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The Vintage Caravan / Dead Lord (live at The Underworld)

London 13 November 2016

The Vintage Caravan live November 2016The last time I saw The Vintage Caravan play, they were promoting their first album and supporting Blues Pills on an evening that saw both bands give their all. Tonight, as I made my way to the subterranean delights of The Underworld in Camden, I had already made up my mind that there would be no such competition this time and that the headliners would probably cross the finish line well ahead of the support band.

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Goat (live at The Coronet )

London 18 October 2016

Goat live October 2016“This is what happens when a band you love gets really popular”, my friend says to me as we enter The Coronet Theatre, which seems to be already bursting at the seams with people. The Coronet is an awkward venue anyway, with what seem like labyrinths of corridors in the building leading you to nowhere in particular, so trying to get to where you want to be can be a tad difficult.

And where I want to be at this moment is as close to the stage as possible

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Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso UFO / Wooden Indian Burial Ground (live at Baba Yaga’s Hut)

Acid Mothers Temple live September 2016Corsica Studios, London 29 September 2016

It’s the beginning of autumn and leaves are already starting to turn a darker shade on the trees and supermarkets are already trying to sell us Christmas fare three months early. It is also traditionally the time when the mighty Acid Mothers Temple decide to do their UK tour. Its almost as if its a yearly ritual to go to a small club in London, usually Corsica Studios, and have my ears pummelled by Japan’s finest.

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Rolf Trostel – Inselmusik / Der Prophet

Bureau B

Rolf Trostel – InselmusikDuring the late ’70s and early ’80s, Rolf Trostel was one of a few musicians exploring the landscape of Berlin School electronic music. At this time, most of these artists only made a handful of albums and Trostel’s legacy of work can be seen alongside artists such as Zanov and Didier Bocquet as creating this brief blip on the musical landscape.

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The Orb (live at Electric Brixton)

London 29 July 2016

The Orb live at Electric BrixtonIn 1991, I waited in anticipation outside the Brixton Fridge (as it was known then) clutching my ticket waiting to see The Orb’s first ever live show, not really knowing quite what to expect. I had bought the double album of The Orb’s Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld and had devoured every second of it, its sounds sending me off on some strange cosmic voyage not really hinted at by a band since Tangerine Dream in the 1970s.

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Peter Baumann – Machines Of Desire

Bureau B

Peter Baumann - Machines Of DesireI was overjoyed to hear that Peter Baumann was stepping back behind the keyboards to record a new album after so many years. Most people know Baumann for being part of the classic line-up that produced huge galactic-sounding Tangerine Dream albums such as Phaedra and Rubycon during the mid Seventies. And its seems that the death of Tangs founder member Edgar Froese in January 2015 was the catalyst for Baumann to work on Machines Of Desire.

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Max Richter (live at The Barbican)

London 17 May 2016

This is the first of two sold-out shows for Max Richter at The Barbican and there is a buzz around the audience about how two beautiful and intense albums will translate live. For starters this is no rock’n’roll concert, so there is no-one viewing the entire gig down their phone, in fact no one even takes a photo, which was quite wonderful. The mood in the hall has a kind of beautiful, tranquil quality about it, as if people don’t want to make too much noise before the performance even starts.

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Electric Moon / ENOS (live at Baba Yaga’s Hut)

Electrowerkz, London 13 May 2016

ENOS live at Baba Yaga's Hut May 2016It’s Friday the thirteenth, the day of bad vibes, things going wrong and surreal killers with ski masks. Some people even refuse to leave the house on this day, in case they accidentally fall over a black cat or walk under a ladder. The thing is, you know when Electric Moon are in town, any heavy bad luck nonsense will dissipate in a glow of psychedelic goodness.

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Yes / Moon Safari (live at the Royal Albert Hall)

London 10 May 2016

Yes live at the Royal Albert Hall May 2016Tonight initially felt like it was going to be a strange experience. As a Yes fan for many years and seeing them play live quite a few times (oddly, the first time was on the Drama tour) this would be their first London outing without founder member and bassist Chris Squire, who passed away last year. So in a strange way, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Sure, the band has had several key members leave before (Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman beingthe two most famous), but Chris had always been there throughout all those different line-up changes.

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Interkosmos – Hypnotizer

Sulatron (CD) / Pancromatic (vinyl)

Interkosmos - HypnotizerIn the TV series Cosmos, Carl Sagan travelled the universe and beyond in his spaceship of the mind to transport the humble viewer at home to worlds beyond our imagination, taking us into the deep realms of space. While he sat there at the controls of his craft, Sagan would offer thoughts on humanity and how small we really are among the vast ever expanding universe. This re-release (on both CD and black and coloured vinyl, both mastered by Eroc) of Interkosmos‘s 2008 album is kind of like the soundtrack to that trip.

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Desertfest London 2016

London 29 April – 1 May 2016

Oranssi Pazuzu live at Desertfest 2016 (Picture: Richie Ruchpaul)Desertfest is the place where the stoned immaculate of Britain (and several other countries) meet in one of London’s coolest areas, watch some of the heaviest (and out there) bands over a three day period in five different venues.

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Purson – Desire’s Magic Theatre

Spinefarm/Machine Elf

Purson - Desire’s Magic Theatre Purson’s second album seems to have been a long time coming for their growing army of fans. With the stop gap EP In The Meantime giving us a glimpse into the direction the band would head towards next, it can now be seen as only a prelude to this multi-coloured psychedelic concept piece that will probably have people deciphering its meaning for the next twenty years.

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Metamono – Creative Listening

Instrumentarium

Metamono - Creative ListeningCreative Listening is the second album from the South London-based trio, released on lovely vinyl. According to the credits on the back it say it was written and recorded “in strict adherence to the manifesto”, which sounds like something you would see on the back of a Throbbing Gristle or Psychic TV album many years ago. Instead, the manifesto seems to be about the use of electronics and instruments rather than adhering to some type of occultural knowledge that you could find hidden within the record’s grooves. Metamono are all about analogue systems and how these can be utilised to create music in different forms, not in a lilting ambient structure like Eno, but more in the sense of use of rhythm.

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Purson / Crosa Rosa (live at The 100 Club)

Purson live at the 100 Club March 2016

London 16 March 2016

I had not been to the 100 Club in many years, so had forgotten what a strange space it is. The fact that the stage is put against a side wall so there is actually more standing space either side of than in front of it is kind of odd. But in the end none of this mattered as I was there to witness Purson play again, and this band would be great wherever they performed.

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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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