At half past three on a balmy Friday afternoon I clambered into the back of a hire van to make the journey
Once inside, I was greeted by Hull's flagship band The Landaus, who were
playing on the same bill, and a few fans of both bands including the much-loved Haribo and
original party monster Dean Shakespeare.
Danny Landau appears to have found the best seat, or rather he has brought his own and set it up
inside the vehicle.
A crate of lager is strategically placed by the back door within easy reach.
The rest of us had to find space around the two bands considerable amount of kit and instruments.
On these trips one person has to sacrifice themselves for the greater good of the crowd, in this case
it was Steve cheeky Leonard.
He had to drive a van, for the first time, all the way to Stockton.
With a map that was about as useful as a liquorice guitar string against the backdrop and furore of eleven semi drunk revellers he managed to get us there and back without losing anyone.
Steve, we all take our hats of to you, you did an excellent job in a somewhat highly pressurized atmosphere. With only two stops on the way, one for yet more katunda and another at the golden arches for sustenance, we entered the outskirts of the Northern town around seven.
We then spent the next hour driving around Stockton searching for the venue. As I said the map was flaming useless but somehow, after a number of random enquiries and phone calls, we pitched up at the back of the KU Bar.
The music venue is situated minutes from the centre of town next to a large culture and arts centre.
Jimmy Jukebox, the proprietor, greeted us then whilst the bands sound-checked some went off to mix
it with the locals.
Stockton town centre wasn't the most inviting of places I have ever visited; small-minded chavs hung
around on the street corners calling out insults to innocent passers by.
They looked absolutely ridiculous with trackies tucked into white socks, caps on back to front,
passing cans of McEwans round between them.
When we returned to the KU Bar the place was fairly buzzing and as more and more people arrived any fears of a low turn out vanished. The Landaus took to the stage first and set out Hull's stall: highly original, quality songs played with passion and power.
The four-piece open with a swirl of guitar sound, a cymbal crash from Stef for C'mon Pretty lady.
Danny takes lead vocal on this one with Loz and Gaz lending synchronized support.
Over the past few months I have seen this band a number of times and they do impress
and improve with every hearing.
When Loz surreptitiously glances over his shoulder at the start of Make ya move each instrument creeps in building to the explosive chorus. Bass player Gaz steps from the shadows, bathes in the spotlight and drinks in the crowd.
Music Reviews - Sunday 31st July 06 - Benefit Gig at Staks Bar By Joe Hakim Photos By Roland Standaert
It's an early start, three in the afternoon, but it's for a good cause.
Sundays, and the weekend in general, tend to be meaningless when you're unemployed, yet you always feel obligated to spend as much time in bed and do as little as possible in between bouts of napping. A lot of this is due to the fact that there's fuck all on TV on a Sunday.
There's hardly anything good on TV during
Music Reviews - Monday 25th July - Hayseed Dixie at The Cockpit, Leeds By Joe Malarky Whole lotta Dixie
I discovered Hayseed Dixie whilst searching for a version of Duelling Banjos in my local record shop.
I won't go into why I was searching for the main tune from Deliverance, that's my business and anyway it's not important.
What does matter is that I was intrigued by the Tennessee quartet.
I did a little research and found that their beliefs are simple.
All good songs
Music Reviews - Saturday 18th June 05 - Yeti and White Rose Movement at Sweet n Sour at The Silhouette By JG Photos by Mo
Tonight, Yeti's support came from London based White Rose Movement.
As soon as the band dived into their first song, I really thought that I was going to love them.
In fact, every one of the songs on their set started off sounding very promising;
fantastic intros that grab your attention and prepare you for a song full of energy and catchy hooks.
However, when the vocals
Music Reviews - Friday 29th July 05 - GST Cardinals at Ringside By Catherine Campbell
As Hull's newest and most exciting band, GST Cardinals can really put on a show; their rock and roll sound with a splash of punk is real breathe of fresh air.
A support act for the evening, GST Cardinals enchanted the crowd and certainly have a large following for such a new band.
When these boys play, you can't help but listen.
