Tag Archives: live music

Tonefest Dorset: Festival photographs

If you were at Tonefest this weekend you may have spotted me lugging my cameras around.  The chances are I may have caught you on film (well digital) when you didn’t expect it.

Please have a browse, if you spot yourself and want a copy of the photograph just drop me a line through the contact button above.  you are welcome to a free high resolution copy.

Twenty One Pilots Show Why They Are Rocks Hottest Ticket

Trying to categorise Ohio outfit Twenty One Pilots is enough to give even the most hard-bitten music journalist a headache. Twenty One Pilots music spans so many genre’s that they defy being pigeon-holed, so much so that fans have labelled Twenty One Pilots music as “Schizophrenic pop.” Whatever the genre it cannot be denied that their 2015 album Blurryface has propelled Twenty One Pilots into the big time with huge sales and a sold out tour. Twenty One Pilots rising stock also sees them win prominent billing at major international music festivals including this years Reading and Leeds festivals in August.
Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/3324376/twenty-one-pilots-show-why-they-are-rocks-hottest-ticket/#SRlItFexgtKe7SeY.99


Tobias Ben Jacob & Lukas Drinkwater – Square And Compass

My word I have some truly talented friends.  Last evening saw my wife and I jumping into the car for the short drive to Square & Compass in the tiny Dorset village of Worth Matravers.

The pub is tiny and homely with a great range of beers and ciders.  It is a real taste of old Dorset, it has been an alehouse since 1776, but you can be assured of a very warm welcome.  The pub also puts on a range of musical that would be the envy of many a large venue.

Lukas and Tobias-3

The Square and Compass is essentially divided into two cosy rooms separated by a corridor.  Bar service is through a hatch in the wall in the corridor.  It is a small cosy and incredibly intimate venue  as Tobias Ben Jacob and Lukas Drinkwater played a beautiful set to an unbelievably attentive audience.  The room the boys played in only holds about 40 people at a squeeze but the sound is superb and the atmosphere was absolutely superb.  As the gig was about to start there was a lovely buzz in the room as Saturday night drinkers enjoyed their beer.

As soon as Tobias and Lukas started to play an almost reverential silence descended as people watched and listened totally engrossed.  The set opened with an incredibly intricate instrumental piece that segued into “The Devil and Tobias Ben Jacob.”  This song with its whispered lyrics was a stroke of genius as it ensured that everyone was paying rapt attention.

It is amazing how much Tobias and Lukas’ sound has developed in the fairly short time they have been playing together.  There is a chemistry between Lukas and Tobias when they play.  Even with such incredibly talented musicians it takes time to develop the almost telepathic understanding that Lukas and Tobias enjoy.  Lukas’ percussive bass work compliments Tobias’ intricate guitar work superbly well their voices also compliment each other wonderfully well.

Lukas and Tobias-1

As the evening progressed we were treated to almost two hours of top class entertainment as Tobias and Lukas progressed through their set we were treated to all of the tracks from their recently released The Burning Low.  The highlight of the evening for me was a beautiful rendition of “It’s Still A Beautiful World.”  Other highlights included covers of Dylan’s “Shelter From The Storm” and a version of “Blind Willie McTell” that rivals the master himself in terms of its passion and delivery.

You can’t help but feel that Lukas and Tobias are creating something really very special here.  They are working on a full length album at present and with luck we will see that in the coming months.  In all  a brilliant nights entertainment from two of the nicest guys in the music business.

Lukas and Tobias-2

The Square & Compass website is here but for information on upcoming shows it is worth checking out their Facebook page.




Guns ‘N’ Roses Reunion Tour Likely But Is It A Mistake?

Rumors that Guns ‘N’ Roses are set to reunite for a 2016 tour have been gathering pace for months.  I received information that this was going to be the case some months ago but my source insisted that the information had to be confidential and no-one else was reporting on the issue so I didn’t give the claim a huge amount of credence at the time.

