His first London appearance since 2012, Hans Joachim Roedelius, one of the founding fathers of Krautrock and the co-founder of bands Cluster and Harmonia, performed an intimate session alongside guest Swiss-born English composer Christopher Chaplin.

Roedelius began by playing a cantata composed by his ancestor Johann Christian Roedelius in 1732, and then a version of the same piece by Chaplin. He moved onto a long, warm keyed piano composition which he played from memory. His wife then read some poetry aloud before Chaplin joined Roedelius onstage to perform an improvisational electronic piece to end the show.

13/12/19: Hans Joachim Roedelius @ Cafe Oto, London.

Photo © E. Gabriel Edvy/Blackswitch Labs.

© Ayisha Khan.



Playing their second London anniversary show of their 40th year, A Certain Ratio helped mark Subterania’s own 30th anniversary celebrations by performing a special show at their venue, having played there 40 years earlier alongside Factory records giants, Joy Division. The band is formed of Jez Kerr (bass, lead vocals), Martin Moscrop (guitar, drums/bongos, trumpet), Donald Johnson (drums, bass, backing vocals), Matt Steele (keyboards), Tony Quigley (saxophone) and Denise Johnson (backing vocals).

The band began on an intro of ‘Winter Hill’ from second album ‘To Each…’, their set being altogether more experimental and fresh than ever before; they continued with early material from their debut album ‘The Graveyard & The Ballroom’ (although sadly omitting ‘All Night Party’), playing ‘And Then Again’, with Moscrop’s whirring slide guitar and Kerr’s plucky bass post-punk sound reminiscent of their Manchester contemporaries, Joy Division.

Continuing with their debut album, ACR included a rarity in the form of ‘The Fox’, before progressing onto newer material with their punchy Talking Heads cover of ‘Houses In Motion’, taken from their 40th anniversary boxset release earlier in the year.

The band’s unique sound in marrying funk and free jazz with traditional late ’70s Manchester post-punk was brought further to life in their expansive approach; the band’s new keyboard player creating even more original compositions than his predecessor has become an invaluable asset to the lineup.

They ended their main set on extended and more improvisational versions of ‘Good Together’ and 1986 Banbarra cover single ‘Shack Up’, coming back on for their standard encore of ‘Knife Slits Water’ and ‘Si Fermir O Grido’, the latter of which saw them do their usual percussion parade offstage into the audience to finish the show.

11/12/19: A Certain Ratio @ Subterania, London.

Photos © E. Gabriel Edvy/Blackswitch Labs.

© Ayisha Khan.



Marking 40 years of their debut studio album, ‘Another Kind Of Blues’, UK Subs played a special show transporting fans back to the late ’70s and performing the classic album in its entirety, as well as part of their second album, ‘Brand New Age’.

Charlie Harper and his band of Alvin Gibbs (bass), Steve Straughan (guitar) and Jamie Oliver (drums) sped through the first album in track order, beginning with ‘CID’ and moving onto other anthemic tracks such as ‘Killer’, ‘Rockers’ and ‘TV Blues’, classic punk songs that were a sign of the time they were written in and which sounded like they were being sung back then too.

The band then carried on in their alphabetised series of albums with ‘Brand New Age’, performing ‘Emotional Blackmail’ as well as their best known track ‘Warhead’, before playing a selection of other songs such as ‘Limo Life (All I Need Is A Bit Of Action)’.

They never got through the entire record, going off for an encore and returning for a selection from their other albums including their fourth with ‘You Don’t Belong’, as well as ‘Keep On Running (‘Til You Burn)’ and finishing the night on a return to ‘Brand New Age’ with ‘Teenage’.

06/12/19: UK Subs @ 229 the venue, London.

Photo © E. Gabriel Edvy/Blackswitch Labs.

© Ayisha Khan.



After releasing their latest studio album earlier in the year, ‘Data Mirage Tangram’, and also recently marking the 30th anniversary of their 1989 studio album ‘L’Eau Rouge’ with a deluxe reissue edition, the band returned to play their second UK dates of the year.

