Gig Review – John Butler Trio – De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill

As you’re no doubt already aware, we don’t normally publish gig reviews of acts from outside of our local catchment area, but this is an exception.

We are currently having a few issues with The Stinger’s website, so to save delaying posting this review any longer, I decided to share it here.

So, without further ado, here’s my review of the John Butler Trio playing at De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill, on Saturday 15th August 2015:

I’m sure the reaction of many friends of those attending last night’s John Butler Trio gig at the De La Warr Pavilion, in Bexhill, when told who they were going to see, was “Who?”

It’s fair to say that the Australian band aren’t very well known in the UK, but it did mean that just about everybody in the sizable audience were there for the right reasons. This was an audience of fans and fanatics, a fact borne out by this being one of the most enthusiastic audiences I’ve ever come across.

Preaching to the converted maybe, but to a relative newcomer to the delights the John Butler Trio like myself, this was a performance that showed exactly why those fans were here and why they are so enthusiastic.

For the uninitiated, the John Butler Trio play a rootsy musical melting pot of styles and genres, from rock to folk, with stops at reggae, funk, blues and more along the way. Formed in Western Australian in 1998, they are currently touring to support their sixth studio album “Flesh and Blood”, which was released last year.

John Butler himself is a virtuoso guitarist and banjo player, something he displayed to great effect during the two hour show. He was very ably assisted by fellow band members Grant Gerathy (drums, vocals and percussion) and Byron Kuiters (bass, double bass, vocals and keyboards).

I did hear a comment when leaving the gig afterwards saying that “he did drag the songs out a bit”. A fair point maybe, but when you have the musical ability of these guys and many of the songs in the set build in intensity and then maintain that for those extra minutes, as these did, that is forgivable and I don’t think many were complaining about that.

In fact, intensity is the one word I would use to sum up this gig. There may not have been a genuine hit single in sight, but that didn’t stop this, admittedly, biased crowd singing and dancing along throughout, and the band playing their hearts out as well.

John Butler is very much a musician’s musician and songwriter and he attracted a fair sprinkling of fellow players to this gig. His solo, acoustic rendition of “Ocean”, which lasted over 10 minutes, was just one shining example of why he is so well respected in the musical community. Just search on YouTube for a great video performance of the song.

A quick mention should also be made of the excellent lighting during the show and also the fact that this was standing gig, downstairs at least, something that always seems to add an extra level of atmosphere to a gig. Every little helps.

As an Australian friend of mine commented on my Facebook post, stating that I was at the gig, I was very lucky to see the John Butler Trio in Bexhill. I think that is a sentiment shared by everyone who was fortunate enough to have been present at the De La Warr Pavilion on Saturday evening.

Well done to the De La Warr also, for booking relatively unknown acts such as the John Butler Trio, and possibly taking a chance in doing so too. It certainly proved well worth while on this occasion and will no doubt do so in the future as well. Build it and they will come.

Andy Gunton

Otti Albietz and the Voices – Live Video

We’ve mentioned before about the series of live session videos that Bexhill producer Harvey Summers has been recording for his Broadoak Studios YouTube channel.

Well, the latest episode of ‘The Live Room’ is now ready for viewing and it’s another cracker.

This time around the band in session are Otti Albietz and the Voices. Once again, someone who we’ve mentioned here on Pierless Music before, and for very good reason too.

We think this session captures perfectly the unique sound of Otti and his band.

See what you think.

http://www.bbemusic.com/artists/2816/Otti%20Albietz#.U147mfldUrU

Mumm-ra are back (again)

It seems that you just can’t keep a good band down these days.

I wrote recently about how so many local bands are getting back together again, even if it’s just for the one night: http://pierlessmusic.co.uk/deja-vu-all-over-again/

I mentioned in that piece about the Mumm-ra reunion gigs of 2012 and now it seems that that has whetted their appetite for something a bit more substantial. I had a funny feeling that it might have that effect.

There have been cryptic Twitter messages coming from the Mumm-ra camp recently which have now culminated in the following statement on their website:

“Hello everyone.

It’s been an awfully long time. Five years have passed and my word things have changed. Apparently our Myspace is no longer relevant? Dark times.

Fear not, however, for Mumm-Ra have stirred from their deep slumber and decided to give a home to those songs that never made it to the elusive ‘Album Two’.

Everything’s ready to go and we hope to have something for your ears in the next couple of months. To whet your appetite until that time, here is a little acoustic number called ‘Technicolour’.

Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter for all the latest Mumm-ra news, and check out our Soundcloud page where you can stream all our tracks.

It’s good to be back.

Love always,

Mumm-ra”

Here’s the video that accompanies that new track ‘Technicolour’:

Nice, isn’t it?

It’s good to have them back once again and let’s hope that it’s for a little longer than two days this time around.

Mumm-ra website: http://www.mumm-ra.net/

 

Hastings, City of Culture?

No, this isn’t April 1st. Hastings and Bexhill have formally applied to be the UK’s City of Culture in 2017.

