Tag Archives: alternativemusicblog

Review: Black Manila – Single Launch

15 Dec

Date: 7th December 2012.

Venue: The Macbeth, Hoxton, London.

Image credit: victoriamckinney

Image credit: victoriamckinney

For the past month, three-piece London band Black Manila – consisting of Conrad Armstrong (vocals, bass), Liam Ramsden (vocals, drums) and Gareth Hoskins (vocals, guitar) – have entertained a residency at the Macbeth pub in Hoxton. This was both their final show at the venue and coincided with their single launch of June ’95.

Despite the fact that they took an hour and a half to come onstage, they more than made up for, putting in an electrifying performance. There’s a certain je ne sais quoi about BM and I am not sure if it was Conrad’s Hawaiian shirt and long blonde locks, or Gareth’s Miles-Kane sideburns intertwined with husky, rock-sexy vocals. Musically, they are very good.

I am not much of a fan of the crowd usually. Most of the time, gigs are spoiled by a handful of annoying East-London types at the front who jump around aimlessly, with very little musical appreciation. Heads bopping-along nonsensically, I had the impression that if many there had no care for the band playing that night, they left with a feeling of being in the right place at the right time. That is certainly true for the woman at the front, who – halfway through the Wild Eyes’ set – started licking her boyfriends’ neck.

Plunging into ‘Fiasco’, a song with a guitar underlay so sexy that it actually makes me want to cry every time I listen to it, they were a little slow to get going. They followed with their most recent single ‘June ‘95’, as well as several new pieces that don’t feature on their social media pages.  They are natural performers. Conrad Armstrong, several times, pleaded with people to pick up some freebies. Two songs in and Conrad shouted ‘That’s on the tape. The CASSETTE tape. Old school.’

                                                                                                        “It’s a song that shares a similar feature with many of the band’s music; only half a dozen lines of lyrics and the rest just pure guitar”

What I love about this band is the versatility of their music. From deep guitar riffs to the softer tune ‘England’, the band show their ability to mix hard garage rock with indie. With only half a dozen lines of lyrics, it’s a song that shares a similar feature with many of the band’s music; only half a dozen lines of lyrics and the rest just pure guitar. Just as god intended.

The crowd went wild, begging for more songs when front-man Conrad announced their last song. At one point, he passed the microphone around the crowd. An unbelievable performance and well worth the standing around.

Have a listen to a (bad) recording of the gig here:


Band of the Week: Wolf Alice

20 Nov

Before NME gets all the credit for catapulting this London trio into the limelight, I wanted to get in on the action. Made up of Londoners Ellie Rowsell, Joel Amey and Joff (?), information about Wolf Alice is incredibly hard to come by. Their Bandcamp page is non-existent, while there are no tracks on their Facebook page; as such, we only have one track to judge them by. However, that one track ‘Leaving You’  (see below) has an intro that frankly made me want to orgasm, musically-speaking. It starts slow, earthly and then explodes into this psycho-pop melange of rock sexiness.  I want to see more music. NOW.

Band of the Week: Novella

17 Nov

My first post on CRASH and here’s a band from England. Consisting of Hollie Warren (guitar), Sophy Hollington (guitar) and Suki Sou (bass) they eminate a little Horrors-esque. Having just played their official single launch party for ‘Mary’s Gun’ at the Old Blue Last last weekend, they are a very cool addition to the British music scene at the moment.