Mad Sin: 25 Years ‘Still Mad’

Personally I’d rather see them live or listen to Burn and Rise, but this is an ideal Halloween present for any hardcore fan with a Mad Sin patch sewn onto their sleeveless denim jacket. And it’s a darn sight better than The Meteors’ new album. (read more)


Festival de Musique Emergente, Quebec

Held in Rouyn – Noranda and now in its tenth year Festival de Musique Emergente, otherwise known as Emerging Music Festival, itself emerged as an elegant solution to a local problem.
Generous, open folk, in a quirky place, and with no sponsorship (apart from the radio station, Sirius XM), the festival stills brings in 3 million dollars a year for the area, with its organisers taking no profits. (read more)


Rupert Stroud [Single]

Putting in the miles, sofabeds and service-station all-day breakfasts, Rupert Stroud has been touring hard in the UK all summer. All grist to the mill, and meaning that when ‘Twisted Games’ and ‘No Peace of Mind’ drop onto iTunes later this month, willing converts to his bluesy beats will be waiting. (read more)


Listener [Live]

Performing a set covering both old and newer material, Listener create an electric, vacuous atmosphere of mystification and strike the crowd near-dumb. The usual glazed, blank looks at the back of the room are replaced with attentive ones, and the unanimous claps and cheers between songs compared to the still attentiveness interspersed with muttering along during completely displace this audience from any other of the weekend. (read more)


Green Man [Festival]

What with hugging around the Green Man and reading people’s wishes on little mailing labels around the tree, this has been a pleasant valley, bucolic, neo-druidic experience. Thoughts of love, to be good at everything, and most strikingly, to progress as humanity, Green Man is bigger than the sum of its parts. (read more)


Bloodstock 2012

Their fist-pumping fusion of brutish guitar and folk-esque synth lines make for a brilliant way to kick off my Bloodstock. They bring a feeling of raw ‘epic-ness’ that, although strived for by many metal bands, few can truly achieve – especially in a live scenario. It isn’t often that long instrumental sections can captivate, retain and coerce a crowd into head nodding and foot shuffling, but Moonsorrow really have it cracked. (read more)


Loitered Lens: Public Image Limited

Bowie may have snubbed the closing ceremony, Fatboy Slim may have been caught miming by the second loop of the supposedly live soundtrack, and the faint strains of the Sex Pistols may well have been inappropriate to the occasion. But there was a very solid reason why the remaining Pistols remained ungathered to perform at the Olympics, one which should have been bleedin’ obvious to the twittering classes right from the start. (read more)


Cambridge Rock Festival 2012

You could criticise the festival bill for relying on unashamed nostalgia acts as headliners, and especially for the way more forward-looking acts like Maschine, Winter in Eden, Kyrbgrinder or Panic Room were either low down the bill or placed on the second stage. But on the other hand, you could equally well argue that it’s a case of the festival knowing its audience, and the once-big names from the 70s draw in the crowds who are then exposed to the newer acts that have something to say. (read more)


King Krule/Rinse

King Krule -the primary creative vessel for 17-year-old south east London-based singer/producer/songwriter Archy Marshall- is readying its latest release, a double A-side single featuring two stunning new tracks, ‘Rock Bottom’ and ‘Octopus’. (read more)


Feed the Rhino: Hevy Fest

In an age where (a little sadly) aesthetics are as important to the hardcore scene as musical ability, Feed The Rhino cover all of the bases – as one hipster said to another, “we’ve gotta catch Feed The Rhino, man, his beard is reem”. I guess frontman Lee Tobin does rock a quality beard, but thankfully FTR’s musical ability seems to be the draw for most of the crowd as they pour into the tent ready for the latest crushing set from the 5-piece. (read more)


The Mercy House: Interview

The genre obsessions have to stop, I guess something is going right when everyone becomes the great ‘opinionizer’, but I think that’s what can be exciting about music, take something out of the box and try it contextually in what you do, rock music has become a bit inbred and new formulas spice things up. (read more)



After what I experienced at Bloc I have to admit that I and thousands of others were completely taken in by the promise of a professionally-run event in an innovative new venue with an incredible line-up. The scale of the event did seem too good to be true and it turned out to be just that. (read more)


Devil Sold His Soul [Live]

Then, coming to the end of a great set, disaster strikes. “This is our last song”, announces Ed. We’re treated to the opening guitar line of what I suspect was ‘Darkness Prevails’, before the sound is promptly cut off. (read more)


HEVY Festival

When your guitar feedback section is so long that your guitarist has time to have a crafty check of his iPhone, maybe it’s time to just get on with the song already.

HEVY Festival is HUGE. This review is fittingly GARGANTUAN. (read more)


Matmos: Meltdown 2012

Rather than understanding Matmos as a quirky part of the nineties electronica wave, maybe we should actually be interpreting them as a continuation of a much older tradition of musical comedy, albeit achieved with some very high-tech methods. (read more)


The Social Club: Mini Interview

We choose to play happier stuff! You have to hold back your money shot and focus on strong songwriting. At first listen the songs sound simple but they’re much deeper than that – Lew (vocals/guitar) is a great songwriter. He knows just where to put a hook and where to hold back. (read more)


30 shades of WOMAD

Despite the ‘small is beautiful’ ethical basis of the festival where buying a branded plastic bottle contributes to a distant solution, offering an option to feel good without getting personally involved, few artists challenge the audience to stop bullshitting themselves and confront the issues that comfort zones have concreted over. (read more)

Cambridge Folks Festival 2012

Cambridge Folk Festival 2012

As I helped what could only be someone’s Gran onto a chair so she could get a better view and was hugged by a crazed hippy forcing me to eat some one of her love heart sweets, I could only think that this was one of the most uplifting moments I had experienced and that I was already looking forward to CFF 2013. (read more)


Queer British Paganism: Meltdown 2012

Opening with Derek Jarman’s Journey to Avebury the scene was gently set. A super 8 movie. Almost a travel document. A visual diary, a diary which continued throughout the night, for this wasn’t a concert of music, but of words, sounds and images, something David Tibet and his new project Myrninerest have made their forte.

Here was a gathering of men and women who had loved a man, been inspired by him and were sharing their expressions. Coming together, they created a whole. A release? And leaving the Queen Elizabeth Hall I felt something had been shared with me. Something full of love, full of pain, mixed up, confused and very human. Together, they created, and together they had found a new balance. (read more)