Mr Big 02 Shepherds Bush Empire 12/09/09

•October 27, 2009 • Leave a Comment

 

The only UK date in their European tour: it was fairly safe to say early on that tonight’s show was going to pack out and rock out Shepherd’s Bush Empire and then some! The band strut on like they never had left and tear straight into Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy sounding as tight and focused as ever. Of course the moment Paul Gilbert rips into the first of his million solos, the room cheers knowing fully well that tonight is going to a be full-on wankfest. And a great one at that, but more importantly Mr. Big always stood for more than that: allowing their songwriting to showcase technical ability and not the other way round. So why not throw a guitar / bass solo picked by an electric drill in the middle of a great rock song? 

 

They look a bit older and wiser, but it’s mindblowing to see the chemistry these guys still have together, even after so long apart (Gilbert left the band in 1997 and the whole band broke up in 2002). As always, Paul Gilbert terrifies us with his blistering picking and finger twisting arpeggios but seeing Billy Sheehan stroll on and start a duel is what makes this show truly memorable.

Tonight’s ‘Greatest Hits’ set is quite rightly based around the more successful first 3 albums, mixing heavier numbers like Addicted To That Rush with power ballads such as Just Take My Heart. Saying that, it’s great that the band manage to sneak in some unexpected tracks like Take Cover and Price You Gotta Pay, as well as the classics. Singer Eric Martin proves he can still hit the high notes on their worthy cover of Cat Stevens’ Wild World and seems pretty chuffed with himself for it.

The band start their encores with their biggest hit, To Be With You, which sounds as contemporary and catchy as it did back in 1991 but waste no time in following up with the more ballsy Colorado Bulldog to keep up momentum. The best moment tonight is when the band seem to be wrapping it up and someone throws a hand scrawled ‘Play Shyboy’ banner on stage – so they look at each other as if to say why the hell not and just go for it. Fucking Epic.

 

 Setlist:

 

Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy (The Electric Drill Song)

Take Cover

Green Tinted Sixties Mind

Alive and Kickin’

Next Time Around

Hold Your Head Up

Just Take My Heart

Temperamental

It’s For You

Price You Gotta Pay

Wild World

Take a Walk

The Whole World’s Gonna Know

Rock & Roll Over

Addicted to that Rush

 

Encores:

 

To Be With You

Colorado Bulldog

Baba O’Riley

Shy Boy

Review – Deftones at HMV Forum, London 27/08/09

•September 10, 2009 • Leave a Comment

It’s pretty obvious this sticky Thursday evening in London Town that the hottest ticket going is for Deftones’ Reading Festival warm up show at the HMV Forum. It’s been over two years since the Sacramento quintet graced our shores and tickets were snapped up pretty quick given that this venue is less than half the size of Brixton Academy where they usually perform.

As the band stroll on and rip into Feiticeira, it’s great to see that they have stuck to the ‘let the music do the talking’ approach to playing, without any need for fancy backdrops, laser beams or pyros from Gene Simmons’s back garden shed. Frontman Chino Moreno seems as energetic as ever, bouncing around the stage like a kangeroo on ketamine, and looking a picture of health more like the Around The Fur days.

The moment the boys drop into My Own Summer (Shove It) the crowd erupts, and its undeniable how fresh this nineties skater metal anthem sounds today – over a decade on. Following on with Lhabia and Lotion off that same second album, Steph Carpenter stands like a pillar – a constant blur of hair and sweat, as he thrashes his signature ESP guitars and churns out riff after riff. Replacement bass player Sergio Vega (ex Quicksand) grooves along and clearly loves every second of it, locking in with Abe Cunningham like his life depended on it. It is sad to see Deftones without Chi Cheng in that very spot, as he remains comatose from a horrific car accident last year, but the band charge on and ask the audience to pray for him.

