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.

Industry Focus Interview: The Boileroom

boileroom bannerAs regular TMMP readers will know, Guildford-based music venue The Boileroom is currently under threat of closure, pending the results of a licence review forced by two neighbours. To say that this situation stirred up some intense feelings is something of an understatement; artists as diverse as Jamie Lenman, Arcane Roots, Enter Shikari and Ed Sheeran have voiced their support for the small venue, while The Boileroom’s Change.org petition has attracted nearly 20,000 signatures from outraged live music fans.

In this exclusive interview, I sat down with Dom Frazer (The Boileroom’s owner and Director), Lydia Stockbridge (In-House Booker & Promoter), Duncan Smith (Assistant In-House Booker & Promoter), and Pip Ellis (Designated Premises Supervisor) to discuss their venue, its present predicament, and the reality of living life in live music. Continue reading

Boy Hits Car – ‘All That Led Us Here’

boy hits car all that led us hereUKIP. The BNP (and Nazi-aping BNP Youth). Xenophobia. Racism. Sexism. Homophobia. Hatred, apathy, and immersion in a parallel hyperreality that connects us digitally while disconnecting us physically from each other and the natural world.

Boy Hits Car stand in plain-spoken opposition to all of the above.

Musically, Boy Hits Car can do no wrong; every cut on this album is a prime, premium slice of 12-string-tinged alt-metal – with the exception of penultimate track Can’t Run From Yourself, where we drop into pure and epic bliss. What makes Boy Hits Car stand out, however, is the message behind the songs. That message is one of peace, tolerance, hope, and meaningful connections.

Today, there’s not much of any of that. A new war seems to start every other week, met with angry Facebook statuses and not much else. In the UK, we talk the talk of tolerance while failing to vote in opposition to bigotry and ignorance. Hope for the future has been replaced with slavering anticipation of the next big game, TV show, movie, gadget, or mobile app and addiction to distraction – and meaningful connections are like gold dust in a world where we live alone together.

Thank god, then for bands like Boy Hits Car. They’re not afraid to ask timely questions and pull their listeners out of our filter bubbles – and they have the admirable ability to marry meaningful lyrics with solidly rocking grooves. It’s hard to roll your eyes and shrug your shoulders when your body wants to move in other ways.

Overall, this is an epic and timely release from a group of alt-metal legends who always lead by example. It’s intelligent, powerful, and bottomless. Love it.

Links / Listen

Boy Hits Car official website.

Live Review: Boy Hits Car / Kyshera / Yeti Love / The Mariana Hollow (The Underworld, Camden, 26/7/14)

boy hits car underworldThe Mariana Hollow

A skinny psychotic dude with bright pink hair and matching sunglasses who was trying to take me home with him chased me around Leicester Square, and made me so late to the Underworld that I missed most of this set. But from what I did see, these guys have tons of potential.

The Mariana Hollow aim for the dark and theatrical end of the metal spectrum, and they hit it fairly well from a musical perspective. Vocalist Rebecca Spinks has an impressively versatile voice, there’s a fair bit of slick soloing on offer, and they’re pretty tight. However, it all still needs work – particularly from a drumming perspective.

Although there were some tasty rhythmic touches in there, I would have preferred the drumming to be a little busier; with a too-sparse foundation it’s tough to hold an epic tune aloft, let alone propel it into the stratosphere where it belongs. However, Kyshera and Boy Hits Car both boast excellent drummers – so there are plenty of lessons to be learnt there.

Yeti Love

From sexy soundcheck voices to a triumphant rendition of Ollos Do Sol (All For The Best) via plenty of ethereal acoustica and plenty of immense and masterfully crafted songs, Yeti Love ruled their allotted half-hour with confidence and grace.

Every one of Yeti Love’s songs is a winner, whether it be the vocal-harmony-strewn Lonely Road, the heavily political Old Man, or the slow and clear Stones.  You just can’t argue with a good song – and there were plenty of appreciative fans in attendance who’d surely agree.

Hats off to Yeti Love for having the balls to play an acoustic set at a metal show – and the talent to win over a difficult crowd.

Kyshera

For some bands, being a warm-up act is an excuse to do a half-assed job, mumble some stuff about how great the crowd is, have them clap along a bit, then run offstage as if it were on fire.

Kyshera don’t do this. Not. At. All.

This was the most energetic set so far – but quite frankly, the word ‘energetic’ simply does not cut it. Balls-to-the-wall passion, instrument-as-tool aggression, and plenty of band/crowd interaction made this set an absolute stunner. Once this review is done, I’m going to be looking for more from these guys.

Boy Hits Car

Boy Hits Car are one of my bucket list bands – and now that I’ve seen them live, I think I’ll be able to die happy. Not that I want that to happen anytime soon.

