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Windhand / Satan’s Satyrs (live at The Borderline)

London 9 October 2017

Windhand live October 2017It’s been a few months since I last went to see a band at The Borderline, so I was somewhat shocked as I entered the venue as it seems like a totally different place. The one little bar has now been replaced by a massive long bar and an elevated standing area has been removed.

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Lucifer / Galley Beggar / Saturn (live at The Borderline)

Saturn live at The BorderlineLondon 3 September 2015

I cling unto the burning Æthyr like Lucifer that fell through the Abyss, and by the fury of his flight kindled the air.

Aleister Crowley

It had been raining for days. Every morning for the last week I awoke to the sound of water beating against the window. All it needed was the tolling of an iron bell and the first massive chord of “Black Sabbath” to make the mood complete. The night before the show a lightning bolt had struck my house. I was beginning to wonder what kind of omens these were and what they portending for Lucifer’s first show on UK soil.

First up is another band making their UK debut called Saturn.

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Fairport Convention (live at The Borderline)

London 22 May 2015

Fortis Green, north London. A place of fertile musical soil. Back at the turn of the Sixties, Fortis Green was the manor of brothers Ray and Dave Davies, whose combination of gifted lyricism, overdriven Vox amplifiers and almost unrivalled songwriting ability saw them take the output of their ground-breaking – although never less than highly combustible – band, The Kinks, to the pinnacle of the decade’s musical achievements. No compilation or documentary on the decade is now complete without a playback of the band’s performance on Shindig in 1965 (Ray purring out the words to “You Really Got Me” whilst Dave conjures the spirit of metal from his freshly-razored speaker cabs like Dr John Dee wrestling with a semi-acoustic) or grainy colour footage of the beautiful people rifling through racks of guardsmen’s jackets and groovy A-line skirts in Carnaby Street, all to the strains of “Dedicated

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Purson/Ulysses(live at The Borderline)

Purson live at The Borderline, October 2014London 28 October 2014

Wow; it’s packed in here tonight, a testament to all the hard work Purson have done over the last couple years. I’ve been singing the bands praises here on Freq since the first time I reviewed them as support to Comus at this very venue.

First up were Ulysses, a foot-stomping four piece with their roots firmly set in the 1970s. Their sound reminded me a lot of smatterings of Terry Reid meets Thin Lizzy meets Ziggy-era Bowie with some great hooks that The Sweet would have been proud of. At times during their set I almost felt I was watching to an episode of Top Of The Pops from 1973, except there were no Pan’s People on stage. But at

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Blood Ceremony/Spiders (live at The Borderline)

Blood Ceremony live at The Borderline May 2014London 6 May 2014 I was hypnotized and I made a wish to be the slave of Satan. My desire was so strong that I could get easily persuaded…

Let the conjurations begin! Or at the very least an evening of fine music.

The steps down into the darkened caverns of The Borderline seem quite apt for an evening of occult rock and I soon took my place at the centre of the circle and drank of the liquid of the ancient ones in preparation. First up are Spiders, and what a wonderful way to start the evening. The band, who are promoting their album Flash Point, are energetic and powerful. They are more earthy than the headliners and seem more like the

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The Samsara Blues Experiment (live at The Borderline)

London 15 November 2013

Samsara Blues Experiment live at The Borderline After some mix up on the door where I had to admit to being me twice (not sure why anyone would want or even pretend to be me), I make my way down a crowded staircase into a packed Borderline. I’d not been here since the ill fated Deviants gig a few months earlier so it was good to see the place heaving with people. The audience were a cross between the new psychedelic ‘hippies’ and stoners dressed in their finery, looking at times in a disdainful manner at the older war horses who have been going to these type of gigs when there was maybe only 10 other people in watching the bands in the back room of

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The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing + Thee Faction + Reprisal (live at The Borderline)

