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

Frank Turner @ New Slang, McClusky’s – 27/08
August 31, 2009, 5:07 pm
Filed under: gigs, music | Tags: , , , , , ,

This had been a gig I’d only decided to go to at the last minute, getting my ticket from Banquet Records just the day before as I’d originally planned to go along to see another band that night (the night itself was a ‘New Slang’ night at the venue put on by Banquet themselves). As regular followers of TMWL will know, I’m what you may call a fan of Frank’s (see the other two or three reviews of his I’ve done) and McClusky’s was also a venue I’d never been to so in the end it was an easy to decision to make to go along. On the evening of the gig I also found out he was playing with his band and this would be the first show of his I’d not seen solo, making it an even better decision!

After making the trip down to Kingston I managed to find my way to the venue (with the help of two guys; one of which was Frank’s guitarist who I didn’t recognise to start with) and after hanging out on the river for a bit I made my way inside after navigating security heavier than that I had to go through at the airport only a few weeks back.

Once in, I was pretty surprised at the scale of the venue as the places I’d seen him in beforehand had always been much smaller. It was also a pretty cool place and the bar was pretty reasonable as well (always a bonus!) So after a drink, it was time to head over to the stage for the first support act of the night, Dave House.

Before the show I’d only heard Dave House’s new album ‘Intersections’ which was pretty good but felt a bit too overproduced to me. Live though, the songs I knew came across much better. The set opener, Lungs, was one such track; everything about it sounded so much better live than on record. Like Frank later, Dave also played with his band and altogether they were great with a really tight performance and really good energy. There was a nice mix of new tracks (ie ones I knew) and older tracks with one purely acoustic track which mixed up the set a little. Altogether, it was a good opening set from the local lad and he with the band playing, he was a really good front man.

Download ‘Follow Me’ (from 2009’s ‘Intersections’) from here (courtesy of

The second support band were Fake Problems; a band Frank has toured with in the States and one of the bands who’ll be supporting him on his UK tour later this year. Before the gig I’d never heard any of their music but they really impressed me. They have a slightly unusual sound that comprises punk rock, folk and Springsteen-esque rock (and on their record even a little bit of ska) but it all comes together really well with a few having good little singalong parts as well. With the guitars flitting between power chords, little riffs and ska twangs, the set was really well varied and went along at a really good pace. The band were all really good individually as well, with the frontman, Chris, really shining as the focal point. I really enjoyed their set and can’t wait to see them back over here for Frank’s tour. Defnitely ones to check out!

Download ‘The Dream Team’ (from 2009’s ‘It’s Great To Be Alive’) from here (courtesy of

And so it was on to the main event of Mr Turner and his merry band. As tradition dictates, they came bounding onto the stage and launched straight into ‘I Knew Prufrock’ with the crowd all singing along which, as always, set the scene for the night. The set itself was a nice mix of some of his older and new stuff with the ‘classics’ all in there, such as Photosynthesis, Substitute, Long Live The Queen and The Real Damage, but there was also a smattering of material off the new album with The Road, Try This At Home, Live Fast Die Old and Poetry Of The Deed all getting outings.

As I said previously, I’ve seen Frank play solo a number of times before but with a band it was completely different; everything from how much better some of the songs sounded to Frank’s presence on stage. All of the songs I’d heard live had such a different feel to them with the guitars, drums and piano playing as well as Frank’s acoustic. Even simple songs like The Real Damage felt different with the simple piano line playing alongside the guitar. This different sound made the experience so different to what I’d seen previously and made it into more of a ‘gig’ with everyone dancing along as this never happened so much at his acoustic shows. And, as I said, the fact that Frank had a backing band ‘freed’ him up on stage so he was happy to rock out on stage and looked like he was enjoying himself massively because of it.

All of this meant it was such a different atmosphere to the shows I’d seen before and is probably the best show of his I’ve seen because of it. Songs I’d heard before were taken to another level and the band were all great and this all made the atmosphere of the gig absolutely brilliant. Frank deserves all the success currently coming his way and I can’t wait until the Shepherds Bush show now!