 

 

Tonight’s epic 23 song set spans a great selection of their career to date, throwing in Nosebleed, Root and Engine No. 9 for fans of their more aggressive debut album Adrenaline as well as plenty of tracks from the more ambient White Pony. In between songs Chino mumbles like an incoherent street bum, whilst otherwise screeching and squealing like a demented pig from Mars. Digital Bath and Change (In The House Of Flies) carry even more of an atmospheric chill in this sweaty room, as Chino’s poignant vocals reverberate around the hordes. Whilst classics like Be Quiet And Drive and Back To School go down a storm, it really is Passenger – the first of tonight’s encores – that leaves the crowd absolutely speechless. The haunting vocals and lazy bass lines are complimented by moody samples that create the perfect soundtrack to send chills down every spine in the room. As the band close with the venomous 7 Words, its pretty safe to say that despite the problems they’ve faced (re-recording delayed release Eros, Chi’s accident…) they are still on top form and do not disappoint in the slightest.

 

Setlist:

Feiticeira
My Own Summer (Shove It)
Lhabia
Lotion
Hexagram
Needles and Pins
Beware
Elite
Nosebleed
Root
Korea
RX Queen
When Girls Telephone Boys
Hole in the Earth
Engine No. 9
Digital Bath
Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)
Headup
Change (In the House of Flies)
Back To School (Mini Maggit)

Passenger
Minerva
7 Words

 

 

Are all these sleazerock bands starting to sound the same?

•July 16, 2009 • Leave a Comment

First up:

Announcement from Sonisphere: Flying in from California, Buckcherry will be nurturing Knebworth’s naughty side with their sleaze-drenched hard rock. Having toured with the likes of AC/DC, Kiss, Motley Crue and Sonisphere party partners Avenged Sevenfold, these guys are no strangers to the big crowds, and with a repertoire that includes hits like ‘Lit Up‘ and ‘Crazy Bitch‘ and ‘Too Drunk’, Buckcherry are the perfect party band for festival fun.

Get your tickets here: http://uk.sonispherefestival.net/tickets/

This is great news! Buckcherry always put on high octane, scorchin’ shows – I’ve seen em a good few times now. A year or two ago they actually played a ‘secret’ gig at the Intrepid Fox in Soho (upstairs) and it was aaaaawesome to see em so close up…

To be honest Im getting pretty bored of party sleaze rock bands: there are just too many people out there trying to be Motley Crue and making music that just isn’t original or fresh in anyway. I can think of at least 10 sleaze bands in the UK that all sound the same, look the same, act the same and its just fucking boring! Leave it to the pros, cmon guys!

Id rather listen to Cilla Black have an abortion.

At least Buckcherry have their own edge like some twisted, punky Aerosmith – Josh Todd actually comes across like the bastard child of Steven Tyler and Mick Jagger -what a frontman!

I love GnR and Crue as much as the next guy, and when Im playing / writing in that style – sure theres an influence – but at least I’ll try to do something different with it ie mix in other influences too. Fuck, its like these guys listen to Kickstart My Heart all day every day, and think if they just change the lyrics punters wont notice? Boooooooooooooring!

 

Slap on the wrist for Guns n Roses album leaker…

•July 15, 2009 • Leave a Comment


Im sure you all read about 9 tracks from the long awaited Chinese Democracy being leaked before it’s release date by American blogger Kevin Cogill almost exactly a year ago today.

Cogill, who had been released on bail, wrote that he’s having a tough time trying to raise funds for his attorney and is finding the whole predicament rather stressful. Cheeky Sod! He even appealed to the public for cash to help his legal cause… what an absolute pisstaker – this guy should be a comedian!

Speaking on his blog he said: “As you are all undoubtedly aware, I was arrested at gunpoint last Wednesday by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and I am now facing a federal criminal charge by the United States Government of copyright infringement, after allegedly hosting a stream of nine Guns N’ Roses songs, for a brief period of time in June.” Cogill went on to say he wouldn’t be able to discuss the details directly as he is involved in a criminal case, but did explain he was finding himself in financial difficulty after having to fork out for a lawyer.

