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

BLAM October 2005

A word in your ear...

Shock photos force Forum management into Habitat

The Forum management has once again had its reputation ripped to tiny little shreds and swished down the bog hole of public opinion with the shocking and disgusting photos that appeared on the front page of the High Brooms Gazette (incorporating the Gas Works Advertiser) this week. As a result, the club now faces a cash crisis of epic proportions, with many local bands withdrawing their support for the club and cancelling their sponsorship of The Forum's award winning bar service. "If these so called 'rock promoter' people are prepared to behave in this sickening and depraved manner then I for one am going to show my disapproval by declining to drink any more free tap water" said a spokesmen on behalf of the newly formed campaign group We All Now Know Everything, Right?. "Frankly, I'm shocked" said one disappointed band member. "Me too, although I not so much shocked as, hmmm, what's the word? (Oh for fuck's sake get on with the in jokes - Ed) That's it! I'm disgusted!" said another.
The photos that have rocked the greater Tunbridge Wells (incorporating Cranbrook and other outlying regions) area, depict the owners of the club comfortably ensconced in the warmth of their front rooms, taking part in such legal and morally responsible actions as enjoying a cup of cocoa, doing the hoovering, and relishing the challenge of a nice crossword and a bit of a sit down. "It is this sort of behaviour that is giving rock and roll a bad name" said the WANKER? Spokesman. "It is hardly surprising that The Forum is prepared to allow the stage to be taken by groups of Maths students like Up C Down C, Left C, Right C Alt Click Hard Return Turn Around Touch the Ground Bagsy You're It or McDonalds workers who claim to be Post Hardcore, Post Emo or Emo Pop Funk with a Ska tinge if you have these clowns in charge. One look at the so called programme would show a total lack of Black Metal bands offering to torture your sister or inappropriately dressed former mental patients with a ZX Spectrum suffering from acid flashbacks. What next? Fray being given a headline show? We demand that The Forum immediately replace these old fuddy duddies with somebody who is exhibiting the right sort of behaviour that lowly musicians like what we are can look up to and emulate because we are a bit simple and just do whatever somebody off the telly tells us to. Kate Moss should cover it. If she's not available, what about a Blue Peter presenter?"

There's no drugs left in the music industry kids. Journalists have done them all.

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. The above article would seem to imply at the end that there is a certain level of hypocrisy in a journalist writing an article stating how terrible it is that a glorified clothes horse was on the front page of the newspaper snorting Ajax and Daz. It is not our specific allegation that any particular journalist may also be partaking of illicit substances for the purpose of becoming rather boring until 4 am in the morning. Rather it is our general contention that journalists are generally the sort of low life scum that get off on watching animal porn whilst having their crack buddy blow crystal meth up their arse. Usual address for legal complaints if you think we're wrong.

Sunday 2nd

The ska punk explosion of a few years back saw many bands jump on the bandwagon of parpy horns and skanking beats in a vain attempt to find fame and fortune. CAPDOWN are not one of them
Having honed their skills on the road, including tours with such punk rock luminaries as Pennywise, Bad Religion and Good Riddance, the Milton Keynes four-piece have always pushed the boundaries forward, and are constantly looking for new musical avenues to explore - in a nutshell they simply won't be tied down by labels and punk rock politics.
Singer and saxophone player Jake says: "The genre of ska punk holds some of my favourite bands but it also has some of the things I hate about punk music. We kind of want to just distance ourselves from it a little bit and not become too involved in the ska punk trend that's going on. "Obviously it helps us a great deal but we don't want to be a short term band that's just around for that particular time. We're influenced by all sorts of music be it hardcore, ska, jungle or dancehall. We just love listening to music and making music and we don't want to nail down what we do by classing ourselves as just ska punk. We consider ourselves a punk rock band and try to explore the different things punk rock is capable of. There's still a lot to be offered musically in punk rock."

But it's on the road where Capdown really come into their own. Their live performances have become almost legendary, with constant touring honing their ability to whip up an audience into a frenzy of energy. Always a popular band here at the old shitter - by the time I've finished typing this page I'd imagine this show is sold out - thrice over!