Young Gods began the night on their current album, featuring the tribal drumming of ‘All My Skin Standing’, before moving onto earlier material from their eponymous debut album, with the galloping ‘Envoyé’, and  revisiting 1995 album ‘Only Heaven’ with ‘Kissing The Sun’.

The band did two encores, playing from their last studio album, ‘Everybody Knows’, and of course the 30th anniversary record itself, ‘L’eau Rouge’, with the heavy rock sound, growls and rusty riffs of ‘L’eau Rouge’ and ‘L’Amourir’.

Young Gods ended their show on an energetic performance of ‘Skinflowers’, and an overall performance which saw both sound and presentation top their last London show.

27/11/19: The Young Gods @ The Garage, London.

Photos © E. Gabriel Edvy/Blackswitch Labs.

© Ayisha Khan.






Celebrating their 50th anniversary and first release in 15 years with ‘We Are On The Edge’, Roscoe Mitchell’s ensemble paid homage to its founding members as well as featuring special guest soloists, including Junius Paul, Tomeka Reid, Shabaka Hutchings and Abel Selaocoe.

The orchestra played compositions from throughout their existence such as the bongos and Hutchings’ frenzied saxophone piece, ‘Saturday Morning’, before Mitchell did his distressed baritone saxophone solo in ‘The Flow Of Things’.

They then moved onto another of percussionist Famoudou Don Moye’s compositions, with Paul’s creeping double bass and Moye’s drums in ‘Tutankhmun’, which was followed by the warm, African vocals of guest cellist Salaocoe in ‘Malachi Favors’.

The ensemble ended their main set on Moye’s laid-back brassy jazz piece, ‘City Cif Nepne’, with Mitchell announcing all the members before leaving the stage and returning for an encore of ‘Funky Aeco’.

23/11/19: The Art Ensemble Of Chicago @ Barbican, London.

Photos © Mark Allen/Barbican.

© Ayisha Khan.



Happy Mondays were on their 40th anniversary ‘Greatest Hits’ UK tour for some Madchester nostalgia, formed of founding members, brothers Shaun (vocals) and Paul Ryder (bass), guitarist Mark Day, drummer Gary Whelan and backing vocalist Rowetta.

They opened with an introduction featuring Rowetta on vocals, who was dressed as Pocahuntus, before launching into classic tune ‘Kinky Afro’, with Shaun bantering and reminiscing between songs.

The band next played ‘God’s Cop’, also from their 1990 critically acclaimed album, ‘Pills ‘N’ Thrills & Bellyaches’, with its slide guitar effects, before staying with the same album with ‘Loose Fit’, defined by its signature chiming guitar riff.

They then moved to a more electronic feel with ‘Rave On’, taken off their ‘Madchester Rave On’ EP that captured the ’80s, returning to ‘Pills ‘N’ Thrills & Bellyaches’ and performing 1991 single ‘Bob’s Yer Uncle’.

Throughout the set, Shaun related the history of their songs, going back to 1987 with second single ‘Tart Tart’, before ending the show on well-known tracks ’24 Hour Party People’, ‘Hallelujah’ and ‘Step On’.

08/11/19: Happy Mondays @ Leas Cliff Hall, Folkestone.

© Ayisha Khan



Original members of The Pop Group, vocalist Mark Stewart and guitarist Gareth Sager, were joined by Dub DJ and band producer Dennis Bovell and manager Dick ‘O’ Dell for an evening of “assemblage, provocations and auto-destructive sound art” in celebration of the band’s 40th anniversary, marked by the reissue of their debut studio album, ‘Y’, which has been released as a ‘Definitive Edition’ on Mute records, featuring remastered and half-speed tracks.

