Tag Archive: Slade Rooms

Then Jerico + Mike Marlin @ Wolverhampton Slade Rooms, 17th May 2013

It’s a Friday blast from the past. We’re off to the smallest of the Wolves Civic venues, the Slade Rooms. Support tonight is from Mike Marlin is very possibly a rising star, tonight supporting a band who at one point shone pretty brightly, though longevity and change in music scene proved a staling point. Literally “Reprising” their star tonight it’s Mark Shaw with the boys from Then Jerico

As we arrive at the Slade Rooms there is a slight technical hitch. We’re not on the list either to shoot or review. Ooops. But the very friendly staff at the Slade Rooms do a little bit of running around and Nicki (Then Jerico’s Tour Manager) and the lovely Claire (Venue Manager on behalf of Wolves Civic tonight) duly gain us access, and for our photographer Ken, he can shoot the gig with no time limits…

First up it’s Mike Marlin. We saw him support The Stranglers a couple of years ago, and he’s since be on the road supporting Huey Morgan (one time front man of Fun Lovin’ Criminals) and now on the UK tour with Then Jerico. As a young lad was inspired by the up and coming punk and British acts. By ’82 he gave up music as a career but along with the day job, at night he continued to write. It was 2011 before he released his first album ‘Nearly Man’ followed in quick succession by ‘Man on the Ground.’ He’s a busy boy, in 2013 he has yet another album out ‘Grand Reveal.’  With full band, his songs are introspective and deep (think Leonard Cohen) but you will merrily bop along to his rolling melodies. He’s getting some good feedback from the critics – ‘Q’ and the ‘Independent on Sunday’ giving it 4 stars.  And he’s got a pretty garish shirt on – “… to embarrass his kids.” The tracks roll, bluesy, indie rock and have to say, totally enjoyable. The main word used by many critics about Marlin is ‘fascinating’ and I would agree. Take a listen and check him out on his website: www.marlinmarlin.com

And we take a quick drink before the main act of the night. Then Jerico hit the spotlight with their first album ‘First (The Sound Of Music)’ featuring hits ‘Muscle Deep’ and ‘The Motive’ (the later of which became the most played record on Radio 1 in 1987). Next up ‘Big Area’ went Platinum. By ’90 it was all change (and at the time when the music scene was into the various versions of dance, indie had gone commercial with Britpop and Grunge was just round the corner) – Shaw left to go solo. Shaw, with and without the Then Jerico tag, continued around on the music scene at one point featuring one Andy Taylor, formerly of Duran Duran, before disappearing from view. In 2012, for the guys, it was time to reform – and now the original lineup of Shaw, Jasper Stainthorpe (Bass), Scott Taylor (Guitar), Rob Downes (Guitar) and Steve Wren (Drums) are back together.  This is part of a 13-date UK tour to promote ‘Reprise’ greatest and best-known hits and some ‘mysterious mixes’.

So here they come – to a cheer from the audience and accompanied by the theme from ‘Stingray’. The tiny Slade Rooms aren’t sold out – I’m guessing there are around 150 people here. That doesn’t stop Shaw – he ‘whoops’ as he appears on stage, and gives it his all as we start of with ‘Helpless.’ Next up ‘You Ought To Know’ – to all intense and purposes they deserve better than this half filled tiny room. He’s chatty and engaging – the band are clearly enjoying themselves as we get an acknowledgement to local band Slade as then give us a rendition of ‘Cum on Feel the Noize.’

Hit ‘Prairie Rose’ is rocky live than on vinyl – gets the crowd chanting back – and like several tracks tonight – these are extended remixes that roll on and on. ‘Hitcher’, the dark song with the lyrics I can somehow bizarrely quote: “Hitcher, hitcher, hitch one ride, Took your life with a six inch knife, He put the secret into your brain, Moments later you died in pain…”. The crowd duly sings along too. Shaw is hugely energetic – prancing and posing and striding around the tiny stage like it was three times the size – introducing the band members between songs. The crowd recognises the intro – it’ll be mega hit ‘The Motive’ followed by another hit, ‘Sugar Box.’

The bass starts up and takes us into the darker side of Then Jerico – ‘Underground’; Shaw is in the pit as he screens “Fire” at the crowd. Shaw has a photo taken by an audience member on their mobile “How much? Pictures are extra…” he cheekily responds. A thanks to everyone (in the world) involved in putting the tour together and we get him singing alone to the intro to ‘Big Area’ before that band give us the full track in it’s pop glory.