Audio live from McClusky’s;

Follow Me – Dave House

Don’t Worry Baby – Fake Problems

The Road – Frank Turner

The Real Damage – Frank Turner

Kitty, Daisy & Lewis @ The Flowerpot – 02/07
July 6, 2009, 12:25 am
Filed under: gigs, music | Tags: , ,

Another day, another Flowerpot gig. I’d not heard of this group before but they came highly recommended so I went along with no idea of what to expect, apart from the fact that they were an old school ‘rockabilly’ band.

Kitty, Daisy and Lewis, themselves, are all siblings aged 16-21 and live fairly localy, coming from Kentish Town and last year released their self titled album, which they recorded in their own front room.

With all this in mind, I headed to The Flowerpot which turned out to have a good crowd of locals, regulars and the odd teddyboy. After a few drinks, the band finally took to the stage in full ’50s gear, accompanied by their dad on backing guitar and their mum on the double bass.

The band themselves were pretty special with their ’50s rock and roll sound that got just about everyone in the venue dancing in what little room was available. What they played was nothing new, obviously, but they played it with such energy, it was impossible not to enjoy it. The three main band members were also constantly swapping instruments, giving each song a slightly different feel; between the three of them, they covered vocals, guitars, drums, harmonicas, pianos, keyboards, ukeleles, banjos and xylophones.

There were a few problems with sound levels for them but that was no surprise with the amount of instruments they were switching between. On top of all the instruments they played, they were also joined on stage by Eddie ‘Tan Tan’ Thornton on trumpet.

Despite the overwhelming heat, it was a great night and it’s incredible to think how young the three of them are. Their set also seemed to go on and on as the crowd loved it so much; I’m sure they played about 4 encores! Best of luck to them on tour this summer as they support Coldplay!

Mean Son Of A Gun (live)

I Got My Mojo Working (live)

We Were Promised Jetpacks @ The Lexington – 18/06

After having ‘acquired’ their album a couple of months ago, and been enjoying it ever since, I decided to take the plunge and go see these guys at one of the places that is fast becoming a favourite venue of mine.

For once, I got their nice and early so got to see all of the support bands, although sadly a bit too late to catch the whole set of the first band, Nacional. However, from what I did hear, I was impressed. These guys had a sound rather like the current Scottish bands that seem to be emerging (such as WWPJ and Frightened Rabbit) but were a bit more “indie pop” than either of these bands. I only heard the last three or four songs of theirs but they were rather nice, toe-tapping tunes which I would have liked to have heard a wee bit more of to judge them any more.

After that came Citadels who seemed to have twice as many instruments on stage as there were band members, with a couple of guitars, a bass and drum kit, a few synths, xylophones, a flute and an extra drum all up there for good measure. Their opening track was rather fantastic being somewhere between Los Campesinos and Dananananaykroyd with a hell of a lot of energy and vocals featuring the whole band. The second drum came into full effect towards the end of the number with the main vocalist playing along on this which gave an extra layer that made for a great sound. Sadly the rest of the set didn’t quite match up to their opener but there was still energy galore with some well written tunes so these might be yet another band I keep an eye on.

The final support band, eaststrikewest, provided the most ambient sound of the night but that by no means meant that they were quiet. Featuring a whole load of reverb and distortion, they made one hell of a racket but a very tuneful one with it; some kind of bastard child of Sigur Ros and My Bloody Valentine if you may. The vocals for this band in particular were absolutely superb and I enjoyed them more than I probably would have done had you described them to me beforehand. Follow this link and download their tune ‘Rosa’ for freeeeee.

And so we came to the main act of We Were Promised Jetpacks; a band I was expecting to put on one hell of a show. With just the three of them, the stage seemed rather empty (especially after the cluttered stage during Citadels set) but they more than made up for that. Starting off with ‘Keeping Warm’ with it’s long instrumental intro, they kicked off brilliantly, even if the guitars were slightly out of tune during the chords with the opening vocals!

From there on in, the pace of the set was maintained and they flew through a whole host of songs of their debut album “These Four Walls”. Surprisingly, they played their self proclaimed “one good song” Quiet Little Voices quite early in the set. So far, this had been one of my songs of the year and live it was everything I hoped it would be with the shredding guitars, big drums and plenty of “ooooh-ooh oh oh’s” from the crowd (with a fair few from me). They flew through some of the other big tracks off the album, such as “It’s Thunder And It’s Lightning” and “Short Bursts”, but also played a couple of their slower tracks, the pick of which for me is “This Is My House, This Is My Home”, which are just as good as their others and broke the set up nicely.

