Tag Archives: santana

Arcane Roots

arcane-roots-post

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

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5 Things – This Week in Staines

1.

Small Outfit, Big Sound Ideas at Staines

2 Sick Monkeys at Staines

29th JAN 2009  8:00P at HOB STAINES £3 2 SICK MONKEYS

2 Sick Monkeys formed in December 2000, as a live two piece bass and drums, primarily to support Darrin Mooney (Primal Scream) at a drum event in Swindon.
They have now played over 400 gigs (270 in the last 3 years) including 4 European tours.

They describe themselves as tight, melodic and percussively in your face.
Basically……small outfit, BIG SOUND!!

2 Sick Monkeys are with:

Page Not Found

Page Not Found are a punk rock group form Slough Berkshire UK.

Formally known as Ollie Impossible, Page Not Found play their own style of Fast paced skate punk. After the change the band along with new bassman have wasted no time and headed straight into the studio to record some material.

Links:

http://www.myspace.com/2sickmonkeys

www.myspace.com/pagenotfoundrock

2.

High Quality Funk & Groove – Ascot

Mimosa at Jagz Ascot

Jan 30th 2009 8:45P at Jagz Ascot MIMOSA £5

Whisk together smooth soul, funky grooves and a hint of rock, fold in a combination of catchy brass riffs, fat bass, creative guitar as well as watertight drums and percussion. Heat for 2 hours with probably the best vocal talent in the south and you have the unique sound of Mimosa.

Some people have said – “it’s a bit like being attacked by a shark wearing a woolly jumper” “best served hot with Mango Chutney a cold beer!” “You’ll drive through an
amber light to see them!” “Just like the Brand New Heavies, only not as famous!” The band have spent the last year putting together a high quality varied mix of songs to give a great show, keeping people grooving well into the night. Gigging since April 06, this band will definitely impress and leave you wanting more. Time to find out what you have been missing……

Links:

ww.myspace.com/mimosaband


3.

Stripped Down Classic Rock – Shepperton

Firewater at Shepperton


Jan 30 2009      9:00P Kings Head-Shepperton FIREWATER


The ED HUDSON project “Firewater” was formed in 2000 and has been regularly gigging around London and the South East since then. The early blues
material gave way to more classic rock songs as time went on and the duo format lends itself to a stripped down approach to the songs, showcasing the considerable talents of singer Ed Hudson and lead guitarist Tim Scopes.

If you like blues and classic rock (and don’t like being deafened in the process of hearing it!) go and see ’em -you will not be dissappointed….

Links:

http://www.myspace.com/firewaterduo

4.

80’s & 90’s  Hits – Live Band – Live in Windsor

!Daft!

Fri 30 Jan Old Ticket Hall, Windsor £3 !Daft!

!daft! are a party rock cover band comprising 5 professional standard musicians who perform high energy and dynamic gigs across the Home Counties and West London to consistently excellent responses. Our sets and gigs are designed
to be fun, enthusiastic and crammed with recognisable anthemic tracks from artists including Queen, Guns N’ Roses, The Killers, The Fratellis, Green Day, Elvis, Bon Jovi, Madness, Kaiser Chiefs, Oasis, Michael Jackson… even ABBA and Take That, plus many more legendary groups.

Random quote: “It’s like going to see all your favourite rock bands in one night!!”

Links:

http://www.daftonline.co.uk




5.

Aerosmith to ZZ Top Covers – in Hampton

Prezence

Jan 31 2009      9:00P  The Cardinal Wolsey Hampton Court PREZENCE

Prezence are fast becoming a STAINES and area fafourite covers band… playing a huge mixture of classic rock from way-way back to much more modern material from the likes of Rage Against The Machine, Metallica, Foo Fighters etc. A thoroughly enjoyable evening is guaranteed…. also coming to venues in Staines, Hampton, Walton-on-Thames soon (keep checking our ADPONTES music pages for updated GIG GUIDE)

Link:

myspace.com/prezencerock

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Visit AdPontes-Staines Regularly for Staines Arts

5 Things – This Week in Staines

1.

