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Review: 'Sterling Roswell Band, Lucy's Diary, Matildaz'
'Live at Nambucca London'   

-  Genre: 'Punk/New Wave' -  Release Date: '12.11.15.'

Our Rating:
This was my first visit to Nambucca since it had its recent makeover that included moving the stage and making it bigger and improvements to the sound and to the beer they serve all round the place is far better now than it was and capable of having slightly bigger crowds than before all of which is good.

This show was a Blang night put on by the very cool London label who Whisperin and Hollerin have reviewed many times. I got in just in time to be able to see all 3 bands on the night and as Matildaz with a z came on, and the singer never missed an opportunity to emphasize that Z. I took a seat with a good view of the stage for this Duo of a female singer and stand up drummer who was playing just 2 drums and a Bass player who also had a floor full of effects pedals that included the bass drum trigger.

The opening number Let Me Know or whatever it was called was very cool in a similar vein to Dave Barbarossa's Cauldronated but not as gothic and dark. Get Sir that was next had some very cool angry lyrics over the sparse drums and rather funky bass that had the dance floor going with quite a few people dancing.

Mausoleum had some more cool dark lyrics to go with the almost drum and bass funky soul tune it worked really well and they then made a fatal error as the bass player switched to a guitar that should only be heard in Sludgy metal bands with a Megadeth fixation and as they played Honey Honey the dancefloor cleared and they seemed to lose most of our attention.

It didn't matter how cool or interesting the lyrics to Would You Ever Know My Name was that awful sounding guitar ruined it, it might have worked with a decent Gibson or Fender but not that axe the guy was playing. Things got worse on I Got Soul as this was just that sludgy awful guitar and vocals and well it would have worked with a 12 string or a Rickenbacker but not that sludge machine.

Thankfully he switched back to Bass and the drums came back in on Solar that was much better but the majority of the audience had wandered off by this point and weren't coming back which was a shame as the song about Please Don't Die was deserving of a better reaction than it got. They closed with From here to Here that sort of worked but would have worked better had they stuck to the bass guitar all through the set. If they can sort out the direction they want to go they may well improve in leaps and bounds for now they are a bit confused and yes I did tell the Bass player what I thought.

Next on were Lucy's Diary who I have wanted to see play live since I reviewed the bands self-titled second album earlier in the year as much to see if they sound as much like My Drug Hell live as they did on the cd and while they weren't as polished live as on the cd they were still damn good.

From the opening about a Waste Of Time Lucy Joplin was effortlessly in charge dressed in a slinky little black dress and 6" black stilettos she stalked the stage and jumped and danced while she sang and her band of older gents who didn't look nearly as glamorous certainly weren't wasting too much time.

Am I Strong with its dark tale of life on the bohemian side of things and never quite knowing who you've woken up with or quite what you got up to the night before seemed to really get the young girls in the audience going. Pieces of Me was really down and dirty in places and having Lucy emphasizing the lyrics live with her stage moves and dancing helped make us all feel the darkness within the lyrics.

Don't Touch Me was the cue for a big sing a long form the young girls who have obviously connected to the message of survival from the abuse that may be out there and JJ Crash's guitar worked to act like the force field of protection Lucy needed. Sunshine was dedicated to one of the young girls in the audience and sounded pretty damn cool too.

They closed by bringing up Tara Kinsella to share the vocals on the bands version of Melanie's classic Look What They've Done To My Song Ma it had a delicious edge to it with the twin vocals going back and forth and in harmony it was a very cool ending to a good set and the crowd certainly wanted an encore they didn't get.

Then finally it was time for the Sterling Roswell Band or is that the Sterling Roswell Interplanetary Peace band well it could be either and with a line-up that includes Pete Bassman it could also be the Spacemen Deux or even Darkside mark II either way they are a band that need seeing and since I last saw Sterling as a duo earlier in the year the drummer has changed and now he has Martin Langshaw on drums who I first saw playing with The Perfect Disaster when they opened for Nico back in 1984 wow has it really been over 30 years since I first heard him play live. Completing the line-up are the keyboards player Brendan Quinn and knob twiddler extraordinaire Claire Harrison on old school analogue synths.

They opened with the intergalactic launch pad of Loops In E that revolved around the room like it was a kaleidoscope exploding into your retina as the music evolved and twisted our minds into the spaced out otherness needed to get the implications of Radar Eyes that it evolved into as the keys and synths seemed to swirl around the room trying to underpin and interacts with the pyrotechnics coming from Sterlings guitar and effects all underpinned by Martin's laying down of a monster beat with his mallets rather than sticks.

The spaceship then made a stop at the Island In The Moon that had a wicked Bass line from the legendary Mr Bassman himself as all sorts of noises and flanged sounds seemed to make it seem like gravity didn't exist in Nambucca and we were all floating in space once more. Venus could only be reached by a massive injection of Honey Dew and the sonic rocket fuel that Venus Honey Dew became was incredible a great swirling flight of a song.

Cameron's Brain Soup was next for the sonic assault on our brains and the lyrics seem to get angrier every time I hear this song as Cameron's assault on everything we hold dear gets worse so does the bile thrown at him as it's just as it should be the keyboards and synths seemed to be rather vituperative at this point as Sterling fair spat the lyrics into the microphone nailing the hatred the idiot in charge brings out in many of us.

Nobody Loves the Hulk or is it the She Hulk then blitzed our brains with precision drums and bass underpinning the tsunami of noise enveloping the room as many of us tried to sing along but had any noise we made meaningless as it couldn't be heard above the band and that's how it should be before they closed with the ever popular Give Peace Another Chance and that's a message that should be imprinted in all our minds right now it was the least out there tune of the day as both keyboards and Synths were barely a part of it.

Still they were brought back for a well-deserved encore and launched into a nasty garage rock version of Interplanetary Spaceliner Kicks that certainly kicked our minds all over the place so that even if you hadn't taken anything by this point you'd still be tripping out to the now sounds of one of the most potent space rock bands around at the moment who really need to be heard live to get the bands full sonic assault on your mind.

That was a great end to a very cool night out many thanks to our friends at www.blang.co.uk for putting it on.
  author: simonovitch

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