Tag Archives: gig

Lady and the Lost Boys

Lady and the Lost Boys Nov 28,  The Old Fire Station, Windsor

Playing music from the Berkshire school of damp labradors, green wellies, moist Edinburgh woollens and  ‘Mummy Knows Best ’ attitudes, this band played a short but sweet set at the Firestation Arts Centre, Windsor on Sat 28t November.

The smallish crowd sat in patient lines, cross-legged on the wooden floor, humble like children in the school end-of-term concert.

Lady and the Lost Boys are a female lead five-piece band with chunky bass guitar, tantalizing percussion, emotive keyboards and a multi-talented muso who bounces between guitar, keys and even supplemental percussion, providing layers of texture as each song unfolds.

The introspective topics of the songs are based upon personal experiences and transparent memories – coming largely from a female perspective. Sipping a coffee in the breaks, petite dark haired vocalist Annabel Jones sings the Legoland, Camberwick Green, Technicolor songs from the Lady and the Lost Boys song-book.  Her delivery reminds me of ‘Alanis Morissette’ and to a lesser extent,  ‘Elizabeth Fraser’ (not so ethereal) and her voice is airy, high register and distinct enough to cut above the harmonic texture of music. Some of the songs ended with melodramatic yet creative ‘shoe-gaze’ blended sounds – others ended on a hand-clap or a jingle.

A few pared down guitar riffs are well hidden and tend to illuminate rather than detract from the amorphous sounds and add drama and insistence when required. The experience is fascinating and calming reminding me a lot of ‘Alison’s Halo’.

One of my favourites was the bass heavy (bass by Robin Pearson) song ‘That’s OK’. This is a song rippling with action, combining integrated piano tinkling and rat-a-tat percussion with honey sweet lyrical content delivered in a breathy, whisper-in-your ear style. The clappy and trilling chorus was nod-headingly joyful and the extraordinarily well-behaved and obviously well educated audience showed their appreciation with understated murmuring claps. Gently unfolding lyrics such as  “How many gold coins should I put aside before I’m out of debt in your eyes . . . “ demonstrate the band’s ambitions as poetic quality shoegazers.

This is a band for a damp autumn evening by the open-fire, or to listen to on your Ipod as you take your golden retriever for a walk down the leaf-fall winter lanes.  Thoroughly recommended.

© Neil_Mach



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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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The James Warner Prophecies – Hob Staines

the James Warner PropheciesThe quixotic charm of The James Warner Prophecies is that their music contains a myriad of styles, oeuvres and impressions – much like J-Rock –  but theirs is less disposable pop in style and more harmonic indie in ambition. Thus we get thick slices of American Punk (i.e. think ‘Bad Religion’) laced generously with Brit indie folk sound reminiscent of ‘The Magic Numbers’.

So with The James Warner Prophecies you get melodic singing together with hardcore drum beats and haunting flute.  Yeah, I know it shouldn’t work. But it does.  Just.  Sometimes you feel poised on the edge of something a little too grand and opulent to be really honest …  but then the twinkle-in-the-eye  gentle humour of the band shines through,  and the result is an agreeable love fest of sound and virtue.

Benign Rasputin-like figure Joe Brown is the mighty front-man power-house lead singer/guitar of the band. Striding about the stage looking like a kindly ginger version of Edward Teach (the notorious pirate) – with an enormous burning red beard and a savage glint in his cruel eye. Instead of cutlass and sword, though, we get electric mandolin & guitar – but the results are similarly battle hardened with an abundance of inventive fireworks from the fret-boards and vindictive encounters with the spiteful strings of the mandolin.

Bringing some calm and beauty to the proceedings, Kate Rounding plays a mournful flute on many songs, plus the haunting chords on Korg. I understand Kate also adds violin to the mix – but we didn’t see her fiddle at The Hob. Lanky long-haired hippy Matt Anthony adds some low inventive and, ultimately, reassuring bass to the songs and the ‘Noel Fielding’ look-alike Dan Williams in assured and competent on drums.

