Here come the Videofreex – CCA – 22/02/17
A couple of us NHC bods have been doing a bit of roving reporting, and even managed to couple this up with the indulging of our (counter) culture vulture sides by taking in the rather excellent UK premier of the documentary about the radical video collective called Videofreex.
The Videofreex, for those who are unaware, were along with a few others, the pioneers of citizen reporting.
Using the newly available video cameras they were on the ground interviewing those attending Woodstock, recording feminist rallies, and in general just being the eyes and ears of street level America.
And now with much of that footage restored we are being treated to an introductory crash course to them via ‘Here comes the Videofreex.
Just in time in many ways.
Because it is especially important during periods of turmoil to look back and learn from history.
Even if the history is so close that it is in living memory.
And this documentary expertly covers the need for this because in many ways it shows that not a great deal changes.
There will always be those who wish to oppress us, and those who will go kicking and screaming to their grave advocating divisive agendas that a minority will profit from.
And in opposition there will always be the need for Videofreex and their likes.
Juxtapose the Black Panthers with Black Lives Matter, the Yippies with Occupy, the Nixon rallies with the Trump rallies, and the point is ably illustrated.
Often it is the go to critique to claim that a documentary is both entertaining and informative, but in this case it does tick both boxes.
And while the efforts made by this collective to document the political landscape of the US cannot be understated, neither can the groups attempts to draw a community together by starting up a pirate tv station which the latter part of the documentary focuses on.
It is in this proactive practice what you preach reality that I found some kinship as very often I do harbour issues about middle class types chatting about social injustice over cheese and wine while those they claim to want to help are struggling simply to exist.
That can maybe be the subject of an article for another day, but for just now please do seek out this documentary, watch it, think about it, tell others about it, and be the change that you want to see.
SPUNGE support showcase – Ivory Blacks – 27/02/17
Often there are showcase gigs around the city that carry a vague promise of what the outcome will be if an artist, or band, play an entertaining set.
It could be a support slot to a big touring band, or a festival slot, or maybe they might even get to be part of a four act bill on a Tuesday night with three other showcase bands in a venue that if you had a stutter would sound like an admonishment.
Often it is just a crock of shit.
Occasionally though there is the odd showcase gig that is quite clear on what is being offered though, and one that did this was the Monday night gig in Ivory Blacks for the Glasgow support slot for ska punk band SPUNGE who will be visiting Glasgow later this year.
No pressure to sell tickets, a cut of any sold, and if the act fitted with the slot on offer, and where good, then the support slot would be confirmed on the night.
Not a bad way to spend a night really.
Unfortunately three of the acts that had expressed an interest in this showcase gig stumbled at the starting gate by failing to make it to the venue.
Without knowing the reasoning it would be unfair to comment, but it does open the door to discussions on the professionalism and drive of the acts.
Of those that did manage to find their way to the Ivory Blacks stage both were very worthy of consideration for a support slot.
The first, Savage Henry, may not have been suitable for a SPUNGE support, but they would fit very nicely into a more rock orientated night.
A few murder ballads were especially interesting.
One of their own, and the Husker Du song Diane that is probably better known as a THERAPY? track fitted nicely together, and could make for a solid backbone to an ep.
Strung Out Nights, who has recently opened for the Kings Blues, and has already secured dates with Neville Staple, The Yorkshire Rats and a slot at the Rebellion festival may have appeared like a safe bet for the SPUNGE gig, but you never really know, and to his credit he played as if he had something to prove which is always a good attitude to take in these circumstances.
He even threw in a new track called Riot that is very strong and is yet another that is adding to a catalogue of vibrant punk anthems.
End of the evening and the outcome was as expected with Strung Out Nights securing the support, but Savage Henry certainly deserve to have their name on file for more suitable line ups and it would be unfair to consider them losers on this night.
The Duchess Of Argyle - Taco Tuesday
A bar that sells tacos for 2bucks each, two minutes walk from the shop door?