“I am trying to take full responsibility for my predicament,” he wrote. “I consider the burden of legal fees ultimately mine to bear; I have independently raised the funds required to retain my attorney.” He added: “It’s beyond daunting, being a single independent citizen facing a full-force prosecution by the most powerful government in the world.”

Cogill carried on by saying he was going to try and auction off some of his possessions, and has asked people who are interested in donating to his defence fund to send money via PayPal. Yeah where do I sign up? Why on earth would anyone give this wanker a single penny?

During the sentencing, the blogger apologised for his actions and said he was a fan of Guns N’ Roses and didn’t mean them any harm. “I never intended to hurt the artist,” Cogill said. “I intended to promote the artist because I’m a fan.”

Whatever! In my honest opinion this twat has realised the amount of shit on his plate, and decided to beg for mercy. Its a bit like a paedophile saying that he only commited the criminal act to help the victim understand sex! Who gave him the right to steal someone else’s music and share it with millions worldwide? How about leaving the marketing and promotion to the professionals paid to do it (who ironically didn’t do that great a job)?

Although prosecutors in the case sought jail time and hefty fines for Cogill, the judge let him off the hook, saying he believed Cogill had learned his lesson and would not repeat his mistake. Hmmmmm!

 Do the crime, do the time bitch

Ozzy looking for a new guitar player…

•July 14, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Over the past few weeks, word has come about that Ozzy Osbourne is looking for a new lead guitar player. This isn’t really anything too new, as he did have auditions back in 2007 before recording the rather shoddy ‘Black Rain’.

Zakk Wylde has been the Double O’s right hand man since 1987 and has played on every album since No Rest For The Wicked (now we talkin!), developing a reputation as one of the fiercest shredders of all time.

As for why he wanted to break away from Wylde, who has played with Ozzy on and off since 1988, Ozzy said, “I haven’t fallen out with Zakk, but Zakk‘s got his own band, and I felt like my stuff was beginning to sound like (Wylde‘s band) BLACK LABEL SOCIETY. I just felt like I wanted a change, y’know?”

That’s a fair point to be honest, Zakk’s own band Black Label Society have not only supported the majority of Ozzy’s recent shows, but the mountain man even gets his own 20 minute guitar solo in the middle of Ozzy’s set – on stage, alone!

Its a bold move by Ozzy in my opinion,  as he’s  slowly becoming more and more of a puppet in Sharon’s grand plans of turning into some sort of plastic uber celebrity. She obviously wears the trousers in that relationship, inside which I’d expect to find a surgically extended big black cock to make herself feel even more of a man. I bet she whips him with it when he forgets where he put the TV remote…

Anyways, who on earth could replace replace such a guitar god?

Ozzy appeared two weeks ago as a guest at Slash‘s headlining concert in Norway, where rumors indicated that he was lining up ROB ZOMBIE guitarist John 5 to take Wylde‘s spot. Ozzy didn’t deny the rumors, saying, “Well, I’m getting a new guitar player as we speak, and everyone has been saying to me for a long time, ‘Get Johnny 5!’ And I tried him at one time and I didn’t really give him a chance. We’ll see, I don’t know.”

John 5 would be a very interesting choice having previously played for Rob Halford, David Lee Roth, Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie. The guy can really shred, and even has his own signature Fender Telecaster guitars out in the shops. His sound is really original: some crazy unique bastard blend of country, metal, 80’s shred and industrial. I personally love his solo stuff, and its a well known fact that Steve Vai and Les Paul both encouraged him to leave Manson and start doing his own music. Not many people out there can say that!

This could prove to be very interesting indeed: Zakk hasn’t really done anything groundbreaking for a while (can’t say Im a fan of anything he’s done since Mafia) and John 5 is hot property in Shredsville after years of hard work in different genres.

Keep your eyes on this, I hear an official announcement will be coming soon…

Oh dear, it’s Bruno!

