When an event is promoted as a 60s-style melange of music, spoken word, and visuals - a tribute to the
sort of binge that kept hundreds of Deadheads from stinking the Frisco streets out with patchouli oil
and savage body odour for hours at a stretch - the experienced reviewer grits his teeth; it will be,
he knows, a mixed bag.
This sort of thing, back 'in the day', was a common occurrence, and succeeded for a number of reasons:
the prevailing zeitgeist of counter-culturalism; the unity of a generation repudiating the amoral
excesses of the industro-military complex; the drugs, too, were much better.
Can the vibe that electrified such venues as The Roundhouse and the Filmore Auditorium still work in
an age afflicted with the two-pronged, dichotomous plague of off-the-peg, ready-marketed 'individualism'?
This was the question I asked myself as I went along to witness local acid-rock heroes,
The James Dean Syndrome's attempt to turn on, cash in, and cop out. The early omens were not good.
For some reason, The Syndrome had elected to have a two-piece acoustic act, Crack Town, open the show.
I've heard a great deal about these self-confessed 'liberalbillies', much of it contradictory; there
seem to be a few people that enjoy their mixture of punk-tinged country-blues and social commentary,
while others - most notably Santa's Bugger Boyz, who have been their most prolific and vocal detractors
for the past year or so - who are considerably less impressed.
Having not yet sampled the band's much-touted live act, I was looking forward to seeing for myself; or, in the
Carry On vernacular that they appear to be pathologically addicted to, I would 'suck it and see.'
Well, I saw, but I don't think that I was the one that sucked.
While this ill-matched duo - an ectomorphic guitarist and a hyperactive harmonica player - are not
without musical ability, the relentless negativism of their outlook palls after a very short time.
While most singer/songwriters offer a social critique, it is customary for such performers to offer
some sort of alternative argument to the iniquities they are lambasting.
Crack Town apparently have nothing to provide but a petulant and grating railing against the world in general,
while remaining mute (or, as I suspect is more likely) bereft of any coherent philosophy regarding making things better.
While the top-hatted front-man (The Silver Fox - yes, really) has a certain mordant articulacy, I
think it would be na´ve of anyone to buy into the myth that these two have anything in the way of
insight or intelligence: they're just like children who've been sent to bed early; they don't think
it's fair, but when asked to defend their argument, they just start screaming, swearing, and stamping
their little feet - Foxy's apparent regular overdosing on Pretension Pills notwithstanding.
To the gratitude of all but a few, however, Crack Towndid at least keep it brief, although I did find
myself increasingly in sympathy with the Bugger Boyz: the most egregious canine effluent, to be sure.
Music Reviews - Friday 23rd November 07 - ThisisUll Live at The Adelphi Featuring Awful Scenes The Cliques And The Charge By Michelle Dee
New Brit rock band The Charge opened the night with self assured style,
amidst much shouting from a whole bunch of unruly fans. It's back to the
mid nineties for these lads so if you are in the mood for a window back
to those mad for it days, and some rowdy optimistic sing along tunes such
as Voodoo and She Goes On then these are the ones for you.
Music Reviews - Saturday 15th December ThisisUll.com Christmas Bash At New Adelphi Club With Dirty Dreamers (featuring Dave Meilhan original Dreamers drummer) The Favours, Fifty Nine Violets with special acoustic sounds from Martin Clappison By Michelle Dee
Hey everybody huge thanks and Merry Christmas to everyone who came to our gig last
night and a bigger one if you happened to buy a teeshirt, CD or car-sticker.
The turnout was good with a healthy mixed crowd of young fans and older heads,
each one getting into the groove in their own way.
Everyone seemed to have a great time.
Music Reviews - Wednesday 21st November 07 - Plugged Press Night by Phil James
Production Values have organised two exciting showcase events in aid of the Viking FM For the Kids
charity. Plugged boasts a diverse range of electric and acoustic acts in an 'East meets West' Yorkshire
celebration of new music and live music talent. At the press event, held at the Riverside Theatre, Hull,
I was welcomed by an enthusiastic ...
Music Reviews - Wednesday 21st November 07 - Circus Envy and Stickpin at Durty Nelly's By Nicki Stylianou
Having read Martin Wellbourne's review of
the Circus Envy/Stickpin gig at Durty Nelly's I feel inclined to write one of my own.
Stickpin played well and showed potential with their songs. They played against the England v Croatia background which was on the telly, not easy, but most people paid attention to the band and gave them support.
Music Reviews - Wednesday 17th October 07 - TopGun At The Adelphi Club By Michelle Dee
It was a strange night in Adelphi, when I saw these two crazy ass mofos do their DJ thang, it was another crazy night when I saw TopGun the band. They took to the stage in giant sumo suits and proceeded to play electro fuzz stoner pop. They kicked the proverbial posterior.
The crowd lapped up their hapless madcap routines and shambolic stage show.
Music Reviews - Friday 9th November 07 - Mostly Autumn at York Grand Opera House By Steve Rudd
Back playing in York for what lead guitarist Bryan presumed must have been the first
time in some ten years, the eight-member-strong Prog-Rockers in Mostly Autumn ceremoniously brought the house down.
One of the finest live bands in the land, Mostly Autumn are an incredible band that belts out truly epic songs, incorporating all manner
Music Reviews - Wednesday 21st November 07 - Circus Envy and Stickpin at Durty Nelly's By Martin Wellbourne
The Band Apart night at Durty Nelly's has - should you not already be aware - been running for some time now,
allowing bands the chance to showcase their talents (where applicable) in a slightly more intimate
setting than the frenetic, scene-driven skinny-jean-maelstrom of such events as The Sesh et al.