Comedy Forum

Thursday 6th

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


Dave Lemkin only started performing as a Stand-Up comic two and a half years ago but has already progressed to performing paid sets for the Comedy Store.

A qualified lawyer and later an actor who appeared in both Red Dwarf (BBC) and Drop The Dead Donkey (C4) the move stand-up was a natural progression which has seen him work as both a compere and a straight act in Britain and Europe.
Dave reached the semi-finals of the C4 sponsored So You Think You're Funny competition at the Edinburgh Festival in 2003 and has performed paid spots at Monkey Business, The Comedy Brewhouse and Mirth Control West Hampstead recently.

'A natural raconteur, displaying an hilarious range of characters and voices' - Time Out Magazine

MATTHEW ROSS iis a new comedian - and a big massive hulk of a man!
But any audience concerns are quickly dispelled by his cheeky happy persona, making him very easy to warm to. His relaxed and affable stage presence allows him to get away with the most provocative and risque topics. Matthew began stand-up in July 2004 and amassed over 80 performances in his first 12 months. Years spent on building sites gave him the ability to communicate with anyone, making him an amiable and non-confrontational stand-up and compere.

"Like a teddy bear with a malevolent streak" - Medway News, 15 July 2005

2005 has been a major year for RUFUS HOUND with huge presenting jobs for the BBC - at the World Music Awards in LA, Glastonbury, Top of the Pops and on Destination Three (a nightly show on BBC Three) - and playing some of the biggest and best comedy clubs in the country.
At the end of August, Rufus flew out to LA to cover the World Music Awards, which was broadcast on BBC 2 on 4th September. Prior to this he co-presented 'Top of The Pops' with Fern Cotton - broadcast in August - whilst in June Rufus was at Glastonbury covering the Festival with Radio 1's Colin & Edith. Alongside this, Rufus has become a regular compere for the Krater at Brighton's Komedia, and gigged all over the world.
Still only 26, Rufus has projects in development for both TV and Radio and his skill at engaging with an audience and putting them at ease has made him one of the most sought after MC's on the comedy circuit.
He's also appeared as a regular entertainment correspondent for BBC Radio London, worked for LBC as Jono Coleman's sidekick and recorded a pilot with Piers Morgan for a new topical panel show on BBC 2.
However, Rufus's talents are not purely restricted to comedy and presenting. He was a founder member, writer, producer, researcher and performer of 'Punkscience' (the recently acclaimed science show at The Edinburgh Festival).

"…sharp, sarcastic and, at times, a little sick." The Brighton Argus

Friday 7th

The Glitterati are here to bring the sleaze back into rock'n'roll;
"I've always had pretty girlfriends" sighs singer Paul, "It's not that it comes easy to us but we do seem to get a lot of attention after our gigs and the next thing we know we're getting all sorts of offers."
The reason for Paul's problematic personal life stems from The Glitterati's shameless stage show. Where others mope and bluster through live engagements, The Glitterati swagger across stage with an insane bravado rock hasn't seen for years. Lizzy, Aerosmith and Guns 'N'Roses are all in there somewhere, but it's the good-time charm of The Faces which most spikes their space-glam cocktail. The Glitterati have dirt under their fingernails and in their lyrics.
"I think we're all about making the show one that no one will ever forget" declares Paul nonchalantly.
For him, life is an endless re-run of David Essex's role in classic Brit rock road movie 'That'll Be The Day'.
"We're into the whole idea of rock'n'roll bands getting in a van, playing a great show, meeting girls and learning how to be the best there is. We're not called the Glitterati for nothing, we want to cause a reaction, even if they hate us we've done something right."