There is no doubt in my mind that Guns ‘N’ Roses were one of the biggest bands in the world with over 100 million album sales and they should have dominated rock music for decades.

Sadly this was not to be as front-man Axl Rose turned into one of the worlds prize assholes and problems with drink and drugs and a major fall-out between Rose and Slash lead to the bands demise.

Now E! online claim that the Guns ‘N’ Roses reunion is on the cards after the bands website was redesigned and updated to include the old logo—silver revolvers and red roses from its Appetite for Destruction album cover.

The bands facebook page has also been updated to feature an image of a cheering crowd, perhaps another hint that a reunion tour is on the cards.

According to the Independent a teaser trailer [below] has been played prior to screenings of the new Star Wars movie.

On a personal note I never managed to see Guns ‘N’ Roses whilst they were at the peak of their powers and I would dearly love the opportunity to catch them live.  Axl Rose may be one of the worlds biggest assholes but he is also an incredible performer, one I would love to see.  I was looking forward to seeing Motorhead at next years Download festival but sadly the untimely death of Lemmy Kilmister has put paid to that.

A reformed Guns ‘N’ Roses would be an excellent substitute if Axl Rose isn’t too far up his own ass and is willing to play lower down the bill at Download.


It seems that not everyone agrees though with some claiming a Guns ‘N’ Roses reunion is just about the money and a reunion tour will ruin their legacy.

No-one should expect that Guns ‘N’ Roses will return at their glorious best, that would be unrealistic.

What remains is a group of middle-aged men on a cash grab from the nostalgia demographic. The band members no doubt understand this is a last hurrah financially, and to get that money, every show must be played in full and without the excessive drama that made them legends.

A Party At The Fleece – Bristol

I don’t often head to Bristol for gigs.  Frustratingly the city has an incredible live music culture but it is so difficult to get to from Dorset.  The journey is under 70 miles but it can easily take 3-hours to do the drive.  In reality this rules out travelling to a gig and coming home the same night.  The thought of driving 70 miles, late at night on some of the worst roads in the country doesn’t bear thinking about.

This was a gig that we almost didn’t go to because we are off on holiday on Monday but in the end the allure of a brilliant line-up and the prospect of meeting up with some great friends just before we go away proved too great.

After sorting our hotel and grabbing a bite to eat it was time to head off to the Seven Stars for a few pints before the music started.  It was wonderful to see so many friends had made the trip and we were soon chatting and laughing together as we renewed old friendships and made new  ones.

What a great line-up of artists the fleece had for us.  The evening was kicked off by the irrepressible Doozer McDooze.  You can’t help but love Doozer.  His enthusiasm, sense of fun and clever lyrics bring a smile to every face in the room.  Doozer’s song “I Don’t Wanna Go Home”  has been adopted as a festival anthem by those of us who love grassroots festivals.  Tonight Doozer brought the house down as every voice in the room joined in singing the anthem at the top of their voices.

You cannot fail to enjoy yourself when Doozer plays and so tonight proved once again.  Doozer set the scene for a Kent invasion of the west country and laid the foundations for a fantastic evenings entertainment.  Next up were another festival favourite act, Hobo Jones and The Junkyard Dogs.

I have lost count of the number of times I have seen the Hobo’s this year but they never fail to entertain.  The “godfathers of Skunk” are so amusing with their blend of madcap covers interspersed with often self-deprecating humour.  The jokes may be familiar but they never seem to lose their currency largely because the boys facial expressions and the audience reaction is enough to keep you laughing.  Davey Malone is an expert at playing to the audience and as a result the performance always seems fresh.

Hobo Jones at the fleece

That’s not to say that the Hobo’s can’t produce a moment that brings a lump to your throat.  They did so last night with their version of  “Fairytale Of New York” which was dedicated to Kirsty MacColl on the 15th Anniversary of her tragic death.

Next up on the night was another man of Kent the simply incredible Funke and The Two Tone Baby.  Funke and Gaz Brookfield have just been out on tour together and in their journeys up and down the country they sold out over half of the dates, quite a feat for two independent artists.

