Tag Archives: Gig

2017 Moment of the Year

25 Jan

To ease us into the New Year (yes, we know it’s nearly the end of January and yes, we know calling it the New Year is stretching it somewhat) and to ease us back into the habit of writing, we thought we’d take a quick look back at our favourite musical moment of 2017. A gig that we went to over the summer, featuring one of our favourite bands.

To be fair, our moment was less about the music (though seeing Avec Sans live is always a pleasure and moment to be savoured), less about the gig itself, or even the venue. Our moment of 2017 was all about who we got to spend it with and why. Thanks to the wonderful Wake Up Gigs, we got to share it with our kids.

Wake Up Gigs was started by a couple of very good friends of ours, Adam and Sarada, when they became parents. As massive music fans and avid gig goers, they were determined not to miss out on their shared love of live music now that they had a little one to care for. The easy option would have been to call in family favours for childcare, but music had brought them together (they met at a gig) and they wanted to be able to share that experience with their son as well. So babysitter be damned, they looked at setting up their own live music event for parents and children to attend together.

There had been others before, but the summer was our first time at a Wake Up Gigs event. It made sense, we love Avec Sans, the kids had been singing along to the album in the car since it came out, of course we were going to go to this. Boy we were glad we did.

The atmosphere was amazing, so much joy from both parents and children. Ages ran from a few months to quite a few years and there was something there for everyone. To the side of the stage there was a soft play corner and balloon animals were being made on the other side. There was music related colouring and dress up and plenty of activities for the kids as well.

For the first time we were able to truly share the energy and vibrancy of live music with the kids and they loved it. They even had their favourite song from the album (“Heartbreak Hi”) dedicated to them. Not bad for their first gig. Jack and Alice were more than happy to stop and meet families, posing for photos and generally being the amazing people we know them to be, and Jack even let the kids come up on stage afterwards and play with his novation pads.

For a first gig, we couldn’t have asked for anything more for the mini-alphabetbands crew. The performance was incredible, the venue great and the whole environment and ethos was just perfect. We won’t lie, we may have had something in our eye watching the two most important people in our world dancing and singing along happily to a live show by one of our favourite bands in the world.

Wake Up Gigs is a wonderful concept, something truly magical for parents and kids to share the live music experience together. It was something our two won’t forget, something they still talk about and thoroughly enjoyed.

Without a shadow of a doubt, it was our musical moment of 2017 and one we would recommend to absolutely any music lovers with young children.

Get to know Wake Up Gigs: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Blog Birthday, bands and a big announcement.

12 Sep

Happy Birthday to us, Happy Birthday to us, etc etc.

Here we are again, now celebrating two years to the day of blogging goodness and fun as the Alphabet Bands you know and love. It’s been a cracking year and (we hope you agree) the blog keeps getting better and better. Certainly we are having a lot of fun writing it and things have certainly changed a heck of a lot in the last twelve months. We’ve certainly come a long way from posting random news stories and getting excited about getting 5 whole email submissions a day.

Forgive us this moment of blatant self indulgence but let’s have a quick canter through some of those changes before we get on to the really good stuff.

  • Since we posted our Blog Manifesto on our first birthday (the tenants of which still hold true btw) we have posted another 278 articles for you to enjoy.
  • We were (randomly and alongside many others) nominated for Blog of the Year at the Record of the Day awards.
  • We have appeared on Amazing Radio (and will be back – hopefully – on a regular basis) and Future Radio a couple of times.
  • We started a successful and (we think) hugely entertaining feature called Tracks of my Teens.
  • We put on our first ever Alphabet Bands Presents… evening, with help from the wonderful crews at Planet of Sound and Open Norwich and featuring blog crushes Vuvuvultures as well as local acts Box of Light (for their first ever live show) and Horse Party.
  • Not bad really, not massive but a reasonable amount we think you will agree. Actually, there is a little more to tell you about and that is something that is coming up, something we are extremely excited about.

    Last October we attended the annual Norwich Sound and Vision Festival and loved every minute of it. As well as all the fun we had, we came away thinking how much we’d love to be a part of the festival in the future.

    Well, we can now reveal (announcement klaxon) that this year, we are!

