On saturday there was the People’s Vote March to demand that the people get the final say on Brexit. These excited kids were at my local overground station. They were so full of hope that their facepaint and home made banners and t-shirts would make a difference.
On the train was this cute little toddler, he seemed to love his little banner.
The whole of London was packed with people with home made banners and EU flags. It took us two hours to get from Bond Street Tube to the start of the march on Park Lane and a further three hours to get to Trafalgar Square – I didn’t make it to Parliment because I had to leave by 5pm to get to a gig. Along the way there was so many colourful characters of all ages, but this lady’s banner ‘Old person against Brexit’ stayed in my head.
My band Rabies Babies played at the Hand in Hand in Brixton, with Dealing With Damage, Slow Faction, PCF and Dingy Skipper.
Dingy Skipper turned out to be my very old friend Dick Ugly, formerly of Hackney anarcho punkers Ugly Beat, a band who I shared many a bill with back in the 1990s.
I love Dingy Skipper – sort of like if Johnny Cash and Woody Guthrie were Durham miners. This was his first gig, hopefully there will be many more.
At the Shaklewell Arms, London.
I can’t find any information about Xavier, they sound a bit like Boredoms but more groovy. I loved their set and I hope I get to see them again.
Snapped Ankles remind me of an 80’s squat party band; anarchic, visual and drum heavy. I’ve never seen the Shacklewell Arms so packed and everyone was dancing. You can’t not enjoy Snapped Ankles.
All ages/family friendly daytime gig put on by Loud Women at the Lexington.
Saturday 30th September.
All ages kid-friendly gigs are the way to go for so many reasons!
1. You get to hang out with your friends who have kids and can rarely come along to gigs.
2. Kid-friendly gigs are in the day time! You can also fit another gig in later in the evening, so doubling your gig-going potential.
3. Kid friendly gigs are just MORE FUN! Where else do you get offered sherbet dib-dabs or Love Hearts as you walk in the venue? Where else is the promoter of the event dressed as Wonder Woman? Where else do you find yourself enthusiastically making lightning shapes while watching the excellent Argonauts?
I’d never been to such a fun gig. The kids had a great time, and so did the adults.
Argonauts kicked off the afternoon with a fantastic set and lots of props, and everyone loved them. They handed out kazoos and gave us dancing instructions for audience participation, encouraged a stage invasion for ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ and passed around bananas for their singalong version of ‘The Banana Splits’ theme.
In between bands there was stories for the kids while the grown ups drank beers.
Next on was my band, Rabies Babies. This show was the second time that our guitarist Laura’s toddler son has been at a Rabies Babies gig, he doesn’t really like us. We are too shouty and he gets frightened. This time he didn’t cry for the whole time we played, so we are slowly winning him over. We re-worked out set – we dropped some of the inappropriate sweary songs and added some kid-friendly songs. Our drummer Mike ended up playing guitar and drums at the same time for one song so Laura could run about on stage pretending to be an elephant. There was a boy of 5 or 6 who was right at the front and slam danced and pogoed non stop all the way through our set.
Thee Dinner Ladies are just plain and simple brilliant garage. Musically they are right up my street, they are garage punk with equal measures of punk and garage. Shouty fun male & female vocals with flirty lines like “you’re only shopping cos you fancy me”. All this, plus the whole band are dressed spectacularly as dinner ladies. Who doesn’t love a dinner lady?
Sadly I missed the final band, Militant Girlfriend, as I had a train to catch to get me to a wedding in Sheffield, hopefully I’ll get to see them soon.
Roll on next Little Loud Women show!
London had a shit week. I want to cry and scream with rage. And it is over 30 degrees. London is too crowded and dirty and sad for hot weather. It is sunny, and there is a big cloud of sadness and anger. The cloud of the Finsbury Park Mosque attack the day before, the cloud of Grenfell Tower, the cloud of London Bridge, the cloud of disappointment that we still have a government that we do not agree with or vote for, the cloud of Brexit, the cloud of Westminster Bridge. Too much. Give us a break. We are all being nicer to each other to ease the pain, but we hurt. If any other band had been playing on tuesday night then I wouldn’t have gone.
I’m sure Dam know a thing or two about rage and sadness and being attacked. They are from Palestine. They are Palestine’s longest running hip hop band, they’ve been making music for around 20 years. I only came across them a couple of years ago, when they released the excellent anti-gender violence song Who You R.
Within minutes of Dam bounding on to the stage all of the tension I felt inside started to melt. They were medicine for my soul. This band are so full of positive energy, hope and catchy tunes. It was impossible not to dance. They preach a serious ethic with a smile and a wicked sense of humour. “We are Dam, from Palestine. Our country is occupied, but we have a scene… Hey, you should all move to Palestine, I hear London isn’t so good lately”.
Otoboke Beaver at the Working Man’s Club, Bethnal Green. 5th May 2017.
Otoboke Beaver blow my mind. They are all absolutely masters of their weapons, they play with exact precision and ease at 100mph at the same time as contorting into acrobatics. They command absolute attention, waiting for silence before launching into a full on punk rock assault.
They promised to return to the UK again next year. I will be counting the days.
Support was from the excellent c86-ish Say Sue Me from South Korea.
more GIGS AND PENCILS Otoboke Beaver:
Otoboke Beaver in the gigs and pencils calendar 2017 (free to download)
Josie Long’s show ‘Something Better’ at the Duchess Theatre, London.
It was really funny, and I learned that I need to get a big necklace.
I’ve wanted to see Immersion for ages. I love their album Analogue Creatures Living On An Island. I cycled up west for ‘Ambience Chasers’, a new night put on by the Sonic Cathedral label at The Social. Immersion were completely worth braving the freezing cold for. I have no idea how long they played for. Time stood still and I was wrapped in a beautiful bubble of warm ambience (and some annoying dry ice) for the length of their set.
I went to the Royal Festival Hall for the Living In Future Times Festival, to hear Margaret Atwood discuss her new novel Hag-Seed. She is amazing, intelligent, forward thinking, funny and highly entertaining and interesting.
Also at the Festival Hall, was an installation by Zach Lieberman, featuring text from Hag-Seed which interacts with the observer.
This was their first show in UK, as part of the 3 day DIY Pop Festival at the Shacklewell Arms. I feel very honoured to have been there because Otoboke Beaver should be playing massive venues the next time they come to Britain. They have great songs, they are great musicians, they have explosive energy, and have their stage-craft down to a T. No one could not love Otoboke Beaver.
Not a gig, but this little girl needed drawing. She was so amazing! She led the chanting for hours. Her strong clear voice shouting “FREE FREE PALESTINE!”. It was a massive march from Downing Street to the Israeli Embassy. Thousands of people of all kinds & colours demonstrating against the murder of children in Gaza. It was a boiling hot day, and many of the Muslims were fasting for Ramadan. We arrived late (due to Sleaford Mods the night before), but caught up with the march half way through.