Their set seemed to fly by, which was a bit of a shame, and they didn’t play “Conductor” but apart from that, they had a stormer. Great songs, great sound and good crowd interaction made it a really good gig. Sadly, the majority of the crowd didn’t seem to have heard of them before (with a lot of middle aged businessmen there seemingly just for the hell of it) but I really enjoyed them and would more than happily see them again in the future.

Quiet Little Voices (live)

It’s Thunder And It’s Lightning (live)

This Is My House, This Is My Home (live) – I especially like the authentic sound of pint glasses being collected

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart @ Cargo – 10/06
June 14, 2009, 9:42 pm
Filed under: gigs, music | Tags: , , , ,

Another gig, another new venue!

Last Thursday, I made the trip up to Shoreditch to head to Cargo for the POBPAH gig. For once, I got there nice and early so managed to catch both support acts as well as the main band themselves.

The venue itself was a pretty cool little place that confused me to start with as there didn’t seem to actually be anywhere for the bands to play. After realising that the stage itself was behind a curtain, I headed through to the gig area and was pleasantly surprised to find a nice small venue and a stage I could just walk right up to.

I managed to arrive bang on time for the first band’s set. First up was Tender Trap, who I’d never heard of. Visually, they were a little bit unusual; not in ‘Camden unusual’ but in that the band seemed to be half made up of people in their 40s and half in their 20s. Anyhoo, they actually had a pretty decent sound and were rather enjoyable for an opening band. The guitars were a bit repetitive just playing chords in 4/4 with a standard pumping bassline in almost every song, but the vocals, which were really rather good, managed to just about save them.

I’ve since been told that half the band had recently changed so that makes their set even more impressive. Maybe not something I’d go out and buy, but they were good enough. Highlight was easily their song that went down the more ‘punk rock’ route than the rest.

The second support band I had heard of as their name rang a bell but I wasn’t familiar with their music and Shrag ended up being a real surprise for me.

Being in some weird place between the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Los Campesinos and another-band-I-thought-of-but-can’t-remember, they had a really good sound with great guitar riffs and basslines and some in-your-face vocals. They flitted between more poppy numbers and punky ones and it made for a really good set. The singer was really engaging as well, jumping about all over the place and going between synth and vocal duties. Great set.

Got one of their tracks recorded but have absolutely no idea what it is!

And so after the starters came the main course of POBPAH who came out and launched straight into their set, kicking off with ‘This Love Is Fucking Right’.

From there on, they never really stopped apart from to tune back up and then would launch straight into another track, playing the majority of the their album (although not Contender from what I remember..) The sound from the band was pretty good, although the levels for the vocals were terrible for a good 20 minutes so they were barely audible, even right at the front of the stage. But the band were really tight and looked so nonchalant playing each song.

With the band launching from one song to the next, there was very little time for any crowd interaction, which was a shame, but the crowd of around 100-150 were loving the set itself, jumping around for the majority of it.. even if the music didn’t quite match the enthusiasm of the crowd.

As much as I like the album, at times it feels like it can drag and get a bit samey. The live performance didn’t have quite as much of this problem but sometimes I couldn’t quite figure out which track they were playing (especially when they had the problems with the vocals).

After their ‘set’ finished they did the obligatory walk off and come straight back on for a brief encore (I really hate it when bands do that.. just play the set!!) which ended the night well.

As a whole, the night was a pretty good one with all the bands being pretty good. The Pains didn’t disappoint with their set and had a real good energy while they played. The most surprising thing was that they played for so long but it never felt like it as it was so relentless. Good stuff!

This Love Is Fucking Right (live at Cargo)

Young Adult Friction (live at Cargo)

Frank Turner @ The Flowerpot – 06/05
May 8, 2009, 6:51 pm
Filed under: gigs, music | Tags: , ,

An artist that should be no stranger to followers of the blog, I got another chance to see Frank play another (free!) gig the other night at the new Kentish Town/Camden venue the Flowerpot.

