Gig Review: JOHN + SLONK, DIM VANILLA & FRANK ‘N’ THE BEANS @ Brixton Windmill 09/02/19


Mark K headed to The Windmill Brixton to catch John, actually two Johns who were previously ‘John Times Two’ but had three others to check out also (none called John we gather). Here’s how it went… 


Tonight’s headliners John were until recently known as John Times Two, as both members of the band are called John. However, before we look at them, we must consider their three (count ‘em!) support bands. Read the rest of this entry »

Gig Review: AVI BUFFALO + JORDAN ROOKER & LOWPINES @ Oslo Hackney 14/02/2019


Mark K just couldn’t resist the line-up at Hackney Oslo on February 14th, and indeed found no little amount to love in the line-up…

Whether or not they’re otherwise attached, tonight’s show consists of three artists who usually play with bands playing solo. First up is Jordan Rooker, a singer/songwriter from Sheffield. He does admit that he usually plays with a band; luckily he’s sufficiently accomplished that they’re not missed. His melodic, lyrical songs make for an enjoyable start to the evening. Read the rest of this entry »



Mark K went to check out the last of DIY magazine’s Hello 2019 gigs. Here’s what he made of it…


Tonight is the final gig of the four Hello 2019! Shows. The purpose of these nights is to showcase artists that the promoters feel will make waves in 2019. We shall see. Read the rest of this entry »



When the insatiable music junkies of London’s Indie Music Meet-Up have a gig in mind it’s always worth a look and listen. And when it turned out to be (for me) a local gig and an album launch for a band with glowing endorsements by the fabulous Radio 6 Music it was a done deal…

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Protected: Gig Review: ANNA CALVI @ The Chalk Farm Roundhouse 07/02/2019

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A Chat with Darryl McDaniels of Run-DMC Part 3: On Self Image, Depression, and the Good Coming from the Bad (and Michael Jackson?!!!)

DMC - In Forbidden Planet

Part 3 of my interview with Darryl McDaniels. If you haven’t already you can read Part 1 here or Part 2 here.


When I was first planning a series of casual interviews with creators I had a mind – in keeping with the thought behind this website – to cover something of the fantastical, of the musical and of the ethical-slash-charitable. In Darryl McDaniels of Run-DMC I could hardly have a better person to sit down with on all scores. We’d talked music of course and his comic enterprise, but I was aware also of his charitable work and was keen to find out more.

But first a bit of context. We’d talked already about Darryl’s youth and early love of superhero comics, and then the rise of the band. Now we moved on to the darker times of Darryl’s life and his emergence from them, expressed in the title and content of Darryl’s autobiography which he’s promoting while over, Ten Ways Not to Commit Suicide, his memoir from the 80’s to the present day.


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Just Joans 1 Mark K’s been busy of late but he clearly felt he had to give a proper shout to some cracking bands after their Winter Sprinter gig at the Lexington. Check it and them all out below…


Tonight marks the final Winter Sprinter to be promoted by the Fortuna Pop label, this being the case because founder Sean Price has called time on the label after “20,200 releases, a mountain of debt, and very little sleep.” As a result the evening has a bit of a valedictory feel, with all of the acts performing thanking Sean Price for his efforts.

Luckily this feeling doesn’t extend to the music, and certainly not to that of Bill Botting and the Two Drink Minimums. Bill was the bass player for the already lamented (they only played their farewell gig in December) ‘Allo Darlin’, but that’s where the similarities between the two bands end. Read the rest of this entry »

A Chat with Darryl McDaniels of Run-DMC Part 2: On DMC the Comic, Commercialism and Creator Responsibility

DMC #1 Part 2 of this interview with Darryl McDaniels. If you haven’t already you can read Part 1 here; link to Part 3 at the end of this page.
So DMC the comic.
What I knew already was that it’s set in an alternate 1985, the difference being that superheroes and supervillains are real and, in the tradition of Kurt Busiek’s Astro City, seem to be rough analogues of those Marvel / DC characters you know and love. The difference to those universes is that while the villains are actually villainous, more than a few of the ‘good guys’ are pretty shady as well. Enter alternate Darryl McDaniels, teacher and stand-up superhero on the street.
So how did it come about? Well it’s kind of refreshing to hear, genuine comic fan as he was and is, that it really hadn’t been Darryl’s intention.

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A Chat with Darryl McDaniels of Run-DMC Part 1: On the many meanings of DMC, Hip Hop, and the appeal of Marvel Comics…

Darryl McDaniels by shoutoutny (Instagram)

At about the time I launched this site Darryl McDaniels of Run-DMC was making his entrance into the world of comics and, given the idea for Carabas was to cover music and comics along with other aspects of alternative culture, I kept a special eye out for what was happening with Darryl’s DMC.

In November Darryl was over promoting his memoir Ten Ways Not to Commit Suicide along with his comic work and I dropped by to his signing at Forbidden Planet. The next afternoon I had the pleasure of meeting him for a casual interview at The Grosvenor, on his comic, his music, depression, his charitable work and much more besides.

DMC #1

Here’s that very interview in three parts.

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Carabas Jul-Dec 16 Non-Fiction Picks: Culture, Current Affairs, History, Music & Film

At Carabas we’re about many things: the fantastical certainly, but we’re more generally about championing alternative culture and counter-culture; the marvelous, the wonderful and the creative; and certainly the things that will help bring a bit more understanding into the world.

