Tuesday 20 June 2017

Plenty of rock, a pinch of art chat and spoonful of theatrical music...

12 June - 18th June 2017

The gigs this week doubled after a last minute addition and book ended some art and theatre, so without further ado...

Royal Blood

After a last minute announcement of a war-up show/new album pre-release show on Tuesday morning via Rough Trade, we hurriedly jumped in for the opportunity to catch Royal blood in a more intimate venue than those lined up for the tour proper later in the year which we snagged tickets for at Alexandra Palace.

We'd not been to the venue before either, Village Underground in Shoreditch, which is famous for the two old tube carriages atop the building, and is a vaulted ceiling event space with a bar and stage.

So after picking up our wristbands, and a spot of dinner, we staked out our spot about halfway back in the standing only venue, (which was a good move as we were just behind the rather rambunctious mosh area which at times got quite frenetic).

So just after nine the Brighton two piece, just comprised of bass and drums, hit the stage to an extremely loud reception, however they were far louder as they launched into new track 'Where Are You Now?'.

The hook-filled sound these two produce has hints of Queens Of The Stoneage and a dash of The White Stripes, with nary a ballad to be found and from the off they didn't let up.

The set was about half new tracks and half from their debut, particular standouts being 'Lights Out', 'Little Monster' and 'Ten Tonne Skeleton', against a backdrop of pulsing fluorescent tubes and they sounded absolutely amazing.

The closer 'Out Of The Black' really came into it's own with extended jamming bringing the short but intense show to a fitting end. One of the best live bands we've seen in a long time for sure.

We can't wait for November, although this opportunity to catch them in a smaller venue we suspect will very uncommon in the future as support slots with Guns N' Roses and Queens Of The Stoneage are likely to catapult them to international acclaim. We highly recommend catching them live if you get the chance.

The full set list was as follows:

Where Are You Now?
Lights Out
Come On Over
I Only Lie When I Love You
Little Monster
Blood Hands
Hook, Line & Sinker
Hole In Your Heart
Figure It Out
Loose Change
Ten Tonne Skeleton
Out Of The Black

Cerith Wyn Evans

The first of our cultural exploits on Friday evening was a trip to Tate Britain for an artist's talk with Cerith Wyn Evans, who currently has a commission installed in the Duveen galleries there.

The talk itself was actually held in the galleries beneath the sculpture which meant that as Wyn Evans spoke you could also relate his explanations for and descriptions of the work directly to the piece in question.

Known mainly for his work in sculpture incorporating light, Wyn Evans has previously exhibited in many galleries worldwide and this was a nice opportunity to actually hear an artist talk directly about the germination, creation and realisation of an artwork.

Suspended from the ceiling the initially chaotic arrangement of neon tubes is quite a feat of design and construction, however Wyn Evans' stories of having first visited the the galleries aged twelve and having worked there for a period whilst a student, meant the work could be appreciated further in that he had specific ties to the spaces given over to him for the installation, which affected how the piece was placed and designed.

He also discussed the different influences which influenced the work, including Japanese neon designs and turning sculpture on it's head by using the ceiling as the 'floor', expanding as the viewer walks along the sculpture experiencing the galleries in the method in which they were originally configured with the main entrance being the only way to walk through, hence the work also following that trajectory.

He also spoke about his long term collaboration with craftsmen to realise his pieces and the technical challenges faced in fabricating them which was also enlightening.

A softly spoken but highly competent speaker he managed to convey his vision with passion and eloquence.

The piece, 'Forms in Space…by Light (in Time)' is on view for free until the 20th of August 2017.

Cover My Tracks

From Tate Britain we drove over to the Southbank for some dinner, in readiness for a new late night theatrical endeavour at The Old Vic, Cover My Tracks, a play come live music performance by musician Charlie Fink, (formerly of Noah And The Whale), built around his new solo concept album of the same name.

The show starts at ten, after the main play there, Woyzeck, has finished and at only an hour meant it didn't feel too late either.

The play is basically a monologue, delivered by Jade Anouka, with Fink on stage also to intersperse her performance with songs to carry the story along.

The story itself concerns a girl who meets a pop star who is disillusioned and wants to start afresh so they team up and go on a whistle stop tour performing their new songs, until Fink's character Frank disappears, presumed to have committed suicide and Anouka's character attempts to track him down unable to accept that idea, via his lyrics and song ideas in a notebook left behind.

Anouka's performance was spellbinding and she really knows how to hold an audience, and Fink's songs melded perfectly and set the melancholy mood for the piece.

In it's short run time it explores themes of love, loss and disillusionment but never plays down to the audience with unnecessary exposition and sentimentality.

The two week run has finished at The Old Vic, however it's going on tour and is well worth catching.

Guns N' Roses

So on Saturday we headed over to the London Stadium at the Olympic Park in Stratford for the London leg of the reformed Guns N' Roses, Not In This Lifetime tour.

This was a birthday present from Mrs C and what a gift it was!

Mr C has been a huge GnR fan for years and the opportunity to see them with the core of Axl, Slash and Duff was against all odds finally being realised.

So after braving the sunshine and heat for a few hours, they finally took the stage at 7:45 and played for nigh on three hours non-stop.

Opening with a suckerpunch of 'It's So Easy' and 'Mr Brownstone' they set their stall out from the off, proving they're still capable of bringing their snarling, ferocious brand of rock no matter the venue.

From there they didn't let up, playing classic after classic, even airing a few from the Guns-lite 'Chinese Democracy' album, (an album I quite like so I was happy enough), and chucking in a couple of covers along the way.

The majority of their classic 'Appetite For Destruction' was played, along with all the hits a couple of deeper cuts from the 'Use Your Illusion' albums, plus Duff got the chance to perform The Damned's 'New Rose', whilst they paid tribute to Chris Cornell with a storming 'Black Hole Sun' and Axl gave a nod to his recent 'supply teacher' role with AC/DC with 'Whole Lotta Rosie' partly in tribute to his late dog.

Slash also didn't disappoint, packing the set with solos and his most well known licks which the crowd lapped up, especially 'Sweet Child O'Mine', 'Paradise City' and 'Welcome To The Jungle'.

Three hours and plenty of pyrotechnics later they left stage after having wowed the sold out crowd with a proper rock show, can't wait for them to make they way back over as It's definitely a show we want to see again.

The full set list was as follows: 

It's So Easy
Mr. Brownstone
Chinese Democracy
Welcome To The Jungle
Double Talkin' Jive
Live And Let Die
Rocket Queen
You Could Be Mine
New Rose
This I Love
Civil War
Slash Guitar Solo
Speak Softly Love (Love Theme From The Godfather)
Sweet Child O' Mine
Out Ta Get Me
Wish You Were Here
November Rain
Black Hole Sun
Knockin' On Heaven's Door

Don't Cry
Whole Lotta Rosie

Paradise City

Next week has some cinema and music, plus a touch of magic in store. So till then, get inspired...

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