First blog post

This is the post excerpt.

This is the first post for a first time blogger at the tender age of 57. I have started this blog for a number of reasons. Having recently been made redundant a couple of colleagues and recruiters made me aware of a growing problem in our society. Its the creation and subsequent vilification of a new demographic- the fat white old bloke.

So here is a disclaimer.This site is not just for fwob’s. But also for those that can sympathise with the sufferers or maybe see themselves spiralling headlong towards “fwobdom”(patent pending). Welcome!

This is not intended to be the next level down to grumpy old men and my prime motivation when this idea came up was to create a forum to discuss and share information on a passion of mine- Going to see live music and enjoying it as much now as I did when I was in my mid to late teens. Over the past year I’ve see numerous bands who I truly think should be getting greater recognition. For those that share this interest get out there supporting live music. Let me know your thoughts and share.




Loud Women Fest 5- 19/09/2021- 229 Gt Portland St.

Honey Joy
Piney Gir
Jelly Cleaver
I Destroy

It’s been some while since I have been out to see a band due to the Covid pandemic so it was good to be back in that live band atmosphere with the anticipation of hearing some good bands. This is my third Loud Women Fest relocated from the previous venue of the Dome in Tufnell Park and obviously much delayed due to the slight issue of a global pandemic.

The crowd was a little sparse and I got the feeling people were a little wary of invading each others space but it wasn’t really a problem. Twenty bands had been confirmed for the day but due to other commitments and I only got to see seven in the middle of the running order. They were :


Honey Joy.

Piney Gir.



Jelly Cleaver.

I destroy.

The beauty for me of these events is that under the one banner of promoting women heavy bands , you get a really diverse range of musical styles . I think its important to support these grass roots events . I wasn’t disappointed as all the bands I saw gave it 100% and engaged the crowd. One of the stand out performers was Jelly Cleaver with her jazz fusion songs which she sang on the smaller more intimate second stage.

I had a really enjoyable afternoon and it was a great re-introduction to going out and seeing live bands. I would encourage anyone to look up the Loud women website and check out the bands that they promote.

Stephen Evens/Jemma Freeman and the Cosmic Something/Vonhorn/Sgt Duke- Windmill-20/11/2019.

On a fairly cold November evening went to the Windmill in Brixton town to see what turned out to be a fairly eclectic group of bands.

I was there ostensibly to see “Jemma Freeman and the Cosmic something” who I have seen a couple of times before. They remind me of a slightly less heavy version of “Turbowolf”. Led inevitably by Jemma her alter ego takes the stage for a bit for of gender blurring, including some guitar antics that are possibly a little tongue in cheek. Great energy and commitment to the performance I was also impressed by the amount of pedals that appeared out of a rolled up towel/small carpet. One of those bands who should be bigger but also nice for the fans to keep them accessible. A dilemma of course.

First band on stage were “Sgt Duke” who are a group of guys who were literally suited and booted. Two guitarists shared vocal duties (two quite different styles) but are the next generation of guitar led bands looking to offer something a little left field and quirky. They reminded me of” XTC” at times but are very much of now and seem to be gaining a following. Not sure about the name but I’m sure there is a story there that I’m not aware of.

Second band on stage were “Vonhorn” who are a classy three piece who had a good range of tunes and delivered immaculately. Slightly self-deprecating they are competing in a tough musical space but they were really good and I would pay money to see them again. Very clean, note perfect and clearly enjoying their 30 minutes in the spotlight.

Headlining was Stephen Evans. Never heard of this guy before he was billed as a kind of Ivor Cutler figure. That’s not how he came across leading a really competent and powerful band who knew their stagecraft. Stephen cuts an interesting figure, dressed in a three piece suit but with an enviable amount of wild hair, for someone who is arguably over 40(?). Not trying to be ageist but they are for the more discerning audience who can appreciate the irony of songs about household objects and manual labour. I really enjoyed them and again would make an effort to see them again, although I think they are a little elusive and this was a relatively novel event.

Great night and wish them all the success they are looking for.

Yak at ULU London 15/11/2019

As I am currently a full time student I took the opportunity to attend the ULU student union in Malet St near Tottenham Court Road to check in on “Yak” who I haven’t seen for a few years.

Due to other commitments I arrived to see the last half of support” Egyptian Blue”. They are a bunch of young guys from Brighton, and got a bit of swagger and attitude to them. I heard about 3 or 4 songs and all well crafted and post punk inspired.