Relocating to the wilds of South London, the band moved into a shared house and set about recreating the mood of of The Monkees 'Head' had it been filmed on the set of 'Withnail And I'. Too broke to pay for rehearsal rooms, they found themselves rehearsing in a derelict church ("It was the greatest drum sound you've ever heard" swoons skin-batterer Billy) whilst living off their wits.
Quickly attracting vast music biz interest, the band rapidly signed a publishing deal and played a host of riotous secret gigs under the name The Highly Davidson. No wonder. Songs like debut single 'Do You Love Yourself?' reference everyone from 'Aladdin Sane' era Bowie to Bolan and suggest that, in a post-Darkness universe, The Glitterati have all the credentials for a rapid rise through the ranks. They're already at the point where people write breathless mini-biogs about them. Clearly, their sleazy, gloriously rock'n'roll trail starts here

Towers of London
Friday 14th

"This band must be stopped," squealed an outraged indie fan on one of the many messageboards set alight by the Towers Of London and their antics.
The band have certainly rubbed people up the wrong way. In a flurry of flouncing poodle hair, grubby vests and too tight pants, they've managed to grind the rock dumbness of Motley Crue with the ramalama raw power of the Sex Pistols.
"We're big Pistols fan as well as Motley Crue and Guns 'n' Roses. I like the Clash as well - it's British punk we're into - not the glammed up Americans. We want to be low down and dirty British punk with the flare of American bands," explains an explosion of teased hair, prior to taking on the audience at a Manchester indie night.
It's a potent brew and one that the indie snobs hate. These are the grandchildren of the uptight folkies who shouted 'Judas' at Bob Dylan when he went electric, and the children of the outraged Yes fans who petitioned John Peel when he started playing punk rock.
It's great when a band gets up people's noses. The last band that generated this much hate on the indie underground was the Manic Street Preachers who had uptight 'proper music' fans complaining about them wearing make up.
Towers Of London have obviously studied the Manics' original plan of attack and what they may lack in the James Dean Bradfield supreme song-writing capability they make up for in great dumb anthems, as their debut single 'On A Noose' testifies.
'Noose' is a great piece of rock 'n' roll. It understands that the best rock is simple as fuck and has a load of "heys" thrown in it to wave your fist around to. The single has been getting tons of radio play and some really rotten reviews. The band themselves are prepared for this. After all, this is a rock 'n' roll war.
"I'm addicted to reading about myself. It's never constructive criticism like they don't like the guitar sound - it's more like we're a bunch of cunts with big hair. It makes me laugh. We seem to be able to get people's backs up. People write lengthy paragraphs on messageboards about how much they despise us. Its hilarious."

In the short few months since they changed their name from The Tourettes and grew out their Richey Manic spiky mops into Johnny Thunders/LA glam nest-fests, things have moved quickly for the Towers Of London. They may be at war with the indie 'elite' but they are loved by legendary producer Rick Rubin who flew them out to the States to check them out, and has a deal on the table for them.

"Our aim is to make a classic album of hits. We don't want any filler. We want it to be a modern sounding album - not an 'Appetite For The Bollocks'"

Saturday 22nd

INBRED promotions in association with Intraverse kick off a new night with a quality line up of upcoming bands. Hoping to make the 22nd the first of a series of events, INBRED are determined to give Forum goers guaranteed nights of the best local talent around, and all for the bargain price of £4.50 (which will go towards helping keep our holiest of toilets up and running!)
This first event will feature Brighton band DRY RISE (recommended by Millsey in Blam, July'05), local favourites 9-Volt and not forgetting your hosts for the night, INTRAVERSE.
Intraverse - "a unique blend of raw rock driven by funky grooves and an abundance of passion, energy and charisma" - Guilfest, (July 2005)
9-Volt - "mixing the traditional magic of good time heavy rock with the innovative demands of a nu-generation of guitar-hungry whorehounds" - Paul Mills, Blam (April 2005).
Dry Rise - "...came out of the box and kicked me right in the nuts!" - Bowling for Soup, Scuzz TV (April 2004)