The band moved ruthlessly from song-to-song keeping up the pressure and starting with an appropriately named tune ‘Braincell Piracy’ before launching into ‘King of The Killers’, then onto ‘Judas Stone’ and ‘The Itch’. The big end to the show was their ‘Set The World on Fire’ track (the unimaginatively named) ‘Mandolin Song’. This song has some fierce fretting from Joe (on mandolin) with audacious flares of light and fire from Kate and plenty of pounding crashing percussion from Dan and Matt. A truly exciting and heart pummelling joy of a song.

From my own point of view, I would prefer something a bit more languid and soulfully helpful from Kate (at times it seemed like her contributions were repetitive and almost go through-the-motions routine in content) and I would also like a little less sympathy from the band for the folk-country traditions of their home county (Derbyshire) and a little more hard driving rock from the ensemble … but that is just my personal taste.

Overall, though, the band makes a positive contribution to the Rock / Folk Rock scene. The band members are a jolly hardworking crew with a capable and naturally talented energy. I Strongly recommend that you see their live show soon.

© Neil_Mach
October 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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5 Things – This Week in Staines


Best UK unsigned band – Live in Staines

Loaded Dice at Staines

Loaded Dice
Apr 05 2009

The last time AD PONTES saw this young band at The Hob, Staines we described the sound as ” Refreshingly effervescent cherry-pop fizz for a (spring) day…”

This band got to the UK final of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest a few years back. Currently, the lads are teetering on the very edge of ‘stadium’ success having won the title of the “Best UK live and unsigned band”. We wish them well. They are BIG local talents and you should get up to the HOB and support them…

Read the full ADPONTES-STAINES review of Shepperton’s LOADED DICE here



Buckle Up Staines



Melodramatic Popular song…  Live at Windsor

To Arms Etc - Windsor Firestation

To Arms Etc
Apr 03 2009

To Arms Etc is a psychedelic keyboards based pop band with a huge following and great expectations. The ‘Don Henley’ drummer/singer Richard Perman takes the audience into melodramatic songs, emotional adventures and rock overtures.

If you enjoy sophisticated rock sounds then you should try this.



Exciting Alt/PowerPop- Live in Staines

Danny Roulette at Staines

Danny Roulette
Apr 02 2009

If you like your pop/rock supersized and powerful the try Danny Roulette…

Sounding like Biffy Clyro / Mars Volta / Weezer this band is sure to please!



Buckle Up Staines



Danny Roulette will be playing with the ever popular DEMURE. See this band now- they have just released their EP and are starting to grow is stature and success. The band plays Alt- Rock in the conventional sense but with overtures towards noise rock, especially in the way that the percussion and the bass are given the freedom to spread out their wings and have dissonant aural adventures of their own, but framed within the main architecture of each song.

The last time ADPONTES saw DEMURE we said that they reminded us of ‘Sonic Youth’ or ‘Butthole Surfers’. To check out the full ADPONTES review click here


6-Piece Soul/Funk Covers – Live Ascot

Soul Selecta at Ascot

Soul Selecta
Apr 04 2009

Soul Selecta is a tight 6-piece Soul/Funk covers band, made up of members from Bucks, Herts and London. The band have been together since 2003, although each individual member is a true professional in their field with several years of experience with other bands. Having played many a bar/club/wedding/corporate event and private party, they are masters of their game, providing solid entertainment and style!!

Soul Selecta predominantly cover classic and modern R’n’B, Funk and Soul; from James Brown to Beyonce, but for occasions such as weddings, are adaptable and versatile to cater for all across the genres and decades.

Their performance is fuelled by their love for the music, and filtered through the bands own soul.  Whilst being faithful to the originals, they also bring their own edge involving the audience in a new moment, which demands you to dance!

They have a natural vibe and the ability to capture the mood and generate the groove!

Saturday, 4th April
Show will start at 8.45
Ticket cost: £8.00
Doors open from 7.30pm. £26 for 2 courses and entrance (£30 for 3 courses). Entrance for the bands is £8 but is strictly limited and on a first come first served basis. Entrance for dining or just the band INCLUDES free entrance to the nightclub




Classic Rock Superband –  Live in Staines

Frayed Knot at Jolly Farmers - Staines

Frayed Knot
Apr 04 2009
Jolly Farmer

Last time we saw this Staines Superband we said:

“These boys play the songs that make the crowd yelp with joy, but served up with a sabre-sharp ice-cool quality that would make lesser bands look on enviously”

See what we mean at Jolly Farmer STAINES (Egham Hythe) Apr 4th

Check here for the full ADPONTES review



Def try to catch them at this safe & friendly pub this weekend !

