Items filtered by date: May 2016

Feeling the buzz up close and personal

  • Published in Venues

One of the Buzzcocks acted like a real punk after their gig at the Albéniz in Gijón last Friday, that’s “punk” in its old thick-shit guise as opposed to in the Sex Pistols’ thick-spit-wise. His dismissive arrogance was sorrily out of place. I had requested a post-show interview, duly turned up at the dressing-room door and agreed to wait while the band caught their breath after a driving performance that had the near-capacity audience pogoing like there was no tomorrow, never mind that the moves were from several yesteryears. (We all travelled back in time: it was a great night out.) The bass player finally emerged, brushed me aside and, lips curling in disgust, he spat at me, though this time not literally: “I have nothing to say to you.” He must have been mentally back in the day when some tabloid hack would chase the bad boys for a sniff of scandal or something more potent. (The substance of choice this time was of the corked bubbly variety. How anti-establishment is that...)

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Cold night had me heading for the bottle

We’ve all been there, psychologically on the floor, emotionally heart-broken, moody and miserable as shit but still clinging on to a shred of blind optimism that the person so deliberately not there with us might relent and at least give us a call, even as we cling to a glass of whatever is our warming poison. Whiskey in my choice, preferably Irish. That’s the starting point for this song. Too cold, too alone, too down and out. Things can only get better. You wish.

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Belle sings out her need to make music

She’s come a long way. Young Mary Kay made her stage debut as a Munchkin in a local production of The Wizard of Oz in her home town of Waunakee in Wisconsin when just a kid of five or six years (she's the Munchkin in the middle). She immediately fell for the lure of the spotlights and wanted more. “I was bitten by the bug,” she says. Since then everything has changed. For starters she no longer lives in the US but in Spain, in Lugones. For seconds she’s grown somewhat in stature: that cute little Munchkin now fronts Asturian band Memphis Belle, one of the area’s most popular groups who perform what they call “vintage pop soul”. No trace of Munchkin there, then. Their mix of original material and covers, with sounds coming in from rock and swing and all genres in between, has brought them critical acclaim on stage and successes in the region’s major music competitions.

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Asturian bands gear up for Cavern gig

  • Published in News

Three local bands will be playing at the world-famous Cavern club in Liverpool next month as part of a Beatles tribute special. The gig cements a link established last year between Lennon’s Bar in Lugones and the Liverpool venue when bar owner Chus Garcia took four Asturian bands on the road to the Merseyside mecca. He says the trip will be an annual event.

On the tour-bus this time are blues band Capitan Cavernicola, rockers Johnny Penicilina y Los Frixuelos Electricos and the multi-genre swingers, Memphis Belle. They will each play short sets of Beatles covers at the Cavern on Saturday, June 4, then full sets of their own music the following day, culminating in a mass ensemble jam on stage.

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Eurovision insight

  • Published in News

Cheese is bound to be on the menu this week as the traditional smorgasbord of tasty offerings from some 42 nations head to Stockholm to compete for the honour of composing the best of a medley of songs which otherwise would hardly merit a nibble. The Eurovision Song Contest can be relied on to dish up a positive feast for TV viewers hungry for a healthy serving of schmaltz, a word, I learn from the dictionary, which actually does refer to sentiment in music or drama. The bookies’ favourite this year is an appetising bowl of stroganoff from Russia, this time minus the grannies pictured above. Apparently it incorporates various ingredients – catchiness and nonsense lyrics - of past successes. We’ll see on Saturday. Yet even before the competition proper kicks off there have been a couple of helpings which left a nasty taste: Rumania was eliminated before the conductor picked up his baton because of cited “unpaid debts” while Australia caused a bit of a stink at the mess table when accused of including a sneaky bit of product placement in its lyrics. (The song from Down Under was taken to task for providing a promo for Apple with its mention of “face time” but no rewrite was ordered as, following an official inquiry, the composers got off on a technicality – Apple uses “FaceTime”, the Aussies escaped with “face time”.)

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Adventures in the heartland: Part 2

GOOLE

Funny thing about the human condition: we often want to escape it and we come up with all sorts of ways to escape. If we put as much time and energy into solving the problems of humanity as we do into inventing ways to get wasted then there’d probably be no war, no famine and we’d be walking on Mars by now. But we don’t so there is and we’re not.

Of course, with all the different roads to oblivion that are available nowadays, you need to choose your poison appropriately. There’s no point in sucking on a big fat spliff at an Exploited gig: you need some marching powder of some description. Likewise, you don’t want to shoot up into the clouds before heading off to a rave: you want to be gobbling up fistfuls of Es like there’s no tomorrow. And you don’t want to go to Goole after dropping acid that’ll lead to a total mental meltdown: you need something which will take the edge off the weirdness, something that’ll help you accept the other-worldly as being normal down to earth. Even the journey to Goole can play games with your mind. You pass signposts to places that conjure up strange mental pictures. Places like Beverley and, the piece-de-resistance, Land of Nod.

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I’m all right, Jack, so screw you...

One of the most popular and successful British movies of the late ‘50s was a comedy about the bosses and the workers in a missile factory, each side bent on making the most out of its labours. It was a hoot, a parody on the clashes between management and trade unions, on the privileges and protectionism on both sides. Made by the Boulting brothers in 1959, I’m All Right, Jack had a cast-list which told a generation of cinemagoers immediately and exactly what to expect: Peter Sellers plays the shop-steward, Dennis Price the factory owner and Ian Carmichael is the upper-class innocent manipulated between the two. Add in toothy Terry Thomas and droll Irene Handl and belly laughs all round were guaranteed.

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About

Red House Work is the body of music, songs and videos written and produced by the band, Red House, based in Pinzales, Gijón. Here we also give you a flavour of our cultural and musical interests and those of others. Contact us on: redhousepostbox@gmail.com

Red House Work es el conjunto de la música, las canciones y los vídeos escritos y producidos por el grupo Red House, con base en el pueblo de Pinzales, Gijón. En esta web os ofrecemos también una muestra de nuestros gustos culturales y musicales y los de otra gente afín a nuestro proyecto. Podéis contactar con nosotros a través de:redhousepostbox@gmail.com