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Vashti Bunyan / Woodpigeon (live at King’s Place)

London 11 March 2016

I had not been to King’s Place before, but had been reliably informed that the venue was excellent acoustically for folk concerts. The place has an almost Barbican feel about it, and is quite old school in that no intermission drinks were allowed in the venue, which saw people necking them pretty quickly before Vashti Bunyan’s set. The concert hall is beautiful, though and not too large; and the sound was rather magnificent.

This was probably the quietest gig that I had been to in many a year. Normally my experience of reviewing for Freq finds me getting my ears pummelled on a regular basis by a barrage of guitars and drums. However, tonight was almost a soporific lullaby of sound that drifted over the audience in a golden glow and somehow made you feel comforted inside.

Woodpigeon is a Canadian singer-songwriter who performs solo onstage.

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Mugstar – Magnetic Seasons

Rock Action

Mugstar - Magnetic SeasonsMugstar have been at the vanguard of the British space rock revival (though perhaps it never really ever went away) for a good decade and more now, and everything about their music can certainly be assessed in terms as broad and well-trodden as spacious, cosmic and psychedelic, and it conjures up all of the tropes — long hair, biker chic, salad lights, heavy wafts of fragrant weed smoke — that accompany that simple act of genre-assignment along the way.

Thankfully, save for the stupendously good live collaboration with Damo Suzuki on Start From Zero in 2015, Mugstar generally eschew vocals, and quite frankly work all the better for their absence. Space rock as a form doesn’t often really need or benefit from them (unless they’re

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Mugstar / Henge (live at Baba Yaga’s Hut)

Electrowerkz, London 26 February 2016

Visiting London’s Electrowerkz in 2016 after spending far too many nights here at the legendary Slimelight in the ’90s is a singularly disorienting experience. It’s the same building, but where once there stood a dingy warehouse now stands an actual venue, even though they’re the same bricks in the same places. Indeed, it’s so disorienting that we may as well be on all the drugs we were twenty-odd years ago, though these days there’s an actual bar and we stick to booze, being old.Henge live at Baba Yaga's Hut February 2016

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Saturnalia Temple / Inconcessus Lux Lucis (live at The Black Heart)

London 29 February 2016

Saturnalia Temple live at The Black Heart February 2016Monday is never the best night for gigs in London. There certain left-over feeling in the air from Sunday and for most it’s the first day of the working week. So an evening of dark esoteric music may not be high on most people’s radar. But this being The Black Heart, there is always a regular group of heavy metal freaks to pack out the place and indulge in an evening of dark arts.

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Daevid Allen Weird Quartet – Elevenses

Purple Pyramid

Daevid Allen Weird Quartet - ElevensesBeloved Gong frontman and Soft Machine legend Daevid Allen‘s posthumous album, recorded not long before his death in March 2015, finds this most extraordinary of musicians in the company of Don Falcone (Spirits Burning), Michael Clare (of Allen’s own University of Errors and occasional member of the far-out collective Mushroom) and one of three drummers, Trey Sabatelli (The Tubes), Jay Radford (also from University Of Errors, Mushroom and Spirits Burning) or Paul Sears from The Muffins for a second rendezvous for their collective musical freakshow freakout.

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