Music Reviews - Wednesday 27th July 05 - Emma Rugg Oceans/Depart EP Launch at the Lamp By Michelle Dee Photos By
After the worldwide success of her 2003 album Isolated Impressions Emma has been back in the
studio both at home in Hull and in New York and put together a particular set of
tracks marking a change of direction in her music.
Emma welcomes us all to the Lamp with a bright smile and breezy Hello and an
acknowledgement to the artists Shep and Steve Reed who have
Music Reviews - Saturday 16th July 05 - Doing Hull a Favour - Silhouette Club By Joe Hakim
So I'm walking down Beverley Road, and as I'm walking this car stops at the lights and a guy hangs it head out of the window and shouts across to me, "Ey, mate...yeah you!"
I try to ignore him, but seeing as I'm the only person on the street, there's no doubt in my mind that he's talking to me. Shit... "I think yer've dropped summat, mate," he yells.
Music Reviews - Tuesday 5th July - Dirty Dreamers, The Saved and Substitute at the Sesh By Michelle Dee
Over the last few months the Sesh live music night at the Linnet and Lark has been regularly pulling in 150+ people every Tuesday night. Bands from Hull and further afield choose the Princes Avenue pub as the place to be seen.
In the last twelve months the Sesh has grown steadily in popularity so that on any Tuesday you are
guaranteed quality entertainment amongst a knowledgeable crowd of musicians
Music Reviews - Tuesday 19th July - Killer of Saints at Fibbers, York By Tom Law
I love going to Fibbers. I still have awesome memories of the last time we made the trip to
York to see 36 CrazyFists ... quite possibly the best gig I have ever been to.
So I couldn't have been looking forward to this anymore unless I was dragging the
Pope along for a night out.
Killer of Saints made their way onto the caged stage
Music Reviews - Thursday 14th July - Jelly at The Welly By Michelle Dee inspired by Chris Morphine
Tonight the club is full of 50cents lovers who have just bought the new
Razorlight album, says Chris, the beautiful Morphines guitarist.
By throwing on a string of beads and a brightly coloured scarf, they declare to
all who will listen I am Indie, really!
They have duly paid their £4.00 or £2.00 with NUS cards.
According to the flyer you get this reduced entry if you are a member too,
Music Reviews - Hollywood and Mantra at Ringside By Emily
As I arrived at the Ringside, I noticed that the venue seemed quiet and fairly empty.
However, the turnout was good considering that the gig was promoted solely through the
bands websites and by word of mouth.
As Mantra dragged through a tight set of Pantera style metal;
consisting of heavy riffs and memorable choruses, their confidence and stage
Music Reviews - Saturday 4th June 05 - SideWinder, Mr Mojo, The Vultures, The Cardinals at the New Adelphi By Julia Grant
Unfortunately I arrived late to find that I'd missed the first band of the night, The Cardinals.
I was told that it had been their debut gig.
No doubt I'll get another chance to catch them somewhere soon.
Having already seen The Vultures play once before, I thought I knew more or less what to expect.
It turns out that I can't have paid that much attention to them on that first occasion.
Music Reviews - Tuesday 12th July 05 - The Paddingtons Single Release at Ringside and Signing at HMV By Joe Hakim Photos by Darren Rogers
I'm not quite ready for the sun when I step into it, and if I'm being honest about it I still haven't recovered
from the weekend. I spent it in Bridlington, trying to devise ways to sneak into the Kings of Leon gig.
At the last minute I rolled up to the door with a friend who employed some kind of Jedi mind-trick.
It was a brain bending trick, and needless to say, I got fuckin' smashed in celebration.
Music Reviews - Friday 24th June 05 - Fifty-Nine Violets, the Applewhites, The Vels and Kohiba at The Music Man By Michelle Dee Photos by Darren Rogers
Down the back streets of the city almost opposite an open concrete waste-ground
lies a new music venue with a pioneering culture.
For the last six to eight weeks The Music Man has been pulling in live music lovers
for it's No Holds Bar Friday nights of fun. Proprietor, Fegs says that he wants a
place with a chilled out atmosphere where people can come and party, have a great