Monthly Archives: October 2009

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Liam Hayes and Plush, King’s Head 16/10/09

Tonight is a band outing for The Untied Knot – me and Matt hop a 91 bus for the long crawl to the nether regions of Crouch End in search of a fix of what the NME once described as a “one-man Love Unlimited Orchestra”. The gig is billed as Liam Hayes and Plush which is the official new moniker for 2009’s “Bright Penny” album.  Starting as we (it turns out) mean to go on we commandeer the 2 best seats in the venue, front and centre to the obvious dismay of the too-polite punters behind us. Not terribly English I’m afraid but that’s several ales and a one hour bus journey for yas, if you’re reading guys – sorry… Barring this unforgivable faux-pas, we settle in on our best behaviour as Liam lifts on his Fender Telecaster for the first number.  It appears the two Fender Rhodes and upright piano will remain untouched but just before a sense of mild disappointment sets in for both of us, the guitar is discarded for the second song and Mr Hayes is joined by his new right-hand man on duelling PlushFender Rhodes and synth bass – Mr Jimmy Rowland. I say “mild disappointment” as I would have been more than happy with a solo electric guitar set just like the brilliant one we witnessed at The Luminaire 12 months ago but finer still it is to witness my 4th variant on the Plush live sound since 1998.

Certain people talk about “outsider artists” but Liam Hayes and his music seems to exist in a timeless bubble somewhere on the outskirts of the music scene, untouched by any trends or concessions to the present millennium. Continue Reading →


Into The Vortex – New Planes Of Ecstasy 9/10/09

Richard Youngs and Heather Leigh Murray’s swooping twin guitar maelstrom dissolves into an unaccompanied three word mantra drone and keeps me entranced throughout. I convince my companion we actually couldn’t “do that ourselves” and we grab ourselves another drink.

Thanks to for this nice photo

Neil Campbell’s (a.k.a. Astral Social Club) set is the equivalent of ingesting a supercharged chunk of good acid during an electrical storm. As he plate-spins effects pedals and mic-manipulates layers of dense disjointed (near impossible to) dance (to) music, the visuals sketch out complex ever-changing geometric line patterns. Even the sound of a mobile going off during a subdued section doesn’t detract from this extended episode  of sensory euphoria. Sweet.

Skaters have cancelled so Alexander Tucker steps breach-wards with a set of looped cello narratives. I always enjoy his shows and always seem to catch him more by accident then design – this is no exception. The night is cut short as my companion requires a taxi to ferry us across London to last orders at a theatre bar – this, if nothing else is an excuse for tequila. Goodnight.