“Good night – God bless you.…” and we have a five minute break before the encore. Shaw and guitarist sidekick give us an acoustic ‘Darkest Hour’ still a beautifully haunting track – and live, Shaw’s vocals are strong and emotionally powerful. The clear standout moment of the night. A bit of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s ‘The Message’ before last track of the night ‘Reeling’ which rolls on and on – or reels on and on as the case may be. Shaw is clearly pretty stoked by the end of the night after the 1 hour 45 minute set – the guys have clearly enjoyed themselves.

I wasn’t too sure what to expect from Then Jerico – and I found that I enjoyed tonight’s entertainment. Then Jerico shone very brightly albeit briefly in their hey-day – but they still remain a tight outfit, are having a blast playing and Shaw has a huge amount of energy – giving his all, in performance and emotionally. Then Jerico are on a par with other nostalgia bands that are out, and probably give far better live set than many. So if you fancy an intimate night of 80‘s nostalgia for around for 20 nicker – then pop out for a night with and reprise a time with Then Jerico. You could do far worse.

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Setlist:

1. Helpless

2. You Ought to Know.

3. Let Her Fall

4. Fault

5. Blessed Days…

6. Prairie Rose

7. Hitcher

8. What Does It Take

9. The Motive…

10. Play Dead

11. Sugarbox

12. Underground

13. Big Area

Encore:

14. Darkest Hour

15. Broken hearted

16. Reeling

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Review for Gig Junkies. Pictures by Ken Harrison

Blancmange + Light Cascades + The Audacity @ HMV Institute Temple, 19th May 2012

Review for Birmingham Live! Pictures: Ken Harrison

After having moved venues twice in as many days – we climb to the top of the HMV Institute to see the iconic electronic Blancmange, back again, for the second time in less that a year after a twenty five year hiatus.

This gig started out life in the 02 Academy 2, then moved to the Academy 3, before a last minute move to The Temple at the HMV Institute across town. We don’t know why, but maybe it was because a “lesser known, small band” with the name of Black Sabbath were performing an intimate gig in the 02 Academy 1…

So after a traipse across town and a climb pretty much to the rooftop of the HMV Institute to the Temple (not sure why they’ve gone for this room – The Library would have made more sense – and there’s nowt else on at the Institute tonight). Though fair play to The Institute, the staff are all very friendly and they’ve opened up the VIP Conservatory, with bar and area for those fans who want a fag, without having to traipse down two flights of stairs.

The teeny Temple is three-quarters full – couple of hundred fans – probably due to the fact they’re playing The Slade Rooms in Wolvo the following night. Blancmange were indeed one of the influential pioneers in their hey day –  ‘Living on The Ceiling’, ‘Feel Me’ and “Blind Vision” are just some of their stand out tracks. Over recent years, they’ve been acknowledged as inspirational by bands such as La Roux, Hot Chip and Faithless.

Formed in ‘79, inspired by Joy Division, early Human League and the godfathers of electronica, Kraftwerk. Stephen Luscombe and Neil Arthur didn’t have a plan; they went along with the ride. And by the mid eighties, they felt their time was as a band was over – but kept their friendship in tact. And so, turn to 2010; they started working on their fourth album ‘Blanc Burn’.

Sadly Luscombe once again has been advised not to tour having been diagnosed with an abdominal aortic aneurism near his spine (you can read his message on the front of the Blancmange website) . And so again, it’s down to Arthur to continue with the tour accompanied on the teeny stage tonight by Graham Henderson “twiddling the knobs…”

Local bands are tonight’s support’s – first up – The Audacity – inspired by early Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk and New Order. Next up – Light Cascades – another young indie electronica band, with female lead plus bass and guitar; they are very early 80s in sound. Set includes cover of The Cure’s ‘Pictures of You.’

And at 9pm, Arthur and his side kick Henderson appear on the darkened stage, with arty screen backdrop accompaniment and we’re into the first track of the night  ‘Game Above My Head.’ Arthur stoops and sheltering his eyes from the spotlight, peers into the crowd. His voice still is the iconic sound of Blancmange. With Lancastrian accent “That’s very nice of you Birmingham, find ya way ‘ere did you? We got lost….” (comment on venue change from an audience member) Arthur joking – “that’s what I meant!”  Next track “I Can’t Explain “ shows how early Blancmange gained their early influence – very Kraftwerk inspired. Tonight’s set it the old and the new (from 2011’s Blanc Burn); from the first single ‘God’s Kitchen’ to tracks such as ‘Radio Therapy’ …. And Arthur is keeping track of the footie score – “What’s the score?” (Nil-Nil) “ooooo”

The stand out tracks tonight are the main hits of the past – a track that was released thirty years ago this September – ‘Living on the Ceiling’ is still as classy as Joy Division’s ‘Love Will Tears Us Apart’. And as the number closes, and the music rolls, Arthurs disappears off stage – to re-appear slap bang in front of us in the audience – before nipping back. “Always wanted to see Blancmange… wish I was thirty years younger” he quips. Few more tracks – then the classic ‘Blind Vision’, followed by Blanc Burn track ‘Starfucker’ then ‘Feel Me’ – a track that Talking Heads would have been proud of.