The evening was split up into sections with “Disco” Dick ‘O’ Dell beginning by relating his experiences as manager of The Pop Group when they produced their debut album. He talked about recording the album, early gigs and audience reception, as well as subsequent touring with The Slits whom he co-managed, closing on a funny story of how Ari Up chased a train guard down a train while the bands were travelling across Europe, removing Dell’s ‘managerial disguise’ to reveal her dreads and a tutu.

This was then followed by a unique live set by The Pop Group, Sager on keyboards and guitar and Stewart on vocals, performing excerpts of the reissued tracks from ‘Y’, including ‘Blood Money and ‘Savage Sea’.

After a short interlude with the Hi-Fi twins, they made way for a dub masterclass with Dennis Bovell, who live mixed two unique versions of the band’s first single ‘She Is Beyond Good & Evil’, and its backwards B-side, ‘3.38’. Stewart ended by stating the band would be playing full 40th anniversary shows next year.

01/11/19: The Pop Group @ Rough Trade East, London.

Photos © Ayisha Khan.

© Ayisha Khan



To mark the 40th anniversary of his solo career, Gary Numan played two nights at the Roundhouse on his ‘(R)evolution tour’, which kicked off with the word ‘(R)evolution’ burning out in flames onto a large screen against an eerie sonic introduction.

He began his set on his latest studio album, ‘Savage (Songs From A Broken World)’, with ‘My Name Is Ruin’, before going back 40 years to Tubeway Army’s punky song, ‘That’s Too Bad’, which added variety to the synthonic theatre that he created for most of the set.

Numan also played classics from his early career with ‘Metal’ from his 1979 debut solo album ‘The Pleasure Principle’ and ‘Down In The Park’ from Tubeway Army’s ‘Replicas’. He returned to his newer material from the last few years, including ‘Here In The Black’ from 2013’s ‘Splinter (Songs From A Broken Mind) and 2011’s ‘Dead Son Rising’, with ‘The Fall’, ending his main set on ‘Are ‘Friends’ Electric?’.

The encore saw him share a rare intimate moment with his fans, reminiscing about 1979 when his solo career began and discussing next year’s release of his new album, ‘Invader’, from which he played a live demo of a new track of the same name. It was clear from this joy that Numan, after more than 40 years in the industry, is enjoying his live shows more than ever before.

24/10/19: Gary Numan @ Roundhouse, London.

Photos © E. Gabriel Edvy/Blackswitch Labs.

© Ayisha Khan







On the second tour of their 2017 ‘And It Was So!’ studio album, The Adicts arrived onstage to the ‘William Tell Overture’, launching straight into ‘Let’s Go’. They then began playing off their most recent albums with ‘Horrorshow’ and ‘And It Was So!’ from ‘All The Young Droogs’ and their latest release, with frontman Monkey spinning around a torch umbrella.

The band, featuring original members and brothers guitarist Pete Dee and drummer Kid Dee, moved onto ‘Troubadour’ from ‘Smart Alex’, and ‘Angel’ from ‘Twenty-Seven’, the latter with its surf rock guitar riff; all the time Monkey was throwing cuddly toys, confetti and streamers into the crowd and venue.

The Adicts graduated throughout most of their albums, performing mostly from their first five, with ‘My Baby Got Run Over By A Steamroller’ from their second album ‘Sound Of Music’, including a short singalong to ‘Singing In The Rain’ before moving back to their debut album, ‘Songs Of Praise’ with ‘Who Spilt My Beer?’, which saw Monkey fill up a novelty joker hat with beer and toss it into the crowd.

They finished their set on ‘Bad Boy’ and 1982 debut single ‘Viva La Revolution’, bringing out the masses of beach balls for ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ on which they ended their show.

03/10/19: The Adicts @ O2 Academy Islington, London.

Photos © E. Gabriel Edvy/Blackswitch Labs.

© Ayisha Khan.



Launching their brand new album, ‘What Nature Gives/Nature Takes Way’, dark noise post-punk band The Membranes followed up their comeback show last year at Islington Assembly Hall, when they performed with a live backing choir.

