REAL GONE GOES OUT: Shonen Knife, Ramsgate Music Hall, Ramsgate, Kent 9/4/2018

We live in an age where music feels ever more disposable. Bands no longer have the luxury of multi-album contracts to hone their style and with streaming services all the rage, “the album as an art form” is dying. The very idea that Shonen Knife have endured for decades is fascinating. Since the release of their debut album back in the 80s, countless bands have formed, recorded, toured, disbanded…but the Japanese pop-punk/bubblegum power pop band have genuinely gone the distance. They’ve had line up changes – aside from ZZ Top, who hasn’t? – but they’re still with us and on the basis of tonight’s show in Ramsgate, they’re better than ever.

Perhaps part of the appeal of tonight’s show lies with the venue itself. With a capacity of under 150, the Ramsgate Music Hall is the very definition of intimate and it allows an opportunity to witness bands up close. Really, really up close. When Shonen Knife take the stage, there’s immediately a feeling that tonight will be special.

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REAL GONE GOES OUT: Dearly Beloved – Ramsgate Music Hall, Ramsgate, Kent 30/06/2017

It’s been a busy week for Dearly Beloved. They’ve made the long haul trip from Toronto to the UK to play a handful of shows with Tommy Stinson‘s Bash & Pop. Earlier in 2017 they released their fourth full length ‘Admission’ – an excellent record, made with Ramones/White Zombie/Misfits producer Daniel Rey – and while they don’t have the biggest audience in Britain, apparently, at last night’s London gig “they absolutely killed it”. Given such enthusiasm for their live current show, any opportunity to catch them live should be taken and this final night of the UK visit provides an excellent opportunity to see them working in a more intimate environment. Much more intimate.

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black initials epRamsgate is a seaside town in east Kent, once famous for the docks, its hovercraft trips and a town horse. It still boasts an impressive harbour, but often gets overlooked in favour of Margate – its arguably more famous brother – situated just along the coast. Ramsgate also home to alt-rock two-piece Black Initials, a band whom bring a mixture of garage based sounds on their debut EP.   Continue reading