Milkmaid w/ Jerry Tropicano at the Green Door Store: 20 September
September 22, 2011, 12:41 pm
Filed under: Gig Reviews | Tags: , , , , ,

 Here’s a new review. To see with pictures: http://www.brightonnoise.co.uk/2011/09/22/milkmaid-w-jerry-tropicano/

Indie pop and rock ‘n’ roll were on the bill at The Green Door Store on Tuesday night as Milk Maid played with support from Jerry Tropicano.

Unfortunately, the gig didn’t get off to the best start with Sexbeat dropping out, and a couple of housekeeping issues with Jerry Tropicano’s band.

The band’s performance was initially a bit rough around the edges; there was a broken string and a few awkward pauses. The slightly disgruntled audience shuffled their feet as the drummer wobbled on a dodgy stool and the bassist-cum-Korgist channelled some vaguely enjoyable spacey sounds from the Korg. (Then again band that works a Korg well always gets a tick in my book, and they did redeem themselves.)

However, Jerry Tropicano and his band took the call of ‘Come on’ from an audience member on the chin and the brief mishaps in their stride. After chuckling a bit, and Jerry asking the drummer ‘Remember this one?’ the band pulled together to produce a clashy, crashy set with good rhythms and quirky riffs that worked well to showcase their originality.

The varied set included some impressively tight drumming to which buzzy layers of Korg were added as a suitable platform for the velvety tone of Jerry’s lovely vocal. Playing around with zany distorted sound, Jerry sprung some anthemy sounds from his guitar and the whole ensemble managed to ‘do’ noisy, while still demonstrating melody and zest when blasting at their loudest.

The highlight of the set was ‘Brian’ the final song played. They were extra tight on this one and it was a good way to end

Next up were Manchester’s Milk Maid, fresh from gigs in Wakefield and Cardiff and ready to take on Brighton.

This band has played with names such as Male Bonding and Mazes, both bands that are amazing live, so their performance was highly anticipated.

The well-oiled set was full of new songs with the lead singer announcing at the end, ‘We’ve got CDs for sale. Most of the songs we played aren’t on our CD.’ Well, great that they’re producing lots of fresh music, as well as being honest!

This band’s true talent was the ability to spawn feisty instrumental while maintaining super-cool poise, especially the bassist who stood tall, off-centre stage, occasionally bending to the passionately frantic fusion of guitars.

The lead singer, with his trademark look, had a slight Gallagher-esque rich ingredient to his vocal and if that puts you off, remember how many records that voice sold. Although he stated at one point, ‘This guitar’s just taken a massive shit, hang on,’ it must have been a lovely shit as it was in reference to a dazzling Harmony Rocket.

The four committed musicians showed that there were many strings to their bow as the set included a couple of slower songs as well as those more fast-paced (with a bit of maraca action.)

Included in the new repertoire* was ‘Bad Luck’ which included stylish instrumental interludes tightly played. Another new song ‘Stir So Slow’ started with slower vocals building up to a enjoyably consuming climax of guitars. Also particularly notable was ‘Summertime’ which blasted into the mix highlighting their trademark drum-bashing crescendo. Finishing on a high with ‘Not me,’ the band proved they are well set to play the rest of their tour dates, including a gig at The Old Blue Last in London tonight.

*NB: I’ve been informed that the new song names may be subject to change

Joe Driscoll 1 September 2011
September 2, 2011, 10:24 pm
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Last night, Joe Driscoll lived up to his exceptional reputation, and packed out Patrick Casey’s Ale House once again.  Combining tunes from his albums plus some classics re-branded, Joe gave an unflagging, artful performance that made the folks of Canterbury very happy indeed.

This savvy musician is all about the live performance, as his art relies upon layers of sound which he records on the spot.  He might start with some beat-boxing, or some tambourine shakin’  or both, adding soundbites of rhythmic vocal or guitar, in countless levels.  With all that going on, his hand’s moving skilfully between microphone and instruments and he does a subtle tap dance as feet dart between pedals with absolute precision – yep, this guy sure can multitask.

The crowd relished the free gig, with the whole pub on their feet and getting down on whatever ‘dancefloor’ they could find.  Energy really soared when popular numbers such as ‘I want you back’ and ‘Man in the Mirror’ were stamped with the unique and energetic Driscoll stamp.

This virtuoso is the latter-day one man band.  A one man band you want to dance to.

Canterbury awaits his return, go see him anywhere else if you can!  See here.  He’s playing Brighton on September 16, I’ll see you there.

In the meantime, a tasty slice of the evening’s music was provided by Canterbury DJ duo Wax Hands.  With a rotational Thursday residency at Casey’s and numerous gigs around the city, they’re absolutely worth following.

In other news, please feel free to use my new ‘feature’ of being able to rate my blogs and its posts.  This is all a work in progress and I appreciate feedback.  (Feel free to comment.)  Also my confidence has been majorly boosted by this article in the Guardian today.  If Katie Price can launch a magazine completely dedicated to her views, her ‘real-life’ stories and just exactly what her tattoos mean, then surely I can reflect and ramble for those that want to read it.

Until next time,