Home | BLAM | Reviews | Bands | Links | The Gallery | News | Readers' Whines

BLAM December 2005

A word in your ear...

The Forum 'sells it's Mother' for a cup of gin (and tonic) .. and a packet of cheesie wotsits!

Punters at The Forum were said to be shocked, stunned, shaken but not stirred this month as news was revealed of the visit to the local Conservative Club by Liam O'Bresnarahanranolearybegorrah and the Invisible Man (otherwise known as Mark "Manuel" Davyd). "They went where?" said one shocked punter "frankly I am stunned". "I can't believe it" said another stunned patron "I find this shocking". A third onlooker who declined to be named padded out this article by claiming he was both stunned and shocked and that the news had left him shaken. "I was not, however, stirred by it" he is understood to have said (wow, good work, you made that last even longer than normal - Ed). "I want to make it clear to everybody that our visit to the Conservative Association was part of a reciprocal arrangement" said Senor Davyd "by which we allowed the local MP to get some free publicity that made him seem like a human being rather than a faceless automoton in exchange for them agreeing that we could get a nice gin and tonic and meet some old duffers who think the war is still on. I have heard suggestions that we might have been using this publicity fest to boost our chances of getting a late license. I wish to utterly refute those remarks and say that I utterly resemble them. Sorry, resent them. Resent them, that's the one. Cor, it's cold here ain't it? And what about the trains, eh? It's like the third world!" (that's enough in jokes for this month - Ed) Under the terms of the deal, the Forum has agreed that it will accept regular visits from local Tory grandees and patriarchs, and the venue will shortly be announcing details of its new programme featuring Tory approved acts such as Patti Boulaye, Fightstar and Kenny Everett - the last of which has been making regular appearances at the venue for some years (I've warned you about those in jokes - ED). "I think the local Conservative Association plays an important role locally, giving mad old gits somewhere to go where they can feel at home whinging about the state of the country and how it all used to be fields round here." said Mr. Bresnatokenirishname. "Obviously there is the issue that they have made a fucking mess of the entire country, and that their anti-social behaviour throughout our collective lifetimes have screwed not only this county but made a total fucking mess of the planet, but at least this way we know where they all are and can avoid them like the fucking plague." Some members of The Forum team were not so happy with the exchange visits, however, particular "Red" Marvey Jarvey and former local Labour councillor Ian "not without a birth certificate mate" Carvell. "This visit utterly and completely betrays the working people of this town who have been completely repressed and utterly downtrodden by the utterly fascistic Nazi gestapo, i.e. the local police, who are intent on stopping them from escaping from their enslavement to a socialist utopia i.e. Brighton, where a man is free to love another man without fearing being locked up by the fascist Thought Police, not that it interests me, I am a ladies man through and through, but if you are an anarcho-vegan lesbian you have a perfect right to engage in one to one conduct situations of a graphic and explicit nature without the fear of being rounded up by the state militia i.e. our local MP, and marched off to a workhouse and I would defend that right to my last gasp, provided you don't mind if I watch." said Marvey. "I think it is a disgrace that just for the sake of a free gin & tonic Mr O'Hooligan and Senor Don Quilover were prepared to betray their roots and the hard labour of the working peoples of this establishment. Speaking as a fully paid up member of the Labour party, I think it is sickening that people would be prepared to sell out their core principles and everything they believe for no better reason than to get a tiny foothold on the rungs of power and to win over the press by adopting the ideals and politics of the Tories and............hang on, can I get back to you on this after I check it with Tony? Anyhoo - I've got my Labour endorsed late night opening to sort out" said Mr Carvell.

Blam is owned and produced by The Forum. We are poor starving musicians and artists who don't even have a garret so there is very little point in coming after us for money just because we accused you of being a donkey basher, but if you are really intent on litigation, then you sue us via

The Forum, Fonthill, The Common, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 8YU

But nine times out of ten I wouldn't bother because our lawyers, Shyster, Rippemhoff & Felch are the fastest legal minds in Cricklewood.

Nobody ever reads this bit, which is a shame as we put a lot of effort into it and sit round for ages on our fat arses trying to think of vaguely amusing sweary type expressions to fill up the bottom of the page.

Well, fuck the lot of you then, you labia swellings.

Comedy Forum

Thursday 6th

Tunbridge Wells' original AND best value for money comedy club is held the first Thursday of every month.


