As November breathes its last, the changing weather has been a keen reminder that we’re moving from autumn into winter. Parts of Britain are being battered by strong winds; other parts are experiencing snow. Luckily, the Kent coast seems to have escaped the white stuff – for now – but it’s cold. Very cold. Outside the Music Hall in Ramsgate, it feels like the arctic, and those venturing out could feel like Captain Oates. To be fair, everyone has been – and will be – subjected to far colder, but a year’s worth of not going out much due to the global pandemic has made it seem particularly harsh. It’s worth braving the cold tonight, though, as Detroit’s Electric Six are in town as part of a last minute addition to their UK tour.
Category Archives: Gig Reviews
REAL GONE GOES OUT: Martin Rossiter – Kentish Town Forum, London 20/11/2021
Goodbyes can be drawn out. None more so than the arrival of Martin Rossiter’s farewell London show. The ex-Gene frontman’s final curtain call was originally set to take place in June 2020, but it shifted date – and venue – more than once, before finally settling into its final resting place at the Kentish Town Forum in November 2021. At this point, larger gigs still haven’t made a full return following months of Covid related restrictions and cancellations so, understandably, for some, this night comes with a certain amount of unease. Fortunately, Rossiter quickly puts that right, firstly with a self-curated playlist in place of a traditional support band (his choice of tunes, heavily weighted to rarer Northern Soul bangers is excellent) and then the main event.
REAL GONE GOES OUT: The Wonder Stuff – Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London 13/12/2019
It’s approximately 8.25 at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire. Jim Bob has not long finished an excellent acoustic set and Alice Cooper is bellowing ‘Hello, Hooray’ across the PA system. Whether or not this choice of between set music has been chosen deliberately or is just a welcome coincidence remains to be seen. However, its lyric concerning letting the show begin and pulling in the audience is certainly apt. Tonight, the near capacity crowd are very keen…and – in some cases – especially so, since they’ve got a good idea of the night’s set list. Stourbridge’s finest, The Wonder Stuff, have promised that their first two albums – 1988’s ‘The Eight Legged Groove Machine’ and 1989’s ‘Hup’ – will be played in full. These are albums that still mean the world to most of The Stuffies’ loyal fanbase. They’re also albums that have the potential to be enjoyed by listeners who might not have connected with them that first time around. More than just nostalgia, the coming set is automatically geared towards fantastic songs. High spirits and a lot of crowd singing are both guaranteed.
REAL GONE GOES OUT: Jim Bob – Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London 13/12/2019
It’s the middle of December and there’s a conflicting mood in the air. People are gearing up for Christmas so there’s a bustling feel to the city, yet at the same time, it’s the night after a General Election so any excitement is contrasted by the dread of another five years with a Conservative government increasing austerity measures and generally widening an already massive divide between rich and poor.
Taking his place at the mic stand on a sparsely decorated stage, the legendary Jim Bob seems aware of this mood. “I feel like I should say something…profound” he tells the audience, before even playing a note. Quite how profound a man could be while wearing a gold sparkly jacket and sunglasses on loan from The Banana Splits is anyone’s guess. “…Or we could have a sing-song”, he beams, before launching into a stripped down version of Carter’s ‘Is Wrestling Fixed?’, its opening lines greeted with a huge roar. It’s a great performance, but drawing more heavily from the whimsical than the energetic, its a less-than-obvious opener. Nevertheless, the front half of the audience is hugely receptive and even in the bar areas nearer to the back of the venue, bellowing voices are more than evident. Digging further into the Carter back catalogue, the fantastic Billy’s Smart Circus whips up the audience further into a shouting mass – this first dip into the fan favourite ’30 Something’ album boding well for the rest of the set.
REAL GONE GOES OUT: Black Star Riders – Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London 12/10/2019
Nearing the close of 2019, Black Star Riders are on a high. Their fourth album ‘Another State of Grace’ has gained very positive reviews and their current UK tour has been really pulling in the crowds.