Archive | July 2010

soundCHECK 57 – July 29th 2010

It is early on a Sunday morning and I have just returned from Chasing Lion’s gig at The Riverfront.

That it was performed with the kind of goosebump-bringing precision that has come to define them and their Kaleidoscopic melodies is not the only reason it was noteworthy, for this performance unfortunately marked their last locally. At least until they have got to grips with the vodka-quaffing, baked bean-scoffing life of university.

With their hiatus, the North Devon music scene is a little less rich. They are a band who’s stature has grown mighty in their two or so years together; to the point where to reference them among North Devon’s, nay, Devon’s best is perfectly credible. I genuinely hope we haven’t heard the last of them Lion Chasers.

In other news, Avenged Sevenfold have announced they are to play Plymouth Pavilions as part of their forthcoming UK tour, which will presumably be called Septenary Retribution Mega Death or something similarly blood-curdling and crap.

In the past, people have taken umbrage at my public disapproval of modern metal music, so I’m certainly not about to make the mistake of using this column to broadcast how hackneyed and cack I find all that musical butchering and pantomime posturing. No sir.

The gig is to take place on Saturday 6th November. Tickets are available now from all the places you normally buy them. Best proceed with caution though. In a chilling alert, the modestly named Zacky Vengeance – guitarist from Avenged Sevenfold – says this: “We will be returning to the UK this fall. You have been warned.” Quite who Mr. Vengeance is warning is anyone’s guess. (The sound guys?) Whoever it is, Zacky will have to forgive my pants for remaining unsoiled.

This week’s gigs: Severe:Zero mercilessly steamroller their indomitable sound into the cosy confines of The Olive Branch on Friday (30th); Tequila Rockin’ Bird and Johnny : Black revive all the bits that made rock classic at Inn On The Square on Saturday (31st); and Amy Newton takes her plaintive acoustic musings to Ruda Holiday Park in Croyde on Tuesday (3rd). Presumably in an attempt to haul children back from the brink of holiday-induced hyperactivity.

I’m off to punch a lion in the throat.

soundCHECK 56 – July 22nd 2010

At the time of writing I am making the long journey home from three days of music-related rambunctiousness at T In The Park.

Music festivals are the best things in the world. The day after a festival is not. Thusly, as I hack away at my keyboard, I am host to a broken brain and a heavy heart; induced by mind-altering quantities of mega-good music, Jagerbombs (or should that be YAYgerbombs!?), and other such liquors. Like many things in Scotland, fun is super-sized – which makes the subsequent festival-comedown that little bit richer.

As I sit on the train looking with bleary eyes at my ten hour rail-clang back to Barnstaple, my carriage is serenaded by the unrelenting cochlea-scything screeches of two small children.

They were giving their mother such a hard time that I felt a bit sorry for her. Although her predilection for ramming all manner of sugar and e-numbers down the throats of her gannet-like offspring soon saw that sympathy turn to contempt. Such feeding was not so much stoking the fire as plying it with gasoline and calling it a sissy. It was then that I decided it should be obligatory for travelling toddlers to be gagged during long journeys on public transport.

Another by-product of the festival comedown is stifled creativity. And while I could probably write enough about the brilliance of Bombay Bicycle Club, Delphic, Muse and Shed Seven to render this week’s newspaper of biblical girth, I fear that would be shamefully dissevered from soundCHECK’s intentions of broadcasting what’s happening gig-wise in North Devon. So it is with my final resources of optimism that I turn to this week’s gig listings to eye-up the happenings.

Of which are inevitably sparse. Not least because Generator’s gig scheduled for this Saturday is cancelled. In fact as fields full of sheepies zoom past my window and I wonder whether North Devon will ever play host to a festival of equal stature to T In The Park, the only gigs I can find this week are those of Severe:Zero (The Riverfront, tomorrow night – 23rd), Baltic Sirens (The Palladium on Saturday – 24th) and Cosmic Raygun, who play at the Combe Martin Music and Arts Festival on Saturday (24th). The latter band are a clutch of musicians of an age that should be more accustomed to pocket money and play-doh than playing music festivals. They won’t let that phase them.

Kids today.