Mostly Autumn return to Crewe

Olivia Sparnenn at The Box in Crewe

Some photos of Mostly Autumn at The Box at Crewe. It’s a long time since Mostly Autumn have played in Crewe. The gigs at the long-closed Limelight Club always had a very special atmosphere, and The Box feels like that venue’s spiritual successor, a proper rock club rather than a nightclub that also hosts live music.

The band were on top form too, with the new album “Dressed in Voices” played in full and coming over powerfully live. The 2014 lineup with Anne-Marie Helder back in the band (for most gigs at least) and Chris Johnson replacing Liam Davison seems to have gelled well, and the band are firing on all cylinders again.

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Stage times for the Resonance Rock Festival

Resonance Festival

The Resonance Rock Festival have published the stage times on the festival Facebook page.

Here are the final, definitive running times for Resonance. PLEASE NOTE: We now have an Acoustic Stage on Saturday 2nd August, as well as the Prog and Synergy stages. Luna Rossa are now playing on Saturday on that stage, NOT on Sunday 3rd/ Synergy stage. Due to unforeseen circumstances outside their control, both Parallax Faction and Mothers Ruin will no longer be playing. We wish them well, and they return the blessing!

Thursday 31st July – Prog Stage (only)
Doors @ 6pm

Kalamus – 7pm / 7.45pm
Robert Webb Masterclass – 8.15pm / 9pm
Mostly Autumn – 9.30pm / 11pm

Friday 1st August – All 3 Stages
Doors @ 6pm (All Stages)

Prog Stage (Globe)

John Mitchell – 6.45pm / 7.30pm
Lifesigns – 8pm / 9pm
Nosound – 9.30pm / 11pm

Synergy Stage (BallRoom)

Moheir – 7pm / 8pm
Fuzzy Nautilus – 8.30pm / 9.30pm
Thumpermonkey – 10pm / 11pm+

Jack Daniels Stage (Tavistock)

Stella+ – 7pm / 8pm
Red Letters – 8.30pm / 9.30pm
Also Eden – 10pm / 11pm +

Saturday 2nd August – 3 Stages (Prog, Synergy and Acoustic)

Acoustic Stage (Globe) – Doors @ Noon

Matt Stevens – 12.30pm / 1.00pm (Unplugged set)
Jack Arthurs – 1.15pm / 1.45pm (Unplugged set)
Guy Manning – 2.00pm / 2.45pm (Unplugged set)
Luna Rossa – 3.00pm / 3.45pm +

Prog Stage (BallRoom)– Doors @ 1pm

Halo Tora – 2.00pm / 2.45pm
The Tirith – 3.15pm / 4.00pm
Anna Phoebe – 4.30pm / 5.45pm

Break

Henry Fool – 7.45pm / 9pm
The Enid – 9-30 pm / 11pm

Synergy Stage(Tavistock) – Doors @ 1pm

The Far Meadow –1.30pm / 2.15pm
Triage – 2-45pm/ 3.30pm
Unto Us – 4pm / 5pm

Break

Trojan Horse – 7.00pm / 8.00pm
The Fierce And The Dead – 8.30pm / 9.30pm

Sunday 3rd August

Prog Stage (Globe) -Doors @ Noon

Maschine – 12.30pm /1.30pm
Synaesthesia – 2pm/ 3pm
The Gift – 3.30pm / 4.30pm

Break

Angalagard – 6.30pm / 8.00pm
Big Elf – 9pm / 10.30pm

Synergy Stage (Ball Room)– Doors @ Noon

Rat Face Lewey –12.30pm / 1.15pm
Kingbathmat – 1.45pm /3pm

Break

A Formal Horse – 4pm / 4.45pm
Francis Lickerish – 5.15pm / 6.15pm

Break

I Am Your Autopilot – 8pm /8.45pm
X Ray Quartet – 9.15pm

Jack Daniels Stage (Tavistock)– Doors @ Noon

HekZ – 1pm / 1.45pm
Babajack – 2.15pm / 3 pm
Mr So & So – 3.30pm / 4.30pm

Break

Jupiter Falls – 6 pm / 7pm
Aeon Zen – 7.30pm / 9pm

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Morpheus Rising and Fahran at Bilston

Si Wright of Morpeus Rising at Bilston Robin 2 on 13th July 2014Morpheus Rising played a headline gig at Bilston Robin 2, with support from Fahran. Because the gig was more than week ago, I didn’t take proper notes, I’ve reviewed Morpheus Rising many times before and it was a few days after Stabcon, I’m going to write this up as if it was a session of Umläut: The Game of Metal.

Fahran at Bilston Robin 2In Umläut terms, Fahrah’s strongest performance trait was Stagecraft, and their set consisted largely of Face-Melters. They did well enough to win at least one Impression Check, and won themselves some Glory. They’re a very young band, and on the strength of performances like this they’re going places.

Pete Harwood and Damien Sweeting of Morpheus Rising at Bilston

The level of musicianship and especially their strength of songcraft suggest that Morpheus Rising’s best performance trait is Technique, though their Stagecraft and Power were hardly lacking. In the absense of drummer Nigel Durham who’d suffered a shoulder injury, former drummer Paul “Gibbo” Gibbons stood in on drums having hurredly learned the band’s new songs, and the band were still as tight as ever. Despite only two albums I heard the set described as sounding like a greatest hits set, with the bulk of the new album “Eximius Humanus” alongside highlights from the debut. Morpheus Rising too came away from the gig with plenty of Glory.

