Beck and Cage The Elephant – MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater, Tampa, Florida
Beck and Cage The Elephant – MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater, Tampa, Florida
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Beck and Cage The Elephant – MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater, Tampa, Florida

Beck and Cage The Elephant’s Night Running tour came rolling through Tampa last Thursday night.  And when we say rolling that’s the correct terminology.  With nine semi-trailers and countless tour buses carting stage sets, pyrotechnics, and performers around the country, the tour is really more like a mini-festival on wheels.  With opening acts by Spoon and Sunflower Bean, five hours of nearly non-stop music on a muggy Florida night is more than anyone could wish for.

Mark Moody
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Flipper - The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Flipper - The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Flipper - The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Californian sludge-punk pioneers Flipper have been through a number of line-up changes over the years. Tonight’s 40th Anniversary show finds David Yow and Mike Watt playing alongside original members Ted Falconi (guitar) and Steve DePace (drums). Heroin may have taken founding member Ricky Williams as well as vocalist/ bassist Will Shatter and bassist John Dougherty but Flipper lives on.

Andy Brown
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Kendal Calling 2019 - Sunday
Kendal Calling 2019 - Sunday
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Kendal Calling 2019 - Sunday

Rain soaked sing-alongs, inadequate camping equipment and mud (glorious mud); seems I’m getting the full festival experience. It’s pretty exciting too. I’m a tent down and have to sort a lift home for tomorrow but I’m completely immersed in the festival. Maybe I am ‘the outdoor type’ after all. I head towards the arena to see what Kendal Calling has in store for me today.

Andy Brown
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Kendal Calling 2019 - Saturday
Kendal Calling 2019 - Saturday
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Kendal Calling 2019 - Saturday

People go to festivals for a number of reasons. Some, as a good friend of mine so eloquently put it, just want to “eat chips and fall over” while others are there to take in as much music as humanly possible. Now, I enjoy chips as much as the next man (I’m not a monster) but I definitely fall into the latter category. Luckily for me, there’s plenty of music to get stuck into at Kendal Calling.

Andy Brown
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Kendal Calling 2019 - Friday
Kendal Calling 2019 - Friday
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Kendal Calling 2019 - Friday

“I lied about being the outdoor type/I’ve never owned a sleeping bag/ let alone a mountain bike”, sang Evan Dando sometime back in the nineties. Now, while I have in fact owned both of those items, it’s a sentiment that’s still very close to my heart. A good festival is the only way I’ll be persuaded to head into a field with a tent. Yes, the time has come for me to visit the much-loved Kendal Calling.

Andy Brown
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Miranda Arieh - Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds
Miranda Arieh - Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Miranda Arieh - Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds

Downstairs at Hyde Park Book Club on a hot and sweaty day, the venue completely sold out and deservedly so. The anticipation around tonight’s performance is palatable. Miranda Arieh will play bigger venues then this but it feels like the ideal place to finally launch her astonishing debut album, Ferine. It’s an intimate setting where Arieh can reach out, meet us eye-to-eye and really communicate with the crowd.

Andy Brown
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The Bug and Miss Red - Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds
The Bug and Miss Red - Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

The Bug and Miss Red - Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds

It’s about an hour before the gig and The Bug aka Kevin Martin is already on fire. Well, the equipment is anyway.  Turns out, Martin’s soundcheck was loud enough to set a bass bin alight. Good job I remembered to pack my earplugs.

Andy Brown
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Pitchfork Music Festival - Day 2, Chicago
Pitchfork Music Festival - Day 2, Chicago
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Pitchfork Music Festival - Day 2, Chicago

Truth be told, I’ve never been much of one to “jump to the beat of the party line” and for this, the world should be grateful.  So when Belle & Sebastian’s slot at the 2019 edition of the Pitchfork Music Festival was billed as “Performing If You’re Feeling Sinister” it was beyond compelling.  Real life got in the way of attending all of the three day Chicago based festival, but the Saturday lineup was one not to be missed.

Mark Moody
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Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Singer-songwriter Jeffrey Lewis is one of those artists that embodies’ the ‘indie spirit’. He released homemade cassettes in the late nineties, has made a number of albums for Rough Trade, championed underground music at every turn and has still found time to self-publish an ongoing comic book series. He’s in the UK touring with his band Los Bolts and tonight they roll into the iconic main room at The Brudenell Social Club.

Andy Brown
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The Breeders - House of Vans - Chicago, IL
The Breeders - House of Vans - Chicago, IL
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

The Breeders - House of Vans - Chicago, IL

Catching a show by legendary alternative rockers The Breeders would probably strike most people as a more than solid way to spend a Saturday night in Chicago. But when that aforementioned band is being hosted at the House of Vans in the West Loop as part of their House of Vans Parties concert series, it elevates the occasion from what otherwise might just be a casual night out, to a distinctly awesome experience.

Zach Johnson (Texacaliago)
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Meat Puppets - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Meat Puppets - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

Meat Puppets - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Like a lot of people, I first discovered the Meat Puppets through Nirvana’s Unplugged in New York. Cobain had invited brothers Cris and Curt Kirkwood to perform with them, introducing a whole generation to the wonders of ‘Plateau’, ‘Oh, Me’ and ‘Lake of Fire’.

Andy Brown
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The Membranes and Friends - The Ritz, Manchester
The Membranes and Friends - The Ritz, Manchester
Alternative Music - Gig Reviews - Soundblab

The Membranes and Friends - The Ritz, Manchester

Last year’s Membranes and Friends event was on one of the hottest days of the year; I remember feeling mildly guilty about spending the majority of the day inside. Today offers no such conflict of interest as it’s absolutely miserable outside. Manchester looks more familiar in the rain. Fashionably decked out in waterproof trousers, I head into the Ritz for a little shelter and another brilliant line-up.

Andy Brown
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