MAR 99] THE BLACKROOM
Hi and welcome to the blackroom.
My name is Pauline Black, lead vocalist with The Selecter.
When I began this weekly review page, lots of my friends said, oh,
theres not much going on Coventry, youll soon run out of bands to write about
Sad to say, but I must admit that this thought had also crossed my mind, but I decided
that negative thoughts were not going to be entertained.
After all what is the point in trashing something, until youve heard whats
actually on offer.
So I ventured forth into the Coventry nightlife and discovered that
the live band scene is not only alive but seriously kicking. So to all those Doubting
Thomases, I have only one thing to say, Get off your butts and go
see for yourself!!
Going to see bands is a bit like doing the lottery. I always pick the
bands Im going to see for the following week in advance, just like picking my six
lottery numbers. And sometimes you win a tenner (if its a good band) and sometimes
you wonder why you bothered (if the band is awful).
Then there are the times when you have to choose between two bands with only
limited information about either of them and you pick the wrong one, only to go out the
following night and have some eager soul tell you, Whoah, you missed a
brilliant band last night.
Well, I guess thats how its going to be. But mostly I come up with
tenners which is a much better average than I make on the lottery. Who knows
maybe theres a winner out there somewhere, who is going to put Coventry
on the map for the Millenium!
Bands2C : Boiling Peter Bread
@ Hand and Heart, Saturday 6
I like a band with a good weird name and you cant get much weirder
than Boiling Peter Bread. In fact they have the dubious honour,
although some (including myself) might call it a considerable achievement, of being called
the worst named band in the West Midlands, by Neil Colcouny of
that illustrious music rag the Melody Maker; but then whats in a
name? Boiling Peter Bread would sound as sweet by any other name!!!
(Youll have to forgive me for this quote; Ive just been to see Shakespeare
The Hand and Heart was packed and everybody I bumped into said, Hey, there
are two really good bands on tonight. So obviously BPBs reputation
The band took to the stage amid lurid red lights and what can only be
described as swirling, ghostly noises. Drums, keyboards, bass and
vocals/guitar make up the ensemble. Apparently the lead sax/flute/cool paper pipe player
(the mysteriously titled Hans Spitzlburger) couldnt make it tonight.
From the first song I was hooked. This is good quirky,
eclectic 70s influenced melodic pop/prog rock. Driving music, with
surprising subtlety at times, with nicely in tune, anguished vocals care of Dave Cross
and an interesting line in vocal harmonies from some of the other members.
The accolades must go to Krispy Chris Bucin on keyboards, whos
Hammond influenced sound reminded me of the Doors. His range of sounds and prodigious
technique make this band a cut above the rest. He takes in so many influences,
from the Stranglers-ish harpsichord intro of one song, to a
grandiose sounding Yes influenced number.
They trawl the 70s and beyond with an excellent creative
interplay between keyboards and guitar, while some zany heavy rhythms
were being laid down at the drum and bass end from Fran Hunter and Fran
The chorus of Knicky Knocky Nay (well, I guess thats what it
was called!) had most of the audience chanting away to it, and sounded like an out-take of
the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band.
The Doors influenced How Do You Feel Tonight' was punctuated by a loping
bass line, before a beautiful keyboard motif took over.
At the end of the set there was much well-deserved applause and shouts for an
encore, which wasnt taken up by the band, much to my disappointment. This
is well-produced, well structured music, which at times sounds almost jazz influenced. Boiling
Peter Bread are eccentric English music at its best; an
aromatherapy and pummeling massage for the mind.
If you are
interested into listening to Boiling Peter Bread on CD, then get hold of their
debut self-titled album, recorded at the Depot Studios in Coventry on their own Brian
Records label. Also, currently released is the Dogs Bollocks EP, sporting
a cover of Arthur Browns classic cut, Nightmare and also
features live favourites Poster and Jones.
And if you fancy wading around in mud again this year during the festival summer
season, then you may well catch them at Glastonbury. Other scheduled festivals are
the Green Gathering, Godiva Festival and The Leamington Peace Festival.
Prole Position @ Golden Cross, Thursday 11 March 1999
The advance publicity for this gig said:
"The multi-talented Ashley Spindler, aka Prole Position is one of
the wing-nuts that keeps the music machine rolling and with a set that
combines the wall of sound aspects of Phil Spector with the trashier
excesses of 70s glam, we should be in for a night of top quality
The kind of advance promo that really whets the appetite.
Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately I arrived a bit late and Prole Position
had already taken the stage. A Wall Of Sound is no
exaggeration, believe me; although this discordant fanfare would have had
Phil Spector reaching for the off button on the control desk. Cacophony
would probably better describe it.
Ashley has an ardent passable voice, if it could be heard over his truly
horrible sounding guitar, which has an annoying tendency to degenerate into swirling,
dissonant feedback at every opportunity.
The harsh clatter of pre-recorded battering drums and 80s style repetitive
keyboard riffs add to the listeners pain, particularly when recycled from a tinny
boom-box. For one person on stage, he makes a hell of a lot of noise.
But one thing that he did, that the main band Callaghan didnt, was mean
what he said. Nobody could invent this kind of noxious racket if they didnt. What
goes on in the recesses of his soul, only Ashley knows, and Im not sure I would
fancy an Awayday trip there.
He shrieks and he wails and wrenches great dollops of anguished cries
of misery from his very depths, which fills the ears with the knowledge that here stands a
very troubled, if hugely ego-ridden man. Despite leaving my ears bleeding, long may he
carry on, as long he doesnt move next-door to me, because I pity his poor
neighbours, if he insists on rehearsing in his bedroom!!!!
Next week Ill be reviewing Endless Knots gig at the Malt Shovel and
new ska band Spunge, who played the Golden Cross last week. Plus an
interview with Roddy Radiation Byres who is currently back in Coventry.
If you know of any bands that I should get out and see, then dont hesitate to
email on firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember your feedback is always appreciated.
ALSO THIS WEEK: NEVILLE