08 September 2017: April Towers (album launch show) + Chroma Bay – The Chapel, The Angel Microbrewery, Nottingham, England, UK

I only found out I was going to this on the 07 September, so I was a bit surprised to be waltzing through Nottingham on a Friday night heading for one of my old haunts, The Old Angel, now renamed The Angel Microbrewery, to see a band I’d only just heard of but that sounded great on an unspecified streaming service, with my mate who’d been closely following them for a while and had supported their pledge campaign for their new album ‘Certified Freaky’.

Support was from Chroma Bay, who came across as quite tuneful and timid, with occasional ear blowing bass and drums, and weren’t really my cup of tea, although they did keep mine and the crowds attention, despite struggling a little with the sound and monitor levels. Top marks to the Keyboardist, who won hairstyle of the night by a country mile. Brilliant.

Go and buy “Gravitational“. You’ll probably love it.

The two piece, keyboards and vocals/guitar, that makes up April Towers, kicked off their album launch show at a little after 10pm, which was a nice change to 10pm being curfew time for most of the recent gigs I’ve been to, to a packed room of eager fans.

Coming across to my tinnitus strained ears as a, and this is no bad thing, enthusiastic, upbeat mix of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) and Chvrches, with a dollop of New Order, April Towers tore through “Silent Fever”, “Losing Youth” (definitely the most straight up, catchy of the tunes), adding “Like An Animal” and, I’m sure, “A Little Bit Of Fear” in there somewhere as well.

Despite obvious sound issues with the monitors (largely unnoticeable to the audience) the overall effect was magnificent and the audience lapped up the the whole thing with the enthusiasm that was obviously transmitted from the stage. The band, you could tell, were having a thoroughly enjoyable evening. Even some of the chatterers at the back STFU and danced towards the end of the show.

“Takes One to Know One”, the latest and possibly greatest of the bands offerings (go play it; Spotify) was in the mix somewhere (although “Losing Youth” is my favourite).

The end, as it must, came, and the band vacated the stage, thanking the audience, the venue and the efforts of the sound man.

My thanks go to the sound man. A bit of feedback is a beautiful thing and the noise that stopped one of the songs mid-flow was something special to my ears; although I don’t think the band were over the top about it.

Go get the world, April Towers! It’s desperately waiting for you.

Thanks to @neilgreen74 for the photos and videos.


17 May 2012: Jim Bob – The Greyhound, Beeston, Nottingham, England, UK

As we walked towards the venue, the only things around were two cruising police cars and a stray dog. This didn’t bode well for tonight’s entertainment.

There was a notice on the door of The Greyhound which, from afar, looked like the venue was closed and the gig cancelled but, thankfully, said (and I paraphrase) “For Jim Bob, go round the back”.

So we did…

Jim Bob

In contrast to the outside, the inside was completely packed out and looked well and truly sold out. There were a lot of 40 somethings wandering around in 30 something sweatshirts, but a smattering of younger souls as well.

The support was from Martin Jackson, who put on a brave acoustic performance but ultimately lost out to the crowds almost complete disinterest. Hopefully, he’ll keep plugging away, as it sounded OK to me.

This was the first date of Jim Bob’s tour to support his second novel, Driving Jarvis Ham.

The only time I’d been to a book reading before was to see Nick Cave in Manchester and I can remember he read from a book. Jim did this as well, but he also said he’d play some songs and then read some more, before playing some more songs from the specials board – allowing the audience to pick the songs – and finish with Sheriff Fatman.

The book reading went well and the crowd were very attentive, although Jim did seem a little nervous at first, before settling down to the job. He read a number of passages, most of which raised a few laughs and thankfully didn’t read anything from past about half way.

Then came the songs. Oh, and what songs they were!

Blowed if I can remember, although we did get Falling on a Bruise and Bloodsport for All. I know that we didn’t get Come on Smart Bomb!, Angelstrike, Song for Friends or Georgie’s Marvellous Medicine. Nevermind.

Jim Bob finished with Sheriff Fatman, with (possibly) Mr Spoons on bubble machines. In a chefs hat. Mr Spoons, not Jim Bob. Jim Bob was wearing a suit and tie.

To sum up, a great acoustic set which thrilled and spilled in all the right places. Some great songs all performed superbly with a touch of Jim’s usual humour chucked in.

Probably the best night in The Greyhounds live music history.

Get yourself along to one of the remaining dates. Your Jim Bob needs you.

Oh! And go get a copy of Driving Jarvis Ham. It’s a good read.