Other dates (if you miss ’em) :

18/04/09    The Red Lion, Egham
29/05/09    The Carpenter’s Arms, Hayes
27/06/09    The Fox Inn, Bisley
04/09/09    The Carpenter’s Arms, Hayes
10/10/09    Ye Olde Swan, Burnham

Visit AdPontes-Staines Regularly for Staines Arts

The Siegfried Sassoon – Staines Hob


Hobgoblin – Staines – 1st March

So we are here at The Siegfried Sassoon (named after the Great War poet) “single release party” at The Hob Staines. But the Chertsey boys haven’t got their singles with them (a mix up with the post-production). Hmmm. And the crowd in Staines is forgiving. Probably more forgiving than they ought to be. In fact, the party is still going ahead (with or without the single) and the audience is fizzing like a sherbet fountain dropped into a glass of fanta. I saw a black and white chuckle-vision dalmatian in the crowd- it may have been Cadpig or Lucky – but I didn’t see Perdita. Perhaps the significance of all this is that the Sassoon sound is fun fun fun. The diversions come as ice-cream van chimes, merry-go-round organs or squelchy stylaphone tones.  Sassoon music is not eagerly flamboyant, majestic or epic like the nu-prog royalty i.e. Dream Theatre, Beardfish or The Mars Volta. Theirs is capricious and frothy stuff.

Stylistically the sound is closer to the ‘Roine Stolt’ vehicle ‘The Flower Kings’ than many contemporary bands but there are slices of ‘Dartz’ type guitarwork garnishing the cocktail of sounds and, I think, a ‘Vines’ type vibe with grown-up ‘Craig Nicholls’ sounding vocals. The Siegfried Sassoon seem to populate the vacuum left by 70’s prog-rock masters, especially ‘Gentle Giant’ (which, like Sassoon, are sophisticated enough to have their own literary muse in their form of François Rabelais.) Unexpected compositional twists, altering subtly in each repeat, and intelligent management of the transitions, mean that Sassoon could easily be placed into the Jazz-Fusion bargain-bucket alongside their (local) buddies Cats & cats & cats but this also means that they are forever to be placed into that difficult ‘unhummable’ slot that is reserved for the clever muso-headed brain-box crowd… so the chavs in Staines aren’t as fick as you might fink!

I instantly liked the (missing) single ‘Muscle Beach’ and that clever start with a supermarket check-out sounding beep-beep ( a little like the “Tricky” Stewart of ‘ella ‘ella fame new Beyonce track ‘Single Ladies’.)  This song envelopes a rich and fairly complex affair with a graceful conclusion very reminiscent of work by ‘The Flaming Lips’. Satisfyingly zingy elasticated chords from Adam Easton were stretched far beyond their tolerance and the frequent guitar highlights from Simon Gould reminded the crowd that they were listening to one of the few properly focussed Experimental / Psychedelic / Rock bands out there right now. It’s a shame that the B side could not be played live with a female lead singer though.

The track ‘I Galactico’ sees Chris Pratt (keyboards and lead vocals) take the band into magical territory. With Jim Carroll playing nimble bass guitar and Nick Owsianka playing steadily supporting percussion augmented by drum patterns by Chris. The smug faced crowds grunted and wriggled to that one! It was a jiggly ball of fun.

The whole Sassoon effect is spacey and neo-psychedelic with multi layered experimentations (including electro-acoustics) being the norm. The show was not (in any way) slick and could have been better managed. The performances were adequate but you get the feeling this lot prefer the studios and the rehearsal rooms to a live stage.  This band has a superior musical quality but they do seem to need some better leadership and / or  management if they want to get up to the next level.  Chris mentioned that the band had T shirts and other merch with them (but, even though I had a handful of cash in my greasy mitts I couldn’t get hold of any stuff) and he told the crowd “If you want a motorhead T shirt go to Top Man – if you want our stuff – hang around”. Yeah, I get it. You have to hang around and work for Sassoon. It is ‘thinking man’s’ music and doesn’t easily fall off the shelf and into your lap. Got it.  Give ’em a whirl.

