Wednesday 21 May 2014

Peter Kemp 07.01.44 - 20.05.14

Hi, This is Arlo (that helped Pete with his reviews), It is with great regret that I have to announce his recent passing away after a short battle with cancer. This blog was one of his favourite things in the last years of his life and every weekday he'd turn up at the Gate arts centre where we did these reviews eager to get going on them (after the obligatory coffee and cigarette of course) - He loved the attention it brought him, loved the free records and was always amazed at the attention it got.

Personally I'd like to say that working with Pete (especially on this blog where we shared our passion for all types of music) has been one of the most amazing times of my life and I'm going to miss him (and it) terribly. He really was an incredible guy which I hope this blog amply demonstates.

I'd also like to thank everyone involved; the labels and the recording artists who supported us of course but especially all who read and enjoyed it and took it in the spirit it was meant.

Much love to you all.


In the last weeks of Pete's life the following compilation was arranged as a tribute to him and in order to raise money for causes close to him, please take a look and support in any way you can; let's give Pete a legacy.

Monday 3 March 2014

Henry Blacker - Hungry Dogs Will Eat Dirty Puddings.

This time we are doing a heavy, fast rock and roll record by a band called Henry Blacker which I thought was a funny name for a band because it sounds like a person's name and not a band name at all because you don't get many bands named after people (well I don't know of any anyway) but I suppose you can call a band anything you like; If I had a band I would call it Heavy Metal Rock Band because it would be a heavy metal rock band and then people would know what sort of band it was, I would like to be in a heavy metal rock band because then I would be famous and I think it would be fun to make noisy music. Henry Blacker are kind of a heavy metal rock band too and they are very exciting sounding and I am looking forward to doing this record very much.
           One of the reasons that I am looking forward to reviewing this band is because two of them are in Hey Colossus which is a band I have reviewed a few times and really like a lot so I think it is interesting to hear another band from some of the members. Henry Blacker are a bit like Hey Colossus because they are noisy and loud but they are also not like them because Hey Colossus are quite a slow band but Henry Blacker are not really slow at all because all the songs are quite fast.
                    The first song is called Crab House and it starts off straight away with hard drumming and noisy guitars and a noise like an old hotel bell being banged. It is a very noisy song with shouty rock singing in it where you can't make out the words but that doesn't matter because it sounds really good. I thought this was a good rocking song and a very nice way to start the record.
                     The next song is called Pulling like a Dray and it is a little bit slower but is  still quite shouty and it gets very shouty by the end. This music reminds me a lot of rock from the 60's and 70's like The Who but it is much noisier and more rocking and a bit more rougher than they were with more growling in it instead of singing, I don't think that Henry Blacker are better than The Who though because The Who are very good indeed but they're probably about the same, they are just from the modern generation of rock bands and not the old one.
                     After this is a really noisy song called Your Birthday has Come and Gone and this one is a bit slower than the other two but it is probably bigger because of how noisy it is. The reason this one is so noisy is because of the very large guitars which are very large sounding indeed. It was my birthday recently and I was 70 and I had a very nice time because I had a big birthday party and some groups came to play and we had loads of food and music and it was all very nice. I liked this one because it seemed quite funky but still very shouty and noisy.
                    My Majesty is next so I was thinking it might be a song about the Queen, I quite like the Queen because she looks after us by giving us social security money. I don't really know if it's about the Queen because all the words are too shouty. This song is a fast, rocky, punky one that I liked a lot.
                     The first song on the other side of the record is probably the fastest and most rocky yet and is called Scumblood and this title made me think of violence and I suppose it sounds a bit like a violent song because of how fast and rocky it is. I think it's ok to have violent sounding songs though because it's not really true violence if nobody actually gets punched or anything.
Two thumbs up for Henry Blacker.
                     After this one is a slower one which starts off sounding a bit like a marching band marching and then there is a voice but it's not really screaming on this one because it's more deep sounding and slower. It's quite an interesting voice because it sounded to me like an animal would sing if animals did sing but I don't really know which type of animal it sounds like; maybe something a bit like a dog and a bit like a lizard. I liked this song, it was quite atmospheric and spooky and I like that.
                    There is another very fast and very noisy, very good one next and then after that there is the last song which is called Temple Controls and this one is a bit of a more slower one with big guitars and growly voices. I liked this one a lot and I thought it was a good one to finish the record off on.
                      Overall I think this is a very fantastic record that I really enjoyed listening to - I think anyone who likes noisy, fast, strange music would like it too. You can hear what they like by watching the video below. I would give this record 10 out of 10.

Monday 10 February 2014

Malcolm Julian-Swan - Pheasant.

