Hannah Lou Clark [Live Review – The Boileroom, Guildford, 24/1/15]

hannah lou clarkQuatre Femmes Records have great taste – and Hannah Lou Clark‘s Boileroom set offered irrefutable evidence of that fact. Whether performing in a stripped-down setting with an electric guitar and backing vocalists or backed up by a full band, Hannah Lou Clark’s attitude, songwriting skills, and nuanced vocal shone through in Read more…

Posted on 27 January 2015

Mindfulness Of Sound Meditation Workshop [Event Review – The Boileroom, Guildford, 23/7/14]

andrew ford boileroomWhen one of your local area’s most versatile musicians comes to play at the scene’s number one venue, only a madman would turn that ticket down.

Andrew Ford is able to turn his hand to seemingly any musical situation, whether it be live drum ‘n’ bass, gypsy jazz, or meditative soundtracks. He’s also a brilliant teacher. For this event, Andrew taught an hour-long class on mindfulness of sound. Read more…

Posted on 25 July 2014

Nothing But Thieves / Passport To Stockholm / Andy Ruddy [Live Review – 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. Read more…

Posted on 23 July 2014

Black Dogs / BEAR / Employed To Serve / Victorian Whore Dogs [Live Review – The Boileroom, Guildford, 7/7/14]

black dogs boileroomNothing gets you in the mood for a metal gig quite as effectively as car trouble. When reviewing gigs, you want to be like Mel Gibson’s character in We Were Soldiers – first to enter, and last to leave. For this show, I was not that.

Unfortunately I missed Victorian Whore Dogs (what a name!) and Employed To Serve entirely. Shit. Send any complaints for this omission to ibreakcarssomusicwriterscantgettogigsontime@shittymechanics.com, and be sure to check out VWD and ETS via the list of links below.


I caught BEAR’s final three songs – and they were absolutely amazing. BEAR are a djent-ridden Belgian Dillinger Escape Plan intent on making sure their instruments barely survive the equipment-wrecking end of their set, and they’re heavier than trying to read A Brief History Of Time after staying awake for 72 hours. Read more…

Posted on 08 July 2014

Shrine / I Plead Irony / Throatpunch City / For Astronauts And Satellites [Live Review – The Boileroom, Guildford, 3/7/14]

shrineI’m going to skip any introductory stuff and just jump to…

For Astronauts And Satellites

…because fuck me, I have no idea how these guys do what they do. I’ve heard of chiptune before, but since I’m not much of a gamer I always dismissed it as being a bit too geeky for my tastes. Judging by this display, I was dead wrong. Read more…

Posted on 05 July 2014

UkeJam / The Nefarious Picaroons / The New Hawleans Jug Band [Live Review – The Boileroom, Guildford, 1/7/14]

guildford fringe 2014If one asks the average person on the street to picture an alternative music venue, each individual visualisation will be found to share certain commonalities with all of the others. The venue will definitely be hosting a band playing ear-splitting rock music; the audience will all be about 18 years old; and the general atmosphere will be hostile, obnoxious, and proudly antisocial. If one compares this imaginary alternative music venue to those that exist in real life, one will find that in many cases imagination and reality overlap with almost pinpoint accuracy.

If one compares the standard stereotype to The Boileroom, however, there will never be a 100% match. And on The Guildford Fringe Festival’s opening night, that percentage would be no greater than zero. Musically, skiffle and folk were as extreme as it got – and let’s be honest, you could only find skiffle scary if you’d just woken up from a century-long coma. The crowd was definitely old enough to be served alcohol without needing ID, and the atmosphere was one of merriment, a celebration of the charmingly eccentric; hence the unusually flamboyant verbiage that peppers this review. Read more…

Posted on 03 July 2014

Spotlight Cannibal / El Born / Calista Kazuko / Claudia Arnold / Cardboard Carousel [Live Review – The Boileroom, Guildford, 26/6/14]

spotlight cannibalA week after The Boileroom first announced its status as a newly threatened independent live music venue, it’s great to see the team there aren’t letting the stress and pressure get in the way of still more amazing shows. Tonight ran as smoothly as ever, and any raw and agitated nerves were most likely soothed (if temporarily) by the following acts: Read more…

Posted on 27 June 2014

Tall Ships / Northsee / Ornament Tournaments [Live Review – The Boileroom, Guildford, 19/6/14]

tall ships boileroomLet’s be honest here – when it comes to the football, England never learns. 1966 was a long time ago – almost half a century ago, actually. Football is the beautiful game…as long as Spain are playing. Or Brazil. Or Italy. Or…well, anyone but us.

The crowd at this gig had the right idea. Although the venue took a while to fill, fill it did – and just in case anyone spent the show glued to their Facebook feeds for the duration of the show, The Boileroom had the England v Uruguay game streaming on one wall. Spoiler alert: The bands were better than the game. Read more…

Posted on 20 June 2014

Bare Jams / Indigo Children / Backwoods Creek / Taygan Paxton [Live Review – The Boileroom, Guildford, 11/6/14]

bare jams rigglet gigWhen you get to a small venue and see security standing outside, you know it’s going to be a busy night. It’s a neon-jacketed signal that tells you this show has already sold a significant number of tickets before it’s even opened its doors. Latecomers are likely to find themselves missing out. However, it’s also quite common for pre-booked punters to take their time preening and perfecting their looks before heading down to the venue – meaning that the opening acts may still end up playing to a fraction of the crowd drawn by the headliners.

It’s a common assumption that opening acts are opening simply because they’re not very good – but this evening’s headliners were also its organisers, and it’s very safe to say that Bare Jams have fantastic taste! Every act on this bill was high quality. So much for common assumptions, then…

If you took your time getting to this show, prepare to commence kicking yourself. The acts you missed were: Read more…

Posted on 12 June 2014

Bare Jams – ‘Rigglet EP’ [Review]

bare jams riggletAs I write this, I’m sitting outside in the sun. Birds are sitting on branches in the shade, there are no clouds in sight, and the temperature is just right. This EP is in my ears, and right now it feels like nothing else on Earth could soundtrack these moments better. Read more…

Posted on 11 June 2014

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