Tag Archives: buckle up

Five Things This Week in Staines and Area

Los at The Hob, Staines

Jan 28 2010

Hollow Limit

Hollow Limit
Jan 28 2010
Town Hall

Mother Hydra at Staines

Mother Hydra
Jan 31 2010

Robin BiBi Band

Robin Bibi
Jan 30 2010
Bluescene @ The Lion


Jan 30 2010
Fox and Duck


Hob ‘closure’ Danger – Will the Venue Survive?

Company Pubs n Bars the owner of 87 local pubs situated primarily in the south-east of England has collapsed into administration after falling victim of the decline in consumer spending. The Aim-listed company yesterday appointed Grant Thornton as administrator, who warned that some pubs will close. Pubs n Bars which had debts of around £ 24m, were also hit by the smoking ban, credit insurers scaling back cover for providers and a decline in revenue from machines on the premises.  The Hobgoblin Staines is a PNB public house so is threatened with closure.

A director of the company, David Thurgood, has admitted that some of the weaker units may need to be closed. The alarm bells started to ring  for the Staines Hobgoblin manager Jensen Nightingale on last Tuesday night when his Sky TV was switched off without warning during a game.

Last night (10 Dec) scores of music fans gathered at The Hobgoblin (The Hob) – which is Staines most important music venue – to see BIG TRUCK, MIDGAR and VITAL INC play. This Saturday (12th Dec) the venue is set to be hosting an EP launch night for exciting new local band the DIRTY CRAWLERS – and the landlord fully expects to fill the pub to capacity (tickets still available behind the bar or on the door on the night.)

Hob resident promoters Buckle Up are asking that every live music lover and local ‘regular’ tries their best to support their local venue at this important time especially in the run up to Christmas, to avoid the possible closure of this very important asset.

The Dirty Crawlers

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News From the Bridges – Nov 8th 2009

News From the Bridges – November 7th 2009

TrueBeat are looking for a new drummer!

Yes Truebeat are parting company with their old drummer (on good terms) because of commitment issues so the new guy must be dedicated and willing to go the whole hog. A car and the ability to do backing vocals are also very useful but not essential! Anyway, have a listen to  ‘em and see what you think; if you want an audition, get in touch at info@truebeat.co.uk. Catch these skasters in STAINES on Nov 26 2009  at The Hobgoblin   [www.myspace.com/truebeatuk]

WAXHOUSE are going into the STAKEOUT STUDIOS Hampton next week to start recording an EP with Chris Coulter … we wish them a pile of luck  [www.myspace.com/waxhouseband]

Melodramatic Surrey rockers ARCANE ROOTS have a new website they want you to visit : www.arcaneroots.com …. it is coming to life a bit more too with some live tracks and some demos up as well as a discography … but they would like to see more fans coming in tho! Click on, send ‘em messages, tell ‘em what you want and who you are!

Feltham eccentric yet sensible indie rockers “The Eccentric Sensibles
[www.myspace.com/eccentricsensible]  will be  in the Studio next week to collaborate with artist Lori Sims (acoustic), on a blinding new song entitled  “Player” . . .

Indie poppers AUDIO VIDEO DISCO [www.myspace.com/audiovideodiscouk] will be playing The Fighting Cocks Kingston-Upon-Thames Dec 5 2009  at 8:00P

Guildford’s Fab Four GETSETRADIO is coming to STAINES for all you lucky people – catch ‘em on Nov 15 2009  at 8:00P at OUR FAVOURITE STAINES venue The Hobgoblin w/ 8th Time Luckie [www.GETSETRADIO.com]

Twickenham punksters ANONYMOUS TIP (who will be playing STAINES Nov 26 2009  at 8:00P The Hobgoblin W/ True Beat) have been getting some seriously strong support from radio and hot reviews from tastemakers Subba Cultcha and Music Week

WITHOUT THOUGHT are lined up for two sparkling Christmas Shows… the first is Dec 19 2009      8:00P at Guildford – The Boileroom **Christmas Party** w/ Polar + JB Conspiracy and the VERY NEXT DAY the band plays STAINES Dec 20 2009  8:00P at The Hobgoblin (w/ Purge & Polar) [www.myspace.com/withoutthought ]

After a gob-routing shockingly successful show at the BUCKLE UP Rock Goblin, STAINES hometown’s favourite pop act MISS PINK SHOES is back in TOWN playing THE HOB Dec 3 2009  7:00P so if you missed ‘em in November come back and support this LOCAL ACT this  December.[www.myspace.com/misspinkshoesofficial]

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Arcane Roots – Staines Hob October 4th

arcane rootsAND IT ALL STARTS with nylon . . .

It is Sunday in Staines and we witness another frenetic and electrifying concert by Arcane Roots.

This popular Surrey-based band is led by fuzzy mopped high-roller Andrew Groves with his cloying whimsical, skylarking highs and gurning crashing lows. It is like watching a glook trapped inside one of Mr Dyson’s see-through cyclones.

