REAL GONE GOES OUT: Levellers – Hall By The Sea, Dreamland, Margate, Kent 30/6/2018

Since the second re-opening of the Dreamland complex in Margate in 2017, the theme park has gone from strength to strength. While the big draw for many visitors has been the selection of nostalgic fairground rides, others have applauded the decision to use the Hall By The Sea as a legitimate venue for live gigs. Dreamland has played host to shows by Gorillaz (a sell out in minutes), Bat For Lashes, psych band Snapped Ankles (with some memorable visuals), Super Furry Animals and more besides. In February 2018, a double headliner between ska legends The Selecter and The Beat (featuring Ranking Roger) resulted in a classic night at the seaside. The Hall By The Sea has provided a brilliant and cool alternative to the frankly past-it Winter Gardens – a venue that still thinks that The Stylistics, the racism of Jim Davidson and a carpet from 1983 is what people really want.

Tonight, Brighton’s favourite sons, Levellers are the visiting dignitaries. They’d previously visited Margate in 2001 and 2004 for shows at the aforementioned Winter Gardens, but this is their first visit since the slow rejuvenation of the town slowly began not long after. The Hall By The Sea is, naturally, a far better fit for them – the spacious area is perfect for dancing, bouncing – and sweating – and the sound quality is amazing. The crowd are naturally well up for a good night and especially so considering this show has already been postponed. …But what will they play tonight? Since the setlists from Utrecht on June 15th and Boston on June 18th differed greatly, seemingly, the gloves are off…

Continue reading

My Life Story added to London Star Shaped Festival bill

The 2017 Star Shaped Festival events were special.  In London, Glasgow, Manchester and Birmingham, the all-day events allowed Britpop lovers to come together in a wave of nostalgia, watching great bands and forging new friendships.

While the big draw for many was the four shows by the unexpectedly reformed Sleeper, The Bluetones were on great and funny form, Space showed everyone how great they are in the live setting – a band much deeper than a couple of overplayed singles – and My Life Story’s Jake Shillingford demonstrated a fantastic command of a crowd.

Continue reading

ANDY K. LELAND – Happy Daze EP

Andy K. Leland first came to the world’s attention as one third of Italian/Icelandic alternative rock band My Cruel Goro. Disbanding after just two (excellent) EP releases, the band decided that having members so widespread wasn’t geographically viable and Andy embarked on a solo career. The first fruits of his solo work are minimal. Fans should not expect the full volume Ash-meets-S*M*A*S*H riffage of his previous band. Instead, ‘Happy Daze’ presents Leland with an acoustic guitar and a few microphones in a lo-fi, introspective set up.

Continue reading

The House of Love’s debut to get 5 disc deluxe treatment

Back in 2012, Cherry Red Records issued a lavish 3CD package of The House of Love’s UK debut album.

‘House of Love’, or as it is informally referred ‘The Black Jumpers Album’ turns 30 by the end of June and to celebrate, Cherry Red have dug into the vaults once more to expand the much-loved disc a second time. For the thirtieth anniversary reissue, the album will be released as a fully comprehensive five disc set.

Continue reading

SALAD UNDRESSED – Good Love Bad Love

It’s a Saturday night nearing the end of March 2018. A crowd has gathered outside the Shepherd’s Bush Empire. The night’s star turn is Jim Bob, one time of Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine, here to play an acoustic solo set to a sell out crowd. Figures stroll up and down in the cold. A typical Saturday night pre-gig scene, you might think… It’s the norm on these occasions to wander past those with flyers and not make eye contact, but tonight, something is different. A flame haired woman is dishing out glossy pieces of paper and yelling “SALAD IS BACK ON THE MENU!” in a way that’s impossible to merely shrug off.

Continue reading