck

I was so spaced after Heck, I decided to abandon my plan of Vukovi at the Bloc Bar (I know, I know, I’m slightly ashamed!) – I just needed a little time, outside, getting some air, resting my beaten senses!

Popped back up to The Cuban where Starsha Lee gave strong rock vibes; blasting guitars and sci-fi tinged cartoony vocals, boy they were good and crazy. Crazy good. I overheard someone say “I liked the music, but I just couldn’t get on board with that voice…”. Slightly harsh, but each to their own!

Deadcuts was the last band I saw at The Cuban, gothy layers mixed with New Wave. A little Joy Division-y with their music. None of that is my bag, but Deadcuts were clearly on their game and crowd pleasers nonetheless.

A return to Dingwalls, for LA act Queen Kwong. I absolutely love these guys, and the fact that the overall lineup switches around and morphs between tours does nothing to diminish the power and sheer brilliance their songs, I urge you to see them next time they are in your area. Tonight’s set was marred only slightly by the dim lighting, which I suspect was set at low level on instruction from Carré herself, but it did mean that she couldn’t be seen too well, and I think sadly, those that didn’t already know the music struggled to engage with the show. Having said that, for those of us familiar with the luminosity of tracks like ‘Cold Daggers’, ‘Bells On’, and ‘Purrfiction’, it was awesome.

I’ll admit I was flagging when I left Dingwalls, and, knowing I likely wouldn’t physically be able to see (yep; the short-arse problem again!) much of Black Spiders at Proud, I rejected all headliners and made my way to Camden’s Cavern at Belushi’s bar, where I stayed the rest of the night. To be honest, at a festival where there are over 200 acts to choose from, why stand crushed seeing two or three bands that you could see on numerous tours, when you could find something fresh and exciting, up close in a smaller venue?

What’d you seeeee!?! I hear you cry, ha, well, let’s think back… I just about missed Wars but caught Making Monsters (hooks and riffs, baby, hooks and riffs), As December Falls (polished and young), and lastly Seán Grant & The Wolfgang who made their way to the stage area for a midnight display. And wow! They were so worth waiting for. Seán and his (wolf)gang served up a full-on juicy slab of a set that included ‘Curtains’, ‘Best Of Men’, ‘Brother’ (dedicated to one overjoyed pal in the crowd), and the most excellent ‘Take A Man’s Body’. Meaty, pounding, brilliantly executed music combined with gorgeously bittersweet lyrics that draw.you.in! A superb end to my Camden Rocks experience.

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Seán Grant & The Wolfgang

Huge, huge thanks to all those that brought the music and the vibe, and to those that kept us safe and happy, right down to the not-so-scary-really, toilet attendant lady.

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Jess Robinson

Excited? Well gorsh darn it yes, yes I am indeed. To be able to choose between 200 bands for £35, inside the cradle of London’s eclectic Camden? Yes! Slightly bummed about WATO though…

Camden Rocks 2016 (Saturday 4th June) promises bigger names (Cribs, Young Guns, Billy Bragg, Glen Matlock) swirled into a rock cocktail of lesser known acts and up-and-comers. Here’s what I want to see and why, maybe you’ll join me? #prayingforzeroclashes

Black Spiders

If you want Rock, and I mean proper, old-school, riff-laden, ass-kicking, sneering ROCK, Black Spiders will deliver. Perfect for this type of event, I only hope the venue does them justice. But it will. It must. Of course it will. I’m hoping against hope that they play D&B, or even Jitterbug – early Spiders, punchy real rock n roll content but punk-rock song duration, easy to slot in between their standards ‘Just Like a Woman’, ‘Easy Peasy’, ‘Stay Down’ and ‘St Peter’ from their Sons of the North album. I was newly pregnant last time I saw them – this time I can add alcohol to the experience, woohaa \m/ FUBS etc.

Ginger Wildheart

Now, this guy, it amazes me to say, I have never seen live. How? I don’t know! He’s a canny lad, his lyric writing is crazy-good, and he’s a damn fine musician. His songs seem to have a dirty shimmer to them – check out the ‘Only Henry Rollins Can Save Us Now’ track for a taste. A total of three venues are gonna be hosting this energetic dude on June 4th, so, you have no excuse not to see him!

Queen Kwong

Like no other female-fronted guitar band I’ve witnessed before, Carré is utterly enthralling to watch, throwing herself into the music and oftentimes the crowd, with so much energy, screaming enraged lyrics chased up with haunting whispers, that it’s kinda like watching two tiny ass-kickers take on the world. There are droolworthy pedalboards to glimpse too, if you can tear your eyes away from the performance. ‘Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing’ is about as purrrfect an example of this band’s pared-down punk rock resumé. I for one am intrigued to witness the next incarnation of Queen Kwong; after the departure of Fred Sablan will their sonic power be diminished? With Carré holding the reins? Doubtful. Roll on June 4th.

