Adam Ant.jpgBack due to popular demand, Adam Ant played two consecutive pre-Christmas shows at the Roundhouse doing a 25-song setlist, made up in large part of Adam and The Ants cover hits, and also several of his solo singles and B-sides.

Together with his posse formed of Will Crewdson (guitar), A P Leach (guitar), Joe Holweger(bass), Andy Woodward (drums) and Jola (drums), Ant began the show playing from his solo discography, with ‘Dog Eat Dog’ and ‘Vive Le Rock’.

The setlist was familiar to previous tours with the inclusion of fan favourites such as ‘Antmusic’, ‘Fall In’ and ‘Prince Charming’, but Ant also played some rarities such as from 1979 debut album ‘Dirk Wears White Sox’, peforming ‘Whip In My Valise’, which immediately followed the A-side single, ‘Zerox’.

After ending his main set on ‘Kings Of The Wild Frontier’ and ‘Stand And Deliver’ from his 1980/1 chart topping albums, Ant did his usual encore featuring number one single ‘Goody Two Shoes’ and its B-side ‘Red Scab’, returning to loop the setlist back to the start again with ‘Physical (You’re So)’, the B-side of ‘Dog Eat Dog’.

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Although the sound improved as the set went on, the powerful heavy rock sound of previous shows was more amiss making this not one of his best performances. However, Ant himself remains to be one of the most professional, well choreographed, down-to-business and no-frills frontman there ever was and has only grown ever more so over the years since his reform.

20/12/18: Adam Ant @ Roundhouse, London.

Photos © E. Gabriel Edvy/Blackswitch Labs.

© Ayisha Khan.




barry adamsonTo celebrate 40 years of service in the music industry, Barry Adamson performed a selection of songs from his back catalogue, the “old, new, borrowed…possibly blue”, which also forms the material on his recent ‘Memento Mori’ anthology release. He worked across the breadth of his career, playing up to two songs from each studio album.

Beginning with his last album, Adamson started his celebratory show on ‘The Beaten Side Of Town, and then followed this with ‘Split’ from his 1992 Mercury Music Award nominated album, ‘Soul Murder’. He sang accompanied by a band with string, brass and rhythm sections, also playing keyboard for parts of the set.

He progressed onto his imaginary filmscore styled music from his 1989 debut soundtrack album, ‘Moss Side Story’, performing ‘Sounds From The Big House’, which he said was inspired by the crime he saw in that part of Manchester when he was in Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds.

barry adamson 1Adamson then played ‘Civilization’, from ‘Back To The Cat’, with a trumpet led introduction, a song he dedicated to writer and producer Graham Duff. He also spoke about his use of subversive themes, and did a brilliant performance of ‘Come Hell And High Water’, a song based on dark love.

After performing from his latest EP, ‘Love Sick Dick’, with ‘I’ve Got Clothes’, Adamson ended the main set as it had begun on a return to his last studio album, ‘Know Where To Run’. After a mediocre rendition of Magazine cover, ‘The Light Pours Put Of Me’, which was let down by terrible and inaudible guitar playing, Adamson managed to recover the encore by finishing on a return to ‘As Above, So Below’ with regular setlist finale, ‘Jazz Devil’.

30/10/18: Barry Adamson@ Union Chapel, London.

Photos © E. Gabriel Edvy/Blackswitch Labs.

© Ayisha Khan.



the membranesTo promote the upcoming release of their new studio album, John Robb’s The Membranes, together with a 15-piece choir, were back on tour performing largely from their last album, ‘Dark Matter/Dark Energy’, but also previewed some of their unreleased material.

Against a backdrop of cosmological visuals, the band played some of its well known back catalogue, opening on ‘The Universe Explodes Into A Billion Photons Of Pure White Light’ and ‘Dark Energy’, the latter with its drone basslines contrasted against the chorus of voices.

They moved onto the discordant ‘In The Graveyard’, featuring crazy cackles from the choir, and after playing more from the same album, unveiled a new song, ‘The 21st Century Is Killing Me’, presumably from their forthcoming release, which is due out in March.

The Membranes finished their main set on ‘The Hum Of The Universe’, entranced by the chants of the choir, and then time warped back in history to an extended version of ‘Myths And Legends’ from their 1983 debut album, ‘Crack House’.

05/10/18: The Membranes @ Islington Assembly Hall, London.

Photo © E. Gabriel Edvy/Blackswitch Labs.

© Ayisha Khan.



glen-matlock-1.jpgAhead of the release of his new studio album, ‘Good To Go’, Glen Matlock played another show at the legendary 100 Club doing the new tracks off the release with a band formed of long-time collaborators, guitarist Earl Slick (David Bowie, Slinky Vagabond), bassist Jim Lowe and drummer Chris Musto (The Philistines, The Bermondsey Joyriders).

