How many times can you listen to an album before you finally hear it? In real life, there’s plenty of music I’ve been initially indifferent or even antagonistic to, only to warm to it over time – and far more examples where things which once set my world alight can now barely summon a spark. So, with reviewing, when do you say you’re certain that you’ve separated the earth-shakers and ground-swellers from the folk merely good at first impressions?Read More
If you look at any item on the Bandcamp page for James Gage’s Passion Pusher project, you’ll find an option to purchase his complete back catalogue. For many artists, the £60+ price tag would represent fair value for money. With Gage, it’s an absolute steal. For, next to the offer, you’ll notice an innocuous button reading ‘225 releases’, clicking on which prompts Bandcamp to roll out a full cover art gallery.Read More
School Damage sound like the sort of band that might still hang out together at weekends. Not that non-School Damage bands seem exactly antisocial, but there are times when you listen to very serious music or look at a very serious album cover and you reckon that, after the photo shoot and recording sessions, the folk involved maybe go for a perfunctory round at the pub, then one by one make their excuses and slip off home.Read More
As a rule, most people like to know what they’re in for of an evening; I, on the other hand, am sometimes a bit too fond of a surprise for my own good. Hence how I sometimes end up standing on the deck of a boat on the Tyne for an hour in the dead of a winter night. Or why I sign myself up for something that might or might not involve trying ballroom dancing for the first time – in public – for several hours.Read More
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