Enter the Vortex

So here’s the posters I designed for two gigs I’m helping to put on- one in London, the other in Margate. As per the press release “Girl Sweat is the ever-changing garage-noise project fronted by the 6ft 5” beast that is ‘Sweat’” along with the fine collection of psych and drone weirdos assembled in support. My brief for the poster was “illuminati/masons cult shit”. I hope I delivered.

FB event– Tickets £5 (early bird)/ £7 (advance)/ £9 (door)

FB event– Tickets £5.50 (advance) / £7 (door)


Domestic Abuse Support All-dayer fundraising gig

(Tuli from Gang)

I recently went to a local gig put on by Art’s Cool raising money for the local domestic abuse support charity. It was an all-dayer, with half the lineup being local Kent bands, and the other half being from Leeds. The next day they did it all again, but in Leeds, and raising money for an education charity there. I missed the first band, but they were kind of a supergroup made up of members from the different Leeds bands. The promoter also handily made this Spotify playlist of all the bands.


The lighting was a bit difficult, being mostly magenta and strongly focused on one side of the stage. How easy it was to photograph the band members depended strongly on how much they moved and where they happened to be standing, and varied dramatically from act to act. When I take gig photos I like to try to have at least one photo of each band member (which can be hard with drummers positioned far back), and as flattering as possible, especially when it’s smaller bands who may not have many nice live photos of themselves. So I took, and deleted a lot of photos (and didn’t get as many usable photos of some of the bands such as Chest Pains as I would have liked). Here they are, in order of running on the day. There are links to each band’s facebook fan page in each title.

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Zilinski album launch

So here are some much more recent gig pictures- from this week in fact. Local label M8s Records held an album launch party for Canterbury band Zilinski. With Lazy Pilgrims and Trash Mammoth in support.

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Cloudrat & Moloch

Sometimes I’m incredibly slow at editing photos- especially from gigs where I may take several hundred photos and whittle them down to less than ten. A couple of years ago my friend Steve Larder‘s band Moloch did a split LP and tour with American grindcore band Cloudrat. I found the unedited photos the other day, and finally sorted them out. Enjoy.

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Prophecy Girl

5 sm

I took some photos of my friend Tukru, Finn of Finns, Suomi of the Suomalainen, performing some songs. Band members failed to materialise in rehearsal, so it was solo time to try the songs out in front of an audience. The lighting was a bit tricky, as there was nothing but one red spotlight, so I went for black and white. Tukru claims the genre is “Awkward Crybabycore”. Check out the twitter account for the band for more upcoming news.

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Cover of Sleater-Kinney's the Hot Rock album

A few weeks ago I went to see Sleater-Kinney, one of my favourite bands, at the Roundhouse. They had been on hiatus since 2006, with the members working on other projects like Portlandia in the meantime, so I was pleased and surprised when they announced a new album and tour. The last time they had played in the UK was when I was doing my finals, so I’d had to give it a miss. I’d seen them before at Reading Festival, but I never really count short afternoon festival sets at massive outdoor festivals like Reading as really seeing a band properly, because you’re basically watching them on a tv screen standing at the other end of a field (one of the many reasons I don’t go to them any more). I don’t think I have ever been to such a big gig as the Roundhouse one where I just constantly ran into so many people I know and like, it was almost too much, there was someone new to say hello to every time I turned around . The band themselves were superb, and played for an hour and half. I don’t think you could ask for more, really. Read more

Gigs of 2014

I was really broke for most of 2014. I didn’t get to go to many bigger gigs, but I did go to a lot of smaller ones. I made this playlist of songs each by a band I saw last year. It’s not an exhaustive list, I just picked songs I liked by bands I had a good time seeing, which were also available on Spotify and worked together on a playlist. If you are outside the UK I don’t know if all of them will play, due to a lot of them being bands of people I know putting their records out on small labels or themselves. Hopefully they will.

1) There’s a Ghost in my House- the Fall
When searching for this song initially, I accidentally added a live version to the playlist. It was one of those Fall gigs where MES doesn’t know any of the words. Luckily the time I saw them this year was a lot better.

2) Yamato (Where People Really Die)– the Van Pelt
I was supposed to see the Van Pelt at the Jabberwocky festival which was cancelled at the last minute. After a bit of scrabbling I managed to sort out tickets to a replacement Van Pelt gig at a hotel not too far from where I live. Although I was aggrieved about the cancelled festival, getting a great headline gig at a smallish venue from a band who almost never play vs a 20 minute set at a giant conference centre that’s hard to get to wasn’t so bad.

3) In Other Words– Shopping
4) Taro Taro Taro– Halo Halo
Two bands who share members with Trash Kit. Rachel A is in Shopping, and Rachel H in Halo Halo.