    That’s right. At this year’s Norwich Sound and Vision Festival, on Saturday 12 October at Olives to be exact, there will be an Alphabet Bands Stage and we couldn’t be happier with the line-up we’ve got playing. All three acts have featured on the blog and we adore each of them like they were bands we really really love. Wanna know who they are? Here’s a poster:

    NSV Poster 4

    We say we are excited but really that is an understatement, especially when you consider just how amazing the bands are and how amazing this year’s festival as a whole looks. We’ll preview it in more detail nearer the time but just go and see who else has been confirmed to play. Ghostpoet, Drenge, Foxes, Pawws, Sivu, No Ceremony, Superfood, AlunaGeorge, the list goes on and on.

    We heartily recommend picking up a festival wristband so you can see as many of the acts across the three days as possible. Do that and entry to our gig will be free, or alternatively you can rock up to Olives on the night and just pay £3 on the door!

    We’ll leave you with a taste of each of our featured bands and look forward to see you on 12 October.

    Stalk Waylayers: Website / Facebook / Twitter / SoundCloud

    Stalk Strangers: Website / Facebook / Twitter / SoundCloud

    Stalk Curxes: Website / Facebook / Twitter / SoundCloud

    Gig Review: Summer Camp, Servant Jazz Quarters, London, 1 August 2013

    2 Aug

    On what feels like one of the hottest days of the year the last thing any sane person should be doing is cramming themselves into a cosy basement alongside about 80 other people. Yet when presented with the chance to see Summer Camp perform some brand new material in an intimate setting and with a new live line up, the heat becomes inconsequential. Even before the band has started the majority of the audience have sweat dripping from places where most people didn’t know they had places and could reasonably expect to fry eggs on their foreheads. Despite this, anticipation levels in this tiny corner of Dalston are high and we are all eager to hear some new songs.

    The heat is quickly forgotten when the band starts up and standing around gasping for air is soon replaced with boogying, whooping and general feelings of merriment and delight amongst the sold out crowd. One thing that is immediately clear is that the new live set up works extremely well. The addition of a live bassist (take a bow Louis Bhose) works wonders and gives the sound additional depth and energy. It may just be a coincidence but a new Elizabeth seems to have been unleashed as a result. More confident than ever before, more at ease perhaps, she has grown as a performer and is now an even better frontwoman than ever. She may share vocal duties with Jeremy but she is starting to own the stage and it looks like she loves it. Neither of them looks overly happy with their decision to wear suits on stage mind you.

    The set is super tight, drummer William Bowerman continues to be one of the most underrated around, and the new tracks are slotted seamlessly in amongst newly arranged old favourites, much to the delight of the crowd. Standouts are the mid set triumvirate of “Crazy”, piano ballad “Fighters” and the already released “Fresh”, which sounds amazing live and prompts the biggest boogie of all tonight, causing further weight loss through copious sweating.

    From then on we are treated to a quick jaunt down memory lane, the confession that were Magnum ice-creams a bit cheaper we all would have got one, and then the set draws to a close with crowd favourite “I Want You”. As the crowd disperses and air returns to our lungs we are left to reflect on a storming set by a band that gets better and better with each release and show. The album is due out in September and judging from tonight, it promises to be a corker.

    Summer Camp’s eponymous sophomore album is due out 9 September and is available for pre-order from iTunes now.

    Read more about: Summer Camp

    Stalk Summer Camp: Website / Facebook / Twitter

    In Pictures: Vuvuvultures, Box of Light, Horse Party – Open Norwich, 4 July 2013.

    16 Jul

    It’s been just over a week since we had the privilege of hosting Vuvuvultures, Box of Light and Horse Party for the first ever Alphabet Bands presents… night and while the world may have moved on, we are still buzzing. Even a week off in the sunshine relaxing hasn’t stopped us feeling excited and entirely made up about how fantastic the night was. While we can’t recreate it for you, we can share some live photos from the evening, courtesy of the super-talented Adam Shoesmith who was there to capture it all for us.