See Some Art at the Sunbury Art Trail Weekend

Sunbury Art Trail

Surrey Open studios, Riverside Arts Centre, Sunbury – Art Trail

Friday 13th June to Monday 16th June

The Studio & Craft Centre, Riverside Arts Centre, Sunbury

Featuring the work of artists:

Malcolm West
Hildegarde Reid
Robert Shaw
Freda Anderson
Sue Munson
Robin Lee Hall
Douglas & Pauline Burnett
Annie Shaw
Mary Shanahan

2.

Get the Prog-Rock Sound with Pendragon

Pendragon


Jun 14 2008 8:00P The Peel, Kingston, Pendragon

Back in 1978, Stroud, Gloucestershire, four friends got together and decided to form a band. Zeus Pendragon consisting of Nick Barrett [guitar/vocals], Julian Baker [guitar/vocals], Nigel Harris [the most sought after drummer in the Stroud area] and Stan Cox [bass] was born.

Young and full of ambition Zeus Pendragon started out playing cover versions of classic rock tunes by Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, and Santana and their first gig was ironically the same day that Nick left school, burning his maths text book and picking up his guitar on the way… The future had been determined.

The Zeus part of their name was later dropped when the logical and visionary Julian decided it was far too long to fit across a t-shirt, and this ridiculous cross pollination of Arthurian and Greek mythology just seemed plain silly.

Fast Forward to 2005 …. the release of Believe, the 7th studio album by Pendragon which reflected a renewed youthful exuberance and fresh approach both musically and visually for the band.Once again a line up change reared its ugly head, and after 20 odd years with the band Fudge Smith was replaced by 26 year old whipper snapper Joe Crabtree on drums. The band now had a real firecracker of a drummer underpinning the rhythm section which brought a renewed need to fight and the passion and energy of the band was almost like they were 17 years old again for the upcoming Believe tour.Pendragon undertook the biggest tour of Europe they had ever done and followed it with a release of the brilliant And Now Everybody To The Stage dvd.

2007 sees the 21st anniversary of The Jewel dvd release called Past And Presence which includes most of the musicians from those early days and shows how this tenacious band can still thrill, evolve and capitalize on its strengths over a 28 year period where so many others have failed.

So to the future, a new album is on the cards and a year full of festival dates just goes to show that in this hurly burly world of fickle pop music….some ships were built to last.

http://www.pendragon.mu/


3.

Go rock with Rough Justice – Staines

Rough Justice - Staines

Rough Justice Fri 13th June Staines Riverside Club, Laleham Road £3

Sensational rock covers band with a huge local following,

Not to be missed

http://www.myspace.com/roughjusticerocks

4.

Get your Dancing Shoes On… dancing in the aisle

Dancing in the Streets

Dancing in The Streets Monday 9 – Saturday 14 June 2008 – Woking Theatre

The Hit West End Show

Dancing In The Streets

Experience the energy, emotion and electricity of Motown in Dancing in the Streets, the spectacular celebration of classic music from the heart of Detroit!

Featuring legendary Motown classics including I Heard It Through The Grapevine, My Girl and Dancing in the Streets and a full supporting company of singers, dancers and an amazing live band, Dancing in the Streets re-creates the energy, style and music of all your favourite Motown stars!

Box Office: 0870 060 6645



5.

Join in the celebrations at Egham – Magna Carta day

Magna Carta Day at Egham

HMagna Carta Celebrations – High Street Egham Sat June 14th 11:00 to 4:00P

FTo celebrate the ‘signing’ of the Manga Carta (check the facts here) this years event at Egham will include Morris Dancers. live bands, brass band, dancing irish vocals, a belly dancer and lots & lots of fun

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Keep visiting www.adpontes.co.uk for up-to-date news, articles, reviews & gig guide for staines and area