Malcolm Julian-Swan - Pheasant (ZAM ZAM RECS).
This time we are doing a tape of poetry and soft jazz music from a man call Malcolm Julian-Swan who is a man who does poems who sent me his tape to review. I am interested in reviewing this one because it is something a bit different that I've heard before because I don't really listen to much poetry.
           When we were doing this review we listened to some other poets who have done their poetry to music, we listened to John Cooper Clarke and Linton Kwesi Johnston and some others and I like hearing these very much because I thought it was very interesting and it made a nice change from hearing singing all the time.
              The tape starts off on Side A with cymbals and bass guitar and no poetry, it is all very soft and nice to listen to and relaxing and I think this is to get you in a relaxed mood for listening to the poetry. The poetry starts after a bit with Malcolm saying "My name is Malcolm Julian-Swan and I am an anarchist..." but I didn't know what an anarchist is so we looked it up and found out that it means somebody who doesn't like government and thinks we'd be better off without them. I had a bit of a think about this and I think I agree with that because I don't think much of the government really because they are always making people unhappy but I don't know much about politics so I don't really know if I'm an anarchist or not. This poem and the others on the tape too is like a story and it talks about working at a Christmas cracker factory and how he was told he might get the sack for being an anarchist and then he tells some jokes that I couldn't quite make out and then the poem stops. I thought this was a nice way to start the tape because I learnt what an anarchist is.
               The next poem is about somebody shouting "TWAT" out of the window of a car at Malcolm and how angry this made him. If somebody did that to me I think I'd just take it and walk on and i'd probably get a bit angry but mainly I'd just think the person doing it was not very nice and not worth bothering with, I don't let much bother me really. I lost track track of what the poem was saying after that but I will take it home and listen to it more so I can understand it better.
               After this one is one about David Cameron on Ready Steady Cook. I don't know much about Ready Steady Cook because I never watch it because I think it's a bit boring and I don't know if he's ever been on it really but I suppose he might have been because David Cameron is the Prime Minister and Prime Ministers are always on the telly. After that there is some stuff about communism which is where things are all shared out and it is like "all for one and one for all" and I think this might be a good thing but I don't know because, like I said, I don't really know much about politics; I do know that I am left wing though because I vote labour.
                The tape goes on and talks about some other things then this side of the tape finishes off with more of the nice instrumental music.
                 On the other side of the tape it starts off with Malcolm talking about the olden days and how violent it was but I don't know much about that because I never saw much violence in the past. He goes on to talk about a violent green man, I thought it was a funny story because the green man gets thrown off a train for being violent. After this Malcolm starts saying; "War and peace and peace and war… and I know this is a book by somebody called Tolstoy that i've heard of. I've never read War and Peace though so I don't know if this book is about it but it is about wars and stuff I think. I think war is a horrible thing and it shouldn't be allowed because they are dangerous and people die.
               After this things on the tape change and there is more music on it  and it is not as relaxing because the music is not quiet jazz because it is noisier and sounds kind of like an army marching off to a war because of the drumming. This is quite a gloomy sounding one but I still liked it because I thought it was very interesting. The next one is one without music in it about a school kid called Derek but the story doesn't make sense and is quite funny and mad and I think this is a good thing.
             And then after the one about Derek is one about television telling lies and I'm not too sure if that's true but I think it might be sometimes and it is difficult to tell when it isn't. I don't really worry about television telling lies much but I do think it should tell the truth when it's news otherwise people won't know what's going on in the world.
            The last one on the tape is Malcolm saying thank you to everybody and that's the end except for a story about a joke in a christmas cracker but I won't tell you what the joke is because that would spoil it.   
       Overall I think this was a very nice tape and I thought it was good and interesting to listen to the stories that Malcolm tells. They are funny stories that made me smile and made me think about things and I enjoyed listening to it very much. I would give Pheasant 10 out of 10.

Pheasant Poem by Peter Kemp.

I listened to a tape called Pheasant,
It was very, very pleasant,
Pheasants live in the woods,
This tape is very, very good.

Friday 24 January 2014

Wintering - Wintering.

Wintering - Wintering (Self Released).
This time I am doing a CD that was given to me by Wintering when they came to play at my 70th birthday party the other week. It was a very nice party that I enjoyed very much and I would like to thank them and The Choo Choo Trains who played as well and everybody else who came; it was a very special day and I enjoyed it very much. Here are some pictures so you can see how good it was:

The Choo Choo Trains.