Funke is in my opinion one of the best songwriters I have ever heard, his lyrics are complex and occasionally surreal.  His mix of guitar, harmonica and voice and creative use of loop pedals creates a unique soundscape rooted in the blues but thoroughly modern and absorbing.  The crowd were  bouncing throughout Funke’s set and by the end we were all as exhausted as he was.  The mild weather, a packed house and the energy coming from the stage ensured that by the end of his set Funke had the crowd dripping with sweat as we all jumped and bounced along with him.

I was so hot by the end of Funke’s set that I had to get outside for a sit down and some fresh air.  Whilst I was outside Gaz Brookfield opened his set with his now traditional “land Pirates Life.”  On dashing back inside I found that the venue was absolutely rammed, so packed that I couldn’t get anywhere near close enough to take any decent photographs.

As any fan of Brookfield knows Gaz doesn’t know how to give anything less than 100% and tonight was no exception.  As a rule Brookfield plays solo or with Ben Wain on fiddle but tonight we were treated to a full band performance as Gaz was joined by The Company Of Thieves.

Gaz’s performance as always was flawless and we were treated to an exceptional set as we were treated to favourites like Under The Table, Diabetes Blues, Ode To Ozzy and the Ballad Of Elizabeth Duke and Godless Man.

Brookfield’s performances are always high energy and entertaining.  He is always an incredibly engaging performer but I thought the addition of a full band added something to the show.  Of course the addition of a band is always going to add depth and vibrancy to the sound but there was more to it that just that.

I felt that Gaz enjoyed sharing the stage, the interaction between Gaz and the members of the band added an additional sense of theatre.

I am delighted to have made the trip to Bristol, I enjoyed a quite brilliant evenings entertainment among friends and kindred spirits, what more could you possibly wish for?

Mumford and Sons Hit Out At Ticket Scalpers

Mumford and Sons Hit Out At Ticket Scalpers

British band Mumford And Sons are the latest band to hit out at Ticket Touts and scalpers.
The hit band have released a statement on their website pleading with fans to help them to stop scalping by writing to the U.K.’s department of culture to ask the UK Government to take action against the trade by secondary ticket sellers.  The thrust of the statement below is that Mumford and Sons want their tickets to go to genuine fans at face value.  They have no problem with fans selling tickets at face value if they can’t make a show they have tickets for.  In their statement Mumford and Sons say :
“We’ve worked so hard over the years to keep our ticket prices reasonable – we want all of our fans to be able to come to our shows.  We’ve also done everything we can to keep our tickets from finding their way on to re-selling sites.  Many tickets on secondary sites are being sold by touts who are simply in the business of ripping off the fan by charging an extortionate amount for sold out shows.  The activities of these touts are very sophisticated: they hire coders to try to break the software of the ticket companies that we hand-pick to sell our tickets in the first place (Primary Ticket sellers); they use multiple identities to buy several batches of tickets from the same ticket seller; and (contravening UK law) they pose as individual consumers when they list tickets on these services with no mention of seat number or row, when actually they’re businesses with no intention of going to the shows buying tickets in bulk to sell on.  It’s our hope that secondary ticketing companies root this out to stop it happening on their sites, and that they shut it down.”
“By our estimation when this tour went on general sale there were roughly 6,000 tickets out there on secondary ticket platforms across the UK tour, including 1,500 for each night at the O2 in London.  People may argue that those tickets have already been sold and we’re getting the money anyway.   But that’s not how we see it.  We want fans of the band to be able to get into our shows for the right price, to feel that they’ve got value for money.  We want every seat in a sold out show to be filled with a fan.  Why do we care so much?  Because it’s not right, it hurts our fans and it’s a problem for all artists.”
“Yes, there are some fans legitimately trying to sell on tickets to other fans because they can’t make a show for whatever reason – but we believe this is a tiny percentage of the business being conducted on secondary tickets sites.  We strongly urge you to use a platform like Twickets, ScarletMist and other face-value-only sites if you can’t make a show and need to sell on your tickets (also look on the forum at the ‘Buying/Selling Tickets (Face Value Only)’ thread).  Sites like these won’t allow you to re-sell the ticket for a profit.  This makes them unusable to touts.”
“Behind the scenes over the years, we have tried a lot of different ways to beat the touts including trying to get as many of the tickets as possible for a show to sell ourselves through ticket companies that we choose; we hold back tickets to put back on sale at face value nearer to the show so that fans have a second bite of the cherry at buying tickets at the right price, we’ve cancelled thousands of orders by arduously going through ticket purchases order-by-order to weed out known touts and dodgy credit cards; we’ve even gone as far as to put all of the tickets in one US tour we did into a lottery system so that we were able to remove all of the touts before only inviting legitimate fans to buy the tickets.  We need your help to win this battle.  We urge you again to use face-value only Secondary ticketing sites either to sell or buy tickets.”
“We personally went in to the UK’s Department of Culture, Music and Sport last Thursday morning and met with Professor Waterson who’s conducting an independent Parliamentary Review into this issue of Secondary Ticketing.  We voiced our concerns, and we’ve been welcomed to give them more evidence of these bad practices, which we will do.  In the meantime if any of you has a bad story to tell about buying tickets via Secondary Ticketing sites, the Review would welcome your feedback.   Tell your friends, maybe they’ve had a bad experience at another artist’s show.  The address is: ticketing@culture.gov.uk.  (You will get a message back saying that the deadline for submitting evidence has passed, but we’ve managed to get an extension until 18th December). For more information, see here.”
Winston Marshall, Marcus Mumford, Ted Dwane, Ben Lovett and Adam Tudhope (Manager)