So here’s our top non-fiction book recommends from titles publishing July to December: Alternative & Street Art, Biography, celebrations of David Bowie, MusicCulture, Popular Science (General), Fact Behind the Fiction (our round-up of more Pop Science and more Non-Fiction on fantastical subjects), History, London titles and Ethical Politics / Awareness Raising titles – the vibrant, the quirky, the worthy and the enlightening. There’s something here for everyone…


CN - Oct - Street Art World CN - Jul - The Age of Bowie CN - Sep - The Mighty One
CN - Jul - I'm Buffy and You're History
CN - Aug - Scroobius Pip
CN - Aug - This is London
CN - Sep - Another Day in the Death of America

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This July: Lola Colt release Moonlighting!

CP - Lola Colt - Moonlight Mixing We’d been keeping an eye out for developments with LOLA COLT since TWO of our main reviewers – “from the moment Lola Colt came on I knew this was going to be a special gig” / “fresh and exciting” – waxed lyrical about them in the early days of Carabas.
Well we just heard about their next single Moonlight Mixing being released – got a bit of a tingle listening to as well – so figured we’d best get something up straight away. Here’s the publicity with the song on Soundcloud embedded below.


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Sneaky Peekers – Behind the scenes of Penny for the Workhouse’s latest EP!

CPP - PftW - Sneaky Peekers PftW 1 On the 24th June fantastic London indie-folk band Penny for the Workhouse release their 3rd EP, SNEAKY PEEKERS which they’re launching at the Good Ship Kilburn the same day: We thought we’d ask them to write something on how it all came creatively together…
So here’s a sneaky peek into the world of PftW, courtesy of songwriters Mel and Nathan!


Hello to all reading this on purpose or by accident, we are Penny For The Workhouse, a lively London band creating music to make you dance.

We’re on the verge of releasing our third EP “Sneaky Peekers” which is our loudest and rawest EP to date. Over the years we have wanted to create an EP that sounds as close to seeing us live as possible. Our first EP “Coins and Cards” which was released in 2012 is quite heavily folk influenced with acoustic guitars and lots of three way harmonies. On our second “Jack the Gunslinger and Other Tales” we started to mix the acoustic gentle sound with hints of electric. We were finding that we still weren’t replicating the energy we have on stage on record. As “Coins and Cards” and “Jack the Gunslinger” were both recorded using multi-track, this time we went loud and live! PftW 2 (scaled)

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Macaque Attack – The Song of the Book by The Boy from Space

11183_JKT CBP - Macaque Attack We’re all about alternative music here, and SFF as well of course. So when Gareth L Powell tweeted that a band called The Boy from Space were releasing a tune based on his cult hit Ack Ack Macaque books we were all over it.
Check out what The Boy from Space’s Guy Thompson had to say on it all… 

Some of my earliest memories involve watching TV shows and films such as The Boy From Space, Planet of the Apes and Marine Boy – Sci Fi has always been a huge part of my life. I always loved music and the first link between the two major influences in my life would be the theme music to these programmes. Music that has haunted me throughout my adult life. Read the rest of this entry »

Album Launch: 30 Goes Around the Sun – 30 Years of the Wonder Stuff!

We love the Wonder Stuff and just had to put something up to say Happy 30th Birthday and congrats on the launch of the new album! They’re also touring as part of the launch, tonight at the O2 Forum Kentish Town, then Birmingham, Glasgow, Newcastle, Leeds and Nottingham.

From the band’s site:

CA - 30 Goes around the Sun cover “March 2016 sees The Wonder Stuff celebrate it’s 30th anniversary. Yes, 30 years since the band’s very first rehearsal in the heart of The Black Country. Since then they have sold millions of albums worldwide and continue to record and tour internationally to this day.
“To celebrate their longevity the band will not only be touring some very special shows, they are also set to release their eight studio album ’30 Goes Around The Sun’. The new album, in CD, vinyl and digital formats is available to pre-order here along with some other very limited merchandise.”
You can click the cover or here to download a copy (only £7.99!) from ITunes or visit the bands site for other buying options.


All the very best to the band and here’s to many more anniversaries and albums!




More musical greatness on Carabas…



THE CURIOUS INCIDENT, FOSSA and MAN MADE: Tunde’s Top Gigs in Review, Winter 2015-16

Tunde's Winter 2015 Top Gig's Arriving at a new venue always brings a sense of anticipation, the hope of something great and memorable being unveiled that night. This winter I had my first visit to Underbelly Hoxton but returned to now-familiar places like Lexington and Barfly. Here are my handpicked favourite bands of my winter gig crawling…

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Gig Review: YOUNG STATES, UK FEDS + STANDING LIKE STATUES @ The Camden Black Heart – 29/10/2015

UK Feds 1 Mark K headed down to the Black Heart to check out Midlanders (Redditch’s) UK Feds, fresh off a UK-wide tour as main support for punk legends Ruts D.C. and performing tracks from their recently released debut EP, ‘Living In Anger.’Three acts, UK Feds on second – but who was supporting who?

The Black Heart is known for its interesting musical line-ups, and tonight certainly does the place justice. Proceedings are started by Standing Like Statues, something that they signally fail to achieve incidentally. Initial impressions are that they resemble Pearl Jam with female harmonies. Read the rest of this entry »