The Tuts

Tight 3-piece pop-punktasic Tuts are on my list to go see. I’m curious to know if they can cut it and aren’t just about looking pretty-yet-alternative-oooh-I-can-play-and-sing… I have my fingers crossed and here’s why; they can play and they can write catchy lyrics and guitar hooks. All of this is promising. Can they hold the crowd’s attention? With punk songs notoriously short can they fill a set without resorting to tooooo many covers (‘Wannabe’, though…. Really? Shame on you grrls…). Can’t wait.

Grumble Bee

Hotly tipped for 2016, Grumble Bee is solo when writing and recording, but does bring a drummer and bass player to his live performances. Four months into the year and he hasn’t set the music world alight, but there’s time yet. I’ve heard him played a handful of times on Kerrang! Radio – usually by Johnny Doom and I’m interested enough to seek him out in Camden….

HECK

“Devastation in the form of a band” so says the husband. He’s seen them four times, so I have to assume carnage will occur. I’m not even going to prepare myself by listening to these guys, I’m just going to immerse myself if their set…and try to survive it.

Yuck

If you’re after something sludgy and shoe-gazey with an occasional uplifting bright element, you could certainly do worse than Yuck. I’m going to head to these guys for some delightful sonic wind-down during an otherwise manic noise-fest of a day. Hey, a grrl can dream.

If time and timetabling allow, I’d also like to try and catch Glen Matlock, Young Guns, Asylums, Vukovi, The Virginmarys…… still be pining for WATO though…

Venues include:

ELECTRIC BALLROOM *UNDERWORLD * PROUD * BARFLY * BARFLY DOWNSTAIRS * DINGWALLS * BLACK HEART * HAWLEY ARMS * MONARCH * THE GOOD MIXER * THE CUBAN * BREW-DOG * DINGWALLS CANALSIDE  * THE FORGE * THE CROWNDALE * DUBLIN CASTLE *BLOC BAR * CAMDEN CAVERN @ BELUSHIS * FIFTY FIVE

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More information on the links below.
http://www.camdenrocksfestival.com
http://www.facebook.com/CamdenRocksFestival
https://twitter.com/CamdenRocksFest
#CamdenRocks

Quisling Records – 1st April 2016

Christopher Nosnibor

And so the story goes that originally formed by two frustrated drummers, Godzilla Black was the brainchild of two frustrated drummers who came together to release their eponymous debut in 2010. They evidently did something right, catching as they did the attention of Ginger Wildheart, which led to frontman John Cormack contributing vocals to Ginger’s Mutation project alongside members of Napalm Death, Cardiacs and The Fall, which was later released on Mike Patton’s Ipecac Records.

As you may reasonably expect from an ever-mutating project with a crazy wealth of crazy references, there’s a lot going on here. The album’s first track, ‘The Wizard of Ooze’ brings together elements of Kong’s skewed post-Shellac racket and the bombastic bravado and melodies of Faith No More. Sling in some bold brass and it’s one hell of a strange stew, but that’s exactly what Godzilla Black do – they melt multitudinous improbable bits and pieces together to forge something that’s weird, wonderful and rocks like a motherfucker.

The breezy vocal melodies of ‘Take Me To the Countryside’ may carry a psychedelic edge and hints of The Monkees in the verses, but they’re driven by a barrage of beefy guitars and a warped take on the overall production worthy of The Melvins. And we’re still only two tracks in.

‘First Class Flesh’ is just under two minutes of musical mania, the screaming abdabs finally defined sonically, and then there’s ‘Spaghetti’ which is a slice of wild desert blues, Sergio Leone and Queen of the Stone Age stranded together, in fucked up on peyote and hallucinating mirages of who the fuck knows what.

Most bands would have shot their load for ideas long before now, but the rockabilly math-rock frenzy of ‘Polydactyl’ and the crazed, full-throttle attack of ‘The Other White Meat’ (which even manages to reference The Blues Brothers in the midst of a bonkers explosion of raucous brass) more than abundantly show Godzilla Black are a band who are constantly on the brink of rupturing themselves lest they don’t give vent to their creative fermentations. In the hands of lesser artists, such an explosion of divergent musical bits and pieces would be a horrible mess, but they hold it together, and even the shorter tracks – there are a fair few that run between two and three minutes, and a couple are even more brief – sound fully formed, and even focused despite their everything all at once stylings.

It may take a few listens through to really get a proper handle on, but Press the Flesh is a classic example of what you might call ‘warped genius’. Restless, relentless and audacious as fuck, there really is never a dull moment.

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http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=3855894031/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/artwork=small/track=3933977863/transparent=true/

Godzilla Black Online