Tracks Monkeys With Lasers

TMWL Presents: istartedthefire records showcase ft Jim Lockey and the Solemn Sun @ The Brixton Windmill – 20/07
June 25, 2010, 10:24 am
Filed under: music, TMWL Shows | Tags: , , , , ,

A bit of a mouthful of a title but it’s another TMWL show!

Following on from the successful show at the Betsey Trotwood, Jim Lockey & The Solemn Sun manage to squeeze in a show at the Brixton Windmill inbetween sets at 2000 Trees and Y-Not Festivals and the show comes hot on the heels of the release of their Album, ‘Atlases’

“Could Jim Lockey and The Solemn Sun be the British Bright Eyes?”
– Is This Music magazine

“Jim Lockey and the Solemn Sun might just be the current, relevant band we were looking for”
– BBC Gloucestershire

High praise indeed! On the night, the boys will be joined by artists from their record label istartedthefire including;

Midnight Mile

“Cheltenham Soul-Folk duo MM, lead their unsuspecting audiences into a myriad of Ryan Admas influcenced guitar licks and beautiful vocal harmony”

Joe Summers

“Walsall’s answer to Johnny Flynn’s blistering folk, combining the lyrical attributes of his heroes Dylan and Adams to create arresting songs of heartfelt intimacy.”

Ruth Bewsey

“This Guildford songstress blends summery acoustic stylings with an angelic vocal sweetness that will leave you lovestruck and enchanted”


The Brixton Windmill


Tuesday, 20th of July

Doors will be at 7.30 with the music all kicking off at 8pm

How Much

Advance tickets available for £3

Tickets available on the door;

£3 – advance and earlybird tickets (before 9pm)
£4 – after 9pm

Come along! Bring a friend. Bring another friend.

See you there xx

TMWL Presents: Jim Lockey and the Solemn Sun & Oxygen Thief @ The Betsey Trotwood – 07/05
June 13, 2010, 6:06 pm
Filed under: gigs, music, TMWL Shows | Tags: , , ,

Yes, that’s right; TWML Presents!

This was the first show put on by myself after the artists had asked me to put on the show for them as part of their short UK tour. And after a couple of months of organising, it finally took place! Just.

Arriving at the “cosy” venue of the Betsey Trotwood nice and early to help set things up, I found out my two headline acts were caught in traffic getting to the venue. No matter, it gave us plenty of time to get everything else sorted and it took no time to get the basics in place thanks to the top sound engineer at the venue.

Now, the Betsey is an odd little place, with ‘little’ being the optimal word. With a capacity of just 60, it’s not the most spacious of venues by any stretch of the imagination. I was a little bit worried about using such a venue but thought I’d rather fill out a place with 60 people all up for a great time than use somewhere too big.

But back to the night itself, the artists finally all turned up but the start had to be delayed to ensure that it would all go as well as possible.

The first act on stage was a good friend of mine, Simon Garrard, who I’d seen play a few times before (but have been invited to do so countless times!). I felt a bit sorry for Simon as the there weren’t as many people there for the start as I had hoped but this didn’t stop him at all.

It’s always a worry when you go to see a friend play a gig that you’ll have to tell them “Yeah! You were great!” when really, they sucked balls (metaphorically). Thankfully, this isn’t the case with Simon as he’s a great guitarist and has a great voice to back it up with.

The sound at the Betsey suited him really well with the reverb from the PA augmenting the reverb and delay of his opening number which slowly builds up to his vocals joining in, before really kicking off.

The rest of the set went just as well too, with the crowd seemingly appreciating his style. His final number is possibly his best track though with a catchy chorus that’s enough times for you to join in by the end of the song.

A great start to the night but he needs to get some of his tracks finally put down on record!

Simon does play plenty of shows though so check out his myspace for dates.

Next up was a band I’ve been meaning to catch for a while and one that the main acts wanted put on in Adam Boucher & The Dead Set.

Adam started out as a solo artist, playing a folky sound but has since joined up with Jon on bass and Steve on drums to create his punk ‘shouty folk’ sound. This might sound a bit odd but it worked really well.

With just 30 minutes on stage, the guys made full use of their time, managing to launch through a whole host of tracks. Some have been reworked from Adam’s solo stuff, while others have been written specifically for the band. Either way, they sounded really good. Tracks like “Argh, I’m A Numpty!”, “Growing Up & Getting Out” etc all sounding really good in the confines of the Betsey.

