Jazz night. In my favourite library of all times.

The guys from the On/Off quartet were good. Very good.











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They didn’t mess about with band names in the 80s.

They didn’t go for something like The Apt at Delivering Effective Rock’n’Roll Music

or The Quite Enjoyable Band.

Not even The Pretty Shaggin Good If You Ask me.

No. The Stunning. It had to be the Stunning.

I wasn’t stunned last night. Neither did I expect to be. I saw a band most apt at delivering effective rock’n’roll music.

They were more than quite enjoyable. The were pretty shaggin good, if you ask me.

And the other ’40-somethings’ around me were lapping it up.


At least they didn’t call themselves The Hilarious Biscuits. 

Or The Subterranean Monologues. 



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The Stunning – Button Factory – 30 January 2016

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mememe in the Park

On a rare night out with Mrs mememe2U to support the launch of a new the album (the one that took 15 years to make – but it was worth the wait) by her cousin’s band Me in the Park.

Being hopelessly French, we arrived there at 8 PM. Because I am disciplined, punctual and I will never learn…

The first chords were not struck until 9.30 PM.

But it was well worth the wait. Last night was an occasion when supporting the family is just about the contrary of a drag.

These three dudes are very talented musicians. The sound is incredibly tight. Water tight. 5 average musicians wouldn’t be able to hold it together the way these guys manage to fill a room with sound. Full, but not over-saturated.

In a word tight. Tight as a Frenchman at the end of a low-cost holiday.












We left on a high.

With our own coats and bag (still laughing at the over-anxious women who was convinced that we were going to try to nick some of the incredibly precious stuff that had been deposited in the pile of clothes that she was jealously guarding – the Holy Grail perhaps).

And then we made a quick detour on our way out through the end of the Kila concert, who were also releasing an album (that didn’t take quite as long to make), and with an audience that we less concerned with the whereabouts of their rags.



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Plucking a few gems off the Cole face




When I got to my (birthday present) seat (D3) and spotted a brace of guitars, a brace of amps, a brace of spotlights and sweet shag all else, my initial thought was “oh… this is definitely not Lloyd Cole and Commotions… this is not Lloyd Cole-and-the-band-that-doesn’t-get-to-be-named either, this is an-audience-with-Lloyd-Cole-a-man-and-his-guitar-and-shag-all-else”

My second thought was… “can he pull it off?”

I shouldn’t have doubted the man.

Jayzus.  A master class if I ever saw one.

A man. And his guitar. And shag all else. And an audience in the palm of his hand for almost two hours (with a bit of a refuelling stop for the heckler around the hour mark).

I was most impressed. And I need in advance to apologise to all bass guitarists and drummers out there.

But that stripped down set was so incredibly effective.

In the absence of any peripheral interference, the lyrics truly came to the fore.

Each song delivering a new chapter in the life of a turn-of-the-millennium-troubadour . Tales of loneliness on the road, middle-age realisations, long-term relationships breakdowns, mostly controlled alcoholism, random encounters and recurring melancholy.

With intermissions for retuning the guitar, and gems of humour and light-hearted cynicism.

I was most impressed by Mr. Cole as a subtle and gifted guitarist and consistently in-tune, powerful and captivating vocalist.

Following the okay-ish after-taste of the Jasyzus-and-Mary-and-Joseph-Ball-and-Chains gig last month, it was good to see that the excitement of 30 years ago can be recaptured.

Different. Matured. Reflective. Yet exciting. Still.












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The Jayzis and Mary and Joseph Ball and Chain – Vicar St – 31 July

Jayzus… have the Jesus and Mary Chain changed or what?!



Oops, shite. No… these are the middle-aged roadies of a middle-aged Noise band.

I still am one of those irremediably uncool people who get excited when a roadie comes on stage and does fiddly bits with wires and stuff, without ever meeting the eyes of anyone in the crowd (but they do surreptitiously carry out a babe-check of the first 5 rows, it’s a special gift they have, without ever meeting anyone’s eye)

Lemme check on the memory card for actual photos of the Jayzis and Mary Chain… Ah! Here we go.

First introduction with He-Who-Singeth-In-A-Sulky-Fashion:


To be totally honest, I know the music, I enjoy the music, I have played the music many times over the last few decades.
But I didn’t really pay much attention to what the band looked like, back then or now.

After all, Noise is more about noise than image, isn’t it?

Still, I wasn’t quite prepared for the Man with the Smile. I wondered for a second if he wasn’t the band’s Senior Accountant who was checking if the serial number on the microphone did indeed match the one on the invoice from the PA hire company (accountants, even of the senior variety, especially of the senior variety, have a passion for this sort of things).

He-Who-Singeth-In-A-Sulky-Fashion, with his unimaginative black shirt and tidy haircut reminded me a bit of one of my neighbours, the one three doors up with the Mitsukoda Lakov-Charisma, the one who regularly tut-tuts in the direction of my slightly overgrown edge.

But I am being unfair to He-Who-Singeth-In-A-Sulky-Fashion, here are a few smilier shots of him infused with passion (and I should know about passion and exuberance on stage, I suffered through a whole concert in the early 90s when I had paid good money to watch Elizabeth Fraser hide for 90 very long minutes behind her fringe):






Woohoo! He-Who-Singeth-In-A-Sulky-Fashion, look at me! Look at me!

I’m your fan!

Woohoo, look at me!


And then he was gone.

Left the stage after 15 minutes, because he was pissed off.


Nah, I’m taking the piss. Not this time.

He has been known to do it though.

He did get cross with He-Who-Playeth-The-Guitar though.

A couple of songs were cut short after a few bars. And restarted and restarted again. I was wondering if it was due to the middle-aged roadies who had failed to properly fiddle with the fiddly bits, or a drum machine failure (but then realised that there was a drummer).

No, apparently, and judging by the harsh words that were briefly exchanged, He-Who-Singeth-In-A-Sulky-Fashion was giving out to the Noise Maker for playing his Noise out of tune!




But I am once again being unfair.

I had a great time.

I was expecting perhaps more Noise. A waive of saturated, almost solid Noise that strokes your eardrums with the gentleness of a Russian Navy sailor in a brothel in Rotterdam after three years spent in a nuclear submarine under the Arctic ice cap.

I was expecting smouldering Marshall amps, and sparks flying out of the Noise Maker’s guitar.

But I guess that in these Health & Safety-obsessed days, such things are no longer permitted and there is a cap on the number of decibels you can inflict on a willing audience.

I was ready though. And my eardrums were permanently maimed back in the 80s and 90s (I can recall my ears ringing for 48 hours following That Petrol Emotion in Liverpool or Rage Against the Machine at the Pink Pop festival).

I was ready for the acoustic holocaust of Psychocandy.

What I got instead was a pleasant collection of pleasant tunes by dudes in their fifties.

Sure, there were a few instances of middle-aged moshing in the first five rows that would have warranted the presence of a cardiac unit on stand-by.

Sure, there was a real sense of occasion (gaps of 27 years between concerts help to create a palpable sense of occasion).

Sure, the gig brought together a healthy 50/50 mix of hipsters and geeksters, and the people-watching was great (more about that in another post).

Sure, the audience seems to have developed some sort of smartphone etiquette, and there were relatively few instances of bright pieces of high-tech turds being held aloft for hours on end. People seem to have realised that seeing a whole concert through one’s iSamsung 5 is about as cool as sporting a Moses beard combined with a Hitler haircut and colourful sleeve tattoos.

Still, I was expecting more of a smack in the face from He-Who-Singeth-In-A-Sulky-Fashion and the Noise-Maker.

Here are a few parting shots from an old, jaded concert goer.