Camp Bestival Lineup Taking Shape Already

Regular readers will no doubt recall my praise of Dorset’s Camp Bestival held at Lulworth Castle, just a few miles from home.

The sister festival to the Isle of Wights season closing festival, Camp Bestival is a great option for families with children.  As I have reported in the past Camp Bestival is not just a family friendly festival, it is a festival that is focused on children from the ground up.  There is an almost endless stream of activities to keep the little ones entertained throughout.

This year sees the return of Dick and Dom, Mr Tumble and Aliens Love Underpants on the main stage.  This years theme is outer space so dig out your space suit outfits to join the fun.

Camp Bestival batch 2-29

Camp Bestival

With Jess Glynne and Fatboy Slim already announced as Friday and Saturday night headliners, the headline line-up is complete with the mighty Tears for Fears headlining Sunday and closing the festival.

Camp Bestival curator Rob da Bank says: “Songs from the Big Chair was, and still is, one of my most treasured albums, and one which appears totally timeless. I still can’t figure out what most of the lyrics mean, but when the music and vocals are so strong it doesn’t matter. We took our kids on holiday last year and only had two CDs in the car, one of them was this and they cannot get enough of it, too… so, I know after five years of trying, Tears for Fears are going to be something very special at Camp Bestival for all ages.”

Tears for Fears commented on their first UK festival appearance in 26 yearsWe are so looking forward to playing our first UK festival since our last one in 1990 at Knebworth. I know we’re not the most prolific artists but we believe in quality over quantity. We’re looking forward to performing new & old songs as we will have finished our new album before we perform. The fact that it’s in the West Country where we began our journey makes it all the more gratifying. We look forward to seeing you at Camp Bestival”.

This years Camp Bestival takes place from 28 – 31 July.

To ease the burden on families Camp Bestival is offering a weekly payment plan: Details and tickets here.

Camp Bestival is on the internet on Facebook and Twitter


The defiled tour UK in January

The Defiled Touring UK In January

Over a year since their last headline UK tour, THE DEFILED have announced a run of headline shows in January and February 2016 following a short run of dates as main support to In This Moment.