plus Chris TT
Thursday 27

Brakes make great short songs that encompass pop, punk & post-punk, country rock and quirky, arty indie rock, that usually clock in at under two minutes. Brakes formed in 2002, after Eamon Hamilton (from British Sea Power), who had supported another band at a bar in Brighton, was hanging out with Tom and Alex White (from Electric Soft Parade) and they said they wanted to play drums and guitar on Eamon's songs. They went to the now defunkt Mokinbird studios run by Marc Beatty (from The Tenderfoot) to record some tracks and convinced Marc to play bass with them.
Since then they've been playing shows on and off, building a fanbase, and working on more new songs. They put out a single, on Tugboat records, in 2004, and now their debut album, titled Give Blood is being released by the venerable Rough Trade
Their soft acoustic songs are as pretty as the pictures their lyrics paint, and their screaming rock songs are nothing but pure fire. The whole album, 16 tracks worth, clocks in under a half-hour (some tracks don't even break the 10 second barrier! It was recorded in five days, live to 2" tape, mixed in two days, all without any digital editing. Technologists might ask "why?" but, knowing musicians who want desparately to capture the energy, emotion and rawness of live music, I fully understand the desire to keep it purely analog like this. Give Blood is solid all the way through, and its already seeing serious accolades (I'm keeping an eye on Pitchfork with this one) - they even do a superb cover of Jesus & Mary Chain's classic "Sometimes Always"! In an age of albums sprawling well beyond the hour mark how refreshing to report a CD that clocks in below thirty minutes. Never mind the three-minute single, these songs struggle to make two.From the sound of the Thrills to the manic rush of an adrenalised Ramones (the 7 second thrash that is Cheney) Brakes leave you wanting more.
"Lunacy has seldom sounded more exhilarating." Q
"Pretty much perfect." Time Out
"Full of fraught, frivolous fun." NME 8/10
"A total of 16 tracks in 29 minutes sounding fresh, and defiantly vibrant....Simply, it's a well-timed injection of spontaneity into pop's veins." Observer Music Monthly

Chris T-T arrived in London the week Labour came to power, armed with a 3-stringed guitar and one good shirt. By lunchtime he'd scored a job interview at the Press Association and a gig supporting Hefner that night. He's lived here ever since.
T-T's first album, Beatverse, was home-taped during two weeks' Jury Service at Wood Green Crown Court and released in October 1999 on his Mum's Wine Cellar record label. A month later he signed to Snowstorm after an impromptu solo gig at the London Barfly.

“A combination of Badly Drawn Boy’s ramshackle charm and the observational wit of Jarvis Cocker” - Q .

Chris T-T pitches his tent between the sublime and the ridiculous, having both cakes and eating them on occasion. He's overweight, undernourished and can complete Rubik's Cube in 150 seconds.

No Comply
Anyway & Mercury League
Friday 28th

Hailing from Plymouth & taking their name from the popular skate trick are metallic, horn fuelled punk rock sextet, No Comply were formed in the autumn of 1998. The founder members comprised of Kelly (vocals), Jon (guitars) & Nick (bass). The current day line up is completed by Si (drums), Oz (Trombone) & Matt (Saxophone). Early incarnations of the band were driven by covering the likes of Pennywise & AFI in Jon's bedroom, all learnt from the internet. In these early years the band produced three demos 'Never Unknown', 'Bring It On' & 'Should Have Guessed'. These early recordings were ska-punk fuelled & hinted as to what greatness was to come. The band honed their sound as they introduced a brass section into the proceedings & in 2001 recorded their masterful demo 'Misuse Of Control'. This 3 track was altogether different beast to their earlier sessions. It was heavy, brooding with Kelly's powerful vocal range really beginning to shine. The band's evolution took them into the altogether harder territory of ska-core pioneered by underground legends like Capdown & Link 80. Misuse Of Control created quite a stir on the UK scene & the band went straight out on the road with Asian Man records MU330 on a mammoth UK trek. It wasn't soon after that the band came to the attention of the Big Cheese Magazine offshoot Deck Cheese Records & they joined to their roster in the summer of 2002. Since then they have released a series of brilliant tracks