Off and back on for encore with an unsuspecting audience member he grabbed “while she was on the way to the loo…”  The we get the ABBA cover ‘The Day Before You Came’ and ‘Probably Nothing.’ Arthur and Henderson bow to the crowd.

Arthur is chatty – and loves to engage with the fans – he’ll be chatting by the merchandising stand after the gig, and as we leave – most people stay behind for the opportunity……

Tonight’s gig wasn’t as good as their gig last year at The Academy 2 – but that could well have been down to the venue move. There is something very classy about Blancmange, they truly deserve a bigger take-up from those fans who love electronica. They deserved more than the couple of hundred that turned up tonight – however loyal those few are. So go check em out – you will not be disappointed. And to Arthur, and Luscombe, keep it up boys, it’s great to hear you once again.

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Brum Live photographer Ken Harrison got to see Blancmange the following night at The Slade Rooms in Wolverhampton with support from local lad Johnny Normal. This gig was indeed Blancmange back on full form (everyone is entitled to a bit of an off night especially with last minute swap-around on venues!) – far better sound and more space on stage. They were also joined by long time associate, Pandit Dinesh, on percussion. Setlist was a bit different – they finished the set with the melodic ‘Waves’.

Ken caught up with Neil Arthur after the gig – and gave an acknowledgment to Birmingham Live! “They’re great!”  Cheers matey – we look forward to see Blancmange back in the Midlands very soon!

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Setlist:

  1. Game Above My Head
  2. I Can’t Explain
  3. WDYF
  4. God’s Kitchen
  5. Radio Therapy
  6. Drive Me
  1. The Western
  2. Living on the Celling
  3. By the Bus Stop @ Woolies
  4. Don’t Let These Days
  5. Blind Vision
  6. Star Fucker
  7. Feel Me

 

Encore:

14. The Day Before You Came

15. Probably Nothing

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Listening:

Happy Families (1982)

Mange Tout (1984)

Believe You Me (1985)

Blanc Burn (2011)

Terrorvision + The Breakdowns @ Wolverhampton Slade Rooms, 2nd October 2011

Another review for Birmingham Live. With thanks to Beki Barret and John Bentley! They know why!

Full post due soon on Live with Pics, once again by John Bentley!

Well here we are in an Indian Summer. Hottest October day on record. So just the day to go to an intimate, excruciatingly hot, gig in a small bar venue in Wolves. Welcome to the Slade Rooms. Welcome to the band that made indie rock and roll just great fun with some great pop songs and just great downright straight ‘come and party with us lot” gigs. Welcome everyone ‘cos, with new album in tow, tonightTerrorvision are in town.

Support tonight comes from The Breakdowns as they travel across the UK with the Bradford boys. Coming on stage a tad early to a half filled hall, they are well received with their up-tempo new wave catchy-sounding rock. Lead singer adorned with Keith Richard-style headband, guitar player dressed and moving like he had walked straight out of The Ramones, but playing guitar licks that were very Chuck Berry. Clearly inspired by a variety of influences, according to their website – they’re doing ‘True to your School’ rock n’ roll baby!  With an album available ‘The Kids Don’t Wanna Bop Any More’ – well worth a listen.

Terrorvision bounced onto the scene in the early nineties, a mismatch amalgamation of art school buddies Mark Yates and Leigh Marklew, drumming loon Shutty and long-haired urchin Tony Wright. After the release of ‘Formaldehyde’ in ’91, they started gigging endlessly, including opening ‘up-north’ local heroes Def Leppard’s homecoming Sheffield Don Valley Gig to 40,000 people, while the previous night playing to just 100, at an impromptu gig at a local pub. ‘93s ‘How to Make Friends and Influence People’ spawned five top 30 hits, and remains an incredibly infectious listen. Two further classic albums, plus festival and regular touring made them THE fun, alternative band to see, still occasionally shipping out the classic indie pop chart-making ditty.