At only 25, MICKEY D has performed in festivals and tours throughout the world and has appeared regularly on TV and radio in Australia. Since storming the Adelaide Fringe and Melbourne International Comedy Festival in 2000, with his debut show 'Velocity Boy', Mickey has performed across the UK, throughout Europe, LA, New York, Denver and Chicago.
"Charmingly gregarious and a world class talent" The Independent

ANDREW O'NEILL isn't your usual stand-up comedian. Yes, he tells jokes. Yes, he makes you laugh. But whether he's demonstrating exactly how Bargain Hunt would beat the Antiques Roadshow in a Mortal Kombat-style showdown, or getting more serious with his deeply-held political beliefs, he's an engaging performer and a thought-provoking comic. Andrew is a self-confessed and proud anarchist, vegan and transvestite - all of which comes through in his stand-up.
Andrew made his Edinburgh Festival bow in 2004, appearing in a double-header with fellow comic James Sherwood called 'Apparently'. As well as appearing all over the UK, Andrew promotes and comperes his own weekly club in London, The Troy Club. Billed as the best in 'arse-kicking comedy', it features some of the top acts currently working on the circuit.
"His material is all delivered with such bawling gusto that it's a joy to take in" Edinburgh Evening News
"one of the emerging barometers of hilarity" - Time Out
"scores high on the chuckle-ometer … more than a hint of genius" - Hairline
"I think you’d better speak to our lawyers" - BBC Tees

Andrew is a regular contributor, writer and performer on BBC Radio 1's late-night comedy slot 'The Milk Run'; and also took the brave step of appearing on Channel 4's hairdressing reality show 'The Salon', mainly so that he could get his hair done for free and meet Russell Grant.

TIERNAN DOUIEB started life in a hospital on Jan 9th 1981. The hospital has since been closed and is now a home for the mentally ill (true. Sad but true).
Several gruelling years later, he tried his hand at stand-up comedy after having cheated by taking a stand-up course at The University of Kent, taught by Oliver Double. Tiernan began doing comedy gigs in London in Jan 2003

Mystery Jets
Friday 2nd

There are a few things you should know about THE MYSTERY JETS before I begin…
Firstly, they are based in a place called Eel Pie Island in the South of England. Yeah you heard it, EEL PIE ISLAND!
Secondly, unlike most bands, items like hubcaps, colanders and old packaging cases play an active part in proceedings.
And thirdly, they are by far the most promising new band in the UK, with their blend of semi-improvised, biscuit-tin bashing rock getting music press all sweaty like blind lesbians in a fishmongers!
Armed with songs about boys dressing like girls dressing like boys and the Egyptian tourist trade, the 5 piece have come a long way since supporting Bloc Party, but they're still bloody strange!
THE MYSTERY JETS contain 2 drummers, one of which looks like Edward Scissorhands and is also the lead singer?! The other who plays guitar and is his dad!
They are not for the faint hearted or those with a nervous disposition. They have an amazing talent for procuring other peoples junk and turning it into music for the dancing crazies.
They could be described as a secret relationship that occurred between The Zutons, the Coral, !!! and Add N to X. their music is a mixture of dance-indie, strange noises that sound like Tetris on my game boy and neck breakingly precise beats from the illustrious semi-afro haired singer.
For those of you that like something kooky and original, I recommend that you see this band.
These guys brought the garbage all you gotta do now is dance!

plus Atakku & Lazarus blackstar
Saturday 3rd

Tonight is a three headed hardcore metal progressive attack featuring Canadian act, BURIED INSIDE and UK acts ATAKKU and LAZARUS BLACKSTAR

" ..When metal transcends time and space, everyone wins.” – REVOLVER

“BURIED INSIDE have offered an album whose enormity you’ll be pondering for along while.” – TERRORIZER MAGAZINE

Formed in the year of the imperial lord 1997, BURIED INSIDE is the collective bargaining of five bags of bones and water –biologically defined as ‘humans’– and their ongoing negotiation with that which determines them – socially defined as ‘culture’. Sound familiar? The product of Ottawa, Canada and its weird distillation of the great north and lethal doses of civil servants, BURIED INSIDE was conceived to throw into the post-RORSCHACH well of bands in Eastern Ontario and Quebec in the mid-90s.
Chronoclast is BURIED INSIDE’s Relapse debut and the first in a series of common claim records acting as organs to the project’s body. Produced by Matt Bayles (ISIS, BOTCH, MASTODON), narrower in focus, and almost three years in the making, Chronoclast was written as a single 40-minute piece using a variety of instruments ranging from strings and brass to piano and electric organ. The band, after a long hibernation, debuted Chronoclast in October 2004 with a short tour of the North East U.S. leading to the 2004 Relapse CMJ Showcase.
Since the release of Chronoclast, BURIED INSIDE have toured continually throughout 2005 with COLISEUM, EYEHATEGOD, UNSANE, JUCIFER, MI AMORE and THE HOLY SHROUD.

