The Voyager space probe has a golden disc which features sounds of the earth from nature, speech and music to enable an alien race somewhere else in the universe to find out a little about us if they come across the probe. There is classical music from Mozart, traditional Bulgarian music from Valya Balkanska, Blues from Blind Willie Johnson and on top of all that there is the late, great Chuck Berry with “Johnny B Goode“. Apparently Chuck was included after EMI refused permission for the Beatles “Here Comes The Sun” to be a part of Voyager. Seriously EMI why would you do that? Amazingly Voyager 1 is now more than ten billion miles from earth, I wonder what our alien friends will make of Mr Berry?
It is with great sadness that I report the death of rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Chuck Berry, he was 90 years old so that certainly is a life lived. Sure Chuck had issues and he paid his debt for those. But he was truly a pioneer, would rock ‘n’ roll have been the same without Chuck Berry? Somehow I doubt it. Given his legacy it’s a shame that his biggest hit was “My Ding-A -Ling” in 1972 which went to number one in the US, the UK and Canada. he did have a few US R & B number ones though. But you know what we need to consider whether the Beatles and the Stones would have existed without Charles Edward Anderson Berry, as his parents knew him. My thoughts are with his friends, family and all his fans across the world.
Click here to read my review of the latest album from LA based band the Dollyrots, it’s their sixth. It’s called ‘Whiplash Splash’ and I really don’t understand how I have never encountered them until now. Anyway I would like to say a big thank you to those passionate, bright young things at subba-cultcha for giving me the chance to review it! I loved it and I hope you do too!
Click here to read my review of the new album from one of Connecticut’s finest bands, Sorority Noise. It is called ‘You’re Not As ____ As You Think…’ I hope you like it and another big thank you to those nice people at subba cultcha for giving me the opportunity to hear it.
Click here to read my review of the magnificent new album by US/ French rap/ dance combo Alltta. I hope that you like it and here’s a big thank you to those nice folk at subba cultcha for giving me the chance to do this review.
Although the title of Roxy Music song and their debut single from 1972 “Virginia Plain” sounds like a woman’s name or even a place-name it is actually derived from a brand of cigarettes in a Bryan Ferry painting. Bryan Ferry was an art student and had painted a picture of cigarette packaging with that name. The song reached number 4 in the UK chart and also hit the top twenty in New Zealand, Germany and the Netherlands.
I have always been somewhat against the use of classic rock in advertising, especially if the artist has been known for their rebelliousness or anti-establishment tendencies. However I believe that Grace Slick off of Jefferson Airplane/ Starship fame has hit on a brilliant idea to overcome that and I am amazed that no one has hit on this before, unless they have and I just never heard about it. The US fast food chain Chick-Fil-A approached Grace to ask for permission to use Starship’s 1987 smash hit “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” in an advertising campaign. Now Chick-Fil-A’s Georgia based owners have a Christian philanthropic foundation known as Winshape that is a big opponent of same-sex marriage. On top of that the company’s Chief Executive, the rather interestingly named, Dan T Cathy has been very critical of supporters of gay rights.
So the very clever Grace Slick has chosen to take the money she receives for use of the song in the Chick-Fil-A campaign and give it to the organisation Lambda Legal. Lambda is a civil rights organisation that helps LGBTQ people and people living with HIV and Aids. They also plan to help any transgender kids impacted by the reversal of the federal policy on toilet usage that this vile so called administration has repealed. Slick is making a wonderful public example of such a bigoted corporate organisation. I would urge any artists who might naturally feel the urge to reject corporate offers like this to follow Grace Slick’s lead and fight back in this way. Sadly this has also brought out the crazy end of the Christian right-wing as a number of on-line trolls have issued death threats to Slick. I would love to hear what you think of all this. Have any of you protested by not eating at Chick-Fil-A?
This was another fantastic line up and a great night presented by Behind The White Door at one of York‘s best gig venues. Yes another power packed show at the Fulford Arms. It was remarkably a free entry gig, but like others I did contribute to the band collection and bought some merch too. It was also great to catch up with good friends and gig veterans Mike Harrison and Simon Pattinson. Anyway it was one of the north east’s if the UK’s finest bands Avalanche Party that brought me out on a damp March night. In fact this was the sixth time I have seen them. But more of them later. The show kicked off with Moriacana who in my experience are possibly one of the loudest two piece bands I have ever seen. But this very talented drummer and guitarist/ vocalist aren’t just all about loudness. The noise that they make is grungy heaven. I am sure that this York band will be compared with the likes of ..And The Hangnails, Royal Blood and other similarly set up two pieces, however while that is all well and good it should be noted that Moriacana also bring their own uniqueness to the party.
Next up was the rather interestingly named Unqualified Nurse Band all the way from Derby. They can do punk, they can do heavy, they can do grunge, they can do quiet loud quiet (à la Pixies) and they can even do some slowed down more intimate moments. Actually is there much that they can’t do? I don’t know, they certainly gave us a pulsing and thrilling set which was mildly reminiscent of the magnificent Biffy Clyro. I bought their EP and I have been playing it in the car today. Definitely a band to watch out for. The third band to take the stage were one of York’s finest young bands, the Black Lagoons. I have seen them once before just over a year ago and they were damned good then. Are they still damned good? Actually no they’re not ………… they are even better than damned good! they play a fuzzy, swampy and at times proggy take on garage rock. They do it with style and stage presence. The drummer sounds like a young John Bonham and I can only imagine that the Black Lagoons will continue to grow. Being local they also brought along quite a sizeable fan base. It was a shame that some of them left before the headliners.
Actually if you’re a fan of the Black Lagoons then I am sure that you do or will love the head honchos from tonight’s gig. Yes it was a triumphant return to York for the mighty, majestic and magnificent machine that is Avalanche Party. Jordan Bell stalks the stage like Jim Morrison with a mastery of that menacing, hypnotic stare. His vocals ooze classy and classic rock be it psychedelic, punk or anything in between. The bedrock of the band is the awesome rhythm section of Joe Bell and his thunderous bass and Kane Waterfield who pounds his kit to death every set. Overlay that with the sublime and psychy lead guitar of Jared Thorpe and let’s not forget some excellent sweeping keyboard sounds from Glen Adkins. It was yet another stunning set from a great band who I first saw back in August 2014. My favourite songs of the night were “Money” and “Let’s Get Together”. With an appearance at Leeds and Reading festivals last year I feel sure that Avalanche Party have the potential to really make it big. If you haven’t seen Avalanche Party yet then where the bloody hell have you been? Get out from under that stone and seek them out, you will not be disappointed!
Public Service Announcement – the Avalanche Party pictures were taken on my phone, all the other pictures and videos are courtesy of that wonderful t’interweb!