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 »

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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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



Gig Review: VICTORIOUS FESTIVAL, Southsea Sea Front – 30/08/2015 (Day Two)

CA - Victorious Festival 2015 The mere mention of Ray Davies was enough to get Mark K to part with fifty quid for a Victorious Festival ticket for both days. Day one was a blinder – how about day two and the star attraction that got him to stump up the cash in the first place? Read on and find out…

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Gig Review: VICTORIOUS FESTIVAL, Southsea Sea Front – 29/08/2015 – Day One

CA - Victorious Festival 2015 It may have been a late announcement to Mark K but the mere mention of Ray Davies was enough to get him along to the Victorious Festival two-dayer without delay – here are the delights he experienced on day one…

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Gig Review: BEAUTIFUL DAYS Charity Fundraiser @ St Ives House – 24/07/2015

LE - Jul - Beautiful Late Nights One of our CARABAS SPECIAL RECOMMEND‘s BEAUTIFUL LATE NIGHTS was the work of ALISON GRAY of the London Indie Music Meetup, a great night of bands at St Ives House, Clerkenwell and a charity fundraiser for a great cause. Mark K got along to sample the delights…

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Gig Review: BRITISH SEA POWER @ The Chalk Farm Roundhouse – 13/06/2015

CA - Sep - British Sea Power Having caught them live back in 03, Mark K went to catch them along with Bo Ningen for an evening of art rock and rock as art. The question seems less ‘was it any good’ so much as ‘in which way was it excellent’…
Read on and find out…


I must confess that it came as something of a shock to realise that British Sea Power’s debut album The Decline of British Sea Power was now sufficiently venerable to be afforded the full heritage treatment: i.e to be played in full in front of an adoring, appreciative, and above all, nostalgic audience. I had seen BSP touring the album as support to The Flaming Lips in 2003, and this aforementioned realisation made me feel, well… old. Still, before the nostalgia commenced we had Bo Ningen to give our senses a damn good shaking. Read the rest of this entry »

FIELD DAY – Victoria Park, Hackney – 7th June 2015

CPP - Field Day

Mark K opted for Field Day’s Sunday line-up and it’s guitar-based greatness – and a damn fine time he had! Read on for the many highs and a couple of lows of “London’s premier indie festival”… 


Since its inception in 2007, the Field Day has become London’s premier indie festival. This year, for the first time, the two days have been loosely themed. Saturday has more of an electro-cum-dance theme, whereas Sunday is broadly dedicated to guitar bands. Having never been too much of an electro-head, I opt to attend on the Sunday.

CPP - Field Day aerial banner

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CAMDEN ROCKS! (Various Camden Venues) – 30th May 2015

LE - Camden Rocks 30th May! Running now for 6 years, this was Mark K’s first time at Camden Rocks. A day of rock / metal / indie of some 11 bands from a menu of musical awesomeness with drinks in pubs across Camden. Maybe there are some days to beat such a proposition – but they’d have to try pretty damn hard…
(Twitter links of the highs at the bottom)

Camden Rocks has been in existence as a festival for six years, although this is the first year that I have graced it with my presence. It is essentially a rockier and more metallic version of the now defunct Camden Crawl. Well, I thought: what’s not to like??? Read the rest of this entry »

Gig Review: THE SMYTHS @ The Good Ship Kilburn – 24/05/2015

CP - The Smyths 1 Mark K’s been a tad skeptical of tribute bands but word of the Smyths had reached his ears and with positive noises; so, when he heard they were playing at The (becoming a somewhat legendary venue) Good Ship Kilburn he took the plunge and went to check them out. 
Here’s what he had to say…


I must confess that I’ve always viewed tribute bands with a degree of wariness. On the one hand I’ve had a sneaking suspicion that they’re too damn lazy to write their own material, and on the other hand been convinced that they will inevitably be disappointing.

However, having seen the odd tribute band at festivals and been pleasantly surprised, plus having had The Smyths enthusiastically recommended to me, and moreover having missed The Smiths themselves back in the day (an act of foolishness for which I offer no excuses), I decided to take a chance. Read the rest of this entry »

A Pint with… Penny for the Workhouse!

Having seen Penny For The Workhouse live a couple of times, and each time having been knocked out by their material and their performance, I thought it would be worthwhile meeting them and trying to find out what makes them tick, and where their intriguing songs come from.


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Mark K’s June Gig Guide!

Mark Kelly knows his current alternative music (check all the reviews he’s written for us!) and has, for your consideration, put together a list of top gig picks for June. CPP - Mark K
You can also find many of these and more music and other greatness for the months ahead on our LONDON EVENTS page. Check them out!

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Gig Review: THE STRYPES + THE RAGLANS at the Guildford Boileroom – 18/05/2015

Strypes 2 So there’s a band from Ireland you want to check out with Irish support – where do you go? Guildford, naturally!
Which is just what Mark K did when he heard The Strypes were playing…

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Mark K’s May Gig Guide!

Mark Kelly knows his current alternative music (if you don’t believe us check all the reviews he’s written for us!) but we thought you might want a look ahead as well as a recommend for next time. So he’s put together his ultimate guide to the gigs he wants to see in May – as if money and the inherent problems of bilocation, trilocation et al were no object! And, in case you’re caught between, he’s annotated ten as his Top Picks of the month! CPP - Mark K
You can also find many of these and more music and other greatness for the months ahead on our LONDON EVENTS page.

Read the rest of this entry »