Tag Archives: hob staines

Loose Lips Spitting Teeth in Staines

This week we were lucky enough to catch up with the Brighton-based pop-punk band Loose Lips at our favourite music venue in Staines : The Hob.  The band consists of Jason Barker (Lead Vocals and Guitar)  Sam Perkins (Vocals and Drums) and Matt Don (Vocals and Bass). They have the cheek and confidence to make you sit up and take note. And they also possess the musical talent and the indisputable song-writing skills to back up all of that stunning bravado.

Loose Lips take the guitar based dexterity of  bands like ‘Biffy Clyro’ – then combine it with the freshness and style of  bands  like ‘Kids In Glass Houses’. Their hi-energy songs flow together confidently, each with a distinctive style and a vigorous attitude.

loose lips smallThe band have recently released their ‘Spitting Teeth’ EP and they are touring around the South with their hit songs.

When the band plays ‘Broken Promises’  live,  the song often follows on from [You’d better] “Drive Away” with that bang-bang, cha-cha – da-da-da drumming from Sam, that burns deep into your nerve endings to twiddle with your synapses.

The warp jump to ‘Broken Promises’ occurs when the lemony acid riff comes in –  so caustic that it would peel paint off a bar room door – and this cuts through the air like stale vinegar. Then the drums begin to walk and talk – they thunder, cough and wheeze  – like an unfit man trying to negotiate a flight of concrete stairs in a dimly lit car park.  Wearing roller skates.

The bass guitar, meanwhile, is thumpy, well-thumbed,  and greasy dirty.  It’s played like a man whose work is to pull the nylon-stockings onto shop dummies – wearing just a pair of fireman’s oven mitts.  The song is so exciting that you will feel a deep ferment in your valves – and your neurons will seem as though they’ve been super-heated in a clay oven.

Boxstreet’ has that spitting, crashing ribaldry from Sam on drums again. But this song is all about the lewd and infectious chorus – it will make you rejoice and repent – simultaneously.  The verse is roughly spoken by Jason,  but it has a small hokey-cokey bob-tail end-piece that goes a little like:  “Whoa-oh-wha-oh.”    This is accompanied by some foaming and frothing rhythm guitar chops. It is about as daft as you can get – but it’s so refreshingly fast that it will make your head spin round –  like your Mum’s whirly line on a windy washing-day.

Grenade’ has got a fast and angry tempo to it –  it  may even remind you of  The Jam  – with a catchy riff that glues itself fast to your memory. Those sneering lyrics:  “Bury Me… and Run Away…” are called out across the room,  to cut across your forehead like a flicked whip .  When the song slows down –  just a bit –  you can really hear how eloquent the guitar play is – and it is at this time that  Sam really dishes out some shine and sparkle. It’s a very volatile song.  So you’ll need to wear your high-energy pants!

S0261199-©-Neil_Mach-June-2Dr. Evil’ has a rush of climactic guitar,  then some finely rashered rhythms. Occasionally a ‘Glurk’ of guitar is expelled –  almost squeezed out. The vocal is rushed  – like a jogger chasing a dog.

Palpitating and sweaty drums hiccup around the dizzy mix of sounds, whilst the bass guitar grinds and snarls itself to a frenzy. The “Don’t wait for me…” chorus grabs your lapels to pull you in for a deep, wet and lingering kiss.

The finest moment comes when the song breaks down, and the “Whoa” chant is sung – clean and free – against those clattering drums. Then the guitar sighs and weeps low again, and – with a fuss and a cluster  –  it’s all over.

Like all dumb and goofy pop punk – the songs from Loose Lips are as light as a sorbet delight on a sunny afternoon –  and as deliciously delirious as a quick tug on a hot night.

Go get ….

– © Neil_Mach June 2013 –

Link:

https://www.facebook.com/looselipsuk

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Halloween Rockgoblin – 29th October 2011 – Hob, Staines

The Hallowe’en Rock Goblin Staines is now a firm fixture on the Staines social calendar – and a very highly anticipated event. Last year’s party was simply superb… so the 2011 Hallowe’en Rock Goblin had a lot to live up to.

