March On The Stranglers

The Stranglers March On at the Roundhouse Friday night at the Camden Roundhouse was bustling with excitement for the March On Tour of the iconic band The Stranglers. The venue was packed to the brim and ready to rock with the band. Setting the scene for the evening furor of music and mayhem was the Manchester punk band The Membranes.  John Robb – front man gave a spirited performance to a reciprocating audience.

The Rezillo’s are a punk, new wave band highly influenced by the 60s garage sound. Their performance was volcanic. Fay Fife gave her all resulting in a red-hot performance. Eugene, Fay and the band were animate and vocally strong. Jumping around the stage to their fervent sound. And of course the chart topper – Top Of The Pops engendered a positively zany crowd reaction. They brilliantly lit the way for The Stranglers. Who are the Stranglers? I hear you say. Well excuse me but where have you been for the last four decades? The Stranglers have had over 20 UK top 40 singles and 17 UK top 40 albums. They are one of the most continuously successful bands to come out of the era of the 70’s. Their unique style was instrumental in paving the way for the Punk rock movement. The band entered the arena in darkness: The stage was without light only a slight glow from the back of the Roundhouse. There was a feeling of tension in the arena as the audience waited for the band to make its entrance. Well you could have stood at the other end of Camden and heard the raucous roar of the fans as JJ made his appearance, followed by Baz Warne and the rest of the crew. The set was long but never boring and it held captive the most spirited and vivacious audience that I have seen in a long while. Get A Grip On Yourself absolutely delighted the fans – including myself jumping up and down in the photographer’s pit, gaining an approving smile from JJ himself. Jean-Jacques distinctive cynical bass playing along with the bordering melancholic keyboards of Dave Greenfield engendered memories of another time, another place a testament to an enigmatic timeless sound, that what is the Stranglers. They are the only band I know that can flip from a typical hardcore punk sound to a Baroque style and still have the old-school punk rock crowd enthralled. The magic that is the Stranglers is still there. Yes, they have Baz as lead man. Does he have the same pensive style of Cornwell? Well, no he doesn’t, he has a more upbeat style and presence, but he is a great and strong addition to the band. The set included the huge hit Golden Brown always a captivating sound and today just as beautiful and contemporary as it was when first released. The classical baroque sounds coupled with haunting vocals certainly sent shivers down the spine. I for one just closed my eyes and drifted to a far off place and I am sure I was not the only one. The crowd were calling for Jet Black and he was welcomed with thunderous applaud. His drums where positioned in such a way that you could see him through the transparent skins. Jet Black is a living legend among drummers and despite health issues plays part of the set with the stranglers where the stage is big enough to hold two drum kits. It was a thrill and honor to hear him play. Jean-Jacques has a profound stage presence and his unmistakable bass guitar riffs are synonymous with the sound that is the Stranglers. His bass guitar skills, somewhat sabulous and gritty vocals and enigmatic looks are captivating. JJ is the embodiment of The Stranglers in many ways. There were two encores and the final song was probably the song that most people in the audience identify the Stranglers with – No More Heroes. I don’t think there was a still person in the Roundhouse. The fans were an undulating sea of people. And they where still screaming for more. The Stranglers are a band that makes distinctive and intelligent music. They are non-conformist and certainly are not followers. The Stranglers are a concept and it matters not who the present members are. They are an idea of intelligent music that can only expand the mind.

JJ Burnell

JJ Burnell

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The Stranglers

The Stranglers

Aeons update

Well peeps! I haven’t posted much recently, barely anything at all. However I have been a busy little dancing photographer bee and have actually covered many events. Here is a quick sneaky peek at one of my reviews that will be online in the next few days.

I am sure you will enjoy the images and the write ups.

Anyway! I have covered the amazing Stranglers and they were certainly one of the greatest bands I have ever seen. The fantastic Dave Barbarossa and Cauldronated, the superb Wooden Arms and the incandescent band Desperate Journalist were all brilliant and either have write ups or photo reviews.

I also have an album review, but for now here is a teaser image. It is the enigmatic Jean-Jacques Burnel of the Stranglers.

Oh yes! signing off for now.

Nadine The Dancing Photographer

The Sweet Life and the Sunshine Jive Band

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I have been a lover of all things jazz, jive and swing for most of my life, yet I had never been to the world famous Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club. Well, what a wonderful experience i had on Sunday: featuring in the lunch time show at this most welcoming of venues, was one of Britain’s top jive and swing bands on the circuit – the Jive Aces.

