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Einstürzende Neubauten (live at The Forum)

London 4 May 2017

Einstürzende Neubauten live May 2017Einstürzende Neubauten are a band very close to my heart — indeed, they reside in tattoo form on my left arm, so it’s literally a matter of inches. So I am delighted when, having given up on seeing what’s billed as a Greatest Hits set due to lack of funds, I find out at the last minute that I’ve been assigned to cover it for this esteemed organ (no giggling at the back).

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Before Victoria / B-Movie Romance / Martha Makes Mistakes (live at The Islington)

Before Victoria live October 2016

London 21 October 2016

As the nights draw in in Old London Town, it seems everyone’s ill. The photographer, the replacement photographer, half the musicians… but that’s not going to stop anyone having a raucous old time at the debut live showing of Marc Burrows‘s Regency-punk outfit Before Victoria in a small though tastefully-appointed venue at the back of The Islington pub in, well, Islington.

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White Hills / Teeth Of The Sea (live at The Lexington)

London 13 March 2016

Sunday night on Pentonville Road, and The Lexington is rammed. At first it’s hard to tell who’s here for the bands and who’s just here for a pint, but then the first act take the stage upstairs and people flood upwards. And it’s not hard to tell WHY they’re here for the bands — as Teeth Of The Sea fiddle around with their eclectic and quite frankly bizarre selection of instruments and boxes, including a bass guitar with a Throbbing Gristle sticker affixed.

Teeth Of The Sea live March 2016

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New Model Army (live at The Forum)

London 11 December 2015

“And you could be there…”

Zoom in. You’re down the front at The Forum. New Model Army are playing up a storm, and Justin Sullivan has put you right in the head of a religious extremist. They started with the never-more-appropriate-than-right-now-when-we’ve-just-started-bombing-in-Syria “Bloodsports”, a song which in itself encapsulates the endless War On Terror, from the packing of bullets to the bombing raids and slaughter to the impact on personal and community relations back home in the space of three minutes. They let it form a state-of-the-world triptych with angry classic “Christian Militia” at its centrepiece, rounded off by “Breathing”, an intimate glimpse into the mind of a terrorist atrocity survivor. As a statement of intent, it’s powerfully intense. As the opening to a rock show, it kicks ass. Zoom out. Take a breath.

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Rose McDowall / The Wharves (live at St Pancras Old Church)

Rose McDowall live at St Pancras Old ChurchLondon 28 May 2015

Tucked away in the heart of London’s St Pancras is St Pancras Old Church, one of the oldest sites of Christian worship in the country, and in whose grounds is buried Mary Wollstonecraft. Grounds that were at one point dug up by a young Thomas Hardy (the novelist, not the one out of Mad Max: Fury Road; that would just be weird) while working for the railways. In short, it’s got a lot of history. So it seems a fitting place for the legendary Rose McDowall to explore her own.

But more on that later; first it’s time to go inside and see the rather lovely triptych over the altar, which is currently, and appropriately though subversively, framing three-piece The Wharves,

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