Musicosity Old Firestation Upstairs Day 2 Saturday

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Christa Vi @ Old Firestation 3 SepAnother day, another jam packed gig as part of the Musicosity Festival, again upstairs in the Old Fire Station.  Christa Vi start, they consist of Christa herself on lead vocals and acoustic guitar, with a full band including synths behind her.  Nice varistion of tunes, since there are assortments of acoustic and electric guitars, keys and bas changing about during the set.  They’ve also brought an active crowd with them, which fills the front portion of the stage.

Next up is Alex Roberts; I big him up as his usual Cellar Bar self, where he really kicks it out with the roots music.  This time he’s in a fairly contemplative mood, and includes a number of political swipes at how things are progressing in society in general.  All this is the chat interspersing his usual poignant and witty songs, this time just played on the lap steel and harmonica. I’m so captivated by his performance I forget to grab a photo for the blog, sorry Alex…

Goldray @ Old Firestation 3 SepGoldray are the third act tonight; featuring Kenwyn from Reef they are a little disappointed to be playing upstairs on the small stage, rather than downstairs on the big stage (where there aren’t that many of the gig going public to be honest) – all bands here could have benefitted from maybe not just a larger stage but at least one without a pillar in front of it (see photos).  The music is female vocal led by Leah, with clever effects overlaid, very high energy and a lot of fun, and they look good too.

The Dark Lights @ Old Fire Station 3 SepThe fourth band of the six tonight are The Dark Lights, they sounded amazing in sound check, unfortunately the stage has been rewired a few times by the time they get on, so a bit of time is spent by my searching for and re-plugging lost cables. Once on they sound great, however (as anticpated during the sound check) the drums get louder throughout the set, causing the whole balance to go out.  Its a shame as the music they’re producing is awesome, multiple keyboards and samples providing neat backing to amazing guitar led tunes.

ASP @ Old Fire Station 3 SepNext we have ASP, I’ve seen these guys a few times before, normally at festivals,where they really kick out their rock sound. They are loud and punchy tonight, so loud I feel I can’t give them my best efforts in providing a decent, clear sound.  This is a shame, since the songs they have are pretty good, and done pretty well. I need to pick my moments to give advice to bands, too, since when I suggest a few things, they don’t go down too well. Whoops, and sorry lads.

The headline act are Dead On TV. The good thing about Musicosity is that it is a genuine headline, rather than a “finish after midnight closer” – I’m only able to start them little later than I wanted but it’s still only gone 10pm when they’re on.  They were desperate to have the lights off during their show, so I was unable to capture a shot of them. I love their sound – twin guitars, twin keyboards, and four male vocal harmonies, in lead and three backing singers with the guitar, bass and keys.

Friday Runaround

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Start off in Sound Circus, a new venue for me since I don’t normally pick gigs up here on my radar. Those nice chaps from Voodoo Vegas gave me the low down, yet I turn up in time enough to miss the first two acts at this Christmas Monsters of Rock bash (No Turbo No Love and Western Sand), and instead wait for Voodoo Vegas to set up.

They are in full Christmas effect – well Lawrence (vox) and Meryl (guitar) are by wearing Santa hats for their opener So Unkind – lost by 2nd song Tied Up. At least the tinsel remains on the mic stands – well until it goes crowd surfing! 

During their fourth song I shoot off across town to 1812 to catch Monkey Puzzle – I’ve heard a lot about these guys and for good reason – the place is kicking and heaving (seemingly more than as usual for 1812) with young and young-at-heart trendies enjoying the sounds.

There are dancers – proper dancers – doing their thing in front of the band, and everywhere around people are getting down and bopping to the amazing funk / soul fusion emanating from this 7 piece outfit. I’m not familiar with many of the tunes; I don’t need to be since every one of them entices punters to groove and gyrate along to the percussive beats and keyboard glissandos.

During their break lead singer Elena introduces me to Sarah, who’s plugging a new event Ghetto Fabulouse at the Winchester on 19 December. They might have bands in the future; Sarah was I think hoping to engage Monkey Puzzle for one of the nights.

Again I take my leave to drop in on the Winchester and Smokin Aces however a glitch in my programming means I’ve chosen the wrong night for live music at both venues.

Nothing for it then but to wind up the night in usual fashion at the Cellar Bar to catch Alex Roberts’ final set. The last time I saw Alex live was at The Crumplehorn Inn in Polperro, Cornwall. Boy this is (understandably) a different gig.  The crowd are up for some lively blues, Alex’Alex Roberts Live in Cellar Bar stomp box driving the beats turning the crowd into a pulsating mob. Even Harry, owner, is getting on down to Alex – really good to see

Of course, like a wally I’ve forgotten my new phone can easily transfer photos, I’ve only remembered in time for Alex’ gig, so here he is, as usually depicted with his amazing-sounding slide guitar.

Another thing I like about Alex – very little phases him when on stage. A nice heckle is dealt with, and even breaking a string in his last song means he simply switches track, changing to an even better sounding 12-string and kicking things into a frenzy.

This is the first time in a long time I’ve heard the shouts for a third encore (which he graciously delivers) – and the crowd still want more! To calls of “we won’t let you leave” and “you’re here ’til next Tuesday” Alex Roberts delivers the goods – all the time every time. Awesome.