REAL GONE GOES OUT: Madness – Dreamland, Margate, Kent 14/6/2024

It’s a bright evening in Margate and the seafront is buzzing. There’s a massive crowd outside of the local Weatherspoon pub, and a lot of pork pie hats on show. It’s even busier than usual, but with good reason: Madness are in town. After a couple of postponements due to the pandemic lockdown, they’ve finally arrived in the legendary seaside town. What’s more, they’ve now got a better show in tow. The ever popular band are currently riding high with a number one album ‘Theatre of The Absurd Presents C’est La Vie’, proving there’s far more to the “Camden Nutty Boys” than treading on the cheap coattails of nostalgia.

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REAL GONE GOES OUT: Billy Bragg – Hall By The Sea, Dreamland, Margate, Kent 10/5/2024

It’s been many years since Billy Bragg last visited Thanet. He confirms this by telling the crowd a really funny story about how, circa 1983, he played a tiny venue in Margate or Broadstairs – the exact details of which are now unclear – and he managed to lock himself in the cellar.

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REAL GONE GOES OUT: The Fierce And The Dead – Ramsgate Music Hall, Ramsgate, Kent 4/5/2024

It’s been a great day in Ramsgate. The town has been buzzing and the sun has been gloriously bright. It’s felt like the “seaside season” has finally arrived. At the Ramsgate Music Hall, a sell out crowd are in really friendly spirits. They’ve come out to see The Fierce And The Dead – the Northampton post rock/art rock band who took the prog scene by storm with the release of their third album, 2017’s ‘The Euphoric’. That success came with almost a Trojan horse-like approach: for a while, it seemed as if the band were too much of a heavy/stoner rock phenomenon to click with the proggers, but a bit too strange to find a home amongst the Fu Manchu and Kyuss fanbase, but here they were, finally gaining enthusiastic press and a keen live audience.

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REAL GONE GOES OUT: Jim Bob – Dreamland Ballroom, Margate, Kent 26/4/2024

It’s a cold night in Margate. Especially cold considering it is almost May, and the (hopefully sunny) tourist season is about to get into full swing. Outside the Dreamland venue, just before doors open, a few keen gig goers make small talk about their shared past with the night’s big attraction – Mr. Jim Bob, the one time vocalist/guitarist/lyricist with the legendary Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine. A man from Nottingham has seen many shows over the past couple of months, all over the UK, and considered this appearance in Margate to be unmissable. He and his partner joke about stalking with a knowing glint in their eyes – a travelling advert for true fandom. Another man – sporting a Carter USM ‘60 Something’ shirt and day-glo shoes – talks about other shows he’s seen, and fondly remembers the legendary night at Tonbridge Angel Centre in 1993. He’s clearly hoping this night will create similar memories.

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REAL GONE GOES OUT: THE STEVE HILLAGE BAND – Concorde 2, Brighton, East Sussex 2/4/2023

Picture the scene: it’s a very cold afternoon in Kent, the rain is absolutely lashing down, and a crowd covered in pac-a-macs has assembled in front of the Prog Stage at the first ever Ramblin’ Man Fair. Weird prog/fusion ensemble Knifeworld have already started to create a buzz online and for some hardened proggers, the band’s early set time has been reason enough to leave their hotel rooms before lunch and brave the near apocalyptic weather.

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