Can You Gig It?: Flamboyant Bella @ Highbury Garage, London, 23.11.09

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Only fourteen days into December, and here’s the first post of the month. It’s a gig review from November. Look, X Factor‘s been on, OK?

John-Scott Croly gamely went along to an all-ages show by emerging musical yoots Flamboyant Bella, where he felt like a bit of a phaedopile.

I nudged my mate. “Look, that singer well fancies me,” I said, pointing stageward. “Fuck off,” he replied, “she’s looking at me”. “Yeh, whatevs blud, look at your fucking beard!”…

Midway through the argument we realised we were stood right behind her dad and quickly agreed that it had in fact been he who was so deserving of her attention. At least we could only assume it was her dad: middle-aged and sensibly-dressed, right foot going like the clappers and mouthing ALL the words.

Then again, it was difficult to tell; there were plenty of dads in the audience – along with mums, big brothers and other assorted chaperones. Y’see, this was an under-18′s gig – a piece of information our humble editor neglected to furnish me with before I set off to the Highbury Garage. I almost left straight away, for fear of being put on some sort of register.
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Can You Gig It?: Exlovers / Kurran & The Wolfnotes / Little Death @ Levi's OnesToWatch, London Borderline, 22.10.09

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kurran_wolfnotes

My Chemical Toilet’s roving review machine John-Scott Croly went to check out some up-and-comers on the latest Levi’s Ones To Watch Tour, so he did.

The band selector for the Levi’s OnesToWatch tour (for argument’s sake let’s call her Jean) is seemingly able to predict with unerring accuracy the bands that will be soundtracking our iPod commercials and adorning our NME-reading teenage relatives’ bedrooms walls twelve months down the line. Given the name and premise of the tour, this surely makes her very good at her job.

Of course I’m fully aware that in all likelihood each tour’s band roster is carefully selected by a team, nay, committee of achingly hip cultural Nostradamuses – but it’s fair to say that whoever these people are, they’re getting something right.

Previous acts to play on the Never-Ending Tour of Denim-Endorsed Musical Foresight

Can You Gig It?: The London Punks / Band of Skulls @ London Wimbledon Watershed, 16.10.09

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John-Scott Croly skipped along to Wimbledon’s Watershed to see Band Of Skulls (above) support some people called The London Punks t’other day week.

Hotly-tipped Southampton blues-rockers Band of Skulls were this show’s not-so-secret support act, squeezing in a quick one on their way back home for a well-earned weekend off. They blew the sweaty roof off the Watershed’s dank back room – not that any of the 20 or so glass-eyed punters noticed.

Without their own following, the trio had to make do with the headliners’ early crowd – a smattering of arm-folders and phone-fiddlers who steadfastly refused to be won over, seemingly out of some kind of fierce-yet-misguided loyalty to The London Punks.
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Can You Gig It?: Jack Daniel's Birthday Set @ Village Underground, London, 8.10.09

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Jack Daniel, despite being dead, still gets to have a birthday. Or rather his “product”, Jack Daniel’s Tennesee Whiskey, does. That Jane Bradley went along to see Brett Anderson, Carl Barat and Jon McClure perform at a special bash t’other week, and this is what she thunkabourrit.

The Jack Daniel’s Birthday Set is an exclusive sort of affair. Tickets for it can

Can You Gig It?: Example @ Hoxton Bar & Grill, London 3.9.09

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example

That Louise Doherty went along to see that rapper Example the other night. Here she talk:

I swore I’d never go to another Example gig after the last time, when the man himself called me an idiot.

I’m certain there are many things I’ve done which deserve that charming accolade, but going to a gig on my own because I’m a long-time proponent of Example’s particularly unique brand of dysfunctional electro pop – while my friends aren’t (yet) – is not one of them.

The incident filled me with fury and resentment:

Rock en Seine festival review: Faith No More, Calvin Harris & The Prodigy entertain gay Paree

Can You Gig It?, Festival News

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[photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/maxhysteria/]

photo: Maxime Dodinet

Last weekend I went to Paris for Rock en Seine festival, as one of the esteemed music bloggers invited along by the nice peoples behind Eurostar’s Little Break Big Difference campaign. In what is surely a record for My Chemical Toilet here is an account of the event, turned around in just ONE WEEK.
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Latitude Festival 2009 as reviewed in great detail by text message

Can You Gig It?, Festival News

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While lesser other music blogs file a festival review as soon as the weekend on which it occurred has ended, My Chemical Toilet does things differently. There will always be people who claim that this review has only now been published because of an unshakeable laziness that plagues the site’s editor, but I think we know that those people are just HATERZ.

So, after cunningly bypassing the glut of Latitude reviews that stank up the internet like a dog fart a few weeks back, here is the definitive review of the event. It was texted through in installments by the diligent and dedicated Duncan Geere, who also writes about sprong configurations and downloadable bumware for top tech site Pocket-lint.

From the outset, Duncan was keen to show that no old duffer he. Check this pensioner-baiting update which he spat out before he’d even reached the festival:

Average age of people in coach station – 68. Average age of people carrying rucksacks: 23.

In other words – “I might be travelling on the same vehicle as you, Grandma, but I’m going to rock out while you’re complaining about your ankles. FUCK. YOU.”
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Can You Gig It?: The Twilight Sad @ The Lexington, London, 6.8.09

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Paul Lamkin went and saw intense indie noiseniks The Twilight Sad last week at The Lexington in London’s trendy North London. Here he describes the experience through the medium of type:

Why aren’t The Twilight Sad famous? Why do other Scottish bands such as Glasvegas get to bask in the festival season limelight while their far superior countrymen struggle for recognition and resort to playing tiny venues such as The Lexington, as they did last night?

Can You Gig it?: Moneen @ Camden Barfly, London

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moneen1This is a guest spot by Laura Scott, who is from somewhere called Canada. Recently she went along to see a band called Moneen, who are from – hey! – Canada as well.

The other week I had the chance to check out Moneen at the Camden Barfly, as they headlined one of two UK shows before kicking off their week-long tour with Brand New. Despite the fact the show had been organised fairly last minute, with the band having to borrow equipment from opening act Lights. Action!, the Barfly was packed and Moneen delivered a solid performance.

Playing predominantly old material with a few new songs from their forthcoming album The World I Want to Leave Behind, they had the whole room singing along from the moment they stepped on stage.
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Can You Gig It?: Passon Pit / FanFarlo / Apples @ Levi's Ones To Watch, Vibe Bar, London

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passion_pit_2

Wednesday’s Levi’s Ones To Watch show was, for me, an evening of counfounded expectations. I didn’t like what what I thought I might, and I really liked what I expected not to. More of that later though.

I had no expectations whatsoever regarding the first band of the night, Apples, because I didn’t know they existed. Now I can report that they are a jaunty little outfit full of ’09-issue plaid shirts, shaggy side partings and post-Vampire Weekend rhythms.

Fewer African influences here though – if anything, you’d swear Apples have been taking cues from Alphabeat. Which is no bad thing in my book, but while I enjoyed their summery jangle-pop I did get the sense that if I was exposed to them on a regular basis familiarity would soon breed loathing. Perhaps that’s down to my low boredom threshold rather than their abilities as a band though, I dunno.

Apples ended their set with a saxophone making an unexpected appearance, which led nicely into Fanfarlo’s multi-instrumental approach. I spied a mandolin, a clarinet, a violin and a xylophone onstage at various points during their burst, but sry2say the band came off as considerably less than the sum of its parts.
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