Matlock opened his set on the first track from his true to roots, unabashed rock ‘n’ roll record, with ‘Won’t Put The Brakes On Me’, Slick showing off his fretwork, and with more songs off the release in the way of ‘Wanderlust’, ‘Sexy Beast’ and the single ‘Hook In You’, with crowd favourite ‘God Save The Queen’ sandwiched inbetween.

He continued to play mostly from his new album, with ‘Couldn’t Give A Damn’, ‘Chill’ and Scott Walker’s ‘Montague Terrace In Blue’, the last of which inspired Matlock because of the singer’s performing of English translated songs by French singer Jacques Brel.

Matlock then played some of his regular setlist songs, ‘Ghosts Of Princes In Towers’, the Rich Kids one-hit wonder and his favourite punk song, Richard Hell’s ‘Blank Generation’. For the encore, he introduced special guests Chris Spedding and Neil X onstage to add two more guitars to the lineup, and altogether they performed the Pistol’s ‘Pretty Vacant’ and The Small Faces’ ‘All Or Nothing’, on which they ended the show.

31/08/18: Glen Matlock @ The 100 Club, London.

Photo © Ayisha Khan.

© Ayisha Khan.



Front Line AssemblyOn their ‘Machinists United Tour 2018’ with Die Krupps and promoting the release of their new soundtrack album ‘WarMech’, electro-industrialists Front Line Assembly, formed of core duo Bill Leeb (vocals) and Rhys Fulber (keyboards), opened their show on one of the new tracks from the record, ‘Anthropod’. The tracks on the new album feature instrumentation by the band’s previous keyboard member, Jeremy Inkel, who tragically passed away earlier this year.

FLA then played another new song, ‘Eye On You’, from their forthcoming studio album before the haunting ‘Neological Spasm’. The band also performed ‘Killing Grounds’, with Fulber’s whirring computronic effects, which were contrasted by the warm synth and cold keys of ‘Vanished’. They finished their short set on ‘Plasticity’ and ‘Deadened’, unfortunately unable to return for an encore due to curfew.

19/08/18: Front Line Assembly @ O2 Academy Islington, London.

Photo © E. Gabriel Edvy/Blackswitch Labs.

© Ayisha Khan.



Promoting their second studio album at a special launch show, indie-rock trio Desert Mountain Tribe released ‘Om Parvat Mystery’, playing songs from the new record as well as their debut album, ‘Either That Or The Moon’. The band is made up of Jonty Balls (vocals, guitar), Philipp Jahn (bass) and Frank van der Ploeg (drums).

After spending quite a bit of time doing what sounded like a soundcheck, they began their show on popular singles ‘Take A Ride’ and ‘Runway’ from their debut album; vocalist Jonty Balls alternating his selection of four guitars throughout the set.

But DMT quickly moved onto the reason for the show, their new album, which formed most of the remainder of the set, starting with opening track, ‘It’s All Good’. They also did the airy acoustic ‘Spyders’ and stomping single ‘High Drive’. Perhaps the most interesting performance from the album was ‘Himalaya’, which saw British Indian female backing vocalist Najma Akhtar (Jah Wobble, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page) come on stage to perform with the band.

Unfortunately, the band didn’t receive copies of the new album on time to make available for sale at the gig, which came two days prior to its release. However, they did announce the winner of a raffle for the test pressing of the new album. They finished their set on ‘Leave It All Behind’, returning for an encore of ‘Coming Down’ and ‘Way Down’.

30/05/18: Desert Mountain Tribe @ The Lexington, London.

© Ayisha Khan.



PiL“Me name’s John, this is Public Image Limited, we don’t give a fuck about the shit-stem..,” so introduced John Lydon to his band’s first-ever headlining performance at this year’s festival.

Together with some of PiL’s earlier members, Bruce Smith (bass) and Lu Edmonds (drums), alongside Scott Firth (guitar), the band played a 14-song setlist which included four of their newest tracks from their latest album, ‘What The World Needs Now…’ as part of Lydon’s ‘The Public Image Is Rotten’ tour to promote a recent documentary about the ex-Pistol frontman.

The band began on ‘Warrior’; its pastel toned guitar taking the venue staight back to the ’80s. Lydon wailed, “Ain’t that fucking audacity? That’s fucking anarchy! Dumb punks laugh with me!” before they played from their latest album with ‘The One’ and ‘Corporate’.PiL 3

Lydon then launched into ‘Death Disco’ from ‘Metal Box’ and the experimental sounds of ‘Flowers Of Romance’ before finishing his main set on 1983 chart topping singles ‘This Is Not A Love Song’ and ‘Rise’. His encore saw the band harken back to their debut album, ‘First Issue’ with ‘Public Image’ and then right back to the present again with ‘Shoom’ on which PiL ended their first appearance at Camden Rocks.

