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Uruk / Kuro (live at The Exchange)

Bristol 10 December 2017

Kuro live December 2017I wake to blizzard conditions, and a transport system buckling under a four-inch surprise of snow and ice. The UK has the worst coping strategies when it comes to sudden changes in weather, it really does; so I decide against my usual journey down the M4 for a cramped train journey

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Wolves In The Throne Room / Aluk Todolo (live at Heaven)

London 30 November 2017

Wolves In The Throne Room live November 2017By the time I get to Heaven, Aluk Todolo are already on stage, kicking out a fine racket. I have no idea what to expect from them, but as I enter the venue I’m thinking “Neurosis”. And for the next few minutes, yes, they do sound a bit like Neurosis.

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Blues Pills (live at The Jazz Cafe)

London 21 November 2017

Blues Pills live November 2017Over the last couple of years, Blues Pills have toured tirelessly and worked hard to become a big crowd-pulling concert act filling out large venues across Europe. So it was a bit of a surprise when they announced a rather intimate show at the small Jazz Café in London, but no surprise when the show sold out.

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faUSt / Futuro de Hierro / Modulus III (live at Fiddlers Club)

Bristol 1 December 2017

faUSt live December 2017Tucked in to the stage edges, Modulus III were a threesome of dual synthesizer drums and the rub of a cello, they cruised through some lovely motorik hypnotics. Musically siphoning their inspiration from a multitude of ports, but safely jutting out of entrapment, they notched up plenty of fireworks.

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Laibach (live at O2 Academy Islington)

London 23 November 2017

Laibach live November 2017Dunkel. Dunkel ist die Nacht“.i

It is most certainly dark tonight, the evenings now well and truly drawn. The winter solstice approaches. And, as is customary for such astronomical phenomena, we are gathering together tonight to celebrate by watching the rise of the strange, intense sun that is Laibach.

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Godspeed You! Black Emperor / Bardo Pond (live at Motion)

Bristol 30 October 2017

Motion in Bristol was home to two giants of the alternative music scene on the day before Halloween this year. The weather was clement, the venue opened on time and the mighty Godspeed You! Black Emperor had brought along friends and fellow sonic travellers Bardo Pond, so we knew we were in for a full on evening’s treat.

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Frank Iero And The Patience / The Homeless Gospel Choir (live at Omeara)

London 21 October 2017

Frank Iero And The Patience live October 2017On 21 October 2017, I was lucky enough to go see Frank Iero And The Patience at Omeara in south London. I did not arrive in time for the opening band, Paceshifters, unfortunately, but I did make it for the second half of the The Homeless Gospel Choir.

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Welcome To Night Vale – All Hail

Apollo Victoria Theatre, London 1 October 2017

Welcome to Night Vale - All HailFor the last five years, a growing audience of podcast listeners have been being amused, entertained and just plain weirded out by the small-town cosmic absurdism of the mighty Welcome To Night Vale – community radio from a little town somewhere in the desert

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Coven / Galley Beggar (live at The Dome)

London 11 September 2017

Coven live September 2017Dark clouds were brooding all day before Coven’s first ever show in the UK. AS I left the tube station the heavens opened and a monsoon like shower sent everyone on the street running for cover. I braved the downpour and ran to the entrance of the venue where a few other soaked individuals were also huddled trying to get in. A large clap of thunder rang from the skies

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Kawabata Makoto and Pikacyu / Téléplasmiste (live at The Islington)

London 12 August 2017

Téléplasmiste live August 2017Téléplasmiste appeared through the crowd, all leper bells and bagpipes, before standing behind their modular bookcases like spiritual telephonists bending a self-help guru’s words into slurring stutters

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Acid King / Alunah (live at The Black Heart)

London 27 July 2017

Acid King live July 2017Our Black Heart, on a dingy sidestreet in the middle of Camden, is rapidly becoming one of the capital’s finest purveyors of underground heavy music. Not only does it once a year double as the command centre for Desertfest‘s weekend-long celebration of all that is doomy and stoned

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Bonnie “Prince” Billy / London Sacred Harp (live at the Union Chapel)

London 27 July 2017

Bonnie Prince Billy live July 2017Growing up in North Carolina with a fair amount of Baptist and other mountain church influence, I have been no stranger to shape note, or square hymn singing. It’s a strange old thing which the London Sacred Harp group has perfected for the here and now.

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Bristol Psych Fest IV

Trinity Community Arts, Bristol 8 July 2017

The Evil Usses live at Bristol Psych Fest IVOn a roasting Saturday, a beautiful day in July, the wonderful Trinity Arts community centre hosted the juggernaut that was the fourth Bristol Psych Fest. Squeezing two dozen bands into one day on two stages was quite a feat to attempt, but seemed to go incredibly smoothly.

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Kraftwerk (live at the Royal Albert Hall)

London 22 June 2017

Kraftwerk live June 2017Hindsight can be a famously cruel opponent.

On the freezing New Year’s Eve of 1961, The Beatles drove all the way down to London from their native Liverpool amidst swirling snowstorms and treacherous roads. The following day, whilst the nation sipped delicately at some Alka-Seltzer and nursed its collective sore head, The Fab Four fired up their Vox amplifiers

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Blood Ceremony / Steak (live at The Garage)

London 14 June 2017

Blood Ceremony live June 2017‘Are you going to see Kings X?’, the guy in the pub says to me.

‘No, I’m going to see a band called Blood Ceremony at The Garage’, I reply.

‘They sound a bit weird to me, mate’; and with that he shuffles off, pint in hand.

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