But, joking aside, why shouldn’t this area become the official UK City of Culture? Yes, I know that technically neither Hastings or Bexhill are a city. But then neither are several of the other 10 entries cities either.

Culture: (Noun) “The arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively” – Definition from Oxford Dictionaries.

Just think of the wealth of artistic talent that we have in this area, across the whole spectrum of the arts, not just music. And also don’t forget the many different ways that we express and celebrate those arts here as well.

How many other towns of our size has so many varied festivals celebrating different aspects of art, or culture. Let’s not forget that culture can also mean “the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular people or society”. Sounds like ‘Jack in the Green’ doesn’t it?

I’m sure that many local people’s initial reaction to this news was along the lines of “Hastings, City of Culture, you’re having a laugh…” But, the more you think about it and the more you start to realise just how qualified the Hastings and Bexhill area is to be that UK City of Culture in 2017, the next time the accolade is awarded by the way, the more you start to think “Why not?”

So, let’s get behind this bid and help tell the rest of the world just what a great area this is for arts and culture.

For more info about the bid and the other candidates, here’s a piece from the Hastings Observer website: http://www.hastingsobserver.co.uk/news/local-news/hastings-to-bid-to-become-capital-of-culture-1-4853342

The Keane Trail

Whilst i know that many people who read this may not be fans of the band Keane, even if they do come from within the Pierless Music catchment area. It can’t be denied that they do appear to have a genuine love of the area and have even mentioned several local places in their songs.

I suppose the most famous example would be the track ‘Sovereign Light Cafe’ from their recent No.1 album ‘Strangeland’. If you’ve not seen the video, it’s well worth watching, as it was actually filmed in Bexhill: (Pre video advert warning!)

Well, to celebrate the local Keane connection, 1066 Country Marketing and the Battle Marketing Group have created the ‘Keane Trail’. It’s a website, built with the help of the band, that explains how local places have both influenced and been referenced in Keane’s songs: http://www.keanetrail.org.uk/

I’m guessing that the aim of the website is as a kind of online tourist brochure for the Hastings, Battle and Bexhill area.

Many bands are very quick to get out of their local town as fast as possible and even to knock it in interviews etc. That is especially true of bands from a small town. So, it’s good to see a successful band speak up for their local area and to celebrate some of the good things about it.

Who knows, it might even bring some musical tourists to the area who may then see and hear for themselves the many musical riches that we have here.

And maybe it might even encourage some of you to explore and celebrate your local area just a little bit more as well?

 

New Blog Post – Together Again

It seems these days that all bands that split up are destined to reform and play together once again.

Pierless Music’s Andy Gunton has written a blog post about this and how this trend seems to have caught on locally as well.

 

Find it here: http://pierlessmusic.co.uk/blog-posts/andy-gunton-2/together-again/

 

Mumm-Ra Reunion Show Tickets.

Tickets for the Mumm-Ra reunion show, with Youngplan supporting, are now on sale.

They can be bought from behind the bar at Flairz in Havelock Road, Hastings, the venue for the gig on 19th October.

Tickets are priced at £3 each and are expected to sell out very quickly, so hurry on down to Flairz. There are only a limited amount of tickets available from Flairz itself by the way.

Online ticket sales are expected to be announced any time now. So, keep your eyes and ears peeled.

We got ticket numbers 50 and 51 by the way :)

STOP PRESS:

Tickets now on sale online: http://www.wegottickets.com/event/189348 There are only 35 tickets available and they cost £5. The online price difference is not the fault of the band by the way. Now Sold Out!

But, if you didn’t manage to get tickets for this show, read this from the Facebook event page:

NEW DATE ADDED DUE TO ABSOLUTELY OUTRAGEOUS PUBLIC DEMAND!! 20/10/12. TICKETS ONSALE 7PM WEDNESDAY 10TH OCTOBER”

This extra date will also be at Flairz and will be on Saturday, 20th October 2012.

Mumm-Ra are back……

…. But, before you all get too excited, it’s only for one night.

The boys from Bexhill announced via their official Twitter page (https://twitter.com/) on the 27th September, that they’d be playing a one off gig at Flairz, in Hastings, on Friday 19th October 2012.

Tickets are only £3 and are sure to sell out very quickly. The doors open at 7.30pm on the night.

Mumm-Ra have also set up an event page for the gig on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/276730109110685/

This is how they announced the gig there:

“54 Months ago Mumm-Ra played what would become their last ever gig in the Cambridge Barfly. It was a great moment, but since the band’s split it never felt like we really gave the close fans the send off they deserved… Until now…

The time has come… After almost 5 years in the musical abyss, Mumm-Ra are back for a one off show at Flairz in Hastings!!!

Not only that but we have an amazing support act lined up for a show that will surely take us back to a time when indie ruled the world!”

As yet, details of actual ticket sales haven’t been released.

As has been pointed out on the Facebook page, Flairz is not the biggest venue in the world. So, the scramble for those tickets could be interesting.

It’s amazing to think that it’s already been 5 years since Mumm-Ra split.

It’s good to have them back, albeit briefly.

Watch this space for more news.