Easter Festive Beginnings

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Kathryn Price, 5 April @ InfernoIt’s the Thursday before the Easter long weekend, tonight I start at the Inferno, where Kathryn Price is opening the weekend long Infestival 2012. Acoustic music tonight with Kathryn, Tom Clements, Simon Lane, Karl Hayman and Phil King. Kathryn has a good strong voice, and she’s giving her all for what must be a pretty soul destroying gig with few active punters (though many people in the bar) and the air con blasting out cold of all things on a night like this one.

States Of Matter, 5 April @ Litten TreeStates of Matter are playing at the Litten Tree. They were guests on the radio show while I was away, courtesy of Radio Boscombe. They are loud (yet not enough to need earplugs) rock (and are good at it), have decent stage presence, and then go for the popular vote with their fans (of which there seem to be plenty here) by covering Summer of 69, straightforward though tight.

Simon Lane, 5 April @ InfernoSimon Lane has moved on to covers at the Inferno when I return, in his words the crowd here didn’t seem interested in his original material, and only slightly more interest in covers, even though they are well performed; his mature voice has great tone, and the guitar work is pretty solid, throwing in alternate chord work to classics such as House Of The Rising Sun. He’s acting as compere tonight and is including this in his act, trying to win over those that are here and interested.

Tom Clements, 5 April @ InfernoTom Clements is next here, starts with a cover before going into his own material, showing out some of the amazing finger skills he’s picked up over the times. I don’t need to say much more since I said it all at his Chaplins debut.

Yellowgroove, 5 April @ O'Neills O’Neills now, and Yellowgroove are just hitting their stride, moving from covering All Right Now into original Son Of A Working Man, with a drum-led interlude while they switch instruments and Simon works up the crowd. The party mood contimues as they stroll into new one That Man is An Animal, which they almost tribute to Jim Marshall of Marshall amps fame, who passed on today.

Morphic Fields, 5 April @ Cellar BarI leave during cover Stuck In The Middle to see Mutant Vinyl at the Cellar Bar, only to find I’ve missed him, and Morphic Fields are on by now, playing a blend of songs containing some kicking rock and smooth jazz/soul, all in one song in one case, very clever and they make it work really well.

Karl Hayman, 5 April @ InfernoKarl Hayman is on in Inferno, its rare that I’m at the same gig he is nowadays for whatever reason. His voice is quite unique in tone and timbre, and he’s good with guitar too, though no one is really here actively listening which is a big shame – he’s pouring his all into the set, mixing things up a little.

I end up at O’Neills hanging out with the crowd there, totally missing Phil King closing at the Inferno – my bad.

Solid Air Cramming & Jamming for Chinese New Year

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Kimari Raven @ Solid Air 23 JanKimari Raven is on stage playing Monster as I enter the cellar; she continues with some softer gentler songs. Some of these require her singing when she’s stopped the guitar and takes short a capella excursions, which shows she can do it and keep it in tune.

Chris Poole (Sola Infrared) @ Solid Air 23 JanChris Poole (from Sola Infrared) does a solo set on acoustic, no effects or anything, which shows the undercurrent of good music there is behind all the processing and synth work of the band. I love some of the chords and notes he’s putting together, one song when combined with added delay fx from Conrad works incredibly well and delivers goosebumps.

Kathryn Price @ Solid Air 23 JanKathryn Price is next up, she’s introduced as the authentic act for tonight’s year of the Dragon Chinese New year – even though she’s from Hong Kong. She plays strummed chords and has a good clear voice, with moderate range; she likes going towards the top end of this. She’s also suffered some tech hassles such that she’s not using her own guitar, for want of a battery for the active pickup.

Aaron Gregory @ Solid Air 23 JanAaron Gregory is fourth on, starting with Bethnal Green, a song that has grown on me since he slipped me an EP for the radio show a few weeks back. While the production quality on the EP is OK, it doesn’t capture the essence of Live. Its a sad song, mournful, yet it is beautiful rather than dirgy. An added phaser effect just towards the end from Conrad is a nice touch as Aaron comments. Social commentary on a seedier side of the town features in Derby Road. He strums a varying amount of chords, ranging up and down the fretboard.

Milk Machine @ Solid Air 23 JanMilk Machine finally reach the stage, starting with an instrumental, Oozlin Daddy Blues, they move into People Are Strange, starting slow then moving into a fast pace for the chorus and remainder. After The Model we have Enola Gay, with kazoo solo – first outing for this song. The synth riff from the original has been ported to the mando, giving Andy “the tricky bit” as they say. After Anarchy In The UK (where they all sing in unison and harmony) into Losing My Religion; this “has to be done as its The Law”, if you have a mandolin in the band 🙂

Daddy Cool follows Take It Easy, then Brick In The Wall, before Blue Monday makes an appearance, first time I’ve heard their version of it – Taff has a strident rich voice and the dub beats from the original are originally replicated on Crowman’s cowbell and cymbal, the twiddly bits covered by kazoo. Sit Down follows Kiss – its a shame that a party I was at once stuck the 12″ special remix of this on, it was parodied then by a chap as “boring song, a boring boring song, a-” and this image stays with me for this song, especially as its a pretty straight cover! They finish with Ain’t Gonna Rain No More and would have used their Dorset love song I Adder as an encore, instead are pressed for more fast ones so pull out Fishermans Blues and a very weird version of Run To The Hills.

Inferno Simple Night

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Mr Tom @ Inferno 10 DecI give myself a simple and easy night tonight, ignoring the lure of the Devils Music drum off (even though that features much liked Disco’s Out (Murders In)) to hear two of the four acts on at the Inferno. Southampton based Mr. Tom are the first ones I catch, after Afro Ninja and Kathryn Price. They are definitely indie sounding, but better than that description normally implies, with some good guitar synth work, and tricked out rhythms in some songs to break up the solid four beat pop rock. Some of their endings need a little more polish although they are fairly tight on the whole. While a bit overblown on the bass end this is offset by the good guitar melodies.

The General Public @ Inferno 10 DecAfter the usual flaffy changeover, The General Public start strong with Get It On. This is the one I hear the most as its the one I play most on the radio, and its great hearing it live. What sets The General Public apart is the doubled up harmonised vocals from Hope (keys) & Mike (guitar). Lee on bass is strutting his groove while Rich is hitting some complex beats at the back. They’re here under sufferance since they’re feeling under the weather, so are winging the set as a result, and draw the audience into that, encouraging heckling and song suggestions.

They claim to have a couple of slow songs, yet don’t seem to be playing them – all this music compels one to dance or at least hop on the spot. Mike (guitar) has to retune regularly, and eventually decides to change the errant string, the other three just lead off into an instrumental jam, in itself almost song-worthy independently. Having a keyboard in the mix really helps given them that edge here, and its not just simple chords or pads, Hope gives herself some complex syncopations to match those from Lee & Rich. Like it a lot.