This time playing without the choir who recorded with the band on the new record, bass player and frontman John Robb started the night with The Membranes’ previous album, ‘Dark Matter/Dark Energy’, ‘Dark Energy’ featuring screeching guitar and Robb’s trademark loose basslines. Then the-one-and-only Jordan joined them onstage, reading out a long allegorical narrative while the band held a steady bassline and created noisy guitar effects.

The Membranes then played from their current album, performing new single ‘Black Is The Colour’ and flagship track ‘What Nature Gives/Nature Takes Away’. They ended their typically short set on ‘Myths And Legends’ and 1984 single ‘Spike Milligan’s Tape Recorder’, unusually finishing their encore on new track, ‘A Murder Of Crows’.

27/09/19: The Membranes @ The 100 Club, London.

Photos © E. Gabriel Edvy/Blackswitch Labs.

© Ayisha Khan.


The Skids frontman’s solo tour saw him do an intimate evening of “Songs and Stories” from his long career in music, TV and film, accompanied by special guests Big Country, featuring Bruce Watson and his son Jamie, the band that former Skids guitarist Stuart Adamson found commercial success in thereafter.

Big Country opened the show with two of their songs, including ‘Fragile Thing’, before being joined onstage by Jobson, who started with Skids song ‘Hurry Up Boys from the band’s third album, ‘The Absolute Game’,  They then performed tracks from their latest albums, ‘Burning Cities’ and this year’s acoustic album, ‘Peaceful Times’, with ‘Kings Of The New World Order’ and ‘Animation’, the latter originally from their second album, ‘Days In Europa’.

Inbetween songs, Jobson took questions from an interviewer about his career, starting with how he first got into punk and his long-term friendship with Adamson, relating a comic story of how the pair of them travelled on a motorbike all the way from Scotland in the middle of winter to visit Malcolm McClaren’s ‘SEX’ shop and buy a pair of leather trousers.


He also touched on other bands he was in including The Armoury Show with John McGeoch of Magazine and Siouxsie & The Banshees, which never achieved any success, doing a peformance of ‘Castles In Spain’. They then played ‘Charles’ from Skids’ first release, their 1977 ‘Charles’ (or ‘Skids’) EP.

Jobson, who poignantly touched on the theme of war in his set, also sang a cover of Eric Bogle’s ‘And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda’ unaccompanied, before taking some more questions, this time from the audience. The evening came to a close on ‘A Woman In Winter’ and the Skids’ two best known singles, 1978’s ‘The Saints Are Coming’ and 1979’s ‘Into The Valley’.

02/09/19: Richard Jobson + Big Country @ Union Chapel, London.

Photos © E. Gabriel Edvy/Blackswitch Labs.

© Ayisha Khan.


Playing more 40th anniversary shows as part of their ongoing ‘Laugh At Your Peril’ tour, Killing Joke performed at the more intimate London venue, Subterania, which they last played back in the late ’70s when the band first formed. The show marked the end of their 40th anniversary tour in the UK.

Jaz Coleman and his band of ‘Geordie’ Walker (guitar), Martin ‘Youth’ Glover (bass), Roi Robertson (keyboards) and Paul Ferguson (drums) started their set on the band’s 1980 debut eponymous album, with ‘Tomorrow’s World’ and first single ‘Wardance’. They then played their 1984 single, ‘Eighties’, before returning to their debut again with ‘Complications’.

Killing Joke also played from their second album, ‘Whats THIS For!’, doing the opening track ‘The Fall Of Because’ followed by ‘Butcher’. Afterwards, they moved forward in time to their 2010 album, ‘Absolute Dissent’ with ‘European Super State’.

Youth’s grinding basslines were prominent in ‘Total Invasion’, from their 2003 eponymous studio album. Due to the heat, Coleman fainted at the end of the next song, after which time he had to be revived using ice. He miraculously got up and announced the following song in the set as ‘Exorcism’.