With six incredible musical artists covering a night-full of spooky fun and magical events, the beautiful & intelligent people of Staines crowded into the Hobgoblin in their fineries. Costumes included spectral brides, ghoulish minnies, a throng of pirates and enough zombies, vampires and monsters to coagulate the blood and give permanent nightmares!  The fun-house was decorated in a suitably gothic fashion and the party started early and went on till well past the witching hour.

First up was ‘Ravi K’ with his solo (acoustic) ‘Timber-Tones’ set. His warm and passionate vocals and honeyed guitar work went down stunningly well with the Staines in-crowd. Kicking off with the fizzy ‘My Lonely Heart’ and featuring some reflective but none-the-less jaunty numbers like ‘For the Moment’ and ‘Talk of Tonight’ it was a highly accomplished and satisfying demo of how good the ‘Timber-Tones’ ought to be. We cannot wait for more!

‘Sian Sanderson’ is a soulful and bluesy singer/songwriter with an extraordinary voice, full of innuendo and silkily suffocating anguish. Songs like ‘Long Way Home’ are passionately personal- she counts Bill Withers & Otis Redding as influences- and you can hear the results with those tense vocals wrapped around relaxed tempos and gently rippling arrangements. Sian’s songs are tucked neatly into the smooth side of the genre and reminded me of the easy listening acts of the eighties.

Next up was Swindon band ‘Nudy Bronque’ with their lavish guitar based fireworks and their post punk Britpop aspirations. Flaming hot tunes like ‘I Don’t Want Your Problems’ were pumped out to the spirited Hobgoblin crowd. With searing guitar solos and piping hot percussion, this band made a statement of intent. Juicy, crisp and tight songs … a lot of punk attitude and a formidable style and flair is all part of the ‘Nudy Bronque’ experience. Ska-sounding beat-bound chirpy clap-clap tunes (like ‘Movement’) were bright, brisk and breezy- and brought  the Staines crowd to the boil with pin-point accuracy.

Those busy bees ‘Fear No Fish’ are already Hobgoblin stalwarts and firm favourites of the Staines music aficionados . This loveable rocking trio is the  ‘Ransome’ brothers (Chris on guitar and Mike on bass) with Rob Walker on drums. Their sound has been compared to The Who & The Jam. And it’s a constant wonder how so much rich sound can be created by such a small group.  With heaps of latent and seething drum-work, songs like ‘Stay’ with those magnificent vocals from Chris and Mike, complex plots and hauntingly beautiful compositions, are inspiring and illustrious  Or take the sturdy sounds of tunes like  ‘Paint By Numbers’ with those chunks of flying metallic guitar chords and the flourishes of percussion… numbers like these, with their grungy feel and wide-screen aspect, make you realise that ‘Fear No Fish’ are musical monsters in a pond full of tiddlers. Powerful and revelatory.

Reggae-pop outfit  ‘Tree. House. Fire.’ are also Hob regulars. These Guildford boys (dressed up as swarthy pirates)  fired up the dancing demons at the Hallowe’en ball with their imaginative ska-shaped sounds and their mashed up energetic show. Songs like ‘Suburban Gangster’ have enough pliant licorice flavoured rubbery beats to  keep heads rocking, knees bouncing and neighbours complaining,  deep into the night . And those irreverent lyrics with their ‘thumbs up’ vocals are playful enough to inspire raucous choruses, and to illicit frantic applause. Brilliant.

To complete a gigantic evening  we had the legendary Brighton party band ‘Floors And Walls’ giving us their amazing brew of melodic guitars and grimy vocals with those (almost) folky compositions. Pounding vibes and ‘Vincent Price’ vocals (by  Alex Adams ) seemed the perfect ending for a truly magnificent Hallowe’en feast.

A blissful night of rock sounds and invincible party-time antics. Bloody Fang-Tastic!