“Yak” came on about 9.30 after a five minute musical intro trying to build the tension. The first 20 minutes of the set was about attack and the audience was ready to respond. They played a long set and it was punctuated by what appeared to be slower numbers which didn’t have the feel for of the first album, which I thought was all killer no filler. But I guess that is the price of growing up and wanting to experiment in other directions.

They are a traditional rock and roll band in essence sounding a bit like a speeded up version of “Black Rebel Motor cycle club” on occasion.  On other tracks such as “Bellyache “strands of “Kasabian” are interwoven with a more progressive sound. They have had their tribulations with finances etc. over the years which I think nearly signalled their complete demise but here they are off the back of supporting “Foals” on tour. They are operating in a crowded market and I just got the impression that the youthful enthusiasm of a few years ago has been replaced by a certain stoicism in the face of adversity and that they are now more of a journeyman band. Singer Oliver did tentatively crowd surf at about two thirds into the set. I’m sure he said it was the last song but they carried on playing for at least another thirty minutes.

I think they are on the cusp of releasing new material although they have also taken to social media recently saying this is the final tour and finish of the band. The atmosphere last night had perhaps tapped into this with a big crowd invasion toward the end with no attempt to remove people from the stage.

If that’s the case then probably no point suggesting looking out for them. There star has waned a bit in the last year or two and maybe they have taken all they need form this particular stage of their musical journey.

Wish them luck in the next stage of their journey.

Little Comets at Scala Kings Cross-13/11/2019.

Little comets

It has been a while since I visited the Scala in Kings Cross. Pretty much the same intimate venue where quite bizarrely the inordinately tall seem to hover at the back of the auditorium making it difficult for old codgers like me without having to shift out of our favourite spots. But C’est la Vie.

The support was delivered by “Heir” a group of guys from Leeds with a nice endearing line in stage banter and strong upbeat, in the main, songs. Quick plug but they are playing the Camden Assembly on 18th March 2020 as headliners so definitely worth checking out. On a cursory listen they were a good compliment to the” Little Comets” musically and philosophically, if that’s not being too deep.

I have had a soft spot for the” Little Comets” since seeing them as first act at a Ben and Jerry’s summer festival in Clapham( I think) best part of 10 years ago. It was a sunny afternoon and there indie jangling guitar style and vocal gymnastics matched the weather perfectly.

This is not to say that there song catalogue is in anyway all sunshine as they certainly wear their hearts on their sleeves and over the years haven’t shied away from contentious issues.

Playing the Scala probably suggests that they are not growing their following but it was a good well humoured crowd and although it was only the occasional song that really got the audience moving they were greeted as old friends.

They project as thoroughly nice down to earth guys and the sound was crystal clear and the set polished. A few favourites were missed on the night but with I think five albums it makes sense to rotate the songs before you get to the point that you’re just rushing to get them finished and onto what you want to play. I’m sure the songs you wrote 10 years ago don’t have quite the same allure or meaning.

I left just before the encore but left happy and feeling just a little bit better about life having been immersed in their upbeat performance. Good to see them again and probably back again for the next two year cycle.


Set list

Courtesy of setlistfm.com



Lost Time


A Little Opus

Common Things

The Man Who Wrote Thriller

Her Black Eyes

Darling Alistair



Little Italy

Bridge Burn

À bientôt


One Night In October

Dancing Song


3 Minute Faltz




Girl Band at Electric Ballroom-5/11/2019


I have been aware of “Girl band” for a couple of years hearing their EP with the cover of “Why they hide the bodies under my garage “while randomly searching for stuff. I was looking forward to seeing them and I like the electric ballroom. It’s  a good venue , partly for the fact that even if you are in the main bar you actually get a reasonable, if slightly restricted, view of the stage.

“Girl Band” were supported by” Silverback” a band that sounded a little like the “Fontaines DC”. Clearly not a criticism but the strong Dublin (?) vocal lilt made the linkage. They are conventional indie band in comparison to the boys of “Girl Band” although worth a further listen.

Highly anticipated by the packed venue “Girl Band” hit the stage at 9pm and launched into the back catalogue initially from “Holding Hands with Jamie” and then perhaps quite bravely playing tracks from the new album. I say this because the new album “The Talkies” is a strong development from their previous work and can’t be considered easy listening. It’s been four years in the making and therefore has some depth to its evolution. So it pushes a few boundaries which is a good thing but might be difficult to pick up fresh for new fans.

