The Gallery Cafe
21 Old Ford Rd, Bethnal Green, London E2 9PL
£5.00 adv. (STBF)
Fri 16 Oct 2015
For his 30th birthday, Canadian Mike Long got a banjo. A member of Major Wu – Hastings’ own purveyors of noise – Mike Long has combined his love of noisy indie anthems, old time country and Maritime folk music to create Le Skiv. Keeping both the anthems (and band members), Le Skiv incorporate the feeling of a Nova Scotian kitchen party to create a good ol’ sonic hoedown.
Big Top Heartbreak
Influenced by the skullduggery and honky tonk blues of Tom Waits and Nick Cave, the simple sentiment of Daniel Johnson, the slutty vibe of The Velvet Underground and the cheekiness of Ian Dury, Big Top Heartbreak is Scott Lavene. Raised in Essex and east London he spent teens and early twenties playing in various bands and making a nuisance of himself in New York, France and London. The songwriting led to interest from major labels but at the same time a serious health condition arose which drove him underground for five years. Living on a boat and trying to find the unfindable, a maudlin and solitary life took over.
Two bob jobs onto more two bob jobs eventually led to a major breakdown and he spent six months in a house for the bewildered where some peace was found for the first time. Upon leaving, Scott began writing songs again for the first time in years. The passion was back. With more direction and gusto, this has become Big Top Heartbreak. Songs full of sorrow and hope. A captivating and honest performer live. Tales from the underbelly, stories from the sordid, always laced with love and a glint in the eye. A voice capable of both menace and delicacy. Piano ballads. Gypsy foot tappers and filthy blue growlers. Something for everyone.
Luckless’s sound is as elusive as smoke but as enveloping as smog. Definitions hover slightly out of reach while layers of guitar-wail and drum-thunder echo around the edges. Luckless draws inspiration from 90’s heroes PJ Harvey, Mark Lanegan and Sparklehorse, while reaching out to contemporary touchstones The Kills and Warpaint; the music is poised somewhere between the ethereal haze of indie folk and the propulsive drive of alt-rock. Not since Fur Patrol’s Julia Deans has New Zealand had as compelling a frontwoman; a guitar slinging, caterwauling explosion as capable of entrancing as eviscerating an audience.
As a solo performer, Rossiter pushes the boundaries of her songs, stretching and sliding through moments of solemnity and brightness, melancholy and optimism, with a voice given free range to do as it chooses.
kudos for vindication blues
“beautifully controlled, almost sculpted music… but that’s only one side of Luckless, and Rossiter’s other mode is more defiant than defeated,,. atmospheric and dynamic, and perfectly suited to songs I’d describe as lusty and lyrical, but hardly Luckless.” – Nick Bollinger, Radio New Zealand