Break the Silence
Saturday 29th

Break the Silence approach the post-hardcore idiom knowing full well that the thrill is gone for most fans of the style. With that in mind, Break the Silence approaches its music a little more loosely than many of its post-hardcore contemporaries: Instead of pure Braid and Fugazi worship, the act squeezes in touches of classic Californian pop punk with an ear for melody and an incorporation of the chain-gun beats of '90s skate-punk records.
The concoction might just be the missing link between the Fat Wreck era and today's crop of sleek, angular post-hardcore bandits, but listeners will have to pay careful attention to catch anything more than just the holy-beejesus roar of an amped-up post-hardcore act. Look beneath the wiry guitars and throat-tearing screams, however, and new albumNear Life Experience has sugary, sing-along choruses that take deceptively melodic vocals into the post-hardcore breach.

The Stable 5

The month of October sees FIVE Stable shows, the first being on the 3rd; SIMON LEEVES is also known as The Ideot frontman., but has of late gone solo, much like Gwen Stefani and No Doubt ...but without the scary Japanese girls in tow! As my esteemed colleague worded it, "..Simon makes urban bedsit folk-pop for the chav generation; simplistic, but reliably sturdy semi-narrative tunes, boasting witty and surprisingly sensitive lyrics, wrapped in the donkey jacket of a lagered up underclass clown with a contemptuous sneer and comic timing.." Blimey, sounds a bit good eh? THE DIARYS have been described by Radio Kent thus, "So far the diarys have played the Borderline, Troubadour, Barfly, Spitz and many tube stations in London as well as tours of the South Coast and Cornwall. Performances are tight and well-rehearsed and seeing the diarys live you've got this melting pot of funky, acoustic, passionate blues which gets 'em all into the groove. " Their website mentions snowboarding accidents in France, recuperation in Cornwall, and a sound that wouldn't have been out of place in a 1961 Greenwich Village folk club. Nice.
TOM WILLIAMS is Lord of the Manor of a sleepy litle hamlet in Kent- and as such has droit deseigneur over the maidens that reside in his village. He's also got a great voice and has a Damien Rice vibe about him. Well worth checking out. . Bit of an acoustic night all in all.
Monday 10th: HELLBOUND FURY come from darkest Hadlow, and following a five year sabbatical as missionaries in Papua New Guinea have decided to forsake modern technology and as such have no website. But judging by their name I'll warrant they cultivate rare orchids, and quote Wildean epigrams at each other as part of their pre-gig warm-up ritual. KAPPA MANDATE are from London-on-Sea and have "funky grooves and rocky choruses"
Monday 17th: 12" MATTER are also Brighton based, (I predict that Brighton will soon have a music and arts scene to rival Tunbridge Wells y'know! - you mark my words" - lanky Fop) and have some 'phat' choons, as I believe you young people term it at www.myspace.com/12inchmatter . A four piece consisting of Slugga Tee (MC), Edit and Medici (Producers) and DJ Butterfingaz, with The Count as live VJ. Seriously good stuff actually with Sunshine Coast a standout track.On my sojourns to 'take the waters' at a quaint little seaside resort I've recently discovered called Hastings, I was pleasantly surprised to see an energetic flyposting campaign (Don't try this in TW kids!) by a band named JIM CROW'S GRAVE . No idea what they sound like - but obviously dab hands with a bucket of wallpaper paste . Monday 24th: 24 HOURS NOTICE now have a new vocalist following Sam's departure for Fleeing from Finales, and are a Bexhill based band with spunky pop tunes. AFFLICTED QUARTER meanwhile would all appear to be 13 years old, and, judging by their promo photo have an easily distracted member who collects car number plates. THE RED SHIFT meanwhile are old Stable hands with a pocketful of tunes to match. Monday 31st: LOCUST RESIN are a sludge/metalcore five piece outfit from Crawley and, according to their website can't be arsed to tell us about themselves; a welcome change from the usual "Well, Dave then bought a bass, but Steve the singer had to leave coz he had his Aunty round for tea, but Nigel said he'd be late for rehearsal anyway because his cat needed taking down the vet and his Dad didn't like having to pick him up from the studio because 'Emmerdale was on at the same time etc etc etc etc" Real men MOORWATER are fromOtford and have lots of Metallica and Misfits records; their singer Dave, in his capacity as a psychiatric nurse, once had to section ITN newsreader Trevor MacDonald after a late night scuffle in a High Brooms kebab shop with a tap-dancing poodle from Purley! Completing the line-up for this night are THE IRISH MANCS, who may or may not be Irish, or indeed hail from Manchester (which is derived from the Latin name Mamucium, so called as it is sited on a breast shaped hill!)
Anyhoo - join me next month as we examine more of the history of Tunbridge Wells, and discover that Ramslye estate is so called because it's full of pikey scum.