Killing Joke brought their main set to a close on their earliest material, with ‘The Wait’ and the 1980 B-side ‘Pssyche’. Because of the effect of the heat on Coleman, the band shortened their encore, playing just one song, their 1994 single ‘Pandemonium’.

10/08/19: Killing Joke @ Subterania, London.

Photo © Ayisha Khan.

© Ayisha Khan.


Early Ramones drummer Marky Ramone was in town with his band Blitzkrieg, guest featuring Bad Religion’s Greg Hetson on guitar, former member of hardcore punk band Circle Jerks, as well as vocalist Johnny Fontane.

The band played end-to-end Ramones hits and favourites taken from their most well-known albums, starting with ‘Rockaway Beach’, Bobby Freeman cover ‘Do You Wanna Dance?’ and ‘Sheena Is A Punk Rocker’, squeezing a total of 40 songs into a 90-min show.

They moved onto more classics in the way of ‘I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend’, ‘Beat On The Brat’ and ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll High School’. Other than Ramones songs, they also performed covers of ’60s songs featured on the Ramones’ earliest albums, including ‘Let’s Dance’ (Chris Montez), ‘Surfin’ Bird’ (The Trashmen) and ‘Chinese Rocks’ (The Heartbreakers).

Marky’s 1-2-3-4 drum beat and Hetson’s punk guitar riff in songs such as ‘I Wanna Be Sedated’ and ‘I Can’t Make It On Time’ displayed the playing style that was ripped off later by so many influenced punk bands. Marky’s drumming technique showed what it meant to be a drummer in the Ramones: fast, smooth flowing, precision drumming without breaks.

Blitzkrieg finished their main set on two covers, Joe Jones’s ‘California Sun’ and Motorhead’s Ramones tribute, ‘R.A.M.O.N.E.S’. The band then returned for an encore of The Ramones eponymous debut album tracks, ‘Loudmouth’ and ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’, on which they ended their show.

26/07/19: Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg @ The Garage, London

Photos © E. Gabriel Edvy/Blackswitch Labs.

© Ayisha Khan.



Duncan ‘Kid’ Reid, former bass player of early punk band The Boys, returned to the club with his infectious pop-punk group The Big Heads following last year’s show at the venue, which was hindered by a blizzard.

The band are due to release their next studio album and played new songs from the record as well as from their previous ones, beginning on ‘Can’t Stop’, the opening track on their last album, ‘Bombs Away’.

Unfortunately, Sophie K Powers (guitar, keyboard) was unable to make the show due to being hospitalised and instead was replaced by a last-ditch guitarist who was only told at soundcheck that he would be playing.

The Big Heads played ‘Cest La Vie’, from ‘The Difficult Second Album’, with Reid mixing in his heritage Boys songs, performing ‘Soda Pressing’ and then going back to the new again, with ‘Welcome To My World’ and ‘Motherfucker’. The band also did their war themed title track, ‘Bombs Away’.

They went back further to their debut studio album, ‘Little Big Head’ with ‘Kelly’s Gone Insane’ and, after relating one of his true stories, Reid performed another new song. Two more Boys tracks followed, ‘Brickfield Nights’ and ‘Terminal Love’, the former with guitarist Nick Hughes on vocals. The band also ‘broke a record’ with ‘The Shortest Song In The World’, comtaining one lyric, “Stomp.”

The Big Heads finished their main set on Honest John Plain’s ‘First Time’, declaring The Boys were the best songwriters, and did an encore featuring yet another one of their songs, ‘TCP’, as well as Andrew Matheson’s Hollywood Brats classic, ‘Sick On You’, on which they ended their spectacular innings.

24/05/19: Duncan Reid & The Big Heads @ The 100 Club, London.

Photos © Kevin Shepherd.

© Ayisha Khan.



Wreckless Eric launched his latest studio album, ‘Transcience’, at another 100 Club show, which was released on the same day and follows on from last year’s show at the same venue, coming just over a year after the release of his acclaimed 2018 album, ‘Construction Time & Demolition’.

