Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Vivian Girls @ Brixton Windmill 17 May

Not a great live band. A three chord noise-fest. I don't mind three chords, if you know how to play them. Unfortunately this lot don't. (1/5)

Admission tickets for this three chord racket were bought through www.gigsniffer.com and I regretted it.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Specials @ Brixton 7 May 2009

It's surprising how good they all look after 30 years.. Neville Staple and Lynval Golding jump around like bouncy school boys as they rip through a greatest hits set list for 90 minutes. The crowd you might expect to be all old skinheads - does anyone remember the first Madstock and what a nightmare THAT was? Well, tonight's all respectable and the average age isn't even that high - there's a huge contingent of youngsters in the crowd which is great to see.

The Specials aren't a band you hear that often on the radio, and you forget just how many great songs they had... the highlight for the Sniffer was both front AND back of the Too Much Too Young EP in its entirety. (4/5)

If you missed out on tickets you should get on www.gigsniffer.com !

Brakes @ Dingwalls - 28 April 2009

Still Brakes defy the public... they can't even sell out Dingwalls! What is it about this band that relegates them to being also-rans while the likes of Johnny Borrell conquer the world? Live they are one of the best bands around. Great musicians, great songs and great banter. I can only assume the lack of popularity stems from their image - they aren't a band of Pretty-Boys and from Sniffer's side-stage viewpoint he got a good look at the crowd and it's a bloke-fest. An ugly-bloke fest at that. I'd hate them to get "made-over" or get a "looker" in the band, but maybe that's what they need to do otherwise all that talent could come to nought. (4/5)

It's easy to get into gigs with www.gigsniffer.com

Sonic Youth @ Scala 27 April 2009

A sneaky small gig - the problem was this... big band plays small venue which sounds great but.. the Scala is always awful - it's cavernous interior just reverberates with bass - and Sonic Youth themselves are notoriously awful live. All pretention and "we don't give a damn" attitude. Having heard the new single though, Sniffer decides to risk it, bearing in mind the Daydream Nation material must still be freshly up their sleeve from last year...

So what do we get - well even a "big band" can't get over the Scala's failings but, that aside, it's a cracking night. The new material sounds good and un-pretentious, plus we get a selection of crowd pleasers from the past. They still look cool as hell.. even Kim who my God must be over 50. Still from that distance who cares... we can still pretend it's 1985. The banks of guitars are still there... looks like around 15 each.. played with drumsticks, bows or rusty nails... same as it ever was... (4/5)

Get your tickets immediately through www.gigsniffer.com

Wave Pictures @ ICA - 15 April 2009

My third Wave Pictures Gig over the last year and they've been different everytime. First time was over driven Ukeleles and quirkness and could be likened to Hefner. The second, quiet, pensive, low key and slightly Prog - think more Radiohead. This third time sees them play their biggest ever show and yes, they've grown too - this time think Television. I'm not sure if playing Television over the PA earlier in the evening sets it in your mind, but there were real Tom Verlaine style solos up there on stage. OK, not quite so well executed, but give them another year and they'll be there. (4/5)

Tickets were available through gigsniffer.com

Frank Skinner's Credit Crunch Cabaret - 6 April @ Lyric Theatre

Is it a gig? Kind of - there was 20 minutes from Goldie Looking Chain, the novelty of which wore off after just 3 minutes. It does show how bad Celebrity Big Brother is though, as I wrongly assumed that "Maggot" was the front man. In fact he's just one of the blokes at the back. What next.. Ringo Starr on BB?!!! Anyway, Skinner is as cheeky and funny as he ever was and the format of the evening is a real life version of his "Packing Them In" sitcom from many years back. Well worth a tenner if you get the chance. (4/5)

To have any chance getting tickets you need the ticket agency crawler.. gigsniffer.com