Showing posts from February, 2013

inFictions - Maps Of Revenge And Forgiveness

Sheffield collective inFictions are one of those bands that unfortunately are likely to rise and fall with barely anyone noticing, which is a real shame.

With their debut album Maps Of Revenge And Forgiveness they have left us with a hugely satisfying 51 minutes of very tasty art rock, and sadly, although the album came out less than a year ago the band is already on hiatus.

The three core members are all in other bands and they are currently without a drummer, and given that according to the blurb on the Bandcamp page they got through 8 skin bashers during the 3 year gestation of this record, it would seem to be an ongoing problem of Spinal Tap proportions!

Maps of Revenge and Forgiveness by inFictions

Veering between epic art rock balladary of a Jeff Buckley-like scale and Mars Volta spikiness, the lush arrangements and soaring vocals put me very much in mind of American band The Tea Club. InFictions main man Ed Cartledge (vocals, guitars) told me he'd never heard of The Tea Clu…

“You can’t shine if you don’t burn"

The inexorable passage of time means that the old guard of popular (and not so popular) music are and will be leaving us with increasing regularity. My normal reaction to hearing of the loss of yet another musical friend is a long sigh, followed by a search for an appropriate tune by the recently departed.

Having said that, hearing the news of Kevin Ayers' passing a couple of days ago was a genuine shock, and left me feeling almost as bereft as I did when John Peel went to that great gig in the sky. Thanks to Peely, I was introduced to Kevin's wine soaked off-kilter pop songs at an early age, and he has always held a special place in my musical universe. His passing left me genuinely sad.

Kevin has a long musical history, going right back to that almost mythological band The Wilde Flowers, out of which came The Soft Machine and Caravan, and from which of course the whole Canterbury scene blossomed.

Encouraged into songwriting by his friend Jimi Hendrix, Kevin's music was …

Jastreb - Yggdrasil

Way way back in the mists of time, or 1972 as we knew it, my best mate Stephen Underwood and moi decided that we would borrow his older cousin's cheap Strat copy and make our very own twenty minute space-rock extravaganza.

The one big problem was that apart from my then residency in a church choir (I kid you not) neither of us had a smidgeon of musical ability between us, nor had either of us ever so much as picked up a guitar before, nor could we read music.

These were but minor drawbacks in our quest for world dominance, so, we invented our own way of "playing". The strings were numbered 1 to 6, low E being No.1, and the frets were numbered from the head stock to the high notes. Then we set about composing, mathematical style. For instance if we wanted to play the first three notes of Smoke On The Water on the low E it would have been written 1/0, 1/3, 1/5...and so on.

Having no knowledge of musical scales was overcome by experimentation, and eventually we came up wit…

Family - O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire, 2nd February 2013

"Rollin' and tumblin' ain't done me no harm"
A fine day out in the capital for Phil W and me accompanied by our better halves was topped off by a blinding performance from Family, reformed to celebrate 40 years since their original demise. While the girls went off to Leicester Square to watch Russell Crowe et al in the film version of Les Miserables, we moseyed on down the Central Line to Shepherd's Bush and into the rather fading glamour of The Empire. Once past the over-zealous goons on the door whose anti-Jihadist training is wasted on a rock'n'roll venue, we climbed up to the top tier and the church pews that pass for seats up there, offering ample leg room for anyone under about 5 foot 2 inches tall.

This gig ties in with the release of the career-spanning box set referred to in detail in the YouTube interview below, which was shamelessly promoted downstairs in the foyer, and before and after the support act from the stage. One punter informed u…