This ride is as gut wrenching as a trip over the Niagara Falls in a barrel. You get that sense of sublime grace and purity of spirit whilst you halt momentarily at the very edge of the precipice, but you are also very aware that in a just a few moments you will hurtle downwards, out-of-control, crashing into the destructive vortex below.

Yes, it is true that Andrew’s voice sounds like Mickey Mouse, after he has sucked up a helium balloon the size of a house, and has also been force-fed a mixture of amyl nitrate and ethanol (guzzled down with a keg of Red Bull.) And when he embraces his red guitar and begins to turbulently Flay and Play, you really start to believe that this Scissorhanded type creation is actually the work of a kindly yet absent-minded inventor who mistakenly added agricultural thrashing machines to the spindly arms instead of the normal working hands (or even scissors.)

Percussion and harmonies by Daryl and exquisite bass-lines and more texture with subtle tones from Adam meant that the smallish crowd at The Hob Staines had a lot to be pleased with. The set commenced with a howling and haunting ‘Nylon’ and grew more and more intense and fluently engaging- ending with a vastly exaggerated and hyperbolic blues number with searing and blistering guitar breaks from Andrew.

Powerful stuff. Please, please catch Arcane Roots soon.

© Neil_Mach
October 2009



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Demure Face Fungus


Demure at Sticky Fungus, Staines May 4th 2009

Unphased by the blinding brilliance of the epic stage lighting, Demure rose comfortably to their elevated position on the big stage at Sticky Fungus last night. The band then played this enormously proportioned new mega-music venue as if it were their spiritual home and they had never been away.

This was the fifth time I had seen this bombastic fuming alt-rock noise-rock band, but I recognise that they are now at the peak of their prowess.

These powerkings provided a magnificent maelstrom of sound with Johnny B’s sad laments, huge bounding bass-play from Chris, hot diggety guitar strokes from Philip and a completely over-the-wall cavalcade of power from Neil on drums.

The transitions in between numbers were a tadge untidy and the set seemed one song too short but, in general, the heaving, sweating and dancing crowd at Sticky’s had a BLAST!

Demure are thoroughly recommended.

© Neil_Mach
May 2009


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Sticky Fungus Opening – A Stranger in Moscow

A Stranger in Moscow 1st May 2009 – Sticky Fungus, Staines

Those Who Are About To Rock we Salute You

The sense of relief is palpable. The tension on the faces of those few individuals who had worked so hard to make this dream come true, gradually dissolved to be replaced by joy. The eighty or so audience by the stage looked on in astonished wonder in a dazed mix of disbelief and excitement. There was a shared, almost sacred, feeling of harmonious kinship radiated around the club. It was manifested in smiles, kisses, hugs and handshakes. The incredible joy. Sticky’s has been opened. Staines has
arrived. Staines is a ‘music town’. It has taken a long time. But we have finally got there.

It is an irony, lost on some, that the insipid Ali G creator Sacha Baron Cohen chose the sleepy riverside bungalow town of Staines to place his now world-famous ghetto-gangsta character in. Ali G is a member of the ‘West Staines Massiv’ living in ‘Staines Ghetto’ and listening to hip hop, reggae and jungle. Although Ali claims to be the ‘voice of da yoof’ and constantly reminded the new generation to ‘Keep it real’ the truth is that Staines was, and probably still is to many,  an unloved  cultural desert just off the M25, and just below the Heathrow flight-path, and about as cool as your dad wearing socks and
sandals at a church disco.

But let us not forget that this place has a real connection with live music and those ‘in the know’ will remind you that Led Zep once played Staines! Yes, on March 25, 1969 Led Zeppelin played ‘Dazed & Confused’ at Staines in a remarkable two day jamming session that turned into the now almost mythical ‘Supershow’ ( set in the disused lino factory – now Two Rivers.) This grand jazz and blues collaboration brought together, in Staines, great names like Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Buddy Miles, Stephen Stills, Buddy Guy, Coliseum and Roland Kirk.

And Hard Fi was born in Staines (from Contempo in 1997) and it is a fact that their debut album’s launch party – scheduled to be 7 July 2005 at “Cheekees” night club in Staines- (this very building) was famously cancelled following the London bombings. It is also a fact that the band returned home to The Hobgoblin March 2008 to a crowd lined street… just to play a few covers in one of Staines’ favourite music boozers and say thanks to the fans.

But now we have really arrived. Sticky Fungus puts Staines firmly on the music map.  For those of you who don’t know the building,  it is the old telephone exchange  (The Exchange) later Cheekees and most recently lap dancing club Diamonds and Denim.   It is about as large as the London Astoria, with a huge capacity over two floors.  The concrete structure of the building means the sounds are not quite perfect but the management has invested in some sensational sound and light systems that help to overcome this logistical problem.  The management promise to provide live music seven days a week.

