BRISTOL BIG JEFF: CUTTING FROM THE EDGE (JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2012)
Dear readers, it has been quite sometime since I last wrote to you guys, explaining my whereabouts and what I have been up to. It’s fair to say that life is a rollercoaster and no, I am not quoting Ronan Keating! So what has happened to me?
Well, December was an interesting month. The Magic Band were utterly delightful in recreating Captain Beefheart in every last little detail; Napalm Death provided brutality in force, rattling out 40 songs in an hour long set including their record breaking world’s shortest single which is 3.5 seconds in length; and there was also Ginger Wildheart’s complete mental breakdown while on stage at the Fleece. I have seen a lot of things before, but nothing like this – I mean he was having a go at the audience from the off, it was incredible and his entire backing band looked totally embarrassed by his behaviour.
I spent New Year’s Eve down in Plymouth, with my friends Crazy Arm, at The White Rabbit where they played along with Kat Marsh, Cosmo Jarvis, Dead Poets and others. As per usual, I was the only sober person there but that has never stopped me from having fun. I made a new year’s promise to myself to try and get to at least one European festival, although I have made no progress in booking tickets or anything, this is because of the usual anxieties that have been holding me back, that and lack of money.
January started with Von Bartha at the Fleece, I would go and see this band about three times in the space of a month! I know this sounds a little stalkerish, but they are really good! Like a poppier version of Big Joan, with the spice of Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I also had a really sweet night of acoustic folk at the Louisiana with the lovely Amelia Tucker, Elly McCabe and Lewis Doyle. It was perfect for a cold January night and gave me a winter glow.
There was the Tate and Lyle show with Kyla La Grange and Worship, with an excellent opening up set from Goan Dogs who really seem to be hitting their stride at the moment. Because of this gig being filmed it meant I got my ugly mug on the telly, ‘ooh look mum, I’m famous’. I did enjoy the gig but the lovely Kyla La Grange, as good as her stuff was, kept on reminding me of Shakespeare’s Sister and Alisha’s Attic; I’m sorry, I couldn’t help it with those comparisons, she’ll probably hate me for this.
I was also interviewed by a student film crew who were making a short documentary project about Bristol being the best city in the UK for live music. I stammered quite a lot during the interview, I have a tenancy to do this when I am nervous. I rocked out to My Ruin and actually got interviewed by Tairrie B. I had to try and hold my nerves, which was proving a little difficult as she used to be one of my pin ups. I was trying not to make too much of a fool out of myself. I think I blushed quite heavily at several points, after every question there was my usual nervous break of me going ‘oh my fuck, what do I say now?’. It seemed to be a week of female fronted acts because I saw Wild Flag blow bellows out of the Thekla. And Pheobie Killdeer and The Short Straws who provided me with some holla back rock n roll at The Croft, a bit like Juliet Lewis and the Licks.
January also saw the debut performance of Danny Coughlan’s new project, Crybaby. The ex Babel lead singer has come from out of the shadows with a whole raft of crooning indie numbers, like he’d locked himself away in a shed on nothing but a diet of Roy Orbison, Richard Hawley, Bon Iver and Morrisey. He has the best voice in Bristol. His debut single ‘I Cherish The Heart Break More then the Love That I Lost’ is one of the most heart wrenching singles I have heard so far this year. You could hear a pin drop whilst he was singing it at the Louisiana. It was his debut gig with the full band and boy what a show it was. They were supporting Scarlet Rascal and The Trainwreck who put on an absolutely cracking performance, probably one of the best shows I have seen them play recently, they have always been a band close to my old heart.
You can read more of Jeff’s thought on his new blog, The Thoroughly Annoying Blonde.
by 247 Magazine