This year’s album focuses on Eric’s shocking experience of losing his mother and ex, thinking about his own passing and his wish to leave “an indelible stain” on the world when he departs. He played largely from the new release starting with ‘Father To The Man’ and ‘Tiny House’.

However, despite the sad backdrop, throughout the evening Eric entertained with his humour and stories, going back to earlier albums, including 2014’s ‘Bungalow Hi’, with nostalgic rant ‘Same’, proving how strong an acoustic songwriter he is. He then went back even earlier to his 1980 album ‘Big Smash’, performing ‘Indelible Stain’.

The focus of the evening being on his latest release, Eric came back to the new record with ‘California/Handymen’ and ‘The Half Of It’, as well as the catchy and comedic song ‘Creepy People (In The Middle Of The Night’, before playing from last year’s album with ’40 years’.

After inviting his wife Amy Rigby to join him on stage, Eric’s main set finished on ‘Take The Cash’ from his 1978 second album ‘The Wonderful World Of Wreckless Eric’ and of course the one-hit wonder, ‘Whole Wide World’.

17/05/19: Wreckless Eric @ The 100 Club, London.

Photo © Kevin Shepherd.

© Ayisha Khan.



Marking their 40th year with a special anniversary tour, post-funk Factory records pioneers, A Certain Ratio, performed a career spanning set in the wake of their latest 54-track box set compilation release, ‘ACR:BOX’.

The band’s original members Jez Kerr (lead vocals, bass), Martin Moscrop (guitar, trumpet, drums) and Donald Johnson (drums, vocals, bass) arrived onstage to start the evening on ‘All Night Party’, Factory’s first-ever single artist release. Kerr’s monotone, gloomy lyrics contrasted against the added keyboard effects (played by new keyboardist Matt Steele) enlivened the song from its stripped down beginnings.

ACR moved onto their third single, ‘Flight’, with backing vocalist Denise Johnson joining them onstage. They also performed brand new single edit ‘Houses In Motion’, the Talking Heads cover the band were supposed to record with Grace Jones which features on their box set. Denise also remained onstage for the rarely played ‘Sextet’ album track ‘Lucinda’ and ‘Be What You Wanna Be’; a mixed dance-funk track.

Another rarity arrived in the form of ‘Mickey Way’, a B-side of an Australasia-only release, which saw Moscrop scaling notes on the trumpet. The band, now with previous keyboard player Liam Mullan making a guest appearance, performed a new recording of their 1990 single, ‘Won’t Stop Loving You’, also on the new box set, which Kerr dedicated to the late Rob Gretton, manager of New Order.

ACR’s special guest, fellow Mancunian artist Barry Adamson, was invited to join them for the two tracks they recorded together last year around Adamson’s own 40th anniversary celebrations, the second of which was a contemporary electronic dance remix of ‘I’ve Got Clothes’, developed from his 2017 EP, ‘Love Sick Dick’. Adamson also returned for the encore – an anniversary slideshow playing in the background – with the night ending on their whistle-laden salsa staple ‘Si Fermir O Grido’ and them all coming offstage into the disabled seating area with their percussion instruments where they finished playing the rest of the song.

04/05/19: A Certain Ratio @ Islington Assembly Hall, London.

Photo (top) © Laura Kate Bemrose.

All other photos © E. Gabriel Edvy/Blackswitch Labs.

© Ayisha Khan.



The break-the-state industrialists launched their latest studio album, ‘Disturbance’, at a special show in a newly opened arts venue in east London. The band performed solely from the new record, their first in 20 years, doing all eight tracks.

Amongst a distorted landscape, a demented trumpet sounded (played by co-founding member Paul Jamrozy) and beats echoed in opening song ‘Full Spectrum Dominance’, which slowly built to a crescendo via ominous and deafening tribal drums, while in the background black and white images of war played out. They then moved onto ‘Information Scare’ with its treadmill of electronic beats broken up by thunderous drumming and images of tabloid newspaper headlines pouring across the screen.

