Sunday, 21 July 2013

July 13th & 14th A Weekend of Epic Gigs

SATURDAY 13th July - Project 9 & Paradise 9 at Black Velvet

So the weekend before saw me in London at the Morpheus Rising, Touchstone and Panic Room gig and it was hot, hot, hot and this weekend I was back off to London again for Saturday night at Black Velvet, West Kensington for Nik Turner's Project 9 and Paradise 9's album launch party for the new CD 'Take me to the Future'.

What a splendid venue Black Velvet is, it's only been open as a music venue for a couple of months (Apparently it was originally opened as  a 'Gentlemen's Club but quickly lost its license!) so, brand spanking new, air conditioned, comfy seats, immaculate flat floor, beer at reasonable prices, what more could one wish for?

Nik Turner never ceases to amaze me, I seriously do not think that there is any style of music that he cannot play on the saxophone or flute!
Project 9 were a joy to behold and treated us to jazz, dance, rock, psychedelic rock, big band dance and the inevitable bit of old Hawkwind, it was a double treat that for 'Watching the Grass Grow' Nik got original Hawkwind drummer Terry Ollis up from the crowd for this one, and, the lovely Ms Angel dancing, wow!

Ms Angel & Nik Turner

Flute a go go

Nik Sings too

Sax in full swing

Go visit Nik's website to see just what this amazing man has to offer.

Well, that was just the support! The evening was for Paradise 9, if you've never heard this band I suggest you rectify that right now, if you like your Space Rock a little different then Paradise 9 are for you, tonight's launch of Take me to the Future didn't disappoint, in fact they are awesome live and they always look as if they are having so much fun.

Paradise 9 in full swing

Paradise 9 & Ms Angel

Paradise 9

Amazing sounds amazing costumes

My fave picture I took of Ms Angel

It was a superb night all round and a shame I had to dash off just before the end but Kensington is a fair way from Kings Cross and there was no way I was going to miss my train back to Stevenage because apart from looking forward to a splendid Sunday with my family there was Sunday night to look forward too as well and this one had all the hallmarks of being one of the gigs of the year so far, and it was!

SUNDAY 14th July 2013 - The Astronauts, Blyth Power & Scum of Toytown at Club-85

Sadly due to the loss of the venue, the huge and beautiful grounds of the Priory at Hitchin (Due to ownership change & other factors) there was no Rhythms of the World festival this year however .that has not stopped the Rhythms team from putting on a huge range of events and gigs throughout the year and this weekend was no exception, the Sunday night was the culmination of a weekend of music and activities on what would have been the festival weekend and trust Chris Ripple's Arcade Eclectic Stage to come up trumps with a three band line up that most promoters wouldn't even dare to consider never mind pull off in such a spectacular style.

What's more it was for us, a Fellowship event, the first time more than two of us had been together to a gig for weeks due to inconsiderate people doing things like taking an annual holiday or going away on company business, etc. simply unforgivable!

The evening started very well indeed in the Nightingale in Hitchin enjoying some fine real ale and meeting up with fellow gig goers before going off to Club-85, North Hertfordshire's Premier dedicated music venue run by the amazing Bob Marden and his team.

The Astronauts were on first, Mark Astronaut is himself a legend, his ability to write lyrics that remain relevant for years if not for ever is quite incredible, the band may have changed over the years (Just check out who has been part of the Astronauts in the past), punky, political, satirical, acerbic, always entertaining, they turned in a fabulous performance.

The Astronauts

And with their backdrop

Next up were the as legendary Blyth Power, what can I say about this band, quirky, epic, folk-punk, Joseph's amazing song writing and singing from behind the drum kit just has to be seen to be believed and it was then that the mosh pit really got going!

Joseph at full tilt

And the moshing starts

Everyone was bouncing!

Blyth Power are launching a 'Kickstarter' project in August for their new album, Women and Horses, Power and War, please support this great band.

Last on the bill were the ever popular and always amazing Scum of Toytown, old favourites of the late John Peel, reformed a mere couple of years ago for a special one off Rhythms of the World gig they have gone from strength to strength, this is Ska, Ska-Punk at it's glorious best, we were treated to a lot of old Scum of Toytown classics and the later material too which is every bit as good, fresh from their gigs in Europe and London they were so up for the gig they had everyone bouncing (See above).

Scum of Toytown in full swing

Dreads a flying

They crowd loved it as much as I did

The legendary Jon Thurlow

I urge you to check out all the bands in this blog via the links to their own websites, and Rhythms of the World which I'm sure will be back next year as big and perhaps better than ever and of course Club-85 where so many fantastic local, national and international artists have and hopefully will continue to play as long as you, you the punter, and me, get out there and support live music.

I did mention that the Sunday night was a Fellowship of the Stick outing, well it was and a logo was born!

We now have a corporate logo!
As it was a Fellowship occasion it had to be marked by a poem so here goes:-

Sunday 14th July – The Astronauts, Blyth Power, Scum of Toytown

It was so, so hot, oh my oh my
On Sunday the 14th of July
It was Rhythms of the World weekend
The company of fine music time to spend
Although sad to say but we did hear
There would be no full festival this year
But 2013 itself has been and will be
Filled with Rhythms events for all to see
And ‘Rhythm’s weekend’ was no exception
With Sunday night exceeding all expectations!

The night started well as good nights often do
In the Nightingale with a damn fine ale or two
Myself, Peter and Chris, with Cindy and Colin
Soon off to Club-85 we were a strolling

The Astronauts kick started the evening
A full band line up and they were reeling
Mark’s lyrical acerbic social observations
And political insights and incantations
Are somehow timeless, always relevant
And so it came and so it went
All in all an excellent opening
To a great three band evening

Next up were the mighty Blyth Power
And they have an amazing repertoire
Spanning so many years and so many releases
Their power ‘Folk Punk’ still really pleases
And they were on tip top form this night
The mosh pit soon filled up all right
People bouncing, people jigging
In two words, simply amazing!

Last on the bill were Scum of Toytown
And this night they really laid it down
They were so fired up for this gig of gigs
And they delivered, loud, sublime, big!
Lyrical political Ska-Punk filled the air
And we were there

The mosh pit just grew and grew
And suddenly all at once you knew
That this was one of the gigs of the year so far
The Arcade Eclectic had just ‘raised the bar’
So all I can say is well done Chris Ripple & all
You can stand with heads high, proud mighty and tall
Who else would dare do three headliners in a night
It worked out well, in fact it worked out just right
I’d go so far to even shout
THIS is what Rhythms IS all about.

Grant Meaby

July 2013

So there we have it, a splendid weekend and a new blog and probably the last one before Cambridge Rock Festival 2013 in August, so good people have a splendid summer, until next time, cool runnings one and all.

All images (with the exception of the ROTW poster) and the poem are Copyright Grant Meaby 2013 - All rights reserved.

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