02/06/18: Camden Rocks Festival – PiL @ O2 Academy Islington, London.

Photos © E. Gabriel Edvy/Blackswitch Labs.

© Ayisha Khan.



The ProfessionalsBack at the festival for the second year running since they reformed in 2015, Paul Cook’s The Professionals played a mixture from their back catalogue but mainly from their new album, Vive Le Rock’s album of the year and the band’s first in over 35 years, ‘What In The World’.

Vocalist and guitarist Tom Spencer, bass player Paul Myers and guitarist Chris McCormack did a more vigorous performance than usual, evident in the might of ‘Join The Professionals’, with execellent guitar and bass sound quality and Spencer’s punchy vocals.

As usual, they played plenty from their new album including Bowie and Lemmie tribute ‘Going Going Gone’, with its hard rock Billy Duffy riff, and Cook and Steve Jones’ Pistols collaboration, ‘Silly Thing’. As the band were tuning up, Spencer joked about a Pistols wrestling match that would take place round the back of the venue when John Lydon was reunited with Cook, ahead of PiL’s show later that evening.The Professionals 1

The band also gave a different rock ‘n’ roll spin to some of their new songs, including ‘Hats Off’, in which they did a brilliant guitar interlude not featured on the recorded version of the track. They also played from the band’s back catalogue, with ‘Kick Down The Doors’, finishing their set on more from their latest album and a further classic, ‘1-2-3’, from their debut. Despite their stage time being all of only 50 minutes, it had to be the band’s best performance to date.

02/06/18: Camden Rocks Festival – The Professionals @ Electric Ballroom, London.

Photos © E. Gabriel Edvy/Blackswitch Labs.

© Ayisha Khan.



Celebrating their 42nd anniversary, following their 40th in 2016, the three lineups and members of The Vibrators reunited for one last time, playing a career spanning set from 1976 to the present day.

They opened with their current lineup of bassist frontman Pete Honkamaki, guitarist Nigel Bennett (The Members) and original Vibrators’ drummer John ‘Eddie’ Edwards, who played a selection of four songs including ‘Whips And Furs’, before giving way to original Vibrator frontman and guitarist Ian ‘Knox’ Carnochan. He was joined by original guitarist John Ellis and original bassist Pat Collier, and together with drummer Eddie, they formed the very first lineup of the band, who released the punk classic debut album, ‘Pure Mania’. The original lineup played from the album with ‘Stiff Little Fingers’ and ‘Yeah Yeah Yeah’, the latter written by Collier. They ended on ‘Baby Baby’ after which Collier made way for bass player Gary Tibbs (Adam And The Ants, Roxy Music).

The band continued, now playing from ‘V2’ which Tibbs played on, doing chart hit single ‘Automatic Lover’, ‘Public Enemy No. 1’ and finishing on ‘Troops Of Tomorrow’. The current lineup then returned, performing some of the band’s later songs, including Members’ cover ‘Sound Of The Suburbs’. 1980s and 1990s band members guitarist Phil Ram and bassist Nick Peckham (Bad Boy Tomato) then arrived onstage, playing and singing ‘Disco In Moscow’. The current lineup then resumed before they went off for the encore.

The encore saw all The Vibrators band members reunite on stage together for the very last time, doing one of their oldest songs, Stones’ cover ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’ and finishing the night on another ‘Baby Baby’ to wrap up 42 years of one of punk’s most distinguishable bands.

26/05/18: The Vibrators @ Islington Assembly Hall, London.

Photos © E. Gabriel Edvy/Blackswitch Labs.

© Ayisha Khan.



A Certain Ratio aAhead of the rumoured release of a new studio album, their first in a decade, and following this year’s reissue of their first three albums over 40 years after the band were formed, Mancunian post-punks A Certain Ratio were back touring their funky dance-rock following their UK shows last year.

The band’s setlist consisted of their usual selection, opening on the funk rhythms of ‘Sounds Like Something Dirty’ and ‘Do The Du’; vocalist and bass player Jez Kerr explaining that he was unable to play standing up for much of the show due to sciatica.

A Certain Ratio 1aACR then played Factory single ‘Flight’; its Joy Divisionesque atmospheric waves and metallic buzzings coming straight out of the dark gloom of late 1970’s Manchester. This was then followed by its B-side, ‘And Then Again’; similarly reflective of its time with guitarist and trumpet player Martin Moscrop’s soft chiming guitar tones.

Backing singer Denise Johnson provided accompanying vocals for some of the songs such as 1990 single ‘Good Together’, which had a Haçienda club vibe to it, as well as the band’s much earlier and well-known single, ‘Shack Up’, on which they ended their main set.

