More Than Bricks And Mortar. (SAVE THE BOILEROOM!)

boileroom bannerHey everyone,

As you may already be aware, longstanding and legendary Guildford alternative music venue The Boileroom is presently being threatened with closure.

TMMP exists to support musicians and the music business. So, if you’re in a band, are a solo artist, or/and work in the music industry, and would be happy to be interviewed about the present state of independent live music in the UK (with a particular focus on the Boileroom), all you have to do is:

1) Sign the Boileroom’s Change.org petition.

2) Email musicalmeltingpot@gmail.com

3) Include the subject heading “SAVE THE BOILEROOM!”

4) Briefly explain who you are and why you’d like to get involved.

5) Share this post around.

6) Follow The Boileroom’s social media pages (links below) and The Musical Melting Pot on Twitter (via the box on the left, or the link below) for updates.

If you don’t make or work in music, fear not! You can still get involved and show your support by signing The Boileroom’s petition, following The Boileroom via Facebook and Twitter and The Musical Melting Pot on Twitter for updates, and spreading the word!

Remember: Lots of tiny actions add up to bigger ones. Every click counts.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Cheers,

Leon (TMMP)

Links

The Boileroom official website.

The Boileroom on Facebook.

The Boileroom on Twitter.

The Musical Melting Pot on Twitter.

Live Review: Kids Can’t Fly / Darko / The Wonder Beers / The Fail (The Boileroom, Guildford, 22/7/14)

kids can't flyThis kind of gig is the reason I go to gigs in the first place. There’s nothing in the world as fun as watching a bunch of bands push themselves to the limits in the name of putting on a great show.

Well, ok – there are some things in the world that are more fun, but this is TMMP, not the basement of a Soho bookshop. Let’s move on to the bands before things get out of hand:

The Fail

The last time I saw The Fail, I thought they played too well. They’ve sorted that out now, and the result is incredible. Scrappy, raw, and stuffed to splitting point with balls and swagger, The Fail are set for serious success if they keep going the way they’re going.

When The Fail succeed, the irony may turn my brain inside out. But I am totally fine with that.

The Wonder Beers

On the surface, The Wonder Beers take the piss. But below the surface lies a seriously professional attitude and sense of musicality that sets them apart from the crowd.

Songs like Downing A Shot, Thursday Is The New Friday, and Skint Again pass by and brand themselves into the brain so efficiently that you’d have to spend years in therapy in order to get them out again. But when those songs are so damn awesome, why would you want to?

The only thing The Wonder Beers need to do to hit that next level is play more gigs, and get more press. These words should help…

Darko

Darko are more or less dead by the end of every set they play. I have no idea how they survive touring; there’s so much more than the standard blood, sweat, and tears being funnelled into this band that I just don’t understand how it’s even possible. One thing is for sure, though: Whether their music is your thing or not, Darko deserve your respect.

As for me, I love what Darko do. If Protest The Hero ditched their slick, ass-tight tech metal in favour of a more gritty hardcore approach, they would turn into Darko. This is something fascinating and unique that any self-respecting music fan needs to see at least once in their lives. If you’re reading this and wondering whether or not you should go to Darko’s next show, trust me: Just do it. You will not regret that decision.

Kids Can’t Fly

I still remember the day I discovered Rage Against The Machine. It was the day they split up, and I was totally gutted that I only got into them the day they stopped being a band. Last night was similar – only this time, I got to see a band who’re splitting up live before they completely disappeared.

I can only imagine how the fans of Kids Can’t Fly must feel, because this band are fucking great. They occupy the previously-alien-to-me space where Reel Big Fish meet Fall Out Boy, ripping through skacore tunes at breakneck speed and generally ruling the roost for the benefit of a passionate and loving audience. If you’re into alternative music, summer should always sound like Kids Can’t Fly.

Whether overcoming technical issues, un-fucking guitars, delivering summery beatdowns (yep, you read that right), or inspiring a a completely hectic full-crowd pit for their final few tunes, Kids Can’t Fly made a fan out of me even on the verge of being gone for good. It’s a shame that they’re splitting – but hopefully we won’t be hearing the last of the individual members. They’re too talented to turn their backs on music entirely.

Check out the links below to find out how to catch Kids Can’t Fly while you still can. If you miss this chance, you will be kicking yourself as much as I did back in 2000.

Links

Kids Can’t Fly on Facebook and Twitter.

Darko official website.

The Wonder Beers on Facebook and Twitter.

The Fail on Facebook and Twitter.

Pavilions – ‘The Future’s Mine To Make’

AlbumArt_{26CC43DE-9103-4A00-BA7F-590DA76AA6A3}_LargeThis album is so awesome, I reviewed it twice. There’s a long version, and a short version.

Short Version:

The Future’s Mine To Make is fucking incredible.

Long Version:

I feel as if this album was tailor-made to fit me. It’s a perfect blend of rock, metal, poppy melodicism, alternative spice, and mathy tech goodness; a healthy and nourishing mix of Biffy Clyro, Paramore, Protest The Hero, Panic! At The Disco, and At The Drive-In. From the pumping pulse of A Stitch In Time to the blissful harmonics that introduce lead single Futures, every track boasts flawless production, brilliant arranging, and passionately catchy hooks aplenty. If you’ve read this far, you need Pavilions in your life.