In the post-Grenfell days the band’s new single ‘Landlord’ is ever-relevant, featuring scuttling beats hit out on the band’s climbing frame of metal objects, ending with co-founder Graham Cunnington repeatedly shouting, “Resistance respect: resistance denied!” Throughout the set the band made use of the small stage in their typical ‘making less of more’ fashion, playing on hanging metal sheets, tyres and springs.

Test Department finished the night on ‘Speak Truth To Power’, by which point all members were angrily beating out their rhythms. Although they never returned for an encore of older material and only performed for around an hour, this rare show by the veterans of industrial anti-establishment, both audially and visually, left its impactful mark.

26/04/19: Test Department @ Studio 9294, London.

Photos © E.Gabriel Edvy/Blackswitch Labs.

© Ayisha Khan.



Following the release of their new studio album ‘Data Mirage Tangram’ in February, Swiss industrial rock trio The Young Gods were back on tour performing the entire record live, their first output in a little under a decade. The new album is more ambient and focussed on creating complex electronic scapes compared to their early harder industrial sound.

The band began with the opening song on the record, the slow and lazy ‘Entre En Matière’ (Entered), followed by the repetitive ‘Figure Sans Nom’ (Figure Without Name), with its air raid sirenic guitar. They also showcased the tribal minimalist shouts of debut single ‘Envoyé’ (Sent) and rhythmic 2007 song ‘About Time’.

The Young Gods returned for an encore of their older more rockier material and, after some technical difficulties, played English lyric songs ‘Kissing The Sun’ and ‘Gasoline Man’, ending their show on ‘Skinflowers’, the latter two singles from their 1992 acclaimed studio album, ‘T.V. Sky’.

23/03/19: Young Gods @ O2 Academy Islington, London.

© Ayisha Khan.



Sad Lovers & GiantsFollowing their reform a decade ago, the band have since released their first studio album in 16 years with 2018’s ‘Mission Creep’, and played a rare extended live set. Original members Simon ‘Garce’ Allard (vocals, saxophone) and Nigel Pollard (drums) played alongside the 1987 lineup of the band featuring Tony McGuinness (guitar) and Ian Gibson (bass), also with 2009’s addition, Will Hicks (keyboards).

SLAG began their set with some sound problems which had persisted throughout the evening, Garce finally being able to use his microphone during ‘Close To The Sea’ a little while into the song. After they had played a couple of tracks he self-depricatingly remarked, “Judging by the applause, I guess you weren’t expecting Sad Lovers & Giants. I see someone just leaving…”; their lack of popularity being a mark of distinction in keeping their sound so undiscovered.

Sad Lovers & Giants 1.jpg The band then proceeded to perform ‘Alaska’ from their 1990 album ‘Headland’ and newer song ‘Biblical Crows’ from last year’s album release, with its spidery guitar tones and Garce’s boozy saxophone. New song ‘Beauty Is Truth’ and 1983 ‘Feeding The Flame”s ‘Sleep (Is For Everyone)’ were the pinnacle of the set; the former featuring Cure-esque guitar riffs and the latter synth soundscapes straight out of ‘Seventeen Seconds’. The Cure’s influence on SLAG is unmistakeable and at times quite familiar.

They finished their main set on ‘Seven Kinds Of Sin’ from this lineup’s first album ‘The Mirror Test’- with Pollard’s Joy Division drumming style that also shows in SLAG’s earlier work – and new album single ‘Paradise’.

SLAG then returned for a synth-heavy 20-minute encore, in which they performed from their charting 1982 debut album, ‘Epic Garden Music’ with ‘Alice (Isn’t Playing)’, as well as two of their early 7″ singles, ‘Lost In A Moment’ and ‘Colourless Dream’.