In terms of their performance it was big. The sounded great in the live medium and played a long set, airing all the crowd pleasers along the way. They dominated the space and had the crowd fully engaged.

If you like the kind of noise they play go see. There were a few fans of” Metz” in the crowd who are a band in my view that up to this latest album were fairly closely aligned musically. Not quite as much going forward as “Metz” have continued refining  there high energy thrash whereas “Girl Band “ have released a thoughtful album, possibly quite personal and introspective in many areas.

It’s been a few years since they visited these shores due to illness in the band. Hope they come back soon.

Set list Courtesy of setlistfm.com

Pears for Lunch

Fucking Butter


The Last Riddler


Salmon of Knowledge


The Cha Cha Cha


Prefab Castle

Why They Hide Their Bodies Under My Garage?

(Blawan cover)

Going Norway


Terror Matinee at Camden Underworld-3/11/2019.

Been a while since I posted a review and have missed out a couple which I might update eventually. Back at the Underworld in Camden which has been slightly rearranged since I was last there but essentially still the basement dive that’s so good to see bands.

Commercial Announcement: Drink pricing is keeping pace with inflation at £6.50 a pint so not a cheap afternoon out.

The running order was” Jesus Piece” , “World Collapse”,”Death before Dishonour”,” Outburst” and “Terror” headlining. The genre is heavy hardcore but within that rather rigid category there was some variation within the all US line up.

“Jesus Piece” were first on stage and arguably not the natural bottom of the bill. They had a big, if not the biggest, following of the event and delivered an energetic set which set the tone and bar for those to follow. A mixture of growling vocals juxtaposed with the bassists vocal accompaniment they had high energy levels.

Following were “World Collapse”, “Death before dishonour” and “Outburst” all who kept the music tempo rocking along (no slow numbers here-period) but each had their own unique sound and vocally quite a range of styles.

Finally “Terror” finished off the show encouraging the assembled to invade the stage and dive back into the throng. At times it looked like lemmings throwing themselves off a cliff such was the amount of traffic. Hopefully no one was hurt and they all found reasonably soft landings.

I should also mention that a hall mark of these shows, which is always interesting, is that despite the musical aggression, and the aggression in some areas of the audience the atmosphere is always very inclusive.

Also worth mentioning is that it was loud and it got louder as the afternoon progressed, ultimately meaning I resorted to earplugs which certainly helped but of course took a little of the edge away.

Good afternoon and very therapeutic in some respects . No attempt at musical subtlety of any kind. Just raw power.

Wonkfest at the Dome-27/07/2109


Made the annual pilgrimage to the 7th Wonkfest at the Dome in Tufnell Park. This is my third Wonkfest and you always approach with some trepidation as its basically a marathon rather than a sprint  stretching as it does over 12 hours.

Last year I wrote about each band  but this year a slightly different approach as I could’nt really be asked to go to that level of detail and I did review many of the same bands last year . But perhaps more importantly the event is really more about just the  feel good factor of what’s going on and a celebration of the DIY music scene.

The format for those who have not been to Wonkfest  is 22 bands with 20 minute sets spread across two stages. I missed the first few bands but it certainly seemed busier than last year in terms of attendees and as the day progressed it actually became difficult to get to the smaller of the two stages and punters started to congregate around the major stage and just hang out there. This meant people did miss out on some of the bands from last year who had been on the Dome stage but were now playing the smaller stage. Notable amongst some of these bands were “Murderburgers’ from Scotland, “Pizzatramp” from Wales and “Maid Of Ace “ from Southend (?).

It was also noticeable that more money had been spent on stage banners and other paraphernalia than previous years . The organisation was as ever slick and everything ran absolutely on time which is a slight irony for an anti-establishment event .

Other bands that I thought were really worth a mention were “Eastfield” who delivered some lyrically interesting , thought provoking three chord thrashing and I was particularly impressed by “Youth Killed it” who delivered a set with a good dollop of humour and like many of the bands did’nt take themselves too seriously. I always feel that the event is generally good humoured despite the hard core nature of the majority of the music and there is a level of humour throughout. On form “Aerial Salad”and “Dub Righters” also got the crowd rocking and skanking respectively .

The final band as always are the organisers “Wonk Unit”. Picking up on the humour theme they delivered the classics everyone wants such as “Kings Road Sporting Heroes” , “Je mapelle Alex” and “Go Easy”. With the normal level of banter you would expect from these guys  there was a moment half way through the set that epitomised the day. Vocalist Alex asked the audience to seperate down the middle ,create a gap and get ready for a huge thrash as the next song started . The last instruction before the song struck up was that for the gentler folk at the back perhaps they could walk toward each other slowly and for the rest of the crowd “please thrash responsibility”.