Short, frantic songs with the shouty folk vocals; the set ripped along nicely with little time to catch your breath between songs (but a spot of intra-band piss taking from Adam and Jon often the only thing to split up the set). I’m pretty confident in saying that they went down well on the night as pretty much all of the free CDs they bought along had gone by the end of their set.

You can download loads of their stuff for free from their website.

It was time to turn to the first of the headline acts after this with Oxygen Thief taking his place on stage. This is a guy I’ve seen, and written about, a few times now and each show is always quite a bit different to the last from him.

This show was to be no exception with a raft of new material getting played as he prepares for the release of his album later in the year. This meant there was little time for the tracks I was used to but in their place we got new tracks like the instrumental “Peter Quistgard”, the finger moshing of “Disaster Plan” and a more familiar sounding “Modesty Is Dead”.

As always, I was impressed with his guitar playing as it is still unlike anything I’ve seen anyone else do with the style not sounding out of place in a metal band but instead played on an acoustic guitar.

Again, he has the vocals to back up this guitar work so it made for another top set. We even got a mosh pit going at one point! And, of course, it wouldn’t be an Oxygen Thief show without the cover of “Gold” and the crowd singing along to it.

Another fine display from our man Barry and I, at least, look forward to the album later in the year. Keep an eye on his website for details..

With the crowd filled out and more than warmed up, it was time for Jim Lockey and the Solemn Sun to take to the stage. Or at least try to as they couldn’t all quite fit on the small stage that the Betsey provides.

The only time I’d caught Jim before was at Lexapalooza over a year ago where he played a solo set which I quite enjoyed but that was nothing compared to the full band sound. With the backing of drums, bass, harmonies and even the odd xylophone, the songs had a completely different feel to them and they were all the better for it.

There were plenty of songs I knew, including the beautiful “Waitress” and melancholy “Atlases” which got the crowd and myself dancing along. The sound from the guys was one that deserved a bigger stage than the Betsey but they seemed to be enjoying themselves as much as the crowd and their indie folk sound is one that could see them playing the much bigger stages that they deserve.

With the release of their album imminent, there was plenty of other tracks on display on the night with “Machines” and the frantic “Battles” being the two others that stuck out.

They finished their set, though, by joining everyone in the middle of the crowd for a fantastic rendition of “The Boat Song” with just Jim’s guitar and the band’s vocals which made for a superb ending and one that completely suited the intimate nature of the venue.

I would fully recommend seeing these guys or at least getting their album (courtesy of istartedthefire) as it’s one of the freshest and most enjoyable things I’ve heard in a long time.

Altogether, a great night and a great success for the first ever TMWL show and a great way to have kicked off the guys UK tour!

Oxygen Thief – Disaster Plan (live)

Jim Lockey & The Solemn Sun – Battles (live)

Podcast #18

Yo La Tengo – Here To Fall
Tubelord – I Am Azerrad
The Xcerts – Nightschool
Errors – Mr Milk
Jim Lockey – The Boat Song
Oxygen Thief – There Can Only Be One
The Gaslight Anthem – Even Cowgirls Get The Blues
Polar Bear Club – Living Saints
NOFX – All Of Me
Rise Against – Ready To Fall
Frightened Rabbit – Fast Blood
There Will Be Fireworks – We Were A Roman Candle
Snuff – Nick Motown
Less Than Jake – Faction
Future Of The Left – Lapsed Catholics

Download from here.

Lexapalooza All-Dayer @ The Gaff – 20/06

Held in the bizarre little venue of The Gaff on Holloway Road, this all day event was put on in the name of Breast Cancer Research. I got there bright and early and lasted the full 11 hours (at the expense of the hearing in my left ear which has just about recovered) and had a fantastic time thanks to the array of different acts playing. I managed to get photos of all the acts and audio of a number of them, the latter mainly from the acoustic stage which I possibly enjoyed more.

The venue itself seems like it may well be host to a slightly heavier sound than the majority of Lexapalooza offered with skeletons hung about the place, fake cobwebs and (perhaps most telling of all) a plethora of event posters for bands with names that would make your mother blush. Anyhoo, the day itself (featuring mini reviews due to numbers);

Chris TT & The Hoodrats

For me, a good choice to open with thanks to the fact that there was some good banter with the crowd (and Evan, the organiser). The little material I had heard by Chris TT in the past was his solo stuff so it was a bit different to hear him play with a band. That didn’t hold him back though and he rattled through his set with a good mix of tunes.