“Obsessively brooding, delicately devastating, and unambiguously atmospheric...massive...” - Metal Maniacs

Friday 9th

Cyrano were formed in 2002 from the cream of Tunbridge Wells bands, Kail, Tipagore and Extroverted Hermits. The name is taken from a ferret in the film "Star Ship Troopers", inspired by the French romantic literary hero, Cyrano de Bergerac. Oft likened to a cross between Pearl Jam & Coldplay, A view obviously shared by a reviewer at www.dripfed.co.uk, and I quote:
"To classify the music as anything but their own would be criminal; there are no comparisons to be drawn. Song after heartbreaking song, bursting with soaring vocals, rendered with harmonies, smooth rhythms and melodies to die for, each building to their own distinctive and majestic crescendo."
Cyrano have recently been out of action due to a misunderstanding between guitarist Karls fist and a gang of Burberry clad pikeys, caused by a careless remark about Karl's extensive Judy Garland and Abba memorabilia collection. CYRANO's EP, SIGNS is a collaboration of Joe & Tim's creative song writing talents with some excellent riffs from Karl and unrivalled skinbashing from Matt . The songs were written with a more commercial feel to them than previous Cyrano material, a conscious move to break out from the TW ghetto.

Saturday 10th

If there's an early Christmas Present waiting to be had, THE OTHERS are definitely it!
THE OTHERS are a four piece that have sprung from New Cross and are destined to be huge!
As the name states the others are outsiders, but also take another jump backwards to distance their garage new wave noise from everything else.
THE OTHERS world is a haven for misfits, boys, girls, boy/girls, queer, Goth, fat, weird etc (just to be vague!)
Front man Dominic Masters sings in cockney half-step vocals comparable to Mark E. Smith and could also be the bastard child of Ian Brown and Jonny Rotten. He has become a bit of an anti hero, leader of a very large mobile army, taking him and his noise makers wherever he pleases. Their so called 'Gorilla Gigs' have occurred in places such as tube trains and on the zebra crossing outside of Abbey Road Recording Studios.
Bands normally change once they get a foothold on the climb to fame, but Dominic remains the same and continues shagging transsexuals and playing gigs up trees!
THE OTHERS don't perform to the crowd but FOR the crowd and there's a difference. This means the audience and band aren't separate entities, they become one. Dirty jagged underdog music has never sounded so amazing.
They have played with the likes of Dinosaur Junior, Kasabian and Biffy Clyro and will continue to be oddballs whether or not people listen to them (although it's advisable). If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, will it make a sound? Frankly they don't give a fuck.
"Even in this day and age, there are still rock n' roll bands whose hands are worth placing your life in" NME



Friday 16th

Quite bonkers multi national quintet, MORTON VALENCE have their debut single, Man on the Corner ' released on the incontinent's fave Irish crooner Daniel O' Donnel's own record label Bastard Records on 5th December. It has been described as, " ... an insidiously downbeat, shoegazing drone-pop gem with just a hint of The Postal Service and the now-obligatory JAMC. A minimalist grower...".
Catch them live at the Holy Shitter on the 16th. Party hats a-go-go!

