Monday, 2 September 2019

Blind Haze & Daxx and Roxanne at The Globe, Glossop - boogieing in my own backyard.

Dirty, dirty rock 'n' roll

Back to The Globe, Glossop for yet another incredible gig with no entry fee. I've happily parted with money to see both these bands before and would have done so again. Rule number 1 - buy some merch. You've got a few hours of top music for nowt so buy a t-shirt or a CD, give something to the band. The venue will get your support from the bar (£2 for a pint of cider in the Globe -  I KNOW, RIGHT!) so the best way you can say thanks to a hard working band is to spread the word by playing a gig-purchased CD at full volume or sporting your new t-shirt to the boozer.

Blind Haze are my favourite new find of the past few years. It's all I love about live music - a three piece wall of sound. Conan towers over you when he's not on stage so once that bass gets going and he launches into Mine All Mine you better listen. What follows is a relentless set of kicking dirty rock n roll, Ben's drumming driving the pace and Nicky's guitar working it's way through endless riffs and solos in trademark vertical style. My mate thinks he needs to ditch the hat but I think he looks reet cool. The mid-section rolls into Backstreet Boogie and Burnin' Up off the latest Red Light Fever EP. A new song almost catches them out a bit but I don't mind this and the band laughed it off too - that's what gigs like this are for, trying out summat new.

My own favourite Snow Queen starts the last section with an unexpected couple of covers at the end. Give the punters a bit of Motorhead, they'll be happy.

Bloody love this band, proper down to earth honest rockers.

What made tonight even better was that a decent crown turned out to ramp up the atmosphere. Daxx and Roxanne brought a few fans with them and already have a few in the area from previous appearances at the Globe. This was their warm-up act before hitting the bigger stage of HRH Sleaze the following night in Sheffield and maybe a few Swiss friends had joined others to venture Up North for the weekend.

D&R are such a hard working band. From Switzerland but based in London I've seen them 3 times this year already in Glossop and Manchester. They must do hundreds of shows every year and I would suggest they never give anything less than 11. Ticket to Rock is the sleazy tacky belter you'd expect and the song that sums them up for me. Good time boys enjoying their time on the road, playing their stuff and giving it their all. More commercial than Blind Haze they probably appeal to a wider rock audience with their more radio friendly blend but they aren't afraid to throw a bit of blues in when they want. Singer/bassist Cedric wails when he needs to wail and gets husky when needed but it's Cal on lead that catches my eye, throwing his shapes and clambering wherever he can in the name of rock. Simon and Luca let nobody down on rhythm/harmonica and drums. Catch this band whenever you get chance, they're a whirlwind of energy. Don Airey of Deep Purple knows talent when he hears it - he's guesting on new single 'Interstellar' out later this month.

If you want to hear more about Daxx and Roxanne I recommend going to their YouTube page rather than Spotify. The live videos show you much more about what these boys are about than the singles on Spotify. The debut album is a bit hit and miss, the next one will have a few more years experience and promises to be a stormer.

Thursday, 29 August 2019

Paper Castles' new single 'Forest Road'

There's loads more to being a student than cheap beer, free love and the occasional hour in the library. Moving away from home is exciting and daunting in equal measures and the real learning experience is life in a different city, not the degree you've chosen.

Ellis Adderley, lead singer of Paper Castles and the chap whose experiences lead to the single, is from the same neck of the woods as me and reminding me of the experiences I had a long time ago. Sometimes it's not the drinks promos, parties or middle class girl from London that catches your eye, it's the new surroundings. Forest Road faces a cemetery, working girls ply their trade nearby and souls adrift from normal life seek company and confession in the park.

These scenes are revealed in a spoken style quite different from that on first single 'Cold Hard Floor' and it's stronger for it.  There's some fine guitar work throughout too, from the jangly opening to a blunter middle section as Adderley's vocals get angrier before descending through a faintly psychedelic repetitive section into a driven finale. Something for everyone and a great story being told. Yes, we all drank too much and ran out of money quickly but let's be honest, if you don't do that you've wasted your student years.

Grateful to Ellis for getting in touch and giving me an advance listen of this great track. The self-styled 'Worst band in the Midlands' moniker clearly isn't true, however hard they try.

Forest Road is released on 31st August and I'm guessing available on Spotify like the last one. Or you could get it from the band themselves by following them on Facebook Instagram and Twitter

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Back and rocking

Why the gap in posts?


Marriage broke up, moved into my own place. Heartbroken. Worked hard at keeping things moving and making it easy for our children. Made it through Christmas. Let's move on.


adj. Genuine; real - 'Flames' by Bonafide

That's how the dictionary defines 'bonafide' - genuine or real. It's right you know. This is good old blues rock by a master, nothing new but nothing artificial either. I went to three music festivals from HRH last year, the last of which was 'Doom vs Stoner'. There were several free CDs given away including this one - I think they were remainder promo copies from editions of HRH Mag.
Not very doom or stoner I hear you say. You're right. Luckily, I'm a lover of rock in all it's forms (apart from the odd glitch in my head which refuses to tolerate Def Leppard or The Eagles) and earlier last year I was at HRH Blues. One of the highlights of that weekend was seeing the marvellous Pontus Snibb's Wreck of Blues, which gave Pontus the chance to unleash loads of long blues solos and play some purer blues stuff.

Bonafide is Pontus' day job - his original band formed in Sweden over 10 years ago. Bonafide's sound is harder, faster more riffs than solos but still classic blues based rock.

Opener 'Back in Flames' bursts out the trap with AC/DC screech vocals and would be a welcome opener to any gig. It's an introduction to the mood of most of the album, with 'Gotta Go' and 'Keep a Safe Distance' other personal favourites that had me playing drum patterns on the steering wheel through the three plays of the album I managed on the road today.  'Bottle of Jack' (the only cover on the album) reminds me I've a bottle on the shelf so if you're the subject of the song DM me - I can do things like that now. Only 'Flipside Groovin'' disappointed - lyrics a bit too tacky for my liking, which I suppose is testament to forgetting that these guys are working in a second language, although if you've seen and heard Pontus Snibb you'll know he speaks Blues like a native (mind you, I've never met a Swede yet who doesn't speak English better than most Brits).

What makes this a CD to keep on my shelf is the closing track - 'Under Your Spell', an epic seven minute slowed down mutha of a song with a finale that builds and ends abruptly showing class as producers and not just musicians (Snibb and bassist Martin Ekelund getting the credit).
Final word goes to Snibb's voice. Gruff, powerful, screeching at times - always mesmerising. I really can't wait to see Wreck of Blues again at HRH Blues V in April and having missed the 2018 tour I'm waiting for the next Bonafide visit to these shores.
Cheers HRH for the tickets to Doom vs Stoner, a copy of HRH Mag and this album.


Blind Haze & Daxx and Roxanne at The Globe, Glossop - boogieing in my own backyard.

Dirty, dirty rock 'n' roll Back to The Globe, Glossop for yet another incredible gig with no entry fee. I've happily parte...