Mr. Mills' Monthly Moan

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

Misty's BIG Adventure - 16th Sept

There's a lass 'with the band' waving a yellow 'New Homes' sign, that's rather obviously been stolen from a freshly constructed showhouse. Perhaps the sign came first as a drunken trophy (maybe there weren't any traffic cones about) and the band's name came after because they already had something that their fan could wave.
New Homes' post punk is peculiarly angular and interesting for at least an entire minute: all twisted fuzzy guitars and bent-out-of-shape noise that takes forever to find itself but when it does, you wish they hadn't bothered. By the time the vocals kick in with a droning whimper, it's all a bit of an empty threat. It sounds more complex than it is because they simply can't keep time with each other, and to call a tune "Pull It All Together" when they plainly can't, would be hilarious if it wasn't so bloody tragic. What New Homes would like to sound like is angry but eloquent punk with an alt-rock gloss, but what it actually sounds like is a bunch of middle-class kids with too many Pixies albums between them and balls like raisins, looking in vain for clues on what to do next from the Leftfield Rock For Dummies manual.
To be fair, they're ambitious and actually try enormously hard, but maybe that's half the problem; all grunt and no guts. Their frontman has a nice line in poignant poses and gloomy sixth-form poetry, and it's ballsily pretentious enough to work on those that know no better. As they progress, New Homes start to show a bit of coherence and actually begin to have fun, as the elasticated dancability of "Tom Robinson" nicks a Dead Kennedys riff from somewhere and earns polite mutters of approval. But the sad truth is, that by serendipity or the ironic humour of the Gods, they've chosen a name that sums them up: a vacant space that's overvalued, nondescript and exactly the same as the one next to it, that even with a makeover and bold styling, would still be characterless, shoddily-built and cramped.
If your molars grind and your heart sinks every time you see a phrase along the lines of "dance meets rock 'n' roll", knowing that it's likely to be anything but, then spare a thought for Brighton quartet Newvolution, because whoever's handling their PR is struggling with their conscience far more than you are struggling with your stomach contents. Don't believe the hype? There is no hype; just a chance combination of bullshit and luck mixed with the knowledge that the ingredients are at least of respectable quality so it might just come out edible in the end. And for the most part, it does. If you've not heard their own feelgood hit of the summer "Prozac, Ketamine, Sleeping Pills, Amphetamine" (produced by those Lo Fi Allstars, no less), then do, 'cause it's ace and turns your teeth to splinters. If mesmerising, swirly, squiffy, electro-guitar carnage walloping you with the subtlety of a chav's knuckleduster is your thing, then despite frontman Stuart Thoy looking a bit of a dodgy dick with those shades on, you might consider Newvolution to be the best thing since, well, the last best thing. Just don't believe everything you read on fliers, because there's as much originality here as you'll find in a plagiarist's dustbin, and if you get carried away, it could be a bit embarrassing.
Newvolution snip cuttings from the myriad of influences that have tried to marry dance and rock with varying degrees of success. The Shamen, The Prodigy, Stone Roses and Primal Scream all seem to lurk around in the darker corners, dropping hints of their presence, but get drowned out by the grebo grunt of BMRC, the crossover venom of <209>, the angry synthy splendour of The Killers and more obviously, Kasabian. There are so many immediate and familiar earworms flying in multiple directions, it's hard to keep up, and you're left with no alternative but to enjoy the ride and mind your head in case of an unwanted encounter with a low-flying bassist (too much Red Bull on the rider, perhaps?). "Takes Me Over" is Hard Fi with more believable streetsuss, while "Velvet Room" is nothing short of a howling monster with a cock the size of a battleship, that sticks in your head, outstaying its welcome like a pissed relative at Xmas. Songs like these give Newvolution