Anti-Nowhere League
Saturday 17th

At first, it was awfully hard to take this cartoonish punk quartet from Tunbridge Wells seriously. The songwriting team of Animal and Magoo penned irate diatribes aimed at what they called the "nowheres" of the world: straights, nine-to-fives, Homebase on a Sunday types etc. Although one can't doubt them when they spit "I Hate...People," they do manage to inject a sense of humor on the first album, which can soften even the most potentially offensive song, such as the ragingly misogynist "Woman." And anyone who doubts their ingenuity should listen to the blazing (but surprisingly appropriate) treatment of Ralph McTell's folkie chestnut, "Streets of London."
Spawned from local biker gang The Chosen Few, the League started their live career by playing on the common with a generator, a 3k PA system, beer, copious amounts of cheap speed, to an audience of delicate, music loving hardcore hardnuts. (Why don't today's faintheart bands try doing that now?! They bought themselves onto a Damned tour with the help of two grand, a bag of Bolivian marching powder, and an impromptu cabaret by Winston the bassist, which consisted of a carrot being inserted up his jacksy, dowsed with pickle, then eaten by aforementioned four-stringer (Don't try this at home kids!)
Tours of Yugoslavia and Australia followed, where rabid fans had to be beaten off with shitty sticks. Was there no end th the League's outrageous success story? Well.......yes.
With addition of curly haired fopster Gillie, the League evidently decided to try a new approach - or ten. Like an '80s rock jukebox gone out of control, tracks on The Perfect Crime imitate Big Country, the Stranglers, Alarm, Buzzcocks and others, with mixed results. The public, used to a far less respectable League, didn't take to the LP, and the group split up in 1988.
Having reformed a few months back, with original drummer, PJ back in the fold, and, as ever, Animal on vocals, bike chains and hatchet, the League are back on track and STILL ANGRY!!!!

Ariel X
plus 4th Wall & Aurora
Sunday 18th

'A love of squalling guitars, alien effects and bruising walls of noise splits their hit-hungry, kick-ass stomp into a three-way fight between Placebo, Nine Inch Nails, and Jane's Addiction, never stopping long enough to side with any of them, but making the whole thing a heady rush that's high on energy and hard on eardrums.' KKKK - Catherine Yates, Kerrang!
Ariel-X are four young lads with punk hairdos, plenty of make-up and a taste for clothes bought in the shops in Camden Market that sell glow-in-the-dark nipple rings.
Their debut album Bi-Polar reflects the promise and spunky energy that this quartet possess. Its the same elementalism that made You Love Us-era Manics such a thrill, a slightly scuffed element of street-scuzz that nods to the likes of The New York Dolls, yet with all the energy and aggression of the finest REAL punk. Gloriously radio-friendly metal, directing its bemused anger with near-military precision, making noises that are the very essence of both directness and difficulty. Ridiculously great. ARIEL-X IS: Ben John, Mark Verney, James Fage, Alan Van Kleef
Visit the official website: www.ariel-x.com
Also appearing are AURORA and local heroes 4TH WALL , featuring the charismatic frontman Cheese (pictured left)

Tuesday 20th

Other than having the coolest band name ever (Wha? - Ed), GCWCF is actually none other than 18 year old Essex boy Sam Duckworth from Sarfend, going the way of the "strums", delivering a first EP with music that is stripped down to its core, but filled with a raw sort of passion that really shines through. The way he twists his acoustic guitar-sound around a backbeat of different kind of electronic samples, giving each of them their own drive and identity, is remarkably well-done. Sam and his upbeat, heart-warming songs are the living proof that you don't need much to whoop someone right off their feet and set their world ablaze.

plus Night Without Sleep
Friday 30th

That's it, another year and another Xmas over with. The aftershocks of that monumental hangover have faded, the relatives have pissed off back to wherever they hide during the rest of the year, you never want to see another turkey sandwich, the excitement of the new socks is beginning to wear off, you're mildly annoyed that a week or so after frantically buying prezzies you can get the same items in the sales at half the price, and worst of all the only Quality Streets left are those horrible nutty ones that taste like bum'oles. Well fret no more! It's time to make the most of it and see the year off in style with the last gig of 2005 at the ol' Holy Cackatorium, and it's going to be a blinder.
Fresh from recording their forthcoming live album right here at the Hallowed Latrine, and after a monumental year that's seen them develop from supporting the likes of The Ga Gas and Wednesday 13, to headlining packed gigs of their own, 9 Volt bring their brand of abrasive, neck-snapping heavy rock back to top the year off with all the subtlety of a train crash. You want guitars that shred your ears and tunes that stick 'em back together again? Check. A sweaty riot of a moshpit with more flying limbs than a bad day in Basra? Check. A charismatic, scrawny-arsed rock star of a frontman with leather lungs, tarred tonsils and a name that's a euphemism for a penis? Check. Nubile nymphomaniac fans who can't help but take their clothes off? Check. Nob-gags aplenty plus a disturbing fascination with bestiality and ladyboys? Er, check. One of the best live bands on the scene right now, the hottest Stable tip for 2006 and your new favourite band? Check 'em out for yourself.