5) Cat Call– Ravioli Me Away
“Don’t go walking around Clapham, you might find yourself marrying an estate agent”

6) Interference Fits– Perfect Pussy
This was a double bill with Joanna Gruesome. I met Meredith a little while ago, and really liked her. She was very nice and personable.

7) We’ll Both Apologise– Trust Fund
Something lovely from Bristol. More of that further down the playlist too.

8) Dust, Juice, Bones and Hair– Martha
Martha come from a town in Co. Durham called Pity Me. It really sounds like something out of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. Onsind with some of the same members are also well worth a look.

9) Beach Party– Punching Swans
One of Medway’s finest. Check out the video filmed in Herne Bay. Kent is not short of crumbling seaside towns.

10) Dec. 15– Grubs
11) Anti-Parent Cowboy Killers– Joanna Gruesome
Two more Bristol bands. Owen is in both, and Roxy is in Trust Fund and Grubs as well as doing her own solo stuff as Two White Cranes.

12) Cream Soda- Playlounge
Another gig I went to in lieu of Jabberwocky. They weren’t playing the festival, I went to this with a friend who hadn’t managed to snap up any tickets in time for replacement gigs.

13) Careers in Combat– Parquet Courts
Or Parkay Quarts on the days when they feel like being giant quantities of margarine.

14) Anyone Can Have a Good Time– Owls
When mentally ranking the various Kinsella bands, Owls are personally no 2 after Cap’n Jazz. Tim Kinsella has a very odd stage presence.

15) I’m in Your House– Cowtown
16) Mr Blood– That Fucking Tank
Two from Leeds. Cowtown are possibly that ghost that has been bothering Mark E. Smith.

17) Toe Cutter – Thumb Buster– Thee Oh Sees
Another gig that was a replacement for the cancelled ATP. Also a headline show in the basement of a hotel. Enormous fun.

Ponder this to get nearer to nothing

Long time, no see. In the last week I started a new design job, had some major dental work done, and also moved. Busy. I now have a bit more money, and a lot more space though, which is always a good thing. I’ve got a fair few things to catch up with here. I’ve got films I took at Homespun Festival to develop and scan, and some illustration and sewing things to finish.

This weekend I was supposed to go to the Jabberwocky Festival in London, which was cancelled two days before it was due to happen. I planned to see Neutral Milk Hotel, Caribou, Panda Bear, Electric Wizard, Forest Swords, the Van Pelt, Thee Oh Sees, Sun Kil Moon and the Ex. My friend Chloe was coming down from Glasgow to stay with me. She decided to come down anyway because the train tickets were non-refundable, and to see what bands we could, prioritising the bands that rarely play in the UK. Top of the list was the Van Pelt, because they split up in the 90s, and haven’t played more than a handful of shows in that time. Some helpful person set up a facebook group, and there was a mad scramble to book new shows for stranded bands, and then another mad scramble to book tickets for things, and then sell or pass on tickets when you realised you’d double booked yourself. Luckily I happened to be at a computer when all the tickets for replacement gigs were going on sale, because they went so quickly.

Initially we were going to see the Van Pelt at a free all-dayer a pub was putting on, but that would have been a nightmare with the amount of people and the small capacity venue (and added to that the fact I’ve been suffering with on and off painful sinus/throat/ear/teeth trouble from having so much done to my teeth this week), so we were glad when they announced a ticketed show. I’ve been to a lot of ATP festivals and gigs over the years, but I think this fiasco will be the end of them.

I borrowed Sultans of Sentiment off someone when I was at uni about 10 years ago, and copied it onto the computer. A decade, and 3 computers later it disappeared along the wayside somewhere along with some other great albums. In fact I’d kind of forgotten how great they were until I saw the festival lineup back in the winter and I was all “Oh yeah, that album was brilliant, I’ve got to see them”. It was possibly better this way, as we got to see them do a headline set, rather than a short afternoon set at the festival. The gig was excellent, they basically played every song they had, and we were down the front in a small venue. Probably one of my gigs of the year. I tried to take some b&w pics, but the lighting was mostly red, which is a disaster in low-light situations, but I wasn’t that bothered, because I was there to listen. You should listen to this album. I saw a review once that described it as “poetic post-punk” which I think sums it up well. Literary, but with depth of feeling. Particularly Nanzen Kills a Cat and Yamato (Where People Really Die)

Frozy, Dog Legs and Los Cripis

Last night I went to see my friends Frozy play with Dog Legs and Los Cripis. Los Cripis are from Argentina, but play over in the UK quite frequently. I don’t know any other bands from Argentina, so they can be my favourite one. I tried to take some photos, but the lighting in the bar was appalling, and I don’t like to disturb people with flash, so here’s a music video instead. Don’t watch it if you don’t like blood. Los Cripis have an album out now, and Frozy have one coming soon. Why not give them some money?