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Thor & Friends / Kite Base (live at The Lexington)

Thor and Friends live May 2017

London 2 May 2017

What makes the difference between just another gig and a profoundly uplifting experience? This is the question that I am left pondering in the wake of Thor Harris‘s (erstwhile Swans) percussion and noise collective Thor & Friends show at The Lexington last night.

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Purson (live at The Lexington)

London 15 December 2016

Purson live December 2016 -0Winter in Britain in 2016 is grey, dreary affair, the trains are on strike nearly everyday, the post office is on strike and now you can’t even get away from it all as the staff on the airplanes are on strike. What is needed is the wonderful colourful psychedelic landscapes that only Purson can create to brighten up a dull winter’s day. There is, however, just one problem…

2016 has been the year that great music suffered. Apart from the deaths of legends like Bowie and Keith Emerson etc, etc, several good bands did not survive the year either, including Virginia Monti’s wonderful Psychedelic Witchcraft. Unfortunately Purson will not be spreading their wonderful music into 2017 as tonight’s show sadly is their final concert.

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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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The Cosmic Dead / Snapped Ankles (live at Baba Yaga’s Hut)

The Cosmic Dead September 2015

The Lexington, London 9 September 2015

There is something about Wednesdays, something odd that doesn’t quite fit right. Wednesday is the square peg in the round hole. It seems to bring out a strangeness in the universe, as if all those planets and solar systems and galaxies out there somehow know that that it’s Wednesday.

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Bobby Conn (live at The Lexington)

London 23 June 2013

There is a particularly caustic line in “Losing My Edge,” LCD Soundsystem’s scathing critique of changing musical fashion, that sums up perfectly much of what happened between the mid Nineties and the early Noughties:

I hear that you and your band have sold your guitars and bought turntables. I hear that you and your band have sold your turntables and bought guitars.

After 1994, with Cobain dead by his own hand and Sonic Youth showing the first signs of possible early-onset senility with the lacklustre Experiment Jet Set, Trash and No Star (thankfully a rather premature diagnosis), guitar music seemed to be everywhere in retreat. In so many places it was in a sorry state, lying in the gutter with a stake through its heart. As nature abhors a vacuum, it became instead an era of massed turntablism, of solitary combat-trousered figures hunched

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Zombie Zombie/The Oscillation (live at The Lexington)

The Lexington, London 24 October 2012

The weirdest thing, it would seem, about tonight’s opening act The Oscillation, is that they didn’t go the whole hog and add an extra “e” to that pronoun. Because this is a band who take their psychedelia seriously. Possibly a little too seriously, but if you’re a psych band then you can’t really be blamed for that. They start straight into a pleasingly massive swirl of echo, effects and coloured oils, and from then on the overall effect is like a package tour of psychedelia itself.

There are many enjoyable stretches relaxing by the Hawkwind pool, and a brief trip to see the ruins of Syd-era Floyd (fortunately they avoid the overpriced and somewhat tacky tourist traps of post-Syd

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The Cesarians (live at The Lexington)

The Lexington, London 22 June 2011

What can be said about The Cesarians that hasn’t already been described, outlined, put into the public sphere? That Charlie Finke is one of the great cavorting besuited frontmen of the century? That Justine Armatage arranges tunes to set the heart pounding and the pulses racing while being cool and intellectual too? That the ever-evolving band can multitask like no-one’s business, swapping instruments from French horn to violin to glockenspiel as the moment demands? That they are, quite simply, one of – perhaps the – premier whatever it is that make The Cesarians unique among performers, artistes, bands (etc) – treading the boards in London and beyond today?

Jan NobleThe answers come in black and white grains, in full-band swells, in percussive strikes and poetic interludes from Jan Noble; from

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K-X-P/Eat Lights, Become Lights (live)

The Lexington, London 19 January 2011

K-X-P at The LexingtonIt’s a red-light night tonight at The Lexington, north London’s finest whiskey bar and excellent venue to boot. Red décor and red lights make for a surreally-flattened visual experience, as if watching tonight’s bands during one of the more blood-soaked sections of Suspiria. But there’s no gothic horror show from Eat Lights, Become Lights – their take on psychedelic immersion is far more in the Düsseldorf tradition, as befits what is effectively Klub Motorik‘s house band.

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The Membranes/The Wolfhounds/Monkey Island (live at The Lexington)

The Lexington, London 5 November 2010

Monkey Island at the Lexington 5 November 2010As a night taking its title (Death to Trad Rock) from John Robb‘s book about the Eighties underground music scene in the UK, and held on the 405th anniversary of the gunpowder plot to destroy Parliament, it’s not surprising that there’s an atmosphere of challenge to the status quo (and perhaps especially Status Quo) in the air, though the music is drowning out the massed fireworks in the night sky outside.

Monkey Island certainly like to stir things up, dragging five decades of rock’n’roll through the dirt along the way to provide a fiery musical education in everything from punkish blues to folky hardcore. Their songs are angular, disjointed, smart and often shit-kickingly great. Pete Bennett runs rings round his Gibson, shredding and twanging, buzzing and stabbing the guitar and

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