Formed last year from the ashes of Kail by founder members Jim and Wolff (better known as the Forum's scary ninja guardian of the doorway), Night Without Sleep are exactly as their name suggests; dark, troubled and nightmarish. With Wolff's angry evocative lyricism and a hypnotic sense of mood and drama, Night Without Sleep are a twisted, perverted devastatingly powerful demonstration of what happens when a madman is given free rein to express himself on a stage. Or as we put it - "…a dreadlocked scummier Jim Morrison in combat trousers… he pouts and flexes, claws at the air, his eyes, his body, his hair, leaving long bleeding nail-tracks across his skin while he fellates the mic, fucks the stand and howls a lupine lament to despair, bleakness and deviant sexuality. Writhing and gesticulating as if performing in his own bondage video, it's deeply theatrical gothic pop art at its most intense, disturbing and peculiarly self-indulgent…"
Blimey, sounds a bit bloody good eh? Look, just make sure you're at this gig, that's all there is to it. The last gig of the year and almost certainly one of the best.

The Stable 5

Crike O' Reilly! Can it be December already? Only three more Stable shows left in 2005? Nearly 2006 and not a child in the house washed!
Monday 7th; SUCKA are a fast paced three-piece rock band with a punk edge who exploded from the local scene of Aldershot (Hundred Reasons, Vex Red, Reuben) in 2001. The band consists of brothers Craig (21) and Ashley (17) on Guitar and Drums and Ben (19) on Bass.The lads have supported bands such as Capdown, UK Subs, [spunge],Caffeine, Mr. Zippy and Adequate seven. ,
‘there are a lot of bands like sucka, but not all of them are as entertaining’ -ultimatesound.co.uk. SNOWBLIND hail from Maidstone and have one of those Flash websites that mean I can't download shite all pictures of them. But I'm sure they're good! ZOE FROM LONDON originally started as an acoustic duo with the monicker, 'Masters of the Universe', with percussion supplied by a range of bongo's and a tambourine, The band took on a heavier sound when they started performing with electric lead guitar, and drums, and they are often noted for their constantly progressing and completely original sound. They have many influences, too many to pinpoint, though RHCP and the Doors crop up with regular frequency.
Appearing on the 12th will be: BLACK BOX AMNESIA who according to their website are, " .. a rock band based in Surrey. The line up has changed a few times over our two year existence and we are now gigging quite frequently. Our influences include foo fighters,queens of the stoneage,smashing pumpkins,led zeppelin,ratm, at the drive in and the mars volta..." So there you have it, short and sweet. Much like the petite bassist, pictured right! ORGANISED CONFUSION are a four piece emo outfit from Brede, which is a charming little village near Bexhill. 'Popular', and much written about on the Forum messageboard are THE BLIND MARTINI SOCIETY. Who are" ... a group of scruffy looking youths who like to rock out on their various instruments of torture. Individually they are Jake, Paul and Umney, but together they form The Blind Martini Society, a rock and roll band from the Tunbridge Wells area. They play heavy rock music, influenced by the likes of Biffy Clyro, The Libertines and Vivid Release...." Formed only 8 months ago, TBMS are fairly inexperienced, but hope to establish themselves as a well thought of local band.. Indeed, they have already won over our very own acerbic Mr Mills, who described them, as "...not being able to recognise a decent tune if it bent them all over and fucked them rigid .." Judge for yourself, or merely come down to hold Mr Mills' coat as they mud wrestle whilst debating the finer points of their Aeolion scales and iambic pentameters.
The last Stable show of 2005 is on the 19th, and features:
KOBRAKAI have been described in Metal Hammer thus: "..a West Kent based USA sounding emo-core outfit, featuring a vocalist that gives a lot of the music a nice doomy feel. The guitar is crisp and distorted, and most of the riffs are fucking brilliant . Forward thinking emotional- hardcore- Lostprophetesque inspired heavy rock with a strong metal edge. 7/10 Following coming s and goings vocalist-wise, the 'Kai are now firing on all four cylinders once more!
Leatherhead based MONOCRACY have one of those really tedious biogs on their website that doesn't really tell you much about them; unless you really want to know what Ed the bassist had for breakfast Easter Bank Holiday, and what colour socks Matt the vocalist received from his Nan last Christmas. Fingers crossed, hopefully their music is infinitely more exciting!
THE HEATERS are from Battle in East Sussex and describe themselves, " ...rock for tomorrow, founded in the gnarled roots of old bluesmen, ganga stoked Rastafari, and greased up hi-octane rock and roll.." Phew! Featuring James Gulliver - Drums/ Backing Vocals; Murray McHattie - Bass Guitar;
Jack Richardson - Vocals/ Guitar; Adam - Lead Guitar/ Vocals. These guys apparently 'Rock'
Hurrah and huzzah! Get down to these shows as they're always a cracking good night, and only four bleedin' quid!