•July 13, 2009 • Leave a Comment

 

I had a fairly quiet weekend planned, and thought Id use the opportunity to go to my local cinema in Camden and see ‘Bruno’, arguably the most anticipated film of this summer…

 

I must say I was a fan of Borat, which I found infectious and ridiculous yet strangely endearing (haven’t you ever found yourself saying ‘Niiiiiice’?). It was perfect timing given the influx of Polish migrant workers moving to and settling in the UK…

yes I know Borat was from Kazakhstan which is not in Poland – but leaving politics at the door, it is a fact that our awareness and understanding of Eastern Europe in general had rapidly increased due to this.

Bruno (as expected) was in very much a similar vein: a documentary style film about the findings of an eccentric European that goes off to America with an assistant that he somehow ends up getting a bit naked with. Well, lets just say a bit more naked than last time! Within the first 20 minutes of the film we are exposed to Bruno’s swinging sausage doing the windmill, in a bid to get his own show on national television and become the celebrity he craves to be! Hilarious…

Bruno definitely carried a more extreme sense of humour, I very much felt that Sacha Baron Cohen was testing us to see how far he could take it in pushing boundaries of racial, sexual and celebrity culture taboo: and I think he did a great job. Everything from the black baby accessory ‘Madonna and Brangelina have one!’ and references to Hitler and Josef Fritzl to that strange cycle-dildo contraption ensured that the film was provoking enough to be outrageous yet without offending mainstream audiences.

I honestly feel we live in a de-sensitized society that has heard of or seen the worst in humanity, and the effect of shock is not quite what it once was. So anyone that would find this film offensive hasn’t really been living on the same planet as the rest of us – probably hiding behind the curtains praying to some dead guy on a stick whilst watching GOD TV and ignoring (or denouncing?) real world issues like Aids and Abortion. People like this will soon die out, hopefully from lack of oxygen due to the urine soaked air they choose to gasp for hope of purity! Mwahahaha

In all honesty, I did find Borat a tad funnier as the comedy was more consistent throughout, whilst Bruno carried a few scenes that could have been cut in my opinion. Nevertheless: a job well done, nothing groundbreaking but what is these days?

Josef Fritzl’s guide to DIY and Family Values? hahaha

Does Michael Jackson’s personal problems change the quality of his music?

•July 10, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I was sat pondering on the ins and outs of forcing Melodic Minor arpeggios in Rumba Blues the other day (yes Im a fucking geek) and a message popped up on my Facebook, in response to my thoughts on the Michael Jackson drama (just wait till people find out about Father Xmas!!).

Someone decided to inform me that MJ fans should be arrested by the Taste Police for liking such a troubled man. This somewhat infuriated me as a musician and as a human being – surely art stands regardless of those who create it?

Surely Man is purely a creative vessel for the arts, and as attached as we may feel as creators once art exists – it exists of its own accord?

For example, Im quite a fan of the Norwegian Black Metal bands of the early 90s – some of which were Neo-Nazi fascists: and unless that dominated their lyrical content, do their views affect the quality & integrity of the music made? Surely not – there’s two types of music: good music and bad music, and this is subjective to each individual’s taste.

 

So no matter what you believe about MJ’s personal affairs – that can’t take anything away from the quality of his music! If you are a paedophile and hated his music until you heard about the accusations, you are as hypocritical as someone that loved his music and changed their views to reflect whatever the press lead you to believe…

We’ve all heard Sting can be a bit of a wanker, does that take anything away from what he recorded with The Police and as a solo artist? I think not.

Rant Over!

Reading 2009 Gets Better And Better

•July 9, 2009 • Leave a Comment

The lineup is nearly finalised now… and is looking pretty darn awesome. I must say this year there really is something for everyone – including some legendary acts of different genres!

I appreciate Reading used to be a lot more ‘metal’ back in the day, and I have been every year since the age of 12, usually looking forward to the HEAVY Sundays. Whilst it isn’t quite like that anymore, we are spoiled for choice with Download, Sonisphere and Bloodstock for that kind of music!