© Neil_Mach 28 October 2011

Links:

http://www.facebook.com/siansanderson

http://www.facebook.com/nudybronque

http://www.facebook.com/treehousefire

http://www.facebook.com/fearnofishuk

http://www.myspace.com/floorsandwalls

Lucky Toppers – The Black Hats – Live Review – Staines Hobgoblin

Take three Elvis Costello types. Give them some twanging bass. Crank up the volume so loud it sends a thermic lance up your tender-loins.  Tighten up  the sounds with a heavy gauge torque-wrench. And you have yourselves ‘The Black Hats’. As dangerous as a night out in Hackney. Swift as a switchblade in steady hands. And as formidable as a home-made zip-gun. This band takes no prisoners in a bloody relentless surge for power.  

Oxford’s most articulate pop punksters played a successful show at the Staines Hobgoblin during the summer. They may look like yobs in “Proclaimers” specs or the remnants of a twisted “Freddy and the Dreamers” lookalikey party, but they play garrulously energetic punk at high pitch, high dose levels. And they sprinkle their sounds with seasonings of ska, dub and reggae. In this sense, they are our ‘most post’ protopunk pop-star popinjays. Increasingly recognized and well received throughout their home territory, they now seem to be branching out along the Thames Valley- and they are already creating quite a stir on radio. And they are just out of the studio, having recorded with Mercury-nominated producer Sam Williams (Supergrass, Plan B, The Go Team!)

A rattling & rolling gig at The Hob got all the good people in the audience moshing and prancing and, generally, yelling to the aggregate sounds. This band look like a bunch of rock-hard ‘leave-well-alone’ nut-case bruisers with psychopathic intent. But their songs and intelligent musicianship elevates them to a higher level. Yes, they may be a bunch of amoral, discontented antisocial misfits – wearing ‘Two Ronnies’ glasses -but they are also talented, effervescent with energy and almost academic in their production.

Their big number ‘Tunnels’ rushes & crashes-  it barely hangs onto the tracks- like some kind of out-of-control cattle car upon a flimsy trackway . Driven by a Liam Gallagher-style vocal from Nick Breakspear, the jaggedly highly-wrought guitar-work adds radiating spirals of sound to the bumpy rhythms laid down by Ian Budd on bass, and the generally rickety percussion from Mark Franklin on drums.

Other Black Hats numbers like ‘Magnets’ are creatures that can trace their lineage back to ‘The Jam’ and ‘The Cure’ via ‘Simple Minds’. Bippperty beats, slide around rhythms and cutie-pie slip ups, underpin the smiling yet ultra-cynical vocals and those acid laden vitriolic lyrics. Silvery guitars slice up the atmosphere and a catchy chorus adds to the joy of the frivolous, yet desirable, songs. Yes, indeed ‘We’re all magnets … don’t you know?”

And ‘Just Fall’ helps you feel your way along it’s twisting path with a reassuringly jammy sound. But the angular motifs and progressive bass notes create hazards and unseen footfalls in the dangerous architectural sub-terrain.  Two-for-one chug-a-chug chords get toes tapping. And echoing sweetly, lofty vocals from Nick remind me of Sting at his best (Reggatta de Blanc) and now, come to think of it, his reggae guitar tones also sound a lot like Andy Summers.

Crikey, there is a lot here to be thankful for here. The Black Hats are set to top-off and rise. This is spruced up defiant and infallible punk.

© Neil_Mach
September 2011

Link:

Foley Artist – Live at Hobgoblin, Staines – Aug 18

The craftsmen know as foley artists try to create realistic ambient sound for movies … that’s why the horses in the movies always tend to clip-clop their hooves, even when  travelling on sand or grass… the foley artist has added the sound ‘after’ filming with a couple of coconuts.  Foley Artist is also the name of a rock band that I went to see on 18 AUG at the best music venue in Middlesex – the Hobgoblin, Staines.

Foley Artist create monster sounds on a magnitude totally exceeding your expectations. Instrumentally adept, their output seems jammed firmly betwixt hardcore and hard rock – little nuggets’ of tungsten embedded between two tectonic plates. A tough nut to crack, although I hope the band eventually breaks firmly into the classic hard rock seam. At this stage vocals can be a bit hit-and-miss, but you can forgive this slight aberration as you are blown away by the style and substance of the astonishing white-hot guitar magic. In fact, their sound brings to mind – ahem – Led Zeppelin (yes, really). Bluesy, smoky, blameless, armour-piercing rock and roll, blood and flames.