something to wave in your face and demand your attention, but once they've got it, they try and keep hold of it with fairly substandard bait like the featureless and wearisome "Free Your Mind" and by the time they reach the end of their set, they're wrestling with clichéd blandness and looking a tad silly in the process, as if they used up all their gumption too early, with nothing to bring them back up to speed afterwards.
Newvolution are one of those bands that for maximum impact need to come on, play for 10/15 minutes and fuck off again, leaving everyone feeling like they've just been happy-slapped. But what we get tonight is a group that mooch around afterwards, filling up their time with stuff that's both amateurish, trite and arguably unnecessary. (sigh).
Do happy things. Think happy thoughts. Misty will take you on a big adventure through the Magic Garden and we might see Zebedee and Dougal along the way. Boing! It makes perfect sense for this band to be named after a chapter from a Magic Roundabout annual from '68, just as it makes perfect sense for them to open with Elvis' most kitsch cabaret classic "Confidence", which even embarrassed the burger king himself. From there on in, things make slightly less sense, but it's a big bent frolic through the mind of Grandmaster Gareth and weirdness is not just expected, it's guaranteed, as surely as night follows day and nausea follows magic mushrooms.
It's simply not possible to be unaffected by the radical humour and eccentric beauty of Misty's Big Adventure. As refreshingly tingleworthy as being dunked naked into a pond and having an eel investigate your jacksie, MBA are a dazzling psychedelic freakshow riding roughshod over approximations of horny jazz, folk, vaudeville music hall and jolly British hippydom, taking potshots at whatever random musical targets they can find along the way, from ska to sleaze, with Viv Stanshall's taste for the absurd and the surrealism of a Larson cartoon.
Gareth himself, is a Steven Wright lookalike, complete with unruly mop and bald patch, and a voice that's part Scott Walker part Neil Hannon and part Tom Hingley. When he croons, even if it's nonsense, it seems that everything's going to be alright and nothing in the world could possibly go wrong, like a vocal version of Prozac. Chaos might be happening all around, in fact from a musical perspective it is, but this gloriously dotty geezer with his band of smiling anarchists, will have you humming along to all these pink shiny melodies with odd little knobs on, and the bum vibes of the universe will just melt away into the cosmos. Even taking an opportunity to denounce the devil Bush with "All Things Bright & Beautiful" ("All things weird and wonderful, George Bush will kill them all" ) is more a wry refusal to be serious than political commentary. Their dancer Erotic Volvo, resplendent in his red devil costume with dozens of blue hands hanging off it like the embodiment of a nightmare inspired by The Mighty Boosh, bounces around the venue like David Brent maintaining his dance routine for 40 minutes, and when that's going on, you couldn't have a serious moment even if you wanted to.
Whether you go out and buy the new album "The Black Hole" is up to you, as it depends on how much you can dig something that's Boo Radleys one minute and Bonzo Dog the next, but Misty's Big Adventure are a genuine off-the-wall experience in a live setting, that could make Victor Meldrew cackle like a stoned hyena. Such a hot steaming cauldron of goodly decadence is a perfect antidote to the blues and if ever there was a universally suitable soundtrack for sitting in a field eating freaky fungus and laughing for hours on end, this band are probably it.

Paul Mills

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:

KUBB - Wed 2nd November
COMEDY FORUM - Thur 3rd November
BLACKBUD - Sat 5th November
MOHAIR - Sat 12th November
JESSE JAMES - Sat 19th November
THE CRIMEA - Fir 25th November

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