Two thousand live shows is no easy feat by any means. And Thursday night, Frank Turner, one of Britain’s hardest working musicians had his turn to celebrate the milestone. Backed by his band, The Sleeping Souls and bringing along friends from the beginning of his solo career, Beans on Toast and The Tailors. For the latter’s first show in six years. Continue reading Live Review: Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls Show #2000 – Nottingham, Rock City
On August 23, AJJ (formerly Andrew Jackson Jihad) played in Camarillo, California as part of “The Bible 2’r”, a string of shows in the Southwest celebrating the release of their new album, The Bible 2. They brought with them ROAR and John Congleton and the Nighty Nite, two supports quite fitting for the occasion. The venue, Rock City Studios, which is located in a strip mall two doors down from a Baptist church, was intimate and filled with plenty of fake fog and purple lights, creating an eerie vibe that complimented the music being played.
ROAR, a band from AJJ’s hometown of Phoenix, Arizona, took the stage first, although if you’d missed the poster at the door you may not have realized it, as they never actually introduced themselves. They kept chatter at a minimum through their set, though stopping to thank AJJ and John Congleton for a great tour and mentioning that they had merch to sell in the back of the venue. The band’s sound is a pleasant mixture of oldies and emo pop, pairing bright guitar sounds and easy riffs with deeper lyrics. They weren’t the most entertaining to watch, but definitely great to listen to. Continue reading Live Review: AJJ at Rock City Studios in Camarillo, CA
Swedish skate punks Millencolin returned to the UK for their first non festival date since September 2008. With a three date jaunt across England. Though with only two bands on the bill, the venue took its time to fill after the hour and a half wait for Birmingham’s punk rock three piece Templeton Pek to take to the stage. Continue reading Live Review: Millencolin – 02 Ritz Manchester
Australian pop-folk-punk quartet The Smith Street Band have recently embarked on their first headlining tour in the United States. On a snowy night in April (yes, I’m serious), they played to a sold out crowd at the Middle East in Cambridge.
Save Ends, a local band, were a late addition to the lineup, only announced a couple days before the show. They were able to play a few tracks from their new EP, Hug Your Friends, which was released in March. Unfortunately, as is common with punk shows in tiny venues, the audio mix wasn’t amazing, and for much of their set the vocals were completely drowned out by the instruments on stage.
In a follow up to September’s “Xtra Mile Party Tour”, labelmates Skinny Lister and Beans on Toast hit the road in the US again, this time with Skinny Lister headlining and with a new addition to the Xtra Mile roster, Will Varley, in tow. The Cambridge, MA date was the first on the tour to sell out, and the room filled almost immediately after the doors opened.
Will Varley started his set with “As For My Soul”, the first track on his most recent album, Postcards from Ursa Minor. He won his audience over immediately, using an exaggerated operatic voice and cracking jokes between verses. He even managed to get the crowd to participate in a sing-along for the first song of the night. Varley went on to a “crowd’s choice”, asking his audience to choose between monkeys and cats. The cats won out, and Varley performed “Talking Cat Blues”, a song which draws clear influence from Johnny Cash and pokes fun of internet culture, Kanye West, and David Cameron all in the span of a few minutes. The worst part about Varley’s set was that it was only five songs. With the audience eating out of the palm of his hand, he could have easily played a few more if time allowed.