As the ballots papers were rolling in, hoisting Theresa May by her own petard, Public Service Broadcasting were in Ebbw Vale, launching their new album. ‘Every Valley’ reflects on the decline of industry in the valleys. Some would argue the decline was hastened by the last female Tory Prime Minister.
The timing was pure coincidence, the gig had been planned well before the snap election had been called, but the irony could not be ignored.
Penetration were born out of the maelstrom that was the first wave of punk back in 1976, before the chord police dictated that you should play no more than three chords and they should all be played super fast. Although this is not quite the original line up, the current band all came out of that same old school where energy was matched by rhythm.
Forty years on Penetration have grown old gracefully. Unlike many of their counterparts who have reformed, they don’t try to dress like twenty year olds, they look like seasoned musicians with rock and roll jackets and shirts.
Tonight, in Clwb Ifor Bach, the band set things in motion by getting into an instrumental groove. Singer Pauline Murray then slowly wanders through the crowd and climbs on stage, complete with silk shirt, waistcoat and trilby.
They kick off the set with a half dozen numbers from the new album, Resolution, released in 2015, which go down well. Pauline then has a chat with the audience about the merits of old tunes v new tunes and never knowing what a crowd wants, before storming into some old classics from back in the day. Continue reading PENETRATION: Live @ Clwb Ifor Bach 02/04/16→
Hype is rarely all it is cracked up to be. It can be counterproductive, leading to audiences being disappointed. It usually brings a crowd out though, and the hype surrounding Slaves certainly brought out a capacity mob to the Velvet Coalmine on the Saturday night. But would they be disappointed?
Saturday was the busiest day of a busy Velvet Coalmine schedule, with film screenings, poetry readings and Q+A sessions taking place in town to compliment the packed list of bands playing all over town as part of the ‘Fringe’. Continue reading Slaves @ Velvet Coalmine 2015→
The lights went out, searchlights lit up the sky and the sound of an air raid siren pierced the air. But it was not the Luftwaffe that was coming, it was Dub War.
Twenty years ago Blackwood Miners Institute was an essential stop off for any touring band looking to make a name for themselves. It was also second home to Newport’s Dub War, who tore the roof off the venue several times in their short but explosive existence.
Fitting then, as the Velvet Coalmine crew try to reinstate Blackwood’s place on the national live music circuit, that Dub War, playing only their third gig in eighteen years, should step up to the plate. Continue reading Dub War @ Velvet Coalmine 2015→