BRISTOL BIG JEFF: CUTTING FROM THE EDGE (NOVEMBER 2011)
Well hello readers! It’s been quite a while since I last wrote to you. This past month has been one that has been pretty topsy-turvy, starting off in a pretty band way when I had someone start on me at an all-ages hip hop/grime night at Blue Mountain. He accused me of being a paedophile, which I am most definitely not! Some of the MC-ing that night was really good; I saw an 11-year-old grime MC rip the place up – to be able to have the confidence to hold the stage at that age is quite something.
A couple of days later The Melvins played the Thekla, the flipping Melvins played Bristol! This was something I personally never thought I would ever see live, one of the true monoliths of the American alt rock scene and there was no way in hell I was going to miss this. As per usual I was like a kid who had been locked in a sweet shop, force-feeding himself gob stoppers. They were absolutely incredible – and loud – playing for pretty much the best part of two hours and ending with one of the funniest things I have ever seen at gig, the bass player and drummer singing over a house styled track about how they wanted a full English breakfast after doing a 10min lightning bolt bass and drums noise jam, that left me without hearing for about four hours.
Another gig which had a very funny and strange ending was Ringo Deathstarr at Start the Bus. They sound like all the best bits of My Bloody Valentine, Jesus and Mary Chain and Dinosaur Jr. They ended it by getting my friend Dan to replace their drummer and me their guitarist; I can’t play guitar, so we just created nasty noise and hoped for the best. To be honest, it was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen in Start the Bus – full on wailing guitar drones of beauty. On that very same night I was given another example as to why Fence Collective are pretty much the best label in the UK, with a sublime gig from the Shivers, who sounded like an un easy cross between Bob Dylan and Lou Reed and the equally, if not more fantastic, Player Piano – who sounded a bit like early Fleetwood Mac playing R’n’B music with Robert Wyatt -just incredibly bouncy and brilliant.
Jon Hopkins completely fried my brains at Motion. Read my full review HERE.I saw Besnard Lakes who gave me a very special feeling, I could feel something in the water, maybe it was all the hallucinations I was having. The day after, my sister gave birth so there was definitely something in the water. I celebrated my sister’s sprog by going to see Shabazz Palaces, great fun leftfield hip hop, in the vein of a subtle Saul Williams, mixing cleverly worked lyrics in with psychedelic melodies. Read my Besnard Lakes review HERE.
I saw the Antlers and Vessels on the same night – doimg my usual gig sprint made possible by the Thekla’s early curfews! Vessels were amazing, although I have never seen so much gear on the Louisiana stage – 12 guitars, 6 pedal boards 4 synths – it was so ridiculous. I also did what I call Menage a Trois – where I managed to make it to three gigs on the same night – kick starting off with Pure Reason Revolution’s farewell tour at the Thekla. Playing their first two albums pretty much all the way through, it was pretty special. I followed that up by heading over to the Louisiana to see Swimming, who are a very underrated band in my opinion. They ooze 80s sounds like indie pop so well. Finally, I headed over to Start the Bus for Beaty Hearts.
I saw Billy Bragg play the Fleece for his Leftfield in Motion tour along with Akala and the Sound of Rum, who as many people will know is a band I have an obsession with. Kate Tempest is so amazing. It was the most people I have ever seen in the Fleece it seriously did feel like we were all sardines packed into a warm tin. And I also played Start the Bus, under my new pseudonym AAAutistic it stands for Angry Anxiety Autistic. It was a completely improvised set, like most of my sets are, I think it went pretty well. I had The Pen Wears The Trousers backing me up and I even tried to destroy people’s ears by singing and playing the violin. It got and interesting reaction.
Right, so December has started with Magic Band and The Vaccines as well as loads of other gigs, NYE parties and my AAAutistic set at the Fleece on December 8. Hope to see you there!
by 247 Magazine