So after some successful run-throughs and a nice start by ‘Alphabet Backwards’ earlier in the evening, we get down to some serious rockin’ with the Guildford band  ‘A Stranger in Moscow’. I first saw this band at The Boiler Room and immensely enjoyed their thickly buttered slices of crisp new indie/lounge sounds.

There is a sharpness and vivacity about the ASIM hi hat driven tinselly sounding music. The slightly fuzzy acoustics at Sticky Fungus actually seemed to help the buzzy electronica thing going on in there too. There are plenty of jaw-dropping riffs and huge powerful anthemic slabs of brilliance held in vast stockpiles to unleash at a moments notice on the unexpecting crowd. There are plenty of catchy hooks and long-bop rhythms but these are placed against a backdrop of deftly arranged lightly handled arrangements of liquidity and movement.

A Stranger in Moscow seem to include a wider variety of colours and expression in their work than many of their contemporaries. Their music is fast and bright, but also makes use of clean and efficient voice and soaring melodic structures. The results are joyous and heartening, and very encouraging on this night of new beginnings. This is perfect stuff for the Sticky opening.  There is something almost Goldfrappy about this new indie band and even a Doors vibe going on there sometimes too.

Yes, Andy Hall Hall on  guitar and vocals, Luke Simmons on guitar and keys, Mills Richey on bass and Tom ‘Briggie’ Briggs on drums provide the necessary feel good poptastic squeal-songs that cause the assembly of pretty young things in the front row to coo and thrill with joy. But this young band also proves that they can be a power-house of richly constructed and majestic sounds – also ‘hitting the spot’ for those oldies in the crowd.

I spoke with frontman Andy immediately after the concert. He was delighted that the band was chosen to launch the Sticky Fungus venue and was very satisfied with the result. “It is very exciting, we were all fully charged and sparkling.”

“Sticky’s is a beautiful place with an amazing atmosphere and wonderful crowd.”

The band goes into the studio again next week to work on some numbers and their next big trip is on May 11 at the ‘Edge of  the Wedge’, Portsmouth. The band will also be listed in Beach Break Festival, Polzeath, Cornwall in June.

© Neil_Mach May 2009




Misconstructed Beats is available here:


Led Zep’s Dazed & Confused at Staines is available here:


Sticky Fungus:


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Audio Video Disco – Hob Staines


Music for girls Who can’t keep their pants on!

Staines Hobgoblin. Sunday March 29th 2009

This band don’t have to hammer on about ugly slappers ruining their lives or losing their jobs at the local Aldi store because they have already got it all … they have no concerns or worries. They are like your luckier, better dressed, more talented, richer cousins.They possess good looks, white teeth, glossy hair (just look at that sheen) and those re-usable bags of personality you have to pay extra for at the check-out.  They exude success. In fact, considering how successful this band looks and feels, it was surprising how so few girlies turned out to see Audio Video Disco at The Hob Staines 29th March. They are happy to sing happy songs for happy people.

Richard Berkshire is the smiling pretty-boy frontman on the Fender. Richard formed the quartet in 2007 with buddy Matt O’Daly, the lead guitarist on the happy strat. This was after playing acoustic duo together and dreaming of the day they would form a band. Frizzy haired grinner Tom Smith plays the snappy drums and was ‘allowed’ his own microphone on Sunday -to provide backing vocals. Adam Linton is the bass player, playing poetic bass-lines on his trusty Yamaha, and also supplying the cheeky smiles to the sparse spattering of girls in the front row.

Audio Video Disco tunes are as catchy as summer colds and sweet enough to make your teeth rot. The sounds remind me of ‘The Rembrandts’ but with a little more edge. There are large chunks of ‘The Pixies’ in the mixing bowl too! As the lads suggest, this is music “For girls Who can’t keep their pants on” and they play it hard and play it fair. Rolling, rattling percussion foams like a pint of the best house bitter, while shimmering strings and jangle-pop arrangements keep the smiles on the faces of the punters and the claps high in the air.  I particularly appreciated the squelchy and squeezey rhythms and the clever bass-lines. Some of the AVD songs seem to be quite folk-rocky in essence with an adventurous bass – more pizz than pizzle – playing footsie with the rhythm lines and clear-as-day lyrics spotlighted by that bright and breezy accompaniment.

The rattling alt/indie tunes came as clean and as clear as a spring morning in Heston and the fast-paced zingy chords – Richard and Matt giving them a good fingerin’ – were as bright and crisp as one of your Dad’s newly starched shirts. The AVD boys have a lightness and gentleness to their sound that seems to promote a sense of real hope, joy and affection in the Staines crowd. As a ‘Beat Six’ ballerino took himself up to the front, to jiggle and jive to the sounds, it was clear that this is a band full of good intentions and good-natured fun.

There is no doubt that Audio. Video. Disco. are fast becoming a very successful act and will soon be moving into the big-boys locker room. In the meantime, try to catch them as soon as… (Psst… they are playing the Rock Goblin Easter All-Dayer in April.)

Love the work!

© Neil_Mach

March 2009

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