Goodnight Lenin Were one given to idle speculation as to where Goodnight Lenin drew inspiration for the band's name - historical antecedents might suggest it to be one of Uncle Joe Stalin's many sick-humored euphemisms used during his pogroms of mass liquidation. Said despotic maniac infamously arranged the demise of his exiled enemy, Trotsky, via a bizarre 'gardening accident' when the unfortunate Leon reluctantly, and very much terminally, head-butted an ice pick: ergo - ‘Goodnight Lenin.’ Sympathetically observed, you will of course recall, by The Stranglers' - in No More Heroes - because it '...made his ears burn!


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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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Unknown Mortal Orchestra Unknown Mortal Orchestra: spawned in the hallucinogenic crucible of Timothy Leary’s lysergic legacy one’s immediate response to these antipodean/US wild-bunch renegades is that they continue to bear the torch championing the practice of bathing in the scented vats of unprescribed pharmaceutical indulgences - possibly. It’s as likely an explanation as any other for their cerebral cortex crushing retro/neo-psychedelic freak-out. And, damnably fine it was too.


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Barn Owl The reassuring predictability of any Capsule event (nothing so vulgar or prosaic as just a ‘gig’ about Capsule) will be its...well, unpredictability. And none more so that with this electronica/existential/experimenta triple line-up. Though it did take some getting used to watching congregated punters with pints shuffling politely in to high, wooden box-stall pews surrounded by the austere beauty of St Paul’s neo-classical columns and pediments. A bit like a piss-up watching the courtroom hysteria in Miller’s The Crucible, possibly.


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Barn Owl The reassuring predictability of any Capsule event (nothing so vulgar or prosaic as just a ‘gig’ about Capsule) will be its...well, unpredictability. And none more so that with this electronica/existential/experimenta triple line-up. Though it did take some getting used to watching congregated punters with pints shuffling politely in to high, wooden box-stall pews surrounded by the austere beauty of St Paul’s neo-classical columns and pediments. A bit like a piss-up watching the courtroom hysteria in Miller’s The Crucible, possibly.


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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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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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Dhoad Gypsies of Rajasthan Stories of sumptuous Maharajahs, simple village life, the aromatic spice-trains of richly dressed camels, heroic romances and the diaspora of the Dhoad Gypsies to Spain were told through traditional songs set against a background of tablas, dhol, harmonium and the captivating precursors of the Flamenco castanets. The call and response instrumental/vocal dialogues were dazzlingly intricate and witty.


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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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