Sunday, 23 March 2008

MUSIC

MUSIC SCENE
by Koa Maddock-Bradley




Kim, Wilsthorpe Tavern, 21st April

A very very enjoyable swing/big band singer with actual musical ability and trumpet (Yes I did say trumpet). After thinking I was going to be in for an evening of a Kim Wilde take-off I was over the moon to see this chappy belting out swing tunes and absolutely nailing it. It’s a good feeling knowing from the very first note he can actually sing. The request for the lady in his life ‘Wonderful world’ was sweet but ultimately a bit naff, I guess it is a difficult one to cover, this guy should know better but kudos for having a bash. His Olly Murs cover needs to remove itself from the playlist, I’m unsure why it ever made an appearance in the first place. The Cry me river cover was spot on, I literally loved it; well to be honest all the big-band covers were spot on. I enjoyed the appearance of the keytar and the trumpet both played to absolutely perfection and a little unusual compared to the usual electric guitar, and if I’m honest I was glad of the change. I know this makes me sound like my grandma but the PA system seemed to be a little on the loud side and I was deafened with Mack the knife and a couple of the trumpet solos which took concentration off the music somewhat. While he was singing to backing tracks they weren’t them cheap ones you hear on holiday it made you feel he had bought a whole Orchestra to The Tavern with him. I wish there was a bit of dancing going down,

I totally could of gone for a bit of the old two-step action. The Sinatra of Long Eaton just causally singing in pubs if I’m ever to get married this is the man I’m having at my reception (obviously if he can wait that long). If you bought that Robbie Williams Swing album (Swing when you’re winning) and actually liked it; this man is one you want to see.

TV SMITH – THE BARGE, LONG EATON, FRIDAY, 27th APRIL
Punk rock legend TV Smith is to make a rare appearance in Long Eaton when the former Adverts front man plays a solo show at The Barge, Tamworth Road, on Friday, 27th April.
Smith, who shot to fame when he and his band appeared on Top of the Pops back in 1977 with controversial single Gary Gilmore’s Eyes, still has a loyal following in the UK and all over mainland Europe, where he has just completed a six-week tour with the UK Subs.
Although his set still contains some of those legendary Adverts songs, TV Smith has forged an incendiary solo career with a series of anthemic albums, still fired by the same anger against the world’s wrongs and the people in power which first catapulted him into the limelight all those years ago.
Tickets for TV Smith at The Barge on Friday, 27th April are priced £5 and available at the pub itself, from Foreman’s Bar on Foreman Street, Nottingham, by calling 07825 324565, or on the door on the night. Doors open at 7pm and support comes from Verbal Warning, The Reverends and Pax.
We caught up with TV during his European jaunt and asked him a few questions in advance of his Long Eaton date.

Can you believe it is 35 years this year since the heyday of punk rock?
 “I don't think that back then I would have ever believed that it would last so long, but these days I think it makes sense. As a musical movement it was honest, and people need that. Main stream music is so bland and fake that a lot of people are desperate to hear something with real values.”

Do you feel the current state of the country/economy/world is perfect for a new punk/protest song movement and rich in material for you to stay angry as well? Do the songs still come quite easily to you?

“There's plenty to write about, that's for sure. Punk was supposed to have been born out of the mass dissatisfaction with the way the world was in 1977, but the irony is that things are even worse now. One of the major differences is that these days we're conditioned to believe that we have to accept things the way they are and that no alternative is possible. That's why I'm still writing about real issues and trying to prove that an alternative viewpoint is still possible.”

What current/new acts impress you? Who were/are your musical heroes?
“It's pretty hard to find good music because there's such a mass of mediocre stuff out there. These days there's no John Peel to help guide us through it. To be honest, because I'm out on the road almost al the time I don't have time to research much new music, I feel lucky if I get some good recommendations from friends now and again, but otherwise I save my energy for writing and recording new songs myself. When I was growing up, before I even realised I was going to become a musician myself, I used to listen to everything I could lay my hands on, from Lead belly to the Beatles. In the years leading up to punk I used to like quite a few of the edgier glam bands - Bowie, Mott the Hoople, Roxy Music - and of course the pre-punk bands from the States – Iggy Pop, New York Dolls and so on.”

What inspired you to form a band – any single moment?
“No single moment. I just liked music and liked bands generally, then tried writingsongs myself and found I could do it too. Then I needed an outlet for it and the obvious thing to do was form a band.”

The old fans still turn out faithfully to see your solo shows. Any sign of a new generation coming along to the shows too, discovering you for the first time?



Oh yes, there's a huge mix of age groups come to the shows. I've had three generations of a family in the club on at least one occasion. It's a great feeling, bringing a family together like that. When I was a teenager going to gigs I would never have dreamed of going with my parents and grandparents!”

You will have just turned 56 by the time you do the Long Eaton gig, how hard is it to stay on the road and tour like you do and how long do you think you will continue to do it?
“I'm very lucky that I have such wonderful people in my audiences - it's the reaction from them that gives me the energy to keep doing it, they validate it and make me feel I'm doing something worthwhile. Anyone who's read one of my books of tour diaries will know that touring isn't always easy, but I wouldn't swap it for the world, I intend to keep on doing it just as long as my body will put up with it.”

You have always remained so thin. Is that down to the vegetarian lifestyle or the constant energy you expound onstage?
“Both, I guess. I have a high metabolism anyway, and I try and avoid the usual rock'n'roll trap of eating crap fast food on the road. Being a vegetarian really makes you think about what you eat.”

Is Rebellion (the annual punk rock festival at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens) the highlight of the year for you or is it a continental gig? Where are your most enthusiastic fans – here or Germany?
“I play 90% of my gigs in mainland Europe, particularly Germany. Apart from the big festivals like Rebellion it's quite hard to tour Britain these days - so many of the small venues have shut down, and it seems people would rather stay at home than go out and listen to live music. It's a real shame because the UK has a worldwide reputation for bringing up new bands, but that's not going to happen in the future without a ground level scene to support new music.”

What do you remember of your famous Top of the Pops appearance? Do you think it's a shame there isn't a revered mainstream show like that on BBC1 now which newcomers of all genres have a chance of gate crashing?
"We were pretty excited to play Top Of The Pops, but also pretty disappointed to find out how tacky the whole thing was - the cheap stage sets, the miming, the rubbish presenters, the old school conservative-thinking BBB producers. We felt we were only on it because punk had become so popular that they couldn't ignore us any longer, even though they wanted to. I don't think we even want a programme like that anymore. You look back on it through rose-tinted lenses from when you first watched it as a child because back then there was so little music, but actually the programme was completely chart-orientated. You didn’t get on it unless you were in the charts already, or the sales figures showed you would be in the charts next week. When you think how awful the charts are these days, imagine how bad a 2012 Top Of The pops would be!”




WEEKEND MUSIC
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Friday April 27th
BRENNANS - BLUELAZER KARAOKE
CORNER PIN - DISCO
BASS HOUSE - DISCO

Saturday April 28th
SILVER PRI ZE -GARY LANE
COACH & HORSES - DISCO/KARAOKE
CORNER PIN - KARAOKE

Sunday April 29th