All the way from New Orleans, Soul Rebels Brass Band are currently on tour and on their visit to the UK stopped off at Morpeth School to put on a short concert and run a workshop with the schools’ big band Urban Playground. These guys sure know how to put on a show and the volume they create is immense. Sure enough, the hundred or so pupils who were lucky enough to attend the event gave them an rapturous welcome and got into the party atmosphere as they got up, sang, clapped and danced their way through the band’s short set which included a fantastic cover of Katy Perry’s track ‘California Gurls’.
The workshop for the schools’ big band ‘Urban Playground’ was equally impressive and provided an amazing opportunity for the pupils to get tips and advice from their professional visitors. The band ran through a couple of their numbers including the song ‘I Feel Good’ which later provided the musical backdrop for each pupil to perform a solo as part of the workshop.
It was fantastic and yet another memorable day for the music students at Morpeth School and another major coup for their highly successful Music department. I highly suggest you check out their EP on Spotify by clicking the link below.
Soul Rebels Brass Band are playing Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club on July 20th and the Edinburgh Jazz Festival on July 22nd. For more information visit their website here.
Spotify: Soul Rebels Brass Band – Nothing But Love – EP
If you’ve read the About Me section of this website, you will note that I used to be in a metal band called Wasted. We were a bunch of Metallica wannabes at the time and to be honest, we sounded more like a cross between Venom and a bunch of pissed mates doing their best to be metal.
One cool thing we did was a Metallica medley at a bunch of gigs with a mixture of new and old songs including St. Anger (it had just come out). Recently the guitarist and singer dug out an old VHS tape of one of these gigs and hastily uploaded it to YouTube. I’m proud to say I’m about to post it here. I’m semi-relieved I didn’t suck as much on drums as I thought I did…
A few Fridays ago I tagged along with a friend to go and see Skunk Anansie live. The only difference was this wasn’t a gig, it was a rehearsal. The next day they were due to start a new tour promoting their new album ‘Wonderlustre’ so they held a special friends and family only rehearsal at LH2 studios in West London. It was a chance to see their full stage set up, lighting, costumes, the works. There was only about 50 or so people there in this large hall but the atmosphere was still great.
Yesterday Morpeth school received a very special visit from Sir Ian McKellen the fine actor probably most well known for his role as Gandalf in Lord of the Rings. His visit coincides with a campaign for anti-homophobia in schools and he spent the afternoon talking with students about prejudice, bullying, homophobia and the things we need in place to tackle such issues.
Morpeth School recently organised a trip for the members of their drum group (Pulse) and their Big Band (Urban Playground). This isn’t the first time the kids have been to Madrid and each time they go it’s an overwhelming success. The kids stay with families in Spain for a few days and over the course of the trip, play several concerts in public places as well as schools and to various VIPs. Thought I’d attach one of their videos to this blog so you can check it out – pretty damn good for an East London secondary school…
So on Saturday I was most fortunate to attend the second day of the Sonisphere festival. I’d only known I was going since the day before and ended up on Anthrax’s guest list but in my opinion the second day had the most enticing line-up of bands. What I thought I’d do is talk through the bands I saw and how good there were. Some were great, some not so and one performance will remain in my memory forever. So without further ado, let’s crack on…
Last night my band Le Monnier played at the Essex Arms. Supporting us were ‘We Are Them’ a great band from Essex, a four-piece eccentric metal band. I wanted to write a review about these guys and let you know about them. The band consists of Adamski on Vocals and Keyboards, Drew on Drums, Doc on Guitar and Marc on Bass. The first thing that strikes you when you see these guys live is how they are not your typical unsigned metal band. Their front man looks like he can’t be bothered to be there yet there is something so entertaining about him and his presence on stage is incredibly entertaining. There’s no doubt about it, this is a band that actually makes you happy when you see them.
Something very different... We Are Them
So what do they sound like? Well they have a similar scatty presence to System of a Down, strange fusions of different genres like Faith No More and the in your face metal brutality of bands like Disturbed and early Deftones. Yet they don’t really sound like these bands, they just sound like… ‘Them’. On the way into the gig I heard someone outside say ‘They sound a bit shit.’ Strangely enough, they still went in and looked like they were having a bloody good time! Live, this band are the complete package. Their music is unique and enormously creative blending their metal sound with synthesized sounds and great vocals; so many interesting textures to their sound but their music is also very memorable. Seeing them play in the flesh is an experience too such is their charisma with a refreshingly humorous approach to their style not seen in so many ‘serious’ unsigned bands.
You can check out their music (a few rough demos) on their MySpace page. These tracks don’t really do them justice but they have an album on the way and I’m sure it’s going to be killer.
I shall start by saying I get bored quite easily sometimes… So anyway, I’ve been looking through my phone today with a mixture of nostalgia and the hope of finding something ridiculous but possibly entertaining.
It seems that in the 21st century, we’ve become digital hoarders. I mean, the amount of junk I’ve found on my mobile phone is staggering including a series of photos that I took of myself from various angles whilst drinking. It’s not as bad as it sounds, it was mostly facial… although that doesn’t sound any better.
It wasn’t till I got to the sound clips folder on my phone that I found a true gem. My band played a gig in Brixton (and made it out alive) sometime in 2009 I think and I used my mobile to record the band that played after us for reasons you’ll discover upon hearing the clip I’ve posted. Like my mobile phone, there is a lot of junk out there in the world of music. A quick trawl through MySpace and you will hear some of the worst music has to offer. I always thought though, that these terrible bands never made it beyond ‘Bedroom mode’. A quick dodgy demo, rushed MySpace profile then a going of separate ways due to musical differences. Surely no live music promoter would EVER seriously consider putting one of these ‘bands’ on a stage?
It seems I was wrong. I have no idea what this band are called, but they are a 3-piece punk band. The bass player sang, the guitarist played something and the drummer tried his best. To give you an idea of how bad it was, in between each song, the bassist had to teach the guitarist what to play. Sitting open mouthed we were able to feast on the audible equivalent of Happy Meal minus the toy. I can’t really say anymore, except have a listen to this. Luckily for them the audience consisted of my band and the sound engineer. And to think we played BEFORE these guys!?
The Worst Band in the World