ACR’s encore, like last year, began on ‘Knife Slits Water – glassy drop effects and drummer Donald Johnson swapping his kit to entertain on slap bass – and ended on the whistling frenzy of ‘Si Fermir O Grido’. Although they didn’t play any new material, which signals a new record is still in its infancy, it’s still very much a case of ‘watch this space’ with these guys.

21/04/18: A Certain Ratio @ The Garage, London.

Photos © Kevin Shepherd.

© Ayisha Khan.



John CaleTo mark a music career spanning more than half a century, John Cale presented two nights of his ‘2018-1964: A Futurespective’ performance, with collaborations from special guests Cate Le Bon and electronic artist, Actress, as well as accompaniment from the London Contemporary Orchestra and House Gospel Choir.

Cale’s two-hour set consisted of songs taken from a selection of his solo discography, in addition to material from his Velvet Underground years. He began with the narrative of ‘The Jeweller’ from his 1975 studio album, ‘Slow Dazzle’, set to static strings, before it merged into the bittersweet symphony of ‘Hedda Gabler’. John Cale

Folk artist Cate Le Bon then joined Cale on acoustic guitar to sing ‘Ship Of Fools’ played in a country style, derived from Cale’s 1974 studio album, ‘Fear’. He followed this with an interesting cover version of Elvis Presley’s ‘Heartbreak Hotel’, sang with the backing of the House Gospel Choir. Cale came back once again to ‘Fear’, which featured abundantly in the set, performing the chaotic mess of ‘Fear Is A Man’s Best Friend’.

There were two cover versions of Velvet Underground tracks, including ‘Lady Godiva’s Operation’, for which Cale collaborated with Actress, the latter of whom contributed harsh vocals to juxtapose the soft fluidity of the song; unfortunately, this didn’t work well at all. Cale also dueted with Le Bon when she returned for the warm tones of ‘Gideon’s Bible’, from Cale’s 1970 debut album, ‘Vintage Violence’. He then did ‘Mr Wilson’ with an amplified string section and sang with ghostly vocals in the electronic ‘Wasteland’.

John Cale

The House Gospel Choir returned for ‘Pretty People’, one of two songs on which Cale finished his main set. He came back for two encores, the second with just his band for a stripped down set in which Cale performed, on electric guitar, ‘Gun’, ‘Pablo Picasso’ and ‘Mary Lou’, all following on from one another through the heavy trudge of drums.

10/04/18: John Cale @ Barbican, London.

Photos © Mark Allan/Barbican.

© Ayisha Khan.




The Damned

Back for their ‘Evil Spirits’ tour to promote the release of their first album in 10 years, The Damned played two sellout London dates at KOKO and O2 Forum, including in their set for the first time new material from the record. This was also the first time Dave Vanian (vocals), Captain Sensible (guitar), Monty Oxymoron (keyboards) and Pinch (drums) have rejoined with bassist Paul Gray since 1996, following the departure last year of Stu West.

After a grand entrance to the introductory soundtrack of Gustav Holst’s ‘The Planets – Mars, The Bringer Of War’, The Damned, who this year celebrate 41 years, launched straight into their 24-song setlist for the evening, beginning on ‘Wait For The Blackout’. And it wasn’t too long before they cracked open the new record, doing the opening track and new single from ‘Evil Spirits’, entitled ‘Standing On The Edge Of Tomorrow’; its catchy one-line chorus twingeing with echoey guitar riffs.

The Damned 1Soon after Captain Sensible introduced ‘Anti-Pope’, saying that he had nothing against churches, and the band had more Damned staples to follow in the way of ‘New Rose’ and ‘Love Song’. After performing Paul Ryan cover, ‘Eloise’, the band’s equally chart topping (No.7) new album returned to the set, with ‘Devil In Disguise’, featuring Oxymoron’s playful organ alternating with Vanian’s vocals. They finished their main set on ‘Neat Neat Neat’.

The Damned did two encores, the first of which contained a further new track from ‘Evil Spirits’, also entitled ‘Evil Spirits’, which Sensible joked was about Donald Trump. They finished the first encore on ‘Smash It Up’, coming back for a second with two covers: Elton Motello’s ‘Jet Boy, Jet Girl’ and Eddie Cochran’s ‘Somethin’ Else’. Although the set would have benefitted from a few more tracks off the new record to justify the purpose of the tour, as usual The Damned, together with rejoined member Gray, put on a great show that also strongly signified they’re officially back in the recording business.

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17/02/18: The Damned @ O2 Forum, London.

Photos © E. Gabriel Edvy/Blackswitch Labs.

© Ayisha Khan.