“Where Were You?”

Dave Hughes

The first artist on the acoustic stage, he played a pretty solid set. Some nice tunes and good vocals so a good start for the ‘other’ stage.

Spectrum 7

Veterans of Lexapalooza, having played the previous year, they stepped in at the last minute to cover for another band. I was a bit worried that this may have meant they weren’t going to be that good but was pleasently surprised. With some clever 65daysofstatic-esque laptop work (and some problems with the laptop, just like 65dos as well) with good guitar work and vocals over the top, they were a nice surprise for me.

Superman Revenge Squad

One of only a few artists I’d heard of beforehand (and the only one I’d seen live before), I was looking forward to his set. For me, the sound levels weren’t quite right for his set which spoilt it slightly but I still enjoyed his set and the new material which I hadn’t heard. Always forget how good a guitarist he actually is as it comes across much better live than on the record for me.

“Get Yourself Into The Arms Of Drunken People”


Another surprise package, Jedethan played an unusual style of music in being rather heavy but still easy to dance along to. Good banter between the band and the crowd made it even more enjoyable and getting some of the guys involved with putting on the even on stage to ‘play’ and ‘sing’ was a really cool touch. Evan is a natural frontman in my opinion!

Oxygen Thief

Possibly my surprise act of the day, I thoroughly enjoyed this set. Playing his acoustic like he thought he was playing in a punk band, the mix of the acoustic guitar and the sound he was making was brilliant. His own songs were brilliant and the crowd loved the cover of the Spandau Ballet ‘Gold’. And it’s always nice to know that you were a better crowd than Swindon..

“Too Many Trees”

Blind Havoc

Fair to say that these weren’t my thing. Hung around for a fair bit of their set though and it’s easy to say they’re good at what they do, even if it wasn’t for me.

Jim Lockey

The fourth artist on the acoustic stage, he was another artist that I enjoyed; nice guitar work, good vocals and well written lyrics. Very good singer/songwriter. Special shout out to the bloke in the background of the pic..

“Caskets And Bibles”

Armed Response Unit

Another band that weren’t my thing but they had a good tight sound and I did like some of their tunes.

Ben Marwood

The final artist on the acoustic stage and yet another singer/songwriter I liked. He was, technically, a pretty good guitarist and had some really well written songs which flitted between angry and emotive quite nicely.


David Cronenberg’s Wife

I’m not quite sure what to make off this band.. that may have been due to the alcohol by this point but who’s to say.. Anyhoo, they were a pretty safe band who had some ‘nice’ songs and I neither liked or disliked them really.


These guys were a Misfits tribute band and I quite enjoyed them having listened to some of the Misfits stuff back in the day. They played a solid set and did loads of the classics so no complaintes from me.

Popes Of Chillitown

The only ska band of the night, I had a great time listening and skanking along to this band. A nice summery sound which suited the day well, the crowd seemed to really enjoy their set. Some good interaction with the group of us dancing down the front as well so we enjoyed them playing and I think they enjoyed us dancing to them.

The Blessed & The Cursed

Another band that weren’t my thang sadly but I did enjoy the energy of the set and some of their tunes.

The Xcerts

I’d heard some of these guys’ stuff earlier in the week and was quite looking forward to them. Catchy songs and good energy from the indie band; nice finish with the singer playing the drum in the crowd on the final song.


The Justice Force 5

Now, it’s fair to say I was a bit unsure what to expect from these guys thank to their somewhat dubious choice of clothing (the effects of costumes are always slightly lost when you have to setup your own gear as well..) It was also obvious from the costumes that they weren’t going to be taking themselves too seriously. But in the end they were a great band to finish the night off with; some (almost annoyingly) catchy songs and guitar riffs couple with the ‘fun factor’ meant that I really enjoyed the set and had muchos fun dancing along.

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So altogether it was a fantastic day/night and I hope, ultimately, a successful one for Breast Cancer Research. Congratualtions to all involved!!

NB For those that hadn’t noticed, there’s a new ‘widget’ down the side of the blog using socialvibe. In short, please click on the link and do whatever gubbins it asks and the sponsor will then donate a small amount to my chosen charity; Stand Up To Cancer. Only takes a minute!

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