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Porthmadog Again

Ffestiniog Railway's double-Fairlie A few more photos from norh Wales, starting with 1979-built double Fairlie “David Lloyd George” at Blaenau Ffestiniog, having just arrived on the morning train from Porthmadog. It’s still running in grey livery following an overhaul. Despite being one of the “new” locomotives build since preservation, it’s now 35 years old.
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Angela Gordon to guest with Mostly Autumn

Odin Dragonfly at Bilston Robin 2

Mostly Autumn have announced that Angela Gordon (seen here with Odin Dragonfly at Bilston) will be guesting for two shows this weekend as a stand-in for Anne-Marie Helder, who is unavailable due to prior commitments this weekend.

We’re really looking forward to this weekends gigs (details here) in Tavistock, Cardiff and Bath,  and are delighted to announce that our friend and former member Angela Gordon will be joining the band on stage at Cardiff and Bath – so good to see her back for a couple of shows.

As long-term fans will know, Angela played flute, keys and backing vocals with the band from 1997 throught to 2007, and appears on the first six albums.

The band go on to play the Resonance Festival in Balham on Thursday 31st July and then the Cambridge Rock Festival on Sunday August 10th.

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North Wales

Conwy Castly at twilight.

A few photos from my recent visit to north Wakes. This one’s of a floodlit Conwy castle taken at about ten O’clock at night.
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Today’s new word, courtesty of a thread on RMWeb, is “Crayonista”. It’s a derogatory term for those groups or individuals who propose reopenings of railways lines that make absolutely no economic sense, but look pretty when drawn across a map in crayon. The proposal for a north-south railway across central Wales, linking Cardiff to Rhyl via Brecon, Llanidloes and Corwen is an example of the work of Crayonistas.

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Big Kettles

Tornado!

While my model railway interests centre firmly in the diesel era, there is still room for the occasional kettle on the layout. The first one, A1 Pacific “Tornado” actually belongs to the post-privatisation era fleet. The prototype was only built in 2009, used for charter trains all over the country. Though I’m not certain it’s ever visited Cornwall, it was a performer on the Torbay Express at one point, and I think LNER-style apple green goes well with the WR chocolate and cream coaches used on that train.

Dapol 9F 92226

9F 2-10-0 No 92226 belongs firmly to the transition era fleet. Built in Swindon in 1960, it was part of the final batch for the Western Region that also included “Evening Star”, the last steam locomotive built for British Railways. It had an extremely short life, withdrawn after just five years with the end of steam on the WR. In the early 1960s, Plymouth Laira had a small allocation of these locomotives. As far as I can tell they were all used on the main line east of Plymouth and didn’t run into Cornwall, but modeller’s licence applies. They were (or are, since several are preservcd) magnificent locomotives, and that’s enough of an excuse for running one.

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Knifeworld – The Unravelling

The UnravellingKnifeworld are the brainchild of Kavus Torabi, who also plays guitar with Guapo and punk-prog legends The Cardiacs. The band have made something of a name for themselves on the live circuit. An eight-piece band with a brass section and a bassoon, they play what is best described as completely bonkers psychedelic rock. They have wowed festival audiences and headlined the successful “Stabbing a Dead Horse” tour with Trojan Horse and The Fierce And The Dead.

Their second full-length album is their first record to feature the current eight-piece version of the band, and it successfully captures their big live sound of eight instruments and five voices. It’s a record that takes psychedelia, jazz, hard rock and all kinds of other things, and puts them in a blender to produce something that sounds quite unlike anything other band in the current scene. Jagged angular guitar and woodwind riffs alternate with rich vocal harmonies and sometimes sinister atmospherics. There are hints of the late Frank Zappa’s off-the wall approach to melody and arrangements, and occasional flashes of various 70s King Crimsons. Torabi’s occasionally goofy lead vocal contrasts with the layered harmonies of Melanie Woods, Chloe Herrington and Nicki Maher.

It’s an ambitious and very varied record. “The Skulls We Buried Have Regrown Their Eyes”, which has to be the song title of the year features electronic soundscapes interrupted with a brief but frenetic squalling burst of free jazz. Then there’s the stripped-back spookiness of “This Empty Room Once Was Alive” with its atonal guitars and piano. The minute-and-a-half long “The Orphanage” has a punk feel. There are strongly Zappaesque jazz-rock instrumental passages in “Send Him Seaworthy” and “Destroy the World We Love”. But if anything characterises the power of Knifeworld in full flow it’s the big wall-of-sound workouts “Don’t Land On Me” and the closing epic “I’m Hiding Behind My Eyes”.

“The Unravelling” is a major step forward for Knifeworld, and reflects their current live sound far more than any of their previous recordings. Fans of Zappa should find a lot to like about this record, as should anyone who thinks there should be more bassoons in rock. But this is a record for anyone looking for something determined to strive beyond existing stagnant music forms. Which Knifeworld certainly do.

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Chris Picton – Journey of Broken Dreams

Chris Picton, one-time bassist of Quecia, has a new album out. Two years in the making, Chris plays all instruments aside from a couple of tracks featuring Paul Ayre on guitar. Though largely instrumental, it also features Kirsty McCarrick and Hayley McCarrick on vocals.

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