You don't have to ask me twice! (Well, you might, but that's more to do with my poor hangover concentration rather than me needing to be strong armed into less than expensive food and afternoon drinks)
The Duchess Of Argyle stands where our beloved Rockus used to stand, pretty much directly across the road from The Hidden Lane. I have to admit, I was a bit wary of falling in love with anything that took over from one of my local drinking holes, but they really did have me at 'tacos'. When they arrived at the table, I at first thought they were a wee bit small (I am used to homemade stuff, which generally means 'huge'), but then again, after wolfing down two veggie numbers I was actually pretty full. One more taco would have done me in I think, so don't let your eyes deceive you, these little beasts of flavour pack a hefty dose of fullness, 3 would be my absolute limit, and even then, I would be a little bit shy on following up with a pint, which is unlike me!
So, all in all I would give these delicious bastards 9/10 (I have never given a ten, it leaves no room for improvement after all). The service was both fast and friendly, they love and welcome your doggy family too, and the prices are pretty damn good across the board. What's not too like?
Cloud Of Starlings, The Big Nowhere, Hicks, and KC Johnston - A hazy recollection of events from reviewers not wishing to be named (to protect the guilty, obviously)
Well, it's been a while since I have had to write anything up from a bloody mess of memories. Essentially three people went out, five people went back to a house party, and one person woke up with a hefty injury after falling down the same flight of stairs... twice. What the three of them remember from the night would put the film Momento to shame. Minus the tattoos of course.
Oh, no, there was a tattoo. Mescal as well... I think.
Anyway. Back to the event itself.
Three full bands played on the night, and one solo opener, a man by the name of KC Johnston who really doesn't need us to say much about him to be honest, as anyone who has ever heard him already knows how bloody talented he is. KC plays songs about life in general. Songs about love, loss, sadness and joy. All the good shit, with some of the bad shit thrown in too, as a set can't all be rainbows and stardust. His own songs are startling pieces of written work to be honest with you, and if he ever gives up singing (he shouldn't) then he could always get work by writing songs for others. He really is that good.
First band on the night were Hicks, who played a blinder of a high-energy, dirty blues rock set. For only being a three piece band the guys certainly make it sound like more as a wall of noise bounces off the stage. It's a great set from them, and I would recommend you check them out whenever you get the chance. As far as the friends' input goes, all of us appear to have liked them, although one of those friends couldn't remember them being a three piece. He took the most drink pre-gig, obviously. Make sure you check this talented rock trio out when you get the chance.
Next up onstage (...and this is where I myself start to get a little hazy, I blame the pre-gig drinkies) were melodic rockers Cloud Of Starlings, a band who I have already liked for a while anyway, so can confidently say I would have enjoyed the shit out of them. If only I could remember. Friend number one said they were the best band of the night though when I chased up the details a few days later, he went on to class them as 'tight as fuck, I would totally buy an album, would probably even have danced to them, if I could dance', friend number two said he only remembers the first bad, and then waking up with most of his clothes still on, including his shoes. Friend number two probably doesn't get out much. I would recommend you check these guys out though, there is a reason I have them up as one of my top Glasgow bands at the moment, you will realise why as soon as you listen to a couple of tracks online.
Last band of the night where the hugely talented The Big Nowhere - a band who describe their own songs as ones of heartbreak, loss and regret but to me that description just doesn't cut it for these guys. Think of them as the band equivalent of a fun loving, pissed up uncle who lets you drink and smoke weed when you were younger and your parents weren't about. This band is that very uncle. Weirdly I have patches in my memory blanks that the songs of The Big Nowhere manage to burst through in snippets of brash, dynamic tunery of the highest order. Maybe that's the best thing I can say about a band though, is that no matter how much mescal I have partaken of, how many tattoos I drunkenly add to my body, or how many flights of stairs I fall down, I still remember seeing them even well into my bender. They broke through the pissed memory wall. Bloody hell, not many bands can say they do that. The Big Nowhere can. Top blokes.