By 2001, after a decade of raucous misbehaviour, they decided to wrap it up. But you just can’t keep a good band down, they reformed in ‘05, then in ’07, then every year since. ‘08 brought the ‘How to Make Friends and Influence People’ ‘in its entirety’ tour, which totally sold out.  Drummer Shutty has once again called it a day, so joining the original members is Cam Greenwood. Oh and look out, they’ve release a brand new shiny album: ‘Super Delux.’

On they come, opening their set with ‘Neighbourhood’ complete with flashing blue lights and sirens – “somebody call the cops”- a track from their new album. By third track in, ‘D’ya Wanna Go Faster’, the crowd is in full-on bounce mode. “‘Ello”, says affable and chatty frontman Tony Wright. “This one starts with lotsa people clappin’ in Wolver’ampton.” And we’re into ‘American TV’. And on they go, good times indie rock n’ roll. ‘Babylon’, another track from the new album … “which you can buy on the internet.” Tonight’s version of ‘Tequila’ has a bluesy feel followed by “We’re not gonna tell you what this song is, we’re gonna just sing it in a Las Vegas style – where it starts and you just come in”  –  ‘Discotheque Wreck’ – during which Wright goes slightly rock n’ roll opening a beer over the crowd before downing the lot.

Lots of tracks from the new album, smattered with the old. “First song off our new album – first in ten years. People should hear these songs. Come to live music venues and support rock and roll. It starts with a big cheer in the Slade rooms.” Which of course, was followed by massive cheer from the crowd.  A more chilled moment – ‘Bad Actress’  – “This is one for all of you that ‘av still got a lighter or those of you have an application that serves as a lighter. … It’s a bit of a ballad.” ‘Pushover’ – “This is our new single. I think this is how you have a single these days. Make a video stick it on YouTube and go out and play it live to everybody. Now … dance as if you’ve heard it every day for the last year.” “I think this is the 12 inch version of it as well….” he jokes as the intro is extended then stops and restarts.

And then we’re back into the old days – ‘Oblivion’ –  part way through “put your hands in the air” and the audience willingly oblige, wave their arms back and forth and join in the moment. “I have these things in my ears to hear myself sing, but I took ‘em out ‘cos I prefer listening to you lot cheering” grins Wright.  For ‘Don’t Shoot the Dog’, a quirky anecdote – “This was originally a Christmas song called ‘Don’t Shoot My Reindeer’ but it came out in March! Let’s do one of them campaigns: Get Terrorvision to Christmas No 1 in March!”  And we’re still going –  ‘Middleman’, ‘Josephine’ and set completed by a very smily Wright singing ‘Perseverance.’

Off and back on again to the ubiquitous ‘Alice What’s the Matter?’, sound turned up and crowd getting louder and louder, everyone singing and into it by now. Wright applauds the crowd. ‘Pretend Best Friend’ and it’s over, the band link arms over their shoulders in a line at the front of the stage and gave a final bow to Elvis’ ‘Wonder of you.’

Terrorvison are just great fun. They are indeed, one of the few nineties bands, where it is a pleasure to see ‘em back on stage, back with a new album. Back just enjoying themselves, for the pleasure of everyone there tonight – well worth the price of a ticket (just 15 nicker boys and girls) and an uplifting night out. New and up and coming bands can learn a lot from em – maybe they could write a book: “How to be yourself and entertain everyone in bucket loads and have fun at the same time.”

Yeah, at times it was a bit like being thrown back into the mid-nineties. But their songs stand the test of time really well, and their new stuff is very much in the same vein. So if you want a break from the financial misery and you want to let your hair down, and have fun, go and play with Terrorvision. It’s an open party.

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Setlist:

1. Neighbourhood

2. My House

3. D’ya Wanna Go Faster

4. American TV

5. Celebrity Hitlist

6. Babylon

7, Still the Rhythm

8. Tequila

9. Discotheque Wreck

10. Rock Radio

11. Demolition Song

12. What Makes You Tick

13. If I Was You

14. Bad Actress

15. Shiny Things

16. Friends & Family

17. Pushover

18. Oblivion

19. Don’t Shoot the Dog

20. Middleman

21. Josephine

22. Perseverance

Encore:

23. Alice What’s The Matter?

24. Pretend Best Friend

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Terrorvision:

Web: www.terrorvision.com

Listening:

‘How to make friends and influence people’(1993)

‘Whales and Dolphins (The Best of Terrorvision)’ (2009)

‘Super Delux’ (2011)

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The Breakdowns

Web: www.thebreakdowns.co.uk

Listening:

Listening: ‘The Kids Don’t Wanna Bop Any More’ (2011).