Generally well attended, it's a relaxed
Music Reviews - 26th September ThisisUll Live Presents Kill Surf City, Riley and the Mumps and Michelle Dee At The Adelphi Club By Michelle Dee
It's Friday night. It's the end of the month and despite GST Cardinals getting discombobulated over which
month they were playing, ThisisUll Live is showcasing two very fine bands and a bit of spoken word, verse and vibe down the
As is now customary at ThisisUll Live shows I got up on stage to welcome the crowd and introduce the acts.
Music Reviews - Monday 24th September 07 - Six Nation State and The Cherry Cobb Cartel At Lamp By Michelle Dee
It's Tuesday evening and a host of text messages fill my phone begging my presence at
this gig at that gig. My poor tortured synapses threaten to snap. I'm drowning under
a sea of demands when one more text alerts me. This one of the personal nature addressed
to me, and describes the feelings of utter pleasure their band would have on seeing me.
Music Reviews - Wednesday 24th October 07 - Shoot the Moon, The James Dean Syndrome & Santa's Buggerboyz at Lamp By Philip Wincolmlee Barnes
What's in a name? I do think about names a lot, not so much as a profound
philosophical inquiry, but probably because I simply have too much time on my hands.
So, what's with Shoot the Moon?
I might have been being dense (and it wouldn't be the first time), but it
wasn't a moniker that conjured up a specific sound or musical ethos -
unless it's some sort
Music Reviews - Thursday 11th October 07 - Battle Of the Bands Wild Card Semi-Final at Ringside.
Words and Photographs by ChrisWPhotography
Just looking at the line up for tonight got me excited! Five of the best bands in Hull are competing for a place in the final of
Battle of the Bands. As soon as I arrived at the venue, I could feel the electricity running through the room; every band ready
to play and I couldn't wait for it to start.
Music Reviews - Thursday 27th September 07 - Music Exchange featuring
Dave Abbott Jess Banister The Harri Watts Band and Ernest (Rare Acoustic Performance)
By Michelle Dee
The Music Exchange night organised and run by Dave Watts and Derek Harrison from
The Harri Watts Band is most certainly a civilised way to enjoy live music in the city. I remark as much, to
early arrival, Jim (Ernest bassist) as we tuck into the chicken curry and chips included ...
Music Reviews - Sunday 5th August 07 - Piney Gir, Analogue Consumption and Wendy at The Adelphi By James McGuire
The evening saw the Piney Gir Roadshow come to
The Adelphi, supported by Analogue Consumption and the Adelphi's own Wendy.
First up was Wendy, with her sweet vocals and calming acoustic sounds. Even though there were a few minor technical hiccups with the backing track, the audience loved her cat related performance.
Music Reviews - Live Music Reviews - Saturday 22nd September Metieval Festival Beverley Memorial Hall By Michelle Dee 14 Page Photo Gallery by Cilla and Michelle
A heavy metal festival in Beverley? Sounds like fun, so donning my Sworn Amongst tshirt,
Cilla and I drove down to the sleepy market town.
Cilla announced almost as soon as we were inside the darkened confines of
Beverley Memorial Hall that she was really up for it, and immediately began snapping
Face of Scars who were already on stage.
Music Reviews - Sunday 26th September 07 - Acoustic Gathering II at Peasholm Park, Scarborough By David Wright Photographs By Danielle Millea from efestivals
Peasholm Park looks beautiful tonight.
Headliner Chris Helme is singing a gentle song called Pure, his fragile voice floats above flickering
candles, up to the recently rebuilt oriental Pagoda.
Blinded By The Sun, a song he wrote for his former band The Seahorses sounds refreshing, stripped
down to just guitar and voice.
A.G. 2 began perfectly at midday, with 15 year old Alastair Schmuck; his version of
Music Reviews - Monday 17th September 07 - Open Mic Night at the Adelphi Club featuring So So Modern By Michelle Dee Our (Kiwi) Friends Electric
Another open mic review from Adelphi - that must mean Paul Jackson is booking some great bands
for the very popular Monday nights.
Yes it may be free but it's still hugely popular with the growing hip hop and rap fans.
They take to the stage after practicing their rhymes in the cold and wet giving the smokers
something to listen to
Music Reviews - Thursday 13th September - Hull Explosion - The Talks and The Favours At The Welly Club By Michelle Dee
Much anticipated by local media, laudable attempts by BBC Look North to promote
The Favours and The Talks recently, via coverage of Grassroots, and Favours
interview plus live performance of their new single, Islands the night before
the Hull leg, should have made this one of the hottest tickets for months.
As it was, the Hull date
Music Reviews - Saturday 21st July 07 - Over The Wall at Gallery 49, Bridlington By Katie Ashworth
A poetry and music night in an art gallery in Bridlington? Sounded fun - so off we
went to Gallery 49, which although small, managed to fit in a lot of people!
Performers that night included a French accordion player named Jon Pierre,
Fudgey playing some acoustic songs, Phill Wilson/MyOneManBand with a more
stripped-down pedal arrangement and a band called Over The Wall.
Music Reviews - Monday 10th September 07 - The Skies At Open Mic Night at Adelphi Club By Michelle Dee
You never know what you're going to get at Adelphi on a Monday, the flyer states
featuring the best and sometimes worst that Hull has to offer, but ever so often
there's a full band on, after the individual slots.
I've seen a great band Alfa 9 on one of these nights as well as artists like,
Paolo Nutini, Paul The Girl, and others, so if you pick the right