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The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing / Andrew O’Neill (live at the O2 Academy Islington)

London 18 November 2016

Andrew O'Neill live November 2016

Men guitarist Andrew O’Neill opens the show, an amiable, affable presence beneath his comedy black metal goatskull backdrop. His is a fascinating cocktail of comedy — the gentle absurdism of an Eddie Izzard or Ross Noble shot through with a pitch-black streak and edged with a harder political sensibility, all filtered through the lens of Heavy Fucking Metal.

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Ufomammut / Jex Thoth (live at O2 Academy Islington)

Ufomammut live October 2015

London 9 October 2015

October is the month of Samhain where the boundaries between other worlds and our own is at its thinnest. It is the time of ancient occult rituals to the ancestors and a sign that year is slowly crawling to its end. While the autumnal sun shine hangs in the air the creeping nights have more than a hint of chill to them. It is the perfect time of year for two great occult/psych rock bands to revisit the capital.

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Ozric Tentacles / Mantis Mash (live at O2 Islington Academy )

Ozric Tentacles live May 2015London 12 May 2015

Ozric Tentacles gigs now seem like a celebration. They are the meeting of the multi-coloured clothed tribes come together in one place and celebrate the wonderful psychedelic sounds of the Ozrics. The fact that the band are now 31 years along their long strange trip to Erpland also proves the continuing love and respect and support the band have with their far-out fans. The first time I saw them was in a lysergic haze on a sun-baked day at Stonehenge when their music was bright colourful and just plain out there; three decades later they are still striving for the farthest reaches of the galaxy.

First up is Mantis Mash, who is Natan, sleeve designer for the new Ozrics album and now part of

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Ozric Tentacles (live at The Academy)

O2 Academy, London 23 May 2012

Ah, the British summertime, the time for festivals, too much sport on the TV, beer gardens and BBQs. But not this year, for the past month it had rained everyday, festivals would have been mud baths, sporting events cancelled and beer gardens and BBQs were just a faint and distant memory as rivers of water run through the streets. Then the Ozrics came and so did the sun…..

Due to delays on our wonderful transport system I arrived at the venue to catch only the last few minutes of Champignon. What I did see was perfectly wonderful and

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Guitar Wolf/Bo Ningen (live at The Academy)

O2 Academy Islington, London 8 July 2011

Two very different Japanese interpretations of the idea of rock’n’roll descended upon The Angel Islington.

Compare and contrast the constructions of rock’n’roll energy, of gtr-bs-dr dynamics between the leather-clad machismo of Guitar Wolf and Bo Ningen‘s more androgyne angle. Bo Ningen favour the Acid Mothers Hendrix approach, riffing and cavorting at an angle to the regular hard rock template at the junction where Flower Travellin’ Band, the Butthole Surfers and Keiji Haino intersect.

Guitar Wolf take on wholesale the template laid out by The Ramones of a hairy, shades-wearing confrontational power trio vigorously reinventing bubblegum pop and garage rock in a fast, harder and definitely louder version. They open bombastically, leaping from the drum riser and getting more uproarious from there on in.

Complete with pulling (apparently) random members of the audience onstage to play lead axe while Bass Wolf and

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