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360 Degree Music Showcase Roundhouse March 2010

360 Degree Music are a small record label I have got to know pretty well over the recent few months and many of their bands have featured on the website. Last week I was invited down to The Roundhouse in London, to one of their showcase events, which featured three of their bands and a solo artist.

360 Degree Music

360 Degree Music

Roundhouse is one of those iconic venues and in recent months has undergone a few changes. I would only say of the bar… what is it with my fixation with venues bars… don’t go there for the beer. The music venue itself is superb, with a decent stage area, floor and great acoustics and as readers of the website will know my other oh so important grading of a venue is the ability to park nearby, right outside was pretty handy.

My night became slightly surreal when one of the bouncers recognized me from god knows how many decades ago when I was with my band.

First up was, Charlie Wallis, who is not on the label, an acoustic soloist from Southend.

Charlie Wallis

Charlie Wallis

Charlie is a capable guitarist and song-writer, who has made a great start to his career and has evidently already garnered a loyal following.

Next up came Mozzy Green, who I hadn’t seen before. A duet which comprise as central instruments Cello and Guitar. Their experimental folksy style was a hugely enjoyable set.

Mozzy Green

Mozzy Green

Ben is an intense musician on stage as he poured heart and soul in to the performance. This was superbly matched by Anna on Cello, who bowed and picked her way through the atmospheric programme.

I had the chance to catch up with both Anna and Ben after the showcase and was struck by the absolute delight they found in the appreciation of their performance by the audience. I am planning to get to see them in Cambridge in June and will get a review of Mozzy Green in between now and then.

Gaoler’s Daughter took to the stage next and I was reminded again why I enjoy watching them live so much.

Gaoler's Daughter by G Mcgrath

Gaoler's Daughter by G Mcgrath

Watching Ben battle with his drum-hit is entertainment in itself, I lost count of the number of times, due to the absolute passion and power in his drumming, the set moved a good foot across the floor, only to be brought back to face battle again for the following song. How he manages to maintain the tempo and power while his drum set wanders around the stage I don’t know. My abiding image of that particular set was Ben disappearing as the smoke machine technician found the maximum power button, but failed to find the off button. While the band played on, including Ben, all that was visible of his physical presence were reflections from the cymbals glinting in the light.

That kind of makes it seem like a one man band and they are far from it. These are a hugely talented group of musicians, I have commented before on the trance Alex appears to disappear in to as he finds finger splitting chord changes, while Alfie has the knack of creating room for his pounding bass lines. John on vocals strikes a great visual focus for the band as his vocal brings the whole of the band together in a powerful whirlwind of creativity.

By now the audience numbers had begun to swell considerably and a continual wave of dancing broke out across the venue.

It was good to see them again and I am looking forward to their next release which is due out in June.

To round off the night were Krakatoa, who I last saw back in November at the start of their UK tour with Alabama 3. They have come along in strides since then. The confidence in their performance has become self evident, which has let them become far more relaxed and in a set which mixed in many new tunes, they played as a really tight outfit.

Krakatoa

Krakatoa

They are a band who I would love to hear on an 8 track recording release as the essence of the band to me lies absolutely in the raw honesty which comes though in the energy of a live performance.

Once again the smoke technician got a little excited with his buttons and JoshB disappeared with his drum-kit for a while. Jacko and JoshS on guitar play superbly off each other, while Andrew on Bass manages the tempo changes with hairsplitting accuracy. Darien is not only a great vocalist, he is also a pretty mean mouth organ and harmonica player.

I found myself drawn back to echos of The Kinks, kicked in to Clash territory and then transported in to ska. The audience were in a party mood and Krakatoa played to their audience superbly.

It was a great night and good to catch up with the guys from Krakatoa and Gaoler’s Daughter again.

Thanks for the invite Laurence and Stuart.

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Related posts:

Florida - Tour dates January and February 2010
Band of the Week 25th December 2010
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Comments

3 Responses to “360 Degree Music Showcase Roundhouse March 2010”
  1. smitty says:

    Krakatoa back on “song”,deserving a vote for “band of the week” if only for JackO’s
    destruction of the Readers Wives interview.

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  1. [...] reviewed, in brief another iteration  of Bens’, in the shape of Mozzy Green a while back and I am pleased I did, as it provides a context. He is a hugely talented musician and [...]

  2. [...] enthusiasm. I am not sure what it is about smoke machines in this part of London (see review of the roundhouse 360dgm showcase) but at one point Deakin (bass) disappeared from view, shrouded in a thick [...]



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