Searchers 26 August

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The Searchers @ Regent Centre 26 Aug - just cos I was thereThis Friday night finds me at an unusual venue for me for gigs – the Christchurch Regent Centre. The Searchers are in town and my friend from the station, Geneen, needs a lift to see them again. The show is slightly different to the last time I reported on them; more of the 60’s hits have been included than previously seen.

The Searchers @ Regent Centre 26 AugWhat is again surprising is the large number of original hits they had, many of them going on to be covered by other artists. The only covers they play are Del Shannon’s Runaway, and The Byrds Mr Tambourine Man, simply since the Byrds said their sole influence for that was The Searchers.

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Weds 24 Pete Christie

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Pete Christie @ Thomas Tripp 24 Aug - retelling a talePete Christie @ Thomas Tripp, Aug 24Its another Wednesday night, and this time I’ve crossed town straight from the show to catch the beginning of a Pete Christie set, rather than an end as I normally have to enjoy. Busy pub, many paying attention to the wizardly fingers as coupled to the feet to build up layer on layer of music. Clever what one man and a guitar can do with a foot-controlled loop pedal.

Sat 13 August: Dubcatz

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Dubcatz @ Cellar BarSpent pretty much the whole day in a hectic scramble at a wedding of some friends, setting up, serving then breaking it all down, so pleased there’s some relaxed dub stuff going on at the Cellar Bar thanks to DubCatz. Del Bishop (also in Rat Race) and Andy Razz (also in Pachango) are the bass and guitar respectively, with Mark Davies (who also plays for Mungo Jerry) on drums.

They add a chilled out vibe to regular tunes such as (Heard It On The) Grapevine, while including their own material such as Temptation, regularly included in Del’s solo acoustic sets I often get to see. As such they are pretty much the tonic required, both that and the nice cold beer after a busy day. All pumped out with a two tone / ska / reggae / surf mixed up vibe. Good relaxing time.

Thu 11 Rubber Soul returns

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Gruppe! @ Rubber Soul Launch (Cellar Bar)Being a bit of a late comer to the vast majority of this music scene, I missed Solid Air’s 300 Rubber Soul gigs when they were running, before stopping five years ago. Now Thursday night has its quirky band showcase back, kicking off with Gruppe!

These three chaps are vets of the pub band scene with all their various projects over the years, including the collective of artists that floated around between about 5-15 bands at one time. With Gruppe! they’re finding an outlet that is purely fun and creative. King Razor (bass) was Solid Air Connie’s guest with me on LiveWire Live last night, and there’s little he hasn’t done within music.

What they do now is definitely quirky, chanted repetitive lyrics, heavily processed live bass effects, each song short and snappy, sharp drums to every one, and using old school cassettes to provide loops and intros to some.

Head Of A Cuban Trojan @ Rubber Soul Relaunch (Cellar Bar)Closing off tonight are Head Of A Cuban Trojan, another 3 piece this time slightly more tripped out yet still energetic. Loads of grooves and movements, more heavy processing, lot of looping from Imogen of bass and brass, while Lee throws in sweet effects on the guitar.

There are some tricked out rhythms here too. One in particular has incredibly complex timing, with all three performers doing something different. What a shame that as they reach a vocal element of this so far heavily instrumental song, the desk gives up the ghost and keels over. A quick power restart and we’re back; they have to repeat the whole instrumentally rhythmic magic again, what a shame 😉

An enjoyable evening of the more grungy end of the spectrum.

Weds 3 Big Face Album Launch

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Tonight is something I’ve been waiting for, for a couple of years. Big Face Reggae have finally recorded some stuff and stuck in on an album. Tonight is the launch party.

Adam Dupree @ Big Face Reggae Album Launch 3 AugSi’s asked Adam Dupree to open tonight. Adam is playing a mixture of covers and originals, some are commenting how much of a mini-me he is for Si, since he has a similar laid back manner and vocal tone, singing sweet tunes with a highish range.

Si Genaro @ Big Face Reggae Album LaunchAs an extra stand-in, Si Genaro jumps up and plays a few numbers, in his own way as only he can, with beat boxing and entertainment all thrown in. I hardly need to compere for him, he’s got it all there with the swagger and the blether ;-).

Big Face Reggae @ Album Launch 3 AugFinally the main attraction for the night reach the stage. Big Face Reggae don’t really need any introduction to the stage (nor to this blog), thanks to their more or less constant presence in the music scene.

Big Face Reggae with Selby MCBig Face Reggae - Spacehopper action Suffice to say they are playing better tonight than they even did for the live gig where the album was recorded (here’s the post for that one). Mr Professor (a spacehopper) is on stage and makes a few appearances throughout the night. Si Genaro swaps MC duties with Selby for a couple of numbers, there is skanking and lunging action from the crowd in the table-cleared dance area, and a good time is had by all.

Big Face Reggae Spacehopper Action I have to leave the party early compared with some, even though its the early hours of the following day, its going to be (and was) an all night thing. Good night, and a privilege to be asked to compere such a party atmosphere by Totally Lostit.