    Before we do though, we’d just like to go on record and offer our heartfelt thanks to all those people who helped make it happen. Rick and Stewart at Open, Annie of Planet of Sound, Andie at Sessions Productions, Ian at Access to Music, everyone who tweeted or wrote about the show in advance, everyone who came and of course, the bands themselves. It was a great night, here’s to the next one.

    Enjoy the pictures, regular posting resumes tomorrow.






    Box of Light

    Box of Light Open1

    Box of Light Open3

    Box of Light Open4

    Horse Party

    Horse Party Open2

    Horse Party Open4

    Horse Party Open5

    Here’s a little bonus as well, a quick video of Horse Party performing on the night.

    Vuvuvultures debut album “Push/Pull” will be out via Energy Snake Records / Cadiz on 29 July. “Steel Bones” is out now and can be bought here and they are still on tour across the country. Remaining dates below.

    Vuvuvultures on tour.
    July 19 – BBC4 Loose Ends / Live Session
    July 21 – Sheffield – Tramlines Festival / Dada
    July 27 – London – Album Launch @ The Island
    July 30 – London – Rough Trade East

    Stalk Vuvuvultures: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Tumblr

    Gig Preview: Vuvuvultures, Box of Light, Horse Party – Open Norwich, 4 July 2013.

    1 Jul


    So here we are, Monday morning; the calm before the coming Thursday storm of astounding live music. Our excitement has been building for months now and right now we’re getting a little bit silly. Frankly, come Thursday itself we wouldn’t be surprised if a little bit of wee came out we’re so giddy. Yes, this Thursday we make our debut appearance as gig promoters and we couldn’t have asked for a better band to headline our first ever show .

    VVV_FLYER_smallRegular readers already know that we adore Vuvuvultures and those of you who live in and around Norwich will get to find out why at Open on Thursday. We’ve loved everything they’ve done so far and think they are one of the most compelling and charismatic live acts we’ve seen in recent years. So much so that, having seen them blow the roof off the Norwich Arts Centre last year as part of the John Peel Festival of New Music, we wanted them to come back to our fine city and tear it up again. They were keen, we were more than keen and so here we are, just days away from what promises to be an incendiary night of big presence, big sound and big tunes.

    Their debut album, Push/Pull will be released on 29 July (it sounds fan-fucking-tastic by the way) and the band will be previewing new tracks at the show. As a taster they have stuck a new track online, the stonkingly grooveable “Steel Bones”.

    Featuring a baseline that creeps around, tapping pressure points around your body to make you move and the kind of guitaring that tunes into your internal frequency and flicks it to ‘judder’, this first single from the album is quintessentially Vuvuvultures and we love it.

    Following the path of predecessor “Stay Still” into slightly poppier territory than the VVV EP, it retains the foreboding and invigorating energy that has become their trademark. Drums pound, little electronic flourishes spark and ping around in the background and front and centre, as ever, is Harmony with her gorgeous vocals as the icing on a delicious electro-pop-rock cake.

    Tickets are on sale now and cost a mere £5 advance, £7 on the door.

    We have two support acts for you to enjoy as well.

    Firstly there is the brand new and brilliant Box of Light, who will be playing their first EVER gig. They popped into BBC Norfolk Introducing over the weekend to play a couple of tracks. click here to listen to “The Island” (at 35.25) and “Just Begun” (46.45).

    Also playing are the fantastic Horse Party, and you can listen to “Back To Mono” below.

    Vuvuvultures debut album “Push/Pull” will be out via Energy Snake Records / Cadiz on 29 July. “Steel Bones” will be released on 15 July and as well as playing Norwich, they will also be touring the country. Dates below.

    Vuvuvultures on tour.
    June 29 – London – Hard Rock Calling Festival
    July 04 – Norwich – Open
    July 05 – Leek – Foxlowe Arts Centre
    July 06 – Leamington Spa – Leamington LAMP
    July 12 – York – Fibbers / DV8 Festival
    July 13 – Middlesbrough – Empire
    July 19 – BBC4 Loose Ends / Live Session
    July 21 – Sheffield – Tramlines Festival / Dada
    July 27 – London – Album Launch @ The Island
    July 30 – London – Rough Trade East

    Stalk Vuvuvultures: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Tumblr