© Neil_Mach

March 2009
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Arcane Roots


Hobgoblin – Staines – 1st March

Arcane Roots are like a rock and roller-coaster… gnashing, clawing and crashing their way through unconventional time signatures and frequent changes of tempo like an out of control Thorpe Park thrill ride might cut through a throng of ne’er-do-well pink-faced chavs playing chicken on the rails. Their combined energy, the electricity that this band produces,  could easily replace a dozen off-shore wind farms.

The sheer exhilaration and power of their stage presence reminded me of Muse.  However, although the AR songs may sometimes be sweet, and the themes melodramatic, the overall nu prog effect is actually more similar to Coheed and Cambria than Muse. The agony and the ecstasy is often ’emo’ (in a good way) and the foundations of each track are defined as solid slabs of rock.

The song ‘Rouen’ starts with gently gathered stringwork beneath a thin lace of sweetly latticed vocals posing the question ‘what are you waiting for?’ This is followed by a change of pace and some raspy distortion fueled arrangements and it is here that we witness the truly exceptional talent of Andrew Groves. Andrew is the AR frontman, singer and lead guitar supremo. Andy looks and sounds like a 1964–66 Ray Davies. He plays furious rhythm and lead guitar, often simultaneously, upon his trusty Gibson. He plays this with a surprising and terrible intensity that reminded me of a ferret in a flask fighting for freedom. ‘Rouen’ sounds ‘Kooks-ish’ with its lovely tapestry of gently chiming soulful images and high-toned voices. This tale of nostalgia and despair is a bittersweet experience for any listener. The sense of loss is magnified by the wailing, repeating chorus. The grief is spread out like a blanket might be across a corpse, the final stage of a magnificent hymn to sadness.

The song ‘Nylon’ is another tune that reminds me of The Kooks (although Andrew’s voice is not as exceptional as Luke Pritchard’s.) But there is more substance and depth of feeling in the Arcane material than within the Kooks prep-pop style- there are rusty razor-blades on their kitchen tables and the streets are littered with broken glass in the Arcane world.  Daryl Atkins on the drums adds backing vocals to the emotive harmonies of each number and plays astounding firecracker percussion on a stripped-down kit. Whilst Adam Burton, on bass, does a sterling job- but you can’t help thinking that he is always struggling just to ‘keep up’ with Andrew Groves- who zips ahead of his bandmates without so much as looking back.

‘An easy smile’ is far more ‘SOAD’ than the other AR sounds (I kept getting reminders of Serj throughout the gig) with driving chords and changes of tempo and pace. The pauses are important to the Arcane Roots…just as in good choreography, the audience is called to witness and appreciate these frequent stops and starts. Each pause is like a blinding flash of sunlight from a broken mirror. The sounds seem to be swirled around the room like silken scarves, and the sudden bolts of energy seem to whizz harmlessly away- far above your head. This evokes a feeling of disharmony and disjointedness that, perhaps, prevails in our daily lives.

Even if the room smelt faintly of old leather boots and denim, the crowd at The Hob were in fact quite young and well-groomed (on the whole). They were also unnaturally restrained. To be fair most of the punters were there for ‘the other band’ who were hosting a single release party straight afterwards- so the plaintive soul-searching of the Arcane Roots songbook was, perhaps, a little too ‘full-on’ for most of this fun-loving hip crowd. But the standout performer of the night, for me anyway, was the ferociously attacking guitarist Andrew Groves who possesses the rare emotional power of a cathedral on fire. He employs guitar techniques that are normally reserved for ‘right on’ jazz musicians – or at least prog-rock stars- techniques like glissandos & stomps on the effects pedals are all part of his glistening repertoire. I particularly enjoyed the new song, ‘To The Hold You Had’. (Andy gave me this title – so don’t blame me if it is wrong!) This song had a simple structure and an enjoyable riff but also revealed a satisfying complexity.

So the band ripped down the flag of indifference and crushed it with their teeth. Rock is a jungle and this group are the predators. Watch the blood spill and the fur fly. But don’t look away!

© Neil_Mach

March 2009