Luke Haines – Dingwalls, London – October 12, 2017

Luke Haines - Dingwalls

Luke Haines
Dingwalls. London
October 12, 2017

With a newly released multi-disc compilation assembling the more pertinent cuts from the ever-expanding Luke Haines solo songbook, this evening is neither an attempt to promote it, nor will it be as straightforward as playing the songs people know and/or want to hear. To do either would change course on a career that has shown no interest in making anyone happy, fan, critic and record company alike.

Sitting down with his acoustic guitar he looks like a man who went to the shops to buy a loaf of bread and ended up in Camden to sing a bunch of songs that in its own way, chart a potted history from the early days of The Auteurs through Baader Meinhoff and a couple of songs you’d only ever have heard if you were a patron to his Outsider Music series.… Read the rest

Haley – Live at the Dome

Haley - Dome, London

In her gold converse sneakers and on her second European tour in 6 months, the artist formally known as Haley Bonar, now just plain ‘Haley’, is looking a little like Dorothy discovering a new Oz. After 15 years toiling away recording and touring in relative obscurity, that impossible dream of critical acclaim and recognition is steadily becoming a reality.

Falling somewhere between Angel Olsen and Neko Case in style and sound, Haley has seen her star rise, particularly in this country, starting with 2014’s Last War which for all intent and purpose sounded like someone beginning afresh, adopting a louder, mood heavy and chorus-driven approach, or maybe just “these quiet, folky kinda songs ain’t paying the bills, so let’s turn shit up”.… Read the rest

Cold Cave – Islington Academy – 15/03/17

coldcaveislington

To paraphrase the title of an old Ministry track, for Cold Cave, every day is like Halloween. With his black hoodie pulled tight over his head, Wesley Eisold looks more like a Jedi about to sermonize the ways of the dark side. Any dark side.

The last proper Cold Cave album was 2011’s Cherish The Light Years, an attempt by Eisold at moving away from the bedroom-recorded debut Love Comes Close into a more-realised sound that was beefed up and subsequently toured with a full live band. Since then, he’s concentrated on releasing the odd 7″ single and download while tending to his Heartworm publishing imprint (and becoming a father too).… Read the rest

Haley Bonar – Moth Club, London – 27/10/16

It must come as a great validation to the artist who quietly toils, recording and releasing their own material year after year, happy that they’re able to find an outlet and an audience, to finally gain critical recognition outside their home country and play to people who are discovering their music for the first time.

Haley Bonar would know all about this. In a career that has spanned 15 years and 6 albums, it was her most recent release, 2014’s Last War, that pushed her into the international spotlight. The follow-up, Impossible Dream doubled-down on War’s refined songcraft and country/dream-pop delivery, unveiling a fresh set of songs heavy with tales of small-town life and world-weary restlessness.… Read the rest

The Church – Factory Theatre, Sydney

The Church
Factory Theatre, Sydney
December 6, 2012

The most remarkable thing about The Church, and there are many remarkable things about this enduring Australia band, is how better they get with age. Memories seep past of watching them just down the road, in what seemed for all intent and purpose their final show. How different the mood tonight from the fractured awkwardness of 20 years past. When success and its pursuit of becomes secondary to making and performing music, the true nature of a band shines through.

Having dispensed with the watered down acoustic renditions and the recent ‘Future-Past-Perfect’ albums-in-full performances, The Church are now free to stretch their legs in any direction they like, which in itself presents just as many problems for a band held together by a democracy.… Read the rest