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. So when it turned out to be (to me) a local gig, nay a local album launch gig of a band with glowing endorsements by the fabulous (BBC Radio) 6 Music – LOCKS – it was a done deal…

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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 covering 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’s enterprise, but I was aware also of his charitable work and was keen to find out more.

A bit of context first though, and partly we’ve already covered this in Darryl’s early love of superhero comics. Much of the rest is perhaps best explained by 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 »

Gig Review: MAZ O’CONNOR @ The Green Note Cafe, Camden – 04/10/2015

Maz O'Connor 1 Having caught Maz O’Connor’s performance at a fundraiser, Mark K made sure to catch her gig at the Camden Green Note; here’s what he made of it…


I’d been impressed by Maz O’Connor when she played a short set at the Body & Soul Fundraiser in July, and had made a mental note to find out more about her work. So when I discovered she was playing a venue as intimate as the Green Note, well, I had to be there!

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Al Devey’s Secret Gig Picks – Nov-Dec 15

Our pal Alan Devey keeps telling us of the up and coming bands he’s been to see – so we asked him to put his mouth where his money is and share his insider dealings! Alan Devey
So here’s Al’s heads up on those hidden gems he’s been discovering and is planning on seeing in the months to come. Check them out…

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Gig Review: On Blackheath Festival, Blackheath – 12/09/2015

CA - On Blackheath logo Saturday’s line-up at September’s ON BLACKHEATH FESTIVAL – now in its second year – held particular appeal for Mark K. Here’s what he made of it…

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Gig Review: OUGHT @ Shoreditch Village Underground – 01/09/2015

CA - Ought Some bands are just good. And some bands make people who don’t make moves make moves (not to mention bad puns). Have a guess which Ought are – or just read Mark K’s review of their gig at Shoreditch’s Village Underground…

Ought are gracing the Village Underground with their presence in order to promote their second album Sun Coming Down. Support comes from Shopping, who are a three-piece with a singing drummer. They entertain us with angular post-punk strongly reminiscent of the Gang Of Four. It’s good enough, but not sufficient to make me rush to one of those old-fashioned record shops to see whether they have anything on release.

However, by contrast, having heard some tracks from Ought’s debut album for Constellation Records More Than Any Other Day, I’m quite keen to hear what the material from their new opus is like. I ought (pardon the pun) to explain that Ought’s music is essentially post-punk math rock. It’s complex, tight, tuneful and punchy. It’s quite 1978, but it’s also very ‘now’ too, and live it goes down very well. They’re reminiscent of Television at times, but with a twist. Television Plus if you like. The singer is, in his delivery, very clearly influenced by Mark E Smith, which is by no means a bad thing. CA - Ought - More Than Any Other Day

They use controlled feedback as if it’s been weaponised. Tim Darcy counts out “1,2,3 kill it!” and they explode into opening song Pleasant Heart. Dear reader, I head-banged. That just doesn’t happen.

CA - Ought - Sun Coming Down In terms of today’s music Ought are bordering on the outre. Has what they’re doing been done before? It has to an extent, but there’s a mix of genres going on here. This isn’t slavish regurgitation of a particular musical style.
Tonight’s set is split fairly evenly between Ought’s two albums, and you really can’t see the join. That’s not to say that they haven’t progressed. I would say that from hearing the new material live, with their second album they’ve consolidated what they did on their first. So, similar but sharper. They have plenty of time to worry about progression.

This is still the beginning of their musical journey, and if you haven’t heard them then you really ought.

Mark Kelly