London 27 April 2013

Andrew O'Neill of TMTWNBBFN (Picture: Zoë Gillard)TMTWNBBFN (Picture: Medwyn Jones)It’s raining. It’s cold. And it’s the West bloody End. But it’s also The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing‘s biggest headline gig yet, so let’s check it the fuck out anyway. As we walk in, Reprisal are onstage, and making quite a splendid racket. Three longhairs, heads down, studiously cranking out some loud as fuck death metal riffs, while a massive skatepunk-looking dude bellows his face off at the front. It’s quite a winning combination, and certainly succeeds

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Comus/Fusion Orchestra 2/Purson (live at The Borderline)

The Borderline, London 29 April 2012

It had been raining solid for 24 hours. The streets of London were filled with a babbling brook of water that the sodden masses had to navigate to stop them from getting drenched further and all the while more fell from the sky to dampen peoples Saturday night.

As I entered The Borderline the place was already beginning to fill out early. The word was out that Purson were hot and people gathered to see what the fuss was about. I had already heard them as I had managed to find a copy of their limited single on Rise Above and was looking forward to finally seeing the band live, and they didn’t disappoint.

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The Deviants (live at The Borderline)

The Borderline, London 23 March 2012

The Deviants blasted out of the underground psychedelic scene in 1967. While Syd Barrett was taking the Pink Floyd into outer space and Jimi Hendrix was making his guitar wail to all the ‘foxy ladies,’ Mick Farren’s gang of urchins were singing the hymns of squat-land. With albums such as Ptoof!, Disposable and 3, the troubadours of Notting Hill sang proto-punk anthems while down the road bands such as Quintessence sang about “Jesus and Buddha.” While on a tour of the States the band imploded and became The Pink Fairies, leaving Farren out in the cold to become fist-waving conscience of the International Times and other underground tomes of the times. Intermittently over the last 40 years the Deviants have regrouped and have gone back out on the road and into the studio to remind us why their music still matters.

In tonight’s line

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Space Ritual (live at The Borderline)

The Borderline, London 13 January 2012

Rocket summer. People leaned from their dripping porches and watched the reddening sky.”

Like the spaceship in Ray Bradbury’s book about to blast its cargo to Mars, Space Ritual have a constant feel of the summer, their music warming even the coldest of winters evenings. The sense of free festivals and long warm days hangs in the air and a mystical pan like reverie pervades.

“I was going to record and sample my farts for a track,” Nik Turner casually informs the throng in front of him; a cheer of Bacchanalian joy fills the room and the space ritual begins. Drums pound from the nether regions of the universe while the sax plays a symphony from Orion’s belt and synthesizers swirl and bleep their way making the sound as if

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Space Ritual (live)

The Borderline London 25 February 2011

“We are the survivors, the eternal survivors……”

This phrase may have crossed Nik Turner and the rest of his Space Ritual cohorts minds at some points over the years. But here they are still playing some of the best darn space rock this side of the Andromeda galaxy. Before I start reviewing the tracks played I must make a special mention about Terry Ollis, as the gods of rock’n’roll just don’t make drummers like that anymore. He uses the drum kit to its full potential and is sparing at the same time. He keeps the beat and adds dramatic fills that only drummers from a certain era knew how to do. It was fantastic to watch him and, yes, nowadays he does play fully clothed…..

Tonight there is no support band, just (over) two hours of

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Ui/Rothko (live)

The Borderline, London 9th November 1999

A night at The Borderline, a night for Americanism. We arrived too late to hear the first set, a band called Kenny Process Team, so no insights there apart from the appropriate(d) soundtrack feeling their last couple of songs gave me as I took in the setting. This venue is a strange place for my impressions of London. Done up in 1970’s Tex-Mex sort of decor, disturbingly orderly, little comedy cowboy motifs everywhere, The Borderline could have easier been stuck out in the California high desert as in the middle of London. I felt relieved to notice the very punk-rock bartenders and hoped against all that no one was going to line-dance.

So then came Rothko, their short set of woeful bass-based tunes rang romantic and sweet, completely instrumental, basstrumental. One, two, three bass guitars to accompany the other sort of electronica, but with

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