A one-line review of every gig I’ve been to in November 2023
This monthly series is probably more for my benefit than yours, but maybe your interest will be piqued by one of the reviews. Maybe you’ll scroll straight past. Maybe you’ll unsubscribe thinking what did I see in this blog in the first place?
HardWired, The Rumsey Wells, Norwich, 2 Nov – Barry as ever opened with his gentle pad-heavy mellow techno but this time added an exhortation that “just for clarity, you don’t have to clap just because I run the night. If it’s shit, don’t clap”. It is never shit.
Michael Winner’s Incredible Bingo Band, The Rumsey Wells, Norwich, 2 Nov – Seemed like a cross between flicking through some pre-programmed beats and bass while DJing some samples above it for a non-stop 20 minute mix, but he didn’t have any monitoring, so it looked absolutely terrifying to try and pull off.
Lost Signal, The Rumsey Wells, Norwich, 2 Nov – He introduced one song as vaguely political and it had cut up fractures of vocals and a slightly dubby mid-80s Cabaret Voltaire feel, and the last track had what I could only describe as really rather pleasant squiggles all over it.
Ominous Hum, The Rumsey Wells, Norwich, 2 Nov – Apparently taking his name from the last time I reviewed him, this time round it had more shape to me, and reminded me at first a bit of David Sylvian’s more atonal electronic background bits, then like the kind of sounds you’d add to a horror scene where electric appliances were glitching out due to a poltergeist. It’s always good to only be the second weirdest thing on the bill.
m-orchestra, The Rumsey Wells, Norwich, 2 Nov – Some damn fool with a laptop etc etc
Under The Sun, The Rumsey Wells, Norwich, 2 Nov – I’ve seen him do this shoe-gazing stuff before at Cambridge in September but this night it was instrumental and reminded me very much of A R Kane in their early EPs phase.
The Breedling, The Rumsey Wells, Norwich, 2 Nov – This was their first performance and was incredibly dark and brooding with an animated video of Cthulhu human sacrifice and clips of a goat smoking. Good stuff.
So Sha, The Rumsey Wells, Norwich, 2 Nov – Pop music with very personal lyrics about loss and moving and also a moment where she inexplicably said this is the bit where she normally did her improv roller-skating dance, which she then did without skates, which upped the game somewhat on the presentation stakes.
Purpleshirt, The Rumsey Wells, Norwich, 2 Nov – I’m terrible at describing music genres but this seemed to go from good-time-summer-house-music-vibes to extra-high-BPM-euro-house-I-am-on-drugs in record time.
Cliff Richard, Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith, 6 Nov – The first ever proper concert I went to was Cliff Richard at the London Palladium in 1983 and I just wanted to see him sing Devil Woman and Wired For Sound and Miss You Nights and We Don’t Talk Anymore once more before whichever of us dies first or he gets totally memory-holed. But then I got invited to the world premiere of one of the Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials so I went to that instead so I could review it for the Guardian …
Cliff Richard, Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith, 7 Nov – … then bought an additional ticket to go and see Cliff Richard on the Tuesday instead. Only god can judge me. Only god can judge me.
Milkfiz, Thunderbolt, Bristol, 16 Nov – Describe themselves as art-punk, my initial “oh no a saxamaphone” reaction turned to glee as it was used as extra thundering bass, and there appeared to be a semi-spoken interlude about Gary Numan, which I endorse.
Charley Stone, Thunderbolt, Bristol, 16 Nov – Almost a greatest hits set from Charley who managed to engage the whole crowd with inbetween song whimsical tales and also added a dash of the Abba Stripes to proceedings.
Miki Berenyi Trio, Thunderbolt, Bristol, 16 Nov – I must confess I don’t actually know the Lush stuff that well so was probably the main guy in the audience going “oh yeah my favourite Piroshka song” when they dipped into that.
The Q, The Night Owl, Finsbury Park, 18 Nov – Power pop trio with tight harmonies, reminded me a bit of Milltown Brothers/Cast/XTC.
Madame Mutante, The Night Owl, Finsbury Park, 18 Nov – Charismatic torch song vocals with a healthy dose of glam rockabilly.
The Molotovs, The Night Owl, Finsbury Park, 18 Nov – Loud, proud and very MOD.
Magnetic Skies, The Lexington, Islington, 19 Nov – The weirdest thing with this polished electronicy-gothy-pop was what they reminded me most of was my own m-orchestra stuff circa 1993/4, but they had better vocals and more stage presence than I used to have.
Dicepeople, The Lexington, Islington, 19 Nov – An electronic fetish duo shouting enjoyably sexytime things over Nitzer Ebb-y basslines.
B-Movie, The Lexington, Islington, 19 Nov – Decent post-punk stuff that you would have expected to find on Factory/Some Bizarre/Mute etc at the time, but they made the tactical error of playing the only song of theirs I know third, thus removing any FOMO from the rest of the set and meaning this old man could go home early and be tucked up in bed with his Ovaltine probably before they’d finished their set. Shameful on my part.