Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Japandroids, 4 Or 5 Magicians, William

William: these guys need an image makeover - they look rubbish. However - get over that and they sound bloody good! A cut down three piece with a terrific guitar sound. Vocally they're a bit shouty shrieky though - might need a bit of work there. I'm not being shallow here - guys - image is everything. The bass player looks like he works in the accounts dept. by day... rock out a bit and you might make a few quid out of this. (3/5)

4 or 5 Magicians: already, just 12 hours later, I can't remember anything about them. But there were NO magicians and it would definitely have helped if there had been. (1/5)

Japandroids: are from Vancouver and the singer is called Brian (he reminds us of this all night, in case we forget). Brian is in this for the shags. Now I know that's not unusual for people in bands, but there's no need to make it quite so bloody obvious. He's almost as blatant as Steve "anyone fancy a shag" Jones. That aside, Japandriods is just Brian on guitar, and the other bloke on drums, and they make a right racket. But that's a good racket. The kind of racket that, when combined with a bit of witty banter and youthful enthusiasm is very watchable. Not the kind of racket that would stand up to listening to in the car though, it'd drive me bleedin' nuts. If you're going to be a 2 piece sound then you need the talent or imagination of Jack White or Nick Zinner - if not then you've only got your novelty factor and self belief to rely on and, believe me Brian, even those English girls you're craving will get bored of that by Christmas. (3/5 for now)

Japandroids Tickets or White Heat tickets and all Madame Jojos tickets are on

Noisettes @ Shepherds Bush Empire 26 October 2009

A band of ups and downs for me - some of that chart friendly don't-upset-the-rhythm cack really grates on the old sniffer's ears and I never really paid them much attention. But then I saw them do an unplugged on the BBC's Glastonbury coverage this year and thought - hang on - these guys are good, plus they have a cute singer who can also play bass. And play properly, not in the 'token girl musician' way either. Singer Shingai Shoniwa has a 60's style sound to her, a kind of black Amy Winehouse without all the tedious My Drug Hell stories.

So, not knowing what to expect, the opener, don't-upset-the-bloody-rhythm, set me on a bit of a downer. But then it's hard not to start warming to such a great front-woman and let's face it, without her they have nothing to set them apart. But tonight she leaps, struts and postulates in a way that has your attention focused. From laying prostrate over the drum kit, to draping herself form the circle balcony in a provocative fashion that has every man, woman and health and safety inspector's eye's watering. Don't try this at home kids. There's crooning, shrieking and some all out hard rocking and enough interest to go home and google them to find out just exactly who IS this woman? (4/5)

Noisettes tickets can be bought from before anywhere else.

Doves + Magazine @ Roundhouse 22 Oct 2009

Magazine, Feed the Enemy and Doves with There Goes The Fear both in one night. Great gig. But ditch the bleedin' choir lads.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Spirtualized @ RFH 13 October 2009

Well we lucked in and got seats just five rows back. There were a lot of people on stage.. 10 choir, 8 string, 6 brass, 2 drums.... That's cutting the takings pretty thinly. Still - a great show as they blast through the whole of Ladies and Gentleman we're floating in Space. Both an aural AND visual assault. Leaving a gig with your ears ringing we're all used to, but when your retinas are also burnt out from staring straight into one of the highest quality strobes known to mankind then the journey home can be quite troublesome.

Tickets for Spiritualized or RFH tickets are available through

Monday, 26 October 2009

Fiery Furnaces @ Audio Brighton 7 October 2009

The sniffer took a day trip out of town to catch them in a smaller venue as the London show was at cargo, which is a bit faceless. Well worth it - up close and loud. Tonight they're in full rock mode - every time you see them you get something different it seems. Everything set to guitar or everything set to keyboard? Gaps between songs or no gaps? Song A lyrics to song A tune or song B tune? Played forwards or backwards? I think I've made my point. The sniffer's preference would be guitar/no gaps/A to A/forwards. Whatever way round, its all good fun. (4/5)

Fiery Furnaces tickets will appear first on

Luke Haines @ Borderline 1 October 2009

What a card he is. Playing to an army of fans - some well the worse for wear. If you've never seen him - expect some witty banter set to vibrato guitar playing. Always worth checking him out. Short review as I'm well backlogged. (4/5)

Tickets for Luke Haines are available at

Blitzen Trapper @ Barfly 14 September 2009

Hmmm.. load of folksy looking types. Not very exciting. (2/5)

Blitzen Trapper tickets

KASMS + VEGC @ 229 10 September 2009

Club Fandango at 229 - FAR too big a venue. There's a smaller stage out the back though we we caught these two. Over a month has passed since we were there and I can remember nothing about KASMS, except they were pretty awful. A girl up front who looked alright but sounded abysmal. Victorian Englishman Gentleman's Club were great though... thank god. They've shed the ball gown wearing drummer for a slightly mad looking geezer, and got a new girl in on pointless-guitar-playing duties who's a ringer for the boring one out of Scooby Doo. They sound better now though - more polished, but still art-rock man. Still a bit weird too and well worth checking out again in their new format. (4/5 VEGC)

Get KASMS tickets or VEGC tickets at