Cheers to Alex Hall of Quite Great Music for the heads-up about this release.

Links

Pavilions on Facebook and Twitter.

The Future’s Mine To Make is out on August 11th. Check out our review of lead single Futures here.

Live Review: Nothing But Thieves / Passport To Stockholm / Andy Ruddy (The Boileroom, Guildford, 21/7/14)

nothing but thievesAndy Ruddy

A really enjoyable acoustic-driven set showcasing plenty of great and engaging songs. Peaceful, serene, lush, and spacious new tunes hinted at serious future promise. Overall, a great start to the night.

On the constructively critical side, Andy Ruddy and his band seemed a bit nervous, despite really having no  reason to be. A couple of songs suffered from nerves, although it didn’t affect the set as a whole. The punters loved what these guys do, and so did I – and the thing is, audiences are usually on a band’s side while watching them play, even if they don’t necessarily seem that way from the stage! Having reviewed more sets than I can remember (and witnessed thousands more), I can safely say this: most reasons for stage fright are illusory. If an audience member really doesn’t like you, they’ll leave – but if they’re sticking around, you’re not doing as badly as you think!

Hopefully, these words can help bolster Andy Ruddy’s confidence. With a little more self belief, he’s going to go far.

Passport To Stockholm

This isn’t a slight against the other members of Passport To Stockholm, but I have to take my hat off to their percussionist. He laid down some of the most inventive grooves I’ve heard in a while, and it was seriously impressive stuff.

My favourite aspect of Passport To Stockholm’s set, percussion aside, was their approach to dynamics. Each song comprised a miniature emotional journey, with peaks, troughs, valleys, hills, and so on. You just can’t help but get lost in their songs, and feel disappointed when it all ends.

Additionally, Passport To Stockholm’s vocalist is both talented and humble – a winning combination. Their cellist was sight-reading, and nailed it. Their guitarist is an absolute master of loops, using a bit of digital trickery to thicken up his sound without overwhelming the rest of the band. And the overall effect is truly astounding.

Passport To Stockholm are  a must-see band. Check out their social media links below to find out how to see them live ASAP. You need to do it.

Nothing But Thieves

Imagine Gary Numan with Matt Bellamy’s voice taking Adam Levine’s place in Maroon 5. I don’t know about you, but that makes me pretty excited. Nothing But Thieves, then, are a fucking exciting band on paper alone.

In practice, it works perfectly. Although Nothing But Thieves took a few songs to hit their stride, once they were there it was absolutely awe-inspiring. Pitch-perfect vocals, plenty of onstage smiles, stunning songs (stunning songs) executed with swaggering confidence – whatever you look for in a live act, Nothing But Thieves have it in abundance.

The only points for improvement: The bass was too loud, and overwhelmed some pretty slippery-looking guitar solos, and the songs often trailed off at the end. I’m not sure what caused the bass issue, but having a punchy one-hit ending to each of the songs (or other ending structures within which all the band members work together rather than moving in separate directions) would give them that much more impact.

Those points, however, are nothing major; I could still have watched this set over and over again and never have been bored. That, in itself, is a real achievement. It’s not surprising that Nothing But Thieves have gotten as far as they have – they’re a brilliant band set only for even greater success.

Links

Nothing But Thieves official website.

Passport To Stockholm official website.

Andy Ruddy official website.

Baby Godzilla – ‘The Great Hardcore Swindle’

If you need to know one thing about Baby Godzilla, it’s this: Before watching or listening to anything they put out, brace yourself.

Baby Godzilla are Britain’s answer to the Dillinger Escape Plan. Their music will fuck your brain in faster than a rabid dog with a Viagra-fuelled erection let loose in a picnic park, and their videos…well. It’s absolutely no exaggeration to say that this is the best thing I have ever seen. It’s made my day, my month, my year, and my life. Behold:

Links

Baby Godzilla on Facebook and Twitter.

After watching this video, you may find this link handy:

http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-(ptsd)/#.U86Fg4BdXVs

Cyan Marble – ’2/3′

cyan marble 2:3Prog is known for going over the top, stuffed to splitting point with pomp and circumstance. Epic-length albums, EPs, and even songs are more or less the norm. But prog is really about much more than that. It’s about thinking differently; being progressive.

With this two-track release, Cyan Marble are definitely thinking differently. The full package will, eventually, contain three tunes – but for now we’re treated to two, and two only. What’s on offer, though, is filling and fun enough already.

If Maroon 5 were locked in a padded room with their instruments after being pumped full of opiates and having the shit kicked out of them, their battered, bruised, and traumatised minds might well brew up something sonically similar to Behind the WallsSoup of Planets, meanwhile, is as bizarre as its title suggests, evoking images of The Mars Volta performing on a universe-spanning rollercoaster and leaving the listener no choice but to head back to Behind the Walls to start it all over again.

As for track three…well, the anticipation is killing me.

Links / Listen

Cyan Marble on Facebook and Twitter.