These swindlers played a short set at The Hob (due to feeling under the weather.)  But the band provided enough material to get a reasonable idea of the quality of their sounds. Tunes like ‘Shadow Boxing’ from the ‘Gorgeous Dog’ E.P demonstrate the innovative guitar trickery and licentious  percussion. ‘Brad Pitts Beard’ is ice cold and angular. Satisfying bass-play from man-mountain Olly Nunn creates a bed of chewy textures for the finely detailed fretwork and interwoven vocals. Songs like ‘Wheaties Box’ are heavy, headstrong and banging. Laced with streaks of silvery guitar and full of time juxtapositions, with tempo-changes aplenty.

Bold bass-play, excellent guitar instrumentation from frontman Matt Searle together with the percussive fireworks from James on drums, mean that Foley Artist are ones to watch as they negotiate up the rocky road. Good luck lads.

© Neil_Mach
August 2011

Links:

http://www.myspace.com/foleyartistmusic

http://foleyartist.bandcamp.com/

Run Young Lovers – Live at The Hogboblin, Staines – July 2011

On Thursday I caught up with ‘Run Young Lovers’ at the Staines Town’s favourite music venue ‘The Hobgoblin’. This band plays a patina of indie rock sounds- hot cracking stuff. Choppy, peanut brittle sound bites of feel-good fun and happiness.

Born and raised in Crawley, this 5-piece band originally came to notice under the moniker ‘Us And Them’ and their toil gained them a worthy reputation on the West Sussex live music scene.

They now play a joyful Cure-sounding sing-along song-book of sounds. And the delighted Staines Hob crowd lapped ‘em up like double cream. Soulesque vocals from cuddly bannerman and front-voice Jack Betteridge add warmth and passion to the roistering helter-skelter zip-line indie rock revelry of the band’s output.

Songs like ‘She Said’ (available as a facebook download) with that typical bounce and zizz-a-zizz, and those streamers of guitar flapping in the wind around warm honey-cake vocals, added a real playtime fizz to their show.

Other songs, like ‘Moonshine’ have playful basslines from Ollie Small, and sudden blooms of effervescent guitar from James Ellis and Lloyd Stone. Driving patterns of percussion are delivered steadily by David Stewart on drums.

Introspection is a specialty of the shy singer Jack, surrounded on all sides by the bounteous multi-faceted guitars.  But no snopake is required… no corrections are needed. Bubbling rumbling, bumbling? Check. Soaring highs? Check. Painful lows? Check. It is all there in the ‘Run Young Lovers’ show.

This band takes you two stops beyond awesomeville, before leaving you, exhausted,  and on the last platform, whining for more.

© Neil_Mach
July 2011

Links:

http://www.myspace.com/runyounglovers

http://runyounglovers.tumblr.com
http://twitter.com/RunYoungLovers
http://www.facebook.com/runyounglovers
http://www.reverbnation.com/runyounglovers
http://soundcloud.com/runyounglovers
http://www.musicglue.com/runyounglovers
http://runyounglovers.fanbridge.com

UKID live at Hobgoblin, Staines

UKID – I like the name (could be “you kid” or the rotten U.K. ID cards ) is a rock band with a Rap Metal attitude and an impressive musical pedigree. Former ‘Durban Poison’ man KJ (bass) created  the band along  with MC Beanie (Ben-Jah Jon.) And, once the grimy drum n’ bass met the blistering metal in the forges from hell, the UKID sound was cast into iron. It’s like Rage Against the Machine crossed with Oceansize.

UKID bring us songs like “Dole” which is a shattered plate of sounds; A skillet of skanky beats whipped to a frenzy by metallic and thrashingly hypnotic guitars, thrown together with squeaks and beeps from the keyboards (Ben-Jah goes to the keys periodically.) The vocals are insistent and reliable – more calm than furious, the rhythms are always focussed and assured. The bass play is big and gruesome and brought to you in gigantic proportions by the hairy thumbster KJ.

