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.