12 April 2012

Of Gigs and Exhibitions

Been awhile since I blogged about stuff, and as usual there's been a fair number of gigs/exhibitions involved. This is unlikely to be all of them, but briefly:


The main exhibition I've seen in this period was the Hockney at the RA. I really did not like this. I couldn't manage to engage with any of his pictures, they struck me as boring. Sure, strong colours, but they suffered, for me, from the problem painting of scenes often does - take a f'ing picture instead. I want paintings to challenge perception, stretch things.
This was the first time I've had such a feeling of almost physical revulsion to paintings.
I did love what he did in the multimedia section, I thought that was quite clever. Although a more mixed approach could have been better, for example different screens showing differing seasons, which in a composite display would have been quite cool.
I think what really struck me was the lack of creativity, it's all very samey, very mass produced. Or at least, it felt like it to me. Soulless.
I know there's a couple of artists who read this who've been, what did you think?


SeYes - The Musician, Leicester
A Yes tribute band, weren't too bad, vocalist was excellent. Seemed a bit rough in places, but enjoyable - and I can't complain at £7 entrance... I can complain about the fucktard who stole my bike tho'...

Tinderbox and Little Johnny England
I don't know if I should admit this, but I appear to be going through quite an English folk phase. In some ways, Paul T is to blame for reawakening my interest in Fairport Convention. Viewers of my last.fm page may have noticed repeat plays of John Babbacomb Lee. Frank Turner's most recent, from last year, has strong folk elements, at least lyrically so blame can be pushed at him too. Obviuosly I'm too weak to resist these two strong influences.
Tinderbox are a duo from Bournemouth (according to their website) on guitar and vocals. Very delicate, and very very good. The superlatives in the reviews on their site keep using the word 'gorgeous' and that's about right. There's sound samples on the site...

Little Johnny England I really enjoyed them. I'd had some beer, but as I'm writing this to the sound of the most recent CD, and enjoying that too, I think my beerview was still right. Electric folk? story based lyrics, and more importantly melodeon solos. They all seemed very good at what they do, and seemed to be having fun - which seems a good sign for a band... English folk seems a bit more subdued than Irish, less bitter, for some reason ! Oh and they even had reels and hornpipes, which didn't me angry, so they must be good!
Here ,have a video


Polar Bear described as avant-garde jazz worried me slightly, as I've been to a couple of those and hated them. Especially as this was led by two saxophonists. I shouldn't have worried, I thought it was all pretty safe - obviously those years of listening to King Crimson etc have made my avante-garde antenna a bit stronger. Very musical, lyrical jazz. And their album is out on vinyl, which I didn't pick up. But may yet...
Here, another video;


Arena
Ssshhhh don't say it too loud, but the new album is rather good. I went along to the gig for the cheesy prog factor, and came away a teensy wee bit impressed. The new (again?!) vocalist has a rather impressive set of pipes on him. And any band with the John's (Jowitt and Mitchell) will always get my vote (yes Jowitt is back in). All seemed to be having fun and the sound was superb.
As mentioned, for those of you who have slipped from the Arena fold, I know I had. It's worth picking up the new album, typically OTT subject matter, but musically very enjoyable.
here's a teaser video for the album.


The Watch - Genesis cover band
Fantastic. Want to hear Gabriel era Genesis? The Watch deliver.

Yes, a prog double-header. How happy was I !

Love B
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