Whether punching out old-school flawlessness in the form of As I Watch The Sun Fuck The OceanI’m A Cloud, and Going To India or slamming head-on into tunes both new and primordial, Boy Hits Car never let up for a single moment. If I had to describe Boy Hits Car in just one word, it would be generous – it’s obvious that unless they’re putting 1000% into their performances, this band will not leave the stage satisfied. Frontman Cregg Rondell must have lost a significant amount of body weight in sweat; every explosive movement left behind visible vapour trails, and not even the crowd could keep up with him.

Boy Hits Car do what every band who want a passionate response from their audience have to do: Lead by example. Whether moving so much they could compete with SikTh and The Dillinger Escape Plan in the Gig Energy Olympics, pausing for a short and timely political speech (“Where are the extremists of love, peace, and tolerance?” is an excellent question given the UK’s present political climate), or somehow managing to stay ass-tight for the duration, Boy Hits Car do it all.

Any up-and-coming alt-metal act can learn a lot simply by seeing Boy Hits Car live – and for fans of heavy music, this kind of show is nothing short of a physically manifested dream.

Thanks to Steve Shaw of Intune PR for the heads-up about this show.

Links

Boy Hits Car official website.

Kyshera official website.

Yeti Love official website.

The Mariana Hollow official website.

Tigers Of Junction Street – ‘Tigers Of Junction Street’

tigers1I’m not sure if it’s too early to compare a band to Lostprophets, but I’m going to do it anyway. Until recently, that band was one of my favourite acts ever; regardless of what was cool at the time, Lostprophets were always able to blend it all into a fresh sound with a unique edge. Tigers Of Junction Street do much the same thing – and it’s completely won me over.

While Lostprophets took on alt-metal, metalcore, and emo, tigers Of Junction Street take influence from today’s raft of technical prog metal titans. Protest The Hero, Periphery, Twelve Foot Ninja, Coheed And Cambria and company are all given not so much nods, but hyper-enthusiastic high fives – but still, Tigers Of Junction Street are much more than mere copycats. There’s something special and different in here – something intriguing and seductively exciting.

Basically, if one of my (now-former) favourite bands were still around today, and didn’t have a convicted child molester for a vocalist, they would be Tigers Of Junction Street. If there’s any justice in the world, these guys will eclipse Lostprophets’ success and give us fans of perfectly blended metal more releases to look forward to.

My only advice? Stay away from the meth…

Tigers Of Junction Street is out on Monday through Hoffen Records. 

Cheers to Lee Jackson at Saviour PR for the heads-up about this release.

Links

Tigers Of Junction Street on Facebook and Twitter.

Live Review: Jaws / The White Bicycles / Native People / Monroze (The Boileroom, Guildford, 24/7/14)

jaws boileroomMonroze

Playing to a nearly-packed room when you’re inexperienced can be an intimidating prospect, and stage fright definitely affected this set. I say this a lot, but it needs repeating: If an audience is staying put for your set, and not rushing for the door, you’re doing okay – even if it’s hard to tell whether or not they’re enjoying the show!

It’s early days for these guys, and the only cure for their present issues is more practice and experience. Good luck to them.

Native People

Unfortunately, the above words also apply to Native People. Additionally, these guys were suffering from heat exhaustion due to the number of onstage lights. It was hard to tell whether this was a set, or a thirty-minute cremation – but then, they don’t call it the Boileroom for nothing…

Fortunately, Native People lived to play another day. My best advice: don’t stop, keep going, and stay hydrated!

The White Bicycles

This set was exceptional from note one, but the White Bicycles’ efforts were met with a small dedicated crowd at the front and countless pockets of chatty people who could’ve heard each other better in the beer garden.

Situations like the one described above separate the professionals from the amateurs – and the White Bicycles are absolutely a professional act. Those of us who paid attention were served an epic and lush set of pop-tinged, elegant and cinematic art-rock that comprised the best showing of the night so far.

Hats off to you, White Bicycles. You deserved every bit of our applause.

JAWS

Another note one winner. Kicking things off with a fat groove and plenty of passion never fails to win my heart, mind, attention, and interest – and JAWS had all that and more here.

A buzzing crowd, bobbing heads, big grins and ear-splitting applause – JAWS really earned it, and were eager to show their appreciation. It’s really heartwarming to see a band and audience connect like this, and overall this was the perfect end to a great night.

Kudos to the Boileroom team for their ever-professional venue management, Velvet Goldmine for booking the bands, and Olly Dexter for what has to be the millionth incredible sound job by now.

 Links

JAWS on Facebook and Twitter.

White Bicycles on Facebook and Twitter.

Native People on Facebook and Twitter.

Monroze on Facebook and Twitter.