It was a great event as usual. Looking forward to next year.

Mice on Mars, Rattletooth,Malady and Black Bordello at the Windmill Brixton-19/7/2019.

Made the pilgrimage down to the Windmill in Brixton to see four bands who I had not heard of before. The Windmill being the venue that it is means that the quality of all bands was really high.

If you have never been then it’s a bucket list venue. Small and shabby it’s a very safe space where bands mingle with punters and you can start a conversation without feeling that the recipient thinks you must have some malignant intent.

The first band to hit the stage was “Black Bordello”. Led by a really good female vocalist they mix many genres and sounds to my ear. Sometimes a bit “Roxy Music” ,sometimes a bit Amanda Palmer in the “Dresden Dolls “ era and then all sorts of other influences they flipped between rockier numbers and ballads with a cabaret feel running through the songs. That is of course my opinion and others ears may have picked out other aspects. Need to hear more and I will look out for them as they were a bit different and thoughtful songs throughout. Not sure how long they have been around but certainly seem to have a future if luck is on their side.

Next band were called “Malady”. Again a distinctive vocalist the band hand a handful of songs that had a funky edge . They looked comfortable in the space with an audience which were still warming up and indeed still turning up. Like a lot of younger bands its probably fair to say they are still establishing there style and they are operating in a very crowded market place.

Third band of the evening “Rattletooth” ,not to be confused with an earlier hard core punk band of the same name ,started to get the crowd moving with there guitar driven uptempo songs. I have to say by this point a number of lagers had been imbibed and I didn’t concentrate on the band as much as I should have so apologies to them. They were however really competent, delivered a high energy performance and certainly like all the bands on show worth checking out.

Which leaves “Mice on Mars” as headline. Straightforward garage/punk they had the crowd peaking at the right time and I was left at the back of the crowd as people squeezed into the space in front of the stage.I’ve listened to some of their songs on Sound Cloud and they remind me of “Slaves” on some of the bass parts but they do have that garage feel in their guitar sound. Again difficult to know who are the bands to watch here as they were all good. And with a ticket price of just £4 it was a great night out.

Although I did suggest earlier the Windmill is really worth a visit I would urge you to ignore that advice as I’ve just decided on reflection I would far prefer to keep it my indulgent little secret.

Metz at Studio 9294-28/06/2019

This was a new venue for me and as it was interesting I’ve taken a picture to give you context. Studio 9294 is an industrial unit close to Hackney Wick Overground station and the Olympic village at Stratford with a small bar tucked in the corner and interesting toilets perched on a makeshift mezzanine level. It’s not a polished venue (except for the concrete floors) and all the better for it I would say. Sound quality was good throughout

A barmy night weather wise as we wilt in the heat the area around Studio 9294 is entertainment central in this part of Hackney with a few other trendy and hipster playgrounds in evidence in adjoining units.

I had wanted to see” Metz” for a couple of years so jumped at the chance to get tickets. It’s a small venue and I thought there audience pull would have been greater but it was packed and several hundred people got sweaty together.

The support was provided by “USA Nails” and “Feels”. “USA nails” were very loud and certainly ideal opener in terms of complimenting the noise/punk/hard-core theme of the evening. I took a quick trip to the front to take a photo and was deafened as I walked past the speakers. They played 40 minutes possible saving there melodic offerings to the last few songs. All band members collaborate in other bands and they are undoubtedly slick and professional.

Second support were Californian band “Feels”. A predominantly female line up them did lose the attention of some of the audience as they are more garage band with a few reggae inspired numbers. Big bass lines held the songs together and they seemed to enjoy themselves. As always in a different setting and context these guys were potential headliners and I did wonder what they would have thought of the slightly unglamorous venue and surrounding environment.

I hadn’t researched either support so my comments are on an initial listen.

With little fuss “Metz” entered the arena and then proceeded to do exactly what it says on the tin. With a suitable frenetic light show, which complimented and accelerated the feeling of darkness that permeates their music, they powered effortlessly trough 45 minutes of what some would say is controlled noise. Of the songs I managed to recognise there were a number off the latest album “Strange Peace”.  These included “mess of wires”, “Drained Lake” and “Cellophane”.