I saw Faith No More at Download from out front and side of stage, and can honestly say anyone who heads to the NME / Radio 1 tent on Friday night will be BLOWN away. Patton is up to his usual tricks, with Puffy pounding away behind him on the drums… what a live show! Die hards may be slightly deflated Jim Martin is not in this ‘reunion’ but Jon Hudson seems to be doing a grand job!

Prodigy also tore the place apart at Download, so make sure you catch them! Along with that there is Radiohead (!), Ian Brown, Placebo, Deftones, Gallows, La Roux, Glasvegas, Kings Of Leon & Municipal Waste (random!) & a whole lot more…

This year’s festival sold out in record time, but as soon as it is over get your ticket for 2010 at http://www.readingfestival.com/home/

ps. Mark Lanegan is also playing with Soulsavers! Check him out if you haven’t heard / seen him before – he fronted Screaming  Trees and worked with Queens Of The Stone for a bit too. He really is The Man With The Gravely Voice!

Anyways, till next time folks!

Facemelter

Machine Head pull out of Sonisphere

•July 8, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Absolutely gutted to hear that Machine Head have pulled out of the stellar line-up for this year’s Sonisphere…

San Francisco metallers MACHINE HEAD have released the following statement:”It is with the utmost disappointment that we must announce that MACHINE HEAD will not be playing the Sonisphere date at Knebworth in the U.K. on August 2. 

“In a turn of events that has left us absolutely baffled, the promoter of the U.K. Sonisphere festival recently placed, unbeknownst to us, LIMP BIZKIT in our third slot on the festival. Seeing as the running order was a significant part of the negotiation and agreement between us and the promoter, and the fact that we had been advertised in that slot since the festival’s announcement, you can imagine our surprise when we were ‘told’ that we would now be playing in the fourth slot, under LIMP BIZKIT, and bizarrely, it was actually expected that we would quietly move down the bill without issue. We will not. 

 

MACHINE HEAD turned down the U.K.’s Download festival, a festival we are very fond of — which, incidentally, had us above LIMP BIZKIT — to commit to the Knebworth festival, as we felt a closer kinship to the bands performing this year. In an effort to make this situation in Knebworth work, we have spent more than a week striving to resolve this issue in a proper manner. Unfortunately, that did not happen.
“So we have regrettably been left with no choice but to cancel our appearance rather than stand for the disrespect and indignity offered by a promoter who won’t honor our agreement. While we know that our fans will be furious about this situation — as are we, beyond words —we trust that you will all understand our position, and we encourage you to voice your opinion about it as loud and clear as possible.

 

Organisers Kilimanjaro Live have also commented:
“We regretfully confirm that MACHINE HEAD have made the decision to pull out of Sonisphere festival Knebworth. We have spent close to two weeks talking to MACHINE HEAD to try and keep them on the festival including offering them higher billing on the Saturn Stage, so that they would be performing immediately after LIMP BIZKIT and before NINE INCH NAILS

They would also get a longer time slot and were offered an increase in fee. Unfortunately, the band did not find this agreeable.”We have strived to make Sonisphere a great festival in our debut year with one of the strongest lineups out there. Our main priority is to give the fans a great weekend full of awesome bands and it was only recently that LIMP BIZKIT became available. In the process, MACHINE HEAD have been upset, and despite our best efforts, they have made the decision to cancel their appearance. We are obviously very disappointed that they will no longer be a part of the stellar line up at Knebworth on August 1st and 2nd and what promises to be an incredible weekend.

The lineup still looks amazing and we are lucky to have the chance to see NIN, Alice In Chains, Mastodon, Thunder, Killing Joke, Metallica, Heaven & Hell and mooooore this August.
FOR TICKETS PLEASE VISIT:
Facemelter will be at Sonisphere giving all the updates, reviews and interviews from backstage! Take my hand… we’re off to Never Never Land x

Facemelter is Johnny go go go go!

•July 7, 2009 • 1 Comment

Looks like Summer 2009 is gonna be a Facemelter!

Stay tuned for stories, interviews and news backstage at all the rockin gigs & festivals…

 

Peace!