Mr. Mills' Monthly Moan

(whereby Moanin' Millsey gives his considered opinion on what's Hot and what's Rot)

Nelson King . Tim Hoyte - Sun, 20th November '05

"I reckon you've got that SAD thing y'know. You're always bloody miserable when winter sets in…".
So speaks the voice of wisdom who's convinced that my distaste at hearing fucking Slade on the radio in November and refusal to get involved in a 'Secret Santa' charade, has got something to do with longer evenings. It's not the onset of winter that does it, it's the prospect of Xmas; 'Tis the season to be jolly, my fucking fat arse. Still over a month to go until we have to cope with all that nonsense, but already tonight, despite it being Sunday, the streets where I live are crawling with people coming to look at a massively mediocre set of light bulbs and plastic star shapes, apparently not realising that they're the same crap ones as last year, trying desperately to engender some excitement "for the kids". They've even got piped Xmas jingles in the bloody petrol station, so if everyone is in so much of a fucking good mood all of a sudden, is the same eagerness going on in Tunny Wells? And if it is, seeing as they're already outside, maybe it might prompt people to head Forumwards after? Sadly, it seems that other than a heroic few, they'd rather sit in to watch failed soap actors whinging under a tree and picking ticks off their arses, but it is bloody cold out, and only slightly more comfy here by virtue of the lack of wind chill.
It's hard to tell whether Hastings' Tim Hoyte is as bothered about it as the audience is, as he looks confused and somewhat troubled. There's something of the Bright Eyes about him. Not just due to his occasional nods towards Conor Oberst's oddness and creative flair, but because he's like some startled rabbit, all doe-eyed and nervous, as if unsure of whether he should be here or not. It's peculiarly enamouring though, complimented by a dotty English charm not dissimilar to our own Chris Drew's madcap Barrett-isms, but not quite so off-the-wall and with a more delicately seductive guitar technique.
Comparisons to Al Stewart and James Taylor jump out repeatedly as Hoyte sways to and fro between acoustic prog and folk pop, with just the right amount of sensual drama while his languidly hypnotic voice evokes images of innocence, fantasy and the reassuringly comforting whimsical world he inhabits, where everyone is pleasant to one another , birds sing happily in the trees, there's always nice biccies in the tin and he can toss off a fantastic bit of kooky hippiedom like "Uncle Ned's Flying Machine" without the slightest hint of embarrassment, because he knows you're going to be humming the damn thing for a month.
Balladeering isn't the game here, nor knocking out facsimiles of whatever it is that's made sexless bilge like James Blunt popular with housewives, as with Tim Hoyte, there's simply a sense of self awareness, of soulful purity and virtue that makes you feel good about the world. His quirks and foibles don't define him, they merely illustrate his individuality among what seems like a never ending regurgitation of singer-songwriter dross and you can't help but like it. This isn't torturous adolescent poetry strung together with an acoustic guitar like so many of his regional contemporaries; it's more skilfully crafted, perverse and eccentric than that. Hoyte is atypically retro, satisfyingly dysfunctional, curiously soothing and despite sometimes being as soppy as kissing in a field of buttercups, if you were listening to him in the car, you'd drive within the speed limits, smile at cyclists, let BMWs out and avoid running over pigeons. For those with Seasonal Affective Disorder, he should be on prescription or something.
But if Tim Hoyte will lift you out of the winter blues, Nelson King will put you straight back in there. You have to feel a bit sorry for him, it has to be said. Can there be a sicker musical joke than the performer who promises so much on record but fails to deliver it in a live setting?
Only if you count numerous attempts to crack funnies that go down like a rat turd in your coffee. "This one's called 'You don't have to say you love me…just give me your credit card!' " he quips, to a stony-faced silence, made worse when you realise that that's dangerously close to the actual lyric. Or how about the special 'upside down dust' which determines that undeserving people win the lottery? Keep going Nelson, yer doing a grand job (sigh…).
On one side of the stage we have his sidekick Dave Farren strumming an acoustic in a classic radio-friendly AOR stylee, while on the other side, Nelson himself, looking like the missing link between Geezer Butler and Bob Segar, twangs away on his Les Paul to give some electric contrast to the proceedings, and mighty powerful it is too: heavy, unhurried, call-and-response white-boy blues guitar with a whiskeyed Clapton-esque vocal and a rather sanitising drum machine to keep things chugging along. That aside, there's no denying the skill in this man's fingertips, such as on the doomy wailing of "I'm Blinded" if you just want no-nonsense, unflashy, dependable blues hokum, and if you're the sort of person who not only wants to know whether the next song is in A or G but is actually impressed when the guy tells you, then you'll probably be quietly amazed by the exquisitely well balanced acoustic/electric interplay between these two fine guitarists. You might even find out what an 'arpeggio' is, because if you're unsure, he'll point one out. If you're like everyone else though, you'll probably just end up frustrated and bored shitless.
Call me old fashioned, call me an idealist, call me a silly old toss if you like, but shouldn't the blues actually have some passion and emotion behind it? Some good, honest-to-goodness sweat, dirt, lust and pain? Though it's clear that Nelson King worships the very grime under Peter Green's nails and has probably worn out every John Mayall album at least twice, it's damn strange that the vehicle he chooses to convey his passions is so utterly bland and soulless, sounding like any number of fifth-rate, half-arsed middle-of-the-road dad-bands found lurking politely on the stages of country pubs everywhere at weekends. There's no avoiding the fact that the drum tapes kill it, giving the tunes no scope to ebb, flow or expand and it's frankly beneath him. King's no doubt had his fill of working blues bands, after years of trekking the blues bar circuit with Mojo Filter, but with this set up, he turns himself into a lightweight eunuch entertainer rather than an honest bluesman, steeped not in the dirty sweat of the Delta, but in the clean fragrant perfume of formulaic soft radio rock. Sure enough, he's no longer chucking out blues-standards for the amusement of old men, particularly since the recent release of the "Acoustic" album (the one before being "Electric", natch), but for the most part, the music of Nelson King is a sterile plastic reproduction of trite white easy-listening Americana that's false and ineffectual no matter how hard he tries.
To be fair, The Forum seldom suits this type of gig. I wish it did, but it doesn't. It has to be exceptional for that to happen, and Nelson King's too MOR and grown up to make it work, and that'd still be the case if tonight was heaving. King makes pub music for people that want a bit of comfort with their surroundings, and this isn't a cosy snug, it's a cold, oddly decorated, grimy kharzi with fleas on the floor and grown ups fail to appreciate it's beauty. Nelson King has an audience potential certainly, as the bland love to be led by the bland, demanding security, familiarity and safety along the way. But that ain't the blues, baby.