Thee Roll Mops.
            I liked that Wintering came to my party very much because my friend who used to work in my house but had to leave to go to Derby was in them and I enjoyed seeing him and his band play very much even though I had to go home early because I got a bit tired. I think it is nice to hear music that your friends have made because it makes it more special so I was very pleased that they came and played and that they gave me their CD.  Here is a  video that was taken of Wintering playing at the party, I thought it was very interesting and funny to see all my friends having a laugh with the band:

           The first song on the CD Wintering gave me is called Zvukovi and it starts off with a noise a bit like church bells on a warped record and there is bird noises and stuff too and then a slow guitar starts and carries on and there is singing in the background that sounds like a weird child singing - you can't really work out what the child is singing about but it sounds good and weird and spooky and I liked it a lot. I thought it was a nice way to start the CD.           
          The second song is a bit faster and a bit more like a normal song and is called Neptune and it starts off quite quiet with a noise like a snow blizzard and then the drums and the guitars start and it still sounds a bit a blizzard but also like a noisy rock song, it reminded me a bit of The Shadows if the shadows were playing in a big storm. There is proper singing in this one and not just the weird child singing but it I can't really make out what the singing is about because the singing is in the background and because it sounds like he is singing under his mouth. I liked this one a lot, it is a good rocky song and very enjoyable to listen to; I especially liked the ended because it goes all mad and reminds me of those bands in the sixties and seventies that used to smash up their microphones.
           After this song is a song called Greys which is a bit of a slow one with big drums and noisy guitars and somebody speaking over the top but I can't quite make out what they are talking about but it sounds they are telling a story of some sort. At one bit in the song somebody shouts out "Dracula" so maybe this is a story about vampires which would make sense because it does sound a bit like horror music. I liked this one too because I like Dracula and because I like noisy rock music. Here is a thing that I have written about Dracula after listening to this song:          


Dracula has risen from his grave,
He'll make you a nervous wreck,
He'll bite you on the neck,
Because he's a nasty vampire.

Wintering after they played at The Gate.
            Next up is a song called Sange which reminded me a bit of Sanjay who is a person that comes to the Gate but I think it probably isn't about him. Sange is a faster song than the others and you could dance to it at a disco I think but it is still rocky and noisy. I enjoyed this one very much and thought it was a very good way to end the CD off.
            Overall, I thought this was a very nice CD indeed and I think everybody would like it if they heard it (you can hear the songs off it here) I would like to thank Wintering (and the Choo Choo Trains) again for giving it to me and for coming to play at the party. I would give this CD 10 out of 10.

Song written by Peter's friends
at the Gate for his birthday.

Monday 23 December 2013

Various Artists from Modern Urban Jazz - Works.

Various Artists from Modern Urban Jazz - Works (Modern Urban Jazz).
This time we are doing electronic music again because I am doing a various artist compilation called Works that has been done by a electronic music label called Modern Urban Jazz. I have reviewed Modern Urban Jazz stuff before and I liked it and I was pleased that they sent me this one too. One thing that is interesting is that this compilation is for Modern Urban Jazz's Birthday because they have been going for 18 years so the music off it is tracks from when they started in 1995 and loads of stuff from then up to now. I thought it was interesting it was Modern Urban Jazz's birthday because my birthday is coming up soon and I will be 70 on the 7th of January and we are going to have a big birthday party here at The Gate with two bands playing and all my friends coming. I am looking forward to the party very much though I am a bit worried about getting to 70 because it means that I might die soon but I don't suppose dying will be too bad because I won't know nothing about it because I'll be dead.
                The sort of music that Modern Urban Jazz do is very good party music because it is electronic music that they play in the dance clubs called Drum and Bass. I never been to a club playing this sort of music because I've never asked anyone to take me but I have seen these sorts of clubs that play electronic music on the television and they always look like fun.
                 The first song on Works is by someone called Icons and it is called Time Undefined and I thought this was a quite spooky one because it made me think of wolves coming out at night and then after that there was another one that sounds a bit faster but which also sounds a bit spooky and the noises in it behind the fast drums made me think of ghosts. The thing that find interesting about this music is that it has the fast drums on all of the songs but slow music on top. The drums on it sound like fast drumming like you might hear in Africa or Trinidad only electronic.
                Next is one by Paranoid Society that starts off with slow robot noises and then goes all fast and it made of an old film called Them! about giant mutant ants; I think it made me think of ants because of the way the drums are. I liked this one very much.
A poster for the film Them!
                After that there is nice one by Justice which is another name for Tony who runs MJazz and who sends me the music. I would like to thank him here for sending me it and to say that I think he makes very good, fun music.
                The next one after Tony's one is called Divers by somebody called Seeka and this one sounds a bit less electronic than the old ones and it reminded me of James Brown's music a bit, only faster and without the singing. There is a nice quiet bit in the middle of this one where the drums stop and you can hear people diving into a pool and I liked this very much indeed because I thought this was an interesting sound to put into some music.
                For all the other songs after this we listened to them in our last time doing record reviews at The Gate on the day before Christmas and me and Arlo (who helps me with the record reviews) had mince pies and coffee and turned the music up and we thought about why this label was called Modern Urban Jazz and who this music might be for. When I learnt that urban means things in cities then I was thinking about London and how busy it with all different things in it and I thought this made sense and so I thought that Modern Urban Jazz must mean funky jazz music for everyone in the city because I think that this music is not just for listening to in clubs because you could listen to it in the care if you were a couple driving around or you could listen to it at home because even though it is fast music it is still quite relaxing because of the slower instruments. I very much enjoyed listening to this record on the last record review of the year and would like to thank Tony again for sending it to me and to wish him and anybody reading this a very merry Christmas and a happy new year. I would give this record 10 out of 10.

