Last night's gig was


Algae Bloom - The Little Buildings, Newcastle.

This is fast becoming one of my favorite venues in the north east. The entire place is just one rectangular room (used as a rehearsal space by day) which is about twelve metres long and six metres wide, including space for the band and equipment so max capacity is like sixty-seventy people. Even if not many people turn up, it can feel like an "intimate" gig rather than a place bands go to die. There's no bar (it's B.Y.O.B) and most gigs are less than a fiver, because the guy who runs it usually only charges around fifty quid to hire the place out. The sound is somehow always pretty good as well! Enough gushing.

First on - Lake Coma

One bloke and his acoustic guitar singing lo fi songs in the style of a more typically emo Conor Oberst. Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate) is probably a better comparison. Like I was saying with the venue being small and close, it really benefits this sort of thing. Songs were vulnerable and engaging. Missed the first half of the set but enjoyed what I did see.

Second on - Cold Holding

A two piece guitar and vocals/drums from Southampton. Started with a stretched out post rock take on your scramz fare, turning angrier and scrappier as the gig went on. For sections of it the singer was screaming without the microphone, and you could hear it clearly. The drummer played in a simple aggressive way, throwing himself into every hit which made it really satisfying to hear/watch.

Third on - New Horror

No drums! But a drum machine and shit loads of post-punk. This lot played a few dark synthy tracks reminiscient of The Cure/a slightly heavier New Order, laying with a thicker sound. The lead singer sang like a cross between Robert Smith and Morrissey, but danced like Alan Partridge. A great mix of stuff.

Fourth on - Solanas

Not sure how long this local band have been going for, but they're not happening anymore. This was their last gig and the first time I'd seen them, and I'm immediately dissapointed I didn't see more. Three piece of scrappy post hardcore screamo with multiple vocalists, not unlike Circle Takes The Square. They played a cover of Pixies Where Is My Mind as a one off for their last show. The twenty-twenty five strong crowd sang the lyrics in earnest, myself included. Felt the annoyances of my 9-5 working week evaporate, this cheered me right up it did. Their set as a whole was great.

Last on - Algae Bloom

There's only ever been one band from Norwich that I've ever given a shit about (Maths) but now there's two. These lads did a great job of closing this gig. Sheer anger but with really great guitar playing from the guitarist, who has a decent pair of lungs to boot. This sounded like I Wrote Haikus About Cannibalism In Your Yearbook and I Hate Myself (though it felt tighter) and I was fun as hell to witness. A couple of the tracks had what felt like longer song structures than your typical band of this sort, and allowed for some quite nice build ups. Bonus points for using a sampler with audio from Magnolia to bridge the gap between tracks. Bit gutted I didn't have enough money to buy some merch, I'm looking forward to payday so I can grab a few things from these.


Slow Club last night at the Brudenell in Leeds. Not a major fan myself but my husband is really into them. The female singer's constant tremolos REALLY get on my tits, which is a shame because she does have a good voice and she seems like a great lass. It's also a bit too easy listening for me but they were good on the whole.

Support was really enjoyable, a Scottish guy called the Pictish Trail. The music itself veered between Sufjan Stevens to Ross from Friends' keyboard music but he was very funny during and between songs, so all in all it was one of the most enjoyable support acts I've seen in a long time (likely to be overtaken by Brand New v. soon)


... Swans @ Kaserne, Basel

Missed Anna von Hausswolf supporting but heard good reports of her.

Good show. The best parts had that familiar hypnotic quality of volume and repetition but they never quite managed the enveloping force of previous times I've seen them. Partly just through familiarity (don't think anything will top the brilliance of a naked guy banging a big sheet of metal with a hammer for ten minutes as an opener) but also partly the venue. It's a similar capacity to the last place I saw them - The Arches, RIP - but much higher and airier so you miss out on that enclosed sensation.

As far as I can tell, they mostly played stuff off the new album but, to be honest, while I have the last couple of albums, they're a band I hardly ever listen to at home. The gulf between the live and the recorded experience is too big.

Best tracks ,of 6 or 7, were the first (not sure what it's called) and the last (The Glowing Man) both of which lasted around half an hour and could easily have gone on indefinitely on the right night.

It's always interesting to see what someone with no prior experience makes of something you like. I managed to persuade my girlfriend to come along. On the whole, she was pretty impressed with the experience and really got into the groove of some of the longer pieces. However, I'd love to know what Big Mickey G would make of her insistence that there was a big Pink Floyd influence on their sound.


I was there too. Great gig.


First track would've been The Knot. About 50 minutes in length. Really don't get the Pink Floyd influence. Your GF must be a nutter.


Ezra furman tonight at the roundhouse. Was good.

Good perfomer. Good energy. Would see again .


Catchup on recent giggage...

PJ Harvey at Brixton Academy on Sunday - was excellent. Longer review in the standalone thread here:

John Carpenter at Troxy last night. A good mix of stuff from his two recent albums and his film scores. Halloween got the biggest cheer unsurprisingly. The synths were excellent of course but there was some awesome wailing rock guitar too. Nice line in between song chat from the big man too.

Not technically a gig, but beforehand I went to the Rough Trade East instore for the launch of Karl Hyde's new autobiography. He's always seemed like a good guy, but it seems that he's had a very interesting life as well particularly before finding success with Underworld. Good photographer too.


ah, the pictish trail is ace!


did you catch the mighty Charlotte Church? thought she was good fun, good for a support


i also went to ezra furman at the roundhouse and it was very good. although i wish the crowds at his gigs were a bit more lively, and i wish he played more of his older, better, songs.

charlotte church was so much fun and her band is fantastic. the girl who sang 1 thing absolutely crushed it. what a strange career trajectory she [church] has had.


I didn't actually. I was pretty shattered from going from pitchfork to work monday and then the gig. Had to drag myself on to the tube.

Getting old man.


Pictish Trail is really good, his tour with James Yorkston and Withered Hand at the start of the year where they all played on each other's songs was ace. Nice lad as well.

found Slow Club really dull when the first album was out and haven't kept up with them since.


That sounds ace. I'll have to check his stuff out because it really was an odd mix of interesting and weird, especially when the keyboard noises came out (which is why I thought of Ross Gellar, when he decides to concentrate on his music and he brings his keyboard to the coffee shop). He wasn't playing with a band either so I'd be interested to hear the full set-up.

He was so funny and endearing though, I've never seen a support act get that much applause after a set (apart from maybe My Chemical Romance supporting Taking Back Sunday when I was 14 but that's another story).


always assumed he'd be very folky and acoustic so there's more keyboard than i expected. not sure if he ever plays with a band or not outside the tour with those two. just noticed he's got a new album out with the Fargo-sampling one on it, need to give that a spin


He said he did normally but that it was too expensive to bring them along on this tour (although now you say that I don't know if that was a joke or not)


I saw him play with a metal backing band at a Fence Records night at Oran Mor once…


If it's still the same setup as last time I saw her (a few months ago) it's her and an extra drummer, mostly playing on drumpads. It did give an extra touch by adding more bass to it all, it also seemed to give Lanza herself some more room to move around as well, or so it seems.

She's great live. Not a lot of people were there either though.
Am seeing her again next week.


Not sure how text from The_Cosh talking about Hval got quoted her. I was talking about Lanza.


Haha, I will little bit confused there for moment! Although I was involved in the conversation with The Cosh about Jenny Hval.

I'm glad to hear it wasn't just her. Sometimes electronic solo performances can be a bit dull live and a extra player in the mix makes things much more exciting. It's a shame I missed her.

Where are you seeing her next week?


Somewhere in Belgium.