Other songs have the kind of sound quality and size reminiscent of tunes from bands such as Kaiser Chiefs and even as far back as The Clash. Yet there is also plenty of drum ‘n’ bass, combined with hip hop, to get you back to todays date. The searing and screaming lead guitar from redheaded razzle-dazzler Glenn add frantic and fiery elements to the whole UKID package, making the band seem more progressive, and somehow more metallic,  than other bands in the same genre.

But it is fair to say that, at the Staines Hob gig, the music tendered by this immortal Glastonbury gang tended to veer from tantalizingly terrific and heart-racingly superb at times – right down to buzzy low-threshold monobloc tedium.  Which is a shame, because the nurtured talent was clearly available – just not in a consistent formula.  Naturally enough, the keen and krazy krowd at the Staines Hob lapped it all up (good and bad) and were dancing in the aisles and crazy to hear the tunes. But some of the numbers failed to hit their mark, often in quite a dramatic way. The main voice of Ben-jah was not nearly strong enough to be heard above the multiple layers of sound underneath. And the backing vocals from Glenn were often too loud – and, more often than not – quite alarmingly off-key.

But nonetheless, songs like “War = Money”  with it’s innovative and impressive flowergarden of experimentation and smoky acid vibes was like encountering Eminem whilst visiting a dream-like “Octopus’s Garden”  and finding out that he is actually in a political frame-of-mind. Freaky, fancy and fine. This song is like a saline drip of conscientiousness.

The best tune of the night was the techno industrial-strength dance number (second to last song of the set) that was a spaced-out labyrinthine journey into the spiralling and pulsating sub-conscious.  With melting guitar licks from Glenn, huge chunks of keys from Ben-Jah, hypnotic drums from Joey and deeply reverberating bass-play from KJ. I hoped that this tune would never stop!

Merging heavy rock with dance-sounds is not new, but UKID are so skilled and so fresh that the sounds actually do seem refreshingly vital.  Watch this band rise.

© Neil_Mach
March 2011

Link:

http://www.myspace.com/ukid
http://www.ukid.moonfruit.com

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My Favourite Runner Up – Live at The Hobgoblin, Staines

On Thursday at The Hobgoblin, Staines we witnessed some Welsh popinjay hotshot japes and jinks from a bunch of boys calling themselves ‘My Favourite Runner Up’. This guitar based combo sounds like an unfettered version of Blink 182. They are basically a bunch of unsophisticated pop-punk princes who churn out a pile of sherbety tunes and some jolly sticky-sweet melodies.

Unfettered by the normal conventions  of musical connoisseurship, they gaily embarked on a syrupy journey that took us towards Robbie William’s “Angels”  via Black Eyed Peas “I Gotta Feeling”. Imbued with a ravishing sense of their own self-worth and armed with a song-book of smooth lady-pleasing sweet-toothed cover-songs and an equal amount of self-penned siren-like serenades, this boy-band took to the small stage at The Hob, Staines with a gusto and enthusiasm that you could only imagine comes from an over-inflated appreciation of their own self-entitlement.

And when these brazen boys from Aberystwyth are not crooning their guiltless crowd-pleasing cheese, they also play their own effervescent and joyful thumpers.  Songs like ‘Our song’ which is a sweet and sparkling confection of guitar sounds from Chris and Andy, and acts as a canvas upon which is painted a fairly basic tune.  Or the song ‘What If?’  which has an indie sounding opening and then a flourishing feelgood build-up that makes a headrush charge towards an uncomplicated chorus.

‘Me and You (Falling Apart)’ is probably the most infectious and efficient MFRU song.  Guitars sound almost like pipes, a Celtic influence is clear.  The drums from Tom and the rigid bass from Lee add a tribal component.  And the silky-smooth vocals from Chris are lightly laced with eloquent sadness. The saccharine sweet chorus may be a little cloying for the boys in the
audience though.

The ladies were up and dancing to these power-pop players, whilst the male gig-goers sloped off for another pint and a turn at the pool table.

And that just about sums up the band.  Engaging, sweet and happy they may be.  But I cannot help thinking, cynically, that we have heard all this before.

© Neil_Mach
February 2011

Link:

http://www.myspace.com/myfavouriterunnerup

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