Run and owned by the now deceased Nambucca, the Flowerpot opened it’s doors for the first time just under a week ago. They put on free, live music every night with just one artist playing each night and a DJ set beforehand. So having heard murmurs on the interweb and through various sources that Frank was playing on this date, I headed down bright and early to ensure  I got in as the venue holds a mere 200 people.

It’s fair to say I got there a bit prematurely at 6 o’ clock but I was taking no chances! So after a few hours drinking and a long stand, the set finally started and I was in prime location of the front row, dead centre.

By the time he came on, the venue had packed out (or seemed to have done.. I couldn’t quite see from where I was) and the atmosphere was something special. As before, he came bounding onto the stage with a borrowed guitar, gave us a little welcome and then launched straight into “I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous” with the whole crowd singing along.

That set the night off perfectly and he played a great set featuring a couple of new songs (“Try This At Home”, which I’d heard previously, “Dan’s Song”, with Frank’s friend and fellow artist Beans On Toast playing the harmonica, and “Sunday Night”) which were both great and went down well. But he knew the score and knew that as nice as it is to get to hear new material, you can’t beat the classics.

The set consisted of a lot of tracks off both albums with a lot more off “Sleep Is For The Week” than the last time I saw him which was great. Songs off the old album included “Worse Things Happen At Sea” and “Back In The Day” which I hadn’t heard live before. Off “Love, Ire & Song” we were treated to an amazing rendition of the title track, along with “Substitute”, “Long Live The Queen” and “St Christopher Is Coming Home”.

We also got to hear possibly the shortest rendition of “Jet Lag” as Frank forgot the lyrics once he got to the third line. But no fear, after a bit of banter from the crowd, he just launched straight on with the rest of the set. The setlist was entirely done as he felt on the night so getting to hear one of my favourite songs, and one not played very often, in “Heartless Bastard Mother Fucker” was one of the highlights for me as was “Photosynthesis” which is easily one of the best songs live.

So after almost an hour and a half of jumping around and singing at the top of my voice along with the rest of the clearly excited audience, we got to the final track which, in almost obligatory fashion, was the brilliant “The Ballad Of Me And My Friends” with Frank actually singing none of the vocals. But that wasn’t the entire story as halfway into the first verse I got a little look of Frank and the next second was up on stage alongside him, and a few others who followed, and got to sing on stage with the man himself!

All in all, one of the best gigs I’ve been to seeing as it was such an intimate venue and everyone there seemed to love him as much as I do and getting to get on stage with him was simply amazing. And I even got a photo and a hug with the man himself as well!

The smile still hasn’t left my face from that night..

I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous – live at the Flowerpot

Worse Things Happen At Sea – live at the Flowerpot

Rota @ the Notting Hill Arts Club 25/04
April 27, 2009, 5:56 pm
Filed under: gigs, music | Tags: , , ,

So on Saturday I popped along to the Notting Hill Arts Club for their free Saturday show ‘Rota’ which was this week put on by Drowned In Sound (the event is arranged on alternate weeks by DiS and Silver Rocket).

This week saw host to a good lineup (so I was told) featuring Calories, Pulled Apart By Horses and Copy Haho. Sadly, Calories car broke down so they didn’t turn up but the other two bands more than made up for it.

Pulled Apart By Horses


Nicely warmed up from playing thr Camden Crawl just that morning, these guys from Leeds were absolutely fantastic! Loud guitars, a great stage presence and a topless, tattooed drummer with a beard, they had everything. And I say stage presence in the loosest way possible as they didn’t stick to the stage all that often, wandering around the crowd as they played and bringing the mic stand into the middle of the slightly gobsmacked crowd as well.

And their songs weren’t too bad either..

Meat Balloon (from the 2008 EP ‘Traxxx’) Download

Copy Haho


This Scottish four piece were a solid indie pop band that had a few really good songs in their repertoire and gave a solid indie pop performance but after PABH, this seemed a bit of an anticlimax. Nothing wrong with their set or songs but they may have been better going on first on the night as they lacked the energy that the other band had in abundance.

Picked up their EP on the day (as well as PABH’s) and it’s a good little EP.. well worth looking out for!

Pulling Push Ups (from the 2009 EP ‘Bred For Skills and Magic’) Download

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