Sunday, 16 October 2011

Track 8

Phew, what a week. It started off ok, new music came my way and I was getting on with the zine well. On Monday night we were up at Southampton’s Sports Centre watching Becca play netball for the Under 16’s (she’s under 14), as usual; close to the end of the match she took a spectacular tumble. The game stopped and she sat crying, holding her wrist. Now, when I was her age I broke my wrist for the second time so I kind of thought I knew what was wrong; she’d have a hairline fracture, we’d be up at A&E for a few hours, they’d plaster her up, send her home and she’d have three or four weeks in plaster.
As it turned out she had done more damage than I had expected and needed an operation to have her wrist wired together. So, although we got to A&E before 8.30 that Monday evening, Becca didn’t leave hospital until about 11.30 on the Wednesday, and faces six weeks in plaster. It was, initially, quite a traumatic experience for her, but once she had been given some pain killers and had some sleep she took it all in her stride. At one point I was very tired and emotional while she just got on with it.
The nurses on her ward were all superb, they couldn’t do enough for Becca and did everything they could to make feel comfortable and happy; the care they gave her was just wonderful and despite their long hours and demanding patients they were never less than cheerful, attentive and helpful. And that was the same for every kid on the ward, some of whom had some horrible injuries and were, understandably, difficult to calm down (I’m not sure I’d have coped any better with a snapped thigh bone than the three year old on Becca’s ward). We live in a world where bankers can fuck up the whole world’s economy  and still pay themselves huge bonuses while there are these overworked and underpaid nurses actually making a difference to other people’s lives.
And seeing as I’ve touched on the subject - http://www.occupytogether.org/
Anyway, A couple of days ago Aston at Boss Tuneage, the good chap that he is, sent me their new Section 13 release, “Burning Bridges”, and holy flip what a great album it is, reminding me of bands like Toxic Reasons, Articles Of Faith and Dag Nasty. I was so taken with it that I contacted singer Ian right away to see if I could fit an interview into the new issue of SD. 
The zine is pretty much done and I’m just waiting for pay day to get it printed, but I was so taken with the album I felt I had to try to squeeze an interview in if at all possible. Thankfully Ian replied right away and I fired off some questions. All being well it will be in the zine, if not it can go on the website. If you haven’t heard this band yet, sort yourself out and get into it.

Boss Tuneage also have some great new stuff in the pipeline too, and are re-releasing the Political Asylum "Winter" CD that was originally out on Passing Bells in Finland.
Gaz got me a copy of the limited edition UK Subs single that’s been put out by the Subs’ Time & Matter website. “Product Supply” is a benefit for relief efforts in Japan after the devastating earthquake and tsunami; they aren’t new songs, being recorded in 2005 (by  Haprer, Garrett, Gibbs with drummer Jason Willer), but I’m sure I’m right in saying that the only one of the three that has been release before is the title track that was a “secret” song on the latest Captain Oi released Singles CD Boxset. It’s a very good single on nice white vinyl; it’s limited to 250 copies, but it’s worth hunting down.
As mentioned last time Epic Problem have a new CDEP out; Mackie has now sent me the CD version and good stuff it is too, check it out at bandcamp and get yourself a copy here...
Friends and acquaintances have been recommending me new music, which is always nice, and lately I have been enjoying Terrible Feelings from Sweden, Aspirina Infantil and Warsong from Spain, Speed Kills from Brazil and Criaturas from the US. Have some fun and track these bands down.
Also, the newest Maximum RocknRoll compilation, “Nose Ordinance” is great. Pete  Zonked mentioned it in his SD column, and it was enough to get me interested. Comps are often hit and miss, but this one is a winner, I was especially pleased to find it included a song I hadn't heard from N/N too. http://maximumrocknroll.com/

Suspect Device 53 will be out soon, we just need a payday to be able to afford the printing. So far it has interviews with Martin Sorrondeguy, Crocodile God and The Destructors, plus the other stuff, of course and hopefully that Section 13 interview.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

The Magnificent Seven

So, were Night Birds any good? Holy flippin’ heck, they were so good. I was expecting to enjoy them, but they were so much better than even I had hoped; a perfect combination of great songs, a bit of fun and tons of energy. I’m just gutted that I forgot my camera, just like I did for the Punch gig; I took a few pictures with my phone, but it’s not the same and they didn’t come out too well. I really must get myself a smaller camera that’s easier to carry around.
Anyway, I got to spend a bit of time with Night Birds singer Brian; we’d exchanged a few emails and did an interview (Night Birds interview at suspectdevicehq.co.uk), so it was good to find he was such a cool guy, and it was fun to hang out for a while.
I also go to meet Alex from Grave Mistake Records, who was over with the band. He’s been good to enough to send us quite a bit of stuff for review recently, and it was nice to find he is also a really nice guy. He did offer to give me a copy of the new Brain F≢ LP (“Sleep Rough”) for review, but after all the free CDs and records he’s sent over from the US it was the least I could do to buy a copy of the record, and what a belter it is. I liked their singles, but this is so much better. They have a better sound on this release, but still retain the rough edges to their songs which makes them so interesting. The record is on lovely green vinyl too.
I also bought a vinyl copy of the Night Birds album, because I couldn’t resist having it on vinyl as well as CD.
There were friendly locals there too, and it was nice to catch up with Ralf, Darren and Buz, plusd Tom Hussey was there again and Tom Ellis too; no Pete though as he was sunning himself in Turkey. I probably feel more at home at gigs in Brighton than I do in Southampton these days; I probably go to more gigs in Brighton these days though.
Some local bands also played and it was the first time I’d seen any of them, hopefully it won’t be the last.
This gig was in the same place as the Punch one, and again finished early, so I was home and in bed before midnight. Now that’s rock n roll for you!
Other musical goodies include some new Epic Problem songs. Mackie has sent me the initial mixes of three of their new ones, and they are sounding really good. I liked the stuff on their debut, self released CDEP, but these push the quality bar up a few notches. I’m not sure what kind of release they’ll be getting, but hopefully you’ll all get to hear them soon.
A self released CD by four Bristol bands came in from one of the featured bands, This Ends Now, and I really like the DIY nature of the release, also God Given Ass from Finland sent their new 7”EP, which I haven’t played yet, but both releases will get a review in the new Suspect device, which is almost done.
I’ve also been playing C√≥lera a fair bit after hearing the sad news that their singer/guitarist, Redson, died from a heart attack on 28th September 2011; he was only 49.
Other bands that have been getting a lot of playing time from me this week include the wonderful Terrible Feelings from Sweden, Speed Kills from Brazil and old stuff from Amsterdamned, The Dishrags and Eyes. I particularly liked The Dishrags, a band I’m completely missed back in the late ‘70s, but I’m enjoying catching up now.