Midland's Goth Festival Headlining tonight Vince Ripper and the Rodent Show mixed DJ beats, 50's garage rock, pyschobilly and industrial sounds. The Rodent AKA Andrew 'Ratfink' Wilson, sporting a full-on voodoo-goth persona complete with bone-trimmed hat and Marilyn Manson eyes, howled and screeched over The Ripper's backing tracks and theremin breaks.


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Midland's Goth Festival Headlining tonight Vince Ripper and the Rodent Show mixed DJ beats, 50's garage rock, pyschobilly and industrial sounds. The Rodent AKA Andrew 'Ratfink' Wilson, sporting a full-on voodoo-goth persona complete with bone-trimmed hat and Marilyn Manson eyes, howled and screeched over The Ripper's backing tracks and theremin breaks.


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Lordi Oh Lordi, Oh Lordi! What the føøk did we let ourselves in for this evëning? A phantasmagorical riot of Heavy-Mental, über-latex, preposterous prosthetic excess enough to make the bastard child of a Butlins’ weekend Trekkie/Kiss-Convention bad-idea-shag weep in despair - that’s what! As if the Scandinavians hadn’t already done enough already to stretch horror-fantasy fiction to it’s very limits with tales of Grendel, The Night Stalker and his fiendish Werehag mother - Finland sends us Lordi - 2006 Eurovision Song Contest representatives no less. The horror, the horror. (And, did you see what they’ve done with the Hamlet, Prince of Denmark’s existential crisis pun motif with the tour title, eh?). Escaping Rivita & water punishing diets slaving in the Lego mines must surely be Rock n’Roll Scan salvation. And, so it was for all concerned on this memorable evening.


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Black Market Karma Fickle Twin suck on the septic teat of Anger-Core/Bellicose Snot-Splatter, Depth-Charged Bass and tantrum-fixated guitar Feed-Cack. Distortion being the default setting sound-mix - one suspects they may have got their gear as a job-lot from next door's burnt-down Cash Converters' fire-sale. If not possibly during the actual fire itself.


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DUMB "Birmingham independent record label, One Beat Records and the city's best music magazine, Brum Notes combine together to present 4 of the best local breakthrough bands all on one night." So ran the billing for this near capacity-rammed gig and jolly well done because it was an eclectic line-up with a near seamless continuity. (Hell of a well-done job by the sound-man and swop-over crews, by the way.)


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THEBAND These are heady... Bulls Heady in fact... ahem... times for the Birmingham music scene. In fact in 25 years or so of gig going in the second city I can’t recall a time when there was as much good shit going on than right here, right now. We’ve got the bands, the venues and, as tonight underlines, the publications (online and ‘real’) in the shape of Brum Notes (an honourable mention must go the marvellous Counteract Magazine too who’ve also pimped this show).


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The Travelling Band For one moment we shivered in anticipation of Spinal Tap schadenfreude as The Travelling Band stacked the stage with racks of back-up guitars and rock-tech paraphernalia - turns out they put it all to great effect. (My son tells me we saw this lot at Greenman Festival but I was distracted by the beckoning songs of the 8% scrumpy Sirens... rock n' roll!)


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Beth Hart My goodness - Ms. Hart expounds a voice to be reckoned with and swaggers within a curvy, sassy brown cotton dress that suggestively struggles to contain it. Such is her vocal range, register and nut-kicking ballistic grunt the microphone appears to be less a necessity than a cosmetic appendage. The formidable band supercharged introed with a slide-guitar growl as Ms. Hart, in modesty to blazes brouhaha, unleashed Hell in the Earthly guise of ‘Lord Have Mercy On Me’.


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Lindi Ortega ‘Ruby-lipped, raven-haired beauty Lindi Ortega pulls on her bright red cowboy boots once again for a European jaunt..’ So froths the PR copy along with a red-booted photo of Ms Ortega giving the camera some leggy smolder in a ubiquitous US pick-up truck. Interesting, isn’t it, that you’ll not often find male artist’s opus predicated by their looks? Ah...One Direction... (Need to think this one through...


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Lindi Ortega ‘Ruby-lipped, raven-haired beauty Lindi Ortega pulls on her bright red cowboy boots once again for a European jaunt..’ So froths the PR copy along with a red-booted photo of Ms Ortega giving the camera some leggy smolder in a ubiquitous US pick-up truck. Interesting, isn’t it, that you’ll not often find male artist’s opus predicated by their looks? Ah...One Direction... (Need to think this one through...


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Jenn Bostic Behold ye who forswore to venture into this cold, gentle night and weep mightily for your perfidy! Perhaps you’d given up ever believing that an artist of disarming charm, of engaging, folksy apple-pie sincerity could also sing like an angel breathing thunderbolts? ‘In Nashville,’ Jenn Bostic, comments wryly, ‘they think I'm a little bit too Pop for Country.’ Well, yes and no. Her songs are intelligent, crafted Country power-Pop ballads for sure and mightily sung too.


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Jenn Bostic Behold ye who forswore to venture into this cold, gentle night and weep mightily for your perfidy! Perhaps you’d given up ever believing that an artist of disarming charm, of engaging, folksy apple-pie sincerity could also sing like an angel breathing thunderbolts? ‘In Nashville,’ Jenn Bostic, comments wryly, ‘they think I'm a little bit too Pop for Country.’ Well, yes and no. Her songs are intelligent, crafted Country power-Pop ballads for sure and mightily sung too.


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Dutch Uncles For some of us they may have seemingly sprung up from nowhere recently, Zebedee like, but amazingly Dutch Uncles are actually already on their third album. Sadly neither of the first two seemed to shoot them to instant fame and fortune but in a classic case of ‘third time lucky’ the new one, Out Of Touch In The Wild, seems to be tickling hipsters’ tastebuds nicely as tonight’s ‘sold out, sell your own kidney / grandmother’s kidney / grandmother to get a ticket’ gig clearly showed.


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Esben and the Witch Two years to the week since Esben And The Witch last flew their broomstick spells over a capacity full Hare. Not quite so tonight in the snug room though none the less warmly welcomed for that. And, today's confirmation of a Greenman Festival debut must've certainly warmed their collective cockles further.


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