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.
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.
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!?