The Jive Aces with their trademark sunshine yellow suits and suitably matched smiles are probably one of the most fun bands there is to experience at the moment. Never let it be said that bands have an easy life – these guys are always on the go. They are either, touring, recording or raising money for charity and still squeeze in time for family life and royal tea parties. One of their recent charity events was a gig for the charity Crisis where they played to the homeless over the Festive period. Yet despite all of their hard work they still find time to smile and make great music. These guys are adaptable and are equally at home on the big stages in Vegas or at the more intimate venues such as Ronnie Scott’s.

They played two – forty five minute sets to a mixed audience – many of whom had been queuing for hours to get a seat. Needless to say it was a full house. They started the entertainment with the jumpy tune Rock That Boogie that certainly set the tone for the rest of the afternoons entertaining extravaganza. Much of the Jive Aces set was comprised of covers presented in their own unique musical, slapstick style. Ian Clarkson the lead man has a facetious manner and characterizes this as part of the entertainment with one-liners, he may project a slapstick style but he is one seriously talented showman, musician and singer. The rest of the band are equally talented and perform with precision and style.

Singing with the Jive Aces today was Cassidy Janson, currently one of the busiest actresses on the theatre circuit – being in the original cast of Wicked as stand in Elphiba and the final cast of Avenue Q, playing Kate Monster/Lucy the Slut. But today she was the touch of beauty with sang with passion. Clarkson and Janson bounce of each other – they sing the Louis Prima and Keely Smith hits, Just a Gigolo, Hey Boy–Hey Girl and Nothing’s Too Good For My Baby, they deliver the duet – not with the comical vs straight laced style of Prima and Smith but with their own animated and bantering style – the audience loved them. Incidentally Keely Smith once sang on stage with the Ian at a Jazz festival. The Jive Aces even turn their hand to skiffle and very fine skiffle they play too. Alex gets out the thimbles and washboard as they start their rendition of Mama Don’t Allow – a song that was popularized by Washboard Sam.

The Jive Aces also have an extensive repertoire of their own original music and today the Ronnie Scott’s crowd were treated to their soon to be released single -La Dolce Vita. Ian tells me that he always wanted to recreate a tongue-in-cheek adaptation of the famous fountain scene from the Fellini film of the same name. Just after hearing of the passing of Anita Ekberg, Ian says, “Our music vid was gonna be a homage, I guess it’s a tribute now.” The audience was delighted with the song.

They are also releasing a new album that contains a lot of their own material in April, called Spread a Little Happiness. And spread a little happiness they did judging by the sea of smiles that was leaving Ronnie Scott’s that afternoon. The audience really did feel part of the whole show and were suitably warmed with a little sunshine music, ready to face the cold London air.

Oh and before I forget, happy birthday Ken!

All photography and article Nadine Wood

SHHH one day festival of music

SHHH the quiet music festival returns to Hampstead for its eighth consecutive year for what promises to be a day of ethereal seamless harmonies and a celebration of everything that is exquisite about music. There will be no ear-splitting audio dynamite here, just beautiful sounds to drift away and engender a sense of calm – in this sometimes, harsh world.

Among the festivals line up are Wooden Arms, they offer a fusion of mesmerizing folk harmonies blended flawlessly with classic chamber music, that will warm the coldest of hearts. Pip Mountjoy she is divine and delivers beautifully played acoustic guitar melodies that  co-habitate with her defiant and bold lyrical style. The Americana-Folk style of the Lowpines present  a hauntingly beautiful repertoire, that borders on the melancholy but never quite gets there as there, as the harmonies carry you on an uplifting, warm emotive journey.

Judging by the three acts I have explored, the one-day festival will be a great place to be for an immersion of the self into a mesmerizing musical utopia. And at £17 pounds in advance or £20 pounds on the door it seems a nominal price to pay for 15 accomplished acts and artists.

The date of this event is 31 January 2015.


Alternative Yule Music Calendar

All Is Love        < All is Love    M-Band  Free MP3

Yuletide greetings to you all here is your free gift from M-Band and AeonZine. Enjoy. Happy holidays. m band

My Alternative Yule Calendar

Here today I start my Yule calendar of music. Each track will be chosen for its powerful content or its forward thinking, to help effect positive change.

This is my first track it is from one of my favourite artists Moby. This track is called “In This World.” It is a subjective track as all art and music is.  For me this track talks about many things, but the message is look around you and love while you can. Don’t let people suffer and cherish life.

Remember Yule is a time of togetherness and reflection. Seasons greetings.