Layers Ahhhhh springtime, dontcha just love it? Longer days, buds on the trees, daffs springing up everywhere, the sudden reappearance of our old friend Mr Sun...except someone, somewhere seems to have failed to read the script this year as the temperature allegedly plummeted to a nut shrivelling -10 today (with wind chill). Good grief. Happily tonight’s compact and subterranean venue rapidly achieved a slightly more tropical feel courtesy of This Is Sinister. They’ve been knocking around for a few years now and what was once an odd mix in their early gigs seems to have gelled remarkably well. Psych, prog, country, rock, beat...no genre’s immune but somehow they make it work. Musical trainspotters might make links to Pearl Jam and At The Drive In in places but this lot are frankly impossible to pigeonhole and there aren’t too many bands you can say that about these days. Pick of the set included Idle Pleasures and the country rock tinged Never Find A Way, complete with added harmonica, neither of which I can find online anywhere so you’ll just have to go and see ‘em instead. Oh, and ask them to do tonight’s closing number too, a spirited and pant wettingly enjoyable version of Twist and Shout that might just be one of the greatest covers of all time...


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Castrovalva Ho ho ho. Whilst Christmas may mean carols, hymns, X Factor nonsense and Cliff singing about ickle baby Jesus to most of the population happily some people are still fighting the good fight, musically speaking at least. So a Santa’s sack full of respect to Distorted Tapes / Rhi Lee for putting together four bands that well and truly stuff most of the musical turkeys around at this time of year. Not Cliff obviously. Cliff is God. No... really... he actually is... a tramp outside Wetherspoons told me.


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The Catharsis It’s been a few months since I attended a sweaty pub gig and by Satan’s horns I’ve missed ‘em. Especially when they’re as ear shreddingly, bone crushingly, eye ball gougingly good as this one, set in the delightfully shabby chic...well, shabby anyway... room above the Actress & Bishop.


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The Catharsis It’s been a few months since I attended a sweaty pub gig and by Satan’s horns I’ve missed ‘em. Especially when they’re as ear shreddingly, bone crushingly, eye ball gougingly good as this one, set in the delightfully shabby chic...well, shabby anyway... room above the Actress & Bishop.


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