The AvD comments, “When we announced we would be special guests to In This Moment a load of you got in touch asking for headline shows – well we’ve managed to work a few out! We’ll be playing some songs we’ve never played live before, a couple of cheeky covers and at least one new song for you guys!”

2016 will also be a record breaking year for the band when the four piece are officially added to the Guinness Book Of World Records.  Braving arctic conditions, THE DEFILED became the first band to play a gig on an iceberg last year as part of Jagermeister’s Ice Cold Gig series.  The stunt will be immortalised forever in the 2016 Guinness Book Of World Records.

Check this out:

Tickets for the tour are on sale now www.thedefiled.net

Catch THE DEFILED at the following shows.
** Headline with support from FOREVER NEVER and VAMPIRES EVERYWHERE

21 Jan – London, The Forum*
22 Jan – Birmingham, The Institute*
23 Jan – Glasgow, Barrowlands*
24 Jan – Manchester, The Ritz*
26 Jan – Milton Keynes, Craufurd Arms**
27 Jan – Oxford, The Bullingdon**
28 Jan – Norwich, Waterfont Studio**
29 Jan – York, The Duchess**
30 Jan – Sheffield, Corporation**
31 Jan  – Nottingham, Rescue Rooms**
02 Feb – Newcastle, Think Tank**
03 Feb – Chester, Live Rooms**
04 Feb – Swansea, The Scene**

Jamie Cullum Larmer Tree Festival

Larmer Tree Festival: Jamie Cullum To Open

The Larmer Tree Festival has long been one of the first events that go into my calendar.  The festival is local to me, the range of music and comedy is eclectic to say the least and of course it takes place in the stunning setting of Larmer Tree gardens.

Another reason that the Larmer Tree sees me going back year after year is the fact that they always manage to pull a surprise or two out of the bag.

It seems that Larmer Tree Festival 2016 will be no exception.  It has become a tradition at Larmer Tree for the festival to open on Wednesday evening with a headliner that is likely to appeal to the local populous and perhaps to those for whom five days camping may be just a bit too much.

Since the Wednesday opener began Van Morrison, Jools Holland and laterally Sir Tom Jones have graced the Larmer lawn.  I confess I was hoping that this years opener would be someone other than Sir Tom and so it has proved.

This years Wednesday headliner will be Jamie Cullum.  Now I really did not see that one coming.  Having sold over 10-million album’s the pop-jazz crossover has a huge following and is sure to be a huge hit with those who like to spend their Wednesday opening night chilling out with a bottle of wine listening to smooth jazz.

In what will doubtless prove to be an interesting contrast of styles English/Italian singer songwriter Jack Savoretti who is a tremendous live act.  I listened to a fair bit of Savoretti last year on the run up to Beautiful Days Festival but it wasn’t until I saw him perform live that everything clicked into place.

Tickets for Larmer Tree 2016 are on sale here.

Download Festival 2015

Download Festival Announces Another List Of Acts For 2016

Well, I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am.  Daniel P Carter has just revealed another list of artists for the 2016 pilgrimage to Donington park.

The headline acts were announced a few weeks back and with Black Sabbath, Rammstein and Iron Maiden whats not to like.  Then came the announcements that Korn, Deftness, Motorhead and Megadeath were on the main stage undercard.  At that point I began to get really excited.

Download Beartooth-13


This evening Daniel P Carter used his Sunday Rock show on Radio 1 to announce another list of artists.  These include several of my current favourite bands.  Most exciting to me is the incredible Beartooth and the utter hardcore madness that is Frank carter and the Rattlesnakes.  The amazing Architects are also added along with the enigmatic death metal outfit Ghost.

Frank Carter

Frank Carter

I couldn’t be more excited if I were selecting bands to play at the festival from a virtual wishlist most of the bands announced would be on it.  There are also a few bands to date that I don’t know so I will really looking forward to learning about some new bands.

Ghost Papa Emeritus

I can’t wait.  Epic!!!