Although the band have an obvious similarity to more recognised acts, possibly explaining their lack of overall popularity, their timeless and memorable songwriting, original song structures and rare gem find grows on you, and they are quintessentially ‘post-punk’ only slighted by their influenced sound, with new material that sounds as ever fresh as it did back then.

16/03/19: Sad Lovers & Giants @ Electrowerkz, London.

Photos © E. Gabriel Edvy/Blackswitch Labs.

© Ayisha Khan.



Laibach, Sound of Music, Graz 2018Photos by Miro MajcenTo promote the release of their 2018 Rodger & Hammerstein cover album, ‘The Sound Of Music’, Laibach embarked on their 2019 European tour with core band members Milan Fras (lead vocals), Ivan Novak (lights), Luka Jamnik (synthesizer), Rok Lopatič (synthesizer), Vitja Balžalorsky (guitar) and Bojan Krhlanko (drums), together with guest vocalist Boris Benko of electronic synthpop band Silence and Swedish jazz singer Marina Mårtensson.

The evening began with a screening of the band’s 2016 North Korea based docu-film, ‘Liberation Day’, which was followed by their first set in which they performed in track order from their latest album, while footage from their official videos played in the background, heavily themed on their visits to North Korea.

There was then a 15-minute interlude before the second part of the show − for which Fras changed into a white gown − revisiting a selection of Laibach’s earlier industrial material, beginning on ‘Mi Kujemo Bodočnost’ (We Forge The Future) from their 1985 eponymous debut album. The band also performed ‘Nova Akropola’ (New Acropolis) and ‘Vier Personen’ (Four Persons) representing Laibach’s early shift from a quintet to a quartet from their second album of the same name.

They finished the set on ‘Ti, Ki Izzivaš’ (You, Who Challenges) from their first compilation album release, ‘Rekapitulacija 1980–1984’, which was played against a soviet-style backing video starring the band’s female vocalist Mila Špiler shouting on a megaphone.

Laibach returned for an encore of 1988 cover single ‘Sympathy For The Devil’, ending their spectacular show on two songs taken from the 2012 and 2019 Finnish-German film ‘Iron Sky’ and its sequel ‘The Coming Race’.

01/03/19: Laibach @ O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London.

Photo © Miro Majcen.

© Ayisha Khan.



Jah WobbleFollowing the release of his new studio album ‘The Butterfly Effect’ at the end of last year, Jah Wobble played another of his early year shows with his band The Invaders Of The Heart, although this time they performed new material from the first album he’s recorded since 2014’s ‘Watch How You Walk’. The band was made up of Martin Chung (guitar), George King (keyboards) and Marc Layton-Bennett (drums).

Wobble began by doing some spoken word from a limerick book before developing a bassline, evolving it into the multi-instrumental jazz fusion piece called ‘7’ featured on the band’s 2017 compilation album, ‘The Usual Suspects’ − originally released by The Modern Jazz Ensemble − with flowing synth and Wobble’s drum and cowbell percussion. They then moved onto Harry J. All Stars reggae tune, ‘The Liquidator’.

Jah Wobble 1The band played a dancey version of the bass-led instrumental from Fleetwood Mac’s ‘The Chain’, proceeding onto PiL material with two plays of ‘Public Image’; the second a dub version. Wobble continued his selection of world dance music tracks with ‘Every Man’s An Island’ and 1981’s ‘How Much Are They?’, which saw him return to beat out the rhythm on the drums.

After relaxing with ‘Poptones’, Wobble talked about his current disillusion with that music before displaying his newfound interest in the contemporary dance genre which saw them add a modern introduction to ‘Foderstompf’. As part of their encore, the band also played Wobble’s new single ‘The Butterfly Effect’ from the album of the same name, which has a spoken word theme throughout.

25/01/19: Jah Wobble & The Invaders Of The Heart @ 229 The Venue, London.

Photos © E. Gabriel Edvy/Blackswitch Labs.

© Ayisha Khan.