Contact Us

Our eager, hyperactive, willing to please, forelock-tugging, cap-doffing, can-do, nothing's-too-much trouble, highly trained, elite, ex-SAS and Girl Guides, crack squad of volunteers are waiting like coiled springs, bouncing off the walls for you, and only you!

We always like to hear from new contributors, new bands, new people, people who hate swearing, big ones, small ones, some as big as your head.Because believe you me, it's a right hard slog making up all the lies, half-truths and general bollox that we lovingly/laughingly call BLAM
You can write to us at:

The Forum, Fonthill, The Common,
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN4 8YU
Or call the Information line on 08712 777101

We also have a website where you can find out all about what's on, and laugh at the photos of the damp mattressed fainthearts that 'work' here. That's at

You can also email us, so do that to:

On the website you can book tickets, find out what's coming up, get a map, get a life, identify which ne'er-do-wells have trodden the boards at the ol' shitter, check out our interactive gaming section, or go on our messageboard and start arguing whether we include too many Appalachian Nose-Flute nights in our gig programming. In fact, we beseech, nay implore you to do any of the above which would make a change from downloading hardcore 'chicks with dicks' jpgs as you'd normally do.
Please note that as well as being able to reserve tickets for all Forum shows online, tickets are also available to be purchased from the following retail outlets:
The Longplayer, 3 Grosvenor Road, Tunbridge Wells 01892 539273
Criminal Records, 6 Goods Station Road, Tunbridge Wells 01892 511776

Coming soon:

COMEDY FORUM - Thur 5th January
STARS IN THEIR EYES - Fri 6th January
MY 21 GRAMS - Sat 7th January
MENDEED - Sat 14th January
THE KOOKS - Sat 28th January

Lifted (with permission) from the December edition of BLAM! - All queries regarding libel actions should be directed to them