A Christmas thumbs up to MJazz and everybody else.

Thursday 28 November 2013

Das Weiße Pferd - Inland Empire.

Das Weiße Pferd - Inland Empire (Echokammer).
This time I am record reviewing a record from some friends of mine from Munich, Germany. I know Das Weiße Pferd because I reviewed their last record ages back when I first started my reviews so I am pleased to be doing another one and very happy that Pico from the band sent it to me - I have been listening to it at home and enjoying it very much and I am looking forward to reviewing it.
        Because Das Weiße Pferd are a German band they mostly sing in German so if you are English like me and can't speak German you can't understand the words but I don't think that matters because it's still good to listen to because it's good to hear different languages and music from different countries. I have listened to lots of different music from all over the world in my record reviews and I think it is a good thing to listen to different music from everywhere because then you can learn something about different countries and hear what different languages sound like. I do know a bit of German actually, I know; Nein, Guten Morgen and Auf Wiedersehen and a few other words so I am going to listen out for those words and see if I can learn any new words.
            The first song is not in German though because it is in Spanish, I think this is ok because I like to hear all different languages from everywhere. This song starts off quite quiet with soft singing but more instruments start coming in and it reminded me of folk music a bit played by lots of different people on lots of different instruments, I liked this one because it sounds very happy so I thought that was a good way to start the record.
            The next song is not in Spanish because it is in German and it Blaue Magie which we looked up and that means Blue Magic. I've never heard of blue magic before because i've only heard of black magic like voodoo and white magic which is magic that's good but it made me think of waves in the sea which are quite magical really. Here is a poem that I wrote because of this song;

Blue Magic.

Blue magic is the sea,
that's what it means to me,
Blue magic is very good
I have a cup of tea…

At the cafe on the beach.

That is me,
By the sea.

And then I got Seb, who works here at The Gate and is German to translate it to for me so the band could read it;

Blaue Magie.

Blaue Magie ist das Meer,
das ist, was es für mich bedeutet,
Blaue Magie ist sehr gut
Ich trinke eine Tasse Tee...

Im Café am Strand.

Das bin ich,
Am Meer.

This one sounds to me a bit like The Beatles I think but then at the end it goes a bit madder than The Beatles go, I liked this one too and thought it would be a nice one to dance to at a disco.
              After Blaue Magie there is a song called In which starts off with nice soft guitar but then Pico starts singing Hey Now, Hey Now, Hey Now and the song starts up and it is a very happy sounding song and I think this band are a happy sounding band in most of their songs really and that this is a good thing.
               Next up is a very calm song and this time it is sung in both English and German and it sounded to me like a relationship song and I thought it was very nice and after that was a song that sounded like Russian to me at first but then started to sound more like Middle Eastern music but then started to sound like Hare Krishna music and then the singing starts and this sounds like a choir singing and then there is Robot singing and then singing that sounds a bit devilish, there are lots of different things to listen to in this song and I especially liked a saxophone bit that is in it. This is a very good song indeed.
              The next song is a sadder sounding song than the others and I thought it sounded like the sort of song you would sing if your girlfriend or your wife had left you so maybe it is about that. It sounds like one of them sort of songs anyway but then it does get a bit happier sounding near the end so maybe the person in the song's girlfriend has come back - I like making up stories about music when I hear it and I think it is a good thing to do when you listen to music.
               After this is a song called Perdido which has a line in it which goes You are a Refrain and I think I have heard it before somewhere but I'm not sure where but maybe it is a sixties song because it sounds a bit like it could be.
                 The next song is a soft, happy sounding song that I think would be a good song for children. I think children would like it because of how happy it sounds and because some of the sounds in the background of the song sound like children's toys, I liked this one a lot.    
                 Die hitze im zimmer is next and this one sounded to me a bit like a drinking song and when I was listening to it I was imagining one of the beer halls that they have in Germany that I've seen picture of. I've never seen a real German beer hall though because I've never been to Germany but I would like to go one day. If I did go I would go to one of them halls and drink a big glass of beer and I would like to go to St. Paul's in Hamburg because I've heard it's like Soho in London and Soho is my favourite place. I would also like to go to Munich and meet Fedi and all the people in the band and my other German friends who have sent me records. I liked this song because it made me think of going to Germany and I think I might ask the staff in my house if I can go there next year for my holiday.
                  The next song is quite a rocky one that reminded me of David Bowie that I think would be good to dance to and after that is the last song which starts of as quite a slow, moody song that is but then it gets bigger and sounds a bit like a drinking song again, I enjoyed this one and thought it was a good way to end the record.
                  Overall i would say that this is a good record with lots of different things to listen to in it and I enjoyed listening to it very much and I would like to thank Fedi for sending it to me and for liking my reviews. I would give this record 10 out of 10.     