Arguably more controlled and less raw than earlier numbers it was a righteous attack on the senses. And then as calmly as they had arrived they were gone and the house lights returned. Most people left ears ringing in their skulls but satisfied I would imagine.

It was a good night and I had meant to take ear plugs on this occasion. Can’t believe they couldn’t fill a bigger venue but as they are Toronto based I assume they don’t get to the UK too much.

Buzzcocks-Celebrating the life of Pete Shelley- Royal Albert Hall- 21/6/2019.

An event tinged with a lot of general sadness, apparently the date at the Royal Albert Hall was booked way before Pete Shelley’s demise. They turned it into a memorial celebration and I guess most people wondered how they would replace that very distinctive voice.

Before getting onto that some words about the supports. First were” Penetration “who I only saw for the first time last year supporting at Brixton academy. I thought they were good and they had some strong new material at that time. They were apparently travelling companions to the” Buzzcocks” back in the day and even recorded “Nostalgia  “on their first album. The auditorium was already pretty busy by 7.30 and they kicked off proceedings manfully and womanly. On Friday however I think the PA had a different world view as the sound was not great and the lost a bit of impact as they played their set. A few diehards in the mosh pit reacted suitably but I felt based a bit on the occasion it wasn’t clear if you should really enjoy yourself.

Bursting onto the stage next were “Skids”. It was clear from talking to  few many had primarily come to see these guys and there were plenty of Scottish accents sitting in my vicinity as well as give away “Skids” T shirts.

I’ve never seen the “Skids” although I bought a number of the early singles. They were a bit polished for my tastes back in the 70’s but there songs have stood the test of time quite brilliantly. You could certainly envisage that if they were a new band now, with modern production, they could still cut it with those songs. Many are what you could call the hardy perennials but they still sound fresh and they saved “Into the valley” until the end and it received the biggest reaction.

They also enjoyed in my opinion the best sound mix of the night. The band were tight and Richard Jobson (58) bounced around the stage from start to finish. Not so many high kicks (and not so high) but fair play. He clearly likes to keep in shape and removing his jacket after the first few songs he looked like the poster boy for a Charles Atlas course (showing my age there).

About 9.20 it was time for “Buzzcocks” now led by Steve Diggle. They launched into the first few songs as per set list below and then enlisted the help of a myriad of guests, some you might expect and other like Tim Burgess who I wouldn’t have guessed. In reality Tim actually did one of the better renditions, since at the end of the day Pete Shelley had a voice that is difficult to replicate.

And that will be one of the challenges going forward, as Steve Diggle vowed to keep the songs alive, my assumption was that this would be the last outing for the “Buzzcocks”. The sound quality was bad with the signature guitar sound suffering the most. As implied some of the guest vocalists were not 100% matched to the songs and it was unclear how much rehearsal had been taken. To be fair it has to be quite daunting to take on someone else’s songs when they were so personal.

They finished with the iconic “Ever fallen in love” but I would suggest all their major singles have the same song writing quality and the song was actually spoilt for me by the “Fine Young Cannibals “version.

I left slightly subdued I have to say as it was definitely in memory of a sad day for music of a certain generation. “Skids” were a very belated revelation for me and we will have to see how the “Buzzcocks “deal with the situation they find themselves.


Buzzcocks at Royal Albert Hall set list:

‘Fast Cars’


‘Why she’s a Girl from the Chainstore’


‘Boredom’ (w/ Captain Sensible)

‘Love You More’ (w/ John Maher, Steve Garvey & Pauline Murray)

‘Why Can’t I Touch It?’ (w/ John Maher, Steve Garvey & Peter Perrett)

‘Fiction Romance’ (w/ John Maher, Steve Garvey & Richard Jobson)

‘What Do I Get?’ (w/ John Maher, Steve Garvey & Dave Vanian)

‘Something’s Gone Wrong Again’ (w/ John Maher, Steve Garvey & Dave Vanian)

‘Time’s Up’ (w/ John Maher, Steve Garvey & Thurston Moore)

‘Noise Annoys’ (w/ Thurston Moore)

‘Sixteen Again’ (w/ John Maher, Steve Garvey & Tim Burgess)

‘You Say You Don’t Love Me’ (w/ John Maher, Steve Garvey & Tim Burgess)

‘Harmony in My Head’

‘Orgasm Addict’

‘I Don’t Mind’ (w/ John Maher, Steve Garvey)

‘Ever Fallen in Love’ (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)