Thursday 31 October 2013

Sly & The Family Drone - Unnecessary Woe.

Sly & The Family Drone - Unnecessary Woe (Self-Released).
This time I am reviewing a record by Sly & the Family Drone which is coming out soon. At first I thought it was a Sly & the Family Stone record when Arlo (who helps me write these reviews) gave it to me and I like Sly & the Family Stone because they did Dance to the Music and that is a very good song that I like very much - It isn't Sly and The Family Stone though it is a band called Sly & the Family Drone and I thought this was a bit funny because I didn't think you were allowed to do that.
         The reason that Sly & the Family Drone are called Sly & the Family Drone is because they are a drone band. I have reviewed some drone music before and when I did I had to learn a bit about it because I'd never really heard any before. What I learnt is that there is all sorts of drone music from all over the world and what it is is music that  sounds more like sounds that are stretched out than normal music does. I quite like it but I think it is a bit of weird type of music and I think that's because you don't really hear it too much so I'm not used to it.
         The first song on the CD that Sly & the Family Drone sent me is called Handed Cack and I thought this was quite funny because cack is another word for poo. The song starts quite quiet and it reminded me a bit of when it's early in the morning and not a lot's happening but then things start to happen a bit more - I was thinking of maybe a factory just opening and people getting things ready to work; there are clanking noises like machines starting up so that is what made me think of this. The noises start getting louder and there are more and more of them so then I started thinking of the men in the factory starting to work and getting busier, as well as noises like machines there was noises a bit like alarms and things like that.
Our kettle at the gate which we
put a sticker on that the band
sent us with the CD.
             This song goes into another one without their being any gaps and things get all quiet again so it made me think of packing up time but then some drums start and it doesn't really sound like that any more because it reminded me of a marching band marching, there are other noises in the back like bit wind blowing and this made me think of a marching band walking though empty streets at night, maybe in a snowstorm or something. I imagined them marching and marching as the storm gets worse because the background noises got all bigger and I tried to imagine where they were marching to and I thought of them marching to London but finding it empty because everybody has had to leave because of the storm which the men get stuck in. I liked making up a story in my head to go with this music and I think this is a good way to listen to music because music should make you think of things. At the end of this tune the drums get much faster and in the story in my head I thought this was because the storm was getting worse and there is no escape from it. I think this is a very good story to go with this song and I think other people would see what I mean if they listened to it or they could make up their own stories if they wanted.
            After this one is the third and last one which is called A Man that Could Look No Way but Downwards, with a Muck-Rake in his Hand and as well as having a long title it is also a very long song because it is nearly twenty minutes long. At the beginning it sounds a bit funny and weird like the band are testing out their things and there are noises like a drum kit being dragged about and other weird noises that I couldn't really work out what they sounded like - there are lots of different noises in this and like the other songs it gets noisier as it goes along with more different noises being added. I think what this most sounds like is when a band is getting their things together when they go to do a concert. It all gets very noisy after a long bit and there starts being a lot of shouting in it so I started thinking it sounded like the concert that Sly & the Family Drone were having was going wrong so they were getting frustrated shouting at each other and then after that it all starts to sound a bit more like a band playing normally, I thought this was very interesting and I enjoyed it and me and Arlo were bobbing our heads to the drums because It's that sort of music. I thought this was a good way to end the record.
              Overall I would say that this was a very interesting record that people would like if they like music that is weird and that can get a bit noisy. I would like to thank the people from the band for sending it to me because I have enjoyed listening to it very much. I would give this record 10 out of 10.